Saturday, January 4, 2014

Depression Sets In #1: 1750 Eldar/DE vs. Eldar Battle Report (with pictures!)

Howdy folks! If you have been following my blog of late, you know that my march toward the Las Vegas Open (LVO) and my pursuit of a competitive army has been anything but intuitive for me. I started out trying to bludgeon my Salamanders into working, and randomly discovered that Dark Eldar are a ton of fun to play at a local RTT.

Since then, I've taken more and more Eldar in my lists, though for some reason I can't quite explain, I have resisted playing Eldar as my primary force - likely because 'everyone' is playing Eldar as primary these days, and I hate doing what 'everyone' is doing.

This should then explain my blog title - I have finally done that which I have resisted for so long, and taken the plunge into the awesome primary army that is Eldar. It's depressing, but damn it feels good to have good troops for once! Fear not, this list is by no means spammy, and relies heavily on Dark Eldar allies. I actually think I'll end up putting even more Dark Eldar into my list after the battle you're about to witness. List is finally coming together though :)

Today I bring to you my first attempt as an Eldar player. Cody Jiru recently moved to my area, and we finally got a couple games in! He's a great player, and I knew he'd give me a tough match-up with his Eldar, despite the fact that he normally plays Dark Eldar as primary - he didn't want my first foray into Eldar to be a mirror match (BeastStar vs. BeastStar) so he took a balanced Eldar list.

The Mission: 

Primary (4): Crusade (3 Red Objectives)
Secondary (3): Emperor's Will (2 Black Objectives)
Tertiary (1/each): First Blood/Warlord/Linebreaker

Deployment: Dawn of War

Night Fight: Yes

Cody's List:

1750 Pure Eldar (from memory)

Farseer w/ Stones (Guide, Prescience, Perfect Timing) (went with Dark Reapers in Bastion)

6x Fire Dragons w/ Fast Shot Exarch // Wave Serpent w/ Shuri Cannon, TL Scatter Laser
6x Fire Dragons w/ Fast Shot Exarch // Wave Serpent w/ Shuri Cannon, TL Scatter Laser

10x Dire Avengers (Reserved)
10x Dire Avengers (Reserved)
3x Eldar Jetbikes (Reserved)
3x Eldar Jetbikes (Reserved)

7x Warp Spiders (Deep Striking)

5x Dark Reapers w/ S8 & S5 guns, Exarch w/ Fast Shot
Night Spinner

Bastion w/ Icarus Las Cannon (Exarch shoots this to get two shots each turn)

My List:

Eldar Primary:

Farseer w/ Jetbike, Shard of Anaris (Guide, Doom, Prescience)
Farseer w/ Jetbike, Spirit Stones of Anthalan, Singing Spear (Guide, Mind War, Eldrich Storm)

20x Guardians w/ 2x Bright Lances // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser
20x Guardians w/ 2x Bright Lances // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser
3x Jetbikes (Reserved)
3x Jetbikes (Reserved)


Dark Eldar Allies:

Baron Sathonyx

5x Warriors (Reserved)

Beast Pack w/ 5x Masters, 6x Razorwings, 10x Khymerae


We rolled to go first, and I won the roll, giving Cody first turn.

Warlord Traits:

Cody: Choice of Night Fight (yes)
Me: Warlord is scoring

Pregame Thoughts:

My first impression is glee: Cody doesn't have 6 Wave Serpents or 3 Wraithknights! However, upon further inspection, he does have quite the solid base of firepower, and has the tools to make my life difficult. I doubt this is a list he considers top-tier, but it has a lot of elements that will test me, especially in the hands of a great player.

I was disappointed that my first try with two Farseers didn't net me Fortune, but I guess it's best to try to learn how to play without it. My idea was to keep Cody in his deployment zone for most of the game, having the Beasts eat squads, while the Guardian blobs stayed in cover, and out of line-of-sight of his bastion. The Reapers on the Bastion are ridiculous - they got the ignore cover power, and the Exarch shoots two BS5 twin-linked shots with a Las Cannon. It can intercept and skyfire and everything!

I wanted to see how resilient my blobs would be, and I kept the Stones Farseer with the far left squad, and tried to keep my other blob outside of his Reapers' 48" range. He chose to reserve all of his troops, which would help me to secure objectives, though I had to be wary of his jetbikes. Going second would help to mitigate this threat - if he flew in to claim/contest objectives, I would be able to kill them at the bottom of Turn 5.


I have to again apologize for proxies, though less this time than last! The Dreadknight is standing in as a Wraithknight, and we are playing that he is taller than the hill. All terrain is being treated as area terrain, except for the buildings, which are ruins. Note the clumped up Guardians on the far right side - none of his templates were in range to hit them Turn 1 because of night fight. Crisis suit models are representing Bright Lances, and Kroot are Guardians. StoneSeer is with the Guardians for better leadership.

Eldar Turn 1:

Cody casted Guide and Perfect Timing on the Reapers (and every subsequent turn) and Prescience on the Spinner.

He then jumped his Wraithknight forward to get a better view of my Wraithknight, and moved his Serpents to within 36" of my own Serpents.

Cody's shooting managed to kill a few Beasts and Guardians, and he also barely killed my centermost Wave Serpent (does everything ignore cover in this game now?), netting him Firstblood.

My Turn 1:

I casted Guide on both Guardian squads and Prescience on the Wraithknight. His own Wraithknight luckily denied Doom.

Beasts moved up 12", and would need a 9" charge to get to the Wraithknight, which was a reasonable hope for me with Fleet. Leftmost Guardians shuffled toward the left, trying to stay in cover. StoneSeer stayed with them. Rightmost Guardians shambled forward and spread out.

In shooting, I managed to take two HP off his Rightmost Serpent, shaking it with a combined effort from both Serpents and two Lances. The leftmost lances whiffed, though the Wraithknight managed to stun his other Serpent and cause a HP.

In assault, I managed to get a natural 11" charge, getting most of my beasts into striking range. I managed a paltry 3 wounds, he did nothing, and we stuck in combat.

This picture was taken just as his Turn 2 was beginning - you can see Cody's reserves are already placed on the table, though he has yet to move his other models.
Eldar Turn 2:

Both Jetbike squads came in, as did the Spiders. Dire Avengers stayed in reserves. Spiders deepstruck next to my Wraithknight, while the Jetbikes cowered behind the Bastion.

Cody cast his powers and shuffled his units around. He wasn't going to be able to touch my Beasts this turn, so he would instead focus on my Wraithknight.

His shooting managed to bring my Wraithknight down to 1 remaining wound (due to fantastic pseudo-rending rolls from the Spiders) and killed a couple Guardians. Most notably, his Night Spinner sniped out both of my Bright Lances from the rightmost Guardians. I need to learn to keep them un-clustered, apparently!

In combat, he did no wounds, and I managed to take only two more wounds from the Wraithknight, leaving him with only 1 wound as well! I hit&ran toward his board edge, and the Wraithknight limped away. His Spiders also did the cowardly thing and ran off.

At this point, I was reduced to a single Serpent and two Bright Lances as long-range fire support, along with an injured Wraithknight. Yikes! Now might be a good time to note that his Emperor's will objective was behind his Bastion, while mine was behind the ruins on the far bottom-right corner.

My Turn 2:

I cast Doom on his Night Spinner, Prescience on the Beasts, and Guide on the Wraithknight and leftmost Guardians. Spinner failed its deny.

5 Warriors came onto the board to my far right, but the Bikes stayed happily in reserves!

Beasts moved up to multi-assault the Night Spinner, the Stunned Wave Serpent, and his Wraithknight. Leftmost Guardians moved toward his Spiders to shoot at them, while the rightmost Guardians just sat there with nothing to do but score, their fancy Bright Lance toys taken away prematurely :-/ Wraightknight decided to be silly and aggressive.

Shooting was a little dumb of me - I shot my Wraithknight at his Wraithknight, and killed it. Really a dumb plan on my part. Other shooting brought down his rightmost Wave Serpent, and the Guardians shot and killed a couple Warp Spiders. Warp Spiders also denied Mind War. WTF?

The Beasts, thwarted from charging the Wraithknight, charged in and wiped out both the Wave Serpent and Night Spinner. Fire Dragons were forced to emergency disembark, pinning them. I was also able to charge his Warp Spiders with the Guardians and kill all but two of the Spiders. They passed Leadership, and hit&ran out. I consolidated behind the big pillar on the left.

I felt better after this turn - Spiders were largely dealt with, and all his vehicles were accounted for. However, my beasts were placed rather poorly...

Beasts are in terrible position - I *really* should have charged his Wraithknight with a beast that couldn't hurt it, therefore killing both vehicles and managing to keep Cody from shooting at them. You will also note that the vast majority of my Razorwings were close to his Fire Dragons rather than a few Khymerae. Razorwings are great because of their 5W, but will die easily to things such as, say, Meltaguns.

Eldar Turn 3:

Both squads of Dire Avengers came on, and positioned themselves to shoot at the Beasts. Everything else converged on the Beasts.

Shooting was not pretty. I got a 4+ cover save for most of my models, and a 3+ for the rest of them, due to the Baron granting Stealth. I rolled abysmally on saves, though the real damage was done when Cody opened up with 10 Meltaguns (5 snap-firing) and hit 10 hits with his fast-shot flamer on Razorwings, due to my poor placement.

Every model of his shot the BeastStar, and when the smoke cleared... every single Beast, including the Baron and my Warlord were all dead - Baron dropped from a single failed save, and the Farseer was full health until the very last shot doubled him out and he failed his 4++.

Well, every model besides his two Spiders, who managed to pseudo-rend my Wraithknight to death all on their own.

Quite the depressing turn for me, losing around 900 (probably more) points of models. Well played by Cody though :-/

Believe it or not, I still felt like I could win this game! Cody does have a leg up on me, however, with both Warlord and First Blood. Very little chance that I would be capable of killing his own Warlord, and if the game came down to a tie on objectives, Cody would win due to Tertiary objectives.
My Turn 3:

With nearly half my army destroyed, I needed to make sure I kept my eyes on the prize: the objectives were still very much within my range. I had a Farseer on a bike that could contest Cody's objectives, as well as my own two squads of Jetbikes. Most importantly, I went second, so I'd have the last say on the objectives. Another important thing to note is that I had roughly succeeded in keeping his troops in Cody's deployment zones. It would take a couple good turns of movement for his Dire Avengers to get to the central-ish objectives.

I clustered my leftmost Guardians behind the big hill, and turboed one squad of Jetbikes up to the top-right corner where the Reapers couldn't see them. Shooting killed two Dire Avengers on the leftmost squad, and three or four on the rightmost squad (Wave Serpent still functioning) and pinned them. My aim was mostly to keep Cody from seeing my models.

The rest of the game looked largely the same as this, so I didn't take any more pictures. Sorry. Note where my Jetbikes are in the top right corner - they're in contest-range of both Crusade objectives near them.
Eldar Turn 4:

Cody did what he could - he moved up and blocked off the center Crusade objective with Fire Dragons to keep me from contesting it. One Jetbike squad sped over toward his center.

His only shooting was to gun my hapless Wave Serpent down with his 90" range Icarus Las Cannon that ignored cover due to Perfect Timing. *sigh*

My Turn 4:

Last squad of Bikers came in and joined the other ones on the top right corner. My goal was to play it conservatively, and get my guys to objectives on Turn 5. As such, I got all my Guardians off of terrain, and to within 12" of each corner objective.

Farseer got denied on his attempt to cast Mind War on the Reapers, and that was pretty much my turn.

Eldar Turn 5:

Cody was unable to get his centermost Dire Avengers into range of that objective (needed a 4" run, rolled 3" both times with fleet), and jetted a squad of bikes into range of the rightmost objective. He held his own Emperor's Will objective with a Jetbike squad, and ran up with his Dire Avengers to hold/contest the leftmost objective, also keeping his Spiders within 3" of the leftmost as well.

His shooting killed off one or two stray guardians that the Icarus could see.

My Turn 5:

I decided not to bother trying to get full points on Turn 5 - LVO is W/L/D, and as such I didn't care about margin of victory. As such, I decided to keep my StoneSeer attached to the mostly-intact Guardian squad to supply them with good leadership and providing me more options should the game go to Turn 6 or 7.

One squad of Jetbikes moved up to shoot at/turbo to hold the rightmost objective, while the rightmost Guardians slid up to the objective, ready to open fire on the Jetbikes there.

Shooting obliterated the Jetbikes on the right, and the Guardians on the left (despite another failed attempt at Mind War vs. some Avengers) managed to kill every single Avenger, though they merely stood there, staring at the Warp Spiders who contested the objective.

If the game ended Turn 5, I would win on Primary, 1-0.

We rolled to see if the game ended, and I got a "1" - game over.

Results: Win for the Eldar/DE!! Final score: 5-2 (Primary + Linebreaker vs. First Blood + Warlord)

Post-game Thoughts:

Well, after the Beasts died a rather worse death than I had predicted (poor rolling and poor placement), I was thrilled to see that my army was still capable of winning the game! The Guardians put out a ridiculous number of shots, and Battle Focus really makes them shine. I felt like the added security of the Jetbikes was also amazing - they didn't do much this game besides getting me Linebreaker, but their ridiculous ability to contest or control any objective within 48" was just awesome!

We discussed my chances of winning on Turns 6 and 7 - I'm fairly certain I would have won Turn 6 at the very least, though Turn 7 was a little chancier. By then, he would have crushed my remaining Guardians on the left objective, held the middle objective, and potentially contested the rightmost one. I think I could have held the rightmost objective (20 Guardians shooting their guns would likely murder those Fire Dragons trying to contest), and if the Fire Dragons left, the Jetbikes could turbo over and contest his center objective, tying the Primary. Meanwhile, I doubt he would have been able to kill both my Guardians on the left and the StoneSeer - he could have also jetted over to contest his Emperor's Will objective, winning the game w/ Secondary. All conjecture of course :)

I have to say I rather loved the huge Guardian squads - tough to kill, and they really do pack quite the punch. However, Ld. 8 is a little worrisome, and I don't have the characters to fix it. I need the long-range firepower their lances provide, so here's the next iteration of my list. I think I'm getting close to a list that can perform the way I want it to.

1750 Eldar + Dark Eldar

Eldar (Primary):

Farseer w/ Jetbike, Shard of Anaris
Farseer w/ Jetbike, Stones (Warlord - likely stays with Guardians and tries to stay alive)

20x Guardians w/ 2x Bright Lances // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser
5x Dire Avengers // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser
3x Jetbikes
3x Jetbikes


Dark Eldar (Allies):

Baron Sathonyx

10x Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon, Sybarite (Ld. 9 woo!)

Beast Pack w/ 5x Masters, 6x Razorwings, 10x Khymerae

Ravager w/ Flickerfield


  • Loses a Guardian Squad, but gains a 10-man Warrior squad with better leadership and better range, and reasonable volume of fire w/ Splinter Cannon.
  • Loses Guardians' 2x Bright Lances, but replaces them with Ravager's 3x Dark Lances. While the Ravager is relatively easy to kill, I will generally be able to hide it on Turn 1, or at least get a gnarly cover save.
  • Also gains a Dire Avenger squad to go in a Serpent, netting me more total models to help torrent things like FMCs down. 
  • Warlord becomes StoneSeer - may as well make my BeastStar less awesome to kill, and provide Guide/other buffs to his squad in the back. Just need to make sure he stays within 24" of BeastStar if he gets Fortune. Not the end of the world if he has to trade places with ShardSeer.

So, that's that! Whew, it's nice to have only work to deal with, rather than work + grad school! What are your thoughts? Any huge rules problems I missed? Any ways I should have played better? Tweaks to my new (or old!) list?

Thanks for reading. As a reward for being so awesome as to read to the end, here's a couple random pictures of Alison Brie from Community.

Is it weird that this is my favorite one?

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