Friday, January 31, 2014

Depression Sets In #4: Battle Report vs. Eldar (lots of pictures!)

Hey, what's up folks! I've been painting and playing a ton of 40k lately in an attempt to get ready for the LVO. I've been playing my BeastStar, which has been really fun! It has been an exercise in frustration to try to make my Dark Eldar work, as I continue to remove Dark Eldar units from the list in favor of Eldar. At this point, the list is nearly entirely Eldar, though the Beast element is really the essence of the list.

I finally got a game in against a good Eldar list - I've played one other before this against a good opponent, though the list was a little on the "meh" side - even my opponent didn't really like it. This time, he decided to take a better list with lots of the units I may end up seeing at LVO. The best part: he's a top-tier player who recently moved here, and is one of the few (3) individuals out there who has a winning record (with two or more games played total) against me.

Here's a fun fact I learned during this game: Dire Avengers have counter attack, randomly.

Alright, so first, here are the essential statistics:

1750 Beast Star

Eldar (Primary):

Farseer w/ Jetbike, Spirit Stones, Warlord (went with Guardians)
Farseer w/ Jetbike, Shard of Anaris (went with BeastStar)

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

7x Warp Spiders

Wraithknight (stock)

Dark Eldar (Allies):

Baron Sathonyx

10x Warriors w/ Splinter Cannon

Beast Pack w/ 5x Masters, 9x Khymerae, 6x Razorwings

Cody Jiru's Eldar 1750

Farseer (stock)

5x Dire Avengers // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
5x Dire Avengers // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
5x Dire Avengers // Wave Serpent w/ TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
3x Jetbikes
3x Jetbikes

6x Swooping Hawks
6x Swooping Hawks

5x Dark Reapers w/ Starshot Ammo, Exarch w/ Double-shot
3x War Walkers w/ 3x Scatter Lasers, 3x Bright Lances
Wraithknight (stock)

Bastion w/ Icarus Las Cannon

The Mission:

Big Guns Never Tire (worth 4 points)

Relic (worth 3 points)

First Blood, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord (worth 1 point each)


Vanguard Strike

Night Fight:


I won the roll to go first and decided I wanted to see if my Beasts could survive going second against a list with a ton of shooting. As such, I took 2nd.



StoneSeer: Doom, Guide, Mind War, Warlord Trait: inconsequential

ShardSeer: Fortune, Misfortune, Prescience

Cody's Eldar:

Farseer: Guide, Prescience, Forewarning, Warlord Trait: Warlord is scoring

Pre-game Thoughts:

Man, this list has a lot of tools! His Swooping Hawks can kill all my troops fairly easily, and he has a TON of effective shooting. Most relevant is the fact that most of his shooting is A) extremely mobile and B) S6 or better, which will insta-death my Razorwing Flocks. In addition, he has great range, and can ignore cover well.

Also of note are his NINE scoring units - 5 Troops, 3 Heavy Support, and his Warlord.

The only break I catch is that he does not have any templates other than the Swooping Hawks, whose S4 Large Blast my BeastStar is not really afraid of.

The key, in my mind, is to keep my Beasts as obscured as possible, while benefiting from the huge LOS-blocking terrain. I have three goals going into this game:

1) Kill his Wave Serpents ASAP

2) Keep my troops alive as long as possible

3) Keep the Beasts in combat with stuff, and FORCE Cody to make decisions he'd rather not have to regarding how to deal with the Beasts.


Overview of Deployment. Note that the Relic is in the middle there, and that there are two Big Guns objectives in each deployment zone.

Cody deployed his Swooping Hawks so that he could enter ongoing reserves and for sure get them in on Turn 2. He also reserved his 2 Jetbike squads. Wraithknight is on an objective, and the other is behind his Bastion. On the right of this picture you can see the Relic.

See my smashed BeastStar - Khymerae and Masters out on the sides to get cover saves, everything protecting the Razorwings. I deepstruck the Warp Spiders and put the Warriors and Jetbike squads in regular reserves. Note that I kept the Wave Serpents and Wraithknight out of range of his own Wraithknight.
Cody Eldar Turn 1:

 Cody cast Prescience on his Reapers (did every time this game), Guide on the Walkers, and Forewarning on the Walkers as well.

He moved his Serpents forward, drawing line of sight to my Beasts, and scouted/moved/battle focused the War Walkers up to shoot at the Beasts.

Cody knew that he would need to take advantage of my temporary weakness on the BeastStar (Fortune was not yet up) and kill as much of it as he could on Turn 1.

As such, he shot me up pretty well. When the smoke cleared, he had killed 4 Masters and 6 Khymerae, but zero Razorwings, as well as a HP on one of my Serpents.

My Beasts took a beating, but survived. Also, I notably did not give up First Blood.
BeastStar is all shot up, but the Razorwings are still alive. Can I do much damage to him next turn?

 BeastStar Turn 1:

Cast my powers - Fortune to my Beasts, and Misfortune on his Walkers, which was Denied. Doh!

Beasts moved up to get within 6" charge distance of the War Walkers, while the rest of my shooting got distance to two of his Wave Serpents. Guardians spread out, knowing that the Swooping Hawks would be in next turn, and not wanting to auto-die to their large blast templates.

Shooting commenced, and I was able to kill his top-right Wave Serpent, and put two glances on his middle Serpent (next to the bunker), but when the Wraithknight went to finish it off, Cody rolled two 5+ cover saves to stave off disaster! Still, I got First Blood, which was important.

BeastStar charged the Walkers, rolling a DISGUSTING number of rends (I think the Razorwings got 11 total rends out of their 36 attacks), but Cody rolled a disgusting number of 4++ invulnerable saves and so only lost two War Walkers. We piled in.

Swooping Hawks would be in next turn - could they wipe out my entire Guardian squad on their own?

Poor Walker...
 Cody Eldar Turn 2:

Cody's Bikes and Hawks came in - he hid his Bikes and decided to go after my Guardians with the Hawks. His Wraithknight and Serpent moved up to shoot my Wave Serpents and applying pressure.

His Swooping Hawks were very impressive - they killed nearly all of my Guardians (I believe about 5 of them survived). Other shooting finished off one Wave Serpent and shook another. Dire Avengers in the exploded Serpent lost two of their number, but passed pinning and morale.

In combat, the Beasts ruined the final Walker and consolidated forward.

Cody put Forewarning on the Wave Serpent closest to the Beasts. Notice how sad and empty the backfield looks after he ruthlessly wiped out my poor Guardians! I probably should have put them in better cover. He also cast Guide on the middle-most Hawk squad. I have to admit, after all those Guardians died so quick and easy, I was a little daunted by the firepower and pressure Cody was exerting on me.

BeastStar Turn 2:

I had a new goal: I needed to wipe out his Swooping Hawks ASAP, before they could go up into the sky and destroy me again on Turn 4. Luckily, they were within striking distance.

I rolled for reserves, getting everything in but one squad of Bikes. The Warp Spiders deepstruck in between the two Hawk squads, and the Warriors came in next to the Wraithknight. Bikes turbo-boosted over to the top right corner, after taking a single interceptor casualty from the double-shot Icarus Las Cannon (passing their Ld. 8, whew!).

I casted Misfortune on the Wraithknight (no deny), Guide on the Warp Spiders, and Fortune (as always) on the Beasts.

Beasts moved up to assault the Wave Serpent and possibly the Wraithknight (WK) if the Warriors failed to kill it. My own WK jumped up to threaten his top squad of Swooping Hawks. My shaken Serpent wasn't going to do much, so I turboed him behind the ruins at the top right corner so as to get a better cover save and keep the Serpent Shield intact.

First, the Warp Spiders shot at and killed all 6 of the bottom Swooping Hawks. The Dark Eldar Warriors shot at the Wraithknight and caused 8 total wounds. With Misfortune up, he was required to re-roll all of his successful saves, and the Dark Eldar Warriors were proud (and myself a little dismayed) to see the Wraithknight come tumbling down in a single volley of awesome!

In combat, the Beasts assaulted the Wave Serpent with Forewarning, and the Wraithknight made its 4" charge into the Swooping Hawks. The Beasts managed to glance the Serpent to death, and the Wraithknight killed 4 Hawks, causing them to run away. His I5 matched theirs, and he caught them!

Great turn for the BeastStar - I killed a Wave Serpent, Wraithknight, and 12 Hawks.

Note how my Guardians and Dire Avengers are just playing 'hunker down' as best they could at this point - both units are pretty depleted. Note the green things in the middle - I call them "Derp Snakes", but they're really counts-as Warp Spiders, because I'm not going to pay over $8/model for awful Warp Spider models. I'd rather have Snakes with Swords and Bows and Arrows! Derp.
 Cody Eldar Turn 3:

Cody was left with a dilemma - he needed to kill a few of my key units or face being run off the table pretty quick. He still had 7 of his original 9 scoring units left, but most of his purely offensive units had been wiped out. He still had a lot of firepower though - one of the reasons Eldar are such a good book is the versatility of their units.

Cody Forewarned his (1 HP remaining) Wave Serpent, and Guided some Dire Avengers.

His shooting managed to wipe out my Wave Serpent (his own Serpent got a "6" on number of shots, so his 7 shots killed my hapless Serpent with ease). He also put a couple wounds on my Wraithknight via pseudo-rending, and another two wounds with his Reapers, leaving my own WK with only 2 wounds remaining.

Cody also managed to kill 6 DE Warriors, forcing a Ld. 8 check on them, which they (barely) passed.

This turn was a good one for Cody, considering all he had left was three Dire Avenger squads, a Wave Serpent, some Bikes, and the Dark Reapers. Lots of output from every unit in the Eldar book.

I was lucky to keep those Warriors on the table - they didn't get cover saves, and as such the Dire Avengers messed them up pretty well.

BeastStar Turn 3:

I considered playing conservatively with the Beasts and hiding behind the LOS-blocking wall on the left, but decided to instead apply pressure. I didn't really need the Beasts to contest things, as I had other units in place for that, but they did need to keep soaking up shots.

As such, I moved the Beasts up toward his Dire Avengers, needing a "9" to charge them - plausible with Fleet. Wraithknight and Bright Lances moved to get a good shot at the remaining Wave Serpent, and the Warp Spiders moved to threaten his leftmost Dire Avengers.

I got a decent Run roll for the Spiders, and they again killed every single model in the unit they fired at (Prescience FTW). Wraithknight and Bright Lances managed to wreck the remaining Serpent, and pinned the squad inside.

In combat, the Spiders jumped out of LOS of the Reapers, and the Beasts tried valiantly, but ultimately failed their 9" charge.

Cody still has threats on the table - he will likely kill the Wraithknight and lots of Razorwings next turn. Can he turn the game around?

BeastStar is all ready to die sad deaths to S8 :-/
 Cody Eldar Turn 4:

Cody moved his bikes to shoot at the Wraithknight and Beasts, and the Dire Avengers also drew a bead on the Beasts. One squad of Bikes were in range of the Wraithknight. If Cody wanted to have a chance to win, he needed to kill my Wraithknight and deal significant damage to the BeastStar.

His first shooting went well - the Jetbikes got two pseudo-rends on my Wraithknight, who failed both cover saves and died immediately! Cody used his low-strength weaponry to kill off my two screening Khymerae, then shot 6 S8 missiles at the Beasts. They had a 6+ cover save from the Baron, and I managed (through lookout sir! shenanigans) to only lose two Razorwings to the missiles.

Still, at that point my BeastStar was down to the Baron, ShardSeer, and 6 models in the squad itself, including 4 Razorwings, 1 Master, and 1 Khymerae.

As a final (wise) move, Cody ran up his Dire Avengers in the middle to screen the rest of his army from being multi-assaulted off the table. All I knew was my BeastStar likely had no chance to weather another turn of Missiles and small-arms fire.

The game is pretty close - my Beasts are bedraggled, my backfield units are all emaciated, and Cody still has 6 scoring units!
BeastStar Turn 4:

My final squad of Jetbikes came in, and moved to be able to hide and grab the Relic on Turn 5.

I cast Misfortune on his Reapers, who failed their Deny roll. The Warp Spiders then warped up to the top of their ruins, ready to shoot the Reapers, while the DE Warriors shifted around to hold the objective while being in range of the Reapers. Beasts got in range of the Dire Avengers in the middle.

Shooting went well enough - the Spiders and DE Warriors managed to make the Reapers go to ground for a 2+ save, after which (through Misfortune), the Reapers lost every member, and the Farseer even took two wounds. This was a huge boon to me, as it removed a scoring unit and netted me another point on the Primary (dead Heavy Support choice).

In combat, the Beasts charged in and killed the Dire Avengers.

At this point, he has 5 Dire Avengers, a 1-wound Farseer (gone to ground), and 6 Jetbikes. I have all my scoring units, but each is dangerously depleted. 
Derp Snakes and Bikes are hiding out!
 Cody Eldar Turn 5:

Cody decided to see if he had one more turn of glory in him. His Dire Avengers snuck over to the right corner and murdered my two Bikes hanging out there. His other Bike squad moved up and shot my own Bikes on the left and killed two, making the remaining Bike flee. His final three Bikes turboed over to contest my right-most objective.

It was about as good as he could hope for, but it didn't appear to be enough.

My Beasts actually failed their Fortune check, but Cody couldn't insta-death them with anything at this point.

Rest of the Game:

We actually decided to call it a game halfway through my Turn 5. I would be able to kill all 6 of his Jetbikes, and likely his Farseer, while holding all the objectives. The only question remaining was really if I could get a unit to the Relic on Turn 6, and if the game would go to Turn 6. We also questioned whether or not I could kill his Warlord.

We didn't bother to find out - it was just a test game after all!

Results: Win for the BeastStar!!

Post-game Thoughts:

I was pretty happy with the win - my units really took a beating this game, but each did what they needed to do. The Warp Spiders were the MVPs, killing a squad of Swooping Hawks, Dire Avengers, and causing 6 wounds to the Reaper squad (2 on the Farseer) before the DE Warriors finished off the Exarch!

The list is resilient, and I was happy to note that my Beasts, while they didn't kill TOO much (Walkers, Serpent, and 5 Dires) soaked up a ton of firepower and threatened plenty of units. I also loved Misfortune, which almost single-handedly killed the Wraithknight and Reaper squad.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of my own Wraithknight - I need to play a little more conservatively with him initially, shooting at good targets while protecting my own backfield. While he ended up dying like a chump, he did soak up some firepower and killed two vital units (Serpent and Hawks).

Guardians didn't do much this game, though they were in position to hold/contest two objectives at the end of the game. They did their job and soaked up fire and supplied a strong backfield for me, while keeping my Warlord safe.

I should note that this game I rolled a couple rolls for the Beasts that were um... lucky? At one point, I rolled three 6+ saves on a Master in a row, staving off certain death for my Razorwings. That said, I don't think it would have made an enormous difference in the long run - the essence of the Beasts would have been able to do what they ended up doing without two more Razorwing flocks.

So, what are your thoughts? Is this list ready for LVO? What do you think will just totally wipe me out? Any cool strategies you can think of for me to use?

Here are some gratuitous pictures as a reward for reading to the end:

Is this computer-generated? It came up under my search for "perfection", lol.

She's kind of cute, if a bit pixelated. I didn't shit bricks, sorry to say. Is this trying to imply that she embodies perfection? 

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