9 November 2010

Enter the Archon

The new Codex: Dark Eldar is out, so naturaly we'll have to get a game in as soon as possible. It should be noted that neither of us had the opportunity to study the codex beforehand, so the Dark Eldar army was far from optimized.

Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: Capture and Control (4 objectives)

Jørn's Word Bearers (Chaos Space Marines)
- Dark Apostle Thanatos (Chaos Sorcerer. MoT, Warptime, Wind of Chaos)
- CSM melta squad (Champ w/P.Fist. 9 CSM w/2 Melta guns, IoCG. Rhino)
- CSM plasma squad (Champ w/P.Fist. 9 CSM w/2 Plasma guns, IoCG. Rhino)
- Berzerkers (Champ w/P.Fist, 8 Berzerkers)
- Land Raider
- Obilterators (2)
- Obilterators (2)

André's Dark Eldar
- Archon (Shadow Field, Soul Trap, Combat Drugs, Agonizer)
- Incubi (Klavex w/Bloodstone, Onslaught. 8 Incubi. Raider)
- Kabalite Warriors (Sybarite. 9 Warriors w/Shredder, Spliter Cannon. Raider)
- Kabalite Warriors (Sybarite. 9 Warriors w/Shredder, Spliter Cannon. Raider)
- Wyches (Hekatrix w/Agonizer, Phantasm Grenade Launcher. 9 Wyches. Raider.)
- Scourges (Solarite w/Venom Blade. 8 Scourges w/2 Splinter Cannons.)
- Ravager (3 Dark Lances)
- Ravager (3 Dark Lances)

André wins the roll-off and elects to go first. He deploys two Raiders, one with Wyches and one with Warriors, behind the Shrine of the Aquila by the western table edge.

Jørn deploys both CSM squads and the Dark Apostle just north of the centre of the table, claiming two objectives and leaving a third between and behind them.
The rest of the armies are left in Reserves. (Yes, we once again misremember that forces starting off table are not necessarily in Reserve.)

Deployment, looking north.

Turn 1
Announcing that he'll steal the initiative, Jørn tosses a dice onto the tabletop. Much to his surprise the dice actually comes up a six, so he moves the plasma-squad back a bit to denying the Wyches a very probable first turn assault he missed while deploying.

André is content to just make a small adjustment to his deployment while awaiting the arrival of the Reserves. (yes, yes...)

Turn 2
The Berzerkers arrive in the Land Raider, racing 12" in towards the objective behind the CSM squads. Said CSM squads stand and shoot, but fails to do any damage to the hidden Raiders.

André gets the other Raider with a Warrior squad and a Ravager in from Reserves. The Ravager enters opposite the Land Raider flanked by the Raider. The other Warrior Raider jumps the Shrine, while the Wyches' Raider boosts 24" to come around the northern flank. The Ravager and the two Warrior Raiders fires their Dark Lances at the Land Raider, hits decently enough but fails to glance or penetrate. Both Raider squads fire from their Raiders and take out half the CSM melta squad holding the northern objective.

Before the DE shooting.

Turn 3
Both Obliterator squads arrive from Reserves. One Deep Strikes on the south flank and the other between the Land Raider and the CSM melta squad. The Land Raider itself advances and fires at the Ravager in front of it, as does the nearby Obliterators and melta squad. Not even a dent! The CSM plasma squad on the south flank fires at the closest Raider along with the Obliterators there and the Rhino Havoc launcher. Plasma guns and Lascannons do nothing, but the Havoc missiles manages a five to glance and a six (minus two plus one) to finally wreck the Raider. The Dark Eldar Warriors then fails their Pinning test.

The rest of the Dark Eldar's Reserves come in this turn. The second Ravager moves sedately in on the southern flank, lining up three shots at the Land Raider. The Archon and his Incubi bodyguard boost up right in front of the CSM plasma squad, and the Scourges Deep Strike still further to the south. The Wyches take their Raider up besides the CSM melta squad in the crater and disembarks, while the still mobile Warrior Raider takes its squad up on the other side of the crater. The Ravager that arrived this turn shoots both Lascannons off the Land Raider, while the Warriors near the northern objective takes three wounds off of the nearby Obliterators. The Wyches assaults the CSM melta squad and joined Dark Apostle, and kills a single Marine. Two of the female gladiators die in return, and the rest fails their leadership test and get run down. The CSM squad sweeps towards the Raider nearby.

Turn 4
The Land Raider turns and moves towards the Incubi Raider. The wounded Obliterator moves towards the Warrior Raider. The CSM plasma squad pulls back into the ruin where they're joined by the two Obliterators on that flank. Rapid firing plasma guns downs the looming Raider, killing one Incubi. The Rhino offs one more with its Havoc launcher. The wounded Obliterator destroys the remaining Warrior Raider, killing three models. The melta squad assaults the remaining Warriors and kills all but two, who passes their Leadership test and locks the Marines safely in combat.

Archon & Incubi has just lost their ride.

The Ravagers adjust their position a little, while the warriors that were pinned turn three moves up towards the CSM plasma squad. The Archon and Incubi advances into the ruin. The Scourges moves up on the other side of the Marines and opens up, killing a massive zero marines. The Warriors on the opposite side kills one. The Ravagers finally gets the better of the Land Raider, turning it into a spectacular fireball. In the Assault phase the Archon and Incubi kills the rest of the CSMs with no casualties in return, in spite of not having offensive grenades.

Turn 5
The Berzerkers leave the smoking remains of their Land Raider, being joined by the Dark Apostle. The remaining marines from the melta squad reembark in their Rhino who moves back and on top of the northern objective. The Obliterator moves in between the Rhino and the Wych Raider, firing at and assaulting it but missing. The southernmost Rhino shoots and kills three Dark Eldar Warriors from the remaining squad. André fails his third Leadership test for the evening, and the squad very nearly runs off the board. The Dark Apostle fires Breath of Chaos at the Incubi, wounding four. The Berzerkers wound another five with their Bolt Pistols. After Shadow Field, Armour and Feel no Pain saves, two incubi keel over. The Obliterators kill another one with twin-linked rapid firing plasma guns, leaving two Incubi, the Klavex and the Archon to receive the charge of the former two squads. At the end of the assault, only the Archon remains.

Just before the bubble bursts.

The Warrior squad near the western table edge rallies and moves three inches towards the southern objective. In the shooting phase they run another six, and has every chance to reach the objective with just one more turn's movement. The Scourges has nothing to shoot at, so they move away to await another turn too. The Ravager behind the now rallied Kabalite Warriors Wrecks the closest Rhino, while the other Ravager and the Wych Raider fails to damage the Rhino on the northern objective. The Raider does, however, move over the single Obliterator and contests the objective. In the Assault phase, the Archon kills a single Berzerker. The Dark Apostle misses all his attacks but rerolls and hits twice thanks to Warptime. Both hits wounds, and when the dreaded one comes up the Apostle uses his Accursed Crozius to kill the Dark Eldar lord outright.

Final positions.

So... With one objective held by the Berzerkers, one contested by the Wych Raider, one within reach of the last Kabalite Warrior squad and the last one uncontested André rolls to see if we get another round.

It's a two.
There is no turn six.

Final Score: Dark Eldar 0 - 1 Chaos Space Marines

There were a few lessons learned, this game; mostly regarding wargear that may have to be considered obligatory. Phantasm Grenade Launcher on the Archon may seem expensive, but can give a squad like Incubi the advantage of offensive and defensive grenades that they lack access to themselves. Splinter Racks seems a cheap and useful on Kabalite Warrior's Raiders, while Night Shield will always be the first upgrade. The added distance when being shot upon ensures that no Melta gun is ever within six inches...


This is the first article here on TSB that's not written primarily in Norwegian. We've talked it over amongst ourselves and agreed to try posting in English in stead. Feedback on this as well is greatly appreciated, especially from you international readers we know stops by from time to time. If you don't want to post a comment here, we can be reached via email as well.

4 comments:

  1. What to do....?? I see that the dark kin suffers the exact same irritating dice rolls as their craftworld kin. Bright/dark lances... hits.... no effect... same old, same old. Though I do get the point of lascannons and meltaguns doing nothing against armour 10 open topped for a while there... Failing three ld tests??? Did Jørn give you loaded dice Andre? Anyway, this looks like a really hard fought and cool battle.

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  2. A very nice battle report Jørn, and although it seems Andre´s Dark Eldar had a hard time, it is good to read that the Dark Eldar Geberal must have had some moments of satisfaction (like when blowing up the Landraider).

    As pointed out, this was the first battle with the new Dark Eldar Codex. I am sure that a more tuned army (and perhaps more important, a more decent dice average result) will offer The Apostle of Darkness a harder fought game ;)

    I have also bought the Dark Eldar Codex, and I am looking forward to plan the outline of my new Dark Eldar army, an army I have been waiting fore - A LONGE TIME! Hopefully, Andre will join me over a nice bottle of wine – soon….

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  3. Really enjoyed the reading, Jørn. One of the best and most easily read bat reps in a long time.

    The game seemed fun. Too bad you didn't see another round though ;)

    The Dark Eldar really needed this codex update. And certainly Team Stormbolter was in desperate need! I look forward to blow dust off my filthy green ones again :p
    Against "friend" or foe ;)

    Linus

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  4. I have no doubts André will be coming back with a meaner list next time.

    When he'll be bringing along models to match what he wants from the codex, rather that picking units from the codex based on the models he's got available on short notice it'll take some carefull fire priority not to get swamped...

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