Friday, 10 June 2011

Blog Wars Game 2: Dark Eldar Vs Deathwing

Mission: Annihilation Deploment: Dawn of War

Top table after an almost perfect round 1, met Bully from umm… the Sons’ obviously, on top table.
Bully’s Round 1 is here.
My round 1 Vs Nids is here.

I go first after the Baron helped me force Bully to reroll his ‘6’…muwhahaha.
Drugs roll is +1 Attack. Very useful to force a lot of saves vs Deathwing from my Wyches and Hellions.

DoW so its quick. The Haemonculi and Hellions set up on a Hill and behind a central ruin to get good position Turn 2. The Haemo can also detach comfortably into LOS-blocking terrain and hang out waiting to lash out with the Shattershard.
Everything else rolls on Turn 1. Wracks are in reserve on foot.

Deathwing hold everything off table to roll on turn 1, except the 2 squads of melta Ravenwing, who have opted to outflank.

Turn 1:
Dark Eldar roll on into the centre of the board, with an equal split of anti tank and assault on each outer flank of the central position, clearly at this stage I don’t know where the Deathwing will deploy, but I know I want to be able to hit it all.
The Ravagers are hidden in cover behind a hill and behind the Venoms.
The Hellion leave the Haemo, taking his pain token, and meet up with the Baron who has bombed on into the centre, the back end of the large Hellion mob acting as a ‘tendril’ to keep coherency and allow the Baron to join, whilst the majority (15 or so) of the Hellions are in the midfield now.
2 wyches and on the right/central and the other wych plus Incubi on the left. Trueborn are in cover behind the empty Wrack Venom.

Deathwing roll on central and to the right. A refused flank to a degree, but the Venoms range and overall mobility mean this is irrelevant.
Night fighting means of the 5 CML’s firing, only one is in range and this swats a Venom out of the sky, leaving the Wyches on foot, but not pinned...Grisly trophies proving their worth again.

Turn 2: I have a choice now. Hit him hard and fast, not trying to weather the storm of CML’s, or to negotiate better board position to bring all my remaining firepower (I say remaining, as I’ll have to weather a turn of CML fire, removing 3 or 4 vehicles), but being able to hit it hard with all my infantry at the same time.

I have playtested the resiliency of the Dark Eldar versus good volume, high strength weaponry…and it is not pretty. I could have put myself in cover (whole army can generate cover/screens easily) and held off in perfect positioning for T3…but really didn’t want to give Bully the chance to hit me hard, first.

I pushed the hellions into the far left of the Deathwing lines, looking to hit the command squad and the far left Deathwing squad. I moved up a unit of wyches and the Incubi to hit them as well. The venoms on the left pushed around the central ruin to get cover from the Deathwings far right and to put fire into the target Deathwing units. The Ravgers moved up over the hill they were cowering behind and over to get into range and pump some Dark Light into the Deathwing. The Wracks are still in reserve. The 2 wyches that occupied the left flank as the combat support for it have moved into the centre of the board to hit a squad next turn after the smoke has cleared.

Shooting phase sees the Ravagers miss or bounce from storm shields in the command squad. A couple of Venoms pump into the Command squads, putting a wound on Belial, even with FNP. The remaining venoms have a bit more success, removing the CML from the middle squad, the idea being that this left just 2 CML’s operating on the far right of the Deathwing lines, from which the DE have cover.

Venoms on the left kill 1 man from the far left deathwing assault and the one squad of wyches fluffs their fleet roll, meaning they’ll more than likely be out of range. Not good, as with the +1 attack drug, the Hekatrix has 5 Agonsier attacks on the charge, not to mention the 18 other attacks I’ll be losing out on.

The hellions fleet to ensure that all of them get into the combat. Looking back, poison would have been more worthwhile as all 21 dudes were in range for that, whilst only 5/6 were out of assault range (to my eye)

Assault Phase: The hellions hit the command squad and the far left squad, mainly stacked onto the command squad. This was a mistake, but I felt the volume of attacks should do it. The incubi hit the command squad too, but the wyches were indeed just out of assault range. Big error as they were then left in the middle of the board like a stepping stone to the rest of the army.

And they all bounce of the Deathwing. 20 odd wounds and one death from each squad, in return I lose 6 dudes, losing, fleeing 15” back into the central ruin…at least there would be no sweeping advances against them…Incubi are reduced to one man. Bare in mind, the Deathwing have killed mainly incubi here, leaving a good number of Hellions still kicking. The Deathwing squads consolidate to keep me falling back.

NOTE: I genuinely thought I might have just lost the game.
Deathwing 2:
Movement sees the right hand side squads sweep up the board in cover by just a few inches, they have range anyway from CML’s. the middle squad without CML moves around in terrain, seemingly trying to cross the rock piece to charge Turn 3.

The Command squad and 3 man unit move up to the stranded wych squad, ignoring the Hellions, but close enough to keep them running.

Both bike squads come on from reserve, but one on the left, one on the right. Bully uses the ‘split attack bike option’ on the right hand side to hit 2 ravagers with melta’s, whilst the left is out of position and so turbo-boosts into terrain, not area, just blocking for cover.
Shooting phase sees one ravager get immobilised and lose a weapon from the meltaguns from the bike squad, whilst the attack bike whiffs its MM shot. The 2 CML’s that can fire do so, killing a Venom (empty Wrack one I think) and blowing a gun from another…or something relatively inconsequential.

The Command squad and 3 man unit does not shoot as they wish to use the single Wych squad as a catapult to push them deep into my half.
Assault phase, they do this, although not before the Agoniser has dropped the 3 man squad down to just a dude. I have two wyches left who run away like little school girls…not even the hardcore-Kill-Bill-types either.. The Command and 1 dude push up field like a slingshot..

The bike squad on the right assault the ravager they immobilised, but after flickerfields they only succeed in blowing another gun from it, leaving it with 1 Lance and no movement. Bastards

Turn 3: No Wracks, Hellions run another 8-9”…still relatively safe if I can bog down the 2 deathwing units in midfield…hmmm I wonder what can do that?
The remaining 2 wych squads move up to the midfield having already dismounted from their Venoms, and fleet into assault range of the Command squad.
A little jockeying for cover from the Venoms and remaining ravagers and I unleash dark Light on the right hand bike units, killing the attack Bike and killing 2 out of 3 bikers.
Foolishly I use poison to shoot the command squad. Seriously, what was I thinking there? I was going to tie them up with wyches, so why shoot at a 2+/FNP unit? I should have shot more at the right hand side earlier in the game, whittling down numbers.

I also think I shot the Hellions at the one man unit as they were falling back, killing him in a hail of 38-ish poison shots. If I didn’t…I’m not sure how he died? Lol
Assault phase sees the 2 wych squads hit the Command squad, but not before the lone biker on the right kills the Ravager it was in base with.
The Wyches do beautifully in their first assault phase, buoyed massively by their extra attack on drugs causing multiple wounds from agonisers and dropping a pair of dudes. The Command squad hit back, a lot, but 4++ dodge saves the day for all but a couple of wyches from one squad. Drawn combat. The tarpit begins…
Deathwing 3
This sees the bikes on the left sweep out to hit my left flank, lining up the trueborn & venom for death. The 2 right hand side Deathwing squads sit tight, firing away with CMLs. The central squad without CML moves up across the rock, but only 2”, crucially keeping them out of combat. To my eye anyway. Last movement is the lone biker turboboosting across the board to keep the Hellions running…a really big fall back and they’ll go…its unlikely as it’d have to be 3 6’s…

The CMLs damage a Ravager, but only succeed in suppressing it for a turn. The Bikes explode the Venom that carries the trueborn, killing the Splinter Cannon and one blaster. They are neither pinned nor running and huddle in the rear of the wreckage, away from assault range…god bless small squad sizes.
Assault and the central deathwing squads fails to make combat (attempted to join the Wych/Belial&Command assault), the bikers fail to reach the Trueborn.
In combat, the wyches kill a couple more terminators, in retaliation a couple of wyches are killed, leaving one squad down to just one Wych – the Hekatrix with Agoniser obviously…
Turn 4: The wracks come on and hide behind a hill, I spend a minute or so wandering around the table ensuring that they utterly cannot be seen no matter where Bully’s Deathwing can move to in subsequent turns. They are safe. The left hand side Venoms move into cover of the central ruin ready to gun down the bikes, the Trueborn squad ready to pump Dark Light into them from the cover of their exploded vehicle. The Haemo moves out of the ruins to put a Shattershard shot onto the bikes. All the Venoms are now on the left hand side of the table, away from the CMLs, who are warring with the Ravagers.

The Hellions have now to make their next fall back move, but only drop back 13” or so, staying on the board by about 7”…not cool.

Shooting phase I waste the Shattershard on the biker, who rolls low and stays in play. The falling back Hellions gun him down. The Trueborn punk 2 bikers and one Venom finishes them off. The remaining Venom fires into the central Deathwing squad, killing one. The Ravager that can shoot does so. Killing one more from the same, central unit.
Assault phase sees the wyches focus on removing the Command squad, killing the last marines other than the Apothecary.The strikes back fell another wych from the bigger squad, leaving it at 1 & 3 respectively for my wyches and Belial (2W remaining) plus Apothecary.

Deathwing 4
This turn sees the DW falling back to the right and blowing the previously suppressed Ravager away. This takes both of them though..
Assault sees the Apothecary die and Belial take a wound. He strikes back and I make my saves…the end is nigh…

Bully pauses to check kill points and he is ahead by 2.

Turn 5: The big roll. The Hellions regroup…just. Rolling 9. They push 3” and fleet onto the hill crest to the right for cover.
My Haemo is safe again in the ruins, the wracks similarly behind the hill. The Ravager that is operational pushes onto the right to get some shots, the 3 venoms left are trying to get cover from the central ruin push left to punish through poison the last dude in the central squad. The Trueborn think they are in range anyway.

Shooting sees the Trueborn kill a man on the hill and the Venoms begin to shoot into the right hand side units, obviously focussing and shooting at the nearer unit. The Ravager joins in, but 3++ is hard to crack.

Assault sees the final fall of Belial as the Agonisers send far too much pain through his mighty frame and he falls, screaming like the little bitch that he is. The 2 wych squads consolidate back on to the central ruin.

Drawing on KPs

Deathwing 5
Only 2 CML DW squads left. They blow away a venom. Wait, nope. Flicker field save? 5++, well, better give this dice a rub on the ball bag. Yup, it works. Rolls a 6. Cool, Venom fine.

Game go on? Yup.
Turn 6
The Hellions sweep forward from the hill eager to contribute their mass of poison to the battle, as do the left hand side Venoms, the wyches try and leg it forward to hit the DW unit nearest to them, but it’s a good 16” away and a poor difficult terrain test means only one may hit, so I fleet both back to safety. The Ravager, Venoms and Hellions murder the already depleted squad, leaving just one Deathwing squad alive.
Deathwing 6
I’m one ahead so Bully is mean and kills my Ravager. Draw.

Turn 7 – yup…
I throw the Hellions in they fleet to get into combat…I can’t really draw a bead on this squad with the left hand side Venoms…so they turn the engines off and get the beers out.

I charge. I am millimetres out. Rubbish, its going to be a draw. Deathwing turn, Bully lashes out with the CML and hit, pens a Venom…its in cover though and I make it…Draw.

Wow. What a game. thanks brother..

KPs are …fuck, I don’t know… 8:8 I think.

Dark Eldar got 1565
Deathwing got 944

Even just writing this shit up has me tired. The game wiped me…I was 6:3 down half way through and pulled it back to being very close. I had some stuff left, a good 800 points worth of stuff so took the edge on VPs quite comfortably, but damn it was a good game… we only had 17 minutes left on the clock…so in a regular tournament, time would have been a massive issue as we had 2 and a half hours here…

I loved that game and it was a real battle. The Wych/Belial combat was truly epic, with the girls just tarpitting the Termies so, so well.. Can’t talk more now…will address other bits in comments…

Bully will add his thoughts tomorrow..


  1. The Venom at the end was only a flicker field, but thats neither here nor there.

    For the sake of saving repetitiveness on the blog I wont post a battle report as Andy's is excellent, he has a much better recollection of the later stages of the game. I do however have more pictures of the beginning and middle, so will help with Andy's word picture.

    I want to cover some of the things I learnt during the game. First off, I am sure Andy would have done some things differently, so this is 100% not to say "if I did this I'd have won" but certainly if I get a similar situation presented again, I'll know the scenario.

    At the end of the game, that assault - I am not sure if I am happy or sad it failed. If I took out the venom and won, I'd obviously have been glad, but I think I might have done enough wounds to kill 4 guys and get the half VP's on the barons unit hopefully, maybe even winning combat and forcing the run (likewise, I could have whiffed or Andy rolled to hit/wound very well) - something to think about.

    The game changer was that wych combat. I do feel like I didn't roll well, but that 4++ just keeps them in it for the longest time.

  2. underline much?

    Started building my DE. Got a nice colour scheme in mind, not pink funnily enough!

  3. Venerable Brother10 June 2011 at 21:10

    Bloody Blogger...teach me to post from the phone... lol

    Wych tarpit ever... well, that game anyway... allowed me to really focus elsewhere, knowing a good job, both offensively and defensively, was being done.

    Shame the Hellions didn't get much of a chance to shine this game, my error for over estimating myself...knowing that I didn't really have everything to bring to bear, but doing it anyway...and underestimating your boys bro...

  4. Yeah I did much the same with the wychs - really didnt think they'd hold up that many terminators - in retrospect I'd either have commited that unit that was slow poking it behind or maybe shoot at them before hand.

    I don't want to step on my own toes for my thread about what I used to move forward.

    I think we both did ourselves a good job of our game. You played a blinder late in the game and brought pressure and force to bare in the right places late game.

    Like I say I hate the idea of "I'd have done this" because thats unfair and unsporting to your opponent, but I have a few things that I learnt from the game and can take away certainly.

    I'll do my take on this tomorrow or Sunday evening.