Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Caledonian Game 1: Invisi-Council of DOOOM!

So as I posted at the end of last week, Caledonian 1850, 5 game, 84 player 40k tournament was last weekend.
I came 9th and was playing for the tournament on top table in the last game.
This week I am going to throw up all my Battle Reports, which will be brief but informative and have well detailed photos for almost every turn, most certainly for key moments.
(This paragraph will be the same all week lol, so don't read it again tomorrow!)

Game 1: 
Opponent: Gaz Jones - Eldar w. Dark Eldar 
Deployment: Vanguard 
Mission: Scouring - the 5 objectives are the blue discs you can see above

Gaz Jones: 
Farseer - Jetbike, Fortune, Doom, Mind War, Eldritch Storm, Stones
Seer Council x 7 (enhance, embolden, 5 destructors)
5 Fire Dragons - Exarch, Crack Shot, Tank Hunter
5 Pathfinders
3 Guardian Jetbikes
3 Guardian Jetbikes
5 DE Warriors
3 War Walkers - 6 Missiles
3 War Walkers - 6 Missiles
Bastion - Quad Gun

He won the roll off due to the Baron's +1 ability and went first - he needed to get the Council Fortuned, Guide some War Walkers and try for First Blood. Which he got on an Annihilation Barge.

Eldrad redeployed the Eldar as shown from their original strung out position across the hypotenuse of the table to the huddle in the corner.
Whilst I was aware of the Eldrad redeploy shenanigans, it didn't effect me too much as I felt that this game had a certain "feel" to it. I wanted to keep my Wraiths back as in my planning they do not come into the 'anti-Council' plan until after the Baron is dead so they can't hit and run. However, with Eldrad keeping his powers and the secondary Farseer going for Invisibility I felt the Council would be far less aggressive. Gaz and I were open and frank about the ideas and the way the game was going to be played as we could both see a lot of the key points from the off.
Ignore my flier, it's just sat there out the way.. 
With the Council in a far more defensive role, primarily due to the attaching of Eldrad on foot as an anchor point, I viewed the Council as some sort of wushu bamboo tree - waving all over the place, bending, but never breaking. I'd need to stick to my original planning for the overall game, but largely ignore the Council through steady and calculated range manipulation - whilst the Council could cover a very good distance, they could not be everywhere at once if I pushed on multiple, disparate fronts.

The objectives were spread across the board, with a couple in great position for me, most notably behind the large blocking fantasy piece on the left. My Veil Immortals could sit here all game, denying enemy attempts to claim that or engage them, then teleport to a more valuable objective or contest one of Gaz's late in the game to swing the match up in my favour.

Turn 1: There is very little action on Turn 1 save for the Council getting Invisibility off, Fortune off, Guide off on both units of War Walkers - this leads to a dead Barge after a scout and move gives them a good position which denies my cover. My bad. Meh. Warming up lol.

My 1, I kill 3 Fire Dragons. Meh. Warming up lol. I also turbo boost my Overlord down to the fantasy house you can see in the top of the above left picture. This is an extremely long charge for the Council by the time they are in a position to see the target unit (me) - the Overlord is aiming to smash the Bastion next turn.

Turn 2: Eldar 2, Gaz gets both units of his Gurdian Jetbikes in, but not his Pathfinders who are outflanking. He Invisibilizes (lol) the Council, Guides the War Walkers and Fortunes the Council. The War Walkers drop  back into the corner of the board and engage some extreme long range shooting with the Wraiths approaching up the field. He kills one.
The Quad Gun glances an Annihilation Barge. Fair play, TL BS5, Ignores Cover, 4 shots will do that.
The Warriors in the Bastion on the Heavy Bolters are out of range.
His GJB zoom into the very top right of my board edge, dodging any incoming flier fire.

Turn 2 & 3, Eldar view. 
My 2, only one Night Scythe comes on, with the plain 5 man Warrior squad, he is forced to come on from an oblique angle in the far left hand board edge, out of range of the Quad Gun - this is fine by me as I need for them to run in supported units, rather than on their own. Wraiths push midfield, watching their range at all times - considering turboboost from the Council.. Overlord pushes forward to an 1" from the Bastion and is ready to Hulk Smash that shithouse.. Barges play the range game on the Council and move clockwise around the bastion itself to dodge the War Walkers.
My foot Immortals juggle themselves a little, carefully approaching the mid-right objective.
Shooting, the Barges kill the Fire Dragons.
Assault, the Overlord penetrates the Bastion, despite a low roll he manages to kill 3 of them..

Turn 3: The Council take the bait and move out to kill the Overlord. They get their super magic powers off. Think Gaz actually used a Ghost Helm to cancel the damage from a double 1 this round.. crazy :)
The GJB zoom back into their own deployment zone, having ducked the first turn of exposure without so much as a mean glare thrown their way, I was confident if I got fliers on this turn I could gun them down.
It is the turn of one of the GJB units to man the Quad Gun this turn, but they and the War Walkers fail to damage a Barge. Whoot! AV13 baby...
In Assault, the Overlord is killed by the Council. Surprise.
His Pathfinders come on from outflank this turn and roll up on the side with my 10 Veil Immortals guarding the objective. He stays well back on his very board edge looking to stay alive and maybe push and run for one of two objectives later in the game...starting their run next turn if they want to make it. No shooting for them lol.

My 3 and the fliers come in, they are heading straight at Castle Grey Skull in the Eldar corner. One is empty as the second Immortals are on the board, the other two are Warriors. They get Intercepted but are OK, think I lose a Hull Point from one.
The Barges move to dodge the Council as do the Immortals, all the time keeping it at 24-22" away.. long charge range, but could happen - the limitation of only having 24" guns!
The Barges kill one of the GJB up on the Quad Gun and glance the Bastion a couple of times (it's been reduced in AV by 1 to 13 by the Overlord) and manage to kill the Warriors inside from the glancing hits. Sweet, that was what we were going for, not the Bastion...it's contents.
Looks daunting for the Eldar this way around.. 
The fliers and some Haywire kill 2 War Walkers from one unit and one from the second, leaving the second in that unit on a single HP.
Pretty shitty luck on the penetrations to be honest.
Wraiths have juggled their movement to being reasonably close to objectives now. Time to coax the Council out... both Wraiths x 2 units, 2 Barges and the foot Immortals are in charge range..extreme, but chargeable (and no, not in one big multi charge).
I shoot and kill 2 Pathfinders at 24" with my Veil Immortals.

Turn 4. Eldrad hops over to kill some Warriors, eager to kill off my scoring, the Baron jumps up on the Quad Gun to kill him some planes, the Council pushes bang into the middle of the board so they can go off and contest one objective per turn next turn - the idea here and now is... I've won easy if it ends T5. I've won T6, but it's doable for Gaz, T7 - he'd win because the Council would have killed everything that can score..bouncing from one combat on one objective to the next in that top left corner.

There is now just a lone GJB who'd left the Quad Gun and hidden behind the same building as the Overlord did earlier.
 The surviving War Walkers plasma missile the Warriors, slaughtering both squads.
Eldrad just sort of hangs out.
Baron shoots planes. Does damage.

In my 4 the 2 fliers that were in position by the bastion fly off to sort out movement in T5.
I anticipate needing to get the foot Immortals to pressure one of the higher pointed objectives and so the rearmost pane of the "Assault on Castle Grey Skull"-Trio turns 90 to its left and zooms to the hill where they can be picked up via Invasion Beams.
The very first flier arrive at the Bastion and unleashes some Haywire dudes who somehow don't do anything...actually, I think they may have killed the Warriors off inside with some glancing shots, not the Barges earlier.
My Wraiths moves out to the Pathfinders, whilst the other squad moves as far back as they can to the board edge whilst also claiming the objective there - they also do a great job of forcing a tough shout on the Council - which objective to go for, both of the ones the Wraiths are going for are high, one is a 3 (my board edge, Puppets War Wraiths) the other is a 4 (his edge, GW Wraiths)
The Veil Immortals are sitting on an objective with a value of '1' - so I am waiting to see how many points I need to win... they may need to veil depending where Gaz goes with the Council.

I'm not very offensive this turn, its a critical positioning turn. Whilst I am winning here - it is not a huge margin, 4-0 I think on Primary VPs. So whilst it is sort of locked down, if it goes past 5, it'll be a pain.

Turn 5 Gaz, moves his Pathfinders along the board edge towards the objective they are scrabbling for. The hidden GJB just waits and because of this, to be honest, I forget it is alive! Not that I had anyting in position to shoot it anyway.
The Council is spread out as much as possible just waiting in the middle of the board, the Wraiths are both at 11-12" charges away. If not out of range.
Baron fails to do ought on the quad gun. War Walkers fail to kill Wraiths at extreme range.

My 5, the planes are back, one pushes on War Walkers whilst importantly, the plane in the picture with Immortals in bombs to the right and deposits them on the 4 point objective. Now, I know that if the game continues they will be assaulted, but I also move the Wraiths over there.. there is a strong possibility I can tie them up without Baron.

The Veil Immortals wait, because whilst I'd like a larger margin of victory, I can't be greedy with the Council so very,very close.. so they claim a 1'er. If I'd have needed to, I guess I could have Veiled this turn, but they were secure and on an objective that secured the win. I wasn't too bothered if I didn't win by an immense margin this game.. skip out the top tables :)
GW Wraiths move so they are on the 4 pointer too.
The Annihilation Barges shoot at the Baron and of course, the very first Shadowfield save of the day for the Baron is failed and of course...it's S7. Dead Baron.
The other plane smashes the 2 War Walkers, and the other Barge targets the lone Walker as Eldrad is busy murking Warriors. My Wraiths don't go for the Pathfinders, instead opting to be nearer the objective should the Council tie them up away from it.

Game continues. You know...I've definitely got some of this report wrong! lol....Not massively, just little details...

Turn 6, The Council, Pathfinders and GJB all go for the 4 point objective. The latter two to claim, the former to kill my Wraiths and Immortals. We are tied up in combat. Thats a no go objective for anyone unless he kills all my Wraiths and Immortals..getting past me rolling a 3+ a few times.. not likely.

My six, my Immortals now teleport over to the other side of the table, jumping from a 1 point objective to a 3 point objective. My planes all manoeuvre  to blast the Seer Council, down to just 3 and a Farseer..if the game goes on. The combat stays as it was and the game ends...somewhat calmly and anti climatically I think for Gaz.. he did have a real shot if the Council could have cleared out those two units off the 4 pointer as he had First Blood and Warlord, I had Linebreaker and 6-0 on primary points.

Turned out to be a damn decent win for the Crons. It was going to be a hard match up for Gaz - we both knew it from the moment they announced the mission... I had no real cause to actually interact with his army and could quite comfortably wait it out on objectives whilst engaging with throw away units, in a similar fashion.. I'm not sure if he thought it would in his interests to sit back and slog away in a firing match. He had stronger weapons, but more fragile platforms.. and over the game, that told.

I am glad I did not have to engage with the Council.. I fired on them a few times and even killed 3 from shooting, but I was never able to truly commit firepower to them as I'd devoted certain units to certain roles, I definitely did not have the Wraiths in place to tie them up after I stopped hit and run... but I wanted to use them for mobile scoring and with the way Gaz castled in the corner, I could afford not to engage the Wraiths.

A good game, tactical more than overtly aggressive. 

A fantastic guy, never has there been a man who was more like his namesake - "Fat" Thor (his words, not mine lol), I salute you. His army went on to not be beaten again that weekend and Gaz finished the weekend in 14th place, demonstrating the excellent standard of his play. 

More later in the week peeps.. hope you enjoy.. how would you have gone about this mission and army with your lists? Did you see a way through for a maximum victory for me that I missed? How would you have played it if you were Gaz?

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