Saturday, February 13, 2010

Battle Report: Drow, Drow, Drow, Your Raider...

by SandWyrm

Man... I had the shakes. Almost three weeks had gone by without a game. First the South Store was closed because Buckler had food poisoning (On the same night as the Super Bowl playoffs... hmmnnn...). Then I got sick with the Flu for the third(!) time this winter. 

So I was REALLY happy to finally get a chance to go down to the New North Store on Wednesday with Farmpunk. Turnout was pretty good considering the recent move. We had 6 people total, 4 of whom ended up playing. Farmpunk got to play the new 'Nids, while I got to play some Dark Eldar. (more...)

Which was pretty cool, as I'd never played them before. All of my knowledge about Dark Eldar came from reading their codex and a couple of internet battle reports. But now here they were in all their overly-spikey glory. :)

I'll call my opponent WychRect, in honor of the square bases he used on some of his models.

The Setup

We played a 1750 battle, with a mission rolled up from the DLT Book. WychRect rolled up a "Gain Ground" (table quarters) scenario, with a "Corridor of Fire" deployment (long-ways table halves). Reserves would come in anywhere on our own long table edge.

As for the armies, I was playing my "4 Things" list again:

175    Company Command Squad w/4 x Melta, Astropath, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
155    Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
170    Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)
115    Veteran Squad w/Shotguns, 3 x Flamer, Demolitions
115    Veteran Squad w/Shotguns, 3 x Flamer, Demolitions

    Fast Attack
130    Vendetta Gunship (Demo Vet Ride)
130    Vendetta Gunship (Demo Vet Ride)
120    3 Scout Sentinels w/Autocannons
    Heavy Support
165    Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer
160    Leman Russ Eradicator w/Hull Heavy Flamer
160    Leman Russ Eradicator w/Hull Heavy Flamer

Total: 1750

Going from memory, here's what WychRect had:

Dark Eldar Lord w/Jetbike, Nasty Close-Combat Weapons, 2+ Invulnerable Save

Wyches (10) w/Raider

Raider Squad (10) w/Dark Lance, HorrorFex
Raider Squad (10) w/Dark Lance, HorrorFex
Raider Squad (10) w/Dark Lance, HorrorFex
Raider Squad (10) w/Dark Lance, HorrorFex
Warrior Squad (15) w/Splinter Cannon
Warrior Squad (11) w/Splinter Cannon

Heavy Support:
Ravager w/Dark Lance, 2 x Disintegrator
Ravager w/Dark Lance, 2 x Disintegrator


SandWyrm's Deployment, WychRect's is in progress.

I won the roll for first turn, so I got to set up first. Problem was, where? I'd never played Dark Eldar before, so I defaulted to a sort of modified castle, as if I was facing deep strikers. With the Vendettas on my flanks and the Sentinels on a hill where they could get line of sight to most of the board. I imagined him bringing his Raiders in from the table edge to smack my scoring units around, so I hid my command and one troop chimera behind my Russes, while I left a Chimelta and the Plasma Vets in Reserve.

In retrospect, this put 2/3rds of my anti-tank firepower on one side of the board, out of range of where most of WychRect's forces ended up coming in. I would have been better served by putting the left Vendetta in the center next to it's twin. Allowing it to hit anywhere on the board that I needed it to.

Now, I could have easily remedied this mistake during my scout moves, but I didn't see the problem until later. (Sigh) I'm always the most bone-headed when I don't get enough sleep.


WychRect set up 2 units on the table. One unit of 11 warriors in the green blob next to my dice box near the right-front corner, and another unit of 15 warriors under the arch near the far corner. I'm not sure precisely why he put them there. Maybe he didn't appreciate the threat my Eradicators posed to them. But I would have just put them in reserve with the rest of his army, where they could have walked into either of the 2 quarters on his side of the table in the mid to late game.

Turn 1

SandWyrm's First Turn Movement

For my movement, I brought my Russes around from behind the giant skull thing to hammer at his infantry under the arch, while the Vendetta on my right scooted up to the warriors on my flank and unloaded it's flamer/demo Vets.

Uh Oh...


10 Flamer wounds, 6 Demo Charge Wounds, and 3 shotgun wounds later, the squad was gone.

Now, if he had thought about his wound allocation a bit, he could have probably saved 1 or 2 warriors, but even though I suggested this he didn't want to bother. From my standpoint, I shouldn't have used the shotguns, given the other wounds. But again, I was missing sleep. :)

End of Turn 1

The warriors under the arch took a direct hit from one Eradicator and the Demolisher, leaving 3 guys alive. The Vendetta that dropped off the F/D vets then took out 2 more. One left! Arrrgh!

For his turn, WychRect simply moved the lone warrior further into cover. It was at this point that I wondered why I had popped smoke on my transports. Since he couldn't bring anything in from reserve until turn 2. (shakes head)

Turn 1 Score: 2-1 SandWyrm

Turn 2

My Chimelta comes in from reserve. I move him up to where the wiped out warrior squad had been, giving WychRect a nice little target to go for. Problem is, it would lure him into an area that I couldn't effectively hit with the Sentinels or the far Vendetta. It would have been better to have it come in behind the rest of my tanks, forcing WychRect to engage the mass of armor directly.

End of Turn 2

I fire at the lone surviving warrior under the arch with my Vendetta, but he makes all 3 saves. I then smoke the rest of my tanks, as I'm still afraid of massed dark lance fire.

For his turn, WychRect brings on 2 Raiders and a Ravager. He shoots 2 lances from the Raiders at my recently arrived Chimelta and wrecks it, forcing my guys to get out and take cover. The Ravager fires, but pretty much does nothing.

Turn 2 Score: 2-1 SandWyrm

Turn 3

My Plasma Vets come on, and I move them up next to the popped Chimera to support the squad there (not the smartest move in the world). I've still got a Vendetta that's out of range, but I don't move him closer to the action as I'm still expecting something to come in on that side (whatever). The Sentinels are right on the edge of their range too. Only one can fire at the Ravager.

SandWyrm's Movement

In the end, it's the multi-lasers on the center Chimeras that take down the Ravager.

Bye bye Ravager 

That's when it starts occuring to me that I've wasted some of my best Anti-AV10/11 weapons by hiding them behind things. I manage to shake one of the Raiders with my Vendetta, which I stupidly move up closer to the corner. I wanted to be in range to do another flamer strike on any warriors that were popped from their transports, but I was putting my best AT unit on that side of the board within 36" of the corner. Whereas I should have moved it back to the table edge to take advantage of it's 48" range.

For his turn, WychRect brings on 2 more Raiders and moves the ones he had forward 24". The new Raiders then pop my Vendetta (at 35") with their lances.


They also manage to stun my Plasma Vet Chimera.

End of Turn 3

Turn 3 Score: 2-0 SandWyrm

Turn 4

My Plasma Vets bail on their stunned ride and move up on the nearest Raider, but only manage to stun it with their plasma guns.


Then I remember, "Hey! There was a squad in that Vendetta!" and put them on the table behind it. Like I've said... brain-dead.

Over at the arch, I finally manage to kill the last warrior hiding in cover.  


My remaining Vendetta and Sentinels are still out of range, and my last 2 Chimeras are hiding.


Now it's WychRect's turn. He moved his commander up and scoots a Raider in from reserve to the middle of the action. It's got his Wyches inside, so I need to pop it before they deploy. It's basically a "I dare you to shoot me!" move.

His warriors get out of the stunned Raider and get ready to put some hurt on my guys. He shoots and assaults them, but they're salty enough to stick around, even with a -5 to their morale check.

His commander assaults the Melta Vets in cover and wipes them out.

Turn 4 Score: 2-0 SandWyrm

 Turn 5


The Sentinels have had it with being out of range, so I move them off the hill to get closer. They finish off WychRect's commander after my Eradicator on the right puts a wound on him that takes away his 2+ invulnerable save.


In the middle, I pour EVERYTHING into that lone Raider with the Wyches inside, but it just WILL NOT DIE!!! I finally stun it with a flamer hit. Woohoo!

Now, I've been pretty brain-dead so far this battle, but this next bit takes the cake. Those Demo/Flamer Vets by the dead Vendetta have MELTA BOMBS. But of course I don't remember that. I COULD have charged the bleeping Raider and almost certainly killed it. (sigh...)


WychRect's Warriors finally wipe out the Plasma Vets.


 And on WychRect's  turn the Wyches come out to play on their square bases.


He also moves up a Raider, thinking to contest another table quarter.


But not before he drops off the squad it was carrying.


WychRect then brings on the last of his reserves. A Ravager and a Raider, close to his table edge. They try to pop the Demolisher, but fail.  


A lance shot from a Raider then pops the Eradicator next to the Wyches and blows it up, killing all but three Wyches but only 2 of my guardsmen. HAHA!

The surviving Wyches still kill the D/F squad. They then consolidate into the cover of the giant skull-thing.

Amazingly, I'm still winning. Go figure.

Turn 5 Score: 2-0 SandWyrm

Turn 6

WychRect then rolls to see if the game continues. It does, to his great relief.

I start by lobbing an Eradicator round into the middle of a Warrior squad in my right corner. I kill all but 2, sending them running for WychRect's table edge.


My Sentinels and the Chimelta in the center make short work of the Raider that was trying to contest my front-left table quarter.


The Demolisher lobs a cannon round right onto the deck of the Ravager, killing it. The Vendetta, which for some reason wasn't fully facing the Raider in it's table quarter, fails to kill it with the single lascannon that it has in-arc.

Once again, it only occurs to me later that the squad inside has melta bombs. I was easily in range to drop them off.


WychRect takes a few pot-shots at me during his turn, but it's pretty much over. I have one quarter to his 3 contested quarters. Oh wait, there's Wyches in my left-front quarter. Tie!

Final Score: 0 - 0 (Draw)


Wow. Never, ever, have I deserved to lose a game like I did during this one. Time after time I made bone-headed decisions that should have cost me the game but didn't. My only real defense is that I hadn't slept more than 5-6 hours a night for the 3 days before this due to the family being sick.

I screwed up the deployment and the tactics throughly. The only thing that saved me was a very solid army list and my initial position in the middle of the table. WychRect was also, I feel, not aggressive enough in exploiting my mistakes. I'm thinking that he hadn't faced Mech Guard before. So WychRect's unfamiliarity balanced out my own to some degree.

So how *should* I have deployed?

Like this, with my Chimera up front, their sides protected by the Russes. The Vendettas should have been together behind my tanks. Then...


This is what my force should have looked like after my first movement phase. With the Vendetta on the left ready to drop off it's Demo/Flamer Vets. I then would have kept all my tanks pretty much in place. The Sentinels would have stayed where they are in order to discourage his Raiders from coming in on that side.

Arranged like this, I would have had 6 units (7 with the Sentinels) optimally arranged to take down Raiders as they came on. Cover save or no, you're not going to live after being shot at with 4 multi-lasers, 6 twin-linked lascannons, 3 autocannons, and a Demolisher. Not to mention the plasma and melta guns I would have had up close.


  1. Oh bother... I had a whole thing typed out in reply but the internet gremlins are eating my face (so is being tired).

    For now I will simply leave you with this - Khira'lyth, High Lord Archon of the Kabal of the Twilight Wraith and personal overseer of the Shadow Stalkers raiding force and elite guard shall return to comment on the work of his minions.

    And let's not forget the amoral victory supplied by taking thirteen or so of those guardsmen as slaves... who needs ground when you have fresh souls?

  2. THEY SHALL BE AVEN... Oh wait, they're guardsmen. We'll find more. :P

  3. Alright, time for my post-sleep response.

    First off, I'll go ahead and clarify my full list;

    Dracon on Reaver Jetbike
    Punisher, Tormentor Helm
    Combat Drugs, Shadow Field, Grenades, Hell Mask

    Wyches x10
    Wych Weapons
    Succubus w/Agoniser,Pistol, Grenades, Terrorfex
    Raider w/Horrorfex

    Raider Squad x10 (x4)
    Blaster, Splinter Cannon
    Sybarite w/Agoniser, Pistol, Terrorfex
    Raider w/Horrorfex

    Newb Squad x15 (x2) (and yes, I call them that)
    2x Dark Lance, Blaster

    Ravager x2
    3x Dissintegrator

    Fairly standard of my lists, except for the Terrorfexes. 15 points each for a shorter-ranged Horrorfex... not something I normally go for, but I was trying to add 250 to my list. Probably a better choice would be to sub those out for a full squad of Warp Beasts (questionable without a Portal) or to replace one of the Warrior squads with a hefty Reaver Squad... more fast anti-tank that with the right drugs can mop up troops (and who doesn't love a 3+ cover save from turbo boosting?).

    As far as my tactics, I was originally hoping to come on opposite of where I did and zip around to side/rear armor... but of course doing that with 2-3 units at a time would have been suicide (sometimes, I think, I'm still used to the Webway Portal tactics, where you can count on most, if not all, of your army bursting forth at once). So hanging back and mitigating (to whatever extent I could) the guns of the IG seemed like the better idea.

    As such I went for the (fairly) standard "flit around killing things for the first half, then use my superior speed to actually think about the Objectives in the last turn or two" tactic (hence all of those fat 0's on my scorecard for much of the game). Random game length makes this a little trickier, as DE is just not an army built for holding ground for any amount of time. Ahh, the joys of playing a 3rd ed Codex in 5th edition.

    In the end, though, a very close and very fun game that could have gone either way (especially near the end).
    Had it ended on turn 5, my Raider Squad would have been just out of reach (if only Flat Out was 26"!) of my right-side quarter, leaving you holding it.
    Of course, if I'd managed to take down that Demolisher your HQ would have had to have chosen between those two quarters, leaving me with one fully under my control.

    Definitely looking forward to all of my future Raids, and really hoping that Gibbs is able to put together an ongoing campaign.

  4. I dunno, you make responses like the last one, we might have to press YOU into slavery.. I mean service writing.

    I have campaigns if we get some regulars wanting to play map campaigns. Vogen wasn't bad.
    or I've done a 'roll a random terrain' campaign too.

  5. Hehe, I was thinking the same thing. Maybe we could talk him into writing some Dark Eldar articles?

  6. As far as campaigns I'm really interested in the narrative/fluff side... in all honesty I mainly want to just be able to open a portal in the middle of a battle, run out to take some slaves or screw over someone (by blowing up whatever objective they're trying to hold), and scurrying off into the darkness.

    As to articles, just let me know what sort of thing you'd be interested in... always up for shedding some light on the true kin.

  7. How about one or more of these:

    1) General Army Building
    2) Competitiveness of the Codex
    3) How to defeat army X
    4) Painting Tips
    5) Showing off your models
    6) Hopes for the new codex (rumored coming this year)

  8. I could definitely cater to a few of those. I do have a stash of pictures on photobucket that's more comprehensive than the ones from this batrep, though lighting may be subject as I was living in a basement at the time.

    An overview of the codex and tactics would be a nice intro... and I could wax poetic about what I want for the next codex (actually I could quickly and easily update everything, just about, in a single page, including some fluff lines).

  9. Being going through all your old posts, picking up tips for my eventual 5th ed guard army just in time for 6th ed to come out *face palm*. This is my favorite battle report so far.


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