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 A thorny path to victory

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Lev140588
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PostSubject: A thorny path to victory   Wed Oct 26 2016, 17:59

Hi all !

After a long pause (essentially since early 4th edition), I have recently come back to wargaming, picking once again my beloved Dark Eldar. I found myself a club, put together a list with the painted models I possessed, and threw myself into battle.  cheers

My very first game (1850 points) was against a Salamander Battle Company. Unfortunately, I was quite overwhelmed by all the new things I had to learn about the game, so I didn't ask my opponent for his army list, neither did I take any pictures (which I will certainly do the next time I play). Roughly, his army was composed of 7-8 Rhinos with tactical squads (some with flamers, some with meltas), 2 Whirlwinds, 3 Drop Pods (1 with an Ironclad Dreadnought with 2 heavy flamers, 2 with Veteran Squads with grav cannons and tanky captains) and a Culexus Assassin. Ouch.

My army was :
CAD
Succubus w/ archite glaive (went with the Incubi)
9 Wyches w/ hekatrix with haywire grenade, in a Raider with night shields
2x5 Kabalite Warriors in Venoms with 2 splinter cannons
5 Incubi in a Raider with night shields and dark lance
5 Mandrakes
4 Grotesques in a Raider with night shields and dark lance
3 Reavers w/ cluster caltrops
Razorwing Jetfighter w/ dark lances
5 Scourges w/ 4 haywire blasters
DARK ARTISAN
Haemonculus w/ scissorhand
Cronos w/ spirit probe
Talos
ELDAR ALLIED DETACHMENT
Autarch w/ Shard of Anaris (went with the Grotesques)
3 Windriders
5 Warp Spiders w/ Exarch with TL death spinner

The battlefield had 7 big sets of ruins as only scenery.

I kept in reserve all the Wyches, the Grotesques, the Incubi, the Windriders and the Razorwing. That was my first big mistake, as I had almost nothing to threaten his Rhinos.

TURN 1
I had the first turn, so I tried to kill his infiltrated Culexus, which I couldn't do because he could only be hit on 6's in ranged combat. I couldn't charge it with my Reavers, because my opponent told me I wasn't allowed to charge on turn 1... Doesn't matter, I told myself, because he only had one HP left. I was so mistaken... Took 1 or 2 hull points off Rhinos.
He deep struck his Dreadnought and flamed some Warriors and destroyed a Venom and my Reavers in the shooting phase. I drank my first bottle of beer.
TURN 2
Only my Razorwing and Wyches arrived from reserves. I tried to kill the Assassin with some shooting, but couldn't. I destroyed a Rhino. Then, I made my second big mistake : I charged the Dreadnought with my Dark Artisan. From what I remembered from the 3d edition, monstrous creatures were a great counter to walkers (threw 2d6 for armour pen). I was to be very painfully surprised, because now I could only damage him on 6's with the Talos, while the Cronos had to make a single smash attack. Long story short, my Talos got destroyed.
The second Drop Pod arrived, and its occupants made a short work of the Scourges. A second Venom and its occupants were blown up. The Razorwing took a lucky melta shot and was stunned and could only move in a straight line the following turn (my opponent told me that in a tournament, it would have been destroyed, because he had to fly over a wrecked Rhino, which was impassable terrain, but for the sake of being logical, he wouldn't have me aplly it... Strange rule, because the Razorwing would fly simply fly over the wreck. But, hey, details.) The Cronos fell to the Ironclad. I drank my second bottle of bear.
TURN 3
My Incubi arrived, hoorray ! I threw another 1 for the arrival of the Grotesques though... I tried to kill the Assassin with some shooting but couldn't. Tried to take some Rhinos' hull points, but couldn't. The Haemonculus got instakilled by the Dreadnought. The Wyches killed a 5-man Tactical Marines unit. Crappy turn...
The 3d and last Drop Pod arrived. Some Wyches, Warp Spiders and Mandrakes got killed. The score was something like 10-3 in my opponents favour. Full of despair, I opened my third bottle of beer.
TURN 4
The Grotesques arrived, hoorray ! My Razorwing took a couple of hull points off some mehtal bawks. I tried to kill the Assassin with some shooting then by assaulting it with the Windriders, but couldn't. The Wyches and the Warp Spiders charged one unit of Veterans, killed some and took some casualties in return, for a drawn combat. The Incubi destroyed their first (and last) unit of Tactical Marines.
The Incubi and the Succubus got killed in the shooting phase. The Ironclad joined the combat with the Wyches and the Warp Spiders, almost all of which got killed, while dealing almost no damage in return. Suprisingly, they held. While I was finishing my fourth beer, we decided to call it a day, as I had almost nothing left on the table, while my opponent still had 3/4s of his army (not counting all those free Rhinos and Drop Pods).

I took some valuable lessons from this defeat :
1st : put on the table the units able to hurt your opponent.
2nd : the Dark Artisan is not a viable response to a Dreadnought.
3d : my units are better in close combat than the Spess Mehreens, so assault is a solution against them.
4d : the Salamanders have some pretty neat combos : rerolls on flamers, rerolls on meltas, rerolls, rerolls everywhere !
5th : I hate armywide obsec AND free transports. And I don't think I am the only one... Wink

Thanks for reading this lengthy batrep. The next time, I will play against a Dark Eldar brother, whom I will ask about some sneaky way to win against this power-armoured madness... Oh, and I will take some pictures  Smile

Lev

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Last edited by Lev140588 on Sat Oct 29 2016, 23:53; edited 1 time in total
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Unorthodoxy
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Fri Oct 28 2016, 03:02

Battle Companies are stupid. The end.

But seriously, I am happy to hear you're back repping the Dark Kin.

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Scrz
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Fri Oct 28 2016, 06:29

Welcome back and thanks for the write up. I had a similar experience when I started playing again. The learning curve is really steep but he articles in the tactics section on this forum helped me a lot.
Check them out! Smile And good luck on your next raid.
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The Red King
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Fri Oct 28 2016, 16:46

A few things your opponent got wrong. You most certainly can charge on turn 1. A common mistake (that was last editions rules) but since your HoW bikes would have ignored the 6's to hit and murdered his culexus turn 1 it seems a bit convenient of him to get that one wrong.

Also your flyer would only die if it had to END it's move over an enemy and that's if you aren't counting the new FAQ, which is as of yet unofficial.

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TeenageAngst
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Sat Oct 29 2016, 05:08

Battle Companies are one trick ponies you can usually lead around by the nose. Grotesques are my favorite thing to bludgeon them with, as they're guaranteed to win vs. space marines, rhinos, whirlwinds, everything except dreadnoughts and drop pods. To top it off, grav is useless against their 6+ save. Other than that, lots of Raiders full of mans will probably get the job done before the marines can rally to defend themselves and should see you running circles around them.

Also if you're allying in Eldar you might consider a Jetseer instead of an Autarch to run with the Reavers. Hit & Run confers to the whole unit, fleshbane melee attacks are fun, and who doesn't like some good ol' fashioned rerollable saves?

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Lev140588
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Sat Oct 29 2016, 12:17

Hi all,

First of all, thanks for your support and advice Smile

Concerning the 1st turn charge, il will certainly use it the next time I play. If someone tells me it's not allowed, I will simply ask them to show me the rulebook page where it is written Smile

I am currently thinking about a modified version of my list (unfortunately, I don't own a Jetseer yet). I will certainly play the 2x3 man Grotesquerie and drop the Dark Artisan, and perhaps the Incubi. Perhaps adding some Wraithguard with a webway portal Archon will help me to remove some annoying things. A Wave Serpent with Fire Dragons will also do the trick, and will cost less, but will be more of a one-trick pony in my opinion. Both will still fear the almighty grav.

My next game will take place on 19th november and will certainly be against a fellow Dark Eldar, plus another game in the afternoon most certainly.

Lev

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TeenageAngst
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Sat Oct 29 2016, 20:09

I mean if you wanna list tailor to beat a battle company just MSU right back at him, your poison and dark lances will hurt him more than his bolters will hurt you in the long run. Wracks with an Ossefactor will earn their points twice over, Venoms will murder anything that dares to step out of a transport, and I the grotesques will disassemble transports like my ex-wife's lawyer disassembled my family.

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Count Adhemar
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Sat Oct 29 2016, 23:13

@TeenageAngst wrote:
I mean if you wanna list tailor to beat a battle company just MSU right back at him, your poison and dark lances will hurt him more than his bolters will hurt you in the long run. Wracks with an Ossefactor will earn their points twice over, Venoms will murder anything that dares to step out of a transport, and I the grotesques will disassemble transports like my ex-wife's lawyer disassembled my family.

Sadly I think you're grossly exaggerating the effectiveness of our units. Poison is utterly useless if the SM player decides to simply stay in his free transports and fire, say, a Heavy Bolter from the hatch in perfect safety (or whatever weapon he's given his Razorback). Lance weapons are overpriced and decidedly underwhelming AT. A 125 point Ravager that doesn't move >6" will take 2 turns to kill a single Rhino that costs a third as much nothing. Wracks with an Ossefactor, well I'm struggling to see how they make any points back, let alone twice their cost. Again, the Marines stay in their boxes in perfect safety. Venoms look good on paper but against Marines they kill just over 1 Marine per Venom on average. 260 points to kill a 70 point Marine squad doesn't really seem like a great deal.

Grot's, I agree with Very Happy

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Lev140588
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Sat Oct 29 2016, 23:45

Hello,

The problem is that I had a really bad matchup for my first game, which, combined with my mistakes, greatly contributed to my defeat. My opponent had an army made for tournaments and I just wasn't ready Surprised After thinking about it, I feel that his army list was beatable. I had to keep my Venoms in reserve, while turboboosting my close combat units forward and wrecking his transports. The units inside were quite squishy (only 5 men), so in turn 2 I would have destroyed 1 or 2 of them. And his assassin wouldn't have lived, if I knew that first turn charge was perfectly allowed.

Actually, I am pretty happy with 3 units :
1. Mandrakes : they soaked up some fire with their 2+ cover save.
2. Warp Spiders : their flickerjump is just plain nasty.
3. Wyches : they destroyed a unit in 1 turn ; if I did use them better, they would have been much more useful.

The Incubi seemed like a good unit as well. It's a shame that grav weapons exist.

Overall, my first impression is that GW shoudn't allow formations that offer free stuff to a player, as they are pretty much impossible to balance. Even if a Battle Company did just offer obsec on all units of the army, it would already have been quite powerful. But with free transports, it's just overkill.

Anyway, I should do better the next time I play against a battle company.

Lev

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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Mon Oct 31 2016, 12:46

The thing to remember about the Battle Co is that it has a hard time actually killing stuff. Yes, they have a lot of units, but most of them are just armed with bolters. They should have a few grav cannons/melta guns scattered around, but mostly single weapons in 5 man tac squads.

Now if only we were not afraid of all their weapons, bolters included...
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Lev140588
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Mon Oct 31 2016, 18:43

@fisheyes wrote:
The thing to remember about the Battle Co is that it has a hard time actually killing stuff. Yes, they have a lot of units, but most of them are just armed with bolters. They should have a few grav cannons/melta guns scattered around, but mostly single weapons in 5 man tac squads.

Now if only we were not afraid of all their weapons, bolters included...

Hello,

An interesting observation, I will think about it when I start a Necron army Smile

But for now, I came up with a new 1850 list which I will use the next time I play.

Dark Eldar CAD

Archon w/ agoniser, shadowfield, haywire grenades : 130 pts (goes with the Grotesques)
*
9 Wyches w/ Hekatrix with haywire grenades in a Raider with night shields : 175 pts
5 Warriors w/ blaster in a Venom with 2 splinter cannons : 120 pts
5 Warriors w/ blaster in a Venom with 2 splinter cannons : 120 pts
*
5 Mandrakes : 60 pts
*
Venom w/ 2 splinter cannons : 65 pts
3 Reavers w/ cluster caltrops : 63 pts
5 Scourges w/ 4 haywire blasters : 120 pts
Grotesquerie
Haemonculus w/ scissorhand : 80 pts
3 Grotesques w/ Aberration in a Raider with dark lance and night shields : 190 pts
3 Grotesques w/ Aberration in a Raider with dark lance and night shields : 190 pts
Craftworld Eldar CAD
Farseer w/ singing spear : 105 pts (goes with the Guardians)
*
10 Guardian Defenders w/ bright lance : 110 pts
3 Windriders : 51 pts
*
5 Fire Dragons : 110 pts (go into the empty Venom)
*
5 Warp Spiders w/ Exarch with t.l. death spinner : 110 pts
Vyper w/ bright lance : 50 pts

The idea here is to have more anti-tank weaponry, which I realised was my weak point in the previous game.
I removed the ponderous Dark Artisan in favour of more speed and more MSU. My Grotesquerie should be in the opponent's face turn 2. The Guardians are my slowest unit, but will benefit from the Eldar battle focus.
I have some psychic defense with the Farseer. It will be even funnier when I will buy myself a Jetseer, but for the time being, the Footseer will do.
And if I ever see that Ironclad again, it will have to say hello to the Fire Dragons.

I hope I will fare a little better the next time Smile

Lev

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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Mon Oct 31 2016, 18:43

Dreadnoughts are decidedly an issue for Dark Eldar forces like mine and so they haveto die first, for sure. Nopt much else thats commonly in Battle Companies really challenges my list, but that one thing definitely does.

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The Red King
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Mon Oct 31 2016, 20:39

The plastic farseer is easy to convert onto a regular bike.

Just cut him in half at the torso (removing the hanging thing from this waist) and attach to a pair of riders legs. I then stuck the dangling bit on his back for a little bit of dynamic posing. Easy and looks good.

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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Tue Nov 01 2016, 11:39

Is that doable with a Reaver bike? To get some kind of dark Eldar look for some kind of corsair seer?
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PostSubject: Re: A thorny path to victory   Tue Nov 01 2016, 11:45

@CptMetal wrote:
Is that doable with a Reaver bike? To get some kind of dark Eldar look for some kind of corsair seer?

Sadly the Corsair Void Dreamer can't take a jetbike for erm...reasons.

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