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 First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)

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Join date : 2017-05-09

PostSubject: First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)   Tue May 09 2017, 14:07

Greetings you cold blooded killers,

I'll say off the bat that I'm not a competitive player at all, I'm here to have fun and play fluffy. However in this game it very much felt like I bought a knife to a gunfight, so I'm looking for some advice! I may not heed it all (5 man blaster venom squads are not something I really like the idea of for instance) but I welcome it regardless.

This game took place a little while ago and I only discovered the forum today, so I can only really speak about it in broad strokes. But I wanted to share it to help me try to learn from my defeat, and overcome similar situations in the future. Vengeance comes to all who cross the Void Hornets...

This was my fourth game with my force, all of which have been against Marine's at my local store. it was about 1,300 points (An odd number but that was the extent of my collection) and the forces looked a little like this.

Dark Eldar (Void Hornet Kabal)

Archon (Blaster, shadowfield, huskblade, soultrap)

Haemonculus (scissor hand, liquifier)

5 Incubi With Klaivex (In a Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons)

5 Mandrakes

10 Kabalites (Blaster, Splinter Cannon) in Raider (Dark Lance, splinter racks)

10 Kabalites (Blaster, Splinter Cannon) in Raider (Dark Lance, splinter racks)

5 Kabalites (Even I know this was a terrible choice but I had points and models left over)

5 Scourges (2 heat Lances, 2 blasters)

5 Scourges (4 Haywire Blasters)

2 Talos (Chain Flails, Splinter Cannons)

1 Cronos (Spirit Syphon)

Space Marines

White Scars Stormlance Formation
Chapter Master (Eternal Shield, Burning Blade)

5 Man Tactical Squad (Flamer) Rhino

5 Man Tactical Squad (Flamer) Rhino

5 Man Tactical Squad (Flamer) Rhino

5 Devastator Marines (4 Missile Launchers)

3 Land Speeders (2X Heavy Bolters on each)

Salamanders Combined Arms Detachment

Chaplain (jump pack)

5 Sternguard with Grav Guns (razorback with Lascannon and plasma guns)

5 Tactical Marines (Special Salamanders flamer relic) in razorback (Twin linked Lascannon)

5 Tactical Marines (Flamer) in razorback (Twin linked Lascannon)

5 Man Scout Squad in Land Speeder Storm

10 Man Assault Marine Squad (2 flamers)

2 Landspeeders (Heavy Flamers)

A quick note, I recall this to the best of my ability, but he did have to show me 3 separate books just to explain all his special rules and formations, so I may well have misremembered things. Remember, only my 4th game!

Terrain meant that there was one ruin in each table quarter, but the centre of the board was quite open. Objectives were placed in each building, with one in the centre. The game would be determined by kill points, with +1 point for every objective held.

He deployed in a long line, with a box of vehicles in his centre, the devastators in a tower on his right flank, and his sternguard on his left, separated from the main mass of tank by some woods and accompanied by the Assault Marines and Chaplain.

Rather than face him head on I decided to park my 3 Pain Engines on the flank opposite his assault marines, intending to use the building in that quarter to shield them from his heavy weapons and swing around to the centre in the middle of the game. My raiders were deployed together behind the same building, and the venom was on the left hand flank, hidden behind another ruin. My sacrificial 5 man unit was placed on top of an objective in the left hand building, and my mandrakes were deployed there too after failing to infiltrate forward (he could see the rearmost member of the unit). The two scourge units were in reserve.

Opening Moves
He won the roll off and elected for me to go first. Unsurprisingly I didn't want to move my units into line of sight for all those lascannons and missiles, so just shuffled across a little to bring more fire to bear onto the assault marines. The exceptions were the mandrakes which advances forward out of their ruin into some light cover, and the venom full of incubi, which flat outed over to the over flank to help mop up any assault marines that made it through.

My shooting phase was actually positive, with my opponent being caught off guard by the range of my splinter cannons. Together, my raiders squads and talos chucked out a whole hail of shot which dropped 7 of the assault marines after an appalling round of saves. The chaplain tanked a few hits, but was left with one wound, and the two flamers were left alive alongside him. Not wanting to face the prospect of 2 flamers being dropped on my raiders and their cargo so early, I elected to fire the dark lances their way too, which dropped the chaplain and one other assault marine.

Everything else was out of range, so play moved to him and the pain began. His land speeders all rushed forward, getting him far closer than I expected him to, and his block of rhino's and razorbacks pushed forward into the centre of the board where his men disembarked. At the time I was actually happy about that, reasoning that I'd have a much easier time blasting tactical marines than their tanks. Little did I know what was about to come.

One of the heavy flamer land speeders vomited a gout of burning promethium over my mandrakes and burnt them all to cinders in one shot. I got a sense of how the game might go at that moment as my opponent gleefully informed me that he would be wounding me on two's and re-rolling ones due to his salamander chapter trait.

He immediately followed this up with the special relic flamer that one of his squads carried, declaring that he would use the torrent mode and placing it lengthways across my raiders. A few rolls later and I had 5 dead kabalites (thankfully not the special weapons) and a hull point stripped off one of my raiders. The rest of his men then fired into the sacrificial squad and wiped them all out in a hail of bolt shells. At this point he revealed what the white scars formation did, and all of those tactical marines hopped merrily back into their transports, safe from my return fire.

His other shooting was thwarted by a lack of targets, cover or FnP rolls in the case of my pain engines.

In my next turn I realised I needed to push forward hard or else he'd box me and in and flame me to death. I moved one raider back to the left and disembarked the weakened squad inside to re secure the objective that was lost last turn. The rest rushed forward towards the remnants of his assault marines and his sternguard. My blaster/heatlance scourges came to the field this turn, and I risked then dropping right in by the sternguards Razorback. I was rewarded with a direct hit, and they duly melted the thing, exposing the marines inside.

Confident that my incubi could take the sternguard without any trouble I swung my raider around to face the boards centre, and started to push my Pain engines between the two buildings, intending to get them stuck into the squishy 5 man units and their AV11 Tanks.

Unable to charge this turn, my talos directed their fire at the sole remaining assault marine and finished him off, while the spirit syphon was denied any targets as everything was in a transport and the sternguard were out of line of sight. I tried to focus my other shooting to crack open at least some of the transports, but some misses on my part meant that I only managed to take 2 hull points, and they were on separate vehicles.

The venom fired into the sternguard, but failed to score and kills, and so the Incubi hefted their great klaives and prepared to do it the hard way. He then killed 4 of them with overwatch fire on the way in, and the last remaining Incubi only cut one down before he himself was clubbed to death. Not how I pictured that going.

In return his land speeders moved behind my lines and hosed down my raiders and kabalites, wrecking both vehicles and leaving me with 3 kabalites left on the field and a very angry archon. His marines repeatedly their disembark - fire - re-embark strategy and took a few wounds off my Talos.

The rest of the game
From this point on the game just went totally against me, so I'll go into far less detail. In essence, I didn't have enough anti-tank firepower to break open his transports, and his land speeders, deadly as they were, were too slippery to waste shots on. Assuming I did score a hit and get past their jink, he just booster them away out of my range.

When my 2nd scourge unit arrived they were deprived of any decent targets, so had to settle for toasting a razorback, and were then gunned down in return. My archon took shelter in some ruins and took pot shots with his blaster, stripping hull points but never finishing anything off.

The Talos and Cronos were worn down by heavy weapons fire, and when they did reach the vehicle park, totally fluffed their rolls, leaving them free to roll back and repeat it all again. The surviving sternguard too moved around to shoot at their rear, and killed the Cronos which robbed me of my FnP buff.

By the end of the game I was left with a 2 wound Talos, a cowering archon, a scourge on an objective and a 1 HP venom.

Whilst I was never going to win with the number of mean I had left, I was also slightly miffed when he revealed that you had to be within 3" of an objective to contest or claim it, instead of the 6" that I had believed. Fully accept that this is my fault, but at the same time I had declared it when making some of my moves (gotta make sure I'm in 6" so I can claim this") and at no point did he correct this. My mistake, but not very sporting.

Well I got my butt kicked hard, the stacking bonuses of his formations and chapter tactics just meant that I couldn't get to his men, and they could roast my guys with utter impunity. The heavy flamers in particular were nightmarish, auto hitting, wounding on 2's, re-rolling 1's and no cover. I had no means to strike back!

I recognise that I was stupid in throwing the Incubi into Grav Sternguard, but honestly I saw a small power armoured unit ready to die on my blades, and I didn't realise how many shots grav guns put out. I paid for it by losing a key unit, and a flank that I was dominating before.

The archon is fun, and fluffy, and I'm not going to drop him. However I recognise that I put too many points into him this game. In all fairness it's the first one he survived, and every one he failed his shadowfield save on the first shot, so I was just happy to have him live.

My question to you guys is how might you have approached it differently? I don't want to say he list tailored against he, but he did know what was in my collection, and the specific formations that he bought seemed... optimised? How do you deal with something like that White Scars formation when so much of our weaponry is anti-infantry?

Any and all help will be repaid in slaves upon my next successful raid.

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PostSubject: Re: First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)   Thu May 11 2017, 03:07

Well your first problem based on the lists you posted is that your army was about 1500 points.  His is 1800 or more.

so if you're out pointed by 300 points, you should expect to get your butt handed to you.

Now, some more helpful advice:

If you like the talos and chronos, change it up to put one talos, chronos and Haemonculous together as a Dark Artisan formation with a WWP.

Drop the other Talos. you need some more long range anti-tank (think Ravager).

I love scourge, but they never fully pay off for me. They are about the cost of a ravager. So I would keep one scourge squad and add another ravager to replace.

You need someone for your archon to party with. Either Grotesques, or if you are happy to include allies, my fav. is wraithguard with an archon and WWP.

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PostSubject: Re: First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)   Thu May 11 2017, 22:33

@Silverglade wrote:
Well your first problem based on the lists you posted is that your army was about 1500 points.  His is 1800 or more.

so if you're out pointed by 300 points, you should expect to get your butt handed to you.

It was a little while ago so I may be misremembering, but I don't think I conjured 300 or more points from thin air. That would probably be a good starting point! As I say, it took about 3 books to understand his list so I did take his word for it that it'd all been added up right, I didn't check myself!

The ravager in place of a scourge squad is definitely something I'm considering. I don't own one yet, but it's one of the next items on my list. Scourges so far seem to perform in terms of removing something from the board, it's just not normally worth the points cost I'm putting into them. In this game for instance the vehicles on the board were worth maybe half their points at most. A ravager would definitely let me start popping them from the get go with less risk of instant retribution.

On the archon's bodyguards front, what are the thoughts on the court? Statwise Sslyth look quite nice, and I wouldn't mind 4 or so of them backing him up, perhaps with a medusae or two? My reluctance with Grotesques is the monetary cost per model, I could buy that ravager for less than the cost of 3 of them.

Final point as to the Dark Artisan, I don't own the haemonculus Covens book, so I was using just the base Dark Eldar Codex for this.

Thanks for the pointers!
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PostSubject: Re: First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)   Thu May 18 2017, 23:26

I'm​ like you, not competitive at all just play for fun but something I learned myself over the weekend that I didn't previously know is that scourge are a hidden powerhouse when given dark lances ... They are Jump Infantry and, according to my opponent and the GW store owner/representative, that means they are inherently relentless (double check the rules on this one) ... That means they have a 48 inch threat range on those dark lances as they don't suffer the plenty to moving and shooting a heavy weapon ... With this knowledge they are 4 mobile dark lances (more mobile then a ravager that can only move 6" before it loses the ability to fire all three dark lances at full bs) and cost slightly more points with night shields then a triple Lance ravager, honestly my ravagers went from having 3 dark lances to having three dessie cannons ... Those nine shots at AP 2 tend to tear through space Marines squads with little problem as for how I woulda tackled that army? Probably not much the same way you did, but it does sound like you were kinda screwed outa a fair fight, 1300 points wouldn't have let the sm player bring everything he did (i don't know cause I don't know points costs) but it does sound like he brought a little more then he shoulda been able to.
What I woulda done different:
I woulda started with the scourge on the board and given them dark lances, woulda tried to pop some of his parking lot turn one
What I would have done the same:
Pretty much everything else

Edit: I just double checked the rules and I think both my opponent and the GW representative thought the Scourge were Jetpack Infantry for the relentless special rule, that was my bad for not checking the rules though I just now had the time to, so a Lance ravager is better then dark lances scourge

Last edited by Archon_91 on Fri May 19 2017, 00:02; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)   Thu May 18 2017, 23:35

Jump infantry are not relentless. Jetpack infantry are.
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PostSubject: Re: First Post - 4th Game (DE vs SM)   Fri May 19 2017, 00:03

Aye I just edited my post ... Again I apologise for the confusion
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