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 From the other side of the table

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Malevolent-Storm
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PostSubject: From the other side of the table   Mon Dec 17 2012, 21:08

This isn't really a battle report nor a tactics discussion, so I stuck it in general discussion. Hope that is the right place.

Less than 24 hours after fighting as Dark Eldar against Space Marines, I took to the table again in a battle involving Dark Eldar. The catch was that, this time, I was playing Space Marines against the DE. On the theory that you can always learn more about an army even when you play against it (or perhaps especially when you play against it), I was excited about the game and looking forward to seeing some new tricks. This won't be a full battle report; I'm not doing turn by turn and I don't have pictures. Instead I'm going to talk in generalities. We were playing 1200 points and Purge the Alien.

I was running a termie librarian, 5 tactical terminators with an assault cannon, a tac squad w/ ML and PG, another tac squad with a LC and PG, 2 thunderfire cannons, a MM dread, and a Typhoon speeder (the one with missiles) w/ HB.

His list was 2 raiders w/ wyches and a Hemi (1 was the warlord), a ravager with 3 disintigrators, a ravager w/ 3 DL, a warrior venom w 2 SC and a blaster, and some Splinterborn in a venom. I think he said he had some reavers too, but he never rolled for reserves so I could be wrong.

The board was pre-set up by the store b/c this was for an escalation league. Basically it looked kind of like the set from a Western with multi-story ruins running down the long sides and some trees in the middle. We ended up with hammer and anvil and nightfight on turn 1. I got to choose the side so I picked the one with better buildings. Better is relative; it was a fairly balanced board. So here better meant it had decent lanes of fire for my cannons and more so that it was the open end so I didn't have to squeeze my fat body between the table and the wall. With nightfight in play on the first turn, my shooting was likely to be awful and I wanted cover from the DLs and Disintigrators.

This presented me with a tactical problem however. He was running wyches as his troop choice and that meant he was going to be coming in to assault. I wanted to be able to shoot the raider, make the wyches walk, and gun them down as they did. The wyches also meant my vehicles - the dread and the typhoon - were most at risk. Normally, when I anticipate being assaulted, I try to stay consolidated so that the units can support each other and be in range to shoot the assaulters. I also like to squad out my tacticals because they are more likely to die the turn they are assaulted, letting me shoot in my turn - but not in a Purge scenario. My problem was that I wanted everyone in cover to start with but could not fit everyone in cover if I stayed consolidated. If I split between the two ruins I had, then my forces were split (on both sides of the street in Western speak) with 24" between them. If the DE came right up the middle this would not be as big a problem, but if they focused on one side and came down between the ruins and the board edge, they could attack me in detail. I opted to put both tactical squads and the terminators, supported by one thunderfire, in the ruins on my right; and to put the dread, the speeder, and the other thunderfire in the ruins on my left.

In retrospect, this may have been ill advised though, as you will soon see, it caused my opponent to divide his forces as well which may have helped me out. When I did this I was acutely aware that were I the DE, I would have responded by putting everything on the left, shot down that table edge using the buildings for cover, and brought it to bear on my dread, typhoon, and one thunderfire. I also would have made killing the thunderfires a priority.

Instead, my opponent split his force, putting the DL Ravager and one Raider on the left with the remainder of his forces (Disint. Ravager, Raider#2, and both Venoms) on the right. With night fight, I had no shot at all in the first turn (and in retrospect maybe should have opted to go second). In the bottom of T2, he advanced and used the Disint. Ravager inot the middle of the table and the Splinter born up the right side to kill off 3 marines from one tactical squad and 2 from another. (But he didn't fire into only one squad as I would have done and thus (and only because of this) both my LC and ML survived.) On the left, he knocked the MM off the dread with DL's from the Ravager and turbo-ed the Raider. At this point, it felt like I was in trouble.

I responded in T2 by downing the Ravager and the Wych Raider on right and shaking (could move but not shoot) the Raider on the left. I think I did some glances too. He then advanced the wyches on the left, disembarked, and haywired the dread to death and shot the missile launcher off the Typhoon with his Ravager. On the right the wyches hid, but the venoms came up and shot some more. Oddly he didn't shoot at the tacticals this time, instead he went after the terminators who rolled very poorly on their saves and FNP (The librarian had Endurance) and 2 died.

In the next turn I destroyed the wyches and their raider on the left with the thunderfire and the HB on the typhoon and glanced the ravager with something, I think the LC, from the right. I used the other thunderfire and the ML to attack the venoms, dropping the warrior venom. I also started to advance my terminators and librarian towards the cowering wyches. He shot another terminator (but his dice kind of turned against him this turn) so he only killed one. He also resumed shooting at one of the tactical squads killing some. This left the ML squad with only 3 guys. This is the point at which I started to feel like momentum had shifted to me, partly because I had realized that I had first blood, warlord, 2 raiders, 1 ravager, 1 venom, and a squad of wyches to my point credit while he had only the dreadnought, a score of 7-1. I also knew that I should be able to kill the two remaining transports, whatever else happened, making it 9 VP for me. I only had about 9 VP in my list plus warlord and linebreaker if he got those. My warlord was exposed, but he'd have to work for linebreaker. And he had little chance of killing off ALL of my units to get the nine points with what he had on the table. He simply had more points to give me than I had to give him to start with, and I was ahead in the count.

Next I advanced the terminators again, shooting as I came. I shot down the DL Ravager and the remaining venom. The veno exploded killing all but 2 of the trueborn. I don't remember what he shot at this turn, but the results were pretty anemic. He did move his wyches out to block the terminators from reaching the warriors with the blaster.

The terminators, held off from shooting while the tacticals shot at the downed warriors. They were out of bolter range and the LC missed, but the frag missile killed them all. The terminators assaulted the wyches and haemi and wiped them off the board. We ended the game at that point. The only unit I lost was the dreadnought. This made the game something like 13 or 14 to 1 in terms of VP.

Since then, I've been wondering what the DE did wrong. The things I have come up with include:
* Dividing his forces.
* Failing to concentrate his fire on one of my units until it (or at least it's heavy weapon) was out of play.
* Putting his Ravager with disintigrators in the middle of the board.
* Failing to appreciate the priority of targeting the thunderfires either with assault or with shooting
* Obviously, if he had reserve reavers, forgetting to bring them in was an error. However, given the margin of victory I had, I am not sure the Reavers would have swung things back in his favor.
* Failing to attack me in detail so that he had superior concentration of forces at the point of attack

Do you all see anything else? What is your impression of the battle? Was the Reaver's absence decisive.

Thanks.

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PostSubject: Re: From the other side of the table   Tue Dec 18 2012, 09:56

First of this is in the wrong section.
Nice to see a battlereport from other point of view.

I dont see a problem with dividing forces, I do it all the time. Shouldnt mather.
I would say the first problem for him would be a poor list.

Then he needs to get down the big threats as he failed to do, and not focus fire.
I know alot of people love the Ravager dissie, but for me its a waste. what do a DE player need more AI for? I do not understand the love for this.

Why he even reserved somethign is beyound me, again I am totaly against reserving. Giving oponent less targets to hit as DE player is again not a good move. And Reavers are good to soak up shots in the start. I dont think it was decisive tho, I think the list was decisive and then all the small faults that followed.

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PostSubject: Re: From the other side of the table   Tue Dec 18 2012, 14:48

Like I said, I wasn't really sure where to put it. It's not a report, and while I want to talk about army selection, deployment, use etc., it is not just tactics either.

You may not like Dissie Ravagers, but the way he was playing, it was the thing on the board I was most afraid of barring only the wyches headed towards my Dread and my Typhoon. The only way DL Ravagers would have been "worse" from my perspective is if he had used them to attack my Thunderfires from the start. However, as far back as I had the Thunderfires, he would have had to put his ravagers right up on the deployment line. That would have possibly put them in range of my Typhoon, lascannon, and missile launchers at the beginning of T1 before he even got to move them. But it might not with his night shields - not sure if night shields reduces the range of the weapon outright or if it would reduce the limit of how far you can see in nightfight. So assuming he had used DL Ravs to destroy the thunderfires, and then brought everything down the left side towards my Dread and Typhoon, it could have put me in a complicated tactical situation.

But he didn't.

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