Some weeks ago, the idea of a larger-than-usual game started in our gaming group. We doodled for a date where everyone could spare a day for gaming and this Sunday came up as a winner. Each of us brought 3000p and we had agreed on the following two alliances:
Eldar & Dark Eldar versus Adeptus Mechanicus & Tau Empire.
We did not intend to set up tournament-style list, instead bringing stuff we wanted to see on the tabletop for whatever reasons. Maybe the paint job is just great, maybe it's too big for normal games, maybe it's just shiny and new. 3000p allows for such things
That's our gaming table for this match:
We rolled for the deployment zones and got this one:
It was a nice laugh, as we had to squeeze 6000 points of models into those table quarters ... it took us about an hour until everything was deployed.
Side note: all the pics you see here as thumbnails are available in large versions over here:
I just didn't want to post those large pics and stress your internet connections
I don't have the lists of the armies here, so here's a rough overview of what I remember everyone brought:
AdMech had an Imperial Knight, several Onager Battlewalkers, a squad of Kataphron Breachers, a few Ironstriders and Dragoons, several of the Skitarii Infiltrators and some larger infantry squads of Vanguards.
Tau brought the big Forgeworld battlesuit (the one with the three "little" rifles on top), the Tau Bomber, some Hammerheads, some Fire Warriors and a squad of Groot. Sorry, Kroot
Eldar deployed the Wraithknight, some Vypers, 2 large Guardian Squads, Wave Serpents with Wraithguards, 3 squads of Rangers and a squad of Shadow Spectres.
I added a large squad of Grotesques, 3 squads of Warriors in Raiders, 3 squads of Reavers, 2 Ravagers, a Tantalus, some Wracks, some Pain Engines, 2 Razorwing Jetfighters and a Bomber.
Yes it was quite crowded on the table for most of the time. And that was the first lesson we all learned for games with this size: if you don't have to, don't place anything in reserve, as you won't have much space to place it during the game!
AdMech & Tau Deployment
Eldar & Dark Eldar Deployment
The Wraithknight in all its glory
The rolloff gave the Ad'Tau the first turn and we anticipated a devastating first shooting phase ... but much of the shooting plinged off the hull of the Wraithknight. In the end we lost a Grotesque (due to the Tau Bomber dropping its bomb on them) some Reavers and some Guardians. The Wraithknight lost 12 Wounds, I think. Due to the chosen Craftworld Iyanden it was not even close to being impeded by this.
The Knight, a squad of Infiltrators and two of the AdMech Dragoons had advanced up the flank towards a barely visible squad of Rangers in a ruined building.
After our first movement phase
Our phase was not really much more impressing in return. Most of our shooting went towards the Imperial Knight and he was quite unimpressed, remaining with 17 Wounds after the dust settled. The accompanying Dragoons and Infiltrators also took some wounds. Additionally a AdMech infantry squad which was placed in front of 2 Onagers, died.
A Vyper, the two Taloi and the Groteques charged into the first of the two larger infantry squads and the Reavers charged one of the Onagers. One of the other remaining Reavers announced a charge against the Kataphron Breachers but was shot to pieces during Overwatch.
The Vanguard brace for impact
The Reaver did nothing to the Onager but also did not die, so the goal of binding it for a round of shooting was fulfilled.
The Coven units ripped, shredded and smashed their way through the AdMech infantry (some of the really unfortunates may have been snatched and incarcerated by the Taloi) and consolidated into the second squad.
At the start of game turn #2
Due to clever positioning of the Vyper, the AdMech infantry was unabled to fall back, so the Coven units were spared a turn of shooting. Instead the combined Tau and AdMech firepower fell the Wraithknight - only just, but enough is enough. The Reavers died, as did a Raider, but this was anticipated. Surprisingly a Ravager also blew up, which was less anticipated ... we've seen the Archon slightly raise an eyebrow in upcoming anger after this
The Wave Serpents took some wounds, as did the Shadow Spectres and one of the Haemonculi who were standing in the open field.
The Dragoons stride towards the Eldar Rangers
The Dragoons charged into a Vyper, which had moved to block access to the juicier Rangers and Shadow Spectres and took some wounds off it.
The Imperial Knight charged into the Grotesques and swung its mighty legs to stomp them to death. After the mighty warmachine finished pounding them, a single Grot had died ... this was not as impressive, as we had thought
The remaining Grotesques focussed on the second Vanguard squad, wiping them out.
The final moments of the Imperial Knight
The Taloi positioned themselves to charge the Knight, the Grotesques fell back from the combat and lumbered towards the Ad'Tau main battle line (or rather battle corner). The Cronos slowly hovered in between them, so that both squads would be in reach of his Spirit Probe, granting the lovely to wound reroll (which would be especially handy for the Taloi versus the Knight).
The Tantalus moved into the middle of the field, spewing out a squad of Wracks to shield the wounded Haemonculus. Most of our units were moved towards the castled up AdMech and Tau (who hadn't moved much since the deployment. Really, even their first movement phase only took about 5min!
The AdMech Dragoons which had advanced into our flank were taken down as well as the Infiltrators. Two lucky shots from the Support Weapon Missile Launchers in the Guardian squad reduced the Knight from 17 to 7 remaining wounds and in the end it was taken down by the combined firepower of the Eldar. The last Ravager was free to shoot the Onagers and nearly killed one of them. The mounted Kabalites wiped out the Kataphrons from the relative safety of their rides while the ones from the destroyed Raider hurryied to bolster up the Guardians on a nearby objective.
As the Knight and even the supporting walkers were gone, there was no enemy to charge for the Taloi (except maybe for those shiny juicy Guardians nearby, which already eyed the hovering, clicking Pain Engines with contempt). And as the Grots had just fallen back, they were not allowed to charge anything. So there was no close combat ...
At the beginning of game turn #3
Third and last turn for the Ad'Tau. Two reserved Infiltrator squads appeared on our side of the table and with them a Callidus and an Eversor. As the Callidus lets loose of her disguise, she can be set up within 3+D6" of an enemy - and the AdMech player rolled a glorious 6
The shooting focussed on the now dangerously close Grotesques which were reduced to 4 models after some sad save rolls on my side. The Icarus Cannon on one of the Onagers killed a Razorwing and the mighty Tantalus was also shot down in one round (huh?!
) after a rerolled damage dice. As it befits such a big vehicle, it spectacularly exploded, much to everyones joy.
Quoting the rules: "every squad in 9" takes D6 Mortal Wounds." You remember me parking the huge hull of this hovering monster on the middle of the table? Ouch. Really ...
The Guardians on the objective were wiped out, the two Archons took 3 Wounds each and the Haemonculi took 2 each. Another Grotesque died and a Talos took 2 wounds. Oh, and the two cleverly positioned Tau Drones died to the flying debris. So they could not take the objective they had moved to and this denied some much needed Victory Points. We were playing the Gambit Mission, that came with Chapter Approved, where you have to guess before drawing the cards, how many of the Mission Objectives you will achieve. If you guess right, you're awarded with some more VP, but if you don't get your guessed Mission Objectives, your opponent will get the bonus VP you did not get ... so those killed Drones were doubly troublesome, as they did not get the objective they sat on and thus granted us three VP - hooray!
In hindsight I could have tried to deny the reroll of the damage dice with Agents of Vect, letting the Tantalus barely live on with 2 Wounds. But it was such a nice blast and we had a good laugh - it was one of those epic moments you remember from your games. So for the fun of it, forgetting to deny it was totally worth it!
The Eversor charged into the Rangers and Shadow Spectres with a nice 15" move and killed half of each squad after taking two wounds from Overwatch.
The Bomber on those two containers is about as high as the Tau Titan
We forced our advance towards the combined gunline with only some infantry left behind to care about the new threat from behind.
The Guardian squad, the Taloi and some Blasters shot down the Infiltrators next to the Callidus Assassin. The Rangers and the last remaining Shadow Spectre fell back from the grinning mask of the Eversor and shot him to pieces. The mounted Kabalites cared about the Arcebus Snipers which sat dangerously balanced on a pipe and shot them down (although the AdMech player kept rolling an annoying amount of 6es for his "on a six this model does not die" rule!) while the two fliers let the Onager with the Icarus explode. The Wave Serpent killed another Onager with its exploding shield.
The Grots and the Cronos moved in to kill some Fire Warriors and the last Arcebus Sniper. While the Cronos lovingly plucked apart the Sniper, the Grots took the full force of the Tau Overwatch, as everything was huddled behind the Fire Warrior squad and lost another model, so only two crashed into close combat and so a single Warrior was left standing.
The Succubus that had crawled from the wreckage of the Tantalus charged into a Hammerhead and nearly killed it ... well, she took off three wounds
It was 21:00 then and we ended the game as it was clearly over.
We'd had a lot of fun during the whole afternoon, the weather played along (we'd set up the table outside, as it was warm as hell) and I think we'll meet up for another match like this this summer!
I can only advise everyone to take out their armies and meet up for a larger-than-usual scale battle. Just don't take it too serious, 'cause you'll most likely miss the funny and memorable moments of the day/evening/game
Have fun and thanks for reading!