Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Last Tournament with the Old Codex & Grotesques 1st Run Out [Dark Eldar]

So 8 days after the new codex hit I went down to Promethean Games in Bracknell for 3 games of 40k.  With the Grotesques finished to a state I could take them to the tournament (I need to finish the, vials, spines on their back & a light green wash on the edges of the weapons):

I put the army out on my kitchen table (always a good check before a tournament):
[sorry about the poor light]

The army looked sizable, and I was confident that with 22 haywire grenades I would be fine against vehicles.  However I failed to notice just how much I had reduced my ranged anti-tank.  Turn 1 I just had 1 ravager, and then a Voidraven if it turned up on turn 2.  This led to fun agressive tactics to get my assault elements (most of my army to be fair) in range.

My final army list was very slightly changed from the list I posted in my last blog post.  I lost the Hellion Helliarch with an Agoniser (41pts) to gain a 4th Grotesque (35pts) and give haywire grendes to the trueborn (6pts).  The full list used is at the bottom of this post.

Game 1 vs Orks

Getting the warlord trait which allowed me to infiltrate my warlord and 3 non vehicle units, allowed me to keep my cards close to my chest even though I was going first.

By using the infiltration I was able to refuse flank the orks and move the game into a diagonal front rather than the initial Dawn of War straight accross from each other.  The game started well with me mauling a large storm boyz unit spread in front of his army, and then on turn 2 sacrificing a small wych squad and the hellions to surround the truck with 5 mega nobz in it and wreak killing all the occupants.

Then I made 2 huge errors which cost me the win.  My beasts who were threatened by a bike squad with a warboss and painboyz decided to charge them thinking better to charge than be charged.  With hindsight I was always going to lose that battle very badly and the better option would have been to move forward and and kill the remainder of the stormboyz.  This would force the bikes to deal with the beastpack rather than advancing on the rest of my army.  Instead the beastpack was killed in my own turn for the loss of 1 bike allowing the ork bike squad to advance on my army straight away rather than a turn later.

Second mistake was when I sacrificed the small wych squad and hellions, I moved my grotesques and large wych squad too far back, so that when 20 ork boyz shoot and charged them my main assault units were not close enough to counter charge.  So when my shooting failed to deal with them they were able to contest the last objective, drawing the game with all objectives contested, and vps at 2 (first blood and line breaker) - 2 (warlord and line breaker).

With the game ending early because of the tight game length (only 2 hours), it could have been anybodies game if the game had gone the full distance.

Game 2 vs Imperial Guard with an Imperial Knight

The game was Purge the Alien (or as I say for Dark Eldar "Table your opponent or lose" in a Hammer & Anvil (sideways) deployment.  At least I was going first and wasn't seized upon.

I gave the Guard a bloody nose, but some failed morale tests on turn 2 meant I was eventually wittled down.  However not only did the haywire grenades do well (although they were a bit of a one hit wonder being carried by wyches) the beastpack also showed how good it was with it's speed and huge number of attacks (finishing off Pask and doing 8 out of 9 hull points to a hydra squadron in a turn).  Even without the Baron and reduced to 12 models I think they can be a useful unit.  The Grotesques also smashed a vehicle with ease and absorbed a lot of firepower before they went down.

At the end of the game I had 4 units left and the guard had 5 units, but I still lost 17-6.

Game 3 vs Eldar

Moving towards the lower tables I faced Eldar.  No Wraithknights, but 2 Wave Serpents (filled with guardians), Fire Prism, 6 Vipers & 6 War Walkers, 2 x 3 Jetbikes.

The last mission was a maelstrom mission.  The basic one where you get to draw additional cards to fill your hand up to 3 each turn.

I knew my army couldn't face that firepower, so my only hope was to be agressive to pin the Eldar back, while concentrating on the objectives to build up a lead in victory points.

My opponent made a mistake of outflanking the war walkers.  With so little ranged anti tank he would have been better with them on the board to be firing from turn 1.

My Grotesques and large Wych squad went flat out towards the enemy (with their pilots ready to jink for all they were worth).  Venoms tried to get a bead on the enemy jetbikes, but poor rolling only killed 1.

My opponent was intimidated by the grotesques so after killing the raider he fired loads into them including a disembarked full guardian squad.  This bought the rest of the army the time it needed.  On the flank with jetbikes and the other wave serpent a small squad of wyches got turfed out of their venom (after getting an objective point on turn 1).

With the grotesques absorbing so much firepower the rest of the army was ready to get revenge. The large wych squad haywired the fire prism to death (I probably should have tried to multi assault the nearby wave serpent as I did 7 hull points).  The small wych squad, which had it'd venom wreaked the turn before, managed to down a wave serpent on their own.  Finally the beastpack multi assaulted the disembarked guardians and their wave serpent putting most of the unit including the Baron on the wave serpent.  The guardians ran off the board, however the wave serpent was left on 1 hull point.  The Voidraven also helped the Ravager reduce the Vypers to 2 units of 2 (rather than 3).

With a good tally of 5 victory points in the first turn, and getting at least 2 each turn after that I built a good lead (even drawing 2 cards it was impossible for me to achieve - one about fortifications and the other about mysterious objectives).  With my opponent not scoring at all one round, and an annoying objective secured venom not dying preventing a vp I was able to hold on for a 13-9 win.

Other Notable Points

Other highlights of the game 3 were three wyches from the small squad that killed the wave serpent charging 2 jetbikes, after killing one on the 1st round, they then failed to kill the other over a number of combat rounds even losing one of their own members to the jetbike.  Without haywire grenades I can't see them being efficient with the new codex.

The beastpack was good in both the 2nd and 3rd games, and were just outmatched against the ork bikes with characters in game 1.  However you have to consider them and the Baron together which comes to 291points for 16 models.  The Baron's stealth, ld9, Hit&Run are all big losses, but with the price decrease in the new codex on Krymera I can get 2 units with 2 beastmasters & 10 Krymera each for 51 points less.  Unfotunately my Dark Eldar only have 10 Krymera, however my Space Wolves use the same models (just different basing) for the Fenrusian Wolves so I may have to transfer the models and give it a go.  It's the sheer speed of the packs with 12" move, and charging while ignoring terrain movement penalties plus fleet means they can cover huge distances regardless of terrain.

The Wracks performance was medicore thoughout the day.  Even with their new ranged gun (24", Fleshbane, AP2) I don't think they would as efficient as a gunboat warrior squad and spending the points saved elsewhere in the army list.

Hellions were another medicore performing unit.  It could be that I wasn't using them well (as it was my first time using them), but it'll probably be my last for some time, as they have lost an extra attack (from the Hellglaive) and they are forced out of contention by Scourges and Reavers who are both tougher than them, for only 3 points more.

So it's looking like a serious redesign of my army list with the new codex, with all 6 troops choices that I used in the tournament not making it to the new codex list.

New List Design

I read it many a time, on blogs and forums coming up with lists for the new codex, that when they compare Dark Eldar units to Eldar ones the Eldar ones are always better, a perfect example being blasterborn (trueborn with blasters) against fire dragons (cheaper and better).  Well lets looks at that, coming up in my next post will be what I think Dark Eldar do best and attempt to build a list round that.

Also I think Dark Eldar will always find it hard (if not nearly impossile) to out shoot Mech Eldar or Gunline Tau so maneovrability and combat (yes, even in shooty 7th edition rules) will play a part.

Until then, what are you finding that works in the new codex ?  Are you enjoying the new codex ?


The army list I used for the tournament:

Baron - 105
Haemonculus with Venom Blade - 55

3 Trueborn with 2 Splinte Cannons & Haywire Grenades - 62
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
4 Grotesques - 140
Raider - 60

9 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 108
Raider - 60
9 Wracks - 90
Raider - 60
5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65

5 Wyches with Haywire Grenades - 60
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
3 Wracks - 30
Venom with 2nd Splinter Cannon - 65
9 Hellions - 144

Beastmaster Pack - 186
   consisting of 3 Packmasters, 10 Krymera, 2 Razorwing Flocks

Ravager (3 Lances) - 105
Voidraven Bomber with Void Lances & 2 Shatterfield Missiles - 165

Total: 1750 Points (73 models)

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