Thursday, 4 August 2011

ASMOH Tournament Game 4 & Final Thoughts (Text Size Fixed)

So after my cheeky win in game 3 I moved up the tables to face Steve from Triple Helix Wargames in Westbury. Steve had nice Nurgle Daemons army, which unfortunately (which Steve freely admitted to me as soon as we set our armies up) was a bit light on long ranged firepower. His list was roughly (it's been a couple of months and my memory isn't that good):

Greater Daemon of Nurgle
Nurgle Daemon Prince with Warptime
1 Dreadnaught
Some Obliterators
3 units of Plague marines (with icons) in Rhinos
Some Summoned Daemons

Looking at his list I completely agreed so tactics would be to kill the small amount of long ranged firewpower as quickly as possible, and cripple his mobility by killing the rhinos to make the nurgle marines walk turning the battle into a long ranged shooting match that I would easily win.

My list was again:

Haemonculus Nalix Soulseer with Liquifier Gun - 60

6 Incubi - 132
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 70

3 Trueborn with 3 Blasters - 81
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons & Grisly Trophies - 70

10 Wracks with 2 Liquifier Guns - 120
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Venom Blade - 105
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

9 Wyches incl. Hekatrix with Agoniser - 120
in Raider with Dark Lance - 60

3 Wracks - 30
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

3 Wracks - 30
in Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons - 65

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Ravager with 3 Dark Lances - 105

Total: 1749 Pts

We were playing the normal 12" in deployment and we were fighting over 6 objectives that was spread evenly around the board (quite spread out).

I won the roll off for first turn and duly took it. I deployed centrally not wanting to get out delpoyed too bad it my opponent decided to start mainly in one corner. Plan was to kill the daemon prince with splinter cannons (I was under the misunderstanding that warp time allowed him to reroll armour and cover saves, so I wanted to kill him before he had a chance to cast it), then the dreadnaught. Next on the list would be one or two rhinos to cripple his moblity and stop his nurgle marines attacking me all at once (which would allow to pick on each squad in turn) and then finally the obliterators. Although the obliterators would probably kill a vehicle a turn I think a turn I thought it was important to kill one or two rhinos to criplle his mobility first. The obliterators would become top target once two rhinos were dead. Until the deamons were summoned I planned to keep my distance, even though they

My opponent deployed all three rhinos on the left flank (with the daemon prince standing behind one to just about give him a cover save). The dreadnaught went on the far right hand flank (as a distraction I think and to stop him firing on his own troops).

My opponent didn't sieze the inititive, and I moved forwards cautionly not wanting my opponent to be in range with much. I wanted to keep the game as a long ranged firefight for at least the first two or three turns, where I had a huge advantage. A ravager took out the dreadnaught, and even though my first venom was slightly out of range of the deamon prince, the other three helped by a few raider dark lance shoots killed him. This left the remaining two ravagers to kill one rhino and stunn and immobolise another to finish off a good start.

It was a risk leaving the obliterators unharmed, but I wanted to stop the plague marines advancing on me in one wave of three rhinos.

My opponent decided to advance with one squad of plague marines, another stayed on the objective in the ruin he had castled round, and the last one stayed in their rhino as it had good cover from the immoblised rhino in front of it. Not much other movement, so it was onto the obliterators which took out the large wrack units raider and damaged a ravager (I think stunned and weapon blown off).

I decied to be a bit more aggressive as the first turn had gone so well, and the enemy had split up his army, which should allow me to pick it apart bit by bit. I moved forward to just before the middle of the table. I knew I would be in assault range of any daemons that may be summoned in the next turn, but hoped they would crash into my army, do a bit of damage and then be wiped out by my counter charge.

Seeing the obliterators as the main target I fired a lot of dark lances into them, but they made an ungodly amount of cover saves. Firepower into the approaching plague marines faired better with the squad reduced to 2 models. Maybe it would have been better to concentrate on the close nurgle marines until they were completely dead (because then any summoned daemons would have to risk scattering if they wanted to deep strike close to me). Now there was still an icon close to my army.

In my opponents second turn a unit of daemons duly arrived, and used the icon from the unit of two nurgle marines to land without scattering. I can't remember what the obliterators took out, but it was probably a ravager. The nurgle marine hiding in the last mobile rhino decided to move accross to the centre of my opponents deployment zone towards an objective and popped the smoke on their rhino. The nurgle marines on on foot which were staying on an objective with the obliterators stayed still. The nurgle marines reduced to two models and the newly summoned daemons moved fowards and charged the wracks that had been shot out of their raider the previous turn.

The oblits probably killed a vehicle in the shooting phase, and then it was on to the assault phase. With the toughness 4 and Feel No Pain of the wracks the daemons couldn't do much, and my return attacks having poison killed a decent number. I think I won combat slightly, but the main thing was that all units stayed in combat.

My next turn dark lances finished off the oblits (although I didn't have enough firepower left to kill the last mobile rhino). Splinter cannon and blaster firepower took a toll on the marines left in the ruin to try to claim an objective. A wych squad and the incubi squad moved to assault the daemons and the last nurgle marine that advanced upon my lines. The other two wych squads (who had the last two mobile raiders) moved to get a clear line of sight of the objective the nurgle marines in a rhino was heading towards.

In assault the incubi ensured most of them were against the nurgle marine, while all the wyches went on the daemons. The combat was quick and one sided with the wyches and incubi gaining the two pain tokens (which was the perfect result i wanted with the pain token randomisation). Both the wyches and incubi consolidated forward towards tbe nurgle marines on foot guarding an objective.

Although the daemon prince still had to come down I was in a pretty good position, particularly with the 2 small wrack units still sitting in untouched venoms (perfect to help kill the daemon prince when he turned up and capturing objectives with a 24" move in the last turn.

A quick summary of the remaining turns are:
  • The marines guarding the objective in the ruin was wittled down further with splinter cannons and blasters before being charged by incubi. Although needing 5s to wound was a pain they eventually went down allowing wyches to claim the objective.
  • The large wrack unit captured an objective in my deployment zone.
  • The nurgle marines in the rhino were shot out of their rhino after they reached the objective they were heading for. I was able to kill a few, then I rashly charged some wyches, hoping to get lucky and finish off this last squad for a tabling. However toughness 5 was a bit of an ask, so I threw a second unit in. Things were not helped by the greater daemon showing up joining the fight. Eventually both wych units were seen off with one nurgle marine left to claim the objective. The game ended before any of my remaining firepower had a chance to kill the last two remaining nurgle models.
  • Growing frustrated waiting for the greater daemon to be targetable the small wrack units zoomed off to claim 2 objectives. Making the final tally 4-1 to the Dark Eldar.

Thoughts on my Performance

I thought I played quite well, however there were some mistakes made. I thought I should have been much more aggressive in the first game. Staying back to fire one dark lance on a raider full of wyches meant they were out of range to support the incubi when there raider was blown up. Also I over extended myself when 2 of my units assaulted 2 space wolf units. Dark Eldar are quite fragile, so it doesn't take much to have slightly bad luck and have a whole unit run down, therefore it's best to overwhelm one unit to take it out completely rather than trying to take on two units at once.

Overall that was a theme of winning games. I did well when I outmaneovred the enemy and completely anniliated part of their force while the rest out not respond to well, eg. being out of range, my units having cover from that part of the enemy's force and/or having to move to get line of sight (which normally reduced firepower coming my way).

All of my units performed well, but there were some real stars:

Incubi: They were real stars, but only when they made it into combat. Being slightly behind the front units helped against weaker opponents who underestimated how far away they could assault; 12+3+D6+6=20-25 inches. I would really like some redundancy by having 2 small units, but unfortunately I already have my elite slots filled. The only other good MEQ combat killing power open to be are the Talos (but my heavy support are filled) or razorwings in a beastmaster unit.

Trueborn: With multiple blasters and a fast vehicle these guys were great killing tanks and heavy infantry. Although the Dark Eldar list looks like it has anti vehicle firepower covered with all the dark lances in reality a heavy mech force will overload the dark lances, especially if they are mainly on fragile vehicles like in my list. Blaster trueborn give that extra bit of anti tank firepower that really helps the list.

Feel No Pain Wyches: It was nice to have some wyches left when their raider was blown up. Although it may seem wasteful, but many times I put my wyches joined by my haemonoculus in the first wave, knowing they would survive the crash when the enemy shot their raider, plus they were a distraction that in many cases allowed the incubi to get a second turn charge. However you have to be careful with the basic wyches because they don't kill that much with their poor strength stat.

The Rest

Some units were not flashy like the units above, but were reliable at what they did, and were as essential as the above units. These were the ravagers and the wracks. The ravagers did exactly what they are asked and they do it well. The normally die during the game, but you won't get anti tank firepower that is this maneaovable or effective for 315 pts. The wracks were great at holding objectives, and the large squad was great at being aggressive with the wyches, bringing resiliance and template love to the enemy.

My troop choices all performed well, and having six troop choices made life very easy in objective games. However in some games they seemed like they were a bit overkill. The were all combat based (apart from the small wrack units) so did not contribute to the game until the enemy had been de-meched. For the tournament after ASMOH I lost one one of the wych squads and one of the small units of racks to go down to 1500 pts. The army seemed to have a better balance of scoring units to firepower and close combat.

My next tournament is 1750 pts, so the differcult aim will be keep the balance while increasing the pts back to 1750. My current idea is to add reavers and a small beastmaster unit (while saving pts from my existing units).

Well that's the end of the ASMOH battle reports, I hope you liked them, and they've proved interesting, or at least thought provoking. Please leave a comment if you've got a question on the battle reports, what I thought of any of the performance of any of my units or anything else.

Well back to assembling more Dark Eldar if I want to try out Reavers or Beastmasters :-)


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