Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday Night Throwdown Eldar vs. Orks: Rematch!

Last Thursday I played my buddy Dave over at Game Kastle. I showed up late and we only got 2 rounds in, after which I declared victory (that's how we roll, us Eldar players, sneaky and utterly without honor)! This time around things went a little more smoothly...

Apoligies in advance: I meant to have photos for this battle report, but the camera on my new Torch is terrible. Seeking alternatives...

We both showed up at about the same time, which was early enough for us to have our pick of tables and terrain.

Dave brought a different list this time; three battlewaggons full of orks, one with a deffrolla and mek boy leader, one with the warboss and another with a bunch of ard boyz led by a painboy. He also had two trukks full of boyz, a looted wagon and a pair of warbuggies.

Me, I didn't change things too much other than to swap out my starcannons for scatterlasers and drop star engines from my fire dragons' wave serpents. This freed up enough points for me to put Holo fields back on my prisms and load up one of the warlocks in my seer council with Enhance (previously he was psychically naked).

Mission and Deployment
We rolled "Auto-Tie" and "Quarters" and Dave took first turn. Fine by me! I planned to play the "Contest everything on Turn 5" game.

Dave laid out most of his waggons in a line, with the buggies on his far right, hunkered down in a dried up riverbed. He kept both his trukks in reserve.

I put 5 dire avengers directly on my objective in cover and hid my seer council behind a large hill in my extreme right corner. I placed one fire prism on either side of the hill and the now-empty dire avenger transport to the left of that. I kept my walkers, one unit of avengers in a wave serpent and one unit of fire dragons in a wave serpent in reserve.

I tried to steal the initiative but failed. (First mistake of the game was leaving those units in reserve. There was ample terrain to hid them behind and if I wanted to steal the initiative, I would have wanted more guns on the board.)

Turn 1
On his first turn he swung everything forward and towards my quarter, but the 'waggon full of ard boyz got high-centered on the river bank and went nowhere.The buggies took the lead toward the board center and every available gun fired rokkits at my dire avengers. One died.

My first turn went fairly well (no perils of the warp, this time). My empty wave serpent zipped across the board full tilt as it set up to start shooting it's brightlance against the onrushing ork vehicles. The fire dragons' prism moved to the center of the dry riverbed, preparing to clutter up the center of the board with wrecked vehicles. My seer council jumped the hill behind which they were hiding and used their jb assault move to advance on Dave's left flank, preparing for the ork onslaught.

My prisms managed to destroy the warboss' waggon (the one with the deffrolla, luckily), killing 9 or so boyz and forcing them out on foot. They didn't mind, though, as they were next to the objective. I believe I blew the rokkit launcha off of one of the warbuggies this turn as well.

Turn 2
One of Dave's trukks came on from reserve near my right, scooting towards my seer council while the rest of his army slithered around the immobile battlewaggon, terrain and the warboss' boyz squad, pushing forward into the dry riverbed.More incoming rokkit fire killed off another one of my objective-holding dire avengers. O noes!

My second dire avenger squad came on from reserve in their wave serpent. I brought them on behind the hill on my right and waited. I didn't want to expose my only other scoring unit just yet. The fire dragons, seeing the oncoming line of vehicles attempting to pass through the riverbed chokepoint, disembarked and lined up careful shots on the mek boyz' battlewaggon as it advanced behind the buggies.

The seer council moved up to get within singing spear range of the trukk advancing from reserves and fired, immobilizing it and knocking its weapons off. They then fell back.

My empty brightlance fired on the side armor of the mek boyz' waggon and did... nothing. The fire drag transport unleashed starcannons on the buggies but only managed to blow the gun off of one of them. The fire dragons fired their fusion guns on the battlewaggon but it was saved by the KFF. Damn that KFF. Damn it to hell!

The rest of my shooting phase was not impressive and I was losing steam against the vigorous ork onslaught.

Turn 3 & 4
Dave's other trukk came in and plowed toward my objective. At the top of turn 3 the orks hopped out of the immobilized trukk and ran/fleeted forward, finally arriving within assault range of the seer council (GW, hear my prayer, if you're going to inflict 12" range weapons on the Eldar, please give us some reasonable options to deal with assaults). The rest of the army snaked forward across the riverbed toward my objective.

The rest of my reserves arrived; a fresh squad of fire dragons with another wave serpent and my war walker squadron. I brought the walkers in on the far left, where they started whittling away at the warboss' squad hoping to force them to fall back off that objective.

Turn 3 and 4 degenerated into chaos, with masses of orks piling into my objective and seer council. The seer council valiantly held out for two full turns before the lone farseer lost combat and failed morale with one wound left, falling back 12 inches - exactly 1 inch from the table edge! The dire avengers disappeared beneath a wave of green flesh, and ork vehicles exploded left and right, but to little effect.

Somewhere in all this the mek boy's waggon was blown up and the squad piled into the riverbed. There they managed to blow up the other fire dragon transport, leaving the dragons exposed and facing off against a large mob of orks.

Somehow the looted wagon survived all this, as did the 2nd reserve trukk, which attempted to ram my fire dragons' skimmer and got stukk on top of a wrecked ork vehicle for its pains.

Turn 5
With a cheer, the grots in the painboy's waggon finally got the thing rolling again, and it backed out, turning to reinforce the ork objective. 

Three units of orks piled into the eldar objective in cover while the outnumbered eldar pushed back fruitlessly. It was becoming apparent that the eldar would not be able to claim an objective, so I switched to contesting both objectives.

My farseer rallied and cast fortune on itself, jumping into the fray to help the 2nd squad of dire avengers and fire dragons as they pushed back toward their objective. A melee ensued but neither side won, locked in place.

The empty brightlance serpent uses it's star engines to get behind the ork objective, taking a DTT along the way for good measure. The walkers advanced upon the warboss and crew, firing madly, who hunkered down for a cover save.

We rolled to see if the game ended. It didn't.

Turn 6
Now things were down to the wire. Dave assaulted my invading skimmer with the warboss and sole remaining nob from his decimated ork squad while the ard boyz and painboy disembarked from their waggon to assault it from the other side. The warboss and nob managed to immobilize it so all the Ard Boy attacks hit automatically. Many dice were rolled until the vehicle finally exploded. Miraculously, no one was hurt!

On the Eldar turn, the walkers finally managed to pick off the remaining nob in the Warboss' unit, rendering it an HQ instead of a Troop. La!

The general melee around the Eldar objective continued, with no conclusion as eldar models remained within 3 inches.

We rolled to see if the game ended. It did not! But the store was closing at this point. Result: a draw.

Mistakes Were Made
In general, I committed too early. For example:
  1. Starting my dire avengers out in the open, on the objective. They didn't need to be there. I could have kept them behind the hill with the seer council. 
  2. For that matter, the seer council didn't need to jump out into the action on turn 2. I probably should have kept them behind the hill for another turn or two so that I could leap out, unleash three Destructor templates, and then charge in with 1 or 2 dire avenger squads to help out.
If I'm going to run my list like that, maybe I should look into footdar?

Elsewhere, I made strategic decisions too late:
  1. Keeping units in reserve when I intended to sieze the initiative
  2. Keeping units in reserve when I really wanted to lay down as much firepower as possible, to de-mech Dave's orks and make them run across the table to get at me. 
  3. My walkers sat at the edge of the board this time. I should have moved them up agressively to get better line of sight on the orks who were hiding in the dry riverbed near their objective.

Final Thoughts
Even though the game ended in a draw, I didn't mind. It was hard fought, down to the wire, and thus had value.

This game (as well as the last) exposed some flaws in my list. The fire prisms performed well enough (grrrr, curse that KFF!) and the walkers performed as expected, but my list really lacks teeth in the assault department. That's no surprise, particularly when you're up against a melee heavy army like orks.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I do the same mistakes from time to time. I'll have the perfect advantage to execute an alpha strike, and I will for some reason hold importan units in reserves, or I will put an important unit out too far too quickly. I've considered creating a cheat sheet of somewhat pre-thought strategies of when to reserve against certain armies, when to be very aggressive, and when to do other things. The Eldar are definitely more unforgiving than Blood Angels when it comes to this though. Good job overall though.