Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dark Eldar Versus Tau - Game 2 of 45

My second game versus my good friend Mark and his Tau.

Just a few things I need to point out before going on. I do not include everything that happens in my battle reports. So think of my battle reports as a guideline. For instance, you may wonder why a unit does not fire in a turn or two. Either the firing did nothing of importance, i.e. it missed, or I simply forgot to jot down what happened.

If anyone has a question as to why something did or did not happen, please feel free to leave a question or five in your comment. Either I, or my opponent, will answer it for you, if either of us can remember the actual reason behind our actions :)

Also, I am going to try something different. I am going to refer to the players as their Race. People may not know who "I" am when I refer to Dark Eldar. The language might come off odd sounding, and if it bothers people, or helps out, please leave me feedback. I want to make my reports as clear as possible for you all.

1500 Point Battle (I left this out last time. Thank you all for your input!)

- Kabal of the Budding Lotus -

Archon w/ Huskblade, Drug Dispenser, Shadowfield, Soul Trap, Ghostplate Armor

5 Incubi
1 Klavex w/ Demiklaives
Raider w/ Aether Sails, Torment Launchers, Ram

19 Kabalite Warriors w/ 2 Splinter Cannons
1 Syberite

19 Kabalite Warriors w/ 2 Splinter Cannons
1 Syberite

5 Kabalite Warriors w/ Blaster
Raider w/ Ram

5 Kabalite Warriors w/ Blaster
Raider w/ Ram

5 Kabalite Warriors w/ Blaster
Raider w/ Ram

Ravager w/ Night Shield, Flicker Field

Ravager w/ Night Shield, Flicker Field

Ravager w/ Night Shield, Flicker Field

- Tau Force -

HQ Suit (Shas'el) w/ Twin Linked Fusion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Multitracker, Stim Injector
Bodyguard Suit (Shas'vre) w/Plasma Rifle, Fusion Blaster, Multitracker, Target Array

Crisis Suit w/ Twin Linked Missile Pod, Blacksun Filter, Target Lock
Crisis Suit w/ Twin Linked Missile Pod, Target Array

Crisis Suit w/ Twin Linked Missile Pod, Blacksun Filter, Target Lock
Crisis Suit w/ Twin Linked Missile Pod, Target Array

Crisis Sui (Shas'vi) w/ Twin Linked Fusion Blaster, Target Array
Crisis Sui (Shas'vi) w/ Twin Linked Fusion Blaster

10 Fire Warriors
Devil Fish, Seeker Missile, Disruption Pod

10 Fire Warriors
Devil Fish, Seeker Missile, Disruption Pod

10 Fire Warriors

5 Pathfinders
Devil Fish, Seeker Missile, Disruption pod

Hammerhead w/ Railgun, Burst Cannons, Blacksun Filter, Multi Tracker, Seeker Missile, Disruption Pod

Hammerhead w/ Ion Cannon, Burst Cannons, Blacksun Filter, Multi Tracker, Seeker Missile, Disruption Pod

- Why I Took My (Dark Eldar) List -

For my games, I will be playing repeat lists against various opponents. This, of course, is so I can gather more information about units against various types of armies. Basically, I want to play a list against a Shootie army, a Close Combat army, and, ugh, MEQ armies.

My opponent has been playing Tau for about 5 years, so he has an idea of how they work.

- Mission and Deployment -

Search and Destroy and Spearhead. Dark Eldar won the Deployment Roll, and Dark Eldar is going first.

We get 3 Objective Markers. Dark Eldar get two, Tau gets one. Tau goes to place his marker in the center of the table, in the Tower, but decides against it. Dark Eldar then places last marker in the Tower anyway.

Objectives in the RL pictures look like Christmas Trees.

- Archon gains +1 Weapon Skill from his Combat Drugs.

- Dark Eldar deploys entire army onto the battlefield, readying for an alpha strike. My plan is to hold the center Objective with my Archon and Incubi, so that the Tau player will be forced to come to me eventually. By doing this, I flip the Tau's entire game plan from defensive to eventually offensive, into situations he does not want to be in.

- Tau deploys defensively, readying himself for the first turn strike.

- Tau places his two suits in his HQ unit in Reserves for Deep Striking.

- Tau attempts to steal the Initiative and fails.

Note - The centerpiece tower counts as both a ruin, on the top floor, and a building. There is a single access point. So to get to the top floor, you either have to 'fly' up there, or enter through the only door on the ground level, which is facing the Tau player.

- Dark Eldar Turn 1 -

Dark Eldar Ravagers move into Alpha Strike positioning. Their goal is to do everything in their power to destroy the Hammerhead toting that nasty Rail Gun. If I can destroy that vehicle, my game will be 100% easier...

Raiders move into 'pounce' positions. The Raider holding my Archon + Incubi heads for the centerpiece tower. If I can secure the tower, I should have the game won, since the tower itself blocks line of sight to infantry sized models. My goal is to keep my HQ up there the entire game, and on turn 5 pour out and destroy everything they can. Getting my Archon + Incubi next to the game's third objective basically won me the game unless the Tau player can pull out some miracles.

One Raider moves to the rear of my deployment zone. I know my opponent loves to Deep Strike his HQ suits behind my lines, and I need to make sure I have to provide him with too many targets to be effective.

Two Ravagers fire their Dark Lances upon the Hammerhead, and Destroy it. One Ravager fires at a suit unit and kills one suit.

Now that the Hammerhead is gone, Dark Eldar needs to focus fire on the suits. Their 'Autocannons" are too deadly to keep around for long.

- Tau Turn 1 -

Not much movement going on. I chose to not represent the movement of the Suits during the Assault phase. This would have made the pictures too confusing, especially since 99% of the time the suits just hop back into their original positions anyway. So yes, the Tau player is using the Assault move every turn with his Suits.

Tau Pathfinders tag the Raider in the Tower with 2 Markerlights.

Fire Warriors fire upon the Ravager at the north of the Battlefield. Because of the Nightshield, they are 3" out of range!

Ionhead (Hammerhead with Ion Cannon) and one Devil Fish fire on the Raider in the Tower. Cover saves made.

Two Suits fire their Missile Pods at a Ravager. 5++ Flicker Field saves the Ravager from two penetrating hits. One glancing hit makes it through. Rolls a 6 and Wrecks the Ravager.

At this point, Tau forgot to fire his Ionhead's secondary weapons. I told him it was perfectly fine to fire the tank's secondary weaponry. Stupid Strength 5 shots Destroy the center Raider due to the Markerlight's -1 to cover and +1 to BS. Thats what I get for being nice, hmph!

Archon and Incubi come flying out. They are not pinned.

- Dark Eldar Turn 2 -

One Raider flies to the top of the Tower and the 5 Warriors disembark in the tower. I position my Blaster from the unit to be able to fire out of the front of the tower in case the Tau gets too close to the tower.

Kabalite Warriors make it to the lower left building, and hunker down for the rest of the game by the Objective. I position my Splinter Cannons towards the 'front/right' of the squad.

Ravagers move into position to start taking the Tau army apart.

First order of business, Suits. Ravager fires at a lone suit, and kills it.

Splinter Cannon shards rip through and kills a 4th Fire Warrior.

Second Ravager fires on a Devil Fish. Killing the enemy mobility is key in Capture and Control. The Devil Fish blows up, and in the process kills 3 Fire Warriors as they come out.

- Tau Turn 2 -

Tau units shuffle around for better firing positions.

Unremarkable turn for Tau. Remarkable turn for Dark Eldar.

Markerlights... Pulse Rifles... Missile Pods.... and an Ion Cannon only manage to destroy Dark Lances off of two Ravagers and the center Raider.

Flicker Fields on the Ravagers save the day, as penetrating hits were ignores, while Glancing hits tore off the Dark Lances.

Bottom Ravager has one Dark Lance, and cannot fire the next turn. Top Ravager has two Dark Lances, but can neither move nor fire next turn. Raider in the center has no weapons and is also immobilized.

I must admit... It was nice to see a Tau player get frustrated by my 5++ saves for once. I am always the one who gets pissed at the Tau's 4+ Cover saves on their vehicles!

Flicker Fields have earned their keep on my Ravagers permanently.

- Dark Eldar Turn 3 -

Like wounded animals seeking shelter to lick their wounds, all my vehicles either go flat out or move to safety behind my one Stunned Ravager.

My Raiders get into position to engage the Tau forces with Kabalite warriors.

Nothing is in range of weapons that are able to fire.

- Tau Turn 3 -

HQ Suit and his Bodyguard Deep Strike and scatter into the open. Tau player uses his Pathfinder's Devil Fish ability, or something like that, and reroll the Scatter dice. Suits land 'safely' into cover.

Fire Warrior unit in cover embark into a Devil Fish, which then moves next to the centerpiece Tower. Tau player is planning on entering the tower, and Rapid Firing my Archon + Incubi Unit to death.

Two Suit units move behind a Devil Fish for cover.

Ionhead fires on the rearmost Ravager, chasing it! Flicker Field deflects a Penetrating hit.

HQ Suits fire on the Stunned Ravager, and manages to blow off a second Dark Lance. Both Ravagers now have one Dark Lance each.

- Dark Eldar Turn 4 -

Dark Eldar repositions Ravagers and one Raider (with 5 Kabalite Warriors in it) behind the Tower.

Raider drops out 5 Kabalite Warriors next to the HQ squad. I rapid fire into the HQ Squad. Tau player lets out an audible sigh. Tau player tells me he is used to opponents assaulting his suits, where his suits actually do better. I tell him I am not stupid, and I would rapid fire his suits to death and stay out in the open then get locked in combat with his suits.

Combined fire from the 5 Kabalite Warriors, and 5 Kabalite Warriors from the hill, including two Splinter Cannons, manages to kill a Suit and wound his HQ suit.

A single Blaster shot from the Kabalite Warriors on the Tower Immobilizes a Devil Fish. Tau players lets out another sigh. Immobilizing this Devil Fish basically destroyed his plans of using it as a mobile cover platform for his two Suit units. Tau player tells me I am too smart for my own good. I tell him that this is the 98th time we have played together over the past 5 years, and that eventually I'd learn his play style!

As you guys out there can see, this is the point in the game where we both begin to take 5, 10, even 15 minutes before making a single decision... We are both in deep thought, and this game just went from Checkers to Chess to Brain Surgery.

With the center objective so hotly guarded by one of the game's best CC unit, every inch counts.

Business just got serious.

- Tau Turn 4 -

It now takes the Tau player around 5 minutes before deciding to move a single unit in the movement phase. He does not like my Splinter Cannons. Also, the ignored unit of Close Combat death in the Tower by the Objective is beginning to worry him as the game comes closer to ending... With his one Devil Fish Immobilized, he also cannot use it to hold the Objective out in the open with the Fire Warrior unit waiting inside.

The Tau player knows he is in a bad spot.

Tau moves his Suits for better positioning for the later turns.

Best the Tau player can do is limit my firepower and mobility.

Markerlights, an Ion Cannon, tons of Strength 5 weaponry, and Plasma Gun shots from his HQ suit Wrecks a Ravager, Destroys a Raider and blows off the last Dark Lance from the last remaining Ravager. Kabalite Warriors jump out of the flaming Raider.

- Dark Eldar Turn 5 -

This is it. Time to counter the Tau's plans as best I can.

Dark Eldar positions the last Ravager, which cannot fire anymore this game, in such a way that the Ionhead cannot contest the Objective marker in the bottom left of the Battlefield.

Dark Eldar moves last mobile Raider out in the open to bait anything. The less that can fire at the important units, the better.

Dark Eldar decides to strike with Archon and Incubi. Archon splits from the Incubi. Archon charges the two Elite Suits while the Incubi charges the Fire warriors on the Objective marker. Both Tau units are decimated. Archon's Huskblade manages to Instant Kill both suits. +1 Pain Token to both units.

Some Splinter Rifle and two Splinter Cannons open up on the lone Tau HQ Suit, and kill it. +1 Pain Token.

- Tau Turn 5 -

Tau's entire game plan now was hoping the game went to Turn 6.

Ionhead moves in position for a Turn 6 Ram or Tank Shock.

Fire Warriors disembark from the last mobile Devil Fish. Devil Fish moves in front of a 5 man Kabalite Warrior unit.

Fire Warriors disembark from the Immobilized Devil Fish.

The last two suits get into firing position.

Devil Fish in the center lets loose a hail of fire, and kills three Kabalite Warriors. The Warriors hold.

Markerlights, Missile Pods and Pulse Rifles blow open the Incubi Armor, decimating all but a single Incubi. The Incubi holds.

20 Pulse Rifle weapons pour out death upon the Archon.

11 Wounds.

On wound number two, the Shadowfield fails... It flickers out of existence as it's power systems overload.

For 9 more wounds, the Archon's Ghostplate soaks up some of the damage, but what penetrates his armor, the Archon shrugs off the pain as if it were from a child's toy. Decades of torture and pain has served to save the Archon.

Between Ghostplate Armor and Feel No Pain, the Archon survives with a single wound left.

Tau player rolls to see if the game ends..... The game continues....

The Tau player smiles...

With a smile of his own, the Archon licks hot, delicious blood off of his lips, and painfully lifts his Huskblade high above his head, and charges the Fire Warriors....

- Dark Eldar Turn 6 -

The Dark Eldar forces go silent... The now pay attention to the lone Archon and lone Incubi.

Screaming in delight, the Archon throws himself into the Fire Warriors. The Archon cuts down 4 Fire Warriors. The Fire Warriors attempt to strike back, but cannot land a single blow. The Fire Warriors break, and with their backs exposed, the Archon slices and dices the remaining warriors.

Without making a single sound, the Incubi swiftly moves into combat with 10 Fire Warriors. The Incubi cuts down 3 Fire Warriors. The Fire Warriors strike back, but the Incubi shrugs off the pain (Feel No Pain). The Fire Warriors break, and the Incubi cuts them all down in retreat.

- Tau Turn 6 -

In desperation, the Tau Tank Shocks the Ionhead through Kabalite Warriors... The Ionhead is 3.1" away from the Objective!

One Devil Fish blows through the foundations of the Tower, and Rams the Raider that has been sitting in place immobilized the entire game. The Devil Fish snaps the weak Raider in two, and places itself within grasp of the objective.

The Immobilized Devil Fish simply turns on it's weapons, and drills holes into the Archon's back, dropping him.

Missiles from the Suits fail to kill the Incubi.

The Suits Charge the Incubi... After a few swift blows, the Incubi stands alone among the husks of bleeding mechanical suits.

Dark Eldar rolls.... and the game ends...

- Conclusion -

Dark Eldar hold one Objective

Tau hold none.

Victor - Dark Eldar

- Post Game Thoughts -

Splinter Cannons are proving themselves to be game winners. Before they were 24" range, but now with 36" and the ability to fire 6 shots, Splinter Cannons have shown to be a real power house.

Flickerfield. This game's MVP by far. Coupled with Nightshields, Flickerfields are just house. My Ravagers will now come stock with Flickerfields and Nightshields. And to think, for the cost of a single Nightshield in the previous Dark Eldar codex, Ravagers now get a 5++ save ontop of the Nightshield. Simply amazing.

Pain Tokens on my Archon and Incubi, giving them Feel No Pain, extended their lives immensely. Ghostplate Armor will now be stock on my Archon. DE players have been wanting a 4+ armor save for our HQs, and we finally got one. Just awesome!

This match was bloody and fun! I don't know what else to say really... The match speaks for itself....

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