Thursday, December 15, 2005

Battle Report - Revenge of the Eldar

Saving myself a lot of typing, I'm shamelessly stealing Adam's written report from Deep Space:

 Oh I'm sure that Bill is going to put up details as he gets his pictures. But I'll recap here:

Deployment was an oddity. Bill placed his objectives VERY far from eahc other in an effort to draw my forces thin, which worked, I deployed mainly left and right far sides of the table with an artillery battery (nightspinners) and Revenant Scout Titans in the centre so that they could move where-ever they may be needed.

Bill had his largest formation sitting on the Blitz with 3 Defilers, all safely ensconced in cityscape buildings. He had a more standard deployment with 2 bike formations on the extreme right (otherside of the defiler formation) and some formations in the middle with Rhinos to aid in their movement. By and large the bulk of his forces were on the far right, I figured he was going to push for a flank attack and roll up my right.

First turn, Bill wins, but hands it to me. Of course my Void Spinners fail their activation, I burn my reroll, roll a one again, I lump it and hand the conch to Bill.

Bill fires Defilers destroying one Nightspinner and breaking the formation... Turn one, my artillery counts for squat... Not a good start for the Eldar.

Things get considerably better as I advance my Falcon and Aspect Host up to the centre of the board, near a crossroads in a forest that is being held by a large group of mechanized marines. The extreme right, which was looking pretty outnumbered with a small Guardian formation gets considerably bolstered with the arrival of the Titans, which attempt to blast away at a bike formation that has come within threat range of the guardians (and my objective they are holding) but their MW pulsed shots only manage to scratch paint... Adam gets worried.

I decide to retain the initiative and engage with my second Aspect Warhost (2 Exarchs, 4 Banshees, 4 Warp Spiders and 4 Wave Serpents) in an effort to get rid of the first group of Bikes because the second look like they will be Bill's next activation to make a nice little assaulting force right on my doorstep. I manage to anihilate the first bike formation with the Aspects (but lose my banshees in the mix) and they consolidate near the other Aspects and the Falcons in the centre of the board to prepare for an assault on turn two. Bill moves his second bike formation right where the first where... Oh well, at least it's not two bikes! With the Revenants there I'm not terribly worried though Bill does have a large demon pool... Hrm.

Over on the left Bill does some minor positioning and triggers my Ranger's overwatch, I do squat to the Forlorn Hope scouts and decide to leave my Blitz with my second Guardian Formation and support the scouts, since their screen is down. I'm fully expecting a large assault in the city since Bill seems to like doing that and the casualties get pretty high.

Both our aircraft do squat as we both go on CAP. Me first in anticipation of Bill's new swank fighters, Bill goes on CAP, I think to draw out an activation from me. Turn one over.

Turn two: All hell breaks loose. Bill drops two -mamoth- sized Terminator formations right on my blitz (and within assault range of my Void Spinners) and on the other side of the Void Spinners so one Terminator formation can assault either the Void Spinners (or crossfire them) or the Nightspinners. Bill's obviouslly got it out for my artillery! I drop my Swooping Hawks behind his Marines at the crossroads and the bikes in the hopes I can lend assaulting power or get some crossfire if need be...

I win the initiative roll... Time for the ol one, two, three punch!

Agonizing over timing of things and what is most threatening (Bill seems to be perfectly set up everywhere!) I finally opt to screw the better part of valor and sustain fire the terminators between my void spinner and my nightspinners with the voids rather than run... I only kill two of the termies but because of the Disrupt (2 BMs for coming under fire and 4 more for the hits!) I manage to break the formation! What luck!

Next I retain the initiative with the Revenants and decide to sustain fire on the bike formation gearing up to assault my little Guardian formation (and threaten my rear and flank). With 2+ MW Pulsed shots I manage to score 7 hits, the missile racks take care of the rest. Two threats down.

Going for broke and figuring it didn't matter if I handed my opponent the bottom half of the turn since he'd forced my hand I decide to excercise my Eldar ability and retain a second time with my Aspect Warhost in the centre of the table. Being within 5cm of the Falcons I use my Autarch's Supreme Commander ability to pull them into the battle. I figured since I was worried about the size of Bill's marine formation and I could squeeze out some movement on a consolidation from the Falcons I had nothing to lose (except, maybe the battle). Overwhelming numbers proved the mainstay and I won the assault by a wide margin. Marines in the centre crushed I felt more confident, I controlled the centre of the board and my formations started fanning out to get into support positions and hold objectives.

Bill retaliated by assaulting my void spinners with his termies. In a fluke roll I managed to win the assault by 1 (though I sustained 4 hits, killing one of the void spinners and breaking them) thus breaking the termies, which fled by my blitz where if they rallied they could really cause problems for my rangers and guardians in the city (bascially getting crossfired and pincered).

Bill, deciding that he had to crush -something- assaulted with his raptors (and demons summoned) on the entrenched guardians and rangers in the city. I managed to win that assault too through the resiliant saves of Wraithguards (god bless em!) and repel the Raptors. Things weren't looking good at all for Bill by this point.

Determined to hit me where it hurt he brought his starship in, unfortunately the bombardment didn't have anything under it's drop placement, but the pinpoint shots vaporized the remaining Void Spinner, meaning Bill's artillery worries were effectively crushed. He then dumped a horrifically huge force of marines with dreadnaughts near where his terminators were hiding (right behind my rangers!) and a small forlorn hope scout squad landed in the woods near the crossroads where my Aspects had taken out the previous marines. Again, he was threatening my objective with those forlorn hope scouts.

Retaining the initiative, Bill decided to assault my Rangers with his huge dropping marine force with the dreads. Unsurprisingly they eviscerated the poor Rangers and took up position in a crater that was previously occupied by the rangers... I was worried this nasty force might turn the tide and repositioned my Swooping Hawks by assaulting the last dropping forlorn hope (after I'd repelled an attack from them by my Warp Spiders) and then consolidated closer to the centre of the board to hopefully move where ever they were needed in the third turn.

Bill tried to ground attack with his fighters but failed and I ended up ground attacking broken terminators and artillery baraging them with the remaining nightspinners. The first termie formation by my blitz was effectively reduced to nothing with a lone termie and an obliterator as backup. To help finish things off I brought the guardian formation back to shoot at them (more casualties) and settup for an assault in the third turn.

Turn Three: I win the initiative roll again and decide that if it worked in the second turn it should work in the third and did my old one, two, three punch again. This time I summon the Avatar with the guardians near my blitz, since I know the termie won't be a problem, but if that big marine squad with the dreadies and forlorn hope get close I'll need all the backup I can get. I engage, wreck the termies and position myself by my blitz but out of site of the big squad.

Retaining the initiative I fire my artillery at the large marine squad, manage to lay down some BMs and then retain a second and final time to advance and fire my Falcons at the large marine squad. I vape all the dreadies which manages to break the formation. I reposition the Revenants as well as the rest of my army to assure a 2 objective point win and Bill and I call the game.

Overall, Bill's army is -sick-... Lots of troops, very mobile and you have no idea where they are coming from. His strategy was to spread my army thinly over the whole board and then focus on taking out one part and rolling up the other with the rest of his army. Problem was, I'm damned manueverable and everytime I saw him starting to set things up for a massive assault I decided to go for the jugular and beat him to the punch. This is exactly the kind of game I love, being able to rush my Eldar up and beat on opponents before they are able to impliment their strategy. Still though, I had a number of assaults go my way when I needed them to and it could have gone badly with a few ill-placed dice rolls.

It was a great game though and Bill is a sneaky, sneaky player! Having learned from my last game with him, I don't take anything for granted anymore: Even when it looks like a win is assured Bill can find anything to turn the tables. Wild animals and Bill both fall into the same catagory of when you have them cornered they are their most dangerous, so I played a pretty cautious game really, hedging my bets until I knew I had overwhelming odds and when I didn't I made sure I at least had cover where I could get it.

 Excellent report, but you forgot one important detail: The lone terminator and obliterator taking down the charging Avatar!!! W00t!

My thoughts:
Past success against the Eldar have come when I keep my forces as close together as possible for supporting fire and overlapping zones of control, as well as advancing slowly to force the Eldar to manuevure a lot to get the assaults they needed. On the "right" flank with the platoon of marines and two bike companies I did the exact opposite. I spread out and advanced like mad men, and the Eldar took full advantage.

This poor tactical decision lost me the game. Having the assaulting terminators breaking when fighting the Void Spinners (I had +6, he had +2. I rolled double ones, he rolls a six. FRIG!) was merely icing on the cake by that time.

I was shellacked and I was due for one too. I've had a couple wins against Adam in a row and my luck was due to run out. Its good to get smacked around a bit, it will force me to tighten up for next game as I think I was getting sloppy in my successes. No one better to lose against than Adam. :thumbgreen:

Pictures: Start at this one and keep hitting next:

Or see the whole set (in reverse chronological order) here:

(Damn! No good pics of the Hellblades. Tonight, I promise!)

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