As I stood across the table looking at 52 marines and two whirlwinds and two landspeeders, I was struck with the thought that I should just kneecap Paul (Fazzadien) and declare victory while he was writhing on the floor in pain. But as I was pulling the crowbar out from my bag the local blackshirt Matt gave me a scowl and indicated that such crowbar induced injuries could be grounds for being banned from the Bunker.
Hey man, I do the banning, I don't get banned. But in the interest of not causing a fuss for the poor deluded manager, I opted to play the game.
We played a Recon mission, but we might as well did Engage and Destroy because that was almost what the end result was similar to. He drove 32 marines into the centre of the board and I threw everything I had in reserve at him. In the end my guardians and scorpions sacrificed themselves to tie up the assault marines and chaplain while the wave serpents, vypers, and jetbikes chased the Force Commander and one tactical squad off the table while the Dark Reapers and Pathfinders murderized the other two squads.
The landspeeders were mostly ineffective against the wave serpent rush and the whirlwinds were held up by escalation to arrive too late and have only the Dark Reapers with their 3+ armour as decent targets. The remnant of one tactical squad took a desperation shot with a rapid fire plasma gun at the advancing Fire Prism and brought it down late in the game, an impressive feat. But it was too little too late as the game ended and a good portion of the Eldar army still survived.
In the end, my victory was mostly due to some serious luck. Lucky that escalation kept the whirlwinds out of the game until turn 3. Lucky that the Scorpions held up the assault marines despite losing 5 models on the charge when I failed five out of six 3+ saves. Lucky that the Force Commander failed a tank shock leadership test and that allowed me to run them off the table.
In the end, it was not a runaway victory and one of two bounces in Paul's fvour could have seen a vastly different result. Awesome game, and I look forward to the rematch someday.