Monday, 30 March 2009

ToSsA - With Commissar Yarrick!

By Suneokun.

"Welcome, Scum and All, Welcome to the Tournament of Six Small Armies - or ToSsA. [Aside] tell Jones in marketing he's dead, no I really mean it this time!"

"My name's Commissar Yarrick - you may have heard of me?? Anyway, out here in the Kochi sector we're having a friendly little crack about between six competing species ... needless to say, I'm not allowed on the pitch - otherwise this would be a one way bloodbath with my bootprint stomped all round the bathroom, yersee?

Unfortunately, some ninny-hammer decided to pit six 500 pt armies off against eachother. Oh, and each of the armies will be competing in a total of 30 battles. We're fast approaching the end of the first 5 battles and the roundup looks like this: ROUNDUP.

Sooo, without further ado, I'll pass over to errr ... Commissar Bob for the in action game report of battle four .... Commissar Bob, who let him in, the man's an idiot ... I'm what? I'm still on? But you gave the hand gesture ... I'll give you a bloody hand gesture in a minute! Yeah? Well with my right hand, so brace yourself - plebicite! WHAT? We're still on, oh ... OVER TO YOU BOB!


Hi and welcome to the fourth matchup in this exciting tournament, on the dice roll, Devilin rolled for the Eldar, whilst Suneokun took out the enraged Orks.

Eldar Roundup: The Eldar have had a typically enigmatic tournament so far, forcing the Space Marines to a draw, they lost on points difference, but only by a paltry 58 points. So while in the lower part of the table, they are still in a strong position to move forward.

Eldar Strengths: Their indomitable Farseer. While lacking the raw close combat destruction of the Orks Warboss the Farseer is kitted out with fortune - this means that in close combat he enjoys two 4+ invulnerable saving throws. He can form up a decent close combat option out of most units.

The Eldar force is troop option rich with Guardians, Dire Avengers and Eldar Rangers. These forces give this army real options, especially when combined with the Waveserpent transport - the most versatile transport in the tournament. The Eldar only lack in one aspect (boom boom!) and that's high strength firepower. They lack either the high strength or low AP weaponry to challenge many adversaries.

Orks Roundup: The Orks have been uncharacteristically underwhelming in the tournament so far. Against the Imperial Guard they scraped a technical draw whilst losing by 242 killpoints. This points difference will prove difficult to climb and they have a mammoth task ahead of them.

Orks Strengths: Close Combat. The Orks have a dominatingly cheap number of close combat attacks. Led by their Warboss, who is a walking lethiathan in close combat. Alongside this element is the more specialist Nobs squad and the invaluable Deffkoptas. These units are tough and have the firepower and brawn in close combat to hold up and challenge units across the board. I wouldn't be surprised to see these boys as key game makers. Finally they have the gretchin, nuff said really.

Deployment and objectives: The roll came up with a seize ground objective (with the maximum 5 markers) and a Spearhead deployment. We rolled to see who went first and Devilin won the roll and opted to go second.

The 'Grey' Horde muster up!

Turn 1: The Ork Horde surges forward. The Orks and Warboss break right towards the closest Eldar - the Guardians - while the Gretchin fill the middle of the board. The small group of Ork Nobs flank left behind some detritus and out of line of sight from the Eldar Rangers. Everybody Runs. The Guardians retreat back, while the waveserpent drops the Dire Avengers and Farseer within 18" of the Gretchin. The Eldar let loose with everything they have on the Gretchin mob, devastating wounds with no cover save reduce the gretchin to 5 models and the runtherds and they fail their 6 on Leadership, routing and leaving the game.

The Eldar Guardian play 'distraction' behind the hill.

Turn 2: The Ork Horde on the right charge, warrrghh and attempt to assault the guardian's, but are out of range. The Nobs on the left are luckier and manage to engage the Waveserpent, succeeding in a surprising two 6-to-hit results, unfortunately they fail to glance or penetrate the armour.

The Deffkopta's perform an essential job and nullify the Eldar's most lethal unit.

Meanwhile, on the reserves roll the Deffkoptas flank, shoot and charge the Dire Avengers, killing one on their assault. Despite only having an iniative of 2, the deffkoptas have a T5 that effectively nullifies the Dire Avengers attacks, leaving only the Farseer to threaten, in the combat the Orks kill a total of 4 Avengers in return for one wound. Despite this the Farseer easily passes his leadership test and carries on! The Avengers Are Trapped! Woohahaha! The Waveserpent repositions and picks up the Rangers while the guardian shuffle back from the Ork horde.

Footslogging Ork Horde, out of range after a dissapointing 3 on the fleet roll.

Turn 3: With the Waveserpent moving only 2", both the Ork Horde and the Nobs concentrate their attacks on this vehicle. With a combination of 5 S5 attacks each, the Nobs batter the vehicle (with only a 4+ to hit) and destroy it. Due to the proximity of the Ork Horde only 3 rangers survive the blast and can be deployed. The Deffkoptas and Avengers experience a turn of stalemate with rerollable saving throws rescuing the Eldar. The Rangers and Guardians flee behind a building, hoping to attack the Deffkoptas or flee.

The Nobs and Deffkopta's surround the Eldar Tank.

Turn 4: The Ork Horde turns its attention to the Eldar, the Warboss and Mob manage to roll some solid 'through cover' moves and catch the two units. The Warboss finishes the Rangers off while the guardians are assaulted and break off the board. The Nobs charge into the combat with the Avengers. Despite losing a Nob (at a pitiful T4) before he could come to grips a further 2 Avengers died, drawing the combat again.

Warboss and Posse catch the fleeing Rangers and Guardians (this is pre charge, which scored a 3!)

Turn 5: The Eldar were trapped in combat, but failed to wound in their own turn, meanwhile the Ork Warboss charged into the fray while the Ork Boys retreated back to stretch between two objectives. The Warboss piled into the combat and with his powerfist denied the saving throws for the Avengers, only 2 more avengers fell to poor rolling, but it was enough to challenge the Eldars nerve. The Farseer passed his leadership test and also passed his perils test for the pesky fortune.

Turn 6: The boys spread out, securing two positions as the final combat loomed. The combined weight of the boys and the warboss killed off the remaining Avengers, leaving only the Farseer within 3" of an ovjective to contest it.

Boys Mob spread out, connecting two objective (spore mines), while the lonely (but frustratingly undamaged) farseer can only contest one.

Conclusion: a convincing win by the orks, the Deffkoptas speed AND flanking really won this game. With the Eldar's best anti horder unit tied up in combat with T5 mini's I was free to massacre the others at my leisure. Devilin felt frustrated in this game as a moment decision making cost him the battle, but it only takes one mistake at 500pts to break an army. Spliting the Warboss off from the Nobs also proved a useful trick, while not being T5, the nobs were a small enough group to evade sniper fire and engage the enemy. Their S5 on the charge shouldn't be underestimated, if only they had big choppa's?

After this match, Dev and I discussed the pro's and con's. I think that the Eldar's biggest mistake (like the Tau) was deploying everything on turn one. With the Waveserpent and the pathfinders in reserve I would have been a lot less confident in deployment. As soon as Dev saw me holding my deffkoptas back, he should have been planning against ambush. That didn't happen.

We've also agreed that we should plan a rematch with swapped sides for us both. This means I'll need to come up with something clever to face down the Orks with the Eldar - and the Nid's with the Tau. My personal favourite would be to match the Farseer with the Guardians and charge the Ork Mob with the Warboss. With the dice on side I could manage 9 wounds to their ten, with a little luck (and some rerollable invulnerable saves) I could hold up the Orks for one or two turns allowing the Waveserpent/Avengers and Rangers to counter ambush the Deffkoptas and then mop up the other squads. The Gretchin would be easy, the Nobs persistent. Then I have time to massacre the Ork mob at my leisure (with a 12" move skimmer tank in the way, maybe surplying a tank shock as well...) and kill the Orks. Then the Warboss would need to choose between charging the Rangers or the Avengers to contest - either way I win.

Ork Victory, 3 points to the Orks. 412 killpoints to 90 killpoints. This affects the tables as follows:
  1. Orks: P2 4BP 80KP (322-242)
  2. Tyranids: P1 3BP 266KP
  3. Guard: P1 1BP 242KP
  4. Space Marines: P1 1BP 58KP
  5. Eldar: P2 1BP -380KP
  6. Tau: P1 0BP -266KP
The Eldar's loss gives the Tau a really good chance of breaking out of the bottom position with a game in hand. The Orks have claimed a narrow lead, but if the Tyranids can continue their performance in this second round against either the Space Marines or Imperial Guard, they'll be no catching them on wins or points difference.

Stay tuned!