Monday, 15 November 2010

2000pts CSM v Dark Eldar

Anton's new paint scheme ... loverley!

My now ubiquitous list of deep striking nasties versus a surprise entry from Anton - he'd succumbed to the 'other' dark side and brought along soul eating death elves for tea! I'm not entirely sure of the validity of attacking a 'largely' slanneshi army with your death elves - but clearly there was a logic somewhere (Rick Priestly's head) so there you go!

Swords of Alpharius: I decided to leave the Mark of Slannesh on the Terminators at home and bring an additional lesser Deamon, allowing me to field two squads of 5 Deamons.
  • HQ: Huron Blackheart [170]
  • HQ: Chaos Sorcerer - Terminator Armour, Lash of Submission, Combi weapon (plasma) [130]
  • Elites: 5 Chosen - Chump w. PF, 4 meltaguns, icon [175]
  • Elites: 5 Terminators - 2 Chumps with Lighting Claws, Chainfist and Combi-melta, PF and Heavy Flamer, PF and combi-flamer, Mark of Slaanesh [265]
  • Elites: Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon and Heavy Flamer [110]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 9 Alpha Marines: Icon, Flamer, Rhino [185]
  • Troops: 7 Plague Marines: Icon, Chump with PF, 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino [271]
  • Troops: 5 Lesser Deamons [65]
  • Troops: 5 Lesser Deamons [65]
  • Fast Attack: 5 Raptors with Icon and 2 meltaguns [130]
  • Heavy Support: Greater Deamon [100]
  • Heavy Support: 2 Obilterators [150]
Total 2001

Dark Elves with Splinter guns: this was an intro to the Dark Elves, so I was intrigued and a little bemused by the bunch of them...
  • Archon carrying nasty stuff with four incubi carrying nasty power glaves in a Venom
  • Lelith (accompanying the Wytches).
  • 5 incubi in a Venom
  • 10 Warriors in a Raider
  • 10 Warriors in a Raider
  • 10 Wytches in a Raider
  • 3 Reavers
  • 3 Reavers
  • 3 Reavers
  • 2 Talos Pain Engines (left at home)
And that's about all I can tell you, they had some nasty guns ... but luck favoured the brave (or the ignorant over the inexperienced in this case).

The Deployment was Spearhead (which suited me fine) with the objective was seize ground (4 markers). These were spread out fairly evenly.

TURN 1: The Reavers and right hand side shot forwards, attempting to kill my Chosen which were deployed way out on the left flank in their deployment zone. The range was perfect, and although they managed to kill one raptor with Raider fire, they didn't get into close combat with my Chosen. The Reavers and Raiders made a main push down the right flank, targetting my Rhino's and Dreadnought with fire. Many shots later nothing had happened.

In return I went to work. The reserves rolls were VERY pleasent, giving me the greater Deamon, a squad of lesser deamons, and the Terminators. Huron and his Chaosmarines stayed away, as did an 'ace in the hole' Deamon unit.

The Terminators and little deamons (Li-mons?) bounced off the Chosen's ICON. Allowing them to position themselves perfectly. A quick LASH later and I could unleash multiple Heavy and Flamer shots on the bunched up Dark Eldar while 'shooting' at the Reavers behind them. The massacre was complete and no Eldar survived. Three of the chosens Meltaguns then barked at 12" and demonstrated that 1D6 + 8 is more than enough against a AP10 vehicle, and the doom of open topped reared it's head, at +2 on the chart the vehicle was doomed.

So the left flank was secure, but what of the right? Well the obliterators went to work on the Raiders and Venoms, although I failed to destroy a single vehicle, I did manage to roll lots of ones, which automatically went to 2 - which stalled the entire advance of the dark Eldar.

Three Reavers also flew like blazes behind my Rhino and Dreadnought on the right flank. They were met by the Greater Deamon (Gri-mon) who killed the PlagueMarine Chump (there's got to be a cheaper way!) and 4 Raptors. The Grater Deamon killed all the Reavers, while the Reavers killed a Raptor.

TURN 2 : Without being able to move or fire, and being too far away to jump out and charge ... the Eldar were left with limited shots and limited options. The non immobile Incubi raced after the marine squad in the centre (going after a central objective), jumped out and charged the rhino. At this point we realise that although Incubi have AWESOME power weapon death - they are fairly useless at using their standard issue tin openers. Even with autohit (the rhino had gone and immobilised itself) they had no dice.

In return I continued to pin the other vehicles while Huron and his squad plowed into the back of the rearmost Raider and the Terminators and Chosen realigned. Now was my time for an 'accident' as the flamer from my squad proved to only kill one Incubi. I Lashed them closer to the terminators, but Only had a few bolter shots to throw (combi-plasma on the Sorceror is useless if you're lashing every turn ... but is lash a shooting spell?) Down to three incubi, I charged in the Lesser Deamons (bouncing off the chaosmarine ICON) and met with an abject fail. Lesser Deamons suck in close combat! Against warriors yes, incubi - NO!

Huron and his squad come on from the back and manage to complete fail to wreck the Raider, although they do immobilise it.

At this stage, Anton's killed one raptor, and I've killed two (one through possession and one plaguemarine through a plasma overheat!) ... so I'm kinda winning on all fronts.

TURN 3: Anton manages to get both Incubi into combat. The first incubi group manage to charge my terminators and KILL ALL OF THEM. I5, S5 and power weapons ... hang on, thats a rough rider! They then rout the Sorceror and kill him. The Archon also discovers that haywire grenades only give ONE attack - which fails to pop my rhino.

At the back, Hurons less lucky. He manages quite well to survive a charge from Lelith. With only three attacks and S3, she only manages one wound. However Huron fails to land a punch (thanks to him NOT casting warptime). He loses all but three marines to Wytches and Warrior fire from the downed unit. However he ties up the wytches for a turn and with the warriors holding one objective, it all comes down to nullifying Anton's contestors!

The Chosen step up first of all and shoot down the Incubi with vastly overpowered meltagun shots (good job as they had a 2+ save, FNP and furious charge by this stage!). Meanwhile the last Reavers are attempting to contest my home objective (they would have been wiser to challenge my Lesser Deamon and Chosen held one!) ... and they get eaten by the Greater Deamon. The Dreadnought steps up and manages to kill 4 Incubi with a plasmacannon shot at point blank and kill the Venom with a heavy flamer shot. He then tries to punk the Archon, scores 5 instantkill hits to which the Archon rolls 5/5 2+ saves... doh!

The Raptors target the remaining Venom and kill it dead while the Oblits target the mobile Raider and stun it. The marines in the centre dive out of their tank to claim the central objective. Huron dies, but with only one objective in DE hands, and only the Archon able to contest my home objective, it's all over for the DE.

Final Score 2-1 to the marines.


The DE are a really fun army to play and play against. The biggest weakness is their AV10 vehicles, as despite their speed and their cover saves, their combination of AV10 and open topped meant that stopping them from moving AND firing and effectively nerfing the DE charge was too easy.

The Incubi in Venoms were nasty, but the DE really lack in close attack weapons which can crack open vehicles. Haywire grenades are not enough really. Overall, Anton's army lacked enough firepower to crack open three rhinos, and he couldn't even crack them open when stationary in close combat. Definite rethink needed there! Incubi are not something to attack in close combat, and the only proper solution is to shoot them down... at T3 and 3+ save - there are plenty of options there. I think Incubi are awesome against marines ... but against guardsmen, one battlecannon shot is all it takes.

Overall, Anton needs to work on his timing. His reavers are standard Saim Hann and cannon fodder to decent marine units. Against Guardsmen, those D6 S6 flail attacks will signal the end of many a Heavy weapon team and would be useful against Tyranid MC's. However they cannot take fire and should have danced at a distance instead of coming in close. The tricky thing with the DE is getting it all to hit at about the same time. It's very very easy to delay those AV10 skimmers ... and then mob the ones that do get through with flamers, terminators and other death weapons.

Overall I think this was a demonstration of how familiarity breeds effectiveness. The reserves rolls for me were perfect, allowing me to fully exploit the 'tempt and ambush' aspects of my army. Anton's DE were the perfect example as he was a little too keen to take the bait (as he was thinking about FNP bonuses through power through pain) ... as such I was able to take his army down piecemeal without the DE able to really threaten my core force. Ironically, this was exactly what he should have been doing to me.

If he'd held back and gone for an objective grab, he would have forced my 'ambush' units to deploy without a target, holding objectives... he could then have gone in at speed with all force. Using all three reaver units on the same squad (3D6 S6 hits) and followed up with incubi and wytches. HE could have had me so easily...

At the end of the game I'd lost 2 raptors, 5 terminators and the Sorceror, 5 Le-mons, 9 Marines and Huron. He'd lost a warrior squad, 2 venoms, 2 incubi units, lost all three Reavers units and lost a raider and had an immobile Raider.
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