Wednesday 2 April 2014

Throne of Skulls March 2014 - Battle 3, Tyranids Vs Dark Eldar

So far this tournament I've faced Tyranids [which I've never actually beaten for all my 'prowess' with them], Liam's chaos Marines [who I've never beaten] and now Simon Halstead's Dark Eldar. I've managed to pull a couple of wins out of the bag on the evil space pixies but I've been beaten twice with them by Liam and it was the third game at my last Throne of Skulls where Phil Clee tore me a new one and tabled me, the first time ever, with his Dark Eldar. I had just the Aegis back then so hopefully the additional Fortifications will help out.

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC HQTervigon Plain TrZoanthope
The HorrorCatalystOnslaughtDominion
Psychic Scream

Warp Blast

The low down:
  • Crusade
  • Dawn of War - 3 objectives which we randomly deviated 2d6" from each third of the board [which was a novel way to do it]
  • Deployment - Simon deployed first, this I know.
  • Warlord Trait - Reroll reserves
  • Night fighting turn one, I think.
All three objectives ended up more in Simon's board half, one to the right of the Derelict Bastion, one in the woods and the last on the other side of the ruins on the far right. I set up to contest just the on on the left and the centre objective. I felt if I could focus on those two and hopefully get First Blood and Linebreaker then I could leave the third one alone.

Simon got first turn and moved up to secure the right objective. He also had a personal challenge that he wanted to 'capture' my biggest model with his Archon [or Haemonculus], some't about keeping it as a trophy in a pocket universe cage... whatever floats your boat evil space pixie.

Thankfully he hadn't any of those shadow fields that reduce my shooting range by 6" and aside from the splinter weapons and a fair few dark lances the only real concern was the Razorwing and some Scourges which might be able to contest an objective late on and deny me their VPs.

The Dark Lances managed to penetrate the Bastion and take it down, we replaced it with the trees [pretend they're billowing smoke clouds from the wreckage, OK, pretend harder then]. I obviously had to explain the rule about it but Simon was of the opinion anyway that he wanted to see blood for it to be 'First Blood' that's a true Dark Eldar player right there.

I on the other hand was not so particular, the Hive Tyrant swooped and targeted the nearest Venom and blew it up, getting me First Blood and leaving only two warriors left, but they would still need to go because of the objective close by and their scoring status. The Hive Guard went for the Eldar Raider and destroyed that.

The surviving Archon and his retinue leap clear of the wrecked Raider and tried to secure the objective.

The looked suitably at home in the dark, dark, woods where the dark, Dark Eldar play!


Some more pics of the cheeky monkey's securing the wooded objective. In turn two the Nephropid [CC Tervigon] spawns out on 13, I didn't spawn earlier due to the congestion in and around the Skyshield.


While the warriors hunkered down in the wood the two from the downed Venom entered the derelict Bastion and tried to pick a couple of wounds off the Trygon.

One Scourge unit arrived, but came on as reserve from Simon's board edge.

The second Scourge unit also walked on but the Razorwing was still en route to the battlefield and failed it's reserve roll.

The Flyrant Vector Struck the Scourges on the left hoping to rout then and pick off the other Scourges with Brainleeches. Unfortunately even though they were reduced to two and one model respectively they would not fall back. The Trygon got to grips with the Bastion and Detonated it, killing all inside. My Gaunts head for the objective

The Scourges are still a risk for contesting, the Great Maw spawns out on 11 or or 9 [can't read my writing]. But the Ravager targets the Trygon,

and gets a further two wounds on it.

The Ravagers on the other side of the board capitalise on it's weakened state.

and take it's last two wounds. It may not have done very much, killing two warriors [and a Bastion] but it's taken the heat of my Tervigons and my Flyrant.

I finally get my Tervigon off the Skyshield, it's starting to be a bit of a liability. I get my gaunts into the wood to contest and further consolidate some of the spawned gaunts onto the other objective. I manage to remove the lone Scourge and leave the unit of two with only one left. Simon still has the objective on the right so I'm winning on First Blood and Linebreaker at the moment.

The Hive Guard get a bead on one of the Ravagers which should take some more pressure off my dash for the objectives. Everything else pours fire into the warriors in the wood and they all die and I get the objective. My Flyrant has also crossed the board to Simon's only objective left, I don't think he quite gets into contesting range but in another turn he will.

The Razorwing finally arrives but is far from accurate with his rockets, deviating wildly and only clipping one or two Termagants that thanks to Catalyst save most if not all of the wounds! Then I think he fired again and from the looks of future pictures managed to kill the brood. Either that or they retreated behind the Aegis as I can see one of them in a later pic, but I was sure I was heading for Linebreaker with them but the only thing where they were going is a piece of orange foam so who knows what happened???

We're rapidly running out of time with 4 minutes to go, I say to Simon if we want another turn he has 2 minutes each. He says he'll be quick and tries everything to kill the 2 Termagants holding my objective, it looks like he does, wounding both but then I remember they have Catalyst and one saves his FnP, even if he hadn't there's another brood of Termagants there to take his place. Time runs out but I'm still allowed to finish my go.

The Great Maw gets the objective previously held by the spawned gaunts all the other gaunts hold the centre objective and my Flyrant gets to contest Simon's, this leave's the score 8:0 to pick up my first win of the tournament.

Pretty much everything went right in this game. OK, the bastion went first turn but it took some of the heavy shots away from my squishy things, as did the Trygon. He may not have done much but his sacrifice may well have won me the game. The really big learning experience is just how restrictive the Skyshield is when you have two Tervigons on board and a bunch of Termagants. It becomes grid-locked trying to get off and you really need high dice rolls to do so. I must thin about how it slows me down, essentially it adds another 6" to my forward push 3" to get up and 3" to get down and you need at least 5" to do both otherwise it can't fit underneath/balance on top. I'll probably be using this more than the Bastion in the future though so hopefully I'll get a system that works for me.

Also I think the Zoanthrope manning the Quad Gun is the way to go, or at least close by to take over. He's a higher BS than a Termagant is really only providing Synapse and occasional psychic buffs so giving him something to shoot makes up for Warp Blast being so darn restrictive as a ranged attack.

Anyway, I've won a game so I'm happy. As long as I manage one win at these tournaments it's enough. This time last ToS having been beaten by Dark Eldar I was very much disheartened, especially by how helpless I was against Phil's list. Simon's army was a lot more manageable, made worse by the delayed arrival of the Razorwing. In truth I chose not to Intercept with the Quad Gun when it did, it had taken so long to get here it deserved it's chance and I didn't want to interrupt the turn as I didn't think we'd get another one and Intercepting may well have prevented that turn finishing, silly really.

Anyway, I find out I've been nominated again for best army so bring on Day 2!

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