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Events and Battle Reports
Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day

Spring Offensive: The Ozone Scorpions (or: “How ‘bout dem Drowboys?”) 
Let me tell you how my new army, the Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions, did. As related in the From Idea to Reality articles, I’ve recently begun building a “themed army” of Dark Eldar who rely mostly on close combat. At Borderlands, I played a few games with the “Drowboys” and I was pleased at how they handled themselves.

“…I’m gonna be a Drowboy, baby…” (with apologies to Kid Rock)
Mission: Breakout (page 154 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Catachans (Micah) 
Points per Player: 1150

1150 points might seem like an odd amount for a game, but it was everything I have assembled for my Dark Eldar army. I brought:

  • Dr. Jheste (Haemonculus) w/ webway portal
  • Dr. Fybze and Vulnavya (Haemonculi)
  • 27 Warriors on three Raiders 
  • 20 Warriors (two w/ splinter cannons and two w/ blasters)
  • Five Reavers (two w/blasters) 
  • Talos
Micah used his Catachans as a regular Imperial Guard army with a few Catachan units thrown in (don’t ask me to explain—those options from Codex: Catachans on what kind of Guard armies you can make always confuse me, but I know what Micah did with them was legal). 

In addition to lots of dogfaces, he brought along a few Catachan snipers, three Sentinels, a Leman Russ, and an Exterminator. We rolled randomly for mission and came up with “Breakout,” with Micah having to split his forces in two and me (as the attacker—Dark Eldar are always the attackers) having to zoom off the board. If I couldn’t beat half of his army with all of mine and cross 48" of table in six turns using Fast vehicles, I didn’t deserve to call myself an Archon. 

What happened? I put two Haemonculi (Dr. Fybze and Vulnayva) on one Raider, Dr. Jheste on another. The 20 Warriors (on foot) and the Talos were in Reserve via the webway portal Jheste carries: I’d open up the portal when I got close to the edge and let them all scamper to the end of the board. Meanwhile, the Reavers and my other Raiders would clear a path for the others to follow. 

The Guard only THINK they've caught the Dark EldarMicah put the Exterminator, one Sentinel and a bunch of grunts on one end, the Leman Russ, the other two Sentinels, the snipers, and the rest of the guys at the other end. The end with the Leman Russ had a nice corner defended only by a single squad of Catachans; if I could neutralize the Leman Russ, I could swiftly overwhelm that poor squad and use that corner to escape. 

Best of all, the Sentinels were on the other side of that deployment zone, some 40-odd inches away, and they would never be able to reach that corner in time, so I wouldn’t have to worry about them tying up my Death Twinkies in hand-to-hand combat. As for the other end of the table, only the Exterminator had a prayer of hitting my army, and it would have to spend several turns moving to do so. 

It sounded easy to win this scenario, but in any battle you’re at the mercy of the dice. I won the chance to go first, zipped the two Raiders with dark lances 12" forward to take down his Leman Russ—and missed. Both times, despite that otherwise-reliable BS 4. So there were my Raiders, floating in the air right in front of a large tank. 

Gulp.

As expected, his tank blew one of my Raiders to bits and his shooting downed another Raider—the one with Dr. Jheste. Fortunately, Jheste and most of the Warriors aboard survived. That was the good news. The bad news was that I was down two Raiders, with lots of guys on foot, right in front of a whole mess of Guardsmen. 

Ozone Scorpions on the move
Above: The Ozone Scorpions come to play....


Well, when the going gets tough, the Dark Eldar fight dirty. So first, the surviving Warriors (including my Sybarite, Eklavdrah) from Raider #1 used Fleet of Foot and charged his Leman Russ. Oh, they couldn’t do a thing to it as they had no grenades, but charging did get them about 15" closer to the end of the board. And (lest you accuse me of bending the rules), there was a Catachan sniper right next to the tank, so several of my Drowboys briefly amused themselves with him. Briefly. 

Meanwhile, the survivors of the other Raider formed a protective circle around Dr. Jheste while he opened his webway portal. Shortly thereafter, the Talos and the Warriors showed up as reinforcements, and my Drowboys spent the rest of the game running for the edge of the board. Micah’s Exterminator spent several turns chasing after my army and took some pot shots at my large Warrior squad, but I just removed casualties from the figures farthest from the table edge (“Devil take the hindmost!”) and kept running. Eventually, I managed to get half of my army off the board.

Outcome: Ozone Scorpions win.

A few observations: 

The Talos, MVP of the game. I’ve heard a lot of people complain that the Talos is way too slow, but I almost always use the Talos-webway portal trick and it hasn’t failed me yet. I knew there was no way I was getting it off the board, so I used it to tear into Micah’s Guardsmen and beat on his Sentinels. 

Reavers rock. I’ve also heard a lot of people say Reavers are no good. Let’s review. For your points, you get:

  • WS 4, BS 4, S 4, T 4, I 5, Save: 4+. None of which sucks.
  • 12" regular move, ignoring terrain (skimmer)
  • 24" move anytime you like, which transforms your darned-nice 4+ save into an invulnerable 4+ save. 
  • Combat drugs. 
Or, put in another perspective: a Reaver has stats similar to or (in some cases) superior to a Space Marine, can move like a Land Speeder (and when it does, it has the equivalent of a Chaplain’s rosarius for protection), and kicks butt in hand-to-hand combat. How is this a bad thing?

My Reavers pounced on the lone Catachan squad guarding the way off the board and made mincemeat of them, then zipped off the board. People can whine all they want about Reavers—I love ‘em.

Fleet of Foot is nice, but you can’t count on it. Like anything else, it’s subject to the dice. I was constantly using Fleet of Foot to move my Death Twinkies closer to the board edge and my highest roll was a 3. As in 3 measly additional inches. With rolls like that and the two blaster shots that missed the Leman Russ in Turn 1, I was definitely working for this win.

“The 12-minute battle”
Mission: Cleanse (page 139 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Kabal of the Poisoned Tear (Dwayne) 
Points per Player: 1150

Dwayne and I first fought at Fall From Grace and he’s been looking for a rematch ever since. Dwayne has several armies, including a Dark Eldar force, and we tried our hand at a “civil war,” his Kabal against mine. Before the game I joked that, given how nasty Dark Eldar weapons are and how weak their armor is, this game should be over in about 12 minutes: hence the tongue-in-cheek title of this battle report. 

One of the many things I like about Death Twinkies is their willingness to fight anyone, including each other, so you don’t have to invent reasons for a scrap (like you do, say, when Marines battle Marines). We played this battle on Borderland’s “urban ruins” table and I used the same army as I had against Micah (all the figures I had). Dwayne’s army included:

  • An Archon (“Lady Isis”) and her Incubi retinue
  • Mandrakes
  • Lots of Raider squads (of course)
  • A Ravager
All in all, your typical Dark Eldar army. I was curious to see how my specialized, themed army was going to do against their own kind, especially with a more experienced player leading them (at this point, I had only played three games with the Scorpions, winning two and losing one).

Scorps (lower right corner) vs. Poisoned Tear (opposite)What happened? Before I went after Dwayne’s Death Twinkies, I made sure I had grabbed some objectives. I’m used to using Rhinos (whose firepower isn’t very impressive), so it was nice to have so potent a transport as the Raider. In this battle, I dropped off the accompanying squads to take cover and hold a table quarter, then zoomed the Raiders across the board to unload some heavy weapon fire into the enemies. 

Normally, I just toss all my Dark Eldar at one piece of the other guy’s army and hack ‘em up in hand-to-hand, but I was wary of doing that when I saw that Dwayne had Incubi. So instead, my “assault” army relied on shooting—gobs of shooting—and did much better than I thought it would. I shot down the Archon’s Raider and those vicious Incubi never got into hand-to-hand with my Drowboys (though Dwayne’s Archon managed to near the end of the game).

When it was all over, the Ozone Scorpions had three table quarters, the Kabal of the Poisoned Tear had one. 

Outcome: Ozone Scorpions win. 

Some observations:

Mandrakes. After this battle, neither of us was terribly impressed with Mandrakes. Dwayne put out the three “shadow” Mandrakes at the beginning of the game (as per Codex: Dark Eldar) and, as there wasn’t much I could do about them before he revealed their true position, I pretty much ignored them. Before they “revealed” themselves, I made sure that if I moved into a table quarter with a “shadow” in it, I had plenty of guys around. As I’m a firm believer that lots of little guys will win the game, I was confident that 20 Warriors and a Haemonculus could take five Mandrakes. 

When the Mandrakes finally did show up, they were hardly the hard-to-hand monsters that the “fluff” would have you believe: I was easily able to wipe them out. This made me feel better about having an army built on lots and lots of Troops instead of one built around several Elite units.

Talos vs. Ravager. As I’ve mentioned in the From Idea to Reality articles, all of my Heavy Support choices for the Ozone Scorpions will be Taloses. Why? First, the Talos looks like a big scorpion and fits my army’s name. Second, a Talos packs a heck of a punch in hand-to-hand combat, the preferred tactic of my Dark Eldar. 

I’ve been worried that taking three Taloses and ignoring the other Heavy Support options (Scourges and the Ravager) was foolhardy, but having seen the Ravager in action in this game, I prefer the Talos. 

The big problem with the Talos, of course, is speed. As I mentioned before, using the webway portal trick can solve this problem nicely, especially on a table that offers as much cover as the “urban ruins” table. But one thing the Talos has going for it is the fact that it’s a skimmer. In this battle, I had the Talos zip over walls and rubble and such; at one point, my Talos hopped over a wall to engage some Mandrakes who were falling back and wiped them out; try doing that with a Dreadnought!

The big problem with the Ravager, in my opinion, is that, like the Space Marines’ Land Speeder Tornado (or Typhoon) it has too many weapons. A skimmer’s only protection is speed: if it moves more than 6", then all penetrating hits count as glancing. However, the player has to move it 6" or less to fire all of its weapons, and if he does, then penetrating hits do indeed penetrate. 

Early on in the battle, my Talos appeared on the board behind cover, crossed some difficult terrain, and charged Dwayne’s Ravager. On his turn, Dwayne of course moved his Ravager out of close combat, but he still had to make one of two bad choices: 

1. Either move the Ravager no more than 6" (thus staying within charge range) and hope his big guns got me; or 

2. Zip away, saving his Ravager—but leaving his Archon and her Retinue open to the Talos. 

Not wanting the Talos to butcher his leader, he chose the first option. So for several rounds, the Talos would assault, and do some damage, then the Ravager would retreat and do some damage before the Talos assaulted again. Ultimately, the Talos prevailed, because it’s tough enough to take a few good hits: the Ravager, being a lightly-armored skimmer, is not. 
Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day


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© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, May 2001. 
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle