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Events and Battle Reports

Birthday Butt-Kickings: Warhammer 40Kenton 
Text by Kenton Kilgore and Ken Lacy; Commentary by Bryan Layton; Photos by Kenton and Chris

Months ago, as my 40th birthday loomed, the Ever-Lovely Mrs. Kilgore suggested to me, “Why don’t you have a bunch of your friends over for a really big Warhammer game?” Though I was shocked that she, a long-suffering gaming widow, would suggest that, I readily took her up on her offer to watch the kids while my buddies and I played with toy soldiers.

After kicking around some ideas on what to do for this momentous occasion, I eventually settled on the idea of a mega-battle using every unit* of my grotesquely over-large army of Fighting Tigers Space Marines. Coincidentally, the latest Codex: Eldar was released just days before the big dust-em-up, so my Worthy Opponents brought along all their pointy-eared Twinkies in an attempt to test-drive the new codex. 

*Well, not every unit. I have nine Land Speeder Tornadoes, a Command Squad, a Captain, and a Techmarine in the pipeline, waiting to be built and painted. 

We played at my house on an 8' x 4' board built and generously given to me by Number One Fanboy Luis Nunez. Given the size of the two armies, I decided to make the deployment zones extend across both long ends of the table and 15" up. Mission? Objectives? Strategy? Bah! I equated this battle to an NFL pre-season exhibition game: entertaining, a chance for rarely-used units to see some action, and with no meaning attached to the final score. I honestly didn’t care who won or lost, so long as everyone had fun. 

Who Brought What
I brought: 

  • Raja Khandar Madu and 9-man Command Squad, including Apothecary, Standard Bearer, and Company Champion; mounted in a Rhino
  • Librarian Chandramatie Bahl, Acting Raja of Jatis Ghuyarashtra, and Librarian Zaghnal Maratha
  • Chaplains Talwar Chakram and Daksha Ram
  • Captains Jirbu Ghosh, Rama, Lakshman, and Khandar Madu the 32nd
  • Two 5-man Terminator Squads
  • One 5-man Assault Terminator Squad
  • Nine Veterans, mounted in a Rhino
  • Six Veterans w/ Infiltrate
  • Tiger Eternals Shiva the Destroyer (Dreadnought w/ assault cannon), Surya Ashoka (Dreadnought w/ missile launcher and twin-linked lascannon) and Shrendi Vashtar (Dreadnought w/ multi-melta)
  • Techmarine w/ Razorback bearing twin-linked lascannons
  • Four 10-man Tactical Squads, mounted in Rhinos
  • Six 5-man Tactical Squads; two have Razorbacks w/ twin-linked lascannons
  • Six 10-man Scout Squads
  • Two 10-man Assault Squads
  • Three squadrons of three Attack Bikes each
  • Two 10-man Devastator Squads (one w/ missile launchers, the other w/ heavy bolters)
  • Predator Annihilator w/ lascannon sponsons
  • Vindicator, Land Raider, Land Raider Crusader, Whirlwind
  • Vedic Siege Gun (Vehicle Design Rules creation)
In all, 8366 points and well over 200 Marines spread over five detachments. As I would be setting up the terrain, I let my opponents bring 8500 points. I did have “home field advantage,” after all. 

My friends Ken, Bryan, Mike, Chris, and Pippa (the wife of my best friend, Pat) brought:

  • Six Farseers (including one Eldrad)
  • Two Avatars
  • Thirteen Warlocks (12 w/ Guardians, 1 w/ Wraithguard)
  • Two units of Scorpions
  • Three units of Harlequins
  • One unit of Banshees
  • One unit of Fire Dragons (in Falcon)
  • One unit of Wraithguard
  • Twleve units of Guardians (including two Storm Guardian squads) 
  • Four half-size units of Pathfinders
  • Two units of Dire Avengers
  • One half-size unit of Jetbikes
  • One unit of Spiders
  • Two units of Shining Spears
  • One Falcon (carrying Fire Dragons)
  • Three units of Reapers
  • Four Warwalkers (in two squadrons)
  • Five Wraithlords
I bunched the Attack Bikes and most of my transports on my right flank, led by both Land Raiders (the regular one bearing the Assault Terminators; the Crusader bearing Talwar Chakram and one squad of regular Terminators). I spread out the rest of my army (including most of the characters) in a long line across the board. 

The setup of the five Eldar commanders was as follows:

  • Left flank: Pippa with @1000 pts of a mix of Wraithguard, Wraithlord, Aspects, and Avatar (remainder sent to right flank)
  • Left/Center: Chris and Mike with @3400 pts: tons of Guardians, Rangers, Scorpions, an Avatar, and some walkers
  • Right flank: Ken with @2400 pts: Bikes, Shining Spears and all three units of Harlequin, backed by Reapers & Rangers 
  • Far right flank: Bryan with @1700 pts: Dire Avengers, supported by Aspects and Walkers
My Trusty Jungle Assistant Pat volunteered to help me move and play my Fighting Tigers. He took the “shooty” left flank (opposite Bryan and Ken) while I got the armored wedge of vehicles on our right (opposite Pippa, Chris, and Mike). 

What Happened?
The 'soft' Eldar left flank (@3000 pts) crumbled over three turns, facing well over 6000 pts (estimated) of Fighting Tigers of Veda, with the soft gooey Guardian center looking very vulnerable by then, too -- they had taken a real pounding from the Tigers' support units in the center and Tiger left flank. 

Meanwhile, the fast-moving, hard-hitting Eldar right flank (@4000 pts) smashed through the weaker Vedic flank and center (estimated 2000 pts, commanded by Pat) with virtually no losses to the elite units (although plenty of damage had been sustained by the masses of Guardians, reduced to half their number in a mere three turns!) 

By the end of the third turn, both sides had lost about 2000-3000 pts of units, and had rotated around the enemy flanks (pivoting around the middle of the board).  The game was called on account of my party to go to, and was thus a draw. 

It was a VERY enjoyable game, helped, probably, by the “mass quantities of beer” consumed and the laid-back atmosphere that reigned from the beginning. Kudos to both Pat and Pippa for doing well despite being heavily outnumbered on their respective flanks. It was, I think, one of the best megabattles any of us had ever played.

Bryan LaytonObservations on the New and Improved Eldar by Bryan Layton
I fielded a relatively balanced force with a number of the old standards (Wraithlords, Scorpions, etc.) included. Those performed as expected, with them being steady and reliable. The real surprises were just how effective the new Dire Avengers with Bladestorm could be. 

The last turn of the game saw a depleted squad of Avengers gunning down a small Termie squad (with some shooting help from some nearby Scorpions). Warwalkers are a reliable unit to field on the table and are essentially walking Land Speeders with better firepower and a very nice Scout move to enable at least one decent turn of shooting. The removal of open top makes all the difference.

The biggest thing I noticed was just how much of a difference the Farseer power Doom made. The Eldar have always struggled to wound Marines (and their equivalents, such as Necrons) and the re-roll makes the Eldar much, much more of a threat. The Termie squad mentioned above was "Doomed" and the power allowed two squads to gun them down with bolter equivalents. The Runes of Warding were also very nice in silencing the ubiquitous Marine Librarians.  In my humble opinion, a Farseer is essentially a mandatory choice now. Its value as a force multiplier is not to be underestimated.

Click on each thumbnail for a larger image. 

Ken, Mike, and Pippa set up their Eldar while Pat lends a hand; The wedge of Fighting Tiger tanks

Pippa's Warp Spiders shoot up the rear of the Tiger wedge; One of the Avatars; A Wraithlord

Fighting Tiger Tactical Squads, Devastators, and vehicles hold the center of the Space Marine line; 
Dire Avengers, Walkers, and Exodite Shining Spears (represented by Cold Ones and a Rogue Trader-era Zoat) 

Assault Terminators depart their Land Raider to assault Wraithguard; Striking Scorpions; Librarian Zaghnal Maratha vs. a Harlequin

Tiger Scouts and Assault Marines; A closer look at the armored wedge of Tiger tanks

Tactical Squad; Converted Harlequins take down Captains Rama and Khandar 32; The shirt explains why I still play

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