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Events and Battle Reports

Battle with a Black Gobbo

If the name “Ross Watson” sounds familiar to you, then you’ve been reading his excellent articles (such as his work on Scouts) in White Dwarf or Black Gobbo, Games Workshop’s e-zine. Ross has written for Black Gobbo, which means—lucky bastard!—that he gets paid to do for Gobbo what I do for free here at the Jungle. Hmmm…I may need to re-think my line of work.

Ross e-mailed me a while back and asked for a game, and I was happy to travel to Glen Burnie, Maryland, for some brutality at the Battle Bunker.

Cops: 2000 points of Imperial Guard
Ross has a way-cool themed army: the majority of his troops are “convicts” (painted in the orange jumpsuits used in U.S. prisons), chained together to serve as Penal Legion troops. Other troopers are “guards,” painted in blue armor reminiscent of American SWAT teams. His transports and such look like police vehicles. He even has an allied unit of Sisters of Battle, represented by some of the old Adeptus Arbites models. You can take an in-depth look at Ross’s army here.

Ross' Guardsmen
Above: Some of Ross' awesome Guardsmen, in their "prison" uniforms
photo © copyright Games Workshop 2004

  • Command Platoon, including Junior Officer w/ storm bolter and power weapon
  • Commissar w/ power weapon
  • Six Hardened Veterans, including Sergeant w/ storm bolter and power weapon, three Vets w/ grenade launchers, and one Vet w/ lascannon
  • Six Hardened Veterans, including three Vets w/ grenade launchers and one Vet w/ lascannon
  • Two Infantry Platoons, each w/ Command Squad (including four grenade launchers) and two Infantry Squads (each squad with grenade launcher and autocannon)
  • Two Stormtrooper Squads (“SWAT Teams,”) each w/ two plasma guns and Chimera w/ multi-laser, heavy bolter, and pintle-mounted heavy stubber
  • Two Hellhounds, each w/ inferno cannon, heavy bolter, and pintle-mounted heavy stubber
  • Six Seraphim (allies) including Veteran Sister Superior and two Seraphim w/ hand flamers
  • Leman Russ Demolisher w/ Demolisher cannon, hull lascannon, plasma cannon sponsons, and pintle-mounted heavy stubber
Doctrines: Veterans, Sharp Shooters, Iron Discipline, Close Order Drill, Grenadiers

Ross and his army
Above: Ross and his way-cool army. Ladies, I can get you his number

Robbers: 2000 points of Dark Eldar
Ross had asked me to bring my Ozone Scorpions, which I had been re-thinking in light of several embarrassing losses they had suffered this year. There’s no point in trying to outshoot the Imperial Guard, especially when one doesn’t play Tau or “Goody Two-Shoes” Eldar, so I made sure to bring along plenty of close combat units. In a change from my usual Death Twinkie lists, I didn’t bother kitting out the Raider Squads with Sybarites or special weapons: their role was simply to keep Ross’s “cops” busy until the hand-to-hand maniacs (Reavers, Wyches, and Taloses) got close. 

  • Dracon Dr’zzllah w/ agonizer, close combat weapon, tormentor helm and combat drugs
  • Handmaidens: Eight Wyches w/ wych weapons and Succubus w/ agonizer + Raider 
  • Dr. Fybze (Haemonculus) w/ destructor and webway portal 
  • Vulnayvya (Haemonculus) w/ stinger and webway portal
  • Silver Scorpions: Seven Wyches w/ wych weapons and Succubus w/ agonizer + Raider
  • Twelve Warriors, including two w/ dark lances
  • Five Raider Squads, each w/ eight Warriors. Raiders have disintegrators or dark lances and horrorfexes 
  • Five Reavers (including two w/ shredders)
  • Five Reavers (including two w/ blasters)
  • Three Taloses
Setting Up
We played at the Battle Bunker, in Glen Burnie, Maryland, site of Game Workshop’s U.S. Headquarters, on an 8' x 4' table; the mission was “Cleanse.” Ross deployed first and placed his Demolisher right out front, at the corner of his deployment zone, shoving me back into mine. No problemo. I deployed my Warriors among some rocks (giving them cover saves) and put my Raiders and Reavers behind said rocks which, for the purposes of firing, we treated as woods (i.e., one couldn’t shoot past a clump of boulders and such). The two Haemonculi attached themselves to separate Raider Squads and the Dracon, the Wyches (including their Raiders) and the Taloses went into the webway portals. 

My plan was to zip into an adjacent table quarter, open the portals, take out Ross’ vehicles with my dark lances and disintegrators, and throw Warriors at him until the “heavy hitters” emerged from the portals. Two portals, I figured, would improve my chances of getting into close combat.

What Happened?
The Scorpions won the roll to go first, so my bikes went 24" up the right-hand side of the board (+ another 6" in the Assault Phase—God, I love the new bike rules!). My Raiders wafted 12" after them, firing as they went, nuking his Demolisher before it could fire any of its heinous weaponry. “Touchdown, Drowboys!”

Dark Eldar go on the attack
Above: Look quick, cuz in a minute, that Demolisher's gonna be gone...

On his turn, Ross maneuvered his Hellhounds and pretty much all of his army opened fire, managing to kill two Warriors out of the “sniper squad” and blowing the horrorfexes off two Raiders. Evidently, Ross sweated their fearsome pinning ability (Leadership check with –1 for every figure covered by the template).

On Turn 2, everyone got out of their Raiders: the Haemonculi hid behind some rocks, the Warriors used Fleet of Foot to move closer to the IG line. The Reavers zipped in close—too close, as I was about to learn. In the Shooting Phase, I managed to destroy one of Ross’s Hellhounds and immobilize and blow the heavy bolter off another one. Booyah!

Dark Eldar get up in the IG's face
Above: The Scorps get up in the IG's face...and are about to get their noses shot off

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the Reavers into Assault range, so I had run them up in the Guardsmen’s faces, hoping to draw their fire. I figured that because there were 10 of them and because they had an invulnerable save (and Toughness 4), they would be okay. WRONG. Ross’ guys had a happy time rapid-firing both squads into oblivion. The only good news was that it took a lot of firepower to bring them down, so much so that Ross didn’t have much to spare on anything else (he did manage to bag 6 out of 8 Warriors from a Raider Squad, however). 

Turn 3 saw my dark-lance Warriors zapping the immobilized Hellhound, ending its threat. My Haemonculi opened their webway portals, and everyone else used Fleet of Foot to rush the IG. One Warrior squad charged into hand-to-hand combat with three IG squads (another mistake on my part), took some hits, and got wiped out as they tried to fall back (one of the new rules). Ouch! What was I thinking?

On Ross’ turn, his guys unloaded some seriously blistering fire into my guys, downing one Raider, blowing off all the weapons on another, annihilating two squads, taking another to one man, and pasting three out of another squad. The heavy stubber on one of Ross’ Chimeras hit one of my Raiders three times, rolled three 6’s to pierce its armor (remember, a stubber needs 6’s to hurt AV 10) and, of course, destroyed my transport. While one of Ross’ plasma gunners had fried himself during all this, that was small consolation. Ross had laid a serious amount of ass-whoop on me.

The Dark Eldar threaten to break
Above: Under some serious fire, the Dark Eldar attack threatens to falter

I felt better a moment later when Ross’ Seraphim assaulted the lone Warrior left from one Raider Squad and the weedy little git made three armor saves (5+) and fought them to a standstill. I immediately named that guy “Neon Deion” (after Deion Sanders, possibly the most obnoxious Dallas Cowboys player in history) and began some good-natured, Deion-inspired trash talking.

On Turn 4, the Wyches and Taloses emerged from the webway portals and promptly went on the attack. The Wyches used their Raider to zip up and engage some of Ross’ Guardsmen while the slower Taloses went to Deion’s rescue. The Wyches tore through their opponents and consolidated into more squads, but the Taloses were not so lucky: despite inflicting a lot of wounds on the Seraphim, the Sisters, they survived thanks to an Act of Faith that made their armor saves temporarily invulnerable. Mensch! Das ist schwer! 

Wyches and Taloses arrive
Above: The Wyches and Taloses arrive on the board. Yeah, boyyyeeee...

The Sisters escaped combat with their Hit and Run ability, and on Ross’ turn, went after my Haemonculi, killing both of them, in an act of shutting the barn door after the horse is gone. Ross’ firing brought down the Raider of my Silver Scorpions, and he threw more guys into close combat with my two Wych squads. Led by my Dracon, the Wyches carved up some more Guardsmen and would have inflicted more damage had not the Battle Bunker been closing. The Imperial Guard held one quarter, the Dark Eldar held another, and two were contested.

Outcome: Tie 

Post-Game Analysis by Kenton Kilgore
First off, Ross is a good player and an excellent guy to game with. His army has lots of character and is visually quite striking. And man, does it lay some smack down….

Ross and I agreed that had the game gone on, the Scorpions would have won. My Raiders had destroyed all his vehicles and he had little hope of stopping my Wyches and Taloses from tearing up everyone in his deployment zone. Amazingly for me, I still had some transports left, and would easily be able to send them into other quarters to claim them.

The Wyches tear it up
Above: The Wyches tear it up against the good guys

Though I made a couple dumb mistakes (especially with the Reavers) and lost almost all my Warriors, I’m still pleased overall with how I did. My “cat-and-mouse” approach paid off because I was able to hide behind terrain and devote my heavy weapon fire to taking out Ross’ vehicles. I’ll keep refining my strategy with the Dark Eldar, and hopefully I can get in a rematch with Ross soon. 

"Yeah, that's right: we bad..."

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© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, August 2004


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