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Events and Battle Reports
Counter Offensive 2
Introduction <> Space Marines <> Orks and Tyranids <> Imperial Guard <>Necrons
Witch Hunters <> Dark Eldar <> Space Wolves <> Rampage in Rockville

Counter Offensive 2: Dark Eldar  by Kenton Kilgore
Because I’ve lived for so many years with the Rarely-Incorrect Mrs. Kilgore, it often gives me great and wicked satisfaction in proving others wrong. Such was the case when Brian Sommerville—an excellent young man—and I compared approaches to Dark Eldar. Brian doubted the effectiveness of the webway portal (my favorite item of Death Twinkie wargear), my heavy reliance on Raiders, and my use of shredders. 

He prefers the Shooty Army From Commorragh approach: heaps of Scourges and Warriors packing blasters and dark lances, all lined up as if on a shooting range, backed by Wyches, Archons and Dracons defended by Incubi. After a short discussion, we decided that the only proper way to settle the question was through massive amounts of violence. 

Setting Up
Brian asked for the opportunity to use all of his Dark Eldar, so I bumped up my original list, split it into two detachments, and brought the following 2501 point list:

  • Archon Syryx Lynatharr w/ power weapon, Reaver jetbike, combat drugs, shadow field, hell mask, and trophy rack (170 points) 
  • Dracon Dr’zzllah w/ agonizer, close combat weapon, and combat drugs (81 points)
  • Dr. Jheste (Haemonculus) w/ stinger and webway portal (80 points) 
  • Dr. Fybze (Haemonculus) w/ destructor, scissorhands, and webway portal (95 points)
  • Vulnayva (Haemonculus) w/ stinger (30 points)
  • Silver Scorpions. Succubus Blygos w/ agonizer, splinter pistol, and trophy rack; two Wyches w/ shredders; seven Wyches w/ wych weapons (183 points); Raider w/ dark lance and horrorfex (60 points) 
  • Handmaidens. Succubus Phaedra w/ agonizer and splinter pistol; eight Wyches w/ wych weapons (145 points); Raider w/ dark lance and horrorfex (60 points) 
  • Beastmaster Wormwood and five Warp Beasts (75 points) 
  • Warriors. Fifteen Warriors w/ splinter rifles; two Warriors w/ shredders; two Warriors w/ splinter cannons (192 points)
  • Raider Squad 1. Eight Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ shredder; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon (100 points); Raider w/ disintegrator (60 points) 
  • Raider Squad 2. Eight Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ shredder; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon (100 points); Raider w/ disintegrator (60 points) 
  • Raider Squad 3. Eight Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ shredder; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon (100 points); Raider w/ dark lance and horrorfex (60 points) 
  • Raider Squad 4. Eight Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ shredder; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon (100 points); Raider w/ disintegrator (60 points) 
  • Raider Squad 5. Eight Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ shredder; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon (100 points); Raider w/ dark lance and horrorfex (60 points) 
  • Lynatharr’s Guards, Squad 1. Three Reavers w/ bike-mounted splinter rifles (75 points) 
  • Lynatharr’s Guards, Squad 2. Three Reavers w/ bike-mounted splinter rifles;two Reavers w/ bike-mounted shredders (155 points) 
  • Three Taloses (100 points each) 
In rolling to see what combat drugs my decadent Drowboys used, I came up with “+1 Attack” for the Silver Scorpions and Squad 1 of Lynatharr’s Guards, and “Always strike first” for the Handmaidens and the second squad of Reavers. Ordinarily I sneer at “Always strike first,” but against Dark Eldar, it might actually be of some use…. 

We rolled up a Gamma-Level Seek and Destroy mission and Brian spread his guys out in two lines going all the way across the board. I put down, behind some area terrain, the fat Warriors squad and Raider Squad #2, then attached Dr. Fybze and Dr. Jheste to the guys on foot. Everything else in my army was inside the webway portals. The Night Fighting rules were in effect for the first turn (as per the Dusk and Dawn condition).

Turn 1
Brian went first and had absolutely no targets, as the terrain and the Night Fighting rules severely hampered him. This was as I had meant it to be, of course: one of the many beauties of using the webway portal is that you can’t hurt what isn’t there. Brian contented himself with advancing his Warp Beasts and some Warriors up one flank while both his Taloses glided forward. On my turn, my infantry ran (using their Fleet of Foot ability) up the center of the board and ensconced themselves in the trees. The Raider followed them, the passengers disembarking and likewise taking cover in the trees.

Turn 2
Brian continued to advance the same units and one Talos managed to swing around and get line of sight on my guys, gunning down four members of Raider Squad #2 with its tail sting. My Warriors and Raider returned fire, to no avail. I cared little, though, as both Haemonculi opened their webway portals and the fun began. 

Warp Beasts and Talos approach webway portals
Brian's Warp Beasts and Talos move in on the Scorpions and their webway portals

Turn 3
Brian’s Warriors, Warp Beasts and Taloses kept coming on, finally getting into a good shooting position. Fourteen guys from both of my squads went down, but they had served their purpose and fell back 11". The Warp Beasts assaulted the last fellow in Raider Squad #2, devoured him, and consolidated into Dr. Fybze. 

On my turn, my Archon, the Silver Scorpions, my Warp Beasts, the second bunch of Reavers, all three Taloses, and some Raiders came screaming out of the webway portals like—well, a jack-in-the-box from Hell (hence the name of the army list). 

My Taloses—“the Triplets,” I’ve nicknamed them, after three famous Dallas Cowboy players from the 1990’s—slammed into one of Brian’s Taloses and pulled it apart. Beastmaster Wormwood charged the other Talos and struck it down with his agonizer. My Archon and Reavers charged Brian’s Warp Beasts and slung their bloodied skins over their bikes in triumph. The rest of my forces that had come on crashed into Brian’s line and went to work, killing two entire Warrior Squads.

Oh, yeah.

Scorpions all over the place
Warp Beasts (those scorpion-looking things in the center) lead the Drowboy attack

Turn 4
The portion of Brian’s Kabal that wasn’t engaged with mine opened fire, destroying Raiders #3 and #5 and killing six and four, respectively, of their passengers; shook the Silver Scorpions’ Raider (the S. Scorps themselves had bailed on the last turn and were in hand-to-hand); and killed three Warp Beasts. 

What’s better than girl-on-girl action? Wych-on-Wych action. Brian’s Wyches charged my Silver Scorpions. For the sake of expediency, we decided to ignore the effects of the wych weapons each squad had. Each group lost five and kept fighting—note, however, that Brian’s Wyches started out at 20 to my 10.

On my turn, Dracon Dr’zzllah and her Handmaidens emerged from the webway portal and charged into the center of Brian’s line, wiping out a squad of Scourges and a unit of Warriors. Reaver Squad #1 emerged as well, and with Archon Lynatharr and the other Reavers, moved up to attack the same targets. In a spectacular moment of inexplicable stupidity, I had them fire at the Warriors behind the Scourges, who were, of course, out of charge range. Thus, my Archon and the Reavers could not charge any targets and were sitting ducks for Brian on his turn. Stupid, stupid, stupid. This, I thought, is gonna cost me the game, as I watched Brian’s Wyches wipe out my Silver Scorpions and sweep towards my guys.

Turn 5
Concentrated fire brought down one of my Taloses and splinter pistol shots from Brian’s Wyches brought down one of my Reavers. Then the Wyches charged the Reavers, slew three, and chased them and Lynatharr off. My main guy and his lone bodyguard would fall back for the rest of the game and do nothing, all because of my stupidity. DAMN!

Archon and Reavers get torn a new one
The Ozone Scorpion Archon and Reavers get torn a new hole to [poop] through....

Happily for me, Lynatharr’s daughter Dr’zzllah was making up for her father’s inadequacies. She and her Handmaidens slashed through the Incubi guard of Brian’s Archon and broke some more Warriors in hand-to-hand combat. They fell back, leaving Brian’s Archon surrounded by the Handmaidens, who hacked him down on my turn. Also on my turn, my two surviving Taloses hit what was left of Brian’s lines, slicing through more of his Incubi and driving away his Dracon. Despite my misgivings, the game was now firmly in my hands.

Turn 6
On my previous turn, one of my Taloses had consolidated into Brian’s last Warrior Squad. In the melee, my mechanical monster killed one, the rest lost their nerve and tried to flee, only to be caught by the Talos and destroyed. Brian’s Wyches hunted down Dr. Fybze and Vulnayvya, but whatever twisted joy they might have had vanished on my turn, when several of my units circled them and gunned them down. Not a single model of Brian’s army was left on the board.

Outcome: Ozone Scorpions win (3074 Victory Points to 1336—we forgot to count VPs for captured prisoners)

Shootin' time...
The Ozone Scorpions encircle what's left of the Wyches...and Brian's army

Post-Game Analysis
I love being right. Brian had doubted the effectiveness of a well-played webway portal army and had suffered greatly for it. The webway portal usually works extremely well provided that: 1) you can find area terrain to hide it behind before opening, and 2) the enemy either moves his army towards it or can’t get far enough away from it. 

Alas for Brian, I had sufficient terrain to hide my webway portal until it could be opened. Not only did the terrain rob him of two turns worth of effective shooting, it was located in the center of the board: even if he had wanted to, he wouldn’t have been able to get away from the horde of Death Twinkies that came out. 

Moving towards a webway portal, as Brian and others have done against me, is almost always a bad idea: whatever comes out will fall on the isolated segment of your army, kill it dead dead DEAD, then use its corpse as a springboard for attacking the rest of your army. 

Counter Offensive 2
Introduction <> Space Marines <> Orks and Tyranids <> Imperial Guard <>Necrons
Witch Hunters <> Dark Eldar <> Space Wolves <> Rampage in Rockville


Related Pages 
Counter Offensive
Countdown to Counter Offensive 2

© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, September 2005
 

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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