Counter Offensive 9: Battle Summaries, Part 2
My next game at CO9 came on Saturday morning at Dream Wizards in Rockville, MD. My opponent was my old friend Bryan Layton, whom I have not have the pleasure of gaming against, one-on-one, for quite a while. This time, Bryan brought his Excoriators Space Marines, and he requested some Dark Eldar-style punishment courtesy of the Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions. Who am I to deny a friend?
As our pal Michael Lietzke set up a flawlessly-fair tournament-style board, using terrain he had designed and built himself, Bryan and I rolled for mission (“The Relic”) and deployment (“Dawn of War’). Haemonculus Vulnayvya was my Warlord, and her randomly-determined ability was Night Attacker—perfect for Dark Eldar! Bryan’s Pedro Kantor stand-in received Intimidating Presence. Our objective was a “little green man” in a bottlecap, which my younger daughter, the artist in the family, had made for me for just such a purpose. In our game, Bryan and I pretended that the LGM was a hapless alien that both sides wished to capture and interrogate for their own, equally sinister purposes (40K is grimdark, ya know).
In addition to Pedro, the Excoriators brought a Librarian with Null Zone and Gate of Infinity, as well as a Sternguard unit in a Rhino. Two Tactical Squads with melta guns and missile launchers, reinforced by Razorbacks (one with lascannons + plasma gun, the other with assault cannons) and an infantry Tac Squad (flamer and missile launcher) formed the rest of Bryan’s Troops (Pedro makes Sternguard Troops). The Marines also had a Typhoon, two “rifleman” Dreadnoughts (each with two twin-linked autocannons), and a “DakkaPred” with autocannon and heavy bolters. Bryan also had two Attack Bikes with multi-meltas in his list, but forgot to put them on the table.
The Marines set up first, hugging cover. I set my army in cover, with Vulnayvya accompanying Stinger Squad 1 aboard their Raider. My three Wych Squads and Blue Scorpions Squad 3 also started on their Raiders, well forward and behind cover. The Kabalite Warrior Squad with dark lances set up to maximize arcs of fire on Marine armor units. I stashed the other Warrior unit (20 Kabalites, including two with splinter cannons) and the Cronos Parasite Engine in Vulnayvya’s webway portal.
Bryan gets the first turn, and the Excoriators move up, firing on the Dark Eldar
I failed to Seize the Initiative, and the Marines rumbled forward, one of the Razorbacks immobilizing the Raider belonging to the Ring of Honor Wyches. On my first turn, the suddenly ride-free Wyches ran towards the objective, making full use of their hypex combat drug. The rest of the Dark Eldar advanced, firing ineffectually except for the Stingers (Kabalite Trueborn), whose four blasters took out the nearest target they had, the plaz/laz Razorback. Vulnayvya dismounted from her Raider and activated the webway portal inside a large ruin.
Dark Eldar Turn 1, with Wyches advancing through the ruins in the center and a webway portal opened on the left flank
On Turn 2, Bryan poured fire at the Raider of the Warriors, but I had three jinks in a row and the tissue-paper kite of a transport survived unscathed. The Sternguard dismounted from their Rhino and shot dead the Trueborn; Vulnayvya lost her nerve and started falling back. Fire from the Dreads exploded the Handmaiden’s Raider (killing five of them), a Tac Squad shot dead three more. The other Dread, the assault-cannon Razor, and two Tac Squads took out all but one Wych from the Ring of Honor.
On my turn, Vulnayvya continued to fall back, but Blue Scorpion Squad 1 and the Voice (the Cronos, not the TV show) appeared out of the webway portal. The Parasite’s spirit probe killed five Sternguard, and dark lance shots vaporized the Typhoon and the Predator. The surviving Wyches swarmed towards the objective, engaging Tactical Marines and killing three.
Silly Excoriators: you should never move towards a webway portal. Nothing good ever comes out of one.
On Turn 3, Pedro called in an Orbital Barrage on Blue Scorpion Squad 0, killing 11 of them, including the guys with the dark lances. More Tac Marines converged to reinforce their comrades in hand-to-hand combat with the Wyches. The surviving Razor exploded the Raider with Blue Scorpions Squad 3, killing three of them; fire from Tac combat squads took out four more. Dreadnoughts stunned a Raider and shot dead Vulnayvya, who was still falling back. The remaining Sternguard fired pistols and such at the newly-arrived Blue Scorpion Squad 1, to no avail, then charged. I chortled in glee as I rolled 42 dice for Overwatch fire (including 12 from splinter cannons), but I didn’t drop a single Marine. MOO. The Sternguard and their Librarian friend killed three of my Kabalite Warriors, but my scrubs held. Elsewhere, the Silver Scorpion Wyches polished off the last Tac Marines they had been dancing with.
my turn, the Wyches seized the LGM (aka “The Relic”) and shot the nearby Tac
Marines (there was always more of them in this game), forcing the Emperor’s
meatpuppets to flee. This annoyed me to
no end, as I had planned to charge them.
Meanwhile, the Cronos charged into the Blue Scorpion/Sternguard fracas,
killing the Librarian, but the scrap continued.
The combat inside the building got a little too crowded for us to see who was engaged with whom, so we placed the figures outside and continued.
While the Warriors deal with the Sergeant from the squad that charged them, Pedro and reinforcements are moving in from behind the Cronos
Turn 4 had Bryan moving more Tac guys and vehicles to engage the Wyches, but stoked on pain tokens and Feel No Pain, my fighters shrugged off a lot of wounds. Pedro and his Tac Squad joined the dust-em-up with the Cronos and the fat squad of Warriors. The Cronos polished off the last member of the Sternguard, but then Pedro took it out with his power fist. On my turn, Wyches hack-n-slashed more Marines, and the Warriors kept on keeping on with Pedro & Friends.
In what happened to be the last turn, Bryan’s seemingly inexhaustible supply of Tac Marines could not wrench “The Relic” from my Wyches, and my Warriors ground down their opponents except for Pedro. The game mercifully ended there, with the Dark Eldar clinging to the prize and the win. Final score, Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions 12 Victory Points; Excoriators 10.
Wyches hold off the Tactical Marines and hold on to the Little Green Man--and the game
When I originally wrote up the army, I had included a webway portal in case I wound up playing on a larger table, but it was unnecessary on the smaller board we had. I should have just started with Blue Scorpion Squad 1 and the Cronos on the table: those two units would have been more useful.
I played against a good opponent with a quality army and I’m pleased that I squeaked out a win. I’m very happy that 6th Edition has given Raiders hull points: there were several times when Bryan put glancing hits on my Transports and they just kept going instead of crapping out or crashing, as they used to do under previous editions. The need to slow Transports to 6" or less if I wanted squads to disembark was not a problem, as squads are allowed to move after disembarking (unlike previous rules). The rule change that prohibits anyone from assaulting after running also was not a big deal, as assault ranges can be longer now (2d6" instead of the previous 6").
So, yeah, no complaints about how my Dark Eldar operate under the new rules. Bryan had pointed out to me that Death Twinkie units can no longer assault after emerging from a webway portal, but I had noticed that ahead of time and brought shooty units instead of the hack-n-slash Taloses I used to. Methinks that I will be using fewer portals in the future, and that Taloses will start on the board.
The only annoying part of the game was when my stacked Kabalite Warrior squad unloaded Overwatch Snap Fire into Bryan’s assaulting Marines and couldn’t take down a single dude. I rolled plenty of “6’s” (having 42 dice to roll will do that) and plenty of “4’s” and higher “to wound” (by Arioch, I love me some Poisoned Weapons), but Lawman made all his saves. Obviously, the Emperor was with him then, but ultimately, it availed him not….
MWAH HA HA HA!
Posted September 2012