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Events and Battle Reports
Fall From Grace V
Introduction <> Fighting Tigers <> Ozone Scorpions <> Yblis' Marauders <> Silliness

Fall From Grace V: Battle Summaries for Ozone Scorpions
After several embarrassing defeats (notably in a Rogue Trader Tournament earlier this year), I’ve been re-thinking the strategy I use with my Dark Eldar, the Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions (a.k.a. the “Callous Drowboys”). My pal Ken Lacy (whose Alpha Legion kicked around my Tigers at FFG this year) suggested that I make extensive use of the webway portal and think of my Dark Eldar as an Ulthwe Strike Force—“with nastier options,” as he said.

Okay. I thought I’d give that a try. Here’s what I brought for Day Two of FFG V:

  • Dracon Dr’zzllah w/ agonizer, close combat weapon, combat drugs, and tormentor helm
  • Handmaidens. Succubus w/ agonizer; eight Wyches w/ wych weapons; Raider w/ disintegrator
  • Dr. Jheste. Haemonculus w/ stinger and webway portal
  • Raider Squad to accompany Dr. Jheste. Seven Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ blaster; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon; Raider w/ dark lance and horrorfex
  • Silver Scorpions. Succubus w/ agonizer; two Wyches w/ shredders; seven Wyches w/ wych weapons; Raider w/ disintegrator
  • Four Raider Squads, each w/ eight Warriors w/ splinter rifles; one Warrior w/ blaster; one Warrior w/ splinter cannon; Raiders have disintegrators or dark lances and horrorfexes
  • Eleven Warriors w/ spinter rifles; two Warriors w/ dark lances
  • Beastmaster Wormwood and five Warp Beasts
  • Two Reavers w/ splinter rifles; two Reavers w/ blasters
  • Three Taloses (“Troy,” “Emmett,” and “Irvin”)
So how did this army do?

“Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Drowboys”
Mission: Cleanse (Gamma level) 
Opponent: Dark Angels (Steven)
Points per Player: 2000 

What happened?  A nice fellow named Steven asked me for a game with his Dark Angels, and I was happy to oblige: Dark Angels don’t have that annoying habit of running away out of assault range when you shoot lots of heavy weapons at them. Steven brought:

  • Chaplain w/ Command Squad and Rhino
  • Dreadnought w/ missile launcher and twin-linked lascannon
  • Deathwing w/ two heavy flamers, in a Land Raider
  • Ten-man Tactical Squad in a Rhino
  • Ten-man Tactical Squad on foot
  • Two five-man Tactical Squads
  • Ravenwing Land Speeder
  • Devastator Squad w/ four plasma cannons
I set up my Warrior unit with the dark lances among some boulders (giving them a 4+ cover save) and Raider Squad #5 (with Dr. Jheste and the webway portal) out of sight behind some tall rock formations. Everything else in my army was in the webway portal.

Turn 1
Above: Dr. Jheste and the Ozone Scorpions move into position on Turn One

I won the roll to go first and zipped the Raider up 12" behind another rock formation, in the center of the table. Jheste and his accompanying squad jumped out while my Warrior Squad took potshots at the Land Raider, stunning it. On his turn, Steven moved his Land Speeder and one of his five-man Tac Squads closer. Having no targets except for the Warriors with the dark lances, he unloaded on them, taking down seven. 

On Turn Two, Dr. Jheste opened the webway portal. My Raider and “sniper squad” of Warriors with dark lances traded potshots with the Dark Angels, to not much effect.

On my third turn, both Wych squads (including the Dracon), the Warp Beasts, the Reavers, two Taloses and a Raider Squad arrived through the webway portal and slammed into the Dark Angels. My Silver Scorpions (Wych) squad butchered Steven’s Devastators. Dr’zzllah and her Handmaidens (a.k.a. as the “Callous Drowboy Cheerleaders”) sliced up a five-man Tactical Squad. The Warp Beasts devoured another five-man squad. The Reavers shot the Dreadnought in the back with their blasters, destroying it and killing two of their own in the resulting explosion—c’est la guerre. And the vaunted Ravenwing Speeder was shaken by fire from my Warrior squad. “Touchdown, Drowboys!”

Dark Eldar throw a mean punch but certainly can’t take one, as Steven demonstrated on his turn. The Deathwing got out of their Land Raider (where they had spent the game thus far) and went after the Silver Scorpions, flaming/shooting them, then assaulting and killing two more (while losing one of their own). The two surviving Silver Scorpions fell back and would play no further part in the battle.

The Angels try to stop the Scorpions
Above: The Dark Angels try to stop the Scorpions.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback writes "Game over" in his notebook

The ten-man Tactical Squad that had been in the Rhino got out and opened fire on Dr’zzllah and the Handmaidens, and though the Veteran Sergeant managed to fry himself with his own plasma pistol, the Angels killed six Wyches. The Dracon and her squad fell back, also effectively out of the fight.

The Land Raider shot dead three Warp Beasts and the Command Squad (from the safety of their Rhino) shot down the Raider that had come through on my previous turn, killing six members of the squad aboard and entangling the survivors. The Command Squad’s Rhino gunned down a Reaver with its storm bolter. 

Affecting Dallas Cowboy-like cockiness, I was not worried. On Turn Four, two more Raider Squads showed up through the portal and fired, vaporizing the Command Squad’s Rhino and killing two Marines in the explosion. My Warriors shot down the Land Speeder. The Warp Beasts rushed the Deathwing, killing one and losing one as one Talos (“Troy”) glided towards the Terminators. The other Talos (“Emmett”) and the last Reaver plowed into the Tactical Squad that had shot up the Handmaidens, killing two more Dark Angels. Steven replied by firing at “Troy,” wounding it twice. The Terminators killed Beastmaster Wormwood and “Emmett” killed another Marine.

Turn Five saw the Drowboys concentrating their firepower on the Dark Angels’ HQ, killing the rest of the Command Squad and leaving the Chaplain all alone. Random fire from “Troy” brought down one Deathwing (leaving just one) and “Emmett” munched two more Tac Marines.

On Steven’s turn, the Land Raider shot down Raider #3, with a lascannon burst, killing seven passengers in the crash. The last Terminator charged “Troy,” which snipped the Deathwing in half with its metal pincers. Seeya!

Above: A good day for the bad guys--the Maelstrom's Team runs wild

On my last turn, my third Talos (“Irvin”) finally arrived out of the webway portal to watch the mop-up. Steven’s Chaplain had failed a charge through difficult terrain on Turn Five, and the Drowboys rewarded him with enough rapid-fire love to overwhelm him. One of my Raiders targeted the Land Raider, destroying it with a shot from a dark lance. The Tactical Squad that had been fighting “Emmett” and the Reaver finally killed the biker but were wiped out by the Talos. 

Steven’s army was not quite dead yet, though: his last squad bravely faced down “Troy,” unloading all their guns into the Talos and destroying it. Still, the Scorpions held three table quarters and contested the Dark Angels’. 

Outcome: Scorpions win (2928 Victory Points to 986 Victory Points)

“Where Have All the Drowboys Gone?”
Mission: Cleanse (Omega level) 
Opponent: Necrons (Bryan)
Points per Player: 2000 

What happened? My second game with the Dark Eldar was against Bryan. The previous day, my Fighting Tigers had shot up his Word Bearers—it remained to be seen if his Necrons could avenge Bryan. I brought the same army list as before. Bryan brought:

  • Two Lords (each with Resurrection Orbs)
  • Eight Immortals
  • Two squads of 20 Necron Warriors each
  • Two squadrons of four Destroyers each
  • Six Scarab swarms
  • Monolith
Under the Escalation rule, only infantry without transports could start on the board. My 13 Warriors set up against everything but Bryan’s Destroyers and Monolith. Not good odds for the Bad Guys in Blue….

Things immediately got worse for the Maelstrom’s Team. While the rest of the Necrons advanced, the Lord accompanying the Immortals used his Veil of Darkness to vanish from the field and reappear within spitting distance of my Warriors. The gauss blasters flayed eight Dark Eldar; my guys shot back, bagging one Immortal, who made his “We’ll Be Back!” roll on Bryan’s next turn.

Back up to full strength, the Immortals zapped the rest of my “sniper squad.” Meanwhile, one unit of Destroyers came onto the board and the Toasters continued moving toward my deployment zone. 

The rest of my army was lurking within the webway portal carried by Dr. Jheste, who was with Raider Squad #5. I rolled to see if the squad would come on, but it didn’t. So at the start of Bryan’s third turn, there were no Dark Eldar anywhere on the board—not a single sissy in silver boots! Nevertheless, the ‘bots obeyed their programming and kept on coming.

No Dark Eldar means no targets
Above: Dark Eldar Turn Two--and not a single Scorpion on the field

On my third turn, Jheste and his squad came on from Reserves. I deliberated a long time and finally decided to have them ooch out just a few inches from my table edge. Jheste and the Warriors jumped behind some cover and the Raider fired its horrorfex at the Immortals, hoping to pin them. But no! The damned thing missed, and I wasn’t looking forward to Bryan’s next Shooting Phase.

Raider Squad #5 flies into a whole heap of trouble
Above: Dr. Jheste and Raider Squad #5 fly into a whole heap of trouble

On Turn Four, the other Destroyer Squadron and the Monolith came on, the latter Deep Striking near my cowering Raider Squad. The Monolith’s particle whip missed my Raider but the Immortals did not, destroying it. Bryan’s first Destroyer Squadron fired on the Warriors, killing the four that could be seen. Fortunately for me, Jheste was out of the line of fire. On my turn, Jheste opened the webway portal and prayed to find a very deep hole to hide in.

Necrons try to block the portal
Above: The Necrons try to block the webway portal

On Turn Five, Bryan decided to take a risk and attempt to encircle the webway portal, which would prevent any of my reserves from entering and would win him the game in one bold stroke. Though he used the Monolith’s teleport ability, the Lord’s Veil of Darkness, and the natural quickness of the Scarabs and Destroyers, he still couldn’t surround the portal. If Necrons feel frustration, they then vented it on the Warriors accompanying Jheste, with the Monolith’s flux arc projectors frying four of them and a Necron Warrior squad unleashing forty gauss flayer shots into the last fellow. Jheste, who had separated himself from the Warrior Squad, was still safe.

Dark Eldar emerge from the portal
Above: "Whoa! Where did THEY come from?"

Bryan’s ‘bots, however, were not safe. On Turn Five, my entire army popped out of the webway portal like some tackily-painted jack-in-the-box and hurled themselves into close combat. While the Taloses and the Reavers went after close targets, the Raider Squads fanned out to grab table quarters and both squad of Wyches went after the other Lord and his Warrior Squad, wiping them out and losing two of their own. With an Initiative of 6, compared with a Necron Initiative of 2, the Wyches easily cut down the ‘bots as they attempted to fall back. The Silver Scorpions consolidated into a nearby Destroyer Squadron; Dr’zzllah and the Handmaidens moved back toward the mass melee in my deployment zone.

Necrons can vanish and re-appear, too
Above: Necron Warriors pull their vanishing act through the Monolith

On Bryan’s last turn, the Lord with the Immortals used the Veil of Darkness to teleport the group away from the Talos that had charged them. They reappeared far, far away—further away than they had intended, most of them deviating out of range of the Dracon and her Handmaidens, their intended target. The Monolith rotated and pulled out the Necron Warriors stuck in hand-to-hand combat with the Warp Beasts and another Talos. 

The Monolith fired off its flux arc projectors, bringing down a Raider and wounding Jheste. The Warriors that had gone through the Monolith rapid-fired on the Warp Beasts and, of course, obliterated them. Those Immortals within range fired at the Handmaidens, killing two. 

In the Assault Phase, the Silver Scorpions carved up and chased down the Destroyer Squadron, wiping them out. The Reavers killed a member of the other Destroyer Squadron but were themselves crushed by the flying Necrons and the Scarabs. 

On my turn, one of my Raiders fired a disintegrator bolt into the clustered Immortals, vaporizing four of them. They began to fall back. Dr’zzllah, her Handmaidens, two Taloses and Dr. Jheste charged the remaining Necron Warriors, striking down enough of them to Phase Out the ‘bot army. 

Outcome: Scorpions win (3205 Victory Points to 574 Victory Points). 

Post-Game Analysis
Wow. By changing two approaches to how I use my Dark Eldar, they’ve seemingly gone from chumps to champs overnight.

Previously, in keeping with my philosophy of Don’t sweat the big guns, sweat the little guys, I’d been relying on my Raider Squads to do the bulk of the fighting. Which meant that I gave each Raider Squad a Sybarite with poisoned blades or an agonizer and hurled them into close combat ASAP. Sometimes my guys prevailed, sometimes they didn’t. Usually, I wound up losing a lot of Raiders and the attached squads. I always had a problem against mechanized forces, because my Raiders were busy rushing the enemy, losing opportunities to use their dark lances or disintegrators against enemy vehicles. 

My new strategy is to have the Wyches and Taloses break the back of the enemy and let my Raider Squads mop up. I started using this in my game against Ross Watson (of Black Gobbo) and really relied on it at FFG.

The other approach I changed was how I use the webway portal. Previously, I had only put my slow units (such as the Taloses) in it. This left my opponents free to target my Raiders and Wyches; with some good shooting, an opponent could swiftly neuter my firepower and eliminate my hand-to-hand threat. What usually happened was that by the time the Taloses showed up, the battle was either already won (rarely) or already lost (more likely). 

In the game against Ross, I had put my Wyches in the portal (along with the usual Taloses) and kept them safe from harm. Ross had to content himself with evaporating my Raiders and Warriors (which he did). At FFG, I put almost everything in the webway portal, denying my opponents targets for a significant portion of the game. When my reserves finally did come on the board, they were able to inflict a lot of pain before the game was over (it also helped that my opponents either stayed where they were or came closer). 

While I’m pleased with how the new strategies worked, I’m not delusional enough to believe that they can’t be beat. For instance, had Bryan held back his advance, he would have won the game, methinks. But I think the Ozone Scorpions are finally headed in the right direction. They may not win every game, but hopefully their days are over as a punching bag for anyone who comes along.

Fall From Grace V
Introduction <> Fighting Tigers <> Ozone Scorpions <> Yblis' Marauders <> Silliness

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© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, October 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