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Events and Battle Reports
New Year, New Blood
Intro and Army Lists <> Part 1 <> Part 2 <> Lessons Learned

New Year, New Blood: Lessons Learned  by Patrick Eibel
Patrick EibelI am sure there are long-time Eldar players reading this battle report and wondering what the heck I was thinking. In retrospect, I made some very unwise choices in deployment and strategy and it cost me dearly. It also doesn’t help that I got a bunch of stuff wrong about some of my Exarch powers. Such are the difficulties of playing an unfamiliar army.

What went right: The firebase of Guardians and Dark Reapers worked very well. Having Eldrad around to cast Doom or Guide meant that units were absolutely lethal in the firepower they could bring. I was very impressed with how long the Guardians were able to survive close combat (imagine if those Warlocks had Enhance instead of Conceal—maybe next time). Also, the Avatar was able to pretty much secure the right flank all by himself, although his slowness meant he wasn’t good for much else.

What went wrong: Let’s start with strategy mistakes. I advanced my Dire Avengers, Banshees, Scorpions, and even Rangers the first few turns. My plan was to hold back his attack, but also I was trying to achieve the mission objective (remember, "Recon" gives bonus points for squads in the opponent’s deployment zone). The problem was that I ended up splitting my forces, while Kenton was able to bring superior numbers against every forward unit, defeat them and then proceed to my rearguard. 

I also completely underestimated the close combat ability of his Dark Eldar, or more to the point, when I have fought them previously it was with armies that could smack back as hard as they got. I should have kept my assault units back to act as a counterstrike element once the warpgates opened. The Warp Spiders, Shining Spears, and Jetbikes barely got a shot off because of my strategic error. 

The Exarch powers in the new Eldar codex are really cool—if you remember to use them correctly. I completely forgot the Banshee power War Shout, which would have been useful versus the Archon, Dracon, and Dr. Jheste. I forgot that all Shining Spears weapons count as power weapons (not that it would have changed much in their fate). And I forgot that the Dire Avengers’ shimmershield only works in close combat (not that that would have changed much, either).

After the last campaign, where I was learning to play Witch Hunters while losing spectacularly, it was frustrating to be once again sucking the fuzzy end of the lollypop. Fortunately, the next campaign will feature my Daemonhunter army, which I have had for about two years, so hopefully I can get back in the win column.

New Year, New Blood: Lessons Learned  by Kenton Kilgore
Kenton KilgoreGoing into this battle, I was very worried that Pat would be able to knock out the folks carrying the webway portals before the portals could be opened, thus ending the game quickly. Eldar—with their Jetbikes, Swooping Hawks, Warp Spiders, and infiltrating Striking Scorpions—are one of the few armies mobile enough to pull that off. To counter that, I brought three portals (at 150 points!), spread them out, and willingly sacrificed three Warrior Squads to deliver them. And even then, I opened them farther away from the Eldar lines than I would have liked, as Pat was pressuring me with the Scorps, Dragons, and Banshees.

Once I opened the portals, I had to send three units—the Handmaidens, the Warp Beasts, and Squad #1—to deal, respectively, with the Dire Avengers, Jetbikes, and Warp Spiders, who were in my deployment zone. While I eliminated those enemy units, only Squad #1 was able to reach Pat’s deployment zone and fulfill the mission objectives; the Handmaidens got wiped out by return fire, and the Warp Beasts spent the rest of the game in a futile dash towards the other side of the board. 

The rest of my army smashed into Pat’s, but while the Silver Scorpions and Ring of Honor Wych squads had some initial success, they could not sustain their momentum, and were eventually driven back and wiped out. Like most Dark Eldar units, Wyches hit hard but possess very little staying power. I also should not have had the Ring of Honor consolidate into two Guardian units at a time in Turn 4, as that gave the Goody-Goodies a huge advantage in numbers. 

Fortunately for me, my Archon ate the Banshees and Rangers, and was slowly (but surely) munching through Pat’s third Guardian squad (the one with the bright lance). This was probably the best game my Archon has ever had, killing lots of opponents and not even taking a Wound. With him leading the way, I was able to move four Raider Squads and a Reaver unit into Pat’s deployment zone, which gave me the win. 

Pat mentions that he forget or incorrectly remembered several Eldar abilities; I once again forgot the Dark Eldar Capturing Prisoners rule, which would have given me a smattering of more Victory Points. We also forgot that Omega-level missions have Random Game Length, which could have gone in either of our favors: with another turn, Pat’s Dark Reapers probably would have taken out two more Death Twinkie units, and then the others would have charged the Reapers. The last Talos would have killed more Guardians, but the Avatar would surely engage him. The Warp Beasts would get into Pat’s deployment zone, and the Archon probably would have finished off the other Guardians: had the fight continued after that, might he and Eldrad gone elf-to-elf in close combat? 

Who knows how it might have played out? 

New Year, New Blood
Intro and Army Lists <> Part 1 <> Part 2 <> Lessons Learned

Posted February 2007
 

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