My first battle against Dark Eldar

Here's my long delayed tournament battle report for the tournament on 12/11/11. It was a really fun event and as luck would have it I wound up fighting Dark Eldar for the first time, and wasn't put into matches against my friends. Got to meet some great new players and had a blast. Now, onto the details.

So, for the event, I brought my experimental dual Land Raider list that I had posted previously. Now, my biggest error in this lists design is that it's entirely optimized for fighting MEQ armies (which it performed against marvelously!), but left me high and dry against the 2 other lists I was matched up with. I was soundly beaten by Dark Eldar and tabled by Tyranids. The list, for those unaware, consisted of this:

1500 Pts - Tournament 1500 Experimental
Total Roster Cost: 1500
HQ: Space Marine Librarian in Terminator Armour
1 Space Marine Librarian in Terminator Armour, Storm Shield, Avenger, Null Zone
Elite: Terminator Assault Squad
5 Terminator Assault Squad 3 TH/SS, 2 LC
1 Sergeant TH/SS
1 Land Raider Crusader, Multi-melta
Troops: Tactical Squad
9 Tactical Squad, Flamer, Multi-melta
1 Sergeant, Combi-Meltagun x1, Power Fist x1
1 Razorback
Troops: Tactical Squad
9 Tactical Squad, Plasma gun, Missile Launcher
1 Sergeant, Combi-Meltagun x1, Power Fist x1
1 Razorback
Fast Attack: Attack Bike Squad
1 Attack Bike Squad, Multi-melta x1
Fast Attack: Attack Bike Squad
1 Attack Bike Squad, Multi-melta x1
Heavy Support: Land Raider Crusader
1 Land Raider Crusader, Multi-melta

Everything in it is quite sound (except for tacticals, but that's a tangent for another day) but not properly equipped for hordes or speed/melee dependent opponents. So, Round 1; opponent, Dark Eldar. The mission type was Dawn of War (which I detest) and I lost the roll to go first. We wound up with 5 objectives and my opponent, being the one of the top local players (winner of regional 'Ard Boyz) reserved his army to try and swoop in on mine in the dark. I wasn't about to let him get free shots at me second turn so I opted to reserve mine as well.

So, having skipped the night fighting turn (thank God) we began the game as normal (as the mission rules allowed the whole army to walk onto the board 2nd turn). His army consisted of several squads of Wyches with Haywire grenades all mounted in Raiders and 3 Ravagers. The whole band was led by Duke Sliscus who is IMPOSSIBLE to kill.

He was on my lines within a turn and killed my Attack Bikes with Wych squads and Haywire grenaded one of my Land Raiders with a perfect multi-assault. Fortunately, he was only able to  stun it at that point. I was also extremely lucky in that he couldn't penetrate my Land Raiders to save his life. They stuck around most of the game as a large annoyance. I think the 5th turn saw the white Land Raider destroyed. Most of the rest of the game can be summed up by me being tar pitted by Wych squads and an indestructible HQ who managed to pass EVERY 2+ invulnerable save put on him by my Assault Terminators; even when my Librarian cast Null Zone to stop him.


So, while I didn't win, I did have a great game against a very nice opponent and a new and exciting army. :) He was able to sneak his other squads onto outlying objectives and pin my slower army in the corner with some clever maneuvering and some hardy squads. Having Grizzly Trophies on all of his Raiders saved him from running and being swept many times through the game. All in all though, it was a great match and I had a blast. I can't wait to take on Dark Eldar again.

Onto Round 2, opponent: Space Marines. The mission type was annihilation. The mission special rules had unit coherency reduced to 1" and 5+ cover saves for units out in the open due to a snow storm. I'll be brief in the description of the round. Despite getting a Massacre, I was also playing a relatively new player whose list was based more on the models he'd acquired rather than a competitive nature.

Turn 1 saw me almost losing the Land Raider with my Terminators and Librarian inside to a deep striking Venerable Dreadnought. Fortunately, I made my 5+ cover save and in the following turn manged to sneak around behind it and stun-lock it with a Razorback. I moved the rest of my army up the table after having castled in the corner to minimize damage from long-range shooting and disembarked to dish out some punishment.

The Avenger saw the end to his Devastator squad, which was the biggest threat to my Land Raiders. Then I multi-assaulted and mopped up his Tacticals. In the following turn, I dealt with his Land Speeder and Bikes using the Land Raider's weapons and the Avenger respectively. The Avenger being AP3 was perfect for the task and ignored the 5+ cover save available to every unit. It got a majority of the work done in the match. Turn 3 saw me bring in the bikes from reserves and using them to destroy his Venerable Dreadnought. This freed up my Razorback and Tacticals to go after his HQ and attached Tactical squad. My Terminators and Librarian were also on the way to assist but their Land Raider was immobilized by a ruin so they'd have to hoof the rest of the trip. The other Land Raider split off with the other Razorback and both of their Tacticals inside and pursued the remaining enemy Tactical squad on the far side of the board. Liberal use of the Avenger, Bolter fire, and large assaults saw him wiped of the table completely. I lost a Razorback to a good Lascannon shot. As I said, a Massacre for me, but not one I'm very proud of.

And finally, Round 3, opponent: Tyranids. I'll be very brief and sum up this round as it was an utter disaster. The mission type saw me protecting 3 objectives while my opponent had 1 objective worth 3 points. Again, I had 2nd turn and was fighting a list of Genestealers, a winged Hive Tyrant, some Hive Guard, and a Tervigon (to the best of my recollection). For the life of me, I couldn't stop rolling 1's. I immobilized my Land Raider (with Terminator and Librarian cargo) first turn on some tall grass. The following turns saw me killing myself with terrible saves to the point where my opponent tabled me. Sure, he was extending movement and runs when he thought I wasn't looking, but at that point it no longer mattered.

So, what did I take away from all of this? Well, a couple things. Firstly, I learned that sometimes, you have to play for the tie. You wind up against an opponent who has the rock to your scissors and you have to identify when to cut your losses and hold the line. I believe identifying  this point and taking into account your mission and where you stand is a learned skill and definitely one that I need to work on. Second, buy some square dice! I'm sick and tired of all of my terminators dying from 4 wounds that I somehow roll 1's for. Upon recently learning the odds for rolling 1's with rounded dice is upwards of 30% I think it's time to invest in something different; more on that in the future. Finally, singles tournaments aren't as intimidating as I'd feared. It's time to get out of my shell more often and meet some folks that play a great game. My army performed just as it needed to, but I need to adjust myself to optimize against more than what's supposedly the most common army type. Need to look at getting Vulkan and making my lists a little more competitive for my next attempt.

I also wanted to include a few more pictures since I wound up overwhelmed and didn't get any of my other matches. Next time I'll try to snag a few more, but I'm learning to better budget my time between rounds for taking care of everything. So, until then, here's a few captured during Round 1. :)

My friend Tom's Space Wolves meeting the rock to their scissors Purifier Grey Knights! It didn't end well for him...

Tyranids fighting some Imperial Guard

Some hot Necron on Necron action. My friend Ben (who is new to 5th Ed. and running the black Necrons) beat a way more experienced player in this match. Right on!

My friend Tom, again. Here he is in Round 3 getting torn apart by Imperial Guard. Just wasn't his day for match ups. Check out those tilt rotor Valkyries though. :)

Ben in Round 3 dishing out some undead, zombie, robot, mummy pain onto the Marine army I tabled in Round 2.

Tom's brother Donovan fighting some Necrons with his Black Templar. Looks as though the SUPER COMMAND SQUAD isn't fairing too well in this match. :(

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