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Saturday, January 04, 2014

Fun Apocalypse Game at Battle Bunker

Today I finally get to use my 6th ed Eldar codex by playing a game of Apocalypse.  It is a fun game with a great story, and lots of tactical lessons.  I will first run through the event and then share my thoughts.

The background story was that the Space marines received a distress call from an Imperial Guard garrison guarding a relic.  When the Space marines reach the area, it was found to be attacked by an alliance of Dark Eldar (Sengkang/Punggol Peter), Orks (Lawrence) and Tyranids (Elmer).  The Eldar sense that if the relic is seized and removed by the Xenos alliance, something bad will happen.  Thus they (alas! Me!) decide to join in.  The mission objective is simple...seize the relic!!!

A picture says a thousand words, so here's my army.

They say no matter plan survive the first contact with the enemy and it was so true today.  I deployed at the left with the marines were at the center and right.  (I deploy far from them because I was clueless with their "marine-speak" so I decide to stick to what I told them earlier which is to let me guard/absorb the most vulnerable flank while they do their thing.  At first I was worried about the lack of cover but it turn out to be an invalid worry......

Because the dark eldar player revealed that he has a stretegem that allow him to deploy 3 portals anywhere and he is deploying them at our deployment zones.  So the Dark Eldar just show up (to my horror, you do nto need to roll if reserves show up in Apoc turn 1, they always show up) and shoot my vehicles in the rear.  One anti-tank warwalker, one wraithlord, the D cannon and one serpent were destroyed.  5 dire avengers die in the wave serpent hull as it exploded.  The Dark Eldar plane formation (I do nt know the name, never got to ask) just flew past my Dark Reapers (who wer ein a building) and bomb the unit, killing the exarch and 3 other Dark Reapers.  There goes my anti air.  To make things worse, Lawrence's deff koptas then show up and wreck my falcon in the rear.  In conclusion, at Turn 1 I am suppose to help my teammates take out the dark eldar gun platforms, it turn out that they get me instead.

I proceed with my counterattack.  People who knew my 40k exploits are aware that I often had the experience of enemy deepstrikers and outflankers appearing in my deployment zone and giving me trouble.  So I stick to my drill and launch my counterattack.  My units flood the area with shuriken and laser fire and then finish up with my good old Eldar horde attack.  But unfortunately most of my units except the striking scorpions and war walkers fail charge.  Anyway here's the pic showing what happen.

I would like to say that my enemy have a deadly combo.  Elmer has wisely chosen the strategem to give all firendly units the shroud ability in turn 1.  This meant that Peter's vehicles have 3+ saves while Lawrence's KFF ork horde has 2+ cover saves.  This largely explains why I can get rid of Peter's infantry but his ravagers survive my shooting.

To make things worse, Lawrence has the waagh strategem and his chose to have his finest hour ability in turn 1(thus allowing him to move triple) and he march straight into the front of the marine gunline.  It was to our great fortune that he fail charge.

Turn 2 was a grinding match, with me and Peter engaging in a close battle of attrition via gunfire and cc.  Lawrence's deffkoptas charge my scorpions and fire dragons but were eventually defeated.  (The scorpion claw is no longer I1 thus allow my scorpions to win the fight, in the case of the dragons they lose combat but rally and finally use their fusion guns to shoot down the koptas.  ) By the end of my turn 2, his Baron realise that it is not worth it and use his hit and run ability to escape (he will charge me again in turn 3 only to die by my Wraithlord's overwatch with flamer).  But if you look at the picture below, you will realise that Elmer's troops are coming!!!

What about my space marine allies?  Unfortunately I was too busy to notice.  But I know is that it is a grinding match between the two marines and the huge ork mob.  Lawrence told me after the game that Andrew kept on charging his orks thus preventing the Orks from gaining furious charge.  In addition, not all the 100 orks get to fight.  Below are some pictures of the grinding match.

At turn 3, Fabian trigger a special event.  The relic has been affect by the bloodshed around and a puffed-up Greater Daemon has been released!  The evil creature teleported to a random location which turns up to be the site of lawrence's battlewagon with loota.  The unit is destroyed.  Fabian then declares that the previous victory condition is void and the side that kills the daemon wins!  Upon hearing this, the Dark Eldar redirect his planes at the greater daemon while the Nids redirected half of their reaper swarms.  My Eldar forces are saved!!! (Actually they did the right thing and they will eventually win the game as a result).

However there are still forces attacking me, although the Baron died to my wraithlord's overwatch, this allow Elmer Old-One-Eye to charge my wraithlord.  My wraithlord remove all but one of the Tyranid's wounds before dying.  In my turn 3, I mustered my surviving troops and (with some help from Wei Yee's planes) shot down all the enemy remaining in my quarter.  The old one eye was killed by the Brightlance Warwalker.  A ravager was shot down by the fire dragons while the reaper swarms were killed by guardians, scatter laser war walker and dire avengers.  Scatter lasers are awesome!!!

The picture below show my forces as at end of turn 3.  My line was stablised, I will lose my rangers and 2 striking scorpion later on in a Tyranid charge but otherwise I am safe.

Turn 4 was short.  The Orks' grind with the marines continue but Lawrence manage to kill the Daemon with his surviving lootas unit.  The Xenos have won!!!  Note: the Imperials did not complete their turn because we run out of time (I need to go home).  But I think we can still do a lot of damage.

After thoughts.

Well I was rusty.  I was totally unfamiliar with the new apoc rules and I never really guarded my vehicles in turn 1.  That cost me most of my long range AT shooting.  A lot of people commented that I surprisingly survive.  Well I think it is largely because Peter has been targeting my vehicles.  Before he use his anti-infantry planes on me, the objective change in turn 3 led to him rushing for the Daemon instead.

Neverthess I am quite happy with my Eldar.  Several units work very well.  They are

The guardians with scatter laser than grant them twin link
Scorpions - they gain stealth and now their pistols gain the bloadestorm rule too
War walkers - the 5+ invul works wonders!!!

Battle focus as a whole.  It allow my Eldar to move in and out of position more easily.  No longer do Eldar need to suffer from marching into the opponent at 12 inch only to suffer retaliation after that.

That's what I can think off for now.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Battle against Victor's Dark Elves (WM)

Last Saturday, I had a tough battle against Victor's Dark Elves.  This is the first time both Vic and myself were playing Warmaster at 2000 points and it was my 2nd Warmaster game ever.  I am using the Kislevite army supplemented(proxied) by Kenneth's Empire.

I deploy with my strongest cavalry on my left flank, center was occupied by my gunline while the right was defended by a unit of infantry and bears in a forest and some horse archers.  The horse archers quickly redeploy to the center, and subsequently to my left when the battle commence.  The reason is due to Victor's deployment, he had a weak(er) right flank (my left), center was average but his left flank was very strong with witchelves, cold one chariot and 2 units of cold one knights as one brigade.

Fortunately for me, the token troops on my right, together with the forest, is able to delay him enough for me to launch a few attacks of opportunity from my left.  Small units of kislev lancers and cossacks were sent to attack targets of opportunity.  Victor then counter attack with his harpies but these were pushed off.  I then advance in the center by moving my gunline forward.  While my redguards manage to advance and drove off Victor's rxbmen in the center, my kislev wagon failed to redeploy after moving forward.  This meant that the archers accompanying it were not in defensive formation.  Victor then seize the chance and launch an attack with his cold one chariot.  I lost 1 unit of archers and half the wagon unit(lost the horse team) but manage to finally eliminate his chariots with my horse archers countercharging.  By this time Victor's knights has finally circumvent the forest and were about to reach me but my wagon and archers manage to drove them back quite a distance.  It was already 5.30pm by then and as the battle has not been conclusive, we ended the game.  Calculation of points revealed a draw.

Personally I felt that the battle will be inconclusive even if we played further.  Both our armies were deployed defensively thus making if very risky for the opponent to attack.  Neither Victor nor myself is willing to risk an assault.  In fact I was toying with the idea of a general advance by my guns and slowly wither him until I can finally kill him (which may take many many turns).  I have still yet to master the game and still think like a WHFB player expecting each unit to move at all time like a well oil machine.  Thus I find it difficult to exploit my successful attacks, often I run out of commanders at the front (as most of them are busy at the rear trying to get the rest of the army forward) which finally results in my attacking troops being bogged down and finally swamped and eliminated by the enemy.