A Master’s League showdown!
James’ game break down:
Well, that was definitely a close game all the way to the finish. This San Diego Master’s League game was super important to the entire league and even more important in Kevin’s and my division. Just to give some background on the league rules, this is a 2000pt league that allows list tailoring. Kevin has had lots of success utilizing arguably the best unit in the game, the Eldar Windrider Jetbike, in high numbers throughout his prior games in our division. I knew that the key to winning my game against his was to try get as many of them off of the board as quickly as possible to take valuable strength 6 shooting and objective grabbing away from him. This is why I decided to take 2 Destroyer Cults. The Destroyers are extremely resilient and can all but guarantee that any Jetbikes being targeted by the Destroyers would be jinking. The real stars of this game were definitely the underdogs by anyone’s estimation. KHORNE BERZERKERS!!!! In a competitive game no less! I will admit that I did use them in the Fist of Khorne Formation which allowed them to charge on turn one out of their Kharybdis Assault Claw. As it turns out 20 powered armor models charging turn one can actually be pretty effective 😛 Here’s a quick turn by turn overview of the game as a I remember it.
PREGAME: We rolled up ITC Mission 1 Emperor’s Will. Kevin buried his home objective under a 3 story ruin that we later cover with his Void Shield Generator. I put mine in front of the new Frontline Gaming Storage Container cramped as close to my table edge as possible. We then placed the progressive objectives in the L shaped ruins closest to our respective deployment zones. I won the roll to choose who would go first and wanted last crack at objectives, because letting Kevin jump his bikes onto objectives without any recourse would make me fight an uphill battle for the maelstrom. At the last second I did try to seize (unsuccessfully) because Kevin did pack 3 units of jetbikes and his artillery in an easily multi-chargeable position.
TURN 1: Kevin decided to reserve both squads of swooping hawks, his warlord with hawks wings, 2 War Walkers, 3 Hornets, his Crimson Death Formation, and his Inquisitor. Leaving 6×3 jetbike squads, Dark Reapers and 2 squads of D Artillery on the table. Most of which was huddled under his Void Shield. He decided to move his jetbikes up just far enough to put shots down range into my exposed destroyers, being careful to stay outside of my threat range with all of that ap3 shooting. His shooting phase was pretty uneventful due to some pretty decent saves on my part. In the end he ended up netting 2 heavy destroyer kills from separate squads.
During my turn my Giant Pod of Fail dropped on top of Kevin’s Void Shield Generator doing a Strength D hit that rolled that way too common result of ‘1’ immobilizing itself in the process. The Berzerkers disembarked and got ready to multi-charge unit of D artillery, some jetbikes and some Dark Reapers, all of which were in different levels of ruins on top of his Emperors Will. I then ‘Veiled’ a squad of 4 Destroyers with both Destroyer Lords attached to it, into his set of ‘L’ shaped ruins. I moved as many Destroyers forward and into LoS blocking terrain as possible to set up shooting for the next round. My shooting phase was really lackluster. I was able to drop 2 Void Shields and kill one Jetbike SquadL. During my assault phase some really interesting events occurred. The Berzerkers themselves were only able to get into grips with 2 of the 3 squads that I declared as targets for my multi-charge. During Overwatch I ended up losing my Aspiring Champion who was equipped with a Power Fist and Lightning Claw. Pretty nasty, especially when you consider the fact that he was my Warlord!!! In an absolutely terrible display of dice-rolling I only ended up doing 3 wounds to Kevin’s 2 in combat……. Yea. Well, as it just so happens, Berzerkers are just bad enough at combat to be really good overall. By this I mean that Kevin stayed locked in combat with me, sparing them the buckets of dice Kevin would no doubt be throwing at them in the coming shooting phase.
TURNS 2-3: All of Kevin’s reserves came in aside from his Swooping Hawks and Warlord. He brought everything via outflank. These two rounds of shooting were definitely a different story. Kevin started to really whittle down the 3 man destroyer units, killing the remaining models in the Heavy Destroyer unit. Killing 2 Destroyers out of the unit that Veiled and weakening just about every unit to some degree. Kevin also used his Crimson Death Formation to bring down the immobilized Kharybdis. During Kevin’s assault phases he would drop back into the safety of his void shields, which were repaired to full strength. During the ongoing combat in the ruins, the Berzerkers finally killed both of the units they were tanged up with, allowing me to line up another charge in my turn. The berzkerers, being the badasses that they are, ended up making combat with Kevins Inquisitor, a squad of jetbikes, and the last squad of D artillery. They ended up destroying the artillery unit and doing 2 wounds to the inquisitor. The Jetbikes were unscathed but decided to run off the board edge. The inquisitor decided to stick around though, yet again leaving the Berzerkers in safety. The next round they did end up taking quite a few losses from long ranged shooting but were still holding strong as they sought cover in the ruins where Kevin’s Emperors Will was positioned.
TURN 4-5. Kevin’s Warlord’s Unit came in along with the other Swooping Hawks squad and started peppering the remaining berzerkers. The crimson hunters started to turn their guns on the my destroyers that guarded my emperors will objective to make way for a unit of jetbikes kevin had been hiding in LoS blocking terrain. In the end, the remaining berzerkers made yet another charge, this time with only three models remaining into the Swooping Hawks, beating them in combat and making them run off the table. In return the Kevin’s Warlords unit of Swooping hawks shot them down to a man, and eventually charged in for the final kill. The Berzerkers died doing what they do in the fluff, causing carnage everywhere they go before dying themselves in a heap of blood and gore. With the massed Blood Tithe, I was able to summon flesh hounds in my 4th turn. Kevin took more of an interest in killing the destroyers near my home objective and so left the newly arrived dogs relatively unscathed. I was able to summon them near ruins for an increased save. In the end I was able to contest his home objective with the Flesh Hound unit and take my home objective thanks to really bad rolling on kevins part and some really clutch saves on my part. The end game score was 9-2. I had been beating kevin on maelstrom from the get. He pretty conceded the secondary on turn 4.
To sum up the game honestly, I had a lot of important dice rolls go my way. Kevin failed lots of morale checks in both shooting and assault. I knew that putting the berzerkers near his home objective would make him have to continually feed me units if he wanted to reclaim or contest it. Then it just came down to who could survive more punishment Destroyers or Eldar. Being on very little sleep, I made some really dumb mistakes like forgetting to charge one of the Hornets with a Destroyer and forgetting that Rage and Furious Charge don’t work when multi-charging. I was dead on my feet LOL! In the end the Necrons proved to be too resilient for even the mighty Eldar Jetbike Spam.