Hi everyone, Michael here with the final battle report from a recent tournament. This time, my White Scars take on a beautiful Dark Eldar army. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
The final game of the day saw my White Scars take on Paulie and his Drukhari/Dark Eldar raiders. This tournament was played on the day of the release of the new codex, so he wasn’t using it in this game, but he was really excited by the new book.
The mission for game 3 saw Dominate and Destroy as the Eternal War mission, with Deadlock as the Maelstrom of War mission. The Eternal War mission gave one point for each objective held at the end of your turn and one point for each enemy unit destroyed. The maelstrom mission started with 6 cards on turn 1, 5 cards on turn 2, etc.
This would make the first few turns important to try and score as many maelstrom points as possible. I’m not a big fan of kill point missions, but hopefully the squishy Eldar would make up for that. We were using Dawn of War deployment.
After the first three games of the day, I was pretty wiped. I actually considered leaving after game 3 to go home early (I still had an hour drive ahead of me), but am glad that I did not. Paulie had a beautiful Dark Eldar army and was a joy to play against. They army won Best Painted Army at the tournament, as it was easy to see why. You can check out more of Paulie’s work on his Facebook page, Sky Serpent. Check it out and give him a follow.
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My army consisted of:
- Captain- Bike, Thunder Hammer, Shield Eternal, Imperium’s Sword Warlord Trait (C1)
- Lieutenant- Jump Pack, Power Axe, Master-crafted Bolter (L1)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters (S1)
- 5 Scouts- Bolters (S2)
- 5 Scouts- Bolt Pistols, Combat Knives (S3)
- 5 Tactical Marines- Heavy Bolter (TS1)
- 10 Vanguard Veterans- 5 with Plasma Pistols and Chainswords, 5 with two Chainswords (VV)
- 10 Sternguard Veterans- Special Issue Bolters (SV)
- Stormraven Gunship- Twin Assault Cannons, Twin Heavy Bolters, Two Stormstrike Missiles, two Hurricane Bolters (SG)
- Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Combi-Melta (C2)
- 3 Bike Squad- Twin Bolters, 2 Meltaguns (B)
- 3 Scout Bikers- Twin Bolters, Shotguns (SB1)
- 3 Scout Bikers- Twin Bolters, Shotguns (SB2)
- Lieutenant- Master-crafted Bolter, Chainsword (L2)
- 5 Devastators- 2 Missile Launchers, Lascannon (D1)
- 5 Devastators- 2 Heavy Bolters (D2)
- Thunderfire Cannon (TC)
- Techmarine Gunner- Flamer, Plasma Cutter, two Servo-arms (T)
Paulie’s army consisted of:
- Archon- The Parasite’s Kiss (Relic), Huskblade, Eternal Hatred (warlord trait) (A)
- 5 Kabalite Warriors- Sybarite with Agoniser, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Blaster (K1)
- 5 Kabalite Warriors- Blaster (K2)
- 5 Kabalite Warriors- Blaster (K3)
- Beastmaster- Agoniser, Combat Drugs: Splintermind (B)
- 12 Razorwing Flocks (RF)
- 5 Scourges- 4 Dark Lances (S1)
- 5 Scourges- 4 Dark Lances (S2)
- Ravager- 3 Dark Lances, Shock Prow (R1)
- Ravager- 3 Dark Lances, Shock Prow (R2)
- Reaper (R)
- Venom- 2 Splinter Cannons (V1)
- Venom- 2 Splinter Cannons (V2)
- Venom- 2 Splinter Cannons (V3)
Air Wing Detachment
- Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 Dark Lances (Rz1)
- Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 Dark Lances (Rz2)
- Voidraven Bomber- 2 Dark Scythes, Voidraven Missiles (VR)
A lot of fast skimmers in the army. Dark Eldar transports can be pretty tough thanks to their invulnerable save, able to shrug off the most powerful shots a third of the time. He also had a huge squad of Razorwing flocks to block my units and soak up a lot of damage.
We deployed the objectives as shown below:
We then deployed our units.
I put the Missile Launcher Devastators in the ruins to the right, supported by the Lieutenant on foot and a unit of Scout Bikers. I put the Jump Pack Captain on the board on the right. I figured starting him on the table would allow me to go after the enemy flyers if they moved up to my lines, reducing the charge distance compared to deep striking in.
I put the Bikers, Biker Captain and a unit of Devastators in the centre, with the Tactical Squad and Thunderfire Cannon on the right. The Stormraven went towards the centre. I put the three Scout units far forward towards the enemy army. I put the Vanguard Veterans in reserve.
Paulie spread his forces across the board. The Flyers went on each corner and in the centre. The Venoms spread out across the objectives in his deployment zone, with the Reaper in the centre. The Razorwing Flock spread out to shield the central Venoms. Paulie used two command points on a stratagem to put the Ravagers in reserve, while the Scourges also deployed in reserve.
We had to roll off three times for first turn, but eventually Paulie won the roll thanks to deploying first. However, I was able to seize the initiative and took the first turn.
TURN 1- WHITE SCARS
In my first turn, I drew Secure Objective 3, Secure Objective 6, Defend Objective 2, Defend Objective 3, Defend Objective 4 and Defend Objective 6. A pretty good hand to draw on the first turn. I had most of the objectives in my deployment zone, with little chance of them getting stolen from me.
The White Scars rushed towards the enemy army, deploying aggressively. The Scout squads moved up on the objectives held by the enemy forces, while one unit of Scout Bikers used the Born in the Saddle stratagem to advance on the Razorwing Flock. The Stormraven moved up to support their advance.
Meanwhile, in the White Scars deployment zone, the forces clustered around the objectives.
In the shooting phase, the Scout Bikers fired at the Venom in front of them, wounding it twice. The Stormraven fired at the Venom and Reaper, destroying the Venom and putting three wounds on the Reaper with its missiles. One of the Kabalites was killed in the wreck.
The Heavy Bolter Devastators fired on the Kabalite Warriors, killing two of the squad. One of the Scout squads added their firepower, killing off the squad. The other Devastator squad fired at the Venom in front of them. I used a command point re-roll to get three wounds, but Paulie made two of his invulnerable saves. The one Missile that got through only caused 2 damage.
The Thunderfire Cannon fired at the same Venom, wounding it three times, but only one wound got through. Two of the Scout units fired at the Razorwing Flock, causing 7 wounds in total.
In the charge phase, the two Scout units and Scout Bikers assaulted the Razorwing Flock. The White Scars attacked, causing 14 wounds and killing four of the bases. The Flock struck back, killing three Scouts in one squad and one in the other.
At the end of my turn, I scored 4 objective points, two kill points, First Blood, Secure Objective 3 and Secure Objective 6 for 9 points. I discarded Defend Objective 3.
A really strong first turn for me. I had been very aggressive with my Scouts, grabbing Objective 3 from the Dark Eldar. I was hoping that my strong approach would force Paulie to deal with the units and leave me free to Defend all the objectives in my deployment zone to give me another 6 points.
TURN 1- DARK ELDAR
In his first turn, Paulie drew Secure Objective 3, Secure Objective 6, Defend Objective 4, Defend Objective 5, Supremacy and Domination. We were both drawing only objective cards to start with, so a lot of board movement to do in the opening turn.
The Razorwing Flock fell back from combat with the Scout squads, while the Venoms moved up to grab the objectives. The flyers moved across the battlefield to target the White Scars lines.
At the end of the phase, the reserves arrived. One Ravager landed on the left flank in front of the Devastators, while the other landed on the right flank in front of the objective. The Scourges also arrived, one unit landing in the ruins to the right in front of the Bikers, while the second squad arrived in the ruins on the right, besides the Scout squad.
The Venom fired at the Scouts on the right, killing three of the squad. The second Venom fired at the two combat Scouts, killing off the last two members of the squad.
The Voidraven fired at the Tactical Squad, wiping them out to free up the objective.
The Reaper fired at the Scout Bikers in front of it, wounding twice and killing two of the squad. The nearby Scourges fired at the last Biker, killing him with their Dark Lances. The central Razorwing split its fire between the two Scout squads, wiping one out and killing one from another squad.
The Ravager on the left flank fired at the Bikers, hitting once but failing to wound. Another Venom and its passengers fired at the last surviving Scouts, wiping out the squad in a hail of splinter fire.
The second Scourge unit fired at the Stormraven, wounding it twice and taking 9 damage from it. The second Ravager added its firepower, taking two more damage from it. Finally, the last flyer was able to draw line of sight on the Techmarine, killing him with a command point re-roll, and taking the Thunderfire Cannon with him.
At the end of his turn, Paulie scored 7 kill points, 3 objective points, Secure Objective 3 and Supremacy. He discarded Domination.
I also scored Defend Objective 2 and Defend Objective 6.
White Scars- 13
Dark Eldar- 15
When I scored so many points in my first turn, I thought Paulie was going to have a really tough time getting back into the game. However, a fantastic round of shooting had seen him kill off almost half my army, while he had only lost a couple of units. Now it was me who was on the back foot going into turn 2.
TURN 2- WHITE SCARS
In my second turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Secure Objective 2, Scour the Skies and Domination to go with Defend Objective 4. I used two command points to discard Domination and drew Secure Objective 1.
The Jump Pack Lieutenant moved up on objective 4, while the Bikers, Scout Bikers and two Captains moved up on the Scourges and enemy flyer. The Sternguard Veterans disembarked from the Stormraven, moving to secure the objective, while the White Scars flyer moved to the left flank.
At the end of the phase, the Vanguard Veterans arrived deploying besides the Ravager on the right flank, in range of the Captain and Lieutenant.
The Bikers fired their Meltaguns at the Razorwing, taking 8 wounds from it. They fired their Bolters at the Scourges, but despite causing several wounds, they made all their saves. The Scout Bikers added their considerable firepower, but only managed to kill two of the squad.
The Captain fired his Combi-Melta at the damaged Razorwing, hitting and wounding, but Paulie made his invulnerable save. The Biker Captain fired at the Scourges, killing one.
The Heavy Bolter Devastators added their firepower to the Scourges, hitting and wounding several times. However, once more, Paulie had an amazing round of saves (including making three 6+ FNP saves) and not a single Scourge fell.
The Vanguard Veterans overcharged their Plasma Pistols at the Ravager, doing 6 wounds on the enemy skimmer. The Devastators added their firepower, using a command point re-roll to do three wounds and finally destroy it.
The Stormraven fired at the nearby Scourges, but could only kill three of the squad. Its Stormstrike Missiles targeted the Reaper, but failed to do any damage. The Sternguard Veterans used the Masterful Marksmanship stratagem to fire on the Reaper, taking 6 wounds from it.
That was a horrendous shooting phase for me. I thought I would easily kill three Fly units to score Scour the Skies, but had only managed to kill one so far. The Scourges next to my lines had soaked up enough firepower to kill them 3 times over, but Paulie simply kept passing his armour and Pleasure from Pain saves to keep two of them alive.
I had to risk some charges and hope that I could finish off a couple of the damaged vehicles in combat. The Sternguard charged the Reaper, while the Jump Pack Captain assaulted the damaged Razorwing. In overwatch, the Razorwing rolled a double 6 for overwatch fire with its Dark Lances! Fortunately for me, the Captain made both Iron Halo saves and survived the charge.
The Captain struck at the Razorwing, destroying it with his Thunder Hammer. The Sternguard attacked the Reaper and were able to destroy it in combat.
With the destruction of the two vehicles, I scored Scour the Skies (for 2 points), Secure Objective 1 (twice), Secure Objective 2, four objective points and three kill points, taking me up to 25 points. I discarded Defend Objective 4.
TURN 2- DARK ELDAR
In his second turn, Paulie had Secure Objective 2, Secure Objective 6, Secure Objective 6, Defend Objective 4 and Defend Objective 5.
The Razorwing Flocks and Beastmaster moved to surround the Sternguard Veterans, one of the Venoms moving to support them. The two Scourges moved up on the nearby objective, while the other unit moved up towards the White Scars deployment zone to grab an objective.
The Voidraven Bomber and Ravager moved up on the Lieutenant and objective.
The Voidraven fired at the Heavy Bolter Devastator, killing three, while the further away Scourges killed another one. The unit of Scourges besides them fired at the unit, killing the last member of the squad.
The Dark Eldar lines then targeted the Sternguard Veterans, killing only two with their firepower. The Razorwing split its firepower between the Lieutenant and Sternguard. The flyer only managed a single wound on the Lieutenant, having to use a command point re-roll to do so. The shot only managed two damage though. The rest of its weaponry was able to kill 2 of the Sternguard.
The Ravager fired at the wounded Lieutenant and was able to slay him.
In the charge phase, the Razorwing Flock assaulted the Sternguard Veterans. The creatures assailed the White Scars and were able to kill them all.
At the end of his turn, Paulie scored 3 kill points, 5 objectives, Secure Objective 2, Secure Objective 6 (twice) and scored Defend Objective 5.
White Scars- 25
Dark Eldar- 28
The Dark Eldar were still in the lead, but only slightly. The White Scars were severely depleted, but they still had a fair bit of power left on the battlefield.
TURN 3- WHITE SCARS
This turn, I drew Secure Objective 2, Defend Objective 1, Assassinate and Mission Critical Objective (Objective 5).
The Vanguard Veterans moved up on the two Scourges holding the objective. The Bikers and Scout Bikers moved up on the Venom in front of them. The Jump Pack Captain also moved up. The Stormraven went into hover mode to target the Dark Eldar.
The Biker Captain used the Born in the Saddle Stratagem (using my last command point) to advance on the Ravager in the White Scars deployment zone.
The Vanguard Veterans fired on the Scourges, killing them. The Stormraven fired at the second Scourge unit, wiping them out.
The Captain fired his Combi-Melta at the Venom, hitting and wounding. I then promptly rolled a double 1 for damage!
The Scout Bikers fired at the Venom, doing another two wounds. The Devastators fired at the Venom and were able to destroy it, killing one of the Kabalites inside.
In the charge phase, the Biker Captain charged the Ravager, while the Scout Bikers charged the Kabalites that emerged from the Venom.
The Captain was able to destroy the Ravager with his Thunder Hammer, while the Scout Bikers only managed to kill one of the Kabalites.
At the end of my turn, I scored four kill points, 3 objective points, Secure Objective 2 and Mission Critical Objective (2 points) for 10 points this turn.
TURN 3- DARK ELDAR
This turn, Paulie had Secure Objective 4, Secure Objective 5, Defend Objective 5 and No Prisoners.
The Voidraven Bomber moved over the Vanguard Veterans, dropping its bomb as it passed over them and killing 9 of the squad! One Venom moved to secure the objective besides the Stormraven, while the rest of the Dark Eldar forces converged on the Bikers.
The Voidraven fired on the Bikers, killing one of the squad. It also fired on the lone Vanguard Veteran, killing him. The Razorwing fired at the remaining Bikers, wiping out the rest of the squad. The rest of the Dark Eldar forces fired on the Scout Bikers, killing them.
At this stage we were running out of time, so Paulie ended his turn. He scored 3 objective points, three kill points, No Prisoners (two points) and Secure Objective 5. As the game ended, we both scored Linebreaker.
White Scars- 35
Dark Eldar- 38
A win for the Dark Eldar.
Thanks to Paulie for a fantastic game. It really went back and forth throughout the whole game, with each of us racking up a great score each turn and forcing their opponent to play catch up at every stage of the game.
Unfortunately, we only got to turn 3, but I think the writing on the wall was clear for the White Scars. As this was our fourth full game of the day, we were both pretty tired and not playing as fast as we could have, which helped limit the number of turns as well.
Overall, I think my plan worked quite well. I think that pushing the pressure on the Dark Eldar lines from the start was a good call, but my target priority was a bit off.
In hindsight, I should have focused more fire on the Razorwing Flocks in my first turn. I didn’t realise I would be wounding them on 2’s with my Bolters. Perhaps I should have fired all my Bolters at them to try and wipe them out. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to kill off the unit to score first blood, so went after one of the Venoms instead. Killing off the Razorwings would have helped me out later in the game.
I also made an error with the Techmarine. I thought I had deployed him out of line of sight, but Paulie was able to get to him with one of his flyer and kill him. This scored him two points, as the Thunderfire Cannon perished as well.
After a great first turn (for both of us), my second turn let me down a bit. By all accounts, I should have wiped out both Scourges units with my shooting. However, Paulie simply would not fail enough saves and kept making armour save after armour save and a ton of 6+ FNP saves to keep them alive. He also made a whole bunch of invulnerable saves on his vehicles to keep them alive and cause me more problems.
Fortunately, I was able to finish off the Reaper and Razorwing in combat to pick up the two points for Scour the Skies.
In the end, it was a fantastic and close game, against a beautiful looking army. I’m glad I stuck around for it!
At the end of the four games, I finished 10th out of 25 players, so was quite happy with that. However, that was with a bye in the first game. I might have been better taking the loss in game 1, so that I would be possibly fighting some easier armies in my next three games. As it was, I only won a single game and lost three on the day.
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