Batrep: Craftworld vs Death Guard

Hey Germs and Germs, Conor here with another hot and spicy battle report. This week I’m bringing my GT Eldar against my buddy’s double knight Death Guard.

For all of you Chapter Approved hounds who have screenshots of points changes taped together on a whiteboard under your pillow, this is not being played with the new points. The GT I’m preparing for up in Bel-Air, Maryland is not using Chapter Approved because their cutoff for rules was December 1st. But I do have some neat Psychic Awakening tricks going on (Including the game-changing FAQ to Focus Will.)

Here is my list

Craftworld Battalion: Superior Shurkien/Masterful Shots

  • Autarch Skyrunner (Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Banshee Mask)
  • Yvraine
  • 20 Guardian Defenders 2 Shuriken Cannons
  • 20 Guardian Defenders 2 Scatter Lasers
  • 10 Dire Avengers (Exarch w/Bladestorm)

Craftworld Battalion: Headstrong/Superior Shuriken

  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 8 Shining Spears (Exarch w/Star Lance and Skilled Rider)
  • 5 Swooping Hawks (Exarch w/Suppressing Fire)
  • 5 Swooping Hawks (Exarch w/Suppressing Fire and Hawks Talon)

Craftworld Supreme Command: Children of Prophecy/Expert Crafters

  • Avatar of Khaine (Warlord: Legendary Fighter)
  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner

New list, new me, still Filthy Eldar. My previous GT list was similar to this, but with 60 Guardians and 8 D-Cannon Wraithguard and I am digging this a lot more. Skilled Rider (3++ on Exarch can be improved to a 2++) is pretty awesome. It is just the Exarch, so if he dies you lose that ability. But, there are some tricks to make him really, really hard to kill. So I’m liking that. The Spears really kick it up a notch. I also like giving the Avatar the +1 attack on the charge when I know I want to send him at big targets.

Ryan’s List

Death Guard Battalion 

  • Demon Prince with Wings and Hellforged Sword (Warlord: Revoltingly Resilient, Suppurating Plate)
  • Typhus
  • 13 Pox Walkers
  • 13 Pox Walkers
  • 5 Plague Marines w/2 Blight Launchers
  • Foul Blightspawn
  • Foetid Bloat Drone w/ 2 Plague spitters
  • Chaos Rhino

Chaos Knight Super Heavy Detachment (All Iconoclast)

  • Knight Despoiler (Character: Veil of Medrengard, 2x Avenger Gatling Cannon. Ironstorm Missile Pod
  • Knight Despoiler (Character, Khornate Target, Thermal Cannon, Reaper Chainsword)
  • War Dog, Two War Dog AutoCannons

We Played ITC Mission #6 and Rolled up Spearhead Assault. I selected Titanslayer, KingSlayer on the Knight with the Reaper Chainsword (because it wants to come punch me) and Recon. Ryan selected Old Skool, Headhunter, and Recon. 

In deployment, I just hid everything in the NOVA L and deepstruck one Guardian bomb. I put Rangers and Dire Avengers behind ruins in my backfield and squeezed my Spears and Guardians into the L with my characters hanging out behind them. I was able to avoid being shot at all, which was very nice and made me happy on the inside. Ryan set up his Knights about halfway up his deployment zone, so the Spears couldn’t jump them if I went first, and used his Poxwalkers to screen out his front line. He put the Plague Marines in the Rhino and the Bloat Drone on his right flank.

I won the roll-off and decided to give Ryan the first turn. He wouldn’t be able to shoot anything, so I figured a non-turn for him was better than going aggressive for me. Ryan decided to run his Knights on the backline and move Typhus and the Demon Prince closer to the front behind his Poxwalkers and the NOVA L in his deployment zone. He pushed his Poxwalkers forward to screen out my Guardians and take the middle objective. He cast some powers to give them -1 to hit, and an additional toughness (making them t5 near Typhus) but failed of those casts. He also zoomed his Bloat Drone over to one of the side objectives to go for hold more. 

In my turn, I decided to #gogetit. I jumped the Spears out of the L and ran the Guardians up the side of the board that had his Bloat Drone. I planned to shoot up the Poxwalkers with the Spears, and smite and shoot the Bloat Drone with the characters and Guardians. I have a decent amount of smite. Between Yvraine and the two Farseers I have five mortal wound-dealing powers.

In my psychic phase the dice helped me out and I passed every power. I Doomed the Poxwalkers and Jinxed the Bloat Drone (it has a save, and the Poxwalkers just have a feel no pain.) I also got Quicken off to spread the Guardians onto the middle and side objectives, giving me hold more and kill more for the turn. The Spears picked up the Poxwalkers (which would not have happened if they were buffed) and I used Fire and Fade on the Spears to hop them back behind the L. After that, I bopped the turn back over to Ryan.

Ryan was left with one target to attack, which was my Guardians. They Were buffed with Protect, so when I did pop Celestial Shield on them, they would have a 3++ against shooting. He moved his Knights closer and got Typhus into charge range of the Guardians to try and grab the middle objective. He also advanced his remaining Poxwalker squad towards my Guardians and hopped the Plague Marines out of the rhino behind the Poxwalkers to set them up for Cloud of Flies. A very gross bundle of pus ridden dudes was lumbering towards my lines. 

In Ryan’s shooting phase my buffs paid off. I spent 3 cp for Lightning Fast Reactions (-1 to hit) and Celestial Shield, and the Guardians came away with five dead elves and two dead cannons. They are insanely durable against shooting. Something I am considering with these guys is the free reroll power (Fateful Divergence) from psychic awakening, so I can have a cp reroll and that reroll to keep the cannons alive even longer, since they get a 2+ armor save with protect. Typhus did make his charge into the Guardians and killed a few more, leaving me with about 10 left and Typhus glowering at my army from the center of the board.

In my turn I had the option to drop in my Guardians, but if I did that they wouldn’t get to shoot anything juicy. I decided to run my characters into the middle of the board to fight and smite Typhus, and I hopped the Spears in between the two Ls with the idea that they could stay hidden from the Knights. Although the Reaper Chainsword Knight would be to try for a 10-inch charge, I figured I would trade that for my characters eating the knight with smites and the Avatar chopping him in half after he killed my Spears in combat.

 I moved the remainder of my Guardian Squad up toward his Poxwalkers with the idea of using Quicken to move them again, so they could charge and tri-tip his War Dog on the side of the board. Then I could move the Guardians to create a roadblock for the rest of Ryan’s forces, particularly his Avenger Gatling Knight. Throughout my careful thinking and muttering of my moves, I didn’t consider his Demon Prince, who has giant flapping wings, lurking behind the Poxwalkers as a massive threat to my Spears. My turn went about as planned. I was able to hop my characters on three objectives to grab a bonus point, kill Typhus, and Quicken my Guardians to create the roadblock and screened out my characters from shooting. I was feeling good. I was feeling like a champ. I hadn’t realized the terror coming for me.

In Ryan’s turn, he made his move. He moved the Knight up to go for the long charge but also jumped his Demon Prince past his screen to go for my Spears. Uh-oh. That moment is indicative of one of my greatest weaknesses as a 40k player. I become a bit absentminded when I’m formulating my plans. While I was certain I had to get my Spears in position to attack a knight in the next turn, I should have considered how easy it would be for his Demon Prince to assault them. At that point, I probably should have just moved them into LOS of his Thermal Cannon Knight, cast Protect on the Spears, and just accepted getting shot. 

At this point, I was pretty far up on points, but it was only turn two, and 7 of my secondaries (because I couldn’t max out Titan Slayer) were tied up in killing his Knights.

This is where the game turned. Ryan wasn’t able to shoot anything since my Spears were hidden and my Guardians were locked in combat. His chainsword Knight failed the charge but he made the easy four-inch charge with his Prince. He also assaulted my straggler Guardian Squad with his Poxwalkers and Death Guard. I was able to heroically intervene with the Avatar into his Demon Prince through a fortunate placement (he couldn’t avoid it) so I gritted my teeth and hoped for the best. 

The worlds unluckiest Demon Prince

I literally got the best. He got four wounds through, and I rolled four sixes and came away completely unscathed. That moment was the biggest piece of luck I’ve ever had playing this game. If he had killed half of the Spear squad, and all I kill in return is a Demon Prince, that is not good at all. I was ok trading for a Knight with the Spears, but not a Demon Prince.

The Avatar did four wounds to the Prince (Revolting Resilient is really good) and the turn came to me. To Ryan’s credit, he was a great sport throughout all that ridiculousness.

My turn was the nail in the coffin. With a full Spear squad and an Autarch that could easily move into range to shoot and charge the Knight, plus my Guardians coming down from deepstrike, all I needed was for Doom to go off and I felt like I could pick up one Knight and sew the game up. I also scored the bonus again. Going second is a great boon in ITC missions. 

I cast focus will on my Doomseer to ensure Doom went off, which it did, and while I failed Jinx, all of my other powers went off. I didn’t quite smite the Prince to death, so ye olde Avatar of Khaine would have to clean that up for me. There was a moment here that I really wished I had a Spiritseer in the same detachment as the Guardians so I could cast Ghostwalk on them to rescreen some of my characters with a charge, and hold the middle objective with obsec. That choice is a tweak I have already made that I’ll cover at the end of the report. 

In shooting, I brought the Knight down to about 8 wounds. I failed my Guardian charge (why I really want Ghostwalk) but made the auto-charge with the Spears and Autarch, with the Autarch going first to soak the overwatch (I am a very sad panda now that he has been Legended=[ ) I actually whiffed pretty hard in combat with the Spears, and the Autarch had to shave the last two wounds off of the Knight. This scenario further proves that I would have been in a tough spot if I hadn’t rolled magically against the Demon Prince. I also consolidated my Spears towards his other Knight so that my Characters would be screened from it’s and his Armigers shooting. 

Things were looking pretty grim for Ryan at this point. I would lose the Spears, but I had a full-strength Guardian Bomb and all of my characters, was massively ahead on points, and could easily clean up his troops with the Guardians and characters. Then, he would be unable to hold objectives or kill units without coming into the threat range of my Guardian bomb and character strength. All I would have to do is sit in the middle and out of line of sight until his Knight got close enough to be smited by the Psykers, shot by the Guardians, and charged by the Avatar. We ended up calling the game there.

I am pretty happy with this list for my upcoming GT. I think that it has some strong options against Marines with the smites and spears, since ap 4 damage 2 weapons and mortal wounds do really well against power armor. I played another practice game against Chaos and was very impressed with the 1-2 punch of Spears and Guardians on Vanguard, where you are a bit closer to your opponent. With Quicken you can dive bomb the Spears into the heart of your opponent’s army, and with Matchless Agility and Fire and Fade you can run the Guardians up, blast something and move back into a ruin in the mid-board, which most tournament tables have. I think this combo will do work on Vanguard, Search and Destroy, Frontline Assault, and Dawn of War.

In terms of small tweaks, I have cut the 10 man Dire Avenger squad down to five, pushed a few more points around, and picked up a Spiritseer in my Guardian Battalion. This way I can cast Ghostwalk on the Guardians if I need to, and if not, I can throw Conceal or Enhance on the Spears to make them even more powerful. Muahaha.

I am excited about this GT and hope to do well! I am looking to have my army nearly all Exodite themed through some sleepless nights in the coming days, so wish me luck with that madness, and at the GT itself!

See you next time.

–Conor

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2 Responses to “Batrep: Craftworld vs Death Guard”

  1. R3v0lv3r December 20, 2019 1:00 am #

    Brave, playing without any range shooting.
    Wish you luck.

  2. R3v0lv3r December 20, 2019 1:00 am #

    Brave, playing without any range shooting.
    Wish you luck.

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