Crucible of Winter: Game 1

My latest GT went a bit better than my last one.

I changed up my list for this GT, and while it was better than my debacle with the Wraithguard, I still think this build leaves a lot to be desired. Nonetheless, I learned a lot about what I think is good in Eldar versus Marines. I also had an awesome time with the Peace Through Dakka crew up in Maryland. Big shout out to Bel-Air Games where the GT was held!

Here is my list:

Craftworld Battalion: Superior Shurkien and Masterful Shots

  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 20 Guardian Defenders (2 Scatter Lasers)
  • 20 Guardian Defenders (2 Scatter Lasers)
  • 5 Rangers
  • Nightspinner
  • Nightspinner

Craftworld Battalion: Children of Prophecy and Hail of Doom

  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 9 Shining Spears (Exarch: Skilled Rider and Star Lance

Harlequin Supreme Command: Midnight Sorrow

  • Shadowseer (Warlord)
  • Troupe Master (Fusion Pistol/Harlequins Kiss)
  • Troupe Master (Fusion Pistol/Harlequins Kiss)
  • Solitaire

I felt pretty strong about this list coming into the event. Spears are great, Guardians are great, and my Harlequin characters are spicy. Unfortunately, this list plays into Space Marines a bit like a wet paper bag. I have revamped it a bit since the GT. The Spears were definitely the star unit, so there are a lot of Saurus Knight Conversions in my future.

I got to play my buddy, Shane “17 Custodes Jetbikes” Watts round 1.

Here is his list:

Red Scorpions Battalion: Long Range Marksmen and Stealthy

  • Carab Culln The Risen
  • Primaris Chaplain
  • 5 Scouts
  • 5 Scouts
  • 5 Scouts

Apothecary

  • 5 Assault Centurions (Hurricane Bolters and 2x Flamers)
  • 5 Centurion Devastators (Grav and Hurricane Bolters)

Red Scorpions Battalion: Long Range Marksmen and Stealthy

  • Chapter Master in Phobos Armor
  • Primaris Lieutenant
  • 5 Scouts
  • 5 Scouts
  • 5 Scouts

Red Scorpions Spearhead: Long Range Marksmen and Stealthy

  • Librarian
  • 3x Eliminator (Bolt Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloak)
  • 3x Eliminator (Bolt Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloak)
  • 3x Eliminator (Bolt Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloak)

Woooo! This was a tough round one. The deployments at this tournament were pre-set, and we got Vanguard. This was actually pretty good for me. We’re not super far apart, and I got a nice ruin to hide in on the first turn. I deepstruck one of my Guardian Bombs and hid the other squad, my Spears, and the Nightspinners in the ruin. I kept my biker psykers in the back corner so they wouldn’t get popped by Eliminators, and screened out my frontline with Rangers so he couldn’t easily bum rush me with his Assault Centurions. Shane castled up in his ruin as well, but also put some of his Scout squads out in the middle to grab objectives.

Shane won the roll-off, but decided to give me first turn. I was pretty stoked about this! (He literally went, “I’m not sure if this is right, but you can go first.”) Shane and I are buddies so that was pretty funny. I decided to go hard or go home on this one. I Phantasm redeployed my Farseer with Doom, Warlock with Jinx, and my Shining Spears. My plan was to run into the middle of the board with these psykers and my Guardians, and use Quicken to fling the Spears into his zone and kill his Centurions.

He had placed them on the back edge of his ruin and with a successful Quicken all of my Spears would be in range with their lances and catapults. This seemed a bit easy, and in the middle of my turn I looked at Shane and said, “This almost seems like this is a trap.” He smiled a bit and said, “Yeah, weird that they’re all on the back corner and in cover.”

My move was high risk. If I failed any of the powers the Centurions would probably not die, I would lose my Spears, and Shane could start to revive the Centurions with his Apothecary. This was probably his thought process in giving me the Centurion bait along with the first turn. Such a wilely play!

All of my offensive powers went off (Jinx, Protect, Guide, Quicken) and my Spears got into position. I didn’t manage to get any of the defensive buffs off (Protect/Fortune) on the Guardians, but you can’t have everything.

In shooting, I picked up all but two of the Centurions between the Spears and the Nightspinners. Those sons of the Emperor are as tough as Vulkan’s toenails. My Guardians picked up a Scout squad as well. I charged the Spears in, lost a couple of overwatch, but managed to finish the Centurions off in combat and piled into an Eliminator squad and a Thunder Fire Cannon. So…that was good? I felt ok at this point but was definitely about to get punched in the mouth.

Shane picked up the Spears pretty easily, and also killed about half of the Guardians. He also murdered one of my Jinx Warlocks with his Eliminators and Phobos Captain. I saved my Guardians for two CP, and we rolled into my turn two.

This was a pretty quick turn for me. I didn’t want to bring in my Guardian bomb because I needed them around to counter his Grav Centurions. I used my Guardians left on the board and the Nightspinners to pick up two more scout squads for a Butchers Bill and screened out my forces with Rangers coming in from deepstrike.

Shane’s turn two hurt. I made a boo-boo and didn’t properly screen my Nightspinner from his Grav Centurions, so they dropped in and picked up the Guardians I had left with their Bolters, and the Nightspinner with their Grav Guns. Those Nightspinners are so useful in the back half of the game to keep killing those Eliminators and getting me kills. He also ran his Apothecary and Captain out of his ruin to buff the Cents.

We had a bit of miscommunication in my third turn. In his turn, Shane had asked me if I had anything in deepstrike and I just said “Rangers.” I’m not sure why I didn’t also mention that I had Guardians, but when I brought them in to shoot his Centurions he looked really surprised. I offered to remove them from the game, but Shane understood that I just blanked and said it was ok. Sportmanship through and through.

Moving on from that, I knew that the game was going to be decided in this turn. I had blitzed my Solitaire and she had a 6-inch charge into Shane’s ruin, where my plan was to have her fight twice to kill two Eliminator squads and touch his Thunderfire Cannon. I dropped the Guardians out of Auspex Scan range, and threw some smites and debuffs on the Cents (Jinx and Doom.) Sadly… The Centurions survived with two models left. That six-up feel no pain from the nearby Apothecary made a big difference!

In the charge phase, my Solitaire took a lot of overwatch from the Eliminators and I used a CP reroll to roll an extra save, which was a bad idea. The wouldn’t have killed her but I got a little squirrely with the CP. It was very bad because I failed the charge and couldn’t reroll it! Womp Womp.

That turn was the nail in the coffin for me. I needed both of those things to go off to stay in the game, and not killing the Centurions along with leaving all the Eliminators unscathed allowed Shane to pop out on the next turn and kill three of my characters because I had to bring them all out from hiding so they could cast their powers. I also didn’t score a kill or a Butchers Bill this turn.

From here the game went downhill quickly. Shane revived one of his Centurions (so now he had three) and walked all of his Eliminators out of the ruin they had been hiding in. Now they could lay down their d3 damage shots at my characters. In his turn, he picked up all of the Guardians, my Doomseer, a Warlock Skyrunner, and my poor Solitaire. At this point, I was down to my Nightspinners and a smattering of characters. I played out the last couple of tuns to get some more points and Shane tabled me on turn six.

I think If I had killed those Centurions and the Solitaire makes her charge I still have a game. I am falling into blaming my dice here though, which I don’t like doing. Thinking about this game in retrospect I think the matchup is just very bad. My army focuses on Characters and those Eliminators keep them hidden in my deployment. I learned a lot in this match about marines. The big takeaway is that I probably need some more shooting and more Shining Spears, and maybe even some better close combat like Grotesques to keep my deployment zone safe, or even to use as an engineer squad since Thunderfire Cannons will probably slow them down for most of the game anyway.

I’m not sure that I made any mistakes in the game. Talking about it afterward with Shane, the only thing that I messed up on was that CP reroll with the Solitaire. That was pretty bad. I think I also could have been using my Nightspinners to shoot his Eliminators to save myself some heartache. A late-game Scenario with a Guardian bomb and a bunch of smites is pretty good vs Marine bodies, but even then I have no real answer for Carab other than just running away. All in all, a good game against a good player where I learned a great deal.

Tune in next week for Game 2!

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