Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Last Friday's Battle - IG w/ Dark Angels vs Eldar. No vehicles!

So George and myself had our selves a friendly little battle last Friday. The battle was between Georges Iyanden Eldar and my Imperial Guard w/ Dark Angel allies. The set the battle at 1000 points and had Crusader as the Mission on a Dawn of War Battlefield, No Night Fighting occurred and the game ended at the end of turn 4 beginning of turn 5. So nothing special thus far but George wanted to figure out what he needed to fill out his Infantry so we played a game with no vehicles or more specifically, no figures that have the Hull Point stat.

This isn't really and issue for me since I am used to running heavy infantry with both my IG and my Dark Angels but George had some issues. George brought 2 10 man units of Guardians but only has 1 support platform. He also brought 2 5 man Dire Avenger squads, a 3 man bike squad, a Pathfinder squad w/ Illic (sorry I am not going to bother looking up the correct spelling but I know i spelt it wrong), and a unit of Wraithblades with Power Axes and Shields. All in all this should have been an OK force to take, except if wasn't.

I pretty much took my norm for the IG with the Company Command w/ MoO, my Platoon and a Vet squad then added a DA librarian, Deathwing, a Devastator squad, and 2 units of Sniper scouts. Both scouts infiltrated onto objectives and every thing else advanced at about 4" a turn except the Command squad, Devastators and librarian. The eldar for all their movement pretty much got mowed down as they came into LoS as they came into view of 2 or more units or fell to the MoO (who rolled great for everything and only missed completely on 1 or 2 turns).

The truth is I knew George was trying out stuff and I gave him the nastiest list I could so he could really test what he had. I had little hope of him winning but I knew there was always the chance that he had something that I didn't know about. I was very surprised by the survivability of his Wraithblades and if I hadn't killed his Spiritseer early on that unit probably would have walked through the center of my firing line. I took a unit of Deathwing to counter these guys but with that Spiritseer I think he could have taken them. As is I ended a very long assault with only one Deathwing terminator to my name.

The game ended at the beginning of turn 5 with George giving up. Having a unit of Pathfinders and 2 Dire Avengers wasn't going to be enough to claim 2 objectives while I still had a full unit of Scouts, 2 command squads and a Devastator squad as well as a half strength infantry squad with a flamer. I also would have still had a full turn of shooting to go. Hopefully George figured out what he needs to do with his infantry and maybe we can try this again once he makes his changes. I enjoyed the game and I learned a couple of things from it as well.


  1. Ouch, sounds like a rough game for the Eldar...
    Any pointers I could give the struggling Craftworld?

  2. I needed to bring more heavy hitters. I only had three reapers and a scatter laser heavy weapon platform to offset the IG firepower. Normally, I have tanks. This time... I didn't have them and I brought too little heavy hitters. My answer in general... need another weapon platform and I should.have traded the Pathfinders for more reapers and a farseer. There was a lot wrong in this battle for me. It started with my army list. It was a test... and honestly I should be doing more battles just like this. My troops are specialized and I need to learn to use them better.

  3. Was true, he took to general a list and not enough stuff to counter what I took. I did hit him with the best list that I could currently field. I also have played eldar I the past and used tactics I knew would test an all infantry eldar list. The wraith are new to me and I was very surprised by them. George post your list from Friday.

  4. Illic with 5 Pathfinders
    2 Dire Avenger 5 man squads
    2 Guardian Defender 10 man squads, one with a Heavy Weapon Platform
    5 Wraithblades with Spiritseer
    3 Windrider Jetbikes, one with cannon upgrade
    3 Reapers with missle upgrade

    In truth I was testing out the rangers. I also wanted to see how the troops faired in survivability against a blast heavy force. I pretty much knew the outcome beforehand but wanted to test a few theories.

    Theory of Jetbikes being a melee group is minimal. I have to start using them in numbers, which means I will be picking up a good amount of these in the near future. Since I have >20 Dire avengers and >35 Guardians, I have troops. But not the kind I want. So, jetbikes will become my base troops and I will use them as such, but I need more, many many more.

    Theory of Illic and Pathfinders. I needed a scout troop and picke dhtese guys up including Illic a few days before the battle. I wanted to see how they faired. Defensively, they are awesome. I mean really, stick em on an objective and its yours if you can keep the opposing force busy on other situations. Where they lack is offensive power. I don't know if I was rolling horrible or not but they didnt hit crap the entire battle. My Avengers did better. Sooo, for the points, they are useful, but only in holding objectives, and only in this configuration. The bonus cover saves from being pathfinders saved thier hides a lot.

    Theory of Dire Avengers vs Guardians. Survivability under fire is better. The additional one point of armor save was a big player for this unit. Not one I would use a lot but its there.

    Reapers. I knew they were badass. I simply fell into the trap of wanting to test other units more and brought too few of them. I have a total of 10 or so and should have brought them all. Jeff would have had a much different day had that been the case.

    Finally, Wraithblades. The config of Axes and Shield is nice. The invulnerable save was a big player to that unit. Especially since the Spiritseer got toasted on the first round by a blast on his head, literally. They are slow though without one, which spelled trouble for an entire Guardian unit. The terminators wiped out an entire lot of them before I could close ranks with them.

    Next up, more Reapers. Bringing Dragons. Will use Wraithlords next time too. Illic will be swapped out for Fuegan and Pathfinders will change into regular Rangers.
    Basically, the battle was insurmountable from the get go. Normally I am mech heavy, so I get to use my troops very rarely, and now I remember why.

  5. If you have the points, the Dire Avenger Exarch can always be upgraded to give the entire unit that 5++ invul (Shimmershield) too - which makes those DAs even more survivable.
    For them, I've found the biggest difference is the 6" extra range on their guns. Makes it easier to shoot, then Battle Focus farther towards the edge of enemy charge range. But they do lose the heavy weapon in exchange...

    I would be careful taking more than 5 Reapers - it can be really good, but taking 10x winds up being half of your army.
    Something you might consider instead is a couple Weapon Platforms (can proxy with Guardian platforms). For 30 pts. you get a 48" S6 large blast that can be fired out of LoS (Barrage). Take three of them for 90 pts. and you could really scare the pants off those IG blobs!

    Same goes for the Reaper Exarch with a Tempest Launcher - S4, AP3, Heavy 2, Blast, Barrage. Throw in Fast Shot for Heavy 3.
    That upgrade is 40 points (Exarch, Launcher, Fast Shot) in addition to the cost of the Reapers, but gives you an AP3 blast weapon you can fire out of LoS (or in LoS along with the rest of the unit to really mess up blobs, even Marine equivalents or bikes).

    To deal with the Terminators, Fuegan/Dragons (or an Avatar) should do the trick, but also consider kitting that Farseer with some Telepathy powers (I'd do one roll, and if it's not fantastic, take the Primaris. Gives you a good shot at ignoring that pesky 2+)
    My favorite way to run a Farseer is on a bike with the Mantle of the Laughing God (for that sweet sweet 2+ re-rollable cover save). That is, if he's not bringing a lot of Ignores Cover to the table. That way, you can also use the Stone of Anath'Lan to guarantee 3 powers/turn without losing your only save.