Thursday, June 25, 2009

40K: Battle Report - Dark Eldar vs. Demon/Witchhunters, 1500 pts.

I am so weak-willed.

I have said multiple times to multiple people that I've shelved my Dark Eldar until we get a new Codex. I managed to stand by that for many moons - not so hard to do, as busy as I am. But I found myself home from work today and decided to make a new army list. Having accomplished that and feeling a great deal of cabin fever by dinner time, I decided I wanted to take it for a spin at my LGS.

I wish I'd stuck by my convictions . . . *sigh* Anyway, here is the new list:

Archon (S.Field, C.Drugs, P.Grenades, Animus, T.Helm) - [375]
- Incubi Retinue (x 6 Incubi; 1 x Blaster, P.Grenades)
- Raider (Lance)

Wyches (x 9 Wyches, W.Weapons, P.Grenades) - [228]
- Succubus (Agonizer, P.Grenades, S.Pistol)
- Raider (Lance)

Raider Squad (x 9 Warriors, 1 x Blaster, 1 x S.Cannon) - [173]
- Sybarite (Agonizer, S.Pistol)
- Raider (Horrorfex, Lance)

Warrior Squad (x 14 Warriors, 1 x Blaster, 1 x S.Cannon) - [176]
- Sybarite (Agonizer, S.Pistol)

2 x Sniper Squads ( x 10 Warriors, 2 x Lances) - [200]
3 x Ravagers (1 x Lance, 2 x Disentegrator) - [345]

Total Points: 1497

Here is my opponent's list, to the best of my memory:

Grand Master Grey Knight
- Grey Knight Retinue (x 5 Knights, 2 x Psycannons, 3 x Storm Bolters)

- Celestine Retinue (5 x Sisters, ? Multi-melta, ? Psycannon)
- Preacher (Eviscerator)
- Sister Superior (Eviscerator)
- Land Raider (Dedicated Transport for Grey Knights? Started outside the LR, then embarked)

- Stormtrooper Retinue (2 x Plasma guns, 1 x Meltagun)
- Chimera (Multilaser, H.Bolter)

Stormtroopers (at least 1 x Meltagun)
- Chimera (Multilaster, H.Bolter)

2 x Penitent Engines (H.Flamer, CCWeapon)

I won the side/deployment roll and opted to let my opponent deploy and go first. We were using a lava-themed board, but opted to ignore the deadly terrain and treat it more like . . . very bright grass (sorry, that's the best I could come up with).

Imperial Deployment:
He set up in a refused flank on my right: Land Raider in the center of the table with the Celestines behind it, ready to jump inside. Stormtroopers in both Chimeras - one on the extreme flank, the other between the Raider and the first Chimera; The Grey Knights were in the middle of the table behind the Raider and the Penitent Engines were between the three tanks.

Dark Eldar Deployment:
I put my transports on the left side of the table, my Ravagers on the right (two behind, one in cover) and tried to cover the firing lanes in the center with my footsloggers, gravitating towards the right side of the table.

This is where I show you the crappy pictures taken with my cell phone - however, I forgot that, in addition to taking the picture, one must also elect to 'save' it.

Turn 1: Demon/Witchhunters
Inquisitor Chimera and Pentient Engine 1 moved up right flank toward the Ravagers, while the Stormtrooper Chimera and Penitent Engine 2 came up towards the footsloggers. The Celestines jumped into the "dedicated" Land Raider and the Grey Knights moved forward into cover.
Inquisitor Chimera shook the only visible Ravager with its Multilaser; Stormtrooper Chimera killed two in the Warrior Squad.

Turn 1: Dark Eldar
The Raiders move 12" toward the Grey Knights while the footslogging Warrior Squad marches forward and two unshaken Ravagers move to the right flank while the shaken one retreats behind the hill it started on.
Out of 9 Lance Shots, 4 Heavy Disentegrator Blasts and 3 Blaster Shots to all his tanks, I managed to shake the Inquisitor Chimera once. That's it.

Turn 2: Demon/Witchhunters
The Grey Knights get comfortable while the Chimeras roll on and the Penitent Engines try to run forward as fast as they can and end up right on the edge of flamer range. Land Raider moves up and unloads the Celestines right in front of the centrally located Sniper Squad 1
The Celestines mow six of the Snipers down and cause them to break and run out of assault range (ha!). Penitent Engine 2 levels its heavy flamer on the Warrior Squad, killing just enough to make them fall back out of charge range, but not enough to keep them from regrouping (double ha!). The Land Raider blows the Warrior Raider out of the sky, wrecking it - fortunately, the Warriors mounted on it were unharmed and disembarked right beside the Celestines, who began to look really nervous.
Penitent Engine 1 has just enough range to get into assault against the nearest Ravager. 6 attacks and 3 hits later, it is left stunned.

Turn 2: Dark Eldar
The remaining Raiders make a 12" bee-line for the Grey Knights. Sniper Squad 1 flees off the board while the Warrior Squad rallies (but can't move). Sniper Squad 2 sits tight and the two unstunned Ravagers draw a bead on Penitent Engine 1.
2 Dark Lance shots against the Grey Knights are wasted, as are most of the Splinter Cannon shots against the Celestines from the downed Raider Squad, the blaster manages to claim a victim, however. The rallied Warrior squad manages to shake the Land Raider with a single penetrating Blaster shot, while Sniper Squad 2 destroys Penitent Engine 2. The two Ravagers manage, with 2 Lance shots and 4 Heavy Disentegrator blasts to immobilize Penitent Engine 1 and destroy one of its arms.
Raider Squad assaults the Celestines. They loose combat by 3 Wounds, but pass Leadership (finally, my low rolling is a good thing >_>). Penitent Engine 1 continues to wail on the foremost Ravager, but fails to damage it.

Starting turn 3 - I finally remembered to save the pictures.

Turn 3: Hunters
The Inquisitor Chimera moves up behind Penitent Engine 1 as the Stormtrooper Chimera bears down on Sniper Squad 2. The Land Raider spins around, targeting the Wych Raider. The Celestines are locked in combat and Penitent Engine 1 is immobilized, so neither can move.
The Land Raider blows the Wyches out of the sky. Surprisingly only 3 Wyches are lost; not surprisingly, 4 more Wyches are annihilated by the Grey Knights. However, 3 remain standing and pass their Leadership and Pinning tests (yay for low rolls!). Apparently, excited by all the action, the Land Raider's Machine Spirit decides to take a shot at the Incubi Raider and glances it enough to immobilize it - I didn't know it could do that, but there you have it. :-/

The Stormtrooper Chimera uses its Multilaser and Heavy Bolter to thin the Warrior Squad after deciding the my Lance-weilding Sniper Squad posed no threat - indeed, none of my guns (especially the big, expensive ones) proved to be much more than an annoyance at best. Finally, the Inquisitor Chimera downs one of the Ravagers (the unpainted one, naturally).
Lead by the Cannoness and backed up by the Evicerator-weilding Preacher and Sister Superior, the Celestines (ability to re-roll failed To-Wound rolls?)
mop up the remaining Raider Squad and consolidate towards the footslogging Warriors.

Turn 3: Dark Eldar
Movement:The Archon disembarks with his Incubi and moves towards the Grey Knights, along with the remaining 3 Wyches (who rolled 12" assault for their drugs). The surviving members of the Warrior Squad line up against the Celestines and the Ravagers reposition out of flamer range of the immobilized Penitent Engine, but still targeting the Inquisitor Chimera - one moves into cover back up on the hill, the other shifts back slightly.
A single Blaster shot from the Incubi against the Knights is shrugged off. Unfortuantely, so are most of the Splinter Cannon and Blaster shots from the Warrior squad against the Celestines. The hilltop Ravager does manage to pop the Inquisitor Chimera with its Lance, but is not allowed to use its Disentegrators against the survivors ("The unit inside is a different target from the transport" - gee, if only DE had the Machine Spirit rule. Sorry, I'm being a poor sport). Fortuantely, they are pinned and can do nothing next turn.
Finally, the DE get their due! The Archon buffs up with +1 A and Re-roll misses (taking an OD Wound in the process >_<) and leads the charge against the Grey Knights. He kills one Knight. The Wyches follow-up, getting some hits in, but their puny S 3 can't scratch the Terminator Armor and the Succubus can't seem to get her Agonizer working properly. The Incubi, however, step up to the plate and mow down all but the Grand Master and one of his lackeys, loosing a single member of their squad in the counterattack. Unfortuantely (or perhaps fortunately?) they stand firm in the face of overwhelming odds. The remaining Warriors assaulting the Celestines, however, were not so lucky. They quickly succumbed to mastercrafted power wounds and re-rolled Eviscerator attacks. The victors consolidated towards Sniper Squad 2.

Turn 4: Hunters

The Stormtrooper Chimera turned sideways and disgorged the troops from its bowels. The Cannoness, Sister Superior and Preacher (along with a Celestine or two) stalked the last warriors of Sniper Squad 2. The Land Raider, unable to shoot the Incubi or Wyches still locked in close-combat, spun back around. The Inquisitor and his Stormtrooper retinue remain pinned.
One of the Chimera Stormtroopers destroys the hilltop Ravager with his Meltagun - the resultant blast taking out a lone Stormtrooper. His Chimera, meanwhile, rapidly thins the ranks of Sniper Squad 2 with its Multilaser and Heavy Bolter. The Land Raider lobs a volley at the remaining Ravager and destroys it, despite any cover from intervening units.
The Celestine squad charges the surviving snipers and clears the table of any remaining Dark Eldar Warriors. The Archon and Wyches fail to kill the remaining two Grey Knights, but the Incubi make short work of them. They consolidate into the cover on the hill.

Turn 4 - after my opponent's Movement phase, but before his Shooting phase.

Turn 4: Dark Eldar
I had my Archon (2 Wounds left) and 5 Incubi, along with 3 Wyches left on the table. My opponent had his Land Raider, 1 Chimera, a unit of Stormtroopers, the remnants of his Celestine squad (1 wound left on the Cannoness), and an Inquisitor with his Stormtrooper retinue.

Realizing that I had nothing left that could scratch the Land Raider, and determining that I was too far away to make it into CC with the Stormtroopers before being shot to pieces, I conceded the game. (My Archon and his entourage would've run off my opponent's table edge, had he insisted we keep playing)

The game is conceeded - also on the table is the Inquisitor and his squad along the upper edge.

  • I wonder if I wouldn't be better off with an all-CC army? My shooting/damage rolls are a joke. I'll never have to worry about being accused of using loaded dice - except against myself, perhaps.
  • How does the Animus Vitae work in 5th edition? My opponent allowed it to count for killing a foe in CC (at my suggestion), but I don't know how DE can take slaves if there is no longer any rules for Sweeping Advance.
  • Machine Spirit is bull****, man.
  • I need to read up on a character having a dedicated transport - it just seems off that instead of using it, he wonders off, leaving the 'dedicated' vehicle for another squad.*
  • Overheard quote of the evening: "I'd like to scratchbuild Ork vehicles, but my work is just too nice - I don't know how to make something look that bad intentionally" - this was actually the same guy who, upon seeing my table being used in a local gaming tournament said "It's nice, but it's too flat. I like to have some elevation and terrain on my tables."
  • Second overheard quote of the evening (same guy): "Only buy the GW sets that say 'made in UK' on them, because those are based on original molds. The second generation models cast in the US are lousy and have less well-defined detail."
* EDIT: I originally thought the thought the Inquisitor had the dedicated transport, but in retrospect I think it was actually the Grand Master Grey Knight.


  1. Your dark eldar armylist isn't bad but it could be better.

    First thing I would change: sybarites
    Warriors with or without a syb are not good in cc. Alone they aren't good, te sybarite adds some kills, but warriors still die easily and those kills make us loose most of our CCs.
    Warriors and sybarite die fast because of their save. It's funny how a sybarite sometimes changes "nothing" and warrior still end up losing a cc.
    Best way to avoid these pointless losses:
    Don't go in cc, don't take any sybarites.
    Just look at this batrep, DE troops perform badly in most CCs, no matter against who.

    This has 2 huge advantages:
    -you don't lose anyone
    -you don't waste any points in useless choices.

    You could have gotten another sniper squad or a ravager if you would have dropped the fancy upgrades and sybarites.

    about ravager:
    Go eiter with 3 disintegrators or 3 DLs
    When you shoot at a land raider or a predator you end up wasting 2 diss shots, that's not good...
    Best choice and very commonly seen 3 ravager formation: 3 DLs, 2*3 diss, if you want more diss in your army put them on raiders, sniper squads and raiders will give you more DLs.

    another last remark:
    incubi with blaster: he's too expensive and weak in cc, it would have been better to put blasters on wyches.

    Usually this type of army works fine, it will work even better with few changes here above.
    Just don't go for a frontal attack, attack one half of the enemy army and you should be fine.

  2. Thanks for the advice!

    My Warriors usually wind up as either a meat shield or a spoiler - but almost always due to shooting and not HtH. Thus, dropping the Sybarites is probably worth considering. I was already on the verge of 'downgrading' the Agonizers to Power Weapons, anyway . . .

    Honestly, though, I really love my Blasters. They always make me happy (when they hit, that is). Additionally, an extra power weapon attack in 5th addition just makes it that much more likely they will massacre a unit on the turn I charge and be left standing in the open ready to get mowed down.

    Since I've already got 3 Ravagers, I guess the points I save will go towards more snipers - though it might be nice if I could get a second Raider Squad (I have this weird tendency towards symmetry in my army lists).