Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eldar Trickery: Tactica : Blade Rush

Bladestorm when it absolutely, positively has to be removed from the table.

The other day I started looking back through all my old posts and smiling as the memories associated with them got brought back. But in my musings on the past I noticed one trend, that I have rarely if ever just talked about tactics that one can use with the Eldar. So I figured I would have some posts in the future, starting with this one, that talk about tactics I use when I play. When I started thinking of what tactic to start with I figured I would go with my most favorite one, the tactic I call Blade Rush.

What is Blade Rush you ask, well in truth it is a combination psyic, shooting, and assault tactic. Now what does that mean? Well it starts off with the selection of a target, most of the time the target you need to be removed from the table in the most painful and successful way possible. In turth this target actually needs to be chosen the turn before so that you can get your pieces into play for the BladeRush. The main pieces involved in the BladeRush are A Farseer, and a unit of Dire Avengers with BladeStorm. After you have chosen your target and your pieces are where they need to be you start off with what I like to call the Eldar Psychic phase, the time you cast non psy shooting powers before moving. The main power that is used in this is Doom, it makes that handfull of dice that you will be shortly picking up even more devistating. With the power cast and upon the target you go into your normal movement phase, for the BladeRush you will want to move your Dire Avengers as close as possible.

After moving everything, you go into the shooting phase, I normally add a few more things to the mix to help ensure what I am trying to kill dies, but for this example I will stick to just the DA squad. A full DA squad with a PW/SS Exarch throws out 27 shots, with a potential of even more if you Twin Cat the Exarch. I normally don't run the twin cats exarch because it can't really perform the final step to the Blade Rush. With a BS of 4 and rerolling wounds that 27 dice is going to put some serious hurting on what ever it hits. But the Dire Avengers are not done yet, oh no, the last and final part of the BladeRush is the charge. *Gasps* Charge? You realize your playing Eldar right Elthrai? Yes.. Yes I do. The charge is the final and in someways the most insedious part of the BladeRush. My DA squads come kitted with an exarch that has both  Defend and Bladestorm packing a PW and Shimmershield. So when they charge they each get 2 attacks a piece while the enemy loses one to a min of one, doing this to assault marines or things with a base 2 attacks is just rude as that attack reduction will continue for as long as the Exarch lives. With I 5 and I6 you will go first against most things, and the shimmer shield gives you atleast a chance to surive the now limited attacks back. Now granted if cover is involved, and the lack of any type of grenade will hurt the Da but not as much as you would think, with the damage done to them by the shooting and their loss of an attack thanks to defend there isn't as many attacks coming your way.

So with each step achieved you are looking at 27 shooting attacks getting 18 close combat attacks, 3 power weapon attacks, and rerolling all the wounds to those attacks. That is 48 attacks coming from one squad in one turn, that is a good bit of Fire Pressure on one squad. I'll get into the concept of Fire Pressure in further posts, anyway I hope you guys enjoyed this little bit of Eldar Trickery. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Return with a Vengeance.

You win some, you lose some, but sometimes you just get......

This last sunday I finally got in a game with the Eldar, the picture above was an accurate description of what happened in that game. Now I know what all of you powered armored players are thinking. 'Hurrr Eldar got raped hurrr' But in that regards my ceramite armored cromagnon friends you would be wrong. I played a buddy of mine vs a Mech IG list he wanted to try out. Being that my friend had never played against Eldar before I figured I would go easy and make just a fun list without the Seer Bike Squad of Doom. So I dusted off the Autarch and the warpsiders and make a passable Mechdar list. My friend made an all Plas/Melta Vet Guard army with 6 Leman russes, 3 being normal LRs and 2 being Vanq with the last Vanq being Point and Click Pask. To be honest when I saw the list being brought out I began to pucker up a bit for I knew what was going to come if I ever got knocked out of my transports.

I got even more worried when the first dice of the game was rolled, Annihilation, not an Eldar strong point. However the second dice gave me my first glimmer of hope, Dawn of War. Half table deployment and nightfight makes an Eldar player very happy if they are going first. Since I had won that roll off I decided to setup and go first, setting my army up in a formation which my tanks were protectd by my waveserpents I took a deep breath and waited for my opponent to set up. My opponent decided to have everything drive on first turn. My first turn begins and I fly my tanks closer but not too close, making sure since I had no targets first turn he would only find covered targets his first turn. I took a deep breath and braced as he rolled onto the board with a majority of his LR facing down my Prisms and Waveserpents. The guard opened up with only one shot not getting the distance due to night fight. With slightly less than average rolls he managed to Pin the leading Waveserpent which held the firedragons three times and a fireprism once. With some true eldar trickery and good cover saves I shrugged off that first turn without a scratch.

My second turn is when the box above arrived, I forgot to roll for reserves so my Warpspiders would have to sit this one out. So I moved up my WS with the dragons and deposited them right infront of the regular LR squadron. My Prisms moved to where one could get a good shot on Pask and the other link. My shooting started off well with my Nightspinner wrecking one chimera and webbing 3 others. My firedragons slagged 2 of the LR and stunned the last. A Brightlance from a WS took off the stunned LR battlecannon, while my Prisms point and clicked Pask right off the board. My second Lance Serpent killed a Vanq LR with its single shot. Figuring I had done about as well as I could I shot my shuri cannon serpents at the chimera, and wound up getting a side armor on one which promptly exploded, and a lucky wep destroyed on the other. All in all I was quite happy with that turn of shooting. My opponents next turn started up and when he attempted to move the first webbed chimera it became immobile due to the web. He spread out the rest of the chimeras so that the web couldnt hit as many as it did before and disembarked some troops to deal with the firedragons. His turn of shooting came up and he vaporised the dragons with plasma shots, his one and only vanq shot knocked out a prism rolling both a 5 and a 6 on the damage chart. (I know you are dancing for joy at that Grizz.) but after that his rolled turned against him and he was unable to do any more damage to me.

My third turn came around with me moving into safer distances from the melta/plas vets and their rides I remembered to roll for my spiders but they didnt come in, silly 1's. My shooting opened up with me killing the last vanq, and stunning the last LR, and the night spinner picking up a whole 10 man squad of doomed vets. At which point my opponent shook his head held up his hands and conceded the game with little ability to hurt me let alone catch me at this point. All in all it was a good game for the Eldar to come back to. We will have to see if they get some more game time soon.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Return from the Web Way.

"From Darkness of the void we return, from Shadow of dispair we return. If neither of these could consume us what makes you think you can Mon-Keigh."

Great Googly Moogly Bat man it has been a long time since I dusted the cobwebs off this old thing. I know.. I know what you great and mighty Eldar players are thinking. 'Oh Elthrai you silly cad you, you had to run off with your new mistress the Grey Knights for a while but you have returned to your one and true love, The Eldar.' That is true, I have had a yearning as of late for the shenanigans of the Eldar. I must give credit where credit is due, The Grizz. I was teasing with him about a week ago that I would bring back the Eldar, though sadly at the time it was merely a joke, it got me thinking what if. So I started thinking more and more upon it what would I do if I brought the Eldar back out. Also it did not hurt to have found some Eldar related books that from the views are not complete garbage (Cough Gotto Cough)

So I have decided that the next game I will play of 40k will be with the Pointy Eared Master Race. A friend spoke of coming over to the ol place and getting a game in tonight, so I will try to probably squeeze in the Eldar then. Sadly the gaming scene around here has dried up after the Griz and PariahStevo moved away. Sad Panda. But we have weathered dry spells before, and hopefully with some luck we will weather through again. Anywho, got to hop off here before class. I'll try and post tomorrow with the results of the game tonight.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kansas City Shuffle.

    This last weekened was a practice team tournament for the Siege at Dicehead Games. Unbroken rolled out in force with three full teams. Which included Pariah Stevo from Tainted by Xenos, The Griz from If it wears power armor. I am teamed up with Wayward to make a Mech IG and Mech Eldar list that we dubbed the Kansas City Shuffle after the awesome movie of Lucky Number Slevin. The basic theme was taking a small but hard hitting Eldar force that does not look all that intimidating at first glance, where the IG have Melta and Plasma Vets in a Chimera wall protecting a Manticore and Vendetta. Like our name sake our primary tactic was to put the Eldar Waveserpents out front making a cover wall for Chimeras first turn then during our movement we would do what we dubbed the Kansas City Shuffle of the Eldar speeding off fast to the side to draw attention then it is turned back to the IG when the overwhelimg fire would hit.

    For the most part the tactic worked very well, with most of the fire power and hostility being directed to the crunchy guard leaving the Eldar to go where they needed to, to get side or rear shots or contest objectives or drop out blade storming Dire Avengers on some mauled squad that had been Doomed. First game we saw us playing against Ork and Chaos SM list. Let me first say the guys we played against that first game were grade A great guys to play with, they cut up with us they talked and all in all it was a very enjoyable game. They gave us a great run for our money with them leading the objectives for a majority of the game with the Eldar screaming in that last turn to contest their obj and the guard to claim one for the win. So 8 pts for the win and then 2 pts for having a scoring troop in their deployment zone for a total of 10.

    Our second game we played against a Tau, and Chaos SM list, a cap and control obj with bonus points for Table quarters. We gave the Tau and CSM the first turn as to get the final say in Eldar Trickery contests. That game started off pretty strong for us with the manticore rocking hard and the Vendetta doing its thing. While we only got to turn three before time ran out, we got to have our last turn which we threw all our shooting at a single unit of plague marines on their obj. After the dust had cleared there stood one lone marine on the obj so both of us got 5 pts for holding our obj but Eldar Trickery and Vendetta in one of their corners saw us holding 2 table quarters and contesting their two for a total of 9 pts for us and the win, and now a grand total of 19 pts.

Our third game was vs some fellow club members for the deciding game in the tournament. It was a Dark Eldar and Grey Knight list. Me and Wayward were saying right before the game we were merely pleased we had made it this far and were just going to do our best. The game started off almost prophetic as they won to set up and go first with us doing our standard set up of waveserpent wall and chimera line. Being a KP mission we attempted to Sieze which the dice rolled across half the table and smaked a wall and bounced rolling around to finally rest on a 6. Thanking the Dice Gods for good luck we proceeded with our standard tactic of Eldar zooming off, though I was concerned as the DE can play the same game only better. But our first turn of shooting pretty much kind of set the pace with knocking our one raider and immobilizing one ravager and stunning the second. On our opponents turn we saw Mordrak and crew land up all in the IG grill in cover. Mordrak took a wound from the terrian and did not spawn another knight. For two turns all our anti termi weapons hammered on Mordrak as he walked across the guard line like a god amongst men to finally fall to a blade storm. Where our dice had worked well it was if the Dice gods cursed the Dark Eldar player with almost all his crucial rolls always failed with his return fire was most of the time misses or little to no pens with his darklances to only roll 1's on the damage table. The game ended with Wayward yielding 8 Kill points to the enemy with 3 additonal pts for them killing our General (most expensive HQ). In turn the Grey knights yielding 5 Kill pts and 3 additional for Mordraks Squad being the most expensive. The Dark Eldar yielded a total of 9 kill points and the Eldar Yielding None. Another Win for the Kansas City Shuffle, when all points were totaled we came out to a over all score of 30 and 1st Place in the Tournament.

Now to get the full gravity of this myself and Wayward had never won any tournament in all our years of playing nor had we even really ranked in where in the top 5 most times. To turn around and win a team tournament against some of the best was a feeling that was just indescribable. Despite being a team the true all star of  the Kansas City Shuffle was Wayward with his Mordian guard that held the line every time they needed to keep the pressure off the fragile Eldar and it was his overwhelimg shooting at time that dug me out of tight spots. So again my good friend my hats off to you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

ATC Practice Tournament Results

This last weekend, The_Warsmith, Ol'Griz and myself went to DiceHead Games for their ATC Practice Tournament. Let me tell you I had a blast playing in that tournament. For starters the mission is by far the funnest mission I have played in some time. For a quick summary of it, it has 3 seize ground objective, cap and contrl objectives and is also measured by kill points. How the scoring work is a possible 10 pts for each KP, C&C and Seize with a total of 30 pts total that can be earned. The reason I like this mission so much is that it forces you to play and think in different ways than you would in a normal game. Also you have to build your lists in a way that you can achieve each of these three mission criteria.

The first game I played was against a SW list with Thunderwolves, Missile fangs and a bunch of Grey hunters in rhinos. The game started out kind of well for me but turned completely sour when one turn of shooting completely wrecked all but one of my wave serpents. The only consolation I had that turn was I wiped a good bit of the Thunderwolves with an amazing bladestorm. By the end of turn 3 it was more about not being tabled for me than pulling out a win, though at bottom of turn six my remaining tanks were contesting his C&C obj while I owned mine but he got a rhino to mine and a s10 ram was unable to take it out. GrumbleGrumble Dice rolls. It ended with a loss for me but I had fun and gave the SW a few surprises.

Second game was vs a drop pod Logan wing with Dawn of War deploy. Going into the game I was really worried about the Logan Wing. But when I chose to go second with DoW deploy I kind of felt bad for the guy as he spread his termies out to get as many obj as he could. When my turn came around and everything of mine flew onto the board I had amazing shooting with my fireprisms and made him pick up 2 full termi squads in one turn of shooting. The rest of the game kind of went with me moving and shooting as I pleased and there was very little he could do about it. I got full 30 pts from that game.

Third game I got the Ol'Griz and laughed maniacally when it was called out as the last time I played against Griz with his Snot marines it was pretty bad for the snotties. However as I have learned many times over in life, laughing maniacally is often tempting fate and as fate would have it he caught my poor little fairies and gave them a solid, brutal thumping. 0 points there. However there was a few gems that truly lit up that battle, for starters a Dire Avenger squad tieing up a Greater Deamon for 4 turns in close combat only losing 1 or 2 guys each turn with the last full turn being the Exarch alone which he made four 5+ invuls in a row. My painted DA squad blade stormed the poopy out of his Pink Demon prince and charged it and killed it in CC. Go Spartan Elves!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Painting Challenge: The Ash Guard (Dire Avengers) pt. 1

Got started yesterday at trying to complete my challenge of getting my Elthrai Warhost painted. I had already some of the Dire Avengers in varying stages of completion. I was able to completely finish one, get another to the step of only needing basing, and three more needing only final washes, detail work and basing. So almost got half of the first squad done one day into the challenge. Boo ya. I am pretty pleased with how they came out. I wanted to do something different from the standard Aspect Warrior colors, atleast for my DA, as they are my beloved models in my army. I wanted them to embody the fluff behind my army, which the short version is an Ulthwe Force upon an Ash world. So I did a Codex Gray base coat and applied several layers of Badab black wash to darken the gray and add the dirty sooty look of fighting on an Ash world. With the wraithbone aspects, I did a bleached bone base and applied one to two washes of Devlin mud to add the desired rough bone look. The crest is a base of Scab red, one wash of Baal red, one wash of Badab black and dry bush of blood red. Most gems are just base blood red to be a sharp contrast to the darker colors. Sadly I am still working on getting gems to have that layered/multicolored effect that you see in most GW gems. Hopefully today I will get the rest of these five Dire Avengers finished and started on the last four plus Exarch. Here is a close up of the one completed and one lacking basing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Warhost - A Painting Challenge

Despite being uniform, Naked Plastic Gray makes a poor army scheme.

I woefully admit that despite my long time playing this game I have never had a fully painted army, save my very first army. When I first went to the local game story to inquire about DnD groups I saw a game being played on a table and went to observe, that game was Warhammer 40k. Being a fan of real time strat games I almost instantly fell in love with this game. Despite neither of the armies I observed were painted I got this notion that an army must be painted to play with it. So after my 3rd ed space marines battleforce showed up at my door I frantically got to painting 1500 pts of SM. Now I can't say how I managed that feat  but I got them assemebled and painted in that time, with the only real thing I got from that week of furious painting was a permanent copy of the dialog of StarShip troopers embedded into my brain as I set the movie to loop while I painted.

Now granted that many of the models were poorly put together, flash was rampant, and the paint was caked on to the point where my 'Arch  Angels' were more akin to a marshmallow with a splash of black and red on them than Space Marines. None the less I was pleased with it, then came my first game which my opponent was quite surprised I had painted a whole army in the span of a week. However a majority of the local gamers, which sadly consisted of mostly d-bags and TFGs, completely debased my paint job saying for the most part it would be better if I had simply thrown them in the microwave with an aerosaul can and played with the mis colored mush than what I put on the field. That statement coupled with the fact that I did not know the rules had a profoundly negative impact on me when it came to the game. Looking back on those days now I just shake my head as most of those that insulted my first army had the same army scheme my Eldar have now, Uniform Naked Plastic Gray. Where I am going with this little tale is that after that army I never again tried to paint my armies, because I always felt that I would not be able to paint well enough to truly do the models justice.

However after joining in with a new gaming group for a couple of years and slowly painting little things to increase my skill and confidence my local gaming club, Unbroken, has set a painting challenge out for this month. My pledge was to get my two large DA squads and my Seer Bike squad painted before the first of May and a hopefully a majority of my whole army painted by a tournament on the 20th. This will be the first time I have ever pledge to get things painted, hopefully this will keep my motivated to paint and finish my Eldar. I'll post WiP as I get them.

p.s. Stevo from Tainted by Xenos won the Bash at the Barn this past Saturday, Congrats to him and go Unbroken!