On a ruined Imperial world the Space Wolves and Eldar of craftworld Ka’taena clashed and died. (Though it wasn’t supposed to be that way... It was going to be Dark Eldar fighting their Eldar brothers but J didn’t get his complex DE models put together in time; had I known I might have made a slightly different list...)
(misleading image stolen from SW codex)
HQ - Rune Priest
T – Grey Hunters (10)
T – Grey Hunters (10)
E – Terminator Wolf Guard with Arjac
* - Drop Pod
HVY – Long Fangs with 4 MLs
HQ – Wolf Guard
Battle Leader on
FA – Thunderwolf Cavalry (3)
E – Wolf Scouts (5)
HQ – Autarch on jetbike
T – Guardian Jetbikers (3+1) with Warlock
HQ – Asurmen, Phoenix Lord of the Dire Avenger aspect
T – Dire Avengers (10)
HVY – Dark Reapers (4)
FA – Swooping Hawks (6)
E – Striking Scorpions (7)
E – Harlequins (8) with shadowseer and death jester
* - Wave Serpent
This was a 1500 pt game. We rolled out Capture and Control with a Spearhead deployment. The Eldar went first.
Once on the board the eldar force looked pretty meager, especially with hawks and scorpions in reserve and the DAs in the wave serpent. The eldar’s first turn was mostly the reapers shooting, MAYBE killing a model. Then the wolves’ drop pod slammed down among the jetbikers and the wolfguard termie squad killed two bikers with bolters, a hammer throw, and cyclone-fired krak missiles. Them landing among the eldar pretty much tied up most xenos units while the rest of the wolf units moved forward.
On turn two, thanks to the autarch’s “master strategist” ability, both the eldar reserve units entered the game (though he wasn’t much of a strategist, as it’ll turn out). The wolf rune priest had summoned up violent storms that made deep striking perilous, so the swooping hawks tried to deep strike outside his range, which put them dangerously close to the board edge in the wolves’ back corner. So the hawks scattered off the board and suffered a tragic mishap: the hawks dropping from the sky got caught by the storm winds and were dashed against the ruined buildings, killing the whole unit before their feet hit the ground. This left the outflanking scorpions, also entering now, on the far side of the board alone. They came on behind the long fangs, who were all on the second story of ruins and out of charge range, so the scorps fired their shuriken pistols, killing the fang leader. On the opposite side of the field, the autarch and his bikers, the harlies, and the reapers all opened fire on the termies (except the reaper exarch, who held his triple-blast (had fast shot warrior power) tempest launcher at such close range). No kills, so the bikers, autarch, and harlies charged. The autarch’s laser lance and shadowseer’s kiss were the only effective attacks, including warlock witchblade and an incredible number of harlequin furious-charge rolls. Only two termies died and Arjac took a wound. On the wolves’ turn the thunderwolf cavalry, led by the WGBL with frost axe, charged the scorpions. The scorps managed to inflict one wound on a wolf rider before being wiped out. The DAs’ wave serpent moved flat out to support the two aspects coming in on the opposite side of the board, both of whom were now dead, thus the Phoenix Lord and his men and vehicle did nothing effective all turn. The central melee ended with one termie death and a handful of harlie deaths. The harlequins failed their morale check and somersaulted over the termies on their way off the field. Being at only half strength the harlies would run off the board within a two more turns.
At the beginning of turn three the eldar’s chances looked bleak. In an effort to salvage the game Asurmen led his avengers out of the transport and into the fray, tipping the balance and killing the last two wolf guard terminators, including Arjac. By now there was only the autarch and his biker warlock left with the harlies retreating. The reapers were now freed up to fire at will and the grey hunter squads had moved into full view. The exrach’s tempest launcher dropped three blast markers of AP3 fury on top of one grey hunter unit, cutting them down to the rune priest and 3 hunters. The wolf units continued moving forward, and the long fang’s four krak missiles immobilized the wave serpent, which had maneuvered between the eldar and the approaching hunter squads, spraying twin-linked shuriken cannons into their ranks, killing one man. The troublesome drop pod was still firmly planted within the eldar camp with its deathwind missile launcher. The pod saturated the reapers’ position with missiles, killing three and leaving only the exarch. (The dice were hating me all game: my reapers, scorpions, and bikes all had 3+ saves and I couldn’t make one to save their lives.) Hunters fired what weapons they could at the bikers, killing the warlock.
Turn four. The damn drop pod was still there, no eldar model confident that he could take it out. The eldar were hurting, bad. The harlies had reached the board edge and were gone. The only hope for victory was to have the avengers fall back inside the reaper’s ruins and claim the home objective (capture and control game, remember); the wolves were no where near their objective. Assuming they could hold it and not be killed before the game ran out, the eldar could still win. This was Asurmen’s plan, as the autarch had proven to be mildly retarded (as his death would prove). The Phoenix Lord, however, had not come along to hide behind walls. Asurmen moved closer to the grey hunters, intending to duel the rune priest in close combat. He took cover behind the downed wave serpent and shurikened the priest’s last hunter escorts down, leaving the weather witch alone. The avengers made their way into the ruins, leaving the autarch to assault the drop pod with his S6 laser lance. He wound up his jetbike, inches from the drop pod, and CHARGED! And failed the dangerous terrain test that came with the rune priest’s storm against skimmers, failed his invuln save and DIED: he charged the drop pod and ran right into it, busting open his head. On the wolves’ turn, the wolf scouts finally came in behind the eldar ruins, gunning down the reaper exarch with their pistols. The rune priest again cast Jaws of the World Wolf, which thus far had only netted him one DA victim (eldar tend to pass their initiative rolls). This time he targeted Asurmen and rolled double-ones: Perils of the Warp! As the earth opened hoping to swallow Asurmen, a gaggle of daemons reached out from the crack and grabbed the rune priest’s feet, yanking him down into Hell. Asurmen, meanwhile, casually sidestepped the hazard. But the grey hunters hit Asurmen with seven bolter shots, two plasmagun bolts and a meltagun, robbing the Phoenix Lord of his chance at glory (I’m confident he could have charged the grey hunters and kicked their asses!). The wolf cavalry kept coming, never reaching anyone else. The long fangs fired krak missiles at the last visible DAs, turning one into a crimson mist.
Turn five. The eldar have eight dire avengers left, now “safe” inside their ruins and claiming their objective, and an immobilized wave serpent transport. The DAs fired their catapults into the scout squad threatening them, managing to kill one. The grey hunters charged the wave serpent, power fisting it until it exploded, the blast taking one hunter with it. The scouts stood their ground and shot down another avenger, thus leaving the eldar with seven models still on the board to fight off scouts, grey hunters, long fangs, and a wolf guard battle leader with his thunderwolf cavalry...
Next came the roll to see if the game would continue to turn six. Knowing beyond a doubt, based on my rolling thus far, that if *I* rolled the die a one or two would certainly come up, thus ending the game with my boys holding an objective, I volunteered to do it... And it did. Thus the last surviving dire avengers WON the game huddled around their objective, surrounded by the Sons of Russ. (Of course, they’d all be dead ten minutes later...)
MVP: My most valuable player for the game was Asurmen, first among the Phoenix Lords. He led his men into the fray against Arjac and the seemlingly impervious terminators, cutting them down with his dire sword in the first move of the combat (init 7, ya know). He then separated himself from his DA squad and moved fearlessly toward the enemy alone, ready to take on all comers (until he was shot down by a squad of nine cowardly grey hunters afraid to take him on...). (I suppose I could include his boys, the brave Dire Avengers who actually won the game by securing their objective but... How heroic was that, really?)
Boobie Prize: The poor swooping hawks went splat before they could even touch down or fire a shot, but I don’t blame them. I blame the architect of the eldar’s grief, the overconfident and mildly handicapped Autarch. It was his plan to bring the hawks and scorpions in behind the long fangs and wolfriders, and both units were dead by the end of the very same turn. And it was he who valiantly charged an immobilized, open-topped, oversize empty beer keg and managed to kill himself in the process. What a wiener.
(By the way, the title, "Any Given Sunday" has no significance, other than we played on Sunday. Hey, it's not always easy to come up with appropriate snazzy titles.)