J and I waged war last weekend and therefore gave me a chance to test out my new beloved Eldar. And I think J would agree, the Eldar definitely caught up with the trend of the new Codices in that they got pretty damn good at what they do!
I called my list "Dawn Fire" because it was my first of the new 6th ed codex. Because I could spend a vast amount of time typing up a detailed report when that time might be better spent assembling or painting troops (or more likely, mowing the lawn and repairing the garden hose), I'm going to keep this pretty basic, similar to my "battle tweets".
I made my list not knowing what J would bring and he surprised me with his first unholy allience: Dark Eldar with Chaos Allies. It was a cool list and we had a hell of a fight. While my Eldar seemed more killy than his forces for most of the battle, at the end of turn 5 J was winning due to a great strategic move that contested my prime objective, though rolling into turn 6 allowed me the opportunity to take his objective and tip the scale to my favor.
Each side had their own objective tucked away. The Dark Eldar and their Chaos allies were more aggressive, allowing the Eldar to play defense and shoot into them as they came in.
* The Avatar got a bit too aggressive himself and wandered out alone. The enemy's Helbrute was just out of reach. Turn 1 the Av approached and tried to melta bolt him but missed. The Eldar Falcon sprayed scatter and pulse lasers at the Helbrute, inflicting a hullpoint of damage. This sent the helbrute into a shooting rage and he stood still to fire twice, wasting two multimelta shots on the fiery hide of the Avatar who is immune to such attacks. This was also disppointing to the Avatar, who was hoping the Helbrute would come closer. Since it didn't he went to him, failing his charge by less than an inch! This left the Avatar of Khaine exposed to a LOT of poisonous fire, the last volley of which came at the bottom of turn 2 from the newly arrived Talos. The embodiment of Khaine, and my warlord, was dead in turn 2.
*My scorpions outflanked at the top of turn 2, coming out on the opposite side of the board than I'd hoped. But they'd also been itching for a rematch with the Talos, who had slaughtered my scorpions in the last Eldar Cousins Feud Brawl. So J accommedated me and brought his Talos in right there with the scorps. They fired their shuriken pistols on the way in, inflicting 2 "bladestorm" AP2 wounds, then the Exarch torn out the monster's heart with his S6 AP2 I6 powerclaw. The scorpions were avenged and the new Eldar rules proved very deadly.
* The Falcon maneuvered about and destroyed the Archon's raider transport with heavy firepower. Meanwhile the Fire Dragons unloaded from the back and melta'ed the Helbrute to death, exploding the metal monstrosity (though the blast reached no one).
* The Warp Spiders teleported in a little closer to the Chaos Marines than intended, but that was okay. The Exarch's spinnerete rifle and the squad's razor-sharp webbing killed all but one marine and wounded the Chaos Lord. The spiders then bounced back away from the enemy in the same turn, proving themselves deadly assassins.
* Though not totally competent. The next turn the spiders tried to warp jump and rolled double-ones ( doubles mean one man doesn't come back thru the other side of the jump). Having been robbed of the distance needed for my plan, I ended up just moving them a few inches and they popped back out of the warp one model short, sacrificing a man when they could have just walked!
* Reaver jetbikers dodge around the field taking deadly pot-shots and zipping over my units, severing heads as they pass.
* The Dark Eldar's air support enters the battle with tragic firepower. Its splinter cannon contributes to the Avatar's death (that black lump in the jet's sights is him) and its missiles take out Avengers, Reapers, Jetbikers, and a Warlock. The fighterjet makes a long slow pass over the field, shot at by dragons, snipers, the falcon tank, and then some, and passes back into reserve near the end of the game unscathed.
* My primary avenger squad ravages the Archon and his Warriors with shuriken fire (popping the archon's 2+ invuln bubble and inflicting 2 wounds on him), as well as the mob of Chaos Cultists. Half the Avengers are killed off by enemy fire but they remain stalwart and stand their ground.
* The surviving cultists make a slobber-jawed charge at the avengers, but they're too slow in combat and are slaughtered by the nimble space elves and their power sword toting exarch.
* The striking scorpions finish off the archon and his last two warriors with shuriken pistol fire, then reroute toward the wracks holding the DE's primary objective in the back corner. The wracks meet them halfway, getting just close enough to fire their liquidator gun and reduce two scorpions to goo and armor (the exarch is saved by a "look out sir" dive). Shuriken pistols and flacon cannon fire reduce the number of wracks holding the base.
* The Haemonoculus rides his raider up along the Eldar's flank and opens a warp portal. Next turn a pack of khymerae and their sky-boarding master come tearing through to attack my back line. Unfortunately in 6th edition, they have to enter the board and wait to be shot. My warlock Triad, a small squad of Dire Avengers, and my Dark Reapers are there (all of them having taken casualties here and there from Dark Eldar ranged attacks), and my windrider biker squad arrives from reserves. The khymeraes' invuln save holds out and keeps two beasts alive.
* DE Reavers streak across the board, killing those they pass and ending in the back line of the board. The Eldar jetbikers zoom around and attack. The warlock biker casts Destructor, summoning a roiling scourge of blue fire... and then the Warlock's head explodes! I rolled double ones (again!), this time for his psyke check and he then failed his Perils of the Warp invuln save. To make matters worse the Reavers passed their Deny the Witch! The blue flames sputtered out and instead filled the warlock's helmet!
* Coming to the bottom of turn 5 things are not looking good for the Axis of Evil. The Eldar have their objective (3 VPs), first blood, slay the warlord, and potentially line breaker (3 more VPs). The Dark Eldar/Chaos have their objective (3 VPs), slay the warlord and potentially linebreaker (2 more VPs). So in a brilliant strategic play, the remaining khymerae change course and charge the eldar rangers that are holding my prime objective, thus contesting it and taking away 3 of my Victory points. Turn 5 ends and if the game ends here the Dark Eldar have won!
* Roll a die. Turn 6 begins. The Eldar have the chance to tie up the loose ends, and do so. The last avenger of the defensive DA squad, as well as the remaining avengers of the offensive squad all pile into the ranger-khymerae combat and the hell hounds are killed. Objective is freed up. The remainnig jetbikes, warp spiders, and fire dragons all fire on the reavers and kill them, denying Line Breaker. And the scorpions attack the wracks and overwhelm them, securing the last objective. Eldar take the game in Turn 6.
** Actually, I don't think we played out the Khymerae melee -- I think that was last and a moot point after the wracks lost so we just called the game.
***AND I realize now writing this that we forgot about the grav generator objective (mysterious objective) that the wracks were holding! It may have prevented the scorpions from completing their charge. (But with fleet and being only a short distance away anyway, it probably wouldn't have made a difference.)
MVP -- My MVP unit for this game was the Striking Scorpions, one of my all-time fave units anyway. They took revenge on the Talos and defeated it without losing a man, then killed the enemy Warlord, and without breaking stride moved on to secure the enemy objective. Way to go, fellas!!
Boobie Prize -- None of my units were a total failure in this game but there are three nominees... The Avatar who ran out on his own and got whacked. The Warp Spiders who decided to teleport 4 lousy inches and lost a man doing it. And the biker Warlock who blew himself up using his power and didn't even kill anyone in the process... The Spiders made up for their mistake. I'm giving the Warlock this battle's Boobie Prize!
It was a good game and the new Eldar definitely proved their mettle.