Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DE: Tactical Battle Report #2

Yeah, I'm a little evil, so what?

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this at first because it was a relatively short game vs. Tau, but I figured why not, some people might learn something.  My opponent Craig brought some new stuff that I haven't seen before, some of which was from FW and I was pretty excited to see what they can bring to the battlefield.

My 1850 Pure DE was the same thing I've been using the last couple of days.

The Kabal of Grey Death.

Right now, I've gotten a lot of games with them both IRL and in Vassal, and while I've lost one vs. a very competitive Mechdar list, I've won all the rest.

The army I'm playing against today had:
Buffmander, twin-linked and ignore cover if he doesn't shoot
3 units of Fire Warriors, with a Fireblade attached to one
FW XV107 R'Varna
FW Knarloc
Riptide, Ion
a unit of Pathfinders with Devilfish
a unit of Broadsides
a big unit of Kroot with hounds and Shaper
I might have missed something, but this should suffice!

This is what deployment looked like.

Deployment was Dawn of War, Night Fighting was on, and I had first turn with the Conqueror of Cities as my roll on the Strategic tree.  The mission itself was The Scourging, with 6 points spread around the table, but this game didn't really go that far for it to play a factor.  I deploy defensively even though I'm going first because one, Seize is a game mechanic and two, I'm playing against Tau. Knowing the range of their weapons is very important because you want to be able to bring most if not all of your weapons to bear while you isolate and destroy pockets of their army.  You do this with your superior speed since everything can move 12" and still do damage.

Turn 1 Dark Eldar - End of movement.

After deployment, most of my units moved 12" so I can play as aggressive as I can to the Tau player.  The reason why you have to play aggressive vs. the blue fishgoats is because your damage is done in advancing layers.  As you move into closer and closer range bands, your damage accelerates dramatically, adding both poisoned shots from your Warriors inside your vehicles and their blasters as well.  For example, in this particular army list, I open up with 36 poisoned shots and 12 lances from 36" away.  At 18", I have 6 more blasters and a good amount of poisoned shooting.  At 12", all of my warriors in gunboats are rapid firing with Splinter Rack re-rolls.  This is exponential damage that gets inflicted as you advance towards the enemy, not to mention my reserves that brings in 6 more lances from the Archon's Blasterborn boat, 4 more from the Razorwings and 4 S6 large blasts.

Turn 1 Dark Eldar - Strategy.

OK, so the strategy here was pretty straight forward.  We gotta kill that ridiculous R'Varna battlesuit because it can do an insane amount of damage to my vehicles with its large templates.  When I asked him what it did, I basically spaced out midway after hearing some insane things and decided yeah, that needs to die ASAP.  Anywho, I am able to be aggressive with the vehicles in the middle, as long as I can shield some of the return fire without having to Jink from the Fire Warriors in the middle grey building on his side of the board, and the far right building marked with the pink star.  While my Ravagers are pretty open, I really needed to get my lances to bear onto his big mech and draw LoS to his Broadsides.  The warrior gunboat on the far left moves aggressively behind cover while drawing a headshot on his R'Varna.

Turn 1 Dark Eldar - Shooting.

All of the Venoms open up and force enough wounds to put the big mech to 1W.  The remaining lances marked in purple was enough to put him down, even though through the cover saves.  This allowed me to re-purpose my Ravagers and other lances into the Broadsides, forcing enough ID wounds through cover to take them out of the game.  This eliminated all sources of Skyfire and Interceptor from his army, while a single lance marked in light blue hit the Knarloc in the face.  The snapfiring warriors inside was able to force a wound onto it after Splinter Rack re-rolls.  A few rolls here and there from the Venoms in the front was able to put some lucky wounds on the Kroot in the middle as well.  Never forget about your Rapid Fire weapons, even if they are forced to snap after moving 12".  You never know what you can roll with Splinter Racks.  Oh, and take note of that back right Ravager shooting through cover and into cover at the Broadsides.  He's getting a 4+ cover either way, so why not?

Turn 2 Dark Eldar - End of movement.

On his reply back, he was only able to put hull point damage on one of the Ravagers and glance a Raider after forcing them to Jink.  None of them died because of the Stealth, and even with the Buffmander giving re-rolls and Ignore Cover on a unit of Fire Warriors, he was unable to do enough damage to down any of my vehicles.

I flat out ignored the Pathfinders last turn for a reason: I knew his return fire would be greatly diminished if I killed the key elements that can break through armor.  What'd you know?  It worked.  Pathfinder bonuses are worthless if there's not enough powerful shooting to retaliate with.

Turn 2 Dark Eldar - Strategy.

On my turn, all my reserves came in and I painted the giant squad of Kroot in the middle with my Razorwings.  The gunboat advanced on the Fire Warriors with cover on the far left, and the rest of my army re-purposed themselves to isolate and destroy the remaining Riptide hiding behind that building marked with the green star.  I don't know if you guys can see from this picture, but the Archon's Blasterborn was behind some Ruins on far right, drawing 18" from an angle onto his Riptide.  Say hello to 6 lances to the dome!

Turn 2 Dark Eldar - Shooting.

The gunboat on the far left did some serious damage to the FW on the left and enough to force a panic after 4 die.  Combined fire from the Razorwings, one of the gunboats and some warriors inside the Venom on the building put down most of the Kroot while the remaining dog is fleeing from the table.  Everything else is freed up at this point to go into the Riptide and my opponent throws up the white flag.  I literally killed everything on the left side of the board while forcing enough poison saves and lances through cover to drop the remaining Riptide.

"I'm done.  Please stop shooting me."

The end of the game looked like this, no mercy for the Tau.  I drag every single one of the goatfishmen people back to be experimented on, after graciously accepting their surrender of course.

Alright, so I'm not sure if I should bring my Dark Eldar to work events any more after this game.  While Craig has played some competitive units, he also took some other units that he wanted like Knarloc.  Let's just say that the Dark Eldar are the zookeepers of the galaxy, and I'm happy to see MCs across the table no matter where I go.  We talked a bit after the game and while R'Varna does serious work, he can still die from combined fire coming from a Dark Eldar army.  The 2W 2+ save on the Broadsides mean absolutely jackshit to lances and if you force enough wounds, they will die from failing cover saves.  I tell Craig that I play "fluffy" too, taking all Kabal elements and not giving a shit about Haemonculi, but I see the game primarily in vectors, percentages and numbers.  I'm basically playing XCOM in real life.

This right here is what Dark Eldar is about:  Hit hard, hit fast, and control the tempo of the game in your favor.  Isolate and destroy as many heavy weapons as possible and the rest of the game is just clean up.  Anyways, next game will be with my shitty ass Tyranids.


DryLaugh said...

Hey Mate! Just a quick question.
Im a fairly competitive gamer. Thats the reason why i dropped out of 40k.
It's simply the most terrible system for competitive gaming out there.
You seem to be a competitive gamer too, so my question is:
If you see the game mainly as "vectors, percentages and numbers" why do you keep playing it?
Why not invest into an other wargame that suits our needs for a competitive balanced gaming much better?
Dropzone Commander seems to be quite good.
I got the feeling in 40k, its much more important WHAT to bring, rather then HOW you play.
For the price of your Dark Eldar army you could easily get 3 1500 points (Tournament level) Dropzone Commander armys.
Games are also much quicker, so you could potetially get twice as many games in the same time.
I just have the feeling that your competitive talent is somehow wasted in a pure beer and prezels game like warhammer!

HERO said...

Oh no dude, I completely feel you. That's why I have X-Wing, Warmahordes and competitive RTS games like CoH2. It's just that no matter what game I play, I try to maximize on my effectiveness because I hate being inefficient as a person. It's just my personality. Another reason I haven't gotten into Dropzone Commander is that no one here wants to get into it. In order for me to buy into a hobby, there has to be a lot of people wanting to play, otherwise it's just a waste of time and money assembling that stuff and selling it off after. Look at all the minis games that I've played over the years: I've bought into many a Spartan Games, Malifaux, Dust Warfare, Infinity, the list goes on and on. I ended up selling many of them because of lack of players or lack of interest. As much as 40K sucks hard for competitive play, it's one of the only games that people actually play around here.

I will disagree on the what to bring vs. how you play part though. I could, and have given competitive lists to people and watch them suffer from lack of experience, their tactics and strategic decisions. No matter how good the army is, it's only as good as the player piloting it in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, having a min-maxed army list is very important, and I will be writing an article in the next day or two to go over what goes through my mind when I'm building an effective list. It's just not the end-all-be-all of Warhammer.

Thanks for your input man, I like having these more lifestyle conversations once in a while.

mike said...

Its one of ths things i like sbout dark eldar is how their two major themes covens and kabals r nice n competitive

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