Saturday, 20 June 2009

Club Night 19th June

Last club night saw Ken and I continue our ongoing WH40K rivalry. This time I took my Biel Tan Eldar against Kens Grey Knights in a 1,500 point Cities of Death game. As Kens army is primarily foot, they where a real potential threat, but I did have the advantage I know what troops he could have and had plenty of figures to pick from.

After deployment I could see Ken had stuck with his usual forces, a Captain and his Terminator retinue, a couple of Grey Knight Purgation squads, and 6 8 man storm trooper squads armed with a mix of flamers, grenade launchers, melta guns and plasma guns. It also meant there was an orbital bombardment just waiting to land on me! All I needed now was a plan to take the high ground in the centre of the board.

I deployed my Striking Scorpions and their exarch out to my right, infiltrating forward with the Stalker skill and using the Infiltrator strategm. Continuing with my infiltrators, next I deployed two 5 man Ranger units. Upgrading them to pathfinders, and with the master snipers strategm, they received a 2+ Cover save, their shots are AP1 on a 5+ and no cover saves where permitted against them, and if they had to move, they ignored the difficult terrain that made up most of the table. These should be my Elite units and hope they return the investment I have made in them.

Next up was a unit of Howling Banshees, with Jain Zar and the Avatar adding to their punch. I planned to throw this unit into combat as quick as possible, ideally against some Grey Knights and delay their advance on the centre of the table. Backing them up were 10 Storm Guardians with a flamer and a Warlock with enhance. I hoped, combined with the command post strategm I had placed on the objective, they should be able to hold off any units that broke through and tried to steal the objective.

On my left I placed Dire Avengers with an Exarch, ready to Bladestorm anyone who came too close. Behind them were 3 Wraithguard with a Spiritseer and a Wraithlord. In reserve where some Jetbikes and some Warp Spiders with surprise assault, both planning on turning the enemies flank.

Before we could even start the Grey Knights used a preliminary bombardment strategy to bring down a building in my deployment zone, killing 2 Banshees, and half the storm guardians. Not an auspicious beginning.

The Daemon hunters forces begun to advance across the board, in a wide formation, aiming to stretch my lines and breakthrough to the objective, with a couple of Stormtrooper squads on my left flank firing at, and killing 2 of the Scorpions. I retaliated with my master snipers and bought down 6 Grey Knights, with the remaining two scampering for cover, while my two flanking units moved out.

Turn 2 saw the Grey Knight advance continue, and the orbital bombardment commence, crashing down around the objective building, but inflicting no casualties. The Stormtroopers in the building opposite began to fire at the Dire Avengers, killing two and forcing the others to withdraw. On the opposite flank one unit if Rangers came under concentrated fire and lost 2 of their number and also fell back, and another Scorpion fell to Hell gun fire. In retaliation the other unit of Rangers felled some Stormtroopers, but it was a drop in the ocean. The Avengers railed and returned to their defensive position and unleashed a Blade storm at the Grey Knight, but failed to bring down a single Power Armoured Knight. Meanwhile the surviving scorpions assaulted a unit of Stormtroopers and wiped out all but one, who was caught when he tried to fall back.

Unfortunately this left the Scorpions facing a wall of fire they would now have to survive. The Stormtroopers unleashed las, melta and plasma fire into the Scorpions and only the Exarch survived the fusillade. On my right flank the Grey Knights assaulted the Dire Avengers, and predictably wiped them out. In the centre the Stormtroopers poured volleys into the Howling Banshees, wiping them out, leaving just the Avatar and Jain Zar to take the fight to the Imperials.

The exarch charged into the unit that had laid low its fellow Scorpions, Jain Zar and the Avatar assaulted another Stormtrooper squad. The Ranger covered these assault by pinning down the one of the unengaged squads to prevent them being able to react to the outcomes. On my right the remaining Wraithguard and the Warlock charged the Grey Knight who had broken through my line, with the Storm Guardians assaulting them from the other side. The Wraithlord rampaged into the Grey Knight terminators. The Scorpion Exarch was bough down by weight of numbers, while Jain Zar and the Avatar easily dispatched the elite guardsmen. Most surprisingly of all though was the Storm Guardians who managed to bring down 5 of the 6 Grey knights before they could even respond. In the following round of melee they managed to bring the surviving justicar down too. Jain Zar was not so fortunate though, with 3 Stormtrooper squads firing at her, even she could not avoid all that fire and fell.

In turn 5 the Avatr stormed into to help the Wraithlord, the Storm Guardians reoccupied the objective after their brief sortie and the Wraithguard tried to engage the surviving Grey Knights. Unfortunately for the Avatar, for the first time in all the games we have played, the Terminator Captain decided that as he was fighting the only Daemon on the table he ought to prove himself and dispatched him with contemptuous ease. But this opening gave the Wraithlord the chance to get himself together and start to crush one of the Terminators in his monstrous hands.

By the end of turn 5 the Grey Knight terminators where dead, as where my Wraithguard, and it was all poised to see if we played turn 6.

And we did, and it started with a bang.The objective building had been sown with demolition charges by the Grey Knights and exploded and came crashing down to be a pile of rubble, killing the Storm Guardians holding it, and leaving the survivors to fall back. With the building they had deployed behind gone the Jetbikes were blown from the sky, and a Squad of Stormtroopers charged forward onto the remains of the objective to try and hold it through my final turn and claim victory for the Imperium.

The Eldar redeployed as rapidly as possible, the Warp Spiders jumping into to try and eliminate as many Stormtroopers as possible, with the Wraithlord unleashing flamer and Star Cannon fire as well. When the fire cleared there was just the Sergeant standing, as my Rangers ran on to the objective. But it was not over yet, the battered Rangers squad had still to fire. They took careful aim, and picked off the Sergeant, leaving the objective in the hands of the Rangers and victory to the Eldar.

This was yet again a very close game between me and Ken. With his lack of long range fire-power, but numerous bodies on the ground, his Daemon hunters performed very well in the runs of the city. He also had the honour of finally bringing down the Avatar. As the only Daemon he usually gets to fight, this should be a more regular occurrence, but his Terminators almost always get into combat with it and then proceed to fight like kittens and be wiped out, but this time they did what the Emperor expects and actually dispatched the abomination. However I still managed to claim victory with my ranger, using the infiltrate and master sniper strategms and being upgraded to pathfinder completely repayed my faith (and the points) I placed in them and won the game for me, I suspect if I use them again like this, they may come under some very heavy fire!! A rematch beckons!

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