What I haven't done for some time is test my mettle at a really large event. I've done well in the past, but the larger the event the less control one has over the outcome. Things like time, scenarios, rules dispute, and terrain (among many other factors) are huge considerations. So it's important to minimize adverse effects prior to hitting the board - and god, the list is huge! Sleep, weather, painting schedules... on and on.
And I've rambled on and on. Basically, I tested out an Eldar variant against a buddy of mine at the FLGS last night. He's trying to nail down his Vulcan Mech list, so this was a good challenge seeing as how I'm concerned about 'Best Of' variants...
HIS influence is trickling down, making it tougher to take on marines.
Boy, this is going to be a long blog already - I'll just hit the high points.
We decided to play a random scenario from Hard Boyz Round 1, and after rolling the dice came up Scenario 2. Dawn of War Annilation with skewed kill points. 5, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1 from HQ down to troops and transports.
I rolled higher and took 1st turn, with the plan of forcing back as much of his army as possible. I knew the Alpha Strike was coming and wanted to create space. I also decided to hold my Warwalkers, both Fire Dragon Waveserpents, and my Harlequins in reserve, reasoning I'd need a counterpunch in Turn 2 and 3. I cringe at the mistakes I made here; hindsight is 20/20, but the Avatar was hiding for no good reason and wasn't within range to support the guardians and the pathfinders didn't need to set up so close - the guardians were enough to force the marine line back. As it was, I compounded these mistakes.
I had to edit, so this is the table after Turn 2. Basically, I sent my guardians forward with some half-ass plan of offering a target to the Land Raiders: I wanted him to climb out and close assault me, giving me something to counter attack. Stupid idea, of course - it just gave him something to shoot at. I did fly the Waveserpent with Eldrad and the Dire Avengers up to support the Avatar with Fortune in subsequents turns. All in all, his Turn 1 was brutal. His dreads dropped, one targeting my pathfinders and Avatar and the other my Dark Reapers, who had just come on to grab the wall in my backfield. His tanks pushed in, setting up. I lost most of my Pathfinder and all of my Guardians, plus a couple Reapers. That said, his Dreadnought wanted no part of the Avatar; I think a better plan would have been to flank the Dark Reapers position with the Drop Pods and completely take out the unit, dealing with one threat and hopefully finding some cover behind the Pods from the incoming Firedragons. As the picture shows, I did deal with the Dreadnoughts pretty handily, nominating one squad apiece. The Warwalkers came in on my left flank. More on them later.
This shot is the end of Turn 3, which was fairly uneventful. Oh, did I mention Bruce forgot his other Land Raider? Thus the Orkish proxy.
Bottom of 3 and the Land Raider decides to Tank Shock the Avatar. My opponent figures the Avatar will just move aside, leaving a nice path to my army. The Avatar is slightly insane, what with earlier in the day taking a stroll aboard the Craftworld that ended with him being the guest of honor at a lobsterbroil: he Death or Glory strikes with the Wailing Doom and rolls 4+1 on the penetration hit. Nice. Of course the terminators inside pop out to have a chat with him about it (turn 4). The Avatar is happy to oblige until he realizes Eldrad has sacrificed the left flank... No more Fortune, no more Avatar.
Turn 4. I was concerned about his next move. He still had one Drop Pod, complete with Marines and Vulcan, that was almost assuredly coming in at the bottom of 4. My weapons weren't in the right places to really take on everything. My big question was where will he strike? He had a full Vanguard squead in the proxy-Land Raider and Vulcan and friends in the express elevator - so what to do? Ultimately I decided to tighten my grip on the right flank, reasoning I need to finish killing squads to grab kill points and the Razorback w Marines and Scouts would be a fairly easy target. On my left flank I sent my Fire Dragons after the Predator. I'm still not sure of this move, but I wanted to seperate this squad from the Walkers and Reapers: I didn't want to just offer it all on a plate now did I? Luck wasn't with me as the Fire Dragons disembarked and failed to take out the Predator. In hindsight, this was probably the mistake. There wasn't a great reason to leave the protection of the Serpent... I should have forced him to get me out before he killed me. I'll have to give it some thought.
...and here is the left. As stated, the terminators did in the Avatar and closed on the Dragons. Vulcan's squad and the proxy-Land Raider full of Vanguard also targeted this flank. I can't say this was a mistake, since we were both laying claim to territory... Perhaps he didn't need as much as he took, but I'm also a big believer in nailing down the kill.
Left flank. The Vanguard and Cassius had already done for the pathfinders. I zeroed in with the Reaper Exarch, Dark Reaper, and two War Walkers. It was the only firing the Reapers did all game, but they earned their points. One dead Vanguard, leaving Cassius a lonely man. The Exarch killed 8 by himself...
The shot. An on-target Tempest Launcher templates with Crack Shot. Ap 3, reroll wounds, no cover save... MEQ hate it for good reason.
At the bottom of 5, Cassius hops in and comes in for payback! And promptly rolls a 1 for his terrain test. I thought Bruce was going to burst a blood vessel in his forehead! I couldn't stop laughing! Don't get me wrong though, I would never celebrate an opponent's bad luck by laughing, but we're friends so it was part of the fun. Bruce is a good sport, and he has terrible luck playing me.
The right flank turn 5. I set up... Eldrad had doomed the scouts and guided the Dire Avengers. I felt I needed to take out these units to pull out a victory, given that I lost 5 VP with the death of the Avatar.
The bright lances from the Wave Sepents did for the Razorback (I know they're not there - I'm still putting them together) and the Marines piled out, trying to avoid the Harlequins. I ran with the Harlequins and felt comfortable that I'd get to the Marines over the terrain, er... Razorback. So I unloaded the Avengers and Dragons at the Scouts, taking them out.
Well, actually just the Troupe Master actually - just to drive my opponent nuts my first Harlequin hit and wounded with every dice of his power weapon attack.
Broad view of the board. He earned credit for the Reapers and almost finished off the War Walkers. The VP were 15 to 11.
Well, putting this report together wasn't as easy as I thought. Thanks to Bruce for putting up with the camera.
Take care - Brent