Daemons Vs Dark Eldar

So, Game One of Saturday's Tournament found my Daemons taking on Gauthic's ever-improving Dark Eldar.

After stacking his deployment in corner (quarters deployment, 5 objectives), Gauthic spread out along both flanks, setting up a shooting gallery in the middle.  I felt I had to counter with some aggressive drops.  I placed the Herald and Flamers close to one of the Ravagers, and when that came down on target I was able to back the Princes up a bit, though still in range of Bolt.  Note I stacked the drop on one side - no point in splitting my forces.

And my shooting was pretty crippling.  The Ravager on the left was shaken and, while he survived another round of shooting later, it never made it back to the fight before being destroyed.  The other, as you can see, was destroyed, as was the Witches' ride.  The surviving Witches didn't make it through terrain for an assault and were gunned down in Turn Two.  All in all, a pretty devastating opening round from the Daemons.

As an aside, the obvious thing here is why he didn't hold everything in reserve, safe from a drop and shoot like this.  I think he wanted to capitalize on the opening phase, when Daemons are weak, scattered across the board and with half the army in reserve.  The Bolts, with AP 1, were also fairly devastating... including the bonus for open top, I had a +2 when I penetrated and only a dead even roll when I glanced.  Fail a cover save and it's good night Gracie...  Still, had he gone the whole reserve, my plan was to drop all 3 Plaguebearers and 2 Fiends.  The first would grab cover and hunker down, while the second would drop on my side of the board and wait out a turn before launching an assault.  This plan still allows my shooting to drop in later, so I think I would have been fine.

The other obvious disadvantage for Gauthic's list is the 4x4 tables.  Next month we move up to the regulation tables, which will be a huge benefit to his list.  Moving on...

Gauthic's Archaon and squad assaulted a unit of Fiends early in the game, but failed to wipe them out quickly enough (bad dice rolls plus my Inv. saves).  On Turn 2 I was able to drop the other unit on the board, and since the combat was still going on in Turn 3 the Fiends were able to support the Fiends.  Note my drop here; the idea is to be far enough away that should the combat end I may be far enough away to avoid a charge.  In this case, I don't think I gave myself enough room, but that's the idea.

This was important, since it represented the last assault threat, and while obviously Gauthic still had shooting available, I was more worried about reducing his mobility to avoid late-game Objective grabs... it was my game to lose.  A good player can often come back from odds like, and make no mistake Gauthic is very, very good, simply because they never stop pushing.  It's important to continue to play well when you gain the upper hand - 'cause you want to keep it.

I sac the Flamers and Herald for the shot at the Raiders (combined with DP's and Bolt, off camera).  Ultimately, I immobilize one of the last two Raiders there in the corner, though the return fire destroys all but the Herald.  Allocation games are important to certain units surviving.  I had a Herald, a Flamer with Bolt, and two Flamers... so depending on what comes down the pipe I can spread this around where it's most advantageous.  In this case, my Herald actually survived another round, so I rewarded him by later placing him up close and personal with a Raider squad.

In this shot, I'm spreading out to limit the last mobile Raider's movement; no matter where he Turboboosts, someone will be close to bring him down.  At this point the game is effectively over...

...since I had three objectives to none.  The Fiends cleared the board.

This was a tough beat for Gauthic, who couldn't catch a break in the game.  During my post I didn't bother to mention the poor dice rolls, simply because there were so many!  The learning curve for Dark Eldar is pretty steep, and I think some mistakes were made - for instance, I don't think it was a good idea for his Archaon and squad to hop out of their transport and assault the Fiends... but that's opinion.  Would it have been better to crash after a few bolts, then get assaulted anyway?  Sometimes these games turn into 'What Ifs' and I don't find that all that helpful.

Winning any tournament is 50% luck, 50% skill, and 50% endurance (yea, yea).  I won the tournament Saturday - since ol' Whit spilled the beans - and I had to play and beat the two armies I was least looking forward to playing, but I didn't have to play any of the Landraider lists, so who knows how that would have played out.

Anyway, Gauthic went on to go 2-2 for the day, recovering from a tough start.  I still think the Dark Eldar are going to be hell later on this year.


Jwolf said...

His lack of even base coating is what cost him the game. Just primering the models makes them 50% more effective - that's not opinion, that's scientific fact.

Gauthic said...

ROFL, JWolf. No kidding. I've always had better luck with my painted armies. I've just not had personal time with the holidays, wedding plans and other work & church related nuisances.

And for the record, that was a Dracon not an Archon (which will be in the 1500 list next month).

Gauthic said...

Also, typical of most other's records with Dark Eldar:
My 2-2 record was massive wins vs massive losses, there was no in-between.

I was tabled only by Brent (and closely vs. another player), but they dominated the two wins by only losing 3 or so kill points (I had 13 kp at 1250) in the win.

My games were vs (in order):
1. (Brent's) Daemons: major loss--tabled
2. Tyranids: major win - nearly a tabling, concentrated fire on his Synapse critters then his carnifexes, guants afterwards had no chance
3. Mike's Space Wolves (mentioned on this site before): great game, was pretty even until the last minute. I couldn't penetrate with my dark lances, and his luck was coming around from a bad dice stretch his previous game.
4. Crimson Fists: major win -- nearly a tabling

Green Blow Fly said...

Wow you have really snazzed up this blog. I am very impressed. The batrep is very high quality. Hats off to you!


Brent said...

Thanks man - I appreciate that.

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Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

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