Last Monday, I managed to get in a couple of games to celebrate the holiday weekend, and to start off I decided to use my Khorne Chaos Space Marine list to mix things up a bit. On the other side of the table was Dennis and his Eldar army. Lately, he’s been working on switching things up a bit and trying out a few variant lists. He also picked up one of the new Fire Prism kits, which looks as good up close as it does online. He also assembled a second Wave Serpent and third Vyper and went fully mechanized. His list looks something like this:
- 6 Howling Banshees w/Exarch and Jain Zar in a Wave Serpent
- 9 Dire Avengers w/Exarch in a Wave Serpent
- 8 Jetbikes, w/2 Shuriken Cannons and a Warlock w/Witchblade
- 2 Fire Prisms
- 1 Vyper w/ Missile Launcher
- 1 Vyper w/ Brightlance
- 1 Vyper w/ Starcannon
We determined mission and deployment randomly (including the Battle Missions book) and still managed to come up with Seize Ground/Dawn of War. I went first, and started my Berzerkers as close to mid-table as I could, and held the rest back for Turn 1. In response, Dennis deployed nothing. Two objectives were placed just left of center of the table on my table half, just over a foot apart. His objective was on the right of the table closer to his table edge.
Chaos Turn 1: With no sense of where he was going to be other than his objective, I ran my Berzerkers up towards where his army would be coming in. The rest of my army started following behind, with the Defiler on my left, the Land Raider coming up near the middle, and the Raptors moving up the right. Most of the army would be out of range due to night fighting rules, but the Rhinos popped smoke just to be safe.
Eldar Turn 1: Dennis had his army come in mostly on my left flank, refusing the right save for his three Vypers. This kept his Jetbikes out of immediate reach of my berzerkers. One of his Fire Prisms ended up on the far right edge of the table, and the other sat on a hilltop near the center of his table edge, with Wave Serpents flanking the hill. He took a number of shots at the Rhinos, but between the smoke and the night fighting round, he was unable to land a single damaging hit.
Chaos Turn 2: The Rhinos did not move this turn so that the Berzerkers inside could disembark and move. One squad moved up and assaulted the Starcannon Vyper, destroying it. The other squad assaulted the Wave Serpent to the left of the hill, with the Skull Champion wrecking it with his power fist. However, I discovered that I had chosen my target poorly, as a angry squad of Howling Banshees, complete with Exarch and Phoenix Lord, poured out the back. My Defiler lobbed a shot at the Jetbikes but only managed to drop one. The Land Raider advanced a bit more slowly so that it could fire a shot with one Lascannon, which destroyed the other Wave Serpent, forcing out the Dire Avengers. Finally, the Raptors harassed the far Fire Prism, managing to stun the crew.
Eldar Turn 2: The Jetbikes started moving along the right edge of the table, trying to avoid the mess that was gathering around the hill. The Brightlance Vyper made for some ruins to put distance between it and the Berzerkers harassing its peers. The Dire Avengers stood their ground near their objective. On the other hand, the Howling Banshees came around from the back of their destroyed transport and proceeded to utterly wipe out the responsible squad of Berzerkers. The Fire Prism on the hill took a shot at the Land Raider, but could not penetrate its armor. Finally, the Jetbikes took some potshots at the Raptors, but only managed to kill two.
Chaos Turn 3: If left unattended, Jain Zar and her Banshees would do terrible things to my army, so I had to put a stop to her. I moved in the Land Raider and both Rhinos, boxing the squad in. The Land Raider released its cargo of Terminators, ready for the kill. The Rhinos fired their combi-flamers, and the Heavy Flamer terminator joined in. By the time the shooting was over, only Jain Zar remained. The Terminators finished the job, only losing two in the process. The Terminator Lord, however was of no help, as he was busy smacking himself in the face with his Bloodfeeder. Elsewhere on the table, plans were shifting a bit. My remaining unit of Berzerkers pulled back towards the closest objective, and the Raptors charged the Fire Prism on the hill. Again, thought, they could only stun it. The Defiler hung back near the objectives, keeping them contested as it continued lobbing ineffective shots at the Eldar troops.
Eldar Turn 3: The Dire Avengers did not like having the Raptors that close, and proceeded to Bladestorm them, but to little effect. They then swung around their wrecked transport and assaulted them. They managed to whittle away a couple of Raptors, but both sides remained locked in combat. The unstunned Fire Prism took a shot at the Land Raider, but once again could not penetrate its AV14 shell. On the other side of the field, the Brightlance Vyper took a shot at the Defiler, but failed to damage it. The Missile Launcher Vyper, on the other hand, set its sights on the withdrawing unit of Berzerkers and managed to kill a couple. The Jetbikes turbo-boosted towards my table edge in order to gain a 3+ cover save against Defiler artillery.
Chaos Turn 4: One Rhino pulled back to attempt to shield the Berzerkers from the Vypers, while the other attempted to ram the Missile Launcher Vyper. However, the fast skimmer darted out of the way. The Terminators moved up the hill, joining the Raptors in combat and evening the odds a bit. Together, though, they’re still unable to wipe out the Dire Avengers, and both sides remain locked. Again, the Terminator Lord was too busy keeping his Bloodfeeder under control to be of any assistance. The Land Raider wheeled around to fire its lascannons at one of the Fire Prisms. Once again, though, only a stun could be managed.
Eldar Turn 4: The melee on the hill finally concluded, as the Terminator Lord finally got his weapon to behave and butchered the Dire Avengers to a man. Elsewhere, though, the Eldar were more successful. The Brightlance Vyper landed a solid shot on the Defiler’s back armor and wrecked it, and the Missile Launcher Vyper finished off the other Berzerkers. Finally, the Fire Prism on the hill, unstunned again, destroyed the Rhino nearest to the objectives on my side of the board. Oh, and the Jetbikes? They just waited, out of range from any threats.
Chaos Turn 5: At this point, it became clear that I’d been outplayed. I moved one of my Rhinos back towards my objectives, but I can only manage to get in contesting range of one. The Land Raider will fare no better, so I take the opportunity to unload with both sets of lascannons on the far Fire Prism, finally immobilizing it. The Terminators hang tight, as they have nothing they can contribute from their location, and the remaining two Raptors ineffectively assault the Fire Prism on the hill.
Eldar Turn 5: Coming in for the victory lap, the Jetbikes turbo-boosted to my objectives, claiming one of them.
Final Results: Eldar win, 1 objective to none.
I’m still getting used to an assault-y army, and in this case I got straight-up outplayed. I wasn’t as aggressive with my Defiler as I probably could have been; had I been going after Vypers with it, I might have kept my second unit of Berzerkers alive. That might have been enough to keep the Jetbikes from coming in relatively unmolested at the end. I also need to stop trying to assault Banshees with my Berzerkers; it never ends well for my side. I didn’t completely lose track of the mission, but in true Khornite fashion I got more interested in kills, and it cost me.
On the other hand, the Raptors did a fair job of keeping Dennis’s Fire Prisms tied up early on, which kept my units a bit safer, so I felt that they were well-utilized. I am contemplating swapping them for a third unit of Berzerkers in a Rhino, though. The price is roughly the same, and I could mount a Combi-Melta on the Rhino so as not to lose all the anti-armor capabilities. With more troops and some better play, I could have tied the game, if not won it outright.