Terra World Cup Battle Report: Eldar vs Iron Devourers – 2000 Points



Next Terra Cup game! After my utter destruction last time, I was hoping my next game wouldn’t go so badly. I knew I was playing Eldar, and I knew that the Eldar player tends towards jetbikes.

Dom and I had talked briefly a few weeks ago about our upcoming game. Dom asked whether I prefer fluffy and fun games, or more competitive. I pointed towards my Inquisition detachment, in hope that was an answer! I’m glad about that, as from the corner of my eye I could see Dom’s Scorpion Mark II sitting happily on the game he was half-way through. So, knowing that I wasn’t going to face a horrific Eldar lineup, I started researching.

I’ve played Eldar once before, and, in case you’ve forgotten, I lost. Badly.

Looking on the internet, I found a great guide on how to deal with Eldar. This chap essentially says “Deny them their movement and counter them with mid-range fire from Tactical Marines”. I took that advice to heart, well, the tactical marine side of it, and decided to base my list around having way more of them than I normally would.

I had it in my head for some reason that if I were to get into Melee with the Eldar, then I would lose. Their I5 meant I was hitting second, and that would be my downfall. With this in mind, and this still being 6th edition, I created a whole new list that centred entirely around shooting and mobility.

The Emperor’s Will2000 points, Hammer and Anvil. Opponent: Crimson Dom Location: The Old Duke, Bristol, via Bristol Vanguard.

IRON DEVOURERS 

  • Captain in Terminator Armour with the Primarch’s Wrath & Power Fist.
  • 10 man Tactical Squad with Heavy Bolter and Flamer in a Rhino with Dozer Blade.
  • 10 man Tactical Squad with Heavy Bolter and Melta Gun in a Rhino with Dozer Blade. Combi-Flamer on the Sarge.
  • 10 man Tactical Squad with Heavy Bolter and Plasma Gun in a Rhino with Dozer Blade. Combi-Flamer on the Sarge.
  • 6 man Sniper Squad with Camo Cloaks, Snipers and Heavy Bolter
  • 5 man Terminators squad with 2 Chain Fists and an Assault Cannon
  • Venerable Dreadnought with Assault Cannon and Missile Launcher.
  • Venerable Dreadnought with Twin Linked Lascannons and Missile Launcher.
  • 3 x Land Speeders (one squad) with Heavy Bolter and Assault Cannon on each.
  • 5 man Assault Marine Squad with Flamer and Veteran Sergeant with Power Fist.
  • 5 man Devastator Squad with 3 Plasma Cannons
  • 5 man Devastator Squad with 3 Missile Launchers

ELDAR

  • Autarch; Eldar Jet Bike, laser lance.
  • Farseer; Eldar Jet Bike.
  • 3 Bikes; shruiken cannon.
  • 6 Bikes; 2 shruiken cannon.
  • 6 Bikes; 2 shruiken cannon.
  • 6 Bikes; 2 shruiken cannon.
  • 11 Guardians.
  • Wave Serpent. Twin bright lance.
  • 5 Fire dragons.
  • Wave serpent. Twin scatter laser.
  • 10 Warp Spiders.
  • Crimson hunter.
  • 7 shining spears; Exarch, hit and run, star lance.
  • Warp Hunter.
  • Night Spinner.
  • 3 Dark Reapers; starshot missiles.
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So many models!
WP_20140618_041
Anyone want to count?

There are still a lot of unknowns with the Eldar and me. I didn’t think this list looked too tough (no Wraith of any kind!), though I was kicking myself for not going with more punchy! That’s ok, though. Both Dom and I had a heck of a lot of models on the table, but I was at the advantage as far as I was concerned, because each and every one was mine were one of the EMPEROR’S FINEST.

We knew it was going to be the mission with the objective on each side of the board, so with that in mind my tactic involved splitting my army. Half would surge forwards in Rhinos to sit on his objective, whilst half would wait on my side and sit on my objective, with the Assault Marines and Terminators coming on to support where they were needed.


If you could sum up your list in 3 words, what would they be?

Crimson Dom: Fast, solid, Eldar.

What do you think is going to be your Man Of The Match?
The Warp Spiders as they are pretty bad-ass. They pump out a lot of strength 6 (or 7, depending on the target) shots and they are very quick.

What would you have taken with another 250 points?
Probably have 10 Howling Banshees run towards the enemy on foot (cos I like the imagry of it rather than how good it’ll be!), bulk out the Dark Reaper squad with more guys and maybe one or two upgrades on characters if I had some points left over.

 

If you could sum up your list in 3 words, what would they be?
Bolters, Cannons, Dakka!

What do you think is going to be your Man Of The Match?
It’s hard to say, as I have so much on the table, and none of it is particularly incredible. I’m going for weight of fire. Maybe the swarm of Tactical Marines? 

What would you have taken with another 250 points?
Another full squad of Tactical Marines! No, I’d probably have taken another 3 Land Speeders. I think they work best in groups.


On to the battle!

Deployment: Dom chose his side, and I chose to go second and deploy second. Eldar deployment saw Dom with his Heavy Support at the back and his more mobile units poised to stream down the table. He held some bikes and Shining Spears with his Warlord in reserve. Interestingly, we’d both rolled the same Warlord trait, that being the one that lets us apply a -1 to our opponents reserve rolls, and both our Warlords were in reserve, too. Weird.

I had decided to go for Raptors chapter Tactics. Basically, it means that my units have Scout, Stealth on turn 1, and if I don’t move then my bolters and bolt pistols can fire as Heavy 1 Rending instead of Rapid Fire 2 (or Pistol). Could be useful. It was that or Imperial Fists.

I scouted my 3 Rhinos as far forward as I could to put as little distance between me and Dom’s objective as possible, and dotted my Devastators around. I hid both my Dreadnoughts and Landspeeders in cover, as well as my scouts. My Assault Marines and Terminators would both Deep Strike, and a combat-squad with a Melta would Outflank a little later on.

After determining that it was indeed Night Fighting, I didn’t Steal the Initiave (so much for Karma!), so it was on to turn 1!

WP_20140618_048

Turn 1 ELDAR: On Eldar Turn 1, Dom startd by casting Scryer’s Gaze. This was going to be very useful next turn, as he had 3 units coming on (Flier, Bikes, Shining Spears).  Dom moved up with his Wave Serpents, and started zooming down with his bikers. His Warp Spiders zipped straight in, too.

In Eldar Shooting, Dom brought many of his guns to bear on the Devastator Squad in the centre, who went to ground in the end to make the most of their Stealth from their Chapter Tactics. The 5 man squad mostly withered under the combined fire of the Jetbikes, Warp Spiders, Warp Hunter, Night Spinner AND two Wave Serpents, yet somehow a singular marine stood his ground and survived! What is it with my Missile Devastators? They’ve single-handedly fought off Chaos Spawn for almost entire games, gone hand-to-hand with Wraith Knights, and how they’ve not only withstood a whole round of Eldar Shooting, but denied the vital First Blood as well! Promotions all round! …That is, if they lived past the battle… A Rhino was stunned, also, but not destroyed.1

No charges in Assault, but some jumping about with the Warp Spiders.

This is the face of Beef.
This is the face of Beef.

Turn 1 ID: In my turn, I decided to alter my tactics to deal with the Eldar in my face. One Rhino disgorged its passengers, and the other was immobilised. The Chimera-rhino zoomed forward to deal with the rest of the Eldar army. I would have disembarked more, but I didn’t have the space! Perhaps I shouldn’t have split my force up… The Dreadnoughts wandered from cover and the Land Speeders flew to the nearest threat, that being the Wave Serpent.

Shooting, and boy was I excited. All my pretty bolters, and lots of squishy Eldar to introduce it to. However, due to unbrilliant positioning on my part, it was almost impossible to focus on one unit. I should have moved in such a way to focus on one unit and try to get First Blood. Ah well. I did manage to bolter and plasma a some bikes, and missile some as well. The combined fire of my army destroyed some Warp Spiders and enough bikers to cause a Leadership check.

The Land Speeders decided to shoot the Wave Serpent. Dom told me that it might be a bad idea, as I would be relying on Rending shots and that he has a respectable 3+ cover save, plus his Serpent Shield. I threw caution to the wind and did it anyway, and scored 5 rending hits! Excellent!

3 of these were downgraded to glancing hits, which was fine by me. That meant it was dead!

..Except that Dom made all of his 3+ cover saves. Gutting 😦

I wasn’t able to concentrate enough fire to wipe out a whole unit, so I didn’t claim First Blood. The jetbikes did fail their Morale check, though, and zoomed off towards Dom’s table edge. Small victories.

 

Turn 2 ELDAR: Dom’s cowardly Eldar bikers didn’t rally and zoomed closer towards their table edge. Not quite off yet, but close…

Dom successfully managed to throw a few prescience and fortunes around, buffing his army considerably. Dom also rolled for his reserves, and being under the effects of Scryer’s Gaze, was more or less able to choose what he wanted. He chose his Shining Spears with Autarch to arrive on the flank behind my Land Speeders and Plasma Cannon Devs. His Crimson Hunter arrived, and he elected to keep his remaining unit of bikers in reserve.

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In the Movement Phase, some Jetbikes jetbiked their way up the other flank, appearing next to my scouts. The Fire Dragons unloaded near my Assault Cannon dreadnought. The Warp Spiders teleported nearer my Rhinos, and the Dark Reapers kept up their steady walk to my lines.

In the Shooting Phase, Dom wasted no time in wasting as many of my units as possible. His Wave Serpents destroyed my entire unit of Landspeeders with a strategic use of cover-denying weaponry. My Chimera-Rhino exploded after the Crimson Hunter targeted it, 3 marines were killed in the explosion (7 were wounded!), and a Dreadnought was taken out by the Fire Dragons. My entire squad of Tactical Marines were dusted by the concentrated heavy fire of the Eldar Artillery, and the majority of the Plasma Devs were gunned down, too. A Rhino was glanced to death by the Warp Spiders. Ouch!

At least, though, old Ironballs himself was still standing with his Missle Launcher, ready to bring the pain.

In assault, the bikers on (my) north side charged the Scouts, who managed to get wiped out immediately. C’est la vie. Or, rather, c’est la morte.

Turn 2 ID: My Terminators decided they’d rather hand out in the Warp, so didn’t arrive yet. My Assault Marines, however, did turn up, as did my outflanking combat squad. The Assault Marines deep-striked rather riskily, but didn’t mishap, right in Eldar back-lines. The outflankers popped out behind the Dark Reapers. 

I did what I could to rally my diminishing Space Marine chapter, but it wasn’t looking good. My Tacticals from the formerly unexploded ChimeraRhino flopped their Difficult Terrain move, so more or less stayed put, and instead decided to shoot the Warp Spiders.

They managed an impressive amount of wounds, which was good. Enough to cause them to flee! It seems the trick with Eldar is to pin them down. They can’t handle a straight fire-fight. The Combat Squad wiped out the squad of Dark Reapers, which felt good. My Plasma Devs had gone to ground, so couldn’t fire. The Assault Marines killed a couple of Bikers, which was nice, too, and a Dreadnought managed to destroy a Wave Serpent. Ironballs, alas, did nothing.

Turn 3 ELDAR: Dom’s third turn saw his last unit of bikers arrive, and the rallying of his other units. Rats!

The Crimson Hunter vortex-danced its way around a bit and blitzed a few more unfortunate Space Marines off into an early grave. Though, I suppose being Space Marines it wasn’t that early. Anyway.

The rest of the Rhinos were toasted, and the last Dreadnought was blowed up by Fire Dragons. Laughably, the Dreadnought killed 3 Fire Dragons and a jetbiker in his death explosion, meaning he’d probably caused more damage then anyone else all game by dying! Woohoo! This turn sadly saw the death of Ironballs, too, at the hands of a whole squad of disembarked Guardians. Boo. All but 1 marine was killed in the Assault Squad, and all but 1 in the Combat Squad, too. The Squad in the centre were whittled down a notch, too.

In Assault, the Shining Spears split off from the Autarch, who charged my 3 remaining Devastators. Those things are beastly on the charge, as I found out. All but 1 died, leaving me unable to shoot his Warlord next turn. Curses!

Turn 3 IDMy Terminators arrived and deep-striked back on my objective. It was risky, but I thought if I denied Dom my objective at least I wouldn’t lose TOO badly. I just needed to get in Melee. Once I was there, I’d be fine.

There wasn’t much left to move. My individual marines each moved towards nearby Eldar tanks, chucking Krak Grenades in the hope of a lucky kill. They each also charged and tried again in melee, but were unsuccessful. The Terminator Squad and their Relic wielding Captain unleashed the pain on some nearby Bikers.

The Squad in the centre once again tried to move towards Dom’s objective, but rolled badly and basically stayed put, popping a couple of shots into whatever they could.

Assault saw my Plasma Dev survive(!), but inflict no wounds on the Autarch. What is it with Devastator Marines?

Turn 4 ELDAR: The combination of basically the entire Eldar force saw the total destuction of my Terminators, including an insta-gib of my 3-wound Captain by the Crimson Hunter (boo). The rest of my army was blasted apart, but I still had a Devastator locked in melee, and my centre unit had been charged by the Shining Spears. They didn’t last long.

Turn 4 IDWith nothing left but assault, my turn was a quick one. My last remaining marines were felled, and with that I was tabled!


Final tally: IRODEVOURERS 

  • Nothing! Not a jot!

Total: 0

ELDAR

  • 2 Objectives
  • Slay The Warlord
  • First Blood
  • Linebreaker

Total: 9

Result: ELDAVictory!


 

Hoof, another crushing defeat. I had a long talk with Dom afterwards, and he offered me some very sound advice against Eldar. Dom is a veteran of 40k, and has not only played against Space Marines countless times, but also played with them himself. I’m looking forward to our next game, where I might be able to put a bit of that advice to use…

It’s also worth giving Dom special thanks here, too. He was offering advice and suggestions throughout the entire game, giving me pointers when I was in a pickle. And don’t forget that Dom had asked what kind of game I wanted to play, and and thus forgone bring Super-Heavies and other cheesy combos instead favouring a game that would be fun. So, thanks Dom!

Post game interview time:

Who was your man of the match?
This is a tough one, as everything (well almost) did exactly what I wanted it to. However, I’m going to give it to the Fire Dragons, as they dispatched both Venerable Dreadnoughts with consummate ease.

Who was your flop of the match?
I’d have to give that to the Dark Reapers, as although they weren’t that bad, they didn’t really have the targets to shoot at.

Anything you would have done differently?
Not really, everything when according to plan (apart from not killing that one lone Devastator Marine on turn 1!

Do you think one more turn would have made a difference?
No, not at all.

Any closing thoughts?
I think there were three things that went massively in my favour;
1. My total familiarity with the Marine army, compared to your un-familiarity with Eldar
2. My gaming experience, as when we were chatting afterwards, you said you’d only been gaming for 9 months; I’ve been doing this for 10 years!
3. Your decision to run a mostly shooty army, rather than the combat orientated smashy army you usually do.

If we had swapped armies, and we played again, I would have camped out near my objective and forced you to come to me. That way it negates my mobility and ability to gang up on one target. I’d be more than happy to play you again, it was a fun game!

 

Who was your man of the match?
Old Ironballs, the Indestructible Devastator, certainly. I see his soon-to-be-dreadnoughted career sparkling in the near future.

Who was your flop of the match?
The Terminators or the Land Speeders. Both had the chance to do something amazing, but both flopped. Though, that wasn’t to do with bad dice, it was bad tactics.

Anything you would have done differently?
Tonnes. I would have played far more defensively, sitting way, way back and letting the Eldar come to me. I would have stuck together, and not spread my forces out. I would have engaged in Melee as much as possible, and focus fired on one unit at a time. I would have played a very different list, too, given the gift of hindsight (or foresight?). Taking on board what Dom has said, I will definitely play differently next time.

Any closing thoughts?
If you have a plan, stick to it if you can. Changing your plan half-way through is on.y viable if you can back it up. You’re controlling an army, not a group on individuals. Don’t expect one unit of 10 marines by itself to do brilliantly; they need backup.

More soon!

 

 

 

 

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