The Vaults of Kekes'tular: Eldar Vs Tzeentch Daemons, Purge the Alien 500 pointsIt was, by all appearances, nothing more than a grassy field, soaked in sunlight. Torael Mistspeaker froze anyway, his hair standing on end. Something was wrong.
The rest of the Guardian Defenders felt it, too. A certain...twisting of the world, beneath the skein of perception. The feeling of it made him ill so that he might have vomited, were he a lesser being. As an Eldar of the Craftworlds, he merely tightened his posture to control his discomfort. "Something is coming." He muttered.
Beside him, Adolas Longstride nodded. "Let us call for the Autarch. It seems to be as he feared. Something terrible is here."
And then the world opened with a sigh, and out spilled the madness of the Warp, but given form. The sunny field was then doused in shadow and rainbow fire.Their instincts had been right.
Now they just had to survive...
In accordance with the new little campaign I'm starting (see here
), the Eldar are securing a zone surrounding a webway portal when they are attacked by a vanguard force of Daemons. Another small, 500 point game. Tzeentchian Sentry ForceUnbound Chaos Daemons
Herald of Tzeentch on Disc w/Impossible Cloak, Etherblade, Lv 3 (Summoning, Possession, Flickering Fire), Warlord (Tyrant of the Warp)
Herald of Tzeentch w/Locus of Conjuration, Lv 2 (Incursion, Flickering Fire)
13 Horrors (Flickering Fire, Prismatic Gaze)
5 ScreamersEldar VanguardCraftworld Eldar Combined Arms Detachment
Autarch w/Hawk Wings, Lasblaster, Warlord (Ambush of Blades)
6 Swooping Hawks w/Exarch
5 Warp Spiders
10 Guardians w/Scatter Laser
10 Guardians w/Scatter LaserMission, Terrain, and Deployment
This would be a kill points game with a Vanguard Strike Deployment. Terrain was meant to simulate the sunny, pastoral countryside of an Eldar Maiden World. At board center was an enormous hill with some smaller hills atop it and a few trees. Hills in most corners, scattered rocks and trees about. Cover generally sparse, save the ridges of hills everywhere.
In the "randomly determine all my stuff" phase of the game which daemon players love so much, I got a fairly lame Warlord trait (ignoring Perils is okay, but hardly ideal) and got stuck with Possession (which would be *awesome,* were this not a KP game and this was on my Warlord) and Summoning without any Cursed Earth to be found. Incursion is nice on the foot herald, anyway. Prismatic Gaze has almost zero utility in this game, but I guess I'm not really losing much to have it. Not an auspicious spread of powers for the Daemons, at any rate. The Etherblade isn't bad, I guess (beat the hell out of Warp Stalker, which was my initial roll).
I won the roll-off and chose the southeast corner to deploy in, though the board was fairly even all over and I don't think it mattered by much. I threw my Horrors in a blob in the center along with the foot-herald and then the disc herald and the screamers deployed behind a ridge of hills and just in front of a lake.
The Eldar kept the Hawks w/Autarch and Spiders in reserve (they would deepstrike) and threw both guardian squads behind the giant center hill. It wasn't quite tall enough to deny LOS, but it would grant them a cover save.
DeploymentMan, this *is* a small game!The Eldar dig inTurn 1
The Eldar fail to seize the initiative, so I begin. I skooch my Horrors forward a bit to get range on the closest Guardian squad and my Screamers + Disc Herald go forward as fast possible (but it turns out they're still *just* too far away to manage a slashing attack, which is a shame...).
In the psychic phase, I roll a 6, giving me 13 dice to play with. I throw 7 dice into summoning some Bloodcrushers, which I do, though the foot Herald suffers a minor perils and loses a wound and another warp charge die. The 'Crushers land pretty close to the Eldar lines and will, hopefully serve as a distraction. However, in order not to give up First Blood, I need to thin the Guardians a bit with some Flickering Fire. I throw 2 dice for the Horrors to get off their shot and they do with 1 success. The Eldar throw 3 dice to counter and do (dammit!). Then the Disc Herald throws 3 dice on his and gets 2 successes. The Eldar then throw their last three dice to Deny...and do (WTF?!). amphetamine parrot! A whole phase of offense completely down the tubes thanks to fluke dice. Thanks, psychic phase!
As a consolation, the Warp Storm grants me Warp Surge, so I run the Bloodcrushers a bit closer (this was dumb) and rearrange the Screamers so the 2++ re-rollable Disc Herald can tank for the rest of the unit.
Top of Turn 1INSTANT CAVALRY--JUST ADD WARP!The Disc Herald hums "Can't Touch This"
In the Eldar turn, all the (completely untouched!) Guardians Battle Focus themselves to get in easy range of the Bloodcrushers and, in a giant hail of shuriken fire, eventually kill them all. I'd like to point out that if I the psychic phase hadn't choked last turn, this wouldn't have happened. Of course, I *also* shouldn't have moved them that close (it's been so long since Guardians have shot shuri-cats at me, I forgot to grant them some respect...). Anyway, First Blood and a KP to my opponent.
Bottom of Turn 1CAVALRY-BE-GONE: JUST ADD SHURIKEN!Turn 2
In my second turn, I zoomed the Screamers + Disc Herald up into assault position of really either Guardian squad while the Horrors scoot up as well to get range with both the Foot Herald and themselves. The psychic phase was then devoted to lighting fools on magic fire. Got myself a 12 die phase. 5 dice for the Disc Herald for a Level 2 Flickering Fire goes off and kills 7 in the closest squad of guardians. 5 Dice for the Foot Herald for another Level 2 Flickering works, as well, but cover from the statue and hill goes well and I kill 5 of the rear squad. The 2 dice Lv 1 Flickering from the Horrors doesn't go off, but I'm not that concerned--I've done enough damage. Both units pass their Warpflame tests and so only get more mutated instead of more dead. Soul Blaze (40K's most worthless rule) does nothing, because it's Soul Blaze.
The Warp Storm drops a pair of Tzeentch's Fire, one on each unit of Guardians, which is pretty damned lucky. However, both scatter way off target, so my good luck doesn't mean very much.
The rear unit of Guardians fails Morale and flees, so I charge the forward unit, though they rolled a pretty crazy good on their overwatch and I lose a wound off the Disc Herald (failed Look Out Sir). The Impossible Cloak doesn't cause my Herald to vanish, which is nice. In combat the 3 Guardians fail their fear check and fold in combat, all of them dying without causing much damage. With my consolidation roll, I circle the screamers around my herald, since I'm expecting a LOT of Eldar shooting hitting me in the face next turn.
Top of Turn 2Circle the
Wagons Space Fish, boys! Storm's a-comin'!"
In the bottom of 2, the Guardians rally and the Spider and Hawks drop in at an angle to try and obliterate my Screamers and Herald. First off, as I'm writing this I realize that the Guardians should have been firing snap shots
(DOH!) but didn't, and they rolled crazy good, wiping out two Screamers themselves. Then the combined might of the Warp Spiders and Hawks accounted for another two. The Hawk Grenades wounded a Screamer, leaving me with a Herald and a single Screamer left, each with one wound apiece.
I survived, though--that's what matters!
Then the Guardians assaulted me (which they *also* shouldn't have been able to do! Dammit--really gotta remember my non-marine rallying rules!) but did no damage (thanks, in part, to another failed fear test), whereas I killed one and sent them packing again.
Bottom of Turn 2We made it!Turn 3
Okay, so my Warlord is pretty damned vulnerable right now, but I've got a plan. I will summon up a group of Flamers to toast the Swooping Hawks and blast the Spiders with some Flickering Fire and round it all off with a charge at the remaining Guardians and that, altogether, should weaken my enemies enough to keep me cooking for another turn.
So, nobody moves too much and I skip more-or-less directly to the psychic phase. I get another 12 die phase - perfect! I devote 7 dice to a Summoning...and get only 2 successes. Dammit! Okay, so we'll blast the Hawks with a Lv 2 Flickering Fire - 5 dice on that. NO successes. My psychic phase *totally* chokes! Catastrophe!
Adding insult to injury, the Warp Storm is calm this turn. I charge the Guardians, hoping at least to maybe get stuck in combat, but they fail their morale check and are quickly run down. amphetamine parrot.
Top of Turn 3
In the bottom of Turn 3, the Hawks and Spiders leap towards my Horrors. The Spiders open fire on the last Screamer and the Disc Herald. The Screamer goes down, but the Herald survives all remaining firepower unscathed (IMPOSSIBLE CLOAK!). Then the Hawks fire at him--all the regular troops can't wound him past his IMPOSSIBLE CLOAK and neither can the Exarch. Finally, the Autarch gets a single wound through and my Warlord vanishes in a flash of brimstone, cackling on the breeze. Ah well--after tanking 2 of 3 psychic phases, one can't have expected them to last much longer than that.
Bottom of Turn 3Turn 4
In my fourth turn, the idea is to light those damned Eldar on all kinds of multi-colored fire. My Horrors shift a bit, just to secure ranges, and then my weakened psychic phase starts. I have 4 dice to start and roll a 6, giving me a 10 dice phase (not too shabby!). I split this into a 5-dice Lv 2 Flickering Fire from the Herald on the Hawks. I roll 17 shots (!) and even with cover I wipe out the unit down to just one Hawk and the Autarch. They then fail their Warpflame check and the lone Hawk dies and I put 2 wounds on the Autarch. Soul Blaze, again, does nothing. The other salvo from the Horrors is aimed at the Spiders. They try to Flickerjump away, but my Horrors are too close and the Hawks can't get out of range. This time my dice aren't quite as impressive - another Lv 2 Flickering Fire gets me only eight shots (blech) and I only manage to wound 3 times. The Spiders make all their saves. Still, a nice blunting of the Eldar attempt to take me off the board.
Top of Turn 4Take THAT, you pointy-eared creeps!
In the Eldar turn, they go into full "Eldar mode" and the Autarch Skyleaps while the Spiders hide on the other side of the giant hill where my Horrors can't see them. He's got the Kill Point lead, thanks to the First Blood and Warlord bonus points, so unless I take him off the board entirely (or score Linebreaker/Warlord), I really can't win the game. I'm having fun, though, so press on, says I!
Bottom of Turn 4You have to picture me making all kinds of elaborate chicken-clucking noises.Turn 5
I have a (bad) plan to try and win this thing--more Bloodcrushers! I get an 8-die psychic phase and I throw it all into an Incursion. I get exactly one 4 and the rest are all 2s and 1s. Screw you, Chaos gods!
Oh yeah, and the Warp is Calm again. So...great. If the map makes it look like nothing happened, you're pretty much right.
Top of Turn 5
At the end of Turn 5, the Spiders stay hiding in their little holes and the Autarch drops in deep within his own DZ. The game ends on a die roll.
Bottom of Turn 5Final ScoreEldar:
5 (3 units + First Blood + Warlord)Tzeentch Daemons:
3 (3 units)Post-Mortem
Well, when the numbers all came through, I gave as good as I got in this battle, it's just that the bonus objectives didn't go my way. Before I get into what the dice did to me, I'd like to discuss what I feel were my mistakes. The first and most obvious was where I placed the Bloodcrushers when summoning. Given how fast those things are, there was no need to put them *that* close to the enemy. If I'd dropped them a bit further away, I might have cut the firepower they received in half, since one group of guardians couldn't have gotten close enough. That cost me the First Blood point, which really was the deciding factor of the day--if the Crusher's lived to make assault, I probably win this game in a walk. The other mistake is that, by making the Disc Herald my Warlord, I exposed that VP to being given up more easily. By the same token, however, if I'd rolled Warp Tether for my Warlord trait, we wouldn't be having this conversation since my nigh-invincible 2++ re-rollable Herald would have munched straight through the Eldar while bullets and lasers warped and bounced through his Impossible Cloak.
The larger factor in my loss here, though, was the fact that 3 out of 5 Psychic phases went tits up on me. The first one saw some fluke Deny rolls stopping all my shooting, the third phase (heartbreaker!) saw both my summoning and witchfires fail, and the fifth phase saw me tank an 8-die summoning attempt, which is just miserable luck. Even still, with only 2 functional rounds of shooting, I did some pretty damned serious damage to his army. Flickering Fire is really, really dangerous to light infantry such as the Eldar are fond of. I've even made my peace with the Warpflame rule which, while it is annoying to give Eldar guardians a Feel No Pain roll, that roll is low enough and the damage being done is high enough that it won't be much of a factor except against hyper-tough units that need to be whittled down (like Plague Marines - shudder!) and, for those, there are other psychic weapons in my arsenal that can be of service.
Soul Blaze continues to be the Worst Special Rule in 40K. Seriously, has *anybody* ever had success with that stinker? What a waste of time that rule is. Maybe if it caused 1D6 hits or you could get several tokens at once or the hits automatically wounded or something I would see the point, but as it stands it's just a miserable "advantage."
So, yes, I lost, but I had fun anyway and, if I wanted to win all the time, I wouldn't be playing Tzeentchian Daemons, who put the R, N, and M in RaNdoM. Overall it was a fun game and a nice opening to another little ladder campaign that will serve to (hopefully) rebuild the flagging 40K gaming group in my area. Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!