Thanks Cav, I will polish up my notes and get a batrep for ya then! No pictures unfortunately.
Went with the second list, actually for the same reason you mentioned -- too light on the troops dept. Yes the first list has a boatload of Dire Avengers, but in the Aspect Host they don't have obsec which is a big drawback.
If I had a chance to get in more practice games before the GTs then I would definitely try out the shuriken blender list first, but as it is I'm sticking with what is more comfortable and which doesn't require as much painting...
As it was, I hear you that the squads are small and the troops are light, but one of the great powers of the MSU list is its ability to hide and shift like the wind, so getting your hands on your target is tough. Terrain helps a lot, but all the tournaments have at least some BLOS terrain, so I dropped the VSG.
Let's see, Game 1 against Decurion + Destroyers was something like this:
Zahndrek + friends in a 20 warrior blob
Destroyer Cult (3x3 Destroyers, Destroyer Lord w/ Warscythe, Orb)
Orikan the Diviner
Nightscythe + Immortals
Mission was Purge the Alien plus Maelstrom with 3 objs, Vanguard deployment. Necrons take first turn, and deploy centrally in a phalanx, but mostly behind a large BLOS terrain feature centre-board. The table basically has a huge canyon feature smack in the middle, which you need a lot of elevation to see over, but is pretty empty surrounding that.
Eldar deploy in a similar phalanx, serpent up front, WK in middle, jetbikes behind, guardians on the right flank in a crater. Aspect warriors are all out of LOS behind rock outcrops, jetbikes are all out of range, almost on the board edge. One squad of shuriken jetbikes placed in reserve (never again!).
Necrons move forward and take a few shots, glancing the D-guard serpent once. Destroyer lord hops on a central objective, and Spyder produces a scarab base. Two destroyer squads start to flank far right and take out a couple of guardians at max range. Third destroyer squad moves up to screen the spyder. Thanks to Decurion Everliving and character bonuses, the Phalanx enjoys a whole range of defensive bonuses in a bubble around the spyder/warriors. That’s going to be a tough nut to crack.
= 2 guardians dead, 1 HP off serpent
Fortunately Tanaka brought his nutcracker -- he never leaves home without one anymore! Eldar forces shift a few inches left around the central cliffs, while Warp Spiders making a 13” jump forwards into the teeth of the implacable robots (just a few inches back from the scarabs and destroyers). Release the Nutcracker! When the dust clears, two destroyers are dead, and the exposed Spyder falls to scatbike fire on its last armour save. Warp Spiders then double out all of the scarab bases with their high strength weaponry and jet pack away to the left as bait. Meanwhile shuriken jetbikes boost up to get a Maelstrom objective just in front of the Wraiths, claiming is as we are on the bottom of the Turn, and also acting as charge bait to set up a stompy counter-assault.
= spyder & scarabs destroyed, 2x destroyers killed on left
In the assault phase, one squad of scatbikes makes a low jetbike move and lands in a forest -- they promptly fail a DT, lose one member, fail their LD check, and run 13" to take them right off the board. Free KP to the Crons! Not going to put jetbikes in forests anymore...
The phalanx continues to shift forwards, the Wraiths jumping up to charge some jetbikes, and the two rightmost destroyer squads continuing to flank, now joined by the Tomb Blades. Down the left flank a Night Scythe comes screaming on to target the scatbikes.
Shooting sees gauss blaster and cannon shots cleave through Eldar Holo-Fields like butter, quickly glancing the Wave Serpent to death despite jinking (made a single save), and spilling Wraithguard onto the battlefield. Destroyers now no longer needed to shoot the Serpent are able to open up on the Dark Reapers, leaving only the Exarch standing with 1 wound. On the left, a unit of scatbikes fares much better as only one rider is killed after armour saves.
Wraiths then take some Overwatch but successfully obliterate a unit of jetbikes in close combat, choosing not to multi-charge the Warp Spiders who were also in range.
Quite a successful turn for the Necrons, one wound short of 4 KP…
Turn 2 Eldar
…but the Eldar are still at full fighting force. Fire Dragons leap from the Falcon to shoot at the Night Scythe, causing it to jink but failing to bring the sinister pastry down. Scatbikes and reaper missiles eliminate a Destroyer squad on the right while the warp spiders take out two wraiths with a cloud of monofilament wire. Then the Wraithknight charges in and rips the tentacled nightmares asunder with his massive D weapon.
=Destroyers & Wraiths eliminated, Zahndrek+Warriors, Tomb Blades, Destroyers, Night Scythe & Immortals left.
Turn 3 Necrons
Going for the throat, the Night Scythe teleports a squad of immortals down to target the Eldar Warlord, while Zahndrek also teleports his phalanx across the field with a Veil of Darkness. Shooting is able to bring the Croneworld tyrant down to 1 wound while eliminating his entourage, but the Veil of Darkness mishaps and mysteriously relocates Zahndrek and his followers into a singularity somewhere. It was a fell mistake for the Necrons to visit this Croneworld it seems.
Losing the phalanx and failing to kill the Farseer or damage the Wraithknight pretty much seals the fate of the Necrons, and they end up getting tabled Turn 6.
Lessons learned: Don't put jetbikes in difficult terrain unless really necessary, and definitely don’t do it multiple times per turn by jumping out of and then back into a forest in different phases! Also the wraithknight with D-sword and Prescience is a boss, especially against tough units like Destroyer Lords – managed to KO the cron HQ in one hit.
MVP: Wraithknight for killing 3 units and putting the D in Destroyer Lord.
Honourable Mention: Warp Spiders for running windsprints between the Eldar and Necron DZs and racking up points, while putting out lots of damage and being a huge distraction. Although the lone survivor did run off the table in the end.
Wooden Hammer: Tie between Swooping Hawks for causing no wounds in 3 rounds of shooting, and only doing one glance to a Night Scythe with 5 haywire attacks, and with the Guardians for putting three rounds of shooting into Destroyers for no wounds.
Opponent in this game was a real gent and handled himself really well, despite such a rough matchup and taking serious losses early on.
On to Game 2!
Game 2 vs Thundercav!
Oh what joy, Thundercav has to be one of my favourite matchups as the models are great, the tactics are simple, and the beatdowns are severe (whichever way it goes, there are a lot of bodies!), plus I find that the people who play thundercav are usually just a lot of fun.
Mission is Scouring in Hammer and Anvil Deployment, Space Wolves go first.
Deployment is pretty simple: unit of 5 thunderwolves on the left, unit of 5 thuderwolves + 10 dogs in the middle, unit of Long Fangs in backfield. In reserve: Culexus in a pod, SW Dreadnought with axe in a pod, and 2x 5 bloodclaws who failed to outflank.
Eldar pick up Conqueror of Cities in a ruin-heavy environment, and line up along the DZ line in some ruins. It is also Night Fight, although the Wolves only have the 4 missiles in terms of ranged attacks.
6! The Eldar Seize the Iniative!
This game was going to come down to who could inflict the most casualties first, so Eldar went for the Seize and succeeded for once. Everything moves into LOS of the wolves and fangs behind them, then opens up with lasers and missiles. Once the shards of power armour and marine gore settle to the ground, the Long Fangs and several wolves are dead (several little wolves plus 1 rider). Shuriken jetbikes zip forwards to claim a maelstrom point and tease a long charge from the leftmost wolves, while the WK sits in cover 3” forwards, also asking for a long charge from the wolfstar unit. Guardians and jetbikes in the backfield spread out to screen against drop pods.
Turn 1 Wolves
The culexus comes screaming in and finds a spot right behind the Wraithknight, from whence he can lay the smackdown on the Eldar witch warlord himself.
Wolves come thundering forwards as they do, making me realize their charge range is quite far. Although the Wolf Lord splits off to go backwards and cap a home objective (or to run away from the Wraithknight maybe). On the left they only need 7” to hit the jetbikes, while in the middle the wolfstar needs a 9” with re-roll to hit the WK. In my head that was supposed to be a 10-11”, but hopefully he fails a 9” charge and the wraithmonster will hit them back. Or else they should kill the wraithknight hopefully in one round, and the D-guard will clean up what gets left over.
In the end, the small squad of thunderwolves manage to wipe out the jetbikes, taking one wound from overwatch, while the wolfstar are 1” short even with a re-roll, leaving them high and dry under the Wraithknight’s eyeless gaze.
In the middle, Psyker Assassin puts a number of nasty shots into the Farseer and his jetbike entourage, forcing them to jink and slaying 2 riders, while a psyk-out grenade causes the Eldar warlord to take a wound. Hopefully the guardians can take the Culexus down next turn, or the Warlord is going to be in some trouble.
Turn 2 Eldar
Warp Spiders and scatter lasers make light work of the 4 thunderwolves on the left, while D-scythes, reaper missiles, and a wraithknight charge completely obliterate the central wolfstar in a single bloody shooting phase and two rounds of combat. In the middle, jetbikes, swooping hawks, guardians, and the Farseer himself all pour shuriken and lasers into the Culexus, only putting through a single wound, and then the jetbikes fail a 5” charge. Was hoping to take him out with automatic hits from Hammer of Wrath, but oh well. Looks like the Assassin has some work he can yet do…
Turn 3 Wolves
Dreadnought comes in behind the Eldar and pops smoke.
Bloodclaws walk on from back board edge to sit on objectives, the Wolf Lord himself (who had split off from the Wolfstar to claim an objective earlier) skulks a little further behind cover to deny Slay the Warlord.
Culexus bounds forward, killing a few guardians with his animus speculum, and putting another Perils wound on the Farseer with his grenades. He then charges into the Guardian squad hiding the Farseer, taking a wound from Overwatch, and challenging the foul Eldar warlord to a duel. Never one to step down from a duel, Tanaka the Cannibal launches himself at the Culexus, or at least where he thought the Culexus was, only for everything to suddenly go purple. Enraged by the brazen lack of respect this upstart Mon-Keigh has, not even drawing his sword to face their mighty leader, but slapping him down bare-handed, the Guardians show him their contempt for the Imperium by unleashing their katanas upon the unsuspecting Culexus, horribly disemboweling him and pinning his writhing body to the ground.
Turn 3 Eldar
Filled with battle lust and incensed at the slaying of their leader, the Eldar quickly harvest the flesh of the remaining Astartes, keeping the twitching power-armoured bodies alive just enough to have feeling when they are eaten.
A particular prize is the entombed venerable dreadnought pilot, whose delicate tissue and wizened soul make for a most rewarding prize. Haywire grenades suitably disable the awkward machine so that this succulent treat is undamaged.
On the other side of the battlefield, the Wraithknight and Warp Spiders see the Wolf Lord coaxing his furry steed behind a ruin, with its tail between its legs. Unforgiving in his destruction of the enemy, the Wraithknight again annihilates the Lord’s squad, but has his legs unexpectedly chopped from beneath him in the process.
Displeased with the Wolf Lord’s dispatching of the Wraithknight, Warp Spiders finish the job, bringing the game to a close with the horrible death of this ancient Fenrisian warrior, his body being sliced to pieces much like his forces were under his command. On the right flank, Wraithguard disembark their wave serpent for a second time to eliminate the Blood Claws, leaving not a Wolf alive.
A total bloodbath of a game, with great cinematic moments. After that 6 to Seize, and with the initiative wholly and completely in the grasp of the Eldar, the Space Wolves simply couldn't catch a break.
Lesson Learned: with even just one ruin on the table, Conqueror of Cities is probably the best warlord trait for Eldar, as every vehicle and jetbike (or warp spider) can zip around without DT, and get great cover saves without having to jink. Ouch. Also Swooping Hawks did pretty well this game, putting a wound on the Culexus with weight of fire, and then taking out both a dreadnought and drop pod with haywire. I am liking the stock version of this unit more than the 6-man squad with Exarch, where I feel like they need to contribute more to the game to be worth it. That extra 26 points just pushes me over the edge somehow.
MVP: Tie between the D-guard, Warp Spiders, and Wraithknight for each killing 2+ units. Warp Spiders did get the Warlord and survive the game though, so probably goes to these sneaky gits.
Honourable Mention: Definitely the Guardians for killing a Culexus in close combat!
Wooden Spoon: Farseer for falling on his sword, every single other unit contributed in this game haha.
Normally in tournaments I don't tend to table anyone, let alone two games in a row, but both have been really tough matchups for my opponents, and being forced to come right into my open arms to be greeted with spinny shuriken and rampant D-swords is always going to suck.