Monday, June 20, 2011

Dashofpepper at the Railhead Rumble GT: Game Five

June 10, 2011: Dashofpepper makes the drive the Dallas, TX for the Railhead Rumble GT. I arrived in Dallas, checked into the hotel, picked Hulksmash up from the airport, and headed to the Sheraton to scope out the GT area of A-Kon.

19,200 mostly 16-25 year olds swarming an anime convention…an hour after arriving and pushing our way through dressed up (or undressed) anime fans, we finally discovered that the GT was in the attached Marriott and made our way there to check it out. I’m glad that we did an advance recon, or we would have been extremely late the following morning, which is probably why the GT was an hour late kicking off – others weren’t so fortunate!

I brought my Dark Eldar to the Railhead Rumble. The list is as follows:

Dashofpepper’s Darklight Storm:
HQ: Baron Sathonyx
HQ: Haemonculi with Shattershard and Crucible of Malediction

Troop1: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop2: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop3: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop4: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop5: 5x Warriors with a Blaster inside a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Troop6: 9x Wyches with Haywire Grenades inside a Raider with Torment Grenade Launcher, Grisly Trophies, and Flickerfield

Elite1: 4x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Elite2: 4x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons
Elite3: 3x Trueborn with 4x Blasters in a Venom with Dual Splinter Cannons

Fast Attack1: 3x Beastmasters, 5x Khymerae, 4x Razorwing Flocks

Heavy Support1: Ravager with 3x Dark Lances and Flickerfield
Heavy Support2: Ravager with 3x Dark Lances and Flickerfield
Heavy Support3: Ravager with 3x Dark Lances and Flickerfield

Game Five, or the first game on Sunday morning takes all the players in the top bracket and resets them to equal footing. Sunday’s games are battle point based instead of win/loss. This army got my vote for best army – the conversion work and details are stunning. Pictures can’t ever do justice to what the human eye can devour in person.

HQ: Daemon Prince with Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission
HQ: Daemon Prince with Wings, Mark of Tzeentch, Warptime

Troop1: 7x Khorne Berzerkers + 1x Skull Champion with a Power Weapon and Melta Bombs in a Rhino with a twin-linked bolter
Troop2: 7x Plague Marines with 1x Flamer, 1x Meltagun + Plague Champion with a Powerfist in a Rhino with a twin-linked bolter
Troop3: 7x Plague Marines with 1x Flamer, 1x Meltagun + Plague Champion with a Powerfist in a Rhino with a twin-linked bolter
Troop4: 8x Thousand Sons, 1x Aspiring Sorcerer with a Force Weapon and Wind of Chaos, all with Mark of Tzeentch, in a Rhino with Twin-Linked Bolters

Elite1: 5x Chosen with 2x Meltaguns, 2x Flamers

Heavy1: Defiler with 2x DCCWs, Battle Cannon, Reaper Autocannon, Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Heavy2: Defiler with 2x DCCWs, Battle Cannon, Reaper Autocannon, Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer
Heavy3: 2x Obliterators with Obliterator Weapons and Power Fists

Here are some pictures I took of his army before the game.

Here’s a shot of our table.

We have five objectives to place for the primary objective, with table quarters being secondary, and we each choose an HQ in secret. I choose his Lash Prince, and I think he chose my Haemonculi.

We roll for objectives and he wins, getting three to my two. I place the two I get in the open on the right side of the board. I wrote an article on objective placement in an earlier segment worth referencing for how and why I place objectives – but the goal here is that I want objectives in the open and exposed – so that if he wants to hold them, he’s going to be wide open. The other two objectives are his.

The fifth objective ends up on the other side of the board.

We roll for deployment option and I win! I elect to deploy and go first, and deploy nothing.

Pre-Game Tactical Assessment:
I think that Dark Eldar are a tough matchup for Chaos Marines. In typical Dash fashion, when I look at an opponent’s army, I look for the things that threaten me. So to me, his list is two defilers, two obliterators, a lash prince….and some other stuff that I’ll just ignore until I kill the things that are serious threats to me.

Enemy Deployment:
We’re both off to a *very* slow start this morning. Not playing slow, but our brains are working on half-power. We’re both going to make some really dumb mistakes – forgetting to move stuff, shoot stuff…not my best game.

He elects to deploy the lash prince behind the behemoth BLOS terrain piece in the middle along with the Khorne Berzerkers in their rhino. He announces that his chosen are outflanking, and everything else is moving in from DoW reserves.

He rolls to seize and misses, so I start my first turn.

Dashofpepper Turn One:
My army moves on. I double checked, and there *IS* nightfight this game. I think I triple and quadruple checked the mission, I don’t want any more mistakes. My whole army minus the ravagers move onto the table flat out, with the wych raider specifically hiding behind the BLOS piece of terrain, which we’ve declared solid walled and three levels; so you can get on top, but not go inside of because there are no entry points.

My ravagers all move on 12” trying to angle shots at his daemon prince or khorne rhino, while my beast unit moves on 6” on the half of the table with four objectives so that they can make a nuisance of themselves over there. I move on behind a terrain piece so that turn 2+ I’ll be able to get some cover if I need it.

Shot of the left side of the board – my other ravager and a troop venom.

I open fire with three ravagers and a venom into both the daemon prince and the rhino. I either miss, or fail nightfight with rerolls for night vision. I wasn’t expecting much, but it was worth hoping for.

Enemy Turn One:
The two plague marine rhinos and the Thousand Sons rhino move on 12”, with the defilers moving on and taking up position on opposite ends of the board. The Daemon Prince with Warptime moves on 12” on the far right behind cover.

The obliterators hoofed it onto the table 5-6”, and here’s the other defiler.

For movement, he jumped the lash prince over to my side of the board.

His limited shooting (defilers and obliterators) don’t make nightfight to any targets, and he forgets to assault the lash prince into one of my venoms. I had him roll it anyway when he realized it on my turn, and he got one hit (6s to hit) but I made my flickerfield save on a six.

Dashofpepper Turn Two:
So: Target priorities! Two obliterators, two defilers, and a daemon prince.
On the left, my troop units all move 6” or less to surround his daemon prince while my ravager and wych raider line up for shots at the left defiler.

The other trueborn venom moves 12” to the building top and disgorges trueborn on top to shoot down onto his khorne rhino.

On the right side, my beasts move up 6” more, and both my ravagers line up shots at his other defiler. My venoms move up 6” and hope to be in blaster range of his rhinos.

I can seeeeeeeeee you!

On to shooting!

On the left my ravager throws three dark lances at his defiler and explodes it…. …. ….that NEVER happens. Amazing.

The trueborn on top of the building cast a memory charm on me and make me forget about their existence, so I don’t shoot them or the venom at anything.

Massed splinter cannon fire on the right into his two obliterators send them back to the warp! The trueborn and two warriors in my two venoms are all in range of his closest plague marine rhino, but I only manage to stun it.

On the far right, my two ravagers both pile into his defiler and score a weapon destroyed result between the two of them – I take off his battle cannon.

And on the left, between my trueborn, a raider dark lance, three warrior units rapid-firing, and four venoms worth of splinter cannons, the daemon prince dies, and I pick up the bonus objective.

Enemy Turn Two:
The rhinos move up 6”, and the khorne berzerkers hang out where there are. He looks at his other daemon prince, and I say, “Come get some!” He elects to leave him where he is. I’m not sure if he had a plan for him, or if I was successful in psyching him about wanting the daemon prince to come out in the open (IE, that one being my HQ target). He rolls for his chosen and they don’t come out.

The stunned razorback smokes, and he moves on to shooting.

Between his storm bolters on the two rhinos that can fire, he pulls a weapon destroyed result on one of my venoms.

The reaper autocannon on the surviving defiler opens up on one of my defilers. He gets one penetrate, but I make a flickerfield save.

Dashofpepper Turn Three:

I start moving in for the kill!

On the right, I shift around to try getting to the 18” mark from his rhinos with my blasters. I want to able to shoot at him and minimize units inside able to retaliate in case I immobilize/stun/wreck. The beasts move up into cover.

My ravager on the right shifts over 12” to try getting shots on rhinos, while my trueborn venom sneaks up behind his khorne rhino to shoot at it.

My wych raider and the other venoms over there….also cast memory charms on me and I forget to move ANY of them. Seriously.

Venoms that did move line up for shots at his rhino.

I swear to Baby Gandalf I’m not going to forget about the trueborn this time.


Ravager on the right lights up his remaining defiler and explodes it!

The other ravager and three units worth of blasters shake the plague marine rhino that isn’t smoked, and weapon-destroy and stun the thousand sons rhino.

The blasters on the rooftop completely whiff against the rhino. The trueborn blasters in its rear stun, weapon destroy, and immobilize his khorne rhino, and I finally kill it with another immobilized result from one the warrior blaster in its rear arc.

Splinter cannons go to work and take down several of the berzerkers.

If I had just remembered to MOVE these guys, I could have put them to good use.

Enemy Turn Three
His chosen come onto the board on my left. There are no units within 18” of the board edge for him to take advantage of with the meltas, so he moves them on and runs them up by the building in the top left corner.
His Khorne Berzerkers move up to my trueborn venom.

The two damaged rhinos both pop smoke while the third one moves forward.

The Daemon Prince in the corner continues to take notes.

His plague marines whiff, and his rhino doesn’t do any damage.

He assaults my trueborn with his khorne berzerkers, and my flickerfield makes a save against the only damage result he rolls.

Dashofpepper Turn Four:
On the left, my wych raider moves up to the khorne berzerkers and unloads its passengers. Since I moved 12”, the haemonculi stays with them and gets out front to unload his shattershard. I had rolled a 6 for combat drugs, so had an extra pain token – I didn’t want to separate the unit and lose fearless charge for the +1STR bonus.

My other venoms move in for shots at his chosen.

Ah…there they are! Cute little chosen, hiding behind the building. The Building with windows! =D

On the building top, my disembarked trueborn hop back in and move to the edge of the building while my other trueborn unit moves on top and handily immobilizes itself.

I’m closing in the circle, but still trying to stay out of threat range of that daemon prince.

Six splinter cannons, 4 splinter rifles rapid-firing, and a blaster later, the chosen are dead.

Between the Haemonculi’s shattershard, the wych’s splinter pistols, and the raider’s dark lance, there’s one khorne berserker left – perfect for assaulting!

On the right, I explode the unsmoked plague marine rhino, and dump my entire army’s firepower into them, killing all but three.

My wyches assault into his khorne berserker, kill him at I6, then consolidate 4” back towards the raider – they’re too far away to do anything, so will need to remount next turn.

Enemy Turn Four:
He moves both of his rhinos onto the objective, while the daemon prince continues to hang out in the corner. His plague marines move up as well – they’ve got a surviving meltagun and he wants to make it count.

Shooting! His meltagun misses, and the one storm bolter he has left doesn’t do any damage. He tries to melta one of my ravagers from the plague marine rhino, but is out of range, and the thousand sons pop up out of the hatch to shoot a venom and whiff.

Dashofpepper Turn Five:
The rearmost venom on the left jumps onto the objective on the left.

Two of my other venoms jump onto two more objectives, and the rest of my army lines up for shots. The beasts move out of cover to head for whatever they can – either the thousand sons or the plague marines or maybe both depending on a fleet roll.

I didn’t take pictures after this, so a quick description:

The plague marine rhino gets immobilized.

The Thousand Sons rhino gets wrecked. He disembarks them on the right side away from me, but with the aspiring champion 2” from the hatch at the lead point of the rhino. I pour fire into the three plague marines and kill them.

The thousand sons take fire from everything else in the army – I start at the back, and he pulls from the back, then work around to the models I have in front – and he doesn’t want to remove the aspiring champion out front, so I’ve got LOS everywhere. Three live, and my beasts assault into the only model in range – the aspiring champion. I wipe them out in assault.

At this point, he concedes. He has an immobilized plague marine rhino on one objective and a daemon prince in the corner. I hold three out of the five objectives, have table quarters and the bonus points from killing my secret HQ (we wrote them down on pieces of paper before the game started).

If we went another turn, I would grab a fourth objective and try killing the plague marines off the fifth.

Post-Game Tactical Analysis:
We both made mistakes. I forgot to move stuff and shoot stuff, and he left his Lash Prince out to dry by himself. Outflanking the Chosen against a speedy army without giving me a reason to try being near a table edge almost promised that they wouldn’t have a target to shoot at.

I got some early damage results against his defilers, but karma balanced out to make sure I couldn’t kill anything else. 10 lances and 16 blasters were only able to kill two rhinos in the other three turns (shooting at what didn’t have smoke).

The game ends with me having 24/24 battlepoints, and moving onto Game #6 with max points.