Battle Report (Dark Eldar vs Astra Militarum)

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“Alpha-Five-Pura designate eight two, immediate evac, repeat, immediate evac!” They all stared at the vox receiver but only static greeted their desperate request. This was an improvement. Their last attempted transmission had been met with the pleading moans and shrill screams of their former squad mates suffering fates crueler than anything any sane mind could contemplate. They were out there. In the shadows. Silent. Patient. Striking as and when they pleased. Like Alpha predators toying with their prey. The last survivors of Alpha-Five-Pura formed a defensive ring in the centre of the ruined plaza where their company had been… Ambushed? Certainly. Murdered? Where were the bodies? So many had fallen in that finely crafted ambuscade, scythed down by hissing projectiles and beams of pure darkness. Their foes lunging with viper-like speed and a murderous grace that turned ones heart cold. They had laughed as they dodged las-blasts and had driven their cruelly barbed blades into the exposed throats of their victims, revelling in the terror of their disorganised resistance. As quick as it begun they were gone. So were the bodies. Again and again they would thrust, faster than anything the grizzled Catachans had ever seen, killing few, losing none.

The screams of those taken alive could be occasionally heard. Horrible sounds of abject terror and of a body being pushed beyond its pain threshold and a mind forced to breaking and beyond. The shadows that had enveloped the plaza moved slightly. This could presage an attack and the squad scanned their perimeter diligently. Nothing but the amused laughter of their torturers. They were being played with. The shadows had been sprung on them by these fiends, a dark cloak under which they could work their diabolical schemes. The squad’s chronometer clearly stated it should be high noon but in the plaza it was as dark as midnight and as silent as a grave. Light, sound and even the wind had been snuffed out. The squad jumped as the vox unexpectedly crackled into life. “Alpha-Five-Pura this is Alpha-Primus, armoured support inbound to extract you. ETA 5 minutes.” An ululating cry broke the perpetual silence that had resumed after the vox had silenced itself. More cries joined the first in a discordant chorus of high pitched entropy. Hunting cries. Their stalkers had new prey. The squad sergeant leapt at the vox, urgently shouting down the mouth piece “Don’t come for us! It’s a trap! We’re bait!” Nothing but static greeted him… The vox buzzed once more but their response was not in the gruff, clipped manner of Alpha-Primus, but that of a sibilant laugh followed by a single, haunting sentence in heavily accented low gothic: “Too late fools.”

Deployment: Dawn of War
Points: 1750
Mission: 3 Objectives (2x Capture and Control 1x Survive or Destroy)

 

Archon
+ agonizer
+ soul-trap
+ shadow field
+ webway portal

9 Wyches
+ Hekatrix
+ agoniser
• Raider
+ dark lance
+ night shields

9 Wyches
+ Hekatrix
+ agoniser
• Raider
+ dark lance
+ night shields

Razorwing Jetfighter
+ two dark lances
+ night shields

Razorwing Jetfighter
+ two dark lances
+ night shields

5 Scourges
+ shredder
+ haywire blaster
+ splinter cannon
+ dark lance

Ravager
+ 3× dark lance
+ night shields

Voidraven Bomber
+ 4 shatterfield missiles
+ night shields

Scalpel Squadron

• 5 Wracks
+ ossefactor
+ Acothyst
+ agoniser
+ hexrifle

• 5 Wracks
+ ossefactor
+ Acothyst
+ agoniser
+ hexrifle

• Venom
+ splinter cannon
• Venom
+ splinter cannon

Tank Commander
+ Knight Commander Pask
• Leman Russ Punisher
+ lascannon
+ sponson plasma cannons
+ fire barrels
+ camo netting
• Leman Russ Punisher
+ lascannon
+ fire barrels
+ camo netting
Veteran Squad
+ 2× flamer
+ Forward Sentries
+ krak grenades
+ 1 Veteran Sergeant
+ power weapon

Platoon Command Squad
+ platoon standard
+ medi-pack
+ Heavy Weapons Team
+ lascannon
+ 1 Platoon Commander
+ plasma pistol
+ power weapon
• Infantry Squad
+ 1 Sergeant
• Infantry Squad
+ 1 Sergeant
• Commissar
• Heavy Weapon Squad
+ 3× autocannon

1 Valkyrie
+ lascannon
+ 2 multiple rocket pods
+ sponson heavy bolters

1 Vendetta Gunship

Hellhound Squadron
• Devil Dog
+ multi-melta
+ fire barrels
+ camo netting
• Bane Wolf
+ multi-melta
+ fire barrels
+ camo netting

Leman Russ Squadron
• Leman Russ Eradicator
+ fire barrels
+ camo netting

Here we are in what has been a very anticipated day for all of us at SN and a lot of our fans! Just one faction was missing from our tables and then as if by magic, or warp trickery, or a webway, or something, they finally appeared! Ladies and gentlemen here are the Dark Eldar! What better way to introduce them than to ask the awesome SN public to choose who they should face. And the winner (if being chosen to face the Dark Eldar is a win :O ) with the most votes was the Imperial Gu… sorry… the Astra Militarum! Boom! So up we went to our new studio set up this beautiful jungle board and got ready to battle! Exciting!
After chatting a bit we decided on this idea to set up a veteran squad on one of the centre ruins as a objective giving the whole game a bit of a cool narrative vibe. This would make the whole game look as if the veterans had called for backup as they were slowly being stalked and hunted down by the Dark Eldar. (like the intro) After setting the veteran squad first and looking at them for a bit we decided that Catachans would look a lot cooler so we changed the Cadian veteran squad with a Catachan one! 😉 Awesome! Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Two further objectives were evenly scattered on the board. The mission therefore has capture and control objectives and one survive or destroy objective. We just couldn’t wait to start. We rolled to see who would start and Steven and his Astra Militarum won the roll. No needing to roll for his Warlord trait as Pask automatically brings preferred enemy as his. Steven rolled for night fighting, which didn’t happen. Steven then started to deploy.
Ethan rolled for his Warlord trait getting Rage, he then rolled on the Combat Drugs table for his Wyches getting +1 Strength… not that he needed it with so many attacks!
And then it really begins! A great sight as Steven starts to deploy his army onto the battlefield starting with his Hellhound Squadron on his right flank.
The Heart of the army, the one and only Knight Commander Pask and his squadron deploy in the centre of the deployment area already capturing one of the 2 objectives. We can’t wait to see this unit start firing, packing in 40 Strength 5 shots with preferred enemy goodness. Dark elder Swiss cheese! Victory is achieved through mettle. Glory is achieved through metal.
The platoon command squad deploys on the top of one of the taller ruins getting great line of sight of the battlefield. They are closely supported by the Heavy Weapons squad on the floors below who are ready to fire as they look for their first target.
Steven then strangely deploys one of his guardsman squads on the opposite side just behind some no entry fences… Interesting. We assume he wants to outflank into the Catachan ruin which is, say, 10″ away and give some firing support to the veteran squad.
Turn 1 (Astra Militarum) Ok something we didn’t expect Ethan says he will have everything in reserve and will not deploy… Dark Eldar shenanigans! He will use his Scalpel Squadron to automatically come in from deepstrike turn one giving Steven a upper hand in the movement phase but not being able to target anything on his turn 1. Cunning plan from Ethan? But very, very, risky as if Steven manages to target and destroy all of his deep striking units in turn 2 it will be game over for him.
Turn 1 (Astra Militarum) Ok so a tough one for Steven now where does he move his forces does he sit back and wait? Or move towards the objectives? Steven firstly moves his Guardsmen squad forward moving and running into the abandoned statue. The Commissar making sure his men are in order.
Turn 1 (Astra Militarum) The other Guardsmen squad is also moved forward.
Turn 1 (Astra Militarum) Knight Commander Pask and his squadron move forward towards the Objective a bit more. Not knowing where the first enemy units will appear it then deploys smoke for extra cover giving them a 4+ cover in open ground due to their camo netting.
Turn 1 (Dark Eldar) …and lets get ready to rumble! The first of 2 Venoms land via deepstrike the formation giving them some cool rules, making them get D3 victory points if they get First Blood. Let’s see how this goes. It is very important for Ethan to place them in key but defensive positions as if things don’t work out well for him turn 2 could be the end of this game. The first Venom lands a direct hit. Ethan’s first gasp for air……
Turn 1 (Dark Eldar) The second one lands just an inch and a half from the other Venom as it scatters 3 inches. This guy has a real pair of spheroid appendages! 😉 That was close! As you can see straight away these two skimmers bring some nasty pressure as they are now very close to the Catachan veterans and these things are nasty as delicate as they look they pack a real punch.
Turn 1 (Dark Eldar) Ethan doesn’t target the Catachan fighters but instead goes for the Guardsmen behind the fence. Clever thinking by Ethan going for the weaker unit with the least cover save and trying to get First Blood. The First Venom fires his 12 poisoned shots at the Guardsman, Ethan’s first rolls being very poor as he only manages to would 5 times of which Steven fails 3 cover saves. Good choice? What do you guys think?
Turn 1 (Dark Eldar) The second Venom proves the complete opposite as he only misses one shot to hit and wounds a total of 8 times! I guess we know who was top of that class! Steven fails most of his saves with an awful set of rolls seeing the whole unit finished off! Great shooting by the Dark Eldar! “We are the lords of despair, masters of terror. Dread and agony are our meat and wine, and they are plentiful indeed!”
Turn 1 (Dark Eldar) Ethan then rolls for his D3 First Blood roll which his Scalpel Squadron rules bring and the Dice Gods are with him as he manages to score 3 Victory Points. Ethan celebrates and parties like it is 39,999… but is it to early to celebrate? He suddenly remembers how important the next turn of shooting is. Can the Dark Eldar survive a round of Astra Militarum shooting?
Turn 2 (Astra Militarum) Steven’s first of two flyers come in and its bad news for Ethan as its the Vendetta with its 3 twin linked Lascannons and it straight away targets one of the Venoms.
Turn 2 (Astra Militarum) This Guard squad moves even further up now having a key position with fantastic cover. Great picture of the commissar taking aim on the newly deepstriking units.
Turn 2 (Astra Militarum) Ethan’s placement of the two Venoms are fantastic as none of the two Punishers can target them (Steven tried hard to get around this but failed miserably) there was just no way those two punishers could see these Venoms. That’s why Ethan was so calm about it when placing them there. The firing starts and some great shooting from the Vendetta sees the closest Venom shot and penetrated 3 times!!! Ethan opted to jink and boy did it prove vital as all his jink saves are passed .
Turn 2 (Astra Militarum) Now the Eradicators turn. Steven targets the closest Venom managing to clip both with the Ignoring Cover Large Blast but the blast scatters to the right only hitting one of them. He then fails to glance as he rolls a 1. Poor Steven his plan failed and Ethan’s rocked!
Turn 2 (Astra Militarum) Steven’s rolling goes from bad to worse this turn as the Veteran’s flamer hits 4 Wracks inside but none are wounded… Steven wasn’t a happy bunny.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) Steven had his chance and now its gone! And to make matters worse 5 of 6 possible units in reserve come in from Ethan’s table edge creating a massive headache for the Astra Militarum. Wobbly model syndrome…. the Razorwing is placed a bit further back than its proper finishing position as we didn’t want to bring out the super glue…if you know what I mean.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The Ravager and Raider move onto the table. Amazing view from here as they zoom in from behind the bridge with the Veterans in sight.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) Ethan places the Archon’s raider with wyches just in front of the Platoon command as the web way portal opens and the raider does not scatter when arriving from reserve deepstrike…….. evil just evil…..but awesome at the same time. The Voidraven bomber in the background also zooming in for extra support….all hell is breaking out with the the Dark Eldar force coming in from all angles and locations.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The Voidbomber enters and straight away delivers a devastating void mine – a bomb that detonates two warheads, one establishes a crackling sphere of energy, the second releases a particle of pure darklight which annihilates anything trapped within the energy field. Scary stuff… The Bomb delivers removing 2 hull points and destroying the Devil Dog’s primary weapon.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The Razorwing Jetfighter fires its dark lancers at the Eradicator removing only one hull point as Steven is in a excellent position using the ruin and his Camo netting to get a 3+ cover save.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The 2 Wrack squads disembark onto the ground floor of the building. Those Catachan fighters are in trouble. ‘BEG FOR MERCY!, Not that it will do you any good.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The Raider targets the Vendetta with his Dark Lance, Steven opts not to jink… what are the chances right? The Emperor will protect! Well Ethan was in luck again as he rolls a 6 to hit… oops! Damn corpse god! The lance manages to hit and destroy one of the Twin linked lascannons on the wing of the aircraft removing a hull point at the same time.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The newly deep striked in Scourges fire at the Hellhound squadron but the dice are not on Ethan’s side this time as they only manage to remove a hull point from the closest one.
Turn 2 (Dark Eldar) The Wracks fire all they have got at the visible Catachan Veterans removing 3 from play with ease with their cool ossefactor & hexrifle guns. Ethan should have thought about that a bit more as his charge distance has now gone from 5″ to 8″! ….and like I thought the shooting proved a vital “mistake” as both wrack squads roll low on the assault dice and are unable too get into combat. Only one Veteran was able to overwatch as he was the only one that had line of sight on the wrack squads. Is that correct or can the whole unit fire?
Turn 3 (Astra Militarum) Steven goes into his third turn quite confident that he can overcome the Dark Eldar advance. Let’s see how this goes. The rest of Steven’s reserves enter play. The Valkyrie straight away targeting the bunched up Scourges. Steven manages to slay 3 of 5… Not bad!
Turn 3 (Astra Militarum) Knight Commandar Pask moves up a bit more and prepares his tanks to fire at the Flying Jetfighter above.
Turn 3 (Astra Militarum) The Eradicator fires its deadly ignore cover Large blast at the disembarked Wracks hitting a total of 8 between the two squads. The blast manages to wound 7 times and 3 Wracks are lost from each squad. Could have been worse if it wasn’t for their FnP rolls.
Turn 3 (Astra Militarum) The deadly Punishers target the Flyer needing 6s to hit but 40 shots between the 2 will do the trick with preferred enemy as an extra bonus. Ethan obviously jinks……. The Jetfighter is hit a total of 9 times of which 4 penetrate it and 2 glance it. Amazing! Save after jink save of a 3+ is rolled by Ethan and the flyer is just glanced once!!!!! Steven then left the room for a while. Rumours have it he cried and removed Ethan as a friend on Facebook and blocked him on Instagram and Twitter… Harsh but fair!
Turn 3 (Astra Militarum) The heavy weapons squad finally fire and target the Raider just in front of them but their BS3 sadly fails them as they only hit twice of which again both 3+ cover saves from the jinking of the vehicle stop the S7 shots from penetrating it. Ethan stop it now! Poor Steven looks like a lost puppy at this point.
Turn 3 (Astra Militarum) …..and lastly one of the Wrack squads fail their leadership test and fall back a total of 8″
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) Turn 3 starts and an all important turn for Ethan as Steven’s Astra Militarum didn’t hit as hard as they should have in their turn 3…..Steven still in the background grumbling about Ethan’s cover saves lol Great Picture of the battlefield here as you can see how the battle is looking, Ethan just about to pivot his Bomber.
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) The Scourges jump into the abandoned statue one of them failing their dangerous terrain test followed by their armour save and is removed from play.
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) The Deadly Ravager stalks his next target firing all its lance weapons at the Eradicator and………..Eradicating it to a metal wreck! The next line is best said out loud in a terrible dalek voice- E-RAD-I-CATE! E-RAD-I-CATE! E-RAD-I-CATE!
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) The Bomber now targets the Vendetta firing at it and managing to penetrate it once but a good jink from the aircraft sees the penetration shot ignored. Good manoeuvre there by the pilot.
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) The Wyches and the tough female Archon disembark the Raider. Clad in dusk and robed in darkness we strike, our coming the terror of our foes.
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) The Venom in the distance fires at the well protected guard squad killing 3.
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) The Archon and Wyches prove why they are great in combat as they easily and without a scratch brutally kill the whole Heavy weapons squad. The Platoon command squad preparing themselves for what’s coming up as they hear the screams of their fallen men beneath them. Scary to think about it.
Turn 3 (Dark Eldar) One of Ethan’s Wrack squads finally make it into combat. Let’s see how this goes, interesting to see the outcome. The Wracks assault first but don’t get their extra attacks due to the Veterans forward sentries defence grenades. They manage to kill 4 veterans, the veterans then attack back but fail to wound. Steven then fails his leadership test and the Veteran squad is slaughtered with the Wracks sweeping advance. OUCH! 3pts for Ethan……Steven leaves the room again (Screams could be heard as could banging of his head against the wall.) Kill them, my children, but make it slow…
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) The Devil Dog and Bane Wolf move forward looking to retaliate for the slaughter of their companions by the wyches.
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) Steven’s Valkyrie leaves air space and goes into ongoing reserves ready to strike on turn 5.
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) The Vendetta hovers down into skimmer mode and targets the Ravager.
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) Pask gives an order to split fire and each tank targets a different flyer. Pask again needing 6s to hit manages to remove a further hull point off the Bomber. The other Punisher tank again fails to do anything to the jinking Jetfighter as again Ethan passes his 3 jink saves.. Seriously Ethan stop it now lol (I shouldn’t laugh… but…)
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) The Platoon commander on the top of the ruin orders his men below to First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire towards the Wyches below as a final resort for some supporting fire before they get assaulted. The Guardsman shoot a total of 18 times and manage to kill only 2. Whatever happens, we have got The Emperor’s blessing. They have not.
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) LOL….LOL The 2 Twin Linked lascannon shots from the vendetta fire and hit the Ravager but then fail to even glance with a very [expletive deleted] roll of double one!
Turn 4 (Astra Militarum) The Bane wolf fires its deadly Poisoned 2+ Ap3 template killing a total of 6!! GO GUARD!
Turn 4 (Dark Eldar) 2 of 3 of Ethan’s flyers fly off out of the battle’s Airspace.
Turn 4 (Dark Eldar) The 2 Wracks and one of the Venoms move onto the ruined terrace. This looks so amazingly terrifying with these cruel elegant beings strutting through the over grown ruins towards their prey!
Turn 4 (Dark Eldar) Ethan moves one of his Venoms up the Board finally coming out of cover and going on a hunt.
Turn 4 (Dark Eldar) The Razorwing Jetfighter fires 2 of its S6 Ap5 missiles at the Guardsman Squad killing 3 more.
Turn 4 (Dark Eldar) The Archon and his unit finally assault up into the top floor of the Ruin. The strangely attractive and cunning Archon challenging the Platoon Commander to a duel. This is epic! Just imagine this fight at the top of the ruin! Death is my meat; terror my wine.
Turn 4 (Dark Eldar) It doesn’t take much for the Platoon Commander to be cut up and flayed before he can even lift up his arm. WOW that was fast. The rest of the unit is destroyed as easily as the Commander, the wyches then consolidate onto the middle floor leaving a pool of blood throughout every floor. Yuck!
Turn 5 (Astra Militarum) The Valkyrie enters again from ongoing reserves and straight away targets the Venom who has moved flat out behind the Hellhound squadron in the previous turn. Great shooting by the Flyer sees the Venom Immobilised after a great penetrating shot from the lascannon. But Ethan is in luck as the Venom is capturing one of the Objectives. From the skies!
Turn 5 (Astra Militarum) The Bane Wolf and devil dog again target the Archon and its squad but the Archons 2+ invulnerable proves too strong as Ethan passes all the 3 wounds allocated on the squad going with no look out sir and risking a Instant Death from the Melta Shots on his Warlord. What a guy!
Turn 5 (Astra Militarum) The Command tank squadron fires all its got at the Raider in front breaking it up into a million pieces leaving nothing but scrap metal. Where are those jink saves now Ethan? Eh? Eh? lol BTW the vehicle was glanced 7 times and penetrated 6 times! WOW! The rending on Pask’s 20 shots is just insane but so awesome at the same time just imagine those 40 shots hitting this light armoured Raider.
Turn 5 (Dark Eldar) Ethan’s flyers enter the airspace again straight away targeting Steven’s Warlord….Well that what’s it looks like wouldn’t you say? Pask you should turn around mate! Christmas pantomime time! They are behind you!
Turn 5 (Dark Eldar) The Venom again shoots at the Guardsman squad Steven goes to ground to receive a 3+ save but sadly the first man in the path of the shots is the commissar who is killed in action.
Turn 5 (Dark Eldar) Shot after deadly shot hit the back armour 11 of Pask’s Punisher tank and they prove just too strong with so much high strength anti tank shots which not even his camo netting can save. The tank blows up in what looked like a stunning display of fireworks (New Year’s Eve comes early) the rest of the shots are scattered onto the next tank nearly finishing it off leaving it on 1 hull point. We then roll to see if the game carries on for a further turn but Steven’s misery is spared as the game ends with the roll of a 2. Dark Eldar: 7 Astra Militarum: 0
Steven: What a game that was so many ups and downs on my behalf one second I thought I had the game then some great rolls by Ethan meant it suddenly was the other way round, Exciting to the last roll it was a game I will not forget as it was great to finally bring out the Astra Militarum again and what better than for it to be led by Knight commander Pask. The game was fought fiercely on the ground and up in the air and was also a long time since I saw so many flyers in the air was awesome sight to see this combined with a great set up table by the team and finally seeing the Dark Eldar on our page was just thrilling. I think Ethan’s jink saves won him the game for a change (he normally misses them all) Apart from that his plan at the beginning really worked was very risky but sometimes if you want to win games you need to risk it and that’s exactly what happened. Great game with a great friend we must repeat! Pain is temporary, Honour is forever
Ethan: From the start I knew deployment would be key, as I assumed i would face a lot of firepower I decided I was going to take the risk and go for a null deployment. It would either work out and put me ahead or immediately lose me the match. Thankfully the wrack filled venoms executed their deepstrike precisely and hidden from most of his army. It went a lot better than expected and put me 3 points ahead from the get go. The rest of the match consisted mostly of balancing my survival against offensive plays for the objectives as I knew that if I got caught out I would almost certainly die. The two punishers provided a lot of pressure and I had to be wary with line of sight. All in all the game was a pleasure to be a part of and it really did feel like a raid, balancing on a blades edge. I felt the scales could tip either way in the blink of an eye throughout, luckily in my favour it turns out. Pleasant times, a perfect evening for an Archon.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Loved it. Absolutely loved it.
    Never thought I’d enjoy the written reports over videos, but I’ve read enough now to just admit it lol
    Great work 😀

  2. Images just show as grey squares for me? Anyone else have this problem. I’ve read reports before and images displayed fine. Been like this for a few days, on iOS chrome and chrome OS X

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