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Had a large battle against the Tau - 2,000 points on a sparsely covered terrain (maybe 25%) - not good with battle reports but here it is in a nut shell.
Archon, shadowfield, drugs, punisher, T-helm, plasma, trophy and Animus Vitae (expensive bugger)
9 Grotesques and a DL raider (Archon started with this group on the Raider on the board)
Urien Rakarth, 5 uber-grots on a DL raider with horrorfex
Full squad of Mandrakes
2 Slaver Squads (raider squads) each consisting of:
Sybarite, poison blades, pistol, xenospasm (the other had a terrorfex), plasma
1 splinter cannon
7 splinter rifle
Raider with DL, horrorfex and slave snares.
1 twelve man warrior squad with 2 DL's and 2 Shredders and a Sybarite with WWP, CCW and pistol
1 ten man warrior squad with 2 blasters and 2 splinter cannons and a Sybarite with WWP, t-helm and punisher.
Starting in the Warp
3 ravagers all with Dark lances
2 squads of 3 bikes with 2 blasters in each.
He had (I am not to familiar with Tau so bear with me):
1 HQ and 2 body guards with 4+ inv. saves - they all looked like Crisis suits with missles coming out of their ears.
2 Crisis suit teams with stuff and long looking guns. Maybe Broadsides I'm not sure
1 Stealth suit team with a melta and burst cannons
1 Pathfinder squad with Devilfish
1 Vespid squad (overkill for sure, he was experimenting)
2 FireWarrior sqauds
1 Hammerhead with rail gun I think and other nasties.
I might have left something out but I think that was it.
Strategy was to send the 1400+ points forward in a rush giving him too many targets to shoot. With the 4 raiders unloading in the 1st turn the raiders were to target the Hammerhead and Devilfish while the occupants targeted the troops. The 2 warrior squads with the WWP's would advance forward to get some distance into the middle of the board for a 2nd turn deployment. Ravagers and bikes would come out 3rd turn and mop up the remaining skimmers and anything with an inv. not engaged in CC. The Mandrakes first priority was to go after the Stealth suits and secondly to keep the portals clear.
The twist to my strategy that my opponent didn't really forsee was that both Urien with his uber grots and the Lord with the Uglies was that only strength 6 weapons were going to harm these 2 units so it forced him to make a decision of either using is big stuff on the grot squads or the raiders. This also should relieve pressure off the WWP carriers now that his ranged weapons were focused on the grots.
I won first turn (thank you very much) and advanced everything according to plan. The 4 Raiders failed miserably only stunning the Devilfish on the penetrationg chart. Slaver squads failed to pin their targets but managed to kill a couple units. My lord and grots moved up the middle towards a crisis suit and Firewarriors in a bunker and Urien moved and headed towards another crisis suit and pathfinder squad - both were short of their mark and both were stranded in the open (as was my plan).
When he realized it was Urien with uber-grots he "freaked" and sent all his strength 6 and above weapons at him. He promptly vaporized him entirely and then sent the rest of the ordinance at my Lord and uglies. He insta-killed 4 uglies but the other blast scattered away. The other strength 5 weapons were split between the slaver squads and the raiders. He managed to down 2 of the raiders and both slaver squads down to 1 sybarite. One Sybarite broke in leadership but the other held firm. After this 1st turn it looked as if the part of my strategy that worked was the portal carrier squads were completely ignored (thank gawd!).
The second turn I rolled for reserves and a ravager and bike squad were ready, and the all alone test for the sybarite was passed. The two warrior squads deployed their portals and shot what was left. One raider managed to immobilize the devilfish, the lone sybarite with the xeno fired and killed four and pinned the rest of the Pathfinders. The lord detached, moved and fleeted into the crisis suit causing only one wound. The other warrior squads managed to kill a couple of FireWarriors.
In his turn he killed the lone sybarite, one full warrior squad, the stranded grots and the 2 remaining empty raiders - it wasnt looking good and the crowd was giving me their condolances. The Archon did manage to kill off the crisis suits and massacred into the FireWarriors in the nearby bunker. The Tau player pretty much had control (other than the Archon). I only had an Archon, one 12 warrior sniper squad and half a Raider squad at the end of turn 2.
In the 3rd turn the Mandrakes popped up, fired and absolutely mauled a FireWarrior squad in the charge and massacred into a Vespid squad that both were trying and failed to block one of the unguarded portals. One more Ravager and the last bike squad made the reserve rolls. So the first Ravager came out and got lucky by glancing and destroying his HammerHead, the second Ravager took out his HQ's 2 body gaurds and the third ravager was still in the warp. The bikes finished off the HQ by insta-killing him and the other bike squad killed 2 vespids in shooting and did nothing in cc (but the Mandrakes were there by the end of the turn. The Archon killed 4 FireWarriors but they held firm.
In his turn 3 the Vespids did nothing in CC and were dispatched by the Mandrakes. The bike s did well in tying up this squad long enough for the mandrakes to get there. The FireWarriors lost 4 more warriors and the remaining did nothing. They failed leadership and were swept by the Archon. The Archon massacred 4" towards his last remaining squads. All that was left for him at the end of the 3rd turn were his full squad of stealth suits, a 2-man crisis squad and half of a pathfinders squad.
Fourth turn the Archon moved 6", fleeted 4" and was easily in range to charge his remaining units clumped on a hill in cover. The 2 ravagers were now in range, the sniper squad had moved forward and was in range for next turn and both bikes were turbo boosting to aide the Archon.
He stopped it here knowing the Archon alone would be unstoppable - he surrendered.
Highlight of the game goes to a sacrificial Slaver Squad that was plastered down to the 1 remaining Sybarite. He made several leadership checks and managed to charge and fire his Xenospasm into a squad of Pathfinders. The Xenospasm hit 5 of them killing 4 and pinning the rest. It brought that team under 50% and knocked out his "marker-light" ability for a turn.
Mandrakes rock (especially against the Tau) and I will be including at least one squad of Mandrakes in all my lists for now.
A Lord with a squad of Uglies (Grotesques) on a Raider is an extremely versatile platform for a Lord. It allows me to move the Raider 12", disembark for 2" and from there I can either stay with the Uglies or detach, fleet and charge 12". I elected to keep the Lord in the ugly squad knowing he would have waste his limited Strength 6 weapons on that squad and also knowing that he would never get to the Lord's shadowfield.
Not sure about Urien, his unique stature was his undoing. Although he was sacrificed he did manage to soak up alot of fire for a turn that would have been put on the Archon's unit. Not sure but I think that if it was Cities of death or more cover he would have lived - the board barely had 25% cover and this was to the Tau's advantage. Either way I did not play him well.
Final note and its not much of a revelation but when running a WWP the game always seems to look really bad for the Dark Eldar until the 3rd turn. I think I only had 400 points left out of the units that started on the board (of 1400) - it looked as if he won early and all the spectators were saying I had lost.
Luck won me 1st turn and that was crucial and probably the game winner - the rest was target selection and priority. Also, I had asked him to make the worst anti-Dark Eldar list he could because I was going to tailor an anti-Tau list. I dont think he did this well with that list and I expected more skimmers and a squad of Kroot. I warned him plenty.
Hi KwiKwag, nice report and I noticed especially the Dark Eldar Web Way method of play that results in the initial reaction of 'I am going to lose this big time", only to have a relatively small asault force pour out of the portal and save the game right out of the jaws of defeat! The mandrakes seemingly asleep until turn 3 fits in with this mode of play admirably. But the thing that sticks in my mind is the fact that you didn't give up even when the crowd around thought you were done, it was in fact your opponent who conceded early, what a reversal of fortunes and a sweet taste must have been yours to savour.
Well done and well generalled.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.
Good battle report, the only thing I'd suggest is take a bit of time to get a copy of your opponents list, really helps us out. Not a fan of tailoring lists, but to each his own.
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