Sunday, 27 February 2011

5 Dragons - Game 2

After we finished our lunch we all gathered back in the gaming hall to inspect the leaderboard and table placements. I was tied for first and was to play on the top row of tables. I found out my opponent was to be someone called "Rodders", and yes, the exclamation marks were included.

Remember my list can be found in this post: 5 Dragons Tournament - Battle Missions.

I refilled my water bottle ready for the game and sat down at the table waiting for my opponent, giving the terrain a once over and thinking about where would be nice to hide given the chance. My opponent arrived shortly after and after hearing i played Eldar he seemed delighted! I discovered i was to play against another lash list, however, this list had all its non-obliterator infantry as fully fledged emperors children, sonic weapons and all! So it was to be Slannesh would come for the Eldar one more time, "Rodders" looked very pleased at the oppertunity to take my spirit stones back to his master.

We got our models onto the board and went through our lists with each other while we waited for the mission, given we arrived at our table a  little early we thought it would save some time later on if we carefully explained things rather than just exchange lists.

The mission that was rolled was "Fight to the Death". Another Daemon mission, We rolled to see who would be the Daemon player and "Rodders" decided to let me play as the Daemons so he would only be faced with a portion of my army at any one time. We then rolled for deploment zones and i won this roll, giving him the quarter with the least LoS blocking terrain. He had quite a large hill and a low lying rock formation. My army would need to be split into halfs like before and randomise which half turned up on turn 1. The rest would be in reserves. I had the entirety of the long edge and short edge that was opposite to his quarter to move on from. The mission objective was to annihilate the opponent. There was to be no objectives or killpoints, there was no turn limit. The game ends when one army stands victorious over the bodies of its foes. However if at any point the game cannot continue, such as the time running out, or having a weaponless, immobile vehicle left on either side (so unable to annihilate each other) then the game would be a draw.

So heres "Rodders" list, following that is deployment.

Sorcerer: Mark of Slannesh, familier, lash of submission, warptime

Sorcerer: Mark of Slannesh, familier, lash of submission, warptime

6 Noise Marines: Champion: Doom siren, sonic blaster. 4 Sonic blasters and a blast master.

6 Noise Marines: Champion: Doom siren, sonic blaster. 4 Sonic blasters and a blast master.

6 Noise Marines: Champion: Doom siren, sonic blaster. 4 Sonic blasters and a blast master.

Heavy Support:
2 Obliterators

2 Obliterators

2 Obliterators

"Rodders" placed his units around the large hill in his deployment zone. The Obliterators had a good view of most of the board. The central unit of Noise Marines (NM) held the hill with the Obliterators. On each side of the hill he placed another unit of NM with an attached Sorcerer. With his deployment sorted, i rolled to see which half of my army turned up, and proceeded with my first turn.
With the Wraithlord and Walkers there were not many optinos. If i wanted cover saves i'd have to go to the extreme left or the extreme right. The hills in the centre would not be tall enough to provide cover if "Rodders" was going to hold an elevated position. I decided to bring them on behind the treeline in the southwest, as i could get a save from the trees while still being within 36" to bring the scatter laser to bear. Eldrads DA serpent moved up in support, angling itself to provide a cover save in the process. I positioned a FD serpent on the far right near the eastern ruins as i was able to keep the turret poking over the top while claiming a save.
My shooting phase was ineffective, i couldn't bring and shurican cannons to bear at this range, but given that there was no turn limit, i wasn't too fussed on inflicting small casualties as i just had to whittle him down. "Rodders" began allocating wounds to his sorcerors with every group of saves, i asked him why, and he pointed out that his powers would be useless in a ranged battle with vehicles. With that i had managed to cause a wound on the sorcerer to the east, and 2 wounds on the sorcerer to the west (The wicked witch of the north was nowhere to be seen!) I also took down one NM from the western unit.

"Rodders" Turn 1
The obliterors shuffled around a little and the shooting phase swiftly followed.
The eastern unit opened up with its blast master and an Oblit unit fired its lascannons. Both units fired at my eastern FD serpent, failing to penetrate the armour. The other two blast masters opened up on Eldrads serpent, managing to pen it and wreck it, before i made my cover save. The 2 other Oblit units fired lascannons at the walkers, 2 glances got through the cover, shaking them both.

My turn 2
My other FD serpent arrived and i brought it on in the southwestern corner as it seemed to be a better place to make a firebase than the eastern ruins. Eldrad fortuned his serpent and the walkers, while guiding the Wraithlord. The Wraithlord and Walkers moved into cover while the 2 serpents adjusted for cover saves.
The eastern Serpent fired on the eastern NM unit, causing another wound on the Sorcerer. Eldrads serpent fired on the western NM unit, knocking another one down while the Wraithlord and FD serpent combined managed to take out one Obliterator and wound another.

"Rodders" Turn 2

The wounded Obliterator pulled back a little, while the other 2 units shuffled to gain a better position to fire at my makeshift firebase.
Trying again with his shooting the eastern blastmaster fired at the eastern FD serpent while the other 2 blastmasters and a mix of lascannons and plasma cannons from the Obliterators fired at the Walkers (the plasma cannons "accidently" clipping the Wraithlord) Luckily the cover saves paid off (Thank you Fortune) and i made every single one, must to "Rodders" dismay.

Turn 3 begins!
My GJB unit and Reapers both turned up this turn, and took position behind the eastern ruins. If the NM infantry advanced towards them the GJB unit could JSJ with their shurican cannon while the Reapers used their tempest launcher, which would currently be just out of range. With the ruins being considerably high they blocked all LoS to the bikes and the reapers. Eldard cast fortune on his own Serpent and the Walkers again, and Guided the Wraithlord, again.
I fire 28 S6 shots from my southwestern firebase, managing to knock down an Obliterator and another NM, the FD wase serpent to the east managed to knock a NM down also. Armour saves were about average for the amount of wounds i caused considering the 2+ save for the Obliterators. So far the plan of hiding behind cover was working well.

"Rodders" Turn 3
It was at this point that holding the hill seemed pointless, my ability to roll cover saves was not having a good effect on "Rodders". He began moving off the hill. His western and central NM units moved, and ran, behind the hill to block LoS while the Obliterators tried to move off, one rolled low on his difficult terrain and remained on the hill.
The blastmaster that didn't move and the 4 Obliterators opened fire on my eastern FD serpent, managing to get one penetrating hit through my armour and cover. The result was that the Serpent Exploded! Causing one casualty to the FD within, and wounding a Reaper, who made his save.

Turn 4 rolls around.
With my final DA serpent failing to turn up (This is souding alot like the Walker issues from last game) i fortuned Eldrads and the remaining FD serpents while guiding the Walkers. I move both the Serpents flat-out in order to gain a fortuned cover save, in case the Obliterors crested the hill to take shots at them. As it turned out, with all the majority of his infantry on the other side i was able to stay out of LOS to most of them while moving up, making it look like i was pushing forwards for some close range fire. The Wraithlord and Walkers still had range to the lone Obliterator so remained in the woods, moving to the edge.
The only firing i was able to do was the Walkers and Wraithlord, so the Obliterator died as it was all they could see.

"Rodders turn 4"
It was during this turn that several of our friends came over to watch, their games were finished, so both me and "Rodders" had someone looking on. "Rodders" mentioned that this was a very boring game and he was not having fun, that i should have moved forward and got into assault to make it interesting rather than hang back in cover. I mentioned that i would have been a fool to advance while he had 6 Obliterators and that "Assaults" were not my armies speciality, my friend also pointed out that it was in fact a tournament and i was only playing to win. Feeling quite bad, i apologised for him not having fun and assured him i'm not usually this much of a tool in games and even offered to play him some other time if he dropped into the store where i play, with a normal army.
Anyway... moving on...
Already commited to advancing towards my eastern forces all 3 NM units moved and ran towards them. The Obliterator unit moved back far enough to gain LOS to the Wraithlord (just) and took a wound off him with some long range lascannons.

Turn 5 for Eldar!
My last Serpent should have arrived this turn, but after the mini-drams of last turn i forgot what turn it was and rolled a '1' for reserves.
Eldrad fortuned both serpents again, and they again moved flat-out in an attempt to link up with my eastern contingent before the slanneshi hoardes made it to the ruins. The Walkers and Wraithlord moved out of cover and shuffled a little to the right gaining LoS to an obliterator over the curve of the hill.
The Walkers and Wraithlord managed to down another Obliterator with their scatter lasers. The GJB unit attempted to JSJ but were unable to gain range. The Reapers Exarch however managed to fire off his tempest launcher, landing it into the middle of the NM infantry. With crackshot, this managed to kill off 4 from the central squad and 1 from the eastern squad.

"Rodders" turn 5
With only 13 models left on the board "Rodders" moves his remaining NM infantry further towards my eastern units. The obliterators back-track and fire on the fortuned serpents, i make my cover saves.

Eldar turn 6, closing the net.
Again forgetting the turn... i roll a '1' for my last Serpent in reserves.
Eldrad fortunes both Serpents and they move to take position behind a hill, their scatter lasers poking up over the top. The Walkers and the Wraithlord follow the NM advance while the GJB unit moves out in preperation to JSJ.
I'm currently surrouning the NM infantry on 3 sides, with my speed i should be able to pull back in any area if needed. Both of us can clearly see the game is going to end in an Eldar victory, but can the Slaneshi marines defile any of the precious spirit stones before they go down?
The Reapers open up but manage to scatter to far as they are firing indirect.
The combined fire from the Walkers, Wraithlord, Serpents and GJB unit manage to take down the last of the Obliterators.
The GJB unit moves back into cover.

"Rodders" Turn 6, the final push?
With the Obliterators gone, the 11 remaining NM's charge forward fearlessly towards my eastern units, moving quickly through cover and running through the terrain. Will the Eldar be able to bring them down? The NM's may very well reach combat next turn!

Eldar turn 7, A fatal mistake!
Having no need for the whole battlefield I've zoomed in to what is needed.
I remembered what turn it was! My last serpent arrives on the eastern board edge, the other two Serpents hunker down behind cover, skimming sideways a little. The Walkes and Wraithlord continue their advance. Thinking that the trap is closed the impetuos Fire Dragons, who have spend the game cooped up in a Wave Serpent, and then hiding behind some rubble, charge out to meet the NM infantry, readying their melta weapons to fire on their hated foes!
The Reapers open up on the far NM unit, killing 3 of them. The GJB units, sepents, Walkers and Wraithlord all pour fire salvoes of lasers and shuricans into the ranks of the NM infantry, 2 units are completely wiped out.
The most forward unit is reduced to 3 men.
The Fire Dragons ready their weapons, taking careful aim they manage to hit and wound 5 times.
The Emperors Children Champion falls to the ground, his lifeless corpse slowly sinking into the steaming snow.
The Sorcerer and his remaining NM are left standing, pulling a shurican from his cheek the Sorceror smiles and lowers his blade towards the Fire Dragons...

"Rodders" Turn 7, Turn 8 and 9?

The Sorceror and his lackey charge into the Fire Dragons, he takes his time in killing two of the dragons and removing their spirit stones while the Noise Marine holds the other two off.
During the Eldar turn they slowly encircle the combat, holding back their fire in fear of hitting their kin.
The Sorcerer, satisfied with defiling at least some spirit stones in an offering to Slannesh unleases his powers to cut down the remaining dragons, leaving only bloody chunks in his wake. Kicking their corpses from the ruined battlements he charges forwards, leaping from the roof down onto the Dark Reapers, Their Exarch fought bravely as he landed a blow on the Sorcerer, only to have it deflected by his armour. In return the Sorceror unleashed a rapid series of thrusts and strokes with his blade, disembowling all 3 Reapers before jumping up atop the ruin once more, screaming at the top of his lungs as he held a handful of spirit stones high in the air!
The Eldar army encircles the sporceror, desembarking from their transports they advanced up the ruin, laying down a hail of fire into the corpse of the Sorceror until he fell to his knees with a smile on his face. Eldrad recovered what spirit stones he could, before the Fire dragons cremated the Sorcerors body.

I personally think this game went very well. The general idea to stay 20"-30" away seemed to work quite well seems i could stay in cover with fortune and the amount of shots i could put out was enough to wittle down the CSM units. If i could play it again i think i would have just moved the FD and Reaper units back instead of trying to get the last few shots in with them. This would have resulted in less casualties for me and would have only taken perhaps one more turn to finish off the rest of the marine infantry.

My man of the match has to be Eldrad. His Fortunes were very useful, ensuring my vehicles were protected early on and meaning i safely made it across the battlefield without the Serpents going down. The occasional Doom and Guide helped but nowhere near as much as Fortune did.

I think "Robbers" main mistake was moving east. This was my weaker flank, but the Serpents could re-position rather quickly and the Walkers and Wraithlord simply walked after him firing into his infantry from behind. Plus travelling east brought him into JSJ range of the GJB unit and the barrage fire from the reapers. If he moved southwest i believe he would have made it close enough to take out the Wraithlord and Walkers quite easily. Also that way the Reapers and now grounded FD would have been effectivly taken out of the game. If he went this direction, i believe the game would have been a draw, as without the Reapers killing off 8 of the NM i'm not sure i could have taken down everything before the time limit ran out, especially considering i would have most likely lost the Walkers and Wraithlord to close range Obliterator fire.

After the Mini-Drama involved in the game we both went outside for a quick cigarette and talked things over. We got on pretty well and had a laugh about the game afterwards. It turns out "Rodders" outburst about being bored was more to do with frustration with me making almost every cover save i was called to make and he notched it up as a lesson well learned about playing sneaky Mechdar players.

With 2 wins and 30 points, i was expecting the next game to be rather difficult. I was also hoping for a bit of variety and really wanted to play an army that wasn't lash orientated. I thought it was a bit of a stretch to hope for a non-MEQ army, but it would be nice. Only time will tell!

Would you, either as the CSM player or the Eldar player, deployed and played this mission differently? Is there any way you can think of that would sway the battle in a significant way?


  1. In this case, it was a mission which heavily favoured you because your opponent had a poor area to deploy, and you were able to deploy over pretty much most of the board, making best use of cover. That's pretty much a gamebreaker off the bat. But I would have deep struck at least 2 squads of obliterators (was deep strike allowed under the tournament rules?). That's one of the reasons to take them: so you can put them where you want. He would have been better served deploying in a corner or against the left table edge, behind the rocks where he couldn't get caught in a pincer move like he did and would still have a lane of fire. If the mission is annihilation, he could have tried to hide better. Also, his list was terrible. How do you take small units of expensive marines, with a squishy-ish HQ, and not give them rhinos? With no assault units, or plague marines, or demon princes, or a mobile firing base he was pretty much asking for this outcome. None of this detracts from your gameplay, which appears to be exactly what it should have been, so, good job, you =)

  2. @Quietus Rex
    On the whole i agree. Although looking at my list and seeing a vast majority of AP 5/6 mobile weapons with some AP3 ignoring cover templates i don't think seeking cover was a priority except for the possibility of blocking LoS.
    I do however agree about the positioning, holding down the left egde as opposed to taking a central position would have meant any forces i pulled in on the right would have to move out of cover to get into range.
    As for his list, i liked the theme and admire the balls to take an all infantry elite force, but as you stated it isn't the best.
    Thanks for the comment + compliment!