Thursday, 7 April 2016

Battle Report 50- 1500 pts Astra Militarum vs Dark Eldar

Welcome to my 50th battle report on the blog!

This week's battle report sees my Astra Militarum army taking on James' Dark Eldar. James is one of the few players that I have not yet fought in the Medusa IV campaign (or at all, in fact), so he took the opportunity to attack one my tiles in the campaign.
We decided that in order to have a fun game, we would steer away from the heavier elements of the armies. James wanted to run a Wych-themed army and I decided not to take any Wyverns or a Punisher, as these would likely shred his army quite easily.

Due to the campaign rules, I would get 150 pts extra for my army, however, James would get a +2 bonus to choosing deployment zone and getting the first turn.
For my army, I took:
Company Command- Vox, Company Standard, 2 Plasma guns, Astropath, Officer of the Fleet (CC)
Priest (with S1A)
Priest (with S2A)
Commissar (with HBT)
Commissar (with LT)
Primaris Psyker- level 1 (with CC)
Platoon Command 1- 2 Flamers, Vox (PC1)
Infantry Squad 1A- Autocannon, Vox (S1A)
Infantry Squad 1B- Autocannon (S1A)
Infantry Squad 1C- Autocannon, Vox (S1C)
Heavy Weapons Team 1- Heavy Bolters (HBT)
Heavy Weapons Team 2- Missile Launchers (MLT)
Platoon Command 2- 2 Flamers, Vox (PC2)
Infantry Squad 2A- Grenade launcher, vox (S2A)
Infantry Squad 2B- Grenade launcher (S2A)
Infantry Squad 2C- Grenade launcher, vox (S2C)
Heavy Weapons Team 3- Lascannons (LT)
10 Veterans- Grenadiers, 3 Meltaguns (V1)
Chimera- Dozer Blade, Extra Armour (C1)
Leman Russ- Battle Cannon, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter sponsons (LR)
Vendetta- 3 TL Lascannons (V2)
Aegis defence line- Quad Gun
My warlord trait gave my command squad Relentless. My Astropath got Psychic Shriek and Mental Fortitude, my Primaris got Prescience and Misfortune.
For my army, I decided to go infantry heavy. I took a company command to give me orders, along with an astropath and master of the fleet to help with my reserve rolls. I took two priests and two commissars to keep my units in check.
Two large infantry platoons were then added; one with autocannons and one with grenade launchers. I added three heavy weapons teams to deal with the Dark Eldar and their vehicles. A unit of veterans in a Chimera would give me some mobility in my army.
I added a Leman Russ with battle cannon to hopefully avoid those annoying Feel no Pain rolls that all Dark Eldar seem to have, as well as a Vendetta to deal with any vehicles or enemy flyers. Along this line, I also took an Aegis line and Quad gun.
With 50 pts left over, I decided to take a Primaris psyker. The Prescience re-rolls would be useful if I managed to cast it over the course of the game.

James' army consisted of:
Succabus- Archite Glaive, Helm of Spite, Webway Gate (with W1)
Lillith Hesperax (with W3)

9 Wyches- Hydra Gauntlets, Razorflail, Hetarix with Power weapon, Phantasm grenade launcher (W1)
Raider- Nightshield, Dark Lance (R1)
8 Wyches- 2 Razorflails, Hetarix with Power weapon (W2)
Raider- Nightshield, Dark Lance (R2)
8 Wyches- Hydra Gauntlets, Razorflail, Hetarix with Agonizer (W3)
Raider- Nightshield, Dark Lance (R3)

6 Reavers- 2 Heatlances, Cluster Caltrop, Champion with power weapon (R)
Razorwing- Dark Lances, 2 shattershield missiles, 2 splintercannons, Night Shield (RW1)
Razorwing- Dark Lances, 2 shattershield missiles, 2 splintercannons, Night Shield (U)

5 Incubi- Klaivex (I)
Venom- Splinter cannons, Night Shield (V)

His warlord trait gave him re-rolls to night fight and reserve rolls.
We rolled for a maelstrom mission and got Deadlock. This mission has you drawing 6 cards on the first turn, 5 on the second and so on. It is important in this mission to try and score as many points as possible early on, as your chances to score gradually diminish as the game goes on. We set up the objectives as shown below:
Unsurprisingly, James won the roll for table edge and for deployment and chose to go first (he didn't even need to roll as I roll and 1 and a 2 for the respective rolls, so he beat me automatically).

James' deployment was light. One Raider went to his right flank behind the statue, with the Venom carrying the Incubi in the ruins to the right. A second Raider went to the ruins to the left of centre and the Reaver jetbikes went behind the missile silo. Most of the army was deployed out of line of sight, so would be difficult for me to get to grips with early on.

I set up my Aegis line at the front of my deployment zone, between the bastion and the ruins. Combined infantry squad 1A went behind the Aegis line, supported by the Company Command, Platoon Command, the missile launcher team and the heavy bolter team. The Lascannon team went on top of the bastion for a good line of sight to the enemy army.
I put two units on the right flank to advance on objective 5 and the other units, plus the Leman Russ and Chimera to the right flank.

My plan was to wait for the Dark Eldar to come to me. I definitely had the firepower advantage, so they would need to get into combat to deal with me. I would go after as many objectives as I could on the half way line, but the far objectives were probably too far out of reach. James rolled and was unable to get night fighting (even with his warlord trait re-roll).

We had gathered a small crowd eager to see how the game would go. I was chatting to someone as I picked up one of my dice and joked "hold on, this is the die I am going to use to roll a 6 and seize the initiative". Imagine my surprise when my hubris actually worked and I seized the initiative. James' face was a picture at this point, but unfortunately, I did not capture it.

This turn, I drew Objective 1, Objective 5, Objective 5, Harness the Warp (cast a psychic power), Behind Enemy Lines (have 3 units in enemy deployment zone) and Big Game Hunter (destroy an enemy vehicle). Not a great draw, objectives 1 and 5 were well out of reach at the moment and Behind Enemy Lines was laughable for my army.

I began by advancing Infantry Squad 2C towards the ruins holding objective 5, running them forward instead of shooting. It was a long shot they would survive to claim it, but worth a try. On the right flank, the combined squad 2A advanced along with the Veteran's Chimera to harass the Dark Eldar and try and stake a claim to the further away objectives. I considered turbo-boosting the Leman Russ into range of objective 1, but this would have been a waste.

In the psychic phase, the Astropath attempted Mental Fortitude on Infantry Squad 2C, but failed to manifest it. The Primaris had more luck, casting Prescience on the Lascannon weapons team.

The shooting phase began with the Company Command ordering the  Lascannon team to open fire on the Venom hiding behind the ruins in front of them, ignoring the cover save in the process. The enemy vehicle must have been too well hidden as not a single hit was scored, even with my Prescience re-rolls! The Missile Launcher team fired at the Venom as well, but didn't score a single hit either! (I must have used up all my luck seizing the initiative).

Infantry Squad 1C fired their Autocannon at the Raider in front of them, penetrating the jinking vehicle once and shaking the crew (and giving me the first chance to use my great new Vehicle Damage tokens available for free from Confessions of a 40k addict. Cheers Dave!).

Infantry Squad 1A opened fire on the Venom with their Autcannons and the Quad Gun. The squad managed to glance it once, but the flickerfield saved it from harm (after the cover was negated by the Company Command Squad). The Leman Russ also targeted the Venom, the battle cannon shot striking true, but the flickerfield once again protected the vehicle from harm.

Not a great first turn, I had caused a single hull point damage on a Raider and only scored Harness the Warp. I discarded Behind Enemy Lines.

James drew Objective 1, Objective 6, Demolitions (destroy a gun emplacement), Blood and Guts (destroy a unit in the assault phase), Scour the Skies (destroy a flyer) and Assassinate (kill an enemy character).

On the Dark Eldar right flank, the Venom and Raider advanced on the ruins holding objective 5, the Incubi leaping out to engage the Guardsmen within.

The other Raider advanced on the left flank to secure objective 1, while the Reaver jetbikes rushed forward to swarm the Chimera.

On the left flank, the Raider fired its Lance weapon at the Chimera, hitting the enemy tank, but failing to damage it. The Reavers fired at the Chimera, but failed to hit it also.

The Venom fired at missile launcher team, but the guardsmen went to ground and none fell to the Dark Eldar assault. The Raider fired at Infantry Squad 1A, but the snap firing crew failed to hit.

The Reaver Jetbikes assaulted the Chimera, but even their strength 6 hammer of wrath attacks failed to damage the vehicle.

The Incubi attempted to charge the Guardsmen in the ruins in front of them, but somehow managed to fail the 5" charge, even with their fleet re-roll! A very fortunate result for me.

At the end of his turn, James scored objective 1 and discarded objective 6. A poorer turn for James than me if that was even possible, at least I was able to get a single hull point off the Raider. Some poor hammer of wrath rolls and a really unfortunate assault roll for the Incubi had hurt.

Astra Militarum- 1
Dark Eldar- 1

This turn, I drew Objective 2 and had Objective 1, Objective 5, Objective 5 and Big Game Hunter from last turn.

The extremely lucky Infantry Squad 2C in the ruins advanced on objective 5 to claim it this turn. The rest of the left flank trained their guns on the Dark Eldar moving up on their position. On the right flank, the Chimera advanced on the Raider near objective 1, the Veterans deploying to target the enemy vehicle. Infantry Squad 2A were led by the Priest to engage the Reaver Jetbikes.

In the psychic phase, the Primaris psyker cast Prescience on the Lascannon team to bolster their firepower.

The Company Command Squad ordered the Lascannon team to take out the Venom (ignoring its cover in the process). Two of the high energy blasts hit the Dark Eldar vehicle, one of which was stopped by its flickerfield. The remaining shot penetrated the armour, shaking the enemy vehicle. The Missile Launcher team also opened fire on the Venom, penetrating it and shaking it once more. Infantry Squad 1A added their firepower, the emplaced Quad Gun finally finishing off the Venom in a hail of shrapnel.

Infantry Squad 2C opened fire on the Incubi below them, wounding them four times, but the feeble lasguns were unable to get past the strong armour of the Dark Eldar elite.

Infantry Squad 1C fired on the Raider in front of them, penetrating the enemy tank and shaking it.

On the right flank, the Veterans fired their meltaguns at the enemy Raider. All three shots penetrated, but only one made it past the Jinking pilot. The shot was sufficient and the enemy transport exploded, killing 4 of the Wyches as they emerged from the wreck.

Infantry Squad 2A were ordered to open fire on the Reaver Jetbikes (using First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire). The storm of lasfire wounded the bikers 7 times and four riders fell from their mounts to the dust below. The Leman Russ opened fire on the squad, but failed to kill any more. The squad passed their morale check and kept fighting.

At the end of my turn, I scored Big Game Hunter, Objective 5 (x2), Objective 2 and First Blood for 5 points this turn.

This turn, James drew Objective 5 and had Demolitions (destroy a gun emplacement), Blood and Guts (destroy a unit in the assault phase), Scour the Skies (destroy a flyer) and Assassinate (kill an enemy character).

A shrill shrieking of engines heralded the arrival of the two Razorwing Jetfighters, one advancing on each flank. The final Raider also arrived via webway portal, emerging in cover on the left flank.

The Dark Eldar began to launch their attack in earnest. The Incubi advanced on Infantry Squad 2C, who had escaped their wrath last turn. They would not be so fortunate this time.

The Wyches leapt after the Veterans, while the Reaver Jetbike survivors advanced on the Platoon Command.

On the right flank, the Raider snap fired at infantry squad 1C, but failed to hit the sheltered Guardsmen.
The Razorwing loosed two of its missiles at Infantry Squad 1A. Both rounds struck true, hitting the squad and wounding 15. The squad took cover behind the Aegis line and only three of the guardsmen fell to the bombardment (I realised a couple of turns later that the squad could not have gone to ground due to the presence of the Priest making them fearless, so I probably should have lost a lot more. We removed a random number of guardsmen from the unit when I realised this later). The flyer fired its splinter rifles at the squad, killing two of them.

The other flyer targeted Infantry Squad 2A. The missiles struck into their ranks and without the protection of an Aegis line, 15 died in the blast. The flyer fired its other guns at the squad, killing another 4, leaving only the Priest and a Sergeant.

The Reaver Jetbikes snap fired at the Platoon Command, but were unable to cause any harm.

The Wyches fired on the Veterans, killing one with their pistols before they launched themselves at their foe. One of the nimble warriors died when a meltagun blast struck her square, but the rest made it in to combat. Lillith Hesperax issued a challenge, the luckless sergeant stepped forward to answer. She cut him and 4 other Veterans down in her stride, the rest of the squad wiping out the veterans before they could move.

The Reaver Jetbikes assaulted the Platoon Command. The elite Guardsmen turned their flamers on the advancing bikers. The Dark Eldar met a wall of flame as they advanced and the two remaining members perished before they could reach their prey.

The Incubi assaulted the Infantry Squad in the ruins. The elite warriors struck at the guardsmen, killing three of the Infantry for no loss in return. The rest of the squad held firm, fighting on against the superior foe (I managed to pass my morale test on leadership 4).

At the end of the turn, James scored 2 points for Assassinate and scored Blood and Guts.

Astra Militarum- 6
Dark Eldar- 4

This turn, I drew Objective 1, Objective 4, Objective 6 and Objective 6.

The Guard's air support arrived, the Vendetta moving on to engage one of the enemy flyers. The Chimera moved up to grab objective 1, while the rest of the army held firm.

The Primaris Psyker cast prescience on the Lascannon team once more, periling in the process, but rolling a 6 on the table and passing his test.

In the shooting phase, the Company Command ordered Infantry Squad 1A to get back in the fight. The squad fired on the Razorwing, the Quad gun penetrating the flyer and stunning it. The Heavy bolter team fired on the flyer, glancing it once, but the Jinking pilot saved it from harm.

Infantry squad 1C fired at the Raider in front of them once more, hitting it with their Autocannon, but failing to cause any damage.

The Lascannon weapons team fired at the newly arrived Raider, penetrating and Immobilising the vehicle. The Leman Russ also targeted the enemy skimmer, penetrating it and killing two of the wyches onboard.

The missile launcher team targeted the other Razorwing on the right flank, but failed to hit. The Vendetta fired on the enemy flyer and penetrated it, shaking the vehicle.

The Incubi struck at the Guardsmen once more, killing six of the squad for no loss in return. The morale of the Guard finally broke and they fled, but they were easily caught and slain by the Dark Eldar, who consolidated forward 5".

At the end of the turn, I scored all four of my objectives.

James drew Supremacy (control at least 2 objectives and twice as many as your opponent) and had Scour the Skies, Demolitions and Objective 5.

The two Razorwings moved up on the Guard lines. On the right flank, the Wyches and Incubi moved up to the Aegis defence line, while on the left flank, the Wyches leapt out of their immobilised Raider and moved up on the Guard.

Both Razorwings snap fired at the Leman Russ, but failed to hit their target. The Wyches led by the Succabus fired on the Platoon Command, wiping the squad out with the Phantasm grenade launcher. The other unit of Wyches fired on the Priest and Sergeant, wounding them once, but the attack was blocked.
The Raider on the right snap fired at the Quad gun, but missed with its shot.
In the combat phase, the Dark Eldar launched their co-ordinated assault. Lillith led her squad in an assault against the Priest and Sergeant. The elite Wych easily slaughtered the two enemy warriors.

The Wyches and Incubi on the right flank assaulted Infantry Squad 1A. Three Wyches died to overwatch fire as they advanced. The Dark Eldar struck first, easily wiping the squad out before they could strike back. The Dark Eldar consolidated behind the Aegis line.

James scored no points this turn and discarded Demolitions.
Astra Militarum- 10
Dark Eldar- 4
In turn 4, I drew Objective 1, Objective 4 and Supremacy.

The Company Command squad and Infantry Squad 1C advanced on the Wyches and Incubi, while the Vendetta turned to engage the Raider on the left flank.

In the psychic phase, the Primaris Psyker cast Psychic Shriek on the Incubi, killing one of the squad (I wounded 3 times, but two feel no pain saves meant only one died). The Astropath then cast Misfortune on the Incubi.
The Vendetta opened fire on the Raider, penetrating it twice, but both shots were saved by the Jinking flyer. Infantry Squad 1C were commanded to open fire on the Wyches, but only managed to slay one of the squad. The Company Command ordered the Heavy Bolter team to fire on the Wyches. The Ignores Cover shots struck the unit, killing another 4. The Company Command squad also opened fire, killing the last member of the squad and clearing them off the objective.
The Lascannon team fired at the Incubi, killing one of the elite warriors.
On the other flank, the Chimera targeted the Wyches in the barricade, killing two of the squad. the Leman Russ targeted the third Wych squad beside it, killing two of the Dark Eldar warriors.
At the end of my turn, I scored all three objectives for 3 points (only getting one point on the D3 roll for Supremacy).
James had Supremacy (control at least 2 objectives and twice as many as your opponent), Scour the Skies, and Objective 5.

The Razorwings turned in the air above the battlefield, swapping flanks to engage the remnants of the Guard army. The Incubi advanced on Infantry Squad 1C, while the Wyches moved up to engage the Leman Russ. The last mobile Raider moved up to claim objective 5 in the ruins.

In the shooting phase, the Raider fired its lance at the Heavy Bolter weapons team, killing one of the squad. The squad failed their morale check and broke, running off the battlefield. A Razorwing targeted the Leman Russ with its Lance, but failed to hit the target.
The other Razorwing loosed its last two missile at the Company Command. Both missiles struck the squad, killing all but a single veteran with the plasma gun. The splinter cannons of the flyer sang out, killing the veteran and wiping the squad out.  

In the assault phase, the Wyches charged the Leman Russ, taking delight in butchering the crew of the mighty vehicle and leaving it a smoking wreck.

The Incubi charged Infantry Squad 1C, one of the squad being killed by the overwatch fire thanks to the Misfortune inflicted on them by the Astropath. The Dark Eldar struck at the squad, killing six for no loss in return. The Guardsmen fled from combat, but were caught and butchered by the Incubi, who consolidated into the cover of the ruins.

At the end of the turn, James scored Objective 5 and Slay the Warlord, and chose to discard Supremacy.
Astra Militarum- 13
Dark Eldar- 6
This turn, I drew Objective 2 and Hungry for Glory.

The platoon command moved up to use the Quad gun, while the Vendetta moved towards the enemy deployment zone.

The Quad gun opened fire on the Razorwing, managing to glance the Jinking flyer once. The Chimera fired on the Wyches once more, killing another from the squad.
The missile launcher team fired on the Raider in the ruins, forcing the flyer to jink but causing no hits. The Lascannon team fired at the Wyches that had just destroyed the Leman Russ, but again, failed to hit the warriors.
At the end of my turn, I scored no points and discarded objective 2.
James drew Pain in all its Forms (destroy a unit in the shooting or assault phase) and Scour the Skies.

The Incubi moved up to engage the Platoon Command, while the Wyches moved to silence the Lascannon team in the bastion.
Both Razorwings moved to target the Chimera, firing their dark lances at the vehicle, but failing to cause any damage. The Raider fired its Lance at the Platoon Command and managed to slay one of the flamers in the squad.

The Incubi assaulted the Platoon command, easily wiping them out in combat.

James scored Pain in all its forms. We rolled to see if the game would continue for a sixth turn and it did.
Astra Militarum- 13
Dark Eldar- 7
This turn, I had Hungry for Glory.

The Commissar in the Missile launcher weapons team left the squad, moving to engage the Incubi. The Vendetta went into hover mode to engage the enemy flyers, while the Chimera moved into the safety of the ruins in the enemy deployment zone, killing two of the Wyches as it fired on the move.

The Vendetta fired at one of the Razorwings, penetrating it twice, but the damage was saved by the jinking flyer. The Missile Launcher team fired on the Incubi, but were unable to get past their cover saves. The Lascannon team fired on the enemy Raider, but again, the jinking pilot saved it from harm.
The Commissar charged the Incubi, issuing a challenge as he ran. The brave warrior was easily cut down by the Incubi.

At the end of my turn, I scored Hungry for Glory.
This turn, James had Scour the Skies.

The Incubi advanced on the Missile launcher weapons team and the Wyches entered the Bastion.

The Raider fired on the Vendetta, but was unable to hit the jinking flyer.
In the combat phase, the Incubi charged the heavy weapons team, easily butchering the guardsmen. The Wyches in the bastion charged the Lascannon teams, once more, easily dealing with the Guardsmen in combat.

James scored no points this turn. We rolled at the end of turn 6 and the game was set to continue for a final turn.
Astra Militarum- 14
Dark Eldar- 6
On the final turn, I drew blood and guts. With only a Chimera and Vendetta left, this would not be possible.

The Vendetta went back into Zooming mode and targeted one of the Razorwings. The lascannons struck the enemy flyer and finally brought it down. The Chimera fired on the last mobile Raider, glancing it twice, but the jinking of the pilot saved it from harm.

At the end of my last turn, I scored no points.
James still had Scour the Skies.

The Incubi moved up to turn their enemy's Quad gun back on them. They targeted the Vendetta, glancing it once, but the Jinking flyer saved the damage.

With that, the game ended, we both scored Linebreaker at the end of the game.

End of the Game.
Astra Militarum- 15
Dark Eldar- 7
A win for the Astra Militarum!
Thanks to James for an entertaining and extremely bloody game! At the end of turn 7, I only had two models left alive on the board and we had completely swapped sides of the table.
Overall, the battle went rather well for me. I had good luck with the maelstrom cards and some decent shooting on the fragile Dark Eldar. Though in true fashion for my guard, I did have some abysmal rolls for the heavy weapons teams.
Even in this game there were some lessons to learn:
  • I forgot that the infantry squad could not go to ground behind the Aegis line as they had a priest making them fearless.
  • I forgot to use the Interceptor rule for the Quad gun. What makes this even worse is that when James deployed the first Razorwing, I specifically warned him that the Quad gun had Interceptor, then promptly forgot all about it.
  • In turn 4, I chose to target the Wyches on objective 4 in order to claim the objective and Supremacy rather than go after the Incubi. I wonder if I should have gone after the Incubi instead? They had Misfortune cast on them, which may have helped me get past their armour. Once the Incubi were gone, I might have had an easier time going after the Wyches with their significantly weaker armour.
  • I got extremely lucky in this game, both with seizing the initiative and the Incubi failing their charge on turn 1. This allowed my unit to grab 2 points for claiming objective 5 in the ruins and helped me form a decent lead. Had the Incubi charged and most likely killed the squad, I doubt I would have been able to get past the Dark Eldar to get another squad on the objective.
  • I also had a bit more success with my psykers in this game, actually managing to get quite a few warp charge 2 powers off during the course of my psychic phases. I guess my dice have a weird sense of humour, allowing me to easily cast psychic powers just after I had written about the difficulties in doing so.
Overall, a fun game, with lots of tense tactical choices and opportune sacrifices that maelstrom missions frequently call for. My Guardsmen repelled the attack on their territory and gave me another win.


  1. Hey, cool batrep! I really like Dark Eldar, so it was nice to see them here. You did well, and one could see that at the middle of the game you managed to pull away point wise, so your opponent had to go for a tableing (at least that's what it looks like).

    Good job, and PS: My own gaming group just started a campaign and I read up closely on your to see how it's done right!

    1. Cheers Chris. It was a much closer game than the score suggested and I was quite concerned about getting tabled towards the end. I like games that are closer and well fought on both sides. It would have been easy for me to go into the game with two wyverns and multiple Punisher tanks, but that would have probably made for a very dull battle report.

      Good luck with the campaign, they are a great way to get people playing 40k on a regular basis with some structure and interesting special rules. I'm happy that you look at my campaign as something that is done right!

    2. I agree, the best battles are those nail biters that come down to the last dice roll! Interstingly enough now that I think about it I usually have those when my opponent and me don't field a maxxed out tourney list.

      So far everyone seems to be quite happy with it, yeah! One thing I particulary liked was how you sometimes double as a dungeon master lite, I think you mentioned secret objectives and stuff? I incorporated that too, and scripted our first few missions a little bit. Even made a blog (just about the campaign though), so yeah, I stole some things haha!

  2. Excellent stuff as always buddy! I did fear for your opponent when I saw the lists, I thought that even without the Wyverns (which are the absolute bane of DE life, I've lost plenty of transports to them over the years not to mention infantry) you'd have too much firepower for them. Your first turn definitely didn't do you any favours, but it was really interesting to see how they came back into it with some pretty effective combats.

    I did notice you seemed to take 3 hull points off a venom at one stage, when they only have two, but that's a fairly minor thing.

    1. Cheers Nick. I actually thought it would be a walk over for my Guard until the combats started. I couldn't even touch the Wyches or Incubi in combat and really suffered for it.

      Not too sure about the Venom, either I made a mistake in the number of hits I scored or James made the mistake with the number of hull points. Will keep it in mind for next time.