Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Stronghold V Battle Report 2- White Scars vs Eldar

Welcome to the second battle report from my games at the recent Stronghold V tournament. After a great result in the first game, I found myself up against Aiden's fantastic blue Eldar army in the second game of the day.
The second mission was Crusade with 5 objectives and Vanguard Strike deployment. This is a good mission for my white scars, I could use my mobility to grab the objectives at the end of the game, assuming I could survive long enough to be able to do so.

As a reminder, my army consisted of:
Librarian- Level 2 psyker, Bike, Hunter's Eye, Mantle of the Stormseer, Force Sword, Meltabombs (with CS or L)
5 Command Squad- Bikes, Apothecary, 4 veterans with grav guns, stormshields and 2 with meltabombs (CS)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS1)
5 Bikers- 2 grav guns, sergeant with meltabombs (BS2)
5 Scouts- sergeant with meltabombs (S)
Landspeeder Storm- Heavy Bolter, Cerberus missile launcher (LS)
Drop Pod- storm bolter (DP)
3 Scout Bikers- One grenade launcher, sergeant with meltabombs and locator beacon (SB)
Stormtalon- TL assault cannons, skyhammer missile launcher (ST)
Centurion Devastators- Grav cannons and grav amps, hurricaine bolters (C)

My warlord trait was Merciless Warrior, giving me re-rolls to any sweeping advance roll. My psychic powers for this game were Psychic Shriek and Prescience.

Aiden's army consisted of:
Farseer Skyrunner- Jetbike, Singing Spear (with W2)
6 Windriders- Scatter lasers (W1)
7 Windriders- Scatter lasers (W2)
6 Swooping Hawks- Exarch (SH)
Hemlock Wraithfighter (HW1)
Hemlock Wraithfighter (HW2)
6 Dark Reapers- Exarch, Starshot missiles (DR)
Imperial Bunker- Comms relay and ammo store (IB)

His warlord trait gave me -1 to my reserve rolls. His psychic powers were as follows:
Farseer- Guide, Eldritch Storm, Prescience
Hemlock Wraithfighter- Hallucination, Shrouding, Psychic Shriek
Hemlock Wraithfighter- Empower/Enervate, Conceal/Reveal, Enhance/Drain

A tough army. Eldar jetbikes are very fast and pack a lot of firepower, they have a huge threat range for shooting or grabbing objectives. The Dark Reapers are also nasty, as they would ignore the jink saves on my bikers, and the Hemlock fighters would be nasty too.

The board was an interesting one. It used a kids coliseum playset, so provided lots of great line of sight blocking terrain that could play to my advantage. We set up the objectives as shown below, I set up my two objectives behind the line of sight blocking terrain.
Shields represent the objectives.

Aiden won the roll for deployment zone and chose the side with the largest piece of terrain. I won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. I set up the command squad in the centre of the board, ready to advance and counter Aiden's deployment. I set up the two units of bikers on either side of them, out of line of sight. I chose to infiltrate the Scout Bikers and outflanked the Landspeeder Storm.

Aiden deployed the bunker (containing the Dark Reapers) on top of the large terrain piece. The two units of jetbikes went behind the walls, with the swooping hawks in the centre of the two units.

I infiltrated the Scout bikers on my left flank and scouted them as close to the jetbike unit as possible. My plan was to bring the Centurions down and take out the unit of jetbikes on one flank and hopefully deal with the others during the course of the game.

Aiden failed to seize the initiative and I got the first turn (there was no Night Fighting).


The drop pod slammed into the ground beside the Windriders, guided by the beacon from the Scout Bikers. The Centurions climbed out to target the Eldar.

The Command Squad moved round to the right flank, turbo-boosting to utilise the cover afforded by the large rounded structure. One unit of bikers moved back to secure the objective in the White Scars' deployment zone.

The Centurions opened fire on the windriders, their hurricane bolters slaying four of the squad. The grav cannons fired at the survivors and wiped them out. The Scout Bikers opened fire on the Swooping Hawks, killing one of the squad. The drop pod aimed its storm bolter at the Swooping Hawks and managed to kill two of the unit. The survivors passed their morale check and fought on.


The remaining unit of Windriders moved up on the Command Squad, while the Swooping Hawks advanced on the drop pod.

In the psychic phase, the Farseer summoned up the powers of the warp to aid his comrades, casting Guide on the windriders he was leading. He then cast Eldritch Storm on the Command Squad, the Librarian proving powerless to block it. The attack hit all 6 of the unit, but failed to get past their storm shields.

The Windriders opened fire on the Command Squad with their scatter lasers (with a great 28 shots!). The Eldar wounded the command squad 12 times, but amazingly only two veterans fell. The Command Squad passed their morale check, the Eldar jumping 10" away from the White Scars.

The Swooping Hawks launched a haywire grenade at the drop pod, but missed with the shot. They then assaulted the transport, easily wrecking it with their haywire grenades.

A decent first turn for me. I had hit the Eldar hard and destroyed one unit of the jetbikes. In reply, the Command Squad had taken a lot of punishment and come through relatively unscathed.


The Stormtalon arrived, moving up to engage the Swooping Hawks, the Scout Bikers circling back to support. The Landspeeder Storm also arrived, outflanking on the Eldar deployment zone to move up on the jetbikes.

The Command Squad and Centurions moved up on the windriders.

The Librarian attempted to cast Psychic Shriek on the windriders, but the attempt was easily picked apart by the Farseer. The Librarian then cast Prescience on the Command Squad, periling in the process and taking a wound.

The Centurions opened fire on the Windriders, killing four of the jinking squad. The Command Squad opened fire from the other side, killing one of the jetbikers and taking the Farseer down to a single wound. The Landspeeder Storm fired on the jetbikes, but failed to cause any wounds. The Farseer instructed his warriors to hold firm and they passed their morale test.

The Stormtalon opened fire on the Swooping Hawks, killing all but the Exarch. The Scout Bikers opened fire and killed the enemy aspect warrior.


Both Hemlock Wraithfighters arrived to support their beleaguered comrades, one moving to engage the Command Squad, the other moving to target the Centurions. The Farseer led the surviving Windriders to the landspeeder storm.

One Hemlock fighter targeted the Centurions with psychic shriek, periling in the process but rolling a 6 on the table. The attack killed two of the Centurions (thanks to the -2 Ld penalty of the jetfighter). The Farseer then cast Prescience on the windriders.

In the shooting phase, the Hemlock fighter opened fire on the Centurions, wounding the last White Scar of the squad once. The other fighter fired on the Command Squad, killing two of the veterans.

The jetbikes fired on the Landspeeder storm, their scatter lasers causing 3 penetrating hits and one glancing hit. The jinking speeder saved all but one of the penetrating hits that succeeded in immobilising the transport.

The Dark Reapers fired on the Stormtalon, hitting twice but failing to cause any damage.

The Windriders assaulted the Landspeeder Storm, the Farseer wrecking the White Scars' transport.


The White Scars advanced on the Farseer and last windriders, while the Stormtalon moved up on one of the Eldar wraithfighters.

The Librarian attempted to cast psychic shriek on the Windriders, periling in the process. The Farseer blocked the attack and the perils rolled killed the White Scars warlord.

The Centurion opened fire on the windriders, killing the last two in the squad. The Apothecary opened fire on the Farseer, slaying the enemy warlord.

The Stormtalon fired on the Hemlock fighter, causing two glancing hits and two penetrating hits. The invulnerable save granted by the perils roll saved all but one glancing hit.

The Scout Bikers assaulted the Eldar Bunker. The sergeant's meltabombs penetrated the structure, causing a breach and reducing the armour of the bunker by 1 on each facing.


One fighter moved to engage the Bike squad in the White Scars' deployment zone, while the other went after the Centurion.

In the psychic phase, the Hemlock Wraithfighter cast Psychic Shriek on the lone Centurion, killing the last member of the squad.

The Dark Reapers opened fire on the Stormtalon, penetrating the enemy flyer and stunning it. The Wraithfighter fired at the White Scars bikers, wounding two of them, but the damage was saved by the jinking bikers. The other flyer targeted the Scouts. They went to ground, but two succumbed to the firepower of the Eldar fighter. The Scouts passed their morale test.

At the end of turn 3, things were not looking good for the Eldar. Only one unit was left to grab an objective (the Dark Reapers), so Aiden would need to wipe out the White Scars to secure a win.


The Apothecary and Scouts moved up on the objective, while the Stormtalon moved up to target the Flyer.

The Stormtalon fired on the Wraithfighter, but failed to caused any damage. The two biker units in my deployment zone fired on the other flyer, but failed to damage the Eldar Wraithfighter.

In the assault phase, the Scout biker sergeant failed to penetrate the bunker with his meltabombs.


The Dark Reapers climbed out of their bunker to face the White Scars behind their lines, while the flyers once again used their vector dancer ability to target the enemy.

In the psychic phase, the Wraithfighter cast Psychic Shriek on the Scout Bikers. The flyer manifested the power, but failed to hit the squad with the attack. It then failed to cast Hallucination on them and failed to cast Shrouding on itself.

The Dark Reapers fired at the Apothecary, killing the enemy warrior. The Wraithfighter fired on the Scout Bikers, but its shot scattered and hit the bunker as well. The jinking Scout Bikers survived the attack, but the Eldar Bunker was destroyed by the blast.

The other flyer fired at the White Scars bikers, but failed to cause any damage.


The Stormtalon, Scouts and Scout bikers advanced on the Dark Reapers, the flyer going into hover mode to enable it to engage.

The Stormtalon opened fire, killing 4 of the Dark Reapers. The Scout Bikers fired on the Eldar warriors, but failed to cause any wounds. The Dark Reapers failed their morale check and fell back off of the ruins.

The Scout Bikers were loathed to let their quarry escape and assaulted the fleeing warriors. The Eldar struck at the White Scars, but were unable to cause any damage. The White Scars struck down one of the Warriors, leaving just he Exarch. The lone warrior passed his morale check and the unit remained locked in combat.


The Eldar flyers once again manoeuvred to target the White Scars. One fighter cast Psychic Shriek on the Scouts, but failed to cause any damage with the hit. It then cast Hallucinate on the squad, but the Sergeant did not succumb when his battle brothers turned on him.

Seeing the Stormtalon hover, the Wraithfighter targeted the enemy flyer and destroyed it.

The other flyer targeted the bikers once more, but failed to cause any damage.

In the combat phase, the Exarch and Scouts struck at one another. The Exarch failed to harm the tough bikers and the Scouts managed to wound the Eldar warrior once. The Scouts hit and ran out of combat towards one of the objectives.

We rolled to see if the game would continue and it did.


The Scouts moved to grab the objective, while the Scout Bikers moved up on the Exarch.

In the shooting phase, the Scout Bikers fired on the lone Eldar, killing the ancient Aspect Warrior. The two units of bikers fired on the enemy flyer, glancing it once with their bolters.

That ended a very quick turn for me.


The flyers once again used vector dancer to assume the optimal position.

In the psychic phase, the Wraithfighter used Psychic Shriek to kill the three scouts on the objective. It then failed to cast Hallucination on the Scout bikers and failed to cast shrouded on itself.

In the shooting phase, one of the Flyers targeted the Scout Bikers, killing one of the squad and forcing the unit to fall back off the objective. The other flyer targeted the biker, but failed to cause any damage.

We rolled to see if the game would continue and it ended there.

White Scars- 8 (2 objectives, Slay the Warlord and First Blood)
Eldar- 1 (Slay the Warlord)
End of the game.

A win for the White Scars.

Thanks to Aiden for a great game.

I think there were two main factors that contributed to my victory; the terrain and me getting the first turn.

The playset provided plenty of line of sight blocking terrain for my bikers to hide behind and allowed me to avoid the Dark Reapers for most of the game. I think my two units of bikers appreciated the rest. They tend to spend most games zooming around the board, it was nice for them to remain essentially stationary during the game and not do much except establish a picnic area and take pot shots at the enemy flyers.

Getting first turn was also key. It allowed me to eliminate one unit of jetbikes before they got a chance to cause me problems. As anyone who has played Eldar will know, windriders can put out a lot of firepower (especially when all armed with scatter lasers) and have a nasty tendency to pounce on objectives in the final turn with a 48" move. I knew that taking these out first was a priority to prevent them from avoiding me for the whole game.

The Scout Bikers were great here, the homing beacon allowing me to bring down the drop pod without the risk of scattering off the board.

Aiden was also quite unlucky that the Hemlock Wraithfighters did not cause more damage in the shooting phase (the one with Psychic Shriek was bad enough, I was just very lucky they both did not have it!). He tended to roll quite low for his damage on the destroyer table and even when he did roll well, I was able to save the damage. Vector Dancer is an amazing ability on these flyers, allowing them to be a threat every single turn, rather than having to carefully manoeuvre or miss a turn of shooting like some flyers.

The Librarian managed to kill himself with double perils in this game, I hoped this would not become a recurring theme as the day went on. I was two for two at the tournament so far and was hoping that my good fortune would continue for the remaining games.

Army Thoughts
Game 1- White Scars vs White Scars/Mechanicus
Game 2- White Scars vs Eldar
Game 3- White Scars vs Daemons
Game 4- White Scars vs Eldar
Army Review
Armies on Display


  1. Nice work, as you say I think taking out half his jetbikes turn 1 was crucial to the win, he could easily have forced you onto the back foot if they'd been around.

    I was a little surprised given objective scoring wasn't until the end of the game that you didn't make more use of the bike squads, they might have tipped the scales in your favour earlier with a couple of turns contributing to your damage output.

    1. Cheers Nick. I was afraid of losing them to the Dark Reapers as they were AP3 and ignore Jink saves. I figured I could just camp them at the back and hold the objectives for the whole game as I was confident my Centurions and Command Squad could deal with the other Eldar units after my first turn. As it was, it was the flyers that gave me the most trouble during the game.

  2. great job on destroying the Xenos menace

    a pretty solid result. i can't see anything either of you did wrong in that game. as mentioned taking out a big chunk of bikes with the alpha strike worked well. at last your cents have been good in the game.

  3. Random note - The Hemlock leadership penalty only applies to certain tests (morale, pinning, and fear to be exact). It is NOT a global leadership penalty and so should NOT have been applied to Psychic Shriek.

    1. Thanks, I'll try and remember that for the future.

  4. Going first was key. Kudos on a big win. Well played again m8.

  5. Yessss another win! Well played, well deserved!

    Can't wait for the next one!

    If you don't mind, my next game will be against Imperial Knights, and I'm at a bit of a loss how to deal with them not being as experienced with White Scars. Right now I think I'll try and take a load of melta bikes, scout them up with Khan and get re-rolls to hit and pen thanks to the hunting force formation. And drop some sternguard in the rear to make sure his shield won't save him. Does that sound like a reasonable plan to you?

    Thanks :)

    1. Melta bikes work well, though you won't get the hunting force rerolls until the HQ prey is dead (or the HQ is a knight of course).

      Dropping threats in multiple arcs is the best way to deal with Knights, they aren't so scary once you haven't got to beat that 4++

    2. Thanks for the super fast reply Nick! It'll be a pure knights list, so his HQ will be a knight, too, which will be nice for me in that case :D

    3. I always find Knights a hard prospect to deal with. Multimeltas would be my way to go, but you are then relying on getting explodes on the pen table for additional hull points damage.

      As Nick said, hitting it from multiple angles is key to subvert the ion shield.