The final game of Fluffageddon 2016 saw me playing at the top table against Danny and his Eldar army. This mission would be a variation of kill points, where the units destroyed would be worth Blood Points equal to their points value (with half points available for a unit taken below half strength/starting wounds/starting hull points).
My army consisted of:
Ravenwing Strike Force
Interrogator-Chaplain- Bike, Meltabombs, Auspex, Mace of Redemption (with CS)
5 Ravenwing Command Squad- Ravenwing Banner, Apothecary, Grenade Launcher (CS)
6 Black Knights- Meltabombs, Grenade Launcher (BK)
6 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Sergeant with Meltabombs and Power Sword (RB1)
6 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, Sergeant with Meltabombs and Power Fist (RB2 and RB3)
Attack Bike- Heavy Bolter (AB)
Landspeeder- Multi-melta, Typhoon Missile Launcher (L)
Ravenwing Support Squadron
Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (SS)
3 Landspeeders- Assault Cannons, Heavy Bolters
My warlord trait was Rapid Manoeuvre, giving me +3" to charge and turbo-boost moves.
Danny's army consisted of:
Combined Arms Detachment
Autarch- Jetbike (A)
Illic Nightspear (with SB)
4 Windriders- Scatter Lasers (WR1)
3 Windriders- Scatter Lasers (WR2)
5 Wraithguard- D-Scythes (W)
Wave Serpent (WS)
Crimson Hunter (CH)
Vaul's Wrath Support Battery- 3 D-cannons (SB)
5 Warp Spiders- Exarch (WS1)
5 Warp Spiders- Exarch (WS2)
3 Reapers- Exarch (in Bunker)
His warlord trait (Autarch) gave him Night Fighting and Night Vision.
"Armies should aim to fit the background of the faction or factions it is fighting for"
"Armies should not be full of filth"
Those are two direct quotes from the army list restriction summary from the tournament rulespack. When I sent my army list for Fluffageddon, I was told that it was too strong for the tournament and would I consider toning it down. How the above army ever made it into the event if my army was considered too strong, I will never know. Needless to say, I was not feeling super optimistic about this game before it started.
Danny won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. He deployed the Bunker just off centre, with the Support Battery and Illic Nightspear crammed on top, the Reapers inside and the Autarch just behind it. One unit of Warp Spiders and Windriders went on each flank and the Wave Serpent (with Wraithguard inside) on the left flank.
I decided to go for a sort of refused flank. I deployed the bulk of my army on the left flank, outside the range of the Support Battery. I put the Landspeeder and one of the Bike unit on the right flank to hopefully act as a target for the Wraithguard.
I didn't have much of a plan for the game. I thought I would wait until he committed the Wraithguard, figuring I would lose a unit or two to their weapons, then hopefully I could deal with them with what I had left and have a got at the rest of the Eldar army. I was not overly optimistic about this plan.
I failed to seize the initiative and Danny took the first turn.
TURN 1- ELDAR
On the left flank, the Wave Serpent moved across the Eldar lines to target the Ravenwing, while the Warp Spiders and Windriders advanced. The other unit of Warp Spiders and Wind Riders moved towards the centre of the board.
The Reapers opened fire on the Black Knights, killing three of the unit with their four shots (despite my re-rollable 4+ cover save on the unit!). The Windriders opened fire on the Support Squadron, penetrating 5 times, one of which got through the jinking skimmers and stunned one.
The other Windriders fired at the Landspeeder, destroying the Jinking vehicle.
TURN 1- RAVENWING
The Ravenwing retreated from the advancing Eldar. I was hoping that Danny would need to commit the Warp Spiders and Wraithguard to deal with them, as there was little else in range.
The Support Squadron fired an Assault Cannon at the Wave Serpent, hitting once with their snap shots, but failing to cause any damage.
TURN 2- ELDAR
The Warp Spiders on the left flank moved towards the centre of the battlefield, the Exarch dying when his pack malfunctioned. The rest of the Eldar army continued the advance.
The Wave Serpent fired at the Support Squadron, destroying one of the Landspeeders with its Shield. The Windriders fired at the Grav gun bikers, wounding them 7 times, but I managed to make all my Jink saves. The other unit fired at the Bikers on my right flank, killing two of the unit. The lone survivor failed his morale test on a double 6 and fled from the field.
The Reapers fired at the Support Squadron, but failed to get past the cover save of the unit.
TURN 2- RAVENWING
This was shaping up to be an incredibly boring game. My plan was to either stay back, letting the long range Eldar firepower whittle me down from afar with no reply from my own units, or I could risk it all and go on the attack.
I decided to attack (like any good Space Marine player) and moved my forces towards the Wave Serpent. The Command Squad, Black Knights and Support Squadron advanced on the Wave Serpent. If I could destroy it, then I could assault the Wraithguard and they could not overwatch thanks to the Darkshroud.
I fired the Support Squadron at the Wave Serpent, scoring four hits with my snap shots, but failing to cause any damage. The Black Knights fired at the transport, causing a glancing and a penetrating hit, but the skimmer passed both Jink saves. The Command Squad fired at the transport, causing another glancing hit and penetrating hit, but both were saved by the jinking skimmer once more (Danny rolled four 6's for all his Jink saves!).
The Command Squad assaulted the Wave Serpent, the Chaplain easily destroying the vehicle. Pyrrhic victory though, as the Wraithguard emerged from the wrecked vehicle unscathed.
My plan has failed. As we were not using the draft FAQ, the Wraithguard would still be able to fire from the jinking vehicle.
TURN 3- ELDAR
The Crimson Hunter arrived, moving on to support the Eldar advance. The Warp Spiders moved towards the Ravenwing, another one dying as its pack malfunction. This was amusing, Danny had killed more of his own army than I had at this point.
The Wraithguard fired at the Command Squad and Support Squadron, wiping out the Command Squad and destroying the Darkshroud. The Reapers fired at the remaining Landspeeders, wiping them out.
The Warp Spiders fired at the Black Knights, killing two of the squad, before retreating to the other side of the ruins once more.
The Crimson Hunter fired at the Grav Bikers, killing two of the unit. The two units of Windriders fired at the survivors, wiping them out.
With that, the game was pretty much over. I had 5 models left on the table and had killed only the Wave Serpent. In my third turn, I got it over with, turbo-boosting my remaining units into range of the Eldar units. They were wiped out in turn 4.
Dark Angels- 125
Well, that was a thoroughly un-enjoyable game of 40k and an extremely anti-climatic end to the tournament. The game was over in under an hour.
I have no problem losing a game of 40k (some of my most enjoyable games have been losses), but I simply hate playing a game, where I feel I have no chance from the very start. Against this Eldar army, with my list, I felt I didn't have any shot at winning.
Danny and I were actually drawn to play one another in game 1. We had rolled for everything and were beginning to deploy when two more players arrived. Matt (the organiser) asked if we would swap opponents as the two new players played one another all the time. We had no problems with it, but I had a feeling I would be seeing Danny again after my two wins.
I think I might have had a better game playing him in the first mission, as I don't need to kill my opponent in maelstrom to win the game. I think he could have whittle down my army as I scored maelstrom points and maybe have even gotten a narrow loss or a draw from the game. I think I would have preferred to play him in the first game, had I lost, the second two games would probably have gone better.
Danny went on to win the tournament overall. After seeing his army list, compared to the other lists at the event, I don't think that this outcome was ever in doubt.
Thinking about the game, there are a few things I could have changed.
I perhaps should have kept my Ravenwing Strike Force in reserve. When they arrived on turn 2, I could have outflanked most of the army and turbo-boosted towards the central bunker. My Jink saves would have helped me and I would have been able to fire to full effect in turn 3. I would have lost a unit to the Wraithguard, but may have been able to deal with them after that. I would have deployed the Support Squadron in a corner, out of range of most of the enemy guns, using my Jink saves to keep them alive and stop me getting tabled on turn 1.
Alternatively, I could have scouted forward and gone for it with my army down the centre. Again, I could have sacrificed a unit of Black Knights or Bikers to the Wraithguard, but hit hard with the rest of my army in turn 2.
Annoyingly, my opponent did not want to use the draft FAQ rulings. This was obvious, as it would not have allowed him to Jink with the Wave Serpent and fired with the Wraithguard the following turn. With the draft FAQs, he would have either had to forgo Jinking (in which case I would have destroyed the wave serpent) or be unable to fire the following turn. Either way, I would have dealt wit the Wraithguard in that turn or the subsequent one.
Overall, a pretty dire game of 40k to play and to write up. I think that Danny's list was the strongest there by a wide margin and was going to crush whatever it came up against. I had a good chat with Matt after the event. I thought it was odd that re-rollable saves, Invisibility, number of warp charge, superheavy vehicles and gargantuan creatures were comp'ed for the event, but that ranged D weapons were perfectly fine.
At the end of the day, I ended up coming fourth overall. This was very surprising for me, after the results of my last game.
What about you dear reader? How would you have dealt with the game?
Game 1- Ravenwing vs Blood Angels
Game 2- Ravenwing vs Astra Militarum
Game 3- Ravenwing vs Eldar
Armies on Display