Wednesday 23 November 2016

Fluffageddon Battle Report 3- Ravenwing vs Eldar

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)
Imperial Bunker

Aspect Host
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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Eldar- 1650
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


  1. With my ork gunline? Shot lots at whatever was nearest and try not to cry as I swiftly removed models from the table...

    While the army doesn't fall foul of any of the hard restrictions on amount of units and unit types, when you blogged that you had been asked to tone down your list, it gave me some good feelings about the event - if he was casting a critical eye over all the lists, the worst excesses of tournaments may be avoided. Sadly some things got through that I felt were not quite so representative of their faction... I myself played against a Tau army that had a riptide to fire warrior ratio of 3:5 which correct me if I'm wrong isn't exactly what you'd expect from the background material...

    Hopefully next year there will be something done to restrict such lists, as there are two ways it can go - people filth up to compete, or it gets swiftly nipped in the bud to stick to the theme of the event. I sincerely hope it is the latter.

    1. I will write more about it in my review of my army and the tournament, but if the goal of the tournament is to promote the fluff and background and have a fun, competitive environment, then this list winning it (with Riptide Wing in 2nd place) means it was a failure in my opinion.

      I think my list was tough and quite fitting the background of the Ravenwing. I did win both my first games, but lost almost half my army in doing so in each game. I would be interested to see if the other players playing Danny's list were able to cause any significant casualties in their games.

      I would hope that next year there was some more restrictions in place to better suit the theme of the event. Maybe only allowing a CAD, making certain choices compulsory (Tactical Squads for marines, Guardians for Eldar, etc), and definitely no ranged D weapons. Otherwise, assuming I go next year, I'm taking my Grav-heavy White Scars if this is the standard to expect.

    2. Wasn't Riptide Wing breaking the tournament rules on duplicated units? It requires 3 of the same unit and the tournament rules allowed a max of 2.

    3. I thought someone said there was a Riptide Wing, they may have been mistaken and it was just a unit of Riptides.

    4. I played against the Tau player with a unit of two riptides, and a separate riptide. So not the actual wing but still fairly effective...

  2. Suffice to say that sort of army getting in would leave me not wanting to play in that tournament.

    Sorry your last game was so boring.

    1. Yeah, it was a real shame as I was having a great time up until them. I guess qualifying "filth" is tricky. Some people may look at the army I use and call it too powerful for the tournament.

  3. I think your right about the games, this was possibly the worst match up out of the three games, as with the others you'd both have been zipping around grabbing objectives and less worried about killing stuff.

    As for this game, I think I would have gone all out and attacked from the off, either just on mass on one flank or by outflanking. The Eldar were going to just keep jumping around at range, the only option in my view would be to get up close and personal. A shame that you had to end a good tournament on such w downer.

    1. I think that may have been a better plan. Pity I didn't ask to replay it to see what would happen, we had plenty of time left!

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  5. Such a shame. I have played him at fluffaggeddon and it was pretty similar in terms of list strength. I was lucky that Alex was my partner, and the other guy had a very fluffy list too, otherwise I think the game would have been similar to yours. It is good you managed to talk to Matt at the end and tell him how you felt about it. I will read your summary post with interest. Maybe getting him on to talk about his thoughts on the event would be a good idea as well

    1. That's a good idea NafNaf, I'll try and get in touch with him to see if he wants to contribute to the post.

  6. The Eldar Dex is powerful enough that it's actively damaging to the Game at this point. It's hard to write an Eldar List that isn't filthy. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the result after he was asked to tone his list down.

    The last time I ended up in a situation like this, I just went "no guts, no glory", and charged forward*. It didn't change the actual outcome, but it at least made for slightly more interactivity.

    Seriously, tho, for places that are trying to do actual rebalancing Comp, something needs to be done about Eldar.

    *Admittedly, I was playing SW, not RW, which had me in a mindset more conducive to that approach anyhow ;)

  7. I think that your deployment was your first mistake, going refused flank against a static gunline army is a good idea, against the mobile firepower an eldar army can muster it left your opponent with ample board control, he zips into range with his guns then can easily jetpack / jetbike move back out of range. Going for the outflank option would have put the eldar on the back foot. They have no interceptor so you would have been able to pick your targets. 40K has become a little rock paper scissors now though, some armies you will roll over quite easily then you meet your rock.

    1. Yeah, I'll need to keep that in mind for next time I face a similar army.

  8. Hey Michael. Sad end to a good tournament. But in the end, many meet their maker against the eldar. It's pretty fluffy really. It's just that eldar is that good! But yea I can understand the feel bad after such a match.

    I think against these guys you just gotta push forward and get in their face asap. Stick together and use darkshroud to your advantage. Nothing is gonna do huge damage if there's no ignores cover. You can't shoot warp spiders, but they melt in assault. So do bikes. And wraithguard too. So I feel that was your best bet. I also think outflanking would have possibly split your army, decreasing its effectiveness and lowering usefulness of the darkshroud.

    1. It was a very strong list, but I wouldn't exactly call it fluffy, in that there are no Guardians and Aspect Warriors are in the majority.

      I think going as fast as possible towards the bunker may have been best. I would lose a unit or two to the Wraithguard, but may have caused more damage than I did in the end.

  9. I actually laughed when I read his list for this game - especially the Imperial Bunker in a supposedly "fluffy" list. I'm fairly sure at this point the only way to make a fair tournament is to disallow Eldar completely. It would have been nice if he had tried to be a bit more fair - like not taking all heavy weapons on the jetbikes or throwing in some units of guardians or something. At this point I guess it's just crying over spilt milk though, maybe you'll fare better next year!

  10. Hmmm sounds like a fun game 😒.

  11. I feel i would like to point out one or two things having seen what everybody has said. First off i will say that i enjoyed reading your blogs about this tournament as having watched bits of your games during the day to then read them as you played them is like reading about a story you were in but from somebody elses perspective, interesting and i thought they were well written.

    Firstly though while i dont disagree that i wrote a list to win (it is a tournament and i make no apology for playing to win) it is down to the organisers to restrict filth in writing the restrictions in the rule pack rather than asking people not to take filth which has been mentioned is subjective.

    To make this point i am at a tournament next week in huddersfield called compact and bijou where you can take only one source, single detachment, no formations, no allies, you are punished harshly for taking destroyer or super heavy/gargants and no unit can be more than 300 points including its transport.

    These restrictions effectively balance all of the issues mentioned above. Not that i am one to call anybodies army overpowered being primarily an eldar and tau player, but a 2+ cover save regardless of the re-roll isnt bad. I think it came down to how you used your army. I think you were blinded by the scary destroyer barrages when they were the shortest range weapons i had with the least mobility. It was my scatterbikes, spiders and reapers that were the biggest threats for chipping away at you. I think as i said on the day that if you had rushed me doing exactly what you did in game 2, you would have taken some hits (i think less than you think) and then whatever survived would have been in to me as darren said.

    The other thing i would clarify for fairness is that you never mentioned jinking and the draft faq to me. We discussed the draft faq regarding your ravenwing save letting you reroll cover saves, and i disagreed with the use of any draft faq because it is simply that,a draft.

    As it ended up when you showed me the wording of the ravenwing rule in your codex i agreed with you and let you use it to override my reapers ignore jink saves.

    Overall i thought you were a gentleman and i enjoyed meeting you even if i wished you could have got more from the game.

    You mention you live in newcastle, i will be up there for a fortnight leading up to christmas, so if youd like to play again i would be more than happy. I dont mind playing max competitive or with any broad ranging restrictions to make the game as balanced as you like, its still chess with guns at the end of the day.

    There are still tickets for this tourney in huds next week so if anybody wants in to what seems the most restrictive and therefore most balanced tourney ive been to yet id be happy to see you.

    Otherwise enjoyed the blog and wish you the best

    1. Hi Danny, thanks for taking the time to comment. Thanks for the kind words on the blog, I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

      First off, I hope you don't interpret the comments and battle report as a personal attack. I was just talking about what I was expecting from the tournament based on the rules given. You obviously read the rules and had different ideas as well, and neither of us was wrong.

      You too were a pleasure to play against, despite the outcome ;) Congrats on winning the tournament!
      I think you were right about my tactics in game. I shouldn't have been so cautious with my army and should have gone straight for it with your Bunkered units. Just a pity that I never thought at the time to replay it as a "bonus" game that didn't count towards the tournament results to see if I would have done any better with a more aggressive stance.

      We did not discuss the draft FAQ and it was unfair to expect you to play to this, as it was a draft. As it turns out, GW ended up reversing the ruling on this anyway, so the outcome would have been very different with the final FAQ in use.

      I've written up a review of the tournament with some suggested changes for the comp in the future. I've contacted Matt so he can give his input and reply to some of my comments, so will hopefully be posting it when he gets back to me.

      Thanks again for the game, it was a great learning experience. I sometimes like games where I lose, it opens up so much more for debate on the blog other than "I had a plan, it worked and I won".

  12. I actually have never commented here before, but loved this conversation and Batrap. I used to be a tournament DA player and lately switched to a more fluffy Eldar/DE list to play with my friends. I think the game turned one-sided rather quickly here but a thing to remember is that some armies have very little room for forgiveness(Dark Eldar for example), and if you don't prioritize and optimize your units to perfection you will see these skewed results. While Eldar and Tau are more versatile and have a wider range for forgiveness, Dark Angels also have a lot of leeway(unfortunately this game turned sideways quickly).

    Remembering that your army list works so well as-is because of this leeway and forgiveness is important to keep in mind when going against better "stock" armies like the two mentioned before. Going against Tau and Eldar requires a little more focus to optimization and creativity to be successful.

    Love reading your reports and just wanted to mention that some of my most successful games vs Eldar and Tau when using my Dark Angels(very similar list to yours) was to go all-out, and to offer target-saturation vs trying to lure them in.

    If you pushed your entire army to him, yes he would have all of them to shoot at, but then again, he has all of them to shoot at. He has to pick and choose who to hit. Once you are there, you can start shooting back, and by picking off smaller but very point efficient units(bikes, spiders, batteries, etc.) an army like Eldar starts to feel the pain.

    Don't forget, with MSU and good spacing, template Dscythes on 5guard are A. massive overkill for 3 bikers(but takes up their shots for a turn), and B. difficult to use effectively against you if you are maximizing your spacing. Then they are in the open, and your 70-100 point squad that died freed up a 200+ point unit to be shot at.

    Thanks for writing!

    1. Thanks for the comments!

      I think you are right, I was too overly cautious of the D-scythes and D-artillery. I should have deployed forward as you said and really gone for it, using one of the Bike units to shield the Black Knights and Command Squad from the Wraithguard for a turn.

      I think that actually having a shot at winning the tournament was also clouding my judgement. I didn't want to commit everything for an all out assault, only to be table quickly. As it turned out, being too cautious had the same result. Would love to replay this game to see if a massed charge would have given a different result.

      Thanks for the comments, hope you are enjoying the new Deathwatch battle reports!