Friday, 4 January 2019

40k Grand Slam Tournament Game 4- Dark Angels/Deathwatch vs Aeldari/Drukhari

Game 4 of the Grand Slam Tournament saw my Dark Angels and Deathwatch force take on a mixed Aeldari and Drukhari army, commanded by Ben. 

This mission was a mixed Maelstrom and Eternal war ETC mission. The Eternal War mission was Resupply Drop, while the maelstrom mission was Tactical Escalation, using Hammer and Anvil deployment. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Dark Angels)
Azrael (Az)
Primaris Lieutenant- Master-crafted Auto Bolt Rifle, Eye of the Unseen (Relic) (L)
Primaris Ancient- Bolt Rifle (An)
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles (I)
5 Scouts- Bolters (S1)
5 Scouts- Heavy Bolter, Bolters (S2)
5 Devastators- Heavy Bolter, Armorium Cherub (D)
10 Hellblasters- Plasma Incinerators (H)
Darkshroud- Heavy Bolter (DS)

Battalion Detachment (Deathwatch)
Watch Master- Guardian Spear (W)
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Bolt Pistol (WC)
10 Intercessors- Bolt Rifles, Bolt Pistols (DI)
10 Veterans- 10 Storm Bolters, 2 Storm Shields, 8 Chainswords (DV1)
6 Veterans- 2 Missile Launchers, 4 Stalker Bolters (DV2)

Auxiliary Detachment
Culexus Assassin (CA)

Ben's army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment (Alaitoc)
Farseer Skyrunner- Shuriken Pistol, Singing Spear, Twin Shuriken Catapult, Doom, Executioner
Warlock Skyrunner- Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade, Twin Shuriken Catapult, Protect/Jinx
5 Rangers
5 Rangers
5 Rangers
Hemlock Wraithfighter- Spirit Stones, Protect/Jinx

Battalion Detachment (Kabal of the Black Heart)
Archon- Blaster, Huskblade, Writ of the Living Muse, Labyrinthine Cunning
Archon- Blaster, Huskblade, Phantasm Grenade Launcher
5 Kabalite Warriors- Blaster, Splinter Rifles
5 Kabalite Warriors- Blaster, Splinter Rifles
5 Kabalite Warriors- Blaster, Splinter Rifles
Venom- Splinter Cannon, Twin Splinter Rifle
Venom- 2 Splinter Cannons
Venom- 2 Splinter Cannons
Venom- 2 Splinter Cannons
Ravager- 3 Disintegrator Cannons
Ravager- 3 Disintegrator Cannons
Ravager- 3 Disintegrator Cannons

Airwing Detachment (Kabal of the Black Heart)
Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 Disintegrator Cannons, Twin Splinter Rifle
Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 Disintegrator Cannons, Twin Splinter Rifle
Razorwing Jetfighter- 2 Disintegrator Cannons, Twin Splinter Rifle

I really thought after two 20-0 losses on the first day, I would be in for an easier second day at the tournament. However, I was not to be facing a pretty tough Aeldari/Drukhari list with four flyers! This was going to be a very tough match up for my army. I had faced similar forces before and been crushed with ease. 

The objectives were set in the mission as shown below:

We then deployed our forces. This was going to be tough, as Hammer and Anvil played to the advantage of the highly mobile Eldar force. 

I deployed a unit of Intercessors and Scouts in the ruins to the right flank, another Scout unit in front of them to go after the objective. I put the Hellblasters and characters in the centre (including the Watch Captain and Assassin), with the Darkshroud out of line of sight in case I didn't get the first turn. 

I put the Devastators behind the Bastion on the left, with the Deathwatch Veterans on the gantry to gain good line of sight. I put the rest of the army in reserve. 

Ben deployed his Flyers at the back of his deployment zone, with the Ravagers a little further forward, but still out of range of my Hellblasters. The Venoms and Rangers deployed further forward towards the edge of the deployment zone. 

I won the roll off for first turn and Ben failed to seize the initiative. I also used the Secret Agenda stratagem to keep my maelstrom cards secret (keeping the command point in the process). 

In my first turn, I drew Big Game Hunter. I spent 2 CP to re-draw and got Secure Objective 4. 

The Hellblasters, Dark Angels characters and Darkshroud moved up on the enemy army (the skimmer advancing to get a Jink save). The Devastators climbed up the Bastion to target the enemy forces. 

The Deathwatch Veterans fired at the nearby Rangers and one Venom. The Stalker Bolters managed to kill one of the Rangers, while both Missile Launchers failed to hit the enemy vehicle. 

I then used Weapons of the Dark Age on the Hellblasters to target a Venom. I didn't overcharge due to the inherent -1 to hit. The Hellblasters managed to do four wounds and destroy the Venom, killing one of the passengers. 

The Devastators used the Hellfire Shells stratagem to target the Kabalite Warriors, wiping out the squad with the use of the Armorium Cherub. 

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 4, First Blood and two Kill Points. 

In his first turn, Ben drew Blood and Guts. 

The Flyers moved up, two moving over the Dark Angels, while the other two secured the centre of the battlefield. The Venoms and Ravagers moved up, one Archon disembarking to give buffs to nearby units. 

In the psychic phase, the Wraithfighter cast Smite, taking three mortal wounds from the Darkshroud. Ben then used the Seer Council stratagem, the Farseer then casting Doom on the Hellblasters. He failed to manifest the power, but passed with his re-roll. 

The Warlock tried to cast Jinx on the Hellblasters, but also failed to cast the power, using a command point re-roll to succeed. 

In the shooting phase, the Wraithfighter fired on the Darkshroud, wounding it six times. I failed one save, leaving the Darkshroud on four wounds. One of the Razorwings fired at the Darkshroud, wounding it once, but I made my save. 
A second Razorwing fired fired at the Darkshroud and wounded it twice. I failed both saves and went to use a command point re-roll to pass it. However, Ben used Agents of Vect to block the re-roll. He failed the first roll, but used his own CP re-roll to succeed. 

The Darkshroud was destroyed and exploded! I couldn't use a re-roll to stop it, but fortunately it only exploded 1" and my squads were unharmed. 

The Rangers fired on the Ancient, taking two wounds from him. The second unit of Rangers added their fire, doing one mortal wound. The third unit fired on them, causing two wounds. I saved one and left the Ancient on one wound. Ben was hoping to take them out before targeting the Hellblasters to save the retribution fire. 

The first Ravager fired on the Hellblasters, killing four. Two fired back, putting two damage on a Venom. The second Ravager opened fire, killing four more. Two fired back, but failed to do any damage. Two of the Venoms fired on the squad and were able to wipe them out. The firepower back from the Hellblasters were able to destroy the damaged Venom, killing one of the Kabalite Warriors. 

The Kabalite Warriors fired at the Ancient, killing him with their Blaster. Another Venom fired at the Watch Captain, but only took a single wound from him. 

The Archon fired his Blaster at the Watch Captain, wounding once but the Storm Shield blocked the shot. The other Kabalite Warriors fired at the Captain, but failed to do any damage. 

The final Ravager fired at the Devastators, killing three of the squad. He had hoped to target the Watch Captain, but the nearby Scouts prevented the Deathwatch character from being targeted. 

At the end of his turn, Ben scored three Kill Points and discarded Blood and Guts. 

Dark Angels/Deathwatch- 2 VP + 3 KP
Aeldari/Drukhari- 0 VP + 3 KP

In my second turn, I drew Blood and Guts and Secure Objective 3. 

The Scouts and Intercessors on the right flank moved to engage the enemy flyer, while the Watch Captain moved up on the Hemlock Wraithfighter. Azrael and the Lieutenant moved up on the enemy forces, joined by the Assassin. 

At the end of the phase, the remaining Deathwatch arrived deep in the enemy lines to target the Ravagers. 

In the shooting phase, the Assassin fired at the Warlock, taking one wound from him. Azrael fired at the Venom, but both shots missed. 

On the right flank, the Intercessors and two Scout squads fired at the enemy Razorwing, taking one wound from it. The Watch Captain threw a Krak Grenade at the Wraithfighter, taking three wounds from it! 

The Deathwatch fired on the Venom and one Ravager. The Stalker Bolters took one wound from the Venom, but both Missiles once again failed to hit a target. The Devastators fired at the Venom, but failed to do any damage. 

The Deathwatch Veterans fired on the Ravager, using the +1 to wound stratagem. They did 18 wounds with their Kraken Bolters, destroying the enemy vehicle. The Deathwatch Intercessors fired at another Ravager, doing three wounds. The Watch Master used the Tempest Shells stratagem to take another two wounds from the enemy vehicle. 

The Watch Captain assaulted the Hemlock Wraithfighter, taking two damage in overwatch, but making it in. Azrael failed a 7" charge on the Kabalites, but the Ancient made it in. 

In the Fight phase, the Watch Captain struck at the Wraithfighter with his Thunder Hammer. For my four attacks, I rolled three 2's and a 1! I re-rolled the 1 and got another 1! That pretty much summed up my luck for the whole weekend. 

The Lieutenant struck at the Kabalite Warriors, killing one for no damage in return. 

At the end of my turn, I scored one kill point and discarded Secure Objective 3. That was a pretty abysmal turn. I was hoping the Watch Captain would take care of one of the flyers, but he completely fluffed his attacks. 

In his second turn, Ben drew Take Them Alive (kill an enemy unit in the Fight phase) and Psychological Warfare. 

The two Flyers on the left flank moved over to engage the Devastators and Deathwatch. The other two flyers swapped positions to target the enemy army. The Ravagers moved up on the Deathwatch reserves. The Kabalites fell back from combat, as the two surviving Venoms and the Archon moved up on the Lieutenant. 

In the psychic phase, Ben used the Seer Council stratagem once more. The Hemlock Wraithfighter failed to Smite the Deathwatch. The Warlock then cast Jinx on the Intercessors, then the Farseer cast Doom on them. He then cast Executioner on the Storm Bolter Veterans, killing three in total. 

In the shooting phase, a Razorwing fired on the Deathwatch Intercessors, killing 7! The second flyer added its firepower, killing the unit. The Warlock and Farseer fired at the Storm Bolter Veterans, killing one. 

The Hemlock Wraithfighter fired at the Deathwatch Veterans, killing four. The other Razorwing split its firepower between the Deathwatch and Devastators, but was only able to slay the last of the Deathwatch. 

The Ravagers fired at the Storm Bolter Kill Team, but only one Storm Shield fell after a great round of saves. 

The Rangers fired at Azrael, doing one mortal wound. The second unit fired at the enemy warlord, doing two wounds. I failed both 2+ armour saves! The third unit of Rangers did one more wound and I failed my 2+ save once more. Both Venoms fired at Azrael, wounding him 8 times. I failed two more 2+ saves and the warlord fell. 

The Archon charged the Lieutenant, rolling a double 1 for his charge distance, but it was enough to make it in. A Venom joined him. 

The Archon struck at the Primaris character, doing four wounds with one command point re-roll. Fortunately, the Venom was able to finish off the Lieutenant. 

At the end of his turn, Ben scored Slay the Warlord, four kill points and 2 points for Take Them Alive. 

Dark Angels/Deathwatch- 2 VP + 4 KP
Aeldari/Drukhari- 3 VP + 7 KP
End of the game.

At this point I decided to call the game. I had very little of my army left and Ben had lost almost none of his army. I would likely be tabled in the next turn, so there was little point in playing on. 

Apologies to Ben for such a disappointing game. Much like most of my games at the tournament, I felt like this game was a foregone conclusion from the start. I was in a pretty bad mood for the game, and when my Watch Captain completely fluffed all his attacks, I was done. 

I really don't think there is much I could have done in this game. My army was simply outclassed by the enemy force. They had the speed, mobility and firepower to deal with my force. The Ravagers, Razorwings and Wraithfighter are absolutely deadly against Space Marines, and there was little I could do to take them on. 

I decided to call it a day on the tournament at that point. I had played four games, three of which were decided before I'd even rolled a die, based on the enemy army lists. My fourth game was over in less than an hour into the three hour game. I would have had to wait around for a further 3 hours for my last game and wouldn't get home till after 10 pm. I decided to leave for an earlier train and got home in the early afternoon. 

I've never done that at a tournament before, but I was so demoralised after my games that I couldn't be bothered staying for another lacklustre game and a late journey home. Knowing my luck, I would have faced Knights or Aeldari once more.

I've still got my five games from Warfare to write up, which I will be posting in the coming weeks (as soon as I get them written up). 


  1. We have the Last Chance Open a week on Saturday. Full ITC rules (which look really convoluted). Loads of Knights ( ut I'm taking them too so shouldn't complain) Eldar of both sorts. Convinced we've chosen the wrong event to attend now...

    1. I actually think the ITC handles things like Knights a lot better. Most of the missions don't use kill points as such, and you can score a lot of points from taking out a Knight under their rules.
      Eldar are still really strong though, regardless of the format.

  2. Yikes...a tough game. Sorry to read of the overall experience for this tournament. Major bummer. As always, a good and instructive write-up, however! Thank you for that, and keep 'em coming.

  3. Ouch. I've had games like that, but I don't think I've ever had three of them in one event. I really don't blame you for deciding to head home early after that.

    8th Ed has reduced the gap between the strongest and weakest Factions by quite a lot, but it is still there, and Aeldari are pretty close to the top, while lists using actual Space Marines, on foot, in Power Armour, are, at best, somewhere in the middle.

    1. Yeah, three of "those games" in one tournament was a struggle for me to be honest.

  4. Thanks for the write ups, the dice will turn your way soon!

    If nothing else you got a good reason to dust off the GSC at the weekend!

  5. Ouch, that is a bit of a battering.

    i think unfortunately it was a combination of board set up and army.

    i had a game like this recently where i face a static gun-line in this set up. my army was all foot slogging and spent 4 turns getting shot as i made it to the enemy, then didn't have the number left to deal with them!

    i doubt any mission (even the new CA18 ones) would have helped in this game. Just a bad match up.

    i'm off to the GW GTs this year and i think with the missions played we will see lost of different armies rather than just load of eldar mix and knights with some CP generators

    1. Cheers!
      I seem to face off against Aeldari on Hammer and Anvil a lot. They are really suited for that deployment type, given that they are fast moving and most of thier vehicles don't have heavy weapons, so don't suffer the penalty for moving and shooting.
      The -1 to hit is also a big boost for them in these deployment types.