Friday 8 June 2018

London GT Battle Report: Game 4- Dark Angels vs Aeldari

My final game of the London GT saw my Dark Angels take on Malcolm's Alaitoc Aeldari force. 

The Eternal War mission was a modified Frontline Warfare mission. There were four objectives, and you scored points for each objective you held at the end of your turn. The objective in your deployment zone was worth 1 point, the objective in your opponent's deployment zone was worth four points, the two in the centre were worth 2 points each. 

The maelstrom of war mission was Kill Confirmed. This was 3 cards per turn and one kill point for each enemy unit destroyed. You could not discard any cards that required you to kill enemy units. This used the Frontline Assault deployment zone. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Azrael (Az)
Primaris Lieutenant- Master-crafted Auto Bolt Rifle (L)
Primaris Ancient- Bolt Rifle (An)
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifle (I1)
5 Intercessors- Bolt Rifle (I2)
5 Devastator Squad- Heavy Bolter, Bolters, Armorium Cherub (D)
5 Scouts- Bolters, Heavy Bolter, Chainsword (S1)
5 Scouts- Bolters, Chainsword (S2)
5 Scouts- Bolt Pistols, Shotguns (S3)
10 Hellbalsters- Plasma Incinerators (H)

Outrider Detachment
Sammael (S)
5 Black Knights- Plasma Talons, Corvus Hammers (BK)
4 Ravenwing Bikers- Flamer, Twin Bolters, Storm Bolter (RB1)
4 Ravenwing Bikers- Meltagun, Twin Bolters, Storm Bolter (RB2)
3 Ravenwing Bikers- Twin Bolters, Storm Bolter, Plasma Gun (RB3)
Ravenwing Darkshroud- Assault Cannon (D)

10 Command Points

Malcolm's army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Autarch Skyrunner- Twin Shuriken Catapult, Laser Lance, WARLORD, Shimmerplume of Achillrial relic (A)
Warlock- Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade, Quicken/Restrain (W1)
Warlock- Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade, Protect/Jinx (W2)
7 Dire Avengers- Shuriken Catapults, includes Exarch (DA1)
6 Dire Avengers- Shuriken Catapults, includes Exarch (DA2)
6 Dire Avengers- Shuriken Catapults, includes Exarch (DA3)
10 Guardians- Shuriken Catapults, Shuriken Cannon Heavy Weapon Platform (G)
Wave Serpent- Twin Shuriken Catapults, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit stones (WS1)
Wave Serpent- Twin Shuriken Catapults, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit stones (WS2)
10 Shining Spears- Twin Shuriken Catapults, Laser Lances, includes Exarch with Star Lance (SS)
5 Swooping Hawks- Lasblaster, Exarch (SH)

Spearhead Detachment
Farseer- Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade, Guide, Fortune (F)
10 Dark Reapers- Reaper Launchers (DR)
Falcon- Pulse Laser, Bright Lance, Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones (Fal)
3 D-Cannons  (DC1-3)

A lot of potent firepower in the army, as well as a bit unit of Shining Spears and Dark Reapers to contend with. This would be a tough game for me. 

The placement of the objectives was set as shown below:

We then deployed our forces. 

I put one unit of Intercessors on the left flank, with the other unit beside them. The Hellblasters, characters, Darkshroud and Black Knights went in the centre. I put the Scouts towards the centre of the battlefield, with the Bikers on the right flank. 

Malcolm put his Swooping Hawks on the left flank and a Wave Serpent in the centre. The Wave Serpent, Falcon, D-Cannons and characters went on the right flank. He spent some command points to put the Dark Reapers in the Webway Portal using the stratagem. 

I used the Secret Agenda stratagem once more, not getting the command point back. 

Malcolm won the roll for first turn and chose to go first. I failed to seize the initiative. 

In his first turn, Malcolm drew Secure Objective 3, Defend Objective 4 and Mission Critical Objective (objective 3). 

Two units of Dire Avengers advanced on the central objective, the Wave Serpent moving up to support them. On the other flank, the Swooping Hawks moved up on the other objective. 

The Shining Spears moved towards the centre of the battlefield, while the Psykers moved to support the Weapons platforms. The nearby Wave Serpent moved onto the objective.

At the end of the phase, the Dark Reapers arrived from the webway, landing on the hill in the enemy deployment zone. 

In the psychic phase, Malcolm used the Seer Council stratagem. He cast Guide on the Dark Reapers, then cast Fortune and Protect on the Shining Spears. He then cast Quicken, failing in the first attempt, but using a command point re-roll to pass. The unit moved in front of the Hellblasters. 

I wasn't sure if I could use Auspex Scan on the unit, figuring I couldn't as they hadn't arrived from reserve. 

In the shooting phase, the Dark Reapers fired at the Darkshroud, destroying it and making the rest of the enemy firepower more accurate. 

The Shining Spears fired at the Hellblasters, killing 6 in total with their firepower (ouch!). Four of the Primaris Marines were able to fire thanks to the Ancient. Rather than targeting the Shining Spears who had a lot of psychic buffs on them, I went after one of the Dire Avenger Squads. The squad was wiped out, gaining me a kill point. 

The D-Cannons fired at the Hellblasters, but only managed to kill one with their combined firepower. The Wave Serpent fired at the Hellblasters, killing one more. 

The Dire Avengers on the right fired at the Intercessors, wounding them once. The Wave Serpent added its firepower. Malcolm used the Serpent Shield, failing the roll but using a command point re-roll to pass. The Shield killed two Intercessors. The rest of its firepower killed one more. The Falcon fired at them as well, wiping out the Primaris Marines. 

In the charge phase, the Shining Spears charged Azrael and the Hellblasters. Sammael and Ancient performed a heroic intervention. The Hellblasters did two wounds in overwatch, but failed to get past the invulnerable save of the Aeldari. 

The Shining Spears only charged 3", but Malcolm used another command point to get a 4" charge. 

The Aeldari attacked Azrael, wounding him 8 times. I failed 4 saves. I used his free re-roll, but failed the save again and he was slain. They also killed the two Hellblasters. 

I used the Only In Death Stratagem to attack with Azrael, killing one Shining Spear. Sammael then struck, killing two more Shining Spears. The Ancient did no damage. 

At the end of his turn, Malcolm scored First Blood, four kill points, 9 objective points, Secure Objective 3 and Mission Critical Objective to give him 17 points!

Ouch! That was a great first turn for Malcolm. I had lost two major units in the Hellblasters and Azrael and Malcolm had built up a big lead. 

In my first turn, I drew Blood and Guts, Overwhelming Firepower and Secure Objective 6. 

On the left flank, the Scouts moved up on the Dire Avengers, while the Intercessors broke cover to support them. On the right flank, the two units of Scouts and a unit of Bikers converged on the Shining Spears. 

The Black Knights used Speed of the Raven to advance on the enemy objective, Sammael falling back from combat and moving up to support them. The rest of the Ravenwing moved up on the Shining Spears. 

In the shooting phase, the Black Knights fired on the Dark Reapers. Malcolm used Lightning Reflexes to make them harder to hit. The Plasma Talons did some solid work despite this, killing 6 of the Dark Reapers plus the Exarch. Sammael fired his Plasma Cannon at the Dark Reapers, doing one wound with a command point re-roll, but Malcolm made his 6+ save! 

The Scouts fired at the Dire Avengers, but only managed to kill one with their Bolters. the Inercessors fired on the squad, but failed to do any damage. Malcolm was rolling hot for his saves on the unit! The Devastators fired at the unit, killing the Exarch. The Heavy Bolter targeted the Shining Spears with the Hellfire Shells stratagem, killing one of the squad. 

The Plasma Bikers fired at the Swooping Hawks, killing the unit. One of the Ravenwing Bikers fired at the Dire Avengers, wounding them once with his Bolters, but Malcolm made his saves once more. The rest of the unit fired at the Shining Spears, wounding them 8 times, but only one got through the unit's wards. 

The other Bike Squad fired their Meltaguns at the Shining Spears, hitting and wounding twice, but failing to get past his invulnerable saves. 

In the charge phase, the Scouts assaulted the Dire Avengers, while the Black Knights assaulted the Wave Serpent (in order to get in range of the objective). I decided not to charge the Shining Spears. They could still fall back and shoot in their turn, and I would most likely be just giving them extra kills in the fight phase. 

The Scouts struck at the Aeldari, but only managed to wound them twice, both of which were saved. The Black Knights did 5 wounds on Wave Serpent. 

In the morale phase, Malcolm spent 2 command points for the Dark Reapers to pass their morale test. 

At the end of the turn, I scored Secure Objective 6, Overwhelming Firepower, one kill point and 9 objective points. 

Aeldari- 17
Dark Angels- 13

A rough first turn for me. I had failed to put much of a dent on the Shining Spears, leaving them free to rampage along my lines. I had managed to put up a respectable score on turn 1, but didn't have much hope for the rest of the game.  

In his second turn, Malcolm drew Master the Warp, Scour the Skies and had Defend Objective 4. He could probably get all three of these in the coming turns. 

The Guardians disembarked from the Wave Serpent next to the Black Knights, their transport moving over the Knights to land beside Sammael. 

The Dark Reapers and Autarch moved up on the Black Knights. On the right flank, the Wave Serpent moved up on the Intercessors, while the Dire Avengers fell back from combat, another unit of Dire Avengers moving up to support them. 

In the psychic phase, the Warlock cast Jinx on the Black Knights. The other Warlock cast Smite, killing one Knight. The Farseer cast Guide on the Shining Spears, then cast Smite, doing three mortal wounds on the Black Knights. 

In the shooting phase, the Dire Avengers fired at the Scouts on the right flank, killing one. The Falcon fired at the Scouts and Intercessors, killing one Scout and three Intercessors. The Wave Serpent fired at the Scouts, killing two more. 

The Autarch killed one Black Knight with his Lance. The Dark Reapers fired at the Black Knights, killing two Black Knights and one Scout. 

The D-Cannons fired at Sammael, killing him with their firepower. The Wave Serpent fired at the Meltagun Bikers, killing two. The Shining Spears fired at the Devastators and Flamer Bikers, killing both squad. 

The Shining Spears then assaulted the Lieutenant and Ancient, putting four wounds on the Lieutenant and killing the Ancient. 

At the end of his turn, Malcolm scored Master the Warp for 2 points, Scour the Skies, 6 Kill Points and 7 objective points for another 16 points this turn. 

The game was effectively over at this point. I didn't have enough units left to do much damage to the enemy army and was so far behind on points, it was impossible for me to catch up. 

In turn 2, I drew Supremacy and Defend Objective 5 to go with Blood and Guts. 

The Meltagun Bikers moved up on the damaged Wave Serpent, the Shotgun Scouts moving to help. The Bolter Scouts went for another objective, as did the Plasma Gun Bikers. The Intercessors held the other objective. 

The Intercessors fired at the Dire Avengers, killing one. The Shotgun Scouts fired at the Guardians, putting a single wound on the Heavy Weapon Platform. 

The Bikers fired their Meltaguns at the Wave Serpent, using one command point to hit with both. They both wounded and took a combined 7 damage from it, leaving it on one wound. 

The Shotgun Scouts and Bikers assaulted the Wave Serpent. The Squads attacked, putting three wounds on the vehicle. The armour saved two of them, then Malcolm made his 6+ Spirit Stone save to deny me the kill and two victory points. 

At the end of my turn, I scored Supremacy for 2 points and two objective points. 

Aeldari- 33
Dark Angels- 17

I decided to call the game there. I had no possible way to win and would most likely be tabled in turn 3. 
End of the game. 

A win for the Aeldari. 

That was a brutal game and kind of a lacklustre way to end the tournament. Oh well, at least I got to leave early and beat the traffic. 

I think this game was going to be a struggle for me from the start. I really needed the first turn to have a shot in the game. This may have allowed me to make a dent in the Shining Spears before all the psychic buffs on the unit make them practically invincible and incredibly strong. 

As it was, I lost the first turn and my army was pretty much neutered from the start. Losing the Hellblasters and Azrael was a big blow and one I couldn't really recover from it seems. 

I went aggressive in my first turn to try and close the score. I didn't think I really had a choice, being so far behind in points. It might have been more prudent to use the Black Knights to go after the Shining Spears and try and kill them. This would have left the Dark Reapers free to use their firepower to cause a lot of damage tough. 

Not really sure what else I could have done in this game to be honest. Malcolm's first turn really had me on the back foot.
After winning my first two games and technically losing my second two games, I really thought my last game of the weekend would be a closer affair. Sadly that turned out not to be the case! 

I hope you have enjoyed the battle reports from the tournament. Next week, I'll have the Best Army nomination photos and the review of my tournament army. 


  1. It's a pity how came out this game, Aeldari jetbikes and psychic buffs makes them really tough. Despite this thanks sharing your battle reports they are really good. Cheers!

    1. Cheers Alex! Yeah, the Shining Spears are incredibly strong when buffed up. I think the Eldar are still crazy good in 8th edition, they have so many good units and buffs available to them.

  2. Nice write up. Your batreps are so detailed and descriptive. At least the terrain functioned well in the game, but boy that makes a bit of die inside each time I see picks of it.

    1. Cheers Matt! Yeah, the terrain was definitely functional, just looked horrible.