After my Guard’s last drubbing, I was offered the chance of redemption by taking on Sam’s Dark Eldar. We picked 2k points and went for Purge the Alien on the night.
Determined to make proper use of my beloved Bullgryns, I took them again along with the Scions, Veterans and Valkyrie as before. I added a second Leman Russ and made them both the Eradicator variant (main gun ignores cover). I also took a Hellhound because… well, wouldn’t you? A couple of Multi-laser wielding Armoured Sentinels rounded out the 2k.
I play Dark Eldar as well but Sam’s force were all the ‘modern’ models and had several units & models I’ve never run: Vipers, Mandrakes, Grotesques, Scourges, Medusae and a Lhamaean.
Sam chose to deploy second. We rolled Hammer and Anvil, no night fight. The Mandrakes infiltrated as far forward as possible. Everything else parked up behind cover. I set my tanks on the roads as they gave great lines of fire. The Taurox and Chimera stayed back for the inevitable Deep Striking Scourges and Grotesques & Urien Rakarth in a Raider.
The Guard were all set to go but then… “Wait lads, my laces have come undone.” Remembering “Safety First”, the colonel paused to fix his boots.
However, the Dark Eldar weren’t so reticent (Sam rolled a ‘6’ on Seize the Initiative). The pirates shot forward and vapourised my Hellhound! The Leman Russ on the left-hand flank was also stunned. I was gutted.
I moved forward to try and compensate for the lost of one of my best tanks with the heavy flamer on the Chimera and the flamer heavy Command Squad inside it.
Sergeant Harker in the left-hand veteran squad moved his men into better cover and used his Relentless rule to make the buggers jink for their lives.
I managed to score a few glances or stuns but no clean kills. However, nearly all the Raiders and Ravagers on Sam’s side had to jink to survive so the returning fire would be sporadic. (The green flags denote jinked vehicles. Green hexes are some form of damage).
Turn 2: Sam’s right flank was in my left-flank’s face at an alarming speed. The blue venom discharged an unwelcome cargo of Lord, Lhamaean and Medusae.
And then Scourges in my backfield behind the left-hand tanks, blowing up the Leman Russ Eradicator!
Overwatch did nothing and Harker’s men were minced.
My turn two saw all my reserves arrive. The points spent per tank on the Augur Array seemed worth it as it allowed me to Deep Strike without scattering. Those damned Scourges would pay!
The Chimera discharged the Command Squad with their flamer and heavy flamer to the fore. The flamers let rip, killing the two court members but the Lord’s 2+ Shadow Field held on. The Scourges also paid for their insolence, the whole squad were obliterated by hotshot lasguns and the flamer.
I also managed to knock out a Raider which disgorged its foul cargo of Wracks in front of the Tempestus Command Squad. Despite concentrated fire, the Wracks remained.
The Command Squad bravely charged the Eldar Lord and managed to short his Shadow Field out. Combat drawn, they fought on.
Dark Eldar turn three saw all Sam’s reserves arrive: the Razorwing Jetfighter and a Raider stuffed with three Grotesques and Urien himself. The fighter (top right) tried to take out my tank but jammy 6+ camo net rolls saved it. The Scions (bottom left) weren’t so lucky and the only survivor fled, almost off the table.
The Mandrakes left the shadows to first shoot and then rip apart my right-hand Scions squad. The squad would have run if not for Tempestus Command Squad’s 18″ leadership radius. However, it would be the last time they could use it…
The Wracks blazed their way through the Tempestus Command Squad with a combination of Liquifier gun and then assault. The Chimera was lucky to survive being shot in the rear, Sam’s poor dice rolls sparing its blushes.
The Dark Eldar Lord diced the Colonel and one of his veterans in a suitably gory fashion. The others turned to flee but you can’t outrun a Dark Eldar. His consolidation took him out of the ruins and behind the wreck of the Eradicator.
Guard turn 3: the priest directed his ‘choirboys’ to abomination-filled Raider. The lads were obviously over-excited as they couldn’t fire straight with their Grenadier Gauntlets.
The Valkyrie had rocketed and shot the living daylights out of the jetbikes in an attempt to give the battered veterans a reprieve. The Bullgryns managed to destroy the Raider in combat but being open-topped, the Grotesques could still charge next turn. Desperate to help the right-hand flank Scions, the nearest Armoured Sentinel charged in to turn the tide.
To the amazement of all, the Sentinel pasted the Mandrakes and rescued the Scions!
Dark Eldar turn 4. The remaining jetbikes (just visible under the Valkyrie) shot forward, determined to take out the veterans cowering in the ruins (note the ‘Go to Ground’ marker on top of the ruins). The Raiders, Venom and Ravagers surged forwards sensing the fragility of the Guard line.
The Dark Eldar Lord charged the Chimera and managed to knock another hull point off it.
The jetbikes ploughed into the veterans but couldn’t break them.
The main fight was between Bullgryns and the Grotesques. The Grotesques edged it with their higher Initiative but the resolve of the priest stopped the Bullgryns running.
Guard turn 4. This saw some late kill points scored: the Armoured Sentinel took out the Dark Eldar Lord and the Taurox Prime blasted the Venom. Annoyingly, I couldn’t quite get all the Venom’s occupants though. The Armoured Sentinel that had saved the Scions now tried to do the same for the veterans but couldn’t pull of the same trick twice. The Grotesques butchered the Bullgryns leaving the priest ’till last.
At that point we called time due to the lateness of the hour: the Dark Eldar had 13 victory points, the Astra Mil-thingy had 11. Although I’d lost, I’d thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt I’d somewhat redeemed myself in the eyes of the Guard. May not use Bullgryns again for a while though…