Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Dark Eldar: Octoberfest 2013 – Distrustful allies!

Ok so having come off a disappointing result in the GT Heat, I went into Octoberfest wanting to do something different. I’d already mentioned on the blog that I wanted to go distrustful allies way. And this is the route I took…

Please note in Mayhem it is a degree of Victory tournament and the main focus on it is troops and the ability to take objectives. Therefore in the below list I’ve taken less venoms/Trueborn in order to get more troops into it.

The Army

Baron Sathonyx
Beast Pack (10 Kymera, 4 Flocks, 4 Beast Masters)

Haemonculus Venom Blade
2 units of 3 wracks
2 units of 5 warriors
2 units of 5 wych's
1 Unit of 3 trueborn, 2 splinter cannons

6 Venoms

3 Ravagers

Aegis/Quad Gun

Master of the Forge + Combi Melta
5 Marines, Melta Combi Melta
Drop Pod.

Ok so I wanted to stay Dark Eldar main but I no longer wanted Eldar as my back up the question is what did the elder give me and so what am I loosing..

Farseer: Leadership 10 on beast pack and the opportunity to refuse a challenge and still have ld 9/10. Magical support is useful but I found more and more this wasn’t enhancing my army Turn 1. 2 Reroll to hits was nice but that on average equates to 2 extra dark lance hits or 6 more venom hits. Leadership was an issue but frankly 1 extra leadership wouldn’t help that much if I’d lost a combat by a significant amount. The main advantage was giving the beast pack psychic protection but again I wasn’t really finding this a massive problem as the vast majority of the current ‘Meta’ spells are defensive (Fortune Prescience, Guide, Invisibility etc. etc.).

Jetbikes: These guys were a big miss, probably THE big miss the ability to take any objective really is an amazing thing to let go of.

Nightspinner: did the barrage thing well, but was a liability in night fight. It did plenty of damage and worked well with the army I always had the feeling with this I could have used the points more wisely.

To cover this I added in wracks to try get my beast pack fearless ASAP. To mitigate for the loss of ld 10. Bear in mind above I went for 1 more unit than I normally would as in mayhem tournaments, the number of troops units you have is paramount to winning big.

So what are the weakness of Dark Eldar?

1) Anti-Air
2) Reliable anti-tank
3) Anti-Blob (unit behind a aegis)
4) Psychic Defence.

I don’t think I coulda covered no.1 without reducing my 1st turn potential. I’m also finding that psychic powers whilst powerful are often used on friendly units and I wasn’t gunna just gun for a rune priest, cause then I’d have grey hunter tax. No every model needed to be a threat.

Every Model had to be a target as well. It’s no use having a distrustful unit that doesn’t cause the opponent significant threat, they’ll just shoot your normal bits… and so I came up with the Ultramarine contingent above. Why did I do this?

1) Reliable anti-tank: 3 twin linked meltas due to Ultramarines tactical doctrine and don’t forget the master of the forges plasma cutter str 7 is good especially when targeting rear armour.
2) Threat: you can’t ignore these annoying marines. The Master of the forge is wielding power fists and a 2+ armour. He’s just gunna wade into a unit and be hard to kill. Don’t forget those tactical marines, they have krak grenades and a melta to shoot as well, that could be another tank gone if they don’t die
3) Turn 1 threat: they always turn up turn 1 and cause damage. No waiting off the board till turn x cause you’ve been rolling terribly.
4) They make people deploy weirdly. Because they can land anywhere they can make an opponent deploy units bubbling tanks or position a tank out of position so they don’t get a melta to the face. Brilliant against the drop pod. Terrible against the dark elder contingent whose ability to exploit an opponent’s deployment error is simply second to none.

So after a cheeky practice game against Steve where they caused a lot of hassle despite not having an infantry unit to shoot I went to mayhem!

Game 1: Alex Rule – Tau – 5 Objectives – Dawn of War

Tau with 2 riptides and broadsides with intercept. Brilliant and actually the worst matchup for my drop pod unit. I went first deployed in cover and Alex spread his army along his deployment zone I landed the drop pod next to the broadsides placing the master of the forge closest to the broadsides whilst putting bolter guys closest to the riptides. So after a turn of shooting at the poor tactical squad I think I lost 1 marine. The Master of the forge tanked the broadsides shots taking 1 wound and passing off 1 wound to an unfortunate tactical marine and both riptides missed… God bless BS 3! The upside of this meant that Alex’s riptides and broadsides had wasted a turn of shooting and as such I’d now have 2 turns of shooting without response. The tactical squad killed off 2 broadsides and my army got ready to shoot

However I had another run of appalling dice and for 2 turns with everything shooting I did 2 hull points to a hammer head and 3 wounds to a riptide and that was it….

Basically that was game; I thought I’d left my poor dice rolls back in Brighton! But the beast pack failed a 4 inch charge. And Alex passed 6 feel no pains in a row on his riptides. Despite all this I killed all but one unit of Alex’s troops and hung onto an objective meaning the game ended as a 7-5 win to Alex. (5 points for an objective and 1 point for each secondary)

Game 2: Ed Mackeith-Prince – Imperial Guard – Mayhem Kill Points - Vanguard

This game showed perfectly how Dark Eldar now has the edge over your standard imperial guard army.

I got 2nd turn and it wasn’t night fight. However Ed’s 2 Leman Russ and 2 leman Russ demolishers and copious heavy weapons were out of range as I exploited the vanguard deployment.

The drop pod killed a demolisher then they died in the return fire, (Perfect result!) Essentially the beast pack rolled up the enemy line and I wiped ed out except for a single sergeant from 1 vet squad by turn 3 which was annoying as it meant his vendetta came on. Fortunately I could outmanoeuvre 1 vendetta and I finally killed it turn 7.

Kill Points out of the way and a 19-1 victory

Game 3: Harry Hallgren – Necrons – Big Guns – Hammer and Anvil

Harry had never played Dark Eldar before. This happens a lot to me really as I tend to be the only Dark Eldar Player around, and he was sporting the bane of my life (3 Necron nightscythes) fortunately only 1 troop unit in them though. He also had the standard 3 Annialation barges and wraith unit as well.

He deployed his wraiths mid table essentially the race was on for me whether I could kill the troops on the board before they killed enough of my army that I could throw lance shots up at the scythes in desperation.

The drop pod unit killed 1 barge and I wiped out the wraith unit and 1 unit of immortals and took out the rest of his standing army turn 2 (I love dark elder fire power) Annoyingly despite having several attempts to kill the last 2 barges they stayed alive long enough to kill 2 of my ravagers which meant when the flyers came on I was relying solely on the quad gun. It managed to kill 1 of them which was useful, but not the one with troops.

Harry took an objective in my deployment and killed off one more of my units holding an objective and took it meaning I ended the game holding 3 and I had all the bonuses to his 1 so a 15 -5 Victory here set me up well for day 2 with 33 points in the bag.

Game 4: Franco Marrufo – Farsight Bomb – Scourging – Dawn of War

Franco had a farsight bomb with Tigerius coupled with 3 skyrays and 4 troops units. His army is pretty devastating against mine and I’d lost the vast majority of vehicles after turn 3. Then again what can you expect against a unit that can target 7 different tanks whilst being twin linked, having tank hunter and ignoring cover….

However as this is mayhem, I just killed all Franco’s troop units meaning his margin of victory was only ever going to be small. As I got first blood, Franco won by 2 and this gave me a 11-9 loss (a draw basically)

Game 5 Scott Simpson – Screamer Council – Relic/Base Swap – Hammer and Anvil

Ok this is the worst luck I’ve ever seen in a game of 40k. Fortunately this fell on Scott.

Scott got deployment zone to hide his screamer council behind a piece of terrain. Unfortunately due to the height of it, I could see the heralds… but not the screamers. Meaning as I had turn 1 id be able to shoot the unit and it wouldn’t hit the screamers, just the heralds…

Instead scot decided to reserve them and started on the board with his troops and his Flesh hounds.

I dropped my pod down and flamed some horrors and that was it. Scott had 3 units in reserve. In his turn 2 his daemon prince game on (Tzeentch) my quad gun shot it and did 4 wounds to it so scot got his dice ready to make the saves… he had a 3+ save and a reroll on 1’s after all he was bound to be confident…. He rolled 3 2’s…

In my turn I edged towards Scott’s deployment zone and shot the daemon prince with the first venom killing it after scoring 1 more wound…. This is the best luck he had all game…

In his next turn fateweaver turned up and the quad gun fired again causing no wounds. Scott rolled for grounding rolling a 1; using a reroll he then promptly rolled a 1 again dropping fateweaver wounding him on the grounding. In my turn I took him down to a single wound, and my tactical marines charged him... and took that wound from him pretty easily. Worse was yet to come believe me

Having failed the reserves for them twice, Scott’s screamer council finally came on and he put them behind a bit of terrain that only 3 venoms and 2 ravagers could draw LoS 2. It was 10 inches from the board edge. Before him I joked that they were bound to scatter off the board… They ended up doing exactly that. I then joked he was now going to roll a 1 to see what happened… he did exactly that.

Luck is a bitch…


I finished on 72 Points and a 5th placed placing. Overall I’d say I’m never going back to Eldar….

The Space marines did exactly what they needed to causing threat enough that they were shot to pieces leaving my dark elder vehicles alive for an extra turn. Thinking back there was only 1 game where my eldar would have been better and that’s on the basis that I had rolled fortune.

My Conclusion? Think outside the box. Eldar are an easy ally to choose but there might be more suitable allies to your style of play out there.

Next time more distrustful allies

Till then… tata!

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