The first game on Day 2 turned out to be against Eldar, which is not one of the lists I salivate at the prospect of playing. Indeed they are often one of the most frustrating armies for any player to play against, mainly because of two things: Farseers and the survivability of their tanks. Farseers can, to a certain extent, be mitigated or nullified with Psychic defences. The Dark Eldar don’t have any Psychic defences (except Lady Malys, but that’s only in a very limited capacity). The survivability of their tanks can be somewhat counteracted by bring melta to the fight. I wasn’t packing any melta either. Add to that they fact that their tanks will only ever stop moving a ridiculous distance if their either dead or immobilised and, yeah, things were looking a little rough.
Nevertheless, I decided to play to the mission, which actually gave me a decent chance. The mission was an irregular one this time round: Capture table quarters. They added their own twist to it as well. Only scoring units could capture or contest quarters. Suddenly the tanks were rendered a bit less important and the fight was down to the troop choices, of which both my opponent and I only had three. The big different being that his scoring units were a five man squad of Dire Avengers and two three man Jetbike squads with an additional Warlock, whereas mine were… well, you should know by now. Anyway, when it came to scoring units, I had the edge in survivability.
My opponent was packing one of the many clones of Eldrad (quelle surprise), two squads of Banshees in Wave Serpents, some Fire Dragons in a Wave Serpent, two Fire Prisms, a Falcon with Dire Avengers and those two Jetbiker squads I mentioned earlier. A bit lacking in melta (not that I care all that much, it’s not like I’m packing any heavy armour that needs melta to kill it) and not packing too much long-range firepower (as with most Mechanised Eldar lists). Those tanks may be very hard to slow down and nearly impossible to kill, but they get their guns silenced as easily as anything else.
Anyway, I got the first turn for this game and my opponent made the odd choice of deploying both his Banshee Wave Serpents with Eldrad in his table quarter right from the start. I think he was relying on the Serpents shrugging off my anti-tank and then speeding forward to deposit a tonne of Banshees deep into my battle-lines. That did not happen. Both Serpents got immobilised immediately, which was a bit of a coup for me, as it forced the banshees to slog across relatively open ground to reach anything. Eldrad played Rambo for a bit and strode towards me to engage the Hellions and soak up firepower, which he dutifully managed. Despite nigh-on my entire army firing on him, he failed to concede a single wound. The one-against-many assault that followed lasted three agonising turns with Eldrad winning each combat by one (I always only caused one wound through his fortune and he would kill two Hellions each turn like clockwork) until I eventually ground out a win.
The game followed a fairly regular pattern. Every turn my opponent would get a couple of reserves in the form of tanks, who would come onto the board, fire a shot, fail to do much remarkable with that shot and the get shaken, stunned weapon destroyed or immobilised in my return fire. The banshees would cover-hugging advance toward anyone they could threaten and then get shot down a few every turn. My Hellions would squat in my two table quarter and the Wracks in their Raider hung around taking the occasional cheeky lance shot at any tank in range. There were a couple of things that varied from the routine though.
One of the Fire Prisms decided to ram a Ravager who was shielding the Hellion squad on my left flank. The ram destroyed the Ravager, but the resulting Dangerous terrain test for the Prism immobilised it and the tank was moving fast enough for an auto-wreck because of it! It was the only holofielded tank to die all game. One of the Jetbiker squad was shot down until only its Warlock was left, but that guy shrugged off a full two turns of Venom shooting before finally succumbing to single wound on the third round (and with 12 shots every round, wounding on a 4+, that’s quite a feat!). My Wracks batted aside the other Jetbike squad, only to be gunned down by Dire Avengers the next turn.
The big tense moment was the final Fire Prism (his last mobile tank) tried to tank shock the left-field Hellions and fell an inch short. My Raider then decided to return the favour and rammed the Fire Prism. Unfortunately, only preventing it from firing the next turn (damn Holofields). However, it did mean that the Raider was now close enough to the Hellions to give then Ld rerolls they sorely needed during the Tank Shock of the next turn (they actually failed the first test!). With that, the game ended, not with a bang, but at least with a win, as I had claimed two quarters to my opponent’s one.
A solid game (even if I was a bit overeager charging the Wracks into combat and making them vulnerable in the process) and, against Eldar, that’s all you can really ask for. I was just really glad to have beaten one of my ‘glass-chewer’ lists and to have killed Eldrad into the bargain.
Killing Eldrad always raises a smile!