Friday, 14 October 2011

MTT Report: Last Instalment!

Okay, okay.  Last Battle Report for a while now.

I promise.

The last game was strange, to be perfectly honest.  Due to an unexpected last minute rescheduling, my team (Overlords 1) were reassigned to play Overlords 2.  Hmm, convenient.  The night before the tournament we had been chatting together about how we would handle being thrown up against each other, bandying tactics and strategies around in a variety of ‘what if’ scenarios.  But, no, these were half-baked plans that now had to be put into half-baked action.  I flung myself forward as the chosen player for team 1 and the team 2 counter-forces were Dark Eldar and Tau.  That was a bit of a shame, because I wanted to go up against the Marine player.  Partly because I was pretty sure my list could take his and also because he’d been drawn up against three other Dark Eldar players earlier in the tournament and I wanted to see him throw a hissy-fit!  I ended up choosing to go against the DE player though, as he’d been really keen to throw down against me given the chance, and both teams kind of wanted to see a DE vs DE clusterfuck.

Mirror matches can often be very dull affairs, and the DE can be accused of have very samey builds for comp standards.  My list (as has already been addressed, probably at unnecessary length) varies a little from the traditional ‘good’ DE list, which has lead it to be stronger against some other lists and more resilient against a variety of threats.  However, when it comes to going up against Venomspam, they are packing more armour than I am and although AV10 can be fairly reliably taken down with small arms in most armies, the DE small arms are always unable to hurt vehicles.  So basically what happens is that we play tit-for-tat vehicle killing until I run out of vehicles and my main vehicle-killing option is reduced to Hellions trying to hit fast-moving skimmers with pointy sticks.  For those less inclined to handle the mathematics of that situation; it results in me getting 1 glancing hit for every 36 attacks I fling at a vehicle, so the odds are poor.

Fortunately, my opponent was running a different kind of DE list as well.  Instead of flooding the field with Venoms and Ravagers, he instead plumped for two Raiders full of Wyches, a 20 man Kabalite squad with Dark Lances, 3 Razorwings and a Raider with a nasty hammer unit comprising a powered up Archon (djinn blade, shadowfield, combat drugs, blast pistol and soul trap) with a Haemonculus (agoniser, shattershard) and a squad of 6 Incubi.

Remember way (way) back during my game 1 report, where I said I was falling victim to First Game Syndrome?  This was Last Game Syndrome.  My brain was all over the place.  So much so that after I lost the chance to go first in the Dawn of War setup, I forgot to bring in any of the stuff I decided was going to come in Turn 1.  Now anyone who has made this mistake will realise that accidentally leaving all your army in reserve can really hurt your game.  It is also a really dumb mistake to make.  I only had my 3 Wrack Raider and Haemonculus on the field for the first turn and the Raider died before any reinforcements turned up, leaving my guys stranded (in my backfield, luckily, but still stranded).  I received two Ravagers on Turn 2 that tried to take on the Razorwings and did a rather poor job of it too.  One Razorwing downed, but both Ravagers got splattered in the return fire.  My opponent was pushing forward on the offensive, with his hammer unit turboing forward toward my stranded survivors.  Two Objectives out of five were held by his forces; one by the Kabalites populating some area terrain and another by a wych squad on top of a building.

Both my Trueborn arrived and prompted proved their ineptitude by being utterly unable to bring down the archon’s Raider with all the 8 Blaster shots at their disposal.  I decided to kill them after the game.  I could let the Archon’s unit pick and chose their combat so I resorted to one of my (many) desperation tactics.  In addition to the useless Trueborn, I also received a squad of Hellions, and my whole remaining strategy for the game rested on them.  They surrounded the speeding Raider and assaulted it.  A bit of an uncertain tactic, but what else could I have done to bring the raider down?  As it happened; it worked like a charm.  2 Glancing hits; 1 stun, which was good enough for me to be honest (no-one would have been able to disembark from the Raider during the next turn), but I also rolled an Immobilisation!  Just in case you don’t know: if a skimmer which is travelling flat-out is immobilised, it gets wrecked.  The crew then have to emergency disembark (provided it was wrecked during the opponent’s turn).  If a model can’t be placed outside of 1” of an enemy model upon debarkation, then it’s dead.  No saves, no nothing.

That Immobilised result was awesome! That was about 500 points down in one assault and it really started turning the game to my favour.

Naturally, those heroic Hellions were the target of some extensive retribution during the next turn, as both the surviving Razorwings unleashed their entire arsenals into the crowds swarm.  Due to some luck on my part, and some inaccuracy on his, four Hellions managed to survive the firestorm.  Due to the pain token they’d grabbed from the dead Hammer unit, they were fearless to boot and didn’t care.  Their only role for the rest of the game was to fling themselves at an objective in cover and sit there for the rest of the game.  I job they did very well, may I add.

The Razorwings paid for their cowardly attack and were brought down in a hail of darklight.  My final squad of Hellions and the Baron finally deigned to show their faces and leapt forward to contest the wych-held objective.  The Wyches promptly (and predictably) charged them, but with numbers, strength and defensive grenades, the Hellions still manage to lose the combat by a considerable margin.  Seriously, they should not have lost.  Luckily enough, they didn’t run, even though they lost the combat by a total of 4.  The subsequent Hit and Run extracted the Hellions from the combat and they then set about flocking towards the Kabalites.  The next shooting phase, those Kabalites were broken and running.  One of my empty Venoms turboed straight to the wych-held objective to rob my opponent of his last objective.

And with that, my opponent conceded.  Can’t blame him.  All he had left were a raider and a squad of wyches and I was still packing a decent amount of firepower and mobility.  Had the game continued, I’m fairly confident I could’ve gone for the table in a turn or so.

And that’s that.  End of MTT report.  For realises, this time!

Excellent tournament.  I had a great deal of fun and didn’t play against a single opponent I didn’t enjoy.  Just as much by luck as by judgement, I managed to come away with Best Dark Eldar Player, despite the fact that my team came a mighty 14th place out 16!

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