Konor Mission 3: Imperial Guard vs Dark Eldar

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MrScotty
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Konor Mission 3: Imperial Guard vs Dark Eldar

Postby MrScotty » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:06 am

Alex (Terminator_X) and I had an excellent game yesterday, with 2500 points of Imperial Guard (featuring a huge, buffed-up Hellhammer tank) facing 2500 points of speedy tricksy Dark Eldar in an epic showdown.

Army lists were both Brigade detachments (apologies if I get anything wrong in Alex' list)
Guard 2500


HQ: Tempestor Prime, Castellan Creed, and I think the Salamander Command Tank?, Deathwatch Captain
Troops: 4x Infantry squads with Autocannons, 1x Tempestor squad with 2x plasma, Deathwatch squad
Elites: 4x plasma Tempestor Command Squad, Techpriest Enginseer, Astropath, Venerable Dreadnought w/lascannons and fist
Heavy Support: Wyvern, Basilisk, Manticore, Hydra
Fast Attack: 3x Autocannon armored sentinels
SHV: Hellhammer with 4x TL heavy bolters, 4x Lascannons, 1x Demolisher, 1x big ol gun
Transports: Twin Assault Cannon Razorback

Dark Eldar 2500


HQ: Archon w/blaster, Succubus w/blast pistol, Haemonculus w/needle pistol and scissorhand
Troops: 4x Warriors with Blaster+Blast Pistol sergeant, wych squad with blast pistol and shardnet, wych squad with blast pistol and 3x hydra gauntlets
Elites: 2x Sslyth, Ur-ghul, Lhamean
Heavy Support: Ravager with 3x Lances, Talos w/ liquifiers and splinter cannons, Chronos
Fast Attack: 15x Hellions, 6x Reavers with blasters, 5x Scourges with blasters
Transports: Venom with twin splinter cannons, 4x raiders with 3x lances 1x disintegrator

These were two very competitive lists built for the mission - his to take advantage of the double-tap stratagem with his hellhammer very effectively, mine to hop from combat to combat with my fast units until I could get off the board. And the sheer effectiveness of his combo was obvious when (the first time we tried the game) he seized the initiative. The baneblade with its ballistic skill and armor value boosted alongside all the autocannons brought down all the dark eldar transports but one and killed a good number of the hellions and reavers. All told about 1000 points died in the top of turn 1, and on my turn I had no way to bring any of my short ranged weapons to bear without transports, and I was likely to be tabled in the next turn with 60 heavy bolter shots going into my now exposed infantry. So I conceded, and the official points for the Konor campaign go to the Imperium.

We reset the deployment (which was easy, as it was just putting my transports back where they were) and ran the game as if Alex had not seized.

Dark Eldar turn 1, I elected to try and remove the unit buffing the ballistic skill of the Hellhammer rather than trying to hurt the tank itself, because I didn't feel like I could take it down to half HP in one turn. The Scourges dropped down, and they and the Reavers tried (and failed) to bring down the Salamander tank, leaving it with one wound remaining. The birds even pulled out a desperation charge, closed the gap but failed to put the last wound on the tank. Little did I know however, that Master Sergeant Hitchcock McSpeartotheface was just getting warmed up for his epic melee rampage...
IMG_20170813_140218292.jpg
IMG_20170813_140226342.jpg
Elsewhere on the map, the Hellions with their boosted drug-fueled speed were able to close with and completely surround the Razorback, bringing it down to 6 wounds, and my Lance fire took out the venerable dreadnought while poison took care of 2 infantry squads. In comparison to last game, this was a much better start.

Guard turn 1, the Baneblade opened up at full buffed-up power, blowing away 2 Raiders and half the Reaver squad, and leaving the Venom with a single wound. Unfortunately for Alex, that last wound on the Venom proved to be "the doozy" as it survived the full firepower of the manticore, basilisk, and the wyvern before Alex decided the dice didn't want him to kill that this turn and put some hurt on the Raiders carrying the wyches on the far flank. In the close combat phase, the Scourge sergeant succeeded in power lancing the Salamander to death and the Hellions hacked up the Razorback, insta-gibbing the occupants because they had nowhere to exit.

Dark Eldar turn 2, the hellions swap over to "Annoyance pattern" battle tactics, spreading out in a huge line to tie up both the Manticore and Hydra. A few models die to overwatch, but not much else happens. The Talos pain engine manages to make a long charge into an armored sentinel, but doesn't kill it. The Kabalite Warriors all line up behind a convenient bit of wall terrain and open up on the Baneblade with all their blasters, taking it down to 12 wounds, while the scourges opt to jump over the huge tank and attack the Astropath, finishing him off with a power spear to the face (glorious power spear sergeant melee kill count: 2)
IMG_20170813_144315022.jpg
Guard turn 2, repairs and repair stratagem bring the baneblade back to full fighting strength, and it finishes off the venom, wounds the Cronos pain engine, kills another two Reavers, three Scourges, and kills both Raiders transporting Wyches. Scions drop behind the xenos lines, blowing away the Ravager with their plasma guns and wounding the Haemonculus. Unfortunately, everything else is tied up in melee with hellions and pain engines and can't fire. The Techpriest, Creed, and Expendable Redshirt Guard Sergeant #12561 get ready to show off their sweet tae kwon do moves on the two remaining scourges. Guard sergeant charges first, and dies in overwatch to Scourge Sergeant's blast pistol (GPSSMKC: 3). Then, the Techpriest charges, and takes 3 wounds from the same blast pistol. After the Techpriest kills the one remaining Scourge mook, I use the melee interrupt stratagem to get one more melee round out of the scourge sergeant and he does not disappoint, taking out the Techpriest for a final GPSSMKC of 4. Finally, Creed takes him down, having studied extensively the hand-to-hand human anti xenos combat manual of the legendary brother-captain Kirk.
IMG_20170813_152729677.jpg
kirk2.jpg
(Artist's Rendition of the Final Showdown, Colorized)

Dark Eldar turn 3, the two Wych squads join the combat against the tanks, not killing them but encircling them with the hellions to ensure they can't fall back. The Kabalite Warriors open up on the Baneblade once more and end up rolling nothing but 3s for their D3 damages, taking it all the way down to a single hull point. The archon and his Court gang up in a completely unfair combat against Creed, and despite his attempting the advanced double-fisted Gornslayer shoulder pummel on one of the Sslyths, he goes down to their combined melee might.

Guard turn 3, the baneblade opens up once more with its ballistics skill knocked down to 6+, but still manages to finish off the Cronos and score one kill point on a kabalite warrior squad. The Wyvern kills the wounded Sslyth for more kill points. However in the fight phase, the hellions and wyches finish off both the Manticore and Hydra, and they're all set to exit the board next turn. With the baneblade almost certainly going to die to blaster fire, and the whole wych flank ready to exit for 8 points, we decide to call the game there.
IMG_20170813_155722202.jpg
And an excellent game it was! I'm very thankful for my opponent's excellent sportsmanship in agreeing to reset the game after what would've been about a 45 minute match, as the resulting battle between our armies was extremely tactical and interesting.The Hellhammer was an absolute monster in this mission, taking down nearly double its point cost and supplying probably 3/4 of my opponent's kill points, and on my end though the Hellions probably carried the game, I have to give MVP to the hellion sergeant, who for the first time in ever contributed to the squad killing more points in melee than they did in shooting.
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Re: Konor Mission 3: Imperial Guard vs Dark Eldar

Postby Terminator_X » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:47 pm

Man I had a blast! Dark Eldar have such an inventive index (much more so than the guard's 'sledgehammer' approach) and Scott's stuff is just fun to see on the table.

That first seize really underlined the the spirit of 8th for me so far. The game is faster, shorter ranged, more lethal and more mobile. DEldar are particularly able to take advantage of some of the new trends, but suffered for it as well. First turn is massive, making that seize reroll maybe the most important stratagem you can spend in my opinion. As the indices get replaced with codices, command points are becoming more valued. Scott and I both brought a brigade and had double digit CPs, I wonder if we'll see more elite armies try for the big detachments as well (or if spam will remain king).

Scott's list was very cool to play against, lots of variety, interesting synergies, and a surprising amount of close & long range lethality. Excellently suited for the mission. Speaking of which: I love the idea of missions that aren't evenly matched with army comp, kill pts and arbitrary obj markers. Asymetry in all aspects makes tactics interesting, and Konor has been a refreshingly pleasant experience in that regard.
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Re: Konor Mission 3: Imperial Guard vs Dark Eldar

Postby MrScotty » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:59 pm

Terminator_X wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:47 pm
Man I had a blast! Dark Eldar have such an inventive index (much more so than the guard's 'sledgehammer' approach) and Scott's stuff is just fun to see on the table.

That first seize really underlined the the spirit of 8th for me so far. The game is faster, shorter ranged, more lethal and more mobile. DEldar are particularly able to take advantage of some of the new trends, but suffered for it as well. First turn is massive, making that seize reroll maybe the most important stratagem you can spend in my opinion. As the indices get replaced with codices, command points are becoming more valued. Scott and I both brought a brigade and had double digit CPs, I wonder if we'll see more elite armies try for the big detachments as well (or if spam will remain king).

Scott's list was very cool to play against, lots of variety, interesting synergies, and a surprising amount of close & long range lethality. Excellently suited for the mission. Speaking of which: I love the idea of missions that aren't evenly matched with army comp, kill pts and arbitrary obj markers. Asymetry in all aspects makes tactics interesting, and Konor has been a refreshingly pleasant experience in that regard.
Actually, I was considering this (it's my thread, and I'll go off topic if I want to) with regards to those open war objectives I was telling you about: I think it'd actually be very fun to try out a "Chicken" style game mode, where both players are given a points range, say 1500-2500. The open war deck includes small advantages (called Ruses) as well as big advantages in the form of a sudden death advantage, intended for the player who has a smaller army to get a leg up. That way, players could bring whatever size army they wanted, and whoever had the smaller force would get a Ruse, and if they ended up with say 500 points or more fewer than their opponent, they'd get a bonus objective as well. It'd be very cool to create an adaptive, asymmetrical scenario that nevertheless worked out for both parties. If you'd be interested, I'd like to try that out sometime.

As for this mission, it was kind of the nature of the game I feel. Unless I had some kind of flyer heavy or low-deploy force, I didn't have a good way to turtle out the possibility of a seize in a map that had very little terrain, a limited deployment zone, and a full gunline across from me. Your army was built with the mission in mind, and the ~30% chance of a seize turned a good strategy into a nearly guaranteed win for you. From a zoomed-out perspective, I think we had approximately a 50-50 chance, but in the scenario where I went first I had a better than 50% chance and in the less likely scenario where you went first you had nearly a 100% chance of beating my list (barring some really miraculous dice or very poor decisions on your part).
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Re: Konor Mission 3: Imperial Guard vs Dark Eldar

Postby Anacrucis » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:56 pm

MrScotty wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:59 pm

Actually, I was considering this (it's my thread, and I'll go off topic if I want to) with regards to those open war objectives I was telling you about: I think it'd actually be very fun to try out a "Chicken" style game mode, where both players are given a points range, say 1500-2500. The open war deck includes small advantages (called Ruses) as well as big advantages in the form of a sudden death advantage, intended for the player who has a smaller army to get a leg up. That way, players could bring whatever size army they wanted, and whoever had the smaller force would get a Ruse, and if they ended up with say 500 points or more fewer than their opponent, they'd get a bonus objective as well. It'd be very cool to create an adaptive, asymmetrical scenario that nevertheless worked out for both parties.
As I see it, this is the entire point of Open play. Open War cards definitely make it much more interesting. But I also think bragging rights can play into it too.

When the "clans" were first a thing in CBT this was actually worked into the fluff of the Battletech universe. The clans would bid each other for the honor of invading an inner sphere world. Whoever thought they could do it committing the fewest forces won the honor of leading the battle.

Packing all the "free" upgrades you can squeeze into a 100 power list doesn't prove you're a good general, it just proves you're good at math. Beating a superior force, or even holding your own when vastly outmatched, on the other hand, is an accomplishment.