Monday, January 7, 2013

Mechani-Kon IV - Battle Reports

A while ago I played at a local Warhammer 40K tournament, Mechani-Kon IV. As I indicated in my earlier army showcase post, this is a Renaissance Man style tournament, with scoring for several different aspects of the hobby.

I went with a detachment from my Eldar Swordwind army. Bowing to the latest, 6th edition, of the 40K rules, I added things like an anti-aircraft vehicle and larger scoring units. However, the basic design concept remained; keep the Aspect Warriors alive and mobile under tank armour. No psychic defense (that is, no Farseer) was a risk, but I did not intend the Autarch (Warlord) to do much other than add his +1 to Reserve Rolls and to buff other models with his Warlord Trait. Mechani-Kon`s rules allowed one to choose their Warlord Trait before the tournament, so I chose The Dust of  a Thousand Worlds, granting all units within 12 inches an extra D6 when rolling to move through difficult terrain, and granting units the ability to automatically pass Dangerous Terrain tests. I thought this would be a very fluffy power for a mechanized  army such as this. A PDF of my army list (a copy of which I provided to each of my opponents), complete with photos of my models, may be viewed at this link.

Each game`s scenario featured a different tactical challenge.


GAME 1 - THUNDERHAWK DOWN

Opponent - Keith`s Adeptus Arbites, Agripinian 9th Precinct (Codex: Imperial Guard with Space Marine allies):
  • Lord Commissar - Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Refractor Field
  • Ministorum Priest - Eviscerator, Rosarius
  • Veteran Squad (10) -  7 x Shotguns, Meltagun, Heavy Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Power Fist; riding in Chimera APC with 2 x Heavy Flamers, Dozer Blade
  • Veteran Squad (10) -  7 x Shotguns, Meltagun, Heavy Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Power Fist; riding in Chimera APC with 2 x Heavy Flamers, Dozer Blade
  • Veteran Squad (10) -  7 x Shotguns, 2 x Meltaguns, Flamer, Power Fist; riding in a Valkyrie VTOL aircraft with 2 x Rocket Pods, Extra Armour, and 2 x Heavy Bolter door guns
  • Hellhound flamethrower tank - Inferno Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Dozer Blade
  • Leman Russ Demolisher siege tank - Demolisher Cannon, 3 x Heavy Flamers, Dozer Blade
  • Space Marine Chaplain
  • Space Marine Tactical Squad (5) - Plasma Pistol, Power Weapon; riding in Razorback IFV with Lascannon, TL-Plasmaguns
Looking at this army, it has four scoring units, very good (albeit short range) anti-infantry firepower, and a well armoured aircraft. My own AA vehicle, the Fire Storm, would have little chance of shooting down the IG plane in one turn. 

Scenario - A transport aircraft was shot down, spreading its cargo over the table. Six objective markers were randomly placed by both players. The objectives could be picked up by any model with hands; there was a 1-in-6 chance upon first discovery that an objective was destroyed in the crash and thus rendered useless.

Objective - The player that controls the most objectives at the end of the game wins.

Keith and I were assigned a table filled with volcanic terrain. Almost no cover but for the LOS blocking volcano in the centre of the table. The craters were dangerous terrain.

Below can be seen both sides` initial deployment. Looking north, the Space Marines anchored Keith`s western flank. Moving east were deployed a Chimera, the Demolisher, another Chimera and the Hellhound. The Valkyrie, with a squad and the Priest, was held in reserve. The Eldar left was anchored by the Wraithlord and some Fire Dragons; a mounted unit of Avengers deployed in the centre; the Fire Storm, another Avenger squad`s tank, and the Warp Hunter artillery tank deployed in the shadow of the volcano. A second unit of Fire Dragons was on the eastern flank. The Warp Spiders were held in reserve.

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Keith had first turn, so the IG made a general advance south. A Chimera can be seen having fired its smoke dischargers.

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I pushed a Dragon Wave Serpent flat out to the north, threatening the Demolisher and forcing Keith to deal with it. Some Avengers dismounted to seize an objective, and the Wraithlord did likewise. To the east, more Avengers and Dragons moved north. Long range fire destroyed the Razorback (scoring First Blood!), and damaged the Demolisher and a Chimera. Below, Keith contemplates the game.

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The Marines seized an objective. The Guard destroyed one Wave Serpent and, using multiple flame weapons, wiped out the Fire Dragons who had just baled out.

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The Valkyrie showed up, deploying its Veteran Squad and gunning down half the Avenger Squad in front of it. A Veteran Squad dismounted to seize an objective just to the east of the volcano.

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The Warp Spiders deep struck behind two Guard tanks. More Avengers dismounted from both  the Fire Storm and another Wave Serpent. Fire Dragons deployed to take on the Valkyrie, but they missed. Other Eldar tanks moved to cover the dismounted infantry. Eldar fire destroyed the Hellhound, the eastern Chimera and its entire Veteran Squad, and reduced the Veterans from the Valkyrie.

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The Wraithlord managed to charge into the Demolisher, destroying it with its Wraithsword.

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In return, the Marines charged the Wraithlord, hoping to tie it up for awhile and to avoid being shot at. The Valkyrie wiped out the blue armoured  Avenger Squad. In the north, a Veteran Squad can be seen taking cover behind the wreck of the Hellhound. The Veterans to the east killed all but one Fire Dragon, who managed to pass his morale.

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Eldar return fire was devastating. The lone Dragon managed to blow up the hovering Valkyrie. The Warp Hunter used its Aether Rift to wipe out the Veterans.

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The Wraithlord managed to wipe out the Marines.

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A couple of Avenger Squads with objectives embarked onto surviving transports. The Spiders seized one objective and jumped east. In the final turn, succumbing to Wraithsight (no Eldar psyker was on the table), the Wraithlord dropped its objective. However, the Eldar still held three more of the objectives to the Guard's single objective.

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Result - Eldar Win


GAME 2 - DELIVERY

Opponent - Lance`s White Star Marines:
  • Chapter Master Barac Asan (counts-as Pedro Cantor)
  • Tactical Squad (10) - Missile Launcher, Meltagun; dedicated Razorback transport with TL-Heavy Bolters
  • Tactical Squad (10) Multi-Melta, Meltagun; riding in Rhino APC
  • Sternguard Veteran Squad (10) - 3 x Combi-Melta, 1 x Combi-Flamer; riding in Drop Pod
  • Sternguard Veteran Squad (10) - Combi-Melta, Combi-Flamer; riding in Rhino APC
  • Predator Annihilator tank - TL-Lascannon, 2 x Lascannons, Storm Bolter
  • Thunderfire Cannon with Techmarine crew

Balanced force, with over 40 models in 3+ armour. Yikes.

Scenario - Extreme stellar radiation made off-world communications impossible. Forces have been tasked with personally delivering strategic communications to a local star port. Each player assigned three models in non-scoring units to be Messengers.

Objective - The player successfully escorting the most Messengers off the table is the winner.

Below can be seen the table after the Eldar deployment, before the Space Marines set up. The three Messengers are in the three Dire Avenger Squads.

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Below is the view south, looking from the Space Marine deployment zone. Because of the terrain and the fuel pipelines, the Eldar tanks were almost completely masked. The Marines were deployed in a rough line, their eastern flank anchored by the artillery piece, and their Warlord in the westernmost APC. The Sternguard in their Drop Pod were in reserve.

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The Eldar had first turn. Going for broke, all the transports moved flat out north, with the Warp Hunter and the Wraithlord following behind to help deal with any breakthroughs. Below, Lance contemplates his next move.

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The Sternguard in the Drop Pod came down at the bottom of the first turn, splitting into two squads of five men. They had a great turn of shooting, blowing up one Wave Serpent (scoring First Blood) and immobilizing a second.

In response, some Fire Dragons destroyed the Predator, and the Drop Pod Sternguard were wiped out by concentrated Eldar fire.

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Some Avengers disembarked from the Fire Storm, but were wiped out by the Thunderfire Cannon. Towards the west, a second squad of Fire Dragons went down to Marine fire. The Cannon was eventually destroyed by the first squad of Fire Dragons.

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A fierce, short range firefight broke out between the Marines and the two squads of Dire Avengers to the west. The remnants of one unit of Dire Avengers, with the Autarch, were forced to fall back, but they eventually rallied. Note that both Warlords were wounded, but they grimly held on.

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As the carnage to the west died down a little, gaps in the Marine line allowed a single Eldar Messenger to sneak off the table to the northwest. In the centre, a Marine Tactical Squad tried to punch through to the south, but the Wraithlord managed to intercept it and destroy its transport, leaving the Marine infantry and a Messenger shy of their goal.

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One Eldar Messenger had made it off the table, the Marines had scored First Blood, and the Eldar had also scored Linebreaker (with the surviving Fire Dragons).

Result - Eldar Win


GAME 3 - CACHE L2

Opponent - Liam`s Necrons:
  • Overlord - Warscythe, Resurrection Orb, and Mindshackle Scarabs
  • Immortal Squad (10) 
  • Immortal Squad (10) 
  • Warrior Squad (10)
  • Warrior Squad (7) 
  • Warrior Squad (7)
  • Warrior Squad (5)
  • Canoptek Wraiths (5)
  • Annihilation Barge
  • Annihilation Barge 
  • Monolith

That`s six scoring units and some deadly firepower at 24 inch range.

Scenario - Scouts have discovered a stockpile of archaeotech on this planet. Five stationary objective markers were placed in a narrow 12 inch band spanning the width of the table (each side had an 18 inch deployment zone). Non-vehicle models scored a point for each TURN they controlled an objective.

Objective - At the end of the game, if one player has at least 5 more points than their opponent, they win.

This is a very tough scenario for my Eldar forces. They do not have any resilient infantry, and are not designed to take and hold objectives for multiple turns.

We were assigned a very cool Eldar-themed table. Delicate towers of wraithbone soared one or two feet off the surface. When we set up the objectives I placed one in the middle of the lake, to discourage the Necrons from trying to control it. I figured to try and seize it towards the end of the game.

I set up almost everything to the south and east, staying over 30 inches away from the majority of the Necron firepower. I wanted to be able to just hit the closest targets while staying just outside of range of the Necron Gauss weaponry. On the very western table edge I placed the Wraithlord, hoping to use it to draw fire away from my tanks. I kept the Warp Spiders in reserve.

Below, Liam can be seen standing behind the northern table edge. From west to east Liam set up various Immortal and Warrior squads, with his Warlord stacked with the large Warrior Squad in the woods near the table centre. The two Annihilation Barges were deployed to the north and slightly west. On his eastern flank are the Wraiths. The Monolith went into reserve.

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Liam seized the initiative and made a general advance. As the game developed, Liam pushed  towards objectives. The Eldar moved east, pot shotting a few units and destroying one of the Annihilation Barges. To the west, the Waithlord got stuck in with a squad of Immortals, who had no capability against it in close combat.

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The Warp Spiders deep struck near the eastern table edge by the Wraiths; a dangerous move (proximity of the table edge risked a teleportation mishap), but concentrated tank and Warp Spider fire wiped out the Wraiths to the east before they could get close enough to charge. The Warp Spiders can be seen in the distance, controlling an objective near the eastern table edge.

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In the centre, I pushed forward a mounted squad of Fire Dragons, who were forced to disembark when their transport got shot down.

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In the centre, the Necron Warlord and his squad took some fire. Liam had made up some cool counters to keep track of casualties requiring subsequent Reanimation Protocols rolls.

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The Wraithlord wiped out a squad, then got stuck in with another.


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Liam deep struck the Monolith to the south centre of the table, but it was subsequently destroyed by some Fire Dragons; the crater it left behind can be seen below. Eldar tanks can be seen to the east, shielding the  dismounted infantry who were moving to control objectives.

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The Eldar Autarch`s Warlord Trait proved very useful, allowing tanks and jump infantry to pass terrain tests and move through both the lake and area terrain unhindered.

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By game`s end the Eldar had scored nine points to the Necrons` five points.

Result - Draw

The game MVP surely goes to the Wraithlord, who tied up the Necron western flank and prevented a lot of points from being scored. Though wounded several times, it never failed to pass an armour save! If we had gone another turn the Eldar would have won, but I was happy with the draw in this scenario and against such tough opposition.


GAME 4 - PURGE

Opponent -Mike`s Necrons
  • Overlord - Warscythe, Resurrection Orb
  • "Royal Court" consisting of Lord with Warscythe and Cryptek
  • Destroyer Lord
  • Destroyers (3)
  • Lycheguard (5) - Warscythes
  • Warrior Squad (10)
  • Warrior Squad (10) 
  • Warrior Squad (10) 
  • Canoptek Scarabs (5)
  • Annihilation Barge
  • C`Tan Shard
Mike`s Necrons were a balanced force with a lot of tough to kill scoring units. The C`Tan would be a real pain if it got into close combat; not even the Wraithlord would be able to stand up to this living god. Mike's Necrons` big weakness was that the entire army operated only at 24 inches range or less.

Scenario - "Eliminate the enemy with extreme prejudice." Deployment was opposing table quarters, with night fighting throughout the entire game.  Players scored enemy units` total cost in victory points if destroyed, half victory points if reduced to under half strength or if a damaged vehicle.

Objective - Score more than 150 victory points than your opponent to win.

My game plan was to keep out of 30 inches range from the Necrons (6 inch move plus 24 inch range), and destroy them in detail as they tried to close in to use their shorter-ranged weapons.

I won the roll and chose to set up first. I deployed everything, keeping nothing in reserve. Unlike my usual 6th edition practice, I set up the Eldar tanks in a castle in the southwest corner, to keep them out of range of the Necron guns. I set up the Wraithlord in cover at the apex of the formation, to draw fire away from the tanks. The Warp Spiders hid behind a building, able to jump forward if necessary.

Below, Mike can be seen deploying his troops in a long skirmish line. The Necron western flank was anchored by the C`Tan and the Scarabs. The toxic river we counted as Dangerous Terrain, but in the end it made no significant impact on the game.

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Mike rolled well and seized the initiative, and moved his forces forward. He was unable to fire, since the Eldar were out of range. My pre-game planning managed to pay off, here.

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The Necrons moved around to the northwest and southeast, in a wide pincer movement. Long range Eldar fire (that is, at 30-36 inches only due to Night Fighting) killed the odd Necron Warrior, but caused no significant damage.

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The key move was made by Mike in mid-game, as he pushed forward the Scarabs and the CTan, trying to set up some next turn charges. The Scarabs would be devastating against my tanks, and the C'Tan would be unstoppable in close combat. I jumped forward the Warp Spiders, who were able to wipe out the Scarab swarms with their Strength 6 guns (Instant Death on Toughness 3, despite each stand`s three wounds). In a desperate move, I disembarked a squad of Fire Dragons to take the C`Tan under fire. Luckily, the combined effect of 5 Meltaguns and supporting tanks killed the C`Tan in one shooting phase.

Below, the red die signifies the single wound left to the C`Tan before it went down to tank fire.

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Despite pre-measuring, a couple of times I miscalculated and the Fire Storm was out of range to fire. The Shuriken Cannon armed Serpents also stayed out of the fight (having only a 24 inch range), but for the incident noted above. Mike gamely pushed on, trying to get the Destroyers into action, but that unit went down to Scatter Laser fire from two Wave Serpents and the Fire Storm.

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Though taking some casualties, the Eldar were fortunate to not lose a unit. The loss of the C`Tan was the decisive Necron casualty, since it alone was worth around 200 points.

Result - Eldar Win


TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Below, the Mechani-Kon organizers and staff preparing to hand out the awards:

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Best General: SteveB (Space Marines):

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Best Sportsman: SeanH (Necrons):

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Best Appearance: ChristianA (Space Wolves):

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2nd Place Overall (a.k.a., the coveted First Loser Award): ByronM (Chaos Space Marines):

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Below is the Best Overall trophy I won with my Eldar:

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Thanks again to Thursty, Alex and everyone else who were involved in running and supporting the event!

3 comments:

Francis Lee said...

Congrats and what else can you say other than epic!

Simon Q said...

Congratulations and thanks for the batreps they where great!

Dallas said...

Well done Dave!