Over the course of the last eight months I have really enjoyed participating in the 40K Beer League. Coinciding with the start of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, May 1 was also the official start of the Winnipeg Warhammer 40,000 Beer League Playoffs. Of the 18 players in the League, the top 8 made it to the Playoffs. I managed to place 2nd in the overall standings. As such, I was matched against Lance and his White Star Marines. Lance is a long time 40K veteran. In fact, I remember playing with him at Founding Conscript Curt`s store, Mediaeval Works, back in the heady Rogue Trader days of the summer of 1988!
Yesterday, Lance dropped by mi casa, and we threw down in what turned out to be an epic fight!
The Opposing Forces:
Asurmen's Academy vs. The White Star Chapter; Eldar vs. Imperial Space Marines.
Asurmen`s Academy: The Return of Ancient Days
HQ: Autarch (1#, 75 pts)
1 Autarch (Death Spinner)
Troops: Dire Avengers (6#, 175 pts)
5 Dire Avengers, riding in a Wave Serpent (TL Scatter Lasers)
Troops: Dire Avengers (6#, 160 pts)
5 Dire Avengers, riding in a Wave Serpent
Troops: Dire Avengers (6#, 160 pts)
5 Dire Avengers, riding in a Wave Serpent
Elite: Fire Dragons (6#, 190 pts)
5 Fire Dragons, riding in a Wave Serpent (underslung Shuriken Cannon)
Heavy Support: Night Spinner (1#, 115 pts)
Heavy Support: Warp Hunter (IA) (1#, 125 pts)
Total Roster Cost: 1000 points
Going into this, I knew that Lance would be fielding some sort of Legiones Astartes force. I went with my second list, the one with more tanks. I figured that was a couple more hulls that he had to burn through before he got at the Aspect Warriors riding inside. The two artillery tanks might really mess with his forces, given some luck.
The White Star Chapter
HQ: Librarian (1#, 100 pts)
1 Librarian (Avenger, Gate of Infinity)
Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 210 pts)
10 Tactical Marines (Meltagun, Multi-Melta), riding in a Rhino APC
Troops: Tactical Squad (11#, 215 pts)
10 Tactical Marines (Meltagun, Missile Launcher), with a Razorback IFV (TL-Heavy Bolters)
Elite: Terminator Squad (10#, 470 pts)
10 Terminators (Assault Cannon, Cyclone Missile Launcher, Chainfist)
Total Roster Cost: 995 points
Lance showed up with his Terminator heavy force. Yikes! Both my lists had only a single squad of 5 Fire Dragons. Further, I could not count on Lance tightly bunching up his Termies for a D-Cannon shot.
We played the Crusade scenario (rolling 3 objectives), with Hammer and Anvil deployment.
I won the roll for choice, and chose to go second. Lance deployed all his forces along the western table edge. In the junk yard, right next to an objective, went a combat squad, including a Missile Launcher. Looking north, the Terminators, led by the Librarian, deployed in a loose formation. The Rhino, with a full Tactical Squad embarked, came next,. The Razorback, with a combat squad, set up on the Marine left, northern, flank.
The photo below looks west. The two other objectives were located mid-table, on either side of the road and forest. The Eldar deployed only part of their force. Two Wave Serpents, each with a Dire Avenger Squad, deployed in the southeast table corner. The Fire Dragons set up next to them, behind the water treatment plant. To the north, the Night Spinner was deployed behind the storage shed, using the forest to block LOS. I figured Lance would concentrate at least some of the Marine fire on the Dragons, keeping the Avengers alive to score later.
Another squad of Avengers, with the Autarch, were held in reserve,
along with the Warp Hunter. I was hoping to 1) move the reserved Avengers
up the northern table edge, and 2) keep the Warp Hunter alive long
enough to fire at least one D-Cannon barrage.
At the top of the first turn, the Marines made a general advance to the east. Their missiles bounced off the Eldar tanks. The Wave Serpents moved slightly west, and a Night Spinner web entangled the Marines in the junk yard.
The Razorback moved north, flat out, to hunt the Night Spinner. A squad of Marines disembarked into the forest. The Terminators moved up in support and nailed the Fire Dragons` Serpent with missiles. First Blood!
The Warp Hunter and Avengers came on from reserves from the east. The Night Spinner moved south, away from the Razorback and its embarked Meltagun. A Serpent moved to place itself between the Marines and the Warp Hunter. The Fire Dragons moved up on foot next to the water treatment plant. The Night Spinner dropped a barrage onto the Terminators, killing the Assualt Cannon Terminator and slowing down the squad; they counted as in both Difficult and Dangerous Terrain the next time they moved. The Warp Hunter managed to kill six Marines and damage the Rhino with an Aether Rift, a torrented template D-Cannon shot; Lance admitted later that he had forgotten about the Eldar reserves.
The reduced Marine squad moved further into the forest, to try and get out of line of sight. The Razorback`s infantry disembarked around the storage shed, to try and gain Linebreaker. Marine fire broke the Fire Dragons, who ran off the table. A lucky missile immobilized the Warp Hunter,
It was way too early, but I moved up and disembarked all the surviving Eldar infantry, to try and reduce the Tactical Marines, both in the forest and by the storage hut. The Marines in the forest were whittled down to a single man, and a couple of Marines were left standing by the shed. The Night Spinner dropped another web onto the Terminators, to keep slowing them down.
The Terminators concentrated their fire on the Avengers to the south. Surprisingly, a couple of them survived. The Autarch moved off on his own to hunt the Razorback, managing to take off a couple of hull points. The remainder of the Eldar infantry embarked back into their tanks and moved west.
Night fell, but the ranges were so close, and the Marine armour already so resilient, that darkness had no effect on the outcome of the battle.
The Night Spinner kept hammering at the Terminators. Two Avengers disembarked by the junk yard to contest an objective, and some Dire Avengers disembarked by another objective to the north of the forest, contesting it.
The game would have ended in a 1-1 draw, but the rules of the Beer League playoffs dictated that a clear winner be decided. So, we kept going.
The Razorback gunned down the Dire Avengers near the centre. The Terminators, slowed by the Night Spinner's Chains of Vaul, managed to get a couple of men into contact with a Wave Serpent in the assault phase, immobilizing it. The two Marines to the northeast assaulted the Autarch, losing one in the process. The last Dire Avenger Wave Serpent moved flat out south, towards the uncontested objective located by the road. A lucky barrage shot landed onto the Terminator with the Cyclone Missile Launcher, killing him.
The Terminators were too burdened by the Night Spinner`s webs to advance effectively. Marine fire immobilized the Wave Serpent in the centre of the table. The Autarch was wounded in close combat, but passed his morale and remained locked in combat. The third Dire Avenger Squad disembarked from their immobilized tank, to finally take control of an objective. Eldar fire killed the last Marine in the forest.
Below is a photo of the final game position, looking north. To the southwest, the Marine and the Eldar contest an objective; thosee two Eldar Aspect Warriors also scored Linebreaker. In the centre, the yellow helmeted Avengers control an objective. To the northeast, the Autarch and a Marine are locked in combat, just outside of the Eldar deployment zone.
Eldar VP's: 4
Space Marine VP's: 1
Result: Eldar Win
The Marines were a tough nut to crack. The Terminators survived the game with the majority of their number still alive. In retrospect, the Night Spinner kept this squad from moving as freely as it might have, reducing their ability to control the centre of the table.
Thanks again to Lance for a nail-biter of a game, maybe the best one we`ve had together in a couple of decades of play!