Mission 1: Secure footing
After making planet fall the Chaos forces must press their advantage and quickly strike to take hold of the defenders strong points along their outer defenses hopefully bringing their scattered army to bear before the defenders can react.
Objective: Emperor’s will
Secondary objectives: First Blood, Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker
Deployment: Pitched battle
Special rules: Night fight, reserves, mysterious objectives, scattered forces, Defenders, Attackers
Scattered forces: You may, but don’t have to, deploy your Warlord and any troops choices on the table, the rest of your army must go into ONGOING reserves unless they are put into normal reserves. Units that must enter normal reserves still have to enter normal reserves. Ongoing reserves will arrive by moving onto the table from your table edge on turn 1 and may not arrive by any other means. Other units in normal reserves may arrive as per the special rules of that unit (ie deep strike, outflank etc)
Defenders (Forces of Order): Units that take up a Heavy support choice gain Objective Secured.
Attackers (Forces of Chaos): Units that take up a fast attack choices gain Outflank, units that have Outflank gain Acute Senses.
This time I went in with a mixed all-foot Eldar force:
- Phoenix Lord Asurmen
- 8 x Dire Avengers
- 8 x Dire Avengers
- 5 x Swooping Hawks
- 5 x Warp Spiders
- 4 x Dark Reapers, Starshot Missiles, incl. Exarch with Fast Shot
- Wraithlord, with 2 x Flamers, Bright Lance, and Ghostglaive
- Aegis Defense Line with Icarus Lascannon
The Aegis Defense Line is a resin kit from Mr. Dandy. The model is really evocative of the Eldar, and it comes with anti-aircraft guns, too. I just swapped out the Eldar-y Quad-gun for a Pulse Laser from my bits box.
Graeme brought over an interesting Tyranid force:
- Hive Tyrant, with wings and Heavy Venom cannon (Warlord)
- Hive Tyrant, with wings and Stranglethorn cannon
- Harpy, with twin-linked Venom Cannon
- 3 x Warriors, with Deathspitters
- 13 x Termagaunts
- 13 x Termagaunts
- 10 x Hormaguants, with poison sacs
- 10 x Hormagaunts, with poison sacs
- 10 x Gargoyles
Three(!) flying monstrous creatures (including two, level-2 psykers) anchored this large force.
Graeme set up first, placing his lone objective in the water treatment plant near the centre of the table. He really wanted to get his forces stuck in! I countered by placing my objective deep in the southeast corner, with a line of sight to the enemy objective. I placed the Aegis Line there too, hoping to hold that objective against all comers.
The first few turns, Graeme basically ran or flew everything south towards the Eldar Defense Line, except for the Warriors and a squad of Termagaunts, who seized the central objective. For their part, the Eldar gunned down everything that got into range, losing the Dire Avengers to concentrated fire and the close combat attacks of one of the Hive Tyrants. The Hawks bounced around the Tyranid backfield, but were finally driven off by the Tyrant HQ. The last of the Spiders over-reached himself, teleporting straight into the Warp trying to get in range of the Tyrant HQ.
Below, Asurmen and his Dark Reaper retinue (with "Objective Secured"!) hold the line against the big bugs. The Hive Tyrant to the west had only one wound left, so Graeme retreated it from the Wraithlord.
Graeme played agressively, trying to get the Tyrant to cast a psychic power. Sadly, he rolled Perils of the Warp, and the tyrant killed itself!
At the end of the game, each side held an objective. Forces in each other's deployment zones were either killed or driven off. Early on, the Eldar had managed First Blood (those nasty, poisonous Hormagaunts had to go), so the final score was 4VPs to 3VPs for the Swordwind!
Result: Eldar Win
"Man of the Match" was Asurmen himself, who tanked countless shots directed against the Reapers.
For the last few years I have fielded very heavily mechanized Eldar forces ("Serpent Spam"). Since the spring I have been having fun running foot Eldar. You get a surprising number of models on the table, and it throws out a lot of firepower. Asurmen is great for tanking shiots, especially with his Warlord Power, which allows him to re-roll saving throws of "1" (note that he has a base save of 2+).
As Graeme said, "That's not annoying at all."