Inquisitor Xethik led his forces forward more to the inevitable Daemon threat in the frozen wastes. The sound of Land Raider treads bouncing over rocks clicked in his ears every so often often followed by the rhythmic crunching of walker legs pivoting behind him. Where exactly they could descend into the planet was unknown, so they continued walking through the ruins and rocks, spotting the occasional tree, reminding them life was possible in this barren land. It was late in this planet's night and the morning was to be soon at which point their search would continue in speed again. Suddenly, a crack of a rifle went off and a bolt of energy seared rocks just next to the Inquisitor's head. The Grey Knight immediately snapped into a battle stance just as an Ulthwé Wave Serpent was spotted up ahead. Why the Damned were interfering was unknown to the Inquisitor, but obviously what he planned on doing here would lead to something disastrous to the Eldar. How immediate this would happen was unknown, but if the Inquisitor could not pull through against the Eldar, he would never know.
Daemonhunter's force was the same as last time:
Grey Knight Grand Master Iustus with Psychic Hood, Psycannon and Master-crafted Weapon
3 Grey Knight Terminators with Psycannon and Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
Inquisitor Xethik with a Combi-melta
Full Grey Knight squad with two Psycannons and targeter on Justicar
Full Grey Knight squad with two Psycannons and targeter on Justicar
Full Grey Knight squad with two Incinerators and targeter on Justicar
Grey Knight Land Raider with Extra Armor and Smoke Launchers
Grey Knight Dreadnought with Twin-linked Lascannon and Smoke Launchers
Grey Knight Dreadnought with Twin-linked Lascannon and Smoke Launchers
The Eldar force was:
6 Warlocks with Destructors, Conceal, Embolden, and Enhance
Wave Serpent with Shuriken Cannons and Spirit Stones
6 Fire Dragons (including Exarch) with Dragon's Breath Flamer and Crack Shot
Wave Serpent with Spirit Stones and TL Shuriken Cannon
10 Howling Banshees (including Exarch) with Executioner, Acrobatic, and War Shout
Wave Serpent with TL Shuriken Cannons
10 Dire Avengers (including Exarch) with Power Weapon and Shimmershield and Bladestorm
10 Warp Spiders (including Exarch) with Powerblades and 2 Deathspinners
Autarch with Power Weapon, Fusion Gun, Mandiblasters, and Warp Jump Generator
5 Dark Reapers (including Exarch) with Tempest Launcher
It was Dawn of War and Annihilation. I really don't like Dawn of War with my Knights as it doesn't allow me to set up the way I would like to in many cases and it allows my opponent that extra turn to roll transports up to me before I can stop them. I knew I was going to have to play well, but I guess for some reason on the inside I decided not to, heh. More on that later...
Eldar won the roll to go first and decided to take first turn. He deployed his Pathfinders in cover and put his Seer Council in the Wave Serpent on the board. He then let me deploy, at which point I put a Psycannon squad in some trees and an Incinerator squad in some rocks. I use my A Word in Your Ear to put the Wave Serpent in area terrain in hopes of immobilizing it, but the engines successfully landed in the icy rocks.
Turn 1, Eldar
Everything except the Warp Spiders come onto the board. Eldrad uses Fortune and Guide, and then Dooms my Incinerator squad. Shuriken catapults find their mark even through the darkness and fire at the nearest Grey Knights, but it simply bounces off the ceramite armor. Dark Reapers climb the building and Dire Avengers make their way forward. Wave Serpents move flat out to the Daemonhunter's right flank and Warp Spiders prepare to teleport in.
Turn 1, Grey Knights
The Land Raider rolls onto the field and Dreadnoughts pound forward. The second Psycannon squad runs forward and tries to move into position. The Land Raider takes aim at the Ulthwé Wave Serpent. Lascannons fire and they find their target. The engine stutters as the Wave Serpent comes crashing down in the snow and Dreadnoughts take this opportunity to fire their Lascannons in. They destroy ruins but don't even scratch the Wave Serpent. The Grey Knights who are in the trees fire their Psycannons right into the Wave Serpent's front armor and break off the top Shuriken Cannon. No doubt the Seer Council regrets interfering with the Inquisition!
Turn 2, Eldar
The Eldar send forward their Wave Serpents and Warp Spiders teleport onto the field, right next to the trees the Grey Knights were sitting in. This is where I made my first mistake. If I had simply asked what he was deep striking/outflanking after he deployed, I would have realized he had Warp Spiders in his list and kept my units clumped up, not leaving something for them to pick off so easily and uncontested. I make several more mistakes soon, more of them out of lazyness. Pathfinders move forward to get through the Shrouding and the Seer Council disembarks and moves forward, preparing to take out anything that opposes them. The Wave Serpents are just infront of my forces, right where they need to be. The Serpents will obviously die, but they have easily delivered a full force to my door step, one I cannot remove. Even if I destroy the transports, the units inside will pop out and easily eat my Grey Knights... To add salt to the wound the Warp Spiders fire a full 22 shots at my Grey Knights, killing 6 of them. While 22 shots killing 6 units is usually considered pathetic, even against Marines, it is a couple above average for the shots coming at me and Grey Knights are a bit overpriced, in my opinion. 150 points lost in one round of shooting from one unit is pretty tough, even from a unit that costs nearly 400 points. The Warp Spiders then jump back to avoid a counter attack.
Turn 2, Grey Knight
The Grey Knights react with a deathwish, or so it seemed. The Land Raider steers towards the Warp Spiders and spits out Terminators while the remaining Grey Knights follow. The Incinerator squad moves ahead with disregard of the Wave Serpents to either side of them. Their eyes lay on the Seer Council ahead as they ready their Incinerators to let out a burst of flame that will swallow the xenos whole. The Psycannon squad moves closer to the Fire Dragon Wave Serpent, hoping to have others bust it open and kill the weak units inside. The Dreadnoughts move closer to the Wave Serpents and ready to fire at them with Lascannons. Everything open fires. A dozen Psycannon rounds pelt Warp Spiders followed by a salvo of Storm Bolters. The Land Raider fires at the Banshee Wave Serpent as it is unable to see the Fire Dragon one, and wrecks it. The Dreadnoughts and Inquisitor with Combi-melta fire at the Fire Dragon Wave Serpent but don't manage to penetrate it due to Energy fields and my ability to roll 1s on armor penetration. The Incinerators belch out holy flame and I cackle as I roll the dice to end the Eldar. I look down at my rolls and I see seven dice laying up. Four of them are ones. Twin-headed snake eyes, damn! The devastating blast end up being less than that and the two kill points I had hoped to make easy wasn't all too threatening. Storm bolters fire and nothing falls to the shots. I expected to fail to wound roll or two, but the squad should have been down to nothing but the HQ if I had rolled even near the odds. My reckless move bore no fruit and I decided that banshees would eat me next turn anyways and I charged the Seer Council. I simply got my rear-end handed to me but I managed to kill one Warlock. I assault with my Terminators and small psycannon squad and kill all but the Exarch and Autarch, but losing my Psycannon Terminator and a Psycannon Power Armour Knight. The large Psycannon squad decides to charge the Wave Serpent and manage to force it to the ground, causing Fire Dragons to leap out. I had a feeling the next turn would not go well for me.
The Eldar retaliate to their torn up Warp Spiders and Seer Council viciously. Fire Dragons move closer to the squad closest to them and Banshees prepare to assault. Rangers load their rifles and Dark Reapers are finally in firing position. Dire Avengers move forward and shoot at the Terminators, taking out the Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield toting Terminator and Rangers snipe my unattached Inquisitor relentlessly. Fire Dragons let out a burst of flame and melta, engulfing all but the Justicar of my squad as they fell to melta-wounds.
Turn 3, Grey Knights
With almost nothing left, I decide I need to try to salvage as many kill points as possible. I recklessly move my Dreadnoughts closer to the Fire Dragons, knowing that I need to try to at least divert some melta-bombs to the Dreadnoughts and preserve the Justicar who would otherwise be taken out. My Land Raider turns around the corner and my Psycannon squad moves towards the Land Raider so they can get in next turn. My Terminators move to the Dire Avengers and open fire, preparing to assault. The Psycannons fire at the Seer Council (all three of them) and don't manage anythin. Lascannons fire at the immobilized Wave Serpent but I miss with one shot and simply shake with the other. My Terminators fire and assault, tearing the Dire Avengers into pieces but losing the Storm Bolter and Power Weapon Terminator in the process. The Dire Avengers fall back and leave my Grand Master exposed and he consolidates towards the Land Raider in order to maximize the Shrouding range from the far Ranger squad. My Dreadnoughts assault and I manage to lose one against some lucky rolling from meltabombs. I sigh in disappointment at myself and attack back, and manage to bring the squad down to the Exarch. He stays in combat and I end my turn.
Turn 4, Eldar
The Farseer and Banshees move towards the exposed power armor squad. I regret trying to take out the Seer Council, but I assumed my rolling would at least get one kill. My Grand Master is Doomed by Eldrad and is out in the open. Rangers fire at my Grand Master, taking him down to one wound as I can't make saves for the life of me (or my units). The Seer council charges my Land Raider and the Banshees my power armor units. The squad dies and my Land Raider is immobilized and shaken. The last fire dragon dies and I consolidate so that my Justicar is nearly completely hidden by Dreadnoughts. I count the kill points and swallow with nervousness as I notice the game is extremely close. At this point, I believe my opponent has five kill points while I have six. I know I'm going to have to finish off his weak units and having one or two vehicles standing at the end of the game to pull a victory.
Turn 4, Grey Knights
My Grand Master moves towards the Seer Council and he readies his psycannon. Finally, the Callidus Assassin reveals herself near the Rangers and finally redeems herself. She kills 3 of the 5 with the neural shredder and later kills the rest in close combat.
Lascannons from both the Dreadnought and Land Raider only manage to blow off the weapon on the underside of the Wave Serpent and my Grand Master manages to kill the Enhance Warlock and charges into close combat. In the assault, I only manage one hit even with a master-crafted weapon and hitting on threes and then the warlock saves the wound. Vile sorcery... The Grand master manages to stand against the two witches and my assassin jumps into terrain.
Howling Banshees move towards my Grand Master while Pathfinders and Dark Reapers fire at my Callidus. After taking 4 wounds, I fail 2 and die even with my cover save. I love those ones and twos. As the Howling Banshees assault the Grand Master, I know I have lost at this point. The Grand Master is chopped into bits and my numbers dwindle to a Land Raider, a Dreadnought, and a Justicar.
I know I need to kill that damn Wave Serpent this turn. I debate between firing at the Seer Council or at the Wave Serpent. I fire my first Lascannon at it but don't manage to hit even with rerolls. I do some mental math and a much larger chance at killing the Wave Serpent over the Seer Council. I fire at it, but roll a 1 to penetrate. The game ends and I lose by one kill point.
I've been beating myself up over some huge mistakes I made this game and some terrible rolling I had at hugely critical moments. It was a really good game and was friendly, so I have no qualms against my friend or myself, but it was the most tense (and then hugely disappointing) moment I've ever had in a game. Either way, it was a great game between two often called not-so great codices. Some things I should have done flashed by my head. Thinking about it at first, I should have charged my Dreadnought forward after killing Fire Dragons. However, I went back and measured from the left over terrain/my units still on the table and I would have had to ran to get close enough to assault by that point, something I probably wouldn't have done seeing how the game could have ended Turn 5. I should have not sent my forces out so much and kept them a bit closer together. Using my Land Raider, I could have stopped the Banshees from getting to any infantries and I could then send my Dreadnoughts at them to tear them up while my squads dealt with Fire Dragons and Seer Councils. I guess my biggest error was positioning the entire game. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20.
It was a great game and I hope you guys enjoyed the battle report. It was probably a bit more boring than last time as I ache about my woes of poor rolling, but hopefully you can relate and laugh with me! I mean really, 4/7 ones was so frustrating at first, but by the end of the game I was laughing about my crappy rolls. To end the post I'm going to do a bit of "story-time" as the Ordo Malleus is wiped off the planet.
The Inquisitor pulled back his bolter, melta attached to it still smoking. It didn't do anything to the Wave Serpent as the blast simply flared around the energy shield, and he grunted in disapproval. He moved to join the Grey Knights in rending the vehicle apart when suddenly he felt dizzy. He had taken wounds in battle before, so he knew the feeling. Attempting to fight through the pain and avoid more fire, he dove to the frozen ground and lifted his crimson helmet off of his head while covering his wounds with what snow he could find. He had taken a shot through the cheek and in the gut. While much more blood poured from the wound at his stomach, the shot to the head probably had hit something vital. Nothing bionics wouldn't fix, the Inquisitor thought, but someone would have to survive to help him back to the ship. Suddenly, the rock he was hidden behind splintered. Shards of the stone pounded the back of his exposed head and an energy bolt tore through his lungs. His vision blackened as he fell forward and thought of all the opportunities lost here.
I hope you enjoyed the recent battle reports and I apologize for being so slow on blog posts. Not much time to write and when I do have time, I often spend too much of it considering what to write about. Any questions or issues can be addressed in the comments, and I'll get back to you as soon as I get them.