Sunday 22 April 2012

Throne of Skulls, January 2012 - Game 1

So, I've decided to start work on writing up the games I had at Throne of Skulls in January, due to a disastrous shortage of Badab Black and the weather not being suitable for undercoating.

My first opponent was Simon Harris, playing an Eldar list. He, and all my opponents, were kind enough to give me a copy to keep:

1500 Pts - Eldar Roster

HQ: Farseer (1#, 150 pts)
   1 Farseer, 150 pts = (base cost 55 + Spirit Stones 20 + Eldar Jetbike 30) +  Doom  25 +  Guide  20

HQ: Avatar (1#, 155 pts)
   1 Avatar, 155 pts

Elite: Fire Dragons (7#, 231 pts)
   5 Fire Dragons, 80 pts = 5 * 16
      1 Fire Dragon Exarch, 36 pts = (base cost 28 + Firepike 8)
      1 Wave Serpent, 115 pts = (base cost 90) + TL Scatter Lasers 25

Elite: Howling Banshees (9#, 290 pts)
   7 Howling Banshees, 112 pts = 7 * 16
      1 Howling Banshee Exarch, 43 pts = (base cost 28 +  Acrobatic 5 + Executioner 10)
      1 Wave Serpent, 135 pts = (base cost 90) + TL Bright Lances 45

Troops: Dire Avengers (8#, 128 pts)
   7 Dire Avengers, 84 pts = 7 * 12
      1 Dire Avenger Exarch, 44 pts = (base cost 24 +  Bladestorm  15 + 2 Avenger SC 5)

Troops: Dire Avengers (8#, 138 pts)
   7 Dire Avengers, 84 pts = 7 * 12
      1 Dire Avenger Exarch, 54 pts = (base cost 24 +  Bladestorm  15 + DireEx PW & Shimmershield 15)

Troops: Pathfinders (Rangers) (5#, 120 pts)
   5 Pathfinders (Rangers), 120 pts = 5 * 24 (base cost 19 + Pathfinders 5)

Heavy Support: War Walker Squadron (2#, 140 pts)
   1 War Walker Squadron, 0 pts
      1 War Walker, 70 pts = (base cost 30 + Missile Launcher 20 + Missile Launcher 20)
      1 War Walker, 70 pts = (base cost 30 + Missile Launcher 20 + Missile Launcher 20)

Heavy Support: Wraithlord (1#, 150 pts)
   1 Wraithlord, 150 pts = (base cost 90) + Bright Lance 40 + Scatter Laser 20

Shouild any of you be dull enough to add this up, it will show up as 2 points over - I think this is because of failing to take into account the second Avenger shuriken catapult on the first Dire Avenger Exarch, but I may be misreading his list and it is no issue whatsoever. I know the staff at the Tournament were checking lists as the day went on, and it was just a case of updating your list to fix any issues.

Anyhow, we got Capture and Control with Pitched Battle deployment. The table was pretty open, with a smattering of cover across it. This was never going to go well with a not fully mechanised Eldar list.

I put my objective out in the open on a hill on the right flank of my deployment zone, and smacked my combined squad down on top of it - he put his in a wood in the centre of his which he filled with Rangers. He made a spirited attempt to take the objective, throwing both Dire Avengers Squads and the Howling Banshees at my right flank, while the Fire Dragons took the left flank to stop my veterans making his objective.

I managed to successfully and gleefully careen by Rough Riders into one of his Dire Avengers squad, which was brutally mauled as a result, before the second Dire Avenger squad charged in to take out the survivors once their lances had been used up.

The Howling Banshee Wave Serpent got the priority love, and was swiftly turned into a smoking wreck, leaving the Eldar on a walk to their objective. That prioritisation meant my Vet's Chimera took a pasting from the Fire Dragon melta, and they were out of the contention for getting to his objective, but neatly took out the Fire Dragon Wave Serpent and contents with some help from nearby units.

From that point on, it was a case of pouring fire into the Wraithlord and Avatar in the desperate hope that they would both just die (they did). The Valkyrie screamed onto the table, shot holes in the Pathfinders, and then dropped the Penal Legion off to finish the job. The last Ranger died just before I was going to have to assault in, gaining me the objective.

Meanwhile, I came under a sustained threat from a single surviving Howling Banshee (don't laugh) and two outflanking War Walkers putting a major dent into my combined squad and drawing them off the objective, but lucky positioning meant I was still holding both at the end of the game.

It was close that we finished at all - there were less than five minutes left as the final turn rolled by! All in all, I was happy with how the game went and pleased to play a gentleman like Simon. It was his first tournament too, and he went on to only draw one game, but picked up two "best game" votes from other players, so was clearly a fun guy to play for folks other than me.

Having not played for some months I was glad of a first game where I hadn't felt too pressured, and wasn't taken completely apart. Ben Salmon, on the table to my right, was playing a Dark Eldar venom spam list and had reached turn three by the time I'd finished deploying, and had completely wiped his young Space Wolf opponent off the board by the end of our turn one. I think I might have gone into shock if I'd hit something like that game one!

Ben went on to be undefeated in the tournament, and while he didn't win the tournament due to the Dark Eldar average being high and a lack of 'best game' votes (he said himself that he wasn't expecting any sportsmanship nods, and it would be kind of counter to the feel of the Dark Eldar to have gotten any), was still cheerful as a result and is planning to hit more Throne of Skulls events with perhaps slightly less cheesy lists in future. Also, to give him full credit, he also took the time to then play the Space Wolf lad again more casually, giving him a few pointers for the future, chatting about improvements to both tactics and list.

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