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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Game 4 Event Horizon Battle Report: Grey Knights vs Eldar

This is the only one you guys care about isn't it? My losing to Footdar. Well let's get into it then :). My opponent was Michael Cruise (who has written a brief report of his experience here) who was using Footdar. I must admit, probably to my own downfall, I was extremely confident heading into the game. Nothing against Michael as an opponent but, and Michael admitted this, he was going to have a hard time dealing with all my MEQ and vehicles. Overconfidence and...well you'll have to see won't you >.<. 

The mission was spearhead with objectives, table quarters and kill points as the mission parameters. Michael won the roll-off and opted to go first against my firepower using the central piece of terrain to his full advantage (it blocked LoS to all infantry) and I deployed most of my mech behind and directly across from him to be able to gain cover from his few ranged anti-tank shots. With that the board was set and the game was to begin... Here's Michael's list btw (mine is here): 


7 Fire Dragons, including exarch, firepike, tank hunter
mounted in wave serpent, twin bright lance
9 Howling Banshees, including exarch, war shout, acrobatic, executioner

10 Dire Avengers, including exarch, dual catapults
10 Dire Avengers, including exarch, dual catapults
8 dire avengers
6 dire avengers
6 pathfinders

3 war walkers, armed with 2 scatter lasers each
wraithlord, with wraith sword
wraithlord, brightlnace, missile launcher


First an ammendment. We didn't forget servo-skull rules, Michael used his scout move to get closer and I should have been more aggressive with the placement of that servo-skull to push him further off. My bad there. And then here's the extra embarrassing bit... (misspelling embarrassing isn't it btw).

Grey Knights Turn 1

First, why did I attempt to seize? It was an objective based mission so going second is often quite advantageous as you can ensure you are the last one on the objective in any given turn. In this setup however I was confident in my ability to tank shock my opponent off objectives and him not being able to deal with a big metal box there during his turn. To make sure of this though I needed to take out what could hamper me a lot which were his Fire Dragons and War Walkers. Remember S6 against my Rhinos/Rbacks = explodes lol.

So with the seize in hand I moved up everything. My Chimera floored it up onto the central terrain piece to provide spells when really necessary (since I was casting through Runes of Warding) and MM shots at the Wraithlords in future turns. I made sure all my Razorbacks moved 6" so I was able to fire them all at the War Walkers and the Rhino on the left only moved 6" so the two psycannons could fire as well. One of the Purifier squads hopped out to give me two more Psycannons to level if needed (didn't need to do this but not a biggie atm). The two Dreadnoughts in the back hopped up on the big ice rock thing (btw, how well does this board go with my army) to get clear LoS on the Serpent in the backfield. And then enter mistake number 1. With the Rhino on the right I moved a full 12" and jumped everyone out in an effort to shoot down the Banshees without Fortune. This was a mistake for a couple of reasons. I wasn't going to wipe the squad unless I got everyone else out and Banshees + Eldrad + Yriel + Doom were going to trump me in combat regardless of how many there were. I had then gotten a squad out of their transport (and therefore made them a prime target for Doom) in range of nearly every gun Michael had. I.e. enter lots of wounds next turn.

With all my movement done it was time to shoot. 8 S7 rending and 12 twin-linked S7 shots later and the War Walkers had lost one of their number and were shaken on the other two. Ouch. One Dread is able to immobilise and weapon destroy the Wave Serpent which hurts his anti-tank significantly and the disembarked squad kills four banshees and wounds both Eldrad and Yriel but they pass their Ld and stay pat. 

Eldar Turn 1

So not a great first turn with the War Walkers still standing but at least they aren't shooting. Michael moves both them and the Swordlord up to the edge of the terrain to ensure they'll get some cover from the MMs whilst the rest of his infantry forces move up (the Dragons and Banshees run). Doom was successfully cast on the large GKSS (I forgot about Aegis but it was unlikely to make a difference, if the Dreads had been aggressive however...) and after the hail of Shuriken fire was completed, four were left standing (both psycannons and the Justicar lived). The Avengers on the left moved and ran behind the mountain thing to get closer to the objective on that side (Michael had at this point forgotten about his own objective). The Wraithlord with EML/BL was unable to damage one of my Dreads.

Grey Knights Turn 2

So I have basically lost any advantage I may have gained by seizing the initiative since one of my large squads has been drastically reduced in number. The reduced squad got back inside to use the top hatch and their psycannons. The Purifier squad shuffled side ways (another mistake, they should have gotten back into their transport and moved away from the Swordlord) and my left flank all moved 6" sideways. At this point I probably should have moved the Dreadnoughts up as well as they could provided reinforced Aegis whilst still being able to shoot the Wraithlords. 

With that I opened up with my shooting again with most of the middling strength firepower going against the War Walkers...killing one and shaking the other. The MM + Dreads were able to put a wound on the Swordlord and another uneventful shooting phase came to an end.

Eldar Turn 2

With few GKs to shoot this time around, Michael has to move in for some assaults. His Swordlords moves towards the exposed Purifiers (why did I leave them there again?) and the remaining War Walker to the stationary Chimera. His infantry moves up as well with the Banshees and Dire Avengers just moving onto the central terrain piece and the Fire Dragons moving around the War Walker wreck. The remaining Avengers in the top right stayed in the area terrain. 

With shooting the Fire Dragons were able to explode the Rhino on the far right and some ensuing Pathfinder and Dire Avenger shots brought them down to six strong and ended with them being pinned. Epic. The Purifier Razorback in the centre was shaken by the Guided EML/BL Wraithlord and he wasn't about to try and Fortitude that away. In the assault phase the Libby succesfully cast Sanctuary to no avail and the War Walker crashed into the side of the Chimera whilst the Swordlord attacked the Purifiers. The War Walker did no damage and the Swordlord lost a wound (Hammerhand went off!) and killed two Purifiers in return with one more dying to Fearless saves.

Grey Knights Turn 3

By this stage I hadn't done much damage to the Eldar army. Part my fault. Part the dice's fault. Don't worry, I would continue the my fault part :P, it's a theme. With my left flank having been hurt badly with the large Strike Squad being pinned I needed to aggressively push left with what else I had to maximise my mobility. The Razorback on the hill immobilised itself. That hurts. I can jump out and walk there but with the Pathfinders and Dragons in range, that would most likely be suicide. Instead they just stay pat (I should have gotten them out to lend weight of fire against whatever I was shooting but didn't). With the other two squads disabled on the left flank the Purifier squad moves up. I made another mistake here. I should have moved the Razorback a full 12", protected the Purifiers from the Banshee assault with the Razorback, disembarked the Purifiers to shoot the Fire Dragons and popped smoke on the Razorback. 

With the left flank failing (and stupid mistakes mounting) I needed to do something to salvage my ability to kill Michael's infantry. Time to throw some tanks at a foot army! The shaken Razorback goes 12" full steam through the Banshees and Dire Avengers and pops smoke. Both hold firm. On the far right I disembarked the remaining four guys of the strike squad, moved them towards the two Dire Avenger squads and then sent the Rhino after them into one of the Dire Avenger squad. This move had multiple effects. First it could scare off the Dire Avenger squad I targeted (it didn't). 2nd, it bunched up the two squads even more so a multi-assault was very easy. And third, it blocked the Wraithlord from getting into combat with me for at least a turn. 

Once again I should have moved the Dreadnoughts but I didn't. My shooting did nothing and the Swordlord finished the Purifier in combat. The Strike Squad whiffed completely and saved the two wounds done back to them and the Justicar came through, killing two of the Dire Avengers from the red squad. The other squad broke and ran away but the smaller squad held leaving my guys safe from a lot of dakka next turn.

Eldar Turn 3

The EML/BL Wraithlord moved towards the Razorback with a Strike Squad on my right flank whilst the Banshees moved along the central piece of terrain to setup a multi-assault on the Purifiers and Chimera. The Swordlord setup an assault on the smoked Razorback in the middle of the Eldar lines. The Dire Avengers on the far left moved back towards Michael’s home objective whilst the Avenger squad in the centre stretched out to hold the central objective. The Fire Dragons moved into melta range of the Razorback on the central piece of terrain.

The Eldar shooting was unable to do any damage to the pinned Strike Squad on the left but wrecked the Razorback in the middle. The EML/BL Wraithlord was able to shake the Razorback on the far right. In combat the Strike Squad in combat with the Avenger squad did nothing (even the MC hammer) and Sanctuary failed to cast and took a wound from the Librarian. Eldrad got into combat with the Chimera exploding it (which took a wound off the Inquisitor and killed one Servitor) whilst the Banshees killed the Purifiers (who’s Knight of Flame killed himself trying to cast Cleansing Flame). The Swordlord stunned the Razorback in combat.

Grey Knights Turn 4

The Wraithlords need to die now as they are going to pressure my backfield but I don't really have the firepower to hurt them and I need to pressure his back and midfield as well to ensure I can capture more objectives than him. Luckily this turn was a bit lucky for me. The previously pinned Strike Squad moves forward to shoot the Fire Dragons. I had two options here. If I shoot I need to wipe them out as the squad is stretched out and Michael would remove models from the front to take me out of assault range. If not, I need to assault them but we know how good Strike Squads are in combat and with Yriel, Eldrad and Banshees there...not a good idea. With this in mind I need to bring as much extra shooting as possible so gamble and cast Fortitude on the shaken Razorback which passes. The stunned Razorback fails but only re-shakes itself with the Perils hit. The remaining Rhino tank shocks through the Eldar lines again and makes the large Dire Avenger squad flee. Phew!

In my shooting phase the combination of two Psybacks and the Strike Squad kill the Fire Dragons and the Dreadnoughts + MM Servitors are able to kill both of the Wraithlords. Dice made up for their failing in the earlier turns I guess! In combat the Strike Squad kills a single Avenger who holds firm.

Eldar Turn 4

That was a bad turn for the Eldar forces as two of their remaining large squads disappeared along with both Wraithlords. The fleeing Dire Avengers kept running as they were within 6”of the Rhino. Yriel detached from the Banshees+Eldrad to deal with the Strike Squad whilst Eldrad + Banshees moved to engage the stunned Razorback. The Dire Avengers in the back corner kep hustling towards their home objective.

In combat Yriel bombed the whole Strike Squad into oblivion and Eldrad was able to Wreck the Razorback. The Strike squad on the right was able to drop another single Avenger but they held firm.

Grey Knights Turn 5

Things are winding down now with each army badly damaged. I finally hop the Strike Squad out of their Razorback on my left and they head towards my home objective. The Inquisitor + Librarian + MMs move up to the Razorback to protect themselves from any fire whilst the Dreadnoughts stay where they are. The Rhino in Michael’s backfield tank shocks towards his home objective to contest it forcing the fleeing Avenger squad off the board.

The Dreadnoughts kill the Serpent but everything else is unable to get a beeline or is busy running. In combat the Strike Squad kills one more Avenger but they stay firm.

Eldar Turn 5

Yriel runs back to try and take on the Rhino. Michael has a choice, throw the spear or attempt to fleet into combat. He attempts for spear throwing and is just in range. Spear hits. Spear pens. Rhino explodes. Explosion is a massive 1” so the Avengers are safe. Eldrad and the Banshees fleet across the terrain to engage the Strike Squad in combat killing all but the Justicar. He has a final attempt to redeem himself by killing the lone Avenger and…fails. He then fails his Fearless saves and Eldrad & co consolidate. The Pathfinders fore went shooting to move into range of their objective.

A bystander rolls for game end (with one of my dice; we joked later he should have used Michael’s) and the game ends. We’re tied on objectives 2-2 so we had to add up the points to see who held the bottom left quarter. I did just thanks to moving the Inquisitor + Libby and henchmen there. On kill points Michael was ahead 9-7 but not enough for a victory so it went to VP. Michael was ahead by 100.5 VPs so wins by the narrowest of margins. Well played =).


So. The game was close as hell in the end and any single dice roll could have changed it. Not forcing the Avengers to flee, Yriel not killing the whole Strike Squad, my Strike Squad killing the Avengers over several combat phases, my shooting not downing the Wraithlords, my Strike Squad getting pinned, etc. could have changed the way the game played out. In that sense, it was an excellent game and we both got a good laugh at some of the failures of the dice.

In the end though I was in this position from bad movement which took away the advantage my tanks gave me over Michael’s army. He was going to have trouble killing my tanks (as evidenced by the Rhino + Razorback running around his backlines) yet I wasn’t able to maximise my mobility advantage. I didn’t really have a range advantage over his Dire Avengers (18” + 6” move equalled my stormbolter range) but I exposed squads to too much firepower often far too early (i.e. Strike Squad and Purifier squad in early turns, Purifier squad late game where Banshees assaulted them). Not moving my Dreadnoughts forward to take advantage of their 135 point cost and reinforced Aegis also hurt me but that's the gift of hindsight.

Whilst I was bitterly disappointed I lost when I felt I should have won, I was happy to have lost to an excellent opponent like Michael who took advantage of the mistakes I made and was a pleasure to play with (and the eventual overall winner). In the end I learned more about the army in this one game than I did over the whole weekend plus it was a game not against Imperial Guard :p.

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