40k Batrep • BikeStar vs. Serpent Spam

The first battle report of 2015 is here! This list features a Stormraven versus the Stormfang – let me know what you think.

Here is my second battle report from my recent visit to Canada.

Here is my new list:

* White Scars *
Chapter Master (Warlord – Master of Ambush)
Bike – Artificer Armor – Shield Eternal – Power Fist – Auspex

Librarian
Bike – Indomitus Armor – Force Axe – Meltabombs
Level 2 Psyker
Telepathy:
Psychic Shriek – Dominate – Hallucinate

Command Squad – Bikes
4x Grav Gun – 4x Stormshield – 4x Meltabombs – Thunderhammer – Chapter Banner
Apothecary

4x Biker
2x Grav Gun
Sergeant – Combi-Grav – Meltabombs
Attack Bike – Multi-Melta

4x Biker
2x Grav Gun
Sergeant – Combi-Grav – Meltabombs
Attack Bike – Multi-Melta

Stormraven
Twin Linked Assault Cannon – Twin Linked Multi-Melta – Extra Armor

* Allied Space Wolves *
Rune Priest
Bike – Runic Armor – Force Axe – Meltabombs
Level 2 Psyker
Divination:
Prescience – Perfect Timing – Scryer’s Gaze

Iron Priest
Bike

9x Grey Hunter
2x Meltagun – Plasma Pistol – Power Axe – 7x Close Combat Weapon
Wolf Guard Pack Leader – Frost Axe – Stormshield – Meltabombs
Drop Pod

BikeStar =
Chapter Master + Librarian + Rune Priest + Iron Priest + Command Squad

Psychic powers are good overall – Psychic Shriek to handle Wraithknights, plus Prescience and Perfect Timing is very helpful for those grav guns versus wave serpents and Wraithknights.

The Eldar
My opponent was running a mechanized eldar army with Wraithknights:

Autarch (Warlord – Stealth in Ruins)

5x Dire Avenger
Wave Serpent – Scatter Laser – Shuriken Cannon – Holofield – Ghostwalk Matrix

5x Dire Avenger
Wave Serpent – Scatter Laser – Shuriken Cannon – Holofield – Ghostwalk Matrix

5x Dire Avenger
Wave Serpent – Scatter Laser – Shuriken Cannon – Holofield – Ghostwalk Matrix

5x Fire Dragon
Wave Serpent – Scatter Laser – Shuriken Cannon – Holofield – Ghostwalk Matrix

5x Fire Dragon
Wave Serpent – Scatter Laser – Shuriken Cannon – Holofield – Ghostwalk Matrix

Wraithknight (stock)

Wraithknight (stock)

Gun Emplacement – 2x Twin Linked Icarus Lascannon (Skyfire – Intercept – BS2)

Gun Emplacement – 2x Twin Linked Icarus Lascannon (Skyfire – Intercept – BS2)

Army & Mission Details
This is a slight variation of Tony Kopach’s NOVA winning eldar list with the gun emplacements switched in place of the artillery. I have fought serpent spam before at the GT in Miami so I’ve got the experience. I felt I had the advantage overall in experience since my opponent hadn’t dealt with my full list including allied Space Wolves. He is a good player though so it won’t be easy.

We both have excellent warlord traits – my opponent’s skimmers have a 2+ cover save in ruins if they jink and the Wraithknights have a 3+ cover save in ruins. Depending on how he deploys I can get in some good shooting the first turn.

We played the ATC mission:

Primary 1 – Scouring (4 objective markers)
Primary 2 – Emperor’s Will
Primary 3 – Purge the Alien

Secondaries:
First Blood (FB) – Slay the Warlord (StWL) – Line Breaker (LB)

Deployment – Vanguard Strike

There are lots of ruins on the table which is good for both us but better for my opponent – luckily I have Perfect Timing which negates the 2+ cover save for the serpents in ruins.

No Night Fight.

– DEPLOYMENT ZONES –
Most of the objective markers are placed over in one corner. I win the roll to choose my deployment zone picking the side with the majority of the objective markers… No need to make it easy for my opponent… The more he has to think about the better chance he’ll eventually make a mistake.

– DEPLOYMENT –
My opponent wins the roll to deploy first and takes it. He spreads out starting with the serpents deep in his deployment zone and the two Wraightknights placed aggressively up front. Gun emplacements are deep in his corner and have line of sight across the entire table.

I use infiltrate to push up one biker squad as bait behind a ruin. The other biker squad hides behind a building deep in my deployment zone as I’ll need them for late game objective grabbing. BikeStar is deployed centrally using a big ruin for some cover. Grey Hunters and Stormraven start in reserve.

I fail to seize the initiative.

– PRE GAME ANALYSIS –
I pretty much always abandon my Emperor’s Will marker and play that objective for a draw, going for my opponent’s… This game though I need to hold mine since that area is where most of the Scouring objective markers are located – so he will have to come to me to have a chance at the Scouring – I predicted he would make a fifth turn push to grab them so I need to make sure I’m in position to go after the surviving serpents when the time comes.

I was sad to see the two gun emplacements – Stormraven probably won’t last long. Oh well… Let’s see what it can do.

Grey Hunters are my disruption unit and loaded for bear !! They always cause some mayhem. If they take some heat off the rest of my army that alone is quite useful and having an objective secured drop pod is a good counter to the plethora of serpents.

The eldar are super shooty and super fast – I am too though plus I feel I have the advantage in mėlee which is the best way to pop serpents and drop the Wraithknights. BikeStar will have to do the heavy lifting but the rest of my army needs to support them well to win.

I should theoretically have the advantage in kill points as overall my army has less units… Have to make sure I don’t get shot off the table though. Every surviving squad will count !!

The Game

Chapter Master Tungsten revs the engine of his bike holding his power fist towards the rapidly approaching battle line. “The eldar must die… Trample them under your wheels of death!” The command squad veterans slam their gauntlets across the Stormshield in a sign of defiance to the xenos. The Iron Priest bares his metal teeth grinding them in a fit of cold rage. “Advance!” shouts the Chapter Master and the bikers race ahead.

1st Turn – Eldar
The serpents shuffle while one Wraightknight moves up beside my baiting biker squad. My opponent fires the other Wraithknight at BikeStar – one shot goes through. The Librarian is closest. Instead of Look Out Sir I decide to pop his armor for the 2++ invulnerable save and roll a one, giving up First Blood like a dummy. There goes my chance to see how twin psykers could perform. Note I rolled lots and lots of 1s and 2s this game – it was very disappointing to say the least. The rest of his shooting can do nothing though. The first Wraithknight charges the bikers but only manages to kill two plus I drop a couple wounds – one with Overwatch from a grav gun and another from the sergeant’s meltabomb. I pass my break check and then successfully hit and run out of combat… Had I failed the leadership test they probably would have broke off the table… So some good luck for me there.

1st Turn – BikeStar
Grey Hunters come in with a precise drop landing on top of a Scouring objective marker and disembark getting one meltagun behind a serpent out of cover. The forward biker squad moves behind a ruin while BikeStar moves and flatout towards the heart of the eldar line… I want them in position next turn to wreak havoc and apply pressure right away. The other biker squad holds its ground hiding behind the building.

Psychic phase is a wash which will become a common occurrence this game.

The first meltagun fired by the Grey Hunters gets past the eldar cover save but only manages to stun it. The other meltagun can’t get past the cover save but the plasma pistol glances it. The first biker squad targets the wounded Wraightknight and drops another wound.

Not a great first turn but it could have been a lot worse plus I’m playing for a pivotal second turn.

Eldar – 1 KP FB • BikeStar – 0

2nd Turn – Eldar
Fire Dragons disembark from the stunned serpent drawing a bead on the Grey Hunters. The wounded Wraithknight moves to counter BikeStar – I think he should have gone after my forward biker squad to finish them off. The other Wraightknight follows suit and the mobile serpents all line up for shots on BikeStar or Grey Hunters as well.

My opponent focuses the vast majority of his shooting versus my Grey Hunters and BikeStar as noted. My Chapter Master takes one wound and all that remains of the Grey Hunters is the lone Wolf Guard. Gun emplacements strafe the drop pod but come up empty.

No assault this phase.

2nd Turn – BikeStar
I need to make something happen this turn looking to inflict maximum damage. Stormraven comes in from reserve headed straight towards the exposed Fire Dragons. BikeStar moves up to multi-assault one Wraithknight and the stunned serpent. Wolf Guard moves into position to assault the Fire Dragons. The forward biker squad drops back away from the eldar line going into survival mode. The full biker squad comes out from hiding to target the wounded Wraightknight.

The eldar gun emplacements manage to strip two hull points from the Stormraven blowing off the multi-melta; I don’t jink though so it’s still fully functional for shooting its remaining weapons.

BikeStar unloads into the healthy Wraightknight stripping three wounds (note it was in cover). Stormraven and drop pod only manage to kill two Fire Dragons who pass their break check. The full biker squad causes no wounds on the wounded Wraightknight.

Again the psychic phase is a wash.

BikeStar makes the multi-assault with the Iron Priest targeting the stunned serpent. The Wraightknight can’t get past my stormshields and the Chapter Master finishes it off while the Iron Priest pops the serpent. Wolf Guard charges the Fire Dragons… One Xenos manages to hit firing Overwatch but then fails to wound. They swing first inflicting a wound but the Wolf Guard passes his save and pops two more – the lone Fire Dragon holds.

Eldar – 1 KP FB • BikeStar – 2 KP

Chapter Master Tungsten watches as the mechanoid visceral left from the fallen eldar war construct burns off his glowing power fist. He watches the lone Wolfguard trade blows with the xenos gunners. “Keep up the fight, we can win this battle!” Activating his ancient force axe fashioned from a hollowed fang taken from a Kraken back on Fenris the Rune Priest lets loose a blood curdling howl. Again the veteran bikers surge towards the next enemy position at full speed.

3rd Turn – Eldar
The four remaining serpents shuffle again while the last Wraightknight drops back into a more defensive position.

Shooting see the full bike squad brought down to just the sergeant and attack bike… Ouch ! BikeStar takes no wounds. Drop pod loses one hull point from the gun emplacements and one of the serpents blasts the Stormraven out of the air (he rolled a six for the shield having first hit with only one scatter laser shot).

The Wolf Guard then botches the assault phase but manages to make another save.

3rd Turn – BikeStar
Both biker squads drop further back but can’t completely hide away. BikeStar surges towards the remaining serpents.

Yet again the psychic phase is a wash.

BikeStar manages to immobilize the closest serpent with grav guns.

BikeStar then just makes the long charge (10″) and destroys the serpent – amazingly all of the Dire Avengers die in the explosion. Wolf Guard passes yet another save then finally manages to drop the last Fire Dragon – he then consolidate behind the wrecked serpent tucked away out of sight.

The tide has turned just a bit in my favor but I’m quickly running low on the support units.

Eldar – 2 KP FB • BikeStar – 4 KP

4th Turn – Eldar
Two of the three remaining wave serpents move and flatout away from BikeStar while the third moves into position to target one of my biker squads. The lone Wraithknight move back as well out of any potential grav gun range.

Combined shooting drops one of the biker squads and the other to just the sergeant (passes his break check) thinning out my line even more. Gun emplacements fail to inflict any damage on the drop pod.

No assault this phase.

4th Turn – BikeStar
The remaining eldar units are all located on one side of the table where there is one objective marker for the Scouring and one for Emperor’s Will. One of the Wave Serpents will have to move over to my side next turn if my opponent wants a chance to win. I move BikeStar into the center of the table so they can react to any movement. The lone biker sergeant finds a ruin to hide behind and sticks. Wolf Guard keeps his head down as well.

No shooting or assault for me this turn as I simply position for the next turn.

Eldar – 3 KP FB • BikeStar – 4 KP

“Show no mercy!” commands Tungsten. “There will be no prisoners. Grind the xenos’ bones to dust! They must comes towards us now or flee. Be ready.”

5th Turn Eldar
As predicted one serpent sticks its head out moving and flat outs onto a Scouring objective marker on my side of the table. Wraithknight jumps on his Emperor’s Will objective marker and another serpent claims the one Scouring objective marker on his side of the table.

Shooting drops one of the command squad and the gun emplacements drop one more hull point on the drop pod.

No assault this phase.

5th Turn – Bike Star
I decide to play as if this will be the last turn. I am in the lead but in a tenacious position as another turn the game could swing back in favor of the mighty eldar. Better to keep applying the pressure with the planned follow up from the previous turn of nothing but movement for positional dominance (as jy2 likes to say).

BikeStar drops back to go after the forward serpent while holding one of the Scouring objective markers and the Emperor’s Will objective marker on my side. Lone biker sergeant pops out to grav the same serpent. Note my drop pod is holding another Scouring objective marker.

Finally the Rune Priest manages to successfully cast Perfect Timing !!!

I just manage to immobilize the forward serpent with one grav gun shot from the command squad. The lone biker sergeant then fires his combi grav and rolls a 6 to glance and claim the two remaining hull points wrecking the serpent. The Dire Avengers spill out of the wreck maintaining as much distance as possible from BikeStar.

BikeStar attempts to charge first but fails to reach the Avengers (10″) – this was actually a feint as I was hoping my opponent would fire Overwatch at BikeStar and they are holding two key objective markers plus I’m ahead on kill points by a fair margin of 2. The lone sergeant then goes in and passes two rending wound saves via his jink and ties up the Dire Avengers.

Eldar – 3 KP FB, LB • BikeStar – 5 KP LB (Wolf Guard)

We then roll to see if the game ends and up pops a 2 ! I’ve got the Scouring, Purge the Alien and draw on Emperor’s Will for a strong win.

“Well done sons of Khan and Russ! We have shown the mighty eldar who is the strongest. May our fallen brother Windrider rest in piece.” Tungsten exclaims. “There will be no xenos survivors!” The Chapter Master guns his bike at full speed leading the command squad towards a group of fleeing eldar.

– POST GAME ANALYSIS –
It would have been interesting to see how the game played out if it had gone another turn or two. It’s safe to assume my opponent would have probably popped my drop pod but I don’t think he could haven’t gotten Purge the Alien. The other two primaries could have possibly gone either way depending upon my opponent’s decisions and good old Lady luck.

This was a really really bad dice game for me… I rolled more 1s and 2s over the course of the entire game it seemed. Fortunately for me the key rolls went my way when I really needed them most.

BikeStar really had to carry the game for me which I don’t feel was nearly as much the case when I was running three biker squads in support.

I’m not totally sold on the Stormraven but this game it was outmatched by the eldar gun emplacements. While it’s only one flyer it’s better than no air support – I need to play some more games before I make a final decision in that regard.

Losing the Librarian to the first shot of the game was very frustrating to say the least and the Rune Priest only came into his own the final turn. Still I’m liking double psyker and really like having Divination again for BikeStar – it can really give them that extra edge like the fifth and final turn which was a key event.

Happy New Year All!

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