BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

ATC Battle Report- Spacecurves’ Dark Eldar

12 Minute Read
May 31 2011

Hello everyone, Spacecurves here with a battle report for you from my most recent tournament.

I recently attended the first American Team Championship, held in Chattanooga TN. I  wasn’t planning to go, but a couple weeks before the event, “Team Toledo” had someone on their team drop out and needed a last minute replacement.  I agreed to help them out, and the team was re-christened “The Original X-Men”. I’m glad I did because the event was a lot of fun.  The ATC was modeled after the European Team Championship (ETC).  I’m the captain of the American ETC team, so I was particularly interested in how this event was going to pan out.  I’m happy to say it was a great success, and had an incredible number of top players in attendance.  Paul Murphy, Darkwynn and Goatboy were there, and teamed up with two of the wrecking crew to form “Wrecking BoLS” who ended up coming in first place. I’m sure we will soon see an article from one of them bragging about their glorious victory!  The team I joined came in second right behind them.  I can still claim a morale victory, because we beat their team soundly when we played them. (just kidding, great job guys!)

The competition at this event was of the highest caliber, and I think some of my games there will make interesting battle reports.  I brought my Dark Eldar army, this was only the second tournament I had played this codex.  A little history first, I played a Dark Eldar portal army at Adepticon, and did well, but not great with it.  I won 3 out of 4 games there, but without 4 wins I didn’t make it to the second day of the tournament. The game I lost was because of mistakes I made, not my army list, but even so I haven’t been able to settle on a portal army I am happy with.  I have changed my DE army list completely since then, and am now using the following force:

Vect:   240
Haemonculus: shattershard, 65
Haemonculus: liquifier, 60
Haemonculus: liquifier, 60

Archon’s Court: 1 lhama, 1 slyth, 2 medusa, 5 ur-ghuls 150
Raider: ether sails, night shield, tormentor grenades,trophies  85

Wytches: 8 wytches w haywire grenades, inc succubus with agonizer 126
Raider: ether sails, night shield, tormentor grenades 80

Wytches: 8 wytches w haywire grenades,inc succubus with agonizer 126
Raider: ether sails, night shields, trophies 80

Wytches: 8 wytches w haywire grenades, inc succubus with agonizer 126
Raider: ether sails, night shields,trophies 80

Warriors: 5 warriors, blaster 60
Venom: 2 splinter cannons 65

Warriors: 5 warriors, blaster 60
Venom: 2 splinter cannons 65

Warriors: 5 warriors, blaster 60
Venom: 2 splinter cannons 65

Ravager: 3 dark lances, flickerfield 115
Ravager: 3 dark lances, flickerfield 115
Ravager: 3 dark lances, flickerfield 115

I’ve found that this army is versatile and deadly, and I’ve gotten enough practice with it that I’m now proficient. Dark Eldar are really, really hard to play in a tournament. There are lots of tough matchups for them. The basic problem is that their ranged anti-tank amounts to missile launchers, and everyone is completely mechanized these days. Dreadnoughts are a big problem too, since DE options to deal with them in hand to hand are limited, and as stated their ranged anti-tank is mediocre at best.
The format of this tournament can be found on the ATC website, but the basic premise of each mission is as follows. There are 3 seize ground markers for one objective, 2 capture and control markers for another objective, and the third objective is kill points. Each objective is worth 10 battle points.
In the second round we were playing against Da Boyz club, a major contender with excellent players. They would end up coming in third place overall. Looking at their army lists, we decided to make me champion for that round. When the pairing process was over, it turned out their champion was Jay Woodcock with his grey knights. Jay and I are good friends, and he is also a member of Team America after qualifying at Adepticon. This game was certain to be one for the ages.
The deployment was spearhead, and the board looked like this. Jay won the roll-off to go first, and picked a corner with a ruin to deploy in. His army was something like this:
3 psy-dreads
Tech marine with every grenade known to man
Librarian with a million psychic powers
3 strike squads
Purifier squad
1 squad of the fast attack teleporter guys
2 cheap henchmen squads to claim objectives.
He kept the two henchmen squads in reserve and set everything else up:
Picture 1: Jay’s deployment.
So it was a foot army which was good for me, but it still had 3 psy-dreads and a million other psycannons which was very bad for me. If I could close the distance I could beat him in hand to hand, but the librarian powers and tech marine grenadier meant I had to be careful, those purifiers could destroy me if they had grenade support and initiative 10 from a psychic power.
So after seeing Jay deploy I considered my options. I never ever use Vects’ 4+ to seize, because if you set up counting on it to work, you will lose half your games. I couldn’t deploy within range of his guns, so going all reserve was an option. I decided on something sneakier though and deployed like this:

Picture 2: Hiding in the corner, out of range of everything.
On Jay’s turn 1 he had nothing in range thanks to me hugging the corner. My night shields saved me, because the front rank of vehicles were my Raiders, and without the -6 inches he could have gotten them with the psy-dreads. (as I’ve said before, night shields are awesome). So I had successfully wasted his first turn! He spread out and started moving towards the objectives.
On my turn 1 the flotilla of skimmers broke up and I zoomed all over the board. I used the ether sails on my Raiders to close the distance, moving up the right flank. My Venoms and Ravagers all fired at the closest strike squad that was in the open and killed all but 4 of them.

Picture 3: The raiders zoom up the right flank.
On Jay’s second turn he moved the central squad further towards my board edge and fired everything at my Raiders. My night shields stopped one of the squads from firing, but I failed all my cover saves and every single Raider blew up. He also decimated a Wytch squad with bolter fire. What was worse, is that the front squad failed their LD 9 pinning check twice (I got a re-roll with grisly trophies) and was pinned, blocking movement for the back squads. They would have been in charge range of his central squads easily next turn. Curses!
Things looked bleak at the start of my second turn. If even one Raider had lived I could have gotten some charges off this turn and begun to put his gunline under pressure. As it was, my guys were pinned down well away from his army, with a big stretch of open ground to cover. Not good!

Picture 4: Pinned, under fire, and a long way from assault.
The only squad I could reach was the 4 survivors of the strike squad I shot at. Vect joined the depleted Wytch squad in a “slingshot engaged” maneuver and they climbed over the burning raider to get in charge range. The rest of my army shot at the Purifiers who were in the open. I knew I needed to weaken them before I got into assault range. Vect easily wiped out the strike squad and consolidated toward Jay’s board edge, away from the central Strike squad. He and his ladies were way out in the open now though. The Archon’s court moved up behind another hut. I kept them in cover, and if that central strike squad tried to move up and charge, I could jump them next turn.

Picture 5: The firefight rages in the center of the table.
On Jay’s turn his henchman squads both arrived and he put them on his back objective. With his shooting he shook a Ravager, immobilized another one, and wiped out all the Wytches with Vect. He was way ahead on kill points, and I could tell his plan was to win seize ground by preventing me from crossing the no mans land, and win capture and control by blasting my Warrior squads apart with the psy-dreads.
It was the bottom of turn 3 now, and thus far it had been all about the Grey Knights winning the shootout. I knew I had a chance to take some momentum back now though. I basically controlled the right half of the table, and Jay controlled the left half. The central strike squad with Coteaz was the only troop Jay had near the “southern” seize ground objective. If I could wipe them out, that would force him to either move the squad in the ruins down there, or give up on it. My overall plan at this point was to win seize ground, and tie capture and control for at least a draw. If possible I would contest Jay’s capture and control marker and pull off a 20 pt win.
I put all my shooting into that central strike squad and dropped them down to four guys and Coteaz. 
Meanwhile, the rest of my army broke cover and ran screaming across no man’s land toward his lines. I decided that there was no way I was going to win kill points now, so I broke all the Haemonculi off from their squads, disembarked my Warriors from their Venoms, and presented Jay with nearly twice as many targets to engage. I moved my shaken Ravager flat out and parked it right in front of his ruins. This would provide my central Wytches and court with a crucial cover save. If he shot at the Ravager, so much the better, and if he charged it, I would be overjoyed because that would bring him in striking range of my troops behind.

Picture 6:  Charge! For souls and plunder!
Vect moved, fleeted, and charged, wiping out the Purifiers. He was left standing alone in front of the closest henchman squad, staring down all the Grey Knight guns.

Picture 7: My ravager provides cover for the charge and tries to bait Jay.
It was now Jay’s turn 4, and he realized that in another round, I would wipe out his central troop squad. He ignored my baiting Ravager and started moving his squad in the ruins down toward my board edge to reach that objective. His henchman units were claiming his capture and control marker, and I knew he was planning to shoot me off of mine with his dreadnoughts. He shunted his fast attack squad down 30 inches to join the firefight with my Warriors and Venoms. The storm bolters and psycannons opened up, and he stunned one Venom, exploded another, and almost wiped out a Warrior squad. Ouch.
The untouched Strike Squad brought my central Wytches down to 3 models in a hail of bolter fire. Vect took tons of bullets too, but survived with one wound. Jay then had an important decision to make. He had one dreadnought left to fire with, and he could wipe out the last 3 Wytches, or try to kill Vect. He decided to kill the wytches, which he had a clear shot too, and killed all of them.
It was now my turn 4, and time for revenge! Vect staggered to his feet and the Wytches moved up 6 inches to join him in another “slingshot engaged” move. Vect then chucked his awesome grenade in the middle of the henchmen squad, killing four, and bringing himself back up to full wounds! BWAHAHAHA YOUR SOULS ARE MINE! I made sure to tell Jay how delicious the suffering of his troops was. I then charged into the henchmen, wiping out the rest of them. At this point Vect had something like five pain points, muahaha!
Picture 8: Vect eats some souls, and prepares to slingshot the wytches forward.
On the other side of the battlefield I lit up Coteaz and his Strike Squad with the Archon’s court awesome medusa flamers, eventually killing all of them. Before doing so, I moved my one full strength Warrior squad inside a ring of my Archons court to ensure they would get a cover save and couldn’t be charged easily.
Picture 9: Grey Knights have won the fire fight and now move up to capture the center.
Jay’s Turn five. He moved his jump pack squad up to assault the court the tech marine joined the tail end of the squad so they would benefit from all his crazy grenades. His remaining Strike Squad made a break for the seize ground objective. At this point I had one Warrior squad on my capture and control objective, and Jay knew he had to shoot them down with his psy-dreads. It was looking likely that Vect would make it all the way to his capture and control marker, so he had to ensure that would at least be a draw. He also needed to take down my remaining vehicles so I couldn’t contest the objectives. His shooting was effective and he immobilized my southern Ravager. The Warrior squad on my capture and control objective went to ground and three of them hung on to survive the Dreadnought shooting.
In the assault phase his squad charged my court, and easily won combat. My court broke and ran toward my table edge.
Picture 10: My archon’s court sacrifice themselves to save the warrior squad behind.
So at this point Jay was definitely going to win kill points, we each were claiming our capture and control markers, and no one was claiming any seize ground objectives. Vect and his Wytches ran over to Jay’s capture and control marker and slaughtered his henchmen, ensuring I would win that objective. My surviving Warrior squad made a break for the central seize ground marker, and my one surviving Venom picked up the survivors of another Warrior squad, and moved over to the southern seize ground marker.  Jay’s Librarian was all on his own, out of cover, and I pumped dark lance shots into him. If I could take him down, my Warriors had a clear run to the central seize ground objective. However one ravager missed, and the other just did a single wound. We both yelled encouragement to the die as Jay made his invulnerable save, the die spun….and came up a 6! Damn you terminator armor!
If the game ended now, I would win 20-10. We rolled, and we got sixth turn.
We only had five minutes left so I stopped taking pictures at this point. Jay moved his jump pack squad over the hut and my burning wrecks to land in front of my back Warriors. He blasted all of them down with storm-bolters. His last troop, the Strike Squad, made a run for the only objective they could reach, the southern one being claimed by my Warrior laden Venom. They moved up to contest it, but couldn’t reach the Venom through the difficult terrain so the objective remained contested. The Librarian in the center hunted down my poor Warriors and wiped them out.
On my last turn I fired my remaining dark lances into the Strike Squad, but couldn’t wipe them out. The game ended with me winning capture and control by having Vect and his Wytches sitting on Jay’s marker, Jay winning kill points, and us drawing on seize ground. So a tie all around, with both of us receiving 15 points.
This was a fantastic game with lots of ups and downs, and lots of hard calls for both players. It was a joy to play against a player as good as Jay, such games are usually rare treats. Although at this tournament there were so many top players, pretty much every game was like this!
In hind sight I think my one big mistake was the initial movement of my Raiders. I kept them about 20 inches away from his lines, in an effort to stop his psy-cannons from getting range on me. I did stop 8 psy-cannon shots this way, but in the end he still killed all the transports leaving me high and dry in no-mans land. What I should have done is just drive straight at him, I could have gotten a little closer this way and maybe reached his lines sooner. This one mistake almost cost me the game, Dark Eldar players don’t get second chances!
So that is it for this battle report. How did you guys like this format? Was it interesting? Do you want more such articles? Leave feedback in the comments below or drop me a line at: [email protected]

  • Wargames Gallery 5-28-11