"It was cold, colder than usual upon the planet, Kazarai Dodechius. Mist hung in the morning air and thin rimes of frost clung to the Paladin's Terminator Armour as they marched behind their Grand Master. Faint rays of light began to creep along the horizon and the only sound that could be heard was the thump of boots and quite hum of Tau battlesuits. "Are you sure their were Daemons here Fireblade?" questioned the Grand Master, but before the Tau leader could respond great beams of darklight tore through the trees.
"Worse than Deamons," responded the Fireblade "denizens of the Dark City"...
Ok, the army lists.
Dark Eldar 1850 pts (with extra 50 pts)
Lelith Hesperax 175 pts
Baroness Katteryna (Baron Sathonyx) 105 pts
10x Wyches with Raider 250 pts
12x Hellions 237 pts
10x Kabalite Warriors with Raider 190 pts
7x Kabalite Warriors 63 pts
4x Grotesques with Raider 260 pts
5x Hekatrix Bloodbrides with Venom 150 pts
1x Ravager 130 pts
1x Cronos Parasite Engine 110 pts
1x Voidraven Bomber 230 pts
TOTAL: 1900 Points
Grey Knights with Tau Allies 1850 pts
Grand Master Draigo 270 pts
Tau Fireblade 84 pts
10x Paladins 735 pts
5x Terminators 235 pts
12x Fire Warriors 142 pts
1x Dreadnought 135 pts
3x Broadside Battlesuits 243 pts
TOTAL: 1849 Points
First Round, Deployment: Dawn of War, Missions: Emperor's Will and Crusade (three objectives for Crusade placed within three inches of the centre line).
The Grey Knights had the advantage of setting up first, having already been on the planet and prepared for combat. Only one squad benefited from Draigo's Grand Strategy special rule and scouted forwards. The Dark Heart Kabal deployed as far away from the big guns of the Dreadnought and Broadsides could reach and the benefits of Night Fighting as well as the Dark Eldar vehicles Night Shields meant that in the position they were in nothing could touch them. Fire Warriors deployed entrenched is ruins whilst Terminators and Paladins deployed out in the open with all the hubris of the Grey Knights they were. Kabalites and Hellions cowered behind tall ruins. the only adventurous deployment by my Dark Eldar came with the Bloodbrides and their Venom deploying behind a large piece of terrain and thus out of sight from the Broadsides.
Grey Knights turn.
The Grey Knights strode up the field with little regard for the enemy, the Paladins moved on an angle matching the trees and the Terminators moved into the craters with an amazing move through cover roll of 6 and then a run roll of 6 too, aiming to hold the right Crusade objective. Everyone else stayed more or less in the same spot. In the shooting phase the Broadsides took aim at the Cronos, being the only thing in range, but due to some ridiculous cover save rolls the Cronos only took a single wound.
Dark Eldar turn.
Engines screeched as the Raiders moved and with the aid of Enhanced Aethersails they covered most of the board in a single move, entering the enemy deployment zone and planning to creep up the flanks. The Cronos rolled and abysmal 4 when moving through cover and a 2 when it attempted to run. The Ravager opened fire on the Paladins but poor luck on the Ravagers part and divine intervention of the dice gods on the part of the Grey Knights meant that only a single wound was taken. The Venom had similar luck as it only managed to kill a single Shield Drone from the Broadside squad. Also the Hellions and Baroness took and held the left Crusade objective which resulted in an early lead for the Dark Eldar.
|End of Turn 1. Once again, sorry it's really blurry, but the basic shapes and positions are still there...|
Grey Knights turn.
This was a good turn for the Knights, the Paladins moved behind cover to avoid being a target for the Ravager and the Terminators continued to march towards the objective. As you'd expect all the Tau and the Psyfleman Dread stood still the get off there maximum shooting potential. The Fire Warriors and Dreadnought torn through the Cronos with a torrent of firepower, after the terrible shooting of the Dread it was the Fire Warriors who delivered the death blow to the foul creature. The Broadsides claimed their first victim of the game by blowing up the Wych squad's Raider, luckily the resultant explosion only killed a handful of Wyches. But the most horrifying thing this turn was the Paladins and Terminators decimation of the Bloodbrides and their Venom, wiping them from the board with a hail of bolts.
Dark Eldar turn.
After the considerable losses inflicted by some great shooting from the Grey Knights and Tau, the Dark Eldar had to do something considerably epic, hence the action taken by Lelith Hesperax's personally Raider which was to penetrate the opponent's back line as fast as possible and that is just what she and her squad did. With brilliant positioning, the Ravager traced a clear line of sight to the Paladins whilst being completely hidden from the Broadsides and Dreadnought, it managed to inflict 2 wounds killing the Paladin it had failed to last turn. The remaining Wyches moved inconspicuously toward the central-most objective through cover. The Kabalite Raider followed slowly behind Lelith's laying down firepower as the Splinter Cannon wielding Kabalite slew a Fire Warrior at range. The Voidraven failed to come on this turn as well adding even more desperation to the Dark Eldar efforts.
|End of Turn 2. This pic is a little clearer and boy did Lelith's raider move far...|
Grey Knights turn.
Frantic, the Fire Warriors, Dreadnought and Broadsides turned all their guns on Lelith's raider. As the Paladins and Terminators continued, undeterred, up the field towards the Dark Eldar deployment zone and to get greater cover from the horrendous guns of the Ravager. The Broadsides made short work of the Raider, blowing it up and injuring one Grotesque in the resultant explosion. But it wasn't over yet for the Grotesques as the Fire Warriors and Dreadnought unloaded into them. Thanks to the Fireblade's Special Rule Volley Fire, the Fire Warrior let off an ungodly 30 shots into the Grotesque, but because of there incredible resilience only two Grotesques were slain. The Dreadnought however was not as lucky, failing three of it's to hit rolls, even with the re-rolls for Twin-Linked and the one shot that did hit home was saved by the Abberation's Feel No Pain.
|I can see where this is going...|
Dark Eldar Turn.
After surviving Tau firepower, Lelith and her Grotesques were keen to spill blood. The Kabalite Raider continued to creep up the flanks and the Wyches speed towards the central objective under the cover of large rocks. This was a most devastating turn for the Grey Knights as the Voidraven Bomber came in from reserve. It flew over the Paladins, dropping it's Void Mine in it's wake, vanquishing three Paladins in its blast. Not only did it slaughter Paladins, but it abolished the Broadsides with a flurry of incredibly accurate Implosion Missiles leaving only a single Broadside and a Drone standing. The bloodbath wasn't over yet, the Kabalite Raider fired its Dark Lance and with a lucky shot blew it up, that wasn't all however the blast radius of the explosion hit all but one member of the Fire Warrior squad and slew some drones and Fire Warriors. Lelith threw a Plasma Grenade into the unprotected Tau killing five of them and the Liquifer Gun wielded by a Grotesque rolled an AP of 3 with resulted in a further four Fire Warriors destroyed. Not content with crippling Lelith and her squad moved in for the kill, assaulting the remaining drones and Fireblade. Lelith ravaged the Fireblade in a challenge as did the Grotesques as they smashed drones, by the end of the turn nothing was left of them.
|Lelith and Fireblade locked in a brutal (and rather one-sided) Melee.|
|End of Turn 3...|
Turn 4, 5 and 6.
Grey Knights turns.
Predominantly, for the next three turns the Paladins pretty much U-turned to try and get to the enemies at the other end of the board, this left them pretty much useless for a few rounds doing nothing but locking the Voidraven's velocity with Psycannon shots they also in Turn 6 finally destroyed the Ravager which had been foolishly moved too close to the Paladins. Only the Grey Knights themselves were still standing at the end. Draigo also called Lelith out for single combat which was more for fun than actual strategic advantage since I was holding two of the Crusade objectives and at the end of turn 6, both Emperor's Will ones. This combat last two rounds until of course Draigo Instant Deathed my poor Lelith Hesperax.
|Lelith and Draigo's epic combat...|
Dark Eldar turns.
Purely moving towards objectives and futilely trying to kill Grey Knights. The Kabalite managed to bring Draigo to one wound in a single round of shooting after he had slain Lelith and the Voidraven and Grotesque crushed the remaining Broadside and co. in turn 4. Probably the most exciting thing that happened was the objective the Hellions had been holding since Turn 1, which was also sabotaged, blew up and killed a Hellion.
All up it was a really fun game that could have really gone either way at many points of the game. I could have been a bit more brazen with the Bloodbride but lesson for next time. and my Cronos' placement was horrible too. Also my Voidraven actually did something for once, not scattering a single missile blast template and it was really effective against the Paladins, most definitely the Unit of the Match, at least on my side that is.
Tournament Standings after Round 1 (still need to find out the names of each army):
1st: Dark Heart Kabal (Dark Eldar)
2nd: Reavers (Ultramarine CT)
Joint 5th: Blood Ravens (Raven Guard CT), Necrons, Grey Knights and Orks.
|End of Turn 4|
|End of Turn 5|
|End of Turn 6|