Battle of the Blogs Round 1 – Dark Eldar vs Imperial Guard

Just before 8th Edition was released, I got in touch with one of my old gaming friends, Mike Basc, who runs increasingly popular Objective Secured blog, tournaments and events, and we agreed to do some challenge games between our Gaming Blogs to generate new 40K battle reports for both audiences.

Mike is a seasoned and successful 40K player who has captained the state team, won dozens of events on the local and national stage and been an organising force behind some of the best regional tournaments.

Round 1: Mike Basc’s sickeningly perverse Dark Eldar take on Matt-Shadowlord’s heretically inspired Imperial Guard.

Mike’s Dark Eldar (Battalion, +3CP)

  • Archon
    Agoniser, Phantasm GL, Shadowfield, Splinter pistol
  • Succubus
    Archite Glaive, Splinter Pistol
  • 5 Kabalite warriors, Blaster
  • 5 Kabalite warriors, Blaster
  • 5 Kabalite warriors, Blaster
  • 5 Kabalite warriors, Blaster
  • 5 Kabalite warriors, Blaster
  • Raider
    Night Shield, Bladevanes, Shock Prow, Dark Lance
  • Venom
    Night Shield, Flickerfield, Bladevanes, 2x Splinter Cannon
  • Venom
    Night Shield, Flickerfield, Bladevanes, 2x Splinter Cannon
  • Venom
    Night Shield, Flickerfield, Bladevanes, 2x Splinter Cannon
  • Venom
    Night Shield, Flickerfield, Bladevanes, 2x Splinter Cannon
  • Ravager
    Night Shield, Bladevanes, 3x Dark Lances
  • Ravager
    Night Shield, Bladevanes, 3x Dark Lances
  • Ravager
    Night Shield, Bladevanes, 3x Dark Lances
  • Razorwing Jetfighter – Night Shield, Razorwing Missiles, Twin Splinter rifle, 2 Darklances

A few notes about this army:

This is a lean, mean alpha-striking machine. Everything has been trimmed down to its most efficient version, with the result being just about as much firepower as anyone could help to fit into 1500 points. The HQs are fairly basic, the troops are minimal, and close combat ability is low, but this lets the points be spent on a great big sucker-punch of firepower.

The Dark Eldar vehicles have really benefited from the profile changes in 8th Edition, and their improved survivability has been boosted in this list by Night Shields and flicker fields. They won’t win any durability awards, but they are a far cry from the paper planes of the past.

In among all the other weapons there are a full dozen Dark Lances. With 36″ S8 AP-4 D6 these hit most vehicles as hard as a Lascannon, and when mounted on a DE vehicle can move and shoot without penalty. The anti-tank is rounded off by 5 Blasters with a the same strength and AP but ‘only’ D3 wounds (18″ Assault S8 AP-4 D3) and some Razorwing missiles.

 

Battalion Detachment +3CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum)

  • HQ

    • Colonel ‘Iron Hand’ Straken

    • Company Commander – Boltgun, Power sword

    • Tempestor Prime – Tempestus Command Rod

  • Troops

    • 30 Conscripts

    • 30 Conscripts

    • Militarum Tempestus Scions 2x Hot-shot Lasgun 2 Plasma

      • Tempestor Bolt pistol, Chainsword

    • Militarum Tempestus Scions 2x Hot-shot Lasgun 2 Plasma

      • Tempestor Bolt pistol, Chainsword

  • Elites

    • Militarum Tempestus Command Squad – 1 Hotshot Lasgun, 3 Plasma

    • Sergeant Harker – Payback

  • Fast Attack

    • Hellhound Heavy Flamer, Turret-mounted Inferno Cannon

    • 8 Rough Riders – Hunting Lance

  • Heavy Support

    • Heavy Weapons Squad 2 Mortars, 1 Autocannon

  • Dedicated Transport

    • Chimera Heavy Flamer, Multi-laser, Storm Bolter

Vanguard +1 CP

    • Lord Commissar Boltgun, Power sword

  • Heavy Support

    • Hydra

    • Manticore

    • Wyvern

       

Vanguard Detachment +1CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astra Telepathica)

  • HQ

    • Primaris Psyker – Force Stave, Psychic Barrier, Gaze of the Emperor

  • Elites

    • Astropath Psychic Barrier

    • Astropath Gaze of the Emperor

    • Astropath Terrifying Visions

A few notes about this army:

    • This game was played just after the change that limited Tempestus Command Squads to 1 per officer – a very good change. I prefer to only put 3 specials in my CS anyway so there’s an ablative wound to take the first hit, but regardless it was a sensible change.
    • My army has 3 officers, doing up to 6 orders per turn. This is not overkill; the imperial guard forces operate much more smoothly and effectively when squads are receiving orders.
    • Yes, there is a good reason why the Tempestus sergeants take a bolt pistol (or plasma pistol if points allow) instead of their Hotshot pistol -people tend to forget hotshot pistols are only 9″ range, but that means they are always out of range when deep striking.
    • I discovered HWT have more flexibility than ever, so since everything can split fire I am experimenting with 2 mortars and 1 Autocannon. The Mortars are useful, but also provide ablative wounds for the more expensive gun.
    • I have been finding the Heavy Flamer on the Chimera so useful I am seriously considering ditching multilasers entirely and running double HF Flameras with storm bolters. Move freely without decreasing main weapon output, suffer little impact from damage and just dare people to charge you!
      Rough Riders remain in the list – I’ve been using them in the majority of my Guard games. They are just fun, it’s as simple as that.

HAMMER AND ANVIL – 6 Objectives

Objectives were placed in the balanced manner of people who are hedging their bets due to not knowing which end of the board they will get – although in the Dark Eldar’s case there is also an element of not caring. Mike’s army is built to go all-in and deliver a massive alpha-strike; there are no natural home-objective holders.

Dark Eldar chose to go first (duh).

Deployment is shown below, with an overhead photo taken just after the first move of the game.

(Note this army is a work in progress, so mortars are temporarily medium bases that are placed on large bases etc).

The Dark Eldar are fully mechanised, so there isn’t a soul to be seen on their side of the table. By contrast, the Imperial Guard have a wall of 60 conscripts across their side, with supporting characters just behind it.

Note that it is almost impossible to get cover for large infantry units like this and still have them do their job, so I’ve adjusted to just letting them wear the damage.

A Tank in Cover!

Have you read all the comments saying that getting cover for vehicles is impossible in 8th Edition? If so Marvel at the sight of a Hellhound in cover!

To be honest this is about the only time I’ve found a piece of terrain that allowed a vehicle to be fully on it, and more than 50% obscured to enemy firing units, and still be in a useful position on the board, so I took full advantage of it.

Troops brace as the enemy fighter comes screaming in.

The remainder of the DE army performed a maneuver known as ‘Charge at the enemy in a straight line’, which frequently is as effective as it is simple.

As noted earlier, this is an Alpha Strike army, and it immediately got to work on firing at the key targets.

Mike’s  chosen primary targets for his Dark Lances were the Hellhound and Manticores. The cover save did pay off a couple of times, granting the Hellhound a successful 6+ save against lances, but its demise was inevitable. Twin splinter cannons and embarked infantry shredded masses of guardsmen. Even after some above average saves, the north squad lost 8 men and the south lost 13, followed by the explosion of the Hellhound.

 

At least as damaging however was the amount of pain inflicted on the Manticores – they managed to just stay on the table by the skin of their teeth, but were reduced to 2 and 3 hull points and a dramatic decrease in accuracy.

Deployment Notes

One note here is that I could have deployed a bit further back. When deploying, you should always have clear goals when placing units, and one of the most basic is to maximise the damage you can do in the first turn while minimising the damage from the enemy.

Venoms move 16″ and these were armed with double Splinter Cannons (36″ Rapidfire 3) so there is not much chance of escaping them, but 20 of the 25 Kabalite Warriors on board the Venoms and Raider also carry 24″ rapid fire guns. These transports are all open topped so the troops on board will be able to fire.

This means that in order to minimise damage from them, the ideal placement for the conscripts (or any other front-line infantry) would be more than 4 inches back from the central line. This would mean the 16″ Venom and 14″ Raider movement distances wouldn’t get the Kabalite Warriors into 12″ rapid fire range.

The ideal placement in order to maximise my own damage would have been less than 6″ from the deployment line; this would mean my troops 6″ move would get them within 24″ of the units right on the enemy front line, and allow them to at least get 2 lasguns shots each (using the FRFSRF order) lasgun shots in the unlikely event I had seized initiative.

That is a narrow band: more than 4″ from the deployment line, but less than 6″ – but these things can make a big difference in the first turn of the game. As it was my first game vs the new DE I misjudged their speed. It wasn’t the end of the world, but cost about 6 extra conscripts their lives (that’s 18 of the Emperor’s Holy Points!) and ways to improve deployment are always worth discussing.

 

There are no two ways about it – the Dark Eldar alpha strike is impressive and devastating. With S8 AP-4 D6 Damage Dark Lances that don’t suffer movement penalties when mounted on vehicles, this is an army that could quite easily kill a shadowsword or baneblade before they even warmed up their weapons, and smaller vehicles are completely at their mercy.

Guard turn 1

Two shots rang out from the Commissar, and order was restored.

As I saw it my first priority was to kill the fighter. There are 3 reasons for this:

  1. Mike is good at target priority and had dealt with the Hellhound and neutered the Manticores: I have a Hydra, and next turn I won’t.
  2. It would be able to jump my lines next turn and has tremendous ability to be placed where it can ‘snipe’ the closest characters. With several comparitively weak characters that I really need, this is too large a risk.
  3. It’s closest, so apart from the temptation to shoot the nearest target I have get a lot of rapidfire weapons onto it.

 

Movement was less dramatic than the DE’s but included getting the Chimera into Flamer range of the fighter, and bringing the troops from the north to reinforce the south, while also getting them in rapid fire range of enemy vehicles.

Guard Psykers put a Psychic Barrier on the conscripts (increasing their save to 4+) and got a couple of lucky smites into the fighter. What was less lucky was that I realised I rolled a psychic test just as I was supposed to be bringing on reserves – I’ll have to put this error down to learning the order of events of the new edition.

The Hydra, Chimera, Autocannon, and one of the damaged manticores manage to join together and shoot down the aircraft. The really badly damaged manticore would have had its 6+ reduced to the instant-miss of 7+ against the flyers, so it is fortunate it wasn’t required.

Note that I moved Harker right in between the 2 Manticores, giving them reroll 1s to hit. The effect of rerolling 1s is reduced as ballistic skill drops, so the bonus to the Manticore that was now hitting on 6s was increasing it from 16.6% chance to hit to about 20% (Edit: 1/36 + 1/6 = 19.45% chance). Even so, every little bit helps.

I had two options with the remaining weapons; try to destroy a Raider transport, or a considerably more dangerous Ravager (3 Dark Lances to the Raider’s 1). I decided to go for the Raider in order to generate some infantry targets for low strength weapons.

This was successful, with the Raider being destroyed and spilling its contents of Kabalite Warriors, Succubus and an Archon out into the cylindrical ruins at the left of this photo. With one vehicle lost tot he explosion, the Wyvern and 2 mortars managed to take out the Kabalite Warriors.

That was as much as the depleted Guard could manage, and although it left the advantage firmly with the DE at least some of the gap had been made up.

Dark Eldar Turn 2

Mike pushed his Venoms forward, eager to take advantage of the momentum, while the 3 Ravagers fell back slightly to where they would all have a bead on the surviving manticores while slightly decreasing the amount of fire they would take in return.

The Succubus and the archon rushed out of the ruins, ready for combat. Shooting began with the destruction of the less-damaged manticore, and some hits on the Hydra and Chimera. The extra defence provided by the psychic shield proved its worth as twin splinter rifle shots poured in to the Conscript, but even so numbers were dropping. A heavy weapon mortar team was also killed by DE guns.

Clever Charge Shenanigans

Charge Phase – Mike sent a Venom into an astropath and the conscripts, soaking up overwatch before the two characters charged. The characters got good rolls, so were able to hit either end of the line. This is a neat little trick to stretch out the enemy units and keep them from piling into hit back en masse. As they had to maintain coherency, the middle of the line couldn’t join in with the combat (although they were still eligible to die, which I am sure they appreciated).

Another Venom charged the Chimera, losing a hull point to the heavy flamer. Company Commander Vader leapt into the fray with a Heroic Intervention. With Straken nearby, the all models got an extra attack (including the chimera!), and the combat went the Guard’s way. The vehicle was wrecked, and a Kabalite warrior lost as they evacuated.

Meanwhile with an Archon and Venom at one end and the Succubus at the other, the conscript fight was an easy win for the Eldar.  Noticing their morale flagging, the nearby Commissar shot another to cheer the boys up. Hoorah!

Guard Turn 2

The Conscripts left combat leaving the enemy exposed to ranged weapons, while their northern buddies took up position to rapid fire at Lelith. The southern conscripts weren’t able to all get in to cover, so instead made a line near Straken in order to make hunting for the Warlord point harder.

And now it was time to summon reserves.

Here come the Cavalry! Roughriders had outflanked the enemy, and appeared deep behind enemy lines, 9″ away from an enemy Ravager.

And on the other side of the map, Storm Troopers dropped in near two venoms. This was a mass drop – a Tempestus officer, command squad and 2 squads of stormtroopers ready to rain plasma on the enemy.

As soon as the Psykers had finished their powers (protection this time cast on the Hydra, as the conscripts were beyond hope), the stormtroopers began to open fire.

Even with orders from the officer, overheating plasma killed 2 of them, but the result was  a destroyed venom and another badly damaged, with the final squad that fired also killing several warriors. They had arrived late to the party, but made up for it with their spectacular firework display.

The rest of the Guard army managed to kill Lelith with a  plasma pistol followed by a multilaser and 30 lasgun shots, while the Archon walked through a huge amount of firepower due to his 2++ Shadowfield save. The heavy weapons and tanks managed to destroy another Ravager.

The Rough Riders rolled their traditional 1,1 and unfortunately stayed put. However there was  a definite sense  that the tide was turning, as the advantage Mike had at the end of turn 1 was gone by the end of turn 2.

Dark Eldar Turn 3

In turn 3, the DE pressed the attack – and at the same time made sure their Ravagers were about 20″ from the Rough Riders. It was a sensible move, but it’s also tremendous to see light tanks actually feel the need to run from these reinvigorated Cavalry units.

The surviving Venom leapt over the lines, with the goal of setting up the DE to kill Straken (he is a character, but also the closest unit). This can be a very effective assassination technique, and it’s always worth looking for opportunities like this.

Twin Splinter rifles shredded several more conscripts in an attempt to leave Straken as the closest target to 6 bright lances, but I was able to take casualties out in an order that fortunately never allowed the shot, until there was only two conscripts left alive -and between Straken and the Ravagers. (Picture Straken with a human shield, holding a pistol to a conscripts head 🙂

 

Frustrated, the Ravager charged the conscript, and Straken leapt into heroically intervene. The conscript was killed, but Straken managed to wound the skimmer.

 

In the meantime the Archon managed to kill an Astropath.

Guard Turn 3

The Rough Riders were out of any credible charge range, so advanced to take 2 of the distant objectives. Storm troopers moved into long-range of a Ravager, and the models fighting the Archon left combat, allowing him to be taken down by weight of fire. With the last Venom destroyed and its Warrior contents shot buy 60 lasguns, the battle was now winding down.

Dark Eldar Turn 4

Only one model remained now, a lone undamaged Ravager. It pumped out shots and then charged the heavy weapon team.

It managed to score a wound, but in the Guard turn 4 it was counter charged by Straken, HWT, a Chimera, Wyvern, Commander and Primaris Psyker, ending the game in a ball of fire.

Final overview shot showing rough riders stretched over two obectives, the Tempestor Prime officer on another, while conscripts and Straken respectively hold 2 more.

The Dark Eldar scored a well-deserved First Blood, and did put up an impressive fight. That rush of massed Dark Lances has to be one of the most impressive alpha strikes in the game and with only slightly better dice rolling could have taken out both of the Manticores that it hurt so badly in turn 1, and then had carte blanche to take out the Hydra and Chimera/Wyvern on turn 2 instead of splitting their firepower.

However it was not to be, and the survival of these damaged vehicles, combined with the massed plasma strike on turn 2 moved the advantage back to the Guard’s side.

Good game, and I look forward to Round 2 with Mike.

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51 Responses to “Battle of the Blogs Round 1 – Dark Eldar vs Imperial Guard”

  1. artemi71 says:

    Wait. Is that a full Star Wars inspired IG army? I'm gonna need better pictures of this!

  2. Grizz says:

    Great battle report. Kudos for taking the time to get into deployment and character sniping and all that.

    I love the way you 3+ guys talk about WHY things happen instead of just saying who rolled what dice. Its real helpful.

  3. Rick says:

    That drukhari list is the hotness!!
    Sure it lost this game, but it is powerful. Gonna tweak mine and maybe get rid of some of the flab.

    Does mike always build his army without many close combat units, and does it work out ?

    • ObSec says:

      Hey guys, Mike here – yes, my DE are almost always shooting focused and lean in the way I build them. This was only my second outing with them in 8th and for as long as I remember DE have always struggled with guard.

      • abusepuppy says:

        Guard are tough, because DE only wound them on 4s (whereas pretty much everyone else wounds them on 3s or 2s.) But on the other hand, they're kinda your ideal melee targets- just the right combination of squishy and shooty.

        Most of the "good" DE still seems to be shooting-focused, but I think you need at least a few melee units (not just HQs) do do some work, otherwise you're gonna lose the war of attrition with your opponent.

        Out of curiosity, have you considered putting a Blaster/Blast Pistol on your HQs? Giving it to the Archon seems an obvious choice, since he's BS2+ and can put that high-power shot where you need it.

        • massaen says:

          Yeah, I think there is room for improvement for sure – I wanted to try my old 5th ed build and see how it went

          • abusepuppy says:

            Fair enough, lotta folks are still experimenting with things to get their feet in the new edition. I can't really speak with certainty, since I don't play DE myself except tangentially through Ynnari, but looking at the options available to them some stuff definitely jumps out.

            Definitely interested in where you take the list, though.

      • rihker says:

        Hi Mike, Great to see DE on the site.
        I'm considering dropping all the 2nd Splinter cannons off my Venoms and going back to the Free, twin linked splinter rifles. I'm always pushing the Venom into 12" range so i can rapid fire the 5 rifles inside, and at that range you are only losing 2 shots from not having the second splinter cannon. 15 points extra per venom adds up and there is no more dancing around at 36" anymore anyway (changing the cannon to rapid fire is an awful nerf).
        Good game though, guard are a naturally hard prospect for DE with all those conscripts. I feel getting rid of the commissars is a very high priority, just not sure how to do that other than with the flyer.

        • Smurfykins says:

          While I have not tested the DE extensively, I am agreeing with you here. The list is well optimized for what would be a candidate for 5E but I really feel very little incentive to go double cannon in any list that cares about Matched Play (And besides, you want to get in range or the occupants to shoot too, right? Might be keen to weigh the Venom teams into wings and focus fire to force at least some piles of wounds on. It is rather scary that a simple Lasgun wounds them on 5+ now though.

          Another point to make is I don't think this list is well optimized for 8E is because it lacks chaff for those first turn assault strategies which are matching the shooting Alpha Strikes now, and it's dangerous to have no real response to this since the DE army can no longer dance at long range and shoot.

          Another thing to note is Flyer maneuvering – Nothing cares about firing arcs anymore, so I personally don't see the reason to go right into the Guard lines and rather just use that range to its advantage while just abusing no arcs of fire to skirt some ranges if possible. Again I am no expert, but I think the army can be maneuvered better to avoid a lot of damage coming back at you.

          While my army is by no means efficient yet at 1500, I would say I do at least have as many Lance shots as you, as many Blaster equivalent shots, more poison at the median range of 24" you expect to be in at nowadays, and has chaff/more combat reaction options. And this is a "fun" list with what I consider to be suboptimal choices and units where "I just like these"

          If I wanted to get more efficient, I will take that challenge, but I do dearly think this is not the prime example of what DE in 8th should be doing if you consider the DE alone challenge and not using Ynnari for the sake of having the full engine minus Haemonculus units and Mandrakes and Drazhar available to you. And those units might be good for their role and be well missed, don't know yet as I haven't tested them…

          Anyways, enlightening though, more battle reports/analysis help.

          • Matt-Shadowlord says:

            Hi Smurfykins
            Thanks for posting, you make some good points. I think that wellrounded tournament armies are going to need to be able to deal with mech (which this DE list can), large amounts of infantry/monsters (poison and lances say the DE probably could), flyers (DE got that) and first turn charge shenanigans like the Gene Stealer Cult's huge massive 1st turn assault swarms (which this DE list would struggle against due to lack of what you call chaff, Kirby calls bubble wrap and I call glorious heroes).

            Would you mind posting a couple of your list examples?

            • Kandroth says:

              Re GSC: Hero on his blog put an interesting example of using flyers as bubblewrap to hinder T1 assault shenanigans.

              • Smurfykins says:

                Problem with HERO is he has 4 Flyers and not every army will have that. He's also very much gotta adapt his list,, but yeah I was reading it and he's a local so I can always meet with him in-person, but the locals though using beardy things aren't very competitive/tactically minded.

                Also his deployments assume no terrain hinders, even the barren wastes he showed he played on vs the Tzeentch army has enough terrain to prevent his proposed deployments, I think it's best to accept you will lose 1-2 units and have a way to react. Just like an Alpha Strike….gee.

                I haven't the full rulebook, but if anyone can use Reserves/Reinforcements like IG did here DE can too to respond in the same manner – either with a few burst of emergency fire that your main force can't deal with them. (in this case, a big assault unit would need a dedicated poison/assault team itself)

                –5E strategy: This is why DE were good with the Webway Portal in 5E where you could mechanize out, start with the passengers that would be inside the transports out of it if you wish – deploy the portal somewhere around mid-table with a suicide KP, and either use the Portal for the oncoming infantry response teams with the kits to deal with threats you needed to deal with, or walk them from the edge when your empty flotilla of Skimmers pummelled them as DE normally did back in the day, too many targets, too many choices —

                If you can replicate something like that in this new edition, it probably has to wait till their official codex to maybe fix the point values on the guns to be dependent on various platforms.

              • No One says:

                Eh, nah. I mean, they do. But honestly, the way he does it is…not the most helpful way of doing so.

                Namely, you defend against T1 charges from DS with screens. That's what the flyers do – they'll stop charges far more by having a 9" 'no go' zone than being a physical 'you can't put your models here' (I mean, looking at his picks, I don't think anyone other than GSC/Callidus would even be able to declare a charge on to the stuff behind the flyers).

                Just…you could do that with drones, or a slyth, or whatever cheap, disposable model you want. Or with the flyers just spaced out more.

                What it does defend against specifically, with the blocking of movement, is GSC 6s, and SL Hive Commander on stealers. But the 2nd wouldn't likely be able to reach right into a deployment corner/edge anyway.

                And when does it defend? Only before your first turn. If the other person has stuff in Reserves…they can quite easily just wait. They've forced you into a very poor position to do anything of worth (excepting the flyers) – they can sit back, wait for you to move, and then pounce with the DS stuff that doesn't really care if it's coming on T1 or T2. While any long range stuff can engage outside of your effective threat range (or potentially even actual threat range).

            • Kirby says:

              Excuse me but we made bubble-wrap famous. Stick to what we are good at ;).

              • Smurfykins says:

                Hey Kirbs, I been messaging in the chatbox I want to contribute some articles again soon, anyway about going in on that?

                Bubblewraps work to a degree, the problem now is the enemy can hinder you a lot more once they close in on your lines and you have no way to react. I just don't want everyone to be forced a list formula down their throats for each respective army, and I think the army in question (Dark Eldar/Ynnari) will heavily evolve to get to a respectable point to cope with at least my top 3 expected threats – Opposing Alpha Strike, Opposing First Turn Charge, and Opposing Rock – In one list. Only problem is since I cannot invest as much as I once did to learn all the armies, I have to ask a lot more questions to the respective players and get my experience in to the army I stuck loyalties to (Dark Eldar, with a tiny portion of Clowns and normal Eldar right now, no real reason to go to Ynnari just yet. (Most of the Eldar units seem overcosted at the moment)

          • Matt-Shadowlord says:

            Sounds good, Smurfykins, Deployment is one of the most important parts of the game.

            I had been considering the use of supersonic flyers to block first turn assaults, but it seems like something that’s better in theory than reality. The amount required to block every avenue of approach is unrealistic for most armies, and against things like a massed genestealer assault almost every army would be better off accepting ‘Something Is Going To Die’ and picking what it is instead of bottling themselves up into some weird jam.

            • No One says:

              Taking flyers to block GSC assaults is (probably) a very bad idea. I mean, I'd just wait. You literally have to move…

              That said, stealers just can't touch them, so they're not bad from a match up PoV. Just…do you want them for any other reason? If no, just take more conscripts (or *insert race specific chaff unit here*) – they'll more effectively block charges, for longer.

  4. Smurfykins says:

    Kinda incorrect on the deployment thing – You listed the Venoms as having double Splinter Cannons (gee, which dont? The ones like mine which want to shave points at 1500 :P) – They are Rapid Fire 3 36" so, if they are on the edge of deployment use their full move like you say – thats 12+16 +18 = 46" of Rapid Fire threat.

    Your Conscripts basically gotta be out of the battle if you don't want them to be lost.

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      Thanks Smurfykins. I have changed the text so it should be clear I am talking about the rapid fire range of the warriors (12") on board the open-topped transports, rather than the rapid fire range of the venoms themselves (18").

      There's no way to avoid all the fire power from a list like this, but if cleverer deployments reduces it by 20 splinter rifle shots, then I recommend reducing it by 20 shots 😀

      Thanks!

      • abusepuppy says:

        Yeah, minimizing what damage you can is key to winning matches like this where both armies have the potential to put out a lot of firepower.

      • Track says:

        good points about deployment.

  5. Kadeton says:

    To be honest this is about the only time I’ve found a piece of terrain that allowed a vehicle to be fully on it, and more than 50% obscured to enemy firing units, and still be in a useful position on the board, so I took full advantage of it.

    I think this is a misunderstanding – the vehicle doesn't have to be wholly within the terrain. This is due to some confusing wording in the rule: "If a unit is entirely on or within any terrain feature…"

    The "entirely" there is shorthand for "all the models in the unit", and "entirely within" is distinct from "wholly within". It's much clearer in the cover criteria as presented in the FAQ: "All of its models must be either on or within the terrain."

    So for a tank to gain cover, some portion of it has to be within the terrain, and it also has to be more than 50% obscured (but it could be obscured by, for example, another tank or an intervening building).

    (I'm also firmly of the opinion that buildings and most other scenery should have a 1" footprint of area terrain around it. That way, infantry can hug the walls to get cover, and tanks can hide behind buildings. We'll see how long it takes the terrain-building community to catch up with that idea.)

    Hopefully that helps with getting more cover saves for your tanks in future!

    • JESSE says:

      "If a unit is entirely on or within any terrain feature…" sounds like the unit has to be entirely within the terrain feature.

      • abusepuppy says:

        He's not disagreeing with that. Kadeton's saying that "entirely within" doesn't mean "every model must have their base completely within the terrain," but rather it means that every model must be at least _partially_ on the terrain piece.

        • Track says:

          Huh really? We’ve been playing it wrong here. That would make getting vehicle cover 1000x easier

          • abusepuppy says:

            Whether or not that is how it's intended to work is arguable, but I lean towards that interpretation because otherwise it really is all but impossible to get cover for a vehicle, no matter how obscured it is.

            • Kadeton says:

              I think the FAQ pretty much clears it up entirely. Without that, I would certainly have assumed that "entirely within" and "wholly within" meant the same thing.

              The FAQ calls out the phrase "wholly within" as having specific and distinct meaning to "within" (and as the only phrase with that specific meaning), and also states the requirements for cover in more explicit detail, without using the phrase "wholly within".

              I can't see how anyone could argue it the other way any more. I'm sure someone will find a way, though. 😉

              • Matt-Shadowlord says:

                This term gets bandied about too much – but that is a Game Changer!

                Just having a look at the photos from this game, the hellhound hardcover (obviously), but the chimera could probably have also got saves just by starting in that terracotta rubble a few inches to its left, and then putting a tight double line of conscripts in front of it to obscure the hull.

                That makes cover so much easier to get that it could even influence the balance between armies.

  6. Sigmar says:

    Bro this battrep is sweet as!
    Sick!

  7. Craig says:

    Ugh MSU spam is alive and kicking. I don’t blame people who use it so much as the inability of game design to make it less viable than a variety of units with varied roles, it’s mostly that I just find facing that many identiccal units boring. If you enjoy the gwame that way more power to you but it’s just not to my tastes.

    • massaen says:

      Not gonna lie – it's my old venom spam army from 5th that I am using here. I am working on extra units to break up the spam but for now, it was a test to see how the list performed in the new game

      • Track says:

        Each to his own. dark eldar vehicles don’t last long so I can see why he’d want to take multiples

        • Craig says:

          These things absolutely need testing by the community and if this is the list that works best for you then great, I’m just disappointed because GW made it seem like command points would encourage more varied and balanced lists. I also dislike that we’re moving backwards towards squads being a tax so you can take a DT, I have no issue with tank-themed armies but when what is effectively an APC or IFV becomes more important than the infantry it carries it just messes with my mind like if gravity suddenly turned into reverse. I can understand how to work within the constraints but it just has a certain mental discomfort that the vehicles aren’t playing to their conceptual role, either being there to support the infantry or at least working in tandem with them.

          • abusepuppy says:

            I don't think that squads are a tax to take DTs- the transport is doing a lot of work, sure, but so is the squad inside (unlike 5E.) Venoms, or even Raiders, don't really kill vehicles on their own- that's what all the units of Blasters are for. Similarly, you'll note in the article Matt talks a lot about the proper placement of his Conscripts in order to minimize damage from the poison weapons inside the vehicles- that's because the firepower on the inside is just as important as on the outside.

            Armies that can field squads and vehicles both that do work are gonna be strong; armies where one or the other is doing all the work, not so much.

            • No One says:

              True, but *looks at assault-backs pointedly*. I think the transport is going to do far more than the marines – not to say they're useless or anything (especially with grav/flamer/melta or whatever is needed).

              • abusepuppy says:

                Honestly, Twin AC Razorbacks I am not that scared of; it's the Twin HF and Twin LC ones that worry me a lot more. Wounding on 5s against most enemy transports is gonna be pretty backbreaking for them unless they have a lot of other strong anti-vehicle support.

                The transport does more than the Marines inside, but it also costs more than them so that's not surprising. Point-for-point, I think they actually come out pretty similar in a lot of ways.

  8. Bosso says:

    Awesome battle report. I enjoyed reading both this and the first with IG vs GSC. In pointing out one thing, with hitting on 6s, rerolling 1s, you aren't near 30% chance to hit. It's 1/36 + 1/6 = 19.45% chance. (rerolling 1s is an extra 1/6 of expected pre-reroll hits)

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      Thanks Bosso
      I'd just been working out what IA Trojan support vehicle does (reroll all misses) and posted that instead of Harker (reroll all ones) like a noob 🤡

      I'll fix it

  9. Kandroth says:

    Question to the DE player/Matt about the alpha strike: did the command point reroll help for shooting?

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      I had 8 cp, and Mike had 6. There were no combats that either of us anticipated required interruption (even the obvious one of my rough riders would either fight immediately on the charge or else his flying skimmers would probably leave combat with them upon his turn), so all cp were used for the most important shots or armour saves.

      That was probably slightly to the DE advantage, because it's a nice easy reroll to make sure that lance hit wounds, and the target isn't going to get much use from an armour reroll vs AP-4.

      • Kandroth says:

        Indeed. Was there ever a time he felt that he could have used more CP or was 6 enough?

        It would be interesting to see how a 2k battle plays between you both. Rematch?

        • Matt-Shadowlord says:

          Well they all got used, and if Mike had had more they would have all been used too. 😎
          The real question (for anyone) is whether it is worth compromising/ changing their army build in order to get more CP. CP are always handy but if they are usually just going to be used for rerolls it’s probably not worth anything but minor list changes to get more.

          Also worth noting: the armies that use dedicated transports to do their heavy lifting, like DE or Eldar, will always be at a disadvantage in the CP race.

  10. Jack says:

    It’s great to see Imperial Giard reserves coming and making a huge impact. The Stormtroopers acted just as I imagined and the threat from the Riugh Riders is excellent.

    Thanks for this Battle Report!

    Quick question, how do you feel the use of movement has changed in regards to non-dark eldar and heavy vehicles and heavy weapons. Some people are saying it’s less crucial now amd that armies are more static. How have you found it?

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      Movement is still very important – getting in to range, out of threat range and charge ranges, taking objectives, blocking etc. However, the fact that so many vehicles lose weapon accuracy when moving genuinely disincentivizes movement for many of them and is one of my least favourite parts of the new rules. It is what it is, but it does mean that there are certain vehicles in my Guard and even Eldar list that I would prefer not to move all game.

      The way I am adjusting to that is making the vehicles that I DO plan to move ones that suffer less when doing so – for example, hellhounds with hull flamers, ‘Flamera’ chimeras, shuriken cannon Wave serpents etc.

      • abusepuppy says:

        Vehicle movement is both better and worse; you can't just move 6" and fire one gun (all guns) without penalty anymore, but many vehicles can now drive 12" and fire all of their weapons at only -1BS where before they were snapfiring everything. It means there is an actual choice to make about whether or not you want to move on a given turn, but choosing to move is no longer completely neutering your ability to shoot for non-Fast vehicles.

  11. Great to see that Imperial Guard army out again, I do love the look of it.

    How do you think things would have gone differently if you remembered to bring in your reinforcements on turn 1?

    • Matt-Shadowlord says:

      Pros: Assuming the riders would still have failed their 9″ charge, the storm trooper drop should have ensured another venom dead and perhaps one other limping by the end of turn 1. This would have reduced the amount of firepower hitting the guard somewhat, which could then go on to have a cumulative effect on future turns.

      Cons: if the stormtroopers has been on the table at the start of turn 2, the DE would have been able to put a lot of splinter shots in to them, followed by charges, rather than into cheap conscripts. They would have been less likely to survive, let alone be objective grabbers.

      With all that said, I’d have preferred them at the end of turn 1 instead of 2 simply because the DE shooting was so strong that I wanted all hands on deck to fight it off. There’s less point holding back dangerous units like stormtroopers as objective grabbers if your fast-moving opponent has a decent chance to overwhelm the main force 😎

  12. […] You can learn a bunch about the Drukhari online but Massaen has a few recommendations – you can check out the Dark City Forums (where Massaen helps out running the site), listening to the awesome Splinter Mind Pod Cast as well as reading about one of Massaens first games against a long term friend and gaming rival Matt Shadowlord from 3++ is the new black website. […]