Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Dark Eldar w/ Eldar (1,500 pts)

Always a good time at the local shop, and managed to get a ~1,500 point game in against the Dark Eldar (w/ Eldar Allies).  This was the Dark Eldar’s first encounter with the Imperial Guard, and point in fact, my first experience against Dark Eldar!

Reason why I say ~1,500 points is that I don’t really have a confirmed Dark Eldar list on-hand, and I was kind of left winging my army-list after I realized that I left my aegis defense line at home.  I have no idea how DE lists are made these days so it should be around 1,500, but that’s hardly a preface for a good friendly match is it?

The Combatants:

Should also be noted that the Dark Eldar list below was made using old data files… not sure if this is still current, or about wargear options…

Astra Militarum (1480 pts)

Leman Russ Punisher: Hull Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Knight Commander Pask (230 pts)
Leman Russ MBT: Hull Heavy Bolter (150 pts)

Company Command Squad: Officer of the Fleet, Flamer, Vox Caster (90 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

Ulmar (the Incompetent): (50 pts)

Veterans: 3x Plasma Guns, Lascannon, Vox Caster, Forward Sentries (140 pts)

Veterans: 2x Meltaguns (80 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

Veterans: 2x Meltaguns (80 pts)
Chimera: Hull Heavy Flamer (65 pts)

Hellhound: Hull Heavy Flamer (125 pts)

Vendetta Gunship: Sponson Heavy Bolters (190 pts)

Armoured Sentinels: 3x Plasma Cannons (150 pts)

Dark Eldar (w/ Eldar): (~1,500 pts)

Archon: Shadow Field (90 pts)

Incubi [x5]: (110 pts)
Raider  (60 pts)

Beast Masters [x3]: 5x Kymerae, 5x Razorwing Flocks (~183 pts?)

Kabalite Warriors [x10]: w/ Blaster…?  (105 pts)
Raider  (60 pts)

Wyches [x5]: Haywire Grenades (60 pts)
Venom: 2x Splinter Cannons (65 pts)

Wyches [x5]: Haywire Grenades (60 pts)
Venom: 2x Splinter Cannons (65 pts)

Kabalite Trueborn…? [x5]: 4x Blasters (125 pts)
Venom: 2x Splinter Cannons (65 pts)

Kabalite Trueborn…? [x5]: 4x Blasters…? (125 pts)
Venom: 2x Splinter Cannons (65 pts)

Ravager (105 pts)

Ravager (105 pts)

Voidraven Bomber (145 pts)

Farseer: Jetbike (115 pts)

Windrider Jetbike Squadron [x3] (51 pts)

Mission & Deployment

Because it was the Dark Eldar’s first time using 7th Edition, we opted to not use the tactical objectives, and rolled up The Crusade, with 4 objectives (represented on the table by those vials with neon green mystery goo in them).  Dark Eldar won deployment, and opted to set up first.

Warriors and Archon w/ Incubi are loaded into the raiders on the near table edge, beastmaster up the middle with the Farseer Bike, with Venoms and Ravagers chilling behind the rock.
Warriors and Archon w/ Incubi are loaded into the raiders on the near table edge, beastmaster up the middle with the Farseer Bike, with Venoms and Ravagers chilling behind the rock.
Veterans embarked on the right are escorting the Leman Russes, Plasma Sentinels up the middle, with the Company Command and Veterans hull-down behind the rock.  Plasma Veterans, Ulmar (the incompetent) and Hellhound round out the Astra's deployment.
Veterans embarked on the right are escorting the Leman Russes, Plasma Sentinels up the middle, with the Company Command and Veterans hull-down behind the rock. Plasma Veterans, Ulmar (the incompetent) and Hellhound round out the Astra’s deployment.

Eldar took first turn, and the Astra failed to seize.  Nightfighting is a no-go, and after handshakes, the game is under-way!

Dark Eldar Turn 1:

Shooting was largely ineffective in the first turn, but regardless the Dark Eldar remain aggressive, forcing the issue on the Guard’s lines.  The beasts in particular running straight up the centre of the table into cover are made more intimidating by the fact that they’re being escorted along by a Farseer armed with Shrouding *AND* Invisibility.  Invisibility didn’t go through on the first turn, but they’re shrouded and firmly in cover, so they should be good to go…

The beasts, Ravagers & Venoms push their way forward...
The beasts, Ravagers & Venoms push their way forward…

The only actual hit scored in Turn 1 occurs via DA RAIDAZ stripping a hullpoint off of the Chimera on the guard’s right flank.  Interestingly, the Archon and Incubi aren’t interested in wasting time and turbo-boost directly into the cover directly in front of Pask.  A bold move!

...but none are bolder than the Archon who wants to get right up in Pask's business.
…but none are bolder than the Archon who wants to get right up in Pask’s business.

With that, the turn is over, and Guard pick up.

Astra Turn 1:

Foreseeing a problem with respect to the beasts looming on the horizon, the Sentinels move to plug the gap to prevent any silliness with respect to Pask being wiped off the table in assault in Turn 2.

Pask and his Comrade Russ back up a touch, in order to prevent being “Danger Close” to the Raider, and to prevent some assault shenanigans developing with the beasts.  Chimera gives precisely zero f***’s and jumps right in, anticipating using the heavy flamer.

Hellhound kicks things off, taking full advantage of the “No Escape” rule in 7th edition, wiping out a squad of Wyches before they can even get out of their transport, and taking down 2 Kabalite Trueborn on a second.   One Venom also takes a hullpoint, but is otherwise unscathed.

Witchfire?  More like Wychefire, AMIRITE?
Witchfire? More like Wychefire, AMIRITE?

The plasma veterans holed up in some nice cover manage to vaporize one of the Kabalite Trueborn Venoms, the survivors of which are mowed down by Multi-laser fire from the Chimeras behind the rocks.  One warrior remains.  Regardless, the Venom explosion is good for first blood.

Plasma Sentinels get busy, overheating once (memories of the Executioner killing itself start bubbling up…), but stripping off 2 hullpoints and a dark lance from one of the Ravagers.

Glorious Plasma Sentinels almost knock down one of the Ravagers.
Glorious Plasma Sentinels almost knock down one of the Ravagers.

Pask lays into, and completely perforates the Archon’s Raider.  There were in the neighbourhood of 3 penetrating and 12 glancing hits, only some of which were Jinked.  In summary, the Raider was extremely and thoroughly dead.  Splitting fire, the MBT’s battlecannon forces the other Ravager to Jink, but fails to do any damage.

Pask does what Pask does...
Pask does what Pask does…

Eager Chimera uses the heavy flamer, but can’t get through the Incubi’s tough 3+ armour.  The squad is otherwise unscathed, and the beasts didn’t get shot at all.  This could make for an interesting Turn 2.

Dark Eldar Turn 2:

Perhaps a little shaken, the Hellhound & Plasma Veterans become the focus of the Dark Eldar’s attention.  The Hellhound is wiped out from a combination of Blaster Fire from one of the Venoms, but the final blow was landed by a Wych’s haywire grenade.

Hellhound goes up in smoke to haywire grenades.
Hellhound goes up in smoke to haywire grenades.

Several guardsmen are gunned down by splinter cannon fire, but it could have been much worse if they hadn’t have gone-to-ground.  By the end around 5 are left standing, with 2 plasma guns left in the squad.  The lascannon was knocked out, before it had an opportunity to fire.

Casualties beginning to mount among the plasma-veterans.
Casualties beginning to mount among the plasma-veterans.

Elsewhere, the beasts go “Hollow man” and step out of cover, safe with the knowledge that I may only fire SNAP SHOTS at them.  This means blast, and template weapons may not be used *AT ALL*.  Oof.  It looks like they’re more in the mood to go hunting the Company Command Squad and the Chimera’s soft 10 side armour, which the Venoms can’t do much about (because poisoned weapons don’t do jack against armour?)

Archon and Incubi attempt to charge the nearest Chimera, but fail to clamber over the wreckage of their swiss-cheese Raider.  Not even Fleet could help them out.

Brutal failed charge roll...
Brutal failed charge roll…

The snap-firing Ravagers manage to kill one of the Plasma Sentinels, as it was already structurally weakened by over-heating on the previous turn.

Turn summary photo!
Turn summary photo!

It wasn’t until a good portion of the turn was over that we remembered that this was the second turn, and Reserves could have come on…. C’est la guerre!

Astra Turn 2:

Pask opens up the bullet hose once more, wiping out the Incubi and Archon.

Pask wipes out the Incubi and Archon.  The Archon almost survived; Pask needed every bullet to put that squad down.
Pask wipes out the Incubi and Archon. The Archon almost survived; Pask needed every bullet to put that squad down.

The MBT forces another Ravager to jink, but once again fails to actually connect.  The threat of this shot is starting to really suppress the Dark Eldar shooting!

Meltaguns from the back hatch of Chimera 602 knock out the other raider, killing 5 Warriors in the explosion, the rest pinned in the wreckage.  The rout is on along the Guards’ right flank, and the Leman Russes are now pretty out-of-position.

*FOOM* -- The second Raider goes up.  Open-topped vehicles really help get to that 7+ on the damage table...
*FOOM* — The second Raider goes up. Open-topped vehicles really help get to that 7+ on the damage table…

Chimeras roll forwards and clean the Wyches off of the Hellhound’s chassis with fire, leaving one un-scorched.  The other puts down the final Trueborn in mid-field, tidying that up nicely.

The plasma veterans, who are contemplating their role in life, wreck the nearest empty Venom, which was located in cover.  Perhaps hilariously, Ulmar the Incompetent finally casts prescience, but “perils’d” in the process, going SUPER SAIYAN for a 3+ invulnerable and the power of a Monstrous Creature.  Too bad he’s useless, is bad, and should feel bad.  Prescience didn’t even help, as on one of the re-rolls, the plasma veteran over-heated and died.  You’ve got to be kidding me.

Plasma Sentinels can’t see, but charge into the beasts, taking on the razorwing swarm with hammer of wrath (which automatically hits).  The beasts are effectively impotent to get through the front armour on the Sentinels, but in hindsight the rending S3 Razorwings could have glanced the front armour.  S3 + 6 + D3 = 12?  Extremely unlikely, but they might have gotten at least one…  This turned into the ULTIMATE tarpit…

SENTINELS DOING WORK.
SENTINELS DOING WORK.

Dark Eldar Turn 3:

The jetbikes come on this turn, but aren’t really up to much, hiding behind the rock from the Leman Russ Battlecannon which has been sniping over in that direction.

The jetbikes arrive, but the Void Raven remains to be seen.
The jetbikes arrive, but the Void Raven remains to be seen.

The lone Wych now abandons the Hellhound’s wreck and charges the adjacent Chimera that flamed the rest of the unit.  The grenade connects and knocks a hull-point off.

The lone Wych plants a haywire grenade and knocks another hull point off of the Chimera.
The lone Wych plants a haywire grenade and knocks another hull point off of the Chimera.

The Ravagers open fire, but are unable to connect to do any real damage.

The assault continues to resolve nothing, with the Sentinels knocking a wound or two off of the razorwing swarms.  I get the distinct feeling this swarm of beasts would be extremely effective at tearing guardsmen to shreds.

Astra Turn 3:

The Vendetta comes on, and wipes out the jetbikes before they can do their zoomy-objective-capturey thing.  It took all 3 lascannons and heavy bolter to get the squad.

Pask and the MBT roll forwards, but don’t have any targets available.

The Wych / Chimera duel continues, the Chimera responding by tank-shocking the Wych (which in hindsight, was STUPID given that it only had 1 hullpoint remaining).  The wych attempts a Death or Glory, but fumbles with the grenade!  *SPLUT*  The veterans firing out of the back hatch also incinerate one of the Venoms, but not harming the remaining occupants (some were killed in the Hellhound incident!)

The Company Command squad hits the gas and captures one of the mid-field objectives.

602 Chimera on the Guard’s right rolls up and flames down the remaining 5 warriors on that were just starting to pick their way out of the wreckage, in a good position to take the objective behind the rock.

The right flank is now secured.
The right flank is now secured.

Sentinels are holding strong, the only real threat is the Farseer which is rolling armourbane, needing a 9 to glance.

SENTINELS DOING WORK.
SENTINELS DOING WORK.

Dark Eldar Turn 4:

The Void Raven Arrives, shoving its severe anti-tank weaponry in the face of the Vendetta.  Rolling two penetrating hits, the Vendetta jinks both of them (perhaps miraculously at that short-range).

Void Raven comes on, but Vendetta sees it coming.
Void Raven comes on, but Vendetta sees it coming.

The Ravagers seemingly wake up, and immobilize the Command Squad’s Chimera while it’s sitting on top of the point.

The assault mid-field continues, with no winner yet.  Invisibility makes things complicated, but I never expected the Sentinels to win that assault anyways!

Astra Turn 4:

Vendetta maneuvers past the Void Raven in its face, snapfires, and destroys one of the jinking Ravagers.  Astra are making full use of the *KABOOM* result this game.

Chimeras advance onto the objectives, but shooting doesn’t achieve much else this turn.

EXCEPT.

Glorious Plasma Veteran takes a rapid-fire snapshot at the approaching Void Raven (which does not jink!).  Taking careful aim, he lets go two shots, one hits, the other overheats and kills him.  The Void Raven takes the hit, and goes down hard on top of the Company Command Squad’s Chimera.  The Chimera survives, the Void Raven does not, and neither does poor Glorious Plasma Veteran.

Glorious Plasma Veteran shoots down the Void Raven.
Glorious Plasma Veteran shoots down the Void Raven.

In assault, the Dark Eldar voluntarily fail their morale check and fall out of combat without incident.  Apparently having Initiative 6 has its perks!

Dark Eldar Turn 5:

Now feeling under-gunned, the Dark Eldar player regroups his beasts, but is otherwise not able to do much in order to affect the outcome of the game.  Realizing that he would need to capture another objective on the table, but lacking the resources to do so has sunk his ship.

Handshakes, and the game is over.  Astra Militarum take it 4-2, on the merits of First Blood & Slay the Warlord.

Debrief:

FLAMERS (& Template weapons) HURT.  A LOT.  Someone who expects to see a lot of open topped transports would be prudent to take quite a few of them, because they’re super-effective at whittling down numbers before the opponent even steps foot on the ground.

Pask is a living nightmare.  Particularly in that Punisher Russ.

Dark Eldar are shockingly shooty.  I was not prepared to deal with 12 dice being rolled at me PER VENOM.  This could be brutally effective against non-mechanized forces.  Something for future knowledge.

Dark Lances are great against AV 13 & 14, but the value is diminished shooting at AV 12 or lower.  The Chimeras were extremely durable in this game, and neither Russ took a hullpoint of damage.

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7 Replies to “Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Dark Eldar w/ Eldar (1,500 pts)”

  1. Nice batrep. I’ve played against my friends dark eldar for a long time now and ALWAYS seem to lose; if possible could you do a re-match with a list which has more venom’s and use some blob squads? Any tactics would be appreciated. Great batrep, keep them up.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement!

      I was actually shocked by how much firepower a Venom could throw out onto the table. Once he picked up the 12 dice for the Splinter Cannons, I was like: “Uhhh, that’s for all 3 Venoms, right?” Nope.

      With this in mind, taking more wounds on foot may not be the best solution, because 150 points of venoms can put some serious hurt on Blobs, while the Blobs need heavy weapons in order to return fire. Even with the Veterans throwing a 3+ cover save, the Venoms stacked up so many wounds that they practically wiped out the squad in one turn of shooting.

      To this end, I found the Chimeras *extremely* valuable, because the Splinter Cannons can’t touch armour. That’s 36 shots that need to find another target before it can start hitting your squishy-bits.

      Bonus points for using Hellhounds, which can cook the contents of the Venom without the transport popping first. Also, they can’t jink a flamethrower. >:)

      I haven’t seen this particular player at the shop since we played (in the batrep above), but I’ll see what I can do.

      Do you have an Army List you’d like me to try out?

      1. Thanks for your insight! I’m definitely gonna put a Hellhound and a couple of Chimera in my shopping cart but is there any way to use at least one blob squad without it taking more time to put them on the board than off it? Thanks another batrep would do wonders! Glad you’re back looking forward to watch the Imperium crush all dem OP xenos.

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