Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Eldar w/ Imperial Knight (1,850 pts)

Hey all!  This is about a week late in coming but hopefully its worth the wait…  I just want to get this up and maybe I’ll post the Battle Chronicler details later.  🙂

Got in a game against Clarence of MWG fame, and his tournament Eldar List, with one minor tweak.  He added an Imperial Knight OOF.

In the lead-up to the game I was guilty of some pretty serious list tailoring, because the last time I played him it was hotly contested, and if Pask hadn’t bailed me out by killing both of the Wraithknights I might have been in big trouble…

I was originally going to add Captain Karlaen and Squad Raphen from the Shield of Baal supplement, but paying 370 points for 5 wounds didn’t really seem efficient to me.  Taking some advice from Sinsynn over at HoP with respect to bubblewrapping techniques, I put this  list together…

The Combatants:

Astra Militarum

  • Knight Commander Pask in Punisher: Multi-Melta Sponsons, Lascannon, Camo Nets
    • Vanquisher Bro: Plasma Cannon Sponsons, Lascannon, Camo Nets
  • Company Command Squad: 4x Plasma Guns
    • Chimera, Hull Heavy Flamer
  • Priest
  • Bullgryns [x3]
  • Veterans: Demolitions, 3x Melta Guns
    • Chimera, Hull Heavy Flamer
  • Veterans: Demolitions, 3x Melta Guns
    • Chimera, Hull Heavy Flamer
  • Platoon:
    • PCS: Heavy Flamer, 3x Flamer, Power Fist
    • Squad 1: Krak Grenades
    • Squad 2: Krak Grenades
  • Armoured Sentinels [x3]: 3x Autocannons
  • Vendetta
  • Manticore

Eldar & Imperial Knight

  • Autarch
  • Dire Avengers [x5]
    • Wave Serpent, TL-Scatter Laser, Holo-field
  • Dire Avengers [x5]
    • Wave Serpent, TL-Scatter Laser, Holo-field
  • Dire Avengers [x5]
    • Wave Serpent, TL-Scatter Laser, Holo-field
  • Wind Riders [x3]: Shuriken Cannon
  • Hornets: Pulse Lasers
  • Swooping Hawks [x6]
  • Wraithknight: Heavy Wraithcannons
  • Wraithknight: Heavy Wraithcannons
  • Imperial Knight Errant

Some keys to my list this time around are that I didn’t include the Wyvern, though it has been a staple in previous ‘all-comer’ lists of mine.  Demolition Veterans, while pricey, put the fear of god into those Wraithknights and provide some real punch that’ll need to get shot up — NOT assaulted.

Similarly, the platoon was given Krak Grenades.  This would allow them to actually do something, and when combined with a priest have the potential to re-roll to wound.

I wasn’t anticipating Pask to survive long, but the camo nets and bullgryn escort were intended to troll the heavy AT weapons at range by giving Pask a 3+ cover save.

Mission:

Rolled on the Maelstrom table and came up with a Cleanse and Control, and we opted to just roll with the Vanguard Deployment style.

Guard won the roll-off and deployed first!

Deployment:

Guard deployment.  The Priest was deployed with the Bullgryns at first...  Hull # 614 had the Company Command Squad.
Guard deployment. The Priest was deployed with the Bullgryns at first… Hull # 614 had the Company Command Squad.  Broodlord looks on anxiously…
Eldar deployment.  Pretty self explanitory.  The bikes are actually cowering in the backfield somewhere, the Hornets and Swooping Hawks placed in Reserve.
Eldar deployment. Pretty self explanitory. The bikes are actually cowering in the backfield somewhere, the Hornets and Swooping Hawks placed in Reserve.
Look at this guy.  Gutting a Devilfish like a regular fish.  Such a boss.
Look at this guy. Gutting a Devilfish like a… regular fish. Such a boss.

Astra Militarum Turn 1:

Ruh-roh... Is that tank within 24"...?
Ruh-roh… Is that tank within 24″…?

You bet it is.

Pask knocks off 3 hullpoints with the Rending Punisher cannon (one being saved by the Ion Shield), and one of the two Multi-Melta takes off the remaining two with a Kaboom result.  Statistically, the Ion Shield should have come up with one more save, but Pask came through, and that was that.  The Knight got Pask’d!

The remainder of the fire succeeds only in stripping off one of the wounds from a Wraithknight and forcing some of the Wave Serpents to jink.

Hilariously (NOT) the CCS’s chimera gets bogged down in the woods on the Guard’s left flank.  Those Plasmaguns will now have to hike…

The intent was to shoot with Pask and then run in front of him with the Bullgryns in order to prevent him being completely blown away by the heavy D-Cannons on the wraith knights, but with a very poor run roll, only one Bullgryn jumps in front of the Tank, shield at the ready…

With First Blood in hand and two tactical objectives secured, the Guard jump out to an early 3-0 lead.

Eldar Turn 1:

Clarence admits flat out he forgot that the Punisher Cannon at Heavy 20 rends when Pask is at the gun.  If he had remembered that, he would have pushed the knight beyond 30″.  This is a solid plan going forwards.

The serpents kind of shuffle around a bit, as do the Wraithknights, wary of the melta-guns and other short-ranged fun that the Guard are packing.

The first wave serpent to shoot actually picked off the lone bullgryn in front of Pask’s Tank, who then eats both Wraithknights worth of Heavy-D-Cannoning and blows up spectacularly.  In hindsight, I might have used the “Strike and Shroud” order in order to guarantee a minimum of 5+ cover save with the netting, but that’s certainly a trade I’d make again.

You'll notice the Pask-sized hole in the Guard lines...
You’ll notice the Pask-sized hole in the Guard lines…

The Eldar score one objective, and take the Warlord, Guard lead 3-2 after one full turn.

Astra Militarum Turn 2:

Vendetta arrives!
Vendetta arrives!

For once, the cavalry arrives right on time.  The combined weight of the army forces more jinking from the Wave Serpents, and brings one of the Wraithknights down to one wound remaining.  Just couldn’t land that last one.

The bullgryns wrap around the back of the Vanquisher anticipating some out-flanking shenanigans from the Hornets, when they arrive.  The priest switches over from being a bullgryn nanny to working up the 20 man platoon squad, which will likely need the encouragement after charging up murder-hill to capture the centre table objective.

These guardsmen seriously have some cojones.  Or religion.  Or both.
These guardsmen seriously have some cojones. Or religion. Or both.

Hilariously, the second Chimera on the left flank *also* immobilizes itself.  So.  There’s no one moving over there.

Guard capture 2 more objectives good for a 5-2 lead after 1.5 Turns.

Eldar Turn 2:

Swooping hawks arrive, the Hornets do not.  The Eldar get out on foot and absolutely shred those who ran up to capture the objective, the swooping hawks causing more damage with their preliminary bombardment…

The first Chimera goes up to Serpent fire, and the Command Squad gets out on foot without incident.

Snap-firing at the Vendetta, one hull point is stripped off, though it is not jinking (because the Serpent Shield ignores cover anyways, so what’s the freaking point?)

Eldar capture one further objective, and the Guard take a 5-3 lead into Turn 3!

Astra Militarum Turn 3:

The Guard are well positioned for glory!
The Guard are well positioned for glory!

A lot of work gets done here.  The combined weight of fire from the Company Command Squad (ordered to BRING IT DOWN!!), Vendetta, Vanquisher deal quite a lot of damage to Wraithknight that’s feeling pretty good about itself, but it doesn’t finally die until the Meltaveterans go all-pro with a heroic lob from a Demolition charge.  The Wraithknight goes up, with one of the nearby Swooping Hawks caught in the explosion.

Spurred on by the (insane) priest, the remaining guardsmen in the regular infantry platoon charge the wraithknight hoping to cause problems with Krak Grenades, and take off the final wound.  Because of Hatred, I was re-rolling to hit.  Because of the Priest’s vocal skill, I was re-rolling to wound.  Not much doing in the end, unfortunately, I couldn’t harness the same Paskian 6’s that killed the Imperial Knight.

Statistically, this combat should drag on about 2-3 turns.
Statistically, this combat should drag on about 2-3 turns.

Because Fearless, the combat drags on.

Also worth noting, the Manticore actually did something good, stripping off the TL-Scatter Laser from the Autarch’s transport, stunning it, and blowing away the Dire Avengers that got out on foot.  First time it really did anything other than make something jink!  Woot!

Guard take 2 more objectives good for a 7-3 lead after 2.5 turns.

Eldar Turn 3:

The hornets come on, and blow away 2 of the three sentinels from behind.

Swooping hawks & serpent fire kill the ballsy melta-veterans who were out in the open, though their Chimera is otherwise OK for the time being.

The Chimera on the CCS flank on the other hand pops, and the veterans bail out without problem.

At this point, the Autarch hops out of his stricken Wave Serpent into a relatively fresh one, and scoots away from danger.

Despite giving the Vendetta some attention (again, NOT jinking, because why would I?) everything fails to connect.  One of the Scatter Lasers fails to connect at all despite being twin-linked, and all 7 shield shots miss because of this.  Ouch.  Coulda been a contenda!

Eldar are scoring at a consistent rate of 1 per turn after the first turn, and the objectives they’re drawing aren’t really helping their cause at all.  Guard still leave after 3 Turns, 7-4

Astra Militarum Turn 4:

Brawl mode engaged!  It’ll be a bloody one for all hands involved!

This photo was taken at the END of AM T4, but you can see what went on here...
This photo was taken at the END of AM T4, but you can see what went on here…

The remainder of the platoon goes down to the Wraithknight, who activated beast mode and splutted all 3 of the troopies remaining AND the Priest, who failed his Rosarius.  Had he survived, the Knight would be trapped in combat for another turn.

The Vendetta flew up into the Wave Serpent’s grill again, and starts getting all up in that business.  Unfortunately, not much doing, as the Eldar are jinking hot right now.

Trying to fire the plasma cannons, the vanquisher (which has quietly been a PRO the entire game) overheats TWICE, stripping off 2 hullpoints…

Heavy hitter of the turn goes to the Chimera, who vaporizes all but one of the Swooping Hawks.

The bullgryns and Sentinels in the backfield both fail their charges on the Hornets, but they’re seeing the writing on the wall now…

The Sentinels needed a below-average charge, and the Bullgryns needed slightly over.  Neither got it.  Not even close.
The Sentinels needed a below-average charge, and the Bullgryns needed slightly over. Neither got it. Not even close.

Guard score extremely well this turn, controlling a D3 VP card, and swing for the full 3 VP!  10-4 after 3.5 Turns.

Eldar Turn 4:

The Guard have built up a substantial lead in terms of VP, but its not out of reach by any stretch, and their numbers are beginning to dwindle.

The Hornets flat out to get the hell out of dodge, accelerating past the Bullgryns and choosing to ignore the Manticore, which is now out of rockets.

Screw this guys, we're out of here.
Screw this guys, we’re out of here.

Hucking a haywire grenade, the last swooping hawk knocks out the Vanquisher (d’aw), while the surviving Wraithknight (with 1 wound remaining!!!) knocks out the Chimera on that flank.  Bikes take the objective the Chimera was parked on.

Eldar are starting to roll along, but the D3 objective card they have, rolled a 1!  Unfortunate!

Guard stay ahead after 4 turns, 10-5.

Astra Militarum Turn 5:

Running out of units now, but not lacking the willpower to continue the fight, the guardsmen push forwards towards the center of the table, once again capturing the Murder Hill.

Re-capturing Murder Hill, which is presently littered with the corpses of many, many guardsmen...
Re-capturing Murder Hill, which is presently littered with the corpses of many, many guardsmen…

Veterans, using meltaguns finally take down the last remaining Wraithknight, who was still picking over the remains of the Chimera.

Bullgryns charge and wreck one of the hornets (needing *one more* hullpoint to wreck the unit…) , while the Sentinel fails ANOTHER charge trying to take down the final swooping hawk.

Bullgryns nab one of the Hornets, pulling it down...
Bullgryns nab one of the Hornets, pulling it down… While the last surviving Swooping Hawk laughs…

Vendetta drops into hover mode, and Finally knocks out the Autarch’s former ride.  There are still 2 wave serpents out there however.  The platoon command squad jumps out and captures another objective.

The Vendetta drops into hover mode to capture another objective.
The Vendetta drops into hover mode to capture another objective.

The Guard continue to wrack up the points, taking another 2 VP’s for a 12-6 lead.

Eldar Turn 5:

A lot of work gets done here… but unfortunately the details are getting a touch fuzzy.

The Vendetta, now hovering, is a prime candidate and goes down in flames to some determined Serpent shooting.

In the end, only a single VP is scored, so the Guard stay up 10-6.

Turn 6 (in General):

Eldar have by far the most effective units on the table, with 3 jetbikes, 2 functional wave serpents, a squad and a half of Dire Avengers, a Hornet, and that DAMNED swooping hawk left on the table.  The Guard are simply down to their Company Commander and the Platoon Command Squad which is hiding behind a bastion hoping the Eldar don’t notice them.

Due to the objectives, the way the game shaped out, the Guard took the day, winning 13-8.  Some wrap-up shots of the carnage:

So bloody.
So bloody.
Not much left on the table for either side.
Not much left on the table for either side.  That Swooping Hawk is laughing at me.

 

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5 thoughts on “Battle Report: Astra Militarum vs. Eldar w/ Imperial Knight (1,850 pts)”

  1. wow. seems like a fun game. a shame your opponent lost his imperial knight on turn 1 (well…shame for him). Pretty surprising as in my play testing, pask alone seems to avg 1 or 2 hull points of dmg against a knight in one round of shooting.

    vets with meltas and demolitions are indeed very expensive, i’ve yet to use them in a game yet, but after my last game against 2 knights, i might try to fit the points in. it’s probably one of the better ways to deal with imperial knights, wraithknights and riptides.

    bullgryns seemed to do a decent utility job this game. eating up one round of wave serpent shooting and discouraging the hornets to shoot into vanquisher’s rear armor and instead going for the sentinels. also indirectly ate up another round of shooting from the hornets by making them flat out!

    1. Pask in a Punisher is a nightmare against any armour. I crunched out the numbers back in 6th edition when Rending against vehicles brought it to AP2, but haven’t really recalculated now that the damage table has been adjusted.

      Keep in mind with Pask at the helm, you’re re-rolling your Armour Penetration roll as well, so with 15 hits you should be getting 3-6 Rending shots through, and then the +D3 Strength is more than likely sufficient to glance something to death. MM Sponsons give you that punch against AV14 that the Rending Punisher cannon might not give you.

      Against the Knight, I actually had a sub-par roll of the dice to hit (I think 8 missed, typically I get around 16-18 hits or so, with Preferred Enemy). 4 of them Rended, 3 of them went through (Ion Shield).

      One of the Multi-Melta shots was blocked by the Ion shield, but the penetrating hit wasn’t, and caused the last 2 Hullpoints of damage. I still had the Lascannon at my disposal.

      This is what Punisher Pask do. Whatever you point him at will die.

      The Demolition Vets did their work. They were mostly useful for Board control, because the Chimeras needed to pop and the troopies killed before the Wraithknights piled in. I’m contemplating giving them Carapace Armour in order to give them just that smidge more durability. This way they’ll wear a pair of hats, and I need not bother with Scions for my Specialist Infantry Needs.

      And I liked the Bullgryns! I’m still learning how to use them effectively, and had some bad luck with their charge rolls, but they were a handy unit to have on the table. I’m not sure what else I would have used if it weren’t them… More Sentinels, perhaps? *shrugs*

  2. yea, 2 is probably on the low end for hull points taken by pask against a knight. 2~5 is probably an accurate range. next time i face an imperial knight (hopefully he won’t have any knight buddies with him), i’ll probably try to unload at it and see if i can take one down in 1 or 2 turns of shooting. if pask is at 24″, if you’re top of turn, you’ll have 2 rounds of shooting, and if you’re bottom of turn, you’d have to put a speed bump in front of pask (either guardsmen or bullgryns).

    one competitor i see points wise for bullgryns is another vet squad with 2 meltas and a chimera. on paper another vet squad seems better, which is why i think most ppl write bullgryns off, but in terms of protecting your firebase or pask, bullgryns will do a much better job. Then the question becomes, would you rather spend 145 points to protect pask or would you rather have another mobile objective secured short range threat on the board?

    The best argument that i’ve seen against bullgryns tho are conscripts. You can get 40 conscripts and a priest (or commissar) for the same 145 points. the footprint is waaay bigger compared to 3 bullgryns, it’s objective secured, will not flee, and it is arguably just as, if not more durable than 3 bullgryns. go down to 30 conscripts and a priest, and you are paying a ‘mere’ 115 points.

    to me, that’s all fine and dandy, but bullgryns are cool, and way easier to transport and play with on the tabletop than 30~40 conscripts!

    1. I think you’ve really hit my thoughts on the matter in the centre.

      Running a lot of Tanks, you like to have the space to use them. 50 conscripts is quite counter-intuitive in that regard, and also largely useless if you run them into assault against something huge like a Wraithknight. But that’s one less Wraithknight you’ll have to deal with elsewhere, I suppose…

      With respect to the other squad of Vets: definitely a possibility… I can see the argument, because the firepower is undeniable. Once the Chimera goes up however (and they’re prime targets for S7 shooting), a stiff fart will wreck the squad.

      I also often run into problems when vehicle carcasses really limit the mobility of those still living…

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