As he has said, the list doesn't make the player. As he also said, after a couple of games start using different units to see what works for you.
So how did the game go? I won't give it away. I will say I Loved it!
Shawn changed his list up. As Natfka puts on his blog and Commander Adama said, I think, once in Battlestar Galactica; No plan survives enemy contact. He kept his three Basilisks. Got rid of his Manticor. Up'ed his Leman Russ's. Dropped some Chimera's.
Met Shawn at Fantasy Flight around 6:30ish. Wore my Stockroom.com handcuff t-shirt.
"Deceit is the Essence of War" is obviously from Sun Tzu's Art of War. Ronan Harris, creator of VNV Nation, put together a "song", for lack of a better word, called "Art of Conflict" on Of Faith, Power, Glory cd released in 2009. I type "song", even though I love VNV Nation, because can one really call electronica music? Same argument for rap music. I believe it comes down to the ear. Anywho, on with BatRep!
His list. HQ with retinue in building. Three Basilisks. Three Leman Russ's with battle cannons. Three Leman Russ's, two punishers, one with huge F'off Plasma Cannon. Two Bane Wolfs (his MPV's in my opinion). Two Chimera's each with troops. One Chimera had another HQ along with troops. Two Vendetta's separate, not vehicle squadroned.
I loved his army! Thirteen pieces of armour. Plus two delicious Vendetta's for my Wyches to haywire apart. Reason why I loved his army is because if I can pull off my plan with that much armour my Dark Eldar list can handle almost anything else. As most of you already know. My Venom's had no use for their Splinter Cannons the entire game.
It should be noted that my Alpha Strike didn't work they way I wanted. This was because of Dawn of War deployment. Any other deployment I have 21 Lance shots in the first round. Beautiful.
Yeah, yeah, I hear you. 'Stop being verbose and get on with it.' Here you go. Be warned I will get wordy again soon.
Enjoy! (I certainly did)
Mission: Seize Ground. Neon green pieces on the table are the objectives. Deployment: Dawn of War. Shawn won roll decided to deploy and go first. Something he rarely does. He usually plays a defensive game in the first two turns of the game. He sizes you up then applies pressure. Guess he didn't want to mess around with my Dark Eldar. He did say he doesn't know Dark Eldar because that is one army he doesn't have.
Thought about attempting to seize initiative decided against it. Perhaps allowing Vect to steal would've helped. If I seized then my first turn of shooting wouldn't be in darkness and could've shot more. Then again the Imperial Guard (IG hereafter) would've taken their shots with Night Fight rolls in effect. Will have to think this over more to decide if it's a good idea for next time.
IG deploy their one HQ in the tower on the far side. Dark Eldar (DE hereafter) deployed one 10 Kabalite Warrior squad behind big tower and their Raider. Raider is there to take advantage of its Night Shields and cover from building. Something terribly funny happens with the 10 Kabalites later in the game. If I was thinking I would've pulled some Sun Tzu's Art of War on Shawn.
Top of first.
IG move onto the board and pop smoke with two Chimera w/troops and two Vendetta's in reserve.
Bottom of first.
DE come onto the board. Two Wyche squads, one with Vect, and both Scourge squads in reserve. I attempt my Alpha Strike. Of course because I'm moving on from table edge it's not as effective as I want. Razorwing does immobilise one Basilisk which wrecks it. Reducing a vehicle squad from three to two. So far so good! Don't roll high enough to see the armour, even with re-rolls. Needed at least a 10 on 2d6 to see most. Did stun one squad of Leman Russ's. Ancient haemonculi and haemonculi leave Venom's to drop webways. Pain tokens stay with Trueborn. Shawn says that the game might be decided by turn three. I agree with him but hope differently.
Top of second.
IG unload their munitions. They remove one Dark Lance from a Ravager. Take down my pretty Razorwing. Hey, that's part of the game. You put models on the table to remove them. Live with the results. Be in the moment. Let go of your outcome. Find peace in the result and learn happiness. One squad of Leman Russ take down a Raider. Shawn looks disappointed. He asks how many points was that Raider. I answered 110. Asked him how many points is the Leman Russ squad he fired. He said something like 235. I said "Nice. 235 points to take down 110 points." Shawn lamented about Dark Eldar vehicles not being in vehicle squadrons. Informed him Dark Eldar don't have any vehicle squadrons. Probably because it represents too much unity (subtle DE humour). One Vendetta comes out of reserve. Nothing fruitful comes of its shooting. Thank you, Flickerfields!
Bottom of second.
DE continue their push forward. This is the turn that I have to split my lance shots. Which I think ended up helping me later. Majourity of my forces are on the right flank. As Natfka says: Find enemies weakness and exploit it. Finding IG weakness is harder than any other army. Facing Shawn several times I believe I've found the weakness with his army. I launch on it. Trueborn squads immobilise a Vendetta and take down a Leman Russ. It was about this time the players to my left start commenting about our game. They are playing Eldar vs Chaos Marines. It seems they are divided on Shawn's and my game outcome. They are talking to each other wondering how it will turn out. Chaos player says IG armour is on his side. Eldar player says if DE can pull off hitting critical armour it will reduce IG's effectiveness. Also during this time several customers in the store commenaabout my Dark Eldar paint job. Inefficiently two five Kabalite Warriors attempt to shoot at Bane Wolfs. Should've done something different with one of those squads. May I learn for next time. I will explain what I should've done later. Scourges arrive from reserve but do nothing note worthy. I need to have them take down those Bane Wolves in the future. My dice still won't like Heat Lances.
Top of third.
Shawn talked about this being third turn and not knowing which way the battle was going. I said something along the lines of it being an even match. He laughed. Told him I would keep him in this pic.
IG lay in Trueborn squads, Scourge squads and continue to Basilisk, yes its also a verb, Ravagers. Thank you cover from trees. That is two turns of shooting from direct fire that help out the Ravagers moving closer to Basilisks. Plenty of DE are removed from the field. Thankfully my Heat Lance Scourges are still around. Two Trueborn on left flank. Only have one Trueborn on right flank. IG troops arrive in Chimera's. Need to keep my eye on the ball. I have a quick objective grab on my side. Need to use Venoms to contest Chimera troops objectives in turn five. Little do I know Shawn is not thinking of objectives at all. Not all IG armour can shoot due to being stunned. Quite handy. If hull points were real I would've removed plenty of armour by now.
Bottom of third.
Vect and Wyches arrive. Completely forgot to roll combat drugs. Not that it actually matters against IG armour. Venoms flat out to otherside of field. Shawn appropriately ignores them. They are white noise compared to what else is going on. Vect and Wyches take down Vendetta and consolidate into difficult terrain for cover. I'm not thinking about IG's MVP's this game because I didn't realize they were the MVP's yet. Scourges take down a Leman Russ on left flank. Last Trueborn lance does nothing. Forgot to charge the not moving Leman Russ with my haywire grenades. Probably would not have done anything but you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. It should be noted that one Ravager with two dark lances on far right have been shooting at Basilisks all game and only been able to make them not shoot. Which I guess is good. No immobilised or wrecks. grr
Top of fourth.
This is the turn of death for DE. Bane wolves use their poison flamers against Wyches. Thank you wound allocation. Vect only had to make two saves while the Wyches ate up the rest! Kabalite warriors in middle are reduced to just Blasters. They will do something spectacular soon! Last Trueborn on right flank is finally removed. Stinks forgetting to assault the Leman Russ with Haywire grenades.
Bottom of fourth.
Vemons flat out for cover saves for end of fifth objective denial. Wyches finally arrive. They fleet out of right webway and move to Vendetta and take it down! Two more Leman Russ's are removed from the field. Thank you Trueborn on left flank and Dark Lances from Ravager and Raiders on right flank. Amazingly two Kabalite warriors with Blasters take down tower with objective which IG HQ is inside with five guys. Kabalite Warriors assault in and win combat! They chase down the fleeing IG HQ and remove them from the game. I think I actually cheered loudly at this result.
Top of fifth.
IG Leman Russ on left flank continues to fire at Vect. Vect's Shadow Field remains intact. Something I've learned about my Vect. I either roll a 1 on the first save and he's gone or he makes his saves for the entire game and stays around. I kind of like it. Bane Wolves do the only thing they can do. Flame Kabalite Warriors in cover grabbing an objective. They are removed. It has to happen. That's why we put models on the table to remove them. It was at this point I tell Shawn I know what I would do if I were you. He's not following. He still has two Chimera's with troops on board and hasn't done anything with him. Guess the pressure my DE have put on him and the amount of armour I'm removing is effective. Or as Shawn said "I'm fading fast" in turn three. He was outside in the sun all day and is now tired. Told him I would be happy to take advantage of that. muhaha. Finally another Raider is removed from IG shooting. Basilisks turn their gaze from the single Ravager doing nothing to them. Shawn did say he didn't want to barrage the Ravager in case it comes back and hits the tanks. At this point the Ravager is just an annoying fly.
Bottom of fifth.
Time to spring into action. Possibly last turn of the game. Next time I know what to do with buildings, objectives and troops. At beginning of game placed an objective on near side of the building. Kabalite Warriors were probably more than three inches away. I should've moved one closer to the edge of the building then I wouldn't have to move them. However I do. Shawn asks where did they come from. I said they've been there the entire time. Locked down that objective. At this point I tell Shawn what I would've done with his Chimera's. Moved them up, spun around and deployed the troops on two objectives. Securing IG victory. This dawns on Shawn and he says he wasn't even thinking about it. Guess troops in dedicated transports don't have to leave the transport to secure objectives. They just have to have their dedicated transport within 3". The effectiveness of DE is beginning to wane. The toe-to-toe mentioned earlier is starting to show its colours. I've removed plenty of IG armour. Never had them against the ropes to deliver the necessary crippling blow eliminating their effectiveness. This is something to work on next time. Take down his MPV's. Those two Bane Wolfs. Their poison templates have done a number on my troops. Perhaps Wyches would've survived long enough to finally get in contact with one of Shawn's damn Leman Russes to haywire it into slag. Ravager with two Dark Lances continues trying to affect the two basilisks. Nothing again. Flat out Venoms again for cover and objective contesting if the game goes on.
Time to roll the dice. 4 comes up. Games goes into a sixth turn. This is going to get ugly. Shawn knows about the Kabalite Warriors. My chance of securing a win just went out the window. As Shawn mentions my Venoms will contest objectives and it's going to be a draw.
Quick side note. About 7 people praised my paint job. Joked with some like before that I shipped them to China for someone to paint them. Couple people laughed. Couple of guys even called their friends over to look at my Dark Eldar. This only makes my mind more concrete that I should paint a model and sell it. Get some "street cred" and start doing commissions. Already have an idea what I want to paint for the first model.
Top of sixth. Or end of Dark Eldar hope.
Bane Wolves head over and continue doing the same thing they've been doing all game. More Kabalite Warriors gone. Basiliks remove the last three. No DE troops on the field. Leman Russ tank shocks Vect. Vect steps aside. Leman shoots at Vect and saves again. I'm sure if I can make that first Shadow Field save Vect will remain on the board for the entire game. Finally a Ravager is removed from the field. Chimera's move to objectives. Good thing I have enough Venoms that it shouldn't be a problem for me to contest.
Bottom of sixth.
More shooting at Basilisk with no result. Lone Raider attempts to affect Leman Russ. That was my goal in this game. To take down as many of those kitting Leman Russ's as I could. I hate those tanks for what they've done almost every time I've played them. Yes it's my issue not having a mobile enough DE army. Still it sticks in my craw. Venoms jump on objectives.
Time to roll. 4 comes up again. Onto turn seven.
Top of seven.
Bane Wolves continue their work and remove last Trueborn on the field. Next time will have make them my priority. Shawn mentions this first. At this point I say they have been his MVP's the entire game. They've been the work horse for his army. They've done a great job. They're in a vehicle squadron so enough lance shots and they would be removed easily. Perhaps sending the Scourges at them would've been better. I love those guys. They do seem to be my throw away melta squad. Need to fix that. More Flickerfield and Cover saves so Venoms on one objective remain there. Flickerfields have really helped me in this game.
Shawn can't move the Venoms so he calls it. End of game draw. Not sure if Vect or my last Raider would've been able to do anything to the last two Leman Russes.
0-0 Dark Eldar vs Imperial Guard.
Great game. Hard fought. Rolled 2 too many times for Armour Penetration. Yeah, Str 10 against IG is effective. Then again your dice can't be with you all the time. Also rolled 1 or 2 too many times on damage chart. Still took a lot of armour. Taking armour off the field and stunning vehicles really helped with reducing IG shooting at my paper tigers.
Looking forward to the next game against IG.