Dark Angels vs. Eldar
The target planet was beautiful. It was like nothing he had ever seen before. Everything was pristine. The grass was a shade of green only seen in holo-projections. Holy Terra certainly did not look like this.
"Master Ammael." The words pulled the ponderous marine from his reverie. The voice came from the designated combat audio channel in his suit. "Your orders," rasped the tinny voice. It was not a question. It was not uncertainty. It was routine. Ritual.
"Brothers! You recall our briefing! The target lies on yonder hill." A large and monstrous structure of xeno design rose from a hilltop. "This tower is a sort of gate through the Warp. We are to deny the foul xenos of its privilege." There was a clatter of noise behind the imposing marine, as the squadrons he brought with him slammed armoured fists to their chests.
"Expect resistance." He smiled an eager smile.
My opponent deployed the Autarch attached to the Dire Avengers, starting in cover along her border. Farseer and retinue along her right side, also in cover. Curiously out in the open, her Wraithlord and Falcon. The Scorpions infiltrated on top of the objective.
Her Rangers deployed behind a small hill also along her right flank, about halfway up the board.
I had no infiltrators with me, so for the most part, my placement was in response specifically to the Wraithlord and the Falcon. Above, you can see most of my foot sloggers are on the opposite side of the objective's hill from both of her Heavy Support units, including my Venerable Dreadnought. My plan was to sweep the hill, focusing on the Scorpions then the Dire Avengers, taking apart her army one piece at a time while staying clear of the warlocks and Heavy Support.
The only exception to this was my Predator. I placed him behind this small hill outcropping, out of line of sight from both of her Heavy Support units.
First turn was mine.
Master Ammael spotted movement on the hill. "It is time, brothers. Move out!"
Two of his tactical squadrons moved ahead of him towards the objective, half of one stayed behind in a smaller combat squadron positioned on a hill with a Plasma Cannon. Ammael's Command Squadron moved with him.
First turn, I moved the Venerable Dreadnought mostly sideways. By next turn, he should be able to see around the center hill and start shooting at the Wraithlord.
The Predator moves up slightly and takes aim at the Eldar Falcon. Twin-Linked Lascannons score a Penetrating hit, resulting in an Armament Destroyed. No more Pulse Laser for you!
A loud crack echoes through the hills. The Predator has drawn first blood. The Dark Angels surged forward.
"Caution, my brothers! Haste and Recklessness are the ways of Chaos. These xenos will die by our carefully aimed Bolter fire!"
Ammael heard a grunt from his left. "Why restrain them, Keeper of the Watch? Let the Emperor's fury course through them until the foul xenos taste of their own blood!" Brother Mordeus made a chopping motion with his crackling Arcanum.
Interrogator-Chaplain Mordeus had an irritating habit of referring to the commander by his honorific. His pride probably won't allow him to use the word 'Master' when addressing someone else, Ammael thought.
Caution, Ammael. The Eldar are a devious foe, not to be taken lightly.
My opponent's Wraitlord returned fire on the Predator, immobilizing it. The remainder of her forces move forward, with the exception of the waiting Scorpions.
Turn 2 Dark Angels
A loud, crackling discharge erupted from behind. The Dreadnought had opened fire on the Wraithlord. Another discharge heralded the squad-carrying Plasma Cannon opening fire on the Dire Avengers. Keep focus. Resolve. Control. The Scorpions stirred from their hiding place behind the Gate. "CLEANSE, Brothers!" Ammael bellowed. The marines let loose a hail of Bolter-fire. The Scorpions fall.
"Purge the vile xenos, Brothers! Destroy them to the last!" shouted Mordeus. The forward squadron engaged the Eldar in melee, chopping down the last of the Scorpions with combat knives and a Chainsword.
Dreadnought fired on the Wraithlord to no effect. My Plasma-Cannon toting marine dropped 3 Dire Avengers from his vantage point on the hill.
The 5 man Combat Squad and Command Squad fired on the Scorpions, downing 4 of them. Combat Squad assaulted and finished off the last Scorpion and Exarch in a Massacre!
The immobilized Predator scored another Penetrating hit on the Falcon, destroying it.
Turn 2 Eldar
Dire Avengers and Autarch fire upon the Combat Squad (Bladestorm) but only brought down two marines.
Rangers fire upon the Command Squad, scoring only one casualty (thanks to the Apothecary) but no pinning.
Wraithlord hits the Predator, causing an Armament Destroyed. The now immobilized and Lascannon-less Predator sits useless for the rest of the game behind a hill.
Farseer Dooms the Combat Squad, vowing revenge.
Turn 3 Dark Angels
Now it has begun, the battle is thickening. A sickening thud resounded nearby; one of Ammael's veterans had been taken out by sniper-fire. Ammael tapped his comm. "Taking sniper fire. Damocles, redirect fire to neutralize."
"Affirmed, Master Ammael" came the deep, raspy voice of the entombed soldier piloting Damocles, the Venerable Dreadnought. Ammael turned his attention back to the xenos in front of him. He and his Battle Brethren loosed burst after burst of timed, practiced Bolter rounds into the enemy. The objective is mine. I will hold it.
Dreadnought's Plasma Cannon scored 3 wounds on the Rangers, who promptly failed their morale test and started falling back. They never regrouped.
The full strength Tactical Squad circling around the hill as well as the Command Squad focused fire on the Dire Avengers, killing 5 of them.
For the Eldar Turn, my opponent held her ground and shot at the marines on the hill with all she had. The Wraithlord shot the Venerable Dreadnought, causing a Glancing Hit. Crew Shaken.
Turn 4 Dark Angels
With the enemy whittled down before their eyes, Brother Mordeus sounded the charge. The Command Squad barrelled downhill into the remaining Dire Avengers. The enemy was quick, but the marines were spurred on by their Chaplain's rage. The fight quickly became a draw. Despite Master Ammael and Brother Mordeus both being involved, the Autarch danced around their weapons, making fools of both of them.
The 10-man tactical moves up onto the hill proper. Next round, they should be able to tear into the Farseer's retinue.
With the Dreadnought Shaken, my Plasma Cannon toting tactical marine takes a shot at the Wraithlord, to no effect. I find myself cursing its Toughness 8 many times this fight.
The assault of the Dire Avengers and Autarch come out pretty even, with 3 wounds scored on either side. Now, it's just the Autarch vs. Ammael, Mordeus and the Champion.
Turn 4 Eldar
Wraithlord shoots the Dreadnought again, another Glancing Hit. This time is 'Stunned.' He hangs back, staying within 6" of the warlocks, though.
the warlocks unleash on the Combat Squad, taking down another marine.
Assault is inconclusive.
Turn 5 Dark Angels
Both Tactical Squads rapid fire at the Farseer and his retinue, killing all the warlocks and causing the Farseer to take a wound.
The annoying xenos was too slippery, despite being set upon by three marines! Brother Mordeus roared with hatred, and landed a mighty blow with his Crozius Arcanum. The xenos faltered, then warped out, retreating to the trees. He took a wound, and rolled an 11 for a morale check, and so fell back to the tree-line.
"Coward!" roared Mordeus. Ammael smirked at the image of Mordeus spitting at the Eldar, only to have it hit the inside of his own face-plate.
Turn 5 Eldar
The Autarch regroups easily, fires off a shot from the Fusion Gun, but misses.
The Farseer, now that the Command Squad is unengaged, uses Mindwar on the Chaplain, causing 2 wounds.
Wraithlord shoots at Dreadnought and misses.
Turn 6 Dark Angels
The Tactical Squads bring to bear their firepower on the Farseer, who falls to the shower of exploding bolts.
Brother Mordeus faltered with pain, then suddenly steadied himself. "Vile aliens!" he screamed, lurching forward. Ammael caught his arm. "Your pistol, Brother! Don't let him outsmart you!" Ammael and what was left of his Command Squad held their ground at the objective border, firing on the Autarch from a short distance. His mocking image danced among the trees, warping to and fro; their guns hit nothing.
On the other side of the hill, Dreadnought Damocles lumbered towards the Wraithlord. Having taken multiple hits, the machine lurched forwards at an incredible rate easily closing the distance. A shot from the Plasma Cannon was a direct hit! The pilot grinned. Today was going to be a good day.
Damocles slammed into the Wraithlord, knocking it slightly off-balance. His crushing claw reached forward, talons connecting with ... nothing. The Wraithlord nimbly moved aside. The pilot watched as the monstrosity's large glowing sword swung around in an arc and he quickly moved to deflect the blow. Claw collided with Wraithsword with a deafening clang. A glint of metal shot by the pilot's view. His sensors indicated he had lost a talon. Again he reached for the creature to no avail. The thing was simply too quick. It stepped around him again, and he heard the sound of slicing metal. His sensors blared. The Powerplant had been critically damaged. He had a second to live.
Time seemed to slow down. The second stretching into a long, long pause. Damocles was no more. It was only the old war veteran inside. His life culminated to this moment, Death stood before him with a gleaming soulstone on his forehead. He grimaced. A sick grin spread across his face, and he piloted Damocles to it's last action: hold onto the Wraithlord.
The explosion was deafening. Ammael looked to the west to see a plume of fire and shrapnel. Damocles was no more, but it appeared he went out taking the Wraithlord with him.
Wait. No. The construct of bone lumbered out of the smoke, damaged, but still operational. Cursed xenos luck.
So yeah, the Dreadnought didn't cause any damage in the actual assault, but was killed instead! Vehicle Exploded! was the result, and my only satisfaction was that the Wraithlord itself took a wound from the resulting explosion. Damn that thing's hard to kill!
My opponent by this time has pretty much realized that the game is mine, but she made a few last ditch attempts at some more victory points. The Wraithlord tried to finish off the sitting duck Predator, but misses.
The Autarch charges into close combat.
In what seemed like a last act of arrogance, the Autarch leapt forward towards the Command Squad. A low, grotesque laugh started to emenate from Mordeus. His wish was coming true. Ammael, on the other hand, had been studying this one since the first assault. He's slippery and cunning.
A flurry of blows from the Autarch came to no avail, as well as returning attacks. Ammael bided his time and awaited the inevitable cheap shot coming his way. It came. Arrogant. A quick side-step and BANG!
The xenos commander fell lifeless to the floor. Ammael's Bolt-Pistol held to the alien's head, ready to shoot again should he move. "Orbital Base, this is Master Ammael of the Third Company, Keeper of the Watch. Objective is secured. Begin Phase 3."
"Affirmative, Keeper." The tinny voice came over the comm.
It was a very enjoyable game. Dark Angels won with a Crushing Victory.
Wraithlords are tough as nails. Damn!