Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It took a while to get to it and then it happened

For about the last  maybe 8 weeks I'd been waiting to get to a game to play vs a local Eldar player.  But every time I planned to get into the FLGS we either had a Wednesday night snow storm, or I had a meeting elsewhere, or he was not there, etc. Of course after 8 weeks you'd think I'd have been able to get some research on the Eldar accomplished and know what the heck I was doing.  I did know one thing, the Edar OPFOR was very tough and very successful.  Maybe I was avoiding it.  I  don't know. So I played a list that I had developed that might be good versus this particular list type. it goes:

1750 Points, Vanguard Strike, Emperor's Will (2 objectives, one in each deployment zone), mysterious objectives.

Wraithknight with extra upgrades
5 Wraithguard - Shooty ones, Wave Serpent Transport
5 Wraithblades - Choppy ones
5 Wraithblades - Choppy ones
Flyer (Eldar fighter jet)
Fire Prism

3rd Company Ultramarines
Tigurius (divination - prescience, forewarning,misfortune)
10 Sternguard, 2 meltaguns, 4 combimeltas, Drop Pod, DWL (Squad Tacitus)
10 Tacs, gravgun, gravpistol, ML, Drop Pod w/ stormbolter (2nd Squad Ovatius)
10 Tac, plasmagun, combiplas, ML, Drop Pod w/ stormbolter (4th Squad Theta)
5 Devs, 4 MLs, Flakk Missiles (9th Squad Signatus)
Contemptor Mortis, Kheres assault cannon arms, CML (Dreadnought Maximus)
Landspeeder Typhoon Squadron, 2, HB/CMLs (7th Squad Hexus)
Predator, AC/LC
StormTalon, TLAC, SHMs

Back Story
Chief Librarian Tigurius and Sergeant Ovatius stood on the ridgeline and surveyed the valley below.  Night vision gear showed no major heat sources in the area.  Formerly an Ork settlement, the Ultramarines were on a mission to collect some tech items the Orks had apparently looted.  The Orks were all gone from the site, most were nothing but dust, ash, or spores wafting on the air in the next valley.  With squads in reserve in case the force encountered opposition, Tigurius signaled the advance into the valley. The search for the tech would begin at dawn. The plan was simple. Squad Ovatius would enter the settlement and begin the search with overwatch from Squad Signatus and Dreadnought Maximus. Squads Tacitus and Theta would be held in reserve on the Ultramarines Battlebarge, to deploy if needed by drop pod.

As dawn approached, scans from Maximus and Signatus detected several large Eldar power signatures. The Settlement was not empty at all, and the Ultramarines risked losing the tech to the advancing Xenos. Tigurius signaled to the battlebarge to drop the reserves immediately!

The Eldar deployed for battle - with the two Wraithknights and the Wraithblades deployed in the center, behind a large LOS blocking building. The Fire Prism deployed to the far UM right, and the remainder of the Eldar deployed in clusters around the Wraith Knights.

The Ultramarines deployed as a refused Flank, with squad Ovatius combat squading so the ML team held an objective in a patch of woods on the UM left, and Tigurius and devastators occupying a grassy knoll towards the center. Maximus and the Predator deployed near Tigurius, at a location that would be not in direct LOS of the Wraithknights.

Turn 1
Before the Eldar could utter a word of command, the Ultramarines struck, seizing the initiative. The two drop pods slammed down in perfect precision immediately behind the Wraith Knights and the two full squads dismounted, weapons ready to take down the Eldar constructs. The remaining UM units re-positioned slightly to try to reach the Eldar units barely visible in the dark. Firing from the combat squaded Sternguard was to try and be efficient in taking out the Wraithknights; in reality, although the leading, more advanced Wraithknight was exploded, it took the 10 sternguard and grav weapons of the Tac Squad to do it. The Ultramarine objective itself was not mysterious at all - it was nothing of note.  Other firing glanced a wound off the surviving Wraithknight.

In response, the Jetseer and Spirit Seer reacted to get the situation back under control.  The Spirit Seer directed the units of Wraithblades to take out the Sternguard, with support from the Wave Serpent and Wraithblades.  The remaining Wraithknight and the Fire Prism moved forward to get the Ultramarine lines under fire.  Shooting was short and viscious, with the Predator being exploded, and after assault, half of the sternguard were gone.  The Tech objective held by the Wraithguard is discovered to be an Ork Boobytrap!

Score:  UMs 5 (FB and LB); Eldar 3

Turn 2
The Ultramarines attempted to press the advantage in the Eldar backfield; all of the remaining reserved units arrived (pod, stormtalon, and landspeeders) to aid to the firepower.  Squad Theta worked to shoot at the Wraithknight, causing more damage but not eliminating it.  The Wave Serpent is destroyed, leaving the Wraithguard without their favorite transport.  In the assault phase, the last of the Sternguard become casualties.

The Eldar flyer arrives from reserves and strikes after the Stormtalon, knocking it from the air while staying out of the range of Maximus.  The Wraithknight advances fully into the UM deployment zone, and shoots up Maximus causing the dreadnought to shut down its systems and play no further role in the battle.  In assault, the Jetseer, Spirit seer, and wraithguard begin too focus on Squad Theta, but the units become locked in combat, with both sides taking casualties.  The Wraithguard try to take out a drop pod, but fails.  At the end of the Eldar phase, the Orky objective EXPLODES and then resets itself.

 Score:  UMs 5 (FB and LB); Eldar 3

Turn 3
The Ultramarines get down to business and work up a plan.  Victory is all about the missions after all.  Squad Theta works hard to stay alive in assault, tying up several Eldar units.  Tigurius and the Devastators pump missiles into the Wraithknight and kill it off.  The landspeeders begin hunting the fire prism, while Sergeant Ovatius and his combat squad look to move towards the Ultramarine objective.  

The Eldar began to try to work out a plan of their own.  With Squad Theta dispatched, the Jetseer decided to sweep around the UM lines and look to not only kill Tigurius in combat, but with support from the Wraithguard eventually contest the UM objective.  In shooting, the fighter vectored after the landpeeders, wrecking one.

Turn 4
Sergeant Ovatius sprung his trap.  His squad emerged from cover and moved directly at the Fire Prism.  In the mean time, Tigurius directed the devastator squad to shoot down the Eldar fighter.  In assault, Sergeant Ovatius and his Marines reached the Fire Prism and they wrecked it with krak grenades. This placed them near the Eldar deployment zone, and now at a location out of reach of the Spirit Seer and Wraithblades.

The Eldar Jetseer swooped wide around a building and right into the grassy area held by the Devastators and Tigurius, as one wraithblade unit moved onto the Eldar objective, the Wraithguard moved towards the UM deployment zone.  In assault all went wrong for the Jetseer.  Assaulting into terrain, she found that the Librarian Tigurius was at the right rear of the unit, not the left front, and he was too far away to challenge!  The Ultramarines Sergeant Signatus declined the challenge, and all of the ML marines and Tigurius moved forward.  Tigurius was now close enough for the assault, and with his staff powered up, the Jetseer failed her saves and was dispatched quickly by the force weapon!  

 Score:  UMs 5 (WL, FB); Eldar 3

Turn 5
Sergeant Ovatius advanced into the Eldar deployment zone.  Tigurius ordered the devastators to whittle away at the Wraithguard who were now close enough for Misfortune.  Several Wraithguard were dispatched by missile fire.

The Eldar Spirit Seer knew that the battle was essentially complete at this point.  He issued the commands for the survivors to withdraw. Several Wraithblades attacked some of the drop pods to wreck two of the three.

 Final Score:  UMs 6 (WL, FB and LB); Eldar 3

Postgame thoughts  
The UM list worked really really well, but it had a few weak points.  Overall, it showed how a Marine drop pod list could be deadly vs high value targets.  It was also the first time I'd taken grav weapons in a game.  Overall, as this was the first time I'd played vs Eldar in a while, it was cool to face down this kind of list.  I was somewhat impressed with the choppy Wraithblades.  Overall, the game could easily have turned to a draw IF the Eldar had focused on the small combat squad I was defending my objective with, and I could easily have lost the game if other choices had been made. I've seen some recent ideas over at Imperial Guides and other blogs that suggest trying similar list with a command squad instead of a full Sternguard squad.  That has a certain appeal to get an Apothecary out there and create a unit that might be more resilient and maybe cheaper!

All for now, I'm hoping to get some more blog posts in on a more regular basis!


  1. Always love your style of battle report and the great miniatures. Short fast and to the point. As a fellow ultra and a regular player I enjoyed reading how through tactics good deployment and a bit of luck you took down a top tier list.

  2. Well done. A balance list that doesn't look too spammy beating Eldar, I like.