Well guys and girls, here is the first of what will hopefully be a series of Epic Armageddon Battle Reports.
A couple of days ago I met up with Ben, author of the blog Forgot my Tea, who brought his new and growing Eldar Warhost to the table, ready to face my IG army.
As we are both far short of the standard 3000pt size armies we totalled up what we had and settled on a 1750pt game. As it turned out this resulted in quite speedy games so we ended up with two battle reports, so look out for the second one soon!
One point to note, I'm not going to have time to delve into the game mechanics of epic, so in order to understand exactly what is going on some knowledge would be useful. I can highly recommend the Bell of Lost Souls series, Epic 101 (Part 1, Part 2) as a good way of getting the gist of the rules.
Anyway, here are our army lists....
Imperial Guard - 1750
Mechanised Regimental HQ
Mechanised Infantry Company
Eldar - 1750
Guardian Host (mounted in 4 Wave Serpents*)
Fire Prism Troupe
* Wave Serpents are represented by Falcon models
** The Scorpion is also represented by a Falcon model
Objective placement and Deployment
In the picture below you can see how both sides deployed and the placement of objectives.
*Larger version here*
One point worth noting for all the non-epic players out there, is how vitally important objectives are. Unlike 40k, for example, where there are a number of different standard missions, epic only has the one standard scenario, but there are a number of different ways to win. If, by the end of turn 3 or 4 either side has:
A. Achieved at least 2 of the below objectives
B. Has achieved more than their opponent
...then they are the winner. Should there be no clear winner by the end of turn 4, then the winner is normally decided by Victory Points.
The possible objectives are:
1. Blitzkrieg: Capture the enemies first placed objective (represented by the teleport homers in our game)
2. Break Their Spirit: Destroy the formation worth the most points in the opposing army
3. Defend to Flag: Control all three of the objectives on your table half
4. Take and Hold: Capture two objectives in the enemies half
5. They shall not pass: Have no unbroken enemy formations on your half of the table
The Eldar Warhost readies itself for battle
Imperial Tank Columns rumble onto the field
Having the higher strategy rating Ben was able to choose who went first, and surrendered the initiative to me. This was a clever move as I already had far fewer formations than he, in effect giving me less moves, allowing Ben to make all his important decisions at the end of the turn.
Not wanting to show my hand too much, my first move was simply to advance my baneblade forward, into the cover of one of the tower blocks to my front. In response Ben began to shift his army to the top of the board, using the city blocks as cover. First his scorpion and then his wave serpents made a beeline for this cover, and I could see that he was using his army's speed to round on my isolated mechanised company, who drove themselves further into cover in response.
The first turn seemed to be all about the armies manoeuvring, until my Tank Company rushed forward into the city. Seeing their chance Ben's Fire Prisms launched out from cover and unloaded into the tanks through a narrow gap in the streets. Suddenly ripped up by super-charged energy, two tanks blew sky high and the formation took a number of blast markers. Not a great start for the imperial forces.
Choosing to go first this time, Ben's Prisms once again fired upon the Leman Russ column, destroying one more, before disappearing into cover (Eldar rules allow their units to fire either before or after moving, a distinct advantage over the 'lesser' races!).
Realising that my only hope against the Eldar was to keep my forces together, I marched my isolated Chimera column back to the main group, hoping that I could force Ben to commit his Eldar to attack my formations head on.
In his turn Ben attempted to use his Wraithship to bombard the Imperial forces from orbit, but he failed his action roll, and the ship appeared to have gotten lost somewhere in the atmosphere...for this turn at least. The Imperial forces breathed a sigh of relief.
Wanting to inflict some damage on the Eldar forces, I doubled my Baneblade round the buildings it occupied and opened fire on the distant aspect host, gunning down a stand and gifting them some blast markers. Embittered by this, the aspects moved toward the Imperial forces, seemingly itching for combat. Seeing this as a cue the Regimental HQ launched forward, firing into the Aspect Warriors as they went. However, for all this bravado they only managed to kill one more stand, and were now stuck out in the open, a choice they would learn to regret.
'Damn the cover and open fire!!'
Seeing the foolish Mon Kieh move, the mighty Scorpion tank gracefully lifted itself above the surrounding buildings and proceeded to strafe the Regimental HQ, killing off three Chimeras and their occupants in one fell swoop. The grav-tank then used its 'pop-up' rule to drift back behind cover, denying the imperial forces any targets.
Trying to secure my now weakened position in the centre I moved my tank company up to support, ready to engage next turn - the lumbering tanks did not have the movement to fire effectively this turn, nor did I want to risk leaving them out in the open to receive Eldar fire!
With free reign to move the rest of his units, Ben pressed the advantage and brought forward the Windriders, whose Vypers managed to kill one more of the Regimental HQ's chimeras, breaking the whole formation. Curses.
The turn ended with the rest of the Eldar forces advancing and with my Regimental HQ failing to rally, leaving them inactive and cowering behind my lines next turn.
Once again using their superior strategy rating, the Eldar moved their Wave Serpents out from cover to take a damage point off the Baneblade, stuck out in the open. The Serpents then moved back into cover. After this Ben stole the initiative with the Vypers, to move them closer to my lines and, to further annoy me, he proceeded to steal the initiative for a 2nd time, something only Eldar can do. This time it was the might Scorpion that was activated and it effortlessly blew the weakened Baneblade to the heavens, along with any realistic hopes of winning the game back...
Abandoning any tactics and acting out of a desire to kill as many xenos as they could, the mechanised company struck out and pummelled the Windriders, finally managing to dent the Eldar line and breaking the formation. Their heroism would be remembered!
Affronted by taking some damage, the Eldar called upon their Wraithship once again, and this time it arrived on cue, with devastating results. Ben's pre-planned (and secret) orbital bombardment was right on the money, and caught my Tank Company, killing enough Leman Russes to break the formation. With this I had no actions left to take, and it was simply a matter of the Eldar forces moving to claim what objectives they could, and securing their victory.
Thou Shall Not Pass & Defend to Flag
*Image from DeviantArt
Well, what a pounding eh? This hideous defeat taught me to respect and fear the power and sheer mobility of Eldar firepower. Previous to this game I had only fought marines, and enjoyed blasting apart their short ranged units from afar with my Leman Russes. This time the tables were rudely turned on me and then some!
My biggest mistakes were splitting my force at deployment and then hanging back trying to find an opportune moment to strike. I think a better approach would have been to rush the Eldar lines, accepting the inevitable casualties along the way. To allow the xeno to dictate the terms of the battle, and to allow them to hug their cover, proved to be a disaster.
I must take my hat off to Ben, who played the Eldar forces very well. The Eldar list is really well written, and allows them to be as infuriatingly tricksie, as they should be. Indeed one of the reasons I enjoyed the game (despite being slaughtered) was seeing that in Epic Eldar do play like I imagined they would. Hopefully, if I can reach them, they will also be as easy to kill as Eldar should be...
We did manage to get a second game and battle report sorted, so look out for that write up in the next few days! And also check out forgotmytea soon, for some better pictures and hopefully Ben's thoughts on the game!
Thanks for reading!