Thursday, 24 September 2009

Imperial Guard Vs. Eldar - Epic Battle Report 1

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
Tank Company
1 Baneblade

Eldar - 1750
1 Avatar
Guardian Host
Guardian Host (mounted in 4 Wave Serpents*)
Aspect Host
Ranger Troupe
Windrider Troupe
Fire Prism Troupe
1 Scorpion**
1 Wraithship

* 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

Turn 1
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.

Turn 2
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.

Turn 3

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.

Eldar 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!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Dark Angels Updates: Tactical Squad 3

Its a bit behind schedule, but here are the last set of photos of the Dark Angels I completed during my brief hiatus from blogging. They are nothing too special, just a Tactical Squad and a Rhino.

I was pleased at how this unit came out, some of the high points being the Rhino, the Sergeants Power Weapon and the Plasma Cannon. They aren't quite finished yet, as I need to get round to adding squad numbers onto the shoulder pads.

Yet again I have to say sorry for the picture quality. Once I actually get some form of job a camera will be bought dammit!

This last addition sees me done with painting Dark Angels for the foreseeable future. Left unpainted in my collection I have a standard Land Raider, the Land Raider Ares and a Forge World Ven. Dread. I also want to get Azrael, and paint him up really well but, at the moment, its full steam ahead with painting guard!

Thank for visiting!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Heretical Commercials (Blogs & Roleplay)

Hello bloggers, just a quick post today, mainly to highlight the blog of a very old friend who I have recently rediscovered and started gaming with again. Forgotmytea and I started gaming together at some point around 2000, but lost contact after going to college and uni. In the last month however I have not only discovered that he still paints and plays wargames, but also that he is a fellow blogger!

So head over to Forgotmytea where you can read about his growing Epic Eldar army (xenos rivals to my own glorious Imperial force) as well as his established Necron army of doom.

The first of hopefully a few awesome objective markers, made by Forgotmytea


In other news, I myself have descended further in to the world of geekdom and have been convinced to try something that I have resisted for so long: Roleplaying Games.

Our GM, who has more roleplay experience in his little finger than I do in my whole body has decided to introduce us to The World of Darkness, a game set in the modern day where Vampires and Werewolves exist alongside mankind.

We have already begun the preliminaries, sorting out characters and background etc. I myself have assumed the role of a Russian Vampire, born under the rule of the Tsars and serf to a powerful noble, who just so happened to be a vampire. Exiled to the UK after the revolution I am always keen to take revenge on...well, just about anybody I can. Links to shadowy figures such as Rasputin are already being formed and the whole thing looks to be a lot of beer swigging fun. If I can, I will get some write-ups sorted and posted here.

Finally, if I do get into the spirit of this roleplay business (and I must admit I was skeptical), then I hope to GM my own Dark Heresy based adventures. To this end I picked up the book yesterday, and dear god it is beautiful. If the price tag wasn't quite so high I would recommend it to anybody just for the fluff sections; as it is I am very pleased with my purchase. I wont be performing any in-depth reviews, as I have no roleplaying experience to judge it by, but as a product in itself it certainly get a thumbs up from me!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Tale of Painters 2 Deadline 1: Met (Sort of...)

This post my first begin with an apology. I have well and truly failed to keep apace with 73rd's excellent A Tale of Even More Painters. I am sad that I didn't have the time to sort out my entries to the last few deadlines, but it has been great to see how the group has melded together, and how like minded hobbyists can offer each other a great amount of support and advice. 73rd, if you read this then please consider me off the challenge, but I wish you and the rest of the entrants the very best of luck!

A second apology also goes to the rest of the blogesphere. I've been remiss in barely commenting on so much of the great work that goes on out there. I'm going to try and follow the lead set by Gamer's World in suggesting the Common Posters Group, as it is unfair that I take so much enjoyment from what I read but do not give anything back. Damn my short attention span!

Anyway, despite failing A Tale of Even More Painters I have been able to keep up the longer term goals set by the Librarium Online challenge. Below are some shots of my entry for the first month:

1. Epic IG

Mechanised Infantry Company - 400pts

At 400pts completed I have managed to stay on target with my Epic force, and I am really enjoying painting at the smaller scale. In particular it was great fun painting the Chimeras, and I do love seeing them arrayed out in a mechanised column.

The scheme itself is rather simple, a military looking grey with highlights, and then simple highlighted browns and greens for all the stowed kit. I want to convey and real utilitarian and military feel with my IG armies. These are not the glory boy marines, all polished and shiny, these are the grunts that bear the brunt of the galaxies fighting and suffer for it...

2. Praetorian Guard

Infantry Squad w/ Grenade Launcher - 55pts

After only managing to complete one squad I am already 145pts behind where I should be with my 40k Guard, leaving me a lot of work to do next month! However, I am pleased that they are at least off the ground and that I am starting to get to grips with using the Army Painter.

Although I do consider it cheating slightly I cant deny that the Army Painter dip is the only way I could conceive of getting an IG army done in a reasonable time, and I pleased with the inital results. The type of shading style you get with the Army Painter also reflects the more realistic and darker tone that I wanted for my IG - getting away from the heroic style of my Dark Angels. I have also added in some details, making sure that all the lasgun targeting lenses are painted properly, as well as detailing the eyes and adding a few subtle highlights here and there (the sergeants sword for example).

I am sorry for the quality of the pictures, it is becoming clear that my camera phone is not up to the job! This said, I would love to hear any comments or criticism that people have.

For next month expect to see an Epic Armoured Company, as well as 3 more Praetorian Squads. This, at least, is the plan...

Thanks for reading!


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