Sunday, December 16, 2012

Brief Batrep: Blood Angels vs Dark Eldar, 1750pts

Finally got a chance to play against Sean's Dark Eldar - a Venomspam list with an insane amount of anti-infantry firepower. In this battle, I kind of returned to my roots with mechanized Blood Angels. This one's going to be somewhat abbreviated from my usual batreps as it was so gloriously fast violent I neglected to take nearly enough photos. My bad...

My Mech Angels:

The Razorbacks go to war again!

3 x 5-man Assault squads with 2 Infernus Pistols and a meltagun in a Razorback with Lascannon & twin-linked plasmagun
5-man Devastator squad with 4 missile launchers in a Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon
2 x Predators with autocannon and lascannon sponsons
Stormraven with hurricane bolters
Squadron of 2 Land Speeder Typhoons
Baal Predator

I only just realized on writing this batrep that I'd mixed up the Stormraven's place in the Force Organization Chart; I thought it was a Fast Attack choice! And this list comes to 1,730 pts only! Ah, well... Note to self: Switch out a Combipred for another Baal Predator next time. I only brought 1 Stormraven this time, seeing as 2 Stormravens is often a little more flying firepower than is sporting at my FLGS. The general strategy with this list is as follows:

- Librarian rides alone in the Stormraven, using Prescience and whatever Divination powers come in handy to make sure the Stormraven hurts stuff.
- the Razorback squads zip around and generally make a nuisance of themselves, choosing the right moment to dart forward and let the Assault squads within nuke something with their melta weapons when the opportunity arises. The Devastators' Razorback will be following closely and just tearing into whatever it can with that assault cannon.
- long range fire support will be provided by the Devastators and the Combipreds.
- the Baal and Typhoons wait in reserve for a chance to put their firepower where it really hurts.

Sean's Venomspam:

 2 Haemonculi with Liquifiers
3 x 4 Kaballite Trueborn with 4 blasters in a Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons
6 x 5 Warriors with a blaster in a Venom with 2 Splinter Cannons
3 x Ravagers with 3 Dark Lances and flickerfields

1,734 pts, by my reckoning. Those Venoms are toting 108 shots of splintery death and maiming, and the rest of the army has 36 S8 Lance shots. Vicious as hell. With that volume of shots, I'm not sure even my Stormraven could handle that. I'd never fought Dark Eldar before this battle, and this list is quite typical of many Dark Eldar lists I'd seen floating on the Net in the age of 5th Edition, so I was pretty sure it would be a solid match for my Angels.

Mission: The Scouring
Deployment: Vanguard Strike. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was not active on the first turn.

No Nightfighting and lots of targets. Those who know my playstyle will know I've little interest in objectives and mostly play to cause maximum carnage. I've a fair amount of gunishment at my disposal and with the Dark Eldar's speed, I figured there's no point in hanging back but would do better to send the Razorbacks in for a vicious scrum in the centre with my heavy support elements smashing targets of opportunity. The Typhoons, Baal and Stormraven waited in reserve and were set to arrive with a bang. So... here we go...

Turn 1:

Dark Eldar: They stole the initiative! And the pointy-eared swine didn't even have Asdrubael Vect with them! Ooh, this was going to hurt...

I don't remember much of the details, except that the whole DE army darted forward and a nasty deluge of blaster and splinter fire later, the Devastators, one Razorback and its Assault squad were wiped out. First blood to the Dark Eldar! I think the Predators lost a hull point each, too.

Blood Angels: Undeterred by this... hiccup, I carried on with my plan, Razorbacks to the fore and guns blazing. As I recall, I only managed to shoot a dark lance off one Ravager and wreck a Venom.

Turn 2: 
DE: Memory doesn't serve me so well here, there were so many of those damned Venoms zipping about! I forget the details of the movement, but I lost another Razorback and 3 of the Assault Marines within, who fell back 9".

BA: The Stormraven arrived, blowing up the lead haemonculus' Venom. The Typhoons arrived, scooting up behind the closest Ravager and wrecking it with a salvo of krak missiles and heavy bolter shells. The 2 Assault Marines rallied and headed towards the closest Venom. The meltagun hit, but the Venom was saved by its flickerfield. The marines were undaunted, however, and charged and blew up the wretched machine with a krak grenade, pinning the Trueborn squad inside with their accompanying haemonculus.

Elsewhere, I remember blasting away with quite a lot of dakka from my Razorbacks and Predators at Venoms and Ravagers, only to be thwarted by a supernatural number of 5+ invulnerable saves.

Turns 3-4:
Magnificent carnage happened here. I lost my 3rd Lasplas Razorback, and the squad inside tried to head for the forest in my corner, only to find brainleaf fronds in there, so they skedaddled back out. I lost a Predator, but my Baal Predator arrived, unleashing a vicious deluge of shells into the side of another Ravager, blowing it up.

A LOT of blaster fire was directed at the Stormraven, and there was a heart-stopping moment when 2 blasters from a Trueborn squad struck home, but I breathed easy again when they failed to penetrate. The Stormraven lay into the Dark Eldar like a supersonic bull in a china shop, blowing up a Trueborn squad's Venom in Turn 3, then switching to hover mode to turn round and shred the lead haemonculus, his squad and a Ravager. It was a bit of a gamble, I thought, but shredding 283 pts of models in one turn struck me as a good exchange, should the Stormraven fall to blaster fire next turn.

Turn 5: 
DE: Sean took a gamble here. The objective near the middle of the board was worth 4 VP, and my last scoring unit was plodding away out of the brainleaf-infested forest. If he could take that objective, it would give him an easy lead. 4 squads of Warriors converged on that objective, and blasters were trained on my Stormraven. This was going to get nasty.

3 blasters fired on the Stormraven. One missed, and it managed to jink out of the way of the other 2! Oh, I was going to enjoy my turn...

BA: The Typhoons, Baal Predator, Combipred and Stormraven all turned towards the Warrior squads in the centre and managed to erase all four of them in a withering crossfire of frag missiles, bolt shells and heavy weapons fire.

Looking at the scores thus far, Sean had 1 point for the objective in the corner and 1 point for First Blood. I had 1 point for Slay the Warlord and another for Linebreaker. If the game ended now, we'd have a draw. We rolled for Turn 6, and... it was on!

At this point Sean had one squad of Kaballite Warriors and a Trueborn with a blaster left on the table. My Stormraven was more than ready to swing round and brutalize them with its guns, not to mention my Typhoons and Predators (the surviving Combipred and the Baal Pred), so Sean graciously conceded defeat. Victory to the Blood Angels!

Another battle, another display of the Stormraven's prowess on the battlefield. Even without a cargo to deliver, it is a holy terror, shredding infantry and vehicles alike with its tremendously versatile combination of weapons. Having a Librarian in there to make sure those Bloodstrike missiles found their marks was pretty useful, too!

Truth be told, I was well impressed with the sheer firepower of the Dark Eldar, and their ability to bring it to bear pretty much wherever they pleased. I mean, 9 Venoms! Had I fielded my Necrons, even the Crimson King and his blob of Necron Warriors could be wiped out in a single turn, and this is BEFORE the infantry inside the Venoms even start shooting! Quite a nasty list, and I've honestly no idea how to handle it without my trusty Blood Angels and their Stormravens.

Ah, well... Enough musing. Until next time...

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