Hi all, and welcome to the latest battle report - this time a 1500pt CAD from my Dark Eldar Kabal of the Burning Eye (led by an haemonculus of the Coven of Distorted Perfection) took on the might of the Grey Knights..
We played the Relic eternal war mission, with night fighting in effect on the first turn, using diagonal deployment.
The Grey Knights took the first turn, and it wasn't a good one for the Dark Eldar!
Both Dreadknights triggered their personal teleporters, crossing the field in a blinding flash of light, whilst the land raider redeemer gunned its engines and went flat out to close with the enemy.
The Warlord Dreadknight attempted to manifest Sanctuary, but too late he realised he was too close to the Dark Eldar Archon, who was carrying an arcane piece of technology making the use of warp energy significantly more dangerous. Although the Dreadknight survived the psychic backlash, he was wounded and unable to cast cleansing flame for the remainder of the battle.
The halberd equipped terminators manifested Gate of Infinity, and also crossed the board, threatening the Dark Eldar lines.
The Dreadknights opened fire, killing 1 and 3 warriors from the respective raider squads in front of them, with the first also glancing the raider twice. The halberd equipped terminators also opened fire on the same vehicle, bringing it crashing to the ground and netting First Blood for the Grey Knights.
The Land Raider opened fire on the Incubi's venom, but only succeeded in triggering its flickerfield. Finally the two dreadnoughts opened fire, the first suffering a catastrophic cooling failure on its plasma cannon but managing to wreck the Archon's venom with its twin linked autocannon, whilst the second stunned the incubi's transport.
DE Turn 1
Having had a serious dent put in their offensive capabilities last turn, the Dark Eldar needed to consolidate. The Incubi venom, the raider squad and the archon all shot at the Dreadknight warlord, causing a second wound, whilst the disembarked warrior squad wounded the second dreadknight. The Ravager opened fire but missed with all three dark lance shots. The Incubi and Archon both dismounted from their transports and charged the Dreadknight warlord, the Archon's shadowfield shorting out under the weight of overwatch fire, but keeping him alive this turn at least. Despite their flurry of attacks against the Dreadknight, neither the Incubi nor the Archon could wound the construct.
GK Turn 2
The second Dreadknight advanced, and the warlord Dreadknight once again manifested sanctuary but took a wound due to the perils of the warp. The Falchion terminators dismounted their land raider, charging into the combat with the warlord and the Archon. The Land Raider paused its advance to destroy the Incubi's venom and the remaining raider, whilst the second dreadknight wiped out the first dismounted warrior squad. Fire on the ravager took 2 hull points and caused it to snap fire in the next turn.
In combat, things began to go the way of the Dark Eldar, as the Archon took the final wound from the Dreadknight in their challenge, and the Incubi, striking like quicksilver, felled all five of the falchion terminators before they could strike back, the Archon and Incubi consolidated towards the second dreadknight.
DE Turn 2
Both the Razorwing Jetfighter, and the Dark Artisan formation arrived this turn, the Talos taking a wound from dangerous terrain, the former unloading all four missiles on the terminators with halberds, causing 18 hits but only a single wound got through their armour save. The Archon took aim with his blast pistol, wounding the remaining dreadknight whilst the Talos' haywire blaster took a hull point from the land raider. The Incubi and Archon charged the dreadknight, but once again the incubi failed to cause a single wound and the dreadknight struck down the archon in return.
GK Turn 3
The dreadnoughts and land radier opened fire on the Dark Artisan this turn, its legendary ability to soak fire tested to the limit. plasma and autocannon rounds crashed into the Talos, sending it tumbling to the ground, and the land raider left the Cronos on a single wound, but the Haemonculus survived unharmed, with the relic still in his grasp. In the assault phase the halberd terminators charged the ravager and wrecked it, the dreadknight killed three incubi for no wounds in return, and the nearer dreadnought charged into the Dark Artisan. The haemonculus struck first, his scissorhand causing a rending hit on the dread, and the cronos smashed its tentacles across the sarcophagus, wrecking the ancient warrior's resting place.
DE Turn 3
The Dark Artisan advanced on the second dreadnought, discarding the relic and charging it to prevent another round of shooting from its dangerous weapons. The razorwing also targeted the dreadnought this turn, causing a glancing hit with one of its dark lances. The incubi, without the archon to tie up the dreadknight, were inevitably mulched this round, leaving the dark eldar deployment zone free of any dark eldar troops. In the other combat, the haemonculus and the Cronos both failed to hurt the dreadnought, which wounded the haemonculus in return.
GK Turn 4
the halberd terminators decided to go after the relic this turn, with no other targets in their vicinity, but their gate of infinity jump was risky, they chose a more open target point but scattered some distance even from there (10"). That meant they would be unable to claim the relic if the game ended on turn 5. The land raider opened fire on the razorwing, its assault cannon causing a single glance after the fighter threw itself into a series of evasive manoeuvres. The dreadknight wiped out the second warrior unit, and the combat between the dark artisan and the dreadnought was a stalemate for another turn.
DE Turn 4
The razorwing left combat airspace this turn to circle round and make another pass in the next turn, with no viable targets on its current path. The combat was a stalemate once again, though the haemonculus failed to regenerate a wound with 'it will not die'.
GK Turn 5
With little to target, the terminators moved towards the relic to claim it if there was a turn 6, whilst the dark artisan and the dreadnought slapped ineffectually at each other once more.
DE Turn 5
The razorwing returned, its dark lances drilling twin holes through the power plant of the dreadknight, sending it crashing to the ground and clearing the dark eldar deployment zone of grey knight troops. The combat was once more inconclusive, though the Cronos did put another hull point of damage on the dreadnought. With that, the game ended, and the Dark Eldar emerged victorious thanks to killing the grey knight warlord and the dark artisan finishing the game in the grey knight deployment zone. The grey knights scored first blood but the last turn slaying of the dreadknight combined with the scattered gate of infinity left them with just a single victory point.
This was a really enjoyable game, momentum shifting from the early turns destruction of the majority of the dark eldar forces to the later turns grinding the grey knights down and the impressive massacre of the falchion terminators.
In assessment of my performance, I was pleased with the adherence to the mission, my plan had been to deep strike in the dark artisan and make their way over to the grey knight deployment zone in the hopes they could secure me the objective, linebreaker and keep my warlord alive. Sadly I didn't quite have the resources to keep hold of the objective, but it was enough. I was also pretty pleased that i decided to charge the dreadnoughts, effectively neutering their main strength, which is their shooting. Against a majority toughness 7 unit, they are quite ineffective in combat, particularly without an AP value.
My biggest disappointment in the game was twofold, first the breaking of the shadowfield on the first time of asking as the overwatch fire from the dreadknight saw me fail a save, and second my rolling to wound with my incubi - i must have scored about 16 hits over two rounds of combat with two dreadknights, but failed to roll any sixes to wound them. The combats would have gone very differently if I'd managed that!