Monday, 1 June 2015

Iron Fists painting update 1/6/15, plus Necron vs Dark Eldar batrep!

Hi all,
it's been a quiet painting week for me this week so little progress to report I'm afraid. As a result, I'm going to include a brief(ish) report on my game from Thursday night, where my DE Kabal teamed up with a small force of Coven units to push back an incursion by the foul Necrons on a planet they frequent for slave raids.

But painting first and foremost - what have I managed this week?

Well the storm raven is sitting on my painting station in exactly the same state as it was a week ago to my eternal shame - it's going to have to stay that way for a while now as my pledged painting pile for this month is quite large.

I have managed some progress on the scouts, and they're coming along quite nicely though again they'll have to wait until I've finished some other stuff now.

The main progress however has been setting out a scheme for the Obsidian Enclave units I've got stashed away, which is mainly a dark scheme (a real departure for me as I'm sure you'll agree given my previous Iron Fists and Burning Eye Kabal armies). I've retained a little bit of colour interest, but it's much more subtle than my other collections.

And finally, I've finished a few objective markers for maelstrom games (these are required for the BlogWars tournament I'm attending this weekend. They're a bit basic but I've got a few others planned that are more elaborate when I've got more time.

So on to the game report then, how did I get on against the ancient enemy of the Eldar race?

We played a maelstrom mission, number 2 from the rulebook, so we each started the game with a single card and drew 1 for each objective we held at the start of our turns. Now I'll have to apologise here because I wasn't taking notes on these games, so I've no idea what objectives were drawn when, and I'm relying on my memory for the breakdown of what happened. As such, the report won't run on a turn by turn basis, but will be a more fluid descriptive style.

I definitely won the roll off for table halves and deployment, and I decided as the Necrons tend to be quite a short ranged army that I would deploy first.

I placed the majority of my units on the table at this point, keeping back only my razorwing, my archon and his unit of scourges (including Urien Rakarth) and the Hellions. My opponent kept a substantial amount of units back in reserve, the obelisk formation with two monoliths, a big unit of warriors including two characters, a unit of immortals and his transcendent C'Tan.

That gave me a big advantage on turn one, as I was facing a ghost ark, doomsday barge, two annihilation barges, a triarch stalker and a tomb spyder with a host of scarab bases.

Cue me opening up on turn one with all of my anti tank firepower at the forces arrayed against me. The doomsday barge went down to a catastrophic explosion at the hands of a ravager, whilst other lances took out the ghost ark and stunned one of the annihilation barges.

Thanks to the destruction wrought, return fire was sporadic, with the main impact being the scarabs charging a venom (which somehow survived).

The Incubi made their presence felt in assault, wiping out the unit of warriors that had been inside the ghost ark, though they got flayed in return once the monoliths arrived on turn 2, discharging a big unit of warriors who levelled their weapons and wiped them out to a man. The reaver jetbikes responded to this atrocity, gunning their engines and breaking the second warrior unit including nemesor zahndrekh and imotekh the stormlord, riding them down as they fled. The Necrons then responded once again on my left flank, the monolith unleashing its particle whip and wiping out the surviving bikers.

On my right flank, things went much better, the obelisk was stripped down to 2 hull points by lance fire, before it was destroyed by the arriving archon and heat lance scourges. the second monolith also took a severe amount of fire though it did manage to destroy one of my ravagers. The Tomb Spyder went down to splinter cannon fire, and the transcendent C'Tan fell to a similar hail of poison from the warrior gunboats. The Talos anchoring my flank weathered a huge amount of fire for the army, including much of the firepower from the annihilation barges, which could easily have damaged me much more had they been focused elsewhere, forcing me to be more aggressive with the Talos.

The second monolith also slingshotted a unit of Immortals out onto my right flank, but a timely intervention by my unit of grotesques, accompanied by a Succubus and Haemonculus, soon put paid to any thoughts they may have had about turning my flank.

When the dust settled at the end of turn 4, my opponent reviewed the field and decided to call it a day - he had remaining just the two monoliths and a pair of annihilation barges, whilst I was still able to call on 8 dark lances, a pair of blasters, two haywire blasters and 4 heat lances, not to mention the high strength attacks of the grotesques. At that point I was winning 8-3 in victory points.

Overall then a satisfying win, though mitigated by a couple of factors. We gamers often cry about our bad luck with dice, bemoaning their randomness and implicating them in our failure. Well, this game I can't claim that - particularly on turn one the dice well and truly delivered for me - the ghost ark and doomsday barge were both destroyed with '6' results on the damage dice, and my opponent was thoroughly fed up with my Talos passing their Feel no Pain saves by the time he finally killed them - even the normal troops passed plenty of 5+ over the course of the game. Conversely, there was an astonishing lack of 6's on my opponent's dice, including one patch where he rolled over 50 dice without seeing a single maximum.

The second thing for which I was most grateful was that he avoided using the decurion detachment. I'm not familiar enough with the Necron codex to understand the particular details of that detachment, but I've heard plenty about it and understand that by not using it, his troops were easier to get rid of. I think he prefers to use the obelisk formation, knowing that for many armies it's a major roadblock, but in this game the amount of AT firepower I could bring meant it was a manageable unit.

Not sure what the subject of my next post will be, but look out for a report on BlogWars9 next week!