Thursday, January 9, 2014

Local 1k Tournament: Eldar with Tau Allies

Last weekend was the monthly 1k tournament at my LGS. A while back I made a deal with myself that I wouldn't field an army that wasn't fully painted. Right now that would essentially stick me with my Tyranids. That said, I'm planning on playing my Tyranids pretty heavily over the next two weeks at our gaming weekend and then the SCARAB GT, and I was hoping for a quick break.

And so, Saturday night I found myself digging through my Eldar and Tau minis to come up with a 1,000 point list that would only include models that at least had paint on them and no bare plastic other than the base. In the end, I came up with the following list:

Eldar Primary:
Farseer - Runes of Witnessing (115)
5 Dire Avengers (65)
Wave Serpent - Scatter Lasers, Shuriken Cannon, Ghostwalk Matrix, Holo-fields (155)
5 Rangers (60)
Wraithknight - Wraithcannons, Scatter Laser (260)
Tau Allies:
Cadre Fireblade (60)
3 Stealth Suits - Fusion with Target Lock (100)
6 Fire Warriors (54)
Sky Ray - TL Smart Missile System, Blacksun Filter, Disruption Pod (131)

With the list building out of the way, it was off to the tournament where I began paired up against the winner of Best Painted, Will and his Dark Angels. Of course, I am a goon, and didn't take any pictures all day. Will's army was primarily a well painted Dark Vengeance set, with a second tactical squad, rhino, and land speeder typhoon. His list:

2x10 Tactical Marines - Multi-meltas and 1 Plasma, 1 Flamer, 1 Combi-plasma
5 Deathwing Terminators - Assault Cannon
3 Ravenwing Bikers - Plasma Gun
Land Speeder - Typhoon Missile Launchers

The mission was Purge the Alien with Dawn of War deployment and Night Fighting. I won the roll and opted to let Will deploy first, then immediately questioned why on earth I did that. Will deployed on my right flank with the Rhino, the land speeder behind it, and the second tactical squad alongside, accompanying Azrael.

My Cadre Fireblade, Fire Warriors, and Farseer deployed on the hill opposite his units. The Wave serpent started in the valley, shielding the Skyray, with the Wraithknight holding down my left flank (more middle left). I then infiltrated my Stealth suits on his side of the board behind a hill out of sight, and the Rangers in a watchtower. I then promptly seized the initiative to get the game rolling.

I promptly blew up the land speeder and rhino for first blood and two kill points, while the remainder of the army killed a couple marines from the walking squad. His turn saw very little return fire. In my second turn, I was unable to wipe out either marine squad. In the bottom of his turn, both the Ravenwing and Deathwing arrived. The Deathwing succeeded in blowing up my Wave Serpent while the Ravenwing bikers killed a couple Rangers, losing the plasmagunner in the process.

We had played a little slow and so, time was called in Turn 2 with a 3-2 victory for me (Linebreaker and 1 Kill Point to 2 Kill Points and First Blood).

Game 2: Charles and Tau

Game 2 saw me up against one of two players to include 2 Riptides in his 1k list:

Commander: Multispectrum Sensor Suite, Command & Control Node, Iridium Armor, Stimulant Injector
Riptide: Early Warning Override, Ion Cannon, Stimulant Injector, Fusion
Riptide: Early Warning Override, Stimulant Injector, Fusion
3x10 Fire Warriors
2x6 Pathfinders
1 Broadside: HYMP

I got first turn and decided to take it this time. The mission was Emperor's will on Hammer & Anvil deployment. This was interesting because it made it so our board section more or less had a mountain across the entire middle, while the ends and deployment zones were mostly valleys. I had my fire warriors in a small bunker with my objective on the right. The Skyray sat on a hill on the left, while the Wave Serpent and Wraithknight were in the center valley ready to jump forward. Charles deployed conservatively with two of his Firewarrior squads out of sight in the back. The Riptides were central while the Broadside and one Pathfinder squad started on my left.

In the first turn I mowed down one pathfinder squad and the Wraithknight killed the Broadside. Return fire was surprisingly minimal, though the Farseer had to tank a few wounds to save the Firewarriors. In the second turn I charged one Riptide accompanying the commander with the Wraithknight and began the slow process of hammering away at each other. Continued fire on the visible fire warriors dealt several wounds while the other riptide took a few wounds. In the third turn, time was called. He had been aggressive with his Riptide, and I knew it was going to try to contest my objective. I moved the Dire Avengers and Stealth team to intercept, and ended up charging with the stealth team to try to tie him up. He killed one with overwatch, and then smashed the other two in combat. In the bottom of the turn, he failed to kill off the nearest Dire Avengers, but then got a 12" boost, which was sufficient to leap over them and contest on the far side.

The final score was 4-2, where I scored First Blood and Warlord (the wraithknight took down the commander and riptide in the bottom of the third turn, but couldn't consolidate to contest his objective), while he had an objective and linebreaker.

Game 3: Ethan and Imperial Guard

In the final game, I would be facing off against Imperial Guard commanded by Ethan.

Lord Commissar
Command Squad
Platoon Command Squad
10 Veterans - missile launcher, grenade launcher
50 Man Blob Squad - Missile Launcher, Plasma gun or two
Heavy Weapons Squad - 3 Missile Launchers
Leman Russ Battle Tank

The mission was Big Guns Never Tire and Vanguard Assault Deployment. I again won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. I deployed fairly centrally, with the Wave Serpent Screening the Skyray. He deployed the Leman Russ centrally, surrounded by the blob squad. The heavy weapons went on a hill to the back right, with the hellhound on his far right flank. I then deployed my stealth team on the left just outside 18" of his hellhound.

He did not seize and I proceeded to, with the help of some luck, show why Eldar and Tau are possibly overpowered. My turn 1 shooting blew up both tanks, with the Leman Russ's explosion taking nearly 20 guardsmen with it. The Wave Serpent wiped out the heavy weapons team and with that Ethan lost well over half his army. He gamed on and through turn 3 managed to kill off the Stealth team in assault and the Wave Serpent with Krak grenades from the veterans. He called it after 3 turns, having only 6 surviving models, while I had 3 of the 4 objectives, and plenty of guns to aim at the two partially surviving squads.

Final Thoughts: 
While my list wasn't "optimized" it did a lot of things very well. I realized afterward that I played some things wrong, like Burst Cannons, which I thought had 3 shots, but actually get 4. These guys were good distractions, but doubling them up might make them more effective - granted that becomes 20% of the 1,000 points. The Skyray was disappointing in this outing, but I also never played any fliers or 3+ MCs.

I also found myself wanting to paint up more fire warriors, which has never happened before. I got lots of compliments on my "Tron" stealth suits, which I bought painted with pretty good bright green line highlights over a dark green base. They don't really fit my scheme, but I'm tempted to recreate it anyway just because Stealth suits are special. That said, I might also try the same scheme, but in blue on the Firewarriors, and then transfer that over to the Stealth team.

All in all, I had a fun time, and enjoyed my break from Tyranids. unfortunately, with what rumors have come out so far, it's sounding like I'll be bouncing back to my Eldar and Tau sooner than later.

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