Thursday, December 3, 2009

Salamander Strike Force Omega and the Kabal of the Blackened Sun

This was the fourth of my games in the Ordo Ineptus 40k League. The Kabal had been doing well so far, sitting at 2 wins and a draw going in to this match. I think Dark Eldar are particularly suited to fighting “standard” mechanized Marines, and that’s exactly what my opponent was. The Salamander player is a very experienced player that makes extremely competent lists, but he went out of his way in this league to make a list that was more “fluffy” than “hard”, and I commend him for it. However, it did leave him extremely vulnerable to the forces of Commorragh!
(Note: this disclaimer seems to be common in my reports: I waited too long to document this stuff and my memory isn’t the greatest; forgive any errors!)

Archon Malagant’s Kabal of the Blackened Sun:

-Archon with Shadowfield, Punisher, Tormentor Helm, Plasma Grenades

-Wych Drachite with Agonizer, Splinter Pistol, Wych Weapons, Plasma Grenades
-Retinue: 5 Wyches w/ Wych Weapons and Grenades; 2 with Blasters;
1 Succubus w/ Wych Weapons, Agonzier, Splinter Pistol, Plasma Grenades
1 Raider with Dark Lance and Horrorfex

-6 Wyches w/ Wych Weapons and Plasma Grenades; 2 with Blasters
1 Succubus w/ Wych Weapons, Agonizer, Splinter Pistol, Plasma Grenades
1 Raider with Dark Lance and Horrorfex

-10 Warriors with 2 Dark Lances

-10 Warriors with 2 Dark Lances

-5 Warriors with 1 Dark Lance
1 Raider with Dark Lance and Horrorfex

-5 Warriors with 1 Dark Lance
1 Raider with Dark Lance and Horrorfex

-5 Warriors with 1 Dark Lance
1 Raider with Dark Lance and Horrorfex

-Ravager with 3 Disintegrator

-Ravager with 3 Disintegrator

-Ravager with 3 Disintegrator

Salamander Strike Force Omega:

Xavier(as Cassisus)

Tactical Squad - flamer, multimelta
Tactical Squad - flamer, multimelta, Rhino
Tactical Squad - flamer, multimelta, Rhino

Drednought - extra armor
Drednought - extra armor
Terminator Assault Squad - 3 lightning claws, 4 TH/SS

Heavy Support-
Land Raider Crusader - extra armor, multimelta

Pre-battle Thoughts:

I was a bit worried going in to this. This was a battle where I needed to have all the Lances working to get Marines out of their vehicles while avoiding losing too many fragile vehicles…I really thought the massive number of AV10 Raiders I have was going to give up too many kill points…I think I have 17 kill points in this list, compared to his 10. I intended to do what Dark Eldar do best…move fast to stay out of range of too much firepower while wrecking vehicles and obliterating power armour with Disintegrator fire. I also hoped to get some Wyches stuck in with his Terminators early, as I thought they’d stand a good chance of holding them up for a many turns.

Deployment type was Pitched Battle. Mission type was Annihilation. Both of my Wych squads rolled the +1 Weapon Skill drug.

The terrain for this battlefield was a ruined city. A large multi-story building, mostly intact, sat right at the center of the battlefield. Several other ruins served to block both line of sight and provide area terrain. The South-West corner of the battlefield had a large stack of giant pipes, tall enough to block line of sight as well.


Archon Malagant’s forces arrived on the battlefield first, with his foot warriors taking up positions behind the stack of pipes and amongst the many floors of the ruined building in the center. The Ravagers were spread out to ensure they’d be able to move to shoot at any section of the Salamander’s deployment area, but behind cover so that if the sneaky Salamander’s should seize the initiative, they’d not be unduly exposed to enemy fire. The Wych Raiders similarly were situated centrally, so that they could strike out in any direction, but were behind the cover of the large ruin in my deployment area. The Raider Squads spread out such that they’d have good line of sight to anywhere he’d deploy.
The Marine forces then surprised me by deploying only the Land Raider (with Terminators and Xavier inside), with the Dreadnoughts sneaking behind it! His Rhinos and foot-marines were all in reserve.
The Salamanders attempted to seize the initiative, but were unsuccessful.

No movement, as I wanted to keep everything shooting, and saw no reason to get closer to Dreadnoughts and Terminators.
The very first shot was a Dark Lance at the Land Raider. It hit, penetrated, he failed his cover save, and Exploded! What a shot! Other shooting was ineffective at killing any of the now foot-bound Terminators.

With nothing with the range to shoot at any of the Dark Eldar forces, the Terminators and Dreadnoughts both ran forward as far as they could, the Terminators making it mostly through the ruined building at mid-field.

Archon Malagant wanted prisoners! He ordered his Raider forward, and he and his Wych companions disembarked in front of the Terminators, ready to assault them! The rest of the Kabal maneuvered to get line of sight to the available targets.
The Ravagers unloaded massed Disintegrator fire on the Terminators, managing to kill a few. Some errant fire scattered on to the Wyches, killing a few of them as well, however. That gunner was skinned alive, and Archon Malagant plans to make a pillow case from his skin. His eyes tasted sweet. Every Dark Lance that could be brought to bear fired on the Dreadnoughts, and managed to remove the Multi-meltas from both!
The Wyches and Malagant assaulted Xavier and his remaining Terminators. The melee was tense, and Malagant was wounded by his over-use of Combat Drugs (he used Extra Attack, Re-roll misses, and +1 Strength), but the result was definitely in the Wyches favor, as only two Terminators and Xavier were left standing, to the loss of two Wyches. The Fearless Marines, however, were not to be pushed back, and refused to be taken prisoner!

The Tactical Squad on foot arrived from reserves. The Dreadnoughts continued to run forward, as with no Multi-meltas to fire they were intent on getting in to melee with the Dark Eldar.
The fight between Terminators and Wyches ended abruptly when the Archon and Wych Succubus cut down the remaining two Terminators and Xavier. Archon Malagant took Xavier’s head, with plans of making a nice wine goblet from the skull. The Wyches consolidated behind the dreadnought, eyeing the newly arrived Marines.

Malagant and his Wyches advanced to assault the Marines on foot. The rest of the Kabal repositioned for better fields of fire.
Sustained Disintegrator fire tore in to the tactical marines, killing a few. The Dark Lance barrage on the Dreadnoughts continued, Immobilizing the western Dreadnought.
The Wyches and Malagant tore in to the remaining Tactical Marines, annihilating them. Malagant collected their scalps, planning on making a nice shag carpet for his personal cabin on his Raider.

The still mobile Dreadnought moved to assault the Raider that had stuck his nose out a bit too far. One of the Rhino squads arrived from reserve, driving forward and blowing smoke.
The Dreadnought ripped the Dark Lance off the Raider, and disabled its movement control system, leaving it unable to move at all!

Hoping to not be outdone by the other Wych squad, Dretchen urged her Raider forward, and she disembarked with her Wych Retinue. Other Kabal vehicles moved for better firing positions on the remaining Salamander vehicles.
The Dark Lances fired true, as both Dreadnoughts were Wrecked. The Rhino was Shaken, but otherwise proved impervious to the dark matter streaming towards it. Dretchen ordered her retinue to fire their blasters at it, in hopes of wrecking it and allowing them to assault, but they failed to find any weak points in the Rhino’s armour either…leaving them perilously exposed!

The last Marine forces arrived on the battlefield, driving forward and disembarking behind Archon and his Wyches! The other Tactical squad disembarked from their Rhino as well, taking aim on the Dretchen’s retinue!
Bolter fire rang out, as Dretchen and her retinue were blown to bloody chunks by the combined fire from the Tactical Squad’s Flamer and rapid-fire Bolters! Archon Malagant’s Wyches also endured Flamer and Bolter fire, leaving only Malagant alive with one wound, his Shadowfield disabled!

The Ravagers moved to get line of sight to the tactical squads, and the Raiders moved to get good shots at Rhinos. Malagant, showing no fear, ran towards the Tactical squad, firing the mighty Splinter Pistol mounted on his helmet at the Marines.
The puny weapon caused hysterical fits of laughter amongst the Marines, and they forgot to duck when the Disintegrator fire tore thru them, killing 6 of them! The other Tactical Squad was annihilated by Disintegrator fire. The Rhinos remained unscathed.
Archon Malagant, enraged at the Marine’s laughter, ran amongst them and killed 3 of the remaining 4, the last failing to hit back, failed his Morale test, was caught by Malagant and killed when he failed his Fearless armour saves. Malagant collected this squad’s back-hair, for use in the shag carpet he has planned.
So ended the battle, with only two Rhinos left, there was not much point in going on. The final score was Salamanders 3, Kabal 8. Thanks to Sean for a fun game! Sorry again it was so one-sided!

After-battle Thoughts:
I think there were three big contributors to how lop-sided this battle was:

I was quite surprised at how this turned out. Before the battle, our friend Eric (Lord Victor) has asked me how I thought the game would go; I responded, "I think if it’s C&C, I’ll win; if it’s Annihilation he’ll win; if it’s Seize it depends on how few objectives there are!" I guess I guessed wrong!

First, the super-lucky first shot that exploded the Land Raider. That big of a loss that early is hard to recover from;

Second, getting rid of Dred Multi-meltas early…I’m quite certain he was hoping for 24" S8 shots on my AV10 with +2 on the Damage Roll to shred Raiders before they could do much damage;

And third, he put everything in reserve. I think I understand that he was trying to limit my opportunities to shoot at his things, but to me it felt like it gave me opportunity to concentrate my firepower on just a few things at a time. It allowed me to move wherever I wanted, as there were few things on the table I needed to avoid. I think if he’d had everything out there on turn 1, doing a standard Rhino Rush to mid-field right away, he would have had enough things out there that I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t get too close, and he could have controlled where I go and what I shoot at more. I really don’t mean to rip his plan apart, though…just my perspective of why things worked out the way they did.
So The Kabal of the Blackened Sun is still undefeated, and moves to 3-0-1! I think four more games to go…and I still have to paint the blasted army, too! At the pace I paint, they’ll be done a few months after the deadline for paint judging!

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