The basic truth of the matter is that this game was so big that I couldn't really keep track of what was going on all over the table. I had a lot happening where I was and, because I wasn't spread out, I didn't mix much with my other two team-mates during the game (at least until the end), and it was a bit like playing two different games for a while.
Basically, I looked at my two team-mates and realized they both field very infantry-heavy armies. Nothing wrong with that, of course (especially when one of them is Alaitoc), but when I considered that I was going up against two Biel Tan players (who, between them, had more than 5000 points of their side's total), I saw a lot of skimmers with anti-infantry weapons, assaulting Aspects and, worst of all, I knew there would be a Revenant Titan hitting the table. Simply put, that much firepower threatened to turn our many infantry units into spaghetti sauce.
I didn't want to ask the other guys to change their lists (because they made the lists they did for a reason and, as the game results will show, they kicked all ass as a result), but I did see that my job was going to have to be all about keeping certain enemy units off their backs. Skimmers, Titans and maybe some other stuff like Vypers would have to be intercepted if the ground troops were going to be given the latitude to do what they had to.
Here, as a result, is my list:
- Avatar of Khaine
- 3 squads of Wraithguard w/ Warlock (Witchblade, Enhance) & Wave Serpent (Twin-linked Eldar Missile Launchers & Spirit Stone)
- 3 Wraithlords w/ Eldar Missile Launchers
- 9 War Walkers w/ Eldar Missile Launchers
- Scorpion Mark II Superheavy Grav Tank w/ Eldar Missile Launcher
25 Eldar Missile Launcher shots per turn, three of them twin-linked and four of them at BS 4.
The War Walkers have probably come as something of a surprise to those of you who follow my blog, as I didn't post any pics of them while they were being made (because my enemies read this blog, you see). Let me just show you a few pics I did snap while assembling my force:
Photos (L to R, top to bottom): 1. War Walkers en regalia: Assembly-line modeling and manufacturing. 2. War Walker pilots drying on top of a paint can. They're made from a) Standard Guardian head and torso, spotlight on shoulder whenever possible, b) High Elf crescent thing on the forehead if I have spares, c) Jetbike arms, legs and chassis behind the back as a "seat" (not very comfy if you ask me). Also notice tons of EMLs with their magnets in them stuck to the can. 3. Snake Wash over white primer gets them started and, for some, this is far as they've gotten to date. Regrettably, I did not finish my army in time for the game. It's one of my great regrets. 4. The (more or less) finished product. He's missing his "ski poles" which let him steer and shoot and so-on. 5. This Wraithlord was not impressing me, so I decided it was time to get back to formula. I cut some of the joints, subtly re-posed him, and added some more bitz (the wings on the legs, for instance). Much better now. 6. Wave Serpent in progress. I'm liking the yellow.
Anyhow, back to the game.
I sat back and decided that, if my buddies were going to have a fighting chance against the enemy (Benoit's force in particular; the one led by Khirian), I would have to create one nasty speed bump. Don't get me wrong; my team-mates are far from charity cases (both of them have many more years of gaming behind them than I do), but ground troops just have very little to beat back a huge armor rush (as it was, they got rushed plenty anyhow). So... this motivated me to create a force which did not move unless it had to, did not assault unless it had to, did not do anything fancy, had little finesse and rated low on the style meter. All my army was meant to do was dig in its heels, clench its teeth, and fire Eldar Missile Launchers... and keep firing them... and then fire them some more... and then follow up with more firing... and when they weren't firing, they were taking a nap and dreaming about firing Eldar Missile Launchers. It had to be that simple.
This was important not just because of the damage which might accrue as a result, but also because I knew that there was no way that the enemy would ignore a hailstorm of EMLs every turn. You just can't afford to. In the end, I did, in fact, keep the Titan's attention focused on me for the entire game and, while I lost two Wave Serpents, most of my Wraithguard, six of my War Walkers (with one of the survivors immobilized) and the Pulsars blown off my Scorpion... I kept the Titan in the penalty box for the five turns it took to destroy him. Even better; other skimmers and heavy units came to aid the Revenant against me, thus pulling them off my teammates. I ended up the receiving end of a lot of abuse, but I limped out of that engagement the victor (but just barely).
Interestingly, the Wraithguard did most of the damage against the Titan. Those Wraithcannons are undeniable when it comes to putting the hurt on vehicles. It was a bit intimidating to see them barely coming up to the Revenant's ankle, but they really put the hurt on him.
Here are some pics of the assault against the Titan and whoever else wandered over looking for a piece of me.
What did I, personally, manage to do in this game? Turn one, during Night Fight, I killed a single Guardian and didn't even manage to do any pinning to the squad. Turn two was a bit better as I took a structure point off the Titan and stunned the gun crew (so one weapon couldn't shoot next turn). In turn three I destroyed the Titan's missile launchers with the Scorpion's Pulsar, stunned it so it couldn't move or shoot next turn, and (surprise!) my Avatar hacked twin-linked Starcannons off of an enemy Wave Serpent. Turn four was a bit more productive, as I took another structure point off the Titan and stunned the crew, at the same time also stunning the gun crew (no moving, no shooting). I took a stray shot at some Banshees and killed four with a single plasma missile. Some Guardians and Warlock were getting a bit too close to my Wraithguard, so a Wraithlord lent a helping hand and flamer-killed 8 of them. The Avatar was charged by some Wraithguard and a Warlock, whom he killed, and in his turn he sliced an enemy Wave Serpent in two. Turn five saw the Titan finally die from a Wraithlord EML, which gave me the opportunity to turn my attention to a gang of enemy Dark Reapers, which were flamed to death by a Wraithlord (killing eight in all!). The Avatar did amazingly well again and busted open a Falcon. Turn six was my first full turn without having to worry about the Titan, so I blew a Wave Serpent with a Wraithlord, killed some Striking Scorpions with War Walkers, stunned a Falcon with Wraithguard (which was then destroyed by a Wraithlord in Assault) and... once again the Avatar caused huge damage and killed an enemy Farseer.
Would I do it all again? Whether it's the modeling or the painting or the planning or the organizing or the strategy or the playing... the answer would be yes. Right across the board.