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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Battle Report: Dark Eldar Vs Space Wolves

Welcome to the first of many Battle Reports here at The Dark Eldar Kabal. Last weekend I blasted from the Webway to take on the might of the Space Wolves. Not the most hygienic slaves I know but some of the crew have a thing for redheads...

I knew this would be a tough challenge for me what with the new Space Wolves codex being absolutely disgusting and with this being my first time facing them. My opponent Adam is an experienced tournament player but this would be his first time fielding his Space Wolves, so I would at least have a slight advantage in that area. But when I say slight, I mean slight. To date I’ve only had three proper games with my Kabal, having lost the first and then going on to win the last two, so really I’m only just getting used to fielding my own force. However I’m going in to this battle with a winning streak, and I’m determined to keep it!

Mission Type: Seize Ground.
Objectives: Five.
Deployment: Pitched Battle.

Space Wolves:
Wolf Priest
Runic armour and wolf tooth necklace
Wolf Guard
Terminator armour, combi-melta, chainfist
15 Blood Claws
2 Melta guns

5 Wolf Scouts
Melta gun

Wolf Guard
Combi-melta, powerfist
9 Grey Hunters
Melta gun, power fist, wolf standard, mark of the wulfen
+ Rhino APC

Wolf Guard
Combi-melta, powerfist
9 Grey Hunters
Melta gun, power fist, wolf standard, mark of the wulfen
+ Rhino APC

Wolf Guard
Combi-melta, powerfist
9 Grey Hunters
Melta gun, power fist, wolf standard, mark of the wulfen
+ Rhino APC

Wolf Guard
Terminator armour, cyclone missile launcher
6 Long Fangs
5 Missile launchers
+ Razorback with Twin Linked Lascannon

Dark Eldar:
Archon (Reaver Jetbike, Punisher, Combat Drugs, Shadow Field, Tormentor Helm, Plasma Grenades)
Dracon (Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Retinue, Plasma Grenades)
5 Incubi

7 Wyches (Wych Weapons, Shredder, Plasma Grenades) inc. Succubus (Agonisor)

2 x Raider Squad: 5 Warriors (Dark Lance, Horrorfex)
3 x Raider Squad: 5 Warriors (Splinter Cannon, Horrorfex)

Ravager (3 x Disintegrators)
Ravager (3 x Disintegrators)
Ravager (3 x Dark Lances)


I win the roll off and opt to go second (I want the last turn to grab and contest last minute objectives). Adam sets up his force in the middle of his half. It looks ready to jump down my throat, so I decide to spread my force out, ready to manoeuvre up the flanks as he charges down the centre. My Wyches, Incubi and Archon stay in reserve ready to counter attack and my Dark Lance squads deploy in ruins either side of the table giving me a good crossfire range.

End of Turn 1

Two of the Rhinos and the Blood Claws unit charge down the centre as predicted. One disconcertingly stays behind making my outmanoeuvre plan a little more risky. Nevertheless I ‘flat-out’ my two empty Raiders up the flanks. My Dark Lance Ravager is prevented from moving or shooting by the pesky long fangs. But in true Dark Eldar style I have my revenge as the Dissintigrator Ravager takes out most of the squad and forces the rest to go to ground. The remaining Ravager creates havoc on the Blood claws and forces them to take cover as well. Unfortunately my Dark Lances are less successful not being able to find their target due to smoke grenades on the vehicles. Overall though, a good start for me as I hold off some of the serious threats.

End of Turn 2

The Rhinos move up and disembark the nasty Grey Hunter squads. Meltaguns wreck a Ravager and knock a weapon off a Raider. The Razorback shoots down the Raider on right flank, the squads survives and hides in the wreckage. The Wolf Scouts outflank and arrive on my side of the board. They melta gun the rear armour of the Dark Lance Ravager leaving it a smoking wreck. They are then whittled down to three by the warrior squad in retaliation. The remaining Ravager picks away at the Blood Claws once again. The Grey Hunter squad that was left at the back disembarks and attempts to shoot down my left flank Raider but fails to do so. My Wyches fly on and attempt to avenge the Ravager by assaulting the Grey Hunters. They kill off several but the return attack is savage as the Wolf Banner is raised allowing the unit reroll all ones. They also passed the counter-attack rule, leaving me with a fistful of dice to make saves for. Only the Succubus survives. The Space Wolves win combat and the remaining Wych fled from the battle.

End of Turn 3

The weakened Grey Hunter squads get back in to their transports and decide to sit on the objectives. The Grey Hunter Squad at the rear finally takes out the empty Raider thwarting my plan once and for all. The scouts assault the Dark Lance Squad and hilariously lose combat. They pass their moral check though. In my turn the Incubi raider flies on flat out next to Blood Claws (they are embarked even though in the picture they are standing beside the vehicle) The Archon Turbo boosts behind cover, Ready to attack the Grey Hunters on the objective. I run my Splinter Cannon squad towards an objective. Other than that it was a fairly uneventful turn.

End of Turn 4

The Incubi Raider is shot down by the Blood Claws and an Incubi bites the dust in the crash. A Grey Hunter squad disembarks and manages to wreck a Raider in a hail of glancing bolter hits. Another Grey Hunter squad disembarks and takes pot shots at the advancing warrior squad but does little damage.
The Incubi emerge from the burning wreck and assault the blood claws. Carnage ensues.

Just the Dracon, Wolf Priest and Wolf Guard remain standing.
My Archon assaults a Grey Hunter squad holding objective. He overdoses on a measly two Drugs (lightweight!). He kills several off but loses his all important Shadowfield in the retaliation strike. He wins combat, but because of the ‘They Shall Know No Fear’ rule he is unable to run down the squad and remains in combat. The scouts and the warriors continue to battle it out, fighting to a stalemate. My Splinter Cannon squad continues to move towards the objective that the Archon is fighting over. This is still anyone’s game.

End of Turn 5

(It should be noted that earlier on, Adam and I came to a Gentlemen’s accord that the game would end on Turn 5 due to time constraints.)
The Grey Hunters on the left embark in their Rhino and park on the objective inside terrain. The Razorback finds its mark just enough to prevent my Ravager from moving or shooting. Without the safety of his Shadowfield the Archon is killed off in combat by the Grey Hunters. The Dracon kills the Wolf Guard before being finished off by the Wolf Priest. The scouts lose the war of attrition and are killed by the warrior squad in close combat. At the end of the Space Wolves turn Adam claims 3 objectives and is guarding the remaining two. In my turn the Splinter Cannon squad on the right finally make it to contest the objective (Who needs Raiders?) I disembark my Splinter Cannon squad at the back and they move to contest the nearest objective. They unload a hail of Splinter’s but fail to cause enough damage to shift the Grey Hunters. Their Raider tries but falls short of contesting the objective at the back. So It comes down to shifting the Wolf Priest who is happily sitting on the remaining uncontested objective. I embark the unit whose Raider was downed in the previous turn and in a last ditch attempt they fly over to the Wolf Priest. The raider unleashes its Dark Lance. It hits. It wounds. A failed save later and I claim the objective!

Final result:

Dark Eldar:1 Space Wolves: 1

...phew... That was intense! It was anyone’s game right until the final turn where Adam managed to cripple me just enough to prevent me from having a chance of winning but fortunately not quite enough to prevent a draw.
So, like the ‘glass half empty’ person I am let’s start with what went wrong;
Firstly my Dark Lances failed me throughout the whole game. Well almost the whole game, the all essential point blank shot to the Wolf Priests face was a relief, but Adam’s Rhinos and Razorback were left unscathed. Of course having my lone anti-tank Ravager melta’d on turn 2 by those pesky out-flankers was the crux of this, but nevertheless I was unlucky to not pop a single tank with my remaining 9 Dark Lances. Ideally I needed to take out the Razorback in Turn one or two because it’s presence at the back prevented me from being able to surround the Son’s of Russ and steal the objectives at the back. Having the Rhinos around till the end enabled Adam to very quickly redeploy his troops where needed and grab objectives which was a huge pain for me. Perhaps I need to consider taking two Dark Lance ravagers in future to improve my Tank popping chances in future.
My second gripe was with less with my own units and more with the insanely powerful close combat potential of the Space Wolves, the special rules and banners are really not to be overlooked. This was something I had really underestimated and led me to sending my Wyches on a suicide mission. In retrospect I should have sent them into the Blood Claws thanks to their ability to remove the extra close combat weapon attack and sent the Incubi into the Grey Hunters. I won’t be making that mistake again. The Archon got a little unlucky due to overdosing and not being able to run down his opponents but there was little else he could have done.
Okay enough dwelling on the bad. Let’s move on to what went right.
I love my Disintegrators. They’re just really great weapons for making heavily armoured infantry cry. They did the most damage for me in the game. What more can I say?
I have to say my opinions on Splinter Cannons were changed in this game. I don’t normally get a chance to actually use them what with the Raider units hiding away for a chance to grab objectives but with the aggressive nature of the Space Wolves I was quickly in the thick of it and it was really surprising just how effective a Splinter Cannon and four rapid-firing Splinter Rifles can be at whittling down squads. (I didn’t mention them much in the turn events but they certainly killed off a few Marines.)
As a final point, would you mind terribly if I blew my own trumpet for a second...You would? Well tough.
I actually feel really proud to have gotten a draw in this game, Adam is a very crafty, experienced player and the new Space Wolves codex is one of the strongest around. I was half expecting to get flattened but despite a few setbacks my army pulled through. I think this is proof that the Dark Eldar codex is still to be feared and respected and can still compete with the big boys. Anyway, enough self gratification, let’s get these slaves back to Commorragh and have ourselves a scream. To the Webway!

Check out the battle report from the Space Wolves p.o.v here


  1. This looks like a really fun game and your Dark Eldar look great. The color scheme is simple yet unique and well executed. I've been thinking about going back to Splinter Cannon's as well just to help zip around the board without losing momentum. I wish I knew someone that played Space Wolves to get a game like this in.

  2. Great batrep and congrats on the draw. With 'conventional wisdom' stating that DE either win big or loose big, it's nice to see them do neither! :)

  3. zer0: Thanks very much. Splinter cannons definately won me round in this game. But while the gunboat tactic can be useful it's a shame they can only move 6" and fire, it's certainly better than nothing though!

    DarkPheonix: Thanks! I know what you mean, not many of my games so far have fallen in to either catagory but most will swear it's true. In Kill Points it's the most apparent i suppose because you either need to table your opponent, or lose.

  4. Hey mate I found your blog from 40kOnline (I actually play CWE but the True Kin intrest me) anyway your Kabal looks great and that was a pretty nice draw you pulled off!

    A friend of mine who plays DE and I have often joked in the past about how Dark lances fail more than most other Anit Tank weapons because of the disgusting numbers they can field and I see the curse prevails :p

    Best of luck with your blog and your Dark Eldar =)

  5. I resently had played a 2000 points game against space wolfs. It ended up in a draw we both had one objective. My opponent only got his objective because his terminators where lucky enough to drop there. He used for all his units droppods.
    I deployed with 5 squads with dark lances, 3 ravagers with all dark lances, archon on raider with 9 incubi. Same for my dracon. I ended one warrior squad left. My archon lost his riteneu. My dracon had his whole riteneu left. What was left over as well was 1 or 2 of my ravagers.

    My opponent started with (all in drop pods) 2 dreadnoughts, 2 terminater squads whish one of them was a riteneu of that super-special-caracter-whose-name-I-forgot.
    and 3 claw squads.

    All he had left at the end was:
    one non-riteneu termi squad and 3 claw marines.

  6. looking to add harlequins into my DE army as a replacement to my wyches with the venom as transport still having 2 squads of wyches on raiders has anyone else looked into fielding other exodites in their DE armies

  7. Question: Are you allowed to take the Punisher with the Reaver Jetbike? Maybe I have an older edition on my computer, but under the jetbike it says you must use only single-handed weapons and the Punisher is listed as a two-handed weapon. I don't mean to try to point fingers or anything. All and all, a great battle report. I've been thinking of starting a DE army, but I have Grey Knights and Dark Angel to juggle at the moment, and I'm barely surviving for now.

  8. @Michael. This question seems to come up alot.

    There was an FAQ which completely replaced the entry on Reaver Jetbikes and it no longer makes any mention of needing one hand free to control the Jetbike.

    This makes sense to me as it states in the rulebook that hand to hand combat from a jetbike takes place after the bike has been landed so it wouldn't make anysense as to why you would need a hand to control it.

  9. I played a game today, Dark Eldar 1500 points vs Dark Angels 2500 points, kill point mission and almost won:] Dark Eldar are very good:]
    I killed 60 Marines and only lost 18 Dark Eldar... bad news is I lost since 7KP from 2xFull Assault,1xFull Devi,2xFull Tactical,Chaplain,Techpriest and 4 Servertors and he got 9KP 5Raiders, 2 Ravagers and 5 man Warrior squad+Dracon:[, almost tabled him, he had about 800 points left... I couldn't kill either of his 2 dreadnaughts...:(

  10. Love this battle report, althought I have one question regarding the rules. I tought dedicated transports must be held in reserves on the beggining of the game, but I see all Rhinos and Raiders are on the table turn 1, am I missing something important?

  11. And splinter cannons with blasters are much much better - I have a tactic of flying with 3 such raider squads at once, near something I want totaly destroyed, disembark squads and fire. Because it's a raider squad, your blasters get 12''+ 2''+ 12''=26'' effective range ^^