Sunday, March 31, 2013
Last weekend was certainly packed full of firsts;
First time playing; in a Warhammer 40k tournament.
- with 6th edition rules.
- with the new(ish) Dark Eldar codex.
- at Tabletop Nation.
- against Grey Knights.
- against Flyers.
Read on to see how The Dark Eldar Kabal coped with all of these new challenges...
The weekend started with a some-what perilous drive to Tabletop Nation in Essex thanks to an unwelcome snow shower from the previous night. After battling the elements from the warmth of my car for an hour or two I arrived at the venue in good time. Soon after I was joined by fellow pilgrims and before long we were summoned to a local cafe for a meet and greet over a nice warm cuppa.
A few faces I knew but most I did not, however after exchanging pleasantries it was clear that everyone was very friendly and ultimately there to have a good time. This alleviated any nerves I had about the upcoming games and put me in a good frame of mind to start the day.
Game 1 - Crusade/Dawn of War - Alex's Blood Angels
My first game was against Alex who I'd played against a couple of years back, in which the Kabal gave his Daemons a pretty thorough spanking (Read more here). This time he was sporting an impressive Blood Angels army complete with Death Company, Furioso Dreadnaught and Storm Talon. The game seemed to be edging in my favour for the most part as I was able to either wipe out or nulify all of his scoring units towards the end game. In the last couple of turns his Furioso Dreadnaught was dangerously close to my only remaing scoring unit; still embarked in a Raider. All I needed to do was move flat out onto an objective, then the following turn I could disembark and claim my first win. Instead I made a silly error and took a pot shot with the Dark Lance. It failed and his Furioso then yanked my skimmer out of the air and left the troops stranded in no mans land at the mercy of the Dreadnaught. Even though I had the edge on VP's the game was scored as draw.
Game 2 - Purge the Alien/Hammer & Anvil - Kev's Dark Angels/Deathwing
My second game was defined by a silly tactical decision in the deployment of my army. Tentative of his Devastators, Snipers and Icarus cannon all deployed menacingly on his table edge, I formed a defensive cluster in a corner of my deployment zone. I figured he would deepstrike his two Deathwing units in front of me, take out a couple of skimmers and then I would have the next turn to fire everything at the exposed terminators and even fly away and reset if need be. Unfortunately I hadn't bargained on just how devastating two units of Deathwing Terminators can be. Between an array of high strength weapons, rerolls, the ability to splitfire, lucky rolling and vulnerable targets my army was crippled in the first turn and I was unable to mount an effective counter-attack. The game was a massacre.
Game 3 - Big Guns Never Tire/Dawn of War - Glen's Grey Knights
My third game seemed to be close for a few turns until Glen's force finally took control and seized a convincing win. It had quickly decended into a shooting match in which the Dark Eldar held their own but ultimately couldn't sustain.
That ended the gaming schedule for day one. On to our lodgings for the night in the post-apocalyptic town of Basildon! Concrete jungle where dreams are wilted with a big stick. Nevertheless a fun night ensued with burgers, beer and banter aplenty.
Game 4 - The Scouring/Vanguard Strike - Andy's Chaos Space Marines
After hearing rumours about Helldrakes but having never actually encountered one I was a bit concerned to be facing two for my first game of the second day. However I had two big blobs of power armoured troops in open ground (incuding a couple of HQ's) and my Dissie Ravagers, Venom and Warrior Gunboats made short work of them within the first few turns. The Helldrakes certainly made their presence known being able to negate any hope of a cover or jink save. I decided to take action and took a pot shot with a Raider on the rear armour of the pesky flyer. Whaddya know, I rolled a six, and punched through the exposed hull with a penetrating hit. A failed jink save and six on the damage chart later and I was a very happy Archon. My opponent, not so much. Amazingly I managed to repeat the trick a couple of turns later and it was more than enough to cement the game. For the final count I was controlling three objectives worth 7vp, had slayed his warlord, had linebreaker and first blood. Andy conceded with only a stubborn Defiler and three marines tied in combat with my Wyches left standing. A good start to the day.
Game 5 - The Emperor's Will/Dawn of War - Dave's Space Wolves and allied Guard
This was a really fun game between two players who knew they were out of the top tournament rankings and just looking to cause carnage. It ended a draw with the Dark Eldar eeking ahead on secondary objectives.
Game 6 - The Relic/Hammer & Anvil - Ian's Grey Knights
Steamrollered is the most apt way to describe this game. Faced with a wall of mech the width of the table. Five or six shooty transports, side to side in the centre with four twin-linked Lascannon Dreadnaughts on the flanks. Behind stood three units of Mon-Keigh with some ridiculous Strength 10 Ap1 Psy-weapons. The army slowly trundled forward and I had no where to run. With what suddenly seemed like pitifully low anti-tank and no way of breaching the enemy lines I was slowly crushed to death. Fun times.
And so ended the weekend. So how did I do overall? Well officially my final tally was 1 win, 2 draws and 3 losses putting me just below middle rankings. Had the tournament been scored as per the 6th ed rulebook however it would have been 3 wins and 3 losses, however only primary objectives were scored. This meant that there were a couple of games which I technically won on overall VPs, but I only drew on primary objectives.
So as far as the Kabal was concerned it had its ups and downs, peaks and troughs, highs and lows and everything inbetween. As far as I was concerned it was excellent fun with a fantastic bunch of like minded people from all walks of life. Honestly, I can't wait for the next time because this certainly won't be the last.