Here goes it. Aluns last game before heading off back to learn about Religion and why the Imperium really is the way forward (its true, he's thinking of doing Salamanders). Alun said he wanted something nice and juicy, and this would be his first game on his own with the Dark Eldar after the beating we took the day before down at the Crow Valley Crusaders. I wanted revenge for his fragility, he wanted revenge for... well being SAWFT!!! 2500k points per side, Hammer and Anvil deployment and the mission...
Alun won the dice roll to deploy and go first and so set up. I deployed my Krohmus Guard and failed to seize the initiative. Deployment can be seen below! I didn't pay much attention to Aluns deployment at all, I just made sure the two objectives in my deployment zone were nearby and that my units were in as much cover as was afforded to them. The Thunderfire set back in cover with the ruins bolstered. With nightfighting in effect, I'd get a nice 2+ cover save. Vindicator and Predator to my left would cover that side while my bikers and missile launcher devs covered the right. The Adeptus Astartes Stormwing would be in reserves, as would a Tactical Squad and Dreadnought in/on the Stormraven. The Legion of the Damned would also be deepstriking in the situation best suited to where I felt they were needed.
Alun kicked off by firing his Rangers at my Thunderfire cannon. And killing it. That hurt! One of my most dangerous units destroyed by some rangers, and it was first blood. My bikers were targeted and I lost a couple from a Dark Reaper barrage and Raider fire. my left most tactical squad also suffered a few casualties.
My return fire was pretty pitiful, only managing a hull point off a raider and shaking the Ravager so it would only snapfire in Aluns second turn.
Speaking of Aluns second turn, he managed to wipe out a tactical squad, claim an objective on the middle left, and advanced more with venoms and raiders. Vindicator had 2 hullpoints stripped from one of the razorwings, while the other cause some more tactical marines to die. I lost a few more bikes this turn and was left with the Chaplain, flamer and Chapter Master. My predator managed a bit more damage to a flanking raider but just stunned it, but then I was able to cause some real damage. Aluns advance with his raiders and venoms on my right flank had them lined up nicely, so the vindicator turned and unleashed a demolisher cannon shot, blowing up the venom and destroying a weapon off a raider. One of the incubi died from the explosion too. The devastators, whose salvo last turn did nothing to a raider loaded up some flakk missiles and took aim at a razorwing, unable to blow it up but causing its velocity to be locked. The Chapter Master, gunning his engine unleashed an orbital bombardment upon the same targets,killing the other incubi and blowing the already damaged raider up too, some warriors dying in the wreckage. Having targeted the incubi my Chapter Master charged in challanging the archon. No wounds were caused however and the fight went on.
Alun advanced with what he could, and another score of Krohmus Guard died. The Devastators were killed by venom fire, the Vindicator was finished off and the second tactical squad were also butched after frying some Dark Eldar warriors who were on an objective, the two survivors fleeing. Combat again was fruitless, so I hit and ran with the bikes ready to charge again in my turn. It was not looking good!
Thankfully the Stormwing and Legion decided that turn three was the time to show up, and never had some reinforcements been so welcome! The stormraven flew in to the left, Tactical squad inside ready to gain vengeance for their fallen brothers. The Dreadnought surveyed the carnage below and readied its heavy flamers, Xenos scum would burn for the loss of its younger brethren! The stromtalons flew to the right, killing some warriors from one squad and damaging the other razorwing. The Legion materialised in Aluns deployment zone, landing near the 4 point objective in an effort to deny him these points. They were able to kill some Dark Reapers, and most importantly their exarch whose missile launcher had spilt much blood. The Chapter Master swept back into the Archon, and finally killed him. If he could survive the next turn he might be able to deny another objective to the Dark Eldar and keep me in the fight.
Alas, the Chapter Master fell. Aluns Rangers spilt out of the ruins to claim the middle right objective, worth 2 points. The venom dropped his Warlord Archon and her Incubi retinue on my right most objective worth 3 points, along with some wyches that had survived the flames of my dreadnaught previously. I managed to get the tactical squad back to my other objective which was also worth 3 points, so at the moment the score was about 7-3 to Alun. Needing to carefully concentrate my firepower I thought carefully. After my Predator was able to kill a few incubi, the Stormraven would target the Archon with much of its fire power but the assault cannons would fire at the wyches on the objective. I fired two missiles and the multimelta, and lo and behold the Archon died, its Shadowfield unable to susatin the barrage. The assault cannon tore the wyches apart, and Alun had lost an objective and linebreaker. My surviving stormtalon concentrated its firepower upon the rangers, killing just three. Alun rolled his morale check, and they ran! Alun had lost the other objective, his warlord and no linebreaker, giving me the game in an incredibly close affair.
I honestly thought Alun had this in the bag in turn three. I didn't think my reserves would do much, and even though the Legion didn't kill much, they prevented Alun four points in his deployment zone. The Stormraven did well, as did the tactical squad inside claiming an objective which proved vital. Alun was unlucky to lose his Warlord, but I'll take that anyday, I was unluccky not to have done more damage earlier! Those Razorwing things are brutal, those missiles tore my Tactical sqauds apart, as did the splinter cannon fire. I didn't realise venoms had so much firepower either, my Devs had no idea what hit them! I was too aggressive with the bikes and let too many out on show. Had there been a few more later on my Chapter Master may have survived and cut through more Dark Eldar on the right flank, but we learn from mistakes.
A great close game against Alun as usual and as fun as always. Til next time pointy ears!