Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beastmasters and You -Introduction

This is the first of several articles concerning my experiences and thoughts on Dark Eldar Beastmasters.
I should note that these are my opinions and should be treated as such, what works for me and my personal play style may not work for you. That being said I hope to at least generate some thoughts on how this great unit can add to your DE army.

When I got my hands on the DE dex I sat down in my FLGS and was instantly enamoured with the awesome models. I then dug deeper and found the Beastmasters. Let's see multiple high init, Tons of attacks, Invulnerable saves, really fast, interesting wound allocation, Rending, I was sold.

I had a bunch of chaos warhounds for kymera and spawn for clawed fiends. I converted some rather poor razorwings from some warrior bits and green stuff. My first unit build was 5 BM, 10 Kymera, 4 Razorwings and a clawed fiend.

My first few games with them were amazing. The speed and shear power of over 80 attacks on the charge spread over I6 and I5, even without power weapons was brutal. Terminators fall, 10 man grey hunter squads fall, (even with the banner) whole boyz squads evaporate. The list goes on. Against vehicles they are fantastic as well. Many times my kymera have immobilized a vehicle at I6 allowing the 26 rending attacks of the razorwings to finish it.

That is not to say that they are invincible; far from it. Things that have beaten down my beasts, Blood Talon Furioso, Fear of Darkness, big kroot unit with tons of hounds (they were in cover and got to go first), charged by 10 assault marines with priest and reclusiarch., 3 direct hits from a manticore in one turn, double lord TWC (although I killed off the TWC), and IG with psycher battle squad.

Next in part two I will talk about the different BM unit configurations and finally in Part 3 I will conclude the series with a discussion on beastmaster tactics.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Maul in the Mall - Summary

This past Saturday I made the trip down to Cleveland TN for the Maul in the Mall. This being my first time down there I was excited and a bit apprehensive. I have to say that my experience was very positive. The terrain was great with a good mix of themes from table to table.

There were many friendly folks with lots of cool armies. I really enjoyed the open and friendly atmosphere and spoke with many of the competitors. As usual I forgot my camera and was snapping pics with my less then stellar phone camera. (I always run out of battery as well so my pics are limited)

I wish I had a better pic then the one below. This game was an iconic IG vs Orcs struggle with awesome armies. It is this kind of spectacle that keeps me playing 40K. (and the IG player, constructed, converted and painted his army in a mere 2 days!! amazing)

My List

Succubus with Agonizer
2 Haemi's with liquifiers
10 girl wych squad with net, hex w/agonizer in a Raider, trophies, FF, NS
9 girl wych squad with net, hex w/agonizer in a Raider, trophies, FF, NS (1 haemi in here)
8 girl wych squad with net, hex w/agonizer in a Raider, trophies, FF, NS (Haemi and Succubus here)
2 - 5 Man warrior squads w/blaster in Venoms, xtra SC, NS
2 - 4 Beastmaster squads with 9 Kymera and 4 RazorWings
2 - Ravagers DLx3, FF, NS
1 - Ravager Dissyx3, FF, NS

Game 1:

I had hoped to play GK in this tourney and test out my changes. I was not disappointed as I heard I was facing a GK player game 1. I sit down to find that I am playing DragioWing. 5 units of paladins with Dragio.

I figured this game would go easy if I got to shoot him before combat, hard if he closed quickly before I could soften him up enough. I won first turn and deployed with my beast units in front. My opponent chose to reserve everything, this is when I noticed that he did not have psycannons on his Paladins. (we discussed this later and he will likely add them)

So I shuffle my things around a couple of times and 10 minutes into the round we are at the bottom of 2. He rolls horrible on reserves and only gets one unit. He deep strikes about 7-8 inches in front of my beasts and promptly scatters 9 inches directly into my beast pack. He rolls a 1 for his mishap and 400 or so points of the emperor's personal seed die shrieking into the warp. Kudos to my opponent here as he just laughed and took it in stride.

so 15 minutes into the round and we are at the bottom of 3. He gets all but one unit and proceeds to scatter away from my army, Dragio scattering 12 inches directly back. This allows me to shoot the crap out of him.

I could have just shot him and ran away, however I wanted him to have some fun as well so in go the beasts. They did ok on one side and got slaughtered by Dragio on the other side. At the end he only had a depleted dragio unit left while I had all of the objectives obtained. a full 22 points.

My opponents scattering and lack of psycannons made this game very easy for me. For a young man his attitude was exceptional and I applaud him. The game only took 40 minutes or so. I spent the next couple of hours wandering around watching games. (I really missed having my camera and my daughters Flip at this point)

Game 2:

Blood Angels.

This time it was against a more competitive list, in a modified DOW (no night fight)

2 librarians, 1 with Unleash Rage and Fear Darkness, and the other with Blood Lance and Shield
10 Assault marines in stormraven with Priest and Reclusiarch
4 TL-LC Razors with 5 man Assault squads
2 5 man Vanguard squads
He won the toss and gave me first turn. I put some wyches in a raider behind terrain mid field and he DOW reserve everything. I brought everything on being careful to have a trophy raider next to each beast unit to give re-rolls to leadership.

So he rolls on and unloads. his shooting is poor and my flicker/cover saves are golden and I only loose a lance on a ravager. His librarian jumps out and Fear of darkness against one beast unit... I cringe and hope I can pass a re-rollable ldr 6... and he rolls an 11 on his test!!

I then make him pay for exposing his librarian and after Dissy shots and a wych charge they are no more. I also immobilize his stormraven, and weapon destroy one razor.

My opponent then proceeds to immobilize 2 of 3 razors in terrain. (next turn he immobilized the 3rd one while my succubus could not fly out of terrain 5 immobilized units on the board)

My beasts and wyches work over his razors in CC. My opponent makes a mistake thinking he had fear of darkness on both librarians. This leaves his librarian exposed and I try to take him out with my beasts, and in an explosion of dice fail do nothing to him.

My opponent retaliates with his big squad out of the stormraven and kicks my beasts ass.

The game then became and obj grab fest and I managed to contest enough to pull a 2-1 objective win, getting secondary (hold all 5 objectives at least once in the game) and I fail the tertiary (kill specific enemy unit) gaining 20 out of 22 points.

Game 3 - Catachan's
I spoke with this guy earlier in the day and he expressed a desire to face off against my DE as he had never played them before. He had over 150 infantry models and a sentinel.... Spear head deployment I actually have a couple of pics...

I was in trouble as I know that I probably will not get a full game out of this. (we both just have too much to move/shoot/assault) so I did not expect to get the tertiary obj (kill all 2k points) I also had no idea how I could get secondary (kill enemy HQ) as his commissar was in the back corner.

So with a light heart I put my beasts out and reserved everything else. (Spearhead deployments are the bane of many players, do not forget that your opponents reserves come in on the entire long table edge) I pointed this out to my opponent as he deployed.

Well I seized initiative and ran forward. my one beast squad maxing on move through cover, fleet, AND charge (full 24inches) 

My beasts resilience won the day here. The one squad took his entire armies shooting and still had enough models left to charge the next turn before being wiped. My opponent left a hole in his far corner big enough for a raider with sails to get back there and get me the secondary obj. The rest of the game was a testament to the speed of the DE and the power of the beasts. Although I lost both squads they killed well over a platoon of infantry themselves. I took primary and secondary for 20 out of 22

My opponent was cool and I kinda felt bad as he was so excited to play DE and in the end learned a hard lesson both on spearhead deployment and the speed of the DE. We discussed tactics afterwards and I suggested some better deployment option would have been to reserve some units and have em walk on while stringing out his rifle squads to keep me from multi-charging units. (he left a big gap and I was able to get a beast unit into a 5 unit multi-charge (Yes I did it correctly maintaining coheriency and 1' initial separation)

At the end of the day I had 62 out of 66 points. This was good enough for Best General with a trophy and $100 GW Support!!

I had a great time and met some really cool people. I did not have a single rules question or dispute all day and everyone played tight games. I will most definitely be there next year.

On a side note another DE player took Best Overall. (7 venoms, 3 ravagers, 2 wych raiders?) 23 Dark light and 14 Splinter Cannons.

Friday, July 22, 2011

DE army completed

Well I finally completed my remodel of my 2k DE army.

I rebased them, added 20 wyches and 2 venoms as well as a second beast master unit. Looks like my converted wracks will have to wait until I complete my grotesque conversions.

I am in TN getting ready to work. The down side to being able to work from anywhere. But only for an hour as I need to sleep well for tomorrows tourney.

I will post some pictures of my work later in the week.

I hear there are 60 or so folks playing tomorrow, plenty slaves for the pits, tomorrows raid will be bountiful!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Time 40k Drought

Well been over a month since my last post. What have I been doing all this time?

Riding my motorcycle for the most part and working on improving my DE army.

I have not played much at all *Sad Face* but have been re-basing my army and working on my Grotesque conversions. I also got sucked into buying a Razorwing, it is just too cool not to. I have to say the kit was remarkably well designed and a sure joy to assemble.

My Drought ends this coming weekend when I make the drive over to Tennessee for the Maul in the Mall. This will be my trial by fire on some new thoughts on my 2k DE list. I do not expect to do too well as I have not had a chance to practice except for 1 NOVA practice against SW (Baron has ldr 9 Antony, sorry!!)
in which I handily won, however would have failed a beast ldr check that probably would not have impacted the game.

We shall see if my new list and tactics will hold up. I redesigned my list expecting to see a boat load of GK at the NOVA. My concept is to provide a credible midfield threat with beasts while using a combination of terrain, flicker fields, night shields, and mobility to mitigate most of the GK shooting. In theory the beasts can handle most GK units or at least slow them down enough for me to stay out of effective psycannon range. Big units of purifiers will be a Pain, however most folks will spam them so I may be ok. (the thought here is yes I will take cleansing flame casualties, however I can reliably kill 5 purifiers but not 10, no leadership test if you wipe em out!! I know I have to avoid multi-charges)

wish me luck, I will write up a report when I get back. hopefully with pictures, but no guarantee there.