Sunday, 24 January 2016

A Prison for Gods - Part 5 - The Might of Mars

"Target sighted, ruined building type imperial, first through 3rd floor, within range, distance: Far. Probability of total neutralization: 45%. Take aim, fire at will sanctioned. Omnissiah be praised." Ferrodir 4-Gyros chimed in binary to his assigned ranger squad. The message, received and understood within fractions of a section, and the whole squad opened fire upon the dark eldar hiding across the street. The nearby guardsmen, oblivious of the enemy presence startled turned their heads  looking in all directions, trying to get a glimpse of what the vigilant Skitarii had observed, analysed and fired upon by the time it takes for a single breath. 

Ready for battle! (Or rather ready for packing)
I faced off against Chris today and his mighty Dark Eldar with attached "dark eldar" wraith knight. My forces mainly revolved around the Skitarii taking up the bulk of the points, but also my House Taranis knight warden and a allied detachment of guardsmen from the 501st to bring up the numbers. The point limit for the battle was 1250 pts.

The field of battle, 4' by 4'. My deployment zone was rather cramped by people wanting to run forward as soon as possible.
This was my first time playing Skitarii and I feel I did not play them optimal at all. I had a lot of problems getting them within range, especially the vanguards that spent most of the battle loitering around mid field not really in range of anything. They did however gain me a victory point (playing maelstrom) when the brave Alpha, the last one alive in the squad by turn 5, charged in against the dark eldar just disembarked from a wrecked skimmer, dying by overwatch gaining me the "Survival is nothing, Data is all" objective.

Last stand of the Vanguard Alpha shortly before charging the dark eldar troops disembarking from the closest skimmer.
The knight was the main motor behind my forces this match (it usually is, but especially this time), evening out for my poor play of the Skitarii. In turn 1, it failed its charge against the wraith knight due to poor rolls, ending up being charged by it instead. The wraith knight rolled poorly on his attacks, hitting only once taking 1 HP off the knight even with a destroyer CCW. The knight in return hit on all 3 attacks resulting in a total of 8 wounds from the destroyer table, killing the wraith knight. My knight then moved on to taking out 2 skimmers full of dark lances, shooting at infantry and pretty much whatever it got n sight, effectively clearing the left flank of the table. With the avenger gatling cannon, it even managed to kill Chris' Archon, Ozzy even with a invul save of 2+. Got to love that gun.

Dominating. The knight take up a lot of points, but as long as it stays alive it delivers a ton of damage and can efficiently grab objectives with the 12" move.
My warlord, Ferrodir 4-Gyros was providing covering fire from one of the buildings for most of the battle. With 30" range on the galvanic rifles and 60" of the arquebuses they were one of the few units in my army that actually had range to hit stuff from turn 1. They delivered some devastating fire early game, but by that marked themselves as a hot target and drained a lot of fire. By the end of the battle, Ferrodir 4-Gyros was the only one left standing, denying the dark eldar slay the warlord.

Fight me? Now why on earth would you do that? I'm just standing here behind this wall calibrating the data blocks for the rest of the army. Move along now!
 As for the ruststalkers and the dragoon they came by far the worst out, not able to deliver any damage at all during the cause of the battle. The dragoon took fire from 3 dark lances turn 1 so little I could do about that, but the ruststalkers I could have played better. I even had them in charge range at one point, but forgot charging them due to all attention being caught up by the amazing things happening around the knight. Dunestrider really helps by adding 3" to any movement, but they took a lot of fire on their way across the board. I'm not quite sure how to play them as there rarely is enough cover to prevent losses until the close combat.

Ready to run. The dark eldar had no plans for moving any closer.
Overall a good and even match. The facing off of the knight and wraith knight was kind of a game turner and we both know the result of their engagement would be defining for the battle. This time the dices was in my favour, and like I said earlier on, the knight carried the army the rest of the battle. No doubt I'm going to keep playing Skitarii, there is not much to not like about them, from gear, to the models to the fluff, but they remain semi-expensive glass cannons. Once I learn to tackle that, I think I'll be able to put them to better use.

The battle is over. Remnants of guardsmen cling to cover and the dark eldar skimmers hide from the knight.
With line breaker, slay the war lord and a bunch of objective, the battle ended 9 - 6 in my favour at turn 6. I played the Skitarii deck and got some of the fun new cards keeping in line with the Skitarii fluff. Until the last turn with line breaker, the score was never more than 1-2 points in difference so I'd say it was a even match.

With the victory on Nest, I captured one sector on the planet from Chris and due to my Relentless Assault campaign rule claimed yet another sector on Tresium. Truly a glorious day for the Imperium and for Omnissiah!

EDIT: As a friend of mine pointed out, I forgot all about the scout move granted by the Sktarii Maniple. That extra 6" would have meant a lot for the vanguard and ruststalkers. I'll make a not of the until next time. 

Objective completed, sector secured. Enemy forces routed, great losses on both sides. Lots of new data to analyse from the engagement. New profile type registered for [Dark + Eldar(?) + Wraith Knight.] Upload started. Estimated processing time H:42M:52S:27.  Permission to return to mechanicum base of operation requested. Ferrodir 4-Gyros out.
 ....Access granted...... Magos is satisfied by the results, return for further personal sensor data analysis.

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