Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Swordwind take to the field!

Last night at the local IFL game night, the Eldar Swordwind took to the field. Now, first let me say that I have played some small games against my son. While he and his orks are good to play against, I am still earning 5th and he is learning from me.

So, with that said, last night was my "First" night out with the Eldar army. I define this as playing against opponents who grasp the game, provide a challenge, and are as familiar (and in this case more familiar) than I am. Overall, I have to say I feel it went well with 1 win and 1 loss.

So the list I took was almost everything I had painted:
Autarch (Mandiblasters, WJG, Power Weapon, Fusion Gun)
Farseer (Doom, Guide, Spirit Stones, Witchblade)

5x Banshees
w/ Banshee Exarch (Executioner)
5x Wraithguard

8x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL Missile Launcher)
8x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, Power Weapon, Shimmershield)
5x Pathfinders

9x Warpspiders
w/ Warp Spider Exarch (Withdraw, Powerblades, 2x Deathspinner)

1x Falcon (Holo-field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, TL-SCat)
1x Falcon (Holo-field, Spirit Stones, Missile Launcher, TL-SCat)

Game 1 vs Dark Angels

I played Rich's Dark Angel Space marines for Game 1. While I do not remember the whole list, he had a couple squads of bikes, a couple combat-bikes, several squads of terminators, a land speeder, and a named character (Belial?).

We played a Seize Ground mission with 3 objectives. The objectives were spread across the center of the board to my right, with 2 in trees and the middle one in the open. Our setup was Spearhead.

Overall the game was interesting. I had a load of questions as I eased into 5th edition, and that slowed things down a bit. Overall, I had a strategy but it was not overly effective. I left one of my scoring units out in the open (to get shot up), did not account for flamers enough, and overall I let Rich take the fight to me. I also had the bad luck of having all of my units who were riding in a tank become pinned when the tanks wrecked (which all 3 did).

At the end of the game, I did not feel that Rich had let me have an easy time (perhaps he did, I will know in the coming weeks), and it was a well-fought loss. I made several mistakes, but I feel that my army is versatile enough to recover from most mistakes. As I gain more experience with 5th edition, and field units that are better fit to my army and play-style, I can see the game becoming more competitive.

Record: 0-1-0

Game 2 vs Blood Angels

Game 2 had me across the table from Jay's Blood Angels. That’s right, for my first 2 games I faced 2 Space Marine armies, albeit not codex chapters. For this game we played Capture and Control with a building in opposite table corners as the objectives. Jay was kind enough to roll several times to avoid another Spearhead game, landing us with a Dawn of War deployment. This was interesting to me do to the restrictions around what can and cannot deploy.

Jay's army was 1 Razorback, 1 Rhino, 1 Death Company, 1 Chaplain, 1 Devastator Squad, a Dreadnought, and several assault squads. One of his assault squads deployed with the Rhino, forgoing their jump-packs.

For this mission I chose to deploy my Pathfinders and my DA - Shimmershield squad as my 2 troop choices, with no HQ deployed. I kept 1 Falcon and the Warp-Spiders+Autarch in reserves. I held the Wave Serpent + DA-2xSCat + Farseer, Wraithguard, and 1 Falcon + Banshees to deploy on turn 1.

Let me say that Jay's dice truly hate him, and this affected the game some. I want to feel bad, but I did get to see what my army can do when things work correctly, which was a nice thing. I will certainly feel worse for his rolling in future games!

The game really broke down along pretty simple lines. Jay held his building with 1 assault squad and 1 non-jump squad, with the rest of his army on the other side of the board pushing toward my building. I held my building with the Pathfinders and DA + Shimmershield, along with walking my Wraithguard toward the front of the building to provide some cover and a nasty speed bump. I sent the Waveserpent + DA and the Falcon + banshees straight down the board toward his building. The other Falcon and the Warp Spiders floated around the board harrasing his moving units.

Highlights of the game were as follows:
- Warp Spiders deepstrike in, unloading on a marine squad and wiping them out
- Warp Spiders lock in combat with the death-company, survive combat, hit&run, and take pot-shots at the smoked dreadnaught
- Bladestorm into a doomed unit holding his objective. Unit reduced to 1 marine who fails his moral check and runs.
- Banshees charge a doomed assault squad, Exarch+Executioner misses all hits, and squad still kills over half the assault marines.
- Dire Avengers + Shimmershield holding a charge from the Rhino-Assault Squad through 2 turns.

At the end of the game we realized we had only declared the building as objectives (~8" square bases) when we should have picked a spot inside the building. I had 1 unit of pathfinders within my building, with the DA and Marines in combat just off the base. He had 1 Marine in his building, with my Banshees inside the building as well. With this being the case we decided it could be either way (Draw or My Win) and agreed it was a win to me.

Record: 1-1-0

The Army

In a previous edition (3rd), there were Eldar units I never left home without. Specifically I always fielded the 6 man squad of Firedragons, a Wraithlord, and Warpspiders. I had never fielded Banshees in my previous army, always defaulting to Scorpions for my CC squad.

In this edition, specifically in these games I fielded an army that I have not played enough to become familiar with. I had units I had not previously fielded and I was missing key units that bring me comfort. Overall, this was not a problem. The Eldar of 5th edition still seem capable of handling any threats. Even in my losing game, I can see where my mistakes were and what the difference would be should I not make those mistakes again. I certainly need to get those favored squads onto the table, as they are at least AS effective as before, and may possibly be MORE effective. I have shuffled (in my head) my order of assembly for the army with an aim toward getting my Firedragons on the table sooner than later.

Let me also say, I love my Eldar. I do not regret crating my previous army and playing other armies. I was on a strong winning streak with them and I have enjoyed the game without playing them. At the end of the day, I do love my Eldar and its nice to be back playing them. Until thier Dark cousins make an appearance, I will comfortably settle back into my Eldar groove.

On Painting

There was a comment during the night that I should seriously consider fielding unpainted models to play with. I do not even have to consider this for a second.

"um .... not just no, but hell no!"

I am certainly no Golden Deamon level painter, or master crafting converter. I did make a promise to myself that I would not field unpainted models for this army. In addition, I am strongly anchored in the thought that I have no desire to field un-completed models for games. My Eldar army is a labor of love, and a point of pride when I am able to put them on the table. Every model is not only painted, but also modified in some way to represent a struggle against the upstart Tau. Be it body-parts on the bases, Combat scenes for the leaders, or something as subtle honor-blades on backpacks, there is a lot of detail and work that goes into my models before the hit the table. I know this makes the game more enjoyable for me, and I believe it increases the level of enjoyment for my opponent.

Now, don't misconstrue what I am saying. I do not expect that my opponent’s armies be fully painted. I do enjoy playing against fully modeled and painted armies more, but I refuse to drop to that level of Hobby Snobbery where I demand to play against a fully painted army. My choice is a personal choice around my hobby, and specifically this army.

I do have to admit that I feel a sense of pride and validation when nearly everyone who walked by last night took a moment to look at my army and comment on the painting and modeling. For that matter, all the comments appeared positive!

On 5th Edition

Overall I enjoy 5th edition. I will reserve complete judgment until I get a fair number more games under my belt, but on initial impression it seems well put together. I am certainly looking forward to playing more!

As a note, I came home last night and was very amped about working on my army. As long as I can keep this energy and excitement up there should be updates more often on my army progress.


  1. My list was:

    Belial - Sword of Silence
    Librarian - Terminator Armor, Combi-melta
    Deathwing Terminator Squad - Chainfist x1, LC x2, TH+SS x1, Heavy Flamer
    - Apothecary
    - Standard Bearer
    Deathwing Terminator Squad - Chainfist x1, LC x1, Assault Cannon
    Deathwing Terminator Squad - Cyclone Missile Launcher
    Deathwing Terminator Squad - Cyclone Missile Launcher
    Ravenwing Attack Squad - Meltagun x2, Meltabombs
    - Attack Bike - Multimelta
    Ravenwing Attack Squad - Meltagun x2, Meltabombs
    - Attack Bike - Multimelta
    Ravenwing Support Squad x1 - Heavy Flamer, Multi-melta

    Because Deathwing lists are so low on model count, I can't present any sort of challenge if I don't push back a little hard. I hope I wasn't pushing back too hard. Also, assuming I make a reasonable number of saves, Eldar have a hard time with that many terminators.

    I really need to write another Battle Company list; I played one a few weeks ago, but it's got two Land Raiders in it, and I definitely didn't want to throw those at you (also, it involves carting around a lot more stuff, which I didn't want to do on account of carting around the LotR stuff as well).

    Also, I don't think I so much won that game as you lost it due to two very shitty pinning tests. That was really, really rough.

  2. Great game Bill, I had a lot of fun and though my dice really do hate me I did get some nice shots in. We will have to have a rematch sometime down the road.

    You missed a couple of things in your list of stuff from my army. In addition to the models you listed I also had 2 Tactical Squads.

    Thank you for the game.