Sunday, July 12, 2009

'Ard Boyz After Action

*Image from GW Website, not my own painting.

Well, 'Ard Boyz was a fun day and I did get in 3 games. I ended up getting Massacred, Massacred, Minor Loss. Even with this being the case, I did enjoy each of my games, and I learned some very important lessons. I also believe that in at least 2 of my games I gave my opponents a challenge and had the game fairly close.

Throughout the day I was approached by other players, spectators, and the tourney organizers with compliments on my painting and modeling for my army. Keep in mind that 'Ard boyz does not have any painting score, so many of the armies there were not even primed. Even with this being the case, it was very nice to be recognized and complimented. It also encourages me to keep going and gives me hope for a tourney with painting scores.

As for overall lessons, here are the biggest lessons I learned:
  • Keep the mission objectives in mind. Not just remember what they are but plan around them accordinly. Especially objectives.
  • Keep the time of the round in mind. Running out of time without realizing it ruins any plans.
  • Support my Fire Dragons. Alone they will do 1 thing well then die.

Here is an overview of my day. A warning, this will be a long blog post.

Lets look at my list, then we will move onto the games and my opponents lists.


6x Fire Dragons
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, SCan, TL SCan)
9x Banshees
w/ Banshee Exarch (Executioner, Warshout, Acrobatic)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones,Vectored Enginers, SCan, TL ScatLaser)

10x Wraithguard
w/ Spiritseer (Destructor)
3x Jetbikes
w/ 1x SCan
3x Jetbikes
w/ 1x SCan
9x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, 2x Avenger SC)
w/ Wave Serpent (Spirit Stones, VEctored Enginers, SCan, TL Brightlance)
5x Dire Avengers
w/ Dire Avenger Exarch (Bladestorm, Defend, Power Weapon, Shimmershield)

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

1x Falcon (Holo-Field, Stones, Bright Lance, SCannon)
1x Falcon (Holo-Field, Stones, Bright Lance, SCannon)

So there was very little thought behind this list. Basically I put together nearly everything I have painted, plus added the unpainted Fire Dragons, and an unpainted Eldrad.

Game 1 - vs Ronnie Andrews and his Orks
Ghazghull Tharaka
Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun

5x Mega Nobz in Trukk
13x Commandos with Snikrot and 2 burnas
15x Lootas

7x Biker Nobz
20x Boyz
25x Boyz
25x Boyz
10x Gretchin with Runtherd

9x Stormboyz

2x Killa Kan with Grotzooka
1x Battlewagon

Battle Summary
This game was Scenario 1 of the 'Ard Boyz scenarios, with 5 objectives and long table edge deployment. He deployed everything except Snikrot on the board and had first turn. I deployed Eldrad+DA+Wave Serpent, Banshees+Wave Serpent, and the Wraithguard on the board. Overall, I did very little during the game. I think the only unit I actually killed was his Stormboyz.

Couple critical errors I made during the game, in no particular order:
  • I let his bikers intimidate me, pointed the Fire Dragons at them, and only killed half the unit. Snikrot wiped out the Dragons
  • I did not pay attention to time. We ran out of time with him taking his turn 5, and me not getting my turn 5. This left me with a scoring Falcon/DAVU away from an objective, with my intention to move it back during turn 5.
  • I forgot the Assault moves for both my spiders (after deep striking) and my bikes (on 2 different turns, leaving them out to be shot)
  • I did not push for his objectives. I should have used my tanks to push toward his end of the board, left my Wraithguard on one of my objectives, and planned to contest any remaining.
  • I let myself focus on reacting to his game.
On a funny note, Ronnie was accompanied by a lovely young lady (I believe his girlfriend) who took some pictures and was his cheerleader for his games. He also came with a crew, who I ended up playing in my remaining games. I made a comment during our game (to her) that it would be amusing if I ended up playing her entire crew. Great group of guys, who unfortunately live a little to far for me to play regularly.

Game 2 - vs Ryan Andrew and his Dark Angels
Chaplain on bike

Dreadnought - Multimelta
Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon/Missile Launcher


5x Terminators - Banner, Apothecary, 2x Claws, Hammer
5x Terminators - Ass-Cannon, Claws
10x Tact Squad - Missile, Flamer
10x Tact Squad - Fist, Plasma Cannon
6x Grey Knights - Psycannon, Incinerator

6x Ravenwing Squadron
1x Attack Bike

1x Land Raider Crusader
1x Predator - Las Cannon, Sponson Las Cannons

Battle Summary
This game was Scenario 2 of the 'Ard Boyz scenarios, a kill point mission where HQ are worth 5 points, troops/transports are 1 point, and everything else is 2 points. Deployment was half-table deployment. He deployed everything on the table, minus 1 Terminator squad which would deepstrike in. I deployed my Wraithguard into a set of trees (middle deployment zone for me), and parked both serpents, DA, Banshees, and Eldrad to the left of those trees. I had the bottom of the turn. Highlights of this game were:
  • Banshees cutting through the terminator squad (in another forest base) while they were doomed.
  • He focused many turns of shooting into the Wraithguard, who spent the whole game in cover and fortuned.
  • Spiders and Bikes destroyed his Ravenwing, and reduced his Chaplain to 1 wound before the Chaplain ran and hid.
This game went a full 6 turns, with the game going into turn 6 tied at 5 kill points a piece. We were both meneuvering around the board and really fighting to get the upper hand. Turn 6 saw my dice fail me and his dice fall in love with him. In quick succession, he knocked Eldrads Wave Serpent (Eldrad was alone at this point) out of the air (his KP total to 6), then hit Eldrad with a single plasma shot. I rolled my invuln save, and rolled a 1. I smiled and thanked Eldrad for putting up fortune this turn (I had considered not doing so), and rerolled my save. I rolled a 2. Plasma causes instant death, his total goes to 11. He then shoots at the remaining Banshee in cover, her cover save fails, his total to 13. It comes to my turn and I survey my shooting power and what he has left. I can just see his Chappy-on-bike and I have 3 Shuri-cannons and 1 Missile left to shoot. I unload everything into his Chappy-on-bike and only cause 2 wounds, both of which he saves.

Game ends with him 8 points ahead of me, massacre.

Overall I am not sure what I could/should have done different in this game. I pulled squads back when I needed to preserve them and really lost due to my HQ being taken out in what I consider a bad set of rolls. This is multiple games now where my Fire Dragons have jumped out of thier transport, shot thier weapons 1 time, and been wiped out in return. I took out the Land Raider, which was thier job, but I need to support them better. In this case I trades 296 points (Dragons plus Falcon) for ~255 of a Land Raider. In KP total, this was giving up 4 kill points ( Dragons = 2, Falcon = 2) for 2 kill points (LR = 2)

Game 3 - vs Bryan Hardenberger and his Necrons
The Deceiver
Lord, Res orb, Veil

11x Warrios
11x Warrios
11x Warrios
11x Warrios

5x Destroyers
5x Destroyers

3x Monolith

Battle Summary
This game was Scenario 3 of the 'Ard Boyz scenarios, a combo objective+kill-point mission. The scenario was table-quarters deployment, with an objective placed in the middle of the non-deployment table-quarters. Then normal kill-points were used at the end in conjunction with objectives. Bryan won the roll and chose to deploy first. Now, before I continue let me make a couple comments:
  • Bryan admited before the game that he rarely plays in tourneys, and usually playes either Apocolypse or in multi-player (3+) games. He is very much a beer and pretzels gamers.
  • The table had 5 hills and was fairly devoid of any cover
  • Bryan had never played Eldar before, so was unfamiliar with my whole army
Now, based on this and the fact we were playing at the bottom tables, I probably should have had a win. I am by no stretch of the imagination a tourney player, although I am trying to move my skills in that direction.

So, the start of this game was by far my most amusing point of the day. Bryan very carefully deployed his entire force minus 2 monoliths and 2 warrior squads, paying special attention to how he would move toward objectives and making sure he had line of sight to all parts of my deployment zone. I had marked out 4 dice, 1 for the middle of the table and then 3 marking out the 12" bubble of non-deployment (due to center of the table) in my zone. Bryan completed his deployment and then gave me the go-ahead to start my deployment. My response was to pick up my 4 dice and say "ok, everything starts in reserve, go ahead with your first turn."

I thought Bryan was going to fall over. Apparently he did not realize that this was possible. We then had a quick discussion about how my units would come onto the table and the fact that Mech-Eldar's movement made this a feasable strategy.

This was a great game overall, with each of us playing hard. I was heavily focused on pushing my own initiatives and trying to figure out how to force a phase out of his army. So much so that when Bryan asked (at the end of the game) if I saw a way he could improve I had no advice for him. During the game I chopped through one doomed necron unit + Lord with my Banshees (pulling his lord into combat through consolidation), I blew up one of his Monoliths with my Wraithguard, tore through a unit of destroyers with my spiders, and unleashed Bladestorm Hell into another doomed unit of warriors wiping them out. Couple errors I made during this game:
  • Used my Dragons unsupported to kill some warriors, with the aim being thier 8 shots denied WBB. Dragons died to return fire from 2 squads (the squad they shot at had 8 guys left, and then another complete squad of 11 was right there)
  • Yriel was left in the open, taking 10 gaus shots (dead)
  • I should have pushed harder for his objective.
The last bullet above is important. I had parked my Wraithguard on the objective on my side of the table and they were weathering incredible amounts of fire (even without fortune). He had 1 monolith and 2 warrior squads parked on his side objective. I should have pushed my DA + Eldrad + Banshees toward his objective and cleared it. I could have used my haywire grenades (from the spiders) to take out the monolith, or just blocked the line with my own tanks.

At the end of the game we both thought this would be a tie, then we added up kill points. There was a point in the game where I charged 4 necrons with my Banshee Exarch. I expected to win this combat and ended up only inflicting 1 wound. His 3 Warriors struck back, inflicting 1 wound in return and I failed my save. This ended up pushing him up 1 kill point for a minor victor (we each had an objective, I had 5 kp, he had 6 kp)

I would love to hear your comments/suggestions on my games and review. I would also like to hear how your own 'Ard Boyz experience went.


  1. A couple points:
    1. You learned from your games. That's what matters.
    2. Plasma is S7 and does not cause Instant Death to Eldrad. He's T4 base... (That's part of what makes him such a monster.)
    3. "ok, everything starts in reserve, go ahead with your first turn." I thought Bryan was going to fall over.
    Okay, I LOL'd at this. Sounds like this was the best game of the day.
    4. I still say that Dragons should be in a Serpent, not a Falcon. Serpents are more survivable at melta ranges and they allow you to field a larger squad. This can be critical to crushing the local threats.

    As to my own experience, here: . Short version, I won with 3x Massacres. I'm working on battle reports right now. Cheers!

  2. I agree, but for this felt that Banshees and DA were better fit into my Serpents. This left a DAVU + Yriel and the Dragons both looking for rides. The Falcons worked overall, but were not ideal.

    In my normal lists I have moved to FD in Serpents. I might have to consider dropping my Autarch in favor of a larger FD unit.

  3. Yeah, I second that. PLasma doesn't insta-gib Eldrad with his T4.

    As Dverning said, the other point is that you learned, which is the important part. In general, I find tournaments a great place to fight a variety of opponents that you don't normally encounter.

    Vs. the Orks, you said it. Eldar tend to be big on the initiative; you have the speed and mobility and really need to do your best to dictate the fight.

    Vs. the Necrons
    I don't think it had occurred to me that Wraithguard could nuke a Monolith to death, but there is that. I think, though, that going for the Phase-Out is best. Beyond that, I would've prioritized his Destroyers. Nuking them is preferable, and the Deciever's only a threat if it can assault. Then it owns your face. If you weren't going to slap Fire Dragons into the destroyers, they'd be good for mopping up the Deciever after you knock some wounds off it.

    I think also in larger games, you're finding Yriel tends to nuke a doomed squad, then get sent to hell. Still, he's a potent weapon, but in a game that prioritizes killing HQs (as 'ard boyz was, unles I'm wrong...) then he's not quite your friend since he's not hard to break off. I mean, hitting on three and wounding on 2 isn't bad, but the Eye of Wrath IS what you get him for.

  4. Expect Dragons to die after their target is neutralized, putting investment into Fire Dragons isn't a good idea. Let them drop, kill the Land Raider 3x their cost and be happy that they got their job done.

    Reserves option - Do it quite often, with Mechdar's speed it's pretty sweet.

    - Travis (We met at GPC once when you were pulling the Dwarfs on Rich.)

  5. "Pulling the Dwarfs," huh? That just doesn't sound right.

  6. Hey. This is Bryan, from game 3. I accidentally stumbled across this entry, but it's really interesting to read your side of the story, so to speak!

    I don't remember much from GamesDay, but I do remember this game. It was fun, and very hard, though I think you might have ended up with an old version of my army list. I made a couple modifications and threw in some Flayed Ones, which I recall distinctly flooding through the terrain on the left side of your board, terrorizing three squads (with some very lucky rolls).

    Either way, fun game, and you were a pleasure to play with. Good luck!