Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cult Insider: A Day in the Life....

(Seriously, if you miss another shot with BS4, you'll never make Exarch. I got a Sunrifle gun last year, but it takes real dedication to wear this helmet and these wings. Keep working, maggot)

Lord Farseer Nilendrel gathered his warlocks and acolytes in the Dome of Seers after the Cult received its latest setback to review his force for proper application of skills for effect. The assembled leaders of the Cult murmured in anticipation of the news. None were able to divine what this meeting was about, but all sensed an uncertain or turbulent future.

As the Lord Seer entered, there was a psychic recognition and all turned in deference to the approaching master. Immediately, gasps were let loose in an uncharacteristic breach of composure that those on the Path of the Seer strive to maintain. Striding alongside the Lord Seer was a figure never before seen in this sacred place. If the Lord Seer registered the psychic shock of his underlings, he made no mark or mention. He rested his hand simply at his side and gestured the outsider forward, nodding almost imperceptibly.

Thus spoke Kaluren, Autarch, Herald of Ynnead: "War has ever been the purview of those set upon the Path. Our great leader and master, Lord Farseer Nilendrel--" at this some glanced at an impassive Lord Seer "--has recognized that recent.. setbacks.. have showcased the need for some changes in our great plan. Disposition of our strike forces will no longer be decided by the Seer Council, but be decided by the War Council with the Lord Farseer's blessing"

The slight, airy, but beautiful Warlock Farandiel's face formed what only an Eldar could tell was a grimace. Kaluren continued unabated, "I realize this is somewhat out of keeping with our tradition, but our craftworld brothers and sisters have thwarted us because they rely not just upon Vision, but honor skill and understand the importance of even an individual Warrior to change the fate of a battle."

"We must continue our fight against
She Who Thirsts, but we must do more than that. We must succeed. Our sacred goal has only two outcomes: Ynnead's holy victory or our entire race's damnation." This added by the Lord Seer. There it was. No longer is it acceptable to fail, and that means accepting the input of the Warriors instead of relying on a calculated manipulation of the timeline.

SO... in the Ynnead Cult's sailing of the road of blood and slaughter, reliance upon psychic powers and farseer augmentative effect on the force I have neglected to consider the strength of even an Autarch's simple +1 reserve roll increase. Reading tournament and battle reports recently, I've had to try and decide what to do against first strike lists like elite Force Recon Space Marine Scouts in land speeders (I know, I know... it's funny), or more realistically - the all-powerful mechanized guard--especially Air Cavalry. DoA Blood Angels, although not particularly scary could be concerning if I sit around to get melta'd.

I have a list I like at 1850, but is Eldrad worth it for Divination and 3 powers a turn if, admittedly, I'm primarily using him for Guide on the Falcon? On the flip-side, am I ignoring tweaking other units because I'm too dependent on the psyker blanket?

This, and other things have plagued me. I don't want an Autarch to sit there for 70 points doing nothing. I LOATHE units that exist just to exist (like 'so-called scoring vehicle squads'). How do I fit an Autarch in? Maybe....

Eldrad gets dropped. Junior Varsity Farseer Doesn't-have-a-cool-name who JUST learned Guide after flunking out of Fortune and Doom classes in the Dome of Seerstakes over the Falcon and I get Warp Jump Generator Autarch with ubiquitous fusion gun for romping with my Spiders (potentially dropping a spider for points for Runes of Witness/Warding).


The DAVU squad in the Falcon (60 points of suck) get dropped along with Eldrad, and instead of a lame 115 point Autarch with burny-gun.... I get farking Prince Yriel of the Burning Spear of Doomslaying with the Monocle of Marine Killing to add onto the Storm Guardian squad. That gives me 2 singing spears in that squad for tank popping alongside the Tri-Flamer templates. I get the +1 reserves, but I get Yriel to throw at things in the bargain, again... with a Guideseer only. However, I roll with 2 troops and recognize that in objective games, my objective is really to mutilate my enemy in the hopes that we draw or I garner a minor victory.

However, all these things hanging in the balance, the real change in paradigm is no longer relying on the 'civilian leadership' and making sure I listen to those military instincts sometimes. Not everyone needs a Doom or well-timed Fortune to be effective. Bladestorm can be effective without augmenting if the squad size is right.

This leads to the next post, where I plan to talk about purely military issues. What is the right squad size and load-lout for Exarchs leading their squads deep into enemy territory--outside of the aid of the Seers. Specifically, Warp Spiders and out-flanking Scorpions. What does it take to make them go from 'meh' to critical mass effectiveness? We'll talk soon, friends. I have experience to impart.

Symbolic of this, and honoring what is done when an Exarch steps alone into the Temple of the Bloody-Handed God to wake the terrible Avatar in times of dire need, all around the Autarch, bows of respect were given. His helmet in hand, the Autarch departed the Dome, eager to gather his Exarchs for war... for in the end, there is only war and death.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

News at 11: Waaagh! Incited by Eldar Death Cult

Some of Nilendrel's fellow Farseers might call him crazy. What with being obsessed with the noble death of his own entire race so She Who Thirsts can be destroyed by Ynnead. He tries everything, really. He's tried being diplomatic, he tried forcing them or killing them. However, with his own dwindling cult numbers starting to be a burden to his plan. Instigating conflict is the logical next step.

After last game's direct confrontation against D'Ork's Camo-world Eldar BDA here, Lord Farseer Nilendrel assembled his small Warlock contingent to seek out the easiest enemy to incite against the resistant Eldar craftworld. The opposing Farseer is powerful, perhaps as powerful as Nilendrel, so Mon-Keigh mercenaries and other agents of the cult were dispatched to create the proper conditions for the time-line to be born.

Orks were considered the easiest to manipulate, and most likely not care that they were being manipulated even if they managed to figure it out--so long as the Waaagh! was successful. As D'Ork's Eldar were transiting an Ork-held system, stolen communications gear was used to send a fake distress signal from Camo-world Rangers that the web-way had been found and was in danger of being overrun.

The truth is that the Orks' local water supplies were poisoned by the Cult (blessed are their works) and the Orks mobilized to find a fresh supply near the hidden gate. Camo-world Eldar came through the gate and engaged the Orks to protect the gate so it could be saved or sealed if discovered.

In this rematch, neither D'Ork nor I relished another floating grav-tank slap fight. So I suggested he bring his Orks over as well as his Eldar. After last game he's made some adjustments to his list, namely scrapping a couple dragons, putting the Farseer in a DA serpent, adding a second Holo-Prism (which he borrowed from the Ynnead Cult reserve force for the battle).


Farseer, Guide, Doom, Runes, Stones
7x DAs, Exarch, Dualcats, Bladestorm
Serpent, Scatterlasers, Stones

7x DAs, Exarch, Dualcats, Bladestorm
Serpent, EMLs, Stones

6x Fire Dragons
Serpent, Scatterlasers, Stones

6x Scorpions, Exarch, Claw, Shadowstrike

3x Scatterwalkers
Prism, Holo-fields
Prism, Holo-fields

My list, made from his Orks:

Mek, Cybork, KFF
19x Shoota Boyz, 1x Big Shoota, Nob, PK, Bosspole
Battlewagon, Ram, 2x Shootas

Mek, Cybork, SAG
19x Boyz, Nob, PK, Bosspole
Battlewagon, Ram, 2x Shootas

12x Boyz, Nob, PK, Bosspole
Trukk, Planks, Big Shoota

12x Boyz, Nob, PK, Bosspole
Trukk, Planks, Big Shoota

10x Kommandos, Big Shoota, Burna w/Snikky

2x Deff Koptas w/TL Rokkits
2x Deff Koptas w/TL Rokkits
2x Warbuggies w/TL Rokkits

Well... The Orks were unsuccessful in defeating the Eldar Host, but managed moderate damage. The scenario was Dawn of War deployment with objectives, but since we forgot to set them up (brainfart) we went for Victory Points. Dawn of war seemed like a boon to the Orks against a full mech force, but this is when I REALLY wanted to be able to be able to throw Nobs in a wagon.

I really wanted to find out the finer points of infiltration, scout moves, outflanking, etc. Since Dawn of War screwed up my scout moves on the Koptas, I wasn't able to run up and make him shoot me. Instead, he (even through cover) neutered my two trukks that I was able to deploy. could have been worse.

Essentially the game went as it should have gone if *I* was playing against Orks, he shut down my mobility, stood off from me, and shot my boyz down slowly and painfully as I trudged across the board. The real winners were the right/central koptas and buggies. They managed quite a few damage results on tanks, taking out a prism's weapon, and destroying another. Snikky didn't make it in until later. He hadn't finished smoking a cigar or something, so he had no armored targets to get to within 12 inches. However, the Farseer and DA retinue that had GuiDoom Bladestormed, then finished off my KFF Mek and friends in assault was licking his wounds near their wrecked transport at his board edge. That's pretty much the only thing I really 'accomplished.'

Snikky murdered him and the remnants, then looked around and realized that the battle was already over. The remaining prism, EML Serpent, and by then outflanked scorpions and walkers were on my left, while I was right-center trying to get to him on foot. Luckily the game ended on bottom of T4 or I would have been tabled T5.

In contrast to the previous game, his rangers were near worthless, inflicting one wound the entire game. The scorpions took their chance on T2, coming in and annihilating my 'cleverly' left flanking koptas. They spent 2 turns running across the board before taking out the SAG Mek with pistols and engaging the scattered remnants of the second BW squad.

These 'brother' Eldar are canny opponents. They have thwarted our plans for too long. The next engagement will have to be a decisive victory or the Cult will lose focus. I believe another direct confrontation must be forced.

Until next time, brothers..