I should have done this last month when it was fresh. Since this blog is about my Eldar army and 40k in general, I will give an accounting of how the army (and I) performed.
I took part in the Friday Night Fight as I was lucky enough to get Friday off. This allowed me to get 3 critical practice games in that I learned loads. Although IA lists were allowed, I only played against one player using them.
Played against Mike's (Showcase Comics guy) Mega Dread/Kanwall/Grot Tank IA army. Basically I had horrible rolls the entire game. Mike was gracious and we had a great game despite my horrible rolling and the fact that I was unable to really lay down more than 1-2 vehicle damage results with each firing unit I had. His squadrons were able to pretty much keep putting all damage on one poor sap in the squad. His Grot Tank commander was also a little bastage and blew up 2 of my transports. Essentially since he got first turn I watched him deploy all over the field and I castled up in a corner. I didn't realize that megadreads were large blast templates (doh). We never really got into combat as I played keep-away fairly well, but the losses I took when I lost tanks because of the megadread kannon vaporizing my guys. In the end it was all down to die rolls my deployment being a bit too conservative. I lost but had a GREAT time with Mike.
I played against a guy using a 4 drop pods (two ironclads, two tac squads) and a Land Raider with Darnath and a Hammernator squad. I thought I had this one in the bag due to the spearhead deployment and the fact that I had Prisms. Again, I started to consider the full on reserve with my Autarch's bonus. I should have done it, but I decided to castle up, use my vypers for some cover from the impending pod-naughts. When they came in, they each popped a tank (yeesh) and then I fired everything I had minus the prisms and lances at them. I didn't even manage to do anything but shake one of them. I didn't manage ANY damage on the Land Raider advancing. I knew I was boned. I had two ironclads in my hair with nothing but a few inches between them, if I ran his second drop pods would come in and wreck me and the Land raider would have been closer to me. Again I had nothing to take care of termies except mass fire. I did, however, choose to deep strike my Warp Spiders and Autarch to not have them get pod-flamed on T2. They did fine for me, wrecking a few things and maiming some squads. But on T3 the Land Raider arrived and my forces were in disarray. I had no answer to the terminators but throw everything at them, so I did. My fire dragons were in a limp-wristed slapfight with an Ironclad and unable to kill him which was ridiculous after 3 rounds of shooting. That was another testament to my horrible rolling continuing. I started to get frustrated and even let it show... but I fought like a daemon possessed marine but still got massacred. I was unable to use mobility (I had none left really) and shot after shot did NOTHING to his units/tanks. The terminators I was able to bright lance/pulse laser/prism cannon down to Darnath and one guy, but Darnath even at one wound left killed my Autarch with some tac marine help. However, he did find out the hard way that little space elves with high init and power weapons in a 'shooty' spider squad was a bit of a knock he didn't expect.
I played against a really nice guy with a really cool White Scars list - All bikes and a couple typhoons. One of the bike squads were scout bikers with grenade launchers. Awesome army, awesome game, for me at least. I used my mobility and mass fire solutions like prisms, and vypers (I know, you can't believe it) to absolutely slaughter him. It was pretty one sided and even when his typhoons scored a kill on a tank I just ran over and dropped my spider/Autarch death on them and they disappeared. Then I just hopped the spiders on the far side of the board chasing him as he chased the rest of my army in my infield. The spiders/Autarch killed over 700 pts in stuff as he had no real answer for their range, mobility and harassment powers. I came into my own this game and took him apart. Massacred, he suggested he and I have a beer. It felt good to have a great game finally (skill and dice-wise) and a great beer with a great opponent. The 5 game tournament looming in the morning after a LONG Friday tourney was more appealing after getting a win.
What I learned: Mass fire kills marines. It's not elegant, but it works. Strength 6 isn't as good at killing rhinos as I'd hoped. Even with 7 shots a vyper might only get one glance (if that) if I don't roll super well on penetration on an 11 armor vehicle. Warp Spiders make short work of ANYTHING AV 11 and below due to the sick numbers of shots and the extra Autarch fusion gun. The power weapons are necessary (along with Withdraw) in order to give them hitting power on backfield infantry so they can bounce and get free movement where they want to go without using the assault jump pack moves and losing a guy half the time.