Saturday, March 17, 2012

Battle Report: Word Bearers vs. Dark Eldar Kabal of the Thousand Paper Cuts

I took some me time this afternoon and took the Hell Hounds over to Hobbytown to see folks and try to get a game in.  Did a little chatting and got a game in with jbowen's Dark Eldar, the same guys (with a different build) that I fought a while back with the Deathfin.

We did 1500pts and rolled up Annihilation/Dawn of War.  I won the roll-off but let him go first, figuring that with Acute Senses he would benefit more if more of my stuff was on the table turn one.

I took:
Daemon Prince

5xTermies, various loadouts incl. 3xcombimeltas

Dread (above) multimelta/heavy flamer

2x10 CSM squads, icon chaos glory, 2xmelta, champ pf/combiflamer, rhino

10xlesser daemons

5xlesser daemons


Vindicator, possession

He took:
Wych squad, upgrades, raider
3xTrueborn, 2xDarklances, raider
3xTrueborn, 2xDarklances, venom
2x5 wracks, upgrades,venom
6xbikers, upgrades (pw, 2 cluster caltrops)
Fighter/bomber thing with lots of missiles, disintegrators, etc.

With his speed and range, I was worried about being picked apart.  The six dark lances on their own weren't too worrying, but once the rhinos got popped the wyches, random AP flamers, disintegrators and 36+splinter cannon shots would start tearing up units, especially the vulnerable daemons.  I wanted to try to concentrate on his DL units to remove the main threats to my armor, then try to chase the rest down.

Deployment - he sets up a venom with wracks, I set up a rhino with CSM.

His combat drugs roll is a six for the free pain token, which is a good help.  He started a number of units with the haemonculi anyways so they would have FNP already, but later the furious charge helped the wyches against marines, and the easier step up to Fearless kept them on the table.

The Dark Eldar float on.  Pot shots at the lone rhino don't achieve anything.

He had a really bad string of Dark Lance shots, but later counteracted those with a string of really good cover saves.  The dice give, the dice taketh away.  I think he may have been expecting too much from a handful of DL shots too - 2/3 hit, 1/2 pen vs AV11, 1/2 go away w/cover/smoke, 1/3 destroy - you're really not going to vape lots of armor with a few DLs. 

Bikers and Nightbladewingfighterbomberravendetta.

Word Bearers roll on.  With the Dark Eldar so fast, I preferred to stay close for easier mutual support instead of trying to spread all over.  I figured if he would move in to finish off one unit, I could retaliate better if I was more tightly packed and give easier cover to each other while I was at it.

Dice are smoke indicators.  Dread had a funny look in his eye, so he's off on the side on his own.

DE do some more shooting, don't accomplish anything and zip around some.

My turn two the dread turns and fires at the daemon prince, but rolls double 1s on his frenzied multimelta.  I think the DP knew this was coming and had it sabotaged, as the dread went on to miss every time he got  another chance to fire the multimelta!

The terminators came in from reserve, and landed on target next to the DE aircraft, exploding it with pointblank combimelta fire.  Nightshields don't help much when the enemy is right below you!  The defiler landed a shot on the bikers, killing two and making them fall back.  They rallied, and joined the forces pounding the terminators.  Part of the reason I put the termies there instead of my other priority target, Lilith's raider, was because A) it was further away from the table edge, and B) there were a number of other targets nearby, so if I scattered and couldn't get a good shot at the primary target due to the nightshields there would hopefully be other options in range.

One was left over from shooting and the biker champion finishes him off.  I had hoped for a few more guys left at this stage so that all three squads could pile in and make an even better pie-plate target in my turn.

He kept one raider still so allow the DL unit inside to keep firing, allowing me to close with them.  The CSM rolled up in the rhino and melta'd the raider down from the top hatch, and the recently summoned daemons assaulted the survivors.

Raiders are sort of like pinatas - hit them hard enough and tasty treats fall out!

The vindicator wasn't accomplishing much directly, but I like to think that it helped keep the wyches from wanting to disembark.

The bikers turboboosted over next to the defiler.  I was curious of this move, and asked him again if they had haywires or an agonizer or anything, as this put them right between the walkers and near the DP.  He later said he didn't really think about the flamers and CC troubles of walkers, intending to fly over the DP in the following turn. 

I'm glad it was these guys and not a bunch of haywire grenade packing wyches instead.

The defiler got immobilized by a dark lance shot, keeping it from assaulting, but it and the dread heavy flamered the bikers and the dread assaulted the remainder, finishing them off.  At this point I was up 4KP to 1KP and had taken out half of his long-ranged anti-tank.  The smart thing to do would have been to run away and try to preserve the lead, but what fun would that be? 

Instead I move the rhinos up, threatening to try to push up into the mass of venoms.  A dark lance blows one up, and the wyches pounced on the occupants, finishing them off.  I was a bit surprised that he didn't try harder to get a multi-assault off and wipe a daemon squad at the same time.  He consolidates into the rhino's crater.

I drop a vindicator shot on the wyches but only kill a couple.  The daemons bypass them and assault the raider, hoping to stun or immobilize it to slow the wyches down, but strip the dark lance off of it instead.

Splintercannon fire takes down one daemon squad.

A dark lance immobilizes the other rhino, making it easy prey for haywire grenades, which wreck it.  The CSM in return try to gun down the wyches, with help from a thankfully well-aimed vindicator shot.  A few are killed and some wounds caused on characters, but they remain.

Meanwhile the defiler kept plinking battlecannons at venoms, and the dread tried a few multimelta shots at them too, but they kept jinking out of the way. 

The game ends after turn 6, with a final count of 4KP for Chaos (raider, trueborn, flyer, bikes) to 5KP for the Dark Eldar (terminators, csm squad, daemon pack, two rhinos). 


  1. I'm a bit surprised in the end result. If you are correct in what his list is, its a tad it on the weak side due to some choices that could be improved upon. He should come over to to discuss with other DE players why he chose the units he did and what might be some better options for him.

  2. Most of the locals aren't terribly competitive (and I'd put myself in that category), so I don't think that it's a big issue. There may be better options, but he likes the army and has a lot of different options he seems to enjoy experimenting with.

    Heck, if we were going to improve lists, there are certainly a number of ways my chaos-glory only, no-oblit, wingless DP, dreadnought and lesser-daemon packing list could be better! ;-)

  3. It want meant to sound like i was talking down as thats not it at all. And i apologize if it came across that way because of a lack of ability to write on my end. Its not even a matter of competitiveness. Its the feeling that, he isnt playing to the DE strengths. Dark lances in squads? Your asking to get your butt handed to you. DE like to be mobile. We ride in paper airplanes and have the toughness of a wet noodle. we need to keep moving to survive.

    plus i wanted the shameless plug lol

    (I wont go near your list as I refuse to acknowledge that monstrosity thorpe put out. call me when the legions book drops and maybe i'll think about it lol)

    1. oh and i really like his paint scheme. different than most you see. its refreshing.

    2. Oh, I didn't take it as bashing the lists, just pointing out that yes the diagnosis may be correct, but the patient may not consider it an illness. ;-)

      No problem with shameless plugs of course!

  4. I like your Word Bearers - is that a summoning circle of some ilk atop that Rhino there?

    1. No, just some poker chips to mark the wreck. A summoning circle is a great idea though!

  5. Really nice battle report. With beautiful armies. Would you mind to tell me how those dark elder were painted. I'm currently painting mine in also a orange/blue tone, but those are just marvelous!

    1. Thanks Isifos, glad you enjoyed it.

      You can contact him through his email at

      I'm sure he'd be willing to share his secrets.

  6. I like the name of the Kabal, was that Mr. Bowen's choice, or yours? It was also good see you again even if it was a bit brief, I had to get out of there and get to celebrating St. Patrick's Day, the green beer was going to drink its self.

  7. That was my choice. It seemed appropriate given his paper proclivities.

    Indeed good to see you too, hopefully schedules will permit some more games or even a hobby day at some point.

    We should arrange a bye bye 5th ed game late this summer with your plague marines vs. my word bearers, a repeat of the first 5th ed game way back at the Castle.

    1. Absolutely, I couldn't think of a better way to round out this edition of 40K.


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