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Subject: Sisters of Battle vs Eldar rss

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Appley award winner, 1984
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So my friend Rick and I agree to play a 1500 point game of Warhammer 40K at our local FLGS. The standard points for 40K games these days is more like 1850 to 2000, but I like a 1500 point game best - it obligates the players to make some real gamer decisions (limited resources), while also allowing for more maneuver (given the extra room on the table). Rick is a great painter:



as well as a very gracious opponent over the tabletop. Rick will play his painted Sisters of Battle army:



And I will play a configuration of my Eldar Army:




I was inclined to choose this army due to its easy portability to and from the FLGS. At first glance, it seems I have only 34 models and no armor, to Rick’s 50 models and 5 armored vehicles, but the imbalance is in my favor, no question about it. (For those of you familiar with 40K, yes this is a most “cheesy” and unsportsmanlike Eldar Army. I let Rick know that my army would be embarrassingly repugnant a day in advance, but he took this with his usual dash of élan).

We roll for scenario, and we get Seize Ground with Spearhead. This means we had 4 markers on the board worth one victory point each, if a Troop choice were within 3” of it at the end of the game, (these are the little small rocks in the photos). Further, we start diagonally opposed from each other, 12” from the center. Rick rolls best for Startspeiler and chooses to go first. The initial set-up looked like this:



And from my side:



My Rangers can Infiltrate, and so take the objective to the right, from the first turn. I am already ahead 1 to nil. Rick’s long-range, heavy weapon team can be seen in the clump of trees at the top, (far corner of the game table), and a troop choice in an armored vehicle behind the trees, out of sight. There is an objective off camera to the left. Rick plans to take the objective to the left with his 4 vehicles loaded with Sisters of Battle, and near the end of the game, bounce out from behind the trees to take the objective closest to him. Only my rangers are eligible to claim objectives, (the blue troops hiding behind the factory piece), and so I must try to stop Rick going to my left and/or take the objective in the center of the table.

The first turn is fairly uneventful as Rick minimizes his movement to optimize his shooting, while also initiating a clever plan-to-be-named-later. My center group lumbers forward, and my group to the left goes left. The Rangers at the objective on the right see no reason to go anywhere, content to claim a victory point. But what to do with my reserve group in the center? My army is very slow, so once I commit them to a task, it is hard to undo and still have an impact on the battle. If I send them to the left, they will have no chance of impacting the center, should that become an area of hot contention. I send them to the center, thinking I can always go left if things go south for me there. Here is the position after 1 turn.



I miss with all shooting, but I am mostly out of range. Rick kills 2 Wraithguard. and at 35 points each that hurts a bit. But they are merely Spirits in a suit of armor, and so don’t need to check for panic.

Turn 2 shows the finesse of Rick’s tactics with this version of his Sisters Army. The troop carriers and his light tank, (with a killer gun!), will create a “wall” of blocking line of sight, while his HQ and Troop choice will head for the victory objective. You can see the makings of this idea in the photo from turn 1. So while the vehicle stops, the troops disembark and fire a volley of death on my army, killing more Wraithguard and causing a wound on my HQ, the Avatar. Well, once out of their vehicles, the Sisters are just as slow as my army, and a good deal “softer”. What is left of one Wraithguard squad fires into the brave daughters of the Emperor, while my Wraithlord and Avatar make short work of those left standing. Also gone is that pesky light tank with the ugly gun.

Turn 3:



Turn 3 begins an unfortunate turn for the Sisters. The Eldar have broken through the Sisters of Battle rear faster than anticipated, so the rest of Rick’s army finds itself disembarked, and sandwiched between two of Warhammer 40K’s toughest models, an Avatar and a Wrathlord. The girls shoot and kill more Wraithguard, but fail to inflict another wound on the Avatar. You can see the damage Rick has done to my army by the 8 Wraithguard models off the gameboard in the photo. This Eldar Army only has 34 models total, so he has killed nearly 25% of my force. I shoot what I can and move in for the kill, blocking the victory objective with my Wraithguard and other Wraithlord. I am afraid the end is very near, barring some unforeseen dice.

A closer look:




Rick shoots what he can, but to no avail. I target the Troop choice, to the right, as that is the only threat to taking the objective. They die with grace and incredible sportsmanship from Rick. Now it is just a matter of getting my one Ranger squad to the objective, and wining the game 2 points to 1, (after Rick takes the one near his board edge with his troops behind the trees).

Turn 4. But wait! Rick’s not giving up without a fight. That HQ choice that I ignored now moves…forward?! Yes, they move towards my Ranger squad behind the building and lay down a gout of flames upon them. 3 die immediately. Ouch! Rick’s final mobile transport also moves forward, perfectly capable of killing 2 Rangers with its bolt guns, (plural!). Now I am in need of a little luck. The Avatar and Wraithlord together quickly dispatch the HQ squad, while the Swooping Hawks that were in Reserve and landed nearby last turn, use their Haywire grenades to stop the transport. Meanwhile, the Rangers are kept hidden behind the building for protection, in case the dice went badly for me.

Turn 5. The game can end on this turn with a roll of 1 or 2 at the end of the turn. Rick sprints from the trees and claims his victory objective. The score is 1 to 1. My Rangers move out of cover, now that it’s safe. But they are now 5” from the objective! Not close enough to claim the victory point. I roll for Fleet of Foot, (a rule for some quick troop types allowing a D6" of movement). A 1 or 2 and they are not close enough…I roll a 5, and claim the victory point. We roll a 2 at the end of the turn ending the game. Technically, I win 2 to 1.

What a ripping good time! The Sisters of Battle seemed to take an early lead, offing so many of my Wraithguard so early. Rick’s tactical idea of the Wall of Armor nearly did me in. If I hadn’t had such a cheesy army, I surely would have had the worst of it. Also, I needed a 3+ on my Fleet of Foot roll just to get close enough to claim victory…somewhat lucky, (whew!). Of some consideration, too, is that if this were a tournament or other such judged event, I think I would have had a point taken away for such an unsporting army selection. So really, the game should be deemed a tie, 1 to 1. Finally, it always bears repeating that Rick is a stellar opponent for Warhammer who knows the rules, has a beautifully painted army, and is always a gentleman across the table. This is really what Warhammer 40K is all about for me.



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Jim Battle
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Just out of curiosity was it a run roll and not a fleet roll at the end there? In 5th Fleet only allows assaults after running. Other than that awesoem recap, and nice job representing the Eldar.... even if it was a wraith army of cheese :p
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Appley award winner, 1984
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Quote:
awesome recap, and nice job representing the Eldar


Thank you, kindly.

To be clear, I did choose to Fleet of Foot to make it to the victory objective, as is allowed for the Rangers. I could then have assaulted if I so chose: "A unit with this rule may assault in the same turn.." is the quote from the Fleet rule. The Run rule, (distinct from Fleet), which also allows a D6 move instead of shooting says:"Units that run in the Shooting phase cannot assault in the following Assault phase".

And yes, I take full chagrining aspersions and hearty lashes from pissed-off Flagellants for my distasteful army selection. blush
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しんぶん赤旗
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Awesome report. I wish I new fifth edition rules so I could follow the battle properly.

When I saw the wraithguard I thought damn that must have been expensive but the single pose suggests a few cost cutting measures, nicely done!
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