Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ulthwe Written Battle Report Double Header 1.5K/2K

I had a chance to play two times this week, which was good, because when I showed up for my first 2k game I had stupidly left a squad home, so we improvised down to a 1500 game.  My Ulthwe force was taking on Thousand Sons, a force I have taken on once before, but this time they would be without Magnus.

My force (note, because my force was altered at the last minute the Bonesinger was played as a Spiritseer):

His force (note the Rhino is standing in as a Predator for this list as his army is still being built and painted):

Getting to chose the deployment and which zone is mine I opted for Hammer and Anvil.  He deployed towards the front of his deployment zone and I deployed near the back.  With 6 objectives placed we would each choose three and roll to see which one was the objective that mattered a few turns in.  I had paid three CP to place two units of Guardians in reserve.

With deployment decided we rolled off and my opponent was going first.  Before his turn started my Rangers exited the webway:

From there the forces of Tzeentch marched forward, aggressively moving up the field, including teleporting Terminators directly in front of my lines, further back than they'd like to be due to my Rangers and a cheekily deployed Autarch in a small building.

Using Forewarning my Dark Reapers interrupted his turn to slay 4 of the terminators, substantially weakening their firepower.

The forces of Tzeentch had a mild psychic phase being out of range for most of their powers and failing to cast one power intended to buff the terminators.  Their combined firepower managed to slaughter the ranger squad and obliterate one of the Fire Prisms.

My foe had done some solid damage, and shocked me by taking out one of my prisms in a single shooting phase.  I moved some of my support units forward and brought in both squads of Guardians.  Many of my psychic units were beyond the range at which they could be denied, making them that much more threatening to my opponent.

I unleashed a series of Smites and doomed the terminators and guided the prism.  By the time my shooting was done the Terminators were obliterated, the Daemon Prince was at 2 wounds, a Predator had been destroyed, and a squad of Rubrics had been shredded by the rear squad of Guardians.  At this point my opponent conceded.  The destruction was too all consuming for his army to come back, especially since at that point I had total board control.  He didn't have the speed to combat my guardians in his back lines and saw no path to victory.

What I learned in this game is that without Magnus 1k Sons feel like they have a seriously steep hill to climb.  I don't know if they can really be played without him in a dedicated list and still be fun for that player.  It probably feels like he has to play a different game than everyone else.  Likely they would benefit greatly from detachments of Daemons to smooth out some of the rough areas for them and make them feel more balanced and capable.  I learned a lot more about the 1k Sons than I did my own force.

Game 2

The next day I had my full 2k version of the list, so everything is what you see is what you get, including the giant squad of 24 Storm Guardians!  I would be facing the Black Templar again!

My Ulthwe force:

Forces of the Black Templar:

 In this game we had to determine deployment before placing objectives, and two objectives were placed in the neutral zone (worth 2 VP at the end of the game each), and one in each deployment zone (worth 1 to the owning player and 4 to the opponent).

We randomly determined Hammer and Anvil as a set up, and I chose the same side as before on the identical board, with nearly identical setup.  My foe finished first and as before, got the first turn and I failed to Seize.  Apparently he had been Seized on in his last 6 games in a row.  I felt bad for him as that had happened to me around the end of last edition.  I had something like 13 or 14 games in a row where I either lost the first turn roll off and failed to Seize, or was Seized upon, and many of them were Seizes.


My Rangers arrived and took cover near a neutral marker.

My hope here was to weather his fire and snag the two neutral spots.  I hoped I could delay his approach by dropping units at his rear to threaten his Objective and holding up his army from getting to my Objective.  

He moved forward, but relatively conservatively where possible. It was not the brazen launch forward I had anticipated.  His Storm Talon (foolishly not pictured below) had moved to take the neutral objective near my storm guardians.  His firepower had managed to bring one of the Fire Prisms to just 6 wounds and killed 4 Dark Reapers and caused 7 wounds to the Storm Guardians and 2 Rangers.  Morale killed another 5 Guardians(I had rolled a 6 for the Dark Reaper Morale and rerolled to a 2, so I couldn't reroll the Guardian roll) knocking the unit down to half its starting size.  His terminators were still patiently waiting to Deep Strike.

I held my force almost entirely in place, including the units in reserve, except to shuffle the Hemlock to my right flank to take on the Storm Talon and bring some support forward.  The Bonesinger healed the wounded Fireprism 3 Wounds!  I doomed the Storm Talon and crashed it with a combination of psychic attacks, shooting from the Storm Guardians (thanks to Doom they managed to bring it down to 3 wounds), and the Hemlock.  This had relieved me of the worst of his anti infantry firepower that could target me.  then my other units managed to take down the empty Razorback that had been flanking the Land Raider and damage the Vindicator.

The Black Templar didn't move much, with only the Land Raider trundling forward and the Vindicator repositioning.  Otherwise their shooting was precise, but not enough to do the damage they wanted.  They managed to kill another Ranger, bring the other Fire Prism down to 6 wounds, and knock the Hemlock down to just 3 wounds. His Terminators remained in reserve.

I hoped to make a decisive blow against his forces, but had to remain patient.  I pushed the Hemlock at its maximum speed to face the Land Raider while the Guardians and Hawks waited in reserve.  I fired everything I could at the Land Raider, unleashing all of my combined firepower at it... and with it on just 6 wounds I fired the last of my Fire Prisms at it, the last unit that could do the job, and I had 5 Shots.  All hit.  All wounded.  He saved one.  I rolled my four dice and totalled... 5 wounds.  3 1-s and a 2 on my D3.  I burned a CP to reroll one of the 1's... and got another 1.  It sat on 1 wound, crippled, but doing its job.

He brought in his Terminators, out of line of sight to my right Prism and my reapers, but I didn't have any CP left anyway.  He was about to hit my backlines.  The Vindicator blasted the Hemlock out of the sky, burning his last CP to reroll his damage from 2 to 5, enough to knock it out of the sky.  A unit hopped out of the Raider and moved to the centre of the table.  His shooting then killed a couple Storm Guardians and another two rangers, but in assault his marines made it in to combat with the rangers wiping them out.  The Terminators failed their 9" charge to the Prism both times.  He felt concerned, but the centre of the table was his.

Now that his force had committed I pounced.  I moved Eldrad closer to the Terminators and repositioned one of the Prisms to face him.  I then brought in the Hawks and one units of Guardians to flank the rear of his force in a pincer move while the other squad bolstered the front of my army.  I doomed the Terminators and Guided one of the units of Guardians.  Eldrad alone was responsible for killing four Storm Shield terminators thanks to Executioner and Smite, putting a full 9 wounds into the squad.  The shooting phase was decisive as the two units of guardians destroyed a Vindicator, Land Raider and Two squads of tacticals.  The Swooping Hawks had killed one tactical marine with a grenade, and their wealth of shooting caused 5 wounds... and the squad proceeded to fail 3 more saves.  The prisms brought the Predator down to just a couple wounds.  With their forces completely surrounded, and their numbers thinned to just a a single squad and the now exposed leadership of the force the Black Templar conceded, evacuating the field.

What I learned:

My favourite use for Eldrad is as living artillery.  He excels at it, and the more I use him that way the more I want to be ultra aggressive with him.  I've never held onto my reserves that long before, especially with so many units being held, but since I was waiting for him to commit his forces, which I still think was the right play, I was letting him really determine when they came in.  The last thing i wanted was for him to respond to my mostly unarmoured units with a high volume of shooting unit that could chew right through them.  The Bonesinger was okay babysitting the tanks, and was the difference between them being able to fire on the full chart or below it, which was really handy.

My Warlock with Embolden/Horrify was useless.  It never did anything.  I was hoping characters would get close enough for Eldrad to surprise Mind War them after I embolden him and fly the Hemlock near them, but it never worked out, but sometimes that's what happens when you plan out how your army will function to certain threats at the army building stage.  No plan lasts beyond meeting the enemy.


  1. I've just discovered your blog and in have to say that's it's great to finally find someone doing good eldar battle reports and playing the army properly. Keep up the great work!

    By the way, how come you don't have more wave serpents? Or is a high volume of Ulthwe guardians a better investment?

  2. Hey, Adam; thanks!

    I have four Wave serpents. The main reason I only use one is that I find that massed firepower is vastly superior to surviveabity or concentrated damage potential.

    Eldar have few options for weight of dice, and all of them are infantry, and I am rarely willing to trade a unit of infantry for a vehicle.