Game Four vs. Double Eldar
We needed to win our final two games to ensure a top 10 finish so the pressure was on. We were lucky enough to be the aggressors in this mission and our opponents only deployed an Avatar and 10 wraithguard. The terminators got a contentious first turn charge off and over a protracted combat killed off all the wraithguard and scored 3 wounds on the avatar before it eventually killed them off. It was pretty lucky to survive however having made a lot of saves.
We had 3 of the four objectives in our posession and hoped to hold onto them. They started to bring in their army but parked the Vyper too close to Coteaz who gleefully ordered his purifiers to gun it down. After some disgustingly good luck on our part and some terrible rolls by them we wiped out Eldrad, the dire avengers and one of the war walkers.
It seemed like we'd secured another victory but it was at this point we realised the wave serpents could hurt our plans. The fire dragons came on in theirs and killed the death cults land raider. The war walkers killed half of the assassins who fled leaving their objective behind. The purifiers lost their rhino to the wraithlords and were subsequently killed off by them. We now had only a single objective left. Our opponents had no chance of claiming one for themselves with both of their scoring units gone but their wave serpents could still contest the final one giving them a KP victory.
We fired god knows how many shots into both wave serpents and a combination of cover saves and awful damage table rolls resulted in them both having no turret but otherwise unscathed. The closed in on the grey hunter rhino and blew it up. At the end of turn 5 the grey hunters were in the wreckage with the objective just out of contention range and us narrowly holding onto victory. Our opponents rolled and we played on into turn 6.
The Grey Hunters mounted up in the nearby land raider and fled as far as possible. The land raider managed to rend twice on one of the serpents but blew off another weapon and shook the crew! The dreadnought scored two penetrating hits but they made both cover saves. One of the wraithlords charged the dreadnought and silenced it. We were now in the back corner with two wave serpents parked next to the land raider contesting. To our surprise the other wraithlord fired at the land raider and for once we wanted it to explode! Sadly he rolled a 1 to penetrate and so with the game ending here we found ourselves with a shock defeat. Our opponents were as surprised as we were given the way the game had suddenly swung in the closing stages.
Game 5 vs Double Eldar (again)
We were less than pleased to find ourselves against another Eldar army. However they didn't have many skimmers so they'd struggle to make it off the table as the mission required. They clearly realised this an when they won the roll off they elected to be the consolidators. We'd need to get at least two transports off the board to have a hope of winning. The HQs were put in the land raiders this time round to give them the best chance. The dreadnought was never going to get off the board so it would walk forward and try and stem the tide of firepower. The roll off for turn one involved all four players rolling a D6 and the highest team total would take it. Our opponents rolled two 6s and it was now even harder!
They deployed one of their big wraithguard squads on one side of the board and we therefore deployed our entire army on the other side to prevent them ever getting into range with their wraithcannons. We'd still need to get past 4 war walkers, an avatar, 10 wraithguard, 5 wraithguard in a serpent and a token vyper. Needless to say we weren't confident. Nethertheless we came out of turn one pretty much unscathed and blasted our entire army (except the dread) at full speed. The speeder would be off in turn 2 and the land raiders & rhinos should make it at the end of turn 3. Everything popped smoke except the space wolf rhino which was hidden behind a land raider.
Our opponents couldn't decided what to shoot and ended up rolling a D6 to help them choose whether to shoot an obscured speeder or a smoked rhino. Unfortunately the dice let us down and they were shooting the speeder (seemed pretty obvious to us but ah well). It exploded of course and our best chance of an easy point went with it. The purifiers rhino was immobilised so they decided to get out and assault the wraithguard. The grey knight land raider was wrecked by another wraithguard unit and the death cults and Coteaz charged into the other hoping to keep them in combat and hence save the Space Wolf land raider. The grey knight rhino repaired itself but sadly the hope was shortlived and it was wrecked the next turn. At the end of turn 3 we had both the remaining space wolf vehicles within 12" of the board edge and with them we'd score 5 points. Our opponents would then need to kill 2 out of Coteaz, the dreadnought and the purifiers.
Both transports needed to go through difficult terrain though and it picked up the dice to check if they'd be immobilised and I rolled a 1 for the rhino. No problem I thought, at least the raider should get off but I rolled a 1 for it too!! The terminators and rune priest still made it off the board but it was far too little to late. The game ended on turn 5 but our opponents hadn't managed to kill the dread, purifiers OR Coteaz. Frustratingly this meant that, had I passed both rolls, we'd have won! As it was we finished the day with two losses.
It's always frustrating to lose games when you feel you've done everything you can and it's just your dice that let you down. We may have been lucky early in game 4 but in the closing stages we really deserved to kill those wave serpents. I couldn't believe how many 1s, 2s and 3s we rolled on the damage table! The final game was never going to be a likely win but we'd done everything possible and we failed two 2+ rolls which would've sealed victory. Frustrating isn't the word!
Anyway, the last two games brought up something interesting. We both feel that Eldar might actually have benefitted from the last few 5th edition codexes. Their AV12 fast transports, masses of S6+ firepower, high initiative and powerful psychic defence mean that they're probably a viable and competitive army in these days of masses of razorbacks/rhinos and S8 or lower anti-tank shots.
Part of me thinks it's a shame that I've sold the vast majority of my Eldar army on eBay. However, I simply didn't enjoy playing with them so I'm not too sad about it. It does make me think that I can probably come up a nasty Tau list though and I've got high hopes for their new codex when it eventually arrives!