The first mission was essentially Annihilation and Pitched Battle deployment with the "commander" (nominated SC) being worth 2 points. I found myself facing Frank Marsh's Eldar again (you might remember I played him at the End Times and Matt has a longer history with him). Frank's force included two special characters in the form of Eldrad and Yriel. Frank's a very experienced tournament player so I knew I'd have my work cut out to take victory and even if I pulled it off I knew he'd make it a painful process!
Frank's list included the aforementioned Eldrad and Yriel mounted up in a wave serpent with a squad of warlocks. These were supported by a trio of guardian jetbikes, a squad of guardian defenders, storm guardians in another wave serpent, dire avengers in a wave serpent and then 9 war walkers with a mix of scatter lasers and missile launchers. The list has a staggering amount of firepower which can easily torrent away most squads and with Eldrad beefing them up with his powers I'd need to get my rune priest into range for some psychic defense.
Frank tried to get off a couple of Fortune's and a Doom and, whilst I cancelled both of the former, the latter got through on Arjac. Yriel hopped out of the back of the wave serpent and made his way towards Arjac's doomed squad. Yriel used his Eye to take down all the grey hunters around Arjac but vengeance was swift when Arjac smashed him with a hammer blow. The wave serpent then headed off in the direction of the rune priest and dropped off it's warlocks who made short work of the rhino with their singing spears. Luckily only a couple of the grey hunters fell victim to the storm guardians flamers and destructor.
The Arjac's triumph was short lived as he managed to fail a couple of 2+ saves after weight of fire from the war walkers. Eldrad disembarked from the wave serpent and he and the warlocks charged into combat with the rune priest. Luckily the rune priest cancelled all of the farseer's powers this turn so there'd be no Fortune. The grey hunters dispatched most of the warlocks leaving Eldrad with a single companion. The guardians stunned the land speeder and the war walkers started to hammer the thunderwolves. The last long fang finally met his end after failing a single armour save caused by the wave serpent in front of his nose.
Frank smashed his wave serpent into my drop pod and managed to wreck it for a cheap kill point. Unfortunately I forgot that the wave serpent should also have taken a hit but nevermind. It was still anyone's game at this point but I'd need to kill Eldrad to try and secure victory. Despite a measly number of attacks he was making short work of my grey hunters and finished off my rune priest too. The thunderwolves headed over to help out and left Eldrad standing alone. With Fortune they'd have their work cut out to bring him down. I was pretty confident that in turn 6 they'd finish him off thanks to the fist and my thunderlord would finally win out against the war walkers. Sadly turn 6 never came.
I've got to thank Frank for one of the best battles of 40K I've had in a long time. The first few turns were devastating to both armies. I was very lucky to destroy both of the wave serpents with a single S8 shot not to mention blowing both up. I feel like I played this game well though and mostly made the right decisions at the right times.
There were a couple of big mistakes though. In the turn when Eldrad's fortune had been cancelled I had the choice of charging him with grey hunters but chose instead to rapid fire the guardian defenders forcing them to go to ground and saving the land speeder. However, as Frank pointed out at the time, I really should've charged Eldrad whilst he just had a 3+ save and no re-roll. This might've saved the rune priest and/or some of his grey hunters and given me a KP lead. The storm guardians might've failed to destroy the land speeder anyway and they'd have been easily dealt with by the grey hunters anyway.
The other mistake was a simple one, forgetting that the wave serpent should've suffered a hit when ramming might've been crucial. It caused an S10 hit on my drop pod which I think means it should've taken an S9 one. I can't say I've done much ramming so I'm not that familiar with the mechanic. Even if I hadn't killed it I might've stopped it moving making it an easier target for my TWC when they finished their walkers off.
Overall I think I was lucky that Frank underestimated my thunderwolves and only started shooting them on turn 3. This allowed them to get to the war walkers at near full strength. However, you could argue that then my long fangs would've been alive to be taking down his wave serpents and those pesky bikes.
Tomorrow I'll post up my second battle against John Holland's Space Wolves.