Eldar vs Astra Militarum – 1,500 Points
Victory for the Guard? Read to find out...
Another game and another little write up of the battle. Eldar vs Astra Militarum on the Chapter Approved Resupply Drop Mission. First, let’s take a quick look at the lists.
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Astra Militarum 1,500 point list
There is one major difference with this list compared to my usual games. Everyone has a transport.
- Punisher Tank Commander
- Lord Commissar with Bolt Pistol and Power Fist
- Company Commander with Kurov’s Aquila, Power Sword, Bolt Pistol and Grand Strategist Warlord Trait
- 3x Infantry Squads with Plasma Gun
- 3x Bullgryns with Slab Shield and Power Mauls
- Ministorum Priest
- Ogryn Bodyguard
- Battle Cannon Leman Russ
- 2x Wyverns
- 3X Chimera
- Culexus Assassin
Another point to note is that I had another player on my team, Tom. His models are packed away because of a house move and so he was second in command for this game. Tom plays Dark Angels or Chaos usually.
All my infantry just fit into my transports, just.
- Taurox – Infantry Squad
- Chimera A – 3x Bullgryns and Ogryn Bodyguard
- Chimera B – Infantry Squad plus Company Commander
- Chimera C – Infantry Squad plus Lord Commissar and Priest
With one seat spare in Chimera B.
Eldar 1,500 points list
Greg’s forces were a classic Greg list. He was playing alone – no second in command.
- Farseer Skyrunner
- 10x Guardian Defenders with Aeldari Missile Launcher
- 6x Fire Dragons (in Wave Serpent)
- 5x Warp Spiders
- 5x Warp Spiders
- 3x Dark Reapers (in Wave Serpent)
- 3x Dark Reapers (in Wave Serpent)
- Wraithlord with Wraithbone Fists, Flamer, Brightlance and Shuriken Catapult
- Wraithlord with Ghostglaive, Starcannon, Wraithbone Fists and Shuriken Catapult
- 2x Wave Serpents
Greg, our Eldar player in this battle is known for his ones. So much so that he decided to throw a match stick in a glass for each one he rolled during the game. He started doing this at the end of the Guard shooting in turn one. So we probably missed a few.
There is no context to this. Without knowing the total number of dice thrown it’s hard to say if this is bad luck or not. But hey, how many do you think?
Mission – Resupply Drop
The Resupply Drop mission means we don’t know which two of the six objectives are worth Victory Points until turn three. So the first three turns are a little aimless while you battle for table control. By the end of turn three, only two objectives remain, both worth 3VP. First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker are also in play.
Deployment – Eldar vs Astra Militarum
The Eldar choose the Deployment Map and a side. We were deployed along the long sides of the battlefield and the Eldar chose the side with three objectives in the Deployment Zone.
The board was pretty busy, especially in the centre. We usually have one person set it up, everyone looks and says “yeah, seems fine” and we carry on.
- Mat from Warzone Studio – I recently did a review of this mat, Warzone Studio Review.
- MDF Buildings from Wargames Tournaments
The Eldar set up fairly evenly across the whole board edge. On our left flank were two Wraithlord and two squads of ten Warp Spiders. Centre were Guardians. And on our right were the two Wave Serpents with a Farseer on a Jet Bike. Wave Serpents contained Fire Dragons and Dark Reapers.
This was simple and that was part of the list design. Place everything in transports and reduce deployment by not needing to set up 40 infantry models.
The transports all went near the table centre but slightly left towards the Wraithlord and Warp Spiders. The two Leman Russ went on the right flank to counter the Wave Serpents and also be near the two objectives on that side of the table.
Amazingly the Astra Militarum got first to take the turn and the Eldar did not seize.
Turn 1 – Astra Militarum and Eldar
With the Astra Militarum going first it was time to roll some tanks up the board. All the transports moved their full 12″ and huddled together. The Battle Cannon Leman Russ moved half distance while the Punisher Tank Commander moves its full distance. The shooting phase was mainly uneventful. Moving meant I lost the Cadian re-roll ones to hit, so I missed a lot. A few wounds on a Wave Serpent from the Leman Russ and a few wounds on a Wraithlord. Wyverns did the best – killing four Warp Spiders from a squad of five. The last one fled. First Blood to the Astra Militarum.
The Culexus Assassin arrived and did little damage to the Farseer. If any. The charge failed too.
The Eldar faired much better with their first turn. The Eldar movement was minimal apart from the disembarking Fire Dragons and Dark Reapers. Everything went into the Tank Commander and he died. Wave Serpent shots along with the Fire Dragons sealed the deal.
A Chimera was destroyed and a single occupant was lost. It was destroyed by the Wraithlord and Dark Reapers. I let Greg roll the ten dice for ten occupants! Just to see if he got loads of ones! He got one, one!
Turn 2 – Astra Militarum
Things start to heat up now. All but one squad of Infantry disembark from the Astra Militarum transports. The single squad remain in the Taurox. Once disembarked the Chimeras stayed still as did the full Taurox. We had our re-roll of one on all the vehicles now. Nothing major followed in the shooting phase. Some more wounds were taken from the Wave Serpents and the same on the Warp Spiders. The Wave Serpent shields really do tank damage well from even the Battle Cannon. The D3 Damage basically means one damage most of the time. The Wyverns fires on the Fire Dragons. Wiping them out. The Culexus Assassin was now out on its own as Wave Serpents and Farseer jetted away. It took pot shots at the Dark Reapers. The Bullgryns set about the nearest Wraithlord and the Priest followed. A Guardsman squad charged the Guardians too. This is a big change in gameplay style. And I loved it! Guardsmen should die and should be in the face of the enemy. And, it was only the second turn! The Wraithlord died against the Bullgryns with ease and they piled into the remaining squad of Warp Spiders. The Guardsmen against the Guardians went as expected. I lost some. They lost more.
Turn 2 – Eldar
The Eldar have now taken some significant losses. Not necessarily in numbers but they lost specific tools. The Fire Dragons as tank hunters are gone, Warp Spiders with their vast movement have gone and a Wraithlord was destroyed. The Guardians stayed in combat and the Warp Spiders jumped away. The Wave Serpents cleverly moved around my remaining Leman Russ to stop it from moving very far and ensuring a successful charge. Dark Reapers headed for cover. The remaining Wraithlord moved in towards my Infantry and Bullgryns – dealing a single wound to a Bullgryn. To no avail, the Eldar tried to destroy the Leman Russ but with no Fire Dragons, this was a tough task. Other shooting saw a few wounds being pinged from the Astra Militarum transports but not much else.
This where things might have started going downhill for the Eldar. The Guard’s shooting wasn’t great, even at the start of the game, with the Punisher gone and the wounded transports their shooting was even worse. But the objectives were this turn. The randomly selected objective to stay for my turn was in the Eldar Deployment Zone. This was fine as I had Guardsmen heading that way. The objective was currently held by the Guard and Eldar as the objective was underneath the battling Guardsmen and Guardians.
Each remaining objective, of which there would be two, would be worth 3VP to whoever controlled. The fact that this objective was selected on my turn makes no difference.
Eldar and Guard shooting were now both reduced Wave Serpents chipped wounds from Astra Militarum transports and the Chimeras, Russ and Taurox chipped wounds from Wave Serpents. And all movement aimed to maximise both side’s ability to get to and hold the objective worth 3VP that wasn’t near the Guardians on my right flank.
A squad of Guardsmen jumped into a Chimera and raced across the battlefield to support the remaining Leman Russ and the Culexus Assassin. Another squad took its Las and Plasma weapons to the Dark Reapers killing all but one. Wyverns killed three of the remaining Warp Spiders and put wounds on the Wraithlord.
The combat between the Guardsmen and Guardians continued with a few deaths. The Bullgryns and Priest charged the last Wraithlord which had five wounds. With their Power Mauls the Bullgryns dealing ten wounds. That is certainly one dead Wraithlord. The Warp Spiders they had piled in to had moved away and towards the Guardians to support them.
Details are foggy in my mind by now and it looks like a game to the Guard.The Battle is starting to come to a close now. By this point, the Eldar have very little left and they’re going to struggle to get and keep an objective. Guardsmen are charging about in and out of transports to cover Objectives. A Leman Russ and Culexus Assassin are already on top of the objective the Wave Serpents want.
The Eldar Warlord was also killed by this point.
The Guard still have two Chimeras, two Wyverns, three Bullgryns, a Leman Russ and about 25 Guardsmen. Oh and the Culexus Assassin who was wholly useless. The Eldar just run from Assassins and/or hide. Even Vindicare is only semi-useful. The Taurox might also be alive too at this point.
The below image gives a better impression:
- Pink are the positions of the enemy Wave Serpents.
- Blue was the 3VP objective on my right flank (I deployed on the far side of the board).
- Red is the objective I held and fought the Guardians off.
- The big Purple area is the area of the board that was completely controlled by Guard.
Ones – The Results
If you guessed 57 ones you’d be right! For that to be average Greg would’ve needed to throw ~360 dice over the course of four turns. Seems unlikely? Maybe he is unlucky!?
Astra Militarum Most Valuable Unit
Bullgryns! Got to be! Killing one Wraithlord and then rolling into another to finish it off – is reason enough! The Priest, of course, helped by giving them three extra attacks time they hit those big Xeno walkers. Bullgryns!
Eldar Most Valuable Unit
Fire Dragons, simply because they killed a Leman Russ nearly on their own. They did the lions share of the wounds which meant smaller arms fire could do the rest.
Summary – Eldar vs Astra Militarum
The game was won by the Guard who had an objective (3VP), Slay the Warlord (1VP), First Blood (1VP) and Linebreaker (1VP).
The Eldar could have got Linebreaker for 1VP and with luck maybe the other objective circled in blue above. But that would require a lot of killing of Guard units in just a turn or two from the two heavily wounded Wave Serpents.
Final score: 6 to 1.
A great game, for the Guard and a long overdue win for me! I’ve learnt a couple of really valuable lessons in this game;
- Get up and into the battle early. Take the fight to them.
- Bullgryns are awesome when shielded in a transport then thrown face first into a fight.
- Transports are very handy even if don’t have masses of firepower.
- Guardsmen need to die. And that’s OK.