This was a fascinating battle, and Daft Goblin’s first game in the Forces of Darkness! 1500 points of Imperial Guard dug in, with a 1500pts force of Ultramarines in drop pods (under the control of Leonidas) prepared to take the fight to the 3000pts Eldar of Kipparn craftworld.
Dicing for the scenario and turn resulted in a capture the objective, dawn of war situation. Placing only a few units of troops and HQ definitely didn’t favor the eldar, and losing the choice of side cost them cover and the first turn, depriving them of mobility.
On the first turn, assault pods dropped from the sky, and quickly crushed many of the Eldar Guardians who were holding a ruin on the south west side corner of the table. The guard cruised forward onto the table in the North East unopposed, while the marine snipers holding their objective in the south east corner of the table could see nothing in the night before the dawn.
The eldar quickly retaliated, moving onto the table in huger numbers, determined to hold the ruin in the south, and to hit the Guard hard and fast in the North with a large number of grav tanks. Two Falcons and a Wave Serpent, all loaded with aspect warriors to be precise… though the large numbers of leman russ, chimera’s and basilisks facing them hardly seemed intimidated.
In the south west quarter, the attack of Ultramarine captain Cato Sicarius was quickly met by three striding Wraithlords and five Wraithguard. Ferocious though marines are, the towering Wraithlords were unstoppable.
The following turn was the beginning of a punishing barrage for the Eldar. Leman Russ tanks opend up with battle cannons, Basilisks shelled tanks, and the Master of Ordanance called in strikes from off artillery units miles away. In addition, marine landspeeders and dreadnoughts began a punishing advance, multi-meltas and assault cannons ablaze.
Terminators advanced slowly, to help hold the south east ruin, and guard troops poured forward towards the objective in the north west.
Further drop pods rained from the skies, to assault the Eldar advance in the North, and to reinforce the assault on the Eldar held ruin in the South West. They quickly decimated the Dire Avengers, who were the apparent backbone of the Eldar column.
However, the wave serpents and falcons continued to advance, until an early shot from a guardsman crewing a lascannon drew blood … or in this case fire, annihilating a Falcon, and seriously panicking the carried aspect warriors – striking scorpions.
However, as the battle continued, the tide slowly turned. The Wraithlords continued to absorb huge amounts of enermy fire without breaking, and that led to the collapse of the Imperial south. The Eldar counter attack, and surprise disembarking of aspect warriors held off the Imperial assault on the grave objective in the North West. There were some amazing moments – for the Eldar, the Avatars attack on a whole unit of terminators and a dreadnought, and besting them all was amazing, as was the Swooping Hawks shock raid on the apparently safe Imperial Guard objective in the North East .. though their cowardly flight a tthe hands of a guard close combat assault will be ever remembered by the Eldar! For the guard, the assault of a unit of standard guard seizing the Eldar objective in the North raised tremendous hopes, only to be dashed by a charge of Shining Spears on Jetbikes. A last minuate deployment from a chimera almost held the objective in Seouth East, if only the game had lasted one more turn, and they could have reached it! The marines bore the heavy brunt of the fighting, and died to the very last man! But what a battlefield was left in the wake of their passing in the southern half of the field. Their assault held off at least 2000 points of Eldar to keep them away from claiming victory.
A good game was had by all, I think! It was the first 5th edition game we’d played, and the first game for a while, so smaller forces might have been a better option for a more flowing game. having said that, there was a great deal of carnage, and the final draw was a more than fair result for the Eldar – the hammering they took should have broken them, if it wasn’t for the resilience of their Wraithlords!