Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Opening Skirmishes (the Eldar arrive)

Alerted by the commotion, Farseer Dowllzie of Bel Tain, with a tiny seer council and honour guard of Avengers has come to Devos IV to assess the extent of the Great Enemy’s involvement. His three warlocks and five Avengers are being led by a team of five rangers through one of Xyphonica’s outlying districts to have a closer look.

Dacite Taple with her retinue of five incubi, accompanied by two half strength warrior squads is also probing Xyphonica’s suburbs, looking for opportunities, ready to just fly by.

Unfortunately for the Eldar (both flavours). They run into Capt Choo who is on his way back to report his sighting of Gen Firth. He has just linked up with a detachment of 99th Devos IV PDF Regt (“The Bloodcoats”) (the Varksian renegade list from IA5).

The Bloodcoat detachment is led by Capt Champion Raymondo and his Cmd squad, which includes a support squad of three heavy stubbers. He also has a rifle platoon of Cmd Squad and two rifle squads as well as band of concerned citizens (worker’s rabble). Now I’ve just discovered a huge disparity, for which I must apologise to CNJ (who did have a copy of the army list in his hand) but I put the squads together with a flamer. They were supposed to have auto cannons as well. Sorry.

So it was a gamma table CoD with spearhead deployment and a firesweep mission. The Eldar begin in the SW building and PLA begin in the NE building. There is monument in the SE corner (this is where the rangers have infiladed) and a larger ruin in the centre. 21:00 on Sat 14 Nov to 01:00 on Sun 15 Nov 09. MCH again played the Tigers, CNJ turned traitor to play the Bloodcoats. KK played the Eldar and I ran the Cabal of the Broken Teaspoon.

As the rangers see the vast number of PLA troops the Sacred Guard and Cabal of the Broken Teaspoon realise that they have to fight together to get away. Dacite Taple peels off to the north, shoots a sentinel with her raider’s Dark Lance (looses it’s flamer and just wanders around for the rest of the game) and ploughs straight into Capt Choo’s Tigers.

The other two squads in their raiders fly east, using the buildings as cover. The Farseer, council and honour guard also go east, using the buildings and raiders as cover. The rangers are already in the east and begin shooting at the Bloodcoat heavy stubber position on the second and third floors of the old generator building. The shoot one gunner and pin that team.

The heavy stubbers return fire, mowing down three rangers. The workers rabble surge forwards. The raiders dark lance the other sentinel.

On turn two Dacite Taple and her incubi charge a Tiger’s rifle squad and kill six of them in a gruesome and horrible fashion. The raiders and the Eldar sheltering behind them continue to travel East. The Tigers (including the mutant horde) all assault the Dacite. She and the Incubi shrug the whole thing off. The Bloodcoats mobile elements continue to advance in a westerly direction, bar one squad who are going for the monument to wrestle it from the rangers.

The incubi and Dacite, whilst never making their points back, nonetheless continue to tie up almost the entire Tiger’s army for the rest of the game. It takes them another three turns to take them down, loosing a fair portion of their strength in the process.

The Bloodcoats, with a stunning combination of flamer and heavy stubber fire, bring down a Raider, killing two of the warriors. The others disembark ready to shoot and then assault the Bloodcoat Cmd squad in front of them. The other raider squad shoot and then assault the rear of the team who are trying to sneak around the monument. Six die straight away and yet make their morale check.

The workers rabble dodge around the raiders and catch sight of the small unit of Avengers and charge. They make it into combat but don’t make much of an impact on the Fortuned aspect warriors.

The three warlocks counter charge. Destructor takes out three of the rabble and the witchblades take out another six. A Bloodcoat rifle squad reach where the surviving rangers were, only to find that the last one left has already run away.

During the last two turns the Tigers finally do for the DE HQ. The Bloodcoat command teams in the central ruin stunningly out perform the three surviving DE warriors, the last of which flees the battle field. The Avengers and seers do for all bar one of the workers rabble. They in turn loose numbers to the blood coats. The Dacites raider gets behind the generator building, survives everything thrown at it and fails to kill anything.

The game ends with the Bloodcoats planting the flag in two locations, contesting the monument and just about to march a spare command squad into the Eldar’s base location. So the pointy eared folk lost that one, then. We were amazed at just how resilient the incubi actually were. With a few more numbers, they really are something to be avoided by IG types. The heavy stubbers, as a squad, appeared to be much more effective than the heavy bolters were split out amongst squads. The game really did illustrate that even if each of the Eldar and DE units had just one more model in each, the result could have been radically different.

And the big lesson is not to rely on DE Raiders to screen your small elite army from a vast tar pit unit who are 5” away and looking for you.

So Capt Shoo now has Dacite Taple hog tied. He can report to Chaux Na M’rrsee that he has found Maj Gen Firth and also hand over a DE Dacite at the same time. Should be Maj Choo by teatime. Farseer Dowllsie will run for it. But once back in the webway, he is likely to gather together Bel Tain’s Sacred Guard and call on his friend Eldrad; whose Strike Force Elui is never too far from readiness.

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