Thursday, 21 April 2011

I live for your Gold Squad

I am proud to introduce to you... GOLD SQUAD. So I finally got my first group of wyches painted, based and ready to go. I can tell you one thing about these girls right off the off (never mind the fact that this is my scrub squad where all but the Hekatrix and special weapons are male) is that they take FOREVER to paint. I went through three audio books of the dresdin files in the process of getting this group done and honesty, I feel like I rushed it a bit near the end. But I am very happy with how they have turned out all the same.

First off is my Hecatrix. This is the model I am most proud of. I'm not sure why. She was the last model I painted and therefor everything I learned on the others was able to be incorporated into her paint job. Maybe its the sweet looking weapon I gave her. Honestly the agonizer is my favorite part here. Some changes I'm going to make in the way I do the lighting effect on future incarnations but over all very happy with her.
Next up is the hydra gauntlet bearer. I wanted to make the spikes coming out of her arms look like crystals. While I don't think I nailed that effect close enough for anyone but me (and now you since I just told you) to realize that. For future I'm gonna have to find a better way to paint them up. That being said its not a bad paint job by my standards.

And now I will leave you with the rest of the wyches. Generally I hold the same view for all of them. Not bad, for my usual quality. But definitely room for improvement.

As a reward to all dark eldar generals who made it this far a suggestion on music for your army. Yes music! Having a awesome set of songs that goes will with your army can inspire you to kick ass come game time and renew your desire to get some painting done so you look good next time your kicking ass.
My music suggestion is I live for your pain by Halloween. Seriously its like the lyrics of this song were made for the dark denizens of  Commorragh. Here's a youtube link

See you in the webway

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Another 1850 pt game and my latest project

So its been a bit since I've been able to post anything here. Mostly due to lack of developments due to lack of time thanks to my new job. However Last Thursday I did happen to have another 1850 point game VS the space pups. I wish I had something exciting and ground breaking to bring to the blog about the game but... The game ended with him being killed to man on turn 3. Nijal went down to a troop of wyches and besides a massive furball in the center of the table between 2.5 units of 9 wyches and 1 pack of blood claws with wolf priest and 1 pack of gray hunters there wasn't to much to say about this one. That's not to say the game was bad, just uneventful.

However going back to that furball it gave me a couple lessons to walk away with. First of all when playing a wych cult army the multi-charge is one of your greatest assets. Wyches are a powerful close combat unit and if they happen to wipe what ever they are fighting out in your turn your opponent is going to shoot them to little bits. However you can't always choose when combat ends for your wyches. Sometimes you will rolls unnaturally well and slaughter a group that should have taken at least 2 rounds of combat. Sometimes your opponent will roll poorly and break from combat right away. And sometimes there's a unit you just need to kill right now, scouts are a good example of such a unit. If any of the above happens your wyches are stuck in the open with their crumby 6+ armor save and possibly feel no pain. However if you multi-charge and get one or two wyches on a new target while the rest of your wyches go to town on the main target even if they destroy the one unit chances are the second unit will hold. And since your wyches are still in combat they cant be shot at and still get their 4+ invulnerable save. Not a trick the possible all the time but one that should be used often.

The second trick is much less impressive then the first. Essentially coming down to "if there is a unit that scares your wyches, throw more wyches at it". This rules can be seen in the afor mentioned furball. The forces were more or less evenly matched with maybe a slight advantage to the wyches. They held until I could bring my Archon + incubi squad around in behind them and finish the combat once and for all.

Away from the battlefield I've been working on painting a unit of wyches in that color scheme I showed on the blog earlier. But deal lord do wyches take a long time to paint. And as you can see from the pic at the top I have a new conversion underway, more on him after I get a coat of paint on him.

See you in the webway!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

My first 1850pt Game

So a couple nights ago I played my first 1850 point game down at my FLGS. The game was against a mostly mech guard list and ended in a win for me and my denizens of Commorragh. This game taught me a lot about my dark eldar and the way they play and which I shall share here.

First and foremost the jump from doubles at 500pts to singles at 1850 is a rather jarring move to start out with. There was so much on the table I had to keep track of, it became a bit overwhelming at first. Case in point was me forgetting to have an entire unit of warriors fire their guns before I moved onto the assault phase. There were a few other small mistakes I made during the game thanks to my newness and forgetting to do something with a unit in a certain phase but this was really the most glaring as it could have save my bacon from the return strike of the unit they were meant to kill. To combat this - and this is true for any army I expect - the first thing I did was force myself to slow down, take my time on my turn. My opponent never mentioned my longer turns but if they do tell them to shove it (unless your in a tournament of course... maybe try to be a bit more polite then that too? I'm generally not towards people like that though). Next step was to create a list (in this game it was in my head but it will be on paper for my next game) of all the units you have and what each should be doing in each phase. Then its just a matter of going down the list and checking off the tasks one at a time. Move this raider, disembark the unit inside, move unit 6 inches towards target, shooting phase: are they close enough to reach their target in the assault phase yes: open up with any ranged weapon they may have, no: make a fleet move to ensure your close enough for the next phase, ect, ect. I organized this much like a flowchart in my own head.

The first actual in game mistake I made was right during deployment. I won the roll to go first so I got to chose the side we were fighting on. I chose the wrong side. The side he received gave him a building and a fairly large patch of trees to hide his guys in. In this I learned as a dark eldar player I am most likely going to be fighting in and around my opponents deployment zone due to my speed. No army can match the dark eldar for speed (though some come close admittedly). Had I forced him to the other side of the table he would have had two hills to stand on and a ruin he might have been able to run into for cover on his first turn. And without the buildings he would have lost by a lot more. In the same vain I made another mistake right after choosing the wrong side. As I deployed my raiders, ravagers, and razorwing jet-fighter I deployed them spread out accross my deployment zone. The thinking being to be able to hit him where ever he deploys. This was wrong for the main reason of - once again - the dark eldars speed. By spreading out across the table I essentially ensure 1/3rd to 1/2 of my force would not be able to quickly bring their guns and blades to bear in the first turn. Since the first turn or two are vital for a dark eldar player this can be fatal. The right way to do it would be to deploy the entire force front and center. Since dark eldar are so fast unless they deploy extremely far back and in one of the corners our raiders can probably reach them first turn. And since our vehicles can move 12 inches and still fire all their weapons (36 and 48 inches for the dark lances and missiles respectively) theres no point in casting such a wide net as I did. Also parking raiders sideways to give a cover save to any other vehicles behind them. That way if by chance the initiative is stolen from you (as it almost was me in this game, he rolled a 5) your entire army isn't blowing in the wind.

Next was being able to take advantage of certain rules when you need them. In particular in this game I had killed a unit with a group of my wyches in my turn. This isn't the best time to finish off a unit because it leaves your wyches exposed to a round of shotting. And thats exactly what happened, the guard player opened up with his shooting and proceeded to wipe out all the wyches I had escorting Vect around the field. Vect lived due to the magic of his shadow field and indeed went on to win the game for me more or less. However had I forced the wyches to go to ground during that shooting they would have had a much better chance of survival. And because Vect was with them with his leadership score of 10 there was a very very good chance they would have been able to stand back up in the following turn. game breaking? potentially. It wasn't this game but the dark eldar will not allow such mistakes very often.

Another thing I learned was to think more about the objective of the mission. This game was an annihilation game. The guard player had plenty of smaller, juicier, easier kill points but instead I spent the whole game trying to kill his blob squad because it scared me for some reason. This kinda ties into the first point of slowing down, taking a moment, and thinking things through. I believe that this was the biggest mistake I made all game. Had he not given up I believe the guard player could have turned the game in his favor. Instead he gave up when the game was at 4KP a piece.

Well this post is already getting a little over long so I will end this one here. These were the most important parts of the battle I learned from any how. If this post helps another new player (especially new dark eldar players) then I'm happy. If not then well its best to write the lessons out any how. Helps solidify them in your mind so you don't make the same mistakes next game.

See you along the webway!