Turn 2 saw the Eldar launch a massive combined assault on the Imperial left flank, which while successful was too costly to allow them to capitalise on it. In return the Imperial concentrated on wiping out the Eldar right flank, breaking as many formations as possible.
At the beginning of the turn the Eldar choose to summon the Avatar on the Guardian formation on the far right flank, that had previously been broken by the combined firepower of a Manticore Battery and the Marauder Bombers. However the IG (finally!) win the Strategy Roll and call an engagement with the Rough Riders that were previously screening the Phantom Titan on the Guardian formation. Using some dodgy positioning they manage to contact the Guardians and Wraithguard rather than the nasty Avatar, and while they are wiped out they manage to cause enough casualties to break the Guardian formation before it can even activate. I choose to retain with my Stormhammer company down on the far left flank and fire at the remants of an Aspect formation, killing one Wave Serpent and breaking them.
Passing the activation over to the Eldar players, they choose to sustain with a Falcon formation in the middle of the board at the Griffon Company currently camped on an objective – the Falcons score 6 hits and conclusively destroy the lone remaining Griffon. In return I activate one of my Shadowswords to fire at the Revenants, hoping to kill them before they can mince my armoured formations nearby, and hit but unfortunately it is holofielded, only laying a BM. Andy then tries to activate his Jetbike formation that had previously broken the Shadowsword , but fails. He fires on it anayway, laying a blastmarker. Seizing the oppurtunity, I activate my Baneblade company, and crossing my fingers that they will do better than in the last turn, choose to sustain on the Revenant titans. Obviously the Emperor has decided to pay attention to the gunners’ prayers and this time the flurry of shots finds its mark – destroying the titans outright.
Andy then doubles his big Guardian formation forwards, using the Support / Heavy Weapons to break it. In response, and hoping to reduce the number of unbroken formations in my half of the board, I advance the Manticores and fire thier Heavy Bolters at the Jetbike formation. Already close to breaking, they just hold thier nerve and remain unbroken. Seeking to do the same thing, Ben’s Voidspinner fires on my clumped up Griffon Company on an objective. The sticky monofilament fibres rain down, slicing up one stand of Guardsmen, but laying down three blastmarkers. I choose to respond by using the other Manticore Battery to hammer the red Guardians pictured above, killing 2, and laying 4 BM. Ben the activates his Scorpion, that has spent the game so far firing at little men on horses, to finally shoot at something worthwhile. The Scorpion breaks my recently rallied Regimental HQ, depriving me of the re-roll. I fire one of my Basilisk formation at the Jetbikes, finally breaking them not from kills but just form the weight of fire they have attracted. Seeing that my artillery will cause them problems if left unattended, Nightwings are sent in to hit the other Basilisk formation, killing one piece and breaking the formation. I then choose to regroup the the Griffon Company (which now has no Griffons…), hoping that they can remain unbroken, on an objective and in my opponents half of the board. They succeed and shed almost all of thier blastmarkers.
Hoping to at least get some revenge on the Shadowswords that have caused them so much trouble this game, the Eldar fly in some Nightwings, targetting a Shadowsword within my meagre AA bubble. They score one hit, but luckily the armour holds up even against thier Lance weaponry.
I then activate my Tank Company to advance, shooting at relatively close range against the Guardian formation that was posing such a problem for me. Again the Tank Company shines, managing 15 hits and killing all of the formation bar 2 stands of Wraithguard and the Farseer.
It is at this point that I want to kick myself. I had completely forgotten that the Eldar still had a massive Wraith-upgraded Guardian formation in the Webway. Ben activates it and proceeds to occupy the exact same spot as the formations I had spent so much firepower trying to dislodge! Damn Eldar!
From this point on the game is really just mopping up on both sides, the newly arrived Guardians firing at my Baneblade company but only laying a BM, while my AA bubble at last manages to down a Nightwing on the way off board.
So as we had to clear up, the game ended at the end of turn three. Out of the objectives, only one had been achieved, the Imperials stealing an early point with thier destruction of the Phantom Titan, the Eldar Break Thier Spirit formation. Given the look of the board at the end of the game, the Imperials seemed to be gaining the upper hand, with the newly arrived Guardian formation and the two lurking SHT’s being the only appreciable threats left.
Personally I really enjoyed the game, and it was great to catch up with Ben and Andy after a long, game-less, summer. I think the Steel Legion list really shines at bigger points levels, when 650pts for a Tank Company suddenly doesn’t seem quite so bad! The formation of the match has to be my Tank Company, as it performed the task needed from it every turn – knocking out the Phantom Holofields to allow the Deathstrikes a chance Turn 1, and then mincing upgraded Guardian formations on turns 2 and 3. My entire Imperial army is now painted and totals about 14,000pts. Pictures of the completed formations to come,a nd one of these days I will get a whole army photo. Hope you all enjoyed the bat-rep, and please subscribe or leave a comment if you did!