Eldar Versus Khorne
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It was an extremely useful battle for showing me what might work in the new codex and what possibly didn't work so well....
The Battle Commences...Farseer Tylanien frowned as he gazed up at the darkening sky.
"Should we go back?"
The question came from Exarch Eldrin, of the Dire Avengers. He was an experienced and fearsome warrior who had led his squad through many dangers and battles.
Had Tylanien known that this was to be his last battle, his answer might have been different. But not even a Farseer can predict the future with such accurate detail.
"No. The forces of chaos must be found if our assault is to be continued with any success. They are here somewhere. I can feel them, Eldrin. Deep inside my mind. Troops moving. An army gathering. A consciousness directing. But yet I cannot sense where they are."
"They will come eventually, but if this light gets any worse we won't see them until they're practically on top of us."
"If we fall back now they will follow and destroy us. They are close, I know it."
Eldrin gazed around him, partly to hide his exasperation. What he saw comforted him, but only slightly. Wraithguard lumbered behind him, ready to destroy anything that moved. Behind them were Dark Reapers, covering their position. To his right, he saw the striking scorpions, and further away the secondary force - a mass of guardians, led by the avatar himself. Invisible to the eye, he heard the faint hum of jetbikes moving.
I had split my army up into two groups. The first group, placed on the right flank was led by the avatar, and consisted of the two guardian squads, the wave serpent with its cargo of ten fire dragons and the avatar.
The second group, led by the Farseer, consisted of the Dire Avengers, the wraithguard, and the Farseer, covered behind them by the Dark Reapers. The jetbikes and the falcon were placed behind in the centre - ready to go to whichever flank needed them most. The scorpions had been infiltrated up the field behind some cover.
Suddenly, the scorpions, led by their Exarch Kaldanesh, rose as one and hurried across the battlefield to the shelter of a building. Eldrin turned instinctively to Tylanien who raised his hand soothingly.
"I ordered them. Do not worry. I think that-"
But he got no further. A sudden whirring filled the air, filling the ears of all who heard it with dread. Out of the darkness emerged eight bikes, crewed by none other than the mutated horror of the Khorne Bezerkers.
They made straight for the striking scorpions; the scythes cutting down one unfortunate fighter before he'd had time to even pick up his sword. His body, cut into two pieces was flung mercilessly across the battlefield.
But the survivors were hardened warriors, not cowardly humans - and the bezerkers would soon realise it. Led by a bellow from Kaldanesh and with chainswords buzzing, the scorpions descended upon the bikes with ruthless efficiency. Two bezerkers were quickly sliced into pieces, their bikes affording them no protection, while Kaldanesh, drawing himself up with all his strength, reigned down such blows that two of the bikes were immediately mangled beyond repair. The owners were flung on to the ground, and lay there defenceless before the fury of the Exarch.
Roaring out a cry of his own, Farseer Tylanien charged forward towards the melee, followed quickly by the Dire Avengers and the wraithguard.
I was smiling at this point. My enemy had taken the bait of the scorpions - and now he was paying the price.
A gasp of fear escaped from the mouths of the guardians as they saw the bikes descend upon their comrades. But they soon had problems of their own. They heard the sounds of whirring before them. But, squinting as hard as they could, the night was too thick. Fear grew as imaginations took hold, many guardians taking steps backwards. It took a roar from the avatar to steady them - although it itself was just as sightless.
But the wave serpent was not sightless. Adorned with the best of Eldar technology, its pilot, Tamon, had a perfect view of the bikes in front of them. Sweeping his craft around, he headed straight for them, switching on his radio."
"Tyden, do you have a shot?"
"Confirmed big brother, I have a shot. Get me nice and close. Lets see these filth burn."
Tamon obeyed, and seconds later, he saw tongues of fire leap across the battlefield in front of him, making contact with the enemy ahead. However, to his disappointment, only one of the foul creatures succumbed to the weaponry.
The disappointment was soon replaced with confusion. He had expected the bikers to run before him or to head towards the guardians, but they were doing neither.
They were heading straight for him.
Tamon grinned as he began to maneouveure the craft. They were mad. They'd never get through the thick armour.
And that was when he saw exactly what was being held by the lead biker.
"Khaine," he roared. "Hold on!"
And with that, he banked the craft as hard as he could and increased speed as much as he could.
But they were still coming.
"Come on, come on," he moaned, all the time with his eyes fixated on the weapon which was no ordinary weapon. The weapon which he knew could tear straight through the craft like a sword through paper.
Despite his entreaties, the wave serpent was intercepted at the apex of its turn. Drawing himself up to his full strength, the khorne bezerker champion smashed down on the front armour with his weapon.
The whole craft shook. Tamon was thrown back from his seat. He could hear Tyden's voice over the radio.
"Tamon? Tamon! What's happening? Are you there?"
"Yeah, yeah I'm here."
"The Serpent. How badly damaged is she? Are we crashing?"
Tamon felt like sobbing with relief as he quickly inspected the controls. "No damage. We were travelling fast enough. The armour absorbed the hit."
His relief was suddenly overcome with anger. He set the craft down a safe distance away from the bikers.
"Enough of this madness. Tell the Fire Dragons to disembark."
My delightful opponent got seven close combat attacks on the wave serpent...all with strength 9! Despite needing sixes to hit, he managed to hit with one attack. He then needed a 3 to glance. We both watched the dice intently as it came up with...a 2!
Tylanien felt the excitement surge through his body as he entered the fray. Finally, the waiting was over. Now, it started. Now the reckoning would come. Holding his spear in both hands, he wielded it expertly, matching blow for blow with his opponents.
The opponents themselves were badly outnumbered. Wherever they looked they were blocked by either the green of the scorpions, the blue of the dire avengers, the black of the wraithguard or the glittering white of Tylanien.
But they were not worried. The trap had been set. They would not remain outnumbered for long.
My trap had gone awry. The Khorne biker squad had been cut in half in the initial assault on the scorpions and in my turn the Dire Avengers, Farseer, and the wraithguard had joined the fray. I had aimed to overwhelm the remaining survivors with the power weapons of the scorpion and dire avenger exarch and cut up the rest under the sheer weight of numbers from the attacks from all the others. I would then been able to sweep forward to control the very centre of the battlefield surrounded by a large amount of cover - a brilliantly strong position...
However, a dismal combat round ensued with a ridiculous number of ones and twos...followed by a brilliant saving throw round for my opponent. My forces were locked in combat - and he was now free to spring his own trap...
The air shimmered. Reality folded in on itself - and through the ensuing portal came daemons. They were the bloodletters of Khorne - and none knew more about death than they. But they were not alone. Out of the darkness emerged a rhino transport, and out of that emerged a squadron of possessed marines. Both groups joined the melee - and a bloodbath ensued. Tylanien watched in horror as the bloodletters closed with the wraithguard, their swift forms easily a match for their lumbering opponents, their poisoned weaponry easily to superior to the thick armour. Wraithguard after wraithguard fell until all were annihilated - for the loss of only one bloodletter in reply.
The possessed marines closed with the Dire Avengers, killing two instantly. But Eldrin quickly rallied his troops. He would not fall so easily. His diresword shining in the night air, he impaled one of his attackers before proceeding to rip straight through the engine of one of the surviving bikes - which didn't survive for much longer.
Tylanien gritted his teeth. He struck out with his spear again, but the horror was not over for the poor Farseer. Out of the darkness appeared another creature. Fearsome and tall, it was darker than the darkness of the night itself. Runes shone upon its body, terrible red runes, boasting of power beyond imagination.
Tylanien alone stood before this monstrosity. "Leave now, foul power of evil," he roared. "Or be destroyed."
But his words were empty. And Eldrin knew it. Roaring desperately, he tried to cut through the mass of enemies before him to stand by his friend, but the numbers were too great, and he was held back.
The beast itself laughed. A terrible deep laugh.
"My name is Krandacth, and I am the servant of Khorne himself. Who are you to stand before me, little psyker."
And with that, he smashed down with his terrible fist upon the only one brave enough to stand before him. Tylanien's body was smashed and broken within seconds.
That chaos Lord was a pain...one big multiwounded pain
The death of their commander sent shock waves of fear throughout the battlefield, but Exarch Teuthren of the Fire dragons refused to pay attention to them. He gathered his men before him below the ramp of the wave serpent and the Khornate bikers speeded towards them.
"Hold your fire."
"Hold your fire or I'll cut you down where you stand."
With such words, fear was silenced. The fire dragons held their fire as the Khorne Bezerkers sped up, bloodlust filling their bodies.
But the bloodlust was wasted. The Fire dragons opened fire on Teuthren's order at the very last second, the superheated plasma destroying every single enemy body.
On the left flank I had gambled and lost. But on the right I had won. The bikers had failed to hurt the wave serpent - and now they were to pay the price. 10 Fire dragons + 7 khornate bikers=major pwnage!!!!
But they had not long to celebrate. Out of the darkness emerged a new threat. A dreadnought. Huge and terrible in its power. Teuthren cursed.
"How many more of these foul creatures are there? Dragons, back on the wave serpent. Now!"
The jetbikes and the falcon had not been idle during these events. Skimming across the battlefield, the latter had been exchanging shots with a predator. But due to the encroaching darkness, all shots had gone astray. The former had formed up to the side of the guardians on the orders of the avatar, to bolster their courage against the approaching dreadnought.
But the left flank was where the courage was needed. Eldrin and the remnants of his squad fought alone. Their blows were not ineffective and many chaos fighters were slain, but one by one, the Dire Avengers fell. Eventually, only Eldrin himself was left. Staring around him in despair - he brandished his diresword in the air, and with a cry of pain and despair - he thrust it deep into his own chest. As he lay dying, he gazed up at Krandacth, robbed of his prey.
"My soul goes to join my comrades. You, will soon go to join yours."
Despite the disastrous first round of combat, the Dire Avengers really excelled themselves, giving as good as they got. But sadly, they were doomed...
Anyway things were really looking grim at this point. My left flank had collapsed. A dreadnought was bearing down on my right flank. And the predator was looking extremely nasty.
Tamon vigorously steered the wave serpent up the field, passing the back of the dreadnought.
"Tyden, get it."
But just before he fired, a flash of light emerged across the battlefield from the predator, striking the top of the wave serpent - at the gun turret - which was torn away from the craft as a twig is snapped off a tree. Tyden's body disintegrated instantly, rendering the Wave Serpent weaponless.
That was just rude. That predator was now really annoying me...
The Falcon surged across the battlefield to try to plug the gap in the left flank of the battle. It landed almost in the middle of the enemy - and opened fire - but only one bloodletter fell.
By moving my falcon straight across them to the flank, I'd hoped to distract the chaos creatures from charging straight down the centre towards my Dark Reapers and guardians. I'd also hoped to kill more than one of the enemy...but the dice just weren't on my side...
Behind it followed the guardian jetbikes, shuriken weaponry blazing. The sharp disks cut through the air, having much more success, cutting down two possessed marines. The survivors charged the falcon, and where the khornate biker had failed earlier, they succeeded. A lucky blow caught the engines, ripping them clean off.
Unphased, and driven on by reckless bravery, the jetbikes charged into the centre of the possessed marines, cutting down a further one, leaving only two survivors.
Immobilised falcon - and unable to shoot next turn....luckily I had vectored engines!
The Dark Reapers peeked fearfully into the darkness. Despite their position having been initially excellent, the falling light had meant that they had not been able to draw a clear line to any target. But that very quickly changed. Running away from the falcon, the bloodletters ran straight into them.
"Fire, fire, fire," their Exarch, Sylphen, roared in desperation.
But it was too late. They were too close. The bloodletters fell upon them, gleefully exercising their bloodlust in the resulting massacre.
We'd chosen our armies before we randomly chose the mission...which led to the glorious wastage of the Dark Reapers as they, for some reason, kept rolling abysmal night-fight roles...never able to see more than 12 inches in front of them...
The dreadnought opened fire upon the mass of guardians, but the shots went astray in the darkness. It didn't have time to reload before it was challenged by a new deadly foe. The avatar closed with it, his whole body gleaming with fire. Within seconds, the dreadnought was nothing but mangled wreckage.
Forcing back tears for the loss of his brother, Tamon steered the wave serpent forward, made brave by anger. In front of him, he saw the predator - and a gigantic terrible monster standing before it. Moving the craft to quick for any of them to react, he landed the craft directly before them. Switching on the radio, he spoke briefly to his crew.
"Get out. You've got work to do."
The possessed marines fought bravely, but they were too few. The survivors were cut down - for the loss of only two jetbikes overall.
Driven on by exuberance, the jetbikes went off in pursuit of the bloodletters, which had moved on from the carcasses of the Dark Reapers on to fresh prey. The riders watched in horror as the bloodletters fell upon a guardian squad that had moved across to engage them.
The mass shuriken weaponry combined with the scatter laser had done...nothing...
One bloodletter fell, but the guardians were massacred. The few survivors fell back from the battlefield. The bloodletters pursued, merciless.
One of the jetbike riders beat his face against the handlebars with frustration.
"Faster," he screamed, "We've got to go faster.
Teuthren stared with grim horror at the fearsome beast before him.
"Fire Dragons," he roared, "Fire."
The plasma emerged from the guns, hurling itself straight into the body of the terror before them. Krandacth screamed as it scorched his body. He wavered, and swayed - but did not fall. The light of life did not leave his eyes - and he towered above those which had hurt him, fury filling his whole face.
Teuthren stared at that anger.
"Oh bugger," he said.
Author's note: This expression, very uncharactistic of an eldar, accurately sums up my feelings at this time. The ten guns of the fire dragons had only taken off three of the four wounds of Krandacth. And whats more, in order to unload them all in range of Krandacth, the predator had a beautiful view of the back of the wave serpent - with its three lascannons.
Krandacth tore straight into the Fire dragons, instantly crushing four beneath his giant person. Teuthren knew when a fight was hopeless.
"Fall back," he cried, "fall back."
They ran, abandoning all hope and cohesion. Darkness was before them and behind them. All hope had gone - and behind followed Krandacth - and his laughter.
They could not outrun him. Fire Dragon after Fire Dragon fell....but, suddenly, Teuthren saw a great light in the darkness before him. His heart was suddenly filled with courage.
The avatar had arrived.
Turning, he faced Krandacth, with only one surviving fire dragon standing by his side.
"I will run from you no longer."
Krandacth laughed again - and swung his sword at Teuthren - who closed his eyes, awaiting the decapitation that never came.
The avatar, charging with burning eyes, had parried the blow.
Krandacth hissed with anger. "You. I've always wanted to meet one of you. Now I prove my strength."
The avatar wasted no time with words - instead putting his entire mind into avoiding the clumsy blow which Krandacth then hurled at him. Ducking under the sword arm, he buried his sword deep into the chest of his foe, at last avenging the life of Farseer Tylanien.
Authors note: It was now the last turn and the situation was thus:
I controlled the bottom right zone with the remaining squad of guardians. My wave serpent was also still sitting in this zone (having survived the lascannon fire by sheer luck.) My enemy controlled the top left zone with one squad of bloodletters -accompanied by the rhino.
The only thing in the top right zone was the predator - but it had the two remaining fire dragons and avatar bearing down on it.
The bottom left zone was disputed between the second squad of four bloodletters (out of an original eight) and my five jetbikes (out of an original seven.) My falcon was also in this zone - but it was immobilised and thus couldn't hold any zones.
My enemy went first....retreating his bloodletters further away from the jetbikes and firing the predator at the avatar - which took off one wound - leaving three remaining.
It was now my final turn...and my enemy controlled two zones to my one....
The jetbikes raced on, at last in range of the bloodletters.
They needed no order to fire. The guns opened up, and the sharp disks sang across the battlefield. The sheer hail of weaponry was too much to bear - and two bloodletters fell, to the accompaniment of cheers from the guardians on the jetbikes.
Teuthren ran forward, the avatar and Corcyrn, the remaining fire dragon, by his side. With the death of the great enemy, hope had entered their hearts. Before them was a great tank, a Predator, but how could it be an obstacle compared to what they had vanquished?
Teuthren and Corcyrn fired, but their shots glanced harmlessly off the armour. Not wishing to lose momentum, they hurtled forward, and placed grenades against the cold metal - but the blast, although eagerly anticipated, failed to noticeably affect the vehicle.
Well, they shook it, but that wasn't what I wanted...
But the avatar was not to be blocked by cold metal. Throwing back its head and roaring to the dark sky, it hurled itself against the tank, its armour powerless against his power. It crumpled and broke - falling apart in a great explosion. Teuthren watched in grim satisfaction as the fleeing survivors were caught and quickly destroyed by the ruthless hunting of the avatar. His thoughts were interrupted by Corcyrn.
"Sir, Chaos are pushed back."
"Yes," said Teuthren, gazing across the battlefield, at the endless dead bodies, the possessed marines, the bloodletters, the blown out shell of the predator, the dark reapers, the guardians, the dire avengers, the wraithguard, the bikers, his own fire dragons and Krandacth himself.
"We won, Corcyrn, but at a terrible price. This victory means little, if anything. Our blood stains the ground as much as does that of Chaos...."
Author's note: Yes, I had won. With the destruction of the predator, and the bringing down to under half strength of the bloodletters, I now controlled two zones to my enemy's one. I had the victory...but at a huge price.
Out of my original 2050 point army, only 779 points of models remained - less if you consider the fact that my falcon was immobilised and my wave serpent had no weapons.
The chaos army had been practically annhiliated though. 300 points of that army remained out of 2050.... Only a squad of 8 bloodletters and a rhino and a destroyed squad of 2 bloodletters lived to tell the tale...