Friday 14 March 2014

Eldar vs Imperial guard 1500: Tanks aplently

An interesting matchup this game, I take a less mechanised force in favour of trying out units such as the humble banshee, and I face an imperial guard force with 5 different battle tanks. I don’t have the anti-armour but can eldar trickery win me the game? It’s a 1500 point game of the scouring, with dawn of war deployment. Eldar vs Imperial Guard.

The Armies

Eldar 1496

In this game I use a rather different Eldar list, as a little test to see how it does. I made this list before I knew I was playing Imperial Guard, as an all comers list.

Farseer – 100 (Warlord: precepts of Deceit) w/ dark reapers
[Forwarning, perfect timing, guide]

Farseer – 120 w/ Bikes
[Doom, guide, Prescience]

10 Guardians – 110
Bright lance

6 Bikes – 122
2 x Shuriken cannon

6 Dire Avengers – 78
Wave Serpent – 135
Holo field, twin-linked Bright lance

10 Banshees – 170
Exarch, Executioner

6 Fire Dragons – 132
Wave Serpent – 135
Holo field, Twin-linked Scatter laser

2 Vypers – 140
Scatter laser, Shuriken cannon

2 War walkers – 140
2x scatter laser

3 Dark reapers – 114
Star shot

Imperial Guard 1500

Company Command Squad (warlord: Immovable object)
Master of ordinance

10 veterns
3x melta gun, lascannon

10 Veterans
3 x plasma gun
Multi-laser, heavy flamer

10 Veterans
3 x plasma gun
Multi-laser, heavy flamer

Leman Russ Battle Tank
Heavy bolter

Leman Russ Executioner

3 Leman Russ Exterminators
Heavy bolters

Well this guard force has a lot of tanks, and high front armour as well. I can’t help but feel I have brought a knife to a gun fight. I am very light on the long range anti-tank, so let’s see how this game goes.

The Mission

Rolling for the mission we end up with the Scouring, so fast attack score as well (not a major benefit to either of us). Deployment is dawn of war so nice and simple as well. We place the objectives and I place 3 in or near my deployment zone and my opponent places 1 in the middle, and one on each flank in his deployment zone. So straight away I have the advantage (Assuming no massive skew in points).  We roll for first turn and I win, electing to go first (hoping to destroy something before I get the fury of that many tanks).

My deployment and I attempted to hide as much as possible. On the right I placed a guardian unit inside a building holding an objective, to their left the farseer joins in with the dark reapers taking cover. In the middle the banshees hide behind a ruined building as do the wave serpents. Then on the far left the vypers are up front and behind them hide the farseer and bike body guard. I keep the war walkers in reserve ready to out flank and hopefully take an objective off the guard later on.

His counter deployment was nice and simple, both chimeras go on the right hand side, joined by the executioner. In the middle the 3 exterminators hold their ground and on the left the veterans hold a building and the objective aided by the battle tank.


We flip the objectives and I have the 1 point objective on the right, the 4 point objective in the middle and 3 on the left. The imperial guard tokens are 3 points on the left and the other 2 are 2 points.

Night Fight: No
Steal the initiative: yes

The Battle

Imperial guard turn 1

Up the right both of the chimera move up 6 inches and the exterminators move to the right a little bit.

This is more the guard’s style, the master of ordinance attempts to destroy the fire dragons wave serpent but it scatters off the table. Both of the chimeras shoot at the guardians and 3 of the warriors fail to duck behind cover and die. On the left the veterans shoot at the vypers and get a single penetrating hit, shaking the closest one. The battle tank targets the bikes but it scatters onto the vypers and wrecks the damaged skimmer. Back to the right and the executioner shoots at the guardians and blows up the bright lance as it’s the closest model but nothing else. And to finish the shooting phase the exterminators shoot at the bikes, the autocannons play havoc and manage to kill 4 bikes and the farseer fails to look out sir A LOT and dies as well. End of the phase the remaining bikes run off the table.

Eldar turn 1

I need to pull this back so cast perfect timing on the dark reapers and guide them also. I forewarn the banshees as I need to use them as a distraction, they won’t be useful as anything else I feel. Both of the wave serpents move to the right hoping to reduce the number of shots coming at them. The girls run forward into the ruins. In an odd way the vyper moves onto a ruin and it les visible then if he stays behind it even though he’s higher up.

Dark reaper shots target the company command and 4 guardsmen die and the commander takes a wound as well. In an attempt for slay the warlord the vyper targets them as well and kills the commander off. Both of the wave serpents shoot at the closest chimera but only get 2 glances on it. End of the turn and the master of ordinance runs for it but stays on the table.

Imperial guard turn 2

He attempts to rally the master of ordinance but he runs off the table granting me slay the warlord. On the right the veterans get out of the crippled chimera into the ruin next to them, the other chimera moves forwards. Again the behemoth that is the exterminators move forwards a little.

Not wanting another turn of shooting from the dark reapers, the executioner targets them, all 3 plasma blasts lock on and they all die, even the farseer. I just couldn’t roll a 4+. On the left the veterans shoot at the lone vyper but he jinks out the way of all the incoming shots. The battle tank can just about see the dire avengers’ wave serpent, the shot hits its target but only glances it. both chimera fire at it attempting to glance it to death but only manage another glance. As the fire dragons are more of a threat to the tanks, the exterminators target the fire dragon wave serpent, they get 8 autocannon hits but they fail to do any damage thanks to needing 5’s to glance and jink. The veterans then run further into the building to hide.

Eldar turn 2

In from reserve the war walkers appear, on the right hand side. With the farseers death the banshees are forced to brave the gun fire without any aid, I explain to my opponent the exarch could glance tank with her executioner, hoping he will target them instead of a more valuable unit. Both of the wave serpents carry on up the right flank.

The fire dragons wave serpent wrecks the chimera with ease allowing the other to target the executioner but it fails to do any damage. Even with 16 shots in its side, the war walkers only manage to immobilise the remaining chimera! The dice just turned against me there, it lives on 1 hull point. I run the banshees forwards moving a nice 8 inches. The vyper can just about see the veterans on the left and shoots at them, killing off the heavy weapon team and another poor grunt.

Imperial Guard turn 3

The leman russ battle tank plods forwards hoping to get a better line of sight, as do the exterminators. With the wave serpents presenting themselves the veterans leave their building, krack grenades at the ready.

An echo of death fills the battle field as the battle cannon targets the banshees but it deviates slightly and only kills 3. In the panic the veterans pick off another 1 with their las guns. The executioner releases its plasma on the dire avenger’s wave serpent but fails to do any damage, but the immobilised chimera somehow manages to glance it taking off its last hull point. Shooting from the hatch the veterans inside the chimera target the war walker with their plasma and get 3 penetrating hits and a glance! But the force field proves it’s worth rolling all 5’s and 6’s. Finding the banshees little more than pests the exterminators wipe all but the exarch out in a single turn, but she holds her ground.

Assault and the veterans charge the fire dragon’s wave serpent and manage to get a single penetrating hit, stunning the tank. How I wish I bought spirit stones at this point.

Eldar turn 3

Remembering fast attacks hand hold objectives I hide my vyper at the bottom of the ruins. With no hope of taking the guards objectives, the dire avengers fall back to hold the 1 point objective. I move the guardians across towards the 4 point one, maybe last turn they can snag it. The war walkers get closer to the chimera, willing to charge it if they have to. The lone banshee gets ever so close to the 3 exterminators, who knows, maybe she can scratch the paint work.

About time, the war walkers wreck the chimera and the veterans jump out. I try to run the dire avengers and guardians but they both just limp. Snap firing everything, the wave serpent manages to kill 2 of its attackers but it’s not going to live.

Assault phase and the banshee actually make it into combat with a tank! What makes it  even more surprising is she glances it as well. The war walkers charge the disembarked veterans but as they have to charge through the wreck they strike last and one gets grenades to death, the other only kills a single veteran. Unsurprisingly the wave serpent is wrecked and the fire dragons are forced to jump out.

Imperial guard turn 4

Now the wave serpent is gone the veterans go after the squishy insides chasing the fire dragons. All exterminators ignore the exarch and move forwards.

The vets on the left shoot at the lone exarch and she eventually fails an armour save. If you look carefully the battle tank can see the guardians though a door and 2 windows, so he makes the shot but all the guardians make their cover save (it was an almost impossible shot). On the right the veterans shoot at the fire dragons and kill 4 of them, but the rest are soon killed by the exterminators. The lone executioner targets the dire avengers but most of the shots scatter off an only 5 die, leaving 1 guy left.

Combat and the war walker kills 1 more guy but then gets more krack grenades stuffed inside it than it can handle and explodes.

Eldar turn 4

I run the guardians after the 4 point objective and the lone dire avenger to the 1 point objective.

Imperial guard turn 5

The guardians all die, every one targets them and they become nothing more than a blood stain on the floor.

Eldar turn 5

I move the vyper to the 4 point objective.

We roll to see if the blood bath carries on. It does not.

Imperial Guard: 7 (3 point obj, 2 point obj, slay the warlord, first blood) – Eldar: 6 (4 point obj, 1 point obj, slay the warlord)

The points make it look like a close game, it really wasn’t.


I defiantly brought a knife to a gun fight there, I just couldn’t handle that much AV 14, and what little I had that could deal with it I squandered. While it wasn’t a great match up for me it was defiantly the tactics that failed me.

When the war walkers appeared I have the choice of table edge, and while I tried to stop the chimera and take an objective I should have seen I stood no chance. They should have gone after the left vets, as even though they had melta guns, a turn of shooting might have killed 2 or 3, possibly made them run, but I would have had more chance of shifting them off the objective and he wouldn’t have been able to get it back. The fire dragons, I should have got them out right away and destroyed a chimera allowing the wave serpent to take out some veterans. If I had just used most of my army as a distraction and kept the dire avengers and guardians back I probably could have won, it wouldn’t have been pretty, but I would have had more objectives.

That's all great in hindsight but he might have changed his tactics, who knows. What did you guys think of the battle report, and how, if you were me, would you have played it differently?


  1. One piece of advice from an IG player is to remember that squadrons are risky. Any excess hits go onto the next vehicles until either all hits are done or all tanks are dead. In the future, you might want to consider a risky move of just bursting the Fire Dragon serpent forward (hopefully after a Fortune casting) and then dropping the Dragons in front of the middle tank. He didn't seem to have much in the way of support for the Exterminators so you probably could have killed 2-3 in one go and the Serpent should survive one turn of shooting with a +4 cover, especially if its re-rollable.

    I wonder if you didn't suffer from the kind of shock and awe that Russ heavy lists can inspire in people. I've faced a few opponents with my tank heavy lists and they fall to pieces even though they should be able to make a fight of it. The intimidation makes them too fearful or hesitant or what have you and they don't hold to a good plan.

    1. It's not even the first time i have played this kind of list, i should know what to do but i just lost it as i didn't have my normal tools available, especially using banshees i just felt very out gunned from the off. Still you are right i should have been bolder and just attacked with the fire dragons in the middle then swarmed his left flank. Less resistance and i would have taken his point. Next time i won't make the same mistakes!!!

    2. Would that every great General in history got to live and learn from their mistakes.