Battle Summary: Drukhari and Craftworlds vs Chaos and Tau

(c. Blazblazos)

So, a few days ago I took a break from testing out the Sisters and took my Drukhari to one of my LGS, Hairy Tarantula North, for a 1000 point 40k tournament using ITC rules. As this was the first tournament I had been attending in ages, I was rather apprehensive. As it turned out, however, all of my apprehension was for nothing: with only three or four tables, the store was completely unprepared for the massive turnout they ended up recieving, and as a result spots went to the first people to arrive. Sadly, I was not one of them.

Unperturbed, myself and three of the other latecomers went over to Games Workshop’s nearby store and had ourselves a friendly team game with the lists we were going to use. It ended up being myself and a Craftworld player against a dastardly team of Chaos and T’au. Our lists were as follows:

KABAL OF THE REVENANT SHROUD

KABAL OF THE FLAYED SKULL BATTALION:
Drazhar- Hatred Eternal
Archon- splinter pistol, venom blade, Helm of Spite
5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster
5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster
5 Kabalite Warriors- blaster
Ravager- 3 dark lances
Ravager- 3 disintegrator cannons
Venom- dual splinter cannons
Venom- dual splinter cannons
Venom- dual splinter cannons

CULT OF THE CURSED BLADE PATROL:
Succubus- archite glaive, impaler, Hypex
16 Wyches- shardnet and impaler, Hekatrix with agonizer, Grave Lotus

The idea behind this list was simple, straightforward Venom spam, backed up by a pair of Ravagers (the differing weapon loadouts were simply because I couldn’t magnetize one of them with disintegrators in time for the tournament). There were a few experiments in this list, however, the first being the giant mob of Wyches waiting to deep strike in on the enemy via Webway Assault, and the second was Drazhar. For only 100 points, Drazhar is an absolute murder machine with his updated rules, and I was confident that he would be more than able to counter-charge and kill anything that came after my gunboats or home objectives.

My teammate, meanwhile, took the following:

CRAFTWORLD AISTRIU

ALAITOC BATTALION:
Autarch- shuriken pistol, star glaive, Shimmerplume of Achillrial, Fate’s Messenger
Farseer Skyrunner- witchblade, Doom, Executioner
Warlock Skyrunner- Jinx/Protect
5 Dire Avengers
5 Dire Avengers
5 Rangers
Wave Serpent- twin shuriken cannons, hull shuriken cannon, spirit stones, vectored engines
Wave Serpent- twin shuriken cannons, hull shuriken cannon, spirit stones, vectored engines

AUXILIARY DETACHMENT (EXPERT CRAFTERS, MASTERFUL SHOTS)
7 Dark Reapers- Exarch w. Tempest Launcher

So, plenty of speed, firepower and psychic powers. Overall, a solid Eldar list and one that would complement my own quite well.

Finally, our sneaky opponents took the following lists:

THE ALPHA LEGION

ALPHA LEGION BATTALION:
Lord Discordant- Mark of Khorne, autocannon, Talisman of Burning Blood, Clandestine
Master of Possession- Cursed Earth, Infernal Power, Faceless Commander, We Are Alpharius
5 Chaos Space Marines- Mark of Slaanesh, autocannon
5 Chaos Space Marines- Mark of Slaanesh, autocannon
10 Chaos Cultists
Greater Possessed
3 Obliterators- Mark of Slaanesh
Venomcrawler
Venomcrawler

THE T’AU

T’AU VANGUARD:
Ethereal- Through Unity, Devastation
Riptide- heavy burst cannon, smart missile system, advanced targeting system, multi-tracker
Riptide- heavy burst cannon, smart missile system, advanced targeting system, multi-tracker
Firesight Marksman

T’AU OUTRIDER:
Commander Shadowsun- 2 stealth drones
5 Pathfinders
5 Pathfinders
6 Shield Drones
6 Drones- 1 Pulse Accelerator Drone, 1 Grav Inhibitor Drone, 1 Recon Drone, 3 Shield Drones
6 Drones- 1 Pulse Accelerator Drone, 1 Grav Inhibitor Drone, 1 Recon Drone, 3 Shield Drones

This was a lot of Daemon Engines coming our way, all of which had a -1 to hit modifier from more than 12″ away (-2 in the case of the Lord Discordant). Added to that were the Riptides, which were going to be a pain to deal with, especially with all of those Shield Drones protecting them. All in all, this was going to be a very tough matchup. The fact that I hadn’t played against T’au or the newer iteration of Chaos yet in this edition made me all the more apprehensive.

For the scenario, we rolled Secure and Control on a Dawn of War deployment.

DEPLOYMENT:

We placed one objective in the centre, and another on our left flank. The centre deployment was pretty sparse, with just a single Wave Serpent full of Avengers and a Venom guarding one objective.

The rest of our stuff mostly occupied the left flank, hugging cover wherever possible, with my Ravagers in particular staying close to the Archon for his reroll bubble. The Wyches went into ongoing reserve using the Webway Portal stratagem.

The Chaos and T’au forces spread out a little, with both of their objectives placed on the left flank to be guarded by by the majority of the T’au force as well as some Cultists and a Venomcrawler. In the centre, meanwhile, there were some more Drones, as well as the Lord Discordant and the other Venomcrawler, while the Chaos Space Marines occupied the buildings. The Obliterators were placed into ongoing reserve.
Before the game began, one unit of Pathfinders scouted up bravely. And then, with that, the Eldar won the first turn.

TURN 1

At the beginning of the first turn, most of my stuff flew up on the left flank, with my Venoms trying to get into rapid fire range of the Drones screening the Riptide (they ended up just short) while my Ravagers poked around from behind cover to bring their guns to bear as well. The Wave Serpents also zoomed up towards the left flank to bring their guns to bear as well, and the Eldar’s psykers flew forwards to try to unleash their powers.

Last but by no means least, the Dark Reapers moved out from behind cover…

….while a unit of Dire Avengers edged up, followed by my Succubus and Drazhar.

In the psychic phase, the Farseer Doomed the Riptide, and cast Executioner on the nearby Pathfinders, killing 3, and the Warlock followed suit by casting Protect on the Farseer just in case a Riptide moved up to target him.

In the shooting phase, almost all of our combined fire went into the leftmost Riptide and its screen: it took both Venoms and their passengers, my disintegrator Ravager, the Rangers, and a Wave Serpent to kill 5 of the 6 Shield Drones. Finally, the Reapers opened fire, Dealing 9 wounds to the Riptide and, in the process, killing the last Drone. Afterwards, my dark lance Ravager singled the Riptide out, and, finally, blasted something like 10 more wounds into it, finally destroying it for First Blood.

Some sad violin music played as the other Riptide mourned its buddy.

In the intermin, the Farseer’s guns managed to slice down one more Pathfinder, and the other Wave Serpent managed to kill a few Drones from another group. My teammate then used Fire and Fade to move his Reapers back behind cover, and that was that.

In the enemy turn, Shadowsun edged forwards into cover, while the Chaos Cultists conga lined up onto both objectives, making sure that there would not be enough room for the Wyches to deep strike in. One Venomcrawler stayed in the backfield, ready to counter-charge anything that got too close.

“We conga dance for KAY-OSSS!”
The Riptide edged up, ready to get line of sight, and payback, on the Eldar skimmers.

Meanwhile, the Lord Discordant and the other Venomcrawler surged forwards at top speed towards the rightmost Wave Serpent, and the Chaos Space Marines and Greater Possessed moved up as much as they could as well. Finally, the Master of Possession used Renascent Infiltration to go back into ongoing reserves.

In shooting, the foremost Venom used Lightning-Fast Reflexes to force a -2 to hit. The Pathfinders managed to put three markerlights on the disintegrator Ravager.

The aforementioned Riptide then charged its nova reactor and let rip with its heavy burst cannon. 18 shots later, the Ravager was reduced to 2 wounds, badly damaged but still intact. Shadowsun then fired into the lightning-fast Venom and managed to freem four wounds off of it despite all of the negative modifiers. All other T’au and Chaos shooting, fortunately for us, was negligible.

In the assault phase, the Lord Discordant charged the rightmost Wave Serpent, taking a wound from overwatch, before the Venomcrawler joined in. In close combat, however, the two daemon engines combined to only put maybe 4 or 5 wounds on the Eldar tank, leaving it both intact and operational, much to the Chaos player’s chagrin.

TURN 2

In our turn, the engaged Wave Serpent zoomed out of harm’s way. In it’s wake, Drazhar, my Succubus and the Avengers moved up, as did one of my Venoms (which had been camping on an objective), while further back the Dark Reapers moved out from behind cover to target the daemon engines as well. Finally, the two Eldar psykers flew up to join in the fray and lend a hand with their psychic powers. After failing to kill the Wave Serpent, the Lord Discordant was finding that a noose had just closed around him.

Meanwhile, my damaged Venom zoomed up to deal with the Cultists on the objective, my two Ravagers and other Venom angled to get better shots, and the other Wave Serpent flew onto the left flank as well to hopefully kill more Drones.

Finally, the Wyches came in from the Webway near one squad of Chaos Space Marines…though those Chaos Marines then used the Alpha Legion’s Ambush stratagem to open fire, killing four of them.

In the psychic phase, the Eldar once again stretched their psychic muscles, Dooming the Venomcrawler and Jinxing the Lord Discordant before zapping two wounds off of him with Smite. Then, in the shooting phase, the Dark Reapers split their fire, doing 6 wounds to the Venomcrawler and something like 3 to the Lord Discordant. The Venom and its crew failed to hurt the distant Chaos Space Marines, sadly, but the blaster of the Kabalites managed to finish off the Venomcrawler, causing it to explode, killing three of said Chaos Space Marines and doing a wound to the Lord Discordant, one to the Venom and two to the Succubus.

Elsewhere, my damaged Venom and its crew combined to kill all but 2 of the Cultists, while the other poured all of its fire into Shadowsun’s Stealth Drones, failing to do any damage whatsoever. My damaged Ravager, at least, managed to bring down another Shield Drone from another unit, and my dark lance Ravager managed to snipe 5 wounds off of the other Venomcrawler. Finally, the Wave Serpents managed to plink off a few more Shield Drones and finish off the last 2 Cultists.

In melee, Drazhar and the Succubus both charged the Lord Discordant, while the Wyches managed their long charge on the Chaos Space Marines, though they lost 2 to overwatch as the Greater Possessed heroically intervened.

In close combat, Drazhar, being made to hit on 3s thanks to the Lord Discordant’s aura, barely managed to kill him after attacking him twice, and both he and the Succubus consolidated forwards a little.

Elsewhere, the Wyches annihilated the Chaos Space Marines, though the Greater Possessed killed two of them in return. In morale, another Wych fled, and that was that.

In the enemy turn, Shadowsun invoked the Kauyon, and the entire T’au army stood still, and the Chaos forces, similarly, did very little in the way of movement. That was, until the Obliterators suddenly arrived from deep strike, alongside the Master of Possession, the four of them staring down my suddenly very exposed characters. Uh oh…

In the psychic phase, the Master of Possession cast Cursed Earth and Infernal Power on the Obliterators, bringing their invulnerable save up to 4+ and letting them reroll misses. Then, in the shooting phase, the Obliterators unleashed hell, freeming down both Drazhar and my Succubus, despite me using Lightning-Fast Reflexes in a vain effort to keep Drazhar alive. The Chaos player then used Endless Cacophany to make them fire again, obliterating my rightmost Venom and killing one of the Kabalites inside, sending the rest tumbling out near their objective.

On the other flank, the Riptide again fired up its Nova reactor and fired a million bullets at my undamaged Ravager, again falling short of killing it and bringing it down to two wounds remaining even after it had been hit by multiple markerlights. Burst cannons from the recon drones also shot out, managing to plink another wound off of the disintegrator Ravager. The Venomcrawler unleashed its own crazy guns on the Venom in the backfield, but failed to kill it: Shadowsun was forced to do the job herself, hitting it decisively with her fusion blasters and sending it crashing in a wreck, killing one Kabalite in the wreckage.

Finally, in melee, the Greater Possessed swiped down another two Wyches, taking one wound in return.

With that, the store was closing in half an hour, so we decided to call it there. The Eldar team was narrowly in the lead, and so we had won 2 points to 1, though there was still enough nasty stuff alive that it could easily have gone either way in the upcoming turns.

Result: Eldar Victory! (sort of)

Thoughts: There were quite a few learning points about this game, though a good chunk of them involved learning some tips about other armies:

  • Drazhar lives up to his reputation as an absolute beast. However, he ideally needs a transport to get into the fight quickly, otherwise he’s reliant on enemies getting into charge range on their own.
  • Drukhari characters on foot are tricky to use in general, because your transports will usually outpace them. Where possible, they should hug cover, or have the transports act as screening units– something I neglected to do in this game, to my cost
  • The Wych bomb is tricky, as it is bound to take plenty of casualties the moment it arrives, it seems. I think half of the power of the Wych bomb stems not necessarily from its hitting or staying power, but from the threat of it, which forces the opponent to pull forces back to box in possible deep strike zones. Even if they get killed to a Wych, however, they are still a reasonably priced unit that can provide a decent distraction.
  • Obliterators are NASTY! I had only glanced at their stats before, and hadn’t realized how truly mean they were up until now. The fact that they can shoot twice thanks to Endless Cacophany, and be boosted by crazy by Malefic powers, makes them a very intimidating deathstar unit for Chaos…though my teammate remained confident that his Reapers can take them
  • Speaking of Reapers, Craftworld Eldar make excellent allies for Drukhari, as they have the speed, unerring firepower and psychic powers to complement the Drukhari’s own speed and unerring firepower. Cue half a million competetive Eldar Soup players rolling their eyes at my sudden discovery…
  • We were lucky to kill that Riptide when we did, given that we were dumping almost two armies’ worth of firepower into it (ironically, the Drones took the longest to kill). The damage output of the Riptides, however, was surprisingly unimpressive: decently tough vehicles seem to be a hard thing for Riptides to deal with. As an aside, my T’au opponent and I are both in agreement that T’au are in need of a major update: while T’au are not bad or uncompetetive, they also have only one major competetive build (ie the Riptide-Drone castle) and really need more interesting competitive options.

Alright, that’s all for now. Tune in next time, and if you’re all good, I might have some more Kill Team stuff for you dear readers!

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