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Old 03 Nov 2009, 17:50   #1 (permalink)
Sau1us
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NS Canada
Posts: 621
Default Eldar Field Experiment: Battle of the Troop FoC slot

This was more of a Field Experiment than a battle report, but I suppose this would be its category.

At the advice of everyone over at the Eldar board, I thought I would try out swapping out ALL Guardians choices for Dire Avengers at the 1000 point level.
The constants in the experiment were:
the enemies (Tau and Tyranids in separate games)
the point values (1000),
Gametype, was annihilation
Same table and terrain, and deployment
and the support, A farseer (RoWit, Guide, Doom, SS), waveserpent (TLBL, StarE, SS), Falcon(EML, SS, HoloF), and Fire Prism (SS, HoloF), War Walker 2 EML.

Setting aside the obvious differences between the two, I assumed point costs were balanced for these two units, and that if fielded equally, they SHOULD perform similarly. They were also used similarly, that is each DA had bladestorm and x2 catapults.

The basics of the experiment were that Dire avengers after bling run roughly 150% the cost of Guardians, and therefore have 75% the numbers. This immediately came to my first conclusion, DA now numbering at 17 can entirely fit into the transports I am fielding, unlike 34 of the guardians in my other list. This allows for quite a lot of safety for those (relatively) expensive troops.

The Guardians. Numbering 34, toting varied weapons starcannon, EML and S. Cannon. the EML and StarC had 12 each. The shuirken cannon and farseer rode in the Waveserpent. The games went quite smoothly, I had experience against these armies before.

The Tau were mechanized with 3 broadsides 3 anti vehicle suits and ďTankíOĒ a geared up shas O (iridium, stims, shield gen, shield drones, with FB and CIB), and transports were disabled by the heavy support, crisis teams could not be used effectively as the star cannon and EML would have made them gone. They made a combined effort to advance with the commander and stripped down the waveserpent to its hull, the guardians got out, guided doomed, and killed the crisis team, leaving the other special weapons to wound the commander. I had several low units, but no vehicle was lost and Guaridans made it through.

The Tyranids are a pretty stock gaunt base with ranged warriors, hivetyrant, and the BS+ST fex that forms a nice spearhead. I fired everything possible into the carnifex to bring it down quickly (it fired once, killing 5 guardians), next, the warriors, leaving 2 gaunt squads without synapse. The Hive tyrant closed with some termagaunts, hurting starcannon squad, and killing shuriken cannon squad (overrun in cc). This was the last hurrah though, starcannon squad shot (guide and doom) the hive tyrant with Falcon support for the kill, and EML fired and killed gaunts, leaving only lurkers.

Overall, my guardians performed as they usually do. Ablative wounds for a specific heavy weapon that hurts a bit to approach. I perhaps would have preferred two starcannons, as banking on 1 hit a turn isnít fun. The EML worked nicely, mostly firing blasts (the Tyranid player was surprised to hear it was AP4 when his warriors got hit by it).

The Dire Avengers. Numbering 17 models, 2 of which were exarches, these guys were all mounted, and obviously geared for troop annihilation.
The Tau transports were a tad more aggressive, along with the crisis suits, seeing no targets for the fire warriors, they stayed either far away, or inside their busses. My falcon was quickly immobilized by several railguns, and Fire Prism (after killing 2) lost its main gun to a broadside. With only my wave serpent to crack tanks reliably, I tried to stay back. The crisis team fired, and was sad to hear fusions arenít go against its force field, after which I promptly disembarked and cut them to ribbons. Wow, was it nuts, 36 shots, 35 hit, 34 wounds (farseer was really doing double duty on the guide and doom!). The suits were vanquished. I was fish of furied in return, with supporting fire from another devilfish losing all but my farseer (who was wounded) 2 DA and the exarch, but aside from that, I again took no KP losses as he other DA did not leave the Falcon.

The Tyranids had this annoying factor of 2 things with 2+ saves which could only be hurt by Fire Prism, Waveserpent, and Falcon. This was the main reason I want another starcannon next time. This time, the tyranids first turn saw the falcon, and fire prism getting (by said MCs). I prioritized what I could, the warriors and gaunts, but needed to star engine to get in position, the nids saw a completely un-accosted turn! (Falcon and Fire Prism went flat out as well). After positioning I did a similarly devastating shoting phase (w/o blade) into the warriors, they were gone. A few wounds were dealt to the Hive Tyrant. The Carnifex, trying to kill the DA missed and destroyed the wave serpent (face palm). They were now stranded. The hive tyrant charged the Fire Prism, missing every attack. The avengers began to run from the carnifex while firing backwards (bladestorming once, doing 2 wounds), the others tried top hurt the hive tyrant to no avail. The carnifex (due to difficult terrain rolls) made it to my DA crushing them all (farseer had left them behind), the other DA got back in the falcon and ran away. It was a tie (a gaunt squad did get killed by the other DA team).

The results, somewhat consistent: I am tempted to say that DA with Powersword and defend might have been better, but then again I donít really have a reason. I also found that having a squad of 11 DA with bladestorm to be the definition of overkill, furthermore they did NOT need guide or doom to be effective. Now going by the RAW results the guardians appear to perform better in my hands, t of course a larger sample size would be needed.

The extra range on the DA came in handy once, and of course the guardians could have moved and fired the same distance. The accuracy of the DA compared to guardian wasnít terribly noticeable, mainly as with fewer DA I wasnít really seeing the hits (24 shots from guardians, 12 hits from 12 guardians, equivalently 16 shots from DA, 10.7 hits from 8 DA, I guess thatís why). The extra armor came in handy a few times, or would have. That barbed strangler is downright mean to guardians. Now I suppose I should give the guardians a warlock or something to be equivalent to an exarch.

Overall the DA werenít that bad I suppose, I might increase the amount of them (maybe solidify the 34 guardians in 1 20 and 1 10, use the extra to bump up the DA a bit. Then I guess I need another Waveserpent, looks like I need another battleforce!
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Alright Blood Angels, who wants to play pin the Tau on the carnifex!
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