The Fate of Bavgad Prime IV – Week 2

Opponent: Dalton Nash (Eldar)
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Objective: Annihilation

5 x Pathfinders
10 x Howling Banshees w/Exarch, Wave Serpent
5 x Fire Dragons w/Exarch, Wave Serpent
3 x Dark Reapers w/Exarch, Wave Serpent

I've put off writing up this battle report about as long as I really can, for one very simple reason; thinking back on it aggravates me. I'm not going to accuse Dalton of cheating, but I will say that he was ignorant of certain rules to his own advantage, and sadly I didn't think to actually ask why he was doing what he was doing. Let this stand as a lesson, then; you can never re-read the rules too often, and you can never ask too many questions about your opponents' army and its capabilities.

Dalton won the roll-off, and elected to go first, deploying his Wave Serpents centrally, the Wraithlord on my left flank and the Pathfinders and the Dark Reapers on my right, the former in a bit of area terrain and the latter on a ruin with a commanding view. In return I deployed dual firebases, my XV88 monats anchoring my wings along with a Devilfish, Firewarrior team and Fireknife team, while my 'El, the Hammerhead and the Deathrains hung around the middle, along with my own Pathfinders. I failed to seize, and Dalton took his first turn, his Wave Serpents racing flat out towards my lines and unloading with their bright lances. I lost my Hammerhead straight off, along with one of my Fireknives, the rest thankfully resisting the urge to break. Of course, the keener-eyed amongst you will notice that he shouldn't have been shooting at all, given the flat out movement of his vehicles; unfortunately, I didn't catch this at the time. And along with shooting after going flat-out, I didn't catch on that he was applying the 4+ cover save all the time, even when he wasn't moving far enough to earn it. And (dis)embarking from transports moving flat out, as well.

You can see why this battle report rankles at me.

Well, unsurprisingly, I struggled to deal with Wave Serpents armed with bright lances going flat out and shooting, while being protected from return fire by a 4+ save they often weren't entitled to. I did eventually put down two of them, but that was only in the last turn of the game, long after it had stopped mattering. Dalton's tanks made short work of just about everything in my army, with me ultimately managing to kill just two of them, his Howling Banshees and his Fire Dragons in exchange for all my tanks, two of my three XV8 squads, one of my Firewarrior squads and my 'El, who managed one shot with the AFP at Dalton's Pathfinders and scattered a full 12" off the target. So, yes, I lost that game, and not by a particularly small margin, either. But plenty of the units I lost shouldn't have been taking the fire they did, and his tanks made saves against my railguns all game long, where that AP1 damage result boost could easily have taken them out of the equation. So, while I'm not willing to say Dalton cheated, the pair of us were ignorant of the rules in a way that heavily favoured him, and crippled me.

Well. Live and learn.

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