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Topics - BigToof

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1
Battle Reports / Upcoming Bat Reps!
« on: August 05, 2018, 06:46:58 PM »
Hi All,
Not dead yet!
I've been away primarily on holidays and also well...
I had a couple of easy Tyranid/Genestealer cult games with my Dark Eldar and frankly it wasn't worth a write up.
(I had first turn and wiped most of the opposition, and then second time around there was poor rolling for GSC setup and things didn't go well again...).
However, I'm back looking for games and there's all these... Knights around.
Strange times indeed.
Hope to get games in soon and reps will be up soon with luck.

Best,
-BT

2
General 40k and Expansions / Ork and Space Wolf Codexes Incoming!
« on: June 01, 2018, 11:22:01 PM »
Hi All,
News today: Ork and Space Wolf Codexes are next!
Hopes are high that both will be good, and as they are two of my favorite armies, they will have reps for sure!

And here I was just having fun with the Dark Eldar...

Best,
-BT

3
------------------------------------------------------------------
Dark Eldar vs. Custodes/IG (1500, 5/18) in "The Golden Guard Returns!"
------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
This rep brings back one of my more recent mates who is piloting the Custodes again!
I think it's pretty much the same list, but with a change-out of the IG relic for a sweet Custodes relic bike and plasma guns instead of flamers.  But, I'm not running the tough-as-nails Eldar this time.
This time it's the glass hammer of the Dark Eldar.
And I'm... not as optimized as I could be.
As my last game felt a bit too... one-sided, I decided to go with some Wych cult action.
Reavers are supposed to be the new rule of cool, so I threw them in with a Succubus and a side order of Wyches.

Did it work out?
Was it too weak-sauce?

Read on and see!

Best,
-BT
P.S.  Fluff is here too!  Comments and critiques are greatly appreciated!

--------------------------------------------------------------

-----------
The Lists
-----------

Dark Eldar 1500: 43 Infantry, 3 MCs, 5 Vehicles; 8 CPs
Black Heart Battalion
-Archon w/Huskblade, Blaster
-Archon w/Venom Blade, Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Raider w/DCannon
-Raider w/DCannon
-Raider w/DCannon
-Ravager w/DCannonsx3
-Ravager w/DCannonsx3
Cult of the Red Grief Patrol
-Succubus
-Wychesx8 w/Shardnet
-Reaversx6
Prophets of Flesh Patrol
-Haemonculus
-Wracksx10
-Talosx3 w/Chain Flail, Macro-Scapel, Haywire Blastersx6
Artifacts of Cruelty: Writ of the Living Muse, Blood Glaive, Vexator Mask
Warlord: Labrynthine Cunning, Hyper-Swift Reflexes, Diabolical Soothsayer
Drugs: Succubus +1S, Wyches +1A, Reavers +1T

The Golden Guard 1500: 42 Infantry, 1 Vehicle; 9 CPs
Custodes Outriders
-Shield-Captain on Aquila Jetbike (Relic), Salvo Launcher
-Vertus Praetorsx3 w/Hurricaine Bolter, Misericordia
-Vertus Praetorsx3 w/Hurricaine Bolter, Misericordia
-Vertus Praetorsx3 w/Hurricaine Bolter, Misericordia
Cadian Battalion
-Company Commander
-Lord Commissar
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Primaris Psyker w/Force Staff, Psychic Barrier
-Infantry Squad w/Plasmagun, Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Plasmagun, Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Plasmagun, Mortar
Warlord: CC: Grand Strategist

------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------
Chapter 16: Darling in the Webway
---------------------------------

Ex-Farseer/Dracon Thielbane of the Kabal of the Bloody Hand pressed by another group of Drukhari Warriors.  The Warriors, all relatively young, looked at him with a look of disdain.  This was somewhat understandable, as he wasn't wearing his usual Dracon garb, finding the inner pain-barbs to be not to the liking of most reasonable Eldar.  However, this did mean that navigating the growing crowds was becoming more and more difficult.  He wasn't sure of it was Archon Y'stral's recent alliance with the Kabal of the Black Heart had done it, or if it was just some kind of Commeraugh event, but the ranks of the Drukhari had swollen rather significantly.

For Thielbane, it was a surprise seeing so many new faces, given that the Eldar were supposed to be dying race.  Of course, he had to admit, that was the Craftworld variety.  There were whispered rumours that the denizens of the Dark City had ways to churn out mass-produced Aeldari in near mind-numbing numbers, but he had never put much stock to it all.

Whatever the cause of it all, there were now more Dark Eldar in one place than he had seen.  Perhaps ever.  Although, his days as a Corsair Prince were probably close.  He shrugged to himself.  But, that was a different person.  Customary to the Paths of the Craftworld, Thielbane had shed his old life before walking the Path of the Seer and thus had left his past deeds (and misdeeds) behind him.  It was like the old skin of a Warp Spider, things lost to the passing of time.

Finally having made his way to Y'stral antechamber, Thielbane took a moment to readjust his Biel-tan robes.  There were supposed to be the leaders of a potential ally faction that were coming to meet them, and first impressions, as always, were very important.

With a gesture, the spiked-iris door opened with a hiss, and inside a small cadre of scantily-clad Drukhari stood, turning to face him with blades at their hips. 

Wyches? 

This was unexpected.  Y'stral had a way of putting off the more delicately-nuanced Arena fighters with his less-than-subtle antics.  Bowing with respect, he was almost caught off guard when the pointy-armored Y'stral walked out of their midst, cackling near-manically.  The Archon was his usual self, that to mean equal parts blood-thirsty monster and conniving madman.

"Thiel!" the Archon crowed, clasping him rather uncomfortably on the shoulder.  "Glad you could make it.  Ladies, this is Captain Thielbane.  My Dracon.  Like I said."

Thielbane nodded to the assembled crew of Wyches, who looked him up and down with a look that a butcher gave to a rather exquisite piece of meat.  But, they parted when an elegant figure wielding an enormous Glaive strode forward.  Like the other Wyches, she was scant of clothing, showing off enough ivory skin to make certain parts of Thiel's anatomy spring to attention in a rather undiplomatic way.  However, unlike the others, she had an elegant whirl of body-paint that started on her blade arm and worked it's way up to her face, which was rather surprisingy soft with none of the harsh edges and glares that he had come to expect from the leaders of the Wych cults.  And she clearly was high up in the ranks with a number of odds and ends draped about her that were clearly trophies from presumably rather nasty opponents.

Before he could say anything, there was a blur of motion and the lead Wych was suddenly very close with the edge of her gigantic blade against his throat.  He glanced over at Y'stral and saw that he was similarly surrounded by the other Wyches, who had their blades drawn and settled against varying parts of his anatomy.  And much to Thielbane's irritation, the Archon seemed to be enjoying every moment of it.

Thielbane looked down at the Wych, who looked up at him with a sudden fury and said in soft, velvet tones, "Whoever you are impostor, know that you will die by my hand for daring to call yourself by the name of the greatest Aeldari the universe has ever known."

He blinked.  Something about her voice, her face.  Memories that were long since buried came back to life and a name popped up into his head.  "Val?  Is... Is that you?"

The Wych took a step back and Thielbane let a breath go that he didn't know he was keeping in.  "Thiel...," whispered the girl, "C...  Captain?"

Thielbane nodded, rubbing the back of his head in embarressment, "Uh, hi.  Val.  Yeah, it's... it's... been a while."

The Wych's mouth dropped open and Thielbane both saw and felt a panaply of emotions cross over her face.  "How?  It's... impossible.  You died.  You were..."

Trying to inject, Thiel gestured pointedly and said, "Can we... talk about this somewhere else?"

Still, the Drukhair continued as if in a waking dream, her eyes unfocused as if seeing something else far away.  "We all saw the explosion.  There wasn't even enough left for the Haemonculi to try and resurrect.  I... don't... understand..."

Nodding, Thielbane said, "Yeah... about... that...  I mean there's a reasonable explanation about..."

Suddenly, she whipped her head up and forcefully cut him off, "I don't care."

It was Thiel's turn to be more than a bit confused.  "W... What?"

"I'm just... happy you're alive."

Then, with surprising speed yet again, the Wych was next to him, holding him in an embrace that was shocking to everyone else in the room.  Especially Thielbane. 

It was such a foreign gesture amongst the Drukhari.  To leave yourself open to attack in so many ways, especially by someone who was so clearly a veteran of the Arena, was just... unfathomable.

Taking a moment to let it all sink in, Theilbane ventured to say,  "I... Thanks.  Val.  I...  I didn't..."

Looking up at him with a look of unbridled joy, she replied , "It's ok.  You're back.  We're back.  It's... all perfect now."

Y'stral coughed, drawing everyone's attention to the Archon who was still surrounded by a forest of drawn blades.  "AHEM.  Are you two done?  There's a lot of Mon-Keigh who aren't going to be killing themselves you know."

Thielbane nodded and said, "Uh, right.  Sorry."

The Wych let him go and Thielbane noticed that she blushed when he caught her eye and she looked away. 

Vallaria.  She hadn't changed.

Or rather.  She had.  A lot.  His memories were still rather foggy.  He had been lucky to get a name.

Y'stral sighed and said, "Right, so Thiel, you know the Succubus.  That means we're good to go, right?"

Thielbane looked rather surprised at Vallaria, who smiled and nodded.  Someone had gone up in the world.

The Archon continued, "So, now that we're not into stabbing each other, as fun as that might be, I've got some sweet, sweet extra-prime Mon-Keigh that need harvesting.  All we have to do is pick them up."

Thielbane frowned.  That sounded far too easy.  What wrinkle was...

There was a hiss of the door opening again, and the end of what sounded like a babble of words came through.  And Thielbane was a bit surprised to see Bella and Starsparkle.  Bella was her usual self, reading her book and not paying attention to anything in the slightest, especially not the overly animated figure next to her.  Done up to the nines with dyed hair and glittery sparkles covering nearly the entirety of her body was Starsparkle, the youngest of the Drukhari and one of the most skilled Reaver Arena Champion Thiel had ever met.  Although, he had to admit that it had been some time since he had seen her.

"Bella.  Star," said Thielbane in greeting.  "We have... a guest...  This is..."

"Oh, right!" Starsparkle said, "I'm supposed to be doing introductions.  This Succubus Vallaria of the Cult of the Red Grief.  The Mistress of Madness.  Sorry I'm late.  I just had to find Bella.  Oh, hey!  You're still alive, Captain!  That's great!  I thought we were going to kill you."

Thielbane felt his blood freeze again, but before he could speak, Vallaria was in front of him, smiling a familiar nervous grin.

"No, no darling, that's not it.  I just thought someone was using your name, and I was coming to... rectify that situation.  That's it."

Thielbane swallowed, nodded and said, "Well, I'm... glad then... about... that."

Star continued, "Yeah, I mean, who'd have thunk it that after I got sold off to the Cult of the Red Grief that I'd be back here so soon."

At the word, "sold," Thielbane whirled his head back to glare at Y'stral, who just shrugged.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, Thiel.  She wasn't doing much and it's a real pain to keep Wyches and their ilk on the payroll now-a-days.  Just doesn't fit in with the look of it all.  Can't have all spikey Kabals and one Wych wandering around.  Doesn't look good.  We got a good price for her, don't worry."

As he was about to say something, there was a blur, and once again, Vallaria was in his face, smiling again.  "And it was a good thing that she came to my cult too.  Otherwise we would never have met each other again.  By the Muses...  I think...  I think this is fate."

"Uh, yeah," said Starsparkle edging her way to the nearby Wyches who were still stunned.  "This is... completely normal.  Umm... Hey, are we... going on a raid then?"

Thiel again tried to find his words, but this time it was Archon Y'stral who appeared between Thielbane and the Succubus.  Throwing his arms around both of them, he drew them together and Thielbane felt some familiar soft curves press up against him.  Vallaria blushed again, and Thielbane felt more faint memories churn in the backseat of his brain.

"Absolutely," said the Archon, "I mean, we've gotta celebrate this day, right?  The Muses and stuff.  Let's get our kill on.  The Mon-Keigh won't know what hit them."

-----------------------------------------------------------

"This tea is rather wonderful."

There was a slight clatter of porcelein as the enormous figure of Shield-Captain Cogliostro of the Adeptus Custodes carefully put down the delicately decorated cup.  Dwarfed by the super-human was Commander Argus McClintock of the Cadian 758th.  The bearded man nodded with as much politeness as he could muster, his cybernetic eye humming in the dim light of the officer's tent.
"So, now that the pleasantries are done," said the Commander in a grizzled tone, "I take it now's the time for you to lay it on us what you and your golden boys are doing out here?"

Cogliostro nodded rather excitedly and said, "Oh, yes, quite.  We're getting vengeance for our fallen brethren.  Both you know, Custodes and Militarum.  I was in a tussle with some Eldar that went... badly really.  Bit of a shame, that.  Fell into a bout of sad-sack myself until I was told that we could have a second round with the Xenos.  Rather nice of the Emperor to allow that."

There was a clatter of silverware, and Cogliotstro saw that the Commander had nearly dropped his cup.

"The... The Emperor?" whispered McClintock, "The... Emperor himself sent you?"

Tapping his finger against his chin in thought, Cogliostro said, "Well, I suppose that's a rather technical turn of the phrase really.  Rather complicated.  More to say that we're here in the service of the Emperor whose decision tree was sorted through a number of Adeptus Administrum departments.  But still... kind of through the Emperor."

"Oh," said the Commander, who just felt an entire conversation fly over his head with the speed and distance of a Valkyrie on full-burn.  "So... what you're saying is that you're here to Purge the Alien and you want our help."

"Quite," said the Shield-Captain, "Jolly good that you understand that so well.  Very impressed with you and your men."

McClintock nodded and said, "Not to... question anything, sir, but... you do realize that we're at the end of a major engagement ourselves and our number are... less than substantial."

Cogliostro said excitedly, "Oh, yes, but don't fault that to yourselves.  That sort of thing just happens.  We just need some escorts to make sure that those dastardly Xenos don't get away."

The Commander rubbed his chin and said, "Well, I... suppose we can act to pick off the stragglers.  How large of a force are you expecting?"

Humming in thought, Cogliostro replied, "Well, the last time I saw them it was just two tanks and a handful or three of them.  Not much to deal with.  And according to this intelligence report there's sighting of them not that far away.  With any luck, they should come right to us."

Frowning, McClintock could only nod.  It sounded far too easy.  Hopefully the Administratum had actually done their job this time instead of the usual half-made haberdashery that came out of the so-called "intelligence" operations.  All he could do now was hope.  For whatever tha was worth in the 41st millennium.

-------------------------------------------------------

Pre-Game Thoughts: Well, looking at the lists, I can say this is going to be a tough fight.  Those Custodes are worth their weight in literal gold and are each monstrous to take down.  Four wounds each with a 2+/4++ save means I'm going to have to work overtime to kill even one squad.  I'd love to use Blasters on them, but with their 14" move that means that if I fail to do the job, they'll be all over me.
Bella and her friends may be some decent speed-bumpbs, but with their 2+WS, I think the Custodes will either outmaneuver or outfight them.  I can easily see them getting run around and then shot or stabbed to bits.
And speaking of stabbing, I have my very, very untested tiny Wych patrol with a Blood Glaive Succubus and a group of Reavers and Wyches who will hit with all the fury and impact of wet packing foam against the Golden Giants.

So, my plan?  Hope that the game will let me run around and pray for good rolls.  I suspect this may not go well for the Dark Ones.

--------------------------------------------------------
Mission: Tactical Escalation (Draw up to round #, Prioritize one type; both took Take and Hold (Secure))
Setup: Search and Destroy (Diagonal w/18" circle)


Setup-Sneak Peek

Picture Caption: Right.  You stay on your side and I'll stay on mine!

-------------------------------------------------------------------

To Be Continued!

4
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Dark Eldar vs Imperial Guard in "Bella's New Friends (1500, 5/18)
--------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
I have another BatRep, this one my first battle with the new Dark Eldar.
It was played right after my Tau battle, so same board setup and mission.
However, the new Dark Eldar...  they're pretty good.
The Codex itself is a lot more flavourful than the Tau one and quite frankly, power-wise I think it's a big jump.

So, I took a Black Heart Battalion for it's 6+ FNP save on everything (including vehicles) and the game changing Agents of Vect Stratagem that lets me deny Strats.
Oh, and for fun, I decided to bring out a trio of Talos.

Why?  Mostly because I needed to keep half my army on the board, and since you now have to count Power Points...

Well, the Talos are big point sinks that hopefully won't get blown off the board turn 1.

I had heard that they were the "special sauce" in the Codex, so I also wanted to see what they could do.

That is, if they ever got to the front lines.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

How did the True Kin do?

Were things over in a heartbeat or was it a slugfest?

Read. On.

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Comments and Critiques greatly appreciated!  Plus, there is fluff...

--------------------------------------------------------------

Dark Eldar (1500): 23 Infantry, 3 MCs, 7 Vehicles; 8 CPs
Black Heart Battalion
-Archon w/Huskblade, Blaster
-Archon w/Agonizer, Blaster, Writ of the Living Muse
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Ravager w/Disintegratorsx3
-Ravager w/Disintegratorsx3
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
-Raider w/Disintegrator
-Raider w/Disintegrator
-Raider w/Disintegrator
Prophets of the Flesh Patrol
-Haemonculus w/EC Whip, Vexetor Mask
-Wracksx5
-Talosx3 w/Chain Flails, Macro-Scapels, Haywire Blastersx6
Warlord: Labrynthine Cunning, Diabolical Soothsayer

Imperial Guard (1500): 59 Infantry, 9 Vehicles; 15 CPs
Cadian Brigade
-Company Commander w/Kurov's Aquilla (Warlord)
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Primaris Psyker w/Force Staff
-Commissar
-Commissar
-Commissar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Manticore
-Manticore
-Manticore
Warlord: Grand Strategist

-------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------
Chapter 15: Bella's New Friends
------------------------------------

The spiked door irised open to show another empty room.  The figure in the entryway raised a concerned eyebrow and brought a thin hand up to his face, rubbing his chin in thought.

Farseer Thielbane of Craftworld Biel-Tan was now officially worried.  This was the third similarly empty room that had he had checked.  Once, it had held another of his Craftworld brethren, but now it was empty.  Thielbane had noticed the subtle absence of Craftworlders aboard the Drukhari vessel that they shared, but it had taken him a slightly longer amount of time to confirm his suspicions. 

They were gone. 

All of them. 

Not all the Eldar per se, but the Craftworlders, surely enough.  Sadly, he had let his own guard down, not having bothered scrying the future since Y'stral was away.  The Archon of the Grisly Hand Kabal had sped away in the dead of near-night on some sort of mission that left Thielbane minding the proverbial shop.  The other Craftworlders had thought the Farseer mad for not bolting at the nearest opportunity, but Y'stral had been a staunch companion for such a long time, it seemed unseemly to leave him in a lurch.  Plus, the Archon was as vengeful as a Y'nnari with half a Soulburst and getting on his bad side was something to be avoided.

Thielbane leaned against the wall in thought, trying to avoid the spikier bits that hummed slightly with the far-off wails of anguish from the Torment Pits.  He should really consider leaving though.  His Craftworld had been shattered and the Seer Council was in disarray.  Surely if he wanted to be a major player he could easily come in and assume more than his fair share of power.  But, that seemed more trouble than it was worth.

"Thiel!"

A familiar shout broke his reverie, and the Farseer looked up to see Archon Y'stral striding forwards carrying an enormous sack.  He was wearing his usual black and red raiding armor and sporting a near-maniacal grin.  The game was clearly afoot.

"Y'stral.  I'm glad you're back.  Do you...  Do you know where the others have gone off to?"

The Archon laughed and said back with a sneer, "Oh, those losers?  Don't worry about it, Thiel.  I sent them away."

A jolt of shock went down Thielbane's spine as the edges of some dark mechanization started to form on the edges of his mind.  "Away?  Why?  I... They wouldn't just... leave me here."

Y'stral shrugged and said, "Yeah, well, you can't do much when you're under sleep-venom.  I mean, besides the inner screaming and all."

The Farseer rubbed his temples.  Not dead at least.  That was good.  "I...  You didn't... kill them, right?"

The Archon snorted and said, "Nah, I knew that'd put you in a snit.  Those boring sticks-in-the-mud were just holding you back.  They'll wake up soon enough.  Now, we have something big to do, you and me."

Thielbane frowned and said, "Y'stral, I can't just abandon my companions.  I..."

"Ffft, those losers?" snorted Y'stral, "I have 'em kept up in one of the secured holds.  Nothing'll happen to 'em while we have a little fun.  C'mon, don't you at least want to hear the details?"

Thielbane tapped his foot, sighed and said, "If we do this do you promise to let them go, unharmed?"

Y'stral grinned, threw an arm around Thielbane and said, "Absolutely, Thiel.  Absolutely.  Now, I've got this great opportunity.  Been away a while.  The Dark City and all.  Lots of big changes.  Vect really came through and all.  You gotta see it, Thiel.  It's all...  It's like a rummage sale over there.  Raiders and Venoms just flying out the door.  I picked up so much on the cheap.  And all I had to do was just trade some favours around."

"Favours?" replied Thielbane, recognizing a dreaded word amongst Drukhari society, "What... kind of favours?"

"The kind that aren't THAT bad.  Vect had just gone off and killed a lot of Archons that were openly backstabbing him and let bygones be bygones for others as long as they swore loyalty and all."

"Wait..." said the Farseer, "Didn't...  Didn't your Kabal fight Vect and Lady D'ysperax not that long ago?  Didn't we... nearly kill them?"

Y'stral shrugged, "Yeah, but c'mon, Thiel.  You think something like that's gonna hold back some potential deal-making?  If you stopped dealing with someone just because they killed you once or thrice, you'd never do any business in Commeraugh.  Anyway, I put us down as being Vect supporters."

"You did... WHAT?"

"Yeah, I know.  They didn't even have hats or anything.  Just this stupid tablet thing.  'Writ of the Living Muse.'  Hah, more like overwrought paperweight," growled Y'stral, "Anyway... so all we have to do is keep doing what we're doing.  You know... winning?  And now we can get so much on the cheap and get real weapons Thiel.  REAL weapons.  I don't know what they were doing to the Huskblades, but that's back and oh, oh you HAVE to see the Blasters now.  Knock your socks right off.  Blow 'em off more like it."

Thielbane whet his lips, "So... you pledged us to... eternal victory in the name of a vengeful Supreme Lord who will supply us with weapons and equipment, but has the reputation of destroying anyone who disappoints him?"

Y'stral sighed and said, "Thiel, Thiel, Thiel.  That's the Craftworld talking.  We were hanging on the ledge before, but now we're back on top.  All you have to do is never lose."

The audacity of the situation made Thielbane sputter for a bit, which gave Y'stral the opportunity to throw the bag he was carrying onto the ground with a clatter.

"What...  What is that, Y'stral?"

The Archon smirked, opening it up and holding out various pieces of savage looking gear.  "My old stuff.  Extra armor.  Oooh, double faced helmet with horns, classic.  Old Agonizer.  Good ol' blaster.  In perfectly working order."

"I... See..." said Thielbane, not liking where the conversation was headed.  "And... why do you have it all here?"

"Because," continued Y'stral, his smile spreading into a rictus grin, "I need a Dracon.  Someone who I can trust NOT to stab me in the back."

"What?" said Thielbane, genuinely shocked, "You... can't be serious.  Y'stral...  I'm not..."

"Not the notorious Space Pirate that made the galaxy quake?  Captain Thielbane of the Scarlet Serpents?  Him?  That's not you?"

Thielbane sighed.  It was this conversation again.  "You... know that's not how it works.  That was a different path.  A different me.  I can't just..."

"Pretend?" shot back Y'stral, playfully jabbing a finger into the Farseer's chest.  "But, which one is the real you, Thiel?  Is it this simpering half-competent Rune-lover or is the pirate who made girls squeal and Admirals quake in their boots?"

The Archon pulled the horned helmet up, and Thiel could see his own reflection, twisted in the dark metal.  Something about it seemed familiar.  It... called to him in a way.  Something deep within his soul asked a question that had been long since hidden:  Why not?

Thielbane whet his lips and said, "Y'stral...  If I do this... it'll be... for the good of the Craftworld.  Just to let you know."

"Of course," said Y'stral pressing the helmet into his companion's chest, watching as a familiar look crossed the once-Farseer's face, "Good of the Craftworlds.  Can't be helped.  Did what you had to do.  Just this one time, Thiel.  You can stop after that.  I promise."

--------------------------------------------------------

"Sergeant, repeat that last message."

Commander Oswald Jenkins of the Cadian 555th was on a routine patrol of his artillery divisions when an odd message had come down the Comm-bead links.  The old, grizzled Commander had been through more than he could nearly bear.  Being too far away from Cadia when it fell, he felt the damnable pit of despair open up and swallow him whole.  Only by taking in the refugee Guardsmen of their once-bright homeworld did he feel any solace.  That and when he was smiting the foes of the Imperium.  However, his unit was breaking in new additions and repairing his transports.  It would be days still until they could break position, but it did offer him time to test out the new Manticores and make sure that their usually unreliable Storm-Eagle rockets at least worked.  And things were shaping up.  Until the call.

"Sergeant Collins here, sir.  Repeating message.  Three.  No, make that four contacts sir in the ruins of fifth sector.  Xenos.  Definitely Xenos."

Jenkins frowned.  Xenos?  This far away from the trading lanes?  How could they have gotten in without tripping any alarms?

"Are you sure, Sergeant?  Not some kind of trick by the locals?"

There was a pause and the somewhat more sarcastic reply came back.

"Sir, begging your pardon, but unless the locals are 5-odd meters tall and sporting giant blades, then, respectfully, no, sir, I'd say we're dealing with Xenos."

The Commander frowned.  Collins was a ten-year man with no history of tomfoolery.  Whatever it was, it was serious.

"Keep your position, Sergeant, we'll be there soon."

Jenkins turned off his comm-bead and tapped open the comms of his Chimera, boosting the exterior speakers.

"This is Commander Jenkins.  We're moving out.  We have possible Xenos on the horizon, men."

There was some murmurs of discontent that spread through the assembled Guardsmen.  Most were looking for vengeance against the hated Ruinous Powers, not against some nebulous third party.  But, a few glares and growls from the Commissars shut down any signs of unrest.

Jenkins nodded to himself.  Best to take care of things swiftly, then.  No need to waste time on reinforcements if just a handful of stragglers.  He tugged at his graying beard in thought.  No, something about it seemed off.  Too easy.

He opened up the internal comms to the Manticores.  "Lads, you too.  I want a proper field test of your guns.  Let's see how the alien likes rockets to the face."

---------------------------------------------------------

X'Bella Le'gosi floated slightly off the ground surrounded by her Trio of Talos.  Some time had passed, but the Archon's instructions were clear.

1) Go through the Webway Portal to the assigned area.

2) Stand out in the open.

3) Wait for the party to start.

Bella scratched a few more notes in her book.  The Archon had established new connections with the Black Heart Kabal, which had oddly made the once aloof Prophets of the Flesh reach out to her Salon of Sorrow.  They had usually ignored her and her small group of creations, but now that alliances were being made, Bella had been almost surprised when a sizable number of raw supplies were left mostly screaming on her doorstep.

And it was a nice opportunity to make some new friends.  She looked around at the three gigantic monstrosities that hummed as they slowly hovered nearby.  Bella had yet to name them, but it was nice to have some new faces around.  And it was just perfect timing that she had finished up before the orders had come in. 

It had taken her some time to do research about a "party," but the base elements were clear: libations, entertainment and converstaion.  The Archon's instructions were unclear, though, if she was hosting the party or if she was joining an ongoing one.  Still, she had brought the necessities.  One of the Talos had the appropriate large and multi-coloured pointy hat, the other sporting an array of liquid intoxicants and the third pre-programmed with appropriate aural interjections.  Having the Talos around did make the entire affair much more straightforward.  Indeed, the future overall seemed less foreboding.

Actually, it was just less chaotic.  By utilizing the broken Soul-Stones from the last few missions alongside the Craftworlders, analyzing the raw fundamental possibility strains of the universe and divining a semblance of the future was no longer an impossibility.  She wondered if this is what a Farseer felt like, looking at the bright sun of tomorrow, just beyond the reach of certainty.  How much it felt like...

"BELLA!"

Bella looked up to see a somehow familiar looking armored Eldar waving his hands in front of her.  She blinked for a moment.  The suns had moved rather far in the sky.  Time had passed then. 

With a nod of her head, the Talos went into immediate action.  One of the Talos helpfully dispensed a frothy drink into a cup, another let go with a stream of sparkles into the air from it's Haywire Blasters, and the last howled in an approximation of a friendly greeting recorded from the Hive Fleet Behemoth.

Instead of showing signs of appreciation, the stranger took a few steps back, shook his head to re-center himself and continued.

"Bella!" interjected the strange new guest, "You have to get out of here!  The Imperials are bearing right down on this position.  I've got a Raider ready to go!  Just get on board and..."

A high whistling sound made Bella look up curiously as something clipped the ruined building next to her and the subsequent seismic explosion launched the stranger off his feet into her.  The Talos growled in discontent, but Bella turned her head to indicate that dismantling was not to be done at this particular moment.

The stranger pulled himself off, realized that his helmeted face had been buried in her chest and muttered a confused apology, looking shamefacedly away.

How curious indeed.  She had never seen such a behavior in a Kabalite before.  Perhaps it was some kind of viral infection?

"Bella, it's too late now, that was a ranging salvo.  We're in the thick of it now.  Damnit, Y'stral, why do we cut these things so close?"

Bella noted that one of the Talos was looking at something far away and glanced down the broken avenues, her head turning from one side to the other side in curiosity.

Humans.  Rows upon rows of humans.  So this was that timeline then.  Bella made note of the happenstance as something hit another building knocking around some more inconsequential material.  Perhaps they were the guests to the party?  It was a good thing that she had brought extra supplies then.  She nodded to the Talos, who settled into position.

This was going to be an interesting day indeed.

----------------------------------------------------------

Mission: Big Guns Never Tire

Setup: Dawn of War

----------------------------------------------------------

To Be Continued!

5
--------------------------------------------------------
Tau vs. Imperial Guard in "Guards and Gunlines" (1500)
---------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
Take two.

The Tau are back again, this time Post-FAQ so gunlines got a bit of a boost and the shakeup from my local meta is quite pleasing.
At least for the Tau and IG.
And that is what I bring today, as I was able to get in a pair of games vs the same IG list.
The Tau did... better than they did vs the Dark Eldar (shiver), and since I did a massive list re-tool, that made me feel better.
Hope you all like the rep, and yes, there is fluff!

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Critiques and Comments are greatly appreciated!

--------------------------------------------------------

-------------------
The Lists
-------------------


Tau Empire (1500): 48 Infantry, 14 Drones, 2 MCs, 9 CPs
Bork'an Battalion
-Commander w/Coldstar, Fusion Blastersx2, CIBx2
-Fireblade w/Markerlight, Puretide Chip
-Riptide w/HBurst Cannon, SMSx2, ATS, TL
-Riptide w/HBurst Cannon, SMSx2, ATS, TL
-Fire Warriorsx5
-Fire Warriorsx5
-Fire Warriorsx5
-Pathfindersx5 w/Markerlights, PAccel Drone
-Pathfindersx5 w/Markerlights, PAccel Drone
Farsight Enclaves Outriders
-Commander w/Coldstar, Fusion Blastersx2 (Fusion Blades), CIBx2
-Shield Dronesx4
-Shield Dronesx4
-Shield Dronesx4
Vior'la Patrol
-Commander w/Coldstar, Fusion Blastersx2, CIBx2
-Krootx10
-Krootx10
Signiture Systems (Relics): Fusion Blades, Puretide Chip

Imperial Guard (1500): 59 Infantry, 9 Vehicles; 15 CPs
Cadian Brigade
-Company Commander w/Kurov's Aquilla (Warlord)
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Primaris Psyker w/Force Staff
-Commissar
-Commissar
-Commissar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Scout Sentinel w/HFlamer
-Manticore
-Manticore
-Manticore
Warlord: Grand Strategist
------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------
Chapter Two: Any Landing You Can Walk Away From...
------------------------------------------------------

"... And that's how I ended up here."

The mostly bandaged Tau being tended on by multiple medical drones seemed chipper enough.  Shas'O Shi'va sighed, holding her head.  It had been a rough dozen or so days.  Waking up in the wreckage of her battlesuit was bad enough, but when she was told about their situation, that was enough to make the sturdiest Tau fall into the depths of depression.

Instead of doing the tactically intelligent thing of simply annihilating them, the Eldar had let them live.  It had taken three Fire Warriors to pull her off Kor'va when she had found out the identity of their assalients.  It was just like the Eldar to fake one of their own being kidnapped and then attack when their targets had bumbled their way into a trap.

But, after reviewing the data logs, the truth was perhaps even worse.  The Great Databases had records of Dark Raiders, a faction of the Eldar that were like shadows that could snatch away entire populaces in a single night.  She had always thought that the records were exaggerations caused by survivor's guilt, but the truth was sadly true.  There was a race of entirely malevolent beings that existed only to cause pain and suffering, and they had not killed them because they had enacted a plan.  A sadly masterstroke of one. 

By bringing them to a planet held on the edge of Imperial space, the local Imperial settlements had been altered to their presence and the Eldar were sending out a surprisingly accurate set of transmissions to both Tau and Imperial bandwidths that the Tau had landed and combat was fierce.  And when ships had gone into orbit to attempt to evaluate the situation, they were set upon by the Dark Eldar. 

Their ship, though without sufficient fuel to attempt a breakthrough of their own, had been able to watch the entire affair.  Two ships, one Tau and one Imperial had fallen to the trap so far, and they had luckily rescued survivors from the Tau crash.  Or rather Survivor.  Singlular.  Shi'va had to admit that he was perhaps the luckiest Tau she had ever met, as the rolling fireball that broke up half-way into the atmosphere was most assuradly a death sentence.

But, this Tau, a Shas'O of all things, had survived.  The bandaged Tau pushed away a Drone and said with a grin, "Well, your situation has improved after all."

Shi'va pulled her head out of her hands and said, "And how exactly is that, Shas'O?  The Imperial crash also had survivors and they are coming this way.  They vastly outnumber us, and we have little in the way of troops or weapons."

The Shas'O smirked, "You've got the best Battlesuit pilot in all the Empire, pretty one.  Don't worry, Shas'O Vior'la Saum'ka will put these Imperial scum to the torch."

Shi'va rolled her eyes.  Not another one.  "Right, you can't even get out of..."

And with some surprise, Saum'ka jumped off the bed, winced a bit, and then started pulling bandages off.  He was young, Shi'va had to admit, younger than her by more than a bit, and had a number of scars criss-crossing his body.

Saum'ka noticed her watchful gaze and grinned.  "You like what you see?  Besides being the handsomest thing you'll see in the Fifth Sphere, I've also got most of my nerve endings replaced.  Souvenirs of a bad crash or five.  Turn off the pain notifiers and BAM.  I'm back in business."

Shi'va thought for a bit, nodded and said, "Alright then, Shas'O, I'm not going to deny you a chance at a last stand.  Just don't let your Vior'la blood get the best of you."

With a snort, Saum'ka nodded, "You'll have to keep up with me.  Now, where did they put my Coldstar?  I want to make sure I didn't lose any kill markings in all of this..."

--------------------------------------------------------------

Newly minted Company Commander Terrance Featherstone checked the last of his men.  The gangly, bespectacled man was the least threatening man amongst the Cadian 555th, and it was perhaps by the most aggressive battlefield promotions ever recorded had Terrance assumed command.  It wasn't that he really wanted it, he had to admit.  He was the aide of the least senior Junior Commander, it was just that he happened to be in the supply closet when their ship made planetfall.  99% of the crew had perished, but, as was perhaps normal for Imperial-made vessels, much more in the way of munitions and vehicles had come out surprisingly in working shape.  Or at least, nearly so.

Terrance did a head count, and wrote down names on his mostly singed paper.  Six Squads, Nine Vehicles, and an enemy beacon that they had to find and silence.

For the Good of the Imperium.

Terrance had considered perhaps falling back to shelter or waiting for reinforcements, but one of the Guardsmen had dared to question that possibility out-loud.  A bolt pistol round later, nobody was asking questions around the three Commissars that had survived.

He swallowed at the thought of the rather nonchalant summary execution, and thought to himself that it was almost comically appropriate that the only people who were allowed to voluntarily lower their own manpower had survived through the rather brutal affair.

Fair enough though.  It wasn't as if the universe dealt anyone anything resembling a decent hand.  You just had to learn to roll with the punches.

Who knows, he thought, maybe the Xenos thought they were all dead and weren't going to try anything.  He did think it was rather odd that they weren't being orbitally bombarded yet, but he decided just to count that as a blessing from the Emperor.

Also, it was probably a sign that they should get to cover quickly.  And if the Xenos had a suitably reinforced and lightly-guarded place, all the better.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Setup: Dawn of War
Mission: Big Guns Never Tire

Deployment:
Oof.  And I thought I brought a lot of guns.  The Guard outnumber me in manpower, tanks and sheer weight of well... everything.  But, they thankfully need to pull me off my objectives.

The board is fairly even with small ruins in the corners, a big LoS blocker in the middle and craters (yay cover!) in the remaining areas.

It's going to be very nice for my Tau that don't like to move a terrible amount.

The IG have plenty of drops, and make almost parade lines with their 60 guys up front and the Manticores in the corners.  One also goes in the center next to the Command Chimera that has the Commander and the Psyker.  The Lemun Russes are also in the center next to them.  The Sentinels are near the front and will be scouting forwards.

I also deploy centrally, with Kroot in the front (also going to scout out) Fire Warriors behind them, and the Riptides behind that with all of the Characters sort of in the middle.

My opponent is quite eager to blow me off the table, and indeed wins the roll to go first! (Why is it that +1 doesn't seem to help the Tau with these things...)

I fail to seize (sigh) and the game begins!


Picture Caption: Now THAT'S a gunline...

------------------------------

To be Continued!

6
-------------------------------------------------------
Tau vs. Dark Eldar in "Bang vs Lady D'ysperax!" (1500, 4/18)
-------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
Well, this was an interesting one.
Straight up, this is my first list and battle with the new Tau Codex.
I had a lot of trouble making my list and decided (somewhat against my better judgement) just to go with Borkan gunline.
A lot of points dropped with the new codex, but sadly, not with the Crisis suits, which made me more reluctant to take them.
However, as there is a lot of infantry horde in my meta, I decided that maybe gunline (although rather boring), could probably be viable.
Of course, I also went with bringing the new hotness that is the Coldstar and the old (but still good) awesomeness of the Riptide.
Then...  I decided to throw some Farsight in my list for fun.
I hoped that it wouldn't take too much steam out of my overall strategy, but I needed something to deep-strike anyway.

And when I looked for an opponent, I noticed that one was just taking names, tabling people in short games, and I was somewhat surprised to see an old friend:

Lady D'ysperax

.

..

...

Cue Shock and Awe

The Lady Archon had come back and was taking names (and faces... and souls...) with great abandon.

I had to try and step up, after all, I had a good amount of shooty and I wanted to see what the new Dark Eldar can do.  After all, it was week one of the new Dark Eldar Codex and even I hadn't had a chance to look it over.  How bad could it be?

How did it go for the Tau?  Did I roll my opponent in three turns as per usual?

Umm... no.  But, it was a "greater good" game!  (puns ahoy)

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Fluff is here!  Comments and Critiques greatly appreciated!

--------------------------------------------------------

-------------
The Lists
-------------

Tau Empire 1500: 59 Infantry, 20 Drones, 2 MCs, 1 Vehicle, 7 CPs
Bork'an Tau Battalion
-Commander w/Coldstar, Fusion Blastersx4
-Fireblade w/Markerlight, Puretide Chip (Warlord)
-Riptide w/HBurst Cannon, SMSx2, ATS, TL
-Ghostkeel w/CIon Raker, BCx2, ATS, TL, Stealth Drone
-Firesight Marksman w/Markerlight
-Fire Warriorsx5
-Fire Warriorsx5
-Fire Warriorsx5
-Krootx10
-Krootx10
-Krootx10
-Pathfindersx5 w/Markerlights, PAccel Drone
-Pathfindersx5 w/Markerlights, PAccel Drone
-Sniper Dronesx3
-Hammerhead w/Ion Cannon, Gun Dronesx2
Farsight Enclaves Outriders
-Commander w/Fusion Blastersx2 (Fusion Blades), DC, Iridium
-Shield Dronesx4
-Gun Dronesx4
-Marker Dronesx4
Signiture Systems (Relics): Fusion Blades, Puretide Chip
Warlord: Through Unity Devastation (-1AP on 6's aura)

Dark Eldar 1500: 34 Infantry, 9 Vehicles, 7 CPs
Black Heart Batallion
-Archon w/Huskblade, Blaster, PGL (Warlord) in Raider w/Disintegrator
-Archon w/Agonizer, Blaster, Writ of the Living Muse
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster in Venom
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster in Venom
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster in Venom
-Ravager w/Disintegratorsx3
-Ravager w/Disintegratorsx3
Black Heart Air Wing Detachment
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
-Razorwing w/Disintegratorsx2
Cult of Stife Patrol
-Succubus w/Glaive, Triptych
-Wychesx7 w/Shardnet
-Hellionsx9
Artifacts of Cruelty (Relics): Writ, Triptych
Warlord: Labrynthine Cunning, Blood Dancer
Drugs: Succubus +2M, Hellions +1A, Wyches +1S

-------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------
Chapter One: A Date with Darkness
--------------------------------------

There was a ripple of space/time as the Tau warship Eio'va burst from the Startide Nexus wormhole.  The crew aboard the craft swiftly activated their scanners to look down at their destination: Mul'gath 8.

A simple agrarian world, it had a spaceport planetside with enough supplies to refuel the ship on their quest.

The bridge was bustling with activity as the Air Caste set up plans to make landfall.  There was a general sense of relief upon the ship, given the relative newness of Nexus travel.  Although thoroughly vetted by the Earth Caste, there were few who were entirely comfortable with the newly discovered wormhole and the travel options that it had made available for the Fifth Sphere expansion.  As such, almost everyone was ready to see friendly faces once more.

That is to say... almost everyone. 

Commander Shi'va sat sternly, watching the instrument panel light up in front of her.  As leader of the Fire Caste Cadre that had been deployed on what she considered to be a long-shot mission, it was all but insufferable to have to deal with delays of any kind.  Still, it would at least get her out of the vicinity of her co-commanders.

"Shi'va!  Did you hear that?  I think we're out of the Nexus!"

Shi'va turned to see the smiling face of Shas'ui Kor'va.  Kor'va had aged a bit since they had first met, but he was still as annoyingly chipper as the first day they had met on the Shas'la firing lines.  And he was with the other pain in her side...

"Of course she heard that, Kor'va!" the Tau next to him bellowed.  "Girl's not deaf.  Just acts like it at times!"

Shi'va scowled at the scarred and wizened face of Shas'nel Cal'nan of Sept Bork'an.  Cal'nan was a Fireblade of some renown, having passed at the chance of, in Shi'va's opinion, taking the more sensible approach of wearing a battlesuit into combat. 
Instead, the old Tau had decided to stay on the front lines and poke his nose into things that didn't really matter to him.  Shi'va was hoping to leave the newly met, half-retired Shas'nel at his far-away outpost, but it was not to be.  Although lacking most social decorum, Cal'nan had one advantage: He was a good talker.

So good in fact, that he had managed to convince the Ethereal of his planet that he should be instituted as co-leader of their mission, even though he had just met the wandering Cadre.  It cut her to the bone, but Shi'va accepted the wisdom of the Etheral, even though she had to wonder, howerver momentarily, if there was the slightest possibility that the Ethereals might be wrong on this one.

But, she had sighed to herself, that was an impossibility.  So it was that she was saddled with this burden of an old busybody who had taken himself out of retirement to fiddle with their guns and talk about his past exploits to anyone within earshot.  Shi'va had wondered if half of them were even true, but that had mattered little to Kor'va.

Kor'va, also known as "Bang" to the non-Tau, had eaten up the stories with great earnest.  Easily swayed by honeyed words and tall-tales, the Shas'ui had become Cal'nan's biggest fan and had followed him around like a Kroothound looking for scraps.  It had been a relief at first to Shi'va, who had always been the target of Bang's assorted musings and half-flirtashish remarks, but it had quickly become an irritant now that Cal'nan was clearly loving the attention from his new admirerer.

Not that it had really mattered all that much, Shi'va reminded herself.  Best to just let it all go.  After all, it wasn't like she had felt jilted or anything when Bang chose to fall in pointless love with a Eldar of all things.  And when said Eldar had shown her true colours and abandoned Kor'va in the middle of an Ork invasion, the Shas'ui had somehow convinced himself and the local Council that the Orks had spirited away the Eldar "diplomat" and that they were honour-bound to rescue her.

Again, the memory made Shi'va grit her teeth, but it was a scar that only burned when she mentally picked at it.  After all, she told herself, it was just more time until she could retire and be done with all the nonsense of following quests.  Or maybe get to actually act as a Fire Caste member for once.

Looking up at Cal'nan and Kor'va, Shi'va replied, "I only wish that I could turn myself deaf, then I wouldn't have to listen to you two prattle on."

The knife-edged words made Kor'va wince, but Cal'nan grabbed his belly and let go with a hearty laugh that was slowly and more quietly joined by the Shas'ui next to him.

Cal'nan nodded to himself, wiping away a tear, "Oh, she's a funny one.  I can see why you keep her around, Kor'va."

Shi'va growled, "HIM?  Keep ME around?"

But, before the argument could become more heated a message popped up on the comm-screen in front of all of them.

Shi'va frowned as she read it.  "Curious.  Just an automated response.  Something about the weather being intolerable.  We're just supposed to land at a set coordinate..."

"See, Shi'va," said Bang, glad that something else had grabbed the fiery Shas'O's attention, "Nothing to worry about.  With luck, we'll just have a bunch of drones come over, fill us up, scrub out the meteor holes and we'll be on our way.  Nothing to worry about at all."

Shi'va frowned.  It seemed quiet.  Far too quiet.  Something in the back of her mind whispered a warning, but it was interrupted by a pang of smoke, which made her eyes water.  Cal'nan had produced one of those damnable Imperial smoke-sticks and was sucking on it with great abandon, puffing circles into the air dramatically.

"Do you mind?" asked Shi'va, raising a threatening eyebrow.

"Not at all, girl," replied Cal'nan pulling a stick out of the threadbare pack and handing it out to her.

Shi'va grimaced at the offer and stood up.  "I like my lungs, thank you.  Make ready for planetfall you two.  Make sure the entire Cadre is at the ready."

"Uh, ready?" asked Bang, "For... what?"

"For the unexpected," growled Shi'va.  "You're a member of the Fire Caste, Kor'va.  Act like it for once."

Kor'va paled for a moment, but Cal'nan interrupted the two, clapping a hand on the Shas'ui's shoulder.  "Let her have this one, m'boy.  She'll owe us one that way."

"Owe...  You..."  started Shi'va before Cal'nan swiveled on a heel.

"Can't get started now," continued the Shas'nel as he guided the semi-confused Bang out of the room.  "Got to get ready.  After all, we should make a good show for the locals!  You never know who we'll meet out there!"

----------------------------------------------------

"I'm afraid, Commander, that our signal is still being jammed," intoned the mechanical voice of Drone Network V0-X1.  The small drone fluttered around a massive crimson-clad Battlesuit that looked none-too-happy about the response.

Shas'O Vior'la Li'myr of the Farsight Enclaves swore at the situation.  It had gone from bad to arguably worse.  The Harlequins had left them on the planet occupied by Tau on things had been marginally acceptable as the locals had reluctantly supplied the separatists with supplies on the agreement that Li'myr and his Old Guard wouldn't raid them and the loyalists wouldn't report them.

Things had actually been going on swimmingly until the sky turned into a swarm of jagged ships that descended from the sky and with frightful quickness had gobbled up all of the populace.  Li'myr had considered intervening, but the sheer size and speed of the invaders had whittled their chances of intervention down from foolheardy to downright impossible.

So it was that Li'myr had to watch the mass abduction with nothing but shame in his heart.  Time had passed and no one else had come.  With supplies now dwindling, Li'myr had his friends put into stasis, and only Voxi (V0-Xi's nickname) keeping watch for reinforcements.

And so they had come, but a familiar static plagued their transmissions and Li'myr's suspicions were confirmed:  The Invaders were still here. 

He had to dome something. 

Anything.

"Voxi, get your other bodies mobile, we're going to help them.  If they're caught flat-footed, they'll be torn to shreds in moments."

"Commander," said the AI pragmatically, "Do you want to know the odds of our survival or the success of this mission?"

"Low, Voxi?"

"Surprisingly low.  Even by our standards."

The Shas'O nodded, "Fair enough.  Put the Old Guard on timers.  If we don't make it out of here, they at least deserve a chance to avenge us.  I only hope we can make those monsters pay in blood."

Li'myr took another furtive glance down at the abandoned looking settlement.  Who knew what those creatures were doing?  What macabre plans did they have afoot?

------------------------------------------------------

"Mother!  I am not wearing that!"

Drachon Klon'vi sprinted down the hall, sending Warriors diving for cover.  Following on his heels with the speed of an Ur-ghul on Adrenalight was his mother, the extravagantly beautiful and equally deadly Lady D'ysperax.  The Archon had on a brilliant smile and a set of tight-fitting Kabalite armor that left little to the imagination.  Most Drukhari would fall to their knees at the sight of such titillation, but for Klon'vi, it was more disgust and shame that filled his mind. 
After being ousted from his position as leader of the Bloody Vulture gang of Hellions, he had been forced, seemingly by the capricious will of Khaine himself, to have to do the most unimaginable thing possible:

Move back in with his mother.

"Klon'vi!  Don't be so stubborn.  This one's pretty..." continued Lady D'ysperax holding up a runed and embroidered Slave-skin cape.

"Helliarchs don't wear capes, Mother!  They get caught on everything!"  countered the Drachon, suddenly finding himself stuck in a corner.  The Wicked Talon Kabal had found a mostly undefended Tau world and had ransacked it of its blue-skinned inhabitants.  The Kabal had decided to stay in case other Tau would return and thus open up the possibility of a second harvest.  But, Klon'vi knew that it was for a more sinister design.  His mother had set-up a "union" proposal.  Pimping out her only son to ally with some other Kabal.  It was scandalous, unacceptable and completely on-par for HER.

"But, dear, you're not one of those little gang-people anyone," reminded Lady D'ysperax, quickly grabblng her son and pinning the cape on despite his protests.  "Now, don't we look handsome?"

Klon'vi grumbled some form of acceptance, vowing to throw the cape into the nearest fire as soon as this whole mess was over.  "Yes, Mother.  Whatever.  Now what kind of homely creature am I going to have to bear dealing with..."

And that was when his words skidded to sudden halt as a faint jingling of blades was heard down the hall.  A ravashing-looking Drukhari walked at the forefront of a small horde of scantily clad Wyches.  Klon'vi felt every fiber of his being drawn to attention as the fiery-haired Succubus was nearly perfect in every detail.  Her face was flawless, her body fit and toned with enough curves to attract the eyes of everyone who still had them, and a predatory glint in her eyes that made everyone remember where their weapons were being kept.

"Tallaria!" shouted Lady D'yperax in greeting, bowing deeply to the newcomer.  "You're right on time.  This is my son, Klon'vi.  Klon'vi, this is Tallaria, Succubus of the Broken Blade."

Klon'vi managed to get enough blood back to his brain to operate his mouth and said in as best a pompous tone as possible, "Oh, ahem.  Greetings.  Yes, Mother, she'll... she'll do."

There was a pregnant pause and then a tittering as both Lady D'ysperax and Succubus Tallaria broke out in near-falling over laughing spasms.  Klon'vi fumed as the two women seemed to laugh themselves nearly hoarse.

Wiping her tears away, Lady D'ysperax said, "Oh, oh, dear-heart.  Oh, that's... that's a good one.  No, we're not here to... (snicker) pair you with Tallaria.  Oh, no, not that at all."

Rolling his eyes back into his head to hide his near-terminal embarrassment, Klon'vi said, "FINE, then Mother.  Then who am I..."

The conversation was ground to a halt as a smell rolled into the corridor.  Klon'vi wrinkled his nose as a pack of slave-leather wearing, tatooed and scar-bearing Hellions scrabbled into view.  Khaine's blood, Klon'vi thought, Is that what I used to look like?

The Hellions sauntered up to the assembled groups, bowed mockingly, and their leader, a braided, face-painted female with the usual badly-made serrated teeth and clearly drug-enhanced musculature said, "The Venomous Vermin are here as invited.  I..."

The Helliarch paused, fumed and then said, "Mother?  Is this one of those things?!  You promised this was a real raid this time!"

Tallaria smiled and said, "Be polite, Venaria."

"Malice."

Tallaria shot a knowing look at Lady D'ysperax who gave her a sympathetic nod that only mothers of troubling children could give.

"Yes, little one," continued the Succubus, "It's one of those things.  Now, Mummy's good friend here has a Drachon that..."

"Not even an Archon?" said Venaria with a wrinkled nose, "And a half-pint looking piece of dross at that?  I'd rather stick a Hellglaive up my holes than let that thing anywhere near me."

"As if you're doing anyone any favours!" threw back the Drachon, "You could at least go to the good Haemonculi for enhancements.  I'm amazed you still have half a tongue with that ill-fitting maw of yours."

"Children, Children," said Lady D'ysperax, "Let's not be so hasty.  First impressions aren't all that important.  Why my fifth consort and I didn't hit things off until we got to the bedroom.  Let's just..."

Suddenly a voice came over the speakers, "Attention, Mul'gath 8, this is starship Eio'va.  We are requesting resupply.  Please reply."

A grin spread over the Dark Eldar, quelling all of the petty arguments.  Prey had wandered into their kill zone and now the new harvest would begin...

--------------------------------------------------

Mission: 2 Objectives
Setup: Frontal Assault

Pre-Game Thoughts: Huh, that's... a lot of Dark Eldar.  After making sure that we are indeed playing the same points level, I have to say that the flotilla of nasty poison-filled Space Elves are kind of intimidating.  However, it seems that the defenses (i.e. Wounds, Toughness) hasn't changed, so all I have to do is shoot them out of their paper planes and I'll be golden.  In theory anyway.  Thankfully, I'm Borkan, so 36" plasma shots as a base with 18" triple shot-rapid fire should take care of a bunch of T3 models.  I just have to deploy smart and make a meat wall just in case...

--------------------------------------------------

Setup: The board is kind of interesting with ruins in the corners and a big Line of Sight blocking building in the middle, which is kind of irking as my additional range won't be as much of an asset with the center blocked out.
We take turn deploying and I put the Farsight all in deep-strike while my opponent spends 3 CPs to put the Ravagers and the Raider with the Archons, Succubus and Wyches into Deep Strike.  That's... new.  Kind of awesome and horrible.  Just like the Dark Eldar...

Next comes my choice to put the Tau down.  I know that the Dark Eldar are hella fast.  So...  if I put all my mates in the corner, it's going to be bad times if I'm flanked.

Alternatively, if I deploy centrally, I'll probably take more fire, but the Dark Eldar are so fast, I'd probably be taking a decent amount of fire anyway.  PLUS, it gives me a flank to run to if/when we need someplace to run to.

I put all of the Tau in the center with the Kroot in front, Fire Warriors behind them, Pathfinders behind that and far in the back, the Riptide, Commander, Hammerhead, Marksman and Sniper Drones.

The Dark Eldar deploy aggressively, with the Hellions in front, the Venoms behind them and the Razorwings acting as a somewhat effective barrier.

I then decide to put the Ghostkeel on top of the center building.

The Dark Eldar get the roll to go first and take it.

I'm really not looking forward to the possibility of an alpha strike.  So that means... I need... to seize the initiative.

Now, you all know that this legendary thing has never happened for 'Toof.  I have heard the tales and seen others do it.  So... I summon the powers of the Greater Good... and roll a 1.


Picture Caption: I uh... have more mens than you.  Go away.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To be Continued!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7
News, Rumours and Trading / Dark Eldar Codex Pre-Order!
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:35:23 PM »
Hi All,
I know this is a primary Tau-centric board, but the Dark Kin are FINALLY getting their pre-order soon (details on the Warhammer Community website).
As they were pretty good before everyone got buffed, I am looking forward to at least getting some pointy nastiness going on in the near future.
At very least I hope they can compliment the Eldar (who might be nerfed in the near future), so in any case, just hoping that the "True Kin" will have some good stuff coming out.

Truly happy.  Yes.

Best,
-BT

8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Eldar Craftworlds vs Custodes/IG in "The Golden Giants" (03/18)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
The March of the Eldar continues!

This time around, they've got some stiff competition in the Custodes!
Still wet with gilded paint and now with a shiny new Codex, the keepers of the Emperor have joined a group of Catachan, and now I've got the Imperium's Finest-est to deal with.
The Eldar didn't shrink back from the challenge, and this time around, I got to see how the Aeldari deal with quality over quantity (for once).
How did it go?
Did the Eldar buckle?

Read.  On.

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Fluff as usual is here!  Comments and critiques greatly appreciated!
Oh, and this is played before any (eventual) nerfs or point changes :)

-------------
The Lists
-------------

Eldar Craftworlds (1500): 62 Infantry, 2 Vehicle; 7 CPs
Alatoic Craftworlds Battalion
-Farseer (Doom, Guide)
-Spiritseer (Protect/Jinx)
-Rangersx5
-Rangersx5
-Rangersx5
-Guardiansx19
-Dark Reapersx4 w/Exarch w/Tempest Launcher
-Dark Reapersx4 w/Exarch w/Tempest Launcher
-Wave Serpent w/Shuriken Cannon, Twin-SCannon
-Wave Serpent w/Shuriken Cannon, Twin-SCannon
Saim-Hann Outriders
-Autarch Skyrunner w/Laser Lance, Reaper Launcher, Banshee Mask, Shimmerplume
-Warlock Skyrunner w/Singing Spear (Quicken/Restrain)
-Shining Spearsx6 w/Exarch w/Star Lance
-Swooping Hawksx5 w/Exarch w/Hawk's Talon
-Swooping Hawksx5 w/Exarch w/Hawk's Talon

The Golden Guard 1500: 43 Infantry, 1 Vehicle; 7 CPs
Custodes Outriders
-Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike, Salvo Launcher
-Vertus Praetorsx3 w/Hurricaine Bolter, Misericordia
-Vertus Praetorsx3 w/Hurricaine Bolter, Misericordia
-Vertus Praetorsx3 w/Hurricaine Bolter, Misericordia
Catachan Battalion
-Company Commander w/Kurov's Aquilla
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Lascannon
-Primaris Psyker w/Force Staff
-Priest
-Infantry Squad w/Flamer, Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Flamer, Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Flamer, Mortar

----------------------------------------------------------

Warlord:
-Autarch: Mark of the Incomparable Hunter (can target Characters)
-Company Commander: Grand Strategist

-----------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------
Chapter 2: The Golden Giants
--------------------------------

"Double Damnation!"

The cry echoed out of the horde of burly Catachan infantry trudging through the broken remains of a PDF fort.
The origin of the ruckus was Colonel Switcher, a grim-faced, scowl-wearing prime example of Catachan genetics who hated everything about the planet he was deployed on.  They were supposed to be arrived just in time to be Big Damn Heroes, but, as usual with the Imperium, they were too late.  Really late, actually.

His forces had found traces of what looked like some kind of incursion, and his pet Psyker had done his usual babbling about traces of the Warp or what-not.  But, the entire place looked half burned-out.  Like it was cleaned up for some reason.  But what kind of fool would do that?

Switcher was scratching his head over the puzzle when a sudden burst of golden light filled the air.  All of the men looked up as the sky broke and a ray of gilded energy seemed to tear the clouds apart and a pack of enormous machines descended from the heavens.  A chorous of angelic hymns filled the minds of the men, who could only look upon the enormous golden arrivals.  Each straddling a massive jetbike, the golden men were huge, dwarfing even an Astartes, and hefted a spear the length of a Chimera with ease.

A whisper escaped Switcher's lips, "Emporer's teets...  What is that?"

The lead Golden Giant, sporting a crimson tassel that whipped in the wind threw a dramatic gesture into the air and said, "WE HAVE ARRIVED."

As if on cue, the golden light from the sky promptly stopped and the leader looked around again, this time speaking in a more plain tone, "Hmm, now where is here anyway?"

Pulling out a small device, the leader punched in a number of buttons and then rattled it a few times.  Sighing, he said, "I can't believe it.  It's not here.  Who brought the map?"

"Map?  Map?" echoed from the other Golden Giants who began to rustle through their saddlebags.

The Leader started patting his jetbike as well, listing off things as they came, "Hurricaine Bolter.  No.  Salvo Launcher.  No.  Misericordia?  Ooh, that's handy..."

As the awe of the situation had mostly worn off, Colonel Switcher coughed and strode forwards, "Uh, excuse us..."

The Leader looked down at the Catachans as if noticing them for the first time, "Oh, oh, guys!  Guys!  Look!  Imperial Guard!"

"Astra Militarum," retorted one of the Giants smugly.

"Bless you," replied the Leader, "Hello, there.  We... come in peace.  Really."

Switcher's mind went blank for a moment and he was only able to babble out, "You...  You're huge."

There was a slight pause as if the Leader was taken aback and then said, "Oh, why thank you.  You kind of forget you know, being around just the Emperor and the other Custodes."

"You...  You're Custodes?" gasped Switcher, "Keepers of the Emperor?  Why...  Why are you here?"

"Why?  Oh, we're on a secret..."

Massive sudden coughing broke out amongst the other Custodes, shutting down the conversation mid-stream.

"Uh...  Oh, yes, right," continued the Leader, "I mean...  We're on... a holiday."

Both leaders paused, as if both sides admitted to the plain-faced and poor nature of the lie, but even Switcher knew when to not push things too far.

"...  Right," continued the Colonel, shelving the matter for the moment, "You... look like you're lost."

"Well...  It's... complicated," admitted the Custodes leader, "Say... do you know the local area?"

"Yes, m'lord.  We've had a chance to reconnoiter the area."

"Oh, no need for formalities," said the Leader friendly, "Had my fill of those for years and centuries and all.  I'm Shield-Captain Cogliostro.  Cog for short."

"Uh, yes, thank you.  Cog, sir.  We could... show you around?"

"Guide us?  Why, yes, thank you," said the Shield-Captain before turning back to his  fellows, "Did you hear that boys?  These nice Guardsmen are going to show us around.  Best behaviours now."

There was some grumbling about the Custodes about the indignity of it all, but Switcher barely noticed it.  The Custodes?  Here?  Given the mysterious situation, it couldn't be a coincidence.  But what foul thing had happened here and what monstrosities lie in wait for them all?

---------------------------------------------

"Mother, I can dress myself."

Ex-Farseer Lorilune folded her arms indignantly and frowned at the older Aeldari who was humming to herself and brushing Lorilune's hair with the kind of fervor only maternal insticts could summon.  It was cramped in the Alatoic Wave Serpent, but it was the only place private enough for the two Eldar to have some supposed quiet time to themselves.

"Of course you can, dear," purred Autarch Lennara, who added a few pins to keep her daughter's hair straight.  "But, you've just been freed from those horrible Mon-Keigh.  Khaine only knows what kind of tortures you're recovering from."

Lorilune sighed again, "MOTHER, I told you, NOTHING happened.  I'm fine."

"That's what they all say, dear," said Lennara dryly, "Best not to keep it all in.  Stiff upper lips don't help much if we have to worry about... other issues in the near future."

"Mother, they didn't..." blushed Lorilune, "The Mon-Keigh aren't genetically compatible with us!  I can't believe you..."

"Ah!" said Lennara, jabbing the brush at her daughter in a victorious gesture, "So SOMETHING did happen!  I knew it!  You don't contact me for centuries and now in your most dire of days, you needed me to..."

"I don't need you for anything, Mother!"  interrupted Lorilune.  Standing up, the Ex-Farseer pulled away and cradled her head with her hands in a gesture of frustration.

After a moment of mentally stamping her temper down, Lorilune continued, "Right, yes.  THANK you for taking care the Imperial force and those... filthy Warp things."

"There now," said Lennara with a smile.  "Was that so hard?  Now sit down and I can start work on the other side..."

Lorilune interjected, "But now is not the time for dawdling.  You can LEAVE now."

"Leave?" scoffed Lennara, "Leave my only daughter alone on an alien world by herself?  Defenseless against the barbarians wandering out there, eager to get there hands on beautiful Aeldari flesh?"

Lorilune rolled her eyes back so far in her head, she swore she could see the back of her skull, "MOTHER.  I'm FINE.  I have plans.  Everything will be fine."

"Plans?  Plans?" said Lennara in a mocking tone, pacing the room and jabbing at the air, "Oh, yes, you Farseers and your plans!  Tell me, Farseer, what kind of plans do you have?  Is it like your father's?  Running away from it all and hiding on a rock with trollops and layabouts?"

"Mother, it's not like..."

"Oh, no of course it isn't," continued Lennara unabated, "Isha forbid that you think of your own mother for an iota of a second!  Think about how my life has been!  Tortured by having a runaway for a husband and a delinquent for a daughter!  Khaine knows I must have done something in a former life to deserve this!"

Sputtering, Lorilune retored, "You know everything I did, I did for the good of the Craftworlds!"

Throwing her hands up in a grand gesture, the Autarch said, "And what is that, Lori?  Getting yourself caught up in alien nonsense?  I've seen reports of you allying yourself with Mon-Keigh, Orks and even... Tau."

The last word was said with a grimace and a scowl of distaste.  Lennara continued, "I'll not speak of what the Council has said, the shame of it still hangs on our house.  But, looking at you, I can see that you're redeemable.  There's so few of us left, even the Council can't throw out one so powerful as yourself.  All you need to do is come back and beg forgiveness..."

Lorilune stood up, and pointed a finger at her mother in return, "Beg?  BEG?!  I do not BEG!  How dare you..."

The tirade was cut off mid-sentence as the door to the Wave Serpent opened, and a helm-clad head poked in.  Farseer Dunkas said, "As much as I hate to interrupt your personal time, you are aware that we are trying to stay hidden?  Even a half-deaf Ork could hear you two."

Blushing, Lorilune muttered, "Sorry, Father..."

Lennara threw her hands up into the air, "HE gets an apology, but I don't?  The justice of it all.  Fine.  FINE!  Dunkas, talk to your daughter.  Work some sense into her.  I'm going to walk away before I say anything else that we'll all regret!"

Dunkas turned to the side, letting Lennara storm out.  The Alatoic Farseer entered the empty tank, pausing to let the door iris closed.  There was an awkward pause and then Dunkas broke the silence.

"Daughter."

Lorilune nodded, looking down at the floor, "Father."

There was another pause, and Dunkas said in a tempered voice, "You... look... healthy."

At that moment, both looked away, completely unsure about how to continue the conversation.  A few abortive attempts were made, and then the door to the Serpent opened again, this time by a frantic looking Warlock.

"Farseers!" screamed the Warlock frantically, "Calamity!  The Mon-Keigh are upon us!  There's even been sightings of giant Space Marines!  Oh, what shall we do?!"

Dunkas rose, hiding his sudden sense of relief at a situation that he actually knew how to deal with, and nodded to Lorilune, who slid safely back into the recesses of the tank.  Scoffing, the Alatoic Farseer responded, "Do, Warlock?  What we always do: Show the Mon-Keigh the folly of their ways.  Rouse the Warhost, for those that threaten the lives of the Aeldari will be shown no mercy."

--------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, on an even further away part of the planet, a large Battalion of Orks were camped around a bonfire, toasting squig-mellows and looking nervously at an enormous tent.  Adorned with a number of trophies, it was the abode of their erstwhile leader, Big Louie (also known as Ex-Farseer Lorilune). 

Big Mek Wingnut looked up at the enormous Garganaut Bigtoof.
"Louie's been in there a LONG time."

Bigtoof nodded.  The sun had gone up and down a lot of times and the moon had changed from big to small a few times too.  Bigtoof wasn't good with numbers.  Or letters.  Or time.  But even he had known it had been a while.  Louie must really had been tired.

Wingnut continued in a whispered tone, "You uh... fink we should wake 'em up?"

There was gasps from the surrounding Orks, who all distinctly remembered the conflagration and subsequent disintegration of the last greenskin who attempted that faux-pas.

"Right," said Wingnut, putting another Squig on the fire, "We'll just... wait a bit longer."

All of the other Orks nodded in approval.  After all, nobody was bigger than Big Louie.  Nobody.

-----------------------------------------------------

To Be Continued!

9
Forces and Allies of the Imperium / Most Underrated Units
« on: March 12, 2018, 01:08:30 AM »
Hi All,
Just wanted to start a thread for something that I noticed in the Eldar book.

Now everyone and their cousin has heard about how OP Dark Reapers are.

And I'm not saying that they're not.  But they do have fierce competition in one unit:  the Guardian.

Now on paper and on fluff, it's no comparison:

The Guardian is the "Underwater Basketweaver" of the Craftworld, easily the cheapest unit with a gun that is... lacking to say the least.  S4, 12" no AP, 1 Damage... at least it rends?

In the past, the Guardian was much maligned and kind of ignored.

But in 8th... times have changed.

The introduction of the Webway Portal stratagem is one  of those things.

It puts them into Deep Strike that you can drop at the end of any of your movement turns.  And, unlike in previous editions, you don't have to drop them in a circular pattern or roll for deviation.  They're just there.

So in a block of 20... that's 40 S4 shots with rending.  Kind of scary when they appear from nowhere.

And in an edition where infantry is so much more important, I've found that they're just good to get to a troublesome unit and EVAPORATE IT.

For, if boosted with Doom and Guide, they can take out darn near anything.  ANYTHING.

In my last game, they took out a unit of 16 Berzerkers that were out of position.  Then a big unit of Poxwalkers just for kicks.

And if you can give them Quickness to let them reposition themselves then you can charge with them.

Yes, you heard me right.  CHARGE.

Because they do fine versus most screening units that are made to just get in the way, and the Guardians thankfully can get so stuck in, they can "capture" an enemy model and prevent the screen from falling back.  That locks up the advance of the units behind it and threatens board control.  Which is half the battle for the Eldar.

Because, let's face it, on paper the Eldar are kind of meh.  Middling strength of shots, middling rate of fire.  Nothing really great... except for the movement phase.

There, the Eldar dominate by being able to move twice with a psychic power, charge after advancing with the proper Stratagem, deep strike and do all kinds of things to really punish your opponent.

You just need to have board control to keep them from doing the same to you.

And that's where Guardians come in.  Plus, they're troops so if you ignore them, they can take an objective away from another unit.

Oh and I forgot one last thing:  The Celestial Shield.  4++ for a CP is so worth it.

Try them out, I think you'll like them.

Best,
-BT

What other gems have you all found?

10
Forces and Allies of the Imperium / New Tau Codex
« on: March 10, 2018, 02:23:57 PM »
Hi All,
Just FYI for those who don't know it, the New Tau Codex is coming out in about a week (pre-orders up today), and from the leaks and Warhammer Community page, I'm liking the updates!

Things I'm looking forward to:

Sept-linked special abilities: A bit of flavour for each akin to Eldar or Space Marine Chapters.

Price breaks on almost everything!  Riptides and Hammerheads took big price dips and almost everything is cheaper (save you know... gun drones and few others...)

Coldstar with FOUR guns.  Yes, that's right FOUR guns.  Able to move 40" and still shoot.

Riptide with 18 (!) shots of Heavy Burst Cannon.

Strategems.  Finally.


Overall, I feel like it's a good middle-of-the-road Codex.  Nothing too appalling or auto-takes, which is a GOOD thing.  I hope that post FAQ some of the more egregious units out there are brought to line and maybe Tau can shine again?

Best,
-BT

11
Battle Reports / Craftworld Eldar vs Chaos in "Foul Friendship" (3/18)
« on: March 10, 2018, 02:11:56 PM »
-------------------------------------------------
Craftworld Eldar vs Chaos in "Foul Friendship"
-------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
I decided to get in one more Eldar rep before the mighty onslaught of Tau hits us all.
In this one, I've got a decent match with my Chaos opponent returning.
But this time, he's clearly done some work with his list and besides the normal trickery of the Alpha Legion, he's brought Nurgle!
This was a tough, but fun fight.
Hope you all enjoy the rep!

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Hope you all enjoy the fluff!

---------------------------------------------------------

----------------
The Lists
----------------


Eldar Craftworlds (1500): 62 Infantry, 2 Vehicle; 7 CPs
Alatoic Craftworlds Battalion
-Farseer (Doom, Guide)
-Spiritseer (Protect/Jinx)
-Rangersx5
-Rangersx5
-Rangersx5
-Guardiansx19
-Dark Reapersx4 w/Exarch w/Tempest Launcher
-Dark Reapersx4 w/Exarch w/Tempest Launcher
-Wave Serpent w/Shuriken Cannon, Twin-SCannon
-Wave Serpent w/Shuriken Cannon, Twin-SCannon
Saim-Hann Outriders
-Autarch Skyrunner w/Laser Lance, Reaper Launcher, Banshee Mask, Shimmerplume
-Warlock Skyrunner w/Singing Spear (Quicken/Restrain)
-Shining Spearsx6 w/Exarch w/Star Lance
-Swooping Hawksx5 w/Exarch w/Hawk's Talon
-Swooping Hawksx5 w/Exarch w/Hawk's Talon

Mixed Chaos 1500: 73 Infantry, 2 MCs, 2 Vehicles; 6 CPs
Alpha Legion Battalion
-Daemon Prince w/Wings, Malefic talons, MofSlaanesh (Warptime)
-Sorcerer w/Force Sword (Death Hex, Warptime)
-Berzerkersx16 w/Chainswords and Chainaxes, Champion w/Claw
-Cultistsx12 w/ Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
-Cultistsx12 w/ Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
-Cultistsx12 w/ Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
-Obliteratorsx3 w/Mark of Slaanesh
Death Guard Patrol
-Daemon Prince w/Talons, MoNurgle, Wings, Supperating Plate, Miasma
-Poxwalkersx14
-Nurglingsx3
-Plagueburst Crawler
-Plagueburst Crawler

-------------------------------------------------------------

Warlord:
Autarch: Mark of the Incomparable Hunter (can target Characters)
Nurgle Prince: Rotten Constitution (Reduce damage by 1)

Mission: Secure and Control (Single Objective each)
Setup: Dawn of War

--------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------
Chapter 2: A Foul Fellowship
------------------------------

The Warp is an eerie dimension, thought made flesh and stone with the rampant tendency to throw things like time and space around like lost pennies in a washer.  Still, being thrown together with a less-than-able comrade can make the entire experience feel much like a prison.  Or so it seemed to the smaller of the Chaos-blessed duo who stood in the courtyard of a purple-pink palace that eerily floated through the void.  Things had been quiet until a screeching voice boomed through the air.

"HEY MAL, MAL!  ARE YOU STILL IN A FUNK ABOUT THE LAST BATTLE?"

Sorcerer Malfans looked up at the enormous Daemon Prince next to him and said in a sarcastic tone, "Of course not, Duumrider, I enjoy being shamed in the eyes of our Dark Prince and then losing almost all of our force."

The flame-headed Prince nodded and replied, "YEAH, THAT'S GOOD MAL.   THAT'S GOOD.  HEY, CHEER UP!  SO WE LOST TO SOME ORKS, BIG DEAL.  I MEAN IT'S NOT LIKE THEY WERE NECRONS.  OR TAU.  I MEAN THEN WE'D REALLY LOSE CRED WITH THE BIG S, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?  ANYWAY, I DID A BIG HIT OF WARPDUST AND YOU KNOW, I HAD AN IDEA."

Malefens paused in mid-stride.  Ideas were dangerous things when it came to Duumrider.

"What... kind of idea?"

Duumrider nodded vigorously, "YEAH, I REALIZED THAT HEY, WE LOST SOME NOISE MARINES.  YOU KNOW.  BASICALLY ALL OF THEM.  NO BIGGIE.  WE JUST NEED MORE GUNS.  AND I ASKED AROUND AND FOUND US THE BEST GUNS SO FAR."

"If you are speaking of the Obliterator cult, we have a few that..."

"MAL, MAL BABY, NO.  OBLITS ARE SO LAST YEAR.  I'M TALKING ABOUT THE EPIC-NESS THAT ONLY PRIMARCH-TYPE FINGERS CAN MAKE.  THE BEST TANK AROUND, MAN!"

Malefans paused.  That did not sound like Slaanesh-type units.

"What... do you..."

And then the smell hit him.

An odor with palpable stench crept through the air enough to make the Sorcerer gag.  The architecture around them started to curl as a green-coloured portal opened and disgorged a massive Winged form.  It was vaguely man-shaped with a distended abdomen leaking with fluids and bile and a mis-shapen head that rolled about under an ill-fitting and pitted helmet.

Malefans gagged.  A minion of Nurgle?  Here?  He was about to give orders to Duumrider, then saw the pyre-faced Daemon stride towards the newcomer hands raised.  The Slaaneshi Prince slapped the Nurgle-worshipper on the back in a gesture of friendship and Malefans suppressed a grimace as a chunk of rotten flesh rolled off and onto the once-pristine tile.

"B-MAN!  GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT.  MAL, THIS IS B-MAN.  WE GO WAY BACK.  I MEAN, WAAAAY BACK.  LIKE MORTAL DAYS, YOU KNOW.  GRANTED WE WERE TRYING TO KILL EACH OTHER A LOT OF THAT TIME, BUT YOU KNOW, WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE."

The Sorcerer thought for a moment.
"Are you suggesting that we ally ourselves with... Nurgle?"

Duumrider sighed, "MAL, MAL BAAABY.  LISTEN, WE GOT THOSE KHORNE-BOYS IN CAGES, WE ARE DIVERSIFYING.  YOU GOTTA THINK BIG PICTURE.  WHY GO SMALL WHEN YOU CAN GO BIG!  ALL THE CHAOS BOYS GETTING TOGETHER.  DOING OUR THING."

Malefans was about to reply when the Nurgle Prince held out a stained piece of paper.  Trying not to touch it too much, the Sorcerer gasped when he saw it.  It was... a contract.  A signed contract.  The fool had doomed them both.

"Do you have... any idea as to what you have agreed to?"

"OH YEAH, MAL, YOU GOTTA AIM UP.  AND WHO'S AT THE TOP RIGHT NOW?  ELDAR.  THOSE POINTY-SOULS ARE ALL BUT OURS NOW!  B-MAN'S GONNA GIVE US THE GUNS, AND WE SPLIT THE SOULS 50/50."

"And the consequences of failure?  It says that if our mission is not successful, we are bound to the service of the Great Lord of Decay."

"MAL, MAL.  WE AIN'T GONNA LOSE.  I'VE GOT THE PERFECT PIGEONS LINED UP.  GRANTED THEY'RE ALATOIC, BUT WHO ISN'T AT THIS POINT?  NEWBIE GENERAL, BOTH IN AND OUT OF FLUFF AND THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE A DOZEN DARK REAPERS OR THAT WEIRD CAT-LADY.  WE GOT THIS.  EASY MONEY, BABY."

Malefans sighed, "At least... you've given it some thought.  I will inform the minions.  I suppose we have an alliance then, Bulbous Gangrenosum."

The Nurgle-thing made a happy gurgling sound and a few greenish bubbles exuded out of the helmet.

Duumrider interjected, "YOU GOTTA FORGIVE B-MAN SOME, MAL.  BEFORE HE TURNED PRINCE, I KIND OF SHOT MOST OF HIS FACE OFF.  UNFRIENDLY FIRE, Y'KNOW.  SO HE ONLY TALKS IN GURGLISH.  YOU GET USED IT."

Before Malefans could respond, the two Princes turned towards each other and did a complex set of hand gestures that ended in a double fanny-bump and the Nurgle Prince departed through the still open portal.  At least the smell had the courtesy to leave with him.

Malefans hoped beyond hope that for once, a battle would go the way it was supposed to...

------------------------------------------------------------

"You realize this changes nothing between us."

Farseer Dunkas sipped his morning tea looking sternly across the table at the crimson-haired Autarch, Lady Lennara.  Lennara smiled at her once-husband, both of them in morning-robes.

Lennara smiled and replied, "You didn't seem to think so much last night, Dunkas.  I think you almost dehydrated both of us."

The Farseer curled a lip, "Don't be disgusting, Lennara.  Your drink clouded my mind and inhibitions.  It was folly to indulge and I beg Isha's forgiveness for my moral lassitude."

"I wouldn't call anything lax, Dunkas.  Just... out of practice."

Blushing, the Farseer changed the topic, "In any case, back to the topic at hand.  My Rangers have found rumours that your daughter..."

"Our daughter," corrected Lennara.

Dunkas paused and continued through partially-gritted teeth, "... Our... daughter... has been seen near a Mon-Keigh outpost.  A small force, nothing that we couldn't handle..."

Sighing at the dramatic pause, Lennara replied, "I'm sensing a 'but' to appear unbidden..."

The Farseer nodded and continued, "But, there is a complication.  The Forces of Chaos have intervened.  Worshippers of the Pestulent One and She Who Thirsts act together and they have driven off the Mon-Keigh.  We must secure this base if we are to conduct a search safely."

Lennara's lips curled in a familiar smirk, "Good, then we shall do so."

Dunkas frowned, gripping his mug tighter.
"Need I remind you the danger of falling into the gaze of She Who Thirsts?  It puts the souls of our charges in grave peril."

The Autarch nodded, "Indeed, Dunkas.  That is why we will not lose.  Now, let me begin preparing for battle... Unless you wish a second round of our own?"

Snorting, the Farseer stood up, hiding a flush on his face.  Lennara was brazen, but right.  Battle was coming, and much was at stake.  He only hoped that would not regret this perilous gamble.

-------------------------------------------

To Be Continued!

12
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Eldar Craftworlds vs. Catachan Imperial Guard in "Consequences" (2/18)
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,
Yes, it's really happening, another rep is inbound!
In this batrep, I'm introducing a new Eldar list (pure until the Dark Eldar book comes out) that I've having fun with.
And since it's a pure Eldar list, I needed a bit of a change in the fluff, and I had the good luck of playing an opponent who was also trying out a pure Catachan list with a lot of artillery and boots on the ground.
Turned out to be a good fight and I have to admit that the strategems were actually a lot of fun.

Hope you all enjoy the rep!

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Kind of a lot of fluff, C&C is greatly appreciated!
------------------------------------------------------------

------------------
The Lists
------------------

Eldar Craftworlds (1500): 62 Infantry, 2 Vehicle; 7 CPs
Alatoic Craftworlds Battalion
-Farseer
-Spiritseer
-Rangersx5
-Rangersx5
-Rangersx5
-Guardiansx19
-Dark Reapersx4 w/Exarch w/Tempest Launcher
-Dark Reapersx4 w/Exarch w/Tempest Launcher
-Wave Serpent w/Shuriken Cannon, Twin-SCannon
-Wave Serpent w/Shuriken Cannon, Twin-SCannon
Saim-Hann Outriders
-Autarch Skyrunner w/Laser Lance, Reaper Launcher, Banshee Mask, Shimmerplume
-Warlock Skyrunner w/Singing Spear
-Shining Spearsx6 w/Exarch w/Star Lance
-Swooping Hawksx5 w/Exarch w/Hawk's Talon
-Swooping Hawksx5 w/Exarch w/Hawk's Talon

Imperial Guard (1500): 75 Infantry, 7 Vehicles; 9 CPs
Catachan Brigade
-Straken  (Warlord)
-Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter
-Primaris Psyker w/Force Staff, Kurov's Aquilla
-Harker
-Priest
-Astropath
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad w/Mortar
-Infantry Squad
-Sentinel w/Heavy Flamer
-Sentinel w/Heavy Flamer
-Sentinel w/Heavy Flamer
-Manticore w/Heavy Bolter
-Manticore w/Heavy Bolter
-Manticore w/Heavy Bolter
Scion Patrol
-Tempestus Prime w/Command Rod
-Tempestus Command Squad (Plasmagunsx4)
-Tempestus Scionsx5 w/Plasmagunsx2, Plasma Pistol

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Warlord:
-Autarch: Mark of the Incomparable Hunter (Can target Characters)
-Straken: Lead from the front (6" heroic intervention)
Psyker Powers:
-Farseer: Doom, Smite
-Spiritseer: Protect/Jinx, Smite
-Warlock: Quicken/Restrain, Destructor (mini-smite)
-Primaris: Psychic Barrier, Nightshroud, Smite
-Astropath: Psychic Barrier, Telepathic Assault (1d6 Smite)

Setup:
-Mission: The Relic
-Deployment: Search and Destroy (Opposite Diagnals)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------
Chapter 1: The Ties that Bind
----------------------------------------

Autarch Lennara of the Craftworld Saim-Hann lounged in the saddle of her Skyrunner, watching the nervous tics of Warlock Belgen.  Belgen was the sort that always wanted to know what the future held, but a Farseer was not amongst their retinue.

At least, not for the moment.

Belgen was clearly against their presence so close to Imperial space, but it was the only place that they could negotiate as a neutral ground that would not be within earshot of any Craftworld.

A necessary security given the sensitive nature of their mission.

Belgen twisted again nervously, adjusting his crimson cowl.
"Lady Lennara, are you certain that the Altoic Craftworlders will meet us here?"

Lennara smirked, letting her deep red hair fall down across her face.
"Belgen, if I have found the Altoic people to be anything, it is an unnecessary flair for the dramatic.  Most likely they are already here."

Once again the Warlock twisted in his saddle, almost falling off to Lennara's barely held amusement.
"They... they are?  But, why would they..."

Lennara sighed.  Belgen was a relatively new-comer to the Warlock shrine, but his lack of experience was a necessary gambit for her overall plan.  Any more experienced Eldar would recogize her and the mission and disavow themselves almost instinctively.

Luckily, Belgen was all too eager to please himself to the famed Autarch.  A commidity that she had learned to come to value.

"Calm yourself, Warlock.  The Altoic like to think of themselves as puritanical mainstays.  A moral, unbreakable standard that we all should live by.  For that reason, they like to watch.  To see if we can keep our emotions in check.  Until they reveal themselves in an overwrought display of majesty."

Lennara crossed her legs over the saddle and spoke to the darkness around them.
"Dunkas, don't you think this is enough of our time wasted?"

Belgen almost leaped out of his robes as two massive Wave Serpents seemed to emerge from nothingness, nestled with camoflage both psychic and material far outside of the normal red and white markings of the Saim-Hann homeworld.

The Altoic had arrived.

There was a slight shimmer around them and Belgen swallowed nervously as he felt a dozen or so Long Rifles aimed at his head.

Surely the great Autarch had thought of this contingency?  Belgen was unceratin about the entire affair to begin with.

But, the Lady Lennara, the great Autarch of legend, had personally asked him to accompany her on a mission of utmost import.

Granted, in hindsight, perhaps asking the nature of the mission or the potential consequences thereof should have come to mind, but the sheer surprise of having so great an Aeldari come to him spouting words of praise was just too much for him to refuse.

He only hoped that all the sympathy was not going to get him killed.

The Wave Serpents spun around and a pair of ramps extended as skull-wearing Dark Reapers descended the ramp, their Reaper Launchers sporting weaponry that could easily knock an Eldar off their Skyrunner with a casual gesture.  But, the pair of psykers that followed them made Belgen's blood run cold.

The leader wore the colours of Craftworld Altoic with all of their grandeur, paired with spotless robes that were covered with the accomplishments of lifetimes that Belgen could barely grasp.  The Spiritseer that followed the Farseer was slightly less decorated, but enough to give Belgen nervous tremors.  Who were these foreigners and how did the Lady know them?

And indeed, Lady Lennara seemed not the slightest bit worried.  She seemed almost amused, her bright features gleaming in the low-light, causing thoughts that should really be better contained come unbidden to Belgen's mind.  Then, she spoke.

"Dunkas.  You haven't changed."

The lead Farseer harumphed and gruffly said, "Lennara.  You sadly still wear the trappings of your kind.  Ambitious.  Dangerous.  Foolhardy.  I know your mission.  Your intent.  You.  Will.  Fail."

The Autarch let go a laugh that was half-mocking, half-castigating.
"Dunkas.  Dunkas.  Dunkas.  Still with the flair for the dramatic.  You know so much.  Yet... you still came."

The Farseer cut her off.  "If only to convince you of the folly of your actions.  Surely even you must..."

"Must what?" interjected Lennara, "Give up?  Hide in a hole while the needs of one of our blood goes unchecked?  Do you not have an ounce of responsibility still left in your crystalline bones?

Dunkas paced for a moment, and then spoke.  "I had forgotten the ways of the Saim-Hann.  So hot-blooded.  So misinformed.  You go to disaster so readily.  Without remorese."

"Remorse?  REMORSE?" roared Lennara, "I am not speaking of remorse, Dunkas.  I am speaking of the bare essentials of our kind.  Did you not hear?  She needs us.  After so long, so very long..."

Dunkas spat out, "No.  She is not of our kind.  She is an abomination..."

"No," growled Lennara, "You do not get that out Dunkas.  Our coupling was carefully negotiated, but you saw her when she was born.  You felt her mind.  You...  You knew her better than I did.  Surely the possibilty of her salvation..."

"Is IMPOSSIBLE, Lennara," Dunkas said, shaking his head, "You cannot ask me of this."

Lennara shot a finger out at the Farseer that made the surrounding Eldar take a step back, "You... dare act this way.  You fled after her birth.  You didn't raise her.  Didn't see her first steps.  Her first mind-link.  The first shrine.  You hid in your Outcast lair and did nothing.  And now she comes asking for our help.  Have YOU no shame?"

The Farseer was about to repond, when the Spiritseer by his side grabbed his arm.
"Farseer, we are detected.  The Mon-Keigh are close, their minds hidden.  We must make for the nearest Webway."

Dunkas nodded and said to his once-wife, "Lennara.  I will escort you to the portal, but that is all.  This is madness."

"No," Lennara said, "This is responsibility.  Dunkas.  I know you.  Our daughter calls to us.  We must answer.  I will do this, with or without you.  And you do not want my death on your hands."

The Farseer frowned, ignoring a repeated warning from his Spiritseer.  The skeins of the future were so brilliant and obvious.  He should turn her away.  He should keep the Aeldari's future protected.  But... what of it?  What would it mean to betray his closest kin?

"Very well, Lennara," he said in solemn tones, "In this we are bonded, but know this:  The Mon-Keigh may be our enemy, but I do not condone this abomination."

Lennara smirked, "In this we agree.  I will have a stern talking-to ready when we meet Lorilune.  Our daughter has much to answer for."

---------------------------------------------------------------------

"Damnation!" growled Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken as he peered through the misty dawn.  "Harker!  You said that you saw Eldar on my battlefield?!"

The overly-muscular Sargeant of the 2nd Catachan nodded, "Yessir, we saw those pointy-eared Xenos over on yonder.  Looked up to no-good."

Straken nodded, gritting his teeth with a hate that only a Catachan could appreciate.  The Eldar were an bunch of thin-armed cowards that hated a fair fight.  But, they had the misfortune of running into the Hammer of the Emperor.

"Alright you lot, listen up!" barked Straken, "We've got a Xenos hunt on our hands!  Let's show these invaders the penalty for trespassin'!"

To be Continued!

13
------------------------------------------------------------
WAARGH! Grumgutz vs. Alpha Legion (1500): The Return of Duumrider!
------------------------------------------------------------

Hi All,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It's been a while.  I've been playing here and there, but nothing serious as I've been waiting for Chapter Approved and Beta rules to simmer to something concrete.  Oh, and how it has!  Smite spam is nerfed, except... Orks still can do it pretty well.
Hordes are still stong and Orks can do it doubly well.
At least... they do better than Dark Eldar.

So, I bring out the Green Horde lead once again by Ex-Farseer Lorilune in a mass surge against... Chaos?

It's an interesting Alpha Legion list with a lot of tricks and surprising to say the least.

Hope you all enjoy the next chapter of the WAARGH! Grumgutz saga.

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Fluff is attached!
Comments and Critiques are Greatly Appreciated!

--------------
The Lists
---------------
WAARGH! Grumgutz (1500): 125 Infantry, 1 Vehicle; 6 CPs (Battalion and Patrol)
Ex-Farseer Lorilune (Weirdboy)
Axl da Goff Rokka (Weirdboy)
Big Mek Wingnut (Big Mek on Warbike w/KFF)
Dokta Chop (Painboy w/PK)
Nob w/W!Banner, Kustom Shoota
Boyzx28 w/Sluggas, PK
Boyzx28 w/Sluggas, PK
Boyzx28 w/Shootas
Brother-Captain-Major-Sergeant Skarbutz (Stormboyzx15 w/PK)
BigToof (Gorkanaut)
Weirdboy
Grotzx10
Grotzx10

Alpha Legion (1500): 77 Infantry, 1 Monster; 6 CPs
DUUMRIDER (DPrince w/Wings, Elixer, Malefic talons, Warp Bolter, MoS, Warptime)
Malafens (Sorcerer w/Force Staff, Combi-Bolter, Warptime, Prescience)
Noise Marinesx18 w/Sonic Blasters, Blastmaster
Berzerkersx8 w/Chainswords and Chainaxes, Champ w/Double Claw
Berzerkersx8 w/Chainswords and Chainaxes, Champ w/Double Claw
Cultistsx12 w/ Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
Cultistsx12 w/ Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
Cultistsx12 w/ Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
Obliteratorsx3 w/Mark of Slaanesh
Obliteratorsx3 w/Mark of Slaanesh

---------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------
Chapter Two: The Retrun of Duumrider
------------------------------------------------

Our story begins deep in the Warp, the nebulous half-real dimension carved out of the dreams and nightmares of the denizens of Realspace.  There, made from mountains of spiraling pink and purple metal was a castle of exquisite and near mind-numbing detail, crafted by the pleasure-driven worshipers of Slaanesh.

But, it was not a place of worship, but instead a holding ground for the unused and bedraggled.  Mutilators and Defilers slumbered in rooms carved out from the warp-stuff and one of the largest rooms was occupied by a fairly-well known creature.  A pile of scantily clad cultists were laid out in a pile, half covering a massive mockery of a humanoid figure.  Adorned with purple and pink Astartes Armor, the Daemon Prince Duumrider slept, his firey flame extinguished for the moment while dreams of depravity filled his brow.

As Duumrider slumbered amongst the mass of drugged-out cultists, there was a tremor in the Warp.  Suddenly, the lidless eyes of the Daemon Prince snapped open and a cackle ripped through the air.

"CHAPTER APPROVED...  BETA MATCH PLAY...  SLAANESH'S PINK PANTIES WE'RE VIABLE AGAIN!!!"

The monstrous creature threw itself upwards, scattering the Chaos worshipers around him.

"MAL!  MAL!  OH, HE'S GOTTA HEAR THIS!"

With a shimmer of brimstone, the beast vanished into a blur of speed and the doors to the sanctum were thrown open with reckless abandon.

In another room of the palace was a Sorcerer deep in thought.  His overwrought pink and purple armor had a sheen of dust as Malefans, the Sorcerer of Slaanesh, looked over his tomes.  There had been little call for Sorcerers of late, as the Gods and Heretics alike were following the rabble calling of Malefic Lords.  Though barely sane and paling in comparison to the centuries of experience of a Sorcerer, the baying hordes that had been active cared little for substance and style.  Instead, they followed whoever could cobble together enough of a warband to throw themselves needlessly against the Imperial warmachine.  Malefens shook his head at the thought of it all.  The children today had no sense of respect for their elders.

And it was at this point that the doors to his study was blown off their hinges by a massive boot that left the once-mighty doors thrown about, knocking over piles of books and carefully kept notes.
With a sigh, Malefans looked over to see the panting and howling form of Daemon Prince Duumrider.  It was going to be one of those days.

"MAL!  MAL!  DID YOU HEAR?!  WE'RE VIABLE AGAIN!  SMITE SPAM DONE GOT THE NERF!"

"What are you talking about?  We're not going any..."

Then, as if on cue, a small shimmering light began to glow on Malefan's wartable.  The Sorcerer wiped off a sheen of dust and almost gasped in surprise at the pinkish rune that shimmered quite clearly.

"We're...  We're being called to battle.  The Dark Prince has need of us once more."

"THAT'S WHAT I SAID!  MAN, THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!  WHO ARE WE FIGHTING?  GIRLYMAN?  SAINT UNDERCOSTED?"

"No..." said Malefans grimly as he looked over his runes.  "Our opponent is... Orks."

"ORKS?  REALLY?  MAN, WE'RE SKIMMING THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, AREN'T WE?"

"Surely this is a test from the Dark Prince.  Once we prove ourselves worthy, then we will be given something more substantive."  Malefans drummed his fingers in thought.  "A trivial task, but a task nonetheless."

"MAL!  MAL!  YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T SAY STUFF LIKE THAT!  NOW WE GOTTA WORRY ABOUT SOME MARY-SUE COMING ALONG AND ALIENATING HALF THE FANBASE!"

The Sorcerer took a moment to look up the flaming visage of his mostly-insane colleague.  Sometimes there were motes of wisdom in the Warp-Dust crazed words that scrambled out of Duumrider's mouth.  Surely the Dark Prince had a twist planned.  It was only a matter of time before they figured out what it was...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ex-Farseer Lorilune was in a foul mood.  Which was her common state of affairs given the situation.  Clad in the remains of her once vaunted robes, she brushed the ends of her bedraggled crimson hair out of her eyes.  Once, she had worried about such creature comforts like vanity and fashion, but now there were more important matters at hand.  She stood over a crudely made table with rolls of paper in front of her that had crude squiggles and sigils that approximated a map.  Barely.  Waargh!  energy crackled through her veins and she looked up, throwing a glance at the other figure in her tent.

Big Mek Wingnut looked sheepishly and tried to make himself as small as possible.  Even though the Ork dwarfed the Eldar, he had long since learned what everyone in the Orkish camp knew:

Nobody was bigger than Big Louie.  Nobody.

"Uh, Louie," asked Wingnut, "Da map ain't all THAT bad, right?"

A roar of Waargh! energy coarsed over the room, knocking the crude maps around the room and stirring the dust on the floor into a small sandstorm.  Wingnut shut his eyes and coughed, stepping back against the onslought.

"Not, that bad?  NOT THAT BAD?"

Lorilune charged forwards, poking a finger against Wingnut's chest, and the Big Mek whimpered as if shot.

"Do you lot even have the faintest idea of cartography?"

"Uh," proffered Wingnut, "I can make you a cart if you want Louie.  Maybe half a Trukk if ya..."

"That's not what cartography..."  Lorilune fought down the very tempting fantasy of blowing Wingnut and all of the Orks into the stratosphere.  It was bad enough that the Orks had crashlanded on this misbegotten planet, but it was even worse that they didn't have a clue as to where they were and in what direction they were going.  Lorilune half expected that they were wandering around the forest in circles, getting further away from the Spaceport that held their only hope of getting off the planet.  But, thinking and planning were not the Ork way of doing anything.  It was as foreign as soap to the greenskins, but by Khaine's bones she was going to force it down their throats until they choked on it.

"Why's you need a map anyhows?"  asked Wingnut, a bit relieved that the blasting had stopped.

"Why?  Why?! How do you know we're going even vaguely in the right direction."

Wingnut nodded, "Yeah, I guess dat's a problem, but ya know...  Bigtoof can see those gits."

"He... WHAT?!" screamed Lorilune, looking out the tent flap at the enormous Gorkanaut that was piloted by possibly the stupidest Ork she had ever met.  The massive Warmachine had fallen over again after bending over too far and was slowly being pulled up again, causing the entire warband to grind to a halt.  As necessary as the Gorkanaut was to her plans, Lorilune still couldn't believe that the massive titan could be brought low by something shiny on the ground.

"Then why didn't you lot tell me?!"

"Uh," proffered Wingnut, "Cuz you said dat you didn't want to hear no more about BigToof cause of what he did with dat fallin' over thing."

A vein throbbed on her head as the Ex-Farseer summoned all of her strength to keep from screaming at the top of her lungs.  Orks.  Just when you thought you had reached the nadir of their stupidity, you found a new layer of idiocy ripe for the mining.  At least, she thought to herself, it couldn't get worse.

"Boss!  Boss!" screamed an Ork Boy as he ran inside.  "We see some humies on da hills up ahead!"

"Good," said Lorilune, "I'm just in the mood for them.  Summon the Warband.  The Might of the Eldar will herald their destruction!"

"Wut?"

Sighing, the Ex-Farseer said in monotone, "Get everyone together.  We're going to fight them."

"Oh, right!" replied the Ork Boy, waving his Choppa around,  " Green is da Best!"

--------------------------------------------------------------

Mission: Cleanse (Kill Points)
Setup: Vanguard (Diagonals)

Pre-Game Thoughts: Right, I've got a horde... versus one of the scariest anti-infantry lists I've seen in a while.
I've seen Chaos (with it's shiny Codex...) run rabid on the table, and there's a lot of nasty things out there.
Noise marines with umpteen million accurate (gasp!) shots with Sorcerer support, Khorne Berzerkers (ouch) and a Daemon Prince (better than Morty or Magnus I suppose), but still a nasty list over-all.  Only two units of Oblits, so I guess I should be happy there?
As for my list, I've got a metric Ork-sized ton of bodies with now three Weirdboyz (love 'em) and still BigToof the Gorkanaut as distraction Carnifex.  I don't have much anti-tank, as I've brought a W! Banner Nob (might be useful?), a Painboy and Stormboyz to see what they do instead of doing the sensible thing and taking KMKannons or the like.
Looking at the board, I really miss those Kannons...
I sense that this will be a slobber-knocker for the ages to come!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

To be Continued!

14
General 40k and Expansions / Matched Play Beta Changes
« on: December 17, 2017, 02:07:22 PM »
Hi All,
In case you weren't aware, there are a few beta matched play changes that have gone out.

There's some clarification for the character targeting shenanigans (thank goodness), but most importantly Smite has gotten a nerf (every additional attempt causes a -1).  This is huge as it hurts the big smite spam armies and that might (?) bring back some elite armies...

Although oddly enough Orks can still smite spam, but at least now there isn't a pressure to try massed IG or brimstone psyker spam.

Thoughts?

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Now that things are setted matched play wise, more batreps coming soon!

15
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Eldar Alliance vs IG/Knight in "The Dark Light Returns" (1500)
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hi All,
NOT DEAD YET.
Real life once again dealt Toof a bad hand or two, but I did manage to finally put some time aside and get a pretty brutal batrep written up!
I'm finding 8th to be hella fast compared to 7th and well, quite bloody when you get to the end game.
And I've always had a soft spot for the Dark Eldar.
Evil for the LULZ of it, hardcore, maniacal and just bad news by the standards of everyone (perhaps even Tyranids).

But, they were kind of lackluster last edition.

You just couldn't get much done without your Craftworld cousins and in the end it was just kind of embarrassing for all parties involved.
So it was with some trepedation that I brought out my spikey Space Elves for combat in the New Era.
And I faced up against a mate who was bringing out a decently hard-hitting list of Scions (AKA Storm Troopers) and a Knight Titan.  Oh and Tauroxes a plenty coming out of every orifice.

So... kind of brutal?

But, I had heard that Dark Light was the shiznit this edition and that Harlequins were remarkably good.
Still, looking at what I was up against it was... daunting to say the least.

How did things go?

Did the Dark Kin give the spanking or take one?

Read.  On.

Best,
-BT

P.S.  Of course there's fluff too :)

----------------------------------------------------------
--------------
The Lists
--------------

The Eldar Alliance (1500): 26 Infantry, 6 Vehicles; 6 CPs
Archon Y'stral w/Blaster, Agonizer
Farseer Thielbane on Jetbike, Doom
Beastmaster Starsparkle w/Agonizer
Warriorsx5 w/Blaster in Raider w/DL, Shock Lance
Harlequinsx5 w/Fusion Pistolsx3, Embracesx4 in Starweaver w/SCx2
Harlequinsx5 w/Fusion Pistolsx3, Embracesx4 in Starweaver w/SCx2
Razorwing Flocksx4
Razorwing Flocksx4
Ravager w/DLx3
Ravager w/DLx3
Razorwing w/DLx2

Storm Troopers/Knight (1500): 25 Infantry, 6 Vehicles, 1 LoW; 7 CPs
Tempestus Prime w/Command Rod
Tempestus Prime w/Command Rod
Militarum Tempestus Command Squad (Scionsx4 w/Plasmaguns)
Militarum Tempestus Command Squad (Scionsx4 w/Plasmaguns)
Tempestus Scionsx5 w/Plasmagunsx2
Tempestus Scionsx5 w/Plasmagunsx2
Tempestus Scionsx5 w/Plasmagunsx2
Taurox Prime w/Hotshot Volley guns, Gatling gun, Storm Bolter
Taurox Prime w/Hotshot Volley guns, Gatling gun, Storm Bolter
Taurox Prime w/Hotshot Volley guns, Gatling gun, Storm Bolter
Taurox Prime w/Hotshot Volley guns, Gatling gun, Storm Bolter
Taurox Prime w/Hotshot Volley guns, Gatling gun, Storm Bolter
Taurox Prime w/Hotshot Volley guns, Gatling gun, Storm Bolter
Knight Crusader w/Avenger Gatling gun, Thermal Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Heavy Stubbers

-------------------------------------------------------------------

---------------------------------------
Chapter 14: The Dark Light Returns
---------------------------------------

Farseer Thielbane of Craftworld (or ex-Craftworld so-to-speak) Biel-Tan sat on the edge of the far railing of the Grisley Hand Kabal.  The Kabal was a roving band of Drukari warships that wandered around like Nomads between the Webway and Realspace.  Mostly kept separate from the rest of Eldar society due to their leader's mercurial bouts of homicidal rage and backstabbing tendencies, the flotilla had in its own way insulated itself from the recent alarming events in Eldar history.

The Farseer was lost in thought as he thought about his own timeline.  It seemed like it had been an age since he had been assigned for the "good" of the Craftworld to work with the Dark Kin.  The spiky, almost venomous architecture was borderline terrifying at first, but he had gotten used to it.  Now, the far-off screams of the torture racks and pain pits were an almost familiar, yet diabolical ambiance.

But, he had to wonder what good he had done for his Craftworld.  In his absence, an entire new faction of Eldar had emerged, fractured his homeworld and sent the entire race into a frenzy of paranoia and misgivings.  Y'nnead, the so-called God of Death, had come looking for followers, and more than a few of the Biel-Tan survivors had joined the ranks of the Death-Seekers.

Luckily, he had been spared the worst of the internal strife, but it was just a matter of time before the spiral of damnation grew out of control.
If only he had more...

"THIEL!"

Thielbane's head jerked up and he saw the impatient, pacing form of Archon Y'stral screaming his name.

The Archon was clad in his spike-ridden raiding armour and was clearly not in a pleasant mood. 

"Thiel, what in Khaine's name are you doing out here?  We've got a solid raid going off faster than you can kick an Ur-Ghul!"

The Farseer sighed and carefully leaned against the rail, "Y'stral, do you ever wonder what the point of all this is?"

Y'stral snorted, "No, are you crazy?  It's simple.  Commeraugh got it's guts turned inside out thanks to that totally hilarious fail on Vect's part.  Can you believe it?  Got made a fool of in front of everyone!  He'll never live it down.  Yeah, some stuff blew up and your Craftworld got a hole in it.  Big.  Deal.  The important thing is that everyone who can pay for it wants fresh slaves to jolt themselves into a pain and suffering overdose.  It's the perfect opportunity, Thiel!"

Thielbane nodded and said, "I... suppose in the short run, that's true, but the Harlequins are..."

Throwing up his hands, Y'stral cut off his companion with frantic gestures, "Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Clowns?  Thiel?  Didn't we have a talk about the clowns?  They cramp my style."

"That's... not important, Y'stral.  They're ambassadors of the Laughing God.  Potential go-betweens of the forces of Ynnead.  We have to treat them with respect and they do want to go with us onto the field of..."

But, the Archon was not to be stopped.  Y'stral continued his tirade unabated, starting to pace up and down the deck while wringing his hands in thought. 
"Oh, Oh!  I get it.  The clowns are running out of epic material and they want to see how the REAL Eldar get things done.  Fine.  Fine!  Just, they better not get in my way.  And if they steal any of my kills, I'll beat them to death with my murder-boner."

Thielbane sighed.  It was as close to a win as he could get at this point.  "Uh... right.  I've consulted the Runes and... you do know that we're up against serious opposition?"

A sharp laugh burst from out from Y'stral who shook his head derisively.  "Fffffft.  Thiel, come on.  It's me.  We've got some hoity-toity Mon-Keigh and one of their big metal bozos.  Just one.  We can handle that."

Thielbane shook his head and stammered, "I... suppose.  But, don't you think..."

Throwing a hand over the Farseer, Y'stral laughed, "Think?  Think?  No, Thiel, I know.  I know you need this.  You NEED this.  You're like someone whose girl left him and then went and set fire to his house and all of his pets.  You know, confused and kinda aroused."

"I... don't think that..."

Interrupting again, Y'stral said, "Anyway, that's besides the point.  We gotta get these birds the hell out of my ship before they start driving me nuts."

As if on cue, the nearby hatch door opened and a short, white-cloaked figure staggered out.  It took the two Eldar a moment to realize that it was in fact, a familiar looking individual coated in avian excreemnt.  Starsparkle, former leader of the "fearsome" Reaver gang: the Sky Ponies, tried to walk as respectfully as possible while leaving sticky footprints along the long gangway.
"Archon?  Farseer?  Is that you?"

Wrinkling his nose at the smell, the Archon responded, "No, it's the Mon-Keigh Primarchs.  Who do you think it is?"

Star tried to wipe her goggles clean, but only managed to add another layer of filth.  "Apologies.  It's just... hard to see...  The birds are acting kind of...  I think there's something wrong with their food."

The Archon continued, "Yeah, it's called not falling down and dying.  Stuff is supposed to kill anything, but those birds just keep crapping it out everywhere."

Trying to respond in a meaningful way, Star added, "Uh, yes.  Can I... stop being the Beastmaster now?"

Nevertheless, Y'stral continued his verbal barrage, "Stop?  STOP?  We need those rabid meatshields out there now.  The Mon-Keigh won't know what hit them...:
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The Shrine World of Omicron-Sigma Seven was a blighted, barren wasteland except for a small patch of artificially maintained verdant forest surrounding the remains of a massive Imperial cathedral.  Omicron-Sigma Seven had been the site of a recent massive battle in which the Imperium had been victorious over a brutal Cult uprising that dared to question the divinity of the God-Emperor.  The Tempestus themselves were brought into play to quickly annihilate the Heretics, but their efficacy had a somewhat unfortunate side effect of purging the entire population.

So it was that the Two Masters sat at their command desk, none of them willing to break the silence.  Both were Temespesus Primes, lords of the best of the best of the Astra Militarum.  However, they were in the precarious position of having lost most of their Scion underlings and now the default defenders of the Relic of Saint Farquad the Undying was actually made up of mostly officers and their command staff.  It was a top-heavy conundrum that few Primes had had to deal with before and it bristling for the Masters to conceive of the fact that there was another individual who had equal authority to their once-vaunted dominion.  And it was about to come to blows when the diplomatic conception of "taking turns" was vetted into a hesitant state of agreement and now only one Master was in control at a time.  Just, not on a permanent basis.  And it did not make the other Prime friendly by any means.

The Primes looked at each other ruefully, both old men, made older by decades of warfare and longevity drugs, and all unwilling to give the others the satisfaction of looking away first.  Though named differently, Primes McCullum and Rutherford were practically mirror images of each other.  Heavily mustached with lines of wrinkles set into permanent scowls with dress uniforms blanketed with medals and varied sorts of honourarium.  Their level of prestige was so similar it was positively scandalous.

So it would have gone on for quite a while, until the door to the Command Room opened and a frantic looking Scion charged in.

"Masters!  I..."

Two pairs of beady eyes swiveled on the Scion, who paused and then realized that he wasn't actively saluting them.

Remedying it as best he could, the soldier tried his best to hold the reels of Vox-paper while staying at full attention.
"Uh, sirs.  Yes, the scanners have picked up a fast-moving force on the Vox-Arrays.  Energy signitures are Eldar."

The Masters scooted their chairs away from the desk in varying states of alarm, but the current leader, Prime McCullum was the one to bark the order.
"Send out the alert.  Mobilize the Knight and the Tauroxes for fast intercept.  Prepare the others for Grav-Chute entry.  Let us see how the Xenos fare against the finest of the Imperium."

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Mission: The Relic
Setup: Front Line Assault
Warlord:
Y'stral: Inspiring Leader (+1 Ld to nearby units)
Tempestus Prime #1: Inspiring Leader (+1 Ld to nearby units)
Combat Drugs:
Starsparkle: +2 Ld
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Pre-Game Thoughts:  The relic?  Oof, this one's going to be tough.
All of my vaunted mobility won't do beans if my opponent can just hold the center and blow me away.
I also have no real assault elements in my army, so if that Knight wants to just stand around bullying me, then well...  there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.
On my side, I do go first unless he totally mechs up his army, but I don't think that'll be his game plan.
I only hope that my boats can take a plasma broadside or two...
His Tauroxes are also pretty scary, but thankfully they're in "bullet-hose" mode (i.e. only THIRTY or so S4 shots) rather than anti-tank.  But, there's a LOT of those little trucks.

Setup: We take turns setting up and I castle hard in the middle with birds to protect me from a seize possibility.  The Archon with Warriors in the Raider in the Front, Harlies with their Starweavers behind him and the Ravagers to the flanks.  Thiel and Star were in the center amongst the big boats.
My opponent set up a bit more carefully, knowing that he would go second due to his ENORMOUS number of drops, but sets up his Knight in the center with Tauroxes trying to stay out of Lance range in the corner pockets.

The Scions failed to seize and the game was on!



Picture Caption: Hey we have the same number of models! His are just... probably better than mine.  Hmm...  Hope that Dark Light got the upgrade that they were rumored to have!

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To Be Continued!
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