Battle Report: Craftworld Eldar vs Death Guard Game 1

With JADE's recent move to a new town and larger gaming space, we have a found a ton more people who want to play games with us; particularly Warhammer 40k. My brother-in-law Connor and his friend Casey have been wanting to play for months, and since I am up here in Newmarket now, I finally had a chance to teach them the game.

So I quickly assembled two forces 8and refereed a battle for them. They both found this very helpful, as I was able to interpret rules for them and give them advice on how to wield both of the armies they were using.

The Forces

Unlike our last three games of Warhammer 40k We finally got a chance to change up the forces for the first time in years! with my Death Guard force being one of the few armies we have that is playable and near completion, they formed one of the armies we used. The other army however is a little different than normal, and saw the long awaited return of my friend Wesley's Ulthw√© Eldar. 

Many figures in my Death Guard army were part of the original army that I bought 14 years ago when I first started playing. My most common opponent was Wesley and his Eldar force. Years later he gave me that Eldar army on the condition that I would return it to its former glory. After years of being in a box, the Eldar are in pretty rough shape. For example, the Wraith Lord we are fielding is little more than a single pewter leg attached to a 40mm base, but there are enough pieces there to make a usable if small army.

So these two force will always have a lot of nostalgia for me and I was happy to introduce Connor and Casey to 8th Ed with thesm.

One major difference I made from the last 8th Edition game I played was that the armies were built using Points rather than Power Levels. Sarah and I found them so unbalanced last game that I didn't even bother to explain them this time around. Now there are some rules that rely on Power Levels, such as Daemon Summoning, so I have included those totals below for posterity.

The Armies: Eldar vs. Death Guard

Points: 598

Edition: 8th Edition

Eldar Force

Farseer (100)
-Shuriken Pistol (0)
-Witchblade (0)
Guardian Defender Squad (8pts/model) - 13 Models
-3 Additional Guardians (8pts/model)
-Shuriken Catapult (5x0)
-Plasma Grenade (5x0)
-Weapons Platform (5)
-Starcannon (15)
Guardian Defender Squad (8pts/model) - 14 Models
-4 Additional Guardians (8pts/model)
-Shuriken Catapult (5x0)
-Plasma Grenade (5x0)
-Weapons Platform (5)
-Starcannon (15)
Dark Reapers (5pts/model) - 5 Models
-2 Additional Reapers (5pts/model)
-Exarch (0)
-Aeldari Missile Launcher (25)
-Reaper Launcher (4x22)
Wraithlord (103)
-Shuriken Catapult (2x0)
-Wraithbone Fists (0)

I am not an Eldar Player, and frankly this army probably wasn't the best layout. However it matched points wise,  gave a good spread of weaponry and abilities for a small force, and I had every model on the list in my collection; which is less confusing for new players.

My idea with this army was to use the Defenders as decoys while the Dark Reapers hung back with the Farseer and delivered the killing blows. The Wraith Lord was there to help balance any close combat situations, hopefully turning it in the Eldar's favour.

Death Guard Force

Malignant Plaguecaster (110)
-Corrupted Staff (0)
-Bolt Pistol (0)
-Blight Grenades (0)
-Krak Grenades (0)
Plague Marines (19pts/model) – 7 Models
-2 Additional Plague Marines (19pts/model)
-Plague Sword (1)
-Plague Knife (6x0)
-Boltgun (6x0)
-Blight Grenades (7x0)
-Krak Grenades (7x0)
-Icon of Despair (10)
Plague Marines (19pts/model) – 7 Models
-2 Additional Plague Marines (19pts/model)
-Plague Sword (1)
-Plague Knife (4x0)
-Boltgun (4x0)
-Blight Grenades (7x0)
-Krak Grenades (7x0)
-Plasma Gun (13)
-Melta Gun (17)
-Icon of Despair (10)
Plaguebearers (7pts/model) – 14 Models
-4 Additional Plaguebearers (7pts/model)
-Dedicated Rhino (70)
-Combi-Bolter (2)

Heavy on Infantry my Death Guard Force is a fairly traditional list for a small pointed game. My idea was to use one of the Plague Marine Squads as a decoy and then use remainder en-mass to divide the 
attacker into smaller portions defeating them in detail.

It was a much better thought out force then the Eldar Army, but I didn't know that at the time.

The Battlefield

Like our games before we set up the battlefield using out CD base Scatter Terrain and game mats. The theme for this game was a battle over an ancient ruin, featuring one of our Standing Stones. This gave the field some focus and despite it not being an objective marker, both Connor and Casey found themselves gravitating towards it.

With the armies chosen, and the table set is was for the two decide what armies they wanted to play. After some discussion they decided that Casey would wield the Death Guard force and that Connor would try out the Eldar.

Scenario: Annihilation

Again this being Connor and Casey's first 8th ed match (and Casey's first Warhammer game ever) we kept it simple and easy for the guys to play, choosing an Annihilation match form the open-play scenarios. All they had to do was kill one another, and start to figure out the rules. A Good introduction.

Turn 1: Dark Reapers Are Awesome! Assuming They Hit Something...

Casey took the opening move, and started the slow advance of his Death Guard army. He kept the force largely together and moved towards the center of the table en-mass. He wasn't in range to get any shots off yet choosing to hide his forces behind cover as best he could.

When it came for Connor's Eldar to respond, he only moved a tiny amount and started unloading with his Star Cannons, and Dark Reapers. The Dark Reaper weapons are truly awesome (as they have been throughout most editions of the game I have played) and the range, volume of fire power and strength of each shot is truly impressive.

The dice however were not on Connor's side, and not a single shot from his opening volley damaged a target. It was an unfortunate shooting phase at a time when Connor really needed to take the advantage.

Turn 2: The Firefight Begins

On our small 4ft x 4ft table, both sides got within a reasonable firing range by Turn 2. Casey's opening volleys with his Death Guard were little more then pot shots but a few hits landed, slowly starting to chip away the Eldar's superior numbers.

This round Connor's Eldar managed to to some damage crippling Casey's Rhino and a killing a single plague marine (not an easy task).Despite this, Connor was beginning to worry. He needed those shots to land on the first turn, and was starting to feel severely outgunned as the Death Guard closed in.

Turn 3: Daemons on the Field

On Turn 3 Casey summoned his squads of Plaguebearer Daemons, dropping a powerful close combat force onto the field, and dominating the center of the table. In response Connor tried to move his Defenders into better cover, and continued to fire desperately at the fast approaching Plague Marines.

A few hits were scored widdling the PLague Marine's down further, but Connor was feeling that he was about to get overrun. His army just didn't seem capable of dealing enough damage fast enough.

Turn 4: Revenge of the One-Legged Wraith Lord

By Turn 4 Casey's Plague Marines were in melee range, and charged the field. They locked most of Connor's Eldar in close combat greatly limiting his field of fire. Even Casey's damaged Rhino managed a charge (which is weird that Vehicles don't seem to have different close combat rules in 8th) locking the Dark Reapers in Melee.

With the Eldar getting shredded Connor decided to rescue his Dark Reapers and charge the Wraith Lord in. It easily destroyed the rhino, but it was honestly too little too late. The rest of his army was getting cut to ribbons by plague knives and overwhelmed by Daemons from the warp.

Turn 5: Game Over Man! Game Over

Many of the melee's from the turn before continued into the last round. Casey's Plague Marines managed to wipe out one squad and reduce another to a single man before the round was over.

On Connor's turn he used his Dark Reapers to pick off any of the straggling Plague Marines no longer locked in melee. But it simply wasn't enough. The Plague Marines had dominated the field from the start of the game and Connor's small Eldar force simply couldn't keep up.

At the end of turn 5 the final count was: 

Death Guard: 17 Models 

Craftworld Eldar: 4 Models

Victory: Death Guard


One of the things I have been reading about 8th Ed Warhammer 40k, is that players often seem to be able to call the game on Turn 2. Many people have claimed that once the game starts slipping it is very difficult to return from that, which ultimately means good dice rolls will beat good tactics every time.

I was unsure if these claims were true after my first game of 8th Ed. In the last game many of our balancing issues could be blamed on the unbalanced Power Level system. But this time around, despite using Points and having similarly valued armies, the same thing happened: The outcome of the game was decided well before it ended.

Perhaps my Death Guard army (which 8th ed only increased their effectiveness without really changing the structure for most Death Guard players from previous editions) just works better in 8th, and the other forces need some tender love and care to get them into an effective fight force. Even Casey, who just played his first game realized as so many new players do, that each army is complicated enough that you really need to take the time to study and set up your force to truly wield them properly and to adequately strategize.

Connor, who had played 4th Ed and 6th Ed Warhammer 40k, said despite getting crushed this game that 8th ed still very much felt like 40k, and that while he didn't like some of the rules changes there were many changes to the system that he found to be a great improvement. It is simpler to understand the rules, everything you need to play the unit is listed in their codex entry, etc., etc.

So we are going to keep playing 8th Ed for now. Both Casey and Connor have recently purchased armies (Orks and Necrons) and since they are just getting into the hobby it makes sense to start them on the most recent edition.

Now,  as any one who knows JADE can attest to we don't really care what edition we are playing of any game, so we will certainly be going back in time and playing the older ediitons, to see which rule set we like the best. But for now I am going to get the guys used to the most recent edition, and using their own armies.

Keep your eyes open for more Ork and Necron minis to come!

Written by: Andrew Gregory

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Battle Report: Craftworld Eldar vs Death Guard Game 1 Battle Report: Craftworld Eldar vs Death Guard Game 1 Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 6/18/2018 02:05:00 pm Rating: 5

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