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This is a part of the author's "Public Game" series. To view other battle reports in the series, click here.

This game is my long-awaited first game against dark eldar, at our current escalation league points value of 750.

THE CHALLENGER: ... I don't listen to hip-hop.

Archon, with drugs, power weapon, face pistol.

2x squads of warriors with splinter cannon, blaster - in raiders with a disintegrator

1 warrior squad with dark lance

3-bike squad of jetbikes with blaster

10-elf squad of mandrakes.

THE DEFENDER: Like the underground railroad... but with artillery

SO+fist command squad - priest with eviscerator - standard

Platoon HQ with mortar

2x squads with missile launchers

3-mortar heavy weapon squad

5-man plasma vet squad.

2x lascannon sentinels


He won all of the pre-game die rolls except for sides.

At deployment, the field looked like this:

For a hi-res copy, click here.

Note that the 'M's are where he put his Mandrake markers.

So, I don't really know what to expect, having never fought DE before. Basically, I expect him to charge forwards with his skimmers, unload a heap of trouble, and that this would all be over fairly quick. Given that the one contended loot counter was out in the middle of nowhere, I felt that I could easily blast him off it, and, if I had anything left, I would be able to sort of just walk up and take it.

Otherwise, I sort of just boxed up and braced for impact...


The Foleran forces quietly crept up to the ruined buildings in front of them. Melchoir gave the signal for the basilisk to cut its engine. All went quiet.

Melchoir had been assigned to yet another high-importance mission. In this case, it was to take out the ruined set of buildings at the top of the broad hill that had once been a strong keep. Given the last fortified position that Melchoir had been sent to take, he knew better than to charge in, even if it looked vacant.

"The keep looks empty, sir" came a voice over the vox.

Melchoir trusted the report from one of his sergeants high up in one of the buildings. He huddled around Sanario and Stips, his two junior officers. Okay, Sanario will go with me, I want you to take your troops around the side so that we have a north and a south spread. Then, let's put the basilisk in the-"

The officer was interrupted by the sudden sound of jet engines.

"Everyone, prepare for battle!" The officer shouted.

In his turn, he does exactly what I expected. He charged both of his raiders a full 12" forwards, and dumped out his squads (the one on the right with the archon). His Archon tripped off of the raider, fleeting a mere 1". His bikes turbo-boosted right up in front of my right flank

In shooting, his big guns did a variety of shooting, but not a lot of it was to any effect. He did manage to take down a couple of men from either of my infantry squads, though.

In assault, my opponent is only able to roll a 4 as his highest number on 3 dice, leaving him short for the assault. If only he were the closest unit...

After this point, the field looked like this:

Melchoir peered through the window. The Dark Elder speeders were fast, but they had to slow down to drop off their damned cargo. Now was the time to strike.

"Quickly, everyone! Fire, fire now!"

He was met by the sounds of shouting, and the revving of the basilisk engine.

So, it looked like this was going to be my only turn to do appreciable damage to the dark eldar. Given that, I start by moving my sentinel up into cover, and I move my basilisk forwards, eeking into terrain, so that I can get a shot off.

Shooting starts with my basilisk coming through in the clutch, as it is sometimes wont to do. The shot is a direct hit, clobbering 7 of his warriors. His raider manages to not get injured, and his archon passes his shadowfield test.

Unfortunately, the archon still isn't the closest target, thanks to the bikes, so the sentinel in the building kills the only thing he's good at: the raider. The shot hit, and slapped it around silly with it's lascannon, causing it to crash.

Meanwhile, my plasma vets shot at his bikes. Sure, he had turbo-boost, but with 6 BS4 shots against a mere 3++ save, I thought I could still do some damage. My plasma guns shoot getting something akin to (4,1) (1,2) (1,3). Of the two shots that hit, only one made it through the invul save. Surprisingly, though, among all three overheating veterans, one of them actually manages to survive the self-inflicted inferno. Above the vets, the infantry squad proceeds to miss with it's missile, and most of it's lasgun shots, doing nothing to the bikes.

Then my mortars open up. I try with a single mortar to plant it on the remnants of the squad that popped out with the archon, hoping to possibly scatter onto him. The shot missed, however, but was able to kill another warrior, bringing the squad down to 1. Meanwhile, my trio mortars open up, nailing his other squad dead on. In the end, I get a decent shot on the raider, along with several hits on the warriors. The raider was able to survive just fine, but half of the squad went down to mortar fire.

Both warrior squads fail their pinning tests.

After this point, the field looked like this:


In his turn, his raider continues to move forward, and his archon gets within easy chopping range. Meanwhile, his jetbikes sneak in behind my basilisk:

If I had just left my basilisk where it was, he wouldn't have been able to get behind it. Oh well, I figure that he would have been able to get it anyways (probably from the side), and at least I was able to kill stuff with it...

Shooting begins with his dark lance warrior squad nailing my sentinel from across the board. While he missed with his desintigrator on his raider (whew), he was able to get several penetrations against my basilisk with his bikes. Thankfully for the both of us, it didn't explode.

In assault, his archon is easily able to make it through the terrain into my mortar team. He shoots up two drugs, and absolutely plasters my front two mortar teams. The last pair (out of CC range) decides not to run away, letting the archon consolidate into them.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, things haven't been going horribly for me so far. All I need to do is kill his bikes and his archon, and I basically have this one bagged.

In movement, I move my sentinel back to shoot at his other raider, while I move my command squad in to handle his archon.

In shooting, my sentinel hits with it's lascannon. The glance comes in for a "crew stunned". My missile launchers from both squads miss their targets, but a lasgun from either squad is able to kill one warrior from his two forward warrior squads (wiping the right side one off the table).

Meanwhile, my vets open fire on his bikes. This time, the single plasma gun hits twice. Both wound, neatly taking down both of the bikes.

"There is the foul soul of the xeno!" Sanario shouted, lifting his eviscerator high in the air. The teeth ripped the air in righteous fervor, anticipating his sweet death it would soon bring.

"Now is the time for glory!" the priest continued, "Men of Folera, CHARGE!"

As the men rushed forward towards the archon, he suddenly stopped his massacre of the mortar teams and whipped around towards the attackers. Melchoir wound up his power fist and attempted to swing it at the archon. The dark eldar master drove his power weapon straight down onto the fist, cutting several of the fingers off. Almost as if it was the same action, he chopped again, straight through the fist, cutting through the servo motors and coming clean out the other side.

Melchoir hadn't had a chance to blink yet. The archon leaned in and punched him in the neck. The officer felt a sharp pain as the needles in the archon's glove delivered their toxins. Instantly, Melchoir's vision went blurry, as if someone had knocked glasses off of his face, or as if his body felt the effects of ten shots of whiskey all at once. Stunned, the officer fell to the ground.

In assault, he takes three drugs and then wisely decides to attack my officer, scoring ample ownage against him to bring him down. Now is my time for revenge. I can only hope that with my 13 rerollable attacks (plus a few chipped in from the mortar team) that I can cause his shadowfield to fail, and then absolutely cream him with the eviscerator. Of my 13 attacks, a big majority of them hit. Unfortunately, his passes 8 shadowfield saves. Then my eviscerator comes in with three hits. He passes 2 more shadowfield saves...

After this point, the field looked like this:


In his turn, he starts by moving his damaged raider far, far away.

He continued by revealing that his mandrakes were, indeed, the middle group. The mandrakes fleet towards my left side squad in the building.

In close combat, he started by moving his mandrakes in, killing the guys on the bottom floor without any serious retaliation. The two squads consolidate in such a way where his mandrakes get to snag my platoon HQ into a close combat.

The archon quickly switched his glare to the priest. The mighty warrior chopped down with his eviscerator, the teeth boucing violently off of his shimmering energy field.

With the speed of lightning, he jabbed his fist into the priest's neck.

In the fight with the archon again takes three combat drugs without any adverse effects. His several, rerolling attacks bring down everyone in the officer's squad before they have a chance to do anything. The two attacks from the mortar dudes do nothing. As the obvious victor of the combat, my mortar team fails its morale check, only to be caught by the archon. The field was now littered with semi-conscious imperial guardsmen, just waiting to be taken away as slaves.

He consolidates 5" up into the building with my infantry squad...

After this point the field looked like this:

In retaliation, I don't really have a lot.

In movement, I quickly bring my seintinel in for assault on the left, while backing my vet squad away on the right.

In combat, his mandrakes wipe my platoon HQ for a single mandrake being stomped. On the other side, his archon makes guard cheese out of half of my infantry squad.

After this point, the field looked like this:


With his warriors on the left no longer counting as scoring, he decided to move them of their objective.

In close combat, I'm able to step on a mandrake again, causing him to flee. Unfortunately, he's just too fast for me, and I can't catch up with him.

In the other close combat, he finished off my other infantry squad, but only pulled a 1 for the massacre.

After this point, the field looked like this:

Well, I'm down to just a sentinel, and a badly burned plasma vet squad. Figuring that my best bet of getting rid of the mandrakes, and stopping them from being another scoring unit, is to keep assault them with my sentinel, in such a way where he can't be in 6" of the objective. Meanwhile, my vet squad scrambled on top of the basilisk.

Felix looked at the archon as he stabbed the final guardsman with his tranquilizers. He watched carefully as the shield around the archon swirled around him. At last he picked up the pattern.

The veteran sergeant looked through the sights on his lasgun, carefully aiming at the Dark Elder's shadowfield generator. He carefully pulled the trigger. The archon looked quickly to his right as the plasma gunner opened fire.

In shooting, I begin by firing my vet sarge's lasgun and the other veteran's shotgun at the archon. I scored 3 hits for 2 wounds, which let me make a "torrent of fire". I chose to make him take a save against my sarge's lasgun. After 12 successful shadowfield saves, he


failed one. The resulting plasma gun barrage ripped the foul creature to shreds.

The assault on the mandrakes yielded no results.

After this point, the field looked like this:

In his turn, he shuffled a few more units around.

His warrior squad was able to get in position so that it could shoot a splinter cannon against one of my vets, potentially knocking it to below half strength. Very thankfully, the one shot that hit failed to wound.

In close combat, I stepped on another mandrake, bringing the unit to half strength, but he didn't run away.

After this point, the field looked like this:

For the remainder of the game, I moved my vets behind cover and within 6" of the objective, while the close combat in with the mandrakes got no more damage done by either side.


Both of us had one loot counter. He killed everything but my sentinel and half my vets squad for 686 pts. I killed everything but a raider, a squad and a half of warriors, and a squad of mandrakes for 380 pts. or a -306 in his favor for a "solid defeat".

A few things:

- His archon completely ate my right hand side, bagging nearly half of my army by himself. How do you stop this?

- Likewise, his mandrakes provided at least a heavy distraction, on top of all of the stuff that they killed. Given that they ignore terrain when in stealth mode, and that they can fleet the turn that they are revealed, is there any way to stop these from getting into one's front lines, or does one just need to figure out how to kill them when they inevitably do?

- Other than his crazy special units, most of the rest of his stuff was a bunch of pushovers. Perhaps Dark Eldar is a bit like necron, where if you take out a couple key units (res orb lord and a monolith) that the rest of their army goes down with quite a bit less fight?

- Slaves! it's all about the slaves! I don't know why dark eldar don't bring every slave upgrade possible, given that his archon did this to me this game:

MVP: My plasma gun veterans. Not only did they kill the bikes all by themselves (admittedly slightly too late), and not only did they finally kill his archon, but as well they were the only unit within 6" of my loot counter at the end of the game. My nearly painted zonhaim really came in spades this game.

Hero of the Game: My mortar squad. Seriously, what kind of heroics does it take to not run away from a rampaging archon?

Melchoir slowly opened his eyes.

The world was still somewhat blurry, but he could clearly make out a medicae nurse above him.

"What happened?" The officer managed to slur out of his mouth.

"The Dark Eldar drugs should be out of your system soon, sir. We've given you the antidote."


"Don't worry, lord Archerion was able to save you both."


"The zonhaim lord attached to your detatchment, sir".

The officer could hazily remember the masked warriors that had accompanied him into battle. He hadn't had a chance to speak with them almost at all before the battle. He would have to rectify this as soon as he felt well enough.

"The others... They were taken as slaves. Lord Felix was only able to save you, Sanario, and the standard from the slave venom of the archon..."