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The Eldar Archives: Tau vs Dark Eldar (Part... 0)

Started by BigToof, October 27, 2018, 10:58:18 AM

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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)


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
-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 Devestation (-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
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, albight 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 firey 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 interuppted 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 separtists 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. 


"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-fiting 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 posible:

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 grabbling 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 firey-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 Venemous 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."


Tallaria shot a knowing look at Lady D'ysperax who gave her a sympathetic nod that only mothers of troubling cheldren 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 defences (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!



Kor'va whistled a merry tune as he tromped through the landing area in his Riptide Battlesuit.  Shi'va was really in a mood today, although he had to admit that it might have something to do with Cal'nan.  Cal was an amazingly awesome Shas'nel and had unbelievable stories that Kor'va didn't mind hearing again and again.  And again.  He didn't even mind when the details changed because that wasn't the point.  The point was about languishing in the past victories of the T'au Empire.  He had been in a number of scraps himself, but nothing on the scale that Cal had talked about.  Cal said that he had seen everything from the Imperium to strange otherworldly aliens that looked like skeletons, which seemed plausible given how odd everything in the universe was.  Granted it had been quiet for quite a while, but they were tracking, on good authority, the Orks had had kidnapped his beloved, and he would not rest until they had found Lorilune.  Well, he had to admit, not technically not resting ever, as that would be impossible and all, but figuratively, it was a good goal.
He turned another corner and looked at another empty square that seemed half falling apart.  That was odd.  Why were the Earth Caste around here so lax?  It was like nobody had been around for a long...
A warning light went off on his comm-grid and he flipped it on.
"All Cadre members, this is Shas'ui Kai'nan.  We have intruders!"
Kor'va frowned, Kai'nan was doing scouting using a Ghostkeel.  What kind of...  Suddenly, the sky darkened and his targeting grid went haywire with the number of spiked dark vessels that seemed to appear from nowhere.  Perhaps things were going to be tougher than he thought.

Lady D'ysperax stretched on the deck of her Raider in the Webway.  The Tau had arrived at just the right time.  It would give her son and Tallaria's little girl a chance to bond over the blood of their enemies.  Just the proper sort of engagment in more ways than one.  She heard some grumbling and saw Klon'vi pacing the ship, which was loaded up near to bear with Tallaria and and her Wyches.  The boy always had something to complain about.  She could think of a few dozen names who would sell the souls of the families to come within breathing distance of Tallaria or her exquisite enterogue, but that was children for you.  They never appreciated anything you tried to do for them.

"Lady D'ysperax?"

The question made her turn, where she saw an eager looking Warrior waiting for a reply.  Oh, yes, she thought, the signal to attack.  Might as well make this look good for her new in-laws.

"Very well, then.  Let the Mon-Keigh tremble in their little boots.  The Wicked Talon has them within our grasp."

BigToof Points:

Cammerz: 8
Waaaghpower: 1
The Man They Call Jayne: 3
Mabbz: 6
Archon Sharrek: 3


Turn 1: Dark Eldar

"Bang!  Where are you?!" bellowed Shas'O Shi'va, just before the lumbering Riptide turned the corner, nearly toppling over mid-stride.

Kor'va barely had time to stumble into position next to Shi'va and Cal'nan before the explosions started.  Jets flew overhead, releasing some kind of missiles that dissolved away the flesh of their Kroot auxillaries with ease and bursts of some kind of energy tore into the Fire Warriors, leaving nothing but dust behind.

Things were getting kind of bad.

Shi'va growled, "This is a trap!  Right.  Perfect.  Everyone, listen up..."

"Puretide speaks to me, young one.  Nothing to worry about."

Shi'va twisted around to see Cal'nan looking contemplative, a faint glow in his left eye.  "Shas'nel, what are you talking..."

Cal'nan interuppted with a wry grin, "The Ethereals have gifted me the wisdom of Puretide in this old skull of mine.  You didn't think that I got this far on my looks alone?"

Shi'va flushed and turned away.  Wisdom or not, she only hoped the old one was right.  Things were looking dire.

On the otherside of the battlefield, Helliarch Malice cleaned the end of her Hellglaive off on the fallen T'au Battlesuit with a grin.  The aliens had bumbled into their killzone without even bothering to look for a trap.  A wave of pain and torment passed over her as the still alive occupant twisted in agony.  Malice had to admit something, although she was irritating and interfering, her mother knew how to pick her Realspace raids.

Even she had heard of Lady D'ysperax and although her spawn looked meek and timid, the chance that she could ally herself with someone as legendary as the Archon was tempting to say the least.  She would have to see how attached the Lady was to her son first.  Malice had no attention to stay tied down with anyone, and as long as a corpse was binding enough, then perhaps she would give some thought to the possibility of a union. The little milksop had just not give her any trouble.

Everyone moves up.  The Hellions jump forward... basically next to the Ghostkeel who realizes that his Commander might have put them too forward.
The Ravagers and Raider deep-strike into the left.

Then... shooting opens up.  Ok.  The new Codex is hella better at shooting than the previous.  Or at least it seems that way.  The left Kroot all fall.  The center Kroot also fall.  Nearly all of the Fire Warriors go down.  Mass disintegrators and blasters fall onto the left flank.  I throw the drones onto the fire, but I don't have enough to keep shots falling into the Riptide.  Thankfully, I don't fall below 8 wounds, so I'm fine for shooting.  Oh, and yes, blasters and the Hellions wipe out the Ghostkeel...

Picture Caption: Wow, that was kind of brutal.

Turn 1: Tau

Cal'nan nodded as the hologram of the great Puretide faded from his mind.  It was a divisive strategy, but it might pay off.

"Shas'O, take to the front, we need to take out those tanks.  Shas'ui, stay back here with me and withdraw to the right flank."

Bang paused a bit confused, Cal'nan was acting like a different person entirely.  Gone was his jovial nature, replaced with a kind of cold pragmatism.

"Cal'nan?  Are you sure?  Shi'va's going to be by herself..."

"Not by herself, Shas'ui."

Everyone turned at the sudden transmission that came over their comms.  It was an old code, yet one easily recognized by their array.  The Farsight Enclaves.  The Separtists.  Traitors.  Here?  How?

There was a crimson trail of light as a single Crisis Suit dropped from the sky and landed with a crash in front of them.  A horde of drones nestled around the newcomer, who proudly wore the sigil of the Enclaves.

Weapons raised reflexively from the loyalist Tau, but were quickly waved away by Cal'nan.

"Do not waste your ammunition.  What do you want, traitor?  You are not wanted here."

The foreign Commander waved to the flotilla of incoming Eldar and said, "Wanted, perhaps not.  Needed?  Yes.  Definitely.  Now, do we waste more time with old grudges or do we fight our enemies?"

There was a pause and a subtle nod from Cal'nan in response.

"Good.  My name is Shas'O Fior'la Li'myr.  This is Voxi.  If we live through this we can make proper introductions later."

Right, EMERGENCY precautions!  Fall back to the right!

Now that I don't have any Fire Warriors to really boost, I move everyone to the right and nestle the Warlord between the Hammerhead and the Riptide.  I consider my options for anti-tank... not much.  So my Commander suits up and flies over to start shooting at the Ravagers.

And I bring down the Farsight units to the left to act as a buffer.

Shooting has some pretty poor Markerlights from my Pathfinders as they moved.
Still, I manage to take apart a Ravager.  Yes, one Ravager.  I proceed to open up on the HQ-laden Raider using my Riptide (with Branched Nova Charge for 3++ as well; well worth 1CP if you ask me!) and then my opponent uses Lightning Reflexes (having gained back CPs using that damnable Warlord Trait), so I'm -1 to hit...  That's not great.

I do manage to get some wounds on the Raider, but not enough to take it down.
Oh, I do manage to take apart half or so of the Hellions with Kroot shooting, but that's cold comfort as the Dark Kin swarm in...

Picture Caption: Yeah, that's not... so great.

Turn 2: Dark Eldar

Drachon Klon'vi laughed as he threw himself over the prow of the Raider, landing lightly on his feet.  The chorus of wails from the Tau was a fine music to his ears.  All they needed to do was press the attack and he would seize glory from the aliens in front of the Succubus.  Then, she would be his.  Yes, after she witnessed his martial prowess, even his mother could not deny him this prize and...


There was a sudden flash of Darklight and Klon'vi scowled when he saw his mother daintily step over the ruined body of a Tau battlesuit.

"Mother!  I'm trying to work here!  Stop stealing my kills!"

"Yes, yes, dear," said Lady D'ysperax with a shake of her head, "Now hold onto this Writ while Mummy and Auntie Tallaria deal with the Tau.  Be careful with it as it's a gift from Vect himself."

The Archon pressed a strange, glowing runic tablet into his hands, and Klon'vi felt the awesome might of Living Muse within.

Still, he pressed on, "Mother!  How can I gain any glory sitting in the back?!  I should be in the front!"

Clicking her tongue, Lady D'ysperax whipped free her Huskblade, "Now, now, Klon'vi, maybe when you're older.  I'll deal with these little rapscallions and then we'll have a proper accord with Tallaria's little darling.  It'll work out fine, you'll see..."


The Dark Eldar show me what real shooting is like.
But, I get ahead of myself.

The HQs and Wyches pop out and boy do they move fast.  Lady D walks over to point-blank range on my Coldstar.  The Wyches and Succubus also slide up to the front.

All tanks and planes circle in...

And then the shooting starts.

Boosted by the Writ of the Living Muse, the back Archon buffs up the surrounding vehicles with re-rolls 1's to hit and wound (!).

Suddenly, Darklight is hella accurate and deadly.

Pathfinders go down.  Kroot go down.  Hammerhead and Riptide take some more wounds, but are still ok.  I also lose some drones...

Oh, and Lady D fires her Blaster at my Coldstar.  Hits.  Wounds.  Rolls a SIX on damage.


Shi'va goes down in a heap.

Yeah... that's pretty savage.

The Wyches assault in first, and although my Riptide is within range, I don't manage to get more than a single wound to stick as my opponent is rolling 6's for invuls/FNP pretty much outside the range of mathematical probability.
Sadly, my drones can't take mass S4 attacks and go down.

The Succubus has quite a bit of fun as she has 8 attacks (!) that go to THREE hits for every 6 (!).  So, she ends up having about a dozen or so hits and eight or so wounds.  If I can roll average, my Commander will survive (Eight being divided by two is four after all).  I roll... and barely survive.

Then I almost forgot that my opponent had also charged in Lady D, who then CRUSHES my poor Commander with her Huskblade...

Picture Caption: I just... don't know what to say.

Turn 2: Tau

Kor'va scowled as the Nova reactor warnings went red again.  He was pushing the Riptide to it's limit and it still wasn't enough.  Shi'va had gone down in an eyeblink and the new Shas'O soon afterwards.  The creatures were almost on top of them.  He just had to hold the line.


I'm down to FOUR models.


Well, better get to work then.

I continue to try to pull back, but my rear is blocked by a Razorwing.


So we try and hold our ground.

Shooting goes into the Wyches and I take them out.

I try to go big and fire at Lady D with the Hammerhead, but no wounds go through the Shadowfield...

Picture Capture: I shot the Wyches off the board.  ... Yay?

Turn 3: Dark Eldar

Kor'va gasped as he watched two lithe figures run up to him.

Their identity startled Kor'va more than it should have.



Were they friends of Lori?  Maybe he could talk...

And that moment's hesitation was enough for the leaders of the Cult of the Broken Blade and the Wicked Talon Kabal.  Working with familiar precision, Succubus Tallaria went low, bringing her Triptych in lightning fast rakes, tearing open the leg joints of the enormous Battlesuit.  The Tau suit whirled it's arms trying to keep it's balance, but could do little to defend itself as Lady D'ysperax sauntered over and dug her Huskblade deep into the nether regions of the suit.  Though not blood, the Drukhari weapon sucked the coolant of the Nova Reactor just as readily, and the suit shut down as it's reactor failed, leaving the pilot trapped within.

Reveling in the destruction around her, Lady D'ysperax threw up a gauntleted hand in victory and grabbed the waist of Succubus Tallaria, who allowed herself to be drawn in for a passionate kiss.

It was good to be the Queen.


The True Kin decide to just finish the job and move in for the kill.

My Hammerhead goes down and then the Fireblade and Marksman are filled to the brim with poison.  The Riptide takes a real beating, but barely survives.

Lady D and the Succubus assault in, ignore my overwatch wounds (Shadowfield's pretty nasty...) and then take the big guy down.

Picture Caption: Sigh...  I guess this is what losing feels like...

Result: Dark Eldar Victory

Post-Game Thoughts: Ok... that was rough.

First things first: I think this was a bad matchup.  The Tau have a kind of lackluster Codex with their defense in two things: Range and Armor.
Their overall ballistic skill isn't the greatest and their rate of fire without buffs isn't so hot.  My initial idea of a gunline (which works well in say... Imperial Guard) wasn't a BAD idea per se, but going second against the Dark Eldar, who have guns that either ignore Toughness or Armor, was not playing to my strengths at all.

I don't know about the Tau in this edition.  I thought that 8th was shooty and horde friendly, but the Dark Eldar seem to do fine even without horde numbers.  Also you know... mobility.

Granted, I had mobility.  The Commander, Riptide and Hammerhead all move 12" or higher, but I was saddled with trying to keep the infantry alive.


That's a thought.  Maybe I should move away from Fire Warriors then.  Granted, they're useful, but they need to be able to do serious damage when I need them.  And if they don't survive past Turn 1... That's a problem.
Devilfish?  Hmm... not sure.

In any case, I need to cogitate on the issue while being in awe of the Dark Kin.

I'm SO tempted to bring out Y'stral and Bella for a spin.  I managed to get my hands the Codex and so much is better.  Just STRAIGHT better both in crunch and the fluff is pretty epic too.  Vect (probably) planning his own assination to bring out his rivals to his own funeral, murdering them all with the Prophets of Flesh Coven and then using their blood and souls to reincarnate him as a LIVING MUSE?  That's... pretty epic.  The Dark Kin... call to me...

What do you all think?



Shas'ui Kor'va had lost count of the minutes as the air grew quite stale inside his Riptide.  Once a seat of glory, the enormous machine was now his tomb.  Whatever the Eldar had hit him with, it had overloaded his circuits and even the emergency hatches were jammed shut.

He could barely make out the sounds outside, but for whatever reason, it had gone quiet.  Nothing had been moving him around, so he was fairly sure he wasn't being taken captive, but something was going on.  Something sinister he was certain.
Suddenly, there was a whirring sound and a sudden burst of light as his systems came back to emergency power and his hatch popped open, letting in a blinding glare.

Kor'va covered his eyes and could barely make out the image of... a drone?

An Enclave Drone hovered in mid-air, scanning him with a beam of light before saying in a rather brusque tone, "Well now, you're alive.  That's a good thing."
"Uh, thanks," said Kor'va, feeling rather foolish talking to an artificial intelligence.  "I... you..."

The Drone sighed, "Sadly enough, I can't fault brain damage for your lack of decorum.  We've been introduced.  My name is V0-X1, Voxi for short.  Congratulations on not dying.  It's a far better fate than most of your comrades."

Kor'va rose to his feet, unbuckling his harness as he suddenly remembered the image of Shi'va falling to the aliens.  "The others?  Shi'va?  Cal'nan?"

"Worry not, oh great master," said the Drone with a surprising amount of sarcasm, "The two leaders of your enterogue are surprisingly safe.  In no small thanks to our intervention."


There was a rumble from behind the Tau and a group of Enclave-clad Battlesuits trampled over the ruins.  One waved in his direction and Kor'va meekly waved back.

"Yes," said the Drone, "Our.  The Old Guard.  Personal bodyguard of Shas'O Li'myr, who you were rather rude to."

"Oh," said Kor'va feeling his cheeks flush with shame, "I... Is he alright?"

The Drone rotated side to side in a motion that Kor'va realized was the same as a head rocking back in forth in thought, "That's depending upon which physician you talk to.  Physically, he's still intact, though put out that a group of scantily clad females put him down so easily.  He's like that, you know.  Now, come on out of there, there's a lot of work to be done.  We just scared them off, but they'll be back soon."

Kor'va nodded and started clamoring to his feet.  They had gotten lucky, but perhaps something more could be gotten out of all this.  After all, every great quest had a bit of tragedy from time to time.  All he had to do was look to the future.

BigToof Points:

Cammerz: 8
Waaaghpower: 1
The Man They Call Jayne: 3
Mabbz: 6
Archon Sharrek: 3