Space Marine Battle Report by Digital Unicorn

18 Jan

Hey guys, I decided to come back after the Christmas break with a new series that ill be posting up occassionally when the feeling takes. For all you 20 Things fans don’t worry, ill be back next week with my usual trademark rant fests but, I thought I’d ease you all back into the year with something new and light.

The next tournament I’m looking to attend is going to involve 2 different points levels, so I’m going to have to do lots of playtesting to get my space marines ready for the big fight. The first days 3 game will be at 1750 so, with 100 extra points over my last tournament list I had some points to spend. I talked it over with a few 40k froends and posted on some forums for some opinions and came back with a few ideas. I took them on a rare trip to a club a little bit down the road for me that I usually can’t make due to time constraints. I managed to get a game in with an experience Eldar player running a reasonably competitive list. Let the Battle Report commence!

Space Marine List :


Librarian w/Nullzone + Gate of infinity w/Terminator armour and Storm Shield

5 Scouts w/Snipers + Cloaks

5 Tactical marines + TL Las Razorback

6 Sternguard Veterans + Sgt PF + Meltagun + Plasmagun + 2 combi Plasma + conbi melta + Las/Plas Razorback

5 Sternguard Veterans + 2 Meltaguns + combi melta + Las/Plas Razorback

5 Assault Terminators + TH/SS

Vindicator + Dozer blade

Thunderfire Cannon

Landraider Redeemer + MM + Extra armour

Notes :

Kantor sits in with the 5 man Sternguard squad and the Librarian goes in the Landraider with the Terminators.

Eldar List :


2x 5 Dire Avengers

10 Dire Avengers

2x 5 Fire Dragons + Wave Serpant w/TL Shiruken Catapult/Shiruken Cannon + Spirit stones

9 Striking Scorpions + Exarch w/Scorpion Claw

8 Warp Spiders

2x Vyper Jet bike

2x Falcon w/EML/Shiruken Cannon + Holofields

3 War Walkers + 6 Shiruken Cannon

Deployment : Pitched Battle

Mission : Multiple Objectives (4)

Points : 1750

First turn : Eldar

Table size : 4×4


Even mix of ruins and area terrain. Most ruins are quite high and large so only one piece of LOS blocking. Spread about evenly, the small cottage LOSB piece was in his right corner, then we both had 2 or 3 ruins and terrain pieces in our deployment and 2 or 3 more larger ones in the center. The Objectives were placed in a loose square shape, both of his were in the open however, whereas mine were in the left ruin and center area terrain.

Initial Thoughts :

To begin with I was quite unsure of this match up, this is the most competitive eldar build I’ve played to date (I know, its pretty dire right? Its not through lack of trying) and on paper, lots of highly survivable transports, with some that can ignore melta looks like a nightmare for my list. The shielding on the tanks mean my limited Lascannons are now even less likely to do damage and 10 BS4 meltaguns spells nothing but death for my linchpin Landraider.

However, I have him in combat, while the Scorpions can hit hard my Sternguard reply in kind and as long as he’s not ignoring armour then I’m in with a chance. He also has nothing to deal with my Terminators except his Fire Dragons, which I would gladly allow to spank my Termies all day if it meant he was ignoring my high AV vehicles. Other than that it would just come down to a numbers game, how many troops I could kill before turn 5 and how many fast Skimmers I could shut down. I was already one ahead in scoring and my troops were arguably much stronger.

Eldar Deployment :

Both 5 man Dire squads went into the falcons and the 10 man reserved. The Scorpions. And Warwalkers outflanked and Eldrad went into a Wave serpant with the Dragons.

From my perspective and from left to right he deployed thusly : Falcon. Wave Serpant. Falcon. Eldrads WS. Vypers. Warp Spiders.

Space Marine Deployment :

I reserved my Tactical squad and TL las Razor but, deployed everything else. My set up from left to right was : Vindicator peeking out from the side of a ruin, 6 man Sternguard Razor parked alongside it hiding behind the ruin with the Obj in it. The scouts and Thunderfire Cannon sat on the middle Obj in the Terrain and Kantors Razor and the Landraider hid behind a Large ruin on the far right.

Deployment thoughts :

With the Thunderfire Cannon being the only new edition to this list (thanks for the suggestion Gary 😀 ) I pretty much knew what to do with the rest of the list. Hide the vehicles behind terrain, deploy my killy stuff in no more than 2 mutually supporting groups and drop the scouts on objective miles from anything. That last part wasn’t an option as the 4×4 limited space and where objectives could be placed, the Thunderfire seemed like a good pairing with the deckchair and without any multi story ruins to place it in for maximum LOS it was the best position to see things.

Eldar pre-Turn 1 :

Eldrad used his redeployment move, he got 3 movements and use them to swap the placements of a few things. He swapped the Left Falcon for the Warp spiders, so they were now behind the LOS, and the Falcon went next to the 2nd after the left Wave serpant shuffled a bit further left.

Eldar Turn 1 :

Eldrad Fortunes both Wave serpants and guides the right most Falcon. The Warp Spiders jump forward 12 over the terrain and then run. Both Wave Serpants turbo-boost forward and get in my face, one on the Left, one in the center. The right Falcon moved to get a side shot on the 6 man Stern Razor but, wiffs. The other one takes a shot at the vindicator and shakes it. The Warp spiders get about 7″ on their extra move. The Vypers move to the mid right without turboing.

SM Turn 1 :

From Left to Right. The Vindicator moves 12 backwards to draw out the Dragons as it can’t shoot. The Razorback moves left out of the ruin drops out the Sternguard who knock the Spiders down to 3 guys with Ap3 rounds and the Plasmagun. The Thunderfire Cannon shot at the Wave Serpant near the Spiders in the hope it would scatter or get a lucky hit and did nothing even though none missed. Scouts shot at the Bikes and did nothing. The Landraidr charged round the ruin and downed a Bike with its Assault Cannon, Kantors Razor squeezed through the board edge and the ruin and downed the other bike with its Lascannon.

Turn 1 thoughts :

From reading other Battle Reports and listening to the podcast I knew there was almost no point in shooting at any of the Fortuned Wave Serpants. With a re-rollable cover save I just don’t have enough shots to down them on anything but a fluke. I also knew that there was very little I could do to prevent the Fire Dragons getting their shots off, however I knew that once he made his move he would be exposed and would be Guided rather than Fortuned, that would be my time to strike with whatever was left. Besides there were some much softer targets around that may as well be taken out now while my shooting would be ineffective against everything else. I had accepted that my Landraider and Vindicator would die, now I just had to turn their deaths to my advantage.

Eldar Turn 2 :

The Scorpions come in and shoot and assault Kantors Razor, blocking all hatches, detroying a weapon, immobilising and stunning it. My Librarian hoods both of Eldrads guide attempts on the Dragons, the left ones charge forward and pop the Vindicator, however the right ones wiff completely on the Landraider. The left Falcon stuns the left razor and the Warp Spiders jump behind and Immobilise it. The right Falcon misses the Thunderfire cannon. The 10 man dire Avengers come in on the far left behind the LOS.

SM Turn 2 :

From Left to Right again : The 6 Man Sternguard move round the Razor into the ruin and shoot at the, now exposed, rear of the left Dragons Wave Serpant, but only manage a shake as its more than 6″ for the meltagunners. The Tactical Razor arrives and also shoots the rear and shakes again, grrr! The squad jump out and rapid fire the Warp Spiders behind the left Razor and kill 2, one left. Now, skip the Thunderfire for a second as the Landraider moves up 6″ flames the Fire Dragons and Meltas the Wave Serpant, wrecks it and Eldrad falls out, 2 Dragons survive the Flaming. The Cannon them opens up on Eldrad and thanks to the Nullzone Libby in the Landraider kills him outright with 4 direct hits and wounds and 3 failed saves. The scouts try and kill more dragons and get one. Kantors Razor couldn’t move so the Scorpions get to hit it again and take the last weapon and wreck it with another immobilised result, Kantor and his squad fall out into the ruin.

Turn 2 thoughts :

Its still alive!!! Who would have thunk it? I saw my opponents face sink when he started casting powers and realised that he was now in Hood range of the Libby in the LR. With Guide giving them the re-rolls it would have almost certainly exploded gloriously but, the Dragon that didn’t miss failed to pen even with 2d6. However my luck would oscilate wildly throughout the turn, with quite a few freak occurances.

Eldrads death was an unbelievable stroke of fortune, pun intended, without him the Wave Serpants become much more killable and the Fire Dragons lose a few of their teeth. My strategy to draw the Dragons out with my heavy tanks was very succesful and both squads ended up in much more compromised positions than I think my opponent wanted. The Flamestorm cannon only killing 3 of 5 was devastating and impotent Kantor stuck in his broken box waiting to be charged next turn was really frustrating but, I think it would be greedy to complain too much about that round.

Eldar Turn 3 :

The Left Fire Dragons re-embark and move 12. The left Falcon shoots up the left Sternguard but, kills nothing. The last remaining right Dragon does what the others couldn’t and pops the landraider. The 10 man Dire Avengers stay put. The right Falcon pops the Tac Razor with its ML but, the explosion doesn’t kill anyone. The Scorpions shoot and assault Kantors squad killing all but the Sgt and putting a wound on Kantor, who then wiff but, hold thanks to stubborn.

SM Turn 3 :

The Tactical squad moves toward the Objective and finishes off the last Warp Spider with shooting. The Sternguard moves forward towards the left eldar Objective. The Terminators charge the right Falcon and stun and immobilise it. The Thunderfire Cannon takes a pot shot at the Dragon Wave Serpant but, does nothing. Kantor obviously says something inspiring as he and the Sgt fail no saves and kill 3 Scorpions between them, who then run but, only double 1, Kantor then consolidates 4″ to keep them running.

Turn 3 Thoughts :

A real mixed bag here, I knew that one remaining Fire Dragon would come back to haunt me but, I just couldn’mt drop him before it was too late. It was disappointing to have such a lucky reprive, only to have it snatched away but, I had already built my game plan around losing the Landraider so it wasn’t the end of the world. Not being ble to capitalise on the second squad of Fire Dragons being out of their transport was annoying but, with all the high priority transports down I wasn’t really sure where he would direct them. However the right Falcon full of Dire Avengers sat on the right objective is almost guaranteed to die next turn, 10 automatic hits from Thunder Hammers is hard to stand up against. Kantor pulling it back on the right was a god send, there would have been very little I could do to stop him if he’d cut me down in my turn and after his devastating first charge it looked like he might, 4 attacks at S4 and I5 hits REALLY hard. Him running was statistically on the cards, Ld9 is great but when it comes to combat res its perilously close to that number 7 fulcrum where passes stop being likely and start being unlikely and after I didn’t take any wounds I knew that it could be done.

Eldar Turn 4 :

The Scorpions keep running but continue to put parting shots into Kantor as they do, he only fails one save though and lives to keep sheparding them off but, the Sternguard Sgt with him bites the bullets, or laser disks, or whatever those damn shiruken weapons fire. The Fire Dragon near Kantor has a go but, his Iron Halo keeps him safe. The Dire Avnegers in the far left move up to grab the objective and the Warwalkers finally arrive and come on the left side, they light up the Sternguard squad but, lovely lovely wound allocation keeps them all alive. The unscathed Fire Dragons redeploy and jump out just left of the center and unload into the Thunderfire Cannonn, auto-glancing weapons do artillery pieces no good and after I failed a cover save I knew it was a goner. Luckily all the hits got directed at the Cannon and the Techmarine lived on. The Left Falcon shot at the Sternguard running towards the objective and dropped one, the Dragon wave serpant did the same and dropped another. The Terminator Falcon combat over on the far right objective continues as he was unable to move and a wreck result forces the Dire Avengers out.

Sm Turn 4 :

The left Razorback now finally un-stunned shoots at the left Falcon, even with holofields it manages to force him to choose between a wreck or an immobilised, he chooses to live. The sternguard melta then assault the Warwalkers, destroying 1 but losing a man themselves in the process. The Tactical squad moves within spitting distance of the objective but has to sacrifice LOS on the Fire Dragons. The Techmarine plasma pistols a Dragon but, his charge fails utterly and he dies to the only wound put on him before he can swing. The scoutss down the last survivor of the other Dragon squad. Kantor is clearly in the midst of some sort of beserker rage as after shooting the Scorpion up a bit he charges them and they fail their Ld check and get run down. The Terminators pulp the Dire Avnger squad and consolidate to block the objective.

Turn 4 thoughts :

Another slightly mixed bag although marginally in my favour. The survivability of the Sternguard really put a bee in his bonnet and choosing to shoot his falcon at them instead of the Razorback it had been cost him dearly in the end. He was now down to one fast transport and it was only turn 4, he would now need at least turn 6 to even contest another objective. Wiffing on both the Warwalkers and the Fire Dragons really stung, failing a single 2+ save meant they could now butcher my Tactical squad out in the open and not even penetrating with the powerr fist didn’t bode well. Both assaults seemed like sure bets, the Techmarine should easily handle the Dragons and I felt a little unlucky to not drop a second Walker with the power fist. Well, thems the breaks!

Kantors little coup de gra was quite a boon as with only 1 wound left there was a very real danger he would have been killed next turn and allowed the scorpions back into the game. It was a risk charging him in but, I felt it gave him more of a chance so just went for it. Losing his Sternguard buddy was annoying tho, as now he was no longer part of a scoring unit and being so close to the 3rd objective served little purpose.

Eldar Turn 5 :

The 5 dire Avengers get out to bolster the larger squad which now moved up onto the objective. The Falcon tries to hurt the Razorback but, I manage to make the cover save I get from the Warwalker combat. The Warwalker combat continues apace with me losing another man and only managing to stun one walker. The last surviving Wave Serpannt Tank Shocks across my Tactical squad forcing them back from the objective. The Fire Dragons follow in behind with their Meltaguns but, luck is on my side and only 2 Space marines drop, he follows it up witha n assault charge that only leads to him losing a Dragon himself.

SM Turn 5 :

Virtually no normal movement from me, Kantor shimmied up and took some pot shots at the Dire Avengers but, that was it. My Librarian however took this opportunity to Gate himself and his fellows into contestation range of the left objective. They scatter nicely and manage to get within almost an inch of the objective with a run move. The left Razorback manages to finally crack the last Wave Serpant and it goes out with a bang. The Warwalker combat stagnates but, the Tctical squad manages to kill of the rest of the Dragons and consolidate within range of the objective.

Turn 5 thoughts :

And that’s where it ended, at this point it was just a case of mopping up and being safe rather than sorry. Using the Gate librarian to contest is something I rarely get the chance to do but, after seeing so little action there were more than enough terminators left for it to be worth the risk. Stopping that last Wave Serpant was very handy and ensured a victory rather than a draw. In the end I won 2-0 and he had very little left on the table, in fact neither did I, it had been quite a bloodbath.

Final thoughts :

I thought my list handled this one quite well, with 2 quite elite armies facing off against each other it was always going to come down to who could keep their stuff alive the longest. Admittedly some key luck helped me along my way but, I stuck doggedly to my game plan and target priority and in the end I think thasts what won me the game. I’m not sure what I could change in my list to better combat this army, without radical changes or dropping units that is, as it quite an effective counter to a lot of things my list does well, like high strength shots and melta weaponry. Considering i’d never faced it before and my opponent was a very experienced player I think I represented myself fairly well, what do you guys think?

Reader question :

As always, here’s a question for you guys to consider for me, who was MVP? I can’t decide, which unit contributed most to the victory?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this new article style from me. Remember, hold fast, hold the line and don’t stop reading until…

Digital Unicorn is GO!!!


7 Responses to “Space Marine Battle Report by Digital Unicorn”

  1. Andy Ovel January 19, 2012 at 11:22 #

    Good article Digi; I do love a good battle report. 

    I found the report particularly interesting as I was playing Eldar with my SM last night.

    One thing of note I made the mistake of trying to get off a power from my wounded Libby’s whilst his Farseer was still around with his Runes of Warding; my Libby periled of course and died.

    Remember kids: Your Psycher + Runes of Warding = Bad for you!

    • Digital Unicorn January 19, 2012 at 14:05 #

      I was pretty lucky really, I only tried to cast one power while Eldrad was alive and that was the Nullzone that killed him. Did you like the format? I tried to keep my thoughts seperate so it was clear what happened in the battle.

      • Andy Ovel January 19, 2012 at 14:42 #

        Yes I thought it was good, I like the way you kept the movement, and rolls for the models and all that “on table stuff” separate from your “above table thinking”; they are really two separate things.

        I always wanted to see a battle report where two opponents played a game, and then they both wrote a battle report blind to what the other had written.

        Then you could compare what both opponents were thinking at different points in the game with out the influence of the other player.

        I’m sure there would be times they both thought they were losing at exactly the same time.

        I find it fascinating how two players can look at the same models and have a completely different view of what’s going on, and what will happen next.

        Good stuff looking forward to more 20 things…SM stuff. 

  2. thetayne January 19, 2012 at 21:46 #

    MVP for the marines? I have to say Eldrad. His early death was possibly the biggest single moment for you/against the eldar themselves.

    As for the format, I wholeheartedly approve and may well nab the idea myself should I ever write a proper battle report (saying that, two abbreviated reports are part of a post in Dave’s inbox now).

  3. The Voice January 24, 2012 at 15:56 #

    “Then you could compare what both opponents were thinking at different points in the game with out the influence of the other player.”

    Do you not listen to our ‘The Match Live’ 😛 thats what we do lol.

    A written version could always be experiented with 🙂

    • Digital Unicorn January 24, 2012 at 16:07 #

      If I had any friends I would do it.


  4. Andy Ovel January 27, 2012 at 13:08 #

    Hey Digital I’ll be your friend 🙂 lol

    @The Voice: yes you’re right, of course, you kind of do that in “the Match live”, but I find it a lot easier to follow a battle report when its written down, possibly becasue I listen to the podcast on my work commute so it gets broken up, so I forget what was happening in turn 1 by turn 4 or 5. :$

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