Sunday, August 7, 2011

Second Edition Intro Game - Eldar vs. Genestealer Cult

In the Grim Darkness of 2nd Edition, There Is only Awesomeness…

Recently a friend of mine known only as Bolter took me on a trip back to the nineties to try the super system that is 2nd Edition 40K. As a dedicated 2nd Ed activist Bolter was only too happy to load up his car with a couple of tiny 800 point armies (all painted by me on commission), a box of scenery, a stack of rule books and his trusty tape measure to demo the rules system. As this was essentially a rules teaching session the game was played on a 4 by 4 approx table so the armies had to engage each other head on and one was wiped out by the end of turn 3. Read on to see how things unfolded.

Genestealer Cult were the first army selected. The list was as follows:

  • Magus with psychic hood, force rod, power field & carapace armour
  • 6 purestrain genestealers
  • 2 squads of 5 hybrids with swords and bolt pistols
  • 10 broodbrothers with lasguns and a heavy bolter
  • 1 leman russ with no vehicle wargear or upgrades

Across the table stood a small Eldar Patrol:
  • Warlock Champion with aegis suit & singing spear
  • Pirate hero with chainsword, shuriken catapult and 4 pirates with shuriken catapults
  • 2 squads 5 guardians with shuriken catapults
  • 3 dark reapers
  • 3 fire dragons
  • 1 warwalker with lascannon and scatter laser

Bolter took charge of the Eldar, leaving the cult for me (Earl).

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The deployment phase

Because of their dismal strategy rating, the Genestealer Cult force had to deploy first. The genestealers and a squad of hybrids deployed on the left flank. The leman russ and a squad of brood brothers were positioned in the centre and the magus and the remaining squad of hybrids hid in a forest on the right flank. The magus had both psychic scream and gate so completing the “witchhunt” mission he had drawn wasn’t looking too difficult.

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Cult Deployment

The Eldar positioned a warwalker and the pirate hero’s squad across from the stealers. The dark reapers and a squad of guardians set up in a forest across from the leman russ and broodbrothers. The warlock and his bodyguard of fire dragons deployed slightly to the right of the table centre close to the back line. This left one squad to hold the Eldar left flank. The Eldar had drawn the “assassins” mission and therefore had to snuff the magus to win. One wound, toughness three, he should be pretty easy to eliminate…

Predictably, Eldar won the first turn and chose to hide in the woods. Two units of guardians advanced, one to threaten the magus and the other to stand in front of the reapers when they emerged from hiding to fire on the leman russ if and when it chose to emerge from cover. A couple of squa
ds went on overwatch and it was time for the psychic phase.

Eldar Guardians and a Warwalker hanging tough...

A custom warp flux of 1d6 +2 went large and four cards were dealt to each side. The first card played was an ultimate force displacement which shifted the broodbrother squad out of hiding but into the cover of the forest directly opposite the dark reapers. Left a little short on both force and ranged attacks, the Eldar declined to cast. The Genestealer Cult then cast psychic scream but luckily warlock was out of range. 

The Genestealer Cult turn began with the hybrids and stealers on the left flank advancing while the tank accelerated to combat speed and pushed forward in the centre of the table. The dark reapers fired a volley of Super-Krak missiles at the tank which stuck the turret and hull and failed to penetrate. This gave away their position and both they and the guardians positioned in front of them to act as a meat-shield quickly died to a volley of lasgun, heavy bolter, lascannon and battlecannon fire from the broodbrothers and the Genestealer Cult tank.

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The Leman Russ and Broodbrothers finish off the last Dark Reaper

The psychic phase consisted of a single displacement, which pushed the genestealers even further forward on the left.
With the dark reapers dead, all Eldar eyes now looked to the warwalker to stop the cult tank from going on a rampage. With the notable exception of the guardians opposite the magus and his bodyguards, the Eldar infantry remained in hiding and on overwatch – readying themselves for the genestealers charge. 

The warwalker stepped out from behind the cover of a building, killed to hybrids with its scatter laser and then took a shot at the leman russ. The shot hit home but failed to penetrate. All over the table space elves turned down their com-links and began to blubber quietly.
The psychic phase consisted of another displacement. I rolled 15” on 3d6, which was enough to throw the stealers into hand to hand with the war walker. Eldar overwatch was ineffective and it looked like the war machine’s days were numbered.


The stars were in alignment for the Genestealer Cult forces and they made the most of it. The four unengaged stealers charged the nearby pirate hero and his squad and began tearing them limb from limb. The first stealer to attack the warwalker rolled triple ones and a two and was promptly kicked to death. His partner in crime was a little less unlucky and inflicted five wounds on the warwalker pilot. This reduced the Eldar army to a warlock and three firedragons as the broodbrothers and leman russ had kept busy on the right flank and killed of the remaining guardian squad.

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The beginning of the end...

Turn three started and ended quickly for the eldar when the genestealers displaced behind them and charged. The Genestealer Cult had triumphed and I had had my first taste of 2nd Edition.

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...the end.