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The Guns of Navarone
Last Saturday, the Eldar Alliance descended from the dark night upon Imperial forces amassing for the big counter-offensive on Balau Prime. The night shrouded them, but our scanners show that the Eldar were coming in from the North. We were rather surprised at the slowness of their advance. There were about 3100pts worth of Eldar vileness, and only 3 skimmers (hmmm, where were the other 1400pts?). The rest were on foot. The Ulthwe coming towards the right flank, Dark Eldar on the left.

On the Imperial side, my Schutzen 6th were deployed in serried lines at the front covering the entire Imperial frontage, Demolisher and HQ to the left, Exterminator and Hellhound to the right, AT lascannons (feeling rather stupid that night) in the centre. Behind my infantry were the Sovetskii Corporate Guard Armored Company, deployed in a defensive checkerboard formation around the Eartshaker Mk.II bunkers we were detailed to defend. The Adeptus Astartes were represented by the fearsome Black Templar, who took up positions to my extreme right (there was a gap big enough for a LRC and Rhino).

As the Eldar came in (there was 4 feet worth of no-man's land with lots of terrain on it), Imperial Basilisks opened up at 90". The Schutzen 6th Basilisk took out 2 of the frail skimmers. Meanwhile, Schutzen 6th infantry advanced the line forward in order to create as much space as possible between the enemy and the bunkers. The Demolisher moved up at half speed, crashing thru the walls of an ancient temple and took up hull-down position in the left-center of the line, its single lascannon shot decimating the remaining Raider. The Exterminator tried to do the same, but unfortunately lost a track in the attempt and ended up immobilised behind a building in the center. A Black Templar Rhino and Land Raider Crusader moved cautiously behind the Imperial infantry to the right.

The Dark Eldar on the left surged forward, surviving warriors from the last Raider advancing just to the front of the first line of Imperial infantry. A 20-strong warrior squad advanced into a building about 20" from the Imperial line. These 2 squads opened up with murderous splinter cannon fire on the Imperial line, supported by long range sniping by Eldar Rangers. Miraculously, 3 men of that squad survived, though they were pinned! On the right, reaver jet bikes led by an archon screamed in, blasters tracing dark energy patterns towards the Land Raider. The Emperor be praised, for the vile energy merely bounced off the blessed armor of the huge tank. Then the jet bikes charged the nearest Schutzen line, which happens to be the second line of troops. The glorious guardsmen fought hard against the odds, and their faith in the Emperor was rewarded as they only lost 4 of their number and killed an enemy biker. What's more, they held their ground!

Meanwhile, to the Imperial rear, 5 black dots appeared high in the night sky, descending rapidly towards the Sovetskii Basilisk. Scourges!!! As the twisted machinations of the Dark Eldar opened a gateway to warp, his companions opened with a fiery fusilade of splinter cannon fire which tore gaping holes in sides of the Sovetskii Basilisk, utterly destroying it. Now things were getting hot. In our rush to destroy the enemy to the front, we had forgotten about the flanking Dark Eldar detachment that is sure to come in via the webway portal. The Black Templar Razorback, my Command squad and Chimera and Hellhound and 3 Sovetskii tanks began to turn around to deal with the impending threat.

To the front, it was time to deal death with Imperial firepower. The stalled Exterminator had 2 heavy bolters and its autocannon pointing in the correct direction, and their massive fire cut up the Dark Eldar squad on the left forcing them to fall back in disarray. The Demolisher pointed its big gun forward at the large Warrior squad not 20" in front of it in a building, and let loose. The shot tore through the building and landed squarely in the middle of the big squad, creating a huge hole in their ranks. The remaining Imperial Basilisk also opened up on the same target, blasting more Dark Eldar into tiny bits and pinning them.

Schutzen infantry moved up on the left and right, but were unable to make out targets as the night was dark. The Land Raider Crusader moved up to the meleeing guardsmen and disgorged 8 angry terminators who charged the Archon on jetbike. In the ensuing melee, the jetbikes were wiped out for the loss of one more guardsman. Unable to consolidate back into their tank, the terminators marched back towards the bunkers. Meanwhile, in the Imperial rear, Sovetskii Exterminators killed all but one of the Scourges.

Then all hell broke loose! From the webway portal, an entire fleet of Raiders flew towards the bunkers, warriors disembarking, dark lances and blasters firing away. A reaver jetbike squadron emerged, its blasters destroying the main gun of a Sovetskii Exterminator. Under this sudden onslaught, 1 bunker exploded in flames, while the other 2 were stunned. To make matters worse, yet another squad of Scourges descended, landing between the Schutzen Basilisk and Bunker No.2. They were carrying Dark Lances. The remaining Scourge from the first landing flew to the Schutzen Basilisk, and its splinter cannon fire stunned the crew.

The Sovetskii Hellhound rushed through the woods in an attempt to purify the Scourges. Alas, the terrain proved to be too much for its drive systems, and even track guards could not save it from being immobilized in the woods. My Command Chimera opened up with multilasers and heavy bolters, wiping out a raider squad. The Sovetskii Destroyer's powerful gun obliterated the accompanying Raider. Defensive heavy bolters deployed around the bunker downed another raider, while heavy bolters from a Sovetskii Exterminator destroyed another. The other Sovetskii Exterminator cut up a raider squad. After this show of firepower, 3 raider wrecks had littered our rear.

To the front, on the left, a follow up Dark Eldar warrior squad was coming in to replace the holes in the line, but a scattering Demolisher shot and concentrated fire from the Exterminator tore it to pieces. Schutzen infantry were moving up everywhere, and on the right the foremost squad's flamers and lasguns tore a huge hole in another warrior squad which was bringing up the Dark Eldar center, sending them in a headlong retreat. Following up on this, Black Templars led by an Emperor's Champion disembarked from their Rhino and cut to pieces the last Dark Eldar warrior squad in that area. Their sweeping advance took them to ... the Ulthwe Avatar, who had 2 16-strong Black Guardian squads, 2 war walkers and a seer council with him!!! (I forgot to mention that 2 wraithlords had been killed earlier)

Needless to say, the concentrated Eldar shuriken, starcannon and scatter laser fire left all but one Black Templar dead. In the ensuing combat, the Avatar danced around for a bit before showing the Emperor's Champion what a Wailing Doom is - nothing like first hand experience.

Basically, the Eldar's frontal attack had faltered. There were only a handful of dark eldar warriors left (these were at the forefront of the attack), and the Ulthwe were too far away to be of much use (besides, a few tanks and almost the entire Schutzen 6th was ready for them - I had only lost one squad and a few men at this time).

But the real battle was in the rear now. 3 more Raiders swept in from the webway portal, again unloading some lythe warriors with blasters. Unlucky for them, their dark lance and blaster fire did not destroy any of the 2 remaining bunkers. Perhaps a token for them is that the Schutzen Basilisk finally succumbed to splinter cannon fire.

The Imperial forces counter-attacked fiercely in the rear. Heavy firepower taking all of the attackers, except for the Scourges who safely hidden away by the wreck of a Raider (there were many wrecks by this time).Then, just when the Imperial infantry were about to celebrate their victory, an ornate Raider emerged, sped to the neares intact bunker, and utterly destroyed it.

The Eldar had won, destroying 2 of the 3 bunkers.

4 campaign points for the Eldar Alliance.1 campaign point for the Imperial forces.
Each Eldar detachment may give Battle Honors to 2 surviving units. Surviving units that destroyed the objectives automatically receive a battle honor (though they can't get more than one per battle).
Each Imperial detachment may give Battle Honors to 1 surviving unit.
I'm awarding my Battle Honor to the Schutzen Exterminator, who held the center of the line against all odds, in the face of whithering enemy fire, while being immobilized, bla bla bla. (We roll for battle honors before the next battle. I hope I get fast tank )

Well, that's more or less what happened. It was a long game (8 turns). Now to the next battle!!!