I decided to start posting after action reports from Warhammer 40K battles on this blog so I can do at least something with it. I've been playing a semi-regular game against a one of my coworkers for a few months. We're both new to the hobby and learning a lot of the finer points, so it's good experience for us both. I'm running a vanilla space marine army and she plays Dark Eldar. We play at a local game shop (Guardian Games) that has a great back room with high tables, a lot of terrain pieces, and beer. After exchanging lists and quick Q&A we rolled for mission, we got "The Relic" mission and setup the field. There are a ton of terrain pieces available at Guardian, and we've been experimenting with different sizes and makeups to make the battle interesting. When we rolled the relic, we decided to use a huge ruined temple piece at the center of which we would set the relic. The terrain object is about 2'x3' and presented us with a fun set of challenges we hadn't dealt with before. We ended up having a set of assaults that went from round 1 through the end of the game right around the relic itself.
I rolled to deploy first, and deployed as such (blurry pic incoming):
Farthest away you have a tactical squad in a two-level set of ruins. Moving closer there's a devastator squad with two plasma cannons behind the low wall. In front of them is an assault marine squad on the left, a tactical squad on the right, and a terminator squad in the middle heading for the stairs. Behind the big ruin closest to the camera are a dreadnought and a my warlord, a Master of the Forge. I also have a sniper equipped scout squad waiting to infiltrate and a terminator assault squad in reserve. I didn't get a photo after her deployment and my infiltration, we're not particularly good about getting photos during the fight. My hope is to start doing time lapse movies of each battle, but I forgot my laptop for this one. After all the deployment she did try to seize the initiative again and did not succeed, so I was going first. Going up against Dark Eldar with all their hover units, I have to come out hard and fast against vehicles. Thankfully, in the first round I was able to put out a lot of damage on her transports. Playing against dark eldar, I embed las cannons with the tactical marines and go with a dual-link laser and missiles dreadnought. I also throw an assault cannon on the terminators for the extra vehicle kiling oomph. Between those weapons I downed a venom, a raider and stunned the crew of a second raider in the first round. As luck would have it, her warlord was in the downed raider, and another tough HQ character was in the stunned raider. I also jumped my assault marines into the ruined temple to go after the relic.
During her first turn there was a little exchange for fire, but nothing to serious, and so began the endless assault. A squad of wyches with her warlord assaulted my assault marines right at the relic. This assault would continue until the end of the game with units piling on from both sides. After this it basically became a race to get units into the pile and try to grab the relic. I got a squad of tactical marines in which managed to grab the relic and put down a withering round of fire on the troops she brought in to do the same.
Outside of the temple, it was mostly a game of destroy the remaining vehicles. A well-placed shot with a plasma cannon destroyed a ravager, and my dreadnought continued to pound on raiders and venoms as it could. My assault terminators in reserve came in by deep strike in round 3, I wussed out of trying to drop them directly in the temple and deployed them a little farther away, where they accomplished nothing for a few rounds as they slogged it towards the fight.
In the end, it came down to terminators and my warlord vs wyches and her warlord, in terms of pure numbers and attacks and strength, I overpowered her in the end, and we called it at the end of round 5.
After the bloody mess in the middle ended, the dark eldar didn't have enough troops left to mount an attempt on the relic, and I still had most of a squad of scouts and nearly a full squad of tactical marines. All in all it was a pretty good victory for me, but I think dice had a lot to do with it. My opponent could not seem to get any good rolls out of her dice. Even bringing on a flyer in round 3 didn't help her all that much as she kept only scoring glances or failing to get through terminator invulnerability saves. She also had a mishap on a deep strike that allowed me to place her hellions way out of the battle and force her to charge a squad with a flamer and and a lot of guns, which made pretty short work of them. I think my initial strategy was pretty good, but I should have pulled my tactical squad out of the temple once they got the relic. I had them stay for one more round to get shots on a unit that didn't really pose a threat to my terminators in the assault. The tactical squad was wiped out in the next round by a charge of Incubi, and they dropped the relic. The end net score was two for me, one for first blood and one for slay the warlord. It was a victory, but it was a hard fight.