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Worlds Will Burn As We Laugh

Hellions And Trueborn
On Sunday, On July 31, 2011, I played my first Kill Team tournament with my Dark Eldar at The Game Room in Brick, NJ. This was my third Kill Teams tournament but it was my first time really using my Dark Eldar. My team consisted of five Hellions with a Helliarch (armed with splinted pistol & power sword) that were backed up by Trueborn warriors decked out with a splinter cannon, dark lance, shredder, and blaster. The plan was to use the Trueborn to take out the difficult targets or give cover fire while the Hellions ran riot all over the table. It didnít always work out that way, but it still proved to be a sound strategy.
Pain Tokens
For those of you unfamiliar with the Dark Eldar, they have an ability called Power Through Pain which means every time a Dark Eldar unit kills an enemy unit, they gain a special ability. To keep track of these abilities, counters called ďPain TokensĒ are placed next to the unit to show how many abilities theyíve acquired. The first Pain Token gives the unit the Dark Eldar unit Feel No Pain , the second grants Furious Charge, and the third makes the unit Fearless. In Kill Teams, each model is considered its own unit. So there is the potential to quickly rack up major Pain Tokens. In my army, I use comely Dark Eldar prisoners (from the original Dais Of Destruction model) for my Pain Tokens.
My apologies if my commentary on the event is a wee bit biased...

Round One: Imperial Guard on Talarn

Hellions prepare to take on some Rough Riders.
Ever since I saw Ashhammerís work-in-progress photos of this terrain, I had been dying to play on this table. My opponentís Imperial Guard list consisted of five rough Riders and three Ogryns with one Boneíead upgrade. I rolled for my Hellionsí combat drugs and the result yielded +1 Strength. I gave Slow and Purposeful to my Dark Lancer, Relentless to my splinter cannon gunner, and Infiltrate to my shredder gunner. The Guard went first and got an early lead, killing most of Trueborn. Then my Hellions hit back with a vengeance. I was down to 1 model when my opponent failed his Leadership roll. This was one of those games that very easily could have gone either way.

Round Two: Tau & Kroot on Armageddon

Intoxicated by the slaughter, a Hellion works on getting his third Pain Token.
This was my friend Billís first time playing Tau in 5th edition. He had ten Kroot, a Kroot Ox, and three Stealth Suits. I rolled for my Hellionsí combat drugs and the result yielded a free Pain Token. I gave Slow and Purposeful to my Dark Lancer, Relentless to my splinter cannon gunner, and Infiltrate to my blaster gunner. The idea was for the woman with the blaster ambush the Krootox and one-shot it with an instant-kill from the blasterís high strength value. The Kroot all infiltrated close to where my Hellions had deployed. The Hellions came in shooting, but the Kroot went to ground and surprisingly survived. The next round, the Kroot fared much worse and were dropping like flies. Many of my Hellions maxed out their Pain Tokens. Then the Stealth Suits started evening the odds. The game swept immediately from my favor to his. The turning point came when he had three Kroot charge the blaster woman. With her high Initiative, she actually struck before the charging Kroot and dropped two of them. This gave her two Pain Tokens. The remaining Kroot hit & wounded her and she did fail her armor save. But then she passed the Feel No Pain test and stayed on the board. Both Bill and I were rolling Leadership tests like crazy but Bill flubbed first. I had only two models left on the table when his remaining Stealth Suits and Kroot fled.

Round Three: Necrons on Tarentus

Hellions charging headlong into nigh-invulnerable Necron Immortals.
This was one of the moments I was dreading. Necrons traditionally do quite well in Kill Teams games because of their high Toughness, great armor saves, ridiculous firepower and the ability to come back from the dead 50% of the time. My opponent fielded seven Immortals, which are Necron elites. I rolled for my Hellionsí combat drugs and the result yielded a free Pain Token. I gave Slow and Purposeful to my Dark Lancer, Relentless to my splinter cannon gunner, and Infiltrate to my Blaster gunner. The Immortals hung around the woods for cover and remained out of the range of most of my Trueborn. The Hellionsí splinter pods either failed to wound or the Immortalsí armor was able to resist it. I managed to permanently kill one of them before the rest of my force was taken out by Gauss fire. I had one Hellion left that managed to get into close combat. Since you canít shoot into a close combat, my lone Hellion hacked away while the rest of the Immortals sat around slack jawed. I managed to pass my Leadership tests for three rounds of fruitless close combat. Eventually, I failed a Leadership test and the last Hellion flew away to fight another day.

Round Four: Tyranids on Mordian

She's not going down without a fight!
My last game of the tournament was against three Tyranid Warriors and a Hive Guard. I rolled for my Hellionsí combat drugs and the result gave them the ability reroll failed chances to wound in close combat. I gave Slow and Purposeful to my Dark Lancer, Relentless to my splinter cannon gunner, and Infiltrate to my Blaster gunner. The Hive Guard quickly took out my Dark Lancer (one of the few things that could have really hurt the Tyranids) with its ability to shoot without needing line-of-sight. Then the venom cannon and deathspitters of the Tyranid Warriors quickly added to the body count. I tried trudging across the broken rubble to take on the Warriors, but I couldnít manage to hurt them. Either I failed to wound or their thick carapace resisted the damage. I only managed to inflict two wounds on one of the Tyranid Warriors before my few survivors finally succumbed to a bad Leadership roll.

Final Outcome: Two Wins and Two Losses

This tournament proved something I pretty much already knew: Hellions are awesome against typical humanoid infantry, but are pretty useless against Necrons or well-armored multi-wound monsters. Still, I won 50% of the time which really isnít that bad. I also got to see Justinís Axiom (It ainít over till itís over) in effect first hand. I won my first two games by the skin of my teeth and it was really down to the wire both times.
Honey, you need to get a more useful weapon.
If I had it to do all over again, I think the only changes to my team would have been how I armed my Trueborn. I probably would have swapped the dark lance for a second splinter cannon. And I definitely would have ditched the shredder. For the whole tournament, it was either out of range or too close to my own troops to risk that blast marker. For the 5 points, I should have given her a shard carbine instead. She would have contributed more to the battle. However, I definitely would have kept the blaster just in case I really needed the anti-armor capabilities.
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