This week saw my Dark Eldar go up against Hef's Orks. I've only played Hef once before (a long while ago now) and my experiences with Orks have been limited to about three battles... ever! Hef is a decent Ork player too, having come in 4th at the recent Longest Day tournament.

We rolled for missions etc. and got Capture and Control with Pitched Battle... not the best of setups, but at least I got first turn... well until for the second game in a row my opponent rolled a 6 to steal the initiative... bah!

Grabbing the initiative the orks headed towards my lines. Luckily their shooting amounted 
to nothing... if it was a higher BS army... ouch!

I made a crucial mistake turn 1 by sending the Baron and Hellions towards the enemy and then in my excitement left them exposed... this resulted in near total loss of the unit with just one Hellion and the Baron surviving into my turn 2. The rest of my vehicles moved about and shot dark lances at the lead vehicle. 9+ lances later and I'd done nothing to it at all... *sigh*

The Orks survived a pounding by the Dark Lances which could penetrate but roll no higher than a 2.

Luckily despite being down to himself and a Hellion, the Baron made it to the Loota's and wiped them out, following up with a solo attack on some gretchin. He used the deff dred as a springboard by assaulting it and then Hit & Running out of combat in the Ork turn.

I took a hammering all game from the Orks, making several mistakes early on and losing several units (the other wych unit and a Wrack unit + vehicles) with little to show for it. I spent a lot of time taking out his troops, but found it difficult to finish off the main unit in the big trukk thing. So they were able to take my objective.

I sped a Raider with Wych's to get into position to deal with either the Loota's in the corner or jump on the Deff Dred. They then ended up being tied up in combat with the Deff Dred for the rest of the game (until turn 6). Despite a number of glance/penetrating haywire grenades I could never roll above a 1...

I made several mistakes late game which altered the course of the game. I reminded my opponent he had missed an attack which resulted in another unit lost and a Venom too... I also left a couple of vehicles out of cover which resulted in them getting destroyed and losing me the chance for late game contesting.

At the end of turn 6 I was looking to a draw if the game ended there, but we'd had so much fun I went all out for a glory draw and sent the Baron in against the Deff Dred. Despite a couple of penetrating hits, I again rolled 1's and the Baron got squished... the Dred then consolidated 6 inches to contest the objective I was holding.

Some mystical force guided this Ork Deff Dred, which forced all my penetrating rolls for the
whole game to be 1's. Ouch.

So in the end I lost, but to be fair if the Baron hadn't attacked and tried to take out the Dred once turn 7 rolled around (which it did) he would have died anyway to the dred so I would have lost regardless.

I did learn more about my Dark Eldar though as I struggle through these difficult starting days of trying to figure out how to use them:

1. The Baron, again a top chap to lead my army. I let him down big time by getting the Hellions killed in the second turn. They'd have been a game changer if they'd survived...
2. Wyches... yes they are a tarpit... yes they tied up a Deff Dred for 5 turns... but in all honesty, I threw what 250+ points (if you include the haemonculous and Raider) at a 75point dreadnought... I'm not convinced that is a good deal... I'd rather spend points on a unit that would take it out.
3. I need to keep my army together a little more than I did. I was quite spread out at the start and that hurt.
4. Flickerfields are amazing. In one turn a Ravager was hit with 3 penetrating hits and saved 3 of them. Bargain. Over the course of the game I saved a lot of 5+ Flickerfield saves and 4+ dodge the ramming Orks saves.