Floorhammer 40k fans, we are back with another battle report! This past Saturday saw me take the forces of the Ynnari vs the Dark Eldar under the control of my good friend Will. I have probably mentioned before that Will is a good player, and so I needed to be at my best. I didn’t go into the details last time, but his Tau whooped me 8-0 on the maelstrom two weekends ago on my first outing with the Ynnari. Though I came close to tabling him, the maelstrom points is what counted on that day.
Thus, I wanted to try the Ynnari again, and Will wanted to give his Dark Eldar a spin so the game had a nice little fluff thing going on. We upped the points a little to 1500pts to give our lists a little more flexibility. Will’s army consisted of a CAD and a Real Space raiders detachments; comprised of something like 3 raiders filled with Kabalites and Wyches, Archon, Succubus, 3 units of Scourges, a unit of mandrakes and a heaps of MSUs of Reaver jetbikes. A mobile, close quarters army.
I had predicted something like this so went with a shooty Reborn Warhost with an Aspect host. Pretty dirty as they all fall under the Ynnari faction, benefitting from Strength from Death. Furthermore, I wanted plenty of units to benefit from Strength from Death.
Autarch; Shard of Anaris, Lost Shroud, Hawk wings and Banshee mask.
Farseer; Singing spear, Spirit stone relic (powers; guide, prescience and psychic shriek)
Guardians (10); Shuriken Cannon platform
Kabalites (5); Blaster, Venom with Splinter cannon upgrade
Vyper; 2 Shuriken cannons
Falcon; Pulse laser, Scatter laser, Shuriken cannon
War-walker squadron (2 walkers); 2 Scatter lasers
Avatar of Ynnead (Rolled on Revenant; Spirit hook, Word of the Phoenix, plus two others I didn’t use)
Aspect host; +1 BS selected (of course)
Dire avengers (7); Exarch with diresword and pistol
Warp spiders (7); Exarch with Spinnert rifle
Dark reapers (5); Exarch. Starswarm and starshot missiles
Two crucial things went my way; 1 deployment was Hammer and Anvil, and 2, I had first turn (if Will didn’t seize the initiative). I deployed deep in my zone knowing Will would want to bomb up the board on the first turn to get his combat units into range. Alas, Will failed to seize so the Ynnari went first. The scenario was tactical escalation.
The main thing I had to was eliminate any fast threats; the Reapers and Falcon exploded a Raider each, a huge result. The war walkers softened up a unit of scourges (4/5 dead). This meant Will’s mobility was crippled and could only advance in pieces to my castled up force. However, I only scored 1st blood with my maelstrom card being useless. Even though the Dark Eldar took a beating in turn 1, they were not out of the fight with so many jetbikes that could get into my face. Will was a little shocked at losing his transports so quickly, and could only harass a couple units on his turn. However he managed to score his maelstrom card, 1-1.
Turn two saw more of the same pain with scores of Dark Eldar being felled from all the heavy weapons I had. The amount of S6 shots was frightening, but this turn Will saved tons of models thanks to being in cover and going to ground with Mandrakes, Scourges and Warriors. Again the maelstrom wasn’t kind to me so the score remained 1-1, but I Deep struck the Avatar into my lines to give me a Feel no Pain bubble. On his turn Will changed his tactics a little by turbo-boosting some jetbikes to get in close to me. We was also able to score two more maelstrom cards taking the score to 1-3 in favour of the Dark Eldar.
On my turn 3 the Autarch moved into assault range of one jetbike unit, the avatar and kabalites closed in on another, and the Falcon took on the final jetbike unit in my lines. Two bikes squads were reduced to 1 bike, with one holding morale, and the other falling back. The last jetbike unit lost 1 member to assault with the Autarch. The Autarch wiffed a huge amount of rolls. The bikes hit and run closer to the Venom. Will decided to charge the Falcon with the Caltrops biker, charge the Venom with the other unit (still had caltrops) and fell back with the final biker. The Falcon lost 2 hull points, and was very lucky not to have been wrecked. However, the venom was wrecked (only wrecked) and the Kabalites shot at the aggressors for their Soulburst action. The Avatar tried to charge but rolled 1 short of what was needed. The score after turn 3 was 6-3 in favour of the Dark Eldar. Will kept drawing objectives in his deployment zone.
At this stage the flow of the game was clear. The Ynnari were blasting anything off the board that came close. I had only lost a Venom at this point whereas Will was reduced to 1/3 or less of his whole army. The best thing about the game was that Will was still winning the maelstrom and playing tactically given how a lot went against him in the early turns.
Turn 4 for me was about trying to get maelstrom points. I wrecked the Raider with the Archon in it, the remaining bikers in my lines were cleaned up (he still had another unit plus the 1 biker in his deployment zone). The Autarch was in a position to finish off the Mandrakes. In the shooting phase I wiped some scourges allowing the Avatar to pop up beside the Autarch. In assault the Autarch wiffed again so was locked in combat for the turn. On Will turn he could only shuffle a few units around to capture some objectives, including Hold the Line. He was set to achieve this until we resolved the combat, and Soulburst action from the Autarch prevented him from doing so. Dirty. The end of the turn the score was now about 6-6.
Turn 5 was crucial. I scored two more points (including Linebreaker and First blood) to take my total to 8. In my turn, the Farseer suffered a Perils on a 1, but past her leadership test to only suffer a wound. Will turbo boosted his last bike unit to get Linebreaker for himself. Now if the game ended, it would have been a draw. However, luck truly had deserted Will and the game continued. At that point if the game had ended, I would not have been disappointed. Given how the game went, Will gave himself a fighting chance to win the game given both the Linebreaker and Perils situations). It was a huge effort by him.
The cards I drew on turn 6 was the god draw I had been waiting for all game. I could get 6 points minimum, putting the game well out of the Dark Eldar’s reach. At this point Will had only killed the Venom, the Vyper and a Kabalite warrior so he conceded the game to me. The final score was 15-8 to the Ynnari.
We felt the game scenario, deployment and first turn all went against the Dark Eldar. Will couldn’t get close enough with all his combat units to trouble my lines, and I had castled up in the event he did manage to break through. I had Dire Avengers and Warp Spiders on hand in case he did. Alas they did nothing all game. My strategy was to keep my distance from his units, and chain my units along so that I could always Soulburst. This definitely affected the way Will thought out his moves. Having actions on my opponents turn is truly dirty. My list wasn’t exactly OP, but I can imagine Windriders and Wraithknights would be oppressive. Going forward as I add more to the army, I have to be careful not to ruin my opponents day with some Soulburst shenanigans. Else, they play much more powerful armies.
Will said that he wanted to try a CC DE army to shut me down, but on this showing we both felt that the shooty version of DE are much better. Ravagers are decent, lots of shots with the extra bit of armour makes them much more appealing than the paper boat Raiders. Will didn’t get the best out of the Reavers in this game, but when used well they are so hard to deal with. I’m sure once Will has regrouped, he will be handing me a kicking again!
Some specific points about my army. The Avatar of Ynnead was good, but acted more as a buffing/Soulburst unit than a combat monster. I was able to perform at least 3 more Soulburst actions thanks to the Word of the Phoenix psychic power. Given that the Autarch can move 18″, it was silly. Plus the ability to pop up is powerful, but has to performed with care. Like any monster, it could go down in a volume of fire. A word on the Autarch, the Lost Shroud proved again to be amazing, with the Autarch growing back 2 wounds. At this stage the Autarch has consistently been one of my best units.
I had mentioned the Ulthwe strike force last time, but I hadn’t built the models I needed to be able to run a Reborn warhost with an Ulthwe strike force. As a separate detachment they don’t get Strength from Death, but Battle Focus. Its an interesting choice to make but with the correct support, they can compliment the Ynnari very well.
In the future I will try to take a photo of the armies before the battle, just helps the readers understanding a little more. But until next time, happy wargaming!