40k: 8th Edition League Round 6: Ynnari/Aeldari vs. "Imperium"

Well folks, this is it! Round 6 - the final countdown! And once again, I face down the Imperium. The great mysterious morass that could be anything from Skitarii to Sisters of Battle and back. So, the question is - will I face another bug? Or a windshield?

2000 pts.


The Mission:

The Fog of War: The first time any unit attempts to arrive from Reserves, the controlling player must roll a d6. The chosen unit will only arrive on a 3+ (!) and otherwise can arrive in the following turn (or later) without a roll as normal.

In Haze and Blood: For the first Battle Round, subtract 1 from all to-hit rolls targeting an enemy more than 18" away

Big Game Hunter: At the end of the game, whichever player has killed the single unit worth the most points of all destroyed units gains 1 extra Victory Point

Mysterious Objectives are in effect:
1 - Unit that identified this Objective takes D3 Mortal Wounds
2 - Nothing of note
3 - If you control this Objective, any enemy unit Charging a friendly unit within 3" of this Objective must subtract 2" from their Charge distance
4 - If you control this Objective, any friendly unit within 3" may re-roll to-hit rolls of 1
5 - If you control this Objective, any friendly unit within 3" may re-roll saving throws of 1
6 - If you control this Objective marker, you may choose an enemy unit within 36", that unit takes D3 Mortal Wounds

Across Battlefields unnumbered: Battlefield Terrain rules are in effect!

Here's our terrain:

Note the six Objectives; one on the far left, three roughly mid-field, and one on the far upper right in the ruins. We also rolled for a Superior Objective worth 4 pts, which turned out to be the far left, and for the Inferior Objective worth 1 pt, which happened to be on the far upper right! All the others would be worth two points, and any/all of them would only be scored at the very end of the game. No pressure :P

We called the rocks "Hills" because it was the only rule set that sort of made sense, then called the buildings Ruins - so the would grant Cover to Infantry, and most units could only move on the bottom floors. But, neither really affected this game at all.

Aaaand here is our Deployment-

Oh! So that's "Imperium"!

It's not a bug to my windshield! It's a wall of Windshields! ABORT! RETREAT!

- Tank Commander in Leman Russ (Autocannon, Lascannon, Heavy Stubber)

- 3x Leman Russ (Battle Cannons, Lascannons, Heavy Stubbers)
- 3x Leman Russ (Nova Cannons, Lascannons, Heavy Stubbers)

- 2x Chimera
- 1x Veteran Squad (Flamer, Meltagun)
- 1x Veteran Squad (Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Grenade Launcher)

- Baneblade (Main Cannon, Demolisher Cannon, Lascannon Sponsons, 3x TL Heavy Bolters)

In 7th Edition or earlier, this wouldn't even be a game. It would be too easy to lose all the weapons that could actually damage that and be left flailing ineffectually while they slowly rolled over me. But, this is 8th, and in 8th, anything can happen!
...Still. That's a veritable MOUNTAIN of T8 Wounds, and since my weapons top out at Strength 8, it's going to be an uphill struggle.

Oh, we're already deployed? Well crap, let's see how this goes.

My list is much the same as what I've been running:

Battalion Detachment (Ynnari)
- The Visarch (Warlord, Tenacious Survivor)
- Autarch Skyrunner (Fusion Gun, Laser Lance, Banshee Mask)
- Eldrad Ulthran

- Kabalite Warriors (5x, Agonizer, Grenade Launcher, Blaster)
- Kabalite Warriors (5x, Blaster)
- Storm Guardians (8x, 2x Fusion Guns)

- Wraithlord (Glaive, 2x Flamers, Shuriken Cannon, Scatter Laser)

- Raider (Disintegrator Cannon, Shock Prow)

- Hemlock Wraithfighter
- Crimson Hunter

Vanguard Detachment (Craftworlds)
- Farseer Skyrunner (Singing Spear)
- Windriders (3x, Shuriken Cannons)
- Windriders (3x, Shuriken Cannons)
- Windriders (3x, Shuriken Cannons)

Did I say my guns topped out at S8? I've got D-weapons in this bad boy, S10 will make all the difference in the world in this match!

Obviously I finished Deploying second, but went ahead and tried to seize-

Yup. I'm not going first. Brace for impact!

Turn 1 - Imperial Guard (0 - 0) (Let's call it what it is, shall we?)

Remember that little rule at the beginning? In Haze and Blood? I was very glad I remembered that extra -1 to-hit for every shot fired over 18" during round 1. I mentioned that at the beginning of Turn 1, to which the *Baneblade,* "Eldar's Bane" (cute name, note the skull headlights) replied: "Oh right! Let me get closer!"

"What I cannot crush with words alone, I will crush beneath the tanks of the Imperial Guard!"
- Every Guard player ever ;)

It was quickly apparent that a Guard tank wall puts out a LOT of shots. Especially with the latest FAQ in effect, allowing any Leman Russ that moves half move distance or less (including not move at all) to fire their turret *twice.* For half of these tanks, that means 2d6 shots with a Battle Cannon. Blast Templates may be gone, but those guns don't joke around.

Still, turns out, Guard tanks are very bad shots!

...Although, not that bad. There were Storm Guardians there! First Blood to the Guard.
Hitting on 4+ base meant a 5+ for nearly every shot fired, except from the Baneblade which closed to less than 18", and did most of the damage, ouch.

I was fortunate, in addition to the Storm Guardians, I lost a few Wounds scattered around. One Jetbike, a couple Wounds off the Wraithlord, the Raider, and a Wraithguard. But, the damage was light considering how much pepper flew my way. Not to mention, that the damage was so spread out was terrific for me. It was a good hard hit, but it didn't cost me much firepower!

Turn 1 - Aeldari (0 - 1)

I had one thought in my mind: kill that Baneblade. Not only did it get First Blood, do the most damage out of the entire army, and demand vengeance for me Storm Guardians - but DAMN it's intimidating!

There was good news on that count: I had almost all my guns, I had the weapons I needed to take even that wall of HP down, and - bonus! - it had moved closer!

So, I went for it. My Wraithguard Advanced, and everyone else booked it up to center. I positioned to get as much coverage as possible with my Autarch's aura.
Then, in a stroke of luck, *all* of my Psychic Powers went off - Conceal from the Hemlock, Doom on the Baneblade, Guide on the Wraithguard, and two shots of Smite. Although, true to form, Eldrad did Perils with a 12 on the final cast :P and take one Wound.

What followed was the most devastating volley of firepower I have ever unleashed in a game of 40k, and even without my Storm Guardians and their two Fusion Guns, I'll be darned if I didn't bring that beast down. But! It's a Superheavy! So please please please don't-

It Exploded, and like a Superheavy, with a full D6 Mortal Wounds to every unit within 6" - yikes!

I took some casualties:

Not great. Could be worse, but not great. In addition to this, my Autarch got tagged for a full three Wounds. Not good!
On the bright side though, a Leman Russ was close enough to take four hits as well!

(Note: the black skull dice count up Wounds lost, then the gray normal dice count down Wounds remaining. It was a cool way to keep track, but took some getting used to)

Fortunately, that dying Baneblade triggered a Soulburst, which I used to tuck my Autarch back in among other units.

I still had some shooting, and while it was lackluster compared to the first volley, I still put a significant dent in the Russ wall, with the Crimson Hunter tagging a tank halfway across the board for five damage.

This was exactly the turn I needed, taking a huge bite out of the return fire I was going to have to weather, and taking Big Game Hunter for a point! I mean, no other unit in the game was worth that many points, so no matter what else died in the game, that point was mine :)

Turn 2 - Imperial Guard (1 - 1)

While I was proud of taking down the Baneblade, I was still facing down *seven* Leman Russes with 12 Wounds each, and my forces are not built for that kind of attrition. I also lost the protection of the -1 to-hit for some of my army (Conceal still covered most of it though!)

The Guard opted to spread out and try to encircle my forces, while covering as many Objectives as possible. All of the ones on the right turned out to be -2" to enemy Charge range, which was far from the worst that could happen.

Most of his tanks chose to shoot at my Raider, since it was outside of the Hemlock's 3" Conceal bubble. -1 to enemy to-hit rolls is a terrific power on that monster :)

Turned out to be a good choice, because while it didn't Explode, the Raider did go down very quickly!

Leaving my Warlord and his escort dangerously exposed!

...facing down, well, that...

More fire went into my Jetbikes and Wraithguard as well, and my forces started to dwindle, but not collapse just yet.

And the Visarch was brought dangerously low!
We later realized that the Crimson Hunter was closer, and should have been targeted before the Visarch, but I didn't catch it in time, so I said to just roll with it.

Turn 2 - Aeldari (1 - 1)

Here, I was in a pickle. I had some momentum and a lot of teeth, but I also had used all of my forces in a giant deathball, and now had to figure out how to tackle two different tank walls on opposite sides of the board. I needed enough fire to take both down, without losing my headwind and getting shredded in the crossfire.

(note my second unit of Warriors is down a few models - that's because that damned Objective they identified was a 1 and ate two of them with Mortal Wounds)

So, my Infantry hooked left, backed by the bikers and the Wraithlord, while my Flyers and Wraithguard crossed their respective fingers and went right. I made a pretty major blunder here by not Advancing with my Wraithguard. I didn't want to lose the accuracy, but didn't realize I wouldn't be in range to shoot at all.

This was my first game running Wraithguard in 8th, and that 5" move is a bummer! But I'm gonna say it's because they aren't painted ;)

The 20" minimum move for my Flyers gave me a little less flexibility moving them than I'd hoped, but they did the job. Here. I went with baser instincts and chose to shoot within their firing arcs, and didn't opt to shoot the damaged tanks.
Down side, I didn't kill any. Upside, I took the rear tank down to three Wounds! The Hemlock, despite being short-range, hits like a ton of bricks!

Speaking of, go back two photos above to see how my left flank did, my Assaults were costly (Overwatch was a lot fiercer than expected), but I hit those tanks, and hit them hard. I wrecked one (it didn't explode), did five Wounds to another, and brought a third down to five Wounds. Turns out Doom and Smite really make a difference!

Turn 3 - Imperial Guard (1 - 1)

Remember those Wraithguard? Me either. Because they're dead to me!
Well, this game at least. Curses! Why didn't I Advance!

In other news, the Chimera full of Veterans tried to sneak around me to capture the Superior Objective. While I had to deal with those Leman Russes, before long I would have to clear those Vets. And sooner than later or I would lose the Objective.

On the right, the other Chimera tried to do the same, running from the 1 pt Inferior Objective towards the 2 pt one in no-man's-land

It took most of their fire to take down the Wraithguard, so my Flyers were left at full strength for just a little longer.

Close combat dragged here. The Russes had chosen not to fall back because I'd just Charge them again, but my Autarch was hitting at S3, so lost most of his oomph, while the Farseer/Eldrad's Witchblade Wounds were all saved.

Turn 3 - Aeldari

Zip zip! I took another risky move, with the Farseer and Eldrad trying to cut off the Chimera, while leaving the Autarch and Visarch to, hopefully, "mop up" the Leman Russes. Totally fine, right? Of course the Visarch and Autarch sitting on one Wound each can "mop up" three Leman Russes!

The 20" move on the Flyers got real here, with my Hemlock *barely* avoiding that table edge! I think I need to practice flying these things...

This time, I'd talked through it, and my Flyers and I embraced 8th Edition, and those bad boys shot out of their butts. I know it represents strafing runs and such, but it still feels weird shooting out of arc with Flyers.

Oh, and remember when I talked about "mopping up" those tanks?


The Visarch straight-up mulched one tank, and used the Soulburst from that to Charge the other, but the Autarch neatly mopped that one up in the same combat. Over at the Chimera, the Farseer Skyrunner took a whopping three Wounds in Overwatch (danger zone!) but both he and Eldrad got into combat and started working.

At this point, I had spent all seven of my Command Re-roll points. All on *critical* rolls, and they hadn't all worked out...

Turn 4 - Imperial Guard (1 - 1)

At this point, I was doing the damage I needed to, and fast. And even though my Characters were all hanging on by the barest thread, my Flyers were both at high health, and the Leman Russes were dwindling rapidly. Now only the Tank Commander stood on the left, and all three on the right were down to a handful of Wounds.

So, it was all coming down to Objectives!
Since my Flyers were about to have to fly away, it was time for the right Chimera to move in and take that Objective!

In a hilarious twist on the left, the Tank Commander neatly dispatched my Visarch (Slay the Warlord to the Guard) and my last Windrider Jetbike, but that triggered a Soulburst, letting my Autarch nail the Commander square in the face with a Fusion Gun for 6 damage, even out of Melta range!

Oh, and the Chimera split its fire, and while it failed to take down my Seers, it did take down my last Kabalite Warriors, taking me off of the Objective they'd been holding!

Turn 4 - Aeldari (1 - 2)

Huff! What a turn! Everything hanging on a razor edge, with everything still on the board trailing smoke and blood!

With little left to shoot, my Flyers finally started taking some heat, and the Crimson Hunter started falling dangerously quickly, and I was only the tiniest edge away from losing my Hemlock to a near board edge.

But, I made it! This was my minimum move, putting me more than 16" away, so no guns (curses) but within 18"! Smite time!

Woo! Got one! And it Exploded too :D shaving a little extra damage off of those vehicles

The Crimson Hunter also proved its chops, handily dispatching the Tank Commander (Slay the Warlord to the Aeldari!), and triggering another Soulburst, so that my Autarch could bravely:

Hide in a hole!

I'd also managed to melt down the left Chimera, leaving my two Heroes facing down no less than ten Veterans. Oh, and the Chimera had Exploded too, bringing Eldrad down to one Wound. Now ALL THREE of my high-value Characters were sitting on 1 Wound, with Infantry blobs still holding the fort.
Not good, not good at all!

But, I had to shift them. This was too close to not take the Superior Objective. If I failed, it was game over!

I charged, weathering a brutal Overwatch (barely!) and using the two Seers' terrific CC statlines, killing... two Veterans. Well, better than nothing. Brace yourselves, my warriors!

And I FREAKING SURVIVED! Not only that, but both Seers are still standing!

Turn 5 - Imperial Guard (2 - 2)

Turn 4 was a big turn for me, a really big one, and it left the Guard in a precarious position. It still could easily swing either way, how long could two Wounds worth of Seers stand up to even eight Guardsmen?

Just to prove that they were there, the other Veteran squad swarmed out and formed a kilted scrum (yes, they have kilts - look closely!) on the Objective. Tanks and Veterans included, while we were at 2 - 2 in points, the Guard were sitting on 9 points of Objectives, vs my 2. And it was likely final turn, and everything I still had was as close to dead as you can possibly be without, you know, being dead. But it wasn't over yet!

The surviving Guard hit me and hit me hard, bringing my Hemlock down to three Wounds (!), with Guardsmen no less. Veterans or not, those are still Flaslights- er, Lasguns!

Combat though, went decidedly my way! Once again I survived, and took down another few Veterans, now 5-0 in a combat I should by all rights have lost! I was finally making all of those fistfulls of 3+ saves, where even 1 failure would turn the tide, I wasn't failing any from the 4-6 rolls twice per turn...

Turn 5 - Aeldari (2 - 2)

Well, it's Turn 5. It may be game turn, and I'm running on fumes. So I made my final move(s). I opted to Retreat with Eldrad, since he could still use his Powers, and the Farseer, who could Retreat without penalty. Both Seers pulled off Smite for a whopping 1 Mortal Wound each (bonus: Eldrad rolled an 11, and STILL did 1 MW :P)

My Flyers were on their way circling back, and I moved the Hemlock to hold the center Objective, while the Crimson Hunter made a run for Linebreaker!

I was trying for as many points as possible, just in case, so my Autarch decided to throw caution to the winds and tried to go out in a blaze of glory-

My Hemlock also fired off Smite, also doing a lowly single Wound (dammit) but it was enough. Between him, the Autarch, and the Crimson Hunter, I actually killed off the last two Leman Russes (!)

This was a massive scoring turn in my favor, taking both the 4- and 2-pt Objectives, and pushing the Guard off of the 1-pt Objective. That made the final score 11 9 Aeldari to 4 Imperial Guard, a score that's much, much more decisive than any part of the game was, right up to that very last second!

The game did not continue - whew! What a game!

This was an especially good game, although this league has been a terrific experience throughout, and left me finishing up at a more than respectable 4-2 overall!

**Update: the final score was 9 - 4, Aeldari. Flyers can't hold Objectives, my bad!