40k Spring 18, League Round 1: 750 Ynnari vs. Tyranids

Eldrad, exiled seer of Ulthwe, has seen a vision. A relic, a Savage greenskin totem, will be the flashpoint for a WAAAGH of terrible ferocity.

It falls to Zhar, Ynnari Autarch, and loyal follower of Eldrad, to lead a small strike force to retrieve the relic and keep it from falling into Ork hands...
And we're back! It's been a while since my last League, so I'm very excited to get back into the game :D without further ado, Mission 1-

Mission 1: No Mercy, modified

4'x4' table, 750 pts

Kill Points, Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker, and a single Objective in the center of the board worth 4pts in the final game turn.

Here are the lists:

Battalion Detachment, 6 CP total
HQ - The Yncarne (Warlord), Gaze of Ynnead, Word of the Phoenix 
HQ - Autarch Skyrunner, Fusion Pistol, Laser Lance, Banshee Mask

TR - 5x Kabalite Warriors
TR - 5x Kabalite Warriors
TR - 8x Storm Guardians, 2x Flamers

HS - Wraithlord, Glaive, 2x Flamers, 2x Shuriken Cannons

For my part, I really wanted to use the Yncarne, and I get miles worth of use out of Command Points, so I opted for a Battalion. Even at low points, Kabalites are so cheap it wasn't a big sacrifice. Still, I need the Yncarne to do some work to be even remotely worth bringing!
I came expecting Tyranids, so I opted for a spraying Wraithlord instead of a Raider. In case of big bugs, I left the Fusion Pistol on the Autarch, but also hoped the Kabalite's poisoned weapons would be useful there!

Patrol Detachment, 3 CP total
HQ - Neurothrope (Warlord), Norn Crown Relic, The Horror, Trait: Mind Eater
HQ - Trygon Prime, Biostatic Rattle, 3x Massive Scything Talons

TR - 24 Termagants, Devourers

EL - 6x Hive Guard, Impaler Cannons

Hive Fleet: Kronos (re-roll to-hit rolls of 1 if this unit did not move this turn)

...Ouch. Hive Guard. I remember them from when I used to play Tyranids in 5th - and they still Ignore Line-of-Sight (beefy), but now they fire three shots per cannon instead of 2, and have a 36" range (which I believe used to be 24"?) on a 4'x4' table, that unit is perfectly capable of murdering my army by itself.
Right off the bat, without anything else there, I know that that unit *has* to die, and fast. I also know I'm going to have to go around/through the Trygon Prime and Devourer blob to get there.

That is a perfect Tyranid list. It's possibly the best small-points list I've ever seen! And here I took a 337 pt Monster in a 750 pt game... But, can that Monster carry me to victory I wonder... ?

As extra gravy, that Detachment is built to deploy as three units (Gants deploying with the Trygon in Reserve count as 1 unit), so he's practically guaranteed to finish deploying first, and get first turn!

* * *

Zhar's band find themselves unexpectedly in the midst of a Tyranid incursion. Outgunned, unprepared, but fully committed, they choose to risk their mission, plunging deep into infested territory to seize the Ork totem.

Unfortunately, when they reached their target, they found a Tyranid brood lying in ambush. Worse still, it is led by a soul-devouring creature that may very well be the Doom of Malan'tai - a psychic abomination of terrible power, capable of destroying an entire Craftworld by itself.

Prepared to sacrifice themselves for their mission, Zhar's warriors call on their faith in Ynnead, and prepare their fury to face an overwhelming foe...

* * *

Both the Yncarne and the Trygon Prime, complete with DevilGants, start in Reserve - eyeing each other through the aether before the battle!
This is my first time running the Yncarne, and his deployment is very weird. He has to start in Reserve, and then anytime a unit (friend or foe) is completely destroyed, I can add him to the board in the place, as close as possible without placing within 1" of enemy units.
Now, he has to do this to deploy the first time, but then can also do it *any time* a unit dies in-game. The only downside is he ends up potentially exposed, and can't Charge that turn, even with a Soulburst.

Terrain deployment was even, with plenty of LoS blocking terrain. Since I had no ranged shooting to speak of, a number of units that could Fly, and his guns ignored LoS, I didn't think too hard about what I was using

I expected the Trygon's brood to arrive Turn 1, so I tried to spread out to limit his options, knowing I was going to lose a unit when they arrived. I also poised the Autarch as close to the Hive Guard as possible. As the only unit in my army fast enough to reach them, and knowing I HAD to get to them, I opted for a bold strategy. Sneaking around my backfield was going to get me killed just as thoroughly, so I took the best chance I had and ran with it!

*Note the "Ork Relic" in the photo above, I'm afraid I never got a close-up of it

Doom, the Neurothrope, stayed back behind the safety of a wall, carefully watched over by his Hive Guard thralls...

Tyranids Turn 1!
Score: 0 - 0, tied

The Trygon Prime arrived as expected, force midfield rather than backfield, but still deployed within easy striking distance of my Kabalite Warrior units.

...Complete with DevilGant brood.
I'd actually expected this, and hoped for it. I assumed he would try to avoid the Wraithlord and larger Storm Guardian unit, and opt to target my weak Kabalite units first. I knew when those Devourers dropped, I was going to lose a unit - and I hoped it would be my most expendable unit, sacrificing to buy me time to react.
I also had hoped that he would deploy in a far corner, allowing my quicker units to zip away and get on with more important business.

But. I had forgotten that 8th lets you split-fire, making a 24-blob of Gants waaaaay more dangerous than they used to be, because they can't be tied up killing fragile units one by one.

Predictably, both units of Kabalites were wiped out!

In hindsight, I could have tried to give them more benefit from cover, but they took *so many* wounds, it's unlikely it would have made much difference. Ouch! First Blood and two Kill Points to the Tyranids

And, even my mighty Autarch took a beating in that first volley! I'd hoped to tempt the Hive Guard into shooting my Wraithlord, whose T8 would go a long way towards mitigating their fire - but, instead they laid into my Autarch, who managed to survive the turn, if barely.

But, I survived! It was a much rougher turn than I'd been prepared for (and made the rest of the match look far more grim) but I was still free to carry out Plan A!

Ynnari Turn 1!
Score: 0 - 3, Tyranids
* * *
The Tyranid ambush struck lightning fast, coordinated by a terrible intellect well used to combating Aeldari at war. Zhar bared his teeth, dug his heels in, and blasted his Jetbike to mind-numbing speeds, racing up the field to engage the greatest threat: Doom itself.

Every move he made chafed against the Tyranid barbs that had found their way through his armor, and he could already feel the dread wounds sapping his strength. He had one chance, one hope: 
To take the fight to them - and win.
* * *

My entire army Advanced, with the uninjured Wraithlord moving a respectable 12", while my Storm Guardians rolled a 1. I opted to use a Command Point while I had the chance, and re-rolled it for a 6, and they positively barreled across the board.
The Autarch went his bonus 6" for a full 22". Unfortunately, that was well out of firing range, and he couldn't Advance and Charge, so getting as close as he could was all I was able to do with him.

The Wraithlord was able to fire off a long-range shot, and I used another CP re-rolling one of his 6 Shuriken Cannon shots. Which turned out to be absolutely worth it, and my first shot removed 5 DevilGants. Which was great! But seemed minimal considering the size of the unit.

Tyranids Turn 2!
Score: 0 - 3, Tyranids

Softened, but undeterred, the space bugs moved at full speed (without advancing) to make sure they weren't completely left out of the fight!
That had been my plan all along, to leave them stranded on a board edge, but they'd done too much damage and I was too far behind to feel proud of pulling it off - it was too soon to tell if it would be worth it...

Showing no hesitation at all, the Doom blasted off Smite, and with no Psyker on the table, I was forced to take it with no option to Deny. The Doom, that Neurothrope, also has a native ability to re-roll 1's when casting, so he pulled off a 10 for his Smite check (to get d6 damage) and easily killed my Autarch. Another Kill Point to the Tyranids!

* * *
Zhar felt the foul crawling sensation of the alien intelligence invading his mind, and raged against the intrusion. He was prepared, when the beast's power started unraveling his spirit - and gave in fully to his own end, funneling his last ounce of strength into a terrible summoning call

As life left the Autarch's punished frame, Ynnead answered the dying hero's call, and his Avatar - the dread Yncarne - burst forth into realspace, fueled by the fall of a mighty Aeldari.

The Yncarne sprung fully fledged onto the field, his fury raging hot, and the foe easily within reach...

* * *

The Yncarne lives! And almost right where I wanted him! Here, I was in easy striking range of the Hive Guard. And, since I'd come in on my opponent's turn, I would be able to move and charge in my own turn!

All was not well, however. Dying in the Psychic phase meant I still had to weather the Hive Guard's full might in the shooting phase. As monstrous as he is, his T6 was going to do me no favors this turn...

Of his nine Wounds, the Hive Guard only stripped one, with some profound luck on my part. I rolled some great 4++ saves, and then another several 6+ saves against the damage!

But the Doom was not done. Using all of his remaining Command Points, he drove his Hive Guard to fire a second volley (!) and this time they were far more devastating, pushing several Wounds through the Yncarne's 4++, and then rolling a mighty 7 damage on three D3 damage hits.

Ouch - but also WOO!

Ynnead's champion was not ready to fold yet though. He tanked a full three of those Wounds with his 6+ vs. Wounds, dropping the damage to something reasonable!

This turn was a sobering test run of the Yncarne. While it is fast, hits like a truck, and regenerates, when it comes to taking a beating, it's no Wraithknight. I have to be careful how I use him, and this was both exactly and not AT ALL where I wanted him to be...

Ynnari Turn 2!
Score: 0 to 5, Tyranids

It's looking grim at this point in the game. I'm down to half of my starting units, and I only have a handful of Gants to show for it, plus I've done nothing to make dying even harder next turn less likely.

So I've got ground to make up, and FAST.
On that note, see below where the Yncarne moved to:

First things first, I cast Smite, and used a Command Re-roll to make it harder to Deny (it wasn't denied) and also pulled of a 10, for d6 Mortal Wounds, which dealt the Hive Guard, being the nearest visible enemy, a whopping two Wounds.

I then tried to cast Gaze of Ynnead, and failed. And since I'd already used a re-roll in the Psychic phase, no (more) dice :P

This is where I found out what the "Mind Eater" trait does - if an enemy fails a Psychic test within range (18"?) they take d3 Mortal Wounds. I got lucky, taking only 1, but ouch!

In shooting, the Wraithlord plinked a few more Gants, still not making a significant difference, but it's better than nothing. There's an interesting conundrum - I know the Wraithlord can more or less wade into those Gants without worrying too much, but that Trygon is a different story. A Wraithlord can kill a Trygon without half trying, but it won't, because it usually swings second and only has three attacks that usually miss...

But, on to the Assault phase, and here's where things got interesting!
I multi-assaulted the Hive Guard and Neurothrope, trying to tie them both up in combat.

I managed to take no Wounds in Overwatch, which was a small but critical blessing, and easily made my charge.

Now, I was sitting on a seriously depleted army, and all of the surprises up my sleeve had been shown - not only that, but my ultimate champion was sitting on a mere 4 Wounds.
So, I needed this combat to count, badly. I multi-assaulted hoping to kill the Doom, and trigger a Soulburst to swing again at the Hive Guard as well. Since the Yncarne swings like an S6 Lascannon and re-rolls Wounds, I knew I was going to kill *something,* so I went for the Neurothrope/Doom, which only has 5 Wounds. With luck, I could kill it in two hits.

I rolled all six dice, missed two, Command Re-rolled one, and wound up with a full five Wounds. I felt good!

...and in a show of absolute space bugs heroic disdain, that terrifying little SOB saved every. Single. One.


Uh oh.

In return hits, the Hive Guard, despite being medium terrible, stripped two more Wounds off the Yncarne - swinging the combat wildly against me.

Tyranids Turn 3!
Score 0 to 5, Tyranids

In movement, the Trygon and Grants moved to claim the Objective, and get within striking distance of the Wraithlord.

In the Psychic phase, the Doom rolled for Smite, rolled a 6 and a 1, Re-rolled the one for a five. Eleven?!
Here, I thought Shadow in the Warp affected Deny rolls, so I would need to beat his roll by two, an impossible 13. So I didn't even try - even if I had, I would have needed boxcars and was out of CP.

The Doom rolled a mighty 5 Mortal Wounds, and while my 6+ saved two of them, it was still enough to kill the Yncarne where he stood.

Uh oh. That freed the Hive Guard up to shoot, and ended my last Hail Mary attempt to stop them

The Doom stands victorious in it's terrible victory, once again glutted on Eldar souls!

The Pants easily wiped out my Storm Guardians, even without Re-rolled 1's, leaving my Wraithlord standing alone!

Not one to simply give up, the mighty Wraithlord stood firm before the assault of the ravening Trygon Prime

...and actually pulled off one of the best combats of his career! Though it cost him dearly, he was not ready to go down just yet

Ynnari- Turn 3!
Score: 0 to 7, Tyranids

In my turn 3, all there was to do was swing back, and this time I whiffed (much more in character) and went down to return blows.

Tabled in turn 3! Final score was 0 to 12 (?!) with the Relic's 4, Slay the Warlord, 6 Kill Points, and First Blood. I got Skunked!

In hindsight, I should have started the game with the Webway Assault Stratagem. For 3CP, I could have deep struck two of my units (probably the Storm Guardians and Autarch). And, since I was going second, they could have deployed safely after the Trygon and his brood.
The rest of my army would have to have been deployed spread out in the back field - where the Trygon couldn't kill them all on arrival, and out of range of the Hive Guard.

The value of Command Points, beyond re-rolls, is that they let you tailor your tactics *after* you've seen what you're playing against, and in this game it would have made all the difference...

I would have tried to land and shoot the Hive Guard, then do as much damage to them as possible, maybe even get a charge off with the Autarch, before bringing in the Yncarne.

Ah well, lesson learned! And it was pretty awesome to see Tyranids using all of my favorite units - and what a list!

Better luck next round :D