Anyway, this time around we toyed with various different lists. We needed two 900pt armies to make a combined 1,800pt force. I think that's the highest points limit we've ever had. We toyed with various horrendous combinations of Imperial Knights, wraithknights, dreadknights, Ta'unar, etc but decided to give the recently released Ynnari a spin. We only managed to a get a couple of test games in but it's a good job we did as using the Soulburst effectively is key to success with them. The list we settled on was:
899pts of Ynnari
2x 5 Kabalites Warriors in a Venom
Venom (for Maugan Ra)
6 Swooping Hawks (incl. Exarch)
899pts of Ynnari
Farseer Skyrunner (Spirit Stone of Anath'lan)
5 Kabalites Warriors in a Venom
3 Reavers (incl. cluster caltrops)
2x 5 Scourges (4 Haywire in each)
Wraithknight (wraithcannons, scatter laser)
Nothing too filthy I don't think. Obviously Ynnari are powerful but there's no scatter windriders, no wraithguard in raiders, etc. A fairly mixed list that should be fun to play with and against we hoped. I'll try to keep the battle reports brief for a change. Here goes!
Game One - Ynnari vs. CSM/Daemons
Our first game was Cloak and Shadows against Fateweaver, some heralds with screamers (2++ re-rollable saves), some blue horrors, some CSM, a terminator sorcerer, firestorm redoubt with lascannons and a land raider.
Fateweaver headed straight down the middle of the board and was frankly pretty lucky to survive two turns of shooting from pretty much all of the Dark Eldar. He passed a ton of 3+ saves and all his grounding tests to cling on with a single wound remaining to fly off the board to return in turn 4. Elsewhere their Wraithknight used a Soulburst to kill the land raider in their first turn with a D shot when some nearby Reavers perished. The land raider turned into the Yncarne and between them they slowly worked his way through everything else in the army whilst the Dark Eldar were mostly out of range thanks to the deployment.
Ultimately, the Yncarne ended up in combat with the 2++ re-rollable screamers for the rest of the game whilst we tried to rack up the VPs. It wasn't until later that we realised we'd brought the Swooping Hawks in on T2 only to forget about them for the rest of the game. They could've been attacking Fateweaver and claiming objectives but they were lost in their dead pile which they kept to the edge of the table. The game ended in a narrow victory of 14-12 helped in no small part by me rolling 3 for all three of the D3 point objectives we scored!
Unfortunately, one of our two opponents was pretty miserable throughout the game because he took an instant dislike to us for running Ynnari. It's a shame as this was our closest game so could've been a lot more fun.
Game Two - Ynnari vs. DA/Tyranids
Not your most likely of combinations and something you'd be more likely to find at Double Trouble with its random pairings (hint hint). Anyway, basically it was 60 hormagaunts, 30 termagants, three zoanthropes and an exocrine. The DA portion wasw two rhinos with tactical squads, two predators, DW knights in a pod and Ezekiel. The mission was Spoils of War. They won the roll-off but we Seized!
The Venoms lay waste to the Tyranids early on with the Exocrine and two of the Zoanthropes gone in the first turn. The Wraighknight struggled to kill the predators and the Scourges didn't give much help leaving both on a single hull point. That spelled doom for the Wraightknight who ended up dying to overwatch having lost all but one wound in their shooting phase. Meanwhile, the Yncarne got tied up fighting some Hormagaunts until the other Zoanthrope died to remove their Fearless. The DE continued to chew through the Tyranids and the Yncarne eventually turned her attention to the DA with the Scourges helping by finishing off the predators. Other than killing the Wraithknight the only highlight for our opponents came from the Deathwing Knights who soaked up a lot of fire and killed Maugan Ra in combat before eventually being whittled down to end the game.
By the time the dust settled we'd managed to find 21 VPs from the objectives and our opponents hadn't scored at all. A pretty one-sided affair throughout and I felt for the Tyranid player who was a spectator from quite an early stage.
Game Three - Ynnari vs. Cult Mech./Wolves
The last game of Saturday would be Tactical Escalation. Our opponents had two units of four breachers, a unit of four destroyers and a dominus. The wolves had WG in a drop pod, WG terminators, a lord on thunderwolf and a squad of TWC. They won the roll off but, to our surprise, gave us the first turn.
The venoms and concentrated on the destroyers early on to try to protect the wraithknight. The dominus went down and in came the Yncarne who somehow find herself in a charge from the TWC as we'd not thought about them when we brought her in (despite carefully placing everything else in our list out of charge range during turn one). The rest of our army was able to focus on everything else though including the drop pod of WG and terminators who arrived on successive turns. The breachers were eventually whittled down by the rest of the firepower and the wraithknight waded into the combat hoping to save the Yncarne and end the game. We'd also thrown in some sacrificial Reavers to die to try to get some wounds back for her.
The squad leader for the TWC had other ideas though. The wolf lord had long since died to the Yncarne but he decided to avenge his brother by smashing down the Yncarne. He also put some wounds on the Wraithknight who'd stomped the rest of the squad away. That put the Wraithknight on initiative 1 thanks to Concussive (which I don't think I've ever actually managed to use!) meaning they'd strike simultaneously. In an epic end to an otherwise pretty one-sided game, the heroic Space Wolf took out the Wraithknight but died in the process. He'll certainly make it into the sagas!!
Whilst all that was going on we managed to take a 17-3 win on VPs to give us a healthy 52-15 scoreline for the day.
Game Four - Ynnari vs. Astra Militarum
We knew our list would struggle with heavily mechanised lists and that's exactly what we found ourselves against on Sunday morning for the Deadlock mission. Five Taurox, two Wyverns, a Vanquisher, some rough riders, two lots of armoured sentinels and two Vendettas. Our opponents won the roll off for first turn (I don't think we won one all day!).
Their first turn was unbelievable, pretty much everything they tried to do worked. Three of the venoms went down, two of which to single autocannons on the Taurox which hit, pen'd and rolled 6s to explode after I failed the cover saves! That did give the Wraithknight a free shooting phase but he missed with one gun and the other pinged off the trees hiding the Wyvern. That would be the story of the game. We'd really need the D shots to be hot but Matt fired 11 shots (i.e. 6 lots of shooting) before we managed to kill the Wyverns who'd been the targets every time! That's just insanely unlikely to happen! The Wyverns took full advantage and their barrages lay waste to big chunks of our army. We did at least manage to take out a Taurox to bring in the Yncarne....
Well, that didn't go great either. They drew the Kingslayer card so unloaded a pile of guardsmen to fire at her. Matt failed an ungodly number of 3+ saves and she perished without moving an inch! Granted we'd missed an opportunity to get her into combat with a Soulburst but still, gutted. Eventually the Wraithknight started to wade through their army in combat but by that point their VP total was well out of reach.
I don't think we've ever had a game where our luck was quite so abysmal. Our opponents must've felt invincible because pretty much everything they tried to do worked out. Part of the problem was that a big chunk of our army (i.e. the Venoms) was either dead early on or impotent because there were no non-vehicles on the table for most of the game. We were perhaps foolish to bring the Yncarne in on our turn but it felt like the right place and time. It basically came down to all those failed D shots. If even a couple of the early ones had worked it would've changed the face of the game. The final result was a 10-18 loss.
Game Five - Ynnari vs. Orks/Unbound
We were grateful not to have to play another Vanguard Strike game and instead we got Contact Lost. The opposing army consisted of grot tanks, killa kans, a Shadowsword, leman russ, Chaos Terminators, grots and a mek gun.
Another mismatch that proves that random pairings often don't make for fun games for everyone. The opposing army was certainly nice to look at though and eventually scooped three of the painting awards (I was a little suspicious about the number of people from their gaming group who might've voted for them though). They went first and killed off one of the Venoms with the Shadowsword. It proved costly though as the Wraithknight found his form again and stripped 8 hull points from him in response before finishing the job in our turn and charging the Leman Russ to kill that too. It was then The Scourges chewed through the killa kans and with help from Maugan Ra the Grot Megatank went down to give the Yncarne her entrance.
Nothing particularly dramatic happened in the game from this point on. We slowly chewed through their army and, despite losing some Scourges for a lone Killa Kan charge, they had a pretty miserable time of it. We managed to pick up a 13-4 win and probably could've dragged it out for more if the Scourges had stayed in combat with the kan rather than running off the board! It was a shame to end the day with such a one-sided affair that I don't think either of us really enjoyed.
You might be thinking that 4:1 win/loss ratio would place us pretty high in the standings but, since we didn't pick up a single favourite game vote, it was only good enough for 67th out of 89 teams! Had it been scored purely on VPs we'd have been 16th mind you. We knew going in that they were scoring it on fave games though so we weren't too worried. Incidentally, our vote went to our third game for the epic antics of that TWC squad leader. They were also really nice guys who we'd have loved to play again some time. Shame they're from Kent so that's perhaps unlikely!
Looking around there didn't seem to be that many insanely broken lists. It seemed from talking to people like there was a lot of Ynnari but probably the daftest thing we saw was this:
The main thing was that the event delivered on what we hoped. It was a great atmosphere (if a little warm) and we had a great time in most of our games. They stopped proceedings to play the 8th edition announcement video which didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know. It'll be interesting to see how tournament play changes though. I'm cautiously optimistic about it but I hope I'll be able to get a post up with some of my wishlisting for the new version of the game.
I think our list delivered on being fun to play, if perhaps not to play against. It's interesting to try to figure out the best way to get the most from Soulburst. Clearly a nonsense though really. The sort of thing I hope gets fixed with the new rules.