Thursday, 24 April 2014

Battle against "Iyanden" Eldar at Warhammer World

Shortly after I finished playing Sim at Warhammer World, I discovered a friend of mine who lives in Nottingham had been stood up by his planned opponent for the evening, so agreed to put my Guard up against his Iyanden list Eldar.

Nick is still painting his Eldar force, and some of his Wraithknight bits have been left separate for painting. So be nice - he paints a lot more than me, and quite a bit better, too. He was having some problems with bits falling off as the game went on - it is not a feature to show how many wounds the Wraithknight has taken!

We rolled a two objective mission with a lengthwise deployment. This was going to get pretty interesting as neither of us had particularly fast moving armies... His objective is to the left of the above photo, well behind his lines.

Here you can see him anchoring one flank of his line with his Wraithknight, who was leading his army, and the other with a Wraithlord. A skirmish line of Wraithguard and Wraithblades filled the line, with a Wave Serpent holding some horrible flamer thing Wraithguard (I think, confusingly, called "D scythes", although they don't do Apocalypse style D damage).

Meanwhile, I placed my objective nestled in the roof of the ruins in the centre of my deployment zone and dropped an infantry squad with a Commissar in the way. The conscripts and pretty much everyone else was to run forward and do their best to hold up the Eldar and keep them away from the objective. My command squad was placed in the Valkyrie as my one unit with a hope of making it to the enemy objective. I didn't use my Veterans this time around because I wanted their firepower on the board from the beginning to try and deter the Eldar from closing on the conscripts without the risk of some serious consequences.

Today was a good day to seize the initiative.

My Guard on the right flank (top of the picture) advanced into the ruin so you can barely see them. The Demolisher edged forward a bit to get a good shot on the Wave Serpent, and the Conscripts began Operation: Human Shield.

Everyone shot the Wave Serpent. Demolisher, Manticore, Hydra . . . and, fortunately, it wrecked, forcing the Wraithguard out. I couple of them picked up the odd wound from being caught in blast templates or other follow up fire, too! This was, as far as I was concerned, about as well as I could have hoped turn one could go.

The eldar advanced, with Perils of the Warp wounding one of their psykers.

The Storm Troopers deep struck behind the Eldar. I actually placed them closer, but they deviated away from the Eldar, and I decided that was an acceptable solution. They were far enough back that it was going to be a right pain for the slow moving Wraithguard to turn around and do something about them, but still close enough that they could cause some serious woes to whoever turned back to hold the objective.

I directed as much fire as I could on the Wraithguard nearest their 'home' objective. I was pretty sure the Wraithknight alone could take the objective off me, so my best chance was taking the Eldar's objective off them.

I also managed to trim a Wraithblade off. I was starting to realise quite how hard these things are to kill!

 Meanwhile, the conscripts advanced on the left flank while the Demolisher threw everything into reverse as it saw the Wraithknight bearing down on it!

The Wraithblades advanced on my lines... But I wasn't too worried. The conscripts were there to hold them up!

On the other hand, I was pretty sure that a wall of tanks without infantry cover were going to do very, very poorly against a Wraithknight.

I spread the Storm Troopers out to deal with the weird distortion flame thrower things the Wraithguard had. I think that the psyker may have actually blown himself up, but I might have been lucky and sniped him out. I don't remember!

Oh look, no Leman Russ. I think it was the Wraithlord sniper who did for him.

Poor missing Demolisher!

The conscripts took the expected charge by the Wraithblades remarkably well...

I mean, look how many survived! Normally, everyone gets cut down running away. Of course, I managed to roll snake eyes for how far they ran, so they do look a little silly.

The air-cavalry turned up, and the remaining back field Wraithguard started feeling a little bit lonely.

The conscripts handily obliged by failing to rally and running much further away. I then opened up with my infamous demo-charge veterans, failed to wound a single Wraithguard, and discovered that their invulnerable shield saves blind you in retaliation for shooting them. (I used my yellow Salute die for the purpose of representing this.)

I'm not quite sure what these Wraithguard were up to. I had a squad in the building to the left of the picture, who seem to have held them up remarkably well most of the game.

Unsurprisingly, the tanks were ripped to shreds by the Wraithknight. Next up, a brutal duel between the army Warlords - who will emerge victorious?

No surprises there, then.

At this point, I took an important tactical decision. I really needed to get the command squad full of melta guns out of the Valkyrie without them vanishing somewhere I didn't want them to be - so I made the decision to drop into hover mode to let the troops out - it was probably going to cost me the Valkyrie with the Wraithlord sitting right behind it, but that would be one set of shots less being aimed at five dudes with tea trays sewn into their vests and labelled "flak armour" by the Munitorium.

The Wraithblades handily carved the Veterans to pieces, and they somehow managed to safely flee out of combat, but there wasn't much left they were going to be able to do. The squad on the ruin got blinded by those blasted shields. It was all going horribly wrong on my objective!

The remaining Wraithguard near the objective was successfully gunned down - the two surviving Storm Troopers headed for the Wraithlord to take a shot at him with their plasma gun in the hope of causing some level of a distraction.

No, the Wraithknight isn't dead. Just lying down after yet another problem with him staying in one piece. His poor player was very sad. And yes, that's a bunch of Wraithguard all over my objective, on the bodies of the dead Guardsmen.

Two of the command squad were cut down by fire, but passed their morale check and made it to the objective. You'll notice the Valkyrie is off his base - immobilised but not wrecked by the expected vengeful fire.

Final Score:

Guard: 5 (Objective, First Blood, Linebreaker)
Eldar: 5 (Objective, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord)

I managed to eke it out to a draw! I was very pleased with this result as I really wasn't expecting to do that well. It was a tight fought game, and came right down to the wire.


  1. Phew, what a close fought game - I always think these are the best regardless of who wins or loses - a draw is always a good result in my book. Some gorgeous photos there, great write up!

    1. It was a close fought, competitive game and I really enjoyed it. But I've also really enjoyed some spectacular defeats over the years, too... Which is good, as I have far more of those.

  2. Conscripts - constantly underestimated.

    1. They're even better in the new book. And by better, I mean cheaper, and easier to add characters to. :)