The final in the series of battle reports today from the "End of 7th" tournament we had. This time, I am using my 30k Alpha Legion forces against Eldar Ynnari, in the third match of three (following on from the Tau in Game Two).
I also have a confession to make. This was the first time ever that I'd faced a true Ynnari Eldar force. I really had not much of a clue what to expect beyond knowing the mechanics of the "burst" a little bit.
My forces remained unchanged from the previous matchup:
Alpha Legion List:
HQs: Autilon Skorr (Pride of the Legion Rite of War), Master of Signals
Elites: Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought (Kheres)
Troops: Assault Squad (plasma pitols, serg with thunder hammer); Terminator Squad (Axes, plasma blaster, thunder hammer); Veteran Squad (two melta guns)
Fast Attack: Storm Eagle (las cannons)
Heavy Support: Heavy support squad (missile launchers)
The Ynnari were running the following.
Ynnari Eldar List:
HQs: Eldard, Farseer with singing spear and Anath'lan stone
Elites: 5 Wraithguard, Death Jester with lost shroud, haywire grenades, shrieker cannon, Shadowseer with mask of secrets, haywire grenades, mastery lvl 2, neuro disruptor
Troops: 5 Rangers, 3 wind riders with scatter lasers
Aspect Host Formation: 4xDire Avengers with exarch; 6xDire Avengers with exarch and wave serpent (target matrix, holo fields, shuriken cannon, spirit stones, bright lance), 5xWarp Spiders with exarch.
Elites: 10x Black Guardians with eldar missile launcher platform
To be honest, I was dreading facing this list. Plenty of firepower in there and nothing I can do against the psychic strength of the list either.
The one thing -- and it was a very critical thing -- that I had going for me was that I managed to gain the initiative to go first. Deploying across the board, I decided that I wanted to take out the Eldar piecemeal style and target their key assets. The game objective was the simplest one possible: annihilation of the enemy. The winner would be decided by the points value of the opposition we managed to take down. Really as simple as that.
Early Turns (and the flank).
In the early turns, I advanced my foot-slogging veterans up the table to try to out gun the dire avengers that they had in front of them. They took several out.
But they were rapidly reinforced by the jet bikes who retaliated well against my marines.
A game of cat and mouse followed on this particular side of the board featuring me trying to keep pace with the Eldar and gunning them down whenever I could. The chance to charge the Eldar never really materialised, so I relied on the bolters and the melta guns I had to do the dirty work here. But it was not without significant casualties.
Middle Turns (and the rest of the board).
In the middle of the game, several key things happened, broadly in swift succession.
The first one was that I made the mistake of killing the warp spiders with the Master of Signals. This prompted the Death Jester to spike in his burst. Its a very nasty combination that I hadn't really thought about too hard. The Death Jester shot at my assault squad, forcing them to take a morale test. Which they dutifully failed and started fleeing backwards off the table.
Rallying them the next turn, I charged them toward the Jester. Shooting on overwatch, the Jester killed again. By the time I'd taken out the wave serpent with my contemptor dreadnought, he was bursting again. I really didn't think that vehicles could cause a burst, but they do. Drat. I'll remember that for next time.
Hence, by the time I actually managed to get in to combat with the Jester, the situation looked grim for my assault squad.
However, the thunder hammer marine was able to prevail here and finish the job finally. But it was a close run thing.
The turning point in the game really only came about when I managed to get my storm eagle on to the board though. With its extra fire power, it soon started to eliminate wraith guard and shadow seer. Eldrad lasted a little while longer, but eventually Skorr claimed his head for the Legion. Not bad for the King head hunter!
By the end of the fourth turn, there were few Eldar left on the table due to the fire power (and fluke die rolls that I was managing to pull off). The sheer firepower that the storm eagle was pumping out eliminated any threat to it from the board.
The last few threats were the highly mobile units that were still around.
My decimated veteran squad finally did the trick though, seeing off the final jet bikes and their dreaded scatter lasers to ensure that the Alpha Legion scored a decisive Massacre victory by the 5th turn. No eldar left on this world whatsoever.
I hindsight, I was very lucky. Although I played my set up correctly, the fact that I went first really sealed the match up. I think if I went second, it would have been a completely different story altogether.
Combined with the master of signals doing a lot of the (lucky) dirty work with the orbital blast and the storm eagle coming on to team up its firepower with the contemptor, the game was sealed by the fourth turn.
However, the lessons learnt here were painful. The Ynnari burst moves thanks to the death of nearby units is immensely powerful and one that I won't forget in a hurry!