A Time of Legends - A different look

October 31, 2017

Hey folks, Nick here with another take on the A Time of Legends 40k tournament held at Gamestart Asia 2017. I finally stopped hemming and hawing and took the plunge to join a mere 4 days before the actual event itself. This list was what I was able to assemble in time for the big day(or days, as it turned out):
 

 

Ynnari Battalion Detachment

HQ: The Yncarne(Warlord) - 337

HQ: Yvraine - 137

Elites: Solitaire - 117

Troops: 5 Kabalite Warriors - 35

Troops: 5 Kabalite Warriors - 35

Troops: 5 Kabalite Warriors - 35

Heavy Support: 10 Dark Reapers - 360

Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent – twin shuriken cannon, shuriken cannon, spirit stones, vectored engines - 163

 

Ynnari Outrider Detachment

HQ: Warlock - 37

Fast Attack: 3 Razorwing Flocks - 42

Fast Attack: 3 Razorwing Flocks - 42

Fast Attack: 3 Razorwing Flocks - 42

Fast Attack: 5 Scourges - 70

Fast Attack: 4 Windriders; 4 shuriken cannon - 128
Flyer: Hemlock Wraithfighter - 211

Flyer: Hemlock Wraithfighter - 211

 

Astute readers would realise that the bulk of my list’s combat power comes from the trusty trifecta of Yncarne, Dark Reapers and Hemlocks. Forming my long range firebase, Reapers combine multiple shooting modes that allow them to hurt most targets effectively with the ability to ignore all shooting to hit modifiers in a uniquely threatening package. Hemlocks match the Reapers’ modifier ignoring pain with 2d3 S10 AP-4 D2 shots at 16” that auto hit, as well as being a psyker (including the ability to Smite).  As for the Yncarne, its ability to appear and redeploy to the position of a unit that was just destroyed give it the potential for shenanigans that could fill a small article by itself.  The fragility of the list (characteristic of Eldar in general) and the lack of good options for dealing with hordes were problems that I couldn’t solve even after a round of brainstorming. For those, I’ll have to point my index squarely at the index- or rather, the lack of a codex.

 

 *So you think shooting penalties are your ally...

 

It’s always heartening to see new and returning faces from previous editions, as I find when I arrive on the day. The above group formed a far bigger chunk of the playing field than I would have anticipated; a great sign for the community.

Round 1 - Manners Maketh Mech

Mission: Secure and Control

Deployment: Spearhead Assault

 

 

For the first round, I was paired with Elijah piloting an Imperial list comprising mainly of 6 Kastelan robots, 3 Kataphrons, 5 Retributors, Cawl, Celestine and a pair of Onagers along with the obligatory Conscript horde(80 IIRC). The threat of the Kastelans with their ability to shoot twice was something already known. However, the deployment type favoured me as it gave me the opportunity to exploit my Reapers’ greater range. With that in mind, everything was deployed either out of range or completely hidden from the Kastelans and Kataphrons.

 

As it turns out, I win the roll off for turn 1. I immediately set out to deal a first strike as hard as I can make. My Windriders and Wave Serpent move into the midfield along with my Hemlocks. Unlucky saves see the Retributors and the Kataphrons removed in short order, along with 3 of the 6 Kastelans. I lose 3 of my Dark Reapers in exchange due to the Kastelans’ ability to reflect mortal wounds. On his turn, Celestine rushes forward to go after my ground troops while all his guns are trained on the Hemlocks. When the dust clears, neither of the Hemlocks are dead, although both have taken heavy damage. Celestine charges both the Windriders and Wave Serpent and kills 3 of the bikers. The last one decides to stick around.

 

My turn 2 comes around and Elijah’s already poor luck takes a turn for the worse. The units in combat with Celestine fall back to allow me to shoot at her. She is quickly taken out and respawns safely well behind her own lines. After the plucky/annoying Saint is out of the way I train my guns upon Elijah’s big guns. The last 3 Kastelans go down as well as one of the Onagers, but somehow Elijah can’t stop rolling 6s to explode(even with a re-roll included). The resulting chain explosions kill the nearby Cawl as well. I can’t blame him for throwing in the towel after that. The writing was on the wall after that last blow; he no longer has the fighting power to stand against my Reapers, Hemlocks and the as yet uncommitted Solitaire and Yncarne for the remainder of the game.

This game went entirely by the numbers for me. Using deployment to nullify the bulk of Elijah’s firepower on turn 1 made losing the initiative relatively safe for me. However there was no way I could predict beforehand that Elijah’s big mechs would fry themselves so spectacularly. I’m lovin’ it-the outcome of the game I mean.

 

 

 

Round 2 – Tanksgiving

Mission: Big Guns Never Tire

Deployment: Frontline Assault

 

The dice gods must be laughing at me, for now I’m paired with Ben Lin, another returning player and my old nemesis from a completely different gaming system. The terrain on the table is sparse bordering on non-existent, and he’s fielding 7 Leman Russes(including Pask) in a mix of configurations, a Shadowsword, a Manticore, a Basilisk and a pair of artillery observers. Ben wins the deployment roll off, thus taking the side with the better of what’s already minimal cover. He matches me drop for drop, scattering his tanks as I scatter my chaff units about. I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter as he then wins the initiative roll off as well.
 

It’s all downhill from the get go. I lose a good chunk of my units, including a Hemlock on the first turn. I’m only able to take down 2 Leman Russes and cripple a third before my force was rendered combat ineffective. On a table like that the match came down to a contest of brute force. Had I gone first, I would have been able to do enough damage to stay in the game but I didn’t and that was that. The only small consolation is that I was able to scrape a draw on the Maelstrom objectives before tapping out.

 

 *Some things I just khan handle

Round 3 – Mai Pen Rai

Mission: No Mercy

Deployment: Vanguard Strike

 

 

Day 1 ends with a mirror match with me as I’m paired with Rai who’s also playing Ynnari. His force is far more compact than mine, consisting of 3 squads of 5 Wraithguard in 3 Wave Serpents, a Farseer, Yncarne and 2 Hemlocks. The table is dominated by layered hills, turning the entire field into a sort of canyon network that will prove tricky for my Reapers. We deploy as you’d expect of our forces, with Rai’s army deployed embarked in his transports on the edge of his DZ and poised for attack while I’m deployed defensively with my Reapers tucked safely in their Serpent in a table corner. It comes as no surprise that he would win the initiative roll off.

 

He moves to control the midfield with his 3 loaded Wave Serpents while his 2 Hemlocks attempt to take out one of mine. Shuriken fire from his Serpents take out 1 group of Razorwings and a Kabalite squad, but my Hemlock survives with relatively light damage. On my turn, my Serpent unloads its contents hidden safely behind one of the many hills. The hostile Hemlocks got mine jumpin' off the track and shovin' into overdrive, but Rai quickly found out that his planes were the ones on a highway to the danger zone.  The rest of my army creeps forward while hugging safety. When it’s back to Rai, he sends one of his Serpents towards my Reapers in the back while the remaining sit in holding position in the midfield. He tries but fails to finish off my damaged Hemlock. Unfortunately for him, this was just according to keikaku (Translator’s note: keikaku means plan).

 

I start working on softening up his Serpents, however as expected none of them go down as yet. In the meantime my Razorwings, Warriors and Windriders jump on the only Serpent that poses a threat to my firebase, forming a solid blockade that prevents Rai from disembarking his Wraithguard on his turn. My Scourges land behind Rai’s units in his own DZ to score a Maelstrom objective while also acting as Yncarne fodder. Turn 3 rolls around and he pull backs his Serpent while doing nothing much of note other than destroying my Scourges, at which point my Yncarne shows up. It’s down to my turn. I continue bubble wrapping the transport that ran away while my Dark Reapers climb a hill to gain angles on Rai’s force where they would stay for the rest of the game. His Wave Serpents finally start going down, and this signals the end for him. Once he’s forced out of his vehicles he had no means of dealing with getting boxed in by superior numbers and destroyed by my heavy hitters. Failing to really go after the Reapers when he could meant Rai lost the only out he might’ve had. A clear win for me.

 

At the end of Day 1, I find myself in 10th place. Originally, I wouldn’t have qualified for Day 2, but through some amazing serendipity(or just good old fashioned refusal to wake up early on a Sunday) one of the Top 8, and then the guy in 9th place both do a barrel roll. Somehow I’ve squeezed through to (technically) make the cut.

 

 

Round 4 - Wiloon and Diloon

Mission: The Relic

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

 

My first opponent for Day 2 is Wiloon, representing Black Templars as always. He brings a pair of Chaplains, an Emperor’s Champion, a Dreadnought and a full Crusader squad loaded in a Stormraven. 2 squads of Assault Terminators and a shooty Imperial Knight backed up the offensive while 2 small Crusader squads with lascannons hang back.

 

*My deployment. The marker just behind the giant turret is the Relic

 

My bid to snatch the Relic on turn 1 with my Scourges quickly falls apart when Wiloon wins the initiative. One squad of Terminators teleports right in front of the relic while the other teleports into my deployment zone. The Knight and Stormraven zoom forward while a Chaplain moves onto the relic behind the safety of his own Terminators and grabs it. Due to a magical inability to roll 4+, he only manages to do light damage to a Hemlock while the Stormraven easily clears out the Scourges and a Razorwing flock, drawing out the Yncarne. The Terminators that landed in my deployment zone manage to pull off a 10 inch charge and squish a Kabalite unit, consolidating too close for comfort to the bulk of my force.

 

As it turns out my brain evens things out by filling itself with cotton wool. A silly attempt to take down the Stormraven, Knight and Assault Terminators at the same time achieves the result you would expect, that is to say, I damage all of them but finish off none. This immediately puts Wiloon significantly ahead in scoring terms and otherwise, especially since my Yncarne charged the loaded Stormraven but failed to kill it, leaving it staring down all the passengers.  Unsurprisingly, the Stormraven unloads its passengers right in front of the Yncarne before flying off. The Chaplain holding the relic moves right behind them to keep safe. Unfortunately for Wiloon, gunning down a nearby Razorwing flock allows the Yncarne to run away. When it’s back to me, my Reapers and Hemlocks start pulling overtime. All the damaged units go down. My Yncarne manages to charge the Chaplain holding the relic, starting a long scrap as both of us throw in everything we’ve got to hold onto/deny the relic. The brawl lasts 2 game turns, but at the end of it the Yncarne is left standing with the Solitaire next to him holding the relic. In this way I managed to claw back a win that I threw away in my first round of shooting with a poorly timed brainfart.

Round 5 - The Stench of Bench

Mission: The Scouring

Deployment: Search and Destroy

 

My win in the previous round propels me into contact with none other than this blog’s own furniture man. This match up in particular highlighted my army’s Achilles heel. Bench has already covered the gist of it (see here). Suffice to say that I didn’t have the means of clearing out his Poxwalkers and Plaguebearers in time, thus granting him board control and victory.

Round 6 - The Hustle of Russell

Mission: Retrieval

Deployment: Dawn of War

 

 

For the last round I’m paired with Russell, one of our local Tau stalwarts (Tauwarts?). His list consists of 6 Tau Commanders, 2 units of 3 Crisis Suits, 2 units of 4 Stealth Suits, all with attendant drones, and 3 units of 5 Fire Warriors. Unsurprisingly everything he can put in reserve, namely all the Commanders and 1 unit of Crisis Suits are off table. The one Crisis unit on table is up front behind a screen of drones, while the Fire Warriors are tucked safely behind ruins.

 

I manage to keep the Stealth Suits from planting landing beacons in my face by putting some Razorwings up front, but they’re still hunkering down in ruins dotting no man’s land. This time round I win the initiative roll. After some thought, I decide to go first. Key to this consideration is the sheer number of drones which can soak up wounds for his suits, making the usual beta strike approach moot in my opinion. My Hemlocks and Dark Reapers make short work of the Stealth Suits. All of the drones on table are taken out as well, but only one Crisis Suit goes down. In the meantime, my Kabalites and Razorwings begin running up the field to poise themselves for nabbing objectives. On his turn, he drops all his reserves in or near his deployment zone with all guns trained on my Hemlocks. One plane goes down to the sheer number of fusion blaster shots coming its way, bringing forth the Yncarne, while the other takes heavy damage.  Deploying all his suits in that manner will eventually cost him the game however.

 

On my turn 2, my Scourges land on the edge of his deployment zone. Kabalites and Razorwings continue running forward. The weight of ablative wounds from the drones begins to tell, as despite my best efforts I’m only able to finish off both Crisis units, leaving the Commanders unscathed. More importantly, my Yncarne is exposed to a veritable shooting gallery of meltas. It proves too tempting a target for Russell. He uses a Mont’ka to surround my Yncarne. However, he makes the mistake of shooting down my last Hemlock first, allowing my Yncarne to escape from the trap by redeploying to its position. He takes out his frustration on my Reapers instead. His Fire Warriors try to eliminate my Scourges but fail, killing 3 instead.

 

The new position of my Yncarne allows him access to Russell’s backfield, including his home objective and the Fire Warriors guarding it. With backup from the remaining Scourges, Kabalites and Razorwings, the Yncarne mops up Russell’s back-benchers. This leaves me sitting on 3 of the 4 objectives on the table and with it board control. In the meantime, my Solitaire pulls off a glorious performance by darting through successive volleys of melta fire to harass and assassinate. His fusion blasters prove to be unable to clear out my soft units quickly enough. By the time he’s worked his way through to threaten my home objective, his remaining Commanders are staring down the sword tips of my characters (Warlock, Solitaire, Yncarne, Yvraine). At this point, time is called and it’s a clean sweep for me. Focusing on killing my heavy hitters meant ceding the rest of the table and thus giving me the win.

 

 

And so we come to the conclusion of Day 2 and the event. It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions and game results. Though I didn’t win anything, at the end of the day I’m thankful that an 11th hour entry like myself could make the cut and so close to the top. Shout outs to the organiser and sponsors, and last but not least, the 2 fellas who made my getting into Day 2 possible (you know who you are. love ya both :P)

 

(editor's note: Congratulations to Nick for making Day 2 and a big thank you for offering to give a different take on the tournament and his experience with an Ynnari force. Interestingly enough, most of Nick's opponents and mine (BenCH) overlap and it's interesting to see how the games differed.)

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