Thanks guys! Glad you are enjoying them, man it really was an experience. I was on the fence about going to that event just due to timing, but really happy I made the effort and trucked out there. There are a few photos that I will be sure to upload soon -- actually the Genestealer cult army was particularly good-looking, and yes the space puppies were at least all painted haha.
Overall we ended up placing 5th, just a single battle point behind Mike Kriegler's space wolf deathstar that we lost to in Game 2, so that was pretty awesome. He ended up going 4-0-2 with two ties, whilst the Croneworld Eldar finished as the top ranked spot with a loss at 5-1. It was a super intense day, there was something like 60 people, and my good friend Garry of Necron and Space Marine repute placed right behind me at 6th, so that was awesome.
So right after this tournament was the release of the Gathering Storm series, most importantly the Ynnari, which was absolutely bonkers and took the Eldar to the next level. It is seriously ridiculous. I pretty much gave up on the Eldar for friendly games and our local campaign, instead picking up straight Harlequins and starting to paint up those fantastic space clowns. With the Strength from Death rules and working alongside an Avatar of Ynnead, space clowns suddenly become really terrifying!! So look out for some updates on that front, although I'm tempted to do it in a separate project log as they are a really different force from the Croneworld Eldar...
There was another big tournament in our area back in February right after the Ynnari came out though, so I'll give you a really quick rundown of what I took and how that went.
Ynnari Reborn Warhost:
Farseer - jetbike, spear
Autarch - jetbike, mask, fusion gun, laser lance
2x 3 Scatbikes
3x Shining Spears - Exarch - star lance
2x 3 Reavers - blaster
the Yncarne, Avatar of Ynnead - WARLORD
Ynnari Reborn Warhost #2
Archon - webway portal, splinter pistol
2x 3 Scatbikes
1x 3 Reavers - blaster, cluster caltrops
Wraithknight - heavy wraithcannons, 1x SL
2x 5 Warp Spiders + Exarch
5x Fire Dragons + Exarch
Wow this list is absurdly mean. On a normal day it can trash people, but with Ynnari soulbursting left and right it will just wreck people, it's not even interesting to play against "normal armies", although it is still interesting against very competitive lists and players. You have to be super duper careful about model positioning and shooting/combat action sequencing as the player facing Ynnari, and most people did not have a handle on that by the time this tournament rolled around.
Also I basically did away with traditional drop pod defences in the VSG and Rangers, etc., after a couple of play tests against drop pod armies that ended up getting tabled turn 2. Drop Pods are the ultimate Ynnari bait, as they come down super close and trigger these insane chain reactions of soulburst attacks. It's very likely that you can kill off almost all of the drop pod units before they get to even shoot... Then again, against a clever general who is just out of 7" range, you just get pasted. So, there is some skill involved.
Game 1 vs Chaos Space Marines - this was a player getting back into 40k after a long time away, had some cool models and units in his army, but very much not optimized. From turns 3-5 we played it that he could use everything on the table, but I could only use the Yncarne to hunt him down and hopefully not die and give up Warlord, kind of like a big Kill Team mission. That was a lot of fun, and the Yncarne floated around on 1 wound for a long time before time was called. Ynnari victory 11-0.
Game 2 vs Genestealer Cult - Ok this was much more intimidating. This guy had a HUGE genestealer army, oh my goodness it was so many models. Something like 150+. GSC win the roll for first turn, which is huge. Ynnari castle up in a corner just like the last game, but with some extra sneaky plans thanks to Strength from Death. We bubble out a whole corner of the board with Warp Spiders and Reavers screening up front, the only unit in Reserves is the Yncarne. GSC rolls up deployment and gets a significant number of 6s for assaulting turn 1, but not with his Patriarch and Purestrain genestealer deathstar so that is good. Well, if ever there was a game to Seize the Initiative on, this would be it ........ 6!!!!!! Ynnari roll a natural Seize and just blow the Genestealer cult away. It was truly epic how much damage the Ynnari did in turns 1-2, being able to double-shoot and assault. Ynnari win 11-0, but if the Cult had gone first it would have been MUCH closer!
Game 3 vs Space Wolf Blackmane Strikeforce -- this is an interesting one....
Wolf Lord - thunderwolf, storm shield, power fist
2 Iron Priest - thunderwolf, thunder hammer, storm shield
10x Marines - 2x melta, fist + Pod
4x 5 Marines - flamer + Pod
2x 5 Marines + Pod
1x 5 Marines - plasma + Pod
= 8 total drop pods with guys inside
5x Scouts - bolters
5x Bikers - fist, melta, stormshield
10x Fenrisian Wolves
Libby on foot
2x Librarian on bike
The rules for this formation mean that ALL of the drop pods come in turn 1 -- all EIGHT of them! Also the drop pods are free, so there's something like 2250 points in this army haha. Then of course the biker unit becomes a giant psychic deathstar thanks to the thunderwolves and librarius conclave, who can also... wait for it... summon daemons! Yes, there is daemon summoning happening too. So basically the wall of marines and pods drops in your face, the bikestar holds the midfield and smashes your Alpha units, then daemons get summoned into the backfield to hold that. Its a good army, but looking at the units it does have very low damage output except for the bikestar... Ynnari go ahead and just deploy everything in a corner bubble again, Yncarne in reserve.
Blackmanes win the roll for first turn and opt to go for it, try and just bang out as many pesky Eldar as possible... They come down with an insane number of pods and units, so many that they cant all actually get in range with flamers and rapid fire shooting haha. When the dust clears, they actually fail to kill a single unit, but the Shining Spears are down to just the Exarch on one wound, and the Warp Spiders have both been clipped a few times. Amazing. In the background the bikestar moves up and juices up psychic powers to make it invisible and re-roll armour saves, but no daemons yet.
Ynnari turn 1 and it is really a mixed bag. There is so much dang stuff right on our doorstep that we spread shooting a bit thinly and don't quite eliminate all the things that need to be tied up. In a last-ditch effort to tie up the 10 grey hunters with power fist which really didn't take many casualties, I charge in a unit of Warp Spiders -- they lose a couple to overwatch, and then get punched out by the Grey Hunters in combat! Crap!! Oh man that is so bad, as now both of us have First Strike and purely through my own silliness. Denying the Space Wolves First Strike would have been huge. Oh well, what's done is done. At least this does trigger some Soulburst shenanigans and I charge in some jetbikes to tie up the unit. On the other side, the Wraithknight is able to wipe out TWO units in combat thanks to punching one out, Soulbursting, then stomping out the second. Ha. Ynnari Wraithknights are such a menace.
From turn 2 onwards the Space Wolf ground presence is basically eliminated, but the bikestar is able to keep the Ynnari pinned in place out of fear of being smashed by them, and drop pod stormbolters keep grinding away wounds from the Ynnari jetbike units, whittling them down to just a handful of models. There's one more trick up my sleeve though! A reaver jetbike turbo-boosts across the table into the Wolf backfield, contesting a Maelstrom objective -- the Wolf Lord peels off to punch out this miscreant with ease, but *pop* the Yncarne appears! He didn't see that one coming! The two Warlord duel it out for two rounds in mortal combat, the Yncarne bouncing off the Wolf Lord's stormshield, but finally he gets the hits through and is able to slay the wolf-rider!! Aroooooo!!!! We do have a big rules dispute at this point because the marine player thought I had disengaged from combat and re-assaulted him that turn (for whatever reason, it was a misunderstanding), which meant we would be striking at initiative 1 simultaneously. He rolls it out and actually kills the Yncarne, so we take both Warlords off as a double-slay, as it doesnt affect the final outcome even though it was not what was *supposed* to happen. It was a bit of an odd one.
When we tally up the final results, it is SUPER close. The Space Wolves have their librarians and bike unit alive, along with a unit of daemons, scouts, and fenrisian wolves, plus a smattering of drop pods still alive. The Ynnari have the Autarch, Farseer, one unit of scatbikes with 1 model, the Archon, Fire Dragons, and Wraithknight, that's all! The Ynnari tie Primary - the Relic, but win on Maelstrom, then both sides have First Strike and Warlord, but the Wolves take Table Quarters. Final score 8-5, Ynnari Victory, but VERY VERY CLOSE! One more turn and he would have won, I'm pretty sure.
Ok moving on to day 2 and Game 4 and the real power of the Ynnari comes into play - we are facing Renegades with a huge horde of zombies and mutants, backed up by artillery and wyverns under a void shield and a Khorne Knight. This is a huge whackload of models with really really tough resilience.
Ynnari go first and just go straight at him, turbo-boosting the Farseer and 2x 3 reavers over the zombie mobs and into the backlines, while Warp Spiders and Shining Spears+Autarch and Fire Dragons+Archon wait in reserves. Renegades easily kill the reavers, but in pops the Yncarne, right in the middle of all that artillery! Turns 2-4 are an absolute slaughter-fest, as the Yncarne walks through all of the artillery and slays the Warlord in a challenge, the Shining Spears zip around shooting and killing all the vehicles, Warp Spiders appear and double-shoot with Soulburst to take out all the backfield and flanking units, and the Fire Dragons appear and completely annihilate the Chaos Knight even with his 4++. We finish on turn 4 or 5 with the Renegades COMPLETELY TABLED and 5 minutes left on the clock. Wow I didnt even think that was possible. Ynnari win 11-0.
Game 5 and the final top table game, versus, you guessed it, Garry and his space marines!
Command Land Raider - grav-cannon, 2x lascannons
Command Rhino - TL plasma gun, Orbital Relay
Techmarine - Hunter's Eye
Ironclad Dreadnought - heavy flamer, TL hurricane bolters + Drop Pod
5x Scouts - combi-melta + Landspeeder - melta
5x Tactical marines - melta/combi-melta
3x Quad Mortars
3x Centurions - grav, omniscope
Void Shield Generator - 3x shields
2x 5 Assault Marines - melta bomb
5x Devastators - lascannons, cherub + Drop Pod
5x Devastators - multi-meltas, cherub + Drop Pod
Garry is really freaked out by the Ynnari and not sure what to do... he thinks about doing a null deploy and going second, or going first and going for the Alpha Strike. It's a tough one. He opts to go SECOND, but deploys his mortars and land raider under the void shield generator, with centurions embarked alongside the techmarine. The tactical marines stay in reserve inside the Command Rhino, and the Skyhammer opts to come in turn 1. In m opinion he should have gone second and done full null-deploy, or gone 110% alpha strike and hope I don't seize.
Ynnari decide to be a bit mean, and put the Farseer, Autarch and Archon into the Fire Dragon unit as a webway portal deathstar. Jetbikes, Reavers, and Shining Spears start on the board, and the wraithknight.... deep strikes! Turn 1 the Ynnari assault jetbikes just turbo-boost right under the VSG into his face, while the scatbikes move backwards out of range, right into the board corner. Space Marines turn 1 and they are forced to disembark the centurions and destroy the shining spears and some reavers, but that brings about the mother of all problems -- THE YNCARNE, right in his DZ. Oh dear. Turn 2 the Eldar reserves all show up, Fire Dragons appearing next to the Land Raider and sending it sky-high, Warp Spiders appearing and destroying the Landspeeder with scouts, surviving Reavers and the Yncarne charge into the Ironclad Dreadnought and Centurions and eventually kill them. In the backfield the scatbikes fire and maneuvre around the Skyhammer marines, eventually wiping all of them out. The Wraithknight drops in and just goes after drop pods, killing all of them. Turn 5 the Space Marines just have a lone Drop Pod with 1HP left, and a solid 30 minutes left on the clock. We roll to see if the game ends, and it does, so it wasn't quite a tabling. Ynnari do struggle with drop pods a little bit we've found. But still, an overwhelming victory and just egregious amounts of firepower.
Ynnari win the tournament and pick up a box of the Triumvirate of the Primarch as a prize, which is freakin awesome! Love Big Bobby G!
Takeaways from the tournament are that we ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT for GW to reset 40k and bring out 8th edition. These games were JUST SILLY. A lot of them came down to seizing (the Genestealer Cult), and just wiping him, or armies with absurd extra points which my army just doesnt have enough time to get rid of. Really really cannot wait for GW to change some of the game dynamics to be more streamlined, provide some more army composition and mission options, and generally to reset the Codex rules. Ynnari are such a cool faction, the fluff and concept of the army gets me so excited, but the current rules are just ridiculous for the average gamer. Now, using those same rules but playing only Harlequin units... yes, that makes it MUCH more interesting, but doing the full jetbiker thing is so powerful and overwhelming. My favourite games are close games, and Ynnari very rarely seem to have close games.
The other thing I learned at this tournament is that the Yncarne is absolutely awesome - a great model with really fun rules that are not too over the top, but very powerful. He brought a totally new dynamic to the Eldar which I really enjoyed, and the idea of an Avatar of the Eldar pantheon actually being a regular in tabletop games is very exciting to my mind. Something to look forward to for sure! It might be too much to hope that the Avatar of Khaine gets a similar facelift in the future, but hey here's to hoping!
Thanks for reading 40kO friends, I do really enjoy keeping a project log here even if uploading pictures always make the website crash for me. The big question moving forwards is how the ruleset will affect Harlequins and the Croneworld Eldar, as that will shape what army we take forward in the new tournament season. Look forward to seeing what lies ahead!