Thursday, April 20, 2017

Triumverate of Ynnead, Deathworld Forest and Ynnari thoughts

As you can see I finished the Triumverate and the Deathworld Forest kit.  As a painting project I found them models challenging in the way that they're layered, and in some ways they're easier to paint before being put together than when they're done, but the final product is striking on the table top.  As far as the Forest, I opted for bright colours for most of the build as it is a stronger contrast to my army.  I may even go back and add some further detail work on the terrain if I get bored enough, but even completing the main roots and trunks without picking out the fungi with a different colour than the rest of the trunk they look great.  If the vines didn't cover the giant runes on the Eldritch Ruins you could probably get away without painting those if you wanted to (though I chose to paint them).

Having used the Deathworld Forest in a game we decided that if you were in overlapping areas that you had to take the effects of both pieces of terrain, which means in some areas you were taking AP 3 wounds on a 1-3.  Over the course of a game the Deathworld Forest managed to kill 2 of my Scythe-Wraithguard, wounded a Wraithknight and took out both a Jetbike AND a Warlock (with sanctuary and Fortune).  It was pretty harsh for me.  My opponent, on the other hand, suffered a total of 0 wounds.  While the 3+ save was handy (or a 2+ for the Nightfight turn) I'm not sure it balanced out the sheer destructiveness it unleashed upon me.  This is definitely NOT to be confused with army friendly terrain such as the Tau wall or any of the slew of imperial stuff.  That said it does look pretty.

Recently I got to play an 8k game against a Castellans of the Imperium force that included Guilliman as its warlord.  We also tried out the Empyric Storm cards and the Balewind Vortex rules we'd come up with (the rules can be found here).  While I did try out some new formations like the Ulthwe Strike Force and Triumverate, the game was big enough for me to include old favourites such as Crimson Death, Aspect Host, Wraith Host, and Seer Council.  I added in a small cad as a complement and I was ready to set the world alight.

Things I learned:

The Visarch is better than I'd anticipated.  Lacking an invul and being... not quite enough of a beat stick in my eyes I didn't have much in the way of high hopes, but the warlord trait that works when he's not the warlord was pretty useful, and since I had him in a small unit of Incubi it became clear to me that it was a substantially good way to deploy him.  He took the first two wounds in the squad and then, as other models in his unit died, he'd regain a wound and gain an attack.  I maxed him to the +3 attacks pretty quickly, but with Rage he really shines in a small unit taking on a greater foe.

The Revenant Discipline doesn't tickle my fancy.  For me the best spell is the one that triggers a soulburst at 24" and all the others are forgettable.

Harlequins feel so much more formidable as Ynnari.  The ability to pull off charges in an early phase, do some damage in an assault in the wrong phase, and then Hit & Run, followed by another charge in the same turn makes even a small squad a bit of a nightmare for opponents.

Wraith blades feel more viable with Strength from Death.  Cannon and Scythe guard, however, feel too good.  I paired up 10 standard wraithguard with an Archon with portal and when they entered play they were effectively guaranteed to trigger themselves for a soulburst.  This meant the moment they drop down they wipe out two priority targets, assuming I place them correctly.  That doesn't even include how likely it is for the scythe guard to self trigger.  I had average luck with the heavy wraithcannons, but the Suncannon firing effectively 3 times every turn was an unholy terror on the board.  I could see people using that build again once they see how effective it can be.

Strength from Death seems to move the game forward at an insane speed, making time to play the game all the way through exponentially quicker based on the game size.  It really is an amazing defence against drop pod armies as they can lose units that haven't even fired yet to either assault or return fire.  In some cases I was able to do more damage to my opponent in his turn than he was to me.  We called the game after 2 1/2 turns when he had somewhere between 700 and 1500 pts left and I had roughly 6,500 pts left.  I had roughly run through the equivalent of 5 turns of shooting in that time.  It was absolutely ludicrous.  Playing against Ynnari will require completely different tactics than playing against any other force in the game.  One thing to recognise is that once the force gets rolling it's an absolutely juggernaut.  In many ways if you're caught off guard it doesn't just feel like you're playing against a new army... It feels like the two players are playing different games.

The Ulthwe Strike Force is interesting, but my predilection for large units means I actually find Battle Focus more helpful to the unit than Strength from Death.

I really, really want to try Shining Spears out in the Ynnari list.  I think they are one of the units that is potentially terrifying.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Yvraine: The Emissary of Ynnead

Another week passed and Another member of the Triumverate is completed.  In this case Yvraine.  I'm a big fan of the model as I really like its  over the top elegance.  To keep the model as a unifying choice between the factions I opted to use some of the blood technical paint to help it bridge the gap.  I gave it a second coating post Matte spray in order to keep it glistening and fresh looking.  In reference to her arc in the book I made her left hand, the restored hand, coloured with the blood paint as well, almost as if it's a bridge between Ynnead and Khaine.

One of the real joys of these Ynnari models is that they allow me to splash more colour in to my force.  I've built the Visarch and I've also started the Deathworld Forest.  Seems odd to have an obviously themed terrain set that is actually deadly to the force using it as cover.  Especially considering it doesn't actually block line of sight.  In fact, I just don't know how much I like that it is so porous.  I might try to find ways to amend that issue, which would also make the terrain more tactical in its implementation.  We'll see how it goes.  In the mean time I'm back at the Triumverate and I've been crafting my first list.  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ynnari Gaming Cards

Over the last few years I've found the cards that Games Workshop released very helpful for actual gaming, and so I was a bit disappointed that Gathering Storm II (Electric Boogaloo) did not have a set of cards released for the Revenant discipline or tactical objective cards.  So I thought I'd make my own, but while I was at it I figured I'd make wargear cards as well to cover the entire range of Aeldari relics/artefacts/enigmas since an Ynnari list can take from either the parent book or the new set.  I find it's good to have something on hand that both I and my opponent can use to reference rules without having to flip through books as often.

Below you can find the file to print out your own copy of the cards.  They are designed to be the back to back on A4 sized paper (slightly different from the US Letter size).  To create a real card feel I'd suggest using 200gsm paper or thicker.  The corners are designed like the 6th edition psychic cards and I left the tactical cards square so that the corners can be left square or rounded as per the wish of the person doing the cutting.

Download: Ynnari Cards

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Yncarne

It took me about a week, but I finished the Yncarne (pictured next to the FW Avatar of Khaine for size comparison):

I have real respect for the people that could put the whole model together and paint it as one piece.  I simply couldn't I found there were too many details hidden in the parallel pieces that were too close together for me to either 1) get my brush in there or 2) not ruin another part of the model.  I had to keep in in five pieces.  The left and right parts of the lower part of the soulstream.  The add on section of soul stream at that goes high, the head with top part of the hair, and the body.

I actually quite disliked the model when it was all grey.  It looked far too busy and seemed to lack definition to me.  That said, the fully painted version of the model feels far more elegant.  There is a lot of detail, but it doesn't feel overwhelming.

It doesn't have the pure centrepiece size one might expect, but it with the vibrant colours it should still stick out on the tabletop.  More pics below:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Balewind Vortex Conversion

I was always a fan of the Balewind Vortex,a nd was a bit bummed that it was essentially AoS only.  Seemed like a missed opportunity.  As such I have converted one to fit my army theme and we've created some test rules for it (below).

Summon Terrain, WC2, any unengaged psyker or brotherhood of psykers (i.e. not locked in combat) may cast the Balewind Vortex.  Psykers with the Monstrous Creature or Vehicle type cannot cast the Balewind Vortex.  Units on the vortex receive 4+ cover, are immune to nova, template and blast attacks, cannot move, assault, or be tank shocked, moved, or assaulted.  The vortex doubles the range of witchfires, blessings, and maledictions for units casting from the vortex.  At the start of the controlling player's next turn the vortex automatically dissipates.  Any perils of the warp suffered while on the vortex result in a -1 to the roll.  Once per turn psykers on the vortex may harness the power of the vortex, capturing warp charge on a 2+, but any doubles result in Perils of the Warp.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cegorach's Jest: The Danse Macabre

It took more than a year, but I finally finished:

When I first painted a single squad of Harlequins I tried as much as possible to make them all individuals.  With the release of the new book I spent a while contemplating how I'd like to use them going forward and what possible masque would be best paired with Ulthwe.  There was one little mention of Midnight Sorrow coming to Utlhwe's aid early in their big reveal, but no real notes since.  Finally Death Masque came out, with a new plastic Eldrad and cementing a tenuous bond between Ulthwe and the Midnight Sorrow, so my decision was made.  While I haven't gotten around to painting the Death Masque Harlequins yet I have painted all the ones I'd previously bought and built.  1750 worth of Harlequins in a full Cegorach's Revenge formation.  In the years since I've first painted them my tremble has made the diamond pattern a bit more difficult, but I approached it as best I could.

I've even gotten to run the formation in a game so I can start understanding them a bit more.  My thoughts on that below:

I played in a game against Minotaurs with a unit of Custodes acting as a bodyguard to their Chapter Master, supported by a Leviathan dread.  My thoughts are, super elite forces are absolutely murdered by Harlequins.  I was worried to start the game, but quickly found that I was able to focus on units and remove them.  The Leviathan was a model I simply avoided, as I had the speed to do so, negating the futility of trying to take it out.  I focused on taking objectives whenever I could, even when it prevented me from being able to engage my foe in the manner I wished.

Keeping the Death Jesters and Shadow Seers as separate units worked well.  While it made them easy targets for First blood or wipe out a unit victory points it also means my opponent is wasting an entire unit's worth of firepower to wipe out a single T3 model.  I really wish the ability to reroll 1's for the invul was somehow built in, because it felt so necessary as the game went on.

Grav Centurions are totally wasted against Harlequins, and since they're such a no brain force you're likely to see them on the table, and boy does it feel good running them down.

I finally lost my solitaire in a game, but my opponent came at him with a drop pod filled with 10 marines and rapid fired at point blank range.  It was mostly a moral victory for my opponent as the marines did not survive to see their next turn.

Overall the Harlequins have a number of weaknesses, primarily flyers and massed small arms fire, but in the right situation they're clearly a dangerous tool.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Photo Battle Report - Ulthwe Vs White Scars

It's been a while since I've gotten to play a game, in part because I had promised myself I couldn't get a game in until after I'd finished painting one of my units.  With them done I could finally get in a game.

The imperial forces were made up of two formations, the White Scars formation that allows them to disembark, shoot, and re-embark, and the flyer formation (in this case Ultramarines).

The My Ulthwe force is a Craftworld Warhost with a an attached Path of Heroes formation.  The Auxiliary Aspect host is Warp Spiders, Dire Avengers and Shining Spears and got the +1 BS.

there's a close up of my new Eldrad, but I should note, this is NOT a Seer Council.  He's simply attached to a Warlock Conclave through the Guardian Host.  (that Farseer is on a bike and is in the next picture).

This is a close up of my new Shining Spears unit.  They've got an Autarch and Farseer on bikes attached.  I pretty much built the army around this unit to give them a real test.  In this close up you can also see the Solitaire, which is really one of my favorite models.  He's also an absolute beast.

Of the last 7 games I've had in a row, 5 I lost the option to go first, and in the two I won the dice off I had the initiative seized.  This time I was happy to break the trend when I rolled the dice off.  Here you can see my set up after I scored 3 units getting to scout thanks to Eldrad's warlord trait.

This is what the White Scars looked like when they were deployed... moments before they seized the initiative from me, making it 8 games in a row that I've been forced to go second, and 3 games in a row on which I've been seized.  I have learned to hate that rule.

At the close of the first turn the White Scars had managed to only inflict a single wound on the Avatar in their first turn with all their shooting.  It's not that I rolled particularly well, but thanks to Shrouding in the Heroes' Path formation giving my Jester and Shadowseer a 2+ cover save, and my opponent's intensely bad luck hitting or wounding other targets I emerged almost totally unscathed.

My response was... lame.  The Avatar missed shooting a Land Raider at point blank range (despite a 2+ rerollable, something he's now done for the second game in a row), but the D cannons managed to take out the Land Raider Netting me first blood.  My combined shooting from the Shining Spears, Dire Avengers and WraithKnight managed to kill the honor guard that had been packed in the Raider leaving only the Character with a sword that inflicts ID on a 6 and his Librarian friend.

A close up of the Captain and his Librarian friend contemplating why they actually exited their sleep pods that morning.

At the top of Turn 2 the White Scars attempt to push forward in hopes of having a pincer attack on the fleet Ulthwe horde that is attempting to lance the center of his force.  The White Scars Warlord on this mission is a Captain on bike and while he called in to his air reserve he only heard static in response.  the Librarian tried casting spells, having one denied, and attracted the perils of the warp twice, once losing a wound and once becoming a super combat demigod.  Jink saves and more atrocious shooting rolls meant another sad shooting phase for the White Scars, only managing to kill the Vyper and a single Shining Spear, though they did put 2 wounds on the farseer and wraithknight and another wound on the Avatar.

2 Brave Marines taking on the Avatar and none of them suffering wounds in.

The bottom of Turn 2 hits and it's decisive.  The White Scars' left flank collapsed under the pressure of the Wraithknight bolstered by the firepower of the D-cannons, and 2 guardian squads slaughtering a rhino, All 10 marines from inside, and all the bikes on that flank save the attack bike.  The Warp Spiders arrived killing the devastator squad that had taken a good firing position near an objective.  Meanwhile the other 5 devastators that had advanced up the field were killed by a psychic shriek from the jetbike farseer who rolled up 3 6's for the shriek, only the second time I've done that since the first time I cast it in 6th edition.  The rhino that had held another tactical squad was blown up by the War Walker.  The spears then slammed into them driven by the rage of the Avatar.  The marines were slaughtered before they even had a chance to draw their combat knives, suffering a total of 26 ap 2/3 wounds.  Meanwhile, even though the warlocks ran in to support the Avatar in combat their assistance was necessary, because the Solitaire swept in like a blur and eliminated the Captain and Librarian.

The Center had broken and the Eldar had castled the center of the field.

The White Scars left flank had a regrouping attack bike, a rhino, with 5 marines and another 5 marines in the back field.

This is the end of the game, when we called it at the bottom of turn 3.  The Captain had made a gambit to turn the tide, if only the air support would arrive, the Eldar had no immediate way to respond, but alas, on the radio was nowt but static.  He pushed his squad at the Dire Avengers slamming in to the unit.  He hammered the Exarch with wrath causing a wound and then challenged the Exarch to a duel and the xenos accepted.  They circled each other but the captain struck while the Exarch was still recovering and attempting to find an open angle to get leverage with his power axe.  Thanks to a sweet set of invulnerable saves the Exarch tanked all but 1 wound, finally falling in combat.  No further wounds occurred.  From there the Eldar slaughtered any living marine.  The Wraithknight killed 5 marines that had been in a rhino.  The Warp Spiders killed 3 marines at the AA gun and the Solitaire Blitzed in and overkilled the last two.  Meanwhile the Jetbikes and Avatar slammed in to the White Scar Captain and his squad and they were slaughtered to a man.  The Captain's final breath was spent telling the air support to turn back as the day was lost.

The solitaire had taken Objective 2 from the White Scars, and with it the AA gun.  What mischief could he get up to with that?

The Avatar, Spears, and Dire Avengers obliterate the last of the White Scar's forces.

In the last turn I was able to pile on powers like enervate, jinx to seriously hinder the bike unit (enfeeble didn't work).  While the warlock council didn't actively do a lot of damage they threw out blessings and maledictions that either boosted my units (Guide for the D cannons) or hindered his (Jinx meant he couldn't really tank with the artificer armor on his Captain and had to Jink, reducing his shooting ability) in a way that really helped me control the game.  They weren't as in your face as I tend to use the full council, but they still made a massive impact.

I built the list around the spears, including keeping them within the Avatar's awesomeness bubble and attaching a dedicated Farseer for Prescience and Autarch for extra damage.  All in all it was probably overkill.  I really want to test them now by backing off how much I build around them.  For instance I think I can drop either the Autarch or the Avatar and still get quite a good showing from them.  That said the unit with support was insanely good, taking out units in ways that surprised my opponent.  The loss of access to Hit and Run does seem like a weird issue, almost like an oversight for the unit, and would actually make them much more viable for most players.  The ability to get a cover save without having to jink can make a heck of a difference during the shooting phase, especially if you're shooting at a vehicle with your star lance, hoping to get at the squishy insides.  Of course I need more practice with the unit to make sure I'm getting the most out of them, hopefully without over-investing my resources into making them complete ass kicking name takers.