First off what did my army look like at 2k points?
My force was about two units smaller than it classically would have been at 2k points. I had really high hopes for the Rangers and Hemlock, but I was curious to try out the Night Spinner and Shining Spears. In my head the Scorpions, Avatar, and Prism already had the seal of approval from other players so I was ready to let slip the dogs of war.
But what did my opponent have?
For me this was sort of a worst case scenario. 3 Punishers, one with Pask, and 2 Wyverns and 2 Hell hounds. In addition they were rolling out as many infantry squads as I had units in my whole army. About the only thing providing me solace was that my opponent would have to go after me.
I deployed aggressively and was thrilled when my opponent failed to steal the initiative from me!
The Guardian Jetbikes removed a Guard special weapon squad with multiple flamers and killed two of the three mortar teams. The Shining Spears destroyed a Sentinel with their lances while their catapults deleted full squad of guardsman that was just drooling to unleash its flamer upon them. My shooting outside of that was sort of depressingly bad. The Night Spinner failed to do any damage to a unit of Auto Cannons sitting in ruins, and my Hemlock managed to take a Hell Hound down to just 3 wounds and killed 1 1/2 auto cannon teams. Seven Rangers lit into the commissar holding up my opponent's left flank and managed to do a total of 1 wound to him (only due to a mortal wound on a 6 to wound. Both the Fire Prism (thanks Guide) and a bright lance slammed in to one of the Wyverns doing a grand total of... 2 damage. Then my scorpions failed their charge, even with a reroll thanks to proximity to the Avatar. I was gutted at the thought of all the incoming firepower I was about to suffer, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I had a commanding 10 VPs at the end of the first turn, so a lot depended on my opponent's response.
My opponent struck back with a hideous amount of firepower killing off most of the scorpions, a few rangers, and knocking the Hemlock down to just 2 wounds. The Jetbikes took a mammoth amount of firepower, but being made of sterner stuff than before only lost three models. they absorbed a charge and survived, as did the shining spears, who caused about four casualties to the unit that charged them! His turn was solid, but not as deadly as he wanted. More problematic was that he hadn't yet scored any points.
At this point I decided needed to make some tough choices. I sent the Hemlock directly behind Pask to do what I could to kill him and mitigate his firepower. I might have been surrendering it, but if I could somehow kill him it would make an enormous difference for me. Choosing between the Wyverns and those thrice damned Punishers I sent my 5 living Shining Spears after the Punishers. I sent my bikes and scorpions over to the centre of his lines and left just my Avatar to clean up my right flank.
The Hemlock battered Pask, leaving his tank smoking and creaking, but whole at 3 wounds. Shining Spears tore up another guard squad with catapults and put a few solid wounds on one of the punishers. The Fire Prism again did a single wound on the Wyvern while the Night Spinner managed to do no damage to the autocannons again. The Avatar failed to hit when shooting, in classic form. The jetbikes and Warlock got stuck in and the Hell Hound shrugged off everything I shot at it to finish it off. The Rangers caused an additional Mortal Wound on the Commissar and he shrugged off all other damage.
The Scorpions surprisingly made it in to combat and after putting out some damage the unit was reduced to just the Exarch holding off a Lord Commissar and his guardsman friends.
Having been swept into by Shining Spears the second Punisher fled from combat. The special weapon squad that had been hunkered in the corner and shot the Hemlock out of the sky. Everything else on my opponent's right flank fired into the shining Spears. With their combined firepower they managed to wipe the unit out. Two units charged the Avatar with in hopes of pinning him and preventing him from getting in to combat with the Wyverns. After making his charge attacks against the Avatar I interrupted to let the Striking Scorpion Exarch go and he put all his attacks into the Commissar and slew him before he got to strike. He then survived the return attacks my regular jetbikes held up well and flew from combat. The game was at 22 - 2, so the Astra Militarum would have to wipe out the Aeldari to take the day.
At the start of the third turn casualties were already atrocious. The Avatar was trapped in combat but my bikes were able to disengage and hoped to get some quality damage done. The Night Spinner finished off the injured Hell Hound. The injured Wyvern finally collapsed under the weight of another Prism Lance and Bright Lance hitting home. Their combined damage was exactly enough wounds to destroy it after a total of 3 wounds from the prior 2 turns. The guardians helped take out more guardsmen as the bikes assisted and the farseer took out a lone guardsman with grenade launcher and netted me warlord with his Singing spear. The advanced guardian squad assaulted the guardians fighting the Scorpion Exarch and killed one guardsman while the Exarch slaughtered the last tattered remnants of the squad. They all took refuge in the ruin.
The Wyvern fired at the Guardians standing in the open and in a shocking display of poor rolling caused 0 wounds. The Guardians in the ruins and the Exarch were turned to a fine pink mist by the Punishers while the Hell Hound finished off the Rangers. My opponent's right flank had finally crossed the field and his missile sentinels caught the Night Spinner off guard, smashing it for 5 wounds.
Guardians rushed forward and with the help of a farseer dooming a hellhound and guiding the squad they managed to reduce the Hell Hound to 2 wounds. The remaining wounds meant the Night Spinner had to take it out rather than finish off Pask. Meanwhile the Avatar tore through the last Wyvern, seriously reducing the firepower the Imperium could bring to bear.
Pask responded quickly killing the Farseer and reducing the guardians to 4 members. Meanwhile the other Punisher fired at the Avatar causing a couple of wounds.
Guardsmen were gaining the field as the Guardians retreated behind the cover of an existing imperial wall. The Avatar took cover against the ruins and thanks to the Advance tactical card Ulthwe managed to string together a few more points. late in the game.
The Imperium moved aggressively forward, not simply holding their right flank but pushing forward to the centre of the board, crippling the Night Spinner down to 5 wounds and the Fire Prism to 8 wounds.
The Night Spinner responded by Destroying Pask.
The final Punisher pressed forward and with the combined firepower of nearby guardsmen squads knocked the Night Spinner to 1 wound.
The final turn for Eldar saw the Avatar come out from his cover and fail to hit the Punisher with shooting. The Prism and Spinner also failed to do any damage. Then the Avatar advanced at the Punisher, but failed his 7" charge despite his reroll.
The Punisher turned all its weapons to the approaching Avatar and finally killed it, sending the dormant monster crashing to the ground. Sentinels failed to hit the guardians with their frag missiles and the guardsmen failed to take the last wound from the damaged Night spinner.
Ulthwe 28 Astra Militarum 6