Souped Up Batrep: Aeldari vs Imperium

Hey everybody, Conor here. As you are reading this, I am doing battle in snowy Bel-Air, Maryland.

I am hunched over a table with sweaty hands, wearing a tracksuit and staring at a dice roll. I am at the Crucible of Winter GT! Greetings from the past, friends. 

The Crucible GT is not using chapter approved points, but my friend Ryan from the Those Once Loyal YouTube channel, is (we agreed to this, of course.) So, I am using old Eldar points vs Ryan’s updated Imperial Soup army. He gained 36 points back, whereas I would have gotten a whopping 86!

Here is my List

Children of Prophecy/Hail of Doom Battalion

  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 9 Shining Spears (Exarch w/ Star Lance and Skilled Rider)

Superior Shurkien/Masterful Shots Battalion

  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 20 Guardian Defenders w/ 2 Scatter Lasers
  • 20 Guardian Defenders w/ 2 Scatter Lasers
  • 5 Rangers
  • Nightspinner
  • Nightspinner

Midnight Sorrow Supreme Command

  • Shadowseer (Warlord)
  • Troupe Master (Fusion Pistol/Harlequins Kiss)
  • Troupe Master (Fusion Pistol/Harlequins Kiss)
  • Solitaire (Free Relic: Cegorach’s Rose)

I hummed and had about this list for some time. Originally I had the Avatar of Khaine. I really like that guy and have ran either him or the Yncarne in my lists for about a year and a half now. but after some consulting with a buddy, I’ve decided to drop him for this GT. I realized that I could basically get that entire Harlequin Supreme Command for his points cost (give or take about 150 points) and that manner of looking at it sealed the deal for me. A different build I had, with him in it, just felt like it didn’t have enough hitting power, and was too fast for the Avatar to keep up with, especially with the addition of Spears in the list. I am a fan of the Spears, especially with their points drops. I am running them in place of my third Guardian bomb and they give me great speed and those Laser Lances are a nice bit of spice in my life. 

Ryan’s List

Imperial guard Battalion (Emperors Fist Tank Company)

  • Tank Commander (Relic Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter)
  • Tank Commander (Warlord: Overwatch on 5s; Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter)
  • Tank Commander (Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter)
  • 10 Guardsman
  • 10 Guardsman
  • 10 Guardsman
  • Astropath

Death Watch Battalion

  • Watch Captain (Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Jump Pack, Beacon Angelis)
  • Librarian (Force Sword, Jump Pack)
  • Watch Master
  • 10 Veterans (2 Terminators (Force Sword, Power Axe) 6 veterans with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, 2 Veterans w/Frag Cannons)
  • 10 Veterans (2 Terminators (Force Sword, Power Axe) 6 veterans with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, 2 Veterans w/Frag Cannons)
  • 10 Veterans (2 Terminators (Force Sword, Power Axe) 6 veterans with Storm Bolter and Storm Shield, 2 Veterans w/Frag Cannons)

Assassin Vanguard

  • Callidus Assassin
  • Vindicare Assassin
  • Vindicare Assassin

Ryan and I decided to try some old school Warhammer. Right out of the book! We also tried out playing with true line of sight, so the first floor does not block LOS in ruins. That is scary for Eldar.

We played Mission 1 from Chapter Approved 2019. In that mission, one player is the attacker and one is the defender, with the defender choosing the deployment zone, the map and going second. The attacker goes first and deploys first. I was the defender in this matchup and I picked Hammer and Anvil. We scored objectives (6 objectives for the game) at the beginning of each turn, and with First Strike, Slay the Warlord, and Linebreaker.

I felt like without anywhere to hide I was pretty screwed. I deep struck one Guardian squad, my Spears, and a Ranger squad. I deployed my Guardians in the back, out of range of the deathwatch if Ryan decided to use the Beacon Angelis.

I managed to seize the initiative! This made me feel good initially because with no ability to hide in my deployment zone I felt like I wanted to go and hit Ryans army. With his veteran squad on the frontline, I knew I could get in range with my guardians and psykers. So I Phantasmed the Guardians, farseer with doom, and a Warlock Skyrunner (along with my Shadowseer using Hundred Swords of Vaul) the board and got to work.

It was tricky to play around all the windows, but I managed to hide my Doomseer, Shadowseer, and one warlock from his Vindicare. I used Matchless Agility to get the whole Guardian squad into range. I also placed characters on the objectives in my deployment zone who were hidden from view, so I would be guaranteed two points at the start of my next turn.

In the psychic phase, Doom, Jinx, and Guide went off. I also used the Shadowseer to smite a few Guardsman off. The shooting phase went well for me, I was able to pick up the Veteran squad between the Guardians and my Night Spinners, and while I didn’t have anywhere to hide I felt that the turn went pretty well. In retrospect, I made a key positioning error that I will break down when it’s impact becomes clear in Ryan’s turn.

Ryan made a very clever move that would have me sweating. I expected the Guardians to die, or at least be down to a couple of elves. I was relying on Celestial Shield to protect my Guardians long enough that Ryan would be unable to shoot the characters behind them. Ryan predicted this, and chucked his Librarian up within six inches of the squad with the plan to cast Null Zone, so I wouldn’t be able to use Celestial Shield. He also moved his Smash Captain up (who I basically forgot about when I moved my Warlock Skyrunners and my Shadowseer a bit too close to the front of my line.)

This is where my positioning error comes in to play. My Guardians did not need to be that close. I was trying to get them in range of multiple Veterans so I could use a targeted smite ability from the Shadowseer to kill a couple off. I didn’t even cast that power, because I couldn’t get enough Guardians in range to offset the casualties he could pull. I moved too quickly through that, and put my important units in peril. 

I should have kept the Guardians barely in range, and then used Fire and Fade to back them up, so It wouldn’t be easy for Ryan to move his Librarian up and cast Null Zone, because he ended up getting the power off and I failed to deny it. This was bad.

Ryan lit up the Guardians with his Deathwatch squad, using the ap 1 round and the +1 to wound stratagem, so he was hitting on 3s, wounding on 2s, and rerolling 1s because of his mission tactic. I did get lucky, and tanked a fair number of saves on my cannon platforms, so I came away from the deluge of bullets with 10 guardians left. He cleaned up the rest of them with a Guardsman squad and one of his tank commanders. Fortunately, one of his tanks was closer to a unit of rangers, but he did kill my Warlock Skyrunner with the one Tank Commander that could shoot him. So it was rough, but not as bad as I was anticipating. And in his charge phase the Smash Captain failed to get into my Shadowseer. Whew.

In my turn I did pick up two points form the objectives I was holding I reset my characters behind where I intended to drop my Guardians and put my smiters closer to his Librarian who was now in front of Ryan’s army with the plan to smite him out so he would be unable to deny Doom or Jinx. I also jumped my solitaire into the big central ruin so I could have multiple units on the objective in there, and I would have her be ready to strike out in my next turn. I tried to screen out my backfield with Rangers, but had a moment of forgetfulness and left a huge hole in my backfield. Playing against a Callidus makes screening pretty difficult, and I have a tendency to get stressed out and careless. 

So I dropped my Guardians in, (and kept the Spears in reserve) was again able to get Doom, Jinx and Guide off, and pick up another Veteran squad. I will say that focus will is incredibly useful. +2 to cast with seer council means you almost never fail powers, and psychic powers are what make Eldar really good.

I dropped the Guardians out of Auspex Scan range (+4 Shuriken rules!) but within nine inches of  Guardsmen so I could shoot the Veterans and charge the Infantry, with the hopes of getting a wrap off. I was able to pick up the Veterans and get my charge off. I used this to reset my screen in the backfield. I also piled into his Smash Captain because I didn’t want that guy to go wreak havoc on my characters. I made a couple of mistakes in this combat. I tanked the saves I took off of the Guardsman attacks on my cannons, which also were the last models in the long string of Guardians screening out my backfield, so when I pulled one a hole reappeared in my backfield, giving Ryan a perfect drop zone. The Smash Captain also took his pound of flesh, and after morale I was left with eight Guardians. They were still wrapped in combat with the Guardsman, so at least my Characters would be safe from the Tank Commanders.

In Ryan’s turn he had some very bad luck. Without much to shoot, he focused his Vindicaires on the Characters could see. These were all of my important psykers. The Callidus also had a lot of easy spots to drop in depending on what he rolled his her distance. He dropped his Veterans in the hole in my backfield, but when he rolled for the Callidus distance he rolled a six! So she had no opportunity to go character hunting. That was very lucky for me. 

In his shooting phase, both of his Vindicares whiffed. Either a one to hit or a one to wound. The Deathwatch lit up one of the Warlock Skyrunners that had been exposed from my gaff with the Guardian cannon, and Ryan picked up a Ranger squad with one of his Tank Commanders. In his charge phase the Watch Master leapt into combat with Guardians, his Veterans in my backfield charged my Nightspinner, and Callidus failed her charge. After his Watch Master swung I was able to pull the four Guardians that he killed out of combat with the Guardsmen and the Smash Captain, leaving me with about six remaining. His Veterans failed to do any wounds to my Nightspinner, and we moved into turn three. I jumped up to 11-4 at the beginning of my turn.

There wasn’t much chance of dealing with his Tank Commanders in this game. They were blasting from his backfield the whole game, and nothing would change that. I zoomed both of my Farseers near his Veteran squad in my backfield to smite them up, moved my Troupe Master to kill his Callidus, jumped the Solitaire to deal with his Smash Captain, and then dropped my spears in the middle of the board to take out his Guardsman squad that had combined into a 20 man strong unit. I also plopped my Shadowseer on my backfield objective. 

Everything went my way this turn I killed all but four of the Veterans and took out the Callidus, Smash Captain and Guardsman. I Was also able to use the solitaires 6-inch consolidation (since she is Midnight Sorrow) to contest Ryan’s objective so he would only score one point at the top of the turn. And most importantly I got protect off on my Spears. It was time to find out how good a 2++ is.

Ryan was down to three Tank Commanders, a Guardsman squad, three Veterans and his Watch Master. His Tank Commanders leveled their Battle Cannons at the Spears while his Watch Master prepared to charge them. His battle brothers in my backline advanced on my two Farseers, leveling their Bolters and Frag Cannons. 

The 2++ invulnerable save is absolutely insane. The Spears took the full weight of fire from three Tank Commanders and lost two guys, and that was because I tanked heavy bolters on their 3++ instead of the Exarch’s 2++, which I saved for the Battle Cannons. In my backfield, the Veterans cleared out the five Rangers in front of them with bolter fire. My Solitaire also got picked up by one of Ryan’s Vindicares, while the other one whiffed yet again. 

In Ryan’s Charge phase the Watch Master slipped into combat, but took four wounds on the way in. The Veterans made it into the Farseers unscathed. The Watchmaster cut down two more Spears, but the Veterans attacks bounced off my Farseer, and in return one marine was brought down by a witchblade, and the Watchmaster was slain by the Shining Spears (I like to think it was the Exarch.) 

In my Turn I scored three more points, and locked up the game. I was up 14-6. I flew my spears into Ryan’s deployment zone and killed Ryan’s last Guardsman squad with their shooting and then wrapped his astropath, being sure to only put one Spear in range to attack him. I tri-tipped that guy and was also able to secure the objective with that unit, while screening the rest of my characters from his Tank Commanders. After that turn we called the game, since I was going to gain four more points in my next turn.

Overall I am still happy with the list. I will admit that I was doing a bit of whining about the lack of LOS terrain (Ryan can attest to this) and I think I probably would have had a lot of trouble if I hadn’t seized. It showed me how my army is only able to function with good LOS blocking terrain, but I think that is also the case for a lot of armies. I had a good time with the simplicity of the book missions, but I think that it is really hard to turn the game around if you get down on points. After two turns of me scoring four points and Ryan only picking up one or two, victory for him was really unlikely. It made me appreciate that there are a lot of ways to score points in the ITC and NOVA format. 

Like I said at the top, I am playing in a GT right now! So send me some good vibes, and tune in next week to find out how I did at the Crucible of Winter

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3 Responses to “Souped Up Batrep: Aeldari vs Imperium”

  1. Cavalier December 15, 2019 9:10 am #

    Really enjoyed the bat-rep. Congrats on the win. You should take some more glamor shots, your Spears looked sick!

    • Conor Lobb December 17, 2019 8:40 am #

      Thanks man! They are not actually mine, but I sure will next time I use them !

  2. Michael Corr
    Michael Corr December 16, 2019 5:31 am #

    Nice report!

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