Aeldari Hammer in the New Year: Game 1

Hammer in the New Year is a tournament in Ashburn Virginia. This year, I made a run at winning the grand prize: a 3D printed a Thunder Hammer.

The event typically draws great players. Last year’s champion was former Team USA member Tony Kopach, before that it was current Team USA Captain Sean Nayden, and the winner this year was former team USA member Andrew Gonyo (spoiler–I didn’t win.)

Let’s get into my list:

Superior Shuriken/ Children of Prophecy Battalion

  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Warlock Skunner
  • Warlock Skyrunner
  • 20 Guardian Defenders 2 Shuriken Cannons
  • 5 Rangers
  • 5 Rangers
  • 9 Shining Spears (Exarch w/Star Lance and Skilled Rider)

Prophets of Flesh Vanguard

  • Haemonculus w/Electrocorrosive Whip (Warlord: Diabolical Soothsayer)
  • 6 Grotesques
  • 6 Grotesques
  • 5 Mandrakes

Expert Crafter/Masterful Shots Battalion

  • The Yncarne
  • Nightspinner
  • Nightspinner
  • Nightspinner

In my wrap up for the last tournament I went to, I decided that my old list didn’t hit hard enough and died too easily. For Hammer in the New Year, I wanted to include some more powerful units (Shining Spears) and some tough units to kill (Grotesques.) I included the Yncarne because I absolutely love her, and she is nice to play mind games against your opponent with.

In my first game, I was up against my buddy Davis. He’s a dedicated Chaos player who narrowly missed making the top eight at the Atlanta Pro Event this past December. 

Here is his List

Night Lords Battalion: Host Raptorial; Field Commander

  • Chaos Lord with Jump Pack (2x Lighting Claws, Mark of Slaanesh, The Rapacious Claws, The Tip of the Spear
  • Sorceror (Mark of Slaanesh)
  • 10 Cultists
  • 10 Cultists
  • 10 Cultists
  • 10 Warp Talons (Lightning Claws, Mark of Khorne)
  • 9 Warp Talons( Lightning Claws, Mark of Khorne)

Chaos Knight Superheavy

  • Knight Despoiler (Iconoclast, Ironstorm Missile Pod, 2x Thermal Cannon)
  • Knight Despoiler (Iconoclast, Ironstorm Missile Pod, 2x Thermal Cannon)
  • Knight Despoiler (Iconoclast, Ironstorm Missile Pod, 2x Thermal Cannon)

Chaos Demons Patrol

  • Bloodmaster
  • 10 Brimstone Horrors

We played ITC Mission #1 and rolled up Spearhead Assault. As for secondaries, I picked Kingslayer on his Warlord, Titanslayer, and Engineers. Davis selected Engineers, Old Skool, and Gang Busters.

During deployment, I put my Guardians and Shining Spears in Deepstrike, backlined my Night, Spinners, and loaded the NOVA L in my deployment zone with my Grotesques and characters. Davis put his three Knights in the middle of his deployment zone and close to the frontline. He deepstruck his Warp Talons and their support characters.

Davis won the roll to go first.

He moved up all of his kngihts, and was able to get shots on the Grotesques with one of the Knights who got an angle on one squad through the open side of my NOVA L. He also launched indirect fire missiles into them. All told, two Grotesques died. Additionally, he killed one of my Nightspinners with a Knight on the other side of the board.

In my turn I didn’t do much. I wasn’t going to leap out of the NOVA L with my units. The Knights weren’t in charge range of anything, and Grotesques don’t kill Knights particularly well. So I waited. I killed a cultist unit with my remaining Nightspinners and held an objective.

In Davis’ turn two, he moved the Knights closer and killed more Grotesques. The game was relatively even at this point. I got hold and kill more on turn one, and Davis had all the board control. My turn two would be when I really turned the game on.

I left the NOVA L with my Characters and one Grotesque squad. I still had to screen out his Warp Talons, so I sent the squad that had taken casualties to hold an objective and screen out a side of the board.

I dropped my Guardian bomb on the Knight, and moved the Yncarne and my second Grotesque unit in to finish it off in combat. I asked Davis if the Knight had an invuln in combat and he said it did. I figured I would be able to kill it anyway.

I did about 10 wounds to the Knight between shooting and some smites. At this point I was a bit nervous. It dawned on me that Davis could roll hot on his 4++ invuln (with Rotate Ion Shields) in combat and then I would be in big trouble.

Unfortunately, that’s what happened. The Yncarne did a grand total of one wound to the Knight. D6 damage can really screw you over sometimes. Davis interrupted combat before the Grotesques could swing, and squished the Yncarne.

The Grotesques did about five wounds to the Knight. In additino to losing my Yncarne, my Farseer and Warlocks were exposed to the Knight now. They were placed next to my Guardian bomb but they were not screened at all.

In Davis’ turn the walls closed in on my army. The Knight left combat with the Grotesques and stood next to all of my psykers. He also dropped in all of his Warp Talons. My force was surrounded.

In shooting, the Thermal Knight in the midst of my fores blasted one of the Warlocks and picked up some of my Guardians. His other two Knights closed in, with one of them picking up my smaller squad of Grotesques on the other side of the board. The Third Knight advanced up the middle of the board and let off Thermal Cannon blasts at my Grotesques. Fortunately, I rolled hot on my saves and didn’t lose any of them.

In his charge phase, Davis hit all of his charges with the Warp Talons. He used some cool tech from Faith and Fury to give the squads charge bonuses, and one of the squads got the ability to reroll their charges from the Bloodmaster since they were both Mark of Khorne. One squads engaged my Guardians, and his second squad charged my Rangers in the backfield.

The Knight made the auto-charge into my Psykers and Davis dumped all of the attacks into the Farseer. I interrupted with my Grotesques and they killed about 5 Warp Talons, which was pretty underwhelming. After that, the Warp talons sliced up half of my Guardians and the turn went to me.

The game was pretty much over at this point. I had a little bit of play left with the Shining Spears and a full Grotesque squad, so I spent two CP to fall back and charge with the Grotesques and I dropped my Spears in. They were both going for Davis’ unscathed Knight in the Middle of th board. In retrospect. This ultimately failed, and we called the game after that. We did have a fun interaction at the end, where we set up a duel between my Haemonculus and his Chaos Lord…My Haemonculus lost. IT was a sad day for the Aeldari.

I think I lost the game on turn two. Davis and I agreed on this when we talked about the game afterward. I should have committed the Spears and the Guardians to shooting the Knight and sent them into combat to clean up along with the Grotesques if they didn’t kill it in shooting.

If the Knight didn’t have that combat invuln the Yncarne might have p[icked it up. Sending her in was another mistake, but it really began when I undercommitted to shooting it.

I didn’t want to =drop the spears because I figured that they would get shot up by all the Thermal Cannons, but that was a risk I should have taken. If I kill the Knight wit the Invlun, any remaining spears and the Yncarne would have a much easier time dealing with the other two Knights in combat.

It was a disappointing way to start a tournament, but I still had four games to play so I kept my chin up and walked into game two. Tune in next week to find out how it goes!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



2 Responses to “Aeldari Hammer in the New Year: Game 1”

  1. Ben R January 27, 2020 9:46 am #

    Chaos Knights can’t get 4++ in melee. It isn’t possible. The best they can do is take a Relic to give them a 5++ in melee, but it does require a Relic and the unit to be a Dreadblade. I’d check to make sure the knight you charged had the Relic, as only 1 knight in the force can take it, obviously, and it has to be a Dreadblade as well. Seems kind of fishy to me…

    The standard invuln save of knights is ranged/shooting only, and Rotate Ion Shields can ONLY be used vs shooting attacks. It cannot be used to improve a combat/melee invuln on the knights.

    I think your opponent pulled a fast one, and your Yncarne should have torn that knight up.

    Here’s the exact wording of rotate ion shields:

    Use this stratagem when a Chaos Knights model from your army that has an invulnerable save is chosen as the target for an attack (‘costs 3 cp for Tyrant’). Until the end of the phase, that model’s invulnerable save is improved by 1 (to a maximum of 4+) against attacks made with ranged weapons.

    The knight’s invulnerable save if it does not have the Rune of Rat’ta’ga, is as follows:
    Ion Shield: The model has a 5+ invulnerable save against attacks made with ranged weapons.

    I play Chaos knights a lot (Despoiler + 2 baby knights), and play a melee knight so this is pretty important.

    • Conor Lobb January 27, 2020 10:58 am #

      Hey Ben!

      Thanks for the response. I’m going to chalk that up to an honest mistake by my opponent. He is a solid guy. Also I recall him rolling like a god (all 5s and 6s) on his saves so it would have worked out anyway.

      Thanks for reading, though. Now I really know the Yncarne can get down against Knights.

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