40K Battle Report: Iron Warriors v Craftworld Iyanden

IMAG0587Who misses the battle reports in White Dwarf? You know, actual hobby content. I’ve always enjoyed typing up a rough after action report for the email list, but wanted to do something better for the blog. So, when Brinton announced he was travelling overseas, and making a pilgrimage to Nottingham, the shout went up and a game was arranged at Warhammer World with Matt. Yes, Warhammer World, the location of *that* Apocalypse game, and the 40K spiritual depantsing for a good handful of the Corehammer crew. Hopefully a good game would get us back into it, so I wrote a narrative, we chose our armies, decided to play an objective game with the mission cards, and rolled some dice. A gallery of all photos taken can be found here

802.M41. Deep within the Eye Of Terror, Prince Yriel, Autarch of the Iyanden Craftworld, following the secret paths below, leads an expedition to the lost Crone World of Jared. His mission is to recover a lost cache of spirit stones, vital in the construction of the wraith units favoured by his Craftworld. He’s not the only one with an eye on this prize though. Guided by a secret sect known as the Black Occulus, Warsmith Meridius leads a Warband from the 77th Grand Company of the Iron Warriors, with the aim of securing the cache, to trade for more slaves and corrupt technology

Warsmith Meridius is followed in battle by The Trident, his 3 trusted Triarchs, all wearing Terminator armour and deployed in a Land Raider. Supported by 2 squads of Plague Marines in Rhinos, alongside Contemptor Dreadnought Ancient Harrow, who all strode the scorched earth of Terra in the climatic siege of the 31st Millenium. 2nd in command, is Warpsmith Rezna, master of the Nurgle-infused Obliterator virus that flows through the veins of the warband, and leader of the warped Maulerfiends, slaves and spawn that make up the menagerie known as The Frail, The Wretched.

IMAG0572Prince Yriel took to the field with a host bent on recovering what was once lost, Guardian Defenders lined up alongside 2 units of Wraithguard and a towering Wraithlord with their Spirit Seer guide. Along with the fearsome Fire Dragons and Dire Avengers in their Wave Serpents, with a Fire Prism for support, to crack open the heavy armour of the traitor marines. Worst of all, preparing for the brutal battle ahead, a mighty Avatar of Kaela Mensha Khaine was brought forth to wreak havoc on a world lost

IMAG0582Ploughing forward into the ruins of a Chaos temple, the Iron Warriors took advantage of as much cover as possible before they faced a bladestorm of shuriken and destructive firepower, destroying one of the Wraithguard with a lucky Plasma Gun shot. A unit of Plague Marines disembarking from a Rhino into the cover of a withered forest peppered a unit of Guardians with Bolters and Plasma Guns, forcing the Eldar to retreat and almost flee the battlefield, but not before one of the Iron Warriors went down courtesy of his own Plasma Gun overheating. The Land Raider fearing the Prism Cannon sat in the Eldar backfield tried to take it down with Lascannons, but ineffective snap-shots would not allow it

IMAG0589Wave Serpents begin to flank the traitors, whilst the Wraith-heavy centre strode forward to unleash their D-Scythes but could only reach a squad of Plague Marines taking cover in the ruined Chaos temple, wiping 2 of them from the face of existence and send them howling into the warp. The Spirit Seer, spotting the Iron Warriors hunched together in cover attempted to strike a destructive speartip by casting Psychic Maelstrom, which would have decimated the warband, but the fickle tides of the warp had the last say. In what become a joust of long-range firepower, the Fire Prism returned the compliment to the Land Raider, but also managed to shoot wide of the mark

IMAG0592The Iron Warriors utilized their preferred mechanized assault tactic with the Land Raider steaming into the Wraithguard and unloading its deadly cargo of special weapon-toting Terminators and Warpsmith, reducing the number of constructs from 10 down to 2, and nullifying the psychic threat from the Eldar by taking out the Spirit Seer thanks to the Plague Marines. Hoping to finish off the Wraithguard, a Maulerfiend attempted to charge into a blaze of overwatch of D-Scthes but failed abysmally and was destroyed in the process. Seizing an opportunity to neutralize the Fire Dragons on the flank, the other Maulerfiend shot forward and smashed apart their Wave Serpent transport, but failed to catch any of the Aspect Warriors in the ensuing explosion. On their right flank, a squad of Plague Marines raced towards the objective left in the wake of the fleeing Guardians they’d previously shot at.

IMAG0597IMAG0599After the serious beating taken from the IVth legion’s firepower, the remaining Wraithguard stalked forward and unleashed the destructive power of their D-Scythes and in the blink of an eye the 3 Triarchs were gone, leaving the Warlord and Warpsmith without a bodyguard and stranded in no-mans land. The Avatar hurled the Wailing Doom into the Chaos temple, leaving a smouldering crater amongst the Plague Marines, before it leapt amongst them and cut more of them down. The Fire Prism managed to glance the heavy armour of the Land Raider, and their tit-for-that shooting continued. The Fire Dragons leapt from the cover of the smoking wreck of their transport to take their revenge on the retreating Maulerfiend, leaving a molten pool of iron and daemonic flesh in their wake, thanks to their Fusion Guns. The fleeing Guardians managed to find their resolve and re-took their objective in the face of an advancing abomination of spawn and razor-sharp shuriken weapons took down 3 Plague Marines

IMAG0602 IMAG0605The Wraithguard and Avatar causing confusion and doom amid the traitor lines could not be tolerated, so the commanders charged into the constructs, with Ancient Harrow headed towards the Avatar. Warsmith Meridius barely had time to pick up speed into a charge before the D-Scythes sent him the same way as his Trident bodyguard. In true Chaos form though, whilst they had their attention drawn to the Warlord, a flanking attack from Warpsmith Rezna caught them off-guard and the Power Axe scythed through the pair of them. In an effort to distract the Avatar, the slaves pushed their champion forward to challenge the molten lord of war, who barely escaped within a whisker of his life before the Avatar reduced the legs of Ancient Harrow to slag and immobilized the Dreadnought. The Contemptor swung back with its Chainfist, leaving the Avatar seriously wounded, before the petrified slaves, fearing their own cruel masters over the terrifying Avatar struck back  rather than flee from combat, and were rewarded by taking its last wound away. A truly titanic struggle! Meanwhile, the Spawn and Guardians fought to a standstill

IMAG0620 IMAG0622The Eldar may have lost the hammer of their attack in the centre, but in doing so, had seriously bloodied their opponents, and were now poised to seize the initiative and take revenge. Lead by Prince Yriel, and the Dire Avengers joining the fight, the Contemptor Dreadnought and Cultists barely had time to celebrate their victory of taking down the Avatar before a firestorm of combined weapons wiped them out. The Wraithlord took aim at the Rhino hunkered down in the temple and lanced through its drive motor, leaving it stranded. The brave Guardians managed to take down the Spawn in combat, further securing the cache of Spirit Stones they were guarding

IMAG0631 IMAG0636Seeking a chance at glory, the Warpsmith headed towards the Fire Prism in an effort to take it out and free up the Land Raider, but managed to miss with its Melta Gun at point-blank range, and to make matters worse it could not connect with the Power Axe, leaving it staring down the barrel of a gun. A very powerful gun! The remaining Plague champion, followed by the rat slaves, charged into the Guardians that took down the Spawn, but could barely dent their armour, despite a multitude of attacks.
IMAG0640 IMAG0642Warpsmith Rezna did not stand a chance in the face of the overwhelming power arrayed against him and was turned into a pin cushion. The Aspect Warriors poured into the chaos temple, destroying the remaining Plague Marine and its Rhino, and secured a further cache of Spirit Stones

IMAG0644 IMAG0646The Land Raider finally managed to zero in on the Fire Prism, with both Lascannons punching through the armour and wrecking the Eldar tank in the process, but found itself outflanked by the Fusion Guns of the Fire Dragons, too caught up in the heavy weapon duel with the opposing tank to notice the danger at its side. Slaves and Guardians hacked at each to no further avail, with their overlords all dead, they were fighting for their freedom now.

IMAG0648 IMAG0649Prince Yriel surveyed the wreckage of the temple and its surroundings, they may have secured victory and the majority of the Spirit Stones, but at what cost? Smoking ruins of Wraithguard littered the approach to the temple, and a further explosion lit up the battlefield as a Land Raider exploded, courtesy of the destructive weaponry yielded by the Fire Dragons. In the distance, a pack of slaves could be seen scuttling away with the remaining precious Spirit Stones

IMAG0651 IMAG0652Chris – When I play against Eldar or Tau, my aim is always to get stuck in as quick as possible, to avoid getting shot off the board, so I went with the faster options and left the gunline at home. As always, the tactical objective cards can make a difference, but I wouldn’t achieve many of them whilst getting peppered with shuriken weapons. Having never played against Wraithguard before, or anything with D-weapons for that matter, I was not prepared for the sheer destructive powers of the D-Scythe. Matt played them well, using them as an anvil in my centre and drawing me in, whilst the Avatar and Aspect Warriors provided the flanking hammer, and rolled me over. Highlight of the game had to be the Cultist slaves taking the last wound off the Avatar. If we’d have played standard kill points, it would have been a total whitewash, I managed to complete some of the objectives, but not enough to make a difference as Matt mopped up the remains of my Warband, securing a 10-8 victory. We live to fight another day though

Matt – This was my first game using the tactical objective cards, and it really made me think about what I was doing. I always prefer games with a purpose rather than just ‘kill em all’.  The one thing that worried me was how my fragile Eldar were going to do against Chris’ Nurgle-ridden Iron Warriors. If the Iron Warriors are iron within, the Eldar are paper within. It’s okay though, I have my Wraith units, hard as nails. The first two turns saw my shooting and psychic powers do very little, and my Wraith units get decimated. Not to be put off, I kept on truckin’ and got my units on to the Spirit Stones. My Avatar made a heroic sacrifice and tied up Chris’ centre, allowing the rest of the army to grab more Spirit Stones. The flanking Dire Avengers and Fire Dragons rather appropriately avenging the Avatar and securing the Chaos temple and Spirit Stones secured within.  The game was fun, we both played in the right frame of mind. It sounds lame, but enjoying the game for the game’s sake and not worrying about who wins, always in my mind, makes for a more enjoyable game. Playing for objectives helps with that mind set too. I’m looking forward to a rematch.