Captain Ikaru Perseus personally supervised the task of rearming and refueling one of the platoon Valkyries from the vantage point of a tower at the F.O.B “White Haven” – also known as “the Marbled Hellhole” by it’s garrisoned inhabitants. He was at the end of his twenty month long deployment at this Emperor forsaken rock, called Aglaia IV, which apperantly had resources valuable enough to justify the deployment of Phantine skyborne specialists rather than conscripted colonials for protection. Resources that were needed in some distant part of the Imperium, and that would never enrich these men and women’s home system. He hated this place. The ever burning sun, the scorching sands of the planet surface, and the constant harassment by solar winds making scanners and clarion vox-nets unreliable. For some ironic reason this system was also under constant threat from Eldar piracy, as if the Xenos found some animalistic pleasure or instinct in fighting over this place of rock and sand. Skirmishing with Eldar corsairs was a daily routine for the troopers of the 101st, which is why the commanders made sure to keep response units in the air at all times – consuming fuel on a rate higher than normally accepted by the Adeptus Administratum. Perseus glanced at the red veil flickering around the sun. In an instant, a flash of pure white light pierced his vizor and forced him to avert his gaze! A thundering salvo of laser and shuriken fire blasted the surface of the colony, forcing the defenders to take cover while Xeno hover craft and jet units deployed around the perimiter in a graceful manouvre. Before his troops had time to return fire, Cpt. Perseus activated his distress beacon to signal the rapid reaction units. “Three weeks left” he thought, and the Xenos could have this hell hole for all that he cared…
Welcome to this Warhammer 40.0008th edition battlereport between my Elysian Droptroops and my good friend Simon’s Eldar army. This was a Matched Play test game of 700pts designed for us to try out the new indexes, as well as the core game rules and mechanics. We set up the game using the Vanguard deployment map and the ‘Secure and Control’ Eternal War mission. I won the roll off to set up a single objective first and placed it on the Skyshield landing pad. Simon then set up a single objective on top of one of the towers. Each objective is worth 3 victory points at the end of the game, and additional victory points can be scored for ‘slay the warlord’, drawing ‘first blood’ and securing ‘linebreaker’. Since this was a rather small test game I won’t go through the army lists, although I should point out that my army was battleforged (+3 command points), consisting of a single Vanguard detachment (+1 command point) while Simon’s army was unbound (0 command points). Units and models were selected mainly due to what we had painted from our 7th edition armies. Here’s an overview of the deployment.
700pts of Elysian Droptroops consisting of two infantry squads with one plasmagun each, 2 company commanders (one with a powerfist), a veteran squad with three meltaguns and seven shotguns, a company command squad with four plasmaguns, two Tauros assault vehicles with grenade launchers, three Drop sentinels with multimeltas, and a heavy weapons squad with one missile launcher and two heavy Bolters.
The commander in charge with a Powerfist, and Cpt. Perseus ever at his side.
Veteran Droptroopers ready for breaching action!
Fire support section.
Infantry squads make up the core of the army.
Simon’s 700pts of Eldar. A spiritseer with five Wraithguards equipped with D-Scythes, three Jetbikes all armed with Shuriken cannons, a Wave Serpent, and a Wraithlord.
The Xeno witchmaster commanding his spirit warrior warband of corsairs.
The Wave Serpent, a truly beautiful model and such a beast in the new 8th edition Index!
Simon deploys his Jetbikes outside the perimiter defenses.
The Wraithlord also deploys behind cover.
Fire support squads deploy on the landing pad around one of the objectives.
Infantry squads scale the catwalks linking two of the guard towers. Four units are deployed in tactical reserves to utilize the Elysian Aerial drop deployment. The warlord, the veteran squad, a command squad, and the Drop sentinels make themselves ready for planetfall…
Having deployed his army first, Simon takes first turn and zooms forward with his jetbikes to apply pressure on one flank.
The Wraithlord lumbers forward using the barricades as cover!
The Wave Serpent skim on top of the second objective and prepares to lay fire on the human defenders!
Shuriken cannon fire from both the Jetbike unit and the Wraithlord rips through the air but only manages to inflict 3 wounds on a Tauros.
The Wave Serpent opens up on the heavy weapon teams but only manage to down one of the loaders thanks to the teams being in cover.
The Elysians respond to the raider’s advance by moving around the flank of the Jetbikes. By moving more than 10″ the Tauros buggies get a 5+ invulnerable save until their next turn!
The Elysian rapid reaction units arrive using their renowned Combat Drop and deploy specialist weapon squads beneath the Wave Serpent.
Veteran troopers with meltaguns and plasmacarbines take aim. The Warlord drops in behind both squads to provide them with the valuable “Take Aim!” order!
A cloud of ash and red sand engulfs the troops as the grav-thrusters of the Drop sentinels secures a soft landing!
Fredrik rolls a total of six hits while supercharging his plasmaguns! Simon then show the trickery of the Eldar by saving almost every plasma and melta hit using the Serpent shields. The transport escapes death with 7 wounds left!
Combined fire from the infantry and Tauros grenade launchers kill off two Jetbikes.
Simon starts his second turn by moving the Wraithlord closer in preparation to scale the gates!
The Wave Serpent thrusts forward and lands right beneath the landing pad, preparing to disembark it’s deadly cargo in the next turn.
Fredrik starts his second turn by chasing after the Wave Serpent and prepares to unleash a second volley of anti-tank fire!
The command squad climb on top of the compound to get a clear line of sight while staying in range of the second objective.
The veterans strip another 6 wounds from the Wave Serpent, a well placed order from the 2IC allows the missile launcher team on the landing pad to re-roll a missed shot of a 1, which then scores a hit and explode the skimmer, killing two of it’s Wraith warriors in an instant! The Drop sentinels kills off another Wraith construct. Ouch!
Hungry for revenge Simon moves up his Wraithlord to clear off the pesky guardsmen who are taking pot shots at it with their lasguns.
The Wraithguards position themselves for an upcoming assault while the Spiritseer breaks off and head towards the landing pad! A great move by Simon.
Before hurling the ancient constructs into the fray, Simon heats up his D-Scythes…
…and sends five veterans to a screaming death with warpfire!
The lumbering hulk of a Wraithlord towers the guardsmen and catches them in the open…
…only to fry seven of them to death! The rest breaks off from the battlefield due to a failed morale test.
The veterans roll a heavy 6(+5) for their morale test, but thanks to the Elysian ‘Iron Dicipline’ rule they get to re-roll the test and pass it with a 2(+5). Quite handy to be a Phantine specialist!
While the Wraithguard below assaults the veteans, the Spiritseer launches himself into combat with the heavy weapons squad above!
Combat is quite unsatisfying for both parts as every combatant fail to hurt their opponents… Fredrik begins his turn by disengaging and falling back from combat.
The infantry squad and the 2IC leave the safety of the guard tower and advance ahead to reinforce the Elysian positions around the first objective marker on the landing pad. Using the order ‘Get back into the fight!’ Cpt. Perseus orders the heavy weapons to open fire on the Spiritseer after disengaging. All shots fail to hit however.
The Drop sentinels and the Elysian Warlord also joins the melee beneath the landing pad. The company commander smashes a single Wraithguard to death using his powerfist.
Starting his fourth turn, Simon advances his Wraithlord to get closer to the action.
The Spiritseer successfully harness the warp and destroys two of the weapon teams using the ‘Smite’ psychic power.
Elysian troopers advance twice using the ‘Move, move, move!” order and covers almost 18″ of ground to form a second perimiter around the landing pad.
After losing the heavy weapon teams Fredrik makes the decision to send both commanders into close combat with the Spiritseer to make sure the Emperor is still in control of his objective. A powerfist blow smashes the ghosthelm of the sorcerer and deals 2 wounds to the scum, while a slash using the force stave deals 2 wounds in return to the company commander. An epic Warlord duel takes place above the sands of Aglaia IV!
During Simon’s turn 5 the Wraithlord completes a charge into the back of the Drop sentinels, but fail to save his brethren before the veterans smash them to death using ther gun stocks and bad attitude.
In the following turn of combat the Wraithlord makes a clean sweep with his Ghostblade and destroys two sentinels, leaving the third one running off the field! Using his final powers the Spiritseer then deals a finishing blow to the Elysian Warlord and kills him for a Warlord point! Cpt. Perseus steps up and take command of the force while dealing one wound to the Spiritseer with his laspistol!
In a final move to secure the Objective, Fredrik sends up the last squad of Droptroopers and assault the Spiritseer who is stabbed to death by combat blades in the following melee!
While securing the objective on the landing pad, the command squad scales the opposite guard towe to secure the second objective. Tauros buggies hunt down the last Eldar Jetbike and get in position to score Linebreaker!
After rolling for turn 6, the Wraithlord climbs the landing pad and prepares to avenge his Spiritmaster! Simon fires one flamer into the squad on the pad, one flamer into the remnant veterans below, and the Shuriken cannon into the command squad on the far objective – hoping to force morale checks. Two guardsmen die while defending the objective with their bodies, as well as the veteran sergeant of the breacher team below. Once again the ‘Iron Dicipline’ rule turns two very ugly morale checks into good ones!
The Wraithlord then charges into combat and kills off two guardsmen, while Cpt. Perseus screams orders from the back to make sure the troopers stay in the fight!
In turn 6, Fredrik disengage and falls back from the Wraithlord on the landing pad and heats up the meltaguns from the veterans below. Landing two out of three hits (both within melta range) the veterans put the spirit warrior to his eternal sleep, all while the shambling construct body falls down the landing pad and crashes into the red sand below… The game ends with Fredrik in control of both objective markes, scoring him a total of 9 victory points (3+3+First blood, Warlord kill, and Linebreaker) to Simon’s 1 victory point (Warlord kill).
After action thoughts
Simon: It’s always a pleasure to play against Fredrik and his flyboys. This was my second game in 8th ed. and the inexperience really shows off in some of the decisions I made during the game. But that of course went both ways since it was also Fredriks first game. I love how the new edition works, and all the small tricks that we found out as the game went on. Overall the game was really close but I made a fatal mistake in the 6th turn that made it possible for Fredrik to table me. Meltaguns in melta range hurts A LOT. My unharmed wraithlord got deleted by three lone meltagunners and BOOM!, game. We were equally surprised by their effect but had a great laugh together. Next time my Ghostwarriors will return in larger numbers and claim victory.
Fredrik: Wow, what a game! The new edition is really fast and engaging. My first impression is that you are a lot more active as a player during each phase now, since every situation has modifiers that impact the game in ways you need to be aware of. This feels very refreshing as opposed to seventh edition, even though I still miss templates (but that’s another debate). I really really enjoyed how well the Elysians performed in this game. They are my favourite army both in the lore and modelwise, and it’s very rewarding to finally see how their flavour as a guard regiment impact their game style. Having the ability to reserve half your army and perform deep striking attacks with surgical precision, wherever you want and whenever you want to (remember turn 3 at the latest!) for such low priced units is very strong. I will make a more thorough review over the next couple of days, but for now I think it’s safe to say that the Elysians have gotten a new set of teeth after lagging behind with an old armylist for a couple of years. Two final points: Tauros assault buggies and Drop sentinels are way more useful now since they dropped in price and got a boost to their weaponry. They are still not cheap enough to be over powered in any way, but at least they’re an option worth considering over similar units. I would love to make use of the Elysian’s unique order(s), of using heavy weapons as assault weapons, but never had the opportunity or the model count to use them effectively in this game – thus I tended to spam the “re-roll 1s” order a lot. In higher point games I think there will be more of a choice between orders for different situations. All I can say is watch this space for more battlereports with the Phantine skyrborne over the coming weeks!