Monday, December 3, 2012

Wraithguard bonanza: taking 40 wraithguard to a tournament!?

This past weekend I went to a 2500 point tournament with a list that featured 40 Wraithguard (because I didn't have 50 or 60 to play with). This post will cover the army I brought, why Wraithguard, and the battle reports of my games.

First off, tournament play in America is a different animal from casual, friendly gaming. Specifically, many people try to bring the strongest lists possible in order to smash the competition aside with a no-holds-barred and "go for the throat" mentality. It's fun and I like doing that myself, but sometimes it's also fun to just throw down with a fluffy or fun list and see how it does.

The tournament/my army:

The 2500 point tournament I went to allowed 2 force org slots and Forge World. The missions were also posted ahead of time, which allowed players to cater their armies to the missions presented. Consequently, I had the option of trying to build my army to cater to each individual mission, or, I could ignore the missions and build an army that would counter other armies that tried to cater to the missions.

With that said, I tossed around ideas for armies that had a massive amount of grav tanks; or 6 Wraithlords, Avatar, Wraithseer and some Farseers with Wraithguard; or my old 'Ard Boyz list I used; but ultimately, I decided to settle on an army that kept in mind the underlying theme in each mission: Kill points and Kill Point denial.

Indeed, when looking at all of the missions (see below for missions): the first mission (big guns) allows Heavy choices to score, but they also become kill points for the enemy; the second mission (Scourging) allows Fast Attack units to score, but they become kill points; the last mission (Purge) allows everything to be a kill point. Therefore, I figured that as long as I had durable units that could hold objectives well and make a decent push towards an opponent's objectives while killing some Heavy/Fast units along the way, then I would do well in the first two missions. Also, if I had a low Kill Point count for the final mission, I'd have an advantage.

The List:

This tournament, I decided to throw down with what I thought was a fluffy army. The baron and the Kabalite Warriors represented Yriel and his Eldritch Raiders while the rest of the army represented main line Wraithguard units responding to the call of battle (Eldrad and Feugan were to be representing heros of Iyanden). The army list I came up with was as follows:

Primary detachment: 1395

HQ: 405
Eldrad: 210
Feugan: 205

Elites: 198
8 Harlequins, 6 kisses, Shadow Seer: 198

Troops: 792
10 Wraithguard, Warlock, Spirit Seer, Enhance: 396
10 Wraithguard, Warlock, Spirit Seer, Conceal: 396

Secondary detachment: 942

HQ: 170
Farseer, Fortune: 85
Farseer, Fortune: 85

Troops: 772
10 Wraithguard, Warlock, Spirit Seer, Embolden: 386
10 Wraithguard, Warlock, Spirit Seer, Embolden: 386

Allied detachment (Dark Eldar): 150

HQ: 105
Baron: 105

Troops: 45
9 Kabalite Warriors: 45

Why Wraithguard?

What can I say, I love Wraithguard; they are my favorite units in the game. So going into this tournament, I can honestly say that nobody at the tournament excepted in their wildest dreams to see an army list like the one I brought. When looking over my list, my opponent's would say things like "I wasn't expecting to face Eldar, let alone 40 Wraithguard! Who the heck brings 40 Wraithguard!?" I don't think any of them really knew how to handle my army list except my last opponent had the right idea by trying to drown them in Thunder Hammers.

Basically, Eldrad/Baron went in the lead Wraithguard squad with Conceal so the squad could get a tankable 2+ invulnerable (from Baron's shadowfield), Stealth for a 4+ cover save in the open, and Hit & Run to get out of combat from the inevitable charge. The next Wraithguard squad would stay behind the lead squad and had Feugan with enhance for more CC punch and a 2+ save to tank Krak Missiles while Tank Hunter was a nice touch as well. The other Wraithguard squads with Embolden took to the flanks and had the one Farseer each so that the Farseers could re-roll their psychic tests if needed (Embolen allows you to re-roll Psychic tests because they are Ld tests). The 5 man Kabalite Warrior squad was held in reserves and was to come on the board and get an objective behind some terrain that blocks LOS or just hide.

The battle plan was to keep Conceal/Enhance Wraithguard near each other for Eldrad to Fortune them both while the Embolden squads would follow up and help out where needed or stay behind and hold objectives. With this army, there were no Heavy or Fast Attack units to give up KPs in any game and the army itself only had 11 KPs going into the final mission (I figured in 2500 the majority of armies would have tons of KPs). Wraithguard are good at hunkering down and holding objectives or going forward and contesting other objectives if they have 2+ saves to tank for them so I thought it was a solid list to bring.

The missions:

Special Rules:
The tournament had some fun special rules. Any Psyker that got a Perils of the Warp result but survived  gained an additional Mastery level and a random power from either Biomancy, Pyromancy or Telepathy. Any character that killed another character from shooting or close combat rolled on the Chaos Boons chart in the new CSM codex. Also, certain tables had random Chaos terrain which either attacked all nearby models (everything within x" took a s3 hit or something) to Chaos Forests which gave units inside a 5+ invulnerable save but were also dangerous terrain.

Getting 5 more objective points than your opponent gave you a Massacre (20 battle points to winner, 0 battle points to loser); getting 3 more objective points than your opponent gave you a Major Victory (17 battle points to winner, 3 battle points to loser); getting 1 more objective point than your opponent gave you a Minor Victory (13 battle points to winner, 3 battle points to loser); and a tie on objective points was a Tie (9 battle points to each player).

Mission 1:
Big guns never tire, vanguard strike deployment (weird table corner deployment). All secondary objective were in effect.

Mission 2:
The Scouring, Hammer & Anvil deployment (silly short table edge deployment zones). All secondary objective were in effect.

Mission 3:
Purge the Allien, Dawn of War deployment (traditional long table edge deployment zones). All secondary objective were in effect.

Game 1:

My first game was against a Tau player with a lot of shooting. His army had: Shadow Sun as the Warlord; 2 Battle Suit commanders; 3x3 battle suits with Plasma/Missile Pod; 5 or 6 Fire Warrior units; 2xTetras; 2x2 broadsides; 2 Hammerheads; 3 Tau Beacon Relays (some forgeworld thing that has a twin-linked marker light, provides night vison to a unit and allows them to re-roll failed shooting rolls); and, an Aeigis Defense line with Quad Gun. That is A LOT of high-strength shooting and a decent number of marker lights (4 from each tetra and 3 from the Beacons for 11).


The Tau player got to pick sides and chose the side with an emplaced Las Cannon. He also chose to go first with Night Fight going off on the first turn...He also had Black Sun Filters up to wazoo so it didn't limit his shooting. Darn! He held  unit of Battle Suits in reserves to deep strike.

Tau player shot up a bunch of Wraithguard and made good use of Marker Lights to increase his BS and lower my Cover. Not going first means Fortune was not up so I lost about 6 Wraithguard in Eldrad's unit and a few in some other units.

My first turn I Fortune up all of the Wraithguard an just move/run towards the Tau lines.

Turn 2:

The Tau Battle Suits held in reserves come in but scatter dangerously close to my army. His shooting takes out some more Wraithguard, story of his life. Fortune saves a bunch of Wraithguard, though.

I Fortune all of my Wraithguard again and guide the squad with Feugan, move up and run with every squad except the one with Feugan (he takes a pot-shot at a Tetra that got too close). With a 2+ to hit and 3+ to pen with Tank Hunters I easily punch the AV 10 vehicle; being Ap1 and the fact that the Tetra is open-topped means I wreck it on a 3+ and I do. First blood and 4 less Marker Lights for me! I then charge the Battle Suits that got too close with my Harlequins and run them down after they fail their Ld test.

Turn 3-End:

The game pretty much consisted of him marker-lighting my units up and shooting like crazy. He got one WG squad down to 2 models which I later hid in some LOS blocking terrain (the blueish rock formation the harlequins are in in the above picture) so they could claim an objective and not worry about being shot anymore; he got another down to 3ish models and they were hanging out on an objective that improved invul saves by +1 so the Fortuned Warlock/Farseer with them were dodging shots like ninjas; Eldrad's unit still had 4 models left plus Warlock and they managed to get into combat along with the other wraithguard squad (which had 8ish left). Once I hit his lines in close combat, it was pretty much over and we called the game at that. I had my brave kabalite Warriors hiding in the bottom left corner out of LOS holding a objective, my 2 man Wraithguard unit holding another objective while my main force was either holding or contesting his objectives and I had Line-Breaker and First Blood. Result: 20 battle points for me, 0 for my opponent.

the end

Some fun moments were when one Wraithguard squad took his WHOLE army's shooting while they hit me on a 2+ with re-rolls and I only lost 2 wraithguard...Fortune can be so OP sometimes. Another fun thing was that I put Eldrad out front for him to shoot for fun on the last turn (since I already won and we were messing around at this point) and Eldrad tanked everything that would instant-kill him but failed 3 out of 3 Fortuned 3++ saves from plasma...Go figure?

All in all, it was brutal taking so much shooting time and again but having Feugan/Baron and Eldrad tank shots for the Wraithguard helped. My opponent got smart and started shooting at the units without Eldrad/Feugan or Baron and did some good damage so Wraithguard took one heck of a beating but having 40 of them ensured that enough got to his lines to do the damage they needed to win me the game. I got a lot of nice combo-charges off and I think the game would have gone better for my opponent if he layered his forces instead of had each unit next to each other.

Game 2:

My second game was against an IG player with a really balanced and nice army (he had IG converted to look like samurai and such). His army had: a Commissar Lord; 3xVeterans in Chimeras w/ Demo Charges (1 had 3xgrenade launchers, 1 had 3xPlasma, 1 had 3xMelta); a few platoon squads blobbed together; 2xHellhounds; 2xHydras; 1 Demolisher; 1 regular Leman Russ; 1 Executioner; 1 Leman Russ with the Auto-cannon turret; 1 Medusa (S10, AP2 artillery); and a Vendetta. All in all, a good amount of shooting and not over the top as some IG lists can be.

Set-up/Turn 1:

I had to play on the same table as last game and won the roll to choose sides so I chose one that had the emplaced Las-Cannon. We placed objectives (there were 6 total) and it turned out I placed the ones that were worth 2 points each and 1 point while my opponent placed two that were 3 points and the one worth 4 points. No night fight turn 1 and I also won the roll for first turn and chose to go first (mainly to Fortune up and try to get first blood with Feugan on the emplaced Las-Cannon. I deploy my Conceal/Enhance Wraithguard centrally and the Embolden Wraithguard to the flanks to push up and take out the forces he deployed along the flanks.

My first turn I Fortune all of the Wraithguard up, move and run up while Feugan does manage to take out his Chimera holding the Plasma Vets. I rolled a 5 on the damage result so it blows up and I manage to wound every veteran in the chimera and only one survives. Quite the first turn shot, go Feugan!

My opponent does his best to return the favor and shoots up some wraithguard but after realizing what a pain it is trying to get past Fortuned cover saves and Feugan/Baron's 2+ he focuses on the wraithguard more in the open and takes out a good number of them with a Demolisher and Medusa Shots. His Hell Hounds (I forgot they were Hell Hounds, oops) took some shots at my Harlequins and I failed my LD test for them so they fell back.

Turn 2-3:

Over the next few turns, he got some tanks closer to my Wraithguard and unloaded some vets to throw some Demo Charges. Sadly, one charge scattered all the way onto his own unit and tank but he passed the majority of his cover saves. All in all, he probably managed to take out 3-4 Wraithguard from each squad and writhed in anguish at the rate I was passing my Fortuned saves. His Vendetta failed to come on both turn 2 and 3.

On my part, I managed to take out a Chimera on the left, the Demolisher in the middle and take some Hull Points off of his Hell Hounds and the Chimera on the right. A combo charge with my Wraithguard against the Vet squad on the right and the Hell Hound/Chimera saw me do no damage and I just held in combat with Guardsmen for a while. Harlequins also failed their re-group test so fell back again on turn 2 but regrouped on turn 3. My Kabalite Warriors failed to come on turn 2 and 3 as well.

Turn 4-End:

He continued to shoot up some wraithguard doing some decent damage to my left and forward units and his Vendetta finally came on and took out 3 wraithguard on its own to celebrate. Still, he could not keep my wraithguard from reaching his lines and after I took out his Medusa, remaining Chimeras and Hell Hounds, he was in a tough spot.

On my turns, I took out the aforementioned tanks, took out a bunch of guard squads in combat and ended up charging the IG units holding the objectives on his side of the board. The game ended with my Kabalite Warriors on the objective close to my board edge, Eldrad holding the 4 point objective in the middle (he rolled the Warlord trait that made him scoring) and a Wraithguard squad on each of his own objectives (one was controlled by me after clearing the IG units there and the other was contested as the IG blob squad is a hard thing to shift with stubborn 10). Result: 20 battle points for me, 0 for my opponent.

This game I rolled incredibly well for my Fortuned saves, like REALLY well. I also think I spread out pretty decently so his AP2 blast weapons did not do so hot (the fact that he had some bad scatters did not help, either). There was a turn when I had a few units exposed and my opponent made great use of that taking out 4 Wraithguard from two squads from shooting. A fun moment was when he had a sergeant from a vet squad put 2 wounds on a Farseer and his Commisar Lord took out a decent amount of Wraithguard in close combat...Go jo!

Game 3:

My third and last game was against one of the only other players that got two massacres in the previous rounds. He played a Deathwing/Ravenwing army with the following: Belail; Sammael on jetbike; 2 Ravenwing bike units w/ 2x melta, 1xfist each; 2x Attack Bikes w/ Multi-Melta; 4x Deathwing Terminator units all w/ TH/SS and 1 Cyclone Missile Launcher each; 2x Contemptor Dreads with 2 Auto-Cannons  and a Cyclone Missile Launcher each; an Aeigis Defense Line w/ Quad gun. Truly a formidable army with all of those thunder hammers and Storm Shields running around.

Set-up/Turn 1:
His dreads/Aeigis and some other units are behind that
can-terrain in the and my bad photography skills...
I won the roll to go first (thanks Baron) and set-up on the side with a decently placed Chaos Forest (gogo 5+ invul save Wraithguard).  My opponent placed his Aeigis/Quadgun and Dreads centrally with  the Terminators while the bikes took to the flanks. I just set-up my units with Baron/Eldrad in the unit on the left and Feugan/Enhance on the right while my other Wraith units were directly behind them forming a solid brick of Ap2 shooting he would have to come towards. My Harlequins were deployed centrally in some area terrain while my Kabalite Warriors of win were held in reserves. He moved his bikes up using Scout movement and the game began.

On my first turn, I Fortuned up all of my Wraithguard, move the squad near the Chaos Forest into the Forest and moved my other Wraithguard near some choke points he would have to funnel his terminators into. Feugan took out a biker with his Fire Pike which was fun.

My opponent moved everything up, shot his Dreads/Quad gun and bikes at my wraithguard along-side a Terminator squad or two (most of the terminators ran at me to get closer) and he only killed like 1 or 2 Wraithguard and Feugan took 2 wounds from failing his Fortuned 2+ save...the slouch.

Turn 2:

I fortune up all of my Wraithguard squads again, Peril on Eldrad but survive and gain Mastery 4 with a new Pyromancy power that I never cast. I fortune Feugan's squad in anticipation of a charge (hoping for some good overwatch shooting). Then I move up on the left to engage a bike squad and terminator unit and manage to wipe out the bikes (giving me First Blood and a KP) and put 1 wound on the terminators. On the right, I put 2 wounds on Belail from shooting and take out a Terminator from his squad. I then brace for impact as he is in position to charge me.

My opponents turn sees him move up with the terminators, take out a few wraithguard and charge. My overwatch does not kill a single model and he combo charges the squads on the left but they don't really do any damage, just tie me up and I fail my Hit & Run test so I am stuck in combat for a bit longer. in the middle, he charges Belial's unit in and I think I do one wound to him while he kills Feugan and a few Wraithguard. The charge through the forest on the right fails and I breathe a sigh of relief.

Turn 3-End:

From turn 3 and on, the game got pretty intense so I forgot to take pictures. The above is what the game looked like at the end, not many wraithguard left and even less terminators, so it ended up swinging in my favor.

-His Dreads didn't do much since I passed most of my saves and was in combat most of the game.

-The terminators on the left, after Eldrad/Baron and their Wraithguard unit finally managed to Hit& Run out of the combat, chewed through the remaining Wraithguard squad with Embolden. Sammael later charged in to help but the Farseer hung in there and took Sammael out in a challenge granting me 1 KP (from Sammael) and my opponent 1 KP (from the Wraithguard). The termiantor squad ended the game with 2 models locked in combat with a Farseer.

-The combat in the middle was brutal as Belail was joined by another full squad of Terminators. They chewed through the wraithguard that Feugan was with and took out the Baron (re-rollable 2++ can only go so far) along with a Harlequin but eventually fell from several turns of being beat on by Wraithguard and Harlequins. This combat gave my opponent 3 KP (Feugan, Baron and a Wraithguard unit) while I gained 3 KP (Belail, command squad and a second terminator squad). I must say, I never saw someone make so many 2+/3++ saves and he didn't even have Fortune!

-The right side of the board saw my Wraithguard squad shoot up a terminator unit and then get bogged down in combat with that same terminator unit, a squad of Bikes and an Attack Bike but I took out the Attack Bike with overwatch. His Biker Sergeant killed a Warlock in a challenge and got turned into a Demon Prince! Eventually, the terminators and bikes got killed with the help of Harlequins but the Demon Prince just hung in there with my Wraithguard. At the end, that combat gave my opponent 0 KP and I got 3 KP (Attack Bike, Biker unit and a Terminator unit). The Demon Prince survived with 1 wound.

-Ultimately, the game ended with my opponent getting 5 objective points (4 KP from killing 2 Wraithguard units, Feugan and Baron along with Line-Breaker) while I got 10 objective points (8 KP from killing Sammael, Belial, 3 Terminator units, 2 Bike units, an Attack Bike along with First Blood and Slay the Warlord). Result: 20 battle points for me, 0 for my opponent.

This game was the roughest one for me. My opponent played the game pretty well and got me into combat pretty fast while making *A LOT* of his saves. I did ok on my saves in general but of note was my Wraithguard squad in the chaos forest, they made a crazy amount of 5+ saves and I must say that they probably won me the game by holding everything up while the Harlequins did their damage.

At the end of the day, I was the only one who had 3 games with 20 battle points and I had a good sports/comp score. I placed "best overall." Worth mentioning is that an IG player with Rough Riders got "Best General", which was cool to see because Rough Riders are cool. There was an IG player there with 12 Vendettas and another Forge World flyer...I dodged him in the second round and he got a minor victory in the second game which took him out of the running, sadly. It would have been a rough game for me to play him but I think staying in cover with Fortune would have kept the Wraithguard in the game while getting within 12" of that many flyers shouldn't be that hard and Guided shots are bound to knock some flyers out of the sky.

All in all, my first two opponents had to rely on shooting to deal with my Wraithguard and I think that they would have done a lot better if they focused down one squad at a time rather than shooting a few shots here and there. My last opponent had a decent amount of shooting but really needed to get those TH/SS terminators in combat to have a shot at winning. He got to me relatively fast and made a ton of saves for the amount of wounds I put on him but I pulled it out at the end.

Also, I almost didn't take any Harlequins and was going to take a larger Kabalite Warrior unit. In the end, despite not doing much of anything in the first two games, the Harlequins ended up being my MVP in my last game because they bailed out so many of my units from bad combats.

So there you go, 40 Wraithgaurd can be rather effective! Its just a shame they cost so much in money and points. I am really looking forward to see how they end up transitioning to plastic and what stats are changed for them in the new codex/release next year.


  1. Interesting, thanks for the right up, I am still hanging out for some new platic minis before I get some, seems like I have been waiting for ages

  2. Suprised you didnt take a wraithseer for the 4+ FNP and extra shooting / CC punch

    1. I was going to take a Wraithseer but decided to just stick with the wraithguard as a Wraithseer was an easier KP for an opponent to get. Also, I didn't have a painted one handy and everything needed to be painted for me to be able to place. =)

  3. A great read) Thanks Yriel.
    Would be cool to play a similar game with tons of Wraithguard someday in the future.

  4. Good Lord! Great report and I'm just reeling at the thought of 40 Wraithguard hitting the table. This is one of the roughest Eldar armies I've ever seen. 6th edition definitely turned things on its head.

    Thanks for the write up. One of the craziest Eldar tourney reports I've ever read.

  5. Thanks very much for the report. Great read!

    I liked your discussion of both strategy (no FA or HS taken due to the missions) and tactics. I only have 5 painted Wraithguard, but recently picked up 10 more models. I tend to play smaller games (1500 points or less); maybe I can get away with only 20 or 30 WG...

    1. Thanks, Dave. Wraithguard are pretty good but I found that in 5th 10 Wraithguard was more than enough for 2500 as anything more and the rest of your army suffered. However, with double force orgs in 2k and up, you can actually make an army entirely of Wraithguard as long as you have enough Farseers/Fortune floating around to make sure they are re-rolling saves. Throw in a Harlequin unit and you can't go wrong!

  6. I love this list. Wraithguard are one of my favorites as well!

  7. Great victories man. So glad you did well. Love your blog btw, I'll be checking in regularly to read your articles. Great work. :)

  8. Thanks for the comments guys! Sorry for the lack of content lately; I've been busy with life, school and everything else but I'll be adding more stuff shortly.