Iyanden Tacticum: Principles of
Playing Iyanden Armies
This is not a tactica, or even advice that
will lead to a tournament army, but an essay on the way that Iyanden
Armies should be themed, selected and played; and hopefully a guide
to creating a unique and authentic Iyanden army.
Iyanden was once the greatest and most beautiful
of all the craftworlds, but now it is little more than a drifting
and devastated shell, all but destroyed by Hive Fleet Kraken. The
dwindling fate common to all of the eldar is more profound on
Iyanden; it’s beauty more melancholy; it’s eldar warriors more
Such is the dire state of the craftworld that the
dead have been reanimated to an extent not known elsewhere in the
galaxy. And it’s because of this shortage of living troops that
mean Iyanden armies need to be selected and played in a way that is
distinctly different to other eldar armies. The ‘leave the
civilians at home’ principal applies even more strongly, because
each one of those civilians is so much more precious.
With these fluff-based restrictions, how do you
put together a nicely themed Iyanden army, which reflects the needs
and limitations of the Iyanden craftworld?
There’s a number of strong contenders for your
clearly useful, as they can augment the wraithguard, and protect
your troops from wraithsight, as well as acting as a flying lascanon
when armed on a jetbike and singing spear.
Avatars are also
an obvious choice: and the sacrifice of a single eldar life seems a
fair trade for a combat monster. My fear is that he’s not going to
have a clear role in this kind of army because combat is something
that an Iyanden army wants to avoid.
another strong contender, and stuck on a jetbike with mandiblasters,
laser lance and fusion gun again gives this army a fast and hard
hitting unit that can charge in with 6 str6 power weapon attacks,
and also turn most enemy tanks into so much molten slag.
I think the best choice would be a farseer, but
the options are fairly open here.
An obvious troop choice is to take pathfinders:
as these are wanderers, who have left whatever craftworld they
hailed from. These guys can die without depopulating Iyanden, so
Another troop choice is Dire Avengers. These
guys have been nicely revamped in the latest codex, making them
actually worth taking, and more importantly, the Shrine of Asurmen
is located on Iyanden, so that of all the aspects these would be the
most common. Exarch skills should naturally include Defend,
as preservation of Iyanden lives should be a major concern of any
Iyanden general. And shimmersheilds will no doubt be in
plentiful supply in Iyanden, so take them.
It has been suggested to me that guardians could
be taken, as long as they were painted to be part of Yriel’s
corsairs, as opposed to Iyanden civilians, and I think this is an
acceptable use of warm meat.
Luckily you have the option of taking a great
hand to hand combat unit without endangering anyone from Iyanden:
Harlequins – so take them!
For a pure Iyanden list I would then fill my
other two Elite slots with Wraithguard in wave serpents. As
I said above, wraithguard are surprisingly poor at using their
weapons, and I think they need a wave serpent to get them to where
you need them to be: either for a flank shot at an irritating
basilisk, or a do-or-die fusillade against a carnifex or greater
I don’t really see any of the fast options as
fitting nicely into an Iyanden army. Vypers seem too
fragile, I imagine there are strict speed limits and rules on drunk
driving and the like in Iyanden, and the thought that people will be
zipping round at high speed on vipers seems a little unlikely.
seem just too vulnerable, but if you do take them then give them sky
Warp Spiders are
a real no-no: why make mortality even more fragile by taking short
leaps through the warp?
I have no reason not to take Shining Spears,
although it seems a little too risky to throw a few men into combat
when wraithguard could go in instead.
Obviously Wraithlords come in up here as
well, tooled up nicely with star canons, missile launchers, star
canons and scatter lasers. You could take three, and deal out some
real dakka: or look at some of the other choices, which fit in
nicely with Iyanden.
I’m in favour of almost all the heavy choices,
because blasting the enemy from a distance seems to be exactly what
Iyanden are about. Being inside a Falcon or Fire Prism
that is decked out with holo fields, spirit stones and vectored
engines are about as safe a spot on the battlefield as you can get.
Perfectly fluffy, in my opinion.
Surprisingly Dark Reapers come in on my
acceptable list, partly in honour of Maugan Ra, who was instrumental
in beating back the tides of tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken.
Clearly Iyanden tactics will revolve around
avoiding combat or unnecessary casualties, especially warm-blooded
casualties. Units of wraith guard are easily overwhelmed in combat
by anyone with reaping or power-weapons, so they need to be used
with precision. To get them to where they need to be, they need to
be mounted in wave serpents.
I see Iyanden tactics revolving around a powerful
fire base, fast and deadly mounted wraith guard units surgically
destroying key threats from the enemy’s army, the whole army using
its speed to avoid combat. Dis-engagement is the key. Keep moving
and sniping, and moving on again.
In the sample list below, I have augmented the
wraithguard’s wraithcanons and the bright lances with horde-killing
firepower on the transports and the falcon. The army will refuse to
engage the enemy in combat, and keep moving and sniping at the
enemy. You’ll note the only ‘warm-blooded’ units are the rangers
and harlequins: not members of the Iyanden craftworld, and so not a
tragedy if they were to die on the battlefield.
1 Farseer @ 138 Pts with Jetbike; Fortune;
Mind War; Singing Spear
2 x 4 Wraithguard @ 288 Pts with Wave Serpent;
Spirit Stone; Shuriken Cannon; TL Shuriken Cannons; Warlock @ 
6 Harlequin Troupe @ 128 Pts all with Harlequins
2 x 5 Rangers @ 95 Pts
1 Wraithlord @ 160 Pts Bright Lance (BL);
1 Wraithlord @ 100 Pts Shuriken Cannon
1 Falcon @ 185 Pts Holo-field Spirit Stone;
Scatter Laser; Shuriken Cannon
Total Roster Cost: 1497