Iyanden Versus Space Marines

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Hello, I'm Stuart Grot and welcome to the 2005 Playoff finals! It's been an exciting post-season, and there's only two teams left to decide the 2005 champion! Without any further ado- let's get to it! The semi-finals of these playoffs is The Clash of the Craftworlds: Iyanden Vs Biel Tan.

2005 Playoff Finals: #5 Mentor Legion vs #1 Iyanden

"Mentors: The little team that could"

Coming into these playoffs for the second time without a regular season record, the Owls earned their seed based entirely on last year's playoff performance. However, most experts weren't expecting much more from this year's squad, with a largely undeveloped roster and no practice.
Maybe the Owls weren't the Cinderella story this year (that honor belongs to the Catachans), but they are definitely the model for persistence. The undermanned Owls forced overtime in every round, including two double-overtimes, winning only by a an average margin of 100 points. At the heart of it all- their Chapter Master and MVP favorite Nisk Ran-Thawll.
The Owls began their playoffs with a double-overtime thriller versus the expansion Tau team. In the second round- they faced the Cinderella Catachans, again going doible overtime- but winning decisively in the final match. Finally- the Mentors slid by #4 ranked Foot Orks, who had previously beaten what was considered the league's strongest Imperial army, #3 Blood Angels. Clearly the Owls have silenced all of their critics, and now face their greatest challenge, the #1 ranked Iyanden Ghostwarriors.
[gal_img]884[/gal_img]Note: Units in italics denote 2005 pro-bowl selections.


Chapter Master Nisk Ran Thawll 124pts
Power Weapon, Storm Shield, Artificer Armor, Frag Grenades, # Infiltrate
Retinue: The Owls - 7 Space Marines with bolter 182pts
1 w/Meltagun, 1 w/ Plasma gun, all # Infiltrate


Dreadnought: Apollos 153pts
Venerable, Dreadnought close combat weapon, storm bolter, Twin linked Lascannon
Extra Armor, Smoke Launchers


Tactical Squad Eagle 166pts
Sgt, w/ bolter, 7x Marine w/bolter, 1 Missile Launcher, 1 Flamer
Tactical Squad Corvus 151pts
Sgt, w/ bolter, 6x Marine w/bolter, 1 Missile Launcher, 1 Flamer
Scout Squad Barnstormer 90pts
Vet Sgt Halus, Terminator honors, Auspex, Combi-Melta
2 Scouts w/shotgun
1 Scout w/ bolter
1 Scout w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon

Heavy Support

Vindicator 133
Extra Armor, Smoke Launchers
Total: 999pts

"The Iyanden Dynasty"

Despite losing two of their all-pro units, Iyanden continues to prove its dominance in the tournament, winning their first playoff match vs. #12 Feral Orks by a massacre, and earning a solid victory against a highly touted 7th ranked Biel Tan, an army many experts believed could beat Iyanden. Iyanden has not lost a game this season, and hopes to cap its perfect record with a finals victory over the Owls.
Iyanden has done it this year with defense rather than speed. It's upped its passing game, and while still has excellent rushing, has bulked up rather than increased its overall speed.


Farseer Sarielle Ebonstar 91pts
Fortune, Mind War, Witchblade, Shuriken Pistol


Striking Scorpion squad Toxin 127pts
5x Striking Scorpions, including 1 Exarch
Scorpion's Claw, #Stealth


Wraithguard unit Spectre 208pts
5x Wraithguard
Warlock, Shuriken Pistol, Close Combat Weapon, Conceal
Wraithguard unit Revenant 217pts
5x Wraithguard
Warlock, Shuriken Pistol, Withcblade, Enhance
Mounted inWave Serpent 135pts
Twin Linked Brightlances, Spirit Stone
Wraithlord: "Ol' Trusty" 105pts
Scatter Laser
Wraithlord: "Cheater" 120pts
Total: 1003pts


With their home field advantage, Iyanden elected to play on a ruined city overpass, with a tremendous amount of terrain to bolter its superior rushing attack. For purposes of this report, we'll say the Mentors are on the North table edge while Iyanden is on the South edge. The Mentors set their Vindicator on the West edge, just west and behind squad Eagle. Squad Corvus deployed centrally atop a ruined building while the dreadnought stood in a doorway just below. On the west, the Mentors infiltrated both the HQ retinue and the scouts in a forward position.
[gal_img]888[/gal_img]Iyanden deployed its Wave Serpent full of wraithguard to the East of some ruins, just behind 'Ol Trusty. On the West side, the foot wraithguard and Cheater were deployed, while the Scorpions were infiltrated dead center behind the ruined overhead street.
[gal_img]889[/gal_img]With Iyanden winning the roll for turn, they elected to move first.

Iyanden Turn 1

A fairly uneventful turn for the defending champs. They fortune up the foot mob of wraithguard while Cheater and Ol Trusty advance and the Wave Serpent heads west. After the Wave Serpent fails to hit the Vindicator, Cheater kills two members of squad Eagle with its starcannon.

Mentor Turn 1

An uneventful turn 1 for the Mentors, just moving up the Owls and the Vindicator to engage Iyanden's west flank, while the dreadnought climbs out of the building. Squad Eagle fires their missile launcher at cheater but fails to wound him.

Iyanden Turn 2

Fortune up again and this time the foot wraithguard engages the scouts, while Cheater and Ol' Trusty continue to advance. The second wraithguard unit disembarks from the Wave Serpent, which moves out of sight of the Vindicator. In shooting, Cheater drops another member of squad Eagle while the Farseer manages to pick off a scout with her shuriken pistol.

Mentor Turn 2

Advancing the HQ again, the Mentors are intent to engage the footslogging wraithguard. However- the plasma gun Owl is killed by an overheat in the otherwise uneventful shooting phase. Wraithguard squad Spectre survives a shelling from the Vindicator and the Scouts, though the scouts manage to kill off one wraithguard with a bolter shot.

Iyanden Turn 3

Iyanden's third turn is dismal, with the Scorpions moving out for the main engagement on the west edge, and the Wave Serpent again failing to hit the Vindicator. Shooting from the fortuned wraithguard units is abysmal and produces no casualties. Meanwhile, 'Ol Trusty has emerged on the East flank and shakes the dreadnought with its scatter laser.

Mentor Turn 3

Exploiting the newly exposed scorpions, the vindicator pulls into position to engage, while the scouts and HQ retinue pursue the footslogging wraithguard. The vindicator kills the Scorpions down to their exarch in a single shot, also taking one wraithguard from Revenant with it, while the Scorpion Exarch is killed by the Scouts' bolter fire. The HQ retinue charges squad Spectre, failing to produce any casualties, but losing one owl in the process.

Iyanden Turn 4

Things have just started to heat up. Spectre is fortuned again, and Cheater and squad Revenant move into position to join the melee. Finally the Wave Serpent's twin linked Brightlances hit home, yet fail to penentrate the Vindicator's armor. On the East side, Ol' Trusty manages to shake the venerable dreadnought yet again. In the assault, Cheater manages to charge Commander Nisk, killing him with its powered fists, while Nisk manages to take a member of squad spectre with him. Farseer Sarielle kills one Owl with her witchblade, while Spectre kills another Owl, and squad Revenant kills two more! With no more chapter master on the table, the Owls fail leadership, and lose another two more holding off the Iyanden attack.

Mentor Turn 4

With combat now fully engaged, Sgt. Halus commands his scouts to enter the melee in the center, while the venerable dreadnought Apollos moves forward to charge 'Ol Trusty. Shooting is unreliable this turn, with the Vindicator's ordnance shell failing to penetrate the Wave Serpent's wave field, while the missile launchers from squad Corvus and Eagle fail to wound 'Ol Trusty. In close combat, Apollos manages to deal 2 wounds to Trusty, while only being shaken in return. Meanwhile on the West flank, squad Revenant kills off another scout, while Cheater kills two more. With no more models in its kill-zone, Cheater is free to leave the combat.

Iyanden Turn 5

Sarielle renews fortune on squad Spectre while Cheater advanced down the west flank to engage the Vindicator. No shooting is performed by Iyanden this Turn. In close combat, Cheater destroys the Vindicator, while Revenant kills the last scout, losing one of its members in return. Squad spectre finishes off the Owl HQ retinue, and in one final barrage, the two units overpower Sgt. Halus as he attempts a tactical withdrawal. On the East side, Apollos and Ol' Trusty destroy each other in close combat.

Mentor Turn 5

Down to just two units, the Mentors fight desperately to fend off the Iyanden assault. Squad Eagle fires at squad Spectre, failing to kill any because of their fortuned state, while squad Corvus fails to wound Cheater.

Iyanden Turn 6

With few targets remaining, Squad Revenant begins to collect spirit stones while the fortuned Squad Spectre and Cheater finish off squad Eagle in shooting.

Mentor Turn 6

In one final attempt, Squad Corvus fires everything it has at the fortuned squad Spectre, once again causing no casualties!
[gal_img]885[/gal_img]Final Score: Iyanden- 848, Mentors-232, Victorious Slaughter!
Well, that's it for this year's playoffs! It was surprising to me that the Mentors chose to engage Iyanden in assault, seeing how Iyanden has them severely outclassed in that department. I was thinking the Mentors would want to set up the Ghostwarriors at range, but probably abandoned that plan once it saw how ineffective its shooting was against fortuned wraithguard. Iyanden was uncharacteristically unbalanced in its scoring, with the Starcannon Wraithlord (Cheater) accounting for over half its team's victory points. Stay tuned for the 2005 Pro-bowl!

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