Sunday, 19 February 2017

Fracture of Biel-Tan Review: Part 5- Formations and Forces of Ulthwe

Welcome to the final part of my Fracture of Biel-Tan Review. This section will look at the new formations that are available in the book.

Ynnari Formations
Triumvirate of Ynnead
This consists of Yvraine, the Visarch and the Yncrne.

The special rules for this formation include Heralds of Rebirth. This makes any non-vehicle unit within 12" of two members of the Triumvirate are Fearless. In addition, if all three members of the Triumvirate are on the table, all friendly Ynnari models are Fearless. This is a pretty potent special rule. Generally, you will have Yvraine and the Visarch together to benefit from their special rules, as the Ycarne generates a 12" Fearless bubble anyway. Making all your Ynnari models Fearless when all models are on the table is also a very powerful bonus, giving you a big incentive to keep them alive for longer.

In addition, if all three models are on the battlefield, you get to add 1 to the special Ynnead rolls that the three new special characters get. This means that Yvraine and the Visarch re-gain a wound on a 3+, or the Ycarne on a 2+ when an Aeldari model is killed within 7" of them. This gives them a very good chance of regaining wounds if your units are getting killed.

This formation is great if you are planning to take all three models, providing them and the army with some very nice bonuses.

Soulbound Vanguard
This formation consists of:
  • Two units of Dire Avengers
  • One unit of Incubi
  • One unit of Wyches

The special rules for this formation include:
Chosen Warriors- Add 1 to the WS and BS of any unit joined by the Visarch or Yvraine. A nice bonus for most units, meaning you will be hitting with shooting attacks on a 2+ and potentially making it easier to hit opposing units in combat.

Vigour of Old- A unit gains Furious Charge when within 7" of another unit from the formation. Pretty good for upping your damage in combat.

First of the Reborn- Doubles the range for Soulburst actions. Given how useful Soulburst can be, this will be great for getting more actions from your formation in a turn.

This is a pretty decent formation. The units in it are powerful, but not overpowered. What I like is the Soulburst range increase. This could come in very handy for assault units in a transport. If the transport is destroyed, you can Soulburst with the unit to try and get them in to combat, reducing the chance of them getting wiped out by the enemy firepower.

Aeldari Bladehost
This formation consists of:
  • Two units of Wyches
  • 2 Units of Storm Guardians or Black Guardians
  • Two Troupes

This formation gives some nice bonuses in combat for multiple units and increases the utility of Soulburst actions. 

If two units from the formation are locked in the same combat, they gain Hatred. If three or more units are locked in combat with the same enemy unit, they also gain Preferred Enemy. Some nice bonuses for the combat-centric units in the formation. Re-rolls to hit would be pretty useful, but does require you committing at least two units to the same combat. 

In addition, if one unit from the formation makes a Soulburst action, you can unite the formation and perform the same Soulburst action with all unit in the formation. Can only be used once per turn, and cannot be used if a unit in the Formation has made a Soulburst action in that turn. This is really great for getting more Soulburst actions from your army. It could be useful for getting a massed charge on the enemy in your opponent's turn. Having to do the same action with each unit is a little limiting, but it is still a nice bonus. 

Ynnead's Net
This formation consists of:

  • Warlock Enclave (must be Skyrunners)
  • One unit of Windriders
  • One unit of Weavers
  • One unit of Skyweavers

This formation obviously has a strong lean towards jetbikes, and gives some very nice deployment options and psychic boosts for the units. 

All units in the formation must begin in reserve. All units come on from a single reserves roll (which you can choose to re-roll) and when they arrive, each unit must move on from a different table edge. This could prove quite potent for getting to the vulnerable rear armour or deployment zone troops of your opponent's army. A unit of Jetbikes with Scatter Lasers could wreak havoc with any backfield objective holding units, or allow you to get your assault jetbikes very close to the enemy very quickly. Given the high mobility of Eldar jetbikes, having to come on from your own board edge is not much of a disadvantage. 

In addition, the warlock conclave gets one warp charge for each unit that the formation destroyed or each unit from the formation that is destroyed each turn. This has the potential to seriously boost the psychic output of the warlock unit, as these jetbike units can be pretty potent in shooting and in assault. 

Whispering Ghost Hall
This formation consists of:
  • 1 Farseer
  • 1 Shadowseer
  • 1 Spiritseer
  • 2 Wraithlords
  • 3 Units of  either Wraithguard or Wraithblades

This formation gains Fear and a couple of other special rules. Non-character models in the formation get to re-roll to Hit rolls of 1 if they target an enemy unit within 12" of a character from the formation. In addition, enemy units locked in combat with a unit in the formation suffer a -2 Ld penalty to their fear test. 

This is a powerful formation with a lot of psychic potential and a lot of firepower. Wraithguard are a solid unit, but do require some form of transport in order to get them into the short range of their weapons. You would probably need to purchase three Wave Serpents or Raiders to transport the unit and attached character (if this is even possible). The re-rolls to hit are nice, but the Fear bonus will not be used that often, as many competitive forces are immune to Fear or not seriously affected by it. 

Overall, there are some decent formations available to the forces of the Ynnari. What is quite useful is that these formations can be taken as part of the Reborn Warhost Detachment, adding their bonuses to the bonuses gained from the detachment. 

Forces of Ulthwe
The new book also includes a new Ulthwe Strike Force and four units that can be taken in the detachment. 

The Ulthwe Strike Force can include up to four units taken from Black Guardians, Black Guardian Windriders, Black Guardian Vyper Squadrons and Black Guardian War Walkers. These units are the same as their Craftworld Eldar counterparts, but gain access to the Webway Assault special rule. 

Webway Assault allows units to deploy via Deep Strike reserve. When they arrive from Deep Strike reserve, they do not scatter as long as they are placed at least 9" from an enemy model. This is obviously an incredibly powerful ability, allowing you to deploy the units with incredible accuracy. A unit of 20 Black Guardians arriving and firing 40 shuriken catapult units at any unit is going to cause a lot of damage. This could also be useful for grabbing objectives, as you will be able to grab any uncontested objectives with ease. 

The Ulthwe Strike Force detachment also gives some nice bonuses. All units in the Detachment gain Stubborn and Preferred Enemy if the enemy army contains Chaos units. In addition, if the detachment contains 4 units, they may start rolling for Deep Strike reserves on turn 1. 

This new detachment gives you a way to build an effective strike force that can start to arrive from turn 1 and significantly reduces the risk of deep striking.

So that is the end of my review of the Fracture of Biel-Tan book. This new supplement introduces the new Ynnari faction to the game, giving players a way to build highly effective combined Eldar forces. There are a number of powerful combinations that can be built from the four books and makes an already powerful army even more powerful. 


  1. Now you're tempting me with those guardians!

    1. Sorry Nick! I like some of the formations, but still think the main detachment will be a lot stronger. Some very nasty combinations possible.