Saturday, 31 March 2012

UK 40k GT - Games 3 & 4

Game 3: Capture and Control / Pitched Battle vs. Luke Nurser [Necrons]

Holy crap! Having scored 39/40 for my first two games I found myself on unfamiliar territory, Table 2!! I was also facing Necrons which I’ve had very little experience against. A couple of matches against them at Decimation had taught me that Scarab Swarms can hurt on attacks alone, and Wraiths are hard!

Luke’s army didn’t feature any wraiths, but did have two 5 base units of Scarabs. It featured the usual three Annihilation Barges (the New Hydra auto included it seems), 2 Lords on Barges a couple of small warriors squads with Crypteks and a couple of Necron walker things. This is quickly becoming the standard army list the Necrons use, certainly the 5 barges was a feature in almost every Necron army at the tournament.

Not knowing how to deal with Necron cost me badly on this mission. There were a few unlucky fleet rolls by myself which prevented Genestealers from charging the Scarab bases, and meant that they got to charge me. I did manage to devise a fairly simple way to destroy the Lords without having to deal with the Mindshackle scarabs. Surrounding the Command Barges with Genestealer and destroying them mean that due to the small base and hull size of the command barge there is nowhere for the Lord to deploy to. There was also some fairly bad tactical decisions in this game. The Swarmlord was caught in the open after destroying a small unit of Necrons, the combined fire from Str8 AP1 staffs from Crypteks, Anniliation Barges and the Walkers making all further shot twin linked and he was overwhelmed and killed. To be honest it was a pretty horrid game from my point of view, nothing to do with my opponent, who I joked with quite a lot during the game and enjoyed playing against, but more to do with an inability to roll many successes when I needed them. The Hive Guard had no luck in the game at all, only managing to immobilize a single Annihilation Barge all game before dying. The only slight ray of hope was the late arrival of one of my packs of Genestealers, who despite outflanking chose to come on close to my board edge in order to try to retake my own objective. In the end, although they managed to kill the Necron Lord on my objective I was powerless to stop an Annihilation Barge from flying up and contesting my object. His own objective was never really under threat as it quickly become clear I couldn’t get to it and the majority of my reserves were being used to bolster and defend my own objective. From Turn 3 onwards I was playing for the draw, and failed.

Result: LOSS 3 – 17

Game 4: Annihilation / Spearhead vs. Simon Edwads [Necrons]

Start of day two and the slide from Table 2 was well on its way, and I faced another Necron army. A fairly similar army to my previous game it featured a Lord on an Barge, three Annihilation Barges, two units of Scarabs, however this one also included a Destroyer Lord and 6 wraiths. He kept all his Crypteks in a single unit, which I was actually please with an it limited the power of all the Str 8 shots from their staffs. There was a few learning I took from the first game, I was determine to not let the Command Barge get amongst my battle lines and this proved successful when the Hive Guard shot the approaching vehicle down unceremoniousl. However the Destroyer Lord and Wraiths were closing fast. The wraiths slit off from the Lord and headed toward the Hive Guard, whilst the Lord and Destroyer Lord both charged the Swarmlord, who promptly failed his mindshackle test and killed his own Tyrant Guard :(  TheWraiths plowed through the Hive Gaurd and headed towards the Tervigon. In the following assauslt phase the Swarmlord tapped out the Necron Lord but despite getting two hits failed to wound the Destroyer Lord on a 4+. This happened again the following turn and finally in the fourth turn of combat the Destroyer Lord finally killed my HQ. The Wraiths meanwhile had murdered their way through my Tervigon and second Hive Guard unit. When the Genestealers did arrive it was fairly obvious I wasn't going to win, or even draw this game and so they just went to ground to try to prevent being tabled. As it was at the end of the (which didn't finish till turn 7) I only had 10 Genestealers left on the table. Not Good.

Result: LOSS 1 - 19

Someone told me Tyranids are meant to be a bad matchup for Necrons? I'm clearly not playing them well as I really struggled in these two games. Any advice for future matchups is welcome, I think Necrons will be a feature in more tourmaments to come.  

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

UK 40K GT - Games 1 & 2

So this weekend saw the 2nd UK 40k Grand Tournament. The event’s running was taken over by the 40K UK podcast and probably represents the UK’s premier independent tournament, with 120 people in attendance.

For this event I was taking my Tyranids and after his success at Decimation I was going to give the Swarmlord another run out. This time though at the lower points cost of 1850. So my army was;-

Tyrant Guard with Lash Whip
3 x Hive Guard
3 x Hive Guard
DOOM in a Pod
11 Genestealers with Broodlord, Toxin Sacs
14 Genestealers, Toxin Sacs
14 Genestealers, Toxin Sacs
 Tervigon, Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst, Cluster Spines
11 Termagaunts

With only 11 kill points it’s fairly compact army and I’m hoping that this may mean against any Grey Knight MSU armies I can earn enough kill points popping Razorback and Dreadnoughts with the Hive Guard before they gun them down. It will depend heavily on terrain, but at Maelstrom there is often some fairly large LOS blocking terrain features. The inclusion of a Broodlord is useful for vehicles and a nice 5 attacks at a higher initiative step which stops the rending attacks being diluted down by wound allocation, which tends to happen to the mass Genestealer attacks at initiative 6. I’m beginning to consider dropping the DOOM for a tournament in favour of some Ygmgarl Genestealers. I’ve never had a game where’s totally blown me away with his success as he tends to be killed my Str8 firing the turn after he arrives.

Game 1: Seize Ground / Spearhead vs. Neil Gibbons [Daemons]

Not played that many games against Daemons, and the couple of games I did, didn’t go well, so I was looking forward to this. I believe the internet name for the army I was using is Fatecrusher. Fateweaver has strong ranged attacks and a nasty ability to re-roll saves for anyone with 6” of him. Along with him there were two Daemon Prince of Tzeentch and a Herald of Tzeentch for more range firepower. Two large units of Bloodcrushers and Unit of Fiends made up the close combat element of the army with the mandatory two small scoring units of Plague Bearers to hold objectives. The key to this would be dealing with those close combat threats in a timely manner. Genestealers can do it, but not if Fateweaver gets involved, so dealing with him was going to be priority #1.

I won the roll and chose to go second to ensure I didn’t loose a turn with no one on the board. With a large impassable building in the centre of the board it limited the directions that attacks could come from. The four game objectives were roughly position with one in each quarter, so the Tyranids set up in a fairly large block in our own quarter, whilst the Genestealer infiltrated into cover within the ‘neutral’ quarters, limiting where the Daemons would be able to deep strike. It also meant that the first troops the Daemons had to fight past were the Genestealer and Swarmlord, with the Hive Guard firing from the relative safety of behind the building.

In turn one he got his preferred wave, which consisted of the 4 Tzeentch models and the slightly larger Bloodcrusher unit. However after Fateweaver landed it went a little pear shaped. The two Daemon Princes scatter outside of Fateweaver protective bubble and one of them suffered a wound to landing in difficult terrain. The Herald landed according to plan, but the Bloodcrushers scattered onto a unit of Genestealers and misshaped. I got to position the unit and chose a nice open patch between a unit of Genestealers and the Swarmlord, well away from Fateweaver’s bubble, with hungry eyes the Genestealer slowly turned to face the Daemons. Neil’s firing phase wasn’t too strong, the Genestealer were all in cover and only a few died to shooting attacks from the Tzeentch Daemons. For my first turn the Swarmlord bestowed preferred enemy on the unit of Genestealer and the pair charged the hapless Bloodcrushers. A second pack of Genestealers charged Fateweaver, trying to get rid of him quickly. The Hive Guard also fired at the Bloodchrushers to soften them up a little. In the assault phase the Bloodcrusher were reduce to a couple of models before any of them could strike, and subsequently reduced to a single model by combat resolution. This did mean the Swarmlord was safe from firing attacks. The other pack of Genestealers caused a single wound on Fateweaver but he passed his leadership check and didn’t flee into the warp.

Turn two saw both Daemon Princes join the fight with Fateweaver, lots of casualties were inflicted on the Genestealers who broke from combat, but fled straight into the loving embrace of the Swardlord’s synapse bubble to rally. A small unit of Plague Bearers landed near the objective close to Fateweaver, whilst the second units of Bloodcrushers and Plague Bearers landed behind my battle line to threaten the objective on that flank of the board. His fiends landed to counter the Swarmlord and two packs of Genestealer advancing on battle line. The remaining Bloodcrusher was swiftly killed by the Swarmlord who then advanced on the Tzeentch daemons. Turn two also saw the arrival of the DOOM! Landing close to the assembled Tzeentch daemons he managed to absorb a single wound off a Prince. My Genestealers on the right flank moved to counter the newly arrived Bloodcrushers whilst the Tervigon spawned gaunts to string out and protect the rear of my battleline. The Hive Guard shot and killed a Bloodcrusher as well as wounding a couple of others, but largely my turn two was uneventful.

For turn three, the majority of his firing was aimed at either the Genestealers, DOOM! or Swarmlord, with a couple of wounds on the Swarmlord and a few Genestealers killed. His Bloodcrushers charged and destroyed the gaunt screen at the back of the board. Fateweaver retreated from the DOOM! and the herald and Daemon Princes took up position to prevent him getting within 6”. The fiends assaulted the large unit of Genestealers moving up to support their cousins and the Swarmlord. The Genestealers did some damage but couldn’t cope with the sheer number of attacks the fiends put out and were destroyed. In my turn three the Tyranids struck, the Impaler Cannons of the Hive Guard softened up the Bloodcrushers then the Genestealers charged. The Swarmlord charge one of the Daemon Princes whist the small remaining Genestealer unit charged the Plague Bearers on the objective. Combat was bloody, the Genestealer managed to put a serious dent in the Bloodcrushers for relatively little return damage. Swarmlord cut down the Daemon Prince, his bone sabres cancelling out Fateweaver’s advantage. Meanwhile the other Genestealers killed a three of the Plague Bearers. The Swarmlord moved towards the fiends daring them to charge him. The battle was swinging in favour of the Tyranids.

Turn four and the fiends bottled charging the Swarmlord and instead headed towards the Genestealer attacking the Plague Bearers, the last Daemon Prince also charged them and between them all made short work of the Genestealers. Meanwhile the other pack of Genestealers destroyed the Bloodcrushers and moved towards the Plague Bearers now hiding right in the corner of the board. Fateweaver flew over his shield and attempted to turn the Swarmlord into a spawn, luckily I passed the test and he fought on. In my turn the Swarmlord charged into the Fiends to try to stop their rampage, the Hive Guard managed to kill the last Daemon Prince from range and the DOOM! charged Fateweaver. The initial round of combat between the Swarmlord and fiends favoured the Swarmlord, however he took a couple of wounds and was running the risk of being dragged down by attrition.

Turn five was a fairly fateful turn for both sides. The Swarmlord finally succumbed to the attacks of the fiends but had reduced the squad down to just 3 models before he died. Also in blinding display of bad dice rolling, Fateweaver fell to the DOOM!’s leech essence. A leadership test of 16 followed by repeated fails of the 3+ save meant the end of the Greater Daemon. The fiends headed towards the objective being held by the Tervigon, whilst the Genestealers scrambled to get across the board to reinforce the Tervigon, however units we starting to fall out of synapse now and not all of them behaved. Neil still had three units left, the Fiends heading toward my objective, the Herald and two Plague Bearers heading towards an objective. The Hive Guard both went instinctive and fired at their closest targets, both fired on the Herald and stripped it down to a single wound. At this point I was ahead 1 – 0 on objectives, we rolled the dice and there would be a turn six.

Turn six was make or break. The Plaque Bearers moved to the objective and dug in, the fiends charged the Tervigon and finished it off with little effort. For my turn six the Hive Guard fired on the Plague Bearers and Herald, killing the later and leaving a single Plague Bearer on the objective, who was promptly taken out by a Str10 large blast from the DOOM!. The Genestealers charged the remaining Fiends and killed them all in a single round of combat. I had managed to table the Daemons in six turns.

Result: WIN 20- 0

Game 2: Capture and Control / Pitched Battle vs. Richard Miller [Black Templars]

Richard was using an unusual Black Templar army, there wasn’t the usual large number of tank hunting terminators with cyclones or large volumes of marines, but there were two Landraiders though *groan*. A crusader filled with combat assault Terminators and the Emperor’s champion and a God Hammer with a 5 man troop squad inside. He also had two las / auto cannon predators, two Landspeeders and a couple of foot slogging five man marine squads. It was quite a shooty army for Blank Templars with all the combat punch coming at me in the Landraider. The key would be to get the Swarmlord and some Genestealers into combat with Terminators.

The God Hammer deployed on his objective, the Crusader on my right flank. The presence of a large building just outside my deployment zone shielded the majority of my force, however a unit of Hive Guard had to weather two turns of firing. Dozens of Las Cannon shots, Crack Missiles, Heavy Bolter and Autocannon shots ripped into the three man unit and remarkable over the two turns they only took 3 wound between them. During this time the Crusader had advanced across the board. In my turn two the Genestealer horde arrived, one of the right flank head straight for one of Richard's deckchair units that had arrived in reserve and deployed a little close to the edge of the board. Meanwhile the other 2 units appeared on my left flank and headed towards his objective and Predator tanks. However more worrying was the Landraider full of Terminator nastiness heading towards my objective. The Swarmlord charged into the Landraider and successfully ripped open the armour transport, spilling Terminators and the Emperor’s champion onto the board. Richard’s deckchair unit didn’t fair too well, 14 Genestealer pulled them apart in short order and consolidated into cover to prepare for the inevitable backlash from the nearby squads and landspeeders.

In his turn three Richard charged his combat unit, he multi-charged the Swarmlord and two large units of Gaunts that surrounded him, this wasn’t going to go well. Although the Swarmlord managed to kill two Terminators quickly (even storm shields struggle when all successful saves have to be re-tested), the remaining squad members took a bloody toll on the Gaunts and in the end I lost combat by over 10. The resulting combat resolution no retreat wounds finished off both Gaunt squads as well as killing the Tyrant Guard, luckily the Swarmlord only took a couple of wounds. During my turn the Genestealers continued their advance through Richard’s armour. On the right flank the Genestealer squad charged and killed the Landspeeder whose heavy flamer had killed several of them in his turn, on the opposite flank a Predator was also torn apart by weight of numbers. The Tyranids were getting the edge provided I could deal with the Terminator unit. Luckily the Swarmlord came good, killing the remaining three members of the Terminator Assault squad, only the Emperor’s Champion remained.

The noose tightened around the Black Templars, by the start of turn four they had a couple of vehicles and squads remaining, however one was still the Godhammer sitting on his objective with a troops choice inside, I needed to get a monstrous creature to it if I wanted to destroy it and its content. In Richard’s assault phase the Swarmlord killed the Emperor’s Champion in a single blow, freeing him up to head towards the other Landraider. Genestealer continued to pull down squads and landspeeders as they headed for the centre of his deployment zone and his objective. The Swarmlord charged the last predator and took it’s firepower out of the equation, but was now dangerously low on wounds.

In turn five Richard fire the Godhammer and killed the Swarmlord, who had been caught in the open after the Predator exploded. This left only the Tervigon capable of penetrating the Landraider, or the Hive Guard glancing it to death. It was unlikely that the Tervigon was going to make it across the board in time, so the Genestealers assaulted the Landraider just to get close enough to the objective at its centre to contest his objective and so it ended 1 – 0 on objectives to me.

Result: WIN 19 - 1

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Doubles Tournament - The first attempt

So we tried our first attempt at a doubles game today. We actually played against a single opponent and chose to go in at the deep end facing Dan's Grey Knight army. Dan is currently ranked 15th in the country and damn good with his army. I used;-

Rune Priest, Chosen the the Slain, Jaws of the World Wolf, Murderous Hurricane
5 Grey Hunters with Flamer in a Rhino
5 Grey Hunters with Melta-gun in a Las/Plas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers in a Las/Plas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers in a Las/Plas Razorback
Landspeer with Heavy Flamer and Multi-melta

where as Bennett used;-

Rune Priest, Chosen the the Slain, Jaws of the World Wolf, Living Lightning
9 Grey Hunters with Melta-gun in a Rhino
5 Grey Hunters with Melta-gun in a Las/Plas Razorback
5 Grey Hunters with Melta-gun in a Las/Plas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 2 Missile Launchers & 3 Plasma Cannons
Lone Wolf in Terminator Armour, Storm Shield & Chainfist.

We ended up playing Capture and Control and Dawn of War, which played right into Dan's hands. His army contains 3 Stormravens and DoW means he can fly them on and sweep  accross the board, where as the majority of our firepower has to walk or roll onto the board, limiting our effectiveness.

I don't plan to do a blow by blow account of the game, but its fair to say it didn't go well, I poorly judged what to do with my Landspeeder and ended up throwing it away. My Longfangs also suffered badly. In the end it was Bennett's assault on Dan's objective that almost got us a draw, but a failed tank shock resulted in a loss.

Still it was a good first game and I think we've learnt some tactics, we'll tweek the armies a little and come back harder, we've still got 3 months after all before the actual tournament.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Double Tournament - The plan

Yeah it's the UK 40K GT next weekend, but I'm all painted and ready (for once), so my attention is turned to my other project, the Blood-Wolf-Black-Ultra-Dark Marines! Otherwise know as a generic chapter I can swap codex around with and hopefully take a really competitive army to a few tournaments. The initial force is based around the Space Wolf codex and it's your basic Long Fang, Grey hunter Razorback spam. I'm hoping to get 2000pts done in time for a local tournament in late summer call Solstice, but before that I'm off to a doubles tournament. I'm going with Bennett from damndice blog we're both taking Space Wolves and hopefully bringing some filth. For the tournament you must take an 1750 army split evenly in two forces. One organisation chart for the army and both forces must have 1 HQ and 1 Troop choice. For my half of the 1750 pts I'm current thinking of using;

Rune Priest, Chosen the the Slain, Jaws of the World Wolf, Murderous Hurricane
5 Grey Hunters with Flamer in a Rhino
5 Grey Hunters with Melta-gun in a Las/Plas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers in a Las/Plas Razorback
6 Long Fangs with 5 Missile Launchers in a Las/Plas Razorback
Landspeer with Heavy Flamer and Multi-melta

It's not subtle but hopefully it will take no prisoners either. The only challange now is picking a paint scheme that is both cool but also not a main chapter, my current thought process is something along the lines of -

But I'm struggling to find a good way to paint the red over the black, my other option is yellow rather than red. Once I've got some example I'll be sure to post here.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Decimation 2012 - Day Two

So Day 2, Day 1 had been the usual average results of Win, Draw & Loss. Would day 2 be the same? Only one way to find out.

Game 4 vs. James Darcy (Imperial Guard) – Primary: Kill Points, Secondary: Seize Ground, Dawn of War deployment.

Darcy's Guard army included 3 Russ variants (two Leman Russ and one Demolisher), two vendetta, Some large guard squads with heavy weapon teams and two ruddy armoured sentinels (more on them to follow). With Dawn of War Darcy placed a couple of 10man guard squads forward to keep me back, I responded by most loading one flank with my initial deployments. Turn one and the majority of his army rolled on, the Leman Russ tanks we on either flank, but careful to position themselves out of outflank charge range. For my turn one it was mostly around the arrival of the Hive Guard and Swarmlord. This time the Prime joined a unit of Hive on the far left flank, the hope being to get shots into the sides of the Leman Russ battle tanks. The exchange of fire was largely ineffective, the Gaunts screen in front of my units give cover, whilst they themselves were anchored in terrain at both end giving them a 4+ save.

For my Turn 2 all my reserves turned up. Two packs of Genestealer arriving from my left table edge and another from the right, meanwhile the DOOM dropped down in amongst his infantry. The Genestealers on the right multi charged a 10man guard squad and the two armoured sentinels on the extreme flank of the guard army. Meanwhile on the opposite flank a five man command squad felt the wrath of one stealer pack, whilst a stationary vendetta was hit by a second pack. The Left flank performed well, killing both the command squad and vendetta, whilst on the other flank the squad died, but with a front armour of 12 the sentinels weathered the hail of rending attack from the Genestealers and took no damage. The rest of the battle was pretty much taken up by stealers rolling from one combat to another on the left flank, there was one shaky moment when one stealer pack was tank shocked by a weaponless Leman Russ and broke, but lukily their fleeing movement took them straight into the loving embrace of the Prime’s synapse bubble and auto rallied. HOWEVER on the right flank we had the armour sentinels! Armour 12 vs around 12 rending Genestealers ……. for 6 rounds of combat! The damn metal chickens just wouldn’t die. In the end the Tervigon had to slog down the board to take care of them, and it even took him 3 turns of combat to kill them both!

However the other two packs out did themselves and in their wake they left nothing but dead bodies. In the end the only things left on the board were the three Leman Russ tanks, and one of them had been stripped of all weapons.

Result: WIN 18- 0 tournament points

Game 5 vs. Sean Homan (Vanilla Marines) – Primary: Capture and Control, Secondary: Annihilation, Pitched Battle deployment.

Sean was using an interesting marine army. Vulkan led the army making all flamer and melta weapons twin linked as well as thunder hammers master crafted. There were two units of terminators, one shooty with Cyclone that deployed on my left flank, the other with thunder hammers and shields tin deep strike with a librarian. Three multimelta attack bikes deployed with the Terminators, whilst a Vindicator, Shooty scout squad and thunderfire cannon all deployed in a large building closer to my right flank. The techpriest then reinforced the building giving everyone inside a 3+ save (2+ in the case of the stealthed scouts). In reserve there was a Tactical squad with Vulkan in a drop pod. The Terminator, a Dreadnought and 5 more scouts in a landspeeder storm and some scout bikers.

Sean informed me that of the special rule whereby his scouts had mined one of the terrain feature on the board and the first unit to enter the terrain suffered 2d6 hits. This included the terrain in my deployment zone and the first unit I deployed into the terrain would take the hits, so what did the hivemind do? herded the Gaunts into the terrain. My 15 Gaunts strung out across the board into all three terrain features in my deployment, then the rest of the army moved in. Sure enough a violent explosion rocked one of the two buildings in my deployment zone and 8 of the plucky little mine sweepers were blown up, but then what else are Guants for? Winning the first turn my Hive Guard advanced further into cover and locked onto the thunderfire cannon, one salvo later and despite the 3+ cover save the cannon was nothing but a broken pile of machinery. Using the Swarmlord’s reroll ability the Genestealers all arrived on the same flank and rapidly moved to overwhelm the occupants of the reinforced building, which had now been joined by Vulkan and his tactical squad. On the opposite flank it was all the DOOM, he landed near the bikes and terminators and killed 2 bikers and 4 terminator through leech essence and his psychic attack. The remaining bike was picked off by the Hive Guard, whilst the following turn the last terminator fell to the DOOM’s leech essence. The scout bikers did manage to arrive from outflank and take out a unit of Hive Guard in a fairly long drawn out combat, before running foul of the remnants of a Genestealer pack. At my objective the Storm and scouts attempted to pick off the Gaunts holding it, but a couple survived their initial shooting and charge, to be join in the following turn by the Prime who destroyed the scouts. Meanwhile the Stealers were running amok in the main building, killing tanks, dreadnoughts and scouts without mercy. At the start of turn 5 I charge the last remaning squad of scouts and finished them off too, despite putting up a valiant fight the Space Marines had all been devoured.

Result: WIN 18- 0 tournament points

Game 6 vs. Stu Smith (Necrons) – Primary: Seize Ground, Secondary: Capture and Control, Spearhead deployment.

Game 6, Table 3, a win here could propel me to my first ever podium finish and as it had started so it ended. My rematch against Stu’s Necron army. I’d learnt a few things from the first game. The Destroy lord and wraiths couldn’t be left unchecked, Swarmlord eats scarab bases for lunch. However Stu had also learnt that the Swarmlord couldn’t be left alone, it was going to be a clash of titans at some point. In the first turn on of my Hive Guard squads manage to range onto a Doomsday Ark and wreck it, a good start. However the other Hive Guard with the Prime in tow looked like they were about to become victim number one of the Destroyer lord. The hivemind responded by granting them Feel No Pain as well as reducing the WS of the Lord and squad to 1. In the face of the now less favourable combat the Lord retreated. Turn 2 and the DOOM dropped down near his objective and was supported by and outflanking Genestealer pack, however he didn’t manage a great deal of damage.

Turn 3 and the Swarmlord charged a unit of scarabs and destroyed them. The 2nd unit of scarabs charge the Hive Guard that had destroyed the ark and wrapped onto a nearby Gaunt unit, however they didn’t do enough damage against the T6 Hive Guard and the combat was locked. The following term an outflanking unit of Genestealers joined the fight to finished them off. However all eyes were fixed on the centre, knowing that the Swarmlord had to be stopped the Destroyer Lord and Wraiths charged him, the Guards and the Prime The presence of whips on all side made most combatants I 1. The Destroyer Lord struck first but could penetrate the parrying blades of the Swarmlord, who in turn cut down the Lord in one blow. The wraiths and Tyranids traded blows and a wraith and Guard we both killed. Then the Lord stood up again. The following turn the Swarmlord once again put down the Destroyer Lord, only to watch it once again raise up and rejoin the combat. For a third turn the Destroyer Lord was killed and by now the wraiths had been killed, with the loss of both Guard. As the Swarmlord and Prime moved toward one of the Seize Ground objective there was an ominous hum behind him as the Lord once again raise itself back to life. Now seeing this as a personal grudge the Swarmlord once again charged him and for a fourth and ultimately final time smashed the Necron Lord into the ground. As the clock ticked down the Genestealer hordes consolidated across the board to capture 2 of the 3 Seize ground objectives, but the DOOM and accompanying Genestealer could wrestle Stu’s home objective from him and so in the end the secondary was a draw.

Result: WIN 15- 3 tournament points

Overall Summary.

I WON A TROPHY! For the first time in my 15months of attending tournaments I got a 3rd place. I was well made up.

The Swarmlord had done me proud, surviving most of the games and causing carnage in them too. The Hive Guard had once again done their jobs too. I’m still not sold on Tervigons, he didn’t seem to make a major impact and I wonder if dropping him for more Genestealers is a possibility. However I did like the tactical options that adding the Prime gave me. Going with the Swarmlord to add more resistance to his unit or joining a unit of Hive Guard for some wound allocation seemed to work well. I think I may have to include him in future armies where possible.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Decimation 2012 - Day One

Decimation was a relatively small tournament, with only 22 players in attendance. What was also unusual was the mix of armies; there were only 4 Grey Knight armies, 1 Space Wolf and no Dark Eldar. Tyranids made up for 4 of the armies in attendance. With a bit of luck I could dodge a lot of the bad match ups and secure a good result. It was a 2000pts tournament using the Northern Warlord mission system (each round has a primary worth 12 tournament points and a secondary worth 6). Northern Warlords was previous my best ever result in a tournament, but that was when I was using Chaos Space Marines. This time it was splinter fleet Krogoth taking to the tables. For my 2000pts I was going to try a Tyranid death star approach. My army was;-

2 Tyrant Guards with lash whips
Tyranid Warrior Prime with lash whip and bonesword
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
DOOM in a pod
14 Genestealers with toxin sacs with a Broodlord
14 Genestealers with toxin sacs
14 Genestealers with toxin sacs
Tervigon with scything talons, catalyst and cluster spines
15 Termagaunts

It’s a return to favour with the Swarmlord, I loose the ability to outflank the Tervigon, but the ability to re-roll the outflank result and his extra little tricks I hope will make up for the increased points. The plan was to run all 4 HQ units as a block and try to overwhelm the opponent with the pure CC damage these 4 models can put out.

Game 1 vs. Stu Smith (Necrons) – Primary: Kill Points, Secondary: Capture and Control, Spearhead deployment.

Other than one friendly game at Garrison, I’ve never faces a tournament Necron army so I was a little in the dark. I did know that scarabs can bring down the biggest of stealer packs since their ability to absorb attacks and then retaliate with 4 attacks a base (5 on the charge) is scary. Stu had 2 units of 10 scarabs so that didn’t please me, he also had 3 wraiths with destroyer lord which I also knew was a nasty combination. Backing these up were two large unit of Immortals (one with tesla one with gauss) 4 small 5 man warrior unit with a kryptec in each (with some Str9 longer range shot thing), finally 2 Doomsday arks and an annihilation barge. The annihilation barge worried me a lot, its ability to arc between squads could be nasty against my often tightly packs squads of gaunts and HQs.

Stu won the roll and chose to go first. Worried about outflanking Genestealers arriving behind his gun line he strung a unit of scarabs out along his short board edge, the rest of the army took up position close to the centre in a large firing block. For my deployment I opted to forgo outflanking in favour of keeping the stealers on the board. I didn’t want them caught up fighting the scarabs and infiltrating into the empty quarter on Stu’s side of the board left at least one scarab swarm badly out of position. One units of Genestealers didn’t manage to take advantage of a large LOS blocking piece of terrain to deploy 12” away from his battle lines ……… then I seized. The stealers charge round the building and tore into the Tesla armed Immortals, pulling them apart in one turn of combat. Unfortunately this left them in open ground in front of the Necron gun line, and the warriors and immortals repaid the action in kind wiping out the stealer pack in a hail of gauss. The rest of my army approached in cover of a large building. Impaler cannons tore apart one of the units of scarabs, reducing it to 4 bases in one round of firing (Str 8 is good against the little gits) but the remaining bases managed to jump the Tervigon and kill it before being reduced down to 1 base by more Impaler fire. The two remaining Genestealer packs brought down the Annihilation barge and a unit of warriors, but again paid a heavy price from the return fire and were largely rendered ineffective dropping in size down to less than half a dozen. But they had killed off the two 5 man warrior teams guarding his objective. Sadly the annihilation barges’ broadsides finished off the units, leaving me with no troop choices left on his half of the board, but not before one pack of Stealers had destroyer one of the two arks.

Meanwhile the Destroyer lord and wraiths were dealing a terrible price on my Hive Guard in the backfield. They destroyed the small gaunt unit that was holding my own objective and killed the 6 Hive Guards that were advancing into range of the Doomsday arks. It wasn’t looking good. Then the death star landed. It first victim was the 10 strong scarab swarm. With the Swarmlord giving the unit furious charge it upped the strengths of the attacks to 6 or more and so they tore through the swarm in one round. The DOOM landed and started to absorb the life off the small 5 man warrior teams, killing several of them until a Kryprtek ended his rampage with a Str9 shot. The large Immortal squad with gauss blaster took up position to repeat their performance on the Genestealers, this time with the Swarmlord in their sights. However with a majority toughness of 6 this squad wasn’t the push over they were hoping for. As the Gauss cloud parted the Swarmlord and Prime were both still in tact all be slightly wounded now. They charged into the Immortals and start to pull them apart, breaking the unit in combat and running them to ground and that’s how the game ended. It had mostly been a game about monster units, the destroyer lord and wraith had scored around 5 kill points taking out Gaunts and Hive Guard in my back field, whilst the Swarmlord had ploughed through large units of Scarabs and Immortals. The final score was close as I narrowly won the primary by 2 kill points, and the secondary was a draw as neither of us controlled any of the objectives.

Result: WIN 15 – 3 tournament points

Game 2 vs. Gary Marsh (Eldar) –Primary: Capture and Control, Secondary: Seize Ground, Dawn of War deployment.

OMG Gary’s Eldar army is nicely painted. We’re talking hand painted tiny scales on all his Grav Tanks, Wave Serpents, Jet Bikes and War Walkers! The force itself was two units of Fire Dragons in Wave Serpents, two small units of Dire Avengers in the Grav Tanks, 3 War Walkers, two Jet Bike units, a unit of warp spiders and a large seer council on Jet Bikes with Farseer and Autarch.

I can’t remember who won the roll, but I ended up going first. Having not played Eldar a great deal I wasn’t really aware of the trick that Gary had planned, his full force went into reserve. So for the first two turns the Tyranids wandered the board with no one to fight. It meant the DOOM landed with no one to attack and all the Genestealers arrive to an empty board. The objectives were all strung out across the whole length of the board and I knew the Eldar trick of stealing control in the last turns using turbo boosting Jet Bikes, so where possible the Gaunts and Genestealers guard their objectives spread out to stop a Jet Bike landing close enough to contest. At the start of his turn 2 Gary’s whole army except 1 Jet bike squad turned up, and he chose to deploy them all in a tight pack on my far right flank. It was clear he planned to overwhelm one side of my force and sweep down the board. The War Walkers came on behind a unit of Genestealer which had arrived in my turn and opened fire, combined with fire from a couple of the tanks in the army the Genestealers were reduced down to four members, and a unit of Gaunts on the same flank were wiped out. They then charged into the Genestealer to prevent them counter attacking somewhere else. Over the next couple of turns the remaining four Genestealers managed to bring down two of the three walkers in close combat before finally succumbing.

The Eldar advanced slowly across the board, removing units from the 2 objectives on my right flank, then it came down to crunch time, stand opposite the seer council was the Tyranid death star unit of Swarmlord, Prime and two Tyrant Guard. Gary took a moment to weigh up the options before charging the unit into combat. The Autarch was carefully positioned to charge the Swarmlord, to avoid the lash whips of the rest of the unit, whilst the Farseer was also manoeuvred to ensure it wouldn’t be able to get base to base contact with the Tyranids and the charge went in. The first round of combat was violent. With the majority of the seer council reduced to initiative 1 due to the presence of lash whips the Tyranids were striking first. The Swarmlord’s blade parry protected it from the worst of the Autarch’s attacks, then his retaliation cut the Eldar warrior clear from his bike in a single blow. The Prime and Tyrant Guard meanwhile took on the seer council with a succession of blows they managed to overpower the council’s saves and fortune rerolls to kill 3 of its members. In return the seer council managed to land a series of blows killing off the Prime and Guards. However the combat was won by the Swarmlord and the Eldar held.

In my turn the large pack of Genestealers detached from the nearby objective they had been guarding and moved to support the Swarmlord. They charged into the seer council and in a hail of rending cut down 3 more of the council. With minimal casualties taken back the Eldar lost the combat badly and despite their empowerment allowing them to reroll their test they failed the leadership test and fled from combat. They didn’t however manage to get far enough away to stop the Swarmlord from forcing them to run again the following turn. On the primary objective on the left flank of the board a grav tank full of Dire avengers turbo boosted onto the objective to contest, and so at the end of turn 5 the Eldar were one nil up on the Primary and drawing the secondary, but then turn six started. The Genestealers who had been guarding my primary objective charged into the Grav tank, completely surrounding it, immobilising the tank and ripping off its remaining weapons. Trapped inside the Dire Avengers could do nothing but look on, as the stealers swarmed over the stricken tank. In the Eldar’s turn the tank was further assailed and due to the holo field the tank was wrecked rather than exploded. The occupants, unable to disembark due to the surrounding stealers were wiped out. So at the end of turn six it was once again a draw, and that’s how ended. Each side controlled one of each of the objectives.

Result: DRAW 9 - 9 tournament points

Game 3 vs. Luke Dobson (Grey Knights) –Primary: Seize Ground, Secondary: Annihilation, Pitched Battle deployment.

I’d dodged them so far it was inevitable I’d face them eventually. Luke was using a classic MSU grey knight army. Plenty of psi-heavy bolter Razorbacks, 5 man Purifiers with 2 psi-cannons each, 3 psi-riflemen dreadnoughts, Cortez and an Inquisitor. If I won first turn I may have been able to scrape something together provided I could keep the Hive Guard alive through cover and feel no pain, but I didn’t and it was going to be an uphill struggle. In his first turn Luke killed 2 of the Hive Guard, gunned down volumes of Gaunts and opened up on the Stealers which had infiltrated onto the board. In my turn my firing really let me down, the Hive Guard only manage to destroy one tank. In his second turn Luke deployed a lot of his Grey Knights out of the Razorbacks to increase the firepower coming down the board, more Hive Guard died, wounds were put onto the Tyranid command unit and more stealers were shot down. My reply was pretty weak, shaking a single tank which was promptly removed by the fortitude roll. One unit of Genestealers charged the Grey Knights but the purifying flame killed over half of the squad before combat started and the lack of rends meant the remaining stealers were cut down. In Turn 3 it just got worse as the Inquisitor and 10 purifiers charge the Swarmlord and retinue. Shadow in the Warp stopped them using purifying flame, but the odd grenades of the Inquisitor reduce us to Initiative 1, allowed us to only make 1 attack each, dropped our toughness to 5 and then they upped their strength to match. The result was a dead command group in one round of combat. The following turns pretty much went the same way, charging Genestealers were cut down by purifying flame before they even landed a blow and then remaining stealers couldn’t rend their way out of a paper bag. At the start of my 5th turn I had a tiny unit of Genestealers and a single Hive Guard and I conceded the match. Grey Knights are always going to be a tough match, but when the few elements that the Tyranids are meant to do well in also fail there’s nothing much you can do but shovel your models back into your carry case. With hindsight the only real change would have been to try to stop the Inquisitor charging the Swarmlord, if I’d popped his Razorback earlier and hit him with stealers I’d have hopefully still got a death star to rampage through his battle lines.

Result: LOSS 0 – 18 tournament points

Day 1 Summary

Overall a typical tournament performance, one win, one draw and one loss, mid table obscurity beckoned. The Swarmlord was earning his points, dominating combat in two of the three games and the Hive Guard were earning their position in the roster as usual. The Tervigon was under performing with little impact on the game, and with the exception of killing a few Necrons the DOOM wasn’t really living up to his reputation.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Jolly Toys Outing 2012

A new tournament for me this year, run by the Oxford Gaming Club at Warhammer World, jolly toys is a 2000pt / 5 Game tournament. It's the first of a number of 2000pts tournaments I've got coming up and a chance to give my Nids even more toys to play with. The army list I chose to take was

Hive Tyrant with Bonesword & Lashwhips, Heavy Venom Cannon
2 Tyrant Gaurd with Lashwhips
Tervigon with Toxin Sacs, Catalyst and cluster Spines
Tervigon with Toxin Sacs, Catalyst and cluster Spines (counts as Troops)
14 Genestealers with Toxin Sacs
14 Genestealers with Toxin Sacs
14 Genestealers with Toxin Sacs
10 Termagaunts with Devourers in a pod
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
DOOM! in a pod

I'd actually submitted this list prior Caledonia and since then I've lost faith in a Tyrant and 2 Guard, when for roughly the same points you can get Swarmlord and a Guard, benefiting from the re-roll to the outflank to prevent stealers being wasted on the wrong side of a board. Plus in combat the Swarmlord is a beast! and the loss of the Venom Cannon doesn't really affect the army that much.

The tournament was running a NOVA style event with 3 missions in affect at the same time, however which one you won on determined the points you earned from 20 down to 11 for winning purely on VPs. I'm not aware of many games going to the secondary mission though. There were also a couple of different tweaks, so you need to win by 3 or more killpoints to win Annihilation, the location of the 5 objectives was fixed to board centre and the centre of each quarter and the third mission was a dominate table quarters with the person with the most VPs worth of unit in a quarter claiming it.

Being in Warhammer World the terrain wasn't ideal, many of the board were fairly sparse in terrain, especially LOS blocking which my Hive Guard like to hang out behind, plus all the tables had GW's realm of battle board on, which does kinda take away some of the skill in judging distances when there's a nice 2' x 2' grid covering the table.

I did plan to do my usual longer write up about each game, but it's been too long and my failing memory isn't what it used to be so I'll give an abridged summary

Game1 - Dawn of War / Kill Points Primary  vs Space Wolves.
Summary :Jaws killed my Tervigons, Genestealers died to grey hunters in cover, why they've not got some for of frag grenades I don't know. I should have deployed the Tervigons further away to stop the Rune priests getting so close. The result was fairly close only loosing by 1 kill point, mostly due to Hive Guard scoring some easy kill points against rhinos, razorbacks and speeders.
Result : Loss

Game 2 - Pitched Battle / Objectives Primiary vs Space Wolves.
Summary: Space wolves again! Followed a fairly similar pattern to previous games, Tervigons were taken out by Jaws and Grey Hunter still beat genestealers in combat if they're in cover.
Result : Loss

Game 3 - Spearhead / Table Quarters vs. Space Wolves.
Summary: What is it with me and facing the same army over and over again at tournaments? Given this was spearhead and my opponent had won first turn I opted for a zero deployment tactic. I use my Hive commander to outflank the troop tervigon as well as the 3 stealer packs and hope for some good reserve rolls as well as table sides. There are a couple of razorback and long fang packs with 18" of the board edge and luckily the majority of the army arrives on time and on the right side, the result is fairly brutal.
Result : Win

Game 4 - Pitched Battle / Kill Points vs Grey Knights
Summary: Not Space Wolves! The opposite side of the board looked like a car park, there were 9 rhino/razorbacks parked more the 18" away from the board short edges bristling with psycannons, Las Cannons etc It didn't look good. However MVP of the game goes to the Hive Guard, each turn they received Feel No Pain from Tervigons and blew up to transports before weathering a hail of fire from psycannons taking largely no damage (T6, in cover and FnP is good) between the 6 of them they accounted for 8 kill points as they systematically took out almost every AV11 vehicle on the field. Out of their vehicles the grey knights were picked off by genestealers. It was bloody and even my Hive Tyrant lasted long enough to cover the board and get into CC.
Result: Win

Game 5 - Dawn of War / Table Quarter vs Tau
Summary: Final game, it was unlikely I could catch the other main Tyranid opponent at this point as it required him to loose his final match and me to win. In the end it was academic what my result was but it was still annoying to loose. Chris screened his suit well from the Doom using his Kroot to protect them, although the Doom did survive one round of Str8 firing he never managed to make it into the Suits where he would have done some real damage. Once again the Stealer performed poorly, a lack of rending results meant they lost combats against many of the suits they charged. The final insult was a full 14 pack failing a Ld10 tank shock test and being run off the board by 2 gun drones. Overall a very disappointing result for me which seemed to come down to Genestealers just not doing what they're meant to do.
Results: Loss

Over all I place around 60th in the field. I wasn't overly happy with the result. However I did learn a few things to take forward.
The Swarmlord + 1 Guard is better than Tyrant + 2 guard. I loose the ability to outflank a Terivgon if I choose, but can re roll the outflank table edge roll. Plus he can give preferred enemy to a near by unit if needed.
I'm going to add a broodlord into one Genestealer pack, to give me a little extra anti armour in CC. With a Str5 he can more easily penetrate tanks.
Hive Guard ROCK! there were definitely the creatures of the weekend. Pretty much giving me the win in Game 4 as well as making Game 1 as close as it was.

Next it's another 2000pts tournament in Stockport, then onto the 40k UK GT in March