Saturday, 23 February 2013

York Heat of the Yorkshire Open

The next tournament to feature in the 40 games of 40k is the York heat for the Yorkshire open. It was a fairly local event with 14 people attending, mostly from the Garrison club. It was a 1800pts three game tournament. I decided on a little change to my usual army list in the form of dropping one of the flying Tyrants in favour of the Swarmlord. Now the Swarmlord is a beat stick, no more hitty than that, he is a veritable jackhammer of a beat stick. If he makes is into close combat there is very little that can stand up to him. I last used him in 5th edition at the UK GT in 2012, in that tournament it went one of two ways, either he made it into combat and deleted squads (including one where he took out 5 thunder hammer terminators, a marshal and the Emperor’s champion), or got shot down like a chump mid table. In 6th edition he’s added another string to his bow, Biomancy!. As a level two psyker with four rolls on the biomancy table he’s very likely to get some nasty powers. He’s a lot harder to kill coming across the table when he’s toughness nine with feel no pain! I obviously had to do a little cutting from my Caledonia list as I also want to take a guard for him as well as losing the 50pts I needed to get down to 1800pts. In the end I opted for ;-

HQ1 - Swarmlord
HQ1a - Tyrant Guard, Lash Whip
HQ2 - Hive Tyrant, Wings, Twin Linked Devourers, Old Adversary
Troop1 - Tervigon, Catalyst, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs
Troop2 - Tervigon, Catalyst, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs
Troop3 - 10 Gaunts
Troop4 - 10 Gaunts
Troop5 - 14 Gaunts with Devourers in Spore
Elite1 - 2 Hive Guard
Elite2 - DOOM! in Spore
Elite3 - 2 Zoanthropes
Fast1 - 15 Gargoyles with Toxin Sacs
Heavy1 - 1 Biovore

There is still a high level of threat from the flying Tyrant, Doom and Devilgaunts with the resilience of my troop scoring Tervigons. I’m not planning on doing huge turn by turn write ups for these three games as I hope to cover the tournament in a single post.

Game 1 - Emperor’s Will / Hammer and Anvil vs. Patrick

Patrick is one of the younger Garrison players and a couple of years ago this would have been an easy first game for me. However young Patrick has been getting some coaching from some of the more experienced players (and unusually for a teenager actually listening too). His list has been evolving into a nasty threat as he slowly works towards the classic flying circus. At the moment it comprises of

2 units of Flamers
2 units of plague bearers
2 units of Horrors, one with The Changeling
Daemon Prince
Unit of screamer
Soul Grinder

He’s also been listening to comments on how to use it, so he is rapidly become a nasty Daemon player and one you can’t underestimate. Patrick went first and dropped his preferred wave of flying creatures plus a unit of horrors, screamers and plague bearers. Patrick has a reputation for balls to the wall deepstriking and this game was no difference, he also had a reputation for not misshaping when he does it and sadly that also held true. The first couple of turns were pretty violent. Patrick’s Bloodthirster landed first and wipe out a unit of Gaunts for first blood, but then found himself surrounded by Gaunts and slowly dragged down. A similar fate happened to the Daemon Prince and Fateweaver, but not before Fateweaver had turned my flying Tyrant into a spawn, Damn him! I made one major mistake in the game, Hammer and Anvil is a long board to cross and I made the mistake of dropping my Devilgaunts on my side of the table. As a result I struggled to get down the board to tackle Patrick’s objective. The Swarmlord also spent the first couple of turns locked in combat with the screamers, rolling poorly to only slowly kill them off. He did make up for it by killing the Soul Grinder in turn five, but the loss of my Flying Tyrant and dropping the Gaunts in the wrong place I couldn’t take Patrick’s objective. There was one comedy moment where after having dropped two spore mines near his objective, Patrick decided to move the Plague bearers to detonate the mines, only to loose three of them to the resulting explosions.

In the end it was a 10 / 10 draw, with my scoring of Slay the Warlord balancing out Patrick’s first blood.

Game 2 – Crusade / Vangaurd vs. John

John was using a Grey Knight force. A small unit of Paladins, two units of Terminators, a couple of ten man Grey Knights which combat squaded and a Stormraven. I don’t like Stormraven in the hands of the Grey Knights, those mind strike missiles can really mess with my synapse creatures. Luckily it can only fire two missile per turn under 6th edition, I still have nightmares of Dan Sackett’s 5th edition triple Stormraven list arriving on turn two and killing all three of my synapse creatures in a flurry of missiles. Luckily for me John’s Stormraven was clearly pilots by the special Grey Knight recruit who’d forgotten to put his contact lenses in because every missile he fired managed to scatter and explode harmlessly on walls and terrain (and one poor unfortunate Gaunt). The Swarmlord was on fire, having got the Living Legend commander trait he moved from five man unit to five man unit challenging out their characters and beating them down, despite at least two of them having a 2+ invulnerable save. The Stormraven still proved annoying as it flew around, however for some reason on turn 4 John switched it into skimmer mode despite not having troops inside to drop off. I think he wanted to keep it on the spot to fire at a Tervigon rather than move it to somewhere it wouldn’t have LOS to my units, however the Hive Guard seized the opportunity and blew it out of the sky. In the end the game went to six turns and it’s all the Tyranids needed to get to the final squad which had been hiding behind a large hill on an objective all game.

Final result a massacre at 20 / 0

Game 3 – Purge the Alien / Dawn of War vs Dodge

On paper this was a nasty match up. Dodge’s Guard army feature two Leman Russ Punishers, a massive guard blob, Chem-dog and a couple of Chimeras with Plasma vets in. Combined with a Space marine contingent for access to a Librarian with Divination powers.

Deploying second helped me as Dodge deployed his guard blob in a ruin on my extreme left flank, so I set up the majority of my force on my right flank. There was also the fact that three of my four monstrous creatures rolled Iron Arm, which at toughness seven makes them immune to Las fire. The Doom performed his usual tactic against Guard, landing, absorbing enough wounds to take him to his maximum of 10 to then eat a Lascannon shot the following turn. However the MVPs were the Swarmlord and one Tervigon. The Tervigon, on a single wound, managed to charge his command squad, challenge and kill the Primus psyker and then chase down and kill the fleeing squad for two kill points in one combat. The Swarmlord also generated a healthy number of point by destroying two vehicles and seeing off the remains of the Space Marines after the Doom and Devilgaunts has thinned them out. I also hit on a neat tactic of moving units forward in such a way that one or two models we out of sight from the Guard, so although it slightly reduced my firing, it save me a couple of kill points when a lone Gargoyle couldn’t be killed due to not being seen. I pulled a similar stunt with a lone Gaunt too.

In the end it was a 17 / 3 win to me, but to be fair I had 3 kill point on the edge in the form of a single Gargoyle, single Gaunt and a Hive Guard on a single wound., all hiding behind LOS blocking terrain.

Overall I placed 2nd in the tournament. It was a nice finish and a good first run out for the Swarmlord in 6th edition. He is slower than a flying Tyrant, but he commands such fear as he approaches the enemy that they have been known to swap tactics at the last minute to deal with him. Plus in a more competitive tournament I think he could give the Wraiths and Fateweavers a run for their money due to his re-rolling successful saves ability. The biovore again under performed so I suspect that the GT final in three weeks is there last chance if they want to book their airplane ticket to America.

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