Saturday, 27 April 2013

Adepticon Post 1 (not sure how many I'll span this over)

So last weekend it was Adepticon in Chicago.The biggest tournament in the states and a lot bigger than ones you see in the UK. There were two main 40k tournament that weekend, a singles one and a four man team affair. I was lucky enough to get into both tournaments, the team tournament I was with three other people on the Geek Nation Tours.

Whilst on that subject I do recommend Geek Nation Tours, probably a little more expensive than if you sorted everything out yourself, but a lot less hassle and you get some nice extras too. The main one being exclusive access to the shopping cart two week prior to general release. Let me put it another way, tickets went on public sale around midnight UK time and the singles sold out in six hours, the team tournament in something like four hours. Without the earlier access its very unlikely someone in the UK gets a ticket unless they stay up real late or are lucky. Added to that is a number of organised trips to various restaurants, plus a lovely geek nation bowling shirt and Teras (your host) to answer any questions.  Overall it made the whole trip a lot more relaxed and enjoyable.

Anyway back to the write ups. I'll start off with the singles event. The US operate quire a weird system. There is four games played on day one, then the top 16 generals battle it out on day two. I'm not sure this format would work outside of a convention, since I doubt many people would pay to enter an event where the vast majority of the players will only play on one of the two days. It works in Adepticon since you can spend the second day playing in one of the other tournaments or just visit all the vendors (like I did). Four games in a single day is long, it's 10hrs of gaming before you add in any breaks for meals. It didn't help that the weather leading up to the start was terrible and so registration took a lot longer than I think they'd planned for, so instead of starting at 9am as advertised Game one didn't start until 10.30, it was gonna be a long day.

Now you should all know which army I was taking. The Tyranids have been my only army for the first half of the year and they were going on tour to the US. The bugs actually travelled quite well. They did end up being checking into the aircraft hold as AA wouldn't allow the bag as carry on, but there were only a couple of minor repairs required at the other end.

The list is used was a fairly standard affair, pretty much what you'd expect from the bugs in the current meta.

HQ1: Hive Tyrant (170), Wings (60) 2x Twin linked Devourers (30), Hive Commander (25)  
HQ2: Hive Tyrant (170), Wings (60) 2x Twin linked Devourers (30), Old Adversary (25)    
Elite1: 3 Hive Guard (150)  
Elite2: 2 Zoanthrope (120) 
Elite3: DOOM! of Malan'tai (90) + TRANSPORT1 
Troop1: Tervigon (160), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15)  
Troop 2 : Tervigon (160), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15) 
Troop 3 : 17 Termagants (85), Devourers (85) + TRANSPORT2 
Troop 4 : 10 Termagants (50)   
Troop 5 : 10 Termagants (50)  
FA1: 15 Gargoyles (90), Toxin Sacs (15)  
Heavy1: Biovores (45)  
Transport1 : Mycetic Spore (40)  
Transport2 : Mycetic Spore (40)

Heavy on the psychic powers and T6 creatures. With a lot of Str4 firepower from devourers and fleshborers, and here they are on their lovely display base (you got extra points in the painting section for having a display board, so I figured I may as well get one).

There were 232 people playing in the singles tournament (and that makes for a large room full of gamers the photo to the left is only half the hall we were in), so to keep in running with my blog I was looking to finish between 100 - 150 for mid table obsurity, higher would be nicer but there was a fair amount of soft scores for painting, and unlike a lot of UK tournaments there was a fairly strict scoring system for it, I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere near to top marks on it and in the end came away with 23 / 40 for appearance.

I think if I start to go over my games this will begin to get a long blog so I'll sign off this entry now and post game one tomorrow. Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The road to Adepticon...

Well Adepticon is no a week away and there's a mixure of emotions. Excited to see what the grandest US wargaming event is like, nervous because believe it or not it's my first ever solo overseas holiday so I'm worried I've not got some visa I require or forgotten something else. From a gaming point of view I'm not overly confident. I took a real beating at the GT final and its really knocked my confidence in the Tyranids. I have took some learning from the weekend (The Swarmlord lost his ticket to the US by his terrible performance at the GT), I'm hoping that it was just a blip.I'm registered in two tournaments over the pond, the Championship and the Team Tournament.

The Championship is a singles event set at 1850 points. The missions used are the kind we've not really seen in the UK since 5th edition with a primary and secondary conditions. Although reviewing the primer packs they produce it does seem that if you win the primary you win the round, and since it's a win/loss system that appears to be key. The tournament is an eight game event with one twist, only the top 16 players get thought to day, so realistically most people in attendance only play 4 games. I'm under no illusion that I'll make it to the final. If I do it will be an act of god. I'd like to come away with three wins, but will settle for two. The Tyranids have been building to this all year and the list I'm going to take is a fairly familiar one, both to my readers (if there are many) and to the Internet as a whole as it's a fairly common build for Tyranids.

HQ1: Hive Tyrant (170), Wings (60) 2x Twin linked Devourers (30), Hive Commander (25) HQ2: Hive Tyrant (170), Wings (60) 2x Twin linked Devourers (30), Old Adversary (25) 
Elite1: 3 Hive Guard (150)
Elite2: 2 Zoanthrope (120)
Elite3: DOOM! of Malan'tai (90) + TRANSPORT1
Troop1: Tervigon (160), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15)
Troop 2 : Tervigon (160), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10), Catalyst (15),
Onslaught (15)
Troop 3 : 15 Termagants (75), Devourers (75) + TRANSPORT2
Troop 4 : 10 Termagants (50) 
Troop 5 : 10 Termagants (50)
FA1: 15 Gargoyles (90), Toxin Sacs (15)
Heavy1: 2 Biovores (90)
Transport1 : Mycetic Spore (40)
Transport2 : Mycetic Spore (40)

It's pretty much what I took to Caledonia Uprising, which was singularly my best tournament placing for a major tournament ever, so I'm hoping for some more of that luck to rub off. I'm also registered in the team tournament with a few other people on the Geek Nations tour. This is a doubles team event so four player split down into two pair, each person with 1000 points. 

I'm looking forward to the whole event and hopefully I'll get some good write ups and photo to post on here in a couple of weeks. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

UK GT Final 2013 Post Mortem

I say it’s a post mortem as my performance at the recent GT final was pretty dead. I don’t intend to go through a turn by turn write up as I did for Caledonia, mainly because it will only depress me more. What I will go through is some high level highlights, match-up, good units, poor units and overall thoughts.

Firstly lets be fair, the GT final was always going to be a competitive affair. Everyone in the room had finished in the top 50% of one of the heats, so it was an achievement to have qualified. It was 1850pts with 40K approved Forge World units allowed.  It was a win/loss/draw system which does have its advantages and disadvantages. Tyranids can struggle to smash opponents in a typical 20pts system as we tend to loose a lot of our units crossing the board, but it is frustrating to be just pipped to a win and to leave with effectively nothing. Overall the event was well organised, but did highlight that a 1850pt game of 6th edition is a struggle to finish in 2hr 30mins. It’s something I need to address for Adepticon. The list I settled on was ;-

HQ1 – Swarmlord (280) [280pts]
HQ2 – Hive Tyrant (155), Wings (60), 2x Twin Linked Devourers (30), Old Adversary (25) [280pts]
Troop1- Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10) [210pts]
Troop2 - Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10) [210pts]
Troop3 – 15 Gaunts (75) [75pts]
Troop4 – 15 Gaunts (75) [75pts]
Troop5 – 15 Gaunts (75), Devourers(75), Transport1 [150pts]
Elite1 – 2 Hive Guard (100) [100pts]
Elite2 – 2 Hive Guard (100) [100pts]
Elite3 – Doom of (90),Transport2 [90pts
Fast1 – 15 Gargoyles (90), Toxin Sacs (15) [105pts]
Heavy1 – Biovore (45) [45pts]
Heavy2 – Biovore (45) [45pts]
Transport1 – Mycetic Spore (40) [40pts]
Transport2 – Mycetic Spore (40) [40pts]

Another trial outing for the Swarmlord, to see if he could earn himself a ticket to Adepticon. Also I’d taken more Hive Guard as I suspected a heavier mech based meta there.

Game wise I came away with 2 win and 4 losses. The whole of my second day was pretty awful. Nothing to do with the opponents I face personally, but 3 games of terrible matchups where there was very little to nothing I could to disrupt my opponents plan or implement one of my own. Things I learnt about Tyranids from a matchup point of view.

  • Tyranids simply can’t deal with flyers. This can be mitigated by ignoring them in some cases, but specifically Helldrakes and Grey Knight Storm Ravens are just impossible to beat. The Helldrakes can pretty much do what they want with little comeback and are easily capable of destroying monstrous creatures and hordes alike. I do think I need to hold back my flying Tyrants against Helldra to try to ensure that after they’ve flown onto the board I can swoop behind and shoot their rear armour, plus it will prevent the vector strikes on the Tyrants. The mind strike missiles of the Storm Ravens will easily destroy my synapse creatures with minimal effort.
  • Certain Forge World models are horribly broken. I faced two Warp Hunters in game 5 and their barrage 36” range D-Cannons are just ridiculous. The Swardlord was instant killed by one in his first turn of firing with absolutely no possible way for me to defend against it. 
The meta also seems to be shifting back toward more vehicle spam, the Necron army I faced feature 5 AV13 vehicles and 4 flyers which I simply just couldn’t touch. They moved around with almost complete immunity killing the monstrous creatures at range. I also don't like Helldrakes or Bastions both of which I didn't really have a solution to.

With regard to specific units and their performances

Swarmlord – He’s just not fast enough. He also cost me a game by not being able to kill the Dark Eldar Baron in a round of combat. Of the six games I played him he didn’t stand out in any of them and indeed in two gave away first blood. He may work better if he had a Tyrant Guard with him, but I’m not sure. For Adepticon I think the two flying Tyrants will be used.  

Tervigons / Gaunts – Pretty much the stand out units in the army and the real work horses. Tervigons holding the relic are a nightmare to put down and in at least two of my games they were spawning Gaunts all game. So much so that I may have to consider trying to paint more Gaunts to take to America. 

Doom! – The Doom was his usual hit and miss. In one game he dropped, took four wounds of the enemy’s Swarmlord and murdered dozen of Gaunts that his Tervigons kept spawning. In another he landed took a stray round from my own Biovore, before dying to the first melta shot fire at him. This said I think he’s worth the points for the fear alone that many armies have for him, and how he can disrupt a players deployment and movement just to prevent a juicy spot from appearing for him to land in. 

Gargoyles – These winged little Gaunts under performed somewhat this weekend. Being a fraction of on a inch outside of synapse in my last game meant they fled from combat against a dread knight totally collapsing my flank. I think I still need to work out how best to use the faster Gaunts. 

Hive Guard – These were also a little under whelming. If the enemy force featured vehicles which they could prey on, my opponents were quick to deal with them. Their 24” range really is a barrier to this as most of the tanks they want to prey on have much longer ranges and so will simply stay out of range. They are also not a viable anti air unit as they simply can’t hit them.

Biovores - Again under performed, but I'm still yet to face a real blob so they might just have not had the oppotunity to shine.

Overall I'm pretty disappointed with the performance and it hasn't left me in a good mood with the Tyranids. They've got a least two more oppotunities to perform as I'll have little replace them for the Throne of Skulls in May and they definately have to travel to Adepticon in a weeks time. However I've joined in the 40K UK Age of Armies campaign, so there's a replacement army in the making, who prevails for the latter half of 2013 is still to be seen.