Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Monday night game

Briefing: this post is quite long, and deals about playing with tyranids, currently my main army; so no eldars today, sorry. Nevertheless, if you want to get some gaming tips to use with or against these bugs, you are welcome to keep reading :) And of course, if anybody has a comment or suggestion, is also very welcome to write it down.

Last Monday I went to my local GW store, where I had to play a game against one of its friendly red shirts. Where I live, games are usually played on a 2.000 point basis, but for this time we agreed on playing a 1.500 points battle. Why? Well, basically two reasons: first, I’ve lately realized that playing against 2.000 points of nids (my army) means a battle of no less than 3 hours, including deployment and that stuff. I suppose that’s normal when you have an army of around 100 miniatures; I wonder how long will it take me to play a “Green Tide” ork player… but I’m sure it will undoubtedly be very funny! The second reason is the organization of our imminent inter-store championship; where gamers of all my area will be competing for several months, each one defending one gaming store of my county; and all the battles must have a maximum of 1.500 points per side, so this was an excellent occasion to make trials with different army lists.

I always play with the same army, more or less. It is composed by the minis I’ve got with the passing of the years, from different presents such as battleforces, plastic boxes and so on; so I have to stick to those minis I have, and I can’t make big variations in my army list. That’s not a problem, because these minis are the ones I like most (gaunts, carnifexes and warriors mainly), and are mainly made of my favourite wargaming component: plastic.

So then I ran an army with a close combat Hive Tyrant with two tyranid guards (which to date have simply eaten everything that has crossed their path – including a C’tan), and an infiltrating Broodlord with a retinue of 11 genestealers. Fire support was provided by a unit of six warriors with deathspitters, two zoanthropes with warp blast and two Carnifexes with barbed stranglers. Basic units were sixty gaunts (half termagaunts, half spinegaunts) in six units of ten, whose mission was seizing objectives. My opponent played Dark Angels, and had four squads of five marines, one five-man squad of the Deathwing, a Land Raider Crusader, a Whirlwind, a Demolisher and a Venerable Dreadnought, all commanded by Belial. Mission played was “Seize Ground” with four objective markers, with the “Pitched Battle” deployment.

I won the roll for starting the game, so I deployed first. Everything was in cover (just in case he stole me the initiative and got first turn), but the broodlord, who was in reserve to outflank the enemy. My enemy did more or less the same. First couple of turns were excellent for the nids, thanks mainly to the new rules on templates, and in my very first turn I killed 7 space marines just shooting with the warriors (five small s6 templates and a big s4 one are nothing to laugh at) and the carnifexes (adding another two big s8 templates). I call that tactic “wound saturation”, ‘cause even the finest power armour of the galaxy can’t protect all your soldiers when the enemy causes more than twenty wounds to your units in a single shooting round. That tactic is now even better, due to the new rules on wounds allocation, and a couple heavy/special weapons were lost for the marines (nice!). My opponent was surprised of this firing power – he wasn’t expecting that from the nids – and we changed roles; he advancing towards my fire line whereas I was re-deploying my troops and firing at him.

The only unit of my army that advanced forward like a furious juggernaut was the Tyrant and his retinue, managing to kill a unit of marines and destroying the Dreadnought before blowing up in a cloud of ichor and dribble when the Demolisher got a direct hit on them. It was not a problem, because their work was done; they diverted most of my enemy’s firepower – and I must say that it was hilarious when he managed to get two wounds on the tyrant firing just bolters – and destroying part of the marine’s army (at the end we made some calculations, and realised that the big guy had paid his points back – wooo!!). On the other side of the board, the broodlord advanced relentlessly towards the enemy, under a rain of fire that was wiping genestealers from his retinue very, very fast.

I kept holding back and firing my enemy until turn 4, when I advanced to claim the objectives. The already punished units of marines were not rival for my carnifexes (which also had scything talons – who said multipurpose ‘fexes don’t work?), and they wiped out two combat squads and the Land Raider. The Broodlord survived a specially intense turn of fire, in which the Crusader fired everything it had to him and the last member of his retinue, and again thanks to the new wound allocation rule it caused him four bolter wounds he saved with his reinforced chitin (3+ armour save), while the genestealer died from two wounds of assault cannon, two of bolter fire and one of multimelta. Then, he chewed up a combat squad of marines and the whirlwind. Nasty beast :)

On the other hand, the Deathwing squad advanced towards one of the objectives no matter the rain of fire falling on them. Albeit I left the unit very, very weakened – leaving just a lightning claws terminator and Belial himself – this couple managed to open a bloody path through three units of gaunts (killing one every turn) and a zoanthrope, and there they stood claiming an objective (Belial’s special rule allows him to pick terminators as core units, being able then to hold objectives)… until the warriors shot them and killed the last termie of the unit.

After seven turns, my opponent only had the Demolisher and a wounded Belial remaining, while I was controlling two objectives. Great victory for my bugs!

As a conclusion of the battle, I must admit that the few games I had played before under the new 5th ed. Rules had served me well in tactical terms; thanks to what I’ve learned from them I knew well how to time my movements, and for the first time in years I had a real tactical plan with my army, instead of just deploying and advancing wildly towards the enemy. New template rules are terrific with some troops, and the tyranid warriors were claimed “unit of the game”, killing in total 10 space marines and the last scoring termie (the one mentioned above), and even wounding Belial himself, just with shoots and more shoots; and providing the synapse necessary to allow my gaunts to hold two objectives; having lost just two members out of six. Amazing performance! The Broodlord was also terribly effective when it reached combat; now the feeder tendrils allow you to repeat all failed rolls to hit and that rule is terrific! The Hive Tyrant was also good, a close combat behemoth as always, although he was dead for turn three; and the Carnifexes also did an excellent job. Nice!

Next game I’ll make a “small” adjustment to this army list, dropping from eleven to six the retinue of the Broodlord and reducing the squad size of the warriors to five, to count with some more punch… in the form of a Dakkafex, a Carnifex with two twin-linked devourers. Cool!!


sovietspace said...

Good battle report there, and congratulations on a well deservered win!

One of my most regular opponents is a 'nid player, and I can agree that its quite disconcerting when they outshoot you - espically if your playing imperial guard at the time! Your ablity to really mix and match your biomorphs means that your oppenets never really know what they are going to face, which is far from nice.

I was also pleased to hear the carnage the Deathwing caused before they were taken down. I really want to get mine done now...