So, in a VERY last minute change of plans, my wife gave me "the nod" to go to a rogue trader tournament this weekend. I had thought last weekend I might be able to go, then quickly realized I couldn't, then found out Friday night I could... it was crazy, yo.
So anyways, this was a "doubles" tournament, which I really enjoy in general. One can argue about how well the format works at the top levels of competition in terms of balance and fair play (often not well), but it is great fun.
So I decided that I would bring my bugs out to play. They aren't really "finished" per se, but they also don't look terrible. Not fully based, no display tray. But, whatever, I thought, I'm not keen on playing Space Wolves so bugs it is.
So my 1000 points (to be combined with my partner's) was:
Prime, Lashwhip/Bonesword, Scything Talons
Prime, Lashwhip/Bonesword, Rending Claws
Zoanthropes x 2
Hive Guard x 2
Hive Guard x 2
Tervigon, Catalyst, Adrenals, Toxins
Tervigon, Catalyst, Adrenals, Toxins
Termagants x 10
Termagants x 10
So, a (small) bit of choppy, some zappy, some shooty, and a good amount of swarmy.
Now, because of the last minute nature of the "nod" I didn't have a partner lined up. But you know, that actually made me feel a bit more comfortable bringing my "not quite finished" Nids, rather than my "has gotten excellent paint scores at tourneys" Space Wolves. Because I figured *I* didn't care about placing, and I'm assuming that anyone else that shows up without a partner doesn't really care about placing either, so probably won't care that I'm not tricked out and fully resin based, lol.
So away we go.
Now upon whom doth my eyes fall? ChaosGerbil!
He and another cool cat from up in the San Juans had decided to make the drive down to Olympia for the tournament. They had brought a phenomenal Genestealer cult army, using half from Imperial Guard and half from Tyranids. It was FANTASTIC. They had the Patriarch, Magus, and Stealers, and a good assortment of cultists (many of which had genestealer mutations)... it was fantastic, and gorgeous.
So of course we end up playing them Round 1.
Now, at this point my wife experiences a bit of an emergency, and calls me and forces me away from the table. So, the game was delayed significantly. I felt really bad about it, but there was really nothing I could do at the time.
Then, we get set up and start playing. My partner is playing Grey Knights, with a semi mish mash of two full Strike Squads with Psybolt ammo (which is actually not a bad thing at all), one Rhino, one Inquisitor with a Needle Pistol/Power Sword, a squad of Henchmen with two Jokaero and a Chimera.
Shrug. We'll see what we can do.
Oh, and two Psyfledreads. What's this, long range firepower combined with the Tyranid swarm? Now we're cooking with gas.
Anyways, we were a bit rusty, and made several play errors early. My partner failed to drive forward and unload his Strikes so we could start whittling down the infiltrated Genestealers. He said he wanted to "keep them safe" (no long range firepower on the other side of the table to speak of) and that the "Genestealers were in cover" (so... you only kill half as much as "something" which is better than twice as much as "nothing"...)
So after our opponent's first turn ChaosGerbil moves a big squad of hormagaunts forward. Now he was a bit confused at this point on several counts, thinking they still had beast stats, and fleeting them with a Prime attached. No worries, but the end result was that he didn't get the charge on my Termagant screen when he thought he would, and was sort of exposed.
So I counter-charged him with a couple of units of boosted Termagants, but I also made some mistakes and didn't get as many bodies into the fight as I had hoped. End result is that we beat on each other but didn't have any decisive outcome. I killed a bunch of Hormagaunts with spawned (free) gants though... so moral victory to Purgatus!
Anyways, that turned into a scrum over there, with his Genestealers coming in, one of my Tervigons getting involved, etc. Just kind of a mess.
An outflanking unit of 18 Genestealers plus a Broodlord arrived and swamped a dreadnought. My partner said "well, he'll hold him for a few turns." I looked at him "...really? That's like 60 rending attacks!" Sure enough, they immediately exploderized the Dread, killing SIX of themselves in the process. Good times had by all.
Now, our third turn starts and the judge calls out 30 minutes remaining.
Holy shit! Really?
Well, at this point I realize we are totally boned. I know that the game had started late (my fault) but I just hadn't realized how fast the time was passing (or how slowly I was playing after so long a break). Anyways, we start to shuffle towards the center objective with our stuff, but I could see the writing on the wall. Our opponent's had multiple vehicles plus embarked units within "drive and dump" range of the center objective.
Oh, the mission was kill points, but with a 4 KP bonus to whichever team had more units within 6" of the center. Shrug.
Now at this point our opponents were up on Kill Points, but again, the game was very young. But we simply had no way to stop their grab for the center, and at the bottom of the turn the game ended with a massive victory to them.
I have to admit I was a bit frustrated, mostly because I don't mind getting beat, but I don't like losing without getting beat. I don't know if that makes sense. But basically the game was still very much in-play and I would have really enjoyed getting a chance to see how a full game would have gone.
But again, it was entirely my own fault from start to finish, so I was just upset with myself.
But, shaking that off, we headed into the second round against the ringer, who had taken advantage of the doubles Force Org format to field 4 Chaos Land Raiders with Berserkers inside, along with Kharn and Abaddon.
Now, this might sound like a terrifically unbalanced and incredibly vulnerable list. And it is.
But what did we have to stop them? Two Zoanthropes, a few puny Tervigons, and 2 Jokaero. And 4 Psycannons.
Now, I've argued before that Psycannons, in sufficient numbers, make meltaguns unnecessary. And that's true. But four are not what I would call "sufficient numbers." And that's without overloading the opponent's army with 4 of them instead of the normal 1-2 that you might see in a more balanced list.
Anyways, we were up a creek. Oh, and it was Dawn of War, so my Zoanthropes were coming in off my board edge, as were my Hive Guard. We were each allowed to deploy two troops, so I had my partner deploy his Strike Squads at the 24" line, and I deployed my Tervigons immediately behind them. The game was simple Seize Ground, with five objectives deployed NOVA style (one in the middle of the table, and one in each table quarter).
SO. We took first turn and I ran my Hive Guard and Zoanthropes forward and I spawned Gaunts as screens in front of both units of Strike Squads, and we waited. Our opponent rolled on with everything on the bottom of 1. We shot him with 16 Psycannon shots, 8 Psyfledread shots. He moved forward again, and deployed his Berserkers, which tore apart our gaunt screen. Next turn we shot with 8 more Psycannon shots (had to move), 2 Warp Lances and 16 Strength 8 shots (Hive Guard and Psyfledreads). Nothing. No immobilized, nothing. He was able to sneak Kharn solo on a Land Raider through our screen, and take out the Zoanthropes. Fuck.
My Tervigons scratched impotently at his Raiders. When I could manage a hit, I couldn't get the 9 I needed on 2d6 to actually pen him. We easily handled his infantry, killed Kharn with Hive Guard, and tied up Abaddon with sacrificial units, including a Psyfledread.
But we just couldn't kill those fucking Raiders. Couldn't even get an immobilized. He had Extra Armor on everything, and we just couldn't stop them. Finally, at the top of five, we managed to hem in one of them with Dreads, a Rhino and a Chimera, and had the Henchmen in the remaining gap.
Well, he started his "bottom of five" contest-a-thon. We had all FIVE objectives claimed, Abaddon tied up, and he had four Land Raiders active. Well, his Land Raider Tank Shocked the Henchmen, the Land Raider had a Dirge Caster thingy which made them take the Ld at -1, but they passed on a seven, hit with a Multimelta, penned, and wrecked it.
Game ends, victory - us.
Last game was against twin Blood Angels, mostly infantry, with a Stormraven and a Rhino. Table Quarters, with one objective centered in each of the EMPTY table quarters. They reserved their Death Company Stormraven with Lemartes, and Deep Strike reserved Astorath and an Assault Squad. We moved up first turn, disembarked both Strike Squads, and started nuking the deployed infantry, eliminating their Devastator squad (which was too far forward) and making a dent in the Tactical squad. We stayed behind the approximately 24" line that I knew the Stormraven could assault us from his board edge, screened and moved away from Astorath's unit, and just took apart all the infantry on the board except for one Tactical squad WAY in the back. We then turned to Astorath's unit, and shot it to pieces, along with the Rhino squad which came on, promptly got blown to bits, and then shot to pieces.
Feel No Pain helped them, but it only goes so far, especially when you have 16 Strength 8 shots going into your infantry units because there are no mech targets left alive.
We were helped by the fact that their Stormraven didn't come in until it "auto" came in. And the Death Company inside predictably assaulted into the only thing available to them - the screening unit of Termagants. They blew up the bugs, and were shot into bits and then assaulted by two Primes, 14 boosted gants, and 17 Grey Knights. They... well, they died. We intended to blow the Stormraven out of the sky too, but it was immobilized by the first unit shooting at it (two Zoanthropes), so we left it there.
It was a tightly played game every step of the way. The opponent's were able to hoof their last Tactical squad into contesting range of our home objective on the very last turn, by one inch with a difficult terrain roll of a five. However, we also held their objective, and we knew that the tie-breaker was kill points, so I wasn't too stressed about it either way.
All of our opponents throughout the day were complete gentlemen, and even during the tense final game we were sharing some laughs. I know how frustrating it is to just get shot to pieces by another army, and have all your close combat elements "managed" without being able to do damage. That's what happened to these guys. I said one thing near the end of the game that I immediately regretted, but I don't think it ruined the mood TOO badly.
Our paint scores were shit, my opponent's army was largely unfinished, and my own army was not fully based nor with a display board. One loss and two wins, plus some bonus points, put us (I think) in third for total battle score, and I honestly don't think I saw our Sports. We came in the middle of the pack on Overall.
It was a fun time, and it was neat to be able to push my bugs around and throw Gant swarms at things. If any of my opponents read this, thanks again for a great time.