Saturday, May 7, 2011

2k Nids versus Blood Angels... You Asked, I Deliver

Well, I got a good opportunity to take my list for a test drive. Chappy was gracious enough to lend me two Zoanthropes so that I could be WYIWYG. My list, for reference:

Tyranid Prime, Regeneration, LW/BS, Scything Talons
Tyranid Prime, Regeneration, LW/BS, Rending Claws

Zoanthropes x 2
Hive Guard x 2
Hive Guard x 2
Tervigon, Catalyst, Onslaught, Adrenals, Toxins, Clusters
Tervigon, Catalyst, Onslaught, Adrenals, Toxins, Clusters
Termagants x 10
Termagants x 10
Genestealers x 15
Genestealers x 15

Tyrannofex, Rupture Cannon, Dessicator, Clusters
Tyrannofex, Rupture Cannon, Dessicator, Clusters

Tomorrow is free comic day at Olympic Cards and Comics, so unfortunately the gaming tables were covered in boxes of comics. My opponent and I drug out one of the foam board gaming tables and set it on top of the boxes and away we went. The table itself has what amounts to a winding ridge that runs lengthwise down the middle of the table, and a cut out valley running through the center of the ridge. The hills were about 3 inches tall at their highest point and it was three inches down to the bottom of the ravine. I have seen pre-made terrain tables that were more obnoxious than this one, but I really don't prefer these types of tables. In any case, we also grabbed some area terrain, trees and some rocks and made sure the board was a solid 25%.

We played a NOVA style mission, rolling for random Primary, Secondary and Tertiary goals and deployment. We ended up with:

1) Kill Points (win by three or more)
2) Table Quarters
3) Five Objectives

Spearhead deployment.

My opponent won the roll and elected to deploy and go first. His list was a bit battleforce-ish but still scared me quite a bit. Here it is as best I can remember it:


Sanguinary Priest x 2, Jump Packs
Furioso Dreadnought, Meltagun, Heavy Flamer, Blood Talons
Sternguard x 10, Meltaguns x 2, Combimelta x 3

Assault Squad x 10, Meltagun x 2, Combimelta, Power Fist
Assault Squad x 10, Meltagun x 2, Combimelta, Power Fist
Scout Squad x 5, Camo Cloaks, Sniper rifles

Baal Predator, Flamestorm Cannon
Baal Predator, Flamestorm Cannon
Attack Bike, Multimelta

Stormraven, Multimelta, Assault Cannon

So a few odd choices in there, but I was still plenty scared. Mephiston alone is a real problem for my army.

So anyways, my opponent setup with everything on the board. He took the corner to my right, so I was setting up in my left hand corner. He deployed his Baals in position to scout towards my deployment zone, and pretty much prepared to rush towards me.

I deployed spread out in my corner. I essentially had two mirrored sides with Hive Guard, T-Fexes and Tervigons on each forward edge of my deployment zone, and the Zoanthropes/Primes in the center on the edge of the 12" circle.

I infiltrated my Stealers on the wings to both sides, in cover and 18" away from his closest units (a Baal on one side and an Assault Squad on the other).

His scouts set up in a terrain piece on my far right, almost on my table edge. From there he had good shots down my table edge which would not provide cover unless I was careful.

I tried to seize, but fail.

He begins his turn. He moves the Stormraven forward 12" and fires the Assault Cannon and Multimelta into the Zoanthrope squad. I take the MM on a Prime, and the rest of the hits get spread out. He shoots that unit with his Attack bike and his Vindicator and at the end of it all I have two wounds on the first Prime, one wound on the second Prime and a wound on a Zoanthrope but everyone is standing. Against a more shooty army going second this unit might have gone away - it's difficult to say.

His scouted Baals light up my bug stacks and unfortunately he is able to shoot and roast away my right side Hive Guard squad entirely. I'm a bit peeved at this, because I really could have prevented it but hey, play and learn.

His Assault squads move up and I see that he is about 15 inches away from my Genestealers on the right side and did not make it into terrain. Opportunity.

On my turn I start to move out the herd.The Genestealers on the right get Feel No Pain in hopes of getting them into combat with Assault squad this turn. The remaining Hive Guard squad also gets Feel No Pain. Regeneration does nothing this turn. I roll for regeneration about 12 times during the game and fail to regenerate anything. Ugh.

After moving everything up I start with my shooting. I pop off two Warp Lances into his Stormraven and shoot it down immediately. Woot. Sternguard and Furioso arrange themselves in the footprint and the Sternguard lose a man to the explosion. I toss a Cluster spines shot on them and kill two more. The Tyranofexes and the remaining Hive Guard manage to Immobilize one of the Baals and Stun the other. My Hive Guard rolled like ass, hitting one out of four shots for the first several turns they fired.

My Genestealers on the right rolled their fleet roll. I need a 3 to make it to the Assault Squad but I roll a one. Joy. I consolidate back towards my lines and assault his right side Baal instead and wreck it with my 36 attacks. My left side Genestealers explode his left side Baal which was Immobilized.

He's now down to a Vindicator and a Furioso for armor.

His turn his Vindicator lobs a pie plate which does little of note. I think I took a wound on a Tyrannofex. He moves up and Mephiston and an assault squad assault my right side Genestealers. Mephiston is obnoxious but not when he rolls three ones to wound. :D He killed a few Genestealers, who then managed to put a rend on him and take out several of the Assault Marines. Then the Assault Marines swing and kill a few Genestealers (remember they have Feel No Pain). Then I lose a few more to Fearless saves because they are close to my Tervigon. They hold and have one left. The Sanguinary Priest piles in to B2B with my sole remaining Genie.

My turn I combi-assault his Vindicator, his Attack Bike and the reduced Sternguard squad with my Genestealers on the left. I forgot that Sternguard were Veterans for a moment so took more casualties than anticipated assaulting into cover. That being said I still managed to tear down his Sternguard squad to 3 dudes, though his Vindicator and Attack Bike escaped unharmed. On the right side my Tervigon spawned 14 little mens and then jammed. That squad charged the Assault Squad that was already locked in combat, so got to strike at initiative.

Fun fact: Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs on Tervigons don't help if you forget to keep the Tervigon close enough to use them.

Fun Fact #2 Sometimes you get lucky and roll lots of 5's and 6's to wound, and it doesn't matter if the Tervigon's not there. I reduced his Assault Squad down to like four remaining dudes and lost my last Genestealer and the Termagant squad.

At this point his shooting is largely diminished. He tosses another Pie plate which kills one of my Primes. I forgot it would instant kill him and put it on the Prime with only one wound. Doh. His Dreadnought tried to move through terrain to get at my Tervigon on the right but I had ensured he would be rolling two checks to get to me from about 11" away and he failed. His Assault squad in the middle moved up, shot some meltas at my Tervigon (both missed) and then Assaulted. The Tervigon took a few wounds from Power Fist swings, and squishes one of the Assault Marines.

My turn I managed to Stun and Weapon destroy his Dreadnought. I moved up a Tyrannofex and flamed/templated/Rupture Cannoned his Assault Squad and Mephiston and managed to down all but two of the Assault Squad members. I moved up my remaining Prime and ran him to put him into assault range no matter who Mephiston went after and made him a tempting target for Mephiston himself.

I spawned a large unit of Gaunts from my left Tervigon and use them to finish off the Sternguard in the center and the Sanguinary Priest.

In the center I weapon destroyed his Vindicator, Immobilized his Dreadnought. My Hive Guard insta-gibbed his attack bike. At this point he has a mobile but weaponless Vindi, a nearly dead Sternguard squad, a nearly dead assault squad, Mephiston and the scouts.

Mephiston decides he wants to play with my Prime. The last two members of his right side assault squad including a power fist go after my Zoanthropes. My Prime swings first due to Lashwhip. He gets 2 hits, one wound. Mephiston rolls a 12 for his leadership check, and back to the box he goes. This is huge.

Power Fists bounce off of Zoanthrope shields, but they will not last for long. Tervigon takes another few wounds and kills two more Assault Marines.

On my turn I tear the other arm off his Furioso and Immobilize his Vindicator. I spawn another large unit of Gaunts and both it and the last unit I spawned attempt to assault into the Assault squad currently engaging my Tervigon. The victorious Prime also joins this assault. One squad makes a miserable terrain check but the other makes it in and benefitting from Furious Charge and Toxins manages to do significant damage to the Assault Squad. The Prime killed two Assault Marines before losing his last wound.

One of my T-Fexes joins the fight with the Zoanthropes and the two Assault squad members and sees them off either this turn or the next. The Zoanthropes don't make it though.

On his turn my opponent manages to destroy the Tervigon, doing some damage to my nearby Gaunt Squads. His scouts continue to take Pot Shots at Tyrannofexes hoping for rends.

My turn I destroyed his Vindicator and his Dreadnought. The only thing left is his assault squad and his scouts. I spawn another good sized unit of Gaunts and assault into his Assault squad with like 30 Adrenal/Toxin attacks and see him off. The only thing left is the Scouts.

At this point I am ahead 12 Kill Points to 8, and would easily win the Secondary and Tertiary as well. We call it.

A good game overall.

Every piece of my army was valuable, there was nothing left unused. A few quick thoughts.

The T-Fexes when used the way I think they should really add a lot to the army. Yes they are long-ranged anti-tank shooting. No that doesn't mean you should keep them in the backfield. Being able to move up, flame, blast, shoot and then assault is golden.

Monstrous Creatures can kill things in melee, even if it's a somewhat slow process sometimes.

The Zoanthropes did heroic work. 18" of Warp Lance range on a move-and-shoot platform is plenty, thank you.

Having Onslaught support is like a warm safety blanket, even if I don't need to use it.

Hive Guard - go down to shooting, but don't have to be seen to be effective. Keeping them out of sight entirely is the best strategy if possible.

Fifteen Genestealers seems like the perfect amount. I can keep them in cover and FNP'd up, assault a unit in cover and still have enough dudes left to do the work afterwards.  I really like my Genestealers.

Yawn. I'm tired. It's like 1 am. Any discrepancies in my BatRep are probably due to tiredness. No, my opponent's list wasn't optimal, and yes I did give him my thoughts on improvements that would have helped him a lot (starting with his need for some kind of long-range shooting).

But still, a good learning experience against some tough elements from a codex that gives Nids problems. I made a few mistakes but came out on top, and have more confidence in my army than ever. Sometimes you don't have to go against the best lists to see how your list handles various threats and get a good sense for how it would do in other circumstances.

I dig the list, no changes necessary. Practice, practice, practice.

Later amigos.