Thursday, December 2, 2010

2000pt Competitive Match VS Dark Eldar

I've been working with my friend Tim on our Adepticon style team lists for a local team tourney in January.  We're bringing Dark Eldar and Tyranids.  We threw out a challenge for last night but nobody was available, so we decided to practice against each other instead.  We each used our 1000pt portions of the team event as a foundation and filled the lists up to 2000pts to fit the current competitive brackets.

Dark Eldar 2000pts
Haemi + liquifier (attached to wyches #1)
Haemi + liquifier, crucible of malediction (attached to wyches #2)
Haemi + hex rifle
5 Incubi + klaivex, bloodstone, raider + flicker fields, splinter racks
4 Trueborn + 4 blasters, venom
7 Wyches + shardnet, hekatrix + agonizer, raider + flicker fields
7 Wyches + shardnet, hekatrix + agonizer, raider + flicker fields
10 Warriors + splinter cannon, raider + flicker fields, splinter racks
10 Warriors + splinter cannon, raider + flicker fields, splinter racks
20 Warriors + 2 dark lances
6 Reavers + 2 heat lances, cluster caltrops
Ravagers + 3 dark lances, flicker fields
Razorwing Fighter + splinter cannon, flicker fields, monoscythe missiles (proxied with a ravager and a big yellow post-it)

Tyranids 2000pts
Parasite of Mortrex
Hive Guard x2
Hive Guard x2
Ymgarl Genestealers x7
Genestealers x15 + broodlord
Genestealers x15 + broodlord
Termagants x10 + devourers
Termagants x10 + devourers
Tervigon + toxins, adrenals, catalyst, stinger salvo
Tervigon + toxins, adrenals, catalyst, stinger salvo
14 Gargoyles + toxins, adrenals
Tyrannofex + rupture cannon, desiccator larvae, stinger salvo

We rolled Annihilation and Spearhead deployment.  We played in my man cave on my snow table.  It containts exactly 25% terrain coverage and was set up as such:

From the other side:

Pre-game analysis:  I'm always cautious and borderline scared the first time I face any codex.  I know he has many lances, tons of poison shooting, an ID sniper rifle, tons of mobility, and I really have no feeling as to how the wyches will play out in close combat.  However, I have the advantage by many killpoints for this mission and I know I can't be timid or play defensive with Tyranids.

I win first turn and deployment and take it.  Here's how I deployed:

My gargoyles + PoM screened my whole front, keeping a majority behind the forest for cover.  Both hive guard units went behind and central for best shooting coverage.  Devilgaunts went on either side, tyrannofex in the center, tervigons on either side behind hills and rocks for cover.  For those of you who have read my page on competitive execution of tyranids, here's my checklist:
Step #1: balanced list - check.  I have 3 decent assault units with lots of bodies and speed.  Genestealers and ymgarls for disruption.  Devilgaunts and stinger salvos for suppression fire.  Hive guard and tyrannofex for ranged anti-armor. 
Step #2: know thyself - check, but still practicing with some of these units.  know thy enemy: nope, first game versus new dark eldar.
Step #3:  proper deployment - check.  My entire army has cover for turn 1 in case he seizes.  I deployed centrally and aggressively as far forward as I could with max threat radius on my shooting.  I also have options to move my jump infantry up 12" and still be in cover.

Tim deploys as such:

On my left flank, the wyches are in the lead raider with warriors behind and incubi above and behind.  Back corner is the razorwin prozy with the yellow paper, 20 warriors with lances in the forest, and ravager next to them.  On my right flank are the reavers, venom with trueborn, wyches with crucible, and warriors behind.  He's done a good job balancing his force so I have few options for my genestealers.  I infiltrate them on the flanks outside my deployment zone and hide the ymgarls in the large central forest.

See how my genestealers are clustered and then chained?  That's to create the widest threat web, maintain majority cover, and still be in synapse and range for FnP.  Tim rolls +1str combat drugs and fails to seize.  The game begins...

My turn 1... I give FnP to the genestealers on the left flank and gargoyle unit.  At this point, the genestealers on the right flank are furthest from splinter rifle fire so I cross my fingers that they will be ok.  Everything advances and I lose 1 gargoyle in the forest.  Tervigons move forward and towards the flanks to maintain synapse and FnP range on my genestealer units.  Genestealers on the right move through cover and I roll 1,1,1, yup... The placement of units after my movement phase is to prevent the skimmers from deploying assault units into my core.  I have 3 units in shooting range and I deem the incubi, wyches, and razorwing to be the largest threats.  Hive guard wreck the wyche raider on my right with the crucible.  The other hive guard immobilize and weapon destroy the raider with the incubi.  The tyrannofex stuns the razorwing.  Here's a shot at the end of my turn:

Tim's turn 1...  His wyches on the right move towards my genestealers.  Wyches on the left move towards genestealers and disembark from the raider.  He keeps the incubi in their raider for now as a counter assault unit.  Warrior raider shift for better shots, as does the ravager.  Tueborns in their venom don't have many options so they move up 6".  Reavers turbo boost 36" over my right tervigon hitting it with blade vanes and cluster caltrops and I suffer 2 wounds.
He opens up with eveything he can.  I lose one hive guard from the unit on the left.  The haemi with the hex rifle has detached from the warriors and tries to snipe a hive guard but fails to wound.  He kills 4 gargoyles after cover and FnP.  He also kills 3 genestealers from the unit on the left and I remove the 3 closest to his wyches.  He opts not to shoot the genestealers on the right so he has a chance to assault them.  He assaults the genestealers on my left with wyches (remember +1str from drugs and FnP from haemi's pain token, green flag is my catalyst marker).
After the dust settles, he scored 1 wound on my broodlord.  I killed several wyches but he passes morale and we lock.  His wyches on the right flank don't roll high enough to reach my other genestealers.

End of turn 1.  Tyranids 1kp, Dark Eldar 0kp

My turn 2...  No ymgarls yet.  I give FnP to both genestealer units.  Gargoyles and PoM jump up right in front of the venom with trueborn.  Genestealers on the right move for the wyches.  Tervigon spawns 15 (! no doubles) gants and the devilgaunts reposition to do some damage to the reavers.  Tervigon on the left stays near the genestealers and her devilgaunts move to the center.  Tyrannofex and hive guard advance.

The full strength hive guard unit explodes the venom killing 1 trueborn and 1 gargoyle.  The lone hive guard rolls 1,1 for shooting.  Tyrannofex also wiffs against the razorwing fighter.  Genestealers assault wyches and haemi on my right flank.
I'm moving through cover and don't have grenades, but I have FnP.  I end up winning by several wounds and running them off the table.  I consolidate towards the rest of the dark eldar.  Gargoyles and PoM assault the trueborn, but I roll a 1,3 for terrain and the PoM doesn't make it in.
He strikes first and kills several gargoyles, I wiff, and lose several more to no retreat.  This would later become my only failure of the game.  Gaunts in the backfield gun down 3 reavers, then assault the rest with the newly spawned unit.
 He strikes first and kills 1 gant.  I wipe him out with the benefit of furious charge and poison from the tervigon.  On the left flank, my genestealers kill more wyches and their haemi, they fail morale and run away.  I consolidate towards the rest of the dark eldar.

Tim's turn 2...  Two remaining wyches continue to fall back.  Incubi jump out of their immobile raider and make for my genestealers.  His razorwing is finally free and he jumps 12" and unloads all missiles at the genestealers on the right flank along with lances and splinter cannon.  The haemi with the hex rifle misses my hive guard.

He also unloads one raider full of warriors with a reroll thanks to splinter racks.  After cover and FnP, 4 genestealers and the wounded broodlord remain.  He sees a vulnerability in my tervigon on the right, with 4 wounds left and two units of gants closeby.  He aims the ravager and all remaining dark lances at her and only causes 1 wound.  Warriors in the center target genestealers on the left who also have FnP and kill 3, most likely putting me out of assault range of the incubi.  In assault, the unthinkable happens!  The PoM wiffs, the trueborn kill remaining gargoyles, and the PoM dies to no retreat!

End of turn 2.  Tyranids 5kp, Dark Eldar 2kp.

My turn 3...  Ygmarls arrive in the center forest and head for the trueborn.  Hive guard in the middle fails IB and must shoot at the fleeing wyches.  Genestealers up top head for the warrior raider.  Genestealers in the bottom left reposition so I can assault incubi and mot go through cover.  Everything else moves up.  Genestealers in the bottom left get FnP as does the tervigon with 3 wounds left.
Hive guard explode the top warrior raider.  Ymgarls fleet towards the remaining trueborn and genestealers up top fleet towards the warriors who fell out of the raider.  Devil gaunts and tervigon torrent the middle raider with str4 and str5 and only score shakes. 
Ymgarls assault trueborn.  Genestealers up top assault warriors.  Genestealers bottom assault incubi and fleeing wyches.  Trueborn all die, warriors up top die, and I kill a couple incubi while hypnotizing the klaivex but they pass morale.

Genestealers and ymgarls up top consolidate into cover. 

Tim's turn 3...  He doesn't have much left at this point, but there's a slim chance he can take out my rear tervigon and the 2 units of gants near it.  He moves into firing positions, warriors disembarking their shaken transport to fire.
He reduces the ymgarl to 2.  He reduces the top genestealers to 1 + broodlord.  Hex rifle misses again.  Ravagers misses!  In assault, I finish off the incubi and consolidate towards the unit of 20 warriors on foot.

End of turn 3.  Tyranids 8kp, Dark Eldar 2kp.

My turn 4...  Everything is back in synapse.  Ymgarls move towards the remaining warrior raider.  Broodlord & pal head towards the 20 warriors.  Big genestealer unit move towards the 20 warriors.  Gants, tervigons, hive guard, and tyrannofex advance.  Devilgaunts shake the raider again.  Hive guard shots all get flicker fielded!  Tyrannofex blows a lance off the ravager.  Tervigon shoots the wyches empty raider and gets flicker fielded!

Both units of genestealers with remaining broodlords assault the 20 warrior unit in the forest and cast Aura of Despair (this stacks so they're -2 ld).  Ymgarls assault warriors in the middle, getting the sniper haemi in a multi.  Here's the view from Tim's side of the table as I assault.
Genestealers kill several warriors and he kills a couple genestealers.  I rend the haemi to death.  He loses combat and needs a 2 for morale due to aura of despair.  He breaks and I sweep him.  The ymgarls kill a couple warriors and they hold.

Tim's turn 4...  He's just got skimmers and 2 warriors left.  Skimmers gun for the wounded tervigon and only score 1 wound.  He misses the broodlord entirely for another kp.
In assault, the ymgarls finish the warriors.  We call the game there as it's late and both our women are ready for attention.

End of turn 4 and end of game.  Tyranids 12kp, Dark Eldar 2kp.

The post game:  My goal here is to kep my analysis to my own play and army.  Everyone makes decisions that others could perceive as mistakes.  Rather than focus on possible mistakes of my opponents, I'll keep to my own play and reactions to advantages presented to me.

Deploying genestealers on each flank worked well to divide his fire.  I crippled his assault abilities in turn 1 by immobilizing the incubi transport and dismounting one unit of wyches.  As a result, he couldn't strike my low init units and was forced to go toe-to-toe with genestealers, which I had given FnP for several turns.  Hive guard delivered as always and the tfex was unreliable as always.  Devil gaunts never even got shot at so they were able to pump out 15-45 shots per turn between both units.  My only true failure was assaulting the trueborn in cover without FnP and losing my only 2kp in the game.  Tim's dice were definately underperforming mine, but I rolled triple 1's twice this game and one turn saw me roll seven 1's in a row.  I was overall pleased with my first game against dark eldar.  This was also one of Tim's first games with the new codex.  I'm sure he took a lot away from that battle and could put some serious hurt on my list next time.


  1. Haha, if you're not going to point out my mistakes, I will:

    1) I spread my forces too thin. As you said after the game, Dark Eldar rely on hitting one part of the opponent hard in order to build up pain tokens. I should have swung everything to one side the first turn.
    2) I didn't stay at range with my lances. I'm used to being out-ranged by 48" shots, so I played my guns at mid-range. This allowed you to shoot me up with Hive Guard.
    3) I should have started the Razorwing off the table. It's better to move on and fire everything, rather than get stunned a bunch. Also, I could have deep struck it into your backfield and scored some easy points on the gaunts.
    4) I was over-confident with my assault units. I'm used to my initiative being enough to win fights, but genestealers are just as fast (or faster).
    5) I hung my jetbikes out to dry. With the rest of my army hanging back, the jetbikes were easy picking. It would have been worth it if they picked up a kill point, but I wasted them on putting a couple wounds on a Tervigon. I'm debating substituting a Voidraven in for them.

    That being said, you played things well. Keeping your genestealers spread prevented me from getting in your backfield, and let you keep FnP on them. And pretty much everything else was in cover the whole game.

    A fun game, though. My Trueborn are definitely getting a promotion. Three of them taking down a unit of gargoyles and the Parasite in combat was epic.

  2. Oh, and I just realized that Haemonculi aren't fleet, so I made a couple illegal moves. But they got butchered anyway, so no big deal.

  3. Thanks for the battle rep. So Tervigon just gives an awesome survivability to other fragile units like genestealers.

  4. Tim ~ I agree with everything. I would have even hugged the back corner so only my tfex could fire turn 1. Then pick off any units that overextend. and use the lances to take out hive guard as I try to get in range. The reavers could have turboboosted over genestealers instead on a flank/board edge. This would have forced me to assault backwards or risk the lances in my backfield. The haaemi/fleet thing stuck me also as I wrote the batrep. I think once you master the finesse moves the army will be very strong. Hamstringing the incubi was key I think as they would have wiped out the gargoyes or any unit of gants with their transport + fleet + assault range.

    Andreas ~ Yup. You typically won't want to spawn more units in killpoint missions, but I was adding a kp while removing one of his in my backfield which is mostly safe since I was ahead already. Other than that, tervigons are a support unit. I've never been happy with them as a front line or assault unit. In my playstyle, the exist to dole out FnP and make gants a good assault unit.

  5. Another question: The gaunts produced by the tervigon are a killpoint? :S I think they aren't but wanted to ask the question to somebody. If the answer is yes, then tervigons aren't good at anhihilation... (spelled that wrong, i know)

  6. Yes, they are worth a killpoint if wiped out but not victory points as per the tyranid FAQ.

    Spawning is situational, even in annihilation games. Since we don't have transports, we typically begin the game with less killpoints than out opponent making spawning somewhat safe.

    It's more of an opportunistic thing. Remember they spawn within 6" and can move 6", shoot, and assault the same turn giving you an 18" threat radius barring bad terrain rolls. It gives you the opportunity to strike in unexpected places if your tervigons are centralized. If you string them when they spawn and move and keep at least 1 model within 6" of a tervigon with toxins and adrenals, you can glance vehicles get rerolled wounds against marines.

  7. Just curious as to why ya titled this as a competitive battle ?? Ya pretty much steam filleted the dark kins.


  8. Mostly because I was using a competitive list instead of a comp list. Our local community has strong divisions so I don't often get the chance to use a list like this in casual play.

  9. Okay that makes goodcsense then but still I think the title is a bit misleading. If I hear/see the term competitive thrown out there I'm expecting a tight game. This though was pretty much a clinic for your bugs.

    Great bat rep and excellent pictures! Very easy to follow the game turn by turn and fully understand what's going on.


  10. @Black Blow Fly

    I think it was named competitive, because competitive armies took place... It's the same at tournaments. Maybe somebody will lose without an objective or killpoint, but it will still be competitive. It's a tour after all :)

  11. The title was very misleading - should have been Bugz rape dark eldarz.

    : )