Monday, May 30, 2011

ATC Game #2

Well, we knew we would have a couple very hard matches and this was going to be one of them.  Since we did so well in round #1 as a team, we would pair off against one of the heavy-hitters.  This round, we faced off against "The X-Men" which consisted of Greg "Inquisitor Malice" Sparks (ETC 2010, 2011), Ben "Space Curves" Mohlie (ETC 2010, 2011), Mike M. (ETC 2010), Bill Kim, and John Willingham (ETC 2010, 2011).  Four of America's ETC team from last year and Bill is no slouch with daemons.

John was playing a similar wolf list from our game last year at DaBoyz GT.  Greg was playing his footdar which he took 1st overall with at DaBoyz GT.  Ben was playing mech DE with Vect.  Mike had a foot guard gunline wth a couple manticores, and Bill was playing khorne daemons.  All very hard matches for me with drop wolves and mech DE probably my worst  pairings.  We lost the roll and put up Chris, who issued a personal challenge to Greg.  Playing for the win over pride, Greg put Bill up against Chris and when the dust settled, I had to play Greg.

Greg's List:
Maugan Ra
Farseer + all the toys
10 Warp Spiders + exarch and toys
10 Wraith Guard + warlock, conceal
7 Harlequins + shadowseer
8 Dire Avengers
8 Dire Avengers + exarch
3 Jetbikes + cannon
Wraithlord + lance, sword
Wraithlord + lance, sword
War Walkers x3 + scatter lasers x6

Pre-game:  I've seen Greg play before and know his style, but he got to choose the table which had very little terrain and spearhead deployment means he has lots of room to run away from me.  To add insult to injury, I lost the roll to go first.  To be honest, facing someone I consider to be a better player on a poor table, I was hoping to draw and at least get some points for the team.

Greg deploys his footdar gunline central in his spearhead quarter so nothing is close to the short edge in case I outflank genestealers.
 I deploy everything up front and in cover except my tfex and troop tervigon.  They are off-screen to the right in my corner where I have my c&c objective and 1 sg objective.  I infiltrate both units of genestealers.  He has so much shooting, I figured target saturation would be superior to outflanking since he didn't deploy anything near his table edge.
I fail to seize.  Greg shuffles his models slightly, kills several genestealers from the right, and annihilates a unit of hive guard with 24 guided scatter laser shots and some lances.  I quickly get a feel for how this game will go.  I'm already down 1kp, but I have a huge advantage on objectives.  I move up the stealers hugging cover the best I can.  The unit on the right gets FnP, but my HQ tervigon in the middle takes a perils due to runes.

My tfex manages to blow a laser off a war walker and that's my turn.  Greg backs his army up.  He's playing his ranges perfectly.  If you haven't played a list like this before, there is a kill-zone at 18" where he can unload all his avengers, spiders, and wraith guard as well as doom any unit he wants gone.  Meanwhile, his 24 (20 now) scatter laser shots, 2 lances, and 4 shots from maugan that ignore cover are withering my forces faster than I can get to him.
He shoots me a lot and I lose my second unit of hive guard and a few more genestealers.  I spawn a big scoring unit off-screen in my corner and move everything up some more.  I get one FnP off and my wounded tervigon perils again.  I think my tfex manages to explode a war walker at this point.  At this point, I'm down 2kp and there's no way my genestealers will profit even if I get them to his army.  I'm going to hug the center and hope to contest his objectives.

Greg dooms my deathstar and kills two guard along with a handful (literally I picked up a handful lol) of genestealers.
I think this is the bottom of turn 3 at this point.  I move gaunts and genestealers into range to contest  in the next turns.  My HQ tervigon moves up, ready to spawn another contesting unit.  I miss-judge range of my tyrant who tries to torrent some avengers and I'm out by 1/2".

Greg moves his army up and splits his fire between multiple units, wiping out about half of each unit.  At this point, he commits the spiders, avengers, jetbikes, and harlequins and the damage was brutal.
I lose the genestaler unit on the left to the harlequins.  I spawn a big unit of gaunts who kill the harlies.  My tyrant torrents an avenger unit, but they pass morale.

We go into turn 5.  Greg finishes off  my tyrant and remaining genestealers.  Maugan ra is ridiculous in combat.  I have almost nothing left and my HQ tervigon spawns only 4 gaunts who run up to contest the objective on the left.  If the game ends here, we draw sg objectives and c&c objectives and I lose kp's.

Unfortunately, the game goes on two more turns...  Greg kills both tervigons, and takes out a bunch of gaunts on my objective with the explosion.  I fail instinctive behavior with the tfex and surviving gaunts preventing me from taking back one objective so I lose 0-30.  This was a game where my inexperience shined and was made worse by terrain (not nearly 25% coverage and the skyshields were the closest thing to BLoS), going second, and the game not ending on turn 5 when I had my best chance.  Greg is a superb player and knows his army like the back of his hand.

Chris ended up beating Bill 15-5, Jay tied Ben 15-15, I believe Shaun won 25-5, Joe and I both lost 0-30.  "The X-Men" went on to take 2nd overall and there was a lot of talent on that team.


  1. As ever, beautiful batrep. Questions abound. Your comment about inexperience being a major factor is a surprise - how so? More importantly - what would you have done differently? About the only other option I can see would have been to walk on (maybe with an outflanker) and hope you have enough surviving troops by the end of the game to hold/contest the objectives.

    The frustrating part is this is a "billiard table terrain" scenario common to tournaments that I've seen. I'm convinced we need to field at least one 12" mover (ravs/gargs) and either biovores or harpies to have a chance at threatening a castling/backpedaling opponent.

  2. I've been there - my loss to Greg's Footdar at Da Boyz last year is the game I widely consider my worst beating.

    As always, great battle report!

  3. That's one hell of a matchup. Seems like you had just about everything going against you. That table is especially atrocious and should not exist in a tournament, especially with spearhead deployment.

    Seems like you both played quite well and you just had the odds stacked heavily against you from what I can see. Like Ghostin I am also at a loss for ideas on what you could have done differently besides bringing a different list.

  4. If I could do it again, I would have put both units of genstealers on the right side, as close as I could get to his units, but as far as possible from harlequins and dire avengers. I would have put the tfex, tervigon, and tyrant unit up there and pushed everything forward much faster, hoping to tie up some of the shooty units.

    In this game, I split up my army 4 ways, which went against my own advice in my "Competitive Execution of Tyranids" article. I had genestealers on the left and right, tyrant with hive guard in the middle, tfex and tervigon all the way in my back corner. His army was designed to pick apart opponents with shooting and I helped him with my deployment.

    Since he deployed first, I could have stacked everything on the right side, forced him to pull his harlies and avengers across his whole dz, and forced him to back away from his own objective.

    Greg is a great player and probably had some tricks up his sleeve had I played smarter so I can't say for sure that I could beat him, but I could have made it a closer game.

  5. Good points, but I still think that table should be hacked to bits and burned.

  6. Yeah you can imagine my excitement when I got to play Goatboy's space wolves on the same table...

  7. If you were tailoring a list against Spark's list, what would you have done differently?

  8. I dislike the idea of list tailoring, even for one-off games where I know my opponent and their army. My grand view is always overall tournament performance. As such, my next versions will probably see me dropping the tyrant star and tfex for the PoM, gargoyles, and ymgarls. Possibly even trygons instead of tervigons. JoTWW just turns my games into an uphill battle and psychic defense is only getting stronger. My thoughts are turning to speed and disruption in place of slow, durable units.

    Also, while I was playing Greg, Jay was playing Ben "SpaceCurves" Mohlie who wrote up their game for BoLS here: