Sunday, June 26, 2011

'Ardboyz Practice Nids vs Grey Knights

I've been daydreaming my 'Ardboyz lists for this year and I had a chance for my first practice game this week.  Paul drove up from Geneseo to test out his GK list.  Here's my list, thoughts follow:

Tyrant Guard x3 + lash whips
Parasite of Mortrex
Ymgarls x9
Ymgarls x9
Zoanthropes x3 + mycetic spore
Genestealers x15
Genestealers x5 + scytals, toxin sacs, broodlord
Termagants x29
Tervigon + toxin sacs, adrenal glands, catalyst
Harpy + tl hvy venom cannon
Gargoyles x20 + toxin sacs, adrenal glands
Trygon + adrenal glands

I know most of you won't like my list, but here's my thoughts anyways.  Alpha-strike is so prevalent these days, I want a list that will allow me to reserve everything if I want.  After getting slapped around by Mephiston at the ATC, I decided I would use the Swarmlord instead of my typical tyrant.  I wanted to also limit the potential damage from JoTWW so I only have 1 low init MC and only 4 MC's out of 100 models in the army.  To maximize FnP and the Swarmlord's blessings, I wanted some really big units so I did the best I can with the models I own.  That's why the genestealer units are funky sizes.  I wanted two respectable units of ymgarls to strike about when the zoans drop.  One big unit of naked stealers for outflanking and one commando squad of 5 with a broodlord and several upgrades.  Some would say it's a hodge-podge and not optimized.  I say it's flexible and the reserve elements should cause enough disruption to throw my opponent's game off.

Paul's list (approx):
Xenos Inquisitor + psyker upgrade w/ hammerhand, power armor, rad grenades (goes with assassin henchmen)
Xenos Inquisitor + psyker upgrade w/ hammerhand, power armor, psykotroke grenades (goes with big termie unit)
Inquisitorial Henchmen - 10 warrior acolytes + carapace armor, 7 hotshot lasguns, 3 plasma guns, chimera
Inquisitorial Henchmen - 4 death cult assassins, 1 mystic, 4 warriors, 3 melta guns, rhino
10 Terminators + 2 psycannons, 4 halberds, 2 hammers
5 Terminators + halberd, hammer, incinerator (rides in stormraven)
Strike Squad x10 + 5 halberds, 1 hammer, 2 psycannons
Strike Squad x10 + 2 psycannons, psybolt ammo
Stormraven Gunship + multi-melta, lascannons
Dreadknight + teleporter, incinerator
Dreadknight + teleporter
Purgation Squad x6 + 2 halberds, 4 incinerators, teleport homer, rhino

So he had a little of everything.  No purifiers which is good news for me, but 15 terminators, 2 dreadknights, and 6 incinerators are bad news for nids.  It's not mech'd out, so I should be able to hit good targets with ymgarls and genestealers when they arrive.  We rolled pitched battle, capture and control.  Not my favorite mission, but I am excited to face grey knights now that I am intimately familiar with the codex.

I put my objective in my right corner so I can castle my tervigon behind terrain and hopefully utilize the Swarmlord's ability to reroll outflanking sides.  I put the gargoyles up front with the PoM attached on the left flank.  The trygon is on the far left, just off the picture behind a big tree.  Swarmlord and guard went in the middle behind the gargoyles.  29 gaunts went behind the swarmlord and over to the tervigon on my right.  The harpy was also on the right behind terrain.  I decided to outflank both units of genestealers.
Paul combat squads both strike squads and puts 5 from each in his ruins with his objective.  The purgation squad, dreadknight without incinerator, and large terminator squad are nearby.  He places the stormraven and dradknight with the incinerator centrally behind the large tree.  On my right go the servo skull (he placed it earlier), and both henchmen units in their rides.  He decides to deep strike the other two combat squads.  Paul fails to seize and the game begins with me moving everything towards his ruins, except for my harpy which flies around the right flank and stuns the stormraven.  Everything else runs.  Gargoyles got FnP.

 Paul wastes no time.  The dreadknight in the middle shunts up towards my objective.  The stormraven gets fortitude off, goes flat-out, and both henchmen transports move up 12" and smoke.  I lose 3 gaunts to the heavy incinerator, 3 gargoyles to massed stormbolter fire, and 1 wound off the trygon from a psycannon.
 My turn 2 begins with all 5 reserved units arriving thanks to the swarmlord's bonus.  As you can see above, Paul has a pretty aggressive force pushing for my objective and I know he can use the mystic to deep strike his reserves on so I'm faced with some tough decisions.  How much of my reserves do I commit to stopping his push?  I hid the ymgarls in the jungle in front of my gargoyles and in the jungle by his deployment zone.  I decide to drop the zoans first, right behind the stormraven, but they scatter 11" and land right in front of the swarmlord.  I send one unit of ymgarls to slow down his advance on the left and bring on all genestealers on my right to stop his push.
 The harpy flies back and manages to kill 3 naked genestealers with the cannon.  Zoans pen the stormraven 3 times, 2 go through, and I get a weapon and immobilize it.  Trygon runs forward with ymgarls as a first wave.  I'm keeping the gargoyles back away from the purgation squad's 4 incinerators.  The genestealer commando squad assaults the dreadknight with the naked genestealers who multi onto the chimera.  Ymgarls got furious charge from the swarmlord and assault the immobile stormraven.  Ymgarls in the middle assault the purgator's rhino.
 After the dice stop rolling, I hypnotized the dreadknight and put one wound on him.  I immobilize the chimera, tear another weapon off the stormraven, and stun the rhino.
 Paul's turn 2 brings on one combat squad which drop centrally off the purgator's teleport homer.  He brings up the terminators, fortitudes the purgator's rhino, unloads all the henchmen, and the terminators from the stormraven.

 In shooting, he kills all 9 ymgarls in the center with just 2 incinerator templates.  I lose 6 ymgarls from the unit on the left.  My trygon takes a couple wounds from psycannons and stormbolters.  I lose several more gargoyles as well.  Paul assaults with the henchmen (and rad grenades).  I put another wound on the dreadknight, then Paul rolls an ungodly amount of 1's and 2's with the assassins and dreadknight and we lock in combat.  His terminators assault my zoans and I make a good amount of my invuln saves and keep him locked in combat.
 My turn 3 and my trygon will be able to smack something this turn.  The purgators are still in the middle so I'm keeping my gargoyles spread out and flying up the flank with the PoM.
 On my left, my 24 remaining gaunts are heading for the dreadknight.  The ymgarls go for the stormtroopers, and my harpy stuns the empty rhino.
 I assault the stormtroopers, lose 1 ymgarl, kill a bunch, and sweep them.  My genestealers kill the dreadknight, but do poorly against the henchmen.  One naked genestealer runs away, the broodlord passes and piles in along with about 20 gaunts.  The swarmlord kills 4 terminators while evading their attacks luckily.  The trygon goes for the dreadknight since the strike squads are in cover and kills it.
 Paul brings the terminators around his ruins to optimize firing lanes, zooms up the purgators, and smokes their rhino.  The last combat squad deep strikes on my right flank off the mystic.  He puts a couple wounds on the trygon, kills a couple more gargoyles, and kills my harpy with the unit that just arrived with 2 psycannons.  He assaults the combat squad that dropped last turn into my swarmlord, knocking him down to init1 with psyk-out grenades.  He ends up scoring 4 wounds from hammers, 3 from the strike squad and 1 from the terminator.  I put the one from the terminator on the swarmlord and he fails his force weapon test.  The 3 are passed on the guards however so I lose 3 guards and take out his last terminator. 
 On my right, I knock him down to 1 assassin and the inquisitor.
 In turn 4, I assault the trygon into a combat squad and wipe them out.  Tervigon spawns a unit and makes the fleeing genestealer fearless.  I assault him and two ymgarls into the strikq squad with the spawned gaunts and wipe them out.  Tervigon wrecks the rhino.  Broodlord and the big unit of gaunts finish the assassin and inquisitor.
 Paul zooms the purgators up to incinerate the swarmlord.  I take 1 wound and lose the last zoanthrope.  The right side is swarming with bugs and all vehicles are immobilized or wrecked.  He shoots down the trygon and several more gargoyles.
 The top of turn 5 has the game looking like a draw.  I have 11 gargoyles left and the PoM to contest his objective.  Mine is secure if I can stop the rhino.  I send in the PoM's unit to try and spawn some ripper bases to contest with.
 They wiff terribly, and I lose the whole unit including the PoM.  The swarmlord kills the purgators, stealing 1 wound back with leech essence, then assaulting them and getting 5 kills. 
Paul zooms the rhino towards my objective and brings around the terminators to shoot the swarmlord.  I pass like 5 armor saves from shooting.  Paul rolls and the game ends in a draw (but you saw that coming, gotta love c&c).  Paul had 10 terminators left with an inquisitor, 5 strike knights, a rhino, weaponless immobile stormravem, and immobile chimera.  I had a full swarmlord, tervigon (that could still spawn), mycetic spore, and about 40 gaunts on the table.  I reckon that put us pretty close on VP's also.

It was a good game and I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable against GK.  Sure, the internet may say his list wasn't optimized, but it represents the mindset of many of our local players and the meta I face.  Not many MSU spam players around these parts.  Paul is a proven vet though as I've seen him place in the top 3 for 3 of our local tournaments, including our local invitational.  I probably should have committed more of my reserve units to taking his objective, but I had to secure mine first.  Our forces ended up cancelling each other out with not enough bodies or turns left for me to reach his objective.  So there you have my first of several 'Ardboyz prep games.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I just played GKs for the first time yesterday, and I've got to say, they're a whole lot less scary now that I've beaten them. I know they've got tricks I haven't seen yet, but most of the stuff the local Players are talking up, I'm confident I can handle.

    The fact that so many of their devastating powers need to be used within SitW range (and often on Ld9) really cuts down on the scare factor, as does forcing the choice between HammerHand and Force Weapons against most of the things where it matters.

  2. Nice battle report like usual, and interesting list can't to see how it fares against other armies.

  3. Oh yeah. Including Swarmlord is an interesting trick. I feel that with swarmy you can try out a large toxic hormagaunt brood:)
    The game was excellent but the PoM did awful, failing his job. You should punish him – no more pancakes:)

  4. The best and most consistent Tyranid battle reports on the internet, thanks!

  5. Those aquarium trees are beautiful!

  6. Thanks all...

    The PoM did do poorly, but he's not a good choice against GK with t4 and striking simul with halberds. He does especially well against DE and IG so I'll keep him in for now.