Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Da Boyz Team Tourney – Crispy’s Tyranids

     At the 2012 Da Boyz GT Team Tournament Hyv3mynd, Calypso2ts, our friend Terry, and I joined forces to form the Super-Team: The Grand Strategery!  With Grey Knights, Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, and Tyranids (respectively) we took the field.
     This post will focus on what I thought worked well with my Tyranids. I’ll go over the pros & cons of my list and highlight a few points from my 3 games
(I had a corrupted memory card and lost most of my pictures, so I won’t be doing full battle reports). In my next update, I’ll finish up with general thoughts concerning the event, and go over where I think my Nids are going.

First off, here’s my list:
Tyrant Guard
Hive Guard (2)
Hive Guard (2)
Ymgarls (10)
Tervigon (Fully Loaded)
Termagaunts (20)
Genestealers w/BroodLord (5)
Genestealers w/BroodLord (5)
Shrikes w/ LW&BS and Toxin Sacs (5)
Biovores (3)

     Over the course of the day I faced off against Tau, Space Wolves, and Orks. The first two games were damn close ties, scoring within a few points of each other. My third game was a blowout, where I nearly got tabled. I should have known something bad was going to happen when all of my teammates gave me the “are you sure” eyebrow when I said I’d face off against the Ork opponent. In retrospect, I have no idea what I was thinking. 

Round 1 - Tau with a lot of shooting (as opposed to the HtH Tau you see everywhere else). I didn't have much choice other than walk forward.

     Starting from the top, I think that the Swarmlord has always been a pretty good choice, but now that he generates 4 Biomancy powers and can cast 2 a turn, he’s becoming more of a no brainer. Paired with a Tyrant Guard, you can get a T7-T9 monster that can get a cover save, Look out Sir, FnP, It Will not Die, Eternal Warrior, and can regenerate through Life Leech. In my first two games, he was a beast. Whatever he touched died.
     As always, he still has his drawbacks. (1) He’s slow. Against Tau, I only caught 1 or 2 units with him. (2) Casting 2 powers a turn means that Perils of the Warp comes up a lot more often now. That’s how he went down versus my second round opponent’s Space Wolves. He had 1 wound left, and was at T9 from Iron Arm. I tried to Life Leech to boost him up, and then came the box-cars.
     I’ve been running a normal Tyrant for a while now, but Swarmy is growing on me. Even though he has his drawbacks, I think I’ll be running him in the near future.

     Hive Guard are normally a solid choice, but in this event they underperformed. It mostly had to do with specific battlefield situations, so they themselves aren't to blame, but with the diminishing amount of armor we’re seeing these days, I may switch back to running just 1 unit. Against the Tau, I couldn't hide them and they got shot up. Against the Orks, the only thing they could shoot at was an AV 14 BattleWagon. Against Space Wolves, they did a good job killing a 3 or 4 drop pods in a kill point game.

Ymgarls - The MVPs of this game. This is after they chewed through a unit of Firewarriors and Pathfinders then made their way into his HQ suits.
     In 5th Ed, Ymgarls were consistently my MVPs, and that hasn’t changed. Being able to assault the first turn they come on makes them a uniquely nasty threat. In each of my games, they played key roles in leveling the playing fields. Against the Tau, they ate through half my opponent’s army and destroyed all his troops along with any potential for grabbing objectives. Against the Wolves, they hit his backfield and brought down a few units. Against the Orks, well…. they killed a unit of lootas before they got swarmed. 

Game 3 - When I looked at his army deployed I thought, "Huh... that's a lot of Orks." I was then nearly tabled, leaving only my Tervigon. I'm pretty sure Wyatt could hear the lamentations of the women.

     Through no fault of the Tervigon, I only managed to spawn 1 unit in each of my games before rolling doubles (and low doubles at that). While that was dissapointing, I think he performed well in my games against the Tau and Orks. Against Tau, he soaked up fire for 2-3 turns before succumbing to the fire, and against the Orks he was my only unit alive at the end of the game.
     Against the Space Wolves, he died 1st turn a Drop Podding Rune Priest with Jaws. There's not too much you can do in that situation. If you can get first turn and get Warp Speed off, then he'll stick around all game. If not, well... you know Jaws.  
      I really like how much Endurance, Iron Arm, and Warp Speed add to the unit. Warp speed can really save the Tervigon against powers like Jaws, but also turns him into a can opener against vehicles. Endurance and Iron Arm help him survive, and if you're buying the 2 extra powers, there's a good chance you'll get at least one of these to help. Against the Tau and the Orks, he took a few wounds, but regenerated them via It Will Not Die.

     The Gaunts worked well as a screen.  They also managed to distract shooting from some of my other units as they move across the field. Not much else to say.

     I was trying something new with the Genestealers and I'm not sure if they worked well. I usually run them as larger units that outflank, but I wanted to try small commando units with a Broodlord. I may try them in this formation a few more times.
     Against the Tau, the Broodlords hung on for most of the game, trying to stay on objectives. By the end of the game, one was alive, but whiffed when trying to kill a unit of stealth suits, leading to a draw.
     Against the Space Wolves, they outflanked and stayed alive for the entire game. In retrospect, I should have been a little more agressive, and maybe they could have eaten some Longfangs.
     Against Orks, 5 man units just don't survive massed Ork shooting. 
Game 2 - Against Space Wolves, the Shrikes did exactly what they were meant to do. They took out 2 units with HQs in them before getting popped at long range.
     My Shrikes usually compete with the Ymgarls for the MVP position, usually shining against MEQ armies. If they hit a unit, their target disappears. Lowering initiative, ignoring armor saves, and re-rolling from poison deletes units. That said, they don’t do well against most Xenos. Against the Space Wolf player, they did what they are supposed to. Over the course of 3 turns, they dropped a Grey Hunter Squad w/ a Rune Priest and a MultiMelta Longfang squad w/ a Rune Priest.
     While they shine versus MEQs, they’re mostly tarpits for Tau & Orks (a super expensive tarpit @ 275). Depending on the meta, they may work well for you. I bring them to the table every time.

     The Biovores were my hidden weapons that no one suspected. Against the Tau, they killed a Firewarrior unit in 1 volley. AP4 barrage sucks for most xenos. Right after, they were targeted with extreme prejudice. Against the Orks, they thinned the herd a bit. Against the wolves, my opponent thought they would be an easy kill point and targeted them first. Good for me, as that allowed my Shrikes to move in for the kill.
     For as inexpensive as they are, the ability to snipe out targets with barrage, and their utility against xenos, they're great. 

     Normally I would consider my overall showing a bit disappointing, but thinking over the event you have to consider the pairing mechanic and how that influenced our match-ups. I'll save that topic for the next post. Thanks for reading.



  1. That list looks really fun to play. I might try something like that in my next game. Lots of different units which make the game less boring. And I really want to try the swarmlord!

    I agree that now in 6th, 1 squad of hive guard can be enough.

  2. Nice read! I just migrated from Synaps3 and it's good to see some nid love again!

    I've played some with the MSU stealers with Broolord too. My question is what you do with his psychic powers? Do you risk it and exchange them for Biomancy (gotta love Iron Arm and/or Enfeeble on a BL) or do you keep the standard power and use him in challenges?

  3. Swarmlord + Tyrant Guard, haven’t used them because of low mobility mainly. A solid choice against a group of opponents but cannot solve our problems like shooty Eldar or Venom spam DE, so not a must have as I can see.
    Hive Guards. I used 3 broods in 5-th, then 2 broods in August, now I have none, cause there are a lot of armies with no transports at all, while against troops AP4 rockets are not effective.
    Ymgarls. Didn’t use them in 5-th cause used 40-50 bare genestealers, so more bodies were more valuable. In 6-th I use them constantly, but as my opponents became more accustomed to Ymgarls, they are loose effectiveness with every game I play. On the last tourney they were absolutely useless in half of the games – it’s quite easy to deny them a good place to lay dormant for a wise opponent.
    Tervigon – usually he is a game winner. In august I used 1, in October 2, in my last list iteration I took 3 of them with 2 powers each.
    Termagaunts (20) – I never used large broods. Maybe it is time to start to use a 20-30 man blobs, but I don’t feel it as a necessary choice, cause I love the devilgaunts in sporepods:)
    Genestealers w/BroodLord (5) – I used them from the very beginning of 6-th ed, they are not MVP’s but a solid scoring units. On the other hand, Tervigons are much better for scoring purposes!
    Shrikes w/ LW&BS and Toxin Sacs (5) – Never used them, cause they are so fragile for the points. I cannot understand how to run them without Prime as a protection from S8-9 shooting for first turns. Maybe you can give me some tips, how to make them work?
    Biovores (3) – I want to try them out for a walking army, a cheap and useful unit as I can see. But as I run a drop-army with devilgaunts – they do not fit my army.

    I’m greatly interested in a role of your army in the event. Was your list planned as a all-comers defending list, or an attacker for the short list of opponent types?

  4. Ikterus - Since the new rulebook has come out, I've been giving my broodlords Biomancy powers. I like the base broodlord powers, but Biomancy offer quite a lot. When playing the Broodlord, I never really used the -1Ld power. It's situational, and it never seemed right for me. The mesmerism power is great, but it has a few drawbacks. You have to pass the Psy test + get past the Deny the Witch + roll better than your opponent. Lots of ways to fail, and you're stuck in combat when you need it.

    I like Biomancy because you can turn the power on before you rush into combat, and depending on the power, you don't risk Deny the Witch. Rolling 2 powers, you have a good shot at getting either Iron Arm, or Endurance. Even enfeeble is good on these guys. That said, I think I get at least 1 shooting power on each of my broodlords every game. I feel it's worth the risk.

    He's still great for challenges, especially if he has Iron Arm. Get some lucky rolls, and he's a real pain in the ass.

    Erle - Our lists were planned as all comers. They're more like our normal tournament lists than anything planned specifically for this event (at least mine). After playing in the team event, I can definitely see how to change things up, and I understand the roles of attacker/defender better. Without being a part of an event like this, it was hard to grasp the importance of those factors. Live and learn.

    From the HQ section, there's not much to do against massed DE poison or Eldar shooting. Depending on what your local meta is, taking Swarmy can be good or bad. I suppose I could go two ways when thinking about fighting the Eldar, 1) A flying Tyrant would have the mobility to keep up with the opponent and be reactive, but can still be taken down by concentrated fire. It's an answer, but not a good one. 2) Keep it cheap and go with a Prime. This option is good if you're going horde, and you don't want to sink a lot of points into one place.

    That said, if you're not facing a lot of Eldar or DE, than it may not be a terribly big deal.

    Thinking about the Hive Guard, again it depends on your playgroup. I think I see at least a couple of vehicles every game. It may be that most players don't want to buy new stuff to replace their old toys yet (I know that I don't), and it may be that vehicles aren't as boned as everyone is saying (still thinking about that one).

    I'll try to add more later.

  5. Something to keep in mind is that in our region, DaBoyz is the dominant club and has been for 10+ years. DaBoyz also firmly believe in and promote comp. The local monthly tournaments are most often run by one of their members, are attended by several members, and as such about 75% of our events over the last 3 years have featured comp scoring in one form or another.

    As an effect, I would say 3 of our team members for this event have mostly compy collections to pull from without tons of spam and optimization available to tailor lists for.

    This team event was finalized/announced less than 60 days prior to the main GT also. The result of all these factors is that we went into it with non-tailored take-all-comers lists to just have some fun.

    If we do this again next year, I'm sure our lists and strategies will be more tailored to the format.

  6. Hey Erle, here's a little more that I can add:

    Ymgarls - My experiences have been different. They've been MVPs for me over the last few years. Here and there they have been run afoul by other good generals, but overall, I still consistently use them.

    Why'd that be the case? When talking to other people at GTs, they've expressed similar views, and the most usual reason why they don't work is the terrain availability and how the rules they use with the terrain. Around here, anything with a base, or a terrain feature that takes up a specific area, we call area terrain. I've been to other places that say, X piece of terrain isn't area terrain; instead, it's just a hill (or whatever). So that may be a part of it. I'll try to show off the terrain and how we use it in future battle reports.

    Termagaunts - I like large broods when I devilgaunt. Smaller, I'm not sure. I've always kept KP in mind, but since they've been somewhat diminished, maybe that will change soon. Especially since 1 unit can only claim 1 objective.

    Tervigon - I think a good choice, and I can see how multiple ones are great, but I don't like to run too many doubles. Personal preference.
    More later

  7. So, for now I chose a flyrant as a very flexible HQ option - It's pricey but rather effective against any army type - infantry, tanks, fliers. Flyrant has all the tools to deal with all of them. That's why I try to understand the way it works:)

    About doubles, I've heard that you like lists where no doubles exist. I adore this position, but I cannot stop spamming units attempting to optimize the list for the team tourney... I just try to do my best for the team today. Maybe it's because I switched to "tourney only" mode since my second child was born - I cannot find out time for fun friendly games and try to go sporthammer and find it interesting for myself. Nevertheless, I respect your position greatly!

    So, as I can see, you are planning to take part in some more team events and it's great, cause I feel that team event is much more enjoyable than solo comp events. I eager to discuss some thoughts and ideas on team composition, different army roles etc, so I hope I found the right place to hang on;)