Friday, November 30, 2012

hyv3mynd at DaBoyz GT Team Event

Since my cohorts are featuring their team tournament experiences this week, I figured I would follow suit.  I'm also going to include some background on the list development.

The team tournament format was similar to the ETC.  Crispy was in a better position to play tyranids and allies weren't allowed so my dark eldar/eldar project army was out too.  I had to fall back onto grey knights.  With the growing popularity of infantry lists, I have been curious about orbital strike relays so I decided to build an army to incorporate them.  It's not an optimized tournament list, just one I designed to drop a lot of templates and have some fun.  I was also in full panic mode trying to get the dark eldar finished so I couldn't afford the time or money to go buy a bunch of models and paint them to build a list tailored for the format.  I just snipped a few unused models from some leftover sprues and got 3 colors on them so I apologize for the handful of white models.

I originally designed the list to test at a lock-in tournament a couple weeks after the new chaos release.  Here's the first draft:

Grand Master + orbital strike relay, MC hammer
Librarian - bare to swap for divination
Techmarine + orbital strike relay, servo skulls x3
Strikes x10 + psycannons x2, hammer, halberd, psybolt ammo
Strikes x5 + psycannon, hammer, halberd
Terminators x5 + Thawn, halberd, hammer, psycannon, banner
Nemesis Dreadknight + hvy psycannon, hvy incinerator
Nemesis Dreadknight + hvy psycannon, hvy incinerator
Purgation Squad x10 + incinerators x4, hammer

My original plan was to use the grand strategy to make my heavies scoring and just drop a bunch of templates and hope to hit stuff.  So off I went to the lock-in for some practice with the list.  My first opponent was Craig with his mono-nurgle chaos marines.   His list had a few plague marine units with plasmas and meltas in rhinos, a lord with a black mace, spawn, oblits, and a land raider.

Well I designed my list to blast foot armies and here's one with everyone in transports.  I love my NDK's but sometimes you just need a rifleman.  I took an early lead by splattering a spawn and popping a rhino.

I deep struck 3 combat squads and both NDK's and I was able to take out the other rhino and a few plague marines.  However, his rebuttal with deep striking oblits and plasma aplenty crippled me.  We forgot that oblits can't overwatch (slow and purposeful) and that cost me several models.  I held it to a draw until his mace wielding lord plowed into a scoring unit, I failed morale, and the game ended before my auto-rally.  This game showed me that in an elite army vs elite army match, it's good to have some transports to hide in.

My second game was against a chaos undivided army with a ton of bodies.  I was outnumbered nearly 2-1 plus he had several vehicles.

 I got first turn and decided to deploy the NDK's this time which was a mistake.  He brought autocannon havoks and a predator which tag teamed one NDK for first blood.  My retaliation was strong with reserves arriving and I pulled ahead and I tried to conquer the left flank.

He killed the second NDK and focused on my 3+ knights and extended his advantage in bodies on the field.  My army crumbled in turn 5 and I was down to the purgation squad with my characters, and 1 surviving marine from each squad.  The game ended on a roll at the end of turn 5 and those hiding individuals won me the game.  The lesson I learned this game was how much it sucks to be outnumbered by 3+ marines.  Elite armies suffer to attrition in long firefights.

My third game was against Doug's emperor's children.  For this game, my libby rolled scrier's gaze so I used grand strategy to outflank both NDK's and the purgation squad.

I deployed the terminators with all 3 characters attached and reserved everything else.  Thanks to psychic communion and scrier's gaze, I got everything on turn 2 and the outflankers arrived right where I needed them.

This pic right here shows why I decked out the NDK's with psycannons and incinerators.  The alpha strike from this batch of reserves crippled the noise marines.  My prescience'd orbital strikes rolled 6 pie plates this turn also and caused many casualties.  I just about tabled this army except for a late arriving outflanking squad that stayed in a far corner for linebreaker.  My NDK even shot down a mounted warlord that was fleeing full speed with his own quad gun.

I ended up 2-1 and won some prize support for "best painted model".  From this event I got a good feel as to how the list handles, its strengths and weaknesses.  It is also quite apparent that the fewer transports my opponent has, the better the list performs.  Based on these 3 games, I made a few changes before the team event.  Here's the final list:

Grand Master + orbital strike relay, MC hammer
Xenos Inquisitor + ulumaethi plasma syphon, rad grenades, 1 divination power
Techmarine + orbital strike relay, servo skulls x3
Strikes x10 + psycannons x2, hammer, halberd, psybolt ammo
Strikes x10 + psycannon, hammer, halberd, psybolt ammo
Terminators x5 + Thawn, halberd, hammer, psycannon, banner
Nemesis Dreadknight + hvy psycannon, hvy incinerator
Nemesis Dreadknight + hvy psycannon, hvy incinerator
Purgation Squad x5 + incinerators x4, MC hammer, teleport homer,  razorback w/ psybolt ammo

I dropped the libby for an inquisitor since I primarily used prescience with the orbital strikes and the inquisitor is cheaper.  I added a razorback for the purgation squad to outflank in and swapped the extra bodies up to strike knights.

And so we arrived at the team event with my GK, Calypso's daemons, Crispy's nids, and Terry's CSM.  There was a big mix in teams and armies with many people just playing the list they brought for the GT and some harder armies built just for this event.  Our first opposing team was made up of DE, CSM, Necrons, and Tau.  Both of our power armored armies were pretty elite and DE with all their poison can be tough on daemons and nids.  I ended up getting paired against Rodney's DE in hopes my teammates could capitalize on their pairings and I could walk away with some points.  His list was basically a fully mech army with several venoms, raiders, 2 ravagers, some scourges, and a voidraven.

I deployed my terminators with all 3 characters attached deep in my left corner and the purgation squad deep in my right corner.  I'm going to deep strike everything else and hope to do some serious damage when I land.  Unfortunately, night fight shut down my first orbital strikes.

When my forces arrived, one NDK mishap'd and Rodney got to place it as far away as possible (also no teleporter).  I was counting on my psycannon/psybolt combat squads to take out a skimmer each, but my dice were poor and Rodney's cover saves were hot and I caused minimal damage.  His rebuttal was brutal and I lost nearly every marine in return.

I had a chance to cause some serious damage with my next wave of orbital strikes, but the scatters didn't go my way even with prescience.  He easily mopped up everything except my terminators and I lost this one badly.

Calypso walked away from his match with full points but the rest of our team took heavy losses.

Our next match was against a team with DE, SW, GK, and Nids.  We did poorly with anticipating the champion mechanic and pairing system and I ended up against DE again.  Crispy's nids ended up facing a drop pod SW army with a jaws priest and Calypso faced the GK.  My opponent was Frank with the same list I faced in round #3 of the GT.

Things started out well with me taking the first turn.  Frank deployed 2 empty raiders, both trueborn units on foot in ruins, and the beasts.  I used the grand strategy to outflank strikes and the purgators, and deep struck the NDK's.

Psychic communion brought everything in turn 2 and I actually almost won the game here.  My combined fire killed everything except 2 models.  One beastmaster was the sole survivor of his unit, but passed morale and one raider survived.

All of Frank's reserves also arrived and he proceeded to crush me.  His opening salvo with monoscythe missiles caused 7 wounds on a strike squad and I failed 6 3+ saves.  The rest of my saves were equally dismal and things went downhill from here.  His superior mobility and range allowed him to pick me apart fairly easily.  Another crushing loss for me and Crispy this round while Calypso and Terry scored some points.

Our third opponents brought  DE, CSM, IG, and Orks.  I was finally able to get paired against an army with several foot units and went off to fight CSM with a lord on juggernaut, bikes, cultists, spawn, plague marines, and havoks in a bastion.

I went first but hid out of sight behind the dense trees and waited for my reserves.

I did advance the terminator unit and with some good rolls for assault range, his spawn unit got a first turn assault.  Luckily, the lord was out of range to challenge before piling in.  I wiped most of the spawn with hammerhand from the GM and auto-force from the banner.  At i1, my hammer got into striking range and was able to finish the last spawn and lord with str10.

My outflanking purgators arrived and burned down the bikers.

My terminators continued their rampage up the middle and my opponent had to dedicate most of his army to stop them.  Meanwhile in his backfield, a NDK runs up and punches the bastion detonating it with 1 hit and killing all havoks inside.

My terminators eventually go down, but not before the GM claims 5 chaos champions in challenges.  My opponent committed so many forces to stop the terminators that the rest of my army was largely unhurt and I earned a major victory.

My teammates didn't fare as well this round either and our team finished near the bottom of the pack of 8 teams that attended.  The good news is our team won the "Best Sportsmanship" award for this event so I guess we were graceful in our losses at least!

Well, my orbital strike experiment failed I would say.  It was really fun to play but just not effective against all comers.  I really needed some rifleman dreads to open up transports for the orbital strikes to hit.  The NDK's with double guns hit hard, but short range and no teleporters meant they were easily outplayed.  It was also funny that in my best game (round #3), I didn't fire a single orbital strike and instead used the unit as an assault deathstar.  This learning experience also showed me how much harder 6th ed is on elite armies.


  1. Interesting that you lost almost all of your pairings, giving up good matches for your opponents here and there. I think, it's necessary to think on team composition next time and how to do pairings.

    Are you going to take part in a team events in future?

    1. This was mainly a difference in approach I think. I feel our team is closer to a "beer and pretzels" team than a super competitive team. It's just how the meta is in our area. You see it in Crispy's comments about not using duplicates. Our 4th teammate has similar values. I built all 3 of my army collections based on what models I would like to build and paint first, and competitive function second. Calypso is a competitive player in our region. He's won our past 2 RTT's by tabling 5 of his 6 opponents in those events. Yet even he refuses to use more than one unit of screamers and flamers.

      This was the first year DaBoyz GT dropped the comp scoring and had a fully open format. A lot of us just aren't accustomed to playing against these types of lists. I play in 1 RTT a month and we've only had mech DE show up once since the new codex came out and he wasn't a "regular".

      We could build lists with 8 skimmers in them, but get constantly flamed by the old guard. I even got called out for violating the fluff and building a disgraceful list because my DE army had 3 special characters that would never be seen together in a "real" battle. The person called me out when I posted pictures of the painted models in our local forum's "painting and appearance" page. He was also one of the primary contributors, rules judge, and painting judge at the GT.

      As sad as it is, it effects how people build and play armies around here. I've played tyranids for 3 years and only own 4 hive guard and 2 tervigons in a collection about 4,000pts with every non-special unit in the codex except pyrovores. My GK collection is around 3,000pts but there's only 2 dedicated transports, 2 dreads, and no special HQ's. The DE collection is around 2,500pts with only 1 venom and not a single raider or ravager.

      Crispy has won best overall two years in a row with his tyranids at our invitational championship. I place on occasion also, but what it comes down to is we are all just some of the "big fish in our small pond". Once the guys that frequent the national tournament circuit show up, we see armies and tactics that we would never face at our RTT's.

      We all just brought armies we wanted to play. I'm sure some teams actually tailored lists and team dynamics to the format. All of us were so busy painting that none of us practiced the missions or scoring format at all. The winning team consisted of Greg S and Mike M from the USA ETC team, Brad C who won Adepticon 2012, and Stillfrosty. Most of them played different armies for the team event than the GT which means there was some serious thought and planning put into them. Brad played the GK army that he won at adepticon for the team event, and a typhus/zombie/screamer/flamer list in the GT.

      So, we were under-prepared in more way than one. If we decide to do it again next year, everyone will know what to expect and maybe we could build some armies for the format.

    2. I’m not sure that spamming is the right way to victory. And I adore your genuine lists, but team format tends to give more attention to “team builbing” and list tailoring to fit well with another team members. I hope that you are keen on participating in team events further with all those “team building” and “pairing system analysis”, as I find it very enjoyable as a descent addition to mundane all-comers list analysis:)

  2. Sorry, but what are the 3 servo skulls for?

    1. Sorry I never broke down how the list functions.

      I typically deployed the orbital strike characters with terminators for fearless (Thawn) or with the purgation squad for astral aim (to ignore LoS requirement for the orbital strikes). The inquisitor would use prescience on the unit so they can reroll scatters on the orbital strikes.

      I couldn't afford teleporters for the NDK's so I often brought them on via deep strike. The servo skulls helped with this as well as reducing scatters on their heavy psycannons.

      The end result was 2d3 str6 pie plates from the orbital strikes with rerolled scatters and 2 str7 pie plates from the NDK's with only 1d6 scatter if everything worked out.