Every year Millennium games hosts an end of the year Invitational tournament for the winners of its monthly events. Entrance is free, they still throw in a bunch of loot for prizes, and there are bragging rights. For the third year in a row I made the cut for the Invitational, and having won the event for the past 2 years, I was excited. My first game was against Chris Courtney. I've played Chris 3 or 4 times, and the only time I was able to beat him was a few years back, the first time we played. Courtney’s a solid player, and when I saw his list I knew it’d be a hell of a time.
|These Guardsmen didn't have a Manticore to support them.|
You can read about some of my list ideas going into the event here, but to summarize, this is the list I brought:
Tyrant Guard w/ LW
Prime w/ LW/BS & S-Talons
2 Hive Guard
15 Termagaunts w/ Devs
15 Hormugaunts w/ Toxin Sacs
7 Stealers w/ Broodlord
5 Raveners w/ Claws
Coteaz, a retinue w/ plasma servitors and Stormtroopers (?) man an Icarus cannon behind the defense line. Backing up Coteaz, is a Rifleman Dreadnought, Manticore, Chimera, and a Guard Command Squad (Guard Allies). On the far end of the defense line are basic Grey Knights with Swords/Flacions and a Psycannon. Supporting them is a DreadKnight, and Landraider with Assassins, Flagellates, Crusaders, and a Champion. A penal legion squad was held in reserve for outflanking.
The setup was Hammer and Anvil with Purge the Alien as a mission. Courtney set up on his right flank with a clear fire lane, covering half of the board. With a bunch of plasma cannons, the Dread, and all the other fire coming from that side behind the defense line, I knew that side was all but cut off.
I countered with a refuse flank as seen above. There was a large building in the center of the table, which denied a lot of fire, and in the first few turns, most of his shooting was limited to Hormugaunts who would get a cover save. Then came the Manticore. I tried to space models out, anticipating the eventual barrage, but that just didn’t work out. Rolling 2-3 blasts a turn and getting a few good scatters, my Biovores were killed turn 1, and the Raveners and Hive Guard were eliminated turn 2. The loss of the Biovores was particularly painful because they would have put some hurt on the guard.
The Tervigon had a +3 Iron Arm on him, but I only did 2 wounds to the DreadKnight, while receiving 3 back. Not a great exchange. In retrospect, I should have tried to assault the Landraider. Even at a longer range, it would have been a more evenly matched target.
In Courtney’s Turn 4, he put a few wounds on the Swarmlord in shooting, and assaulted the assassin unit into him. As beefy as the Swarmlord is, he still can be taken down with a focused attack. When the dust settled, only the Tyranid Prime was left. The DreadKnight finished off the Tervigon, and went looking for targets. I pulled back the gaunt unit, which had been diminished by Marticore shots, to try and deal with the outflanking penal legion squad.
At this point, I knew that there wasn’t much else I could do. Courtney had my by a wide margin, and the game ended at turn 5 before he could clear me off the table. My prime managed to hang on for a few turns, and took a fair number of models with him. The Lictors and the remaining gaunts ganged up on the Penal Legion squad, and I had a lone Ravener hiding under some ruins. Altogether, not my best showing.
So, what could I have done differently? I didn’t anticipate that the DreadKnight could so handily beat my Tervigon. In the past, I’ve taken him down with poisoned gaunts, but it doesn’t look like sending in the big boy was a good tactic. On the other hand, sending him at the assassin unit may have worked well. I’m not too sure what else I could have done differently. That manticore was my bane, and I didn’t expect it to single handedly take out half my army. Live and learn.
Surprising note – Letting your Raveners out of synapse, and giving them Rage via Feed has no downside anymore.
Thanks for reading.