Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crispy - Dec Millennium Invitational - G1

     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
8 Ymgarls
2 Hive Guard
2 Lictors
Tervigon (loaded)
15 Termagaunts w/ Devs
15 Hormugaunts w/ Toxin Sacs
7 Stealers w/ Broodlord
5 Raveners w/ Claws
3 Biovores  

      I didn’t get a copy of his list, and I’m not too familiar with Grey Knights, so any errors as I recount Courtney’s army come from me. You can also take a look at the initial setup picture above to see what he has.
     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.

      I didn’t have much choice but to keep moving up. Turns 1 & 2 had me slogging forward as I got shot to pieces, but by turn 3, I was in potential charge range. The DreadKnight and Landraider were both within striking range, and Courtney had graciously cleared away my infantry so I could move unimpeded. My initial plan was to charge the DreadKnight with the Swarmlord and the Landraider with the Tervigon, but those plans were foiled when the Swarmlord didn’t make his charge. The Tervigon needed a 9 to get the Raider, so I sent him into the DreadKnight, while Swarmlord hung out in the open to get shot.

     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. 

           While the battle raged on the right side of the table, my Ymgarls came out and assaulted the Grey Knight unit. From the picture above, taken after the assault, you can see that they wiffed hardcore. I was hoping that they’d be able to hang with the Knights, but with Hammer Hand and some poor rolling on my part, they went down.

     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.



  1. Honestly I think you may have been too defensive, but thats a poorly informed guess at best and insulting at worst. Your list, while flexible, isnt the most resilient, lacking in either high brood size and/or multiple MCs, and cant spawn ablative units with only one terv. You may have been able to swarm the center with the gaunts/ravs and pulled him in a bit more. You might have lost more early but with later-turn arrivals he would have had to take into account (ymgarl, lictors, outflanked stealers?) you may have had a better chance. The more I look at your brood sizes I think you would have risked being blown off the table by turn 3 by taking this route though. In that sense, and as you already identified, the targets you chose to charge are probably the most viable second guesses here. When/where were your lictors originally? Interestingly, the more batreps in 6th I read the more viable I think the Mawloc may be. Thanks for posting.

  2. @ghostin in all but 1 of the 6 6th ed. Games ive played with nids my mawloc surpassed expectations, shining moment being he ate all but the exarch in a dire avenger unit that had beaten me to the relic

  3. The lictors and genestealers came in late game, so they didn't contribute. Plus, the had Coteaz. If I wanted to come in closer, they'd been shot to pieces.

    I agree with you Ghostin that I don't have many big mosters nor do I have big brood sizes. It's a problem I'm trying to figure out. I don't want to add in more tervigons, so I have to figure out what to take out to beef up the unit sizes. I'll add more later, but the raveners didn't do much all day. If I had to do it over again, more gaunts, less raveners.

  4. I got into nids for lictors and ravs, so it sucks not being able to field them effectively - personally speaking. I've done some modeling/playtesting of 9-rav units with devs; 27w and 27 shots can raise hell but DS is unreliable with Coteaz/warpquake all over the place, and its just way too expensive. Debating a 2 flyrant, doom, 2 terv, 9 rav, 1-2 mawloc list as the core; still tweaking it though.

  5. I know what you mean. The lictors are one of my favorite models in the entire range. As a side, are you using the pewter or finecast versions? I have the pewter ones, and the scything talons seem to be bending & chipping at a ridiculous rate. I've been thinking about going finecast to see if it's better.

    Yeah, I know what you're saying with the flyrants & doom. They are both pretty sweet choices. I need to get models for both. In terms of the raveners, each time I bring them I always think, I wish I had my shrikes. The shrikes are more expensive, but they hit like a ton of bricks (bone swords, lash whips & toxin)

    1. I have all metal lictors, original x2, one of the new ones, and the limited edition. All are only primed and haven't seen serious tabletop use so I can't really compare. I definitely see frequent chipping on metal tyrant swords and whips, but I would expect breakage and far more/worse bending with finecast in anything bending and chipping now. I very much dislike finecasts chalky feel and poor rigidity. Is the chipping from the bending?

  6. That failed charge with the Swarmlord was brutal - but looking at his list and deployment I was a bit surprised you took as much damage as you did. I know you were thinking that you needed to avoid his shooting with your deployment - but it made for an awful long walk too. I think all the Tyranid players suffered with this mission - Purge the Alien and Hammer and Anvil is terrible.

    1. yeah, the Manticore got 2-3 shots/turn, and the scatters were spot on to take out multiple units. Not much you can do when the dice are hot.

      In terms of the long walk, I was thinking that if I had gotten favorable charges from the Swarmlord, then I could have bounced around to the meat of his lines. But yeah, that walk is a lot longer than I expected. Yeah, need to think about what I can do better about that.

  7. The H&A deployment is the problem of the walking nids. That's why I changed to reserve nids in 6th. I see the lack of distraction in your army that must absorb enemy shooting first turns. And that manticore... It's hard to face your counter match up in the very first game.