Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Mandulian Monks go to the Millennium 2012 Invitational

Our local shop hosts a monthly tournament where the top two finishers each month also qualify for an invitational championship in December.  As it turns out, all three authors on this blog qualified so we'll all be playing for top bragging rights today. 

If you haven't been following the blog for long, here's some history.  This event is a free event to everyone who qualified.  This is also to help discourage super hard competitive armies.  Being in the hometown of DaBoyz also means it will have comp and painting scoring.  Players usually bring very diverse armies with little to no spam with rare exception.  Despite also being the stomping grounds of a couple of USA's 2011 ETC team members, Crispy has managed to take home "Best Overall" with his tyranids for the past two years.  I was able to claim "Best General" last year also with my tyranids, so we're both defending titles today.  Calypso2ts has won our past two monthly tournaments with his daemons so expect him to be a top contender too.

Instead of writing three articles on our lists, we decided to combine them so you guys can discuss while we play.  I'll begin with Calypso2ts.

Given my experience at Da Boyz GT and during the Da Boyz Team Tournament I realized that Fateweaver does not fit with my playstyle and that I need to start leveraging the stronger aspects of the 6th edition changes into my lists.  These major changes include psychic powers, allies and fortifications.  Since I am playing Daemons, in my mind the only logical allies are CSM - which works well with my desire to experiment with Psychic powers due to the strength of the CSM Sorcerer.  The primary weakness I am looking to shore up are expensive troop choices for Daemons - that are tough to make effective throughout the game - so I am including a unit of Cultists with that.  The natural extension from there is an Aegis line with a Comms relay which synergizes well with both the Daemons and the CSM detachment.

I am trying to keep just about everything painted - but I did make a transition to some partially completed models in this list:

Herald of Tzeetch on Disc w/ Bolt of Tzeetch, Master of Sorcery, We Are Legion

This guy goes with a set of Flamers to give them a large Skimmer base to DS around.  He also does double duty as anti-armor with Bolt (and with Gaze depending on the arc).  I really like this loadout for its diversity, although it is a T3 Warlord w/ 2 W and a 4++

CSM Sorcerer w/ +2 Master Level and Spell Familiar

This loadout is surprisingly cheap for the Sorcerer and he has access to Telekinesis for Invisibility, Hallucination, Mental Fortitude and Terrify.  All of which provide a huge boon to this list - note Mental Fort is for the Cultists he joins.  the other powers can provide some good shooting in Pyromancy or turn him into a CC monster with Biomancy rolls.  I really like the idea though of 2+ save screamers Turbo Boosting, or 2+ save Fiends sitting in area terrain.  The WS reduction is gravy and protects both units in CC.

6x Fiends
6x Bloodcrishers
6x Flamers

The Warp's Configuration of 6-6-6 for the heavy hitters in the list.  The Crushers I plan to DS aggressively due to their slow speed while the Fiends can hang back a bit.  Fiends are scary fast as Beasts and I have had a few opponents underestimate them.  At Da Boyz I found they just did not have the staying power for the late game - eating 2 or 3 overwatches plus normal attrition seemed to dwindle them down - so I added in a unit of Crushers to be the anvil and really hold opponents up.  The Flamers are self explanatory - I plan to bring in all 3 of these units in my primary wave.

5x Horrors w/ Bolt
5x Horrors w/ Bolt
12x Daemonettes

18x Chaos Cultists

This is a transition from my previous builds - I think the 5x Horror units do their job well and provide units in a secondary wave that are cheap.  The Daemonettes provide a forward presence - I had tried a 9x Horror unit to do this in the past - but I wanted a unit that could assault effectively to clear stragglers off objectives and their grenades are a nice addition to pry some units out of cover.  The Cultists provide a meat shield for the Sorcerer, backfield objective camping and in the worst case can be held in reserve while the Sorcerer deploy out of LOS, but within 3" of a Comms relay.

Fast Attack
9x Screamers

Everything is a multiple of 3!  I considered bringing 6 for consistency (and running 6x Horrors) but these guys are too good not to max out.  They go with the Elites in the Primary Wave and provide a nice forward DS screen after they turbo boost.  It lets me concentrate my units near the enemy more densely and their slashing attacks can take down an annoying key unit when needed.  I want to include 12x-18x Seekers in this spot too - but they just are not up to par on painting yet.

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder w/ Phlegm
Soul Grinder w/ Phlegm

I have been running two of these for the last year and a half - and I never looked back.  They were good in 5th edition and they are even better now with a massive 4 HP (glances cannot ever kill them which is great) a 5++ and Phlegm hitting on full strength at all times.  I have thought about cutting them for more bodies (like seekers) but their blasts really influence deployment and they can straight up win the game against some armies - Eldar come to mind once their Fire Dragons are dead.

Aegis Defense Line with Comms Relay

The Cultists need something to hide behind - I considered a bastion too, but I want to be able to use the Sorcerer's power.  The ADL works for this, provides a base to work from and I can be flexible in placing the Comms to keep units out of LOS if I have to.  Daemons have not ever had access to so many cheap scoring bodies before that can be protected efficiently.  Further, the comms relay means there is an almost 95% chance to get 4 of 5 units in reserve from the reroll - greatly reducing the Deep Strike downside of Daemons.

Now for Crispy:

For the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to qualify for the Millennium Games Invitational, and each year I seem to be scrambling to figure out what I’m going to play. This time of year is fairly hectic for me, and my list usually defaults to the last event I played in. That said, I didn’t do too well at the Da Boyz Team Tourney. I figure it’s time for a change
Tyrant Guard w/ LW
Prime w/ LW/BS & S-Talons
8 Ymgarls
2 Hive Guard
2 Lictors
1Tervigon (loaded)
15 Termagaunts w/ Devs
15 Hormugaunts w/posion
7 Stealers w/Broodlord
5 Raveners
3 Biovores  

     When thinking up this list, I kept a few things in mind. 1) Comp – I usually try to max out my comp score if I can. The way I see it, if I’m coming to your place to play, I want to flow with your style of play. It also gives me a reason to try a bunch of different models that I own. Here comes the Lictors, Hormugaunts, and Raveners. 2) Model choice – I know that the Swarmlord isn’t compy, but he’s also the only other Nid HQ I own aside from the Tyrant with LW/BS & HVC. I’ve been playing that guy for almost 3 years and I want something different. The Swarmlord is still new to me and he’s my only concession to non-comp. I’m okay with it.
   For the first time in a while, I’m not sure what to expect. Normally, I’d plan on facing a lot of MEQ, but with the addition of allies, MEQ is becoming less dominant. I also haven’t been up in Rochester that much since the 6th transition, so I don’t have a good grasp on the changing local meta. I think that I have a diverse toolbox to handle a range of threats, and my list poses a lot of high threat targets to make target priority a pain for my opponent. I think the biggest thing I’m looking forward to some good games against a group of solid guys. 

And finally, my own list:

 I took a couple factors into account when making some of these decisions.  My dark eldar/eldar run three special characters that have already been ill-received by the local comp police.  I'm not happy with any of my 6th edition grey knight lists so far.  So, it's back to my comfort zone and first real army.  Plus, I've taken tyranids to the invitational for the past two years and won "Best General" last year with them, so it seems right to continue the tradition.  I won't win any painting prizes with these guys but I've been itching to break out the bugs again.

Tyranid Prime + boneswords, toxin sacs, regen <warlord>
Hive Tyrant + wings, devourers x2, old adversary, paroxysm, life leech
Hive Guard x3
Zoanthropes x3
Genestealers x20 + broodlord w/ scything talons
Termagants x29
Tervigon + toxin sacs, adrenal glands, crushing claws, catalyst, cluster spines
Warriors x5 + deathspitters, barbed strangler, mycetic spore
Raveners x6 + rending claws

So this is my version of a compy psychic choir/denial list.  The missions will be straight book missions and scoring.  The prime is my warlord and will hide in whatever unit will keep him alive best in the pairing and mission to deny that point.  I'll probably roll personal traits for him as all of them could be beneficial.  This army rolls 12 times for psychic powers so I hope to have lots of options to customize to my pairing.  The warriors drop in and fill any synapse, shadow in the warp, linebreaker, or scoring gaps.  I'm basically hoping for synergistic psychic powers to add and enhance force multipliers.  Picture furious, poisonous gaunts with preferred enemy assaulting paroxysm'd, enfeebled, terrified units.  The game plan will be to deny first blood, warlord, and linebreaker points while focusing on them myself.  Meanwhile, I have 72 wounds of scoring bugs plus spawns to focus on securing objectives.

So there you have it, all three of our lists with some designer notes.  Feel free to discuss and place your wagers!  We'll be back with 3 batreps each and closing thoughts on the event in the following weeks.


  1. Cool stuff guys. Hope it was a good time, see you next tournament season! Hopefully this time to qualify sometime.

  2. I'm betting on Daeomns as he's had the hot hand of late. It's like the New York Giants in the playoffs. He's hot at the right time. In also like the diversity of his elites. Do you guys have a comp rubric you can build from or is it just a feel for what people expect?

    1. There is a bit of an unwritten rule set when it comes to composition at Da Boyz. The rules that I know are basically - (1) Avoid duplication (spam) (2) Avoid Special characters.

      My reason for bringing diverse elites is a bit more complex. Fiends are faster than Screamers with Fleet and put out more attacks per point. The downside is that they rely on Rending - but against Guardsmen, Orks and large marine squads they tend to take less of a beating than the Screamers due to I5. A 180 point Fiend squad throws down 30 attacks, while a 225 points Screamer squad throws down 27. I also only own 9 Screamers!

      Second, I wanted an anvil unit - I ran 2 units of Fiends at Da Boyz and I found them to be a bit too fragile. Bloodcrushers can deal with anything that is not a 2+ save or a Dreadnought. They take a ton of shooting to bring down and fill the role of a close, in your face deep striking unit.

      Flamers in my army really serve as more a deterrent to bunched deployments (same with the Grinders) which really diffuses enemy firepower when you come down in a refused flank. They also have a lot of general utility, and are almost always shot at first. With Flamers, Screamers, Fiends and Crushers in close - most armies just do not have the local firepower to weaken them enough before they pile into combat.

  3. Looking forward to hearing about it guys - some very intriguing 'nid lists!

  4. Happy New Year, guys!

    I like the list of Calypso2ts with the single exception – I’m not sold on idea of 2 Soul Grinders. I feel it better to drop one for Helldrake or the like;)

    Crispy, I think that Swarmlord is ok. With new psychic powers he is much more competitive than before. I understand why many tourney armies include it. Nevertheless if I were you, I’d change lictors for Deathleaper, cause he is awesome guy for objective denial. And I prefer devourer gants in a sporepods – not a walking variant. All other choices seem solid for me:)

    Aaron, I happy to see, you use your bugs again!
    You’ve tailored an interesting toolbox list. I don’t feel it to be overpowered, but it has all the chances to achieve a victory in the hands of a talented general.

    I suppose, it’s a bit late, but I wish you a good luck, guys:)