Monday, March 11, 2013

Calypso2ts - Adepticon Style Teams - Tyranids

I had the outstanding opportunity this week to both play with a fellow Mandulian Chapel coauthor/friend (Crispy) and to bring to bear a Tyranid army for a tournament.  I have been playing exclusively Daemons for the last three years - since I took a Sisters of Battle army to Da Boyz and just did not enjoy the way they played.  I am fairly familiar with assault armies, but when it comes to armies that have to deploy I was going to have to rely on Crispy for a lot of guidance an mentoring.

Luckily he was up to the task - the lists and format of the tournament are described here - and we had three great games.  The first game saw us up against Ben and Trevor running a very Orky coalition...

The first mission of the tournament had the following profile:

Deployment: Vanguard Strike
Primary (15/7/0): Table Quarters
Secondary (10/5/0): Victory Points - with a twist!

To hold a table quarter a team needed one scoring unit from each coalition in the corner.  There was also the option to make up to 2 units able to score a table quarter without an ally.  We chose to do this with our Genestealers since the Broodlord rolled snot for powers and there was a really good hiding place nearby.

For Victory points - scoring units are worth 1 point while non-scoring units are worth 2.

The opposing coalition of Orks brought with them:

Warboss on Bike w/ Klaw, Attack Squig
Big Mek w/ Kustom Force Field

3x Mega Nobs in aTrukk w/ combi-Skorcha: Scoring due to Warboss

25x Shoota Boyz w/ 2x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Boss Pole, Klaw
25x Shoota Boyz w/ 2x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Boss Pole, Klaw
25x Slugga Boyz w/ 2x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Boss Pole, Klaw
25x Slugga Boyz w/ 2x Big Shoota, Nob w/ Boss Pole, Klaw
10x Grots

Fast Attack
2x Dakka Jets w/ Fighta Ace, Extra Supa Shoota
10x Storm Boyz w/ Zagstruk

Heavy Support
10x Lootas

Aegis Defense Line w/ Comms Relay

Initial Thoughts
This is not exactly the kind of list I had thought we would see - but we do have some of the tools to deal with it - partially based on Psychic Powers.  We could really use a few Iron Arms here - Endurance is nice, but there are not any AP 3+ weapons in here to worry about.  I think the key units are going to be the Ymargls - who can destroy boyz squads in CC and the Biovores who can start taking chunks out of the center - and target heavy weapons/Klaws with barrage placement.  There is not really a good answer to either of these units by our opponents other than the Dakka Jets.  I am hoping to shoot them down with Devourers the turn after they come in - ideally they will do so piecemeal, but the comms relay suggests that is  a bit of a pipe dream.

Warlord Traits
Big Mek - +1 VP in duels
Tyranid Prime - FNP within 3" of an objective

Psychic Powers
Tervignon #1: Endurance, Warp Speed, Haemorrage
Tervignon #2: Enfeeble, Life Leech, Endurance, 
Hive Tyrant: Warp Speed, Life Leech
BroodLord: Warp Speed, Life Leech
Doom: Warp Speed

So much for Iron Arm - We have Endurances to go around though, so that will provide some regen and damage reduction.

This tournament has a different twist in that each board has 6 terrain pieces.   We roll off and can place the pieces in our board half - alternating.  We won the roll off and the initial board looked like this:

Those Ymargls are just chilling for now.  you can see the large piece we placed (mainly in our half) to provide a potential Ymargl landing zone.  The Tree to the right blocks LOS and we hid our Genestealers there.

The rest of the Ork army hanging out and being Orky.

We do the Tyranid shuffle and clump up behind terrain.  We want to avoid the Lootas as much as possible.  The Biovores here have a great chance to do some damage.  Too bad we only brought one unit!

The Ymargls go Dormant in the large terrain piece to the Right Flank of our opponent.

We roll for Night Fighting and get it - so everyone ends up with Super Saves

Turn 1
The orks army all move up and then fail to do any wounds/ to our units - mainly because they cannot see them and the Tervignon has a 2+ cover save from the ruins.
We need to clear out the area terrain on the left a bit to make sure the Ymargls can come in.  Luckily the Tyrant manages a killer two wounds while the Biovores only take down a single Ork.  The Hyve Guard though score First Blood by taking out the Trukk.

Everything else shifts right - that is the weak flank of our Opponent and if we can push into assault there we might be able to roll their flank up.

The attack begins with some Spawned Gaunts going into the Boyz there.  Unfortunately, we exhausted this Tervi on that first spawn.

Orks - 0
Tyranids - 2

Turn 2
The Dakkajets both come in, the Grots stay out and this means I am going to have to make a number of saves on my Tyrant.  You cannot see the tyrant here because he is actually a Fine Red Mist after the Orks called their Waagh!  Failing four out of seven 3+ saves is brutal.

The second Dakkajet annihilates all but 3 gaunts with its shooting.

At least Wazdakka mishapped back into reserve - saving us from having to deal with his unit this turn.

Strategy Pro Tip: Huge mistake on my part deploying the Tyrant.  I should have either reserved him, or put him up against the tree to block LOS.  I would have likely shot down a jet the next turn and could have avoided eating a full Waagh! of shooting.

Assorted Ork shooting also takes down the Gaunts and the Warboss gets into CC with the Hive Guard.

Strategy Lesson: Why were the Hyve Guard even in LOS of anything?  They had more than enough range on the Trukk and do not even have to see it.  Note to self, hide them.

Luckily, we get some reinforcements - although not the ones I was hoping for exactly.  The Doom drops in to start Spirit Leeching.  The Ymargls remain sleepy.

Pictures are a bit scarce as things were getting real.  The Dakkajet has 2 Hull Points stripped from it by the Carnifex - saved 3 of 5 Glances/Pens from the Hive Guard.  We assault into the Warlord with some Spawned Gaunts - which also exhausts itself - and he issues a challenge.  I thought the Prime was T6, he is T5 and foolishly accept.  The Cybork makes 3/3 (1 Twist of Fate to reroll one) and then promptly squishes the Prime.  The Gaunts with Furious Charge and Poison probably would have annihilated him.

We also lose the rest of our spawned Gaunts to the Boyz in the backfield.

Orks - 5
Tyranids - 2

Turn 3
Zagstruck decides not to mess around this time and rolls Snake Eyes and a hit.  The coffee cup on the right is a proxy for the coffee I grabbed in the morning and already finished.  The proxy is less nourishing than the original.

The Mega Nobs get ready to join in the melee while everyone else moves around.  The Grots have a Grot party in the corner.

The uninjured Dakkajet finishes its Dirty work and takes out the Biovores.  The Gaunts actually do well in assault and survive the Storm Boyz somehow.

For some reason our opponent challenged with his Power Klaw Nob and the doom smooshed him.  He will chill out for a few turns - they do kill the pod though.

Unfortunately for that one Hull Point Dakkajet - the three Gaunts shoot it, hit on a 6, glance on a 6 and it fails its jink save.  The debris scatters 2" over onto the gaunts and we lose 1 of them after saves.

You can see that we realized we needed to pull out those Genestealers to knock out the Warlord this turn - and maybe some Mega Nobs.  We grab a +3 on Warp Speed so the Broodlord should be a beast.

24 Twin Linked Devourer shots put through Glances onto the Dakka Jet.  I am extremely adept at almost killing units.

This is our charge distance for the Genestealer unit - that includes fleet.

The boyz wiff it up while the Tervi eats Zagstruck in assault.  They break and run.

Orks - 10
Tyranids - 6

Turn 4
Time is short, so pictures are a bit scarce.  In the top of the Ork turn the Doom manages to knock out 3 Lootas who break and run off the board.  The Warboss knocks out a Gaunt unit and then we lose the forward Tervignon as well to loota fire (4 wounds off in spite of Feel No Pain and the 3+ save!).  The mega nobs do their thing and we lose the Genestealers who were holding our table quarter.  We are now down 2 - 0 on primary for table quarters and 14-8 on Victory Points.

The Ymargls finally come in and multi-assault into the fray.  They snag both the Gretchin and a unit in with the doom - dropping just enough for them to lose Fearless.  That breaks their hold on the back table quarter.

No shown, the two Carnifex move forward and unload on the Mega Nobs.  They are removed as casualties - although the Tervi was lining up a charge as well if that failed.  With that we are able to grab a few more victory points and clear both table quarters.

The baord ends with three depleted units of boyz left and a 1 HP Dakkajet.  Nothing is in position to take a table quarter!

We manage to pull a draw on the Primary due to more than a little amount of luck at the end of the game.    On the secondary when we total up the carnage the score is Orks: 13, Tyranids: 11.  The 1 Hull Point Dakka Jet is sitting there taunting us along with the little Tervignon that couldn't, the Stealers that could not save the gaunts are also important anti-heros.  In spite of the loss on the Seconday, we are still in okay position going forward.  We also managed to pickup 2 additional points for Linebreaker and First Blood.  

With an unused twist of fate token in tow too we score 10/30 in the first round.

Here is Ben, contemplating what he is going to do to that Sisters of Battle army if they are matched up together.  As it turns out, it was more what that armies allies were not going to do - at the table next to us they managed to fail 5 of 7 wounds from shoota boyz!

This game had a number of good lessons for me on how to play Tyranids and what to do when deploying them.  I noted some of the larger lessons in the report but there is also a definite strategy to knowing when/how to spawn gaunts.  I think spawning them early on the rightmost Tervi to send them in unsupported was a mistake - Boyz shooting is nothing to be afraid of - unless you are the terminators mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Also, in spite of what my one experience with Hive Tyrants using Daemons - they are not invincible -and their toughness definitely scales based on their psychic powers.  Finally, this was my first time playing an army with so many models - abilities.  I definitely have to speed up my play since I think wiht Turn 5 we would have had a win.


  1. Nice Battle report. Looking forward to the flood of them from this event.