Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1500Point - Play the Game, Read the Story GT Report - Games 1 & 2

     July in Syracuse means it’s time for Play the Game, Read the Story’s annual GT. Last year I managed to snag 2nd overall, so I was looking forward to this year’s event and hoping for a repeat performance. This year’s event was a single day, 5-round, 1500point tournament, bringing in just over 30 players. The scoring weighed heavily on battle (0-9/game), but also included soft scores: Paint (0-10), Sportsmanship (0-5), and Comp (0-10). Having attended a few of their events over the past year, I felt that I had a good grasp on what they were looking for in comp, and what kind of armies I’d likely see.
Here’s what I brought:
Tyranid Prime w/ Lash Whip & Bone Sword, Toxin Sacs

2 Hive Guard
5 Ymgarls

12 Termagants
Tervigon w/ Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and +2 Powers
5 Genestealers w/ Broodlord

Fast Attack
5 Shrikes w/ Lash Whip & Bone Sword, Toxin Sacs

Heavy Support
2 Carnifex w/ 2X Twin Link Devourers
3 Biovores

Total: 1496

In the past 3 years, I can only remember squaring off against 3 other Tyranid players (2 of which are my co-authors Hyv3mynd & DaCock), but somehow I managed to draw 3 on this day. Below the fold are bat-reps from my first 2 games. 
     My first game was against Alex with his Nids. Last year, Alex beat me in the 5th round of the GT with his Grey Knights, and took me down to 2nd overall. I was pleased to see the crazy Paladin list was nowhere to be found. This year Alex brought a list that was very similar to lists I've made in the past. I really liked the inclusion of the Tyrranofex and Hormugants. 

Mission: Emperor’s Will
Deployment: Vanguard
Bonuses: +1 if your opponent has no Elites left, +1 if you never lost control of your objective
I’ll go over my first couple of games today.

Alex’s Army: (approximate)

3 Hive Guard
2 Zoanthropes


Fast Attack:
5 Ravenors

Heavy Support:
3 Biovores

     Minus the Termagants in reserve, here's how Alex set up. You can see his objective directly behind his Biovores.
     Anchoring the center of his lines was the Swarmlord. From the way I saw it, Alex was going to walk right into me, and try to wipe me out. Pretty straight forward.

     I deployed as seen above. The Forgeworld spawning nest under the Tervigon was my objective. I put the Hive Guard in the ruins to protect against his Hive Guard, and kept my Shrikes outside of their range. 
      I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I decided to infiltrate my Stealers behind this building. Eventually, they did a decent job of tying up his Ravenors, but they ultimately were out-matched.

     Next was a frantic exchange of models, that went completely undocumented. My Biovores virtually eliminated his Hormugaunts, while Alex's biovores barly scratched my Shrikes due to area terrain cover saves and bad scatters. On the right board edge, his Ravenors ate my stealers, but in the center the Swarmlord was laid low by my DakkaFexes and the Zoanthropes went down to Hive Guard fire.

     Turn 3 was my push to take the center. Alex only had a handful of gaunts remaining, along with some big bugs. My Tervigon was spawning reinforcements, and all of my heavy hitters were moving in.  The Dakkafexes set their sights on the remaining Hive Guard, while the Shrikes made easy work of the Tervigon.

      On the right flank, Alex's last 2 Ravenors (under persistent fire from Biovores) tried to aid his remaining termagant unit. My Ymgarls popped out of the ruins, took down his Biovores and then moved onto his Gaunts. The Stealers were a step ahead and devoured the small gaunt unit right before they were in turn destroyed by the remaining Ravenors.
      From here on out, it was cleanup. The Tyranofex went down to the Shrikes, but the Ravenors managed to persist out of range of all my guns. By not moving up earlier, I wasn't able to capture both objectives, giving me a minor victory + 2 Bonus Points.

     Alex played a tight game, but I think he was too aggressive. He could have easily forced a draw by hanging back, but he went for it and it cost him. A few slight alterations to his list would have gone a long way. A Tyrant Guard and a Prime coupled with Iron Arm could have made a nigh unkillable unit. If that hit my lines, I could have tied it up, but I would have had a hell of a time taking it down. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that if you're going to buy Swarmy, make sure you add in a little more.


     That win set me up against my 2nd Tyranid opponent of the day; Curtis!
Mission: 4 Objectives - 3 points each
Deployment: The Old Spearhead (Quarters w/ a no-man's land in the center)
Bonuses: +1 if you control your opponent's objective, +1 if your opponent has no Vehicles or Monsters at the end of the game.

Curtis’s Army: (approximate)
Flyrant w/TL-Devs
Flyrant w/TL-Devs

Doom in Pod
3 Hive Guard


Fast Attack:

Heavy Support:

     My deployment was forward facing, right up against the deployment line. In retrospect, I should have deployed back a little and let him come to me. I wasn't thinking about Doom landing at all, which would be to Curtis's advantage on turn 2 when Doom came in and scored hits on 3-4 units. I also didn't think my Hive Guard were going to do much this game, so I sent them forward completely forgetting that they would probably insta-kill Doom. So much stupid on my part.

     Curtis deployed in a similar fashion, with much of his forces on his battleline.The Flyrant in the middle is his Warlord.

     Again, here is where the action heated up, and I failed to capture any of it. Please don't tell Hyv3mynd, he will beat me. Anyway, Curtis starts by moving everyone forward. Both Flyrants come at me, flying above the trees. The Warlord Flyrant gets a +2 Iron Arm, and both move to take down my Hive Guard. I think this was my first inkling that I'd done something wrong, "Why is he trying to kill those guys?" I thought.

You can see my newbish mistake of nicely grouping my forces for the Doom to soul suck.
     With both Flyrants in close proximity, I spawn gaunts and ground both Flyrant with gaunt fire. The non-Iron armed Flyrant goes down to the weight of fire from my Dakkafexes, while gaunts pile in to swamp the Warlord. During Curtis's turn, his gaunts come in to aid the Flyrant, but this is to my advantage, as he's now in my Shadow's bubble and can get Iron Arm off again. In my next turn, the the Fexes would finish him off.

     In the backfield, I've outflanked with my stealers, and the Ymgarls have arrived to take down some troops. I manage to kill his original unit of Termagaunts, and take out his remaining Gargoyles (who were laid low by early Biovore fire), but a spawning mama Tervigon ground these guys down to secure the backfield. After the battle, Curtis pointed out that I could have sent the Stealers into the Tervigon. In retrospect, I should have done this. The combat would have still been in his favor (Tervi + Gaunts to help), but it would have given me the chance to behead the momma Tervi.

     This shot was taken right before the Warlord Flyrant was taken down and signaled the end for me. Even though I was able to mitigate the damage done by the Flyrants, Doom came in with great placement and started soul sucking.

     I gotta say that Doom Pwn'd me. He took down my Shrikes, virtually all my Gaunts, and the Tervigon. I was unprepared to deal with him. I've only used him in 1 tournament, and didn't really like using him, so I didn't understand how to deal with him properly. I thought the Shrikes could take him down (they did do over 10 unsaved wounds to him over the course of several rounds), but they couldn't seal the deal. Then the Tervigon ran in, hoping to get a good smash through. Too bad the 17 I rolled killed him outright. Today, Curtis was the better Big Bug.

     The next few turns went on uneventfully for me. Curtis was able to neuter my army, giving me a minor loss (Major wins were really hard to get, as you had to get almost all the objectives).

     My next installment will cover my games against the event's largest Ork horde lead by Gaz, and yet another Nid player. I'll finish up with my last game against Grey Knights (2nd year in a row, 5th round army), the standings and my final thoughts.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Nice bat reps! I really like the diversity of the Nid lists represented here, particularly in Round 1. I haven't played in a Comp tournament, but it sounds like it helps discourage spamming net lists.

  2. Thanks!

    Comp gets a lot of flack, but I generally like it. The big problem is trying to figure out what 'comp' means between groups. The definition can be drastic between groups.

    Also, when you have a comped tournament like this one, does comp really do what you want? If you have a comp system, it has to be meaningful. It should either discourages the types of lists you don't want to see, or the comp score hit that you're gonna take will even out battle points wise.

    I'll probably do a deeper dive into the comp system in my final post.

    1. I would be very interested in your composition thoughts. I really like having composition scores in general - I think it helps push away from the Rock/Paper/Scissors style of lists that turn up. The Necron Air Force is a great example or Daemon-zilla lists that absolutely wreck most lists but have some hard counters. Furthermore, those lists are really not fun to play a lot of the time.

      Good reflection on the battles, I thought you were going to have that game when you dropped the two Tyrants so quickly.

    2. So did I, so did I. The Doom really obliterated everything, and there wasn't much that I could do about it.

      Comp is tricky because of the variability in defining it, and how it's enforced. Did you do Da Boyz 2010? That was my favorite iteration of comp (I may be biased as I got best Comp that year). Panel judged, & transparently explained. The major complaints about the scoring came from people that didn't read how the comp was scores. Anyway, more in a future post.

    3. I actually did do the 2010 GT, although how the composition was scored was not obvious to me. Since I was bringing my Sisters, I had to bring what I had ready to go - which was just over 1850 at that point. I got Obliterated by Nick Rose in the first round of that GT.