Thursday, May 13, 2010

Carnifex Support v BT Land Raiders

Alright, I've had this batrep sitting for a bit, but it's been a busy week. Also, the game's a bit hazy-ish since I saw Iron Man 2 at 11:45 the night before, so yeah. At any rate, I'd intended to test Carnifexes out as a support element.

Prime w/ Whip, Sword
2 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard
10 Termagants
10 Termagants
Tervigon w/ Catalyst, toxin/adrenal
Tervigon w/ Catalyst, toxin/adrenal
5 Warriors; whips/swords, 4 Devourers, Venom Cannon
2 Carnifexes
Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines
Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon, cluster spines

As you can see, it's a reasonably basic shooty setup. Warriors and two carnifexes provide assault power, tervigons and termagants provide board control. I've got plenty of synapse, and against tougher melee adversaries I can chuck the Prime in with the Warriors to give them WS6 and BS4. I opted for guns on the warriors so if I can't assault, I still have SOME damage output, and losing the scything talons (when it's just one pair) isn't necessarily that harmful.

VERSUS Black Templar
Emperor's Chump, Preferred Enemy Vow
5 Terminators [4 Claws, 1 Hammer, Furious Charge]
5 Terminators [4 Claws, 1 hammer, furious charge]
7-man squad w/ las, plas
7-man squad w/ las, plas
Crusader Squad w/ Fist, Meltagun in Rhino w/ EA, Smoke
Crusader Squad w/ Fist, Meltagun in Rhino w/ EA, Smoke
MM/HF Speeder
MM/HF Speeder
Land Raider Crusader w/ EA, smoke
Land Raider Crusader w/ EA, smoke

This differs from his previous version in that he dropped the 81pt Grey Knight Brother-Captain, and added more troops to his various squads. Still, it's a nasty Big Freaking Rock army. Double raiders mean you CAN get at least one squad there, and with re-rolls and furious charge lightning claws, well, most stuff with a toughness value goes away.

Deployment: Dawn of War
Objectives: 5 objective markers
BT wins first-turn roll-off; tyranids seize the initative.

Tyranid Turn 1
I start with my Tervigons on the table; they crap out a front line and everyone else runs on. He starts with the camping las/plas squads; I've highlighted them in a red box and put the objectives in the red circles. Given the deployment sides, I've got to press forward and grab objectives; he needs to hold his line and secure one of those across the table from him.

My Tervigon on the right promptly runs dry.

Templar Turn 1
Lots of stuff drives on. His las/plas squads opt to get into a better shooting position, in lieu of chancing night-fight rolls. His speeders scream across the table, threatening to play with fire. And my troops.

Tyranid Turn 2
I advance. Chances are, I didn't do it enough, but we won't know that for a few turn, will we? I make sure his speeders go away; it helps that he can't make a 4+ save. The one on the left gets immobilized moving flat out, and the one on the right explodes. I can't do more than shake/stun his Rhinos; I engage them because I might actually STOP them as opposed to chance damaging the raiders, and then have everything arrive intact.

Turn out I'm taking a leak into the wind, other than killing the speeders.

Templar Turn 2
Big surprise: he drives forward, pops smoke. He fans out to get troops near objectives, and the Raiders position for launching fighters. I think of Land Raider Crusaders as short-ranged carriers with a nasty fighter screen; right now they're getting into range. His lascannons busy themselves with rolling 1's and 2's as often as possible.

Tyranid Turn 3
I somehow immobilize both Rhinos even through smoke. That's really it, other then the fact I can't make psychic rolls (and actually drop a wound off one of my Tervigons because of box cars). The tervigon on the right manages to crap out an amazing FIVE Termagants; I give in to a wild hare and throw them across the field to shoot and assault one of his scoring squads. As expected, I kill a few, but the Termagants fail morale and actually get away. It provides a moment of comedy, and it's about all I can think of doing with a whopping 4-5 in one brood.

Black Templar, Turn 3
His Crusader squads pop out of their beat-up Rhinos, and move towards objectives. Land Raiders advance and disgorge cutty death.
One crusader squad can't make terrain rolls worth a crap to get into warriors. Termagants go down in flames. Or, up in giblets (but no gravy). Big surprise; twenty WS4, S5 attack that re-roll hits and wounds kill 10 termagants really hard...
Tyranid Turn 4
Hello, back foot. Time to repulse that assault. Warriors and other fire converges to waste four terminators on my right flank, and the TH/SS terminator responds by...running away. The other squad holds fast, and I throw my carnifexes into it. Gotta sort those before they sort my army.
My opponent can't make 4+ cover saves, but CAN make 5+ invulnerable saves. One carnifex was softened up prior to getting into assault, and gets lightning-clawed down. Sad, isn't it? I don't get to deploy my Warriors (more importantly, I don't get to MOVE them) to finish off the TH/SS termie, but he is within six inches still.
Black Templar Turn 4
My opponent plays a sound game; he moves to lock down two forward objectives and put a Land Raider on the last one. Operational land raiders make me sad, but I at least have a Carnifex I can put into that one. Right? And I've got Tyrannofexe in position to shoot and assault them.
Tyranid Turn 5
Funny story: warrior squad versus Crusaders doesn't work out for the Crusaders. I beat up the Land Raiders, but don't kill them. Being turn five, I try to harm the squad on the right as well; this turns out predictably poor. Still, you can't always rely on getting turn six...
Black Templar Turn 5 (FINAL)
...because you won't always get one. He's got Land raiders contesting two objectives, and troops on the others. Game to Black Templar.
Overall, I probabably could have stood to move my guys up a bit more. I sometimes have issues with aggression (or lack thereof) and I think it showed here. Also, don't play games on six hours of sleep; it probably doesn't help.
Past that, twin land raiders is just a nasty build; I'm not 100% sure this is the tip-top BT build but it is plenty dangerous. I couldn't handle the raiders in time, and didn't get into position fast enough to challenge him.
Warriors and Primes and Guns
Honestly, I think there's something to be said for keeping the devourers on your guys. You can get productivity out of them without having to assault (and you can't always asssault). If you have them with a prime, that's a good number of shots at a decent BS.
Regarding talons, well, it's a bit like this...if you have a decent WS (5+) then you'll hit most of your enemies on a 3+. Since you re-roll ones, you re-roll half of your misses (since you miss on a 1 or 2). I mean, obviously double talons is sweet, but I'm a bit partial to the guns. Call it more of a tactical decision, since with poison you're going to do fine with wounding.
Alright...for 320 points, not bad. I lose a rupture cannon (and some points on top of that) but gain a decent anti-tank, anti-infantry assault unit. Even so, I've got to be careful about what I put them into. TH/SS termies can turn them into hash and keep going. I have to slap termagants into hard-core, low-volume-of-attack units and gum up the works, or throw warriors at them.
If I see dreadnoughts (barring ones with farce weapons...) or vehicles, or lower-strength guys, then it's time to party.
All in all, whip/sword/poison warriors can tag just about everything that a carnifex can (if not better) other than dreads and vehicles. I guess in that sense, it's a decent compliment.
I should've pressed up; he was gonna get a turn three assault any way I looked at it and I probably should've gotten better board position. Past that, sometimes the dice just don't help you out with killing high-value targets.


Damon said...

Nice batrep.

And a perfect analysis of the bare-bones carnifex loadout. "[i]t's a decent compliment".

Yep. Build an entire army, not just a collection of lego blocks. And I think you hit it on the head with what the 2x talon carnies can bring to an entire army.

Also, with 'nids, I agree: you really have to be aggressive with them. It's the only way to win with them.

And to be honest, I approach objectives games exactly as if they were kill points games. I never bother trying to hole up somehwere -- with even a portion of my army. It just doesn't work.

I think it's better -- and certainly more fun and fluffier! -- to just kill. Kill kill kill ... and take objectives as a result of killing better than your opponent.

Raptor1313 said...


The only time I try to really hole up is if I have a long-ranged shooty scoring unit I can slap on an objective and not worry about moving.

I think I could've played the game better, and I think that having only six hours of sleep didn't do me any favors, either. A little more aggression wouldn't have hurt.

Also, when you get down to it, a Dawn of War game is pretty much a turn shorter than other games. You can start ~24 inches away from each other in the other two board setups; DoW eats your first turn with movement in from the board edge and night fighting.

When a good chunk of your army is footslogging...losing that turn hurts. Hell, it was pretty much a four-turn game in that regard, between DoW and a turn 5 ending, but sometimes them's the breaks.

End of the day, given the dice rolls I had I think I might've been able to tie it up had I been a bit more aggressive, but when you get down to it land raiders are gonna be a nasty thing for 'nids to crack. We can DO it, but it's not always gonna be easy.