Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tyranid MC-Heavy with Venomthropes

I apologize as it's been a while since I've posted; the Warmachine league's been in motion and I've been busy hacking away at that. Additionally, I've gotten a little 'eh' about running the same Tyranid army over and over again. I borrowed a Stelek army, the Venomthrope list in particular. It consists of:

Hive Tyrant; 2x Devourerers, Adrenal Glands, Paroxysm & Leech Essence
10 Termagants w/ Devourers
10 Termagants w/ Devourers
Tervigon w/ Catalyst
Tervigon w/ Catalyst
Harpy w/ Cluster Spines, TL Heavy Venom Cannon
Harpy w/ Cluster Spines, TL Heavy Venom Cannon
Tyrannofex w/ Cluster Spines, Rupture Cannon
Tyrannofex w/ Cluster Spines, Rupture Cannon
Carnifex w/ 2x TL Devourers, Adrenal Glands, Frag Spines

I admit it's got some stuff I'm not used to, like spending for Devourers on the Termagants and actually running a shooty-fex. On the other hand, I'm not used to being without Hive Guard and the Adrenal/Toxin glands on the Tervigons.

My opponent was one of my old disciples (assuming he doesn't mind me calling him that) and rolled with a good ol' Black Templar double Crusader list. It was something like:

Emperor's Chump w/ Preferred Enemy Vow
Marshal w/ hammer, shield, artificer armor
5 Terminators w/ Furious Charge (4 claws, one hammer/shield)
5 Terminators w/ Furious Charge (4 claws, one hammer/shield)
9-man Crusader Squad (Fist, Meltagun, 2x Newbs); Rhino
9-man Crusader Squad (Fist, Meltagun, 2x Newbs); Rhino
7-man Crusader Squad (Plamsa gun, lascannon)
MM/HF Speeder
MM/HF Speeder
Land Raider Crusader
Land Raider Crusader

Scenario: Annihilation
Setup: Dawn of War
He set up the objective-camping Crusader Squad on a hill with a good, central shooting position, as he rolled to go first. I set up the Tervigons and the Hive Tyrant behind some cover. Since he's got the speed, I'm fine with going second. He's left his mechanized assets in reserve, because he might as well set up to react to my deployment, as my guys are much slower. I opt to not even try to seize the initiative.

Black Templar Turn 1
Fairly stock BT deployment: he puts the speeders as far downfield as he can, and keeps his troop transports in a central position. He decides that he'd rather put his objective-camping squad to use, and moves them up.

Tyranid Turn 1
Here's Tyranid deployment. I try to keep it central, angling a little towards one flank.
My shooting ends up exploding the speeder on the right, and I manage to shake up the speeder on the left. That's all my shooting does, but I'll take it. The Tervigons crap out a forward screen, as I think putting the Devourer-gants into that duty is a waste of some anti-infantry firepower.
Black Templar Turn 2
He boosts th speeder over to the flank, and gets the save. His objective-sitting squad hoofs it up the field, and that's about that.
Tyranid Turn 2
Of all things, the forward Termagant squad glances his speeder once, gets through the cover save, and immobilizes it. This is somewhat inconvenient for a fast skimmer that moved's vaguely anti-climatic as I'd positioned a fair amount of shooting to kill that thing off. My anti-vehicle shooting does crap-all past that, though my left-side squad of Devourer-gants and the Carnifex reduce the objective squad to a lascannon and plasma gun. They promptly flub their morale check, in dice luck that's going to be all too common for my opponent this time around.
Black Templar Turn 3
He moves up, popping smoke on the Rhino on my right flank. His other Rhino promptly immobilizes itself on terrain. Land Raider Crusaders disgorge their cargo and open fire, knocking some wounds off the Harpy on my right, and the Plasma gunner blows a termagant to hell.

Then, the dice make themselves known. The venomthrope dangerous terrain checks kill three terminators on their way in, then Terminators do what Termiantors do to anything they touch in close combat.

Tyranid turn three goes something like this:
Terminators on the left flank go away under a heap of devourer fire; two of them on the left flank go away. In my excitment at his ability to roll 1's repeatedly at armor saves, I forgot to take a picture. The others turn their guns on his disembarked marines, and it becomes a VERY inhospitable place as there's one plasmagunner left from one squad, and the other squad has a wounded Marshal, a meltagun, a Neophyte and a couple other space-bobs.
Black Templar Turn 4
The remaining two terminators get themselves dead because they have no Frag Grenades, and fourteen termagants are apparently angry. He puts more gunfire into my carnifex and the right-side harpy; they end up with one wound each. He's also unable to roll anything more than 1's to move his half-strength Crusader Squad; this includes the difficult terrain AND the run. Freakin' wow. He throws the other Crusader squad into my right flank and KOs the squad there. Big shock.
Tyranid Turn 4
The wounded carnifex breaks into a screaming run, finds itself a land raider, inflicts four penetrating hits on it and kills it. His commander eats two wounds and falls on a pair of 1's, and a withering barrage of devourer fire and templates kill them off.
The harpy on the right (which is conspicuously absent from this pictures) flew over that Crusader squad, took a spore mine dump on it, killed some, took a shot with cluster spines, scattered the spines onto itself, wounded itself, and killed itself. EPIC FAIL.
The Tyrannofex wanders into the survivors of that squad. It eats a couple of wounds, then steps on the Emperor's Chump repeatedly.
He has a Land Raider Crusader and Rhino left at the end. This has been one of the most comprehensive crub-stomps I've seen, and honestly? It was the dice. I've never seen that many 1's that fast for armor saves so often. He played it pretty much correctly, though when you get down to it Double Land Raider Crusader + Terminators = straightforward plan. I throw up termagant screens, hope they'll hold, try to take out Termiantors before they can do too much damage.

Thoughts on the Tyranid Army
I'm beginning to see some of the logic behind this army. The Venomthropes were inordinately effective with regards to forcing dangerous terrain checks, but costing the enemy extra attacks and giving me cover saves is nice. After the game, he wondered if he would've been better off trying to potshot them with a lascannon, but I'm not too sure, since the answer is 'go to ground for the 3+' if it's not 'hide behind something scary.'

That IS a lot of monstrous creature love. The Harpies are the least durable, and their speed is more of a 'rapid response' thing than a 'look at me I'm fast!' thing. The thing is, their firepower is somewhat comparable to the Tyrannofex, but they're only useful for the suppressing aspect on vehicles. Sometimes, shutting the guns up is enough. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by the Harpies. I expect to have pictures of them up eventually, as they're now on the paint bench.

Devourer Termagants are a NASTY anti-infantry shooty force. Even at BS3, that's still 30 S4 shots. THey don't go on the front lines, but since they don't have enough AP to make it worthwhile.

I can even see the point of the Carnifex; the shooting is lovely and there's that whole S10-against-vehicles thing that's nice. That's one of the downsides of thea rmy; the Tyrannofex guns are the only real way to kill vehicles at range, but that's enough Devourerers to say 'slow down a little there,' and you can punch the crap out of them in a pinch.

I'll be curious to test this army against other matchups, as I feel this would've been closer had he not rolled a crap-ton of ones. I would've had to commit monstrous creatures to close combat, and probably taken more losses. I know that's a pretty solid Black Templar build, but sometimes the dice just kill you, hard.


suneokun said...

Ouch... the dice definitely made a smackdown of that list.

That said, running with terminators is fearing the one.

He was rolling ones on immobilised, ones on dangerous terrain AND fluffing his termie saves.

That sucks.

Garth said...

Was wondering if you were ever going to blog again.

Sounds like you had a good game. From the looks of things, you could probably take the Tyrant off, take two primes with dual bone swords and regen and attach them to two of the venomthrope squads. Would increase your cloud range as well as provide a wound pool to soak up any S8/S9 hits. You could even end up with enough points to take TS or AG (or both) on both tervis.

Raptor1313 said...

It was some of the worst dice luck I've seen in a long time (well, ok, since my last time around with Tau, where two hammerheads did nothing and got spiked by a lone Tyrnnofex)

Cutting the Tyrant off denies me a heap of firepower in close. A dozen S6 shots that are BS3 twin-linked can pile the wounds on. That's enough to decently slap wounds on heavy weapon troopers, and to slow down vehicles.

It's three venomthropes flying solo; I can see how it adds durability to them but it doesn't extend the cloud range.

Additionally, if the enemy DOES target the Venomthropes wiht S8? He's not shooting my MCs with stuff that wounds them on 2+. Worst comes to worst, I should be able to get a 3+ by going to ground.

As for CC prowess...I've got a heap of high-strength power weapons in there already. If someone does get close, the army at full strength can dump a whole lot of firepower into them BEFORE I charge 'em with monstrous creatures.