Sunday, October 17, 2010

On Space Wolves, Tyranids, a Game, and News in General

I managed to clear time for a good 2,000pt matchup with RayJ. As I am told a picture is worth a thousand words (and he brought the camera) I figured I would sum up the battle report with a picture.

My 'nid army was something like:
Tyrant w/ 2x TL Devourers
3 seperate Venomthropes
2 Tervigons with Catalyst
2x10 Devourer-gants
2 Harpies w/ TL Heavy Venom
2 Tyrannofex

RayJ's list, from memory, had something like:
Logan Grimnar
2 Rune Priests (Living Lightning each, and some other random power that had no impact)
2 Lone Wolves (Terminator Armor, Chainfist, Storm Shield. You were expecting?)
2 Wolf Guard Squads (Sarge in terminator armor with Cyclone missile launcher, powerfists?)
2 Grey Hunter Squads (double melta, and a Wolf Guard in the lead)
2 single Thunderwolf Units (Fist/Shield)
2 Long Fang Squads (3 missiles, 2 lascannons each).

The Scenario
The crater describes the end state of my army. It's been a long time since I've been tabled. We rolled up Kill Points and Table Quarters. I won the roll to go first, brain farted, and made the grave error of going second. His stuff set up with the four melee speed bumps up front, then the hunters and Wolf Guard behind, and finally the Long Fangs with a commanding view of the field.

I set up with an eye towards making sure his Thunderwolf Cav can't get a first-turn charge off. His shooting drops a Tervigon (which takes out a chunk of one of the Devourer-gant squads. Stupid 'Brood Primogenitor' rule). At that point I'm beginning to realize what my cover saves are going to look like.

So, I unload a whole lotta gunfire into his approaching stuff. I am for the t-wolves because of their speed; I probably have another turn before the Lone Wolves reach my line. I have a metric crap-ton of anti-personnel shooting.

I inflict one wound on one of the T-wolves.

Yep. Gonna be one of them games...I made a few mistakes here and there, but my utter inability to roll cover saves or inflict wounds on the other guy (I kid you not, I had a TYRANNOFEX die while sucking up an amazing total of 8-9 wounds. Inability to make both a 2+ and a 5+....).

The Lessons
Naturally, in retrospect I should've gone first. Tyranids have very little shooting that reaches out more than 24 inches, and Rupture Cannons aren't the most reliable things for killing infantry at range. (Besides, they were trying to force instant death armor saves on T-wolves, which seemed like a good idea at the time.). It's a plain nasty Space Wolf list, and while I always figured Long Fangs were nasty, I'm now very, very, very sure that I dislike them greatly. When you get down to it, most armies don't have good ways to kill infantry from over 24-36 inches (excpeting IG Russes in some cases).

On the bright side, RayJ was a fun opponent to play against (which seriously mitigated the fact that I'm still sore from what the dice did to me...) and it was nice to not play Imperial Guard. I'm not knocking IG, but when you play against it for a while, a change-up is nice.

Other Bits
On the other bright side, I found out I'm getting transferred out of the high-intensity soul-crushing office* at work in a few weeks. What does that mean for you, dear readers? (Assuming there are still some out there, I know I've not been prolific as of late).

Hopefully, it means articles more than once a month.

Anyone interested in taking a look at a gallery of 'nid pictures can find my Tyranids here. It's what I've been laboring on for the last year, though I must warn you that picture quality is not necessarily what the interweb slang would call 'uber.' I think it's more 'servicable' myself.

*Seriously am getting out of the nasty stuff, which is just in time. I seldom bring personal matters onto this blog, though work stress was starting to leech into everything else (including chronic tension headaches, which you get AWESOME meds for...) and it's a matter of either a) not having the time/urge/opportunity to blog at the same time, or b) not wanting to inflict a Grim, Dark, Bleak, Bitter-er than usual rant on the potential passer-by.


Old School Terminator said...

Thanks for the report and sorry your game went so badly against you. It is a cliche, but "it is a dice game"

Thanks for the link to your gallery. Awesome stuff!

Chumbalaya said...

I quite like your minis, way better than mine for sure.

Yay Loganwing, sorry it roughed you up so good :P

Glad to have you back dude.

RayJ said...

I'm working on sorting out the pictures and putting a full bat-rep up on my blog. It'll probably be this evening or tomorrow before all that gets finished.

The dice REALLY hurt him with the monstrous creatures. That one tyrannofex he was talking about failed like 4 out of 8 2+ saves.

I will agree on the awesomeness of Rob's army. Made me feel a little guilty with my army in a work-in-progress state. He does some of the best conversions around :)

Garth said...

When running Venomthropes, it all really does come down to how well you can roll those 5+ saves. I personally think 3 squads is too much though. You'd be better off with one squad and some hive guard to back up your shooting.

Keep everyone together, spread the units out so that everyone gets the 5+ for the first turn or two, then start to break your units off. Keep the venoms near the units most likely to get charged, so that you can force dangerous terrain checks and really reduce the units effectiveness in close combat.

I also think every Nids list needs a unit of stealers, for 2 simple uses, either forcing your opponent to deploy away from the board edges and hopefully bunch up in the middle of the board, or leave a nice juicy units (ala long fangs, etc) near the board edge for your stealers to eat up.

I'm currently having a lot of success with the following 1650 list.

1x Prime w/ TS, Regen, Dev, 2x BS
2x Venoms (Prime joins them to soak up S8/9 wounds)
2x Hive Guard
2x Hive Guard
10x Gant
10x Gant
1x Tervi w/ AG, TS, CAT
1x Tervi w/ AG, TS, CAT
1x 15 Horm w/ AG, TS
1x 9 Stealers w/ Broodlord (10 total)

Watching people fire away at those trygons and getting a 5+ save and then getting bombarded by hive guard is a treat. The then switch targets to hive guard (4+ cover for them), only to have the trygons run down their throats. Or of course they realise then Venoms are a threat and they direct a little fire at them too, but they get 4+ cover too, so actually killing the whole squad is hard.

RayJ said...

On my blog you can find the bat-rep with pictures ( Genestealers would not have affected my deployment, and they would have had to assault into terrain to get to me. The Long Fangs near that edge had a 12-man GH squad to assist them as well (attached wolf guard and librarian).

Since Genestealers no longer get assault grenades, I would have moved the GH squad to be in the way and hit with about 38 attacks (8 of those being power weapons) before the genestealers got to swing. At least in our situation they were not going to affect much.

For some lists, genestealers are great for nudging the opponent in the direction you want. I think throwing them arbitrarily into every list is a clearly bad policy to have for list building.

As for your 1650 list, that's quite an unusual number to use, and even with the hive guard, you are very light on anti-transport weapons. You are also mentioning a trygon in your synopsis, but don't have one in your list.

Raptor1313 said...

I've played with 'stealers before, and about the only place I really liked 'em was with the Swarmlord for the re-roll on the table edge to go with the +1 to reserves.

As RayJ mentioned, though, the lack of assault grenades kind of punches the genestealers in the...ah, I'm not sure they have gonads, but you get the idea.

If the other guy pays a little attention to his deployment and makes sure I don't have an easy assault target, then..yeah. Not so hot. And in a non-spearhead deployment, longer-ranged guns are probably gonna get deployed towards the middile of the table anyway.

I also firmly believe that the value of the venomthrope is directly proportional to your ability to roll 5+ and your opponent's ability to roll 1's when he assaults you.

Garth said...

Whoops, yeah, seems I out some units. I do indeed run 2 vanilla trygons. Also 1650 points is the amount used in the local tournies here in South Africa.

You're quite right about Nids and assault grenades. As for my anti-mech, it may look like it's lacking, but at the point limit, it's not that bad. I can easily boost it to 1750 by adding a single hive guard to each squad, which has been working.

I haven't played against my two arch-nemesis armies yet, SW and Guard. Actually, thats a lie, I played SW the other day, but it wasn't a good or usual SW list, so I've mostly ignored the result, which was me tabling him.

Back onto grenades. With stealers and the horms too, I've actually started using them as a counter charge unit and not rushing them forward all gun-ho. If I can tie up a unit with gaunts, then by my next turn, I can assault with with the stealers and/or horms and negate the effects of charging into difficult terrain.

The lack of frags really hurts Nids, but we've got to use the tools we have to be competetive and with Nids it really is a uphill battle.

I don't like raptor's list for the main reason of the Tyrannofex'es as I think they're too variable to be relied on.

My 2000 point list will probably look like this:

Prime w/ TS, Regen, Dual BS, ST
Prime w/ TS, Regen, LS + BS, ST

3x Hive Guard
3x Hive Guard
3x Venomthropes

20x Horms w/ AG, TS
9x Stealers w/ TS, Broodlord w/ ST
10x Gaunts
10x Gaunts
1x Tervi w/ AG, TS, Cat, Cluster
1x Tervi w/ AG, TS, Cat, Cluster

1x Trygon
1x Trygon

1998 Points. 5+ cover all round and forcing charging units to make dangerous terrain tests. Venom squad will be a pain to kill as you'll have to do at least 3 S8/9 wounds on the squad to get 1 wound on a venom and I'll more than likely have a 4+ cover save.

The list really make target priority a pain and thats really it's main purpose. Do you dedicate shooting at the hive guard, who can weather a lot of shooting and still be around next turn. Do you try shooting the trygons with a 5+ cover save (and hopefully some FnP too). Do you take out the troop making tervis or the supporting venoms buffing the whole army. Lets not forget the 60 attacks I6 S4 re-rolling wounds on the charge super horms squad.

It's not a perfect list and good players should be able to pick it apart, but its the best one I've come up with so far and it's working well for me at the moment.

At the end of the day though, Nids are not tier one and it's hard to win against good SW/Guard/BA players, which I think are the top armies atm.

Garth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.