Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Warpcon 2012 Game 2 - Mike's Nids

All that the Nids deployed...
So after my win in game one I was paired off with Mike (this year's ETC Team Captain) and I knew this wasn't going to be easy as I had gone into the game with a W/D/L record of 0/1/1 against him with the last coming at the hands of his Eldar at game 5 of Gaelcon.

Mike's list was what you would call unconventional for a Tyranid list: No Hive Guard, Gaunts with Devourers, 3 Tervigons and the Swarmlord with a Tyrant Guard bodyguard. And Stealers. Lots of them including two units of Ymgarls. So I guess the idea was to rush me, weather the storm of the first (painful) round of combat and buy time by pinning my army down in combat, with the Ymgarls crawling out from under Tayto wrappers to help join in the gangbang before the bigger bugs arrived.

Well, I had a plan for that...

...And this was it.
Dick Move: Fortress Grey Hunter says fuck you to subtlety.
I won the dice roll to go first. Very important that.

Deployment: Spearhead
Primary: Kill Points
Secondary: Draw Mission

After asking how Ymgarls worked I figured if I plastered a big terrain piece that was further away from any other piece that I'd have time to hammer them with Bolters and take a charge from them (and their T5) before throwing more units at them to clear the assault because they wouldn't have any terrain nearby to emerge from. I had two realistic choices of where to put my army but I went for the one of my right as had a slightly smaller footprint and more distance to the table edge, thus making it harder for the regular Stealers to get to me. Oh, and I remembered to place my objective 6" up on that platform to make the job even harder for him. There was nothing in reserve.

Mike deployed very little as can be seen in the photo at the top: Swarmlord & Tyrant Guard with some Gaunts (1 normal unit and 1 with Devourers) and a Tervigon behind a wall out of LOS.

Here's the view from the Nid side. Ya, you try and cross the board in front of all of the guns. The two Stealer units (1 12 man, 1 18 with Broodlord) outflanked with the Ymgarls hiding out. Mike threw his big pink dice to seize and did (I had a feeling he would) and then went: 'Wait - why did I do that?' I had no answer for him so his plebs scuttled at my lines as fast as they could.

I was content to sit tight and wait for the horde of stuff to show up and pick it apart piecemeal, apart from making room for the Long Fangs to open up on the Swarmlord & pal doing a bit of damage to each. Turn 2 arrives and I realise I should have asked more about the Swarmlord: he has Hive Commander so his gribbly shit arrives early and he gets to re-roll which flank they arrive on. When the first 12 arrived on my right I was worried. Then Mike rolled for the 18 with Broody and got a 4 followed by a...4. Savage. They'd spend the game trundling through terrain to get across the board (they were about 60" away by my reckoning). One unit of Ymgarls appeared and sprinted across the board and I had underestimated how far away they were as they were able to sprint across and get stuck into 2 Rhinos (which had moved) but they were just out of reach of a unit of Hunters that had popped their Wolf Banner just in case and some Long Fangs.

The unit of Stealers on my right were out of reach of all bar a Razor which they gobbled up while the Ymgarls dead very little beyond Stunning my Rhinos.

My response was to unload with all of the guns at the Ymgarls, who all fell over bar 2 while the Stealers were subjected to a hail of Bolters from two units of Hunters while the Fangs that couldn't see them opened up on the Swarmlord doing another wound. Oh, and Jaws killed a Gaunt despite targeting the Tyrant Guard...I couldn't shift the last two Ymgarls so they blew up a Rhino only to kill themselves in the explosion. :) This left Mike with a battered Stealer squad on my right who were going to suffer in combat no matter which unit they charged with reinforcements that looked like they might not make it.

The Ymgals nuke a Rhino. Then themselves. Class.

To cut a long story short I stayed away from the Stealers on my left and the horde of gribblies (Swarmlord & Guard, Devourer Gaunts and Pleb Gaunts) and chose to shoot them as much as I possibly could. I managed to drop the Swarmlord (he had Periled after casting Paroxysm at a unit of Fangs) through a hail of missiles and lascannons which left the Tyrant wandering about and I put paid to that when I combi-charge the starting pleb Gaunts, a unit of spawned Gaunts and the Tyrant with a big GH unit and demolished all of them in a single round thanks in no small part to the Wolf Banner re-rolling 1's to wound with the Wolf Guard's Power Fist.

They were counter-charged by the Ymgarls and fought several rounds of combat before two Genestealers emerged triumphant. They then started sucking Krak missiles before they too disappeared leaving a few Devourer Gaunts to pepper my power armour on the objective. Thankfully, despite taking 8 saves, only one fell over and I didn't have to take a Morale check because if I had failed the unit had nowhere to flee to with all of the other units at the base of the terrain blocking their way.  The Scouts showed up behind Mike's lines and got stuck into some Gaunts with a poor Difficult Terrain Roll before being eaten by a Tervigon that came on from Reserve before both units consolidate behind walls to hide from all of the Heavy Weapons. Oh well: expendable units are expendable. On the right I had 3 units of Grey Hunters combine to bolter down the Stealers that had eaten the Long Fangs before the switched positions and moved to the left of the terrain piece to join in the Gaunt-killing.

Mike beings counting up the dead Nids.

I saw a nice opportunity for the Rune Priest to get some more points but more importantly swing the game massively in my favour so I went for the coup de grace: Jaws (at least I didn't try to exceed the maximum number of weapons you can fire out of the top hatch this time, as I had brainfarted earlier and tried to shoot 3 or 4 guns at some approaching Stealers from inside a Rhino earlier in the game, although Mike's puzzled expression was funny to see as he was trying to explain how I failed to remember basic maths). You can see from the photo above that there are two Tervigons lined up behind walls. The front one I could see but not the back one. Thankfully all I needed to see was the first one. I cast it successfully. I measured and found I was in range of both. Mike rolled a 5 and a 4. Cue Mike sighing loudly, and unlike Luis Suarez, offering a handshake. That had pulled a scoring unit off an objective and handed me about 300 victory points to boot (there was a unit of Gaunts that detonated nearby). Tasty.

I'm trying to find a sound effect to describe this: Done.

As for the Stealers that showed up on the wrong side (the lads above), well they never got near any action. At least they didn't give away valuable VP's, I suppose.

Post-Match Analysis
I got lucky when I won the roll to go first and chose the side with the best terrain.
Mike got unlucky when he seized. But it really came down to the big unit of Stealers with Broody turning up on the wrong side of the board, especially considering they had a re-roll to Outflank thanks to the Swarmlord. To be honest, I'm not sure what I would have done in Mike's position as he was running such an unusual list.

Swarmlord with Bodyguard (that wouldn't die to Jaws)
3 x Tervigons
2 Gaunt units
2 x Ymgarls
2 x Stealers

There were very few guns by comparison to what I would expect a traditional list to run: at least 2 units of Hive Guard with either Zoans or Fexes (Dakka or T-Fex) with some Infiltrating Stealers to cause havoc, although I can see why such lists have fallen out of favour although some people have claimed they're a hideous match-up for Newcrons. Time will tell.

For now, all I know is that I got 18 points out of this one so I was happy out.


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