Thursday, December 10, 2009

7 November 2009 Woodbridge NJ Tournament (Game 3)

Opponent: Chris (Tyranid Horde). Although Chris knew that a Tyranid Horde list wasn’t terribly optimal under the 5e rules, he was a die-hard Buglover and wanted to field a ton of bugs. I admit that I was somewhat curious to see if I had the firepower to stop a Tyranid bug-wave, and this game gave us the chance to test things out.

Army: (1850 pts)
  • Hive Tyrant with 2+ armor, wings and Scything Talons
  • 1x 10 Genestealers with BROODLORD and Feeder Tendrils
  • 3x 10 Genestealers with Scuttlers and Feeder tendrils
  • 2x 20 spinegaunts
  • 1x 14 hormagaunts with toxin and adrenal glands
  • 1x 5 Tyranid Warriors with +WS+I, leaping and the kitchen sink
  • 1x 4 Tyranid Warriors with the same
  • 2x Zoanthropes with Warp Blast

Mission: “Onslaught” Tournament Scenario with Pitched Battle (12” in) deployment. Each ‘corner’ of the table had to have one objective in it, with no objective closer than 8” to any table edge or other corner (basically, each of four objectives was in the center of each corner of the 4’x6’ table). As a secondary objective, one Troops choice in your opponent’s army (nominated by him) was worth bonus mission points if killed.

Terrain: A pair of tall (12” high) towers with a reinforced gantry/cat-walk between them on my right flank was the perfect location for me to set-up some units – and one objective. The height would make it even harder for the Tyranids to assault me. Some industrial piping and low ruins completed the terrain on my table edge. Chris’ table edge had some large, LOS-blocking hills (each with an objective), and some industrial tanks. A few sparse bits of jungle terrain did nothing to block LOS in the middle of the table, but one such bit of jungle scrub on my left flank included the fourth and last objective.

What happened?
Chris won the roll-off to set-up and move first (the third time in a row in this tournament that I lost that roll-off). He dropped a unit of Spinegaunts behind each massive rocky hill, effectively capturing two objectives for the Tyranids unless I went over to his board-edge to dig them out. He also placed Warriors, Tyrant, Zoanthropes, and Hormagaunts, but kept all his Genestealers off the table, intending to outflank with them. I responded by putting a unit of Hornsuits (B-Sides) and Scouts (Pathfinders) on the 12”-high-off-the-table gantry/catwalk, and spreading out the rest of my forces in/around cover in the middle of my deployment zone, well away from either table-edge.

In the first turn, Chris moved up with everything he had deployed, save the Spinegaunts (who lurked on objectives), and I responded by Markerlighting and wiping out his brood of Hormagaunts and one of the Tyranid Warrior broods. I also created a “Transport Wall” on my right flank in case of possible Genestealer outflanking, and fired the rest of my heavy guns into a Zoanthrope…doing nothing, as it made every cover save. Oh, well.

Chris picked his jaw off the floor, and reserved one of his four units of Genestealers onto the table, right up against the Transport Wall I had created on my right flank. In my turn, I dropped the Hive Tyrant, cleaned off all the Genestealers on the right flank, and reduced the Tyranid Warriors to a mere two, thinking I still had another turn of shooting to deal with them. Foolish me for not having read my opponent’s army list more carefully, as the LEAPING Tyranid Warriors made it into the safety of close combat with one of my Troops units…and the silly beggars refused to run. Two more units of Genestealers also flanked onto the table, well out of assault range on my left flank.

I shredded the fire-support (Zoanthropes), and loaded up two units of the Brave (Fire Warriors) on Transports (Devilfish) to go evict some Spineguants from objectives on the far side of the table. With very little else to shoot at, I spent the next three turns (4-6) killing Genestealers (and Broodlord, when he finally appeared) at my leisure, dropping the last two Tyranid Warriors, and tank-shocking Ld5 Spinegaunts off their objectives. The final score after six turns was 3 objectives to none, with Chris having only two Genestealers left on the table; by contrast, I had lost just two Troops units and my (perhaps suicidally brave?) HQ in total.

Turning the Tables
With almost no cover on the table, and with his huge advantage in close combat Chris would have been far better off rushing me with everything, instead of the piece-meal approach he took. Had he set up and moved with three units of Scout-Moving Genestealers, plus infiltrating Genestealers, plus Hormagaunts, plus two units of Leaping Tyranid Warriors, plus a winged Hive Tyrant, PLUS two units of Spinegaunts, he would have very handily swamped me with targets in the first few turns and eaten me for lunch. Instead, four units were placed into Reserve, and two were given objective-holding-duty, thus nullifying them all as a real threat, and I dealt with them at my leisure after shredding the mobile threats in the first few turns.

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