Now that we've discussed BMG's Comp system and our lists, let's talk about the actual battles that I played.
Soft-score issues aside, it was a very nice tourney to play in. The players were all very good sports and I had zero sportsmanship issues with any of my opponents. Everyone was extremely relaxed, and I even found myself trading advice with my opponents in a couple of the games. (more...)
Part of this was due to the small size of the event. We had 9 players + Bluemoon as a non-competing player to fill things out when one guy didn't show. But part of it was undeniably the upside of the soft scores I've talked about. There were some people who've given us sportsmanship trouble in the past that just decided not to come. Or, when the event filled up, were not invited to start with. In addition, those of us who had figured out the system realized that we didn't have to try THAT hard. Massacres and Major victories were not always required to get a decent score. So we played less aggressively than we otherwise would have.
In any case, we had a very nice group, if not the most competitive one.
Here again is the list I took:
HQ175 Company Command Squad w/4 x Melta, Astropath, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)Troops155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)155 Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)170 Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Chimera (Hull Heavy Flamer)55 5 Inquisitorial Stormtroopers w/FlamerFast Attack130 Vendetta Gunship120 3 Scout Sentinels w/Autocannons145 Hellhound w/Hull Multi-MeltaHeavy Support165 Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull H-Flamer160 Leman Russ Eradicator w/Hull H-Flamer165 Leman Russ Exterminator w/Hull LascannonTotal: 1750
The list itself (In both versions) was designed to add some punch against the New Nids. Ensuring that I had a sufficient number of long range cover-denying weapons to help shoot large numbers of Gaunts off their objectives. Plus the long range anti-tank firepower to kill the big nasties. Of course, both of those help against Mech IG as well. Which was my other concern.
Marines would laugh at my Hellhound and Eradicator's AP4, sure. But hey, they still wound MEQs just fine. And I'm usually overpowered at killing Marines anyhow.
Little did I know that I'd have the perfect set of matchups to test this list against. :)
Game One: Sieze Ground
Hey, my first game versus the new Nids! I'd played TheGraveMind before at a previous tourney last summer when he scored a draw against my then half-mech list. Now he had a new codex!
This was a 5-objective Seize Ground mission with one objective in the middle of the table and the others in the center of each table quarter. Spearhead deployment. You got 5 bonus points for taking the objective in your opponent's deployment zone, and 5 more if you kept him away from your own.
We got to play on the pretty city table. :)
I thought that his list was pretty decent overall, but suffered from some bad compromises to Comp.
HQHive Tyrant w/Old Adversary, Leech Essence, Paroxysm, 2 x Scything Talons, Wings
Elite3 Zoanthropes (Single Squad)
Troops15 Spinegaunts w/SpinefistsTervigon w/Catalyst, Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs20 Hormagaunts w/Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs12 Genestealers w/Rending Claws5 Warriors w/Scything Talons, Rending Claws, and Toxin Sacs6 Warriors w/Scything Talons, Deathspitters, Barbed Strangler
Fast Attack15 Gargoyles w/Blinding Venom, Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands
Heavy SupportCarnifex w/Twin-Linked Brainleech worms, Stranglethorn cannon
The Tyrannid codex is certainly flexible enough to get around the Comp restrictions, but TheGraveMind didn't have enough painted models to even proxy what he needed. He knew exactly what he should have had. Make no mistake, he's a good player. But the newness of the codex, combined with the unavailability of some choices means that he just needed more time to convert and paint what he needed. Unlike me, he didn't have a bunch of extra models lying around to swap things out with.
So instead of having distributed anti-tank, he had just 3 Zoeys. Worse, he had them in a single unit to avoid the Comp ding for taking more than one of any non-troops choice. Ouch. I would have just taken the hit and fielded them separately.
He won first turn and we deployed. I put one Chimelta, the Plasma Vets, and the Hellhound in reserve, with the intention of bringing them on to my left to seize that objective. Everything else deployed on the table. I had decided to take the other objective on my own edge plus the one on my far right. If he wanted to send guys into the center to take that objective, I'd make him pay dearly.
For his part, he looked poised to run to the far-right objective. With his primary AT (Zoey-shielded Carnifex) coming down to support the Genestealers he left on my near-left objective. I think he had intended to send the Tyrant and Gargoyles down to contest the center, with support from the Tervigon and whatever it managed to poop out.
Well, we finished deployment. I then made TheGraveMind face-palm when I stole the initiative. The first thing I did was kill 2 of those 3 Zoeys with the Vendetta and Exterminator. The Eradicator then gibbed 2/3rds of his Gargoyles across the table through the ruins. Things were looking good for the Guard.
End of SandWyrm's First Turn
His Genestealers on the left kept their heads down in cover until my Chimelta came on and flamed them. They then saw the writing on the wall and scuttled out to do what they could. Which was to stun my Chimelta.
On my next turn I brought on the Hellhound and sent the Vendetta over to drop off the Stormies on the other side of the Stealers. Between the two templates and the dismounted Melta Vets, I managed to wipe out the Stealers.
The Vets died on TheGraveMind's next turn due to a bad case of Carnifex. But Mr. Carni got dropped on my next turn when the Plasma Vets came on. This wiped out his right flank's advance.
On my right I rushed forward to engage TheGraveMind (tempting, oh yes...) and then backed up and gave him ground while I used the Demolisher and Chimeltas to wipe out that advance as well. Once things were cleaned up, I rushed back up and took the objective, putting the Demolisher between the Chimelta guarding it and his last few troops on his home objective.
In the center he sent the Hive Tyrant in unsupported and killed the Sentinels before I gunned him down with the Plasma Vets, Valk, and Exterminator. This left the Tervigon in the far center, who pooped out 15 or so Gaunts on turn 4, but rolled doubles, shutting his ovaries down after one turn. He then sent both the Gaunts and the Tervigon into the center ruins to claim the only objective he had a hope of reaching alive.
The Eradicator and the Hellhound killed all but 2 of the Gaunts. While I was able to take a few wounds off the Tervigon with my Exterminator.
The end of turn 5 was now approaching, so I sent the Vendetta up to contest his home objective, while I sent the Hellhound, my Company Command Squad, and a Melta Vet Chimera (Minus it's squad, which was sitting on my home objective) full-speed into the center to contest it. The HQ Chimera and the Hellhound immobilized themselves on the edge of the ruins, but the empty Chimera got it's front bumper within 3" of the objective.
For TheGraveMind's part, he was able to pop my Vendetta with his Warriors, but the Stormies still survived to contest his objective.
Had the game ended there, I would have had a Major Victory with full bonuses, but we went another turn. Bye bye Stormies!
We Killed Them! Now What?
TheGraveMind tried to get some gaunts down to my near-left objective to contest it, but I blocked him with an empty Chimera.
Oh no you don't!
End of Game
In the end I held 3 objectives to his one. Major Victory!
TheGraveMind said later that he thought I could have gotten a massacre on him if I'd been more aggressive, but I don't think I could have killed everything he had left, even with another turn. Not that I needed to anyhow. With my battle points added to my Comp score, I scored 55 points. Which was capped at 50 points. I think I was the only one to get a perfect score in the first game. For TheGraveMind's views on the battle, click here.