Asking for a Loss

Yesterday I had a game with my Tyranids against the mighty Tau. I asked for the beating I took. I mean that, I literally asked for a competitive game, and was thumped. I knew it was going to happen, but I wanted to see competitive Tau.

image1

The only point when all of my army was on the table.

My list consisted of 2 CADs at 2500 points. Only limitation was I asked for no Lord of War. My list contained the following:

Swarmlord w/ 3 Tyrant Guard
3 Flying Hive Tyrants w/ Brainleech worms
4 Zonathropes w/ Neurothrope (in a Tryannocyte)
Malanthrope
2 Units of 10 Termagants
1 Ripperswarm w/ Deepstrike
1 Mucolid Spore
2 Hive Crones
9 Raveners w/Rending Claws
Exocrine

The Tau list contained the Ghostkeel Formation, The Riptide Formation, Markerlight drones Formation, Breacher squads in transports, Broadsides, stealth suits, and a commander and guards. There were probably other units too, but these are the units that stick out in my mind.

I am not going to do a normal brief summary of what happened, because it was ugly.

The Tau player deployed first, and I was not able to seize the initiative. We had Dawn of War deployment and the Big Guns Never Tire mission. On the roll, we only had three objective markers.

In the Tau player’s first round of shooting, the beating commenced. He killed both Hive Crones. Slaughtered 2 of the Hive Guard (and wounded the third). Put three wounds on of the Flying Hive Tyrants (the Warlord). He slaughtered six of the nine Raveners. The Malanthrope was dead. I could cover what I did, but not much happened. I got feel no pain off on a couple of units, and wounded some Tau, but not much else happened.

image4

Deadpile turn 1.

Turn Two continued the beating. Two of the three Flying Hive Tyrants were put down (including the Warlord). Relatively speaking, this was the least painful turn since that was all they my opponent killed. However, it still was painful. All of my reserves entered the game. Maybe how I would have a chance.

Nope, I managed to accomplish very little in this turn. This was due to some poor rolling on my part, and some good rolling on my opponents.

It just went down hill from here. I had nothing for the Tau. In fact, by turn 6 I was tabled (at least I lasted that long). It was just an ugly ugly game. This is not to say I didn’t have fun. I did, I had a blast. I just had nothing to bring against this army. I did kill some units, but it wasn’t much. A few wounds on the Ghostkeels, a broadside, some of the commander’s squad. I did have some success, but not a lot.

Orks v Tyranids – Nid Perspective

So, now that we have seen my list and deployment here, I am going to get into the actual game. *I apologize, I am writing this a week late, and I am not sure I am 100% correct on the following*

Right off the bat, I opted not to try and seize the initiative. My logic was that if I move forward, I would have limited shooting, and everything would have to run forward. This would put me in a position to get charged on turn one. If I let Severus go first, I might be in a position to get a charge off in the first turn with the Raveners.

Turn 1 –
Severus did the Orky thing and quickly moved forward. It was actually a little scary seeing that many ork vehicles head in my direction. He did get off some shooting, killing one of the two biovores and a couple of hormaguants, but he mostly seemed to use that turn in order to get into a position where he could charge and protect some of his more important units.

In my turn, I moved into a position to start getting charges off. My Raveners made a move towards the Warboss and his Squad. Swarmlord slowly moved forward (because that is what he does). The HT and the Hive Crone headed towards the nearest ork vehicles.

In the psychic phase I got Catalyst off and gave feel no pain to the Swarmlord and the Raveners. I reduced the Warbosses BS and WS. Finally, the Zoanthropes blew up a Trukk, giving me first blood.

09 Nid Center Flank

In the shooting phase, my Biovore bombed the unit of Gretchen (killing all but 2), the Exocrine shot at another Trukk, the Hive Crone burned some boys in a pair of vehicles (not many, I caused 1 wound in one and 4 in the other). But mostly I ran units forward that would not have been able to get off a charge.

In the assault phase, I had the Raveners charge the bikes. While I did get a few wounds on them, killing 2, Severus caused more to the Raveners, killing three of them. However, I was fearless, so I was just happy getting them tied up.

15 Turn 1 over

Turn 2 –
In Turn two, only one of the three Ork flyers entered the game from reserves. Severus positioned some boys to charge the Raveners. More of his boys were put into a place where they could shoot and charge the Zoanthropes. In the shooting phase he killed the Hive Crone (which was a significant loss for me) and caused me to jink the Flying HT.

In the assault phase, the boys charged the Raveners, and proceeded to slaughter most of them. The other boys failed their charge on the Zoanthropes.

In my Turn two, I continued to move forward. The Carnifexes continued to try to get into a position where they could do something (that was a theme for them through this game). The Swarmlord again didn’t move that far forward. At this point in time, I was just trying to get him into combat with the Warboss. But the fact that the boss was on a bike, and that the Swarmlord does not have fleet (plus my move through cover rolling was terrible), I was not having any luck catching him.

In the shooting phase, the Pyrovores managed to kill off some boys (that were no longer in combat since they killed the Raveners), so they were actually productive.

I sent more troops into combat, trying to tie up and kill some boys. While it worked, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.

18 Turn 1 Over

Turn 3 –

In Turn three, another one of the Ork jets came in on the table. And this time, after some serious firepower, a failed grounding check, and a charge from the Warboss, the Flying HT was brought down and killed. I also lost more little bugs and one of the pyrovores (which did not explode). The Warboss consolidated away from me, making the swarmlord have to go even further.

In my turn, the Swarmlord continued to try and run down the Warboss. Actually, most of my units were trying to get into better positions. I didn’t have anything to deal with the flyers, so I proceeded to ignore them except for the random snapfire from the Exocrine (and he always failed to cause any damage). Malanthrope and Carnifex units continued to try and position themselves differently. By this time the Hormaguants and one of the Termagant units were very much reduced in size. Even the second Termagant unit was reduced. I was taking losses left and right.

25 Turn 3

Turn 4 –

Severus used his turn four to try and rack up some kill points. One flyer shot at the Malanthrope and killed it. The warboss charged into combat with the left flank Termaguants in order to support the boys that were tied up.

Turn 4 is where I realized that if I were ever going to catch the Warboss, I would have to sacrifice my Zoanthropes. I put them into a position to charge into the combat that the Warboss was in. A couple of Termagants wouldn’t hold out long enough. The Thropes, while terrible in close combat, are survivable with a 3+ invulnerable save. The Warboss slaughtered the Neurothrope in close combat, and I took more losses, but the Warboss could not get away. The Swarmlord was going to get him.

30 Turn 3

Turn 5 –

The turns picked up the pace as the game went on, but that because both Severus and I were taking heavy losses. But turn 5 was the hardest for Severus. He did complete some shooting, took out a few small units, but he was taking a beating. He charged the exocrine (after taking off some wounds with a flyer) but lost combat. He killed a more of the Zoanthrope unit, but not enough to flee. And that is when the Swarmlord charged in a killed the boss in a challenge. From there his game collapsed completely.

35 Turn 4

 Turn five was the first turn where the Carnifexes were able to do anything. They charged and destroyed a battlewagon. The game did go on to a turn 6, but by this time there was not much left in either one of us. The Tyranids feasted on a lot of Orks. And I have to say, the new detachment that the Orks have is not one of the better ones.

34 Turn 4

Orks v Tyranids List and Set Up – Nid Perspective

This past Thursday, I was privileged enough to get another game in against Professor Severus and his Orks at Moxie Games. I was down in Alabama for his wedding, and the Tyranids unwillingly made the trip with me. We were discussing this game for a while and I settled in on the following 2500-point list.

01 Nid Army

HQ –
Swarmlord (Warlord)
3 Tyrant Guards
Flying Hive Tyrant w/ devourers w/ Brainleech worms

Troops –
30 Termagants
30 Termagants
30 Hormaguants

Elite –
Malanthrope
2 Pyrovores
4 Zoanthropes and 1 Neurothrope

Fast –
Hive Crone
9 Raveners w/ Rending Claws

Heavy –
2 Biovores
2 Carnifexes w/ Adrenal Glands and Scything Talons
Exocrine

02 Nid Army

I felt this list brought some solid synapse creatures, a pair of flying MCs to deal with flyers, large numbers of troops, and some solid blast templates. Ok, I had two pyrovores, but they look good. I brought the Carnifexes for some tank killing ability, although I am not used to running them in pairs.

For psychic powers, the Swarmlord had Catalyst, Psychic Scream, and Horror. The HT had Psychic Scream and Paroxysm. The Zoanthrops had Warp Blast/Lance and Onslaught. Of course, they all had Donimion as well.

05 Nid Deployment

We decided on a kill-points game, and had the Dawn of War deployment. The professor won the roll off and deployed first. You will be able to read his list and perspective, but the short version is that he had a unit of bikes (with his warlord and a painboy), a bunch of boys in trukks and battlewagons, and three flyers.

09 Nid Center Flank

On my left flank, I deployed the Exocrine, a unit of termagants, and the Zoantrhopes to shore up my psynapse on that side. Zoanthropes, while terrible in close combat (and have no shooting) are very survivable. I didn’t think I would need to worry about them. In the center, I had the Biovores in terrain, the Swarmlord, the hormaguants, and the other termagant unit. This gave me a solid center. On my right flank I placed the flying HT and the Hive Crone in terrain, along with the Raveners, Malanthrope, and the Carnifexes (which was a poor decision on my part). The Carnifexes were all the way to the right flank and spent most of the game trying to get into a useful position.

08 Nid Left Flank

06 Nid Deployment

The Malanethrope gave cover saves to that flank nicely, including the Swarmlord (although just barely). The Crone and the HT had a nice 2+ cover save, making sure that they would make it to the next round.

Weekend in Review

Well, this was a rough week for my Warhammer record and me. My Carcharodons faced my Tyranids (not played by me) and lost. My Alpha Legion faced the Sisters of Silence…. I mean, Sisters of Battle… and lost. It was a fun and productive weekend though, so I count that as a win.

In the first game, I loaned my Tyranids to my opponent since he flew out from California (for some sort of training) and didn’t bring his Army. Since I hardly ever face the Nids, I asked him if I could be the Sharks. I wrote a pair of lists that were moderately competitive, but I hindered my side by not taking drop pods or Grav-centurions. Ok, I admit he didn’t have the toughest list either, so I would say it was a fair match.

I forgot how fast those Nids could move. It was a blood bath. I thought a good tactic would be to wait for him to come to me as I shot at him. And it might have worked if the sharks could actually hit something. Before I knew it, Raveners were in close combat shredding my army. I felt brave and charged the Swarmlord with my Captain and his command squad. They did tie the swarmlord up for a while, but in the end they just couldn’t stand up to that many attacks (11, right?). Sorry, inside joke.

In the end, I just couldn’t score enough Tactical Supremacy cards to be competitive… which leads us to game two.

Sister of Battle or an Alpha Legion Saboteur?

Sister of Battle or an Alpha Legion Saboteur?

Sisters of Battle vs. the Alpha Legion. 40K vs 30K… but it is the Sisters, right? Well, maybe not. While the Alpha Legion did have some good moments, they just didn’t hold up. The Saboteur destroyed an organ grinder (Exorcist) on the turn it came in. Headhunters did work with their AP3 (semi-rending?) shots. Dynat slayed Celestine twice in close combat thanks to his Thunder Hammer. But I was using the Tactical Supremacy again (damn those are tough to score) and while I had an amazing turn one (scored 8 points), the rest of the turns were a struggle to score anything. In the end I had 13 points while my opponent had over twenty (using the regular tactical cards). In the end I had about 5 headhunters left, Dynat, and an Apothecary left on the board.

On the hobby side of things, I managed to build 9 of my 10 Headhunters for my Alpha Legion. I even managed to paint one almost to finish. So, again, with the fun that was had, and the painting and building that was done, I would declare this a successful weekend.

Heavy Bolter Headhunter

Heavy Bolter Headhunter

First Tournament of the Year

Hello all, Shorereaper here, and it has been a while. While I really should start my return to blogging with a “What have I been up to while I was gone” I am instead going to summarize a small tournament I entered today. I hope this will be my triumphant return to blogging, after taking months off, but I am not making any promises.

First, I will start with a brief summary of the rules of the tournament. It was an escalation tournament, with round 1 being 500 points, round 2 being 1000 points, and round 3 being 2000 points. You were allowed 1 CAD, no allies or formations, and no Lords of War. Your 500-point list had to be included in your 1000-point list with now changes, and the 1000-point list had to be a part of your 2000-point list. So, if you had 7 Tac marines with a Melta gun in your 500 point list, that until would be in the 1000 and 2000 point list with no changes. It made for some interesting list building.

Most of my Painted Nids... and three random objective markers

Most of my Painted Nids… and three random objective markers

The three missions were as follows:

Round 1:
Table size: 4×4
Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: 1 Objective will be placed by each player in their own deployment zone, 1 objective placed in the center of the table (which functions as a relic with all of the Relic special rules). The Relic is with three points; the other objectives are worth 2 points each.
Secondary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker

Round 2:
Table size:
6×4
Deployment: Clash of the line (Arrowhead. Short Table edge, form a triangle, furthest point is 24 inches from the center of the short table edge).
Mission: Players set up 5 objectives in “No man’s land” following standard objective deployment rules. These objectives are scored at the start of the player turn and gain the controlling player 1 point.
Secondary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, Attrition (Army which has destroyed the most enemy units gains a victory point)

Round 3:
Table size: 6×4
Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: Crusade (each objective is worth 3 points)
Secondary Objective: Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker, Last-man standing (The army with the most surviving units gains one additional victory point)

Ok, now onto the “amazing” lists I decided to field. My 500-point list consisted of a Flying Hive Tyrant with 2 twin-linked devourers w/ Brainleech worms, 2 units of 10 Termagants, and an Exocrine. This was probably my most competitive list. At the 1000 point level, I added the Swarmlord, a Hive Crone, and 2 Biovores, and this is where my list started getting a little wacky, and not all that competitive. Though, at 1000 points, two flying MCs are pretty tough… or should have been, but I will get to that later.

At 2000 points, I thought I wrote a list that was more fun than competitive. Added to the 1000 point list was a full Tyrant Guard Brood to make the Swarmlord a little more survivable. I also added an Haruspex, a close combat MC that isn’t all that good at close combat. 2 Pyrovores… yea, I have no idea why. A venomthrope to give some units a cover save. Next I added a full brood of Raveners with rending claws because I love playing them and they are so very pretty. And the last addition was a Trygon Prime with adrenal glands. The theme was for my army to be fully painted and fun. Not so competitive.

My first round was a bye, but I got to play my 500 points against the Whit (the store owner) and his Chaos Marines. My two termagant squads fled off the board after failing a synapse check, and the Flying HT periled causing himself a wound. However, the only wound not cause by me on my own army was against the Exocrine in Close Combat. Really it was a fun, if silly game.

Load survivors of the 500-point game.

Loan survivors of the 500-point game.

My second round paired me up against the Tau player. This did not go well. He had a unit of three Skyrays, some broadsides, and 2 breacher squads. I know he had other units, but these three wrecked me. The Flying HT was hit with 12 missiles and just disappeared. A breacher squad shot the Swarmlord in the face, eliminating my other synapse creature. Everthing else seemed determined to fail leadership tests and just plant themselves on the board. I wasn’t tabled, but it was a bad loss. It was not a close game. I did score some points, but not enough to really call it a close game.

An Eldar army I never had to face.

An Eldar army I never had to face… thankfully.

Round three was a bit of a surprise. Space Marines arrived via Drop Pod in my face. Neither of us thought we were going to have a good game. My opponent used ignores cover rounds on my venomthrope (and gave them rending, which I didn’t get), and took away my cover save bonus in turn 1. The hive guard brood disappeared shortly after (and the Swarmlord was left with 1 wound) thanks to three Grav-Centurions. After that though, things went very well for me. I took out the Grav-Centurions by making them take hits with the psychic scream. Biovores actually cause 2 wounds on his jump unit. The Swarmlord and the Raveners slaughtered his veteran squad in close combat (The Raveners were almost wiped out by his Ironclad Dred in the next few rounds of Close Combat). But really, after that first round of losses, my army stepped up and did a lot of damage. The Haruspex killed a drop pod and…. Well, that’s it really. My hive crone used vector strike on his flyer, giving me the advantage in aerial combat. It wasn’t pretty for the marines, even with all the grav weapons he had. Honestly, I think he deployed them a little close to me.

It was a fun tournament, and I managed to pull out second place (out of 5). Thank you to my opponents for some fun games… even when I was nearly tabled.

Fear of the Unknown

This past weekend a friend from New Jersey decided to make a last minute trip to visit me and get in a game of 40K. Now, it’s been quite a while since I last played him, and he is the only person I play who uses the Space Puppies. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea what the new codex plays like. I had no idea what units my friend likes to field. I had no idea how good he is.

I spent a lot of time writing lists for this game. I wrote very competitive lists. I wrote lists that were fun, but not competitive. I wrote lists for the Tyranids, the Carcharodons, and I am pretty sure I even wrote a list for my Tau. I really had no clue what to take into this game.

Sadly, I settled on taking the Tyranids and a very competitive list (not the most competitive, but close). Having no idea what I would be facing, I took a double CAD list that had 2 Flying Hive Tyrants, 2 Hive Crones, the Swarmlord and his Guard, a total of 40 Gaunts, 2 Venomthrope units, and Exocrine, and 9 Raveners with rending claws. The mission had three objectives… that never really came into play.

It really was a one sided game. We did make it to turn five, but it was turn five where I tabled him. You name it; I was able to remove the unit from play. 2 units of Terminators? Raveners and the Swarmlord took them out. Puppies to absorb some wounds? Hive Crone flame templates. He took Long Fangs for his anti-air and I proceeded to pick them off a little at a time with the Hive Tyrants. He did make some target priority decisions that I may not have made, but even if he did attack the units I would have, I am not sure it would have made much of a difference.

By the end of the top of turn 5, I had two of the three objectives, line breaker, and slay the warlord. The wolves took first blood. That last objective? The final terminator was standing on it, while in close combat with the Swarmlord. My opponent admitted that the last round of combat would have probably killed that terminator.

I over compensated, and I feel really bad about that. It was not my intent to have such a one sided game. Yes, I asked if he had flyers, and he said no, but he had said that he had anti-air. If I had known that it was just one unit of Long Fangs, I would have dropped two flyers at least.

Competitive games are what I like, not lopsided victories. I can’t even say “At least I took Raveners”, since those Raveners tore through 5 Terminators, one drop pod, and about 30 Blood Claws. Sure, then ended up feeling off the board in turn 5, but they more than tore through the marines.

Maybe next time I will take a softer list… or at least let him decide if my list is tougher than her want to face.

At least through out the game he kept his good humor.

Nurse Sharks vs. Tau

Today I got my first game in with my Carcharodon and Sisters allies lists. I did have to borrow the sisters from my opponent (I did have the Rhino and Immolater). This was my fluffy list, with the Sisters being sent by the Imperium to spy on the Carcharodons after the Badab War. My list consisted of the following (2000 points):

HQ –
Tyberos
Captain Isurus w/ Bike, Teeth of Terra, Artifcer Armour

Troops –
8 Bikers w/ 2 Grav-guns
Tactical Squad w/ Melta, Rhino
Tactical Squad w/ Melta, Rhino

Fast –
Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer Missiles

Elite –
Honorguard w/ 8 marines, Chapter Banner, Land Raider (w/ Multi-melta)

HQ (Allies) –
Canoness w/ Rosarius, Powersword, Book of St. Lucius
Sisters Command Squad w/ 4 Sisters, one Hospitaler, 4 flamers, Immolator (Multi-Melta)

Troops (Allies) –
Battle Sister Squad w/ Melta, Rhino

Our mission was Deadlock from the Malestrom mission set with the Vanguard Strike deployment map. I deployed first, and went first.

Since I didn’t take notes, I am going to have to go off memory here. Turn one consisted of my moving everything forward, getting off a few shots, killing a few models, and scoring a grand total of zero objectives. My opponent, however, was able to destroy two of my Rhinos, gaining first blood, shot up some other units, and scored four objectives. However, this is where the weird rolling started. The bike squad took a lot of firepower in turn one, but only lost one bike thanks to a combination of low hits, low wounds, and a lot of Armour saves. It was very much above average rolling for me and below for my opponent.

In Turn two, I was not able to draw any objective cards. Again, I moved the bike squad up and got them into range of the Riptide. In the shooting phase, I knocked the Riptide down 3 wounds (and knocked off the drones), killed the sniper unit, and took off a hull point off of the Hammerhead. This time, I was able to score 4 objectives. My opponent got one of his two drone units, his skyshark flyer, and a unit of Crisis Suits out of reserve this turn. I forgot about the sheer amount of firepower that the Tau can bring to bear. I lost a hull point on the flyer, took more hits to my bike squad (but thanks to some insane rolling, not that many wounds), lost a few more troops, and lost a large chunk of my Honor Guard.

From here, things get a little fuzzy with my memory. I know that my sisters charged the crisis suits. The Immolator was glanced out, but the Sisters Command Squad inside wrecked the drones that did it. Isurus and his bike squad caused the Riptide to flee off the table, but were finally put down by the Tau.

By the end of the game Tybers, the Land Raider, 5 Marines, the Canoness, and some sister will still on the board. My opponent still had the Broadsides, a lot of Firewarriors, and his HQ was still among the living. Even the Land Raider shows the luck of my opponent. In one turn he hit it with three rail guns from the Broadsides, but rolled three 1’s when rolling for armour pen.

The final tally was 9 (including line breaker) for me, and 7 (Including first blood) for my opponent. It was a close game, and a lot of fun.

Finding the Fun

In the last two weeks I have gotten four games in, and all four have ended in losses. This wouldn’t normally be that bad, I am used to losing, but it’s the way that I have lost. Either I was tabled (games 2, 3, and 4) or so close to being tabled that it didn’t matter. But the really odd thing is how I felt about them. For example, games 1 and 4 were actually a lot of fun. Game 2 was ok, not as much fun as I normally have, but it wasn’t all that bad. But game 3, that wasn’t fun at all. Not even close.

Game 1 – Tau vs. Tyranids. This was actually my second game ever against the Tau player, and I wanted to take a toned down Tyranid list, even though I knew I would be facing a fairly competitive Tau list. He had a couple of Riptides, some Broadsides, tetras, and a few other things. I was taking a Pyrovore and 2 Biovores, so obviously my list was fairly soft.

The game was the Relic, and I controlled the relic through most of the game. At least, till the last turn when I was finally shot off of it. But at least it was a close game, and I had a lot of fun trying to pull out the win with an army that had very little chance of doing it.

Game 2 – Minotaurs vs Tyranids – Now this I though would be a close game. Again, my list wasn’t amazing, but I thought it was ok. Boy was I going to be taught a lesson. I couldn’t stand up to the firepower. Grav-gun Centurians took out the Exocrine in turn one. Raveners took a beating from bolters. Gaunts and the Tervigon basically just collapsed. It wasn’t pretty. But it wasn’t a painful game like game three turned out to be. All of the doctrines allowing for rerolling was just painful.

Game 3 – Ultramarines vs Dark Eldar – Ok, I asked for this, but it just wasn’t all that much fun. I told my opponent to take whatever he wanted, and he wanted to get a second test game in of his Skyhammer Annihilation Force. My Dark Eldar Army is not competitive. They are meant for me to have fun, that’s it. But frankly, the skyhammer force, coming in on turn one, made me play defensive right away. Actually, it wasn’t even defensive. It was “Run away! Run away!” By the end of turn 2 I knew it was game over.

Game 4 – Skitarii and Mechanicus and Imperial Knight vs Tyranids – Now this game, which has the same result as game 3, was a lot more fun. I got my first game in against the Skitarii/Mechanicus pair. It was ugly, and while my list wasn’t strong, it did allow me to get a feel for my opponent’s army. It wasn’t pretty, not even close. In turn one (he went first mind you), I lost an Exocrine, Flying HT (my warlord), a Carnifex, 2 Raveners, and 4 warriors. I lost almost half my army in points, and two of my best units, and I didn’t even go yet. To make it even worse, he didn’t even roll that well (neither did I). But, at least it was a fun loss even if I was tabled that fast.

So, the question becomes why did I have fun in games 1 and 4, but not so much fun in games 2 and 3? I think that in game 1, I knew it was going to be a struggle, and that became fun. Trying to pull out a win from a game that I should not have. Game 4 was fun because it was against a new army. Yes, I got my ass handed to me in a neat little package, but it was fun to play against something new. Game 2, I think it was just disheartening how badly I lost with a list that I thought would do better. And game 3, that skyhammer force just was an unstoppable force when going against my non-competitive list. Yes, I told him to take anything, so it is my fault. I must own that. But from now on, when someone takes a competitive list, and I am taking my Dark Eldar, I have to go in asking that they take a soft list.

The Last Stand of the Iron Hands – Severus’ Perspective

Howdy Everyone!  Severus here!  Sorry I have been absent as of late.  Life is moving fast for me with this move to Alabama.  Lots of stuff to deal with.  Luckily I was able to get some time this past weekend to get some final games in with my friends.  Among those was the Last Stand Scenario that Shorereaper wrote.  He wanted to run a 2500 point list, so I would need to bring allies for my Iron Hands to reach that points level.  I knew the scenario, so I wrote a thematic list.  Here is what I took:

4 Setup Iron Hands

  • Chapter Master – Terminator Armor, Gorgon’s Chains, Thunderhammer
  • Assault Terminators – 5 man with Thunderhammers and Stormsheilds
  • Sternguard – 10 man, Vet Sgt with Melta Bombs
  • Tactical Squad – 10 man with Heavy Bolter, Plasma Gun, and Sgt with Melta Bombs
  • Tactical Squad – 10 man with Heavy Bolter, Plasma Gun, and Sgt with Melta Bombs
  • Stormtalon – Skyhammer Missiles
  • Devestators – 10 man with 2 Missile Launchers and 2 Plasma Cannons
  • Vindicator – Siege Shield
  • Landraider Crusaider
  • Knight Paladin
  • Skitarii Vanguard – 10 man with an omniscope, Alpha with Taser Goad and Phosphex Blast Pistol
  • Skitarii Vanguard – 10 man with an omniscope, Alpha with Taser Goad and Phosphex Blast Pistol
  • Sicarian Ruststalkers – 5 man with Transonic Razors and Chordclaws, Princeps with Prehensile Dataspike

I deployed with a plan in mind.  The biggest trouble would be bringing down the Hierodule.  I put my Knight, Justice, along my left flank.  I put the terminators in the land raider with Iron Father Telavek on my right.  I put the vindicator along my left flank.  I deployed both a unit of tac marines and vanguard on each side of the defense line I was given.  I put the devestators in the middle.  The sternguard were deployed on the left flank as a support element.  The ruststalkers were deployed on the right flank as a counter attack element

If the hierodule came down the left flank, Justice and his D strength close combat attacks would be there to meet him.  If he came down my right flank, the thunderhammer terminators would be there to receive him.   I didn’t think they could take him down, but they could hold him long enough for Justice to come in and deliver the killing blow.  Everything else was there to try to keep the waves of tyranids pushed away from my defensive line so that the terminators and Justice could maneuver into position.

15 End Iron Hand Turn 1Turn one, Nids went first.  They covered the gap between our lines fast.  I had three units getting up close that could assault in turn 2 if I didn’t deal with them.  The ravengers, the hormagaunts, and the gargoyles.  I prioritized the ravengers and unloaded onto them, killing them to a man.  Up next were the gaunts, cutting there unit in half.  I did a small  amount of damage to the gargoyles, but nothing significant.  The tide was pushed back for a turn.

19 Getting closer Turn 217 Ravener vs Iron HandsTurn two, the nids advanced again.  The hierodule came out and started heading up the center with a 12 inch move and a 12 inch run.  It was going to be on my lines soon.  Warp blast tool out the vidicators demolisher cannon.  The ravenger made it into combat with one of my tactical squads (a 5 man combat squad with the plasma gun and sergeant).  They held.  The gargoyles shot off three of my vanguard on my right flank then tried to charge.  The vanguard stood tall that day and killed 7 in overwatch, preventing the charge.

On the Iron Hands turn 2, it was time to strike back.  The vindicator (now a useless moving box) moved up my left flank to try to funnel some of the gaunts towards my lines.  Shooting focused on the bigger bugs that were getting closer.  The swarmlord and his guard moved up the left center and the carnifex and hive tyrant moved up my right.  Shooting took down the swarmlords guard and put a wound on the beast himself.  The right flank focused on taking down the gargoyles and carnifex.  The vanguard did a stellar job once again, killing the gargoyles down to 2.  The rest of that flanks shooting chipped off a wound from the carnifex.  Finally, the Ruststalkers vaulted over the lines and charged into the carnifex.  They brought him down to one wound and lost one of there number in return.

Turn 3 saw the nids finally reach combat in significant numbers.  Everything moved up.  Psychic mind bullets from the Hive Tyrant popped the landraider on the right flank.  The Swarmlord and pyrove charged in against part of the vindicator on the left.  The hive tyrant and hormogaunts charged into the ruststalkers to try to save the carnifex.  In the end, the ruststalkers failed to killed the carnifex and died for their effort.  The vindicator survived with one hull point.

22 Swarmlord

We all know what is about to happen.

The Iron Hands retaliated in turn 3 with more concentrated fire power.  This time the fire power was focused on the hierodule, warriors, and the swarmlord.  Only a wound chipped off the hierodule.  The Swarmlord was brought down to a wound. Several warriors were killed and the hormaguants met their end.  Justice finally strode forth to take on the hierodule.  The right flank shooting took down the carnifex finally.  Iron Father Telavek and his terminators crawled out of the wreckage to seek vengeance on the Hive Tyrant that destroyed there beloved transport.  Justice failed his charge and now stood vulnerable in front of the iron hands lines.  Telavek and his terminators destroyed the offending hive tyrant.

24 Epic BattleTurn 4 was time for epic combat.  Swarmlord charged in against a unit of 5 sternguard supported by the pyrovore.  Finally, the hierodule charged in against Justice.  The swarmlord survived his combat with the sternguard and felled two of there numbers.  Justice put up a mighty fight with his reaper chainsword, dealing several viscous blows and bringing the mighty hierodule down to a single wound.  Then the hierodule shredded Justice.  In the resulting titanic explosion, Justice fell over and killed the Swarmlord, the pyrovore, and the sternguard.

The Iron Hand Devestators retaliated with concentrated missile fire in the bottom of turn 4, dropping the hierodule.  And with that the swarm was broken.  The bug started their retreat under the guidance of the warriors.  A victory for the Iron Hands, but at a great cost.

Overall the game was a blast.  Definitely a high note to go out on with Shorereaper.  I definitely felt the pressure of keeping all those nids off my lines.  The recycling unit mechanic never really came into play.  A unit coming on from Shorereaper’s board edge needs to cover 48 inches to get to my lines.  Most units can’t do that in 2-3 turns.  Maybe bringing the hierodule in on turn 1 could more pressure on the defenders.

Little narrative battles like this one are a lot of fun. Win lose or draw, you make a great story.  I am working on a little one from this battle.  Perhaps involving the saga of Shamus.  Until next time, Have a good one and take it easy.

Last Stand of the Iron Hands – Shorereaper’s perspective

So, in honor of Severus leaving us, I challenged him to a game of my own design as our final outing. I wanted his Iron Hands (and any allies he chose) to face my Tyranids in an epic battle. He knew what the mission was, and he knew approximately what was going to be in my list.

As I covered in an earlier blog, the deployment was hammer and anvil, with very little terrain in the center of the board. On his tableside, there was a Wall of Martyr Defense Line, some Defense Emplacements, and a Firestorm Redoubt with Quad Icarus Lascannons, at not cost to him, but he did get their special rules.

My list consisted of the following:

Swarmlord
3 Tyrant Guard
Hive Tyrant
30 Termagants
30 Hormagaunts
9 Warriors
30 Gargoyles (almost fully painted too!)
9 Raveners w/ Rending Claws
Venomthrope
Pyrovore
Carnifex
Scythed Hierodule

Severus will write about his list in a blog about his perspective.

My deployment was pretty standard. I knew that my fast units had to close the gaps quickly, so they were the front line. The Gargoyles were on my left flank, the Hormagaunts were deployed next to them. The Raveners I placed on the right flank, knowing they were going to move more towards the center. The Swarmlord was in the center, giving me fantastic coverage with his synapse. The Venomthrope, Termagants, and warriors made up the rest of the right flank. Supporting the left flank was the Carnifex and the Hive Tyrant. The rules of the game required the Hierodule to be kept in reserve until turn 2. For My psychic powers, the Hive Tyrant and the Swarmlord had Warp Blast, Paroxysm, and Dominion. The Swarmlord also had Psychic Scream. Yes, I somehow managed get get all of the same powers.

Here is the wall of Nids

Here is the wall of Nids

Wings!

Wings!

8 Setup Nids

Turn 1 –

My Turn 1 was pretty basic. Move forward. Everything moved forward as fast as they could. In the psychic phase, I got off Dominion and didn’t even try for anything else. In the shooting phase, I ran everything forward. I wanted to close the gap. The only way I could pull this win off was if I could get engaged in combat quickly.

10 Turn 1 Nids

Severus’s turn, in short, was shoot shoot shoot. He took out a few gargoyles, a lot of Hormaguants, and most of my Raveners.

Turn 2 –

Again, the movement phase was easy, hauling forward as fast as I can. I found myself with a lot fewer Raveners and Hormaguants, and the Gargoyles were reduced as well. The Hierodule, entering the field of battle, started his movement up the center of the table. His 12-inch movement, and double run, really allowed him to cover a lot of ground.

I got my Gargoyles in position to shoot at the Skitarii, and placed my Ravener and Hormaguants in a position to charge some tactical marines. The Gargoyles killed three of the Skitarii (my first kills) in the shooting phase, but they were about to be taught a lesson about overwatch. In the psychic phase, the Swarmlord managed to get the Warp Lance off and destroyed the Vindicator’s gun.

I charged the guants into the tac squad so they could take the overwatch, and they were actually shot out of charge range. The Ravener then charged in and proceeded to kill one Tac Marine. The Gargoyles declared a long charge, and seven of them proceeded to die to overwatch. Not a very successful turn two.

11 End Nid Turn 1

Severus used hit turn to shoot more of my units, and charged the Carnifex with some of his Skitarii. It did not go well. The Carnifex killed one model and Skitarii caused a few wounds.

Turn 3 –

And here is where the excitement started happening. The hierodule closed the gap again. The Hive Tyrant and the remaining Hormaguants put themselves into a position to support the carnifex, who was now locked in mortal combat with a Skitarii unit and had one wound remaining. Warriors and Termagants continued to rush forward, now starting to get off some shots. The remaing Gargoyled actually went behind enemy lines (where I proceeded to forget about them). In the psychic phase I managed to blowup the Land Raider with a well placed warp lance from the Hive Tyrant.

12 End Nid Turn 1

While nothing noteworthy happened in the shooting phase, the Hierodule finally got into shooting range and killed three more marines, then ran forward another three inches.

20 Turn 3

In the assault phase, the Swarmlord and the Pyrovore charged the Vindicator, and proceeded to knock one hull point off of it. The Ravener finally won his close combat, and consolidated in front of the Redoubt. The Hive Tyrant and Guants managed to save the Carnifex from death.

In Severus’s turn, he charged the Hive Tyrant with Terminators, and killed it. He Killed the Carnifex (finally). And he finally wiped the Gargoyles off the board.

Turn 4 –

And now we come to the end of the game. The Tyrant? Dead. The Carnifex? Dead. The Hormaguants? Mostly Dead.

The Swarmlord and Pyrovore moved forward again, putting them in position to charge some Sternguard. The Knight failed a charge on the Hierodule in Severus’s turn, so I moved him closer so I could get off the charge. I wanted this battle to be epic. I used the Swarmlord to give the Hierodule Preferred Enemy.

22 Swarmlord

The Pyrovore killed a marine, and the Warriors and Gants killed a few others in the shooting phase. That was about all I had left to shoot with. I charged the Swarmlord and the Pyrovore into the Sternguard and charged the Hierodule into the Imperial Knight. Really, nothing exceptional happed in the combat with the Swarmlord/Pyrovore… well, other than they two of them managed to kill one marine. But the Knight/Hierodule was going to be exciting. The Knight, with his D attack, managed to knock the hierodule down to one wound. The Hierodule, with preferred enemy and S10 hits (9 of them! 7 Base, 2nd Close Combat Weapon, and the charge) obliterated that Knight. When the Knight exploded, he exploded big. The apoc template then scattered onto the Swarmlord, killing him (and taking Severus’s chance at killing the Swarmlord away again).

We all know what is about to happen.

We all know what is about to happen.

Too bad the Hierodule took a grenade to the face in Severus’s next turn. After that, with as few unit as I had left, I had to concede.

It was a fun and epic way for our last game to play out. Oh, and my record against Seth was 15 Wins, 19 Losses, and 1 Tie. Yes, I kept track.