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 Post subject: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Harpy
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NOTE: Apologies in advance for the picture quality; I was playing on a corner of the FLGS with dimmer than average lighting, so it was harder to hold the camera still long enough for the CCD to gather enough light to take the picture.

SCENARIO: STAY AWAY FROM THE SQUIGS!
The first game in this league has always been "Capture the Grotz", where your primary victory condition is to have possession of the most grots (randomly moving, nasty in close combat) by the end of the game. Since the long-standing TO moved away a few months ago, the new one changed things up a bit...

Deployment: Pitched Battle, with a cluster of 5 squigs in the middle of the table


Objectives:
* Primary (15 league points): Kill Points
* Secondary (10 league points): End the game in possession of fewer squigs than your opponent


Special Rules:
* Chaos Tactics: all Chaos units may choose to fall back when targeted by a psychic power.


Da Squigs: the meat of this scenario. The five squigs in the board center obey the following rules.

* Warp Squigs have the following profile:
WS4 BS0 S3 T2 W1 I10 A2 Sv5++ Ld10
Power weapons (teeth?), Tank-busta bombz (auto-hit vehicles in close combat!)

* Squig Movement: at the beginning of each Game Turn, each of the squigs scatters 3d6". At the end of each squig's scatter, it will attach itself to the nearest unit with a WS stat within 6" (or stay where it is if there are no units within 6").

* "Irksome squigs!": a unit with one or more squigs attached controls them as though they were part of the unit. Due to the irritation of having a Warp Squig bouncing around in the unit, every model (besides the squig itself) has -1 WS, -1 BS, -1 Initiative, and the Hit and Run USR. At the end of close combat, one of the following things will happen:
-- Winner and Loser: the winner's squigs transfer to the loser
-- Winner destroyers enemy: the winner keeps his squigs, the loser's squigs become "loose" again

* "Don't Kill It!": squigs are wounded on a 4+, regardless of relative S and T, and they aren't killed regardless of how many wounds they take (although wounds inflicted do count for combat resolution). Squigs that are Tank Shocked will perform a Death or Glory with their Tank-Busta Bombz, and live regardless (although if the vehicle explodes the squig will get blasted 4d6" in a random direction, and if they fly off the table they are removed from the game).

* "Squirrel!": at the beginning of each game turn, each squig attached to a unit will see something interesting and detach on a roll of 1 on d6, then scatter normally for squig movement. It bites the unit it's leaving on the way out, doing one of the following:
-- Default: inflicts a single S6 AP2 hit on the unit, then escapes
-- In a transport vehicle: hits the transport vehicle's rear AV with its tank-busta bombz, then escapes
-- Attached to a Walker: hits the unit with tank-busta bombz on rear AV, then escapes


So on the whole, the squigs are hard to get rid of once they're attached to your units; the only reliable way to lose them is to win close combat without destroying your opponent (transferring them to the losing unit). Otherwise, you just have to wait for the squigged unit to die, or roll a 1 (taking some damage in the process) at the beginning of a Game Turn.



COMBATANTS: TYRANIDS VS. TAU
Warp Flare League permits one psyker model from any codex as an Ally (marked with '*')

TYRANIDS (me)
HQ - Hive Tyrant: TL brainleech devs, LW/BnSw, AG, OA, paroxysm, life leech. 2x Tyrant Guard: LW
HQ - *Farseer: stones, RoWard, RoWitness, singing spear, guide, doom, fortune
EL - The Deathleaper
EL - 2x Hive Guard
EL - 2x Hive Guard
TR - Tervigon: AG, TS, catalyst
TR - 30x Devgaunts
TR - 4x Warriors: LW/BnSw, TS
HS - Tyrannofex: rupture cannon

Incidentally, here is the official "origin story" for the allied Farseer in my army.

TAU (my esteemed opponent)
HQ - Commander Longknife
HQ - *Tervigon: onslaught
EL - 3x Crisis Suits: missile pod, plasma rifle, multi-tracker, 2x shield drones
EL - 3x Crisis Suits: missile pod, plasma rifle, multi-tracker, 2x shield drones
TR - 11x Fire Warriors
TR - 11x Fire Warriors
TR - 14x Kroot, 1x Shaper, 6x Kroot Hounds
FA - 8x Pathfinders with Devilfish
HS - 2x Broadsides: target locks
HS - 2x Broadsides: target locks
HS - 3x Sniper Drone Teams


THE BOARD
A fairly normal mix of ruins, hills, and forests. No exotic properties, and no dangerous terrain. We agreed that units with their base overlapping the base of a terrain piece would get a cover save (to make adjudication easy).
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THE ROLL-OFF / DEPLOYMENT
I won the roll off (with a 2) and chose to go first (to get the chance to throw Catalyst, Fortune, etc on my units, move closer, and spawn screening gaunts before the Tau started shooting).

Seeing the pile of squigs in the middle, I deployed my heavy creatures behind cover in my Southwest corner, with the Warriors hiding in a forest in the South and the Devgaunt blob spread across the back of my deployment zone (to keep them close to the Tervigon and Farseer).
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My opponent deployed most of his army in a castle in the Northeast (as far as possible from my monsters), with his kroot, one squad of fire warriors, and the pathfinders deploying in the his center (north) building/ruin.
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He did attempt to Seize the Initiative...[drum roll]...and gets the '6'! In my best Emperor Palpatine voice, "Now your failure is complete!" I am, at this point, seriously regretting putting all of my heavy hitters in one corner rather than closer to the middle of the board where they would have more flexibility. It's going to be a long, slow, painful slog across the board center to get into shooting/assault range...and it's a Kill Point mission...



Narrative Note: all comments are from the point of view of my Farseer.

TURN ONE: TAU
"The Tau force here has been marked for priority eradication by the hive mind; they have found a way to capture a synapse creature, a tervigon, and bind it with circuitry and drug injectors. I feel the hive mind reflexively trying to free it, in the same way that a creature will protect itself from a blow to its head."

"I can feel the psychic agony of the captured brood-spawner from across the battlefield; it is still fully connected to the hive mind and aware of its surroundings, but with its functions cut off by surgery and mechanical implants. A burst of current and synthetic hormones causes it to birth a brood of similarly controlled termagants, which quickly spread out to form a screen in front of nearby fire warriors."

"I see what I recognize as Tau pathfinders looking over the edge of a ruined shell of a building in the north-center of the battlefield; a dance of brilliant spots plays on the carapace plates of my brother-warriors in the nearby forest, followed quickly by a hail of well-aimed rail rounds; three of the warriors explode in sprays of viscera immediately, and the last one falls under a hail of missiles from the crisis suits."
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"A herd of wild squigs appears to to have been disturbed by the battle and scattered in all directions; of the five, four of them move towards the Tau forces."


TURN ONE: TYRANID
"Although beyond any sense of anger, I feel the collective psyche's insistence and need to free their fellow-mind from bondage, and all of the creatures surge forward, aiming towards the northeast corner. A salvo from the tyrannofex's rupture cannon is the only pause in the head-long scramble, but the lethal ammunition explodes harmlessly short of the cowering pathfinders. I am able to manipulate fate to protect the horde of gaunts running alongside me."
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TURN TWO: TAU
"The squigs appear to be utterly fearless and somewhat irritating; two of them bounce around into the unit of kroot, while a third attaches to one of the crisis suits. Their presence appears to be somewhat distracting, as the resulting fire from these units is somewhat less effective."

"However, the Tau forces are still aware of their tactical advantage and set up a lethal patter of markerlights leading in fire from the railguns, sniper drones, and crisis suits, while the kroot-slaves and firewarriors to the north move forward to the edge of the northern ruin to intercept the Tyranids as they move to the center. Three hypersonic slugs blow through the tyrannofex, and a half-dozen of the gaunts fall to a combination of plasma, missiles, and rail rifles."
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TURN TWO: TYRANIDS
"The minor casualties inflicted are barely noticed by the hive mind, and they continue to surge forward, loping in and out of the forests and ruins. One of the broods of hive guard are finally close enough and skewer two of the pathfinders, although the tyrannofex is still unable to pick them out amid the structure of their rooftop perch.
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TURN THREE: TAU
"Again, the fatal rhythm continues, and the fusilade, now at nearly point-blank range from the crisis suits, takes a terrible toll on the gaunts, reducing their numbers to half of their original side; I take some satisfaction that my manipulation of fate saves them from even worse casualties.
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TURN THREE: TYRANIDS
"I feel a twinge in the hive mind as the slippery mind of a lictor goes into full hunting mode; this leaper-of-death slips out of the shadows on the far side of the battlefield, behind the Tau heavy formation. A spray of flesh-hooks shatters the hover-jets of one of the sniper drones, crashing it to the ground."
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"Seeing the proximity of the kroot, our tervigon spawns a brood of gaunts to protect our northern flank; I can feel that her birthing sacs are still well-filled."

"The rest of the force takes advantage of the lictor's presence, breaking from cover and loping across the center of the battlefield; again I devote my powers to protecting the gaunts, as well as guiding their aim (which seems to be somewhat distracted due to the unwelcome attention of one of the wild squigs).
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"With no small satisfaction I feel the animal fury of a horde of tiny brain-worms as they are unleashed against the pathfinders on the nearby rooftop; despite their reduced numbers and the bouncing squig, all but one of the tau scouts collapse in lethal agony, and the lone survivor throws down his pulse carbine and runs."
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TURN FOUR: TAU
"Unsurprisingly, the Tau heavy support shuffles nervously at the brood assassin within arm's reach; the sniper drones and one of the broadsides teams peppers the rocky slope with fire, blasting the lictor to fragments. His mission was successful, as the remainder of their fire was only sufficient to wipe out the remaining gaunts and the critically wounded tyrannofex, inflicting no damage to the true power of the swarm."
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"The kroot, feeling confident from the extermination of the devourer-gaunts, break from cover and throw themselves at the newly-spawned termagaunts, along with two of the wild squigs along for the fight. In a fierce but one-sided fight, the gaunts are torn apart, only felling four of the carnivores and their hounds in the process."
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TURN FOUR: TYRANIDS
"I can feel no sense of loss in the hive mind; although many bodies have ceased to function, they have successfully diverted attention away from the towering hive tyrant and tervigon, allowing them to proceed to nearly arm's reach with the enemy without damage. I feel that the tide of combat will turn very shortly. I focus my psychic efforts on the tyrant and guards, protecting the four of us as we start to sprint forward."

"The tervigon again pushes out a brood of gaunts in a shower of amnion, and they immediately hurl themselves at the nearby kroot, frothing with adrenaline and alien toxins. With the synaptic influence of the tyrant guiding their blows, they tear at the kroot with wild abandon, leaving them scattered on the ground dismembered or dying from the paralytic poisons in their veins."
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TURN FIVE: TAU
"I can feel the nervousness of the Tau commander increasing as he realizes the threat he is in. His whole army pours fire into the tervigon to end the tide of gaunts, incinerating it completely."
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"However, his firewarriors deliberately fall back in the north, retreating into the nearby devilfish and heading towards the heavy formation in the northeast. The crisis suits jet back as well, trying to open range and buy themselves an additional salvo. Scattered fire from the sniper drones and the other squad of fire warriors lightly injures the tyrant and one of her guards."
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TURN FIVE: TYRANIDS
"Now range of the Tau-corrupted tervigon, we all fire as one on her to end her suffering, critically injuring her with devourer worms, impaler harpoons, and my singing spear. We are still tantalizingly out of range to leap into melee and put an end to this battle once and for all. Soon"
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TURN SIX: TAU
"Seeing their prize heavily injured, she is withdrawn and the Tau Commander moves his suits to block access to her in the misguided throught that they can stand against us. Due to my psychic protection, the remaining fire from the entire Tau gunline only fells a single tyrant guard and a single hive guard. I allow a slight smile to cross my face.
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TURN SIX: TYRANIDS
"Almost as an afterthough, the remaining hive guard alter their aim to the devilfish lurking in the back of the Tau formation. One boney missile destroys the primary power relay, dropping it to the ground, and the last penetrates its ammunition magazine, causing a spectacular explosion. Half of the firewarriors inside survive, pinned in the smoking crater, while the superheated hull fragments kill several of the nearby troops."
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"After a brief salvo of fleshborer fire which kills the last of the Commander's retinue, all of the remaining tyranid forces throw themselves at the two teams of crisis suits; with a bestial howl, I join them, brandishing my spear. The doomed commander falls, crushed and pierced with a dozen mortal wounds. We press the attack against the remaining armored suits."
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NOTE: this is where my army came together; the gaunts multi-assaulted the two units of suits since my Tyrant/Guard/Farseer could only reach the commander. Between Fortune (Tyrant unit), Doom (Commander), and Old Adversary, we massively over-killed the Commander but didn't touch the other unit of suits, continuing the close combat into his turn. Finally something going as planned!


TURN SEVEN: TAU
"Gasping with the loss of such a hero of the Tau Empire, the ethereal sends an order through the bound tervigon, and her slave-gaunt abominations charge into combat, lunging towards me drunkenly. In the desperate combat that followed, we smashed apart one of the remaining Tau power-suits, ignoring the gaunts as they scratched and bit at us."
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"However, the gunline is still in full force and turns their attention to the hive guard, obliterating them."


TURN SEVEN: TYRANIDS
"Although emotionally incapable of such antics, the hive tyrant almost appears contemptuous as she neatly bisects the last crisis suit with her bonesword. The tyrant guard and I focus our attention on the swarm of gaunts, killing several."
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And the game ended there.
Totaling up the victory conditions...

KILL POINTS: TAU (15 league points)
* Tyranids lost: 2x hive guard broods, the deathleaper, 2x termagant broods, tervigon, warrior brood, tyrannofex = 8KP for the Tau
* Tau lost: Commander Longknife, 2x crisis suit teams, kroot squad, pathfinder squad, devilfish = 6KP for the Tyranids

STAY AWAY FROM THE SQUIGS: TYRANIDS (10 league points)
Although I didn't go into a lot of details, the squigs bounced around quite a bit during the game, especially with close combat. By the final Tyrant/Suit CC, my gaunts had one, the suits had one, and the Tau gaunts had one, while the other two had gone loose when the hive guard were blown off the board on turn 7 (which he had to do to avoid the tie on KP). When I won the close combat against the Tau gaunts without killing them, they acquired all of the remaining squigs just as the game ended.


LESSONS LEARNED
* My deployment was poor, even without losing the Seize the Initiative. I should have known I would have to walk through the squigs regardless just to get into range of my enemy, so I should have deployed centrally or spread out to get at least some of my army into close combat by mid-game (which would have greatly reduced the firepower applied to the rest of the army and possibly the number of KP he could score).

* I always seem to go into these leagues with a low-mobility list and regret it immediately. Looking back at the list, it's designed for mid-range fire support and close combat, with very limited long-range support, speed, or advanced deployment tricks. I think future lists will benefit from some genestealers in place of the Warriors, and perhaps a stranglethorn cannon on the tyrant.

* Then again, I'm making broad generalizations based on a lousy deployment/seize against an entirely shooty, long-ranged army. Some additional mobility would be useful, but I need to avoid getting rid of my CC and mid-range shooting just because it didn't work 100% well this game.

* The Farseer worked quite well; Fortune/Guide in the early turns, then Fortune/Doom near the end was wonderful, especially against an enemy with very limited psychic defenses. The singing spear would have been more effective against an enemy with more vehicles. His ability to get off psychic powers even when engaged in close combat is priceless in a tyranid army. Definitely keeping him, and I'm inclined to keep him just the way he is.


As always, I'm open to all suggestions, especially on list building for next week's game.

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Big One
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I love the battle report from the farseer's perspective, especially since he is the alien in this army. :)

Eidre wrote:
"Seeing the proximity of the kroot, our tervigon spawns a brood of gaunts to protect our northern flank; I can feel that her birthing sacs are still well-filled."


I was reading this at work and almost lol'd at this part. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Harpy
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xsquidz wrote:
I love the battle report from the farseer's perspective, especially since he is the alien in this army. :)

It seemed a natural fit; it allows me an option for someone with insight into the hive mind, but still capable of communication with the reader. I'll keep using him as a narrative tool (as well as on the battlefield, of course).

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Big One
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Eidre,

Really enjoyed the narative approach and can't wait to see the pictures. Don't kick yourself too hard for your deployment and list decision. You had a defined strategy in mind. Often, if you deploy first and deploy to protect against losing the initiative, you end up in the worst of all possible situations. Chalk it up to the dice gods.

Looking forward to the next round.

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Great idea for the background story for the farseer mate. And once you had him, being able to write the report from his perspective made is a lot of fun to read (and easier to write too I imagine :wink:).

Good report and good mate. I can see why you were so wary of the squigs and if nothing else you collected 10 league points for being rid of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Harpy
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First post updated with pictures. Appreciate the commentary, and by all means throw suggestions for improving the list for next week's game.

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Big One
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I would suggest taking another unit of squish termagants or 2. If you get unlucky and roll doubles early with the tervigon it will hurt. At the same time regular termagants are good with the tervigon supporting them and they can make sure the rest of your army has a 4+ intervening cover save.

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Harpy
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xsquidz wrote:
I would suggest taking another unit of squish termagants or 2. If you get unlucky and roll doubles early with the tervigon it will hurt. At the same time regular termagants are good with the tervigon supporting them and they can make sure the rest of your army has a 4+ intervening cover save.

This is good advice. My only reluctance is that I cringe at the thought of painting another 20-30 gaunts (they're in white primer right now, which I can justify for spawns somewhat, but not for "real" gaunts).

I would really love to have a venomthrope or three; the spore cloud 5+ cover with the Fortune reroll is better than 4+ cover, and it's portable (along with the defensive grenades and dangerous terrain benefits). I just can't justify losing the second brood of Hive Guard or The Deathleaper (especially in this league). Then again, it looked like there weren't that many allied Librarians, but there were a number of Farseers (who the Ld nerf won't affect much) and even a Zogwart or two (who is pretty random on the best of days). There was even a bold Black Templars player who stayed true to his fluff and didn't take a psyker at all (sacrificing the soft scores completely)!

My other thoughts (since my FA slots are completely empty) are
- bunch 'o' spore mines to mess with enemy deployment
- screen of naked gargoyles for cover screen and speed assault
- harpy w/ TL STC for long-range infantry suppression

Don't know what I would give up for any of these; probably the Warrior brood (sniff sniff).

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:38 am 
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Big One
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Devilgaunts are my staple and I protect them well. I cringe when I lose 5 of them in one round, now I use rippers and regular gaunts to form a line in front of them. If you put FNP, fortune and they have a 4+ cover save your squad of 30 devilgaunts is going to seem almost invincible! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Harpy
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xsquidz wrote:
Devilgaunts are my staple and I protect them well. I cringe when I lose 5 of them in one round, now I use rippers and regular gaunts to form a line in front of them. If you put FNP, fortune and they have a 4+ cover save your squad of 30 devilgaunts is going to seem almost invincible! :)

Love the devilgaunts; the reason I have all 30 in a single brood is to maximize the advantage of Guide and Fortune.

Once I was able to get rid of the majority of the markerlights (bloody pathfinders; negating cover saves is just unfair against Nids), my opponent was stunned every shooting phase how little damage he was able to inflict through rerolled cover saves. FNP was somewhat less useful because he was mainly hitting them with S7 missile pods and S6 plasma rifles, both of which deny FNP for T3 gaunts. Nice against kroot rifles and pulse rifles though.

Having a cheap line of portable cover in front is a good idea, though. I'm almost tempted to take rippers; they're cheaper per wound, they're going to die anyway (so the non-scoring thing isn't critical), and they have Stealth so they'll have better cover saves themselves (and the models are short so they can take advantage of more minimal terrain features).

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- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Big One
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Yeah, I take rippers with venomthropes so the rippers have 4+ cover as well as everything behind them. If the rippers ever get hit by just an abserd amount of wounds, go to ground and make it a 3+ cover save. Sure they can't move next turn, but maybe they live and get back into the fray a round later and are still a tar pit. I take them knowing full well that 100% of them will die and i'm cool with that. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Warp Flare League: Game 1, Stay Away from the Squigs
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:13 pm 
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If you're going to keep to this kind of list, I recommend Spore Mines for your FA.

The Spore Mines can really help you get into combat quicker. The suits had the ability to back up near the end, which prevented some of your units to assault. If the Spore Mines were remotely nearby, the Tau player would've possibly reconsidered.

Spore Mines have no WS either, so Squigs wouldn't be able to attach to them.

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