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 Post subject: February RTT
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:49 pm 
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Harpy
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:17 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
After reading Yaleing's inspiring Old One Eye Batrep below, I decided to get off my chitin and post a batrep for the RTT this last Saturday.

For any who might be familiar with the Washington DC area, I have big thanks to Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn VA for hosting us all day, and for all of my opponents for delivering good solid nail-biter games. And the Tournament Organizer, who puts up with a lot of strangeness for essentially no reward other than the joy of fielding imponderable rules questions for 10 hours straight.

Due to the game time limit, I took few notes and fewer pictures (one at the beginning of each game). Nevertheless, I learned (as normal) and in some cases relearned (since I haven't been playing but one RTT every couple of months due to the demands of RL).

Without further ado...

Unlike last time ("Highlander" rules), the RTT used the Adepticon list generation rules, which basically meant one Combined Arms Detachment and one Allied Detachment, plus all the dataslates and formations you want (with an approved list of forgeworld stuff). Significantly, there was no restriction to allying with your own Faction (so Tyranid allied with Tyranid was possible, not that I chose to do so). The adepticon rules also specified the table set up for all of the tables (ruins in two corners, hills in the other two, forests center on each long side, and two LOS-blocking/impassible in the middle).

The overall tournament rules and missions were instead taken from NOVA Open/11th Company missions, chosen because the adepticon missions were 100% maelstrom, and the TO determined that was stupid. For each scenario, each player choose one of two primary missions (one "end of game" and one "turn by turn" using the same objective markers; primary mission total of up to 9 points per game) and three out of six secondary missions (stuff like slay the warlord, line breaker, kill points, kill all enemy troops, kill three units in one turn, etc, worth 2 points each and a max total of 6 points for the game). Armies that got tabled could still score secondary points, and the army tabling still had to finish the game (to take objectives, etc; they weren't guarateed max primary points just for winning). After each player chose their primary and three secondaries, they revealed them to the opponent.

There were three rounds, each timed for 2:45, with the players deciding which turn to end when time was running out (so no half-turns to encourage slow play).

There were 14 players, so seven tables. It looked like a pretty even mix of armies (Orks, a couple IG, a couple Nids, some Grey Knights, some Eldar, some Daemons, some Tau, some Necrons, some Space Marines, etc).

Although I would love to get back into the Turn by Turn narrative, the time-constraints of the RTT forced me to limit pictures and notes, so I'll just stick to the overall trends, high points, and lessons learned.

My list was as follows:
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x devs, hive commander
EL - 3x Hive Guard
EL - 2x Venomthropes
EL - 3x Zoanthropes
TR - 30x Gaunts (half dev, half FB)
TR - 7x Rippers w/ deepstrike, TS, SF
TR - 7x Rippers w/ deepstrike, TS, SF
TR - Tervigon w/ CC, electroshock thorax swarm
FA - 10x Gargoyles
HS - Fex w/ ST/CC, AG, Spinebanks
HS - Trygon Prime w/ miasma cannon


This was very similar to the list I used in the last RTT, and is designed to have a significant deepstrike/outflank presence to grab objectives with heavy hitters (with shooting weapons) after the location of the enemy force is known, to reduce the effect of the losing the roll-off to deploy first, first turn, or seizing the initiative.

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:20 pm 
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Harpy
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:17 pm
Posts: 2257
Location: San Diego, California, USA
GAME I: vs. Tau (Farsight Bomb)

The deployment was Hammer and Anvil (the long-table version), and the mission was a modified "Relic", with a single objective in the middle of the table (the "Relic") and four other objectives set up with two in each deployment zone (evenly spaced, in the open). We both chose the end of game version of the primary mission, which did not allow the Relic to move and awarded 5 points for holding the relic, 1 point each for your DZ objectives, and 2 points each for your opponent's DZ objectives. I neglected to write our choices for secondary missions, but I do remember one of them ("kill all enemy troops").

His list:
HQ - THE BOMB:
* Shadowsun
* Farsight
* 7x Crisis Suits:
** 2x dual missile pods + 2 gun drones each
** 3x dual fusion guns + 2 gun drones each
** 1x dual plasma rifle + 2 gun drones each
** 1x multi-spectrum sensor suite, C2 node, puretide engram chip, vectored retro-thrusters, drone controller
FA - Riptide w/ burst cannon, SMS, advanced targeting system
FA - Riptide w/ burst cannon, SMS, advanced targeting system
TR - 10x Kroot
TR - 10x Kroot
FA - Tetra
FA - Tetra
HS - Skyray w/ BSF
HS - Skyray w/ BSF
HS - Skyray w/ BSF


His warlord trait was fixed due to Farsight (perfect deepstrike for his unit), and I rolled Princeps of Deceit (pinning test for 3 enemy units in turn 1).

We rolled Night Fighting for turn one (which only affected me because everything in his army had blacksun filters), and he won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go second.

DEPLOYMENT
I deployed most of my force in a narrow wedge in the middle, as far forward as possible while still hiding (somewhat) behind the central two terrain pieces. I reserved the tervigon (outflanked with hive commander), the rippers, and the trygon (both deepstrike).

He deployed the three skyrays in front of the hill in his northeast corner, with the two riptides behind and on the south flank. Everything else stayed in reserve (kroot and tetras outflank, farsight bomb DS).

He chose not to attempt to seize the initiative.

GAME
My warlord trait actually managed to Pin one of the riptides for his turn 1 (he only had two eligible units on the board).

I moved everything forward as quickly as possible while he picked apart the gargoyles, gaunts, venomthropes, and hive guard with riptide and skyray shooting (with SMS and markerlights denying cover most of the time), while putting wounds on the carnifex.

In turn two, the trygon prime deepstruck between the skyrays and riptides, and the flyrant swooped up next to him an attempt to draw fire and possibly put some shots into a skyray or two. Their shooting was lackluster (between the zoanthropes' warp lance, the dual devs into side armor, and the trygon's bio-electricity and miasma cannon, all they did was break one marker light, do two HP damage to one skyray, and inflict one wound to a riptide). They did manage to soak up all of the Tau shooting for a round, but the outcome was never really in question.

By turn 3, everything had arrived; I had one ripper swarm on each of my objectives and a tervigon running towards the mid-board from the flank to grab the relic, where he had the kroot coming in from the opposite flank as the tervigon, a tetra from my rear (west board edge), and the farsight bomb in his DZ just behind one of the central terrain pieces).

By the end of turn 4, the board was a mess for me. The gaunts shot up one unit of kroot before getting shot to pieces, and one set of rippers managed to shoot and assault the other kroot (giving me the "kill all troops" secondary objective). In response, his forces blew away the gaunts and the zoanthropes, and shot the tervigon and carnifex down to a single wound each. All I had left was two ripper swarms (one on an objective, one moving to mid-board to support the carnifex), a heavily wounded carnifex, heavily wounded tervigon, and a small unit of spawn gaunts sitting on my other home objective).

Turn 5 was reasonably epic; after trying all game, I finally pulled off an assault against the farsight bomb with the rippers (first) and the fex; the rippers got hammered by overwatch and failed their charge (with only 1 base left), but the carnifex survived the supporting fires overwatch by the riptide (score one for catalyst), got into base contact, did nothing with the hammer of wrath, and then had farsight skewer him with a single wound before he could swing. His shooting took out the tervigon's last wound and the ripper swarms, leaving only the bunch of spawn gaunts (who obligingly failed their instinctive behavior and went to go flee to the west, away from the objective).

SCORING
So not that good...my opponent got all 9 primary objective points and all 6 secondary points for a total of 15. I got the 2 secondary points for killing his troops, and that was it. I console myself with the knowledge that he was a very good player (2nd or 3rd overall in this tournament), and that this particular opponent/board set up was about as bad as it could get (tyranids vs. tau going the long-way across the board). Without being able to take advantage of shrouding or cover against his shooting (which was 30" range and up), there was very little I could do other than run forward as fast as possible and try to get close enough to shoot/assault before everything died. It just didn't work out that way.

LESSONS LEARNED
- Combined assaults are necessary against overwatch shooting. This is obvious, I just need to keep relearning it every time because I've been going months between games. What I need to do is pair units that have different defense profiles, so I can choose which unit assaults first based on how it will survive the shooting. For example, instead of pairing the rippers and the carnifex (both of which are damaged heavily by S6+ shots), it would be better to pair the fex with hormagaunts or gargoyles (who don't care about low-volume shooting at any strength).

- The Fex w/ CC inspires fear that is (in my mind) disproportionate with its abilities, especially when paired with fleet of foot; I'm inspired to keep taking him for this reason, as well as the chance that he gets into combat with (for example) a leman russ squadron and wrecks face. I mainly take him as an anti-ground vehicle (especially dreadnought) platform, since the armor bane pretty much guarantees that every hit will penetrate (and WS3 is only good against vehicles). Although he could have assaulted a riptide or skyray instead of the farsight bomb, he could not have done that as a combined assault with the rippers (they were too far away), and he probably would have died to the supporting overwatch from the crisis suits. And of course, ultimately it would have done no good at all, since he was pretty well doomed regardless of what he did at that point.

- There are many things in the game that negate cover saves. Those things make a mess of Nids (except for small nids in large numbers). The ability to make melta and plasma weapons ignore cover is really nasty, as are high-volume long-range weapons that don't need line of sight (i.e. smart missile systems).

- Farsight is surprisingly good in close combat, with WS5 S5 I4, an AP2 CCW, and a 4+ invul. Definitely more than a match for a Carnifex with only 1 wound left. A better match against him would have been a mass of rippers, hormagaunts, or a hive tyrant with a lashwhip and bonesword (and tyrant guard).

- I need to break down and shell out the cash for some spore pods. The ability to get within 1 turn of assault (and in a favorable board position, and with an extra if immobile MC) is kinda mandatory for CC monstrous creatures (i.e. Fex).

- Likewise with some more zoanthropes; the ability to take units up to 6 will make them a much harder target on the defense and much more potent on the offense (brotherhood with multiple multi-wound models makes perils of the warp less bad, in turn making it less painful to dump large amounts of power dice into getting off the 6 shot warp blast against determined Deny the Witch resistance).

More to follow as I write it. And at least one picture per batrep, to get a sense for the table and set-up.

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:58 pm 
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Harpy
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:17 pm
Posts: 2257
Location: San Diego, California, USA
GAME II: vs. Imperial Guard infantry blob

The deployment was Vanguard Strike (diagonal), and the mission was based around three objectives for each player (2 in the DZ, 1 in no-man's land, all placed by the players), with one objective on each side worth 3, 2, and 1 points (again, our choice of which was which).

My opponent chose the end-of-the-game version of the primary, but I chose the turn-by-turn objectives (in which case you got roughly 1/3 of the end-of-game value of the objectives, but at the beginning of each turn starting with turn 2). At the time, I figured that his massive firepower would attrite my army down by the end of the game, making it more worthwhile to score points while running up into his face and holding him back.

In practice, this didn't work as well as I thought because the game went very slowly (see his list for the obvious reason why), so we only made it to the end of turn 3.

For secondaries, I chose linebreaker, kill points, and marked for death (nominate one enemy unit and kill it by the end of the game). He chose marked for death, kill all my troops, and one other that I don't remember.


His list: I'm going to forgo the model-by-model equipment breakdown; the army list was four pages long
HQ - Company Command Squad w/ grenade launchers, officer of the fleet, and astropath
HQ - Priest x2
HQ - Primaris Psyker x2
HQ - Commissar x2
EL - 3x Ratling snipers
EL - 3x Ratling snipers
TR - Platoon command w/ grenade launchers, Blobbed 50 guardsmen with plasma and autocannons (with a primaris and priest), Blobbed 50 conscripts (with a commissar)
TR - Platoon command w/ grenade launchers, Blobbed 50 guardsmen with plasma and lascannons (with a primaris and priest), Blobbed 50 conscripts (with a commissar)
TR - Vet squad w/ meltas, meltabombs, demo charge


We both rolled Strategic Genius for our warlord trait, which is my favorite (due to lots of reserves) and did nothing for him at all.

We rolled Night Fighting for turn one (which blunted what little turn 1 shooting occurred), and I won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go second. I attempted and failed to seize the initiative.

I chose one of his Ratling sniper units as my "marked for death", and he chose my gargoyles for his.


DEPLOYMENT
He deployed his massive army completely filling the triangular corner of the table. He had conscripts on both flanks, guard blobs nearer the middle, the vets center-back with the company command, one unit of snipers near the middle (in the forest), and the other all the way in the back corner in a ruin (the ones I marked for death). His lascannons were near the center of his triangle, and the autocannons in the western flank.

I put the gargoyes on my west flank (near table center), and the hive guard, zoans, venomthropes, carnifex, flyrant, and tervigon hiding behind the LOS-blocking cover in the middle. The trygon and rippers were all reserved to deepstrike, and the gaunts became the Hive Commander outflankers this time (I figured they'd get a better alpha-strike than the tervigon against the guard blobs).

I attempted and failed to seize the initiative.


GAME
The game went pretty much as you might predict. He shuffled everything up first turn and took some long-range shooting with orders (he was mostly using the Forward for the Emperor, which allows shoot then run), doing very little except for smacking around the gargoyles (in retrospect, I should not have left them in the open; just gave away those 2 secondary objective points). On my turn, I flowed everything around the central terrain piece, with the gargoyles, tervigon, venoms, and zoanthropes going west (left), the flyrant and fex going north (towards the conscripts on the enemy's east flank), and the hive guard staying put behind cover. Mama tervy spawned some gaunts to grab one of my objectives in the south forest where they stayed for the rest of the game. The flyrant swooped into the face of the conscripts, doing a bunch of casualties and forcing a morale test (which was, of course, negated by the commissar shooting a conscript).

I'll break the rest of the game down by location:

North: Flyrant
The flyrant flew over the east flank conscripts, then swooped west across the enemy backfield shooting at things (did minimal damage to the company command due to very bad rolls and phenomenal armor saves, but just barely took out the marked for death Snipers at the bottom of turn 3 for a secondary objective.

East: Carnifex and zoanthropes vs. Conscripts
The zoanthropes shots some blasts at the conscripts, killing a few, and got zapped out of existence for their trouble. The carnifex went head-first into the conscript blob, took a wound from overwatch, and then they proceeded to grind ineffectually against each other for the rest of the game. On the plus side, the conscripts were pinned in place and could not shoot or advance towards my objectives.

Center: Tervigon and Trygon vs. Guardsmen and Vets
The tervigon spawned again and dumped them on my center objective, then assaulted the oncoming guardsmen, starting a massive slap-fight that lasted to the end of the game with little resolution other than preventing the guard blob from moving towards my objectives being held by small broods of gaunts and the hive guard. The trygon dissolved the veteran squad with the miasma cannon, leaving nothing to assault, and then I don't recall (other than it didn't affect the game very much).

Southwest: The other conscript and guard blobs advanced to the south and flowed around the building towards my lowly gaunts in the forest, but were too far away to do much. In turn 3, the rippers dropped down in their face (stuck the landing *this time*), spinefisted them, and (with the assistance of the hive guard) took out just enough to prevent the blob from getting in scoring range of one of my objectives.

Northwest: my gaunt blob outflanked in, barely fitting around the trailing edge of the heavy weapon squads and guardsmen. They shot and took a decent chunk out of the rear of one of the guard blobs, but were then blown to shreds by return fire in turn 3 (although they did force the guardsmen to turn around and not advance towards my objectives).

SCORING
My opponent was sitting on top of all but one of his objective markers at the end of the game, so he scored 3+2 = 5 primary points. Since I foolishly went with turn-by-turn objectives, I got 2 points in Turn 2 and 2 points in Turn 3, for a total of 4 primary points. However, he got only two of his three secondary missions (first blood and marked for death for the gargoyles) and I got all three (linebreaker with the trygon, kill points due to the little crunchy squads and some favorable angled shots against independent characters, and marked for death against the snipers), so overall I barely squeaked out a win with 10 pts to 9.

LESSONS LEARNED
- I could have predicted that the game would go short. Turn by turn objectives was a bad choice...although I think I overestimated the amount of firepower he could put into me (I was thinking he would be taking out MCs much quicker than he actually did; most of his shooting went into the little bugs).

- Prescience is unpleasant (especially on 50-strong guard blobs), as is forewarning (not to mention invisibility, summoning, etc), and I have (at present), no good idea how to Deny blessings any better than I do right now (other than having more psychic units; the problem being there are many psychic units available, but not many cheap ones). About all I can think to do is pine for the days when Shadow in the Warp actually did something meaningful to resist or prevent enemy psykers from using their powers.

- I shouldn't think to hard about lessons from this battle. My opponent had a strongly themed list that would have been largely ineffective against a wide variety of potential enemies (e.g. anything with flyers, multiple heavy vehicles, long-range blast weapons). The fact that it was pretty good against Nids (every model in his list could hurt every model in my list, and he had a lot of them, and with force multipliers like divination and orders) should not bear too close scrutiny, since I shouldn't expect this sort of army very often in a competitive environment.

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:02 pm 
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Harpy
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Posts: 2257
Location: San Diego, California, USA
GAME III: vs. Eldar/IG/Inquisition hot mess

The deployment was standard Dawn of War (finally), and the mission was based on six equally-valued (2pts) objective markers evenly spaced around the board (2 in each DZ, 2 in no-man's land).

We both chose end-of-game objectives (I learned my lesson from last game).

For secondaries, I chose linebreaker, kill points, and moment of blood (kill 3 enemy units in one turn). He chose first blood, linebreaker, and strike the rank and file (kill all enemy Troops units).

His list: his list was on an iphone, so I don't have a copy. Here's what I remember:
Imperial Forces
* Aquila Strongpoint w/ macro-cannon
* 50 member guardsman blob with some lascannon HWTs
* Veteran guard squad
* Inquisitor psyker w/ 3 servo skulls
* Culexus assassin
* Valkyrie

Eldar Forces
* Spiritseer
* Dark Reaper squad w/ exarch (fast shot)
* 3x3 Jetbikes
* 2x6 Swooping Hawks w/ skyleap


I again rolled strategic genius for my warlord trait, which motivated me to reserve a few things (more on that later). He also rolled strategic genius, which allowed him to manipulate reserve rolls to keep some of his units out of the game a turn longer.

We did roll Night Fighting for the first turn, although it didn't affect the game much either.

I won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go second.

DEPLOYMENT
He deployed with his Aquila in the northwest corner. Inside of it was the dark reaper squad, with the fast shot exarch manning the controls of the D-strength macro-cannon (using Fast Shot to make it go from Primary 2 to Primary 3). This combo was sort of the "schtick" of the whole list, as it meant that he was dropping 3 D-strength large blasts OR 3 S10/7/5 apocalyptic blast templates each shooting phase, and from an AV15 fortification deep in his DZ.

He had the guard blob with attached Inquisitor strung out around the Aquila and on its ramparts, the company command bravely hiding behind. The swooping hawks were behind the Aquila as well, but skyleaped into ongoing reserve at the start of turn 1 so it was largely irrelevant. He scattered the servo skulls evenly along the mid-line of the board, to reduce scatter distance for macrocannon shots.

The valkyrie (with the Culexus inside) and the three jetbike squads stayed in normal reserve, to come on later from his board edge.

I deployed specifically to mitigate the impact of the macro-cannon on the opening turns of the game; this resulted in a narrow wedge of units (led by the Trygon, then the hive guard and venomthropes) in the sliver of cover provided by one of the center-board terrain pieces. The zoanthropes and fex hid in the southwest ruin (unfortunately, the windows allowed LOS), and the gaunts spread out in the open ("shoot me! shoot me!") in the gap between southwest and center. The flyrant deployed on my right (east) flank, also out of LOS from the macro cannon. The rippers and gargoyles reserved to deepstrike, and the tervigon outflanked.

He did not seize the initiative.

GAME
In the opening salvo of the game, the macro cannon dropped some templates on the zoanthropes and carnifex in the southwest, killing the Fex outright (although it survived the macro-cannon; the reaper launchers stripped off the last two wounds) and taking out one of the zoanthropes. He was rightly afraid of the fex, as it was the only thing in my list that could reliably take out the strongpoint in 1-2 rounds of close combat.

I spent my turn running forward with basically everything, while still maintaining LOS-block for the trygon. The Flyrant flew directly towards the enemy DZ, staying behind the east-center terrain piece.

Turn two, the macro-cannon shot towards the gaunts, using the size of the template to clip the nearby trygon who was out of LOS (error on my part to keep them that close together). Due to an unfortunate series of scatters, non-scatters, and D-strength effect rolls, the trygon got splattered (6+d6 wounds with no saves), along with a bunch of gaunts, two of the hive guard, and a venomthrope. Ouch. He also brought in the two swooping hawk units (deepstruck into the southeast corner), whose grenade packs and lasers weapons took out the rest of the venomthropes and a few more gaunts. The valkyrie also flew in from the north board edge directly toward my flyrant, failing to damage it with missiles and multi-lasers (but shutting down its psychic powers with the culexus aura).

On my turn two, I got all of my reserves (as intended, with the rerolls), bringing down the gargoyles in the northwest (behind the valkyrie, and near one of the enemy objectives), rippers in front of the Aquila (hopefully too close to shoot), rippers in my southeast backfield (on my objective and against the swooping hawks), and the tervigon (outflanked in the northeast, obscured by some ruins and within a couple turns' walk of two objectives).

In the west, the zoanthropes and gaunts ran towards the enemy, taking some shots (only a few devourers in range). Warp blast was shut down in the psychic phase (Psyker 2 Inquisitor joined). The rippers did more significant damage with spinefist shots, killing a bunch of the guard squad and breaking its coherency.

In the southeast, the other rippers shot at one of the swooping hawk squads, killing only two with particularly bad rolls (they didn't break).

In the northeast, I had better luck; the flyrant flew over the valkyrie and into its back arc, spraying it with devourers and getting a lucky "immobilized" result on the one penetration scored, which caused it to crash (of course, it scattered right on top of the nearby gargoyles who had just deepstruck, killing half of them). The culexus passenger survived the S10 crash-and-burn hit due to her invul save. The last hive guard tried to ID her, but missed due to the assassin's Etherium (only hit on 6s). Meanwhile, the tervigon ran west along the enemy board edge, popping out some spawn ahead of her towards the nearby objective.

Turn three saw the arrival of the three jetbike squads; one came on in the northwest and turbo-boosted directly south to get on top of one of my objective markers (where it stayed for the rest of the game, since I had nothing that could get to it). The other two jetbike squads zoomed half-way down the board on the east edge, flying by the flyrant and tervigon; one stopped near the center-board objective, the other turbo-boosted all the way to the southeast objective in my DZ. Assorted shooting killed some gaunts, and the macro cannon blew up a few spawn and stripped some wounds off the tervigon. The swooping hawks leaped back up into reserve, and the culexes attempted to charge the gargoyles and failed.

I responded by moving up everything in the west (although the rippers decided to take the turn eating themselves); warp blasting was again negated in the psychic phase (attempted to warp lance the aquila now that they were in range), and devourer shooting did some more damage to the guard blob.

The flyrant turned west and flew at top speed along the enemy board edge, ending up behind the aquila strongpoint and shooting up the rear of the guard blob (trying to take out some of the HWT and the inquisitor; only partially successful).

In the northeast, the first set of spawn continued to the west and contributed scattered shooting against the assassin (no effect); the remaining gargoyles, the tervigon, and a new brood of spawns turned south and moved towards the newly arrived jetbikes shooting ahead of themselves and killing one.

Turn four was pivotal. I don't remember what the macro-cannon shot at, but it must not have been too significant (at this point most of my forces were pretty close to his objective holders, so his options were limited; must have been gaunts). His shooting (including the spirit seer casting a psychic flamer thing) against the rippers sitting near their home objective shot them down to two bases, but didn't kill them and didn't repulse them from scoring range of the objective. Unfortunately, the deepstriking swooping hawks blew the crap out of the other ripper brood in the southeast, landing directly on the southeast and center-west objectives (damn you, perfect deepstrike!).

He also got his veterans, who walked on from the northeast board edge but didn't get close enough to the nearby objective to hold it. The culexus also moved towards it, but realized that she couldn't influence it with the "objective secured" gaunts approaching.

In my turn, I had to do significant things since I was currently way behind; he had four objectives held with troops units, and he already had first blood (carnifex) and linebreaker (several), although he was far from killing all of my troops. I, on the other hand, held no objectives, was contesting one (with the nearly dead rippers in the northwest), and only had linebreaker (several). There was no way I was going to get KP (he had already wiped out more than half of my units) and I hadn't had a "moment of blood" yet in the game.

To make matters worse, both broods of rippers decided to fail instinctive behavior (the zoanthropes in the northwest weren't close enough) and eat themselves. For the northwest rippers this wasn't a problem, as they were already contesting and they just took a wound to one of the bases. In the southeast, though, it meant they couldn't shoot or assault the swooping hawks sitting on the nearby objective (possibly contesting, possibly taking it if they could wipe out the hawks).

So, in order of resolution:
- The flyrant changed targets and shot the company command squad, killing it (one kill for the turn).
- The first spawn brood moved forward through the ruins, taking the northeast objective (+1 objective); they shoot at the culexus ineffectively.
- The gargoyles, second spawn, tervigon, and her third spawn brood move south and shoot at the jetbikes, knocking them each to two models.
- The gargoyles and second spawn assault one set of jetbikes, barely killing them (three wounds, failed two 3+ armor saves; two kills for the turn)
- The tervigon assaults the other jetbikes, scoring two hits, two wounds, and two kills (third kill for the turn!)
- The various assaulters consolidate on the nearby objective (+2 objectives).

SCORING
When all the dust cleared, here's how it stood:

My opponent:
* 3 objectives (southwest w/ jetbikes, center-west w/ swooping hawks, southeast w/ swooping hawks) = 6 primary points
* First blood (carnifex), linebreaker (various) = 4 secondary points
= 10 total points

Me:
* 2 objectives (northeast w/ spawn gaunts, center-east w/ tervigon, gaunts, gargoyles, etc) = 4 primary points
* Linebreaker (various), moment of blood (bottom of turn 4) = 4 secondary points
= 8 total points

So a hard fought win for my opponent which by all rights should have been much more extreme.

LESSONS LEARNED
- Should have kept the Trygon in reserve and deepstruck it right in front of the Aquila. It couldn't have hurt it (much) with only one Smash Attack per round, but it could have threatened it and put itself in a position where it would have been immune to being shot with the macro cannon (due to the danger of hitting the fortification), as well as keeping it safe from the reaper launchers (since the whole squad would have to shoot at the same target).

- The ability to take allies and take advantages of their rules across codexes creates massive rules contortions. The fast-shot + macro-cannon + servo skulls thing was fairly silly (although quite expensive; the Aquila was more than 550 points all by itself). I can only assume that future versions of the main rules will restrict interactions between codex special rules even more than they are now. In the meanwhile, adapt, improve, and overcome.

- My opponent made a number of unforced errors, including forgetting to use his Inquistor's daemonology spells to summon daemons (which could have altered the balance of power, especially in the northwest where I contested an objective just by the skin of my teeth). I have no illusions that the only reason I came even close in this game was due to Lady Luck, mostly in the end of Turn 4.

- I had no experience with D-weapons until this game, so I didn't fully appreciate how much of a threat they posed to monstrous creatures (normally I consider blast weapons to be barely a threat to MCs because they can only hit once). In the future, I'll make more of a point to separate visible targets from those out of LOS to the width of a blast marker can't cause wounds where I don't want them. This also applies to things like gaunts next to warriors/venomthropes/etc that I might be hiding from S8+ blast weapons.

- OK OK, I get the point; buy some biovores already. They would have been spectacular in 2 out of the 3 games I played, particularly in this one because he only had the one guard blob to attrit and they could have stayed out of LOS the whole game.

- Likewise with a tyrannocyte or two. The ability to drop Mr. Crushyfex right in front of the Aquila (too close for the macrocannon to shoot safely) would have put it 1 turn away from assault and forced the rest of his army to dedicate their shooting to him (with cover, at least, from the tyrannocyte in the way). If the rules are going to prevent assaults on turn 1, the best I can do is make sure my heavy hitters aren't slogging up the board for 2-3 turns before they can make their money (or I can shrug, sigh, and shift entirely over to shooting like everyone else in the game).

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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:05 pm 
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Harpy
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UNIT SUMMARY
As per my normal. With this list (largely the same) being used for two RTTs, I think I have a decent sense of how they operated.

* Flyrant *
As normal, I got really good mileage out of her. The mobility, skyfire potential, high rate of fire, decent strength, and psychic abilities are a wonderful combination for the price, although I am always sad about wasting her excellent close combat potential by swooping all the time. With several other MCs in the mix, she wasn't shot at all that much, and grounding tests are much less severe these days. That said, I need to be very specific about which army lists have Skyfire on ground units (Tau) so I can compensate. Eating a seeker-missile salvo at BS5 is never a good day. I'm slightly torn on Hive Commander; outflank is nice, especially on a tervigon, but that 33% of the outflanked unit being on the wrong flank is a little painful (and there is always a wrong flank), and there's always that game where your outflanker doesn't come in until Turn 4 (of a 5-turn game). Maybe I want to save those points for something else.

* Venomthropes *
Not as useful this game as previous games; either they were irrelevant (Tau), provided no more protection than my armor save (IG), or were picked off early in the game (IG/Eldar). The shrouding is invaluable protection against low-AP weapons, especially for units in cover, but if I'm advancing over open ground (which happened a lot in this RTT) or fighting someone who ignores cover, their usefulness goes way down. Also, I wish I thought of them as more than portable cover saves; they have pretty decent close combat stats against certain classes of enemy (mainly tough, small count, high initiative units with invulnerable or poor armor saves...ok, not sure who this covers, other than daemons and tyranids). I'm on the fence on them right now, although they are pretty cheap.

* Hive Guard *
Not terribly useful this time, although they clutched a few casualties here and there that did affect scoring. I think most people know they're a threat and prioritize killing them accordingly. Also, outside of the Tau game (where the hive guard died quickly), I played against precious few ground vehicles. I don't recall seeing that many in the tables around me either, which makes me wonder whether the local meta has shifted to high-mobility infantry (bikes and jetbikes) for scoring instead of infantry in transport vehicles.

* Zoanthropes *
Useful as synapse pylons, resilient against a lot of different firepower, able to maneuver at will in the open (cover really doesn't help them much unless they're shrouded in a ruin), and relatively fast (since all of their 'shooting' is in the psychic phase, they're free to run every turn). That said, they rely on having a psychic-focused army to provide enough power dice to get off the warp blasts that make them worthwhile; otherwise, might as well just get another tervigon. I can see some value in going with two broods instead of one; 4 power dice instead of 2, and two extra powers instead of 1 (plus two shooting targets). The down side, of course, is the "1 shot per model" that you get with the warp blast (when it goes off), which encourages the biggest single units possible...as well as the competition for the hotly contested Elite slots.

* Tervigon *
Even with the significant nerfs inflicted on her since the last codex, she's still pretty nice. I am really liking the crushing claws upgrade, because they give her some teeth against all classes of vehicles for not too many points, as well as the electroshock thorax swarm, which gives her a second shooting attack that works against light infantry and vehicles alike. Spawning scoring units it, in all cases, utterly fabulous, especially in the world of "objective secured".

* Gaunts *
The large mixed brood worked ok, although I didn't use it to its full potential. Having the single large brood is only useful if I plan on buffing them with something I have in limited supply (catalyst or onslaught, venomthrope spore cloud, synapse), I'm trying to limit KP, or I'm trying to make them more resistant to being assaulted (better overwatch). Otherwise, it would be better to run them as multiple smaller units so they can be in more places at once (and when they're caught in a massive salvo I'm not losing as many). During these games I gave them exactly zero psychic buffs, but I did string them out to take up space and benefited from shroud (a little) and synapse (frequently), so maybe that's still worthwhile. Overwatch helped me exactly zero times as well (I counted).

* Rippers *
Still loving these little guys, and they inspire a pretty decent amount of fear once I pick up the enormous handful of dice for their shooting or close combat attacks. The deepstrike shooting is still excellent, especially since I can choose who gets to suck it up (i.e. not subject to the enemy's movement). I ran them outside of synapse quite a bit these games (one consequence of deepstrike), which didn't play well at all (they spent a lot of time eating each other and not doing anything after the turn they arrived). I'll continue to play these guys, although maybe only one brood instead of two.

* Gargoyles *
Small unit was only useful for absorbing shooting that could have gone on other units, aside from one fairly lucky assault in the last turn of the last game. Their fast mobility is somewhat wasted if they're going to die in turn 1 (all they need to be is slightly ahead of the other units they're covering), so if I take them again, it should be in much greater numbers so they are an assault threat by turn 2 (and so they can extend a tail back and gain "Shroud" from the venomthropes while still advancing at top speed up the board). Making them an assault threat also implies that they're actually threatening, which would require either upgrade biomorphs (espensive) or external buffs (only available from swarmlord), so maybe they're best used as a fast tarpit to allow the slower guys to move up with less interference. Under the right conditions I could get a little more assault out of them by triggering their "jump" in the assault phase (to get the additional I10 hammer of wrath attack, bumping them up to 3 attacks on the charge).

* Carnifex *
Love this guy. He only made contact with an enemy unit once, but the amount of Fear he inspired was worth it. He's not that expensive and he draws huge amounts of fire because everyone knows just by looking at him that *anything* he hits in close combat will take damage. I'll probably remove the spine banks; the only time I can think they'd be useful is against multi-wound models of T5 or less with fists or thunderhammers, and in this case they probably have good invul saves as well.

* Trygon Prime *
I'm very torn on him. He's expensive (especially with the prime upgrade and the miasma cannon) and he's such a huge target that he rarely lives past his initial deepstrike/shooting salvo. Buying a trygon for one turn of mediocre shooting is a little silly (I'd rather stick the miasma cannon on a tervigon). He is soaking up lots of enemy shooting, but there are many cheaper ways to do that (tyrannofex is much better on the defensive with the Sv2+). Ultimately, if he's not getting into close combat and/or surviving long enough to hold or contest an objective, I'm wasting most of his points value.



What I need in the future

* Tyrannocytes - the only way to get CC monstrous creatures close enough to be effective, I suspect. Even Fleet is not enough to get them to the enemy before they're picked apart by shooting.

* Biovores - although not nearly as useful against mechanized or power armor forces, they are cheap and wonderful against hordes of anything, and fairly survivable with being able to hide out of sight. I need to get some.

* Mawloc - I'm torn, because I only have one Trygon/Mawloc model (removable head so I can exchange between them). However, the Trygon has gotten squished early in several games now, so I'm wondering if I can give up the extra synapse for the advantages of the Mawloc AP2 large blast and the repeated deepstriking (at a much reduced price, as well).

* Lictors - with all the deepstriking I'm doing (mostly to compensate for the slowness and squishiness of the army), being able to infiltrate a Lictor near a favorable location to get perfect deepstrike seems like a natural (especially in combination with rippers or a mawloc). That said, they're not tough enough to survive two turns of concerted shooting at close range (which is where you would need them to be in a good deepstrike location), and they take up a valuable Elite slot that could go to zoanthropes, venomthropes, hive guard, etc. Seems like a hard trade for a possible one-trick pony unit (I don't see much value in the lictors in and of themselves, except maybe as enemy backfield vehicle hunters).

* Zoanthropes - now that they can be fielded in broods of 6, I need to be doing that, including the addition of the neurothrope. The possible increase in available warp dice to manifest the warp blasts is (I suspect) enough to offset my normal reluctance to waste my psychic phase on something other than catalyst. The addition of spirit leech is pretty nice as well, especially against low-count high-armor units.

* Hormagaunts - need to bring them along with the Fex, to do combined assaults. They seem like a perfect complement as a way to suck up overwatch shots cheaply or occupy units that you don't want the Fex fighting so it can continue into the crunchy targets (heavy vehicles, dreadnoughts, etc).

* Genestealers - another possible answer to the CC monstrous creature problem...I just have to figure out the size and upgrades to give to a brood of genestealers that makes them enough of a threat to draw fire, but still cheap enough that I don't care when they die. As well, whether it's worth the big pile of points required to get the broodlords to up their threat (and their resilience, a little bit) and psychic battery potential. I suspect they might also make good combined assaulters with CC Fexes, although they're a bit expensive to be expendable overwatch absorbers.

* Formations - I really haven't paid attention to any of the Tyranid special lists (leviathan) and formations, although I've heard a number of them are quite good. Everyone else is doing it and it's theme-y, I suppose I should stop being lazy/cheap and actually get some of the dataslates. I am, of course, open to suggestions from people who have already experimented in that direction.

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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:45 am 
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Big One
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Good report! I already knew that tau game would be rough for you as soon as I saw the list.

Your list seems very friendly after my recent experiences in Las Vegas. There, tyranid lists typically had 4-5 flyrants. I was the fluffy guy with just a pair of flyrants! Barbed hierodules and malanthropes were also popular, with malanthropes better than venomthropes in all circumstances (give synapse, don't die as easily... can be used to challenge and reduce attacks from combat beatsticks etc). Still, can't grumble, the tourney was taken by someone with 3 flyrants and a stack of lictors, so creativity and good generalship beat all my ideas of what was best for nids to take!

As discussed elsewhere most of the west coast tourneys don't play spawned gaunts as obsec, so that makes tervigons a bit better where you play!

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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:26 am 
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Harpy
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bugsculptor wrote:
Good report! I already knew that tau game would be rough for you as soon as I saw the list.

Your list seems very friendly after my recent experiences in Las Vegas. There, tyranid lists typically had 4-5 flyrants. I was the fluffy guy with just a pair of flyrants! Barbed hierodules and malanthropes were also popular, with malanthropes better than venomthropes in all circumstances (give synapse, don't die as easily... can be used to challenge and reduce attacks from combat beatsticks etc). Still, can't grumble, the tourney was taken by someone with 3 flyrants and a stack of lictors, so creativity and good generalship beat all my ideas of what was best for nids to take!

As discussed elsewhere most of the west coast tourneys don't play spawned gaunts as obsec, so that makes tervigons a bit better where you play!


I'm torn about list friendliness...on the one hand, I like using the models I have and not chasing the trends around as the rules change, and I do think the current lazy FOC rules (you can get around basically any restriction you want by clever use of allies and formations) make it so there's basically two kinds of units; "obsec", and "other", leaving no motivation for a balanced combined arms list. For my part, I feel dirty when I take advantage of a clearly overpowered combination (e.g. I never played more than 2 tervigons in the last edition, never more than 1 flyrant this edition...).

But enough diatribe. Thanks for the comments!

Right now (and prior to next month's RTT) I'm curious what peoples' experiences are with the "new" units in the current codex (haruspex, exocrine, hive crone) and white dwarf (neurothrope, various foo-cytes), since I haven't experimented with any of them yet. The local TOs are comfortable with reasonable proxies (the Aquila fortress was made out of cardboard painted black, for example), so it's a good environment to experiment.

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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:27 am 
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Thanks for the battle reports mate. :) As usual I love how they get me thinking about Tyranids in better ways. Until I read it just now, I wouldn't have considered of the order of assaults and possible first blood. It makes all kinds of sense though.

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 Post subject: Re: February RTT
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:17 am 
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Big One
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@eidre - I know what you mean. Even with my vegas list I didn't attempt to take more than two flyrants, as I didn't really want to assemble any more of them and wanted to field my dimachaeron as I hadn't played it before. Even though my list was pretty mean, it felt a little like bringing a knife to a gunfight against some of the spam out there!

I guess everyone needs to find their own balance between competitive and hobby gaming. I always try and slowly switch my army up, so I still get to play some of my favourite stuff whilst transitioning to something I think is more effective... and it also has to be a unit I'm excited about painting up and fielding.

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