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 Post subject: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:32 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
Greetings and Saluations to the Gestalt. Once again, I have succeeded in taking enough time between games that I've forgotten all of the lessons I've learned before...

Again, after a long hiatus, I grabbed enough time on a weekend to play in the local RTT. It was wildly fun to play again, and I'm hoping it won't be quite as long before the next one.

RULES
Many of the local players are going to the NOVA Open, so we used those rules (to the chagrin of some). Rules are at the following link, but are summarized as follows.

Army Selection:
* Battle-forged army unit selection process
* No more than 3 detachments
** 2 of the 3 may be "Open Detachments" defined as either CAD or non-CAD (see document).
** The remaining "Auxiliary Detachment" must be a non-CAD detachment.
* Any detachment that is composed of sub-detachments (like Necron Decurion or Eldar Warhost) takes up both of the "Open Detachment" slots and can't be selected as the Auxiliary Detachment.
* Rulebook rules for Allies, meaning you can't ally with your own faction (boo hoo for Nids).
* NO superheavy vehicles or gargantuan creatures (most applicably, no Knights or Wraithknights). Lords of War that are not superheavy or gargantuans may be taken where legal.
* Forge World units are legal if they are not "experimental". However, every Forgeworld unit gains the 0-1 restriction. This is also contagious to any unit specifically constructed to take advantage of a Forge World unit's special rules (i.e. using a FW SM chapter rules and then filling most of the army with Codex SM; for example, codex SM tac squads that acquire Red Scorpions special rules are 0-1).
* Conjured units are considered not part of any Detachment, and therefore do not acquire warlord traits, detachment special rules, etc. They interact with other models as per the Allies matrix, regardless of who summoned them.

Destroyer Weapons:
* D-weapons that are more than 12" away from their target treat rolls of '6' on the D-weapon table as '5' instead.
* D-weapons that roll a '6' inflict d3 wounds instead of d6+6
* Stomp weapons treat '6' as '5' as above if the Knight is not locked in close combat with the target unit (although there should be non since Knights are disallowed).

Turn sequence: army that deploys first also goes first (unless the other player seizes the initiative), so there is only one roll-off.

Table set-up: fixed (you'll see in the pictures).

Mission Objectives:
* Missions are fixed and known in advance (more on this later), with no random objectives.
* Players may choose between two primary objectives (typically "end of game" or "turn by turn") worth a maximum of 9 VPs.
* Players choose three out of ten available secondary missions worth 2 points each for a maximum of 6 VPs. Choices are first blood, last laugh (last player to destroy an enemy unit), moment of bloodshed (destroy 3 enemy units in one turn), linebreaker, heart of the matter (warlord within 6" of board center at endgame), kill points, slay the warlord, strike the rank and file (destroy all enemy troop units, not including dedicated transports; not applicable of enemy has no troops, since they can't then be destroyed), marked for death (choose one enemy unit prior to deployment and then destroy it), and slay them all (destroy one enemy detachment or formation completely).
** "Special" objective points available to specific units are applied as Secondary objectives and therefore subject to the 6-point maximum limit.
* There is a permanent teriary objective (1 point per turn in turns 2, 3, 4, and 5 if you destroy at least one enemy unit) worth a maximum of 4 VPs. This puts each game at a maximum of 19 total VPs. In the event of a tabled opponent, the game ends at the end of the Game Turn in which one army was tabled (which gives the other player at least some opportunity to move to take objectives).
* Tiebreaker when VPs are tied is points of enemy army destroyed (half point value for units below half strength but not destroyed).
* In the unlikely event of a complete Tie (include points destroyed), the game will be decided by Rock-Paper-Scissors.


THE OPPOSITION
There were 24 players in a fairly diverse pool of armies with a variety of allied imperials, allied eldars, necrons, at least one other tyranid player, and (true to form of late) exactly zero Orks or Grey Knights (I counted) (twice).

_________________
"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: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:36 pm 
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Harpy
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
MY ARMY
My army is in definite need of update; I haven't bought a new model in several years. Knowing that I would not be able to out-optimize anyone (don't have the right composition of models for any of the really good formations), I decided to put a list together of things I liked to play and try to execute a good play for objectives instead of attempting to stomp the enemy into submission. For this reason, my list may look a bit odd to a competitive/tournament player.

HQ[Warlord] - Hive Tyrant: miasma cannon, reaper of obliterax, electroshock thorax swarm, adrenal glands + 2 tyrant guard w/ adrenal glands
HQ - Hive Tyrant: 2x TL devs, wings
TR - 4x5 Genestealers
TR - 6x Tyranid Warriors: adrenal glands; 1x barbed strangler/scything talon, 2x deathspitter/scything talon, 3x lashwhip/bonesword/devourer
FA - 29x Gargoyles
FA - Harpy: TL heavy venom cannon
HS - Tyrannofex: acid spray, electroshock thorax swarm, regeneration
HS - Carnifex: crushing claws, scything talons, adrenal glands

My overall goal was to use the gargoyles as a front-line distraction and cover save for the rest of the army, putting the genestealers in infiltration positions to create threats to the enemy and draw fire (using their ability to go to ground to improve survivability). The flyrant and harpy would do fast flanking maneuvers to hit the enemy backfield and shoot targets of opportunity, while the main body (walking tyrant, fex, warriors, would walk up behind the T-fex and hit the center, take objectives, and hopefully survive to the end of the game.

I did not go with any elites, partly to save points for the other stuff and partly as protest against the "mandatory" hive guard and venomthropes (and because increasingly the killer enemy shooting ignores cover through one special rule or another).

More significantly, I went with very low psychic total (only 4 mastery levels on the board). This was partially due to an assessment that enemy armies would either be psychic overload (daemons, inquisition, eldar) that I could not match OR zero psychic (necrons, dark eldar) that I outmatched by virtual of my mandatory Tyrant HQs, so I decided not to put points into any more psykers. This was partly because of past burns by tzeetch and eldar lists, and partially because the only way to efficiently get more mastery levels was small units of zoanthropes. Maybe in a different list (3x1 zoanthropes just for the cheap 6 mastery levels).

_________________
"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: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:41 pm 
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Harpy
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Posts: 2257
Location: San Diego, California, USA
GAME 1: vs. Necrons
My opponent's army list was electronic on his device of choice (increasingly common), so I didn't get a copy. He had a multi-detachment with decurion and a bunch of sub-formations; I took his word that it was a legal combination of stuff. Most of his army had detachment special rules that improved their reanimation to 4+ but lost ObSec; this which combined with something else (the spyder, I think) to get reanimation rerolls. A small number of his Warriors (painted differently) were outside this formation and kept Objective Secured.

In general, he had:
* Wraith deathstar with a Destroyer lord (warscythe) and two special characters; due to the SCs, it could only move 6".
* 4 units of Necron Warriors, one in a Ghost Ark
* 1 unit of Immortals
* 1 unit of Tomb Blades
* 1 unit of Scarabs
* Spyder
* Forgeworld bomber-thing that dropped S10 AP1 large blast bombs
* Aegis defense line
* Quad-gun

I don't recall his Warlord Trait (he used the D-Lord as his warlord).

I rolled Night Attacker as warlord trait, and got Catalyst/Horror on the Walking Tyrant and Onslaught/Scream on the Flyrant. Getting both Cat and Onslaught would, in retrospect, be the best combination of powers I got all day.

The game was "Crusade"; normal Dawn of War deployment, with 6 objective markers in pre-determined flattened hexagon (two mid-board 12" from each short board-edge, two 12" from each player's long board edge). Primary objective was either Blitzkrieg (2 pts/objective at end game +1 if you controlled more than your opponent) or Maginot Line (at the beginning of your turn 2-6, 1 point if you control at least 2 objectives, and +1/+2 if you control one/two more than your opponent, for a max of 3 per game turn). Primary objectives worth a maximum of 9 points as above.

We both chose Blitzkrieg as the primary, and I chose Heart of the Matter, Line Breaker, and Last Laugh as secondaries (I don't recall his choices).

I won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go second. I did not attempt to seize the initiative.

The initial deployment looked like this:
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Image
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I deployed everything and moved everything forward, with the gargoyles in the lead, flyrant/harpy on my left flank, warriors on the right flank, warlord/T-fex/carnifex in the middle, and the genestealers infiltrated behind the central buildings.

The center board turned into a meatgrinder, where I threw the gargoyles and one genestealer unit after another into his deathstar, mananging to keep the close combat going (often by only 1-2 models) from turn 2 through the end of the game. Overall I managed to put a couple wounds on the Destroyer lord and one wound on a wraith, while losing all of the gargoyles, two broods of genestealers, and the carnifex. In exchange, though, the deathstar never even made it to board center. The tyrannofex stayed back one step and lobbed acid over the heads of the deathstar, doing some damage but ultimately more of a psychological weapon than an effective one. The Warlord, similarly, was able to cast catalyst to improve the resilience of the gargoyles, and threw some miasma wounds at the deathstar, but never made it to combat and ultimately (end of turn 3), moved and ran backwards to grab an objective (toss up between that and walking to board center for the "Heart of the Matter" secondary).

On my left flank the flyrant and harpy moved up gliding to control speed, keep out of LOS, and avoid skyfire shots from the quad gun. After a turn of ok shooting (HVC took one gun bank off the ghost ark, tyrant killed a couple of warriors), they assaulted; the harpy got extremely lucky (it helped that the HVC shot knocked out the quantum shielding) and wrecked the ghost ark, forcibly disembarking the squad inside on the far side (to stay out of 1" of him) away from the nearest objective...they were unable, with a move and run in turn 3, to get within scoring distance allowing the harpy to hold that objective. Nearby, the flyrant locked into a stalemate combat holding the nearest walking warriors back as well.

On my right flank, the warriors moved up and shot the tomb blades, killing one and convincing my opponent to fly them back around through his side of the board to keep them from getting assaulted and destroyed. The scarabs then moved up and assaulted the Tyranid Warriors, attempting to keep them back from the right-hand objective (had to, since the scarabs were not ObSec and the Warriors were). The warriors won the first round of combat and piled-in around the smaller unit of scarabs, getting into scoring distance; in my following player turn, they wiped them out completely (bonesword instant death helped significantly).

Overhead, his bomber flew in at Turn 2 and dropped bombs on my Flyrant/Harpy followed by the Warlord/Tyrannofex. I mainly ignored it because I had no way to shoot it down without moving the flyrant out of position and losing control of objectives; also, the blast weapons were largely ineffective against the monstrous creatures he dropped them on (they did wounds, but only 1 per model).

At the end of the game, it looked like this:

Necrons: had lost the ghost ark, a unit of scarabs, and a few warriors here and there
* Primary: 2 objective markers (immortals and warriors) = 4 points
* Secondary: one of the three I think = 2 points?
* Tertiary: destroyed my units in turn 2 and 3 = 2 points
Total = 8 I think?

Tyranids: had lost 3 of 4 genestealer broods, the carnifex, the gargoyles, and a couple of warrior models.
* Primary: 4 objective markers (harpy left, tyrant mid-left, genestealers mid-right, warriors right) = 8 +1 for having more = 9.
* Secondary: only "Last Laugh" (scarabs); I gave up Heart to have my Tyrant run to an objective marker, away from board center
* Tertiary: destroyed units in turn 2 and 3 (barely!) = 2 points
Total = 13

So overall, I felt very fortunate to have pulled off a win. I fully appreciate how differently this game would have gone if there hadn't been a time limit; I just wouldn't have had enough units or mobility to prevent the deathstar from grinding through the rest center force, and he could have then easily taken all the objectives at leisure. I had nothing in my army (or hypothetically any combination of models that I have) that could inflict a meaningful number of unsaved wounds against wraiths with buffed, rerolling reanimation protocols. Maybe full broods of poison hormagaunts?

_________________
"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: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:45 pm 
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Harpy
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
GAME 2: vs. Imperial Everything
My performance in the previous game somehow put me on Table 1. Definitely expected a higher level of list torture and play this time.

My opponent's army list was about 14 pages long. I couldn't even tell you all of the fine details (probably not even with the list in front of me), but its overall structure looked like this:

* Guardsman blob w/ Dante, Coteaz, a Primaris Psyker, lascannon HWT, a bunch of flamers and melta bombs, etc. It also had an inquisitor with the liber something-or-other that allowed him to grant it a special rule (he chose Scout) with an Ld test after deployment. By the end of the psychic phase it usually had some combination of shrouding and a 4+ invul.
* Thudd gun manned by an inquisitorial henchman squad
* AM command squad w/ meltas in an SM drop pod
* AM vet squad w/ plasma in an SM drop pod
* Henchman squad w/ flamers/heavy flamers and a psyker henchman in an SM drop pod
* Henchman squad w/ plasma/melta and a psyker henchman in an SM drop pod
* Some other non-SM squad in an SM drop pod
* Two Wyverns
* Another Inquisition henchmen squad on foot

He rolled the Warlord trait that gave him stealth and move through cover in ruins. For some reason he got two warlord traits (special character something or other) so he also got the one that allowed rerolls of reserve rolls. He has 10 psyker mastery levels on the board and rolled most of the possibilities for telepathy and divination for the blob squad (his psyker henchmen in the drop pods went for pyromancy and a couple of them got the flamer power).

I also got strategic genius as my warlord trait; looking at the number of models on the board, I decided against massed reserves since even under ideal conditions they would only be on the board for half the game (expecting no more than then end of turn 3 before time was up). I rolled Onslaught and Scream for the Warlord and Horror and Scream for the Flyrant (not Catalyst, unfortunately).

The game was called "The Scouring"; Hammer and Anvil (long board) deployment, with each player putting two objectives in their own DZ and one in no-man's land at least 30" from their board edge; after deployment, objectives were flipped over to show whether they were worth 1, 2, or 3 points (each player placed one of each). Primary objective was either The Gambler (sum of objective values controlled at endgame) or The Investor (at the start of turn 2-6, get up to 3 points depending on how many objective points controlled).

He chose The Investor and I chose The Gambler. I don't recall his secondaries, but I chose Last Laugh, Marked for Death (one of the drop pod henchmen squads, that I figured would be close to a held objective and subject to assault), and Linebreaker.

I won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go second. I did not attempt to seize the initiative.

The initial deployment looked like this:
Image
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Image
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I put two of the genestealers into outflank reserve, intending them to come in deep in his backfield to threaten his lightly defended "3" objective under the wyverns.

After scouting forward, he moved up the blob squad each turn while leaving the wyverns and thudd gun back to bombard targets of opportunity. The drop pod assault in turn 1 put down the two AM squads just ahead and to the left of my center, nearly incinerating the flyrant in a storm of melta and plasma. The remaining drop pod came down on my left near the ruins (and my "3" objective), dumping some shots into the warrior squad. His bombardment assets blasted the infiltrating genestealers out of LOS into bloody shreds, leaving a single stealer model to hide behind the hill. They also put significant damage on the gargoyle center, forcing the extended brood to fly laterally through the next turn to get back into coherence (defeating their ability to surge forward and intercept the blob squad).

I'll describe the rest of the game by area rather than turn because it really degenerated into three unrelated fights:

Across my whole front, the gargoyles did little except try to get back into coherence and then get shot off the board. Fun times.

On my left, the harpy and carnifex charged into the two AM squads that dropped there in the pods, both doing damage and both breaking their opponents. The harpy pulled of the sweeping advance, the carnifex did not. In the following turn, the carnifex made it back into combat with his target and stayed happily there until the end of turn 3, finally breaking them and actually catching them in a Sweep (not bad for I2!). The harpy swooped down the field and attempted to shoot the thudd gun squad, doing very little damage.

In the center, the T-Fex onslaughted up and put acid on the blob squad, surprisingly inflicting two wounds on Dante (the closest model; he was using him to absorb poor AP shots and was surprised with the two '1's). The T-fex was then vaporized with a variety of gunfire.

The wounded flyrant swooped to my right, combining fire with the warriors to wipe out the Henchmen drop squad. However, another two drop pods came down there the next turn (including the "Marked for Death" henchmen squad) and put an unpleasant amount of flamer, plasma, and melta shots on the warriors, wiping them completely out. The flyrant tried to dislodge the flamer squad but was only able to kill a couple models due to the ruins and the warlord granting stealth. The walking tyrant, trying to kill two birds with one stone, moved back toward that ruin in an attempt to both kill the Marked for Death squad and hold/deny the "3" objective, but amazingly failed a 5" charge (even with a reroll for Adrenal Glands; I rolled a pair of '2's, then another pair of '2's on the reroll). Stuck in the open, the blob squad (led by Dante) charged her the following turn. She put four wounds on Dante but he rolled all four 4+ invulnerable saves (divination), then decapitated her with the Axe Mortalis (the tyrant guards had already been atomized by gunfire from the nearby henchmen).

In his backfield, both outflanking stealer broods arrived in turn 2 on the correct side of the board and ran into the ruin where his wyverns were parked with the last henchmen squad. The wyverns turns around and dumped heavy flamer on the broods, killing all but two models. Fortunately, the maneuver by the wyverns opened up a gap that allowed those two models to run up and take the objective (the henchmen standing on the other side were NOT objective secured).

At this point we ran out of time. He had 6 primary objective points (3 each in turn 2 and 3 since he chose turn-by-turn objectives), all of his secondaries (6 total points), and 2 points of tertiaries, for a total of 14. I had 3 points for the genestealers sitting on his backfield objective and 2 more for Linebreaker, but that was it (total of 5). Not great, but also not a complete stomping.

_________________
"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: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:54 pm 
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Harpy
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
GAME 3: vs. Dark Eldar, allied with Craftworld Eldar
I was back to table 5 (of 12) for this game.

This opponent had an electronic list, so I'll have to go on memory for the high points:
* Webway Archon attached to a Wraithguard squad with D-scythes (deepstrike reserve)
* Autarch attached to squad of Warp Spiders (deepstrike reserve)
* Whole mess of Venoms with splinter cannons, most with small squads of cabalite warriors inside; one had a Lamean
* Ravager with dark lances
* 3 Razorwings with dual dark lances, splinter cannons, and missiles (normal reserve)
* 2 minimum squads of Eldar jetbikes with maxed shuriken cannons (normal reserve)

I don't recall his warlord trait; I got the reserve bonus one again, which I declined to use in order to keep as much on the board as possible in the early game (while a large chunk of his army was sitting in reserve). He had no psykers. I rolled Paroxysm and Scream for my warlord, Horror and Scream for the Flyrant (again, no Catalyst).

The game was "The Relic"; similar to the rulebook version. The board-center objective could be possessed at the end of any movement phase, after which the possessing unit could move it a maximum of 6" per turn. Critically, it was always treated as a normal objective, regardless of whether it was being moved by a squad (for example, if a non-ObSec squad had the relic but an enemy ObSec squad moved within 3" of it, the ObSec squad would get the points even without being in possession). In addition to the Relic, there was one (immobile) objective in the center of each of the table quarters. The ones in your own half were worth 1 each at the end of the game, the enemy's were worth 2 each. Alternately, the turn-by-turn version gave up to 3 points per turn from 2-6 for controlling objectives including the Relic. This was irrelevant because we both chose the end-of-game option. Deployment was Vanguard (diagonal).

As usual, I don't remember his secondaries; I chose Last Laugh, Marked for Death (one of the Venoms), and Linebreaker (usually safe with flying MCs).

He won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go first. I did not attempt to seize the initiative.

The initial deployment looked like this:
Image
[Open in new window]


The early game went moderately well; although he was able to do some attrition on all of the units using massed splinter cannon fire (high rate of fire poison vs. MCs = ouch), but I got the gargoyles to the Relic by the end of the movement phase of turn 1 and started dragging it back towards my deployment zone. Unfortunately, his forward line of venoms was around the central buildings in his first turn, and my waiting genestealers were unable to assault them (still Turn 1, and they infiltrated to get that far forward), so the only damage I managed to do was with flyrant devourer fire and t-fex acid spray (didn't kill any venoms, but the acid spray rolled very well for the damage to the passengers and wiped out a kabalite squad).

Turn 2 saw the arrival of the wraithguard unit right in front of my left backfield warriors; I was very fortunate in how the D-scythe rules worked out and only lost two models (I was expecting much worse). In my following turn, I shot them with warriors, gargoyles, and the T-fex, then charged with gargoyles (first), genestealers, and warriors, exactly wiping out the unit (a Life Drain hit by the the last Bonesword warrior killed the Archon, the last model).

Unfortunately, turn 2 also ushered in two of the three Razorwings; they came in from two directions and blasted the flyrant to fragments. The harpy was able to vector strike one of them and do a couple of HP and a "shaken", putting it back in the far corner of the board.

And also, turn 2, the jetbikes. They arrived from deep in my opponent's left flank (my right) and shredded the infiltrated genestealers there, then in the next turn shot down the harpy (now right in front of them after the vector strike) and assaulted her, taking her last wound with Hammer of Wrath attacks.

Turn 3 shooting by the Dark Eldar, now augmented by the third Razorwing and the warp spiders (deep in my DZ center) took out a lot of meat; the walking tyrant fell to massed splinter and dark lance fire, along with the carnifex and a whole lot of gargoyles. In my turn 3 I had no synapse left other than the warriors (deep in my DZ), and the rest of my army was melting quickly. I attempted an assault on the warp spiders with remnants of the genestealer brood that had assaulted the wraithguard, but it was taken out by the overwatch.

Turn 4 was very short. Dark eldar shooting killed the remaining tyranids on the table, and he moved units onto all of the objective markers including the relic.

So the game ended; the Dark Eldar had 18 points (because the game ended in turn 4, he couldn't get the last tertiary objective point for destroying a unit in turn 5), my Tyranids had 1 (killing the wraithguard in Turn 2 for a tertiary objective).

_________________
"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: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:56 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
ARMY REVIEW
Bringing a single Combined Arms Detachment with no Formations, no Allies, and not even an optimized Nid build was a big surprise to basically all of my opponents. Given that I voluntarily limited my choices to play things I hadn't in awhile (e.g. warriors, stealers), I think the list did pretty well (especially in the first game against the Necrons).

That said, it had severe limitations that made it ineffective in a couple of significant ways:

- Speed: although the gargoyles and fliers were fast, the walking units struggled to do anything meaningful during the game, and the "no assaults in Turn 1" limitation made the infiltrating genestealers largely ineffective (as did going second in each game, since they could be outmaneuvered and shot before they had a chance to do anything). By contrast, the only reason I was able to do anything useful in game 1 was because the deathstar unit was slowed to 6" moves by the attached special characters; had he let the wraiths run free, they would have swept past mid-board and bulldozed through everything I had rather than getting trapped in a slow grind of meaningless close combat.

- Deployment: unless your army is really fast, being limited to your own deployment zone makes end of game objectives past mid-board a hard problem. Infiltration has limitations (really, an infiltrating stealthy shooter would be the best option; sort of like rangers/sniper scouts), and deepstrike is marginal unless the unit is both shooty and tough (to do something the turn it arrives AND survive to move around). Deepstrike and outflank both suffer from a timing problem in the RTT format as well, because even getting there turn 2 means they're only giving half of their value to the game (assuming play ends at the end of turn 3, and with the action restrictions of deepstrike).

- Anti-Air: the meta is a big mess right now; AA was meaningless against the Guard list, largely irrelevant against the single Necron flier, but absolutely necessary against the Dark Eldar since the majority of their heavy firepower was Razorwing-based (and my ONLY AA option was the Flyrant). I suppose I need at least two AA options in any list, and even then AV12+ is going to cause problems. Maybe I should kitbash a tyranid-flavored quad-gun/aegis defense line/communications relay? I'll have to go back to the rules and see if there's still the rules restriction that prevents Nids from firing them with model BS.

- Damage output: close combat damage was meaningful once (mass assault on wraithguard), but other than that it was largely meaningless; the necron assaults were delaying actions because I had no good options for getting wounds through the buffed wraithguard (not an uncommon problem; maybe massed poison attacks from hormagaunts or similar?). This made all of the wonderful close combat options on the walking tyrant and warriors a complete waste of points, as well as the entire existence of the genestealers (other than as moderately-fast objective takers and distraction/delaying units). I need to invest in more mid-to-long-range massed shooting, like biovores, exocrines, devflyrants, and the like, to do more attrition on enemy units (especially those at long range and in cover) from turn 1. Against the DE/CE list, what I really needed was many units with massed S6+ shooting to damage the mass of venoms. Unfortunately, the only options for this are devtyrants, devfexes, and hive guard, most of which are expensive, in valuable FOC slots, and slow-moving/short ranged.

- Not enough Psykers: only rolling 4 powers per game was not enough to guarantee Catalyst, which I grudgingly admit is the most valuable power in the whole list. Outside of this I can see some value in paroxysm against a non-psychic death star like the wraiths (although their main value is resilience which would be unaffected) and Onslaught (for 18" range weapons to potentially get them into range a turn earlier), but I can't see much use in warp blast (not worth the 2 warp charges except maybe in a large unit of zoanthropes with a neurothrope), the horror (most meaningful units are immune to pinning or have high enough Ld to pass the Ld test), or psychic scream (best target is high T/Sv with small unit count and mid to low Ld; not sure what that would be these days since I don't see Ld8 terminators much; also, the neurothrope version is much better). Overall, this means that I need at least 6 power dice to have an expectation of seeing Catalyst once, which means two Tyrants and a brood of zoanthropes (minimum), or maybe a couple of tervigons. I'm torn, though, because the other HQ options for Nids are very meh and Tyrants are so good, meaning guaranteed minimum of 4 mastery levels whether I want them or not (it would be nice to have cheaper Tyrants with base Master 1 and an upgrade to get Mastery 2).

- Lack of ground vehicles and MCs: some of the design decisions I made (adrenal glands over poison, reaper of obliterax over LW/BnSw, electroshock swarms) were predicated on the anticipated need to kill AV12+ at close range and/or put wounds on very tough monstrous creatures. I saw no ground-movement vehicles the whole RTT with the exception of the Wyverns, which might as well have been artillery emplacements). The meta for vehicles seems to be restricted to 1) static, backfield long-range shooting; 2) drop pods; 3) fast shooty vehicles (like venoms); 4) flyers. I saw no ground transports or walkers (which are usually problems for Nids due to inability to hit their rear AV), and the only MC in an emey list was the Necron spyder, which stayed behind an ADL and buffed the wraiths.

Overall, my army needs update to be competitive. I haven't bought any new models in several years (last thing I bought was before the release of the T-Fex/Tervigon model kit), and I'm missing several things that are potentially useful (biovores, more zoanthropes, exocrines, crones/more harpies, another tyrant, tyrannocytes, mucolid spores). Also, since I'm not taking allies I need to get over my hang-ups on list construction and take advantage of some of the available Formations (skyswarm could be useful, although expensive in $$ to get the additional fliers; living artillery node looks pretty good too; the rest don't seem that good since they rely on either assault, assault units, or meh guns like the HVC and STC).

Now onto the units I did take:

- Walking Tyrant w/ Guards: not taking this configuration of weapons again. Miasma cannon is only really useful for the template, which requires being at point-blank range, which in turn requires decent movement and a full-length game. Similarly, the reaper is just a more expensive version of the LW/BnSw, which is meaningless if you can't get into assault (per previous speed/game length problems) and despite all of its cool features is only really useful against expensive IC type characters who usually have invulnerable saves.

Adrenal glands for Fleet was useful when (rarely) running, but ultimately not worth the points. The reroll on charge distance is only useful if there are enemy units in charge range that are vulnerable enough to get through the overwatch fire intact and worth assaulting with an expensive HQ (i.e. NOT an enemy deathstar, since they're going to have all the tools to beat the Tyrant into submission regardless of how it's equipped).
So it appears that the meaningful options for this model are 1) another flying devtyrant [boring but effective], 2) walking devtyrant in spore pod [also boring, requires other reserve roll buffs to be useful early], or 3) use her in a skytyrant swarm formation, tool up for close combat, and be sure to get stuck in before the gargoyles get salvoed to death with lasguns and the tyrant follows at majority T3. I'm kinda liking this last option even though it's probably the least optimal, mainly because of a lingering desire to figure out a way to make hive tyrant close combat useful.

As a side note, the guards did their job (dying), but ultimately they didn't change the outcome of the game at all since the model they were escorting was just too slow to get into a useful position during the game. Maybe escorting a devtyrant with Onslaught would work better (possibility of shooting turn 1, and might survive longer to get off more salvoes).


- Flyrant: hard to comment; they're easily among the best things in the Tyranid codex. The only issue I had was that fielding only one made her a big target for anything that was capable of shooting her, meaning her lifespan was somewhat short. Also, it seems that enemy lists are adapting to increasing levels of toughness and resilience against shooting (invul saves, shrouding/stealth, FNP/Reanimation, save rerolls, lots of cheap bodies with special defenses layered on, etc), so it was difficult to find meaningful targets in all three games (especially against the guardsmen; shooting 5-point models that have 2+ cover saves is just not satisfying).


- Genestealers: the infiltration did have a psychological effect on my opponents, and did distract fire for the first turn in each game, but ultimately the inability to assault in turn 1 (or after outflank) allowed the enemy to move and shoot with impunity. There is some value in having ObSec units that are independent of the synapse network (and capable of going to ground) in the late-game, but it's very unsatisfying to waste those stellar CC stats on a unit who's best use is to get shot or jump on objectives at the end of the game. And, all of the formations that upgrade them improve their infiltration, which is completely pointless if they can't assault!

And yes, I realize that all of this is old news to the majority of you out there...I'm just a little slow and stubborn.


- Warriors: they're shooting was largely irrelevant (did kill a tomb blade and put a couple wounds on some scarabs), but they took damage pretty well (better than I would have expected against the D-scythes, but only because of the NOVA rules D-weapon nerfs) and they got into close combat twice in three games which is better than I expected. The lash whips and bone swords made a significant difference in both the wraithguard fight and the scarab fight. I may continue to take these guys even against conventional wisdom, although it may be worthwhile to plop down the $$ to put them into a tyrannocyte.


- Harpy: she did much better with vector strikes and close combat than with her gun, although the VC did (with substantial luck) kill the ghost ark. Outside of this, I'm not going to be tempted by the HVC again. Single shot doesn't do multiple HP, and S9 isn't reliable enough to cause penetrating hits...and even if it were, the vehicle damage table is not kind to pens that aren't AP1-2, so it'll likely only be slightly more effective than a glance (seems like "Shaken" doesn't affect most vehicles these days, between snap fire and special rules). So either she needs to shift to anti-infantry (STC) or converted to a crone so she can take advantage of the missiles and the improved vector strike.


- Gargoyles: still liking the full brood of cheap gargoyles. They draw fire, assault badly (but soak up overwatch like champs), occupy enormous swaths of the table, and move quickly. The only thing that would make them much better is shrouding (venomthrope) and feel no pain (catalyst) for the net 55% increase in survivability against shooting while in the open. Very motivated to combining these guys with the CC flyrant in the skytyrant swarm, although I'll absolutely need the survivability improvements in this case. My only hestitation is the increasing prevalence of "ignores cover" shooting weapons which screw up venomthrope shrouding...not much to be done about it though.


- Tyrannofex: the auto-hits and reach of the acid spray were useful, although not ultimately great in all three games. My hesitation mainly comes from the unbelievable resilience of units these days, even when denied cover saves. A spray against reanimating necrons or blob guard with 4+ invuls was unsatisfying, and against venoms it was useful (surprisingly useful against passengers) but still only puts out 1 hit on a vehicle, which isn't that good for actually taking them out of the game.

Regen seemed like a good idea, but in practice my opponents had sufficient anti-monster firepower to kill it in one turn (even with Sv2+), meaning it went completely to waste. Armies seem to have enough shooting that they can take out one large target (monster or unit) per turn with shooting, and aginst MCs it makes no sense to attrite several when you could kill one completely and keep it from shooting or assaulting back. So no more regeneration unless I'm combining it with other survivability upgrades (again, shroud and catalyst) to make sure he can survive a full salvo of enemy shooting. Even then, probably not worth the points.

As to alternate weapons, I'm never ever ever going to be tempted by the rupture cannon, and I don't see how anyone with a basic understanding of math can want the fleshborer hive over the acid spray. The electroshock thorax swarm suffered from the same problem as the one on the hive tyrant...never able to get close enough, and even when he was, the target was in close combat with the gargoyles or genestealers. Unfortunately, there aren't any other "good" options for a second weapon on the T-fex, and I hate to have that big/expensive of a model be a one-gun trick pony. So I don't know. Maybe replacing him with an STC harpy is the right choice.


- Carnifex: no targets. I love him, and he inspires an appropriate level of fear, but ultimately the vehicles I saw this RTT are too fast or too far away for him to catch even with adrenal glands. His one chance to do some good was against the wraith unit (since the S10 was good enough to dumb down the reanimation rolls a little), and (as usual) invulnerable saves negated his small number of high-quality wounds. About the only way I can see getting him into meaningful close combat is to put him in a spore pod and put him near an artillery parking lot (like the wyverns) so they are kept from escaping by the board edge. He should be somewhat useful (and fairly cheap) against similar backfield objective holding infantry (like the spyder, necron warriors, etc), although in that role the claws are a complete waste of points and I should be running him naked to save points (possibly with just adrenals and spine banks to make failed charges less likely).

I'm in some ways tempted to re-tool him with devs, but then he's got to be in LOS of the enemy (who has longer range guns most likely) and he's doing something a tyrant can do better in every possible way. Plus "boring". So probably not.

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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:21 pm 
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Thanks for the write up Eidre. I often feel like I get more from your tournament battle reports than my own games these days.

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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:07 am 
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Yaleling wrote:
Thanks for the write up Eidre. I often feel like I get more from your tournament battle reports than my own games these days.

Thanks. I've done my job then. Maybe I can figure out a way to encapsulate my experiences a little more...concisely...

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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:58 am 
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Looking at the second game opponent's list makes my head hurt. I can't begin to work out how that fits into a battleforged list, but knowing GW's love of Imperial stuff, I'm not surprised to learn that it does.

Thanks for posting, it backs up a lot of the slightly depressing thoughts I've had about our options. I am interested in the lack of ground vehicles you faced though, in my very limited local meta I've been having huge trouble dealing with various flavours of armour 12-13 walkers.

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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:15 am 
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Centurion wrote:
Looking at the second game opponent's list makes my head hurt. I can't begin to work out how that fits into a battleforged list, but knowing GW's love of Imperial stuff, I'm not surprised to learn that it does.

Thanks for posting, it backs up a lot of the slightly depressing thoughts I've had about our options. I am interested in the lack of ground vehicles you faced though, in my very limited local meta I've been having huge trouble dealing with various flavours of armour 12-13 walkers.


I can't comment on the imperial list much. I know it had three detachments (AM, space marines, and inquisitorial), and I'm pretty sure the AM was the CAD and the other two were allies. That said, putting AM vets and inquisitorial henchmen in drop pods is a little deviant in my opinion.

I was surprised by the meta as well; I usually take at least a couple things to handle AV walkers because they are a nightmare to handle in cc otherwise with S6. Similarly, I'm used to having to deal with ob sec transport spam, but in this case nothing. I think there are so many options now with all of the new codexes that the meta is still bouncing around a lot.

Except for Necron decurion wraith-stars; there were 3 of those in 24 players, which suggests that it's pretty well established.

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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:50 pm 
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Eidre wrote:
...That said, putting AM vets and inquisitorial henchmen in drop pods is a little deviant in my opinion.
And I reckon the rules agree with you on that deviancy. :wink: While Battle Brother allies can embark on each others transports (pg127), that doesn't remove the Dedicated Transports rules (pg82) that only allow the unit the vehicle was purchased for, and attached characters to be embarked at the start of the game.



Eidre wrote:
Thanks. I've done my job then. Maybe I can figure out a way to encapsulate my experiences a little more...concisely...
Heh. I wish I knew how to write a concise battle report too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:52 pm 
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Yaleling wrote:
Eidre wrote:
...That said, putting AM vets and inquisitorial henchmen in drop pods is a little deviant in my opinion.
And I reckon the rules agree with you on that deviancy. :wink: While Battle Brother allies can embark on each others transports (pg127), that doesn't remove the Dedicated Transports rules (pg82) that only allow the unit the vehicle was purchased for, and attached characters to be embarked at the start of the game.


I think, though I could be wrong not having looked at an Imperial book in a year, that most Space Marine dedicated transports are now also available as Fast Attack choices.

Interesting secondaries, and a good read!


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 Post subject: Re: June RTT
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:13 am 
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StealthVulture wrote:
I think, though I could be wrong not having looked at an Imperial book in a year, that most Space Marine dedicated transports are now also available as Fast Attack choices....
Hot damn, you're right Stealth Vulture. It didn't occur to me to check. :?

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