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 Post subject: Travel Tournament Batreps
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:43 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
I already described the rules and structure of the travel tournament in the Hive Fleets and Lists threat here http://www.warpshadow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=22030.

Anyhow, I'll post here for the battle reports as the games happen.

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"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: Travel Tournament Batreps
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:50 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
Game 1: Dawn of War / Crusade (6 objectives evenly spaced around the board, equally weighted)
Opponent: Tau

My first game of the league, so I was still allowed to tailor my list knowing my opponent's faction and allies. After a horrible death against multi-riptide Tau in a previous tournament, I made up a list that would have some hard counters a static back-of-the-deployment zone Tau gunline.

CAD (Primary Detachment)
========================
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs (Warlord)
HQ - Deathleaper
EL - 1x Venomthrope
EL - 1x Venomthrope
EL - 1x ZOanthrope
TR - 19x Termagants
TR - 9x Rippers
TR - 9x Rippers
FA - 3x Raveners w/ RC
HS - Tyrannofex w/ acid spray, desiccator thorax swarm
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade

Skytyrant Swarm Formation
========================
- Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs
- 15x Gargoyles
- 15x Gargoyles


My opponent brought the list below. I'm reading off of his army-builder list and I don't get how his detachments fit together, but this at least gives the models he had on the board.

Dawn Blade Contingent (Primary Detachment)
========================
Retaliation Cadre (Core)
- Commander w/ coldstar suit, high-output burst cannon, missile pod, talisman of arthas moloch (Warlord)
- 3x Crisis Suits w/ 2x burst cannons, multi-trackers, and bonding knives
- 2x3 Crisis Suits w/ 2x plasma rifles, multi-trackers, and bonding knives
- 1x Broadside w/ TL high-yield missile pod, TL smart missile system, bonding knife
- 1x Riptide w/ ion accelerator, TL smart missile system, bonding knife, interceptor, skyfire
Drone-Net VX1-0 (Auxiliary)
- 4x4 Marker Drones

Tau (Allied Detachment)
========================
HQ (? or TR, not sure) - 2x Crisis Suits w/ multi-trackers, one w/ 2x airbursting frag projectors, one w/ 2x missile pods
FA (Forgeworld) - 2x DX-6 Remora w/ TL long-barrelled burst cannon, 2x seeker missiles, networked markerlight each

Optimized Stealth Cadre Formation
========================
- 3x Stealth Suits w/ burst cannons
- 3x Stealth Suits w/ burst cannons
- Ghostkeel w/ cyclic ion raker, TL fusion blaster


Per the NOVA scenario rules, I chose turn-by-turn objective scoring for the Primary mission (thinking I wouldn't have much left by the end of the game); the Tau chose end-of-game scoring. As part of the secondary missions, I "marked for death" one of his marker drone units; he marked the Skytyrant swarm brood.

We both got "Strategic Genius" for our warlord trait, so I wasn't worried about getting in reserves promptly. I lost the roll-off and had to go first. I deployed the skytyrant formation in a centered line spreading across the width of the board, shielding the venomthropes, rippers, zoanthrope, and raveners. I put the T-fex and the gaunts into the two Tyrannocytes.

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He deployed his stealth formation in the northeast corner in some ruins along with one unit of marker lights and the allied detachment crisis suits. Two other units of marker lights were in the opposing (northwest) corner. The remaining units (all the retaliation cadre crisis suits, broadside, riptide, remoras, and the "marked for death" marker drones) stayed in deepstrike reserve.

Image
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Image
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The first turn of the game went pretty well for me; the whole army moved up to mid-board, and the warlord flyrant flew to the northwest and shot up one of the units of marker drones. With minimal forces on the board, he concentrated his fire on the Skytyrant swarm (shrouded by venomthropes), doing some damage.

On the second turn, my reserves came in; one drop pod hit the ground next to an objective marker in the northwest, the zoanthrope and some rippers moved to another objective in the far west, the other pod (T-fex) came down in his northeast ruin; combined shooting from the skytyrant swarm and T-fex wiped out the marker drones, one of the ghostkeel's stealth drones, and several steath suits. The Raveners surged forward into assault and took out the remnants of a stealth suit unit. On the down side, the Mawloc had no viable targets (everything of interest was up against the board edge and right next to my own units), so I placed it in the southeast corner with intent to burrow again the following turn.

And then, he got his "low altitude" deepstrike with the rest of his army. He dropped enough crisis suits near the west and two south objectives to shoot my units off of them and score, and put the rest of his army in the east/central to shoot down the skytyrant swarm.

This wouldn't have been a problem EXCEPT then the game store closed and we had to end. Having chosen "end of the game" objectives, he won 9:6 (and with the NOVA format scoring, he got a bonus of +3 points for having a raw score 3pts higher than mine, for a final of 12:6).



SUMMARY: I chose poorly on the Primary objective, thinking the game would go longer (which would have favored me with the obSec units and broad coverage of the board, assuming I could have locked up his big shooty's in close combat). That choice by itself cost me the game; I counted objectives at game-end and and I would have won by a couple of points.

I have a hard time assessing how good or bad my list was based on only two turns of performance, and only against a fraction of his army (since I never got to shoot back against his deep strikers).

Some basic critiques:
- Skytyrant swarm is leaving my army lists forever. I've tried it several times now against various different armies and I've found that majority T3 and losing the benefits of swooping is just too crippling against the high-volume shooting in the meta right now. I continue to pine for the lack of viable options for a close combat hive tyrant.

- Venomthropes do their job, even against Tau; forcing them to use markerlights to negate cover saves instead of boosting BS is worth having the V-thropes in the list, but not too many. I think the two is just about right.

- I didn't really have any good options for getting rid of the Riptide or Ghostkeel, other than assault tarpit or second-wave assault with the raveners or MC (which would have taken awhile).

- Mawloc was completely useless, not inherently but due to the short game-length. That said, I mainly brought him to kill marker drones, ethereals, etc under potential cover of a void shield, and assuming that a Tau army would have lots of Interceptor shooting (and the mawloc attack happens before he's placed). Since I was able to handle his marker drones by other means and he didn't have any of the other classes of targets, the potential targets for the mawloc were somewhat more limited (stealth suits?).

- Deathleaper...he didn't really accomplish anything more than a regular lictor (I used him to beacon the termagant drop pod), and no one shot at him (he was infiltrated in a ruin just left of mid-board). Moreover, I pulled something I do almost every game where I play Lictors; I infiltrated him in a place that I couldn't see from my side of the table, so I forgot he was even there. So probably not doing that much anymore.

- The venom cannon upgrade on the tyrannocytes was really wonderful; even with the poor BS, getting HIT 1/3 of the time (and I was rolling very well) put out lots of wounds. The NOVA rules clarify "Instinctive Fire" to mean that each gun fires at the closest enemy unit with 360 degree mounting (like any monstrous creature) instead of the 45 degree arc that ITC uses; this made concentrating fire much easier (especially since the VCs are mounted within about 1" of each other on the crown of the beasty).

_________________
"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: Travel Tournament Batreps
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2016 8:12 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 2: Anvil and Hammer / The Scouring (each player puts two objectives in their DZ and one >30" from their board edge; after all are placed, each player randomizes the values of their objectives so there is one each valued 1, 2, and 3).

Opponent: Space Marines w/ Allied Eldar


Second game of the travel league. I still had the option of configuring the my list to my opponent (known in advance only as SM with Eldar allies), but since I had already turned in my permanent list for Games 3-5, I figured I would use it unaltered and get some practice in so I'm more proficient in the later games.

To that end, here's what I brought:

CAD (Primary Detachment)
========================
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs, thorax electroshock swarm (Warlord)
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs, thorax electroshock swarm
ELx2 - 2x1 Venomthropes
EL - 1x Zoanthrope
TR - 30x Termagants
TRx2 - 2x8 Rippers
TR - Tervigon w/ crushing claws, electroshock thorax swarm
FAx3 - 3x10 Gargoyles
HS - Tyrannofex w/ acid spray
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade


My opponent had an army completely composed of formations, so no ObSec for him.

Eldar Craftworld Aspect Host (Primary Detachment)
========================
- 2x5 Dark Reapers w/ Exarch (+ Eldar missile launcher w/ flakk, plasma, starshot) - first squad Exarch was Warlord
- 6x Swooping Hawks w/ Exarch (+ Hawks Talon)

Eldar Craftworld Aspect Host
========================
- 3x6 Swooping Hawks w/ Exarch (+ Hawks Talon)

Space Marines (Ultramarines) Skyhammer Annihilation Force
========================
- 2x10 Assault Marines w/ jump packs and 2x flamers
- 2x10 Devastators w/ 4x grav cannons w/ grav amps, embarked in drop pods


When the objective points were determined, my 2-point was in my backfield (northwest from where I was standing by the board), 3-point in a ruin right in the middle/front of my DZ (center west), and my 1-point on the edge of a rocky hill in no-man's land (north/center).

My opponents' objectives were one each in the two large ruins in his backfield (3-point northeast, 1-point southeast) and his 2-point almost dead-center next to an impassible LOS-blocking ruin.

We both chose turn-by-turn objectives (which meant that at the beginning of each player turn 2-6, count total objective points controlled and get 1VP for having 3-4 obj pts, 2VP for controlling 5-6 obj pts, and 3VP for controlling 7+ obj pts). Primary objective points were capped at 9 for the game. We each chose a "marked for death" unit; I chose his first drop pod and he choose one of my gargoyle broods.

I got the Night Fighting warlord trait (which saved more than a few wounds on turn 1), my opponent got the one that nerfed my reserve rolls by -1 (which also had an impact on my turn 2 reserve rolls).


I won the roll-off and chose to deploy and go first (wanted to get the Flyrants in the air before he landed his pods and grav'ed them to death). I deployed the termagants, two gargoyle broods, and the rippers in a three-layer solid line spanning the board, right at the front edge of my DZ (all three in scoring range of the 3-pt objective), with a tail sticking back to keep within shroud range of the venomthrope. The two tyrants started forward center, and the biovores, zoanthrope (babysitter), and second venomthrope sat on the 2-pt objective in the northwest. Finally, I put the T-fex in one pod, the Tervigon in the other, and deepstrike reserved the "marked" gargoyle brood to keep them out of harm's way as long as possible.

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My opponent nearly null-deployed; he put the two units of dark reapers on the board, one on each of his DZ objectives (northeast and southeast ruins), and everything else stayed in reserve. The Skyhammer opted to arrive Turn 1.

NOTE: only the two units of dark reapers in the ruins are deployed; the four groups of swooping hawks are just waiting to deepstrike.
Image
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He failed to seize the initiative (would have been devastating for me if he had...)


== TURN ONE ==

My turn 1 went pretty well; the whole line surged forward, occupying all three of my objectives, and the warlord flyrant put Catalyst on the 30 (shrouded, stealthed) gaunts. The biovores and the warlord flyrant killed all of the northeast dark reapers except the Exarch (Warlord); the Flyrant in particular was able to zip into shooting range only due to Onslaught from the other Flyrant (who had no shooting targets because the southeast dark reapers were hiding their skinny bodies behind sections of ruined wall).

Then the Space Marines arrived...both drop pods hit center and south center of the board, combat squadding the grav cannons and signum sergeants separate from the bolter guys. Meanwhile, the assault marines came down in my backfield, also combat squadded.
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Between the relentless gravcannons and the dark reapers he took out the non-warlord flyrant and stripped one wound off the warlord (not grounded). The assault squad flamers and assorted bolter shots also killed all but three gargoyles in the southern brood and did some damage to the termagants; follow-up charges from the assault marines (skyhammer special rules) locked them in close combat in three places (also catching and killing the venomthrope), while the fourth assault combat squad hit the biovores from behind in the far northwest.


== TURN TWO ==

My turn 2 I was still sitting on 6 points of objectives with ObSec units, so 2VPs in the bank. Unfortunately, his warlord was still alive and I failed both tyrannocyte reserve rolls, only getting the "marked" gargoyles to arrive. I deepstruck them far in the northeast (near the lone Reaper exarch) and watched them mishap off the board and into ongoing reserve. Darn.

The warlord tyrant did a vector strike on the lone Exarch (Warlord), getting 2VP for a secondary objective and taking away the WL trait reserve roll nerf. The warlord stopped just short of the edge of the board with an 18" swoop [in restrospect, I should have flown him out of combat airspace and come back in the following turn from a safer location]. Basically everything left on the board got into CC; one brood of rippers into the far west assault squad, the remaining venomthrope into the biovore combat, the other rippers into the southern grav devs, and the north gargoyles into the central grav devs. The three remaining gargoyles (after passing instinctive behavior) tried to sneak around the central building/ruin and get into scoring range of the enemy 2-pt objective, but only ran 1" and didn't get close enough). The ripper close combats did well, attriting down the marine squads a few models at a time; the gargoyles did some damage with shooting, and nothing with close combat, but the grav devastators did nothing either so all was well. In the northwest, the venomthrope killed an assault marine while they put a couple wounds on the biovores.

My opponent scored 1VP on the primary objectives (holding my central 3-pt objective after pulling all of the gaunts away with pile-in moves in the previous assault phase). One of his swooping hawk units dropped in the northeast (near his 3-pt objective), while another came down in the north-center on top of my 1-pt objective... the other two failed their reserve rolls. Lasblaster shooting took out the zoanthrope (removing my last Synapse on the board) and various bolters wiped out the fragment gargoyle unit closing in on his central objective.

In his assault phase, he broke the termgants and caught them in a sweeping advance, wiping out the last dozen or so models and freeing up the two combat squads of assault marines that were engaged.

As one ray of sunshine for me, though; the rippers engaged with the grav devastator combat squad in the south finally took out their last enemy and started to consolidate to the east (towards the southeast dark reapers).


== TURN THREE ==

Turn 3 started somewhat poorly; with only 2 points of objectives controlled (under the biovores), I scored no VPs for the primary mission. Also, with no Synapse on the board, close combats were a much more risky proposition.

However, with his warlord gone and with it the reserve roll nerf, I got both of the drop pods to arrive (the "marked" gargoyles failed their roll [AFTER NOTE: they had mishaped, so they should have gone into Ongoing Reserves and arrived automatically; this wouldn't have significantly affected the game because they did no damage with shooting when they arrived in Turn 4 and were wiped out conclusively with swooping hawk grenade packs]). The tervigon came in dead center, putting the pod in between the two SM drop pods and the various close combats with the devastators, rippers, and gargoyles. She spawned 8 baby gaunts and crapped out (6, 1, 1), putting them in a curved line between her and the nearby assault and bolter combat squads. Scattered shooting from the gaunts, tervigon, and drop pod killed a marine or two.

Meanwhile, the tyrannofex and his pod came down right next to his northeast 3-pt objective, with the freshly arrived swooping hawks standing 6" away in their deepstrike formation...none survived the inevitable acid spray that came next. The spore pod's venom cannons put a good number of wounds on the other Dark Reapers in the southeast ruin, but their armor saves were good.

Close combat continued to be a slap-fight; the venomthrope/biovore/assault marine combat ground on with a tie, and the the western ripper/assault marine combat continued, wearing the marines down to two models. In the mid-board, the other grav dev squad and the gargoyles fought inconclusively, with one model going down on each side.

His turn 3 went quickly; he scored 2VP for primary objectives, but no more swooping hawks arrived (!). Combined fire from all of his mid-board forces killed the spawned gaunts and took the tervigon down by 3 wounds (BS5 lasblasters put out a lot of hits!). The remaining dark reapers fired off a salvo at the tyrannofex and were able to inflict 2 wounds on it as well. Close combat was actually decisive this turn, though; the northwest assault marines beat, broken, and swept the biovores, forcing the venomthrope to flee right up to the board-edge; they consolidated into scoring range of my northwest 2-pt objective that the biovores had been holding up until then. However, just to their south, the rippers finally ate their last two opponents and consolidated just into scoring range of that objective, trumping the assault marines with Objective Secured.


== TURN FOUR ==

We only had ~40 minutes left before the store closed, so this was definitely the last turn.

At this point, the following was left on the board:

NORTHWEST: broken venomthrope on the board edge, six ripper bases in easy charge range of two assault marines, my 2-pt objective
WEST: lone flamer assault marine, my wounded tervigon in a ruin on top of my 3-pt objective
SOUTHWEST: empty ruin

NORTH: swooping hawk squad on top of my 1-pt objective
CENTER: "marked" SM drop pod, 5 bolter devs, close combat between ~4 grav devs and ~6 gargoyles contesting his 2-pt objective
SOUTH: second SM drop pod, 4 bolter devs, 3 assault marines w/ two flamers, tyrannocyte, 7 ripper bases moving east

NORTHEAST: wounded tyrannofex and tyrannocyte in ruin on his 3-pt objective
EAST: empty
SOUTHEAST: dark reaper squad in multi-level ruin, on his 1-pt objective

RESERVE: my "marked" gargoyles, his last two swooping hawk squads


I was in good board position at this point, holding both my 3-pt objective and his, as well as my 2-pt objective (northwest rippers), giving me the max 3VP for this turn. My gargoyles automatically arrived [NOTE: see error previously] and dropped into the southwest ruin, just in range to fire fleshborers at the nearest marine unit (did nothing). Sadly, the venomthrope failed to rally and fell back off the board.

In the mid-board, the tervigon Psychic Screamed a couple of marines to death (no gravs unfortunately), electroshocked the "marked" drop pod (glance), and then charged it, easily wrecking it with her crushing claws but not forcing an explosion. The nearby tyrannocyte shot up the nearby bolter devs with its venom cannon, but only took out one model, and the gargoyle/grav devastator close combat finally came to a halt with the deaths of the last couple of gargoyles.

In the northeast, the Tyrannofex (having failed his instinctive behavior test) was compelled to shoot the nearest enemy, a squad of bolter devs, instead of the desired target (dark reapers). His salvo did a bunch of wounds but their power armor held. However, the tyrannocyte more than made up for it with its instinctive-firing venom cannons, scoring four HITs out of five shots and wiping out all of the remaining dark reapers!

The rippers, having run all the way around the central ruin, assaulted the bolter devs that the T-fex had just sprayed, inflicting some casualties and holding (ObSec) his central 2-pt objective.

In the northwest, the rippers charged and killed the remnants of the assault squad that had taken out their biovore buddies, parking themselves in the ruins on top of my 2-pt objective.

In the bottom of the turn, my opponent did not score any VPs, only holding my 1-pt objective with his northern squad of swooping hawks. It being turn 4, his two swooping hawk squads dropped in automatically, into my backfield (west), and wiped out the deepstrike formation of "marked" gargoyles with two grenade pack shots. All of his remaining shooting (swooping hawks, grav devs, and scattered assault and bolter marines) combined fire on the heavily wounded tervigon, killing it.

At this point the game was effectively over (no more chances to gain VPs, regardless of the outcome of some of the ongoing close combats), so we shook hands and totalled up points:


Space Marines / Eldar
---------------------
Primary: 1VP (turn 2) + 2VP (turn 3) = 3VP
Secondary: 2VP (marked for death/gargoyles) + 2VP (linebreaker/swooping hawks) + 2VP (first strike/flyrant) = 6VP
Tertiary: at least one KP scored in turn 2, 3, and 4 = 3VP
Total = 12VP


Tyranids
---------------------
Primary: 2VP (turn 2) + 3VP (turn 4) = 5VP
Secondary: 2VP (linebreaker/tyrannofex+tyrannocyte) + 2VP (marked for death/drop pod) + 2VP (slay the warlord/dark reaper exarch)
Tertiary: at least one KP scored in turn 2, 3, and 4 = 3VP
Total = 14VP

Victory, although closely fought, to the Tyranids! With the NOVA "differential scoring", I also got a VP bonus equal to the difference between the raw scores, or +2 for a final score of 16:12.




Lessons learned:
- Playing the objectives is vital (duh!); forced movement for pile-in is a useful tool, but so is Objective Secured.

- The Night Fighter warlord trait is conditionally very effective; having stealth+shroud made the gaunts/rippers pretty tough against shooting even in the open, and steath+jink was very nice for the flyrants (although not useful against dark reapers!). Usually I end up with traits that affect deployment or reserve rolls, so getting this was a nice change.

- I really need to "bubble wrap" my biovores against assault, especially against deepstriking enemies. That said, they should rename the "Skyhammer Annihilation Force" as "Space Marine 'Ignore the Rules' Force". Against any army that actually had to obey the rules, the biovores would have gotten at least two salvos of shooting, and I would have gotten some opportunity to move nearby units to intercept the marines before they assaulted.

- Bubble wrap comment applies equally to the zoanthrope, especially if the Flyrants are swooping ahead and the tervigon is off the board in a drop pod. His is not resilient enough to be in line of sight of basically anything.

- Fleshborer shooting can be surprisingly good, especially in large numbers

- There is no substitute for ignoring cover. I firmly believe in the value of the tyrannofex, both for offensive annoyance and for defensive distraction.

- Dumb luck had a strong influence on this game; bad reserve rolls for the swooping hawks really saved me a lot of trouble in turn 2-3, which probably clinched the game (the tervigon would not have survived into turn 4, meaning she wouldn't have scored the central 3-pt objective). On the other side, I had spectacular rolls for Instinctive Behavior, routinely passing for gargoyle and ripper broods (which allowed them freedom of movement on critical turns).

- Rippers, even without any improvements, are very useful broods. Fearless without synapse, lots of wounds, weight of attacks to get through whatever defenses they see, ignores terrain for movement, and objective secured. The biggest problem is getting them into the safety of close combat, which in this case was easy because the targets dropped down right next to them.

- Gravs; I can see why people find them distasteful...however, against a Tyranid list, they are either as destructive as a plasma gun (wounding MCs on 3+ and negating the save) or are utterly pathetic (against gaunts or rippers, effectively S1!). Not having a strength value for Instant Death also makes them much less imposing against multi-wound models (rippers, warrior, etc), especially those with meh armor saves (shrikes, venomthropes, zoanthropes, raveners, etc).

- Dark reapers, especially in the Aspect Host formation (BS5), are respectable against FMCs even without "Skyfire"; I was shocked how quickly the flyrants were taken out by relatively low-volume shooting when augmented by the rangefinder special rules (losing jink+stealth in the first turn was especially nasty).

- I continue to be the only player I know who has a middling psyker list; everyone else in my local meta seems to be going for ZERO psykers or maximum Tzeentch / Librarius conclave / Farseer Council unstoppable invisibility cursed earth perfect timing spam. Since Nids are forced to take psychic HQs (ok, you could do deathleaper and/or Tyranid Primes, but really?), there's really no other way to go.

_________________
"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: Travel Tournament Batreps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:49 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
Just realized that between work and an out of country business trip (hello Portsmouth UK!), I neglected to post results of the last games in the tournament. Fortunately, I took copious notes, so here goes:

=========================================
GAME 4: Vanguard Strike / Table Quarters

* This mission was NOVA-specific. The two options were turn-by-turn or end-of-game (as normal for NOVA missions).
---> Turn-by-turn: control table quarter by having more scoring units majority in that quarter than opponent. Score +1VP for controlling two quarters, +1 per additional quarter (max +3 per turn). No unit with a model within 6" of table center can score.
---> End of Game: as above, but control is by unit point value (half strength or below = half point value unless unit is OBSEC, in which case unit is worth full points down to the last model). 3 points per table quarter controlled at end-game.


Opponent: Tau


Fourth game of the travel league, and using the unchangeable league list (I noticed from last time that I forgot to mark down the biovores).


CAD (Primary Detachment)
========================
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs, thorax electroshock swarm (Warlord)
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs, thorax electroshock swarm
ELx2 - 2x1 Venomthropes
EL - 1x Zoanthrope
TR - 30x Termagants
TRx2 - 2x8 Rippers
TR - Tervigon w/ crushing claws, electroshock thorax swarm
FAx3 - 3x10 Gargoyles
HS - Tyrannofex w/ acid spray
HS - 3x Biovore
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade


My opponent brought the following:

Dawn Blade Contingent [Source 1]
* Core - Retaliation Cadre - 677
** Commander: Command and Control, Multi-Spectrum Sensor Suite, Neuroweb System Jammer - 122
** 4x Crisis Suit: Bonding Knife, 2x Target Lock, All with 2x Plasma - 222
** 1 Crisis Suit: Bonding Knife, Cyclic Ion - 38
** 1 Crisis Suit: Bonding Knife, Cyclic Ion - 38
** 1x Broadside: Bonding Knife - 66
** Riptide: Ion Accelerator, Smart Missile System, Interceptor, Bonding Knife - 191

* Auxiliary - Piranha Firestream Wing - 360
** 1 Piranha – 40
** 2 Piranhas – 80
** 3 Piranhas – 120
** 3 Piranhas – 120

* Auxiliary - Drone-Net VX1-0 - 224
** 4x Marker Drone – 56
** 4x Marker Drone – 56
** 4x Marker Drone – 56
** 4x Marker Drone – 56

Formation – Riptide Wing – 555 [Source 2]
* Riptide: Burst Cannon, SMS, Interceptor - 185
* Riptide: Burst Cannon, SMS, Interceptor - 185
* Riptide: Burst Cannon, SMS, Interceptor - 185

Inquisition Detachment [Source 3]
* Inquisitor: 3x Servo Skull - 34

List Total – 1850


I won the roll off and opted to deploy and go first. I put my army down in a long line across the Vanguard strike diagonal, with the biovores, zoanthrope, and one venomthrope in the back.

The Tau placed everything except the inquisitor, crisis suits and one of the four marker drone units, with the riptide wing anchoring the far north and the retaliation cadre riptide in the east, with the majority of the drones and piranhas in the middle (northeast). The inquisitor and servo skulls had no impact on the game since I didn't have any scouts.


The specific turn-by-turn of the game was interesting (to me at least), but not particularly relevant.

I went first (to get the flyrants swooping and throw around psychic buffs), he tried and failed to seize the initiative, and then I spend the rest of the game moving my whole line forward as fast as possible to try and get into adjacent table quarters and engage anything in close combat, through a combination of direct movement and deepstrike (tervigon in front of the riptides, tyrannofex in the northeast corner against the marker drones).

I was partially successful in the first of these endeavors; I was able to hold two quarters in turn 3, 4, and 5 (3VP total), and I got the tertiary objective (kill at least one enemy unit) in turn 2-5 (4VP total). However, no secondaries at game end (all of my linebreakers were dead, I didn't kill the lone piranha that I chose to mark for death, and I didn't kill all of his troops [crisis suits]), so I ended the game with only 7VPs.

The Tau, on the other hand, did a lot of murder. The riptide wing used it's once-per game double tap just after the tervigon landed, taking out her, her 17 spawn (in forest), and the tyrannocyte. The piranha formation was even worse, as they were able to shoot a bunch, detach many drones, then retreat off the table and come back the following turn from anywhere (on his friendly board edge), repaired from any hull point damage and replenished with more drones! I was able to kill drones in large numbers with a combination of flyrant devourers and biovores, but keeping them down limited my options for killing crisis suits and piranhas. I never even bothered firing at the riptides, so they only damage they took (2 unsaved wounds throughout the game) was from tyrannocyte venom cannons. In any case, he went with "end game" objectives, holding three (9VP), getting all of his secondaries (6VP), and getting the tertiary objective all 4 turns (4VP); with the differential scoring bonus (19 - 7 = +12), he maxed out with 25VP for the game.

So overall, not a complete wash-out, but certainly not great. This game was definitely an improvement over the last time I played Tau.

Some thoughts:

* Flyrants - Horror was actually valuable (for the first time in quite awhile), as the -2 Ld penalty makes it effective even against Ld9 riptide suits. This helped some, but not enough to really change the flow of the game (I would have needed more Horror casters). Devs were effective, but the electroshock wasn't much use against such light vehicles as Piranhas (the devs did more reliable damage). Really they are insurance against much higher-AV targets that are immune to S6. Catalyst was useful, as usual, as was Onslaught which I'm starting to like more and more for the ability to score 1st turn Flyrant shots against enemies that looked like they were out of range (24" swoop + 18" gun range + 2d6" run = 44"-54", avg 49", which is more than enough to reach all the way across the board if the deployment geometry works out). Psychic Scream on the other hand did not help; the one time I really needed it (warlord flyrant in the middle of crisis suits and three different units of drones), I got only a single success out of 4 dice and it got Denied.

* Zoanthrope - provided synapse when the flyrants were elsewhere, and 2 warp charges. Stayed out of LOS, didn't attract any fire. Did what he was supposed to.

* Venomthropes - provided shrouding, which (at least) forced my opponent to spend markerlights to negate cover (which he probably would have done whether there was shroud or not). They are not nearly as useful against Tau as they are against other opponents.

* Gaunts - occupied a lot of space on the board, but on this scenario they weren't as useful because the table-quarters scoring. They never got to a shooting position, got blown to shreds in turn 4 after the riptides and piranhas had run out of MCs, gargoyles, and rippers to shoot at. They did assist scoring.

* Tervigon - useful, but not incredibly so. Dropped, spawned, shot some drones, then died to concentrated riptide fire in the following player-turn.

* Rippers - same as the gaunts, except they were shot sooner (probably due them being farther forward).

* Biovores - quite useful! Because my opponent had few things with long range (more than 36") and he chose to deepstrike his crisis suits into his own DZ, they didn't take more than 2 wounds the whole game, and they did horrible things to his drone units (which was, as it turned out, key to my army surviving as long as it did; his ability to add S5 shooting to the board with the Firestream formation was really nasty).

* Tyrannofex - similar to the tervigon, but more destructive; he dropped in, wiped marker drones (valuable, since they weren't replenished), then was in turn shot to death by crisis plasma shots.

* Tyrannocytes - useful for their primary purpose. The VC upgrade wasn't as good in this game, partially because it wasn't as ridiculously accurate as the last game, and partially because the mandatory targets were harder (i.e. riptides).

_________________
"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: Travel Tournament Batreps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:55 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 5: Vanguard Strike / Crusade

* Same mission as the first game in the league, but with diagonal deployment instead of dawn of war. Basically, six equally weighted objective markers in a flattened hexagon, each one being 12" from one table edge and 24" from another. Turn by turn primary gave 1VP at the beginning of each turn (2-6) if you controlled at least 2 objectives, +1 for controlling more than your opponent. End of game was 2VP per objective, with a +1VP bonus if you controlled more than your opponent.


Opponent: Dark Eldar + Eldar


Last game of the travel league, and using the unchangeable league list (I noticed from last time that I forgot to mark down the biovores).

My list:

CAD (Primary Detachment)
========================
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs, thorax electroshock swarm (Warlord)
HQ - Flyrant w/ 2x TL Devs, thorax electroshock swarm
ELx2 - 2x1 Venomthropes
EL - 1x Zoanthrope
TR - 30x Termagants
TRx2 - 2x8 Rippers
TR - Tervigon w/ crushing claws, electroshock thorax swarm
FAx3 - 3x10 Gargoyles
HS - Tyrannofex w/ acid spray
HS - 3x Biovore
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade
(HS) - Tyrannocyte w/ VC upgrade


My opponent brought the following:

Dark Eldar CAD (Primary Detachment)
========================
HQ- Lhamean
Troops - 2x5 Kabalite Warriors in Venom w/ 2 Splinter Cannons
Fast Attack - Raider


Corpsethief Claw Formation (Secondary Detachment)
========================
Talos
Talos w/ Ichor Injector & Haywire Blaster
Talos w/ Ichor Injector & Haywire Blaster
Talos w/ Haywire Blaster
Talos w/ Haywire Blaster


Eldar CAD Tertiary Detachment)
========================
HQ - Warlock
Troops - 3x3 Windriders w/ scatter lasers
Elite - 5 Wraithguard w/ D scythe
Lord of War - Wraithknight w/ 2 heavy wraithcannons & 2 scatter lasers
Fortification - Void Shield w 3 shields

Total ­ 1848



I chose turn by turn primary objectives (expecting very little to be alive at the end of the game), and the Eldar alliance chose end-of-game.

For warlord traits, I got the one that allows the Warlord and 3 units to infiltrate; the Eldar got the "-1 to enemy reserve rolls", which hurt me.

My opponent won the roll-off and chose to go first. He deployed the taloi forward, flanked by the jetbikes on one side and the venoms on the other, backed up by the void shield generator, a raider full of wraithguard, and the wraithknight. The two HQs stayed in "walk on" reserve.

Expecting long-range pain, I put nearly everything out of LOS; gargoyles on the left and right behind hills and buildings, biovores/venomthrope/zoanthrope/flyrant and more gargoyles in the middle behind a LOS-blocking ruin, tervigon and tyrannofex reserved in pods. I used the infiltrate to put the warlord and termagants well forward on my left flank (near the northwest objective) and the two rippers squarely on the east and west objectives respectively.

The progress of the game was determined largely by the superior Eldar movement. You can visualize that long-range shooting from the venoms, scatterbikes, and wraithknight continued through the game causing unpleasant amounts of damage.

His overall scheme of maneuver was as follows:

- Advance one unit of jetbikes and one venom on high left flank (along the northern edge of the board). They ran into my gaunt unit on the northwest objective, where the jetbikes got charged and ultimately destroyed in close combat, but the venom escaped (fleshborer shooting ineffective), continued to the west objective before getting shot to death by a flyrant (who subsequently shot the kabalite warriors off the board as well).

- Raider full of wraithguard came right up the middle at high speed, parking in the middle of my DZ ruin. I jumped out the gargoyles, blew up the raider with the flyrant (open-topped +1!), and then attempted to do a dual assault with the venomthrope and gargoyles...this did not pan out, as the venomthrope absorbed the d-scythe hits as planned, but then the gargoyles failed their charge. The wraithguard d-scythed the biovores to death (zoanthrope survived through ridiculously good invul saves), assaulted the zoanthrope (resulting in a couple-turn slap-fight), got assaulted by the gargoyles (killing one), and then in the subsequent turns killed the zoanthrope and then broke and swept the now synapse-deprived gargoyles. Meanwhile, I had dropped the T-fex pod right on top of the nearby objective and shot them (only one casualty, leaving three left). The D-scythes made short work of the T-fex, while the taloi (see below) ripped through the drop pod.

- The five taloi came right up the middle (for this deployment, this meant diagonal from northeast to southwest). They assisted in shooting up one gargoyle unit, assaulted into and through the T-fex's pod with no resistance, assaulted and wiped out the rippers holding the western objective (who chose that turn to go stupid and chew on each other rather than assaulting the squishy kabalite warriors right behind them), wiped out the termagants (who came down from the northwest objective to try and get in their way), and then sat around holding the western objective while I flew my flyrants around ineffectually (by this point, they were the only things left in my army).

- On the Eldar left flank (northeast/east central), the two scatterbike units jumped up and back, along with the second venom; they blew away the infiltrating rippers on the eastern objective right at the beginning, and then spent the next couple turns successfully picking off the gargoyles and venomthrope who were trying to hold onto the southeast objective. The venom, kabalites inside, and both scatterbike units were eventually (over the course of 5 turns) all taken out by flyrant shooting from various directions.

- In his home (norhteast) corner, the wraithlord jumped around for LOS purposes, putting shots into various units. Overall, the scatter laser did a fair amount of damage, but the wraithcannons failed to do anything to the flyrants (I obligingly Jinked every time he fired at one of them, which did suppress my firepower significantly). After two failed reserve rolls (good from his point of view) he was finally forced to bring on his Lhamean (Warlord) in turn 4; she cowered behind the void shield generator. On my turn 4 (no sooner, largely due to the -1 reserve nerf from the Eldar Warlord Trait), the tervigon podded down objective right next to her and behind the wraithknight, spawning five gaunts before crapping out (roll 2-2-1). She was able to (barely) kill the Lhamean with stinger salvo and electroshock grubs (stupid Feel No Pain). Then the wraithknight shot, assaulted, and stomped to death the pod, tervigon, and the five gaunts with minimal difficulty. Yay.


I had mentioned at the beginning of the game that I was going to be able to take out all of his ObSec units (the jetbikes and kabalite squads) and his Warlord (for secondary mission if nothing else), but that I wasn't going to be able to do significant damage to the taloi or the wraithknight. This was almost exactly what happened...the wraithknight took no damage the whole game (I just wasn't aiming at him), and the taloi took a total of four wounds, scattered between three models, all from flyrant shots.

End of Game:

Tyranids: Primary (1VP), Secondary (6VP - Slay Warlord, Marked for Death [Venom], Linebreaker [Flyrant]), Tertiary (4VP) = 11VP
Dark Eldar: Primary (7VP), Secondary (6VP, including Talos formation rules), Tertiary (4VP) = 17VP, +8 more for differential scoring = 25VP (max)



My main critiques:

- My list has no answers to high-toughness multi-wound creatures with decent saves. I would have needed an exocrine or two just to make a dent in either the taloi or the wraithknight. Or a squadron of CC carnifexes, expecting most to die in the process due to their crappy initiative (or from shooting beforehand).

- I fumbled the wraithguard combat; I should have walked the gargoyles out instead of flying them, which would have given me a reroll on the charge and Hammer of Wrath attacks. That assault would have locked up the wraithguard, preventing them from flaming the biovores and the zoanthrope, and could potentially have kept them tied up for quite awhile due to synapse support. Although more turns of biovore shooting would not have necessarily done much more, it could have killed some kabalites or jetbikes, which would have allowed the flyrants to shoot other targets.

- Both flyrants and the tervigon rolled "The Horror", I only got one Catalyst (zoanthrope), and nobody got psychic scream (rare, I usually get that a lot). Scream would have given me a better option for inflicting wounds on the taloi, at least.

- I never should have moved my termagants off the northwest objective. The western objective was definitively lost the moment the taloi were in charge range, and I allowed the ObSec kabalites to distract me. The gaunts still would have died, but they might have died a turn later, and I could have ignored the kabalites on the west objective (redundant at that point) and had a chance to kill the wraithguard on the southwest objective, which potentially could have deprived my opponent of one of his three end-of-game objectives (would have skewed the points back by a total of 4VP due to the loss of differential VPs, making the game 11:19 instead of 11:25).

_________________
"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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