Monday, May 20, 2013

Bat Rep: Gaming Weekend Game 2 - 4k Nids vs. Space Wolves

The main event. The big one. +Chandler D fielded two 2,000 point Space Wolf armies, one of which had Space Marine Allies. His lists faced off against two 2,000 point Tyranid lists commanded by Evan and Ron.   We used the full 8'x4' table and just about every single piece of terrain available to us.

 vs 

+Chandler D used essentially the lists he broke down last week, though he made a couple tweaks. Namely, he didn't have a second drop pod to use and so, dropped Njal's Terminator armor to put him in a Rhino.

Ron's Tryanids:
Flyrant: 2x TL Devourers, Wings, Old Adversary, Warp Speed, Endurance
Flyrant: 2x TL Devourers, Wings, Old Adversary. Warp Speed, Smite
Doom of Malan'tai: Mycetic Spore
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
20 Termagants: Devourers, Mycetic Spore
10 Termagants
10 Termagants
Tervigon: Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Iron Arm, Enfeeble, Smite
Tervigon: Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Iron Arm, Endurance, Smite
Trygon Prime

Evan's Tyranids:
Swarmlord (Warlord): Smite, Iron Arm,  Enfeeble, Warp Speed, +1 to Run Rolls Warlord Trait (never used)
Tyrant Guard
Flyrant: 2x TL Devourers, Wings, Life Leech, Warp Speed
2 Zoanthropes
Deathleaper
Tervigon: Crushing Claws, Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands, Endurance, Life Leech, Warp Speed
20 Termagants: Devourers, Mycetic Spore
20 Hormagaunts
7 Genestealers: Broodlord with Shockwave, Telekine Dome
20 Gargoyles: Toxin Sacs (forgot about these and didn't use them)
Trygon Prime

Deployment and Setup:

We decided to set up the terrain with a bit of a narrative sense, with Imperial ruins in the center of the board and nature/spore chimneys/digestion pools encroaching on either side. We still used the method of D3 pieces per 2x2 section, but moved some of the rolls around when one side had all 1s while the other side was all 2s and 3s. We also decided to not use the Warzone Traits, but rolled to see if it would be interesting and tempting to change and got Warp Storms and we all three decided that 3D6 for psychic tests and all doubles  resulting in Perils would be terrible all around.

For victory conditions, we opted to use both Kill Points and the Scouring rules (6 objectives worth between 1-4 points).


Chandler won the roll for deployment and chose his zone and chose to deploy first. After we traded off deploying objectives, most of which were toward the middle, Chandler set up his Aegis Defense Line (should have been deployed before terrain, but oh well) on his right flank to bridge the space between the big ruin in the center and a set of capillary towers (counting as mysterious woods).


With the Defense Line in place, he then deployed his army, holding very little in reserve. The Allied Scouts, Librarian, and Sergeant Telion took cover in a swamp near one objective, with Long Fangs at their side, shielded by a Rhino with Grey Hunters with two Plasma Guns. Inside the confines of the big ruin in the center, Chandler deployed more Long Fangs with Ulrik the Slayer, two rhinos, one containing Njal, and then two Land Raiders sealing the open corner, packed full of Wolf Guard in Terminator armor accompanying Logan Grimnar. The far, left flank was left mostly open, with no objectives to contest. Chandler also deployed two Choosers of the Slain in the center and left side, preventing infiltrators from deploying within 18" of them, which pretty much shot down Evan's entire plan for his Genestealers.


With the Adeptus Astartes deployed, it was time for the bugs. Ron and Evan  chose to keep our Trygons in reserve to add some more punch to the three mycetic spore units. The Tyranid left flank was taken up by long lines of Gargoyles and Hormagaunts. The central ruins were heavily occupied by the Trygons, Hive Guard, and Swarmlord. To their right were the two Zoanthropes. Finally, on the extreme right flank were the three Flyrants.


Then infiltrators were deployed. Evan won the roll off to deploy infiltrators, but the choosers of the slain pretty much limited the options for the Genestealers. He could either deploy them in the tower on the extreme left flank of Chandler's deployment zone, or on the extreme right flank behind some of the capilary towers. Preferring not to face the nearly 24" of open ground between the tower and the nearest Space Marine, Evan chose to go on the Marine right flank. Chandler then deployed his wolf scouts up on the pink stone archway on his left flank.


Deployment concluded, the pregame rolls were made; the Tyranids did not steal the initiative, but night fighting would be in effect for turn one.

Space Wolf Turn 1:

The turn started off with Chandler's Drop Pod assault, the single pod of Wolf Guard crashing down in front of the Tyranid left flank. The rhino screening the Long Fangs moved up to the Aegis Line. The Long Fangs behind the ruin moved up and managed to get all but Ulrik up to the second floor with a good difficult terrain roll. The vehicles behind the main ruin moved out, spreading out a bit. Njal's Rhino moved forward slightly so the AOE abilities he'd rolled for the turn could affect more of the oncoming Tyranids.


The shooting phase began with long fangs launching missiles across the Tyranid line, managing to kill a few small bugs. He was hoping to blast the conga-line of Gargoyles linking them to within Synapse range, but the winged creatures were apparently hard to hit in the darkness, with none falling to the missiles. Some of the hormagaunts weren't so fortunate, but not enough were blown up to shake the Hive Mind's control of the brood. The Space Marine snipers opened fire on the genestealers, cutting down one. The Librarian showed them who was boss by taking down a further three with his Pyromancy power, Inferno, and setting the unit ablaze. The rest of the army's fire was disappointingly ineffective, darkness shrouding the monsters hiding in the ruins across the board.

Tyranid Turn 1:

On the Tyranid left flank, the gargoyles and hormagaunts moved to surround the Terminators and also ensure their assault lanes didn't pass through difficult terrain. On the opposite flank, the the Winged Hive Tyrants flew up in formation, getting in range of the scouts and the Lone Wolf beside the leading Land Raider. The Zoanthropes also moved up, one just getting to within Lance range of the lead Land Raider. The Tervigons and Swarmlord in the middle moved up, casting various buffing spells on themselves and nearby units and making sure to stay in cover. The Genestealers, their ambush completely falling flat, moved up toward the nearest capilary towers, but rolled terribly for difficult terrain and so, needed a run move to get into cover. Upon entering the "mysterious wood," it was revealed to contain brainleaf fronds, which take effect to begin the shooting phase, so the flaming Genestealers were safe this round.

Shooting from the Flyrants managed to wipe out the Wolf Scouts and their accompanying Wolf Priest, garnering 3 Victory Points for the Hive Mind. The combined weight of both Hive Guard broods managed to destroy a rhino hidden behind the Land Raiders, felling a single Grey Hunter in the small resulting explosion.  The remainder of the shooting was mostly ineffective, with 20 Gargoyles failing to inflict a single wound on the Wolf Guard Terminators just inches away. In the assault phase, the gargoyles and hormagaunts charged the Wolf Guard, redeeming themselves from their poor shooting by felling three of the five veteran warriors. The weight of the hormagaunts dragged down another Space Wolf before the sole survivor smashed a hormagaunt into a fine mist with his Thunder Hammer. Despite being horrendously outnumbered and on his own, the Wolf Guard stood his ground, prepared to sell his life dearly.


At the end of the turn, Evan rolled for the Soul Blaze effect on the Genestealers and found them to still be aflame, though they somehow managed to avoid taking additional damage.

Space Wolf Turn 2:



 

Rolling for reserves, the Storm Talon did not arrive, much to Chandler's chagrin. Chandler shuffled his Land Raiders forward, but held back a bit to avoid being in range to be surrounded by bugs at the bottom of the turn. Njal generated a power that made everything within 24" of him count as difficult terrain for enemies and dangerous for jump infantry. After some discussion, we decided that so long as they remained swooping, it would not affect the Flyrants. Moving on to the shooting phase, the Long Fangs in the ruins shot at Evan's flyrant, managing to score a wound but not ground him. Additional fire from nearly everything else with a line of sight caused another wound and grounded him, but failed to wound on the grounding check. Evan was also lucky enough to not be grounded until everything else had fired, and so, had nothing to take advantage of him being easier to hit. On the opposite flank, the snipers lit into the Genestealers and only managed to kill a single stealer, leaving the broodlord and one companion. The assault phase saw the lone Wolf Guard weather the swarm of gargoyles and hormagaunts, and then smash another hormagaunt into dust. He won combat and the hormagaunts were actually just outside synapse, but passed their leadership check on a 5.

Tyranid Turn 2:

The turn started with the obligatory round of psychic powers and spawning. A second tervigon ran dry for Ron, so only Evan's still had the ability to spawn. At this point there were definitely a lot of the little bugs cruising around the table and holding all of the central objectives. Reserves were rolled and both Trygons and the Doom of Malan'tai would be arriving in Deep Strike, though both Mycetic Spores of Termagants rolled 1s, and so would wait at least another turn (the swarmlord grants +1 to reserves rolls, so Evan and Ron only needed 2s). All three aimed for a spot between the Long Fangs and the Aegis defense line, though Ron's Trygon and Doom both scattered onto the opposite side of the line, Evan's Trygon arrived spot on. The Deathleaper also arrived and hunkered down on the top floor of the ruin above the Long Fangs. The rest of the army moved up, with one Tervigon and the Swarmlord dashing from cover toward the lead Land Raider and the Lone Wolf beside it. The Flyrants took to the air again and swooped behind the Land Raiders, looking to open lanes of fire to the Long Fangs and The few remaining genestealers also moved up but again rolled poorly for their difficult terrain move and couldn't escape the brainleaf fronds.

With the beginning of the shooting phase, the genestealers failed their brainleaf frond check and the Broodlord was momentarily overcome, striking down his sole companion. The Doom's power affected the Long Fangs in the ruins, who suffered three wounds but passed all three cover saves. Shooting from the two Trygon Primes into the other Long Fangs reduced their number to two through a combination of good and poor rolling for each side. Toward the middle, the flyrants popped Njal's Rhino and took out a good chunk of his bodyguard, but the pesky psyker remained. The zoanthropes were both in range of the lead land raider  and tried to pop it to spill the juicy innards for the Tervigon and Swarmlord to assault; however, only one hit with Warp Lance, and then proceeded to roll a 1 for armor penetration. In the assault phase, the Swarmlord chose his secondary target, the Lone Wolf, and assaulted him while a Crushing Clawed Tervigon hit the Land Raider, but only managed to immobilize and destroy one sponson, despite 6 S10 smash attacks. The Swarmlord fared better, easily dispatching the Lone Wolf and consolidating away from the Land Raider behind some battlefield debris. On the opposite flank, the numbers finally managed to drag down the sole surviving Wolf Guard and free the gargoyles and hormagaunts from the lengthy combat. The broodlord managed an 8" charge, through terrain, challeneged the Librarian, was promptly dealt 2 wounds to none in return, and then fled combat and burned to death as he ran. 

This is what the board looked like at the end of Turn 2:


Space Wolf Turn 3:

The Storm Talon finally arrived while the rest of Chandler's forces dug in as the scuttling tide neared. Logan and his bodyguard disembarked from the immobilized Land Raider and made ready to charge the Swarmlord and Tyrant Guard. Across the lines, the Space Wolf guns opened up, generally on the closest Tyranid Monstrous Creature, managing some wounds here and there, but nothing debilitating. Although, a single krak missile managed to destroy the psychic horror that was the Doom of Malan'tai. Despite the help of the Storm Talon, the Marines were still unable to down a single flying Hive Tyrant. In combat, the Swarmlord bellowed a challange to Fenris's best and Arjac stepped forward. The two combatants traded blows with no clear victor. Meanwhile Logan Grimnar struck down the Tyrant guard with ease. 

Tyranid Turn 3: 


The final tyranid reserves, two broods of twenty devilgants, crashed down in the midst of the fighting in the center of the board, prepared to unleash a torrent of fire. The Trygons closed on their chosen foes. Evan's flyrant glided back to support the Swarmlord, as did one of Ron's Tervigons. All of the Tyranid psychic powers were hampered or shut down completely by the proximity of Njal. Frustrated by his interference, his squad attracted several volleys of devourer fire and the Stormcaller was eventually taken out of the battle. Concentrated fire also wiped out the remnants of the other Grey hunter pack in the backfield, while the final Grey Hunter pack on the Space Wolf right flank were blasted from their transport and assaulted by Ron's Trygon Prime. The gargoyles assaulted the allied scouts and despite taking quite a few casualties from the winds and difficult terrain on the way in, managed to slay nearly all of the scouts, leaving the Librarian and Sergeant Telion to defend the final neophyte. In the battle of the Warlords, the Swarmlord killed Logan's champion, meanwhile, assistance from the Tervigon and Evan's Flyrant took down all but Logan, though both were slain in return, leaving Logan to face the Swarmlord one on one.

Space Wolf Turn 4:

The Storm Talon had been velocity locked, and the remainder of the Adeptus Astartes forces were very limited in their options. The final squad of Wolf Guard disembarked and faced down a wall of termagants. The long fangs on the second floor of the ruin turned and unleashed a flurry of Frag missiles into the clumped mass of devilgants behind them, cutting their number in half. Combat saw the final Iron Hands fall to the gargoyles while the last Grey Hunters fell to the Trygon Prime. The Warlord combat came to a draw, with both warlords bloodied, but refusing to submit. 

Tyranid Turn 4:

This turn saw the last of the noble Space Wolves as the final long fangs were cut down by fire from all around, the Wolf Guard survived an ungodly volley of devourer fire before falling in assault to two Hive Tyrants, and the Swarmlord bellowed his triumph over Logan Grimnar. 

Aftermath:

This game was absolutely exhausting, beginning around noon and stretching for about nine hours. After the battle, Ron and I discussed things Chandler might have done differently to turn the tide of the battle. Admittedly, the Storm Talon failing to come in when expected, combined with night fighting, made for some very difficult situations for Chandler. A couple things we discussed were whether he should have taken first turn or deferred, allowing for a reactive deployment on his part and let us close so night fighting would be less of a hindrance on his initial volleys. We also considered alternative deployments with an even more refused flank to funnel the numbers of the Tyranids down. As it was, there were several times were Ron and I had trouble placing models where we wanted them to go because of how crowded certain areas of the board were. Lastly, we discussed if holding back the Land Raiders was the right move or whether Chandler should have been more aggressive with them, using them to plow into the Tyranid lines and get his Wolf Guard in combat sooner. 

A final discussion we had was the difference in our list-building. Chandler's lists were thematic and built around a story. Meanwhile, the Tyranid lists were generally built competitively. The "non-competitive" units fielded (Genestealers, Hormagaunts, Deathleaper, and to some degree, Zoanthropes) all did close to nothing. Deathleaper served as a bit of a distraction, but 140 points is a bit much for that role. So something we discussed was that if the Tyranid lists weren't competitive builds, they would be terrible builds; whereas the "non-competitive" Space Wolf build is still competitive, if not a match for more or less power-gaming lists. What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you think this is accurate or were Ron and I just jerks, overpowering a less experienced opponent?

All that said, we had a great time and hope to do it again in the somewhat near future, though Ron and I will not be on the same team again.