Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bat Rep: 1,850 Pts Tyranids vs. Eldar/Tau

As part of our most recent gaming weekend, Ron and I squared off in a 1,850 point NOVA-style game. Ron decided to take his Tyranids while I borrowed some of his Tau to run an Eldar list with Tau allies.

 vs. 


My List:
Farseer: Spirit Stone of Anath'alan
Farseer: Runes of Witnessing
5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent: TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent: TL Scatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon
5 Rangers
5 Rangers
8 Swooping Hawks: Exarch w/Hawk's Talon and Hit & Run
6 Warp Spiders
Wraithknight
Tau Commander: Multi-Spectrum, Puretide, Vectored Retro Thrusters, Onager Gauntlet
Riptide: SMS, Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker, EWO
10 Kroot: Hound
10 Kroot: Hound
Skyray: SMS

Ron's List:
Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2xTL Devourers
Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2xTL Devourers
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
Doom of Malan'tai: Mycetic Spore
Tervigon: 3 Powers, TS
Tervigon: 3 Powers, TS
14 Termagants: Devourers, Mycetic Spore
10 Termagants
3 Biovores
3 Biovores

Terrain was set up with ruins in two opposite corners, LOS blocking hills in the other two corners, small area terrain in between along the long board edges, and a central ruin, that we ruled was LOS blocking and had no windows on the ground floor (this was to be my undoing in part).

Mission was NOVA's Emperor's Will, with Hammer and Anvil Deployment. I chose to allow Ron to deploy first. He deployed centrally behind the big center ruin and as far up as he could. Meanwhile I deployed with my two wave serpents in my back left corner, Rangers on each of my objectives, Wraithknight on the left, Tau Commander and Riptide on the right. The warlord farseer started between the two wave serpents while the other started with the Tau commander and Riptide. I'd already made one mistake in rolling powers and ended up with just Prescience on one and Guide on the other - this is why we practice. 

Turn 1:
Both Tervigons spawned good numbers. The big event of the turn was the Warlord Flyrant failing to cast Iron Arm. The two flyrants landed on the top of the central ruin while the rest of the army moved and ran up into the ruin. One group of Biovores fired some spores at the Rangers, which scattered onto the riptide unit and failed to wound. 

On my turn, the Riptide and commander were prescienced, then NOVA charged for ripple fire and jumped forward. The Wraithknight was Guided and jumped on top of the hill alongside the rangers while the farseer mounted up and the Wave Serpents moved to draw line of sight. The swooping hawks skyleaped to guarantee their arrival Turn 2. The Skyray started the shooting by using its two markerlight hits to ignore cover, then loosed all six seeker missiles at the Warlord flyrant. Combined with the SMS, he did three wounds, and then grounded the flyrant, who died on impact. The Riptide opened up on the other flyrant and dealt two wounds. Lacking a better target, one Wave Serpent fired at the same target, failed to wound, but did cause a failed grounding check and another wound. The Wraithknight distortion killed a Hive Guard, but remaining shooting was ineffectual. 

Turn 2:
Unfortunately, the only photo I took of the game.
Rolling for reserves, the devilgants would arrive, but the doom would not. Ron aimed the spore dangerously close to the corner, but would get him rear armor on one wave serpent. He then scattered 12" and landed in the center of my deployment zone. The surviving flyrant swooped down and prepared to fire alongside. The Tervigons spawned again, with the one on my right running out, and the rising tide of gants moved forward, with Biovores and Hive Guard burrowing deeper into the central ruin. The shooting phase saw the left rangers suffer two casualties and run. One wave serpent took a hull point. The other rangers took a few wounds but held. Remaining shooting was fairly ineffectual. 

In my turn, the Rangers rallied. Meanwhile the Farseer in the Wave Serpent guided his unit and then they disembarked, prepared to fire on the devilgants. The Wraithknight jumped forward and the other Wave Serpent took his place. I also had  the Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders deep strike behind the majority of the Tyranids. The grenade pack made a dent in the leading gaunt wave on my right. Finally, the Kroot units moved on from outflanking. The first was my choice and I chose my left flank near the termagant occupied objective. The second unit ended up on the same flank, and came in more toward my edge. In the shooting phase, the final flyrant was taken down while most of the remaining shooting directed at the Tervigons dealt some wounds but no lasting damage. The swooping hawks ran after their shooting, but only an inch, and for some reason I didn't reroll for fleet. Meanwhile the Warp Spiders jumped away toward the Tyranid board edge. 

Turn 3:
The Termagants on my left surged forward, with more being spawned. Everything else mostly hunkered down in the middle, with the termagants on the right looping back for the objective that had been cleared by the swooping hawks. The doom landed between the Kroot and to begin the shooting phase, put a hurting on both units. He then psychic shrieked but failed to hit. The termagants assisted by eliminating the squad closer to my lines, while the further Kroot broke and ran past the Doom. The Hive Guard took aim at the Wave Serpents and dealt a single penetrating hit to the still occupied transport, knocking out the Scatter Laser. The Biovores came up big, with one squad wiping out the Swooping Hawks and the other clearing out the Dire Avengers and Warlord Farseer. A wave of termagants then engulfed the Wraithknight, but were just outside of 6" to the tervigon, and so, could do no damage and a few were stomped underfoot.

In my turn the remaining wave serpent dashed forward with the intention of going all out toward the rear, left objective. The rallied rangers moved up back toward their old position, but keeping out of sight. The riptide continued his JSJ routine, again prescienced, though he failed his nova charge this turn. The warp spiders jogged forward, shot, and ran back again. The turn was relatively uneventful in the shooting phase, though I did wipe out the devilgants and the running kroot were wiped out by Doom. 

Turn 4: 
The termagants moved to engage the warp spiders on the back board edge. The doom moved toward the wraithknight, but well out of range. In shooting, the remaining Wave Serpent was obliterated and then the occupants were blasted by biovores. In the combat with the Wraithknight, the tervigon had moved closer and so the gants were poisoned, allowing them to deal a wound to the hulking creature smashing them underfoot. 

Lacking anywhere to run, the warp spiders engaged their jump drives and warped past the oncoming gants onto the objective. The other eldar forces concentrated fire on the Tervigon near the Wraithknight and took her down with the riptide, killing many of the surrounding termagants. The wraithknight killed a few termagants, who stubbornly stayed put, despite only a couple remaining. 

Turn 5:
Things shuffled about, with the Doom closing on the Wraithknight, but still outside 6". Shooting took down the remaining rangers on my left objective. The biovores hit the warp spiders, killing several nearby termagants, but also taking the squad down to two members. The wraithknight stomped down the last of his opponents and consolidated over to his right.

The Wraithknight started the turn by jumping over the central ruin to close with the remaining tervigon. The Riptide Nova charged for ripple fire and he and the Skyray combined to kill a single Hive Guard and Biovore in the ruins. The Warp Spiders assaulted the rear termagants, killing a couple and pulling the remaining ones off the objective. The Wraithknight meanwhile shot and killed the Tervigon. 

Turn 6:
The game continued and the punishment under the Tyranid guns continued for the few remaining Eldar units (seems backward). The remaining rangers were wiped out, removing the last of the Eldar scoring units from the table.  The Hive Guard destroyed the Skyray and final Wave Serpent finally. The rear biovores moved back and then assaulted the warp spiders, managing to wipe them out.

The Wraithknight moved for one objective while the Riptide jumped forward to draw line of sight over the wrecked Wave Serpent on the camping Termagants. He could only see three of them and promptly killed those three, but they passed their morale check. Meanwhile the Wraithknight jumped into the other termagant squad and took them down, consolidating away again.

Turn 7:
Without much to shoot at, the Doom closed with the Wraithknight, who denied the psychic shriek. The remaining shooting dealt a wound or two to the remaining MCs, but largely was ineffective. The rear termagants moved to keep control of the objective while the surrounding termagant squads failed their instinctive behavior and were already in terrain, so unable to move to support control of the objectives.

With the only choice to clear the final objective, the Wraithknight and Riptide moved up again, taking aim at the termagants. The Riptide wiped them out and then the Wraithknight, out of spite, shot and killed the Doom. With that, the game ended in an Eldar/Tau victory of the absolute smallest margins.

The Eldar scored Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker while the Tyranids had Slay the Warlord, missing Linebreaker by just a couple inches.

Closing Thoughts:
This game aptly demonstrated the need for practice with an army. I was unfamiliar and unsure of a lot of my rules. At the same time, we were both trying to play faster, since we tend to need a long time for a game. This game wasn't much better, taking probably close to four hours, not counting a couple pauses in the middle, but I will freely take fault for this.

I was not very happy with my army selection, though part of that was through poor execution on my part. I was happy with most of my Tau, though I could have been better with my Riptide. I think I was far too conservative with it, while I was a little too aggressive with the Wraithknight. I also forgot that I'd put a positional relay on my buff commander. With Hammer and Anvil deployment there's no way I could have reached the opposite board edge, but I could have used it to ensure that my second Kroot arrived on the opposite flank from the first.

Meanwhile, I was a bit wasteful and ineffective with my troops, and I'm not sure what to do to improve on that. The Dire Avenger squads both died the second they stepped foot outside their Wave Serpents, while the Rangers were ineffective in the little shooting they performed. Part of this was lack of targets, but also Ron doing a good job of minimizing them early. I ignored the Tervigons too long, which nearly cost me as I was just about up to my eyes in termagants. That said, taking out about 20 or more when killing the first Tervigon certainly helped.

I would want to tweak the list a little before tossing it out completely, but I'm not entirely sure how. My original list had a second, upgraded Wraithknight with Suncannon and Scatter Laser, and Scatter Lasers for my Wraithcannon Wraithknight, but I dropped that (in part for lack of an appropriate model) in favor of a second Farseer and the Warp Spiders and Skyray. I think one change will be to get one Farseer on a bike so he can accompany the Riptide and buff commander. This could potentially make the second Farseer a bit obsolete, as there seems to be less need for Guide/Prescience in the rest of the list. I felt that my troops (wave serpents included) under performed, but I'm loathe to go with fewer. Some jetbikes for one Ranger squad might be in order, but I really don't want to buy the current 20 year old jetbikes.