Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bat Rep: 1,850 Pts Necrons vs. Tyranids

This past weekend I got a couple prep games for the Battle for Blacksburg tournament against Alex, with his Necrons. We played two games with NOVA style terrain setup, and ATC style triple-primary missions.


My list used the Living Artillery Node formation from the second Tyranid Dataslate, and consisted of:

Flyrant: 2 TL Devourers
Flyrant: 2 TL Devourers
30 Termagants
3 Warriors: Barbed Strangler
Hive Crone
Hive Crone
3 Biovores
Bastion: Icarus Lascannon

For game 1, Alex used the following list:

Overlord on Command Barge: MSS, 2+/3++, Warscythe
Destroyer Lord: MSS, 2+, Warscythe
10 Immortals: Gauss Blasters, Cryptek with Veil
9 Warriors: Night Scythe, Storm Cryptek
9 Warriors: Night Scythe, Storm Cryptek
6 Wraiths: 3 Whip Coils
10 Scarab Bases
3 Tomb Spyders
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

For game 1, we used Dawn of War Deployment. The three crusade objectives were placed more or less along the center line, one in no mans land, and one in each deployment zones. After choosing sides, I deployed my bastion just out ahead of my zone on my left, in between the large center mountain and a hill. I then had my Emperor's Will objective right behind it while Alex placed his in the opposite corner.

Neither of us rolled particularly useful warlord traits. My Psychic Powers were:

Warlord Flyrant: Paroxysm, Catalyst
Flyrant: Paroxysm, Dominion
Tervigon: Dominion
Zoanthrope: Paroxysm

Alex chose to deploy first and placed his 3 barges in the middle. The immortals stayed on my right flank, though they would be deep striking away. The destroyer lord and wraiths went on my far left flank, with the spyders and scarabs to the left of center. I deployed the majority of my army behind the bastion, with the termagants spreading out to prevent deep striking immortals in my lines. The crones were stashed in pockets in the termagant formation, while the exocrines were holding down the middle. The warriors and biovores went behind the ruin on my right, while the flyrants started in the corner, out of Annihilation Barge range turn 1.

In the top of the turn, Alex surged forward. The barges went to the right of center toward the flyrants, while the rest of the army marched ahead. The Immortals deep struck in front of my lines, scattering back slightly out of rapid fire range. They provided the only shooting in the turn, scoring a wound on a crone. In the bottom of the turn, I paroxysmed the wraiths, getting -3 to their WS/BS. The zoanthrope moved to man the lascannon while the venomthrope jumped in the bastion. The Crones vector struck the immortals and scarabs, putting down a few of each. Shooting mostly whittled down some more Scarabs. Finally, I multi-charged the wraiths and scarabs with my Termagant blob to hold them from my lines.

In the top of turn 2, one of two night scythes arrived and dropped off its cargo near one of the crones. The barges meanwhile moved up around the center LOS blocker while the Spyders moved toward the Crone in the middle should it be grounded. Finally, the immortals deep struck to my right side, nearly scattering onto the barges. Shooting saw the warlord flyrant killed very quickly by Annihilation barges. The crone in the middle took 4 wounds and was grounded. The Spyders then assaulted the crone and both sides whiffed, merely staring angrily at each other. In the other combat, the scarabs and wraiths continued to munch away on my termagants.

In the bottom of the turn I paroxysmed the Wraiths again, keeping them less effective than they could be. My unengaged crone vector struck the night scythe. I spawned a screen of gants for my tervigon, and ran out on her second brood. The vector strike managed to lock velocity on the scythe, but it was otherwise unscathed. I decided to run the crone to get off the board, needed 6" and rolled a 3, staying on the board. On the other side, the surviving flyrant vector struck the immortals, killing a couple and breaking them. He then took shots at the rear of a barge with little success. The biovores decimated the warriors on the ground, killing all but one, but the squad then almost all got back up. The exocrines fired on the command barge, again to little effect, then attempted to charge. One made it, but the other did not. Miraculously, he passed his Mindshackle test, but the single S10 hit he dealt was saved. Meanwhile the wraiths and scarabs killed off the gant blob, and the Crone killed a spyder before losing its last wound.

In turn 3, the second night scythe stayed off the board. The Immortals continued to run, but not far. The command barge moved for the warriors, disengaging from the exocrine. The two Annihilation barges turned to face the flyrant and promptly shot him down. The overlord then charged the warriors, dealing a couple wounds, but otherwise not doing too much. The Scarabs charged the bastion and destroyed it with ease, though the venomthrope and zoanthrope escaped (that said, I think the venomthrope should have taken more hits and probably died - wasn't sure how to deal with the bastion becoming AV0). The Wraiths meanwhile killed off all but one gant in their way. Finally, the spyders charged my other gant squad and thinned their numbers a bit.

In the bottom of turn 3, I dropped the Crone out of the skies to deal with the warriors squad. The tervigon moved to charge the wraiths, while the exocrines continued shuffling to my right. In the shooting phase I managed to destroy the command barge with one exocrine, and then wipe out the immortals with the other. The crone didn't fare nearly as well, only taking out a few of the warriors, and then failing a short charge. In combats, the Tervigon killed a couple wraiths, taking four wounds in return while a single termagant stood against the two tomb spyders.

We were timing our game, so turn 4 would be the last. The second night scythe came in and dropped a squad of warriors on the rear Crusade Objective. The warriors who had been spared the crone's wrath moved to take the center crusade objective. Shooting saw the crone taken down. The Overlord charged the warriors and Mind Shackle scarabs saw one warrior kill himself and his remaining friend (both only had 1 wound left). The Wraiths and overlord killed the tervigon, and the spyders killed the remaining termagant, wiping out my scoring units.

In the bottom of the turn, I had a very slim hope of tying up Crusader - I needed to remove the warriors that were within 3" of the rear objective, while using the exocrine to kill the tomb spyders in the way and consolidate into contesting the center objective. I then promptly failed the biovore's instinctive behavior and they went to ground, removing just about any chance I had of killing off the rear warriors. A warp blast from the zoanthrope killed two, but not enough to force a morale check and break them. In combat, I rolled two 1s to wound, only dealing a single wound to the spyders, leaving one alive.

In the end, Alex won a crushing victory, taking every win condition except Emperor's Will, for a 26-4 victory. In the post game, while my dice were unlucky throughout, it was my deployment that really doomed me from the start. I set my bastion and then ended up fighting to protect that rather than do anything useful. Also, my flyrants were totally out of position, and ended up not doing much of anything round 1, which for the warlord, meant he killed a single scarab base before being killed - not an effective use.

After a quick post mortem, we reracked and went for round two, this time on Hammer and Anvil deployment. Alex wanted to try out the other list he was considering for the tournament:

Zahndrekh and Obyron
Overlord: MSS, Command Barge, 2+/3++, Warscythe
5 Deathmarks: 2 Despair Crypteks, Night Scythe
5 Deathmarks: 2 Despair Crypteks, Night Scythe
5 Warriors
10 Immortals: Gauss Blasters, Despair Crypek w/Veil
10 Immortals: Gauss Blasters
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge
Annihilation Barge

This time the Crusade objectives were in the center of each deployment zone and one on my left in the center. Each of the Emperor's Will objectives were again in opposite corners, this time in the ruins. I deployed my bastion to the right of center, just ahead of my deployment zone. I rolled the warlord trait that allowed my Flyrant to Outflank and chose to take it. My psychic powers were:

Warlord Flyrant: Warp Blast, Onslaught
Flyrant: Warp Blast, Onslaught
Tervigon: Catalyst
Zoanthrope: Catalyst

I won the roll for deployment and chose to go first. I again kept the exocrines centrally in my line, this time with a crone on either flank. The tervigon went on my left while the termagant blob took up residence on my Crusade objective as well as across the front of the right side of my line. The Zoanthrope deployed centrally while the warriors, venomthrope, and biovores went behind the bastion. Alex deployed with his Barges along the front line, one squad of immortals with the cryptek and Zahndrekh behind the hill, and Obyron's Immortals toward the dead center of his deployment zone. Alex rolled to seize, but did not succeed.

I cast Catalyst on my flyrant and Crone on me left, and the flyrant cast Onslaught on himself. The flyers all zoomed full speed forward while the rest of my line pushed ahead. The Tervigon spawned out with 10 termagants, who were sent back to the ruin and Emperor's Will objective. In the shooting phase I tried to use the biovores to snipe out the Cryptek but scattered badly, even with the twin linking from the LAN. I then ran the flyrant with onslaught into range and used my three precision hits to put the cryptek down. The crones and exocrines managed a couple hull points on a single barge.

In the bottom of turn one, shooting from the barges and Immortals managed to ground the Flyrant, but only dealt two wounds. The Command Barge declared a charge on the flyrant, but was facing away. After a little debate including a third party, we decided overwatch would go to the rear arc. I managed a single penetrating hit, which stunned the barge. After more debate, we determined this meant it could not charge.

In the top of two, the grounded flyrant hopped over to right next to Zahndrekh, while the warlord swooped on from my right flank, landing just behind the other flyrant. The Crones vector struck the command barge and the immortals, destroying the former and killing a couple of the latter. Shooting from the flyrants saw Zandrekh look out sir most of his wounds which ended up killing all but one of the immortals. Then, all but three stood back up. Shooting from the exocrines pinged a hull point off a barge, and killed a couple immortals. Finally, the flyrant charged Zandrekh, forcing Obyron to teleport into combat. Zahndrekh then accepted a challenge and passed his invulnerable save on the single wound I got through, and dealt no wounds in return.

At the bottom of the turn, both Deathmarks arrived from reserves, while the warriors stayed out. Obyron used his teleport to get Zahndrekh out of combat and they teleported in front of the ruin on my right. Combined fire from barges and scythes put the warlord flyrant and one crone, both of whom were marked, onto the ground where they were killed by the deathmarks. The final flyrant was also killed by the last annihilation barge.

In turn three, the surviving crone vector struck a night scythe as he flew off the board, which crashed on some deathmarks. My lines stayed mostly in place, with some exocrines shuffling about. One exocrine got a direct hit on the recently deep struck immortals and Obyron and Zahndrekh, killing Obyron and all by 3 or 4 Immortals. The biovores managed to put down a cryptek, but only one deathmark as well. Shooting from the exocrine did a wound to the lord facing him, but no more. In the bottom of the turn, the surviving night scythe picked up the deathmarks with two crypteks and flew toward the center of the board. The warriors walked on, making a bee line for the ruins and Emperor's Will Objective. Shooting dealt some wounds to the Tervigon in cover, but she was tanking like a champ. The overlord charged her and between failed MSS and his attacks, took her down to one wound, but no more.

At the top of four, the termagants shuffled to get outside of 12" of the tervigon. The remainder of the army was again pretty still, with Exocrines shuffling. The Crone came in on my left and swooped forward full speed, firing his last missiles at the night scythe, locking the velocity, but not able to take it down. The biovores only managed to put down a single warrior, while other shooting eliminated one of the immortal squads. One of the exocrines charged the lord in combat with the tervigon. The Exocrine took the mind shackles and dealt 2 wounds to himself before the Tervigon killed the overlord. In the bottom of the turn, the warriors ran under cover of the bottom floor of the ruin while other shooting took down the tervigon, while the remainder mostly pinged off the Exocrine or missed the Crone.

Again, due to time, we would be calling the game, this time on turn 5. In my half of the turn, I lined up a charge on the Immortals with the Exocrine, while the Crone flew forward and ran into the Necron deployment zone. Fire from Warriors and one exocrine into the warriors on the ground floor failed to kill any, meaning they would stay on that objective. I promptly failed the charge on Zandrekh and the lone surviving Immortal. In the bottom of the turn, shooting took down the Crone and Exocrine, while the last Immortal moved to within 3" of a Crusade objective.

As we tallied up the points, it was closer, but Alex again won, this time on the Kill Point primary, his one kill point lead netting him an 8 point victory, 11-19. Making that charge in the top of 5 would have vastly changed the outcome, likely getting me Crusade, and possibly kill points and Warlord. That said, I also made several mistakes; I could have run the termagants up, while still holding an objective, to get linebreaker, and if I'd done it soon enough, even contest one of Alex's either Crusade or Emperor's will objectives. I also needed to get the warriors out of the bastion and doing something for me. Namely, turn 4 I could have moved them back to my backfield crusade, freeing the blob to run forward and bring the zoanthrope along to give synapse and feel no pain. Had I started this move turn 4, I likely could have surrounded one or both objectives claimed at the end, either claiming one or contesting both. Finally, Outflanking the warlord was a mistake as I didn't gain much of anything by the move, and lost a round of effectiveness in the process.

In the end, I got two games in against a fun opponent and learned a lot, particularly about the missions we'll be playing. I'm not happy with how I used the bastion, and I think I will be dropping the lascannon in favor of Regen on the Tervigon to make her a tougher troop to shift. Additionally, by dropping the gun, I think I'll be more inclined to use the building defensively, and more of a support element, than my forward base; I was often too concerned with sticking near the bastion than overall positioning. I also need to be willing to use it as a feint, if my opponent deploys heavily for it, feel ok mostly abandoning it.