Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Renegade Open or How I Came to Love the Knight

Hey everyone, BeeCee here.

On November 22 and 23 I played in the Renegade Open at the beautiful Fantasy Flight Gaming Center in Roseville,MN and I wanted to spend a little bit of time to recap the weekend.

Here's an Ad. Lance!
Firstly, I had a great time. The folks at Renegade care about the hobby, they care about the players, and they want everyone to have a good time. You may remember we had Puck and David on our podcast to talk about the event and get us excited for it.
The GT portion of the tourney was on Saturday for three games with the top 16 facing off in a fourth game to decide the top eight. The top eight would duke it out bracket style on Sunday with everyone else going back in to the pool for a RTT on Sunday.

One of the new elements for me was player placed terrain. I had never done that in a tourney situation (This was only the second big tourney I had been to!). It was definitely different and added a new level of strategic play. Instead of normally building your battle plan around terrain, you were able to build terrain around your battle plan.

So let's talk about the meta real fast before we get going. The army list rules were two sources (1 CAD or codex detachment but self ally allowed) with Forgeworld and limited Lords of War allowed. I was expecting some knights and some Ad. Lance. Wow I was not expecting the sheer number of knights and Ad. Lance!

This was my favorite Ad. Lance. Andrew Ford's heavily converted Necron knights were awesome to look at. Here they are strutting around pre-game for our RTT match up. Spoiler- I lost this game.
My army list for the event:

Flying Hive Tyrant with brainleech devourers and egrubs
Flying Hive Tyrant with brainleech devourers and egrubs
15 Termagants
15 Termagants
Hive Crone
Malanthrope
Malanthrope
2 Biovores
Barbed Hierodule

Allied detachment:
Flying Hive Tyrant with brainleech devourers and egrubs
10 Termagants

Here is my army the night before the event. Low quality pics is how I roll!
So let's talk results!

For the GT portion of the weekend I went 2-1 with a shot at top 16 but thanks to getting smoked in my third game I came up short.

On to the games! Here is a quick recap of day one's action!

In game one I faced Theo's Eldar. Theo was running two Wraithknights, two Wraithlords, an Avatar, three Wave Serpents, one of which was full of fire dragons and an Autarch. He told me he built this list almost with facing Tyranids in mind as he felt a non-Hierodule list would struggle versus all the toughness eight stuff on the table. Thank god I had my Hierodule in this one!

Theo's army was well painted and on a great looking display board!
I won the roll to go first and got the Master of Ambush warlord trait. Things were going perfectly for me. Theo's attempt to steal failed and I was able to take down a serpent, put five wounds on one of the wraithknights, and force the Autarch's unit to fail a leadership test getting them running right from the start. Thanks to my Malanthrope and the Hierodule being in ruins, the Hierodule was enjoying a 2+ cover save for the return fire and was able to fire at his leisure.

Master of ambush allowed me to get tyrants in position to take out serpents early. That empty space in between the tyrants was once a wave serpent!
Theo's bad luck dice sent the fire dragons running from the start. They would eventually run off the board.
I was able to keep Theo's forces on their heels for most of the game and he was hampered by very poor dice. The guy could not catch a break on leadership tests especially. I won the game on the secondary objective.

Game two I went up against Mike's Space Wolves with a knight. Mike's game plan was to drive a couple of land raiders full of angry guys right down my throat. It nearly worked! My hierodule went cold and was unable to take down the land raiders in time. Mike's forces were able to pile in to my gaunt screen, while my other units fought a delaying action against the knight.

Sustained fire from hive tyrants turned the tide for me in this one, they were able to whittle down the large Space Wolf units and net me independent character kills as well. Luckily I was able to weather the storm and walk away with the win. I definitely felt this was the poorest I played tactically in the entire tournament, I allowed Mike to engage my army on his terms, not my own. As a newer tourney player, it's always nice to have these learnings on games you are still able to pull out the win.

As I told the other guys on the blog in hangouts during the tourney "Well I played that extremely poorly and had some bad luck. 2-0!"

Now it is time for the main event for me for the evening. I am currently 2-0 with a chance to make the top 16. The top 16 is something I really wanted to crack and everything was going according to plan (with a little bit of luck!).

Then game three happened! I was up against Aaron Aelong and his double forgeworld knights, wraithknight and three wave serpents. Aaron is someone who has won major tourneys and also hosts a tourney of his own in Indy. I was in for a fight!

I have often remarked that I really wanted to play some top 40k tourney players to see how they go about the game differently than I do as a more casual player with tourney aspirations. I was about to get my chance.

Knowing the incredible mobility of Objective Secured Wave serpents, I opted to go second (I honestly don't remember if I won the roll or if I opted not to try to seize.) Aaron deployed very conservatively and spent his first turn making sure I had no target to shoot at. As he put units on his objectives, the game took a decisive turn against me. He rolled skyfire nexus on two of the three objectives in his control on turn one. My tyrants had to deal with skyfiring wave serpents, lovely...

I spent my turn castling up but did not move my hierodule up to insure he would have turn one shots on something. In retrospect, this was a huge mistake. Because Aaron was using the Forgeworld kinghts the range on his shooting was somewhat limited. I should have taken advantage of this to at least force some fire on some units early and often.

Turn two started off with Aaron putting a couple wounds on my hive crone (which was still on the ground as I had castled up). This is where I made a second tactical blunder! Like a wounded animal, I began to try to lash out, my tyrants began a flank move to try to put pressure on the serpents. I allowed that moment in time to get me out of my game plan, which for Tyranids always is "be in position to to have a strong presence late in the game."

Needless to say, the wave serpents were able to chew up my air support over the course of the game. You just can't make that many 3+ saves with skyfiring Wave Serpents. Aaron just waited for me to make that first move and then just leaned on me for the game much like a heavyweight fighter would when he has an advantage.

The night ended up with me on the outside looking in for the top 16. Overall I am happy with my results as I had the time for only three playtest games with my army and I am definitely a rookie when it comes to tourney 40k. As Fat Albert says "We're going to have a good time and maybe learn something too!"


Until next time, Hey Hey Hey!