Monday, February 10, 2014

Local 1k Tournament Bat Reps with New Nids

On Sunday, Chandler and I hit up the local store for the monthly 1k RTT. This was my first "competitive" field test with the new nids, so I was looking forward to seeing how everything worked, specifically the new guys: the Crone and the Exocrine. My list was essentially my 1850 list cut in half, with a couple Biovores added in:

Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2 TL Devourers
30 Termagants
2 Biovores

Game 1 saw me matched up against Elle's Farsight Tau with Tau allies. The mission was Crusade with 4 objectives and Vanguard deployment. Elle's list was:

Farsight Commander: Fusion Blades, Talisman of Arthas Moloch, Vectored Retro Thrusters
Riptide: Fusion Blasters, Ion, Velocity Tracker, Stimm, 2 Shielded Missile Drones
3 Crisis Suits: 2 Plasma Guns, Flamers, Shas'vre
1 Crisis Suit: 2 Flamers
Tau Commander: Iridium, C&C Node, Chip, Multi-spectrium, drone controller, Onager Gauntlet
14 Kroot: Hound

Elle won the roll for first turn and chose to deploy first. She deployed the Crisis suits middle back, with the Riptide and commanders off to my left.  I deployed with most of my gant blob on the left, but strung out across my front line. The Exocrine was forward middle, with the Tervigon behind, and the zoan on the back left. I kept the biovores and both flyers in reserve.

Turn 1, the suits jumped up slightly, though mostly out of range. The Riptide overheated on its Ion Cannon and didn't fire. A couple of gants may have been killed by missiles from drones. In my turn, I moved forward, spawned a healthy number of gants to run back for my rear objective. The exocrine walked forward to get a crisis suit in sight and hit with his blast, killing a drone.

Turn 2 saw the Mon'at and Kroot arrive. The Kroot outflanked on my back right and killed all but 2 of the spawned gants with the help of the monat, who landed right next to the exocrine. Shooting from the crisis suits killed a bunch of gants, while the Riptide unit killed the Zoanthrope. In my turn, the Crone and Flyrant arrived and both vector struck crisis suits, with the crone going for the big squad while the flyrant went for the monat. Both only got 2 hits, but killed a crisis suit each. The exocrine wasn't able to get through the Riptide's nova-charged shields, while the crone killed the drone in the crisis team with its drool cannon. The flyrant and more gants killed a few kroot.

The crisis suits and Riptide unit moved to get behind the crone and took some shots at the flyrant, but failed to hurt him. The crisis suits killed all the gants they could see, but there were still 10-15 on my right flank. The kroot moved up and fired at the larger gant unit, but failed to deal significant damage. In my turn I swooped the flyrant over and landed the crone to turn around. The biovores walked on the board and promptly wiped out the kroot, with a little help from the termagants nearby. The flyrant wiped out the crisis suits with the help of the exocrine, while the crone dealt a wound to the riptide, then foolishly charged into combat. As soon as I did it I was berrating myself for being silly, as the Crone propmtly died to either an Onager Gauntlet or Riptide Smash.

It may not look like it, but everything is in synapse thanks to Dominion on both the Tervigon and Flyrant
Time had been called in the previous round, but we were moving quick, so opted for another turn. The riptide group shuffled a little and fired on the Flyrant, but failed to do damage. With no troops left, there wasn't much Elle could do. In the bottom of the turn, I moved my surviving termagants from the original blob onto a third objective, ending the game with a 10-1 victory.

In all, there were 5 Tyranid players at the tournament, and we all won game 1, so ineveitably there were two Tyranid matchups in Round 2. I was matched against Anthony, who I have always played with my nids against his when we both show to the same tournament. His list was:

Tyranid Prime (Warlord)
Flyrant with dual devourers and adrenal glands
3x10 termagants
2 Dakkafexes

Unfortunately, I stopped taking pictures at this point. The mission was purge the alien on Dawn of War deployment. Anthony won the roll and chose to go first. He castled up in his right side, with the exocrine and flyrant in the middle. I countered by mostly deploying on my right, with my Crone alone on the left, and gants stretched across the front of my zone.

In turn 1, Anthony shot forward with his flyrant, while careful to keep his exocrine 31" from mine. The flyrant shot down the crone in a mixture of good luck for him (10 wounds total) and bad luck for me (I failed 6 of 10 saves) to net him a kill point and first blood. I shuffled my castle and failed to down his flyrant with termagants and my flyrant. Then the exocrine flexed his muscle and managed 5 hits (five 6s and a 5) and killed the flyrant to get a kill point back on my side.

The rest of the game was spent largely staring at each other and shuffling for position. On turn 3 I flew my flyrant into his left corner, then on turn 4, the last turn, attempted to take out a squad of gants to net me the win, but 3 survived and so the game ended in a 2-2 tie. Pretty boring.

After a break, game three saw me matched up against Taudar of the following flavor:

Riptide with Velocity Tracker, Ion, fusion
2x12 fire warriors
6 pathfinders
3 jetbikes

The mission was Emperor's will on Vanguard Strike deployment. Again, I lost the roll for deployment, and this time was forced to deploy first. I spread my gants 2-3 deep across the entire front of my board edge, with the exocrine and tervigon in the front middle in a piece of terrain. The biovores were in the back, and the Zoanthrope, who rolled paroxysm, was hiding behind the terrain piece the Exocrine was in. Again, I kept my flyrant and Crone in reserve. He deployed with his two fire warrior squads on hills, with the Wraithknight on my right and the riptide centrally. The pathfinders started out on my right.

He failed to seize, and so I took first turn. Everything shuffled up a little, and the Tervigon spawned out on a mighty 5. The zoan was just in range to paroxysm his Fireblade group and did so. The exocrine was just in range of the Riptide and dealt him a wound, while the Biovores scattered off the pathfinders onto the fireblade's group and killed a couple. Return fire killed all but 2 of my termagant blob, but some poor rolling from the riptide and wraithknight saw the exocrine take a single wound.

Turn 2 saw the flyrant stay in reserve, but the crone swooped on and vector struck the wraithknight, dealing two wounds. The zoanthrope paroxysmed the riptide, who was then lit up by the exocrine and died. The biovores killed 8 of the Farseer's group who broke and ran all of 4". Finally, the Crone killed 5 of 6 pathfinders with her drool cannon. In the bottom of the turn, I failed 5 out of 7 saves on the crone who crashed to the ground, and the exocrine took a single wound again from the wraithknight.

In turn 3, the flyrant flew on my left side and aimed for his jetbikes hiding in a corner, and promptly failed to kill anything. The Zoanthrope paroxysmed the Wraithknight down to BS/WS1 and the Tervigon charged forward, dealing a couple wounds to a single wound in return. Other shooting killed a couple fire warriors from the fireblade's squad. In the bottom of the turn, the flyrant took a wound and was grounded, taking another. In combat, the tervigon and wraithknight took each other down to a single wound.

In turn 4, the flyrant made for the Farseer and his squad on their objective. I'd cast Catalyst on himself and the Exocrine, and promptly forgot. Shooting killed a few fire warriors, and then the flyrant charged the squad, and was promptly killed by overwatch with some wonderfill 3+ save rolls on my part. In the wraithknight combat, the wraithknight overcame his WS1 (again rolled -3 with Paroxysm) and smashed down the Tervigon. In the bottom of the turn, he moved for my exocrine and failed to do any damage, while the jetbikes ran up into my deployment zone.

Time was called there, with a 5-4 Taudar Victory (First Blood to Linebreaker and Warlord). Had the game continued, I feel confident I would have killed the wraithknight and at least tied up the jetbikes in my zone, keeping them off my objective, while possibly blasting the 2 remaining firewarriors and farseer off his. That said, while it was a loss, I was pretty impressed. Other than the exocrine, not much went well for me. with my FMCs failing twice as many saves as they made, and me forgetting catalyst.

All in all, it was a good day for the new nids. That gant blob is pretty impressive. Positioning can generally allow me to keep part of the unit more or less wholly out of range or line of sight, meaning the unit cannot be wiped out, at least in one go. It also allows for massive board control. The zoanthrope did pretty well, with his extra powers being helpful in the last game in particular.

The crone generally underperformed, but in part that was bad luck. In game 2, had I made more saves than I failed (and had Anthony not rolled that hot) the crone likely would have netted me at least 1, if not 2 kill points (the venomthrope was exposed and would have been closer than his bodyguard prime, who I could have hit with the drool cannon). I also didn't see a single vehicle to use haywire on, so there generally weren't ideal targets available.

I wasn't sold on the exocrine going in, but he did very well despite his limited range. That said, a 6'x4' board might make things more difficult, though 2 are still pretty tough, so you can be aggressive with them, just like Hive Guard were used.

The biovores did pretty well, though mostly in game 3. I currently don't have any in my 1850 list, and I'm not sure how to fit them in if I stick with 2 exocrines. I am tempted to give Harpies with stranglethorn a try, but then I'm running the risk of having little-to-no anti-vehicle for the games I do face Serpent Spam.

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