So this weekend, Hive Fleet Nemesis extended it's probing tentacles toward the Summer Skirmish at Maelstrom Games in Mansfield. The Fleet deployed a Combat Patrol force totalling five hundred points, which it hoped would seek out new biomass to power the ancient alien fleet...
3 x Zoanthropes
4 x Raveners with Deathspitters and Rending Claws
10 x Genestealers
The event consisted of twelve games, each lasting forty minutes. To cut a long and probably tedious story short, I managed two wins and ten losses during the two days. Of the losses, I should really have won two of them, but in both those cases I was thwarted by some pretty unlikely dice rolls - Raveners being run down by Necron Warriors, for example. In the other eight games, I was defeated by the Space Marines of the Grey Knights and Blood Angels chapters. I lost my first game in seven minutes to a GK gun-line. In my defence I set up first but my opponent (the eventual tournament winner, no less) seized the initiative and mowed down my force in one-and-a-half shooting phases. Not a good start! In another memorable game, I destroyed almost all of a Blood Angels Death Company in two turns, with minimal losses. The only surviving model - a Dreadnought with Blood Talons (or, Jazz Hands as our Andy calls 'em) - munched through my entire army. Tabled by a single model!
My two wins were both against a new-ish Tau player. The two games were both close, and more importantly fun, but were decided in both cases when I managed to destroy his one tank on turn one. This left his infantry and snipers exposed to my marauding Raveners and Zoanthropes.
In the end, I had a great weekend - tiring, quite frantic (nine games on day one!) but ultimately enjoyable. I'm a bit odd in that I treat tournaments as a quick way to learn how to use a new army, and this weekend was a case in point. Before Saturday, I had only played half-a-dozen games with Tyranids, so a twelve-game tournament was the perfect way to get my teeth (and claws) into this new army. So, with only moderate expectations I embarked upon the weekend. During the games, I learnt the massive need to keep your army in Synapse at all times (two games were directly lost because Raveners fled and were run down after losing combat by a single wound). I also learnt that Grey Knights completely break Zoanthropes! Instead of testing for the psychic powers on a 10, I was testing on a 6 for my Warp Blasts and Lances due to some odd quirk of their codex. Two of my games were against GK, and both lasted less than two turns. Ho hum!
So, what now for the scuttling alien horde? Well, I've already played my first 1,750pt game with the Tyranids against a Wave Serpent-heavy Eldar force led by an Avatar. My bugs munched through the Eldar very efficiently and my opponent (a top guy called Daryl) actually capitulated after three turns. So, I'm fairly confident that at larger points values, the Hive Fleet can prove to be very effective. As for smaller games, I need to remember to leave home with more Synapse!