Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Nom nom nom - Feeding the Hive Mind

Now, that is a tasty Space Wolf
So, I had a game against Graham's null deployment Tyranids last week and let's just say that it didn't end well for the brave boys from Fenris. Now, it would be very easy for me to sit here and moan about bad luck (dear dice gods, the average roll for 3D6 is 10.5) but that would be counter-productive. So, let's see where we went wrong and what we could perhaps have done about it.

Deployment and Early Turns

Now, my deployment was actually quite good. I made sure that I was 18" away from the board edges so that those nasty outflanking Genestealers couldn't get me. I knew that I was going to have two full turns before Graham's army stated coming on and I managed to make sure that all three of my Long Fang packs were in cover. This was essential since these guys were going to be the main target for the Doom of Malan'tai when it arrived. Then I made my first mistake. I put my two Cyclone Missile Launchers in the Drop Pod and landed them near one the Objectives in Graham's deployment zone. My thinking was that they could deal with the Termagants that were in reserve while still being in range to support my deployment zone with their missiles.

Seeing that written down it still looks like quite a good plan. Then my Scouts arrived at the start of my turn 2 and ran so they were near the other Objective in Graham's DZ. Looking good now, one of these units can easily deal with 10 Termagants. And they did. The 'gants charged the Scouts and then got wiped out. Pretty much all of Graham's army turned up on turn 2 and it all turned up on the same flank. One of the units of 'stealers even bunched themselves up nicely by charging my Drop Pod.

It was at this point that I became aware of my second mistake. Having two free turns to move around without much to do had affected my concentration. I'd forgotten those nasty Zoanthropes would be podding down and I should have made sure that I popped smoke on some of my Rhinos.

The Doom also came down and killed 3-4 Long Fangs. Not good. Obviously I didn't help myself by having two Packs in the same bit of cover but I didn't really have much choice due to the lack of cover on the table.

Turn 3 - The Tide Really Turns

Still, at this point, I'm feeling pretty confident. I've got an obscene amount of firepower left. However, this is where the silly mistakes start creeping in. My Lone Wolf continued to run towards Graham's board edge giving the big "come on!" to the Hive Tyrant still in reserve while the Scouts stood around thinking that their job was done. Yes, it would have taken most of the game for them to get back to the sharp end of the battle but they should still have tried.

My other problem was priority. This is where 'nids really excell, they give you lots of targets to shoot and try and make you pick the wrong one(s). I knew that I had to deal with the Doom otherwise it would just float there killing my Long Fangs. However, I also needed to kill the Zoanthropes to save my Rhinos and the Spore Pods so that I could see the Tervigon. And then there were those juicy 'stealers just waiting to be fragged to death.

What I should have done is fire everything at the Doom. I should have moved more Melta units up near it and I should have fired all of my Kraks at it. Instead I did a bit of splitting fire, just assuming that I could easily take care of it. How wrong I was. Then, with my last shooting of the turn, I fired my CMLs at the Genestealers rather than the Doom. I'm not sure that four more Kraks would have made the difference since it looked like it didn't want to die but that's not the point.

And the worst thing? I convinced myself that I was playing the mission because I was shooting at troops! There I was condemning the units that could have won the game (my Long Fangs) to death under the pretence of playing the mission.

Of course to really rub salt into the wound, the remaining 'stealers charged the two Wolf Guard through cover. Wolf Guard struck first but could only kill one. Genestealers killed one in return. Tied combat which saved the xenos from any more shooting.

The Coup De Grace

Things really failed to improve from there. Some really bad leadership rolls for the Long Fangs meant that the Doom saw them off easily. My Grey Hunters managed to fall back in good order and I did kill quite a lot of Genestealers with Murderous Hurricane but it was 2-1 in Graham's favour at the end of turn 4 and I would have required quite a big slice of luck to have claimed a draw from there.

Conclusions

Null deployment 'nids can work really really well. It's a little bit too random for my liking - units can easily turn up late or in the wrong place - but when it works, it works very very well. I made a lot of little mistakes in this game which, on one hand, is encouraging since I didn't make any really big dumb ones. Apart from my CMLs, my deployment was good and I left myself some good fire lanes. Nearly all of my problems stemmed from assuming that x-number of S8 shots would kill the Doom. That cost me the game. I should have lined everything up to kill it. That would have given me at least another turn of shooting from my Long Fang packs until the rest of the 'nids reached them.

I'm playing Andy's Jumping Army of Jumpyness this week. I've already tweaked my list and I'll hopefully have a bit more of an idea about what I'm doing against the boys in Power Armour...

1 comment:

  1. Actually, one of the key things I did fail to point out here is how well Graham played. He's really getting the hang of 'nids now and he's showing the benefits of playing with a settled list. 

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