Monday, 5 November 2012

The Week That Was ...

I'm in a glass case of emotion!


26th October – 1st November

Chaos Win

Looks like I may have done well to avoid playing Mick’s Chaos list last week because I was roundly spanked by Gav’s Chaos Marines/Daemons list this Thursday. In fairness the list is something we’re working on together for the Battle Brothers tournament in January so Gav cannot be held wholly responsible for the giant slice of gorgonzola that he served up to me and, but for some poor dice and poor decision-making, I could have done a lot better. Before I spout off about the game here’s an overview of the lists:

1500pts - Purge the Alien/Vanguard

Marines/Daemons:
Huron
Great Unclean One of Nurgle
Flamers of Tzeentch (5)
2x Chaos Space Marine Squad (14) 2x Plasma, 1 Sgt w. Lightning Claw
Pink Horrors (5) w. The Changeling
Helldrake w. Baelflamer
Screamers of Tzeentch (5)
Obliterators (2) MoN

Tyranids
Prime w. 2x Boneswords & Deathspitter
2x Hive Guard (3)
2x Termagant (10)
2x Tervigon Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, three 6th ed Powers
Raveners (5) Rending Claws
Carnifex Brood (2) 2x TL Devourers each

I went second but due to Huron’s Trait I was basically deploying blind as Gav rolled a 3 for his number of units able to infiltrate. I set up a fairly balanced front but with the ‘fex/Prime unit  on my left flank in cover but within reach of his Oblits, and the Raveners dead centre. I also held both units of Termagants in reserve. Gav infiltrated his two large Marine Squads in cover to my right with Huron’s unit more towards the centre.

The first turn began with Gav getting his preferred wave so down came the Screamers, right in front of my Raveners, and the Flamers, right between my Carnifexes and a unit of Hive Guard. The Screamers turbo-boosted over my Raveners causing about 3 wounds and the Flamers took two wounds off the Prime and one off a Carnifex. Could have been worse! In my first turn I poured the Carnifexes into the flamers reducing them to two models and the two Cluster Spines and Hive Guard into the Screamers, reducing them to two models as well.

Poor decision #1 I did not spawn any ‘gants because this is a VP scenario and I did not want to contribute more VPs to the pool. However if I’d had the units available I’d have been able to mop up the remaining models in each unit giving me 2 VPs for the kills and an extra one for first blood. The ‘gants would have been in a relatively safe position and able to react to the next wave of Daemons to drop.

Poor decision #2 I charged the remaining Flamers with my ‘fex/Prime unit. The overwatch fire caused 3 wounds killing off the wounded Carnifex and the resulting combat only succeeded in killing 2 of the remaining 3 Flamers. This was largely caused by my decision not to shoot the remaining Flamers with the nearest unit of Hive Guard though as they could probably have finished them off!

Poor decision #3 Charging Huron’s unit with my Raveners, through cover, at a distance of 9”. Obviously this was unsuccessful and the overwatch fire took the unit down to 3 models. Not good!

Sure enough Gav got the Great Unclean One and the Horrors next, blocking the progress of my ‘fex/Prime unit with the big fella and putting the Horrors in my backfield to give me another reason to think twice before advancing on his juicy units of Marines. His shooting was effective, finishing off the Raveners in the middle and taking a wound off the Tervigon on the extreme right flank. My shooting phase, however, was much more productive ... for Gav! I chose to spawn two units of ‘gants this time and one of the units in reserve came on, from here on in I think the rest of the turn can be summed up as follows:

Poor decision #4 I chose to shoot at the Pink Horrors! Sure enough the unit of Termagants failed their leadership and shot at the recently spawned unit of ‘gants killing a couple of models. Then (less stupidly – but no less unsuccessfully) my Tervigon failed his leadership test and plonked his pie-plate on top of the depleted ‘gant unit finishing them off.

Poor decision #5 After charging the Great Unclean One (who was Enfeebled I might add) with a bunch of poisoned ‘gants I also piled in my Carnifex and Prime. If I’d rolled better this would have been fine but as it was I got stuck in combat for another 2 player turns eventually losing the Prime to a challenge and everything else along the way. Only taking the Great Unclean One with me thanks to a Warp Speed buffed Tervigon charging in a turn later.

The rest of the game was rather academic since I lost all three secondary conditions and was behind on VPs even without those. I definitely could have played it better but at least I’m seeing what I’ve done wrong and hopefully I can correct this in the future.

I’m not putting it all down to my mistakes either, Gav played a blinder (clearly still sore about Space Hulk the previous week), but I think that if I’d kept my wits about be and not been quite such a knuckle-head I could have given him a bit more of a game!

If I could do it all again I would have spawned ‘gants in turn 1 and not allowed the Daemons in my back-field slow my advance. Also I should have just tar-pitted the Great Unclean One with poisoned ‘gants, they would have killed him eventually and I think my Monstrous Creatures would have had a good chance at wiping the Marine squads if they’d been able to get there!

I think that playing Tyranids, more than any army I’ve used before, requires you to have a rock solid plan going into a game and a number of factors (some of which may be out of your control) can quickly wreck that plan making recovering anything from the game very hard work. Not to mention that if you plan poorly or make silly mistakes during the game, any chance of being competitive can very quickly go out of the window. This is undoubtedly a lesson that applies to all armies and it’s a testament to my lack of success at tournaments that I have not been able to learn this lesson to date. Perhaps my experiences with Tyranids will make a better player out of me!

And in other news

Overpowered units. When 6th was brand spanking new, everyone was asking, “How are you going to deal with Flyers?”. I think that in most situations (even though this question still pops up more often than not) my answer is, “I’m just going to ignore them”. Admittedly it’s going to be very hard to ignore multiple Vendettas when playing a Monstrous Creature-heavy list, but in that case I will try to force them to Hover to make the most out of their Lascannons and at that point I need to be in position to jump on them with something killy! Perhaps this is a naive position but I’m going to drop shooting capability from my next test list and see how it goes.

Now the overpowered unit label seems to have been applied to those troublesome Screamers and Flamers from the Chaos Daemons Codex and I have to say that they certainly do worry me, particularly as I’m probably not going to be carrying any significant shooting in the next few test lists. However if you play a list with a suitable amount of shooting in it, and as this is 6th ed you really ought to be able to shoot, I can’t see these units being unmanageable. If you put fire-power into them they will crumble and then what has the list got? Probably some very poor scoring units with low survivability and a Monstrous Creature or two, this should be manageable. If a game is balanced you should not be able to win easily, it should be tough, it should be a challenge. And I really don’t qualify 27 Screamers and 27 Flamers as an “I Win Button”.

Let’s hear your thoughts, I’m sure you all have some!

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