Howdy y'all Ghoulio here with another tournament recap. Over the weekend here in Calgary I participated in what is arguably the biggest tournament in western Canada for this year (at least for prize support as the top prize is worth around $2000, not including the minatures you get). The tournament was over 2 days. The first day was 32 people for 40k (there was also a fantasy side) and we played 3 games. The top 16 people from those first 3 games moved onto day 2, where they would play for the final spots. I was never worried about making it to day two since regardless of whatever army I am playing I have never been out of the top half of any tourney in my life. The strange thing about this tournament though was the what time of day it was run. It went from 5pm to 12:30am the first night and 6pm to 11:30pm the second night.
Since the new codex was released I have been wracking my brains as to what I wanted to take, redoing it over and over again till I found something that was A) Fun to play, B) Somewhat competitive and C) Looked really cool on the board. So I made sure that there were virtually no duplicates in the army and I had enough small, medium, big and really huge things to create visual interest. So here is the list that I took:
Hive Tyrant - Bonesword, Lashwhip, Heavy Venom Cannon, Old Adversary, Leech Essence and Paroxsym
Hive Tyrant - Scything Talons, Heavy Venom Cannon, Hive Commander, Leech Essence and Paroxsym
Hive Guard (2)
Zoanthropes (3) - Mycetic Spore (40pts)
180pts (220pts total)
Genestealers (12+Broodlord) - Broodlord - Implant Attack, Scything Talons
Hormagaunts (20) - Toxin Sacs
Tyranid Warriors (5) - Scything Talons, Deathspitters, Barbed Strangler
Raveners (4) - Rending Claws
Trygon Prime - Adrenal Glands
2000pts right on the nose
Before I start into the different rounds I want to apologyze for the lack of pictures for the different games. We started late the first day so things were very rushed, so I was concentrating on getting the whole game in instead of taking pictures.
Round 1: Space Marines - Seize Ground - Spearhead Deployment
My first game was naturally against marines. I was playing against a fellow named Colin and he had an amazingly painted marine chapter of his own creating. The board was fairly sparse as far as terrain goes (this is a common theme for the entire tournament...and made most games way more difficult for me to do anything in). There were a bunch of buildings scattered here and there with the largest one in my deployment zone. Basically everything in my deployment zone was set up right on the line so I could start moving out and get those objectives. I only deepstruck my Zoanthropes and only outflanked my Warriors (hopefully to get in behind his force which was RIGHT on the edge of the board with his dev squad in it). He set up his devastator squad, a combat squad and his command squad in the large building deep in his deployment zone and then set up second half of that combat squad, land speeder, Vindicator, a full 10 man tact squad and a Land Raider with the assault termies and a chaplain right on the line.
- I put the Deathleaper in the rear of the building right behind his 3 squads and the whirlwind. The turn he came in I managed to stun the whirlwind. In the following turns he threw his command squad with his general, the full combat squad and the remains of a tact squad that my Trygon managed to finish off. Even though the Leaper only managed to kill 5 marines in hand to hand combat before he was taken down Colin had devoted so much of his forces to deal with the threat that he wasn't going for the objectives till it was too late.
- The Trygon. This guy managed to blow up a Dreadnought, but luckily it was in his turn, not mine. The following turn he killed all but 1 from the tact squad that was holding the middle of the table. All in all he just caused lots of damage.
- The Zoanthropes. They managed to imobilize the Land Raider and blew off one of its guns (the multi melta). I also put them into a place where the assault terminators would HAVE to assault them, which brought them within range of 20 termagants, 4 raveners and my Hive Tyrant with Old Adversary (gives all units within 6" prefered enemy).
- The Bonesword/Lashwhip Tyrant basically mopped up the termy squad with the help of some smaller bugs. Casting Paroxysm on the terminator squad made them WS 1, which meant everything I had in combat hit on a 3+ with a re-roll and everything he had hit on a 5+. After just 2 rounds of combat I managed to kill 5 assault terminators and the chaplain with only losing 2 raveners and a couple wounds on my Tyrant.
- This army has zero staying power. If this was a kill point mission he would of beaten me for sure. With that being said I was intentionally reckless and agressive with the units that couldnt score, basically getting him to shoot at them while leaving scoring units mostly untouched.
Massacre. At the end of the game I managed to hold 3 objectives to his zero. It sounds odd, but even though the Deathleaper did virtually nothing damage wise he was such a psychological threat that Colin just devoted WAY too much of his army to deal with them instead of focusing on the objective at hand.
Round 2: Mechinised Imperial Guard - Annihilation - Spearhead Deployment
This army is 100% the nightmare army for my Tyranid list. When Ryan first started putting models out on the board I just couldn't help thinking "What on earth am I going to do against this list?". To make matters worse this board had only 5 pieces of terrain on it, and only one of them was a large building. I won the roll to go first and I made Ryan take the first turn as I had decided the only way I will be able to do anything at all is to hold everything I had in reserve and bring it on the side of the board that he was closest too as Tyrands lose the range game...big time lol. I deepstruck my Zoanthropes (as they have too), my Trygon and my Deathleaper and I outflanked my Stealers and my Warriors. Everything else was coming out on my board edge. To make matters even worse he had a master of the fleet and astropath, so I got -1 to my reserve rolls and had to re-roll which side I outflanked on...sigh. The only saving grace is that his army had 17-18 kill points and mine only has 12, so I decided to work on the easy to kill squads to try and make up the difference.
- The Genestealers were absolute BEASTS this game. The squad dynamic totally changes with these guys when you put a broodlord into the mix. They managed to kill 2x10 man guard squads, Marbro and a Chimera. In the end they managed to get me 4 Kill Points, which was awesome.
- The Zoanthropes. This was their best game of the Tournament. Then went completely apeshit this game. The turn they landed they got rear shots at the Demolisher and blew it to pieces (rolled a 6 on the damage chart). Then they got assaulted by Strakken and his command squad and managed to live long enough for me to bring up my Scything Talon Tyrant and 15 or so gaunts. After that the remaining two blew the Leman Russ to pieces.
- The Scything Talon Tyrant. This guy was a complete beast. He managed to work his way up the field and assault the Hell Hound that had just killed almost all the Hormagaunt squad, blowing it to pieces. Then took an entire round of shooting from different places and Ryan JUST couldn't strip his last wound. Then he managed to get into combat with Strakken and killed his entire squad off in Ryan's turn, so he was free to move in mine. Then he Leeched Essence from one of the last remaining Guard Squads and got ALL his wounds back. Awesome.
- The Tyranid Warriors. These guys are a permanent fixture in the "low points" section. Even though they came in on the side I wanted them to all they did was get shot and die. I think I had one left at the end of the game and all they managed to do was make it so the Valkyre didnt shoot one turn. Awesome.
- The Trygon. He appeared behind the enemy lines, but due to me forgetting that this ISNT 4th ed and you dont just need to be in area terrain with your MC's to get the cover saves and you actually have to block half of your MC's to get any cover save...period he just got destoryed in the turn he came in. He literally did nothing.
- After turn 2 100% forgetting to roll for my Hive Guard to come in...which would of been nice since I was playing a 100% mech force LOL
Minor Victory. I managed to get 13 kill points to his 7, so it was one off a Massacre. All in all though it was a really good game and Ryan was a super fun guy to play against. There was a lot more back and forth in the game and when you look at the table it doesn't LOOK like a Tyranid Victory as I only had 5 models left on the board (1 Zoanthrope, both Hive Tyrants, a Tyranid Warrior and a Ravener).
Round 3: Space Wolves - Seize Ground - Pitched Battle
I have to say that Space Wolves are easily one of the most powerful armies in the game right now. After playing against an army that was really well put together they are just so much better then basic marines in every way there is no reason to ever use the regular marine book. All their upgrades are so damn cheap and their long fang pack squads are sooooo underpriced for what they do (140pts for 5 missile launchers that can split fire...sigh). I also found out that Paul had 2 rune priests with Jaws of the World Wolf...which he took 100% for fighting Tyranids...great lol. He also had a disturbing amount of anti psyker abilities in his army...it puts any other army I can think of to shame. Another board with almost no terrain in between my board edge and his (at least 15"...very painful). There was a tall rock formation in the middle of his deployment zone and he set up his two squads of long fang packs on this formation, so the top squad was impossible for me to get to. I set up most of mine on the right side of the board within range of 3 objectives, also trying to split up his forces since one of his rhinos and his land raider was on the far right side. I chose to outlfank my warriors and stealers again but only deepstruck the two things that had too since there was a building I could actually HIDE my Trygon behind (I know, go figure).
- My Trygon redeemed himself this game. He helped kill a big squad of grey hunters that missed their deepstrike (and therefore saved all my MC's from being JAWS lol). He also killed a squad of Wolves and one of the Long Fang Packs. The only crappy thing with this guy is I lost almost all his wounds because I couldnt make a 3+ save to save my life (I was well under 50%).
- The Raveners went crazy this game. After being "Murderously Hurricaned" and rolling 2x1's on their dangerous terrain check (bringing their number down to 2) they managed to help kill the Grey Hunter squad that missed its deepstrike, losing one of their numbers while doing it (so down to one). Then the lone ravener actually killed an entire squad of 5 Grey Hunters by himself (basically killed 3 of them, they did nothing back, broke and ran off the table :D ). After that he killed 2 or 3 MORE grey hunters from the squad that was in the land raider lol. Crazy.
- I lost one of my Hive Guard right off the bat, which sucked. Then I watched the lone hive guard blow up every single non-Land Raider Vehicle on the table lol. That "No LOS" rule is amazingly good.
- My rolling (mostly). I couldnt make ANY saves at all. Also, all I had to do was do one of three things on the last turn of the game to win it (and maybe get a massacre). I had to either A) roll a 4 or higher after I beat armor on the land raider with my zoanthrope...which was the 3rd straight turn shooting it or B) roll a 3 or higher on my fleet move with my untouched unit of stealers on his last grey hunter squad or C) roll anything but a 1 on my hive guard to contest the last objective. I failed every last one of those things...sigh.
- Watching 140pts kill almost half my army (the long fang pack). They killed more then half of my hormagaunt squad, they killed both Hive Tyrants and they helped put down my Trygon. So broken lol.
- Watching a 5pt item save 16 (yes 16) str 5, ap 3 hits on a grey hunter squad with no cover.
Draw. Actually, it was a draw in every sense of the word. The difference in Victory Points was 1132-1110 (so 22 point difference in his favor). Was easily one of the tightest games I have ever played at a tournament and I voted for Paul for the best sportsmanship award. He was a super nice guy, and really knew his stuff. Was super challenging playing against him.
Round 4: Tau - Capture and Control - Pitched Battle
Of all the games I have played this is the one that I pretty had lost even before I set up. There was NO terrain in the middle 15-20" in the middle of the board...nothing to hide any of my units in/on...against an army that has a 30"+ range on all its guns. My opponent Davey was a great guy and I know him because he works at the local GW store, but man o man this game wasn't fun for me at all. Being pitched battle there is 24" in between his army and mine for starters and with no terrain that gap seems even larger. I also only have 2 real ranged anti tank options in my army, and the longest ranged one is 24" (my Hive Guard), which compounded everything even more. Even though I knew I was going to lose I figured I am just going to keep going, regardless of what happens.
- My Zoanthropes again. This time they blew up a Devil Fish and a Hammerhead Gunship, imoblized a second Hammerhead Gunship and got into combat against the last firewarrior that happened to be holding his objective, and proceeded to kill the last guy.
- Even though my genestealers outflanked on the exact OPPOSITE side of the board they managed to kill a pesky unit of Stealthsuits and make it to the home objective. If the game ended on Turn 5 (like I was hoping) I would of won. The only sucky thing was when I deep struck my Trygon I moved the objective farther away from the terrain, so it ended up being too far away for my stealer to be hidden, so because it didnt end on turn 5 Davey was able to get a couple shots here and there.
- Despite the Trygon hiding for most of the game holding onto my own objective he did manage to redeem himself. At the last second he managed to zip out of cover, roll awesome for his fleet (I know!! I didnt believe it either!) and devour a 12 man firewarrior squad. Literally did 7 wounds in one round. Was crazy.
- Sigh...where to begin. My rolling for this game was BRUTAL. Every last thing i tried to do failed me. My hormagaunts didnt come in till turn 5 and they came in on the wrong side of the board. They were so far out of the fight that I didnt even deploy them as there is nothing they could of done to effect the game. What I SHOULD of done was hold them in regular reserve and had them come out on my table edge to claim my objective later in the game...but I wasnt thinking.
- To tie into my rolling my Raveners got freaking pistol whipped in combat by a unit of fire warriors and a couple Crisis suits. I rolled like crap (less then 50% hit with no rending wounds) and he rolled awesome since he needed 5's to hit me back.
- This one is for Davey. His one broadside was embarrasing...like on par with my Raveners lol. The amount of times he missed with a twin linked shot on this guy blew my mind. He even missed my lone genestealer holding the objective AFTER he made his own BS 4 (so 3+ with a re-roll) and lowered my cover save to nothing. He wasn't pleased...but I was :D
- Davey never rolled less then 5 out of 6 for his marker lights...so stuff that he wanted to die died. Nothing I could do about it.
Draw. HOW I managed to get a draw is beyond me. I had both Tyrants, a wounded Trygon, with 1 Zoanthrope holding the objective and a spore pod left at the end of the game (as well as my crappy late hormagaunts that were about 30"s from anything) left and I managed to contest his objective with the Zoan that refused to die and killed all his troop choices. As I mentioned before this game (for me) was incredibly frustrating. The only thing that made it bareable is the fact that Davey is such a good guy to play against.
Round 5: Slaanesh Noise Marines - Annihilation - Dawn of War
Awesome...another extreme shooting army on the EXACT SAME TABLE I played against the Tau on lol. I even had the same side lol. He had 2 Defilers (so two battle cannons), 2 of squads of noise marines, some chosen in a rhino with 4 meltas, 2 squads of noise marines built for hand to hand with aspiring champions that each had a str 5, ap 3 flamer (brutal), a Demon Prince (thankfully no lash lol), oblitirators, Lucius the Eternal and a unit of 6 raptors. Man o man did I have my work cut out for me. I decided to go all out as far as holding stuff in reserves as it managed to work out so well against the Imperial guard. I deepstruck my Trygon, Raveners and Zoanthropes, outflanked a unit of Hormagaunts (again, I know, it is a dumb idea lol), outflanked my stealers and had my deathleaper. I held everything else back (since he was going first) so nothing was on the table to shoot at first turn. The ONLY reason I did this was because I totally forgot the first turn had night fighting lol (blast!). One saving grace was John put a bunch of his stuff near the one table edge...so as long as I dont roll like I did against Davey, then I am good lol.
- The Genestealers also did great this game...especially the Broodlord (easily his best game). I was able to assault the Demon Prince with the Broodlord and his one Noise marine squad that wasnt in cover near the one table edge (rolled a 6 to see what side to come in on..woot!). They killed ALL the noise marines before they got to go and took a wound or two off of the demon prince. Luckily for the prince though i failed on my Hypnotic Gaze so he almost balanced out the combat. The next turn though the stealers got charged by the Defiler and managed to hold their ground till turn 3 until more help arrived. On Turn 3 he managed to take the Prince out of the combat, which was amazing.
- This was THE Deathleapers game. He came in turn 2, just out of sight for most people to shoot at him (they were all about 20"s away and you HAVE to be within 16" to shoot him). On turn 3 he provided the Zoans with a locator beacon so I was able to put them exactly where I wanted to. That same turn he charged the Defiler that was tying up the Stealers and making mince meat out of them and got two penetrating hits and blew the defiler to bits. That turn the remaining stealers managed to kill off the prince.
- The stealers and leaper then charged what was remaining in Lucius the Eternal's squad (so lucius, 3 regular marines). The broodlord got on lucius and took him out of the combat with Hypnotic gaze then wiffed on all the attacks. The Deathleaper proceeded to do the same thing to the squad...then the LONE GENESTEALER did two rending hits knocking out everyone but Lucius in combat lol. The ensuing combat they killed Lucius before he was able to attack.
- After that the Deathleaper proceeded to kill the last noise marine squad in the building and LIVED till the end of the game lol. Not bad for 140pts.
- Paroxysm played a huge part in this game. I was able to hit pretty much any squad that I was going to get into combat with it. Was huge.
- The other Defiler was just man handeled by my one hive tyrant in hand to hand. I did something like 4 penetrating hits and blew it to bits.
- The Trygon deepstruck 10 inches TOWARDS the chosen squad that had 4 melta guns. He landed, did some shooting on the noise marine squad (I think he MIGHT have killed 1) and proceeded to get turned into paste.
- The other main low point belonged to John 100%. He had no less then 3 combats not resolve in my turn and ended in his. All these combats were against things that were going to cause major damage next turn (ie Hive Tyrants, Stealers, etc.). There were a couple combats that saved me a couple kill points.
Minor Victory. I think I had 11 kill points on him and he had like 6 or 7 on me. This game was a true blood bath. I only had 1 Hive Tyrant, 1 Hive Guard that REFUSED TO DIE, my death leaper, all 3 Zoanthropes, my broodlord and one stealer and the spore pod left. John had a unit of chosen, the untouched obliterators and an imobilized rhino (that had repaired itself earlier in the game). It was a super fun game and John was a great person to play against and it was a great way to end what eneded up being a super fun tournament.
Final Tournament Result
I ended up coming in 3rd place (out of 32) and I won best painted so I was both suprised and very happy with the final result. The crazy thing is if I won either of those tie games (especially the one against Davey as that game netted me the least amount of points) I would of won the entire tournament, it was that close. The crazy thing is the guy that came in second had 91 battle points and I had 64 battle points and he only beat me by 1 point (he got 158, I was at 157). He just got DESTROYED in sportsmanship (I watched some of the games, so I think it was justified). I think it was the lowest in the tournament by over 10 points (the rest of all the sportsmanship scores were within 7 points from the lowest to the highest). As it turned out my friend Jason won the whole thing with his eldar (only eldar player in the tournament), so grats to him! My prize for winning best painted was some imperial fortress that was worth $105. The good thing though is I was able to trade it in for two boxes of Lootas and a new Deff Dread for my next project...THE ORKS!
I am finding 40k is really taking a turn in a direction I don't like...at all. Out of the 32 people at the there were so few armies that werent the imperium (ie IG/Marines). Of the xenos lists there was 2 ork players, 2 nid players (me being one), 2 necron players, 1 eldar player, 1 chaos player, 1 demon player and 1 tau player. So of 32 people, 22 were basically playing one army. Every army that WASNT nids was 100% mech as well. Most marine lists were virtually the same, and the guard lists were even more so. The push towards armor and the fact that it is just so strong is really making this game a bland one, especially at tournaments (go read some reports from Adepatcon...1/3 of ALL lists were Imperial Guard). The trend is great for GW since you have to buy so many more things, but really sucks for people who want a bit of variation when playing the game. Despite all that I really lucked out at this tournament in regards to opponents. I didnt play one person I didnt like and would happily play any of them again.
As far as Tyranids go I will expand a bit on my "2 Month Update".
- The Venom Cannon is the worst gun in the game period. In 14 games with this book I have stunned a very small handful of tanks and on the 14 game I did my first bit of damage to a vehicle and that was blow off the battle cannon from a defiler. The worst part about it is you think you MIGHT be able to do something with it instead of running the big man up to get into combat where he will actually do something. Right after my last game I actually pulled both venom cannon arms off both tyrants right there. I ordered 4 resin boneswords and they should be coming soon. Once the get here my new Tyrant is being turned into a swarm lord and I am going to convert up 2 more tyrant guard for his unit. That way he will almost always get cover and have 11 wounds instead of 8 that the 2 regular tyrants have. He will also deathstar the crap out of anything that comes near him.
- This book has the least reslience of any book I have played in 40k. With the new true LOS rules I was rarely able to get any kind of cover save for my MCs, especially the trygon. More often then not it didnt take much to kill anything in my army. I think the most resilient things are the Zoanthropes. I had only one game where my termagants made it past turn 3. Now, I know they are a shield but it really takes no effort to do 25 wounds.
- Warriors are 100% benched until they get power weapons. Even then I might not take them. The only reason to take these guys is to have something that can hold objectives and once you have a Tervigon there is no reason to take these guys at all.
- Deathleapers are as good as you make them. Placement and patience are key to these guys. The games where I tried to force them early in the game I really paid for it (ie they got gacked) and the games where I thought it through where I wanted him to go he paid off in spades. Even if this guy doesnt kill a whole lot of stuff people will go after him because of his dinkish rules (reducing difficult terrain dice, night fighting, etc) and he WILL do damage if you dont deal with him. Bottom line: I really like him and will take him in most lists.
- This army has no pyschic defence. In all the games I have played literally ONE person has failed a psychic test against me due to my defence (and i have every piece of defence you can take in this list), and that was a demon prince rolling a "10" for his test. Since this is one of the armies most effected by enemy psychic tests (especially space wolves who have supreme defence) 12" shadow of the warp just doesn't cut it.
- I really see no reason to take Trygon Primes. Their shooting attack is so sub par and I never used his synapse even once. I wont ever use my big man as a prime again although Adrenal Glands are incredible, especially when hunting marines or dreads. Getting 7 re-rollable attacks at init 5 at str 7 is amazing. At the very least you will blow off his combat weapon which is better for you anyways.
- Genestealers with Broodlords are worth it. They did something every game, especially him. Hypnotic Gaze is a game winner, espcially when you can combine it with the Deathleapers ld penalty. I tried out implant attack and never used it once, so I doubt I would take it again. I am finding that these guys bare bones with a broodlord is pretty much the perfect combo (12 + BL) and toxin sacs arent really needed.
- Every game I play the more I hate the fact that all the ranged Anti Tank is in one slot. I really want to try out venomthropes and ymgral stealers but dont feel like I can because I need the anti tank.
- Zoanthropes in Mycetic Spores are in my opinion the best unit in this codex. They did amazing in every game. Nuff Said.
Even though I did very well in this tournament I found this army frustrated me most of the time. Every game I was playing catch up and never really felt like I was on equal footing, especially the last 3 games. It really suprised me to win or tie a game with only 4 or 5 models total on the board. Maybe I am just burnt out from doing so much 40k stuff in the first half of the year, or maybe this is just the way it is supposed to be. I guess one nice thing though is the challenge and really having to work for your wins. I am going to take a break from the game for a couple months and when I get back into it I am doing orks :)