Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Great Devourer Comes to March Madness!

Over the weekend I was able to attend a tournament for the first time this year. It was a smaller tourney (only 16 players) that had a bunch of my friends going, so it promised to be a good time (and it didn’t disappoint). The day was split up into 3 games, with missions from the main rule book all with “secondary” and “tertiary” missions that add up to a lot of points (10pts for the main objective, 7pts for secondary and 4 for the tertiary). To also spice it up even more there were “Secret” objectives that were also worth 4pts so a possible 25pts total per game (although it was almost impossible to get it all, which was good). One really interesting thing though is that Marines only made up HALF of the players! There were 2 Demons, 2 Eldar, 2 Orks a Tau player and a Tyranid player (aka me!). **Disclaimer! My Phone died right before the first game so all I had was my iPhone so I applogize in advance for the horrible pics :( *

Here is the list I took:

The Tyranid Army:

The Swarmlord + 2 Tyrant Guard

Zoanthropes (3) – Mycetic Spore
Hive Guard (2)
Ymgarls (10)

Termagants (15)
Tervigon – Catalyst, Toxin Sacs, Cluster Spines

Heavy Support
Carnifex Brood (2) – Dual MC Devourers
Trygon – Adrenal Glands

1800pts on the dot

I had two goals for this tournament, even above that of winning any games or prizes. 1) Fire a full salvo with the Carnifex’s every game and 2) Get into a meaningful combat with the Swarmlord just once!

Game 1: GRUDGE MATCH! Tyranids vs. Space Marines! - Objectives

The first game everyone was able to issue a challenge to someone else in the tourney. I issued the challenge to my friend Scott West and his super tough Space Marine army (he went 6-0 at the last major event here in Calgary). The mission was 5 objectives, with kill points being secondary. My secret mission was “Kill all Fast Attack” and Scott had none so I automatically picked that one up (ah thank you!). Here is Scott’s list:

HQ :
Master of the Forge

Elites :
Assault Termies (5) – Thunder Hammer/Storm Shields, Land Raider Redeemer
2 x Iron Clad Dreads in pods

Tact Squad (10) – Plasma Cannon, Melta Gun, Sarge with Power Fist (I think)
Tact Squad (10) – Plasma Cannon, Melta Gun, Sarge w/ Power Fist – Drop Pod

Heavy Support
3 x Dakka Dread (due to master of the forge)

Hi Points:

- Trygon charged the first Ironclad and got SEVEN penetrating hits, blowing it smithereens then charged the Land Raider, got 1 hit (due to needing “6’s” to hit), penetrated and rolled a “6” for damage, blowing it to bits (then got shot to crap lol)
- Dakka Fexes gunned down a 10 man tact squad then blew up a dread in CC
- Zoans wiped out a 10 man Tact Squad that was out in the open in one turn with warp blast (got all 3 hits with the blast templates)

Low Points:
- Only one I can think of is my Ymgarls rolling like crap to get out of difficult terrain to make a charge on the Terminators

Final result: Victory for the Tyranids. I achieved almost all my objectives. Scored the main (objectives), secondary (Kill Points) and my secret. Scott was an awesome guy to play against and until my Fexes hit is main battle line holding the objective it could have been really close. Also, he was just WAY too timid with his assault Termies, which I think ended up costing him the game (maybe just too timid in general).

Game 2: Tyranids vs. Space Marines! – Kill Points

This game was against my friend Kevin Kent. We have met many a time in battle during tournaments and he always gives a tough game and this was no different. The mission was Kill points with the secondary being two objectives with the deployment of Spear head. The terrain was somewhat sparse on this table and he had the second shootiest list in the tourney. I reserved my Carnifexs and Trygon as they would be just shot to crap and I was hoping to get him to focus on killing the Swarmlord, who I was going to present as a major threat to him (ie running him down the middle). There was a piece of terrain in the middle which I chose to have my Ymgarls charge out of. My Secret Objective was making sure my Tervigon didn’t die…which he didn’t. Kevin’s List:

Master of the Forge – Conversion Beamer, 2 Gun Servitors w/ Plasma Cannons

3 x Dakka Dreads (dual Twin Linked AC)

Tact Squad (5) – Razorback, twin Las
Tact Squad (5) – Razorback, twin Las
Tact Squad (5) – Razorback, twin assault cannon

Fast Attack:
Land Speeder Tornado – Multi Melta, Heavy Flamer
Land Speeder Typhoon – Multi Melta
Attack Bikes (3) – Multi Meltas

Heavy Support
2 x Devastators (5) – 4 x Missile Launchers
Thunder Fire Cannon

High Points:

- My Swarmlord was a complete beast. He literally took almost 5 full rounds of shooting from most of the army. It was madness. He also earned me 3 kill points in the process.
- Trygon popped up, gunned down 2 remaining devastators from one squad, charged in and killed the master of the forge and the thunder fire cannon, awesome stuff.
- My lowly Termagants managed to immobilize the one razorback with their Fleshborers RIGHT before the Swarmlord charged making it so all his attacks auto hit then surrounded the tank to force an emergency embarkment which meant the unit inside was auto-pinned.
- My Carnifex unit were stars again in this game. They killed a unit of marines on the objective after blowing up their transport with their Devourers. Good stuff.

Low Points:

- I 100% botched my Ymgarls. I had a choice between the attack bikes in the open or his devastator gun line in cover. I chose the gun line since they were doing so much damage and completely screwed the difficult terrain roll. This one thing alone cost me the win in this game
- My rolling was starting to slip. He shot his last unit that could shoot at my Trygon (which was a Dakka Dread) and wounded the Trygon 3 times and I failed all 3 armor saves on a 3+ which ended up tying the game.
- Those attack bikes went on to kill my zoanthropes and contest one of the objectives (so in essence they cost me 11 points)

Final Result: Tie. Despite the complete pounding I took to the mountain of firepower Kevin had I still managed to do just enough damage to pull out the tie. I focused on the transports and the small marine squads as they were an easy 6 KP. This was one of the most fun games I have had in a tourney and Kevin is just an awesome guy to play against.

Game 3: Tyranids vs. Eldar – Capture and Control

Ah, my old nemisis…Jason Hall and the Eldar. The mission was Capture and Control (aka Hurry up and “Tie”) with Dawn of War as the deployment. The tertiary objective was “Hold Everything In Reserve” so I figured “Why not, the Swarmlord gives me +1 to my reserve rolls”. OH MAN! Was THAT a mistake haha. I was anxious to see if the “Eldar Curse” was still alive (ie. Every game I have against Eldar they roll amazing and I roll so poorly). Good to see it was! I had just the most horrendous rolling I have ever had in my life this game. I am not kidding or trying to hide behind this an excuse. I mean it was to the point of being comical how bad it was. The Secret Objective was to NOT kill Jason’s Falcon. Jokes on you Eldar! I COULDN’T KILL ANYTHING! Lol. Before I go into more detail here is Jason’s list (easily my fav elder list I have seen):

Warlocks (8) – 3 Spears, 4 Destructors, 1 Enhance, 1 Embolden – Wave Serpent – Scatter lasers, Spirit Stones

Fire Dragons (5)

Dire Avengers (10) – Bladestorm, Dual Kats – Wave Serpent – Bright lance, Spirit Stones
2 x Guardian Jetbikes (3) – Shuriken Cannons

Heavy Support
Falcon – Holo Fields, Spirit Stones, Eldar missile launcher
2 x War Walker Squadron (3) – Dual Scatter Lasers (so 48 str 6 shots a turn lol)

High Points:

- I didn’t get tabled. You might laugh reading this but I am serious. I am SO LUCKY there wasn’t a turn 7 because at that point all I had left was a unit of 10 Termagants on the objective and a single Hive Guard.
- My Carnifex’s saved the game again. I managed to get one halfway up the field and I gunned down his one jetbike squad (only did one unsaved wound on 12 twin linked str 6 shots lol). The Jetbikes that were holding his objective broke right off the table (rolled an 11 for his leadership test and then 15 or something for their fall back)

Low Points:
- Oh man, how can I even put this into words? Well, let me try!
- I managed to get only half of my army onto the board from reserves when rolling on a 3+. The stuff that DID come in I really didn’t want in (ie Ymgarls and the Zoans since I went first and nothing was on the board at this point)
- His first round of shooting had one unit of War Walkers do 9 wounds to Ymgarls in cover (4+) which I failed 7 of the 9 armor saves. Then I took one more wound from the jet bikes and failed that too (so 8 failed on 10 rolls).
- Zoans got turned into mulch from the Dire Avengers Bladestorming
- Turn 3 I had to make 4 reserve rolls on a 2+ and failed 3 of them. The only thing that came in was my Termagants. My Trygon, Carnifexs AND Hive Guard all failed the roll.
- No less than 5 times during the game I was required to make 4 x 3+ armor saves and failed ALL of them. Literally every time the war walkers opened up I lost a Monstrous Creature.
- I had to make 3 cover saves on 3 termagants who went to ground…and rolled 3 x 1’s

Final Result: Tie. HOW I managed to tie I will never know. The only thing I COULD do this game was just focus on the objective and hope that I get the small amount of luck needed to kill his troops. I think Jason was too focused on all the secondary objectives (including the secret) that he lost sight of the overall objective. Despite having the worst rolling game of my 40k career I still had fun. I knew what kind of game I was in for after the first round of shooting so I had nothing else I could do but laugh. We joked around a lot as he just murdered the shit out of me.

Final Tournament Result: First Overall. To say I was surprised that I won first overall is an understatement. I was already starting to head over to get my gear when the Tournament Organizer read out my name for first place. I think the only way I would have been more surprised is if I woke up the next morning with my head sewn to the carpet lol. One thing of note that I found out later is my games were against the top 4 players ONLY. I played the 2nd Place finisher (Kevin Kent), 3rd Place (Jason Hall) and 4th Place (Scott West). So it was a VERY tough and brutal path to top place lol.

Final Thoughts:

The Tournament: Overall it was a pretty fun day. I really lucked out by the fact that I only had to play friends and they were all awesome to play against (was genuinely difficult to figure out a best sport). It was the tournament organizer’s first time running an event and it did show. Things took quite a while to get going and all the score cards weren’t clear as to what things were out of etc. Despite those couple of hick ups the day went very well, all games ended before time and the prize support was huge for the size of event. Another really sweet thing was the Terrain was great. All the sections with trees actually blocked line of sight and there was great coverage on all the tables.

The Nid List: After 8 tournaments with this army, 5 Best Overalls and 3 Best Painted, I have to say it is time to retire these guys for the for-seeable future. The number 1 thing I found is that I NEED a change in play style. As far as the list goes I don’t think I would take the Swarmlord again. He literally did NOTHING that a normal Tyrant couldn’t do for 100pts less. Heck, a Tyrant with Armored Shell would have been infinitely better for this tourney as volume of fire killed him 2 out of the 3 games. I won’t be doing any tournaments until my Dark Eldar are ready so that might not be till the later half of this year as the wife is due in July.

As Far as my two goals went I did manage to fire the Carnifex’s every game and they did something awesome every game. The surprising thing is that they were consistently the best unit in the army, despite what math-hammer and the internet says. That being said 2 more Trygons would have been much more powerful. As for the Swarmlord he got into combat with an Ironclad dred and 2 x 5 Man Marine squads..that’s it. Sigh lol. BENCHED!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vendetta, Ogryn Chimera, Tallarn Sentinel Done

Its about time, but I have FINALLY finished the Vendetta, the Ogryn Flamer Turret and the Tallarn Sentinel Scout. I'm really happy with all of them. The Vendetta took a LONG time to do, but the outcome is really good I think. Although I still have to dull coat everything (except the canopy), I figured I'd post since I can now start on the easier stuff for the Tallarn 110th Battlegroup. I didn't bother painting the other weapon loads just yet since I'm only going to use the Vendetta, but when I decide to use 'em I'll finish them off. The priority is to get everything ready in time for the tourney, and so I can start painting something else...

Probably the hardest part of the Vendetta was the camo scheme. I had to highlight and shade each panel by hand. Next time I'll do a spray job (when I get a spray set). Something cool to note, the canopy also has the camo scheme going up onto it. The base is a bit meh, but since it matches the rest of the army, I had to do it. When I start my Black Templar army, I'll start doing better bases.

Had to give 'em the fighter pilot's helmets even if this is an Apache/Blackhawk type attack transport. And I even named them Cougar and Merlin. Maverick and Goose was just lame (and their helmet's weren't as interesting). I have removed the magnetized twin linked lascannon so you can see the names better. You can also see the screws painted onto the turbine fans to show that they are turning, although now that I think about it, they should be a blur right now..... oops.

This shot gives you a good view of the underside. I felt like WW2 British fighters were the way to go, so underside=sky blue, topside=camo. Also get a good shot of the magnetized twin linked lascannons.

Next up is the Sentinel. Quite a nice Forge World model. So now I have 2 scouts, and 2 heavies. These guys will flank along with the Vendetta with the help of the Astropath..

The multilaser is magnetized, so can be pulled off and replaced with a lascannon if I so choose. For now, the multilaser stays..

Forge World did such a nice job of the detail on the driver, that I felt it was necessary to swing his door open so you could see him better. I have no idea why the door is open... Maybe he needed a better look, or perhaps it got blown open by mistake. Either it took some very careful exacto knife work to cut it out and glue it on properly.

And last up is my favourite conversion, the Ogryn Heavy Flamer turret. He came out GREAT, and he can even rotate, as well as be pulled off for easy returning of the chimera to a regular vehicle. I'm still debating whether to give him a hose leading from the gun down into the Chimera, or have some kind of tank next to him, but for now he'll do.

Next up will the rest of the Tallarn troopers to fill out the platoon of 30, the commissar, and the Astropath. After this lot, that should be easy...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pack Attack at Game Summit 2011

A couple of weekends ago I had the chance to attend Ottawa's Game Summit held at the Napean Sports complex.  In a word it was awesome!  There were games of every variety and style, there was vendors, painting clinics and a garage sale.  In my opinion this is exactly what a gaming convention should be and the 40k tournament had 65 entries with the best overall and best sportsman winning tickets to the Grand Tournament in Las Vegas.  The tournament was 1850 points with normal composition rules.  

This is never a good roll, but was it for the wolves.....