Over the weekend I participated in only my second tournament this year. I missed out on all the big events at the beginning of the year because of work. My wife is giving birth to our first child next month so I am trying to cram in some gamin’ action while I can. I know I said I wasn’t going to be taking the “mighty” Tyranids to another event, but alas, I just couldn’t get the Dark Eldar up and running in time, so bugs it is.
The Tournament in Red Deer was being run by a gaming group called “Da Grots”. I have seen a couple of their members at some of the events in Calgary, but by and large, I know almost none of them. I therefore thought it would be a good chance to get in some games against people I have never played before. The tournament was a standard 3 game format, each game being a combination of missions and deployments from the main rule book (so standard stuff). Despite only being 10 people at this tournament there was a really wide variety of armies. There were 2 Nids, 2 Imperial Guard, 2 Space Marines, 1 Necron, 1 Ork, 1 Tau and 1 Demon. So almost all the armies were represented. There were supposed to be a couple more but I think there were some no shows.
The Tyranid List:
Tyranid Prime – Dual Boneswords, Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands
Hive Guard (3)
Tervigon – Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands, Catalyst
Hormagaunts (25) – Toxin Sacs
Genestealers (5) – Toxin Sacs, Broodlord Upgrade (BL – Scything Talons)
Genestealers (5) – Toxin Sacs, Broodlord Upgrade
Trygon – Adrenal Glands
Total Points – 1849pts
Game 1: Capture and Control, Dawn of War vs. Blood Angels
Let me start off by saying that this game actually shouldn’t have taken place. What I mean by that is my opponent was a 13 year old kid with a barely painted army who couldn’t grasp the basic mechanics of the game, let alone enough to play in an actual tournament. Before we even set up I knew the game wasn’t going to be close. He placed his objective in a building, fairly close to the center of the board and I placed mine on the complete opposite side in a crater. Since he won first turn he combat squaded the Tact Squad in the building with the objective, placed his Chaplain on a Bike in the middle of the board on the center line and infiltrated his scout squad about 13” from my board edge. Everything else came in on turn 1 except Astorath and the DC which he opted to deep strike. I in turn just held my entire army off the board to walk on turn 1. Here is Nick’s list:
Chaplain on a Bike
Sanguinary Priests (2) – Power Weapons, Combi-Meltas
Furioso Dread – Dread CC weapon, heavy flamer, scatter cannon (or whatever it’s called lol)
Tactical Squad (10) – Missile Launcher, Flamer, Power Fist
Scout Squad (5) – Sniper Rifles
Death Company (5) – Assortment of power weapons, thunder hammers, inferno pistols, etc… (basically everything you could give them…it was crazy how much this squad cost)
Baal Pred – Assault Cannon, Heavy Bolter Side Sponsons
Scout Bike Squadron
Predator – Autocannon Turret, Las Cannon side sponsons
- The game lasted 45mins of the 2 hour allotted time.
Sigh, where to begin?
- I knew Nick would only focus on killing me, so I brought out the 20 strong squad of Termagants onto my own objective and sent 1750pts worth of Tyranids at his objective.
- Nick decided to deep strike his death company squad 6” from 1450pts worth of Tyranids which were wiped out to a man the following turn after being charged by a Trygon, 25 untouched hormagaunts with Catalyst and 12 Termagants I spawned (as this is all I could fit in base to base)
- The one stealer squad wiped out the Scouts turn 1
- By turn 3 almost my entire army had swamped his objective and the only kill point he managed was killing 2 Venomthropes because I couldn’t make a saving throw to save my life
Final Result: Tyranid Victory. I held both objectives and killed him to a man by the bottom of turn 3. This is the type of game that just shouldn’t happen in a tournament. Nobody has fun when one person gets trounced especially to this degree. It wouldn’t have been so bad if Nick had any concept of what was actually happening, but alas he didn’t. He just seemed confused at every point and was flustered even by the concept of rolling dice. I would have to say it was easily one of the worst games I have had in a tournament as it was literally a “bye” to the next round.
Game 2: Kill Points, Spear Head vs. Sons of Medusa (aka Space Marines)
This game was against my good friend Jon Wong and his optically devastating Sons of Medusa. I knew what was in his army before hand as we had been sending lists back and forth so I knew that this was maybe the worst combination of missions and deployment as Jon has nothing by long ranged anti tank firepower. Jon set up his parking lot/gun line in a line about 15”-20” away from the center while I set up everything but the two infiltrating stealer squads and the Trygon as close to the center of the board as possible. I knew Jon had an ultra death Sternguard squad with 8 combi meltas so I was trying to figure out how to have my Tervigon live past turn 1. I noticed I had a building with no windows or doors, so no line of sight, so that is where he was set up. I then infiltrated my stealers closer to the back side of his army, 18” away where if Jon wanted to shoot at me he would HAVE to shoot through cover. Jon gave me first turn so off I went!
Sons of Medusa
Sternguard (10) – 8 Combi Meltas, Sergent w/ Powerfist, Drop Pod
Dreadnought – Auto Cannon
Dreadnought – Plasma Cannon
Tactical Squad (10) – Melta Gun, Missile Launcher, Serg w/ Power Fist, Rhino
Tactical Squad (5) – Melta Gun, Razorback w/ Twin Linked Las Cannons
Scout Squad (5) – Just CC weapons I think
Land Raider – Chronos Upgrade (so BS 5)
Predator – Autocannon Turret, Las Cannon Sponsons
Predator – Autocannon Turret, Las Cannon Sponsons
- The Genestealers were Ace this game. The first squad managed to fleet 6” the first turn, reaching cover and being very much in charge range to the battle line for turn 2 (which it did, wrecking one of the predators). The other squad took a full round of shooting from the stern guard using “Bolter Drill” from Lysander (ie re-rolls all misses) and they used the “Ignore Cover” ammunition. The Broodlord was all that was left with full wounds.
- The Hive Guard just had their way with Jon’s battle line. Every time they shot something died…every…time.
- Mawlocs wrecked havoc on the parking lot, sending tanks in multiple directions, immobilizing one of the preds and just getting in Jon’s face.
Well, all these belong to Jon lol
- The previous game for Jon was against a Necron army with THREE Monoliths. Chronos by himself wrecked 2 and immobilized one lol. So, naturally, this game he missed 3 of the 4 shots in the first two rounds (this is on a 2+ with a re-roll)
- That luck continued for the first round as I either saved all incoming shots (Zoans never failed a save, took about 6 or 7 of them from Las Cannons) or he just flat out missed.
- I think the biggest one was how he deployed his Sternguard Squad. He was far too aggressive with his deployment of them, trying to force them into place to kill a high priority target on turn 1. He shot at the one stealer squad which just due to the nature of the 5 man unit is virtually impossible to kill with that squad (on average you need to do THIRTY wounds to kill the 5 guys, I will explain later :). He should have either deep struck the squad BEHIND my lines in hopes of killing the Hive Guard or deployed them in his battle line to help defend against things like the Mawlocs or Trygons.
Final Result: Tyranid Victory. By the time the Trygon came up on turn 3 Lysander and the Sternguard were almost dead and only the tact squad, Chronos and one of the Predators were still functional. I still had almost my entire army so Jon just conceded (but not before we figured out how long Lysander could last lol). Overall it was a fun game, Jon was a great guy to play against and took everything in stride, and when stuff goes wrong, dice wise, it can be difficult to do lol.
Game 3: Seize Ground (5 Objectives), Pitched Battle vs. Tyranids
This game was against the OTHER Tyranid player in the tournament. I thought it was pretty cool that at this point the only two armies that went 2-0 were Tyranids. Tyler’s army was awesome. It was perfectly designed to take on imperial armies with a combination of lots of bodies and massive toughness. His was the army I knew would give me the hardest time. He has significantly more toughness then I did (including a 700pts Deathstar Squad and a Tyrannofex) and my Mawlocs are almost useless against him. It was 5 objectives which was good as my stealers really gave me an edge. I knew the only path to victory was side step and bait his Hive Tyrant Death Star while putting all my focus on killing all his troops (killed 8 units of troops by the end of the game lol) and try to outlast him.
Hive Tyrant – Bonesword, Lashwhip, Venom Cannon, Old Adversary, Regen
Tyrant Guard (3) – Lash Whips
Tyranid Prime – Dual Boneswords, Regen
Hive Guard (3)
Hive Guard (3)
Tervigon – toxin sacs, adrenal glands, catalyst
Tervigon – toxin sacs, adrenal glands, catalyst
Gargoyles (27) – Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands
Tyrannofex – Rupture Cannon
- Genestealers won me this game. I infiltrated both squads, one of which was on one of the objectives in his deployment zone which was on a high bastion tower. There was physically no way he could get up there so the squad just went to ground the whole game for a 2+ cover save basically eating up 5 full turns of shooting from 6 hive guard. The other squad I botched their deployment and they served as a speed bump for the Gargoyles (but, making them take tonnes of dangerous terrain rolls).
- Trygon earned his keep. He killed a squad of Termagants , a Tervigon and a squad of Hive Guard by the time the game ended
- Tyranid Prime did extremely well this game. He “bonesworded” a Tyrannofex and then a turn later “bonesworded” the last remaining Tervigon which was Tyler’s last troop unit
- I had the perfect placement for my second unit of infiltrating Genestealers then at the last second I doubted myself and moved them to a spot where they were just devoured by Gargoyles. I think if I had left them where they were it would have been a much quicker game
- My Zoans did virtually nothing this game. I killed a couple termagants, did a wound to a Tervigon, then they took 5 impaler cannon hits failing every single one
- I miss-placed a unit of spawned termagants which ended up opening a lane for Tyler to engage my Tervigon with his own Termagants. I thought this was going to be the end but due to some inspiring rolling from my tervigon I ended up fighting off the Termagant swarm.
Final Result: Tyranid (mine) Victory. The game ended on turn 5 with me holding two objectives to Tyler’s zero (he had no troops left at this point). Overall I played this game very well using my Mawlocs to distract the Deathstar away from my own objectives and I had a great use of counter attacks with my different units. The biggest thing is I ONLY attacked his troop units while he spread his focus too thin on my supporting units that didn’t matter. I think this game also helped me prove two of my opinions on this army. 1) Tyrannofex’s suuuuck lol. He killed virtually nothing and got chopped to bits by my Tyranid Prime (so a 100pt model killed a 265pt model in cc). 2) Venom Cannon’s are the biggest waste of points on a Tyrant. Tyler spent most of the game shooting me with the Venom Cannon instead of running his insane close combat unit forward. This one thing more than any other won me the game as it left his Tyrant too far away to effect the game.
Final Tournament Standing: First Overall, Best Painted. I won every single category I could (since it was just most games won and best painted). It was one of the most dominating outings this army has had to date.
Army Thoughts: The list worked incredibly well as it was very flexible. It just feels like the most complete army I have brought to a tournament to date. 5 scoring units really helps as well. The biggest thing though is this army is FUN to play. Lots of interesting units and massive synergy.The only things I would change might be switching the Mawlocs to Trygons. That’s about it. The one group of units that surprised me the most were the min sized Genestealer Squads with the Broodlord. These squads are incredible. They have two main things going for them.
1) They are so small they can infiltrate virtually anywhere. The only reason I won that last game is because the squad was just small enough to infiltrate out of sight onto an objective.
2) Due to their small size they get forgotten and aren’t a priority target. This happened almost every game. Against Marine armies this squad is very deadly. They still get 17 WS6-7 attacks on the charge that re-roll virtually all wounds with rending. You end up getting something like 3-4 rends on the charge. They can threaten vehicles and small units alike. I love them lol
Tournament Thoughts: I am going to go on kind of “Rant” so bare with me here lol. When I first signed up for this Tournament the poster with all the information on it said “Prizes for first place, second place, third place, best painted and best sport”. So I figured I would at least have a shot at best painted and best overall. After driving an hour and a half to the event I ended up talking with one of the guys that runs the game club and he informed me that “In order to make sure people don’t bring ‘Leaf Blower’ type lists we are just going to ‘randomly’ give out the prizes”. This made me do a bit of a double take as it meant there is no reason to do pretty much anything. Nothing the players did had any impact on what would happen through the day. It transformed the event from a tournament to a club game day. I also thought since if the organizers were so worried about this type of thing that they would have had some sort of comp score or have other soft scores impact the final overall score (like painting, sports, etc.). The “Tournament’s” only scoring method was through battle points. So they wanted a soft score type tournament when they set it up to be Ard Boyz.
Another strange thing was after the first round the fellow running the event called my name out for best painted, but then called another guy’s name as well to come get a prize (with NO indication of what he might of won). So he got there first, getting the prize I wanted so I ended up getting stuck with a box of Wyches (which was the worst prize there). There was no more mention of prizes and I figured they would do the “draw” after the last game but once I finished my last game I noticed everyone already had their prizes. The thing that REALLY bothered me was they just gave out the prizes to their own members with no “random draw” at all (nether Jon nor I received any of these “random” prizes). So the first kid I played (who plays blood angels) got a Storm Raven, and so on. The prizes ranged from a Space Wolf Battle Force (the best prize, who was “won” by someone playing IG who came in the middle of the pack) to a box of Wyches (the worst prize). If I am speaking honestly I felt cheated and I felt that it was under handed to just change everything about the tournament on the day of the event to better benefit your own members. If they wanted a “Members Only” event then they should have put that on the poster. Another great thing is that I had to pay an EXTRA $10 over everyone else just to participate. Sigh lol.
One thing I wanted to ask is how would you guys feel if you travelled 150kms to an event to have everything about it changed (very much not in your favor)? Am I over reacting as far as being “irked” over how things went down? I would love to hear from you guys