Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tyranids Invade Tournament OP!

OP Tournament Over the weekend I attended my first tournament since the Spearhead tournament I did at the end of November last year. I was really looking forward to this one just because of how long it had been since I have attended any event. I decided after reading all the reports from Adepticon from this year I was going to play my Tyranids since not a single tournament player showed up there and everyone sees the army as dead on the tourney scene (well..which it kind of is lol).

This tournament had a couple things that were much different from your regular tournament. First off instead of using the standard force organization chart it used a percentage system almost identical to fantasy with an added limitation of only being able to select a max of 2 of the same elites and 3 of the same heavy. The rest of the army building process for people (like myself) who didn’t play fantasy was as follows: 25% max for HQ, 25% Min for troops, a max of 50% for elites and heavy combined and a max of 50% fast attack. The thing I noted is that I couldn’t really build an army outside the standard force org chart as all my lists could fit in either system. I also didn’t play against anyone or saw any list that had 4+ elites, fast attack or heavy support. It begs the question of why even use the % system at such a small points value (the tourney was 1600pts)?

 The other unique thing is that all the different tables each had a specific scenario on them with tones of special rules (I will go into each one when talking about each game). Also, in your players pack you also got a stack of about 8 cards each one with a different secret objective. At the beginning of each game both players chose one and put them face down on the table and at the end of the game they reveal them for bonus points at the end of the game. Once you used a card it was done for the tourney so you had to manage easy ones vs. hard ones (as some depending on who you were playing against just didn’t apply).

Without further adieu here is my list:

Hive Tyrant - scything talons, dual brainleech devourers, hive commander, wings, paroxysm and leech essence
Tyranid Prime (attached to Termagants) - adrenal glands, scything talons, dual boneswords

2 x 2 Hive Guard
10 Ymgarls

17 Termagants
20 Hormagaunts - toxin sacs
Tervigon - toxin sacs, catalyst

Heavy Support

1600pts on the

Game 1: Deathwatch Kill Teams vs. Thousand Sons

As I mentioned before every scenario was very different and most of the time quite involved (this one had 3 PAGES of special rules…took 10 mins to read lol). This scenario was a 6 objective game (1 objective in the middle of each table quarter and 2 near the center of the table) which were made up of canisters containing alien body relics. Each player then got an 8 man Deathwatch Kill Team squad that would teleport onto the table from the center of the board starting turn 2 (using regular reserve rules). Each player gets limited control over their Deathwatch squad as they automatically run towards the different canisters in an attempt to blow them up (which only they could do). So it’s kind of a race against time trying to capture the objectives while hoping the kill teams don’t remove yours from play. The deployment for this game was 2x2 foot squares in opposite corners of the board and my opponent was going first.

My opponent for this game was a fellow who was playing Thousand Sons and sadly for him it was one of his first games of 5th edition. Needless to say it was one of the worst match ups he could of gotten lol.

My Opponents List:

2 x Sorcerers - with bolts of change and force weapons, one with wings (with the raptors), marks of tzeentch

2 x 10 Man Thousand Sons - sorcerer w/ bolt, rhino

Fast Attack
10 Raptors - champ w/ lit claws, 2 melta guns, mark of tzeentch

Heavy Support
10 Havocs - 4 missile launchers, mark of tzeentch

Secret Objective: Beat a Unit in Close Combat in a Single Turn!

Hi Points: 
- The Ymgarls were complete beasts this game. They came in turn 2 and manage to completely surround one of the rhinos holding the 10 Thousand Sons then had the highest damage roll of a “5” killing the Rhino and its contents in one foul swoop. They also killed the Havoc Squad in one round of close combat and then finished off his Deathwatch Kill Team
- The Hive Tyrant managed to Paroxysm his raptors with his one Sorcerer Lord before they charged/assaulted my lines, effectively took them out of the game.
- Hive Guard managed to gun down 6 Tzeentch Marines including the squad Sorcerer and the Sorcerer Lord (hint: he literally rolled nothing but “1s” and “2s” for the 6 wounds he took)

Low Points (Sadly all these belong to my opponent): 
- This ties into my last high point and that is my opponent couldn’t make a single 3+ save. He must have failed at least 50% of them over the period of the game. Whenever he had to make a 5+ or 4+ invuln save he did so almost 80% of the time lol
- I didn’t lose a single kill point all game. Mawloc was closet as his Deathwatch Kill team took him down to 1 wound to then lose the entire squad minus the Librarian the next turn when the Mawloc came back in from reserve.

Final Result: Tyranid Victory! Secret Objective Complete! : From Turn 1 on this game wasn’t even close, especially once the Ymgarls came in and decimated half his army. I managed to kill every last model on the board including his Deathwatch Kill Team. He was a good guy and I do feel bad that this was one of his first games back into 40k.

Game 2: City Fight vs. Deathwing 

This was probably my favorite scenario regardless of the fact that there were about 10 LOS blocking buildings on the board lol. This was another objective based scenario, with 2 objectives in my deployment zone and 2 in my opponents. One of each objective is worth 2 points while the other is worth 1 (so 3 points in each deployment zone). The neat thing about this mission though is that almost all the buildings had special secret stratagem cards which did a wide range of zany things. The first one I got gave everything touching the building a 5+ FNP save, my opponent found 2 “Telecom Relays” which each gave him +1 to his reserve rolls and my Hive Guard found one that gave him a special weapon from a chart (so he had an Impaler Cannon and a Heavy Bolter). So I think there were 12 cards, 10 of which were good, 2 of which were bad (booby traps). Each booby trap would cause a str 10 (armor saves as normal) to anything in the terrain piece. Ouch lol. This game’s deployment was pitched battle and my opponent was going first.

My Opponents List: 

5 Terminator Command Squad - thunder hammers, storm shields, banner, apothecary

5 Terminators - Mix of close combat weapons w/ cyclone
5 Terminators - Mix of close combat weapons w/ assault cannon

Fast Attack 
3 Raven Wing Bikers - Sergent w/ powerfist, melta gun, attack bike w/ multi melta
3 Raven Wing Bikers - Sergent w/ powerfist, melta gun, attack bike w/ multi melta

Secret Objective: Hold one objective for 5 turns straight

Hi Points: 
- Ymgarls again. They killed 2 units of Terminators and a unit of Bikers by themselves
- Hormagaunts buzzsawed a unit of bikers (did 17 wounds on the turn they charged)
- All of his Terminators received a heavy dose of Paroxysm all game much to the joy of my Ymgarls

Low Points: 
- Every time my Mawloc deepstruck (including into some booby trapped terrain lol) he rolled a “1” for Dangerous Terrain
- For some reason I was so worried about what the Terminators could do to my army and I found myself playing very timidly with most of my units so apart from my Ymgarls (which started in his deployment zone) I never even got to midfield.

Final Result: Tyranid Victory! Secret Objective Complete! : I won the game 2 objectives to 0 (held both of mine) and I also got my secret objective as my Tervigon just sat on the main objective for the entire game. My opponent was a good guy but once the sheer volume of armor saves I was forcing him take every turn started piling up he started getting upset that he wasn’t making all of them and really started to blame his dice. Except for one bad difficult terrain roll his dice were about average all game and the constant threatening to quit this army after this game was getting to me. I understand though that losing in this fashion (seriously tough task for him to win regardless of rolling and he can’t win that battle at range like he attempted) so I honestly can’t fault him too much as all he had left at the end of the game was Belial and 2 regular Terminators at turn 5. The one thing that impacted this game WAY more was the fact that he never once thought about the objectives. I mean the lone terminator squad he started in his own deployment zone was about 8” from either objective and he never moved towards it. If he played a bit defensively he could have easily tied this game.

Game 3: Hostage Negotiation vs. Space Wolves 

This was a really interesting mission as the defender starts in a 12” radius bubble in the very center of the board with a hostage in the middle of his forces while the attacker starts up to 6” along the two short table edges and has to try and get the hostage. Kicker is that the hostage is an independent character and until you join him/her to a squad he/she moves around at random (1d6” and a scatter dice). There was some decent terrain with a huge building in the middle of the board and some LOS blocking pieces scattered throughout. Whoever holds the hostage (ie has the hostage joined to a squad) is the winner. My opponent won the roll to go first so he chose to be the defender so I went second.

My Opponents List:

2 x Rune Priests - 4 different powers (2 each, one with JAWS)

Wolf Guard Terminator Unit - mixed gear including some storm shields, cyclone missile launcher, 2 combi meltas

 2 x 8 Grey Hunter Squads - Mark of the Wulfen, melta gun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters - razorback w/ twin linked las cannon

Fast Attack 
2 x Landspeeder Tornados - multi melta, heavy flamer

Heavy Support 
2 x 5 Long Fangs - 4 Missile Launchers
Land Raider

Secret Object: Kill 2 Vehicles or MCs in one round

High Lights: 
- My opponent placed both of his Long Fang squads VERY close together to the point where my Ymgarls could multi assault both of them the turn they became active. Overall the Ymgarls got another 3 Kill Points this game (both long fangs and the squad holding the hostage).
- After two games of literally doing nothing my Trygon FINALLY woke up. On the first turn my opponent tried to move his Land Raider and rolled a “1” so it was immobilized. Turn 2 my Trygon came in on the board edge close to the Land Raider and flipped it. He then went to go on to kill his Rune Priest, an 8 man squad of Grey Hunters and a Land Speeder.
- My 2 Hive Guard squads combined for 4 vehicle kills in 5 turns (2 rhinos, a razorback and a land speeder) and one of those turns I did 3 vehicles in one round (Trygon on the land raider and two transports).
- The TERVIGON managed to kill a Rune Priest in close combat. I was very pleased lol
- Mawloc did a great distraction job this game as he popped up in the middle of his army which prompted him to shoot everything he had (long fangs, terminators, etc) into him in order to drop him which freed up the rest of my army to move in for the kill

Low Points: 
- Just as I was about to get the hostage with my Tyranid Prime led Termagant squad he moved 5” in the opposite direction and then the game ended before my next turn. - Something that ties into the above was that I totally forgot to run my Hormagaunts the turn the came in from reserve which left them completely out of position to do anything.

Final Result: Tyranid Victory! Special Objective Achieved! I know what you are all thinking I never managed to get the objective, which is true. The only thing that saved me was that I tabled him at the end of my turn 5 which ended the game and gave me full victory points. He was a good guy and had the best list I played against at the tournament and I also voted him my fav opponent of the tourney. He was also the only player who actually played to the objective. He did nothing but run the objective away from my army to the point where I was actually trying to figure out how on earth I would catch him. Some decent rolling on my part as well as some well placed assaults (used my prime to free up my Trygon from the Terminators for example) was what ended up winning me this game. So things are looking good so far as I am heading into day 2 with a record of 3-0!

 Game 4: Rhino Roulette vs. Blood Angels

*Note: I realized as I tried to take pictures of this round that the video card for my camera was full. I think I might have gotten one picture. Sigh* 

This scenario was another objective based scenario which involved 6 wrecked Rhinos strewn about the board. The neat thing is that ANYTHING that isn’t a vehicle can score which gave me a whopping minimum of 11 scoring units compared to 4 of my opponents (2 assault squads, sang priest and the chaplain). The Roulette part of it comes into play where 1 of the 6 Rhinos is booby trapped with a massive bomb that blows up for a radius of 2d6” at str 6, ap 2 which for an Assault Marine army with Jump Packs or a Nid army filled with little bugs, is a bad scene lol. The other thing that is a bit crazy is the game has Night Fight for the ENTIRE game (suits me just fine lol). The only thing to offset that is all the Rhinos that aren’t trapped have a functional search light. The deployment for this one was Spearhead and I was going second.

My Opponents Army: 

Chaplain - Jump Pack (with one of the two assault squads)

Sanguinary Priest - Jump Pack, Power Weapon
Librarian Dreadnought - Wings of Sanguinius and another power that was never used lol

2 x 10 Assault Marines - Jump Packs, 2 Melta Guns, Sergent w/ Power Fist
7 Death Company - 2 x Power Weapon, Thunder Hammer, Rhino
Death Company Dreadnought - Power Fists, Melta Gun, Drop Pod

Heavy Support 
Dreadnought - dual twin linked autocannons
Vindicator - Siege Shield

Secret Objective: Kill one of his HQ choices with one of mine (both chosen before the game starts so I chose my Hive Tyrant and his Chaplain)

High Points:
- My opponent on the first turn moved his Vindicator into the Rhino that was near the center of the table and then proceeded to roll a “1” so it was booby trapped. It also just HAPPENED to be in the center of his army and he rolled a “7” for the radius. He lost about half of the assault squad with his Sanguinary Priest and Chaplain, immobilized his Death Company Rhino and immobilized his Death Company Dreadnought (which was near NOTHING).
- Like every game this tournament my Ymgarls were devastating. This game they killed off the remnants of the blasted assault squad (so killed the Chaplain, Sang Priest and the rest of the Assault Marines) and helped finish off the untouched assault squad.
- The Mawloc had his game face on. On the second turn of the game he popped up on the 5 remaining Death Company (they had just killed my Tyrant on his turn 2 lol) and killed all but the Thunder Hammer Marine then went into a blind rage (failed instinctive behavior) and blew up the DC Dreads Drop Pod, then burrowed on turn 4 and popped up in my opponents deployment zone to capture the last Rhino of the game which netted me another 2 battle points.
- Hive Guard were boss this game. They blew up the Vindicator and the Libby Dread (just one hive guard left in the squad, two shots, penetrated armor on a “6” with one shot then rolled a “5” on the damage chart). - Trygon also brought his game face as he took out the last of the DC, finished off the last of the fresh Assault Squad, flipped a Rhino and killed his Auto Cannon Dreadnought in close combat

Low Points:
- My complete mis-judging of distances turn 1 lol. After he moved his Assault Squad (chaplain was the first model in range of the squad) I figured I would be able to leap frog the rest of my army, paroxysm that assault squad then kill the chaplain for an easy bunch of victory points. So I moved then attempted to cast Paroxysm then rolled double “1’s” for Night Fight only to measure 7” away (which meant he was out of range) and then proceeded to get annihilated lol.

Final Result: Tyranid Victory! Special Objective Failed! I ended the game holding all but the booby trapped Rhino (so 5 rhinos to 0) as all he had left on turn 5 was an immobilized DC Dreadnought. This game more than any other I 100% knew exactly what my opponent was going to do and how the game was going to turn out (minus me getting my Hive Tyrant ganked lol). I knew he was just going to run everything at me in hopes of doing enough damage so I couldn’t claim objectives. Instead of putting my Ymgarls in his deployment zone like I did in every other game I actually put them in a large piece of terrain just outside my deployment zone where I knew the main body of the fight would take place. This 100% saved the game as my Hormagaunts couldn’t cut through the combined FNP and Power Armor of his primary assault squad. At this point only 2 players in the tournament were 4-0 so it looked like I would be heading to the top table against the single most complained about player in the tournament, Imperial Guard!

Game 5: Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition! vs. Imperial Guard 

*Note: In an effort to have SOMETHING for this game I took some pictures with my iPhone. They suck, I know lol* 

Of all the scenarios I played this one was the most interesting. Basically there as a large Inquisitor Squad made up of random models (psykers, servitors, imperial guard veterans, etc.) in the middle of the board in a huge building surrounded by 4 large pylons that gave them a force field you couldn’t shoot through or move through but they could. The Inquisitor squad shot at the closest unit, regardless of army, at the start of each game turn with everything they have. There were about 4 or 5 secret objectives that each player gets so you don’t actually know what your opponent is trying to do and vice versa. The kicker is though that you can sacrifice battle points at the end of the game and reveal your hidden objective before you set up and get a huge bonus during the game. I drew “Kill them All” which meant I had to blow up the pylons and kill the inquisitor squad. My opponent drew “Assassinate” which meant that he had to kill my HQ choices. The deployment was pitched battle with an added special rule called “Escalation” which meant that only infantry can start on the board while everything else comes in from reserve. Also, since everything is coming in from reserve it does so at +1 to the reserve roll (so latest they can come in is turn 4 and my army would come in turn 2 on a 2+ thanks to “Jive” Commander).

My Opponents List: 

Command Squad - lascannon, banner

Guard Blob Squad (25-30 models) - priest, commissar, 3 melta guns and a crap tonne of guys
Guard Blob Squad (20ish models) - 2 x heavy bolters, 2 grenade launchers
Heavy Weapon Squad (3 models) - 3 autocannons
2 x Command Squads - 1 w/ Autocannon, 1 w/ Powerfist
Guard Vets (10 models) - 2 melta guns, chimera w/ heavy bolter hull mounted, heavy stubber
Guard Vets (10 models) - 2 plasma guns, chimera w/ heavy bolter hull mounted, heavy stubber

Heavy Support 
2 x Leman Russ Battle tanks - heavy bolter hull mounted
Leman Russ Demolisher - 2 heavy bolters, lascannon

Secret Objective: My Hive Tyrant needed to kill 10 models over the course of the game.

Hi Points: 
- This game was the jewel in the over-achieving Ymgarls crown. Their final kill count was the blob squad with the 2 heavy bolters, all 3 command squads, the heavy weapon squad AND a chimera.
- The Mawloc. The Mawloc single handedly shift the game in my favor. How you ask? He popped up and killed 4 guys from the primary blob squad with the commissar. That lone act convinced my opponent to literally shoot HIS ENTIRE ARMY at the Mawloc. Through sheer luck the Mawloc took the fire from a chimera, the large blob squad (who rolled double “6’s” for their orders lol), 3 command squads, the heavy weapon squad, the plasma vets AND one of the battle tanks. He just COULDN’T do the last wound until everything had fired. The kicker is I had my untouched Ymgarls (which eventually ate that entire flank), my Flying Hive Tyrant AND my Tyrgon all within charge range of his army. Never have I seen anyone completely demonstrate why I take Mawlocs and why they are worth their points.
- I Paroxysm’d his mega blob squad and charged in with my Tyrant and Trygon. 3 rounds of combat later I managed to kill the entire squad to the man while only taking a few wounds on my Tyrant. One of my opponent’s biggest weaknesses was his belief that this squad could tie up whatever charged it for an entire game (or till he could wittle whatever he was attacking down to a manageable size). He quickly found out this wasn’t the case lol

Low Points: 
- I rolled the exact opposite side of the board I wanted to with my Tervigon. He ended up coming in on the side that was about 3 feet from the action and just had a lone Leman Russ battle tank. If he had come in on the correct side the game would have been over by turn 3.
- While my opponent’s rolling was pretty average for his army he rolled like a man possessed for the inquisitor squad. The squad that was basically made up of Guardsmen lasted 4 full rounds of combat against 17 Termagants with the Tyranid Prime and 20 Hormaguants with toxin sacs (so they re-rolled all wounds). By the time Turn 6 was about to hit it was just the Inquistor left in base to base with my Tyranid Prime. Wouldn’t you know the game ended right after there.

Final Result: Tie! Secret Objective Achieved! Basically if the game had gone on just one more turn I would have tabled him. All he had left at the end of turn 5 was a Chimera and 7 Guardsmen within charge range of the Trygon. One of the really funny things is that my opponent looked super cocky after reading the special deployment to the point where he actually said “Oh, I guess not being able to set up your MCs really messes with your game plan lol”. I thought that was funny since they ALL have alternative methods of getting on the board and regardless of scenario I would have set them up in reserve anyways. Also, due to how many special mission points I received in this game I actually managed my second highest battle points total (18 was the max for one game and I received 17 for this one) so it was like I did end up winning the game anyways.

Final Tournament Result: 1st Place Overall. I came in first in both battle points and painting. I actually would have figured I would have crushed battle points but due to the comp system I lost about 1/3 of my total points (I scored 81 battle points out of 90 but only received 49 battle points after comp deductions) which I thought was a bit weird.

Final Thoughts: Of all the tournaments I have been too I have never just straight up crushed my opponents every game as I did in this tournament. After 5 games my combined opponents had a total of 12 models left on the board (8 of those being the Guard player). When I submitted my list I honestly didn’t think it was that powerful (I still don’t…its just flexible). I think what it boils down to is that in 5 games I only played ONE person who actually played to win. Literally everyone else I played had zero focus on the objectives or on how to deal with my army. Typically before every game I ask if my opponent has played Nids before and then mention that no one in my army can take frag grenades (hint: hide in cover). Over and over again my army caught units in the open and everyone I played just did everything in their power trying to kill my crap-tastic Mawloc leaving my trio of death dealing machines to go about their day. I mean over 5 games my Ymgarls racked up 21 Kill Points while my Mawloc is sitting at 0. Another strange thing is I played 2 armies that were either unpainted or had quite a few units that weren’t finished which I found very disappointing. There was a massive gap between the top 5 painted armies and everyone else.

As far as the tournament itself goes the guys running it did a fantastic job. I loved all the scenarios I played as they were varied and off the wall and really made you adapt to what was going on which I excel at. There was more than enough time to finish our games and I never once felt rushed. Everything was on time as well and all the extras (like the players pack and secret mission objectives) were also really well done and looked really professional. The only things I would change would be to have a less punitive Comp System (it shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your overall score and shouldn’t be judged so harshly) and that they should just forget the Percentages System as it was redundant and un-used. I would also like to see it have more players attending which is my biggest beef because only 20 people per system just isn’t enough. Maybe doing 2 tournaments a year and have each one dedicated to one game system would be a much better idea. With all that being said considering this was a first time effort from the guys at OP it was an incredible experience and I will happily go to any of the future tournaments they run.

I also took some pics of 2 of the other well painted armies there (my friend Jon's Eldar and my friend Davey's Ravenguard). There was a DE army I really wanted pics of but didn't manage to get any (best lady Malays conversion I have seen to date).


greedo said...

Really nice job man! Great photos and good battle reports! You're a machine!

Big_Willie said...

Great stuff Mike! The terrain looked good and the scenarios looked like they were a ton of fun. I noticed in some of the pictures it looked like the armies weren't all completely painted. It's to bad, I'm a big fan of having fully painted armies at tournaments.

Ghoulio said...

Yeah, a bunch of the armies either weren't painted or had some units that weren't finished, which is a real shame. 2 of the 5 armies I played had this. Honestly there were only 4 - 5 armies which looked decent which is also a real shame.

The funny thing is a local store just ran a small, 1 day, 14 player tournament over the weekend that had much better painted armies and a higher level of competition lol. Ah well, I still had tonnes of fun and I really want to pick up all the scenarios.

40kaddict said...

Given the success of yout Ymgarls I may give them another shot. BTW feel free to use my handy Ymgarl Genestealer mutation markers at your next battle:

Ghoulio said...

@ dwez: I would say that the Ymgarls are the best unit by far in this codex and possibly one of the best units in the game. Their versatility is the key to their success as well as decent placement. The funny thing is even when my opponent know exactly where they are coming they dont do enough to stop them. Another amazing thing is once they hit the enemy lines it frees up the rest of your army to move forward and engage the enemy. I almost feel bad for using them lol

40kaddict said...

I'll definitely give them another go then. I keep thinking that the Lictors really should have the same ability to assault from 'reveal' as well. It makes absolutely no sense that they are this creature that appears as if by magic from cover and then stands there whilst it's shot to pieces.

And they're 65 pts you say? When the Ymgarls are nearly a third that price! They force you to bring them on as reserve and then limit you to shotting with Flesh Hooks?! What's th point of having I6 if the next turn they're going to be shot and/or assaulted. Then again it's not the only broken choice in the Codex is it? Ha, ha! We're sado-masochists I tells ya!

Ghoulio said...

Actually, if you REALLY think about it Ymgarls are actually Lictors (tenticals, scything talons, etc). Honestly all of the Ymgarls deployment rules should of just been given to lictors and Ymgarls be removed from the book (10 ymgarls are 230pts with 10 wounds, 3 Lictors are 195pts with 9 wounds, way less attacks). I mean, if you gave Lictors Ymgarl deployment and then allowed them to rend on a 5 or 6 instead of a 6 they would be PERFECT. Ah well, there is always the next edition of the dex :)