February 8, 2014 1850 Tournament, Round Three: Eldar v. Tyranid (6e)

February 19, 2014

Round Three: Having been held scoreless in my first game, I was sure that I would not finish very high (I end up taking 4th), but I was looking for the opportunity to go 9-1 or 10-0, in case someone had a lousy round three game. Win/Loss (Draw) record is first, points second and total Kill Points third in determining who wins. Much to my surprise, I draw the Tyranid player. He had won his first game, but lost his second. That meant he was 1-1 with about 10 points total. His list certainly looked competitive, so I told him that if he beat me, I’d by the ‘Nid codex. He brought two flyrants with devourers (I don’t think he had brain leeches, at least he never mentioned them), 30 gaunts (about 10 with devourers) and a tervigon, another 20 or so gaunts (again, some with devourers), 3(5?) warriors, a zoanthrope, 3 biovores, 3 tyrant guard (the blind shooty guys), an exocrine and a tyrannofex (and a partridge in a pear tree, or maybe the kitchen sink). Three of his beasties got catalyst, one got paroxysm, and I don’t remember the rest. He had a lot of T6 gribblies on the table, so I knew that if I didn’t/couldn’t handle the flyrants I’d be screwed, particularly since his Tervy was in a troop slot.

  • Primary Mission: The Relic (I hate The Relic)
  • Secondary Mission: Big Guns Never Tire (4 Objectives)
  • Deployment: Vanguard
  • Warlord Trait: Something useless or else I’d remember.
  • Night Fighting: No
  • First Turn: No (I won the roll but deferred)
  • Length of Game: 4 Turns due to time being called (he was a bit slow), I offered one more turn after we turned in our results, to see if the game would swing his way.
  • Result: 5-1 Win (Did not buy a ‘Nid codex)

My opponent wins the right to choose table sides and takes the one with the only piece of significant LoS terrain on the table and deploys with lots of big stuff in the middle, flanked by gaunts, and with some synapse in the backfield. I will point out that it took him just under 20 minutes to deploy his models, so when time was called and I was winning, I wasn’t too sympathetic. I will also point out that while he may be a ‘nid player, this seemed like it was very much his first tournament (first games?) with the new codex. So, while I was privately annoyed, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t go out of my way to help him play his army either.

My opponent's deployment.

My opponent’s deployment.

I deploy as close to the center of the table as I can with my spiders (misused and abused AGAIN), the serpents, and the fire prism. I figured that if I lost a serpent (hopefully not two), that I would pop out in a good position to shoot at a flyrant. I was also relying on the eldar’s maneuverability to draw him to one side and then redeploy to the other.

My deployment. Warp Spiders misplaced again (would have rocked deep striking from reserves).

My deployment. Warp Spiders misplaced again (would have rocked deep striking from reserves).

Turn One Highlights: It takes for freaking EVER for my opponent to cast all of his bajillion psychic powers. YOU get catalyst and YOU get catalyst…everybody gets catalyst! Everything moves forward. The flyrants wreck the Scytheguard’s serpent and the warp spiders are reduced to 4 because they’re the ONLY thing the biovores and tyrannofex can shoot at. I am SO bad at warp spiders. My Spirit Seer got Hallucination…so I give it a go on one of the flyrants. Luck is with me and one of the flyrants goes, “Erm?” for a turn. I kill the other one, but it takes a LOT of shooting to do it; he makes an inordinate number of 5+ Feel No Pain rolls–11 of 16 for the entire game. Yeah, I started counting.

During the bottom of Game Turn One (before I finished killing the flyrant on the right).

During the bottom of Game Turn One (before I finished killing the flyrant on the right).

Turn Two Highlights: We determine that a model suffering from “Erm?” can still move and cast psychic powers. He casts paroxysm on the warp spiders (no other real targets). Pretty much everything gets catalyst again. The warp spiders are reduced to two and are pinned, but make the morale check. I take a turn off of shooting the serpents and reposition them away from the big gribblies and away from the flyrant (not necessarily ‘safe’ just away from it). Despite hitting the flyrant multiple times, I fail to either ground it OR put a wound on it, an ENTIRE turn of wasted shooting. This is the exact moment I begin to a) hate catalyst and b) develop a strong desire to examine my opponent’s dice.

End of Game Turn Two.

End of Game Turn Two.

Turn Three Highlights: The flyrant turns toward my backfield (chock full of delicious ‘nid snacks) but inexplicably chooses to shoot at my scytheguard rather than the fire prism or night spinner (both heavy support…). For all his trouble he manages to take out one wraithguard. Lucky saves on my part keep one warp spider alive. He realizes (too late to move them) that his biovores have no targets other than the warp spiders. I keep shuffling the wave serpents to the left and dropping the scytheguard back. I cross my fingers and make my first ever warp-jump roll…and get like 13″! Woot! The plucky little guy bravely runs away. I position the wraith knight between the tyrannofex and the flyrant in case of more catalyst ‘magic is friendship’ type shenanigans (5 S10 AP2 attacks ought to do it…). I reduce the tyrant to one wound (without grounding it) and so decide to shoot the wraith knight at the tyrannofex, which, if I remember correctly, makes yet ANOTHER 5+ FnP.

End of Game Turn Three.

End of Game Turn Three.

Turn Four Highlights: I’m not sure WHY he does this, but my opponent charges the fire prism with his flyrant. I fully expected him to come after my lolseer (which is why I took the risk and parked him in the ruin). He shoots at my wraith knight, taking a couple of wounds off of it, then charges with the tyrannofex. I stomp it into biomass and consolidate toward the tervigon. He does manage to wreck a wave serpent and then bombard the dire avengers into oblivion. However, he does not seem to be aware that his exocrine is sitting on the relic (his gaunts have not picked it up). Note: The pictures get a little wonky here, because I played the end of turn four knowing that time would end, then we took it back and played through the end of turn five to see if it would turn out differently.

In the ‘official’ ending, I easily dispatch his flyrant, use the wave serpent to thin out the gaunts near the relic, and take potshots at the tervigon but don’t try to assault it. What you can’t see in the picture is that one unit of jetbikes has gone left while the other went right. They both turbo-boosted onto his Big Guns objectives to contest them.

We had played through the end of the ‘what if’ turn four and halfway through ‘what if’ turn five by the time I took the next picture.

Halfway through 'What If' turn five.

Halfway through ‘What If’ turn five.

For my ‘what if’ turn four I charged the tervigon (successfully) and put a couple of wounds on it.  He secured the relic, tried to bubble-wrap objectives, and attempted to charge my farseer with the exocrine, but failed. When it came to the close combat with the tervigon, my wraith knight crushed it. The resulting explosion killed something like 11 from one gaunt unit and 9 from the other. They still had plenty of synapse in the backfield, but his tyrant guard were out of it. At the bottom of ‘what if’ turn five, I positioned the wraith knight so that his charge would put him in base contact with the model holding the relic. I shot and broke the tyrant guard (no synapse!), and still managed to turbo-boost near enough his objectives to contest them (thank you, exploding tervigon). We did not proceed to the close combat, as he was certain I would at least kill the model holding the relic.

End of 'What If' turn five, without completing the wraith knight's assault phase.

End of ‘What If’ turn five, without completing the wraith knight’s assault phase.

I’m fairly sure a better player could have beaten me in this game (of course, we would also have had time for a turn five which is when the synapse web started to disintegrate). By the time it was over, I figured out that he wasn’t spawning gaunts because he didn’t have any more models, and that he wasn’t placing spore mines for his misses. Maybe I don’t understand the spore mine/biovore rule–is it the first template that turns into a spore mine, or ANY template that misses? In any case, I didn’t have to buy the codex.

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