This past weekend was the Battle For Salvation RTT which saw 27 players @ 2K point playing three games over the day. Let’s start off with the tournament itself, my games, and then some observations with how I plan to move ahead for the next event with Tyranids.
While it’s true that I am a member of the BFS gaming club and do help out with events from time to time, for this RTT I was pure player- show up, play, and leave, so what I say is with a critical eye with no offense intended…
Terrain. Terrain was fantastic on all levels. “Themed” boards with LOS blocking center pieces, and even ruins, area, effect terrain on each side of the board. There was no lopsidedness, the last few boards with little to no terrain, etc. Everything was fair and based so there could be no argument. Visually they were also great being fully painted, modeled, and with details. Most of the pieces made you want to pick them up and borrow them for your army display board. Kudos to Ed and John for painting and building them.
Logistics wise the event started more or less on time, games and lunch went as scheduled, and the missions were clearly defined/NOVA format. Bobby the TO was walking around during each game, keeping an eye on the tables, players, and with rulebook in hand in case there were any questions. Hard to find any complaints about the event for the day.
Onto the armies…
Twenty seven players, three IG, two Dark Eldar, one Ork (!) and one Tyranid player- the rest all power armor. No Tau, Sisters, Eldar, or Necrons, pretty much the state of “competitive” 40K today. List wise everything was rock solid- all mech, lots of land raiders, jacked up terminators, and rifleman dreads- gone are any other tank variant like vindies or predators- also pretty much “competitive” 40K today. What I found very interesting was that Jawaballs brought his four land raider + Mepheston list which I think got rushed ahead a bit of schedule thanks to the changing of the meta that Grey Knights are bringing.
Onto the games…
First matchup was completely random and I drew a Space Marine bike list for Annihilation as the primary battle points and then victory points, objectives, and table quarters for the bonus points. The marine list looked a lot like my Saim-Hann list only for marines at less cost and more effectiveness in shots and the assault. Deployment was dawn of war and I took first turn putting out my HQ and two TROOPS tervigons, deepstriking the trygons, and then walking the rest on turn one, with my y-stealers going dormant…
Tactically I needed to get up there and tie those bikes up right away with spawned gaunts till my trygons could come in and deepstrike. Normally I would have just walked everything on turn one and then marched forward but with the shots and fast moving speed I’d never catch the marines and they would just dink me on kill points and run away- no hard feelings there because I would and do the same thing with my Saim-Hann.
Tarpit the bikes, and then finish them off with the trygons. It’s a plan!
Turn one I march the tervigons up and wait, figuring my T6 could hold a round of shooting and then start spawning as the marines move on- four bike groups lead by a captain, a group of scouts in reserve, three rifleman dreads, and three speeders move on and open up on my big bugs dropping two of them- plasma and melta suck. I’m like DAAAMMM this could be the game already since they are now going to sweep into my hive guard and gaunt fodder in the back lurking on objectives, and without synapse I’ll run at the drop of a hat.
I need those trygons to come in now, but they don’t, at least the y-stealers make an appearance and bust out of the center terrain- the question is now what to do with them? Get greedy? Gamble? I have a tendency to do that in tourneys and it usually costs me. Best example was when I was playing my Necrons once and my opponent deepstruck his termies and chaos lord and got a mishap. Now rather than me placing them far far away and out of the game, I drop them right into the core of my Necrons. Why? Kill points were bonus points and I wanted all those bonus points.
Mine, mine, mine!
On my turn I rapid fire thirty warriors into them and kill nothing. Fire off the monolith…nothing. Shoot six destroyers, kill nothing, charge with the “C’tan and miss! Lord strikes back with a poisoned demon weapon scoring tons of hits, I fail my 4+ saves and the C’Tan goes down. Now on my opponent’s turn his termies are running all around in the heart of my Necrons. Needless to say I lost that game.
So that’s what I’m thinking about wondering what to do with the y-stealers and since I’m already down so much I’m like let’s do it, and assault three bike units. I make lots of hits, but score one rend I think and the bikes win combat by one and then tie me up. Not what I was hoping for but at least I’ve stalled them.
Captain bike squad swings around and assaults my hive guard and venomthropes- losing one or two bikes on the way in due to dangerous terrain from the venom cloud as the captain takes on the venoms- with lash whips bringing him down to I 1 and poisoned attacks wounding on a 2+. Venoms hit! Venoms wound! Captain fails his 2+ armor saves, swings back, and misses! Hive guard vs. bikes are a wash. ‘Nids win the combat, and the bikes fail LD and run! On the stealers side I hit up some awesome rends winning the assault as the bikes break and start running. A round of stupid dice rolling has now shifted the game back to the center and maybe I can come back as long as the marines don’t break.
Eventually my last tervigon goes down, my spawned gaunts die, but the trygons finally come in. Most of the bikes run off the table but one squad regroups since I screw up with the massacre roll on the y-stealers and move them into terrain for cover saves pushing them farther away than 6” from a bike squad.
I keep the pressure on, the speeders and dreads continue to fire away, but once my trygons finally do arrive they get into the fight and at the end of the game I’ve tables the marines and captured all the bonus points.
At lunch Jawa and I grab some pizza and talk about his four raider list. The thinking is this- with grey Knights spamming so much AV 11/12 killing shots per turn, and with the ability to reliably alpha strike your list those points put into AV 11/12 boxes will be wasted. On the other side foot lists will get beat down even worse since all that psybolt stuff will be hitting and wounding like crazy. So what to do? AV 14 is the only conclusion.
Sure you can still get rended by psycannon spam, and will, but if you are not playing Grey Knights with Grey Knights what are your other options? What do you guys think? Only time will tell. In an iron twist currently the worst army in 40K NECRONS has the BEST vehicle in the game vs. Grey Knights- the monolith with living metal. I look forward to GW dropping living metal in the next codex since the monolith is already overpowered just like warriors which need to go down to a 4+ save and 5+ WBB to keep thing fare between them and Space Marines.
So apparently in round one only two guys scored a max/perfect score- Tyranids and a purifier/henchman/psyrifle dread spam Grey Knight list run by a gantleman named Nick. I was hoping to avoid this army and any DE armies, and I know I'm in trouble. I can see he is very confident with the match up, and why not? Pretty much an auto-win, but I'm not going down easy!
Mission is table quarters with bonus points for kill points, objectives, etc. The Grey Knights are all meched up, psybolted out, purifiers, basically a netlist. I’m trying to figure out what to do as we set up. Do I go for the win or be a jerk and play for a draw? I told myself that my goal for the day was to place in the top five with Tyranids. A draw or a loss would not do that, I needed the win. I was also kicking myself for not moving off some of the bonus objectives in the first game and scoring a few points less than max. I should have been smarter. There is no reason why I should have been facing this type of list. I should have been snacking on other Space Marines. Be that as it may, I decided to 100% got for the win, full attack. Zerg rush, punch him in his table quarter, box him up, bring in the stealers from dormant reserve and outflank, and then branch out from the center for table quarters and bonus objectives.
I take firs turn, Grey Knights try to seize twice with the re-roll and fail so the zerg rush is on. I take LOTS of shots going in but the venom cover saves and FNP means only one trygon goes down and a tervibug takes a few wounds. If I had any type of mech I would have been smoked before I got out of my deployment zone.
Zerging forward I finally crash the front lines and go to work on the razorbacks I managed to pop with the hive guard…and I just basically die…
Purifying flame kills my gaunts before I can even assault. Force weapons dink and instant kill my trygons and tervigon. Y-stealers do hit and do some damage which makes me happy, but even they die to purifying flame. Basically my assault army dies before I can even assault and get an attack off. My entire army is tabled without even getting to really hit back. WOW!
To say I was really deflated is an understatement. 100% not my opponent’s fault, he was a great guy, everything on the up and up, and played very well from a tactical point of view, but basically vs. Tyranids the core rules of the Grey Knights just wrecked me. What was GW thinking with cleansing flame? What were they thinking with mass force weapons? Might not be bad against power armored armies, but against models with 5+/6+ armor saves? Force weapons instant killing 200 point + bugs with me not having a reliable way to try and stop them? I was pushing the shadows from the tervibugs up and forward but we all know how Tyranid psychic defense is...
So now this means Dark Eldar not only rock Tyranids, which I can live with since it takes a rare player to play perverted space elves and I can play the odds at not facing them in a tourney, but now against Grey Knights which I can bet all WAAC players will be fielding to some extent. Am I being way dramatic here? Time to regroup for round three at at least not finish in the bottom five...
So turn three has me facing an IG army for objectives. Pretty standard IG build with chimeras and support tanks instead of valks, which is actually worse for me since the tanks put out more shots. I take first turn and start zerg rushing with FNP and the venoms up for cover saves. Chimeras roll up and plasma vets with take it down orders zap three of my trygons and a tervigon before I can crash the ranks. With my two remaining tervigons they basically spawn gaunts to glance and stun the chimeras as the tervibugs punch chimeras spilling the troops.
I then try to get them tied up in the assault so they won’t be shot to death. Pask plasma Russ rocks my hive guard and everything else it hits till my y-stealers can finally come in and punk it. I do a lot of damage but thanks to the tanks and shots a lot of guard stuff is still up.
I’ve got two objectives with some lurking gaunts and my opponent has one with some vets. He tank shocks one of my gaunt squads but get immobilized on the terrain on the way in next to an objective, blasts my other gaunt unit off as they fail LD thanks to no synapse, and my last tervigon finally kills a guard unit in the assault and massacre rolls onto an objective to contest.
Game ends and it all comes down to either a tie if an immobilized tank is contesting my objective, or a win for the space bugs if it isn’t. Of course I say it’s not contested, and my opponent says yes. I don’t want to be a jerk, and of course we are both going to say yes/no after such a hard fought game, so we get the TO to make a decision and the bugs have the objective for the win.
So two wins and a loss for the day ends me in 10th place, way short of my original goal, but with lots to really think about moving ahead over the next six months with Tyranids.
Are big bugs dead thanks to Grey Knights? Little bugs sure are. If I drop the big bugs then how ill I bust open all those land raiders that suddenly start appearing as the other marine armies start responding the ‘knights. If assault bug lists are dead what about shooting? Just as bad I’m afraid since warriors will get instant killed by pretty much every GK shot with a failed cover save and at the end of the day I can only get three hive guard.
Lot’s to think about. Grey Knights are the future of WAAC and I can’t count on Necrons or Sisters to offer an alternative to fighting them, so it is going to be a long next year plus till we hit 40K 6th edition and maybe some of the other xeno books...