Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tyranids at Local RTT

I got to play in an RTT yesterday over in Tampa. They used the NOVA mission format which I enjoyed - it's similar to the BeakyCon mission format except that if you win the primary objective you win the mission - if you draw on the primary then secondary is the first tie breaker and tertiary is the second tie breaker. I like the BeakyCon mission better because it really eliminates bad matchups as I'll explain below.

As it turns out all three games were versus good friends I often play so we are very familiar with each others' armies. The first game was versus Chris Winan's Imperial Guard and the primary objective was kill points. Deployment was Dawn of War. As you've probably guessed I brought my Tyranids - which I had to tweak a bit to scale down to an 1850 point list. Kill points versus shooty mech armies are a bad matchup for my Tyranids and Chris was smart, castling his army in one corner of his deployment zone making sure to keep all his armor beyond the range of my Hive Guard. You do have to win by at least a margin of three kill points to grab that objective so the NOVA system does give you a bit of a break in that regard... Still it was not enough for me though and my dice let me down on some key rolls. I suppose I could have played it very conservative and castled as well hoping that my Tyrannofex could pop enough tanks for the win or force a tie breaker on objective markers. I did manage to win the secondary (objective markers) and drew on the tertiary (table quarters)... Every little bit can count.

The second game was versus Mat Douthat's Space Wolves which features a Wolfstar lead by two Wolf Lords. We play each other a lot during the week nights and I've posted some batreps here. We are fairly even in our games and the last time I played Mat at an RTT I lost a very close game versus his Grey Knights. The primary was objective markers and NOVA uses five - one in the center of each table quarter and one in the center of the table. Deployment was Pitched Battle. Mat decided to hold his entire army in reserve at the last moment which came back to bite him as his Wolfstar did not come in from reserves until the fifth turn and his Long Fangs did not arrive until the fourth turn. So it was a fairly easy victory as my Hive Tyrant had a field day since there were no SW units that could really hurt him. I scored the primary, secondary and tertiary this game - moving back up in the rankings.

The third and final game was versus Scott Lester's Grey Knights (three Stormravens loaded for Grizzly Bears). Scott and I have played lots of games at local RTTs so I knew I would have to play smart. The primary was table quarters, secondary was objective markers and the tertiary was kill points. Deployment was Spearhead. This might sound like a bad matchup for my army and it is in many ways but my goal was to play the mission and not worry about trying to kill lots of Grey Knights. Again I faced an army that I only had one unit that could touch his armor (my Tyrannofex) - Scott was smart and kept the fliers all close together, moving flatout and casting the Shrouding with his Librarian inside the central Stormraven... It doesn't get much easier than that in my opinion.

I had to hope I'd get in one lucky shot before his Stormravens could shoot down the Tyrannofex using PotMS... He did make a mistake one turn and got too close to my Hive Guard (hiding behind a bunker... Heh) - I scored one penetrating hit then rolled a 1 on the armor penetration table... Oh well. I knew that Scott was focused on blasting my Tyranids and keeping all his infantry embarked in the Stormravens meant he could only hold a relatively small number of objective markers and at most be in three of the four table quarters. I brought in my genestealers behind cover in the table quarter beside my deployment zone hugging the board edge and going to ground for the 3++... Sometimes it is more important to make your saves than inflict wounds. I also dropped my Zoanthropes over beside the genestealers to act as a distraction and draw fire. The fifth turn rolled around and I decided to take a calculated risk moving my Prime and his Warriors along with my termagant brood out from behind cover into the adjacent table quarter (note I went second this game). I then rolled to see if the game would end and up popped a 2! A quick count showed we were tied on table quarters and a lone Broodlord stood defiantly beside an objective marker while there were no Grey Knights beside any... A close win for the Tyranids... But wait... NOVA has six fixed turns - someone earlier (not the TO) had told me it was five turns then random game length... Geez what a disappointment. I conceded the game then as I had already moved a lot of my units and didn't think it would be kosher to ask to move them back again and replay the fifth turn. It was my fault as I should have more closely read all of the mission rules... It is what it is and now I know. Hee. No big deal really.

So I ended up with one win and two losses - all three games were versus the Big Three - Imperial Guard, Space Wolves and finally Grey Knights. I know some of my detractors will say that this is proof my army is not competitive BUT stop to consider all three games were versus friends who know my army inside out - Imperial Guard took 1st place and Grey Knights took 2nd place. Scott had told me his army was designed to deal with my Tyranid army. So I'm not discouraged and look at it as part of the learning experience. If I had known it was six turns maybe I could have won the game versus Grey Knights - as I pointed out Scott was very intent upon killing Tyranids. Most players won't have these kind of advantages in my opinion. Sure anyone who is a smart player will figure out how to counter my army but I don't think it's necessarily that easy for people unfamiliar with my brand of Tyranids.

It was a fun day playing three games with good friends and overall a well run tournament. I like the NOVA mission format but still favor the BeakyCon method since I think it provides a more equal setting versus the various armies people are playing now. On a final note my good buddy John Lennon brought his Tyranids as well and went 2-1... Pretty cool.

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