In order to round out my twelfth game of the year (And thereby meet my personal goal of at least one game per month), Brandon and I met on an off-day to play a game last Saturday. Since it was an out of band game, we opted to go with a few extra points as we had more time to play a complete game.
Hive Fleet Proteus:
- Flyrant w/ Twin-linked Devourers (Dominion, Catalyst, Psychic Scream)
- 1x Zoanthrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, & Onslaught)
- 1x Zoanthrope (Dominion, Warp Blast, & Paroxysm)
- 2x Pyrovores in Mycetic Spore w/ Barbed Stranglers
- 30x Termagants w/ Fleshborers
- 1x Tervigon w/ Crushing Claws & Cluster Spines (Dominion, & Warp Blast)
- 5x Genestealers inc. Broodlord (Dominion, & The Horror)
- 1x Mucolid Spore
- Fast Attack:
- 3x Shrikes w/ Devourers & Rending Claws
- Heavy Support:
- 2x Carnifex w/ Adrenal Glands inc. 1x w/ Spinebanks
- Bioblast Node:
- 3x Warriors inc. 1 w/ Barbed Strangler
- 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers
- 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers
- 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers
- 1x Tyrannofex w/ Fleshborer Hive & Cluster Spines
This list started off with me taking suboptimal choices. I started with the pyrovores in a pod because–why not? And then took some raveners and warriors.
You don’t see the raveners? Well, that’s because this is the first game I’ve played outside of my home in a while and I wound up forgetting my ravener tray at the house. So, I had to ditch seven raveners for two close combat carnifexes. Personally, I would’ve preferred to have the raveners–they might not have the punch, but I feel like they’ll actually see combat whereas close combat carnies are doomed to die as they run across the board.
The list isn’t bad, mind you. I still took a flyrant and three dakka-fexes, so the list had enough punch. Still, I felt that it had some handicaps and some punch. I wound up taking the dakka fexes because I noticed that the bioblast node allowed me to use devourers (I could’ve sworn it was only the big guns before).
- Flameblade Strike Force:
- Vulkan He’stan
- Librarius Conclave
- 1x Librarian w/ Terminator Armor & Storm Shield (Librarius: Emperor’s Wrath, Might of Heroes, & Null Zone)
- 1x Librarian w/ Power Axe (Fulmination: Electrosurge, Electroshield, & Magnetokinesis)
- 1x Librarian w/ Power Sword (Geokinesis: Chasm & Scorched Earth)
- Demi-Battle Company
- 10x Tactical Marines w/ Multi-melta, Meltagun, Meltabombs, & Combiflamer
- 10x Tactical Marines w/ Multi-metla, Meltagun, Meltabombs, & Combiflamer
- 5x Tactical Marines w/ 1x Lascannon, 1x Flamer, & Meltabombs in Drop Pod
- 5x Devastators w/ 4x Missile Launchers
- 5x Assault Marines w/ 2x Flamers & 1x Power Weapon
- First Company Detachment
- 5x Sternguard Veterans w/ 1x Heavy Flamer, 1x Power fist, & 2x Combi-melta in Drop Pod
- 5x Vanguard Veterans w/ Assorted Weapons
- 5x Terminators w/ 1x Heavy Flamer
- 1x Landraider Redeemer
- 1x Dreadnought w/ Multi-melta & Heavy Flamer
Before the game I had toyed with the idea of running 90+ genestealers in a cult formation or maybe even running 2x Heirophants. Frankly, I think both of those choices came off as overwhelming to my opponent. I don’t think he specifically engineered against either, but when I showed up with so many monstrous creatures, he wasn’t prepared to fight those, that’s for sure.
Mission & Deployment:
Seventh edition was released in May of 2014–about two and a half years ago. Somehow, Brandon has managed to avoid buying a book for that long. Normally it wouldn’t be an issue, but as we didn’t play at my place and I forgot to bring mine, that made things a little unusual. We opted to play with long board edges based upon the room setup (other options would’ve been possible–just more difficult), and then tried to remember all of the different missions. We opted for “Count up” where we earned cards up to the number of the turn we were on each turn. For mysterious objectives, we didn’t remember the exact order, but he had a set of objective dice, so we just used those.
I won the dice for deployment and chose his side of the table–not because it was any better strategically, but because the gaming area wasn’t connected to the home heating system and his side of the table had a little portable heater (heat is serious business when you make 40ks in Alaska). Really though, the side didn’t matter so much, but I figured I wanted to go first.
There was some debate about the terrain. We had a tower that had a door on it, and I felt I should be able to infiltrate inside it, at which point he said that was fine, but it meant that was a building so he could destroy it (only without a rulebook, we didn’t have the rules to do so). My thought was that he couldn’t see me inside, but that was clearly a place I could leave from. He suggested that would make it an access point then. Whatever the case, there was some confusion, so we just opted to call it impassible–as such I infiltrated my genestealers behind the building and out of line of sight–in order to be able to get a second turn charge…
He tried to seize the initiative and failed, so I took the first turn.
Turn 1: Tyranids
We opted to have night fight, but that didn’t affect my turn all that much. During my psychic phase, I threw up feel no pain on my Flyrant and Tyrannofex, and jumped her in front of the enemy line to give her options.
Most other things ran forward to little effect. I did throw up onslaught on the Tyrannofex and had him surge forward and fire into his tactical squad with Librarian. He did minimal damage, but the Flyrant did manage to enough to force a break test–which they failed–and then proceeded to run off the table.
I also managed to earn three points for holding twice as many objectives as my opponent. With that plus first blood, I took an early lead…
Score: Tyranids 3+1 vs. Salamanders 0
Turn 1: Salamanders
We had some discussion about which drop pod was better for him to bring down and came to the concensus that leaving the objective secured pod in reserve until it was needed was better–besides, that meant he got more shooting power to bear on my units.
His army surged forward and poured fire into my lines. The only real damage to speak of was from that veteran squad in the pod who managed to nearly kill a carnifex and everything standing behind it. I say nearly because I made a single 6+ cover save to keep him alive. Another carnifex on the other side of the board faced a similar fate from a squad of devastators.
The one sad model that I did lose was my Flyrant, who took a hit from some inane gun (a storm bolter, I believe) and promptly failed a grounding check. Well, as luck would have it, the only model that actually fired at it was the land raider, so that meant she at least couldn’t be charged–except a nearby Terminator squad (who had–for some reason–thrown up “Force”) managed to declare her as a multi-assault and she failed her single armor save–dying to the hands of a mere mortal.
He also managed to score a point for holding a single objective….
Score: Tyranids 3+1 vs. Salamanders 1+1
Turn 2: Tyranids
All of my reserves came on the board (ie. a drop pod and a mucolid) and both hit about where they were supposed to. The pyrovores disembarked and killed four of the six devastators, while the mucolid merely threatened a squad of nearby space marines (who lost half of their number to an enraged carnifex).
His assault marines, who had been quietly flanking me, got swamped by a squad of gaunts, and were likely never going to be seen again, and one of my Zoanthropes got off a lucky shot and blew up his Land Raider with a warp blast.
The real battle, however, was in the center of the board. Against Vulkan and his friends, I wound up firing two dakka-fexes into them and then charging them with ‘stealers and a single Carnifex (well, two, but only one made the charge). Just in front of them, I poured two close combat ‘fexes into the melee between the terminators and the Tyrannofex.
I wound up losing my genestealer & broodlord, but traded those in effect for Vulkan, a Terminator Librarian, a sternguard squad, and a terminator squad. Basically, his two big hammer type-units had fallen.
I also scored one objective and another point for having three of my own units within 12″ of my deployment zone.
Score: Tyranids 5+2 vs. Salamanders 1+1
Yes, I know it’s early to end a battle report, but that’s what happened. Dismayed by the loss of his best units and the fact that he was behind, he was talking about calling it there. I said that it wasn’t a lost cause at all, but it was certainly going to be an uphill battle, but offered to call it if he wanted to. As I’ve learned from another friend (Kurt), it’s just not worth playing if someone isn’t happy.
He still had six combat squads, two drop pods and a dreadnought, but facing down the remaining big bugs–all of which were in his face–could be more than a little frightening. So, we called this a very short game (ironically–since we had extra time this particular day) and went on our merry ways…
What I Learned:
- We really should have played it out. He wasn’t totally opposed to keep playing, but I think it was a winnable game for him. Basically every big bug I had was wounded (several on death’s door), and he was going to be drawing more and more cards every turn. I think it would’ve been closer than he expected–and certainly believe he had a chance.
- Brandon is great at the rules. He’s really good at wrote memorization, and probably even better at differentiating between editions. I always get hung up on the variations, but he seems to do quite well. Impeccably so if you don’t have a rulebook on hand to contradict him. 🙂
- Trust but verify. Brandon is indeed great at the rules, but my Flyrant died because he only gave me 12″ of range on an 18″ gun. Had she had more space, she would’ve likely been able to hang out on top of the tower safely and endured through the turn.
- Fleshborer Hive is bad. It’s clearly the worst of the gun options on the Tyrranofex; granted, I didn’t need a game with it to know that, but it was downright pitiful in production.
- Pyrovores in pods aren’t horrible. They’re bad on paper for sure, but I managed to do well with them. Granted, it was one small round of firing and I rolled well/he rolled poorly. Still, it’s possible they’re not as bad as I fear…