This is getting eerie. My goal is generally to get twelve games of 40k in over the course of a year. I’m on pace at the time of writing this to knock out 30 games this year. Of course, that pace can’t hold up, but it was good to have folks over for game night again and to get some more 40ks in. This week: a new face steps up to the table…
Hive Fleet Proteus (Leviathan)
- Swarmlord (The Horror, Psychic Scream)
- Neurothrope (Catalyst)
- Maleceptor (Psychic Scream)
- 3x Hive Guard
- 1x Lictor
- 3x Pyrovores
- 20x Termagants w/ Devourers
- 10x Genestealers
- 3x Ripper Swarms
- Heavy Support:
- Trygon Prime w/ Ygmarl Factor
- Tyrannocyte w/ Venom Cannons
In retrospect I can immediately see that I cheated on this list because I have four elite choices and I didn’t account for that as far as Command Points are concerned. In total, I should’ve had one less because this would’ve forced me to have a single Auxillery choice. Ooops.
Having played with every unit choice in 8th edition (though maybe not every one since the codex came out), I’ve been working my way through the various hive fleets to see how they play out. Today’s option was Leviathan for the 6++ FNP on every model.
I don’t recall where I started with this list: I mean, if you look at it, it’s pretty much all over the place. I notice that I seem to use a Neurothrope as my second HQ choice quite often. This is because it’s the cheap option and you have to run two in order to get +3 CPs. I also went with venom cannons on my drop pod because it’s an ongoing debate with Brandon about whether they’re any good. After seeing them fair well from warriors, I figured I’d give them a shot on a pod.
- 10x Deathwatch Marines inc. 2x T. Hammers, 3x Frag Cannons, 1x Shotgun, & 1x Combi-plasma
- 10x Deathwatch Marines inc. 2x T. Hammers, 1x Frag Cannon, 2x H. Bolters , & 1x Combi-plasma
- Corvus Blackstar w/ Assault Cannons & Stormstrike Missiles
- Corvus Blackstar w/ Lascannons & Rocket Launchers
I’ve known George for years, but he’s been an outsider to the game group for a while. A mutual friend has been dragging him out to the house as of late, and we’ve adopted him as our latest fledgeling member. He has quite a few armies and does some absolutely breath-taking conversion work; however, he doesn’t seem to paint anything. Allegedly he has like 10 painted models at home, but I’ve yet to see them so I don’t believe it.
His list was designed to be partnered with Cole to play a couples game, but personnel didn’t work out that way, so we split into two smaller games. He seems to favor smaller elite style armies/forces, so this seems right up his alley.
Mission & Deployment:
For mission, we rolled up “Cloak and Shadows” (the one with hidden objectives and night-fighting) and then proceeded to ignore/forget about night fighting throughout the entire game. We deployed on the diagnol and, despite me having more models, I won the dice roll for first turn.
I wound up splitting my 11 units into halves and reserved 6 of them. I wasn’t sure about that, but there was some debate about rounding up or down, and nobody cared, so I went ahead with it.
I didn’t want to get shot up, so I opted to take the first turn. He failed to seize and I started dropping reinforcements…
Turn 1: Tyranids
With only two units on the table, I had to make a choice on target priority. I could either target the one with the big guns, or the one that had lots of little guns. Well, with a few MC’s in my army, I opted for the former (plus it helped that he was closer to more of my models).
With that in mind, I brought in just the drop pod with the ‘gants. In the psychic phase, I managed to do 7 wounds through smite & Psychic Scream (which is quickly becoming my favorite power, I might add). Those wounds were spread between the two flyers though, because the Malceptor was out of position. Then, in shooting I was able to tack on an additional 11 wounds on the priority target, taking it down to a single wound.
So, I wasn’t able to score first blood, but I was able to pretty well assure that it was going to die during my next turn.
For objectives, I had to kill two characters and force a morale test. I discarded the latter and passed the turn, scoring no points.
Score: Tyranids – 0 vs. Deathwatch – 0
Turn 1: Deathwatch
George plays the game far less than I–not that I’m any master of the rules or anything (heck, I still look things up almost as much as he does). I’m just trying to evoke a feeling of how it feels to play this game: there were a lot of questions and looking things up.
He wound up moving his flyer over me to drop bombs (which he said did mortal wounds on a 6+ and then realized that he couldn’t disembark after the vehicle moves. Of course, I let him take it back, and we were able to approximate where the squad would’ve been.
We also remembered at this point that I should’ve been -1 to hit his crippled flyer, so we arbitrarily tacked on an extra 3 wounds to it (figuring I should’ve hit about 1/3 less). It’s not scientific, but it was worth it to try to play things “correctly.” That crippled flyer, and the two squads inside dumped firepower into my gaunts (and then subsequently charges with all but the flyer). That took out 19 of the 20 (due, in part to the cover granted by the building and the Leviathan 6++ FNP save) and caused a minor wound to my tyrranocyte.
Speaking of which, I finally managed to get a cover save for a monstrous creature! Having to both be in cover and be obscured–by that same terrain piece–ensures that I very rarely get to claim cover for MCs. It’s worse yet for giant critters like tyrannocytes, but it actually happened. Even better, it was due to a Lascannon shot, and cover gave me an actual chance to save. When I rolled that natural 6, I was so pleased with myself.
On the other side of the battlefield, his other flyer also disembarked it’s cargo and then shunted over to unload on the Maleceptor. Despite putting out a high volume of shots, he only managed to do four wounds: all of which were from the hurricane bolters. The deathwatch squad also plugged in a few holes for good measure.
I’m not sure what his objectives were at this point as they were obscured to me per the mission rules, but he also passed the turn without scoring a point.
Score: Tyranids – 0 vs. Deathwatch – 0
Turn 2: Tyranids
I brought on the rest of my units from reserve. The Trygon and accompanying genestealers dropped down to deal with the deathwatch squad engaged with my last remaining ‘gant. Well, the Trygon was positioned to pepper the other squad, figuring that the ‘stealers and ol’ Swarmy would be enough to deal with the first squad.
My lictor and pyrovores dropped down on the other side of the battlefield in the only spot they could to be able to snipe out a character. George had deployed his deathwatch squad in such a way to leave his chaplain semi-exposed on the side. Not that I had anything on the table that could really threaten him, but I did have reserves.
To my surprise, the Pyrvores rolled up seven wounds, and somehow even more astonishingly, the chappy failed six of those saves. It’s a game of dice though–roll enough, and weird stuff happens.
The genestealers made short work of the deathwatch, and got stuck in with his warlord. Pyschics were pretty abysmal at this point, but I’d done well enough in the other phases that it didn’t matter too much. I had counted on a smite to take out the last wounds from the crippled flyer, but had to instead rely on the venom cannons from my drop pod, despite rolling -1 to hit.
I should also note here that, during my first turn, the Hive Guard were out of range, but I wanted to keep them where they were so as to let George forget about them. I might need to score that rear objective and didn’t want the flyers to swoop over and kill them. That was great on the first turn, but after he moved into range with both of them on turn 2, I forgot about them and didn’t bother to fire them.
Killing that character earned me two points, plus another for “overwhelming firepower” and killing a unit in the shooting phase–plus first blood!
Score: Tyranids – 3+1 vs. Deathwatch – 0
Turn 2: Deathwatch
Down to three units, the decisions got easier for George. His flyer continued to harrass my units (this time focusing on my Swarmlord, who was the biggest threat on the table). His warlord, stuck in combat with my genestealers, carved through them while taking minimal damage on his own (2+ armor and a 4++ field is always a good combo).
The only other unit, his deathwatch unit, unloaded and then charged into my Trygon. I managed to kill two off with overwatch, and then another two in assault, but even with -4 to his leadership test, it was practically impossible for him to fail. And that’s before you consider that he gets to re-roll the total.
He scored a single point for killing off the last remaining termagant (who opted to stay in combat so that the genestealers wouldn’t have to suck up all of that overwatch). I think that was a fine trade-off…
Score: Tyranids – 3+1 vs. Deathwatch – 1
Turn 3: Tyranids
My Trygon was woefully outclassed, but I opted to keep him in combat because I figured this way he at least got to strike before dying. Maybe the right move was to sneak away and overwatch next turn, but I’d rather swing with those talons than try to count on killing units with 6’s to hit.
Then again, had I moved out, I could’ve done so in a different direction to distract him? Meh, I’m happy with my decision as he took a few more out before he fell.
The Swarmlord charged into his warlord and made short work of him. The rest of my army did it’s best to wound the flyer, but my psychic abilities went really limp again. I threw out three smites and a psychic scream and managed to fail all of them. I should’ve read that the Neurothrope gets to re-roll ones, which might have helped (Except I also spent a command point on him, and still failed).
The only real damage I did to the flyer was from the pyrovores, who didn’t have to roll to hit.
I scored points for killing an enemy in assault, securing an objective, and killing his warlord, pretty well cementing a win by turn 2. But, you never know, this game does wacky things…
Score: Tyranids – 8+2 vs. Deathwatch – 1
Turn 3: Deathwatch
His flyer pulled a questionable move, and opted to switch to hover so he could hold objective #3. He could’ve just as easily held it with his deathwatch, but they wanted to show a little machismo and charge the Swarmlord.
That didn’t work out so well for them. Between the shooting phases and his attacks, he had knocked me down to just a few wounds–and a lucky thunderhammer hit would’ve been enough to ruin ol’ Swarmy’s whole day.
But that just wasn’t in the cards. He did earn that point for holding the objective with his flyer though.
Score: Tyranids – 8+2 vs. Deathwatch – 2
Turn 4: Tyranids
The game was over at this point, but I had drawn “domination” and was trying to actually score it (I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it done), but I misplayed and wound up moving off an objective to charge the flyer. So, I was able ot kill it off, but not able to do much more than that. I scored a point for killing a unit and holding an objective before tabling my opponent.
Score: Tyranids – 9+3 vs. Deathwatch – 2
I wonder if anyone has ever scored Domination. Well, certainly is has to have happened somewhere. Actually, I wonder if anyone has ever played a game, scored the points for “Domination” and then somehow lost the game? It seems that objective is purely a “win more” objective. If you can do that, I can’t fathom how you would somehow lose the game.
The final score isn’t much different than listed above. Besides total annihilation, I scored another point for linebreaker and scored a pretty convincing victory.
Final Score: Tyranids – 10+3 vs. Deathwatch – 2
What I Learned:
- 4x Elites, you cheater! When I make army lists I use paper and pencil because power levels makes it easy; however, it’s easy to inadvertently cheat too. The good thing is that it’s still a legal list for 8th, but I should’ve had one fewer command point to play with.
- Reserves don’t round up. The rule for resrves says simply “at least half of the total number of units.” Technically one could make an argument for rounding, but that seems wrong. “At least half” of 11 is 6, but I only deployed 5.
- Leviathan and it’s 6++ FNP. As a hivefleet ability, this seemed good on paper. I guess it wasn’t bad, and it helped me a bit, but 6+ saves always seem to be worthless. Theoretically everything in my army is about 16% more durable, but when it comes to the table, it doesn’t seem to work that way. After playing it, I think the rule is ok–not amazing, but not bad.
- Venom Cannons on Drop Pods are good. I’ve historically used barbed stranglers because they have more dice and can also get +1 to hit if you fire at a large squad, but the damage output on venom cannons makes them nothing to sneeze at. I can definitely see me running these again.
- Don’t forget your Hive Guard! I meant to do this write up mentioning my hive guard each turn and the fact that I didn’t shoot them–but I forgot! The fact is, these guys did absolutely nothing the entire game because I forgot them behind some terrain. I should come up with a means of remembering them…
- Relics can go on non-warlords. Did you know that your relic doesn’t have to go on your warlord? Me either…
- Don’t forget your Relics! Oh yeah, did you know that if you have a relic, you should make some attempt to actually use it? I forgot about it too…