Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alladin's Bat-Rep #3 - 1500pts Tyranids vs Eldar

This past Tuesday I had a chance to get my third game in, with the same Eldar player as before. We both changed our lists dramatically. My motivation was finding a combination that gave me more tactical flexibility. I believe his motivation was to give me a fighting chance.

We decided to play a Dawn of War style deployment, since that is the only type of deployment I haven't played yet.

It was a well-fought game. Teaser: This is the first game that actually went to completion.

Terrain Placement:
We placed terrain similar to last game, except this time he had some more Roman-style ruins. We used those to create area terrain sections. Since none of his terrain has a base on it, we discussed how we were treating each piece, and came to a consensus (we never bothered with this before, the rookies that we were). 

I still feel this table is too bare. This is probably close to tourney-level terrain coverage, but for my needs it leaves a lot of open space in the middle. See picture below:

For future reference, I will use this perspective when describing the flow of the game.

We played Maelstrom, this time Mission 1, "Cleanse and Control." The deployment was therefore Dawn of War, which I felt gave me a bit of an advantage between his mid-long range shooting and my mid-short range.

Army Lists:
As mentioned, the lists be both brought were quite different than the previous two games. My list is featured below.

Primary Detachment:
1x Hive Tyrant - 2x TL Brainleech, Wings, Electroshock Grubs, Regen*

1x Zoanthrope
1x Venomthrope

2x 3 Ripper Bases (Deep Strike)

1x Hive Crone (Reserves)

1x Carnifex - 2x TL Brainleech, Adrenal Glands
1x Tyrannofex - Acid Spray, Electroshock Grubs, Adrenal Glands
1x Trygon Prime - Miasma Cannon (Deep Strike)

Allied Detachment:
Deathleaper (Deep Strike)

1x Lictor Brood - 2 Lictors (Deep Strike)

10x Termigants - 5x Devourers

I was hoping to go with a list that combined as much "Surprise!" shenanigans as well as maximizing my tactical flexibility with Deep Striking. My Goal was to use the Lictors/Trygon Prime as either a Wave Serpent hunter (try to get an Immobilized result to limit their maneuverability) or to assassinate his Jetbike squad.

However, his list was Wave Serpent-free (see what I mean, with him feeling sorry for me?). He also only took 1 Psyker. It's as if he was begging me to win.

His list looked something like this:

Farseer in a 5-man Jetbike Squad
Avatar of Khaine
6 Dire Avengers
6 Swooping Hawks (Deep Strike)
1 Crimson Hunter Exarch (Reserves)
3x Hornets with some S8 Ap2 shooting
3x War Walkers with Scatter Lasers & S6 shooting
Wraithknight with Scatter Laser and 3 blasts

Compared to his other list, this one should be way easier to manage. No Ignores Cover shooting, no 60" ranged Serpent Shield. Only 1 Psyker.
Warlord Traits:
I rolled on the Strategic table again and got the same Warlord trait as last game - one that allowed me to infiltrate up to 3 units. This was unfortunate for me, as you will see later.

He rolled on the Command table and got the trait that allowed him to Move through Cover? He was not impressed.

Objective Placement:
Having learned my lesson, I ensured that the Objectives were evenly distributed. There was one in each of the 4 corner Area Ruins, 1 in the middle ruin, and 1 on the hill beside the ruin.

Psychic Powers:
For Psychic Powers, I had 3 rolls for 2 Psyker units. I rolled Warp Blast and Psychic Scream for my Tyrant, and I can't remember what for my Zoanthrope.

He had 3 rolls for his Farseer, and got Psychic Shriek, Guide (Eldar power, similar to Prescience) and Prescience.

My opponent won the roll and decided to deploy first. He deployed his Jetbikes near the upper left ruin, his Mechanized units and Avatar near the centre behind the middle ruin, and his Wraithknight and Dire Avengers in the upper right ruin.

For my deployment, I placed my Flyrant, Venomthrope and Fex in the lower right ruin, for a sweet 2+ cover save. My Zoan and Termigants were placed in the lower left ruin, and in a bone-headed move, I infiltrated my Tyrannofex behind the middle ruin. Not inside the ruin for a 4+ Cover Save, but behind, for jack squat.

Turn 1:
The first turn went very quickly. Essentially, he moved his Hornets over to get a good look at my Tyrannofex, and then unloaded on him. Twelve S8 Ap2 shots later, there was a pile of goop where a Tyrannofex once stood. This was probably the turning point of the game, which is sad because it was only the top of the first round. Last 2 games, he had very little Ap2 shooting, so I assumed I could 2+ save my way to freedom. Should have looked at his loadout better.

His War Walkers unloaded on my hidden Flyrant, scoring 1 wound. Finally, his Wraithknight moved across the board and destroyed my Zoanthrope.

I spent my turn crying over 250 points gone splat. My Termigants failed their IB, but didn't run away which was good. Nothing was in range, and after the extreme show of force that the Eldar did on my Tyrannofex, I wasn't prepared to move my Flyrant/Fex/Venom out of cover until at least turn 2.

At this point it was 1 - 0 in VP's for him.

Turn 2:
Both his Swooping Hawks and Crimson Fighter came in. Between the Hawks and his Wraithknight he cleared that unit off the objective. He didn't bother shooting at Shrouded Flyrant & Co., out of spite more than anything, which was his mistake - if he focused all his energy into the Flyrant he may have killed it eventually. His Crimson Hunter came in from the left side, but without any good targets it just ended up moving near the lower left ruin and lined itself up to zoom towards my Flyrant. Out there by its lonesome, it sure looked like a juicy target for my Crone, if it came in this turn.

I rolled for my reserves, which have been hot the first two games I played. This game was no different. Both my Ripper Squads came in, as well as my Lictors and Deathleaper. However, my Trygon Prime decided to hold back, likely after hearing what happened to Ted the Tyrannofex. With my eye on his Crimson Hunter, I rolled for my Crone last... and came in! 

I placed my Lictors & Deathleaper near his Jetbike Farseer. I placed my Rippers by his Dire Avengers in the upper right corner. However, one of them suffered a mishap and went back into ongoing reserves. The Crone came in swooping with the Crimson Hunter in his sights.

Once again, my Hive Tyrant and Co. stayed wedged in the ruins. My Lictors launched their flesh hooks into the Jetbikes, killing one. The Rippers got into position to contest the objective.

The Hive Crone barrelled into the Crimson Hunter with a vector strike. I rolled to see how many hits I got - and my hot streak continued, rolling for 3! Long story short, 2 Pens and a Glance later, there was one wrecked Crimson Hunter. It was GLORIOUS. Whatever the outcome of the rest of the game, this was the defining moment of the game for me.

Also, my Flyrant regained a wound this round from Regen.

At the bottom of turn 2, it was 2 - 2 VPs for Eldar.

Turn 3:
On his turn, the Eldar Jetbikes ran away from my Lictors, down to the lower left ruin. His Wraithknight fired at my Lictors, who were partially obscured by the ruin. He ended up taking 1 wound off. His War Walkers and Hornets both fired at my Crone, but only managed to take 2 wounds off, and I passed my Grounding Test. His Dire Avengers shot at my Rippers, and then charged them, removing a total of 6 wounds and leaving one full base left.

My second unit of Rippers arrived, this time without mishap. My Trygon Prime also came in, and I positioned him near his Jetbike squad in the lower left. He would likely get shot up next round, but with his 12 shots and Miasma template I should get a good chance of causing his Jetbikes to fail a morale check and hopefully flee back into my Lictors.

My Crone decided to fly off the board as he couldn't reach the Jetbike unit with his template, and was otherwise looking very  vulnerable.

My shooting phase was all Trygon Prime. His 12 standard shots were useless, as he saved all of it. The Miasma template, however, was awesome, hitting every model and killing 3 bikes. This forced a Morale check as I had hoped, with a LD8 due to Shadow of the Warp, but unfortunately he passed. My Rippers in combat were finished off by the Dire Avengers.

VP total was 3 - 2 for Eldar.

Turn 4:
This is where things got a little bit more interesting. The Eldar Jetbikes moved far away from the Trygon. I feel this was a cursory maneuver, as his Hornets obliterated the Trygon moments later in the Shootig Phase, and was primarily done to protect his Farseer's fancy wardrobe from splattering Trygon entrails. Case in point: after the guts had stopped flying, he moved his Farseer right back down to the same ruins. His Swoopig Hawks landed by the upper-right ruin to support his Dire Avengers. They both shot at my second Ripper unit but only removed one base from play. Finally, his Wraithknight charged Deathleaper and made quick work out of him.

With the clock running out and the Eldar having scored 3 VPs this turn, I felt it was time to do something. My Flyrant took off toward the upper right ruin to clear off some of the Eldar infantry and keep them from th objective up there. The Dakkafex and Venomthrope also made a bee-line toward the other cover. The Crone came back on, and while I should have Vector Stuck his Jetbikes, I opted to hold off so I could fire teo weapons.

Shooting was actually useful this turn, as my Carnifex and Flyrant removed both his Dire Avengers and Swooping Hawks. My Crone pooped out a Template (still think MCs can shoot 360 degrees, right?) on his Jetbikes, which unfortunately did no damage due to his saves. The Tentaclid flew into his War Walkers but I missed.

At the end of this round it was 6 - 4 for the Eldar, and turn 5 looked to be interesting.

Turn 5:
Not a lot of maneuvering here, the Avatar took off toward the Flyrant, and his mechanized cohort took aim as well. His Wraithknight positioned to charge the remaining 2 Lictors. 

The shooting phase was anti-climactic, he unloaded the might of the Eldar into my Flyrant hoping to shoot him out of the sky, but managed only 3 wounds. I had to take a grounding test, but luckily I survived, saving a Slay the Warlord VP by a hair.

The Flyrant flew towards his back line to get a better angle on his Hornets. The Fex and the Venom changed their mind and ran away from the Avatar back into the lower right ruins. The Crone moved toward the Hornets as well.

I shot the Avatar with my Fex, removing 3 wounds. My Crone fired its last 2 Tentaclids, but my rolls failed me again and I missed both. My Flyrant shot at his Hornets, but after a poor showing on the Armour Pen roll, his Jink Save negated all the hits. 

We rolled to see if it would go another round, but it did not.

Final score: 8 - 5 for Eldar.

Final Thoughts:
The game itself was more exciting for me, and we had a couple of cool moments where it came down to some hot (or cold) dice rolls. Even though I lost against a lower-tier Eldar list, I still felt good about the game... in light of some really dumb mistakes.

To the dismay of Ted the Tyrannofex, I definitely should have respected his Hornets and their 12 Str8 Ap2 shots. I should have read his list a bit deeper and opted to keep him in cover. My miscalculation of his shooting strength lost this game for me.

My strategy was to overwhelm him with targets, but I let him pick off 2 of my MCs without providing any tough decisions. I think the first round of shooting made me decide to turtle in the corner and be more reactive instead of PROactive. Unfortunately the remainder of my list wasn't designed to handle my Flyrant and Dakkafex taking 4 rounds off of shooting.

That said, I think I did play the mission a bit better this time. The Mission format itself helped, limiting his cards to 3 or so for most of the game, but leaving me with even less.

The result could have been much worse for me if he got a bit more luck with his cards, and if my rolling wasn't so hot (and his so cold). Aside from a few odd ones, we both felt my rolls were way better this round.

Deathleaper and Co. were a bit disappointing, but that may have to do with his new list. I thought I could use them to eat up an immobilized Wave Serpent or two, but the only real target was his Bikes, which were too mobile. If I could have pinned them......... different story.

I liked the Deep Strike heavy list, but the problem becomes keeping your guys alive until backup comes. My lists are limited by the models I own, and a few purchases in the future should help bolster my ranks.

I keep mentioning it, but the Eldar are so fast! I think the hordes I ran last few games limits their maneuverability, but I need more targets for him. I also need a Wraithknight hunting squad - Gargolyes or Toxic Hormies?

That's it for now, I had to write this post twice since I didn't save my first draft, so I am happy it's finally done! My next game should be in a few weeks, this time against Orks. Very different army, so looking forward to the challenge.


  1. Nice bat rep. Having just faced eldar myself, they can be a bit brutal. What was the main purpose of the lichtors in your list? Where is the venomthrope in this list? (He could have given the fex a 2+ cover save!)

    1. The Lictors were there to be either grab Objectives, or as assassins. They kind of did the first part, keeping him away from the the upper left objective for a while. As assassins, they simply weren't fast enough to catch his Jetbikes, but when originally adding them to my list I thought I may have to deal with some immobilized Wave Serpents, and rather than wasting my Flyrant and Dakkafex fire at it, a well placed Lictor would be enough to take it out. The reason I used Deathleaper is that I wanted at least 2 separate Lictor units, and I couldn't fit those + 1 Zoan and 1 Venomthrope in a single CAD, so I needed an HQ amongst my current models.

      The Venomthrope was hanging out with my Flyrant and my Carnifex down in a ruin for 3 turns. I should have squeezed my Tyrannofex in there too, or placed him in the opposite corner behind the ruins for a decent cover save as well, but I wasn't thinking right.

      Ultimately, unless I can start in Shrouded Cover in the middle of my deployment zone, which was impossible with the way the terrain was laid out, I think I need at least 2 Venoms, or a Malanthrope and a Venomthrope (or 2 Malanthropes, but lets not get too hasty!)