Friday, August 30, 2013

Doubles Tournament: Game 3

Two games in, we had one win and one hard fought loss. The last mission was the Emperor’s Will with Hammer and Anvil deployment. To review, our lists were:



9 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Dire Avengers
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

5 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent w/ twin-linked scatter lasers, shuriken cannon

9 Warp Spiders


Tervigon w/ catalyst, dominion, stinger salvo, toxin sacs,

3 Hive Guard

Doom of Malantai
Mycetic Spore

8 Ymgarl Genestealers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

10 Termagants w/ fleshborers

Trygon Prime w/ toxin sacs

Our opponents were Tau and the only Space Marine player at the tournament (you may recognize the models).

Space Marines:

Ahazra Redth

10 Tactical Marines w/ plasma cannon, flamer

10 Tactical Marines w/ missile launcher, meltagun

10 Devastators w/ some mix of lascannons and missile launchers

Predator w/ autocannon, lascannon sponsons

Dreadnought w/ twin-linked heavy flamer, heavy flamer
Lucifer Drop Pod


Commander w/ iridium armor, command and control node

3 Crisis Battlesuits w/ two missile pods each, early warning overrides

7 Fire Warriors

7 Fire Warriors

3 Broadside Battlesuits w/ high yield missile pods, smart missile systems, early warning overrides

Riptide Battlesuits w/ ion accelerator, early warning override

It would be nightfight for the first turn. Here’s the table:

Our opponents chose to deploy first. The Fire Warriors stood on their objective in the back. The Predator set up near them, while all of the battlesuits took up positions in the center of their deployment zone as far forward as possible.

We deployed toward the rear of our deployment zone, with the Wave Serpents hugging the back table edge to try and stay out of range. Termagants took up residence in the buildings, while the Warp Spiders and Tervigon hid behind buildings. The Termagants deployed on the right were once again put out of synapse in order to go to ground in cover and hopefully hold the objective. I also deployed my large Dire Avengers and Farseer behind the building, hoping to use Guide and Prescience to twin-link my Serpent Shields for some long range, first turn shots. The Hive Guard deployed forward, hidden behind some rocks, so that they could bring their relatively short range weapons to bear.

Ahazra Redth allowed the Space Marine infantry to Infiltrate, so the two Tactical squads deployed 18” in front of my previously hidden Warp Spiders. A combat squad of Devastators managed to hide within 12”, though the rest of their squad with the heavy weapons deployed back with the Predator.

Turn 1:

The battlesuits advanced into range. I learned that all battlesuits have blacksun filters and ignore nightfight. Also, the Riptide has a 72” range. My plan to hide out of range was not going to work. The Riptide blasted two of the Wave Serpents, destroying one and stripping a hull point from the other. Four of the Dire Avengers in that Wave Serpent were killed in the explosion, leaving a lone Avenger in the wreckage. The Broadsides, Prescienced by Ahazra Redth, snap shotted the Hive Guard and killed one.

The Ultramarines closed on my Warp Spiders, with the Dreadnought dropping next to them (with some Termagants in between). The Tactical Marines gunned down 3 Warp Spiders while the Dreadnought flamed them and killed 1 (along with 5 Termagants). The Ultramarine player had hoped to clear out the Termagants to assault the Warp Spiders. However, the Termagants passed their break tests like champs. (Chris: Apparently I’m really good at rolling leadership tests? Who knew?). The Warp Spiders rolled an 11 for their and ran off the table.

We hadn’t moved yet and I had lost almost one-third of my army. This wasn’t going to be good, and I think I mentally checked out here.

The Warp Spiders decided to call it a day and left the battle.

The Tervigon gave birth to a unit of Termagants, and they all advanced to fire on the rear armor of the Dreadnought. Combined with the Hive Guard, they managed to take it out. My Farseer and Dire Avengers continued to cower behind the building, but my Wave Serpents advanced a bit and opened fire on the Tactical squad encroaching on our deployment zone. Despite doing a respectable 18 wounds between the two Wave Serpents, I only killed a single marine.

Turn 2:

The Tau held their position in the center of the table, just maneuvering slightly to get better lines of sight. The Ultramarines slid right, preparing to counter the encroaching Tyranids. They poured fire into the Termagants, killing a few of the lead models. The Broadsides and Crisis suits killed the remaining Hive Guard.

I had been clever (or so I thought) by using my Farseers warlord trait to give my two Wave Serpents Stealth. With a 3+ cover save, I figured they could weather the Riptides firepower. Nope. The Fire Dragons’ Wave Serpent was destroyed, but they all survived (thanks to their new 3+ save).

None of our reserves showed up, so we couldn’t put any pressure on the enemy backfield. The Tervigon created another brood of Termagants, and they all advanced on the Marines. Even the previously cowardly Dire Avengers moved forward. I fired the Wave Serpent at the Broadsides, hoping to damage a high priority target, but only killed the lead drone. The rest of the hits bounced off their 2+ saves. The Termagants killed a marine with shooting, but all their charges failed.

(Chris: This pretty much signaled the end of any threat my Tyranids posed).

Turn 3:

Once again, there was little movement but lots of shooting from our opponents. The Crisis Suits and Broadsides killed the Tervigon while the Tactical Marines cleared out the lead Termagants. The Tactical Marines on the left assault the Termagants in the building, killing one Termagant. The bugs held firm. The Riptide fired into the Dire Avengers, killing 7 along with 2 Fire Dragons. I’ve heard people say that Riptides don’t do too much damage, but it was certainly taking my army apart.

The Doom and Ymgarls came on this turn, and the Doom landed in the nest of Tactical Marines on our left. Unfortunately, he couldn’t survive the Interceptor shots fired at him. The Ymgarls faired a bit better, running behind a building to get out of line of sight of the battlesuits. Even so, smart missile systems took a heavy toll on them. Combined with overwatch, only 2 genestealers reached assault with the Fire Warriors. They killed a few, but the Fire Warriors managed to club a Genestealer to death with their pulse rifles.

My remaining squads simply tried to damage the enemy. My Wave Serpent and Fire Dragons blasted the Tactical squad in front of them and wiped it out. My Farseer Mind Warred the Riptide; he only took a single wound off it but did reduce it to WS and BS 1.

We really didn’t have anything left to keep fighting the enemy, so we decided to call the game at this point.

Lessons Learned:

I really screwed up this game, so that means lots of lessons learned.

1) I tried to hang back to outshoot the Tau with my longer range. That totally didn’t work. The Wave Serpents couldn’t reliably damage the 2+ armor saves on the battlesuits, but they could certainly damage the Wave Serpents. Not only that, but they were able to get in range of the Serpents for Turn 2.

2) I deployed my Dire Avengers and Farseer to Guide and Prescience my Wave Serpents. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn’t advance without leaving them behind. I desperately needed my infantry to get in range of the enemy. Between Bladestorm and fusion guns, my infantry squads could all take on the suits. It ended up with me slowly advancing but never really getting to engage the enemy before my army was shot to pieces.

3) Had I deployed more aggressively, I could have closed into range to take out the battlesuits much earlier. Not only that, I would have forced the infiltrating Space Marines back (Ahazra Redth was pretty awesome), which would probably have saved my Warp Spiders.

4) When playing against Riptides with Ion Accelerators, spread out your tanks. Those things hurt!

And from Chris:

5) I also could have deployed more aggressively. Hanging back at the back end of our deployment zone basically allowed the Tau to take the board center and then have their way with our armies. A more aggressive deployment may have given us enough push to actually threaten the Tau and perhaps bog them down in combat with gants, preventing them from shooting up Brian’s army. Additionally as stated before it would have kept the marines from threatening our objective on turn 1.

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