OK, I can finally chronicle for you the first (and so far only) game I've been able to play against the new Tryanid codex. You know, the one that's supposed to be worthless due to all the nerfing, gutting and over-zealous power reduction? This was Warfrog's first run with it as well, and we were itching to see what they would do. Warfrog has been playing 'nids since the 2nd edition Codex, and so knows them inside and out, but he wasn't too keen on having to adhere so sternly to the synapse range again. Never-the-less, we threw together what we thought were good 1750 point lists and decided to see what would happen.
I have always wanted to play a classic and fluffy Ultramarines vs. Tyranids game, and the new Space Marine Codex felt like it would lend itself well to this, especially now that the ridiculous "win button" choices have been ether eliminated or had their power reduced in the new 'nids book. Or so the internet would have us non-bug players think.
|All quite on the Western Flank, as a Tac Squad splits into two battle squads before deployment.|
I must disclaim here that it has been close to a month (February 1st and the wee hours of the 2nd) since this game was played and I have simply been too extremely busy to post this, so what will follow will really be an over-view explaining the pics more so than giving a detailed play-by-play that I typically give, but still, I think this will be a better "battle-report" than that lame excuse that was in Warhammer Visions a few weeks ago... (and yes, that rant is forthcoming!)
As fate would have it, we rolled 'Purge the Alien' for the mission, and let's face it, is there a better mission to flex the proverbial muscles of a new codex against? Well I set-up first, and I will state now, I will pull no punches against myself here, that this was my biggest tactical blunder of this game. I deployed by stretching my army rather thinly against the length of my deployment zone, and since we were playing long-edge vs. long-edge, this would greatly limit by ability to focus fire on specific units. I guess where I am very used to playing objective games that I have come to instinctively set up like I need to go somewhere.
|Sternguard deploy in the "woods".|
|The center field, another tac squad has been split into two battle squads.|
I did take the occassional color pic so you can pick certain details. In this next set-up shot you'll notice some green patches which we use as area terrain for "woods". Warfrog and I discussed the pros and cons of this during the game, particularly in regards to true-line-of-sight, as having a physical woods there would greatly inhibit target selection. Regardless, this worked for us, it worked as we know that shooting through it would provide a 5+ cover and that moving through it would require a best-out-of 2d6 roll (except that most of his army ignores this restriction).
|Both armies deploy|
|The bugs battle line|
On the Tyranid turn one however, we got to see how the Biovore, along with the barrage rules, work in the new rules. The next pic shows what's left of a 5 man combat squad after feeling the love from that attack. We were both impressed with this, and it's been a long time since either of us have seen these kind of results from the Biovore (probably not since early 3rd ed?). The new spore mines are a bit of a pain to have to deal with as well.
|"Hey kids, do you like balloons?"|
|Rolling up, albeit reluctantly...|
|"You're Legion of the Damned like candles watch them burn|
Burning in the light you'll burn again tonight"
Now, I was really putting some precious Faberge Eggs into my proverbial Easter Basket, and I really wanted to get them into combat. So, I jumped the Combat Squad with Chaplin Cassius out of the Land Raider and put them into the ruins. The only reason to do that was to slow down the inevitable Tyranid assault, as all the stormshields in this unit made the cover irrelevant. So they jumped out and missed almost every shot that they fired. And, despite those cute combat doctrine tokens I made awhile back, I still manged to forget to reroll my misses with this unit!
Of course the Hive Tyrant charged Chaplin Cassius, and I got to discover just how badly nerfed the Crozius Arcanum has become since the last time I ever used one. Needless to say, it was a rather disappointing showing for this guy's first game, but sometimes the dice gods say "NO" and choose instead to feed a Hive Tryant. The Warlord Secondary Objective goes to the Nids. Oh, and the Hive Tyrant regenerated the one wound I have given around this time too.
On the next turn, I backed up the Land Raider as I was too close to make use of my full fire power. I believe however that all I accomplished was giving a Carnifex another wound, but not enough to eliminate one from the game.
|"We shall know no fear, we shall know no fear, weshallknownofear, WESHALLKNOWNOFEAR!!!"|
|The squad of 10 was slowly being whittled down.|
|Imagine lots of smoke, fire and Land Raider bits in that crater.|
|A heroic showdown,|
|"Screw you, I'm not playing!"|
|Meanwhile, the melee continues in a whirlwind of bug parts and black armor.|
|And I even remembered my Combat Doctrine this time!|
|"Now he's standing on his last step, he thought oblivion well it beckons us all"|
|"My rape-wig doesn't look right on this tank..."|
So, what did I learn from this game?
- Tighten up my deployment, regardless of mission, while playing against the bugz. Otherwise their strength in numbers will reduce my ability to remove units.
- I need to play with Chaplin Cassius and his Combat Squad a bit more to really figure out what I am doing with him. Maybe leave him in the Land Raider until I want to assault?
- Perhaps double up on my whirlwinds or take a Devastator Squad.
- Not sure what I would do different with the Librarian, as it made sense to stick him where I did, it's just that the powers I pulled had such short range that his effectiveness was pretty much null. Maybe put him into the Combat squad as well?
- The Venomthropes, when used like this, are amazing. They need to be a high target priority and early in the game too.
- Carnifexes rock again, especially kitted up with two sets of twin-linked devourers.
- Psychic Scream and it's soul-sucking power can be brutal if the dice are in the 'nids favor.
- My dice sometimes really hate me. (In fact I switched sets after the first round, and only got slightly better results).
Fun game, and I was more impressed with the new Tryanid Codex than I thought I would be, at least this particular army build anyway. I'm sure we'll play again with other builds soon.