Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Throne of Skulls March 2016 - Battle 1, Tyranids Vs Tau

Game 1, back at Warhammer World after two years. We were starting a little later than previous visits but table numbers were on display from doors open so I was able to get a head start on unpacking while I put stuff out on the table I casually glanced at the next table where I saw a Warhound Titan being set up opposite a Tau KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour but I thought ‘let them have at it’ and admired the Warhound at length, well it was red and shiny.

With my army unpacked and having had a couple of chats with people about the Skyshield I popped into Bugman’s to join the guys and have my breakfast. Halfway through my bacon and egg butty I needed to see if anyone had set up opposite and I could see what I was facing and have time to formulate a strategy while finishing breakfast. As I glanced across the tables from the other direction it was the Ta’unar Supremacy Armour that stood out and a cold dread trickled down my spine as mistakenly thought he was on my table. I quickly realised my mistake, breathed a sigh of relief as I saw my table was still empty and went and finished my butty.

Time to begin and as I’m stood waiting for my opponent there’s a small discussion going on next to me and I hear the Tau player say “well at least I don’t have far to go”… and so I got to meet Dan and his Ta’unar Supremacy Armour as he moved across one table! Oh sh…

Psychic Powers
Winged TyrantTervigonZoanthropeBroodkin Magus
DominionDominionDominionPsychic Shriek
The HorrorWarp BlastWarp BlastShrouding
Catalyst
ParoxysmDominate
Broodlord
DominionThe Horror

The low down:
  • Into The Maelstrom - Contact Lost and 'Carnage points' for killed units. Vanguard Strike
  • Warlord Trait - Warlord and three units Infiltrate
  • Night fighting first turn, won deployment, elected to go second!
I needed to keep as far away from the Ta'unar as possible, which is way I gave up deployment, with hindsight that was probably a mistake.  Rippers are in the Spore Pod and Genestealer with Broodlord are outflanking [no I don't know why either]. I'll probably struggle to keep track of what went on as Maelstrom games are difficult to follow, moreso when I don't have a great record of Dan's cards.


Dan advanced forewards on my left.


The Ta'unar was opposite the Broodkin.


The Ta'unar focussed fire predominantly on the Skyshield, taking out the Venomthrope for First Blood, reducing my cover save and I became reliant on the Skyshield Invulnerable save. Unfortunately it couldn't help the Flyrant on the ground who took 3 wounds.


That'll teach me for having it under the Skyshield instead of on top but I feared those apocalyptic blasts on the table.


My objective for this turn.


Flyrants swoops forward and I think targets the Ghostkeel. The Devilfish gets wrecked by the Hive Guard, potentially with help from the Carnifex. Unfortunately those are Breechers who disembark so he's about to get roasted. I manage to score my VP but the other Devilfish's contents disembark from it meaning I don't secure that objective for next turn, meaning I'll only get three cards. The Tervigon spawns out first turn on 9.


The Culexus assassin does some damage


I think it gets in range of the objective to take me back down to 2 cards next turn :(


The Ta'unar manages to destroy the Broodkin, thannks to markerlights from the Pathfinders.


Breechers put an end to the carnifex


And their colleagues do the same to the other one.


The Zoanthrope also gets killed. This turn Dan gets 1 VP for 'supressing fire'.


The Genestealer arrive from reserve. And I pick two objective cards, which I can score with ease, if the drop pod arrives... which it does. Objective 1 is in front of the Ta'unar and although the pod deviates the Rippers get out and capture the objective.


The last of the Purestrains goes for the Culexus but it was a foolish plan.


The Culexus wipes it out with ease.


I manage to cull some of the Breechers to give me space round objective 5, meaning I now have this one too, to score 2 VPs.


Dan's turn and the Stealth Suits get an angle ont he Hive Guard, who'd whittled them down to two.


Breechers and Devilfish advance.


Trying to kill off the last of the Carnifex, but he somehow survives.


The Ta'unar charges the Genestealers, which if it kills them in combat will secure a VP for Dan.


The Stealers attack...


and amazingly I get three rending hits on it. Unfortunately it passes one Invul save and subsequently Feel no Pains the two remainders [bloomin Gargantuans!]. They then get stomped for their troubles giving Dan the VP, plus one for holding objective 3.


I pick up this card but it's deep in Tau territory, making it almost impossible to achieve


With nothing much else to do the Nids go on a killing spree, shooting the Breechers with abandon. The Tau can't handle firepower of such magnitude and both squads break and run, the squad in front of the Carnifex sprinting 12" to get away from him. The Stealth suits also break and run, the entire Tau front line melting back to their own deployment zone.


Dan pulls cards to get VPs for holding objective 1 [the Ta'unar had killed the Rippers and consolidated onto it after killing the Stealers] and objective 6 but he also gets a card that pays out 1VP for every 5 models killed [it is Carnage afterall].


Sorry, my notes are confusing here alongside the pictures. Somehow the Carnifex gets out of the ruins


setting his sights on the Breechers


making a significant charge


killing two with Hammer of Wrath


He remains on two wounds


While the spawned gaunts get to grips with the Devilfish


Wrecking it with glancing blows


The Hive Guard advance


The Ta'unar targets the Tervigon with all it's firepower


and manages to pop it!


8 of the big brood of gaunts burst through Synaptic Feedback and so do the Gaunts that just wrecked the Devilfish killing 17 in total on top of their brood mother [that's 3 victory points right there]


The Ta'unar also manages to kill the Tyrranocyte and secure objective 2 for another VP AND having killed 3 units that's 3 VPs = 7VPs, but wait... just as I'm about to start my turn I realise I need to do a morale check on the big blob, they fail and bolt 7" to my board edge and foolishly one of them is only 4 inches away. I lose the remaining models making a total model kill tally of 32, another 3 VPs scoring Dan 10 [plus I think another 2 for something else I can;t work out]


The game has tipped over, we've ten minutes left for my turn and I think Dan was on 17 VPs total as a lone Stealth suit on my right flank easily makes line breaker unopposed. I'm on 3 VPs with these cards


The Hive Guard manage to end the Ghostkeel, giving me Giant Slayer, just. I also manage to get Onbjective 3 with the Flyrant, but not before removing the Tau Warlord for Slay the Warlord and also gaining Line Breaker.


The Breechers flee from the Carnifex but he's too slow to catch them. I think I finish the game on 7 VPs to 17. Totting up the Carnage points Dan has managed to kill every one of my 120 starting points but with the 9 spawned gaunts gone as well I just have 9 remaining on the table in the form three wounds on the Hive Guard, two wounds on Carnifex and one wound left on the Flyrant. I manage to dish out just 40 Carnage points in return.


So, game one is a loss and the Ta'unar was pretty much instrumental in that catastrophic collapse of my army in turn 4, but really it was the cards - delivering so many VPs in one turn. So overall I didn;t feel slaughtered, even if what was left on the board of the nids was minimal. That said the Tau had just a couple of breechers, a Stealth suit and the Ta'unar, which is worth 600pts on it's own.

Anyway, a sound drubbing but it didn't feel that way, whether that's because of how quick it went down, whether it was the cards falling right for Dan or pretty much believing the Supremacy Suit was beyond my grasp anyway so what I did achieve despite was a victory in my eyes I don't know. Suffice to say I was surprisingly bouyant, it had been a great game, and Dan had been good fun. Lunch and then game 2