Sunday 23 September 2012

1000pt battle report - nids Vs Grey Knights [6th Edition]

Another 1000pt battle with PeteB, do let me know if you're getting bored with them. Vanguard setup with my first time playing Big Guns Never Tire. Four objectives, essentially one in each table quarter - hive nodes next to my prime manning the quad gun and between the mysterious forest, fuel drums in front of the bastion and the comms relay next to the cover my stealers and Ymgarls were dormant in. I had first turn and my Warlord had +1" to charge range, not sure what PeteB rolled. The Bastion and Aegis were not part of our list, just terrain we could use as per their rules, gives me chance to check out the Aegis ahead of completing my own Tyranid versions.

First turn advance towards the Razorback and the squad in the Bastion. Tervigon spawns 7 or 8 and keeps on going into the ruins. Hive guard are too far away but the quad gun fires at the unit in the Bastion, but fails to wound, bah. Stealers stay hiding.

Hormagaunts, spawned Termagants and Trygon go up the left flank. Termagants enter the forest to find it is made up of Overgrown Spinethorn. PeteB did his move which was equally quick the Razorback, Bastion Heavy Bolters and Defence Lasers all targeted the Trygon which managed to whether the hail of fire and suffer just one wound.

Turn 2, the Hormagaunts enter the second forest to discover it is made of Ironbark.

The Tervigon spawns 11 Termagants with still no doubles. They get projectile birthed throughout the three levels of the ruins and then the Tervigon smashes through the walls. The Trygon moves up to support the Tervigon. I think the Tervigon tried to charge the Razorback but was too far away. The Quad gun fires again but does nothing.

The Ymgarls woke up and sat in the cover. It was this point PeteB had an interesting discussion about where these should have been placed. With hindsight I should have had them in the pillars next to the Rhino. I was thinking too much about the games recently where Stealer out on their own have been mauled through lack of support but PeteB's idea made much more sense as they could have done what they were supposed to d, assault from cover in their first turn.

PeteB's turn two, a squad teleports in and scatter just in front or the Hive Guard, they open fire with all guns and kill one Hive Guard and wound the second.

His Nemesis Dreadknight teleports in, scatters but doesn't suffer a wound. He opens fire with his flamer and the Devgaunts don't fair well with 4 of their number BBQ'd.

Now I have to decide what to do, the Prime needs to take the immediate threat and abandons the quad gun. The Hive Guard moves further back to help delay any charge but still give it target options of the NDK or the squad. The Devgaunts target the unit in front and take out 3 or 4 but don't manage to break them. The Hive Guard takes a shot at the NDK but it's armour shrugs off the impaler ammo. The Prime charges the unit and the leader challenges me, saving the rest of the squad from his Boneswords but as you can see he either failed to hit or wound as it was 3+ for both, so much for protecting his comrades.

The Tervigon spawns 8 more Termagants and poops out, they're fired from it's belly towards my deployment zone so they can get back and capture my objective. It finally reaches the Razorback but only manages a couple of glancing hits. The Ymgarls and Stealers sally forth to target the Dreadknight but not before the Termagants in the ruins do the same. All three units fail their charge range, the most frustrating being the Ymgarls as they fall an inch short due to their frontrunner being mown down by overwatch. This was a major disappointment for me. It wasn't particularly 'bad luck' which I don't believe in but the failure of almost every element of my attack to achieve just something started to weigh heavily on my morale.

The unit of knights in the bastion had moved out last turn behind the Razorback and here they 'shunted' behind my stealers, their flamer and storm bolter fire leaving just the Broodlord with one wound left after this shot. It was going from bad to worse.

Grey Knight Terminators materialised in my deployment, they sparked up their flamers...

... and incinerated the entire unit of Termagants. And even more worse! Oh, did I mention that was first blood, and again worse.

But could it get worse? Indeed, the Ymgarls were also toasted by the NDK. This left me with little choice, the Broodlord was going to die next turn, fact, either by the knight or the NDK on overwatch if I charged it. The only option was to take out the Razorback and then die...

At this point my phone battery ran out. As expected the Broodlord took out the Razorback, the Tervigon and the Trygon assaulted the NDK. None of their Hammer of Wrath's did damage then the NDK called out the Tervigon in a challenge - I didn't see that coming. It declined so could do nothing the Trygon assaulted and added a wound or two to the NDK. In return it put three wounds on the Trygon which was now at 5 thanks to more autofire from the Bastion.

The Prime managed to take out the sergeant or justicar and managed to rout the unit slaughtering them all - success finally. The Hormagaunts headed towards the barrel objectives, and the Termagants in the woods hid in the Ironbark for cover. The Devgaunts hot-footed it back to the Quad gun objective securing that post with the Prime eventually getting back to the Quad gun and opening fire on the terminators who were eventually destroyed.

The monstrous assault continued but this time the Tervigon accepted the challenge but hit second due to Initiative. The NDK had already suffered one wound trying to activate his force sword thanks to Shadows in the Warp. Having wounded the Tervigon it gambled again and it paid off slicing the Tervigon dead with one mighty stroke. The following turn the Trygon and the NDK got angry and killed each other and when it came to turn 5 the game was over. Despite my 'bad luck' and heavy losses I'd managed to win due to the capture of three objectives - 9VP, Line Breaker and killing his heavy support. PeteB got 3VP for objectives, First Blood and killing my heavy support.

It was good game, though I having seen so much failure I don't feel my win represents how outgunned I felt. PeteB felt the opposite though pointing out I had so many scoring units it suddenly became impossible for him to tackle everything. It's just different to go back to an objective based game. Suddenly I'm doing what I've geared myself to do and it feels wrong considering all the Purge the Alien games.

So lesson to learn is really how to use Genestealers and Ymgarls now, or not at all!


  1. looked like a good game! I should be getting in my first 6th edition game in the next few days I can't wait to see the differences from 5th first hand.

  2. It's funny because the folk I am playing have a lot of experience with previous versions and sometimes there are old rules that creep in. In some respects little has changed, in others the small changes have such a profound impact it feels like a completely different game.

    One thing to note about this game is it's quite a few weeks old now, hence the Aegis in a couple of pieces which has since been FAQ'd. PeteB's also got a second Dreadknight, however they've yet to perform quite as well as they did in this game. but I think the only reason I'm holding my own is the Psychic powers, without them I think they'd be very different games.

  3. Oh Ymgarls are still great--they are, after all, the only unit I can think of that charge the turn they come in from reserves (unless that got FAQ'd that I wasn't aware of?).

    What was your take on the Aegis? Was it a good buy? I noticed the gun didn't seem very effective (which is expected, with a BS of 2), but did you think the walls were worth the price?

    Also, I know that building isn't done, but I love the look. It really looks like the burned out shell of a ruin. I love the effect--intentional or not...

  4. Yep, the Ymgarls are still OK, in fact their ability was protected and reaffirmed in the FAQ. They can still get hammered and still underperform - I put 6 on a Ghost Ark yesterday - 18 attacks - I think there were 15 hits! Only one rend +1 to the penetrating damage chart - a 1! So disappointed, the living metal just shrugged it off.

    The Aegis was OK but I think it's better to deploy it in a way that defends an objective or offers a staging post for your nids to run to.

    That's all PeteB's terrain, I'll pass on your comments. One day I should get him round to mine.

  5. I rarely use them (Ymgarls) against vehicles (when I do, I always try to go +STR)--but then again, I typically roll horribly on rends. I tend to charge them against infantry and--in that case--I universally give them the +TOUGHNESS to ensure they live through the enemy combat phase.

    Then again, I'm never conservative with my placement. I like them to be smack dab in the center of the board. Even if that means I'm placing them in terrain that's already occupied by enemy models. The best part of their rules (IMO) is that if you can't place the entire squad, you just lose the scragglers. I've had games where I've chosen to lose half my squad to place them in a spot that was just adventageous to tie up particularly nasty units.

    In short, I swar by the Ymgies...

    1. You now have to choose when to add the +1T. Do you do it from dormancy, that way you get it when they face overwatch, although some may argue they awaken 'naked' without mutations.

      I also need to get in my head something - when they assault because they are in cover do they then go at Initiative 1? If so that's why I'm always looking at the vehicle assault.

      Somewhere in the enemy backfield is also useful as it will suddenly scare the pants of your opponent. I don't go with more than five though as they rarely survive and sinking anymore points in them won't prevent that.

    2. Apologies if this goes long-winded. Going to try to respond to each of the points you made as best as possible (hopefully in order).

      Those that argue that the Ymgarls awaken 'naked' are correct. The stat benefits are gained from their "Alter Form" ability which states that it happens "at the start of every assault phase." The only time I can see this actually being different than starting with the ability while dormant is if the enemy has a unit with "Interceptor." Since that allows them to fire at a unit arriving from reserves at the end of the movement phase, you wouldn't be able to add your extra toughness to help defend against it. Additionally, if you had to take a stat check during your movement phase based on S/T/A, it would make a difference as well (though I can't think of a time when that would be the case).

      Practically speaking, the most common result is that you'd want to have the extra toughness to survive through the overwatch/ensuing combat. "Alter Form," works in this case though because Overwatch is a sub-phase of the assault phase. "Alter Form" has you choose the bonus stat at the beginning of the assault phase, so you would get to use the increased toughness against the overwatch shots. Practically speaking, I always gave them increased toughness on turn 1 anyway (assuming they're charging infantry), because that decreases their damage output and increases their survivability. While it's great to kill an enemy unit entirely, the last thing you want for these guys is to leave them out in the open to get mowed down by enemy shooting. Ideally, you'd want to keep them locked in combat, and the +Toughness option is perfect for this. That way, you can switch to +Attacks during the enemy turn and hopefully break them/wipe them out in time to allow your unit to move/charge again.

      On the subject of charging/cover/initiative 1, the important thing about the "Dormant" rule is that they "deploy" using that rule. That means that after you place the models, they can still move (most likely through difficult terrain, since they'll be placed area terrain--remember they do have "move through cover"). There is some risk involved here, but since you roll 3d6, it's minimal. Your goal should be to completely free all models from area terrain during the movement phase though. To be 100% safe, "deploy" all of the models at the very edge of terrain, so that even if you roll a 1, you'll be able to move them all out. This is because the rule for reducing your initiative states "if at least one model in the charging unit moved through difficult terrain as part of it's charge move..." which doesn't affect you if you were able to move them out of the terrain feature earlier that turn.

      I think that pretty much takes care of your comments, but one more thing I wanted to talk about is placement. You eluded to "somewhere in the enemy backfield" being a useful spot to put them. While it varies from game to game, I almost always put them in the enemy backfield--or even right in the heart of their forces. Things you must consider when choosing a spot:

    3. (continued)

      1) You choose the terrain feature that they're placed in AFTER both sides have deployed. You can thereby use this to react to pesky units, or take advantage of unoccupied terrain.
      2) The size of the area terrain is important. The larger the piece of terrain, the more flexibility you'll have with the unit. So, if you choose a piece of area terrain that's 2'x1', you'll naturally have much higher chances to attack what you want than if it was only 6"x6". Larger terrain features will also make it far more difficult for the enemy to prevent you from deploying (due to the 1" rule).
      3) This goes hand-in-hand with #2 above. Since you get to "deploy" your units and not deep strike them, they won't scatter. They'll get a normal move (perhaps through cover), and then a charge move. Your potential threat range is thereby 18" + the total size of the area terrain. With both "move through cover" and "fleet," it's reasonable to expect 10-12" easily.
      4) When deploying, any models that don't fit in the terrain feature are destroyed (this is in direct opposition to the deep strike rule, which is an all-or-nothing rule. Ymgarls get to pick if they want to forgo placing a full squad for better positioning).

      I think these guys are nothing short of spectacular. They do have some issues with taking out tanks (+STR is the right option in that case), but against infantry, they're great. The only downside to these guys (IMO) is that they compete with other good choices at Elites.

    4. Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify everything for me. It's one of those things that I think you know but you really need someone to patiently explain and reinforce what you know. You've done that, and more! The tactics alone will help me with Throne of Skulls, if I can fit them in that is.

      I've tried to do my list again and get the best out of the Tervigons but that means I short on points to fit the defence line and regardless of how successful it'll be it NEEDS to be in there. With terrain being pre-set I'll get an advantage with it and hopefully get some interest for the blog - it's all good PR ;)
      It may also mean that if folk seem interested you'll be pleased to know I may then look to make some more, which I will try and cast so I mass produce them.

  6. I bit the bullet and purchased some dark arts models late last week, but if you wind up selling the lines, I'd gladly trade mine out.

    Interested to see what you mean by "get the best out of the tervigons" as well. I did write up a post on Tervs in 6th edition if that's something you're interested in. It's pretty much finished, but doesn't have any photos of completed models so I was delaying posting it. If you want, I can make it go live tomorrow... then you can see at least what I think of them.

    1. It's how they perform with Biomancy. You get Crushing Claws and Warp Speed and suddenly you don't need a Trygon anymore. 3 Attacks, halved for smash = 2 Attacks, +1 on the Charge, +D3 for Crushing Claws, +D3 for Warp Speed. Yeah 9 Attacks @ strength 10. Tahst 200pts with an extra psychic power, only remembered the other day you get Dominion for free, so you have two chances to get decent powers. Run two Tervigons and even better odds.

      Don't rush your post if it's not ready, although I have completed my Tervigon ;)