Wednesday 7 November 2012

Throne of Skulls Oct '12 - Conclusion

So that was it, my five games and a whole lot of fun. I was quite surprised at my success. I think this was more in part to the missions available. I'm not kidding myself that killing wise my army didn't quite destroy what was set against me but I heard quite often over the weekend "a win is a win". However I'm not going to kid myself that I'm all conquering, but the last time I was at Warhammer World and in other battles there were instances of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm pretty sure the same situations could have arisen here, except my plans worked and the other opponents weren't able to capitalise on any of my mistakes or force me to play their game.

Luck - well I don't believe in it as a driving force of a game but there are certainly the law of averages and I think overall there weren't any extremes. But lets look at some of my units and how they fared:

Tyranid Prime and Warriors
Well, they didn't make MVP - a lot of points for little return. Even when they got to assault in Game 4 it took a while for these beasts to take out a Tactical Squad. There's something about this Prime that even with 5 attacks on the charge he fails to make that Bonesword count, even with WS5 and S5. he should decimate a squad of Marines but usually it's the Warriors that do more damage! But, they add the synapse in and they do attract a little fire and can be durable in some instances. The Barbed Strangler was a waste though, it never hit anyone, let alone kill if I recall,  so I may consider binning it off and replacing with another Deathspitter seeing as the model is painted.

Oh wow, these were brutal in places. They could kill in assault and took so much fire that could be dismissed through Iron Arm or recovered from with Endurance [although I must concede I played this wrong a couple of times]. Sure an army of five would be insane but I think two is my limit

I spawned OK, never ran out of gaunts, with around 60 in my box. They did what needed to be done in places.

Slightly better than their vanilla variants. Their impressive weight of fire is always good against the likes of Terminators as we don't have anything that can crack their normal 2+ save anyway so why not hit them with 30 shots just to see 1 or 2 not stand up after the fusillade!

Nothing spectacular again but I was specifically playing them as front runners to draw fire and allow the Stealers to survive an assault. Changing to this plan of usage means they did their job admirably. I still think some Gargoyles may have been an alternative but given I hate moving and storing the figures and the Hormies are easier then I'll stick with these for a bit.

Broodlord and min Genestealer Brood
Potential MVPs? I thought they'd be so weak and be First Blood every game but the stealers make excellent sacrifices for the Broodlord and also helped me adopt a fast rolling system for 'Look out Sir!' The psychic abilities were a huge bonus and taking into account game one where I kept the Toxin Stealer with Codex powers I think I managed to roll usable, non witchfire, powers 15 out of 18 times! I still believe there should be a reroll available but at least it wasn't too big an issue and quite often they were my last chances at getting an Endurance.

Hive Guard
Although the Hive Guard were a bit hit and miss throughout it seemed that when they did hit there were a number of dramatic results, with at least two or three explosions and they were game changers, particularly Game 4 and the Vendetta 'endzone rush'.

Doom of Malan'tai in Mycetic Spore
Game 1 was appalling, Game 2 was obscenely good, the remaining games he was a major threat and took a lot of fire and forced my opponents to deal with him instead of the rest of my force. Reacting to him allowed me more freedom to manoeuvre and concentrate on the missions while they concentrated on the Doom sucking life in their deployment zone. And, he didn't always die in the following turn he arrived so it was another good choice, he certainly deserved his place in the army. My only reservation was did I use him incorrectly in game two? Did I mistakenly take wounds back from killing the Land Speeders? I honestly can't recall, the picture would suggest I did but hopefully I didn't. I'm pretty certain if I did I didn't make the same mistake again and even so the outcome of Game 2 would have been no different because of it.

Oh dear, what did you do? I think it may have killed a couple of things but overall it was 200pts that may well have been wasted. Perhaps it took fire which allowed the Tervigon's to shine but you add it to the under performing Warriors and Prime and quite often I was only playing with an 1100pt army and still managing to win! OK, that's a bit harsh it came through in the final game and thanks to being scoring did wipe out an entire unit of Immortals, the Warlord HQ and capture an objective, just in time to save it's blushes.

Aegis Defence Line
Did you save lives? Some, but never enough to recoup the cost. Did you change the game? Definitely, and enough to win me games I believe. Game 3 in particular is where it came into it's own. I don't know whether it was fear of being immobilised or capitalising on the cover saves but the Defence Line seemed a psychological barrier Phil was unwilling to cross. I'm pretty sure this was only the tip of the iceberg for it's defensive capabilities as quite often there was never the 'all out assault' on my objectives it was guarding but I'll be using it again so we will hopefully see how good it can be.

OK so I did fluff this one thanks to my misinterpretation of Endurance and the 'It Will Not Die' rule. I could really have done without mucking this up as I hate making mistakes and this is casting a shadow over the weekend. Even so the rule is good and I think I'd still rather gamble on Endurance than guarantee Feel No Pain with Catalyst. The fact is when you roll your Biomancy powers it then allows you to slot in roles for each psyker, where they're going to go and what they're going to do. Iron Arm making a Tervigon T9 is insane or Warp Speed and Crushing Claws giving a maximum of 9 S10 Smash hits! No wonder my Trygon looked tame... Unfortunately the likes of Haemorrhage and Leech life were a bit useless due to not getting into range or victims being inside vehicles but the Blessings and the inability for your opponent to Deny them is a blessing in itself. I've had a look at the other psychic options and I don't believe there's anything in Telekinesis or Telepathy I'd actually want to use and in fact thanks to the greater Warp Charge required there are less options and more chances of Witchfire powers a Broodlord can't use than sticking with Biomancy.


  1. Great analysis of your units. I have a mini tournament coming up soon (Blog Wars 4)and am stuck on the last 400pts...a pair of Trygons, a pair of dakkafexes or a third Tervigon and maybe some Stealers???

    I have found Warriors to be annoyingly pitiful (I want them to be good...what aren't the T5 W2???) and Trygons ineffective for their costs...

    1. I'm no Tyranid Tactica Guru, I can only really go on the models I've used and how they worked out this game. I'm looking at making a dakkafex as Carnifex's can be picked up cheapish on ebay but they still seem expensive and only have four wounds and that's why I dropped my Hive Tyrant. Two Trygons would be good but I've no experience of using two, although I'd imagine your opponents target priority being these rather than Tervigons which may give you leeway to do something with them.

      Overall I think the part of my success I can claim is through using the psychic powers and I did that with the stealers and Broodlord. So a 3rd tervigon maybe the way to go. The guy who used 5 won all his games, but I don't think he won best Tyranid player because he wasn't getting votes for favorite game/army. Three Tervigon's may be pushing it but that's the route I'd take.

  2. i have been eyeing up Blog Wars 4, i know my mate Luke went last year (i think he took either his Star Wars Imperial Guard or his Salamanders from memory) and he said it is a hoot! i would be terrified of facing 3 Tervigons! especially after reading how they have performed for Dwez!

  3. Am glad to see your write ups, and thankful for this overview. I don't tend to use Hormagaunts or Warriors very extensively (largely for the reasons you've stated). I'm happy to get feedback that supports my beliefs.

    I'm also happy you seem to enjoy the Doom/Pod tactics, and broodlord insertion mechanisms (or minimum size 'stealer squads, as some call them). I'm a fan of Trygons myself, so that seems to be a point where we differ. Did you ever deep strike them, or always start them on the board? I go with the DS, as it gives my opponent something to worry about/focus on quickly (like the doom) and distracts them from the rest of the army. I also tend to make them primes to give me some forward synapse.

    1. My real problem with the warriors and hormagaunts is I don't know what to replace them with. They do fill a generic role I just think they weren't needed to do that role in this instance. Replacing them with something more specialised may have reduced my utility nature. I certainly wouldn't drop them but I think they have to be something you believe in or use something else instead.

      I do like my Trygon, I just think he underperformed these games or the whistles and bells Tervigons outshined them. I used to deep strike them in the past and definitely preferred a Prime for the 12 shots but mostly being shot to pieces the turn after they arrive is no fun. Now I mostly just barrel them forward and I feel it's been better since making that choice, although he may have benefited from Deep Striking in game 4 given how far back his Guard Gun line was.

    2. Dave your battle reports have been excellent mate thanks for the whole weekend I had a great time despite not doing quite as well as I might have liked ;(, it was great to go with a few more friends. Thanks to Liam and Otty also and my cousin Woll for putting us all up for the weekend. I was made up for you Otty and liam getting picked for the best army competion(whilst only a tidge jealous, damb and blast if only I was better at painting!), all you armies are excellently painted and to be honest in my opinion all of your armies were better than the eventual winner.
      We reached my target of 12 wins between us all in fact 12.5 ;). I'm already looking forward to and planning our assault on warhammer world and Throne of Skulls next year, and if it lives up to this one we will all have a great time again.Thanks again Ben

    3. Perhaps it was your success last year that was influencing what you expected to do this year. Don't forget it's a whole new game nwo and you're using a whole new army and with Flyers, Allies and Fortifications there were plenty of new hurdles to overcome. Most of my opponents had straight forward lists, few flyers and even the 10 tanks of the Blood Angels wasn't too cheesy because it was an objective mission. We'll be better prepared next time.

    4. I think in many ways your right Dave its a new game and I have to get used to using the new rules. To be honest though I'm not sure I would have beaten the 2 opponents I played even if I played them again ;(. I definatley wouldn't beat the 5 teravigon list.
      I'm beginning to come around to your thinking its best to have an interesting list that maybe a bit different with nice models and well painted, that will be competative against a like minded gamer, but most importantly is fun to play with and against :).
      I think all the lists you played where fine to be honest and 95% of the people that go to Throne of Skulls have fairly normal but competative lists.
      Thinking about your army and its performance I think that your list choice of the tournament has to be the aegis defence line, not just for what it does but the psycological effect it has on opponents.

  4. Well done Dave , really enjoyed your battle reports.I was really unsure about going to Throne of Skulls but had a blast. I do think switching last minute a tyrannofex for the trygon paid off, it was not killed in any game and dished out a lot of hurt, plus absorbed an outrageous amount of firepower. My trygon I am sad to say never survives a turn whether it is deep striked our not. I'm still not sold on stealers with brood lords, but I need to give them a go ,I think toxin adrenal Horme's give more bang for buck. In my 4th game they dished out 72 attacks against chaos marines, re roll 1's to hit + re roll to wound.I also found my warriors under performed - on paper they should do much better. Looking at alternatives, a carnifex with 2x hvy. venom cannons is not all that different from the tyrannofex but 60 points cheaper. Also, I want more hive guard, these Dave would be a good alternative to warriors especially as yours are scratch built. By the way, what are the heads on your guard made from? I want to scratch build 3 pyrovore's. Anyway, enough rambling, Otty

    1. I love the idea of Hormagaunts [even over stealers] and the toxin+adrenal ones are supposed to be lethal but I can never bring myself to spend the points on them [and I've got 22 of the beggars!]. Hormies are last addition for points, never a core choice.

      Warriors for me just do average. The Prime always seems to underperform and the Warriors do more than expected but most times they just sit on an objective or add support to beleaguered Termagants, although I think that might be their point.

      The Hive Guard are made from Warriors, the heads are just Termagant heads but the crest is made from a spare Carnifex Crushing Claws. I've just added the links to how to make them on the Tutorials tab at the top but here's the link anyway

  5. Great tourney report!

    I liked the overall style of reports. Easy to read even for me, as English is a foreign language to me:)
    Photos are great.
    Composition is comprehensive. Beginning, reports, analysis and awards!

    No army lists in battle reports - have to guess on models.
    Missed some details through reports. Not a great minus, but nevertheless it's sometimes hard to understand the details.

    Overall, I'm very happy to find your blog. Hope, you like to keep going with tyranids further:)

    1. Thanks for your input Erle, glad you like my efforts. I've managed to add some of the army lists from my opponents but sometimes they were just written in a book they had so I couldn't get a copy to list on the blog. However I've just found the Squat and Grey Knight lists so I will update the posts later tonight. If you need my list it's here:

      Apologies about missing some details. I was more worried about running out of time than keeping track of what was happening. Most of my games take around 4 hours so a 2.5 hour limit was a lot of pressure. After my upcoming pre-Throne of Skulls reports I'll try to add more detail or accuracy.

      I'll stick with Tyranids, although I will be doing my Dark Angels for my next project. I never liked them when they first came out but they're my first ever fully painted army and being slightly less competitive suits my changed 'Fun at all costs' attitude to gaming, whether it's win or lose!

  6. Really trying to complete my tyranid army if such a thing is possable.Its been a bit of a rollercoaster with a new codex and new rules changing the way Tyranids play i ve found myself having to pull arms of painted models.Just finished constructing 3x dakkafex and my doom dooooommmm!!! pretty pleased how he or she turned oput will try to post picks.I have some gargoyle heads and some old hive tyrant bodys for converted pyrovores.Another option for the heads could be old hive tyrant heads our parred down warrior heads what do folks think.On a different tack do you think a tesla carbine would pass for GK conversion beamer.