Sunday 7 April 2013

Throne of Skulls Mar '13 - Battle 4, Tyranids Vs Space Marines

I'm two losses and a draw at this stage, it's not a whitewash but I could do with a win just to up my average at the beginning of day 2. Having had a few beverages the night before I'm feeling a little worse for wear and my Bugman's bacon and egg barm offers me no joy whatsoever, still lets get it on!
Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC troopTervigon Plain troopBroodlord [Adrenal]
Iron ArmHaemorrhageHaemorrhageWarp Speed
EnfeebleLife LeechIron ArmEndurance

Doom of Malan'tai
Psychic Shriek

The low down:
  • The Scouring (I started with 11VPs,on the field to Steve's 8).
  • Hammer and Anvil
  • I lost deployment, but eventually stole the initiative.
  • Warlord Trait - Master of Defence - Warlord is Scoring
Steve Curtis - Space Marine Sternguard Drop pods and Thunderfire Cannons. This may be the first time I've faced a 'drop pod' list. I've faced drop pods before just not an army that is geared around them deep striking. So I deployed in the only way I thought made sense - to spread out as much as possible to make it difficult to land the damn things. Of course drop pods now work in a similar way to Mycetic Spores and are able to move so as not to suffer too many mishaps and there are still some gaps to touch down in but even an inconvenience at this stage would help. I was rewarded for my decision by Steve commenting I was the first person to deploy in such a way and I could see him readjusting his tactics. My VPs are 2 in Aegis, 4 in the middle by the trees and 3 on the first floor of the ruins with the Termagants.

Steve's objectives are 2VPs in the wood with the Scouts and Thunderfire, 3VPs in the first floor Ruins with the other unit of Scouts and Thunderfire and 1VP in the centre of the board just above my infiltrated Stealers.

I steal the initiative. I spawn gaunts, looks like 10 by the Aegis and maybe double figures the other side of the ruin but I'm not sure if they spawn out, I think so as no other gaunts seemed to appear in later pictures. That initiative steal allows me to fill up my deployment zone a little more with expendable miniatures to disrupt Steve's drop pods

Steve's turn 1 and the first drop pod lands in the trees and takes a glancing hit from landing in difficult terrain.

Another pod lands with Vulkan He'stan ready to twin link all those lovely flamers and meltas - so much for my defence line!

The second Sternguard squad  will be hoping to mop up those behind the defence line.

With only Haemorrhage and Life Leech as powers my crushing claws Tervigon suffers four wounds without the benefit of Iron Arm or Endurance. I guess that's the trade-off binning Catalyst, it also didn't help that I'd hid him behind the building from the Thunderfires so the Broodlord couldn't see him to cast Endurance.

+2 Iron Armed vanilla Tervigon gets away with just 1 wound.

But 5 Devgaunts get roasted.

Winged Tyrant deep strikes in, he deviates a bit and is actually swooping above the near left corner of the ruins. I decided it was best to have him back field where I had the advantage of the great VPs and where I could potentially do the most damage. The Devgaunts and CC Trygon moved to intercept the Sternguard.

The Trygon also erupts in support of the vanilla Tervigon who stumbled over the defence line.

The Hive Guard blow up the Hull Pointed Drop Pod for a quick First Blood.
Here's where an interesting rules debate came up. I don't like it when this happens, regardless of the outcome I always feel someone is going to be mighty narked when you're getting out the rule book to clarify the point. The issue was with Overwatch, in particular that both my Devgaunts and my Tervigon were going to charge the Sternguard.

Now we have always played it that you nominate who's charging and the opponent chooses to overwatch. If they get in they're engaged, if they don't, the overwatch is used up but if they didn't snap fire they can then choose to overwatch the next unit. Steve was under the impression all charges are declared simultaneously and he could choose to overwatch the Tervigon or the Devgaunts. A quick look at the rulebook confirmed my view in that you must resolve that units charge before anything else. However, Steve then debated that the Termagants must get into base contact with another model and if they got a sufficient charge move to reach them all the Tervigon would not be able to get into base contact with a model and therefore would not be able to complete a charge. I disagreed but at the time I wasn't able to discover a flaw in the logic in the rulebook so I felt having won one argument it only fair to lose the second. I've since read the rulebook and much like the rest of the unit getting within 2" of an engaged model I believe the Tervigon could have assaulted in too, but please educate me if you believe this is wrong.

The same situation applied with the second unit of Sternguard, with spawned gaunts being roasted after killing 3 Marines from the front combat squad [they really killed me with having separate squads of 5]. While the Trygon and Tervigon both sufferd wounds.

The CC Tervigon was targetted by anything Steve could shoot, Thunderfires, Snipers even the Drop Pod Storm Bolter

...and it succombed, losing it's two remaining wounds.

The Doom arrives, slightly off target but still with enough disembarkation move [thank FAQ!] to get into leeching range of the two Scouts and one Techmarine.

Unfortunately their camo cloaks and Techmarine reinforced ruins meant that their cover saves from his leeching only took 2 lives, giving him 6 wounds.

The Tyrant landed and piled into assault the Sternguards, given he's scoring and they're next to a 4VP objective I needed them removed. Hive Guard also moved back to offer assault if needed but also to shoot what was available. Termagants taken cover behind ruins, ready to make a move on the objective on the first floor but stay in cover from snipers and Thunderfires in the mean time.

Vanilla Tervigon repositions and the Trygon moves to assault the front rank, hoping for Slay the Warlord and stunt their advance

One of the front rank Marines gets killed and 3 from the rear, I'm not sure but I think that 1 wound marker is for Vulkan because...

I have this dice roll, with that 2 looking significant, because...

now I have no Trygon in shot. So Vulkan must have prevailed and then somehow we ended up engaged with the Tervigon.

Back over the other side and down pops another drop pod, oh yeah, I'd forgotten the third one.

The Tervigon squishes another Sternguard and is Iron Armed to +2. Just off shot in the Defence Line you can just make out the base of the Broodlord, who'd high tailed it from the cover behind the Bastion midfield to capture the 2VP objective my Tervigon had left.

Now I'm not sure at which point turn 4 arrives in these pics but as there is only 15-20 minutes left Steve suggests that we only play on until the end of turn 4. I'm not sure what the situation is but its been finally balanced throughout and I think I've got the overwhelming advantage anyway given whats in my DZ! So I agree, we've got a small crowd around us at this point, mainly folk who know Steve and he politely asks some of them to stop asking 'how's it going?' so he can get on and make his moves. Back in the game the Hive Tyrant takes 2 wounds

and the Doom manages to take out the Scouts in the ruins and both Techmarines thanks to both and Psychic Shriek and is on 9 wounds [he'd suffered some in shooting the round earlier but no insta-kill shots] but more importantly the 3 point objective has been lost. By the end of my turn I think I'm on 12VPs to Steve's 3!

The Tervigon prevails against Vulkan but one Sternguard somehow managed to slip through the net and gets into range of my 2VP objective denying it, down to 10VPs.

My Termagants in the ruins suddenly have to face some Sternguard, thanks to grenades I end up with only two remaining, but more importantly lose the objective. It'd now be 7VPs to 3 but the Hive Tyrant was snuck upon by a couple more Sternguard and they also contest leaving it 3VPs each. Steve's managed to steal a draw in the end.

This was totally awesome and we both breathed a sigh of relief and shook hands congratulating each other for a game well played. As we do so I look up at the game screen and I'm shocked to see we have 10 minutes left. 10 minutes in which the Doom could easily displace the scouts on his objective, or even contest it denying him 3 VPs. 10 minutes in which the Tervigon, the Hive Guard or the Broodlord and Stealer could kill the lone Sternguard contesting the 2VP objective. 10 minutes in which the Hive Tyrant and remaining Hive Guard could kill the 2 Sternguard contesting the 4VP objective. Clearly the 3VP one in the ruins would be lost but I've half a dozen options to win this and 10 minutes is ample time to do it. I point this out and umm and ahh for 3 of those minutes [7 is still going to be enough] but I can see Steve thinks this is a shitty thing to do, we shook hands, we agreed. Do I act like a prick just to get my first win or do I accept another moral victory and take a well fought draw...?

No, I'm not a prick, I hope it'll ensure I get favorite game off him at least [I don't think it did] but it was an awesome game and Steve was a great opponent. The Tyrant did OK for a change and the Doom could have won me the game too, Steve was most surprised to find out it leeched in his turn too. Thunderfire's were brutal, if only the Doom had arrived a turn earlier I may well have had sufficient forces left to ensure the win. The Trygon again failed to deliver but he served as cannon fodder, albeit expensive cannon fodder. So 2 draws, and 2 loses, come on game number 5!

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