Monday 17 November 2014

Blog Wars 8 1850pt battle report game 3 - nids vs Tau

Gareth Newton Williams was my last game with his Tau on a Skyshield. By this stage I'm relegated to one of the lower tables, with PeteB on the next to bottom and Liam on the last with Blog Wars very own founder Alex. We all started to have a great laugh with PeteB opposite another PeteB and his Necrons who proudly exclaimed he didn't run the usual suspects, no Annihilation Barges, Flyers or all the other usual cheesy nonsense, y'know the stuff my mate Ben takes. But with perfect comedic timing Gareth interjected with the line 'and that would explain you playing on the bottom tables'! We just fell about laughing and that set the tone for the game. Even with a highly time-sensitive mission where every palyer turn after game turn 1 allows you to score points Gareth and I chatted amd discussed things like my not taking the Skyshield, which would have been fun opposite his

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant Tervigon Plain TrTervigon Miasma
The HorrorWarp BlastParoxysm
Warp BlastDominionDominion

The low down:
  • I won deployment, elected to go first but typically lost the initiatve, go Tau shooters
  • Warlord Trait - Deathleaper has Mindeater - +2VP for every IC slain in a challeneg
  • Night fighting not turn 1 [also typical against a Tau gunline].
The last thing I needed was to lose the initiative and night fighting. With my Hive Tyrant on top of the Bastion and Venomthrope outside he was just in cover range but some of my other units were outside, which if he'd been in the Bastion they'd be safer.

As it was all these guys on the Skyshield, together with the Markerlights from the Pathfinders in the woods dropped a couple of wounds on the Flyrant, who at least couldn't be grounded.

Mmm, some Pirannahs...

Further fire from the Skyshield took out two Hive Guard and put a wound on the Carnifex. Even a couple of Stealers got killed despite their excellent cover. It's all for nught when the Tau can ignore it with their Smart Missiles - like Impaler Cannons but fired by creatures with a Ballistic Skill and can see more than 24" [no I'm not bitter! they're probably half the points n'all! ruddy fish 'eads]

With my turn I swooped forwards hoping to end the Pathfinders, maybe causing them to rout, but to no avail. Genestealers headed to distract, they can't assault after Infiltrate anyway.

Lost of gaunts spawned, double figures for both and I rushed to swamp the objectives so that I would still be holding them all at the end of Gareth's turn 2 and get me my first VPs [note Deathleaper is not on the board there he's waiting to Deep Strike]

The Flyrant gets killed, it helps when you can just add Skyfire to your units. The lead brood of Stealers, First Blood is gone at least.

Second unit of Genestealers gets wiped out too losing the objective, perhaps if they'd just been in range of the Shrouded Bastion they may have survived. I get 2 VPs from the other two objectives.

Deathleaper arrives in my turn. I manage to position him so the Riptides can't Intercept. There's no angle for the one on the Skyshield and hes'd hidden fromt he one that jumped off. It's Flesh Hooks rake the back of the Tau [whatever it is] but do nothing. I also moved the unit of Gaunts with the Carnifex up to my unsecured objective but within range of the Bastion which gets me another 3VPs [5:1]

Having lost one of the Pirannahs to the charging Stealers the remaining three adopted a protective formation to hide their weaker rear armour and promptly removed the larger brood of Stealers from play. I still held all thre objectives so this takes me to 8:1

In a bold move Deathleaper clambers onto the Skyshield declaring he wants to challenge the Ethereal. Gareth is astounded by the temerity of such a challenge and agrees that if he can get passed all the overwatch he'll accept.

The fact is even just the supporting Overwatch from the Riptide is enough to wipe the Galaxy's ultimate assassin from the face of the planet! Bye, bye Deathleaper, you suck. I may go for Old One Eye or the Swarmlord in a Tyrannocyte next time. So Gareth gets Slay the Warlord but I collect another 3 VPs from objectives making it 11:2

I continued to spawn double figure Termagants [for time throwing down genestealers instead of rooting around my myriad takeaway tubs], but obviously you can see there's a triple 1 in that dice roll. Well those five dice are my Tervigon's saving throws from the Pirannahs...

and here's what's left the termagants when their brood mother goes POP. Gareth seemed to be unaware of this unexpected bonus so with renewd vigour tried to pop the other Tervigon taking it to just 1 wound left. Despite this and some gaunts routing and some resorting to Instinctive behaviour I still hold all the objectives taking the score to 14:2.

Gareth continues to pour fire into my dwindling bugs and I make numerous cover saves in the trees as the Tau enact deforestation on levels similar to those seen in the Amazon. The last Tervigon hides behind the Bastion but Longsight moves off the Skyshield and manages to target it with Smart Missiles. The Missiles swoop round the Bastion and score a wound...

So much for it's armour save, the Tervigon pops, taking another slew of its babies with them but I still manage to stay on the objectives.

With the final turn in play [well I mean, as time runs out] I score another 3 VPs taking the final score to 17:2. The Tau managed to perform a great display of precision shooting but failed to grasp the tactic of holding an objective.

Having a chat with Gareth I think he felt the same way Ben did when we played, by advancing on the objectives he would have been exposed to some teeth and claws, although I doubt I'd have got too many kills on the armoured or high toughness models. I think the Skyshield influences you to stay put too. Of course Tau can do that with their long range firepower but when you pay for this defensive stronghold it creates a mindset to stay on it for as long as possible. Ultimately he left it too late to capture the objectives but I think that was also because I'd spawned particularly well and had surrounded each point with so many bodies [something I didn't have the opportunity with when I played Ben].

It was a great game, which sadly didn't reflect the damage Gareth had wrought but as I always say you have to play the mission. But we had a whole lot of fun and I managed to come away with a win so at least 'nids are better than Dark Eldar ;)

One other point of note is how Gareth achievd his digital camo. This was revealed in another lengthy chat mid-game when we should have been attempting to score objectives. He sprayed the models with a Dark Green and then applied the sponge sticky pads used in decoupage to mask areas off then sprayed the lighter colour on top. He still has to add some shading but I thought it was a really clever and effective trick, so thought I'd share.


  1. How many mini's can you fit on a skyshield! ha, looks a tad ridiculas.

    I think if your going to lose 17/2 you might as well go out with a bang but hey what do I know I'm only starting out.

    Anyway Dave I've enjoyed all three of your reports and its inspired me to make the effort next year and maybe try a tournament myself, doesn't seem as intimidating for me now with me being a new player and all that.

    Also its good to see others gamers armies as it gives you an idea of what type of lists people bring to tournaments from whatever codex there playing.

    1. Blog Wars is supposed to be a fluffy fun tournament. That doesn't mean there aren't tough lists and folk who don't want to win, but the most important thing is a relaxed atmosphere. For me, even with the added pressure of the extra points and trying to complete a game in 2.5 hours I get far less stressed than at Throne of Skulls. ToS can be just as friendly and fun it just gets built up in my head and I can feel quite nauseous about it.

      I definitely think BW is a great event and hopefully one you can come along and join in. It's not massively expensive and even if you don't win there's a raffle, on site games store - element games is like an Aladdin's Cave and loads of well painted armies. Well worth it as a staring point if you're going to dip your toe in the tournament world.

    2. Yeah thanks, thats what I'm beginning to understand Dave although two and a half hours is a bit of a worry right now ha.

    3. It's tough but it is possible to finish well under that. I haven't managed it myself but definitely at Throne of Skulls I've finished games in 1hr 45min and I'm no power gamer and certainly not the fastest player, as evidenced by my many battle reports and home by 1am.

      There's a big difference to gaming with your mates and with, not strangers, but new opponents. Sure you still have fun but there is a small part of you that wants to move things along so you feel like you look like you know what you're doing. Of course for me that has the knock on effect of added nervous tension, which makes me very clumsy and riddled with adrenaline for the first game [once again this is more ToS than BW] I tend to be all over the shop which may explain why I usually lose the first one! I suppose it's better to get it out of the way early though.

  2. I don't understand the point of the sky shield. If you had been running biovores dave, it would have turned his army into a skybloodbath.

    Can you imagine if he came up against a group of those new IG mortar things?

    I also don't understand why the skyshield can't be blown up....

    I get sad when i see static tau gunlines, because their army is so mobile and fun :(.

    1. Potentially but you're getting the 4+ invul save so the Biovores might have taken out the Warriors but not much else. The Mortar weapons or Manticores would have been better but even so 4+ can save a lot.

      I don't get the not being blown up either but it's a rule I'll exploit given half the chance. The fact is after all the effort to make one I find it a real pain to transport and set up and 7th has made them so much less effective given they have to deploy in your DZ. You also don't get the Quad Gun, or Comms relay which is even more important nowadays.

      It certainly has it's place but I think if we've now got a choice between a static defence and a Tyrannocyte it's hard to choose a static defence. Which is a shame because I'm all about defending the Hive and this will just reinforce the concept we shouldn't/can't take them.

  3. I agree Greg, and to be honest I do use a skyshield but three Riptides and 4 tetras running around the board is brilliant to play with. Thanks for that last comment Dave "I managed to come away with a win so at least 'nids are better than Dark Eldar ;)" cuts like a knife... true, but it still hurts :)

    1. You're welcome, I write these blogposts with all my friends in mind, you'll notice I referenced Ben at the beginning too. I'm an equal opportunities insulter! ;)

  4. Love your nids and your blog - I'm totally linking you on mine. :)

  5. Enjoyed reading the write ups Dave. Really wish I took more pictures and wrote less words in my battle reports!

    Also, thank you for your continued support of the event and your kind words about it to anyone who'll listen.

    1. I wish I wrote less words too, I almost feel compelled to write something with every picture. Anyway, with running the tournament and playing it's a bit much to take lots of pics as well, at least writing it all down afterwards gives you a bit of breathing space.

      As I said before I know from experience how organising an event can feel like a thankless task. You put on a great show and it deserves to be a success. I only wish I'd been around for the earlier tournaments I came across a number of references to Blog Wars I think around BW4 I could have got a couple more in if I'd seized the initiative a little bit. Anyway, anything I can do to spread the word for BW9 just let me know.

  6. Have you ever had luck with deathleaper as your warlord? In my experience, he's a walking victim. Old one-eye seems better, but he's overcosted (as is the prime). I have a severe issue taking anything outside a Tyrant or a Tervigon as my HQ...

    1. You don't have to make your HQ warlord anymore. Makes it much easier to use characters like death leaper. Just pick a different character in your army!

    2. Ha, ha, you're making him sound pathetic, although I suppose his record does support this view! He didn't do so bad in this game from Blog Wars 7:

      Although I foolishly decided not to use him as my Warlord so failed to capitalise on those extra VPs he would have scored. He looks great on paper, he just never amounts to much, similar to a Broodlord in that respect. Quite often I found the Genestealers did more damage than their uber leader which just reinforces my view that cheap unenhance units are better than expensive ones with all the trimmings. You can't beat just throwing more dice at a problem.

      The limitation for Blog Wars is to take a Special Character. Not having a Red Terror that left me with Old One Eye, the Swarmlord or Deathleaper. If I take OOE then I can't have my dakkafex and the Swarmlord is just too expensive and vulnerable without Tyrant Guard. Of course that now changes a bit with Tyrannocytes but I still think the Swarmlord and OOE promise much but would probably be as [in]effective as Deathleaper.

  7. @Greg I wasn't aware that you could make a non-HQ character into your warlord, but seeing as there are so few available to the bugs, what other choices do you have? A broodlord or a Trygon prime? I guess you could also do the Red Terror?

    @Dave thanks for the link, but I'm not sure that qualifies as decent.

    1. Yup! Secret change in 7th. Any character model in your army can be the warlord...and if you don't have any characters, you can pick pretty much anything!

      With nids, a broodlord is popular, as you can keep him in reserve, out of the line of fire, and can place him pretty much where you want on an entire side of the board when he comes in.

    2. I suppose he wasn't amazing but he wasn't too bad. He was out of position and faffed about in combat for a few turns but the potential to bring the Mawloc in and take the jetbikes out was impressive, although I suppose a bunch of Lictors could have done the same. He did kill the Autarch though so thats more than I think he's ever done!