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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nick Navanti at the Colonial GT • Tyranids vs. Draigowing (1850)

I've known Nick for quite some time and I believe I'm the only member of the 40k Wrecking Crew to have actually won a game versus this young genius from New Jersey. I avidly follow his blog which you can find here over on my blog roll (The Brown Paintbrush). Nick won one of the NOVA events last summer (Grey Knights) and has been playing Tyranids for a long time - as least as far back as 4th edition. As the title says this batrep features Nick's Tyranids versus Draigowing.

I brought my Tyranids to the Colonial GT this past weekend in New Jersey, which was a fantastic event... I highly reccomend you guys check it out. My friends and I ended up taking the entire top five spots.

Note that Nick ended up in 5th place overall. The top four armies were as follows:

• Dark Eldar
• Grey Knights
• Sisters of Battle
• Necrons

Here's the list I brought:

Tyrant Guard- lash whips

2x Hive Guard
2x Hive Guard
8x Ymgarl Genetealers

10x termagant
10x termagant
Tervigon - adrenal glands, toxin sacs, cluster spines, catalyst
Tervigon - adrenal glands, toxin sacs, cluster spines, catalyst

Heavy Support
Trygon - adrenal glands
Trygon - adrenal glands
Trygon - adrenal glands

It's my standard 1850 point list which I've played easilly 100+ times. I know this army better than my Grey Knights and my Daemons combined, which I'm sure is a direct correlation to the list's success.

Round 1 I got paired up against a Draigowing list in a kill point mission.

Here is the abbreviated GK list:

Librarian - lots of psychic powers + 3x servo skull

10x Paladins
—4x psycannons
—2x daemonhammer
—warding stave
—4x halberd
—3x sword
—Brotherhood Banner
(all diversified for complex wound allocation)

Paladin - daemonhammer
Paladin - halberd

3x Venerable Psyfleman

There was a lot of area terrain all over the board.

Looking at his list and the fact that it was kill points and spearhead for deployment I figured there was no reason for me to win. I won the roll to go first and took it. I deployed in my standard fashion with all of my monsters behind a gaunt wall ready to run right at him... The Ymgarls were put in a terrain piece where they could multi-assault two of the Venerables deads or the solo Paladins if they came up.

The mission had special rules making the first three turns of the game Night Fight so his dreadnaughts were deployed far up the board with the Paladins. The 2 solo Paladins were deep striking.

On my turn 1 I felt that I had two options:

• Run away, hope to snipe off the solo Paladins and hope the Yrmgarl genestealers kill the dreads and barely win on kill points...
• Or run at him nd make a game out of it

After considering my options and realizing that regardless of how bad I lost I would get 7 kill points at most I figured I should at least play for the win. So everything ran at him, I FNP the Swarmlord and a Trygon then immobilized a Venerable with my Hive Guard.

My plan for this game was simple:

• Multi-assault the Paladins with all three Trygons and the Swarmlord (plus the gaunts or genestealers to tie up the hammers and halberds)...
• Or try to kill the other 5 kill points in his army and not die

Either option was not going to be easy.

On his turn 1 he walked back a little ( I was really hoping he would take the bait and charge at me) and shot one Trygon down to three wounds (without FNP).

On my turn 2 my Ymgarls failed to show up... so I pressed forward with the gaunt wall. I FNP the Trygon with three wounds left (making it unappealing to shoot but still appealing for the kill point) and the Swarmlord. My guns mostly bounced off the dreads thanks to Night Fight. I did manage to paroxize the paladins with swarmlord., bringing them down to WS1 and BS1.

On his turn 2 a solo Paladin with the hammer showed up and deepstruck near his big block of Paladins. It was very close to where the Ymgarls would show up, although my opponent didn't know that at the time. He walked his big Paladin unit into the center of his deployment zone and put every model in a forest.  He continued to shoot the FNP Trygon but it survived with one wound left.

On my turn 3 my Ymgarls showed up and multi-assaulted the solo Paladin and a dreadnaught, killing the Paladin (worst possible moment to trade kill points). I also spawn gauts with a Tervigon. The gaunts walk up and so does a healthy Trygon and the Swarmlord. They all charge a dreadnaught that was about 6" in fron of his Paladin deathstar. I actually failed to kill the dread though... damn Venerable!

My plan was to use the consolidation to move the Trygon and Swarmlord back using the gaunts in front to screen.

Since I failed to kill the dread I had to consolidate the unengaged gaunts and since when I moved them they were strung out in a conga line! His Paladins could still assault around them but he would need a total of 12" on two different difficult terrain rolls.

Here's where I think my opponent made a fatal mistake. He charged the Paladins into the Ymgarls slaughtering them all. However, if he multi-assaulted the Ymgarls and the gaunts (a very easy task) he could have made the whole combat a multi-assault in which my monsters would lose by about 10 and then get pulled into combat with the Paladins where they would quickly meet their fate to double Hammer Hand and auto activating force weapons.

But as it was he assaulted the Ymgarls and killed them, he also shot away the Trygon with one wound left, and I finished off the dread from the previous turn, consolidating torwards his other dread.

His last solo Paladin also showed up behind my army. I assume he didn't think I would turn around and split my army to deal with it but against Draigowing every single kill point matters so I was more than happy to kill the Paladin even if it meant placing my Trygon out of position. I didn't realize that that Paladin had a halberd and would strike before my trygon though, thankfully he failed to wound and my Trygon killed it.

My Swarmlord and Trygon walked away from the Paladins and charged another dreadnaught, killing it as well. They then consolidated even further from the Paladins. The gaunts that I spawned got right in front of the Paladins, hopefully keeping them from moving anywhere useful.

Going into his bottom of turn 4 I'm up 4 kill points to 2.

On his turn 4 he said he wanted to disengage Draigo form the Paladins (so the Paladins could shoot something while Draigo killed the gaunts, but he ended his movement phase in coherency with the Paladins. I allowed him to fix this in the assault phase and charge the gaunts anyway, killling them. The last dread and Paladins shot a Tervigon and left it with only one wound.

On my turn 5 the Tervigon FNP itself and ran away - 6" back plus 6" run getting out of range and and out of sight. My Hive Guard then failed to kill the last dread.

On his turn 5 he failed to kill my Hive Guard who were in cover and had FNP.

The game ended there 4-3 with me up by one kill point - a minor win for the Nids with no bonus points.  I'm very pleased about the result for such a terrible match up given the mission.

Well played indeed. Here are some of Nick's thoughts on Tyranids:

Tyranids are a fine army, their only real problem is that they pretty much auto lose to dark eldar. Another problem is that there are a lot of terrible choices in the book - lictors, pyrovores, rippers etc... There are only a handful of good units, and the army relies on them to carry it.

The thing I enjoy about Tyranids is that they are a tactical army much more than a beat stick. They rely more heavily on unit synergies than any other army in 40k and require patience and understanding to work. I'd put the current Tyranid book around the same place in power level as vanilla Marines, Chaos Space Marines, eldar, daemons, Tau, Sisters of Battle, Dark Angels and orks. To beat any of the other armies (Blood Angels, Imperial Guard, dark eldar, Space Wolves, Black Templars and Grey Knights) you have to play better than your opponent.

Another requirement for Tyranids is to completely and utterly understand how the assualt phase works and the intricacies of the movements and placements within this phase. Tyranids are an assault army without grenades and must rely on well placed assaults and multi-charges to win the battle. If you don't know this section of the rules thoroughly and know how to utilize these rules properly you will lose.

Tyranids are actually my favorite army to play, because they are actually incredibly versatile and can deal with almost all situations in different ways. I would certainly have no issues with bringing them to any GT if it wasn't for dark eldar, which admitedly is pretty much an auto loss. In fact I still bring them to GTs a lot of the time and they perform quite well.

Long story short they are a difficult army to play and are incredibly rewarding, but to win with them takes a lot of practice and mastery of not only the rules but also of the unit synergies.

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