I’ve decided to go through a tournament of sorts. But I don’t want to call it a tournament, because it only involves me and my lists, and when you think of a tournament you think of, well, a tournament. But the only other thing I can think of to call it is a gauntlet, and I know that isn’t as accurate. So we’ll call it a ‘tournament’.
The point of this is to get some practice in with all of my lists and hopefully to practice making clear descriptions of battles. I’ve got 18 lists between my Tyranids and Black Templars, though not all are equal. To keep the number of games down, I’m going to use a simple win/loss elimination system.
Here are the match-ups for the first round:
Assault Drop (Templar) vs. Comp. List (Templar)
Best of List (Templar) vs. Disruption (Templar)
Bolterback (Templar) vs. Warrior (Tyranid)
Foot List (Templar) vs. Drop Pod (Templar)
Casual Drop Pod (Templar) vs. Lasbolter (Templar)
Aftermath (Templar) vs. Shooty (Tyranid)
PotMS (Templar) vs. First List (Tyranid)
Black Tide (Templar) vs. Close Combat (Tyranid)
Variant (Templar) vs. Variety (Tyranid)
Low-Troop (Templar) vs. Stealer Shock (Tyranid)
I randomly determined which lists would fight, and if there are any questions as to the general nature or structure of any lists (because, you know, those names are so descriptive) I will be more than happy to answer them. I will also include either short descriptions of each or links to where you can see the lists.
1st game: Assault Drop vs. Comp. List. 5 Objectives, Pitched Battle, Assault Drop goes first
Both of these can be found on my blog, and I wasn’t sure how either of them would do as they are both ones that I built because of their apparent novelty, rather than a sound battle-plan behind them. What it ended up being was an insanely close game where almost all of the troops died, leaving two stuck in combat with each other and the Comp. List winning 1-0. It came down to if either the Typhoons could kill that one Initiate claiming the winning Objective (protected by cover and the Emperor’s Champion who had only one wound left) or they finally won the combat in the next turn, then it would be a tie. But the next round did not come.
2nd game: Best of List vs. Disruption. 5 Objectives, Pitched Battle, Best of List goes first
The Best of List can be found on B&C, as well as here on the blog. The Disruption list was based on an idea that I had a while back when Marshal Learoth was first trying to recreate Tony Kopach’s list and I got to thinking about how to include various disruption elements into my lists (hence, the name). What eventually decided the game was the Disruption list being able to push the Best of List off of a couple of objectives with little effort. They weren’t able to claim one of those, but they did deny it and won the game 2-1. Yet again, a close game which, had a few engagements gone in the other side’s favor, would have turned out quite differently.
3rd game: Bolterback vs. Warrior. 2 Objectives, Dawn of War, Bolterback goes first
The Bolterback list was basically just something that I made trying to get Razorbacks with TL-Heavy Bolters to fit into a working list. I mostly succeeded, but there are better ways to go. The Warrior list was something that Stelek first thought of before the Tyranid Codex had come out (I looked back at his early Tyranid lists and articles); the premise is that there are simply so many Warriors that you just can’t kill them all despite Instant Death. And so they got tabled. Too many shots ignoring their armor, too little anti-tank, it was a massacre, 2-0 and annihilation. Man I rolled a lot of S5 shots…
4th game: Foot List vs. Drop Pod. Kill Points, Pitched Battle, Foot List goes first
So, a list I’ve never tested (you can find it somewhere on here) against a list I’ve thoroughly tested, but never against something like this. Let’s do this thing! Well, the Foot list won at 13-11, but that is a little deceiving when you consider that the Drop Pod list killed all 15 Terminators and all the Foot List had left were two Crusader Squads, numbering 4 and 1, both stuck in Close Combat with Dreadnoughts. Oh yeah, and I hate being Fearless in Close Combat.
5th game: Casual Drop Pod vs. Lasbolter. Kill Points, Pitched Battle, Lasbolter goes first
Both of these can be found, but you’ll have to do some searching for the Lasbolter (one of the List Building articles, however I’ve since made a couple of adjustments, but it is still essentially the same list) while the Casual Drop Pod is hidden beneath my regular one in the same article. I have never seen such frustrating dice. I know, I know, I haven’t seen that many dice when you think about it, but it wasn’t one-sided or anything. It was just general inability of units to kill things and there really isn’t anything I could have done to improve my chances. The game only went for five turns (Casual Drop Pod winning 6-4; yes, out of a possible 40 KILL POINTS that were available only 10 were claimed), but there were so many shots that didn’t penetrate or only Shook/Stunned their targets (or just didn’t Wreck, I think I got three legitimate Wrecks and Explosions; with all of that Melta and Open-Topped, that just isn’t right).
6th game: Aftermath vs. Shooty. 2 Objectives, Spearhead, Shooty goes first
The Aftermath, like the Disruption, was made due to the thoughts and ideas coming out of NOVA Open, except that this one is for the 2011 tournament, rather than just remaking the winning list from 2010. I think you can find it in the September-October archives. The Shooty list is just that, I was attempting to make a Gunline Tyranid list (difficult when most of their guns are less than 18” range). Because the Aftermath list had three units of Terminators (which are neigh-invulnerable, can bring down Monstrous Creatures, and can bring down hordes) the Tyranids just couldn’t break through their line with more than a few Termagants (who got shot to death the next turn) while the Aftermath list (which I had adjusted to include two Close Combat squads in Drop Pods) was able to get a Crusader Squad and 2 Terminators to contest the Tyranid’s Objective and won on T5 1-0.
7th game: PotMS vs. First List. 5 Objectives, Spearhead, PotMS goes first
The PotMS list is self explanatory, and can be found somewhere. The First List is, descriptively, my first serious attempt at a Tyranid list (and I thought that, after a few changes, was worth keeping). Unfortunately, the PotMS list did not have enough firepower to take advantage of the limited Synapse that the First List had (a Hive Tyrant and two Tervigons with Dominion). The Tyranids just overran the Black Templars until the Synapse finally began to die, at which point the Tyranids lost much of their effectiveness and only barely were able to win 3-2, controlling the deciding objective in the second-to-last phase of the game (their shooting phase on T7). Overall, a very close game but I need to better learn how to use those Vindicators, as they were dead by T2 and killed very little (because the Tyranids spread out to reduce damage, and the Vindicators have no other options), although when two exploded they killed something like 20 Hormagaunts.
8th game: Black Tide vs. Close Combat. 5 Objectives, Spearhead, Black Tide goes first
The Black Tide can be found a few posts below. The Close Combat, like the Shooty and the First List, is exactly what it sounds like. On the fifth round, thanks to a few unlucky armor saves, the Tyranids annihilated the Templars. There are three things that decided the outcome. First was that I used the Terminators wrong, I employed them to control mid-field but I should have used them to support the horde squads against things like Monstrous Creatures (which they only have a Powerfist against). Second was that the list is just bad because it lacks the fire-power needed to kill those Monstrous Creatures, and there really aren’t many options to get that fire-power. Third was that the large Crusader Squads just aren’t very good. They cost a large number of points but were too few and too weak (even with supporting Independent Characters) to go and claim an Objective by themselves. Essentially Black Tide is just bad.
9th game: Variant vs. Variety. 4 Objectives, Dawn of War, Variety goes first
Apologies for the similar names; the Variant will be up sometime soon, while the Variety is a list I made by starting with a wish-list of all the things I wanted in a Tyranid list (mostly units that I liked) and then tried to make a good list that included all of them, to some success. Essentially, the Tyranid list just couldn’t cope with all of the tanks and high-strength shots (especially those Vindicators). A shooty list that was getting out-shot…it didn’t go well. Final score was Templar victory, 3-1 though another round could have seen 2-1.
10th game: Low-Troop vs. Stealer Shock. 2 Objectives, Dawn of War, Stealers goes first
The Low-Troop list is also due to getting a post about it, but with everything that I have lined up I’m not entirely sure when that’ll be. The Stealer Shock I started because I needed just one more list for this tournament and it was rather unique, the name should be descriptive (though it is worth noting that it has 9 Zoanthropes). So between my forgetting about having Abhor the Witch so often, the imecable 3++ saves on the Zoanthropes, and the 40+ Outflanking Genestealers who all crowded on the edge they wanted, it didn’t go well for Templars as the Tyranids won 2-0. There was still an Initiate, a Typhoon, and the Venerable Dreadnought (albeit, the Typhoon was immobilized and without its Missile Launchers with a Tervigon coming at it, the Initiate was in combat with a half-score of Termagants, and the Dreadnought was immobilized and weaponless in combat with a dozen Genestealers and two Broodlords).
And that’s all of them. I’ve got another round to do between the winners and I’m strongly considering using the Centurion system for the missions (I’ve got a PDF bookmarked, so we’ll see how useful it is). Don’t worry, as there are fewer battles I will get into more and more detail (not to the extent of my first Vassal Battle-Report, but still better than one paragraph).