Competitive 40k tactics and Battle Reports with the Tyranid Codex

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Packeged Meat: Beating the Dark Angels with Nids

OK, so the current rage across the 40k-internet is the new Dark Angel book. I've acquired a copy and read through it, although I have yet to play against it. Based on my readings, and some internet musings, I'll be giving a brief rundown on what I think is good, and how we'll be combating it...

Of course, I'll be focusing on what makes them unique. We all know what a predator is!

First, the fliers. Both are FA/SA 11, and neither are cheap. (Both easily outpoint a Vendetta, by the cost of a base Warrior and a Hive Guard.)

Dark Talon: Boy, DAngels love their bolters... this guy has Hurricane Bolters, and a large Strength 5 blast, plus the Stasis Bomb. Not bad against gants, but underwhelming vs. MCs.

Nephilim: With a lascannon, Heavy Bolters and missiles, it's not t be sniffed at or feared. It'll be better than most against us, but isn't broken at all, and is the more expenive of the two.

These are mid-toughness fliers, so can be downed by Hive Guard or Dakkarants, especially flying. A Flyrant will average 3 glances against them, and they have 3 HPs. They can hurt our infantry, but aren't too threatening to our MCs.

The new and improved Deathwing! Ok, these guys are good. Deepstrike in turn 1 or 2, no rolls made. Yowie! Also, you can bet Belial will be tagging along, and that SOB (not a sister) never scatters. They're also twinlinked he turn they come in... So basically, it's a mass Deep Strike that can lay down killer fire power if they're close. Also, note that they have Split Fire and can have Plasma Cannons. Any member may upgrade into an Assault Terminator, but note that they then have no guns, and are less effective on that Deep Strike turn, so I think that there will just be 1 or 2 TH/SS in the squad and otherwise vanilla.

Play this like Daemons! Gant bubbles all around. They die, you spawn more, and then assault those Termis to keep 'em locked up. In Close Combat they're no different than a Tactical Terminator, since we're not Chaos. It's important to not let them near your MCs, but we have the spare wounds to survive.

Librarians: There will be one in EVERY competetive DA list, trust me! While only ML 2, they can get Divination and prescience, which every Angel wants with their mass bolter Dakka.

He's still just a librarian. Shadow works fine, and it's not too hard to kill one 2 wound model. He can dish out some serious buffs, so it's worth committing a Flyrant to assault his unit aftera healthy Dakka dose.

Ravenwing Bikers: The normal SM Bikers really. Well, possibly scoring, and they max at 6 plus attack bikes/Land Speeder. Oh! One other thing... They have teleport homers, and hit and run. Gnarly huh?

 If your opponent Turbo boosts them in your face, it is a worthy invetsment to kill the suckers, fast! They die just like bikers though. Make sure you can kill them if you assault them though, because Hit and run is just annoying. Mass poisoned gants or MCs should take care of business with ease.

Black Knights: They're like extra special Ravenwing. And by "extra special" I mean deadly. They all have 18" plasma guns, and rending strength 5 hammers. The worst part is the 1 in 3 grenade launchers... rad grenades are back, and now LAUNCHABLE! WOO! Fortunately it does not stack, or I'd cry. -1 toughness sucks though. Otherwise they're scouting Ravenwing.

Yeah, these guys are nice. 12" move plus 18" means you want to keep them at arms length. Flyrants are perfect here, as they're immune to grenades (blasts). You really want to kill the launchers, with precision shots or Barrage weapons. Again, vulnerable to poison weapons, and enfeeble, like every bike ever.

Deathwing Knights: These guys have a power maul/Storm Shield, and if they're in base contact with
 two friends they're toughness 5. Also, once a game they can buff up to Stregth 10 AP 2 in CC. Ow.

They're barely more expensive than a Biovore, by 1 point exactly. Not too bad! Hold back your MCs, but Gants and Flyrant Dakka kills them like normal Terminators. Toughness 5 won't bother us too much with Enfeeble/poison. Kill them like slow bikers. Treat them how you would Thunder hammer/SS terminators. Dakka and hordes are your best bet.

New Land Speeder Variants: Both are Armor 10/10/10, so pretty vulnerable. One has a large super-plasma, that's three shots or one large blast. The other gives stealth to nearby guys, and shrouded to itself. Not too scary, a plasma blast  can only cause a max of 1 wound on an MC. The shrouded one would need to be close to us, as we have mostly short range guns, and nothing armor ignoring anyway, so not too big of a deal. Could be annoying with dreads and cover though.

Kill it like a Land Speeder. Neither look awesome, but people better than I with DA can use them I'm sure. Armor 10, 2 Hull Points... you know how to kill that.

Special Characters:

Belial: He's a terminator captain, with a nice sword. More importantly, he makes Deathwing scoring, and doesn't scatter if he Deepstrikes. He's a very solid choice. He has a flesbane power sword, so be careful with an MC. Smash him good!

He's not too much of a problem on the ground, again just a nice Terminator captain. If he's included, just be aware that his squad can hit a smaller DS spot than most. Be wary with an MC near him though, he can take off 2/3 wounds fast.

Sammael: He unlocks scoring Ravenwing, otherwise he's got Artificier armor, and rides the only non-FW Marine Jetbike. Alternatively, he can have a 14/14/10 Land Speeder. Both are good, but he rides alone. He has a punch though with a fancy AP2 sword and a Plasma Cannon.

If on a Bike, he can fly around shooting blasts. Either ignore, or send a Flyrant to swat him down. If he gets close, Gants! He's the only Eternal Warrior that I noticed, but is all alone, so I wouldn't send an MC after him (unless it's Swarmy) He's only T5 3 wounds so forcing wounds on him could work if you get a lot.

Azreal: He unlocks Deathwing and Ravenwing as Troops. Expect him in all mix-wing armies. He's nice in CC otherwise. He chooses his own warlord trait though, and has a 2+ and 4 wounds, plus basically a Relic Blade. He also gives a 4++ to his unit, which will have to be a footslogging unit, so most likely Green Marines.

This guy is tough, and will require his fair share of effort to kill. But, he doesn't have eternal warrior... Smash! Still, he can wade through gants no problem. He's good for his points since he basically has 6 relic blade attacks on the charge though... Save him for an MC with Iron arm, or the Swarmy.

Ezekiel: He's a ML 3 librarian, who gives +1 WS to buddies within 6". His Force Sword is inexplicably worse than a normal one... Master Crafted, but two handed. So minus one attack, and one reroll. I'd rather have the extra attack... He has a decent power, mind worm, but it's not great against MCs. d3 Strength 4 shots, but -3 WS/BS/LD if you get wounded. Not great against T6 really.

Deal with him exactly like a Libby. Maybe just a little more priority, because of the WS bubble, but he's really just a librarian with a 2+. No invulnerable even, just so it's easy for an MC to paste him.

Asmodai: I really don't get this guy. He's a chaplain. He has one bonus weapon, it's a CC weapon that causes instant death, but has no strength/AP bonuses... His warlord trait gives a bonus if his unit kills the enemy warlord. Otherwise, just a chaplain...

He's not too scary. Not likely to kill an MC, but it's important to be aware of. Treat like a chaplain, any of your warlords should murder him.

The Banners:

One gives counterattack, another FnP, and the last salvo 2/4 bolters. That's the key one... all also give re rollable morale checks within 12". The Salvo one looks best, but it costs more than a Tyrant Guard. It can be on a command squad marine, either Green, Ravenwing or Deathwing.

Priority number one here! If it's the Standard of  Devestation, DEVESTATE IT! That many bolters will ruin your day. Flyrants playing assassination can help with precision shots, and then an assault if needed. It's worth it. This just looks evil on a Terminator. If he's flying a flag, it's a priority. Take it down!

Wing-standards: Deathwing gives +1 attack, Ravenwing gives auto passing hit and run.

 Nice to pick out but less crucial than the Devestation one.

Other fun wargear: There are various "shields" that give all models in a range an invulnerable, but this will include yours... hitting those in CC is hilarious for gants! Another teleports the user 1d6 if he passes his 3++, and another can blind nearby units if passed. (friendlies re roll). All good and fun, and characterful, but none broken.

Final thoughts: 

This is a very good, solid codex. We matchup slightly better than most due to our numbers and poison, but it's fast and hard hitting. All the above is how to beat in a vaccuum, it'll be hard to do all at once. Still, like the GreyKnights, they're expensive equivalents of Marine things. They do require a lot of careful use of units, one slip up could see a Tervigon get obliterated by Black Knights or Deathwing murder your Tyrant. The codex seems to lack anti flyer though... Flyrants should rock against Dark Angels. I will have more to say with more experience, until then good luck, and try not to get robes stuck in your fangs!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Tyranid Rumors

Ok, so I just read this little blurb on Spikey Bitz... My reactions will be in the article, in red.

Right here

Ok, so I just read this little blurb on Spikey Bitz... My reactions will be in the red

This kinda came out of left field. According to a source on Faeit looks like Mat Ward is set to pen an upcoming Tyranids Book.

Plus apparently more chatter about some new units, and changes to existing units as well.

Standard disclaimers apply here kids as this is some heavy stuff... -MBG
From Faeit

Tyranids. Seen much of these lately on the tabletop? Not so much for a while now, but they are still out there. Here are a few rumors giving us a loose time frame for a codex release, as well as some new units.

-Tyranids are actually seeing a rise in popularity, but whatever.

Please remember that these are rumors, early rumors at that, so please apply as the author mentions.

via the Faeit 212 inbox (no permission given to give a name)

Q4 2013 40k goes to Eldar supposedly, so will be early/late Q4 2013/Q1 2014. May be Q3 2013. Not entirely sure. There will be a codex release and there may be a WD/model release earlier. That would push the codex back though.

-A year is pretty far out, but I would just guess, and hope, it'll be longer.
Kit released for harpy that will make a second FMC - current playtest name hydra. Harpy will remain anti-infantry, hydra to be anti flyer/vehicle.

Synapse will go back to giving eternal warrior - and instinctive behavior will be radically changed.

For other new kits - nothing major. Prime plastic kit, shrike upgrade pack, and lastly, a new MC that is built off of infiltrating and will have a snacking rule similar to the fantasy ghorgon.

-All of this is highly believable. An updated, good, FMC would sell like Hotcakes, especially in the FA slot, which most Nid players have open room in.

next two Rumors should be taken with even more salt then normal - there will be multiple large plastic kit that is a multiple option kit that can make warriors/zoanthropes/lictors, one that can make venomthropes/raveners, and one that will make biovores/pyrovores and one for tyrant guard/hive guard. The finecast models are getting changed up a bit - will move to plastic. Also, some of these kits may be condensed into one box. Secondly - Ward is writing the dex. Extra salt here folks - extra salt.

-Wouldn't it make more sense to put the (Zoan/Venom)-thropes together? They could be the same, except for head and arms. Also, Warriors/Raveners/Lictors are very easily interchangeable... Probably just a mistake. Ward writing it isn't bad, there aren't too many authors and he's rarely underpowered an army. *CoughcoughCruddace*
 Once again, keep in mind this is a long ways off and these are playtest rules.

Ok, back to me! As shocking as this may sound... I DON'T want Nids to get an update... Crazy talk, huh? Not so fast, my friend! Look now, at the Chaos Space Marine book... They have their psykers with no default powers, and you have to pay for each Mastery level, or roll. Right now, look at the Tervigon. It's ML 1, but gets three rolls on any chart (almost always Biomancy), for 30 points. However, looking at CSM, it looks like we'll start off with one power/ML and have to buy them together. It's very, very rare when I actually get three powers I genuinely want to use... it quite frankly wouldn't be worth it to go up to ML 3, considering it would probably cause 25 points... Nids having a 5th edition is a good thing in this case, I think! Also, after the Tervigon, let's look at the next "spawning monster", the Necrons Tomb Spyder. Since that was almost a 6th edition book, it's not unreasonable to assume that the Tervigon would add gants to an existing unit... that though makes me want to cry. Precedent set by recent codexs also points to the nerfing of everything good. Seeing as I have a total of 5 Tervigons (3 real, 2 funky looking Carnifex) I really, really, would rather not see this happen. I'm in the opening of a very large, and more expnsive than usual project with CSM, and I'd hate to have to go back and update my current army. Plus, there'll probably be something new that spawns genestealers, and then I'll have to buy 80! Ok, I'm mostly kidding there... But really, right now Nids are competetive, and I'm pretty sure this was mostly by accident, given the massive power boost that 6th brought. After the nerf fest that this book was initially, I'm really enjoying competing with the top lists. I guess I just don't want them to change everything again, especially not for the worst.

EDIT: Thinking about this again, the change to EW and Synapse could be good, depending on if Warriors stay at 3 wounds. I'm skeptical, but I don't want to be too negative. Obviously, it's just too darn soon to tell! So maybe this could be great for us!

Friday, January 4, 2013

12/15 RTT 1250 Nids vs. GK/SM

Hello all! With the conclusion of Christmas, I finally have time to get cranking on these Batreps... here's the first of three from the RTT I attended on 12/15. My list...


Flyrant, Devourers, OA, HC
HQ Tervigon with 3 powers, Toxin adrenal
10 gants
Troops Tervigon, 3 powers, Tox Adrenal Crushing Claws
5 Ymgarls
Doom in a Pod
2 Biovores
2 Zoanthropes

A note on my list above, it is actually 15 points over the limit... something I didn't notice, and wrote down wrong on my list, so no opponent noticed. Obviously I feel awful about this, and have already posted my mistake to the stores forum, but I will write the reports anyways. If I were to re do my list I'd drop the Crushing Claws and add a few gants. I never really needed the Claws, but it's still probable that my mistake affected my games in some way.

My Opponents List:

4 Henchmen, (2 meltas) plus one Jokaero
Regular 5 man Terminator squad, bunch of Upgrades
Stormraven, uncertain upgrades
Psyfleman Dreadnaught

Librarian with Gate of Infinity and Vortex of Doom
10 man tactical squad, missile/flamer
Storm Talon with Cyclone/Assault Cannon

The Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Dawn of War
The Board: There's a pair of central large ruins, there will be one in each deployment Zone with the Relic in between. There's another pair of large-ish ruins to my left, and scattered small ruins to the right, including a crashed Aquilla above and to the right of the Relic.

Warlord traits: Useless, both.

No Night Fight

Psychic Powers:

Flyrant: Enfeeble, Life Leech
HQ Tervigon: Iron Arm, Endurance, Life Leech
Troop Tervigon: Iron Arm, Life Leech, Smite
Zoanthrope 1: Puppet Master, Life Leech
Zoanthrope 2: Puppet Master, Iron Arm
The DOOM: Psychic Shreik

Pre Game Thoughts: I love the Relic, as always, so I'll basically grab it early and wrap it in bodies, then fend off his army, killing what I can. My Opponent is a newer player, and I believe this actually isn't his army. I know for sure that someone else made him the list.

I have turn 1.

Deployment Nids: Both Tervigons are right up front, exactly 12" from the Relic, ready to birth. The Flyrant starts left, and the Zoanthropes/ Biovores are just chilling behind the Tervigons. Gants are also to the right, the Doom and Ymgarls are in reserve as always.

Deployment GK/SM: The Chimera with Coteaz and Company is opposite the Relic, Terminators in reserve in the Raven, and the Talons also in reserve. The Psyfleman is to the right of the Chimera, and the Tac squad splits up. The Missile goes to the far, far left, and the 5 man squad with Libby is up front.

He fails to sieze, until I remind him that Coteaz gets a re roll. He makes this, of course.

Turn 1 GK/SM: His Libby squad teleports towards my left, and scatters a bit too close... Rapid fire kills a few gants though. Scattered fire really doesn't do much. I think I lose one wound on a Tervigon?

Turn 1 Nids: Spawn! Both spawn in the double digits with no doubles, and the objective is seized. Psychic Powers go off. The second squad provides a bubble wrap after a good run. The Flyrant advances and gets a great shot at the Chimeras side armor, but I whiff badly and glance it once. The Troops Tervigon charges the Libbys squad, and kills quite a few of them, no wounds taken. (NOTE: This is the only time of the Tournament that the Crushing Claws are used, the wargear that I shouldn't have had. I quite frankly would have killed them anyway though, as I was rocking Iron Arm to Toughness 9.)

Turn 2 GK: The Talon comes in, and shoots the Flyrant for two wounds, aslo grounding him, which the Dread helped with.Other shooting is highly ineffective, and in assault I finish the Libbys unit. First blood for me.

Turn 2 Nids: The Flyrant blasts apart the Stormtalon, Ymgarls come in and wreck the Chimera. The Doom lands nect to the Chimera and does nothing. One Tervigon spawns again, shielding the gants as they drag the Relic back towards my lines.

Turn 3 GK: His henchmen run back, meltas slag the Doom. StormRaven comes in, the Flyrant miraculously survives with one wound left.

Turn 3 Nids: The Flyrant glances the Stormraven twice, Ymgarls try to assault the Henchmen but fail. More gants are spawned, they shoot down two henchmen.

Turn 4 GK: The Storm Raven backs up and blows the Flyrant apart. Other shooting kills three or four Ymgarls I think.

Turn 4 Nids: The Ymgarls assault coteaz's unit after gants shoot the Jokaero down. He has a 5++ invuln for Jokaero shenanigans, and I actually kill none, and he kills the last one with Coteaz I think.

The Game ends here. I have First Blood and the Relic, he has Warlord. I win, 4-1!

At this point he had some scattered henchmen, a Dread and a Tac squad, nothing within 24" of the Relic. He also had the Stormraven with Terminators, which he sadly left in their flying box. I was looking forward to them assaulting a gant buble so I could swarm them, but it ws not to be.

At this point, I am 2-0, as is one other player, who has FootDar. We will face eachother next round!