Competitive 40k tactics and Battle Reports with the Tyranid Codex

Thursday, March 13, 2014

3/10 Skyblight 1850 vs Tau

Alright! I'm afraid I'm interrupting what should be my Crucible Battle Reports, to bring you a test report... with the new Skyblight formation for Tyranids. If you follow the forums online, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over this formation. It was overshadowed at first by the Imperial Knight, but now people are realizing its supposed power. A brief rundown...

2 Harpies
3 Gargoyle broods

Each gargoyle brood scores, and cannot be contested. Also, each brood killed returns on a 4+ the next turn. 

On to the report!

My list: (Yup, proxies... the Tau flyer is a Crone, two empty bases are Harpies)

Flyrant, Devourers, Adrenal Glands
Flyrant, Devourers, Adrenal Glands
Flyrant, Reaper of Obliterax, Adrenal Glands


10 gants
3 Warriors, Barbed Strangler

Harpy (Venom Cannon)
Harpy (Venom Cannon) 
10 Gargoyles Adrenal Glands
10 Gargoyles Adrenal Glands
10 Gargoyles Adrenal Glands

My opponents list: 

Buffmander (ignores cover) with IA Riptide
Buffmander (Iridium Armor, Drone Controller) with Markerdrones
Riptide (IA)
Riptide HBC, Velocity Tracker
6 MarkerDrones
10 Fire Warriors
10 Fire Warriors
9 Fire Warriors
2 HYMP Broadsides with Missile Drones
2 HYMP Broadsides with Missile Drones
SkyRay gunship
5 Pathfinders
2 Plasma Crisis suits

The Mission: We play a dual-primary with the Relic and Emperors will, plus the usual bonus points.

Psychic Powers: 

Flyrant 1: Onslaught, Psychic Scream
Flyrant 2: The Horror, Paroxysm
Flyrant 3: Onslaught, Paroxysm

Warlord Traits: I can make forests carnivorous, he gets a 3d6 jump move. 

My opponent wins the roll for turn 1 and elects to go first...

Pre-game: My opponent and I both fully expect that I will steam-roll him. My opponent is a good player with a good list, but there are assumptions that the list I'm bringing is broken. So, we're both laughing and having fun, as this is a test, not bragging rights. 

Deployment Tau: He puts his objective on the far left in a ruin. One broadside unit in each corner and the IA Riptide to the right. HBC to the left, with markerdrones, markerlights and the SkyRay there as well. Then two FW squads are deployed far back in the center of the board, with the third on his objective. Crisis suits will deepstrike.

Deployment Nids: See below, 10 gants in reserve, as well as all the Gargs deepstriking. 7 FMCs behind a Bastion... 

Tau turn 1: He moves little, but opens fire... with his markerlights and ignoring cover, he kills a Warrior and both Harpies, netting him first blood.

Tyranid turn 1: Restraint is for the weak! I throw all my MCs forward. I successfully take out all the missile Drones on the right, and his Broadsides ball back. Then, an Onslaughted Crone runs behind his Iridium commander and flames the markerdrones out of existence. More flames and dakka kill a few Fire Warriors and wound the buffmander twice.

Tau turn 2: (see below for movement phase)

His HBC riptide and some firewarriors kill one Crone. Then, his Skyray and the Plasmasuits kill the CC Flyrant. Other shooting takes my second Crone down to 1 wound remaining.

Tyranid turn 2: I'm close and personal now! One Gargoyle Brood deepstrikes, but an Intercepting Riptide kills 9 of them! The second lands untouched.

One Flyrant shoots a Riptide and assaults it. He loses two wounds, I take one.

The second Flyrant strips a wound off the other Riptide and assaults, losing no wounds in return.

The Gargoyles and a Heavy Bolter kill some Fire Warriors, they will fall back off the board. The last Crone assaults and kills the second Fire Warrior Squad.

Tau turn 3: With no real targets, he kills all of the Gargoyles. In CC we beat away at eachother, he has a 3++ on both Riptides.

And here he inflicts two wounds with the Riptide!

Tyranid turn 3: I scatter my last gargoyles but avoid a mishap. Sadly, I fail to bring back either of the two broods. I scatter some shots around, but again not much happens.

Tau turn 4: He shoots all of my Gargoyles down. In the far right combat, his Riptide AGAIN hits twice, and kills my Flyrant! Holy Crap! I had inflicted only a single wound, as he has been red hot on his Feel no Pains and his Nove charge rolls.

Tyranid turn 4: I put my warriors on top of the Bastion, and kill some fire warriors but they pass morale. My gants come on the board on my objective and cower. Then in CC, I wound his Riptide twice. With one wound left, he passes both feel no pains and then proceeds to beat my Flyrant to death!  Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap!

Tau turn 5: His one wound Riptide fails his first Nova Charge, and then makes Feel no Pain. Crap. He kills 6 out of ten gants and pens the Bastion with the other Riptides shot, reducing the Armor value by 2. Other random shots are ineffective.

Tyranid turn 5: I am stunned at how this game has gone. All 7 FMCs and all of my gargoyles have been killed beyond resurrection. At this point I have 4 gants, 2 Warriors, and a 1 wound Venomthrope hiding in and behind a lone bastion. With Riptides closing in, I stand up the Barbed Strangler and take a potshot at his last Fire Warrior unit... He goes to ground and only loses one! One short of that sacred morale check... Then, the Venomthrope takes a moment to shoot the Heavy Bolter, killing a Fire Warrior. They fail morale!

I roll, and miraculously the game ends!

I hold my objective, while he holds none, and the Relic is not held. He has Warlord, First Blood, and... not Linebreaker! He never quite got his Riptides close enough, leading to a 3-2 Tyranid victory!

Post game analysis: Despite the victory, I took a huge beating. All my monstrous creatures dead, all my gargoyles gone... this game was whacky and completely unexpected. My opponent had some luck, passing 9/10 Nova Charges to maintain his shield, and passing more than half of his FnPs while in combat with the Hive Tyrant, plus all of my Gargoyles failing to return. His to hit rolls were also pretty great, in CC his Riptides needed 5s and yet BOTH beat down their respective Flyrants, both of whom started at full health. It was impressive to see Tau blazing away at all the wings, but shocking that it worked! My tactics were pretty poor I think, testing out the new list I acted way too boldly, and most of my FMCs got shot to heck and back. Getting first turn would have been huge, but given this result I must say the Skyblight is not broken... it is good, and with slightly better dice could do VERY well at a tournament, but this is on par with Flying Circus, Taudar, and WraithCrons, not miles above them as some people say.

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