Let's interrupt the blind luck of a 256-person national tournament. I just wanted to point out some interesting conversations happening in the Blogosphere right now. The Back 40K has an interesting piece on Orks which interestingly I both agree and disagree with, but it's informative and the tone is open to a dialogue. I always dig that! Next is Whiskey and 40K, where Mike draws a comparison between two army lists; I like this one because I've been pushing my Competitive is Consistent mantra lately and Mike's theme touches on mine some. Carry on!
This was a really interesting list on a couple of levels. It presents a unique challenge... and frankly, one uniquely suited to putting away my game! The heart of the list is four Tervigons, three as troops and one as an HQ. Obviously he has three cheap Termagant units rounding out the troops. In the elite slots he's bringing Venomthropes, then he has a Hive Tyrant and two Trygons.
So he can survive shooting other Nid lists can't thanks to the Venomthropes and he can fill the board with cheap troops thanks to the Tervigons... remind me to tell you folks about the importance of space in controlling the tempo of the game sometime.
I had reason to be nervous. My army is survivable, but it doesn't have numbers. I could be swamped out if I wasn't careful.
I develop a strategy on the fly. After all, I haven't actually played this build before, but Nids can be rough enough since they're also close assault Xenos. Anyway, I stack my preferred wave with all my shooting and drop entirely on the left flank.
This is a good example of the type of Deep Striking skill you develop by avoiding Icons. Yea, I have one in this list, but I don't need it - so it's not a crutch making me avoid the best moves.
Anyway, I drop three Heralds and three Princes on the left and target the first Tervigon in the line with Bolt and Gaze. With Bolt I wound on 2+ and with Gaze on a 5+, but they both force a cover save... so you see why the Venomthropes were a top choice for this list? Normally he wouldn't get the 5+ those gave him, since he's a Monstrous Creature.
Regardless, I drop the first in line, forcing 3d6 wounds on each 'Gant squad nearby. He started taking massive casualties, so while it was only a start it was a good one.
|Here's the right flank... and the 'Gants just keep on coming!|
|Notice the template in the back? He was barely outside 6-inches for the assault. Whew!|
|Here's the board after my movement and shooting phase - I've managed to destroy another Tervigon, so even more Termagants go bye-bye.|
Here is the following turn. Note the Horrors are using the building to hide behind...
...and here's why. The right flank is still loaded with bugs - and this is after massive casualties from shooting! Note my Fiends are hiding behind the Horrors there in the corner. I don't want to lose the Horrors, but they're much more survivable to incoming shooting than Fiends. If he targets the Fiends at least I get a 4+ cover.
|The army is rolling hard now. My opponent wisely repositions, protecting his objectives and placing his 'Gants in cover so my Fiends will assault last.|
|The right flank again. Notice he's drawn back part of his army to protect the two objectives in his zone. Keep in mind, he's winning at this point! Bottom line, if he can hold his gains and contest mine, it doesn't matter how many models I've killed.|
...or just assume he doesn't have THE SECRET KNOWLEDGE and I just got lucky.
He's falling back in walls... think 'ablative armor.' Think about it this way - if he assaults my units in his turn, chances are I win and either I'll Hit and Run out of combat with the bits and pieces of his unit or I'll destroy it and launch assaults in my turn. Bottom line, he was playing the only good strategy left, feeding me units to eat time...
...which I don't give him. It was the right play, but I'm too fast. The Fiends are Fleet and it's easy to position for multiple charges. Also, one of my Heralds was able to fly over the combat and launch an assault in the middle, contesting the centralized objective. In the bottom right, the Fiends move right past the Tervigon - who my opponent placed as bait - and assault into cover against the 'Gants, also contesting.
Sometimes good strategies don't pan out. He did the right thing, but so did I. It's why we roll dice!
I want you all to notice the most important thing here.
I didn't win the game until the last turn. My army didn't start significantly doing damage to his position until the last half of the game.
That's the way this army plays... making it susceptible to slow players. Think about it: this dude was playing 4 Tervigons in a Horde army - and we still finished the game! If this guy wanted to win this game he could have thrown on the brakes.
He knew it. I knew it.
With his army, nobody would have believed he did it on purpose. After all, it's difficult to finish games in 2-hours with a Horde list, much less one that requires so many additional moves throughout.
He played to finish the game, even when he saw the writing on the wall. He was a top player - he knew it was coming! He didn't want to lose, but his character was such that he didn't want to win through a technicality.
That's why this army was the most challenging to play. It required the willing consent of my opponent to play it through.
I respect this dude enormously. He was a very strong player, very competitive. He was also a true sportsman. For that reason, this game is among the best I've ever had the privilege of playing.