Adepticon Championships, Game 3 (Tyranids!)

Let's get back to the blind luck of a 256-person national tournament.  Here's Game 3 of the Adepticon Championships.

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 he's spreading out, controlling space, and taking shots at my units.  I'm fairly survivable, what with a high Toughness and a 4+ Invulnerable... still, I'm also weak against mass firepower.  Between shooting and assault, I lose a Daemon Prince.

Here's the board after my movement and shooting phase - I've managed to destroy another Tervigon, so even more Termagants go bye-bye. 
Right, so more units hit the table.  I drop a unit of Fiends behind my lines on the left flank, then I centralize one group of Horrors and drop the Changelings unit, complete with Icon, on the extreme right.  I can't afford to get locked down on one side when taking objectives is the name of the game.

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.
My opponent was a genius player.  Pictures don't do justice to the layered approach he took to tactics.  I wish I could do a better job highlighting the subtleness in some of his moves, but I'm not sure it translates.  You'll have to take my word for it...

...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!

Here's a picture from the extreme left flank.  In the last turn I held one objective, contested one objective, and took two away from the 'Nids.  He's still got one in the ruins to the upper left - there was no way I was getting that one so I didn't try.
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. 



Charles Jack Ross said...

It was fun watching the end of your and mike's game. Ill make sure to till him its up so he can read it.

Von said...

Dude sounds like a righteous dude.

I tend to avoid playing high-activation-count lists for exactly that reason; games bog down, and I also find it all too easy to play like a moose instead of executing the sophisticated stuff this chap was pulling off. Limited resources force me to pay attention to what I'm doing.

I can play a horde, but only in games like WFB where the overall activation count of all those models is reduced by some of them being little more than glorified wound counters.

SandWyrm said...

Nice report.

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

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