This will be an interesting matchup. While my army is a strong build, it is designed more to combat the current competitive meta - MSU
-mech. How well it will do against an all-infantry army remains to be seen. Sure I've got anti-horde with Cleansing Flame purifiers, but nids have defense against that in the form of Shadows of the Warp and the tervigon's Catalyst, or Feel No Pain.
Many people don't realize how tough a tyranid army is when run by a competent general. I myself play tyranids as well and have won probably bout 75% of all my games with them. In many of those games, I have dominated my opponents. Toughness 6 nids with cover and sometimes FNP
is just hard to kill. If he does it right, he should almost always be giving his large genestealer brood and possibly his flyrant FNP
in addition to cover.
While my force weapons will kill his Tyranid monstrous creatures (TMC
's) in assault, even that is no guarantee. That is because of Shadows. I only have about a 40% chance of passing my LD9 psychic tests on 3D6
. Same with Cleansing Flame...there's a less than 50% chance of it going off in the presence of Shadows. And even if it does go off, it can be mitigated somewhat with FNP
. For example, if Cleansing Flame goes off against his 20-gargoyle unit with FNP
cast on it, it will only kill 4.17 gargoyles. Against his 17-genestealer unit with FNP
, it will only kill 2.84 genestealers. As long as his units are protected, he should be able to minimize the extent of my psychic damage.
Tactics-wise, I will use my dreads to protect my knights, especially from his genestealers. I do NOT
want to engage his stealers in the range of Shadows. If his genestealers get the charge on my guys, they will
be history (unless CF
goes off and kill a lot of stealers). Shooting-wise, I will try to take down his flyrant and hive guards first. Zoanthropes are not as big a threat, but because they are a Shadows unit, they will have to go as well. As long as I stay close to my dreads, his zoans will be warp lancing me at LD
6 only. I don't expect my vindicare to do much of anything, but if he should peel off 2 wounds at a time from my opponent's TMC
's, then so much the better.
I've got 5 troop choices. He's got 6, with the ability to generate 2-6 more units of termagants. I'd give him the advantage in seize ground. In capture and control, he's got outflanking/infiltrating genestealers as well as hidden ymgarls. Sporing zoans won't really be an issue as I have Warp Quakle, but otherwise, I'd give him the advantage in capture and control as well due to his slightly better mobility. In annihilation, I'd say I have the advantage. Even though I've got more kill points because of my transports, he's got less AT
to take out my transports. That, and he would be creating kill points for me for every unit of termagants he spawns.
Deployment and initiative doesn't really matter to me. I suppose I wouldn't want spearhead deployment due to outflanking genes, but honestly, it's not as bad against a mech-list like mine. Just keep moving at cruising speed and you will see why stealer-shock fails against mech, not to mention I can just leave a couple of dreads for his outflankers to chew on.
Cleansing Flame can really do some damage....but only if I get it off. The trick is to always keep his units within Shadows coverage and my chances of getting off any psychic powers is greatly reduced. Do that and he has a chance to over-run my knights. However, if he should fail to block my powers, then expect to see a lot of dead bugs, small and big.
Tyranids may have problems against my vehicles. Hive guards are the only reliable source of AT
. Zoanthropes, not so, especially when they're taking psychic tests at -4 to their LD
. Dakkarant is respectable against rhinos, but due to the -1 on the damage charts, not really reliable. Then there's assault. Frankly, I don't look too highly on stealer-shock against cruising rhinos. I think that is a recipe for disaster, but that's one of the inherent weaknesses of an assaulty tyranid army.
Now let's see how tyranids will pull this one off.
Capture and Control
Wow. I've been playing a lot of these draw-fests lately. What's up with that?
Map of the battlefield.
Grey Knight deployment. I basically deploy near the center of my deployment in case he outflanks his genestealers. Strike squads are in the 2 outer-most rhinos.
My objective - the tyranid spore. Pardon the proxy, but I used my sentinels as the regular dreads. My forgeworld dreads did not arrive in time yet.
Tyranid deployment....nothing. Janthkin reserves everything, with the genestealers and 1 tervigon outflanking. Tyranid objective - the tyranid spore - is in the top-left corner. I infiltrate the Vindicare into the pond.
Now I've got a decision to make. Janthkin is trying to make me split up my forces. If I stay together, it is probably going to be a draw. However, if I want to win, then I will need to split up in order to make a play for his objective. He has a better chance to take out my divided forces than he does a united one. His army isn't even on the board yet and he's already forcing me to make difficult decisions. Truly the sign of a master tactician!
He doesn't bother to try to steal the initiative.
Grey Knights 1
I'm here to win, not to go for the draw (at least not until I am behind). Grey Knights advance. Silly me. My strike squads cast Warp Quake even though no tyranids will be coming in this turn.
My right-most strike squad disembarks and runs towards my objective. Crowe then takes their rhino. However, I THEN IMMOBILISE MY RHINO IN TERRAIN!!! Wow...tyranids are not even on the board yet and they've already managed to do damage.
Tyranid's movement. Eh, where'd they go? Oh yeah, that's right, they're not even on the board yet.
Grey Knights 2
Grey Knights continue to advance. I make sure my vehicles/dreads are obscured and touching each other. This way, I should get cover from his hive guards should they come in.
Both the tervigon and large genestealer squad comes in, and they both come in on the same side! Not good. Now his big block of stealers will be protected by cover, FNP
Flyrant, tervigon, gargoyles and 1 unit of termagants come in on his objective. Tervigon FNP
's his flyrant.
Still in reservers - hive guards with tyranid prime, zoanthropes in spore, ymgarls, smaller genestealer squad and 2nd termagants.
His flyrant fires at my nearest rhino (with the strike squad). He rolls well and gets 2 pen's and 1 glance and proceeds to wreck it. Strike squad stumbles out and are pinned.
The rest of his nids run.
Grey Knights 3
It's already turn 3 and I haven't done any damage to his army yet. Nids, on the other hand, have already disabled 2 of my transports.
I continue to advance towards his objective. Top rhino pops smokes. Strike squad on home objective casts Warp Quake.
1 unit of purifiers and 1 regular dread heads back towards my objective.
Unfortunately, my immobilised rhino blocks the view of my strike squad to his genestealers. (Throughout the game, I would fail all of my rhino repair rolls.) 2 of my dreads fire at his large genestealers only kill maybe 3 due to cover.
The rest of my army fire everything at the flyrant. He makes his cover against the vindicare's turbo-penetrator (2 wounds-shot) and armor saves/FNP
negates the rest. What a pitiful turn of shooting for me.
Zoanthropes and 2nd unit of termagants come in. Tyranids advance. Once again, tervigons FNP
the flyrant and genestealers.
Ymgarls come out from the pond. Genestealers and tervigon advances. Small squad of stealers and hive guards are still in reserves.
Ymgarls fleet towards my objective.
Tervigon fires its cluster spines at my strike squad, kiling 2. I then fail my morale and they run off the board!!! That's 2 consecutive failed morales on my strike squads now. Ymgarls don't even need to assault them.
Zoans fire at my rhino. Despite LD
6 from my dreads and cover from smoke, they successfully pass 2 psychic tests and explode purifier rhino. 1 psycannon dies in the fire. His dakkarant then fires 12 twin-linked S6 shots at my just-disembarked purifiers. This is about the only time I have some good rolling all game as my purifiers pass 9 armor saves to stay alive. They also survive shooting from his gargoyles without casualty.
Termagants the run and spread out on his objective.
So far, tyranids have disabled 3 of my transports as well as wiped out my strike squad on my own objective...and all this without the use of his hive guards! My knights, on the other hand, haven't done much yet. Can I still come back?
Stay tuned for the conclusion tomorrow.....
Grey Knights 4
Grey Knights advance.
Rhino moves at cruising and purifiers disembark, making sure to leave a small enough gap where they can see and shoot his tervigon but cannot be assaulted.
Other rhino also moves at cruising and out disembarks the purifiers to deal with his other tervigon.
Psycannon/stormbolter fire only put 1W on the tervigon here....
....and 2W's on the other tervigon there.
Also, dreadnought shooting insta-kill 2 zoanthropes. Don't quite remember how his last zoanthrope got a wound. Strike squad opens fire on the flyrant and fails to get through armor or FNP
Purifiers did not fire upon gargoyles because it may take them out of assault range of the gargoyles. Instead, both my dread and purifiers assault the gargoyles. Cleansing Flame fails to go off due to the flyrant's Shadows.
After attacks and No Retreat saves, gargoyles are only down to 7 models left. Meanwhile, purifiers lose their psycannon guy.
Crowe assaults the ymgarls. Outside of Shadows range, he uses Cleansing Flame and parries. Ymgarls increase their attacks by +1A. Unfortunately, CF
only manages to kill 1 ymgarl. They pass morale and stay locked in combat.
Hive guards with tyranid prime comes in, but small genestealer squad remains in reserves (he might have forgotten to roll for them). Tervigon spawns 6 termagants but craps out with double-1's. Those termagants then go to screen out my purifiers. Tervigon once again FNP
's his flyrant and moves towards my dread.
More tyranid movement.
Tervigon in my deployment zone spawns 9 termagants. Genestealers start to make their move, going towards my dreadnought. Tervigon FNP
's his gants.
Tyranid shooting - both termagants and the tervigon - kill off 1 purifier (the psycannon).
Termagants here run to screen off my purifiers.
Zoanthrope tries to fire into the rear of one of my dreads but fail its LD6 psychic test. Flyrant and termagants fire at my strike squad but only kill 1 (my psycannon).
Genestealers multi-assault both my dread and the immobilised rhino.
They blow up the rhino and immobilise + shake my dreadnought. I believe only 1 genestealer dies in the explosion.
Once again, Cleansing Flame fails and I am not able to finish off the gargoyles as 2 survives. Doh!
Crowe casts Cleansing Flame and kills another 1 ymgarl. Ymgarls attack at +1S and one of their rending wounds get pass Crowe's parrying to inflict 1W.
Finally, his tervigon charges and wrecks my regular dreadnought near his objective.
Grey Knights 5
I don't have a lot of options left. My rhino attempts to tank shock its way towards his objective but instead immobilises itself on terrain. Doh!!!
Strike squad and vendread advances.
Purifiers go to help out Crowe. Rhino moves block off his termagants.
Vendread shoots down his last zoanthrope. Strike squad fires at his tervigon but whiffs.
Purifiers to the rescue! Ymgarls go +1A.
I kill off his ymgarls but at great cost. I lose 3 purifiers, including the warding stave due to bad rolling on my saves.
Genestealers finish off my dread by wrecking it. They then consolidate 5" towards my objective, though this picture was taken before the consolidation move.
Finally, purifiers easily finish off his 6-gant unit (though Cleansing Flame fails yet again due to Shadows from his tervigon). They then consolidate out of cover. Now some may wonder why I got out of cover (and into the arms of his outflanking genestealers next turn), but I did it because (1) I wanted to try to get out of his Shadows range and (2) so that next turn I could move towards his objective faster on normal land than in difficult terrain.
Strike squad makes it into assault with his tervigon. I manage to wound it once....but then fail to force weapon it to death due to that damned Shadows. Wow, this is starting to get annoying. His tervigon fails to do any damage in return and makes its No Retreat save.
My purifiers and dread finally free themselves from his gargoyles. I needed this to happen last turn (during my opponent's assault phase), not this one.
Genestealers finally come in and outflanks onto his side.
Flyrant and termagants move towards my strike squad locked in assault.
Genestealers head towards my objective.
Tyranid prime splits off from the hive guards.
Hive guards stun my vendread with their impaler cannons.
Flyrant and tyranid prime shoots at my purifiers and kill all but the warding stave sergeant.
Genestealers run to screen off Crowe and my 2-man purifier unit. However, they don't assault.
Small genestealer squad assaults my purifiers. It turns out I was still in Shadows range and Shadows = auto-fail for my knights. Not only that, but my purifiers whiff so badly I don't even kill a single stealer before getting wiped out by them.
Tervigon and termagants wipe out my strike squad....and they didn't even need the help of his flyrant.
Game continues onto turn 6.
Grey Knights 6
Lone purifier goes after his hive guards. Vendread move towards his prime.
Crowe gets ready to assault and my vindicare moves towards his termagants.
For the Glory of the Emperor!....
....or not. Cleansing Flame once again auto-fails in the presence of Shadows. Also, his tervigon which assaulted and immobilised my rhino last turn, explodes it this turn. Vindicare kills 1 gant and takes 1W in return.
I also kill 1 of his hive guards with my lone purifier near his objective.
Now he's got his objective, which I doubt I will be able to contest.
He'll have my objective as well when he wipes out my 2-man purifier unit next turn.
With that, I concede.
Aftermath of the battle.
Total Domination by the Tyranids!!!
Wow. That hurts. My knights were totally routed by Janthkin's nids. I knew it would be a tough fight against Janthkin (it always is), but this result was unexpected. What led to my demise? Now first off, I'm not making any excuses. Janthkin played a flawless game and his tactics were excellent. He also had some favorable dice rolls while I had some unfavorable dice rolls. What I'm doing is analyzing why I did so poorly.
1. Shadows of the Warp. Janthkin executed this to perfection. He had Shadows coverage everywhere. His tervigon outflanked at the same time and on the same table edge as his genestealers. No matter which unit I attacked, I was almost always within range of Shadows (except for his ymgarls). And my psychic tests while in Shadows range was just dismal. I don't think I passed a single psychic test while under Shadows. That is way below norm.
2. I failed 2 consecutive morale tests for my strike squads. The first time, my strike squad became pinned. The second time, they ran off the board while guarding my objective.
3. Poor assault. My purifiers and Crowe totally whiffed in combat. I failed my 2++ warding stave invuln saves the first chance I got and couldn't kill any genestealers in assault. The only time I was able to cast Cleansing Flame was against his ymgarls outside of Shadows coverage and even then, it took me 3 assault phases to get rid of his 6 ymgarls. I paid a steep price in doing so, losing 3 purifiers including my warding stave. Then I couldn't finish off his gargoyles during his assault phase when I should have.
4. Plenty of area terrain. This didn't really help me, but gave his genestealers and gribblies plenty of cover from my shooting.
5. Immobilising my 2 rhinos to difficult terrain. The first immobilisation on turn 1 was huge. It served to block LOS
to his outflanking genestealers, preventing me from stormboltering them to death (well, to decrease their numbers anyways). The second was almost as bad as it prevented me from trying to contest his objective. Though he did wreck 2 rhinos (and not with his hive guards either!), I kind of shot myself in the foot here.
6. Splitting up my forces. This was just a masterful strategy on Janthkin's part. First time I played against his nids with my blood angels, I also divided up my forces. That led to a dominating tyranid victory. Here, I really didn't have much of a choice if I wanted to win, and he took full advantage of it.
7. Janthkin was just a masterful tactician and knew his army really well. Putting all his units in reserves to reduce my shooting phases, splitting up my army, keeping every unit in cover and casting FNP
on the correct units, making sure Shadows was everywhere almost, holding off on assaulting with his large genestealer blob until the very end, screening off my purifiers with gargoyles and termagants to make sure I couldn't do much damage to his important units and ganging up on my knights. He did all the little things to maximize the effectiveness of his army and it paid off (along with some favorable/unfavorable rolls for him/me).
Even though I lost badly, it was a blast to play against my opponent. He really made me think, and that is a good thing. I look forward to more battles with him in the future.
Honestly, I didn't feel that any of my units warranted MVP considerations this game, so I'm not going to award them with one.
Shadows in the Warp:
I'm going to give co-MVP's this game to my opponent. While not really a unit, SitW
just played a game-changing role in this battle. This one tyranid special rule was what really killed me. The second was my dice.
The co-MVP of the game, his genestealers are definitely his most effective unit this game. They killed a squad of purifiers, Crowe, a dreadnought and a rhino. It was their outflanking that forced me to divide up my forces and in the end, they were the ones to take down my home objective. Genestealers, when played correctly, are still a very dangerous unit.