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Made in us
Been Around the Block




Hello internet. I have something slightly new for you this week. This last weekend I found out on Friday night that there was going to be a small RTT held at a game store that is only about a 30 minute drive away on Saturday. I play almost all of my games in people's homes, and there has not been much in the way of a tournament scene this year. I happened to have my Saturday free as a major responsibility had been postponed for a week and so I decided to go.


The great thing about going to tournaments is that it is an opportunity to meet new people and face armies and playstyles that are different from what I am used to. I really appreciate the group of guys I play with all the time, but when you are only playing against the same dozen guys or so you get into specific trends and metas. I am eager to see how my army does in the wild.


Now going to tournaments is different than playing casually at a buddy's house. As mentioned, you will be playing against people you probably don't know and so you are not going to be familiar with how they play or what tricks they normally have up their sleeve. Also at an event you will be on a strict clock for the round. This means you can't play at a more leisurely pace where you really think about every move. The combination of unfamiliar environment and time pressure means that you are much more likely to make "stupid" mistakes that you would never make in a home game. This is why it can be helpful to get a good amount of practice in with an army before you try and play it in this sort of artificial environment. Both players are under the same pressures, and in my experience both players are more likely to make mistakes while playing in a tournament.


Every TO will run their event a little bit differently, so it is good to find out if there are any specifics to the event that you are not used to. Also, in my experience, tournaments will have very different terrain to what you normally will use in a home game (less terrain at a tournament, typically). Also at a tournament you might get tables which are large set pieces that look great but my provide very strange rules interactions or lopsided battlefields.


Now that I am older my life has changed and now I have responsibilities that make it difficult to take off entire weekends and travel just for a hobby. It is easy to head over to a buddy's house for four hours after work and play a game and hang out. It is a different thing altogether to plan travel and take time off to go to a large event, even if the world was normal. I don't often go to events, and when I do I typically only make it to small RTTs within an hour's drive or less of where I live.


The event this weekend was the smallest one I have attended yet, which in some ways was quite nice. There were only six people at the event total. Three of the others I did not know at all. Two of the people there are some very good, locally well known ITC players I have played a couple times at other events, but neither of them are in my particular play group. One of the ITC players I've been told was in the top 10 custodes players in the last ITC season and always brings well painted armies. The other player I believe did very well last season with mixed imperium faction, which I am told was the most competitive category. Both gentlemen have won multiple GT or larger events each in the past, they both regularly attend tournaments so they have a lot more tournament experience than I do, and they are both known locally as strong players. I believe I have been told that both were in the top 300 for overall ITC last year.


Last year, at small events like the one today I would not normally run into players of this caliber, as they would be off traveling playing at the larger events being held. It speaks a little bit to how few tournaments are being held that you get players like this at such a tiny event. Still, three of the players here I've never played before, and of the two more locally famous ITC guys one I have only played twice in the last two years and the other I have played against four times in the last two years. So I will indeed get to have three games outside of my play group, which was my only real goal for this RTT.


My list: For those that have read my previous work, I am again taking a slightly different version of the list today. I am in the middle of preparing for a major move and so many of my models are already packed up in boxes and unavailable. I also only learned that this RTT was being held for sure the night before. As such I made some emergency adjustments which, sadly, make this version of the list worse than normal. The biggest change is that without a broodlord I instead took 3 neurothropes and needed to add 30 points to my army. So I "upgraded" one of my mawlocs to a trygon with murderous size. Now this change is bad for several reasons. Dropping the broodlord and taking a trygon means that now I basically can't take WWSWF as a secondary (it would then be exocrine, exocrine, trygon... and I can't really protect any of them). Also dropping the broodlord means I lose the extra cast ability of the resonance barb relic I take. Also, I think a trygon is worse than a mawloc because a trygon needs to get good rolls on dice to work, where as a mawloc always works every time. But, these were the models I had available on short notice so this is what I took.


Potato Cam: There are several beautiful armies in the room, and people have been asking me for pictures of the games, so I asked every opponent if they were OK with me taking some pictures while we played. All of my opponent's were very generous and let me take pictures. I will say that the majority of the pictures came out quite poorly. I was trying to play fast and take pictures fast and the combination means that most of the pictures ended up being blurry and unusable. I am still including pictures in each battle report, and I apologize ahead of time for the poor quality. I don't know if I will do this again, but for this set of reports it will at least give people some blurry images of the games.


Looking around the room the strong ITC custodes player is probably the favorite to win this, although I have no idea how strong some of the three strangers are and crazy things can happen at small events. The initial pairings went up and my heart sank a little bit. I got matched against the custodes player round 1! I was hoping to avoid this matchup until later in the day, if I even had to play him at all. We have played twice before, and we each have won one game in the past. Well, I just have to try and do my best. Off to round 1....


RTT Round 1 Battle Report:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/jnqcma/rtt_round_1_battle_report_tyranids_vs_custodes/


RTT Round 2 Battle Report:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/jnqkhs/rtt_round_2_battle_report_tyranids_vs_creations/

RTT Round 3 Battle Report:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/jnqt4h/rtt_round_3_battle_report_tyranids_vs_black/


So there we go, a tiny but very fun RTT. At the end I got exactly what I wanted out of the event. I was hoping to play three games against new players and new armies. I got two games against new people and a game against someone I've only played against three times in the last two years. I went from having never played against codex Chaos Space Marines in 9th, to now I have two games under my belt against two very different builds. I really want to thank all three of my opponents for the great games and also for them allowing me to take pictures while we played. I also want to thank the venue and tournament organizer, it is tough to run events of any size in the current environment and the effort it takes to put these on is not lost on me.


I continue to really enjoy Tyranids and I find them to be a very capable army, especially at scoring points. Still, the list I took had some weaknesses that really annoyed me. I'm glad that the fates had me taking a Trygon to a tournament, if only so that it could utterly fail me in 3 games straight and remind me exactly why I don't consider them a competitive choice. Trygons hit a lot harder than a Mawloc, but Trygon's rely on dice. Mawlocs kill next to nothing but they always work. The other problem with the Trygon is it ruins the WWSWF math of my list, a secondary I would have liked to have taken in the second game. Stormcoil and Madcoil, my Mawlocs, shall rise again!


Finally I have some thoughts on terrain. I make comments in several of the reports about terrain. Look, the terrain at the tournament was just different than what I play with in my home games, many fewer pieces and only ruins so no variety. However, I think the terrain was probably pretty typical of what to expect at a tournament. I think the lack of dense terrain made the games much more shallow and easy. But it isn't as simple as saying the terrain was "bad", you have to be able to adjust to whatever terrain you find yourself playing with. In the first two games I seriously outranged and outgunned my opponents, and the lack of meaningful terrain meant that I could sit back fat and happy and just shoot away. Then in the third game I was the one outranged and outgunned, and I had to find a way to play around what little terrain there was. My hope is that more tournament organizers find a way to work dense terrain into their tables, as they make the games a lot more interesting and less shallow and point and click.


Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know what you think!


Appendix:

Links to my previous battle reports and article, if so inclined.

Initial 9th Edition and Tyranids Analysis:

https://www.reddit.com/r/WarhammerCompetitive/comments/ike5jx/9th_edition_and_tyranids_analysis/

Tyranids vs Custodes:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/isi6as/tyranids_vs_custodes_9th_edition_battle_report/

Tyranids vs Iron Hands:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/ixfhri/tyranids_vs_iron_hands_9th_edition_battle_report/

Tyranids vs Knights and Admech:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/iztbu8/tyranids_vs_knights_and_admech_9th_edition_battle/

Tyranids vs Daemons and Death Guard:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/j2qjxp/tyranids_vs_daemons_and_death_guard_9th_edition/

Tyranids vs White Scars:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Tyranids/comments/jbdgkx/tyranids_vs_new_codex_white_scars_9th_edition/
   
Made in nl
Been Around the Block




These reports are simply excellent. Very good reads and I'm impressed by your playstyle. Congrats on the good finish! I forwarded the reports to the friend I play 40k most against who is struggling at the moment with his Tyranids. Against my Sisters the Tyranids just start on the backfoot because the power level in codices is quite obvious, sadly. Still, going for the points seems to work really well for you and I enjoy seeing which units you take and how you use them. Keep the reports coming and I'll be sure to read them .
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






yeah gg's man. enjoyed the read.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





OKC, OK USA

Your experience really highlights my issue with the newer trend to do parallel terrain set ups for tournaments with bare min pieces. I get the idea of trying to make it more fair and removing an element of randomness, but playing to the table was/is part of the skillset needed for tournaments, made the games themselves more interesting, and had better visual appeal.

You know you're really doing something when you can make strangers hate you over the Internet. - Mauleed
Just remember folks. Panic. Panic all the time. It's the only way to survive, other than just being mindful, of course-but geez, that's so friggin' boring. - Aegis Grimm
Hallowed is the All Pie
The Before Times: A Place That Celebrates The World That Was 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Yeah im with you platuan.

When i host a tournament locally i do not do the perfectly symetrical terrain design thats been popular in 9th.

I make each table stand alone on its own merits. You do of course have to consider if the missions work with the table of course, but other than that, I change them up considerably.

The current trend makes the attacker/defender roll off completely in favor of the attacker which i dont like.

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Made in gb
Bryan Ansell





Birmingham, UK

Some great reports.

Getting my son to read them as well. He is starting nids so seeing some reports will help him get to grips with them.
   
Made in us
Been Around the Block




Glad you all have found them informative and entertaining.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Central California

Great reports, and really nice to see you highlight "playing" the game on the table as well as in the list building. Not to discount list building, but it really doesn't take that many games to figure out a list that is optimized for your play style (something different than a list simply optimized to remove models, which is what is seen far too often).
Playing the mission, playing a turn ahead, reacting and planning for your opponent's moves is what separates good players from netlist players in my opinion.

Some of the specific tactical choices you had to make I want to highlight and hope to get thoughts on:

1: Choosing your secondaries to play to your list and away from opponents. You spoke again and again how having the trygon over the mawlocs hurt you. Yet, each time you analyzed how you could get the most out of what you had. That was great, and more players need to do that.
Question:
How much of choosing secondaries is list built, vs how much opponent's list vs mission. I generally build my list to take advantage of three possible secondary choices regardless of map and mission, knowing I will still most likely choose at least one based on opponent's army. (nids may have a great advantage here, deep striking ripper bases as troops opens a TON of options there...non of my current armies have a troop choice under 60 ish points, so I am limited, particularly with not having units who can do nothing a turn for the "action" ones)

2: The third game.
Your opponent had a one-dimensional list. A powerful one, but one dimensional because you recognized how to make it one-dimensional (remove the cultists) and sacrificed the obvious DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY!!! response. That is playing the game.
What I'd like to highlight, is his psychic aura of 4+++. You were able to get that character with a sniped deep strike. A better player might have avoided that by keeping that character within the triangle of his LoS's.
Question:
I'd really just like to hear your thoughts on the need for the ability to snipe a character out.

3: Troops. This edition continues to have a good percentage of the player base gripe about the troops tax. I am not one of them. I like troops being useful, and therefore like ObSec mattering in missions. I am not calling anyone out on that, only explaining my style.
Question:
You won the majority of those games by gaining contested VP's at objectives through ObSec (also helped by your recognition of the need to remove your opponent's troops. I just want your thoughts on this aspect of the rule system. You are a tactical player on the map. Without the FoC and ObSec style missions, would the game hold the same interest? How much of your list building involve "I need mobile or deep striking troops"?

Keeping the hobby side alive!

I never forget the Dakka unit scale is binary: Units are either OP or Garbage. 
   
Made in us
Been Around the Block




edwardmyst wrote:
Great reports, and really nice to see you highlight "playing" the game on the table as well as in the list building. Not to discount list building, but it really doesn't take that many games to figure out a list that is optimized for your play style (something different than a list simply optimized to remove models, which is what is seen far too often).
Playing the mission, playing a turn ahead, reacting and planning for your opponent's moves is what separates good players from netlist players in my opinion.

Some of the specific tactical choices you had to make I want to highlight and hope to get thoughts on:

1: Choosing your secondaries to play to your list and away from opponents. You spoke again and again how having the trygon over the mawlocs hurt you. Yet, each time you analyzed how you could get the most out of what you had. That was great, and more players need to do that.
Question:
How much of choosing secondaries is list built, vs how much opponent's list vs mission. I generally build my list to take advantage of three possible secondary choices regardless of map and mission, knowing I will still most likely choose at least one based on opponent's army. (nids may have a great advantage here, deep striking ripper bases as troops opens a TON of options there...non of my current armies have a troop choice under 60 ish points, so I am limited, particularly with not having units who can do nothing a turn for the "action" ones)

2: The third game.
Your opponent had a one-dimensional list. A powerful one, but one dimensional because you recognized how to make it one-dimensional (remove the cultists) and sacrificed the obvious DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY!!! response. That is playing the game.
What I'd like to highlight, is his psychic aura of 4+++. You were able to get that character with a sniped deep strike. A better player might have avoided that by keeping that character within the triangle of his LoS's.
Question:
I'd really just like to hear your thoughts on the need for the ability to snipe a character out.

3: Troops. This edition continues to have a good percentage of the player base gripe about the troops tax. I am not one of them. I like troops being useful, and therefore like ObSec mattering in missions. I am not calling anyone out on that, only explaining my style.
Question:
You won the majority of those games by gaining contested VP's at objectives through ObSec (also helped by your recognition of the need to remove your opponent's troops. I just want your thoughts on this aspect of the rule system. You are a tactical player on the map. Without the FoC and ObSec style missions, would the game hold the same interest? How much of your list building involve "I need mobile or deep striking troops"?


Question 1: I talk about this in my original article. My list is built for 3 secondaries: deploy scramblers, engage/linebreaker, and WWSWF. However, WWSWF is the weakest option, so if my opponent gives up a kill secondary or there is a good mission secondary I'll take either of those over WWSWF. I think you want to build 3 secondaries into your list because otherwise you can have no good options for the third secondary in some matchups.

Question 2: I don't think the ability to snipe a character is critical to a list. Many lists are taking fewer characters, and many players are getting better at building lists where the units can act on their own. That said, having an ability to knock out an injured character is great to have in your toolbox, and will win you a small percentage of games on its own.

Question 3: I've played warhammer for 30 years, so I still enjoyed simpler editions of the game that were less tactical than 9th. That said I am really loving the tactical depth of 9th and how much it rewards positioning over killing. This list wasn't built around any individual concept, which is why it is a grab bag of units. It was built organically by playing a lot of games and removing what didn't work and throwing things at the wall from the codex until I found a combination that worked. That process took me dozens of games. I never sat down and thought, "I need to build a list with a lot of X"
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Central California

Great! Thanks for more of your thought pattern.
I really enjoy this type of discussion. It is very easy for people (myself included and often) to find something that works, or come to a conclusion about the uses for a unit, and blind yourself to patterns and processes you aren't seeing. Just hearing the thought process of others is huge.

Keeping the hobby side alive!

I never forget the Dakka unit scale is binary: Units are either OP or Garbage. 
   
 
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