Welcome internet to another Tyranids battle report. I want to thank everyone for all of the positive feedback you have given me on my previous efforts. I hope everyone continues to find these both entertaining and informative. People seem to be OK with the simple images I am using, so I have retained the style for this report as that is also what is easiest for me to produce.
My last two battle reports and article focused on a specific list I had developed, which featured some left field choices like double Mawloc. With that list I had managed to go 14-2 against a really competitive field. My two losses were one to a blood angels list and one to Knights/Admech. This player and this list is the exact one that had managed to defeat my original list. For this game I have made some changes to my list and am now looking forward to the rematch hoping that my list changes help me to find a way to win this time.
Tyranids vs Imperial Knights and Admech 9th Edition
Knights + Admech, 2000 pts, 9 Cp
SUPER-HEAVY DETACHMENT - House Krast
Knight Warden, Warlord, Thunderstrike Gauntlet, meltagun, Sanctuary, Landstrider
2x Armiger Helverin, stubber
3x Armiger Warglaive, meltagun (unit of 2 and unit of 1)
VANGUARD - Stygies
5x Rust Stalkers, razor, chordclaw
5x Infiltrators, stubcarbine, power sword
5x Ironstrider Ballistarii, twin cognis lascannons
5x Pteraxi Sterylizors
Tyranids, 2000 pts, 9CP:
BATTALION - leviathan
Broodlord - resonance barb, catalyst
Neurothrope - psychic scream, warlord
10x hormagaunt, adrenal glands
10x hormagaunt, adrenal glands
6x Warriors, deathspitters, lash whip and bone sword x4, rending claw x2, adaptive - enhanced resistance, adrenal glands
5x Zoanthropes - onslaught
5x Zoanthropes - horror
PATROL - kronos
Neurothrope - symbiostorm
6x Hive guard
Exocrine, adaptive - dermic symbiosis
So for those that have been following along my previous articles let me explain what I have changed and why. For others you can probably skip this section. So, from my original writing I had gotten several common pieces of feedback from internet strangers across a variety of forums. The two general points of consensus were that two mawlocs were too many and I should drop down to just one if I was going to use them, and that I wasn't taking advantage of speed to get a first turn charge when I went first, as that might win me some games. First turn charge is a very powerful and common tactic in my group, and despite taking Tyranids I wasn't using it with how my list worked.
So the change I needed was fairly obvious, I needed to drop the mawloc and add in something fast. I played around a bit with hormagaunts or genestealers in a kraken patrol, and ultimately found that I just wasn't making kraken work and the kraken units were the first to die if I went second (lost 3 games trying kraken). Where I settled on was this list. I moved one lictor down to the kronos patrol to have another unit able to use the psychic deny strat. It was actually quite fun to buy a new lictor and paint it up in my kronos scheme for this. Then I dropped a mawloc and a ripper swarm and replaced it with two units of horms with adrenal glands for the speed of either first turn charging or move blocking.
At the time of this game these changes had largely worked. I have quickly grown to really value a couple small units of horms to move around to where I need to. It is a different defensive profile in my army, and they are a numerous obsec unit that helps against marines to outnumber intercessors on an objective for instance. The additional screening the horms added were critical in my winning my rematch against blood angels, and I had gone 6-0 with this specific version of the list going into this game. I did miss the second mawloc though, and my margins of victory had gotten a little smaller in some of my other wins.
Overall you can see that both my opponent and I have found similar templates to work against a competitive 9th environment filled with tough, efficient marines. We both have scramblers built into our list, me with Lictors and him with X101/servitors and all the deep striking infantry. We both have plenty of speed and deepstrike to score very high on linebreaker or engage. That means both of us only ever have to focus on what to take for a third secondary. My list is tougher than his, my zoans and neuros alone are 40 wounds behind a 3++ invuln with a feel no pain on top of it. My list also hits harder than his list except for the chickens. However I can't match his speed. All those armigers aren't very tough but they are super fast with a 14" move, and the chickens are fast and can advance and shoot. So can my damage and toughness beat his speed in this rematch?
We rolled up Surround and Destroy which is mission 21 of the Grand Tournament Pack. This is a mission with 6 objectives where you have to hold 1, hold 2 and hold more. With so many objectives this primary is incredibly easy to score on, so any games with this mission are normally very high scoring. This primary with 6 objectives just doesn't leave a lot of room for counterplay to stop your opponent on primaries. For secondaries my opponent took Bring it Down, Engage on all Fronts and Deploy Scramblers. He has played against me a lot and he believes that taking Abhor against my list is a trap because it is so hard to actually get the psychers. While Bring it Down only gives him 9 points, that is more than he normally scores in Abhor against me. With his X101 "Scramble Zombies" force he was of course going to take scramblers. Also, with his lists overall speed engage is a solid pick.
I took Linebreaker, Scramblers and Bring it Down. His list will always give up 15 in Bring it Down, so that is an auto-take. My list is designed to score scramblers, and in many games I find I score slightly higher (12-15) with linebreaker than I do with Engage (usually about 9-11). My choice of secondaries is really easy and I'm feeling good about this.
The math on this one is very interesting and I believe going into this game that I have a 6 point lead before any dice are rolled because of Bring it Down and GW hates people that run vehicle heavy lists. It is almost impossible to contest 5 objectives, so on a 6 objective mission needing to hold 2 is really easy, so we are both probably going to score 40 on primaries. We will both get 10 for paint. We both have deploy scramblers and neither of us have any counter-play to stop the other, so that is another 10 points each, still a push at 60 all before anything has happened. Linebreaker and Engage are normally about equal, but I'm expecting to score one more point than him on those objectives (12-11 in my favor was how these objectives ended up in our last game). So then the only other thing to score is Bring it Down where he gives up 15 and I give up 9. So my guess before the game starts is that the final score will be 85-79 in my favor if everything lines up like it should just based on the mission and secondaries. It will be a race to the finish line, but I start 6 points up.
He put X-101 and the servitors in reserve for 1cp, and also left the infiltrators and pteraxi in deep strike. I spent 2cp to put both exocrines in reserve because of his chickens, and then I also had 2 lictors, 1 mawloc and 1 ripper swarm in reserve.
The battle grid had an average amount of terrain. There was a large central spire in the middle that blocked LOS. There were 6 large multistory obscuring ruins scattered around. Then there were two small single story ruins (in two shades of grey) that were open to two sides and blocked off from two sides. There were another four forests scattered around.
The Battlefield Deployment
A few moves in deployment. Because the knights are much faster than my army I don't want to string out across my deployment zone. If I do that he will pick a point where I am weak and concentrate his fire. Instead I decide for a "refused flank" where I put almost all of my forces just on one side of my deployment. I only need to hold 2 to get my 40 on primary, and if I can just hold the two objectives on this side then I can use the rest of my energy to just try and hold more one turn for full primary points.
When he places his ironstriders he spends 1cp on the stygies strat for the pre-game move.
We roll off, I win. I take first turn because I do not want to have to eat those chicken lascannons hitting whatever they want before I move. My opponent makes a few measurements to see if he wants to use his free 9" move, and decides to leave his chickens where they are.
Deployment Tyranids Turn 1:
(0-0) All my adrenal glands help me to get a good push right off the bat. I advance the warriors and the extra movement helps me secure the middle right objective. I get a six on the advance roll of the right hormagaunt unit so they move 15" towards the chickens. I'm pretty happy about this as it means it will be a relatively easy first turn charge. Then one unit of zoans and my broodlord advance to be able to keep on the pressure in future turns. Most of the rest of my units stay still and my left side unit of horms deploys my first scramblers.
Psychic phase is relatively quick. I get catalyst and onslaught off on the right unit of horms about to charge. I cast symbiostorm on the hive guard. Then one unit of zoans is in smite range of the chickens, and so I smite them for 4 damage. Shooting phase my warriors put some deathspitter potshots into the chickens but fail to do damage. Both Helverins are in range of my hive guard. I shoot at the first one and he rotates shields and I fail to kill it. I spend two cp to fire a second time and kill the Helverin.
In the charge phase my hormagaunts are 9" away from his ironstriders, so with adrenal glands I need an 8. I roll the charge and make it, bad touching the chickens with my gribblies. In combat I fail to wound him and the ironstriders strike back with a bunch of strength 6 attacks, killing 4 horms. I am out of synapse range, fail morale, and in total 2 more horms flee leaving me with 4 engaged with him. Overall a good turn, I've tied up his key shooting unit and killed one of his long range fire support units. I've scored 3 for big game hunter and deployed 1 scrambler.
Tyranids End of Turn 1 Knights Turn 1:
(3-0) He jumps his forces out of the gate. All three warglaives and his knight advance towards me, the knight getting surprisingly close thanks to landstrider and a good advance roll. He moves his enginseer over along his back line to help screen against my rippers and lictors coming in next turn. The surviving Helverin moves over to claim the top left objective. His ironstriders stay in combat. Then he spends 1 cp to teleport his rust stalkers onto my back line in the gap between the rippers and horms on the back left of my line. I was expecting him to use them to deploy scramblers, but he doesn't do that, he just teleports them.
In his shooting phase his lascannons easily kill the remaining hormagaunts. His surviving Helverin is touching the ruin he is next to so can see over it. He spends the strat for his helverin to reroll shots against fly, and then shoots at my forward unit of zoans. He does take a -1 to hit for the forest, but the rerolls to hit and flat three damage allow him to drop two of the brain bugs. This reduces their smite damage and loses me one cast in my future psychic phases. The advancing warden shoots its meltagun at the warriors but shoots wide and hits dead air. The warglaives on the far left also take some pot shots at my ripper swarms but can't find their mark either.
His charge phase he uses full tilt on his warden so it can charge, and he easily makes it into combat with the warriors even with stomping through the forest. His rust stalkers charge my left unit of horms, needing a 9. They fail the charge, he cp rerolls it and makes it in on the reroll. He is not worried about my warriors so strikes with the stalkers first. They are not great in combat, but he does manage to kill 7 horms which is pretty good for that unit. Then for his knight. In our last game the knight had charged the warriors and used it's stompy feet, but my ignoring ap 1 and 2 meant that in the end he had only killed one warrior. He doesn't like how inconsistent the fist can be, but decides with krast rerolls he will try and punch me this time to kill a few warriors.
He rolls to hit and gets three 3s. With how the Krast power is worded of rerolling failed hits, and rerolls coming before modifiers that means he only hits with one fist attack with no ability to reroll. That one fist hit then easily crushes my warrior. That is two games in a row now that knight has charged the warriors and only killed one. They can be a brick. My warriors hit back and take two wounds off the knight, dropping it to 22. My leftmost horms are within synapse range of the warriors and auto pass morale. With pile in and consolidate he gets his knight into my table quarter, so he is engaging on all 4 fronts for 3 vp.
Knights End of Turn 1 Tyranids Turn 2:
(13-3) Start of the turn and I hold 3, my opponent holds 3 so I score 10 primary points. My opponent chooses rerolls 1s to hit in the shooting phase for his canticle. I have a knight in my face but I'm not too worried about it. The knights damage profiles (12 s6, ap 2, 2 dam or 12 s8, ap 2, d3 dam) are exactly what my army is designed to tank. Much like the stormcannons in the last game, my army never really takes much damage from this kind of weapon profile on purpose. The knight isn't obsec, but I would still rather have it dead than running around touching stuff I don't want it to, and if it even has one wound left it can operate on top bracket next turn for just 1 cp. I was surprised by him charging the horms with the rust stalkers as normally he uses that teleport to deploy scramblers. Still, I hit him harder in turn 1 than he hit me, so another good turn and I should be well on the way to protecting that theoretical 6 point lead.
I advance the broodlord up along the edge of the building in position to charge the chickens. We talk it out and agree that only two chickens can see the broodlord if he overwatches (admech can overwatch on full ballistic skill for 2 cp, so even 4 lascannons is scary). My warriors back out of combat so I can shoot the knight but stay on the objective. The rust stalkers are a problem. Their position stops me from bringing in my exocrine in my own lines with good shooting options. And three hormagaunts aren't going to be able to screen them out. I resolve to just eat them charging my hive guard, as they don't normally do much damage anyway and they are not really in a position to threaten my scoring. I move the horms towards the central left objectives hoping to hold it on a future turn.
I move the zoans and my warlord up to bring psychic death to the knight. I put just the kronos neuro on my home objective, but check line of sight lines first to be sure he will be safe from fire even though he is not screened. I deploy my ripper swarm and lictor in the only place I can in his lines, deep in the top left corner and deploy my second scrambler. I bring the tougher of my two exocrines in on the left edge where it has line of sight to all four armigers. I put the exocrine here as bait, hoping he diverts a warglaive off into no-man's land away from any objectives to kill me. Finally, I bring the mawloc up on the objective with the single warglaive to contest the objective and also do 3 mortal wounds to the warglaive. I considered coming up against the Helverin, but I already had two units for my linebreaker, and I know from experience that a full warglaive will easily turn around and kill my mawloc. I'm actually hoping to weaken the warglaive enough where I will be able to contest this objective for multiple turns.
So my psychic phase and lots to do. I horror the knight just in case it lives and then put tons of psychic death into its hull. He uses benevolence of the omnisiah to give himself a 5+++ fnp against mortals, and then rolls out of his mind on saves so in the end I only do 10 mortal wounds knocking him down to 12 wounds left. I symbiostorm the hive guard. Then the broodlord catalysts himself as I expect to be eating lascannons later this turn, and I smite the ironstriders killing off the wounded one. Just four more of those horrible things to go.
In my shooting phase I decide to shoot at the central warglaive because I had done a nice chunk of mortal wounds with my mawloc. My exocrine is out of synapse so is taking a -1 for both instinctive behavior and also for shooting through the forest. Because I'm only going to be hitting on 4s I decide not to use pathogenic slime, and just spend a single cp to count as standing still. In the end I do 8 more wounds to the warglaive knocking it down to 1 wound left. Then onto my hive guard. On average a symbiostorm unit of hive guard will do 6 damage to a rotated knight, and I can shoot twice. So on AVERAGE I will kill the stupid thing. But you never know. I shoot the knight, he spends his last cp to rotate, and I spend 2 more cp to shoot twice. In the end I do end up rolling exactly average and strip the last 12 wounds from the knight to kill it.
Now that he spent his last cp he can no longer overwatch my broodlord. I measure up the charge and need a 5. Easy. I roll and fail the charge. So I spend a cp to reroll the charge.... and fail again. My broodlord just sits there flexing his claws menacingly. Still, I'm hoping he can still be a distraction and draws some firepower, but now I'm worried because I wasn't expecting his ironstriders to have a chance to shoot this game. I got another 5 points for bring it down for the knight and chicken, and I have two units in his dz so I get my first 4 for linebreaker.
Tyranids End of Turn 2 Knights Turn 2:
(22-13) At the start of his turn he is holding 2 and I am holding 3 so he gets 10 primary. His wounded warglaive heals up to 2 wounds. He continues his aggressive push. The two warglaives on the left do not take the bait of my exocrine and instead push on towards my rippers and the objective in the lower left. His Helverin moves back behind the building where it now has line of sight on my rippers and lictor, but I feel pretty confident he can't kill both. Now that I've brought in most of my deepstrike he moves his enginseer back towards the top right objective to help hold it, and he moves his ironstriders up to where two of them are holding the objective but they can see my exocrine. They never should have had a chance to shoot I still say. His rust stalkers predictably move towards my hive guard.
Then for his deep strike. He clearly is not confident in his helverin either as he brings in his unit of servitors on the top left objective to help him if I contest later. His infiltrators deploy in the far right bottom corner where I had left a hole when I moved up to engage the knight, and he deploys his first scrambler. Then his Pteraxi come in on the right edge snuggled between my zoanthropes and broodlord.
His shooting phase starts with him spending his only cp to give +2 to hit for the ironstriders, so his 8 lascannons are hitting on 2s rr1s. All 8 shots go into my poor exocrine, and it can't stand up to such reckless hate. He does around 20 wounds to it and it dies. His Pteraxi flame the zoanthropes in the woods and he kills another 2. This is a big deal as he has now reduced both the zoanthrope smites to a single d3 and also taken away two of my spells. The Helverin just puts all of its shots into the ripper swarm in the top corner, and wipes the squad. It also put its stubbers into the horms in the middle and kills one. Then the bottom bracket warglaive in the middle shoots all of its shots at the horms and manages to finish off the squad (3 shots hitting on 5s, all 3 hit).
The warglaives in the bottom left charge the rippers and easily kill them. The Pteraxi attempt a charge on my broodlord but fail and he has no cp to reroll. Then his rust stalkers charge my hive guard, and continue their tradition of sucking in combat, only managing to kill one due to my toughness of 5. The blind hive guard are enraged by this insult, and manage to kill a rust stalker in return. The warglaive in the middle charges my mawloc. He is bottom bracket but full rerolls from Krast, and in the end manages to put 9 wounds on my mawloc bringing it down to bottom bracket. He only has two wounds left on the warglaive, but on bottom bracket a mawloc is hitting on 6s and wounding on 5s, so of course does no damage.
At the end of his turn he was again engaging on all 4 fronts for another 3 vp and he had his first 3 vp for bring it down and one scrambler deployed.
Knights End of Turn 2 Tyranids Turn 3:
(32-19) At the start of my turn I hold 2 and he holds 3 so I get 10 primary vp. My opponent chooses reroll 1s in melee for his canticle. So I'm actually pretty happy with how things are looking. I'm comfortably up on the scoreboard and the kill count. I think he has made a big mistake bringing in the servitors to help his helverin hold the top left against my lictor (although I understand why he felt he had to do it). A lictor is not great in combat but servitors are one of the few targets they can take down, and he has only deployed one scrambler so far. If I can kill the servitors I will both take the objective away from him and he will have to pull his pteraxi out of the fight back to his deployment just to deploy scramblers. Also, because he is out of cp his chickens won't get to overwatch against my broodlord.
I leave the mawloc in combat because there is a small chance it can do two wounds to the warglaive and kill it, and he doesn't get rerolls to hit in subsequent rounds of combat so it will be tough for him to kill me. My broodlord advances to be just outside of 1" of the chickens to leave nothing to chance this time. My warriors move down to engage the rust stalkers and free my hive guard. Then one unit of zoans moves up to hold the middle right objective and the other along with my warlord moves back to defend my bottom right objective from the infiltrators. The kronos neurothrope moved towards the bottom middle of the map to support my incoming exocrine. I leave the hive guard in combat because if the warriors fail to kill the rust stalkers the hive guard should be able to finish off whatever is left.
My last lictor shows up also on the middle right objective and deploys my final scrambler for 10 vp. I really wanted his helverin dead to make my master plan with the top lictor work, and because he had moved the helverin behind the building there was no where I could place the exocrine along the left edge to get line of sight. The left edge is still the better place to put an exocrine in my opinion because this turn I will be tying up his chickens so he won't have a great way to take it out at range. But to kill the helverin from the left edge is not an option so instead I placed my exocrine in my own deployment zone up against the building there to block off the advance of the warglaives. It's better than nothing.
My psychic phase does not go great, in part because both units of zoans are down to normal smites. In the end I fail catalyst, get symbiostorm off on the exocrine, kill one rust stalker, put one wound on a Pteraxi and kill two infiltrators.
There is not much of a shooting phase, only my warriors and exocrine. The warriors shoot through the woods (so hitting on 5s) against the Pteraxi, but volume of fire proves useful and I manage to drop two of the birdmen, including the wounded one. Then my exocrine. I spend 3 cp to count as standing still and up my damage to a flat three, and put all my shots into the helverin. He has no cp so nothing he can do about it, and I do manage to put 4 wounds past his saves for 12 damage to kill the armiger. The plan is all coming together, now it is just one lictor vs 4 servitors on that objective.
The charge phase goes as expected. My broodlord makes the charge into the ironstriders. With the help of adrenal glands my warriors make the charge against the rust stalkers. The lictor makes the charge against the servitors. He can't interrupt. Because he would get to strike first I select the warriors to fight first, and easily kill the last of the rust stalkers. Then my broodlord swings and drags down two of the evil chickens, leaving just two left (and I take no damage in return). The warglaive and mawloc both fail to damage each other, fighting to a standstill.
Then my lictor. I get 3 attacks hitting on 2s, wounding on 2s. After rolling it out I kill two of the zombie men. He gets two attacks back. After rerolling 1s to hit they both hit despite needing 6s (this isn't happening). Then he needs 3s to wound and they both wound (this isn't happening!). I don't get a save against a servo arm and they are flat 3 damage each. (NO, how can this be??? My poor lictor...) The servitors kill my lictor in the fight back.
All is not lost though, as he can still fail morale, and he does! However the last servitor is too stupid to run, and just stands there drooling as his comrade runs away in terror. Because my lictor died I only have one model in his deployment zone so I don't get linebreaker. I did get my last 7 points for bring it down to max out that secondary.
Tyranids End of Turn 3 Knights Turn 3:
(49-34) At the start of his turn he actually holds 3, one with the lone servitor, one with his two warglaives, and he outnumbers my broodlord 3 models to one on the top right objective. The middle left is still contested armiger to mawloc, so I hold 2 and he gets the full 15 primary points. His wounded warglaive healed up to 3 wounds. Still, he said he knew he was running out of time and that he needed to make some magic happen this turn.
He left his chickens in combat, hoping to use lascannons to kill my broodlord in combat with them. The infiltrators moved up to threaten my bottom right objective, and the pteraxi moved up into the forest where they could threaten either the middle or bottom right objectives. One warglaive advanced on my newly arrived exocrine, the other standing on the objective. Then X-101 came in as his last unit from reserves and deployed his second scrambler in the middle.
Then his shooting phase. The chickens shot 4 lascannons at the broodlord needing 4s to hit, 3s to wound and then I got 5s to save on my invuln. When all was said and done he pushed one wound through. I have 6 wounds and it is a d6 damage weapon but I still have a fnp. And he rolls.... a 1 on damage. I fail my fnp but I still have 5 wounds left and breathe a sigh of relief. His wounded warglaive fighting the mawloc manages to hit with his single melta gun and kills the beast in the shooting phase. His full health warglaive on the bottom left objective puts its thermal spear into the exocrine taking off 6 wounds. The forward full health warglaive instead shoots his thermal spear at the warriors killing one of them. Then his Pteraxi flame the three man unit of zoans on the middle objective killing 2 and leaving the last zoan on one wound left. The infiltrators shoot the zoans on the bottom objective and only manage to do a single wound.
His charge phase he tries to challenge me on every objective. The infiltrators make the charge into the zoanthropes. That objective is my four models now to his three, so if he can just do two wounds and kill a zoanthrope he will challenge that objective. His bottom middle warglaive makes an auto charge into my exocrine. But then the Pteraxi fail a charge into my one wound zoan on the middle right objective. If he had made this charge he would have taken that objective from me too.
The fight phase was a little back and forth. The warglaive easily killed the exocrine. However the infiltrators failed to do a single wound to the zoans in the fight phase, leaving me outnumbering him on the objective. And then I got to fight first with my broodlord and killed the last two chickens in his fight phase. He was still engaging on all 4 fronts and he had gotten his last 6 points for bring it down to max out that secondary.
Knights End of Turn 3 Tyranids Turn 4:
(59-43) The home stretch. The loss of the lictor means this is going to be closer than I want it, but I still think I have this. I metabolic overdrive my other lictor up to the top right objective to sit next to my broodlord and give me linebreaker. My warlord with psychic scream moved back towards the middle to deal with the Pteraxi, and my three man unit of zoans stayed in combat. My warriors moved towards my back objective where the fight with the infiltrators continued.
I had another really poor psychic phase. I did get symbiostorm off on the hive guard. But two smites and a psychic scream (only two went off) led to me doing only 3 wounds to the Pteraxi so they still have two models left in the middle. Then my zoans in the bottom right also failed their smite. I didn't even cast with the broodlord as I didn't want to risk a perils and I was low on cp.
My shooting phase. The warriors again fired their deathspitters into the Pteraxi in the wounds, and again due to weight of dice they succeeded where smite had failed and they finished off the unit. Then my hive guard. I have 10 shots with exploding 6s, but I only have 1 cp so can't shoot twice. No matter which warglaive I go for his warglaive in the bottom middle can go to retake either objective I clear. It's risky, but I decide to split fire to try and end the game right here and kill both warglaives on objectives. I put four hive guard into the fresh warglaive on the bottom left objective, and one hive guard into the 3 wound warglaive in the middle left objective.
Exploding 6s help me a lot and the four hive guard find their mark and I manage to one shot the fresh warglaive. However the single hive guard fails to get a wound onto the three wound warglaive, and so he stands defiant, still alive after having once been on 1 wound. Charge phase is pretty obvious, my broodlord charges his enginseer and kills it to firmly give me that objective and my warriors charge the infiltrators and easily finish the last three models. I get my second linebreaker for another 4 points.
Tyranids End of Turn 4 Knights Turn 4:
(63-53) At the start of his turn he holds 2 and I hold 3 so he gets 10 primary points. His wounded warglaive heals again now up to 4 wounds and on middle bracket. The servitor in the top left deploys his final scrambler for 10 vp (tie game!). X-101 advances down to get on the bottom left objective. His bottom warglaive moves menacingly towards my hive guard.
So we talk it out at this point. It's a tie game, but he is running out of units. Even if he gets the full engage this turn if I get linebreaker again I'll outscore him 4 to 2 on the last secondary and win by two points. If he moves off of the middle objective to try and shoot my units in his deployment zone and fails, I'll hold more on my turn 3 to 2 and beat him by 3 points. He has 2 cp. His only chance for a victory is to both kill one of my units in his deployment zone and ALSO to challenge me for an objective. So he only has one possible chance at victory and his middle warglaive advances around the central pillar towards my single zoanthrope.
First he fires with his bottom warglaive at my warriors but he only ends up doing 2 wounds after fnps so I don't lose a warrior. Then his warglaive in the middle. He is middle bracket (4s to hit) but advanced for -1, is shooting through a forest for -1, and my lictor is a natural -1 for a third -1 to hit, so he needs 5s. He gets one shot. He hits (this isn't happening, again). He needs 2s to wound and wounds (it can't happen twice). Now he is out of melta range and does 1d6 damage to me. A lictor has 4 wounds so I have a 50/50 chance to live.
He rolls a 5 and kills the lictor. I'm now in real trouble for linebreaker. Then his bottom warglaive charges the hive guard and easily makes it in. Then he uses his last two cp to full tilt the hero wounded warglaive that has just slain my lictor. We measure it out and agree that he needs a 9 to make it to the zoanthrope. He rolls.... and gets a 10! He is in. He does the wide sweep with the four wound warglaive as my zoan only has one wound left, and with krast rerolls is able to kill the zoanthrope. Then his fresh warglaive kills 3 hive guard, however because of the roof on the ruin he is not able to consolidate into the Hive Guard to keep them in combat.
He only has four units but he is engaging on all four fronts for another 3 vp.
Knights End of Turn 4 Tyranids Turn 5:
(73-66) Well that was quite the turn of events. At the start of my turn I hold 2 and he holds 3 so I score another 10 primary. But he will score 10 at the start of his turn for X-101 and the servitor at the start of his turn and neither are in range of my hive guard to shoot them off. So it looks like I will lose by 3 points.
I look at the board for a bit, and measure, and realize I have one last hail mary left. It is out of position, but with metabolic overdrive I might just barely be able to move my warlord Neurothrope into his deployment zone to score my third linebreaker and win by 1 point. We measure it out, and agree that if I get a combined 11 on my two advance rolls a 21" move will get me to victory. I metabolic overdrive the warlord... and roll an 8. I come up 3 inches short.
I have lost the game but we play it out. In my psychic phase my warlord and broodlord easily smite off his wounded, hero warglaive that just won him the game. Then I smite his warglaive, but hive guard and deathspitters into his warglaive, and he ends with three wounds left. There are no turns after this, so I just charge with both my warriors and hive guard because if I kill the warglaive he can't score any more for engage and I keep the margin of my loss down.
The warriors do manage to finish off the last wounds on the warglaive, killing it. I have no other points to score so my game is done.
Tyranids End of Turn 5 Knights Turn 5:
(73-76) At the start of his turn he holds 2 and I hold 2 so he maxes out his primary at 45 points and pulls ahead by three points. X-101 radios triumphantly back to HQ that the knights have managed another glorious victory over the Tyranids.
Knights End of the Game
With paint score the final score is Tyranids 83
and Knights 86
. A grueling fight but I have lost a second time in a row to this army. My specific army build falls to 6-1 and he goes up to 11-3. And this is what victory against my Tyranids looks like.
So first off congratulations to my friend for yet another victory over me. He outplayed me here even though the margin was thin. It was always going to be a close one with how this specific mission is scored. At the end of the game he had only 29 pts left on the board and I had almost 700, so that tells me that I was too focused on combat where as he never took his eye off of scoring.
Games like this is how I know that I am not a very good player. I am sure that a better player than me could have easily won this game. I had so much going for me going into this. There was just no excuse for not being able to hold on to the 6 point lead I started the game with just due to secondaries, especially with going first and them him throwing his knight away turn 1 just for a tempo move. I had some good luck and bad luck, but in the end dice did not decide this game. I made several mistakes. I still think the gamble of charging his servitors with my lictor was a good one, I think I win that fight most times. And if my lictor had won there I would have taken the game almost for sure. Also, I hope it is obvious to the keen Tyranid player how much I am missing the second mawloc. That said, he already beat my double mawloc list with this list and I REALLY like what the hormagaunts add to my toolset.
One simple mistake at the end, for instance, in the top of turn 4, if I had just advanced my warlord towards the pteraxi instead of taking a normal move, I might have gotten the few extra inches closer to his deployment zone to win it with a turn 5 metabolic overdrive. And obviously I knew it was a risk that he could kill one of my two units in his zone at the end of my turn 4, so I should have had a backup plan that wasn't a 1 wound zoanthrope.
As for my mistakes, off the top of my head I think I have several. First, I focused too much on killing and not enough on scoring. My turn 3 move of the warriors down towards my deployment zone to kill the rust stalkers I think was a mistake. I should have just let the hive guard go. There was a chance I could have used smite to clear the rust stalkers off the hive guard and if the warriors had moved more aggressively towards a different objective or even his deployment zone that might have won me the game. The warriors killed three times their point value running all over my dz fighting and shooting, but all of that action wasn't scoring me points.
I also did a poor job of screening. Part of this is because I deployed in a refused flank, but only partially. I was surprised when he charged with his rust stalkers on turn 1 rather than deploying scramblers, which is what he normally does. Still, I could have still smited the knight down while keeping my back corner screened. While the infiltrators that came in my back corner never killed a model or held an objective, the fact that they forced me to move backwards to deal with them essentially won him the game. At the very least I think I should drop a warrior and their adrenal glands just to get one more ripper unit so that I can screen better or throw more units into deepstrike counter attack.
Several people had asked to see a game where I lost. I hope this is a good example for you of how I have been outplayed and beaten. I hope my fellow Tyranid players can learn from the mistakes I made so as to not repeat them. Let me know what you think and good luck in your future games. For the Hive Mind!