...still, I did have a ton of fun and look forward to the next narrative event!
That said, there was a tournament at Strangeway Games this past weekend. It was 1500 points, no Come the Apocalypse Allies, and no Unbound Lists. I had learned quite a bit of my Tyranids and as such opted to field the doubles list with a few things to help get me to 1500 points.
Tyranid Combined Arms DetachmentHQ - Hive Tyrant (Wings, 2x TL Devourers w/ Brainleech Worms) - 230 points
HQ - Hive Tyrant (Wings, 2x TL Devourers w/ Brainleech Worms) - 230 points
Troop - 30x Termagants (TL Spinefists x30) - 120 points
Troop - Tervigon (Electroshock Grubs) - 205 points
Elite - 2x Venomthrope - 90 points
Elite - Zoanthrope - 50 points
Elite - Zoanthrope - 50 points
Heavy - 3x Biovores - 120 points
Formation - The First Curse (Genestealer Cult)HQ - Patriarch (2x Genestealer Familiar, +1 Mastery Level) - 125 points
Elite -20x Purestrain Genestealers - 280 points
1500 points on the nose. I had toyed with different things to help me fill the last few points but opted to bring two Venomthropes to make it harder on my opponents to remove that necessary cover. I was not sure how The First Curse formation would work but was confident I could at least have fun.
Upon arriving to Strangeway, it was different than the previous tournaments as only Skip and Blake were present (rather than 7-8 dudes ready to roll some dice). People slowly started trickling in and while it initially looked like the tournament wouldn't make, we ended up with a total of 6 people ready to roll some dice.
Game 1 - Ynari EldarGame 1 I had the pleasure of playing against Darren, a guy I had met playing Frostgrave at a friend's house. He brought an Ynari list that was focused mostly on Dark Eldar and Harlequin troops. There was a single Eldar Autarch in the list (for Reserve manipulation I suspect). The list was predicated on getting off some timely Soul Burst actions and having multiple units unload poison. As a Tyranid player, this could work really well as I had no metal bawkses for me to hide my units. I did however have two Flyrants and Psyker superiority.
The mission was Crusade (? D3 + 2 Objectives). I rolled a 3 for my Genestealers deployment and opted to deploy them near a Skyshield Landing pad so I could minimize any losses until I used Return to the Shadows. Darren won the roll to deploy/go first and I failed to seize the initiative.
I deployed in such a way that all my units at the very least received a 3+ Cover Save (2+ in ruins). Darren fired some pot shots first turn but other than losing about 4 Genestealers, was no worse for wear. I pushed up my Flyrants and managed to take out both of the Venoms he had pushed up for pot shots. I managed to pin both the units but also had my first chance to see Soulburst in action. He managed to put 2 wounds on my Flyrant in my turn but his turn was next.
On his turn, Darren was unlucky and managed to only get one of his two "death squads" in. One was a full unit of 7 Harlequins with Fusion Pistols and Harlequin Kisses. In the unit was an Archon with a typical 2+ Shadowfield and a kitted out Autarch (Fusion Gun, Banshee Mask, Power Sword, etc). The other "death squad" didn't come in and consisted of an Archon court with Slyth and Medusae and an Archon as well (with a Webway Portal).
Still, between the remaining warriors and the Harlequin shots, I lost my Warlord to a good amount of 6's rolled. Darren was in disbelief but it was a good amount of focus fire that brought him down. He turbo boosted some units around but that was it. He did run his Harlequin unit and left his Warlord off on a far edge within the movement arc of my Flyrant.
On my turn I pushed my Flyrant up and used some Psychic Shriek shenanigans with my Genestealers. I knew I could not charge but I could still push up and threaten some of the remaining units. I shot my Flyrant at the Harlequin squad and hit with all my hits and wounded 10 times. Darren passed all but two LOS rolls. His Warlord had to make two saves. One a 5. The other...a 1. Strength 6 meant he got insta-gibbed.
From this point on the game pretty much went downhill. I managed to spread my troops out to capture two more objectives giving me a total of 3 (thanks to Objective Secured). My Genestealers were eliminated by the Court of the Archon but at best Darren had one objective with my Flyrant contesting the last objective in his deployment. The result was a very hard fought win for the Tyranids. Already 1-0, I had met my one objective for the day.
Game 2 - Necron CADInterestingly enough, there were a total of 6 armies that day, 4 of which were purple. My second match was against Anthony and his Necrons. He had come to the store thinking there was an Apocalypse game to play, not a tournament. Still he built a list and refused to field a Decurion detachment. In hindsight he mentioned wanting to field a Monolith to help manipulate his Warriors' movement.
Anthony won the roll to go first and deploy first and like the last time I played against him, I rolled a 6 to Seize (I had the Warlord trait giving me +1 to my Seize roll). Again I rolled a 3 for my Genestealers and opted to deploy in my zone and simply Return to the Shadows. Maelstrom Objectives would be the name of the game.
I pushed up Turn 1 but was unable to do much damage. In his turn he pushed up and took some pot shots on my Flyrants but did little damage.
Turn 2 proved to be very pivotal. I put 2 or so wounds on the Lychguard and whittled down some of the Warriors and Immortals in his deployment zone. I also managed to roll a 6 for my Genestealers to deploy within 3 inches of a unit and charge. 80 attacks at Strength 5 with Rending and I needed every single one of them to take out the Lychguard.
Having drawn very bad Maelstrom cards, Anthony made a very bold move to deep strike into my deployment and capture an objective (of which he had 2 cards) and eliminate a unit in the same turn.
Anthony pulled to an even 3-3 tie but in my turn I managed to score 3 more cards and eliminate his Warlord putting him behind the 8 ball. He did bring in his Doom Scythe but with only a small blast and some Tesla, he could only do a limited amount of wounds on my units.
By the end of the game I had amassed around 12 or 13 points to Anthony's 3. Amazingly my Tyranids had gone 2-0. At this point Skip (the store owner) mentioned that I was the only player who had gone 2-0 with everybody else going 1-1 at this point. As I had sent half of the players to 1-1, it was up to a random roll to see who would be my third opponent.
Skip drew the lucky number.
Game 3 - Emperor's Children plus Renegade KnightWhile I wish I had pictures of the game, Skip respectfully asked me to abstain from taking pictures of the game. He is participating in an online painting contest where pictures of his army have to reported in a specific way and it evidently limits what other pictures can be taken.
Skip's army was a bit of a ringer army with a couple of Chaos Space Marine squads as well as a unit of Chosen with a whole lot of Plasma Guns...all units in Rhinos with a bit of a mini-death star with a Chaos Lord, a Dark Apostle, and another Chaos Lord. The big hitter in his army was a Renegade Knight with AA, horde unit control, and the D-Chainsword.
With it being another Maelstrom mission and me making a new unit of gaunts every turn for four straight turns, the writing was on the wall. I slowly took out every unit he had except his Renegade Knight. We got to the point where only his Knight remained but I had trouble putting more than 3 hull points on him. We were the last game going but by turn 4 I was ahead on Maelstrom something like 9-1.
Victory was assured. I had surprisingly gone 3-0 for the day and won best overall. I received a good prize and opted to buy a Start Collecting box of Skitari. It would allow me the chance to field a unit of Skitarii Rangers in case I wanted to mix things up. It also puts me on the road to a War Convo if I opted to ever go that way in the future.
Final ThoughtsI really enjoy playing with Skip and the gang out at Strangeway Games. I know that I can be a bit intense and tend to really zone in when playing the game. While I don't think of myself as an unpleasant player I can see where I can lead to games where it isn't fun.
Should I drink a beer before every game? Should I take some shots? Should I just relax?
I don't know. I did listen to a podcast the other day where last year's ITC winner talked about how the games against the "mid level" players are the worst. They're so concerned with trying to get ahead that they'll do everything to win. I'd like to think that winning doesn't matter as much but once victory is within my sights, I can't help but focus on it at the expense of banter.
In any case, some games have been ultra intense at Strangeway. Others have been super fun. Perhaps I really do need to offer other options where my opponent can go monster hunting or perhaps do a shooting gallery game. If I concede to begin the game, does that remove any temptation of wanting to push for the W?
I plan on trying to go in to play in Apocalypse games in the future. I think one is scheduled for the end of the month. I'm also wanting to learn more Age of Sigmar at Strangeway as others are learning as well.
Saturday was a lot of fun. I even got to leave in time to go enjoy an evening out with my wife at a nearby brewery.
I've considered giving away my own prizes for the best opponent I had. Perhaps for the best tactician I faced. Any ideas on what I should focus on in terms of giving away a prize?