Bugsculptor's Nids VS 2013 Golden Throne GT


I took my trusty Tyranids along to the 2013 Golden Throne GT in Pleasanton, CA. The format was six 2000pt games with a double force org and all missions were normal book missions. Here's what I took along:

The Swarmlord 345 • 1 Tyrant Guard: lash whip. Tyranid Prime: pair of boneswords; rending claws; toxin sacs. 1001 Lictor 65 3 Zoanthropes 205 • Mycetic Spore The Doom of Malan'tai 130 • Mycetic Spore 2 Hive Guard 100 2 Hive Guard 100 1 Lictor 6510 Termagant Brood 50 10 Termagant Brood 50 Tervigon*: Catalyst; Adrenal Glands; Toxin Sacs. 195 Tervigon: Catalyst. 175

Trygon: toxin sacs. 210 Trygon: toxin sacs. 210

Not the nastiest thing you can put together with a possible six elites, heavy support or HQ slots, but it was nice to not have to worry about choosing between Zoanthropes and Hive Guard. The list functions as most of my Tyranid lists do - a hybrid of a tough foot slogging list with tervigons, hiveguard and the swarmlord and a turn 2 reserves bomb bringing in the Doom, podding Zoanthropes and the Trygons.
The two lictors were added to make me a 40k hipster, taking advantage of the extra elites slots to bring a unit nobody ever runs. By popping out on turn two they were either additional threats capable of charging alongside the Trygons on turn 3, or objective campers from hell. Outside synapse a Lictor can go to ground for a 2+ cover save and potentially still be a threat the next turn if you move a synapse unit into range to pop it up and charge something. Also, I wanted to paint two Lictor's that had been converted and sitting around for the best part of two years... so I needed to come up with an excuse to use them!

Game 1

My championship ambitions came crashing down in turn one as I matched up against Lauren Kozlenko's Grey Knights with Necron allies. With his half of the board covered by WarpQuaking GK strike squads, my reserves bomb failed before it could get started and I even made the mistake of scattering a Trygon 8" straight into the  quake and losing it to an unlucky mishap roll. Three Scythes buzzing overhead were able to contest my objectives and a final assault in the middle of the board went the wrong way for me, giving Lauren a solid victory.
With hindsight, I could do much better against that list, but I needed to figure out faster how bad warpquake would be and deploy both my trygons on the table. It was a horrible match up to be against a list designed to completely deny deep strike reserves and I lost the game by not coming up with a good enough counter strategy... next time!

Game 2

My second game against Tim Mote's Imperial Guard with some new Eldar allies was one I expected to lose from the start... the mission was Purge the Alien with Hammer and Anvil deployment. So not only did I have to kill more units than I lost, in an army of solo Lictors and mycetic spores, but I had to work from one long table edge to the other against cover ignoring shots from two wave serpents with their ridiculous 60" range.

Fortunately, my game was saved by the Doom of Malantai. Trygons and Lictor's managed to do some real damage and distract the few melta's the guard were waving around, and the Doom gobbled down unit after unit, finishing the game by killing a dire avenger and Eldrad to put me solidly ahead on kill points. All the rest of my deep striking wave was dead and my slow foot contingent was just starting to roll close to enemy lines when the game ended with a win for me.

Game 3

My last game of day one was against Tim Trammel's IG and Dark Angel's. Tim's army was fairly tough, with a banner of devastation buffing 3 Land Raider Crusaders and Azrael leading a blob squad of thirty fearless guardsmen and giving them a 4+ invulnerable save. Fortunately, this game turned out to be my easiest win of the tournament, as I rolled up the bonus VP power for warlord challenges and it was the Big Guns Never Tire.

My podding Warp Lance Zoanthropes and two Trygons came in and wrecked the land raiders, and after pinning the blob squad in place with a charge from some fearless gaunts I was able to get a turn three charge on it with my Swarmlord and his friends. The swarmlord proceeded to pick up three VPs from challenging guard sergeants, smashing through their 4+ invulnerable saves with his bone sabres. Added to three kill points from the land raiders it quickly didn't matter who controlled any objectives, and the game was mine.

At the end of the first day, I'd lost a game and didn't go through to the championships elimination bracket, but all the runners up turned up on day 2 for a friendly 3 game RTT. This was a great idea from the tournament organisers - even though were out of the running for the big prize we would get a chance to start afresh for a runners up tourney prize.

Game 4

My Game 4 was against Nathan Creer's battlewagon orks, playing the scouring with diagonal corner deployment. The game was a lot of fun, with the Swarmlord going on a rampage and smashing a wagon and squad of meganobs and the Doom and my Lictor's hassling grot artillery in the backfield before getting sliced open by power klaw warlords. Green and mean as they were, there was nothing in the Ork list that could convince the swarmlord to back down, and the Tyranids ended up with a solid 15VP victory.

Game 5

My match up against Alex Hein's ravenwing knights was undoubtedly the toughest game I played of the weekend, and it was a bit of a nailbiter. Alex brought four Deathwing Knight squads along with Sammael and a command squad with a FNP banner, so I was facing down around over twenty highly mobile plasma bikers and rad grenades that could drop my MC toughness down to five, with Mortiis lascannon dreads and Melta attack bikes supporting them. I did have a little luck though, rolling up stealth ruins as a warlord power and having a convenient multi level ruin in the corner of the board that I could use to keep the Swarmlord and tervigons alive in.

I had to play a long game, trying to keep enough alive to play for board control in the last stages of the game. As it played out, I also found one more ace in my hand - the tervigons were really in the mood to spawn, and I ended up with a horde of sixty gaunts in my deployment zone. Sadly, when the Doom came in I made a mistake or unlucky gamble placing him and he was taken out by interceptor fire from a Mortis dread before doing any damage. My Trygons and Lictors popped in by the objectives to contest them, and on the last turn it came down to a combat with Sammael on my home objective, with no Ravenwing scoring on the enemy objectives at all. Unwisely I'd elected to charge out of cover on turn 3 with the Swarmlord and lose him to a blistering salvo of plasma fire (see masthead pic) and he wasn't around to pile into the final combat to keep my objective clear of ravenwing knights, so the Ravenwing won with first blood, linebreaker and warlord - 3VP to my 1.

Game 6

The final game of the weekend was against Mark Valledor's well painted Eldar. Oddly, there was a huge line of sight blocking factory in the center of the table, which gave me a distinct strategic advantage. Once that factory was full of my Swarmlord, hiveguard and gaunts, it was tricky for Mark to shift them out of there and that's where they stayed until the Swarmlord saw an opportunity to smash through the wall of the factory and get a charge on the Farseer and his seer council deathstar.

The game was a blast and ended the tournament with the Swarmlord roaring his domination over the enemy objective, a pile of beheaded Eldar seers at his feet.

I ended my six games with a solid 4-2-0 record, not the complete domination I could wish for, but a pretty good result for an older codex and a fairly odd list. The event was really well organised and a credit to the team putting it on - I'd definitely attend again. Best feature of all was all the extra tables between each battlefield - there was always space to put down your miniatures, rules and dice without worrying about moving terrain or tipping your army onto the floor. The venue also had great aircon - it really was a comfortable place to play a few good games when outdoors was boiling in the California summer.