Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On sportsmanship, Onslaught List Fail, and a Conflict GT list (6th!)

I’d like to take a moment to talk about sportsmanship.  A long time ago (15 years ago) I was a very poor sport.  I used to throw my dice, scream, and in reflection – had to be the least fun player to play against.  I never berated my opponents, but boy did I hate the failed dice rolls that thwarted whatever devious tactical move I was unleashing.  God love the guys that let me keep coming back.  Then I found and fell in love with the Skaven.  Discovering that if I didn’t manage to mangle about half my own army with misfires, explosions, failed castings, brazen cowardice, or other horrendous rat-splatting hijinks, I was doing something wrong and losing because I wasn’t taking the dice-dependent risks that you have to learn to do with good grace.  I found the laughter I’d been missing in my intensity with other army types – every time the dice went south, rats died – often in the most eye-wateringly hilarious ways.  Warpfire thrower or jezzail team explosions, poisoned wind globe scatters and doomwheel lightning frying my own units – my rats died for the glory of the Horned Rat at my own hands.  But it wasn’t my fault – clearly they were untrained morons the other clans slipped into my own ranks as spies, and I was better off they paid for their stupidity in rat-gibs!  The moral here is to find the laughter – and keep in mind one of the most important rules of battle: it’s better to be lucky than good.  Best summarized by the amazing Field Marshal Gebhard L. von Blücher:
Alle Kunst ist umsonst Wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst", which roughly translates as: "All skill is in vain when an angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket"!
On to Onslaught List Fail

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shooty tyranid is shooty

Kudos on the big shooty 'nid go to Bloodtyrant over at miniwargaming.  At any rate - scooped again by Stelek here with one concept for a shooty nid list, but the idea has been on my mind after reading several batreps over the past few weeks with devilgaunts and dakkafex/tyrants putting the mow down on MEQ.

However, the more I look at the metagame theme of Mech+MSU seen across the major lists archetypes, the more I wonder if going a bit more shooty isn't a concept that bears further exploration.  Although tyranids are supposed to be a premier melee codex, they do have some interesting shooty capabilities.  Above all, tyranids are about synergy.  Reading the top players' batreps at different GTs and tournaments I'm amazed at the deep thought to synergy given - and how rarely I see it referenced in most batreps in anything but the most simple terms for Tyranids.  The tactical options available are incredible, and I think bear further exploration.

First we'll examine the Tervigon's underused Onslaught power, which allows a unit to both run and shoot in the same phase; and then charge if it has fleet (hellooo Trygons).  Although many tyranid ranged options are shorter ranged, Onslaught can be a rude surprise, and a nice tactical advantage.  A 30" potential range on zoanthropes and hive guard?  How would that change the game on turn 1?

Next up is the much maligned Biovore - which alternately is reviled and worshipped; discounted by most serious players but venerated on many different boards.  What the Biovore does well though is cause concern for a significant swathe of the metagame: IG, Dark and Light meat Eldar, Orks, Tau, and mirror.  Miss?  No problem, there's a movement inhibitor left behind.  The bottom line is Biovores appear to be a very viable tournament option that gets routinely ignored.  Who playtests or plays with these routinely?  Admittedly, not the best option vs. MEQ, but that isn't a reason to discount it entirely.

I think a very solid and competitive shooty list is out there that builds on Tervigons with Onslaught to buff some devilgaunts, a dakkafex star (2?), zoans, HG, and actually includes a full biovore brood.  Too much to ask for?  Too much theorycraft at play here?  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Overdue book: Tyranid Library part 5

It's past time to get back on track with an overdue library update.  The past few weeks have seen several excellent articles, but the ones that really got me thinking are a few that talk about using Tyranid warriors.  To be clear, these aren't warrior tactica articles, but no-kidding this is how to conceptualize a list that includes or is based on warriors. This is a continuing thread I've followed since looking at Tyranid MSU.

Abusepuppy writes a very intriguing article here – but make no mistake, while the four different lists he presents are interesting – there are three very critical parts of the article; the first is where he discusses speed and arrival:

Speed is one problem with Warriors; to take full advantage of them, you want to be using both their shooting and melee abilities, which means not Running most of the time; this, in turn, makes them a full one to two turns slower than things like Raveners, Shrikes, Genestealers, Hormagaunts, etc, at arriving in combat. All-melee Warriors are possible, but they will always need forward elements to draw fire and tie up enemy units so that they can arrive to do their bloody work. More often than not, though, Warriors (like Tervigons and other "midfield" units) are going to be well behind the front lines of a fight, doing their best to support other units.

Why is this so interesting?  Confirmation bias of course!  Warriors are on the same movement-to-contact timeline as Tervigons, and their roles are very nearly identical – which we’ve also heard here from TheGraveMind previously, and again here, where he talks about the pros and cons of close-combat (dual bonesword, tox) warriors.  One of the more interesting pros he mentions is the mathhammer on a Tyranid warrior vs. a Terminator: a 2+ Terminator means statistically it takes 6 shots to kill one terminator; a W3 4+ warrior also takes 6 shots to kill; so long as we aren’t talking S8 AP3 or higher…  which in turn dovetails back to the second part of Abusepuppy’s post after the jump:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Parasite of Mortrex WIP: Rippler Bug+Ravener

And a little Mawloc tongue for extra gribbly...   pre-green stuff yet, but I think it has potential.   I had my doubts about using the rippler, but found one for a few bucks on Ebay and decided to give it a whirl.  I'll almost definitely pull off the wings (haha) and replace them with at least one pair, maybe two, of gargoyle wings, rather like Eldar Addict's (probably my favorite Parasite conversion).  I tried using ravener talons and warrior/ravener rending claws, and even tried Mawloc talons, but none really looked as much like the Parasite's talons in the codex drawing as the rippler bug's.

Here's a few more pics:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

..and to all a Happy New Year

Whatever your persuasion, creed, belief, or lack thereof, here's hoping you had a great holiday season and wishing you the best for the new year.

Where to for 2011?  I'm not much for resolutions, but I do need to set some goals for the year.  Forthwith:

  1. Paint up the hive fleet to-do list:
    1. On sprue currently: 3 raveners, 6 warriors, 3 zoanthropes, 1 HG, 1 trygon, 1 tyrant, 2 venomthropes, 1 carnifex,
    2. Parts on hand: 1-2 tfexes, a third tervigon, harpy, parasite of mortrex, 3 raveners, 1 tyrant, 2 carnifexes, 1 old one-eye, 1 red terror, 1 spod
    3. Built: 2 HG, biovore
    4. Based: 2 tervigons, 1 mawloc, 1 HG, 5 ripper swarms, 15 stealers
  2. Play in a tournament (for all you baby seal hunters - salivate away)
Sounds easy enough.  Thanks to all of you who inspire me (blogroll!) and have given me encouragement as I stumble forward.

Pic credit to ~slaine69