Next up was a game against Tyranids and I was determined not to make the same mistakes as the last time I played them. This time my entire army was out in force from Turn 1 and I wasn’t going to use the Webway Portal at all. The mission setup was a bit of an odd one; another custom job. This one had four objectives Deep Striking in on the first turn, with the one closest to the centre of the board being worth two points instead of one, which added a bit more ambiguity and randomness to consider in deployment.
My opponent was packing three squads of ten Genestealers, some Ymgarls hanging around the place, two squads of two Hive Guard (damn their eyes!), two Tervigons as HQs and a couple of Trygons as backups (not Primes, thank God, just regular ones). He actually won the roll off to go first (still not something I’m entirely used to but up until this tournament, I had had a pretty sizable run of going first) and hedged his bets with deployment, planting his four Monstrous Creatures as far forward as they could go and close to one another for mutual support. The regenerating Trygons were placed ahead of the Tervigons for cover saves and the Hive Guard were placed in cover fairly near by; one on the left flank, the other covering the right. His ‘Stealers were going to infiltrate and the Ymgarls were going to do what Ymgarls always do. Hide like bastards and then pop up to crump stuff.
I deployed to more or less mirror him, my two hellion squad populating some area terrain and deployed spread out as far forward as possible to force his infiltrating Genestealers to deploy further back and give me some extra room to manoeuvre. My vehicles were placed right in my backfield to keep them away from the various anti-vehicle threats he was fielding (the Hive Guard first off, and then absolutely everything else in his army if they got an assault off). When the objectives deep struck in, they were handily all placed on my half of the board, forcing the ‘Nid player’s hand even more than usual. He had to advance, I just had to defend.
I started off with two pieces of good luck. Both his Tervigons pooped themselves out at only 5 Termagants each, which was a load off my mind! Unfortunately, the Tervigons proved to be one of the most major threats throughout the game, purely because of their Catalyst power, which kept giving Genestealer squads Feel no Pain. Let me tell you, those FnP saves almost turned the game in my opponents favour. He really was excellent at passing those 4+ saves! Utterly aggravating. My Hellions were unable to do much at range (cover-hugging FnP Genestealers don’t drop easy) and the assaults when they engaged the ‘Stealers usually ended poorly (or more accurately, more poorly than they should have). By the time the Genestealers were brought down, a lot of damage had been inflicted to both the Hellion squads and I ended up playing very defensive with them. More so than I would have liked.
The Ymgarls were another major problem for me, initially. Basically (for those who don’t know) Ymgarl Genestealers secretly pick a piece of area terrain at the beginning of the battle and when they turn up from reserve, they automatically appear in that piece of terrain. They can inflict major damage on standing forces. However, there is an easy way to beat them. If you know the terrain they’ll be deployed to and have the numbers, you can make it impossible for them to appear, in which case they are dead. Easy as. I had a pretty good idea where they were going to spring up from. I had in fact narrowed it down to two pieces of terrain. Annoyingly, I’d picked the wrong piece of terrain to group my Hellions in and the Ymgarls ate a squad of Trueborn, robbing me of more lance fire that I could have shot at his approaching Phalanx of MCs.
Fortunately for me, the Ymgarls wasted too much time chasing down a Venom and they basically removed themselves from the game. They didn’t die, they just became irrelevant. They would have been better off trying to take down some more Hellions. My Ravagers just plugged away reliably at the MCs, scoring regular wound and taking them down at a predictable rate. Poor placement cost me one of the Ravagers to Hive Guard though, and that lead to the last Trygon lasting longer than I’d hoped and tearing apart my Wracks. Luckily for me, the lack of Synapse creatures had thrown his army into disarray and enough of my forces persisted to fill the last of the big bastards with poison. The Hellions moved in to claim the objectives they could and the few ‘Nids still standing were resorting to their Instictive Behaviours and generally being a bit rubbish.
Win to me!