Thursday, December 9, 2010

“I'm from Buenos Aires, and I say kill 'em all!”



As Johnny Rico’s timeless words suggest, this weekend is going to see a couple of matches between me and the Bugs. While I’ve only played a few games against Bugs version 5.0, they have as always proved to be entertaining opponents, and not simply because you can quote "Aliens" movies for the entire game.

Fighting Tyranids is, as always, a game of target priority, but in this recent incarnation the waters have become a bit more muddled. I remember back in 3rd Ed when all you had to do was shoot the closest ones (well, the rules kind of mandated that you did…) and if you were feeling particularly spry, you could maybe even run up and give some of the small ones a good kicking. 4th ed bugs also lent themselves to easy target priority: shoot the big ones. That was easy because in 4th ed all the Tyranid list was made up of was big ones.

5th ed not so much. In fact everything we know just got a lot more complicated. Now we don’t worry about stealers so much, but we do worry about warriors, get caught off guard by Magic Gaunts™, and just can’t seem to pull down those Tyrant’s with their retinues. What are the Iron Minstrels to do?

Well the basic tenant remains the same: avoid fighting the bugs, shoot bugs instead. This can be achieved by movement blocking (expect some empty rhinos to be whirling around the field) and castling; but even at its best, this trick will only delay the inevitable when facing a good opponent. Oh, and the guy I’m facing just won the recent tourney at my FLGS. Even knowing what you want to shoot doesn’t always help.

Take for instance a Carnifex coming at me. With my list (below) dedicating about 85% (and yes I’ve done the math) of its full firepower, it can probably bring down one of these per turn at range. That’s not particularly good any way you cut it. Add some ablative wounds like I’m bound to see in the average Tyrant and Guards, and I could literally spend an entire turn shooting and not bring down a model. Needless to say, against nids this won’t work.

Conversely, with the now ubiquitous Tervigons crapping out 3D6 Magic Gaunts™ each turn, you can’t exactly afford to avoid shooting the little ones, nor will wiping them all out be in any way effective.

The solution? As I see it, target priority will need to occur in the movement AND the shooting phase. I will have to rely on the fact that most Bug guns aren’t high enough strength (tyranofex excluded) to reliably destroy things. In fact, I’m going to have to be hoping for a lot of ‘wrecked results’ on my extra rhinos and hope they block off the big bugs T1-2 while I’m busy shutting down all my opponents support options. Once the big bugs can no longer be avoided, I’ll attempt to shoot them down to 1-2 wounds and move on to the next target (allowing me to take on two per turn). Weakened bugs will then be dealt with by my assault terminators or by dog piling them with everything nearby.

Is it a perfect plan? Perhaps not, but it should hold up well. That is unless, of course, they brought some kind of ‘smart bug’ along with them.

As always, this isn't intended to be "Best List Ever", only a good 'all comers' list from my models on hand...

Chaos Sorcerer w/ terminator armor, Warptime, MoS, combi-plasma (150)
4 Chaos Terminator w/ IoS, combi-melta x 3, H. flamer, chainfist (170)

5 Chosen w/ meltagun x 2, flamer x 2
Rhino w/ (155)
5 Chosen w/ meltagun x 2, flamer x 2
Rhino w/ (155)

5 Noise Marines w/ blastmaster
Rhino /w havoc (190)
5 Noise Marines w/ blastmaster
Rhino /w havoc (190)
5 Noise Marines w/ blastmaster
Rhino /w havoc (190)

Land Raider w/ DP (240)

Defiler w/ 2 close combat arms (150)
Chaos Predator w/TL autocannon, lascannon sponson (130)
Chaos Predator w/TL autocannon, lascannon sponson (130)

TOTAL 1850

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