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Monday, 16 July 2012

Weekly Hobby Update: Nids vs Eldar, Painting and HoP

Hi all,

well, it's been a busy week for hobby. In reverse order- this is the 100th post for me, which is a bit of a milestone! I'm pleased that I've finally managed to settle in to a routine for blogging, and it's certainly driven me to get more diversity in my hobby, as well as paint up some of the massive backlog of models I've accumulated over the the last 4 years. Thanks to followers and readers, here's to post number 200...

On Friday, I got together with a few guys for a bit of a painting session. it's a long time since I indulged in a social painting session, and I really enjoyed it. Just chatting, eating unhealthy take-away food and painting toy soldiers was great- it also got us chatting about campaigns, new game systems and building scenery and tables, so hopefully it will drive us to new things. We even managed to organise another session for Tuesday.

Which reminds me- one of my house rules which I've never mentioned came up. in fact, it's less a house rule, and more a personal guideline- the rule is:

  • If any models are unpainted, or unbased, or some models are partially finished, then I can only achieve a draw in that game.
Simple. It basically means that if I want to try out a new army theme, or a new unit, then I have to paint it up before I can try it out. If I'm doing tournament practise, then I'll still use random models as required- but for any other style of game, I always play with painted models now. 

And on that note- I played 1500pts of 40K against Dan's Eldar on Thursday. I used the list from last Monday's post, and Dan had a fairly unconventional Eldar army. As far as I can recall, it consisted of the following:

Eldrad "Oldman" Ulthran
10 Warlock Seer Council
10 Guardians with Star Cannon
10 Guardians with Star Cannon in Wave Serpent
5 Dire Avengers (Exarch with Bladestorm)
Vyper with Bright Lance
Vyper with Bright Lance
Wraithlord with Sword and Bright Lance
5 Dark Reapers (Exarch with Missile Launcher and Fast Shot)

We rolled up mission and Deployment, and ended up with Hammer and Anvil (Length ways- dammit!) and Big Guns Never Tire. So my Trygon could claim objectives. Woop? There was plenty of terrain on the battlefield, and we both got cracking- Dan won the first turn, and since I got to place 2 of the 3 Objectives, I made sure they were fairly close together. Here's some pics of the Deployment:

The Eldar army, deployed in depth

The Nid Wall of Death

A general overview from the start of the game.

Eldrad hiding behind his Wraithlord buddy
The central street, from the perspective of the Eldar-  Bid Momma's gonna eat ya!

From the Nid perspective, the Eldar hunker around the bunker

The first turn didn't see any Night Fight, but thankfully Eldar are so short ranged it didn't really matter. I ran as fast as my 6 limbs could carry me, and the Tyrant flew 24" to see how goof the Flyer defences were for Monstrous Creatures. I have to say, from Dan's perspective, the wall of chitin did look pretty terrifying. I didn't get shots off, but psychics meant that my Tyrant became T8, so was in no danger of the pesky little Dire Avengers getting a lucky wound. Oh, the Dire Avengers also became S and T 2, just in case- and also to see the look on Dan's face!

Dan bemoans the fact that Shurikens have the same range as my charge distance

Gaunts cover a sneaky Trygon

My Tervigon also managed to prolapse itself  on the first turn with 11 Gaunts. not the best result, but more bodies into the Meat Grinder is always welcome.

Big Momma splits herself in 2 with Gaunts....

Ah yes- the Hive Tyrant. It has to be said, Dan was shocked and stunned at the fact he needed to hit a Hive Tyrant on 6's, just because it had wings (We've now nick-named him Batfink.) However, he then shot 2 Guardians- yes only 2 were in range- managed to get a 6, at which point Batfink was so shocked by the temerity of the fiendish space-Hippies that he fell of the sky and twisted his ankle. this wouldn't have been so bad, if not for the fact that his surprise lasted through to the combat phase, where he managed a paltry 2 wounds on the Wraithlord that charged him, in return for 4 wounds from the Wraithlord- yes, my warlord was down, and as the first unit it he garnered 2 VP's for Dan and a Wraithlord unthreatened in my left flank. Cheers, Bats!

The Tyrant's death is aptly represented by more biomass, this time in the form of cake.

Vyper's cover the Wraithlord's advance
 For the next turn, I basically kept running as fast as my legs could run- straight towards the Eldar. Yes, I'd lost the Tyrant, but I still had plenty of bodies, and a few surprises.
The Wraithlord readies it's Flamers

On the right flank, the Hormogaunts get ready to pull a Wave Serpent out of the air...

... while the seer Council try to figure out what to be worries about.
 Turn 3 saw our lines close. The Wraithlord and Dire Avengers made a mess of the Raveners and Gaunts with shooting on the left flank, but that was fine- my centre and the right were still strong, and at this point I also had control of 2 Objectives (the third was the Bunker). However, then Dan charged his Seer Council into the right-hand set of Gaunts, and his Avengers into what remained on the left, after shooting the Hormogaunts to death.

Now, at this point, I realised that Dan hadn't played Nids from this Codex. This isn't really surprising, since they have been under-rated for a little while now. So it came as a bit of a surprise when my Gaunts had the following:

  • Counter Attack
  • Ld 10
  • Fearless
  • Poison (4+)
  • A re-roll to wound, thanks to poison
  • Dangerous Terrain
Yes, 20 Gaunts with a Venomthrope and a Tervigon nearby are pretty neat in combat :) In total, 8 Gaunts won against the Avengers, and dragged 2 of them down, whilst 20 Gaunts killed off 4 warlocks out of a Fortuned seer Council- yeah, I lost the combat, but it was a 100 point unit vs 400pts of Psykers. 

Note to self- Venomthropes don't work against Flamers.
Gaunts beat the cream of the Eldar

The Seer Council get a nasty surprise

there seem to be... less bodies!

The Gaunts rock on against the Avengers
... and against the Council

 Unfortunately, I couldn't push on any further. The Wraithlord continued it's rampage across my left flank, while the Seer Council formed a barricade that stopped my own lines moving forward. In fact, the Tervigon joined in, and challenged Eldrad...

... who was Enfeebled....

... and promptly devoured by Instant Death! Tervi-NOM! Seriously, what is it about Eldrad being killed off by Monstrous Creatures?

The Wraithlord kills off everything in it's path
Now you see Eldrad (to the right of the tongue...)

Now you don't :)

I finished up making a mad dash with the Warriors for the Bunker, leaving the birthed unit of Gaunts to hold an Objective. the warriors beat up the Guardians holding the Bunker, then got shot to pieces by the rest of the Eldar. In the end, it was 1 Objective a piece, but Dan won the game on Slay the Warlord and First Blood- thanks, Batfink!
The lone Warrior tries to redeem the Tyranid name.... and fails
 So- a win for the Eldar. I took quite a lot from this game. Firstly, length ways deployment is a real problem- you still start 24" apart, but the narrow front means that the Nids are far more clumped together, and the opponent can box the army in. Deep Striking and Outflanking, I'm thinking, will be effective ways to counter this.

Flying Monstrous Creatures aren't invulnerable, and need to be supported. In all seriousness, I was foolish with Batfink, mainly because I wanted to see how far I could push his luck (not very far!) However, the Raveners did manage to keep pace with him, now all I need is a delivery system.

The combinations available to Tyranids now are a huge boon. Playing the unit buffers alongside the new Psychics has huge potential, and I'm going to keep tinkering with this aspect of the list.

I didn't have enough threats, in enough places, to challenge the Eldar target priority. In the end, they attacked in 2 places and shut me down. It was good to finally play a game of 6th where we were both seriously thinking- in the end, my basic army was defeated by Dan's superior Strategy. Time to up the ante, I feel....

So I've got a few ideas on what to change in the list, and what needs painting- I'll put a post up mid-week with my latest thoughts and ideas. In the meantime, here's some pretty pics of the Nids coming along- they're up to about 5500 points, I think, and I've still got a few trays worth of Stealers to paint up, among other things....

Gaunts, Tyrants, Trygons, Tervigons

Stealers, Warriors, Raveners, Zoanthropes

Ymgarls, Biovores, Warriors, Carnifii, Mycetic Spores

Gaunts at eye level- I love the look of a good Horde

Infantry, Warriors, MC's, Spores
Comments, as always, are welcome

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