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Analysis: Astra Militarum in 8th Ed, HQ Units

Let's analyse the HQ options available to Astra Militarum . Like all my reviews, this will be from a competitive play perspective, ...

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Battle Report: Astra Militarum and Craftworld/Dark Eldar vs. Tyranids


The second round of the tournament saw me pitted against my Tyranid ally from the first round, alongside a new ally fielding blended Craftworld and Dark Eldar.

Army List

My 1000 pts Astra Militarum list for this event:

Combined Arms Detachment: Astra Militarum
HQ
Plasma Command Squad in Chimera
Troops
Plasma Veteran Squad in Chimera
Melta Veteran Squad in Chimera
Melta Veteran Squad in Taurox
Fast Attack
Hellhound
Heavy Support
Punisher
Fortification
Void Shield Generator

Round Two: Tyranids

My former ally's Nids expanded to 2000 pts by adding a triple-Tervigon Formation, a Toxicrene in Tyrannocyte, and numerous Zoanthropes and Venomthropes.

My new ally's Eldar list was Unbound and comprised a couple of Kabalite squads and an Incubi squad mounted in Venoms, and a Dire Avenger Shrine Formation mounted in Raiders—all the drive-by shooting!

We deployed in a central cluster around the Void Shield Generator, with a couple of Avenger Raiders on our right flank. The Nid swarm likewise deployed centrally, with overlapping Shrouded bubbles from the Venomthropes, and two of the three Flyrants on their right flank.


Our opponent went first and aggressively surged everything forward into midfield. One Flyrant stopped directly in front of our armour, but just outside the FSG bubble.

The Tervigons pooped out a horde of Gaunts and the Flyrants blazed away ineffectually at our vehicles, the Void Shields dropping but absorbing the brunt of the attack.

Our strategy was simple: ignore the Flyrants, kill everything on the ground, then park on Objectives. The last thing we wanted to do was waste all our shooting on the Flyrants just to ground one and let it immediately assault our squishies! And so we unleashed hell on the central Tervigon, eventually pushing enough dice through cover, Shrouded and psychic Feel No Pain to kill it. The resultant 'explosion' also killed most of the Gaunts pooped out in the previous turn.


Our opponent's overextension of his Flyrants in his first turn, combined with my careful positioning of vehicles in our turn, left the flying monsters with heavily restricted movement options. One flew off the table and one had to turn away from our firebase, leaving only one in a good firing position—but unfortunately it was a very good firing position inside the VSG bubble, since I had created a gap by being unwilling to move into easy assault range of the earthbound bugs. And so a Chimera was wrecked and a Veteran squad was dismounted.

Meanwhile, the Toxicrene Podded-in, and together with the other Flyrant, damaged but crucially could not destroy my ally's Raiders. More Gaunts were pooped-out to replace those lost the previous turn. Mucolids were placed hyper-aggressively, all subsequently mishapped, and we placed them in a distant corner of the table where they remained ineffectual for the rest of the game.


We continued to ignore the Flyrants in favour of ganking the Tervigons. Our combined firepower brought down a second pooper in our second turn, and the Incubi dismounted, assaulted and killed the Toxicrene.


The rampaging Flyrants exacted a heavy toll on our forces, killing multiple transports each turn. But we held true to our strategy, and fought and won the land battle in midfield. Once the third Tervigon was slain, we systematically targeted and destroyed the Venomthropes, Zoanthropes and remaining Gaunts.


Our remaining transports and infantry moved to hold all the Objectives while the Flyrants circled above, unwilling to land amidst all our firepower.


Careful consideration of flying monster movement arcs and distances, combined with careful positioning of my own, forced our opponent into many unfavourable movements with his Flyrants.


Despite the annihilation of nearly all our armour, and the three flying monsters left dominating the skies, the battle was a total victory in our favour. This game was an excellent example of the importance of target prioritisation, and playing to the mission victory conditions, to secure the win despite a list overmatch.

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