Well I'm back with another game, having been very patient and waiting until the Thousand Sons Codex drops before I work on finalizing a list. Maybe they'd be great and I wouldn't need to run Crawlers to be competitive, maybe they'd be throwing Warp-Fire all over the place and dishing out the Mortal Wounds. Then I read the book and they're terrible except as a soup ingredient. *sigh* Oh well.
For the moment I will be taking some number of Plagueburst Crawlers in my competitive games. I continually ask everyone that I play if they're okay with me taking my tournament list, I don't know what they're going to bring, and they say do it. I'll probably stop doing that unless I know what's in their list because most of these games haven't seemed fun for my opponent. Now that I have the list I'd like to run in tournaments, which there are plenty of in my area, I'll work on a softer version that I can bring for more casual games.
I'm hoping the March FAQ makes some adjustments to the Crawlers, personally I'd slap 40-50pts on the chassis and be done with it. My fear is they'll go untouched though because there aren't enough banner-bearers for the army compared to Fire Raptors being under-priced, Obliterators being everywhere, Dark Reapers crawling out of every nook and cranny, etc. Having to plan to beat that army because it's in my meta has done some damage to my enjoyment of the game since there's nothing that beats it within Chaos that doesn't have enormous problems with other armies. We'll see what happens, change is good for the game and I hope to see plenty of it along with a few Codexes over the next few months.
Anyways, this week I played a game against Tyranids piloted by Matthew, a local who I've played a few times with quite a few different lists. I asked if he wouldn't mind testing the Hive Tyrant spam army against me but we couldn't get the bases together for proxy purposes. I didn't have time to throw a proper list together as I've been a bit out of thinking about Warhammer for most of the week so overall I was expecting a weird game.
Poxbringer (Fleshy Abundance)
Poxbringer (Shrivelling Pox)
5 Furies w/ MoN
Demon Prince w/ Malefic Talons, Barbaris Plate (Warlord w/ Revoltingly Resilient)
3 Obliterators w/ MoN
Battalion Detachment - Kronos
Neurothrope (Warlord w/ Soul Hunger) [Psychic Scream]
3 Ripper Swarms
Battalion Detachment - Behemoth
Hive Tyrant w/ Wings, Adrenal Glands, 2x Twin Devourers with Brainleech Worms
[The Horror, Psychic Scream]
Broodlord w/ The Maw-Claws of Thyrax [Catalyst]
3 Ripper Swarms
Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands
Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands
I actually like where this list is going, I know Matthew has been working on it for a bit. I'd probably drop one of the Trygon packages and replace Genestealers with Hormagaunts to just spread out and tie up whole armies, Genestealers have to roll the 9" which even with a re-roll is dicey. Then you could get a second Flyrant or something since the Broodlord isn't really doing anything. The army also gives up a lot of Secondaries pretty easily right now so some help with that goes a long way.
The Reaper, Old School, Big Game Hunter
Old School, Big Game Hunter, Behind Enemy Lines
I could tell that I was a bit out of the game from the word go, I shouldn't have chosen Old School since it'll be realy hard to kill a unit on Turn 1 through the Malanthrope, Recon or Head Hunter would have been much better. I was very surprised that Matthew took Behind Enemy Lines, that's hard to do with this Deployment and I have the models to stop him from ever getting into my backfield. Off to a solid start for both of us!
I put my Obliterators in Deep Strike while Matthew did the same with his Trygons, Genestealers, Rippers and Hive Tyrant. I then started dropping the tanks in a parking lot formation as far up the field as I could. Matthew replied with the Exocrines front and center, the Termagaunts along the flanks to keep Deep Strike out, and the Malanthrope/Neurothrope in the center. I finished with much the same formation having my Characters in the parking lot. All the Nurglings and the Furies were spread around, denying Deep Strike from everywhere but the front.
My plan for the game was to just kill stuff as it came to me and tank the Exocrines since they aren't that effective against me, wounding on 5's. I won't be able to easily get up on the Objectives because the Exocrines are on one and there's Characters to sit on the other. Epidemius can go back and hold one of mine while a tank/Nurglings can handle the other since there's not much shooting to remove them.
I won the roll for Turn 1 and decided to take it, Matthew failed to Seize the Initiative. Nearly right away I realized that I shouldn't have gone first since there's no targets that I can do anything to but when I make that kind of mistake I find it helpful to look at this as though I was forced to go first. That way I can get some experience during a situation where I didn't get the choice and was forced to take the worse outcome.
After doing some measuring to see if Advances can get me into Plaguespitter range I decided against it and just wrote off Turn 1 by moving the Crawlers forward. Most were still in range of the Demon Prince but two weren't, I also moved the forward Nurglings up a bit while keeping the no-fly zone intact. Unfortunately I should have put Slimux up further so I was barely able to put the Gnarlmaw down, I also dropped the Obliterators on the crate.
Psychically I didn't have anything to do so I just breezed through that. During Shooting I put everything into the rightmost Termagaunts, a few Heavy Sluggers had to go to the left due to LoS. I left a few Termagaunts in the right unit and overall should not have brought the Obliterators in since the Broodlord can now get to them, the comedy of errors continues on my part.
Matthew starts out his turn by moving the Termagaunts and Characters forward, the Broodlord Advancing towards the Obliterators. One unit of Rippers Deep Struck on the right Objective, the Hive Tyrant came in on my left flank while the first Trygon and his Genestealers went on the right. Catalyst went onto the Genestealers while a Crawler on the right took 3 Wounds from Smite and Psychic Scream. The Nurglings holding the Tyrant at bay also took 3 Wounds from Smite but I was able to stop The Horror.
Shooting from the Tyrant left me with one Nurgling and put 5 Wounds on a Crawler from the Exocrines, as I expected the wounding on 5's was an issue. A few Termagaunt shots also found no holes in the tanks, same with the Trygon. The Flyrant then made a Charge into the remaining Nurgling while the Genestealers got into a Crawler, losing a model, and the Broodlord got into the Obliterators and took 3 Wounds. Sadly the Trygon was left in the cold even after a re-roll.
In Combat the Flyrant bounced off the Nurglings due to having no combat weapons, the Broodlord drug down a Obliterator and did a wound to another. The Genestealers did very little to the Crawler, 2-3 Wounds, and I punched the Broodlord back for a wound. Fortunately my Nurgling passed his Morale Check, denying Matthew a kill.
With some reasonable targets in front of me I pulled the Nurgling out of Combat along with the Crawler tied up by the Genestealers and the Obiterators, the latter two being in range of the Gnarlmaw. The other tanks moved forward except the one wedged between the crates, all the Characters Advanced to prepare for next turn.
In the Psychic Phase I killed the Broodlord with a Smite and did a Wound to the Flyrant with another one but Fleshy Abundance was stopped. My Shooting Phase was all over the place, I killed off the Genestealers with numerous flamers as Catalyst really helped keep them around, I also reduced the Termagaunts more from last turn. On the left flank I killed the Hive Tyrant with one Crawlers worth of flamers, rolling five 6's was brutal. A few more Gaunts on the left died and I put the Trygon down to 2 Wounds with the Obliterators and random Mortar shots. With no Charges I passed my turn.
Matthew took a hammer blow and moved to try and counter. The damaged Trygon got within Charge range but also Overwatch range of the Plaguespitters and the other Trygon with friends dropped where the Flyrant had been. A few Mortal Wounds went onto Crawler but I stopped the Smite.
Shooting killed the Obliterators with the Trygon and one Exocrine, the other finished a tank off on the left with some great rolls and the Pathogenic Slim Strategem. The rest of the shooting did nothing to the Crawlers. Tempting the Plaguespitters the Trygon on the right died to Overwatch, the other Trygon failed his Charge (and ate two wounds) even with a re-roll but again the Genestealers made it in, losing a few models. In Combat I took one wound on a Crawler and did nothing back.
7-4 for Chaos
Keeping to my plan I backed up the Crawler, which was not in range of the Gnarlmaw, after healing the wound it took with Slimux. Since there's nothing left to Deep Strike except a unit of Rippers, which can't get Behind Enemy Lines or get onto my Objective, I started moving everything forward. One of the Crawlers on the right Advanced as the terrain was bottling me a bit.
Smite killed a few Gaunts as the Demon Prince prepared to Charge them, I also healed a tank for 1 Wound with Fleshy Abundance but Shriveling Pox was stopped. Shooting killed most of the Genestealers, leaving 5 remaining, while the Gaunts on the right were finished off and I put a few Wounds on the Trygon and Ripper Swarms.
Charges had the Furies, single Nurgling, Poxbringer, and Crawler get into the Genestealers while the Prince Charged the Gaunts on the left along with another tank, just to get it up the board. I also made a long Charge with a damaged tank into the Neurothrope and Rippers, my hope was to blow it up with the Strategem during Matthew's turn. In Combat I killed all but two Gaunts and finished the Genestealers, losing 2 Wounds on the Nurgling and one on the Poxbringer.
By now the writing is on the wall a bit, the Trygon moved to Charge the Demon Prince and go for some points while the Rippers and Neurothrope Fell Back. The last Ripper unit drops onto the left Objective to reinforce it. My Crawler dies to Psychic Scream and Smite, I blow it up intentionally and do damage to the Exocrine, Rippers, Neurothrope, and Malanthrope. I lose another tank as both the Exocrines open up and it Explodes, I re-roll it and it doesn't.
The Charge from the Trygon gets in but Matthew rolls four 1's for damage, going up to 7 Damage with a re-roll. I punch back for 6 Wounds and we stand there looking at each other.
13-9 for Chaos
Looking to put the last nail in the coffin I again push forward with everything, threatening to overrun the Tyranid backfield. I drop the Trygon with a pair of Smites and heal up a bit again. Shooting kills the last two Gaunts, all the Rippers, and the Neurothrope to max out The Reaper and get another Old School point. Matthew's also off his right Objective now whereas I have Epidemius and Slimux holding my backfield. Finally a unit of Nurglings was able to Charge the Malanthrope and tag one of the Exocrines, at that point Matthew conceded.
During his last turn it's likely the Tyranids would Fall Back and the remaining Exocrine would put a few Wounds on a tank, then I'd tie up or kill everything over Turn 5-6 to get kill more and Last Strike/Linebreaker. Overall the Points wouldn't have been super far apart despite what's a bit of a one-sided game towards the end.
On both sides this game was pretty sloppy, I started off poorly by going first and taking the wrong Secondaries, I also needed to reign my advance in a bit or put Slimux more forward as there were a few instances of me losing shooting. However I was able to execute my plan and I knew that the Exocrines just weren't good enough to really hurt the Crawlers, I don't like them overall and prefer the Acid Spray or Rupture Cannon Tyrannofex, they have a weird overlap.
Matthew had a bit too much Deep Strike as I thought and it was easy to bubble him out. Normally I wouldn't run this much chaff, like I said I threw this together, but even without it I think the game would be much the same. Trygons also have Str7 which is not cutting it although I certainly should have lost my Demon Prince.
Having read through the Thousand Sons Codex I'm really excited to use Ahriman, he's probably the best toolbox model in the game and a better fighter than a Sorcerer, all for +35pts. There's also rumors that Soup Armies are going away in March or will be greatly diminished which would make me so happy. Personally it would hurt me since I've invested heavily in Chaos but it'd be so good for the game that I'd happily deal with it. Until then I'll just spam boring Plagueburst Crawlers because I can't find anything good in Chaos that beats them. If you can't beat them, join them.