Thursday, June 11, 2009

Astro-mini-con Game 3 - Sink The Baneblade!

The third and final game of the tournament was against Chris' balanced Tyranid force:

Winged Hive Tyrant w/ TL Devourers
9 x Warriors w/ 8 Deathspitters and 1 Venom Cannon
32 x Termagaunts
9 x Genestealers
9 x Genestealers
Zoanthrope w/ Warp Blast
Carnifex w/ T7, W5 and Scything Talons

The big bugs had their upgrades mounted with magnets, so they were very customizable. Cool!

It was a kill point game; whoever scored the most enemy units would win. The third party, a Baneblade super-heavy tank, was of the Apocalypse variety, and was worth 3 kps, one for each structure point. There were rules for how it would move and how each of its guns would target and shoot enemies, so it would attack either side. The Baneblade could score kps as well. Theoretically, the Baneblade could win the game!

The table was fairly open on the western half,where the Baneblade started. The eastern half of the table was basically a ruined city.

Both sides could only set up Troops on the table; everything else was in reserve. The Swordwind went second, so I declined to set up anything; the Spiders would deep strike, and everyone else was mounted up. The Termagaunts and Genestealers set up in the ruined city, mostly out of LOS of the Baneblade.

Not much happened early in the game, except for a Termagaunt dying to a shot from the Baneblade.

The Hive Tyrant and the Zoanthrope showed up - they could do some damage to the big tank. The Swordwind rolled hot on reserves, and everybody except the Autarch and one Dire Avengers squad showed up. The Prism and Brightlance armed Wave Serpent moved on to take pot shots. The Banshees' Serpent moved flat out to capstone the other vehicles,shielding them from Tyranid fire. With 12" move and 2" disembark, the Fire Dragons would be within the 6" Melta range of the supertank. The following photo shows the results of movement and deep striking, just before the Fire Dragons disembarked from the right-most transport.

Despite missing 3 times (curse those 1's and 2's!), the Dragons managed to pull off a Structure Point and kill the heavy bolters facing them. Fire from the rest of the army, including a focused shot from the Fire Prism, managed to slow it down and shut down some more guns, but only for a turn.

Score: Baneblade 0, Swordwind 1, Tyranids 0

The Baneblade's return fire was devastating for both the Dragons and their transport. This photo basically says it all:

We borrowed a crater from another part of the battlefield to illustrate the carnage. Note to self - bring extra craters for exploded vehicles.

At least the Dragons died doing what they loved to do, with their faces to the enemy. However, with 2 kp's to its credit the Baneblade was winning the game!

Score: Baneblade 2, Swordwind 1, Tyranids 0

The Genestealers started pushing their way into the ruined cityscape. If they could get to the Eldar deployment zone, they could score another battle point for the tournament. Nothing much else happened in the Tyranid turn.

The other Avenger squad showed up. Their transport moved in behind a wrecked building content to hunker down for awhile. The rest of the Swordwind poured on the fire, resulting in several stun results, a destroyed lascannon and another structure point. Not enough! The Tyranid general was within charge reach of the super-heavy.

Score: Baneblade 2, Swordwind 2, Tyranids 0

The Baneblade was unable to damage the Hive Tyrant, who proceeded to pull off its Demolisher Cannon and tear off the left side tread, immobilizing it. However, the Tyrant couldn't manage to strike deeper into the tank's structure.

The Tyranid warriors failed to show up again, no doubt engaging in serious dialogue about the galaxy-wide economic downturn.

The Farseer Doomed the Tyrant, anticipating that it would be the next big threat. The Banshee's Serpent moved slightly north, getting an angle on the Tyrant. Its fire put a wound on the big bug.

The Autarch had also finally showed up. His meltagun was within 6", so he let loose a blast of superheated plasma. That shot penetrated the already weakened armour, destroying the tank, taking its last kill point, and wiping out its score of 2.

Score: Swordwind 3, Tyranids 0

The Tyranid Warriors and the Carnifex finally showed up to the party. The Tyranids poured fire into the Howling Banshee transport, managing to immobilize it. The Hive Tyrant leaped over the hulk of the dead supertank, and blazed away at the Autarch, who was busy congratulating himself on his marksmanship. The Autarch died, his armour unable to hold up to the dozen wounds inflicted upon him.

Score: Swordwind 3, Tyranids 1

Now was the time for the Farseer to focus her psychic energy on the Tyrant, and unleash the full might of the Swordwind. She of course proceeded to screw up her psychic test, rolling an "11". Both Avenger squads dismounted. Everyone with LOS poured fire into the Tyrant, managing only another wound from a Bright Lance. The Warp Spiders used their second jump to move closer to the Tyrant. It would have to deal with them, otherwise their S6 guns might cause a lot of damage.

The Genestealer squads both made it within 12" of the Eldar table edge. The Zoanthrope tried a shot against the immobilized Banshee Serpent, but the psychic bug failed to penetrate the vehicle's energy field. The Warriors were too far away to charge, and their fire failed to do anything of note. The Banshees contemplated making tea. The Tyrant shot at then charged the Warp Spiders, wiping them out.

As the game wound down due to time, the Eldar forces buttoned up. The Farseer advanced to pick up the spirit stones of the fallen Autarch and Warp Spiders. Whatever units could fire did so, but the bug general's carapace was proof against their shots.

Chris was amazed. The ONLY model the Tyranids lost all game was that one Termagaunt. Meanwhile, the Eldar had lost about 25% of their entire force.

Final Score: Swordwind 3, Tyranids 2, a close but clear Eldar Victory!

Throughout the day, other scoring for the tournament went on. The judges scored army painting over the lunch hour break. The participants voted for the Best Single Miniature and Best Army. Each player scored their opponent's Sportsmanship each game. As games ended, the Sportsmanship and Battle scores were given to the judges, for them to assign opponent and table match ups in a Swiss style system.

The final results were posted here.

I was fortunate enough to win the Best Overall prize, and I won a free boxed set of Eldar Harlequins. Much thanks to Mark and the local GW store, Christian and Keith representing Astro, and to my opponents, who made for a great day of gaming.

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