The Hive Fleet Prevails
Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! In this week’s article I’m going to discuss my performance with the Tyranids and Genestealer Cults list (https://downunderpairings.com/ArmyList.php?ArmyID=32989) that I took down to Melbourne to play in the Victorian Team Championships, I will visit my matchups, how I felt walking into each game, any problems I encountered and sum up if the list corresponded with what I predicted in the pairings process as well as on the table. If you want to reach the first two parts of this series, they can be found right here!
Heading into round one we started off with a match up I originally wasn’t so confident walking into especially being hammer and anvil deployment. I was playing against a Death Guard army that included triple Plague Burst Crawlers, an anvil of blightlord terminators and a couple of storm cannon leviathan dreads. This game was made to be considerably more difficult playing on a table full of ruins that were attached to large bases and windows on all bottom floors, this meant when I would make use of the general strategy to try and neuter primary whilst staying hidden was going to be almost impossible, so I had no choice but to accept I would suffer a large number of casualties if I was to commit to preventing him from scoring primary and putting a stop to his advancement up the table. After my opponent had revealed his secondaires it had confirmed exactly how I wanted to lay out this game, my opponent chose, While We Stand, Spread the Sickness and Domination. The secondaires I chose for this game were, Raise the banners, Domination and psychic Ritual. Now, usually Psychic Ritual is incredibly risky to take, but with this list I was confident in my ability to score it by moving my broodlord towards the centre, performing the psychic action and using the Swarmlord to then move back to safety. Abusing the lack of movement in this list as well as utilising the “undermine” spell from the patriarch I was able to really hinder his ability to not only score primary but also the secondaries he chose. This game ended in a win for the nids at 83-41 keeping his primary to a total of 20.
Round 2 was set to be a much harder round, unfortunately our team fell slightly short in this one and we walked away with out only loss, though I managed to catch their Raven Guard list in the champion role through the pairings which is exactly what we were after. Going into this one I was very confident I would be able to bring back a big score for our boys based on the back of the blips preventing Raven Guard from being able to perform any sort of alpha strike. The mission was battle lines and after my opponent had picked their secondaries I was convinced I had this game wrapped up. My opponent chose, Banners, Grind them down and Domination. My secondaries were, Domination, Scramblers and mental Interrogation. In this game I was looking to force the Vanguard vets to commit for primary as early as possible as the bigger stealer units fighting twice would definitely trade well on them. If I could remove the speed and counter punch capabilities early from his list I knew the scoring would spiral out of control in the late game. The nids notched a second win on their belt walking away from this one with a 79-21 point win.
Round 3 was looking quite grim, I was up against Grey Knights with a brick of Paladins and Terminators, backed up by the usual support characters and a number of rhinos that were good for setting up screens and giving his edict target (the strikes) multiple options to move back into. I went into this game knowing it wasn’t a great match up for me as this list had all the tools to handle my usual strategy and being Grey Knights it isn’t possible to play a cagey passive game purely because of astral aim. Being a Grey Knights player myself I know that if you don’t have the ability to kill them there is no way you can hold them off into the late game, so I went into this purely focussing on restricting his ability to score early game points as best I can, My opponent made the mistake of taking banners which would normally be a solid choice in a 6 objective mission with two being close to your deployment zone, though because I was already set on going hard early in the game that secondary pick played right into my strategy. Using the multiple sources of double moves, and pre game moves from the scout sentinels I was able to hold the Grey Knights to a total of 25 primary (he was going second) and made it extremely difficult to score banners. I took Domination, Banners and Assassinate. I did not expect to score very well on assassinate but I knew it would impact how he used his characters and his Terminator and Paladin bricks as they would want to play more of a defender role around his important characters. The final score was 81-43, and I managed to score 9 on assassinate, and hold him to 10 on while we stand and 2 on banners.
Well that brings us to round 4, In this game I was in for one hell of a grind where an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. That’s right, The Silver Tide! I was up against 60 warriors, 27 scarabs, 3 tomb spyders and an assortment of characters, The mission was Vital Intelligence so I went into this one accepting that it was going to be hard to stop this list from scoring well early as I knew it was going to take me a few turns to start getting through the numbers. When my opponent picked Treasures of aeons I knew this was my chance to really set the tone of the game and entice him into wanting to play all over the table, So two of the objectives I picked were the two opposite corner objectives, I knew this would force him to want to split and play all over the table leaving parts of the army isolated and much easier for me to handle. The approach I took in this game in regards to secondaries was slightly different to the usual, I chose engage on all fronts over domination as it was a easier way to rack up points without committing units near some of the objectives which really played into how I wanted to pick on my opponents isolated units rather than play across the entire table. Early game I was able to hit the top left hand side of the table really hard with majority of the genestealers and because of how my opponent approached this game with his secondary choices and early game board positioning it was really difficult for him to respond to my early pressure effectively and it cascaded from there once the Metamorphs arrived I then started to really push the necrons back and was able to lock away the scoring. So round 4 a solid win to the Tyranids, 77-40. Heading into round 5 the Nids were performing as I had hoped and were having great impact on the pairings, keeping some of the more fragile, high damage army builds too scared to come out early in case they were to catch the Tyranids. Outside of the pairings impact, the ability to really restrict your opponent’s ability to score primary was really starting to shine, a lot of the current army builds are not built to protect themselves from a constant and fast threat applying pressure to multiple objectives that they are controlling.
That brings us to round 5, the finale. In this game I had the pleasure of playing one of Victoria’s up and coming players that has been showing promise throughout the edition. He was piloting Harlequins and the mission was Priority Targets, normally I would have felt quite confident coming into a harlequins match up but this list had a couple of tech choices that was going to make this a little more awkward to handle along with the mission allowing the harlequins to naturally score quite well being a hold one for 5 points in primary and an easy mission secondary choice to fall back on. I won the roll for first turn which I knew was going to make this that much more difficult, because as most of us know Harlequins with the bottom of turn with how primary is scored in turn 5 is very difficult to stop. The secondaries I chose were, the mission secondary, Domination and Deploy Scramblers. My opponent took, while we stand, domination and the mission secondary. Based on these choices I absolutely had to win primary or this was going to be a losing game, so similar to my game against the Grey Knights, I didn’t hold back on restricting that ability to score primary throughout the early game. I managed to keep the Harlequins to; 5 on turn 2, 0 on turns 3 and 4 and naturally he had enough in the tank to net himself the 15 on turn 5. All in all, I was very happy to keep the Harlequins to a 20 for primary and that only gets stronger if I have the bottom of turn. Playing aggressively early played well into my secondary choices making it easy to score domination but also forcing him to screen and move in a way he may not have wanted whilst trying to protect himself from the Tyranids being able to strip him of primary, this allowed me to comfortably score my scramblers. There wasn’t much left on the table for the nids by the end of the game as the indirect from two night spinners started to take its toll, however the game was sealed through the mid-game. Victory Tyranids, 75-57.
All in all, incredibly happy with how the army performed, all the tech choices were relevant in at least one round and the emphasis on the ability to restrict primary scoring and board control was a real winner against all the factions I played against. There is a few I would have loved to play against with this list being most sisters armies and a number of the drukhari lists as I believe I had all the tools to handle drukhari and the appropriate tools for sisters to not want to play against my list which was clear when doing pairings. Great start for the Hive Mind smashing through its first event with a 5-0 record. There’s another team event coming up in a couple of weeks in which the Tyranids will be making another appearance! stay tuned to see what may be tunneling it’s way to the surface for the next one.