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Goth Girls Gone Wild!
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Goth Girls Gone
Wild!--Battle #1 by
Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore
The planet of Chult is an unsettled world with approximately two-thirds of its land mass covered in dense jungle foliage. Temperatures range from 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 95-110 degrees in the summer. Chult has no known indigenous flora or fauna harmful to humans; however, Imperial records indicate that the planet was occupied in the past by the Kurindans, a hostile race of lizard-like beings.Kurindans (1001 points) by Kenton Kilgore
This was to be the second game I had ever played with my Kurindans (Lizardmen figures using Tyranid rules) and Pat was similarly inexperienced with his Sisters of Battle. Fortunately, each army was only 1000 points, and we decided to take the game slow and make sure we remembered and got right all the various rules for our forces.
As I built this list, I bore in mind that, according to our campaign’s ground rules, I would have to use it to build armies for subsequent battles: whatever I took in this game I would have to bring in others, adding on more units, brood members, or biomorphs, but never subtracting anything.
I was also conscious of the fact that I hadn’t played a 1000-point battle in…years, actually. Usually, the smallest battle I play is 1500 points. As I’ve discussed before, when I build an army, I try to include:
This would ultimately turn out to be a Very Bad Thing.
Sister of Mercy
by Patrick Eibel
Because Pat had set up, I chose the side I wanted. I won the roll to determine deployment zones and chose corner deployment, figuring that it would easier to get troops across the board (as discussed in the Master-crafted 40K series).
The Patrol mission starts with one unit of Troops from each side deployed and all others in reserve. I deployed my twelve-strong unit of Genestealers (henceforth known as Genestealer Brood #1) at the top corner of my deployment zone and, out of sheer habit, put them in some nice, safe cover. Ordinarily, this is a sound tactic, but it was unnecessary in this scenario against this foe. Why? Because the longest range weapons a Battle Sister Squad can take are bolters and storm bolters, both with a “mere” 24" range: had my Stealers been out in the open, they still would have been in no danger. Pat put Battle Sister Squad Piete at the top corner of his deployment zone and we rolled to see who would go first. Pat won and elected to go second.
“You know,” I said to him, “this is how this battle is going to go: four turns of maneuvering, and two turns of carnage.”
And that’s precisely how it went.
On Pat’s turn, his Canoness, her Celestian retinue, and the Retributors came on the board and hunkered down in the corner, waiting for my Kurindans to arrive.
On Pat’s turn, Sisters of Battle Squads Clemance and Croyance come on and crammed themselves into the corner with Pat’s other squads.
On Pat’s turn, the Sisters concentrated their fire on Genestealer Brood #1, which had moved up in anticipation of making a charge the following round. The Retributors and three Battle Squads unloaded, killing 8 out of 10—thank the gods for cover saves vs. those heavy bolters! The two survivors were in Synapse range and did not need to make Leadership checks to avoid falling back.
In the Assault Phase, Battle Squad Clemance countercharged the Hormagaunts. The Celestians failed to invoke The Passion but Clemance succeeded in using Hand of the Emperor. The Hormagaunts killed one Celestian but lost 10 to the Canoness and the two squads. The weedy little Kurindans attempted to flee but were caught and gunned down.
The two survivors of Genestealer Brood #1 charged the Celestians, who attempted but failed Hand of the Emperor. The Kurindans killed five and the others piled in to continue the fight.
In Pat’s turn,
Battle Squad Croyance rallied. Squads Piete and Revanche opened fire on
Genestealer Brood #2, wiping them out. Croyance charged the remnants of
Genestealer Brood #1; Croyance and the Celestians succeeded in each invoking
of the Martyr and Hand of the Emperor. Though the Kurindans
managed to kill one Celestian, Canoness Marian Tressant hacked down the
last two members of the brood, and the game was over.
by Patrick Eibel
At the start of this battle, I considered what I knew about the mission and my opponent’s forces, and used that knowledge to develop a battle plan (okay, not rocket science, but bear with me). First, in the Patrol mission, each player would start with one Troop selection on the board, while everything else would be held in reserve. I surmised that Kenton would start with a unit of Genestealers because a) they do not need a Synapse creature around to keep from being Instinctive, b) they are slightly less fleet than Hormagaunts and would benefit from starting on the board, and c) with extended carapace, they are better able to withstand a couple rounds of shooting.
I also expected him to take at least one Lictor to help with the Reserve rolls (gotta love that Pheromone Trail!). With the rest of his units coming on from reserve, I knew that the mission would basically be about speed vs. distance. I would need to keep the Kurindans away from my battle line and maximize my ability to shoot them.
In considering what additional units Kenton would bring, I considered whether he would have any Monstrous Creatures. In a 1,000-point battle, I deduced, it was unlikely that there would be a Hive Tyrant (Tyranid Warriors are more cost effective) or Carnifex (mobility issues and line of sight would be problematic with the jungle terrain). That meant I could expect some Tyranid Warriors and at least one Zoanthrope to provide Synapse coverage and/or fire support.
So, if what I suspected were true, how best to play out the battle? I knew that one of the Battle Sister squads with three storm bolters would be best to start on the board, as once Kenton’s units were within 24 inches, I would be able to unleash 13 shots on anything approaching. If he started with Genestealers, I could start 19 to 24 inches away and still not be in close combat until Turn Two.
The issue came down to support. I knew sightlines would be bad (hence no need to bring an Exorcist), so I focused my efforts on creating a firebase within six inches of my board edge. This would force Kenton’s units to cross the entire board to get to me, while I merely had to hold my ground and shoot. Not brilliant, I know, but effective.
My plan worked flawlessly as I nearly perfectly predicted Kenton’s army list and was able to really create a killing ground in a 12" perimeter around my deployment zone. Any assault that was levied against my battle line was dealt with by massed support, and the bulk of his force was held at bay.
Kenton is mad
at himself for the tactical error with firing the Zoanthrope; certainly,
the game would have turned much differently had the second unit of Genestealers
reached close combat. Fortunately in a campaign, you always have the next
game to try and redeem yourself. And with another 500 points added to our
list, there will be more variables for me to consider.
by Kenton Kilgore
For four turns, I had patiently slunk my Lizardmen forward, denying Pat’s Sisters any meaningful shots, as I readied for the “two turns of carnage” I knew would occur at the end of the game. At the game ended, so did my patience. Though I knew there was the possibility that if the Zoanthrope hit Squad Croyance they might break and fall back, leaving Genestealer Brood #2 with no targets to assault, I went for it anyway. Between the mediocre Ballistic Skill of Zoats (3) and the high Leadership of Sisters (9, with a Veteran Superior), I thought the chance of me tagging them and them fleeing was very, very small (we won’t even mention the anti-psyker Shield of Faith rule [page 18 of Codex: Witch Hunters] that all Sisters enjoy).
Nevertheless, it did happen, and in one fell swoop, I lost the game. I cannot relay to you just how absolutely furious I was at myself. Even now, just thinking about it makes me want to break something.
I try to console myself with the thought that this was, as I’ve mentioned, my second game playing Tyranids. As with the “Hulloooo, Zeeba Neighba” game, I had to deal with Reserve rolls that kept my Hormagaunts—supposedly the lead element of my attack—off the board and starting from the table edge instead of the border of my deployment zone. I did remember all the funky Tyranid rules: the Move Through Cover rule (3d6 for difficult terrain), the Synapse rules for Warriors, the Fleet of Claw for Hormies and Genestealers, the hoopy Pheromone Trail for the Lictor. Discounting the Lictor (who unfortunately come on from reserves too soon and had the unenviable job of jumping ten power-armored foes with Faith Points all by his lonesome), Pat had killed all of one Kurindan by the start of Turn 5.
But none of that mattered when it counted. When it counted, I took a stupid risk I didn’t need to take and I threw away victory. Pat graciously offered to replay the game, but I declined: it wouldn’t be fair to him and it would be dishonest to you Jungle visitors.
Okay. Setting aside the game-losing potshot, I think I would have been better served by leaving the Elite Warriors and the Zoat back in the carrying case and bringing more Troops. In assembling my 3000-point Tyranid collection, I’ve been concerned about maintaining Synapse, but I may have been going about it the wrong way. I’ve concentrated on numbers of Synapse creatures but not on having them in the right place at the right time. Take this game: I had eight Synapse critters (seven Warriors and a Zoat) on the board, yet my Hormagaunts still wound up out of range when it counted and were hacked down.
Seeing as how the rules of the campaign dictate that we can only add to what we’ve already used, not subtract, I’m stuck with the Warriors I brought this battle. For the next fight, I’ll spend the extra 500 points on more guys (Genestealers or Hormagaunts or both) and on giving the Elite Warriors the Leaping biomorph so that they can hopefully ride herd better on the little guys.
down 4 Campaign Points to 1, it’s still early. Pat is up by a touchdown,
but there’s still a lot of football left to be played….
Posted: June 2006
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