I was fresh off the boat (ferry) from Vancouver and itching for a truly competitive game as the first day of Gottacon got underway on Saturday. My competitive request was answered in the form of double flying Hive Tyrants, triple Tyrannocytes filled with gaunts, and a huuuuuge Harridan. I'm used to not judging Warhammer models on size and instead looking at stats, but with Toughness 8 and 8 Wounds in a Super Heavy Flying format I didn't think there was much of a threat from my few Assault Cannons. Putting out twelve Strength 10 shots per turn made things difficult to say the least!
The Mission was Eternal War: Crusade, with four objectives. I have less experience with "end of game" scoring missions as my list is designed around the new Tactical Objectives, so I did my best to stay out of sight near the heavier terrain while keeping my Attack Bike in reserve for later game.
The Harridan kicked things off and soared over the battlefield, pumping all it could into the Land Raider. Not even Night Fighting could save the big metal box, and my carefully crafted Captain/Inquisitor/Librarian trio bundled out amid the loss of a four Hull Point Armour 14 for First Blood! The rest of the Tyranids re-positioned, including a Venomthrope lurking around their Deployment Zone, and the Flyrants knocked out the Razorback containing the Tactical Marines.
In return the Blood Angels shambled forward doing minimal damage, though the Furioso smoked the Venomthrope using it's Frag Cannon, whilst the Drop Pod scattered just outside Linebreaker range. Damn...
Things turned for the worse as the rest of the gaunts arrived, trapping the Assault Marines in the Rhino and prevented them from disembarking. A few more shots from the un-challenged Flyrants stripped Hull Points from the Ball Predator and Imperial Knight, though the Blood Angels on foot largely survived any further damage from the gaunts and newly arrived Tyrannocyte spores.
The Furioso made it to cover by mid-game directly under an objective, while the Captain and Veteran Sergeant with a Power First made a mess of the gaunts and a Tyrannocyte thanks to various bonuses confered by the Inquisitor's Liber Heresius, Rad Grenades, and the Blood Angels Strike Force's Furios Charge. The Tactical Marines elected to fire into the other gaunts, whittling them down, while the Imperial Knight positioned itself between the three remaining objectives in support of the Scouts.
It was at this point the Warlord Flyrant's Fighter Ace rules came into their own, allowing it to re-deploy as part of ongoing reserves right on top of an objective. Forcing the Imperial Knight to place it's Ion Shield to defend against the Harridan's S10 shots, a few glances from the Flyrant's S6 weaponry was enough to send the Mechanicum's finest tumbling to the ground. The last Tyrranocyte deployed near the Scouts, sealing their fate and securing another objective.
The red-armoured warriors were buoyed by the arrival of the Attack Bike who turbo-boosted across the left flank in the hope of securing Linebreaker, while the rest of the army stayed out of sight. The Scouts charged out of their cover to prevent the gaunts reaching the objective, but were cut down thanks to some lethal rolling in the Overwatch phase of combat! The Harridan switched to a more maneuverable flying mode and made short work of the Attack Bike in an almost comical match up.
The Furioso was gripped by battle rage and charged out to shield the Warlord from the Harridan, with predictable results. With the Tyranids holding three of the four objectives and only three models remaining for the Blood Angels the game was called, and the first tournament outing for 7th Edition a brutal reminder of how drastically the game has changed in the past few editions. Here's hoping the next few games would be less heavy on the Super Heavies...