I played in a standard format 1500 point tournament today at Ninja Pirates. They've been pretty quick to jump in and fill the tournament void (in North Austin at least) with the recent loss of Thor's Hammer just before the Hardboyz Regionals (I should have a late report for that one up in the next day or two).
I took my barely painted Tyranids - dakka tyrant with scream, fatlord with retinue, three squads of ten carapace stealers, three zopes with blast and scream, a fex with talons and tusks, and a sniperfex with a venom cannon and strangler. The combat fex was pretty much worthless the entire game and will have to be swapped out for a second shooty fex at a later date. The scream choir did a few cool things here and there but overall it didn't work well on the particular opponents I drew. I think the dakka tyrant needs wings to be more effective; though it will bring him down to a 3+ save and I'll have to cut 15 points somewhere else, wings will make him much more mobile and dangerous. That being said, without wings he still got his points back in every game today. On his worst round of shooting he inflicted eight saves on one unit. Only eight! I drew three agreeable opponents, played three fun games, and won second place out of 15 or so.
Trent had a pretty mixed Wolf army: wolf priest, venerable dreadnought, wolf scouts, one squad of grey hunters, two squads of rhino'd blood claws, an exterminator, and a land raider. It was the wolf priest that first stymied psychic scream today, as whenever the tyrant or carnifex would shoot up a squad of marines he was always nearby with the blasted fang of Morkai to ignore the subsequent leadership test. I still think he's overpriced for what he does (give him honor of the chapter and litanies of hate already!), but in this game he kept two squads hanging around almost forever and essentially negated 40 of my wargear points. Later I think he polished off the last wound on the assault fex just to prove that he could, the bastard. Early on I tied up the grey hunters and one blood claws squad with the broodlord and his buddies, while everyone else swarmed the middle to grab objective points. They didn't make much of a dent in the hunters but I think it might have distracted him from getting to the center for several turns afterwards. The exterminator earned its name first turn and took out half of one of the stealer squads, but a glancing 6 from one of the zoanthropes blew it up in the third turn. The punchy fex jumped out of the middle to destroy an oncoming rhino full of blood claws, destroying it and pinning the squad for a while. When they regrouped and jumped a zoanthrope, a squad of stealers rended them all to death before they could even strike back. In the end I had two stealer squads and the sniperfex holding the middle against his venerable dread. Tyranids win, solid victory.
I had faced Joseph before at the Citywide this year, when I was playing guard against his chaos. Now we were pitted into a patrol mission - bugs on bugs FTW. I was a little nervous to see that he had much faster and scythier (?) army than mine: broodlord and retinue, two flying warrior squads, a big line of hormagaunts, and two big genestealer squads. Once again, psychic scream was worth next to nothing. I tried to play my strengths and take advantage of the fact that I had the only guns in the game, setting up most of my units on the flanks and in cover where possible. At first I think he was going to split his force to come after me, but he took some early shooting casualties from my heavily armed right and soon started a conga line with everyone moving back towards my left flank. It was there that two squads of genestealers held off a 32-strong hormagaunt squad and four flying warriors inside a set of ruined fortifications (the "roach motel"). On the third turn, they charged into the forwardmost squad and lost eight of their number right off the bat. They hit back with 72 attacks but only generated five unsaved wounds! Though I had begun the game playing for a draw, I started to think I might have a real chance at pulling out a win. Then his gaunts piled in and engaged a second stealer squad nearby, and over the next few turns my two units slowly ripped the 350 point squad to shreds, fending off a nasty slicey warrior squad that tried to jump in to help. There were only four of my stealers left at the end but neither squad had been entirely wiped out and the enemy roaches had been repelled! The motel was mine! Elsewhere, the hive tyrant and carnifex shot down one of his genestealer squads that had made an isolated dash into my deployment zone, pinning them for two turns until they had all been killed. The zoanthropes also got some more shooting in, and by the last turn only his broodlord team and the second warrior squad were left alive. Tyranids win (me), victorious slaughter.
Me and Jay are starting to have something of a rivalry now, as this was the second time we ended up in the top bracket, the second (extremely entertaining) ground-out draw, and the second occasion I've grabbed second place from him by a very small margin. He had Belial and a command squad deployed in a land raider crusader, three squads of five terminators (one deep striking), and a plasma cannon dreadought. While my broodlord and 28 genestealers streaked across on the undefended right side, I left the zopes, carnifexes, one squad of stealers, and the hive tyrant on the left to try to repel his entire army. He had some great rending rolls and the fexes went down fairly early, but not before one of them took his dreadnought out with a glancing six from a venom cannon. The zoanthropes immobilized the land raider, ejecting the command squad but not pinning them (fearless!). Belial and the boys charged in and laid the zoanthropes low. Then for nearly three turns they engaged in a 10-yard stare-off in the middle of cover with a stealer squad, neither unit wanting to charge and go second. The Hive Tyrant moved just close enough to hit Belial and only one of his retinue, and of the eight 2+ saves Jay had to take, he failed four and Belial and his buddy were killed! Amazing. The various terminator squads returned fire, leaving him just barely alive enough to stagger over and kill three more terminators in the command squad! Their once fearsome opponents reduced to a man, the genestealers pounced and killed the remaining model. Then they jumped out, tried to stop one of his other terminator squads from moving into my deployment zone, but could not finish the job and bring them below scoring. It was a draw points-wise, but I had two more units achieving the recon objective than Jay did, and I think that's how I ended up placing above him overall. It was a great game to end the day.