Monday, August 1, 2011

Dr. Chaosbugs, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love Tyranids.

More of my sweet Photoshop skills... and just a little bit creepy.
Hey all, Chaosheade here again to regale you with another Tale of Interest.  This is a story of war, of passion, of love and hate, of joy and sorrow, of frustration and satisfaction.  This is a story of the relationship between a Heretic and a strange alien life form from another galaxy whose sole purpose is to consume biomass.  This is a story all about how my life got flip- what?  I already did the Fresh Prince thing?  Oh... well... I guess I'll just get to it then.

Well, it's a new month and about time for me to get off my lazy procrastinating butt, then sit that butt down at the computer and get back to blogging.  July has been all kinds of crazy this year.  Good crazy, bad crazy, crazy busy, crazy fun, and just plain old certifiably insane crazy *boring details omitted*.  I mentioned in my last post that M4X came home to visit for a few weeks but it had to end sometime and now he has left and abandoned us again, leaving me alone to cry myself to sleep at night.  On the positive side, I have more free time for hobbying, woo. *half hearted cheer*  If only I could have my cake and eat it too.

If you've been following the blog for a while you will already know that I temporarily abandoned took a hiatus from my Chaos roots, surrendered myself to the Hive Mind and began slaving away for several months preparing my Tyranids army.  If not, then you know now.  More recently I was experiencing some hobby fatigue due to the lack of progress that I have been making for several reasons.  Just as I began to despair, I decided to throw some of my models together quickly using blue-tac so I could actually play a game with them.  Picking up my Chaos Marines and playing the first game of 40k since last year and it helped rejuvenate my passion for the hobby somewhat, but playing with my blue-tacked hodge-podge "throw together any list I can with what models I have" Tyranid army was almost a religious experience.  It was the most fun I've had playing 40k and made me truly appreciate my Tyranids.  Since I started reading about them I really liked all the fun things they could do and the overall fluff and aesthetics of the army but actually putting some models on the table and playing a game was cathartic.

M4X, my brother and I got quite a few games in, Chaos vs Crons, Nids vs Crons, Nids and Chaos vs Crons and vanilla marines, Nids and marines vs Crons and every one was a blast.  I mostly played my null deployment Nids and there were quite a few highlights including every time my 20 devilgants dropped in and showered my enemies with wormy death, many near-disasters and a few real disasters with scatter dice that gave me a reason to hate them, as well as a great deal of respect for the amount of havoc a Doom of Malantai can wreak on a footslogging army.

Some lessons I learned:

  • 20 Devilgants in a pod dropping in and unloading 60 shots is just as much fun as I thought it would be even if they have wet TP for armor and drop like flies, and I really want to make a tervigon to help support them and poop out more gants.  
  • As for scatter dice, I found out that they don't like me much.  One game looked like it would be a total disaster with almost every single deep strike scatter roll sending everything in strange directions that I did not want to go in, but I was saved when my non-scatter dice caught fire and laid waste to everything to make up for it.  I was a good thing my spore pods and trygon could deep strike safely as long as they did not go off the board or I would have lost a lot of units, and my Flyrant was destroyed in one game and sent off into the far corner in another game and my blast weapons tended to miss their target about 9 times out of 10.  No more HVC for Mr. Flyrant, I'm running twin devourers from now on!  
  • Another harsh lesson that M4X learned the hard way: dropping a Doom in the middle of a foot slogging army is just plain nasty.  Even with Ld 10, one bad roll or a few mediocre ones can easily bring the doom up to insta-gib strength that does not play well with We'll Be Back and makes it *really* tough to take the sucker down with limited Str 8+ weapons.  Having 10 wounds and a 3+ invulnerable save is tough to chew through and several times soaked up an entire turn of shooting without dying just to gain the wounds back again in the next shooting phase.  As devastating (and fun) as the Doom can be, it really is hit or miss and against mechanized armies I will have to be much less brazen with it.  
  • Genestealers are fun, especially Ymargl stealers.  They died almost every single game but they tore through plenty of enemies before biting the big one.  Outflanking isn't always reliable so I even tried podding in some normal stealers and it still worked pretty well since there were lots of other threats on the table for my opponents to contend with.
  • I like Tyranids!  
I want to get some gargoyles, but $29 for 80 points worth of models says they can wait.
So that's how I learned to stop worrying about all the obstacles ahead of me and all the tedious work I would have to put into the army to make everything perfect and learned to love every minute spent with my little gribblies even if it's tedious work like removing mold lines, because it is all worth it in the end.  I never had this kind of experience with Chaos Marines thanks to the state of the current codex.  I love the models and the game but the connection just wasn't there.  The last few weeks were pretty inspirational for me and hopefully our readers will find the story more inspirational than boring.  I've gotten back to work on Hive Fleet Balor and my current project is making some nice cheap spore pods so expect a tutorial on that coming up sometime soon(tm).  Catch you on the flip side.

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