Since the ownership of the friendly local gaming store changed hands roughly a year ago, it’s been a much more welcoming place for my friends and I to play our tabletop games. It started off with a brief Necromunda campaign that I was running for about 10 of us. That lasted a good few months, playing mostly on a Wednesday night, as that’s the night that is set aside for the veteran/older gamers to play without the youngsters around. It’s a really good atmosphere and the guys there are a delight to play. You don’t get anyone having a strop about rules or taking things too seriously. It’s just a bunch of mates throwing some dice and causing some miniature scale bloodshed.
A few months back we had our first W40K tournament. It was set at 1000pts fully painted. It was great fun and despite not placing in the top 3 (of about 12-14 players in total) I think I did alright in it (I’ll go into my army in more detail in a future post). After that tournament I was chatting to mates about it, and we were trying to think what to do for the next one. I decided that for the next tournament I was going to take a random army, decided by a dice roll. And I went through with it! The dice had spoken and my next army was going to be Tyranids! This was an interesting, if daunting, opportunity as I had never played them before, their codex hadn’t been updated all that long ago and I’d only painted a small force of them before just for something to do.
So off to the shop I went. Grabbed a copy of the Codex and set my task of learning, building and (hopefully) effectively using a Tyranid army. To be honest I was a bit out of my comfort zone. The biggest shock to the system was the lack of power armour. I’ve mostly played Space Marine armies in the past, with their lovely, reassuring +3 armour save. Now I was going to be using a army whose basic troops only have a +6 armour save. Most weapons in the game have sufficient armour penetration that even the measly 1/6 chance of not dying is denied. This is pretty scary stuff!
But over the 3 month gap between the two tournaments I glued, swore at awkward metal models while assembling them, painted (Dear Lord, did I paint. 78 individual termagaunts by the end, and these were just my grunt forces) and play tested until I was happy with my army list (the list will be talked about in more detail in a future post).
The 5th of June came around, the tournament was upon us and the weather was glorious, which didn’t actually benefit us at all! Top floor of a 3 storey building in scorching heat, with no air conditioning and only two crappy old fans to cool us down made for interesting battle conditions! However our spirits were not dampened, even though our shirts were, with the “MANLY SWEAT OF WAR!” RARRRRR!
Throughout the day, battles were fought, casualties were inflicted and historic victories forged. I had entered the tournament believing my army to be fairly balanced to tackle most hurdles, I had a nice mix of anti infantry and vehicle weaponry, but with the random aspects to certain parts of my list (I have two large creatures that have the ability to spawn smaller creatures) caused me to doubt my potential to win against more stable army lists. Luckily for me, in all three games I had played versus Space Marines, Orks and Chaos Space Marines, I managed to “table” them! (“Table-ing” is the act of defeating your enemy, leaving none of their units alive/intact on the table by the time the games turns end, usually 6 turns in this case).
All the luck I had that day led me to take first place in the tournament! No-one was more surprised than me! First prize was a £45 gift voucher for the shop and a trophy plaque. Needless to say I was quite chuffed indeed, spending some of the reward straight away on a new Imperial Guard Manticore for my next army.
It was a great day, everyone present appeared to have a good laugh. The Tyranids and the Dice Gods that led me to use them in the first place had done me proud.