The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II
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RTT Round 3 Battle Report: Tyranids vs Black Legion (Text/Image/Photo only)
RTT Round 3:submitted by Stormcoil to Tyranids
Welcome internet to another Tyranids battle report.
Well, there are two people at 2-0, so our matchup is destiny. My opponent is running a triple Khorne Lord of Skulls Black Legion list led by Abaddon himself. Brutal army for me to have to match against. As for my opponent, I only know two things about him. First, he narrowly beat a good ITC player in the first round in a low scoring game. Second, not only did he win his second game, but according to him he didn't even lose a single unit in that game. That has to be playing close to the perfect game to win and not lose a unit! This is going to be an uphill battle.
My opponent does say this is his first game ever against Tyranids so he doesn't really know what I do. I have faced triple lord of skulls in 8th edition, so I have a bit of a knowledge advantage there.
As I am playing against basically strangers for the tournament I can't just email them to send me their list to get all the details right. As such my lists for the opponents are just going to be rough approximations.
Tyranids vs Black Legion
BATTALION - Black Legion
Abaddon the Despoiler
Master of Possession, infernal power, cursed earth
Sorcerer, warptime, death hex
SUPER HEAVY - Black Legion
Khorne Lord of Skulls
Khorne Lord of Skulls
Khorne Lord of Skulls
Tyranids, 1997 pts, 9CP:
BATTALION - leviathan
Neurothrope - psychic scream, warlord
Neurothrope - catalyst
10x termagant, fleshborer
10x termagant, fleshborer
5x Zoanthropes - onslaught
5x Zoanthropes - horror
Trygon, adaptive - murderous size
PATROL - kronos
Neurothrope - resonance barb, symbiostorm
6x Hive guard
Exocrine, adaptive - dermic symbiosis
Now I need to explain why this matchup is so rough for me. First, let's talk about Exocrines. When Knights ruled the world back in the middle of 8th edition Exocrines were considered terrible and for good reason. The strength of 7 is not good enough against toughness 8, 4++ invuln knights. They have very little if any mobility. They don't come with an invuln, and they can die quite quickly to knight firepower. The only reason I have moved to having two exocrines in my list is that I normally only face zero to one super heavies in a list. Exocrines are good against elite infantry, which I face very often in 9th. I've faced triple lord of skulls and triple knight lists before, and I know very well my list is not designed to take this on head to head.
The Hive Guard are my best anti-tank unit, but even they are going to struggle. In addition the lord of skulls have 28 wounds, don't degrade, and heal every turn. In addition with abaddon they will all be rerolling all hits, with the master of possession they all will have a 4++ invuln and reroll 1s to wound, and if that wasn't enough for 1 cp he can use daemonforge to reroll all hits and wounds for a single unit. He outranges me, he outguns me, and there is very little terrain on these tables.
But it gets worse. We are playing mission 23, the Scouring. This mission is probably the single most difficult mission in the book for my army. It is hold 2, hold 3, hold more for primaries but only has 5 objectives, the deployment zones are tiny (so there goes linebreaker as a dependable secondary) and the objectives are all smashed really close to each other in the middle of the table. Now, his three lord of skulls hit like a truck in combat and they get better as they get wounded. The only hand to hand unit I have in my whole army is the Trygon, which can best be described as very average but also inconsistent. So I'm not going to have much of an ability to contest or push his units off of objectives.
My opponent starts off when we are talking about lists and terrain by asking me if we can make all of the first floor ruins block line of sight and ignore the windows. That will give us some more terrain on the table, and this question gives me my second clue to his list. I know his last game he didn't lose a unit, and this game he wants more los blocking. That suggests to me that the secret sauce to his list is probably the cultists, and he is trying to low-key protect them before we even start. Well, I just went against a chaos list where focusing on the obsec early won me the game, so I guess that is my best battle plan. I agree to his request that we can have level 1 ruins block los per the old ITC rule.
I obviously spend 2 cp to put both of my exocrines in reserve, as well as both lictors, all three units of rippers, the trygon and the mawloc. He starts with his whole army on the table.
The Battle Grid
For secondaries he chooses Engage on all Fronts, Grind them Down (kill more) and Bring them Down to target my monsters. I can't say I expected him to choose anything different, it's what I would have taken in his shoes. For my part I take deploy scramblers (obviously), titan slayer (I was very torn about this) and engage on all fronts. I wish I could take linebreaker, but not only are the deployment zones tiny but there is almost no terrain or cover in the deployment zones to hide in. So my best bet for using my speed is to take engage.
Deployment: Well with the small changes we made to terrain this does change my deployment somewhat. I was going to put my hive guard in the bottom ruin with solid walls, but instead I choose to put them in the top ruin as now they are still hidden. In fact, I am able to deploy my entire army out of line of sight. I have one neurothrope, one uint of zoans, a unit of termagants and hormagaunts hidden in the south, and then the rest of my army hidden in the ruin to the north. My opponent starts with all three of his units of cultists also hidden out of line of sight, and he puts two of them out of range of my hive guard. He then puts the three lord of skulls right in the middle of his deployment zone, with abbadon behind them to provide his aura.
One note, my opponent's army was not fully painted. For his three big super heavies one was fully painted (red), one was primed with white paint, and one was just grey plastic with no paint. For convenience going forward I will refer to these as the red, white and grey ones, as appropriate.
We rolled off, I won, and I took the second turn. I took the second turn for several reasons. First, I don't know this player, so I want to observe his playstyle for a turn or two to see what type of player I'm up against. Second, he took grind them down (kill more) but my whole army is out of line of sight. If I give him first turn he can't score grind them down turn 1 and this denies him 3 vp right off the bat. Finally, regardless of his playstyle his first move will tell me what tactic I need to use. If he splits the lord of skulls up to take territory I need to isolate them and focus them down one at a time. If he stays in a ball I know I'm really not going to kill them, and will have to give up on that as a tactic.
Black Legion Turn 1: (0-0) My opponent did very little in his first turn. He measured and concluded he had no way of getting line of sight turn 1. All three unit of cultists advanced (I was not expecting this). One unit of cultists moved out of hiding to take the top right objective. The cultists in the ruins advanced to be mostly out of line of sight in the middle of the board in a small ruin there. The final unit of cultists advanced up to hold the bottom right objective out of line of sight.
Starting the psychic phase his sorc casts warptime but fails. He decides to cp reroll this, and it fails again. Two games in a row and I'll never know what he was going to throw at me. He then cast cursed earth, and rolled a 12, perils! He just ate the mortal wounds, and his master of possession went down to 2 wounds left. However, he now has a 4++ invuln bubble for all of his lord of skulls. With that my opponent was finished. He killed nothing and was only engaging on two fronts, so scored no points.
Chaos End of Turn 1
Tyranids Turn 1: (0-0) So, that was a more defensive move than I was expecting for him to start the game. The opponents in my normal play group are a very aggressive bunch advancing full speed into the fray. This is now my second game in a row against strange opponents who are playing much more close to the vest.
I advanced forward at the top with my warlord, the unit of zoanthropes and the unit of termagants up there. I sat three units on my top objective because I'm not sure yet how fast he will kill me. I advanced my bottom unit of zoanthropes and the neurothrope behind the wall of one of the central ruins near the middle of the board. I was very careful to be sure at least one zoanthrope could see the unit of cultists that advanced to the midboard. I then also advanced the hormagaunts up to take my bottom objective, and the termagants moved up into the south ruin and deployed scramblers.
Then on to my psychic phase. I started off my psychic phase with the central unit of zoanthropes smiting his south central unit of cultists. I rolled an 11, a super smite myself. In the end that one smite did 8 mortal wounds, leaving the cultists with just two models left , but now also out of line of sight and range of the rest of my army. I then cast a smite from my top unit of zoanthropes into his top unit of cultists and killed only 3 of them. I cast onslaught on the hormagaunts, catalyst on the visible unit of zoanthropes in the north, and symbiostorm on the hive guard.
Then on to my shooting phase and the most important decision I will make all game. Let me try to explain why. So, against his lords of skulls an exocrine on average will only do 2-4 damage per shooting phase. I already know my exocrines will come in turns 2 and 3, and I expect them to die quickly. So I'm probably only going to get about 6-10 wounds total out of my exocrines. Then my smites. Those might seem like my best weapon against him, but he has two casters to deny, and because he stayed in a ball he will be able to shuffle his knights to have a healthy one take the damage. This means my exocrines plus smites, if I play a perfect game while dying, are at best only going to account for 1 lord of skulls.
So now let's talk about my "best" anti tank unit, the hive guard. The hive guard are really an anti elite unit that do have enough strength and ballistic still to barely damage a knight. Still, with symbiostorm, a unit of hive guard will average 6 wounds against a rotated knight every time they shoot. Because his knights have 28 wounds and heal, I'm going to need to do 30 wounds on average to kill one, which means 5 hive guard shooting phases to kill each one in a 5 turn game. So, if I spend all of my cp all game just to double shoot the hive guard and don't use any other tricks, 5 full turns of shooting should account for 2 lords of skulls. So with every resource I have, and not dying too fast, I might JUST be able to kill of his lord of skulls to max out titan slayer. But my only path to doing that involves only shooting the hive guard at the lords of skulls every phase and using all my cp.
This is what I'm thinking. I'm guessing the cultists are actually the secret sauce of his list. His top objective is held by only 7 cultists. All the other cultists are out of my range. But if I shoot at the cultists even one time, right now in my first shot of the game, it means I'm giving up on titan slayer because of how little damage my army will do to him. So, do I shoot cultists and take away points, or start working on a lord of skulls and gamble that I can kill him over 5 turns?
In the end, I don't like my chances at taking out the lord of skulls because the exocrines just won't do enough damage, and he didn't split up the knights so I can't rely on my smites to focus him down. I resolve that titan slayer was a bad secondary pick I'm going to have to abandon, and to just keep my head down and focus on score. Aaaaaaand so, after all that, my first shot of the game is to put all 12 shots from my hive guard into his 7 cultists, and I kill them.
I spend 2 cp to double shoot the hive guard, and shoot them a the grey lord, doing 8 wounds! Lucky first shot. Then onto my charge phase. With how many cultists I killed in the south my hormagaunts now need a 7 inch charge. If I make the charge I should finish off the last two models, and also get 2 points for engage. I roll the dice, and get a 5... not enough. My opponent asks me if I will cp it. The thing is, I already know I'm going to be super tight on cp this game. Also, if I make the charge I take myself off of an objective. In the end I decide not to reroll and just fail. He then fails morale with the bottom unit of cultists, so one runs but one is left standing after attrition. I'm only engaging on two fronts, but I deployed one scrambler and scored no points.
Tyranids End of Turn 1
Black Legion Turn 2: (0-0) At the start of his turn my opponent is only holding the bottom right objective, so scores no primary points. And now he gets his army underway. He uses tide of traitors on the one cultist to bring the unit back at top strength in the top ruin. He moves up his grey lord of skulls to sit on the top right objective. He moves his red lord of skulls forward to take the middle objective. He barely moves his white lord of skulls at all, as he spends a lot of time measuring to be sure he can get all three of them in range of abaddon and the master of possession. He also makes sure to keep both of his casters out of deny range of my casters.
He has a better psychic phase, in that he gets off both infernal power and cursed earth. However his sorc again fails to cast warptime, and this time he does not spend a cp to reroll it. Then the shooting phase and its time for me to clench up. His first unit to shoot is his red lord of skulls that can just draw a line to a few hormagaunts in the south. He is already rerolling all hits and wounds between abaddon and infernal power, and he easily manages to wipe the squad. Then both his grey and white lord of skulls put everything into my visible, catalysted unit of zoanthropes. My opponent says that he needs to reduce my smites. Thankfully despite his full rerolls I do well on my invulns and catalyst saves, and in the end I only lose two zoanthropes and another is down to 1 wound. My opponent says he was hoping to do better, but at least he took away the horror and my smite boost. He is right there.
He then attempts 3 charges on my termagant screen in the north, needing a 9 from his cultists, a 10 from the red lord of skulls and an 11 from the grey lord of skulls. All three charges fail. In the end he is still only engaging on two fronts, and he has killed one for grind them down.
Chaos End of Turn 2
Tyranids Turn 2: (0-0) At the start of my turn I only hold one objective so score no primary points. So what I've noticed about my opponent through analyzing his first two turns is that as a player he seems very focused on his combat output and maintaining his combat efficiency. He has been very careful to move so that he maximized damage. I'm guessing he thinks that killing his enemy is the path to victory with how he is playing.
He has in my opinion made one really big mistake however, which is easy to do if you are not familiar with Tyranids. While both of his casters are out of line of sight, they have no screen. Mawlocs can come up anywhere and do a bubble of mortal wounds. That reminds me, another use for mawlocs is character sniping. Now, he is holding two of his three objective with only 1 model, so using the mawloc to deny him a point would also be super useful here. For a third game in a row I really wish I had brought two mawlocs instead of the trygon.
Well, I know I need to stick to my game plan. I also need to kill at least one unit to deny him grind them down points. I decide the master of possession with only two wounds left is too juicy a target, and so I can't use a mawloc to deny points, I'll have to do that with the rest of my army. I advance my termagant screen in the north up to be able to shoot at his cultists. My warlord and zoan unit in the north just hang back, ensuring I have 18" range to his grey lord of skulls. In the middle of the board I advance my five man zoanthrope unit to face down his red lord of skulls. I now outnumber him on the middle objective five models to one. Then in south I move my neurothrope with catalyst on to the edge of the bottom left objective and advance a termagant screen in front of it.
I held up pretty well in his first shooting phase, but I know this won't last. Now time for the deep strike. I bring the trygon up at the top in charge range of his grey lord of skulls. It's not a mawloc, but if it can make this charge I could still contest the objective. I also drop a unit of rippers behind the top right ruins by the trygon, in case it dies in my charge phase so I'm sure I'll get engage on all fronts this turn. I drop my first lictor at the edge of his deployment zone in the bottom right, and deploy my second scrambler in his area. I drop a unit of rippers in the bottom middle ruin, so that I can move them north or east in future turns depending on where I need obsec. I drop the exocrine in the bottom left on top of the objective there. I'm hoping to get him to split his lord of skulls up and to try and draw one of them down to deal with the exocrine, which I know is not going to do much.
Finally I bring up the mawloc in range of both characters, and spend the cp to get a +2 to my roll for mortal wounds. I do three mortals to both the sorc and the master of possession, killing the MoP and leaving the sorc on one wound left.
Psychic phase goes OK, but I'm already running into problems with needing to split fire. My north units put a smite and a psychic scream into his grey lord of skulls, doing 6 damage total and leaving him with 15 wounds left. In the south my central unit of zoans and other neurothrope both cast smites into the red lord of skulls, doing 7 wounds. I get catalyst off on the exocrine, onslaught off on the north unit of termagants, and symbiostorm off on the hive guard.
Shooting phase and I shoot with the gants first, because I want to see how many cultists they can kill. In the end they kill 2, which is not what I was hoping for. The exocrine has no better targets so I shoot at the red lord of skulls, doing 4 wounds and knocking him down to 18 wounds left. Then my all important hive guard. I want to kill the cultists, but I also want to charge them with the termagants. I decide to split my first round of fire with three hive guard in the cultists and three into the grey lord of skulls. After shooting there are two cultists left. I think this is almost perfect, except my opponent takes his casualties from his end. This matters, because he leaves the cultists closest to me alive, and I'm not going to need a good charge roll with the gants to get onto his top right objective.
I spend 2 cp to double shoot the hive guard, and in total between shooting the three and then a full volley of six I do 8 wounds to the grey lord of skulls, leaving it with 7 wounds left. Time for an important charge phase.
My termagants make the charge, but I only roll a 3 so they barely move. I decide not to reroll this because I think my trygon charge is more important now that his grey lord of skulls is down to 7 wounds. It lost its 4++ invuln when the master of possession died, so with only a 5++ I think doing d6+1 damage there is a chance my trygon could kill it. I declare the charge and he immediately spends 2 cp, one to overwatch and one for deamonforge to reroll all hits and wounds. In the end my trygon takes 5 wounds, and isn't even bracketed. Oooooh baby, now is my time, with adrenal glands I only need an 8! Prepare for monstrous scything talon death. I roll the charge and roll a 5. This is why I saved my reroll, I spend the cp to reroll the charge and this time I roll a 4. My trygon stands there like a chump, also injured by overwatch.
At the end of my turn I'm engaging on all 4 fronts for 3 vp and I also have deployed my second scrambler. I also killed 2 to his 1, so he does not get grind them down.
Tyranids End of Turn 2
Black Legion Turn 3: (3-5) Well, I didn't get enough of a charge with my gants and my trygon failed, so his heavily wounded grey lord of skulls still holds the top right point, and his cultists still hold the bottom right point, so at the start of his turn he scores 5 primary points. His grey lord of skulls heals to 8 wounds and the red one heals up to 19 wounds.
He barely moves his army, again ensuring that all three of his big units stay within 6" of Abaddon. His white lord moves back a bit to draw line of sight on my unit of rippers in the top corner and stay within 3" of abaddon. His grey lord of skulls moves north enough to see my termagants. His red lord of skulls moves slightly towards the 5 neurothropes taking the objective from him.
He smites the mawloc with his sorc for a few mortal wounds, and then attempts warptime, but this time I deny it with my central unit of zoanthropes. Then his shooting phase, and time to bring the pain. His grey lord of skulls spends a cp on daemonforge and then he splits fire, killing the termagants in the north and putting another 4 wounds on my trygon, leaving it with 3 wounds left. His white lord puts its gatling into the north rippers, killing them, and his ichor cannon into my exocrine, failing to damage it. Then the red lord puts its ichor into the exocrine doing a wound, and shoots into the zoanthropes but only manages to do 2 wounds total, killing none.
Then his charge phase. His grey lord charges the trygon and kills it (this swings first). His white lord charges the mawloc and kills it (it blows up for 2 mortal wounds, bringing him down to 26). Then the red lord charges the zoanthropes and he uses daemonforge again to give himself full rerolls to wound. My invulns continue to hold up, and in the end the red lord of skulls kills two zoanthropes and puts one wound on a third. He has reduced the smite of both units now.
He is still not engaging on any fronts, but he has killed 2 monsters for 6 bring it down vp and he killed 4 for his grind them down total.
Chaos End of Turn 3
Tyranids Turn 3: (18-11) At the start of my turn I hold 3, hold more as my three central zoanthropes outnumber his one lord of skulls. So I net 15 primary vp to start the turn. Well, this is going about how I expected. He killed 4 and only has 6 units on the board, so I have no hope of denying that secondary this turn.
I don't have much to work with in this movement phase. My zoanthropes in the middle back out of combat, but stay on the objective. I move my living rippers and lictor both towards his big unit of 13 cultists hiding in the southeastern ruin. I bring my second exocrine in on my top objective behind a screen I created with my zoanthrope unit in the north. I drop my last ripper swarm up in the top right corner for engage. My second lictor comes in the ruin in the south and deploys my last scrambler.
Psychic phase is pretty average. I psychic scream abaddon, taking him down to 7 wounds. I get one of two smites off on the grey lord of skulls, doing 2 wounds and knocking him down to 6 wounds left. My southern neurothrope does 3 more wounds to the red lord bringing it down to 16 wounds, and I cast catalyst again on the southern exocrine and symbiostorm failed to go off on the hive guard. Uh oh.
Shooting phase. My southern exocrine shot at his red lord of skulls and did 2 wounds, bringing it down to 14. I spend 1 cp on my newly arrived exocrine in the north, but it fails to wound the grey lord of skulls. Then my non-symbiostormed hive guard. With how he was positioned after charging my Trygon there was no longer anything screening his 1 wound sorc. I split fire with the hive guard and kill the sorc and shoot at the grey lord of skulls with only 6 wounds left, and I only manage to do 3 wounds, leaving it with three wounds left. Now at this point I have exactly 2 cp left. If I double shoot to try and kill the grey lord odds are I kill it but then I'm out of cp. If it lives he will probably get primary vp to start his turn because I'm unlikely to kill his cultists. In the end I decide it is worth the gamble and pay the 2 cp.
After his saves I only get a single wound through. But I do d3 damage (and no cp) and he only has 3 wounds left. I roll..... and get a 2, only 1 damage and the grey lord of skulls lives on 2 wounds left. My army is really failing at combat this day. Fortunately for me combat is just a very fun sideshow in 9th, the real meat of the game is in positioning to score points.
Speaking of scoring points, my charge phase and time to deal with those cultists. Both my lictor and rippers make the charge. My lictor strikes first and kills 3 cultists. He does not interrupt, and my rippers strike and manage to kill 2 more cultists, leaving him with 8. He then strikes back at my rippers, and manages 3 wounds with no ap. I get three 6+ armor saves.... and roll the triple six! And after my dice have been so cold all turn. I take no damage, but he still outnumbers me on the objective. Then in morale he fails, and one more dies to attrition. This leaves him with 6 cultists to my 4 models, so he continues to hold the objective.
At the end of my turn I'm still engaging on all 4 fronts for 3 vp and I deployed my last scrambler for 10 vp, but he gets 3 vp for grind em down for killing (a lot) more.
Tyranids End of Turn 3
Black Legion Turn 4: (31-19) At the start of his turn he is holding 2 and I am holding 3, so he gets 5 primary vp. His grey lord of skulls heals up to 3 wounds, his red lord of skulls heals up to 15 wounds and the white lord heals up to 27 wounds.
Abaddon and the white lord of skulls move towards the middle. The red lord moves slightly towards my castle in the top left. His grey lord stays put as it can see the rippers from where it is at. Then he debates on the 6 cultists. It is pretty lucky that I made all those saves in the first round. And there is some discussion as to whether he is actually tri-pointed (I believe he was, but by mistake, not my intent). In the end he decides he doesn't want to back out of combat anyway, as even if he can back out the only place he can stand on the objective puts him in line of sight of my southern castle.
His shooting phase his grey lord of skulls shoots the gatling at the rippers, killing them, and the ichor at the north exocrine but fails to wound. The red lord of skulls can still see both north and south, and he puts the gatling into the termagants and the ichor into the exocrine. This time he does 3 wounds to the exocrine, but he rolls 5 1s to wound on the termagants and they live with 3 models. So then he spends 1 cp on the white lord, puts its gatling into the gants to finish them and the ichor into the exocrine, doing two more wounds and knocking it down to 6 left. Abaddon shoots something at the zoans in the middle and kills the wounded one.
Charge phase, his red lord makes the charge into my warlord and zoans in the north, and abbadon charges the zoans in the middle. Abaddon gets a 6 on his demon sword for 6 extra attacks, and that is too much for my poor zoans who crumple. He spends 1 cp on daemonforge on the lord, and puts all of the attacks into my warlord, killing him as well. Then the fight we all care about. I swing first with my lictor, and kill 2 of the remaining cultists. He swings back with 4, but only puts 2 wounds on the rippers not killing a base. The rippers swing back and this time the heroes do 3 wounds! Only 1 cultist left and he doesn't have the cp to pass morale. The last cultist runs.
Because the cultist is dead he is still not engagine on 3 fronts, but he did kill 3 for grind them down.
Chaos End of Turn 4
Tyranids Turn 4: (46-19) At the start of my turn I'm holding 3, holding more for 15 more primary vp. My rippers and lictor now hold the bottom right, my half dead exocrine and neurothrope hold the bottom left, and I outnumber him 4 models to 1 on the top left objective.
I get 1 cp back and immediately spend it on metabolic overdrive to move my lictor from the ruin up into the top right for engage. I move my central lictor to back behind the southeast ruins. Then my last 3 surviving zoanthropes back out of combat with his lord of skulls. Finally, my kronos neurothrope jumps up to the second floor of the ruin it is in to smite the red lord.
Psychic phase, I get off symbiostorm and then smite the red lord for 2 wounds, knocking it down to 13 wounds. My leviathan neurothrope again casts catalyst now on the 6 wound exocrine in the south, and puts 3 wounds on his white lord from a smite, bringing him down to 24 wounds.
Shooting phase, my exocrine in the north shoots at his grey lord of skulls, and does 2 wounds, leaving him with 1 wound left. My exocrine in the south shoots at the white lord of skulls as that is all it can see, but it goes beast mode and manages 10 wounds, knocking white down to 14 wounds. (Really, really lucky rolling). So it's up to the hive guard, with no ability to shoot twice. I put two hive guard into the one wound grey LoS, and the other 4 into red. This time the hive guard find their mark and kill the grey knight, and I do another 7 wounds leaving red with 6 wounds left.
At the end of my turn I'm engaging on all 4 fronts for 3 vp, and I killed a titan for 10 vp on titan slayer, but he got 3 vp for killing more.
Tyranid End of Turn 4
Black Legion Turn 5: (59-22) At the start of his turn my opponent is only holding the middle objective, so he scores no primary vp. His white lord of skulls moves back towards my hiding rippers, and he leaves abbadon in range to give rerolls to white while still holding the middle. Red heals up to 7 wounds and white heals up to 15 wounds.
In his shooting phase white puts everything into my southern exocrine, and kills it. Then red, he can just barely see my neurothrope holding the bottom left objective and now alone. He spends his last cp on daemonforge with red and shoots everything at my neurothrope. I do well on my 3++ invulns, saving 10 of the first 12 wounds from the gatling and taking four damage, but making no fnps. I have 1 wound left. Then the ichor cannon. He rolls one shot, and has no cp! He rolls to hit, and hits after rerolls. He rolls to wound and wounds. I roll my invuln.... and roll a 2. I'm wounded! He does d3 damage and I have one wound left. He rolls a 1.... and then I roll a 6 on my fnp! I miraculously live through that onslaught with one wound left and hold the objective.
Then white charges the rippers and kills them, and red charges the zoans and exocrine, and kills the other exocrine. This gets him 6 more vp for bring it down, as well as kill 3, and we agree right now that he will get 3 more vp for kill more as I can't table him. So he is only engaging on 2 fronts again, but he did earn 9 secondary vp.
Chaos End of Turn 5
Tyranids Turn 5: (64-31) At the start of my turn my hero one wound neurothrope holds one objective and my three zoanthropes outnumber his red lord of skulls, so I hold 2 for 5 vp, but abaddon and white also hold 2 so I don't get hold more.
I move my lictors on to objectives to stay in good practice. I move my leviathan neurothrope back to get a better line on his red lord of skulls. Then psychic phase. I discover that my southern neuro is still sadly closer to white. So I smite white, and roll an 11, super smite and I don't die! I do 5 wounds to white, bringing it down to 10 wounds. Then my kronos neuro. I cast symbiostorm, and fail. I spend my last cp to reroll the test, and get it off on the reroll. I then smite red and it fails to cast.
So the hive guard. He has 7 wounds left and on average in a shooting phase I do 6. I roll to hit and wound, and after his saves I get 4 hits through. 4d3 damage coming up, on average I kill red and get 2 more vp. I roll a 5, 2, 1 and 1..... only 6 damage and he survives on one wound left and I have no cp. I do still engage on all 4 fronts for another 3 vp bringing my score up to 67. And with that this brutal slugfest is finally over. I have won the RTT!
Tyranids End of Turn 5
Sadly my opponent only had two fully painted models in his army and a lot of it was just grey plastic, so he did not get the 10 points for paint. This means the final score after paint was Tyranids 77, Black Legion 31.
My forces are just hanging on by a fingernail here at the end. While from one perspective all he has is Abbadon on 7 wounds, the red lord on 1 wound and the white lord on 10 wounds.... points wise he still has more than half his army on the table! I barely have a quarter of my forces left and he really punished my troops all game.
In the end I think both of our lists did exactly what they were designed to do. His list was built to be very tough and deal a lot of damage. And, well, he was really tough and did a ton of damage. My list is built to score points whether I live or die, and, well my list went ahead and scored points all game. I really think focusing on the cultists early was the right play. Also, now having played my first two games against codex chaos space marines, and two very different builds, I leave thinking their achilles heel is how easy it is in 9th to kill their troop choices.
For my part I am fortunate to have finished the day at 3-0, the only undefeated player. A glorious triumph for the hive mind, no doubt. Or maybe not, this was a tiny RTT with only a few players, but I sure did have fun. I also only just barely managed to score more total battle points over 3 games than the custodes player I beat in the first round. He is a tough player and probably should have won the day.
Tournaments are a very rare occurrence for me these days, but I'm really happy I made the time to come to this one and I hope I can go to one again sometime next year. I hope you enjoyed these three battle reports and found them entertaining and informative. For the Hive Mind!
RTT Round 1 Battle Report:
RTT Round 2 Battle Report:
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this. Let me know what you think!