Played a practice ETC game yesterday against Iavor with my new and improved Swarmlord list. We played mission #3 which had Scorched Earth as the EW mission, Tactical Escalation for Maelstrom, and the KP differential. Iavor had his Girlyman list which included: Big Bobby G, ancient with relic banner, 6 scout squads, 2 lieutenants (maybe just 1 and if so, he was with jump pack and power fist while the other would have been a basic walking one), 2, 2 man honor guard units, captain with jump pack and power fist, 3 devs with 3 HBs and 1 lascannon, and 3, 4 man inceptor squads with bolter guns. he covered one of his corners with the devs in a piece of ruin, leaving his other corner open, and had his scout squads sitting on all the objectives in the center line of the table, of which there were 4. jump pack heroes and the Inceptor squads are held in reserve. He had good board coverage with the exception of that aforementioned corner. I've got: Swarmy in a tyrannocyte, 2 flying hive tyrants with 4 devs, 3 neurothropes, 26 gargoyles, 3 rippers, 2, 16 man stealer broods, 6 hive guard with impalers, and my 3 individual biovores. I decide to spread out along my deployment (we have dawn of war for this mission) by using my biovores to block out the corners, I have each of my stealer squads in ruins on each of my flanks supported by my Kraken neuros respectively, Kronos/WL neuro is in the middle behind the hive guard which are behind some walls, swarmy in his tyrannocyte along with the flyrants and rippers are held in reserve, and lastly i decide to put the gargoyles down in the middle surrounding my hive guard. I had deployed first and had the +1. The big roll for first turn came down to each of us rolling a 6 and me taking first turn because of the +1. Iavor attempted to seize but failed.
Turn 1: Winning first turn here was huge. Before my turn begun I used the digestive denial stratagem to remove the cover bonus the ruin was providing his castle. I moved up my gargoyles ready to engage the scouts, neuros moved up to get some smites, stealers on the left moved up to engage a scout squad while the right flank squad did the exact same. End of movement I decide to bring down the flyrants and I efficiently covered the open corner denying even more space for his inceptors. Psychic phase was very successful. Smited most of the scout units down to 1-2 guys and i think whittled a dev squad a bit. the only power to fail was catalyst on the right flank stealer squad, even with a re-roll. I had the overwhelming firepower card and so focused and shooting the whittled down scout squads to get the 3+ unit kills. 1 flyrant shoots that whittled dev squad and kills them. Iavor used the banner to shoot again but rolled terribly for it (as was unfortunately the case for him most of the game). The other flyrant shot the scouts inside the ruins by my left flank stealer squad and killed them all. Hive Guard shot at devs and finished a scout squad, killing I think the rest of another dev unit? Hard to recall. In assault, I charge my right flank stealer squad into 2 scout units and lose 1 to overwatch. My goal here is to do minimal damage and keep at least 1 guy alive for me to wrap up and save me from retaliatory fire. I succeed by engaging just 1 stealer into the full 5 scout unit and wrap the other by killing all but 2. At the end of this turn, end up scoring a massive 8 points between EW, maelstrom and first blood. Good Start. Iavor retaliates by moving up his honor guard, walking lieutenant and Bobby G to engage the tied up stealers, Devs stay put, and the inceptors all come down near his castle as he is forced to do so. He starts by popping the couple spore mines I pooped out last turn with some odd shots. He then puts some HBs from the devs and inceptors into the gargs killing all but 3. lascannons shot at the Tyrant in their face but i saved well. The real damage to be done came when the other inceptor squad shot him and brought him down to 5 wounds. he charges in an inceptor squad along with the other units i mentioned into the engaged stealers and manage to kill them pretty easily. He tried to charge my flyrant with an inceptor unit but failed the charge and took a wound for his troubles. After everything is said and done, Iavor manages to score 4 points on his turn.
Turn 2: I draw secure objective 2 and some other objective card I can't acheive so I expect to discard it. I move the depleted gargs and a neuro onto objective 2 to score and position my flyrants to get some smites and stuff off. The far stealer squad also used opportunistic advance to move 20 inches and get to the center of the table. End of movement I bring down Swarmy ready toslingshot the stealers and the rippers to go sit on the objective the stealers abandoned on the far left flank. psychic phase was ok as I got almost every power off but rolled a 1 for almost every smites result. I do get catalyst on the stealers though which is huge. In shooting, my Hive Guard go after inceptors and the honor guard but I only kill 1 guard out of one unit but do kill a few inceptors. my wounded flyrant was closest to his JP captain so lit him up but he stayed alive with 1 wound left. The other Flyrant shoots at an inceptor squad and does nothing. Swarmy now uses his ability to sling the stealers again, and again, I use opportunistic advance to have them move 18 inches this time. They then charge the devs and ancient but more importantly, are there to capture and raise the objective in his deployment zone. My wounded flyrant charges the captain and his lieutenant heroically intervenes. Stealers attack first and kill the devs but only do 2 wounds to the ancient which is ok as I consolidate around him and prevent shooting against me. Iavor interupted with his captain but whiffs most his attacks and I save the 1 that wounded. I attack back and kill the captain. the lieutenant ended up finishing the job though and killed my flyrant. End of the turn I score somewhere between 5-7 points and stretch my lead by alot and deny Iavors scoring potential significantly to the point where he very well might not be able to catch up. His turn 2, hedrewsome shitcas so just went for killing stuff and tasking the 1 objective he could. He moves to do exactly that and get Bobby and some guard to charge the engaged stealers. He shoots the 3 gargoyles away and manages to pop the neurothrope there with 1 inceptor unit while the other tried to shoot at my -1 to hit flyrant but manage just 1 wound against him. He then charges my stealers and just manages to kill all but 1. End of his turn, he only scores 1 or 2 points. He decides to see what cards I draw turn 3 to see if it is worth going on. I draw 3 cards that I can acheive and at this point, Iavor calls it. He has 7 scouts, 3 honor guard, 2 inceptor units ( 1 full the other was 3 I think), and Big Bobby G left. I still had 2 neuros, my biovores, 5 hive guard, rippers, flyrant, tyranocyte and swarmy still alive. The mortal wounds alone would have dispatched most of the inceptors and shooting would have seen the scouts and likely the rest of the inceptors and honor guard dead leaving ol' Bobby by his lonesome self, while I went around and scored while simultaneously whittling and eventually probably killing Bobby G. It was a good performance from my list that I am quite pleased with and a good game overall. Iavor could have used some help from the dice gods though as they were especially unkind to him with his re-rolls and banner rolls. I'm sure he will have his revenge though :)
It was a good game. I played the same list and mission today and bareley survived. This mission is so heavily dependant on who goes first its crazy. The only option i can think of to help being second is dropping all the objectives within the deployment zones so opponents cant piggy back extra distance by charging my poor scouts.