No Mercy Tourney Report


Hey what’s up everyone? Geoff iNcontroL Robinson here from Team 0 Comp and I thought I would for no particular reason (teehee) give a bit of a report on my experience at the No Mercy tourney we just got back from in Sacramento. As always, check out the Tactics Corner for more tournament reports!

Geoff 'InControl" Roninson

Geoff ‘InControl” Roninson

First of all, if you haven’t been to the shop up in Sacramento called “Great Escape Games” ( ) definitely go check them out. They have as many as 35 or so tables with some absolutely top notch players playing there on a fairly regular basis. Had a chance to meet some of the staff and frequent players and I can say with ease this is an awesome place to game.

Not only was the shop a nice gaming location but the tourney itself was really nice. This was a tourney that was inspired by the LVO practice tourney hosted by End Game in Oakland and put on by WH40k’s top TMZ reporter Nick “Tastey Taste” Hayden. As another LVO practice tourney No Mercy did a great job replicating the fairly abundant LoS blocking tables and some of the rules that perhaps everyone is not used to but are quickly becoming more and more exposed to due to the success of ITC. Practicing in general is really important but playing the missions and getting used to the FAQ is a huge leg up and before going any further I want to give a huge shout out to Nick Hayden and Pete Kelly who took time out of their lives to host a tourney for us to get that practice.

With that all said I’d like to report on a tourney I may or may not have done fairly well at.. I assure you that has nothing to do with why I wrote this. The fact I played really well against really solid opponents and took my first RTT win ever has nothing to do with why I am writing this.. really it doesn’t. I’d write this if I took 2nd like I did for the several tourneys I took 2nd at this year… right? RIGHT? Kidding aside the report will be brief on the details with the games but should convey the general idea of them.

The Tourney

Being a RTT it was a 36 man tourney with 3 rounds ran by the ITC rule set. While being fairly small at 36 generals I can say the competition we have going on here in Cali is really really nice! Some super top notch players attended like Paul McKelvicallylinklaltaufart, Trevor Van Cleave, Steve Sisk and Spam Adams to name a few. (1)

The List – Hive Fleet Goliath

HQ: Flyrant x3 eGrubs, Wings, TLDwBL (WL has Fighter Ace and I gave him poison cuz 10 points)

Elite: Malanthrope

Troops: 4×1 Mucloids, 2×3 DS Rippers

LoW: Barbed Heirodule

HQ but really just super bad ass: Swarm Lord


This list utilizes the Leviathan detachment but my WL is a flyrant from the regular Nid cad so I can roll for the WL trait on BRB


Round 1 – Ad Lance with Imperial Guard allies

The tourney determined the first mission at random and then had the top table roll for them on games 2 and 3. We get Crusade (ITC Mission 1) to start the tourney. My opponent was a kindly and gentle giant who ran Ad Lance Knights with guard. The guard included 3 sabre defense platform squads with assault cannons and he had 2 units of mortar teams as well as a command squad and some 5 man squad of obligatory wounds that blew up indiscriminately later. He also had a gorgeous vendetta that he custom built to have hover craft wings that lit up.. looked amazing.

Woah! Didn’t recognize the general but his list was nasty. Was glad he didn’t take las cannons on the sabre platforms as they basically make flyrants auto jink otherwise they are taking wounds and when they all fire into a single flyrant each turn you are making me take roughly 3-4+ saves at 4+ IF I have ruins otherwise I am jinking and then I can’t flame and my ability to do damage is severely diminished.

With Dawn of War deployment I had ample ruins to dip my bug like feet into and enjoy the warm embrace of a 2+ cover save. He fired into it a bunch because he was a masochist with nothing else to do. I had to play super defensively however with my first two turns being mostly uneventful due to the bad psychic phases where I failed to Paroxysm his platforms and give me that confidence to emerge from the bush. My break came however when despite my WL trait reducing his reserve roll by 1 his vendetta frolicked out of reserves *gulp* but he then gave me his sweet sweet ass after he was done pew pewing at me… big mistake! AV12 flyers are very survivable against flyrants but if you expose that AV10 rear I will take it… I will take it deep. Made my cover save and did just that. After that his blobs got widdled down due to in part bad rolling by him and me some how making 3+ saves like they were jinking white scar bikes on any turn/objective ever. Seeing the game was heading in a good direction for me I began to get into a smooth groove where I rolled dice and he picked up toy soldiers. The highlight however came towards the end of the game when I was playing more for the tabling than anything strategic and he HAD to move his Ad Lance out. Yeah, we discussed it later and that was a mistake.. if you play Ad Lance get out there and play! Be super aggressive.. if you play Knights you should know by now it isn’t a question of IF you will lose the Knights (you should) it’s a matter of did you drag the entire opponents army down to hell with you? Anyways I digress, He exposed his Lance and had hard choices between flyrants on several facings and a Barbed  Heirodule grinning a little too much… one Knight goes KABOOM escalates to a 5, scatters and D 6’s the WL Knight who also blows up and finishes off the last surviving men of a blob. We laughed, he cried and then asked if we can pretend the last few guys died for realz so he could go shit. Being the kindly gentleman that I am I wasn’t going to deny them man a bowel movement in the name of going through the motions of killing his last few guards men.

10-0 ACE! I ended up losing nothing outside of Mucloids which contractually have to die.

tyranids 018

Round 2 – Steve Sisk running his Blue Scars with a Knight (think he won BAO with a list very much like this?)

Ah! My nemesis! Steve Sisk gave me a beating at Kublai Con and was the man who slammed the door shut on my dreams of winning a major at the BAO 2014. Both times with lists very similar to the one I was now facing (White Scars). Outside of that Mr. Sisk is a fantastic player. He is intense and is a very good general so if you make mistakes you can often times kind of mentally collapse on yourself vs him because you know he will punish you for it AND you know the likelihood of recovering is low.

However, on this day, the great Buddha or some lady luck was on my side. Our table was gorgeous.. but it was ermm… crammed with ruin structures. Now, as a Nid player.. this makes me happy. Like, really really really to the 30th power times 9. Sisk however saw the writing on the wall and began our meeting with a deep and sorrowful sigh.

Being the top table we rolled for the mission and got ITC Mission 2 which is kill points (Purge the Alien). This was also good for me as my army is built up on the idea of never actually dying. I have squishy ripper worms you can have. I got Mucloids that are actually designed to die.. after that? Nah, if things are dying I am in a lot of trouble. Sisk on the other hand has 5+ biker squads, characters, a Sicaran and a Knight. Kill points is rough for him against me.

We both deploy in our van guard corners and I of course am getting a million cover saves.. he too has the Night Fight White Scars special (2+ jink) so I anticipated a rather domestic turn 1.. my Barbie had other plans. I gave Sisk first turn and he did what he could to maneuver around  and take some shots.. doing a wound to the malanthrope and putting himself in position to grab 2 maelstroms. I can’t grab any of my maelstrom (I actually end the game with 1 while he had 6+) but I fired off a double salvo from my Preferred Enemy aided Barbed Heirodule at the Sicaran.. behind ruins with Night Fight, shouldn’t do much, right? 12 shots, 10 hits, 8 penetrations and 1 glance.. good boy Barbie.. you done good. Sisk predictably doesn’t make it out of that and I get first blood. That should kind of give you an idea of how the game went. At almost all turns when Sisk needed something to go his way.. fairly reasonable (no huge hail mar y plays or anything) they simply wouldn’t. Eventually his army was widdled down and I had what I needed to win primary and all 3 tertiary. We score and go our ways after a turn 6 tabling down to him. It was a bit later I realized that if you table someone you win primary, secondary and get WL/Linebreaker no matter what.. only First Blood is immune to a tabling (if you didn’t originally get it). We consulted Reece, the tourney admin and confirmed it. I felt dirty as hell having to give Sisk more bad news but he took it in stride. I actually super appreciate playing tough opponents like Sisk who if they are guilty of anything it is wanting to win really really bad.. I am the same way and it seems natural to me as a guy that LOVES this game and loves it primarily for the competition and fun derived from that.

10-0 tabling!

tyranids 013

Game 3 – Jason Rockhill from Team0Comp running the Lynx with 2 Wraith Knights, 2×6 Warp Spiders, 3 Farseers and 30001312000120 with a Voidshield Generator

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I have played GTA from out team 4-5 times with a variety of lists all based around the Lynx and I have won none of them! Recently at TSHFT I lost my final round to him with a game I really really should have made but 1 lucky shot and a horrible mistake by me later says otherwise. Jason is a super tough opponent who knows his rules and (like me) isn’t afraid to argue and defend them. When our names got called out he yelled “I CHALLENGE YOU” as well.. for those that don’t know we at Team0Comp run a very competitive squad and we have top tier amongst the team we call “The Elite 8” — these are considered out top 8 players. I am one of said players… but you are only there until someone from the team outside that top 8 challenges you and beats you. You are immune to challenges for a month if you win a tourney but otherwise it’s all about that blood. Well ok, Jason wants to call down the thunder? Let’s do this!

We end up playing The Scouring (ITC Mission 4) which is Hammer and Anvil deployment.. easily my hardest deployment given 75% of my firepower comes from flyrants who really benefit from the mobility Vanguard and DoW offer. The table was nice and had a big LoS blocking terrain in the middle which played a big role in preventing his Wraith Knights from shooting a couple turns and gave me options vs the Lynx. I get the WL trait that allows me to infiltrate the WL + 3 flyrants.. super deadly vs a army like his that relies on a single LoW or heavy to do the heavy lifting. Jason won the right to deploy / go first and did a really nice job counter deploying my options.. I ended up in ruins but not as close as I would have liked and unless I wanted to get charged by Wraith Knights I wasn’t going to be as close as I wanted. He fired the Lynx and I think I could have pressed authentic clam generated diamonds out of my ass with how hard I was clenching. He had 2 hits on 2 of my flyrants (they start on the ground) and 1 on my non WL flyrant.. thankfully, again, I got lucky and the Great Devourer saw fit to deny those emo elves the nasty D slap. From there a chess game ensues where he is spawning/using bikes to try and limit where my flyrants can go as they needed 2 turns of shooting to drop the Lynx.. but they do! The explosion does nothing but FB on turn 2 being the Lynx is a deathly blow.. 2 towards the secondary AND most of his scary firepower gone? Check please!

After the death of the Lynx Jason fought hard and well but it was going to be tough. With me going second his bikes were getting targeted so he couldn’t hop on objectives but inevitably even when/if he did they would die due to my mobility/firepower. The table didn’t have much in the way of ruins so his 2 Wraith Knights kind of chopped their feet and piddled themselves just outside of anything-scary-range due to the Barb shooting str 10ap3 shots. At the end of the game I secured the clinching point by killing his FA Warp Spiders which counts towards the primary and with the bonus points from the Lynx he was never really able to recover on the secondary. Jason made me work for it and this was one of the most satisfying games I’ve played in awhile.. he is a great general running a brutal list that will really challenge you. I was able to play at a level where I could get lucky and capitalize on a few of his mistakes to take my first RTT win!

So there you have it! I won’t be changing my list for the LVO as I am a strong believer that this is my best Nid army I can field. The synergy, durability and mobility of this army is ideal for ITC and really doesn’t have a weakness outside of a few very specific situations where even in the worst of cases I feel I have SOME options that aren’t completely luck based. If I get a 5/6 on the Fighter Ace my army goes up in power.. if my stomps go ham (which they usually do, ask any of my opponents) I can beat anything… so we shall see!


This win puts me back in the running to maybe steal the ITC win at the LVO! I’d need to win or something close to it but I have some faith. This win also proved I can WIN! I have taken second a few times this past year but otherwise I played in 8-9 RTT/GT events and never won.. I’ve been playing the game for 17 years (with a 10 or so year break) but only this last year have I started to go to tourneys and compete. I got the bug.. expect to see me at all the big tourneys and many of the small ones! I’m also excited to once again jump in on some FrontlineGaming content once they get beyond the chaos of putting on the LVO! So expect bat reps, pod casts etc…

Hope you all enjoyed the read! Peace!



About iNcontroL

I am a professional Starcraft II player and personality. I play a lot of WH40k and would like to one day call myself the best Tyranid player on earth! Follow me on twitter @EGiNcontroL

31 Responses to “No Mercy Tourney Report”

  1. Avatar
    Dr.insanotron February 9, 2015 12:16 pm #

    Heat job buddy. See you in a couple weeks

  2. Avatar
    Noah February 9, 2015 12:44 pm #

    Congrats Geoff! Hopefully you can roll into the LVO with this momentum and do well. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

  3. Avatar
    fluger February 9, 2015 1:23 pm #

    Well done! I remember my first big tourney win as well. I was always cursed with getting 2nd place for ages.

    Glad to see Nids doing well.

    Can you talk about why Swarmlord?

  4. Avatar
    AbusePuppy February 9, 2015 1:30 pm #

    Huh, was it only three rounds for 36 players? That’s… really short. Grats on the win, though, perhaps we’ll face each other again at LVO and we can resolve this 1-1 tie thing we’re sitting at. 😛

    I think your game against the Lynx really shows why I don’t think it’s strong enough to warrant a ban, though. It has scary firepower, long range, and a pretty cheap price, but it needs a lot of support, can be quite fragile (especially in the face of AP1/2 guns and Explodes results) and comes packaged with several disadvantages (like giving up VP, etc.) It’s a strong unit, but not a game-breaker.

    • Avatar
      DarkLink February 9, 2015 2:29 pm #

      Not everyone has the convenience of being able to run multi day events. Especially at GEG where a 20 person tournament is pretty small.

    • Avatar
      z3n1st February 9, 2015 2:42 pm #

      I have to agree here, the Lynx although it is a really nice tank, isn’t unbalanced. It requires support (more than you would think), and is actually VERY easy to kill. The biggest mistake people make is NOT focusing on it, because unlike non-superheavies its probably not going to drop to a lucky hit. Vehicles are already more resilient in this edition, super-heavies turn that up to an 11. If you can drop a knight though then you should be able to drop the Lynx, in pretty short order, and if you can’t then you probably underestimated your opponent or brought a knife to a gunfight.

  5. Avatar
    Pascal Roggen February 9, 2015 1:37 pm #

    swarmy will be for preferred enemy for Barbie, some more psychic points and another close combat threat… I guess??

    • Avatar
      fluger February 9, 2015 1:48 pm #

      That makes sense. Just seems like a lot of points for it, but, then again, I don’t play Nids.

      • Avatar
        AbusePuppy February 9, 2015 2:16 pm #

        That’s what he’s told me when we talked about it in the past. He’s also a melee deterrent for things that can threaten the Heirodule- stuff like Wraithknights don’t actually appreciate getting close to Swarmie.

        Honestly, I feel like he’d be better-served by taking something else, because he’s a LOT of points, but obviously Geoff is doing well with him.

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL February 9, 2015 5:09 pm #

      If you run the barbie without any melee support you are vulnerable to super common meta things like Wraith Knights and Dread Knights both of which can run up on him and knock him around a bunch. I also find he can die to things like Thunder cav, Demon princes etc etc.. with the Swarmlord this becomes a LOT scarier for them as he has buffing powers (ML3) and has instant death attacks but the real secret sauce to him is WS9 and the invul in combat PLUS he can challenge whereas things like the Dima cannot and have no invul. The PE is huge but the SL has so far never been a dead weight.. whereas the dima has games where he does nothing but look scary.

      • Avatar
        bigpig February 10, 2015 10:46 am #

        I’ve been running bubble wrap recently to deal with these threats. Seems to work and allows me to keep my extra flyrant. I do like the synergy of preferred enemy on the the ‘dule though. That is awesome

  6. Avatar
    bigpig February 9, 2015 2:20 pm #

    Gratz Geoff on your tourney win. A good read. Would have liked to see more pics of the opponents. Sounds like they were nice armies. Not minimizing at all, but glad to see you didn’t run up against rock paper scissors matchups (which is nice, I love knights with my egrub flyrants).

    Ad Lance gives me fits sometimes if they charge up. Can be hard to save the Hierodule from 3 knights coming in to D-slap it. Also, what is your experience with grav cents that manage to get Perfect Timing? With the meta so heavy in those, it has really been pushing me away from the ‘dule, even though he gives so much. Thoughts?

    • Avatar
      bigpig February 9, 2015 2:22 pm #

      Scouring is a tough mission too for such a low model count. Gratz on that win

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL February 10, 2015 10:14 am #

      I’ve faced it a few times… few scary things for them like getting really close and then getting shot up/assaulted by the swarm lord is a nice possibility OR just going for the deny. I have 9 dice + D6 which is usually more than them so I can have some chance at denying the gate or perfect timing.. they need both so I have decent odds at getting one or the other.

  7. Avatar
    CaptainA February 9, 2015 2:21 pm #

    Great Job Geoff!

    If we play at LVO I hope I get Perfect Timing!

  8. Avatar
    Kartr February 9, 2015 5:26 pm #

    Geoff writes like Frankie reads 😛

    Grats on the win Geoff! I’m surprised your first opponent didn’t give ignores cover orders to his platforms. They’re not vehicles so they should be able to correct?

    I started the 40k hobby in April, I’ve figured out that GT is Grand Tournament, but what’s RTT? And what makes a tournament “grand” (besides winning it :P)?

    • jy2
      jy2 February 9, 2015 5:56 pm #

      RTT is in reference to the older “rogue trader tournaments” as they were known back now. Now, it is often used to describe smaller 3-4 game 1-day tournaments. Grand tournaments, or a GT, is often used to refer to the larger 2-day tournaments that consists of 5-9 games.

      • Avatar
        Kartr Kana February 9, 2015 6:32 pm #

        Thank jy2!

  9. Avatar
    Archon-Kalafex February 9, 2015 10:25 pm #

    Nice job dude! All this crazyness going on for Nids this past year has really got me looking at picking mine up again. But I need to finish up my DE first and want to get as many tourneys in as possible with them to get as good as possible during the 2015 ITC season. Hope to see you at Adepticon! And good luck at the LVO.

  10. Avatar
    Simon February 10, 2015 4:39 am #

    hey there iNControl,

    How would you face a Stompa with a dozen Meks and Forcefield? I trie dot beat this list over and over and always get my butt kicked in. I usually play a sky swarm alongside Malanrophes and Mawlocs but have a barbed hierodule aswell.

    Would be great to get your advice,


    • Avatar
      bugsculptor February 10, 2015 5:51 pm #

      I’ve played against a stompa a few times and settled on a couple of carnifexes as a deterrent. At least if it comes up and punches the hierodule it’ll get countercharged with a handful of S10 AP2 attacks plus impact hits.

      The meks and 12 hp on the stompa make that a real nasty combo – you can’t chip away at it very effectively, you really have to be able to do most of your damage in one turn to kill it.

      Against the swarmlord, I don’t see why the orks wouldn’t just charge in, kill the hierodule then pick up warlord.

      • Avatar
        AbusePuppy February 10, 2015 9:34 pm #

        I think the strategy at that point is just stay in the air, snipe off Ork support units and scoring where you can, and wait for the endgame. Neither of you realistically has a good plan for killing the other, but the Stompa can’t be on every objective at once.

        • Avatar
          iNcontroL February 11, 2015 12:39 am #

          Yeah correct. I’d kite with the heirodule and run away from you to the best of my ability while shooting support or maybe the stompa itself if I have enough warp lance or something. Meanwhile my flyrants are killing off everything else while my 2 sets of rippers are grabbing objectives / threatening line breaker.

  11. Avatar
    N.I.B. February 10, 2015 4:43 am #

    Grats on the win, always glad to see Nids do well. I hope you carry the momentum forward.

  12. Avatar
    Freeman February 10, 2015 8:09 am #

    Great to see the Swarmlord in a competitive list! Really interesting choice.

  13. Avatar
    iNcontroL February 10, 2015 10:19 am #

    and yeah this article is riddled with spelling/grammar mistakes.. I am pretty bad with both truth be told but I wrote this post tourney and 2 hours of driving so I think I got my excuses in order 🙂

  14. Avatar
    greggles February 10, 2015 11:44 am #

    Congrats on the win! That is a nasty list! Are you babysitting the heordule with swarmy or the mael?

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL February 11, 2015 12:37 am #


  15. Avatar
    white925 February 10, 2015 1:20 pm #

    Good job on the W buddy. LVO here you come.

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL February 10, 2015 1:35 pm #

      thanks bro <3

  16. Avatar
    Sean Teague February 10, 2015 6:30 pm #

    I’m the Ad Lance/DKK player from the first round. I will say that Geoff is a super awesome player and very forgiving when it comes to explaining things. I hadn’t played against nids since 5th edition and since I had only done 5-6 total wounds in 4 rounds and on top of that needed to poop like a Hefty Bag full of Vegetable soup, Geoff was super cool when I asked, “Would you mind terribly if we just say you tabled me so I can go poop?”

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