Long time no posting, but I've been very busy working on my new army - the Tyranids. In line with Dev and my continuing strategy for eco-friendly modelling, we're busy converting all our Rogue Trader era Orks and SMurf into armies... at the same time I've decided to get to work on our old Advanced Space Crusade Era 'nids, Termagents and Genestealers. More on the Army to come - including a subconsciously devisive paint scheme.
The idea with collecting Nid's is that they'll work seemlessly in conjunction with my well heeled Imperial Guard Army to provide a formidible Genestealer Cult army (we have 10 leftover genestealer hybrids including 3 metal ones and a magus - joy!). Or even a combination Guard and Tyranid force for when we really want to give the greenskins a kicking.
I've painted a selection of the models and these will be posted ASAP. One of the first things I wanted to do is give the Nid's an outing against the old Guard. And it was quite a battle.
Army Lists - both players went for balanced lists with no overkill options. The Nid's choices at this stage were limited (everything I own) so we kept the Hellhounds and maxed out heavy bolter crews at home to give the gremlins a chance. The final lists looked like this.
Kochi 2nd Reserve: Lightweight but many, just hope they can hold their nerve!
Junior Officer with bolt pistol and chainsword, 4 Guardsmen, 2 with Flamers.
Heavy Bolter Fire Support Team, 6 Guardsmen, 3 with Heavy Bolters.
Mortar Support Team, 6 Guardsmen, 3 with Mortars.
8 Stormtroopers, one with flamer, one with plasma gun.
6 Ratling Snipers.
Junior Officer with bolt pistol and chainsword, 4 Guardsmen with Grenade Launchers.
Squad Alpha with plasma gun.
Squad Beta with plasma gun.
Armoured Fist Squad with Flamer.
Chimera with Multilaser, Heavy stubber, Heavy Flamer.
Tyranids: Everything including the kitchen sink - charge...er screeetch!
Broodlord with extended carapace and eight genestealers with extended carapace.
3 Tyranid Warriors with toxin sacs, devourers and slashing blades
3 Tyranid Warriors with toxin sacs, deathspitters and rending claws.
3 Tyranid Warriors with toxin sacs, deathspitters and rending claws.
10 Termagaunts with fleshborers, scuttlers and without number.
Setup and Deployment: Annililate and Dawn of War setup. NB: All notes made from the Tyranids perspective.
The Tyranids set the Hormagaunts in the middle of the board, nestled behind a hill. The HQ Tyranids were placed behind a small tower to their right. The rest of the models were all held in reserve, including the scuttling termagents and the broodlord and retinue.
The Guard set up their HQ flamer squad and alpha plasma squad supporting their ratling snipers on a barracaded hill to the far left (vulnerable to flanking - woohahaha!) and placed their heavy bolters in cover in the centre, with the grenade toting platoon command squad and the mortars in support. The final platoon plasma squad was left drifting in the middle, ready to jump left or right.
Tyranids: The other two Tyranid Warrior Squads stalk onto the field between the Hormagaunts and the Tyranid Leaders and let fly a barrage of deadly but highly innacurate fire as the Hormagaunts leap over the hill. They manage to kill half the mortar squad with Devourer shots (12 shots - yippee, BS2 ork style?!?) and miss wildly with their 6 deathspitter templates. These scatter wildly from the heavy bolter teams polishing their weapons and scatter directly into the middle of the 'inbetween' plasma squad beta. Despite losing 5 men, the squad hold it together, thanks to the stern gaze of Lieutenant Bender over their shoulder. With an almighty scuttle the Genestealers and Broodlord scuttle on ... but lamentably they roll a 4 and appear on the right - a whole two turns of running away from the mortar teams. The Termagents arrive on target however and immediately ply a salvo of fleshboring love ammunition into the lightly armoured backs of Squad Alpha, who also lose half their numbers and then shrug off a -1 moral test like it 'ain't no thing...'
Guard: The reserved armoured fist and stormtroopers arrive. The latter in the centre to bolster the centre line and make best use of their flamer and plasma weaponry. The armoured fist arrive dismounted and trot onto the board. A total of a Heavy flamer, 4 flamers, a heavy stubber and multilaser make short work of the 10 termagaunts and a resounding cry of "Hell yeah!" echoes up from behind the hill (along with the smell of barbequed king prawns...) only then do I spring my trap and highlight that the Termagaunts will return next turn, I'm glowered at mightly for that one, I can tell you! The demise of the Termies leave the ratlings free to loose a salvo at their only target in range - the Hormagaunts and they kill 4, furthermore the combined hellgun and plasma fire kills a further 2. Meanwhile the brave squad beta, having brushed off the spattered remains of their deathspat colleagues double-time it into a defensive position to stave off the dread er... two hormagaunts. The remaingin two mortars fire on the genestealers, wounding a single model - which saves. The remaining grenade launchers and heavy bolters open up on the Tyranid Warriors fast approaching and manage to down one, each. A devourer and a deathspitting Nid go to their graves (or soupbowl of reconstitution).
Tyranids: Stomping forwards I decide to forgo running in favour of firing all the Warrior weapons into the mortars. The plan is to kill them off, leaving a nice charge into the heart of the grenade launcher command sqaud and heavy bolters. Unluckily the deathspitter shooting proves useless and 5 deathspitters and 2 devourers only kill a single mortarman (and a grenade launcher man on scatter), leaving a final two man crew to face the might of 8 genestealers and the broodlord. The two remaining Hormagaunts charge into squad beta and massacre them, consolidating as a cannon fodder before the Tyranid Warriors. The Termagaunts trot back onto the field left of center and run towards the middle with a mighty move of 2". The Genestealers smashed the mortar team to goo with a total of 14 wounding kills... very dead. And then stand there gormless in the face of guard firepower... new consolidation rules suck...
Guard: The squads on the hill and the Chimera make an immediate u-turn. The Chimera and it's armoured fist unit making back to support the beleaugered middle ground, while the HQ command and the remains of squad alpha leggit to try to head off the Termagaunts. Target choice then becomes a big discussion as the guard player chooses the best way to dispatch the genestealers. The lasguns on the heavy bolter teams kill a single genestealer (despite their extended carapaces) and then the Heavy bolters plow in, killing a further five. After much discussion, the stormtroopers pile in showing how its done and dispatch the remaining 2 genestealers with hellgun fire and plug the broodlord for two wounds with their plasma gun. The command squad, comprising 3 grenade launchers and a bolt pistol wound the broodlord - but he saves... Reckoning that they wasted more than enough time on the broodlord, the ratlings and chimera plow their firepower into the Tyranid Warrior killing one devourer model and wounding a deathspitter model.
Tyranids: The Gaunts break left and fire on the approaching squad alpha (running down from ratling hill), killing two. Alpha break and cannot recover. The 2 Hormagaunt's plow into the heavy bolter crew and kill 2 with no reply, the bolter crew pass morale (on a 6!). The broodloard makes quick work of the grenade command squad (who do run) and lines up on the heavy bolters. The Tyranids kill a single stormtrooper with devourer fire and manage to kill 4 men in the armoured fist squad and stun the chimera. Still all in the balance.
Guards: the Stormtroopers trust to their foreshortened friends and run around the heavy bolter combat to line up on the Tyranids. While they make their move, sniper shots ring out as the broodlord is finally downed. The flamer command squad torch all but three of the Termagaunts (and then decide to stop...). The armoured fist (which had held it's nerve, realising the Nids hadn't been aiming at them all along) moved forward to cover the chimera (which sat there in a stunned fashion!). The stormtroopers shot up a lonely deathspitter Tyranid and waited for the retaliation... the combat between the hormagaunts and the heavy bolter crew finally claimed a hormagaunt and another two guardsmen died - leadership was passed.
Tyranids: The Warriors fire everything they have at the tank - in hindsight I should have charged, but it was past midnight, time for bed, and who am I to deny a glorious guard victory... They manage to take out the multilaser. The hormagaunt (singular) finishes off the heavy bolters and look round beweildered saying "so have we won?" The Termagaunt decide that lurking is the better part of valour - being further than 12" away from the 4 remaining warriors and snipe at the command squad, downing a further one.
Guard: Who in return completely ignore them. The chimera trundled forward and finished off the remaining devourer tyranid. The stormtrooper ignore the hormagaunt standing behing them and run round for a 1-2-3 flamer hit on the three remaining tyranids claiming two wounds. The remaining hellgun and plasma fire finishes off the other. The ratlings also fire on the Warriors, but in a revenge on previous accomplishments, fail to kill.
With only one hormagaunt, one tyranid warrior and three termagaunts on the field we called it a day. A resounding victory for the guardsmen - well done!
Conclusion: On my first outing with Tyranids I was unlucky in one respect and made two mistakes elsewhere. My bad luck was to have the genestealer arrive on the wrong side. I knew the risk but didn't figure on the 33% chance of not appearing where I wanted. The broodlord and genestealers would have made very short work of the ratlings, both squads and the armoured fist (which wouldn't have gone near him) - leaving me good odds to take the rest of the field. That said, I played my termagaunts weakly. I should have placed them further away and commited guard models away from the main fight. The second mistake was trying to shoot with Tyranid warriors - they're rubbish! The devourers are fun in numbers and 4 shots is awesome, but the spectacular misses of the deathspitters - despite the numbers targetted, was embaressing. Toxin sacs for them in this fight was pointless, enhanced carapace would have been better - but still...? The biggest mistake I made was not running, I didn't run my Tyranids and Genestealers full wack into the enemy. A combination of 4th edition hangover and 'guardsman' mentality ("Gotta soften them up, you know!") meant I spent much wasted time not running... and instead dithered about in firing range trying to over-firepower the guard - doh?!
My next (far future) purchases wil be some further Termagaunts and Hormagaunts (which served very well) and then onto the Tyrants, Lictors and Carnifexes. Yum yum.