Thursday, 5 November 2009

BATREP: "This Place CRAWLS sir!" Guard v Nids 1000pts

Hormagaunts plow into the Guardsmen's front line.

Scenario: "This Place Crawls sir!"

The corruption continues. Cory was up for another game of 40k and so was I. Based upon the previous game I decided to do somthing a little differently and went for a scenario based game.

The key reasons for doing this were as follows:
  1. Playing a scenario takes the competitive edge off the game. You still want to win, but the scenario rules can tilt things so far against you that being 'competitive' about it ain't worth the effort.
  2. I enticed Cory (and Dawn ... although she bugged out ... boom boom.) with an explanation of the battle as follows: Think Aliens meet Starship Troopers.
I was beholden to recreate a classic (albeit wonderfully cheesy) bit when the Mobile Infantry is surrounded and taking on the bugs with everything they have... so how to make it interesting.


The table ... providing the guardsmen with good fire lines and a strong defensive position.

The scenario would broadly follow the Dawn of War setup rules. The only variance was in the Tyranid Deployment. The Guard would deploy an HQ and two troops choice (IE most of the army) and the Tyranids (going second) would only deploy a Lictor. The guardsmen would then have two turns of 'spook hunting' to attempt to kill the Lictor.

If the Lictor was still alive, the Tyranids would gain a reroll on EVERY reserve roll. If the Lictor died, they wouldn't. As the guard already had most of their army on the field this wasn't actually that bigger threat, but then they were pulling a gunline against a pretty nasty threat.


Kochi 20th:
A stationary heavy weapon army with two mobile anti-horde tanks and lots of template and S6-7 firepower. 1000pts
  • HQ: Primaris Psyker
  • Troops: Infantry HQ - 4 Grenade Launchers and Powerfist in Chimera (Multilaser, Heavy Flamer)
  • Troops: Squad #1: Flamer and Commissar
  • Troops: Squad #2: Flamer (Combined Squads)
  • Troops: Special Weapon Team: 2 Flamers and a Demolition Charge
  • Troops: Heavy Weapons #1: Mortars
  • Troops: Heavy Weapons #2: Autocannons
  • Veterans Squad: Harker with payback (relentless heavy bolter), 3 grenade launchers and a heavy bolter team.
  • Fast Attack: Hellhound with heavy flamer, extra armour and heavy stubber
  • Rough Riders [8] with a power weapon.
Hive Splinter Orobus: I hadn't fielded Nids in ages, and my rustiness to the rules was only matched by my forgetfulness about what a pain putting a nid force together is. All those 'per model' upgrades leads the price all over the place.
  • HQ: Broodlord - Flesh Hooks and Feeder Tendrils and rending claws
  • Elites: 'Harikari the' Lictor - Camo, Flesh Hooks, feeder tendrils and rending claws
  • Elites: Tyranid Warrior Brood [3] - Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Scything Talons, Leaping and Enhanced Senses.
  • Troops: Genestealers #1 [8] with flesh hooks
  • Troops: Genestealers #2 [6] with flesh hooks
  • Troops: Termagaunt #1 [7] with fleshborers and without number
  • Troops: Termagaunt #2 [7] with fleshborers and without number
  • Troops: Hormagaunts [10] with flesh hooks
  • Heavy Support: Carnifex, Spine Banks, Extended Carapace, Bonded Exoskeleton, Regenerate, Barbed Strangler, Scything Talons, Tail - Mace.
  • Zoanthrope: Synapse Creature and Warp Blast.

The Guardsmen castle up!

The Guard setup first and deployed around the central 'base' with the Autocannons in the middle. The mortars setup at the back. The Primaris deployed with the Autocannons to control firepower in the centre. In front of the 'castle' the two combined squads setup with the Commissar and in the fore of them the 6 special weapons teams deployed ready to sell themselves dearly. The Chimera took the right flanking position with the infantry command inside.

The Lictor hid in some area terrain, then Harker infiltrated with a line of sight to the Lictor.

TURN 1 or 'Its too damn quiet, shoot something!'

'Harikari' the Lictor tries not to live up to his name.

Realise that Lictor's spiky scything talons are a fire magnet ... gulp and start to not roll 1's. All the shooting of 700pts worth of army results in one wound.

TURN 2 or 'Everyone's here, where's the enemy?'

The Guard get ALL their reserves on. The Hellhound comes on the left flank and move 18" in to threaten any bugs. The RoughRiders scoot on behind the Chimera on the right flank as it trundles forwards. Marbo arrives without an opponent and deploys out of sight behind some buildings on the far right flank. The first shooting of the turn (the Command Chimera) results in a dead Lictor. Guess this just got harder and the Guard cement their whole gunline. Harker legs it back towards the barracades and his team go 10" ... but will it be enough?

With 'Harikari' dead, Harker and his teamsprint for their gunline...

NIDS: On the reserves roll I get the Hormagaunts, the 6 monster genestealer brood, the Zoanthrope, 7 Termagaunts and the Tyranid Warriors. The Zoanthrope wobbles onto the left flank and has a pop at the hellhound - failing miserably (BS3 pah!).

The Tyranid Warriors have more luck in the middle. Sheltering behind the small shrubbery (SHRUBBERY!), they pummel the special weapon team and manage to kill three. At 50% lossed the Ld7 unit bottles it and starts pushing backwards past the heavy weapons teams. Nice.

The Tyranid Devourers (S4 reroll to wound) manage to make the special weapon squad break ... halving the Guardsmens available flamers and demolitions.

The Termagaunts come on the right flank and scrabble into the are terrain there (why am I hiding the without number troops?)

The Hormagaunts flood onto the board and hit the Commissar led gunline (my table is quite small), they cause 9 wounds in the first turn of combat and lose 2 hormagaunts in return. The Commissar shrugs, passes his Ld9 stubborn test and pushes another guardsmen into the thrashing melee. How annoying.

The Hormagaunts cause massive injuries on the Guardsmens tarpit - but the Commissar couldn't care less!

The Genestealers fleet of foot and catch Harkers team ...


'Move it fellas, move it!' yelled Harker at his squad as they scrambled backwards away from the Nids. How those things had ever got so close was a shock to Harker. He'd been given the order to down the Lictor and he'd achieved his objective, but now his team was horribly exposed.

Mitch and Johansen were the first to go down. They'd dropped their heavy bolter to gain a few yards but it wasn't enough. Within seconds fleshy tendons were streaking from the darkness and impacting on their armour, Harker turned to see most of his team whipped backwards as chitinous genestealers leaped into combat.

Screaming and clawing at the ground, his men didn't put up much of a fight as flashing claws raced down, pulling arms free and crushing brittle skulls.

"Emperor's Throne!" Roared Harker. "Fek this!" grasping Payback, he levelled the mighty heavy bolter at the nids. Time seemed to slow as his gaze sharpened. Skills took over where consciousness simply shook its head in vain. Somehow he just knew. The stealer leaping from the left met 'payback' coming the other way. Flesh hooks or no, it staggered back. Harker followed up quickly, depressing the trigger he rained inaccurate fire at the other stealers as he leapt at the stunned one.

And threw his own forehead into the side of its skull. The impact twisted the stealers neck clean around. Harker himself staggered now, but he just the sense to keep his figure on the trigger, peppering the stealers and watch them shirk to cover.

Gaining his feet, Harker ran.


Harker headbutts his way to victory...

Yes you read that right. The stealers killed Harkers whole team, Harker responded by killing a stealer - failed his leadership test on a minus 8, rolled a 5 (plus 3) to run and the stealers rolled a 1. Classic - Harker lives!

TURN 3 - "Unlease the hellhound!"

GUARD: The guardsmen respond accordingly. The Hellhound backs up (to hopefully avoid the Zoanthrope) and flames the stealers, the heavy stubber and Harker (running, but with a 36" range) manage to kill all but one stealer. The Autocannons and command Chimera kill two out of three Tyranid Warriors.

The Guards front line is stretched but holds and they have plenty of nasty reserves...

The Zoanthrope soaks up (and shrugs off) a bunch of fire. Marbo comes out from behind the building and hides behind the Chimera. The special weapon team are still running and the rough riders mill about waiting for a target.

The Primaris Psyker sizes up the lone genestealer and rolls a 10 for leadership on his psychic test ... doh!

Primaris Psyker ... 70 pts of shooty goodness (except when he rolls a fail on his leadership test ... doh!)

NIDS: The Hormagaunts dramatically squander their attacks over the two combats. Rolling only 1/3 to hit on a 3+ and then rolling nothing but 1,2 and 3's to wound. The guardsmen kill all but two Hormagaunts in return over the turns two combats, faced with multiple 'fearless' wounds, I heroically roll two 6's and keep the squad tied in with a single gaunt.

The Zoanthrope comes out from behind cover and takes another pop at the hellhound (and fails again). The Termagaunts skulk forward and take pop-shots at the roughriders (killing one). The single genestealer charges the autocannon teams and is beaten down mercilessly.

My reserves this turn are the other Termagaunt brood [7] and the larger Genestealer brood [8]. The Broodlord and the Carnifex are having a cup of tea, or gruel, or bio-soup (not entirely sure, but they ain't coming... yet)

With these reserves I adopt a bulletshield approach and run the termies in front of the genies.

TURN 4 - 'I think we have the situation under control sir!'

GUARD: The hellhound has a crack at the Zoanthrope, but fails to provoke 1's from its armour save.

The Roughrider use 'move move move' command (only command of the game) and run 11" across difficult terrain to gain ground on the Zoanthrope.

The Chimera moves up and prepares fires its heavy flamer and squad into Termagaunt squad 1. Killing all but one.

The mortars and autocannons focus on the genestealers and kill two. The mortars spectactularly scatter onto their own man, but he makes his armour save (and shakes his fist in rage at the mortars).

The Hormagaunt in combat is speared with a lot of bayonets. Unfortunately for the Guardsmen, they only get a 1" consolidation ... say hello to my little genies.

NIDS: Confidentally walking to my reserves tray. I point at the broodlord and roll and then point at the Carnifex and roll. A double 1 later and I'm worrying about being tabled. The single termagaunt moves up to jump into the 'tarpit of doom' against the remaining 12 guardsmen. The larger group break right and shoot up the side armour of the Chimera - no luck ...

The genestealers look to finish off what the hormagaunts began - but the commissar and two sergeants are still standing...

The Genestealers swarm forwards in attack. The single termagaunt and genestealers kill nine men (reducing the unit to just the two sergeants and the commissar. In return the three churn out 9 attacks and manage to kill 2 genestealers and the gaunt. This unit is VERY VERY hard. Needless to say, they don't run.

TURN 5 - Clean up job gone wrong.

The turn start with the hellhound racing forwards and dropping a S6 blast on my lonely Warrior. Luckily the hellhound rolls a 1 to wound (wasted shot yippee) ... but the tank commander takes a turn with the heavy stubber and kills the tyranid... oh, lack of Synapse ... hmm...

The Hellhounds Heavy Stubbber achieves what a whole flame cannon couldn't ...gotta love the hellhound.

The roughriders leg it round the corner and are now approaching walk-run-charge range for the Zoanthrope. The Autocannons have a go at the Zoanthrope. Harker leaves the board, the special weapon team rally and rejoin the fray!

With the combat tied in the middle, Marbo steps out from behind his tank and throws his demo charge at the hapless termies. I happen to mention that Cory shouldn't roll high and back towards himself. The arrow and the 10 does the rest and Marbo (subsequently renamed Bruno for his limp wristed throwing) manages to commit Seppuku.

Marbo is renamed Bruno after an absymal attack...

The heavy flamer on the Chug's more accurate and incinerate all but one of the termagaunts (helped by grenades).

The 4 remaining Genestealers remember who's the monster and kill the remaining tarpit. Finally!

NIDS: The Carnifex and Broodlord appear automatically, as does the 'without number' termagaunt brood. The Broodlord and Termies come onto the right flank, mocing into cover to threaten the Chimera. The Carnifex walks on the left flank and lets rip with its barbed strangler.

The Carnifex finally arrives and routs the Roughriders in a single shot!

The Strangler hits 4 roughriders, 2 make their saving throw, but they fail BOTH theit leadership and pinning test and run off the board. Meanwhile the freed up genestealers in the centre assault both the special weapon and the heavy weapon team and wipe them both out in a massacre. They lose one of their number and termie the surviving termagent survives the combat he'd joined. This leaves the Primaris Psyker (who'd detached earlier) contesting the objective to three genestealers and a lone termagaunt.

The Primaris Psyker is left awfully exposed as the Termagaunt and genestealers contest.

We roll for the end of game, and I roll a 1.

Final score: Central Objective contested. Killpoint 6-5 to the Tyranids. Moral victory for the monsters.

CONCLUSION: Playing this as a scenario made for a lot of fun. The Guardsmen were a real characterful force, with the like of the Primaris Psyker and Marbo fluffing while the Commissar and Harker pulled a blinder. The comedy moments were rife and it was a lot of fun.

The odds were against the Nids without the Carnifex or the Broodlord, but the horde creatures held up well. The speed of the 'unaccompanied' genestealers and hormagaunts was awesome. Bottom of turn four and top of turn five looked like game over, but the dice came true at the end.

Cory thoroughly enjoyed the game, and was content to contest a draw. If we'd both kept a closer eye on the objectives it would have been a true draw as I was one gaunt away from that.

IF the game had continued? Well the Primaris Psyker and Command Chimera would have taken the genstealers (not to mention the Hellhound) ... but the Broodlord, Carnifex and Zoanthrope would have proved a nasty combination to beat.

My money would have been on the Guard though.

Let me know what you think ... were the armies well balanced, what did you think of the drama etc. Oh and for your future distraction and entertainment ... check out the following channel on YOUTUBE: Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles...