This battle was fought against my good friend Dawn... she took the nids and I took the Guardsmen. The Army lists were as follows:
Imperial Guard (Kochi 5th) - 1000pts
Commissar Lord with Powerfist - 85pts
Company Command Squad with powerfist and 4 flamers - 85pts
Ogyrn Squad (3) - 130pts
Infantry Command Squad with 4 flamers - 50pts
Chimera (Heavy Flamer) - 55pts
Squad #1: Grenade Launcher and Autocannon - 65pts
Squad #2: Grenade Laucncher and Autocannon and Commissar - 100pts
3 x Mortar Teams
Veterans, A Powerfist, 3 Sniper Rifles and an Autocannon - 110pts
Hellhound, Heavy stubber/Heavy Bolter configuration - 140pts
Concept - You basic gunline with benefits, hopefully the two tanks could play 'blocker' while the guardsmen take out the littlun's. Meanwhile the Vets would target the MC's. Ogyrns and Commissar Lord are there as 'MC holders'.
Hive Splinter Urobus - 1000pts
Tryanid Prime - Lash Whip and Bonesword, Regeneration - 105pts
Parasite of Mortrex - 160pts
Zoanthrope - 60pts
20 Termagaunts - 200pts
20 Hormagaunts - 240pts
10 Gargoyles - 60pts
Carnifex - Frag Spines, Scything Talons and StrangleThorn Cannon - 185pts
Trygon with Adrenal Glands - 210pts
Concept - I'm keen to see how the Nids perform without their MC leaders... therefore the Tyranid Prime and Mortrex (as the only two independent characters) get an outing (plus I'd converted both... With only one Trygon built - it's one Trygon on the attack. The same can be said for the Carnifex ... although I can't help but feel he's on borrowed time.
Deployment - We rolled for Dawn of War deployment and capture and control as the objectives. It would be a straight up fight - but my Guardsmen couldn't be 'in place' before the Nids arrived. Dawn won the roll and opted to go first.
The Hormagaunts and Termagaunts deployed at the halfway point. The Prime nested in with the Termagaunts. My Command Squad deployed over my objective, while the infantry command squad deployed in the Chimera on the left-central flank.
TURN 1 - Nids...
TURN 1 - Guard...
I quickly set up my mortars on the far left flank. That meant they could hit everyone else - while being the maximum distance away. I moved and then ran my vets onto the central objective - challenging the Hormagaunts. Thanks to the loss of 'flesh hooks' I was confident that I could repell their charge! The Ogyrns and Commissar Lord entered to the right of centre, with the 20 Guardsmen lining up to gunlines to their left. The Commander attempted a 'fire by rank' order but rolled AN ELEVEN! Why didn't I bring vox??
The Guardsmen opened fire. Lasgun took several Gaunts, while the concerted fire of the Orgyrns did surprising damage - killing 2 more. The grenade launcher also added to the carnage popping S3 frag template into the mix ... killing a further 2. Then the Hellhound joined in and killed 8 in sustained fire ... In one turn the Termagaunts were whittled down to eight models. The Chimera moved forwards and toasted one hormagaunt.
TURN 2 - Nids...
Take up positions ... the guardsmen desparately try to take up firing lines before the horde descends...
Dawn broke off the Tyranid Prime fromt he termagaunt as those wee monsters made a retreat back to their objective. The Prime however stormed across to deal with the Chimera while the Parasite leapt forward to deal with the hellhound (if the Zoanthrope couldn't!)
The Hormagaunts made a bee-line for the Veterans squad. I managed to kill a paltry 2 Hormagaunts on the way in and this left 18x3 attacks in return. My squad was wiped out! With the vehicles I was far more lucky ... the Zoanthrope missed the Hellhound - the Parasite then failed to damage it in hand to hand... The Tyranid Prime was equally useless against the Chimera. I'd pulled them in and taken a blow - but now it was my turn. To add insult to injury the Carnifex failed to hit 17 guardsmen in a single shot as it scattered off the board. Meanwhile the Trygon had obviously hit a seem of dense rock, as it didn't arrive. I had some breathing room.
Turn 2 - Guardsmen...
I reversed the Hellhound away from the Zoanthrope and the Chimera back from the Prime. I then turn 6 flamers and a heavy flamer on the Hormagaunts - only 2 survived. This opened up the Prime to sustained Orgyrn firepower - taking two wounds. I was just reminding Dawn of the 'regeneration' ability, when I fired my boltpistol from the commissar and killed the prime... oh my!
The Guardsmen in rank teamed up with the Hellhound and demolished the lightly armoured Gargoyle - only two survived to flank the Parasite. Meanwhile the mortars went to work. They killed all but one Termagaunt (clinging to the objective) and helped massacre the Gargoyles. At the end of turn two, only 8 models were left on the table (2 Gargoyles, Parasite, Zoanthrope, 1 Termagaunt, Carnifex and 2 Hormagaunts) with the Trygon yet to arrive. I'd lost a bare 11 casulaties. - that's nearly a win isn't it?!?
Turn 3 - Tyranids
The Parasite and his bodyguard made for my uber guardsmen squad, while the Zoanthrope targetted the Hellhound. The Termagaunt cowered and 'useless' the Carnifex used his boomgun of pants! The Trygon also arrived and deepstruck between my Ogyrns and the Mortar teams - just behind the Chimera...
Thanks to the deepstrike rules for the Trygon if there a space Trygon shaped with troops all around - that's the one to go for! The Trygon blasted the back of the Chimera and managed a stunned result! Meanwhile the Zoanthrope turned the Hellhound into a wreck (lucky rolling, becuase it could easily have resulted in blow up guardsmen and Gargoyles) The Gargoyles shot one guardsmen on the way in and then killed another 3 in close combat (bloody spitting acid)... Then the Parasite piled in. He killed two guardsmen, one of which failed a toughness test and produced 5 ripper swarms.
It was at this point I read through the stats for rippers... hmmm - someones got a sense of humour! Ripper now have 5 attacks on the charge (who knew?!?) and unlike the previous codex, they can now claim objectives. They were still vulnerable to blasts and S6 firemagnets, but they get their stealth as well. Oh, and they're fearless as standard. The Mindless bit means they will eat themselves if outside synapse range - but there's gotta be a downside hasn't there?!?
The Guardsmen killed the Gargoyles and then failed completely to hurt the parasite. Luckily their Commissar held them together.
The stranglethorn cannon boomed out and shot the Trygon, slightly pissing him off. Carnifex - meet model knife methinks...!
Turn 3 - Guard
My mortars sang out again as the combined force of my powerfisted command sqaud and powerfist commissar and Orgyrns charged into the Trygon. Despite their best efforts they only succeeded in wounding it once (despite two flamers and the two guardsmen wounding him!) and the Trygon killed off the Commissar Lord.
The mortars managed to kill another Hormagaunt, who weirdly still passed his leadership test. The Zoanthrope and Termagaunt dodged their mortar hits. The stunned tank (and it's inhabitants) could do nothing being stunned and shunted the Chimera around to gain a 4+ to hit.
The Parasite weathered over 20 attacks to gain one wound. Meanwhile he killed three guardsmen and created a further 10 rippers (at this point we started using tyranid warriors/Tau battlesuits to see how weird it could get!)
Turn 4 - Tyranids
"Make love ... not war... come here baby!" The Parasite of Mortrex is a panoply of amusing and squirm inducing homocentric jokes for those less happy with their sexuality! NB: The Tyranid Warriors are actually Ripper stand-in's...
The Rippers plowed into combat against the Mortrex's adversaries as the Zoanthrope hit the side armour of the Chimera - the inevitable happened and another vehicle was wrecked. The Termagaunt who presented such a small target to the mortars hung onto their objective. The Carnifex finally (and too late in my opinion) came good and dropped a S6 template on the mortar teams, killing two and routing a squad. The Trygon ate the command squad for breakfast and the Ogyrns couldn't hurt it. The Ripper's plowed through the guardsmen as the Parasite added another 4 Rippers to the horde... this was getting very silly! Only the Sergeants, one guardsmen and the commissar remained
Turn 4 - Guard
The Mortars tried in vain to hit the hormagaunt and Termagaunt, while the flamer infantry command squad targetted the 4 rippers and combined flamer and mortars devastated them. They couldn't kill the Hormagaunt though, and he was the only model who could challenge the objective in time. The Trygon fought himself to a standstill against the Ogyrns, the stubborn Ogyrns losing a few wounds but refusing to budge. The Guardsmen were stripped down as only the commissar hung onto life!
Turn 5 - Tyranids
The Carnifex and Zoanthrope threw everything at the command squad now challenging the objective and failed to force them to flee, despite killing three (including their lieutenant). The Parasite and his brood of Rippers finished off the Commissar but couldn't consolidate far enough to challenge the infantry command squad. The Trygon also finished off the Ogyrns (due to a bad leadership test) and consolidated, but couldn't attack the infantry squad).
Turn 5 - Guard
Everything hinge on the accuracy of the Mortars ... and they failed to hit the termagaunt on his objective. We rolled a one and stopped the game ... but it was fairly convincing.
Anti-Nid: Missile Launchers and flamers are definitely back in my wargear. Grenade Launcher are still very useful for chalking up hits. But the lack of 2+ saving throws makes the Missile Launcher the budget, duel purpose weapon of choice. Unbeliveably I held a draw, and the Parasite bred Rippers like crazy. He created 19 swarms - thats 57 objective holding wounds with stealth and 4 healthy attacks on the charge!
Killing the Parasite will be a priority for most opponents. On the other hand, Zoanthropes in Mycetic Spores will make a mockery of all tanks. The Tryanid army is now a target rich environment - but with too many targets a turn!
Pro-Nid: The following thoughts have occured to me...
Trygon is a must!
6 S6 MC attacks with reroll to hit - simply eats everything beyond thunderhammers. Vulnerable to dedicated antitank - but with 6 wounds and regenerate - brilliant. The Mawloc get his anti-termie shot and then stands they with his 'claws' and WS3 and tries to make one of his S6 attacks stick. As I've mentioned before, you could tie him up with 5 guardsmen for 5 turns.
Tyranid Prime is awesome!
Tyranid Prime with a bonesword and Lashwhip gives you great anti character weaponry (especially with a S6 furious charge against T3) and gives you even odds in close combat. Backed by 30 Termagaunts, his Devourer can offer a -1 ld test (which I think will be FaQ'd) for 25% casualties. T5 means he can approach most opponents with omnipotence - but watch out for Powerfists... Although at 10pts for regen - that's a must.
Parasite of Mortrex
In our game he arrived on a flank with 2 surviving gargoyles and then proceeded to produce 19 Ripper Swarms out of his kills over 3 turns. As long as there's no powerfist - Mortrex can build his own army. Rippers have been seriously buffed in the new codex. They have 4 attacks (5 on the charge) and can claim objectives. This means that Mortrex can arrive at the enemies objective and then turn the Devastator squad into claiming troops (who he can then join) ... oh and rippers still get stealth (although templates do double wounds)... turn 3, my opponent had 9 models on the board. Turn 5 she had 29?!? As a side note, Gargoyles are god! Although it's probably best not to charge them into combat unless you outnumber him 10-1. Blinding venom is good as 'rending light', but it won't win the fight for you.
Zoanthropes are king
You may be able to rapid fire them to death, but a 60pt 3++ model has awesome anti Meq and anti tank. If he hits ... it's 90% goodbye tank. That's it. Leman russ are the same as Chimeras in his sights thanks to lance.
I'm cashing in my Carnifex for a Tervigon too. A T6 W6 troop option MC sound like the perfect option for holding an objective. One that can produce hordes of termagaunts a turn is just even better.
With Mortrex as 'daddy' and Tervigon as 'mummy' it'll be interesting to see how big an army gets... that said - these models will be complete fire magnets and rightly so!
Carnifexes are pointless
My Carnifex spent the whole battle footslogging and shooting (badly), the combo of the nerf in stats, the hike in price and the StrangleThorn cannon being S6 makes this fella useless ... a drop pod would improve things, but he's already at Trygon prices ... i'd rather have a Tervigon.
Hormagaunts aren't too bad
Ok so I killed them all with flamers, but 3 attacks at S3 is good. They've been slightly nerfed in the charge stakes, but the 3D6 run also counts for movement across the board (instead of just a charge), so they're a lot quicker as they have a 50% chance of getting 12" a turn (even through terrain!)
Synapse Rules and Conclusions
Finally, I love the Synapse rules - so much less broken than the old 'run towards the synapse creature' option. The fact that certain troops (hormagaunts and rippers) will lose it and charge into combat makes them less dependable objective holders. Meanwhile 'Rage' can be circumvented by LoS fudges ... which is handy. I love the fact that when out of synpase, the creature just goes nuts ... well some of them do.
Despite the loss of flesh hooks I love the new codex, it's a lot more fun to play (actually harder to play) but with some really fun 'aliens' and 'starship troopers' inspired specials. Genestealers still are the only infiltrators, but they have definitely lost out alongside Carnifexes.