Tuesday, 30 March 2010

BATREP: 1850 Nid v Guard - Battle Mission

In the face of the neverending devourer ... the guard employ Orks...

Further to my previous pasting by my friend and colleague, Mark 'Ironside' - we rescheduled another game. I was to get the chance to rethink my horde to get to grips with Mech armour ... while Mark would put together a more fluffy/mixed guard force.

After last minute chats, we agreed that the Guard wouldn't go all infantry and that a mixed force would offer me the best challenge. This is my fifth outing with the new nids ... and I'm still getting to grips with the play-style (being more used to Guard and Tau gunlines) and the special characters I roll with.

TYRANID ARMY LIST - Hive Splinter Orubus
  • Tyranid Prime: Lash Whip and BoneSword, Devourer, adrenal glands
  • Parasite of Mortrex
  • 2 x 1 Hive Guard
  • Doom of Malantai in a basic Spore
  • 20 basic Hormagaunts
  • 4 Warriors with rending claws, toxin sacs and deathspitters in a spore
  • 10 Termagaunts
  • 5 genestealers
  • 5 genestealers
  • Tervigon with Regen, Catalyst, toxin sacs
  • 20 Gargoyles with toxin sacs
  • Trygon with regen
  • Trygon with regen
GUARD ARMY LIST - Mark's Defence Force
  • Primaris Psyker
  • Infantry Command Squad - Autocannon, meltagun
  • Squad #1
  • Squad #2
  • Squad #3
  • Squad #4
  • Squad #5
  • Veterans with 2 plasma and a meltagun
  • Lascannon HWT
  • Missile Launcher #1 HWT
  • Missile Launcher #2 HWT
  • Mortar Team #1
  • Mortar Team #2
  • Hellhound with heavy flamer
  • Hellhound with heavy flamer
  • Vendetta
  • Punisher with Pask and 3 Heavy Bolters
  • Leman Russ with heavy flamer
  • Leman Russ with heavy flamer
Marks getting really into his duel hellhound list (impressed on him by your truly) and apart from dropping the vendetta and taking yet more mortars ... this is probably what i'd take (but with more flamers ... grrr)

To keep things interesting I suggested we play a battle mission rather than a standard conflict. This would give us a chance to showcase Jervis' big new idea ... and the Nid one's seemed particularly tasty! As I jumped this on MArk that evening, I gave Mark the choice of the Nid mission he'd defend.

He opted for 'Wave Assault' (Pg:84)


For those that haven't bought battle missions yet, wave assault requires the 'non-nid' player to deploy anywhere more than 12" away from 3 board edges. The Tyranid player then divides their army in to three equalish sets of units. These 'sets' then arrive in a random order in turns one, two and three. The objectives are based in the centre of the board and 18" away from the centre line of the 'nid-edges'.


Our lictor viewed the smelly objectives, surrounded by tasty tasty treats (otherwsie known as guardsmen)

Mark deployed everything except the 'fast attack' options (with his vets inside the vendetta). The standard guard squads formed up around the Leman Russ battle tanks, with the Punisher sitting pretty in the middle. The Heavy weapon teams sat well back in a handily placed central bunker complex (oh, how did that get there? LOL) and hunkered down for the battle. Mark strategy was going to be to blast me away from the centra of the board with some serious firepower.


Never having done this before, I sort of worked it at random ... and made some blinding mistakes!

Wave 1
  • Tyranid Prime and four warriors in a Spore
  • Doom of Malantai in a Spore
  • Tervigon
  • 5 Genestealers
Wave 2
  • Parasite of Mortrex with 20 gargoyles
  • 1 Hive Guard
  • 10 Termagaunts
  • Trygon
Wave 3
  • Hive Guard
  • 20 Hormagaunts
  • 5 genestealers
  • Trygon with regen
Anyone else notice the blinding mistake. No Synapse in Wave 3 ... guess which wave turned up first!

TURN 1: It's just a jump to the left!

The Hive Guard, Hormagaunts and Genestealers arrive on the left hand flank, while the Trygon deep strikes in the middle to cause maximum problems. Hive guard immediately fails his leadership and hides ... hormagaunts keep their nerve and keep to some cover for this turn. The Guard turn their ire on the Trygon, with Commander Pask with BS4 20 shot reroll to wound punisher cannon leading the way ... he goes down in a hail of rapid fire death and nastiness. Oh dear. The battle cannons open up ... killing half the Hormagaunts and 3 genestealers. Wierdly both units pass their leadership tests!

And in normal vision ... Mark sets up three layers of dakka to meet my horde!

TURN 2: And a step to the rigggghhhht!

Wave 1 arrive. And the Tervigon turns up and spouts 10 termagaunts onto the board. Forget to Catalyst the stealers though ... doh! The Spore land brilliantly and the Doom kills several heavy weapons teams and forces a standard squad to run off the board due to casulaties. The Tyranid Warrior and Prime also hail fire on the enemy ... but the lack of a rear armour shot thwarts them. They do drop into area terrain. The Hive Guard flips again (and I mistakenly keep him in 'cover' not 'area terrain' ... this is a mistake. The hormagaunts flip out and run, skip and jump a guardsman squad ... causing a not inconsiderable massacre. The Hive Guard pop shots at a unit and 2 genestealers move up behind the spore/warriors on the left flank.

The Prime leads a desparate charge down the middle ...
hang on we're nids ... munch munchy, crunchy crunchy!

Guardsmen respond. The lasgun fire drops a genestealer, while a missile launcher barrage kills the Doom (when won't I roll a 1 or 2). The combined fire of lascannons etc is weathered by the warriors in cover (while the prime take some strategic lascannon hits and battle cannon hits) ... on the other flank a peppering of lasgun shots is followed up by a hellhound, who kills 4 termagaunts and all but two genestealers... hmmm. Meanwhile Pask proves wholely useless against the Warriors.

TURN 3: ...bugger that, right down the middle boys!

The Hormagaunts go on to massacre the command squad (left hanging by a vagrant Primaris Psyker avoiding 'shadow') The last wave arrive and the gargoyle flood on to the board ... nicely spread out. Both hive guards pass their leadership this turn and subsequently do nothing against the leman russ in range.

The remaining 2 Warriors and Prime charge the leman russes in front and score multiple hits.. immobilising both of them and removing the battle cannon from one. The Tervigon spouts another 8 termagaunts and they flood the board as the genestealer (catalysed this turn) make a run at the hellhound. The termagaunts open fire on the guardsmen in the open and start demonstrating their grit ... downing several.

The lone genestealer on the right flank charges a squad of seven and kills 3 ... but gets taken down in return... more hormagaunts, check?!? The two genestealers manage to hit the Hellhound, but fail to penetrate it ... another 6 anyone?

The Trygon attempts to repeat the genius of its forebear ... deepstriking in the middle will work this time 'surely'.

The Guard get the other hellhound and vendetta. The vendetta arrives on the left flank and immediately turns my 'out of place' hiveguard to pate! Lurk in AREA TERRAIN next time please! The other hellhound comes on in support and adds its attack to the hurt raining on my warrior squad... but now at toughness 5 ... they weather it well, but fall at the last shot!

The Trygon finds that the bad plan first time was a bad plan second time round ... and goes down to flashlights ... yes flashlights - damn you guardsmen! The Termagaunts take a creaming from the hellhound and the genestealers get wiped out with krak missile. FNP, hah! The Doom attracts some serious firepower. The Primaris moves up to engage and forgets about synapse/shadow and subsequently does himself an injury! The Gargoyles attract serious mortar and punisher fire, but only lose about half ... not bad.

The Myetic Spores get pummelled to goo too. So at the end of this turn I have the Doom and his gargoyles ... a single hiveguard. 24 Termagaunts, a Tervigon. Not good.

TURN 4: Fight fight fight!

I'm seriously stretched for synapse now ... The Parasite charges another Leman Russ and kills its cannon too, damn you dice. Meanwhile the Tervigon moves up to take an objective. It spouts out more termagaunts, which shoot up more heavy weapons and guardsmen ... some more run away! The hiveguard lays a shaken result on the right flank hellhound, but fails to kill it (another poor penetrating hit!) Termagaunts move up and claim one objective ... shooting off the guardsmen.

Termagaunts Horde and Tervigon secure an objective ... while the Parasite plays
pattycake with the guardsmen ... producing 8 swarms!

The remaining 3 Hormagaunts show their pace as they race across and kill the Primaris Psyker ... but fail to make it back to cover...

Guard shooting is the worst of the game. A number of gargoyles, termagaunts and other die ... but nothing in the numbers I expected. Importantly, the hiveguard survives. The Vendetta flies up to grab the centre most objective, while the hellhound moves up at full speed to contest another.

TURN 5: Breeding a new army.

Tervigon finally sparks out this turn, with another 10 Termagaunts. She Catalysts up and sits on the objective. In addition, the Parasite leaps a terrain piece and dives into combat with the final troop choice in range. The ensuing comabt in drawn (thanks to three great 5+ saves by the guard) and the remaining gargoyles are dead ... but 4 new rippers burst to life and swarm over the central objective.

Pask comes a cropper on some uneven ground (better get out and push you bugger)

In the enemy turn, the punisher moves up to contest the centre but Pask proves a better commander than driver ... resulting in an immobilised tank! The hellhound weathers the hive guard fire (only now do I realise I rolled the hiveguard at BS3 all battle (doh!)) to contest. The other hellhound moves up and (ignoring the Tervigon) drops a S6 murder template over my swarm ... killing all. The veterans then disembark to capture both central objectives.

We roll a 1.

Final Score ... a close 2:1 to the guardsmen!


Is this battle mission supposed to put me at an advantage??? Ok, there wasn't one. It was actually a really well balanced game and very very fluffy - which is what I like. In addition, the performance of the Prime and the Parasite were superb. The Tervigon soldiered through, pooping out termagaunts (much to Marks dislike)... but the main thing was what I learnt about deployment.

What made a refreshing change was that my 'anti armour' options really worked this game. Mark had nearly as many tanks as our last battle, but the anti-mech options worked this time. The Hive guard are a solid option... while limited against leman russ, they excel against hellhounds and vendettas (especially if you remember they're BS4!) ... The Prime and Warriors are currently a little wasted in antitank duties ... and hopefully a bit of FNP from the tervigon would offer them all out into the open and assaulting the flanks!

Tervigons. I'm a little afraid of getting Tervigons into the mix ... but they are actually far more durable than I give them credit. Hiding the Tervigon behind my Warrior unit would have given her a 4+ cover save, and them a 4+ cover (assuming random hormagaunts in the way) and 4+ FNP!

Add into that the ability to drop a FNP on a deepstriking Trygon and I'm laughing. It's clear from this battle that I need to work on my unit synergy far more.

With this in mind, I should have grouped the Spore mines and Trygons in a single cluster ... offering me a chance of delivering some serious pain. The Hive Guard were great ... but they don't need to be separate. Hiding them behind the Tervigon would offer me better options.

As a third group, the Parasite is the ultimate horde leader. Dropping Hormagaunts and Gargoyles and Termagaunts under his wing would have made more sense. As such, if I played again ... I'd take the following:

Group 1 (4 units): Prime and Warriors (walking), Tervigon, 2 x HiveGuard

Group 2 (4 units): Parasite and Gargoyles, Hormagaunts, Termagaunts, 8 genestealers

Group 3 (5 units): 2 x Trygon, 2 (separate) Zoanthropes in Myetic Spores

These units are also useful to remember for the main game as well as they offer useful synergies in speed.