Sunday, December 4, 2011

Batrep: 1850 Tyranids vs Space Marines

Yes, you read the title correctly.  Next week is "Warhammer Week" for me with the kick off of a winter painting league Tuesday, the Millennium Games Invitational Championships on Saturday, and a 1250pt tournament on Sunday at Boldo's Armory.  The painting league is encouraging people to begin new armies so I will be playing my newly painted Dark Eldar for that.  My compy Grey Knights actually fit well into 1250 as that was also the first tournament level I won with the army.  That leaves the invitational at 1850pts.

The format includes painting and player judged comp.  The kicker is NOVA-style missions where objectives, table quarters, and kill points are ranked and scored each game with battle points instead of win/loss.  This can be a deceivingly difficult format where you need to win on three fronts to earn max points each round.  My grey knight collection is quite small, elite, and would have a hard time in this format against players with collections large enough to tailor a list to the format.

As a result, I've gone back to my roots for this event and will be bringing my Tyranids with a list variant similar to what I took to the ATC.  The army is painted but I won't win any awards for it and player judged comp is a concern, but I'm sure some of my peers will bring harder lists so I'm hoping for an average comp score.

Anyways, this list is designed to go for max battle points.  It's similar to my ATC list with some minor changes.  I split one of the big genestealer units in half to outflank since the objectives are set 12" from each edge and table quarters are easier to grab that way.  I also dropped the tfex to bring the list down to 1850 and added a prime to fill out my tyrant deathstar.

The final list:
Tyrant + armored shell, hive commander, devourers x2, leech, paroxysm
Tyrant guard x3 + lash whips
Tyranid prime + boneswords, regen, toxins, rending
Hive guard x2
Hive guard x2
Hive guard x2
Genestealers x20 + broodlord, scything talon (bl only)
Genestealers x8 + toxins
Genestealers x8 + adrenals
Gaunts x15 + devourers
Tervigon + toxins, adrenals, catalyst

My buddy Andy came over for an airbrushing demo and brought his marines so I was able to get a practice game in.  His list:

Terminators x10 - 8 hammers, 2 claws
Tac squad x10 + melta, multi-melta, rhino
Tac squad x10 + missile, flamer, plasmaback
Tac squad x10 + missile, flamer, razorback
Typhoon + hvy flamer
Typhoon + hvy flamer
Thunderfire cannon

We rolled up scoring to be KP's primary, objectives secondary, table quarters tertiary.  Deployment was DoW, Andy won the roll and decided to go first.  He deployed his melta squad at the half way mark with Lysander.  A combat squad with missile launcher was behind them in terrain.  The other combat squad, thunderfire, vindicators, and speeders would come on turn 1.  He decided to deep strike the terminators and reserve the two razorbacks.

This was a friendly game, but I'm still practicing for an invitational tournament, so I deployed to take full advantage of his choice to deep strike the terminators.  The tyrant deathstar deployed near the center mark and spread out at max coherency so the prime can join it turn 1.  We use INAT around here so the tyrant + guard count as 1 unit.  I placed my troop tervigon down behind a tree and infiltrated 20 genestealers within striking distance of Andy's table edge and stretched it out to cover the deathstar and receive FnP.

Nids don't like going second in KP games so I tried to seize and succeeded!  My gaunts and hive guard walk on.  Both smaller units of genestealers are outflanking.  The big unit gets FnP and advances a little with bad terrain and fleet rolls.  Several units spot the marines in the center and I drop 3 with focused dakka.

Andy brings on both vindicators in the gap.

Lydander pulls his squad back a bit from the advancing genestealers.

Both speeders fly up to flame some genestealers.  In the distance, a combat squad climbs the tallest hill.

Andy spotlights the genestealers and his whole force targets them.  I lose 6 models and a wound off the broodlord.  They are also now in dangerous terrain from the thunderfire.

Turn 2 arrives with the toxic genestealer on the far flank behind Andy's lone combat squad.

Everything moves up again but not very far as terrain trips me up.  The big unit of genestealers get FnP again.  The tyrant, devourer gaunts, and hive guard give lysander's unit a full broadside.

Lysander is left standing alone and takes a wound.  I move up the big genestealer squad to line up a big multi-assault and lose 1 from dangerous terrain.

I make declare my assault on the lead vindicator and want to multi onto both speeders.  I roll 4" which gets me to the vindicator, but lose the 3rd and 4th genestealers in line to dangerous terrain which prevents me from multi-assaulting and retaining coherency.  The 2 that are able to strike on the vindicator fail to damage it.

Andy's turn 2 sees a razorback squad and empty rhino arrive.  He brings them on the far flank to gun down my outflanking genestealers.  He guns down 5 of them, leaving 3 who pass morale.  This is a "siphon" maneuver where 1 of my units has pulled 4 of his away from the main fight in the center and right flank.

On the right, his speeder line up for better flamer shots and vindicators shift so I don't auto-hit him.  Lysanderdakka.

He kills many more genestealers in the ensuing firefight.  The vindicators bomb my deathstar, putting 2 wounds on the tyrant, 3 on guards (killing 1), and 1 wound on the tervigon.

My remaining genestealers up top continue to chase the vindicators.  The tyrant guard and prime jump into cover and get FnP.

On the far left flank, the unit of genestealers with furious charge arrive to back up my siphon unit.

My tervigon spawns 8 gaunts which forms a new screen to advance in front of the tyrant.  The devourer gaunts and hive guard advance into final firing positions.

The tyrant is able to gun down Lysander, sneaking 3 wounds through his armor.  The devourer gaunts drop 3 of the central combat squad including their missile launcher.  Hive guard are able to wreck one speeder and one vindicator.  The broodlord's unit assaults the remaining vindicator and he is able to immobilize it at tear off the demolisher cannon by himself.  On the left flank, I assault the unit on the hill with 3 toxic stealers who lose combat and flee (for the rest of the game).  The adrenal unit assaults the disembarked squad and the rhino, also losing combat but they remain locked.

Andy gets his terminators.  He's in a tough position now down on kill points with much of his firepower destroyed or locked in combat.  He decides to keep them as a single unit and drop them in my backfield.  It's a risky placement, but the only option to set up a large multi-assault and take out my support units.  The dice take the unit 7" towards the table edge and they mishap, getting destroyed in the process.  The remaining razorback squad arrives and sets up to shoot down my genestealers.

The marines and razorbacks are able to finish off the broodlord's unit.  The thunderfire cannon chooses to ignore cover and blasts the spawned gaunts, killing 5. In assault, my adrenal genestealers finish off the combat squad they have been fighting.

Andy decides to concede at this point.  Losing the terminators to a mishap was a make-or-break move and it just didn't work out.  I'm up by 3 kill points, he has very little firepower left, and my hive guard and devourer units are about to hit mid-table and rain down on everything else.  Plus, my pregnant wife came home early and was starting to get antsy ;)

This game was a great exercise in practicing the fundamentals necessary in succeeding with tyranids.  It was an optimal situation from the beginning.  My opponent deployed first, so I was able to counter-deploy in a way that benefited me the most.  His central unit pushed me back, but could not stand up to 57 devourer shots a turn.  It was so far forward that it was unsupported.  Stealing the initiative was very lucky also, forcing my opponent into a reactionary stance which almost never ends well.  My siphon units pulled just enough of his support away from the important battle.  The terminators were the nail in the coffin, but I probably could have handled them between paroxysm and devourer gaunts.

Overall, it was a fun game and my first with Nids since the 'Ardboyz prelims.  Hopefully I can do just as well at Saturday's tournament.


  1. Great Batrep.
    Question: Do you model toxin sacs and andrenaline glands on Stealers?

  2. Nope. IDK a single person that actually models them on infantry. As long as I mark which units are different, I haven't had any issues. I did put them on my tervigons though.

  3. How could the TFC fire on turn 1 in a DoW deployment? And how did it cause dangerous terrain, shouldn't that have been difficult?

    Anyway, nice batrep, thank you!

  4. The TFC didn't fire until t2. I think I skipped a turn somewhere because I we quit at the top of 5, not 4 so I must have left a turn out.

    Do the tremor rounds not cause dangerous terrain tests? I don't have a SM codex but that's how we played it.

  5. @Hedzer - Tremor rounds cause terrain to become difficult and dangerous, hence why you will see them used to great effect against horde units (or even vehicles if you really want to try for that lucky immobilized role)

    That game was a lot of fun though it is just a continuance of my horrid luck against Nids. While my list has done be proud these last few years I think it's time to switch things up a bit! T

  6. It looks like you are really sold on tricky Tyranid lists:) Happy to see new Nidz reports.

  7. The TFC only causes dangerous terrain for vehicles, for all other units it's just difficult terrain.

  8. @ Hedzer - Jesus...I can't believe I've been running that thing wrong this whole time. I stand corrected sir.

    My apologies to Aaron even though you still kicked my ass LOL. Wow... I feel real dumb at the moment.

  9. No worries Andy. I played ymgarl genestealers wrong for a year before someone corrected me here on the blog.

    @ Erle - I'm finding that nids need to be "trickier" in today's meta. Without vehicles to hide in and some of the worst armor saves, units rarely fare well late into the game. I'm finding a combination of "deathstar" units and reserve elements work best for me by the time 6 or 7 turns are played out.

  10. this is a stupid question, but how do you just "walk on" certain units at the begining of the game? are they reserves? do you roll to bring them in, or is that just allowed in the rules?

  11. In DoW deployment, you are only permitted to deploy 1 hq unit and 2 troop units. Everything else can walk on during turn 1 or be reserved as usual.

  12. @crimthaan playing a unit consistently wrong is part of 40k :) it happens to all of us.