King of the Hill
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Battle #6 <> Conclusion
This, our latest campaign, will pit several armies from the most recent codices against each other to provide some sort of comparison on how well they perform. In our first battle, the Dusk Raiders (using Codex: Chaos Space Marines) thrashed the Fighting Tigers of Veda (Codex: Space Marines, Ultramarines Tactics). Our next fight would pit the same FToV against an old nemesis using Codex: Tyranids.
Hive Fleet Ravana (1963 points) by Patrick Eibel
have been toying around with three different lists using the new Tyranid codex. One is a typical Tervigon/Termagant
swarm, one is a Monstrous Creature-heavy list, and the last one is a Warrior-dominated
list. For this battle, I opted to try
out the “Monster” list. Here is what I
The idea of this list is not complex – field as many big bugs as possible. Astute readers with keen math ability will notice that I am 37 points short of 2,000. Usually, I obsess over my army lists to the point that I would catch such a mistake. Before the game, I transcribed my list into a notebook (to save on printer ink) and I made a calculating error. Nothing like putting yourself in the hole before the game even starts.
Fighting Tigers of Veda (1994 points) by Kenton Kilgore
As I mentioned last time, I’m in the process of dividing my overly-large collection of Stripeypants into several themed armies that I can use against all opponents. I was tempted to get cute and use something Pat wouldn’t be expecting—like a “Drop Pod” army—but cuteness is something those who actually play well can afford, and I did not play well in our last game.
is my “gunline” list of mostly static, shooty units that can blow great big
holes in bunches of Bugs. Like all of my
other FToV lists, it uses the Ultramarines Chapter Tactics.
Because I have been so outclassed lately against Pat, I went back to something that had worked for me before but I had gotten away from out of sheer laziness: the Battle Plan Sheet. The BPS is something I developed many years ago to organize my thinking, because I’m terrible at improvising. You can find a copy of the one I filled out for this game here.
Following the rules of the campaign, we played this game at Pat’s house because he had won the first one. Our table was 4' x 6', with a mix of buildings, ruins, and other terrain. We rolled randomly for mission and deployment, coming up with The Emperor’s Will and Vanguard Deployment, with Night Fighting on Turn 1 only. Because Pat had set up the table, I chose what side I wanted (as is our custom). Pat suggested that it would make most sense (in Forging a Narrative) that the Marines should take the bunkers and fortified area he had set up at one end, which, of course, I readily agreed to.
Rolling for Warlord Traits out of our respective codices, Pat come up with Synaptic Lynchpin (18" Synapse range for his Hive Tryant), while I had Champion of Humanity: somehow, I doubted my Master of the Forge with his conversion beamer would willingly get into any fistfights with the Tyrant—or any other Nid.
Pat checked to see which psychic powers his Bugs would enjoy, with the Tyrant getting Catalyst and The Horror; one Tervigon getting Dominion, the other Warp Blast; and the Zoanthropes getting Onslaught.
We placed our objectives: mine atop a fortified bunker; Pat atop a landing pad. Rolling once more, we determined that Pat would deploy and go first. He put one Tervigon (the one with Warp Blast, henceforth referred to as “Objective Tervigon”), on said objective. He placed the other one (“Field Tervigon”) amongst many, many Termagants, accompanied by the Zoats, the Tyrannofex and the Carnifexes, all shielded by the Venomthropes. He kept the Harpies and winged Hive Tyrant in reserve.
Following my Battle Plan Sheet, I lined up three of four Tactical Marine squads behind the fortification walls, screening Whirlwinds and Razorbacks, the latter of which screened my Land Raider. Attack Bikes lined up along one flank.
I put the Master of the Forge, the 5-man Tactical Squad Rudra 5 Mh, the Sternguard, and the Dreadnought on top of the bunker. Because of the Master of the Forge, I increased the bunker’s save from 3+ Cover to 2+.
After the game, I learned that deploying all those guys on top of the bunker was against the rules: see HOW MANY MODELS? under the BATTLEMENTS section on page 95. Technically, I should have only been able to deploy one unit (I would have chosen the Tac guys, to hold the objective, and attached the Master of the Forge to them). Putting the Dread up there is also questionable, but at the time, I thought it was legal because Walkers move like infantry.
Knowing what I know now, I would have put the Dread and the Sternguard behind the Tactical Squads on the ground. Did my unwitting cheating have an effect on the game? Read along, and you be the judge.
I didn’t even bother to try stealing the initiative, as we were under Night Fighting for the first turn and the Tyranids had quite bit of cover (not to mention the Shrouding from their Venomthropes). No, I wanted them to get closer before I started shooting, and, of course, they did.
The “Field Tervigon” birthed 11 Termagants, the “Objective Tervigon” made 16, and as both rolled doubles, they were spent. Pat added the Gaunts from the former into the mass headed my way and placed those from the latter on his objective, freeing up their monstrous mama.
"You kids stay here and don't get into any trouble. I'm going to the store."
"I'll be back soon. If you're good while I'm gone, I'll let you have some of those Space Marine snacks you like so much."
Warp Blast from the Zoanthropes hit all three Attack Bikes of Kali Squadron 2, knocking a Wound off one of them. The Tyrannofex’s rupture cannon hit and penetrated the Whirlwind Sabretooth, which because of cover and Night Fighting would shrug off the blow on a 2+. Need I tell you that I rolled a “1?” Furthermore, the damage done was “Weapon Destroyed,” taking out a big blast marker before it could ever be fired.
Sigh. Shaking off the shades of the last game, I went down my Battle Plan Sheet, had my troops hold their ground, and fired back. A Razorback took down a Zoanthrope, and Kali 2 took out another one. Kali 1 and 3 hit the nearest Carnifex six times with their heavy bolters—booyah! They then rolled three “1’s,” two “2’s,” and a single “5” to wound; said beastie made its Armor Save.
I hate these guys
The Vedic Siege Gun (another
Whirlwind) launched a barrage, killing two Termagants: uh…whee? The
Dreadnought Surya fired a frag missile and twin-lascannons at oncoming
Termagants, killing 6, which would have been more had I not rolled two “1’s”
and four “2’s” to wound. Combined fire from the Sternguard, Tactical Marines,
Master of the Forge, and the Land Raider (hey, it has twin heavy bolters)
dropped 13 more Termagants. It was a
Pat and I had forgotten to roll for Mysterious Objectives, so we did so now. He wound up with nothing, and I had the one that gave me Skyfire. The end of the first turn also brought the end of the Night Fighting for the rest of the game.
At the start of his turn, both of Pat’s Harpies came Swooping onto the board as most of his army (save for the Termagants holding his objective) advanced. Termagants further up the field fired their devourers at Kali Squadron 2, to no effect. A nearby Carnifex had more success with its twin-linked devourers + brainworms, scoring 11 hits (yowsa!), 8 Wounds, and killing one Attack Bike from Kali 3. Another Carnifex had 10 hits, 6 Wounds, and killed one Attack Bike from Kali 2.
The Tyrannofex fired its rupture cannon at the Vedic Siege Gun, but the proxied Whirlwind made its Obscured save. One Harpy fired its heavy venom cannon at the same target, but missed; the other Harpy went after the Razorback Man-eater V, which exploded, killing two nearby members of Tactical Squad Rudra Mahaduyana 1.
Such nastiness. Attack Bike Kali 2 uncharacteristically (for Space Marines) lost their nerve and fell back off the table edge. Kali 3 also fell back, but stayed on the board. I tried moving forward the Sabretooth Whirlwind, just to get in the Bugs’ way, but it immobilized itself on some difficult terrain.
Firing from the Vedic Siege Gun hit six Termagants and wounded all of two, as I rolled two “1’s,” two “2’s,” and two “3’s.” Shooting from Tac Squad Rudra Gh 1 killed one more Termagant. Tac Squads Rudra Mh 1 and Gh 5 killed five more. Sigh.
Kali 1 drilled one Venomthrope full of holes, killing him; Kali 3, Man-eater VI, and the White Tiger combined fire to drop one of Pat’s Carnifexes. My Master of the Forge, my Dreadnought, and the Sternguard managed to take a single Wound off the T-Fex.
Pat’s flying Hive Tyrant came on from Reserves, Deep Striking directly in front of my firing line, the Harpies landing beside him to back him up. The Tyrant and Harpies fired on my Land Raider, to no effect.
Shooting from the two Tervigons brought down one Tactical Marine (Rudra Gh 1) and one Attack Bike from Kali 3. Pat’s surviving Carnifex shot dead another Attack Bike from Kali 1, and then failed its charge through difficult terrain. Termagants also failed to charge through difficult terrain and lost two by Overwatch fire from Rudra Gh 1.
With Nids all up in my grill, it was make-or-break time. I declared that I would be using the Ultramarine’s Tactical Doctrine, which would let me re-roll Shooting misses from Tac Squads and “1’s” rolled by any other unit. Dreadnought Surya and the Sternguard Grey Tigers shot dead the Hive Tryant; Master of the Forge Yadav and Rudra Mh 5 killed one Harpy; Rudra Mh 1, Rudra Gh 5, and the Land Raider killed the other Harpy.
Attack Bikes and the Razorback Man-eater VI combined to kill the last Carnifex; and the Vedic Siege Gun and Rudra Gh 1 killed 15 threatening Termagants. An excellent—and much needed—round of shooting!
Termagants bum rush the show on Turn 4
Return fire from the Tyranids was mostly ineffectual, with one Marine killed, and the Land Raider White Tiger suffering the loss of a Hull Point (and being Shaken) from a penetrating hit by the Tyrannofex.
Termagants charged Tac Squad Rudra Mh 1, losing none to Overwatch, two to melee, and taking down one Stripeypants; the fight would continue. Elsewhere, more Termagants failed their charge against Rudra Gh 1 and were killed by Overwatch. “Field Tervigon” also failed its charge against the same.
Here come the Bugs! The "Field Tervigon" leads the charge towards the Tigers' line
On my turn, I invoked the Devastator Doctrine, which would let me re-roll Overwatch for units charged. As “Field Tervigon” was the most pressing threat, I fired my Dreadnought, the unengaged Tactical Squads, the Master of the Forge, the Grey Tiger Sternguard, Man-eater VI, the Land Raider, the Attack Bikes at it, managing to knock 5 Wounds off it—close, but not enough! Having survived all that, the Tervigon regenerated a Wound.
The Vedic Siege Gun Whirlwind killed three Termagants on Pat’s objective. In close combat, Rudra Mh 1 killed a Termagant, and the scrap went on.
The Tyranids continued to surge forward, firing as they came. The T-Fex was unable to harm the Dreadnought; “Objective Tervigon” wounded an Attack Bike; Termagants fired on Rudra Gh 1, killing one Marine. Said Termagants attempted to charge that squad, failed, and lost two to Overwatch fire (aided by the Devastator Doctrine).
“Field Tervigon” successfully charged Rudra Gh 1, suffering no Wounds from Overwatch, and killed two Marines in the melee; the survivors fell back. Elsewhere, Rudra Mh 1 killed a Termagant and lost two of their own, but kept fighting.
Turning towards “Field Tervigon,” the Land Raider White Tiger unleashed its full firepower against it, killing the alien mom-strosity. The psychic backlash took out 8 nearby Termagants, and firing from the VSG and the MoF took out three more on Pat’s objective.
Attack Bikes, Dreadnought Surya, and Razorback Man-eater VI only managed to knock two Wounds off the Tyrannofex. Rudra Mh killed four Termagants, running down those who broke and ran, destroying them.
Pat rolled The Loyal Green Die ™ to see if the game would end, and it did. Both armies had managed to hold onto their objectives, but the Fighting Tigers had struck First Blood and had Slain the Warlord.
Fighting Tigers of Veda: 5
Hive Fleet Ravana: 3
Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel
Here are the things I would do differently for this battle: 1) start the Tyrant and Harpies out on the board—with long-range weaponry, there really is no reason to put them in reserve; 2) lose Regeneration from the Tervigons—it is just too expensive to be useful; 3) lose the Norn Crown from the Tyrant; 4) use all of those saved points plus the points I didn’t use to get a Mawloc (the Carnifexes can double up in a brood to free up a Heavy Support slot.)
I made a slew of errors in addition to how I spent my points. I played tentative with units that needed to get into combat, and played aggressive with units better suited to hanging back (coughHiveTyrantcough). I guess I am still on the low end of the learning curve with my Tyranids.
Attack Bikes FTW!
Post-Game Analysis by Kenton Kilgore
Better. Much better. I chose a decent list, I came up with a plan, I followed it, I didn’t forget to use my Chapter Tactics (like I did in the last game), and I came out with a win, despite some crappy dice rolls at the beginning of the game. I don’t believe that my inadvertent cheating during deployment was a significant factor, as Pat only managed to get a smattering of Termagants and a single Tervigon into close combat, and them only with my Tactical Marines.
Things looked tense on Turn 3, when Pat’s Flyrant, his winged-monkey friends, and a Carnifex were getting much too close for comfort. Fortunately, my Marines came through, thanks to the Tactical Doctrine: that Shooting Phase broke the back of the Tyranid force. The next game is my (proxied) Nids against Pat’s Eldar: let’s see how my guys fare.
King of the Hill
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Battle #6 <> Conclusion
Posted March 2014