The Tyranids, the dreaded foe that destroys and devours all before it, in a great mass of bodies and teeth. At least, that’s what the fluff says about them. If you hadn’t realised already my game this week was against the mentioned bugs, in an annihilation game with spearhead deployment.
Based upon logic from a little statistical research I have been doing on Eldar weaponry (a future article) I designed my army list around some very mathematically sound principles. At least that’s the theory.
Farseer – 100 w/ Guardians
Runes of warding, fortune
Maugan Ra – 195
20 Guardians – 195
Shuriken cannon, Warlock, embolden
10 Dire avengers – 120 (in wave serpent)
Wave Serpent – 145
Spirit stones, Bright lance
10 Dire avengers – 120 (in wave serpent)
Wave Serpent – 110
Spirit stones, shuriken cannon
2 vypers – 120
2x shuriken cannon
3 War walkers – 120
2 x shuriken cannon
Falcon – 175
Scatter laser, holo field
6 Fire dragons – 96 (in flacon)
So different to normal slightly, I have one less unit of fire dragons, a larger unit of guardians and more shuriken cannons you can get clowns into a car and the all star, Maugan Ra. Now the reasons for the change were three fold, statistics I though I under stood, list tailoring which is a bit naughty of me, and variety, which I like.
Now the stats will become apparent either later this week or next week, that’s all I will say on the matter for now. The list tailoring, I though that by dropping the dragons in favour of guardians I would have more horde killing potential which I though would be useful against the nids, as well as why I took an extra unit of dire avengers (I paid for list tailoring, serves me right). The final reason was why I added Maugan Ra, on paper he’s very expensive and has the potential to do allot of damage if played correctly. That’s all well and good but I just think that he’s a cool looking model with a good back story, that’s good enough for me.
Anyway I expected to be against a horde army so that’s why I took what I did.
Hive Tyrant – 220 w/ tyrant guard
2 x heavy venom cannon (is this legal? the codex isn’t crystal clear about this)
Tyrant guard – 60
2 zoanthropes – 120
10 Termagants – 50
Tervigon – 205
Regenerate, catalyst, cluster spines
Trygon – 225
Tyrannofex – 250
Regeneration, adrenal gland, rupture cannon
Harpy – 170
Heavy venom cannon
A very different kind of tyranid list to what I was expecting. Monstrous creatures every where, and not many little bugs to easily kill. Damn, well I guess I deserved that for list tailoring really.
Anyway the game was spearhead, annihilation as I said before and I won the roll to pick table edge. Instead of my normal, reserve everything I decided to pick and go first, placing the guardians, Farseer and Maugan Ra on the table to stat with, leaving everything else in reserve (the war walkers outflanking). In response to this the tyranids had everything on the table to start. Rolling to steal the initiative a 4 appeared... onto my first turn.
With not much on the board, the Farseer casts fortune on the guardians while they move forward slightly to get the shuriken cannon into range of the Tervigon. Maugan Ra also moves forward to target the Tervigon.
Shooting is quite disappointing with Ra using crack shot to re-roll failed to wounds, only gets two hits despite his re-roll and no wounds, again despite his re-rolls. Very disappointing. The guardians follow suit and do nothing, obviously inspired by the all-powerful phoenix lord.
The army swarms forwards taking advantage of the small Eldar army, intent of destroying it before any reserves arrive. The warriors and Trygon move to my right though the forest while every one else just move forward.
The Tervigon opens the salvo with its spine cluster which totally misses the guardians. The Tyrannofex shoots at Ra with his rupture cannon only for it to bounce of his armour. The Hive tyrant also seeing Ra as a threat shoots at him, wounding him... 1 to save... Ra takes a wound. The Harpy also deals single wound to Ra with another tasty 1 on his armour save. Maugan Ra is starting to look in dire need of help here.
The warriors and Trygon run instead of shooting intent on getting to grips with the enemy.
Rolling for reserves only the war walkers show up, outflanking they appear on the left hand side just behind the harpy, intent on shredding the beast before it can cause any more wounds. The Farseer again casts fortune on the guardians. I have an idea here... it could be good, it could be bad, I move to guardians towards the warriors in the forest to try and cause as many casualties to them before the Trygon eats the poor things. I may have moved them a little to close however. Only time will tell. With only one wounds left Ra moves back towards the ruins to hide. Damn fool only having one wounds left turn two.
Attempting to pay back the tyranids in kind, Ra targets the warriors only to hit with two shots again, and causes a single wound, which is then saved. It happens, I will accept that. The war walkers target the harpy and deal 2 wounds... from 18 shots I deal 2 wounds. It only had 4, was that too much to ask? Ah well, looks like they are dead next turn now. The guardians, now my only chance to redeem this turn, shot the warriors and from over 38 shots from the unit, I deal 4 wounds, killing a single warrior and wounding another one. I’m starting to get worried now.
Seeing the guardians out in the open, alone, the Tervigon spawns 12 gants and sends them to harass the Eldar lines, followed by the original brood. The warriors move 2 inches through the forest with the Trygon following behind. The harpy turns towards the war walkers, intent to do very unpleasant things to them. The best of the beasts move towards the middle of the table.
Shooting and the harpy hits a war walker, blowing off one of the cannons, followed by the tyrant blowing up the same unfortunate walker. The rupture cannon of the tyrannofex roars as it targets the walkers, both shots hitting, destroying one walker, and shaking the other. On the other side of the battle field the Trygon runs 6 towards the guardians, while the Tervigon fires its cluster spines at them one more time but in a stroke of luck, it misses and hits the warriors in the forest. Unfortunately it deals no damage. The gants shoot the guardians and deal 6 wounds as I forget to give the warlock conceal... what is the point in casting fortune on a guardian unit that doesn’t have conceal... such a rookie mistake I made in the list building, I cant believe I made it.
The first assaults of the game and the warriors and Trygon charge the guardians, while the harpy charges the final walker. As the warriors and Trygon moved though cover the guardians go first but manage to inflict 0 casualties. The tyranids on the other hand, kill 9 between them forcing the guardians to run. The warriors in a burst of speed catch them, earning 2 kill points and denying me my psychic defence. The harpy fares just as well, destroying the walker. With only Ra left on the table it didn’t look good for the Eldar.
In his hour of need Maugan Ra prays to the Eldar gods for the strength to destroy the alien swarm that bears upon him, only for his prayers to be answered in the form of the skimmers flying onto the battle field. All my remaining reserves appear bar the dire avengers in shuriken cannon serpent.
The army pushes up the right flank in an attempt to destroy what they can whilst being relatively shielded from the remainder of the tyranid army. Seeing the war host arrive, Ra dashes towards the tyranid line in an attempt to assault and hold as much of the tyranid line in position as possible. The falcon moves towards the Trygon dropping off the dragons hoping to burn the beast for what it had done. The vypers skulk behind the ruins in range of the warriors and the wave serpent is on the far right able to target what it need to with its bright lance. Now we have a game.
Shooting opens up with the dragons targeting the Trygon, but only manage to deal 4 wounds to it. This could be disastrous if the beat is allowed to live. The falcon targets its pulse laser as it, hitting with both shots, and felling the giant beast. The serpent targets the warrior’s instant killing one with its bright lance followed by the vypers dealing an additional 3 wounds from their cannons. Things are starting to look up.
Assault and Ra charge into the brood of 10 gants, once again only hitting with 2 of his attacks, killing both of them. With counter attack from the near by Tervigon the termagants deal 4 wounds in return, I wasn’t really worries about this, a 2+ save makes you cocky after all... two 1’s appear. Maugan Ra, the great phoenix lord of the dark reapers dies... to a lowly brood of termagants. So unheroic.
In one large push the swarm of tyranids move towards the Eldar war host.
The termagants target the fire dragons with their flesh borers managing to take two down. The harpy targets the falcon but just misses. The tyrannofex targets the vypers hitting with one shot, penetrating the armour but is saved by the cover save provided by the intervening ruins. Thank god for obscured. The tyrant targets the remaining dragons, killing 1 and clipping the flacon in the process shaking it.
The one remaining tyranid warrior charges the fire dragons killing one with no wounds in return. So its 1 on 1, both models with only 1 wound. It will be tense next turn.
The final dire avengers decide not to show up this turn, could really use them. The falcon turbo boosts forward, going flat out 24 inches to escape the guns of the large beasts while it can. The wave serpent follows behind only moving 12 so the dire avengers disembarked.
The vypers target the termagants in front of them and manage to kill 5. The dire avengers target the other termagant unit shredding 9 of them in one volley. If only I had blade storm I would have finished the whole unit.
Combat and the warrior vs. fire dragon continues with neither able to defeat their opponent. Both dealt one wound, both saved.
The Tervigon moves though cover to target the dire avengers while both units of termagants flee to the nearest cover to prevent giving away easy kill points as only stragglers are left in each brood. The zoanthropes decide its time to act this turn and move towards the flacon intent to pop it open with psychic blasts. The rest of the monsters mill around the table.
Shooting from the Tervigon kills 5 of the dire avengers with its cluster spines and blows of the bright lance from the wave serpent which was caught in the blast. The tyrant targets the vypers, managing one penetrating hit which is saved as they are once again obscured. The tyrannofex however has no issue with this straight shooting one of the vypers clean out the sky with its rupture cannon. The harpy targets the wave serpent and manages to shake it with a glancing hit, while the zoanthropes target the falcon. Both pass the psychic test, two hits, one pen, and the pulse laser is blow clean off the falcon.
The duel continues between the warrior and dragon again neither giving ground.
The wave serpent comes in turn 5... Could have done with you allot earlier, lets be honest here. It moves straight towards the wounded harpy hoping to kill the flying beast before its cannon can do much more damage. The falcon moves so it can see one of the fleeing termagant units while the dire avengers jump back into their wave serpent, also moving to tackle the other termagant brood.
Trying to make a little bit of difference in the game, the shooting from the newly arrived wave serpent targets the harpy, dealing a single wound to it. Seeing its chance, the single vyper also targets the harpy and manages to deal 4 wounds to it in a single turn... my god why didn’t that happen turn 2? Haha you can only laugh at such situations. The lance-less serpent in just about in range with its twin shuriken catapults and shoots at the termagants in the ruins who go to ground unscathed. The falcon targets the other brood killing two, leaving one alive... quite frustrating.
In combat, the fire dragon finally falls to his opponent and dies heroically attempting to defeat a greater foe.
The single termagant runs for cover in a bunker while the single warrior, fresh from victory moves towards the wave serpent. The tyrant moves towards the remaining vyper.
Shooting and the zoanthropes target the falcon again, causing to explode in a cascade of psychic blasts. The tyrannofex blows off a weapon from the vyper while the tyrant damages its engine, immobilising it.
In a last ditch attempt to gain extra kill points the warrior charges the serpent but fails to hit.
We roll to see if the game continues... a 2. The game ends. Adding up the kill points the final score is:
Tyranids 5 – Eldar 2. A Tyranid victory.
Thoughts about the game and I made many mistakes this game. Several of them happening before the game even began.
· Do not try to tailor your list to what you think your opponent might take, by doing this I gave myself an uphill battle from the start. While I enjoy a challenge, if I had made a balance list to begin with I would have had allot more of a chance to win.
· When making an army list make sure you know what you are doing. Giving your Farseer fortune and then attaching him to a unit of guardians with out conceal is a good way to waste points and get allot of people killed. Pay more attention to what you are doing next time!!!
· The mass shuriken cannons... I’m not sure. Theoretically it should have done a good job, but maybe one game isn’t a fair judgement. More testing needs to be done with it.
· Reserve let me down this game; not having an autarch to help remedy this is risky, maybe I should think about using one.
· Maugan Ra... My wild card. He failed me this game. Maybe I will use him again, maybe not. But for now I think he will be staying in my case for a while.
· Defiantly take two units of dragons like you have the last few games, they are too handy not to use.
For now that’s it from me, I hope you enjoyed reading this, as it was actually a really good game with both sides only slowly taking damage and not being space marines. I look forward to playing tyranids again.