Friday 17 August 2012

Unleashing the storm... Eldar vs Tyranids 1500

Last week I sent an email to Imperius dominatus asking what they believed would make a good elder army and got the following reply. I decided to give this kind of a list a spin against my buddies Tyranids as I always seem to have a problem against him (I suck, I know). This game was a 1500 points game, mission: The scourging, deployment: Hammer and Anvil.

Before I get into the battle report though I would like the thank mercer for the reply and the time he put into the elder list, it was a cool little list and although I wouldn’t have ever have though to use it myself, I gave it a little spin. So here is the list that I made from his suggestion.

Eldar 1497

Eldrad – 210 (warlord: enemy use lowest LD)

5 Fire dragons – 96

Wave serpent – 135
Twin linked scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon

6 Fire dragons – 112

Wave serpent – 135
Twin linked scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon

10 storm guardians – 132
2 x fusion guns, warlock, enhance

Wave serpent – 135
Twin linked scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon

10 storm guardians – 132
2 x fusion gun, warlock, enhance

Wave serpent – 135
Twin linked scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon

11 storm guardians – 140
2 x flamer, warlock, enhance

Wave serpent – 135
Twin linked scatter laser, spirit stones, shuriken cannon

So a list with many tanks, and storm guardians, not a very specialist army, guardsmen practically. This is very different to what I would normally play with but, a change is as good as a rest.  Out manoeuvre and attack weaker parts of my opponent should have been my tactic… but you will see what I did in the game. My opponent brought:

Tyranids 1505 (5 points over! I will let him off)

Hive tyrant – 260 (warlord: outflank)
Wings, 2x twin linked devourers

Tervigon – 195
Catalyst, adrenal gland, toxin sacs

15 termagants – 75

20 Hormaguants – 160
Toxin sacs

10 gargoyles – 60

3 Carnifex brood – 495
Frag spine

4 monstrous creatures, a flying monstrous creature and a hand full of little guys make it an interesting list. It probably wouldn’t bother me with my regular army but now I have storm guardians instead of dire avengers… I’m not so sure. We shall see.

We roll for sides and he wins deploying and electing to go first. He sets up his Tervigon in the middle of the board surrounded by the termagants and the Hormaguants to its left by the board edge. The carnifexs and gargoyles go by the other board edge so he’s got his units in a straight line. His hive tyrant goes into reserve so he can out flank. 

In response I split my forces (my first mistake) and put one unit of storm guardians and dragons facing the fexs and the rest on the other side facing the Tervigon. We flip over the markers and it’s the 4 point marker in the middle of the board and the others add up to 4 on each side. Quite an even set up. I decided to try and steal the initiative… and I DID!

Eldar turn 1

Eldrad gets his powers off to begin with and casts fortune onto his own wave serpent and the wave serpent to his left.  To use his final power he casts fortune on his own wave serpent.  I move my tanks forward to get their shuriken cannons within range of the gargoyles (on the left) and the Tervigon (on the right).
Shooting phase was a mixed bag of results with the two wave serpents on the left taking down 9 of the 10 gargoyles (no first blood for me), but the 3 wave serpents on the Tervigon only manages to score a single wound on the monster. A nice short turn.

Tyranids turn 1

The horde of gaunt moves forward backed up by the fex’s. The Tervigon manages to spawn 10 new grunts without rolling a double, so that’s a bit of a pain. The new grunts then take refuge in the bunker close to the 2 point objective.
In the shooting phase the swarm runs forward while the Tervigon gives feel no pain (FNP) to the termagants in front of it.

Eldar turn 2

I guide two wave serpents with Eldrad and move one close enough to drop off the flamer storm guardians hoping to take out some termagants while they are close together. The over serpents move back a little to stay away from the oncoming swarm. Eldrad and his buddies jump out of their wave serpent to shoot at the Hormaguants.
Now I have never though much of eldritch storm and I can’t say I have cast it since 3rd edition, but I had the crazy notion that it might just do something this game. So Eldrad casts it, hits the Hormaguants and manages to kill 2. Well that was pathetic from a pie plate, never casting that power ever again. The wave serpents next to Eldrad shoot at the Hormaguants reducing them to about half. The flame guardians shoot at the termagants and manage to kill 3, as FNP stops a lot of damage. The wave serpents that haven’t shot then open up on the termagants as I expected a lot more to die than they did, so I kill a few more thanks to strength 6 ignoring FNP. Thinking back I should have spared a serpent to kill the last gargoyle to pick up an easy victory point. Live and learn.

Tyranids turn 2

Thank fully no hive tyrant appears, when this guy appears out of reserve I’m going to be in trouble. The Tervigon spawn out 12 new gaunts, and again no double. I was really hoping that he would run out by now. All the termagants move towards the flame guardians while the Hormaguants move towards Eldrad. The fexs run towards the flame guardians as well.

Shooting starts with the Tervigon firing its cluster spines on Eldred’s storm guardians, killing 6 of them. Thankfully they pass their leadership test. The termagants closest to the flame guardians shoot them, but thanks to some very lucky cover saves I only lose two models, however due to 6th edition, the closest models are the flamer models... so I lose them.
Combat starts with the fexs charging the flame guardians who over watch but fail to do any wounds. The gargoyles help the fexs out charging the same guardian squad. The guardians fail their fear test but manage to kill the lone gargoyle but then take 14 wounds from the 3 carnifexs. They die; they never really stood a chance. Two termagant squads charge two different wave serpents; one escapes fine, the other gets 3 glances thanks to furious charge, and is wrecked. The Hormaguants charge Eldred’s guardians and manage to kill 1 on over watch. The nids deal 5 wounds, leaving me with a wounded Eldrad and a warlock. I only manage to kill 2 nids and lose the combat. I take my leadership test and fail with a roll of 11... I see if I escape and I don’t. I lose my warlord. Not great.

Eldar turn 3

The combat hasn’t gone my way so the wave serpents back off from the bugs towards the base in the middle of my deployment zone, apart from the two dragon holding serpents that move towards the fexs; both unload their cargo and move towards the fexs. The final storm guardians get out on top of the base in order to hopefully bear their fusion guns on the fexs if the dragons fail.   
Shooting and Both dragon units fire, managing to outright kill two of the fexs, reducing them to one model. The storm guardians did nothing to the fex. The wave serpents kill the Hormaguants so they are removed from the table.

Tyranids turn 3

No hive tyrant. Once again the Tervigon spawns 14 grunts without a roll of a double... this is rely taking the piss now. The swarm surges forwards to shoot at the storm guardians.
Shooting at the guardians 12 shots manage to would twice and I go to ground with the storm, and roll double 6.
Combat the grunts charge a wave serpent and manage to wreck it with glances from furious charge again. The Tervigon charges another wave serpent (thanks to a massive charge of 12 inches) and only manages to so a single glance to it, even though it smashed. The lone Carnifex charges a fire dragon unit, who manage to deal 1 wound to it with over watch but it then kills all 5 of them. With its massacre move it moves to the side of the base.

Eldar turn 4

The remaining fire dragons jump back into their wave serpent hoping to strike next turn. The remaining wave serpents then move around to target the Tervigon and with combined fire manage to do a single wound to it, reducing it to 4. My army has crumbled far too much.

Tyranids turn 4

We made a mistake with the reserve rules, we didn’t realise something in reserve automatically comes in turn 4, so we still rolled and failed. A mistake I know but at this point I don’t think it really mattered, I was getting crushed.
The Tervigon decides to take this turn easy only spawning 11 gaunts, but still no double. The swarm in surrounding the base at this point, I can’t really see a way to win. Shooting from a squad of termagants and the Tervigon kill 6 storm guardians on top of the base who then flee with a roll of 9, running just enough to get to down a level. Again the grunts charge my wave serpents, reducing one to wreckage with 4 glances on the charge, the other just taking a single glance, reducing it to 1 hull point.

 Eldar turn 5

The storm guardians manage to regroup and with the 3 inch move get back onto of the base. The fire dragons go on a suicide run, aiming to kill the Tervigon; if it dies I have a change of doing a lot of damage to the remaining grunts who might run with no synapse if they take a few shots from the serpents. It’s a gamble but I needed to try.
Shooting starts with the fire dragons, 5 hits, but only 3 wounds... the beast is left on a single wound. So I get my two remaining wave serpents to target the monster but all the shots bounce off thanks to its 3+ save. The guardians then run and get a few men up the try and claim the 1 point objective.

Tyranids turn 5

The hive tyrant finally appears and swoops over to the guardians preparing to shoot them with its 12 shots. The Tervigon spawns an extra 9 gaunts, still no double.
Shooting starts with the tyrant who murders the guardians, they never stood a chance. The largest unit of termagants shoot at the fire dragons but manages to leave one standing, which hold his ground.
Assault and the wave serpent with 1 HP get downed with a final assault.

We roll to see if the game carries on but it ends...

Tyranids 11- Eldar 1

Now that was a really fun a quite cinematic game, the elder get crushed and flee back for a heroic last stand on an old imperial base while swarms (and swarms, and swarms, and swarms) of Tyranids attack them I really enjoyed it. But anyway, how did mercers (and that’s what I’m calling it, he gets all the blame) army do? Well first and foremost:
·        I played it very very badly: from the start I put myself at a disadvantage with my deployment. I didn’t think and it cost me dearly. If at the beginning of the game my fire dragons both where aimed at the Tervigon and shot it on a suicide mission it would have died and I wouldn’t have had the issue with a million little bugs trying to kill him. I need to target the biggest threats first.
·        Assault units in transports: Having storm guardians in transports was different for me; not being an immediate threat when you jump out was difficult to deal with. I have little experience with this and need to learn how to get more out of those units. Maybe just using them to kill very weak units with a handful of models. I don’t know, it’s hard to use without planning.
·        Scatter lasers: the extra range on the scatter lasers is great, 36 is so much better than 24, I probably should have just stayed back with the storm guardians and targeted what I could from range then only moving in to use the shuriken cannons when I had to get close. Maybe that would have meant I didn’t get glanced to death so often.
·        It’s all mercers fault.

So in the end the game was really fun but I don’t know if I will be using the army again anytime soon. I thank mercer over at Imperius dominatus very much for his efforts at writing a list for me to use but right now I think I will be experimenting more with other units. Hope you enjoyed reading the report as much as I enjoyed playing.


  1. Hey dude,

    The list I posted is for about 2k, which would need changing to 1,500 points. Firstly I don't think Eldad would work, this is purely because of the points limit. A Farseer with guide and fortune would have done you fine.

    Then, half the Guardian squads and with the points take at least one Fire Prism.

    Now onto the battle report:

    Your deployment wasn't very good, especially considering you went second. Seems the Tyranid player spread their army out (which is typical in pitched battle), you had the chance to counter his deployment and refuse flank (put your entire army on a single flank).

    You should have gone second; this would mean the Tyranids come to you and be in range of your guns. Plus going second in objective games always is best.

    Btw there's a deployment guide for dummies on my blog, it is outdated thanks to 6th, but with pitched battle it will help.

    You should have concentrated all fire power on the Gargoyles to get first blood and also additional point for killing fast attack.

    The problem with catalyst is feel no pain is cast to a unit; you can easily avoid this unit and shoot at another unit which hasn't got feel no pain. You didn't do this :(.

    On turn 2 you should have gone for the single Gargoyle and focused all fire power at the Tervigon - even get the Dragons out and nuke it. That would mean no more Tervigon, reduced Termagants and Fire Dragons that the Tyranid player has to deal with.

    Hope that helps :)

    1. Yer i messed up pretty bad really. I will have a look at your guide for deployment. I still have alot to learn when it comes to games.

    2. Here's the link:

      It's mostly not valid because of how the deployment options have changed i.e no dawn of war, though the same principle for spearhead applies to that diagonal deployment.