Friday 31 January 2014

Tyranids vs Imperial Fists with Imperial guard 1500: Breaking the Wave

After my friend let me borrow his tyranids to play around with the new codex I immediately challenged someone who I knew would love to face a swarm of nids. This game was a 1500 point game of Purge the Alien with dawn of war deployment, the Tyranids face the Imperial fists with imperial guard allies, wish me luck.

The Armies

I use the list I came up with a while ago to see how it plays

Tyranid Prime – 145 (Warlord: -1 to cover save on 1 peice) w/ termagants [Proxied by tyrant guard]
Sything talons, lash whip and bone sword

Tyranid Prime – 125 w/ termagants [Proxied by tyrant guard]
Sything talons, devourer

20 Termagants – 80
20 Termagants – 80

5 Genestealers – 70

Venomthrope – 45

5 Raveners – 175 [proxied by warriors]
Rending claws

5 Raveners – 175 [proxied by warriors]
Rending claws

2 Carnifexes – 280
Sything talons, Heavy venom cannon

2 Carnifexes – 280
Sything talons, Heavy venom cannon

Forces of the Imperium

Lysander – 230 (warlord) w/ command squad

Command squad – 180
Narthecium, champion (power sword), 2x power axe/storm shield

Tactical Squad – 165
10 man, plasma gun, heavy bolter

5 scouts – 63
Bolters, heavy bolter

Devastator Centurions – 210
3x missile launcher

Devastator squad – 140
2x missile launcher, 2x las cannon

Land raider - 250

Company command – 50

Infantry platoon
Command – 30
Squad – 50
Squad – 50

Griffin - 75

So they have a lot of bodies to get though with the imperial guard allies and a griffin to take down my termagants. The marines bring a high number of heavy weapons to take down my fex’s so we will have to see how well i can do against them.

The Mission

Rolling for mission we get Purge the Alien, and deployment is dawn of war. Rolling off the tyranids win the roll the deployment zone and I pick the one with the larger line of slight blockers. Again rolling off for first turn the imperial forces win but hand me the first turn, waiting to see my deployment.

As I don’t really have a plan for the tyranids I set up in a rather boring way, the venomthrope and both carnifex broods go in the centre so they can get where ever they need to if he refuse flanks me. Then the primes both join a termagant brood and go on either side of the centre broods. On the flank go the ravaners. The genestealers go in reserve ready to out flank.

Imperial forces decide to refuse flank me, not really surprising considering. Lysander and command squad goes into the land raider which sets in the middle of the table, able to see the carnifexs. The scouts deploy at the top of the taller ruin and the devastators hide at the very back behind a wall. Both infantry squads of the guard set up front to act as a screen while the tactical squad splits in two and deploy behind them. The centurions use the guard as a screen as well while the griffin hides behind the scouts building.

Night fight: turn 1
Steal the initiative: No

The Battle

Tyranids turn 1

Not much to do first turn other than move forwards! The raveners on the left bolt forwards and end up being out of synapse range, but they are in a ruin so should be fine. Raveners on the right attempt to close the massive distance between them and the prey.  The rest of the swarm stays more or less in a line.

Shooting phase and both carnifex broods target the imperial guard attempting to get first blood, but at the end of it 2 shots scatter off harmlessly, 8 guard die and so do 2 marines from half a tactical squad but both units hold their ground. The rest of the swarm run forwards.

Imperium turn 1

Retreat! The majority of the force steps back giving themselves more distance and time to shoot at the bugs before it’s too late. But still the guard are at the front, poor meat shields.

A proper shooting phase now, the devastators target the front brood of carnifexs and after all 4 hit and 3 wound only a single chunk is taken out of a carnifex thanks to the cover save from the venomthrope. The land raider targets the raveners with a lascannon and heavy bolters, all shots hit and wound but as they are out of synapse range, they go to ground for a 2+ cover save and ignore all the shots. Its other lascannon targets a carnifex but fails to wound it. Centurions do the same, targeting the raveners but the cover save prevents any damage. After all that a single guard infantry squad targets the raveners and manages to get a single wound though injuring a model. The scouts do the same but the emperor guides their shots and they kill off the wounded beast. The rest of the guard and marines target the termagants and kill about 6, not much to worry about.

Tyranids turn 2

Reserves and the genestealers arrive on the left flank and hide behind the scouts building, forcing them to be dealt with or the griffin will be in trouble. The swarm goes forwards and bring the left raveners back into synapse range, ignoring their pinning and allowing them to move forwards ready to charge the guard.

The first fex squad shoots at the devastators but both shots scatter of the table doing nothing. Then I realise first blood still hasn’t been awarded so the other squad targets the 2 remaining members of the crippled guard squad, but again they both scatter and kill a single marine and a guardsman from the platoon command. The termagants and raveners on the right run.

Assault and the left raveners attempt to charge the guard in front of them, the over watch does nothing and they only need 7 to get in. They fail, even with the fleet re-roll they fail and are now out in the open.

Imperium turn 2

They counter attack the raveners rather extremely, the guard swarm all over them and the land raider move to drop off Lysander and friends, allowing them to charge them. The centurions move to see the fex’s.

First the guard gun down the raveners, dealing 2 wounds to one of them. The devastators take advantage of being able to see now day has broken and reduce the wounded fex to a single wound, only to have the land raider finish it off with a lascannon while also killing the wounded ravener with its heavy bolter. The scouts can draw a bead on 2 genestealers and gun them both down, reducing them to 3 models. Centurions on the lone carnifex, ends with no wounds being suffered thanks to the venomthropes ability. The bolters and las shots cut into the termagants killing a further 7. The last shot of the turn is by the griffin, not sure who to target but ends up shooting the stealers, killing them and getting first blood.

Assault phase and Lysander charges into the raveners, the tyranids strike first but just bounce off the storm shields and Lysander just kills off the beasts single handily. (3-0 to the marines).

Tyranids turn 3

Again nothing fancy, just straight for the imperials!

I need to get points so the single fex shoots at the 2 lone guards, and the hits locks on and kills them. (3-1). the brood shoots into the crowd and kills a marine and 2 guardsman from the platoon command who then run off the table! (3-2). The termagants and prime shoot at Lysander and the command squad killing a marine with storm shield.

On the right the raveners have a long shot but have a change to charge the tactical marines on an 11, but they get a 10 after re-rolls, close but no cigar.

Imperium turn 3

The land raider moves to pick up Lysander and he gets inside ready to redeploy next turn. Moving to see through a crack in the ruins, the centurions get ready to destroy the raveners.

The guard wittle down the termagants on the left, killing 7 of them, and wound the prime as well. A lascannon from the land raider wounds the prime as he fails a look out sir, then the scouts finish the prime thanks to bad look out sir rolls. Centurion fire targets the raveners and kills 2 models and reduces a third to a single wound. The griffin kills 2 termagants from the other squad as do the tactical marines. The devastators are worried and target the raveners but only manage to kill off the wounded model. (4 – 2)

Tyranid turn 4

The two remaining ravaners go after the devastators while the fex brood moves towards the land raider and the lone fex goes after the squad of guardsmen still alive. The termagants and prime just move closer. The lone termagant left from his brood of 20 runs and hides in the ruin, out of sight and safe (he plays no further part in the game).

Two venom cannon shots at the land raider and it gets 2 hull points removed and the heavy bolter blown off, only 2 hull points left. The lone fex shoots at the guardsmen but the hot scatters a little but 6 still die to the shot, they hold.

Assault phase and the raveners attempt to charge the devastators but an over watch shot from a lascannon hits and kills the front model, meaning they need an 8 to charge and only roll 4 after the re-roll. The fex brood attempts to charge the land raider and fail the charge by 1, the lone fex attempts to charge the guardsmen, needing an 8 and rolling a 7. I just can’t make a charge this turn.

Imperium turn 4

Opening its doors the land raider dumps its payload right next to the lone carnifex.

The massacre begins with the land raider killing off the last ravener, the centurions take a wound off the lone carnifex, and the devastators deal a wound to one of the fex’s in the brood. A well placed shot from the griffin manages to kill 7 termagants in a single shot, and the tactical marines kill an extra 4, the broods looking very thin now.

Assault and Lysander and friends charge the lone carnifex, the marines strike first but don’t do any damage to it, allowing the monster to strike back, he hits with 3 attacks, and they all wound but they just bounce off the storm shield. Lysander attacks back and pulverises the fex into nothing.

Tyranids turn 5

At this point it’s getting very desperate and I need some kill points. The fexs move within 2 inches of the land raider and the prime separates from the termagants going alone after the company command. The termagants go to harass Lysander.

Assault phase and the fex’s charge the land raider and explode it with their 6 (yes 6!) hammer of wrath attacks, but unfortunately no one dies in the explosion. The Prime charges the command and kills 3 of them, the rest run and get cut down. (4-4)

Imperium turn 5

Lysander and friends move to smash the carnifex brood, everyone else holds their ground.

Shots from the ruin ring and kill the venomthrope, the scouts got 3 wounds though and I failed the cover save. The griffin targets the few termagants left and kills 5, leaving the few left out of synapse range (but they hold). All of the devastators roll a 1 or 2 to hit the prime so he lives a little longer and the centurions reduce a single fex to 1 wound.

Assault phase and Lysander and co charge the fex’s. Again the marines do nothing to me, but again the fex’s just bounce off the storm shields doing nothing in return. Lysander then kills the wounded fex and reduces the other to 2 wounds. (6-4).

We roll to see if the game ends, It carries on.

At this point due to time and what is going to happen I concede, he is going to table me this turn any way so it doesn’t really matter. Lysander would kill the fex’s. The devs and centurions would kill the prime and the rest would just get mopped up.


Well that was an interesting game, my list didn’t perform very well against the marines, and I failed so many charges it’s laughable. The worse thing about it was he spent a lot of points on just guardsmen and they killed a fair bit, with was upsetting. Still if I had done a few things differently, and the game ended turn 5 I might have got a draw. I feel there is potential in the codex. What have I learnt about this list?

·         Ravaners: It is very risky sending them off on their own, yes if they go to ground they would be safe but what if he didn’t shoot at them? They would be taking instinctive behaviour on LD 6 and probably attack each other, is the reward worth the risk? Both units probably should be making combat turn 2, so having one stranded didn’t help.
·         Venom Cannon: While I still think they are good, they aren’t accurate and it’s a shame he brought a land raider instead of a predator or a few rhinos. I think they might still be good but I couldn’t help but wish I just had combat fexs with fleet the whole game. If I had a turn 3 charge with the fexs I feel the game might have been a whole lot different.
·         Fire power: I need some biovores in the list; I need that long range artillery which would have made a massive difference this game.
·         Speed: With my list being so slow maybe I should try an alternative fast list next game, just to see how that performs? I like the sound of that.

So game 1 with the tyranids is a loss, never mind, let’s see how the next games goes with a different list. Hope you enjoyed the report.


  1. I think you're right about the fexes. If you want some shooting Bio plasma is always an option. Just think about the charge vs the land raider. Instead if you could have dropped 2 s7 ap2 blasts on lysander's unit followed by 2d3 s9 HOW and then 10 S10 ap 2 attacks. Even with storm shields the shear number of saves needed would have been silly and most likely a turn or two early thanks to run moves instead of shooting venom cannons. If all 4 fexes had the opportunity to do similar.

    Fleet on our big bugs is a major boost that seam to have been overlooked at large.

    Still I think just a little better luck with those charges and you could have easily won, stalling so badly in front of the enemy is always going to cost you.

    I knocked up some thoughts on my own blog here and will follow up with more at some point-

  2. mal you lined up an assault list against a gun line with clear LOS across the whole board are you nuts! no sane commander would ever do this. First thing you need to do is take a big ol box and chuck it in the center. make him move around it. you would have a lot better luck with better terrain.

  3. Carnifexs pretty much always need to run Adrenal for the reasons mentioned above, fleet is a must and venom cannons are stopping the fexes from running which is also a major loss of ground covered. Other than that i think the list was strong, maybe squeeze in a flyrant as dan mentioned weight of saves can really get around storm shield abuse (and yes it is abuse).