Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Off beat Tyranid battle report:

Tyranids were my first army so I thought I'd bust them out for old time's sake with a good friend of mine. This is a 2000 point game with a silly army list that focuses on large units of Hormagaunts/Gargoyles, Tyranid Warriors and Lictors...

My army list:

HQ: 200

Tyranid Prime: Bonesword, Adrenal Glands: 100
Tyranid Prime: Bonesword, Adrenal Glands: 100

Elites: 530

Death Leaper: 140
Lictors: X3=195
Lictors: X3=195

Troops: 680

Warriors: X6, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Rending=240
Warriors: X6, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Rending=240
Hormagaunts: X20, Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands=200

Fast Attack: 590

Warrior Shrikes: X6, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Rending=270
Gargoyles: X20, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs=160
Gargoyles: X20, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs=160

This list was made simply for the fact that I just always loved Lictors, Tyranid Warriors and large squads of Hormagaunts and Gargoyles...Combine into an army list and this is what you have. There was no real tactical focus or anything other than to just make a list with units I like and to charge the enemy.

My opponent played his Space Wolves and his list was:

Spacewolves are beefcakes in furs.

Rune Priest, Arjac, Ragnar, 4 squads of Grey Hunters (3 in Rhinos, 1 in a Land Raider Crusader) and 2 Vindicators.


The mission played was just straight up Pitched Battle and Annihilation.


As you can see, my friend deployed his Rhinos with Grey Hunters inside in a defensive position on a ridge/ruins and prepared to swing his Vindicators and Land Raider Crusader with Ragnar, Ar-jac and more Grey Hunters around for some flank attack action.

I just lined up to prepare for a good old fashioned swarmy advance down his throat (hopefully). I had my Hormagaunts (proxied as Termagaunts since I brought my bucket of Termagaunts rather than Hormagaunts), Gargoyles in front with my Winged Warriors in the middle and two squads of walking Warriors with Primes on either side of the winged warriors.

Turn 1:

On turn 1 my friend moved his Rhinos up a little more to grant me the courtesy of seeing him fail an immobilization roll, shot some Hormagaunts/Warriors up with his Vindicators/Land Raider Crusader and enjoyed as I returned the favor of poor rolling and removed about 5 Hormagaunts and 2 Warriors off the table.

I just moved up with my army, having no real shooting of my own. Swarmy swarm swarm!

Turn 2:

So not much happened this turn for my friend other than shooting me up some more taking out some more Hormagaunts, a few Gargoyles and maybe a Warrior or two. Death Leaper spooked his Rune Priest so he took a perils wound.

Me on the other hand... Well, I got my Lictors (proxied by converted Hive Guard/Zoanthropes as shown in picture above) in and got a charge on his Vindicator with my Hormagaunts shaking it up a bit. One squad of Lictors appeared behind a Vindicator near the board edge and blew off its gun, probably from the shock value of simply appearing where they did while Death Leaper and the other Brood appeared behind some Rhinos in the ruins trying to take some pot shots at some of his Rhinos, doing nothing. I guess they were not as shocking... The rest of my army advanced.

Turn 3:

This turn was when our armies really clashed. He got his 3 Rhino ridin' Grey Hunters out and rapid-fired into some Gargoyles and Shrikes, taking quite a few Gargoyles out and putting some wounds on the Shrikes. He also managed to pass a Psychic test on 3 dice with LD 7 with his Rune Priest taking out some more nids. He also drove his Vindicators up a bit trying to tank shock me and block part of my left flank and with the Land Raider Crusader he took out all but 1 Lictor (the brood that appeared behind the Vindicator in the open) who survived with 1 wound. Ragnor and Co. got out of the Land Raider, shot the Lictors in the Ruins down and rolled the 6 they needed (on a single d6 because of Death Leaper) to charge both Death Leaper and the remaining Lictors. My lictors died horribadly. Of special note was Ragnar passing 2 invul saves from Death Leaper, sofar ragnar's Invul save count is 2.

With some units badly mauled, I did what any rational nid would do... charge en mass where possible. My gargoyles shot and put a few wounds on some Grey Hunters before charging into them with my Shrikes and Hormagaunts (who worked their way around back) while my lone Lictor and Warriors on the left took out his remaining Vindicators. Charging into cover without Frag Grenades against bricks of Grey Hunters with counter-attack took a horrendous toll on my forces but I managed to whittle all 3 squads down a bit and hang in there. I think he did something like 10-14ish wounds at least to each squad and took 5ish wounds each himself.

Turn 4-end of game:

At this point the game turns into an ultimate fighter championship battle royal. Through sheer weight in numbers, my Gargoyles, Hormagaunts, Shrikes and a Warrior squad on foot with accompanying Prime take down his 3 Grey Hunter squads in the ruins but not before losing just about everyone in the process and then getting mowed down by his Land Raider Crusader and Ragnar's clean up crew.

Final battle:

Eventually, all that is left is a squad of Warriors with a Prime in a crater of a wrecked Vindicator and a random Lictor facing off against Ragnar, Ar-Jac and their Grey Hunter squad with a Land Raider Crusader...

The Space Wolves had the initiative and after some pot shots from the Land Raider they charged into my remaining Warrior brood. With the cunning use of Frag Grenades and Furious Charge, they took out 2 Warriors with normal attacks and my return attacks took down 5 or so Grey Hunters from their rending/toxin sacs. My Tyranid Prime put 3 wounds on Ragnar from his twin Bone Swords that would have instant killed him on a failed LD test on 3d6 but he passed them all bringing his passed invul save count to 5 and took put 2 wounds on my Prime. Ar-Jac took down another 2 Warriors leaving me with 2ish Warriors and a Prime who survived Ragnar's attacks.

The remaining combat saw Ragnar passing another 3 Invul saves from my Prime for a total of 8 passed and the rest of the Grey Hunter squad was taken out with Ar-Jac being brought down to 1 wound from my Warriors and Lictor while Ragnar, Ar-Jac and the simultaneous Grey Hunter attacks take out the rest of my Warriors, the Lictor and my Prime.


Ragnar is da man!

The game ends with Ragnar unwounded, Ar-Jac with 1 wound left, the Land Raider Crusader, some Rhinos and a whole bunch of Tyranid corpses that Ragnar probably piled up and dove into like Scrooge McDuck would do to his money in Duck Tales. I'd like to think he then ran over the corpses with his surviving Land Raider like a monster truck rally for good measure.

Final thoughts:

Tyranids are fun and cool, no doubt about it. I love the feel and look of the army in concept but in practice, they just don't play out how I envision them to be-but that is a gripe for another time. Things I noticed this game were that not having frag grenades is a huge hurtle in pulling out success in the assault phase. This means you will need to pay more points to get more bodies in your units to survive the incoming attacks and this is painfully clear when facing a unit of counter charging Grey Hunters or a large Ork squad in cover. Also, Rending Claws do not do enough damage for the cost you pay for them when compared to Bone Swords.

So in short:

-For swarmy type units you expect to throw into combat, 20-30 seems to be the minimum size to give you the results you want. Between getting shot up on the way and then dealing with not having Frag Grenades as you charge a unit in cover, you will need the extra bodies.

-For Tyranid Warriors geared for close combat, you will want Bone Swords and Lash Whips. This is HUGE as it levels the playing field on the charge, ensures whatever you wound will die (or have to take a bunch of invul saves) and against multiple wound models, gives the possibility of instant death. I recommend taking warriors with lash Whips and Bone Swords and Toxin Sacs all the way and if you can, give them death spitters or just keep the devourers on them because the shooting will be helpful when you use it. With nids, you have to max every opportunity to put wounds on the enemy.

-Shrikes are fun and cool and I can see them being useful as shock troops/tank hunting with just Rending Claws/Adrenaline Glands or just having Bone Sword/Lash Whips and go with a squad of Gargoyles or two.

-Lictors. Don't take them. They are amazingly cool, USED to be great when they could charge the turn they came out but they really don't do what you need them to do and they compete with vastly superior Elites choices. I cry when I think of Lictors in the new codex.

-Having a lot of Warriors and Gargoyles and Hormagaunts on the table is fun.

Well, hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to drop a line or ask any questions you might have!

1 comment:

  1. Nice batrep. Yeah, Tyranids just aren't what they used to be, but they can still prove to be entertaining if you play them as such.

    Lictors suffer in that they're able to pop out and yell "BOO!" but then get shot up before they're able to react.

    Maybe my Wracks can get together with your Tyranids to discuss life without frag grenades.