Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Battle Report: Facing The Ugly Bugs At Last

by SandWyrm

Man, was I jones-ing for a game. Work, Wife, Kids, and the 4th flu/cold of the season had conspired to keep me out of action for the past few weeks. Made all the worse by not getting a game in with Chambers when he came up for a visit. So when I got the go-ahead from the Wife on Sunday, I swore I wasn't going home until I got to play some 40K!

Off I went to the GP-South, with a 2K version of a possible 'Ard Boyz list. But when I got to the store just before 6pm, there were already FIVE 40K games going. So, I waited.

TheGraveMind offered to play me with a proper Nid list instead of the comp-crippled army he'd brought to the BMG tourney. But he had just started a 1K demo game with a new player. No problem, I thought. It'll be done quick and then we can go at it.

Yeah right. I ended up waiting just over 2 hours for that game to finish. It was amusing though, as the new guy's armless Venerable Dred went 5 turns in close combat with a Tyrannofex. You can read the details on TheGraveMind's Blog.

We did finally get the game in though just after 8pm. Here's the list I brought:

195  Company Command Squad w/3 x Melta, Astropath, Fleet
     Officer, Chimera (ML/HF)

 65  Marbo
160  5 Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta, Chimera (ML/HF)
160  5 Stormtroopers w/2 x Melta, Chimera (ML/HF)

155  Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (ML/HF)
155  Veteran Squad w/3 x Melta, Chimera (ML/HF)
170  Veteran Squad w/3 x Plasma, Chimera (ML/HF)
115  Veteran Squad w/3 x Flamer, Demolitions
115  Veteran Squad w/3 x Flamer, Demolitions

    Fast Attack
130  Vendetta Gunship
130  Vendetta Gunship
120  3 Scout Sentinels w/Autocannons

    Heavy Support
165  Leman Russ Demolisher w/Hull Heavy Flamer
165  Leman Russ Battle Tank w/Hull Lascannon

Total: 2000 pts.

And here's what TheGraveMind brought, which was also an 'Ard Boyz test list:
Alpha Warrior; Rending claws, Dual boneswords

Venomthropes x2
Hive guard x3
Hive guard x2

gaunts x15
Tervigon; catalyst, cluster spines
warriors x6; deathspitters + barbed strangler
Warriors x5; Rending claws, scything talons, toxin sacs, spore pod
genestealer x10

    Heavy Support
Tyrannofex; rupture cannon, cluster spines, larvae
Tyrannofex; rupture cannon, cluster spines, larvae
Trygon prime

Since TheGraveMind has already written up the game on his blog, I thought that I would copy his play-by-play and then add my own comments and pics in for a unique 2-sided report.


We rolled up a standard Capture and Control mission with a spearhead deployment. Cool! I love spearhead deployments as they let me bring in reserves anywhere on my edge.

TheGraveMind then wins the roll for first turn, but decides to let me go first. Um, OK. But going second against my shooting is usually a bad idea. :)

I set up the Tallarn 13th in my more or less standard deployment.

SandWyrm's Deployment

The Chimeltas and the CCS were deployed in a line right on top of my objective, with the Russ as my left bookend and the Demolisher forward a bit so it could scoot out and start lobbing fire. I put the Sentinels into cover on my right flank where they could get clear shots and move to block off the rightward path to me if need be. One Vendetta went right behind the Sentinels, while I put the other as far forward and left as I could to foul up TGM's infiltrating Genestealers.

The Plasma Vets went into regular reserve, as is usual for me. Since plasma guns are a nice surprise to anyone who gets too close to my table edge. The Stormies were outflanked using the Scout + Move Through Cover mission. Since TGM was kind enough to put his objective in the corner next to the right table edge, I figured they should go take it away from him. :)

TGM's Deployment. His objective is just behind the Gaunts.

TGM set up his Tyrannofexes, Trygon, Prime, and Warriors as far forward as he could, with the big guys in front. He set up his Hive Guard on either flank in cover. While the Tervigon started in his middle field near the Gaunts who were guarding his objective.

My Vendetta deployment was successful, in that it would have forced TGM's Genestealers to be deployed in the open on his table edge. So TGM sighed and put them into reserve. Good move!

His 2nd Unit of Warriors would deep-strike in their spore-pod.

Now I jumped the gun and seized the initiative before he did his scout moves, so surprise when he moved his vendettas away from my gun line. Really it just made me switch targets with my units, but I'll keep control next time with the dice rolls.
TGM beat himself up about this, but the truth is that I scouted my left Vendetta exactly where I would have (behind my line) even if he hadn't stolen the intiative. There weren't any good targets for my flamer/demo vets, so moving forward or staying still wasn't a good option. It was much better to move back and use the bird's range to my advantage.

Turn 1

First turn; I let lose the Tyranids beasts of war upon the Imperium. The first Tyrannofex shot the right hand vendetta, blowing it up and killing half the passengers. The second one shot off a lascannon from the second vendetta. My front hive guard shot the sentinels, destroying one. Everything else moved forward, leaving the gaunts to hold my objective.
Wow! Tyrannofexes are nasty shooters. There goes my best long-range AT. I'm left with a gimped Vendetta and the Russes to take down the big nasties heading my way. Better make my next shots count!

His first turn; He shifted his tanks around to line up shots, and then unloaded onto the Tyrannofexes. Between 2+ armor and a mobile 5+ cover save, They took only one wound.
Yeah, the Guard really whiffed their first turn of shooting. At this point I was pretty afraid of that huge Trygon model, but I calmed down and poured fire into the Tyrannofexes instead. Trusting that I could block the Trygon with my Sentinels (see them blocking that pass?) and use my meltas to deal with him later. Those Tyrannofexes had to go though.

Turn 2

Turn two; Continued to move forward, and got the Trygon ready to assault. First Tyrannofex took down the second vendetta, while the second failed to hit against one of the Russ. Hive guard moved closer to make a few failed pot shots. The trygon assaulted the sentinels, wiping them out and leaving him in the open.
Losing the second Vendetta sucked, but the Sentinels had done their job. The Trygon was now exactly where I wanted him. At least the squad from the popped Vendetta was in a good position to block. So I did that, while I took 5 wounds off of him with their Demo Charge, plus 9 meltas from the 3 Chimeras I moved up. I should have killed him that turn, but I was whiffing too many melta rolls. :(

His turn; While his Officer of the fleet kept my reserves out of the game, his came in. His plasma vets came in behind the trygon, jumped out and tore into my hive guard. His Troopers outflanked and drove up to my objective and Flamed my poor gaunts off.
Gotta love the Guard advisors!

TGM's unit of Hive Guard on my right were about 18" from my table edge when the Plasma Vets came on. So I shot their Chimera forward 12", popped smoke, and disembarked the squad behind it with the tank between them and any return fire from the rest of TGM's army.

I scored 5 hits on the 3 Hive Guard, but only managed to kill 2. Grrr!

I was able to bring on one unit of Stormies, which promptly flamed and shot up half the Gaunts on TGM's objective. I don't think he was expecting Chimeltas on that flank, though I did show him my list and tell him what they were doing. :)

 Marbo also showed up in the building with my hive guard, and dropped a demo charge on my warriors, killing two of them.
Ordinarily, I wouldn't bring Marbo in on a game this large. But I had 65 extra points, so hey, why not?

When he came on, I planned to kill a few warriors with his demo charge and then assault the Hive Guard one floor down if he survived.

Turn 3
Turn three; My trygon surviving with one wound, he moved up to assault again. The Tyrgon shot and assaulted the squad that had fallen out of the crashed vendetta, while I stubbornly shot at the heavy tanks to no avail.
 The Trygon wiped out the Flamer/Demo Vets. No surprise there. He died to meltas on my turn though.
My surviving hive guard ran towards the rest of my army, and my Tyrannofexs moved closer yet to the Russes.
 He ran, but my Plasma Vets got back in their ride and chased him down.
The warriors turned around to help the gaunts,
Danger Will Robinson! Stormies in the backfield! Alert! Alert! :)
and shot marbo to death.
5 Wounds, and I rolled two 1's to save. Bye bye buddy!
My close combat warriors podded in, scattered behind the tank line and twiddled their talons.
If you look at the pic above, you can see the spore and the Warriors that deep-striked in it. You can also see the Chimera I tank-shocked into them. TGM asked me later why I tank-shocked the Warriors. I told TGM that I didn't want him assaulting my Command Squad through open ground. So this blocked their movement and as a bonus killed one in a death-or-glory attack. I then shot them up with meltas, leaving one alive.

Stormies ATTACK!
His turn; His last reserves came in, troopers in chimera, outflanking right next to the first one. My gaunts died in droves that turn.
Actually, they all died. :)
More shots took down the tyrgon,
did wounds to the tyrannofexes,
Demolisher Cannon
killed a venomthrope,
The tanks huddled around their objective.
No reason to move. :)

Turns 4-6
After that I don't remember the order as well (slacked on the pictures during the heated battle) but it went something like...

Tyrannofex assaulted a russ, destroying it, the other one made random shots,
Both died to meltas soon thereafter. 
Tervigon had two perils of the warp on it in the past two turns, but finally made some gaunts and gave them fnp.
Now this puzzled me, as I would have been making Gaunts all-game long. But TGM was gun-shy about rolling doubles too early in the game. He also didn't have more than 20-30 Gaunt models to put down. So he saved his nuts, so to speak.
Genestealers came from reserves, and coupled with hive guard and warriors, tried to fend off the objective. The Tank wall prevented any means of getting to his objective.
Basically, it became clear to TGM during turn 3 or 4 that he couldn't take my objective away. So his Warriors and Tervigon high-tailed it back to his objective to try and fight off the Stormies. Between the Hive Guard, the Warriors, and the Stealers, I lost both Stormy Chimeras, all but one trooper from the first outflanking squad, and all but 2 troopers from the second, which were pinned as well.
Tervigon and gaunts took out the plasma vets.
Just in case the game went longer than 6 turns, I tried running the Plasma Vets at top speed towards TGM's objective. They had blown their smoke already though on turn 2. So the Hive Guard in the building was able to take their ride out. While the Tervigon and the Gaunts cleaned up the squad.

End of Game Shot

There's a Melta Vet Squad hiding in the CCS's Chimera next to my objective.

Yay For Lone Stormies!

The game ended in a Minor Lose for me, as His last Storm trooper managed to run forwards and contest my objective. 
Yep, I had my home objective free and clear. While my lone un-pinned Stormtrooper jumped the wall and contested TGM's objective right in the face of his Prime. It was lucky for that trooper that the game ended when it did.

Overall a very fun game, with half of his vehicles having weapons destroyed, the other half either immobilized or destroyed. I was not used to judging that long of distances with the shots, and Sandwyrm wasn't used to being shot by bugs from that distance.
This was definitely a better game than the one we had during the Tourney.
I definitely need to figure out a way for some distanced anti-infantry for when I take out some tanks.
That's a fair statement.

TGM was throwing large blast templates around from his big bugs, but they didn't seem to do much. I suppose one solution would be to take 2 Tervigons instead of just one and buy enough Gaunt models to go with them. That way he could swarm my guys when they're outside their transports. I think the Trygon could have been traded for something throwing blast templates or lots of shots.

I'm sure that others here might have some ideas. Let 'em rip!

As for my own list, I think I'm going to shelve the Flamer/Demo vets for a while and put some cheaper =][= Stormies into my Vendettas instead. Along with Marbo's points, the savings will allow me to take another Chimelta or mounted Stormtrooper squad. It'll go better with my army's theme too.
Overall an excellent game with some new models and a good opponent.
Agreed. It was fun to finally fight the big bugs! Now I need to get a game in with the other Nid guy at the South Store. He's got a more swarmy list with 2-3 Tervigons and 100+ Gaunts.


  1. I liked the bug list, but I think another Tervigon would go a long way. I kinda like Raveners and Hormagaunts as forward, mobile assaulters too.

    Good reports, both of them.

  2. Yeah, I think I would have traded some or all of the Warriors for another Tervigon/Gaunt set and some more Genestealers. I also would have taken Zoeys instead of the Venomthropes, but TGM wanted that cover save pretty bad.

    Personally, I don't rate 5+ cover saves all that highly. I think it's better to be able to pop enemy tanks than to try and withstand their fire.

  3. I would agree with that, but I think you can live without Zoeys with 2 T-fexes. The Venoms are pretty specialized and don't belong in every list, but they help big at midfield if you have a gaunt farm and Warriors benefitting from the defensive grenades, dangerous terrain for baddies, and the usual Tervigon buffs.

    I'm eh on Genestealers at present, like always they just seem too expensive and too fragile without an appreciable damage output.

  4. Well, that problem with 5+ saves is that it's been proven that the standard Chessex/GW dice roll half as many sixes as they should. So instead of a 1 in 3 chance to save, it's actually more like 1 in 4.

    You could buy Casino dice, but those are like $15.00 for 4.

  5. To answer a few things, I figured I'd let you go first so you couldn't tankshock/rush my objective without me having a chance to respond. That plan changed when I stole the initiative.

    The outflanking chimeras.... I don't have an excuse for not being prepared for that. Maybe I was just used to my outflankers always coming in on the wrong side (that's why I never outflank)

    But pretty much everything you suggested I was considering and this was the game to test for it. Though the trygon did take 9 melta shots that could have gone at my T-fex, I'm thinking of replacing him with biovores. And most likely zoanthrope instead of venomthropes. replace the podding warriors with a second tervigon. and then add in raveners to replace the warriors roll.

    We might get a 2,500 game in sometime before ardboyz to test our full lists.

  6. Linked

    And what do you mean "ugly bugs"? haha

  7. "We might get a 2,500 game in sometime before ardboyz to test our full lists."

    Oh absolutely. But I've got some more tanks to buy/convert first.

  8. I apologize for posting out of context of the current thread but could you please tell me what kind of bug that is for your initial picture? It really bothers me on some level and I don't know why. I think its that weird indentation in the middle of its back where those little "vessels" appear to have popped. I had to stop reading your batrep and go back to look at it several times.
    Again, sorry for the random post. It just really freaks me out.

  9. No problem Ghengis, I answered this in a new post with more pics. :)


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