Friday 5 April 2013

Throne of Skulls Mar '13 - Battle 3, Tyranids Vs Dark Eldar

Game 3 and I'm hoping for my first win...

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQTervigon CC troopTervigon Plain troopBroodlord [Adrenal]
Iron ArmIron ArmWarp SpeedIron Arm

Doom of Malan'tai

The low down:
  • Purge the Alien.
  • Hammer and Anvil :(
  • I lost deployment.
  • Warlord Trait - Outflank.
Phil Clee - Dark Eldar. I think that win is going to elude me here. Having faced my Mate Liams Dark Eldar before I know I'm already at a disadvantage. With a Dark Eldar force filled with Raiders, Venoms and Ravagers with those shields that reduce my shooting range by 6" not to mention Hammer and Anvil setup and kill points, although Phil does start with 14 kill points on the table to my 11, I'm reduced to hiding everything behind this building about half way into my Deployment Zone with my defence line just in front of it.

Phil positions half way into his deployment zone so there's nearly four feet of killing fields between both forces, of which I have a maximum range of 18" with the Hive Guard, 12" with Devourers and 6" with Fleshborers!

Raiders, Ravagers and Venoms move out first. I didn't bother trying to steal but suddenly though that was a mistake as I could have Iron Armed the Tervigon and Broodlord.

Except it wouldn't have mattered if they'd ended up St10 as his poisonous weapons put wounds on Hive Guard and Broodlord with ease. I also had a moment where I tried to get extra cover saves from Night Fighting only to be pointed out that Dark Eldar can see in the dark, so no bonus.

I snuck the Broodlord in the back so I could keep from losing First Blood. I don't spawn for fear of losing my VP advantage and lack of spacebehind the building. I'm not entirely sure what my plan is at the moment. I think I was hoping to not get shot until the Winged Tyrant, Doom and Trygon Deep Struck and that would allow me to come forward. However I was still being shot with impunity so Phil could have sat there each turn and eventually my force would have succombed. At some point I would have to bring it to him. The defence line though was really helping with saving throws.

My Turn 2 and all my reserves arrive. Sadly not in time for the Doom to suck life but luckily any deviations didn't result in wounds to creatures.

The Raider get's pummelled but I think Phil had already made First Blood at this stage.

Given the mech arrayed against me I had opted to keep Cataclysm on the Doom and fired it at the now exposed Dark Eldar only for it to miss, deviate onto the Trygon who wa scompletely unaffected and then typically the drain on the Doom was 3 wounds! The Spore Pod attempts to lash the Venom with its Ripper Tentacles but a quick discussion regarding the 6" reduction in range of weapons and it's decided it can't hit the Venom 1" away. Post match discussion would reveal it never renders weapons with a 6" range down to 0, not that it would have change the games outcome but I may have managed to glance the Venom to death.

The Crushing Claws Tervigon was despatched, the other Tervigon has taken 4 wounds, a Hive Guard is gone and I've 6 remaining Termagants and no Devgaunts!

The Doom gets shot by the Warriors and he fails two saves and dies. The Trygon also gets targetted and suffers 4 wounds.

Then gets shot again and I have to make 4 saves, but only pass 2 so another Monstrous Creature falls for not much gain.

With no other choice I Vector Strike the Venom with my Winged Tyrant and he spanks it royally.

With the Archon and his retinue exposed I shoot with my remaining Twin-linked Devourers... 

and get 5 Precision shots on the Archon!

But he manages to Look Out Sir! or save them all with only a single loss to his unit, damn!

The Archon heads for my defence line.

The Winged Tyrant lands and fires point blank into the Raider, exploding it and killing four of the Warriors embarked, another VP at least.

I spawn 10 termagants to give me some firepower at least. They may have overcome the Archon and his retinue for 2 more VPs but I was still way behind.

And this is the Winged Hive Tyrant's armour saves, having taken two wounds he was unsurprisingly deaded.

Having made the decision to advance instead of hide the inevitable happened and I was tabled, the first time ever I believe. Phil ended up with 14VPs, just failing to get Linebreaker to complete the whitewash. I managed to get 6.

In fairness to Phil he was apologetic at the end for trouncing me so royally, he was actually cheering me on when his Archon was killed. But I always knew this was going to be tough and despite Phil's graciousness and my renewed attitude to enjoy gaming, whatever the trials and tibulations, there's no way to describe this other than unpleasant. We made the best of it and I'd love to play Phil again, I'm just cottoning on to the widely known fact that Dark Eldar are the absolute nemesis to 'nids. Even if I could get in range of his vehicles they can easily move out of range again. I think I'd rather face Necrons, they may have all the tricks and outmatch me in every way but in most games I've played there've been moments where I could swing it.

Finally my Winged Hive Tyrant did some good but the star of the show is the only thing left on the board - my Defence Line. Seriously it must have paid for itself ten times over, sadly it wasn't enough for the numerous bugs seeking cover behind it. And that's a point I kept hearing, apparently folks don't think 'nids should hide behind walls. Well having a copy of the Codex I can inform them that in particular the likes of Hive Guard and Tervigons are bio-constructs that's specific purposes are defensive. Hive Guard, erm, guard the hive and Tervigons roam the inside of Tyranid space craft spawning Termagants as and when a threat is detected. Defence Lines, Bastions and other fortifications can be very much a part of the Tyranid battle force, either as Imperial architecture that has been infested with Tyranid biology or Tyranid biological constructs themselves, similar to Spore Chimneys. Just because on the face of it they should run head first into contact doesn't stop them being tactical, afterall there is an alien intelligence controlling them.


  1. Tough luck, mate. Honestly not much you can do - that was an amalgamation of all the worst circumstances. Nids need deployment and mission to go their way to stand a chance against DE and even then it's an uphill climb.

    1. Indeed, you can't even pin the beggars down, they just nip off. It was nice in that Phil was magnanimous for every small victory I made but when you know you're on the road to a good hiding it dulls the enjoyment. Of course I could have continued to hide and not suffered a complete defeat but I did elect to offer him the opportunity to achieve that goal so I wasn't completely depressed by the inevitable result. I chose to be wiped off the board, that's pretty much the only option I had! Ha, ha!

  2. I agree with you on the defense line. Nid's are highly intelligent and all of their weapons are bio-constructs. They aren't the bugs that most people think of in typical science fiction. If they can bio-engineer different larvae for different weapon effects and giant birthing star ships, a wall shouldn't be outside their abilities. They eventually need to protect their spore chimneys as they devour the planet