Thursday 17 July 2014

1500pt battle report - nids vs Astra Imperial Milatarum Guard

What happened here was quite amusing, Ben asked me for a game, proper 7th at 1500pts and I combined a detachment with nid allies so I could get twin flyrants, two Tervigons, one an allied HQ, the other a troop. A Venomthrope, Zoanthrope and brood of 3 Hive Guard. A Dakkafex, Biovore and 30 gaunts plus another 10 for the Allied contingent. The big point being I had ZERO fortifications, no Aegis, Bastion, Weapons Batteries or Skyshield

Psychic Powers
Winged Tyrant HQWinged TyrantTervigon CC TRTervigon Plain Tr
The HorrorThe HorrorOnslaughtPsychic Scream
Psychic ScreamParoxysmDominionDominion


DominionOnslaughtWarp Blast

The low down:
  • Big Guns Never Tire [though apparently they do give up Victory Points when they die, as they score anyway now, good one 7th!] 4 objectives
  • Vanguard Strike
  • I lost deployment and failed to seize
  • Warlord Trait - A 7th ed strategic trait that made Ben's reserves -1. he had no reserves!
  • Night fighting turn 1.
Of course the problem I immediately had is Ben was not using the Orks I thought he would take, given they have a fresh Codex, no he went for a slightly more mature Astra Imperial Milatarum Guard. And I could see straight from the get go I was stuffed. An Aegis and a bastion with VSG [yeah, I can't touch them], two Leman Russ [can't touch them], two Wyverns [they'll punish my blobs], Ratling Snipers [bye, bye Tervigons] a Quad Gun and an Icarus [bye, by Flyrants]

Cover was sparse but I deployed my termagants in such a way to be Shrouded by the Venomthrope and give cover to anything else but with the Hellhound Chimera variant with the Inferno Cannon, cover [or lack thereof] is petty much moot anyway

Interesting to note that objectives are now positioned before Deployment setup is rolled, so you put the objectives on the board and then you could deploy in a completely different way than you anticipated. That means you have to be quite generic in where you put them. I placed mine in the Chapel ruin and the crater field in the middle. Ben put his in the blasted forest and just in front of his Aegis at the top.

First up Ben rolls to see what the Crashed Aquila Lander has in store, oh some ancient Achaeotech that is a 1VP objective within 3" of the lander, thank you, he'll have that behind the Aegis on the left of the Bastion. Everything else moves forward and the Torrent on that Chimera flames a couple of Gaunts, now that's unpleasant.

A lot of shooting focuses on my Hive Guard and 3 wounds get stripped off quite quick, despite the Venomthrope. Ratlings got an 'ignore cover' order but there was also re-rolls to hit and wound from some banner/wargear.

Further fire took the remaining three wounds off the Hive Guard for First Blood, but more importantly removing my 'anti-tank'. We also roll to see what my Mysterious objective is - Sabotaged! We then spend the game regularly forgetting to see if it blows up.

The Great Maw spawns out on 10 Termagants, which head for the crater field for some cover. unfortunately their run move is pathetic and they're pretty much dead men walking with that Hellhound nearby, although cover would again have availed them nought. My Flyrant headed to take some shots at the side armour of the Hellhound, but it's AV12 and I had seious doubts about getting three 6's to glance it. Instead I went for the softer option of the Guard blob and trust the Great Maw might eventually get it's talons on the Hellhound. I managed to kill only about 5or 6 with my Brainleech which was unrewarding.

The other Flyrant swooped into cover, I was able to take out a Heavy Weapons team but cover denied most of my shooting. The CC Tervigon spawned out on 11 so no more spawning at all - great! Everything else decamped from the ruins so as not to be blown up by the Sabotaged objective.

Warlord Flyrant takes a couple of wounds

Then a couple more, spawned gaunts also get shot to pieces with just two left. The Second Flyrant in the woods at the top is wounded and falls out of the sky and takes a 2nd wound.

In my turn two I bolster the two spawned gaunts with the eight remaining from my allied brood. The Great Maw heads for the Hellhound, needing an 8" charge, it manages 5" so fails it's assault.

My second flyrant Vector Strikes the lead Wyvern. I get a pen and the tank cannot shoot or move next turn. I shoot the back of the second Wyvern, I glance and pen but only prevent it shooting next turn.

The Dakkafex follows up too but I'm not sure what it did this turn as nothing else dies. He had Onslaught so he was run and shoot, maybe saving throws were very effective? More importantly though with that Grav Wave generator in front of the units and cover I can't charge the distance to get into assault.

The Nephropid captures an objective, only to discover, unsurprisingly, that it is also Sabotaged!

Anti-air trains it's sights on the Flyrant...

...and shoots it to pieces.

With space to manoeuvre the Hellhound reverses from the oncoming Great Maw. Concentrated fire puts five wounds on it.

But it takes pretty much all the remaining fire for the kill shot. I immediately 'go to ground' with the nearby gaunts. You don't get a cover save from the Brood Progenitor backlash but it will help next turn because they will be immune to Instinctive Behaviour. Ben thinks this is a dubious tactic, that he could understand them being able to go to ground should he be firing directly at them but they're being hit in a different way. The description is specific that they're being hit as if by a shooting attack from the Tervigon. I think the argument should be that perhaps they should have no right to go to ground because they can derive no benefit, but counter to that you always take your best save anyway so even if they were entitled to a cover save if they had a 4+ save and went to ground in 5+ cover they'd still get 4+. I'm confident I can do it but if anyone want's to chip in their thoughts feel free.

War gets into range of the Wyverns, I actually whoop when I find out they're a squadron so his shooting effects them both. I'd been floundering at the thought one would go and the other would carry on. even so I only manage a few hits. I managed to get a few hits with glances and pens. Ultimately his cover save would stop most of them except one pen gets through. I roll to see damage and on the front Wyvern and get a 6, plus one for open topped and the Wyvern blows.

The explosion takes out a couple of Guardsmen and hits his Squadron buddy, I roll and get a glance, wrecking the second Wyvern thanks to it's last Hull Point. Finally some luck! With War on the rampage all the Defenders train their guns on the beast and let rip.

Stripping all four wounds off the behemoth.

Things are looking dire but I still have a chance to steal this with 3 objectives I can control and the other one I can contest. I head the Tervigon forwards to take fire and shield the Termagants who can contest the Grav Wave objective.

My plan works too well and the Nephropid implodes.

About 5 gaunts die in the synaptic backlash. The other gaunts head to contest the other objective. I'd moved my Zoanthrope across and cast Dominion which kept everything in Synapse and also re-invigorated the gaunts that had gone to ground.

Unfortunately a dozen Termagants is no match for the massed las fire and Inferno Cannon set against it.

I try to run and contest but can't get more than an inch or two. It's turn four and I think I'm all done.

Technically, having called it, this is a Crushing Defeat. I'm actually unhappy about this shift in 7th to levels of victory. Calling it, like I did, seems an amicable acceptance but then to be branded not just defeated but 'crushed', well it's not really in the spirit of the game to me. Anyway, Ben had First Blood, Slay the Warlord, had killed 2 Heavy Support, Archaeotech objective and 1 objective for 8VPs. If we'd gone into 5 turns he would easily roll over the objective in the craters for another three and most likely got Linebreaker too, with the Hellhound, for 12 VPs all in.

Meanwhile I had either 1 or 2 VPs from the Wyverns, I think it's just 1 because they're a squadron and most likely would have had the blasted woods objective and the ruined chapel. That would have got me 7 but would have been dependant on the remaining Termagants not being gunned down by the Aegis Defenders and the Zoanthrope continuing to hold the Chapel and neither being blown up by the sabotaged objectives. This would have net me 7VPs but you can see that despite the monumental losses [and awful dice rolling] I wasn't too far off the mark from Ben. Had a couple of units just survived a bit longer [Catalyst anyone?], or been more effective in their attacks I might not have suffered as many losses and would have been able to snatch it.

The funny thing was that we played on the night Brazil got hammered by Germany so I can't feel too bad, at least it wasn't 7:1 ha, ha!


  1. "Warlord Trait - A 7th ed strategic trait that made Ben's reserves -1. he had no reserves!"

    Something to remember for next time. If you use a battle forged army as your primary detachment, you can re-roll your warlord trait :).

    Your list could really use a disruption force, such a mawloc to mess with your opponent when he tries to castle up like that.

    1. You may be right and I forgot about the re-roll, unless I remembered and the original was even worse. I was hoping for an outflank, nevermind.

      I've taken a Mawloc before but even with that setup I don't think it would end well. It's going to struggle against the Leman Russ, odds it'll never kill one and allow me to deploy. Elsewhere the Wyverns were too close to the board edge, or if I hit the Aegis it'll mishap and if I clip the Bastion it wouldn't be damaged so I'd mishap. I'm not sure how the Mawloc is supposed to function now...

  2. Heh - that's quite the crafty tactic you've come up with. Ignoring instinctive behavior for having gone to ground outside of synapse is huge for the little guys. The rules seem to permit it as well. I probably won't argue it too much with anyone who feels it's cheesy, but I will definitely be trying it! Good find!

    1. Having checked on nid forums in this case it wasn't possible. You resolve the synaptic backlash for the gaunts before removing the Tervigon, therefore they are still fearless thanks to the progenitor. Once they're situation is resolved the Tervigon is removed but they can't go to ground, unless somebody else shoots them afterwards.

      So sadly not possible here but keep it in mind for other situations. Be mindful of when they are out of synapse and immediately go to ground when you get the opportunity to protect against instinctive behaviour, then get something into Synapse range asap to recover them, or at the least use Dominion so they can get some shooting and assault.

  3. That board was ridiculous mind, not an inch of significant cover. I wouldn't have played on it.

    1. Noted, although I've been playing on a lot of empty boards recently so it doesn't bother me as much as it used to. With the Venomthrope I was still getting 3+ and even 2+ cover saves all over the shop, for the good it did me, I couldn't seem to pass many of them.

      As a nid player cover is always important, but mainly playing with my own Fortifications mitigates the problems when there is little terrain. Obviously this time I didn't bring any but my right flank had the trees which isn't a great save but it helped [Venom made it 3+] but also slowed me down and my left flank was facing a torrenting 'ignores cover' weapon so ultimately cover was irrelevant there.

      LoS blocking is what we did need, especially as it was pretty much a Stronghold Assault game with the Guard just dug in and shooting me down but that's always happened with nids, you try and close as fast as possible while being shot to pieces to be really ineffective in assault! ;) You don't have assault grenades to overcome the terrain they're in and they overwatch you to death before you get into base contact.

      I knew I was going to struggle with the army I was facing, the terrain was the least of my troubles really and bottom line as long as I have fun, which I did, even if I was swearing like a trooper because of the typically one sided dice rolling that went, then that's all right with me.

    2. I agree, there was no cover at all outside of the corners and what little cover was on the board did nothing for line of sight. Nids didn't stand a chance.

    3. I'll try and make sure my next game has a bit more cover. PeteB and I are on for this Thursday and he's noted the cue-ball worlds Hive Fleet Gorgon - Ferron Splinter fleet has been playing on recently so he should be open to a little extra foliage ;)