The guardsmen about to drop blast templates
Warhammer 40K battle report
2000 points of Guard vs 2000 points of Tyranids
Dawn of War, Annilate mission (random game length ended turn 5):
jon-a-ross.livejournal.com/941104.html battle report on Livejournal. Pictures will be added after they are uploaded to flickr
Arthur, my foe in my ehammer games was in town for a couple of days and we were able to get a battle. Arthur had brought his army but rather then face me alone he joined forces with David. After talking to my foes they ruled out facing daemons, chaos or space marines. Thus I choice to use Tyranids.
My Tyranids have been unpainted for years and include a couple of leader models from the 3rd edition codex which allowed guant squads to that those upgrades. But no matter. I quickly pulled together a force. Knowing that I was facing guards I figured I either needed to take tank killers (of which the tyranids have few options) or biological tanks. I opted to go for the tanks and took three carnifex and one large burly hive tyrant. I also knew that the guard could swarm me with troops so I took the classic troop killer genestealers. Two groups of Tyranid warriors, one armed with death spiters and a venom cannon, the other with devourers and a barbed strangler would be my command line. Three swarms of three spore mines would be used to shelter my tyranids as they approached. A broodlord would allow the genestealers to infiltrate and get close (so I hoped) and a swarm of rippers, spine fist equiped guants rounded out the points.
Looking at how the battle turned out I think I should have dropped one of the tanks and taken two waves of the lesser tyranids. Something that could be bought cheap enough to rush across the battlefield and swarm the cowards perhaps. I was going to use my leaping ripper swarm for that but the damn hellhound put that to rest. But that will come later in the battle.
Deployment went against me with the Dawn of War deployment. One HQ and two Troop. I put my hive tyrant with his wings as far forward as I could safetly position him and the swarm of spine fist guants in front to shield him from hoards of lasgun fire. A group of genestealers off to one flank in the other building. I had hoped to be able to use the genestealers to take one flank with their forward position and have my other beasts support the hive tyrant when he leapt out. That last never happened.
The guard went with a very mechanized force. Two units of Veteran troopers, one in a transport deployed. A command squad deployed inside their transport as well. All three of these units took a point near the middle with a hill. A unit of sentinels using their scout ability deployed on one flank across from the genestealers. The first turn was the tyranids, as had deployment gone for me as well.
The first turn I had my spine guants and the hive tyrant wait in their sheltered location. Make the guard dig them out for now. (This was suggested to be a mistake, but I think the spineguants wouldn't have lasted against the veteran guards in front of them without support, and the Hive tyrant was too important to risk up front without support. But I also lost.) The genestealers tried to rush through the building and then fleet of claw it into charging range of the sentinels. Bad rolling prevented that from happening, blogging the genestealers down in cover.
The guards first turn was equally slow starting. A veteran squad rushed foward to hold a midground point. The other two transports holding squads shift and move along the table edge afraid to approach the threat. The sentinels shoot up some Genestealers. Nothing really happens beyond that.
My second turn gets me some re-enforcements. A lictor, a genestealer broodlord and squad, more genestealers, both my warrior squads and a carnifex. All of them need to get much closer to deal damage but the rush is on. The broodlord and his genestealers get stuck trying to cross the cover. (I had hoped they would be able to get the cover from incoming tanks, instead they failed to enter it.) The other genestealers by the sentinels also come up short on the charge across cover. The spore mines fail to do any good as they land on the tank. But the tyranid shooting is also disappointing, either missing or being out of range for most of it.
But I still felt good going into this part. I had two heavy hitters on the one flank, two groups of genestealers coming up on the other and my ranged weaponry coming onto the table to deal with trouble. Sure so far nothing had died on of the guard and the tyranids had lost one spore mine group (giving them a kill point) But I'm sure I could still do enough damage to do ok.
The guard however get a massive chunk of their support as well. A griffon and a basilisk support group roll on. A hellhound rolls on. Two ten man squads and their platoon commander march on the north end supporting the sentinels. And when I say roll on I mean they move on just enough to touch the edge of the table in most cases. Cowardly guard. (Not that it didn't work for them, it just means they are too fearful to stand up against the Tyranids in a stand up fight.)
For the shooting phase however, only the genestealers facing the sentinels suffer. Reduced to two of them they are on the front lines. The following rounds promise to be ugly. For the Tyranids.
The two remaining genestealers pass their leadership and charge the sentinels. My last two groups of spore mines land and fail to do anything useful to the guard. The lictor makes a gamble for breaking the basilisk, while the broodlord continues to have bad luck getting through the cover. Everything else either misses or is out of range moving forward as best they can. Some ripper swarms appear and start their mad rush across the field knowing they are template bait.
The genestealers fighting the sentinels manage to score one solid hit. Which causes the sentinel to explode killing both of them. My luck remains strong as always it appears.
On the guard turn a Leman Russ arrives as the hellhound becomes the third unit to advance off the table edge. Actually, looking at the pictures I see that Arthur's guardmen actually advanced behind the shield of his hellhound and sentinels. The turn itself is one that goes to the guard for sure. The lictor gets painted all over the basilisk as his 5+ save isn't enough. The Broodlord and his followers face down ten guys and a support tank unsuccessfully. Only the broodlord and three genestealers live through it. A warrior squad was wiped out completely and the other genestealer squad in the north is reduced to three by blast weapons.
On the Tyranid turn some charging gets in. The Broodlord and his three supporters charge the guardsmen that shot them up. The carnifex and the Hive Tyrant line up and push foward. Everything else I have tries to move forward, with still one carnifex in reserve arriving on this turn four. Shooting is minimal for my surviving units, but the broodlord is able to drive his guardsmen off and move into cover. The few genestealers in the north scramble for cover and attempt to ambush the hellhound. The Tyranid warriors move foward to blast into the guardsmen.
The guardsmen themselves are for the most part inside their armoured vehicles and able to weather the attacks. With turn four starting the guard have all of their vehicles in play, all of their troops in play and just a simple need to blast all they can. The few bugs that were able to reach the guard find themselves surrounded and outnumbered. They just cannot stand up against the volume of attacks.
Turn four sees the broodlord blast at by over 20 lasguns at close range, multilasers and heavy bolters. Four large blast templates land on the tyranid forces. (Basilisk, Leman Russ, Artillery Officer and Griffon.) Autocannons and sniper rifles all find and claim targets. My spinefist gaunts did not take any offensive action this battle and are still targeted for flaming. I perhaps could've moved them foward with or even before the hive tyrant rush but they had no targets they could've reached in two turns of moving. They would not have lasted two turns on the battlefield. These guys will be one of those big ifs. (Taken because I had just enough points to do nothing with 65 points for all 11 or something)
In the end of turn four only the three carnifex, the hive tyrant, the spineguants, the heavy wounded broodlord and the ripper swarms survived. Out of them only one of the carnifex would make it into close combat and live through the turn. The Broodlord was cut down before he could kill. The battle is not really going well at all for the tyranids at this point.
And guard turn five is also quick and brutal. A medusa finally turns up, but it was not really needed. (It would have brought the guard to five large blast templates a turn. Ugh.) The guard team up in the south and blast the hive tyrant to pieces. The carnifex closest to the guard survives through everything and is all ready to go. But behind it the guants and ripper swarms are being dealt with. Three rippers and six guants remain. The Guants pasted their leadership test. Three Carnifex remain in play as well and could do some damage to the guard... Only the game ends. The guard have scored eight or more killpoints where the tyranids have only four or five. (Some of my shooting was successful in breaking squads, who fled the field.)
All in all a tough mission for the bugs. I suspect it is because of the video game with Tyranids as a main race (Dawn of War II) and a number of outdated rules for them they are getting their new codex in February. As I have all the tyranids I will most likely ever need (4000 points worth without any upgrades) I worry about what they are going to do to them in the new book.