Sunday, 11 September 2011

Grey Knights vs Tyranids ~ Battle Report

So I'd never really done one but as I'd been considering starting this blog and battle reports were brought up by my opponent who sometimes writes some of his own, I thought why not have a go?

1,500pts Grey Knights Vs. Tyranids

My Army
I'd made a slight alteration to my usual list, replacing (and converting) Captain Stern who I always felt as rather underwhelming in this force and my tactics with a yet unnamed Grand Master. This allowed me to purchase some of the nifty grenades for both my HQ's, going for Rad over Psychotroke to avoid confusion and have a more predictable effect. Unfortunately I dropped the Psy-colt ammunition from the razorback.
As usual the armies backbone is the highly expensive Paladin unit (a third of my points, without characters), with each of the other units providing certain roles of assistance.

Grand Master - Incinerator, Rad Grenades

Inquisitor - Power Sword, Rad Grenades

Inquisitor Henchmen Unit consisting of six Death Cultist Assassins, two Arco-Flagellants and one Crusader
> Chimera with Heavy Bolter & Heavy Flamer

Purifier Squad with additional member and Halberds
> Razorback with Twin-Heavy Bolters

Seven man Paladin Squad with Apothecary and two Psycannons

Vindicare Assassin

Strike Squad - Psycannon

Strike Squad

Graeme's Army
Graeme had decided to unleash Tyranids upon me, having never really faced them in 5th edition I was cautious yet fairly confident. My knowledge on the army consisting of incomplete looks through the codex and watching some games played by others.
He was nice enough to inform me beforehand that his army wasn't entirely WYSIWYG, something a number of my more regular opponents have a habit of forgetting with their armies. He also made sure I could recognise his nicely converted Tervigon, since GW has yet to make a model for it at all.

Hive Tyrant armed with Lash Whip, Bonesword and Scything Talons. Using Leech Essence and Paroxysm psychic powers.

Three Hiveguard

Five Tyranid Warriors armed with Lashwhip, Bonesword and Scything Talons. With additional Toxin Sacs

Seven strong Genestealer Brood with Broodlord, all with Scything Talons

Fifteen strong Hormagaunt Brood with Toxin Sacs

Ten strong Termagant Brood

Tervigon with Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs, Acid Blood and Catalyst psychic power

Carnifex with Bio-Plasma attack

Trygon Prime

Terrain and Mission
The battle was to cover a standard 6' by 4' area, using the local clubs city-fight map sheet covered with a multitude of ruins and craters.
This left us with a rather nice looking grass free ruined city to do battle through with the five largest ruins around the centre which came in handy. The dice roll revealed that our mission would be Seize Ground with a second roll showing we had a shocking five objectives to battle over. As a search revealed little to represent objectives Graeme suggested we just use the five largest ruins around the centre so we went with it.
As for deployment style, Dawn of War was rolled. A personal favourite of mine although I wouldn't be using my Dark Eldar so not particularly to my benefit.

Graeme had won the roll off and elected to go first, setting up his Tyranid Warriors and Genestealers in two of the vital ruins in his deployment zone, with the Hive Tyrant further back ready to support them.
Myself, I decided to hold my HQ's back placing only the two small Strike Squads on the table, with the Psycannon armed unit on top of one of the vital ruins (luckily quite central, giving a wide view of the field) and the other unit just in front as a mobile screen.

I was already happy with my recent list change as the Grand Master allowed me to grant abilities to units, I rolled well and knowing the large number of objectives and my lack of strong troops units I decided that my Paladins, Purifiers and Vindicare would now all be able to capture objectives as if they were troops.

Turn One
As expected I failed to Sieze Initiative and the Tyranids swarmed forward with all but the Trygon moving on the first turn. Graeme hugged the ruins well, with both Warriors & Genestealers only edging forward. His Hive Guard made a run for one of the ruins on my right while the much of rest of his force were to my left, with his Termagants slipping up and only getting 2" onto the field. His lone Carnefex boldly lumbered forward in the open in full view.
As a heavily combat focused force there was little shooting, but with a grunt of effort his Tervigon spawned an additional unit of eight Termagants, with no double rolled its spawning stacks were still full to do so again later.

My movement was over quick, with my entire force appearing on my left flank, the Paladins more central and the two vehicles further out, as the Vindicare choose a vantage point on a small section of unimportant ruin.
With night fight I was unable to do much, although the Razorback and Paladins managed a few wounds on Graeme's Tyranid Warriors.

Turn Two
Graeme rolled yet it seemed his Trygon was still burying into position and not ready to arrive yet. His force continued to move forward with his Gaunts gaining speed, his Warriors moving out of sight of my vehicles and his Hive Guard running again and reaching a spot in the ruins completely out of sight of where my forces could reach. Their guns of course, not needing line of sight to fire.
As most of our forces were on my left flank, Graeme sent his Hive Tyrant round along my right.
With still no shooting the Tervigon spawned another unit of Termagants and showed no sign of stopping. Out of caution it also channelled its psychic powers and granted Feel No Pain to the Carnifex.

In my turn I sent the Razorback the full 12" along my left flank as the Chimera and Paladins adjusted their positions to fire at their targets. My only other movement being to retreat my mobile Strike Squad away from the approaching Tyranid Warriors.
Now the sun had risen my shooting was far more effective, with the Chimera picking off a Hormagaunt and my Paladins and both Strike Squads unleashing their massed combined fire into the Tyranid Warriors reducing their number to half. The Vindicare meanwhile raised his rifle and fired a shot at the lumbering Carnifex yet to my dismay was just out of range!
The assault phase then begun and with a lucky roll my Paladins could just reach Graeme's Tyranid Warriors yet my Grand Master himself couldn't get into base contact for his attacks. Thanks to their Lash Whips my Paladins were reduced down to initiative 1 and a couple of them took a wound each. The returning attacks however were horrendous, with both the Paladins and Grand Master casting Hammerhand as they charged increasing the units strength to an almighty six! That together with the Grand Masters Rad grenades reducing the warriors toughness to three, meant that I was causing Instant Death with all my attacks, allowing the Paladins to easily cause enough wounds to kill the remaining Warriors several times over.

Turn Three
The third turn was heralded by the arrival of the Trygon, which erupted from the ground in front of my Vindicare with its sights set on the two tanks before it. With this distraction the other Tyranids raced forward, the Hormagaunts and now numerous Termagants making good speed on my left, followed by the Tervigon. The Hive Tyrant forced its way through ruins on my right, with the Carnifex still boldly striding down the centre of the board.
Yet again the Tervigon spawned another unit of Termagants with me wondering when Graeme will finally roll a double and stop. With this new unit running off into the distant ruins to hide alongside the Hive Guard and guarantee him at least one Objective.
Finally having some shooting attacks, Graeme began with the Trygon Prime as it discharged a mass of electrical blasts which caused my Chimera to explode violently, taking both Arco-Flaggelents, the Crusader and one of the Death Cultists with it. Even the Inquisitor couldn't get free of the wreckage unscathed, taking a wound.
The Hive Guard however were less effective, missing with most of their attacks and the rest deflecting harmlessly off the Paladins terminator armour. Lastly, in preparation for next turns assault the Tervigon decided to psychically grant Feel No Pain to the Hormagaunts this time and while it managed to, the roll of double one caused the creature to suffer a wound.

Unsure about the gigantic creature which had appeared in my ranks I took a risk by having the Purifiers move forward to charge the Hormagaunts before they could charge me. Taking the opportunity to move forward slightly my Vindicare hopped from his spot and moved towards the Trygon, the Paladins falling back slightly to support him and the Inquisitor.
It seemed this wasn't needed however as a turbo-penetrator round from the Vindicare and some nice shooting from the Strike Squad in the building took four wounds off the hulking beast. Crossing my fingers that the Inquisitor and his Henchwomen could finish it, I turned the Paladins on the Hive Tyrant on my other flank causing a single wound which was more than the mobile Strike Squad could manage with its stormbolters.
Assault phase came and the Inquisitor and Death Cultists threw themselves at the Trygon, yet again Rad grenades proved my list change good allowing the Cultists to wound on 5's rather than 6's, which saved the day as after rolling a total of twenty attacks I only managed a single 5 and a 6 to wound. Only just enough to slay the monster.
Elsewhere I was beginning to feel dismay for my Purifier Squad which had only slain a single Hormagaunt with their stormbolters and after assaulting and unleashing their lovely Cleasing Flames power, my terrible rolls along with some good Feel No Pain saves meant that I was still facing a full unit! Thankfully the unit regained my trust by slaying an almighty nine with their standard attacks, not the way I expected them to win but I wasn't complaining. Despite managing to slay one of the Purifiers in return it was discovered the Hormagaunts were out of Synapse range meaning with a -8 penalty to their leadership they unsurprisingly fled and were chased down.

Turn Four
Alone and quite some distance from the rest of my force the five remaining Purifiers found themselves huddled together as a large number of Termagaunts move forward readying their guns, as if to make things worse the Carnifex changed direction and turned down a sidestreet towards them as well. Over on my right flank the Hive Tyrant and Genestealers moved forward into the centre of a vital ruin close to my lines.
For the first time the Tervigon does not spawn another unit, but only because Graeme had only three Termagants left in his box and didn't think it worth the risk!
Shooting phase and the Hive Guard start the inevitable torrent of fire at the Purifiers, slaying one. Before the Termagants could open fire the Carnifex churned up a blob of bio-plasma and with amazing accuracy vomits it right atop the Purifiers vaporising all of them and leaving the Termagants targetless.
Before ending his turn, Graeme's Hive Tyrant concentrates the psychic powers of the hive mind and despite the Grey Knights Aegis resistance manages overwhelm the bodies of the Psycannon armed Strike Squad reducing their weapon skill and ballistic skill to 1.

With my strong left flank looking less capable I still decided to focus on the few threats on my right, having the Paladins move back in that direction and taking a risk the Grand Master leaves the unit to stride ahead.
On the left, the Inquisitor keeps his retinue in check, pulling them back slightly in the hopes of avoiding assault long enough to charge myself next turn.
Shooting begins as the Grand Master fires a burst of intense flame at the Genestealers killing several. Despite their vastly reduced ballistic skill the Strike Squad in the building gave their assistance and managed a kill leaving only the Broodlord and a lone Genestealer. Deciding the Hive Tyrant now represented the bigger threat the Paladins and second Strike Squad turned their guns his way and luckily (or unluckily for Graeme) managed to finish the Tyrant off. Elsewhere having little else to target the Vindicare lends his support to the Razorback and together manage to kill three Termagants, not his most impressive moment.
My Grand Masters risk had paid off in the shooting phase now fell flat however as his lumbering armour must have prevented him clambering over terrain, as he was unable to assault the remaining Genestealers.

Turn Five
Unrelenting, Graeme continued his march forward, with the Carnifex returning to the main road. On my left flank the Termagants swarm forward, followed by the Tervigon while on my right the Genestealers prepared to pounce upon my Grand Master. Now I'd killed a few Termagants, Graeme decided he had enough models to spawn another unit, although it turned out he still hadn't enough as he rolled a 4, 5 & 6, the maximum possible without the Tervigon exhausting its supply of larvae, still that was another unit of troops on the field and he already had a better position amongst the ruins than me.
Shooting phase and the Hive Guard worried me slightly as they turned their guns on my Grand Master, scoring three wounds. At strength 8 they represented Instant Death but luckily his terminator armour proved impenetrable. The Paladins terminator armour was less protective as another perfectly spat glob of bio-plasma from the Carnifex landed in their midst finishing off one and killing another. Again the Tervigon psychically toughened a unit, this time it was the leading Termagant group.
In the assault the Grand Master faced off against the two charging Genestealers, suffering a wound from the Brood Lords attacks. In return he managed to slay land a wound on both aliens, killing the standard Genestealer. However despite being Psychic the Broodlord resisted the Daemonbane effect of the wound and remained in combat.

Realising the game was in danger of ending with my only having a single objective the Paladins were forced to leave their master to his fight and head towards the nearest ruin, where the Inquisitor and his retinue were already moving, however they barely managed to make any distance thanks to terrain.
The Vindicare failed to wound with his shot at the Terivon. Disappointed, I then had the two Strike Squads pelt the Carnifex with fire, with little effect and to make the phase worse despite the full firepower of the Paladins and even a well placed Halocaust blast the Termagants in the nearby ruin proved immovable thanks to cover and Feel No Pain.
Assault proved their undoing thankfully as the Inquisitor and the Death Cultists charged in, their power weapons and his Rad grenades giving the unit no chance. The Brood Lord failed to penetrate the Grand Masters armour this time, who in return landed a single wound which he then turned into Instant Death by channelling his powers into his Force Weapon.

Biting my lip, I watched as Graeme rolled a dice which came up a five. The game would continue for another turn!

Turn Six
Fearing the Grand Masters force weapon, the Carnifex ignored the warrior standing before him and heading into the rightmost vital ruin. Over on my left in the other ruin, another Termagant unit encircled the Death Cultists and Inquisitor as more Termagants and the Tervigon settled in a the vital ruin behind it securing the objective, again the hive minds psychic powers proved strong granting Feel No Pain to the attacking Termagant unit.
Shooting was quick as the Hive Guard failed to penetrate the Grand Masters armour again and the Termagant's volley of fire cut down the Death Cultists and left the Inquisitor with a single wound remaining. The Carnifex attempted another blast of bio-plasma, this time at my mobile Strike Squad yet for the first time was off target and missed.

The Paladins made better distance this time, moving to join up and protect the Inquisitor in the ruins. On the other flank the Grand Master and mobile Strike Squad moved after the Carnifex.
Shooting began and the Psycannon unit and Grand Master failed to kill the Carnifex, forcing the other Strike Squad to open fire as well finally bringing the creature to the ground. However, this prevented them from running meaning that while the beast was down I couldn't get the unit into the objective.
Again the Paladins unleashed their guns into a Termagant unit and again cover and Feel No Pain prevented their destruction, although again in a strange case of Déjà vu the Paladins assault, supported by the Inquisitors grenades removed the unit, giving me control of the ruin.

Another dice was rolled and this time the game came to a close.

The Result: 2 v 2
Two objectives each, with the most distance objective held by the spawned Termagants who hid with Graeme's Hive Guard and the other on my left side in his deployment filled with yet more Termagant and their Tervigon spawner.
Compared against my objectives which consisted of the ruin my Psycannon armed Strike Squad had held the entire game and the one my Paladins and captured in the last moments.
The fifth objective was left unclaimed as my mobile Strike Squad had unfortunately failed to reach it due to dealing with the Carnifex.

Interestingly against my original expectations it wasn't the Genestealers, Hive Tyrant or Tyranid Warriors who caused me the most trouble, although the impressive accuracy of the Carnifex's Bio-Plasma caught me off guard each time.
The real trouble in the game came from the Tervigon and the untold masses of Termagants which is spawned, that claimed both of Graeme's objectives. With his luck in never running out of spawns and Graeme's choices of Feel No Pain, the Tervigon really was a thorn in my side the whole game.

After the game Graeme remarked that in retrospect he wasted the warriors and arguably the genestealers who should all probably have just hid in a building somewhere.

As for myself, while the game was a draw I count it as a slight victory, as my model loss consisted of only the Purifiers, the Inquisitors Henchmen, their chimera and two Paladins. Eight marines, a tank and a few unimportant retinue members would barely register in the records of the imperium compared to the casualties they'd inflicted upon the hive mind.
More importantly and the real reason for my taking the game as a slight victory was my choice in adjusting my army list not only prevented my loosing the game since the Paladins could claim their objective (although selecting the Vindicare to be able to take objectives and then positioning him far away from any was a terrible mistake). In addition the spare points which were spent on Rad grenades meant that almost every encounter they were used in was over in a single turn.

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