Monday, 6 September 2010

Wednesday Night Gaming: Bad Bug Infestation

They’re coming outta the goddamn walls!

What ho gentle blogosphere! The Wednesday Night Gaming Dudes (that’s me, Laur, and Doug) present to you another battlereport from beyond the furthest regions of the galactic rim.

That’s right! Tonight it’s Imperial Guard VS the hungry Tyranids, facing off, again, for the first time!

Read on if you wish to find out if I achieve the following:

1. Stop taking a novelty Imperial Guard army list

2. Break my (so far) 3-game losing streak?


So far on the battlereports of the Cadian 512th, I have brought to you the pleasures of Tank spam, Stormtrooper spam, Banewolf spam, and even Infantry spam!

I exaggerate really, for when I bring these armies on the table what I really mean to do is key my overall strategy around the ‘novelty list’ to test out their effectiveness, with varying degrees of success, or shall I say a single success (tank spam, the toughest spam to crack!)

Today, against the Nids I have opted to table as much artillery as possible in 1250 points, so yet another novelty list I call the ‘Guns of Cadia’! Not being familiar with the ravenous foe that is the Hivemind of Laur, I again have opted for a core of 2 lots of Chimeltas led by a Primaris, one with all it’s meltas replaced with flamers which some say is a waste of BS4, others say 3 flamers is a huge advantage, but this time there’s a double duo of Hellhounds (2) and Basilisks (2), with a Manticore and a Leman Russ Punisher for funtimes with weapons!

I note that a Punisher isn’t regarded as being cost-effective, which I agree wholeheartedly. But since it’s last outing, it did quite well wiping out a large group of Termagants, so I thought I’d bring them again.

Never used a Manticore before, so I reckoned now’s the time to try one out. D3 templates sound pretty hot and tempting. Basilisks are an old favourite, and with AP3 it would help with those Nidzilla-esque 5th edition lists. Hellhounds to lay down the template hurt, Boom Boom BOOM everywhere! So what could go wrong?

Laur’s first official outing against the Guard (he’s run Tyranids on 5th edition mode very rarely, preferring Marines usually) features a Hive Tyrant, a pair of Tyrant Guard, a pair of Hive Guard, a Tervigon, 2 lots of 10no. Termagants, Zoenthropes in a Mycetic Spore, a Brood of Ymgarls, and a dreaded Tyrannofex!

On reflection, Laur has composed quite a synergistic list, in which each of his components are pretty reliant on each other, but working together as a well-oiled machine it should be able to tackle most situations e.g. anti-mech, counter-assault, drop-assaults, hold down objectives, soak up wounds, etc. Looks like I might have my work cut out for me!


As Doug was away that day, Laur and I ‘randomly’ distributed a decent amount of cover, area terrain, hills, LOS-blocking, etc, picking up bits we liked and plonking them on the table, rolling a scatter die to see where they would ‘land’.

This time though, for the battlereports I’ve opted to give the usual grassland battlescapes a more alien, ‘purple haze’ feel, just to emphasise the otherworldly sci-fi landscapes of the 41st millennium. Or it could be I’m just getting bored with green grasslands.

The green green grass of home

We make the rolls and the deployment is Spearhead, with the mission being Capture and Control (2no. objectives), and Laur gets to go first.

Laur selects the more built-up quarter as his deployment zone, and I get the converse quarter which is more open. He then places his objective within a ruined refinery (on a lower level to avoid blast barrages! The sneaky git), and I decide to place my objective adjacent to some area terrain, reasoning it would be more secure in the far corner of the battlefield.


Again in sneaky git mode, Laur deploys a squad of Termagants within the ruined refinery, hidden away at lower levels and in a widespread formation to discourage ordnance barrages, a perfectly legitimate, or frustrating, defensive technique. Damn I shouldn’t have deployed a multi-levelled refinery as a piece of terrain!

As it is spearhead and he gets the first go, he deploys the rest of his armour-cracking, combat-monster Big Bugs up front and centre, with Tervigon and Termagants ready to rush forward to take advantage of the jungle of area terrain to the south of the table. His ‘big guns’ are placed in a cautious manner slightly behind LoS-blocking terrain ready to pounce out to take potshots at my deployment zone, but hidden enough just in case I steal the initiative.

Ymgarl and Zoenthropes in Drop Spores remain in reserve.


Realising that Laur has forced me to take the less advantageous deployment zone, there is naught to do but crowd my Artillery section in the corner, hoping they survive long enough to take a lot of bite out of Laur’s Nids before they deliver that anticipated pummelling.

I note here that in my slight overconfidence in my artillery’s ability to pump out firepower, I did not have a definitive strategy in this game other than ‘take pot shots at Nids, and hopefully some at his Objective-grabbers, to win the game’, so I’ve noticed in hindsight that my following deployment is sloppy, bordering on atrocious!

Traffic was murder in the 41st Millenium.

Instead of ‘screening’ my artillery section and committing my troops in a true hunkered-down, defensive castling formation, I opted for a ‘cautiously optimistic’ deployment in which I hoped that my melta and flamer-armed Chimeltas would rush forward when given the all-clear to molest his Objective-bugs, but in a position close enough to fall back if need be, hence leaving my Artillery rather open from the ‘sides’ (North and East). Also I crowd my Hellhounds behind the LoS-blocking terrain to ‘prevent getting shot’, not realising the hive Guard’s Impaler Cannons’ reach is very long and do not require Line-of-sight (meaning my deployment is redundant and I’m just offering up nice juicy targets to be shot), but at the time I really did think the closer the better and I could run my Hellhounds aggressively to lay down Template Hurt from the get-go! (more on this later).

Thinking that I have ‘not anywhere else to put it’ I foolishly place my Punisher up front and centre, obviously within range of Laur’s Big Bugs and Big Guns. What I have now done is both taken away many of the advantages of a gunline list (distance, LoS, firepower) while not committing enough resources to defend my own Big Guns successfully.

Take note readers! A game can be lost not only by having a ‘bad list’ (my usual excuse), but definitely in deployment, and having a muddled, non-committed strategy.

At the starting blocks I fail to steal the Initiative, and Laur’s off!

Note: Despite being an Objective-based game, Killpoints are still being counted for this report.


1. Laur’s small bugs rush forward to amass themselves in the alien jungles, and spawns a impressive 18 Termagants! (note that this is a mistake made on Laur’s part, as 18 would entail triple 6’s! I think he really meant 15 [a 4 result, a 5 result, and a 6 result], but we played on regardless not realising this mistake) which proceed to hug the building in the centre. In addition, the Tervigon successfully casts the Catalyst power and grants FNP to the same unit of Termagants, increasing its’ survivability for the inevitable round of bombardment.

2. His Big Bugs manoeuvre forward, when the Tyrannofex lets rip it’s Rupture Cannon, scoring a Glancing hit despite it’s thick Front armour, managing to Shake my Punisher.

3. Hiveguard let rip with their Impaler cannon (only one is in range), it scores a penetrative hit and upon rolling a ‘6’ on the vehicle damage chart, it wrecks it!

Score is 1KP to Tyranids, we both control our objectives.

Wise men say, only Zergs rush in (Note: Ogryn proxies)


1. With the Hellhound wreckage causing a traffic jam, I decide to ‘swamp positions’ of my 2 Chimeltas and pop some smoke, with my melta-vets and Psyker going up to the front ready to take on the Hive Tyrant and his retinue, and my flamer-boys taking on a more defensive stance.

2. My Punisher moves out of the way at full speed, hoping to clear it’s Shaken result next turn. But I forget to pop it’s smoke. Oops.

3. My lone Hellhound scoots round and fires it’s deadly Inferno in such a way to kill some Termagants, the Tervigon and the Tyrant group! This results in causing 4 dead Termagants and a wound to a Tyrant Guard.

4. Boom boom time! 2 Basilisk templates and a solitary Manticore blast (I rolled a 1) land on a single Termagant each and every time with no scatter, again covering the large group of little bugs and all the Big ‘Uns. I manage to kill 7 Termagants, and wound the Tyrant and Tervigon once each, a seemingly good result.

Score is still 1KP to Tyranids, but only Tyranids control their objective.


1. With the Tyrant’s ‘Hive Commander’ ability adding +1 to his reserve rolls, all of Laur’s Reserves come to play, with the Ymgarl popping up at the hill, and the Zoenthropes scattering more or less in the position they were due to come in on. Looks like my vehicles are in for a smackdown, but confidence is high that they will survive this drop assault tactic.

2. Big bugs move forward and the Tervigon generates another 6 termagants, but unfortunately rolls snake-eyes, and stop producing any more little ones.

3. Hive Guard shoot the side of my shaken Punisher, scoring a Glancing hit and again Shaking it!

4. Tyrannofex turns it’s attention to my smoked-up Chimera, firing at it with it’s assault 2 Str 10 deadliness. With 1 Penetrative, it manages to Immobilise my hard-as-nails Chimeltas, as I fail my cover save!

5. Zoenthropes pass their Psychic test, and lance a Basilisk, wrecking it!

6. Termagants swarm my Hellhound and with the benefit of the Tervigon’s Adrenal Glands (Brood Progenitor) granting Furious Charge, they have a resulting, 15 assaults at Str 4 against AV 10, they score a single Glancing hit and Shake it!

6. Ymgarls rush forward, being fleet, and assault my beloved Manticore. Having been stationary previously and only shooting off one of it’s Rockets, it is well and truly wrecked.

Big yellow skypoops bring Death!

Score is now 3KPs to Tyranids, only Tyranids control their objective.


1. Not much I can do now as Laur has the advantage, having either taken out the bite of my artillery section, and neutering their support into disarray. My Punisher again tries to get out of range of those pesky Impalers, forgetting to pop smoke (Daarrr), while the Hellhound surges forward in an attempt to see if a last-minute objective contesting move is possible.

2. My Chiflamer moves over the objective and tries to block the passageway to prevent the ‘Stealers from reaching my last artillery piece, popping smoke and disembarking dudes. I opt to lay the flamer and shotgun hurt on the Zonethropes and manage to kill one!

3. My lone Basilisk attempts a daring move, shooting a barrage at the Ymgarl. A direct hit! Which kills 3 of the squid-faced buggers.

4. Immobilised Chimelta shoots all it’s got at the Big bugs, but either miss or fails to wound. At this point the small arms guns of the passengers are out of range, but I forget to power up my Primaris! Duhh.

Green plastic Bwoosh!

Score is still 3KPs to Tyranids, but we both control our objectives.


1. Big bugs chunder ever closer, savouring the time it will take to finally get into combat.

2. Zoenthropes and Hive Guard take aim at the poor Punisher, succeeding in Stunning and Shaking it. Guess I really should’ve popped that bloody Smoke!

3. The swarm of Termagants and mama Tervigon overwhelm the Hellhound, the combo of multiple hits (20no.) with Furious Charge at AV 10, resulting in a single Glancing, Shaking it again!

4. Tyrannofex decides to aim it’s Rupture Cannon at the Smoked-up Chimera on my objective. Guess what? It fails both it’s cover saves from 2 Penetrative shots, and it’s Destroyed, leaving a tiny crater. Uh-oh.

5. 2 Ymgarls go toe-to-toe with 10 vets. They lose 1 but I lose 2, and but the squad doesn’t break so I won’t be able to shoot it. Double-uh-oh.

Score is now 4 KP’s to Tyranids, and we’re back to only the Tyranids controlling their objective, and contesting the other!


1. At this point I have lost all hope at even recovering for a win in this game (even losing my temper at one point, very ungentlemanly! Cursing my luck, my list, my deployment, and my poor playing, plus the fact that I have lost every game for the past 6 months, this being the 4th), but continued to go through the motions for Laur’s sake. The Hellhound moves, edging closer to it’s prey.

2. Chimelta has only one target to shoot at as I can’t get to the Ymgarl. I aim everything at the Big Bugs, but miss my shots. And what ho! I am still out of range from shooting my Meltaguns. Again, I forget to use my Primaris.

3. And I forget to pop smoke for my Punisher.

4. Nothing for it, I try to fire away at the Big Bugs with my last Basilisk. It scatters.

5. Melta vets are in combat with the lone Ymgarl. It kills 3 more, and the squad breaks, almost running off the board.


Score is still 4 KP’s to Tyranids, only Tyranids control their objective, and contest the other.


1. My broken squad doesn’t recover as it flees off the table edge. Big Bugs get even closer than ever, but still not enough for assault range.

2. Joy of joys! The Tyrannofex shakes my Chimelta. So now I definitely cannot shoot, unless I commit to deploying 10 men and a Primaris against a WS 8 T6 W4 creature. Hmm.

3. Hive Guard fail to stun and shake my Punisher, finally! However, the Zoenthrope gets a Weapon Destroyed result under it’s belt, and I lose my Gatling Cannon. So that’s another toy I never got to test out in this game.

4. The Termagant swarm tries again, but this time their out of luck (finally) and fail to score any Glancings.

5. Ymgarl destroys my last Basilisk.

Score is now 6 KP’s to Tyranids, only Tyranids control their objective, and contest the other.


1. Having lost heart at this, yet-again-another 40K travesty, my Punisher pew pew pews it’s heavy bolter at the Zoenthrope, missing all its shots.

2. Hellhound moves away at full speed, but this time I have a working Inferno cannon, ha-HA! I fire it, and kill 11 Termagants. GREAT SUCCESS.

3. I decide to just leave my men in their tank, sulking away, just like me.

Score is 6 KP’s to Tyranids, but now a sweet, solitary, single 1no. KP to Imperial Guard! However, Tyranids still control their objective, and contest the other.


1. Hive Guard and Zoenthrope finally wreck my Punisher.

2. Tyrannofex decides to play it safe and move to engage to Hellhound, in the off chance it manages to contest and pull off a cheeky draw!

3. The Ymgarl destroys my Chimera and the Tyrant Guard and it’s retinue gobble up the Psyker and the entire squad. Yum yum.

4. Tervigon and 7 termagants manage to pull off a Weapon Destroyed and Immobilised result.

It's definitely all over now.

We roll off, and the game is due to last another turn! But seeing that the tracks of my last Hellhound is busted, I finally throw in the towel. About time!

Final Scores? A walkover victory for Tyranids, with an impressive margin of 10 KP’s to Tyranids, with a consolatory 1KP to Imperial Guard. Tyranids control their objective remaining successfully unmolested the whole game.


Bringing back memories of Dog Day Afternoon, but in a different way, this was a terrible game for me (although the former was certainly worse than the latter). Sure, it wasn’t blown apart by a gunline before even warming up the engines, but I was definitely surprised by how quickly it was all over by my opponent’s Turn 2.

Laur’s Tyranids took my guys apart, surgically and with skill, planning ahead and letting painstaking deployment and unit synergy. Whoever said ‘Nids are crap (that’s you Dougie) is just plain wrong. With a good list and good playing, I can see them being pretty competitive, although perhaps predicatable as a synergistic playstyle does mean taking the same sort of units each and every time to remain competitive.

On my part, my ‘Artillery’-based list, I can say presses an advantage on the First Turn. You can even say it’s Built for the First Turn (a la Leafblower), but with vehicles being straw huts that fall down when anyone sneezes at them, this one trick pony really needed some proper screening!


Apologies to Laur (who was quite a gracious opponent) for my ungentlemanly outbursts of £$%^, *&^@. ^%&*$ and $^%& during turns. Understandably, I really did feel like pulling my hair out throughout this game.

In 40K, the Imperial Guard are my passion. I like them. I like the fluff, I like the models, I like painting and collecting and converting them. But I also like to win when I play.

I dislike losing, but of course in this game there are winners and losers, and we can’t all be rock stars, I understand that. But what I really hate is losing badly, e.g. being throttled by bad luck, or bad meta-gaming (taking a close assault list against a gunline army on the second turn putting all my toys on the table to be shot at in the first go? What the f*£k was I thinking?), and especially bad generalmanship (this one, in terms of deployment and strategy). Losing badly is just no fun.


Credit to Laur, he did bring his ‘A’ game (bringing a finely-tuned list, anticipating me with anti-mech elements, placing his objective to his advantage, using the terrain and table to their best) and he systematically tabled me (again), but I tell you I’m getting sick of being Punchbag Menzies, as I was back in 4th edition Imperial Guard where Wednesday Gaming Night used to laugh at me for playing normal ‘toy soldiers’ in a landscape of sci-fi-superaliens.



Anyway, here are some Questions for those of you still reading at this point! Very ‘Nids heavy questions here, as even Laur our resident Nid expert could not find any definitive answers online, so I thought I’d ask the following:

1. Is the Hive Tyrant a Monstrous Creature?

2. Are the Tyrant Guard infantry (not Monstrous Creatures)?

3. When the Tyrant Guard ‘joins’ a unit of Tyrant Guard, can he still be singled out in combat/shooting, due to being a Monstrous Creature? Or does he ‘lose’ the Monstrous Creature status by joining a unit of infantry?

4. Can Tyrant Guard, if definitely infantry, gain a cover save? (e.g. area terrain)

5. Lastly, can the Hive Tyrant, a Monstrous Creature itself, gain a cover save, by being in a ‘squad/retinue’ of Tyrant Guard, all of them being in area terrain?

Thanks for reading! And pray to the Emperor that I achieve Victory next time (if ever)!

- Menzies


  1. First off, the questions you have seem to come up a lot. Luckily for us around here (or unlucky given your take on it) we use the INAT FAQ. While I don't always agree with the INAT, at least it is a consistent answer.
    1.) Hive Tyrant is Monstrous Creature
    2.) Tyrant Guard are infantry
    3.) Hybrid Answer - He still counts as a monstrous Creature; however he can no longer be singled out when shooting at him --- sorry, weird but the way it is currently played.
    4.) Tyrant Guard can get a cover save. So, a squad of guants in front of them gives them a cover save. Therefore since "most" of the squad is in cover, the whole unit can get a cover save --- lame, lame, but how they play it.
    5.) See answer #4

    Oh, and great terrain!

  2. It is consistent, and that is how we did play the Tyrant Guard + retinue (for then, and for further games down the line).

    There is the added confusion though in that I think the Hive Tyrant is NOT an independent character, but joins the Tyrant Guard as such, but is still NOT an independent character, and thus cannot also be singled out in combat.

    Basically, Infantry squad rules trumps Monstrous Creature rules.

    The rules as Intended, is pretty consistent e.g. he joins Tyrant Guard, so now he's harder to kill. I get that. It's just the rulebook words it so poorly! Hence the confusion.

  3. It's hard to explain just how much I love that picture of your deployment! Simply genius!

    I think I'd be loath to field so much minimum-range artillery against bugs who're bound to charge swiftly in...and maybe some speebump units may have soaked up the charge and left the gribblies in a killing area too...but then, I'm speaking from afar.

    As for leaving units off the board in deployment? I think we all know that in a game like this simply nothing would have arrived on time for you!

    Still, it's a shame we didn't get to read about the effect of more of your weapons. Like you, I tend to forget to pop smoke.

  4. You should re-match with the same forces, maybe...

  5. Hi Drax!

    I was relying upon the possibility of using direct fire (hence no minimum range) with my massed weaponry, sadly poor deployment, luck, & target selection meant I never got to test it out.

    Speedbumps would have certainly helped!

    Like you, I'm looking forward to see the effect of the arsenal of the Imperial Guard. I've got a grudge re-match with Laur tonight! Wish me luck..