Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Wednesday Night Gaming: The Devil’s Biomass

Chaos Vs. Tyranids, Who will win?

What ho! Welcome back to Wednesday Night Gaming, where this time we see the fearsome cronies of Chaos against the unending tide of Tyranids, in which both Dougie and myself play Chaos Space Marines, vs. Laur on ‘Nids (the reason for this being Doug being the original player, played for the first 2 turns, and I continued the game for him on a later date when he was unable to attend Wednesday Night).

As per lately, this is a 1250 point game. Let the Battle of the Bad Boys &; Bugs commence!


As with his last outing, Dougie has stuck with a very comparable army list to his last outing, helped very much by the fact that his Chaos collection has grown very slowly and thus, a limitation of models he can take without having to proxy the lot. The big bad Daemon Prince is present and accounted for, but this time Doug’s opted for only 1 Rhino transport for a squad, but features a Land Raider ride for his Terminators as a premium. A footslogging squad of Chaos Marine troops stands at the ready, and as backup he has 2no. Obliterators and a Chaos Predator.

Laur similarly has tweaked the list from his previous outing, with Tyrant & Guard, Tervigons and termagant troops making a repeat visit, but has increased the amount of Hive Guard he has, along with footslogging Zoenthropes and 2no. infiltrating Genestealer squads instead.


For this battle I set up the board, putting a fortified corner at one end, and a more open grassland feel on the opposing corner to capture a feel of an assault on an aspect of a castle (almost like a Planetstrike game).

Of course, should the deployment be spearhead it’s pretty obvious which side of the table is preferable (depending on army composition) but all in all I feel it is an interesting mix of buildings, difficult terrain, hills and LOS-blocking features to give a variety of differing combat situations.

Dice are rolled and the nature of the game is Seize Ground with 4no. Objectives placed. It’s to be a Pitched Battle setup, and Laur (Nids) get to go first!

Laur carefully places his objectives over the table ‘half’ he’s chosen (the one with the fortified quarter of course), one near some difficult terrain, the other on a building, while Dougie quite casually places his objectives one by the corner of a large LOS-blocking building, the other by a hill out in the open. Interesting strategy!


Laur decides to spread his deployment throughout his half, (from left to right) with the Tyrant & Guard at the flank, Hive Guard behind a hill, troops near his objectives, Zoenthropes in a ruin, and the rest by the tower at the corner.

The Tyranid line holds fast!


For Dougie’s counter-deployment, he decides to place (from left to right) a Predator at the edge, followed by his Rhino transport, the Daemon Prince, the Landraider, and his Obliterators and footslogging troops within some bushes near the objective.

When it comes to objective based games, it always seems (to me) that he who has most troops has an advantage over the one who has less, particularly if they are better protected (e.g. in transports). Doug’s choice of footslogging basic Chaos troops is a curious one, but I can see he has opted for this selection to test out the more elite slots (packed with Termies in Landraider!) for an emphasis on aggressive close-combat domination, with an impervious delivery system to get his armoured assailants from point A to B.

What Dougie didn’t know is that Zoenthropes have lance weapons that reduce AV 14 to 10...

With nobody reserving anything, Laur then puts his infiltrating Genestealers as close as possible to the enemy, with one group of ‘Stealers in particular 18” away in full sight, aiming to get that first turn assault charge with lucky run rolls due to fleetness.

Still, as fortune would have it, Dougie steals the initiative (much to Laur’s groaning consternation after having just put his ‘Stealers out in the open. A 1 in 6 chance! Who would’ve thought it?) and away we go!


1. Chaos takes advantage of the first go, surging forward and popping smoke where possible (Rhino).

2. Predator takes aim with its arsenal, as does the Landraider with one of its lascannons, at the Tyrant and Guard, managing to inflict 3no. wounds, killing one of the Guard and wounding the Tyrant once.

3. Lone Obliterator fires its plasma cannon at the group of skulking ‘stealers, killing 3 and wounding the Broodlord once. Everything else remains out of range.

The advance of Chaos

Zero KPs so far, but Tyranids control both of their objectives.


1. Retaliation! ‘Nids advance to face their opponent, as Mama Tervigon sprouts 13 little ‘nidlings, but roll a pair of 5’s to close down the baby factory.

2. Massed Termagants, Zoenthropes and Hive Guard fire at the troops of Chaos, killing 4, while an Obliterator takes a wound!

3. The ‘Stealer duo tries to attack the Daemon Prince, but due to the size of the objective blocking their path (the broodlord’s base fails to squeeze through) this means they have to take the long way round to assault, and as their out of reach they fail to do so! Still, they seize an objective, having abandoned one during their advance.

4. The larger group of ‘Stealers are more successful, managing to get into assault with the Rhino and immobilise it!

Gah! I'm stuck!
Still Zero KPs, Tyranids control 2no. objectives.


1. Chaos fights back! Or tries to, as both Obliterator receive Gets Hot! results as attempt to fire a salvo of plasma cannon blasts.

2. Landraider presses forward, a lascannon wounding the Tervigon.

3. Dougie’s 5 troops still hiding behind a line of barbed wire fire at a group of termagants, killing 5! ‘Dem’s good shootin’.

4. The Predator pumps out its firepower at the Tyrant, but wounds the Guard accompaniment.

5. The 7-men flamer squad disembark and scorch the group of ‘Stealers! However, they only manage to kill 2.

6. Daemon Prince swoops over a building in a single bound and launches into an assault with the Hive Guard. Unusually, both sides fail to even scratch the other leaving the combat a draw.

Confidence is high, with the troops ahead of the Mighty Beer-can Dreadnought.

Still Zero KPs, with Tyranids controlling 2no. objectives.


1. Tyranids do some shifting about, resulting in the smallest group of Termagants sitting in a building and an objective, with Hive Guard shifting positions with the Zoenthropes, and Zoenthropes out in the open edging closer to the Landraider.

2. 2 of the Zoenthropes fail a Perils of the Warp test but are okay, one fires it’s warp lance and makes contact with the Landraider! But at reduced AV10 (lance), Laur rolls a ‘1’ and fails to penetrate. The Hive Mind screams in anguish.

3. Termagants and Hive Guard lay down the mass fire. No shots get through to the Obliterator, but the rainstorm of barbs and spikes take down 2 more Chaos renegades.

4. Tyrant and its Guard charge into assault to assist the Hive Guard. The Daemon Prince ends up taking two wounds, and it’s not looking too good for him!

5. ‘Stealers charge into the fray to assist their brother ‘Stealers (losing control of an objective). They lose 1 more, and the troop of Chaos lose 3, but they hold fast.


Yet Zero KPs, but with Tyranids controlling 2no. objectives.

At this point Dougie and Laur call it a day, and the game will resume some time later in the week (with me at the helm of Chaos!)


Now I bring the touch of my generalship taking over the helm of Chaos, will I succeed in carrying out Doug’s plan to stem the alien horde?

1. Terminators disembark and plow into combat to assist their Daemon Lordship!

2. Predator steams ahead 12” to seek new grounds, and the Landraider comes to the rescue of the diminished troop squad as they seek shelter in the mobile bunker!

3. Obliterators take aim at the Zoenthropes, but plasma cannonfire only wounds one, and barbeques a stray Termagant.
4. Immortal Kombat! Tyranids fail to cause any wounds on the beefed-up Chaos mob. The Traitors then manage to fell the foul Tyrant Guard and their leader. Moo-hoo-ha-ha!

The Beast is slain! By.. the Beast.

5. Meanwhile, the melee between tank, troops, and (s)tealers continues affray! The troops are wiped out, the Rhino wrecked, and a group of ‘Stealers manage to pull away and consolidate closer to the speeding Predator.

Kill points-wise, both myself and Laur have 2 each. Tyranids still control 2no. objectives.


1. Genestealers overwhelm the Predator with attacks so numerous, despite needing 6’s to hit, they manage to destroy it.

2. Surprisingly, the Hive Guard slay my Daemon Prince (sob) and run away, I mean consolidate away, not being in contact with any attackers having taken out the Independent Character.

3. Hive Guard shootin’ takes out the Obliterator, and the Zoenthropes wreck the Landraider, forcing a disembarkation of the troops! (who are not close enough to be assaulted by Termagants).

Score is still 2 KP’s to Chaos, but a massive surge of 6 KP’s to Tyranids, I control 1 objective but the ‘Nids now control 3no. objectives!


1. Things aren’t looking very good for me, so I go for the long shot and attempt the draw! My obliterator switches to the risky lascannon mode, and aims for the Termagants in the building, hoping to take them all out in one fell swoop (and force an objective to be lost). He succeeds, and destroys the building along with all the Termagants but one! (can’t win them all)

2. Terminators decide to abandon their Hive Guard prey to try to takedown the Tervigon, attempting to kill off another scoring unit. Using combi-plasmas, they miss all their shots (Somewhere in the warp, Khorne groans softly).

3. My last 3 troops pull back, but just close enough as to be within holding distance of their objective. They take aim at the fast-moving group of ‘Stealers closest and with their guns they kill one of the ‘Stealers, but a Gets Hot! result kills one of my own! (Khorne groans ever louder).

Wobbly Zoenthrope models on ruins. Fun!

Score is 2 KP’s to Chaos, 6 KP’s to Tyranids, with Chaos controlling 1no, objective, ‘Nids controlling 3no. objectives.


1. Nid’s launch their shooty attacks at the Terminators and the weight of fire and amount of dice rolled means that 2 of my Terminators are cut down.

2. ‘Stealers split off, one group holding back to keep possession of an objective, and the other rushes to assault my last troop, but fails to reach (rolling ones during their running move).

3. A group of Termagants assaults my Troops, but the duo of Chaos manage to kill 4 of the little scuttlers before losing one of their own. Out of synapse and having lost the combat, the Termagants retreat (and I fail to run them down).

Score is 2 KP’s to Chaos, 6 KP’s to Tyranids, Chaos control 1no. objective, ‘Nids control 3no. objectives.


1. My lone Terminator fires at the threatening group of ‘Stealers, killing the Broodlord and it’s offspring. Success!

2. My lone troop (Sarge) hides behind the bushes. They can’t shoot me if they can’t see me! Oh wait..

3. Obliterator tries to take out that last, pesky Termagant, but the shot deviates.

Score is 3 KP’s to Chaos, 6KP’s to Tyranids. Chaos have 1 objective, ‘Nids have 3 objectives.


1. Hive Guard takes out the last Terminator! (he will not be back...)

2. As does the other group of Hive Guard, taking out my last Sergeant.

3. The rest of the ‘Nid horde swarms forward, while Zoenthropes lay down the hurt on my last Obliterator, wounding it once!

Score is 3 KP’s to Chaos, 9 KP’s to Tyranids. Tyranids control 3 objectives!

The die is cast, and it’s play on for another round!


1. Dougie would never forgive me if all his men were completely wiped out, but I HAVE to try to claw back an objective. Oblit fires it’s plasma cannon again, but yet again it deviates off-target.

Score remains 3 KP’s to Chaos, 9 KP’s to Tyranids, with 3 objectives to the Aliens.


1. Laurence will now attempt to pull off a total wipeout! His troops surge forward but as ever, just not enough to carry out any assaults! Zoenthropes AND Hive Guard fire, hoping to pull off that last final wound, but to no avail.

The cheese stands alone.

HA HA! Take that Laur!

Final Scores: 3 KP’s to Chaos. 9 KP’s to Tyranids. Tyranids win, controlling 3no. objectives.


Chaos falls to the unending alien swarm. Live on pay-per-view. Oh the (in)humanity!

Doug and I always extract the Michael when it comes to how long Laur takes when playing a casual game of 40K, notably during choosing table edges and deployment, and even deployment of Objectives.

But as this battlereport shows, that is indeed the key to success!

Careful placement of forces, objectives, and creating a synergy between units (as Laur’s list is built) meant that he had stacked the odds against Doug, even when he lost the objective!

Notably, both sides had good rolling and bad rolling, but Doug did himself no favours by his piecemeal approach at army deployment AND objective placement (something he admitted to me himself later on in the week when he reconsidered that his tiredness after a day’s work and his ‘let’s just get on with it and play’ mindset meant he was punished by sloppy strategy and sloppy tactics.

Despite putting Laur on the backfoot by him going first, from what I can see (and this is my opinion) Doug made these mistakes:

1. Walking one squad of troops: Either put the footsloggers in a Rhino, or don’t put them in firing range of a tonnage of tiny guns.

2. Unsupported units: Throwing his Daemon Prince to assault a squad of Hive Guard was in theory, a walkover, but the high toughness of the unit meant a potential game-saving unit which could’ve been used to wipe out Genestealers when his Rhino-carrying troops was immobilised was needlessly tied-up.

Doug was unlucky that his Oblits underperformed, getting both Gets Hot! rolls which could have changed the game for him, but left his troops high and dry.

3. Objectives ‘out in the open’: Understandatably, Khorne demands an aggressive mindset in which to go attack or go to hell, but clearly the God of Slaughter isn’t a God of Strategy (that’s Tzeentch’s job). Laurence put his objectives in such a way that he can at least benefit from having cover as a fallback and combat buffer, Doug placed his near LOS-blocking terrain, but it just meant that the weight of the alien horde beckoned threateningly closer.

WARNING! EUPHEMISMS APLENTY: Still, easy for me on my high horse being a Johnny-come-lately, taking over the reins of the horse and blaming the last ride for breaking it’s back!

All in all, we all had fun, and we all have a degree of respect for the Tyranids as they are a force to be reckoned with, when ‘played right’.


1. Do the Hive Tyrant, and the Tyrant Guard unit together, still count as separate Kill Points? The rulebook isn’t very clear on this because of the wording, and the GW FAQ seem to imply that the Tyrant Guard forms a ‘retinue’ (they even use the word!), and thus, IC’s and retinue rules are inferred to apply, therefore 2 Kill Points. Is this wrong/right?

Thanks for reading!

- Menzies


  1. Always good to see a 512 battle report :) Table setup looked good - I always like tables to look like something rather than random terrain thrown down.

    I know I've certainly lost games due to tiredness and sloppy play - with a slightly different deployment the game would have been much tighter, but the 'nids played very well regardless.

    For the question, I'd say they probably are 2KPs, simply as things like Devilfish and Drones are 2 etc.

  2. Very nice battle report.

    They both count as seperate kill points. Page 35 in the Tyranid Codex, under Shieldwall:

    A single Hive Tyrant... may join a unit of Tyrant Guard exactly if it were an independant character.

    The Tyrant Guard and Hive Tyrant are hence completely seperate units. They just happen to hang out together :P Thats my interpetation of it.

    Which program did you use for the wonderful diagrams in the report? I really like it :)


  3. Thanks for the reply guys! I'll let Laur know that you think his generalship was pretty tight. I'm sure he'll be pleased!

    My interpretation is also that they're exactly 2 KPs. I know the issue is muddled a bit re: is the Tyrant still a Monstrous Creature now that it's 'hiding' in a unit of infantry, but the downside of them being 2 KPs seems to keep it in check.

    For the diagrams I just use Photoshop and bucketloads of free time (when I can) to mock up the graphics! (They're kinda top-down NES-style 'Vassal'-esque, but obviously I've made my own graphics for my own use to get round potential legal issues re: vassal).

  4. This is so fun! What a great idea. Also I love how authentic you seem to be. Your style and passion for blogging is contagious. Thank you for sharing your life!
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