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Goth Girls Gone Wild!
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Final Thoughts

Goth Girls Gone Wild!--Battle #1  by Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore 
(“Patrol”; 1000 points each)

The planet of Chult is an unsettled world with approximately two-thirds of its land mass covered in dense jungle foliage. Temperatures range from 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 95-110 degrees in the summer. Chult has no known indigenous flora or fauna harmful to humans; however, Imperial records indicate that the planet was occupied in the past by the Kurindans, a hostile race of lizard-like beings. 

In the 36th Millennium, Kurindan society was at the height of its cultural and technological prominence and threatened to encroach on Imperial-held space. For unknown reasons, Kurindan society regressed and they abandoned their technology.  Their descendants are barbaric, almost feral, with a single-minded devotion to an all-powerful being they refer to as “the Slayer of Gods.” 

Sister-Sergeant Mary Agnes silenced the recording from her encyclodex and regarded the Sisters under her command. “As you have just heard, our enemy is very familiar with these jungles and will use that knowledge to launch surprise attacks. Remember your training: do not lose sight to one another, stay on paths whenever possible, and maintain a secure perimeter of 30 feet around you at all times. Do not be afraid. Trust in your weapon and the divine grace of the Emperor to protect you. If you must, recite the Rosary of Battle to focus your minds.”

From somewhere nearby there came a low growling noise. The Battle Sisters formed a defensive half-circle and peering into the darkness of the jungle. Sister-Sergeant Mary Agnes readied her storm bolter and wondered if the scribes that wrote the encyclodex had ever actually engaged a Kurindan before…

Kurindans (1001 points)  by Kenton Kilgore
KentonThis was to be the second game I had ever played with my Kurindans (Lizardmen figures using Tyranid rules) and Pat was similarly inexperienced with his Sisters of Battle. Fortunately, each army was only 1000 points, and we decided to take the game slow and make sure we remembered and got right all the various rules for our forces.

As I built this list, I bore in mind that, according to our campaign’s ground rules, I would have to use it to build armies for subsequent battles: whatever I took in this game I would have to bring in others, adding on more units, brood members, or biomorphs, but never subtracting anything. 

I was also conscious of the fact that I hadn’t played a 1000-point battle in…years, actually. Usually, the smallest battle I play is 1500 points. As I’ve discussed before, when I build an army, I try to include:

  • At least one “shooty” unit;
  • At least one unit good at hand-to-hand combat;
  • At least one fast unit;
  • At least one sacrificial unit (or at least one that can take lots of casualties); and,
  • At least one unit taken just for fun.
Finding points for all those units and the mandatory leader unit (or HQ) would be a challenge. The key was to consider carefully what I needed and, if possible, select units can combine attributes (for example, Hormagaunts are fast, good in hand-to-hand, and are expendable). 

I brought:

  • Three HQ Warriors w/ extended carapace, enhanced senses, and toxin sacs. Two have rending claws and deathspitters; one has rending claws and a venom cannon (124 points)
  • One Lictor (80 points)
  • Four Elite Warriors w/ extended carapace, enhanced senses, rending claws, and deathspitters (132 points)
  • Twelve Genestealers w/ extended carapace (240 points)
  • Six Genestealers w/ extended carapace (120 points)
  • Twenty four Hormagaunts (240 points)
  • Zoanthrope w/ Warp Blast and Synapse (65 points)
As you can see, my “shooty” units consisted of the Warriors and the Zoat. All ‘nids except the Zoat are good in hand-to-hand combat. The Stealers, Hormagaunts, and Lictor are all fast: the first two by way of Fleet of Claw (and the Hormies’ 12" assault range), the Lictor by being able to Deep Strike right behind the enemy and immediately assault. The Hormagaunts are cannon fodder (though at 10 points a pop are too expensive to casually throw away), and the Warriors and Zoats are my “fun” units: I had a great deal of success with them in the first game I played with them and wanted to use them again.

This would ultimately turn out to be a Very Bad Thing. 

Sister of Mercy (1000 points)  by Patrick Eibel
PatMy army, the Order of St. Lucretia, takes it inspiration from The Sisters of Mercy, one of my favorite goth bands from the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. I built this army as a basis for future battles in the campaign. For this game, I eschewed Rhinos: why move closer to close-combat fiends like the Kurindans? I also predicted that in such a low-point battle, Kenton wouldn’t take any Carnifexes, so I left the Exorcists at home. Instead, I brought:

  • Canoness Marian Tressant w/ blessed weapon, bolt pistol, rosarius, Book of St. Lucius, purity seals (111 points). Accompanied by Celestian Squad Sapristi. Veteran Sister Superior w/ power weapon and bolt pistol; one Celestian w/ flamer; one Celestian w/ meltagun; six Celestians w/ bolters (153 points)
  • Battle Sister Squad Piete. Veteran Sister Superior w/ storm bolter, Book of St. Lucius; two Sisters w/ storm bolters; seven Sisters w/ bolters (149 points)
  • Battle Sister Squad Esperance. Veteran Sister Superior w/ storm bolter, Book of St. Lucius; two Sisters w/ storm bolters; seven Sisters w/ bolters (149 points)
  • Battle Sister Squad Croyance. Veteran Sister Superior w/ bolt pistol, close combat weapon, Book of St. Lucius; one Sister w/ meltagun; one Sister w/ heavy flamer; seven Sisters w/ bolters (151 points)
  • Battle Sister Squad Clemance. Veteran Sister Superior w/ bolt pistol, close combat weapon, Book of St. Lucius; one Sister w/ meltagun; one Sister w/ heavy flamer; seven Sisters w/ bolters (151 points)
  • Retributor Squad Revanche. Veteran Sister Superior w/ bolter, auspex, Book of St. Lucius; four Sisters w/ heavy bolters (136 points)

One of Pat's Sisters of Battle
Above: One of the Sisters of Mercy

Setting Up
We played on a 4'  x 4'  table in my garage. Pat arranged the scenery to represent an area near the edge of the jungle, with high grass (indicated by flat green areas on the board) that acted as difficult terrain and provided a cover save of 6. Paths (the brown portions of the board) cut through the grass, providing no cover but facilitating faster movement (clear terrain). Here and there were stands of jungle trees (difficult terrain, 5+ cover save) that blocked fire through them (as per rules of area terrain).

Because Pat had set up, I chose the side I wanted. I won the roll to determine deployment zones and chose corner deployment, figuring that it would easier to get troops across the board (as discussed in the Master-crafted 40K series). 

The Patrol mission starts with one unit of Troops from each side deployed and all others in reserve. I deployed my twelve-strong unit of Genestealers (henceforth known as Genestealer Brood #1) at the top corner of my deployment zone and, out of sheer habit, put them in some nice, safe cover. Ordinarily, this is a sound tactic, but it was unnecessary in this scenario against this foe. Why? Because the longest range weapons a Battle Sister Squad can take are bolters and storm bolters, both with a “mere” 24" range: had my Stealers been out in the open, they still would have been in no danger. Pat put Battle Sister Squad Piete at the top corner of his deployment zone and we rolled to see who would go first. Pat won and elected to go second.

Above: Deployment. Genestealer Brood #1 (represented by Lizardman Saurus figures) 
have a long way to go to reach the Sisters of Battle across the board

Turn 1
Slightly chagrined by my error, I swiftly made up for it, driving my Genestealers directly towards Pat’s squad. I remembered to roll three dice for moving through difficult terrain (a nifty feature all Nids have) and came up with a “5.” In the Shooting Phase, I managed to move my reptilian warriors another 6" with a very nice Fleet of Claw roll. Pat’s response was to pull back his Battle Sisters towards the corner of the table.

“You know,” I said to him, “this is how this battle is going to go: four turns of maneuvering, and two turns of carnage.”

And that’s precisely how it went.

Turn 2
Rolling for reserves, everything but my Zoanthrope came on the board; all my Lizards rushed forward through cover. The Lictor jumped out at Squad Piete, ripping two of them to shreds. The Sisters responded by invoking the Hand of the Emperor and promptly flattening my Lictor. 

Above: Something leaps from the jungle to attack Squad Piete

On Pat’s turn, his Canoness, her Celestian retinue, and the Retributors came on the board and hunkered down in the corner, waiting for my Kurindans to arrive.

Turn 2
Above: Turn 2. Kurindans stream onto the board

Turn 3
My Zoanthrope came on the board and the Lizardmen continued to move through cover towards the clustered Sisters of Battle. I kept Genestealer Brood #1 safely out of sight of the Retributors, behind some jungle trees in the center of the board. My plan was to have them wait there for the rest of the Kurindans to catch up to them, then make one coordinated rush to the Witch Hunter lines.

On Pat’s turn, Sisters of Battle Squads Clemance and Croyance come on and crammed themselves into the corner with Pat’s other squads.

Turn 3
Above: Turn 3. The Sisters of Mercy are not making this easy for the Purple People Eaters...

Turn 4
The Kurindans continued to slink through and behind cover. Pat’s final unit, Squad Esperance, come on the board away from the other Sisters and took some potshots with storm bolters, killing one from Genestealer Brood #1. 

Turn 4
Above: Turn 4. The good news? The Sisters can't shoot my guys. 
The bad news? We're not getting anywhere very quick

Turn 5
The Kurindans continued to move up and were finally in position to strike. My four Elite Warriors returned fire with their deathspitters at Battle Squad Esperance but missed or were not quite in range. The venom cannon in the brood of HQ Warriors fired on Battle Squad Piete but missed as well. In the Assault Phase, the Hormagaunts charged the Celestians but could not reach the Canoness. Despite getting 30 attacks for the 10 Hormies able to fight (thanks to the Leaping biomorph), they inflicted but 9 wounds and the Sisters made 8 saves. Pat pulled off one Sister and everyone, including the Canoness, piled in for more close-combat brutality. 

On Pat’s turn, the Sisters concentrated their fire on Genestealer Brood #1, which had moved up in anticipation of making a charge the following round. The Retributors and three Battle Squads unloaded, killing 8 out of 10—thank the gods for cover saves vs. those heavy bolters! The two survivors were in Synapse range and did not need to make Leadership checks to avoid falling back.

Turn 5
Above: Turn 5. Brutality at last! Hormagaunts (represented by Skinks) rush the Sisters

In the Assault Phase, Battle Squad Clemance countercharged the Hormagaunts. The Celestians failed to invoke The Passion but Clemance succeeded in using Hand of the Emperor. The Hormagaunts killed one Celestian but lost 10 to the Canoness and the two squads. The weedy little Kurindans attempted to flee but were caught and gunned down. 

Turn 6
Lizardmen continued to advance, of course. In the Shooting Phase, the Elite Warriors continued to fire at Squad Esperance, killing three Sisters. The HQ Warriors fired their deathspitters and venom cannon at the Celestians but didn’t take down a single one. My Zoanthrope fired on the clustered Squad Croyance, dropping five of them with a Warp Blast—and then, disaster! Squad Croyance failed their Leadership test and fell back, leaving Genestealer Brood #2 unable to assault them and standing in the high grass, waiting to be gunned down. 

Above: Disaster! Squad Croyance falls back, leaving Genestealer Brood #2 exposed

The two survivors of Genestealer Brood #1 charged the Celestians, who attempted but failed Hand of the Emperor. The Kurindans killed five and the others piled in to continue the fight. 

In Pat’s turn, Battle Squad Croyance rallied. Squads Piete and Revanche opened fire on Genestealer Brood #2, wiping them out. Croyance charged the remnants of Genestealer Brood #1; Croyance and the Celestians succeeded in each invoking Spirit of the Martyr and Hand of the Emperor. Though the Kurindans managed to kill one Celestian, Canoness Marian Tressant hacked down the last two members of the brood, and the game was over. 

Sisters of Mercy: 680 Victory Points 
Kurindans: 155 Victory Points

Campaign Points Earned
Sisters of Mercy:  4
Kurindans: 1


Post-Game Analysis  by Patrick Eibel
There are many variables that go into playing a game of Warhammer 40K. The more that you can control the variables, the easier it is to prepare for the battle, and thus to maximize your chances for victory. 

At the start of this battle, I considered what I knew about the mission and my opponent’s forces, and used that knowledge to develop a battle plan (okay, not rocket science, but bear with me). First, in the Patrol mission, each player would start with one Troop selection on the board, while everything else would be held in reserve. I surmised that Kenton would start with a unit of Genestealers because a) they do not need a Synapse creature around to keep from being Instinctive, b) they are slightly less fleet than Hormagaunts and would benefit from starting on the board, and c) with extended carapace, they are better able to withstand a couple rounds of shooting. 

I also expected him to take at least one Lictor to help with the Reserve rolls (gotta love that Pheromone Trail!). With the rest of his units coming on from reserve, I knew that the mission would basically be about speed vs. distance. I would need to keep the Kurindans away from my battle line and maximize my ability to shoot them.

In considering what additional units Kenton would bring, I considered whether he would have any Monstrous Creatures. In a 1,000-point battle, I deduced, it was unlikely that there would be a Hive Tyrant (Tyranid Warriors are more cost effective) or Carnifex (mobility issues and line of sight would be problematic with the jungle terrain). That meant I could expect some Tyranid Warriors and at least one Zoanthrope to provide Synapse coverage and/or fire support. 

So, if what I suspected were true, how best to play out the battle? I knew that one of the Battle Sister squads with three storm bolters would be best to start on the board, as once Kenton’s units were within 24 inches, I would be able to unleash 13 shots on anything approaching. If he started with Genestealers, I could start 19 to 24 inches away and still not be in close combat until Turn Two. 

The issue came down to support. I knew sightlines would be bad (hence no need to bring an Exorcist), so I focused my efforts on creating a firebase within six inches of my board edge. This would force Kenton’s units to cross the entire board to get to me, while I merely had to hold my ground and shoot. Not brilliant, I know, but effective.

My plan worked flawlessly as I nearly perfectly predicted Kenton’s army list and was able to really create a killing ground in a 12" perimeter around my deployment zone. Any assault that was levied against my battle line was dealt with by massed support, and the bulk of his force was held at bay. 

Kenton is mad at himself for the tactical error with firing the Zoanthrope; certainly, the game would have turned much differently had the second unit of Genestealers reached close combat. Fortunately in a campaign, you always have the next game to try and redeem yourself. And with another 500 points added to our list, there will be more variables for me to consider. 

Post-Game Analysis  by Kenton Kilgore
Well, THAT sucked.

For four turns, I had patiently slunk my Lizardmen forward, denying Pat’s Sisters any meaningful shots, as I readied for the “two turns of carnage” I knew would occur at the end of the game. At the game ended, so did my patience. Though I knew there was the possibility that if the Zoanthrope hit Squad Croyance they might break and fall back, leaving Genestealer Brood #2 with no targets to assault, I went for it anyway. Between the mediocre Ballistic Skill of Zoats (3) and the high Leadership of Sisters (9, with a Veteran Superior), I thought the chance of me tagging them and them fleeing was very, very small (we won’t even mention the anti-psyker Shield of Faith rule [page 18 of Codex: Witch Hunters] that all Sisters enjoy). 

Nevertheless, it did happen, and in one fell swoop, I lost the game. I cannot relay to you just how absolutely furious I was at myself. Even now, just thinking about it makes me want to break something. 

I try to console myself with the thought that this was, as I’ve mentioned, my second game playing Tyranids. As with the “Hulloooo, Zeeba Neighba” game, I had to deal with Reserve rolls that kept my Hormagaunts—supposedly the lead element of my attack—off the board and starting from the table edge instead of the border of my deployment zone. I did remember all the funky Tyranid rules: the Move Through Cover rule (3d6 for difficult terrain), the Synapse rules for Warriors, the Fleet of Claw for Hormies and Genestealers, the hoopy Pheromone Trail for the Lictor. Discounting the Lictor (who unfortunately come on from reserves too soon and had the unenviable job of jumping ten power-armored foes with Faith Points all by his lonesome), Pat had killed all of one Kurindan by the start of Turn 5. 

But none of that mattered when it counted. When it counted, I took a stupid risk I didn’t need to take and I threw away victory. Pat graciously offered to replay the game, but I declined: it wouldn’t be fair to him and it would be dishonest to you Jungle visitors. 

[deep breath]

Okay. Setting aside the game-losing potshot, I think I would have been better served by leaving the Elite Warriors and the Zoat back in the carrying case and bringing more Troops. In assembling my 3000-point Tyranid collection, I’ve been concerned about maintaining Synapse, but I may have been going about it the wrong way. I’ve concentrated on numbers of Synapse creatures but not on having them in the right place at the right time. Take this game: I had eight Synapse critters (seven Warriors and a Zoat) on the board, yet my Hormagaunts still wound up out of range when it counted and were hacked down. 

Seeing as how the rules of the campaign dictate that we can only add to what we’ve already used, not subtract, I’m stuck with the Warriors I brought this battle. For the next fight, I’ll spend the extra 500 points on more guys (Genestealers or Hormagaunts or both) and on giving the Elite Warriors the Leaping biomorph so that they can hopefully ride herd better on the little guys. 

Though I’m down 4 Campaign Points to 1, it’s still early. Pat is up by a touchdown, but there’s still a lot of football left to be played…. 

Goth Girls Gone Wild!
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Final Thoughts

Posted: June 2006


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle