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Events and Battle Reports

Happy Newb Year, 2017  by Kenton Kilgore
My brother-in-law Drew and I love 40K, but we don’t have the opportunity to play very often: he has a full-time job and a family (including a 6-year old son); my children are older, but I also have a full-time job, as well as side career as a YA sci-fi and fantasy novelist.   

Nevertheless, we were both off between this past Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so we met at his place to throw down together.  Being the great dad that he is, Drew asked if his son Freddie (who plays Tyranids) could get in the action, and as I am the favorite Wicked Uncle, I agreed.  It’s always good to get the younger generation as hopelessly addicted to this game as us older folks are.

Jungle Visitors may recall that we had a similar arrangement two years ago, wherein Freddie and I teamed up to battle his Bugs against Drew’s Orks, a crushing defeat for Team Astra Insecta.  This time, Freddie would fight alongside his dad, technically not doable under the rules, but they treated it as Desperate Allies, and kept their distance from each other. I opted to try out a new variation of my Dvergar (Space Dwarves) list, based on Codex: Orks.

Drew used to play Second Edition 40K waaaaay back in the day, then took a two-decade hiatus before recently returning to the game.  Freddie has been playing for a couple of years, but only on the few occasions when he and his dad have time.  So, while they have a decent grasp of the rules, they’re still learning the finer points of strategy and tactics.  We took our game slowly, with plenty of advice and some “do-overs.”   

Dvergar Steeljacks (2000 points)
Up until now, I’ve run this Pittsburgh Steeler-themed proxied Ork army basically one way: load Boyz into Battlewagons, steam across the table, jump out and wreck [excrement].  It took a bit of fine-tuning, but it’s always been competitive, and has had some success.

In the course of adjusting it, I discovered that I had too many figures to fit into one 2000-point army list, the size I prefer to play, so I developed a second list, which I would be trying out for the first time.  This list is based around shooting, which seems nonsensical to me (akin to building a close-combat Tau army), but this game would be a great opportunity to put it through its paces.

This list (which I call the “Gold & Black” list, as opposed to the “Black & Gold” list that I’ve used before), consists of two detachments (the only way I could bring all the Heavy Support units and still use the Combined Arms Detachment), as follows:

Gold Detachment (Primary):

  • Chief Engineer.  Counts as Big Mek w/ ‘eavy armor, rokkit launcha, Mek’s tools, choppa
  • Regulars, Squad 1.  Count as 23 Boyz w/ ‘eavy armor, shootas, choppas
  • Regulars, Squad 2.  Count as 25 Boyz w/ ‘eavy armor, shootas, choppas
  • Marauders, Squad 1.  Count as 5 Tankbustas w/ rokkit launchas    
  • Marauders, Squad 2.  Count as 5 Tankbustas w/ rokkit launchas  
  • Marauders, Squad 3.  Count as 5 Tankbustas w/ rokkit launchas 
  • Dvergar Crawler.  Counts as Battlewagon w/ killcannon
  • Dvergar Crawler.  Counts as Battlewagon w/ killcannon
  • Trowe.  Count as 3 Mek Gunz w/kannons

Black Detachment (Secondary):

  • Chief Engineer.  Counts as Big Mek w/ ‘eavy armor, rokkit launcha, Mek’s tools, choppa
  • Regulars, Squad 1.  Count as 27 Boyz w/ ‘eavy armor, shootas, choppas
  • Regulars, Squad 2.  Count as 13 Boyz w/ ‘eavy armor, shootas, choppas
  • Marauders, Squad 1.  Count as 6 Tankbustas w/ rokkit launchas   
  • Dvergar Crawler.  Counts as Battlewagon w/ killcannon
  • Dvergar Crawler.  Counts as Battlewagon w/ killcannon
  • Trowe.  Count as 3 Mek Gunz w/kannons (one has ammo runt)

You may ask, why not include big shootas and/or rokkit launchas in the Boyz squads (and make them as large as possible to include more special weapons)?  Because I used those figures as Tankbustas.  Orks suffer from a paucity of heavy vehicle-killing guns, so this list has heaps (my friend Pat often brings many tough tanks).  I anticipated that Drew would bring his Battlewagon and Flyer (a wrong assumption on the former, correct on the latter), so the ‘bustas would help with them, as well as any Monstrous Creatures that Freddie might have.

Ork & Tyranid Temporary Alliance (2000 points)
For narrative purposes, we presumed that prior to the game, Drew’s Orks had recently taken an Imperial outpost, only to be ambushed by Freddie’s Tyranids.  As the two armies closed in and were about to clash for the lulz (in the case of the Orks) or to feed (in the case of the Bugs), they were interrupted by the Dvergar, who had arrived to wipe out Orks and Nids alike and gather up the loot strewn about. 

Being not unintelligent, the Hive Tyrant sent a psychic message to Warboss Nadzdrag (not to be confused with “Nazdreg,” my favorite Ork character), and proposed a momentary truce to deal with the Space Dwarves.  Always happy to “boot some Stunties,” the Ork leader agreed.

Drew used the Ork Horde Detachment, with the following:

  • Warboss Nadzdrag w/ mega armor, big shoota, power klaw
  • Five Nobz w/ ‘eavy armor, kombi-skorchas, power klaws, and a Waaagh! banner
  • Three large mobz of Boyz w/ sluggas and choppas
  • Ten Lootas
  • Four Warbikers
  • Burna-bommer

Freddie brought:

  • Hive Tyrant w/ miasma cannon
  • Genestealers
  • Two units of 3 Tyranid Warriors each
  • Two Pyrovores
  • Carnifex
  • Four Spore Mines

Drew and Freddie both have plenty of figures in their collections, so I was a bit surprised to see their lists be so top-heavy with expensive units.  Obviously, they were going for quality over quantity.  Let’s see how that panned out for them.

Setting Up
We played at Drew’s house, on a 4' x 6' gaming table that I provided the scenery for (some bunkers and Quonset-hut buildings, plus stony hills with pine trees).  Freddie asked if we could do a simple mission, so we rolled up Crusade with Dawn of War deployment (no Night Fighting)

We placed our five objectives, and during the game, we discovered that two were “Scatterfields” (+1 to cover saves), and the others were “Nothing of Note.”  As mentioned, Drew and Freddie treated their armies as being Desperate Allies, and thus each was led by their own Warlord—meaning that I could get up to 2 Victory Points by killing both of them.  To make things fair, we agreed that both of my Big Meks would count as Warlords, so that if Drew and Fred managed to kill both, they would earn 2 VPs (or, of course, 1 VP for killing one but not the other).

Dicing for our Warlord Traits from Codex: Orks, Drew and both got Kunnin’ But Brutal, which would let our Warlord re-roll one failed armor or Invulnerable saver per turn.  From the Tyranid book, Freddie got Synaptic Linchpin (18' Synapse range for his Hive Tyrant).    

Drew and Fred set up first, separating their armies with the river that ran down the middle of the board (thus, avoiding any One Eye Open tests for Desperate Allies).  Drew put his Lootas atop a hill, with some good lines of sight; his Warbikers in the middle of his zone; and the Boyz (+ Warboss) and Nobz well forward so that they could march into no-man’s land.  Being a Flyer, his Burna-bommer started off the board.

Freddie put his army atop a long hill in his portion of the deployment zone, with the Genestealers and Warriors out front so they could swiftly advance.  Synapse was not an issue for him, as he had numerous units and models to provide it.  His Spore Mines started in reserve, as they are wont to do.

I had hoped to put my Battlewagons in the center of my deployment zone and tramp my infantry behind them, using the vehicles as rolling cover, but alas, there was not enough space to do so.  I clumped my ‘wagons on my right to face off against Freddie’s forces (IMHO, Tyranids have an even worse time fighting tanks than Orks do), each loaded with a unit of Tankbustas (two of them led by the Big Meks). 

Most of the huge blobs of Boyz went to my left, to tango with Drew’s Orks.  Regular Squad 2, Black Detachment, lined up in front of my Crawlers to provide mobile cover.  The Mek Gunz (represented by rock-throwing River Troll figures from the late, great fantasy game now known as Warhammer: Age of Sigmar) went on each end of my deployment zone, atop some hills.

Being a bigger douchebag than any New England Patriots fan, I won the roll to Seize the Initiative, and the game began. 

(Many apologies for the less-than-stellar photos.  My camera crapped out on me, and all I had for backup was my cell phone)


Turn 1
I advanced my Dvergar, taking Objectives 3 and 5.  Bombs, shells, and rockets from the Trowe, Crawlers, and Marauders (ie., kannons and killkannons from the Mek Gunz and Battlewagons, and rokkits from the Tankbustas) brought down the Carnifex, five Genestealers, and five Boyz.  An excellent start for Team Gold & Black!

To no one’s surprise, the Orks and Tyranids moved up, but what did surprise me was the lackadaisical approach of the latter, with the Hive Tyrant holding his ground, and the Genestealers moving diagonally into some cover.  The Tyrant also declined to use any psychic powers. 

Fire from the Lootas took out one of the Trowe on my left, and the Tyrant’s miasma cannon killed three Regulars (Boyz) from Squad 2, Black.  Drew’s Warbikes had entered the river to assault another squad of Regulars, but failed their distance roll and were killed by a tremendous volley of Overwatch fire from the Dvergar’s mine guns (shootas). 

Dvergar Regulars (with yellow capes) take the bunker that holds Objective 4

Turn 2
With the Tyranids approaching, the Crawlers ground to a halt; on the other side of the river, the Dvergar infantry continued advancing.  A squad of Regulars took Objective 4 atop a bunker, and I was chagrined but amused to discover that they were too short to see over the bulwark, and thus would not be able to shoot at the nearby Nobz Mob.

Drew manuevers his Orks into position; Freddie already has a bad feeling about this....

Nevertheless, fire from Marauders and Crawlers dispatched two Tyranid Warriors, five Genestealers, a Pyrovore, and three Lootas.  Regulars with mine guns annihilated the mob accompanying the Warboss, killing all of his Boyz around him.  Additional fire from another Dvergar squad dropped five Boyz from another mob.

At the start of Drew and Freddie’s turn, the Burna-bommer failed to appear from reserves, but the Spore Mines descended near the Trowe (Mek Gunz) on my right.  Getting themselves in gear, the Tyranids took Objective 2 as they advanced towards the Dvergar. 

In the Shooting Phase, the Tyranids ran while the Hive Tyrant fired its miasma cannon again at the Dvergar escorting the Crawlers, killing one Regular.  Elsewhere, the Lootas fired again on the Trowe on my left, to no avail. 

The Assault Phase was much more exciting, with Slugga Boyz charging a nearby unit of Regulars, and though Overwatch fire hit 11 and wounded 5, all of them made their cover saves from the terrain they were currently in.  In the melee, each side lost five, and the fracas continued. 

Ork Boyz face off against Dvergar Regulars

Nearby, the Nobz Mob charged the Dvergar in the bunker holding Objective 4, with Overwatch taking a Wound off a Nob.  The Regulars managed to pull down and pummel to death the wounded Nob, but the power klaws of the others crushed 10 Space Dwarves.  Nevertheless, the Dvergar held, thanks to Mob Rule.       

As Boyz and Regulars scrap nearby, the Nobz take the bunker and Objective 4

The Warboss joined another mob of Boyz and bellowed at them to assault the Regulars that had taken out his previous ladz, but Overwatch killed the front four, and Drew failed the charge-distance roll.    

Warboss Nadzdrag (upper center of photo) attempts to lead his Boyz into melee, but the mine guns of the Regulars stave them off
Meanwhile, the Trowe (lower left corner) keep throwing bombs into the Orks

Turn 3
I had the Ork/Nid alliance more-or-less right where I wanted them, so I saw no reason to advance the Dvergar, except for those guarding the tanks.  In the Shooting Phase, Crawlers and Marauders (who were still aboard—why get out of the ride if you don’t have to?) continued to unload, killing three Warriors and three Genestealers.  On the other side of the field, Regulars fired on the Warboss, and Drew chose to have him suck down gunfire instead of sacrificing Boyz to Look Out, Sir! rolls.  The result was that Drew’s Warlord took two Wounds.

In the Assault Phase, the remainder of Regulars Squad 2, Black, charged the Pyrovore, which was getting too close for comfort, and killed it.  The Regulars engaged with the Slugga Boyz prevailed, but the Nobz killed another 10 Dvergar, forcing the few survivors to fall back.  The elite Orks then went on to find fresh prey. 

The Nobz abandon the bunker and Objective 4 to move against another nearby Dvergar squad
The yellow-caped survivors of the squad defeated by the Nobz cower along the bunker's base

The start of another turn for Drew and Freddie, but still no Burna-bommer.  The Lootas failed again to knock out a Trowe (Mek Gun); the Warboss’ Boyz shot another Dvergar; and a Tyranid Warrior’s deathspitter killed one of the Regulars that had slain the Pyrovore.  Much more effective was the Nobz torching eight Regulars from another squad with two bursts from their kombi-skorchas. 

What's left of the Tyranids bear down on the steel wall that are the Dvergar Crawlers

The Nobz then charged, slamming into and killing the remaining 7 Regulars, and losing none of their own.  They consolidated towards one of my Crawlers, intent on tearing it apart and dealing with the Marauders (Tankbustas) within.

Nobz battle Dvergar Regulars

Less fortunate was the Warboss, who led his Boyz into an assault against the Regulars who had been harrying them.  While the Dvergar lost six in the scrap, they managed to take out the Warboss and the rest of his ladz, gaining a point for me for Slay the Warlord.

At the other end of the field, the Spore Mines wafted into the Trowe (Mek Gunz) and detonated, but failed to take out a single Space Troll.

Genestealers lurk behind the bunker holding Objective 2, while Nobz threaten the Dvergar Crawlers

Turn 4
The Regulars who survived the Nobz’ onslaught atop the bunker regrouped and scaled the fortification to retake Objective 4.  Almost all units I had fired on the Nobz, wiping them out with bursts of kannons, killkannons, and rokkits. 

Dvergar Regulars strike at the last Tyranid Warrior, while the Hive Tyrant holds Objective 1

Other shooting from my Marauders and Crawlers took 3 Wounds off the encroaching Hive Tyrant, who had finally begun moving up the field in the previous turn.  The Trowe (Mek Gunz) on my right finished off the last four Genestealers, and the remnants of Regulars Squad 2, Black assaulted the last Tyranid Warrior, knocking a Wound off him.

The Ork Burna-bommer finally arrives, to find the battle mostly won

The Burna-bommer finally came on, unleashing almost everything it had on the Regulars who had slain the Warboss (killing eight of them), as well as the three who had retaken the bunker and Objective 4.  Lootas continued to fire at the Trowe on my left, with still no joy, as the vulnerable Cave Nome (Gretchin) crew were hunkered down behind the larger and much tougher Trowe (Mek Gunz with kannons).  The Tyranid Warrior rid himself of the pesky Dvergar that had assaulted him.

Despite the arrival of the Burna-bommer, the Dvergar consolidate their gains

Turn 5
Despite the arrival of the Ork Flyer, the game was well in hand, and I advanced several units to take Objectives 1, 3, 4, and 5.  Shooting by the Crawlers, Marauders, and Trowe took out the Hive Tyrant and the last Warrior.  One of my other Crawlers had a clear shot on the Lootas, and its mine cannon (ie., killkannon), blew up six of them.  Seeing where all this was going, Drew and Freddie conceded, with the nose of the Burna-bommer in my deployment zone to prevent a shutout.

The Dvergar big guns take down the Hive Tyrant

Final Score
Dvergar Steeljacks:
  15 Victory Points (12 for Objectives + 2 for Slay the Warlords + 1 for First Blood)
Ork & Tyranid Temporary Alliance: 1 Victory Point (Linebreaker)

Post-Game Analysis
The Pittsburgh Steelers, my inspiration for this army, rely (as of this writing) on the three “B’s” of Ben, Bell, and Brown; this list rests on the strengths of Boyz, ‘bustas, and Battlewagons.  I had my doubts about a “shooty” Ork army, but it performed excellently against two close-combat armies with negligible armor and no vehicles to speak of (the Burna-bommer would only have been a significant factor if it had arrived earlier in the game).  Games against other, different armies will give a more accurate picture of this force’s effectiveness.

On the flip side, Drew and Freddie made a number of errors, most of them related to army design.  In a game where he only had 1,000 points, Drew sank far too many (305, by my math) on five Nobz, each with ‘eavy armor, a kombi-skorcha, and a power klaw (plus a Waaagh! Banner for one of them).  Sure, they could shred anything they get their mitts on, but they were 30% of his points in one 4+ Save basket that my rokkit launchas could instakill.   

Following the debacle two years ago, I drafted for Freddie a sample army list using the figures he owns, but apparently I was not emphatic enough in letting him know in no uncertain terms that Genestealers are terrible (mayhap I need point him towards the review of the latest codex).  Freddie also fell into the newb Nid player mistake of giving his Hive Tyrant a Way-Cool Gun ™ and then futilely shooting it instead of getting his Tyrant into close combat ASAP.  I’ll be happy to trade potshots with Bugs all day long….      

Posted January 2017


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