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King of the Hill

King of the Hill: Battle #5 by Kenton Kilgore and Patrick Eibel

This, our latest campaign, will pit several armies from the most recent codices against each other to provide some sort of comparison on how well they perform.  Here’s how they’ve done so far: 

  • Battle #1:  Chaos Space Marines defeated Space Marines (Ultramarine Tactics)
  • Battle #2:  Space Marines (Ultramarine Tactics) defeated Tyranids
  • Battle #3:  Eldar defeated Tyranids
  • Battle #4:  Eldar defeated Chaos Space Marines

For the next fight, we’ll see how Pat's Wolf Brothers (Chaos Space Marines) fare against my Kurindans (proxied Tyranids).    

Wolf Brothers and Allied Chaos Daemons  by Patrick Eibel

Primary Detachment:

  • Kharn the Betrayer
  • Berserker Squad 1. 8 Berserkers
  • Berserker Squad 2. 7 Berserkers, plus Skull Champion w/ power fist
  • Chaos Space Marines Squad 1, including one meltagun, one flamer, one Icon of Wrath; all w/ Mark of Khorne
  • Chaos Space Marines Squad 2. As above
  • 8 Possessed Marines w/ Mark of Khorne
  • Heldrake
  • Forgefiend
  • Havoc Squad. 5 Havocs, including 4 missile launchers w/ flakk missiles

 Allied Detachment:

  • Chaos Daemon of Khorne with flight, armor, daemonic resilience
  • 16 Bloodletters


Kurindans (proxied Tyranids)  by Kenton Kilgore

  • Troglodyte Captain w/ Mutant Dinosaur.  Counts as Tyranid Prime w/ scything talons and miasma cannon
  • Spikers.  Count as 2 Tyranid Warriors w/ deathspitters and 1 w/ barbed strangler
  • Finbacks.  Count as 6 Tyranid Warriors w/ scything talons and rending claws
  • Troglodyte Champions.  Count as Broodlord and 10 Genestealers
  • !Gmbi w/ Newtsaurian.  Counts as Tervigon (Troops) w/ adrenal glands, cluster spines, and crushing claws
  • Newts.  Count as 30 Termagants w/ fleshborers
  • Venosaurians.  Count as 3 Venomthropes
  • Shamans.  Count as 2 Zoanthropes
  • Anklyodons.  Count as 2 Carnifexes w/ adrenal glands
  • Carnosaurs.  Count as 2 Carnifexes w/ adrenal glands
  • Titanosaur.  Counts as Tyrannofex w/ rupture cannon


Set-Up by Kenton Kilgore

We played at Dropzone Games in Glen Burnie, MD, on a 6’ x 4’ table whose scenery consisted mostly of a huge ruined building stretching across the middle.  We rolled randomly for mission and come up with The Crusade, with Vanguard deployment.  I won the rolls for choosing sides and for setting up first, but I deferred the latter to Pat so that I could place my force accordingly and let him come closer to me by going first.  Swinish of me, eh?


In rolling up Warlord Traits, I got Adaptive Biology from the Nid codex, but as that’s not terribly useful, I re-rolled (thank you, traditional FOC list), and got Mind Eater.  Pat rolled up Black Crusader from the CSM codex, but as he also is not playing an Unbound army, he re-rolled and got Master of Deception. 


We determined that there would be Night Fighting on the first turn, and we placed our 5 objectives (a little difficult to do on this smaller table).  Pat set up his dudes, I set up mine, and then he infiltrated CSM squads 1 and 2.  I refused to try stealing the initiative, and off we went.

Turn 1 by Kenton Kilgore

Pat advanced his army, most of it behind cover.  The infiltrating Chaos Space Marines fired on the Spikers/Tyranid Warriors, knocking two Wounds off one.  Havocs unloaded against the Titanosaur/ Tyrannofex, to no avail. 


On my turn, all of my army pushed forward, the Shamans/Zoanthropes casting Dominion and Catalyst on the far-flanking Anklydons/Carnifexes.  !Gmbi and his Newtsaurain (my proxied Tervigon) attempted Dominion, but lost a Wound to Perils of the Warp. 


The Troglodyte Captain/Tyranid Prime lent his aim to the Spikers/TWarriors he accompanied, firing back at the CSMs and killing four of them.  A blast from the Titanosaur/TFex penetrated the Forge Fiend, knocking off one hades autocannon and a Hull Point.


Turn 2

At the start of Pat’s turn, his Allied Bloodletters attempted to come in from reserves, but deviated onto terrain and suffered a Deep Strike Mishap, to be delayed until Turn 3.  Pat’s Heldrake also came on, and remembering well what it did in the first game of this campaign, I braced myself for the reaming that was to come.


But first, the Pat’s Daemon of Khorne Vector Struck a Wound off my Finback/TWarriors.  The Infiltrating Chaos Space Marines resumed fire on my Spikers/TWarriors, killing one and dropping two Wounds off another.  The Havocs and Forgefiend opened up on my Titanosaur/TFex, to no avail.  The Heldrake’s Breath of Death took out five of my Troglodyte Champions/Genestealers.


The Berzerkers failed a charge through difficult terrain to my Newts/Termagants, who scored 8 Wounds via Overwatch and killed two ‘Zerks.  Extra rations for the little guys!


On my turn, I shifted my forces to the left, into terrain, to shield them from shooting.  My ersatz Tervigon spewed out 9 Termagants (I forgot to check on the first turn), and then fired a Warp Blast at the Berzerkers, killing two of them.  My Shamans/Zoanthropes also tried Warp Blast against the Heldrake, but did exactly “jack” and “squat.”  They were much more successful at casting Catalyst on the nearby Finbacks/TWarriors.

I can't think why the Daemon doesn't want to just drop into hand-to-hand in the midst of two Carnifexes and 6 Tyranid Warriors, with a TFex nearby...


My Spikers/TWarriors fired on the Havocs, killing one, and the Titanosaur/TFex blasted another Hull Point off the Forgefiend.  Throwing spears and javelins, the Newts (actually Termagants with fleshborers) killed three of the four Berzerkers from the first squad, and the Tervigon’s cluster spines killed two Zerks from the other.

Finbacks (proxied Tyranids Warriors) battle Possessed, and yes, that is a Mickey Mouse die there, a souvenir from Disney World


My Finbacks/close-combat Tyranid Warriors charged the Possessed, with the Chaos Warpies taking down two of my dino-guys, while I dropped three of them.  And the fight continued….

!Gmbi and his Newtsaurian (that green dino at left) and the other Newts closing in on the objective in the center


Turn 3

Giving it Ye Olde College Trye once again, the Bloodletters managed to successfully Deep Strike near an objective.  The Daemon of Khorne Vector Struck a Wound from one my Carnosaurs/Carnifexes.  Most of the rest of Pat’s army continued to advance, firing, with the Heldrake flaming 7 Newts/Termagants, and the Berzerkers shooting two more.  Chaos Space Marines gunned down one Spiker/TWarrior.  The Havocs and Forgefiend shot 2 Wounds total off the previously-wounded Carnosaur. 

The Heldrake swoops behind the Kurindan lines to find a whole lot of monsters just as big and ugly as him


In the Assault Phase, the last Berzerker from the first squad charged the Newts, and managed to get himself Overwatched to death.  Kharn and the second Zerk squad also charged the Newts, killing 16 of them, but because they were in Synapse range, the Lil Purple Dudes hung in there.  Not far away, the Finbacks/Tyranid Warriors killed two Possessed, while losing two Wounds to the Spikey Lads.


On my turn, I intended my Carnosaurs/Carnifexes to stomp through the difficult terrain separating them from the Berzerkers so as to charge and wreck their Khorne-filled poop.  Imagine my dismay when I rolled three “1’s” (yes, I remembered Move Through Cover) and both my GAMFs (God-Almighty Mother…well, you know) tiptoed a tiny smidge closer, but certainly not enough to get into the fight this turn.

My proxied Tervigon and Termagants move towards Kharn and the Berzerkers, because apparently, I'm a meth-head or something....


My Shooting Phase was more successful, with the Titanosaur/TFex wrecking the Forgefiend and the Spikers/Tyranid Warriors dropping another Havoc.  The Shamans/Zoanthropes unsuccessfully fired Warp Blasts at the Heldrake, but were able to Catalyze !Gmbi/the Tervigon. 


Needless to say, the Carnosaurs/Carnifexes failed their charge against the Berzerkers, and the Finbacks/TWarriors polished off the Possessed and swept towards Kharn & Friends.  !Gmbi charged the Zerks, shrugging off a Wound (thanks to Feel No Pain) that Kharn inflicted, but failing to Smash Kharn.  The Zerks killed 4 Newts, while they dragged down and stabbed to death one KhorneBoy. 


Turn 4

The battle was coagulating into a big mess, with both armies rushing towards each other.  The Heldrake and Havocs fired on the Carnosaurs/Carnifexes, but were unable to hurt either.  Chaos Space Marines fired on Spikers again (nada), then charged, killing one ersatz Warrior and losing one of their own. 


I should have known better than to charge my Tervigon into the Berzerkers, and as you might expect, Kharn sliced and diced him (her?) into bite-sized morsels.  The psychic blowback waxed several of my remaining Newts/Termagants, and the charging Bloodletters took out the few left standing.

Not even Mickey Mouse dice can save poor !Gmbi from Kharn


Swell.  On my turn, the Shamans/Zoats tossed Catalyst on the Anklyodons/Carnifexes, who were finally in a good position.  They and the Finbacks/Tyranid Warriors charged the Berzerkers.  Hammer of Wrath mushed two Zerks, and then Kharn and his chums went to work, knocking 3 Wounds off a Carnie and 1 Wound from a Warrior.  Said Finbacks killed the rest of the Berzerkers, while the Anklyodons stomped Kharn flat. 


On my back line, the Troglodyte Captain/Tyranid Prime joined the fracas with the Spikers/Warriors and the Chaos Space Marines, as did the Carnosaurs/Carnifexes.  My leader was certainly NOT ready for prime time, whiffing against them and suffering 2 Wounds as the Chaos Marines threw all their Attacks on him.  Alas for them, they had nothing to spare for the Carnifexes, who pulped them.


Time was growing short, so we called it a game and counted up points.

The Titanosaur asks the Heldrake, "You want a piece of me?  YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?"


Final Score

Kurindans:   11 Victory Points (three objectives + Slay the Warlord + First Blood)

Wolf Brothers and Daemons:  7 Victory Points (two objectives + Linebreaker)


Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel

There is much Internet wisdom about the efficacy of Berserkers.  Usually, I ignore the vox populi to make up my own mind, but in this case the prevailing opinion is right: Berserkers are just not cost-effective for what they do.  Why?  You spend a premium for extra Attacks, Fearless, and Furious Charge.  Compared to the Tyranids they faced, they came up lacking.  Consider what you could do with the same points’ worth of Orks. 


In order to win this battle, I needed to inflict more casualties to the Tyranids before close combat.  Night Fighting, poor shooting, and the frickin’, frackin’ Venomthropes blunted my efforts.  Kharn did what Kharn does, and the Heldrake kept me in the game even as it became apparent I would lose all my Troops.  One error I made was to have such a large unit of Bloodletters.  I thought the big unit would be more resilient against the Tyranid assault, but if I had two units, I could have used them to hold or contest another objective. 


Now that the Space Wolf Codex is out, I think the Wolf Brothers will return to the fold, and the Berserkers will return to the shelf.


Post-Game Analysis by Kenton Kilgore

I did myself no favors by putting my Anklyodons way the heck on my right flank, far from the eventual action in the middle, and my Carnosaurs only got into the fight because Pat threw his Chaos Marines at my shooty Warriors.  As for the question of what one does with Genestealers, apparently the answer is that one uses them to grab objectives, and if they can Infiltrate to do so, so much the better (not that I did in this game). 


The Heldrake was the bane of my Fighting Tigers in the first campaign game; this time, Catalyst spared many of my proxied Genestealers from Puff the Magic Dragon’s Evil Cousin; he was ineffective against my Carnifexes; and if he was going all Smaug on my Termagants instead of other targets (like my Warriors), that was fine by me.  I had no realistic chance of downing the Heldrake, with my desperate potshots by the Zoats and TFex, but he was not a big factor this time. 


The next battle I fought with this list would point out to me that 1) Nids are no longer the dominant hand-to-hand army in 40K; and that 2) this list is not optimized for either hack-n-slash or shooting.  But it was good enough for a win against the Wolf Brothers. 


King of the Hill
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <>  Battle #6 <> Conclusion

Posted September 2014



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