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Events and Battle Reports
New Year, New Enemy, 2006
Part 1  <>  Part 2

New Year, New Enemy, 2006 (Part 2)  
Pat won the roll to go first, and the brutality began.

Turn 1
As one might expect from Tyranids, the hordes of Gaunts and Warriors on the Tigers’ right flank advanced. What one might not expect from Tyranids, however, is a fusillade of devastating heavy weapons fire. After all, Bugs is just Bugs, and are not known for excelling in the Shooting Phase.

And yet, after the Hive Tyrant, the Warriors, the Zoats, and three of the four Carnifexes had finished spunking their wads, the Tigers had suffered several significant hits. The Tyrant blew the lascannon off one of the Razorbacks and shaken its crew. The Deathspitter Warriors (whom I soon nicknamed “The Flying Monkeys” due to their resemblance to certain creatures from the Wizard of Oz) destroyed both Speeders in the Tiger Shark squadron: the resulting explosions killed four Scouts from one squad and four from another. Twin-linked devourers from one Carni waxed another Scout. Fire from another Carni destroyed two Speeders from the Flying Tigers squadron and blew the heavy bolter off the last. And the Zoanthropes nuked my Vindicator!

One badly-mauled Scout squad fell back at the end of the Nid Shooting Phase, then auto-rallied. On my turn, Chaplain Talwar Chakram and the surviving Scouts (all—what?—11 of them?) advanced on the nearest bunch of Hormagaunts. A storm bolter, two bolter-flamers, and nine bolt pistols tore through them, and my charge finished them off. I rolled a “1” to advance and, instead of crashing into more Nids, wound up standing there, waiting to receive a charge. That doth suck,  I thought. 

The rest of my shooting was mixed. Concentrated fire killed 15 of 18 Hormagaunts in the other brood—I nicknamed the survivors “The Three Amigos.” I pasted one Tyranid Warrior (one of the “Dragonflies,” as I called the Warriors without ranged weapons) and wounded a “Flying Monkey.” But the plasma cannon in one of my Tactical Squads rolled a “1” to hit and fried its owner, and my heavy-bolter Devastator Squad didn’t do bupkiss against the Zoanthropes—damn their 2+ save!

Scouts counterattack the Nids
Above: Scouts counterattack the Nids, but it can't be enough to stave off the aliens....

Turn 2
Pat’s Lictors showed up—fortunately, they were nowhere near assault range of any Tigers. The Nids marched relentlessly forward and fired, dropping four Scouts from Puchan Mahaduyana, six guys from the heavy-bolter Dev Squad (ouch!), wounding Talwar Chakram (despite her Terminator armor), and destroying my functioning Razorback. Ducky. Just ducky. The surviving Scouts from the stricken squad again fell back. 

In the Assault Phase, the “Dragonflies” and “The Three Amigos” charged the other Scout Squad, losing one Gaunt (call them “The Two Amigos” now….?) but killing two Scouts and forcing the rest to fall back; the Nids caught and overwhelmed them. A “Dragonfly” and the Carnifex with the devourers attacked Talwar Chakram; though she wounded the “Dragonfly,” it killed her. Ducky. Just ducky. The “Two Amigos” swept into the Scouts that had fallen back from shooting, but they made their Leadership and stayed in the game—for now.

I was going to need some good shooting to put a dent in the wave of Warriors headed my way. My firing wasted all but one “Dragonfly,” all but one “Flying Monkey,” and four Termagants. My last two Scouts cut up the “Two Amigos,” ridding me of any pesky Hormagaunts.

Turn 3
The mass of Nids on my right was nicely thinning out, but the Carnifex with the devourers was threatening my lines. Pat’s shooting again inflicted serious damage on my guys: two Tactical Marines, two guys from the missile-launcher Devastator Squad, and all four heavy bolter guys (the remaining fellows) from the other Dev Squad. Gaaah! In the Assault Phase, the last “Dragonfly” assaulted my last two Scouts, killing one but getting chopped down for its boldness.

On my turn, I concentrated most of my firepower on the Carnifex with the devourers, killing it. Pat was galled by the fact that rapid-firing bolters knocked down most of his beasty’s Wounds. I also killed five more Termagants. My last Scout charged the last winged Tyranid Warrior (a “Flying Monkey”), but couldn’t kill it. 

Genestealer reinforcements
Above: Genestealer reinforcements arrive on each flank

Turn 4
Pat’s reserves—Detachment Two, consisting of heaps of Genestealers—came on. Two Broods appeared on my left flank; the Broodlord, his retinue, and another brood appeared on my right. The Nid shooting slowed down but was still effective: a Carnifex with venom cannon/barbed strangler and the Hive Tyrant combined efforts to kill three members of the Devastator Squad with the missile launchers. The survivors fell back and would take no further part in the game, falling off the board at the start of my turn. In the Assault Phase, the remaining Termagants charged into the front line of the Tigers, losing one of their own but blocking some (but not all) return fire. A brood of Genestealers charged and shredded the last Scout.

Tiger reinforcements
Above: Fighting Tiger reinforcements arrive--will they be enough to win the day?

My reserves—Raja Shamshir’s detachment—came on the board. Right off the bat, I lost two Attack Bikes to Dangerous Terrain checks as they attempted to jump the “pipeline” that encircled the table. The Assault Squad and one reinforcement Tactical Squad combined their fire to wipe out a Genestealer brood on my left flank. Another reinforcement Tac Squad dismounted from their Rhino and killed all but two Genestealers from another brood on my right. The surviving Attack Bike gunned down one Lictor, which was approaching my lines.

Now I had a dilemma. I had planned on the Attack Bikes shooting the Lictors to keep them off my firebase of Tactical Squads on the entrance of the mine. Having lost two Attack Bikes just moving onto the board, I had to do something to stop the other Lictor. Reluctantly, I threw Raja Shamshir Talatra into assault with the Lictor, and they each lost a Wound. Over on the right, the Termagants and Tactical Marines skirmished to no effect.

Turn 5
Nid shooting killed five more Tactical dudes and destroyed one of the newly-arrived Rhinos. Why had I been reluctant to charge Shamshir Talatra? Because he was immediately charged by the Carnifex with twin scything talons. Swell. Genestealers crashed into my reinforcements, killing two Assault Marines but losing six of their own (including the last two from one brood). The Tac Marines beat down one Termagant, but the little guys were going nowhere, as now the Tyrant was in Synapse range. Raja Shamshir slew the Lictor and evaded the blows of the Carnifex. 

Tiger shooting amounted to nada. In the Assault Phase, my guys hacked down the last winged Warrior, a “Flying Monkey.” The stalemate with the Termagants continued. The Stealers on my left shredded the last of the Assault Marines, and the Carnifex smote Raja Shamshir Talatra. There was nothing left to do but play out the string….

Not even Spot can help...
The Nids swarm over what's left of the Tigers, and not even their mascot Spot (top) can help

Turn 6
The Nids were fully in control of the board now, with the Tyrant assaulting what was left of my firebase and the Carni that had waxed Shamshir Talatra reaching the back line and killing my last Attack Bike. The Stealers on my left, who had just gone through the Assault Marines like the federal government goes through tax dollars, wiped out one of the reinforcement Tac Squads. And still, I couldn’t rid myself of those damn Termagants!

I managed to kill two Stealers in my turn, but one Tac squad fell back after losing a combat and another was wiped out by the Tyrant. The day belonged to the Bugs!

Outcome: Tyranids win (Tyranids: 2,418 Victory Points; Fighting Tigers: 1,647 Victory Points)

Post-Game Analysis  by Kenton Kilgore
I was prepared to fight the typical “stand-back-and-shoot” battle but was totally unprepared for the amount of firepower the Bugs would throw my way: Pat’s guys have a balance of shooting and close-combat ability rarely seen in most Nid armies. The terrain and my deployment only hurt me: Talwar Chakram’s detachment was clumped into a “hedgehog” formation that only helped the other guys when the barbed strangler templates and Warp Blast markers hit (which they often did). I didn’t have sufficient cover to protect my vehicles; to be honest, I didn’t think I would need it. I underestimated and disrespected the Nid shooting and it cost me the game. 

Pat’s careful marksmanship and a pinch of bad luck knocked out most of my heavy weapons, which put me in a bad spot. Here’s a list of heavy weapons that did absolutely NOTHING during the game:

  • Demolisher cannon and hunter-killer missile from the Vindicator (taken out on Turn 1)
  • Plasma cannon from Tactical Squad (explodes and kills user on Turn 1)
  • Lascannon from Razorback (taken out on Turn 1)
  • Five heavy bolters from Land Speeders (taken out on Turn 1)
  • Two heavy bolters from Attack Bikes (lost to Dangerous Terrain tests on Turn 4)
For most of the game, Pat was free to concentrate on my Devastator Squads, which crumbled quickly. Halfway through Turn 4, they were out of the game, but really, Tuesday Morning Quarterback could have written “Game Over” in his notebook after Pat’s first Shooting Phase. I can only wet-dream about what would have happened (and how the game would have turned out) had I gotten to go first….

Congrats to Pat on a very impressive win and a very impressive army. I’ll not underestimate these Bugs again!  

One of Pat's cool Carnifexes
Pat's Carnifex with scything talons and devourers

Post-Game Analysis  by Patrick Eibel
The game of 40K is filled with a number of choices—army composition, deployment, and target selection, to name a few—that can easily decide the outcome of a game. In this game, I made a few better choices and they proved to be the difference.

The first choice I made was to build a Tyranid army that featured a healthy amount of shooting to support the assault bugs. After years of charging headlong into firing squads with my Orks, I knew that thinning out the opposition was critical. My army list had seven units with shooting weapons versus eight units of pure assault—pretty balanced. I also maximized the quality of weapons where I could: venom cannons are potent in the hands of a Hive Tyrant or Carnifex, but less impressive when given to a Warrior.  

The result had the desired effect, as I was able to focus my firepower where it would have the most effect. I focused my first couple rounds of fire into Kenton’s vehicles for several reasons: 1) since his troops on top of the mine were getting a 4+ cover save, the vehicles were a “softer” target; 2) it would negate any maneuverability he had; and, 3) with ten-man Devastators and lots of Tactical Squads, taking out vehicles was the best way I could be sure of reducing the number of his guns.

While Kenton will claim the game was effectively over after my very successful shooting on Turn 1, the truth is things were very close up until Turn 4. I made a choice during deployment that proved to be very troubling to Kenton. I set up all of the “small bugs” —Hormies, Termies, and Warriors—on his right flank, right in front of his guns, and deployed my Tyrant and Zoats slightly to the right and out of the bulk of his fire arc. I then had three Carnifexes to support both contingents.  

As expected, Kenton poured the bulk of his fire power into the “small bugs” and nearly wiped them all out, and that would have been “Game Over” for me except for two things: 1) I chose to assault the Termagants on Turn 4, which nicely tied up one of  his Tactical Squads for three rounds and keep the little guys from being shot at by all his units; and, 2) the Hive Tyrant was left untouched for the bulk of the game, so that when needed to provide Synapse coverage, he not only was alive, but in range.

Kenton also had trouble on his left flank where there were two squads of Genestealers, a Carnifex and the Lictors to deal with. While he annihilated one squad of Genestealers and a Lictor on his initial surge, my counterattack was enough to secure that side of the board.

I am still learning the strengths of my army (and the rules for that matter—I totally forgot to make Leadership checks to move the assault Carnifex since he was out of Synapse range), but I am very happy with how the Tyranids have performed in the battles I have played. As with any army, playing games against a quality opponent is always the best way to understand how best to use your army and what combinations work. I am sure the next time Kenton faces my Tyranids I will have a much harder time, as he will know what to expect.

New Year, New Enemy, 2006
Part 1  <>  Part 2

© Copyright Kenton Kilgore and Patrick Eibel, February 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