With a flicker of relativistic speed, the Cairn-class tombship Tears of Vengeance dropped out of hyperspace, just out of detection range of the Tyranid bio-ships. The chance encounter with the Eldar Harlequins had been a time consuming diversion, and the campaign to repulse the Tyranids from the Cryptus system was still afoot.
Looking at the holographic display, the Phaeron Y'san noticed that, since he left, the strategic situation had changed. Despite several setbacks in rescuing the civilians of Lysios, the Imperials had established a cordon, and were gradually moving survivors out of the ruined city. With their forces stretched to breaking point, guarding the survivors as well as maintaining the cordon, the Phaeron saw a way to kill two birds with one stone, and bleed the strength of the Imperials while simultaneously earning their trust.
Opening a communications channel, he contacted the Cryptek of his court.
"P'seph, ready the Deathbringer Wing and order the Immortals to be ready. Perhaps the humans need a bit of help with their evacuation."
Shield of Baal batrep for Week 3, facing off against Raymond again. It was a KP mission, with the added bonus of being able to get free KP if Necron units managed to move off the Tyranid board edge.
The army lists are below.
1 x Catacomb Command Barge w/ Edge of Eternity, Solar Thermasite, Phase Shifter
1 x Cryptek w/ Chronometron, Veil of Darkness
10 x Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines
5 x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters (in NS)
5 x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters (in NS)
5 x Wraiths w/ Whip Coils
2 x Night Scythes
2 x Doom Scythes (Deathbringer formation)
2 x Flyrants w/ Twin-linked Devourers
2 x Malanthropes
2 x 25 Termagants with Fleshborers
1 x 23 Hormagaunts
3 x Hive Guard
1 x Carnifex w/ TLD
1 x 3 Warriors (Living Artillery Node)
1 x 3 Biovores (Living Artillery Node)
1 x Exocrine (Living Artillery Node)
Psychic Powers: Warlord got Onslaught + Warp Blast, non-Warlord got Warp Blast + Catalyst
|Tyranid Deployment; LOOK AT ALL THOSE GAUNTS|
Neither of our Warlord Traits really mattered.
I chose not to go first, and so Raymond began the game.
|Entire swarm moves up to get within firing range|
|The further Flyrant takes a wound from perils while trying to cast Warp Blast|
The Butcher spread its wings and took to the skies, with its twin the Shark close behind. The echoes of remembered wounds still ached in its body, and an alien thirst for revenge flooded its system. These strange black skeletal creatures had slain both Hive Tyrants in their previous incarnation, and both saw their killers in the distance.
Using their alien powers, both flying Tyrants gave themselves extra speed in order to close the gap, thirsting for blood. In an attempt to quickly kill the the black skeletons, the Tyranids attempted to use the power of the Hive Mind to blow them apart in a burst of energy. However, the surge of power was too much for the Shark to bear, and ichor started to leak from several wounds as the power of the Hive Mind tore holes in its body.
Recognising the threat posed by the black prawn beasts that had slain the Toxicrene in the previous battle, the two Hive Tyrants quickly closed the distance before using their living weapons to shoot the black prawns apart. When the barrage finally died down, only two were left....
KP Count: Tyranids 0-0 Necrons
|Bargelord moves to the left flank to avoid fire, Wraiths move up to try and block a charge|
Y'san watched as the leader-beasts began shooting up his Wraith escort. The Hive Tyrants seemed familiar, though the stasis-locked corpse on the tombship meant that these beasts had to be newly grown. As he watched more and more Wraiths fall, the Phaeron mused on the fact that they seemed to draw the ire of most of their enemies, and opted to leave the Wraiths to their fate. Perhaps they would buy more time for more of his troops to enter the battle.
Topaz lightning speared the sky around him as the Immortals escorting P'seph opened fire on the leader-beasts that had gotten within range of their weapons. Despite the altitude, several hit the target, though they did nothing but leave char marks on the creatures' armour.
In the distance, he spied more and more smaller Tyranids approaching the lines, and like an endless wave of purple and black chitin they swarmed forward. Opening a breach in the lines of the Tyranids would be more difficult than expected. Ordering his driver to swing around, the Phaeron made for the flank. Perhaps a weak spot could be found in the onrushing tide...
KP Count: Tyranids 0-0 Necrons
|Flyrants vector strike Wraiths and Immortals, but do no damage|
|Wraiths will eventually be gunned down by the Flyrants|
The Butcher watched on as the Carnifex of its swarm gunned down the last of the prawn creatures, there would not be a repeat of the last conflict's battle of attrition. With the last of the black prawns gone, the only threats in melee would be the enemy's leader, which had proven itself deadly in killing off the living artillery. The Hive Mind had learnt its lesson, and would not allow the leader to close with the ranged beasts again.
Again tapping on the power of the Hive Mind, the Butcher and the Shark attempted to focus the psychic might into blasts of pure power, but this time the Butcher experienced agony as the psychic power of the titanic intelligence surged into its body. Managing to stay aloft, the Butcher channeled the blasts into the lightning wielding black skeletons that clustered far below, blowing them apart. Impressively, when the smoke cleared, all were still left standing, with baleful energy swirling around them. The hard meat were more resilient than expected....
KP Count: Tyranids 2-0 Necrons (Wraiths + First Blood)
|The Phaeron observes the unfolding battle...|
|Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Cron Air...|
|Cryptek and Immortals use Veil of Darkness and Deep strike the Tyranid's rear|
Seeing that his ground forces were being whittled down, Y'san summoned his air support. Something needed to be done about the flying creatures that had done significant damage to the Wraiths, particularly as they seemed to have wounded themselves with their own attacks, for some strange reason.
With ear-splitting howls from their supersonic engines, two Night Scythes flew in, escorting a Doom Scythe from the Deathbringer wing. Unleashing volleys of energy from their tesla destructors and blasting the flying creatures with death rays, the air strike from the Necron support sent the two beasts tumbling and wheeling, with even more ichor leaking from their wounds.
The glowing icon representing P'seph and his Immortals temporarily winked out on his screen, surprising the Phaeron. P'seph had displayed uncommon initiative in his battlefield tactics, repositioning them far behind the Tyranids' backline. With another burst of lightning, the Cryptek and his Immortal escort burnt one of the artillery beasts to a crisp, and badly injured another. An impressive manoeuvre, thought Y'san, he would have to consider a suitable reward for the Cryptek after the battle...
KP Count: Tyranids 2-0 Necrons
The Shark swooped around to occupy the pilots of the Necron air wing, as the wounded Butcher used the thrust from its wings to evade the black craft. The threat from the air was real, and like any cornered animal, the Hive Mind sought to fight back. Yet again channelling the power of the Hive Mind, the Shark focused the psychic power into a lance of energy, but struggled once more with the psychic overload.
Strange phantasmic beasts appeared in the sky, tearing at the Shark’s wings and sucking ethereal energy from its body. Barely managing to stay aloft, the Shark focused on shooting at the leading black aircraft, sending it spiralling from the sky trailing a plume of smoke.
Registering the threat in the rear, it forced its will onto the Warriors in the backfield, commanding them to charge the black skeletons that had teleported across the battlefield. Reaching out with its mind, it commanded another unit of Termagants to provide support in the melee. There would be no escape for the hard skinned prey…
KP Count: Tyranids 3-0 Necrons (Doom Scythe)
|Termagants tarpit the Bargelord AGAIN.|
The Phaeron would have liked to help the Cryptek in combat, seeing as how he was a valuable servant. Yet, bogged down by wave after wave of small albino beasts, he could only watch on as the P’seph and his bodyguard were swarmed and surrounded. His trust in the Cryptek was well-founded however, as a large leader-beast was slain with a practiced swing of the Staff of Light. Nevertheless, it was but one drop in an ocean, and more and more creatures were arriving.
Multi-tasking was a simple matter for such an advanced warframe, and Y’san commanded the air wing to drop off their cargo and bank around for another strafing run, simultaneously eviscerating three of the albino creatures that attacked him. With little physical threat to himself or the Command Barge, the Phaeron considered the overall tactical situation. He needed to bring more firepower to bear in order to clear the battlefield and open the evacuation route for the humans...
KP Count: Tyranids 3-0 Necrons
|Purple rain, purple rain....|
|Termagants continue to pile into the combat with the dwindling Immortals|
With a roar, the Butcher swooped back onto the battlefield. Focusing its energies, it felt the invigorating presence of the Hive Mind flood into its system, and the beast took stock of the battlefield situation. With the prey’s two main forces surrounded and unable to advance, and the remainder of their reinforcements far in their rear, there was little existential threat to the rest of the swarm.
Spore mines flew through the sky and plasma sprayed towards distant targets as the living artillery resumed their bombardment, but despite the amount of bio-ammunition thrown at the prey’s reinforcements, very few were destroyed. It felt a sudden burst of pain from the Shark through the synaptic link. Somehow, the twin Hive Tyrants were not managing the Hive Mind’s power well this day.
Nevertheless, as it swooped closer to the Necron reinforcements, the Butcher was certain that the Swarm would feed well this day…
KP Count: Tyranids 3-0 Necrons
|Doom Scythe (in white) and Night Scythes all come back in, right on the non-Warlord flyrant's six|
|Insane rolling by the Tesla Destructors, all three flyers rolled at least 3 sixes, killed off the Flyrant and the Exocrine|
The same bone-chilling howls were heard in the sky as the Night Scythes tore back into the air over the battlefield, with another Doom Scythe leading their squadron. Through meticulous planning by the Phaeron Y’san, the fighters had returned with precision, perfectly lining up several large Tyranid beasts in their sights.
Bolt after bolt of neon yellow lightning streaked through the sky as the Tesla destructors took their toll on the Tyranid forces. First the Shark, then the Exocrine, were torn apart by the bolts of electrical energy. A Carnifex, sent to support the rapidly collapsing flank by the controlling intelligence of the Hive Mind, nearly suffered the same fat, with several large chunks of flesh turned to ash by the storm of Tesla fire.
If the Phaeron’s metallic face could smile, it would have. Things were slowly but surely turning around for the Y’s Dynasty army…
KP Count: Tyranids 3-2 Necrons (non-Warlord Flyrant + Exocrine)
|Gaunts and Warriors kill off the rest of the Immortals, leaving only the Cryptek alive|
|Hive Guard and Carnifex force the Doom Scythe (white) to jink, and cause a pen and stuns the crew|
The Butcher, seeing the fate of its twin, swooped closer towards the black aircraft, intending on removing the threats to the surface army. Its alien intelligence recognised the risk of allowing the flying black crescents to stay aloft, and it summoned up the last reserves of its willpower to channel the Hive Mind’s psychic might once more.
However, it once again felt the sheer agony of the psychic overload, as strange ethereal claws tore at its mind. As it struggled to keep its course stable, the Butcher unleashed the pent up energy at the leading black flyer, tearing off what looked like a control surface and leaving it out of control.
Paying greater attention to the various conflicts around the battlefield now that the balance of power appeared to be tipping away from its Swarm, the Butcher saw the Warriors and Termagants kill off almost all of the black shelled ones that had teleported behind Tyranid lines, leaving one creature with a glowing staff still battling against the living tide…
KP Count: Tyranids 4-2 Necrons (Immortals)
|Jammed Doom Scythe flies forced to fly forward, Night Scythes go after Warlord Flyrant. Shooting sees Doom Scythe wipe out the Biovores, despite needing 6s to hit, Night Scythes kill off Warlord|
|Lone Survivor: This was CRAZY. Ray did like 10 wounds and I make ALL the saves.|
The Phaeron saw that the situation was getting desperate, with the Necrons losing key units in all sectors. Slicing apart yet another group of the albino Termagants, he instructed the air wing to split up, with the damaged Doom Scythe forced to continue on its current trajectory, and the Night Scythes peeling off to harass the remaining winged leader beast. Victory still remained within the Dynasty’s grasp. All that was required was to remove the leader beast known as The Butcher, and continue to hold the smaller creatures in combat. Sooner or later, without the driving will of their master beast, the smaller ones would tire and break.
The crackle of lightning and the sizzle of burning flesh told him that his plan was successful. Despite the Doom Scythe having its targeting and flight control systems knocked out, it still managed to kill off the remaining artillery beasts, while the energy from the Night Scythes’ Tesla Destructors ripped apart the wounded Hive Tyrant, sending ashen chunks scattering across the battlefield.
Y’san glanced over as the beasts engaged in combat with P’seph went into a frenzy upon the death of The Butcher. Jumping and clawing all over the Cryptek, for a moment Y’san feared the Cryptek would be torn apart. It was with a mixture of amusement and relief that he saw the Cryptek emerged unharmed.
Despite P’seph being unable to kill a creature in return, the Cryptek’s resilience and ambition impressed him. Perhaps he ought to pre-empt any ambitions from P’seph by giving him a fiefdom of his own…
KP Count: Tyranids 4-5 Necrons (Flyrant + Warlord Kill + Biovores)
NARROW, COME FROM BEHIND, VICTORY FOR THE IMMORTAL EMPIRE!
Ray: Unbelievable! The game was heavily leaning towards the Tyranids initially until one round of mad tesla! Good game!
Thoughts: Whoa. That was totally unexpected. I was definitely losing big time up until the flyers arrived. As for Ray, the amount of 6s he rolled for his psychic powers was crazy. He got a perils for nearly every turn, and ended up doing more damage to himself than I did. I took over the 6s towards the end of the game and those multiple tesla hits really turned the game around.
Key points of the match:
All those perils, the multiple tesla hits that killed off key units for KPs, the Cryptek saving all the wounds in the final round of combat. That would have tied up the match. GGWP Ray!
The Phaeron looked down at the Cryptek from the command throne on board the Tears of Vengeance, appraising the kneeling form.
"You have done well P'seph, surviving all those attacks by the Tyranids."
"It is nothing my Lord, a simple matter of good timing."
"I am not my predecessor, Cryptek, I can recognise the ambition that burns within you."
P'seph began to get to his feet, the better to defend himself, but his movements were halted by a gesture from the Phaeron.
"Relax, I am not going to have you dissembled. You wish for your own command, a territory to rule, do you not?"
"You have served me loyally up until your ill-disguised attempt at supplanting me, and I believe you should be rewarded for both your patience and skill."
The Cryptek was stunned into silence, this was not what he expected.
"I have need for an Overlord to rule some of the world in the Dynasty, and you seem to fit the bill perfectly. You can either accept this offer now, or I can have you terminated. It isn't what you originally wanted, but I imagine you'd prefer having your own kingdom compared to oblivion."
"You do not fear that I would betray and overthrow you?"
"If I was weak and foolish enough for you to do so, then I would deserve my fate as much as you would deserve your reward. Do you accept, Overlord P'seph?"
"Yes, my Master."