Saturday, March 14, 2015

Week 3 Batrep: 1850pts Necrons vs Tyranids - How to deflate a Malanthrope

The Phaeron Y'san had miscalculated. 

Thinking that the humans would step up after the initial Necron push to clear the lanes of evacuation on Lysios, it appeared that instead, the Necrons of the Y's Dynasty were doing most of the heavy lifting. 

Displaying a political acumen he had not expected, the Imperials had asked the Phaeron to widen and hold the lane he had originally punched through the initial Tyranid assault, using the corridor as the primary evacuation route. This placed the Phaeron in a difficult position. 

Refuse, and all the losses incurred in originally punching a hole through the swarms would be useless, when Tyranid reinforcements left unpopulated Imperial zones to flood to this one, overwhelming his forces. Accept, and his forces would be even more committed to the fighting than before, with any losses borne mostly by the Necrons. 

The holographic strategy display on the tombship Tears of Vengeance showed that additional Tyranid reinforcements were incoming, with large swarms of red dots filling the air in front of the Phaeron. It appeared the choice had been made for him. The Phaeron's ancient mind formulated a plan, while concurrently scheming against his erstwhile human allies. 

Wolf Lords, Chapter Masters, Lord Commanders. All had failed to permanently establish an evacuation route, all were unworthy of their vainglorious titles. He would show them how true commanders won success...

1850 pts batrep for the game between Marshall the Malanthrope and I. Marshall had been talking more trash than an MMA fighter before a match, so it fell to me to let all that hot air out and deflate the gasbag :) Not that he didn't have a track record though; he was on an 8 match winning streak and basically anchored the Tyranid victories in the previous weeks. 

The lists we brought are below:

1 x Swarmlord
2 x Tyrant Guard
3 x Hive Guard
1 x  Malanthrope
1 x Malanthrope
21 x Hormagaunts
1 x 18 Termagants w/ Fleshborers
1 x 18 Termagants w/ Fleshborers
1 x Mucolid Spore
1 x Mucolid Spore
1 x Carnifex w/ Twin Linked Devourers
1 x Carnifex w/ Twin Linked Devourers
1 x Toxicrene
1 x Exocrine (Living Artillery Node)
3 x Biovores (Living Artillery Node)
3 x Warriors (Living Artillery Node)

Tyranid Deployment: Gaunts and Gants bubble wrap most of the important units, Swarmlord stays out of sight behind statue to buff troops

1 x Catacomb Command Barge w/ 2+/4++, Edge of Eternity, Solar Thermasite, Gauntlet of Fire
1 x Cryptek w/ Chronometron, Veil of Darkness, God Shackle
1 x C'tan Shard of the Nightbringer
9 x Immortals w/ Tesla Carbines
5 x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters (in NS)
5 x Immortals w/ Gauss Blasters (in NS)
5 x Canoptek Wraiths w/ Whip Coils
3 x Destroyers
6 x Tomb Blades w/ Nebuloscope, Particle beamers
1 x Doomsday Ark

Having experienced all those problems with the cover saves given by Malanthropes in the previous games with Raymond, the list was set up to deal with swarms and cover saves, and I brought two flyers just in case Marshall brought flyrants.

Necron Deployment: Standard gunline, with Doomsday Ark put in the corner to take advantage of its range, escorted with Wraiths to prevent any CC 
Marshall failed to seize, so I began the game...

Necron 1

The Tyranids facing the Phaeron Y'san were truly brazen, almost challenging the Necrons to come at them and try to break through their lines. Sensors indicated that microscopic spores continued to infest the air, fouling targeting sensors and diffusing the beams of energy weapons. Y'san let out a grating laugh as he realised the Tyranids expected him to close the distance to them in order to break through their lines. His plan would work to perfection. Sending out an army wide message, he ordered the advance....

Necron Turn 1: All the Necrons move up, but I have a ridiculous brain fart. I forget to shoot my stationary Doomsday Ark! (I blame the gas from the Malanthrope playing against me :D)

Tyranid 1

The Tyranids milled about in confusion as the black-shelled skeletons seemed to move up to close the distance, before suddenly stopping. This was not what the Hive Mind expected, knowing as it did that the various forms of prey had previously tried to escape the clutches of the Swarm. 

However, in mere moments, the dominant will of the Swarmlord took hold, and using its aeons of tactical knowledge, ordered its swifter Hormagaunts to close the distance as skirmishers, the better to test the enemy's plans...

Tyranid Turn 1: The Swarm moves up, and nothing else happens as Marshall plays cautiously

KP Count: Tyranids 0-0 Necrons

Necron 2

Seeing the Tyranid creatures begin to bound and leap across the pockmarked surface of Lysios, the Phaeron ordered his forces to halt. It was time to spring the trap. 

At his signal, a squadron of Tomb Blades burst forth from behind a screening force of Immortals, sweeping straight towards the advancing Hormagaunts. Particle beamers spat death at the small Tyranid creatures, blowing several apart in sprays of gore and flesh. On his right flank, a squadron of Destroyers took aim and blew away a fleshy sack of unknown purpose, atomising it in burst of Gauss fire. 

Night Scythes entered the airspace over the battlefield, filling the skies with sound from their wailing engines, sending ripple firing their Tesla Destructors, leaving only ashes to fall to the ground. As more of the Hormagaunts poured forward in an attempt to close the distance before the volleys of fire eradicated them, a blinding blast of energy hit the creatures head on, scattering unrecognisable body parts in all directions. 

Alien eyes turned with fury in the direction from which the blast came, and finally spotted the glowing barrel of a Doomsday Cannon poking out from a forest, fresh from unleashing its apocalyptic fury. 

The Phaeron watched from the rear, pleased at how the battle was unfolding. Just as planned...

Necron Turn 2: Combined shooting from Tomb Blades, Doomsday Ark, C'tan, and Tesla Immortals remove some of the Hormagaunts in the middle, Destroyers kill off a Mucolid spore

Night Scythes also adding their firepower to killing off Hormagaunts

Tyranid 2

Reacting almost as one, the Hormagaunts altered the course of their charge, diving for greater cover in the crater left by the wreck of an Imperial vehicle that had tried to sneak by the Tyranid lines and failed. 

Sensing the danger to the Tyranid front lines, the Swarmlord once again stretched out its will, and moved the its monstrous creatures towards the frontlines. Where the Hormagaunts had failed to test the Necron lines, perhaps the greater support from the larger beasts would enable them to reach combat.

A bright blue glow began to emit from the open maw of the Exocrine, and a loud hiss could be heard from across the field, moments later, an incandescent ball of plasma flew from the Exocrine's orifice, reaching the Tomb Blade's location in seconds. With the bio-plasma being hot enough to melt even the Necron alloys, the Tomb Blades threw themselves into evasive manoeuvres, losing one of their squadron in the process. 

One less black craft for the Swarmlord to worry about...

Tyranid Turn 2: Hormagaunts form a  conga line into the terrain in the centre, to keep their shrouding from the Malanthrope. Exocrine moves out to be able to shoot at the Tomb Blades.

Marshall forces Tomb Blades to jink with shooting, killing one and preventing the rest from shooting their cover ignoring weapons
KP Count: Tyranids 0-0 Necrons

Necron 3

The Necron forces of the Dynasty of Y's once again resumed their advance, with only the Tomb Blades continuing to fall back. Forced into evasive manoeuvres by the bio-plasma from the Toxicrene, they continued their spinning and jinking moves as they sought cover behind the main battle line. 

As the Night Scythes banked to make another pass, the Immortals and Destroyers again acted with eery precision, stopping and lining up their targets. Led by another blast from the Doomsday Cannon, yet another volley of Gauss and Tesla fire ravaged the Hormagaunts taking shelter in the crater, with the Nightbringer adding his devastating powers to the barrage. Steam from the electrified and brutalised Tyranid flesh temporarily obscured the target area, compounding the effects of the spore clouds that seemed to drift across the battlefield.

As the wind finally picked up and the area cleared, a few scattered Hormagaunts could still be seen, though the swarm had finally been depleted. The Tyranids' charge had been blunted...

Necron Turn 3: Tomb Blades retreat since they can't fire, and flyers fly off the board. Everything else moves up to shoot at the Hormagaunts, leaving only 5 gaunts left.

Tyranid 3

The Phaeron watched as the remaining Hormagaunts began to flee the crater, almost as if the alien intelligence controlling the swarm had decided that it was not worth sacrificing the few remaining creatures to stem the Necron advance.

A whistling sound from the sky made the Phaeron look up, and he saw multiple flesh sacs raining down from the sky. The living artillery creatures had yet again made their presence known, as they bombarded the Necron lines with spore mines. The living ammunition exploded as they found their targets amongst the Necron Immortals, showering all with acid and slime. 

Yet again, the Immortals proved worthy of the name, with most of the acid either dripping off the impervious armour, or the reanimation mechanisms in the Immortals' frames stitching the torn parts back together. The Immortals held their line, watching on as the huge creatures of the Tyranid swarm advanced under the continued barrage. It appeared that the leader-beast of the swarm was trying a different approach...

Tyranid Turn 3: Exocrine continues to move forward to get range, Hormagaunts run away to avoid giving up the KP. Biovores bombard Immortals, but only manage to kill one.
KP Count: Tyranids 0-0 Necrons

Necron 4

Regaining control of their craft, the pilots of the Tomb Blades acknolwedged their Phaeron's orders as they again swept beyond the Necron lines; Sighting the advancing Exocrine, and knowing the threat its bio-plasma posed, they began blasting it with their particle beamers. 

The streams of charged topaz particles were soon joined with gauss beams and tesla lightning, as the Immortals, Destroyers, and returning Night Scythes once again joined in barrage with a blaze of light. 

Badly wounded, the Exocrine turned and tried to move back into the cover afforded it by a ruined building, but to no avail. With a crook of its finger, the Nightbringer summoned a pillar of cosmic fire, which burst from the overcast sky and incinerated the Exocrine where it stood. Phaeron Y'san nodded his approval as he watched the Exocrine's demise. He was certain that, like any beast, the Tyranid swarm could be taught fear. The only difference was the amount of time and firepower it would take...

Necron Turn 4: Night Scythes come back in for fire support, and combined shooting from the entire army puts one wound on the Toxicrene and several wounds on the Exocrine....

... which is eventually shot down for First Blood!
KP Count: Tyranids 0-2 Necrons (Exocrine + First Blood)

Tyranid 4

The loss of the Exocrine was a big blow to the Swarmlord's strategy. With the Tyranid swarm deprived of one source of covering fire, the Necrons were slowly winning a war of attrition when it came to firepower. 

Drawing on its millenia of experience, the Swarmlord shifted the Hive Guard up to counter the Necron shooting. Focusing their Impaler cannons on the C'tan Shard that had slain the Exocrine, the razor sharp shards of chitin pierced the Nightbringer's necrodermis skin, leaving raw energy leaking from several deep wounds in the metallic flesh. 

Sensing an opportunity to remove the threat from the Star-God, the will of the Hive Mind rushed into the Toxicrene, sending it charging headlong into the waiting Nightbringer Shard. Deftly avoiding the lashwhips which got caught on the petrified trees surrounding the area, the Nightbringer cut into the Toxicrene's flesh, wounding it deeply. Despite the damage done, the Toxicrene still remained standing, obscenely waving its poisoned tentacles in the air...

Tyranid Turn 4: Losing the Exocrine hurts the Tyranid shooting, but the Hive Guard manages to put two wounds on the C'tan Shard, before the Toxicrene charges
Battle of the Monsters, with the C'tan already down two wounds from shooting. The Toxicrene fails to wound the C'tan Shard, while suffering two wounds in return, also bringing it down to two

Necron 5

Despite the copious amounts of firepower unleashed by both sides, actual casualties were minimal. A combination of Necron resilience and shrouding had meant that both sides continued to be at effective fighting strength. 

The Night Scythes had complete air supremacy now, and swept forward to clear a path through the Tyranids. Tesla Destructors flashed white hot once again as the Biovores were caught up in the lightning storm, leaving only one of the living artillery alive, and unable to do much damage.

The combat between the Nightbringer and the Toxicrene reached a fever pitch, as both adversaries instinctively knew that the next strike would be the one that would be the last. Finally un-entangling its lashwhips from the trees, the Toxicrene snapped them forward at the C'tan. 

The Toxicrene's acid blood splashed around the area and seeped into the rents in the necrodermis, helping the Toxicrene gravely damage the creature it faced. Despite having half its face torn away from the acid and the lashwhips, the unfeeling C'tan Shard retaliated, slashing straight through the creature's armoured carapace, sending it to the ground in two steaming halves...

Necron Turn 5: Night Scythes fly further into the Tyranid lines, to try and remove the long range threat from the Biovores, but fail to completely kill them off, leaving one alive, closest Carnifex goes down to 1 wound from shooting
Bargelord and Wraiths leave their escort duty to try and put more pressure on the Tyranids.
C'tan Shard finishes off the Toxicrene, which leaves him open to shooting in the Tyranid turn! Crap.
KP Count: Tyranids 0-3 Necrons (Toxicrene)

Tyranid 5

The Tyranid lines were slowly fragmenting, as gaps began to appear before the Necron firepower and the fury of the Nightbringer. Seeking to shore up the front and prevent the Necron ground forces from making a break for the rear, the Swarmlord and his Tyrant Guard moved up, escorted by the Hive Guard. 

Raising their Impaler Cannons, the Hive Guard focused their firepower on the most obvious threat to the Tyranid force, and succeeded in shooting down one of  the Necron Flyers that had nearly wiped the Biovores out. 

The Swarmlord flooded its consciousness into the nearest Carnifex, adjusting its aim and its weapons to do the most damage to the still surviving Nightbringer shard. If the Swarm could take down the Star-God that had done the most damage to the Tyranid plans, the Necrons could still be stopped. Forcing the Carnifex to focus, the Swarmlord unleashed the power of its weapons with a burst of will. A massive amount of living ammunition-worms struck the necrodermis frame of the C'tan, with several seeming to bite deep into the metallic flesh of the Star-God.

Moments later, they all fell away as the Shard spread its arms and let loose an earth shaking roar in challenge. The Tyranid gambit had failed. Hissing in rage, the Swarmlord gave the order to retreat... 

Tyranid Turn 5: Swarmlord puts Monster Hunter onto the left dakkafex. Hive Guard shoot down one Night Scythe for 1 VP, and the dakkafex on the left shoots the C'tan, getting 11 hits and causing 8 wounds!!!!!! That Monster Hunter buff really helped.

But I make ALL my 4+ saves! The Shard of the Nightbringer lives!
KP Count: Tyranids 1-3 Necrons (Night Scythe)

I roll for the game to continue, and I get.... a 1.

Victory to the Immortal Empire!

Thoughts: Both Marshall and I played a very careful game, avoiding damage from shooting and refusing to commit numbers forward. In the end the Necron resilience and better/longer ranged shooting probably forced Marshall into closing the gap.

The major turning point of the match was the C'tan tanking all those wounds at the end, preventing Marshall from getting an extra KP and potentially giving him victory if the game went on.

Good game Marshall!

Bonus pic that describes this game (rights belong to creator and not me):


Y'san decapitated another Termagant straggler as his forces cleared the path towards safety for the civilians of Lysios. The Tyranids had retreated after Imperial reinforcements arrived, though they were much too late to make a difference in the battle. A miniature holographic figure appeared from his console on the Command Barge, hooded and aloof.

"I am Sammael, Master of the Ravenwing. It is surprising to see such success from you Xeno."

"Greetings. You arrive with perfect timing, just in time to help take out the trash." the Phaeron responded.

"The Adeptus Astartes do no such thing Xeno, we are here to ensure you do not abduct Imperial citizens for your own nefarious purposes."

"Idle talk, human, when the only army ensuring the safety of your people was mine." 

With a wave of his hand the Phaeron closed the channel, and turned to the image of the newly-promoted Overlord P'seph, whose holographic image also remained on the console. 

"Who in the galaxy talks like that? These humans can't have a normal conversation."

P'seph's only response was a chuckle, before the Phaeron closed the communication channel. Once the humans evacuated Lysios, the Necrons' plans could finally be put in motion. There were plenty of leftover Tyranids to experiment on, and the project to figure out a way to disrupt or control their synapse web was just beginning....

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