Monday, December 16, 2013

ABOcalypse (Anything But Ones Apocalypse)

So the group finally managed to get the chance to sit down and play again! It has been awhile since I saw them and it was really good to get a full 3v3. While the initial Axis of Evil had Chaos (YC) in it, he had to pull out due to work commitments. As fate had it, Marshall could play and he brought Tyranids! So the stage was set, 3 Nid players vs 3 Imperial players. 

Battle For Plains World
After the Heresy, the Dark Angels recruited from a single planet (known as the Plains World). Sometime before the 41st Millennium a group of returning Deathwing found that their planet had been overrun fifty years earlier by Genestealers, with only a few untainted humans remaining. The Terminators, whose duty and honour required the extermination of the genestealers, prepared themselves for battle. Because the odds of their success were nearly non-existent, the Terminators engaged in their native death ritual. Instead of anointing their skin with white ash, they anointed their armour. The Terminators cleansed the world and rescued the enslaved populace, and in honour of those few Terminators, their armour was ever after white. Meanwhile, the Dark Angels leadership, the Inner Circle, recognized the folly of relying upon one planet for manpower and so diversified their recruiting grounds.

The above narrative would form the backbone of our apoc game. This was the Battle for Plains World as told in Deathwing (Anthology) by William King and Bryan Ansell. 

My (Ray) army comprising 2 Formations: Carnifex Crusher Brood and the Living Fortress. My list was meant to be the meat and potatoes for the Nids. 2 Flyrants, 2 Tervigons, 9 Hive Guard, 2 Biovores and Doom of Malantai
Sam brought his Vanguard Infestation modelled after the Aliens. He brought our Bio Titan, 1 Trygon and 1 Flyrant. Sam was meant to play the disruption force

Defeng brought his Tank Company and 5 Command Squads with Masters of Ordnance to bring down pie-plates. 

Marshall was our 3rd Hive Mind. He brought the Subterranean Assault in the form of Mawlocs and from the skies, Zoanthropes. He filled the rest of his 2500 points with 2 Flyrants 

My 3 Warriors proxying for Raveners

Sam's fully displayed Aliens army. 

Did someone say Genestealers? I think William King did! 

Our main protagonist, the Dark Angels. Having returned to Plains World, they have adorned their armour with white ash.

Belial leads from the front

More Terminators

Melvin brought his entire tank contingent and surprisingly, not a single infantry model. Brave! Those Chimeras you see are actually Banewolves

3 Valkries and 1 big BaneBlade

Love that airbrush work

Flying support
Once the armies were laid out, we chose sides and rolled for our Warlord Traits, picked our Strategic Assets and bidded for deployment times. Sam and I rolled 3 on the Personal Table (crappy Outflank) while Marshall got a good Strategic Trait, allowing his entire army +2 cover in Ruins.

Bidding for time:
Imperial: 14 minutes
Tyranids: 4 minutes

In deployment, the Tyranids hugged the centre left side of the table as there were 4 Strategic Objectives located closely to each other. The trick here was to cluster and use our Synapse to protect our broods from running off the board.

Moved my Fexes up the right hand flank while the rest of my broods took middle ground to absorb as much fire as possible. 

Sam deployed his Biotitan on the left flank supported by his Flyrant

This was my firebase

The Living Fortress was going to have to take a lot of shots for the Nids

Imperials deployed their long range guns on our right flank as there were no threats from the Tyranids

Meanwhile the centre had a solid core of Banewolves

9 Banewolves surround this building which had 1 Objective

While this lonely squad of Dark Angels and Librarian hugged the wall

The Baneblade arrived with a loud thrumming

Further on the left the rear lines were secured with Leman Russ battle tanks. The Imperials dropped a Bastion. Looks like some Tau Ambassadors came along to help

More Banewolves. Sheesh...
 Once deployment was done, Imperials tried to seize initiative. Rolled a '4' and Tyranids went first.

First Turn: Tyranids
Our Mawlocs clawed through the grounds hastily to get to grips with the Banewolves and silence their guns

And from the air, our Mycetic Spore Pods starting raining down Zoanthropes into their deployment zone

Meanwhile my army surged forwards to provide Synapse and then do the mop up. The Fex on the right is the last model in our deployment (centre line is the table separation so you can see how far left the Tyranids have deployed)

The flight of the Tyrants

More Mawlocs appear from the ground, destroying a Banewolf in the process. First blood to the Tyranids! 

As more Spore pods drop from the skies and disgorge more Zoanthropes

It was a Zoanthrope vs Banewolf game now

And in the centre board my army takes flight to secure the objectives and prevent a push on our right

Plains World under full assault from the Tyranids - there is no escaping the jaws of the Hive Mind.
The Tyranids called down an Orbital Bombardment buy spending one Strategic Point. Unfortunately for us, we ended scattering so far afield that nothing much of note was destroyed.

Turn 1: Imperials
At the start of the Imperial turn, the Tyranids called down the Blind Barrage, creating a smoke screen on our right flank protecting our push

The Valkryies enter the table, marking aerial warfare between the Imperials and the Tyranids!  

The Imperials then use 2 Strategic Assets, Tunnel Rats and some card that prevents scattering in Deepstrike to drop their men behind the Tyranid lines. 

And one very smartly on the Strategic Objective on our far right flank (which the Tyranid had no way of getting to)

Meanwhile the Deathwing teleported in behind our hard hitters to go for our soft underbelly. This was real Dark Angel heroics, throwing their lives to save the planet from utter destruction

And another unit drops down in our middle lines

On the right flank, the Imperials push up their Banewolf while the other suffered a immobilized result from Dangerous Terrain. Thankfully, the guns on the right 2 Leman Russes were unable to shoot my Fexes

Valkries converging on the Flyrants destroying one. The combined firepower managed to toast a few more Zoanthropes in the process. 

Defeng toasted a few Gants. Not sure about this move here. 

Hive Tyrant took a breather in the ruins, supporting the push in the middle

Baneblade loosens first shot into our Subterranean Crew
 Side note: both sides used our Orbital Bombardment in our First Turns but got nothing much out of it!

The Tyranid firebase kept the middle ground saturated with Str8 ignore cover save shots

And Defeng releases 40 conscripts into the terrain piece on the left, unknown to him that that one move may have either sealed Imperial fate or saved them a turn! 

It was Lunch Time so we tallied up the victory points:
Imperials: 4 VP
Tyranids: 2VP

The Imperials were way ahead of us even after both sides spent 1 VP each to bring down the Orbital Bombardment. They were holding 4 Objectives due to smart deployment.

Now that we have spent our Strategic Assets to gain midfield dominance, will we have enough bodies to create a good counterattack and push through to their objectives? We were already behind in VP due to some good tactical considerations by the Imperial players.

Turn 2: Tyranids

Spread most of my small critters around to tackle Defeng's Guardsmen in my back lines. 

Spawned quite a large number but didn't poop out so sent them scurrying to the left field to lock in those Terminators. Meanwhile both Marshall and myself sent our Flyrants back in to tackle the Terminators too. This unit had the Warmaster which translated to an additional VP if we killed him

The 3 Fexi continued their relentless advance while the Zoanthropes helped keep the Synapse bubble alive

I sent my Whitey to contest the objective on the right. This unfortunately wasn't the actual position of the Flyrant. I ended up putting him on the Bastion leaving him open to full shooting by the Skyray

"I swear I heard something in those ruins Captain." Sam's Ymgarl crept forward stealthily putting more pressure on the Imperials. 
It was here that I sat back and thought to myself. Wow, we didn't plan for this but somehow our different styles came together in this game. The timing of units arriving from deepstrike and concealment were all uncanny! Again, we didn't consult with each other which shocked me. Hive Mind at work!

Sam swung his Flyrant to tackle these Terminators in the open

While I chose to have Doom come in to tackle the unit of Terminators with Belial in it (out of this frame)

Managed to toast another tank with the combined firepower of the Fexi - it's the strange bio plasma thing (apoc formation bonus but I had to pay the points for the upgrade on each Carnifex)

"Lord Magellan, I think best you come view this pict. Looks like the Tyranids have landed and they are swarming our trenches"

After a round of excellent shooting from the Tyrant, 4 Terminators died! 

Then the Gants charged in! 

And slithering quickly behind them were the proxied Raveners. With a 3D6 charge, they are brilliant at getting into combat fast. The Flyrant came crashing in next. My Purply Flyrant failed to make the charge since I had no space to charge in. 

Raveners (proxied) slithering forward to get to terms with the IG hidden in the ruins and hopefully capture the point. 

Ymgarl break cover and charge the 1st Company

Fight fight fight

While the contingent of Mawlocs started bashing the Baneblade

The 1st Company was having none of the bashing and proceeded to destroy the Ymgarls. FOR THE EMPEROR!

These were the Tyranid Strategic Assets
Turn 2: Imperials

A view of the battlefield

Bio-titan in the distance, Valkryies moving in on the Hive Command, Plains World was really under threat by the collective Hive Minds

I just love Apocs in the mornings

What a Guardsman would see looking down field. Cloverfield!

A proper shot of my Flyrant on top of the Bastion. He took full brunt of the shooting from the right flank, dead Whitey, Flyrant

The unit of brave Guardsmen who held on to the Strategic Objective on the right. These guys really earnt their points forcing the Tyranid players to sacrifice a Tyrant and Lictor to move them off the point
There would be no break this turn so no points were calculated just yet. We were still on 4-2 in favour of the Imperials.

Turn 3: Tyranids 

After I lost my White Flyrant in Turn 2, we had no choice but to spend 1 Strategic VP in Turn 3 to bring my Whitey back to contest and remove this unit who was capping points for the Imperials. 

Melvin advanced his Banewolf into the trenches, risking the dangerous terrain to flame my Fexi who were holding the Tyranid right flank

In the close combat phase, the Tyranids managed to kill off Belial and his unit. Consolidated them closer towards the enemy lines

The jaws were closing in on the Imperium. One more unit of Terminators and the Tyranids would have tabletop control as the Imperials were losing vehicles fast

These two were rock stars, spawning without fail

The Bio Titan finally starts moving towards the enemy lines. We did not realise that it has a huge number of attacks at high strength

I moved the Fexi up to threaten the Imperial left flank

Tyranids managed to take out the last Hull Point on the Baneblade, earning us 1VP and a mega blast. Even in death this Baneblade hits us hard

The blast scatters hard and takes out the building and a few wounds from my Living Fortress

Craters all across Plains World. The Tyranids were slowly but surely grinding the Imperials down

"Captain, I don't think that's a bird"

The Carnifexi used their Bioplasma and torched the Termnators surrounding the Imperial Commander. Marshall then wrapped in with his Raveners to earn us 4VPs. The extra 3VPs were from Trophy Kill, the Strategic Asset. 

This unit was advancing steadily to capture the home point for the Tyranids

While the Tyranids kept pushing the middle ground, using the Tervigons as a base of operations

Holding the trench with the Hive Guard meant that the Tyranid players could reach out to hit high priority targets 

Raveners (proxied) joining in the fun

So we finally managed to cream the last surviving Warlord giving us the bounty of 3VP! 
I just love pictures like this. Once this force is fully painted, it will look bloody awesome! 

Climbing over the trenches, Tyranids swarm all over Plains World, laying it to waste and claiming it

"Sir, I heard a report that the native birds in this world are aggressive. I doubt that is a bird"

Turn 3: Imperials

The Imperials call in the might of another Baneblade at Turn 3, spending a precious VP

The rest of the Imperial forces reorganizes to secure a foothold on a fractured defence

The Hive Tyrant pushes up towards the Baneblade. This tank has to be taken down fast otherwise it will wreak havoc on the field

Meanwhile the Raveners continue their advance into the final pocket of Marine resistance

3 on 3 anyone? It can only go one way

While the air cavalry goes in to try to pip off a wound or two but the Hive Tyrant manages to shrug wounds off due to Iron Arm (+3 T and Str)

The battle really came to it's apex at Turn 3. Turns were finishing faster now that both sides had a lot of casualties and fewer models on the board.

Turn 4: Tyranids 

The Tyranids were clearly having field dominance. The Tervigons jammed at this stage 

Biotitan engages the Bastion! 

Last brood of Ymgarls appear in the ruins once Sam managed to clear it using his Tyrant in the previous turn

My Living Fortress/Warmaster moves up to engage the Baneblade

The Ravener (proxied by a Warrior) fled from the melee with the last Terminator only to auto regroup and engage the Banewolf. Meanwhile the two Fexi moved up to spew another round of bio plasma

There was no way these guys can escape certain and painful death

Those brave Guardsmen

Imperial backlines still held. This side of the field was unmolested

Charged the Baneblade and went to work on it with my Tyrant

Destroying it but in return lost my Hive Tyrant and the Warmaster, giving the Imperials 1VP
Point tally at this stage was 8-10 in favour of the Tyranids.

Aliens celebrating in the puddles - some how they remind me of Pink Horrors

Flew my Tyrant over to the middle ground to assist Marshall and Sam on the left flank

Swarm them! This is the Battle for Plains World! 

While crickets dominated the right flank as my Tyrant finally held the objective on the right flank

As the dust slowly settles on the Plains World, the inhabitants look up to see multiple spore pods raining down on their once lush jungles and proud cities. 

True carnage has visited this recruitment world of the Dark Angels

What were once proud tanks, now craters remain

 Even the might of the Tau forces could not help sway the battle for the Imperials

Having destroyed every living organism around them, the Aliens were scurrying around the ruins looking for more genes

Meanwhile these two tank commanders in the Leman Russ kept lobbing massive shells across the field

Marshall and myself moved our Flyrants up to engage the last unit of Terminators and hopefully save those unfortunate Zoanthropes

Took out the Guardsmen on the lower right and turned my Flyrant to face the two Leman Russes

While the rest of the Tyranid swarm spread out across Plains World 

Ignore that Trygon on the left, it was destroyed earlier. More creatures swarming the mid field

Sam's biotitan managed to destroy the Bastion and with it killed a few of the inhabitants

The Tyranids capture another one of the Strategic Points
At the end of Turn 4, the Imperials decided to call it. The final score at the end of Turn 4 was:
Imperium: 8
Tyranids: 17

The Tyranids managed to capture all 6 points at Turn 4. A lot of the work was done in Turn 3 and those Mawlocs really did an amazing job! Together with the Hive Guard, the Tyranids were removing tanks by numbers. Deep striking the Terminators meant the Tyranids did not need to move up field to engage these high priority targets.

I was truly surprised that the Tyranids managed to build in such good synergy without really discussing much except on the day itself. We did make plans to bring enough synapse prior to the game otherwise it would have made for a very short game!

Thank you all especially Patrick who helped organise this game! Thanks to all gamers who partook in this event. 

I hope you guys enjoyed the batrep and pictures! Do drop us your comments and let us know how you would have played differently! 


  1. There are something I would like to highlight in the game.Both sides had great ideas on the strategic assets.

    Tyranids hives are opting for cutting the imperial into two and isolate one side of table.

    Imperial trying to spread out the objectives and trying to outscore the bugs by holding those far end objectives...

    The game was very tight till turn 3 when the tide just swing to the tyranids favour. Personally, if only the imperial could dealt more damage to the xenos, it could be a totally different outcome.

    Personally, I'm really impressed with the apocalypse game in the fluff perspective. Its like a real tyranids invasion.

    MVPs of the game: 2 tervigons, they just kept spawning.

  2. Pies doesn't really cut it in this encounter I find, they didn't really do much against high toughness creatures. I only managed to score a few kills from the pies.

    My new IG apoc list will be tens of Company Command Squads with full meltas gunning for your back line! Deep striking Tunnel Rats!

  3. A thoroughly enjoyable event! I fully agree with Marshall that to see Tyranids en masse is just super thematic and really brings out the horror of an alien invasion. Kinda wished I was on the Imperium side haha! For the Emperor!

  4. Yah very enjoyable. We should do this twice a year.

    Mission #1 Accomplished : Make Tyranids sweat a bit when they see Melvin deploy the Bane Wolves.
    Mission #2 Accomplished : Make Raymond go "WTF I didn't think of that!" when the IG platoon deep striked.



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