Thursday, December 11, 2014

Something a little different. Jason, a new Tyranid player just joined the Hive Mind at Titan Games and came up with some sound strategy on how to make best use of the scenario special rules and win it for the Tyranids. Here is his story.

As battle unfold...

The Hive Tyrant Alpha circled its Swarm as it pondered the various tactical options available. Events the previous night on the other side of the metal ring had proven that The Prey were vulnerable in their metal shells, and that even the hard shelled defenders could be beaten. The previously accumulated knowledge came easily, and it knew all it took to get to the prey in the metal ring was the right combination of force and speed. It considered infiltrating Genestealer broods to get to the biomass within, but extracting that biomass once consumed would be a problem, given the grey-coloured defenders that surrounded the metal hulks.
The only option that presented itself was to slaughter the grey-shelled ones first, which presented an interesting conundrum, as far as the Alpha could feel the emotion of interest. The shapes of the grey ones were different compared to the yellow, with several moving on four legs, while three metal boxes were also on the field. Shapes it recognised as missile launchers were in prevalence, as the grey ones ran into formation. Spying the cannons on the large metal boxes that made the ring, it realised how to deal with the problem.
Stretching its extension of the Hive Mind’s will out to the Swarm, the Hive Tyrant summoned the creatures needed to break the defenders’ lines. Very soon, the feasting would begin.

So this 1500pt game took place between Weijia (Space Wolves) and I (Tyranids), and I was honestly pretty nervous, given that it was my first time commanding the Nids. Mission was kill points.
The table was set up similar to the previous mission, with buildings in the middle ground, while we deployed in Vanguard Strike. My psychic powers on the two flyrants were Onslaught and Psychic Shriek, while the Zoey/Neuros had Catalyst, Warp Blast, and Spirit Leech. My warlord trait was Conqueror of Cities (didn’t really make a difference in this game), while his was a Saga which gave his wolfkin Furious Charge (I think).
I won the roll to choose deployment zone, and he depIoyed first per the mission rules. He deployed his Long Fangs in the ruins in his deployment zone, while his Razorbacks (with Blood Claws) and Predator deployed just behind them. The TWC were closest to me, in preparation for a charge. Murderfang was in his reserves. I deployed my Flyrants, Zoanthrope broods, and my Carnifex brood, while the spores/mucolids and Trygon Prime were in waves 2 and 3 respectively. With that, we began the match.
The Hive Tyrant Alpha let out an extended roar as the battle was joined. Its tactics were simple. Keep the grey shelled ones pinned in, and slowly whittle them down with spore and mucolid mines. After all, spore mines were even more disposable than ripper swarms, as if the concept of being disposable mattered to a Tyranid. With a powerful downward thrust from their wings, the Tyrant Alpha and its identical, subservient, twin soared into the sky, the better to target and kill the Tyranids’ enemies.
Within moments of them both reaching their desired altitudes, they opened fire...
Tyranid Turn 1
The Hive Tyrants went into swooping mode, and the Zoanthrope Broods and Carnifex broods closed with the Space Wolves. The mucolid and spore mines came in nearly exactly where I wanted them (around the midfield with the Long Fangs), with the exception of one which suffered a mishap, and Weijia placed him as far away as possible :( The interceptor cannon took out one spore mine, two groups of five remained. Onslaught was cast on the dakkafexes. The shooting phase saw the Warlord Tyrant wreck one Razorback, while the dakkafexes reduced the Predator to one HP. The Blood Claws from the wrecked Razorback passed their LD test for pinning. The other Hive Tyrant didn’t do much, as shooting against the Long Fangs came to nothing. Most of the Mucolids and spore mines ran to try and get them within range to charge the next turn.
Fire spat in all directions as the weapons mounted on the prey’s metal ring opened up. The Tyrant Alpha watched as many spores were caught in the maelstrom and torn apart, while others were caught by swirling winds and blown far off course. However, the losses inflicted were not nearly enough. Many made landfall amidst the defenders. Things were proceeding exactly as planned.
Reaching into the depths of the Hive Mind’s power, the Tyrant Alpha gave the Carnifexes extra energy to continue their loping run, before forcing them to fire their devourers. As smoke began to pour from the shuddering metal box, the Alpha opened fire itself, blowing apart another metal box. Grey armoured figures spilled out from the wreckage, and the Tyrant Alpha directed a Mucolid mine to close with the group. Sticking out its tongue, it tasted the air. It tasted of ash. Ash and death….
KP Count 2-0 (First Blood + Razorback)
Space Wolves Turn 1
SW rolled a two for limited ammunition. The TWC moved up through dangerous terrain and made all their rolls, while Murderfang came in right behind a group of five spore mines and one Mucolid, perfect positioning for a heavy flamer shot. Prescience was cast on the Long Fangs with the Rune Priest. The shooting phase saw quite a bit of damage done to the Tyranid plan, with me basically losing half my spore mines and a Mucolid just from one unit, Murderfang. One unit of Long Fangs forced the non-Warlord flyrant to jink, while the other killed a Zoanthrope, leaving the brood with two models. The Predator and remaining Razorback then blasted the other Zoanthrope Brood, leaving it with one model remaining. The 2 model Zoanthrope brood was then killed off in the assault phase by the TWC.
A shift in the air pressure made the Hive Tyrant Alpha look around, and this enhanced attention helped it to narrowly avoid getting hit by a falling drop pod. Watching it land, it realised the tactical peril of the situation, as a screaming maniac of a machine marched out of pod, directly behind the spore mines and a Mucolid spore. Reliant as its strategy was on breaking the grey ones’ lines with the mines, this new development was a problematic one.
Watching on from its vantage point in the sky, the Tyrant Alpha watched as the mines in view were annihilated in a wave of flame. No matter, there were plenty more to come. It circled around, identifying its next target.
KP Count 2-1
Tyranids 2
The Trygon Prime came in from reserves, and the snapshots from the cannon failed to hurt him. The psychic phase saw Onslaught on the Dakkafexes again, while the sole remaining Zoanthrope did not manage to do anything with its Warp Blast, aside from take a wound off a TWC. The Warlord Hive Tyrant shot at the Long Fangs, while the Dakkafexes ran to close the range and killed off the Predator. The Trygon Prime opened up on one unit of Long Fangs. In assault, one of the mucolid spores killed off most of the 1st Blood Claws, leaving two alive. The spore mines tried to make their charge, but got shot down and blew up in the Wolves’ face, killing one on the bottom floor. Nothing further happened in the turn.
Summoning the power of the Hive Mind yet again, the Tyrant Alpha reached out to a kindred spirit, and felt it respond. With an earth-shaking roar, a Trygon Prime burst from the earth, ready to slaughter the swarm’s foes. The air crackled with static discharge as it released pent-up energies, though the grey shells held up under the onslaught.
The Tyrant Alpha yet again grabbed hold of the Carnifexes’ simple minds, pushing them beyond momentary exhaustion to destroy yet another metal box. Directing its own devourers at the grey shells in the ruins, it managed to kill off a few. As the corpses fell, it directed its attention to far away swarms, pushing them to approach following the battle and feed.
A large explosion caught the Tyrant Alpha’s attention, and it saw grey armoured bodies scattered like ragdolls around the base of the ruined tower. As the smoke cleared, most of the grey shelled ones began to get to their feet. Ordering more mines to move in, the Tyrant Alpha searched for more prey…
KP Count 3-1
Space Wolves 2
SW rolled a 6 on limited ammunition. TWC moved towards the Trygon Prime, leaving the lone Zoanthrope behind, and Murderfang moved towards the Dakkafexes. Remaining 1st Blood Claws moved towards the Long Fangs. Long Fangs shot at the non-Warlord Tyrant, and this time without jinking, it took a wound but remained flying. Other Long Fangs shot at the Trygon Prime and took a wound off him. The remaining Razorback’s lascannon finally killed the last Zoanthrope. TWC charged the Trygon Prime, and killed him off in a single turn. Murderfang tried to charge the Dakkafexes but failed, taking two HP from overwatch in the process.
Realising the threat to his heavy weapons and the chances of saving the Crawler-Hulks, the Wolf Lord turned the Thunderwolf Cavalry around, galloping back towards the huge monster that had just erupted from the ground. Voxing over the net, he issued orders for the beast to be brought down before further damage could be done. He risked a glance over his shoulder as he rode away, and saw his Razorback crews taking the initiative, blasting down the last brain bug known to the Imperium as a Zoanthrope.
As quickly as it had arrived, the Trygon Prime almost disappeared under a fusillade of missile fire and hammer blows from the Thunderwolf Cavalry. With a final gasping roar, the beast fell to the ground, and the Wolf Lord let out a howl of triumph. As quickly as the emotion came, the elation soured as reports came in that ammunition was quickly running low. A roar of fury came over the voxnet as he heard the Curseborn charge at the huge weapon beasts that had destroyed the Space Wolf vehicles. That roar only rose in volume as Murderfang was forced to stop short, his hull shaking under a barrage of fire. Quickly issuing his orders, the Wolf Lord howled out a challenge as his Thunderwolf mounted bodyguard rode to aid Murderfang.
KP Count 3-3
Tyranids 3
The Dakkafexes moved closer towards Murderfang, Tyrants both continued circling the battlefield. Onslaught again went onto the Carnifexes, but they stood still and killed off the closer unit of Long Fangs (without the Rune Priest) in shooting. Psychic shriek from Warlord Tyrant kills off another Long Fang. Non-warlord Tyrant killed off Murderfang, while the Warlord Tyrant destroyed the drop pod. A Mucolid spore charged the other unit of Long Fangs and Rune Priest, and in the subsequent fight, blew up and wiped out the Rune Priest and another Long Fang. Long Fangs fail their morale test and fall back.
The Tyrant Alpha sensed that the battle was turning. It watched the grey shelled ones rush about in a futile attempt to aid their brethren, and circled around to add the weight of its fire to the Carnifexes’. Its twin flew behind the crazed grey metal beast, and destroyed it in a single devastating volley. Focusing on the grey metal asteroid that had nearly killed it, the Tyrant Alpha wrecked in with a salvo from its devourers.
Another explosion from barely merited the Tyrant Alpha’s attention. Its otherworldly senses told it what it needed to know; a psychic spark had been snuffed out in the immediate vicinity, and the Shadow in the Warp now reigned supreme…
KP Count 7-3
Space Wolves 3
The Space Wolves run out of ammunition with a roll of 5. All shooting is now snapshots. TWC close the gap with the dakkafexes and prepares to charge. Long Fangs automatically regroup and retake the high ground in the ruins. Razorback tries to shoot down the non-Warlord tyrant but fails. TWC charge the Carnifexes, who put THREE wounds on the Warlord through overwatch. Close combat sees the Carnifexes wiped out before their initiative.
The Wolf Lord bared his fangs as he barreled towards the huge beasts. Knowing no fear, he charged in even as the monstrosities opened fire. As the gap closed quickly, more and more biological ammunition found its mark, and he soon found himself wounded and bleeding profusely. Fuelled by the pain and the call of the Wulfen in his blood, he cut into the Carnifexes, ripping unidentifiable innards apart and sending one of them spinning to the ground in bloody shreds.
As his bodyguard finished off the other Carnifex, he looked around to see that all the efforts were in vain. Most of his Long Fangs had been slaughtered, while reports through the vox-net came through that the Space Wolves had completely run out of ammunition. With a mournful howl, he ordered the retreat.
KP Count 7-4
Tyranids 4
Warlord Tyrant swoops around to shoot the TWC, while non-Warlord tyrant shoots at and destroys last Razorback. Nothing else happens, and we end the game here as the Wolves basically have nothing that can harm the Flyrants.
KP Count 8-4
Victory to the Tyranid Swarm!
The Tyrant Alpha perched on the ruined buildings and issued a roar of triumph, as it watched as its ground troops begin the process of consumption and feeding. Rippers and other minions swarmed over the fallen on the battlefield, digesting useful genetic material and leaving debris in their wake. Meanwhile, lumbering Carnifexes and Exocrines alternated between blasting the hulls of the metal hulks with bio plasma and cutting through the softened metal with claws to get to the soft and terrified prey within. Death had come to the inhabitants of Lysios, and barring a miracle, none would leave alive….

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