Friday, January 30, 2015

1850 Battle Report: The Leviathan wakes a Dynasty


That was what greeted Cryptek Y’san when awareness returned to his living metal frame. The stillness of the crypt was almost stifling, if he could still feel such a thing. A Harbinger of Eternity, with the power to control time and molecular speed, Y’san became aware of his Wraiths patiently waiting in the halls beyond his chamber, and he realised why he had been awoken. 

Strange beasts with purplish-black carapaces stalked the Tomb World known as Willow, getting perilously close to the concealed entrances that led to the Tomb Complex. A blinking icon captured his attention. The Phaeron he had served for millenia, H’orj, had summoned him.

Y’san left his personal escort of Wraiths behind him as he stepped into the Royal Crypt. “You summoned me, your majesty?” he asked. “Ah, Cryptek, you have awoken. Your creations have maintained our Royal Court well. You should construct more of them.” The Phaeron had always been a pompous one, even for one of his kind.

“As ever, majesty, your powers of observation impress me. How may I be of service?” If the Phaeron took any notice of the sarcasm, he gave no sign. Given how self-centred he was, it was unlikely.

“I was awoken by the warning glyphs, indicating that our Tombworld had these strange insects on my Tombworld. I want to know what they are.”

“I believe they are called Tyranids majesty. Would you like to ready your troops?”

“No, I do believe you have a Transcendent C’tan kept as a pet, do you not? I feel like going on a hunting trip. One of the larger beasts would make a great prize for the stasis collection no?”

“Indeed majesty, if for some reason, you feel like your collection is missing a crazed beast.” It was a good thing metal features could not be twisted into a sneer. Many millennia of strange requests were wearing thin.

“As I thought. Ready my barge and the Scythes, and prepare to unleash your C’tan! The Dynasty of G’uang goes to the hunt!” Seeing his Phaeron fairly burst with excitement reminded Y’san of vids of human children with toys. This was the ruler of the current Dynasty. A noise approximating a sigh escaped from the Cryptek's vocabulator....

This batrep covers my 1850pt game with Raymond, who brought his TAC list to the Tombworld. I decided to bring some fromage for the final game of the Oldcrons with my Transcendent C’tan. The main idea was to use him as a distraction, while the mobility of the Tomb Blades, Barge, and Scythes would help me to secure objectives.

Ray's Army List
  • Flyrant with TL Brainleech Devourers x3
  • Dimachaeron in Tyrannocyte
  • Carnifex in Tyrannoctye x3
  • Rippers with Deepstrike x4
  • Rippers with Deepstrike x4
  • Rippers with Deepstrike x3
  • Rippers with Deepstrike x3

The Necrons
·         Catacomb Command Barge with Gauss Cannon, MSS, 2+/3++, Solar Thermasite, Warscythe
·         5x Warriors in Night Scythe x 3
·         2x Tomb Blades with Nebuloscope, Shield Vanes (Proxied by Jetbikes)
·         2x Tomb Blades with Shield Vanes (Proxied by Jetbikes)
·         2x Tomb Blades with Shield vanes (Proxied by Jetbikes)
·         1 x Transcendent C’tan with Seismic Assault, Sky of Falling Stars, Transliminal Stride

    The Tyranid Swarm of Hive Fleet Leviathan
    The Necrons

    Tyranid Deployment, with Psychic Powers

    Deployment of both Armies
    Mission was Maelstrom of War, Tactical Escalation, and the Crons opted to go second.
    Flyrants all move up to get in range.

    One unit of Tomb Blades are Horror-ed, and combined shooting from the 3 Flyrants put 2 (!!!) wounds on the T-C'tan

    Necrons Turn 1: T-C'tan takes objective 2, which turns out to be a Skyfire Nexus!

    6d6 shots later, and there WAS a flyrant where those Tomb Blades are.
    End of Turn 1
    Y'san watched from the safety of the Tombs as the Phaeron's hunt played out. The three flying Tyranid beasts had already done significant damage to his captured Transcendent C'tan but a hail of rocks and and magma had seen one of them come tumbling out of the sky. The Cryptek was fairly sure that the Phaeron wouldn't be able to salvage that one for a trophy, but he was more concerned about the damage that the C'tan was taking. It would be just like the Phaeron to leave the C'tan to be destroyed in his mad chase for a trophy.

    Watching the Command Barge sweep further into battle, Y'san created a direct link to the Tomb World's master program, and began giving instructions...

    VP Count: Tyranids 0-2 Necrons  (First Blood, Slay the Warlord)

    Tyranid Turn 2

    All the Tyrannocytes, the Carnifexes, AND the Dimachaeron...

    You can't even see the poor T-C'tan, but he tanks all but one wound like a boss.Tomb Blades with BS5 got shot to bits (completely forgot my reanimation), and the further Flyrant perils but stays flying

    Nids score No Prisoners for 1VP

    Necrons Turn 2: Flyers come in

    Transliminal Stride; D-evastating both Tyrannocytes with D3 wounds

    Night Scythes take out one Flyrant...

    ... and Catacomb Command Barge kills a Carnifex in assault with mindshackles and warscythe

    Which earns the Necrons Blood and Guts.

    Cryptek Y'san watched as the Transcendent C'tan got surrounded by the horde of alien creatures that fell from the skies. This was no mere stray Tyranid swarm, it was more like an invasion army. He saw the Phaeron move further away from the huge beasts that had just been disgorged on the surface, to chase after some monster in the distance, seemingly leaving his beloved creation to die. Such disregard for his property was unacceptable. 

    With a flicker of thought, Y'san ordered the Transcendent C'tan to step between worlds and avoid being surrounded. He felt the immense will of the creature fight against his control, but even a Star God's will was no match for Y'san's. Moments later, the C'tan morphed into a ball of energy and moved through the giant beasts surrounding it, leaving them shuddering and bleeding from multiple rents in their skin. Seeing that his creation was safe, Y'san returned his attention to the project at hand. 

    VP Count: Tyranids 1-3 Necrons

    Tyranid Turn 3: Dimachaeron moves out of cover to try and kill the T-C'tan, shooting from multiple Tyrannocytes takes one HP off both Night Scythes. Several Rippers fail their IB and end up doing nothing. 

    The Carnifex manages to get Behind Enemy Lines!

    Necron Turn 3: Should the T-C'tan charge the Dimachaeron for the sake of pride?

    ... Necrons are not emotional. The Dimachaeron gets ingloriously shot and killed. 

    ... and Necrons get 3 VP this turn
    The combat on the surface of the world was in full swing now, with strange living ammunition being matched by arcs of yellow lightning from the Necron forces. The Phaeron had occupied himself with continually slaying the small creatures known as Rippers, while he left the Transcendent C'tan to manage the larger beasts. The Cryptek watched as larger and larger creatures were drawn to the glowing C'tan, almost as if the alien intelligence saw something it had wanted to assimilate. With a roar, a large creature that Y'san identified as a Dimachaeron stepped forth, snarling in an animalistic sort of challenge.

    He felt the will of the Transcendent C'tan pulse again, and knew that it's pride had been pricked by being challenged by a non-immortal being. It was illogical to let emotion dictate tactical action though, and Y'san ordered the C'tan to simply erase the Dimachaeron from the surface of the world. With a gesture, the Transcendent C'tan caused rocks and lava to burst from the earth, and in an instant, the Dimachaeron was but ash.

    "Cryptek! You are killing all the beasts that I wish to collect!" came the irate voice of the Phaeron. 
    "My apologies majesty, I shall endeavour to have one captured in a reasonable state for you". 

    VP Count: Tyranids 2-6 Necrons

    Tyranids Turn 4: Tyrannocyte blows the Night Scythe out of the sky

    A brave Carnifex passes it's IB and charges the T-C'tan, but will eventually killed.

    Tyranids can get 4VP!

    ... Or not. 

    Necron Turn 4: Scythes come back on from reserve, but shooting is ineffective. C'tan goes back to claim the Skyfire objective.

    Another 3VP for Necrons
    The earth shuddered with the thunder of monstrous hooves as the Carnifex charged. In the distance, the Transcendent C'tan glanced with an air of bemused interest at the weapon beast that was barreling across the plain. Perhaps the Cryptek was right after all, despite the shackles that bound it, there was some amusement to be had in watching the ineffectual flailings of these alien creatures. 

    Turning to face it fully, the C'tan grabbed the horns of the beast with one hand just as it reached melee range, absorbing the force of the living battering ram as it did so. Phasing its other hand out of sync with the universe, it plunged the shimmering hand into the Carnifex's skull, before rematerialising it, burning out every single neuron in the creature's nervous system. With a quiet snort that belied its size, the Carnifex slumped bonelessly into the dust. Opening a rift into a pocket dimension, the Transcendent C'tan unceremoniously stuffed the Carnifex corpse into the opening before sealing it shut.

    Watching from the vid feed on the C'tan's shackles, Y'san nodded in approval. That should keep the Phaeron occupied...

    VP Count: Tyranids 4-9 Necrons

    Tyranids Turn 5: Flyrant and Tyrannocytes go after the Tomb Blades and Night Scythes, killing all of them O.O

    Nids secure Marker 6 through DS rippers
    Necrons Turn 5: Last remaining Scythe drops off its cargo and heads for Ray's last Flyrant
    Other Warriors from the downed Scythes footslog it. 
    Shooting sees the last Flyrant die, along with one Ripper base and one of the three remaining Tyrannocytes
    Necrons get 2 more VPs from holding Objective 1

    The Tyranid Swarm was starting to lose cohesion, as more and more of its leader beasts fell to the awakening Tomb. Despite inflicting losses on the Necrons through the shooting down of the Night Scythes, more and more Necron Warriors began marching onto the battlefield, providing greater fire support to the Phaeron and the Transcendent C'tan. 

    "Cryptek! My precious flyers are being lost! You must save and salvage them!" came the cry of the Phaeron.

    "Certainly your majesty, I will endeavour to eliminate their anti-aircraft creatures while you bravely eliminate those small Tyranid creatures that are such a threat to our forces." 

    More than ever, Y'san was convinced that the Dynasty held together in spite of the Phaeron rather than because of him...

    VP Count: Tyranids 5-11 Necrons

    Tyranids Turn 6: Nothing of note,

    Bargelord charges the Rippers, but they survive BOTH the Hammer of Wrath and normal hits, only losing one base!

    Necrons score 3VP for objectives
    The endgame was nearing, of that Y'san was certain. Completing the commands he had input into the Tomb World's master program, he shut down the direct link and turned his full attention back to the final preparations for his Phaeron's return. Most amusingly, he saw that the Phaeron was still tied up in dealing with the little feeder beasts known as Rippers, despite being armed and armoured with the very best that the Dynasty had to offer. 

    The battle's prosecution was nearly over, as he saw the Warriors of the Dynasty scour long abandoned trenches with volleys of gauss fire, killing off even more rippers. Everything was proceeding just as planned...

    VP Count: Tyranids 5-14 Necrons

    Tyranids Turn 7: get 1 VP for holding Objective 5
    Necrons Turn 7: Bargelord eventually finishes off Rippers, Scythe goes for Linebreaker. The closer Tyrannocyte would die to the C'tan shooting.

    Necrons get 6 (!!!) VP this turn through good draws
    VP Count: Tyranids 6-21 (Linebreaker) Victory to the Necrons!

    Thoughts: I have to say, this didn't turn out like I expected. I was worried that Ray might ignore my C'tan and head straight for my more mobile and scoring units, but the mobility tactics and unit choices worked near perfectly, and I was honestly very lucky with the objectives drawn that gave me such a crushing win. 

    Another point to note from this battle; if you get flying hive tyrants to either cluster or get behind them, they will be forced to swing around to target you, reducing their manoeuverability and ability to provide synapse to cover the board. Ray faced the synapse problem several times, and as a Tyranid player myself, it's something I might have to think about the next time I bring a Nid list.

    Read on for the closing fluff and a bonus battle!


    There were very few Tyranid beasts left on the surface of the planet, and the Cryptek detailed part of his personal guard of Wraiths to ensure that none remained alive by the end of one solar cycle. Stepping out on to the dusty surface of Willow with his Aeonstave in hand, he made his way towards the Transcendent C'tan, which had just pulled the Carnifex corpse out of the pocket dimension and dropped it in the dust. 

    A quiet hum from behind him told Y'san that the Phaeron's command barge had arrived.

    "Ah Cryptek, it appears your pet managed to catch a beast intact and relatively undamaged. Have him bring it to me, I would like the specimen closely. If it is unsatisfactory, you will bring several of them back from the past and we shall engage them again." said Phaeron H'orj.

    "Of course, majesty." With a flicker of thought, Y'san commanded the C'tan to place the Carnifex corpse nearer to the Phaeron. It was time. 

    "Cryptek, tell your C'tan to stop moving. It is close enough. Cryptek? Cryptek!" With a single sweep, the Transcendent C'tan smashed the Catacomb Command Barge into pieces, sending the Phaeron flying. "It is out of control! Cryptek, you need to control your pet! You.... You ARE controlling him!"

    "Your powers of observation continue to astound me." said Y'san. "We've done this together for millenia, you and I, and you've always believed that you led this Dynasty. But your time is over."

    "Warriors, I command you to arrest this traitor!" cried the Phaeron, but the Warriors simply remained silent onlookers. "They will not listen, they now heed my will, and my will alone." said Y'san.

    "Traitor! I will take your head myself!" The Phaeron launched into battle in a blur, but faster than even mechanical optics could follow, the Cryptek deflected the blow and disarmed the Phaeron, sending him reeling into the dirt once more. 

    "Impossible, your frame is not built for war!" said the incredulous Phaeron. "I apologise for the deception H'orj, but I haven't had the Cryptek frame for sometime." said Y'san, as his appearance began to shimmer and shift. As the tachyons that had kept his true appearance out of phase melted away, a fearsome Overlord's frame appeared, shimmering with unleashed chronometric power. 

    The Phaeron made an attempt to reach for his warscythe, but found that the metallic hand simply phased through the handle. "I have shifted you one and a half phases out of sync with the material universe, H'orj. Soon, you'll end up in the Sun that Willow orbits, and only then will you rematerialise. By that time, it will be too late for you. The Dynasty of G'uang has ended, and my Dynasty of Y's has just begun."

    As the Phaeron gradually faded away, now-Phaeron Y'san heard a chuckle in his mind. It was rare that the Transcendent C'tan thought-spoke to him directly, and he turned to face it. "Not bad little creature, not bad. I may just have found some respect for you..."

    "This isn't over. These Tyranids are apparently plaguing other Dynasties, and I would be interested to see whether we can turn these weapon beasts into weapons that serve us. Come. The Guardians of the Magnovitrium have called for help."

    With a blur of time enhanced speed, the entire Necron force disappeared from the battlefield.

    Next stop: The Exterminatus Campaign!

    What the board looked like at the end, look below for the bonus challenge!!

    Bonus Challenge: Dimachaeron vs T-C'tan!
    Dimachaeron inflicted 4 wounds on the T-C'tan on the charge, but got killed in the second round. Basically, C'tan OP.

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