Monday, December 8, 2008

DAEMONHUNTERS versus Tyranids

Game: Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition
Opponent: ?
Mission: Ambush
1st turn: Daemonhunters
Points: 1000

  • Inquisitor Lord Severus Master-crafted Daemonhammer, Bolt pistol, Holocaust, Icon of the Just, Consecrated Scrolls, 2xAcolytes, Power Armour, Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1xAcolyte with power weapon and las pistol, Combat Servitor, Rhino with Smoke Launchers
  • Inquisitor Kurven, Psycannon, Power Armour, Gun Servitor, Plasma Cannon, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Targeter, 2 x Imperial Guard Veteran, Plasma Gun, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Targeter, 2 x Sage, Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol, Mystic, Close Combat Weapon, Laspistol
  • Callidus Assassin
  • 2 Daemonhosts
  • Squad Matoso 10 Stormtroopers, 2xFlamers, Veteran Sergeant with Bolt Pistol, Power Weapon and Krak Grenades, Rhino, Smoke launchers and Extra Armour
  • Squad Godirtho, 9 Storm troopers, 2 plasma guns

  • Winged Hive Tyrant (2+ save) with Warp Blast
  • Carnifex (2+ save) with Venom Cannon
  • 2x3 Winged Warriors (4+ save) with Scything Talons and Rending Claws
  • 3x6 Genestealers
  • 10 Gargoyles

This Tyranid army has a fearsome reputation at our store and I'd been wanting to square up to it for a while. The combination of wings on virtually everything plus our small 4x4 foot boards meant they had swept pretty much every army before them. Still, it is a relatively small, elite army and I felt they were tough, but not unbeatable.

Terrain and deployment
We used the mission generator from Chapter Approved and came up with an ambush. I won the dice off and chose to be the attacker. Due to the small table we had to modify the distances and this meant the Tyranids were only 30" from their target board edge rather than the recommended 36". Gulp. I quickly worked out that two movement phases and an assault followed by a sweeping advance would put all of the winged gribblies off the board edge and win the game for the 'Nids.

To counter this I set my two rhino mounted squads on the flanks, one to each side. I knew from the last ambush mission I played that I would be within assault range on turn 1 with both these units and I wanted to assault the Tyranids at the rear of their column, forcing them to pull troops backwards to deal with them. Inquisitor Kurven set up facing the advancing 'Nids. Squad Godirtho screened them, and they in turn, were behind a wall. I placed markers for the Daemonhosts an the Assassin fairly centrally and they didn't deploy them, aiming to get some booby traps or a minefield. I got two and went for the booby traps to threaten the Tyranid big guys.

The game
I went first as the ambusher and surprised everyone watching, including the 'Nid commander, by steaming right in with my rhino-borne units. Squad Matoso flamed the gargoyles and then riddled the survivors with hellgun fire. Scratch one Tyranid squad.

The storm troopers then assaulted a Genestealer unit! Onlookers were shaking their heads in disbelief at this stage, but I had a plan.

Inquisitor Severus assaulted a squad of Warriors. In a flurry of good rolls the 'Nids killed his entire retinue, but Severus got his own licks in and killed two of them with his master-crafted Daemonhammer. Then I whipped out the Holocaust template (twice because of the consecrated scrolls) and fried three Genestealers, the remaining warrior and a warrior from the second squad. Now the ten storm troopers of squad Matoso were only taking on 3 'stealers and although I lost 3 stormtroopers I wiped out the beasts. Both squads then swept into the last warrior unit. Meanwhile, at the front of the column I poured all my fire into the Carnifex and took it down to 1 wound. I passed the tape measure over to my shell-shocked opponent for his first turn.

He pulled his Carnifex to my right, getting behind the cover of a ruined building. It's venom cannon took out a straggling storm trooper on the end of squad Godirtho but it would be shielded from most return fire. His two remaining squads of Genestealers ran forward toward his target board edge. The Hive Tyrant ran backwards to deal with Severus and the storm troopers.
Between the Warriors and the Hive Tyrant, four storm troopers and Severus went down, at the cost of a single warrior. The plucky survivors of squad Matoso vowed to carry on fighting and held the warriors in place while the Tyrant swept back towards the front of the column.

Both the Daemonhosts and the Callidus assassin failed to arrive from deep strike so my turn was short. Kurven and squad Godirtho turned their attentions (and guns) on the advancing 'Stealers. The lead squad evaporated under heavy fire from Kurven and retinue (the plasma cannon accounted for 4 'Stealers itself), and then the storm troopers killed 3 more Genestealers from the squad behind. Squad Matoso were finally killed by the Warriors and they swept far to my left, no doubt looking to advance down the flank, well away from Inquisitor Kurven and my small firebase.

The Tyranids needed a big turn to pull themselves back into the game. The Carnifex and remaining 'Stealers advanced upon Kurven and co, as did the Hive Tyrant. The Warriors began to move up my left flank, well away from the action. Using Warp Blast, followed by an assault, the Hive Tyrant killed squad Godirtho to a man. I wasn't to concerned though, as it left the monstrous creature in rapid fire range of Inquisitor Kurven's retinue.

The Daemonhosts and assassin now arrived and it was the final nail in the coffin for the 'Nids. One Daemonhost appeared near the Warrior unit on the flank and the second landed near 3 'Stealers and the Carnifex. The Callidus Assassin sprang up at the end of the line of 3 Genestealers ready to use her neural shredder. Conveniently the Carnifex was also in the template's path and although I failed to hurt any of the 'Stealers I rolled a six for the 'Fex and removed it's last wound. Hurrah!

One monster down, one to go. The Hive Tyrant was riddled with fire by Kurven's retinue, being hit with the plasma cannon and two rapid firing plasma guns. Every single plasma weapon hit and wounded and the Tyrant failed every single cover save. The beast toppled over and my opponent conceded.

Result: Win

Learning points
  • What a brutal game! I surprised everyone, including my opponent, by steaming straight into the Tyranids. Although everyone who did so was killed in short order, they managed to kill 10 gargoyles, 6 Genestealers and 4 Warriors and forced the Hive Tyrant to run backwards to deal with the threat. With such a small, elite Tyranid force he just couldn't recover.
  • I didn't build my army to take on this opponent but it was ideally equipped to do so. I had the two flamers in a rhino which murdered the larger squad, and then 14 hell guns to take on regular units. With 5 plasma weapons, and the assassin's Neural Shredder and C'tan Phase Sword, I also had plenty of ap 2/1 weapons to threaten the Tyrant and Carnifex. Being able to assault on turn 1 and then the 'Nids having to advance into the teeth of my guns suited me perfectly.
  • Looks like I picked the right week to revert to a pure Daemonhunters army, with no inducted Guard!

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