Thursday, 8 January 2009

Battle Report 23-12-08: Dark Angels Vs. Tyranids - 1500pts

Well, after a positive reaction to my first Vogen Battle Report, I've written up the second. Hopefully this one will be a little shorter!

Vogen '09 Campaign - Battle Report 2
Dark Angels vs. Tyranids - 1500pts
The Gauntlet

My second game of the Vogen Campaign took place on turn 7 and was for control of both the North End of Snipers Alley and Angel Square. We rolled off to see if we would play a normal 
mission (as per Angel Square) or the Gauntlet Mission (as per Snipers Alley) and got The Gauntlet. 

My opponent was Alex, my oldest 40K mate, playing his trusty Tyranids (which appear in various states of disrepair). His army is far from WYSIWYG, but he is a good player so we let him off in the interests of a better game!


Its worth saying a few words about The Gauntlet mission as its not one everyone will be familiar with. We are using an adapted version from the old Cityfight expansion. 

In essence the attacker must try to get more than half his units off the board and the defender must stop him. Damaged units/vehicles do count towards this tally. 

The defender must split up his forces into two halves. One of these halves is randomly picked and deployed anywhere more than 12'' from a table edge. After this players roll off and winner gets to place an 'entry point' for the attacker and the looser gets to place an 'exit point'. 

The attacker goes first and must move his forces onto the board, entering within 6'' of the entry point. His units can exit within 6'' of the exit point. 

The attackers reserves (if he has any) come on from his entry point and the defenders reserves enter on a randomly determined table edge.

I believe that is it...

Army Lists

(Click on image for a larger version)

Because of my limited Dark Angels models I went with my standard 1500pts List, which I knew would probably struggle with some of those larger 'nids. 

Alex tailored his list to the mission (as my campaign rules allow), and took a large number of fast 'nids, including a winged Tyrant, winged Warriors & winged Rippers. These were backed up by large Homogaunt broods, a walking Tyrant and a Lictor. 

He would need to get 4 units off the board to win. 

Deployment & Turn 1

I split my army into two halves, and got to use the one with Belial, his squad, the Land Raider and elements of the Ravenwing. I deployed them loosely across the board, as they would be able to get to where they were needed fast. 

I lost the roll off for placing the entry point, which I preferred as I was able to plonk the exit point where I wanted (they are represented by the green markers on the map).

In the first turn Alex brought all his units bar the Lictor, and struggled to find space for them all. In his shooting face the majority of units ran, with the Hive Tyrant loosing off a Warp Blast at Land Raider to no effect. 

In my turn I reordered my forces, moving the Land Raider & Speeder away from the oncoming horde, and moving the bikers in to support them. The Land Raider was able to cause a wound on the Flyrant, but it was clear all I could do was hold and await reinforcements. 

Tyranid Units Successfully Exited: 0

Turn 2

Before continuing his rapid advance Alex managed to call up his Lictor from reserves. Cunningly he deployed in a piece of terrain within spitting distance of his exit point and promptly ran it off the board in his shooting phase.

The rest of the swarm moved forward, the Warriors flying and running to make good use of cover. Again the only unit not to run was the Flyrant who fired off his warp blast at the Land Raider and was this time was successful in blowing it sky high (that damned tank is yet to do me any good!). Thankfully Belial and his terminators escaped unharmed. 

In my second turn I managed to get everything but my second Deathwing squad onto the table, 
and made some great rolls for their random entry points. The Tac. Marines and Attack 
Bike appeared in the Tyranids rear, and moved to apply some pressure. Belial, eager to avenge the loss of his Land Raider's Machine Spirit advanced into the maw of the horde. 

In my shooting phase the Land Speeder & Attack Bike both took a wound off the Flyrant, leaving it on 1 wound. The Tac. Marines managed to kill 10 Hormagaunts. 

In combat Belial and his squad proved fearsome as always. Unable to charge the Flyrant due to intervening models, they instead performed a split charge on the Hormagaunts and Flying Rippers. They caused 13 wounds for no loss, wiping out the Rippers and damaging the Gaunts. Of course in addition to this the Gaunts were fearless, and thus has to take a further 13 saves on the one brood, crippling it (Does any body else think that the Fearless rule needs a clear up??! It works fine for me but its murder for 'nids!).

Tyranid Units Successfully Exited: 1

Turn 3

In turn 3, as throughout the game, Alex kept his eyes on the mission and avoided direct combat.His winged warriors soared over terrain, ready to run off the board, while both Tyrants swung
round the engaged Deathwing toward the exit point. The unengaged Hormagaunt brood found itself out of synapse range and fled towards the Hive Tyrants - a fact that played into Alex's hands.  In the shooting phase the warriors ran off the board, with the Tyrants in close pursuit. Finally in the combat phase Belial unsurprisingly finished off the gaunts. 

In my turn I rolled for my remaining Deathwing squad, needing them to help slow down the Tyrants, but unfortunately they didn't seem to know that there was a war on and stayed on the Battle Barge. I moved my forces as best I could, swinging the Ravenwing bikers round to get clear shots and reversing the Land Speeder so it formed a mini blockade around the exit point. 

My main mistake of this game was with Belial and his unit. Although I was clearly in range to get 
a charge on the walking tyrant I briefly considered attempting to advance through terrain to get to the last Gaunt brood. While doing this I absent mindedly rolled a difficult terrain test, forgetting I would have to abide by the result either way. The 3'' that I rolled left effectively left my close combat monsters out of the game for a turn. Damn!!

My shooting was equally disappointing, 2 Multi-Melta & 2 Meltaguns completely failing to take the last wound off the Flyrant. In desperation, and seeking to stop it flying off the board next turn, I charged the Flyrant with my bikers. Unsurprisingly they failed to wound it and suffered three casualties for their trouble. But they passed their morale check and had hopefully bought enough time for my second Deathwing squad to arrive and have an impact. 

Tyranid Units Successfully Exited: 2

Turn 4

At this stage in the game Alex needed to get two more units off the board to win, and had three left to play with. His fist priority was naturally to dislodge his Flyrant from combat. To this
end he moved the walking Tyrant up to support, and to take advantage of the extra movement afforded from charging. The remaining gaunts made some terrible difficult terrain rolls, and crawled towards the board edge. The combat phase was short lived as the brave Ravenwing were cruelly ripped apart by the combined force of the two monsters. (Please excuse the fact that the second Tyrant lacks a body!)

I started my turn feeling pretty confident. All I had to do was use my remaining Multi-Meltas to down the Flyrant and then gun down the Gaunts to secure a win. Well, things did not go to plan...

Firstly my second Deathwing squad refused to finish their nap as I rolled a 1 on my reserve dice. To add to this Belial yet again scored low on his difficult terrain test, as he and his squad attempted to leave the ruin they had entangled themselves in. The shooting phase also offered no relief as both Multi-Meltas failed to hit the Flyrant! 

After this dram tic set of failures it seemed that the Hive would take the day...

Tyranid Units Successfully Exited: 2

Turn 5 & 6

The first move of Alex's turn was to fly his Flyrant off the board, leaving him one unit shy of victory. However, neither the remaining Tyrant or Gaunts appeared to have the movement to make it off the board. Both ended up charging the Land Speeder guarding the exit. Despite the fact that all the Tyrants attacks failed to hit (contrary to what my maps say, the Speeder had moved at cruising speed the turn before), it still retained all its wounds and just had to survive a turn of shooting to exit the board. 

My turn...

After what seemed like an age, the second Deathwing squad finally turned up. They deepstruck as close as possible to the action, using the Attack Bike's teleport homer. My forces formed a ring around the surviving Tyranids. None would be able to make a charge, so it would be down to shooting!

There was a glimmer of hope when the Tac. Marines managed to wipe out the Gaunt brood with rapid fire. However the combined fire of both Terminator squads, Attack Bike & Landspeeder only managed to take 3 wounds off the Tyrants, leaving it with 1 wound left. I simply didn't have enough heavy weapons to bring to bear, and Alex was able to move the Tyrant off at the start of his 6th turn, resulting in:

Tyranid Units Successfully Exited: 4

Tyranid Victory 

Well, an interesting mission leading to a tense game. Alex commented that it was interesting playing a game where he didn't really want to engage the enemy. His tailored list did help him but he also played a great game, keeping his eyes on the mission and resisting the urge to charge in and rip some marines apart.

This loss really hurt me in campaign terms as I lost two territories and am now pretty much boxed in. It left Alex in a very strong position, within striking distance of taking the lead. Hopefully I can redeem myself at a later date!

Hope you enjoyed the read, I'm really enjoying adding some actual battle reports to the blog. That said, I am finally back to painting after the crimbo break - so hopefully so more updates on that soon.

Comments more than welcome!


John said...

Two questions: how do you feel you would have fared in a more normal mission scenario against the Nids?

And what are you using to generate those nifty army list pictures of late?

eriochrome said...

Would he have to use the same list for the other possible mission? Is he forced to use the same list later? You were up a creek in that game with the tailored list. He only had 2 units that were not fast movers and many could also fly over enemies.

Consider a mech eldar list. I give 2 waveserpents/falcons with passengers star engines and fast skimmer them anywhere on the board by turn 2.

I think the 4th edition full rulebook had a mission like this but I think you had to go from short edge to short edge and the defenders deployment zone was right in the center.

Juahn F'rann said...

Great post, I've enjoyed a lot this battle report. As a 'nid player, I have to say the the "fearless" rule is now lethal for gaunts; and in my opinion you were really unlucky during the battle with one unit of terminators being delayed for so long, and destroying a Land Raider with a BS3 walking tyrant with warp blast is something that happens in one out of ten games. I wish you luck for the next games! (BTW, how do you create those army lists? They are really cool!)

jabberjabber said...

Thanks for sharing the battle report - its always interesting to see what happens when a more elite army take on a horde army.

sovietspace said...

Hey guys, thanks for all your comments, they are really appreciated. I always look forward to hearing what the blogesphere has to say!

To answer specific questions...

John & Juahn: The lists are made by taking the Vassal units (that I use to make the maps)to photoshop and overlaying text on top of them. Nice and simple, and easy to do at home!

John: 'How do you feel you would have fared in a more normal mission scenario against the Nids?' - Interestingly enough although Alex really really hates (and fears) my Dark Angels, the only standard game we have yet played ended up in a very hard fought draw.

My list is hard yes - but this is a game where a good enough general should be able to shine through. We have a rematch soon that I should be making into a battle report so watch for that!

eriochrome: Amusing though it would be, he is not confined to that list for the rest of the campaign. The campaign rules I wrote allow you to make a new list each battle (because we have random game sizes). This is after you know who your attacking/being attacked by and normally before you know what mission you are playing. The exception is certain territories which prescribe a set mission, which you would obviously know in advance. This is why Alex could stuff his army with flyers.

You are right though, my lack of model options did hurt me - I need to get painting faster!!

Any further comments are greatly welcomed :)


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