Saturday, 31 January 2009

Battle Report: Saim-Hann Vs. Tyranids - 1500pts

Saim-Hann Vs. Tyranids - 1500pts
Capture & Control - Pitched Battle

Well I'm back with my final battle report for now. There will hopefully be more at some point, but my dissertation is now really demanding some attention - so I can't guarantee any full reports in the near future.

This was another game against Alex and his multi-coloured Tyranid horde. However, to add a bit of spice I will be using my Saim-Hann Eldar. I've not played with this army since 4th Ed., but I wanted to prove I still love them! I've had to proxy some of the models (using Falcons as Wave Serpents) so I apologise for the un-painted models!

Army List

I was using an Eldar list based Dire Avengers and Wave Serpent - mainly because I think these are the most efficient Eldar units by far. Of course I still had my Jetbikes and Vypers for some of that Saim-Hann flavour! Alex on the other hand seemed to be trying to get as many models on the table as he could, and he out numbered me almost 2 to 1.


We rolled for mission and got Capture & Control with Pitched Battle deployment. Alex won the roll off and chose to deploy and go first. He spread his horde across the table, with most of the heavier stuff (Carnifex, walking Tyrant) on the left side.

For my deployment, I did my best to hug cover, concealing my Jetbikes behind the large ruin and doing my best to hide the Serpents. I planned to move over to the right* as soon as I could, to destroy the weaker flank of his army. After that I could hopefully destroy his force piecemeal and then zoom for the objectives near the end of the game.
*When I say left and right I am referring to the maps.

When it came to starting I decided to try to steal the initiative (being the impulsive fellow that I am) and typically rolled a 6. After due consideration I realised this was a bit foolish - I was hunkered down in good cover and could have forced Alex to move out into the open first. But, once the dice was rolled I was committed. I haven't played Saim-Hann since 4th Ed. at it appeared to be showing!

Turn 1

So I began as I'd planned, moving towards the right of the board to attack Alex's weakest side. The Farseer began by casting Fortune on his own bike squad, as he would for the entire game. They then Turbo-boosted, doing their best to make use of cover. The Serpents and Vypers moved rightwards and down the flank. Shooting could have been better - I managed to gun down a Zanthrope on the left (as I was rather afraid of their Warp Blasts!).

In response to my move to right, the majority of Alex's horde moved left - he seemed to be rightly focused on the objectives. His winged Tyrant soared to the central building and proceeded to gun down three Jetbikers (despite their 3+ save with re-rolls!). His other shooting as ineffective.

Saim-Hann: 1 Objective Tyranids: 1 Objective

Turn 2

As I was unwilling to go up against the bulk of Alex's force I spent my turn moving further down the flank, hoping to see an opening to strike. My main concern was the Flyrant, who might be in charge range of my Jetbikers (something I did not want to happen). To this end the Farseer cast Doom on the abomination. With this aid it took all my Serpents and the bike's Shuriken Cannons to down the beast - much to Alex's annoyance. The two Vypers shot last, and managed to gun down 6 Gaunts directly in front of them.

Seemingly realising that his 'nids on the left would perish if they stayed put, Alex ran them towards the bulk of his force, using the Gaunts as a screen. The rest of the horde continued on its path, rounding the right side of the central building, advancing ominously on my objective. The Fortuned bikes this time survived the majority of Alex's shooting, loosing one of their number to the Carnifex. The retreating Warriors on the left also managed to down a Vyper.

Saim-Hann: 0 Objectives Tyranids: 1 Objective

Turn 3

With time pressing on I figured that I had to start really making a dent into Alex's tyranids. If I didn't start whittling down numbers now I would be simply overwhelmed in the later stages of the game. The plan was to kill all the 'nids on the left flank, with the Dire Avengers supported by Jetbikes and Serpents. The key was to make sure that nothing survived to charge me - allowing the Avengers to hop back into their transports next turn, ready to rinse and repeat. To that end most of the army moved down the table, with the Serpents unloading their Avengers right in front the of their targets.

The exception to this was the Wave Serpent with the Fire Dragons, that retreated back to my deployment zone in order to start weakening the Carnifex. If the plan went well I would be able to double back with the rest of the army and secure my objective while sacrificing one Serpent and Avenger Squad to contest the 'nid objective.

Well, it almost worked! Though it took the combined fire power of all the Avengers, two Serpents, the Vyper and the bikers I managed to destroy Alex's entire left flank - bar one irritating Warrior on 1 wound! Curses! Still, as long as the rest of the army was mobile I figured I could cope with one Avenger squad tied up for a turn.

Unfortunately for me it seemed that I has miscalculated dramatically. I made the crucial mistake of not assault moving my Jetbikers back, something I always forget when I've not used the host in a while. Because of this Alex's Ravaners, whose effective charge range always astounds me, were able to reach my Jetbikers & Farseer. To add insult to this injury a Spinegaunt Brood was just in charge range of the Dire Avenger squad that couldn't be charged by the remaining Tyranid Warrior. Hmmm, this was not how is was supposed to go!

Tyranid shooting produced no casualties (which was probably just as well). Combat was also not a disaster. The Raveners killed a biker but suffered wound for their trouble. The Spinegaunts also killed 1 of their opponents but also received a casualty in return. The enraged Warrior attempted to avenge the loss of his brood but was promptly cut down by the Exarch before he could strike. But, despite the fact his charges were far from brutal, Alex's units has successfully tied down my Army, some thing a Saim-Hann player does not want!

Saim-Hann: 0 Objectives Tyranids: 1 Objective

Turn 4

With the game possibly nearing its final stage I needed a plan to get myself out of the mess I found myself in. To this end the Dire Avengers not in combat hoped back in their Wave Serpent and zoomed towards the 'nid objective in order to apply some pressure there. The other Avenger Serpent left its squad fending off Spinegaunts in order to get back to my deployment zone and bolster my defenses.

Shooting was okay, with the Vyper killing 2 Warriors in the central building (shuriken cannons & Warriors do not mix well!) while the two Serpents in my deployment zone caused three wounds on the carnifex. I can't recommend Starcannons and Bright Lances enough! Combat was a mixed bag - the Jetbikes lost one and were unable to damage the Ravaners (despite two singing spears), but the Avengers killed 7 Spinegaunts for no loss. 3 of these kills was due to the fearless rules, god that hurts 'nids!

During his turn Alex launched his forces at my objective - the two Gaunt squads taking it for the Great Devourer, supported by the Carnifex. The parts of his force lagging behind turned, to discourage the Wave Serpent at the bottom of the board from coming any closer. To stress this point the Tyrant blew the Starcannons from atop the skimmer.

In combat Alex was absolutely gutted to find his Carnifex was just 0.2'' out of charge range to my bikes (we cut a range ruler to 6'' just to be sure)! In the other combats the Ravaners continued on their theme, killing 1 more biker. The Avengers managed to finish off the Spineguants and were able to consolidate back towards my deployment zone (perhaps they just ignored the Carnifex in their way!?).

Saim-Hann: 0 Objectives Tyranids: 2 Objectives

Turn 5

If I was going to save the game it was now or never. My plan was fairly simple. I hoped to use the Avenger/Serpent on its own to gun down the entire Gaunt Brood on Alex's objective. Regardless of weather my guys survived the reprisals, if they could wipe out the Gaunts Alex had no other scoring units in the area and wouldn't be able to claim his own objective. At the top end of the board I knew I had to down the Carnifex - if it made a charge I was pretty much done for. I had to hope that I could kill it and have enough firepower to wipe out the Gaunts on my objective, or at least contest with the as yet unused Fire Dragons. I was working for a turn 5 draw or hopefully a turn 6 win.

So, the plan began. The lone Serpent ignored its damage and dropped off its cargo within shooting distance of the Gaunt Brood holding their objective. In my deployment zone my units got themselves into better firing positions. So shooting began. After shooting the Vyper and the two Serpents the Carnifex was still annoyingly standing. This meant that I had to use my Dragons to finish it off which was frustrating as I hoped to use them to shoot and charge one of the Gaunt Broods.

On to the Dire Avengers... With the intervening Carnifex finally down the first squad of Dire Avengers ignored the Warrior on their left and unleashed a Bladestorm into one of the Gaunt Broods, killing it outright. Hoping to do the same thing, the Avengers on Alex's side of the board readied their catapults. However my luck didn't hold and after the Shuriken had flown there were still 3 annoying Gaunts remaining - fearless due to the proximity of their Tyrant. With one objective contested (by Fire Dragons) and one held by the Tyranids I had to hope there would be a turn 6.

Alex used his turn to try and secure the objectives he had. His Tyrant moved to cover the three remaining Gaunts on his objective (role reversal anyone?), while his central mob of Warriors and the Zanthrope reversed course again.

In the shooting phase the 'thrope shot off the Bright Lance from the Fire Dragon Serpent and the Tyrant shot 4 of the Avengers facing it. The real star however was the lone Warrior that had moved out of the central building. Leveling his Barbed Strangler at the Avengers in front of him, he managed to miss them completely and scatter into the densely packed Gaunts and Fire Dragons, killing 4 from each squad! Not what I wanted!

In combat the same Warrior charged the Avenger squad, hoping he might have better luck with his claws. He was naturally killed by the Exarch before he lifted a talon. The remaining Spinegaunts charged into the now severely depleted Fire Dragons and managed to kill 1 for no loss, leaving the Exarch bravely contesting the objective alone. In the prolonged Jetbike combat, a Ravaner was finally brought down, although the Jetbikers suffered another loss.

With Alex's turn over I went to roll the dice for random game length. Knowing he would win if the game ended Alex jokingly said 'anything but a 1'. As I threw the dice into the air I responded with 'No, I bet I get a 2!'.

Well. Its a funny old world isn't it...

I now hate the number 2.

Game Ends Turn 5
Saim-Hann: 0 Objectives Tyranids: 1 Objective

Tyranid Victory

Well, another close game with Alex. We have been playing together for ten years now so we are getting fairly clued up on each others tricks (though I still lead on the overall game tally!). This leads to very hard fought games were every decision and mistake really counts. In this case I think my failure to assault the move the Jetbikes out of combat range on turn 3 really cost me. If I'd have those Shuriken Cannons to add into the mix I think I probably could have mounted an effective counter attack.

With my Eldar list it all comes down to when you strike - I think I chose the right time, but just executed it badly! And of course Alex played a great game as usual.

I hope all enjoyed the report. In other news, I have converted and assembled Belial and I am about half way through the painting. Look for updates next week!


Juahn F'rann said...

Great report. Definitely, your "maps" add a lot to your narrative; I'm tempted to ask you for a step-by-step on how to do them...

By the way, as a 'nid and eldar player, I'm partly upset with the outcome of the battle. I'd have preferred a draw ;)

jabberjabber said...

Another excellent report! Those army lists and maps are totally awesome.

Sidestreaker said...

wow, those charts are awesome! nice one there!

My first game on the 5th ed was against my buddy's nids as well and it was a narrow escape in my case too.

Admiral Drax said...

Fantastic! Well done and thanks for so thorough a battle report!

- Drax

suneokun said...

Nice report. I'm really impressed with the fight... how come neither of you took used deep striking? The raveners could have been harrassing earlier and Warp Spiders are awesome against tyranids...

A worthy win for the nid's, but you both played well.

Great Vassal work - I find powerpoint easier myself, vassal a little fiddly... or maybe I'm just doing it wrong.

sovietspace said...

Cheers for the comments Sunekon. I cant really speak for Alex and his 'nids but I didn't use Spiders because I haven't got any!

But, looking over their entry, they do look pretty sweet against 'nids, I'll be looking into them. Cheers!


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