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Greater Good vs. Great Devourer
Good day (unless you are reading this at night). I just finished my latest battle report and thought you might enjoy it. Please let me know what you think.
Oh, and by the way, the italicized text is the fluffy story, so skip it if you want just the strait up report.
In some dark corner of Shas’el Ta’kree’s mind he knew that it was a bad dream. He had heard that humans and other aliens had twisted and hideous nightmares while traveling through Warp Space. Ta’kree would have said they were the luck ones, all that the Tau dreamed about while in the warp were their own bad memories.
All this didn’t help the commander as he again turned over in his bunk; the vision coming in clear as if here experiencing it afresh.
He had been a Shas’la fighting with the Firewarrior Defense Force on the planet Kal’aval. The Tyranids had landed in force and the Fire caste was fighting a desperate battle against the extra-galactic menace to allow for the evacuation of the civilian populations. He, his team, and several others had been under the command of Shas’el Hoo’kan had been tasked with holding a communications relay.
Shas’el Commander with PR, FB, TA, HWMT, HWDC, and 2 gun drones
Shas’ui Crisis Suite team leader with TLMP, TA, HWDC, and 2 gun drones
Shas’ui Firewarrior with BK
11 Shas’la Firewarriors
Devilfish APC with DP
12 Kroot Carnivors
Shas’la Ta’kree and his squad had been inside the Devilfish when a large mound of earth suddenly began to push its way up. From the top of the newly created hill Tyranids began to pour fourth.
4 Tyrand Warriors with Deathspitters and Slashing Claws?
3 Biovores (equipment unknown)
20 Gaunts with Fleshborers
30 Gaunts with Spinefists
Setup: The board was a 4x6’ setup with a forest in the middle of my deployment zone, with another wooded area to my left about 10” from the board edge. Just behind that there was a hill that extended into his deployment zone. To the far right there was another hill. We rolled the ‘Capture and Control’ mission with ‘Pitched Battle’ setup. I won the roll off and elected to go second.
He setup his marker on the apex of the hill with his fleshborer gaunts surrounding it. He then placed his spinefisted gaunts between the hill and the board edge. His warriors went in behind them and finally his biovores were placed behind the hill.
I setup my marker in the wooded area and jammed as many kroot around it as could fit. I then placed both battlesuit squads (battlesuit and gun drones) at the mouth of the little passage created by the forest and board edge. My Devilfish went in on the other side of the little copse to make a rush at his objective.
My plan was to use the suits to wear down the advancing guants and use the Devilfish to rush the other gaunts on the hill. Hopefully I could bring enough fire to bear on them to contest the objective and force him to divide his attention between attack and defense.
I attempted to seize the initiative and failed. This would prove to cost me big time.
Over the communications network, Shas’la overheard the commander coolly giving orders to engage. His squad leader has just confirmed the order when the Devilfish shook around them. There was the screech of torn metal and the Devilfish began to settle to the ground.
“Artillery fire,” one of the crew called out, “the port engine is disabled.”
The Shas’ui turned to the rest of the squad, “Everybody out!”
“Sir,” one of the men called back, “The hatch is jammed!”
Ta’kree swore and began helping the other Shas’la to open the hatch. Meanwhile he heard over the communication network that a wave of Tyranids was moving towards the communication relay.
Tyranid Turn 1: He moved his spinegaunts forward closely followed by his warriors. His fleshborers were set to ‘Lurk’ mode and kept around the objective. Shooting saw three biovore hits on my Devilfish, leaving its crew shaken and the engines disabled. Immediately my plans were thrown out the proverbial window. I lucked out and his spinegaunts are only able to run 2” more, putting them well outside assault range of my suits.
Tau Turn 1: My suits advanced up the corridor, intent on bringing fire down on the Tyranids. Much to my chagrin I forgot to disembark my troops off the Devilfish. Shooting went a little better with three spinegaunts going down to plasma/fusion/pulse carbine fire (stupid Fearless gaunts didn’t need to test for pinning). My missile pods managed to put a wound on one warrior. Assault phase saw the battlesuits jumping out of there.
The Devilfish continued to shake with continued spore mine impacts. With one final heave Ta’kree opened the hatchway and leapt out of the grounded APC. The rest of the squad followed him. He glanced over his shoulder as the two gun drones detached themselves from their mounts and began to rise. Listening to his comm, Ta’kree could tell that the battle was not going well for the battlesuits.
Tyranid Turn 2: The spinegaunts advanced yet again, closely followed by the warriors. His biovores then lobbed some more mines at my Devilfish while his spinefists and warriors were able to run a further 6 inches. Thanks to JSJ, my guys were safely out of reach of his weaponry, however they were getting closer than I would have liked.
Tau Turn 2: I finally remembered to disembark the firewarriors and gun drones from the devilfish. Meanwhile my battlesuits made another foray against the Tyranid host, resulting in the destruction of five more of the little spiny devils (7 down, 23 left to go). They were then able to bounce outside spinefist range once more.
Suddenly there was the low whistle of artillery. “Take cover!” the Shas’ui shouted as the spore mines began to land around them. Ta’kree heard the popping of the Tyranid bio-weapons and the screams of the caught in the acidic blasts. Over the communications network, the Firewarrior heard Commander Hoo’kan swear as his battlesuit came under fire.
“Make for the forest!” the Shas’ui called out. At once the remaining Firewarriors began to move out. Then Ta’kree heard a new sound, the distinctive crack-hiss of kroot weaponry.
Tyranid Turn 3: Things were starting to turn nasty here. He advanced both his spinegaunts and warriors further up the corridor. By now they were about to my end of the forest terrain. He ran his spinegaunts a further 4 inches while keeping them in Synapse range of the warriors. Meanwhile his warriors finally began to return fire. Four deathspitters open up on my commander; three drift off target while the fourth one killed the gun drone escorts, leaving my commander unscathed. My firewarriors weren’t as lucky as biovore artillery hits and kills 7 of my 12 guys.
Tau Turn 3: Once more I jumped the battlesuited Tau within 12” of the spinegaunts. Meanwhile, my firewarriors passed their moral check and make a mad dash towards the same forest cover that my kroot were using. At the same time, my gun drones began to circle around the forest to try and create a pocket of death for the spinegaunts and warriors. With the spinegaunts on the kroot’s 24” mark, they opened up with everything they had. Eight of the spinegaunts went down to a combination of accurate kroot riflemanship and Tau plasma (15 out of 30: half way there).
A distant explosion coupled with an abbreviated yell told Ta’kree that one of the battlesuits had been destroyed. However he was more focused on the artillery barrage that kept killing his squadmates. As he stumbled into the woods, he looked around and noticed that aside from him and the Shas’ui, the rest of the squad had perished. Shaken, he turned to look at his superior, “sir, they’re all…”
“Later,” the Sas’ui grunted as he leveled his pulse rifle at a wave of oncoming Tyranid. Following the example, Ta’kree raised his own weapon.
Tyranid Turn 4: Things begin to go from bad to worse. His spinegaunts hopped six inches forward, closely followed by his warriors. The deathspitters opened up again, this time annihilating my Shas’ui suit squad (I mean three hits on the scatter dice, come ON seriously?). The spinegaunts also opened up with their weapons, killing two kroot. Meanwhile the biovores continued to bombard my Firewarriors, killing three more.
Tau Turn 4: This was my big chance to turn the battle around. His advancing spinegaunts are within 6’ of my kroot, well within rapid fire distance. My remaining two firewarriors passed their moral check again and hop into cover beside the kroot. Meanwhile, the gun drones zipped in to form the pocket around the Tyranids. Shooting would have been a sight to behold if I had hit anything. Instead the Firewarriors missed horribly, the commander hit and killed one of the warriors. Meanwhile the frisbees and kroot combined took down seven spinegaunts, leaving eight of the buggers standing. Desperate, I had the gun drones assault into the gaunts (the look of shock on his face was most gratifying). In the ensuing melee my gun drones took down one more spinegaunt as they were ripper into scrap.
Firing into the seemingly unstoppable Tyranid swarm, Ta’kree felt a wave of anger was over him. These beasts had killed many good friends today. For that they would pay. There came a burst as another spore pod detonated close by and the Firewarrior hear a grunt of pain from his Shas’ui. He spared a glance to see that the other was lying on the ground with his armor half melted. Looking back, he saw commander Hoo’kan through the trees as he fired into the flanks of the Tyranid swarm, downing several. Then the Tyranids reached the woods and began to fight with the kroot that seemed to materialize out of thin air.
As the gaunts tore their way through the kroot and began to rush the relay there was a burst of fire from behind Ta’kree as the burst cannon on the Devilfish spoke. Several of the beasts fell, but still more came.
Tyranid Turn 5: At this point I was in trouble (although not as much as I’ll be in by turns’ end). He began by advancing his warriors and spinegaunts towards my little forest. Opening up with deathspitters and spinefists he killed three more kroot. Cackling with the mad glee that I associated with being controlled by the Hive Mind (not really, but it is an evocative image), his spinegaunts and warriors advanced toward my remaining 7 kroot. In the ensuing melee he landed 8 wounds on my unarmored kroot before they could do anything (it was only later that I discovered that units assaulting into difficult terrain have their initiative scores dropped to 1). More biovore bombardment resulted in another Firewarrior biting it. He then consolidated to within spitting distance (model scale) of my objective.
Tau Turn 5: Another turn, another Firewarrior moral test passed. My commander hoped in and gunned down another warrior, leaving two of the beasts left standing, before retreating. Meanwhile my lone Firewarrior and the still-operating turret on my Devilfish opened up on the spinegaunts, laying waste to two of the rascals. By now there were only about 5 of the original 30. We rolled to see if the game was up, it wasn’t.
Overflowing with rage, Shas’la Ta’kree opened fire on the gaunts as they swarmed towards relay. The monsters hissed as they turned to return the fire. Ducking behind a tree, Ta’kree just barely avoided the fusillade. Over the command network he hears Commander Hoo’kan.
“All remaining units fall back to the rally point.”
Nearly choking on the bitterness he still felt, Ta’kree rolled over in bed again.
Tyranid Turn 6: He advanced his remaining spinegaunts towards my objective, oblivious to my lone Firewarrior. His last two warriors moved back towards his fleshborers to try and get them back into Synapse range. Shooting saw lots of misses and cover saves on the part of my Firewarrior. Meanwhile his biovores went after my devilfish yet again, earning a shaken result and a few spore mines scattered around the board.
Tau Turn 6: My commander jumped forward to land a fusion wound on one of his warriors before jumping out again. My last man standing opened up with his pulse rifle, taking down one last spinegaunt. I rolled a 2 on the die, ending the game then and there.
Conclusion: it was a sad day for the Greater Good. Although I managed to keep my commander alive (something I vowed to do after my last game) he was pretty much all that was still standing when the dust settled. I am getting a better handle on the JSJ strategy (I managed to keep my suits out of range of the spinefists while chipping away at them). However, I have learned that I need to put more thought into my initial troop placement.
bah, gosh darn lame tyranids! forgetting that your kroot get to strike first! i think that would have helped you a ton
PM me about Aurora Prime Vassal fights! Willing and ready!
since he only had 4 warriors, i think you could have tried to kill them (only focus on the warriors).. after that the tyranids are in big trouble, not able to advance as quick as normal due to instinctive behaviour...
nice and fun game though
oh btw, nice thing with putting the fuff in Italic style.. makes it reasy to read
Like with most small tyranid armies... If you kill the synapse creatures, then the rest will crumble. I think you could have put a little more effort into doing this with the stealthsuits, and devilfish! I think your initian deployment was pretty good. You are really good at putting what was happening in the game into words, it's really good!
I find it sad that a whole 500 point Tau army was overrun by 30 spinegaunts (about less than 1/3 of the whole tyranid force) when it took the gaunts 4 turns to get in assault range. A huge part of the Tyranid force was just sitting on the objective doing nothing.
What i dont get is how a 30-critter brood of spinegaunts can take four turns to get to a Tau gunline and still have enough guys to eat them alive.
They did have support with biovores (dont see to many of those) and the Nid' warriors but any Tau force should have been able to cream those gaunts in the first few turns of battle and then focus their fire on the warriors, biovores and termagaunts
The Tau lost because they did not execute their awesome firepower and the huge expanse of gaming board between themselves and the Nids
hehe i know what you mean.. i think the tau player really messed up... but on the other hand, armies arent balanced at all at 500 pts..
first of all, he had 50 gaunts, 20 terma that shoot his kroot.. about the rest
1. he forgot to disembark 1 turn, and...
2. "My firewarriors weren’t as lucky as biovore artillery hits and kills 7 of my 12 guys."
big fat chance they run away... if they didnt, the other 5 FW will hit 2.5 gaunts, killing only about 2...
Dont forget Tau (the "shooty" army) have horrible BS.. usually its only BS3...
this means that HALF his army will only hit.. he didnt kept his suits out of LOS from the warriors, which rolled 3x hit on blastmarker bye bye squad (lucky here)..
he did managed to k ill about 15 - 20 of the gaunts though before they reached him
Looking at a larget scale...
300 pts of spinegaunts = 60 gaunts.. with BS3 it takes 120 shots to hit them all .. prolly needs a 2+ or 3+ to wound (and kill), so you;d need about 150 shots to kill 60 gaunts (from a normal firewarrior)...
See how that works? if at turn 1 you are out of reach (cuz of movement), disembark at turn 2 , and you get in CC at turn 3 or 4, you only have 2 real rounds of fire... and thats the lovely thing about SWARMZZZZ!! (yes i love swarm niddies)
spinegaunts suck, but with many, they are hard to get rid off
ofc you are right.. the tau player did mess up, but even if he played well, i think the results wouldnt be that different..
alright there are fifty gaunts 30 spine and 20 termagaunts but the Nid player only advanced his 30 spine gaunts and left his Termagaunts to hold the objective.
The Tau forces were overrun by only one brood of originally 30 gaunts
sure there were a ton of gaunts but only about half of them supported by biovores and Nid Warriots were actually used to wipe out the Tau
It seems as if the Tyranid out shot the Tau
Wow, thanks for all the advice guys. In my defense this was only my second battle ever, mistakes are to be expected. On the other hand I'm really proud of how my kroot performed.
to the Tau player.. dont worry mate its a bit iffy, but when you get the hang of this game, its really fun After getting some experience, you get the battlefield feeling and only then you can start to think of tactics etc
but getting 2 "dakka"fexes, 7 pewpew warriors, 2 or 3 sniper fexes (you can trade 1 for 2 or 3 zoans) and you got quite the firesquad there... not to mention the tyrants (they can pump out 12 shots each, when full on the move)..
so, just for the fun of it:
2x tyrant = 24 shots
2x dakkafex = 16 shots
7 warriors = 6 small blast template, 1 big template
3 sniperfex = 3 big templates, 6 S10 shots
(or 1 fex less, and get 2 - 3 zoans.. which makes 3 S10 shots or 3 AP3 blasts)
this for only about 1200 points!!
so we have 46 shots and 10 blast templates (with 4x pinning test)
and those cheap gaunts have twinlinked weapons, so you can pump out a lot shots for cheap points to fill troops
add 60 gaunts for 300 pts to get a small 1500 pts list, and you will have 106 shots per round, where 60 shots are twinlinked
Great battle report! And the fluff that goes with it really ties the game together IMO.
I play Tau and I usually paly them in small games such as the 500 point mark. Games of this size really spice up the game due to the extra challenge it brings when against Hordes and MEQ's.
I usually play against Orks, so I can relate to the trouble that you have when dealing with Hordes. Especailly when confornted with a couple of Lobbas, which can be very annoying if you don't have a couple of cheap Deathrains at hand.
I love Kroot, I hardly leave home without them. As the extra protection afforded when the sqaud is placed in woods is almost priceless in games. Hounds are also very good for their price in points.
For the Greater Good!