Battle Report 6 - Tyranids vs. Space Marines
Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)
- Date - 26AUG2001
- Points - 1700
- Scenario - Patrol
- Tyranid Army List - Hive Fleet Phage
- Red Talons Space Marines [played by
- Result - Minor Victory for Space Marines
- Tyranid losses (919) - Spinegaunts x 2 (total) 340, Lysogaunts
(total) 298, Carnifex (total) 137, Genestealers x 2 (both
- Space Marines (574) - Commander Stillgrave [Killed] =
133, Dreadnought w/ Heavy Bolters [Destroyed] = 115, Dreadnought
w/ Plasma Cannon [Damaged] = 62.5, Tactical Squad Alpha
w/ Heavy Bolter [Damaged]= 85.5, Tactical Squad Alpha Rhino
[Damaged] = 25, Land Speeder [Damaged] = 25, Predator Annihilator
[Damaged] = 128.
- Scenario points - None.
- Total points - 919-574 = 345 points in the Space Marines'
- Grand Tournament Scale (Victory Points Difference)
- 0-299 Victory Points = Draw - neither side holds the
- 300-599 Victory Points = Minor
Victory - You have won the battle, but only just!
- 600-1,199 Victory Points = Solid Victory - You have decisively
defeated your foe!
- 1,200+ Victory Points = Massacre - You have ruthlessly
crushed your foes!
My Opponent's (Lars) Summary
My Red Talon Marines (codex: marines) faced off against Michael's
Tyranid swarm in a 1700 pt Patrol mission. The marines were victorious
after 7 turns with a VP margin of around 400. The scenario ended
up being notably slanted in the marine's favor since I won the
die roll off and was able to choose starting corners that forced
the tyranids to move across large portions of open ground in the
center or along the opposing long side or maneuver through denser
forests along the opposite short side. Basically, the marines
were able to place enough firepower to cut down assaulting broods
before their assault could be very damaging. The larger monsters
didn't make it into assault until the 5th turn for 1 hive tyrant
and the 7th turn for the other hive tyrant. Plus, Michael had
below average luck on vehicle effect rolls and shooting. In the
end, there was about 2/3 of the marine army, but most of the tyranids
broods had been cut down and the carnifex had been felled by lascannon
and sniper fire. I enjoyed the game and I think Michael did. I
know we both learned a lot from the game, which is a definite
Credit where credit is due
First and foremost, my opponent, Lars, gets a lot of credit for
not piling his Marines into Rhinos and running away when he had
a chance. Granted, it worked out for him in the end, but he did
not know that it would and he risked a draw to give me an enjoyable
game. Yay Lars! :)
The Patrol scenario horribly sucks for my army and I think the
karmic wheel finally came around and smacked my Hive Tyrant's
The food that have faced Hive Fleet Phage have named the Hive
Tyrants that continue to plague them. The one that trudges forward
implacably with an escort of Tyrant Guard they call "Thunder."
The swift winged beast that races across the battlefield and shatters
bodies and vehicles with its mind they have dubbed "Lightning."
They have also named the Carnifex engine of destruction, "Mjolnir."
Oh man, Patrol is a Tyranids' nightmare! The terrain setup was
tough on me, but I have to point out a third party set up the
Battle report of Lieutenant Folsom, Rhino Transport Squadron,
Red Talons Chapter. This report details their attempts to salvage
the Emperor's resources after the fall of the Ultramarines stationed
at planet Shannek.
Primary Mission: Intercept and delay enemy until call to withdraw
sounded by escaping convoy commander.
Emperor be praised! We located and prevented those damn bugs
from intercepting the convoy! Only the vehicles and crews survived.
<Sigh> Yes Commander Stillgrave fell in the battle, but
he died valiantly facing down that thirce-damned creature that
the men have come to call Lightning.
Well, we started the game with one measly Troops choice on the
board. Lars chose Tactical Squad Delta (ML, Flamer) and I chose
a brood of Spinegaunts. My rationale was that they were expendable,
so what the heck. It was a calculated risk since Instinctive Behavior
might take them off the table. I should think about it some more
before I am faced with a similar choice.
I thought it might be clever of me to try going second for some
reason, so I did. I crawled down the board edge.
The hordes arrived piecemeal and it was then that we knew
the Emperor was blessing our battle. If they arrived in small
numbers we had a very real chance of weakening them before they
could bring their claws to bear on us. One of the Hive Tyrants,
the one the men call Thunder, smashed through the trees with his
Lars and I rolled a little below average on getting our Reserves
in. Lars got Tactical Squad Alpha (HB, Flamer) w/ Rhino, Land
Speeder Squadron, and Predator Annihilator. I got one unit of
Genestealers and Thunder, my walking Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guard
The Marines blazed away at my Spinegaunts, whittling the horde
by five little ones.
More appeared in the trees, but again, Emperor be praised,
they were far enough away for us to use our fields of fire to
weaken them for the kill. The battle looked as though it might
be a massacre for them as their units lacked the speed to engage
us. We saw a Mjolnir-classs Carnifex in the tree line, but we
were ready to deal with that threat.
Lars and I rolled a little better on Reserves and he got Commander
Stillgrave, Dreadnought I (TL HB, HF), Dreadnought II (PC, HF),
Tactical Squad Beta (ML, PR) W/ Rhino & Vet. Sgt., Tactical Squad
Gamma (LC, PR), and Scout Squad (Sniper Rifle x8, HB). I got my
other unit of Genestealers, my other unit of Spinegaunts, my Carnifex
(Mjolnir), and my flying Hive Tyrant (Lightning).
Now in range of a lot of weapons, my leading Spinegaunts took
a lot more fire and where chopped down to 15 from their original
32. Good thing I had them in Synapse range by then.
By some miracle, they happened to get into range for an assault
and I took the chance.
Then we saw the new mutaant leaping Gaunts, the ones the the
Magos Biologis call Lysogaunts, crest a hill. Weapons fire rained
down on them, but not much, as many of the men and Commander Stillgrave
were now locked in melee with the fragile Spinegaunts. They finished
off the Spinegaunts quickly as the next wave skittered over the
Final Reserves arrive. Lars got his Whirlwind. I finally
got my Lysogaunts and Ripper Swarms.
This was where I made a big mistake, IMO. I split the army to
take advantage of cover and I should not have. It prolonged the
life of my Carnifex, but it probably hurt my chances overall as
the forces were too fragmented to overwhelm the Red Talons in
time. Add to this the slightly longer distance to cover before
getting into Assault range and it becomes a big mistake. Lesson
learned (I hope).
The world blurred as the swarm descended, but the gratifying
shrieks of the beasts filled our souls wiht grim joy. The monsters
among them advanced implacably, but the men roared in triumph
as the huge beast we call Mjolnir finally fell to a sniper's round
that punched through a hole previously made by volleys of lascannon
fire. It was a beautiful shot. Those boys might have made it out
alive. They haven't reported in yet, but Scouts keep their own
So the rat fink known as Lars killed off my poor little Carnifex.
What a bully! :)
My Lysogaunts finally got into the darn fight, and I
got to kill some guys off! My Biovores and Venom Cannons continued
to be nigh useless, although one of the speeder was damaged.
Yeah, it's blurry. Deal with it!
The radio call came in to continue the delaying tactic and
we stood and delivered in the name of his most holy and righteous
Woo-hoo, another turn! I get to kill more stuff now that I finally
have some dangerous guys in close combat!
You call that a Dreanought? BOOM!
My VC Hive Tyrant strides forth implacably...
Mmm, Marine Commanders are so well seasoned. :-)
At the far end of the field, Lars is unpleasantly surprised as
some Genestealers eke out an Assault.
Again, the call came to delay the horde and our men stood
valiantly. Commander Stillgrave was dead, having been torn asunder
by the fiendish beast called Lightning. But our sergeants took
up command without missing a beat and we stood our ground proudly.
The sergeants called for the vehicles to pull back and we obeyed
although we wanted to stay in the thick of the battle. Finally,
teh call came to withdraw, but by then only the vehicles and the
Scouts were able to pull back. The defiant roars of our brethren
filled our comms as we rejoined the column.
Finally, a dangerous amount of tough guys are in the fight and
all of his Tactical Marines are engaged in close combat. There
is a glimmer of hope for a draw! But that died when the game ended
on Turn 8. Oh well, I was lucky to have that much time to kill
You want some punk? Genestealer's gonna smack you down! [Not
really, but it sounds tough.]
Ah yeah, Thunder is finally in the fight!
Oh man, Lightning is just super cool in hand to hand combat.
Yeah, I lost, but this part was fun. :-)
Frankenstein says: Patrol bad! Arghh!
Lars knows the game and his army. I am glad to have had any chance
to do this well. He should probably have had a much more embarassing
victory than he did.
- Remember VPs! - I was beaten by my disregard for Victory
Points as much as anything in this battle. I should have focused
more on delivering casualties in a more concentrated fashion.
Instead I killed off a couple of individual troopers here and
there for no VPs.
- Swarm! - I should have just brought everything but
the Biovores in through the closest point on the board, where
the initial squad was placed, rather than trying to advance
through cover. And actually, there were enough rocks that the
same entry point might have worked for the Biovores too. That
would have improved my chance to overwhelm and take out more
squads rather than inflicting scattered hits. It might have
also encouraged him to rush up to take out my Biovores since
they would be tantalizingly close to him.
- Advance! - I was too cautious with my Carnifex and
walking Hive Tyrant. I should have kept advancing every single
- Decide! - I need to think about what unit I should
take first for the next time I get a mission like this.
- When a Dreadnought is in assault range of a unit that cannot
possibly affect it, be sure to take shooting casualties from
the models nearest the Dreadnought to deprive it of the charge.
- The Assault rules talk about engaging enemies with assault
range. We played it that it did not matter which unit you declared
as the assault target, you still had to engage all closest enemy
units within range first. I need to confirm this...not exactly,
you have a little more choice than that. See the Correction/Clarification
Rules Questions & Clarifications
#1 - The Assault rules talk about engaging enemies with assault
range. We played it that it did not matter which unit you declared
as the assault target, you still had to engage all closest enemy
units within range first. I need to confirm this. The
Tactica Assault Part 1 in the White Dwarf sheds some light on
this, "Direction of assault bears some mentioning. There
is no requirement to engage the nearest unit or goa particular
direction in an Assault phase. If there are several possible
targets that you feel are within range, you can go in any direction
you like, but you cannot simply scatter willy nilly to the winds
and attack in all directions of the compass. Your entire unit
should travel in the same direction and in a specific line of
assault toward the enemy unit or units you wish to attack. I've
found that thinking of the direction of assault as being like
a fallback corridor pointed at the enemy unit(s) you wish to
assault is really helpful. Move your unit in a column or bery
slightly widening funnel engaging models within that corridor
as you reach them, and you've got it right." [Mike Major,
White Dwarf 257, pg. 28] So this means you do not necessarily
attacak the nearest enemy model if it is not in the general
direction of your assault, but it does confirm that if you cannot
go around a unit in assault (which was never really in question).
#2 - Using the same general definition as the above, if an enemy
is an enemy in Assaulting, then that was true in the Drawn Combat
crush in as well, so you can crush in to an enemy model of another,
as-of-yet unengaged unit during crush in.
This one I have no real feel for. Normally, you can Consolidate
into an enemy and sweep them up into combat, but after reading
the Main Rules and Assault Tactica, I get a sense that it really
is both sides crushing in and so the 6"move has to be into
enemy units already involved in the fight. In the end, I would
probably go with crushing into already engaged enemies without
#3 - When a Hive Tyrant starts the game with Tyrant Guard can
he still target a different unit than his Tyrant Guard? This
is not an easy one. However, with lots of reading I am convinced
for now that Tyranid Monstrous Creatures are effectively Super
Independent. Also, it's something of a moot point as you can
simply have the Hive Tyrant leave and rejoin his Tyrant Guard
immediately for those that nitpick at teh word "joined".
The rationale for questioning this at all was because the Codex
talks about TMCs shooting "at a different target to the
unit they have joined." Marine players whose HQs lose their
IC status when they take a retinue take issue with this, but
it is clear that such a metric does not apply to a HT as he
can leave his bodyguard unlike Marine HQ guys. Hence, the notion
that you could leave and then re-join, which leads right to
the notion that you should probably always have had the ability
and a HT that starts the game with a Tyrant Guard is merely
already joined to them.
Since then, I have had two different answers from GW one lame
one that generically refers to the Codex, and another that specifically
says that the HT can always shoot something different.
In the end, I am thoroughly convinced that the HT should always
be able to shoot a different target. If someone wants to be
picky, then I will just have him leave and rejoin immediately
at the start of my turn.
#4 - What happens when Instinctive Behavior results in a Fallback
result but there is no Synapse Creaure on the board? This
one is easy, it's in the Codex. "If none [no Synapse creatures]
are on the tabletop, the brood will fall back towards the Tyranid
player's closest table edge."