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Battle Report 7 - Tyranids vs. Space Marines

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 09SEP2001
  • Points - 1700
  • Scenario - Cleanse
  • Tyranid Army List - Hive Fleet Phage
  • Red Talons Space Marines [played by Lars Ericson]
  • Result - Solid Victory for Tyranids
    • Quarters - Tyranids 3, Space Marines 0, Contested 1
    • There are no Victory Points here, so I'll just show the specific casualties and total points surviving for each army:
      • Tyranid losses (762) - Spinegaunts x 40 models 200, Lysogaunts x 12 models (1 Hivenode) 154, Carnifex (total) 137, Genestealers x 5 models 80, Ripper Swarms x 1 base 10, Winged HT 181
      • Space Marines (1497) - All dead except Predator Annihilator 128 and Whirlwind Battery 75.
    • Scenario points - None, quarters game
  • Grand Tournament Scale (Victory Points Difference) - N/A to quarters game
    • 0-299 Victory Points = Draw - neither side holds the upper hand.
    • 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

The Red Talon Marines faced off against Phage's swarm again yesterday and were solidly defeated. The day look gray when the chapters orders came in... Cleanse. With the Tyranids setting up first and landing a Carnifex in the middle of the board, the marine force was pushed into the corner of its deployment zone. The battle raged long and hard, with six turns taking 6 hours to play. This was mostly because of a giant swirling melee that occupied the middle corner of the marine deployment quarter and started on the bottom of turn 1 and continued on unabated through the bottom of turn 5. My highlight was wiping out the Carnifex on my first turn with a barrage of lascannon and plasma fire. The Tyranid last turn was able to take out two vehicles and stun (the not moving one) another, clinching a 3-0-1 result in table quarters for the Tyranids It was a hard battle and Michael played well. Next time, the swarm won't be so lucky.

Credit where credit is due

This scenario did not favor my army so much as it disfavored the Space Marines. I still had to cross a killing zone which snuffed my poor Carnifex before he got a whiff of the food. Lars won the quarter choice and made a good tactical choice, but I was able to push him back into his corner with first placement of my Carnifex at the far corner of my quarter. So he was at a slight disadvantage to start.


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."

Turn 1

After the Ultramarines fell, we managed to cover the escaping convoy, but there were more bugs to deal with and we did not shirk from our duty. We're the Red Talons, there's no one better. There was a large clump of trees between us and them, so we heard them before we saw them, their strange soft clicking and chirping and the clatter of the smaller ones slamming into one another as they scrambled along the ground. Our snipers had found a nice high tower to perch on. Stillgrave questioned the choice because of the isolated position, but the Sergeant Brisco, the late sniper unit commander convinced him that the tactical advantage was worth the risk. The bulk of us were positioned on the ridge or waiting in Rhinos to strike.

Our mission was to take and hold the quarters to provide a safe corridor for fragments of the convoy to retreat through, and the bugs were coming just as the convoy came into sight, so we could not just stand idly by and play shooting gallery. We knew it would be bloody and it was.

I won the roll and went first. I simply advanced and took what shots I had. The most noteworthy event was that I managed to destroy a Rhino with a Bio-acid mine to the rear quarter and my luck held as 3 marines were killed escaping. This is the first battle that a Biovore has threatened to earn his points back. I decided to go for the gusto and charge my Carnifex right up the middle to get shot to pieces, and he most certainly did...get shot to pieces, that is.

Lars rained down fire from his entire army on my poor Carnifex and killed it in a single round! Depressing for me, happy joy joy for him. He also advanced his working Rhino, disembarked, and assaulted my guys.

Turn 2

The squad that moved in with Commander Stillgrave to blunt the assault of the main wave took heavy losses and soon only the Commander was left standing to face them. The squad that escaped from the damaged Rhino moved in, along with our mighty Dreadnoughts to support the attack. Our speeders advanced quickly to secure the region behind the bugs rear lines and draw away their second wave.

While my right flank continued to scamper along, Thunder trudged on through the forest while Lightning dashed ahead to attack the Speeders. Unfortunately, I had forgotten all about the fact that Skimmers can only be hit on a 6 in Close Combat, and the skimmers survived to zoom away to try and capture an empty quarter. Curses!

Notice the innocent little Bio-Acid mine floating through our Close Combat. I am very glad that thing did not go off.

Turn 3

Lightning, the winged monstrosity, survived a barrage of everything we could throw at it, but it survived and slammed into our snipers. It was a slaughter. The other Hive Tyrant, Thunder, charged into the enormous melee that continued to rage. Our Speeder commanders underestimated the reach of some Genestealers and one of them was taken down by their vicious claws. One still survived and made it to the rear quarter it was heading for.

Lars unloaded on Lightning, but only managed to get 3 wounds on him. I made a really stupid mistake attacking those Speeders the last turn, so I was happy not to have Lightning die as a result. I took him up to the tower, fired off a Warp Blast at a Tactical Marine unit below and commenced gutting Snipers with reckless abandon! My Genestealers were somewhat disappointing in that they did not kill both Speeders, but needing "6" to hit them really made a difference! By now I was pulling my Spinegaunts back as somewhere in the back of my mind was a little voice screaming, "It's a quarters capturing scenario you idiot!"

Lars also sent a Rhino over to capture yet another quarter. I cannot begin to explain how much I hate the notion that a transport upgrade for a squad is allowed to capture quarters. As for Thunder joining the assault, that did not have much effect as I was rolling incredibly poorly to penetrate, and when I did they were redundant hits, such as "Weapon Destroyed" four times on a single Dreadnought (ugh).

HOWEVER, the other dreadnought exploded and killed more of my guys than Lars killed in the entire assault. Oh the humanity (or the Tyranid equivalent). Frustrating for me, but memorable nonetheless. Yet one more reason to kill a Dreadnought before it gets in close.

Turn 4

Another squad down and a wave of creatures scuttled towards us. We braced and prepared to cut them down with weapons fire, but they simply stopped at the edge of the ridge, out of sight. We advanced and fired down upon them, knowing what would come next.

Why yes, the assault was still raging, but now it was just Stealers, Thunder & guard, and the Dread, which had a single normal attack and was one hit away from complete immobilization. The Genestealers continued to hammer away at the remaining Dread but it just would not die! I consolidated my Rippers and Gaunts behind a ridge to avoid Rapid Fire.

Lightning continued to gut Snipers. Most importantly, he finished off the last sniper on Lars' turn, so I could Advance without getting gunned down.

Turn 5

With the dying screams of the last Sniper, the bugs streamed across the ridge and cut down man after man. Our sergeant called for us to fallback and we retired to our tactical assembly area. Thunder advanced on our heavy vehicles even as the convoy rumbled ever closer. It looked we might be able to distract them enough to allow some of the convoy to pass safely.

I hammered the lone Speeder with my Biovores and managed to take it down. Meanwhile I spread out my Spinegaunts to straddle multiple quarters just in case. I moved the Genestealers a little too close to the Rhino and it opened up with it's weapons. Luckily it did not kill anyone as my Genestealer unit was already one model away from being unable to capture quarters. With all of the Troops swept off the battlefield, I advanced my Rippers and Lysogaunts towards the Rhino and Thunder and his guard toward the Heavy vehicles. Lightning crouched behind a Dreadnought for cover, but there was some miscommunication and he ended up not benefiting from the cover and was finally killed off.

Turn 6


I backed up my Genestealers out of range of the Rhino and straddled two quarters with them. The Biovores hammered the Rhino and destroyed it. Thunder managed to stun the Whirlwind and stop it from backing into a quarter and contesting it.

In the end, there was only the two heavy vehicles left of the Marine army and I had three quarters:

Genestealers #1
Genestealers #2


Good game. Lars did a good job, but I had some good rolls at crucial points and my Biovores suddenly started doing real damage to the enemy, imagine that! I did manage to catch the snipers off guard with Lightning so tha was kinda cool.

Lessons Learned

  • Remember Quarters! - I forgot about Quarters and almost ended up with no quarters, but in turn 5 I remembered and started snuffing his lone quarter holding vehicles and positioned my viable units into quarter capturing positions.
  • Swarm! - This time I remembered and it worked! Even if my poor Carnifex snuffed it. :-(
  • Advance! - I was too cavalier with the Winged Tyrant.
  • Skimmers Move Fast! - I need to burn in my mind that skimmers are only hit in HtH on a 6+.

Tactics Developed

  • I am not sure if I developed new stuff.
  • I finally got the Biovores to make back more than their points for the first time ever (IIRC). I primarily used them to effect dropping Bio-Acid on the rear quarters of vehicles. They ended up killing 2 Rhinos, 5 Tactical Marines, and one Land Speeder, for a whopping 180 points, which is actually more than they are worth. Not much, but the best against Marines yet.

Rules Questions & Clarifications

  • Correction/clarification #1 - Dreadnoughts cannot attack in Close Combat if stunned (see Stun results in the main rule book).
  • Correction/clarification #2 - I need to confirm if repeat hits to a destroyed component are wasted or re-rolled for an effect.