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Battle Report 9 - Tyranids vs. Chaos Space Marines

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 23SEP2001
  • Points - 1700
  • Scenario - Meatgrinder
  • Tyranid Army List - Hive Fleet Phage
  • Chaos Space Marines: Emperor's Children [played by Cliff Maxwell]
  • Result - Victory for Tyranids since the Chaos Space Marines failed to destroy them (note: Cliff was short four Possessed Chaos Space Marines from his list)
    • In Meat Grinder, the defender simply has to avoid being decimated. All but the Spinegaunts, Biovores, and Ripper Swarms were still alive and kicking!
    • There are no Victory Points here, so I'll just show the specific casualties and total points surviving for each army:
      • Tyranid losses (483) - Spinegaunts x 1.5 broods 255, Ripper Swarms x 1 brood 92, Biovores x 2 models 136
      • EC (1580) - The Predator was immobile but still had two of its three guns working. I did manage to kill off the entire army once and none of the replacement Troops due to Sustained Attack got close enough to bother assaulting. Recall, though, that Cliff was missing 4 of his Possessed Chaos Space Marines, so that was 120 points that were not available to kill (hence the 1580 total instead of 1700).
    • Scenario points - None.
  • Grand Tournament Scale (Victory Points Difference) - N/A.
    • 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!


Important Note

My opponent played with less than his full list. There was a lot of confusion in translating his list to Army Builder and he ended up paying for four Possessed Chaos Space Marines that he did not use. This was an error carried over from the last battle. So keep in mind that Cliff should have had four more Possessed Chaos Space Marines when reading the results.


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

The creatures had destroyed our newly claimed outpost and killed Inquisitor Shraxas. We would have bloody vengeance as we fed off their pain and our pleasure. They would pay for their actions in blood.

This felt weird since I was not the attacker. We rolled and Cliff won. He decided to have me go first.

I lost track of turns, so here goes a photoalbum approach.

This poor Dreadnought has no idea what is about to happen.

This was the start of the single most memorable exchange in the fight. The Dreadnought tried to shoot the spore mine to destroy it, an excellent idea since it could destroy him or kill nearby Noise Marines. The Dreadnought went into a Fire Frenzy. It hit, but failed to wound the Spore Mine and then proceeded to kill two Noise Marines. As if that was not enough, the spore mine then randomly drifted into the Dreadnought, scored a Glancing Hit and then I rolled a "6" on the damage table, destroying it!

Fleshcaster Rholgath's Fleshy Curse takes hold and one of the Ripper Swarm is turned into a Chaos Spawn. It was quickly devoured, but it was enough to let them finish off the Rippers quickly.

The Crater of Suck - this mystical crater caused me to roll three misses when I only needed a "3" to hit.

Nothing could slow down Lightning this battle. He managed to avoid becoming a Chaos Spawn at the hands of Fleshcaster Rholgath and summarily consumed him. He was the last thing these poor sods saw.

Lessons Learned

  • I really think I should drop Warp Blast for Lightning and take Psychic Scream for Lightning and Adrenal Gland (+1 WS) for Mjolnir.
  • Be careful with grouping of multiple broods around enemy units that have multiple flamer template weapons. I allowed Cliff to position a squad such that I had Lightning standing behind a Biovore and he was able to encircle the Biovore, target Lightning, and hit the Biovore as well.

Tactics Developed

  • In a Meatgrinder:
    • Kill as many non-Troops as possible
    • Avoid killing off Troops since they can be recycled. Try to reduce their numbers to decrease their effectiveness, but try to avoid the two conditions that would allow recycling through Sustained Attack:
      • Troop destroyed
      • Troop below 50% falls back
  • Use fodder Troops to attack things with Fleshy Curse

Rules Questions & Clarifications

  • Correction/clarification #1 - Flamer templates, assuming two choices hit the same number of models in a unit, can the attacker choose and can the defender relocate the template? The Q&A appears to say (the wording is somewhat obtuse) that no, the defender can not shift the template. The Attacker only has to satisfy the constraint of hitting the maximum number of models in the target unit.
  • Correction/clarification #2 - Can a Flamer template jump units and/or do you need to target the nearest unit? As long as you satisfy the constraint of hitting the most models in the target unit, everything else is legit.
  • Correction/clarification #3 - Cliff summoned two Daemonette units in on the same round. He placed one based off a Noise Marine unit then placed the second off the first Daemonette unit summoned in. It seems wrong, but the wording in the Codex does not prohibit it. Is that legal? The Q&A clarifies that "any number of daemon packs could be summoned as long as the marker(s) are placed in contact with Chaos models which are already on the tabletop at the start of the assault phase." So no, you cannot daisy chain multiple units of summoned creatures that come in on the same phase.