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Battle Report 10 - The Wrath of Scourgemaster Rodaxus

Tyranids vs. Chaos Space Marines

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 07OCT2001
  • Points - 1700
  • Scenario - Recon
  • Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List played by Michael J. Casavant]
  • Cult of Pain, Chaos Space Marines: Emperor's Children [played by Cliff Maxwell]
  • Result - Massacre in favor of the Tyranids
    • VPs for kills - Phage, 1677.5: Damaged Rhino only survivor, so I only get half of its VPs, or 22.5.
    • VPs for kills - Cult of Pain, 649.5: Spinegaunts 170, Spinegaunts 170, Ripper Swarm 92, Lysogaunts 298/2 = 149, Carnifex (2 wounds) 137/2 = 68.5
    • Scenario Points
      • VPs for getting in the zone - Phage, 1100: 200 HT&TG unit, 200 HT, 200 Stealers, 200 Stealers, 100 Lysogaunts (less than 1/2), 200 Carnifex.
      • VPs for getting in the zone - Cult of Pain, 0.
  • 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!



Naming convention: 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 alike has been dubbed "Lightning." They have also named the Carnifex engine of destruction, "Mjolnir."

Choice of board edge went to the Cult of Pain (CoP).

Note: Recon allows Infiltrators to setup anywhere on the board as long as you are not within 18" of an enemy unit. The Cult of Pain was set up tightly enough that Hive Fleet Phage was able to deploy his Genestealers in the Deployment zone of the Cult of Pain.

The Battle

The bugs were hiding somewhere in the wastelands. Magnetic storms prevented orbital surveillance, what little was still intact and able to hide from the orbiting hive ships. Scourgemaster Rodaxus sent a detachment of the Cult to look for the creatures. Many volunteered for the chance to experience the harsh sweet pain of battle. The vehicle drivers had to be locked in their compartments to prevent them from bursting out to inflict and experience pain in the grip of melee. The Dreadnought was dispatched, the poor gibbering soul inside it had long ago forgotten its own name, cut off as it was. Entombment in a Dreadnought was saved for only the most vile of our kind and no cult member would wish such painful isolation from the flesh.

[Note: that was fiction intended to reflect the Cult of Pain, which is a group based on the Chaos Space Marines chapter known as the Emperor's Children. They are a freaky, deviant group that delights in sadomasochism, to put it simply. It's much more complicated and twisted than that. I, personally, do not endorse such behavior; I feel sorry for anyone that feels compelled to seek out pain and I loathe anyone that finds pleasure in inflicting pain on others. It's just a game, though, and the fluff is meant to give the armies character. I play Tyranids, ravenous predators controlled by a collective intelligence, yet I am not a Tyranid myself though. I am, however, controlled by a single intelligence, my wife. :-)]

Choice of the first turn went to CoP. CoP chose to go first.

This is the most damage I have ever done with a Bio-Acid mine. Sure, I then proceeded to scatter most of them off the table and do nothing more than piss off vehicles and kill a few possessed Marines, but this one was remarkably effective. I can't remember exactly what it killed, but it took out the Rhino and two Noise Marines, which means it killed at least 125 points! I took a picture, because I don't imagine this will happen again anytime soon.

The numbers are pretty amazing. It had a 1/3 chance of hitting, a 42% chance of glancing or penetrating, a 50% of destroying the vehicle, a 1/3 chance of wounding each trooper, and about a 1/6 chance of actually hitting two. Something like this should happen about 0.001% of the time (using these crude assumptions).

So the dice get all of the credit here.

Start of Turn 2. Rippers take some cover in the building, which the Carnifex hides behind to deprive the Lascannons of a target. The Hive Tyrants and Tyrant Guard do likewise. Gaunts advance all around, the ones on the left jockeying around to try and minimize the potential threat of flamer template weapons such as the Noise Marine Doom Sirens.

This was pretty weird. The Lysogaunts, Carnifex, and Hive Tyrant had all attacked the Noise Marines (not seen because they are dead), which were already engaged with the Spinegaunts (also dead). However, because the Raptors were fighting the Spinegaunts and the Noise Marines were fighting the Spinegaunts, that was a single close combat. Because the Lysogaunts, Carnifex, and Hive Tyrant were all fighting a unit involved in this combat, the remaining units on both sides, although not engaged and not even within a Consolidate move of one another, were forced to crush in to each other. It didn't feel right, but it agrees with what the measly single paragraph on this situation says.

The Gaunts firecely assault the Daemon Prince and remaining noise Marines from the Rhino. :-)
Mjolnir, the Lysogaunts, and Lightning, tear into the Raptors and Fleshcaster Rholgath.
Note: Unfortunately for Cliff, Rholgath joined the Raptors right before they assaulted. While this allowed Rholgath to get into Assault a turn earlier, it prevented the Raptors from using their ability to withdraw from Close Combat, which was a pain since the combat went on so long.
The Daemonettes and Possessed Chaos Marines tore the Rippers to shreds, taking some casualties in return.


More Daemonettes came on and the Lysogaunts, Mjolnir, and Lightning swept in and slaughtered them.

Cliff tapped out in turn 5 because he only had 4 Noise Marines left (in Close Combat vs. Thunder and his unwounded Tyrant Guard); a shaken, stunned, and weaponless Rhino; and another opponent waiting for another battle.

I had a lot of great luck in general, although my Lysogaunts seemed to only be competent at taking hits. The game got bogged down by some rules discussions, but most of that stemmed from my residual ignorance of some stuff. I will keep on trying!

Cliff's army has a great look to it. It inspires me to keep painting my own pathetic horde of metal and plastic.

Lessons Learned

  • Discuss terrain and its effects! There was some friction over how the building worked. I really need to be more disciplined about chatting about all terrain before the game starts.

Tactics Developed

  • I finally got to try out deploying in the enemy's zone and it was cool. I took a risk in that Cliff could simply ignore the Stealers, which would give me a lot of VPs, but take a deadly unit out of the fight. He did this essentially, only sending the Dreadnought over. Would I do it again? Probably. It was interesting and mixed things up.

Rules Questions & Clarifications

  • Multiple units in close combat. I need to get this down for sure in my head. In battle report #7, I was told the exact opposite of what I thought, then in this battle I was told the exact opposite of that. There is but one measly paragraph on it and it seems pretty straightforward. The simplest approach is that once you get into a close combat, you are there until the entire other side dies or falls back. However, some silly examples can occur like in this battle, where the remaining units were never actually within close combat range of one another and were forced to crush in. It's an abstraction and that's fine, but I need to figure for sure what it is and how it is played so that I am not surprised by it. Being surprised by a rule is always unpleasant. Reading the main rules, the Chapter Approved compilation, and both Assault Tactica in the White Dwarf was of little help. The same geneic terms were used. Basically, it comes down to two possible interpretations for me. 1) One big fight, everyone's there until everyone is dead or gone. 2) One big fight, but if a given unit's target is dead and nothing else is within 2", then all opposing models (for them) are dead and they have the same options as winners. #2 requires more of a stretch based on the wording, so #1 is probably best until further clarification is possible.