Battle Report 11 - Fire and Steel
Tyranids vs. Saim-Hann Cheesemasters [Just kidding!]
Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage) and Travis
Burgess (Saim-Hann Eldar)
- Date - 21OCT2001
- Points - 1500
- Scenario - Rescue
- Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List played
by Michael J. Casavant]
- Eldar Craftworld - Saim-Hann Cheesemasters
[played by Travis Burgess]
- Result - Victory for Tyranids
- Losses - Phage: Everything except for Gargoyles, Genestealers
x 2 broods, 1/2 Lysogaunt brood and two half-strength Spinegaunt
- Losses - Saim-Hann: 2 Wave Serpents, 3 Vypers, and 1/2
unit of Striking Scorpions.
- Grand Tournament Scale (Victory Points Difference) - N/A.
- 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!
Travis wanted to try out a Saim-Hann army. I ran screaming rather
than consider playing it, but my desire to play overcame my sensibilities
and I played him anyway. Thank goodness for the mission objectives!
In defense of Travis, this army could legally have been even worse.
This army is an excellent demonstration of the potentially unbalanced
capability of the Eldar Starcannon. I won, but only by decent
tactics and a LOT OF BLIND LUCK.
Nota Bene: The goal of Travis's play test was to refine the army
so that it is balanced. I respect and appreciate that Travis is
striving to make a more balanced army than the list requires.
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 Tyranids. I chose the edge that
seemed to have the most cover and was closest to some objectives.
Note: Travis contributed a good deal of fluff to this
report. His additions are in italicized
The strike force had entered the Hosteen Sector and located
an lush unpopulated world. On planetfall, they quickly determined
that many others had visited the planet before and been destroyed
by an array of automated planetary defense systems. And now they
were the ones in peril; the alien defense systems had armed.
The ancient planetary defense weapons were large enough for
a Wave Serpent to park in them. The Saim-Hann technicians determined
that there was a countdown in progress and if they could not secure
an alien transponder, they would be the foe when the thunder rained
down from the ancient guns. Entil'Za Nevael ordered elements of
White Star Fleet 101 to find and seize a transponder before it
was too late. Hive Fleet Phage had entered orbit, and if the Wildriders
could acquire the transponder before the systems activated, they
could watch the alien menace purged from the skies by the ancient
weapons. Farseer Shar'adn and his forces were ordered to locate
and retrieve the transponder from the surface. As they
narrowed in on the location, they found something else moving
into the position. Tyranids! They gunned their engines and prayed
to our ancestors for strength...
Choice of the first turn went to Tyranids. Tyranids chose to
Shar'adn lead the Vypers and wave serpents
from his Jetbike It felt good to be flying in a natural atmosphere,
even if it was tainted by Tyranid. He contacted the rangers that
had sent word of the transponder and uploaded the coordinates.
It was in a forested area 700 miles west. He changed course and
lead the squadrons in. They would arrive in 2.5 hours. Unfortunately,
the Tyranid of Hive Fleet Phage where much closer. The
Vypers were faster so he decided to send them ahead to secure
The Vypers arrived as the lead elements
of the Tyranid were closing in on the transponder. They opened
fire blowing a dozen Spinegaunts to gobbets. As one brood withdrew
into cover, another unearthed the transponder. "Damn the
luck," Shar'adn spat as he lead the remainder of his forces
into range. The Tyranid had already occupied the area and were
swarming around the transponder.
|End of turn 2. I have overturned two objectives counters.
The one no the right, with all of the Gaunts clustered about,
is the objective!
Notice the tiny units I have...they weren't like that until
the SH army's Vypers started firing! The firepower of those
Vypers is staggering.
Vypers and wave serpents fired into
the churning mass, but though their fire was withering, it was
not enough. Shar'adn decided to press the attack, lashing out
with his psychic attacks, blasting the skittering broods of aliens.
As a wave serpent with striking scorpions was moving into position,
the Tyranid began to return fire destroying a Vyper, the tank,
and wounding several of the hardy soldiers that once rode within.
|End of turn 3. Biovores did nothing useful this round, which
was disappointing.. I managed to blow up the Wave Serpent
carrying the Striking Scorpions with Thunder. That was a very
good thing for the bugs. Lightning was handed the objective
and he pulled back to the trees. Gaunts huddled around to
complicate the ability of the Eldar to take it back. The mighty
Ripper Swarms advanced on the remaining Wave Serpent, which
was empty, having disgorged its Dark Reapers earlier.
Shar'adn ordered his rangers and reapers
to take positions and begin laying covering fire. He saw the Hive
Tyrants emerging from the squirming masses, on with wings and
the other protected by some Mon'kae-like monstrosities. He knew
these were the key to defeating the swarm and ordered the Vypers
to destroy them.
Two volleys later they lay wounded and
out of action, but the Biovores and Carnifex returned fire taking
down more Vypers The other Vypers answered cutting a swath though
the swarms and killing a Biovore.
|Penultimate Move, turn 6. Everything has pulled back towards
the objective and my back corner, except for the forward unit
of Spinegaunts, which have tied up the Farseer and wounded
him. The Carnifex is almost dead, the Hive Mind is gone, and
there's a tank floating towards the bugs...
Shar'adn was rapidly running out of
time and the Tyranid strengthened their foothold, large bio-titans
were closing in and he would be forced to retreat soon.
In a last attempt to get to the transponder,
he ordered the second wave serpent to fly through the broods and
cut them down. The pilot skillfully bore down on the creatures,
sending them scattering like ninepins. The two tyrant guards frustrated
by their failure to protect their master struck out, but to no
avail, splattering on the front glacious armor. The driver saw
the transponder and, to his doom, veered toward it. A brood of
Genestealers leapt form the trees. Threewere smashed on the armor,
but two were inhaled by the tank's slow-trans engines. Razor sharp
and diamond hard, their claws perforated the engines and tank
plowed into the fetid ground. There was no hope for the crew....
Shar'adn spat a curse and ordered an
evacuation for his support elements.
The Wave Serpent swept in. The Lysogaunts (one holding
the objective) remember the mission, the echoes of the Hive Mind
emanating from the Hivenode, and they do not skitter away
like animals. The Lysogaunt with the objective hops past
his big brothers, the Genestealers. The Gargoyles also manage
to keep control of their instincts and glide out of the
path of the vehicle, looking forward to the chance to attack
the rear of the vehicle with their deadly Fleshborers and
NOTE: Travis offered me the chance
to do Death or Glory close combat attacks with my bugs.
The rules do not allow this. He offered, it sounded
cool, so I accepted. Do not expect your opponent to do the
same and frankly, you should probably hop out of the way
The Tyrant Guard hiss in defiance and slash at the vehicle,
the claws bounce off the hardened alloy shell and they are
crushed under its mighty weight. Five Genestealers also
hold their ground, knowing that the glowing box will preserve
their Queen. They tear at the tank and the metal yields
beneath their ultra sharp claws, shredding the engines and
sending it crashing and flaming to the ground, mere meters
from the lone Lysogaunt holding the objective.
Weapons fire rained down from the SH army, defiant and
enraged at their fate. Their shots went wide and did not
manage to kill enough bugs.
Phage's spawn had been identified as friend to the
planetary defense systems. The Saim-Hann would die by the
burning energy of the planetary defenses. Live by the sword...
The box stopped blinking shortly after the Wave Serpent and
the Chief could hear the screams of his space fleet crew as the
mighty cannons unleashed the ancient blind fury of a dead race's
weapons on them. Meanwhile, the Tyranids melted back into the
terrain of the land. This was their home too, now.
Travis is an excellent sportsman and has an amazing grasp of
the rules. He also generous to a fault as opponents go.
- Read the Victory Conditions! This was my first Rescue mission.
I can't believe I did not read them thoroughly. I had in my
mind that I just had to grab the objective and leave the board.
Hence the crafty hand-off to my flying Hive Tyrant. Boy, was
I disappointed to find out I was wrong.
Run away! Seriously, this was my first Rescue mission. The only
tactics I used were:
- Uncover objectives as fast as possible.
- Once the objective is in possession, fall back away from the
enemy and bring in the other units for support, fodder, and
- Tank shock - this was a problem for me. On the fly, I made
a good choice in having the gaunt with the objective hop past
the Genestealers so they could have a shot with Death or Glory.
- Vypers - use Poison Spore Mines as much as possible! I used
Bio-Acid at first, trying to take down the Wave Serpent with
the Striking Scorpions, but that was a foolish and wasteful
With lots of Starcannons facing you, it is important to take
advantage of the fact that weapons can shoot into trees,
but not through them.
Rules Questions & Clarifications
- We had agreed that vehicles should not be able to pick up
an objective. So far, I have heard no objections from people
on that one, but I should continue to check.
- Tank Shock - we handled this with the vehicle smashing into
one unit at a time. I probably should have asked for Travis
to declare the intended final position first, since that is
how it would normally be done.
- NOTE: Travis offered me the chance to do Death or Glory close
combat attacks with my bugs. The rules do not allow this. He
offered, it sounded cool, so I accepted. Do not expect your
opponent to do the same and frankly, you should probably hop
out of the way anyway.