A Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame

Home Page - Gaming - Warhammer 40,000 - Battle Reports - Battle Report #16

Battle Report 16 - Plains of Blood

Tyranids vs. Ulthwé Eldar

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 13JAN2002
  • Points - 1500
  • Scenario - Ambush
  • Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List played by Michael J. Casavant]
  • Ulthwé Eldar Army List [played by Cliff Maxwell]
  • Result - Massacre in favor of the Tyranids
    • Losses, Phage ( total) - Hormagaunts 1/2 strength (85), Gargoyles 1/2 strength (40), Spinegaunt one brood 1/2 strength x 2 (130).
    • Losses, Ulthwé Eldar (1700): No survivors.
  • Grand Tournament Scale (Victory Points Difference) - 1445 = Massacre in favor of Tyranids.
    • 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!



This is my fourth experience with the basic method of mission selection from the rule book and I still like it. This was the third of three games played on one long day. The other two were batrep 14 and batrep 15. Again, this one I was playing the Attacker in a Raid against Ulthwé Eldar. Fearing the might of a Seer Council, I took Psychic Scream for my flying Hive Tyrant, instead of Warp Blast, and I added Poison Spore Mines to the options for my Biovores, because of the prevalence of Sv 4+ and Sv 5+ in the Eldar lists.


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."

OK, here's the setup.

Near side - Spinegaunts, Hormagaunts, Genestealers.

Far side - Spinegaunts, Gargoyles, Lysogaunts.

Far Right - Barrels delineating a minefield.

Bottom right (just behind the hill) - Biovores.

Reserves - Thunder, Lightning, Warriors, and Red Terror. Yes ALL of my synapse is in Reserve. :b


The Battle

Turn 1 - The Gargoyles, Hormagaunts, and Lysogaunts rush forward and assault all of the Guardians, the Seer Council, and a few Striking Scorpions. If you can, always attack Striking Scorpions first. They are even tougher when they charge.

The Spinegaunts on the far side of the table failed their Instinctive Behavior roll, but the result was "Attack!" so they advanced 2d6" towards the nearest enemy. I rolled an impressive snake eyes for 2" of movement. Still, it was better than losing them immediately in a Fall Back.

Note: Cliff was sporting enough to remind me to roll on the table instead of just pulling them off. Yay Cliff! :)

Turn 1 (end) - The Eldar fought hard, but their Striking Scorpions and some Guardians fell back.

Turn 2 (first half) - The rest of the Eldar units in the fight fall back and are run down in advances. Leaving the Striking Scorpions and Dark Reapers.

Reserves - Thunder and the Red Terror make it on the board.

Turn 2 (second half) - The Eldar all jump into the fight.

Turn 3 (first half) - The Red Terror and Lightning make it into the assault and the Tyranids kill off the rest of the Eldar.

Reserve - Lightning entered and was able to get into the assault this same turn. The Warriors arrived but were too far away and too slow to affect this turn.


Ambush is pretty good for assaulting armies, but you have to be careful. You have to roll 3+ for each unit to get them at the start. I made sure to take three units that could immediately engage, given the chance. On average, I should get two, I lucked out and got all three.

Also, I was reasonably well prepared to deal with vehicles and I think that is necessary because it would not be surprising to see a number of vehicles in a list for Raid Defender if they had Ambush prominently in their mind.

Cliff fought hard, but I think Tyranids have a distinct advantage as an Attacker in Ambush, at least with the lists we were using.

Lessons Learned (and relearned)

  • Biovores were not all that useful. In general for a Raid Attacker, a Carnifex or more Hormagaunts would have been better. Note: I am not advising this for a general list, but for a Raid Attacker list.

Tactics Developed

  • Most of my tactical decisions came in designing my list as noted already. Once the game started I pretty much ran straight at him and fought.
  • I was a little bit crafty engaging just one Striking Scorpion with a Gargoyle as they assaulted Guardians. That tied up the Striking Scorpions so that they could not get the benefit of charging, but I engaged a minimum amount because they are pretty dangerous and I did not want my Gargoyles to get killed prematurely. Bugs should die only when the Hive Mind tells them too. :)

Rules Questions & Clarifications

  • In Drawn Combats the 6" move is a normal move and although you may ignore Difficult Terrain, as stated, you must go around the enemy models, not through or over them.