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Battle Report 18 - Sanguine Nirvana

Tyranids vs. Imperial Guard Steel Legion

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 08AUG2002
  • Points - 1000
  • Scenario - Breakout (rolled from Advanced Mission Selection, Chapter Approved)
  • Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List played by Michael J. Casavant]
  • Imperial Guard Steel Legion [played by John Frazell]
  • Result - Victory for Tyranids
    • VPs, Phage - 500+ (game stopped prematurely)
    • VPs, Steel Legion - <500 (game stopped prematurely)
    • Campaign points
      • 5 Hive Fleet Phage (+3 win +1 killed >500 IG, +1 more than 500 Tyranid alive)
      • 2 IG (+1 Loss, +1 VP?)



This was my first attempt at playing the the Midnight Comics & Games GW League. I was drawn in by some very creative planets the organizer, Charles Donnell, devised.

E-mail #1: "Beacon"

The quiet dripping of a broken water pipe is his music as he sits in the corner of the basement, curled up, his back pressed firmly against the rough cold wall. Only here could he get away from the psychic static of the city. Only here could he here the comforting voices. It had been many years since he had set foot on the holy grounds of Terra and roamed the streets of Bombay. His sorrow had almost broken him before a voice called out to him. It was the Creator and Destroyer. It must be Shiva.

His eyes flash open, a half-mad expression lighting his face. "Yes? Is that you Shiva?"

His expectant look begins to meld into disappointment, then he looks up to the sky, a radiant look of fanatic joy on his face. "Yes, Shiva, all is ready. I humbly await your arrival, your service is my darma and my honor."

He nods his head eagerly, "Yes, the beacon is in place. The general knows you are coming, but he is a faithless man, worshipping the corpse-emperor and his own career. He will fall before your majesty."

The man goes silent, nodding slowly and frequently over the course of minutes, "Yes, I understand. I will be ready. Come to us. Cleanse us with your passing. Nirvana awaits."

The man giggles with a tinge of madness as he looks about the empty room looking for eavesdroppers before standing up and skulking back out.

As the bright light of the sun falls on him, he stands erect, straightens his uniform, and falls into the step of a measured cadence, returning the salutes of his men as he walks. He walks with the conviction of a man prepared to meet his god.

E-mail #2: "Beacon 2"

The bush near the command section provided adequate cover as the lean dark-skinned man knelt down to the ground.

The beacon was the size of a cantaloupe. It's surface was dark green with a rough and leathery texture. There were moist patches scattered about that had a dull mustard color. He slipped his hand into the orb as the voices told him. Nothing happened. He began to pull his hand out when he felt a sensation like tiny teeth biting into every surface of his hand. The pain grew. He clenched his teeth, enduring the pain and stifling the cry that would bring his fellow officers running to his aid to discover his betrayal.

The pain suddenly ended and was replaced by a sense of fullness in his mind. He was one with Shiva. The sensation was euphoric. The clarity of thought, the singular purpose. It erased the atrocities he had committed on behalf of the corpse-Emperor. The nightmares of civilians slaughtered for the convenience of the "Holy" Marines would come no more. The regular doses of opium to still the guilt and regret would no longer be necessary.

Shiva was everything he needed. A community of soul. He could see a field of stars and an Imperial vessel crawling with Genestealers. No, Shiva did not call them that, they were Thymids. Yes. And Shiva had a new name for a new millennium, Phage. The frailty and pain of his pathetic existence was but a cast off skin. His spirit had molted. He was reborn.

The euphoria folded in upon itself into a razor's edge of clarity. "We come."

The connection faded. The orb released it's grip, but now the yellow patches glowed softly and the orb pulsed. His hand was bleeding heavily. Most of the flesh had been consumed from it. Energy and biomass for the orb. Of course, it was natural. It was darma.

He sprayed a healing compound over the hand. The bleeding stopped almost immediately and the regrowth of tissue began in earnest. Some pain slipped past the anesthetic, but it was not important. Nothing here was important. It was all just food for the gods.

He stepped back out into the walkway. A young man hurried towards him. "Captain Srinivas! Quickly, we have the march order. We are moving out to intercept the bugs!"

Srinivas stifled an angry retort. The term "bugs" seemed so incredibly foul and demeaning to him now. But what could they do? The term consoled them. Soon enough, they would learn. Phage would teach them.

More fluff follows below...


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.

Tyranids won the Strategy roll. I wanted to try out Rynn's World, but that would have cut the legs out from under John's army, so I took a planet called Callistro. The special effect of it was that the heavy radiation reduced the range of energy weapons by 6". Not a biggee, but something.

I split my army pretty evenly. The Warriors were Elites, so I did not have to decide which side to place them on until after John had placed. I stuck them in a tiny bunch of trees near the biggest cluster of vehicles.

John's entire army was in vehicle except for a couple of Lascannon crews, so I was worried about a very quick loss to him as his guys barrelled past and through my poor bugs. Fate was kind to me...

Corporal O'Neil's body slid to the ground quietly, slipping off the Captain's sabre. The new intelligence would not reach any ears that cared. The unit was deploying exactly where he wanted, where Phage wanted. It would come soon now. The end of misery and empty faith. An end to the nightmare of this dream and the beginning of life.

Calls of alarm sounded above the idling engines of the vehicles. Years of training kicked in and the Griffon loader slammed a round into the breech while men hustled to their vehicles and weapon stations. Soon, their bodies would be shattered along with their illusions of mortality.

The Battle

Turn 1

John (Attacker) got first turn (1 Defender, 2-6 Attacker). He fired his monstrous Heavy Mortar right between my Biovores but it scattered away. That was a tense moment. His Lascannons opped Mjolnir and the cover save due to trees did little, leaving him with 2 wounds right off the bat. The rest of the vehicles blazed for the escape zone (the Griffon of course did not move so that it could shoot). The Griffon took a weapon destroyed result, which was quite lucky.

I advanced my little guys aggressively and my big guys and Hemagogues (Warriors) cautiously, keeping them in cover until the Lascannons were silenced. My Shooting went well. With my three Venom Cannons and two Biovores, I was able to stun, shake, or immobilize all but one vehicle. I lost a Lysogaunt to difficult terrain (Tyranid rule) as theh chopped through one another to get at the food.

Srinivas ordered the men as he was expected and directed his driver to pull away from the main body. He would be expected to try and escape, to break out of the trap and warn his "fellow" officers. His pearl-handled pistol would silence his driver when the moment was right.

Srinivas gasped as Thunder smashed through the trees, brushing them aside like grass. This was the image of Phage, his Avatar. It's divine beauty and holy power was undeniable. Soon, so soon.

Turn 2

John kept moving all possible vehicles to the escape zone. Even the Griffon moved since it received a "weapon destroyed result on Turn 1. His lascannons put two wounds into Thunder.

I advanced more and had the Lysogaunts assault a vehicle to no effect. However, it had been immobilized. I lost another Lysogaunt to Difficult Terrain; eager bugs, you gotta love 'em!

The holy host of Phage shattered the vehicles and men about Srinivas with surprising ease. The threat reports were flawed. Perhaps that was an error. How many times had the commanders deceived them to lure them into a slaughter? This would be the last time he would suffer that betrayal. The empty shadow of existence would end soon. Transendance...


"There, around that rock, we'll charge the Biovores and give 'em what for!"

"Ay, sir!"

The fool, he did not deserve to die at the hands of such noble beings.

Turn 3

John disembarked the men trapped in the disabled transport, then shot and assaulted the Lysogaunts. They did remarkably well against my bad bugs.

Thunder assaulted the immobile vehicle and, of course, it exploded and killed off three Lysogaunts. Yes, I had lost more Lysogaunts to terrain and that explosion that I had to enemy attacks. Don't laugh. I said, *don't* laugh. :P The Griffon and one Chimera were destroyed by fire. Some other useful results also occurred. One of my discobedient Biovores got skittish and lurked behind a rock.

The IG guys fighting the gaunts took some more typical casaulties and were whittled down to three guys. They fled. A unit of Spinegaunts jumped the remaining lascannon crews and killed all but one guy, who fled. The lascannons were silenced!

The unit was lost. There would be no warning to high command. Phage would descend and release these undeserving worms from their diseased husks.

Srinivas chambered a cartridge and pressed the cool barrel of his pistol to the driver's ear. It was time to end this. The waiting had been unbearable.

Turn 4

John had to leave, so we wrapped up the game. John had less than half his army left and at least two more turns to get any units off the board. Breakout requires at least half of the Attacker's army to get off the board for him to win, so we called it a win for the Tyranids and packed up at the start of this turn.

The majestic avatar loped and dodged as it raced towards him. To behold it was bliss. It's talons raised up and scissored down on him, ripping his body in two. His own blood sprayed up and out, covering him in a warm, comforting wave. Blessed Nirvana...


Great game. I was nervous when I saw a cluster of vehicles gunning their engines and ready to escape, but the dice were kind. John was a great sport to play against. Thanks John!

A little bit worse luck with Tyranid Shooting would have made for a very different game.

Lessons Learned (and relearned)

  • John and I talked about it and the only possible improvement might have been if the IG had committed to one side.
  • IG have lots of vehicles and long range weapons. I had opted for a second Synapse in the Warriors and the extra Venom Cannon they added was very handy (I had to leave the Genestealers behind to take these guys, but it was worth it).

Tactics Developed

  • None.

Rules Questions & Clarifications

  • None.