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Battle Report 27 - Ferrus Wants His Hand Back*

Tyranids vs. Iron Hands

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)

* - Ferrus is the mythic founder of the Iron Hands.


  • Date - 06OCT2002
  • Points - 1500
  • Scenario - Bunker Assault
  • Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List [played by Michael J. Casavant]
  • Iron Hands Space Marines [played by Luke Schnell]
  • Result - Victory for Hive Fleet Phage
    • VPs, Hive Fleet Phage 1426 - 150 (bunker occupied) + 1276 [1496 enemy list, killed all but "1-1" Tac Squad (106), immobilized Razorback (78/2), "Notos" Whirlwind (75)]
    • VPs, Iron Hands 622 - [1496 enemy list, killed all but Thunder (138), wounded Lightning (189/2), brood of Spinegaunts (130), wounded brood of Ripper Swarm (30/2), wounded brood of Lysogaunts (202/2), Biovores (136), Mjolnir (137), Hemagogues Type 2 (114)]
  • Battle Honours
    • Hive Fleet Phage - None.
    • Iron Hands Space Marines - ?



Firmus Mutare Campaign, game six. This will be my first game against Luke's Iron Hands, but definitely not my first game against Iron Hands. They are a space marine army with some special fluff. Basically, they hold bionics in very high regard. The most significant difference between them and other marine armies is that they can get a Venerable Dreadnought, like the Space Wolves. That is a very nice and effective model. This is my sixth battle Lars' Firmus Mutare Warhammer 40,000 Campaign. I have the benefit of some Tyranid Fortifications in this battle:

  • One Reclamation Pool (see below)
  • One Spore Chimney (see below)
  • Three Bio-Acid Spore Mines

Reclamation Pool [30p, Tyranid only] - Tyranid armies recycle the captured bio-mass of enemy soldiers in reclamation pools. The pools are thick pools of protoplasmic, acidic sludge. Small, but vicious, organisms inhabit the pools symbiotically aiding the processing. Unfortunately for enemy forces, these organisms are prone to striking out at units that wander too close to their pool. Any enemy unit ending its movement during their Movement phase triggers a protoplasma attack on a 4+. If attacked place a bio-acid template towards the enemy unit. The template must be positioned the most enemy models in the unit. Reclamation Pool is considered Impassable Terrain to all models and cannot be larger than a 6" diameter base.

Spore Chimney (new) [40pt, Tyranid only] - A Spore Chimney is a massive tall column that converts the atmosphere of consumed planets for tyranid habitation and sends spore mines drifting about to further protect the hive. At the beginning of each of the tyranid owner's turns, the spore chimney ejects a spore mine. The spore mine scatters 2d6" from the center of the chimney, use the small arrow in the instance of a "Hit" result. In either situation, the Tyranid player can choose the type before rolling for scatter. In addition, if a territory possesses a spore chimney, then additional spore mines may be purchased. These are placed on the board like normal fortifications and do not have to be close to the Spore Chimney. Spore Mines cost 10pts each and the type must be specified when purchased. A player may only purchase three spore mines per level of fortifications, not three bio-acid and three poison mines. In scenarios that use the Sentries special rule, spore chimneys do not produce spore mines until the alarm has been sounded. They are considered in standby mode, slowly producing spores (1/hr) until the Hive Mind urges otherwise. Spores that start on the board move randomly as normal and if they explode, the alarm is sounded on a 4+.


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".

The Battle

Turn 1 - Luke shot me up, I shuffled around. My shooting was ineffective.

Turn 2 - Luke shot me up. I made a daring assault, taking advantage of the proximity of the deployment zones in this scenario (18" apart). I got a few units into hand-to-hand, almost pristine unit of Lysogaunts and Hormagaunts, and a badly shot up unit of Spinegaunts. This was a horrible round for die rolling on my part, for example, the Lysogaunts ripped and tore at six Marine Scout snipers with 39 attacks but only killed a single scout; the scouts turned around and killed four of the Lysogaunts. The other assaults followed suit and things started looking grim for the bugs. The bright spot in this turn was a Typhoon Speeder getting dropped.

Turn 3 - Luke shot me up good and slaughtered guys in close combat. My Lysogaunts managed to kill only two scouts this turn, but it was enough to make them fall back. Lightning advances and blows up an immobilized Rhino, blasting it off the board and leaving a clear line of site for the squad that has just bailed out with their shiny guns, all ready to gun down bugs. The Razorback gets immobilized and the marines pile out to go slap around some gaunts with their Venerable Dreadnought buddy.

Turn 4 - By the end of this turn, I have lost half my models, but the tide turns suddenly. Lightning gets into close combat, ripping the weapons off the Venerable Dreadnought and stunning it, but it's "Hard to Kill" ability saves it from being destroyed. Luke makes a bid for the poorly defended bunker with his Landspeeders and a tactical squad in a Rhino.

Turn 5 - Lightning drops the marine squad attacking him blows up the Venerable Dreadnought, then leaps a forest to attack the Vinidcator tank; he flubs his Psychic Test and subsequently takes a wound from a "perils of the Warp" attack. Two Landspeeders get dropped.

Turn 6 - Luke pulls the Rhino back behind cover to reduce the firepower directed at it. Lightning leaps a forest and blasts a Whirlwind into oblivion. The Bursavores, Thunder and Mjolnir drop the last Rhino, the second Dreadnought, and the last Landspeeder.


All right, that's two battles in a row where it felt like I was losing for more than half the game. My heart can't take this emotional rollercoaster! :)