A Science Fiction Miniatures Wargame

Home Page - Gaming - Warhammer 40,000 - Battle Reports - Battle Report #32

Battle Report 32 - A Question of Time

Tyranids vs. Biel-Tan Eldar

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 27OCT2002
  • Points - 1700
  • Scenario - Meatgrinder
  • Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List [played by Michael J. Casavant]
  • Biel-Tan Eldar [played by Andrew Harper]
  • Result - Victory for Biel-Tan Eldar (game ended turn 4, BTE models still alive)
  • Battle Honours
    • Hive Fleet Phage - none.
    • Food - ?



Firmus Mutare Campaign, game eleven. This was a lark. Andrew has three levels of fortifications and I wanted to see if I could take the territory. In the end, the fortifications were strangely not all that significant; rather, the mission was the dominant factor and victory was determined by a single die roll.

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

[I had to be somewhere after the game and I neglected to take any pics, sorry. This is getting to be a bad habit. Pics next time I promise!]

Turn 1 - I advanced straight ahead, only taking cover with my monsters.

Turn 2 - Spinegaunts sidestep and deplete the minefields, clearing the way for the leaper guants behind them. The Gargoyles flank and assault the Wave Serpent from the rear. They get a lucky shot with their Bio-Plasma and get an Immobilized result, destroying the WS and killing all of the Striking Scorpions inside without a fight because the exit port was blocked; I doubt Andrew will fall for that again. Andrew Deep Strikes his Swooping Hawks in behind everything (recall I have to kill every model to win).

Turn 3 - The Lysogaunts turn around and kill off the Swooping Hawks in a single round of combat. Spinegaunts engage and tie up the Wraithlords. Gungnir engages a Wraithlord, does some wounds and then dies in the next phase because he is so slow...Red Terror engages the other Wraithlord and dies quickly after inflicting some wounds. Lightning engages the Farseer and Avatar; he kills the Avatar, but on the next phase normal grunts sweep in and he fails 2 out of 2 saves, losing his last two wounds and dying.

Turn 4 - Gargoyles and Hormagaunts rush in to fight the Farseer and Storm Guardians. Thunder keeps trudging forward towards the enemy. Mjolnir, down to single wound from a single round of Starcannon fire from the Wraithlord, limps through the trees towards the Wraithlord.

Andrew rolls a "1" and the game ends.


Thanks to Andrew for a fun game. I can honestly say that I had no chance of winning. I was ecstatic at how well I was doing. I was able to flank and take out some really important units much quicker than I had hoped, but four turns just isn't enough. I do not think it is possible to win in four turns no matter what army you play, unless you play a defender who rushes out to fight you, which would be foolish for the Defender to do. One big reason is that Meatgrinder requires you to kill every last model of the Defender's army. That's a very tall order unless you can get a lot of lost enemy units due to fleeing.

I thought Meatgrinder as the Attacker would be really cool as a Tyranid, but there's a wrinkle. Tyranids will never fall back with no chance to regroup as long as a single Synapse is alive. So instead of being able to take my 4 (surviving out of 32) Spinegaunts off the board and recycle them with a fresh unit, I had to keep on fighting with the four. So I think that as Tyranids, it's one of those missions where you have to shrug and hope for the best. Andrew fielded two Wraithlords and I think that alone would have made Meatgrinder nigh impossible to win; they are just to unbalancingly tough, literally, Toughness 8 is just too hard to overcome for non-lascannon/brightlance armies.

And don't think I did not try to kill off my units. I had my Spinegaunts walk side to side, trying to kill them off and simultaneously clear the minefields. I let them get shot up by Andrew's Sentry guns. They just wouldn't die. Ah well, better luck next time! :)