Battle Report 38 - Breaking the Chain
Tyranids vs. Biel-Tan Eldar
Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)
- Date - 04APR2003
- Points - 1900
- Scenario - Reign of Terror (Custom Scenario)
- Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List [played
by Michael J. Casavant]
- Biel-Tan Eldar [played by Ric Li]
- Results - We had unrelated objectives; Minor Victory for Eldar
- Hive Fleet Phage
- Get the enemy HQ - not accomplished (physically impossible)
- Take ground - two quarters held at end of the game,
- Biel-Tan Eldar
- Get vehicles off the other side of the board - not
- VPs for his surviving troops 1631 (out of 1867)
This is my third battle in the Midnight
Comics GW League's Spring 2003 40k League.
Scenario: this was a custom mission called Reign of Terror.
Because of other campaign dynamics, I would definitely be the
- FOC Attacker (Tyranids) - 1-2 HQ, 0-2 Elite, 0-2 Fast Attack,
3-5 Troops, 0-2 Heavy Support
- FOC Defender (Eldar) - 1-2 HQ, 1-3 Elite, 1-3 Fast Attack,
3-6 Troops, 0-3 Heavy Support
The scenario was setup with a 4'x6' board as usual, but we set
up on the short edges, 6" in from the edge. Yes, that's right,
What does this mean (for my non-40k playing friends)?
For those unitiated into this game, it means I will probably lose.
:) The game is generally built around opponents having armies
about 30" apart. In this game, we are 60" apart and
the game may end as early as turn 5. If I roll a "6"
on a d6 for my Fleet of Claw moves, 1/4 of my army might make
it to his army by turn 5. However, that is unlikely and it is
more likely that it will take 7 turns to reach him. That alone
is not so bad. However, my opponent can afford to sit and shoot
because he has good firepower and his objective is simply to survive,
so it's in his best interest to hang back as much as possible.
I cannot. I have an assault army, which means I am effective at
close combat but not shooting. Ric has a shooty army, which means
he has lots of effective firepower; his list is a little less
shooty than it could be, but that sacrifice is made for some of
the most potent assault units in the game. What this means is
that if Ric sits and shoots, he will probably be fine. My objectives
encourage me to run at him by the most direct line possible, which
means little/no cover. Only a a few units can move fast enough
to reach his army by turn 5/6, and that will force them to leave
the others behind. This means that Ric will be faced with small
pockets of bugs that he should be able to gun down or defeat in
close combat without endangering himself. So, we both expected
Ric to win, and he did.
Ah well, custom scenarios are interesting, but they are not playtested
and things like this happen.
About my opponent - Ric was great. He was sympathetic
before, during, and after the battle. He moved, fired, and rolled
dice quickly, so the game did not drag out. He probably complained
more about the slant of the mission in his favor than I did. Truly
a great opponent that made the impending loss a lot more fun.
It really helped me laugh and smile as I was gunned down mercilessly.
Oh, and one more thing, templates of death and destruction are
raining down on the battlefield to reflect a shattered moon. Good
thing I don't have a huge army spread out over the battlefield...oh
wait, I do! :)
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".
NOTE: Objectives were hidden from the opponent, so neither of
us knew what the others' objective was...
The lithe figure moved swiftly and gracefully to a position a
few meters in front of the Farseer and genuflected with a flourish.
"M'lord, the orders have been given. We are to penetrate
the lines of the Beast and connect with other elements to turn
the tide of the implacable foe's advance."
"Bah!" The retort that emanated from the Farseer's
fluted battle helm had an eerie ethereal sound.
The kneeling man glanced up, "M'lord! The orders were very
"Orders given by those safely positioned behind us carry
"Enough. Look at the tac crystals." The Farseer waved
a hand over an array of green crystals and a three-dimensional
map of the battlefield south of them shimmered into existence.
"These creatures, here and here will readily disable our
heaviest vehicles, and these are a viable threat to our more lightly
armed vehicles or the flank armor of our tanks. To follow those
orders would be folly. No, we will make a stand and fell as much
of the foe as possible."
The man kneeling was visibly distressed, he hissed, "M'lord,
the chain of command..."
"Do not lecture me. This discussion is over. File your complaints,
raise your objections, but this day we stand and fight. The obtuse
and overly complex machinations of our superiors will wait."
The contempt in the Farseer's voice carried through the helmet's
speaker. "Our numbers dwindle and the mon'keigh and Tau can
fill the belly of the Beast in our place. We will feed the Beast
only pain and death this day. We are done talking."
The Farseer then tilted his head back and pulled a floating drone
"Let it be noted, that the Commander is acting under protest."
The Farseer then looked back to the kneeling man. "There
Commander, you have been absolved from blame, in accordance with
the canons of command of our forces. It is on my head. Now, ready
your men and advance to the first position. I will follow fast
behind you. Take a Guardian squad, Falcon, mobile Scorpions, a
Wraithlord, and two units of Dark Reapers. The specific units
choices are up to you."
The kneeling man strained the words through his teeth, his frustration
a red mask on his face, "Yes M'lord. It will be done."
Commander V'layen watched from the Falcon's monitors as his forces
took position. A distant darkness moved on the horizon. They had
come. A shower of rocks fell near a ridge, creating a blockage
that the beasts would have to maneuver around.
Eldar: Wraithlord, Striking Scorpions in Wave Serpent,
Falcon, both Dark Reapers squads, and Guardian squad.
Tyranids: Thunder & Guard, Mjolnir, both broods
of Spinegaunts, and the Tyranid Warriors brood.
The beasts advanced. V'layen snapped orders over the comm unit
and his men responded with precision and skill. They were not
yet in optimal range, but they held fast.
Turn 2, Eldar Reserves - Fire Dragon, Farseer, Vyper
The Farseer had arrived, strolling onto the field. A fiery rain
of molten rock crashed to the earth just in front of Thunder,
missing the beast narrowly. Luck seemed to be on their side.
"Visions of glory cloud the ancient mind."
"Sir?" queried the driver of V'Layen's tank.
"Nothing. Pay attention, they come! Weapons officer, fire
Turn 2, Tyranid reserves - Lightning, Lysogaunts, Hormagaunts.
Behind the scampering horde came two smaller hordes of the leaping
Gaunts and the winged horror Lightning. V'Layen knew that this
beast was one of many clones of the genetic matter that his troops
called Lightning, but the folk loric power of the idea of a monstrous
beast that rises from death to fight another battle was far harder
to kill than the beast itself.
Turn 3, Eldar reserves - Howling Banshees in Wave Serpent, Avatar
Some cannon fire erupted, signaling that a few of the Gaunts
had finally stumbled into weapons range. Rocks rained down to
the ground only dozens of meters south of the mounted Striking
Turn 3, Tyranid reserves - (12-model) Gargoyle brood
A unit of the winged beasts, Gargoyles, could be seen briefly
as they disappeared behind the cover of rocks.
Turn 4, Eldar reserves - Striking Scorpions on foot
The final elements had arrived. The force was complete. The creatures
continued to advance and started to fall in greater numbers to
weapons fire. Rocks rained down near the beasts, but narrowly
Turn 4, Tyranid reserves - (8-model) Gargoyle brood
One of the units of Spinegaunts raced forward in a suicidal assault
against the Wraithlord while the rest of the creatures trudged
over the fallen bodies of their fellow beasts.
Start of turn 5
The really bad shooting is just beginning. All but 2 of
the 56 Gaunts running up the left side to try and attack
the HQ (objective #1) will be gunned down before they can
reach the Eldar. The Eldar have basically set up a refused
flank, and there's more ground to cover.
One unit of Spinegaunts has begun to annoy the Wraithlord,
but in the next phase will be assaulted by Striking Scorpions
and Howling Banshees.
Both units of Striking Scorpions advanced to the Spinegaunts,
but only one reached the combat with the Wraithlord so far. They
were supported by the unit of Howling Banshees. A huge chunk of
rock fell to the ground and rolled through a unti of Spinegaunts
which skittered out of harm's way with remarkable agility [they
made a Leadership test].
The bulk of the remaining beasts advanced into the mouths of
cannons, littering the field with their bodies.
Lightning and a brood of Gargoyles joined the battle with the
Wraithlord, as well as the Lysogaunts.
The bodies of beasts fell by the dozen and still they came. Except
for Thunder and the Warriors. They held back for some reason beyond
ken. A thunderous hail of rocks fell far from the battle.
The Commander thought out loud, "Odd, tactical data suggests
they will follow behind their wave of fodder. Why do they hold
back? Is there a purpose?"
The creatures fighting the Wraithlord, Scorpions, and Banshees
had finally fallen. The command to fall back to the rally point
had been given. Ice crystals pounded harmlessly into barren rock,
evaporating into a vile-looking mist, but nothing was close enough
to encounter its effects.
The Farseer could be heard over the comm, "Victory is ours!
Fall back to the rally point!"
The driver spoke, "Commander, what troubles you?"
V'layen answered, "We disregarded our orders and have left
the beast one step closer to us. I fear we have only the illusion
"Ah, don't listen to me. This conflict is wearing on me.
Let us return to headquarters and celebrate our victory!"
The driver was not convinced by the Commander's smile, but answered
in kind as he spun the Falcon around and pushed the throttle crystals
forward, exclaiming "Hurrah!"