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Battle Report 40 - That's My Rock!

Tyranids vs. Dark Eldar

Composed by Michael J. Casavant (Hive Fleet Phage)


  • Date - 10APR2003
  • Points - 1790
  • Scenario - "Find the Marble"
  • Hive Fleet Phage, Tyranid Army List [played by Michael J. Casavant]
  • Kabal of the Indescribable Itch (Dark Eldar) [played by Chuck Hatley]
  • Results - Victory for Tyranids
    • Hive Fleet Phage total VPs 2510
      • Kills 1710 (all except 1/2 Mandrake squad)
      • Scenario VPs from 6 objectives - 250+150+250+100+50 = 800
    • Dark Eldar total VPs 944
      • Kills 844 (1/2 Tyrant Guard, 1/2 Lysogaunts, Hormagaunts, 1 1/2 Spinegaunts, 1/2 Mjolnir, 1/2 Biovores)
      • Scenario VPs from 6 objectives - 100
    • Quarters
      • Tyranids 3
      • Dark Eldar 0



This is my fourth battle in the Midnight Comics GW League's Spring 2003 40k League.

Scenario: this was a custom mission called Find the Marble. Because of other campaign dynamics, I would definitely be the Attacker.

  • FOC Attacker (Tyranids) - 1-2 HQ, 1-3 Elite, 0-3 Fast Attack, 2-5 Troops, 0-2 Heavy Support
  • FOC Attacker (Dark Eldar) - 1-2 HQ, 1-3 Elite, 0-3 Fast Attack, 2-5 Troops, 0-2 Heavy Support

The Board

The scenario was setup with a 4'x6' board as usual and we set up on the long edges, 6" in from the edge. A little farther back than usual, but not too bad, especially with the objectives positioned in the center of the board.

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

Fallox approached the Archon's throne, stopping the requisite 10 meters from him. Such an antiquated policy, considering the force fields in place, but it showed respect for the threat a guest presents, friend or foe. Fallox was still bristling with weapons from the battlefield and his armor stank of sweat, tinged by the scent of his own blood. The regenerators had healed him enough to facilitate walking on his own, albeit with great pain.

The Archon was apparently unmoved by Fallox's display of stoicism and spoke with a voice that dripped arrogance and condescension, "Succubus Fallox, how good of you to come. I trust the battle went well. Oh no, wait, it didn't did it? In fact, you fell on the field of battle, apparently too wounded to fight, but not so wounded that you did not die. Please explain to me why I should not let one of my Haemonculi peel your body apart over the next weeks?"

Fallox bit back his anger. Loyalty was nothing more than a word used in jest amongst the ranks; the only thing that demanded loyalty was fear of reprisals. There was no wrong in his fleeing the field, and it's likely the Archon before him benefited from it. Fallox was a Succubus of Wyches, he could vivisect the smirking Archon before a single drop of blood hit the ground; but of course, his Wych guards were on hand and, of course, there were the force fields...

Hatred seethed in him, but it was kept in check by the same old taskmaster as always, the desire to live. "Most mighty and powerful Archon Draxen, as you undoubtedly know, the recent rain of debris from the shattered moon and Imperial starship left valuable items scattered about the front lines. Our force deployed in pursuit of plunder. Because of our haste and intelligence showing the arrival of a Tyranid force, we arrived piecemeal to the battle."

The Archon made a great show of his boredom, "Yes, yes, of course, do go on. Fascinating."

"The Ravager arrived first, along with two Raiders and two squads of Warriors on foot. They were facing a small swarm of what I am told are Spinegaunts, led by the Hive Tyrant species known as Thunder, and supported by Biovores and the Carnifex species called Mjolnir."

Start of turn 1
Dark Eldar Forces - Ravager, 2 Raider squads, 2 Warrior squads
Tyranid Forces - Thunder, Mjolnir, 1 brood of Spinegaunts, Biovores

"The chunks of debris were in sight and both sides advanced. The Archon and a unit of Scourges arrived to assist, as did more bugs, in the form of a second unit of Spinegaunts and a unit of Hormagaunts."


"Sorry, lord?"

"They are called broods, not squads."

"Of course, broods."

Start of turn 2
Dark Eldar reserves - Archon unit, and Scourges

Tyranid reserves - Brood of Spinegaunts, brood of Hormagaunts.

"Our units jockeyed for position, trying to exploit the cover while acquiring targets. The Ravager lost its weapon systems to the Venom Cannon of Thunder, and one of the Raiders was grounded by a Spore Mine. In general , the spore mines were not nearly as fell a weapon as our sources reported. They served mostly to give the men a healthy dose of fear and encouraged them to advance towards the enemy."

"Perhaps we should get some then? We could call them motivation mines."

Fallox feigned amusement at the Archon's feeble attempt at humor, but was outdone by the tittering and guffaws of the sycophants sitting around the throne.

Start of turn 3
Dark Eldar reserves - Wyches

Tyranid reserves - Lysogaunts

"A unit of Wyches arrived, as did a a un...brood of Lysogaunts on the other side."

The Archon smirked.

"The battle was pitched at this point and it looked as if the wave of beasts might falter. The Archon advanced towards Thunder, as did the Raider squad with the Crucible of Malediction."

The Archon looked irritated. "What? Why didn't the fools use it?!"

"Archon, I believe they were waiting for the Lightning to arrive. The spirits are fickle, especially when unleashed against the alien mind of a Tyranid, or so I am told."

"Ah yes, I suppose that could be seen as wise."

[Game mechanics - The Crucible gets one chance to kill every enemy Psyker on the board, but exactly one chance. The Psyker makes a Leadership test or dies instantly; once one is killed it stops working, or once it goes through all Psykers on the board. In this list, only my two Hive Tyrants are viable targets and they have Ld10. Being closer makes the Crucible more effective, a -1 on the Ld score. However, at this point Lightning was not yet on the table, so it would have been less useful to unleash it. The unit in question is in the Raider at the middle top of the picture, near the set of four standing stones.]

"The Archon's vehicle was destroyed by Thunder, forcing him to evacuate it. Spinegaunts rushed forward and a Lictor hidden in the nearby trees also attacked. Casualties were minimal on both sides."

"On the other side of the field, the Hormagaunts managed to reach a Warrior squad, but casualties were unremarkable, as the speed of our Warriors exceeded that of the beasts."

"It was then that my band arrived to the field of battle. We bloodied Mjolnir's nose and prepared to assault."

Start of turn 4
Dark Eldar reserve - Warp Beasts

Tyranid reserves - Lightning

"Our band advanced towards Mjolnir and disembarked, moving with all due haste to support our fellows against the Hormagaunts. Our combat drugs gave our bodies unmatched speed and the beasts begin to fall like wheat before the scythe. The nearby Spinegaunts charged in, but were hewn from the ground like meat targets. It was grand."

Fallox's blood surged hot with the memory of the combat.

"Chitinous bodies swarmed to thickly that every stroke of the blade ripped the life from another beast. It was glorious!"

The Archon feigned a yawn, "Yes, yes, now tell me how you lost."

Fallox bit back his rage and continued, "The other side of the field did not fare so well. Across the distance, we could hear the tell tale sound his Shadow Field failing. It seems a lowly Spinegaunt brought it down."

The Archon let slip a quick glimpse of fear.

Fallox smiled grimly as he continued, "The Incubi lost ground to the Lictor, getting cut down faster than they could close in, and the Warriors fell as well. A scream of combat drug overdose was followed by silence and the Archon's unit disappeared beneath the beasts, which skipped nary a beat as they turned their attention towards us."

The Archon interjected, "Pathetic. An Archon should die well. That is the death of a common thug."

"Lady battle does no always let you choose the dance by which you end your life. Archon or not."

The Archon, looking eager to change the subject, asked, "And what of the Crucible? Surely such a potent artifact came into play."

"Almost, yes. Even as Lightning swooped onto the field, the Raider was brought down by Thunder. All but three in that squad died as the exploding reactor sent metal shards through the crew. Luckily, the carrier of the crucible was not slain. Unfortunately for them, the Lysogaunts mere meters from them surged forward and slew them. The Crucible fell to the ground, unused and impotent, as so many magic gewgaws."

Fallox continued before the Archon could interject.

"And of course, they turned their eyes to our battle as well. The next minute of fighting would decided the battle."

"What of this Lightning creature?"

"Oh, yes, he swooped in an devastated a squad of scourges."

The Archon seemed a little nervous as he replied, "Well surely, the poisoned blades..."

"No, not a scratch."

The Archon answered with false bravado, "Yes, well, weak like their Archon, continue!"

Start of turn 5
Tokens finally start getting turned over!

"We cut down more than fifty of the beast, but before we could recover our wits, Thunder was upon us with the remaining Lysogaunts. The screams of the beasts were replaced the screams of our men. The last I remember, a seven-meter long talon was ripping my lung to shreds."

Start of turn 6

"Of course you have the debrief, go on."

"Yes, I do. I am told that Lightning secure a large relic, the Spinegaunts secured two smaller ones, and a large one, Thunder slew a Warrior and took a small relic from him, and one of our Mandrakes faded into the shadows with a relic in hand, the sole survivor of his squad after an assault by Mjolnir."

End of game.

Fallox bowed, turned on his heel, and started to walk briskly from the room.

"Where do you think you are going?"

"Archon, I go now to flee with the remnants of my Kabal's wounded. Reports are that a wave of Hive Fleet Phage approaches our position even as we speak."

Fallox stepped onto a Jetbike and kicked it to life. As he sped off he yelled, "Die well!"

A final look at the tokens

From left to right:

  • Lightning sitting on a Marble (ouch that smarts) - +250 Tyranids
  • Spinegaunts picked up a prize (one gets discarded) - +150 Tyranids
  • Spinegaunts play with the other marble - +250 Tyranids
  • Spinegaunts eats another small prize - +100 Tyranids
  • Thunder takes a prize from a Warrior squad - +50 Tyranids
  • A lone Mandrake clings desperately to his prize - +50 Dark Eldar


This battle was really close until Turn 4 or 5. The Dark Eldar was kicking some serious bug tail in assault. Then some key battles went my way and a more than a few units came within just inches of being too far from where they needed to be. I was fortunate in that regard (in spite of the pathetic lack of accuracy of my Spore Mines).

Dark Eldar have some really cool and unusual units and Chuck was a great sport and opponent. He kept me on my toes the whole game. I can't get over the capabilities of those cheap little 8-point Warriors; I can't even make a mutable genus Gaunt with that statline!

I also managed to snatch up a lot of objectives at the last second thanks to a good Fleet of Claw roll and some fortunate post-assault positioning (pure luck there).

Thanks Chuck!