Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BATTLE REPORT: Tyranids vs Tau- Bring On the Heavies!

Trip and I finally got to put the new 7th edition rules through their paces.  It was an epic battle, with a silly amount of time spent looking through books, but a good time all the same.  Check out the action and some nice pics of pretty models on a great board.

Welcome to the longest post in H.O.W. history. 

Trip had a few new models he was itching to try out, (Those fexes and biovores weren't gonna play themselves! - trip) so we finally settled on a tournament standard 1850, and played one of the new maelstrom of war missions, "spoils of war".

My Tau/GK force: 
Commander with Plasma and Missile p
The Tau settle in for a long and brutal battle
ods, command and control, target lock, and trait: Through Unity Devastation
Ethereal with equalizers
Crisis team, 2 plasma, target lock; (2x) Plasma, MP, velocity tracker
(2x) Firewarriors x12
Kroot x12 with sniper rounds, Kroot hound
Pathfinders- (3x) pulse/marker; (2x) rail rifle
Longstrike Hammerhead- rail with subs, SMS, Disruption pod
Sky Ray- SMS
Broadside- TL-HRR, TL-SMS, velocity tracker, 2 shield drones
Aegis with quad gun
Coteaz- rolled precognition, scriers, prescience
5 Grey Knights Terminators- 4 sword, 1 halberd, psycannon, psybolt

Venerable Dreadnought- doomfist, heavy flamer, multimelta
Unending Maw prepares to devour all before it.

Trip's Tyranids:
WARLORD: The Swarmlord with 2 tyrant guard equipped with lash whips and boneswords
Winged hive tyrant with twin linked brain leach devourers and regeneration
termagant brood: 10 bare gants
warrior brood: 3 warriors with a single stranglethorn cannon
biovore brood: 3 biovores
Exocrine with regeneration
Tyrannofex with acid spray and regeneration
Mawlock with regeneration and toxin spike
carnifexes brood: 2 fexes with twin linked brain leach devourers and regeneration

(looking at this list, I realize that it is actually an unbound army. I intended to bring a battleforged list, thinking that I could bring the "living artillery node" from the Leviathan Rising dataslate, as a detatchment, and use the required warriors from that formation as my second troops choice. But I see now that I would need an additional troops choice in my primary detachment for it to be battle forged. Fortunately, this didn't affect the game, as we never contested the same objective. -trip)

I rolled for deployment and opted to go first to make sure I actually got to fire with Longstrike before Trip blew him up (sore subject).  I wasn't too bright about my objective placement and only put 1 in my deployment zone. D'oh.

Not having purchased the new rule book, I hadn't realized the implications of the new allies my 2 armies are now somewhat useless together.  Great.  No prescience for my FWs. We also realized that Deet's deployment put several Tau squads within 6" of the Knights, which would have caused a "one eye open" check every turn, possibly denying him control of his squads! We decided to play the deployment as it lay, to save redeployment - reasoning that this was the last battle they would fight before their trust unraveled completely and their allegiance shattered.

The Tyranid spearhead moves directly toward the Tau defense line.
In the foreground, Kroot infiltrators claim an objective.

Regardless, my right flank FWs managed to pop off one warrior with the opening salvo. My pathfinders gave me a couple of Markers on the Exocrine, but my Sky Ray's guided seekers came up snakeyes. Are you freaking kidding me?  You know how many guided seekers I miss? 70% easy. The FWs on the quad gun managed to dump enough shots on the Carnifexes to score a wound, firing through the big ruin in the middle and using the commander's control mod to reroll misses. Longstrike blasted the Exocrine and only managed 1 wound, but the following salvo from the Pathfinders landed a rail rifle and guided seeker for 2 more! My Kroot advanced to claim the objective on the left flank, and popped off 8 gants.  Not a bad first round. Those gants were slaughtered! But oh well, they were only brought as a minimum requirement to meet force org, and as they were fearless in synapse, the remaining two dutifully stayed on the objective they held.

Trip's first turn started with a whimper, with his Warrior's stranglethorn canon only managing to drop a single FW in the manufactorum. His 'Fexes did little better, landing 21/24 brain leech devourers, but only killing 3 of the Aegis fortified FWs after they went to ground. HEY! admit it, this was GREAT shooting. Solely the fact that your guys hit the dirt behind a chunk of imperial engineering saved that squad from being devastated. 

The carnifexes prepare to rampage directly through the Librarium Imperialis to reach their prey.

His Exocrine blasted on my Kroot, but they managed to Lizard Up and made all 4 saves.  Their luck was about to change though.  Trip's fancy new Biovores unleashed a withering barrage, and thanks to the new template rules, obliterated all but one warrior and the Kroot Hound. First fielded models always perform poorly, but the biovores bucked the old truism. They rained down pie plate after pie plate on the poor kroot squad. it was BRUTAL. They bravely ran away, losing the objective before I could get the points for it.  Trip finished turning his first turn around by getting a regen on his Carnifex.  Man, 12 twin-linked shots on a monster with 4 wounds, 3+ save, that can get regen? Oh, and you can put 3 in a squad?  Oh, and you can cast FNP on them?  That's not ridiculous or anything. Yeah, I was lucky, and rolled catalyst as one of the swarmlord's powers, and managed to keep the carnifexes juiced most of the game. There's no denying that it is great to have an additional save.

Eager to get the most out of the new psychic phase and my counts-as Coteaz, I went about casting anything I could, succeeding in getting PotW and exploding the brain of one of my Terminators. Wah wah. Let's just take a minute to point out that the new psychic phase is great. It keeps everyone from forgetting to use their powers, and the new mechanics are fun. My Pathfinders though, oh my Pathfinders.  Those two little rail rifles have never done better for me, and they managed to finish off the Exocrine for FIRST BLOOD! This was unreal. I've never seen pathfinders perform like that. even though I moved my exocrine into cover to get a save from the AP1 rail rounds, I still blew it, and that little squad dropped her on turn 2.

I turned my attention on to the Tyranofex.  The V. Dreadnought took a wound with his melta, followed by a solid 3 wound plasma barrage from my newly arrived Crisis team that I had deep strike to do a little work on his back line and hopefully split his focus a bit. My Broadside came up empty on everything, but the Sky Ray was able to finish the Fex off with a smart missile. The one-two punch of losing TWO of my MC's in a single turn was disheartening, but on the up side, I was fully aware that Deet was having to use the majority of his army to fell a single tyrannofex - this allowed my carnifexes, trailed by the swarmlord and his two tyrant guard, to drive directly down the center of the board, smashing through everything in their path, with only a knight squad and a pinned fireteam taking pot shots at them. The Carnifexes proved a little tougher to deal with, as my Termies came up empty, but my Fire Warriors managed to pull off one wound on their snap shot (gone to ground).  Not a bad turn 2.

Beset on all sides by unspeakable horrors, the Crisis commander and his squad hold their ground.

Trip brought in his Flying Hive Tyrant and his Mawlock from reserve right on my back line. Coteaz was expecting the Mawlock, and his squad managed 2 wounds on the beast. The FW team, now on their feet, came up empty on their interceptor shots. That just pissed off the Flyrant though, who unleashed his Brain Leach Devourers on the squad, killing 3.  The Carnifexes continued their reign of terror, unleashing a...let's call it stupid amount of fire on the squad, killing all but 1, despite their going to ground again. That Imperial ferrocrete didn't save you this time, and having pinned them in the turn before, my fexes were right at Deet's doorstep. The remaining Warriors turned their guns on my Crisis squad and managed one wound. I seem to recall one of the crisis suits being obliterated by the combined firepower of the warriors and the biovores - and the remaining two "elite combat veterans" running for their lives! Maybe I'm recalling it wrong-- it was hard to tell considering how fast they were moving towards their own table edge! :) *edit* How could I forget that?!  Battle hardened veterans flip out from one guy going down.  That percentage rule is fine for infantry, but is totally broken for small squads.

The Librarium crumbles to the ground as the Tyranids smash thought it, it's collapse aided by withering Tau fire.
Despite the withering fire and utter devestation to his squad of Fire Warriors, my Crisis Commander managed to keep his squad (of 1) manning the quad gun.  The little Fire Warrior was obviously scared witless and managed to completely miss the fast approaching Carnifexes with a freaking quad gun. At close range. You don't give him enough credit! He actually blasted 3 massive holes in one of the fexes - who promptly shrugged it off thanks to catalyst! The Commander took it upon himself to show the Shas'la how it was done, and trained his plasma and missile pods down the throat of the nearest beast, stripping it of its final 3 wounds before it could do any more damage. That was stone cold. He just stared down those fexes and blasted away. The lone Broadside decided to finally show up and do the one thing he was there to do: shot the Flyrant out of the sky for 2 wounds. Normally, I have an uncanny knack of hitting the ground without taking a wound with my flyrant, but this time, I was not so lucky.  The grounded beast was no match for the combination of Longstrike and the Grey Knights' Psycannon. That's the first time I've managed to kill that damn thing before it took out half of my shit, and between that and the 'Fex, I had removed 24 twin linked shots from the board in one turn. This was a HUGE blow to my firepower. Usually, the flyrant last several turns, destroying Deet's armor and terrorizing his infantry. The only thing that kept me from being discouraged was the quiet realization that, thanks to maelstrom of war's tactical objectives, I was ahead in points, and still had two MC's on the table.

EDIT - A commenter pointed out that we played this incorrectly, and UNLIKE 6th edition, the grounding test is NOT immediate, but takes place at the END of the phase. The flyrant should have lived though the turn, and been back in the air the following movement phase! Definitely a game changer.

Trip was feeling pretty down about the loss of his big beasts, but somehow I wasn't feeling too uppity. Thankfully his Warriors weren't able to put any more damage in to my Crisis squad. Admittedly, it's hard to hit a target that's running away! His remaining Carnifex turned its attention to my Terminators as they rushed to take over the quad gun.  Trip rolled great, forcing 7 save rolls, which I miraculously made (I know seven 2+ rolls shouldn't be that hard, but you should see the way I've rolled for those guys so far...). His Biovores unleashed another artillery barrage right on Coteaz's head, putting one wound each on Coteaz and my Commander. I was stunned that the knights lived through the combined firepower of the carnifex's devourers, and the on-target barrage of from the biovores - but I couldn't be mad - I could only think, I wish MY terminators survived like this!

Tau Fire Warriors hold the manufactorum, protected by a scatterfield generator.

His Swarmlord decided it was time to get out from behind his little moving shield and charged my Dreadnought in an attempt to shut down one of my big guns.  Despite the wall of fire from my Heavy Flamer, and 33 shots from my FW squad hiding out just behind in the Manufactorum, I managed no overwatch wounds. This might have been the highlight of the game for me. Watching the swarmlord and his guard explode from a ruined building, and charge the dreadnought down while withstanding an unrelenting hail of small arms fire from the adjacent fire warrior squad! The Swarmlord and his guard did what they were genetically engineered to do, putting a pitiful end to a millenia of service from the Venerable one. 

The Swarmlord and his vicious guard set upon the hapless dreadnought.

Trip's 'Fex failed a charge, trying to tie up my Commander. Enraged from being out of synapse, the Mawlock barreled through the Aegis line and charged in to the Terminator squad, managing to smash one Terminator to death and leaving an oozing pile of Terminator armor and a completely useless Force Sword lying on the ground. Damn, this new psychic phase is going to take some getting used to. I attempted to cast "the Horror" on the knights, to pin them and deny them an overwatch, but I Coteaz passed with little effort, leaving the knights unbowed. Thankfully, he hadn't thought to activate his force weapons in the preceding psychic phase! *edit* or remembered my psychic phase at all...

Coteaz and the remaining Knights stand their ground against a rampaging Mawlock that has smashed their defenses, while the Crisis commander and the lone remaining fire warrior man the quad gun against the advancing carnifex spearhead.

Time was rapidly getting the better of us, and we knew we'd have to rush through the rest of the game. My Sky Ray fired two Markerlight-guided Seekers in to the remaining Carnifex to no effect.  My Commander once again decided to show the rest of the army how it was done and put two wounds in to the 'Fex. THIS GUY. A stone cold, zenos killing machine. Did more work than both of your fireteams combined.  Longstrike managed to vaporize one Hiveguard with a sizzling rail shot.  My Ethereal urged on his squad of Fire Warriors, knowing they might only get one more shot out before the Biovores trained their barrage on the Manufactorum.  They poured pulse fire in to Trip's command squad, managing to fell the remaining Hive Guard and putting a wound in to the Swarmlord. The Broadside also managed to peek around the corner enough to wound the Lord with his rail blast. The biggest surprise of the match? 


My remaining Kroot and Kroot hound pulled off insane heroism (we had forgotten about them and rolled late).  I pointed them back toward their starting objective, hoping they'd be able to make it back to claim my VP. "We GOTTA go back!" LOL

Trip actually had about 1/3 of a final turn before we had to call it, but I didn't write anything down. The final tally was 2/3.  I had First Blood and Line Breaker.  Trip had Line Breaker, and had managed to complete two objective cards. I REALLY would have liked to play this one out - but husbandly duties called. The swarmlord was about to charge into the remaining knights that were already knee-deep in mawlock (that had 3 wounds left and regeneration), and they had failed to pass the activation of their force weapons. I don't think it would have been pretty...

The final verdict?  I'm encouraged by 7th ed.  It's going to take some adjustments of course.  My biggest issue comes from Trip having 4x the models I do, and not only does he know exactly what I'm bringing to the table in a high point game (it's everything I have painted), I just don't have enough heavy guns to compete with that many high toughness creatures. This is definitely a handicap for you. I think we should play smaller point games, not only to allow you to mix it up, but to get more 7th ed. games in to familiarize ourselves with the changes. In the end, it was a lot closer than I expected. Despite my exasperation at his Carnifexes' devastating power (I spent half the game yelling at them and the designers back in England who made that silliness possible), a good time was had by all. You shout about the fexes, but in the end, they didn't kill a single unit, and you were able to destroy them both!

I like 7th so far. The addition of the psychic phase is fantastic, and the streamlining of some of the rules is welcomed.



  1. Very nice Batrep ! I love your board and painting, good job on everything. It seems to have been a very brutal game. The only thing I'm not getting is this : how did the Flyrant got grounded and shot afterward ? In the new codex it says ''If a Flying Monstrous Creature that is Swooping suffers one or more unsaved Wounds during any phase, it must take a Grounded test at the end of that phase''. So that way, if a FMC is flying at the beginning of the turn, there is no possibility of being shot on the ground that turn in any way.

    1. David, you are absolutely correct! I assumed that it was an immediate test, like in 6th edition. And now that I think of it, was I playing it incorrectly in 6th edition as well?! Now I'm going to have to go back and re-read 6th just to see if I was doing it wrong all along!

  2. Having consulted the old rulebook, I see the point of my confusion. It WAS an immediate test in 6th edition, but has been changed to the end of the phase in 7th. A VERY big difference!

    1. That's crazy broken. Can it just take off again on your next turn then like nothing happened? So you never have a chance to shoot at it without Skyfire? That makes FMCs hugely hard to hit. Like, I'm gonna take my dice and go home, crazy bullshit, I'm done with this crap, hard to hit.

    2. seriously, what's the point of grounding something if you can't shoot at it on the ground? It's just a 1/3 chance of it maybe taking an additional wound?

    3. If you ground it during the movement phase using interceptor, or during the psychic phase with a witchfire power, you could fire on it with normal BS during the shooting phase.

    4. It's strong for shooty FMC. They want to make everything shooty. I wouldn't be surprised if in 8th ed. there is no more CC lol. Since now you cannot assault if you change flying mode, you cannot charge the turn where you are grounded. So again, it's damn strong, but not for demon/assault FMC. You will still have to get one full turn of shooting. For the shooty one, you basicly act like a normal flyer thats always hit on 6.

    5. Fair point, but as Tau, my access to the grand worlds of Interceptor and Psychic abilities include Aegis Line and...Aegis line. You bring more than one, I pretty much am required by default to put Skyfire on every single model that can possibly have it (which is pretty much Broadsides and XV8s) at the expense of anything else. Those XV8s you pounded would have fared a lot better if I could have kitted them out with some of their other goodies, but I had to waste slots to make sure your Flyrant wouldn't stomp everyone. Going to have to start investing in flyers of my own, I guess.

    6. That bomber/strike fighter is pretty cool...

    7. I know I'm reading this several months past, and I haven't played 7th yet (been on a break from W40k) but isn't taking a VT and EWO on a Riptide with an HBC the best option for shooting down FMCs? Especially if you take a FE Riptide with ECPA.

    8. If I had a Riptide, yes that would be an option. I don't. I was certainly hampered by my lack of models. Fortunately, I will have a Stormraven available shortly to deal with Flyrants and the like. A Riptide will be on the menu shortly.

      Much as I'd like to be different, I'm not immune to New Edition Rage. Having to change the way you play is hard, and being surprised by new rules/units that stomp you isn't fun. Bitching about them is part of the fun of the hobby though, right? That new reality hit me hard and pissed me off. Several games later, I'm not worried about Flyrants like I was. Trip is now raging on my Culexus Assassin, but I'd wager he'll get that figured out shortly too.

  3. PS- our armies look effin' RAD! :)