Arctic Apocalypse: Army Selections

My return to the snowy wastes of Alaska has brought my thoughts away from the tropical Hawaiian beaches, and back to the harsh reality that was Arctic Apocalypse 2010.  Though I had  originally intended to do some of the write-up from the beach, my senses kicked in and I spent the last two weeks basking in the sun.  Now that I’m back, I figure I can take a couple of posts and write-up the Apoc battle as promised.

The primary focus of this blog entry is the thought process behind Team Bug’s army list: why we chose what we did.  In total we had 14,000 points per side.   So, instead of each fielding a 3500 point army, we got together and did an inventory of all of the models we owned, so we could use the cream of the crop.  Since we four players on our side, and one of them had no Tyranid models himself, this also turned out to be necessary.

Team Bug


In total we had 14,000 points per side, since we were effectively making one big army rather than four little armies, we just all said what we wanted to use, and I built a communal army that contained everything people requested.  The requests were:

  • Blaine:  Genestealers.  He actually wanted to play 3500 points of nothing but genestealers, but we couldn’t quite muster enough models (though we were close).  He also wanted to play with the Swarmlord.  He’s also notorious for playing raveners.
  • Simon: Lots of little gribblies.  He wanted to have a ton of little guys. 
  • Derek: Big Bugs & Biovores.  He likes to hide in the back and fire at things indirectly.  Little did he know that biovores are more of a move and shoot kind of unit now…
  • Me: Zoanthropes (synapse, invulnerable saves, and tank cracking goodness) along with spore mines…

In total, our final list wound up looking like:

  • Apoc Formations:
    • Kraken Swarm
      • (3x) 20 Termagants with Fleshborers & Toxin Sacs
      • (1x) 10 Gargoyles with Toxin Sacs
      • (2x) 3 Tyranid Warriors (2x deathspitters & 1x barbed strangler)
      • (1x) 3 Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords & Lashwhips
      • Subterranean Swarm
        • Trygon Prime with Regeneration & Adrenaline Sacs
        • (2x) 5 Raveners with Rending Claws
        • (1x) 6 Raveners with Rending Claws
        • (1x) 3 Raveners with Rending Claws
      • Endless Swarm
        • (3x) 20 Termagants with Fleshborers & Toxin Sacs
        • (3x) 20 Hormagaunts
  • HQ:
    • (3x) Hive Tyrant with Venom Cannon, Bonesword & Lashwhip, Acid Blood, Paroxysm, & Leech Essence
    • (1x) Flying Hive Tyrant with Old Adversary, Venom Cannon, Bonesword & Lashwhip, Acid Blood, Paroxysm, & Leech Essence
    • (1x) Swarm Lord
  • Elites:
    • (1x) Death Leaper
    • (1x) 1 Lictor
    • (12x) 1 Zoanthrope
    • (1x) 10 Ymgarl Genestealers
    • (1x) 8 Ymgarl Genestealers
  • Troops:
    • (3x) Tervigons with Onslaught & Catalyst
    • (3x) 9 Genestealers + Broodlord
    • (7x) 10 Genestealers
    • (3x) 4 Ripper Swarms with Tunneling
    • (1x) 3 Ripper Swarms with Tunneling
  • Fast Attack:
    • (20x) 2 Spore Mines
  • Heavy Support:
    • (6x) Biovores
  • Gargantuan Support:
    • 3x Hierophants
    • 2x Barbed Hierodules

Our opponents were scheduled to be and IGuard player who had a bunch of tanks, a wolf-wing player with a Titan, a space marine player noted for drop pods, and an in-your-face Chaos player colloquially known as “Team HQ.”  As such, we expected to face a lot of armored vehicles and 2+ armored infantry.  Unfortunately, these are two areas where the ‘Nid codex was lacking.  Ultimately, we tailored much of our list to cracking open the tanks.  As such, our choices came down to really three options: Tank Killers, Synapse, Crappers, & Fun Stuff.

Tank Killers:

We figured there’d be about half of the opposing force being vehicles, but after changes in Team Turnover’s line-up, it ended up being even higher than that.  Our main methods of cracking open tanks were the bio-titans.  Since they could get strength10 shots at 48” range, they were the best method of punching through heavily armored targets we could muster.  Of course, the fact that they could shred everything in hand-to-hand and they were practically unkillable were both nice added bonuses.

We also threw in 12x Zoanthropes into this category—though in hind-sight, I think we only mustered one or two successful shots with them the entire game.  Their short ranged anti-tank capability would help when we got close.  They’d also provide synapse to keep our lines in check. 


In addition to the 12x Zoanthropes, we fielded 4 hive tyrants (one of which was flying), a Trygon Prime, a Swarmlord, 3 Tervigons and 3 squads of warriors.  That’s only 24 points of  synapse on our entire board—something we knew we’d be weak on, but unfortunately, we didn’t have too many other options.  We had some more warrior models which we could’ve fielded and I believe an extra Trygon and one more Hive Tyrant.  Unfortunately, they all turned out to be cut from the list due to points and value.  We knew one of our key weaknesses would be synapse…


Per Simon’s request, we needed to field crappers.  Not only would they let us hold objectives (since only troops were able to do so), they’d also be able to provide fodder for the front lines, cover for the back lines, and screening troops for the big bugs.  Their big intent was to place them up front and screen the Hierophants to ensure Chaos demons and vortex grenades wouldn’t find their way into our ranks.

To add flavor to the board, we also picked a bunch of spore mines.  In total, we purchased 40 models, but opted to place them as 20 sets of 2.  This was because we were worried the other team might take the Surgical Raids strategic asset, and kill off all of our mines before they landed.   

The list was a decent representation of the models available in the codex, but we mostly stuck to models we actually owned.  The only models we had an abundance of that didn’t make a showing in our game were Carnifexes.  This is really due to a reaction to strength D weaponry.  Since MC’d die horribly to these weapons with the changes to synapse, we figured it was better to have a gargantuan creature than a couple of Carnies.  Gargs not only are immune to instant death, but they also have higher strength weapons with more shots, and an invulnerable save to boot (plus higher toughness).  Sure, they’re more points per model, but given all of their pros, and our innate fear of tanks, we opted to go big.  The only models we had to proxy were the Swarmlord, Death Leaper, & Tervigons—each of which we had suitable stand-ins for.  Since we had four players that would be sharing the units throughout the game, we tried to standardize everything as much as possible.  That way, anyone could use any model during the game. 

The shared style of play worked out well, because in each shooting phase, Team Turnover dropped dozens of pie plates on our army and slaughtered us in droves.  It would’ve been really confusing if we’d each insisted on playing our own models, rather than sharing like this.  Of course, sharing the army was not without its hiccups though—but I’ll get to that in my next post when I talk about Strategic Assets.

Team Viktim (aka Team Turnover):


Though I can’t provide much insight as to what was going on in their heads, I did have them each leave a copy of their army lists so I can post them.  Hopefully some of them can drop by and post some thoughts.  Their army lists were as follows:

Kris (Wolfwing)

  • HQ:
    • Pedro Kantor
    • Logan Grimnar
    • Rune Priest in Terminator Armor with Combi-plasma, wolf-tooth necklace, Living Lightning & Tempest’s Wrath
    • Runepriest with Jumppack, wolf-tooth necklace, Saga of the Beastslayer, JotWW & Living Lightning
  • Elites:
    • 14x Sternguard with 2x powerfists, 4x combi-plasma, 2x combi-melta, 2x heavy flamers, 2x plasma guns
  • Troops:
    • Wolfguard (spread across 3-4 squads?): 4x stormshield/thunderhammers, 2x wolf claws, 5x power fists, 5x chainfists, 2x combi-meltas, 2x power weapons, 2x heavy flamers, 1x cyclone
  • Transports:
    • Landraider (Godhammer) with Extra Armor & Multi-melta
    • 2x Rhinos
    • 2x Drop pods with Deathwind launchers
  • Super Heavy:
    • Warhound Titan with Turbolaser & Plasma Blastgun

Sam (Space Marines)

  • HQ:
    • Chapter Master with Powersword/Thunderhammer, Digital Weapons & Iron Halo
    • Chaplain with Digital weapons, Jump Pack & Plasma Pistol
    • Librarian with Psychic Hood, Jump Pack
  • Elites:
    • 5x Terminators with assault cannon
    • 10x Sternguard with 2x heavy flamer, 2x combi flamer, & power fist
    • Venerable Dreadnought with Assault cannon & Smoke Launchers
    • Dreadnought with Assault cannon, heavy flamer, & Smoke Launchers
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Flamer, Heavy Bolter, Powerfist/Combi-flamer, Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Melta, Heavy Bolter, Powerfist/Combi-melta, Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Plasmagun, Lascannon, Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Plasmagun, Lascannon
    • 10x Tactical Marines with Plasmagun, Lascannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 10x Assault marines with Jump Packs, 2x Flamers, Powerfist
  • Heavy Support:
    • Land Raider (Godhammer) with Extra Armor
    • 10x Devastator Squad with 4x Missile Launchers

Ryan (Imperial Guard)

  • Apoc Formation:
    • Imperial Shield Infantry Company
    • Company Command squad with 1x Melta, 2x Plasma, Master of Ordnance
    • Platoon Command Squad with Vox, 2x Grenade Launcher , Sniper
      • 10x Infantry with Vox, Grenade, & Missile
      • 10x Infantry with Vox, Grenade, & Missile
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Autocannons
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Heavy Bolter
    • Platoon Command Squad with Vox, 2x Grenade Launcher, Junior Officer
      • 10x Infantry with Vox, Grenade, & Missle
      • 10x Infantry with Grenade
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Mortars
      • 3x Heavy Weapons Team with Mortars
    • Platoon Command Squad with Vox, 2x Flammer, Junior Officer
      • 10x Infantry with Flamer
      • 10x Infantry with Flamer
  • HQ:
    • Company Command Squad: Vox, 2x Plasma, Master of Ordnance, Officer of the Flee
  • Fast Attack (for the record, I don’t remember seeing the marines, so I suspect he replaced them last minute with more guard):
    • 1x Hellhound with Inferno Cannon & Heavy Bolter
    • 10x Space Marine Assault Squad with Flamer & Powerfist
    • 9x Space Marine Assault Squad with Powersword
  • Heavy Support:
    • 3x Leman Russ with Lascannon, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber
    • 1x Leman Russ with Lascannon, Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber
    • 3x Basilisk, Heavy Bolter
  • Super Heavies:
    • 1x Commissar Baneblade

Cole (Imperial Guard)

  • Apoc Formations:
    • Steel Fury Baneblade Formation
      • 2x Baneblades
      • 212 Arethusa
  • HQ:
    • Company Command Squad with Straken, Standard, Medic, & Melta
  • Troops:
    • Platoon Command Squad with Autocannon & Flamer
      • 10x Infantry with Melta & Lascannon in Chimera
      • 10x Infantry with Melta & Lascannon in Chimera
      • 10x Infantry with Flamer & Autocannon in Chimera
    • 10x Veterans with Harker, 3x Snipers, & Autocannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 1x Vendetta
    • 1x Vendetta with Heavy Bolters
    • 2x Scout Sentinels with Autocannons
    • 1x Banewolf
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Leman Russ with Lascannon
    • 1x Leman Russ Demolisher
    • 1x Manticore

Luckly, Cole started his own blog after the Apoc game, and was goodly enough to write-up his thoughts behind his unit choices—with both pre-and post game thoughts on each.  You can read more about those at his blog, here.

Well, that’s it for this edition (which is surely my longest post ever).  Like I said, next post on the subject will go into Team Bug’s thoughts on Strategic Assets.  Stay Tuned!


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