Battle Report: Tyranids vs. Eldar (1500pts)

My army was decidedly weak against armored targets, having really only three Zoanthropes (across two squads) and the assault of Monstrous Creatures to count on in order to violate tanks.  As luck would have it, my volunteer victim for the night was Eric, the Eldar player.  Though Eric and I both have multiple armies, fate would pit our second game together as a rematch of our first: Tyranids vs. Eldar.

My Army consisted of:

  • Swarmlord
  • 2x Zoanthropes
  • 1x Zoanthropes
  • 1x Venomthrope
  • 2x Tervigons (as troops w/ onslaught)
  • 18x Termagants
  • 19x Termagants
  • 5x Spore Mines
  • 5x Spore Mines
  • 5x Spore Mines
  • 1x Trygon Prime (with regen)

Eric’s was true Biel-tan Aspect warrior force:

  • 1x Farseer on Jetbike
  • 10x Banshees in a serpent
  • 10x Dragons in a serpent
  • 10x Dragons in a serpent
  • 10x Dire Avengers in a serpent (w/ Exarch)
  • 3x jetbikes
  • 3x jetbikes (with shuriken cannon)
  • 4x Dark Reapers

Since it took me almost a month to write-up this battle report, I don’t remember upgrades and wargear very well, but I believe his farseer was fairly well decked out, as was his DA exarch.  If I recall correctly, the rest of his list was pretty well stock.

I dreaded seeing four tanks on his side (and fast moving ones at that), but we made a go of it, just the same.  In rolling up mission type, we had two objectives to fight over, with board quarter deployment.  I’d won first turn (and kept it to see how my spore mines would fair).

Deployment

Prior to real deployment, I deep struck my mines into the building ruins in the Northwest corner of the board.  Since I knew this was going to be a good area for him to hide in with cover, I wanted to deny him the opportunity.  Each of the three squads struck nearby (though I was careful not to pile them in too close together, to avoid them blowing each other up).  It’s important to note that this the last game I played with the German translation of the codex, so we weren’t 100% clear on how to play some of the units.  Case in point, for this game, the translation read that the mines deep struck before the game and moved as one during my turn—though it’s clear now that they move individually.  So, for the purposes of this game, the mines didn’t do a whole lot, but in future games, they should cause much more havoc.

Since I was only allowed to setup one HQ and two troops, I chose to deploy the Swarmlord (who would be worthless, unless he could get close to the enemy), a Tervigon (to grant the Swarmlord FNP) and a screening unit of ‘gants.  The rest of my units were held in reserve.

The Eldar force deployed the two squads of jetbikes around the spore mines, and opted not to deploy the HQ.

Turn 1: Tyranids

With no long range weapons, and so little on the board, there wasn’t much for me to do.  My Tervigon pooped out a squad of 13 termagants, which Erik wasn’t very fond of.  My spore mines drifted around hopelessly as a single mass that were doomed to explode by a single shuriken catapult shot… Certainly what I’d call an uneventful first turn.

Turn 1: Eldar

Seeing my lackluster first turn, and lacking any real imagination of his own, Eric copied my moves.  Ok, really there wasn’t much for him to do at this point, so he did the only thing possible: fired off both of his squads into my toughness 1 spore mines which caused a chain reaction of detonation—clearing that side of the board for him to play on.

Turn 2: Tyranids

For my first turn’s reinforcements, I received my other Tervigon, my Trygon, and a single Zoanthrope.  The Tervigon and Zoanthrope came up the center of the board, and my two tervs crapped out another two squads totaling 25 gaunts (with neither rolling doubles yet).  By this point, it was clear that this could get ridiculous.

The Trygon erupted amongst the spore mine corpses, near the jetbikes  and opened fire on a nearby squad.  It was only enough to cause a single unsaved wound, but that was luckily enough to break the unit.  The other unit would soon cry “no joy” and move quickly away from the newly unearthed foe…

Turn 2: Eldar

The broken jetbikes were too close to my Trygon to rally, so they fled off the table.  True to form, the other jetbikes moved away from my Trygon, but as to why they only moved 12”,I’ll never know.

The Howling banshees, always the first to arrive in any battle, weren’t going to disappoint this game  They showed up with the Farseer in the Northeast corner.  Oh, that Farseer, what a party pooper he was, with his runes of warding.  As long as he was on the table, I was forced to roll an extra die for my psychic tests… and with psychics being the only real way I was going to fight his vehicles, it was not a pretty sight.

No real damage had been done by the Eldar at this point, but then again, they had only about 1/3 of their force on the board.

Turn 3: Tyranids

For reserves this turn, I could count on my Venomthrope, and another squad of ‘gaunts.  Add these to the 11 gaunts I’d pooped out from a single Tervigon, and I was starting to amass a fairly sizable horde.  My northern Tervigon opted not to deploy any more ‘gaunts simply because I was running out of models and I wanted to spread them around the board.

At this point, I had determined that my goal was to put a Tervigon and several squads of gaunts on each objective, deploying in such a manner that he couldn’t push me off them.  Of course, the tanks could be problematic in that regard, but the Zoanthropes would take care of them… well, if they ever showed up!

In line with that plan, I was fanning out my units to take advantage of the benefits granted by the Tervigons (who were consistently casting FNP on themselves and/or the Swarmlord), and who all received cover saves from nearby swarms of gaunts.  I was right where I wanted to be.

The Trygon finished off the jetbikes with his containment spines, and then twiddled his thumbs(er… I mean spines) as he waited for more prey…

Turn 3: Eldar

Unfortunately for the Trygon, the pretty that arrived had other plans.  The Eldar force rolled in with two ten-man squads of fire dragons, each in it’s own serpent.  They made short work of the regenerating beast before he ever had a chance to really accomplish anything, but then again, 20 melta-guns will do that to a bug.

Towards the middle of the board, 10 brave dire avengers also jumped out of their transport and unloaded into a nearby squad of gaunts, killing quite a few.  Though, the act was mostly ignored, since we could easily make more… The squad of Dark Reapers also made it’s way onto the board, but with their heavy weapons they could do little more than watch the carnage unfold.

(I do have to apologize because at this point in doing the battle report, I screwed up the Eldar movement, and instead of going back and redoing the entire battle, I figured it was easier just to post the pictures of the game.  They tell the story fairly well anyway).

Turn 4: Tyranids

Finally, my Zoanthropes arrived (though it would still be a few turns before they were in range to do anything).  My forces also managed to engage in the sweet solace of hand-to-hand.  Granted, they were only termagants, but they’d tie up the enemy forces long enough for the rest of my bugs to get into the thick of it…

The Dire Avengers who had been so foolhardy as to jump out of the vehicles were charged first.  Sadly, the attacks of the gants proved inadequate against such hardened warriors, and we lost combat (but stayed true, due to synapse).  On the Eastern flank, the Farseer who had been too foolish to seek cover himself took the brunt of a charging gaunt squad as well, but again, they could not wound the normally frail Eldar.

 

Turn 4: Eldar

Those pointy-eared aliens that could escape to the confines of their grav tanks did, while the Howling Banshees came to the aid of their troubled leader.  In both contests, the termagants were horribly defeated, but at least in the case of the Dire Avengers, several stayed around long enough to tie up the enemy warriors.

Meanwhile, the Farseer’s psychic powers kept wounding my units who dared try to summon the might of the hive mind…

Turn 5: Tyranids

Already on turn 5, and I hadn’t managed to even scratch a single grav tank.  This wasn’t looking good.  At least I had three Zoanthropes all in range to crush vehicles this turn, along with some shots from Tervigons.

It was highly unlikely that I was going to hurt them all, so I focused fire on the tank to the East.  I planned to set up a series of Monstrous Creature speedbumps between the Western tanks and my objective.  This would ensure that he couldn’t simply tank shock my units off the objective, and I’d be able to at least hold one objective.  Since the only surviving troops he had left were the Dire Avengers, and they were about to be Tervigon fodder… I was happy with this new strategy.

Unfortunately, I wound up doing more damage to myself (due to the Farseer’s runes) than I did to his tanks in the shooting phase.  Again, all of the vehicles escaped unharmed…  A stray shot did manage to punk the Banshees then, who ran towards their table edge: screaming like girls.

In the Assault phase I was moderately more successful, squishing space elves with the fury that only a monstrous creature can muster.

Turn 5: Eldar

It became clear to Eric that there was no way for him to win this game anymore.  With his last couple of troops in a hopelessly outclassed combat, the gears of “Ok, how do I tank shock the bugs off the objectives” flitted into his mind.

His tanks, tired of my Tervigons and their never ending presents (I had made roughly 50 extra ‘gants so far), directed fire at the creatures, wounding them horribly, but not felling the creature outright.

The Banshees rallied, and pushed towards the objective, taking out hapless termagants along the way…

Turn 6: Tyranids

Sadly, the game hadn’t yet ended, and there was still a chance to pop open the Eastern-most grav tank, almost ensuring me the victory.  Sadly, instead of tank’s paper exterior, the mind of a nearby Zoanthrope popped.  Again, the tank escaped relatively unscathed.

The final Dire Avenger had fallen in combat, and I begun setting up a wall of MC’s that would have to be tank shocked if an Western tank wanted to contest my objective…

Turn 6: Eldar

With my complete ineptitude in punching armor, his units decided to stay inside his tanks for the most part.  The only exception was a squad of fire dragons who’d clearly had enough of the Tervigon.  They popped out and fired their volley through the spines of the nearby Venomthrope, but were only able to take it down to it’s last wound.

All of the other grav tanks were smart enough to jump around the board, and make use of cover where they could.  Despite the fact that I hadn’t managed to get lucky so far (as if luck is needed when firing Zoanthropes at anything), he wasn’t taking any chances….

Turn 7: Tyranids

What’s wrong with this equation?

3 Zoanthropes + 7 Turns = 0 damage to 4 tanks.

Again, I could do nothing to stop his tanks, and at this point it was inevitable what the outcome would be… we did play the final turn out, and everything that exited a tank perished.  Unfortunately, my inability to hurt his tanks cost me the win.

Final outcome: Draw game.  I had scoring units near each objective, that were either tank shocked off of, or simply contested by his invulnerable flying tanks.

What I’ve Learned:

  1. Eldar Tanks are pain.  Their mobility, and survivability are clearly the strength behind mechanized Eldar lists.  Yeah, Dragons are awesome, but unkillable tanks are … well… more awesome.
  2. Tervigons are fun!  Tons of little scoring units are absolutely overwhelming for an opponent.  When faced with a swarm army, a Biel-Tan war-host doesn’t have a lot of options.  He was outnumbered to begin with, but during the course of the game, I made over 60 extra wounds worth of models.  There was just no way for him to contend with that.
  3. Tyranids still need some anti-armor.  Throughout the variations of the game, they’ve lacked super powerful shooting units but it’s balanced by the fact that all of the MC’s crush tanks in assault.  However, against highly mobile skimmers, the abundance of MC’s isn’t enough on it’s own.  A good list will need at least three distinct methods of cracking open tanks, and mine really only had two squads of Zoanthropes (who rolled poorly throughout the game).
  4. Eldar farseers and their runes are unbelievably powerful.  Though the internet has known this for a long time, it’s just plain nasty.  Forcing all opponent’s rolls to be on 3d6 means that the average die roll isn’t only a failure, it’s likely a peril’s of the warp test as well.  And the range?  Unlimited!  Are you kidding me?!
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12 comments on “Battle Report: Tyranids vs. Eldar (1500pts)

  1. Remember what I said about Force Multipliers? That's why my forces always take a Farseer. Runes of Warding and Doom are my two favorite things. My Space Wolves almost feel crippled for not having those abilities. Farseer Runes MathhammerAlso, Eric has some seriously old-school Wave Serpents there. Those are the old Epicast ones, right? If he ever wants to talk Eldar, send him my addy. I think this game showed why Reapers suffer in 5th.Oddly, one of the things Eldar typically excel at is wiping away hordes. Termagaunt spam shouldn't really be a problem. I'd be interested to see what else he has in that list.Oh, and the last thing… why is that Farseer off on his own? I'd either put him on foot and hide him in a tank, or give him a nice sized Jetlock Bodyguard or Poor Man's Council (9 GJBs w Warlock and Conceal). A Farseer running solo like that is going to be lunch way too quickly.Hah. Here I came to comment on the battle and ended up critiquing the list instead… Shows where my priorities are. :-p

  2. I don't think Eric really does the blogging/internet thing, but I'll makesure to mention it. He's been playing since 2nd edition as well, so he hasall sorts of classic goodies, like the epicast wave serpents (I believe healso has some of the other model, that were built by armourcast as well),and a classic titan. He also plays an all terminator wolfguard force that'slikewise painted up in a spiffy scheme.He's not a hardcore player, though he does have sound tactics. I don'trecall his farseer using a single psychic ability during that game, so maybehe was sort of an afterthought?

  3. More evidence for me that the Tyranid codex is the weakest yet in 5th edition. There's just no reliable long range anti-tank. If there had been 3 fire-prisms in the eldar list what could the tyranids have done? They have very little chance of catching fast mechanized army.

  4. Very little? I think that's being a bit optimistic–at least for the timebeing. As the meta-game stands, Nids are largely a one-trick pony, andstill lacking solid shooty, as you've pointed out. They're quite viable forfun games, but they're awful difficult to depend upon in a tournamentsetting.Then again, if the metagame is intent on shifting away from mech, thenperhaps they will be viable as 5th edition progresses. Granted, IG are allabout tanks (as they really should be), but wolfguard, have severalcompelling choices outside of their vehicles. Perhaps there's hope for thecodex in a competitive environment? Only time will tell.

  5. Hope for the codex in a competitive environment? I doubt it. Whilst I like the look of a lot of the codex and units, I think there's a lot that isn't going to work very well.I look at it through ork eyes: I have played an ork horde for years, and almost never beat an Eldar army (that usually has less tanks than this one). All of the reasons I can't beat eldar with orks are repeated with the new Tyranid codex. (I should add that perhaps the ork codex has ways of defeating fast mech that I choose not to use; I don't know. But I can't see any units in the new Tyranid codex that might – for their points cost – work.)As I start to put together all of my new tyranid models and start mentally sketching out some army lists, I can't see how I'm going to win many games!Never mind…This was a fun battle report anyway. I look forward to another now that you've got the real codex and reviewed all of the new units!

  6. Oh, I forgot to add one small (constructive, I hope) criticism: I find the maps too small to follow, although they do look pretty and give me a general overview of where the armies are. I don't know if you can make them any bigger.

  7. Well, I haven't yet reviewed all of the new units… but that'll be donebefore too long. :)It's curious that you play a swarm army (orks) and have chosen another swarmarmy for your 2nd choice. It seems to be a pretty popular theme though.You must love your little crappers, eh? Don't get me wrong, I'm a fanmyself… Orks just don't have the appeal since they got all mean and nastyafter 2nd edition. I long for the days of real Weirdboyz and piling as manyguys into a battle wagon as would fit (though they take a s10 hit when theyfall out!).

  8. Have you clicked them? They should all be linkable images to a biggerversion. Or are you saying that even those are too small? If so, I cansave them at higher resolution, but they should expand to 1024×768.I'd love to put bigger pictures in, but really, due to the framing of myblog, I don't have a ton of space to work with.

  9. Oh, yes, there are still a couple of reviews still to do. I hope you'll also go back over all of the reviews in one post, stating whether or not you have the same opinion now that you've read the English codex.As for my horde/swarm choice… It doesn't look like it's going to work out as planned for me.I've been a fan of 'baddie' hordes for ages, but not been very successful with my orks. While the current codex is better than the last, I still think it's not great. The killer units that I read about online don't interest me (nob warbikes, boss warbikes, special characters and deff rolla battlewagons), and don't think I should be forced to take these (very pricey and non-themed) units to have a chance of winning. I enjoy playing, and I'm not very competitive, but I do get frustrated at the feeling that I can only win if everything goes right for me _and_ my opponent makes a big, not-to-be-repeated mistake.My horde is also in a bit of a state modeling-wise. My orks look much more unified that most armies, as each unit is modeled to a theme. My wildboyz mob all have a scale-mail body piece taken from the WFB orc box. My bad moon eavy boys (counts-as lootas), all have metal back plates. To get enough of a single bit to equip a whole mob has meant that I've bought an awful lot of boxes of boys, but also means that it takes a long time to finish mobs.I was hoping the Tyranids would achieve two goals. Firstly, as I was starting from scratch, I was hoping they'd be pretty simple and fast to model. I may mix and match weapons and biomorphs without worrying about WYSIWYG as I can just tell my opponent 'all of my termagants are basic guys with no upgrades, whatever the model looks like'.I have a lot of worries about how to get a good-looking paint scheme still, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.Play style is where I think I'm going to be disappointed. Given the last few codexes, I was expecting the new Tyranids to be a scary, horrific army to face, with units popping up all over the place, terrifying my opponent, attacking from all different directions, and doing lots of horrible things to them (like the 2nd edition strategy card / Tyranid charts did). I was expecting lots of deep striking, infiltrating, and wierd, exciting special rules. I was also expecting to be able to field a fairly old-school horde of lots of rubbish little guys, some rock-hard big guys, and some scarily annoying middling guys.So I started buying and building before the new codex came out.Now that it is, I don't think it's going to work. As with the orks, the army isn't fast enough to catch, or strong enough to kill mobile armour. The 'horror film shock' doesn't look like it will work thanks to weird rules. (eg. Lictors not only not being able to attack after appearing, but not even being able to help bring in reinforcements until the 3rd turn at the earliest.)As with the orks, but possibly even more so, lots of the cool new things are instantly nerfed by exhorbitant points costs (like the Tyranofex) or stupid special rules or will be easily countered. For example, Zoanthropes are one of the few ways Tyranids have to fight armour, but will be really shafted by a relatively cheap psychic hood.I'm looking forward to playing some games, and trying some things out, but I don't expect to win much!

  10. Pingback: Battle Reports for 5th Edition: A Summary | Warhammer 39,9999

  11. Pingback: (Suitable) Trygon Tunnels | Warhammer 39,9999

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