Battle Report: Ultramarines vs. Tyranids (1850pts)

Last month, my friend (and former poster on Warhammer39999.com), Jerm came up to visit.  I had originally promised him an Apoc game, but due to events beyond my control, I just didn’t have the time to orchestrate such a thing.  So as not to waste the trip entirely, we did manage to get a game in.

Though it took place prior to the earlier batrep I had vs. Blaine, you’ll find my army list is quite similar.

Ultramarine Forces

  • HQ:
    • Captain Lysander
  • Elites:
    • Ironclad w/ 2x H. Flamers in Drop Pod w/ Deathwind
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5 w/ Thunderhammers
    • Sternguard x6 w/ H. Flamer in Drop Pod w/ Deathwind
  • Troops:
    • Scouts x5 inc. Sarge w/ Power Fist
    • Tactical Squad w/ Melta & Missile Launcher
    • Tactical Squad w/ Melta & Missile Launcher
  • Fast Attack:
    • Landspeeder w/ 2x H. Bolters
    • Landspeeder w/ 2x H. Bolters
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ H. Flamer
  • Heavy Support:
    • Techmarine w/ Thunderfire Cannon
    • Techmarine w/ Thunderfire Cannon

My thought here was to try out some units I never use.  First and foremost, I wanted to see how the Thunderfire cannons held up.  I had originally planned to use these guys during the Battle for Argos Prime, but since I had to sit out that game in order to ref, they just sat by the wayside, collecting dust.

Otherwise, the list is largely units I enjoy, with the other exception of Lysander and the Sternguard squad.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember who’s blog I was reading where they mentioned it, but it sounded like a great idea, so why not give it a shot?

I figured this to be a solid “all Comers” list, having a couple of long range and short ranged str8 guns, along with Termies, the Ironclad, and the Scout Sarge for h2h vs. vehicles (or larger bugs), and drop pods, heavy bolters, and thunderfire cannons against infantry.  Typically I do outfit my Ironclad with only one flamer, ever since my fateful battle with Cole (where he crashed on landing and wasn’t ever able to hurt the tank 2 inches in front of him), but I figured he’d have to play a different role here.  He wouldn’t really stand up well to a MC in combat, so I set him more towards the role of thinning out the little bugs: hence the flamers.

Tyranid Swarm:

  • HQ:
    • Swarmlord
  • Elites:
    • Zoanthropes x2
    • Zoanthropes x2
    • Doom of Malan’tai in Mycetic Spore
  • Troops:
    • Genestealers x11 w/ Broodlord
    • Genestealers x11 w/ Broodlord
    • Genestealers x11 w/ Broodlord
    • Genestealers x11 w/ Broodlord
  • Heavy Support:
    • Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon

Jerm, like Blaine, loves his Genestealers.  Both of them used to really love Raveners, but not so much in the latest rendition.  Had I thought about it, I could’ve expected some stealers and a doom in his list, but I really don’t know what I’ll face when it comes to Jerm, since we play so rarely.

Mission & Deployment:

Deployment

Since neither of us plays Battle Missions much, we opted to go for one out of that book.  Unfortunately, I never remember which mission it is, nor do I ever seem to have a copy of the book around when I write-up the battles.  Suffice it to say, it was a Tyranid mission with a “They’re All Around Us!” theme, where I had to deploy within the center 12″ of the table, and he got to surround me with non-heavy, non-HQ units (who would have to walk onto the board).  I believe the actual objective was to hold the center of the board at the end…

There wasn’t much cover, being only one building right in the middle, and the very tip of another within my deployment zone.  Since I needed to hold it, I put my two thunderfire cannons on top, and used Lysander’s ability to reinfornce my ruin (but only the one in the center, as I knew the other would fall quickly).   I split up the two tactical squads into combat squads and deployed a missile launcher squad on each building , with the other half of each squad deploying within the cover of the razorback.  The Terminators served as my deterent for anything to run into the building on the ground level, and the speeder chose a juicy target that was unlikely to assault me the first turn…

Jerm split his units into cover the best he could, with one exception.  Three of his four groups of ‘stealers hid in buildings, with the fourth sitting in open terrain, praying for a first turn charge.  His ‘thropes hid inside buildings on the Eastern flank of the board.

Turn 1: Ultramarines

Thunderfire Lines Up

Well, I had a good turn.  Just about everything I had that could go right, did–starting with rolling for first turn.  I don’t remember if it was just a 50% chance for me to go first, or if it was more like 86%, but I did get to go first.  One thunderfire took aim at the lone ‘stealer unit in the open, and single-handedly devastated it.  The other pointed in the direction of the NorthWestern unit cowering in a building and used the cover-ignoring shell to decimate 70% of that squad.

Meanwhile, the Ironclad dropped down and double-flamered the Western squad (nearest my 2ndary building) frying them down to two models.  And on the Southern front, my Storm & company flamed up their squad as well.  Sadly, they didn’t do nearly as good, and charging Genestealers proved to be not-the-smartest thing they’ve done.  The good news is that my sarge did manage to break off from combat and spent the rest of the turn running away (but not broken).

Turn 1: Tyranids

Death Count: Turn 1

After a devastating turn of casualties, he managed to engage the squad in my secondary building and cause minimalistic casualties.  The Zoanthropes peaked out of their hiding spots and fired some pot shots into my units, but weren’t able to actually cause any damage.  The one real kill he did manage was the Landspeeder storm–which paid dearly for being the only killable thing within charge range…

It was an amazingly domoraling turn.  At this point I’d offered to call the game, and we could start over with either different armies or a different mission, but Jerm’s a trooper, so he kept at it.  Besides, to tie, all he’d need to do is get something into the center and contest me, right?

By the end of the first turn, he was down to about eight models alive, with three yet to come on (four, if you include the mycetic spore).  Considering he had started with 52 units, all I can say is …. OUCH.

Turn 2: Ultramarines

Defending the Objective

By the second turn, I was already in clean-up mode.  My Sternguard had arrived (a turn too early for my likes), and vaporized some nearby Zoanthropes, while the thunderfires and heavy-bolter armed razorbacks cleaned up smallish ‘stealer infestations and one more ‘thrope before my turn ended.

My Terminators formed a ring around the area, spreading themselves out to minimize the available footprint of the Doom coming in, as well as ensuring anything that was assaulting the objective would be held far clear of it.  That way, should they get past my wall of bodies, they’d still be left in the open for one last round of shooting from my force before they could contest…

Turn 2: Tyranids

At Game’s End

For reserves, he got his rupture-cannon armed Tyrannofex (who promptly missed his shot at a Razorback), and the Doom (who deviated slightly, but still managed to hit three squads–only one of which suffered any casualties).  By this time, his enthusiasm had dwindled, and with four models on the table, he conceeded the game.

Really, he stood a chance at contesting the game, and it was even possible for him to win it outright.  It was more likely that my Sternguard/Terminators would take out his Tyrannofex (which looks like a Trygon in that pic), and the rest of my force would likely do a number on the Doom… but it’s a game of dice, and anything can happen.

It is hard to keep playing after suffering a devastating loss like that in a single turn–especially if it’s the first turn, so I can’t say as I blame him for wanting to go do something else…

Lessons Learned:

  1. Thunderfire Cannons are quite good.  Of course, if you were planning on getting a techmarine anyway, they’re an absolute steal.  The thing is that I’ve always used techmarines as smallish dev squads (accompanied by servitors), so I had no need for a lone marine.  I also am not a huge fan of small blasts, as they’ve deviated pretty badly in the past; however, the 5th edition rules for blasts aren’t so bad–and the fact that you get multiple, and it has handy rules like allowing it to ignore cover, and causing things to move as if in difficult terrain (a shot I didn’t bother with), only make it better.  If you were already planning on buying a techmarine (for some odd reason), it’s a no brainer.
  2. All Genestealer forces don’t do so well.  I’m sure there will be some debate on this one, as people have had success with them.  I just don’t seem to recall a force consisting entirely of genestealers do well (except an Apoc force filled with Ymgarls… wow, that was nasty).
  3. Lysander + Sternguard have great potential together.  They didn’t get to do much in this game, but I confirmed this in a later game.  No, it’s not breaking news for anyone, but it is nice to confirm the status quo once in a while.  I’d use this combo again in the future.

It seems like forever since I’ve written one of these… I guess that just means I need to play more often, eh?

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5 comments on “Battle Report: Ultramarines vs. Tyranids (1850pts)

  1. That was a fun, and good-looking battle report. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sometimes ends turn one thinking ‘oh dear, I’m not sure how I can come back from this’…

    I’d like to see some more battle reports!

    • Should be another batrep up before the end of the week. I just dont play
      enough games to post batreps every week. I’d say I try to play once per
      week, but generally it winds up to be more like once every other week.

      Seeing that I’ve put up 25 Batreps in about the past year, I’d say those
      numbers are spot on.

      By the way, when are you going to try your hand at blogging?

  2. Pingback: Painted Weapon Emplacements | Warhammer 39,9999

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