Batrep: Tyranids vs. Grey Knights (1122 pts)

Sadly, I’m writing this battle report almost two months after I’d played the game, and I apparently couldnt be bothered to take photos during the actual experience (all three of the pictures I did manage to take are scattered across this batrep).  So, excuse my fuzzy memory (even the point value might not be accurate, but I remember it being seemingly random)…

Tyranid Forces:

  • Derek&Rob (1)  HQ:
    • Swarmlord w/ 1x Tyrant Guard (w/ lashwhip)
  • Elites:
    • 2x Zoanthrope
    • 6x Ymgarl Genestealers
    • 1x Hive Guard
  • Troops:
    • Tervigon w/ Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs, & Crushing Claws
    • 10x Termagants
    • 14x Hormagaunts
    • 5x Genestealers inc. Broodlord w/ Scything Talons
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore

List creation was about the norm.  I really didn’t know what Derek was going to bring, as he owns Marines, Eldar, IG, Tau, & Demonhunters (not really GK’s, just old stuff, and a new codex).  Odds were good that he wouldn’t play Tau/IG, but any of the others were possibilities.  Not that it matters, as I don’t make lists to engineer against a particular person/army.

My thoughts were, as always, to try something new.  I’d recently played against David, and seen him using Hormagaunts, so I thought it was time to give them another shot.  Ymgarls are always good, and I’m in love with Biovores (ever since the last tournament).  I also wanted to take crushing claws on a Tervigon, after doing a write-up for that unit (still yet to be posted).   The Hive Guard, as always, were surely a last minute addition because I had no real way to deal with vehicles/tanks.

Grey Knight Forces:

Forgive me because I still haven’t read through the GK codex, so I’m not sure what exactly he had (or even what options were available to him).  I believe it was something like:

  • Derek&Rob (2)HQ:
    • Castellan Crowe
    • Librarian in Terminator Armor + ???
  • Elites:
    • Techmarine w/ Conversion Beamer & Orbital Relay
    • Venerable Dreadnought w/ Assault Cannon & Psybolt Ammo
  • Troops:
    • 5x Grey Knights w/ Psycannon
    • 5x Grey Knights w/ Psycannon
    • 5x Grey Knights w/ Psycannon & Upgrade Seargent that is “unkillable” (Justicar Thawne?)

Again, I said my memory was spotty, but this is pretty accurate.  Crowe was in there for sure, because I remember there was a weird ability about him and charges.  Thawne doesn’t make sense, as he seems to only be an upgrade character for a Terminator squad, but I remember Derek saying the guy had Terminator armor, and basically kept coming back at the start/end of every turn.  Is there someone else in the codex that does this?

The sum, seems to be a bunch of annoying special characters, a bunch of small squads, and seemingly every one had crazy grenades.  Oh yeah, and any of them can insta-gib the Swarmlord just by passing a leadership check.

Yup, sounds like Grey Knights…

Turn 1:

We were playing an objective game, and I can’t rightfully remember who went first.  I suspect that I did, as I took the side of the board that had a building on it (not because I wanted it, but because I wanted to deny him better fields of fire).  I deployed up front and left a squad of Termgants (then spawned another) in order to hold objectives.  One turned out to be sabotaged, and the other was in some sort of carnivorous forest.  No bother though, as I stretched them out away from the danger…

I moved forward with the rest of my forces, rather cautiously, and lobbed spore mines from afar (though, like always, I forgot to place spore mines in my missed shot locations).  My hive guard seemed to miss everything, or completely fail to penetrate.

In return, he fired a bunch of psycannons at me, and seemed to focus fire on my Tervigon (who didn’t have FNP yet).  After doing a few wounds, and missing with his conversion beamer (despite being in the far end of the board), he passed the turn.

Turn 2:

I remember that I failed my Instinctive Behavior test with my termagants huddled around the sabotaged objective (hint: not good news), so I wound up bringing the zoanthropes back to extend synapse back to those squads.  Luckily, it didn’t explode on me that turn, while the rest of the force pressed forward.  Shooting, as always, proved ineffective.

My Ymgarls came out and mauled the Techmarine (who was too fascinated with guns to bother equipping a close combat weapon), then pressed on towards a nearby GK squad.  The Grey Knights, in return, backed away from the advancing swarm, and shot up the Ymgarls.  Unfortunately for them, the bugs had positioned themselves in such a way that not many shots could wound them, and then, not many did, as most survived the onslaught.

Meanwhile, the GK’s were shooting up the Tervigon still, and blowing huge holes in the Hormagaunt squad.

Turn 3:

Derek&Rob (3)The Ymgarls charged past Crowe (he seemed to be too nasty in Assault for their likes) into another squad of GK’s, along with a squad or two of termagants.  I’m pretty sure I managed to roll 3-4 rends, and made short work of the squad.  After that, Crowe either charged them (or they charged him on the next turn), and they eventually killed him as well.

Towards the battlefront, the dreadnought advanced through a screen of hormies that I thought would prevent him from charging my 1-wound Tervigon.  Of course, I underestimated the firepower of all of those storm bolters, and overestimated my ability to properly screen.  Luckily, the GK did only one wound, and that was saved by FNP, and the Tervigon beat him up in return (not enough to kill the dread outright).

Turn 4:

The Swarmlord moved to support the Tervigon, and dispatched the machine easily, allowing the Tervigon to slink back into the woods.   The rest of the swarm surged forward and multi-assaulted another unit of marines.  By then, he was down to just a librarian and a couple of grey knights left, and I’m pretty sure we called it.

We did play a game of “what if,” and I charged my Swarmlord into a squad of his force weapons.  Turns out, maybe he didn’t have as amazing odds as I thought he would of outright killing me.

Considering each marine has one attack, hitting half the time, and wounding on sixes (assuming I didn’t have Iron Arm up), then I has to pass a leadership test, and I’d have to fail the bone sabre save.  That’s 1/2 * 1/6 * 11/12 *1/2.  That’s really only a 4% chance per attack (which is effectively per marine) to kill the Swarmlord per attack.  Still, a squad of 5 has a significant chance (if I’m doing my math right, that’s over a 20% chance per turn—considering the sarge has two attacks).  Not odds I’m willing to throw away a 280+ point unit on…

What I learned:

  • Grey Knights might not be unstoppable.  Obviously, this must be true, or I wouldn’t have won.
  • Maybe I shouldn’t be as afraid of Force Weapons as I am.  Pshaw, that’s not even the case.  A squad of marines having a 20% chance per turn to kill a swarm lord?  That’s nuts.  And considering he’s about the only thing in the codex with an invulnerable save, the rest of my MC’s would die twice as fast!
  • I really need to remember spore mines.  I’ve been using biovores pretty consistently as of late, but I always forget to place spores when I miss a shot.
  • A single Hive Guard is insufficient.  I’ve used squads of two before and had them do nothing pretty consistently—I don’t know why I thought one would do.  More likely, I just wanted to spend 50 points at the end and wanted an additional way to deal with vehicles/flyers, so I threw him in at the end.

2 comments on “Batrep: Tyranids vs. Grey Knights (1122 pts)

  1. Your army does look great in the (small number of) photos…

    How about the hormogants? Did you like them? Or feel that you still didn’t get a chance to test them out?

    And come to that, was the swarmlord worth it? Or would a regular hive tyrant have done just as well?

    • Is this particular game, the Swarmlord wasn’t very valuable because I was afraid to get him into assault with anything, and I always forget to use his ability to give out Rerolls to nearby units. Plus, his 18″ bubble didn’t help me in this particular game. So, in this instance, the Swarmlord wasn’t worth it, but i think in general he is. The fact that he gets 4 chances to get Iron Arm from Biomancy, makes him a clearly superior choice to the Tyrant. The only exception I can think of is if you want wings (one might argue the guns as well, but frankly, the Tyrant’s guns aren’t spectacular).

      As for the hormies, they probably did what they’re supposed to do. They just don’t have much damage potential, so to expect them to win in combat is silly. Their goal is to just soak fire. The problem there is generally that they don’t get an armor save against most shots, and die far too easily. With FNP, they held up better, but not exceptionally well, and they never made it to an assault. I generally forgo these guys in favor of the Termgants, who are just as durable, have guns, and can be automatically spawned (and buffed) by nearby Tervigons. Hormies aren’t worthless, but they’re certainly inferior.

      I’ll give them another shot though… Why not? I own 60 of ’em.

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