Batrep: Tyranids vs. Chaos Space Marines (1212 points)

I wound up taking some time off this month, so on a whim, I called a friend that I haven’t played with in over a year, and we set up an impromptu game.  It turns out, this is his first game of 6th edition and, I believe, it’s also the first game with his CSM.  Now, he did play Chaos back in 2nd edition when it was all lumped into a single ‘dex, but things have changed significantly since then…

Tyranid Forces

  • BugsvChaos(Simon) (2)HQ:
    • Tyranid Prime w/ Toxin Sacs, Lashwhip/Bonesword, & Talons
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Biomancy: Enfeeble & Endurance)
    • 1x Zoanthrope
    • 1x Zoanthrope
    • 5x Genestealers w/ Broodlord w/ Talons (Biomancy: Endurance)
    • 5x Genestealers w/ Broodlord w/ Talons (Biomancy: Iron Arm & Endurance)
    • 6x Tyranid Warriors w/ Rending Claws & Talons (inc. 1x Barbed Strangler)
    • 6x Raveners w/ Rending Claws & Scything Talons
    • Trygon Prime w/ Toxin Sacs & Adrenal Glands

My thought process was that I rarely take primes, so I should do it.  I should also play a list without my precious Doom, and forgoing Tervigons as well.  While I was at it, I wanted to see if multi-wound models (aka warriors & raveners) would hold up.  The theory was that putting enough of them out there would make even S8 weaponry less effective.  It should also give me a chance to check out some of the units I use less frequently, and improve my tactics overall.

The Zoanthropes were actually a last minute addition, as I felt that I’d likely need a way to deal with vehicles and some extra synapse (though in hind sight, the only unit that required help with synapse is the Raveners, who already had the Trygon, Warriors, & Alpha Warrior to help them out).

Chaos Forces (CSM w/ Demonic Allies):

  • BugsvChaos(Simon) (1)HQ:
    • Chaos Lord of Nurgle, Blight Grenades, Power Axe, Sigil of Corruption, Ichor Blood, & Plasma Pistol
    • Herald of Khorne w/ Hellblade, Iron Hide, & Fury of Khorne
    • 9x Khorne Berserkers w/ Aspiring Champion w/ Chainaxe in Rhino
    • Hellbrute w/ Plasmacannon & Powerfist
    • 15x CSM w/ Aspiring Champion with Combi-plasma, Gift of Mutation (stubborn)
    • 15x CSM w/ Aspiring Champion with Bolter, Powerfist, Plasma Pistol, & Gift of Mutation (Eternal Warrior)
    • 7x Bloodletters of Khorne

Definitely not a min/max list.  Simon was relagated essentially to what he had painted.   As it was his first game, he also wanted to try out the Allies rules.  Essentially, it gave me a non-specialized short-range force.

BugsvChaos(Simon) (3)The mission turned out to be “Big Guns Never Tire,” and we deployed on the short board edges.  Between Simon and myself, we went ahead and placed all of the objectives relatively close to the middleof the board.  In fact, I’d say that all five of them were within 18″ of the center line.  This made sense, since neither of us really had any long ranged firepower (each of us had exactly one gun that fired 36″, then the best guns we had were bolters).

I deployed all of my models up on the line, figuring he was unlikely to seize the initiative, including my Trygon.  Now, normally I don’t bother deploying him, and I leave him in reserve.  That way, I’m sure to get synapse in the backfield, somewhere in the vicinity of my raveners (or other fast moving units).  This time, since I was already mixing things up, I went ahead and just deployed him.  I have to say that he didn’t suffer from the immediate pop-up and die symptoms that normally affect him–though I’m sure the fact that Simon lacked any significant amount of high strenght/low AP weaponry affected this as well.

Simon declined to seize, and we were off to turn one.

BugsvChaos(Simon) (4)Turn 1: Tyranids

A rather uneventful turn.  I moved ahead with my entire force, and ran with all units except the warriors, who had opted to fire their barbed strangler into a mass of CSM.  I hit 9, wounded 5, and one failed his armor save.  They weren’t fearless, but then again, they weren’t bothered by the pinning weapon either.  After felling a single marine, I gave over the turn.

Turn 1: Chaos

Simon put his Bloodletters, joined by the Herald, in his preferred wave (leaving his unpreferred wave completely empty), and rolled to have them deploy first turn.  They landed in a nice area recently vacated by the bulk of my army, and scattered with their run move.  The rest of his forces advanced, and opened fire into the Raveners and the Trygon.  With the help of cover and various Feel No Pain tokens (gotta love Biomancy), the Raveners only took a single wound, whereas the Trygon lost two to bolters and another two to plasma.

And me without my regeneration…

Elsewhere, his berserkers in the rhino crashed into a river, and immobolized their ride, then promptly forgot that they could repair them.  I’d have reminded him, but I didn’t know the new CSM codex allowed for that sort of thing…  Go figure.

BugsvChaos(Simon) (5)Turn 2: Tyranids

My warriors and a squad of genestealers (or should I say “broodlord insertion device?”) fell back to deal with the Bloodletters.  In hindsight, perhaps this was a bit of overkill, but I wanted to ensure that they died without doing much damage.  I believe I lost two genestealers in that combat, and killed all of the demons, so they accomplished their mission.  Never before has rending been so succesful for me…

Elsewhere, my raveners charged into the Chaos Marines on my left flank, and despite charging through cover (Something I’d forgotten about, and had to adjust my numbers), they’d actually won combat.  They felled seven marines, who only did five wounds on raveners in return, then proceeded to fail their morale check and were promptly run down.  The raveners then regrouped to charge the rhino/’zerkers.

The other combat was when my Trygon charged 6″ through difficult terrain into the Dreadnought and scored four penetrating hits.  I was depressed when I found I only managed to shake/immobolize it, but then remembered the new rule of Hull Points (I don’t play against vehicles much in this edition), so I managed to wreck this too.

Halfway through turn two, Simon was down to a large block of marines lead by his lord, and a crew of rowdy Khorne marines trapped in a metal box.

Turn 2: Chaos

BugsvChaos(Simon) (6)
The ‘zerkers got out and shot at the raveners, peppering them with wounds, but didn’t manage to actually kill any.  Elsewhere, the last squad of CSM didn’t manage to scratch the Trygon.

Turn 3: Tyranids

By this time, I had advanced up into a wood (which wound up attacking me), and had let off a few shots with my Zoanthropes, and even an attempt to enfeeble his marines.  I had managed to pass my psychic test on every occassion (in one, I managed to get a perils of the warp, but it was on a double-1, so even that passed).  In every instance (except one), Simon managed to defy me with his deny the witch rolls.  The one that got through was a lance attack on his hellbrute a turn earlier, but it didn’t even glance…

BugsvChaos(Simon) (12)Despite all of the failures, my psychic abilities (read: Endurance) were helping me tremendously.  I fired two Zoanthropes into his marine squads, passed both psychic tests, and (surprise) was met to a staunch denial of my witchly abilities.

The power of Khorne was strong with this one.

I wound up charging in, to both units, and hacking away rather futily with the raveners (vs. berserkers), but killing large swaths of CSM with the Trygon.  Neither squad broke though…

Turn 3: Chaos

With all of his units already engaged in combat, he had no movement or shooting (well, technically he had the rhino, but for some reason he didn’t bother to shoot it–I guess maybe he forgot, or perhaps it felt rather hopeless).  Either way, we moved onto assault, in which his ‘zerkers had the upper hand on my raveners, and started to wear them away.  In the other battle, my Trygon killed all surviving squad members (except his champion), so he was down to just the lord & champ.

BugsvChaos(Simon) (22)Turn 4: Tyranids

I added a squad of genestealers to both combats, at which point his characters immediately challenged me, and I proceeded to eat both.  In the case of the Khorne marines, the fact that they’d been enfeebled successfully helped tremendously (couldn’t believe he’d failed a ‘deny’ roll).  The Trygon then knocked off the Chaos Lord, leaving a wounded rhino, and one Khorne Berserker left in a throng of Genestealers and Raveners.

It’s at that point, we’d called the game.

What I Learned:

  • BugsvChaos(Simon) (24)Simon has room for improvement in list creation.  I can’t critique his unit choices much because he wanted to play completely painted models, and that’s what he had on hand.    His basic choices were fine (certainly he didn’t choose the most powerful options, but then again, neither did I).  I do think he could’ve helped himself drastically by including a few heavy and special weapons.  Likewise, his lord seems like he should’ve been far more potent, but he was really just a guy with a power axe and a 4+ save.  Probably would’ve been a good place to invest a few more points.  I don’t meant to slander Simon with this information, but rather put a caveat on the victory.  Had he included more high strength weaponry, things could’ve come out far differently…
  • Raveners and warriors are relatively decent.  Granted, my opponent didn’t have high strength weaponry, so I wonder how I’d feel if he’d been insta-killing them?  Still, both did relatively well, and the raveners stood a chance at getting named MVP (Though I’d probably still give it to the Trygon).
  • Chaos rhinos can repair themselves.  Good to stick in my back pocket for later…
  • I need to play more games in order to familiarize myself with the rules.  In particular, I forgot about challenges during the first combat of the game.  Practically speaking, it didn’t make much difference, but I was helping Simon learn—so I should’ve slowed down and made sure I got everything right…
  • Deploying a Trygon isn’t a bad strategy.  It worked this time (though he still took alot attention), but I’d like to see this happen over several games before making this my new “normal.”

BugsvChaos(Simon) (25) BugsvChaos(Simon) (16) BugsvChaos(Simon) (13) BugsvChaos(Simon) (7)   BugsvChaos(Simon) (4)


15 comments on “Batrep: Tyranids vs. Chaos Space Marines (1212 points)

  1. Good report, as far as list building i prefer to
    A) Decide on a style of list i.e. Footslogging swarm, deepstrike force, gun line, terminator wall, ect. Essentially decide what you will focus on. This is contrary to the “balanced” list idea of course…but you could easily say balanced just means unfocused.
    B) Decide on the troop choices you can take that play to that force, make them effective, at 2k 3 troops is mandatory more is better if they’re effective. Never take a unit and resign it to doing Nothing but squatting on objectives, only crazy cheap units can claim this tag.
    C) Decide on the key elements you can add that enhance your lists ability to perform your choice in A, find some tricks, some things your opponent will sweat about.
    D) Make sure you army has an answer for all of these: Long range gun lines, super mobile armies, swarms of stuff, armor 13-14, assault heavy armies. This can be through unit weapon choices, or through entire extra units that fill a gap.

    • I’m more of the speed of just playing whatever I feel like at the moment. Back in the day, I used to care about constructing uber lists, but now as long as I have some answer to any target (even if it is just a single hive-guard to take out an entire Cron-Air army), that’s good enough for me. 🙂

  2. For our next game I’d definitely like to spend a bit more time thinking my list through. It should also be mentioned that this was my first time using Army Builder as well. Burning precious time trying to sort out the interface took away from me the time needed to review my list for balance and even general effectiveness. Not to mention forgetting (and just plain ignorance of) such rules as taking a Marked HQ changes you Troops choice options and what the default wargear options are for each choice.

    I am excited about the new rules and models and will definitely be expanding my CSM and Daemon army. See you on the battlefield. DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR!

    • I take it you’re Simon? Do you have a blog of your own? Or anywhere else we can see some ‘up close’ pictures of your army? (Or could you send some photos to Rob to put up on his blog?)

      It looks great in the photos here, and I’d like to see more. Particularly of that Nurgle lord!

    • bleh, i say don’t bother with Army Builder. All it does is facilitate ignorance about your own codex. Nothing better then “oh my list is broken, not my fault army builder let me….”

      • I can see how that could be that way. I only use it as an expediter for list creation. The real issue is a general lack of familiarity with the 6th ed and new CSM ‘dex. I just have to keep playing.

  3. Great looking game. I especially like the Tyranid Turn 3 photo which shows the Trygon breathing a great gout of grey flame all over the chaos dreadnought. At least, that’s what it looks like in the thumbnail!

    It sounds like you were both unaware of one of the Chaos special rules, which is that you always have to challenge in combat, if it’s possible. I’m not sure if your Trygon could be challenged, but if so, the champion or chaos lord should have been forced to do so. And when the genestealers turned up, again, he doesn’t actually have a choice: someone is forced to challenge you.

    • LOL @ the ‘breathing a gout of flame’ pic.

      As for the “must challenge” rule, we played that in every instance (except when I forgot to remind him that his Daemonic Herald *could* challenge my Broodlord/Alpha Warrior–but that wasn’t a required challenge anyway). The problem is that the Trygon is not listed as a character in the rulebook. I did read on a misc. thread at BoLS where someone said he does become a character when he’s upgraded to a prime, but I could find no mention of that either in the rules or the Tyranids FAQ. Have you heard anything about that?

  4. Hmm, I was hoping you might tell me!

    I haven’t read the new rules properly either – I’ve just seen it referenced on blogs (like BoLS) that some monsters – such as the prime Trygon – can challenge/be challenged.

    • I have no idea what they’re talking about. Nothing I’ve seen would grant character status to a Trygon: Prime or otherwise. The Tervigon is deemed a character in the rulebook though, so she can challenge/be challenged.

      • Oh… Perhaps it’s the tervigon I’m thinking of then. I have no idea! I wish someone would make a bullet point summary of ‘this is different in this edition’.

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