Batrep: Tyranids vs. Chaos Space Marines (2013 points)

I took the week before Christmas off this year: partly because I had the time off available, and partly because if there was any truth to the Mayan apocalypse, I figured I’d rather be at home with my family than at work.  When the 22nd of December came without an earth-shattering-Kaboom, I called up my friend Simon and we threw down in a celebratory 2013 point game of 40k…

Tyranid Forces:

  • RobVSimon2012 (1)HQ:
    • Swarmlord + 1 Tyrant Guard w/ Lashwhips (Biomancy: Iron Arm, Life Leech, Warp Speed, Haemorrhage)
    • Tervigon w/ Catalyst, Scything Talons, Cluster Spines, & Toxin Sacs
  • Elites:
    • Doom in Pod (w/ Cluster Spines)
    • 7x Ymgarls
    • 7x Ymgarls
  • Troops:
    • Tervigon w/ Catalyst, Scything Talons, Cluster Spines, & Toxin Sacs
    • 11x Termagants
    • 5x Genestealers, inc. Broodlord w/ Talons (Biomancy: Enfeeble)
    • 5x Genestealers, inc. Broodlord w/ Talons (Biomancy: Enfeeble)
  • Heavy Support:
    • 3x Carnifexes w/ Scything Talons
  • Fortification:
    • Aegis Defense Line (no-quad gun)

As it’s been a couple of weeks since we actually played the game, I can’t be 100% sure of the list.  I’m piecing it together based upon the army photo and my memory.  I may be a few points off here or there (I seem to recall one of the Tervigons might have had Adrenal Glands), but that’s the basic list.  I wanted to use the newly dipped Tervs, and—more importantly—I wanted to see how a brood of Carnies works with the new 6th edition wound allocation rules.  Everything else is pretty common throughout my lists, so I’ll gloss over why they’re included.  The exception here being the Aegis, which was a last minute addition because, well, why not?  This was officially my first game with a fortification on my side!

Chaos Forces:

  • RobVSimon2012 (2)HQ:
    • Nurgle Demon Prince
    • Chaos Lord of Nurgle w/ Poweraxe
  • Elites:
    • 5x Deathguard Terminators w/ reaper autocannon
    • Hellbrute w/ Plasmacannon
  • Troops:
    • 15x Deathguard w/ plasmagun, powersword
    • 15x Deathguard w/ plasmagun, heavy bolter, powerfist
  • Fast Attack:
    • 5x Raptors inc champion w/ lightning claws
  • Heavy Support:
    • Land Raider
    • Defiler

Simon was goodly enough to leave me a copy of his list so I could write up this report, but I’ll be darned if I can find anything more than the two pages of wargear that army builder printed out.  So again, this is going from memory.  I’ve left out most of the upgrades, because I’m not sure what he took, and since I’m unfamiliar with the Chaos codex, I probably got some of the unit names/types wrong, but if I was playing against a 5th edition Chaos army, this is what it’d be!


For warlord traits, my Swarmlord became a scoring unit and I’m not sure what Simon rolled (something that was deemed worthless).    Does one of the available traits give him hatred of space marines?  If so, that’s the one he got.

For mission, it was one objective each, and we deployed along the long table edges.   Simon won the roll to go first, so I put out my Aegis in my half of the table (but largely outside of my deployment zone—in the hope of giving me cover while I advanced), and them Simon deployed his forces.

After I deployed, I rolled to seize the initiative and won, which I was ecstatic with (I really wanted to throw FNP on the Carnifex brood).

Turn 1: Tyranid

RobVSimon2012 (3)Nothing really exciting happened here.  I managed to get off both FNP’s (one on my Carnies, and the other on the forward most Tervigon) and advanced everyone forward towards the chaos forces.  I’d like to add something more, but it was a really boring first turn.  Though I did have a couple of cluster spines, none of them were within the required 18” to do anything, so the only shots I had were two attempts to enfeeble (from the broodlords); both of which failed to get off a successful enfeeble due to Simon’s incredulous ability to deny the witch.

Otherwise, it was just a few run moves to bring me up to the front line.  Essentially, I committed everything to surging forward to slaughter his forces/hamper his objective, while I was going to leave a single Tervigon w/ whatever she could hatch to hold my objective.

By the way, we did play with mysterious objectives and mysterious forests, but they had no bearing on the output of the game…

Turn 1: Chaos

RobVSimon2012 (4)On his left flank, simon opened up the land raider and a squad of plague marines on the brood of carnies and managed to do 3 wounds to the front model.  On the right side, his defiler moved into a nearby wood and lobbed a wild shot at the Swarmlord, which deviated and killed half of a genestealer squad (including taking a broodlord down to one remaining wound).  This led to some interesting discussion about cover.  I assumed from the angle (which you can somewhat make out from the photo) that my genestealers (barely visible behind the head of the swarmlord), would NOT get a cover save from the Aegis line, as he’d essentially turned the corner on the fortification.  When I rolled my cover saves, I only took the 5+ for the Swarmlord, and promptly failed every one of them—most of them with 4’s).  I think we wound up playing this right, but I’d be interested to hear other opinions…

Elsewhere, his squad of raptors charged into my unit of genestealers behind the wall, and the tussled a bit.  As I recall, my broodlord did exactly nothing, while his champion scored an opportunist wound, and the squads themselves went relatively unscathed in the combat (each losing a single model).

Aside from that, everything he had moved forward and took pot shots.  The only damage that’s notable left was that the defiler did manage to get off an autocannon shot through the Swarmlord’s armor.  Despite his little buddy/meatshield being between him and the defiler, the Swarmlord had to take the hit in favor of the Tyrant Guard because the guard was completely out of LOS from the defiler—hidden behind the nearby hill.

Turn 2: Tyranids

RobVSimon2012 (7)For reserves, I managed to get all three units.  Ymgarls appeared in woods next to each of his plague marine squads, and the doom homed in on the center of the board for a landing zone (And promptly hit).

Units surged forward, throwing up Iron Arm, Feel No Pain, and even a successful Enfeeble (against his Raptors), while the defending Tervigon spit out her first (and last) squad of Termagants to hold my objective.

Then, the shooting phase happened…

Doom, landed in a spot where he could only affect two units: a 15x squad of marines (that were holding his objective), and his Demon prince.  We started his leadership tests with his prince, at which time Simon rolled a 16.  7 Wounds on the prince with only a 5+ invulnerable lead to a dead HQ, who never got to participate in the battle.  To add to his woes, the space marine squad rolled a 17 for their LD test, and 8 more marines died (including their leader).

The rest of the shooting phase was fairly uneventful, as I had few guns.  The doom, now supercharged, unleashed his blast on the nearby dreadnought, but was insanely inaccurate and managed to deviate back upon himself.  Luckily though, he made his invulnerable save.    All other guns opted not to fire (except the Doom’s pod, which thudded harmlessly into the side of the land raider).

In assault, my line hit almost his entire army: Carnies multi-assaulted the Land Raider & plague marines (but failed to engage the marines, since the Ymgarls clogged up the lines, and the Carnies rolled rather low).  My Swarmlord moved to help against the raptors, and the other Ymgarls charged his decimated unit of plague marines.

Technically speaking, this is the one part of the game where mysterious objectives sort of played a part in the game.  He had rolled up a “Grav Wave Generator” as his objective, which halved the assault distance of any model charging him.  It ultimately didn’t matter though because I was able to place my unit an inch away from him thanks  the Ymgarl rules.

The combats went large as you could imagine: Three Carnies smashed the raider.  Ymgarls held fast against the large block of plaguemarines, and wiped out the smaller squad: scattering them off the objective.  Swarmlord took out the squad of raptors by himself (though he tried to do a “heroic intervention”, and failed his Initiative test… doh!).

A very successful second turn…

Turn 2: Chaos

RobVSimon2012 (8)With fewer units, he now had fewer choices, so this turn went pretty fast.  He shot up the wounded carnifex (despite my attempt to keep him in the back, he was able to move his terminators into a position where he was obviously the closest model), and charged in with the Terminators—critically wounding another carnie.  Of course, the two Monstrous Creatures took four of the five tin cans with them.  His Terminators failed their break test, and the bugs obviously had other things on their mind than pursuing…

The Ymgarls engaged with a large block of marines armed with poisoned weapons did not fair so well when they were no longer able to hold their T5—thereby allowing the marines to reroll all failed “to-wound” rolls.  When the smoke cleared, only one Ymgarl lived—and I’m not sure I actually killed any in return.

The hellbrute charged into the Swarmlord, and I mocked him as I rolled all 1’s to hit.   (I never seem to remember to throw up his “preferred enemy” aura…).

The only other unit I think he had left was the defiler—which I think missed?  I can’t recall him doing anything significant…

Turn 3: Tyranids

RobVSimon2012 (6)I’m not sure this turn ever officially happened.  I think we sort of played it out, but only in theory.  My Carnies against his unit of plague marines: through wound allocation I was able to keep both carnies alive during the assault, and slaughtered most of his remaining units.

The one terminator who had successfully fled earlier, died at the hands of a full Ymgarl squad in his backfield.  The dreadnought died (as expected) to the Swarmlord, and well, that was about it.  If we were to move into the bottom of turn 3, he’d have a defiler, and half a squad of plague marines (including a CSM lord)—engaged in combat with two carnifexes.    My side of the board included the Swarmlord, Carnies, Tervigons, Genestealers, Ymgarls, and whatever babies were hatched/still in the womb.  While we could’ve kept playing, it seemed logical to call it.

What I learned:

RobVSimon2012 (9)It was a rather short game, but there’s always something to learn.  Some key points I took away from this battle:

  1. Heroic Interventions.  I hadn’t used the rule before (honestly, I don’t get into challenges much), but the rule is basically, after the first round of combat, if both models are alive, another character can step in to take the place of a friendly model by passing an Initiative test.    Also, as a reminder, a roll of a 6 always fails—even on the Swarmlord. L
  2. Wound allocation on a Carnifex brood might be good.  Honestly, I’ve only one turn of using it in this game, so it’s a really small sample.  What makes it hard is the size of the bases.   In a unit of nobz/etc, they’re small, so a 6” move allows you to jump over the wounded nob in the front and only lose 1-2” of movement.  With the carnies, you essentially lose an entire movement phase to shift a wounded model to the back.  It would take a few games to figure out if it’s good, but I’m guessing it will be situationally powerful, but in no way game breaking.
  3. I’m probably overbuilding my armies for games with Simon.  The games just aren’t balanced, and it’s making them less fun/challenging.  Simon’s getting back into the groove, and I’m bringing some of the best units in my codex against him every time.  Next time I play him, I’ll make my list more like my first one: using the opportunity to play some of my lesser used models.

8 comments on “Batrep: Tyranids vs. Chaos Space Marines (2013 points)

  1. Interestng list. It looks something liek one I’d aspire to run, especially the Stealers of both types and the Carnifexes (Carnifii?).
    You probably did the cover save from the Defiler correctly. From the angle of your photo, and the eleveation of the Defiler’s gun, the Stealers would have been hard pressed to claim 25% from the ADL.
    It was really interesting to see how the full brood of Carnifex worked out, though I wonder how it’d fare against a more cut-throat list. Massed missile launchers and lascannons glaore are the word of the day round these parts.

    • We dont’ have many players in the area that play heavy “crush them” style lists. Most of us are casual/fun type gamers, so those choices are often absent, but I have to assume that the Carnies wouldnt’ fair well against mass missile launchers. 4 wounds with toughness 6 and no armor saves just isn’t enough to make wound allocation viable. You really need to be durable enough to suffer a round of shooting and then reconfigure your squad so that the front (wounded) model is no longer up front. I don’t think that the front model would live through a barrage of missiles, so that would really render the wound allocation worthless. Of course, with a lucky FNP roll, it might be possible, but it seems unlikely. I don’t think wound allocation worked that well in a fun game. As for the ‘stealers, when I re-read this post this morning, I found myself wondering if I played that right. I was immediately sure I was wrong, but now I think I was right. The defiler is strength 8, and rolls to wound on majority toughness against the squad. So, the first wound to the Broodlord: does that kill him? I rolled to wound against T4, which would be doubled-out; however his actual toughness is 5. So, does he get insta-killed or not?

      • When you apply the S8 wound to the Broodlord, you compare it to his Toughness value for the purposes of Instant Death. As a result, no, he is not killed outright. The standard Stealers use their T4 when determining ID, so they are killed outright (though they only have one wound anyways).
        Essentially, you roll to woundon majority toughness, but apply Instant Death thresholds when the woundis allocated and use the allocated models’ Toughness for that.

  2. Those tervigons look really good painted. There are still bits of the model I don’t like, but I think the ‘dip’ combined with the colours you’ve gone for work really well. Across the whole army, actually.

    • Thanks. I agree whole-heartedly. I really love the way they turned out–but then again, I loved the model enough to let it inspire me to go through another round of dipping. One day I’ll use them as Tyrannofexes, so I can see what they look like (obviously not because I love the statline on them…)

  3. Well, not to inflate your substantial and fully-justified ego, when the aptly-named Doom landed that was essentially the end of the game. Destroying my main hitter and 1/2 of my main scoring unit did me in. I don’t think either of us foresaw that eventuality but as a natural predator you saw the opportunity and took it. Cursed dice! I have since purchased some more appropriately colored dice to mach my theme. I’m not superstitious! That would be heresDEATHTOTHEFALSEEMPEROR!

    I’m still building out my CSM forces and am currently magnetizing one of my Forgefiend/Maulerfiends. It’s actually my first magnetization project. Hopefully I can get it into my next game!

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