First Batrep of 7th Edition: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Salamanders (1777 pts)

So, with 7th edition out for a month or so, I haven’t managed to get in a single game yet.  I wound up scheduling a game with Kurt, but he had to cancel due to car troubles.  Luckily, I was able to reschedule with Brandon.  In honor of it being 7th edition, Kurt and I had already decided on 1777 points (though I still hadn’t created my list yet–more on that later).

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • wh39kvsBrandon1777 (2)HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ Twin-linked devourers & Adrenal Glands (Catalyst & Onslaught)
    • Flyrant w/ Twin-linked devourers & Adrenal Glands (Warp Blast & The Horror)
  • Elites:
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Onslaught)
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Paroxysm)
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Paroxysm)
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Catalyst)
    • 1x Venomthrope
    • 1x Venomthrope
  • Troops:
    • 5x Genestealers + Broodlord
    • 5x Genestealers + Broodlord
    • 30x Termagants w/ Spinefists inc. 2 w/ Stranglewebs
    • Tervigon w/ Cluster Spines & Adrenal Glands (Catalyst)
  • Fast Attack:
    • Harpy
  • Heavy Support:
    • Exocrine
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore

Sadly, the Tervigon didn’t show up in time for the picture, but she did make it to the game.  >.<

Though I knew that I was going to play a game at 1777 points almost a week in advance, I didn’t get around to making the list until moments before Brandon showed up.  As a result, I was just throwing things into the list, and I don’t know how much real thought went into things.

I started by using a Flyrant w/ the standard configuration that seems rampant over the internet (thinking that flyers that assault are severely gimped, so I might as well try a shooting one).  I then added mandatory troops (2x squads of genestealers), a venomthrope (seeing as I loved them in earlier games and forgot them in my last couple of batreps), at which time I figured I’d like to try out psychics in 7th edition, so I opted to go with two detachments–to include enough Zoanthropes to give me sufficient synapse and psychic powers.  That led to another flyrant, a Tervigon as troops (And the compulsory selection of termagants).  With the points winding down, I threw in a Harpy and an Exocrine (both newly painted up), and rounded out the list with a few biovores and two stranglewebs (there are so few options to spend 12 points on in the codex).

Brandon’s Salamanders

  • wh39kvsBrandon1777 (1)HQ:
    • Terminator Librarian w/ Storm Shield (
    • Bray’arth Ashmantle (Forgeworld Dreadnought)
  • Elites:
    • 5x Terminators w/ Thunderhammers & Stormshields
  • Troops:
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Grav-Gun, Plasma Cannon, & Combi-grav
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Meltagun, Multi-melta, & Combi-flamer in Rhino
    • 10x Tactical Marines w/ Flamer, Multi-melta, & Combi-flamer in Drop pod
  • Fast Attack:
    • Stormtalon Gunship
    • 10x Assault Marines w/ 2x Flamers & Thunderhammer
  • Heavy Support:
    • 3x Devastator Centurions w/ Grav/Hurricane Bolters

I can’t go too much into the insight of Brandon’s list creation–aside from conjecture and speculation.  What I can say is that this was his first game of 7th edition as well, and I know that we’d previously spoken about Bray’arth, and that he wanted to play him.  Based upon that and conversations we had during/after the game, he included that because of the increased durability of walkers in general, and Bray’arth’s ability to force re-rolls.  His original list also included a techmarine that was going to walk around behind him, but he was unwittingly removed from the list.

He also told me that, since the release of the 6th edition marine book, he always takes combi-weapons on his sarges (because they get a free master-crafted weapon).  Otherwise, he’s pretty partial to the traditional salamanders weapons of flamers/melta throughout the list.  He also included some transports, which would likely fair well in the new edition, since they count as troops for scoring purposes.

The centurions he said were rather good (though he and I differ in whether hurricane bolters are worthwhile), but I’d never played against them.  He told me straight up that I wanted to kill them though, so I took him at his word.

Overall, I really like his list.  There’s a good bit of variety throughout it, and there’s nothing in there that I could consider cheesy.  There are even some options (like the assault marines) that are typically seen as underpowered (though I still like them, based on 3rd edition nostalgia).

Mission & Deployment:

For mission, we opted to go with a Tactical Objective mission.  We rolled up one randomly where each player obscured which ones he had, but we re-rolled since this was our first game and we didn’t have cards.   We came up with Deadlock (the mission where you start with 6 objectives, and that decreases every turn).

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (3)For Warlord Traits, he rolled on the marine book and got the one where his warlord (librarian) counted as an extra point for combat resolution.  I opted to roll on the tactical table and rolled up the one where I can force an opponent to discard an objective (well, after re-rolling).

We set up the objectives in a very generic way–neither of us setting things up in a way that was a significant strategic advantage to ourselves.  Personally, I hate when gamesmanship gets involved at that point in setup.  I’d rather make a cool looking and dynamic board, and then figure out how to win after.

Deployment was diagonals, as dictated by the mission, and I won the dice to determine which side I got (the side with the big building) and who got to go first.   I debated whether I wanted first turn or he did, but decided that there wasn’t a huge advantage to going first.  My thought process was that his centurions were largely going to be too far away to do anything (the only models that he’d be able to shoot would be if he were to move as far forward as possible and then he could only kill a few termagants.  The downsides I could see were that I wasn’t going to be able to put up any of my psychic blessings and wouldn’t get to take to the air.

I ultimately opted to let him go first, in the hopes that his centurions would get closer and I’d be able to shoot them with my Exocrine.  Whether that was a good move, I still can’t rightfully say–even after playing the game out.  I think it worked out reasonably well.

Turn 1: Salamanders

For his initial objectives, Brandon rolled up:

  1. Destroy one of my buildings
  2. D3 VP to hold 3 objectives
  3. Hold objective 1
  4. D3+3 to hold all objectives
  5. Hold objective 5
  6. Hold objective 6

Destroying a building turned out to be worthless, as neither of us had one.  The “hold all objectives” one seemed unlikely as well, so that was probably a throw-away, but he was going to be able to easily claim several of these, but controlling the three objectives on his side of the board, earning him three victory points for the turn (sadly, he rolled a 1 for his d3).   He also would earn  a secondary victory point for killing off my biovore and earning first blood.

Aside from that, his first turn wasn’t terribly eventful.  He dropped his pod over on my side in such a way as to slow down my Exocrine and peppered a little fire into my ‘gant squad.  Other than that, not much damage was done.  Still, he earned four VP’s that turn, so I’m sure that’s considered a success by any measure.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 3.1 to Tyranids: 0

Turn 1: Hive Fleet Proteus

My initial objectives:

  1. wh39kvsBrandon1777 (5)Hold objective 3
  2. Issue a challenge
  3. Destroy a vehicle
  4. Hold objective 4
  5. Hold objective 6
  6. Hold objective 4

Like Brandon, I was able to score three of my objectives–all in the center of the table.  I had killed off his tactical marines and his rhino from the bridge on the center of the board, and flown my harpy up to hold objective four (twice!).  In total, that scored my three points for the turn.

My turn wasn’t eventful aside from that.  Most of my units were concerned with accomplishing my objectives–which meant I had to kill off a rhino, and then kill off the five tactical marines on the objective.  Though I was able to hit it with a warp lance, it only glanced, so I had to destroy it using a Flyrant.

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (6)For the record, I’ve been against dakka-tyrants that seem to proliferate around the internet based upon principle.  This is the first game I recall using one (or rather, two), and I have to say that I was wrong.  They did amazingly well against vehicles, and not too horrible against infantry either (especially with my opponent rolling power armor saves about as well as I do–read: almost not at all).

I was able to charge into combat with my Tervigon and a squad of genestealers (the ones that were supposed to have died in the previous turn), but neither proved to be all that effective.

The other thing to note here was my psychic phase was pretty successful.  I was able to cast a bunch of powers, with an average of 18-20 dice.  Brandon, however, was unable to do much of anything as he was throwing all of his dice at a single power, and that proved very easy for me to deny–rolling all 20 dice to dispel.  The psychic phase was weaker than normal though.  In 6th edition, I would’ve been able to cast at least one psychic power for every psyker.  So, while Tyranids do own the phase, I actually look at it as a nerf compared to the old version.  The only exceptions I can think of are that Dakkafexes can fire both guns and a warp lance (should they happen to roll that power), and zoanthropes have a chance of lancing and casting another power.  Those don’t offset the fact that not everything can cast every turn though.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 3.1 to Tyranids: 3

Turn 2: Salamanders

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (7)I won’t write down every objective we rolled up throughout the game from here on out (though I did document them all).  I just don’t think it matters that much–nor do I think it makes for a compelling blog post.

Brandon wound up advancing this turn and make it to combat.  Bray’arth flamed my termagants a little too effectively, and denied himself the charge (though I’m not sure why he wanted a dreadnought locked in combat with 20 ‘gants).  His assault squad decided to tangle with my Exocrine, but after being thinned out a little bit from biovores, and losing a couple to overwatch, they weren’t going to fair well–but they did stop him from shooting for a little while.

The rest of his models fired into various flyers in an attempt to ground them, but he was unable to even wound the Flyrant, and the Harpy passed his single grounding check.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 3.1 to Tyranids: 3

Turn 2: Hive Fleet Proteus

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (9)After the third round of combat, my Tervigon who was assisted by a Zoanthrope last round) finally managed to kill 4 marines out of the combat squad to win that combat.  Elsewhere, my genestealers managed to finish off a combat squad of their own, and advanced towards the Centurions.

All of my flyers made it past his line and started peppering units from behind.  While two of them really did next to nothing, one Flyrant had swooped behind Bray’arth and glanced him to death with his brainleech worms.  I guess that’s why Brandon wanted to be in combat, eh?

My termagants ignored the wrecking hulk of the walker, and advanced towards objective #6 in the woods, held by just a combat squad.  They didn’t do much damage, but they were able to make the charge, and killed off at least one marine.

Aside from capturing a few more objectives, I have to say that my turn was relatively uneventful.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 3.1 to Tyranids: 6

Turn 3: Salamanders

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (12)Both of Brandon’s reserves (terminators and storm talon) arrived, having failed to show up on turn 2.  The talon poured fire into my Harpy (who opted to jink), but only did one wound.  The Terminators, however, teleported down to score objective #3 (for which, he had two cards).

After some discussion about his psychic phase, he changed tactics and started to attempt to cast more than one psychic power.  That would force me to split up my (admittedly huge) dice pool.  As a result, I was able to stop him from casting two, but he slipped a power through, setting my Broodlord on fire and killing his little buddies.  That cleared the way to have his veteran sergeant charge into combat and score an objective by issuing a challenge (and surviving!).

Brandon’s assault squad (who had eventually routed from combat with the Exocrine) redirected to help the tactical squad fight off the termagants–which proved unfortunate for me.  Elsewhere, his terminators made the charge against my venomthrope, but a lone biovore still sat there to contest the objective.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 5.1 to Tyranids: 6

Turn 3: Hive Fleet Proteus

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (13)I wound up landing all of my flyers at this point.  While I couldn’t charge, I figured there were enough targets left that he couldn’t kill them all.  Sadly, I couldn’t charge with them, but I was able to plink shots into various units–doing almost no damage.  By the end of the game, I know that I was able to wound everything in the Centurion squad, but I was never able to actually kill a model. Doh!

The Broodlord killed off the puny sergeant and, after his flames died down, he advanced again towards the centurions.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 5.1 to Tyranids: 7

Turn 4: Salamanders

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (15)So yeah, I was right in that he couldn’t kill off all of my flyers in a turn, but the Warlord was the first to go.  I was amazed at how effective centurions are at eradicating monstrous creatures.  Even with jinking, she didn’t stand a chance.

He was also able to secure another objective, and the Assault marines managed to kill off the last of the termagants, and then flew off to help clear the chaff around the Terminators.

For shooting, he put more firepower than should’ve been necessary against the Broodlord, but by some miracle, he survived.  With only one wound left, he managed to live through everything thrown at him–even a Grav gun hit, that required him to use the 6++ crater save.  I decided then and there, that if I were to win, he’d probably be my MVP.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 6.2 to Tyranids: 7

Turn 4: Hive Fleet Proteus

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (21)Pulling some pretty clever moves, I was able to position my units in such a way that my Harpy could charge a three man tactical squad, effectively pulling them off the objective, so that my Broodlord could score it.  In that same combat, I was able to charge the broodlord in and issue a challenge, earning me another objective.

Elsewhere, in a copse bloodied by the corpses of two dozen termagants, the other Hive Tyrant landed and avenged her little buddies, earning me two more victory points for holding objective #6.   Aside from that, not much else happened that turn.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 6.2 to Tyranids: 11

Turn 5-6: Both

wh39kvsBrandon1777 (22)On the next turn, Brandon was able to score another two objectives with his terminators (my poor biovore didn’t stand a chance)  and then used his centurions to continue killing a monstrous creature per turn.  For the rest of the game, Both of us were able to score one more objective each and then, after almost completely tabling me, he earned an extra point for linebreaker, while denying it from me.

Had I been playing more intelligently, I would’ve taken the only unit I had left alive (a unit of genestealers who simply squatted on an objective the entire game) and inched it across the deployment line to score an objective.  It also would’ve behooved me to actually use my Warlord trait and make him discard one of his “score objective 3,” which might have made a difference.

Both were silly mistakes on my part though, but it was a learning game, and Brandon wasn’t without his tactical errors either.  The end result?  A tie!  Brandon scored less primary points, but managed to achieve all of the secondary objectives.

VP Totals:  Salamanders: 9.3 (12) to Tyranids 11.1

What I Learned:

Oh, this should be a doozy, since it was my first game of 7th.  Let’s see what I can come up with:

  1. Dakka-flyrants are actually quite good.  Despite my poo-pooing in the past, they’re really not bad at all.  The ability to jink for a 4+ cover gives them the durability I’ve so been craving for the codex for the past two editions.
  2. The psychic phase is confusing and makes Tyranids less effective.  I spoke earlier about how I can cast fewer psychic powers now, but I didn’t mention how slow and confused I was during the phase.  I found myself with real dilemmas on who would cast what power, what order I wanted to do them in, and how many dice I needed to use for each.  Maybe this will get easier in time?  Though I dominated this phase, I don’t know that I like it in this edition.
  3. Tactical objectives are great.  I really liked the twist this adds to the game.  It wasn’t like the previous edition: kill everything.  It gave you reasons to have little plot twists.  Very enjoyable.  It would be really nice to have cards for these, but I think I might just make buttons for them instead.
  4. Centurions are nasty.  They were able to perform as promised.  Every turn they shot at a monstrous creature (that wasn’t flying), it died.  They’re probably not an overpowered unit though, as they only survived by the might of the librarians stormshield.
  5. I need to do a better job at remembering things.  Creating buttons for warlord traits, etc. will go a long way to helping out with that.


16 comments on “First Batrep of 7th Edition: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Salamanders (1777 pts)

  1. Yeah, centurions on their own are fairly fragile. Super lethal, but you either need to give them a pretty effective meat shield (like a cheap librarian with a relic) or field so many of them that they can’t be eliminated fast enough to outweigh their kills. I had an anti-riptide list in 6th; it was just a cheap HQ, 2x 55pt scout squads, and a wall of grav centurions. Not great against a balanced list, but against the guys that field 5 riptides in an 1850ish game? Hilariously effective.

    • I wasn’t too worried about them when I read them in the book because they only have terminator armor with no invulnerable save–and terminators die so easily that I wasn’t concerned. But during the game, Brandon was able to keep his librarian between me and the rest of his squad, and he made lots of saves, so it worked out to his advantage.

      I’ve never had the pleasure of playing against a single riptide, much less an entire army full of them. I’m guessing one would be just fine, but I try to avoid playing with the sort that spam units so much. That just doesn’t sound like fun to me. I’m guessing the centurions handled them quite well?

      On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 7:16 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • Indeed. It’s really the only reason the centurion list existed. Our group had one guy that spammed riptides like crazy (every time a new supplement came out allowing him to squeeze in another one, he’d run out and buy another model), so I started proxying the centurions. I brought a fun list and the centurion list every week, and if he fielded 4-5 riptides, i fielded 15-18 centurions. The issue sorted itself out after a couple of weeks. Grin.

  2. Good Battle Report Rob!

    I really like the tactical objectives too – I’ve found that I’m not really just killing stuff for the sake of killing it, rather I’m trying to meet objectives and win the entire game rather than just the last turn or two.

    Centurions are gross – super annoying for me as I like to bring a lot of wraith stuff and they just eat them up no questions (or toughness 8) asked. I’ve found if you can tie them up in assault they become a lot less scary. Just because the shooty models look like they’ve got power fists doesn’t mean that they do; “just” two S5 attacks each.

    The Psychic phase changes make me want to play with more warlocks, because they’ll get two powers regardless of what discipline I roll for them. Kinda nice to get Dominion every time on everybody though, without having to waste any slots on it, huh?

    I’ve been excited to get some more 40k in, I need to head out there on a Friday soonish. Maybe I can pull together for that Apoc game…

    • I wanted to assault the centurions, but the only ones that reasonably stood a chance to do so were a lone broodlord (down to just one wound), and three flyers (which had to land before charging). You’re right in that I assumed they had powerfists, but Brandon corrected me–still, I never got the opportunity.

      On the subject of Dominion. I never wanted that power. To me, that’s the power you took when you rolled up something that was completely useless, because it was slightly less useless. So, getting a few power should be nice, but I never bothered to cast it the entire game, so it’s not exactly much of a benefit.

      On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 10:59 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


    • Not sure about that. I might get around to it, but then again, it might just be contained in several posts like this. How about you–getting any games in? Have any great insight for me?

      On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 12:54 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • Ah, ahem… I still haven’t got around to getting in a game with 6th ed yet!

        So I haven’t rushed out to get 7th!

        There’s probably a mixture of reasons for the lack of gaming on my part. No White Dwarf any more means I do feel more distanced from GW than I used to, even though I frequently found it a frustrating magazine. I have been very busy, and had my stuff all over the place, so it hasn’t been easy to organise games or modelling and painting sessions.

        My gaming group meet once a month and at the beginning of this year the local community association (Parish Council probably either means nothing to you or sounds like it’s a religious thing, which it’s not) changed its meeting day to my gaming day, so I haven’t even been along to watch games like I used to. I think the project we’re working on is going to be coming to an end soon, so I should at least be able to get back to the gaming club!

        I think I’ve also been a bit put off by lacklustre codexes for the armies I play, and complex and frustrating rules that I’m no longer as interested in spending the time getting to know. And I’ve been trying out a bunch of historical as well as non-GW fantasy and SF game systems and finding them really fun. And board games, which have the additional advantage of being self-contained and easy to organise games for.

        I think probably the biggest barrier actually has been the state of incompleteness of all my armies. I have a lot of stuff, but no properly organised and functional armies. And all of the above has conspired to make it even harder to get around to working on the things I need to do to fill the gaps.

        Of course, being a super-procrastinator doesn’t help.

        One of my plans on overcoming the block is to get a great looking table / terrain set up, as it’s so much more inspiring to play on. I’ve backed several terrain kickstarters over the last year, which have started to deliver. Hopefully I’ll take delivery of my new boards in the next month or so. I’ve been stocking up on spray cans, so I can have a mamoth session during the summer. And then I think painting the detail will be a lot of fun – so hopefully that will get me back in the swing of things.

      • Wow. You only have one day per month to play? Granted, that’s about all I ever wind up playing, but I do have chances to play outside of that. I guess I should count my blessings that I have a more flexible schedule/gaming group.

        What army do you play aside from Tyranids?

        On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 2:47 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • I can’t reply to your latest post in the right place, so am doing so here…

        Yes – once a month is about as much as I / we can get organised. It was the realisation that we were all doing such a bad job at getting organised and playing that inspired the old group of friends – and some new people too – to get together and book a venue regularly. Even when I didn’t play I used to go along and watch, chat 40K and/or do some modelling. I was gutted when the Neighbourhood Plan group moved its monthly meetings to the same day!

        As for which armies I play, I suppose orks are really my main army. I have hundreds of them – most of them converted or kitbashed so that mobs look distinctive. The trouble is that as the game has evolved, the ork army list – both on paper and in terms of what actually works – has moved further and further away both from what I own and what I’m interested in playing. Armies built around nobz bikers and deffrolla battlewagons have very little appeal, and I found my more old fashioned foot-slogging armies to be incredibly frustrating to play. I could usually give my opponent a close game, but could almost never win, no matter what I did, as my army was just too slow, and too lacking in anti-armour.

        I also have several marine armies in various stages of (in)completion – some 40K, some 30K, again, achieved by many, many bits swaps.

        I have a bunch of Imperial Guard and Imperial Agents who aren’t really an army and I suppose they are more intended for special missions and campaign play.

        I’ve also got the beginnings of Tau and Eldar armies. In both cases bought in the hope that as neither requires much conversion or equipment swaps, there’ll be nothing to stop me getting on with it and putting a small force together. (I suppose the exception being the battlesuit weapons – hence my also buying some magnets to take my first baby steps into the world of magnetising!)

  3. Got my first 7th edition game in last night, and had a similar experience to yours. The tactical objectives were great and twice after pulling my cards (same mission as yours) I changed my mind about what I thought I was going to do for the upcoming turn.
    Wasn’t to impressed with the new psychic phase though. Neither Dan, nor I ever got a power off the whole game. Can’t believe neither of us suffered parils with the amount of dice we were throwing around just trying to get one power off.

    • I think your strategy for psychic powers is what thwarted you (at least that was Brandon’s problem). He would throw six dice to try to get a spell off for the first two turns, but that allowed me to throw 20 dice to deny the witch. It wasn’t until he broke it up and started throwing less dice to get more powers off that he was able to slip some through. At that point, I had to break it down to effectively throw 6 deny dice each time (of course, it varied depending upon my expected level of success and the severity of the power).

      Do you think that might’ve been the issue?

      On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 5:09 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  4. Unfortunately Dan never had to try to deny my powers (I was rolling that bad). Depending on how many dice I generated (had one lvl 2), I would put 4 dice into the 2 warp charge blessing I wanted, then any leftovers into the malediction.
    Granted due to time constraints we tallied the score on turn 3, but 3 turns worth of attempts and sometimes going for multiple powers and I never got one off was dishartening. In all these years of playing, I have never played a game and not had a psycher fail every attempt they made. Dan had better luck getting powers off (just barely with 2 success out of 6 attempts), but my rune priest easily nullified them (only needing 3s to deny).

      • The blessing was 2 warp charges, and the malediction was 1. I wasn’t generating many warp charges I think I had 4 charges for two of my turns and maybe 6 another.

        With pure math-hammer, you should have a 69% chance to get a 2 warp charge power off with 4 dice, with a 13% chance to perils. The old system had me at an 83% chance to succeed with a 5.5% chance to perils.

        I just need to get used to the idea that psychic powers are really random now, and not something you can really on. Either you play it somewhat safe with perils and have weaker odds to succeed, or go for good success odds, but really ramp up your odds to peril (20% with 5 dice).

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