Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Space Wolves (1750 pts)

After looking through my blog for this year, I did some quick math and realized that I only have gotten 11 games in so far–and that’s one short of my goal.  With very few chances to get another game night in (and bad odds that we’d actually play 40k), I opted to have an impromptu game day.  I shot out an email and Kurt answered the call.  We decided arbitrarily on 1750 (I think that was my suggestion just so I could have a “big game,” but “nothing too big”).  He showed up and we threw down with our plastic army men…

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (1)HQ:
    • Old One Eye
  • Elites:
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Dominion, Catalyst, & Warp Blast)
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Dominion, The Horrir, & Warp Blast)
    • 1x Malanthrope
  • Troops:
    • 11x Hormagaunts
    • 30x Termagants w/ fleshborers
    • 1x Tervigon w/ Cluster Spines & Scything Talons (Dominion & Catalyst)
    • 1x Mucolid Spore
    • 1x Mucolid Spore
  • Fast Attack:
    • 4x Raveners w/ Scything Talons & Rending Claws
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers w/ brainleech worms
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers w/ brainleech worms
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Twin-linked Devourers w/ brainleech worms
  • Skytyrant Swarm Formation:
    • 1x Flyrant w/ Twin-linked Devourers w/ brainleech worms
    • 10x Gargoyles
    • 10x Gargoyles

I have a few crutches that I play with most games, and I also like to vary things up a bit.  This list really started out by me going with 40 hormagaunts to start, but most of those wound up being axed from the list at the end when I opted to add Old One Eye and shift the previous Warlord (the Tervigon) to the troops slot.  The problem I have when building lists is that I often am playing with minimal sized squads with very few upgrades.  For instance, of the sixteen squads I’m running in this list, less than half of them have any sort of upgrades or additional units beyond the minimum:

  • Carnifexes and Flyrant have guns
  • Hormagaunts have 1 extra model (as I had extra points to spare)
  • Tervigon got Clusterspines for 5 pointes
  • Raveners got both rending claws and one extra model (3 is just not tough enough)

So when it comes to having an additional 40 points left over at the end, there really isn’t that much to do.  I can beef up a hormagaunt squad, but I can’t add anything at that point–so that’s the time I generally wind up axing a smaller point squad to try to get more points for a larger unit.  I do that a lot during creation.

This time I was able to sneak in old one-eye to see if he was really as bad as I thought, and I also used the raveners because I feel that I don’t medium sized bugs nearly enough.  We’ll see how they did soon enough…

Kurt’s Space Wolves:

  • Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (2)HQ:
    • Harald Deathwolf on Thunderworlf w/ Mantle of Ice Troll King, Frost Axe, Storm Shield & Bolt Pistol
    • Canis Wolfborn on Thunderwolf Fangir w/ Wolf Claws
  • Troops:
    • 10x Grey Hunters w/ 2x Meltaguns in Drop Pod
    • 10x Grey Hunters w/ 2x Plasmaguns in Rhino
  • Fast Attack:
    • 6x Thunderwolves w/ 4x Storm Shields & 2x Powerfists
    • 6x Thunderwolves w/ 4x Storm Shields & 2x Powerfists
  • Heavy Support:
    • Stormfang “Blizzards Wrath” w/ Lascannon, Multi-meltas, & Hellfrost Destructor

You know what strikes me most about this list?  It’s not the abundance of points sucked up into his thunderwolves (700 points for the two units before you add in special characters)–it’s the fact that he doesn’t have special names for most of his units.  Kurt’s a really fluffy player (one of the only guys I know that has a themed shirt for Apoc games), so it’s unusual to see that he only named his Stormfang.

Otherwise, yeah–he obviously sunk a lot of points into those fast attack choices.  I didn’t care to see them in action, personally, but figured I could handle the two tactical squads…

Mission & Deployment:

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (3)I never know the names of missions, but it was the one where you earn one tactical objective card for each turn it is: so, on turn 1, you draw a hand up to one card, two on two, six on six, etc.  For deployment, we went with long board edges.

One thing about the game that was a little unique was that Kurt requested we rearrange the objectives on the table so that they were in logical order (so that you would instinctively know where each objective was without having to search for them (so, all evens were sequentially on one side of the board and the odds on the other).  I took a moment to think it over myself, and though it does have an impact on the game, I’m not sure it’s very large (or really any less random–is layering randomness on randomness any more random than one layer of it?).  Without knowing the answer, it seemed a reasonable enough request, so we went ahead and did it.

I won the roll for first turn and he tried (and failed) to seize.

Turn 1: Tyranids

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (6)If there ever was an uneventful first turn, this was it.  Fearing a charge from one or more of his wolf-riders, I wound up staying out of range–ensuring that all of my models were just over 24″ away–so that he couldn’t have even gotten off a lucky charge with a full 24″ of movement.   Partly, I figured that was too many str5 power weapons to deal with, that would be tanking with lots of 3++ invulnerable saves, but also because once they hit combat, I wouldn’t be able to shoot at them, and that’s really what my list was designed to do.

So, instead of actually moving forward (which I did only in the slightest of cases), I wound up shuffling my models around the table so that my MC’s were a little closer to the front line. After all, there wasn’t much point to having a screen for little gribblies in front when his army had only a handful of shooting attacks.  Of course, I did leave a screen, but I thinned it out because the bigger screen wasn’t necessary.

I didn’t even get any shots in since all of my guns are essentially 18″.  The only thing I could do was put up some psychic defenses, and call it a turn.

VP Total – Tyranids: 0 vs. Space Wolves: 0

Turn 1: Space Wolves

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (8)Kurt’s turn really looked much like my own.  He confessed to me that he generally likes to go second with kind of army, so he can essentially ensure a first turn charge.  He was surprised that I didn’t advance, and he didn’t want to give me the charge, so he shuffled his units around, content to wait for his superior air support coming in automatically on turn 2 due to his army composition.

He also wanted to dart his wolves away from one flank, nullifying my deployment of carnies on that side of the board, but the fact that I didn’t advance, really messed that up a bit for him.

He did get some pot shots in, but nothing appreciable managed to get hurt by it.  The good thing (for me) was that he also didn’t get an objective he could complete on the first turn, so that turned out to be a wash.

VP Total – Tyranids: 0 vs. Space Wolves: 0

Turn 2: Tyranids

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (10)

I think I wound up ditching my objective on the first turn because, while it was doable, the goal of this mission was to cycle through as many objectives as possible.  Turn two confirmed that to be a good decision as I wound up picking up one objective I was already on and another that was within reach of the hormagaunts.

Of course, that meant they had to creep up into charge range, but I was going to have to do that anyway.  I wasn’t going to be able to outlast him in a long range arms race given the relatively short range of my weapons, so I had to close the gap eventually.  My hope was that I could put a squad or two out in front that he would charge and then wipe out, so I could finally shoot him.  The bad part of this plan is that I didn’t think it all of the way through and wound up putting my gargoyles into charge range as well.

Otherwise, it was just more shifting units around to try to get them into position, but at least I scored some points!

VP Total – Tyranids: 2 vs. Space Wolves: 0

Turn 2: Space Wolves

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (15)He took the bait immediately.  Having to kill a unit in assault and earning first blood ensured that he was going to charge the hormagaunts, but I was truly surprised when he charged them with both units.  I thought for sure that the other unit would try to hit the gargoyles–but I guess he really wanted to ensure the gaunts would die.  Frankly, the 40 or so attacks that the first unit pumped out should have been more than enough, but Kurt wasn’t leaving anything to chance.

He then rolled well for both of their consolidation rolls (6’s for each) and then spread out and advanced towards my line.   He’s a pretty good tactician, so I think the plan there was to try to make it difficult for me to move in and get charges with the units that I wanted to.

Elsewhere, his flyer came in and shot up a dakkafex, doing two wounds to it before turning it’s attention elsewhere…

VP Total – Tyranids: 2 vs. Space Wolves: 1+1

Turn 3: Tyranids

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (18)
I should mention at this point that I do have some potentially unconventional strategies when it comes to moving horde units.  I don’t see them as that unusual, but Kurt did bring it up, so it’s worth mentioning.

When I move units, I tend to move the front row and the back models and then fill in the gaps with other units.  He spoke up when he saw me move a particular termagant about 10″ when their move is obviously limited to 6″.  I know that a single model can’t move that far, but I try by abstraction to keep the unit in about the same formation as it was before, while moving it forward.  I think this method provides a reasonably accurate/quick method of moving without issue–though I recognize it can be abused.  I figure that if I move one gaunt 10″ it’s made up by the fact that I’m moving another merely 2″, and it evens out in the end.  Technically, he’s right in that I shouldn’t move that gaunt 10″ so I should work on that.

Anywho, for this turn, I had him right where I wanted him (well, sort of, he did spread out in such a way as to limit the number of units that I was able to bring to bear against him).  Still, I was able to aim all four of my devourers at him.  Between those, and the rest of my shooting, I did manage to kill about half of his wolves, and even wound a few others.  I also managed to Paroxysm one of his units to having -3 WS, and planned to charge the other with my Flyrant to blind them–only I chickened out when I saw his leader had a str7 power weapon and a ton of attacks with rerolls, plus an invulnerable save.  Instead, I charged him with a large tarpit of gaunts, who would hopefully tie them up for the rest of the game.

For the blinded unit, I charged them with a Dakkafex (made it), Old One Eye (failed), and the raveners (also failed), and the poor fex didn’t stand a chance when unaided.  I did manage to score another two objectives and took the lead.

VP Total – Tyranids: 4 vs. Space Wolves: 1+1

Turn 3: Space Wolves

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (20)
His flyer had redirected towards my Skytrant Swarm and unloaded on them.  The combination of lots of majority toughness 3 with the Flyrant in front vs. a large amount of high strength/low AP shooting wasn’t great for me.  His large blast did six wounds alone, and I relied upon Look Out Sir! rolls to keep her alive.  By the end of the shooting phase, my Flyrant had lost half of her wounds and virtually every gargoyle within 6″ of her.

In assault, Harald and his crew waded through a number of gaunts, taking a few wounds of their own (but taking them in such a way as to ensure nobody died, of course).  They weren’t able to kill enough to escape combat though, and more gaunts poured in to take up the slack.

Old One-Eye, however, wasn’t so lucky.  He was standing still and took the full brunt of the charge from the other three calvary models and died before getting a chance to attack back.  It’s a shame too, as he was str10 and managed to do enough wounds on his “theoretical return attacks,” to kill 2-3 of them (Depending upon the order of the dice rolled).  Sadly, theoretical dice don’t work, and I lost my warlord to a bunch of dogs…

VP Total – Tyranids: 4 vs. Space Wolves: 1+2

Turn 4: Tyranids

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (22)

Knowing my gaunts wouldn’t be enough to take out three thunderwolves on their own, I charged in four raveners to help out, and they did a smashing good job–taking them down to just Harald, and setting me up for what eventually looked like a slay the warlord point.

On Canis’ squad, I leveled off my carnifex and flyrant’s guns at him and finished off the squad, but wasn’t able to hurt Canis himself (spoiler alert, a carnifex with two wounds doesn’t stand a chance against that guy when he charged: he rerolls both misses and failed wounds).

VP Total – Tyranids: 4 vs. Space Wolves: 1+2

Turn 4: Space Wolves

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (25)

Again, his army leveled off against the flyrant, and again she managed to survive–but only barely.  It came down to the last shot from his gunship (who opted to hover this turn in order to get a better shot), and after her jink failed, her feel no pain managed to keep her alive for another turn.  Really, having her in front of the gargoyles was costly, but at least she was about to leverage the 2+ Look Out Sir rolls.

Harald, knowing death was imminent wound up forsaking his axe and using his bolt pistol instead–but did no wounds in the process.  Lucky for him, I was goodly enough to return the favor though.

Still, he managed to earn for slaying my warlord in the previous turn, and another for killing off a carnifex near another objective.  By this point, Canis had killed off three carnies, almost by himself, and snagged an extra three points for slaying the warlord, plus holding an objective for a last point.  Talk about your MVP!

VP Total – Tyranids: 4 vs. Space Wolves: 4+2

Turn 5: Tyranids

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (27)

A lucky shot from my zoanthrope reminded Kurt why we don’t land flyers on the table.  Otherwise, I shuffled units around to hold objectives, and pepper units with firepower.  One carnifex rammed a rhino, wrecking it and discharging four struggling marines out the back–this left Kurt with those four marines, Canis, and the better part of a tactical squad (who had taken two wounds from a Mucolid earlier in the game–though I’d forgotten to mention it), plus Canis.  I liked my odds at this point, but got a little cocky–opting to shoot and charge with my Flyrant (who also failed her 6″ charge).

Kurt might not have been hot with armor saves this game, but I was downright cold with my charge ranges.  In assault, Harald managed to evade destruction yet another turn, and I was beginning to think that I wouldn’t kill him before the game ended…

VP Total – Tyranids: 7 vs. Space Wolves: 4+2

Turn 5: Space Wolves

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (31)

To rallying cries of “Ding dong, the witch is dead,” the grey hunters rejoiced after finally killing off my flyrant (And her two 10 man squads of gargoyles).  Sadly, they didn’t manage to sneak forward and capture the objective in front of them though, so that left them unscored.

No worries though, as Canis managed to get another point for cowering from my zoanthropes within 12″ of my board edge.  Silly space puppies…

Harald finally died during Kurt’s turn, so I wracked up three more victory points (though in hindsight, I’m not sure I should’ve counted that until my following turn).

VP Total – Tyranids: 10+1 vs. Space Wolves: 7+2

Turn 6: Tyranids

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (35)

The game kept going at that point, much to Kurt’s dismay, and I entered into cleaning mode, destroying all but three of his models: a wounded drop pod, a single grey hunter (surrounded by raveners) and, of course, Canis.

In the meantime, I managed to earn six more victory points for holding objectives 1, 2, & 3, and also holding twice as many as Kurt (1), bringing my lead to a fairly solid 8 points.

VP Total – Tyranids: 16+1 vs. Space Wolves: 7+2

Turn 6: Space Wolves

The last grey hunter fell during combat, and the drop pod didn’t manage to kill off the zoanthrope to earn a point for killing psyker.  Kurt did earn a point for holding objective #5 next to his drop pod, and Canis got another point for line breaker when the game ended.

Wh39kNidsVsKurtDec2015 (37)For those of you who are counting, that means Canis:

  • Killed three carnifexen.
  • Killed my warlord (included above)
  • Scored Linebreaker.
  • His squad also helped to earn first blood.
  • Earned another four victory points (two extra for the warlord, one for holding an objective and one for being within 12″ of my deployment zone).

So, he managed to kill off half of the monstrous creatures on the table, and scored (or helped score) 66% of Kurt’s victory point.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a unit perform that well in a battle.

VP Total – Tyranids: 16+1 vs. Space Wolves: 8+3

 

What I Learned:

  1. Old one eye is bad.  Ok, maybe that’s not exactly fair considering he didn’t do anything in the game.  Yes, had he lived, he could’ve theoretically killed several important models and gotten his points back.  Still, he’s not very durable (a common problem within the Tyranid codex)–and even though he gets FNP (After wounded) and regen, the fact is that he’s so easy to focus down, that they don’t have an effect on his survivability.  I’ll have to try him again one day to confirm, but I do think he’s poo.
  2. I should work on my unconventional movement.  Sure, you don’t have to measure each one individually, but Kurt was right that I need to move them a little more uniformly.  While I’ve never been called on it before, and it doesn’t make much difference on a squad of 30 unique termagants, he’s right.  I can do better.
  3. Arranging objective in order is neat.  It might not be for everyone, but it did make recognizing where you needed to go easier.  Then again, I’m not sure how hard it is to remember/review where the numbers are on the table.
  4. The Skytyrant swarm gave me durability.  I’m not sure it was a good move though, as I likely would’ve been about as durable by just flying in the air–then again, the flyer would’ve been harder to deal with.  Still, I think this particular formation is better suited to a hand-to-hand tyrant.
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5 comments on “Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Space Wolves (1750 pts)

      • Oh man, I don’t know how you do it. I have a hard time justify buying anything with as few games as I do play. If I stopped playing altogether, I think I’d be forced to sell my armies.

        On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 7:51 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

        >

      • Well I have three kids, a wife, bills and a pretty full on job so the spare time I do get is filled with modelling. For me it’s a bit of an escape, a positive one. All my mates are not into the game, not anymore anyway. One bloke is but he works nights. I’m happy though. For me, I really enjoy the converting and coming up with a bit of fluff here and there. I’m also thoroughly enjoying the whole on line blog thing. Still finding my feet but thanks to people like you and many others on here I’m learning and seeing lots. Happy New Year mate!

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