Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Nurgle Themed Chaos

I’m a little behind on my goal to get 12 games in per year (which, for the particularly astute of you out there averages out to one game per month).  So, when I had a day off that coincided with a friend, and we were able to sneak in a game of 40k, I was delighted.

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • HQ:
    • Deathleaper
    • Tyranid Prime w/ Lashwhip, Bonesword, & Scything Talons
  • Elites:
    • 3x Zoanthropes w/ Neurothrope (Dominion, Catalyst, Warp Blast, & Spirit Leech)
    • 2x Lictors
    • 2x Hive Guard
    • 2x Hive Guard
    • 3x Pyrovores
  • Troops:
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ 2x Deathspitters & 1x Venom Cannon
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ 2x Deathspitters & 1x Venom Cannon
    • 3x Tyranid Warriors w/ 2x Deathspitters & 1x Devourer
    • 10x Hormagaunts
    • 6x Genestealers w/ Broodlord (Dominion, The Horror)
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Raveners w/ Rending Claws
    • 3x Raveners w/ Rending Claws
    • 4x Raveners w/ Rending Claws plus The Red Terror
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore
    • 1x Biovore
  • Fortifications:
    • Promethium Relay Pipes

My goal for this army was to field as many medium sized bugs as I could muster, and try to eschew monstrous creatures altogether.  While I technically had a few models that didn’t see the table (a couple of lictors, hive guard, and two warriors/raveners, plus six more biovores and Zoanthropes), I think I did a reasonable job at accomplishing that in the list.  Of course, to pull it off I had to go with a double-CAD (bugs just have so many medium sized bugs crammed into the elites slot).

I think it would be a far cry to call this a tournament style list, but it certainly has a lot of wounds and attacks.  The weaknesses I can see are that it might have a problem with vehicles, and certainly would have an issue with flyers, but what are the odds that my opponent had those?

Albert’s Forces of Nurgle:

  • HQ:
    • Mamon
    • Nurgle Herald
  • Elites:
    • 2x Beasts of  Nurgle
  • Troops:
    • 10x Chaos Space Marines in Rhino
    • 3x Nurglings
    • 3x Nurglings
    • 15x Plague Bearers
    • 15x Plague Bearers
  • Fast Attack:
    • Helldrake
    • 2x Blight Drones
  • Heavy Support:
    • Mauler Fiend
    • 5x Havocs w/ Lascannon, Heavy Bolter, Missile Launcher, & Autocannon
    • Soul Grinder

I have to apologize for not posting an army shot of the chaos forces.  I know that he lined them all up, but I’ll be darned if I can’t find that photo I took.

Albert’s been a Chaos Space Marine player as long as I’ve known him, though he’s recently gone on a crazy painting splurge and has added demons to his retinue.  To my knowledge, this is the first game he’s played where he’s mixed the two.  Sadly, he didn’t realize that the army construction rules require you to play with formations/CADs/etc., so he didn’t really build his list with that in mind.  Well, I guess he could always go with an unbound list, eh?

I tried to clear this up before the game and thought we had it under wraps, but then confusion set in on the first turn.  Prior to, he had declared that CSM was his primary detachment and that Mamon was his warlord (I wasn’t sure what faction that guy came from).  Well, by the first turn, he tried to roll on the demonic winds of chaos table, which wouldn’t be possible if CSM was his primary detachment.  He didn’t have the book with Mamon with him, so we couldn’t just look up what faction he was supposed to be from.  I let him re-decide whether he wanted to go with an unbound list or stick to CAD/allied (and given the mission we played, there was literally no advantage to going with CAD).  He said that his intent was not to go unbound, so we let Mamon be the leader of the CSM for the game.

Mission & Deployment:

As peculiar as this may sound, I actually documented the name of the mission: Purge the Alien.  Of course, this is the one mission that really doesn’t need documentation.  The goal was simply to kill enemy units and earn victory points for doing so, plus there were the standard secondary objectives of Slay the Warlord, First Blood, & Linebreaker.

For deployment, we went with long board edges, and when we diced off for deployment, I won and opted to go first (I figured I could use that to advance into cover and limit the amount of turns of shooting I had to face).

At this moment, it seems that I seem to go first an awful lot.  I’m not sure if that’s because I win the roll more than normal, or because I always seem to want to go first.  That might be an interesting thing to look up.

That aside, I chose to deploy heavily to one side (effectively a null-deployment on my right flank) not because of any great tactics, but rather because my synapse was very limited in this game.  Depending upon warriors for the bulk of your synapse can be a little frightening.  With three squads of them and a squad of Zoanthropes at 2,000 points, I just didn’t feel I had enough to cover the entire board, and instead opted to deploy heavily on one side.

The far side had models, mind you: hormagaunts and pyrovores lead by a single squad of warriors, but that wouldn’t stand up to anything.  The pyrovores stood behind the promethium, as intended and hoped to throw flames from afar.

Albert deployed in a similar fashion, preferring the side of the table where I had models and leaving only a rhino to deal with my weak flank.  He won the roll-off for infiltrators and let his Nurglings shield off some of his other units.  I responded by putting my genestealers into a ruin on my strongest side of the board.  Not that I intended to charge a demon prince, but I wanted to make him think I might do that.

He tried to seize and failed, so I took the first turn.

Turn 1: Hive Fleet Proteus

Without much long range shooting, I didn’t have that many options, aside from to move forward, I crept forward where I could, and tried to keep cover saves against his large pie-plates.  Despite not having any real big guns, I did manage to pepper a bit of shooting into the enemy and caused a few wounds on Nurglings and Plague Bearers (mostly due to some relatively accurate shots from my Biovores), but my Pyrovores were able to get off quite a few wounds by torrenting their flamers onto Nurglings.

My genestealers inched forward into the ruin in such a way so as to limit Mamon’s ability to move forward and flame me.  I didn’t want to see combat, but I figured I could inspire him to move forward and then pull and about-face and high-tail it out of there, trapping him in the difficult terrain.

After killing a handful of models, I passed the turn with no points scored.

Score: Tyranids 0 vs. Chaos 0

Turn 1: Forces of Chaos

One thing about great ideas is that they’re not always so great.  While I certainly pre-measured to avoid being flamed, for some reason I didn’t consider the fact that his unit full of assault-y troops would try to charge me.  The charge wasn’t a guarantee, being about 8 inches, but he wound up making it anyway–and Genestealers don’t hold up well to weight of attacks–nor do Broodlords stand up particularly well against Daemon Princes.

In shooting, I didn’t do as bad, largely because he didn’t have a lot of shots to pour into me.  He had the havocs, and the Defiler (who chose to fire into my Pyrovores for the first turn–based upon how effectively they killed off his Nurglings)–probably not his best strategic move, but it worked out about as expected.  I made a cover save on one, then another proceeded to explode, and hurt some other surrounding units in his death spasms.

No other units managed to make their charges (though a couple of them did try: the Beasts and the Mauler Fiend specifically), leaving the score knotted up at 0.

Score: Tyranids 0 vs. Chaos 0

Turn 2: Hive Fleet Proteus

Having not done all that much in our first turn, my second turn was somewhat of a redemption.  My hiveguard and Zoanthropes combined to take out the Mauler Fiend before he was able to make it to combat (he was something I was worried about facing, as ST4 rending wasn’t going to do much in combat, and he was going to insta-gib anything in my army each hit).  And my raveners managed to hit several units in combat.  A unit of plague bearers and his herald wound up dying (though he didn’t accept my challenge with his herald, so I couldn’t use my Tyranid warlord trait that gave me +2 VP for killing an IC in a challenge), along with his beasts of Nurgle, and what must’ve been one of the units of Nurglings.

I also got both the lictors and deathleaper in my reserves, each of which popped behind the Defiler and tried to hull point it out with rending shots.  Of course, they whiffed completely…

When the smoke cleared, I earned four victory points and first blood.  Not a bad little turn…  Albert did score a point for killing off the last of the genestealers though.

Score: Tyranids 4+1 vs. Chaos 1

Turn 2: Forces of Chaos

Albert managed to likewise get his reserves in, and seemed to use them fairly strategically.  He started with his dragon, who zoomed over and flamed into my zoanthropes and hive guard, causing a couple of wounds, but not killing anything.  His Blight Drones were more reserved, inching onto the table as slow as they could possibly go (and remain flying), and then unloading into my Raveners.

I had no idea how powerful those things were.  Granted, we were using them wrong because we didn’t have the actual rules with us, but he was pumping out a battle cannon shot, a S6 flamer, and a reaper autocannon each turn.  This particular turn I managed to luckily save one of my raveners, but he would do nothing more for the rest of the game.  In hindsight, the battle cannon shot appears to indeed be ordnance, which means he should’ve been snap-firing the autocannon, and couldn’t have fired the flamer.  Still, at 150 points for armor an armor 12 flyer, he’s essentially a flying Defiler for 100 points less.  I’d say that’s a great buy.

Speaking of Defilers, he landed a shot into my warriors/prime and insta-gibbed my prime (I forgot that primes are toughness 5–seriously, who uses primes?), earning himself a victory point and Slay the Warlord.  He also picked up another point somewhere–I just can’t remember what else died as I had so many little units around the board.

Score: Tyranids 4+1 vs. Chaos 3+1

Turn 3: Hive Fleet Proteus

In turn 3, I again unloaded on the Defiler, and didn’t manage to kill it, though I did at least manage to shake it, so that it would be firing snapshots in the following turn (yes, that does mean he failed his 2++ save to ignore the effect).  With that enemy neutralized for a turn, I spread out to focus in other areas.  The Red Terror took his buddies up to the havocs and made for a very interesting charge.

The thing is that I had lined myself up in the bottom of the ruin and he was staggered on the ensuing three levels.  I wanted to charge, but I had to look up how that worked.

First, I had to confirm that I could see a model (because you can’t charge what you can’t see).  My Red Terror could see his aspiring champion though, so I had line of sight.

Then, we had to determine who could fire snapshots.  Well, the rules for snapshots are that you fire as is, so apparently only his aspiring champ got to shoot at me.  Then, I charged in and crushed the marines with some lucky rends (despite having to strike second).  Another squad of raveners charged in on my right flank and engaged a unit of Chaos Space Marines, but weren’t as lucky with the rolls.  In fact, I scored zero rends, and only did a couple of wounds.  As luck would have it, he did very little in retaliation (even his powerfist missed completely!).

Score: Tyranids 6+1 vs. Chaos 3+1

Turn 3: Forces of Chaos

His air attack proceeded to rake down my army line, unloading into anything that was dumb enough to be in his way.  Between the three flyers, he managed to wound a Zoanthrope (vector strike) and kill off the last of a unit of Warriors and my Pyrovores (who again, wound up blowing up and hurting more of my nearby units).  In total, this earned him a couple of victory points, and thinned out some more of my models.

His rhino squad didn’t fair as well in combat as I rolled a bunch of rends, and the last surviving member fled towards his table edge.  Still, he earned another two points to keep in in the thick of it.

Score: Tyranids 6+1 vs. Chaos 5+1

Turn 4: Hive Fleet Proteus

At this point in the battle rep my accounting of what happened goes awry.  I kept score each turn, but for some reason I have an extra half of a turn worth of points scored for myself.  According to my notes, I scored two victory points in this turn and then three more in his turn, and he scored another in mine.

The thing is, I don’t know what I could’ve done to earn all of that.  By this point, he had a unit of Plague Bearers, a Rhino, a lone marine, a Daemon Prince, and the three flyers.  Oh, and the Defiler.  Based upon the photo, I most likely killed the Defiler and the last of the Plague Bearers (the defiler fell to Deathleaper and my Lictors, who despite having leadership 10, managed to fail multiple Instinctive Behavior tests throughout the game).  The Plague Bearers fell because they couldn’t seem to get out of the corner, rolling poorly for move through terrain and failing a couple of charges.  As a result, I was able to back away with three biovores and pound them with spore mines until all that remained was the Daemon prince (who, by the way, managed to get +1 toughness when he slaughtered my Broodlord in the challenge).

So, that all makes sense for this round, but I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten three more points in his turn, as literally nothing was in assault at this point.

Well, sort of.  The raveners on the right flank wanted to charge the lone running marine, but instead failed their instinctive behavior and wound up charging the rhino, doing only a single hull point of damage.  So technically it was in combat, but the rhino would drive away before the assault phase.

Score: Tyranids 8+1 vs. Chaos 5+1

Turn 4: Forces of Chaos

The lone marine rallied and peppered my raveners with some damage, while his flyers both flew off the board (one of them vector striking a helpless biovore before doing so).  The damage was minimal, but my squads were all thinned out so bad that a single wound here and there was still enough to earn a victory point.

Score: Tyranids 8+1 vs. Chaos 6+1

Turn 5: Hive Fleet Proteus

This turned out to be my last hurrah.  By this time, he had a single marine, a damaged rhino, the Daemon Prince and the three flyers on the table.  I easily dispatched with the marine and the rhino, and then spent the rest of the turn (and, spoiler alert, the rest of the game) firing helplessly at his remaining units.  Between the flyers requiring a 6+ to hit, and his HQ being toughness 8, there wasn’t all that much I could do.  True, my Hive Guard could potentially take out his HQ, but each would have basically a 50% chance of doing a wound per turn, and they were also the best shots I had at wounding the flyers.  Since the flyers were actually destroying my units, and his HQ was trodding along slowly behind me, I opted to ignore the latter and hope for the former.

In retrospect, my odds of killing the prince were probably slightly higher than the flyers (were they, though?), and he was worth a point for killing a unit and another point for Warlord, so maybe he was the better strategic target.  My thought was that if I managed to kill either flyer, they would not be able to kill whatever they wanted of my units.

Still, I know I killed two units this turn, but I’m not sure where the other one came from.  But, when I tally up the total KP’s available in his army (14), I know that I killed 11 of them, so something else must’ve died this turn.

Score: Tyranids 11+1 vs. Chaos 6+1

Turn 5: Forces of Chaos

His flyers emerged again onto the board and managed to kill off another unit (either Hive Guard or Biovores, I’m sure)–though it’s possible I still had Hormagaunts around somewhere.  And Mamon trudged tirelessly towards me.

Score: Tyranids 11+1 vs. Chaos 7+1

Turn 6: Hive Fleet Proteus

With nothing else to do, I ran around and fired helplessly at the flyers, but managed to do nothing.  By this point, I had actually hit them on two occasions in the rear armor, but on both occasions I managed to roll a 1 for penetration.   Doh!

In the meantime, I had some other units hiding in ruins around the board, and all of them were failing their abysmally low leadership scores and winding up rolling on the Instinctive Behavior charts.  Luckily, they rare ate each other (though it did wind up happening), and they couldn’t see any units to charge, so they all basically sat quietly waiting for the flyers to get bored and go home.

Hint: that never happened.

Score: Tyranids 11+1 vs. Chaos 7+1

Turn 6: Forces of Chaos

Like flies around a fetid carcass, he kept buzzing around and knocking my units out cold.  He was managing to kill off units, so the real question was whether I could outlast his onslaught.  I kept praying for the game to end, but the dice were fickle and wanted to watch me suffer.

I had been shifting my units around so as not to be caught by his flamers and blast templates, but in doing so, I inadvertently gave Mamon an opportunity to charge into a unit of Warriors.  Having only ST7, he wasn’t auto-killing them, but wounding on a 2+ with re-rolls, he did a fairly good job of taking them out.  He earned another point this turn for some other random unit falling victim to the flyer brigade, and would score another for the Warriors in turn 7…

Score: Tyranids 11+1 vs. Chaos 8+1

Turn 7: Hive Fleet Proteus

My final turn was really just more of the same.  I was spreading out to the best of my ability, and sneaking in shots with whatever I could.  Mainly that meant the Zoanthropes and the Hive Guard, but on occasion, I wound up sneaking in some shots with Deathleaper as well.

Not that it mattered, my whiff-fest continued in full force.

Score: Tyranids 11+1 vs. Chaos 8+1

Turn 7: Forces of Chaos

The gruesome ending to the game truly came down to the wire.  Mamon managed to earn a victory point for killing off the last of the warriors, and the Helldrake earned his points for plucking off what might have been the last of my biovores.  I was already going to earn one point for linebreaker due to the position of my lictors and my raveners, and he would likewise do so with Mamon.  So, it all came down to his Blight Drones.  They had to kill off either a Hive Guard in a ruin or a wounded Zoanthrope in the open.

He fired off two battle cannons, two flamers, and 3 reaper autocannons (remember: we weren’t aware that the battle cannon was actually an ordnance weapon).  Sadly, he missed far too much, and the few hits that he did sneak through, I managed to save.

Score: Tyranids 11+2 vs. Chaos 10+2

The Aftermath:

I was a little sad at the end when he had ten shots to kill off a toughness four model with a single wound left but just couldn’t manage to do so.  I was really pulling for him, because Albert doesn’t win all that many games, and though it wouldn’t have been a win, it would’ve been a solid tie.

Frankly, had the game kept going, he would’ve easily won, as there was effectively nothing I could do against the remaining units in his army.  But as it stands, I didn’t have to play until I got tabled, and I was saved by the bell.

What I Learned:

As always, there were a number of things to learn from this game, not the least of which includes:

  1. Blight Drones are good.  Brandon was the one that came up with the analogy of them being a flying defiler for 100 points less.  Yes, they have BS2, and yes, they only have 2 HP, but they really seem devastatingly good.
  2. Blight Drones aren’t as good as I thought.  While I thought they were unfairly good, I was actually right.  Since they have ordnance, he should’ve been snap-firing the reaper cannon and not firing the flamer at all.  I tried to look it up, but he didn’t have the actual rules with him, just a printed summary that he had worked together.
  3. Having the actual rules is good.  People should generally bring copies of the actual rules for the units they’re using.  This would’ve helped with the blight drones, but also with the Mamon as a CSM fiasco at the beginning of the game.
  4. Tyranid Primes are toughness 5.  I let mine get auto-gibbed by a battle cannon because I never use these guys.  They are absolutely horrible, but again–not quite as bad as I think.  I did, however remember that they do confer +1BS to their squad of warriors…
  5. When fighting in a challenge, you don’t actually move the challengers.  I always push one guy to the other, but the rules clearly say that you don’t move models, rather you swap them.  So you don’t really sneak extra people into combat.  I kept trying to get the Red Terror to eat someone, but he never got the opportunity, as he was never in base to base contact with figures.




One comment on “Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Nurgle Themed Chaos

  1. Nice batrep and pictures! I also like the “medium bug” design of the list. Normally it’s always big bug v swarm style but a lot of my favorite tyranid units are of the medium variety.

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