Batrep: Tyranids vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (80 power)

This battle-report actually happened last year, but I didn’t get around to writing about it until this year, so it will wind up counting for 2018.

 

Tim’s Tyranids:

  • HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ Venom Cannon, Lashwhip, & Bonesword (proxied with my model as he forgot his)
    • Old One-Eye
  • Elites:
    • 1x Lictor
    • 1x Lictor
  • Troops:
    • 20x Genestealers (for the Trygon Tunnel)
    • 3x Warriors w/ Boneswords & Deathspitters, including a Barbed Strangler
  • Fast Attack:
    • 6x Raveners w/ Spine Fists & Rending Claws
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime
    • 3x Carnifex:
      • 2x w/ Scything Talons & Bioplasma
      • 1x w/ Stranglethorn Cannon & Scything Talons

Tim’s list was largely the same as what he fielded during our last game. Granted, we played a smaller points game so he had to drop the Scythed Hierodule (actually, he considered keeping that in his list but decided it would be too rough. I was ok with him keeping it though–but knew that it would be hard to deal with if I had to face it). He opted to go with the friendlier version of the list and drop that. While he was at it, he dropped a squad of warriors as well in favor of a couple of Lictors (the warriors proved to be largely ineffective in the previous game). He also wound up combining the two squads of raveners into a single unit–I think the idea here was that he had forgotten whether they were supposed to be one or two units, so combining them was just easier.

Hive Fleet Proteus (using Kronos’ Rules):

  • HQ:
    • Neurothrope (The Horror)
    • Hive Tyrant w/ 4x Deathspitters (Catalyst & Psychic Scream)
  • Elites:
    • Hauraspex
    • 3x Hive Guard
    • 3x Hive Guard
  • Troops:
    • 20x Gaunts w/ Devourers
    • 3x Rippers
    • 5x Genestealers
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Thornback w/ Devourers
    • 1x Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon
  • Fortifications:
    • Sporocyst w/ Barbed Stranglers
    • Aegis Defense Line w/ Quad Gun

The last time Tim and I played, I went with a fairly assault heavy list (well, a REALLY assault heavy list–as it included twelve squads of ‘stealers–including Broodlords). I also used two units of Exocrines, which were pretty fantastic throughout. So this time, I wanted to go with something completely different and opted to go with a heavy-shooting list. I also wanted to leave out the Exocrines entirely, as they had some success against Tim, and I wanted to see what else the army could muster as far as bullets were concerned.

The other things I wanted to test out were to include the Aegis Defense Line (I don’t think I’ve actually fielded it in this edition), and playing with some of the other options. Basically, I’ve fielded every other unit in the codex in 8th edition (though not since the release of the new codex).

Mission & Deployment:

You’ll have to forgive me as this was one of those games that happened more than a month ago, but I just never got around to giving it a proper write-up. As a result, some of the details are a little hazy. What I recall is that the mission was one where you generate a number of objectives on the first turn, and fewer as time goes on. So, whatever that’s called. For deployment, we wound up with the weird pointy deployment zones using the long table edges. I honestly can’t remember who setup first, but my guess is him–because his side of the table just looks more enticing (Especially to a shooting army, such as I had).

Due to the large number of units I had, he deployed first and ultimately won first turn. I failed to seize the initiative, and he began with the first turn…

Turn 1: Tim’s Tyranids

The Trygon and ‘stealers couldn’t find a good place to deploy in the center of my line without gumming up the works for the rest of his force. As a result, they (along with two lictors) opted to deploy on my left flank, while the ravener unit deployed on my right. Somehow the genestealers failed their charge (despite re-rolling), but the two lictors proved to be enough of a force to take out my unit of Hive Guard on their own (it doesn’t help that they were out of synapse).

On the other side of the board, the raveners came in and peppered my lone unit of genestealrs with fire, and also failed their charge.

Everything else in his army moved forward slowly and fired what they could. Oddly enough, he wasn’t running (ie. advancing) with his carnifexes, despite them having assault weapons. I think he figured the lost damage output was more critical, and perhaps underestimated the damage output of my army?

Still, he earned 2 victory points. One for first blood, and another for destroying a unit of mine in the shooting phase. Two points isn’t bad to earn in a single turn…

Score: Tim’s Tyranids – 1+1 vs. Hive Fleet Proteus – 0

Turn 1: Hive Fleet Proteus

Fighting on three fronts was not going to be good. My strategy was to throw my Tyrant and the Venomthrope at the Raveners, and kill them off with psychics/shooting. Then I could put up a screen between me and the wall of genestealers, and let the rest of my army focus on the incoming big bugs.

None of that went as planned.

First of all, despite having relatively decent damage output from both the Neurothrope and Hive Tyrant in the psychic phase, plus some additional shots (at -1, because I had to run with the Tyrant to get her into range)–I only managed to kill off three raveners (who subsequently wound up passing their morale test).

On my other flank, I pitted ten devourer gaunts against 20 genestealers and after double-tapping them, managed to severely neuter them. Enough that I was no longer worried (though even as few as five genestealers can still prove to be frightening).

In the center, I poured what firepower I had into his big bugs and… well, I can’t tell from the photos. I think I just wound up wounding a few of them, but maybe one of them died at this point. Whatever the results were, I was honestly hoping for more.

In the interim, I did earn two points for manifesting a psychic power…

Score: Tim’s Tyranids – 1+1 vs. Hive Fleet Proteus – 2

Turn 2: Tim’s Tyranids

The units that surrounded me during the previous turned just bore down on me again. The raveners managed to charge my Neurothrope (who tanked them like a trooper with his 3++ save). On the other side, the two brave lictors charged into my Hauraspex (who did surprisingly little to them) while the Trygon and remaining ‘stealers made short work of the remaining termagants.

The rest of his bugs pushed forward, except for the Hive Tyrant, who had shrunk back into the background.

Oh yeah, now I remember–I didn’t kill any big bugs the previous turn. I did a few wounds here an there, but spent a good deal of firepower trying to take out his HQ, due to my other objectives. Now wounded, she opted to try to stay out of range of the my force–though the Rupture cannon could fire 48″ so there was really no escaping that. The other big bugs surged forward and killed off more gaunts before he passed the turn.

Score: Tim’s Tyranids – 1+1 vs. Hive Fleet Proteus – 2

Turn 2: Hive Fleet Proteus

Strategies weren’t changing, but timelines were condensing quickly. The majority of his army was within charge range, so I was down to picking my targets. I figured that the lictors were low priority, but everything else was pretty important to stop.

The few units I had that were in immediate danger (ie. carnifex and hauraspex) slinked back and fired pot shots, while everything else opened up. I managed to take out the ‘stealers and one carnifex, plus put a bunch of wounds on another ‘fex before passing the turn.

For points, my nearly destroyed unit of Genestealers (down to just two models) snuck forward to grab an objective, while I deep-struck a unit of rippers onto a second one to earn two points.

Score: Tim’s Tyranids – 1+1 vs. Hive Fleet Proteus – 4

Turn 3: Tim’s Tyranids

His army finally hit my lines at this point: with the lictors, Trygon and a single carnifex (Old One Eye, I believe) making short work of my remaining gaunts and my carnifex, while also severely crippling my Hauraspex. Somehow, his Raveners were still alive (well, one of them was–and he was coming eriely close to finishing off my Neurothrope (which he needed to score objectives).

It proved to be a relatively vicious turn as far as casualties go, but also one where Tim failed to score any points.

Score: Tim’s Tyranids – 1+1 vs. Hive Fleet Proteus – 4

Turn 3: Hive Fleet Proteus

Since Old One Eye had effectively killed himself out of combat (and in no way was I going to pile in with my last couple remaining gaunts), I was able to finally target him. The firepower I put out that turn was enough to kill off both that HQ and his Trygon Prime, pushing him largely out of combat range again.

It was at that point that Tim conceded the game. He felt like he was continuously walking into an unending barrage of firepower and that he had no hope of overcoming it. While I disagreed that the game wasn’t winnable (I mean, I was only two points ahead of him at this point), I definitely understand being “funned out” and wanting to call it. So, we walked away at that point.

Final Score: Tim’s Tyranids – 1+1 vs. Hive Fleet Proteus – 4?

What I Learned:

  1. Hive Fleet Kronos’ rules aren’t bad. Re-rolling 1’s to hit, really helped the Tyrannofex (and my other stationary units) when shooting. Not being able to move is a big penalty, but for those guys that weren’t planning on moving anyway (namely the ‘fex and hive guard) it was quite a boon. I didn’t use their warlord trait or their wargear item though, so it was just the shooting benefit. I can see how that would be particularly deadly with Exocrines.
  2. Running with fexes is important. He didn’t run on either of his first turns with his ‘fexes. That caused him to have to whether a full extra turn of shooting, and that’s a problem. The additional -1 to hit from running is worth getting them into assault–especially for mixed weaponry models.
  3. The Tyrannofex got some love. I was sad when the Tyrannofex lost his 2+ armor save in the index, and he came off as bunk to me. I do like that he got to shoot twice, but his guns weren’t altogether amazing. In the ‘new’ codex though, his Rupture cannon is pretty fantastic. He was hitting a fair amount (I would argue a little above average, but not amazingly so), but given his high damage, he was able to help take out about a carnifex per turn.
  4. Devourer Gaunts are respectable. Yes, I’m judging this on a single round of shooting where I rolled above average, but they’re no joke. Well worth the points, and seemingly an auto-include as far as power level games are concerned.

 

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