Tartarus VII: An Apocalypse Battle Report (sort of)

With the army lists and mission already detailed, the only thing left to tell of the Battle of Tartarus VII is the actual battle report.

I’ve long-since learned that a proper battle report for an Apocalypse game is neigh-impossible to write if you’re actually playing in the game. You’re too busy participating to catch all of the nuance swirling around in the larger battle. And, since we don’t employe a professional reporter for our games, instead I’ve chosen to highlight various parts of the game that were more memorable.

To get up to speed, the teams were as follows:

The Victors

  • Dan’s Imperial Guard
  • My Ultramar PDF
  • Albert’s Chaos
  • Sam’s Adeptus Astartes (& Knights)

Continue reading


Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Deathwatch (75 power)

This is getting eerie.  My goal is generally to get twelve games of 40k in over the course of a year.  I’m on pace at the time of writing this to knock out 30 games this year.  Of course, that pace can’t hold up, but it was good to have folks over for game night again and to get some more 40ks in.  This week: a new face steps up to the table…

Hive Fleet Proteus (Leviathan)

  • HQ:
    • Swarmlord (The Horror, Psychic Scream)
    • Neurothrope (Catalyst)
  • Elites:
    • Maleceptor (Psychic Scream)
    • 3x Hive Guard
    • 1x Lictor
    • 3x Pyrovores
  • Troops:
    • 20x Termagants w/ Devourers
    • 10x Genestealers
    • 3x Ripper Swarms
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime w/ Ygmarl Factor
    • Transports:
    • Tyrannocyte w/ Venom Cannons

In retrospect I can immediately see that I cheated on this list because I have four elite choices and I didn’t account for that as far as Command Points are concerned. In total, I should’ve had one less because this would’ve forced me to have a single Auxillery choice. Ooops.

Having played with every unit choice in 8th edition (though maybe not every one since the codex came out), I’ve been working my way through the various hive fleets to see how they play out. Today’s option was Leviathan for the 6++ FNP on every model.

I don’t recall where I started with this list: I mean, if you look at it, it’s pretty much all over the place. I notice that I seem to use a Neurothrope as my second HQ choice quite often. This is because it’s the cheap option and you have to run two in order to get +3 CPs. I also went with venom cannons on my drop pod because it’s an ongoing debate with Brandon about whether they’re any good. After seeing them fair well from warriors, I figured I’d give them a shot on a pod. Continue reading

Batrep: Deathguard vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (1500 pts)

This week’s battle report brought to you by the new Death Guard codex…

Mitch’s Deathguard

  • HQ:
    • Terminator Lord w/ Balesword & Combi-bolter
    • Typhus
  • Elites:
    • Foul Blightspawn
    • 6x Deathshroud Terminators w/ Manreapers & Plaguespitters
  • Troops:
    • 9x Plague Marines w/ 2x Blight Launchers, Flail of Corruption, & Bubonic Axe
    • 20x Pox Walkers
  • Fast Attack:
    • 3x Blight Haulers w/ Bilespurt, Multi-meltas, & Missle Launchers
  • Transports:
    • Rhino w/ Combi-bolter

Mitch has been a chaos player since he started the game. He wound up getting most of his demons stolen from him (tough break, I know–I’ve been through that myself), but the recent resurge in Nurgle based units inspired him to get back in. Not only did he purchase a bunch of the new stuff, but he worked hard on painting the stuff up so it could look good for the blog.

I didn’t know what any of this stuff did, so I wasn’t really scared of anything until he started reading me the rules for the Blight Haulers. They just kept having more and more positive rules. Clearly, they were a big target priority…

Hive Fleet Proteus (Gorgon)

  • HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ Rending Claws & Venom Cannon (Psychic Scream & The Horror)
    • 1x Malanthrope
  • Elites:
    • 3x Zoanthropes (Catalyst)
  • Troops:
    • 18x Hormagaunts
    • 18x Hormagaunts
    • 3x Warriors w/ Rending Claws & Deathspitters inc. Venom Cannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • 6x Raveners w/ Rending Claws & Deathspitters
    • 20x Gargoyles
    • Hive Crone
  • Heavy Support:
    • Toxicrene
    • Carnifex w/ Bioplasma, 2x Scything Talons, Thresher Scythe, Spore Cysts, Chitin Thorns
    • 1x Biovore

My list didn’t have much in the way of planning going on. I originally discovered that the Trygon Prime was a character (and could therefore use a relic and be given a warlord trait), but somehow he got completely dropped by the final list. I wanted to try a new hive fleet, and went with Gorgon–which predicated an assault heavy list, so that’s where I came up with this.

I didn’t want to over-use units that I typically field (genestealers for one), or those that were overly powerful (exocrines, etc.) and threw this list together. The idea is that: if I bothered to buy and paint all of these units, I should field them all every once in a while.

Mission & Deployment:

We let Brandon, our resident spectator and referee for the game, pick our mission and he picked the Eternal War mission “Roving Patrol” out of the Chapter Approved 2017 book. Each of us was required to split our armies into three equal units and then dice off to see which we got. I broke my army up as follows:

  • Group 1: Flyrant, 2x Hormagaunt Units, & 6x Raveners
  • Group 2: Malanthrope, Hive Crone, & Carnifex
  • Group 3: 3x Zoanthropes, 3x Warriors, 20x Gargoyles, & Biovore

My hope would be to get the first group, or maybe even the third group. Of course, that meant I got the second group. Conversely, he put all of his eggs in one basket, and his first group consisted of his Terminator Lord, Typhus, and the Deathshroud–which he got.

We misunderstood the mission though, as all of the other units got to come onto the board turn 1 on a roll of a 3+, so it wasn’t that bad. Practically speaking, having deep-strikers or fast units in reserve was probably a good thing…

Our board deployment was the weird pointy one using our small board edges.  He opted to deploy as far forward as possible, while I opted to try to stay out of range from him and leave me with some clear lines of sight for shooting.

I won the dice roll for first turn and wound up giving it to my opponent. This is because the mission design was such that the person with more objectives at the end of the game won–so it benefits the person who goes last (as I could potentially shoot or assault him off an objective).

Turn 1: Deathguard

Of his reserves, he rolled everything on, except the poxwalkers (who, we know would be automatically arriving on turn 2).  His deathstar pushed forward to take the center of the table, and he learned an underlying issue of using characters in 8th edition.

Now I don’t really run characters (largely because my army doesn’t have many of them), and the ones that I do, don’t seem to suffer the same issues as other armies I’ve faced.  That is to say, that characters generally want the protection of the unit, so they want to be completely bubble wrapped by them; however, this provides an issue with movement, since the character doesn’t get to move at the same time as the unit.  This is fine in an open territory, as the unit can move in a giant C shape, and leave room for the character to move inside of them after they’ve moved.  Once terrain starts playing a factor, it complicates things.

Further complicating things, his units all have an effectively random move distance.  They’re slower than anything else in the game (move:4) and they can always run and fire their weapons, but they only run d3 inches.  So their move is effectively betwen 5-7″.  That further complicates trying to get characters to move around within them.

As  a result, he pushed them forward and one of the characters (his warlord) didn’t manage to make it inside the protective bubble…

His Blight Haulers showed up on his board edge and took pot shots at my Carnifex, stripping off all but one wound before I’d had a chance to go.  A little demoralizing, yeah, but what are you gonna do?   At least he didn’t get first blood.

Score: Deathguard: 0 – Tyranids: 0

Turn 1: Hive Fleet Proteus

Speaking of first blood, I was going to try to grab it this turn.  I’d considered playing a sheepish game, but my army just wasn’t going to be able to do that.  The blight haulers put out more firepower than my entire army did at range, and they were far too tough for me to seriously consider being able to take out (well, maybe with a large multi-assault–but I’d have to whether running across the table and a turn of overwatch too).

No, my plan was definitely to bring the battle to him.

As it turned out, I also got all of my reserves excepting one unit of trash fodder (hormagaunts).  I felt like this mission hurt me worse than him though, as his reserve units had more mobility than mine (And also guns…).

So, I took what I could and deep struck them into the enemy line to exploit the fact that his warlord was exposed.  My Flyrant and Gargoyles plopped down and opened fire on them.  The raveners could not also get in position, so they shimmied over and opened up on the terminators (which, in hindsight, was likely a tactical misplay as they put out more damage than the gargoyles did).

I can’t judge myself too harshly because I eventually accomplished my goal.  I had forgotten that Mitch was very clear before the battle and let me know that his terminators were able to shrug off wounds for nearby deathguard characters on a 2+, so it took all of my shooting, and assault to pull it off.

I’m not exaggerating.  I had to unload everything, and then charge him with my Hive Crone to kill him off.  Not only did I have to do that, I also expended all of my command points to do so.  I used:

  • Scorch Bugs (to do extra wounds with my gargoyles–zero wounds total)
  • Command-Re-Roll (gotta get those wounds in)
  • Adrenaline Surge (to fight twice with my Crone–who managed to take damage, but not so much as to reduce her combat effectiveness)
  • Implant Attack (to do the final wound as a mortal wound)

Sure, I spent all six of my command points on my first turn (which is odd, because I often hoard them until the end), but I did pull off both “first blood” and “slay the warlord,” plus really thinned out those deathguard terminators…

Score: Deathguard: 0 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 2: Deathguard

Brandon and Mitch talked strategy while I went and got pizza, so I don’t really recall what transpired here (or rather, why what went down went down).  He wound up firing the blight haulers (and the terminators) at my Hive Crone, with one or two shots skittering off at my warlord.   The Crone somehow managed to whether all of the shooting until the very last shots from Typhus.

The flyrant was luckier–suffering no ill effects due to her improved invulnerable save and higher toughness.  The invulnerable save was just improved in the 8th edition codex, but her toughness went up to 8 because of the Gorgon relic: hyper-adaptive technology.  That only takes effect when I take a wound–but I managed to do that on my first turn when she failed to cast one of her psychic powers and periled.

His pox walkers showed up and managed to charge my gargoyles, but due to GW’s “buy more” strategy and the fact that he didn’t have any spare pox walkers, he was unable to grow the size of the unit.

Horse-pucky.  I gave him a fistfull of plague zombies and let him fill out his ranks.  The gargoyles were ineffective in assaulting back (their blinding venom now has to actually do a wound to have any effect–and they have to strike first).  Luckily, the plague marines failed their charge, but they did pepper fire into the gargoyles to thin them out as well.

Score: Deathguard: 0 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 2: Hive Fleet Proteus

At this point, I had the game.  With first blood, the advantage was mine–I just needed to keep my stuff alive for long enough to contest the objectives during the final turn, so there was no need to be overly aggressive at this point.  I hopped my Flyrant back into range of the Malanthrope, and brought the gargoyles in as close as I could.

I unleashed the combined might of all of my firepower at his army and did little more than absolutely nothing.  Seriously, I had an atrocious round of shooting, coupled with some decent armor saves by my opponent, and that made for a bit of a wasted turn.

On the plus side, I was able to advance my armor forward.  Granted, nothing was in charge range at this point, but they would never be if they didn’t keep moving forward…

Score: Deathguard: 0 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 3: Deathguard

The blight-haulers moved forward enough to pluck my warlord out of the sky with the perfect amount of damage to kill her outright.  No sense in wasting any extra damage on her, right?

The terminators and pox-walkers tried to charge the gargoyles, though the walkers failed.  His terminators made it though and made short work of all but one of the gargoyles (who was also not long for this world).  This got him “slay the warlord” and also took my biggest threat off the table.

In hinsight, I had designed her for close combat and ran away from a fight.  This was because Foul Blightspawn was in his unit of marines and he had told me that I would strike last, and I simply overestimated how much damage the marines would be able to do.  When I later saw how largely ineffectively they were in combat, I reconsidered my decision.  Was it right after all?

Score: Deathguard: 0+1 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 3: Hive Fleet Proteus

With the center of my army crushed, I had nothing else to do than to push forward.  Clearly, the biggest threat to my army were those demon engines.  Left unchecked, they could fairly reliably take out a unit of mine each turn until I had nothing left.

My hopes lied within a multi-assault from the Raveners (who would suck up the overwatch) and my Carnifex (who would hopefully cause the damage).  I threw catalyst on the raveners and charged in–with no casualties.  The carnifex also made his charge, but it was then that I realized that he would have to roll 5’s to hit (-1 to hit them in both shooting and assault).

Have I mentioned the blight haulers are good?

As luck would have it, he only missed one shot, and between him and the raveners, I managed to take out one of the models completely, suffering little damage to my raveners in return.

Score: Deathguard: 0+1 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 4: Deathguard

I felt good about the game again.  The demon engines that had been wreaking havoc were not going to be able to shoot me again as they were tied up in combat.  I also had proven that my damage output was far better than his, so I was going to wind up taking them out unless things changed.

That’s when Typhus and the remaining terminators charged in to help out.  Doing three damage per swing, hitting on 2+ and wounding on 2+ was not exactly good for my raveners–and they all died before getting a chance to swing.  On the plus side, the demon engines opted to push forward into my carnifex, so I didn’t have to hope to whether another round of overwatch (he was still down to just one wound).

Quickly I was losing all of my army.  And, though I was hurting him as well, he just didn’t seem as crippled as I was at this point.

His plague marines in the backfield jumped into his rhino and sped off towards my board edge to end his turn.

Score: Deathguard: 0+1 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 4: Hive Fleet Proteus

After three turns of footslogging, my reinforcements finally made it to the fight.  The Toxicrene joined the Carnifex and together took out another demon engine, while my first squad of hormagaunts swarmed over Typhus (Aided by my Malanthrope–who would not live to see the end of the phase).  With the help of a stray spore mine (and they were all stray spore mines, as my Biovore failed to hit any targets for the entire game), they managed to take Typhus down to one remaining wound.

And that’s basically all I could do.  Again, the battle looked like it was in my favor–but would it last?

Score: Deathguard: 0+1 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 5: Deathguard

At the beginning of the turn, Typhus slung his pestilence to nearby units and the Blight Hauler used it to finish off the Carnifex.

The plague marines in the rhino bailed out and opened fire on a nearby unit of gaunts before charging into the other unit of hormagaunts in an attempt to rescue typhus and pile enough bodies on the objective to make it difficult for me to knock them off.  Together they made short work of the gribblies and I did little damage in return.


Score: Deathguard: 0+1 – Tyranids: 0+2

Turn 5: Hive Fleet Proteus

If the game were to end this turn, I would lose here.  So, instead of letting that happen, I did the only thing I could.  Those few units I had remaining with guns shot at the plague marines and everything I had left charged into them.  This included my zoanthropes and a severely weakened unit of ‘gaunts.  I did rather well in combat against them, but sadly, so did he.

When the smoke cleared from that battle, I had killed seven of the plague marines this turn, whereas he had killed off 17 of my gaunts (through a combination of shooting and two turns of assault).

We rolled off for random game length and the game ended.  When we counted up models in range, he had his four deathguard and I had…

4 models as well.  Two more of my models were just outside of the range (including a Zoanthrope in back who really should’ve consolidated forward).

Score: Deathguard: 2+2 – Tyranids: 2+2

The Aftermath

A tie!

Sometimes people are unhappy with ties, but it worked out well for Mitch and I.  Mitch doesn’t win a lot of games–especially against me, so I think he was happy to walk out of a game without a loss.  From my perspective, I think his list was just better than mine, and I did make several mistakes, so I think I was lucky to walk away with a tie.

Certainly, had the game pushed another turn, I don’t think I could’ve pulled out a tie.  Of course, it’s a game of random die rolls, so there’s always a chance–it just didn’t seem likely.

What I Learned:

Blight Haulers are good.  At the start of the game, we compared them to dreadnoughts and thought they were just better.  After the game, we’d seen them in combat and they’re certainly durable, but they don’t have the damage output a dreadnought does.  Still, they’re more mobile and more shooty–plus they grant a -1 “to hit” for all friendly models nearby.  Their utility alone makes them a great buy and a tough opponent.

I probably should’ve charged.  With my Hive Tyrant that is.  She was designed for combat, but I played sheepish and was afraid.  As a result, she never saw combat.  Then again, maybe she would’ve died to the plague marines?  Certainly that would’ve meant that the blight haulers would’ve picked on someone else that turn.

Remove casualities the right way.  During my last turn, when the plague marines shot me, I should’ve been paying more attention.  When the bolters did wounds, I could’ve taken those wounds from the front to stop his blight launchers and Foulspawn’s gun from doing extra damage.  Those really decimated that unit and, one could argue, cost me the game.  Had I just pulled one model from the front, both of those would’ve been out of range and I would’ve had far more models to deal with them during that last assault.

Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Imperial Knights (80 Power)

With some time off for the holidays, Sam and I scheduled a game during an unusual day (ie. any day outside of Fridays).  We decided to play power levels because that makes lists quickly, but that’s all we had decided in advance.  The day of the game, we opted to go with 80 power, as that seems pretty standard in our group…

Hive Fleet Proteus (Behemoth)

  • HQ:
    • Tyrant w/ Heavy Venomcannon & Scythes of Tyran (The Horror, Psychic Scream)
    • Neurothrope (Catalyst)
    • Tyranid Prime w/ Boneswords & Deathspitter
  • Troops:
    • 20x Hormagaunts
    • 20x Hormagaunts
    • 20x Genestealers
    • 6x Warriors w/ Boneswords & Deathspitters inc. 1x Venomcannon
    • 6x Warriors w/ Rending Claws & Deathspitters inc. 1x Venomcannon
  • Fast Attack:
    • Red Terror
    • 6x Raveners w/ Deathspitters & Rending Claws
    • 1x Mucolid

I actually had to proxy a Tyranid Prime because I apparently don’t own enough warriors to flesh out this many in a single list. I also didn’t have enough arms to comfortably equip them all with rending claws, so that’s also something I need to work on. Anywho, so the “Lictor” in the various photos is actually serving as the prime.

The rest of the list was based around the concept of medium to little bugs. Frankly, I’m a bit caught up with my win/loss ratio as of late, so I figured making softer armies seemed like the way to go. I’m not trying to throw games, mind you, but trying to play appropriately powered lists for the environment I’m in.

If I overcompensate and start to lose games, that’s ok, because that’s kind of the point.

So this list was basically trying to go without Monstrous Creatures (a goal I put into place after I started off with a Walking Tyrant). It’s also the first game of 8th edition that I used a Tyranid Prime. Hard to believe that I’ve used everything else, but it’s just so hard for me to justify this guy. He’s fairly pricey (compared to other HQ’s) and his greatest strength is that he makes bad units better.

Not exactly a strong selling point.

Sam’s Imperial Knights

Sam had joked about playing his knights–well, at least I thought it was a joke. Now, my choice of having almost no monstrous creatures was seemingly a bad decision…

  • 1x Knight Warden (Warlord)
    • Avenger Gatling Cannon
    • Reaper Chainsword
    • Icarus Autocannons
  • 1x Knight Crusader
    • Rapid Fire Battle-cannon
    • Avenger Gatling Cannon
    • Ironstorm Missle Launcher
  • 1x Knight Errant
    • Thermal Cannon
    • Reaper Chainsword
    • Krak Missile Launcher

While I expected him to have a list that was harder than mind, I just didn’t expect to see this on the other side of the table. I had played against his knights before with an army that wasn’t designed to fight against them, and managed to pull out a win then, so all hope wasn’t lost.

Besides, that was in 7th edition, when very few units in my force could actually hurt these guys. Now that we were playing 8th–literally everything I had could hurt them. That’s got to even the odds a bit.

I think he was feeling a little remorse about his army choice, so he opted to just play with 75 of his 80 power (though he might just not have had extra models to throw in). He also opted to make the Knight Warden his warlord, whereas he normally would use the Crusader, so I think this clearly points to him throwing in the towel a little.

Mission & Deployment:

We rolled up “draw three objectives each turn” and “you can score your opponents ‘secure objective X'” missions. For deployment, we got the short board edges in the weird spear-tip style. I setup my first unit in reserve, and he counted by setting up everything.

Which seems impressive until you realize it’s just three models.

I deployed those units I could in reserve (just the raveners, red terror & the mucolid), and everything else deployed out hapharzardly. He had taken the side that had more objectives in it, but I started off with more in my deployment zone. So, I had a biovore in place to hold one of them, and then used a squad of gaunts on the other side to perform a similar feature.

The genestealers went in front in the hopes that they’d be able to actually make it to combat. The Prime huddled close to both units of warriors, and everything else sort of lumped together where they could.

We rolled off for first turn and, despite getting an effective -1 to my roll, I wound up going first.

Turn 1: Hive Fleet Proteus

My first turn went about as you’d expect. I drew a single objective that I was already standing on, so that’s always nice. Everything else surged forward towards combat and shot where they could. Between my warriors, Biovore, & Hive Tyrant, I picked out his Crusader (the one with all of the guns) as my primary target, and tried to focus that down. Of course, not all of my guns were in range, so I took shots where I could.

All in all, the damage inflicted was relatively minimal, and I passed the turn without really having an impact on how he would play the game.

Score: Tyranids – 1 vs. Knights – 0

Turn 1: Imperial Knights

He also drew an objective that he could score: “Priority Orders” so that his HQ needed to hold an objective that was within 8″ of him at the start of the turn. With that in mind, he shimmied over to hold that (and earn a whoppin four points for doing so), while the other knight leapt forward to defend another objective he had in his deck.

He isolated the genestealers as his immediate threat (not such a bad idea, especially considering he had witnessed a game in 7th where 20ish genestealers slaughtered a knight in one round of combat). So he poured at least two units fire into them, but between their innate invulnerable save and a little catalyst, they managed to survive.

Score: Tyranids – 1 vs. Knights – 4

Turn 2: Hive Fleet Proteus

My wounded unit of ‘stealers pushed forward to contest the objective, but I wasn’t going to be able to do much more than that. My dreams of assaulting him went out the door when I was down to just a handful of models. Clearly, they were better suited to annoying him than they were to actually killing anything at this point.

The rest of my army sputtered forward, splitting their fire where they could between two units. All of my venom cannons fired at the primary target: the Crusader, whereas all of the smaller guns opened up on the knight that was harrassing my genestealers.

This was largely because it was the one that was in range of most of my guns. It also helped that the venom cannons had managed to crack the crusader down to half of his total wounds and thereby reduce his effectiveness shooting against me.

My Tyrant started applying a constant barrage of “the Horror” against his warlord, which she would keep up for the rest of the game. This meant that, though I was unable to actually kill any knights at this point, I was able to reduce the effectiveness of two of them–so that was a start.

I also scored two points this turn: one for having two units completely in my deployment zone, and another for manifesting three psychic powers.

Score: Tyranids – 3 vs. Knights – 4

Turn 2: Imperial Knights

Whereas the objectives weren’t exactly going my way–they were definitely falling in line for the Imperials. He was already standing on three objectives, so when he drew “hold any three objectives,” that just meant he had to kill off a couple of genestealers–which proved quite simple.

He took it to another level though–after I contested the objective the previous turn. He also killed off almost all of my hormagaunts, figuring that they might sneak forward and steal the objective again from him (spoiler alert: they won’t).

A five point turn following a four point turn can be back-breaking though…

Score: Tyranids – 3 vs. Knights – 8+1

Turn 3: Hive Fleet Proteus

I brought my raveners onto the board and used them to harass/threaten both of his wounded knights. Between them and the rest of my forces, I was able to reduce his crusader down to just two remaining wounds, and got his other titan below half–but wasn’t able to fell either of the beasts.

To make matters worse, not only was I not able to score any objectives to close the gap–but I had no feasible way to contest his Knight and allow him to score another point for defending an objective during my turn.

Score: Tyranids – 3 vs. Knights – 10+1

Turn 3: Imperial Knights

By this point, Sam realized that my warriors were doing most of the damage, so he directed focus to them. What guns he had leveled their way, but also worked on thinning out the raveners (who carried functionally identical guns to the warriors and also posed as a close combat threat). With a charge from multiple knights, the Raveners did fair well. Though they managed to live through the beating, they could not live up to the inevitable morale check that followed. That left poor little Red Terror in combat with a monstrous machine all by his lonesome.

Sam earned another point for standing on yet another objective he alread held and passed the turn back to me.

Score: Tyranids – 3 vs. Knights – 11+1

Turn 4: Hive Fleet Proteus

If it wasn’t clear already, I knew by this point that the only real path to me winning involved tabling my opponent.

Now that’s not exactly something you want to think of when every model in your opponent’s army is T8 with 25 wounds, but that’s the reality I was facing. What really surprised me is how much fun I was having despite getting wrecked. Really, I fancy myself as a sore loser, but there was a sliver of hope in here for me, and that was enough to keep me going.

My army was able to easily pull off the last two wounds I needed to kill the Crusader (and earn me a point for killing an enemy unit) and it seems there were enough bullets left in my guns to also kill off the other titan–leaving only his warlord remaining. I also drew two objectives that I was able to score in a single turn–bringing me up to exactly half of his overall score.

Score: Tyranids – 6 vs. Knights – 11+1

Turn 4: Imperial Knights

He was clearly in trouble, and used this turn to get out of dodge. Though he couldn’t get away from the venomcannons that were pounding him from long range, he was able to get out of deathspitter range and hopefully that would be enough. He also perched himself into a wood so that he was obscured from at least some of my guys and would likely have a cover save in my next turn (assuming it came down to that).

As luck would have it, he was able to draw the only objective he could reasonably score for the game (Except maybe to slay my warlord), and he backed away from me, taking out as many warriors as he could while doing just that.

That allowed him to widen the lead just a little more. Not that I cared about the lead though–I had already given up on winning that way. I just needed to close the distance to him…

Score: Tyranids – 6 vs. Knights – 12+1

Turn 5: Hive Fleet Proteus

And that’s what I did. I pushed forward, guns blazing, and stripped off a few wounds from him–enough to make him scared, but not enough to really do much else.

I also earned another victory point for “mastering the warp” and casting a couple of spells–including locking him down with “the horror” yet again.

Score: Tyranids – 8 vs. Knights – 12+1

Turn 5: Imperial Knights

He had made calculated move, positioning himself to try to thwart me from holding an objective, while simultaneously lining up a shot to slay my warlord (which was systematically the only way he now could hope to win the game–seeing I was going to defend two objectives and also earn linebreaker to at least tie). He unloaded on me, and did enough wounds to kill her, but her magical 4+ invulnerable proved to be too much.

I scored two points each for defending two objectives through his turn, and we rolled to see if the game would end.

It did not. Unfortunately, he was out of command points that he could use to force a re-roll and the game continued on to turn 6…

Score: Tyranids – 12 vs. Knights – 12+1

Turn 6: Hive Fleet Proteus

Turn six proved to be devastating. My ‘gaunts had been killed out of combat range in the previous turned, and opted not to consolidate back in.

So, after firing everything I had at him, I managed to charge in with the hormagaunts (who rolled a 12) followed by a mucolid (who also rolled a 12) and lastly by the Hive Tyrant. With the warlord down to just one wound left (after the Mucolid explosion), I allowed the Hormagaunts to go first and see if they could fell the mighty war machine.

I squealed with glee when they did.

Final Score: Tyranids – 12+2 vs. Knights – 12+1

The Aftermath:

If you had told me at the start of this game that I would win, I would’ve been surprised. Surely though, the win would come from being more mobile and being able to grab various objectives, right? Nope, you’re going to win by tabling an army full of knights.

Yeah, I wouldn’t have believed that–especially not with the list I fielded. But that’s the way it worked out. I’m really surprised by the results, but almost more surprised by how fun this game was. Both Sam and I remarked about how much pleasure we took from it. Despite being spanked for most of the game, I never got upset. I’m not sure if that’s the result of me growing as a sportsman, or maybe it had something to do with the fact that I expected to lose from the beginning. I don’t know, but I do know that it was the most fun I’ve had playing 40k in a long while.

What Did I Learn:

  1. Warriors aren’t bad. Loading up enough deathspitters isn’t a bad strategy. And venomcannons are actually pretty darn good. Maybe I was wrong to poo-poo the Tyranid Prime for so long?
  2. Biovore based cheating. I’m not sure that my biovore was in Synapse for the entire game. Well, he certainly wasn’t for the entire game, but also might not have been for when it counted. It’s possible I fired him at the wrong target on at least one occassion without testing for Instinctive Behavior.
  3. Oh wait, nevermind. That rule is stupid. You no longer need to be within synapse range, but rather within 24″ of a synapse creature. I’m almost certain that he was in that range–though I didn’t actually check.
  4. Knights need to charge. We talked about this after the game. Sam said it’s a lesson he learns every game after he plays this guys: half of their damage comes from assault, so he should be charging; however, the way that the objectives played out, I’m not sure he misplayed this game. This game is typically won with objectives, so taking advantage of them while you can tends to be the correct play.

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.