Thursday, 16 February 2012

Defence of Vercote Hive - Wolf v Tyranid Battle Report

I thought I might try something a little different with this battle report, maybe people will like them, maybe not, but I like the idea of trying to bring a little more personality to my games.  (I'll point out now that I started writing this before the release of Thousand Sons, Prospero Burns and Battle for the Fang so the style is pretty different to most of the current Space Wolves fiction.)  Let me know if you like it or not...

  "That is a fell-wind, do you smell it brother?"  
Njärv stood, his nostrils flaring as he drew great draughts of air into his lungs.  Surveying the outskirts of the hive from his vantage point, he could sense that all wasn't right, not only by sniffing the air as it gusted across the crater strewn landscape, but in a tremor that seemed to be rising up out of the earth and into his body, as if the ground itself was trembling in fear.
  "Aye, and one I recognise far too well.  I remember this foul thrall-stench from Ahmrads Hope, and that day we barely held Eden's Gate from the xeno."
Thogard knelt down, drawing a handful of carved bones from a worn hide pouch at his belt and tossed them onto the earth, watching as they tumbled and how they landed.  A frown creased his heavy brow,  
  "Not good, not good at all.  There is something more to this, something other than the usual interference caused by the wyrm, something powerful awaits and this world feels it in its bones, its spirit is restless."  
Gathering up the runes, Thogard stood and turned to one of the Wolf Guard gathered around the two Rune Priests,  
  "Gather your pack-mates, and awake the spirits of your Rhinos, we'll join battle within the hour if I read the winds correctly.  The wolf spirits will be with you."

I got to take part in a 2 vs 1, 3000pt game, I teamed up with another Wolf list to play against 3000pts of Tyranids.

My list was:
2 Rune Priests:  MH/LL and MH/Jaws
2 x Wolf Guard with combi-meltas and powerfists
2 x 8 Grey Hunters with all the trimmings
5 Blood Claws in a Razorback
5 Long Fangs with Missiles
5 Thunderwolves with a power fist and storm shield

My teamate had roughly:
Ragnar + Arjac + Terminators
Rune Priest + 3 Terminators, one with a Cyclone launcher  (murderous hurricane, living lightning)
2 x Scout packs, one with a wolf priest (priest never arrived)
2 Grey Hunter squads
Fenrisian wolves

We were up against a horde Tyranid list that contained:

3 x 30 hormagaunts all with poison sacks etc.
30 termagants with spine fists
30 termagants with medium gun
30 termagants with heavy gun
Doom of Malantai
3 x zoanthropes
3 x biovores
2 x 5 warrior squads with primes, some guns and some claws
30 gargoyles
shoot-round-corner nid
2 x 17 genestealers
maybe some more but I can't quite remember

We setup with pitched battle as it was the only way the tyranids could setup, objectives mission with 3, one in a crater on the right, one in the open in the centre and one next to a building on the left

Tyranids setup as a wall of flesh, roughly hormagaunts1 - gargoyles - termagant1 - termagant2 - hormagaunt2 - termagant3 - hormagant3 (from left to right when facing them) with Warrior squads and Zoanthropes mixed evenly along the lines to provide synapse, Doom was on the right.  

Check out the "black and white" Doom of Malantai, straight from the Codex picture :D

I took most of the right flank, my team mate took centre/left, we had nothing on the far left.  The Jaws Rhino was behind the crater on the right with the Terminator Rune Priest and friends next to it.  The Stormcaller Rhino was between the crater and the central building with the Lone Wolf next to it, the Thunderwolves were behind this Rhino for cover.  I placed the Long Fangs in the central building, blood claws on the lower level for defence, the Razorback squad next to the building, and the rest of the other army to the left of the building.

We stole the initiative and got to go first.

  He could feel it now, a faint trembling in the ground; ever so slight, but his senses, hightened with anticipation at the prospect of battle, could feel it through the boots of his armour.  Soon it wasn't just the trembling, as the rumbling grew, it was joined by a faint chattering, the sound of a million chitinous plates clashing.  
At his side, Skrar pawed at the ground, a low, throaty growl resonating through his massive frame.  Resting his hand on his flank, Vargr could feel the tension within the beast, eager for the battle to come.  Soon Vargr's comm-bead buzzed with the call for advance, bearing his canines, with a guttural roar, he threw himself atop Skrar spurring him forward.  With the rest of the squad the Thunderwolves advanced just behind their brothers Rhino's.
  Thogard could feel the pressure growing in his mind.  This wasn't just the usual distracting insectile buzz that always permeated the ether in the presence of the cursed xenos, but something more, acient, powerful and filled with a mingling of notes or tastes, as if the minds of millions were somehow contained within one entity.  It was becoming almost painful, and he could feel the world spirit recoiling from the presence of it as if it knew that it would spell its destruction.  
Gazing through the ports of the side of the Rhino he could finally see the swarm, spilling over the ruins of the outer regions of the hive, a veritable carpet of small creatures with a few towering beasts among them, providing direction to the whole mass simply with the power of their minds.  Searching amongst those towering behemoth, Thogard located the strongest source of that mental pressure, a giant pulsing mind floating serenly above the masses.
Reaching his mind into the very fabric of the planet, he drew on the revulsion at its presence, awakening the spirit of the earth and directing it.  A rent opened below the beast, the ground crumbling away while pillars of earth rose up simultaneously to grasp the beast and drag it down into the ground.  As the dust settled the creature was gone and the advancing horde paused momentarily a ripple of shock passing through it, but it was only momentary.  Before he could blink, their advance had begun again.  It appeared they would have to do this the hard way, a grin spread across Thogards griseled muzzle.

Turn 1

Neither of us made any major movement, just a shuffle forward, but avoiding any possible charges.  The biggest threat that I could see on the board right now was the Doom, as soon as it started leaching off our guys we would be in real trouble and as such it was target number one.  
One of the Rune Priests delved deep into the spirit of the planet unleashing its hunger and a Jaws of the World Wolf opened amidst the tyranid lines swallowing up the Doom and a few of the termagaunts he was hiding amongst.  Buoyed up by this success, the other Rune Priests called upon weather gods, one bringing huge bolts of lightning to strike down another zoanthrope, and the final rune priest whipping up a storm near the centre of the board shielding the thunderwolves and rhino from view.
In the centre, the whirlwind dropped a template in the middle of the tyranid lines wiping out plenty of little guys, the assault cannon blasted another Zoanthrope off the board and the missile launchers of the Long Fangs and Terminators dropped frag throughout the tyranid lines killing off even more little guys.

The tyranids were sorely hurt, the majority of their anti-tank was gone, as well as a lot of synapse.  They moved forward on mass to get into combat as quickly as possible.  Shooting was relatively minimal, the shoot-round-corners nid managed to shake my Stormcaller Rhino even through its cover and the odd guy died to shooting here and there.  The biovores targeted the Long Fangs but missed and so 3 spore-mines appeared on the top of their building.  The gargoyles are the only tyranid unit in range for assault and they swamp the Grey Hunters on the left flank.  Blows are traded and models die on both sides but neither group can gain the upper hand.

Turn 2

Time to strike!  I knew I couldn't go head to head in combat with the nids, especially with the hormagaunts, so I had to swing things into my favour.  To my right was a nice big crater that thankfully doubled as housing for an objective, I could hide in there and strike first when assaulted as the nids don't have grenades.  I disembarked my GH squad with the Jaws RP into the crater ready for assault by that flank.  The Thunderwolves slam into the remains of the 2 large Hormagaunt packs in the centre, and my other GH pack disembarked and moved into the bottom of the central building to support the centre.  One pack of wolf-scouts showed up behind the tyranid lines and would go on to take out the biovores.  On the left the wolves moved forwards to take on the central termagaunts1/2
With the main threats of the Zoe's out of the way, this shooting phase was devastating to the gaunts.  3 Murderous Hurricanes and 20-odd bolters decimated termagaunts3 and took some chunks out of hormagaunts2 for the Thunderwolves.  Fire in the centre takes out some termagaunts and the LF and terminators take out all the warriors in the centre.  The Blood Claws in the base of the central building fired on the spore mines blowing them up and removing them as a threat.
In combat, the GH on the left continue to grind with the gargoyles, scouts wipe out the biovores and the Fenrisian Wolves tear into termagants2 killing many, they lose a few in return then the nids die to fearless wounds.  Finally, on the right, the hormagaunts struck first and with their toxin-sacks managed to inflict a full 13 wounds on my Thunderwolves.  After spreading them around the different models, I managed to make all of my saves except for the 2 that I'd placed on my thunder-hammer toting guy, he died horribly.  The Thunderwolves then struck back and wiped out the squad in a single go. 

It wasn't looking that good for the Tyranids, they were seriously depleted on the board with only the 2 units of genestealers to appear, one of which did so this turn.  Although it was hoped they would show on the right side of the board, they showed on the left with quite the jog to reach the wolf lines.  The only real shooting left to the tyranids was termagaunts1 squad to the left who wiped out the remaining Fenrisian Wolves.  In assault, I think this was the turn the gargoyles finally died leaving a very depleted Grey Hunter squad over on the left who consolidated away from the approaching genestealers. On my side the hormagaunts fleeted and then assaulted my Grey Hunter unit in the ruins as I'd hoped.  Luckily for me the warriors weren't able to make it into combat so I didn't have to worry about them.  I popped the Wolf Standard, and thanks to going first and re-rolling 1's knocked the hormagaunt unit down to about 7 models.  I lost 3 guys to the return attacks and the rest of the hormagaunts died to fearless wounds.

Turn 3

Not much movement this turn from the wolves, mostly consolidating the areas that we held around objectives, although the Thunderwolves and scouts positioned themselves to charge the last of the termagaunt units in the centre.  The terminators all shuffled to get better line of sight on the genestealers and the second of my Grey Hunter squad positioned itself to back-up the squad in the ruins.  Shooting was minimal except for the combined fire of the Long Fangs, Whirlwind and terminators wiping the genestealers out to the last bug.  In assault, the Lone Wolf finally got into combat with the remnants of termagaunts1, wiffed his attacks and lost both his wolves.  The Thunderwolves and scouts wiped out termagaunts3 and that was pretty much it.

By this point, time was running short in the shop, the second squad of genestealers didn't show again, and it was pretty obvious where the game was going so we called it there as a pretty safe Space Wolves win.  It'd been extremely bloody for the tyranid player, but he'd been a brilliant opponent and a very good sport about it despite being a very one sided game.  You can see from the dead pile just how many nids died.

  As he moved from the ruins, Njärv could hear an occasional bolt retort in the distance as the Hunters finished off any remaining xeno that hadn't been caught during the main fighting.  You had to be careful to not leave anything to chance, the wyrm had a nasty habit or rearing its head over and over unless you were sure to completely rid a place of them.  He could taste their stench in the air, this had only just begun, a first victory on what would be a long campaign to see the planet rid of the foul infestation.
  "Did you feel it!" Thogard barked as he approached  "It's gone, but a kraken so powerful won't rest long.  The hunt is on my friend!"
  "Aye, that it is."  Njärv ground a shattered piece of chitin into the ground as he thought.  "Something troubles me though, just as it fell there was a taste in the ether, one I recognised and that has only ever meant trouble.  But what would those damned xeno Eldar be doing in league with the wyrm?  Trouble they are, but they display pride in the sagas, and wouldn't sink to this.  We may be witnessing something new here... or very old."


  1. great stuff, i enjoyed this a lot.

    pity horde Nids are so weak, but then, he might have had a chance if you guys had less of a waac bullshit codex ;)

  2. You're just jealous your totally nerfed IG and GK codices can't stand up to real games ;)



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