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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Guest Batrep from Sam - Tyranids vs. Blood Angels (long)

Email in from Sam...

Sam sent me an email this weekend with his batrep versus a mechanized BA army. Its a great report with lots of detailed information and play-by-play action. Sam is playing a reserved Tyranid army. I will post some running comments throughout his batrep along with some thoughts on his army list and the batrep at the end.

Hello Black Bow Fly

Been following your blog for a while now, especially your entries about reserve Nids.  Being a long-time Nids player myself, I found myself gravitating to that kind of list as well, especially after acquiring some really nice Mycetic Spore models.

I played a nice game yesterday versus Blood Angels, and welcome your thoughts on it.

The game was 1750 points, one side was attacker (me), one defender.  It was pure objective-based and all 3 of them were in the defenders deployement zone! To compensate for this, all outflank and deep strike rolls for the attacker were made at a +1 bonus! (lol).  Which means that most of my army was going to arrive on a 2+ in turn 2 which is nice (and no, I didn't know the mission beforehand).  This was part of an ongoing team-campaign, so if it seems slightly biased for one side, keep in mind that other people in my team were then defenders in other games and vice versa.

You couldn't ask for better mission rules in my opinion. Being the attacker makes it a lot more fun for you (definitely).

The list I used should feel kinda familiar to you. Contrary to my 'normal' list I had to add Gargoyles, since we were required to add at least one fast attack choice in our list.

A good friend of mine across the bay runs a large brood of gargoyles and they are very effective for him. While I don't use them I definitely see their value... Mobile cover for Nidz is pretty hot.

Hive Tyrant:
—Hive Commander
—Lash Whip + Bone Sword
—Life Leech & Paroxysm

This is very similar to my setup. I know you only had 1750 points to work with too—I like the twin linked devourer with brainleech ammo for the rerolls and S6 is decent at cracking light armor.

Tyranid Prime:
—Lash Whip + Bone Sword
—Toxin Sacs
—Scything Talons

Again my setup is very similar to yours though I prefer adrenal glands to toxin sacs because I find S6 on the charge can wreck lots of enemy HQ and he has this habit of carving right through MEQ units.

3x Hive Guard
8x Ymgarl Genestealer
2x Zoanthrope - Mycetic Spore

Pretty much exactly what I would field for a 1750 point army list.

13x Genestealer + Broodlord
3x Warrior:
—Lash Whips + Bone Sword
—2 Deathspitters
—Barbed Strangler
15x Devilgant - Mycetic Spore
15x Devilgant - Mycetic Spore

I would drop one brood of devilgants and as you've noted below one brood seems to be optimal. I would use the points for options such as toxin sacs for the Warriors. I've chopped down Dreadknights with poison - it is very effective.

Fast Attack
13x Gargoyle:
—Toxin Sacs

Like I said I don't run gargoyles but I think they are a great unit. If you can combine them with a Venomthrope they become an even better screen - of course you have to trade a Venomthrope for one of your elite slots... I'd rather have the Yrmgarls, Hive Guard and Zoanthropes.

My Blood Angels opponent was very tank-heavy, featuring to the best of my recollection (note that some options are not shown below):

—lascannon sponsons
—Autocannon turret
—Heavy bolter sponsons

Baal Predator

10x Assault Marine
10x Tactical Marine - Rhino
9x Assault Marine - Rhino

Sanguinary Priest (attached to assault Marines in rhino)

5x Death Company Marine - Razorback

Reclusiarch (attached to Death Company)

Furioso Dreadnought:
—Heavy Flamer

So seven tanks total with four AV 13 vehicles for a wall and quite a lot of firepower.  Suddenly I was wishing I had my other list, which had more Hive Guard... But nevertheless on we go.

BA spread out evenly over their three objectives and wait.  The assault Marines with jump packs are held in reserve.

Tyranids hide the Warriors and Prime behind a wall in their own deployment zone.  Hive Guard go into a piece of terrain at my left side (because I was going to concentrate my push there).  Genestealers will outflank and Ymgarls go dormant in the middle of the table while the rest of the army will deep strike.

The plan was as follows:
—Concentrate on my left flank, let the Warriors and Prime be the diversion on the right flank.
—Grab the left and middle objectives—profit!

Tyranids - Turn 1
Warriors and Hive Guard try to hide.

Blood Angels - Turn 1
Long distance tank shooting puts one wound on the Warriors and one on the Hive Guard.

Tyranids - Turn 2
Everything arrives from reserve except the Ymgarls and gargoyles.  The genestealers outflank on the left flank as I wanted, so I drop the two devilgant broods in spores, Zoanthropes and the Hive Tyrant in that quadrant as well. Nothing mishaps but there lots of scatter back into my own half.

My plan this turn was to concentrate fire on the rhino with his tactical squad, which was closest to my genestealers, who can then eat them... but unfortunately the Hive Guard are just out of range due to a crappy difficult terrain roll. Zoanthropes roll two penetrating hits and the rhino saves both with the  cover save.  The Hive Tyrant rolls two glancing and one penetrating hit... Again the rhino saves all of them with due to the cover save... Darn!!

Next best thing then... The genestealers assault the rhino and fluff it big time - immobilized and weapon destroyed... This is one strong rhino!!!

I'm not too happy with this turn, but at least the genetealers still have cover behind the immobilized rhino. The Warriors and Prime start advancing on the right flank, still hugging cover. Most of the gants are in cover as well and we await the response of the Blood Angels.

Blood Angels - Turn 2
His assault Marines come in from reserve as well, but don't really have a good assault target at the moment, so they stay back for now. He shuffles his tanks around to make them harder to hit and move out of range from the Hive Guard). A sheet load of shooting comes my way - the Zoanthropes survive some lascannon shots, the Hive Tyrant suffers a wound, half a brood of devilgants die plus three genestealers as well - all things considered it could have been a lot worse.

In an interesting maneuver his assault Marines and Priest disembark from their rhino and move into cover, while their rhino then zooms up towards the tactical Marine rhino... The tactical Marines quickly switch rides, leaving the genestealers all confused where their prey went.

It sounds like the tactical Marines disembarked from their transport then embarked into another transport the same turn which is a No No.
The Warriors and Prime weather some heavy shooting, but wound allocation tricks keep them all alive.  He pushes up his Death Company razorback, Assault Marines (jump packs) and Furioso move towards them (which could be a problem).

Tyranids - Turn 3
This is the turn in which I need to strike hard, or basically lose. The Ymgarls arrive and run out of cover towards the recently disembarked assault Marines and Priest.
The gargoyles arrive and deep strike on the right flank to shield the Warriors from the Furioso.

The Hve Tyrant blows up the rhino containing the tactical squad!

The Zoanthropes immobilize the nearest Predator!

The Hive Guard stun the Baal Predator.

Warriors kill three jump pack Marines with their shooting!

The depleted devilgaunt brood takes careful aim and torrent 12 wounds onto the assault Marines... 3+ save and FNP saves them all however. :  (

The second devilgaunt brood inflicts 14 wounds on the same squad and this time he fluffs the saves - five of them die including the Priest!!! :D

Combat sees the genestealers with the Broodlord assault the tactical Marines. I almost roll no rendings, but still win combat by two and will probably finish them off next turn.

The Ymgarls get a decent Difficult Terrain roll and charge the assault Marines in cover. I choose +1T and for their mutation and only lose one Ymgarl.  All but three Assault Marines die but they hold.

Very nice for the Hive Mind !!!

All in all a good turn for me. Two of his big Marine squads are now engaged with genestealers and will not survive much longer. Only the Death Company and the jump pack Marines remain at full strength.

Blood Angels - Turn 3
He redirects the Death Company transport towards the middle to reinforce his crumbling forces there.  The jump pack Marines move up towards the gargoyles together with the Furioso.

Shooting sees a lot of fire go to the Zoanthropes, but they refuse to die. The Furioso toasts a bunch of gargoyles with its flamer and the jump pack Marines finish them off in close combat.

I'm hoping for a small consolidation roll so I can counter-attack with the Warriors, but he rolls a six and gets away... Oh well.

Combat on the left flank sees the Ymgarls switch to +1A and they finish off the Assault Marines consolidating towards the Death Company.

The henestealers with the Broodlord whiff big time and fail to finish off the tactical Marines. They do win combat, but are still locked which is a big bummer.

Tyranids - Turn 4
The left flank is under control so the Tyranid move towards the center to confront the Death Company and Recluisarch.

The Ymgarl Genestealers take up position, allowing them to either run towards the Death Company or towards the assault Marines, depending on the shooting phase.

The Prime leaves the Warriors to avoid getting them both locked with the Dread.

The Hive Guard shoot at the Death Company transport and it finally explodes, killing one of them in the process.  A sheet load of devourer shots are directed at the Death Company but 3+ save and FNP once again negate it.

So I'm faced with a choice:

—Send the Ymgarls towards the jump pack Marines, kill them eventually, but then probably get shot to pieces because they are out in the open.  And while I'm doing that the Death Company will be able to kill a devilgaunt brood in close combat...
—Or send the Ymgarls at the Death Company and ignore the jump pack Mariness for now.

I chose to go after the Death Company.  In retrospect that was probably the wrong choice because if I had killed the jump pack Marines he would have been out of scoring troops.  Hindsight equals 20/20.

Anyhow the Ymgarls go full aggro (+1A) and win combat but the Marines hold.
The genestealers finally finish off the tactical Marines but are now exposed.

Blood Angels - Turn 4
The Furioso moves towards the Tyranid Prime and the jump pack Marines move towards the Warriors.

All long-range tank shooting concentrates on the genestealers and in a flurry of autocannons and heavy bolters, they are forced to go to ground...  Three plus the Broodlord survive.

The devilgants gets whittled down as well, but still quite a few left.

On the right flank the Warriors get hit with lascannon fire from the closest Predator and two of the three explode.

The Furioso fries the Prime and then bashes his brains in with his DCCW.  :  (

In combat the lone Warrior dies during an assault from the jump pack Marines, but not before killing two of them in return.

Finally the Ymgarls choose +1S this turn and kill everything except the Reclusiarch.

Tyranids - Turn 5
The Hive Tyrant flies up towards the Furioso to avenge his buddy the Prime.

The devilgants move a bit to start claiming the left and center objectives... Bad difficult terrain rolls - they don't quite get there.

Shooting does nothing except the Furioso gets paroxysmed.

In combat the Ymgarls finally finish off the Recluisarch but are exposed now.
The Hive Tyrant rips the Furioso in half, scoring no less than one glancing and four penetrating hits! Not much is left.

Blood Angels - Turn 5
His jump pack Marines wisely flee to the right flank to avoid the Hive Tyrant. He still has a bunch of tanks left and they represent a decent amount of firepower.

The Predator opens fire on the already depleted genestealers... some decent cover saves sees one survive!

The Baal Predator drives up and toasts all the Ymgarl genestealers... Uuuugh!

The other Predator finally kills the Zoanthropes.

The Vindicator mostly misses, thankfully.

No combat.

Tyranids - Turn 6
The lone genestealer crawls on the left objective along with the depleted devilgant brood.

The middle objective is claimed by the other devilgant brood.

He has two tanks lurking near the middle objective (Vindicator & Baal Predator) and I need to kill them to avoid him contesting.

The Hive Tyrant flies up and immbolizes the Vindicator with some side shots!!!

The Hive Guard shoot the Baal Predator and manage only one glance. I roll a 5, which becomes a 3, and he loses a weapon... Would have preferred a "may not move" of course.

I'm a bit tired at this point (almost 1 AM) and forget to surround the middle objective properly.

Just because he can, the Hive Tyrant flies up and smashes the Vindicator, wrecking it!

Blood Angels - Turn 6
His jump pack Marines jump into the right objective (losing one of them due to Dangerous Terrain).

The only still moving tank, the Baal Predator is able to go fast and drive up towards the middle objective, contesting it.

Game ends on a draw, one objective each, and one contested—it was a good game... should probably have won it but we both made some mistakes so in the end a draw was probably the right result.

Conclusions & Post Game Unit Analysis
* Hive Tyrant - did very well... his mobility makes side shots easy and he's no slouch in close combat.

 * Tyranid Prime - didn't really do much except soak some lascannon shots for the Warriors. Suffered a bit from the fact that all objectives were in my opponents deployment zone, so he and his buddies had a lot of ground to cover and they are kind of slow.

I often will attach the Prime to my Hive Guard and outflank the Warriors.

* Hive Guard -They are the best. I mis-deployed them a bit - too much on the left side - should have deployed them centrally and shut down those Predators more often.
* Ymgarl Genestealers - very positively suprised. Their switching ability gives them some much-needed flexibility and being able to assault on their first turn is golden. More than earned their points back.

They are definitely one of the best units in the codex. I have found I can get by running a brood of 6 to 8. Remember you don't have to mark their dormant location until after your opponent has deployed.  :  )

* Zoanthropes - didn't really do much shooting-wise (immobilized a Predator...) although they soaked up a lot of firepower.  Still, not 100% convinced of them.

I run three in a spore at 2k since I think they are the best answer to landraiders and Monoliths. The Synapse is nice as well.

* Tyranid Warriors - same problem as Tyranid Prime. In hindsight it probably would have been better to outflank them. Problem is that the Prime cannot go with them then, so where is he supposed to go?

See my comment above. I'm assuming you had Synapse in range of the Hive Guard throughout the game (can't really tell without comment or pix). :  )

* Genestealers - nothing like a big pack of genestealers, although they were very unlucky and whiffed a few times, making them unengaged in the 'wrong' turn, and getting shot to pieces. Still, solid guys.

I agree and think they are still one of the best dedicated melee units in the game for the points - plus they are still scoring as well.

* Devilgants - one pack of Devilgants is awesome, but I found that two is too much. Although the added firepower is great, two units of them just require too much terrain and synapse-babysitting to keep alive, so I'll probably switch to one unit again.

I concur.

* Gargoyles: came up, scattered badly, were charged then died.  Gargoyles are actually a pretty good unit but didn't really fit well in this army.

I am curious—What would you replace them with next time?

So what might I change? I'm thinking of dropping the Prime and one devilgant brood. That should give my points for another (smaller) genestealer brood and maybe a third Zoanthrope.  Would really love a second Ymgarl brood, but elites are tight, and I really do need the anti-tank. Another option would be (1850 point version) to add two Trygon Primes.

How about one Trygon Prime and one Tyrranofex with a rupture cannon? The rupture cannon is great versus light transports and even heavier stuff like Stormravens. I started off with two Trygon Prime - they did okay but I eventually dropped both.

Hope you enjoyed this batrep, if you have any remarks/suggestions/questions, they are more than welcome.

This was an exciting read versus a solid mech MEQ army. I have fought against mechanized BA twice and didn't fare as well so a big kudos to you! I thought it was very wise that you focused on killing the enemy scoring units. Too bad you couldn't finish off the last squad of assault Marines but then again Death Company lead by a Reclusiarch can be a huge threat. I thought your Tyrant was definitely an MVP... Great that you were able to keep him from being shot up. Your current army list is similar to mine and I think you made it all come together quite well! Tyranids are all about the synergy.

Cheers and keep up the good 'Nid work!

Thanks bro !  :D

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