An Unexpected Alliance

This is just a quick post that I almost feel obligated to write every time I have a Warhammer 40k game. It’s some pre-game fluff and the army list used followed by some post game fluff. It was between myself and two of my housemates. The teams were myself and the Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum player versus an equal amount of points in Tyranids. The outcome was an Eldar / Imperial victory as we managed to clear all of the Tyranids off the table on turn 5 (as well as control most of the objectives). Some misplays were made, but overall it was a decent game.

Now with a more full battle report, courtesy of the Imperial Guard player who posted it on the Warseer forum: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?384311-Operation-Tributary-The-21st-ESR-and-the-Kalrophon-Campaign


 

“Our forces have identified a critical mass of Tyranids to the north of our current position.” A Warlock in dark green robes approached the Farseer, who stood at the side of a Falcon grav-tank, her hair waving in the mild wind that blew across the wilderness of the Imperial planet.

“I shall convene with Autarch Thalinia and discuss the best course of action, though I fear that conflict will be inevitable. Ready the warhost and wait for our decision,” Farseer Lireia responded, still gazing to the distance for a brief moment before turning and walking to the other side of the small encampment where most of the force’s grav-tanks were stationed. Overseeing the maintenance was another Eldar woman, her form clad in heavy Aspect armour of the same colour as the vehicles’ armour, as well as the colour of the Farseer’s robes, a dark green with bleached bone coloured details. On her back was a large warp jump generator that was used by the members of the Warp Spider Aspect warrior shrine, though her one was the same dark green as her armour. At her waist was a shuriken pistol and a sleek power sword in a sheathe.

“You would not be walking like that if there was not something that you wished to say to me, sister,” the Autarch spoke out, turning to face the Farseer with a smile.

“You know me better than anyone, Thalinia,” the Farseer replied, her expression remaining neutral, “a critical mass of Tyranids has been sighted to the north.”

“Then we must cull them. I will lead our warhost to thin their ranks,” she paused, glancing over her shoulder once more. “I would appreciate your powers of vision on the battlefield.”

“Then you shall have them, sister. I shall gather up my seers and we will accompany your strike force,” Lireia smiled and turned around, making her way back to the Falcon that she had previously stood next to. Thalinia also resumed her duties, though she started to gather the Aspect warriors and a large number of armoured grav-tanks.

Lireia approached the Falcon and was met by just under half a dozen Warlocks.

“We are prepared for battle, Farseer. What are you instructions?”

“We will accompany the Autarch into battle and provide support,” Lireia replied, making her way around to the back of the Falcon. She reached into a pouch on her waist, producing a couple of wraithbone runes that she allowed to orbit her forearm as she made her way into the back of the vehicle, followed by the Warlocks. She would cast the runes on the way and offer insight once they had arrived at the battlefield.


2000pts Ithyl-Loc Strike Force

*Counts as Firesabre

**Counts as The Spirit Stone of Anath’lan

HQ

Autarch Thalinia Narésiel – 138pts

Autarch – 70pts

Warp jump generator – 15pts

Scorpion chainsword (swapped out) – 3pts

Mandiblasters – 10pts

Fusion gun – 10pts

Blade of the Incandescent Soul* – 30pts

Farseer Lireia Narésiel – 145pts

Farseer – 100pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Runes of warding – 10pts

Runes of witnessing – 15pts

Rune of the Everwarden** – 15pts

Lireia’s Seer Council – 185pts

5 Warlocks – 175pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Elites

Troops

Storm of Blades – 249pts

8 Dire Avengers – 104pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter lasers – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Disciples of Asurmen – 249pts

8 Dire Avengers – 104pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter lasers – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Isha’s Tears – 240pts

10 Guardian Defenders – 90pts

Shuriken cannon – 15pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked bright lances – 5pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

The Wanderers – 96pts

8 Rangers – 96pts

Fast Attack

Sentinels of the Infinity Circuit – 188pts

7 Warp Spiders – 133pts

Exarch Isennil Falnien – 10pts

Twin-linked death spinners – 5pts

Powerblades – 20pts

Fast shot – 10pts

Stalker – 10pts

Heavy Support

Faolchú’s Deliverance – 145pts

Falcon – 125pts

Starcannon – 5pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Gift of Anaris – 150pts

Falcon – 125pts

Scatter laser – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Khaine’s Fury – 210pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Total – 1995pts


 

“All squads, converge on the Tervigon beast!” Autarch Thalinia called to her forces as she teleported forwards with a squad of Warp Spiders. Alongside her, multiple Falcon and Wave Serpent grav-tanks zoomed next to the remaining Tyranid organisms, disembarking their precious cargo into the ruins around the Tyranids. Instantly, the Aspect Warriors and Guardians that were inside opened fire at any and all Tyranid creatures that remained as the guns of the Imperials spoke out against the Hive Tyrant that had penetrated their lines. The presence of the humans had been most fortuitous for the Eldar forces, distracting the Tyranid swarm’s attention whilst the Eldar fulfilled their own objectives.

The firepower of the Eldar on an already beleaguered and over-extended Tyranid force was too much and anything that remained was cleared through high volumes of shuriken, monofilament and laser fire. The Imperial guns thundered once more and it was over.

“All forces, embark upon your transports and quit the field before the humans can turn on us. With the Tyranids vanquished it is only a matter of time before they turn on us and I will not waste the lives of my warriors on a battle that we do not need,” Autarch Thalinia addressed her forces. A quick browse on her remaining forces showed that not a single Eldar life had been lost, which pleased her. The life of a single Eldar was worth far more than any material possession, and certainly more than the entire human population of this planet.

Each squad quickly made their way back into their respective transports, filing into the backs of grav-tanks in an orderly fashion before engines flared into life and the vehicles zipped away. The Rangers had long since disappeared, blending into their surroundings and making a hasty retreat and the War Walkers had powered their way off to the side to regroup with the rest of the warhost back at camp.

Autarch Thalinia looked back at the human lines. They were regrouping and taking accounts of their losses. With a smile, she and her squad of Warp Spiders teleported off after the grav-tanks. The battle had been won, but the Tyranid threat would never be truly purged.

Regardless, the humans had fulfilled their purposes and the Eldar had fulfilled their objectives.

A Task Fulfilled

(Mild retcons due to player availability. I ask that you simply go with it, as I have to and I don’t like retcons).

Taking a break from my original fiction (going to be a post about that real soon!) to write this. It’s the fluff part from my game over the weekend. Taken a bit of licence here; I do not know if I “won” the campaign and therefore “did my objective” which was to destroy the Tyranid psychic beacon, but it makes so much sense in the fluff. The mission was 5000pts Imperial + 3000pts Eldar vs. 8000pts Tyranids with the Emperor’s Will mission. Our objective was the Imperial command post, their objective could have been the psychic beacon (we were the “attackers”). That’s how I’m writing it, anyway. The Imperial commanders of the battle did an amazing job at holding the objective, I honestly thought that we were going to lose our objective to a horde of bugs, but they managed to hold them back. I spent most of the game moving, as opposed to shooting, but I ended up almost doing a circuit of an 8′ x 6′ board!

Also, I assume that I “won” the campaign, or at least did damn well, because I only lost 2 games total, and those were both when doubles were introduced. I think my overall win/loss is… 10 wins and 2 losses. Or 20 wins and 4 losses when accounting for how we transitioned into and treated doubles games (we doubled all of my previous game results as my partner was new to the campaign and counted each game as 2 games afterwards). With that kind of win:loss ratio, I think I can safely assume that I did pretty well 🙂


 

Farseer Lireia pulled her armoured vehicles next to the Imperial position. Members of the Space Marines, the human elite super soldiers, had started to entrench themselves, concentrating on what looked to be a command post. In front of them were a line of human vehicles and behind them were two crude looking artillery pieces. To the left was another line of tanks and a handful of Space Marines who had taken up a commanding position in a ruined building, a couple of jump pack wearing members on the bottom floor. One instantly gunned his jump pack into life and made his way towards the Eldar vehicles.

“I hate dealing with Mon-keigh…” Lireia groaned before exiting from her Falcon tank, leaving her Warlock bodyguards inside. The Space Marine commander landed with a heavy thud, primitive plasma pistol in hand and a large sword in the other.

“Give me one good reason why we should not open fire on you alien filth here and now,” he growled through the vox grill on his helmet at the smaller Eldar woman, eliciting a mere point to the side.

“Because there is a mass of far less sufferable alien scum across the ruins from here. If you open fire on us then we will all become biomass for the Tyranid horde,” Lireia put in a very matter of fact tone. She could tell that this human wanted her dead, she could feel the murderous intent, however she knew that he would not. Not yet anyway.

“Stay out of our way, witch, and we will not be forced to fire on you,” he replied, gunning his jump pack to life again and returning to his troops. She could see that her forces were already being watched by the xenophobic, suspicious humans. If any shot was fired at her, she was confident that her warhost would react in kind, these primitives would not live long enough to see a drop of Eldar life spilled.

She cast her gaze out over the battlefield. Her acute senses picked up the Tyranid presence, though her psychic senses had long since picked them up. This was the beacon that they were supposed to find, she was sure of it; such a mass of Tyranids would not gather for any other reason. She looked again at the Imperial forces, then to her own. This was not enough if her estimates were correct on the magnitude of the Tyranid forces at this location.

“Isha give me strength,” she muttered sinking slightly and resting on her spear heavily. She could feel the weight of the Tyranid presence on her psyche, whispers seeking to drive her mad which she could not get rid of. She took a deep breath and made her way back to her Falcon, the other seers were feeling the effects too. “We will draw the Tyranids onto the Imperial lines before manoeuvring around the flank to investigate the centre of the psychic presence,” she addressed her warhost, about to continue on.

“We are ready to move on your order,” came another voice, one that she recognised, but from far away. She felt multiple presences, Eldar presences fast approaching but before she could tell who it was, a Space Marine drop pod crashed down near her lines. The Tyranids had already started to scuttle over the battlefield with alarming speed which gave Lireia little time to concentrate on who was approaching. The Imperial guns thundered, her own warhost mobilising to shoot the Tyranids that approached, felling the initial wave. From behind, Fire Prism class tanks fired into swarms of Hormagaunts, additional Wave Serpents supported by Vyper jetbikes zipped onto the field, bright lances piercing through into larger creatures. The Tyranid horde responded, organisms dropping from the sky and coming up from the ground just in front of the Imperial lines. The Tyranid firepower had already been strong, biological projectiles flying into the vehicles to little effect, but felling Space Marines on the flank.

“Now, my warriors, push to the left!” Lireia ordered her armoured column, along with the new support, spearing through the left hand side as the Tyranid swarm fell upon the Imperial lines ferociously, the tank commander’s vehicle being ripped apart as Imperial air support made its way up the battlefield, strafing the Tyranid horde with all manner of projectiles before being brought down themselves. One Vyper jetbike was brought down as homing projectiles slammed into its hull, wrecking the vehicle, but not causing an explosion. She had no time to check on whether the crew survived, praying that they had avoided death in the crash. Lireia, however, was unable to or unwilling to bring her Falcon around with the rest of the warhost. She remained on the right flank, her Falcon punching laser and plasma shots into the Tyranids that encroached upon the Imperials.

The warhost slowed ever so slightly, sending another wave of fire power into the encroaching Tyranid horde; Lireia did not want her warhost to be overrun, which was highly possible considering the low number of Eldar on the field.

From above a group of turquoise clad warriors dropped into the heart of the Tyranid lines as the second wave of Imperial air support arrived, strafing the Tyranid mass once more. Things looked bleak for the Imperials, but the lives of primitives were an expendable asset. Accompanying the turquoise warriors, who dropped a large payload of grenades into the nearby Tyranid beasts before seeking cover in what appeared to be an infested Imperial fortification, were a group of orange warriors, teleporting onto the battlefield with another familiar presence, clad in dark green heavy aspect armour and wielding a blade that burned with blue, psychic fire.

“This is Autarch Thalinia, we have landed near the beacon and will secure the location from these pests as the rest of your forces move in.” The familiar voice caused Lireia to smile as her warhost picked up speed again. A large portion of the nearby Tyranids immediately turned on Thalinia and her Warp Spider escort, dropping spore mines all over their position and sending tiny bio-projectiles crashing into the unit. Four of their number had fallen before Farseer Lireia brought her Falcon around to the flank and disembarked along with her seers, firing pistols and psychic fire into any Tyranid creatures that were nearby. Thalinia had taken cover behind the infested fortification, which had stopped moving and pulsating, fleshy tendrils hanging limply from the walls. She had not felt the psychic feedback of Swooping Hawks dying inside, so they must have been able to restart the Imperial technology inside or sever the Tyranid infestation. Or both.

Lireia contemplated greeting her older sister, though she decided against it whilst there was still a battle to be won. She was happy that she was there, though.

The Tyranid horde had thinned considerably, the Imperial lines still holding. The War Walkers, slower than the skimmers that bore the rest of the warhost, had very quickly distanced themselves from the Imperial lines. Lireia did not trust the humans to not start firing upon her warriors the moment the Tyranids had been routed. There were still organisms that were hurling themselves at the Imperial lines, some out of bestial instinct whilst others were being driven on by a few synapse creatures that remained.

Now Aspect Warriors and Guardians had started to pile out of their transport, armoured figures establishing a perimeter around the seers and beleaguered forces behind the fortification, shuriken and heavy weapons fire spilling out into any creatures that tried to intervene.

“Is this what we were looking for?” Thalinia briefly asked, firing her fusion gun at a nearby Tyranid Biovore organism, punching a hole straight through it before it could disgorge more spore mines onto their position. Lireia inspected the bulging, fleshy construct, allowing herself a smile. It was definitely psychic in nature and Lireia could feel that it was calling more and more organisms to the field of battle. They did not have time to waste, the signal was strong, perhaps strong enough to span entire systems. Lireia turned to her sister and nodded.

“It is. I want this beacon destroyed,” Lireia ordered, though almost instantly as she spoke, Fire Dragons spilled from the back of a Falcon tank and made their way over to her position, melta charges ready. As they finished placing them around the beacon, carefully guided by their temple Exarch, Lireia ordered her forces back into their transports. The Tyranids were far from spent in this location, though her Craftworld’s job was done.

As quickly as they had arrived, the Eldar forces gathered the soul stones of those Warp Spiders that had died on first contact, got into their vehicles and sped off, quitting the battlefield. Behind them, melta charges detonated and the psychic signal was gone.

Lireia could return to the Craftworld with her head held high. It had been rocky, an uneasy path that she had walked, but successful regardless.


 

We had to end on turn 5 (just before I could do all of my getting out of vehicles), but I believe the score at the end was 8 for the Imperials and Eldar (3 for holding our objective, 1 for First Blood, 3 for each Slay the Warlord and 1 for Linebreaker) and 2 points for the Tyranids (1 for Slay the Warlord on the tank commander and 1 for Linebreaker). If it had gone onto turn 6, they might have contested our objective, but they would not have been able to stop my full 3000pts army (I took 5 casualties. 1 Vyper and 4 Warp Spiders) from stealing their’s. Massive props to them for sticking with it (and not getting too unnerved by my very odd play style!) and massive props to the Imperial players who managed to hold on despite the perfidious Eldar abandoning their defensive position without a word. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did (and I didn’t even do much beyond move all the tanks to all the places!).

What a Way to Say Goodbye to Warhammer 40k 6th Edition

Now, this is going to be image heavy as opposed to text heavy. I played the massive game that I said I was going to with my Eldar, but the Tau player did not show up, so there ended up being an extra 1000pts of Space Marines and 1000pts of Eldar to make up the difference. I will write a small fluff bit for before and after the battle once I get around to it, but here are the pictures I took of the game. 8000pts of Tyranids (including two maxed out Endless Swarm formations) is a scary concept. We were outnumbered at least 6 or 7 to 1 and we came close to being overrun by turn 3. We did, however, manage to pull a victory out of the hat with a heroic defence by the Imperial forces (I did the very Eldar thing of completely abandoning them to pursue my own objective that I did not tell them, that objective being to steal the Tyranid objective…) and the world’s largest flank attack by the Eldar (seriously, I moved flat out for 3 out of 5 of the game turns to get where I needed to be). The game was Emperor’s Will with Dawn of War deployment using the 6th edition rules.

There Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked

So, I’m off to Warhammer World again with a traitor Imperial Guard list. It’s the same list as before as I am already running late and wanted to get my army list completely written up with the fluff and all the extra bits. The army list is the same, but the fluff extract is quite obviously different. May seem rushed because… Well, it is. I need to be on my way as I’m expected at Warhammer World in a matter of minutes!

——————————————————————————

Sorceress Ezarine let out a soft groan as she slumped against the wall, lho-stick burning slowly between her lips. She had been tasked to take care of the clean-up of the area, though she had not had time to rest since the battle. She peered over the battlements, watching the warband getting organised and prepared to hunt down the remaining Tyranid presence.

She sighed and turned back, facing the rear of the bunker and exhaling a large cloud of smoke. She could still feel the presence of the Hive Mind, but at that moment she did not want to think about it, which was tough as she felt the constant whispers in her mind.

“I hate battlefields,” she murmured, inhaling once more through the lho-stick, “it’s dirty and lacks basic comforts.” Her micro-bead beeped with life. She considered disconnecting it, though she did not want to think about what would happen should Tyllanius find out that she shirked on her duties. Reluctantly, she pressed it into life.

“Sorceress, we’ve identified a large force of Tyranids in the nearby area; it’s far larger than our original projections,” came a voice over the micro-bead. She pressed a hand to her forehead wearily.

“And? Burn them out. You have your orders from our benefactors, so take care of them!” she replied, her voice harsh and intolerant.

“We would, Sorceress, though there is another alien force nearby. Our groups have already been ambushed by battlesuits that appeared out of nowhere,” the voice responded, the tone shaky and hesitant.

“Are you such a coward? Do your job and gain the favour of the Dark Gods!” she answered, shaking her head and standing up, lho-stick between her fingers.

“I-… Yes, Sorceress. Proce-” The voice was interrupted by what sounded like a hail of gunfire.

“Hey. Hey! Are you still there?” she asked. No response. The feed went dead. She let out an aggravated groan, activating her micro-bead once more as she switched frequency.

“Command. Take up defensive positions again. More wish to test our devotion to the Dark Gods this day.” She turned to see the Chaos Space Marines returning as well; she assumed that they had run into the same problems that her forward groups had.

————————————————————————–

1800pts Traitor Deredian Warband

HQ

Cult Command – 70pts

Company Command Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Regimental Standard – 15pts

Sorceress Ezarine – 70pts

Primaris Psyker – 70pts

Elites

Troops

Heavy Platoon – 560pts

Heavy Command – 50pts

Platoon Command Squad – 30pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Missile launcher – 15pts

Heavy Squad One – 75pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Grenade launcher – 5pts

Missile launcher – 15pts

Heavy Squad Two – 75pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Grenade launcher – 5pts

Missile launcher – 15pts

Heavy Squad Three – 75pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Grenade launcher – 5pts

Missile launcher – 15pts

Heavy Squad Four – 75pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Grenade launcher – 5pts

Missile launcher – 15pts

Heavy Squad Five – 75pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Grenade launcher – 5pts

Missile launcher – 15pts

The Rain – 60pts

Heavy Weapons Squad – 60pts

Mortar – 0pts

Mortar – 0pts

Mortar – 0pts

Destruction – 75pts

Heavy Support Squad – 60pts

Autocannon – 5pts

Autocannon – 5pts

Autocannon – 5pts

Forward Platoon – 265pts

Forward Command – 35pts

Platoon Command Squad – 30pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Forward Squad One – 60pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Flamer – 5pts

Forward Squad Two – 60pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Flamer – 5pts

Forward Squad Three – 60pts

Infantry Squad – 50pts

Vox-caster – 5pts

Flamer – 5pts

Doomgivers – 50pts

Special Weapons Squad – 35pts

Sniper rifle – 5pts

Sniper rifle – 5pts

Sniper rifle – 5pts

Cult’s Eyes – 115pts

Veteran Squad – 70pts

Forward Sentries – 30pts

Sniper rifle – 5pts

Sniper rifle – 5pts

Sniper rifle – 5pts

Fast Attack

Ruin – 40pts

Scout Sentinel – 35pts

Autocannon – 5pts

Heavy Reconnaissance – 40pts

Scout Sentinel – 35pts

Autocannon – 5pts

Storm – 40pts

Scout Sentinel – 35pts

Autocannon – 5pts

Heavy Support

Corrupted Sentry Battery One – 30pts

Tarantula Sentry Gun – 15pts

Twin-linked heavy bolters – 0pts

Tarantula Sentry Gun – 15pts

Twin-linked heavy bolters – 0pts

Corrupted Sentry Battery Two – 30pts

Tarantula Sentry Gun – 15pts

Twin-linked heavy bolters – 0pts

Tarantula Sentry Gun – 15pts

Twin-linked heavy bolters – 0pts

Corrupted Sentry Battery Three – 30pts

Tarantula Sentry Gun – 15pts

Twin-linked heavy bolters – 0pts

Tarantula Sentry Gun – 15pts

Twin-linked heavy bolters – 0pts

Crimson Conquerors Warband

HQ

Sorceror Tyllanius – 140pts

Sorceror – 60pts

Mastery Level +1 – 25pts

Mastery Level +1 – 25pts

Mark of Slaanesh – 15pts

Spell familiar – 15pts

Elites

Troops

Slaves to Sensation – 145pts

Chaos Space Marine Squad – 75pts

+3 Chaos Space Marines – 39pts

Mark of Slaanesh – 16pts

Plasma gun – 15pts

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Fortifications

Firestorm Redoubt – 230pts

Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubt – 200pts

Quad Icarus lascannons – 0pts

Quad Icarus lascannons – 0pts

Magos Machine Spirit – 30pts

Grand Total – 1795pts

Traitors Clash with the Hive Mind

The traitor Imperial Guard took up forward positions within the ruins of the city. They had taken the time through the night to take up positions near the Tyranid positions under the cover of dark. Ezarine smiled as she made her way to one of the forward positions, climbing to the top of one of the ruins to meet one of the infantry squads. She peered over the edge to see soldiers of the Iron Warriors legion lined up behind a defensive barricade. She had already seen the majority of the Iron Warriors warband alongside the Crimson Conquerors on the other side of the battlefield, though they had deployed a small section near her position. She shivered, either due to cold or fear of the encroaching creatures.

“Sorceress, mortar and autocannon squads report Chaos Space Marines on their position. With their help, we should be able to hold our position,” the vox-operator relayed to Ezarine.

“Excellent. Our exalted allies have said that they will head down the other flank. We are to hold our position he-” she replied, though she was quickly cut off by the sound of skittering and the explusion of bio-weapons.

“Incoming!” she heard a scream from the Chaos lines. Heightened senses were an incredibly useful asset.

————————————————————————-

So, we did all of our rolling. My Warlord got the warlord trait on the strategic table that enabled me to choose if night fighting would be in effect. Considering the Tyranids all had shrouded anyway from the Venomthropes, we chose to have night fighting in effect, an odd choice for Imperial Guard and shooty Chaos Space Marines against Tyranids. We won the roll off for first turn, but decided to go second. They deployed their entire army behind an Aegis Defence Line with a Tyranid Prime manning the quad gun. All of their monstrous creatures deployed on one side, so we answered by placing the Obliterators and a lot of Chaos units on the same flank. The Guardsmen deployed at the front of our deployment zone, every single squad taking cover in ruins, with the heavy weapons and Havocs setting up in the bunker (we had a firestorm redoubt to counter air units) and the Company Command Squad deployed with one infantry squad in a forest behind the ruin where the Iron Warriors set up behind their Aegis. Four of the Tarantula Sentry Guns set up near the bunker with the other two setting up next to the Iron Warriors on the Guardsmen’s flank. The Heldrake, a single Chaos Space Marine unit and the three Scout Sentinels stayed in reserve. The Iron Warrior Chaos Lord rolled a gift of mutation and gained +1 Strength, and the Raptor Aspiring Champion rolled one and gained Shrouded. So a Raptor unit with a Chaos Lord at Strength 7 and with a 2+ cover save in ruins. A great combination as we found out in the game.

The game was Crusade and the deployment type was Vanguard Strike. We dumped one objective by the Firestorm Redoubt and one by the forward position. The Tyranids placed one of their objectives way out of the way in the opposite corner and placed one in a more central location. Our game plan was to camp our objectives, score first blood, gain linebreaker with outflankers and the Iron Warrior Heldrake and perhaps get slay the warlord with huge amounts of heavy weapons fire or the Iron Warriors Chaos Lord in close combat.

————————————————————————-

The Guardsmen dived behind broken walls and trees, seeking refuge from the Tyranid bombardment. Bio-acid splattered against walls, small projectile creatures impacted with trees and ricocheted off. When the volley had ended, a handful of Guardsmen had died across the battlefield, though for the most part, they were untouched.

“Men, return fire. Focus on thinning the faster ones!” came the orders over the vox from the command squad. Ezarine smiled, shrouding her position even further with psychic illusions. The Chaos Space Marines seemed to go about their own business, Iron Warriors moving up the flank under cover of their Obliterators. The Crimson Conquerors followed them up cautiously as lascannons tore into the night, impacting with walls and monstrous creatures alike, a tirade of bullets accompanying the lasers and felling one Carnifex beast through the night. The traitorous humans opened fire, missiles and grenades launching into the night, heavy bolters chattering into the encroaching horde and massed las fire impacting with the wave that advanced. The death throes of Tyranid beasts was music to Ezarine’s ears.

“Sir, there’s an odd cloud emanating in the darkness,” the sergeant of the far infantry squad, situated near to the Iron Warriors position, relayed down to the junior officer on the floor below. He paused for a moment, looking down at his laspistol.

“Fire a krak missile at the source. We need to bring the creature down,” he replied, gesturing out into the night.

“Yes, sir,” the sergeant responded, turning to the missile team. “You two, krak missile into the cloud of gas over there. I want you to punch one right down the centre,” he ordered, pointing at the cloud. The team loaded one into the missile launcher, aimed towards the cloud and fired. There was a loud whoosh as the missile flew through the air and a muffled explosion as it impacted with something. The Guardsmen looked on in anticipation. As the echo of the explosion died out, the cloud started to dissipate and the Guardsmen caught sight of the creatures coming towards them. There was still a lot of work to do, but fortunately, they had plenty of ammo.

————————————————————————-

First turn went well for us. The Tyranids shot a lot of shots into Guardsmen squads, but the 2+ cover save denied any real kills, taking out a handful of Guardsmen. The traitors returned fire with their guns, scoring a hail mary krak missile kill on one of the two Venomthropes, denying the monstrous creature flank of Shrouded for following turns as well as scoring first blood. We managed to drop a Carnifex with sniper rifles from the traitor Guardsmen and the lascannons and assault cannons from the Obliterators. Not much else happened as a lot was still out of 36 inches.

As the traitors continued their advance, Tyranid monsters burst out of the ground, a Mawloc appearing just in front of the Iron Warrior Raptor unit and the Chaos Lord that flew with them, and a Trygon Prime appearing right in front of the bunker, firing into one of the forward Guardsmen squads and killing the crew on the missile launcher, reducing the gun to a ruined pile of metal. The Tyranids opened up again, a brood of Carnifexes firing a ridiculous a tirade of fire into one of the forward Guard positions.

“Hit the dirt!” yelled the squad sergeant, though only him and two other members dived behind the rubble, the rest of the squad caught by projectile Tyranid organisms that ate away at their nervous systems. More guns slammed into the traitorous lines, felling one of the Iron Warriors below Ezarine’s position, though again, the traitors largely hid behind the walls of the ruins where they had taken up position. There were Tyranid organisms everywhere and they were enclosing on the traitors’ positions.

“They die just as easily as any others who oppose the will of the Dark Gods. I want disciplined volleys of las fire to bring them down!” the commander yelled over the vox-caster, spurring the traitorous humans into action. The traitors took up positions in the front of the ruins, taking up firing positions at the encroaching horde. The Iron Warriors reinforcements turned up, the Heldrake flying into the fray and killing another Carnifex by flying through it, blades cutting it cleanly in half. The Chaos Space Marines and the gun turrets both on and near to the bunker complex opened fire upon the newly arrived Trygon, felling it in a hail of lascannon and bolter fire. The Iron Warriors moved up again, the Iron Warriors Chaos Lord grinning beneath his helmet as his unit dropped next to the Mawloc. He was ready to cleave at it with his daemon axe. Sorceror Tyllanius smirked, calling upon the powers of the Warp to strike out at the Mawloc, dulling its senses in a barrage of sensory assaults. He also stimulated the Raptor unit, driving them and their leader into a frenzy as they landed.

Then the weapons opened up. Sentinels flanked from both sides, firing autocannon shots into the synapse creatures; mortars rained down alongside the explosions of grenades and missiles; ranks of lasgun fire opened up alongside gouts of flame from the Heldrake and traitor Guard squads; sniper rifle shots found their marks beneath the carapaces of monstrous creatures and lascannons punched into the final Carnifex from one brood, bringing it down and leaving only two left standing. Sorceress Ezarine arced a band of lightning towards a nearby squad of Termagants, though they seemed largely unaffected by the onslaught of psychic lightning. When the smoke cleared, large amounts of Tyranid creatures had been brought down, the horde of gaunts a shadow of their former presence.

The Iron Warrior Chaos Lord grinned as he and his unit threw grenades and barrelled into close combat with the Mawloc. The giant creature still reeled from the overload on its senses caused by Sorceror Tyllanius, though the Chaos Lord did not need the assistance, gunning his jump pack into life and diving onto the Mawloc’s head. He raised his daemon weapon in two hands, the axe writhing and calling out for blood. With one powerful sweep, he brought it down upon the creature’s head, carving it cleanly in two and causing the creature to slump down into the ruins lifelessly, the rest of the Iron Warrior Raptors unable to do anything except watch their leader in action.

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Turn two was full of action. Firstly, a daring attempt to deep strike the Trygon ended with a mishap that allowed us to place it. We placed it directly in front of our bunker and planned to destroy it in our turn. The Mawloc scattered off the Raptor squad and landed on the other side of a ruin to them. The Carnifexes shot at a squad of traitor Guardsmen and killed most of the unit, but otherwise there was very little shooting that caused casualties. Another Chaos Marine was felled from the squad by the Aegis as well as a handful of Guardsmen from the various squads that were littered across the table.

In our turn two we managed to flatten most of the Gaunt squads with las fire and blast templates from mortars, grenade launchers and missile launchers. The Iron Warriors brought down about five monstrous creatures with the inclusion of four wounds from a vector strike on the Carnifexes along side the bolters, lascannons, various Obliterator weapons and Chaos Lord in close combat. All of our reserves came on and the Tyranid force started to look very thin. They considered conceding, though they decided to try for turn three.

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The Tyranids pressed on with their remaining forces trying to bear down on the traitors’ positions with the organisms that remained. They opened fire again, felling a couple of traitor Guardsmen and one of the Iron Warriors Obliterators, though their firepower was diminishing fast. The remaining Hormagaunts leapt into the flamer equipped traitor Guard squad, though five of the remaining seven were caught in the panicked outburst of las fire and ignited promethium. One of the remaining two was caught by the squad sergeant’s chainsword as it tried to clear the wall and the other was caught on the end of three bayonets. The Tyranids turned and withdrew from the ruins of the city.

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After their turn three the Tyranids conceded. They opened fire, though they did not manage to do anything apart from strip a hull point from the Heldrake and gain a crew stunned result, though the Iron Warrior player managed to roll a 1 on the 2+ to ignore it. They felled another handful of Guardsmen, a Chaos Space Marine from behind the Aegis again and one of the Obliterators. In the assault phase the Hormagaunts charged into one of the Guardsmen squads, though the overwatch killed all apart from two of them with rapid fire lasguns and a flamer. The Tyranid player just removed them because the Guardsmen were striking first and it was ten versus two.

The deployment of the Tyranids was questionable. They placed all of their monstrous creatures apart from one walking Tyrant on one flank, which meant that we could just counter deploy our heavy guns on the same flank. We deployed our forces very far forward, prioritising getting the Guardsmen into cover over keeping the Tyranids at long range. As a result we could get a lot of lasgun shots into the horde from turn one, whilst having over 100 models with a 4+ cover save. They also took no flyers, which I questioned as they usually take flyers and this was the first game where I took my Firestorm Redoubt (or any dedicated anti-air for that matter). Call me paranoid, but I can’t help but think that there was an element of list tailoring there.

Our deployment paid off as it meant that the Guardsmen were the only viable squads for the Tyranids to direct their attacks towards. When it’s a unit with a 4+ save for 5 points per model, it turns into a very tough amount to chew through. They killed a decent number of Guardsmen, killing about twenty models or so, though when there are about 90 left on the table, it doesn’t seem like much. Without the 2+ cover in the first turn and 4+ in subsequent turns, I would have lost a hell of a lot more men to incoming fire.

This meant that the Iron Warriors could largely operate however they wished, unloading heavy weapons and advancing all the Chaos Space Marines along the monstrous creature flank pretty much unmolested. If they had concentrated down the flank with the Aegis Defence Line and Primaris Psyker, they would have perhaps made more ground as we were relatively thin on that side.

The Mawloc deep struck in a bad position. If it had appeared in the forest with the Company Command Squad, they could have gotten slay the warlord as a Mawloc’s large blast template is more than enough to kill off an entire command squad. Their advance could have been faster in my opinion, and of course we got some lucky rolls (such as the krak missile killing the Venomthrope in the first turn on a failed 2+ cover save). However, equally there were times when our luck turned sour, such as 4 hits from 16 rapid fire lasguns or about 5 successful 3+ cover saves out of 12. However, that’s just how the game went. We’ll see how it goes if they come back for a rematch!

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Sorceress Ezarine descended from her position in the ruins, frying a remaining Termagant in psychic lightning with a sadistic grin as it screamed its death throes. It was not a pleasant sound, though she seemed to revel in the cacophony of it. She shot a grin to the command squad that was taking in casualty numbers and organising a scouring of the area, ensuring that no Tyranid spores remained this close to the Chaos fortification. She made her way back to the bunker to see the Iron Warriors Chaos Lord and Sorcerer Tyllanius conversing, the Chaos Lord was covered from head to toe in Tyranid ichor and his axe seemed to whisper into her mind. She shut it out as she clambered onto the battlements, the Chaos Lord gunning his jump pack into life and taking off, moving to join up with his own warband. Sorcerer Tyllanius turned to face the woman, his eyes still alive with Warp energies.

“The battle has ended, my Lord. We are organising a sweep of the area to make sure that no Tyranid spores or creatures remain at this location,” Sorceress Ezarine reported, kneeling before the armoured Sorcerer.

“Excellent. We will not pursue the surviving Tyranid organisms beyond our own borders here,” the Sorcerer replied, turning to face off the battlements.

“But, my Lord,” Ezarine started, a mild amount of frustration in her voice, “we have the manpower to pursue and crush them beneath our boots.”

“We do, Sorceress,” the Sorcerer responded dryly, “though the Hive Mind will think twice about sending its organisms here again. Any survivors will continue to undermine our enemies on this planet and even if we did crush every last organism, the Hive Mind will just spawn more to take their place.” He paused, turning to face the sorceress who was still kneeling before him. “We are not here to expand, only to undermine and sabotage. We do not wish to draw the attention of the Inquisition or remaining Eldar forces on the planet,” he continued, walking past the Sorceress. “Rise, Sorceress. You have done well. Continue to serve me and the Dark Gods and you will be rewarded in kind.” He dropped from the top of the bunker, regrouping with his squad of Chaos Space Marines and starting to move off.

“Thank you, my Lord. I shall not fail you,” she replied, turning to look out on the battlefield once more. The battle had gone well indeed.