So Everyone Is Hyped About Blood Angels? Let’s Show Some Love For Tyranids

New box set (that I have already outlined my thoughts on), new codex, new models. It’s a good time to be a Blood Angels player, right?

Well, I’ve been at a loss on what to write about in terms of Warhammer 40k as of late, as my models are all in Brighton whereas I am in Spain visiting my parents; all I have to do for the hobby is keep up to date with the latest releases and craft up some theoretical army lists. So, why am I writing this? It would be bad practice to just write something for the sake of writing something, especially if it’s just to complain about not having anything to write about.

There is always something to write about.

I decided that as Blood Angels are getting so much attention with their new codex I would look at the other side of the Shield of Baal box set: the Tyranids. I will say before diving into the body of what I wish to write about that I am not a Tyranid player. I have played Tyranids briefly in the past, though I was a Witch Hunters player mainly, back in 4th edition when everything was just a little bit less deadly and Cities of Death was the accepted meta in my local area, being the Games Workshop in Brighton. This was about eight years ago and things have moved on, but Tyranids remain very much the same beast that they used to be, with a few buffs and nerfs in various places. So I urge you to take everything I write with a pinch of salt; my main source of experience with Tyranids is blasting them off the table, so maybe I can give a fresh view on the faction that you won’t find elsewhere.

So, where to start? First, I would like to go through what goes through my mind whilst playing Tyranids, from an Imperium/Chaos perspective and then from an Eldar/Dark Eldar perspective as there is a massive difference in how each army plays and how it deals with Tyranids. Whenever I play(ed) Space Marines, Astra Militarum, Witch Hunters (Adepta Sororitas) or Chaos Space Marines my tactics were pretty straightforward: shoot them back and counter initiate with average close combat troops, or sit in cover and strike first in the first round of combat, usually against a weakened unit. The idea was that my units would sit in cover and gun down units of Tyranids in a particular order: hormagaunts first, as they used to be able to move 6″, run D6″ (so possible 6 extra) and then charge 12″ in a meta when only specific units with the Fleet of Foot/Claw/Hoof special rule could run, you could charge after running and charging was largely fixed at 6″ for units that weren’t cavalry (in short, a potential for 24″ movement where most units got only 12″). Hormagaunts were the underdog that you really didn’t want to let crash into your lines. People underestimated them and then quickly learned not to when all of their front units were tied up (close combat used to block line of sight too) and the back units were helpless to do anything as the next waves started to crash in. Next were the other small Tyranid organisms, such as Genestealers (they could only infiltrate if they had a Broodlord, who was an HQ choice), then Termagants and the rest as they could also run forwards an pounce on your units, causing a real headache for your guns. Finally, we moved on to the monstrous creatures, such as the Carnifexes and Hive Tyrants. Warriors were a bit of a joke unit that nobody took and I believe that synapse wasn’t a rule.

But Lexicon, I hear you ask, if you’re sitting back in cover and shooting then you’re not claiming objectives. How do you capture them? It was simple, really. Interception units. For me these were Land Speeders, Assault Marines and for others, Bikes. This combined with a final surge forwards was enough to take objectives from the beleaguered Tyranids that lay scattered across the board. My lists often contained a lot of multi-shot AP4 weaponry such as assault cannons or heavy bolters (I have a thing for Land Speeders and Whirlwinds) as well as a healthy amount of missile launchers and lascannons, which gave me a definite advantage at range. I used lots of troops on the table to mitigate losses as less important and also maximise my presence in both close combat and in shooting. The key was to open up with heavy weapons in the first turn, then get those bolters or lasguns firing as the Tyranids closed in; massed boltguns or lasguns deal a lot of damage to Tyranids, so it should not be underestimated. You shot down Tyranid units until they had very few models remaining and allowed the rest to charge you, beating them down in close combat. I don’t think I ever lost against Tyranids with my Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Astra Militarum or Witch Hunters following this basic principle.

Fast forward to 6th/7th edition and I have my Eldar as my main army. Again, I have yet to lose against Tyranids in a 1vs1 situation (I have lost in a 2vs2 where my partner (he was learning how to play his army) got annihilated in 2 turns and left me to face all of the remaining Tyranids myself; I just couldn’t cover enough objectives!) with my Eldar or Dark Eldar, but the way I deal with them is very different. The way my Eldar and Dark Eldar deal with Tyranids is simply by out-running them. Both armies are fully mechanised and use the mobility of the fast skimmer chassis to run rings around them whilst hitting them with a lot of firepower. Tyranids are lacking at long range anti-vehicle, so I just stay out of range of their short range weapons and deal with anything that has a heavy venom cannon first (or Hive Guard. Target priority #1 is Hive Guard!). Everything else I can just dance out of range of and harass with tank mounted heavy weapons. Even Zoanthropes!

So, with this knowledge how can we field a Tyranid list to combat these tactics. I will go over a checklist of what I believe you need in a Tyranid list to be both fluffy, because I always build fluffy lists, and also decent on the table:

  1. Shooting – If you rely on only melee, you will be kited around the table and picked off. Having some decent shooting behind you will give you some hitting power as you move forwards. As a note, Tyranids will never win long range shooting matches with the likes of the Tau or the Astra Militarum. They just aren’t built that way.
  2. Numbers – As I said, one of the only times that I lost a match was simply because I couldn’t hit enough objectives. You want to have the field presence to be able to swarm over objectives and deny your opponent those points that they need to actually win the scenario.
  3. Null deployment – Fritz40k talks about this in depth here. The idea behind null deployment is to box your opponent in. You want to control where your opponent will be on the table and not give them free reign to drive around and gun you down as a Tyranid player; you need to be pinning your opponent in place.
  4. Synapse – Depends on how dangerously you want to live. Synapse is how you keep your Tyranids in your control, as opposed to leaving it to the dice. My opinion is that you need synapse coverage. You need good fields of synapse that weave into one another, just in case one creature goes down you want to be able to plug the gap.
  5. Speed – You can’t kill an enemy you can’t catch, and the faster you are the sooner you will pin your prey down and start wearing through them. You want to hit your opponent after taking as few losses as possible as if you get into close combat with no steam behind your army, you will just die in close combat as the numbers of Guardsmen just bayonet stab your Hormagaunts or Space Marines attach krak grenades to your last wounded Carnifex.

These are the areas that I want to hit when making a Tyranid list. So which units fill these gaps?

  1. Hive Guard – This is a unit that you want in your army. They are fairly expensive and only Ballistic Skill 3, but their 2 shots at Strength 8 each that does not need line of sight and ignores cover is incredibly useful. The only vehicles that you will find tough to deal with are Armour Value 13 or 14, but anything 12 or under will be a prime target for them. Also, it keeps things like Land Speeders from harassing your units if there are Hive Guard watching over them. Jinking, you say? Ignore cover, I say!
  2. Biovores – Cheap. Lobs a pie plate across the table at Strength 4, AP4 with the barrage special rule. If they miss they spawn spore mines. A must-have in any Tyranid list in my opinion. Now they even have 3 Wounds each! What is not to love about Biovores?
  3. Exocrine – It’s a monstrous creature in close combat and it has a shooting attack that reduces entire squads of Terminators to dust. Considering the 2+ Armour Save is so powerful now with power weapons being segregated and considering the lack of low AP Tyranid shooting, the Exocrine is another unit that I would always put in my list.
  4. Gaunts – Termagants and Hormagaunts are amazing. They need Synapse support to do anything as with Leadership 6 they will be failing more than half of their Instinctive Behaviour checks on average if left outside the Synapse bubble. They are cheap and you can take them in bulk. If you have the points, upgrades can be useful though if I want to give Termagants the devourer gun, I would only give them to around half the unit so that I could use the fleshborer wielding ones as a shield. For hormagaunts it really depends on preference. Adrenal glands allows them to combat vehicles as Furious Charge gives them Strength 4 on the charge, whilst toxin sacs give you Poisoned (4+) attacks in close combat for wounding enemies of all Toughness values; however, I would take one or the other, never both as then they become too expensive. You will take losses on your gaunts, so you want to keep them cheap!
  5. Zoanthropes – Warp Lance, Dominion and another psychic power that you roll from the Tyranid psychic power table. Mastery Level 2. 3++ Invulnerable Save. These are great for providing a bit more Synapse to your force and some close range anti-vehicle firepower as their Warp Lance is a Strength 10 AP2 lance weapon, though it doubles as Warp Blast which is an AP3 blast weapon for clearing infantry. It does, however, take two Warp Charges to go off. I would always take a brood of at least three Zoanthropes, with one definitely upgraded to be a Neurothrope, unless really strapped for points as you only need one psychic test for the whole unit to get their shooting attack. One psychic test for three shots is a lot better than one psychic test for one shot (that you could very well miss!). The Neurothrope is a good way to generate free Warp Charge dice for the Zoanthropes to cast their Warp Blast power as well as causing some extra casualties with Spirit Leech.
  6. Tyrannocite – It’s essentially a Tyranid version of a drop pod that can carry twenty models or a single monstrous creature. This is an excellent unit for getting your Tyranids nice and close where they can actually do damage. Heck, I would put most of my army in these with the exception of my longer range units such as Hive Guard or Biovores who want to sit back a bit.
  7. Mucolid Spore Cluster – Mucolid spores are cheap and can fill a Troops slot. What it does is act like an ordinary spore mine, but with Strength 8, AP3. Fifteen points for a deep striking battle cannon shell? Well, I know how I will be filling out those last few points in my lists. Oh, they can also hit zooming flyers, giving you some quirky anti-air, although as it is only an AP3 weapon you will likely not be able to destroy a flyer in a single blast. My advice? Stick to blasting squads of Space Marines to little pieces. I feel that I should mention the Sporocyst too, as a method of churning out Mucolid Spore Clusters, but it doesn’t quite make the list as it occupies a hotly contested Heavy Support slot. It can be useful for denying an area, using Infiltrate to get into position (it’s immobile) and then churning out Mucolids every turn. However, it’s still a Heavy Support choice.

The points level of the list will dictate exactly which of these I would field. For example, in a 500pts game I will be limited compared to fielding a 2000pts list, for example. Taking all of this into account, I have come up with a Tyranid list that I would field at 1850pts.


1850pts Standard Tyranids

HQ

Tyranid Prime – 125pts
Tyranid Prime – 125pts
Scything talons – 0pts
Devourer – 0pts

Elites

Hive Guard Brood – 110pts
2 Hive Guard – 110pts
2 impaler cannons – 0pts

Zoanthrope Brood – 225pts
3 Zoanthropes – 150pts
Tyrannocyte – 75pts
5 Deathspitters – 0pts

Zoanthrope Brood – 225pts
3 Zoanthropes – 150pts
Tyrannocyte – 75pts
5 Deathspitters – 0pts

Troops

Hormagaunt Brood – 210pts
30 Hormagaunts – 150pts
Adrenal glands – 60pts

Hormagaunt Brood – 210pts
30 Hormagaunts – 150pts
Adrenal glands – 60pts

Termagant Brood – 120pts
30 Termagants – 120pts
30 Fleshborers – 0pts

Termagant Brood – 120pts
30 Termagants – 120pts
30 Fleshborers – 0pts

Tyranid Warrior Brood – 150pts
5 Tyranid Warriors – 150pts
5 Scything talons – 0pts
5 Devourers – 0pts

Tyranid Warrior Brood – 90pts
3 Tyranid Warriors – 90pts
3 Scything talons – 0pts
3 Devourers – 0pts

Fast Attack

Spore Mine Cluster – 15pts
3 Spore Mines – 15pts

Heavy Support

Biovore Brood – 80pts
2 Biovores – 80pts

Exocrine – 170pts
Exocrine – 170pts

Total – 1850pts


So, the idea behind the list is to swamp objectives with bodies and wear down your opponent. The list features a model count of 142 plus 3 Spore Mines, so all but the dedicated Astra Militarum infantry horde will have less models on the table than you. The hardest part about building this list was the need for Synapse creatures and so I decided to spend points on Warriors to act as another Synapse anchor alongside the Zoanthropes. The Tyranid Prime goes with the smaller squad of Warriors and hides in the back, giving Synapse to the Biovores, Exocrine and Hive Guard, whilst the unit of 5 Warriors accompanies the rush of Gaunts. The Zoanthropes enter play in the Tyrannocytes, deep striking alongside the waves of Gaunts to provide more Synapse and some powerful anti-vehicle and psychic support. It’s a very simple list that won’t win every game, but for people who play like me it would pose some serious problems; there’s simply too much to target without getting lucky dice rolls! It’s also a fun list to play (and play against), so unless you face a cheesy WAAC list, you and your opponent should have a lot of fun during the game. There are plenty of other viable lists to play, but I merely wanted to show a very ordinary, standard Tyranid list that should be able to accomplish something on the table. I would change out the Spore Mine Cluster for a Mucolid Spore Cluster (of a single Mucolid) but I ran out of Troops choices in the Combined Arms Detachment. Oh, remember that all of the Gaunts and Warriors are Objective Secured, meaning that only Troops can contest objectives that they hold. 128 Objective Secured models? Those objectives will be yours!

Have we had enough of Space Marines?

Well, apparently not. So the new releases for Games Workshop went up yesterday and, speaking honestly, I wasn’t very inspired. The value of these box sets is always good, and I’m glad that these Space Marines have less obvious Blood Angels decals than those in the Dark Vengeance box set, but why do we need yet another box set involving Space Marines?

It’s simple, really. Space Marines are the front product for Games Workshop. It is their most sold army and features… Four separate factions; six if you include Grey Knights and Chaos Space Marines in the mix as well. So what is it about Space Marines that makes them so loved? No, really. Why are they loved so much? The Horus Heresy is a great part of the Warhammer 40k universe and, whilst I haven’t read them due to little interest in most things to do with Space Marines, I’ve heard that the Horus Heresy series of books from the Black Library are well written. So I fully understand why someone might want to play 30k as one of the original legions, but why in 40k? Space Marines are generally bland and lacking personality and character. However, this is not the same type of lacking as Necrons or Tyranids. Necrons, at least back when I started Warhammer 40k, had the allure of being Terminator (in the Schwarzenegger sense) in space and Tyranids had the draw of being this giant devourer of worlds. Both had the allure of “being the bad guy” but what do Space Marines have? Defenders of humanity? Well, Astra Militarum defend humanity. The Inquisition defend humanity. The Adepta Sororitas defend humanity. Space Marines are well-equipped and engineered specifically for war? Tyranids are literally spawned to hard-counter the enemies on the planet they are trying to consume and the Inquisition has far more toys than the Space Marines gain access to.

Whilst Space Marine characters, such as Shrike, Lysander and Papa Smurf himself, Marneus Calgar, have different personalities, they are not different enough. They all share the underlying attitudes and characteristics of a Space Marine leader figure. The only interesting characters are, and I shame myself for naming Ultramarines, Tigurius and Cassius. Tigurius is interesting to me as his origins are mysterious, his psychic affinity (and ability to roll on Divination) a result of a potentially heretical origin; Cassius is an old man who hates Tyranids who leads his own hand-picked and customly equipped warriors against this foe. Still, they are nothing compared to characters such as Colonel-Commissar Gaunt in all his greatness (why was he removed from the codex!) or Commissar Yarrick who is a normal man who had his eye replaced with a small laser because the Orks thought that he could kill an Ork just by looking at them, or Asdrubael Vect who led a bunch of Imperials to Commorragh so that he could get rid of his rivals. What do Space Marines have? They all probably defended something against impossible odds, or performed some sort of daring offensive. Newsflash: So have others, without the aid of being superhuman and created for combat. The thing that sets Space Marines so low in my opinions is that most of them lack anything beyond combat prowess and faith to the Emperor. At least Sisters of Battle are expected to be able to blend into society and be as a normal human should the Ecclesiarchy need them to track down a heretic in the Imperium, as opposed to being simply nuns with bolters and power armour, and that is the most one-dimensional army that I like. Space Marines are the most one-dimensional faction by a long shot, even the off-shoots such as Blood Angels with their Red Thirst and Space Wolves with their Vikings in Space feeling all boil down to one thing: everything they do revolves around combat, whilst not being the only faction in the Imperium to do so.

Because of this unfathomable fascination with Space Marines, Games Workshop are churning out box sets involving Space Marines and leaving at least the rest of the Imperial factions out to dry. As I said, Space Marines are not the only ones who could be put as “the good guys” in a box set. You could easily use Eldar, Tau, Astra Militarum, Inquisition or (I know, I’m naive to even consider this) Sisters of Battle. Heck, you could even have Orks as the “not quite as bad as the other guy” in a box with Dark Eldar or Tyranids. As a predominantly non-Space Marine player, I ask you this: Where is my box set involving my army? Eldar, Dark Eldar, Astra Militarum/Militarum Tempestus, Inquisition or Adepta Sororitas. Where is my opportunity to get a good selection of models for an affordable price? If Games Workshop put something like Astra Militarum against Orks or Tyranids, I would probably start a small Ork or Tyranid army, as I would buy multiple of the box primarily for the Astra Militarum, but would also get a small, new army out of it that I would probably expand on at a later date. Throwing Space Marines into a box set, whilst I have a small Space Marine army, is not going to get me to buy it unless the other faction was one of the armies that I mainly play (which wouldn’t make much sense if it was Inquisition, Astra Militarum or Sisters).

Forgive me for sounding bitter. Truth of the matter is: I am.

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.

The Tyranid Threat Revealed

(Note: This will be a long post. Lots of things to write into the story)

Ok, so I made a 2000pts army list, but the campaign is shifting again, due to the lack of any presence from one of the Chaos players. Basically, the other Chaos player will be pulling out and the last two games will be 4x 2000pts armies against 2x 4000pts armies. This week it is myself (Eldar, because the organiser likes painted models and he is my friend, so I will gladly oblige), Imperial Armoured Battle Group, Tau and Space Marines against Tyranids.

This would have all been simple to put into the fluff… Until the Space Marine player said that he couldn’t make it, so my friend and his Chaos will be stepping in. How the hell am I supposed to fluff the Eldar not just shooting the forces of Chaos on sight? I did the best I could!

Also, I had to explain what happened with the pair of Inquisitors and their lack of troops in defending the capital hive city, especially as the Armoured Battle Group was whisked away to fight Tyranids. The Chaos forces used as the antagonists were my own, Slaaneshi following Chaos Marines and traitorous Guardsmen.

For my army list, I went for a fluffy mechanised list. Falcons are under-represented, considering that they are the most commonly used Eldar battle tank! The plan for the army is the same as most of my mechanised lists: hit the enemy with heavy firepower and deploy the Aspect Warriors late in the game for the coup de grâce. However, I am facing 8000pts of Tyranids with 6000pts of help from Tau, Imperials and Chaos. My prediction is that it will go horribly as the two Tyranid players have more unity and list synergy than us. Hopefully I can at least pull a moral victory by losing very few, if any, models!

————————————————————————————————————–

Farseer Lireia Narésiel sat within the confines of her Wave Serpent transport, her head resting against the wraithbone interior and her eyes were shut. She was breathing heavily, mentally preparing herself for the coming battle. The humans had been left even more short-handed, the humans’ armoured column had been pulled from the capital hive city and the planetary defence force would crumble quickly.

“Farseer Lireia. You must pull back from the capital,” came the voice of one of her Rangers, the message psychically sent through her wraithbone communication devices. He was one that she had sent to observe the hive city. “The humans will not last long enough and we are ill equipped to fight with a force that follows the Great Enemy this size.”

“What are the numbers?” she inquired, opening her eyes suddenly.

“A few hundred humans, assisted by a few dozen Chaos Space Marines, though they are also bolstered by daemons. We do not have the force necessary to fight them alone.”

“What of the humans? Surely they are not so inept as to have been wiped out already.”

“Farseer, you over-estimate the strength of primitives,” the ranger replied, a distaste in his voice. Farseer Lireia looked at the Aspect Warriors within the Wave Serpent, though she was addressed again, this time by one of her Warlocks.

“Farseer, our Rangers have found a critical mass of Tyranids assembling. We must attend to this lest the entire planet be consumed by the horde.” Lireia was silent in response. How had she not seen this force assembling? She placed her palm to her forehead, resting her head on the wraithbone interior of the Wave Serpent again.

“Warriors, we must pull back and regroup with the rest of our forces. The Tyranid menace amasses and we must cull their numbers before they are allowed to snowball out of control,” she addressed her entire warhost, a tired tone to her voice. Immediately, the transports and war walkers turned around and made their way back to the webway portal where the Eldar had made their encampment.

—————

Thump. Thump. Thump. The sound of artillery shells landing outside in the streets drilled into Alyssa’s concentration. The battle was not going well, as she had expected after the armoured column was rushed off elsewhere under circumstances that neither her nor her superior, Inquisitor Lord Tyzell Chaylen, had managed to gather.

“Another group of cultists will approach through the second street,” she murmured into her vox unit as she continued to navigate the different strands of fate. She was trying to hold the planetary defence force together, but it was not working. Their leadership had already crumbled, the captain fleeing the battle and leaving his men to die. Inquisitor Lord Chaylen, had long since led a strike into the heart of the traitor Deredian lines and had gone silent ever since. He was an Inquisitor Lord of the Ordo Malleus. This was his theatre of war, fighting against daemons and traitorous humans. Like the snakes that they were, they had infiltrated the capital hive city either during or after the Iron Warrior occupation. What she was worried about were the facts that Lady Thessa Riobin and Lady Raina Alerin had led their groups on a sabotage mission. She was not worried about their capibility, Alyssa had been a Deredian herself, they were all born light infantry, it was in their blood and in their upbringing. However, as an Inquisitor it was her duty to suspect possible heresy. Could those two have betrayed the Imperium?

She waited for a response over the vox, though she was met with empty noise. There was no response. “Cowards. You have forsaken your duty to the Emperor,” she muttered, gathering up her cards quickly and grabbing her force halberd which crackled with blue witchfire as she clasped it. She stood up from her seated position, placing a finger to her vox unit. “Amarahns, status report!” she ordered though her vox unit, though again there was no response. She cursed under her breath, though a chill ran up her spine. The artillery had stopped.

She quickly removed her deck of cards once more and cast them into the air, each card floating around her. She closed her eyes again and delved into the paths of fate. She could see the forces of the traitors, daemons alongside humans with a handful of Chaos Space Marines overseeing the battle. She could see the ruins in which she resided, her own form broken amidst the rubble. It was not the first time that she had foreseen her own demise, but her pride caused this particular vision to cut deep; she truly hated those who betrayed her and her own people all those years ago.

She gathered the cards up once more. She was reluctant to broadcast on open vox, but from what she saw, it would make no difference anyway. The forces of Chaos would find her anyway and her chances of survival were slim as it was. She was alone and surrounded.

“This is Inquisitor Alyssa Robertson of the Ordo Xenos hailing any and all Imperial forces in the area. The forces of Chaos are overrunning the capital hive city. We cannot lose this location again and so, by my mandate, I order all unengaged Imperial forces to fire upon my position. The Emperor protects; may none find us wanting.” She stopped broadcasting, turning to face the door. Three, two, one.

The door exploded inwards as the entrance to the building was blown open, traitorous Guardsmen rushing in and sending lasgun shots towards Alyssa. She moved alongside the lasbolts, ensuring that she was never in the path of the traitorous fusilage. It was a simple, precognisant trick. She raised her hand and sent blue lightning arcing along the traitorous lines, felling a score of cultists. The others started to run towards her, though again she merely arced the lightning along them, causing all but one of them to drop to the floor, charred and lifeless. The final one jumped at her, swinging a knife that she dodged with an almost casual nature, bringing her force halberd up his torso, rending through his armour and separating his body, splitting in half at the waist like a bloody, wet banana peel.

“The Emperor’s justice comes for all,” she muttered, gathering herself once again. She knew that was not the last of them, but she had bought some time to search for an escape route. She could not venture outside, she could feel the presences of both physical and Warp beings out there, but this old Imperial building had to have some sort of tunnel or back door. Her search did not last long before a pair of pink daemons manifested, their lithe forms a perversion of the human body with large claws for hands. The daemons licked their lips with forked tongues as they moved towards Alyssa with speed that no regular human could hope to manage.

She dodged below the swing of the first daemonette, though the claw of the second one caught her leg, piercing through her advanced mesh armour and calf with ease. She let out a pained cry as she shifted her weight onto her functional leg, swiping at the offending daemonette with her force weapon. She caught the form of the daemon, cleaving it cleanly in two and causing it to dematerialise. The other one did not hesitate, stabbing forwards at Alyssa’s chest once again, catching her near her shoulder and shattering her collarbone. She tumbled backwards to the floor, the daemonette looming above her for the final, killing blow. Alyssa clenched her teeth her left hand swirling with psychic witchfire. She could not raise her force halberd, she could barely move her right arm without unbearable pain. The daemonette brought it’s claws down, but it caught a heavy wave of psychic lightning in the chest, causing it to flicker out of existence like the other.

Alyssa breathed a heavy sigh of relief, dragging herself backwards to a pile of rubble and pulling herself onto it. She still clutched her force halberd, though her right arm just hung limply by her side. She could not stand and could not wield her force halberd any longer. She did not care if it was her fate to die here, she was going to resist. More cultists were moving into the building and loosing lasbolts in her direction, catching her in the chest and abdomen. The impacts caused her to fall to the ground again, her entire form going limp as she lost consciousness. Emperor protect my soul.

—————

The Wave Serpents pulled into the Eldar encampment, the Aspect Warriors filing out. Finally, Farseer Lireia walked down the ramp, immediately making her way over to her seer council.

“What are we looking at?” she inquired as she approached, the group of Warlocks turning to meet her.

“Tyranid monstrosities are amassing. We predict that our foothold on the planet will be moot if they are allowed to amass many more beasts,” one Warlock replied. “We should amass our forces and strike at them quickly,” he continued, still facing Lireia. She thought for a moment. She did not wish to engage them in combat, for where primitives outnumbered her warhost at least hundreds to one, the Tyranids had the numbers to outnumber her by the thousands.

“Allow me to cast the runes. I shall consult the skeins of fate for our best course of action in this,” she replied, turning away and reaching into her small rune pouch, grabbing a hold of them and casually casting them into the air, allowing them to orbit her form slowly with faint blue lights.

A few long minutes passed as she stood in place, periodically plucking orbs from the air, interpreting the runes with a frown. Once she had finished, she gathered them up, placing them back into her rune pouch and making her way back to the Warlocks who were busy strategising.

“Mobilise the warhost, we will strike at their numbers from a distance and retreat before they can mobilise against us,” she instructed, causing a group of the Warlocks to immediately fan out and gather the Aspect Warriors. Lireia reached out to her troops. “Brothers and sisters. The Tyranids are amassing and soon will have the numbers to start a planetary culling. Our objective lies undone and we will not allow them to force us off the planet. Today, we will strike at the horde and thin their numbers, much like how we deal with Orks and Imperials. We strike, then fall back into the shadows.”

She made her way over to one of the Falcon tanks, flanked by five of her Warlocks. She lay a hand on the wraithbone hull and grimaced. She did not have the warriors available for any mistakes to be made. She had to do this perfectly.

—————

Traitorous Guardsmen started to move towards the inanimate body of Inquisitor Alyssa Robertson, their lasguns trained on her form.

“Dasin, check her,” one of them spoke out, his lasgun still trained on the Inquisitor. One of the cultists stepped out from behind, walking slowly towards the body of the Inquisitor. He did not make it far before stopping, looking around.

“Hey, you hear that?” the cultist asked, turning to look back at his squad. They started to look around again, though the cultist leader shook his head.

“I don’t care, just put a lasbolt through the bitch’s head and let’s go.” His voice was impatient, but slightly shaky as an audible whistle could be heard. Dasin turned around again, though before he could take another step the ceiling caved in on him and a large, dark red pod crashed in behind them, causing the cultists to jump and turn to face it. The cultist leader’s eyes widened, raising his lasgun at it. “Shoot it,” he yelled, opening fire with his lasgun, though his weapon seemed to bounce off the armoured hull. Slowly, the sides of the pod folded outwards and huge, armoured individuals strode out, armour the same dark crimson of the pod, opening fire into the cultists and cutting them down in a matter of seconds. One of the individuals strode out, stepping through the dead bodies of the cultists, crushing their torso’s under his giant armoured boot. He knelt down, placing his boltgun next to Alyssa’s inanimate body. He gently turned her over, or rather, as gently as he could before placing a finger to the side of his helmet, activating his vox unit.

“Tempestor Prime Alerin, converge on my position. We have found Inquisitor Robertson, though she is badly wounded,” he growled, his voice grating through his helmet’s vox-grill.

“Yes, my Lord,” came a woman’s voice over his vox unit. He stood back up, picking up his boltgun again and turning back to his squad.

“Brothers, form a defensive perimeter around this building. No traitors will come within a hundred metres of this building,” he growled at them, immediately causing them to stir into action, taking up different positions around the building and pointing their weapons out on the street, the sergeant standing guard over Alyssa’s body. A large group of cultists were already moving up the street and the Space Marines’ bolters opened up into them, sending explosive bolts into the front ranks and causing the ones behind to be showered in blood and gore. The remainder darted into the side streets and started to fire back, though the lasguns used by the cultists were nothing compared to the boltguns of the Space Marines, tearing chunks into the buildings and the cultists hiding behind them.

Above the Space Marine position a squadron of Valkyrie roared overhead and twenty five figures dropped from the backs, five from the centre one and ten from each flanking flyer. As the figures descended, flashes of light erupted into the cultist lines, searing through armour and flesh alike.

“Sergeant Emerus, we are approaching your position from above,” came the same female voice as before, grey armoured units descending onto the rooftop of the building. A helmeted individual pointed towards the edge of the roof. “Squad one, take position on the edge and give supporting fire, squad two with me,” she uttered quietly over her vox, filing into the building and descending the stairs to see the Space Marine sergeant still standing guard over the Inquisitor’s fallen body. She motioned over to the Inquisitor. “Iten, it’s time to work,” she uttered as she turned to the squad’s medic, before directing the rest of her units to the front, “the rest of you, these heretics are not going to just give up. Go and spread the Emperor’s punishment to these foul traitors.”

As the rest of the Tempestus soldiers moved over to the front of the ruins to lend their support to the Space Marines, Tempestor Prime Lilyne Alerin approached the Space Marine, saluting the sergeant in a quick, snappy motion, before making her way to the medic who was carefully tending to the Inquisitor’s broken form. He glanced up at her as she approached.

“She’ll live, but by the Emperor is she messed up,” Iten informed Lilyne, looking back down to continue working on the Inquisitor’s wounds.

“Understood. Carry on, Iten,” she replied, turning and walking over to the side of the Space Marine sergeant, hot-shot laspistol in hand.

Outside, the cultists were being routed across the city as Space Marines and Tempestus Scions alike descended from the sky and into the capital hive, their zeal in hunting those that were once their brothers in arms was unmatched.

—————

“Farseer, the forces of the Tau, Imperials and Chaos seem to have some sort of agreement,” the voice of one of the Craftworld’s Rangers echoed through her wraithbone communication device.

“Then I assume we have more enemies to fight than just the Tyranids? Fate would have us do all the work it seems,” she replied, shaking her head. This was the last thing that she needed.

“Should we start to remove their commanders? Without leadership, they could prove an excellent speed bump for the Tyranid swarm,” the Ranger asked. Lireia pulled her runes out once more, casting them within the cramped confines of the Falcon tank in which she sat, her Warlock bodyguards in company. She effortlessly plucked one from the air, raising a curious eyebrow. Interesting.

“No. Fate has shown me another path. If we can perform our parts well, we may be able to put an end to two enemies in one swoop. Maintain watch for now and inform me of any changes.”

“As you wish, Farseer.”

“Brothers and sisters,” Lireia started, addressing her entire assembled strikeforce. It comprised of the vast majority of Eldar who decided to stay on the planet which, suffice to say, was not many. “An opportunity has arisen for us. The humans, Tau and forces of Chaos have entered into an agreement to fight the Tyranids. We will use them as a distraction whilst we perform our objectives here and pull away before they inevitably turn on us. If we play our parts well, we will remove multiple obstacles in one go.”

One of her Warlocks instantly turned to face her, addressing her directly. “Farseer,” he started, his voice concerned, “this is ludicrous, we should destroy the forces of Chaos where they stand!”

“Such an act would rouse the hostility of those that they have entered an agreement with. The Imperials would gladly lend us aid in that, but the Tau, in their naivety, would likely defend the forces of Chaos. As we fought, the Tyranids would consume us all.” Lireia did not even turn to face the Warlock. She was honestly sick and tired of so many people doubting her decisions.

She was confident that she could pull this off.

————————————————————————————————————–

2000pts Ithyl-Loc Strikeforce

*Counts as The Spirit Stone of Anath’lan

HQ

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 – 220pts

6 Warlocks – 210pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Elites

Troops

Disciples of Asurmen – 275pts

10 Dire Avengers – 130pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter laser – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

A Thousand Blades – 275pts

10 Dire Avengers – 130pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter laser – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Storm of Blades – 78pts

6 Dire Avengers – 78pts

Tears of Isha – 250pts

10 Guardian Defenders – 90pts

Shuriken cannon – 15pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked Eldar missile launchers – 15pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Eyes of the Craftworld – 96pts

8 Rangers – 96pts

Fast Attack

Sentinels of the Infinity Circuit – 152pts

8 Warp Spiders – 152pts

Heavy Support

Gift of Anaris – 150pts

Falcon – 125pts

Scatter laser – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Faolchú’s Deliverance – 145pts

Falcon – 125pts

Starcannon – 5pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Fury of Khaine – 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

Grand Total – 1996pts

Whoever said that 6th edition killed mechanised armies just isn't doing it right!

Whoever said that 6th edition killed mechanised armies just isn’t doing it right!

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.

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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.

The Traitors Mobilise – 1800pts Traitor Imperial Guard + Chaos Space Marines Army List

So, I’m going down to Warhammer World tomorrow to play a game where I will be fighting alongside a friend’s Chaos Space Marines. As a result, I have written up an army list of traitorous Imperial Guard and Chaos Space Marines. I will be using the models I use for my loyalist Space Marines as well as my loyal Guardsmen, because the Crimson Sentinels and the Deredian regiments were both ripped apart by heresy within. As a result, there are two separate factions of them. Here is a little flavour for the not-so-righteous side.

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Ezarine smiled as she gazed out across the lands beyond from her position on the battlements. She saw troops lined up, heavy weapons facing outwards whilst her cult leaders gave out orders to the men. Unlike most cultist groups, her warband had been recruited from the ranks of the Imperial Guard, trained men and women who were willing to give their lives for a cause; a cause that she had warped.

She felt the wind against her skin, whipping her hair about her face. She smiled as she felt each strand that caressed her cheeks, each nerve ending touched by the delicate threads that swung out from under her hood. She heard the sound of boots marching, boots of her warband as well as boots of power armoured individuals, and creatures scuttling in the far distance. She sensed the presence of the Tyranid Hive Mind.

“Daydreaming, Sorceress?” came a gritty voice from behind her. She smiled, turning to face the source of the voice and kneeling before the entity that stood before her. It was a Space Marine, clad in crimson armour, carrying a large, ornate sword and a bolt pistol around the size of Ezarine’s torso.

“I could not help but take in the atmosphere, my Lord,” she started, the same smile on her face though her eyes were shut as she bowed her head. “The sensations, the exhilaration and anticipation of the coming battle, it courses through my body like a drug.” The Space Marine chuckled at the response, an eerie laugh grating through his vox-grill.

“Excellent, Sorceress. The Dark Prince will be most pleased with your efforts. We will send him a worthy offering in the upcoming battle,” he replied, walking up to the battlements next to her. “Rise, Sorceress. You have done well in this task.”

“Thank you, my Lord,” she responded as she got back to her feet, turning to face the Sorcerer in his new position, “the Tyranids encroach upon our position. Losing our position here would be detrimental to our efforts on the planet.”

“I understand this. That is why we will personally bolster your force here,” the Sorcerer answered, his tone calm as he set his gaze upon the army below, “and we will work with the other agents of the Dark Gods on this planet to ensure success. Our eyes shall be upon you at all times, Sorceress. Do not fail us.”

Ezarine grinned to herself. “All times, my Lord?” she whispered under her breath with a quiet chuckle, a sly grin spread across her face. The Space Marine turned his gaze upon her, his eyes alive with warp energies as he stared her down.

“All times.” His voice lacked any sense of joviality as he spoke the words, sending a shiver down Ezarine’s spine. As he turned and walked away, she shivered, gripping herself in a loose embrace. She wondered if it was the Inquisition and former comrades in arms that she feared more, having sensed the presence of the loyalist Crimson Sentinels and their Deredian Imperial Guard forces, or indeed if it was the encroaching Tyranid horde. In truth, it was none of these things. What she feared most, were her superiors and their patron deities. The price of failure.

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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

The Tyranid Swarm Encroaches!

This is from the viewpoint of the Eldar, hence there isn’t that much detailed coverage of what happened to the Imperial Guard. We were largely separate, so I didn’t catch what was going on on his side of the board. He did, however, get rather victimised by the Tyranid forces as my units were incredibly hard to kill.

Also, of course the writing favours my Eldar. It’s from their perspective and they didn’t exactly perform poorly.

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Having contacted the Imperial Guard, Farseer Lireia led a small strike force of Aspect Warriors to the battlefield. The Imperial Guard had already rolled their tanks up and had taken position in a far building, their infantry forming ranks beneath banners. Lireia bit her lip, this was not the force that she had anticipated, though it would have to suffice. She could feel the presence of the Hive Mind closing in. Casting her gaze to the distance, she could see wave upon wave of Tyranid organisms. She looked over at the human forces briefly. They seemed to be preparing to move, though the Tyranids surged forwards, advancing in waves. Clambering back into her Wave Serpent transport, she prepared to give her orders.

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So, the mission was the Scouring, we deployed terrain and objectives accordingly, before deploying our forces accordingly. We won the roll off and decided to go second, not seizing the initiative. The Tyranid forces consisted of two 1500pts lists, as did our army, deploying well over 100 Termagants with Venomthrope cover saves and a good amount of synapse from the walking hive tyrant, which rolled the synaptic linchpin warlord trait, a few Zoanthrope broods and Warriors. They kept large amounts of their army in reserve, flying monstrous creatures mostly, as well as deep striking rippers. Multiple Biovores were deployed in cover with a commanding view of the battlefield.

On our side we had three Wave Serpents and three War Walkers deployed in the far corner, with the Imperial Guard forces, consisting of a small infantry platoon and a squad of veterans, spread across the table, a Leman Russ Vanquisher next to my vehicles and a battle tank on the other side of the board, flanking a Command Squad led by none other than Creed. The Dire Avengers stayed in the Wave Serpents with Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders, led by Autarch Thalinia, also in reserve.

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The Tyranid horde swept forwards out of the forests, opening up with Biovores, stranglethorn cannons and a few venom cannons, catching Guardsmen in the open and sending a handful of their numbers in deadly bio-acid. Farseer Lireia’s strike force remained untouched and so she moved her Wave Serpents forwards, giving them instructions on which organisms to fire upon first. With a heavy jolt, the three vehicles fired their weapons forwards, though the combined firepower did little, a lot less than she had predicted. The thunder of guns from the human lines blew Gaunts into small pieces, though many of the larger beasts remained untouched.

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Just before the first turn, a large brood of Lictors burst out of a forest near the Guard lines, firing into the Platoon Command squad. The rest of the horde moved up, keeping synapse fields overlapping with the Hive Tyrant in the middle. Their shooting opened up, killing a handful of guardsmen and causing a wound to the lascannon heavy weapons team. Largely a successful turn for the Eldar and Imperial Guard, but we both knew that it would only get worse the closer they got.

The Eldar and Imperial Guard lines opened up, killing a Venomthrope and stripping a wound off the other with discharged serpent shields. The War Walkers opened up with scatter lasers, the Guard with heavy ordnance and lasguns, though it was largely ineffective, killing some Gaunts, but not much more.

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The Tyranid guns spoke again, largely leaving the Eldar force alone once more, though Lireia felt a the psychic reverberations of death echo from the other side of the battlefield. The guns spoke out, Tyranid creatures charged headlong into squads of humans, silencing large portions of the Imperial battle lines as a Mawloc burst through the ground.

“This is Asurmen’s Wrath,” came a voice over the Wave Serpent’s communications, “our transport has been destroyed and we are proceeding out of the wreckage.” Lireia cursed under her breath, this was not what she needed. She heard spore mines landing nearby, as well as multiple sounds of Tyranid bio weapons nearby. The Dire Avengers of Asurmen’s Wrath reduced in number significantly.

“Fire again, target priority of the Hive Guard,” Lireia called to her forces, spurring the Wave Serpents into movement again, the guns of the Eldar lines returning into the Tyranids, though the sound of Imperial firepower was significantly lower. She felt the presence of Thalinia arrive with the Warp Spiders, as well as the Swooping Hawks dropping in behind the Tyranid lines. The thunder of grenades, the light patter of laser fire slamming into the Tyranid lines, wiping out two of the Zoanthropes, both Hive Guard and all bar one lone Tyranid Warrior. Lireia smiled to herself, though it would not last.

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Second turn was devastating for the Imperial Guard forces. Although the Storm Troopers, Valkyrie and Sentinel came in, they lost almost all of their infantry, minus Creed’s Command Squad. The Tyranid reserves were stifled by the Officer of the Fleet, though enough appeared to wipe out most of the Imperial Guard infantry, sparing all bar four men from the second infantry squad next to the Vanquisher. One of the Wave Serpents was downed by three penetrating hits from cover-ignoring Hive Guard, following in half of the unit dying to Biovore and Termagant fire.

In the Imperial and Eldar turn, all of our reserves came in. Warp Spiders moved on from the board edge and the Swooping Hawks deep struck. Storm Troopers deep struck and took three wounds from the Exocrene, though other than that, there was not much damage done. The Swooping Hawks took two wounds from the Warriors and killed a few Gaunts with the grenade pack, before opening up with lasblaster fire, killing all apart from the last Warrior in the squad. The Warp Spiders hit some more Gaunts, though their cover save kept many alive. Combined fire from the remaining Wave Serpents and the War Walkers removed the Hive Guard and a Zoanthrope brood from the board.

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Without the humans to keep the Tyranids distracted, they turned their attentions upon the Eldar. Flying monstrous creatures dropped from the skies overhead and the horde shifted towards the small Eldar force. The organisms opened up again, spore mines largely exploding over the hulls of the Wave Serpents, though Lireia could feel the presence of the Swooping Hawks disappearing. Thalinia and her Warp Spiders came under heavy fire from the descending creatures, felling about half of their number, though the Eldar lines stood against the bombardment.

The Imperial elite were not so lucky. The humans who dropped in via grav-chute were surrounded and systematically wiped out by the Tyranid horde, the battle tank near their commanding officer was torn open by a winged Hive Tyrant and the Sentinel was brought down by a Tyranid Warrior ambush. Lireia felt the Imperial resolve waver, sending pangs of doubt through her mind as well. A handful of Eldar Aspect Warriors stood against around five times their number and her current position was being encroached upon.

“Khaine guide you, brothers and sisters,” she called to the War Walker operators and the Dire Avengers of Asurmen’s Wrath who remained near the wreckage of their transport, collecting up the soul stones of the fallen as they fired. They knew what had to be done.

The two remaining Wave Serpents flew over the encroaching Tyranid horde, Warp Spiders teleporting shortly behind them, landing behind in an opening as the Swooping Hawks darted back to the skies. Their guns chattered, clipping one of the Biovore creatures, though otherwise little was done. The War Walkers covered the remaining Dire Avengers, hurling bolts of laser energy into the Biovores, wounding them further though they yet remained. The Imperial air support fired upon the encroaching Termagants, though the mist emitted by the remaining Venomthrope obscured their presence before the plasma sponsons of the Vanquisher tank turned it into a fleshy mess on the floor. Lireia enacted her final gambit to try and win the field.

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Turn three hurt again, the Imperials being reduced to a single tank, a single flyer and a Command Squad. Half of the Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders were blown away by the combination of Biovores, Termagants and a flying Hive Tyrant. The Eldar initiated a counter attack, sending most of their remaining units over the Tyranids, moving all their tanks flat out and using the Warp Spiders’ mobility get behind them. Very little damage was done by either side, so things mostly just moved up and shifted position. The Tyranids started swamping the objectives with the many remaining Gaunts and the Eldar moved up for a round of shooting the following turn.

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Lireia felt her forces dwindling as yet more fire erupted from the Tyranid lines. The Mawloc beast claimed another Warp Spider as it burrowed beneath them, though thankfully, Autarch Thalinia teleported out of the way. Expecting repercussions, she steeled herself, but the Mawloc did not emerge, burrowing back around to an empty part of the battlefield. She sighed with relief, though her relief was short lived as she felt the last of the Warp Spiders being brought down by Tyranid shooting, as well as her sister’s pain. She felt the Wave Serpent to her right shake, but the fire glanced off the serpent shield that enveloped the hull, though her thoughts were momentarily distracted by the pain of her sister. The flame of the Autarch’s life flickered, though remained. Her vision was clouded, but she called out to her remaining forces.

“Walkers. I want the Tyrant dead,” she called, turning to the Dire Avengers who sat within the Wave Serpent with her. Before she could speak, the door opened and Autarch Thalinia barrelled in, fastening herself in place before resting her head against the wraithbone interior. She dripped fine streams of crimson blood down the seat, her chest moved up and down at an accelerated rate. Lireia paused momentarily, though she did not have the time to check on her sister’s wounds. “Everyone, out!” she yelled, tossing her runes about her, specks of blue orbiting her as she reached into her reserves, guiding her forces through complex divinations as the Swooping Hawks returned, dropping grenades once more upon the smaller Tyranid beasts and finishing off a wounded Biovore that skulked in the forest.

The line of Aspect Warriors sprinted out of both tanks, surrounding a small, manageable portion of the Tyranid horde. The guns of the Wave Serpents covered their advance towards the vulnerable creatures at the rear of the Tyranid force, felling the Exocrene with discharges of serpent shield energy, scatter lasers, bright lances and shuriken fire. Farseer Lireia attempted to throw the Hive Tyrant off balance, casting the runes about her and arcing psychic power around towards it, though it seemed largely unaffected by her efforts; her concentration was hard pressed through incessant whispers in her mind. The Hive Tyrant roared in defiance, turning to face her. She had foreseen her death here. She readied her singing spear and prepared to face her fate as the Dire Avengers around her systematically destroyed the Zoanthropes, Biovores and Tyranid Warriors that held their position near the back. The Hive Tyrant remained standing, taking a powerful stride towards her position.

With no warning, an eruption of laser fire slammed into the Hive Tyrant from across the battlefield. The War Walkers had turned their guns and fired at the behemoth, blasting apart its carapace and spraying ichor across the trees that stood next to it. It roared defiantly, before crumpling, a steaming cadaver leaning against the base of a tree.

Lireia smiled, though she could see the devastation. The Imperials had lost all of their foot troops apart from the commander and were cutting their losses, retreating their remaining units. She would not needlessly throw the lives of her Aspect Warriors away fighting a losing battle. The Tyranid horde still encroached upon her position en masse, though she had bought her forces time. A large group of Termagants behind her seemed hesitant with the lack of synapse creatures nearby and her vision was clearer once again.

“Skylance, gather the soulstones of the lost and depart to the skies. The rest of you, back into the transports! We cannot control this battlefield alone,” she called to her forces, running them back to their transports. In the few seconds in which the Termagant creatures wandered aimlessly, the Swooping Hawks flew over to where the Warp Spiders had fallen, sweeping up their soul stones before departing to the skies. The War Walkers covered the lone remaining Dire Avenger on the other side of the battlefield as he did the same, hopping onto the leg support of the nearest War Walker once he was done. As quickly as they had emerged, the Eldar strike force had retreated, abandoning the battlefield to the horror of the Tyranid swarm.

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We conceded at the end of turn four. There was not very much left on the board for my ally and large chunks of the Tyranid force remained at large. I made one final push against the Tyranids and managed to slay one of their warlords through stupid amounts of scatter laser fire power, as well as large chunks of synapse coverage and Biovores (those things are a pain!). We weathered the Tyranid shooting well, though he lost the last two Guardsmen who, to their credit, stood their ground to the bitter end, surrounded by Ripper swarms, a flying Hive Tyrant, about twenty eight Termagants and a Hive Crone. Truly warriors worthy of the Emperor!

The Tyranids played well and played to their strengths, pushing numbers over our positions and just overwhelming us with a sheer volume of bodies. I felt really bad for the Imperial Guard player, as the Tyranids massively surged his position early, leaving him with very few forces to use in the later game. The Biovores, in my opinion, were the unit of the match for their side, accounting for heavy Guardsman losses as well as a relatively large amount of Eldar losses (though relative is the operative term, having not lost too many models as they all remained in transports until the final turn). For our side, I’m calling it on the War Walkers. Those three models can put up a nasty number of wounds, even mustering enough fire power to kill a Hive Tyrant in one volley. I would recommend them to any Eldar player, those two scatter lasers are punishing to infantry and monstrous creatures alike! Special mention goes out to the Storm Troopers though, casting aside their fear of death and dropping right into the heart of the Tyranid lines to put three wounds on the Exocrene was quite the sight to behold. They then put a wound on a Warrior when overwatching, but were overwhelmed as expected. A good, enjoyable game though; I will write up some more later (as in, fluff bits to cover what happened after the Eldar retreated) but that’s all for now.

The War for Amarah Prime – 1500pts Craftworld Ithyl-Loc Strikeforce

So, I’ve decided to write a load of fiction and narrative for a 40k campaign that I am currently taking part in. I will be providing battle reports with a heavy narrative focus in the near future, as well as my army list at each bracket we play. At the time of writing this post I am undefeated at 6 – 0 wins to losses, thus the Eldar are in very good shape to win the campaign at the moment. With some new additions, I have been paired with the Imperial Guard player, an absolutely wonderful synergy of armies coming out. The way I write army lists is I write the list, but I write the background fluff beforehand. This one is a bit longer, due to the fact that I have been lax and have not written anything up for the 600, 800, 1000 and 1200 point bracket games. Also, note that I am inexperienced when it comes to writing 40k fluff, even less so when it comes to Eldar, a very hard race to really get into the mindset of. I find the Imperial Guard and Inquisition far easier to write for 🙂

Without further delay, here is my 1500pts Eldar list, complete with the narrative.

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Rain. Poor weather conditions had set in over the north western territories of the planet Amarah Prime and the skies were dark with clouds, Tyranid spore clusters and great naval fleets doing battle in orbit. The cloaked Eldar fleet continued to covertly supply the warhost with weapons and supplies, slipping between enemy positions like an invisible river. Their campaign on the planet’s surface was going well, far better than Autarch Thalinia had expected. Autarch Thalinia was a lithe individual, her form surrounded by the bulky warp jump generator typically used by the warriors of the Warp Spider aspect shrine. The rain ran down her striking features as she stared into the distance.

Her gaze shifted to the foliage to her left, the plant-life relatively thick in the unmolested Eldar territories in the north-west. She placed a hand on her sleek power sword, her gaze narrowing at the source of the disturbance, ready to kick her warp jump generator into life to ambush any potential attacker. It was mostly inconceivable that anything could get into the Eldar territory without being detected by one of the many shrouded outposts that they had set up across their territory and borders; however, complacency was not in the Autarch’s nature. A split second later, an Eldar ranger emerged from the undergrowth, his long rifle in his hands, cameleoline cloak trailing slightly behind him.

“Autarch, we have completed our sweep of the area. We can arrive at the Capital in a few days, though the Tyranid horde encroaches,” he reported to the Autarch.

“Excellent,” Thalinia started, though her gaze shifted to the distance again, “how does the Seer Council’s search for the beacon progress?” she asked after a brief moment of silence.

“They have yet to find it.”

“I see.”

“Farseer Lireia has also requested an audience with you.”

Thalinia went silent for a moment once more, still staring into the distance. “Would you like me to deliver a message?” the ranger asked, though Thalinia held her hand up and shook her head.

“No. I shall speak with her. If we are to start a push into areas infested with Tyranid spores, I want us to have a firm plan of attack,” she replied, nodding to the ranger, “return to your duties, Ranger. I shall discuss our next course of action with the Seer Council.”

With that, she turned at made her way back through the forest. She had set up a war camp nearby, her forces completing their retrieval of the soul stones from those lost in the previous engagement with the loyalist Space Marines. When she arrived, she took inventory of all the soul stones before ordering her forces into their Wave Serpent and Falcon transports.

“Where are we needed, Autarch?” the driver asked as she clambered into the back of the Falcon, her bulky warp jump generator taking up almost double the space that she normally would.

“Take me to Farseer Lireia’s position,” she responded assertively, cradling her Reaper launcher across her lap. She did not like taking up so much space within the confines of a Falcon grav-tank, though she was alone this time.

“We will be there swiftly,” the Falcon’s pilot responded, relaying the orders to the rest of the warhost before gunning the anti-grav generators into life, skimming over the planet’s surface towards the Seer Council’s current position deep in their territory.

The Falcon came to a stop near to a group of Warlocks who were scouring the area, eliminating wayward Tyranid spores and trying to track down the psychic emanations that were drawing the Tyranids to the planet. Thalinia departed her position in the Falcon, making her way over to Farseer Lireia, recognising her with ease through the Warlocks and Guardians who were defending them. Thalinia found her in the middle, floating a few feet above the ground, runes dancing about her with a blue glow. She slung her Reaper launcher to behind her warp jump generator, folding her arms patiently.

After a short time, Lireia floated gently to the ground, collecting the runes from the air before turning around to face the Autarch. She reached out with her mind, calling her singing spear to her hand through keen telekinetics.

“Sister,” Lireia beamed, making her way swiftly towards Thalinia, though a stern look from her older sibling caused her to stop in her tracks.

“Lireia, you wanted to talk about our next move on the planet,” Thalinia replied, her arms still folded with a stern expression on her face. She was a little sour that the Craftworld’s senior Seer Council had assigned her, an Autarch with a score of military conquests to her name, as a subordinate to an inexperienced Farseer. It was doubly testing of her patience that the inexperienced Farseer was her younger sibling.

Lireia stopped in her tracks, nodding and adopting a similarly serious expression. “It is simple, Sister. We do not have the numbers for this campaign,” she uttered, ushering Thalinia to follow her. The two figures walked to the side of another Falcon grav-tank before Lireia continued speaking, “we do, however, have an alternative.”

“And that is?”

“I have extended an offer to a local regiment of Mon-keigh. They would provide ample bodies-”

“We do not need the Mon-keigh,” Thalinia interjected, a frown across her face, “you wouldn’t notice from your position behind the battle lines, but we have been doing perfectly fine without the aid of others.”

“Sister,” Lireia started, though she went quiet for a moment. “If that is the case, then I shall take to the battlefield and direct the warhost from the front. What would you advise?”

“We have our position here, though we should use our speed to lock down more area of the planet,” Thalinia started, though she sighed, “if we are to work with the Mon-keigh, then we may afford to spread our influence further. We will let our enemies bleed over the Capital and strike once their forces are weary from the fight.”

“Trust in my vision, Sister,” Lireia cut in, sensing Thalinia’s doubt in the partnership between the humans and their forces. “They will not strike against us. Your work directing our Craftworld’s warhost has garnered us a reputation. We have defeated the Great Enemy. We have defeated the ravenous Tyranid horde. We have bested the naïve Tau aggression. We have even triumphed over these Mon-keigh’s warrior idols, the Space Marines. They will not strike against us, and we will not strike against them.” Lireia paused for a moment. “It is pointless to clash with the massed forces of the Mon-keigh. The other factions vying for the planet are making allegiences and we cannot stand alone amongst them. We have a job to do, and very few warriors with which to do it, so avoiding a pointless bloodbath is in our best interest and-”

Lireia paused, glancing to the side monetarily.

“And?” Thalinia inquired in the pause.

“This planet has earned the Mon-keigh Inquisition’s attention.”

“Do you think that they will burn the planet?”

“I am not sure. The presence of so many Tyranid organisms clouds my vision, though I feel a sense of familiarity of with our impending company,” Lireia hesitantly answered, “though I shall try to make contact once we have established who this agent of the Inquisition is. We need to discern whether they are here to destroy the entire planet, in which case we will be forced to withdraw from the planet’s surface.”

Thalinia nodded, glancing back over to her Falcon transport.

“I trust in your vision, Sister,” she responded, “we shall make contact with the Mon-keigh and attempt to establish a more secure hold over our territories. I shall see you on the battlefield.”

“May Khaine guide our blades,” Lireia concluded, returning to her Warlocks as Thalinia departed to rally the Aspect Warriors and prepare the warhost for battle. Their enemies would not wait, so the Craftworld would bring them the death that they sought.

1500pts Ithyl-Loc Strikeforce

HQ

Farseer Lireia – 105pts

Farseer – 100pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Autarch Thalinia – 125pts

Autarch – 70pts

Warp jump generator – 15pts

Power weapon – 15pts

Reaper launcher with starswarm missiles – 25pts

Elites

Troops

Asurmen’s Wrath – 249pts

8 Dire Avengers – 104pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter lasers – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

A Thousand Blades – 249pts

8 Dire Avengers – 104pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter lasers – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Storm of Blades – 239pts

8 Dire Avengers – 104pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked bright lances – 5pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Fast Attack

Sentinels of the Infinity Matrix – 152pts

8 Warp Spiders – 152pts

The Skylance – 160pts

10 Swooping Hawks – 160pts

Heavy Support

Murehketh Bein Hekhita – 70pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Murehketh Bein Hekhita – 70pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Murehketh Bein Hekhita – 70pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Total – 1489pts

Inquisitorial Liaison

Total – 0pts

Fortifications

Total – 0pts

Grand Total – 1489pts