Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bat Rep: 1,850 Pts. Chaos Space Marines vs. Tyranids

The final game of our last gaming weekend saw Chris crossing over to 40k to play my Tyranids with a highly proxied Chaos Space Marine list. I would be using my planned NOVA Tyranids, so I wanted to make as strong a CSM list as possible. To that end I reached out to the guys at Forge the Narrative and the 40k Wrecking Crew for help strengthening a Nurgle CSM list.

What we came up with for the game was:

9 Plague Marines - Champion with Gift of Mutation, 2 Plasmaguns, Rhino
30 Zombies
25 Zombies
25 Zombies
Aegis w/Quad Gun

My Tyranid list was:
Hive Tyrant - Wings, 2xTL Devourers (Warlord) - Catalyst, Dominion
Hive Tyrant - Wings, 2xTL Devourers, Electroshock Grubs - Paroxysm, Dominion
Zoanthrope - Onslaught
Tervigon - Dominion
Tervigon - Paroxysm
30 Termagants - 15 Spinefists
30 Termagants

We stuck with a NOVA terrain setup and rolled on the NOVA missions, ending up with Fennel's Angle, which had 5 objectives, 2 player placed and 3 across the center line, with Vanguard deployment. After choosing sides, Chris placed his Aegis just out in front of his deployment zone.

I won the roll and chose to go first. I deployed my two blobs of gants across the entirety of my deployment zone, spread to the wings. I left a gap in the middle for one tervigon and the venomthrope, and a gap in the middle of each brood for an exocrine and a crone. I positioned one crone within 24" of the quad gun with the intention of vector striking it. The two flyrants went in the front of the line on my right. The final tervigon and zoanthrope anchored the back corner.

Chris countered by deploying the 30man Zombie squad with Typhus on my middle left, Belakor all the way to my left, and then another Zombie squad in the middle back of his zone. Finally, the plague marines in their rhino when to the right of his zone on the back board edge. One zombie squad and the heldrakes were left in reserve. He then rolled to seize and failed.

Tyranid Turn 1: 
The FMCs flew forward, with both hive tyrants having Feel no Pain from Catalyst. The left exocrine, who was within 24" of the quad gun stayed put for the boost to his BS in case the Crone vector strike didn't take care of it. The gants moved up and spread out, with two small broods filling in the gaps. The right exocrine moved up to try to get in range of the Plague Marine rhino. The Crone vector strike killed off the quad gun with 4 hits, then the drool cannon melted a few zombies. The other crone and one flyrant combined to wreck the rhino, and then the other flyrant and exocrine killed three plague marines with their fire. The rest of the force, predominantly termagants, ran forward, again maximizing board control by keeping right at 2" coherency with about 90 models and also keeping all of them in shrouding from the venomthrope.

Chaos Turn 1: 
After casting invisibility on the Zombies, Be'lakor flew over the crone on my left, vector striking it. The zombies and plague marines shuffled forward. The plague marines fired on one of the flyrants but failed to wound or ground it. The Vector strike from Be'lakor did two wounds to the Crone, but the following TL plasma gun fire from Obliterators failed to hit. Be'lakor cast Psychic Shriek on the big termagant squad near him, but was denied.

Tyranid Turn 2:
The flyrants and one crone all vector struck the plague marines on their way off the board, wiping them out. The other crone vector struck the zombies and flew off the board as well. The rest of the army continued to spread out and just about covered the entirety of my half of the board. Shooting from exocrines wounded Be'lakor and one Obliterator.

Chaos Turn 2:
Be'lakor opted to land with the intention of bringing some hurt to a tervigon or exocrine. Meanwhile Typhus and zombies prepared to get stuck in with one large group of termagants. The Heldrakes both arrived, but had nowhere to land on my half, instead stopping short of the line. In the shooting phase, the heldrakes wounded the venomthrope and an exocrine, and toasted some termagants. Be'lakor failed to get psychic scream and puppet master off successfully, and ended by charging the Exocrine. Typhus assaulted the termagants with zombies in toe. In Be'lakor's combat, he promptly killed the Exocrine, leaving him exposed and on the ground. Meanwhile, Typhus went to work on the termagants, killing nearly half the brood with help from the zombies, to several lost zombies in return.

Tyranid Turn 3:
The Tyranid flying circus arrived on my left, with the flyrants vector striking Be'lakor. The right half of my line mostly stayed still, with the exocrine moving up to line up shots on the Obliterators. The vector strikes were more than enough to take down Be'lakor and fire from both crones and flyrants managed to take down one Heldrake. In combat, Typhus continued to reap termagnts, though several remained. The soulblazed Venomthrope died while the flames on the termagants went out.

Chaos Turn 3:
The surviving helldrake vector struck a tervigon and flew forward, just staying on my board edge. The third squad of Zombies shuffled onto the board on the back left behind the obliterators. In the shooting phase, the helldrake did another wound to the tervigon and killed a couple more termagants, but was unable to wound the zoanthrope. The oblits again wiffed with TL Plasma rapid firing at a crone. In combat, Typhus and zombies wiped out the termagants, again, at an inopportune time.

Tyranid Turn 4:
One Crone and Flyrant landed by Typhus and the Zombies while the warlord flyrant and Crone moved toward the middle of the board to line up shots on the Heldrake, which they promptly shot down. Small arms fire quickly wiped out the zombies and then brought Typhus down to a single wound. He then absorbed a further 10+ wounds without failing a save or Feel No Pain (at least three of the wounds were from the exocrine at AP2). In the end, the Crone swooped in, survived Typhus's attacks and felled him with a Smash attack.

We played another turn or so, but called it soon after this, with only zombies and an obliterator facing down nearly my entire army.

I feel bad that I created a list for Chris to use that didn't have very many tools to combat my army. Not having any real offensive output at range prevented Chris from whittling down my horde of termagants, which allowed me to severely limit the Helldrakes just with board control and denying them anywhere to land on my half of the board.

Some things we might change about the list to give it some more punch are to drop Be'lakor and the Oblits in favor of a black mace prince and a defiler. The Defiler will add some early game offensive output at range while the daemon prince with wings, black mace, and a couple mastery levels will fill the same role as Be'lakor did, while having the benefit of being able to dive into those tarpits and emerge quickly.