As I said, we decided to have a fun game, so I got to throw a bunch of big monsters in my list I don't usually use. Also, just a warning, since it was for fun, we also developed a bit of a story, so while the game only went four turns, this might be a bit of a long post. I did take more pictures than normal though. Hope you enjoy.
To begin, the lists:, starting with my Tyranids
- Primary Detachment:
- Hive Tyrant (Warlord): Wings, Electroshock Grubs, 2 TL Devourers, Paroxysm, Warp Blast
- Hive Tyrant: Wings, Electroshock Grubs, 2 TL Devourers, Paroxysm, Warp Blast
- Haruspex: Adrenal Glands
- 30 Termagaints: 20 Devourers
- Tervigon: Paroxysm
- Hive Crone
- 5 Raveners: Rending Claws, Spine Fists
- Trygon Prime
- Combined Arms Detachment:
- Tyranid Prime: Deathspitter, Reaper of Obliterax
- 10 Genestealers: Broodlord
- 15 Hormagaunts
- 4 Warriors: Barbed Strangler, 2 Rending Claws
Meanwhile, Will took a pretty thematic list, with all aspects of the Dark Angels represented:
- Primary Detachment:
- Sammael: Corvex
- Command Squad: 4 Flamers, Standard of Fortitude, 1 Power Fist, Razorback w/Extra Armor, Dozer Blade
- 5 Scouts: 4 Sniper Rifles, Missile Launcher
- Ravenwing Attack Squadron: 6 Bikers w/1 Flamer & 1 Meltagun, Attack Bike w/Heavy Bolter, Land Speeder w/Heavy Bolter & Typhoon Missile Launcher
- Mortis Dreadnought: 2 TL Autocannons, Extra Armor
- Combine Arms Detachment
- Techmarine: Power Field Generator, Servo Harness
- 5 Deathwing Knights: Relic of the Unforgiven
- 5 Deathing Terminators: Assault Cannon
- 10 Tactical Marines: Plasma Gun, Plasma Cannon, Plasma Pistol
- Legion of the Damned Detachment:
- 10 Legion of the Damned: Multi-melta, Plasma Gun, Plasma Pistol & Power Weapon, Animus Malorum
We set up the board in a thematic way, following the streets of the Urban Combat F.A.T. Mat. We rolled up the Spoils of War mission from the Maelstrom Missions. We set up the six objectives and ended up with two right near each deployment zone and two in the middle of the board.
The fringe world Panvieth VI flickered into view on the hololith. They had tracked the Fallen to this planet, but it appeared that something had beat them to their quarry. The orbital image swarmed with monstrous insectoid creatures which inexplicably plied the void. Tactical insignia indicated the invasion had just begun and resistance on the damned planet was still in full effect.
Psychic traces were garbled by the oppressive will of the invading Tyranids, but Ezekiel could sense the Fallen brother, his psychic signature faintly emanating from a sub-equatorial city. It took all of his mighty willpower to stave off madness from the invasive, scratching tendrils of the hive mind.
Ezekial approached the hololith and indicated the city. "This is where he has gone to ground. We must strike swiftly." His esteemed companions nodded silently and they all exited the command chamber; Ezekiel and dark Sammael heading for the flight deck while Belial made his way to the teleport bay.
Will won the roll for deployment and chose to deploy first. He stuck to the middle left of the board, leaving my right side open. I counter deployed weighted to my left, and infiltrated the Genestealers behind the rocky outcrop on the right.
Finally, the Scouts infiltrated and scouted up into the ruins on my left while the Ravenwing bikers and Sammael scouted up behind the center Chaos Shrine ruin.
As the dropship roared through the atmosphere, Ezekiel felt the psychic marker of the Fallen seem to... split. He clicked his com; "Sammael, something is different. I will try to pinpoint the target, but we may require eyes on the ground. You have point." A double click of the vox indicated Sammael's acknowledgement.
The Thunderhawk touched down and the Dark Angel ground units fanned out. Ezekiel marked the strongest psionic signals and took in the growing tide of Tyranid creatures amassing against them. A leathery winged Hive Tyrant drew Ezekiel's attention. There was something... familiar about the creature's psychic signature. He recalled rumors of Tyranids absorbing the minds of their prey. It seemed unlikely, but possible.
"Secondary Target, Priority Kill, Winged Tyrants." A series of acknowledgements came across the vox.
I failed to seize the initiative, so Will went first. Will drew his Tactical Objectives and got Kingslayer (61), Behind Enemy Lines (42), and Objective 2 (12), which was to his left.
The Knights and Belial deep struck on my right, just outside my deployment zone by the Tervigon, while the other terminators deep struck back closer to Will's side on the right on Objective 2. My warlord trait pinned the only eligible unit - the tactical marines, despite them rerolling the check thanks to the banner in the Razorback. All of Will's shooting was directed at the Tervigon, who failed 5 of 6 3+ saves and went down to a single wound, but survived the fusillade. He then scored his one objective for 1 point.
Belial eyed the tactical map feeding from Sammael and Ezekiel. "We'll go in on the left flank and collapse that side." His Knights split off from their Deathwing bretheren for the second Teleport bay. Belial accompanied them, pinpointing their drop point. "Ezekiel, we are inbound." With a scream of energy, the Knights disappeared from the strike cruiser.
I started my turn by drawing my three Tactical Objectives: Objective 1 (31) (by the tervigon), hold 3 or more objectives (44), and issue a challenge (54). At first I wasn't sure how to accomplish the issuing a challenge objective, since I'm used to my flyrants being my only characters, but then remembered the Trygon Prime is a character, and was in fairly easy charge range to the Scouts. My entire army rolled forward, with the Raveners preparing to charge the Knights while the Trygon readied to charge the Scouts. Vector strikes and various other shooting killed off a couple of the Deathwing Knights. Psychic shooting didn't do much, though the Tervigon dropped Paroxysm on the Knights, dropping them -3 WS and BS.
The Hormagaunts ran up onto the objective on the shrine, to get a third objective claimed while the Flyrants loosed a punishing fusillade, downing several of the Ravenwing bikers.
The Raveners charged the Knights and killed one knight in exchange for one of their own number.
Will's turn began with drawing "Scour the Skies" (63) as his next objective. His unengaged units shuffled around to maximize the Feel No Pain bubble emanating from the Banner in the Razorback. Shooting unsurprisingly finally felled the Tervigon before the rest of the army turned on the lead Flyrant, dropping him with weight of fire, with the help of the Tactical squad hitting with all of their plasma shots.
In combats, the Trygon unsurprisingly finished the scouts, while Belial and the Knights won combat and the Raveners ran off the board. Will scored a point for taking down the Flyrant, and chose to discard Behind Enemy Lines, bringing the score to 3-3 with First Blood.
Belial yanked his sword from the snake-like Ravener and looked up. The remaining beasts had turned tail and fled as his brothers' shots felled the brood mother. Brother Knights Aziel and Beloth's vitals were nearly flatlined, while the other Knights were incapacitated. He quickly radioed the strike cruiser orbiting above and moved away. In a flash, the Brother Knights were teleported back aboard while Belial stalked off in search of vengeance.
My turn began drawing three new objectives: Witch-hunter (62), and Objectives 3 and 1 (33 & 21). The Genestealers moved out from behind their rocky outcrop for the nearby Terminators while the other units predominantly moved forward. The Harpy dropped into hover over Objective 1 while the Warriors stayed put on Objective 3.
The Crone and Flyrant combined to destroy the Razorback, but failed to damage the squad. I dropped paroxysm on Sammael and the Ravenwing Bikers, dropping their WS/BS by 2. The hormagaunts then charged into the surviving two bikers and Sammael, failing to do any damage.
The hormagaunts then charged into the surviving two bikers and Sammael, failing to do any damage, while the Genestealers and Trygon failed short charges against the terminators and Attack Bike respectively. Sammael and company killed a few hormagaunts in return, but failed their hit and run, and were left bogged down in Hormagaunts.
The turn ended with me scoring two points for Objectives 1 and 3, bringing the score to 5-3.
Turn three began with Will drawing two more objectives, Big Game Hunter (66) and Hold the Line (43). A quick shuffle of his tactical squad got them back in his zone, guaranteeing him the point for Hold the Line. The Legion of the Damned deep struck in next to the flyrant, while the Terminators moved up and Belial moved and ran up.
Shooting brought the flyrant down to a single wound, but he survived and stayed aloft, denying the Terminators a charge.
Sammael and company continued to hew away at the tide of hormagaunts, though more just piled in. Will ended the turn scoring one objective, bringing the score to 5-4.
Ezekiel followed his squad from the smoke-filled hull of his Razorback, wincing at the psychic feedback from the winged terror overhead. As they trained their weapons on the swooping beast, there was a flicker of light on the hill above them, and ten black and bone clad warriors, wreathed in flame stepped from thin air, bolters and energy weapons chattering into the sky. The hive tyrant screamed as it's hide was torn by the ethereal bolts and flapped away on leathery wings.
As my turn began, I drew two more cards, Objectives 2 and 6 (12 and 36). The Mawloc arrived and scattered off the juicy target of the Terminators, but right onto objective 2. The Haruspex finally closed with the Tactical Marines, while the genestealers again closed with the Terminators. Finally, the termagants moved some of their number up onto the Chaos shrine to claim objective 6.
In the psychic phase, the Flyrant paroxysmed the terminators, dropping their WS 2, and missed with a Warp Lance for the third time. Shooting was relatively minor, with the Trygon gunning down the attack bike. The assault phase followed, with the Haruspex barrelling into the tactical squad. He took two wounds from krak grenades before eating four marines and regenerating a wound.
The genestealers also got in on the action, with the brood killing all four terminators while the Sergeant and Broodlord missed each other in a challenge. The turn ended with me claiming two more points and discarding my Witch Hunter card, since I thought it unlikely I would get to Ezekiel, bringing the score to 7-4
Will began his final turn (it was getting late) by drawing Objective 4, which he'd been standing on all game. His shooting concentrated on the warlord flyrant, who he downed quickly, earning him a whopping 4 points with Slay the Warlord (1), Big Game Hunter (1), and Kingslayer (2). Belial charged into the genestealers and intervened, killing the broodlord and breaking the unit's morale, though not before they brought down the last terminator. The Haruspex suffered a couple wounds while failing to deal any himself. Will ended his turn claiming objective 4, bringing him to a 9-7 lead, with Sammael posed to get him linebreaker.
I began my turn by drawing three cards: One to cause an enemy unit to fail a morale, pinning or fear check (55), and then my luck turned and I drew two versions of secure objective 5 (25 and 15). My trygon ran back and just got in range to claim Objective 5. The Mawloc shuffled into Will's deployment zone for linebreaker, and the rest of my army focused on bringing down Sammael. The warriors moved out, with the goal of getting a longshot charge of 11". Through a fusilade of fire provided mainly by the devilgants, the remaining Ravenwing bikers were felled. The warriors and harpy got some lucky hits on their scatters and managed to take the Ravenwing Captain down, sealing an 11-9 Tyranid victory.
The plucky tactical squad managed to take down the Haruspex with massed krak grenades, felling the foul feeder beast.
In the end, we had a great time, got to play with some units we might not usually field, and had a very pretty game on painted terrain with 90% painted models. While the Tyranids won the game, the Dark Angels arguably achieved their objectives, coming away from the planet with what they were after.
Ezekiel hacked into the neck of the fallen Hive Tyrant, severing the head and bringing it with him for further investigation; the way the Tyranids absorbed information was a bit of a mystery, but the Tyrant's brain would not be allowed to be reabsorbed by the swarm, just in case.
With it clear that they quarry was no more, Ezekiel signaled the retreat. This planet was lost already, and they had no further business there.
Belial bashed aside the fleeing genestealers and retrieved his friend Sammael's unconscious form. In a flash of light, they were gone from the surface of the planet, leaving a tide of Tyranids circling in confusion. The remaining foot forces quickly withdrew under cover of their unexpected allies, who seemed content to remain, purging more of the Tyranid beasts.