Tyranids VS Eldar
It was a small game, my opponent (playing Eldar) had only played once before, so this was a kind of glorified "training session." I'm not going to allow that to keep me from over-dramatizing it, however.
A rich world, dense in bio-matter; a perfect spot to replenish the Hive-Fleet. This splinter from Hive Fleet Harbinger has been sighted on numerous small worlds, distinctive from the rest of the main fleet by their blood-red faces. The prominent Hive Tyrants from this group have been lovingly nick-named "Blood-Maw" by the various Imperial Outposts that encounter them. Whether these sightings are from the same Individual or just a recurring combination of DNA churned out by the visiting bio-ships is unknown. Regardless, on this particular world, this particular Hive Tyrant has hatched a cunning plan.
The Hive Fleet is in need of a safe location to begin construction of capillary towers, but the world is being monitored by some bothersome bipeds. Blood-Maw decides to detach a small force to secure a remote location. It must be a small force, for anything too large would attract too many of the bipeds. He himself will stay where the fighting is the thickest, to further distract them from the plot. ...but this maneuvre does not go entirely unnoticed.
What you see above is the collapsible 6 foot by 4 foot table I made for playing 40k games. I don't have too much terrain yet, so we had to make due with some leftover terrain bits that came in the 40k v.3 box, as well as a couple books acting as a makeshift hill.
Here are the gaunts and Tyranid Warriors. As you can see, I haven't finished painting a lot of my 'nids, so the Hormagaunts are unpainted.
8 Termagaunts with Fleshborers
8 Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands (WS), and Flesh Hooks)
3 Tyranid Warriors, 2 with Deathspitters, 1 with Barbed Strangler. All with Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Leaping, and Toxin Sacs.
I plan on having 16 Hormagaunts bio-morphed like this...I just don't have the models yet. Also, I plan on having a brood of 16 un-morphed Hormagaunts. These particular ones are my little suprise for any opponent not savvy in the realm of recognizing biomorphs.
Here are the Genestealers. They're almost done being painted; only two need to be finished. What you see here are 8 'stealers with Acid Maw, Scything Talons and Toxin Sacs. I plan on having two broods; this one is to be infiltrated as a retinue for my BroodLord, the other morphed only with extended carapace will run the length of the board as a normal Troops choice.
And here's the enemy: Alaitoc Eldar.
In response to my placement of the Genestealers, my opponent put down a squad of 5 Rangers, and a Farseer equipped with Singing Spear, Runes of Witnessing, Eldritch Storm and Doom.
And in response to my HQ and gaunts, here are the Dire Avengers and an Autarch.
10 Dire Avengers, Exarch with Power Weapon and Shimmershield.
Autarch equipped with Warp Jump Generator, Mandiblasters, Power Weapon, and Fusion Gun.
Tyranids won the roll for who goes first, yet I decided to allow the Eldar first move.
With a glance to their left, the mighty Tyranid Warriors could see the scuttling forms of the Genestealers, settling into position. The bipeds had lined themselves up nicely just on the otherside of an old ruins; the designated location for the Capillary Tower.
They could feel the consciousness of Blood-Maw, several hundred kilometers away, fighting the larger fight. He urged patience; allow the prey to close in before making your[our] intentions obvious.
Shifting uneasily, the Hormagaunt brood remained still. Their eagerness was palpable, but the Hive Mind had provided the Warriors with the means to control them telepathically.
My opponent moved the Dire Avengers towards the ruins, simultaneously attaching the Autarch to their ranks. The Rangers and Farseer similarly joined up, and advanced towards the Genestealers (big mistake).
Sensing that the time was ripe, the Warriors urged the gaunts forward. Seeing this, the Genestealers also leapt into action. It was a slow start, but the prize was right in front of them. 6 little figures out in the open.
What you see above is what happens when you roll a 1 on a Fleet of Claw move. urgh.
Termagaunts and Warriors moved straight towards the ruins and the Hormagaunts, despite getting a nice Fleet roll of 5, stopped short just in front of the jungle-terrain. I didn't want to get them too close to the Dire Avengers.
With the Genestealers in sight, my opponent has the Ranger group sit still with their Heavy Weapons. The Dire Avengers move towards the ruins again, and declare shooting ... failing due to them being so far out of range.
The Rangers fire away, killing off three Genestealers.
Termagaunts and Warriors advance to intercept at the ruins, Hormagaunts make another 5 on their Fleet roll and advance through the jungle terrain. Gotta love that Move Through Cover rule that applies to all Tyranids.
The warriors fire off their weapons, but to no avail. Sadly, with a BS of 2 this will be a common thing. Both Deathspitters miss and the Barbed Strangler fails to cause any casualties. 4+ armour saves FTW?
Assault phase. Ah, look at it now. Hormagaunts assault 12". Mmm, lovely. The strategy so far is working perfectly. My Hormagaunts have successfully engaged them in melee, just outside of the ruins ... and will likely hold them there long enough for the Warriors to catch up.
My Genestealers made a very welcomed roll of 6 on their Fleet of Claw move. Add to that a 6" charge, and they've successfully assaulted the Rangers.
I must say I severely underestimated the Dire Avengers ... and forgot that their Initiative is better than the Hormagaunts, meaning that they got first strike, killing 3 of my gaunts. My attack was lessened, due to the Avengers' Defend ability, and the Hormagaunts failed to cause any casualties.
This was a problem for me. My Hormagaunts lost this round of combat and were out of Synapse range to boot! Thankfully a leadership roll of 3 saved my ass.
As far as the Genestealers, they massacred the Rangers and Farseer in one round! Way to go, Rending Claws!
My opponent, being locked in close combat, scores a single casualty on the Hormagaunts, and suffer one casualty on their Dire Avengers.
Termagaunts take up their planned position within the ruins, securing the objective so long as the Eldar don't break free too soon.
With a sudden rush of adrenaline, the Warriors bound forwards at a suprising velocity. The bipeds were unaware of their fast approach until it was too late. (I gave my Warriors 'Leaping' which gives them a 12" assault move) They could feel Blood-Maw's approval, and at that moment sensed that the Genestealers had joined their battle, having finished up their targets ahead of schedule. The final moments approached.
With a great roar they threw themselves at the more prominent biped, knowing that the Genestealers would make quick work of the lessers.
Another couple Hormagaunts lost, but no matter. The larger battle was almost over. The Warriors could taste the victory already. Only two of the bipeds remained. Both ferocious warriors in their own rights, but we have numbers on our side.
The bulkier biped was slippery, and avoided most of the clumsy Tyranid attacks. He held a flashing green blade that made short work of one of the Warriors. The remaining two could feel a twang of disappointment from Blood-Maw through the Hive-connect. Anger welling up, their attacks became more furious even as they heard the peals of victory from the Genestealers; their target was down.
The slippery one's resolve was astonishing. Despite being gravely outnumbered he remained steadfast in his attack, but the Will of Hive Fleet Harbinger is insurmountable. The formidable biped was crushed by the claws and talons of inevitability.
A surging sensation of satisfaction rang clear over the Hive-connect. Blood-Maw could now focus his attentions elsewhere, knowing the construction of the Capillary Towers would be completed. The Warriors set about relaying the Hive Mind's instructions to the lessers, cooling down from the battle that just ended. Their blood was still hot from battle, and somehow ... despite utterly crushing his body, they felt that they hadn't seen the last of that particularly tenacious biped. A greenish stone attached to his breastplate glinted at them ... almost mockingly.
There you have it. Game ended after only 4 turns, Tyranids coming out on top with a Victorious Slaughter! The game was really fun, and both my opponent and I have learned some things from this particular match.
Things my opponent learned:
"Hormagaunts really move fast. Wow."
"OK, Genestealers are officially on my shit-list. You just wait for next time."
Things I've learned:
Dire Avengers can stave off an assault better than I thought they could. A good thing to remember when I next play Eldar.
Hormagaunts, even when bio-morphed up, still rely on numbers to really cause damage. I'm happy I already made plans to have two broods of 16.