Sunday, November 07, 2010

Battle Report: Space Wolves vs Tyranids (1500pts)

Scott and I decided to have a quick skirmish today so we put together some 1500pt lists. I put a couple of different ones together and let Scott pick which I used (blind of course!). I got this: 

1500pts of Space Wolves 
Ulrik the Slayer
Rune Priest (Wolftooth Necklace, Chooser, Murderous Hurricane, Jaws)

Arjac Rockfist + 4 Wolf Guard (TH/SS, 2x Pair of Wolf Claws, Assault Cannon and PF) in a Drop Pod

2x Wolf Guard (Combi-melta/PF)
(2x) 8x Grey Hunters (Meltagun, PF, Wolf Standard, Wulfen)
2x Rhino

Long Fangs (2x Heavy Bolter, 2x Lascannon, Missile Launcher)
Razorback w/ Lascannons

My other list had Ragnar which you may recall performed really well last time we played so I was a bit worried how I'd fare without him. Scott has now got a few more things assembled (well at least partially) so he's now got: 

1500pts of Tyranids
Hive Tyrant (Heavy Venom Cannon, Indescribable Horror, Regeneration, Thorax Swarm w/ Electroshock grubs)
Tyrant Guard


9x Genestealers w/ Scything talons (Broodlord w/ Scything talons & implant attack)
9x Genestealers w/ Scything talons
20x Hormagaunts
19x Hormagaunts

Carnifex (Stranglethorn Cannon, Bioplasma, Regeneration)
Trygon Prime

We rolled Annihilation and Pitched Battle so nice and straight forward. Means it'll be a real chance for me to see if Space Wolves really are the rock to the tyranid scissors. To be honest I was pretty worried since that seemed like a lot of Tyranids for my four squads to deal with! Scott won the roll off but surprisingly let me go first. I guess so he could see where I deployed and deploy accordingly. 

I put my long fangs upon a hill with good fields of fire and put their razorback right behind them. I then put a rhino on each flank (Ulrik on the left, RP on the right). Scott put his hormagaunts in two large groups towards his right with the zoanthrope in the middle and the HT to the left. The genestealers and carnifex were over on the left flank. The broodlord's genestealers, lictor and trygon were kept in reserve.

Turn 1
My drop pod came hurtling in, scattering slightly but landing squarely behind the carnifex. I'd have to deal with a torrent of genestealer attacks but hopefully I could weather the storm then attract the attention of the hive tyrant. Arjac threw his might hammer towards the carnifex and with help from some rending hits from the assault cannon I scored two wounds on the beast.  I moved the rhino on the left a full 12" and popped smoke. The other rhino only moved 6" to help the rune priest get in range. For some reason I decided to fire the rhino's storm bolter at the genestealers. Since I couldn't seem to find in the rules where it said if the passengers could fire at a different target or not (anyone know if they can?) I had no choice but to jaws the genestealers obviously needing anything but a six they both passed. 

The lascannon long fangs and their razorback fire at the zoanthrope and melted it after Scott failed his 3+ inv. save. Didn't like the look of it's low AP powers so that was a relief. The rest of the pack fired at the hormagaunts killing 4 which was pretty good when you consider how well Scott had spaced them giving me a single frag missile hit.

Scott moved his army forwards, running with his hormagaunts but given they could do nothing to the rhino he didn't charge. The carnifex fired at the long fangs and despite me worrying that the large blast could hit the entire squad Scott rolled an 11 and it scattered harmlessly away. It was an identical story for his heavy venom cannon which also scored an 11!! The genestealers charged into the terminators and despite scoring 4 rending hits they were thwarted by Arjac's shield and only killed the other thunder hammer. The terminators struck back with fury and killed 4. They easily made their morale check (sadly as they'd have run off the board). 

Turn 2
The rune priest's rhino again advanced at combat speed and this time I wasted no time opening a hole up under the carnifex! Ulrik and his grey hunters got out and killed 3 hormagaunts with small arms. The long fangs hit the other squad killing 5. They failed their leadership test and ran. The lascannons wounded the tyrant guard. Ulrik and co. then charged the remaining 'gaunts and despite losing 2 of their number they killed the remaining 12 with just enough hits. I consolidated them towards the ruins in case Scott's reserves caused problems next turn. The terminators finished off the remaining genestealers but Arjac took a wound in the process.

Scott failed all three reserve rolls and then rolled to see if the hormagaunts regrouped but they ran right off the board. If the Hive Tyrant died in my turn 3 then it'd be all over. He turned his attention to the terminators unleashing Paroxysm meaning they'd be at WS1 & BS1. Consequently he left only the assault cannon terminator standing who could only wound the tyrant.

Turn 3
With the tyrant in combat I could only manoeuvre my guys around. I returned Ulrik and his squad to the rhino. The tyrant and his guard score 4 hits on my remaining terminator. I needed two 5+ saves and two 2+ saves and I very nearly did it, only failing one of the 2+ saves.

Scott had more luck with his reserve rolls and brought the trygon and lictor in around the long fangs. The trygon fired off it's containment spines and scored a whopping 7 wounds! The lictor only hit with one shot from his flesh hooks but it rended. This left only a heavy bolter and lascannon in the long fang pack. The hive tyrant couldn't kill the rhino with it's venom cannon but wrecked it with it's bone sword.

Turn 4
Long fangs used ATSKNF to allow them to kill the lictor (which Scott left out in the open). Ulrik's grey hunters wounded the trygon with their meltagun. Due to bad positioning the rune priest couldn't unleash JotWW and used hurricane instead which, combined with the meltagun and pistols, killed the guard and wounded the tyrant. Both grey hunter packs charged. The tyrant killed a single grey hunter and was then brought down by power fists. Ulrik's squad took some casualties but thanks to his Slayer's Oath they had no problem killing the trygon. Since Scott now had nothing on the table the genestealers could not come in from reserve and he'd been tabled. 

Well that was unexpected! The sheer volume of models Scott had made me really concerned that I'd simply be overwhelmed by volume of attacks before I had a chance to shoot them down. I was particularly worried about the broodlord since Matt and Scott played recently and the monster had taken out a huge chunk of Matt's guard army. Luckily for me he never got chance to get his claws into some of fenris' finest.

Even though it felt like a comfortable win I still made some mistakes and had Scott known his codex better, I think it could easily have been the other way around. For example, a couple of turns after the 'gaunts had run away Scott realised that their proximity to the hive tyrant should've made them fearless. Had they stuck around Ulrik and co. would've certainly struggled. They might have still won eventually but the Trygon would've certainly caused more havoc.

The other thing was that the lictor was out in the open when he came in. The ability to simply place him on the battle field means he should never be caught out of cover. He could easily have been placed somewhere which gave him a 3+ cover save with his Stealth USR. I'm sure he'd have made short work of the long fangs next turn.

The lack of invulnerable saves really cost Scott in this game. Power fists are the bane of any monstrous creature and they certainly did the business this time. The only other mistake I think he made was that the carnifex was deployed right opposite my rune priest. It was certainly the most vulnerable to a jaws attack so it would've been better behind the gaunts.

From my end the main mistake was not killing off the carnifex first turn. I really should plan my shooting better before I roll any dice. The other thing was that I shouldn't have bothered with frag missiles and instead should've been using kraks to wound his monstrous creatures. That said I can't really complain as I still won after all! The terminators performed well out of the drop pod which was satisfying as I've never used them without a land raider in the past.

I'm still pretty scared of what Scott will be capable of once all his models are complete. Whilst I dealt with one lictor and one zoanthrope pretty easily I think a couple of each well used could be lethal. Had the genestealers come in I think I'd have lost one grey hunter pack. The tyrant didn't even break a sweat taking out Arjac and all his terminators which is a little worrying to say the least! Sadly given the sheer number of miniatures he has to paint it could be a while before we see his full might!


  1. Yes a unit can fire at another target than there transport.

  2. In the end it probably wouldn't have made any difference. Thanks though!

  3. Just to clarify, the rule is in the FAQ rather than the main rule book.


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