Friday, January 24, 2014

Guest Post - Battle Report - Tyranids vs. Eldar/Tau (1750pts)

In a change to the scheduled post, this is the very first, but hopefully not the last, guest post on this blog. Since it's creation there's only been me posting content so I'm thrilled to bring you something I haven't slaved over! Matt and I have had a pretty heated discussion about the Tyranid codex since it arrived. I have to say that I'm pretty negative about it whereas Matt is a lot more optimistic and believes it will still compete. My views have been changing as I've written my reviews of the book but I'll get to that in my summary in a couple of days. For now here's a report of the battle Matt had against our mutual friend Scott and his stunning nid army. I should point out that Matt and Scott failed miserably to take any pictures so I've just interspersed a few archive shots of Scott's tyranids to give you an idea, they won't be of any relevance to the report though! Anyway, here goes:

This is my first battle report ever (nevermind on this fine blog), so if it all gets a bit confusing that’s why!
Before I start I just want to say why I wanted to write this up. I am one of the few people (though not only person) on the whole interweb that thinks the new nids codex is pretty good and still competitive. I wanted to test out this theory by playing against what I thought was a competitive build using the new codex. I used a tried and tested Eldar/Tau list that I have previously won a tournament with.

So onto the lists:
Tyranids 1750
Hive tyrant with wings and 2x twin linked devourers with brainleech worms – 230
Hive tyrant with wings, twin linked devourers with brainleech worms, whip & bonesword  and Hive commander– 255
Venomthrope – 45
30 Termagaunts - 120
Tervigon – 195
30 Termagaunts - 120
Tervigon – 195
Fast attack
Hive crone – 155
Hive crone - 155
Heavy support
Mawloc – 140
Mawloc – 140

Eldar/Tau 1750
Farseer on jetbike with spirit stone and runes of witnessing (to use up points) -145
Tau commander with 2 missile pods, iridium suit, target lock and drone controller -153
Riptide with velocity tracker, ion cannon and early warning override -210
5 Dire avengers - 65
Wave serpent transport with scatter lasers and shuriken cannon – 130
5 Dire avengers - 65
Wave serpent transport with scatter lasers and shuriken cannon - 130
5 Dire avengers - 65
Wave serpent transport with scatter lasers and shuriken cannon - 130
10 Kroot – 60
Fast Attack
4 marker drones – 56
Heavy support
Wraithknight with 2 wraithcannons - 240
Wraithknight with suncannon and scatter shield plus a scatter laser – 300

Pre battle
  • We roll for scenario and get straight up dawn of war with 5 objectives (classic)
  • Farseer rolls powers and gets doom, fortune and prescience (a good start!)
  • Hive tyrants get psychic scream, warpblast, horror and dominion
  • One tervigon takes dominion and the other sticks with paroxysm as rolled 
  • Nids win the roll off and elect to go first
  • All nids deploy as far forwards as possible and one unit of 30 gaunts go in outflank reserve and Mawlocs in deepstrike reserve.
  • All Eldar/tau deploy as far back as possible and pretty spread out except for keeping the shield wraithknight and riptide close to farseer for powers. Farseer, drones and commander all deploy in one unit with commander at the front. Kroot in outflank reserve.
Nids Turn 1
All 4 FMC’s blast forwards 24” so they are all up close to the elder/tau lines, the only powers cast before are dominion, both tervigons spawn gaunts (one 12 the other 15), but one corks it straight off. In the shooting phase both hive crones shoot at the same wave serpent with 2 tentaclids each. One causes a glancing hit and the other a penetrating hit (due to haywire), but the serpent shield converts it to a glance. The Flyrant with 2 guns then strips the final hull point from the same wave serpent with its 12 S6 shots. First blood to nids.

The other hive tyrant then manages to strip 2 hull points from another wave serpent with combination of warp blast (which causes a pen, but again is converted by shield) and his devourer.

Eldar/Tau Turn 1
Farseer casts prescience on riptide and fortune on shield wraithknight, plus doom on one of the tyrants.

The marker drones snap fire at the sword hive tyrant, which is set to pounce on any number of units next turn, but they miss. The riptide then amazingly completely misses the same hive tyrant with all 5 (nova on fusion for 2 shots) of its shots even with prescience!!! The wounded wave serpent then snap fires a shed load of shots at it, but this is still ineffective as the shots that hit just bounce off its armour and it stays in the air, unbelievable!!

A hive crone is downed by dire avengers and then instant killed by wraithcannon fire.

More luck was had with the other hive tyrant as it is downed and wounded twice by a combination of the other wave serpent, dire avengers and commander’s missiles. The shield wraithknight then charges it but manages to fluff all of its attacks and so causes no damage, but loses a wound in return! Not the best turn that this list has ever seen.

Nids Turn 2
Both Mawlocs arrive. First tries to deepstrike onto dire avengers that were forced from wrecked wave serpent, it scatters right ontop of the tau commander, but still catches 3 dire avengers. 3 dire avengers die and the commander takes one wound and tries to look out other but fails, so takes 2 wounds, even so, the Mawloc mishaps due to the commander still being under the template after 2 attempts with the blast and is placed in the corner of the board (there is enough to deal with for now). The other Mawloc tries the same trick but scatters off the board and goes back in reserve.

Tervigon spawns another 12 gaunts.

Hive crone vector strikes the fresh wave serpent and strips a hull point, it then fires 2 missiles and strips another hull point (cover saves aren’t working on serpents today). There is some minor shooting at riptide which does nothing (but the swarm is closing in!)

In the assault phase the bonesword tyrant charges the wraithcannon wraithknight, it uses all 5 of its attacks and manages to roll a 6 to wound which causes instant death on the wraithknight!!!

Some gaunts join the combat with the other tyrant against the other wraithknight, but the wraithknight kills the hive tyrant this turn and loses 2 wounds in return, but is now locked with 15 gaunts.

Eldar/Tau Turn 2
Farseer casts doom on remaining hive tyrant, plus prescience on riptide. Riptide novas for 2 shots on fusion. The marker drones light up the tyrant and the riptide kills it with one volley (with use of markers to remove cover and boost BS, plus re-rolls to hit, plus re-rolls to wound!)
The whole of the rest of the army including commander with target lock shoots at the unbunged tervigon, but it survives on one wound! This is a shame as it is right in the middle of loads of gaunts, the synaptic backlash would have been phenomenal!
The wraithknight kills 2 gaunts in assault phase!

Nids turn 3
Tervigon casts pyroxism on riptide and reduces its WS and BS to zero, this prevents the riptide from intercepting the Mawlocs!

Mawlocs both arrive again. One scatters onto riptide, it does no damage and breaks its own neck on a riptide foot!! The other deep strikes close to the remaining wraithknight.

Gaunts outflank behind a wave serpent that was positioned to try to kill off tervigon. They strip off its last hull point and wreck it, dire avenger disembark.
All gaunts move up except for 2 smaller units holding back for home objectives. The nearly dead tervigon moves out of 12” range on most gaunts to try to protect them if he pops it, but has cast dominion and so stays in synapse. It then spawns another 13 or so gaunts.

30 gaunts that started on the board are now very close to elder lines and kill remaining dire avengers from first wrecked wave serpent.

In the assault phase the remaining hive crone charges the last wave serpent and explodes it, 2 dire avengers survive. The wraithknight wipes out the remaining gaunts in combat, due to them being pulled out of synapse, it consolidates ready to charge the hive crone.

Eldar/Tau Turn 3
Kroot arrive and outflank onto far back objective held by 12 gaunts which are strung out to just be in synapse of fresh tervigon. They shoot everything at the gaunts and thin their number by about a half (but the back end is still in synapse).

The wounded tervigon is now out of range of marker drones (just) and so they have to fire at the full wound one as the riptide is still BS zero and so can’t fire at anything without markerlights! It strips 2 wounds from it, but it is getting very close and so are the massed  gaunts! The commander is the only thing able to fire at the wounded tervigon and he manages to hit and wound with all 4 shots, however the tervigon saves them all! The 5 dire avengers from the gaunt wrecked serpent move onto objective and shoot at the outflanked gaunt horde, killing a few. The other surviving 2 man dire avenger squad move towards the other home objective at the other end of the board near the hive crone. It’s not looking good.

Wraithknight charges and squashes the remaining hive crone with hammer of wrath due to instant death and therefore takes no wounds in return. It consolidates to try to protect the 2 man dire avengers from the looming Mawloc.

Nids Turn 4
Nearly dead tervigon spawns another 14 gaunts!

2 man dire avenger unit is out of range of newly spawned gaunts.

Outflank gaunts kill off 5 man dire avengers in combat and consolidate onto objective (they are in synapse range of the 4 wound tervigon, which is right in the elder deployment zone now). 2 other gaunt units charge riptide and commander/farseer unit. 4 wound Tervigon stays out of it and just provides synapse.

Small unit of gaunts shoot and then charge kroot, they lose the cobat and are wiped out, the kroot consolidate onto the objective.

Mawloc charges wraithknight and causes 1 wound, it loses 3 in return.

Eldar/Tau Turn 4
2 man dire avengers hide out of sight behind a ruin to hold the objective. Kroot stay put and hide behind a big rock for the other objective in the opposite diagonal corner of the board. The riptide and commander squad is locked with gaunts, both units kill a few but stay locked due to fearless.

Wraithknight and mawloc both take each other down to 1 wound!

Nids Turn 5
Tervigon spawns more gaunts, I forget how many, but it seems like loads again and she finally runs dry! (Not that it matters now)

All gaunts consolidate around the 3 held objectives and move towards the one held by 2 man dire avengers.

Gaunt units lose a few more against riptide and commnader squad but stay locked.

Mawloc and wraithknight kill each other!

Eldar/Tau Turn 5
It’s all over, 2 objectives will be held but remaining army will stay locked in combat with fearless gaunts.

Game ends at the end of turn 5 – Tyranids win 11 points to 8

The hive tyrants were great and I think that it is always worth considering the sword and whip combo due to the amount of MC’s around in the current meta. This game certainly proved their worth!

Venomthrope didn’t do much in this game, but I can see it being worthwhile in others to give ridiculous cover saves.

The stand out unit for me, just as before was the tervigon. It really doesn’t matter that they can’t spawn and then move and assault the gaunts. They can still spawn a crap load of gaunts and flood the board with fearless troops, which just tie units up and claim/contest objectives. Plus in a list like this you just don’t see them as a priority target due to 4 FMC’s and 2 deep striking MC’s in your face. You would be a fool not to run them still in my opinion, just don’t compare them to how they used to be, view them as a new unit and when compared to other troop choices in 40K they are great for the points. Also I think that this is the only unit that it is worth taking the dominion power for, 18” synapse is really useful for a tervigon.

The hive crones performed well against a list that certainly doesn’t flatter them. The combination of S8 vector strike and haywire missiles can make a real mess of many vehicles and S8 vector on its own is a real problem for many infantry units. Not to mention it’s a MC and so is very dangerous in combat against most units.

The Mawlocs didn’t really shine, but I knew they wouldn’t against this list. Against any army with lots of infantry they could potentially be devastating and many armies will have no way of countering them. As GW seem to think it’s fine for you to place a S6 Ap2 pie plate wherever you want (twice) that ignores cover, but no way can you assault from reserve or out of a stationary vehicle as there is just nothing you can do against that, apparently.

Overall I think that this shows that nids are still competitive, and more than that they are enjoyable to play with and against. I know that there was some luck involved, but you always need luck at the right times in order to convincingly win games, unless you are using certain Tau lists of course, or anything from the Necron codex……..

I hope you enjoyed this guest post from Matt. If so please comment as perhaps he'll write more then which will give me more time to paint models to show you guys! Tomorrow we're back to my review of the Tyranid codex with a look at Synapse and Instinctive Behaviour before a summary of all of my reviews on Sunday with some suggested lists. 


  1. Really nice BR!
    One note: Tervigon casts pyroxism on riptide and reduces its WS and BS to zero, this prevents the riptide from intercepting the Mawlocs!
    Can you reduces WS or BS below 1?

    1. Page 3 of the BRB talks about Zero-level characteristics but I haven't been able to find anything about modifying characteristics yet.

    2. Thanks for the comment. The BRB FAQ states:

      “A model’s Initiative cannot be modified below 1, and no other characteristic can be modified below 0”.

      So yes, it can go below 1. But, as with everything else, Tau has a way to get around it! Against any other army you would have completely removed the unit from the game for a turn.

    3. No it can't, look malediction and blessing. Can't go over 10 or bellow 1.

  2. I also believe the termagants cant charge the wraith knight, the rulebook says a unit cannot charge a unit if theres no ability to cause damage, so u cant tie up a wraith knight with termagants unless they have poison.

  3. Replies
    1. It doesn't on Pg20 in the 'Declare Charge' section so I can't see it being true.

  4. With the Crone, if it vector strikes it can only fire one gun.
    Makes it weaker imo.

  5. Crone vector striked (1 weapon) and fired 2 missiles (2 weapons) on the same turn, which is over than the 2 weapons limit for MC, that move was not legal.
    A single Tau commander still alive under the Mawloc template is not a GUARANTEED second hit: if the casualties of the first hit offer enough space to place the Mawloc model, there is no second hit.
    A characteristic cannot go below 1 with a malediction.
    As for assaulting a unit that you have NO chance to wound, it is written in the book. You can't assault them, but they can assault you (and you have the choice to auto-retreat at the end of the phase if you want). You can declare an assault if you have a chance to wound (furious charge, rending, benediction, ...), and you can stay in close combat even if you can't wound anymore (no more furious charge, malediction, ...). "Assaultability" is only relevant at the declaration of the assault.

    Interesting Batrep, but the multiple mistakes in favor of the Nids and the extreme luck turn 1 of the Flyrant surviving a bucket-load of firepower mean that these Nids were performing better that what we should expect from them.

    1. This game was played within a week of the new book so it isn't surprising they made a couple of mistakes.

      You take a 40mm base and a large blast and tell me where you could place the mawloc with the commander still there. It has to go where the template was and there's no space with a 40mm base there.

      Please point out the page where it says about no charging a unit you can't hurt. Don't saying I don't believe you but I've not found the page myself so I'd be grateful.

      Matt acknowledged the Tyranids were lucky but they still performed well.

    2. It's not listed under the "declaring a charge" with the other restrictions and I've never heard of such a rule. Units can charge units they have no hope of wounding, the only special rule that applies is to get OUT of the combat, not preventing them from entering it...


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