Friday, 31 December 2010

18: Tales of a Splinter Fleet

Game Eighteen: 1500 Points vs Salamanders

Hive Fleet Lyracian
Junior Prime w/ Swords, Toxic, Deathspitter & Regen
Hive Guard: 2 Broods x3
Zoanthropes x3
Mummy Tervigon w/ Catalysis, TS, AG, Talons
Aunty Tervigon w/ Catalysis, TS, AG, Talons
Termaguants: 2 Broods x10
Xenomorphs (Genestealers) x10
Tiny the Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon, DL, CS

Salamanders Last Stand
Boiled Egg - Librarian Dallas and Beta Squads; Five Tacticals in Razorback
Bread roll - Alpha-Gravis; Five Tacticals w/ Missile Launcher
Bacon - Alpha-Pugnis; Five Man Tactical in Razorback w/ Flamer & Combi-flamer
Pancakes - Gamma & Delta Squads; Five Tacticals in Razorback
Maple Syrup - Epsilon Devestor Squad w/ Missiles
Inedible Rock - Predators XXI & XIX w/ Hvy Bolter Sponsons
Inedible Pebble - Two Typhoon Landspeeders
Inedible Stones - Armitage & Steel; Two Rifleman Dreadnought

Mission: Spearhead, Seize Ground (4 Objectives)

File: 798553/excom  Date: 0736998.M41
Subject: Species Record - Tyranids
Rating: Caucus Theta
Our expandability force had been sent to Ceti-Alpha VI to investigate strange energy reading that were belived to be from a missing star liner.  While investigating the ancient ruins discovered our scout speeder detected the advancing alien swarm skittering over the hills towards us from the south-east.  Ordering the troops back into their APC's we prepared to eliminate this minor threat before continuing with our mission.

Trooper Lambert designated tags to the larger creatures based on observed behaviour as they approached. The Mummy and Aunty monsters were seen to be spewing forth tiny gaunt's from eggs nestled between their chitinous plates as they charged into the ruins. Tiny, the hulking monster behind them, stopped on a hill giving it an excellent firing position over the ruins.

Master Dallas was able to suppress much of the psycic potential of Junior and his Zoanthrope entourage. However a single blast of warp lighting incinerated half of Epsilon squad while XIX was wrecked and XXI stunned by salvoes of cannon fire. All available artillery was used to obliterate the Zoanthropes while their power was nullified by Master Anderson.

The losses did not seem to effect the hive as Aunty shuffled into one of the ruins to lay more eggs. A continuing torrent of heavy weapon fire prevents several APC's & XXI from shooting however Armitage, Steel and the Typhoons are able to critically wound Mummy.

We had little time to celebrate this victory as Beta and Gamma squads were forced to go to ground following the destruction of their APC's. Bellowing with rage Mummy thundering into cover as her babies spread out wounding Epsilon squad with small arms. It seems that Mummy was feeling no pain as she shrugged off missile fire that found its way into the ruins.

XXI managed a single shot wounding Aunty before Tiny's cannon penetrated the hull and killed both crew. This monstrosities next two shots disabled Armitage and Steel who were valiantly trying to put down Mummy. Gamma Squad and Beta squad (along with Master Dallas) were overrun by gaunts with poison dripping from their fangs.

Mummy emerged from the ruins her loud screeching showing her dominance over the lesser Xenos as she rallied them for a final mighty charge against Delta Squad. To the north Aunty also hurled her babies into the fray against Alpha-Gravis. Both were supported by the hulking forms of the Hive Guard shooting down the Landspeeders.

Salamander expeditionary force eliminated six minutes after contact with Xenos. Battle data compiled from records recovered with the sole survivor, Dreadnought Steel, who has now been rebuilt and returned to service. Recommended cause of action - Nuke the planet from orbit. – Magos Biologis Alder Garrick.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Tyranid: Air Assault

With the arrival of Mycetic spore pods in the Tyranid Codex it is now possible to field an all reserve army. Every unit has Deep Strike, outflanking or other non-standard methods so that nothing has to join the battlefield from your own table edge.

Everything starts the game in reserves. The majority then arrived turn two with the aim of assaulting turn three. Therefore only giving the opponent a single turn of shooting before they are overwhelmed by all the threats.

Core Units
You need a Hive Tyrant with Wings, so he can Deep Strike, and Hive Commander for the bonus to reserves. Originally you wanted a pair however the official FAQ stopped Hive Commander stacking with itself so there is no point to a second Tyrant now. Our main anti-tank comes from Zoanthropes and the Spores they are travelling in. We also need some Gargoyles to act as a screening unit for the Tyrant. Two small units gives us some redundancy should one not arrive on time or die on impact.

For our troops we have Devilgaunts for their massed shooting (they kill an average five marines a turn); A Broodlord Commando team for surgical strikes; The ever popular Mummy to spew forth her babies.

Unlike my usual robust Nidzilla army this army is very dice dependent. You now only get 66% not 90% of your army on the second turn and have no control over which elements arrive. While they can not kill themselves on landing Pods and Trygons can still veer off course making them ineffective. That said I think it is going to be fun to play.

Army List: Air Assault @ 1500 Points
310 Hive Tyrant (Old Adversary, Hive Commander, Wings, TL Devs x2)
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
140 Deathleaper (Ymgarl Stealers or Parasite)
240 Termagants w/ Devourers x19 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
200 Tervigon (Toxic,Adreanl,Catalysis,Talons) [Outflanking]
150 Broodlord (Toxic,Talons) & 5 Genestealers w/ Toxic
120 Gargoyles 2 Broods x10
12 Kills Points + Spawn. 45 Bugs, 6 Large Bugs, 2 Monsters & 3 Pods

Army List: Air Assault @ 2000 Points
310 Hive Tyrant (Old Adversary, Hive Commander, Wings, TL Devourers x2)
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
170 Zoanthropes x2 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
161 Ymgarl Genestealers x7
250 Termagants w/ Devourers x20 in Spore Pod w/ TL Deathspitter
225 Tervigon (Toxic,Adreanl,Catalysis,Regeneration) [Outflanking]
150 Broodlord (Toxic,Talons) & 5 Genestealers w/ Toxic
144 Gargoyle Brood w/ AG, TS x18
210 Tyrgon w/ Adrenal
210 Tyrgon w/ Adrenal
14 Kills Points + Spawn. 56 Bugs, 5 Large Bugs, 4 Monsters & 3 Pods

Options: Guns for Mycetic Spore Pods?
Usually I put Cluster Spines as the extra gun on Pods. However since this army is lacking in anti-tank I think the Deathspitter is better. It has the added advantage that, since Pods must fire every turn, it can not scatter back and hit your own troops.

Options: Deathleaper, Ymgarls or Parasite?
This is the spot in the army that I am not really sure about until I have played some games. At low-points Deathleaper helps by dropping Psi Hoods down from 42% to 17% chance of stopping the Zoanthropes shooting. His pheromone trail can also help any unit that did not arrive turn two (assuming he did). His ability to go back into reserves means he can try and contest an objective late game. Ymgarls get to assault the turn they arrive but are limited to area terrain. Which can be a problem depending on the battlefield. The Parasite boosts up a unit of Gargoyles, his claws can kill tanks and creating free units never hurts. Alternatively I could also drop Regeneration and this unit entirely and take a third Trygon...

Options: Trygon, Raveners or Skrikes?
The advantage of Trygons is their ability to tear apart tanks. The weakness is vulnerability to meltas, missiles and power fists. Also since I do not own any Trygons I would have to proxy them with Carnifex or use alternatives. A Trygon for 210 Points cost the same as a unit of six Raveners or five Shrikes. So either could be a good replacement? Both bring more wounds to the table, although at Toughness 4 they are easier to kill and neither has safe Deep Striking.

Hive Tyrant Pictures from T-Shirt logo from

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Recycling old Toys

I am a believer in recycling. It is good for the environment and O.K. for you. I apply the principles to my hobbies as well. When I stop playing one game I tend to sell off toys I will not be needing anyone and use the cash to invest in my new passion. Before Wizkids went bust I played a lot of Heroclix. Whilst the game has been re-released no one seems that interested in it any longer so I sold off my rare and powerful pieces and invested the cash into tanks for my Space Marines. Shopping around on ebay I get tanks for less than £10 each so I was able to get three Predators with just a single Batman figure. I also picked up some spare turrets, Rhinos and Las/Plas Razorbacks.

New Biomass for the Hive Mind
My friend is not impressed by this years Tyranid Codex, in fact he would rather play Necrons! He gave me about £150 of stuff for nothing, so I gave him some Space Marine tanks I did not want. I got a Hive Tyrant; Carnifex; 6 Warriors; Zoanthrope; a Score of Genestealers and a dozen Termagants. Now one third of my army is painted red, one third green and one third unpainted. I just have to decide which colour scheme I am going to go with...

Turning Pearls into Diamonds
I started playing Magic the Gathering (MTG) in June 1994 with the release of the Legends set. I have dipped in and out of the game for the last sixteen years.  Early on I manage to get some of the very early cards that now sell for over £100 each! Since their not Tournament legal for the Legacy format I play it really was time to get rid of them.  So I have exchanged my Mox Pearl for four Mox Diamonds and twenty other cards.  Mostly for my Black 'Eva Green' deck and a few foils for the wife's Fire & Lightning Deck.