Campaign – just a start

This is going to be a short post today. A fellow legionnaire and I have started a story driven campaign. My Tyranids are invading a planet protected by the Sisters of Battle, the Carcharodons, and some tasty Guard.

The rules are pretty simple, the Nids, being an invasion Hive Fleet, have an unlimited supply of troops. My opponent has very limited troops. The allies that get to the planet before the invasion are all he has. As they die off, they cannot be replaced.

The first mission, which was played today, only involved the Sisters. The story will be told later.

Asking for a Loss

Yesterday I had a game with my Tyranids against the mighty Tau. I asked for the beating I took. I mean that, I literally asked for a competitive game, and was thumped. I knew it was going to happen, but I wanted to see competitive Tau.


The only point when all of my army was on the table.

My list consisted of 2 CADs at 2500 points. Only limitation was I asked for no Lord of War. My list contained the following:

Swarmlord w/ 3 Tyrant Guard
3 Flying Hive Tyrants w/ Brainleech worms
4 Zonathropes w/ Neurothrope (in a Tryannocyte)
2 Units of 10 Termagants
1 Ripperswarm w/ Deepstrike
1 Mucolid Spore
2 Hive Crones
9 Raveners w/Rending Claws

The Tau list contained the Ghostkeel Formation, The Riptide Formation, Markerlight drones Formation, Breacher squads in transports, Broadsides, stealth suits, and a commander and guards. There were probably other units too, but these are the units that stick out in my mind.

I am not going to do a normal brief summary of what happened, because it was ugly.

The Tau player deployed first, and I was not able to seize the initiative. We had Dawn of War deployment and the Big Guns Never Tire mission. On the roll, we only had three objective markers.

In the Tau player’s first round of shooting, the beating commenced. He killed both Hive Crones. Slaughtered 2 of the Hive Guard (and wounded the third). Put three wounds on of the Flying Hive Tyrants (the Warlord). He slaughtered six of the nine Raveners. The Malanthrope was dead. I could cover what I did, but not much happened. I got feel no pain off on a couple of units, and wounded some Tau, but not much else happened.


Deadpile turn 1.

Turn Two continued the beating. Two of the three Flying Hive Tyrants were put down (including the Warlord). Relatively speaking, this was the least painful turn since that was all they my opponent killed. However, it still was painful. All of my reserves entered the game. Maybe how I would have a chance.

Nope, I managed to accomplish very little in this turn. This was due to some poor rolling on my part, and some good rolling on my opponents.

It just went down hill from here. I had nothing for the Tau. In fact, by turn 6 I was tabled (at least I lasted that long). It was just an ugly ugly game. This is not to say I didn’t have fun. I did, I had a blast. I just had nothing to bring against this army. I did kill some units, but it wasn’t much. A few wounds on the Ghostkeels, a broadside, some of the commander’s squad. I did have some success, but not a lot.

Orks v Tyranids – Nid Perspective

So, now that we have seen my list and deployment here, I am going to get into the actual game. *I apologize, I am writing this a week late, and I am not sure I am 100% correct on the following*

Right off the bat, I opted not to try and seize the initiative. My logic was that if I move forward, I would have limited shooting, and everything would have to run forward. This would put me in a position to get charged on turn one. If I let Severus go first, I might be in a position to get a charge off in the first turn with the Raveners.

Turn 1 –
Severus did the Orky thing and quickly moved forward. It was actually a little scary seeing that many ork vehicles head in my direction. He did get off some shooting, killing one of the two biovores and a couple of hormaguants, but he mostly seemed to use that turn in order to get into a position where he could charge and protect some of his more important units.

In my turn, I moved into a position to start getting charges off. My Raveners made a move towards the Warboss and his Squad. Swarmlord slowly moved forward (because that is what he does). The HT and the Hive Crone headed towards the nearest ork vehicles.

In the psychic phase I got Catalyst off and gave feel no pain to the Swarmlord and the Raveners. I reduced the Warbosses BS and WS. Finally, the Zoanthropes blew up a Trukk, giving me first blood.

09 Nid Center Flank

In the shooting phase, my Biovore bombed the unit of Gretchen (killing all but 2), the Exocrine shot at another Trukk, the Hive Crone burned some boys in a pair of vehicles (not many, I caused 1 wound in one and 4 in the other). But mostly I ran units forward that would not have been able to get off a charge.

In the assault phase, I had the Raveners charge the bikes. While I did get a few wounds on them, killing 2, Severus caused more to the Raveners, killing three of them. However, I was fearless, so I was just happy getting them tied up.

15 Turn 1 over

Turn 2 –
In Turn two, only one of the three Ork flyers entered the game from reserves. Severus positioned some boys to charge the Raveners. More of his boys were put into a place where they could shoot and charge the Zoanthropes. In the shooting phase he killed the Hive Crone (which was a significant loss for me) and caused me to jink the Flying HT.

In the assault phase, the boys charged the Raveners, and proceeded to slaughter most of them. The other boys failed their charge on the Zoanthropes.

In my Turn two, I continued to move forward. The Carnifexes continued to try to get into a position where they could do something (that was a theme for them through this game). The Swarmlord again didn’t move that far forward. At this point in time, I was just trying to get him into combat with the Warboss. But the fact that the boss was on a bike, and that the Swarmlord does not have fleet (plus my move through cover rolling was terrible), I was not having any luck catching him.

In the shooting phase, the Pyrovores managed to kill off some boys (that were no longer in combat since they killed the Raveners), so they were actually productive.

I sent more troops into combat, trying to tie up and kill some boys. While it worked, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.

18 Turn 1 Over

Turn 3 –

In Turn three, another one of the Ork jets came in on the table. And this time, after some serious firepower, a failed grounding check, and a charge from the Warboss, the Flying HT was brought down and killed. I also lost more little bugs and one of the pyrovores (which did not explode). The Warboss consolidated away from me, making the swarmlord have to go even further.

In my turn, the Swarmlord continued to try and run down the Warboss. Actually, most of my units were trying to get into better positions. I didn’t have anything to deal with the flyers, so I proceeded to ignore them except for the random snapfire from the Exocrine (and he always failed to cause any damage). Malanthrope and Carnifex units continued to try and position themselves differently. By this time the Hormaguants and one of the Termagant units were very much reduced in size. Even the second Termagant unit was reduced. I was taking losses left and right.

25 Turn 3

Turn 4 –

Severus used his turn four to try and rack up some kill points. One flyer shot at the Malanthrope and killed it. The warboss charged into combat with the left flank Termaguants in order to support the boys that were tied up.

Turn 4 is where I realized that if I were ever going to catch the Warboss, I would have to sacrifice my Zoanthropes. I put them into a position to charge into the combat that the Warboss was in. A couple of Termagants wouldn’t hold out long enough. The Thropes, while terrible in close combat, are survivable with a 3+ invulnerable save. The Warboss slaughtered the Neurothrope in close combat, and I took more losses, but the Warboss could not get away. The Swarmlord was going to get him.

30 Turn 3

Turn 5 –

The turns picked up the pace as the game went on, but that because both Severus and I were taking heavy losses. But turn 5 was the hardest for Severus. He did complete some shooting, took out a few small units, but he was taking a beating. He charged the exocrine (after taking off some wounds with a flyer) but lost combat. He killed a more of the Zoanthrope unit, but not enough to flee. And that is when the Swarmlord charged in a killed the boss in a challenge. From there his game collapsed completely.

35 Turn 4

 Turn five was the first turn where the Carnifexes were able to do anything. They charged and destroyed a battlewagon. The game did go on to a turn 6, but by this time there was not much left in either one of us. The Tyranids feasted on a lot of Orks. And I have to say, the new detachment that the Orks have is not one of the better ones.

34 Turn 4

Orks v Tyranids List and Set Up – Nid Perspective

This past Thursday, I was privileged enough to get another game in against Professor Severus and his Orks at Moxie Games. I was down in Alabama for his wedding, and the Tyranids unwillingly made the trip with me. We were discussing this game for a while and I settled in on the following 2500-point list.

01 Nid Army

HQ –
Swarmlord (Warlord)
3 Tyrant Guards
Flying Hive Tyrant w/ devourers w/ Brainleech worms

Troops –
30 Termagants
30 Termagants
30 Hormaguants

Elite –
2 Pyrovores
4 Zoanthropes and 1 Neurothrope

Fast –
Hive Crone
9 Raveners w/ Rending Claws

Heavy –
2 Biovores
2 Carnifexes w/ Adrenal Glands and Scything Talons

02 Nid Army

I felt this list brought some solid synapse creatures, a pair of flying MCs to deal with flyers, large numbers of troops, and some solid blast templates. Ok, I had two pyrovores, but they look good. I brought the Carnifexes for some tank killing ability, although I am not used to running them in pairs.

For psychic powers, the Swarmlord had Catalyst, Psychic Scream, and Horror. The HT had Psychic Scream and Paroxysm. The Zoanthrops had Warp Blast/Lance and Onslaught. Of course, they all had Donimion as well.

05 Nid Deployment

We decided on a kill-points game, and had the Dawn of War deployment. The professor won the roll off and deployed first. You will be able to read his list and perspective, but the short version is that he had a unit of bikes (with his warlord and a painboy), a bunch of boys in trukks and battlewagons, and three flyers.

09 Nid Center Flank

On my left flank, I deployed the Exocrine, a unit of termagants, and the Zoantrhopes to shore up my psynapse on that side. Zoanthropes, while terrible in close combat (and have no shooting) are very survivable. I didn’t think I would need to worry about them. In the center, I had the Biovores in terrain, the Swarmlord, the hormaguants, and the other termagant unit. This gave me a solid center. On my right flank I placed the flying HT and the Hive Crone in terrain, along with the Raveners, Malanthrope, and the Carnifexes (which was a poor decision on my part). The Carnifexes were all the way to the right flank and spent most of the game trying to get into a useful position.

08 Nid Left Flank

06 Nid Deployment

The Malanethrope gave cover saves to that flank nicely, including the Swarmlord (although just barely). The Crone and the HT had a nice 2+ cover save, making sure that they would make it to the next round.

Six Thousand Points

Shorereaper here, and I am in a state of shock. Today while waiting for my work computer to reboot for the third time, I decided to see how many points of fully painted Tyranids I could field if I chose too. Now, this is presuming unbound, and was more of a moment to see what I have done. Six thousand points. Let me say that again. I have six thousand points fully painted. And that’s not even including upgrades (except for some wings on Tyrants). Here is the list:

1 Hive Tyrant
3 Flying Hive Tyrants
Old One Eye
3 Tyrant Guards


2 Pyrovores
4 Zoanthropes

Brain Bug!

Brain Bug!

30+ Genestealers
2 Broodlords
30 Hormagaunts
60+ Termaguants (half with special weapons)
9 Warriors



39 Gargoyles
2 Hive Crones
9 Raveners
3 Spore Mines

2 Biovores
2 Carnifexes
Trygon Prime

Lord of War:

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

Holy crap that is a lot of models. And all of that doesn’t even incude my unpainted and unbuilt models. I may have a problem.

And no, I do not have a photo of them all. I don’t have the time (or space) to put them all out. But one day, I must take pictures of this.

Sorry for the short post, but I just wanted this in writing.

First Tournament of the Year

Hello all, Shorereaper here, and it has been a while. While I really should start my return to blogging with a “What have I been up to while I was gone” I am instead going to summarize a small tournament I entered today. I hope this will be my triumphant return to blogging, after taking months off, but I am not making any promises.

First, I will start with a brief summary of the rules of the tournament. It was an escalation tournament, with round 1 being 500 points, round 2 being 1000 points, and round 3 being 2000 points. You were allowed 1 CAD, no allies or formations, and no Lords of War. Your 500-point list had to be included in your 1000-point list with now changes, and the 1000-point list had to be a part of your 2000-point list. So, if you had 7 Tac marines with a Melta gun in your 500 point list, that until would be in the 1000 and 2000 point list with no changes. It made for some interesting list building.

Most of my Painted Nids... and three random objective markers

Most of my Painted Nids… and three random objective markers

The three missions were as follows:

Round 1:
Table size: 4×4
Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: 1 Objective will be placed by each player in their own deployment zone, 1 objective placed in the center of the table (which functions as a relic with all of the Relic special rules). The Relic is with three points; the other objectives are worth 2 points each.
Secondary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker

Round 2:
Table size:
Deployment: Clash of the line (Arrowhead. Short Table edge, form a triangle, furthest point is 24 inches from the center of the short table edge).
Mission: Players set up 5 objectives in “No man’s land” following standard objective deployment rules. These objectives are scored at the start of the player turn and gain the controlling player 1 point.
Secondary Objectives: Slay the Warlord, Attrition (Army which has destroyed the most enemy units gains a victory point)

Round 3:
Table size: 6×4
Deployment: Dawn of War
Mission: Crusade (each objective is worth 3 points)
Secondary Objective: Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker, Last-man standing (The army with the most surviving units gains one additional victory point)

Ok, now onto the “amazing” lists I decided to field. My 500-point list consisted of a Flying Hive Tyrant with 2 twin-linked devourers w/ Brainleech worms, 2 units of 10 Termagants, and an Exocrine. This was probably my most competitive list. At the 1000 point level, I added the Swarmlord, a Hive Crone, and 2 Biovores, and this is where my list started getting a little wacky, and not all that competitive. Though, at 1000 points, two flying MCs are pretty tough… or should have been, but I will get to that later.

At 2000 points, I thought I wrote a list that was more fun than competitive. Added to the 1000 point list was a full Tyrant Guard Brood to make the Swarmlord a little more survivable. I also added an Haruspex, a close combat MC that isn’t all that good at close combat. 2 Pyrovores… yea, I have no idea why. A venomthrope to give some units a cover save. Next I added a full brood of Raveners with rending claws because I love playing them and they are so very pretty. And the last addition was a Trygon Prime with adrenal glands. The theme was for my army to be fully painted and fun. Not so competitive.

My first round was a bye, but I got to play my 500 points against the Whit (the store owner) and his Chaos Marines. My two termagant squads fled off the board after failing a synapse check, and the Flying HT periled causing himself a wound. However, the only wound not cause by me on my own army was against the Exocrine in Close Combat. Really it was a fun, if silly game.

Load survivors of the 500-point game.

Loan survivors of the 500-point game.

My second round paired me up against the Tau player. This did not go well. He had a unit of three Skyrays, some broadsides, and 2 breacher squads. I know he had other units, but these three wrecked me. The Flying HT was hit with 12 missiles and just disappeared. A breacher squad shot the Swarmlord in the face, eliminating my other synapse creature. Everthing else seemed determined to fail leadership tests and just plant themselves on the board. I wasn’t tabled, but it was a bad loss. It was not a close game. I did score some points, but not enough to really call it a close game.

An Eldar army I never had to face.

An Eldar army I never had to face… thankfully.

Round three was a bit of a surprise. Space Marines arrived via Drop Pod in my face. Neither of us thought we were going to have a good game. My opponent used ignores cover rounds on my venomthrope (and gave them rending, which I didn’t get), and took away my cover save bonus in turn 1. The hive guard brood disappeared shortly after (and the Swarmlord was left with 1 wound) thanks to three Grav-Centurions. After that though, things went very well for me. I took out the Grav-Centurions by making them take hits with the psychic scream. Biovores actually cause 2 wounds on his jump unit. The Swarmlord and the Raveners slaughtered his veteran squad in close combat (The Raveners were almost wiped out by his Ironclad Dred in the next few rounds of Close Combat). But really, after that first round of losses, my army stepped up and did a lot of damage. The Haruspex killed a drop pod and…. Well, that’s it really. My hive crone used vector strike on his flyer, giving me the advantage in aerial combat. It wasn’t pretty for the marines, even with all the grav weapons he had. Honestly, I think he deployed them a little close to me.

It was a fun tournament, and I managed to pull out second place (out of 5). Thank you to my opponents for some fun games… even when I was nearly tabled.

Fear of the Unknown

This past weekend a friend from New Jersey decided to make a last minute trip to visit me and get in a game of 40K. Now, it’s been quite a while since I last played him, and he is the only person I play who uses the Space Puppies. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea what the new codex plays like. I had no idea what units my friend likes to field. I had no idea how good he is.

I spent a lot of time writing lists for this game. I wrote very competitive lists. I wrote lists that were fun, but not competitive. I wrote lists for the Tyranids, the Carcharodons, and I am pretty sure I even wrote a list for my Tau. I really had no clue what to take into this game.

Sadly, I settled on taking the Tyranids and a very competitive list (not the most competitive, but close). Having no idea what I would be facing, I took a double CAD list that had 2 Flying Hive Tyrants, 2 Hive Crones, the Swarmlord and his Guard, a total of 40 Gaunts, 2 Venomthrope units, and Exocrine, and 9 Raveners with rending claws. The mission had three objectives… that never really came into play.

It really was a one sided game. We did make it to turn five, but it was turn five where I tabled him. You name it; I was able to remove the unit from play. 2 units of Terminators? Raveners and the Swarmlord took them out. Puppies to absorb some wounds? Hive Crone flame templates. He took Long Fangs for his anti-air and I proceeded to pick them off a little at a time with the Hive Tyrants. He did make some target priority decisions that I may not have made, but even if he did attack the units I would have, I am not sure it would have made much of a difference.

By the end of the top of turn 5, I had two of the three objectives, line breaker, and slay the warlord. The wolves took first blood. That last objective? The final terminator was standing on it, while in close combat with the Swarmlord. My opponent admitted that the last round of combat would have probably killed that terminator.

I over compensated, and I feel really bad about that. It was not my intent to have such a one sided game. Yes, I asked if he had flyers, and he said no, but he had said that he had anti-air. If I had known that it was just one unit of Long Fangs, I would have dropped two flyers at least.

Competitive games are what I like, not lopsided victories. I can’t even say “At least I took Raveners”, since those Raveners tore through 5 Terminators, one drop pod, and about 30 Blood Claws. Sure, then ended up feeling off the board in turn 5, but they more than tore through the marines.

Maybe next time I will take a softer list… or at least let him decide if my list is tougher than her want to face.

At least through out the game he kept his good humor.

Non-Competitive List (Nids)

Coming up next weekend there is a 1500-point tournament at the local store. It is supposed to be a “fun” tournament, and I have decided to fully embrace this. I decided to write a list that I felt I would have fun with. Is this my final list? Honestly, probably not. I may end up changing my mind and go into it more competitively. All it takes is one person to bring a competitive list, and that person will dominate the tournament. And once people realize that, you run into an arms race. But for now, I believe that this will be what I run.

HQ –
Hive Tyrant w/ Lash Whip and Bone Sword, and Adrenal Glands
Tyrant Guard w/ Adrenal Glands

Troops –
6 Genestealers
5 Genestealers
5 Genestealers

Elites –
Haruspex w/ Adrenal Glands

Fast Attack –
9 Raveners w/ Rending Claws

Skytyrant Swarm
Hive Tyrant w/ wings, Twin-Linked Devourers
15 Gargoyles
16 Gargoyles

There are a couple of reasons why I am taking this list. One, I have every single one of these units fully painted, and that is going to look awesome on the table. In fact, if I get more gargoyles painted, I am going to add them to the formation, and take out some genestealers. Two, most of these units can be taking down by bolters, even the Skytyrant Swarm. I have seen those 30 wounds just disappear during a game. Plus, with how the rule reads, I now have a flying Hive Tyrant that cannot fly (and if I am misreading the rule, please tell me). Three, while I will have a psychic phase, it isn’t going to be all that powerful. And finally, excluding the fact that I do not expect to win, I think this list we be fun for my opponents and me.

I would like some input on this list. Please feel free to comment.

Hierodule: The Return

Just over 6 months ago, I ordered a scythed Hierodule (as you can see here). Now that I have had it built and painted, and even got a few games in with it, I wanted to give a short review of the unit.

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

The lone firewarrior tries to delay the hierodules inevitable charge

First, the Hierodule is fast. The 12-inch move plus the ability to run twice means it can cover a lot of ground, up to 24 inches with some good rolls. This means, unless something bad happens, you will be in a position to charge in turn two. The Hierodule is also usually hard to kill. I’ve seen my Hierodule take a lot of firepower, including nearly an entire Tau army shooting at it for multiple turns. Its toughness 8 means that most standard guns (bolters) cannot even scratch it. However, a unit of Grav-Centurions can easily take it down. Wounding the Hierodule on 3’s, and ignoring its armour, means all the Hierodule has left is it’s Feel No Pain special rule, so it can be killed. Which is why a Tyranid player has to keep is cover as much as possible, which can reduce it’s range.


Now, the Scythed Hierodule does not bring much firepower to the table. Honestly, I think I used the template weapon once, maybe twice, during a game. Yes, it can easily kill a couple of tactical squads or anything else with one wound and an armour save of 3 or better. But there are a lot of units that are multi wound or have a higher Armour value.

24 Epic Battle

However, the biggest drawback I have found is not the Scythed Hierodule’s limited firepower, it is the limited use I get from it. Since this is such a unique unit and such a tough unit, I only play it when my opponent knows what he will be facing. This is not something I want to surprise my opponent with. And this allows my opponent to prepare for it. I don’t think my Hierodule survived one of the games I used him in. Heck, thanks to those grav-cents, I’ve seen the hierodule die in turn one (it didn’t help that I rolled two very low numbers in a run phase, meaning I missed the terrain I was aiming for.

So, what is my final opinion? Excluding that it broke last night, I am very happy with my purchase. It looks good and it fun to play. Will I get the Barbed Hierodule? Probably. But I am very happy I started with the Scythed Hierorule.

The Grav-cannon

As a Tyranid player and a Space Marine player, I can obviously see the benefits of the grav guns. Wounding on the strength of the armour, then ignoring that armour, they are amazing weapons for dealing with monstrous creatures. In fact, when I do field my Carcharodons, I live by the motto, “When in doubt, go with the grav.” Yes, I add melta’s into the tac squads, but the Sternguard and Bikes I field usually have grav guns added.

The three main units that can take them are Bikes, Centurions, and Devastators. Why these three? Well, both the Centurions and the bikes can fire the grav weapons at full distance and with the full amount of shots even after they moved. On the Centurions, this means they have five shots each with a range of 24 inches. This also means they have a thirty-inch effective range once you count in their movement. With the bikes, you get a mobile unit that can get six shots at 18 inches, meaning they also have an effective range of 30 inches. The Devastators, while not as mobile as the bikes, can be deployed in a drop pod and wreck a MC on turn one (if deployed right).

Now, like I said I am also a Tyranid player, so I see the other end of the grav guns more often than not. And that 30 Inch range, plus being able to re-roll wounds (in the case of centurions) scares the crap out of me. I have seen Grav Centurions take out the Swarmlord and his guard in the first turn. Some of that had to do with a mistake in deployment, but still, that was 11 wounds, first blood, and slay the warlord giving up in the first turn.

There are counters to the Cents (and other grav guns). Standard troops would be wounded on 6’s, much lower than bolters. Zoanthropes can ignore their armour with a warp lance and cause instant death by doubling their toughness. aThe Zoanthropes are wounded on 5’s, and get a invulnerable saves. Still, even with those counters, Grav guns, Grav-Centurions specifically, give Tyranid players a hell of a rough time.

Am I actually complaining about them? A little. But this was my vent. Now I just have to find a strategy that deals with them. Do I think they are OP? Against MC’s and Terminators, yes. Against anything else? Not so much. They do what they are supposed to do very well. Non-marine infantry, they will struggle against. Of course, the rest of the army is there to deal with those non-high armour save units.