Hive Fleet Thorn
Tyranid Prime (2x Boneswords, Death Spitter, Regeneration)
Tervigon (Catalyst, Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacks, Adrenalin Glands)
30x Hormagaunts (Toxin Sacks, Adrenalin Glands)
30x Termagaunts (Fleshborers)
10x Termagaunts (Devourers)
5x Tyranid Warriors (1x Venom Cannon, 4x Deathspitters)
2x Hive Guard
2 x Zoanthrope
Carnifex (2x Twin Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms)
Commander Farsight (Plasma Gun, Shield Generator, Dawn Blade)
HQ Crisis Suit (Missile Pod, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Shield Generator)
7 Crisis Suit Bodyguards (Missile Pods, Burst Cannons, 2 Drones each – 6 Gun Drones, 4 Shield Drones, 4 Marker Drones)
12 x Fire Warriors (Shas’O Squad upgrades) x 4
Hammerhead Tank (Smart Missiles, Ion Cannon)
Capture Objectives: Objectives were placed on my left deployment zone and in the centre of the Tau deployment zone.
Set-up (from my POV)
The Tervigon, Carnifex and one Zoanthrope took my left flank and my objective. The Warriors and large Termagaunt Brood held the centre and the Hive Guard, Devourer Termagaunst and remaining Zoanthrope took my right flank. Genestealers outflanked and the Hormagaunts stayed in reserve.
The Hammerhead was positioned on the left flank, all four Fire Warrior squads held the Tau centre and all the Crisis Suits were a single very scary unit on the right flank.
My plan was:
- Outflank the Stealers and keep Hormagaunts in reserve to cripple the Tau flanks.
- Attach the Prime to the brood of Warriors – these would be the hammer of the army and push towards the Tau objective using the large brood of Termagaunts in front as a defensive screen.
- The Carnifex and Devourer Termagaunts would act as flank firebases and the Hive Gaurds and Zoanthropes would support the flanks to protect against any tanks that may be fielded.
- The Tervigon would hunker down in the region of my objective, defending from any attempts the Tau might make to take it, whilst pooping out Termagaunts. The last set of Termagaunts to be produced would Go To Ground on my objective and the Tervigon would attack the closest target.
The ‘Nids took the first turn – which is always good…
The Tervigon used Catalyst on the Warrior brood and managed to poop out 10 Termagaunts.
The Warriors tried to shoot into the closest squad of Fire Warriors, but their Deathspitters were out of range. The Venom Cannon was in range however and 2 Fire Warriors fell in a hail of sub-sonic toxic crystals. The Devourer Termagaunts, Hive Guard and Zoanthrope managed to destroy 5 Shield Drones from the very scary Crisis Suit squad through combined Devourer, Impaler and Psychic attacks.
The rest of the units all ran forwards and tried to get into a postion where they could weather the incoming Tau barrages.
In what can only be described as an insane display of aggression (for Tau at least), the very scary Crisis Suit squad, Hammerhead and three Fire Warrior squads all advanced and prepared to unleash hell.
On my right flank the very scary Crisis Suit squad made short work of the Devourer Termagaunt brood, using Burst Cannons and Missile Pods to leave a smoking crater in their position with none left standing. In the centre of the table, all four Fire Warrior squads rapid fired into the large brood of Termagaunts, killing 18 of the 30.
The Tervigon once again cast Catalyst on the Warrior brood and pooped out 14 more Termagaunts without a double being rolled.
Both Stealer broods entered the game – one on each flank just as I was hoping – let see how good the very scary Crisis Suit squad is in close combat….mwah ha ha.
On the right flank the Hive Guards and Zoanthrope hoping to soften the very scary Crisis Suit squad before combat, opened fire and left 3 Marker Drones in smoking heaps (good god – how may Drones do I have to take down before wounds start getting allocated on the Crisis Suits???). In the centre of the field the Carnifex, Warriors and remaining screening Termagaunts managed to riddle 9 Fire Warriors with maggot-bullets.
The newer Termagaunt broods all ran forward to support the central advance. Meanwhile on my left flank the Tervigon and other Zoanthrope milled around suspiciously eyeing up the Hammerhead that hovered on the opposite side of the board. The Zoanthope decided to take a pot-shot at it, but its half-hearted attempt went wild.
The firing complete; the first Genestealer brood piled into the very scary Crisis Suit squad, tasting Tau blood in the air. Unfortunately the Hive Mind had severely underestimated the ability of Crisis Suits and the Stealers only managed to snatch 8 more Drones from the sky before the Crisis Suits beat the entire brood into the ground before them. Seeing the fate of their counterparts – the second Stealer brood charged into the closest Fire Warrior squad on the left flank, tearing four of their number limb from bloody limb, before chasing down and annihilating the rest of the Fire Warrior squad as they tried to flee. The remaining screening Termagaunts in the centre of the field charged into the nearest Fire Warrior squad, killing three and losing a single gaunt respectively. Despite losing half their squad, the Fire Warriors managed to hold their ground.
Confident following their victory against the galaxies most lethal close combat nasty, the very scary Crisis Suit squad pushed forward through the right flank and had their eyes on the rear of my lines. Meanwhile on the left flank the Hammerhead advanced into the firing line (and range) of both the Tervigon and Carnifex. The remaining Fire Warrior squads all retreated into cover and prepared to show the advancing hordes the business end of their shooty-sticks.
The very scary Crisis Suit squad unleashed hell on the Hive Guard and Zoanthrope that no amount of invulnerable psychic shields could save them from. Seeing the fate of their comrades, a Fire Warrior squad on the left flank rapid fired into the remaining Genestealer brood until none were left standing. The Hammerhead squared off against the nearby Tervigon, aiming true and taking two wounds off the Termagaunt birthing behemoth. A sniped shot from the rear Fire Warrior squad managed to glance the Prime, also removing a wound.
The ongoing combat between the remaining screening Termagaunts and central Fire Warrior squad left three Termagaunts bleeding out on the floor next to a single Fire Warrior, however the fight continued.
The Tervigon managed to poop out another 11 Termagaunts before finally exhausting itself (not bad – a total of 35 Termagaunts spawned for free) and cast Catalyst on the Warrior brood that were now going to have to deal with very scary Crisis Suit squad. The Prime managed to regenerate its lost wound (smug grin).
As the Warriors and Crisis Suits locked eyes across the battlefield for what would surely be an epic and bloody battle, both were diverted by the sound of dozens of chitinous hooves and scythes stampeding in the distance – oh yes, the Hormagaunts had entered the game, directly in front of the very scary Crisis Suit squad!
The newly birthed Termagaunts immediately went to ground on my objective and the Tervigon; its spawning abilities expired, charged into the Hammerhead that had previously wounded it. The Carnifex, ignoring the tank in its vicinity focused on the rag-tag band of Fire Warriors holding the Tau objective, obliterating four of them with its twin-linked Devourer. Horrified by the gruesome death before them, the Fire Warrior squad broke ranks, stopping less than an inch from their table edge. The Warriors and a small brood of Termagaunts opened fire on the very scary Crisis Squad, finally taking down the last of the squads pesky Drones.
Combat ensued – the Tervigon failed to even strike the Hammerhead in front of it and in the ongoing combat between the last screening Termagaunts and a Fire Warrior squad continued, with another Fire Warrior being mortally crippled.
On the right flank Death himself was watching eagerly as the swarm of Hormagaunts overran the very scary Crisis Suits decimating all but Commander Farsight and one of his bodyguard, who could stand the onslaught no more and ran for their lives, only to be torn apart in their retreat. (Ok – to give you an idea of the carnage, the 30 Hormagaunts totalled 90 attacks, 40 of which ended up wounding).
In retaliation for this loss, the Fire Warrior squads took aim at the Carnifex and Tervigon. The shots were harmlessly absorbed by the Carnifex, but the Tervigon suffered another wound. Seizing the opportunity, the Hammerhead gave the Tervigon everything it had at point blank range, finally taking it down – and the Tervigons psychic death throes killed two nearby Termagaunts.
Using the Tervigons death as a momentary synapse gap, the Fire Warriors in combat were able to force back the screening Termagaunt brood and find some nearby cover.
By now, I still had about two thirds of my army left whilst the Tau were down to some ravaged Fire Warrior squads and the Hammerhead.
The Hormagaunts out of synapse failed their Instinctual tests and immediately ran full bore towards the central Fire Warrior squads (which is what they were going to do anyway…). The Warriors and two of the three birthed Termagaunt broods moved into a position where they would be able to assault the Fire Warriors huddled around the Tau objective.
The Carnifex and Termagaunts were only able to kill two Fire Warriors who were hunkered down on their objective and the Zoanthropes powerful psychic lance easily penerated the Hammerhead but only left its crew Shaken.
The Carnifex and nearby Termagaunts assaulted the Fire Warriors on the Tau objective, killing all and taking the objective for my own (2-0 booyah!).
In a desperate position, the Hammerhead could do the only thing possible – and tried to tank shock the Termagaunts holding my objective, however the critters managed to scarper out of the way just in time.
What was left of the Fire Warriors took up line to make a brave last stand against the towering Carnifex, managing to remove one wound from the beast.
With so few Tau remaining, the game was pretty much over by now – the Zoanthrope used its potent psychic lance once again on the Hammerhead, this time completely destroying it and the resulting shrapnel shredded four nearby Termagaunts. The Carnifex and a Termagaunt brood finished the last of the Fire Warriors. The Tyranid Warrior squad had a sit down in the middle of the battlefield patting each other on the backs even though they had done sweet FA for the entire game.
So – a pretty decisive win for the ‘Nids in the end, but we did play on a slightly smaller table than normal (approx 5’x3’) which gave me the advantage of not having to travel as far to get to the canned-Tau-goodness.
- The game pretty much went to plan – other than the Stealers dying in combat, and I was lucky my Hormagaunts came on when they did and finished the job.
- The Tervigon did well boosting my swarm – I started with 102 models on the table and managed to generate another 35 mid-game.
- I will probably drop Devourer Termagaunts in future (at least in this sized game); its great having them pump out 3 shots each, but they are twice as expensive as a normal Termaguants – points which would have been much better spent on extra Hive Guard, Zoanthrope or Stealers.
- I will have to put boot to the asses of the Tyranid Warriors – they really did nothing other than run around in the middle of the battlefield for 5 turns. Next time they WILL get stuck.
The unit of the match in my eyes has to go to the Crisis Suits though, sweeping through my right flank and not only surviving, but crushing a Genestealer brood in combat. I’m still shocked – Tau that fight back…who’d have thought it?