Saturday, February 28, 2009

Battle in the Trucidonian Desert

40k Battle
Mission: Annihilation
Deployment: Spearhead
Size: 750 points
Forces: Dark Angels vs. Tyranids

This week I played my monthly game in the ongoing Trucidos campaign against my buddy Oz and his scuttling 'Nids. We're wrapping up month number three of the campaign and so far it has yet to disappoint. The two of us had both won our January games, so we were tied in terms of campaign rewards, but I had accumulated more campaign points overall (mostly from making terrain) so that gave me the edge. This meant I got to choose the mission type, and I chose the 'annihilation' scenario. My thinking here was that I would have an easier time wiping out the Tyranids wholesale than trying to play a land-grab race to secure objectives from a foe that was sure to outnumber me at least 2:1.

By-Tor leads the Dark Angels

The Tyranids of Hive Klandathu

Scout Squad Felix takes cover in the woods

I won the roll off and opted to go second, I didn't know if I needed the bottom half of that last turn to scrape something together or not. This meant the Tyranids would go first, and their first turn was incredibly successful. A direct hit from one of the backfield Biovores wiped out half of one of my scout squads, their 4+ armor saves didn't protect them. That wasn't the half of it however, on the Hive Tyrant's first shooting phase, it killed Librarian By-Tor. The Tyrant's Venom Cannon screeched out a hail of shots, over an intervening tactical squad, and slammed into my army's commander. I took three wounds...and failed all of them, weighing in at 20% of my entire army's points, it was a harsh blow. All of this was before my turn!


Stand your ground!

In turn two it went from bad to worse. My remaining snipers, led by my fifty point Scout Captain Winter tried, to no avail, to stem the rushing tide of Genestealers. The clawed monsters clambered up the side of the building's walls and vanquished the marines in deadly melee.

To the bitter end

The scouts on the other side of the board would fare no better. As they emerged form the woods, shotguns blasting, they charged into a swarm of Termagants. Although outnumbered, they should have been evenly matched in strength. It was not to be, after a couple of rounds of melee, only Scout Sergeant Felix was left standing, and that didn't last for long.

I had started the game with a ten-man assault squad, Icarus, and I split them into combat squads before the battle began, with one element going in to reserves. I kept failing my reinforcements roll, and half of the squad seemed content to remain off of the table. With my present squad I charged into the Hive Tyrant, hoping to change the course of the battle. That was also not to be, my luck had gone horribly awry this game! The Hive Tyrant made quick work of the assault marines...I was quickly running out of troops.

By the third turn things weren't as dire, but they didn't seem that much better either. My assault marines in reserves were still refusing to come onto the board, and both squads of my scouts were all dead. My tactical squad was the one shining light, taking out a swarm of Termagants thanks to their rapid fire boltguns. They set upon a another swarm of Rippers, and decimated them as well. I was still two victory points behind, and the game was quickly ending.

The only immediate target my tactical marines could close with was the Hive Tyrant, who had now killed six Dark Angels. They eschewed their boltguns, and closed in melee with it. I don't know why I did this to be honest, I just didn't know what else to do with the thing.

At the bottom of the fourth turn I finally rolled for the rest of squad Icarus to enter the fray. I was two victory points behind at this point; they had a lot of work to do! They started off by exacting vengeance on the Genestealers, bolt pistol and flamer making short work of them. My victory point margin narrowed, but I was still behind.

At the top of turn five, a trio of Tyranid Warriors wheeled on the newly arrived assault squad and tore them apart at range. I thought Tyranids were supposed to be a close combat army! It would take a lot to pull this one out, actually, at best, all I could hope for would be a tie. I had a single man left of Squad Icarus, the veteran sergeant no less. Using his jump pack he bounded towards one of the two Biovores that had been harassing my army the whole game. He was able to strike it down, his power fist might have been a touch overkill, but it would do. There was a second Biovore though, and I wouldn't be able to claim the victory point unless the entire unit was destroyed. Meanwhile, my tactical marines were still engaged in close combat with the Hive Tyrant, their numbers dwindling, but it looked like this would be a melee stalemate. All of the luck the Tyranids had in the beginning seemed to turn against them in this combat, with roll after roll of misses.

None of it would matter if the game ended here and now, and with the roll of a die, we would find out; turn five is the last true turn of the game, with each one thereafter rolled for. As it turned out, we rolled for at least one more turn.

The Hive Tyrant continued to flail ineffectively against the tactical marines, who in all fairness, were equally ineffective against it. The rest of the Tyranid army however stalked the remaining Icarus trooper who was making his way towards the last Biovore. The living mortar was trying to lumber out of reach, but it couldn't outrun the marine's jump pack. The lone assault trooper was able to both avoid dying from the Tyranid Warrior Venom Cannons in the distance, and cut down the last Biovore, bringing the victory point total to a tie. A roll of the die at the end of the turn said that the game was indeed over.

Moment of the Game
Probably the single most memorable of the game occurred on the first half of the first turn. I had taken along Librarian By-Tor specifically to deal with the Tyranid menace, picking his psychic powers to handle whatever might be thrown at me, be it swarms of light targets or a couple of Carnifexes. Weighing in at 150 points, he may have been a bit on the heavy side for such a small army, but I was excited to put him on the table as this would be his debut game, and he was named after a Rush song to boot! Well, three failed saves later, and all I just wrote about was put back into the foam tray, waiting for the long ride home, haha. Oh he'll be back!

Veteran Sergeant Obduro

Match MVP:
Well, I couldn't have possibly have hoped to tie it up at the very last second if it hadn't been for my deep striking assault squad, but more importantly, it was the veteran sergeant running around the back field that wiped out the Biovores. Thanks to that act, the final tying victory point to tie the game was earned.

An interesting footnote occurred after the game however. It turns out that Oz realized that the list he had been playing with was with a 1,000 point force, not 750 points as the game called for! An honest mistake, and sure, one hell of an oversight, but these things happen. At least that might explain why I had such an uphill battle the whole time, haha!

As usual, it was a good time, and even though "campaign points" were on the line, we all had a blast. What's more is that not only did we have a new player out, but we played two simultaneous games at Andy's house on a whopping double sized table, thanks to him for these pics. The other game, Space Marines versus Necrons can be found here, check it out!

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