Thursday 29 September 2022

Crusade Battle Report - Tyranids vs Aeldari


Back to back Tyranid Crusade games for the Grim Dice League - this time against the Jamie and his sneaky Aeldari with their giant gate. Once more it's 50 Power Level, playing from the Wars of Faith mission pack - the mission was Eternal Desecration, a game with two icons each instead of objectives, where players compete to do actions to desecrate their opponent's icons to weaken them and score points. Notably the action lasts until the start of your next turn so units have to survive on the enemy 'objective' to score - potentially quite a challenge.

My list was of course the same as last time, with the exception that the Crone and Tervigon had both gained some nice upgrades - two damage Drool Cannon and free Power of the Hive Mind strat respectively. I opted to make the Tervigon my paragon again, and my agendas were Hunt and Slay (which is becoming a standard pick - just kill stuff basically) and Survivor on the Tervigon.

HQ: Broodlord (Catalyst, Ymgarl Factor, Heightened Senses), Tervigon (adrenal glands, toxin sacs, Onslaught, massive scything talons, The Maw-claws of Thyrax)

Troops: 10 Gargoyles3 Warriors (boneswords, deathspitters, venom cannon, adrenal glands), 20 Termagants (Devourers)

Elites: 10 Genestealers (Infestation Node)

Flyer: Hive Crone


The Aeldari were bringing a Farseer and a Warlock, a couple of units of Dire Avengers, some regular Jetbikes and some of the new Shroud Runner variants, a unit of Dark Reapers, the big old Webway Gate and clocking in at nearly half the force, a block of 10 Wraithblades - who were hiding in the Webway along with the Farseer. Jamie's agendas were effectively to kill monsters and characters.

Deployment - Tyranid troops ready to move up around the central hill, Genestealers forward deployed on a flank to charge forward if given the chance. The Eldar pretty much hugged the back line on this small board.

The dice were rolled, and I won first turn. I've been bitten before by thinking going second was a smart move in this kind of situation, so I opted to charge forward straight away!

'Ere we go! (Wait, wrong army...) The Tyranids moved up into the mid field rapidly, after the Tervigon spawned a new unit of 'gants. The Crone, Gargoyles and Warriors went left to pour fire into the Shroud Runners and other units, while the main bulk of Termagants went left, and the Genestealers moved up to make a mess out of the regular Jetbikes in melee. I managed to remove the Dire Avengers on the left with Stinger fire from the Crone but a lot of shooting went into the Shroud Runners and got some poor wound rolls to keep them reduced but alive. The regular bikes did not fare so well and were swiftly chopped up - the Genestealers finally did a thing!

The death of the Dire Avengers gave the Crone some more experience, and exposed a Warlock who was another of my Hunt and Slay targets.

Eldar turn one and they tried to do as much damage as possible, including the Warlock charging forward to ruin some Termagant's day - and nearly dying to them in melee for his troubles! The remaining Dire Avengers pumped a load of command points into their shooting to remove the Genestealers, while the Dark Reapers split some fire to put wounds on the Tervigon and remove a bunch of 'gants.

Turn two saw the swarm move up further and attempt to complete the Desecrate action on both idols with the warriors and spawned Termagant unit. Elsewhere I got into positions for some killing blows.

This was not one of them, in spite of help from the Crone's Tentaclids, the Gargoyles failed to remove either of the Shroud Runners.

The Crone also failed to remove the Dark Reapers, merely killing the Exarch with it's firepower.

The Tervigon did have better luck, removing the wounded Warlock with a smite. Overall not nearly as strong a turn as the first, but I was in position to score points - the Wraithblades were about to come in but they'd struggle to remove all my scoring models.

As it turned out, they opted to leave the Warriors alone and focus on the Tervigon and Termagants. Thus began a grinding melee as they slowly chopped through the big beastie. Elsewhere the Dark Reapers fell back and shot with a strat to hurt the Crone, and the Shroud Runners removed the Gargoyles with ease.

However with the 'blades focused mainly on the Tervigon I was able to complete both actions and score a bunch of points in turn three. The Tyranid shooting then set about removing the last of the original Edlar models - warriors finally did in the Shroud Runners, while the Crone split fire to remove the las Avengers and Reapers.

I then had the Crone and Broodlord charge in to the big fight in the middle - without much effect. I think between all my units I managed to kill the Farseer and two of the Wraithblades, losing the Broodlord, the Tervigon and most of the Termagants. The Crone escaped on one wound and flew away in my next turn.

In turn four and five, with no non-Wraithblade units left, the Aeldari were pretty much out of options for actually winning the game. I fell back and avoided them to preserve the units they were fighting, but they did take out the Warriors in one last act of undead rage, removing the Nids from their idols eventually - though finding them slowly dissolving from Tyranid bio-acid.

Victory for the Tyranids.

Once again, this was a Crusade game on a small board where I went first, covered the board and won the mission, but once again I was left with not much left - feels very Tyraniddy. I do think at 50 PL these small boards are a bit too cramped, and it's hard to set up terrain that both looks good and provides proper hiding places without totally cutting off sections of the board. That said, as usual I enjoy the Crusade rules making every destroyed unit matter so it's always worth playing on even if the game is already decided. 

After this game we're going up to 75 PL in the league, so I've updated my roster accordingly. I also picked up about Biomass to move from the Invasion to Predation stage, so now I am encouraged to bring troop units above all else. The Crone also picked up a bunch of XP so with Marked for Greatness levelled once more, becoming an Apex Predator to reroll ones to hit. In spite of actually achieving something this game, I did drop the Genestealers, and I used Tyranid requisitions to turn the Broodlord into a Tyranid Prime with the Direct Guidance warlord trait, and granted the Crone an adaptaion - Voracious Ammunition. I've added in a couple of big troop blocks to take advantage of the Predation stage and a couple of iconic Tyranid models to provide some heavy hitting:

HQ: Tervigon (Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Onslaught, Massive Scything Talons, The Maw-Claws of Thyrax), Tyranid Prime (Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Barbed Strangler, Lash Whip and Bonesword, Direct Guidance)

Troops: 10 Gargoyles, 20 Termagants (Devourers), 30 Termagants, 3 Tyranid Warriors (Adrenal Glands, Boneswords, 2 Deathspitters, Venom Cannon), 6 Tyranid Warriors (Adrenal Glands, Scything Talons, 4 Deathspitters, 2 Venom Cannons)

Heavy Support: 2x Carnifex (Adrenal Glands, Enhanced Senses, Heavy Venom Cannon, Spore Cysts, Thresher Scythe, Talons)

Flyer: Hive Crone (Voracious Ammunition)

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, stay safe!

Sunday 25 September 2022

Crusade Battle Report - Tyranids vs Necrons


I've been unable to play any 40k for a little while (since the Narrative Wargamer battle report was filmed in fact) due to work, being poorly and other stuff, so I've been eagerly awaiting getting back to the table. Luckily I had two games to play in the Grim Dice Crusade League second round, so a bit of 50 power level Crusade fun to ease me back in. The first of these was the mission Growing Faith from the Wars of Faith mission pack - four objectives outside of the deployment zones and a single 'icon' in each with a growing radius of faith effects (which I have yet to use).

As mentioned in the previous Crusade update, I've been running Hive Fleet Goliath (as Behemoth) for this, and in the first round I'd managed two losses. Not ideal, but I had picked up a few upgrades on my units thanks to the Tyranid Crusade rules offering XP bonuses and penalties for taking the right units for different stages of an attack. I'm currently in the Invasion stage so I'm incentivised to bring the vanguard organisms. Since the initial 25 power level games I'd added in a blob of Termagants and a couple of big beasties:

HQ: Broodlord (Catalyst, Ymgarl Factor, Heightened Senses), Tervigon (adrenal glands, toxin sacs, Onslaught, massive scything talons, The Maw-claws of Thyrax)

Troops: 10 Gargoyles3 Warriors (boneswords, deathspitters, venom cannon, adrenal glands), 20 Termagants (Devourers)

Elites: 10 Genestealers (Infestation Node)

Flyer: Hive Crone

Facing me was Mark aka DaBear with Sautekh Dynasty Necrons. He had three units of Warriors, a couple of little Scarab swarms, a pair of Heavy Destroyers and a big unit of Skorpekh Destroyers. They were led to battle by an Overlord and a Skorpekh Lord

As part of the mission rules we had the option of taking a Paragon upgrade on one of our characters or improve the effects of our icons. We both chose the Paragon, which meant the Tervigon had exploding sixes to hit in melee, and the Skorpekh Lord was going to ignore some damage once per round.

Turn one fell to the Tyranids, and we were off...

The bugs moved up to secure some objectives and trouble the Necrons in the left flank 'castle'. The forward deploying Genestealers lined up a short charge through the ruins, while the Crone and some Onslaughted Termagants got some shots at the Warriors over on that side. Thanks mostly to the Drool Cannon the unit was reduced to three models, and a speculative shot from the Crone's Tentaclids removed one of the Lokhust Heavy Destroyers. I'm so used to them being a bit rubbish from previous versions I didn't expect that at all!

The Genestealers rolled poorly so were only able to make it to the front 'rank' of Scarabs and one of the Skorpekhs - which promptly died from the Plasmacyte, leaving me with not many 'stealers to actually fight with - failing to even destroy the Scarab screen! They were however now in the way so mission kind of accomplished. Overall a decent first turn though.

The Necrons returned fire, putting some damage on the Crone and whittling down the Termagant blob (though some good saves kept the unit on the field). Then melee...

The genestealers took a battering between shooting and then melee, with the Skorpekhs finishing them off with their reap-blades. So far in this league those Genestealers have been pretty poor, even by the relatively low standards of 'stealers in today's 40k.

Going into turn two I was holding some objectives so I got points. I decided to completely switch targets and swarm the right flank 'castle instead, with the Crone turning around in hover mode and blasting the other Heavy Destroyer away, as well as melting some Warriors with goo. The Broodlord then powered up in melee to gut the second Warrior squad in the ruin, leaving the Tervigon nothing to fight, while the now replenished to almost full strength Termagant brood swarmed the objective (and some Scarabs). Again a good turn, keeping the 'crons pinned back.

Necron turn two saw them move out from the castle and reposition the Overlord and Warriors with the Veil of Darkness - they gunned down two of my Tyranid Warriors while a little damage was also put out elsewhere. I was way ahead on points by this stage but all those Skorpekhs looks pretty threatening.

Going into turn three and I decided the direct approach was best. The two big beasties set their sights on the Destroyers while the Broodlord set about clearing the right flank. Gargoyles and spawned Termagants held back to cover my objectives and ensure the points stayed in my favour. I also threw the remaining Warrior forward to get in the way and maybe cause some trouble - though he was swiftly gunned down after.

It turns out the Tervigon is now really good in melee (boosted with the Maw Claws relic for an extra attack and reroll wounds) and she battered the remaining Skorpekh Destroyers, leaving none left for the Crone!

In Necron turn there wasn't much they could do to take back ground, but they could certainly take some kills! The warrior fell, the Crone was wounded further and finally the Skorpekh Lord charged in to chop it out of the sky.

Nid turn four, the Broodlord finished his clean up job around the right, while the Tervigon bellowed a challenge to the Skorpekh Lord! Paragon vs Paragon. The big bug got three wounds in, but the Necron's invulnerable save passed twice, then the Paragon ability kicked in to ignore the 2D3 damage the single wound would have been! In return the Tervigon took six damage, leaving her on a still mighty 11 wounds.

Necron turn four saw a bit of a retreat from the Lord, a bit of shooting at the big bug, while the remaining Warriors nuked the Gargoyle brood.

Turn five revolved around that dual once again! The Tervigon got three wounds through again, and again the Skorpekh Lord passed two saves and ignored the third to stay alive, again carving into the Tervigon.

In the last action of the game the Necrons tried to take the beast down, the warriors and Overlord had a go, but eventually it was brought low by, of all things, an exploding Scarab. Still, a victory for the Tyranids!

As is often the case in Crusade games, once side started running away with the points, but the other still had plenty of experience and kills to play for, and led to a pretty epic confrontation at the end. Luckily for both of us, no battle scars were picked up, but I did get a fair bit of XP from my agendas (which were essentially to kill stuff). The Tervigon picked up a fair chunk, while I assigned Marked for Greatness to the Crone - both of which levelled up in their first game. The Tervigon got a roll on the Synapse Creature table, becoming a Psychic Aberration, allowing it to use the Power of the Hive Mind stratagem for free to cast an extra power, while I rolled for a weapon enhancement for the Crone's Drool Cannon, which became 'Master Worked' for a slightly filthy +1 damage.

Anyway, I had a good time, hope you enjoyed reading, and stay safe out there.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Narrative Wargamer Video Battle Report - Adeptus Mechanicus vs Orks


It's been a while since I've been able to talk about being in a video battle report, but here we are again. This time though it's also something a bit new, because this is the first ever Narrative Wargamer battle report! As you may know, I've been appearing on the Narrative Wargamer Podcast alongside Tony and others on and off for a while now, so I was pleased to be involved as Tony is branching out into video content on YouTube. So here it is, our first report, obviously it's a narrative play game and as the title suggests, it's my AdMech (and Knight) vs Deathskull Orks:

As this is the first one, we'd love to get a load of feedback if possible! (And the classic like and subscribe...) That said, if you click and check it out expecting some pretty basic video of two sweaty dudes (it was a hot day!) mumbling over a game of Warhammer, you might be surprised. Tony has thrown a lot of effort into editing this one and personally I think it looks pretty slick. The first thing you'll see after the intro graphics is a 'briefing cut scene' to explain the situation, narrated by the talented RJ Bayley, and this will continue throughout with little narrative snippets during the game. While there's still plenty of room for improvement, it feels like we're hitting the ground running with something that takes good ideas from plenty of other YouTube battle reports, but puts the Narrative Wargamer spin on it. Hopefully there will be plenty more coming in the future!

Anyway, I really hope you check out and enjoy the video. Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there.

Friday 2 September 2022

Even More Kharadron Overlords - Big Boats!


Here's the third wave (kind of) of the Kharadron Overlords commission project - this time it's 'oops all boats.' I did a couple in the first wave but this time there's four of them, and they definitely don't all fit in the light box!

First up, a two for one:

Here's a couple of Grundstok Gunhaulers. The first one was built pretty much exactly as per the instructions, but these have got a few little variations - heads swapped, a pistol arm and a few extra gubbins placed on the deck. As before they also have magnets so can run either main gun.

The Arkanaut Frigate - again, pretty much the same as the previous one (aside from the crew member going on the other side of the deck); magnetic weapon, crystals on the base etc.

And finally, the Arkanaut Ironclad! This one was a beast!

As you can see, it's got the full compliment of extra crew, including the guy touching up the paint job! 

Once again, magnets were employed on the main weapon - I had to be a bit clever with it to allow all three variations, since the big cannon and the harpoon use the same barrel piece, but it works.

And here's the big old scary face on the front! This boat certainly has a bit more of an intimidation factor than the smaller ones!

Anyway, the final (?) wave will be another mix of 'infantry' and boats, which I should be getting to work on soon (if I don't get distracted by more Dreadnoughts...) Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and stay safe out there.