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 Gargoyles, 3 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.