More Tyranid Crusading, this time we are in the Consumption stage of the invasion, and some Orks have turned up to ruin our meal! I've been trying to get something Orky for Orktober, but I've not been painting fast enough so this report will have to do! Suffice to say there is something coming...
This was the second game of the third round of the Grim Dice Crusade league, playing at 75 power level in the Wars of Faith mission Fuel the Fires - a hold two/more mission with 6 objectives and a single Idol which increased in range based on the number of objectives held, and bonus points on offer for killing enemy units within their own bubble. Hive Fleet Goliath were taking on Goff Orks, run by Ben, who's Genestealer Cult I'd played in the last league.
The Goliath Crusade force was made up a nice mix of units with lots of troops to take advantage of the Predation stage rules - unfortunately I'd moved right through that so wasn't getting any real bonuses from that aspect of the Crusade rules - in fact the only real effect was that the Crone wouldn't be getting the bonus XP for turning up! Anyway, as before, it's Behemoth and fits into a battalion. Plenty of Crusade upgrades now though, most notably the Tervigon can cast two powers, one of the Carnifexes gets +1 to hit on the charge and the Hive Crone rerolls ones to hit and has a two damage Drool Cannon.
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)
For my Agendas I decided to keep it pretty simple with Priority Targets, Reaper and Survivor on the Tervigon.
Ben's WAAAGH! featured a heavy Beastsnagga element and led by a veteran Warboss in Mega Armour. There were a few rerolling ones units around but nothing too crazy in Crusade terms. Two units of Beastsnagga Boyz rolled up in two Kill Rigs, with two mobs of Squighogs and a big blob of Meganobz in a Battlewagon making the core of the force. Support came from some Mekgunz and some sneaky Objective grabbing Grots! Quite a brutal list full of dead killy stuff but not particularly subtle!
Deployment didn't see any funny business, just forces lined up with a Kill Rig on each flank and a wall of Termagants between them and my big bugs. We rolled off and Ben won, opting to go first, and calling the WAAAGH! for that sweet 5+ invulnerable save.
And off they go! The Orks all disembarked and stomped forward to claim the mid board objectives, while their wagons and rigs lined up some shooting. The Tervigon took the brunt of it, dropping to half wounds in what was a weirdly consistent phase of Ork shooting - I think both the Rigs and the two Kustom Mega-kannon Mek Gun unit blasted off three wounds each.
Then we had the charge phase - a long bomb 11 incher from a unit of Squighogs was the only option. Might as well give it a go right?
They barrelled into the 6 strong warrior brood and between strats on both sides, reduced them to two models - the remaining ones fought back to remove one Hog and see another flee to morale. Overall a pretty solid start for the Orks.
Tyranid turn one and we shuffled around to get as much shooting as possible in while trying to maintain the Termagant screen. The Crone made a move into the enemy flank to do harassment and maybe draw some units back, splitting fire and damaging a couple of the units back there. A whole load of Termagant shots blasted the Beastsnaggas off the left objective, but the combination of Tyranid Prime and Gargoyles were unable to repeat that over on the right. Maybe if those Warriors were still alive...
Elsewhere the Venom Cannons all whiffed against one of the Kill Rigs - thanks to the 'transhuman' strat my strength 9 Heavy ones were wounding on 4s - or not as the case may be. I was really hoping to kill or severely damage it before it crashed into my lines, along with the ominous block of Meganobz on the other side of the central ruin. We did manage to finish off that Squighog Boy though!
Here they come! The Orks picks up some points for holding objectives, but also surged forward in a wave of destruction. Shooting featured some wasted fire against the Crone but a lot of effective stuff against the Tervigon again, reducing it to a token few wounds. The Meganobz opened up on the 'gant screen with their Skorchas and reduced the 30 down to about six or seven - just enough to screen out the Killrig charge, but also leaving the Nobz without a realistic target.
Boom, in they all came. The Battlewagon used ramming speed to get a big charge round onto the Tervigon, and felling it with the mortal wounds. The two Rigs got in stuck in and removed the Termagant blob and the Gargoyles. The 'Survivor' had fallen, and all my screen was gone, but I still had some heavy hitters. However due to the proximity to my Idol of all this carnage, Ben scored big this turn, I think it was 25 points right here between kills and objectives, it would be a tough ask to overhaul that.
In my turn the Tyranids weren't really able to move much, they just had to react to what was right in front of them. The Venom Cannons were once again not the most effective, though they did some damage against the closest Kill Rig. The Crone was off doing it's own thing though, killing off a unit of Grots and the other Squighogs with shooting while doing in the Bubble Chukka with it's Thorax Spur. The two Carnifexes were going to have to do some work - and they did here, with the Bunny charging in and battering the Kill Rig to death and the Unicorn tearing a chunk out of the battlewagon. I was once again controlling some objectives but no enemy unit kills near their Idol was a problem.
Turn three and time for the Boss and his Boyz to get stuck in. The souped up Mega Armour Warboss barrelled into the remaining Tyranid Warrior unit, mulching them with ease, before his Meganobz repeated the feat against the unit of spawned Termagants. Between shooting, psychic and melee the remaining Killrig pretty much cleared out the Nid right flank, though it wasn't all one way as the Battlewagon succumbed to the Carnifex in the second round of their melee.
Nid turn three and we were both starting to run out of assets. The Fexes still needed to clear some big threats for me, so they set at it, shooting the Warboss first then lining up a couple of charges. The Crone continued it's good form by flapping over and blasting the last unit of Ork troops off the right objective, while my last troop unit of Termagants were parked on the left objective flinging ineffectual Devourer bugs into the Warboss. Both charges were successful - the injured Unicorn 'fex charged the Warboss and killed him with a Trampling Charge, while the Bunny fex steamrolled through the Meganobz - Carnifex talons being the perfect profile with 3 damage and -3 AP.
At this stage the Orks were reduced to one unit of Mek Gunz and a single Kill Rig, though they were still far ahead on points.
Over the last two turns the remaining Nids tried and failed to finish the Killrig, which took out the Crone in overwatch (with the Stikka kannon!) and one of the 'fexes with a psychic blast, while the other was Mega-kannoned to death. In the end there were only a few Termagants left to cower in the ruins. A loss for the Tyranids, with the points eventually 50-25 in favour of the Orks.
Obviously the Beast Snagga themed Ork force came here and got what it wanted - plenty of big trophies! However the death of this planet is still certain - the Tyranid bio-organisms will reform and be reinforced for the remains of the Consumption phase of the invasion. It was an awesome fun game with lots of lovely carnage, and after that I'm sitting on 3-3 in this league, which is pretty much where I want to be. Thoughts now turn to what to add for the final couple of games at 100 power level. Since we're in the Consumption phase I'm planning to lean into that and add some late stage Tyranid organism reinforcements. I'm pretty sure there will be a Hive Tyrant of some sort coming in, and I'm definitely going to take old Grabby Tongue aka the Haruspex. I'm probably looking at Zoanthropes as well, they are just too useful to ignore really, and if there's a Tyrant I might try to fit in some Guard. We'll see.