“If you go down to the woods today…” Imperial Guard vs Tyranids Battle Report

Hello there fellow warmongers!  Another batrep for you today, this time a game against Adam and his most excellently painted Tyranid hordes.

As with his Blood Angels in the previous batrep, this is another superbly painted force of Tyranids.  I keep trying to convince him to do his own blog to showcase his work, but so far no luck.  We thought we would mix it up a bit for today’s game as well, as the Eternal War / Maelstrom missions have got a bit stale and we were after something a bit more fluffy.  Inspiration struck when I was digging through some old books at home and came across the old ‘Battle Missions book’.

Battle Missions

The Mission: First Contact

For those of you who have not com across it I highly recommend it as a great resource of fluffy (if sometimes unbalanced) missions that are great fun to play.  They are also all tailored to the different factions, making them feel quite unique.

The mission we went for was the Tyranid’s  ‘First Contact’, which tries to replicate the idea of a local military force being sent in to investigate reports of alien monsters attacking livestock and isolated settlements, oblivious to the fact that the hive fleet invasion has already begun!  The table is divided into six sections with a numbered objective placed in the centre of each section.  To represent the patrol inevitably getting split up by the terrain (in this case hills and jungle) a D6 is rolled for each attacking unit (in this case the brave Imperial Guard), and that unit has to be deployed in the corresponding area.  No Imperial units may start in reserve.

The Tyranids deploy nothing, but my choose which units will arrive on the first turn or will stay in reserves. When the unit arrives, they roll a dice and it arrives anywhere along the corresponding portion edge.  Deep striking units have to deep strike within the designated area too.  The player who holds the most objectives at the end of the game is the winner, there is no first blood, etc.

Army Lists

So, with the mission set out, let look at the forces doing battle! Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the Nids list, but it was running the formation that allow the Termagants to come back on a 4+ when destroyed, and also possibly the spore field?  Anyway, a rough approximation of the list was as follows:

Tyranid Force 1500pts

Swarm Lord
Malanthrope (1)
Tyranid Warriors (3)
Termagant sward (20)
Termagant sward (20)
Termagant sward (20)
Termagant sward (20)
Termagant sward (20)
Meiotic Spore (1)
Meiotic Spore (1)
Meiotic Spore (1)
Trygon (1)
Trygon (1)
Sporocyst (1)
Sporocyst (1)
Sporocyst (1)
Lots of other various spores

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 Just a small section of the force!  No proxies, the genestealers shouldn’t be there – they got lost on the way to a different battlefield

Having decided to field the Imperial Guard once more, I have decided to try out the armoured side of the guard and gone for a mix of tanks, troops and artillery! Here is my list:

Imperial Guard CAD 1500pts

1st Battalion, Demios Minoris Garrison Force

HQ
Tank Commander, Punisher, Heavy Stubber
– Eradicator, Heavy Stubber

Troops
1st Infantry Platoon
– Platoon Command Squad (5), Commissar
– Infantry Squad (10), Grenade Launcher
– Infantry Squad (10), Grenade Launcher
– Infantry Squad (10), Grenade Launcher
– Infantry Squad (10), Grenade Launcher
– Infantry Squad (10), Grenade Launcher
Veterans (10), Carapace armour
– Chimera, Multilaser
Veterans (10), Carapace armour
– Chimera, Multilaser

Fast Attack
Hellhound (1)
Hellhound (1)
Scout Sentinel (3), Autocannon

Heavy Support
Leman Russ ‘Exterminator’, Heavy stubber
Hydra Battery
Wyvern

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Proxies – Stormtroopers are veterans, Forgeworld Basilisk is the Hydra, Griffon is the Wyvern

Setup

We decided on a hills and jungle theme for the table, with some Tyranid scenery marking the firs signs of the infestation getting a foothold.  This would make it feel nice and claustrophobic for the guard, who should no better than to go off into the jungle looking for monsters…

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 Overview

The mission is a little out of date so we had to make some changes on the Fly.  Due to the random nature of the deployment infiltrators (i.e. the sporocyst) were at  bit of a disadvantage, so we allowed them to deep strike instead using the rules for Tyrannocytes (basically no mishap, like drop pods).

In hindsight this, combined with the mission rule giving the Tyranid player the option to bring in all reserves (including other deep strikers such as the Trygons) in on turn one put the guard at a bit of a disadvantage.  They were going to be under pressure form the start, with the hungry Nids able to shoot and move in to charge range after weathering just one round of shooting.

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On the plus side though, it was very cinematic and captured the panic in the guard ranks as the jungle around them burst to life with gribblies intent on making them the main course!  I could only hope for a kind set of deployment zones rolls…

Imperial Deployment

Objective 1: no imperial units.  Objective 2: The platoon command squad, the tank commander platoon and the sentinel squadron


Objective 3: A lone eradicator.  Objective 4: Both hellhounds and both veteran squads in their chimeras


Objective 5: A infantry squad and the hydra.  Objective 6: three infantry squads and the wyvern

Urgh!  The roll has not been kind after all – my commanders are on their own with no one to give orders too, while the bulk of my infantry are blobbed up together with only a wyvern for support.  The first turn may well be spend flat out and running into better defensive positions, depending on the Tyranids deployment rolls.

Tyranid Deployment

Objective 1: two unit of termagants, some spores and a sporocyst. Critically no synapse here, which could be key to the battle.  Objective 2: A lone Trygon


Objective 3: A unit of termagants, meiotic spore and the malanthrope to keep them in synapse.  Objective 4: The other Trygon, some spores and a sporocyst (with immediately spored mucolid)


Objective 5: The Tyranid warriors, a unit of termagants, a meiotic spore, some normal spores and a sporocyst (with also immediately spores a mucolid).  Objective 6: The swarmlord, the last unit of termagants and a meiotic spore.

Well it is not bad, but its not great either for the guard.  The only chance they have of making it out of this ambush alive is going to be taking advantage of the spread out Tyranids and robbing them of their Synapse links, hoping they will fall back off the table en mass.  However, that’s only going to happen if they can do some serious damage on the first (and probably only) turn of shooting, but as per the mission rules they are also not allowed to seize the initiative, so its game on for the Nids!

Turn 1:

Tyranids come out shooting, with the sporocysts generating their mucolids ready to cause havoc.  The termagants opened up with their guns, killing two of the platoon command squad and the commissar, forcing them to go to ground.  The Trygon also took out a sentinel for good measure.

Elsewhere another unit of termagants killed nine men of the squad protecting the wyvern, but the survivor would hold his ground. Another squad protecting the hydra were also reduced to five by combined fire, while the sporocysts managed to put a glance on one of the hellhounds

Time for the guard to shine!  With multiple threats in all sectors, the tactic of moving everything to reposition and concentrate on one flank goes out of the window – anything that turns its back now is likely to be run down by the onrushing Tyranids, so it is time to stand and fight against impossible odds like only the guard know how!

Breaking synapse will still be the key to guard victory, but given the malanthropes 2+ cover save the eradicator goes after the termagants, killing 8.  The other tanks and sentinels shoot at the Trygon, but only put two wounds on him.

The veterans disembark to lend their firepower to the fight.  Combined with the hell hounds and chimeras they manage to kill 13 termagants, the mucolid and put a wound on the sporocyst.  The other Trygon survives a volley of fire, but the Tyranid warriors on the hill are no so lucky as they go down to combined fire along with the meiotic spore.

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As it stands, the score is 3:2 to the Guard

Turn 2:

A bad start for the Tyranids would see the first casualties to the loss of synapse, as the unit of termagants being held in place by the dead warriors fled the field.  Another swarm in sector one would also fail, but handily falling back to the ruin to defend the objective.

In shooting the sporocysts would have a field day, taking out a sentinel and both chimeras, while the Trygon would sweep the veterans in combat and consolidate onto objective 4.

On the opposite flank, the platoon command would be taken out by more termagant fire, while the Trygon would wreck the eradicator in combat.  The Leman Russ Exterminator would also take a glance from a meiotic spore, and the swarmlord would easily destroy the guard platoon in combat (but not before suffering a wound in overwatch and from a well placed guard bayonet in combat!)

Well the Tyranid attack has been pretty devastating this turn, but the guard are still in the fight!  Well, that’s what command say from their distant bunker so who are we to doubt them?  The hell hounds back off from the carnage of the burning vehicles and put a further wound on the Trygon.

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The other Trygon is targeted by the remaining Leman Russ’s and also losses a further wound (although he seems to regain it in the photos!).  Elsewhere, the Swarmlord is bought down to one wound by the wyvern – if he can be killed synapse will collapse on one half of the board! Unfortunately the guard platoon whiffs and the hydra misses its snap shots, so it is not to be this turn.

As it stands, the score has swung  4:1 to the Tyranids

Turn 3:

The Tyranids look to press home their advantage by keeping the wrecking crews of monstrous creatures busy.  The swarm lord charges the Wyvern, easily destroying it

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Both Trygons also look to improve their kill counts.  One takes out the command punisher with ease, while the other struggles with the hellhound, only managing a glance and a pen but does destroy the inferno cannon

Even the staunchest Guard commander would admit the day is lost, but a moral victory can still be scored by taking out some of these gigantic beasts!  The remaining veterans and beleaguered hellhounds manage to reduce a Trygon to two wounds, while the last remaining leman russ and sentinel also take another wound off the other (down to 2, not four as shown).

A brave guard squad move in and attempt to rapid fire the swarmlord to pick of that last wound, but he shrugs off the flash light hits with ease.  Brave, foolish guard…

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As it stands, the score stands at  3:1 to the Tyranids

Turn 4:

Just a moping up exercise for the Tyranids now, eager to harvest as much bio matter as possible.  The swarm lord, eager not to push his luck in overwatch, leaves the guard platoon to the termagants, who easily shoot them off the board at point blank range.

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One Trygon charges the last remaining veterans and wipes them out, while the other charges the last leman russ and easily wrecks it.  The termagants also wreck the last sentinel with their massed shooting.

With almost nothing left on the board, the guard do manage to at least take down one of the Trygons with the remaining hellhounds, while the hydra snap shoots at the swarm lord one more time – ore in hope than expectation – but misses.

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With a tabling imminent, the guard call it a day and concede the game

Result:

Final score was 6:0 in favour of the Tyranids, who absolutely slaughtered their Imperial Guard prey in emphatic style

Decisive moment:  Turn 1.  The guard really needed to concentrate their forces and eliminate one source of attack at a time to stand any chance against the Tyranids at such close range, but failed on both counts.  They were just too spread around to counter the Tyranids, and the first turn of shooting did nowhere near enough damage.  Although they targeted the synapse as a possible weak point, it seemed to make no difference as most units just skulked back into cover and handily held objectives.  A poor day for the guard (even y their low standards), but great work by the Tyranids who really showed what they can do when they get into the enemy lines.

Guard MVP: No real stand outs today, but it should probably go to the infantry squad who put two wounds on the swarmlord and left him very vulnerable.  If he had gone down it might have been a very different game.

Tyranids MVP: Trygons, without a doubt.  Sporocysts had a good game and were a pain in the guards behind, but the Trygons wrecked face from the moment they arrived on the board (again helped by being able to come in Turn 1).  Between them they wrecked 3 tanks, a sentinel, killed two veteran squads and two infantry squads.  Not a bad work rate inside of four turns!

  • I loved Battle Missions when it came out. It would be great to see GW put out another one updated for 7th. The missions are just so much more thematic than the standard ones; great for casual play.

    Oh, nice report as always with cool shots :)

    • iapedus

      Yeah it is a really great book, both for fluffy missions to play in their own right and as a resource for when you are customizing your own missions. An updated version, with maybe 5 missions per faction rather than three, would be just fab.

  • That was good fun to read, cheers. Some bad luck on deployment and turn 1 sealed the deal on you though sadly.

    If your friend doesn’t want to set up his own blog then simply interview for this one with a selection of his work.

    • iapedus

      That is a great idea! I’ll get right on it, watch this space :D

  • jack shrapnel

    Really enjoyed the report! (that spore conversion on the flying stand is very cool). It seemed that the random deployment for the guard at the beginning was a little rough – but nice thematic report!

    • iapedus

      Cheers! To be fair the random deployment could have gone either way and screwed both of us. As it was it went against the guard this time, who arguably got what they deserved for going into the alien infested jungle in the first place, rather than just nuking it from orbit!

      • jack shrapnel

        As a tyranid player myself, I wholeheartedly agree with the guardsmen getting their just desserts. …. or in this case becoming dessert.

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