Chaos Space Marines vs Tyranids – Battle Report

I decided to change things up and run my Chaos Space Marines instead of Khorne Daemonkin. I really, really enjoy Khorne Daemonkin but I need to buy some more units to flesh out my lists more. It’s tough making lists with limited options, more so when it’s an army designed for close combat, the hardest army focus to manage in 7th edition.

I opted to go with a full on Nurgle list. I haven’t used my Plague Marines in forever and I wanted to put down my Warpsmith, a model I spent forever creating. My list was a far cry from my Khorne lists in that it featured small “elite” units; no unit numbering more than six models.

Disciples of Twilight (Chaos Space Marines) – 1,850


  • Psykill: Chaos Lord – Sigil of Corruption, Chaos Bike, Power Fist, Lightning Claw, Mark of Nurgle, Combat Familiar
  • Grimtech: Warpsmith – Bolt Pistol, Power Axe, Mark of Nurgle, Aura of Dark Glory, Melta Bombs, Burning Brand of Skalathrax


  • Plague Marines (6) – Plasma Gun x 2
    • Plague Champion – Meltabombs, Power Fist
    • Rhino – Dozer Blade
  • Plague Marines (6) – Meltagun x 2
    • Plague Champion – Meltabombs, Power Fist
    • Rhino – Dozer Blade

Fast Attack

  • The Unbound: Spawn (5) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Chaos Bikers (5) – Mark of Nurgle, Plasma Gun x 2
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabombs
  • Heldrake – Baleflamer

Heavy Support

  • Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Obliterators (2) – Mark of Nurgle
  • Maulerfiend – Lasher Tendrils

The Game

I was playing a Tyranid army. Of course, the day I decide to change it up I face an army where my Khorne friends would do pretty well – Murphy’s Law. We rolled up Contact Lost, the Maelstrom mission where you gain cards for objectives held. I gave him first turn and didn’t try to steal the initiative.

Alex’s assault units moved up and the Flyrant flew up on my left. Shooting was largely ineffective but my Spawn were hit with paroxysm, putting them down to WS1. Though, the Flyrant did manage to immobilize my Maulerfiend with shooting on my left – typical. He picked up an objective, score 1-0.

I repositioned and moved most of my army up the right side to try to hammer down that flank. My Bikes thinned down some Termagants on the right. On the left my Plague Marines took a few wounds off the Exocrine and my Obliterators shaved a few more off it, leaving it with one wound, just shy of getting Big Game Hunter. Score 1-0 still.

The Flyrant flew board center in front my army and Hormagaunts moved up some more to get a central objective. His shooting saw my Bikes lose a guy. He picked up another objective, score 2-0.


The Heldrake arrived and roasted a bunch of Termagants and my Warpsmith with the Burning Brand of Skalathrax finished off the unit – first blood. Both Obliterator squads fired at the Flyrant, got some hits and some wounds but Jink kept the big guy up. My Bikes with Lord fired into the Zoanthropes and killed one off, though I lost a Biker to overheating plasma. The Bikes then charged the last Zoanthrope and I lost a Bike to dangerous terrain…weee! I sent my Spawn into the Carnifex Brood on the right flank to tie them up. I lost two Spawn but got in three wounds.

Spawn and Carnifexes

From here the game dissolved into close combats everywhere. My Plague Marines on the left lost their Rhino and got charged by the other Flyrant. They held up for a while but six Plague Marines only last so long facing a Tyrant.

My remaining Bike, lost yet another to dangerous terrain, and Lord charged into the Carnifex Brood to aid the last Spawn. My Lord killed off one Carnifex while the other smashed down my last Spawn. Following, the last Carnifex put two wounds on my Lord and I did two in return. The Carnifex had two wounds left, my Lord one, so following phase I opted for the lightning claw to swing first over the power fist. The gamble paid off and I put the final two wounds into him.

Warriors had outflanked and charged my Plague Marines on the right with my Warpsmith but the Warpsmith decided to clean up those Warriors over two phases of combat. Centrally the mob of Hormagaunts had charged my Obliterators and tied them up.

A bloody game on both sides but when the game ended Alex won by a score of 8-7.


I have to admit it was a nice change of pace playing CSM again. I was surprised I held up as well as I did considering how many small units I had. They’re all tough units but toughness only gets you so far when facing numbers and even tougher models. I made a few mistakes, like poor placement of my Warpsmith in relation to my Maulerfiend (would have been nice to fix that immobilized result), but these are things you learn from.

My HQs did well this game. My Lord taking out some Zoanthropes and then two Carnifexes wasn’t too bad, especially with his Biker retinue killing themselves all game long. Seriously, I lost three of the five Bikes to overheating and dangerous terrain. The Warpsmith though really shined. It was my first time using the Burning Brand of Skalathrax and I always wanted to try it on him. The Burning Brand of Skalathrax is a S4, AP3 torrent flamer. Seeing as the Warpsmith comes with a flamer and meltagun in his mechatendrils, I liked the pairing for versatility and some serious anti-infantry fire. It paid off by getting me First Blood and thinning down Warriors on the charge and then cleaning them up with his power axe.

It was a great game and a tight one on points. He held the lead the entire game but it mostly remained a 1pt difference through most turns. Can’t really ask for a better game than that.

Aside: Man, black paint just seems to collect dust. I should say it shows it more. You wouldn’t think models used weekly would collect dust but I guess it’s just the stuff floating around the air landing on them when being used. Guess I need to dust these things off!

  • Another interesting report man, thanks for sharing. How do you think your daemonkin armour would have faired under these circumstances?
    I must admit I can’t remember you doing up the Warpsmith, that is if you actually did him on here. But I would love to see better pictures of him. Is Psykill on an unpainted bike? I thought that was all finished up.

    • My last game against Tyranids was with Daemonkin and they did very well. Since Tyranids often want to be in close combat, and Khorne does to, it works out well and the Blood Tithe goes crazy.

      Grimtech, my Warpsmith, I did up a while ago, before you started frequenting. I have the gallery for him here:

      Psykill has a foot version and that’s done. However, he’s magnetized at the waist so I can put him on a bike. That’s why the upper half is painted. I finished the conversion work on the bike but, obviously, haven’t painted it up yet. I don’t often use the bike so it got set on the back burner.

      • Thanks for the answers. I will enjoy looking up the Warpsmith stuff.
        Poor Psykill, having to foot slog it everywhere ;)

  • You have the worst luck with bikers! I hear you on the black paint. Everytime I pull a templar out…covered in dust. And I have them in cabinets!

    • It’s not just this game either with the Bikers. I try and try them over and over and it never works. In theory it’s a great unit for the cost but in practice it’s another story.

      Yeah, all my models are kept in their foam trays and zipped up in my transport case. They are only out for games and it’s crazy how dusty they get in a few hours a week.

    • Berman

      I would think you would want to work extra hard to keep the bikers out of terrain to keep them from crashing. You should be able to catch units out in the open with the speed they have. Especially if you use your spawn and other assualty stuff to flush them to it.

      • When it’s a 17% chance to fail the dangerous terrain test, and then only a 33% chance to fail the armor save, I don’t “work extra hard” to keep them out of terrain. This game was just a string of bad luck on those Bikers and if it wasn’t going to be the terrain then it would have been something else equally silly.

  • Nice battle report. Great to see you playing your CSM for a change. It sounded like a fun game. The Burning Brand is good, especially when you get Enfeeble or the Gunmorph boon.

    And immobilized Maulerfiends … it happens way too often.

    • One of my recent games had my Maulerfiend get immobilized on the charge. That one was painful. Poor, poor Maulerfiends. It’s like nobody likes them but us…

      • Maulerfiends are costed like a throw-away, disguised as a centerpiece. I’m so happy with my second one, it takes them from menacing to frightening.

        • Agreed. I only complain because I think they’re such cool models, certainly not because I lost a big chunk of my army. Same with Helbrutes. I know Helbrutes don’t get the love a Maulerfiend does, but clocking in at 100pts I don’t mind if it doesn’t do much.

          A second Maulerfiend is on my to-buy list for sure.

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