Monday, 8 March 2010

How To Be Eaten Alive... A Guardsman's Tale.

Continuing my "How to be a terrible tactician" series of battle reports, I thought I'd fill my blog in today, with a rundown of sunday's game. unfortunately I didnt take any pictures of the game itself, I was far too busy being destroyed, but I think it was such an eye opener I should post it up regardless. I didnt really get a chance to glance up the table much to see what everyone else was doing, so this report will concentrate on my end of the table and as luck would have it, me and John were pretty much left to battle it out.

Apologies for the quickly done diagrams, Damn battle chronicler for being so slow on my laptop... it took me an age just to get these up.

Army Lists:
Lucky 88th
  • Regimental Command - master of ordnance
  • Stormtroopers
  • Platoon Command
  • Infantry Squad 1
  • Infantry Squad 2
  • Heavy weapons team 1 (Autocannons)
  • Heavy weapons team 2 (Heavy bolters)
  • Conscripts (20)
  • Penal Legion
  • Veterans - Chimera
  • Salamander Scout
  • Armoured Sentinal
  • Cyclops Demo Tank
  • Leman Russ Executioner
  • Leman Russ Vanquisher
  • Leman Russ Battle Tank
  • Medusa
  • Vuture Gunship
total 2000odd

John P's Nids

  • 1 Tyrant (Venom cannon & Hive commander)
  • 1 warrior alpha (or is it prime?)
  • 2 Zoanthropes (1 brood)
  • Ymgarl stealers (10)
  • 4 Warriors Death spitters 1 Venom cannon
  • A big swarm of H Gaunts (20)
  • A bigger swarm of T Gaunts (30)
  • A big swarm of gargoyles (20)
  • 3 Regenerating fex's (1 Venom cannon, 1 with pinchy claws 1 with 2 sets of talons)
  • Mawlock
Around 2000 points also

Game Setup:

3 vs 3,
2 Imperial guard armies allied with a TAU force, versus the Hive mind.
Me and Greg were the imperial guard players, allied with a newcomer to the hobby, Paul, who had never played a game before, but owned a 1200 point TAU force. John, John and Lee were commanding the gribblies.

for sheer simplicity the "Allies" set up first, with the nids rolling for the initiative.

I was appointed "Commander of the Allies" and my first decree as commander was to appoint Greg "Blame Boy"

And as for tactics, I figured simplicity would be key, so "stand and shoot" seemed a good idea :D Greg concurred, and Paul was briefed to hold a building in the centre of out deployment zone, a simple task for a beginner player.

I setup on the left hand side of the board, greg on the right, with pauls smaller TAU force in the middle. We were facing off against John P, John H and Lee respectively (luckily Lee was up to speed with the TAU codex, unlike myself)

My Deployment:

My first mistake was expecting a surrounding enemy force, my deployment centred around my tanks, giving them a full few ranks of troops as meatshields and a wide angle of LOS, whilst bringing all my heavy weapons into play. a heavy bolter team and infantry squad held the left flank, whilst my gunslinger penal legion stalked into the forest on my right flank - I figured their assault 2 lasguns would be good at killing gribblies passing by or entering the trees.

I also kept back a few units, something I'm trying to force myself to do more often. The salamander, veterans in the chimera and armoured sentinal would act as reinforcing heavy guns to reacti to the enemy deployment. the vulture gunship and stormtroopers would be my "special forces" reaction force, the vulture would be used to blow holes in the gribbly swarms, whilst the stormtroopers would deepstrike to any presented flank and harrass the sides of the advancing monsters.
Tyranid Deployment:

John had set up 3 carnifexes to my right, a large swarm of gargoyles surrounded them, a pair of zoanthropes floated in the centre, with a hive tyrant and Alpha Warrior behind and a large brood of Temagants in the forest straight in front of me.

The Tyranid players failed to sieze the initiaive, despite us handing it over to greg, the unlucky player. so our turn 1 began.

I firstly had to re-adjust my frontline, to bring my left flank to bear forwards, then just got on with the shooting. This was quite a fun affair, none of my orders were recieved, such as "Bring it down" to my autocannon team. but the 3 russes and medusa had fun blasting holes into the smaller beasties.

Nid Turn 1: A fairly simple affair, everything wandered forwards, the tyranid guns barely scratching the paint of the medusa and battle tank causing them to be shaken and killing 2 conscripts and a single guardsman.

Ally Turn 2: The vulture and stormtroopers both arrive this turn, flying in on my left flank, to tie up the ends of the tyranid waves. I'd riddled the gargoyles down to a couple and made a mess of the termagants on my left with multiple rocket pod fire and hellgun fire, but not much else.

Nid Turn 2: The first supprise, the brood of Ymgarl stealers was hiding in the forest on my right flank - and the penal legion had abviously disturbed them. The zoanthropes turn their attention to the vulture and in-keeping with tradition the vulture is slain the turn it arrives - by being immobilised, continuing its descent from the skies into the ground.

The ground then erupts under my left flank, the heavy bolter squad and an infantry squad are forced apart (losing a few men) to make space for the Mawloc - in my gaming group we had discussed before the game, that the mawloc can intentionally deep strike onto enemy models and that once the mawloc is placed down, it is already in base to base contant with any enemy units which had to be moved to make room for the model. this may not be how other people play it, but we are always in the game for the fun of it, similarly we allow vox's to be used at any distance (as they bleedin should be!)

Also, as if things weren't bad enough, I come back from buying a drink to overhear John saying "I'm just concerned of having a bit too much overkill over here" You know you're in trouble when your opponent has to reign in his army to not 'kill you too much'

I had lent Lee my trygon to give it a go, but he and John H had no use for it, so naturally it was thrown into my deployment zone lol!

A trygon erupts from the ground right next to my medusa. pretty much spelling the end of my defensive forces.

The tyranids get into H2H, termagants dive into my stormtroopers, the ymgarl stealers take on the penal legion, spreading thin to contact the conscripts, joining a carnifex and the last few gargoyles. - the front line was decimated as the conscripts were forced to leg it, although the penal legion stood their ground, only taking a small number of casualties (despite fighting genestealers!!)
The mawloc made short work of the heavy bolter team and infantry squad, who were slaughtered to the man.
The stormtroopers however only lost a single man, and exacted revenge killing all but 1 termagant. I can't believe I'd forgot (until john reminded me) stormtroopers had combat weapons and pistols aswell as their normal HSlasguns, they are seriously good in combat against basic gribblies.

Ally Turn 3: a few more reserves join the table, the salamander and the Armoured Sentinal wander in on my left flank, with the new monstrous threat, I decided to keep these as heavy weapon relief, firing upon the trygon and mawloc as it was no longer in combat. this had very little affect - apart from the sentinal's plasma cannon which scattered onto my other infantry squad, melting 4 guardsmen in plasma death. My command squad dive into combat against the trygon, with the platoon command going for the mawloc, along with any other infantry nearby.

For simplicity I'll just round out what happened over Turn 4:

A Hormagaunt Brood arrives on my left flank and ruins the stormtroopers over 2 turns of combat.

The Mawloc and Trygon have a lovely picnic in my deplyment zone eating everything between them.

The veterans in their chimera arrive on the left behind the sentinal and salamander and instantly deploy ready to fill the trygon and mawloc with autocannon fire.

the three leman russ' are destroyed

The Hive mind Rejoices after having a nice meal.

You can see above, I had barely slowed down the monstrous assault, causing mere flesh wounds on the carnifex's, and only decimating the gargoyles and termagants. meanwhile the monstrous creatures had made it to all the big things in my force, the only reason some of my force survived was down to them being reserves, and simply coming on out of the way of the rampaging behemoth.

The game was called to an end at turn 4, the tyranids had decimated mine and Greg's forces, leaving Paul's TAU relatively untouched - obviously TAU wasn't on the menu that day.

So what can I take away from this game?:

  1. Firstly, Deployment. I really need to think up a more flexible - possibly more inventive deployment pattern
  2. Secondly, Reserves. These were a great success, I need to remember to make use of these in future.
  3. Thirdly, Trygons and Mawlocs are awesome!! I was going to field these anyway in my Hive Splinter Borlin, but it's great to see them in action. Lee was pretty unimpressed with his Tyranid army's first outing (so much so I think its already been sold) His reaction was - a Tyranid force lacking many guns is pretty boring, all you do is walk forwards until you get to combat. While this is not fun for lee, I can see how bunging in a lot of mycetic spores and burrowing monsters will really liven up the enemy deployment zone, so lessons learnt all round.
Finally, Mistakes!:
  1. One glaring mistake i made was not doing anything of note to the larger monsters. Turn 1 I should have concentrated every gun on the biggermonsters, leaving the gribblies to FRFSRF Conscripts and infantry squads.
  2. Another mistake I will note is the placement of my stormtroopers. I should have droped them on my right flank, awaiting the carnifexes, I believe that their overwhelming number of attacks would have delivered much more damage to a single Fex than any of my normal troops.
  3. The Zoanthropes, these should have died early, preferably before the vulture arrived, with them gone, not much else had the ability to take out my vehicles out of h2h.

This ends my rambling post.

I should be playing a small game against Paul this weekend, so will remember my camera, and will have some new pics up.

Cheers for now.

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The Lucky 88th History

The Lucky 88th

The Royal planet of Borlina is just off the Cadian gate, once a thriving hive planet with a high percentage of royal and rich descendants from Terra itself. Now a diseased, war torn hell hole, home to a twisted secret the Inquisition would rather not recount.

The Curse of Borlina

During a Chaos incursion (Blood & Bile of the Rich Invasion 960.M41) Inquisitor Payne ordered the Orbital Bombardment of the entire planet, choosing Viral Bombing as the means of execution of the foul beasts and corrupted Governors.
Unfortunately the Borlina PDFs were also sentenced to death, whilst deeply in conflict with the Chaos forces.
Under pressure from Inquisitor Rayvenn (of the Black Storm), Inquisitor Payne mercifully ordered areas with high concentrations of loyal forces to be bombed with a weaker strain of the virus. Whilst the planet was bombed with Virus 1, a highly corrosive airborne agent which subsides after 1 day. Virus 13 (a Plague like virus with no corrosive element) was deemed legal for use over loyalist troops, who were forewarned, advised to find cover and don gas equipment. Low on supplies, deep in conflict and without gas equipment the lucky 88th miraculously fought off Virus 13 as if it was a bad case of flu.


A nearby Commissariat fleet jumped at the opportunity to put together their own personal force and made planet fall to gather together the pockets of loyal troops into a fighting regiment. This proved quite difficult, requiring the aid of the nearby Space Marine chapters (“Dragon Marines” and “Black Storm”) to seek out loyal forces.

The largest surviving regiment had barricaded themselves in the Master Palace, which impressed the commissariat no end, for it was a disease ridden nightmare, the very palace itself was a Nurgle infested monstrocity.
Having already adopted the name “Lucky 88th” due to the large amount of survivors from the 88th regiment the troops added a Lucky Ace symbol to their armour and vehicles, much to the annoyance of the commissariat who view it as graffiti and unofficial. In return the more senior commissars keep their gas-masks on when in combat to stir anger into the men, making them fight harder for the injustice caused to them. Lower Commissars tend not to test such practises, wary of the men turning on them when cut off from high command.

Recruitment: The Virus Run

Any outsider coming into contact with any surviving member of the Borlina virus attacks must first be inoculated from the infectious version of the virus which can be fatal to weaker immune systems. New Recruits however are not so lucky. Firstly they are put through a year of heavy training wearing gas masks. Graduation into the Lucky 88th is only complete after a gruelling month fighting through the Virus Run, a heavily infected area of the former Borlingrav Palace, now a Bastion of pestilence and disease. The survivors of this infamous death zone gain the respect of the rest of the regiment, except for the veterans who hate all outsiders including the commissariat.