Thursday, 5 October 2017

Battle Report 120- 2000 pts White Scars vs Tyranids

This week's battle report sees my White Scars take on Stu's Tyranids in a 2000 pts Maelstrom of War mission.

This week, I was playing Cleanse and Capture (three cards per turn) with Spearhead Assault deployment zone.

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Captain- Bike, Teeth of Terra (C)
Lieutenant- Master-crafted Bolter (L)
10 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Meltagun (TS1)
Rhino- Storm Bolter (R)
6 Tactical Marines- Bolters, Flamer (TS2)
5 Scouts- Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks (S1)
Razorback- Twin Assault Cannon (Rb)
10 Sternguard Veterans- Special Issue Bolters (S2)
Drop Pod- Storm Bolter (DP)
5 Vanguard Veterans- 3 pairs Lightning Claws, 2 Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields (VV)

Outrider Detachment
Chaplain- Jump Pack (Ch)
5 Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Power Fist (B1)
5 Bikers- 2 Meltaguns, Power Axe (B2)
6 Scout Bikers (SB)
2 Attack Bikes- Multi-meltas (AB)

7 Command Points

My warlord was the Captain and he took the White Scars Deadly Hunter Warlord trait.

Stu's army consisted of:
Spearhead Detachment
Malanthrope (M)
Biovore (B1)
Exocrine- Bio-plasmic Cannon, Powerful Limbs (E)
Mawloc- Distensible Jaws, Prehensile Pincer Tail, 3 Scything Talons (Maw)

Battalion Detachment
Broodlord- Monstrous Rending Claws, Catalyst (B2)
The Swarmlord- Bone Sabres, Onslaught, The Horror (S)
20 Genestealers- Rending Claws, Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs (G1)
20 Genestealers- Rending Claws, Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs (G2)
3 Tyranid Warriors- Devourers, Lash Whip and Boneswords (TW)
Lictor- Flesh Hooks, Grasping Talons, Rending Claws (L)
Pyrovore- Acid Maw, Flamespurt (P)
3 Venomthropes (V)
Harpy- 2 Stranglethron Cannons, Scything Wings, Stinger Salvo (H)

7 Command Points

The warlord was the Mawloc, who took the Tenacious Survivor warlord trait. I've faced Tyranids in a few games in 8th edition and know that they can be a solid army. The Swarmlord will tear through just about anything in combat and his extra move ability is awesome. Two big units of Genestealers would also be very tough to face, and my old nemesis, the Exocrine, could make a mess of my Bike Squads.

We placed the objectives as shown below:

Stu won the choice of deployment side and I started deploying. The deployment order was:
  1. Vanguard Veterans (reserve)
  2. Mawloc (reserve)
  3. Drop Pod (Sternguard Veterans)
  4. Lictor (reserve)
  5. Chaplain (reserve)
  6. Exocrine
  7. Devastators
  8. Tyranid Warriors
  9. Lieutenant
  10. Biovore
  11. Razorback (Tactical Squad 2)
  12. Genestealers
  13. Rhino (Tactical Squad 1)
  14. Venomthrope
  15. Bikers (LHS)
  16. Swarmlord
  17. Captain on Bike
  18. Pyrovore
  19. Bikers (RHS)
  20. Malanthrope
  21. Attack Bikes
  22. Broodlord
  23. Scout Bikers
  24. Harpy
  25. Scout Bikers
  26. Genestealers
I placed much of my forces on the left of my deployment zone to take them out of range of the Exocrine. I put one unit of Bikers on the right to go after objectives, but still out of range of the Exocrine. I decided to put the Scout on top of the ruins near the centre. This was a little closer than I wanted, but I wanted them to have good line of sight and there weren't too many options in my deployment zone. 

Stu set up the Biovore and Pyrovore in the ruins on his right, supported by the Swarmlord and a unit of Genestealers, with the Harpy behind them. The second unit of Genestealers went as far forward as possible in the centre, supported by the Broodlord and the Venomthropes. On the left flank, the Exocrine, Malanthrope and Tyranid Warriors set up to provide some good firepower over the battlefield. 

Stu failed to seize the initiative and I took the first turn. 

In turn 1, I drew Witch Hunter (kill an enemy psyker), Defend Objective 3 and Psychological Warfare (force a failed morale test). Not a great set of cards, these would be tough to get in turn 1. 

On the left flank, the Scout Bikers and Attack Bikes moved up into weapons range on the Tyranid units. 

The White Scars then opened fire on the enemy. The Razorback fired on the Genestealers in the centre, wounding 5 times and killing four. The nearby Bikers added their firepower, wounding four times and killing two. The Scout Bikers also opened fire on the Genestealers. Some abysmal rolls saw only a single wound caused that killed one more. 

The Devastators fired on the Exocrine, hitting and wounding twice. Stu made one save and the one wound that got through did 2 damage. I used a Command Point re-roll to try and boost the damage, but rolled another 2. 

The Scouts fired their Sniper Rifles at the Broodlord, wounding him twice, but failing to get past his armour. Finally, the Attack Bikers opened fire on the Venomthropes, wounding once, but failing to get past their save as well. 

At the end of my turn, I discarded Psychological Warfare. Not the best of starts, but the Tyranids were still far enough away. 

In his first turn, Stu drew Secure Objective 4, Defend Objective 4 and Secure Objective 6. 

Both units of Genestealers advanced on the White Scars, joined by the Broodlord and Venomthropes. The Harpy moved towards the left flank, besides the ruins. The Mawloc also arrived, bursting from the ground beside the Devastators. As it emerged, it wounded the Razorback three times, the Attack Bikes once and the Devastators twice. 

In the psychic phase, Stu cast Catalyst on the Genestealers. He tried to cast The Horror on the Grav Bikers, but failed to cast it. He used a Command Point re-roll, but also failed with this. 

In the shooting phase, the Biovores fired on the Meltagun Bikers, causing one mortal wound on them. The Exocrine opened fire on the Scouts in the ruins, killing three of the squad. The Harpy targeted the Meltagun Bikers, wounding them once, but their armour held. 

The Swarmlord directed the Genestealers to advance once more, and they sped towards the Scout Bikers. 

In the charge phase, the Genestealers assaulted the Scout Bikers. The overwatch fire of the Bikers managed to slay four of the enemy creatures. Stu only rolled a 3" charge, but fortunately, they were close enough to make it. The second Genestealer unit charged the Scouts in the centre.

The savagery of the Genestealers was as powerful as always and both Scout units were easily slain. The Genestealers on the right flank consolidated into the nearby Bikers. The White Scars struck at them, wounding them 5 times, but Stu made four of his invulnerable saves! The squad Sergeant managed to kill two more. 

In the morale phase, four more Genestealers perished (I should have held on to that card, forgetting you could also score it in your opponent's phase). At the end of his turn, Stu scored First Blood and Secure Objective 6. He discarded Defend Objective 4. 

White Scars- 0
Tyranids- 2

An early lead for the Tyranids, who had also killed off two of my units in the first turn. 

This turn, I drew Priority Orders Received (Area Denial) and had Witch Hunter and Defend Objective 3. Another poor round of cards for me. 

The Bikers fell back from combat with the Genestealers, as the Tactical Squad disembarked from the Razorback to target them. On the right flank, the Bikers moved up on the central unit of Genestealers, joined by the second Tactical Squad. 

The reserves arrived in the enemy deployment zone, the Drop Pod, Sternguard, Chaplain and Vanguard Veterans arriving to target the Warriors and Malanthrope. 

The Attack Bikes fired at the Mawloc, wounding once with their Multi-meltas and taking three wounds from it. The squad's Bolters fired at the Genestealers, wounding them 5 times, but Stu again made four out of five 5+ saves! 
The Devastators fired at the Mawloc, wounding only once, but taking 6 damage from it. They used the Armorium Cherub to fire once more, hitting and wounding, but Stu made his 5+ armour save. 

The Tactical Squad on the right fired their Bolters at the Genestealers in the central ruins, killing 5 of the squad. The squad's Meltagun fired at the Mawloc, finally killing it. Stu did not make the Death Throws roll (similar to explodes), using a command point re-roll, but also failing to cause the damage. 

On the right flank, the Bikers fired at the central Genestealers, wounding them 6 times, but Stu made all six of his 4+ saves! If he didn't stop making saves like this, I was in real trouble. The Meltaguns in the squad caused one wound, but Stu made his save once more. 

On the left flank, the Tactical Squad fired at the Genestealers, killing four of them. The Captain added his firepower, killing one more. The Razorback targeted the central Genestealers, killing 8 more. 

I used the Masterful Marksmanship Stratagem and the Sternguard targeted the Malanthrope. They managed to wound the beast 8 times, leaving him on a single wound. The Drop Pod added its firepower, hitting once, but failing to wound. 

In the charge phase, the Sternguard failed to charge the Malanthrope, even with a command point re-roll. The Vanguard Veterans and Chaplain also failed their charges on the Tyranid Warriors. The Bikers on the right flank tried to charge the two remaining Genestealers, but also failed their charge. The Captain and second Bike squad did manage to charge the second unit of Genestealers. 

The Captain struck at the Tyranids, killing two, while the Bike squad were able to wipe out the last member of the squad. 

At the end of my turn, I scored no points once more and discarded Defend Objective 3. Some amazing saving throws from Stu and four failed 9" charges from me had seen me struggle once more in this turn. I can't remember the last time I played a maelstrom game and failed to score a single point in two turns, if indeed that had ever happened before. 

This turn, Stu drew Secure Objective 5, Secure Objective 5 and had Secure Objective 4.

The two remaining Genestealers and the Broodlord moved up on the White Scars lines, while the harpy moved up on the ruins to the left. The Tyranid backline moved to engage the newly arrived reserves, the Swarmlord, Malanthrope, Tyranid Warriors and Pyrovore moving towards them. The Venomthropes also retreated into the ruins. Finally, the Lictor arrived, revealing itself near the Vanguard Veterans.

In the psychic phase, the Broodlord failed to cast Catalyst on itself, Stu then used a command point re-roll to pass it. He then cast The Horror on the Sternguard, passing the test. He then attempted to cast Smite with the Swarlord, but perilled, taking two mortal wounds in the process.

In the shooting phase, the Biovore targeted the Sternguard, killing one of the squad. The Pyrovore fired at the Chaplain, scoring only two hits, but Stu used another Command Point to score 5 hits that all wounded. The Chaplain took two wounds from the volley.

The Harpy fired at the nearby Tactical Squad, wounding four times, but they made all their armour saves.

The Exocrine targeted the Vanguard Veterans, scoring 11 hits (from 12 shots) and wounding 7 times. Fortunately, only the two Storm Shield Veterans fell as they took the brunt of the firepower.

In the charge phase, the Harpy charged the Rhino, the Genestealers assaulted the Lieutenant and the Broodlord assaulted the Razorback. The Tyranid Warriors charged the Sternguard Veterans. For once, my rolls were on fire, scoring 9 overwatch hits and wounding 8 times to kill off two of the Warriors! The Malanthrope also assaulted the Sternguard. The Lictor and Pyrovore failed to charge the Chaplain, but the Swarmlord made it in to combat.

The Malanthrope attacked the Sternguard, but failed to cause any damage. I then used two command points to interrupt and all the Sternguard attacked the Malanthrope, taking his final wound and killing him.
The last Tyranid Warrior then attacked, wounding twice but could not kill any of the Sternguard.

The mighty Swarmlord only hit with two of his attacks, but managed to wound twice. I failed one invulnerable save and the Chaplain perished. The Swarmlord then consolidated into the Drop Pod.

On the other side of the battlefield, the Harpy did three wounds on the Rhino. The Genestealers struck at the Lieutenant, wounding him three times, while the Broodlord easily dispatched the Razorback.
The Lieutenant struck at the Genestealers, killing the last two members of the squad, while the Rhino managed to wound the Harpy once.

At the end of his turn, Stu scored all three of his objectives, while I scored Slay the Warlord.

White Scars- 1
Tyranids- 5

A good second turn has seen Stu pull even further ahead. I needed some good cards in order to try and close the gap.

This turn, I drew Domination (hold all the objectives) and had Witch Hunter and Priority Objective (Area Denial).

The White Scars encircled the Broodlord, the Bike Squads moving to target the enemy character. The Vanguard Veterans moved up to engage the Exocrine.

In the shooting phase, the Attack Bikes targeted the Broodlord, wounding him five times, but he only took two thanks to Catalyst. The Squad's Bolters did another wound. The Bikers fired on the Broodlord and were able to kill him off.

The three Devastators fired at the Exocrine, but none of them managed to score a hit. There was nothing else in range that was not engaged in combat.

In the assault phase, the Vanguard Veterans assaulted the Exocrine, losing one of the squad to overwatch fire.

The Vanguard Veterans struck at the Exocrine, but failed to do any damage. The Sternguard attacked the Tyranid Warrior, only wounding it four times but managing to kill it. The Warrior was able to attack back (thanks to the Lash Whip) and kill one of the Sternguard.

The Exocrine killed one of the Vanguard Veterans. The Rhino managed to wound the Harpy once for no damage in reply. The Swarmlord easily demolished the Drop Pod and consolidated towards the Sternguard.

At the end of my turn I scored Area Denial for 3 points (after using my last Command Point to re-roll the result) and Witch Hunter. I discarded Domination.

This turn, Stu drew Kingslayer (kill the enemy warlord), Blood and Guts (kill a unit in assault) and No Prisoners (kill an enemy unit).

The Harpy fell back from combat, moving to the right flank, trying to bomb the Captain, but failed to hit and created a Spore Mine. The Swarmlord moved up on the Vanguard Veteran, while the Lictor, Venomthropes and Pyrovore moved to engage the Sternguard Veterans.

The Swarmlord failed to cast Smite, but managed to cast The Horror on the Sternguard.

In the shooting phase, the Biovore targeted the Sternguard, but missed with its shot. The Pyrovore fired at them, killing one. The Lictor added its firepower, wounding once, but I made my armour save.

In the charge phase, the Lictor assaulted the Sternguard, taking two wounds from overwatch fire. Stu, however, managed to fail a 4" charge. The Venomthropes charged the Sternguard. Again, some punishing overwatch fire saw me wound four times and kill one of the squad. To make matters worse, they too failed the charge. The Pyrovore and Swarmlord succeeded in charging the Sternguard.

The Swarmlord struck at the Sternguard, only killing three, while the Pyrovore killed one of the squad. The Exocrine then killed the last of the Vanguard Veterans. The Sternguard managed to put one wound on the Pyrovore, then lost another one of the squad to morale.

At the end of his turn, Stu scored Blood and Guts and No Prisoners. He discarded Kingslayer.

White Scars- 5
Tyranids- 7

A good round of cards had narrowed the gap, but I was still behind.

This turn, I drew Kingslayer (kill the enemy warlord), Assassinate (kill a character) and Secure Objective 5. I had already got Kingslayer, but would struggle to score the other two this turn.

The Bike Squad, Attack Bikes and Captain moved up to engage the Harpy, while the other Bike Squad moved up on the Biovores. The Sternguard fell back from combat.

The Attack Bikes fired at the Harpy, but missed with their Multi-meltas. The Bolters managed to do a single wound. The Captain fired, wounding it once more.

The Bikers and Tactical Squad added their firepower, managing to do three wounds on it. The Tactical Squad's Flamer fired on the Spore Mine, killing it.

The other Bike Squad fired at the Biovore, wounding it twice with their Bolters, while the Squad's Meltaguns managed to kill it off.

The Captain, Attack Bikes and Bikers charged the Harpy. The Captain struck at it, wounding it twice and taking it down to two wounds. The Bikers and Attack Bikes failed to do any damage on the creature.

In reply, the Harpy managed to wound the Captain three times.

At the end of my turn, I scored three points for Kingslayer and discarded Assassinate.

In his turn, Stu drew Advance (have no units in your deployment zone), Mission Critical Objective (Objective 5) and Secure Objective 3.

The Harpy fell back from combat towards the Tactical Squad. The Swarmlord and Pyrovore moved up on the Sternguard Veterans.

In the psychic phase, the Swarmlord used Smite to kill off the last two Sternguard.

In the shooting phase, the Harpy fired at the Tactical Squad, wounding them twice, but I made both armour saves. The Exocrine fired at the Bike squad in the centre, wiping out the squad with its firepower.

The Swarmlord used his ability to advance towards the centre of the battlefield.

At the end of his turn, Stu scored Mission Critical Objective and discarded Advance.

White Scars- 8
Tyranids- 8

A really good roll for Kingslayer had seen me draw the game level.

This turn, I drew Secure Objective 5, Defend Objective 5 and Secure Objective 4.

The Tactical Squad advanced on the objective, while the rest of the White Scars moved to target the Harpy.

The Attack Bikes fired at the Harpy, missing with their Multi-meltas, but killing it off with their Bolters.

The Devastators fired on the Exocrine, hitting twice and wounding once, but doing 6 damage with the shot.

At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 4 and discarded Defend Objective 5.

This turn, Stu drew Secure Objective 3, Domination and Big Game Hunter.

The Swarmlord advanced towards the central objective, while the Venomthropes also moved up, joined by the Lictor. The Exocrine moved up to get range on the enemy units.

The Swarmlord cast The Horror on the Attack Bikes, then Onslaught on the Exocrine.

The Swarmlord used his ability to advance the Lictor onto objective 3. The Exocrine fired at the Rhino, wounding it once and taking it down to 5 wounds.

At the end of his turn, Stu scored Secure Objective 3 and discarded Domination.

White Scars- 9
Tyranids- 9

We rolled to see if the game wound end and it did. A hard fought draw!
End of the game. 

Thanks to Stu for a really tough and fun game. I thought I was in big trouble after he established an early lead on the maelstrom points. Fortunately, two maximum D3 rolls for maelstrom cards managed to bring me back in the game towards the end to pull out a draw. 


  1. Why did you pay the CPs to interrupt and attack the Malanthrope if it had already attacked?

    1. I wasn't sure how good the Tyranid Warriors were in combat, so wanted to make sure I killed it off to get some points. I may have thought it was a psyker and would also score me Witch Hunter. In hindsight, I would have been better saving them.

  2. Well done coming back to pull out the draw. Just goes to show, you should never give up early, especially in Maelstrom.

    1. Thanks. It's always worth playing on in maelstrom games, the cards might just turn tour way.