Thursday, 10 August 2017

Bunker War 3: Game 3- Deathwatch vs Tyranids

The final game of the Bunker War 3 tournament would see my Deathwatch take on Phil's Tyranid force. I had only played Nids once in 8th edition so far, and it did not go well. Hopefully, this game would be a lot closer than that last one.

The mission for game 3 was the Scouring, with Dawn of War deployment. We were playing on an industrial table with some of the awesome new Armageddon scenery taking up a fair portion of the table.

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Watch Master (W)
Watch Captain- Jump Pack, Pair Lightning Claws (W)
Kill Team 1- 5 Veterans, Vanguard Veteran with Pair Lightning Claws, 3 Frag Cannons, Storm Shield. (KT1)
Kill Team 2- 5 Veterans, 2 Missile Launchers, 2 Stalker Boltguns (KT2)
Kill Team 3- 5 Veterans, 2 Infernus Heavy Bolters, 2 Stalker Boltguns (KT3)
Kill Team 4- 5 Veterans, Meltagun, 3 combi-Meltas (KT4)
Kill Team 5- 5 Veterans, 2 Frag Cannons (KT5)
Rhino (R)
Drop Pod- Storm Bolter (DP)
6 Vanguard Veterans- 2 Pairs Lightning Claws, Power Sword and Bolt Pistol, 3 with Bolt Pistols and Chainswords (VV1)
3 Deathwatch Bikers- Power Axe, Power Sword (DB1)
3 Deathwatch Bikers- two Power Swords (DB2)
Corvus Blackstar- Auspex Array, Hurricane Bolter, Twin Assault Cannons, 2 Blackstar Rocket Launchers (CB)
Vindicare Assassin (V)

6 Command Points

The Watch Master was my warlord and had the Tenacious Survivor warlord trait. 

Phil's army consisted of:
Spearhead Detachment
Malanthrope (M)
10 Termagants (T1)
10 Termagants (T2)
3 Tyrant Guard- Adrenal Glands (TG)
3 Hive Guard (HG)
Hive Crone (HC)
Biovore (B1)
Biovore (B2)
Biovore (B3)

Spearhead Detachment
Swarmlord (S)
10 Termagants (T3)
3 Zoanthropes and Neurothrope (Z)
Eoxcrine (E1)
Exocrine (E2)
Mawloc (Maw)
Tyrannocyte (TC1)
Tyrannocyte (TC2)

His Warlord was the Swarmlord with Tenacious Surivor. Unfortunately, Phil's list did not have any more details on wargear or psychic powers, so I can't fill in the blanks on the army list. 

We set up the objectives as shown below:

Phil won the roll for deployment and chose the side with the large ruins. I deployed first, the deployment order was:
  1. Drop Pod (Meltagun Kill Team and Watch Master)
  2. Tyrannocyte (Swarmlord)
  3. Vanguard Veterans (reserve)
  4. Tyrannocyte (Hive Guard)
  5. Kill Team 2 (Missile Launchers)
  6. Mawloc (reserve)
  7. Kill Team 3 (Infernus Bolters)
  8. Biovore
  9. Rhino (Frag Cannon Kill Team)
  10. Biovore
  11. Bikers (LHS) 
  12. Biovore
  13. Bikers (RHS)
  14. Termagants
  15. Corvus Blackstar (Kill Team 1 and Watch Captain)
  16. Termagants
  17. Assassin (reserve)
  18. Rest of Phil's army
I put one Kill Team next to the objective on either side of my deployment zone. Phil appeared to be castling around the ruins on his left flank, with the Biovores in the ruins and the big creatures behind the Gaunt shield. I put the Bikers to my left, out of range of the Exocrine in case I got seized on (it had happened twice already). The Corvus and Rhino went on the right, ready to advance and go after the Gaunt units. 

Phil failed to seize the initiative, even with a re-roll and I took the first turn. 


The Rhino surged forward, advancing to close distance with the Xeonos threat, while the Corvus Blackstar banked to the right to target the Biovores. The two Bike squads moved up on the enemy units along the left flank. 

The Corvus Blackstar split its fire between two of the Biovores. The Hurricane Bolters fired at one, wounding 6 times, but failing to get past its armour. The Assault Cannon managed to strip three wounds from it. The Rocket Pods put 8 wounds on another, but Phil passed 6 of his 4+ saves. Some great saving throws from Phil had really helped out the Biovores. The Kill Team opposite the Biovores fired their Infernus Bolters at one of the injured beasts, finally killing it. 

The other Kill Team fired two Krak Missiles at an Exocrine. Both hit and wounded. Phil failed both saves, but used a re-roll to pass one. The Missile that did go through, however, managed to strip 6 wounds from it. The rest of the squad's Stalker Bolters kill three of the Termagants. 

The two units of Bikers fired at the wounded Exocrine, but only managed to do a single wound (I had to use the Kraken bolts, as I was out of range for the poisoned 2+ shells). 

The Vindicare fired at a Zoanthrope, wounding it once. 


The Hive Guard advanced towards the Bikers, as the Termagant units moved up on the Deathwatch positions, supported by the Zoanthropes. The Hive Crone moved to the left of the Corvus Blackstar. 

The Hive Mind summoned its re-inforcements. The Mawloc emerged from its subterranean hiding place beside the Rhino, wounding it 3 times. The Tyrannocytes landed near the Deathwatch deployment zone, the Swarmlord moving to engage the Kill Team, while the Tyrant Guard went after the Corvus Blackstar. 

The Zoanthropes cast Onslaught on the Hive Guard, then used their combined psychic powers to Smite the Rhino and do 4 mortal wounds. The Hive Crone then cast Catalyst on itself, and The Horror on the Corvus Blackstar. 

In the shooting phase, the Biovores targeted the Rhino, taking two wounds from it and leaving it on one. The Termagants fired at the Rhino, wounding it 5 times, but I passed all my saves and the vehicle survived.

Phil then turned his attention to the Corvus Blackstar. The Hive Crone fired at the flyer, wounding it three times. The Hive Guard then targeted the Corvus, dealing it 4 mortal wounds and two regular wounds (leaving it on 6). The Tyrannocytes both opened fire on the flyer, dealing it one more wound.

One of the Exocrines fired at the Corvus Blackstar, wounding it twice. The other Exocrine fired at the furthest unit of Bikers. Its first volley killed two of the Bikers. Its second volley failed to do any hits, even with a Command Point re-roll used.

In the charge phase, the Hive Crone assaulted the Corvus Blackstar, suffering no damage from overwatch fire. The Hive Guard charged the Bikers (Onslaught allowing them to do so after advancing), with Phil being forced to use another Command Point to ensure they made the charge. The Swarmlord also assaulted the Kill Team, taking one wound from the overwatch fire of the Heavy Flamers. The Termagaunts charged the Rhino, hoping to take its final wound from it.

The Hive Crone destroyed the Corvus Blackstar, the squad inside suffering no casualties (after I used 1 Command Point re-roll). The Crone then consolidated into the squad and Watch Captain.

The Hive Guard struck at the Bikers, killing one of the squad. The Bikers managed to wound one of the Guard with their return attacks.

The Swarmlord cut a swathe through the Kill Team, butchering four of the squad. The lone survivor could do nothing against the raging beast.

The Termagants attacked the Rhino, wounding it once, but I made my armour save and denied Phil the kill.

Finally, the Watch Captain and Kill Team 1 got to attack the Hive Crone. Phil was aghast as the Watch Captain managed to put 4 wounds on the Crone, while the Kill Team put another three wounds on it, thanks in part to their Lightning Claws. The consolidation could have been a costly mistake for the Hive Crone, as it was now close to death.


The last survivor or Kill Team 3 fell back from combat with the Swarmlord, as did Kill Team 1 from the Hive Crone. The Watch Captain decided to stay in combat to see if he could finish off the Tyranid creature. The Bikers fell back from combat with the Hive Guard, moving up to support the other Biker as he advanced.

Kill Team 5 disembarked from the Rhino as it fell back, moving to engage the Termagants. Finally, the Deathwatch reserves arrived. The Drop Pod landed near the Exocrine, the squad inside moving out to target the beast, while the Vanguard Veterans landed next to  the Hive Guard.

The Kill Team fired their Meltaguns at the Exocrine, only managing to hit twice, despite the presence of the Watch Master. Both shots failed to wound, so I used a Command Point re-roll to make one wound. Fortunately, it did 6 damage on the Tyranid beast. The Watch Master fired at the Zoanthropes, but failed to do any damage. The Drop Pod fired at the Termagants, wounding once, but Phil made his 6+ save.

The Frag Cannon squad fired at the Zoanthropes, hitting and wounding 14 times. Phil only failed four of his invulnerable saves, so only one Zoanthrope died. The Bolters of the squad fired at the Exocrine, but failed to wound.

The second Frag Cannon team fired at the Termagants beside them, easily wiping them out. The Vindicare opened fire on the Malanthrope, hitting him, but failing to wound.

The backfield Kill Team fired two Krak Missiles at the Exocrine, hoping to finish it off, but both shots failed to hit. The rest of the squad fired their Stalker Bolters at the Swarmlord, but failed to do any damage.

In the charge phase, Kill Team 5 assaulted the Termagants in front of them, while the Bikers assaulted the Zoanthrope unit. The Vanguard Veterans failed to assault the Hive Guard, while the Meltagun Kill Team failed to charge the Malanthrope.

The Kill Team struck at the Termagants, killing 5 of the squad (leaving 2 remaining). Phil then used two Command Points to interrupt combat and attack the Watch Captain with the Hive Crone. Fortunately for me, the Hive Crone failed to do any damage.

The Bikers struck at the Zoanthropes, killing one of the squad and wounding the Neurothrope twice. The Tyranids attacked back, but failed to do any damage on the Bikers.

The Watch Captain attacked the Hive Crone, managing to wound it twice with his Lightning Claws.

In the morale phase, the Termagants were wiped out as they fled the battlefield.


The Hive Crone and Zoanthrope unit fell back from combat with the Deathwatch. The Mawloc burrowed into the earth once more.

The Malanthrope moved up to support the Tyranids, as the Tyrant Guard moved to engage the Watch Captain. The Swarmlord moved to engage Kill Team 2 (with the Missile Launchers), while the two Tyrannocytes floated towards the objectives.

Hive Crone cast Smite, killing three of the Frag Cannon Kill Team. The Swarmlord then cast Catalyst on itself, then failed to cast Smite on the Rhino.

In the shooting phase, the Termagants fired at the Rhino, but failed to do any damage. The Hive Crone fired at the Kill Team in front of it, but failed to hit with any of its attacks (it was not hitting on 6's thanks to the wounds inflicted).

The Tyrannoctye fired at the lone member of Kill Team 3, wounding him twice, but failing to get past his armour. A Biovore fired at the Marine, killing him. The other Tyrannocyte fired on the Watch Captain, wounding him five times. I failed four of my 3+ saves and the Captain was left on a single wound!

The Exocrine fired at the Meltagun Kill Team, but some poor rolling saw only two Deathwatch Marines fall from both volleys of fire (the Exocrine can fire twice if it does not move).

The Tyrant Guard fired on Kill Team 1 from the Corvus Blackstar, wounding them 3 times. Once again, some terrible saving throws saw all three Marines die. I used a single Command re-roll to save one of the Frag Cannons. The second Biovore fired at the Kill Team, but failed to hit them, creating a Spore Mine instead.

In the charge phase, the Hive Guard assaulted the Vanguard Veterans. The Tyranids struck at the Deathwatch, killing one of the squad. The Vanguard Veterans struck back, killing one of the Hive Guard and leaving one on two wounds.

Some terrible rolling from Phil in this turn had kept the Deathwatch in the game. Things still looked pretty even at this point. The Deathwatch had taken a bit of a hammering, but so too had the Tyranids, with many of the big creatures seriously wounded at this stage.


The Meltagun Kill Team and Watch Master moved up to engage the Exocrines, while the Watch Captain moved to target his nemesis, the Hive Crone. The Bikers also moved up to support the attack on the Exocrine, while the remaining Frag Cannon Kill Teams moved to maximise their attacks.

The Kill Team fired their Meltaguns at the unharmed Exocrine, wounding it twice (after using my last Command Point) and doing 8 damage to it. The Watch Master fired his Guardian Spear at it, taking another wound from the creature.

The Bikers opened fire on the Exocrine. One squad managed to take another two wounds, reducing it to one. The last Biker in the second squad fired at it, doing a single wound and finally killing it.

One of the Kill Teams fired their Frag Cannons at the Malanthrope, hitting it 18 times and wounding it 13 times. Against such punishment, the beast fell, but its death throes killed one of the Kill Team, wounded the Hive Crone and killed two of the nearby Termagants. The second Kill Team turned their Frag Cannons on the Hive Crone. Despite scoring 10 hits, I only wounded twice (despite needing a 4+) and the Hive Crone took another wound. The Watch Captain hurled a Krak grenade at the creature and finally managed to bring it down! The other Frag Cannon in the squad took out 8 of the Termagants, destroying the unit.

In the Deathwatch deployment zone, Kill Team 2 desperately fired their weapons at the Swarmlord, but failed to do any damage with their Missile Launchers or Stalker Bolters. The Vindicare added his firepower, but was unable to wound the Tyranid beast.

In the charge phase, the Watch Captain and Bikers assaulted the Exocrine. The Watch Captain was able to take down the Exocrine with his Lightning Claw attacks.

The Vanguard Veterans were able to kill the last of the Hive Guard in combat.


The Swarmlord moved up on the Kill Team, while the Tyrant Guard moved up to engage the Drop Pod, joined by the two Tyrannocytes. The Mawloc emerged from its hiding, its arrival killing the Watch Captain, wounding one of the Bikers and wounding the Watch Master (though he made his Tenacious Survivor save).

The Swarmlord attempted to cast Catalyst and Smite, but failed with both attempts.

One of the Tyrannocytes fired on the Rhino, but failed to hit with any of its attacks. The second Tyrannocyte fired at the Rhino and was finally able to kill it.

The Tyrant Guard fired their weapons at three of the Deathwatch units, killing one of the Bikers and one of the Frag Cannon Kill Teams. The Biovores fired on the Meltagun Kill Team, but both shots missed and created two spore mines.

The Swarmlord assaulted the Kill Team. Amazingly, both Missile Launchers hit and wounded in overwatch. Phil failed both his saves and the Swarmlord took 7 wounds, leaving him on 4. The fury of the Swarmlord was taken out on the Kill Team, slaying four of them. The last of the Marines fell when his morale gave out at the end of the turn.

Things were certainly still in the balance. The Swarmlord had pretty much decimated my deployment zone, but had been seriously wounded in the process. We were pretty evenly matched on number of models left in the game, but who could survive the next few turns to win it?


The two Bikers moved up on the Tyrant Guard, as the Vanguard Veterans and Meltagun Kill Team moved up to engage the Mawloc.

The Kill Team fired their Meltaguns at the Mawloc, wounding it and taking 11 wounds. The Watch Master fired his Guardian Spear at the creature and succeeded in killing it.

The lone Frag Cannon Marine fired the Tyrant Guard, wounding them twice. The Bikers fired on the squad, wounding them 4 times, but failing to get past their armour.

The two lone surviving Bikers charged the Tyrant Guard, hoping to tie up their firepower for one vital turn. One of the Bikers died when the overwatch fire obliterated him as he charged. The other Biker made the charge, killing one of the Guard. In reply, however, the Guard struck back, wounding the Biker once and killing him. That did not go as planned.


The Hive Guard and Tyrannocytes continued to move up on the Deathwatch.

The Swarmlord cast Catalyst on himself, then cast Smite on the Assassin, taking one wound from him.

The Biovores both targeted the lone Marine with the Frag Cannon, but both missed. One of the Tyrannocytes fired at the same target, wounding twice and killing him.

The other Tyrannoctye fired on the Vanguard Veteran and was able to wound three of the squad. I failed all three 4+ saves and half the squad fell.

At the end of turn 4, things were still close. Phil had more objectives at this point. I really needed the game to go on for two more turns to try and even things out.


The Meltagun Kill Team advanced on one of the Tyrannocytes, as the Vanguard Veterans moved to engage the Tyrant Guard.

The Kill Team fired at the Tyrannocyte, taking 5 wounds from it. The Assassin fired on the Swarmlord, but failed to wound him.

The Vanguard Veterans assaulted the Tyrant Guard. They struck at the Tyranids, wounding them twice. The Guard managed to kill one of the two veterans in reply.


The Tyrannocytes moved up to secure the objectives, while the Swarmlord stayed on his objective.

The Swarmlord attempted to cast Catalyst on himself, but failed once more.

The Tyrannocyte fired at the Meltagun squad, wounding them twice. Again, I failed all my 4+ saves and two Marines perished. The other Tyrannocyte fired on the squad, but did no damage.

The two Biovores fired on the Watch Master, taking two wounds from him.

The combat between the last of the Tyrant Guard and the last Vanguard Veteran ended in a stalemate, with neither side causing damage to the other.

We rolled to see if the game ended and it did.

Deathwatch- 5 (1 objective, First Blood and Linebreaker), 1230 Kill Points
Tyranids- 9 (4 objectives, Linebreaker), 1361 Kill Points
End of the game. 

A win for the Tyranids.

Thanks to Phil for a really fun game, it was achingly close and I might have been able to pull out a draw if we had another turn.

I actually forgot all about my reserves in turn 1. This probably turned out for the best, as Phil had bubble-wrapped his hard hitting units with Gaunts on turn 1, so I wouldn't have been able to get to the Exocrines with my Meltaguns on turn 1.

Turn 1 was pretty good for me. Some decent firepower from the Deathwatch saw one of the Exocrines seriously hurt on turn 1. This helped stop it from devastating my lines in Phil's first turn. Annoyingly, I split my fire between two Biovores with the Corvus Blackstar in my first turn. I though the Hurricane Bolters and Assault Cannon could easily take out one to get me first blood, but I ended up taking one to a single wound and wounding the other. This forces another Kill Team to fire on them to kill it and get me First Blood. I maybe should have sent the Corvus after the Gaunts, as I would almost have certainly killed them. However, moving and the Malanthrope would mean that my heavy weapons were hitting on 5's, so maybe I would even have struggled to kill a unit of 10.

It was funny when Phil's Hive Crone consolidated into the Kill Team and Watch Captain. I don't think either of us was expecting them to put 7 wounds on it. His simple attempt to stop me charging the Gaunts next turn has half killed the Crone.

In turn 2, I really should have sent the Vanguard Veterans after the Tyrant Guard. The ability of their guns to dish out Mortal Wounds in addition to regular damage is extremely powerful. As it was, this unit did far more damage to my army that the Hive Guard. Neutralising them early might have helped me get the win. However, I was concerned that putting them on my right flank would draw the attention of the Swarmlord. As it was, I think I was should have risked it.

The Spore Mines were also pretty nasty in the game. I think they managed to cause around 5 wounds from exploding during the course of my game. It doesn't sound like much, but they were pretty much wiping out half of my Kill Team each time they exploded.

The Hive Guard and Tyrannocytes did really well at the end of the game in whittling down my units. I was simply unable to pass a single 4+ save every time these units fired at me, resulting in the loss of about 3-4 units in the final turns.

The Assassin didn't really do too much this game. Not entirely his fault though. His rifle only wounds on a 2+ against Infantry, so I was needing 5's to wound most of the Tyranid creatures. It would have been great if he was able to take out the Swarmlord after the overwatching Missile Launchers half killed him on the charge.

After seeing Phil went top of the leaderboard after game 1, when I saw I was playing him in game 3, I was expecting to get crushed. As it turned out, it ended up being a really fun game and surprisingly close in the end. A bit more luck with my 4+ saves and I think I may have been able to pull out the win in the end.

So at the end of the tournament, with one win and two losses, I managed to come 14th out of 21 at the event. My win rate for the Deathwatch in 8th edition was still struggling. I don't think I am making many wrong tactical decisions with the army, they simply die too easily and are too expensive for what they bring. I was not looking forward to the North West Open tournament the following weekend given my recent performance with the army.

I will not be writing up an army review for this tournament. I took pretty much the same army to the North West Open, so will review the army after I have written up those battle reports as well. Hope you enjoyed the reports, more tournament reports to come soon!

Bunker War 3:
Game 1- Deathwatch vs Aeldari
Game 2- Deathwatch vs Ultramarines
Game 3- Deathwatch vs Tyranids


  1. A great report, as usual.
    However, the Hive Crone doing Psychics confused me a bit, since it's not a psyker. The only one who should have done any Psychics in his list was the Swarmlord

    1. Re-reading it, you were probably referring to the Zoanthropes?

    2. Cheers Sam.
      The Hive Crone thing was probably a mistake on my end when taking my notes, it was probably the Zoanthropes instead using Smite. Not overly familiar with the Tyranid list, so probably made an error.

    3. Easy mistake to make, all them flithy bugs look alike! :D
      (disclaimer: Tyranid player myself ;)

    4. I had been wondering about that myself. Also, you usually had the Hive Guard and Tyrant Guard mixed up. The Hive Guard are the shooty ones.

      Good job staying in it as well as you did. I had a game against Nids with my Space Wolves the other day that went pretty similarly.

  2. Yayyy a win for the Tyranids! Really nice board and two nice looking armies! Do you hear the call of the Genestealers? I'm sure you'll do MUCH better with them. Haha sorry I can't stop bugging you with them, hope you don't mind too much :)

    Thanks for the report!

    1. Not at all Chris! Don't worry, they are on my list, just need to squeeze out more hobby time to get them done! Don't really feel like bringing a grey plastic horde to the tabletop, but guess I might have to, aching to give them a go.