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Friday, October 28, 2011

Battle Report: Tyranids vs Dark Eldar

Archon Dave may be in trouble!

Hey there Chaos fans! Old man Chaos is back with another post- and I know you're going to love this! It's just like the title says... Tyranids against the Dark Eldar! And away we go...

The field of battle
This guy is scary!
My regular readers will recall that we previously had an in-depth discussion with "Hivemind Pete". This guy is one of my closest friends, and he is an OLD SCHOOL Warhammer 40K player. He's been playing for many years, and his army of choice is the Tyranids (with a name like "Hivemind Pete", what would you expect). As a player, Pete is excellent. He knows just how to build a list, and he knows how to use each unit in conjunction with other units. Simply put, the guy is a great player, all around. He usually wins, and handily. Even with the new Codex, Pete has been quite strong. When he does lose, it's usually been a scorcher of a battle. He knows the game, and he knows the 'Nids.

Keeping fast units near slower units
I realized this game would be a great challenge for me and the Dark Eldar. At this point, I've played the Dark Eldar for several months. I had been playing most against my friend Joe, facing off mostly against Eldar and occasionally Blood Angels. I've also fought my brother's fledgling Grey Knight force. Over the summer, I played Joe once a week. He's a ruthless opponent, so I learned a great deal about my DE the hard way. Yes, another advantage is that Pete has not faced the new iteration of the DE. On the other hand, Pete's a master with the Nids, and he is quite used to his Codex. And anyone who has played DE can tell you, they are a delicate army, no matter how you use them.

Concentrated firepower
I had a choice- either go Wych heavy, and try to outmatch him in close combat: Wyches, Beast Packs, and the like. Or, I could play a shooting game with a ton of Kabalite warriors and supporting fire units. I opted for the latter. I decided to go for the firepower. I equipped all squads with Splinter Cannons and Blasters (Shredders won't work against Pete as he spaces his Nids very well). My Raiders and Ravagers all were equipped with Disintegrators (which I have not use before, as I normally face armor and the Disintigrator is a troop killer). I had a Venom, with two Splinter Cannons. In support, I had Reaver Bikes and Hellions- their job was to add concentrated fire quickly where needed). I also had Scourges, all equipped with Splinter Cannons or Shard Carbines. My Talos also had a Splinter Cannon and Liquifier  Gun. As for HQ, I took a Haemonculi with Stinger Pistol and Crucible of Malediction (take that Zoanthropes) and wracks (poisoned cc weapons? Die big critters!). Finally, I ahd an Archon with a small retinue of Hekatrix Bloodbrides. To round out the points, I included a small squad of Wyches. Ultimately, my game was firepower, but I figured poisoned Splinter weapons would kill any Carnifexes or Mawlocs (if the big guys showed), so I didn't need Dark Lances. My plan was to shoot, shoot and shoot.

My set-up
Both armies were at 1750-ish. I got to deploy first. I put a Raider on the left, followed by Scourges and Hellions. In the middle, I had a Ravager, the other Raider, Wyches, the Talos, and Bikes. At the right end, I had a squad of Kabalites and the Archon's Venom. My plan was to create fire columns down the sides, and use my fast middle units to move back and forth, helping either flank as needed. The speed was essential- a Ravager could move left and shoot, then move right and shoot. This was my plan. Would it work?

Gaunts and a stand-in Tervigon

Pete wisely stayed away from big critters, knowing about my poison. He did have two Tervigons, and a TON of Hormagaunts. He also had Zoanthropes, Pyrovores (which he was trying out), Hive guard. and a mess of Tyranid Warriors. Also lurking was a Mawloc. Yikes. I knew I'd have to shoot quick, before he closed the gap on the table. This was going to be tough.

Turn 1 (my half), I shot with everything I had. I must say, my rolling was quite good, and I mowed down many Gaunts and the Zoanthropes. The poison weapons didn't really enter into it, but the AP insured the Nids didn't get a save. I killed a ton, ultimately. His half of turn 1, he ran as quick as he could at me- one squad of gaunts made it into my 3 bikes and annihilated them, and his Hive Guard shot down the Hamenoculus' Raider.

Gunning down the Gaunts
Turn 2 (my half) was just as shooty. Here, I HAD to maintain fire discipline. As more critters were in range, I was ready to split fire way too much. I realized that I had to concentrate fire and whittle the Nid's down unit by whole unit. Not a few shots to each. It worked. My Scourges and Hellions finished off another squad of Gaunts. The Raider and Talos mopped up the Gaunts that had killed the bikes. My Ravager simply nuked the advancing Pyrovores (sorry Pete), and my Haemonculus used his Stinger Pistol and killed the last Zoanthrope. On the right, my Archon's Venom and the nearby Kabalites wrecked havoc on the approaching Gaunts, wiping them out to a man (or bug). By the end of my phase, Pete had NO viable troop choices left.

The Stinger Pistol killed the last Zoanthrope
At this point, Pete shocked me by conceding. He explained logically, that without troop choices, he couldn't contest. The Tervigons simply couldn't pop out enough gaunts (which i would mow down). His Tervigons would have been the next targets of my poisoned weapons (he was right, that was my next step). The only thing was the Mawloc, but even there, he said poisoned shots would ruin his day. Thus, Pete said the game was mine. Joe and Steve, who were watching, were confounded that it had been ended so quickly, that the DE won so decisively. And quite frankly, so was I...!

Pete said he'd have to curl up with the DE book and sniff out weaknesses. So, I know what that means- "enjoy this win, Dave. Next time, the Nids will make you their bitch". Of that, I have no doubt...

"Next time Gadget... Next Time!!"

Until next time...

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