Imperial Rim

No, this post is not some kind of sci-fi, supernatural romance Space Hulk fan-fic! My flatmate and I are both big fans of the giant mecha-monster slug fest that is Pacific Rim and have decided to recreate the epic and senseless-yet-awesome violence that the film embodies. We briefly discussed having this showdown through the medium of interpretive dance, then decided that the better way of paying homage to thoughtless, excessive violence would be using the thoughtless and excessively violent setting of Warhammer 40,000.

So Idris Doran put began building the Mechanicum’s Jaeger Corps while I started breeding the Hive Mind Kaiju force ready for a showdown that would rock absolutely.

We chose to use Zone Mortalis for our game, because we love the rules, the cinematic imagery it gives the game and the idea of giant robots fighting giant monsters in the wreckage of some semi-destroyed wreck on the edge of space appealed to both us. We also ruled that nothing smaller than a Tyranid Warrior or [AD MECH EQUIVALENT] could be used – gaunts men had no place in this battle! After setting the points limit to 1250 and a good hour or so of exploring what our codex had to offer – and a short ten minute tangent which saw me start looking for Heirophat Bio-titans on Ebay – we had a pair of lists locked in that set the stage for possibly the most badass of space fights that had happened at the Surrey Spartans!

Kaiju’nids

We hadn’t designed our lists to counter each other, and nor with any particular restrictions apart from those set above, so I only feel a little guilty when admitting I changed my list. In fairness I did get a great deal on some Carnifex’s and Zoanthropes, so felt it would be terrible ungrateful not to use them in this battle of the ages. It’s also unlikely Idris Doran will remember what was in my list – I hope he still lets me substitute in an older Carnifex model as a Stone-crusher though!

++ Tyranids: Codex (2014) (Combined Arms Detachment) (1248pts) ++

+ HQ (305pts) +

Hive Tyrant (305pts) [Adrenal Glands (15pts), Desiccator Larvae (10pts), Old Adversary (15pts), Powers of the Hive Mind, Prehensile Pincer Tail (10pts), Psyker (Mastery Level 2), Regeneration (30pts), Scything Talons, The Reaper of Obliterax (45pts), Twin-linked Devourer with Brainleech Worms (15pts)]

+ Elites (100pts) +

Zoanthrope Brood (50pts) [Zoanthrope (50pts)]

Zoanthrope Brood (50pts) [Zoanthrope (50pts)]

+ Troops (288pts) +

Tyranid Warrior Brood (144pts) [Venom Cannon (10pts)]

  • ···Tyranid Warrior (43pts) [Adrenal Glands (5pts), Devourer, Rending Claws (5pts), Toxin Sacs (3pts)]
  • ···Tyranid Warrior (43pts) [Adrenal Glands (5pts), Devourer, Rending Claws (5pts), Toxin Sacs (3pts)]
  • ···Tyranid Warrior (48pts) [Adrenal Glands (5pts), Deathspitter (5pts), Rending Claws (5pts), Toxin Sacs (3pts)]

Tyranid Warrior Brood (144pts) [Venom Cannon (10pts)]

  • ···Tyranid Warrior (43pts) [Adrenal Glands (5pts), Devourer, Rending Claws (5pts), Toxin Sacs (3pts)]
  • ···Tyranid Warrior (43pts) [Adrenal Glands (5pts), Devourer, Rending Claws (5pts), Toxin Sacs (3pts)]
  • ···Tyranid Warrior (48pts) [Adrenal Glands (5pts), Deathspitter (5pts), Rending Claws (5pts), Toxin Sacs (3pts)]

+ Heavy Support (555pts) +

Carnifex Brood (370pts)

  • ···Carnifex (185pts) [Bio-plasma (20pts), Regeneration (30pts), Scything Talons, Twin-linked Devourer with Brainleech Worms (15pts)]
  • ···Carnifex (185pts) [Bio-plasma (20pts), Regeneration (30pts), Scything Talons, Twin-linked Devourer with Brainleech Worms (15pts)]

Stone Crusher Carnifex (185pts)

  • ···Stone Crusher Carnifex (185pts) [Bio-plasma (20pts), Carapace chitin-rams, Fearless, Instinctive Behaviour (Feed), Living Battering Ram, Reinforced Carapace, Wrecker Claw and Bio-flail (15pts)]

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As you can see I stuck to the adage of ‘bigger is better’ and squeezed four monstrous creatures into my 1250 point list, my monster of a Hive Tyrant taking up almost a quarter of that! I wanted a boss monster that everything in Doran’s list had to respect and so went to town on it. I took one Brain Leech Devourer, Scything Talons and a Prehensile Pincer Tail for the extra attacks, and the Reaper of Obliterax because S7 would be really important against Doran’s big beasties, and the chance for Instant Death sent shivers down his spine. Oh, it’s also got a name that’s so metal, Rammstein are jealous. Old Adversary and Dessicator Larvae rounded him off, and Regeneration would keep him standing as the tin cans tried to take him down.

Originally I had two groups of two Lictors and four Raveners with the Red Terror in the list. The Raveners got cut, making the Lictors less necessary, so I replaced them with two Zoanthropes – separate units for more Psychic dice, although I know this is less efficient so may group them up. With the other excess points two Carnifex were pumped out of the Norn Queen tooled almost to the teeth, taking only one gun like the Tyrant, for points purposes (like the Tyrant). I figured having them stomp about with Regen and Bio-Plasma was probably more efficient.

The Stone Crusher replaces a third normal-fex in the list because…it’s cool. Oh, and the Bio-Flail has Instant Death (as well as another awesome metal name) and the Carapace Chitin Rams combined with Living Battering Ram were going to wreck any cheap-ass Jaeger it collided with. I finished the list with two units of three Warriors, each group having a Venom Cannon and all of them having Rending Claws. While I could have scrapped one unit and tooled the other down for a third normal-Fex I think having more bodies on the battlefield is a good idea. We will most likely just be playing kill points BUT if we roll an objective based scenario having two units who can run about is going to be a Kaiju-sized bonus. Oh, and they are also Synapse so can operate out of the Tyrant’s line of sight. While the Zoanthropes could technically herd the Carnifex along if the Tyrant gets distracted or horribly gribbled if he fails to gribble the robots, this is entirely not what they’re meant to do so the Warriors will happily fill in. Or at least the Hive Mind will make them feel happy for filling in.

Through the Eyes of a Machine Doran’s pre-game thoughts

So, as Chad explained, we LOVE Pacific Rim. Its giant robots punching giant monsters to death. What not to love? Its a big budget B-movie with kickass visuals and a badass sound track. I’ve been playing Mechanicum for a little over a year I think. I have over 7000 points and around 2500 is painted with another 2000-2500 part painted. I’m a devout follower of the Omnissiah, the Machine God, and I freaking love the giant robots.

Chad had the great idea for this Pacific Rim style fight after he amassed a 2000 point Tyranid army seemingly over night. I blinked and suddenly our flat was full of gribblies! It also means we get to play on our clubs awesome FW Zone Mortalis board, beautifully painted by the Surrey Spartans own Si Davies.

I initially had a very different list from the one ive run. I was planning on taking a unit of 15 Tech Thralls (15 is the max squad size in ZM) with Heavy Chain Blades. These would be Fearless with a 5+ Feel No Pain (FNP) save and the blades make them Strength 6 in close combat. They would kill Monstrous Creatures (MC’s) through sheer weight of attacks!

However, Chad and I agreed we would only take multiple wound models on a 40mm base minimum. This is simple for the Mechanicum as almost everything in the army is a big, multi-wound model! Here is the list I took, made in BattleScribe. Ill go through it and my plan shortly.

++ Mechanicum: Taghmata Army List (Age of Darkness) (1250pts) ++

+ HQ (160pts) +

Magos Dominus (160pts) [Abeyant, Cyber-familiar, Machinator Array, Phased Plasma-fusil]

+ Troops (350pts) +

Thallax Cohort (175pts) [Ferrox, 3x Heavy Chainblade, 3x Thallax]

Thallax Cohort (175pts) [Ferrox, 3x Heavy Chainblade, 3x Thallax]

+ Elites (385pts) +

Domitar Class Battle-automata Maniple (175pts) [Domitar Class Battle-automata]

Myrmidon Secutors (210pts)
····Myrmidon Lord [Phased Plasma-fusil, Volkite Charger]
····Myrmidon Secutor [Phased Plasma-fusil, Volkite Charger]
····Myrmidon Secutor [Phased Plasma-fusil, Volkite Charger]

+ Fast Attack (355pts) +

Arlatax Class Battle-automata Maniple (175pts)

Vorax Class Battle-automata Maniple (180pts) [Bio-corrosive ammunition, Enhanced Targeting Array, 2x Vorax]

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I took a Dominus as my HQ for two reasons. Firstly, he’s cheaper than a full Magos Prime. Secondly, he has Cybertheurgy. This is basically robot psychic powers. Theyre much more reliable and cant be blocked by your opponent, and give some great buffs to Battle Automata, of which I would have several!

The Thallax are a brilliant Troop choice. T5 with 3 wounds a piece. The Ferrox upgrade means they cant take a special weapon in the squad, but they get Rage (2 extra attacks for charging rather than 1) and they get Rending on all their attachs. Coupled with the heavy chain blades that means the unit puts out twelve Strength 7 attacks with Rending on the charge! That’ll shred an MC!

The Domitar is more of an Anti-Tank MC. Its got low attack volume and only Initiative 3, but its S10 AP2 in close combat. It also gets D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks. This will be my Gypsy Danger. A real slugger!

Next up are the Myrmidons. Ah man I love Myrmidons. I have 6 of each variety, and today I chose Secutors. In ZM they wreck face. With BS5 and heaps of high strength weapon options they would be scary enough. But the also have Preferred Enemy EVERYTHING. They just wanna wreck everyones face. These guys roll almost no 1’s. Each has a Phased Plasma Fusil (3 shots, S6 Ap3, doesnt Get Hot) and a Volkite Charger. Im expecting them to do a lot of damage to the 3+ save nids! They also have Power Axes for when the fighting gets up close.

Finally my Fast Attack choices

The Arlatax is first. This murder-bot doesn’t have a model yet but its built on the Conqueror frame, the same as the Domitar so i’m proxying one of them as the Arlatax. The one with its fist raised (see pics!)

This thing can be disgusting. Its only BS3, but it has two cannons in its claws, for a total of six S6 shots, and a Plasma Blaster to boot! In combat its S9 AP2 with Shred, and the Rampage rule (+D3 attacks if its outnumbered). Im expecting some impressive kills. This guy is Stryker Eureka. I also have 2 Vorax with Bio-Corrosive ammo. Eight shots at 15” each, with Poisoned. I hope they hurt some MC’s with those. They’re no slouches in close combat either. I love these mantis-raptor looking dudes and I often include some in my lists. They also work hard and make their points.

The Plan: Smash the Nids.

The Dominus will follow the Vorax around, to keep them on task and throw out Cyber-candy (Cybertheurgy buffs!) to all the good robots.

The Arlatax and Domitar will double team the biggest monsters like the Carnifex and Hive Tyrants. The Tyrant can wreck me my as long as I hurt it enough I hope to be able to bring it down.

The Thallax and Myridons will go after anything about the same size as them, like the Warriors and Zoanthropes.

 Chad has lots of Bone Swords plus the Stone Crushers crazy Mace-Flail so there is a lot of Instant Death causing weaponry on the field. My expensive, multi-wound models do not approve. The xenos blight must be purged!

 

Opening the Rift (Or Game One)

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We rolled Search and Destroy for our mission and Doran managed to snag deployment rights, so unless I could steal initiative I was going to have an uphill battle. After Doran went through his list with me I knew I was way behind on the shooting game but had a pretty good chance if I got into combat – although the Arlatax and Domitar were scary as hell, their Initiative of three meant they’d get the drop on my Carnifex in combat. I’d constantly heard about how horrible the Myrmidons could be and with Initiative four they’d be pretty reliably standing and shooting at their normal Ballistic Skill of 5. All their guns had AP 3 or better so that meant no saves for me, and while Regeneration gave me an attrition advantage it wasn’t as nice as Feel No Pain or an Invulnerable Save.

I decided to split up the Carnifex Brood into two options for versatility and merged the Zoanthropes into one brood to make getting their Warp Blast off more reliable. Having my heavy hitters deploying in Reserve meant they could fill gaps in my somewhat fragile looking line, although with only one ‘Fex on the board I was worried my first wave would be wiped out before reinforcements could turn up. To make the Warriors have a little more kick I shifted around some points so two in each brood would have Lashwhips & Boneswords. This would make sure they struck first and could threaten even the biggest of Doran’s stompy robots. They were the chunkiest Harlequins I’d ever had, but apparently the Tyranid Kiss was significantly more lethal.

Taking more tactics out of my Harlequins’ playbook I’d look to cut down sight lines and throw the Warriors into the fray first, softening up targets with their firepower and taking Overwatch fire on the one without a Whip & Sword as that wouldn’t damage their combat efficiency too much. The Zoanthropes would snipe at whatever they could, their Lance firing mode threatening yet more Instant Death, while the Carnifex would lay in with their considerable Strength and damage potential until reinforcements turned up. With all my Warriors and the ‘Thropes on the board I hoped I’d be able to keep the Carnifex inline, and ideally the back up ‘Fex’s would stay close to the Tyrant.

I rolled Synaptic Lynchpin as my Warlord Trait. This was a disappointment. Rolling Catalyst made things slightly better, but my second power was The Horror which didn’t improve my mood very much. I also didn’t steal the initiative. The beginning of this showdown had not really gone in favour of the Hive Mind.

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Doran set the Pacific Rim theme playing on repeat and we got ready to throw down!

Turn 1

I immediately regretted not asking more questions about the Arlatax – discovering it had a Jet Pack move did not make me a happy Hiveling. The Myrmidon’s were denied a shot though, which was nice, as were the Vorax who lined up on the door that currently hid my Carnifex. The Arlatax took two wounds off a Warrior in the shooting phase, after a mild panic on my behalf that its gun was S8 and double my Warriors out we discovered its guns were S7. Phew! The Vorax added their firepower to the mix, causing three more wounds and killing a warrior, and that was that. Due to some tactical deployment I’d escaped most of the firepower I feared would annihilate the brave warriors of the evolutionary future.

The Carnifex hefted open the door in front of him, leering hungrily at the Vorax at the end of the hall, and the Warriors that had faced down the Arlatax moved to support it – mostly by soaking Overwatch fire. Oh, and Synapse. The other Warriors moved up to assault the Myrmidons while the Zoanthropes floated into their line of sight with wicked intent. The Psychic phase provided me with five dice, all of which got thrown into Warp Blast. One success later the Warriors were left alone in their fight against the Myrmidons. My shooting went as well as the Psychic phase; nada. Still, the the Carnifex charged the Vorax and wasn’t wiped out by the tidal wave of ‘small’ arms fire the automatons through out, despite them passing their Initiative test. The nearby Warriors also waded into the fight so things were looking up.

Nope. Nada. Doran’s dice rolled terribly and I caused one wound. It was enough to win the fight as his dice performed equally poorly for their owner as well. He passed his morale check so there was no easy win for me there.

My other Warriors assaulting the Myrmidons failed to roll an eight for their distance, despite fleet, but only lost two wounds to Overwatch fire after Doran failed his Initiative test. Small succour since they would be blown away next turn.

Turn Two

Doran rolled for his reserves and got everything. The two units of Thallax turned up behind the Zoanthropes while the Domitar waded in near the combat with the Vorax. He also shuffled the Myrmidons a little so they could all see the lethargic Warrior squad posing for target practice in front of them.

The Thallax only managed a single wound on the Zoanthropes, which meant they’d get another go at blowing things up. The Warriors squad were smeared across the bulk heads and walls as predicted.

Everything else was in combat, so the Arlatax joined the fray. The last Warrior managed the sum total of sweet F A before being crushed by the giant robot, but the Carnifex managed to kill a Vorax before being brought down to one wound.

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In my second turn I literally rolled nothing for Reserves. At this point if you totalled up the value of all the ones I’d rolled you’d get more than the total of all the fours, fives and sixes I’d rolled this game and was ready to through in the towel. So I did, suggesting another game. Doran was having fun though, and confidently said my Reserve rolls had “definitely all come through”.

I brought another Carnifex, a Stone Crusher and my Hive Tyrant on behind his Domitar. Their combined shooting brought it down to one wound, which I was frustrated but happy with – yeah, it would have been nice to kill it but frankly three wounds on the mother trucker was good enough for me. The Zoanthropes again failed to manifest anything more than harsh language, so the Hive Mind bid them farewell.

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Turn Three

Things moved towards my big gribblies. Large, mechanical things with deadly intent. The Myrmidons and Thallax made short work of the Zoanthropes as predicted, and we moved quickly into the assault phase. The Vorax and the Dominus ran at the Carnifex, joined by the Arlatax, while the Domitar ran at my Hive Tyrant.

I was so confident of causing one wound with either Overwatch or my Initiative 8 attacks that I shouldn’t have been surprised when I managed to roll a Yahtzee of unhappiness and flunk it. In response the Tyrant got squished.

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(Cue Pacific Rim Theme. Water up their knees and atmospheric lightning storm not included in battle report media.)

The Carnifex managed to somehow survive everything – until the Dominus snuck the last wound through! Their low Initiative was really starting to infuriate me.

In my turn all that happened was the Stone Crusher Chest bumping the Domitar in assault, ignoring the Overwatch fire and splattering the robot with Hammer of Wrath attacks. D3 S10 AP2 hits at Initiative 10 makes that charge exceptionally scary for single targets!

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We called it a game there – while the Stone Crusher could have held it’s own for awhile the lack of Synapse was going to mean I had an unfortunately high chance of the thing chowing down on itself  each turn, somewhat countering the 30 points paid for regeneration. Since it was only four o’clock we had another game – although I switched out a normal Fex and a Zoanthrope for another, slightly cheaper Hive Tyrant.

 

Idris Doran’s Game One Report:

Game 1 was not kind to Chad. Whatever bad juju was swirling around him, or whatever bad karma he had with the Dice Gods came back to bite him in this game. So very many 1’s. I was the Attacker and had to hold more objectives than Chad at the end of the game or he won. Half our forces had to be in reserve so I left my Domitar and Thallax off the table.

Turn 1 my Arlatax gutted a Warrior unit and my Vorax advanced to threaten a Carnifex hiding behind a door and killed another Warrior, leaving the last on a single wound.

The warrior did well to charge and help the Carnifex in Chads turn but it was gonna be an uphill battle.  The low initiative of the Carnifex meant it was at a serious disadvantage fighting my quicker mantis-bots.

My Myrmidons did exactly what I had planned and deleted another Warrior unit when they failed their charge. A 9” charge was long but with Fleet Chad was unlucky to fail it. Had he gotten in, I think the Warriors would have take my Myrmidons apart. The sheer volume of Poisoned attacks with Furious Charge and Instant Death on a 6 to wound it brutal. I really was lucky to not have to fight them in CC.

The Vorax did a lot of damage to the Hive Tyrant when it arrived, as did the Arlatax before it charged. The Tyrant should have ripped the Arlatax apart but Chad couldn’t catch a break and also got no ID attacks. The Domitar also took the Carnifex down pretty solidly, but was only that effective thanks to the attack boost from the Rite of Fury Cybertheurgy power. It was lucky I decided to be brave (possibly a little foolish!) and charge my Magos in as he had to finish the Carnifex off once it had munched my Domitar!

The Stone Crusher isn’t as scary as it should be. That being said, it did kill my Arlatax with impact hits! That thing hits like a train! It just doesnt have the volume of attacks or the WS to reliably kill MC’s, even with the ID flail. It faired far better against my Thallax in the second game though!

Overall Game 1 was not going Chads way right from the get go. Game 2 on the other hand, was a very different story!

pr2

(I’m not sure if Tyranid corpses smolder but…there was a lot of plasma thrown about…)

 

Assaulting the Rift (Game Two)

Since we were short on time we agreed on Kill Points and a massive slug fest. I rolled Psychic Scream and Paroxsym, which would be helpful for those Hive-damned Myrmidons, for both Tyrants and again got Synaptic Lynchpin as my Warlord trait. I deployed in a confident manner, snatching the first turn, and Doran did the same, bouyed by the success of his stompy robots in game one. I was slightly dispirited at this point, I’ll admit. So the fact I looked like this when Doran slam dunked the Seize the Initiative roll should be no surprise to any one:

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Fortunately there is no photo evidence of me knocking my head against the wall in frustration. It definitely happened though.

Turn 1

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(The Warrior Squad behind the wall were told to “Bug Up” after Doran yelled, “COWARD!” at me during deployment, and moved arrogantly into the open space in view of everything. A classic display of how yelling, “COWARD!” can work as a tactical tool.)

That Warrior squad that deployed in a very aggressive position opposite the Myrmidons got removed. If Doran hadn’t stolen the initiative then his Myrmidons would have been hacked apart I’m sure, but it wasn’t to be. The other Warrior squad did not last much longer, and his Arlatax swept past them to get a Turn 1 charge on my secondary Hive Tyrant.

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Doran acknowledged this was probably an error as he was doing it, and was proved correct when this Tyrant demonstrated it had ingested plenty of sword-masters, or watched a lot of Japanese cinema from Ancient Terra, scoring three Instant Death hits with its Bonesword before the hulking robot could attack.

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(I’m aware that is a Carnifex without arms, not a Hive Tyrant. But I only have one Tyrant at this stage, and was hoping to get both on the board at once.)

I didn’t want to get over excited or confident, but definitely let out a “HELL YES KAIJU!” and punched the air.

The lone Zoanthrope poked his head out through around the corner and tried to Warp Blast, even manifesting the power before missing. Ho hum. In the shooting phase it ran, floating out of most things Line of Sight.

The Tyrant stomped away from the open hangar bay, busting open the airlock door between it and the Myrmidons before issuing a Psychic Scream that took one of them out. It followed up by charging them, taking three wounds in the process, but messed them all up. It consolidated into the safety of the corridor to lick its wounds out of sight, but failed its Regeneration roll. At this point it had made nearly double its points so I wasn’t about to complain.

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(Had we had in-game announcers, the words, “Killing Spree” would have echoed around the dimly lit corridors of our space hulk.)

Turn 2

Doran once again rolled all his reserves, a troublingly reliable event, and they swept into the hangar bay chanting binary hymns of mechanical superiority at my two remaining models. However, only the jetting Thallax managed to draw sight on the Zoanthrope, and its Warp Field held off all but one wound. A surprisingly quiet turn, but that was okay with me.

I actually managed to pass two reserve rolls, although my Warlord Tyrant didn’t turn up – carefully considered tactical play or sheer embarrassment at being upstaged by its lesser sibling, who can say? After a brief discussion during which Doran again employed my time honoured strategy of yelling , “COWARD!” at an opponent until they make a tactical error, I dropped the Carnifex and Stone Crusher in the large hangar area where all of Doran’s robots were bunched up in a mass of mechanical menace.

This meant they were nicely grouped up so that my Hive Tyrant could Psychic Scream them, continuing the bad tactical practice of walking into certain death to make sure as much as possible was in range. And while my current Psychic bugs had already placed themselves in the history books for unrivalled performance (somewhere between “The Swiss Pikeman Flattened by King Francis I’s Cavalry” and “Those Russians Fighting Panzers With Toasters) he showed them up. In fact, he showed everything up.

Magnificently.

I’ll be honest, this one Psychic power was almost sensual in its success. Doran failed to smother it and shrugged, trusting to his Leadership of 8-10 to carry him through. His hubris was punished by me rolling more fives and sixes in one phase than I had in the entirety of the first game. Four wounds on one unit of Thallax, killing two, four wounds on the Vorax, causing one to buckle and collapse, two wounds on the Domitar, and one wound on the second unit of Thallax. It was more beautiful than I could have hoped, a masterpiece – Doran’s expression told me we had different views on what could be called art.

I didn’t even care that the Zoanthrope only scraped a second wound on the Vorax. It floated back around the corner and prepared to pretend as hard as it could that it didn’t exist.

In the Assault Phase the second Tyrant re-enacted the final scene of The Last Samurai and charged into the Vorax. It was gunned down, as per that movie moment.

Turn 3

Doran was now in a difficult position – if he ganged up on my Fex’s he would be within range for my Warlord’s Psychic scream when it turned up next turn. However, he didn’t feel confident of shooting my big beasties to death. I may have muttered “COWARD!” a little loudly and he charged in.

The normal Fex faced off against the Vorax and Domitar. This did not go well for the Carnifex; while holding an impressive stat-line, Initiative 2 is basically useless in the kind of fight where T6 is effectively T3 with Eternal Warrior. It did finish off the Vorax with stand and shoot though, and managed to survive on one wound.

The Carnifex then managed to take down the Domitar! By some Hive-born miracle the mech got scrapped by the plucky-but-ridiculously outclassed monster! This was possibly a moment taken from inspirational under-bug stories shown through out the Hive Mind during long, boring space flights.

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It was then robbed of its last wound by the Dominus, staring in his own plucky under-mech story.

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The Stone Crusher similarly survived the battering of the Thallax, only taking three wounds, and managed to Sweep two of them into pieces. For the first time Doran failed his Morale check and the Thallax broke! However, Initiative 2 bit me in the butt again and they got away, fleeing a mighty ten inches.

In my turn, my Warlord turned up, finally, and shot the last Vorax apart. the only think in range of Psychic Scream was the Domitar, which took another wound despite Doran throwing all his dice into denying it. The Zoanthrope floated out and tried to get a cheeky Instant Death shot on the Dominus. It did not work, as I of course rolled a one to wound. But it had now manifested AND hit with a Warp Blast, so next turn I was confident it would pull something off. Like a wound, maybe.

Turn 4

The Thallax failed to rally, jetting back towards the cross roads and the potential safety of corridors too small for monstrous creatures to fit through. His Dominus wisely backed up, taking a pot shot at the Stone Crusher. Doran’s own dice betrayed him though, the Reinforced Carapace protecting the beast from the focused plasma beams.

In my turn the Tyrant and Stone Crusher advanced on the Dominus with wicked and malicious intent. The Psychic phase flunked, however, and the Dominus miraculously managed to nail the Stone Crusher with Overwatch, saving him from a smearing!

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Turn 5 and Beyond

Doran failed to rally the Thallax again and somehow The Last Samurai got a second showing aboard our space hulk as his Dominus charged into the Tyrant. While surprised, my Warlord managed to tear the half-robot, half-human into spare parts – although had lost a wound to his shooting.

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(Vengeance, served cold and with a side of inefficient psychic support.)

After that it was a case of Stomping after the Thallax. They did rally, and Doran made a bid for freedom towards the smaller corridors, but the Tyrant shot one down and just about managed to catch the last one right in the doorway to safety. The hulk finally went quiet, a 1-1 draw between the Jaegers and the Kaiju.

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(The last mech gets scrapped, bravely disobeying his self-preservation programming and engaging process lastsamuraifinalscene.exe. Rust In Piece, Thallax-kun.)

 

Idris Doran’s Game Two Report

Game 2 AKA EVERYTHING DIES

In this game we went for straight up kill points as it was simple and we were the only ones preventing Marc from being able to close up and go home!

Choosing to deploy my units right next to Chad’s new SECOND Hive Tyrant when I knew he was going first was probably not a wise tactic, but I wanted to get to smashing right away! I also had my Myrmidons looking the Warriors right in the eye!

When I rolled to Seize the Initiative, I leapt a little into the air and threw the dice at the table as if it were a tiny basketball and said ‘Jordan!’. This appears to be a solid method for producing a 6. As you can see in the picture, Chad was not happy about this, nor my whoop of elation when it happened. His Warriors didn’t even get a chance to hiss in anger or pain before they were ichor stains on the walls. 9 kill shots for 9 wounds in the unit!

The fight with the Tyrant went as expected, though the fact it hung around so long on 1 wound was galling, especially the horrendous damage it did with a single Psychic Scream! I lost a quarter of my remaining force in that turn I think.

My ambition was probably my undoing, as Chad could bring all his big beasties in his reserves on right next to my forces and crush me between his 2 elements of the army.

One thing I did notice was how useful the Zoanthropes were. While they didnt do a huge amount of damage themselves (Chad rolled many more 1’s for their S10 Warp Lance. That would have ID’d my Myrmidons or Thallax which he was targeting), they were an excellent Psychic buff. Chad was generating far more dice and it allowed him to cast a good deal of often quite effective powers. Though my Deny the Witch rolls were on point.

Once I had lost the Arlatax and Myrmidons so early in Game 2, I know I was gonna struggle. My hardest hitters had fallen to the same Tyrant, and then it screamed so well at what remained I was in really bad shape when the back-up MC’s arrived!

From there it was almost inevitable I think. I really clawed it back but I just couldn’t do anything to that second Hive Tyrant. And those bloody Thallax just wouldn’t rally!!

pr4

Overall, I had a really fun couple of games and we both learned a few new tricks or tried out some new units! I will probably use Ferrox Thallax again, maybe in a single 6-strong unit next time. I also have a greater respect and love of the Cybertheurgy powers, and will make much greater use of them going forward.

And as soon as Forge World release an Arlatax model im buying 3!

Hope you enjoyed reading about the games almost as much as we enjoyed playing them!

 

After Action Report

So this was my first real pair game with my Kaiju-Nids, and I enjoyed them thoroughly – game one slightly less in the face of rolling a statistically impossible number of 1’s. It did wear me down, and I could have dealt better in the face of adversity. But I was probably due a bad beat after the amount of 5+ invulnerable saves my Harlequins make.

My biggest lesson was that Carnifex’s are not great against melee specialists with enough Strength to wound them on 4’s or better – especially if they have AP3. They just go down so fast. Having a tide of smaller gribblies will make this a less pronounced issue I’m sure, but since I’m not investing in such a tide I have to rethink my heavy support choices. With Tyrannofex’s being too big for ZM, I may simply invest in more Warriors.

Why would I do this, since all they did was die? Well, I took the bare minimum and made them into assault troops. Retrospectively that sounds like giving someone a red bandana and a wooden bi-plane in a trans-Pacific conflict around 1941. Pumping the squads up to five, with two cheap bodies to soak initial hits, would help a lot. As would having some more models on table! They can also get AP3 poisoned attacks – for about 20pts a model, but it’s an option. This is very scary against big things, and the re-rolls against smaller things won’t go amiss either!

The Stone Crusher was terrifying – when it worked. If it didn’t charge, it had to prey quite a bit. Regeneration was also a bit of a damp pizza in both games, possibly because we played very aggressively and it’s an attrition measure. I do not think I will by a Stone Crusher model after proxy-ing it in these games, I just wasn’t impressed enough. More Hive Tyrants, however, seems a great investment and I can get them in a relatively cheap formation (relative to other formations involving Hive Tyrants).

The Tyranids’ advantage is definitely numbers, and I really felt the pain of not having invulnerable saves or reliable Feel No Pain. So more Warriors are definitely a must, and I may get myself a horde of Ripper Swarms as well. Less Kaiju – but then again, they did have little parasites living on them….

I hope you enjoyed the two reports! A bit of an essay, but hopefully action packed and fun filled enough to keep you entertained! If you have comments or feedback, or an idea for a challenge match for me to get played & written up, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

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