Tendril Strike – A Warhammer 40k Dark Angels vs Tyranids BatRep

After long warp-travel, the Harbingers of Repentance arrive at their target planet that is supposedly the location of a long lost relic. Unfortunately, they are not the first ones to arrive to this ruined world…

Mr. Easter asked for a game. Having gone through the Dark Angels codex over a few times, I felt the time was right to hop on the boat and take things from theory to practice. I knew that as I hadn’t played the edition more than twice I had really nothing more than a general idea what would work and what would not; so I threw together a 1300 point list that a least had some sort of plan. The core of the list being what I had played with before – Ravenwing with some Greenwing.

Ravenwing Talonmaster (Heavenfall blade, Grand stategist)

2 x 5 Scouts with bolters and a heavy bolter
2 x 5 Tacticals with a plasma gun
5 Ravenwing bikers with 2 Plasma Gun
4 Ravenwing bikers with a Meltagun and a Flamer
5 Ravenwing Black Knights
8 Devastators with 4 Heavy Bolters

I pretty much took what I had been running before in terms of Ravenwing – except for a biker Librarian, and two Land Speeder Typhoons. One of the latter got upgraded to act as a Talonmaster to see what the fuss is all about.

Mr Easter took (a force which he thought was sub-par)

A Flyrant, hybdrid dakka/fighter
2 Posh Zoanthropes
A Tyrannofex with a rupture cannon
An Exocrine
Poké-Bob, the dakka carnifex
16 Genestealers
14 Hormagaunts
10 Gaunts
2×3 Rippers

Those gene-sneakers still terrify me. Just saying.

The mission is capture 4 objective, with scoring after each turn. Dark Angels get to choose who goes first, and take the first turn.
I decided to take the first turn to try to spread out my forces more to give less room for the Hive Tyrant coming in via derp-strike. and hopefully cause a few casualties as well.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_161824Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_161854↑ Deployment. Spreading out the Dark Angles left a 29 inch gap to the genestealers. Seriously, that’s just about tipping the chance for them to charge me the first turn in my favour.

After deploying my scouts in the safety net formation, there is a still a little room in the top left corner for a Hive Tyrant.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_161907

↑ Deployment (Tyranid perspective). While I left some room to the front of my deployment zone the Tyranids were eager to get up my grill.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_163805

↑ Turn 1 (Dark Angels). The Dark Angels spread out a bit more in all direction and started firing. A few minor gribblies are killed, including a couple of gene sneakers. The right hand side Ravenwing Biker squad should have Advanced to get their Jink save – they weren’t in range / having LoS to shoot anyways.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_170426Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_170437

Turn 1 (Tyranids). The Hive Tyrant drops in and kills off two scouts. Meanwhile the rest of the Tyranid army spreads out and starts scoring.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_173753Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_173802Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_173824

Turn 2 (Dark Angels). The two high-priority targets are the Hive Tyrant and the Genestealers. The Hive Tyrant is a just out of range for the Black Knights’ Plasma Talons; The Genesneakers in turn are blocked by the Hormagaunts. Hive Tyrant gets shot at with what large caliber weapons can be found (incuding Inferno Shells) – taking little over half of its wounds. What else can get to the Genestealers is fired at them (doing little damage after 5++/5++ catalyst). The Hormagaunts are killed in the charge.

During shooting I am aware of that the Black Knights could be too close to the bikers and thus risk being good targets for a stratagem aided double fight. I should also point out that Mr. Easter chuckled a bit in relief when I assured him all that could shoot had been shot. Go figure 😛

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_182154

Turn 2 (Tyranids). Then the genestealers charge. I get lucky and one of the bikers survive at one wound. Seems these G-sneakers are good at saving but bad at hitting. (Maybe I was too fast for their protruding brains to react to.)

More to the left the bikers that try to contest to Gaunts’ objective are shot to bits.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_182204

Turn 2 (Tyranids). Meanwhile, there’s a Wes Anderson film playing out in the Dark Angels battleline.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_182436

Turn 2 (Tyranids). To add lemons to Mr. Easters bitter – the last biker decides to sod off. Now the scene is set for a nice counter charge.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_185723

Turn 3 (Dark Angels). The Dark Angels counter, and take out the Hive Tyrant and the genestealers. Of the bikers only three Black Knights are left, and elsewhere the board is getting emptied of power armour as well.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_190454

Turn 3 (Tyranids). Pokébob strikes (dakka carnifex) and takes out most of the remaining Black Knights. The artillery monsters cannot draw line of sight to the Dark Angels amids the city – and are forced to reposition.
Rippers dig themselves up near the objective, but are shot down by the devastators (Auspex Scan).

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_190503

Turn 3 (Tyranids). The gaunts are chillin’ on the objective.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_191530

Turn 4 (Dark Angels). The Talonmaster tries to contest the strategic points the Tyranids have dominated, after taking out the Carnifex with Sammael and the Last Black Knight. The Tyrannofex and the Exocrine are unreachable for the Devastators, hiding behind the building.

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_192254

Turn 4 (Tyranids).  They are all stopped by a diverse salvo of highly lethal bio-weapons…

Warhammer Dark Angels vs Tyranids IMG_20180324_192303

Turn 4 (Tyranids).  …at which point the Devastator Sergeant feels it is time to fall back strategically.

Dark Angels did not win!

That was a brutal game! The genestealers (mental?) blocked me from pushing forward to not risk losing all my green heroes. It didn’t help that they survived volley after volley with that allegedly only 5+ save. (Yeah, right!) Nonetheless it was a fun game (one of the most enjoyable beatings I’ve had – there’s a reason why I left the objective points unmentioned :P). Moment of the match was when Mr. Easter chuckled in a surprised relief and asked if I really had shot everything. That was an achievement in itself. I’m actually quite happy with the start of the army – it has a “right” feel without being too far from what I used to play with. Now its just a matter of adjusting and upping some points; Maybe 1500 points is a good target?


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