I've always been a massive fan of Simon's armies. I also knew I simply had to play on the Ork Scrap Yard board at Warhammer World at least once before they chucked it out and put a new themed board in its place. It seemed like a good day to try both!
Instead of rolling for mission and set up, we chose Annihilation and Pitched Battle deployment. It was the end of the day and we wanted something we could both sink our teeth into.
After some debate, we set the level at 2000 points, which suited me fine. I brought out my Battle Of The Chumps List. Simon threw something together on the spur of the moment, which looked like this:
Simon's 2000 Points Tyranid SwarmWarrior Prime, lashwhip, bone sword, scything talons
Doom of Malantai in Mycetic Spore
5 Tyranid Warriors
9 Genestealers led by Brood Lord
9 Genestealers led by Brood Lord
I won the roll off, and knowing I couldn't defend a whole table side, deployed everything to the left of the centre. The Land Raider with Wolf Guard Terminators was in the centre, the Rune Priest with Grey Hunters in his Rhino behind with a Land Speeder and some Long Fangs on a nearby platform for fire support.
Further left, two more Grey Hunter filled Rhinos were deployed around the scrap and ruins while the small Grey Hunter pack in a Razorback and the two Long Fang Razorbacks with lascannons deployed far left. Finally, a second pack of Long Fangs set up firing positions atop the large building on the left.
Now to see what kind of targets I would be presented with...
On the far left Simon set up his Warriors, led by Prime and two Trygons. The Tyrannofex took centre and to the right his Gargoyles and Shrikes flapped on.
The Doom of Malanthai went into reserve. I could just imagine the carnage he'd wreak with one well placed deep strike.
One swarm of Genestealers also Outflanked and would no doubt jump on my Razorback parked on the far left flank.
Finally, the second swarm of Genestealers Infiltrated on the right flank, alongside the Rune Priest's Rhino, next to a suitable mine shaft as their hiding place.
Simon rolled to Seize The Initiative...and failed.
Long Fangs and Razorbacks let loose a salvo of missiles and lascannon blasts into the slithering Trygons, but the terrain was too dense to see even these enormous creatures and both continued forward, sustaining a wound or two each.
Meanwhile the Grey Hunter Rhinos advanced through the scrap and up the hill towards the centre, as did the Land Raider full of Wolf Guard Terminators and between them laid down a thick cloud with their smoke launchers.
On the right flank the Rune Priest casts Murderous Hurricane at the Infiltrated Genestealers, killing two of them with shards of deadly razorhail.
A multimelta blast from the nearby Land Speeder kills another while the second Land Speeder Tubro Boosts across from the left flank for more fire support next turn.
The Genestealers sprint through the scrap and razorhail towards the Rune Priest's Rhino and sustain more casualties under the Murderous Hurricane before finally reaching the Space Wolf transport and failing to damage it.
The Tyranid swarm advance as one. Trygons slither in between buildings, scattering wreckage in their wake. Tyranid Warriors sprint behind, meanwhile a flapping swarm of Gargoyles sweep around the Wolf Guard Land Raider, closely followed by the deadly Shrikes.
The Tyrannofex fires it's enormous bio-cannon at the Land Raider, but the vehicle's thick armour and smoke screen keep it safe from harm.
Two Grey Hunter Razorbacks to the centre, advance towards the Trygons, firing their storm bolters at the monstrous creatures.
Another salvo of krak missiles tears one of the Trygons apart in a gory splatter of chitin and ichor as the warheads detonate within its carapace. Lances of energy from the lascannon Razorbacks slice through the other Trygon, but it slithers on despite its heavy wounds.
Meanwhile the Rune Priest and his Grey Hunters disembark from their Rhino transport which drives off, exposing the Genestealer brood. Before the Rune Priest can cast another Murderous Hurricane, the Genestealers are incinerated by the nearby Land Speeder's heavy flamer. A charred Brood Lord is left roaring its defiance, until it is blasted apart by the other Land Speeder's multimelta.
The Rune Priest and his squad turn their attention to the Tyranid Gargoyles, but are only able to kill 6 of them.
The Land Raider smashes through vehicle wreckage and across the battlefield, the assault ramp slams open and the Wolf Guard Terminators storm out, combi-weapons raised. Melta blasts, plasma fire and krak missiles cause the air to shimmer as the Tyrannofex faulters and explodes into fire. The battle hardened Space Wolves surround the towering behemoth and set to it with their power weapons, wolf claws and the deafening whirr of a bone sawing chainfist. The hulking creature is torn apart and the Wolf Guard lift is head aloft in victory! But their victory is short lived...
Seeing my chance to wave a 'juicy bone' at Simon, I consolidate the Wolf Guard Terminators just within charge range of his Shrikes. I want to get his winged Warriors into the open where I can hammer them with my heavy weapons rather than try to shoot them through a screen of terrain and Gargoyles.
Simon takes the bait and the Shrikes sweep away the Wolf Guard with no resistance. He then rolls poorly for his Sweeping Advance and the Shrikes are out in the open.
The Outflanking Genestealer brood appears on the left flank and charges the Long Fangs Razorback, immobilising it.
The Death-Leaper appears behind the small building to the left of the Rune Priest and Long Fangs stood above the winch shaft.
The Tyranid Warriors get stuck advancing through the scrap.
Meanwhile the Gargoyle swarm descends through the Murderous Hurricane unscathed and into close combat with the Long Fangs atop the winch shaft. With little room to manoeuvre, the old Space Wolves fail to Counter-Charge and can only kill a single Gargoyle before two of them are cut down. The pack fails its morale test and falls back. However, the Gargoyles are unable to catch them and consolidate behind some nearby scrap.
The fleeing Long Fangs automatically regroup. A salvo of krak missiles and lascannon blasts from the Long Fangs on the ground, the Long Fangs on the roof of the large building on the left, the two Long Fang Razorbacks and the Land Raider obliterate the flapping Tyranid Shrikes. Only a single Shrike soars above the explosions and sweeping lances of energy.
The top hatches of the two Grey Hunter Rhinos slam open and the Wolf Guard armed with combi-meltas and Grey Hunters armedwith melta guns turn their weapons to bear on the wounded Tyrgon towering above them while krak missiles scream overhead, towards the Shrikes. The Space Wolves fire isn't very accurate and the Trygon is left screaching its defiance with a single wound.
On the right flank the Rune Priest and Ghis rey Hunters advance on foot, cutting down the Gargoyles with their boltpistols before they can charge.
At the back of the battlefield the Grey Hunters Razorback fires at the Death Leaper, but its shots go wild.
A Mycetic Spore falls from the sky and bursts apart like a rotten fruit. The seething creature within eerily levitates out and instantly the regrouped Long Fangs fall to the ground with a clatter of armour, their souls silently devoured by the Doom Of Malanthai.
A torrent of acidic bile, followed by a blast of raw Psychic power kills 6 of the Grey Hunters accompanying the Rune Priest, but the Space Wolves hold their ground.
The wounded Trygon charges into one of the Grey Hunter Rhinos while the Shrike swoops down from the sky to charge the other. One of the Rhinos is wrenched apart by the strength of the Trygon's scything talons, exposing the Grey Hunters within.
The Tyranid Warriors continue their laboured advance through the ruins. Low difficult terrain rolls can really ruin your day!
On the left flank, the Genestealers turn their attention from the immobilised Razorback to the Long Fangs on the roof, leaping upon the Space Wolves and ripping them apart in a frenzy of rending claws and burning venom. Only the sergeant bravely battles on.
The Rune Priest, Wolf Guard and Grey Hunter hastily embark in their Rhino transport and drive away from the Doom of Malanthai. The Rune Priest casts Jaws Of The World Wolf and the ground splits assunder. The Doom of Malanthai floats silently above the chasm while the Mycetic Spore behind it crashes into the bottomless depths.
The nearby Land Speeder blasts the Doom of Malanthai with its mutlimelta, but the heat washes harmlessly over the creature's psychic shield.
The Grey Hunters gun down the Trygon with their melta guns, the Razorbacks kill the last Shrike with their lascannons and the Land Raider hammers the Tyranid Warriors with deadly accurare fire from it's lascannons and heavy bolters.
The Genestealers finish off the last Long Fang in close comabt before leaping from the building and back to the immobilised Razorback.
Death-Leaper assaults the Grey Hunter Razorback, but fails to inflict any damage.
The Tyranid Warriors hug cover and fire at one of the Grey Hunter Rhinos, but with no effect.
The Doom of Malanthai casts its psychic blast once more, but the shot scatters wildly away from the Rune Priest's Rhino.
In the following turn the Genestealers tear apart the immobilised Razorback, the Doom of Malanthai seems impervious to damage and the mechanised Space Wolf army advances across the board, away from the Death-Leaper and towards the Tyranid Warriors.
Space Wolves Kill Points: 7
Tyranid Kills Points: 5
"Too much Mech" Simon said at the end of the game. He was right. Without Tyranid Hive Guard or Zoanthropes there was little he could do against a mechanised Space Marine army, let alone a mechanised Space Wolves army. He got shot -a lot!
This battle report may read like I sat back and blew him away, but it was surprisingly tense. The Gargoyles were the perfect screen for the Shrikes, who proved to be the bane of all infantry with their lash whips, bone swords and scything talons.
Even so, for me the stars of the show were the Wolf Guard Terminators in their Land Raider. Both were brilliant! First the Wolf Guard rampaged across the board, firing their combi-weapons into the face of the Tyrannofex before cutting it down with their power weapons. Unfortunately, they became an expensive piece of bait (aka: the juicy bone!) that I knew Simon couldn't resist.
As soon as the Shrikes were drawn into the open, I hit them with every krak missile and lascannon I could bring to bear. It's this that really won the game for me. Otherwise I'd have struggled to take them out while they could make short work of my infantry once they'd dug them out of their transports.
I look forward to playing Simon's amazing Tyranid army again. Hopefully next time with Hive Guard, Tervigons and a Hive Tyrant joined by Hive Guard. After all, I need something tasty to cast Jaws Of The World Wolf on!