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11/24/2015

Steeming the tide: Astra Militarum and Adeptus Astartes take on the might of the Great Devourer!

Last weekend I've played my biggest game of WH40K yet, in which two imperial armies clashed against some Nids in a Last Stand scenario.

The game took almost 9 hours from start to finish and was packed with pure awesomesauce. We've arranged a Last Stand mission from the "Stronghold Assault" supllement. Blood Ravens and Imperial Guard, each at 1500 pts., fought against the Tyranid Swarm, which was 3000 points strong. The game ended after 5 turns with the Imperials amassing 18-19 points, while the Bugs gathered a total of 11. Anyway: here's the full report with some nice pictures. Also it will be the first of a few linked bat reps, that will compose a narrative campaign of sorts, so stay tuned for more.

As an added bonus, the report will be dramatized... a bit.

The Great Devourer hungers!

1. Our armies


A. Imperial Guard (1500 pts.)

HQ:

CCS with Mortar, 2 x Sniper Rifles and an Officer of the Fleet.

Warlord Trait: Old Grudges (which I've totally forgotten about, during game...)

Troops:

Inf. Platoon.

PCS with Mortat, Heavy Flamer and Flamer

2 x Inf. Squads with Autocannons, Flamers and Vox-Casters

HWT with 3 x Mortars

SWS with 3 x Sniper Rifles

Elite:

6 x Tempestus Scions with Heavy Flmaer and Grenade Launcher (riding in the Vendetta)

Fast Attack:

Hellhound Squadron of 3, with hull mounted Heavy Flamers and Fire Barrels

Vendetta Gunship

Heavy:

LR Exterminator with 3 x Heavy Flamers

Deathstrike Launcher

Allies:

Vindicare Assassin

B. Adeptus Astartes (Raven Guard doctrine, 1500 pts.)

HQ:

Captain on a bike with Relic Blade

Chaplain with Jump Pack

Troops:

2 x Assault Squads with Flamers and Lightning Claws on Sergeants

Elite:

Vanguard Veteran Squad with Lightning Claws all around. Sergeant has Relic Blade. Chaplain is in this unit.

Fast:

2 x Bike Squads with Attack Bike with MM, Flamer and a Lightning Claw on Sergeants. Captain is in one of these units.

Stormtalon Gunship with 2 x Skyhammer ML

2 x Land Speeders with Assault Cannons. One has a Heavy Flamer and one has a Multi-melta.

Heavy:

3 x Whirlwinds

C. Tyranids

I don't remember exactly what the Nid player had in his arsenal, but there was A LOT of it. Generally he had 3 Flyrants, a Hive Crone, Two Fexes with Venom Cannons (I think), a Trygon, a Tyrranofex, a nice, big Tervigon, one Lictor, 2 Hive Guards, 6 Raveners and 9 Warriors. Also a ton of Termagaunts and Hormagaunts, like literally a TON. Oh and I've nearly forgotten about two squads of Genestealers, both with Broodlords (scary stuff).

2. The Salvation of Ebenhard VII


"In the year 986.M41 the planet of Ebenhard VII came under attack from the splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth, a relatively small, but none the less deadly, Tyranids host. Ebenhard VII was a civilized world, one of those rare planets in the Imperium, that did not resembeled a monolithic, urbanised hell. Unfortunately it was also insufficiently protected, due to a wasting sickness that erupted a few years earlier and which decimated over 40% of its population. As such, the planet's PDF forces were few and poorly trained and its orbital defenses were vastly undermanned. When the Hive Fleet came it did not met with much resistance and after only a week's assault, took control over 54% of the world's surface. Only one bastion of humanity remained, the capital city of Urros, located in the planet's southern hemisphere. However when the Xenos attempted their final assault, that was supposed to claim the lives of Ebenhard's VII remianing population, they've came under a withering fire of nearly a hundred Blood Ravens Space Marines and a massed artillery barrages of valiant Imperial Guardsmen. Thanks to the distress signal, sent by the world's Astropaths, the Blood Ravens and strike force of Cadian 803rd Regiment, the "Luckless", boasted by forces from Catachan and Tallarn, as well as few inquisitorial Operatives, managed to land on the planet, under the psychic cover of the Astartes Librarians and Astra Militarum Psykers. That many of these talented individuals perished in the attempt to mask the imperial counterassualt from the Hive Mind was of no consequence to the human commanders. Ebenhard's VII population had to be evacuated at all costs, for their ilk held a secret, that could bolster the Imperium's chances against its myriad enemies...

Dramatis Personae:

Blood Ravens Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes

Ramus Cyrion, Captain of the 7th Company, "The Reckless"

Velion Taranis, Chaplain of the 7th Company, "The Avenged"

Arvuel Ezrah Krane, Librarian Majoris, "The Lord of Storms"

Galantion Brotimus, Scout Sergeant of the 10th Company, "The Unseen Blade"

Imperial Guard s Cadian 803rd, "The Luckless" with support elements

Colonel Benjamin Sarsa, Commander in Chief of the Astra Militarum Strike Force "His Wrath"

Captain Arik Al-Shihari, Commander of the Tallarn 97th Company, "The Dust Devils"

Captain Gerhardt Marsden, "The Blood Hound", Commander of the Catachan 521th Company, "The Head Hunters"

Major Numeni Vitalis, Leader of the 12th Company of Stormtroopers, "The Grey Walkers"

Adept-Majoris Ulis Wellen, Primaris Psyker attached to Colonel Sarsa's Command Staff

Forces of the Holy Ordos of His Imperial Majesty's Most Holy Inquistion

Inquisitor Namir Ralok, Ordo Sigilatum

Inquisitorial Team "Cultrum":

Inquisitorial Operative "Mort", Team Leader

Inquisitorial Operative "Berkut", CQC Specialist

Inquisitorial Operative "Deadeye", Designated Marksman

Inquisitorial Operative "Ariadna", Infiltration Specialist

Tyranid Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth

Specimen Apha 1C-X Prime, Hive Tyrant Genus, leading the forces of the Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth

Specimen Beta 4E-X Prime, Hive Tyrant Genus, leading the forces of the Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth

Specimen Omega 81UY-O9J Prime, Hive Tyrant Genus, leading the forces of the Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth

Specimen Kappa 66K-82 Beta, Lictor Genus, Infiltration Specialist of the Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth

Specimen Gamma 773OP-19 Delta, Hive Crone Genus, Air Supperiority Organism of the Hive Fleet Yar'gamoth

A. Engagement 01 Alpha, The First Battle for Urros


"Private First Class Gerrick Olkan looked upon the endless tide of biological horrors, stretching in front of him. The Tyranids have flooded nearly half of the city, destroying the majority of its infrastructure and consuming vast ammounts of Biomass. Their Capillary Towers could be seen, stretching towards heavens, a forest of twisted trees, signalling the doom of this, once beautiful, world. So many of them... How can there be any chance of triumph against these xenos monsters? He glanced at the men around him. There were not many. The 803rd had to deploy fast in the middle of Urros in hoping to stem the tide of Bugs. Most of their heavier equipement and infantry reserves were still inbound in dropships, protected by Lightnings and Thunderbolts of the Imperial Navy. If they would not arrive soon, then the Xenos will not have any problems overrunning their positions and slaughtering nearly 30,000 civillians in this sector alone. Olkan murmured a short prayer to the Emperor and looked to the heavens, wishing for the Master of Mankind to send them a miracle. The Guard could really use one right now."

Turn 1:

The Imperium

We've deployed our forces along the wider edge of the table and I've managed to steal the Initiative! Clearly the Emperor was looking favorably at his subjects this day. My forces, consisting of CCS, Sniper and Mortat detachements and a Vindicare, remained in place and peppered the oncoming Nids with mortar and sniper file, killing a bunch of Gaunts, dealing a single wound to one of the Hive Guards and pinning a forwarded unit of Genestealers. My Vindicare went up the tower and tried to shoot his Tyrannofex, but failed to hit it with a snapshot. That was it and now it was time for Space Marines to make their move...

Space Marines did not do a lot, mainly staying behind some cover to avoid incoming fire and charges of the beasts. Their two Assault Squads would play a bigger role in the upcoming turns, striking where needed the most and making sure that the guns of the Guard would keep on firing.

Tyranids

The Tyranids surged forward, including the two Flyrants and a Hive Crone. Their player had another Flyrant in reserves, alongside a Trygon, some Raveners, a Warrior Brood and a Lictor. Tervigon spawned some Gaunts, while Tyrranofex aimed its Rupture Cannon at my CCS Snipers and blew one of them from the walls, leaving only the poor sod's legs. Everything else failed to hit, as the Bugs abyssmal BS once again managed to save some imperial lives. The ammount of xenos psykers on the battlefield meant that their player would have a ton of warp tokens at his disposal and used them to boost his forces with a tasty FNP (which he forgot about during next turn) and some speed boost. We had max one more turn, before the Hive Mind was upon us.

The lines are drawn and the battle commences!

"Incoming! - yelled Jura, as he saw the giant Xenos beast fire his massive weapon towards their positions. He threw himself to the side of the oncoming projectile, but Welsky, his squadmate, wasn't fast enough and the bio-munition punched a huge hole in the wall, from behind which he was taking aim at the oncoming Tyranids. The poor Marksman did not even had a chance to scream, as he was torn apart by the imploding, beetle-like creature. Horrified, Jura took aim at the oncoming tide of xenos, mouthing a silent prayer to the Emperor, as he prepared to fire."

Turn 2:

The Imperium

My reserves did not arrived this turn, despite some help from the Officer of the Fleet, which was problematic. I only had a couple of guys on the hill, none of which had particulary heavy weaponry. Once again I decided not to move any of my guys and instead concentrated on firign all I had on the Nids. My Vindicare punched a hole in the Tyrranofex'es side, while my snipers put even more wounds on the Hive Guards, felling one of the beasts. Mortars continued to fire on the oncoming Gaunts and, thanks to split fire from CCS orders, once again dealt grievous losses to nasty little buggers. Overall that wasn't a bad turn on my part, however if I did not recieve reinforcements soon, my guys would be overrun...

Space Marines recieved their first wave of reinforcements, as the Vanguard Veterans swooped from the sky... and had a mishap. Our opponent had a chance to deploy them anywhere on the battlefield and chose to... place them nearer his troops? Eh? Well, anyway the Vets jumped back to safety of some rocks, right after their deployment, hugging the wall and waiting for the right chance to strike. Meanwhile the rightmost squad of Assault Marines moved closer to the vile Xenos, getting ready for some choppy-choppy combat next turn.

Tyranids

Tyranids drew more blood, as the Venom Cannon Carnifex shot at my Vindicare, got a direct hit and vaporised him, thanks to the "Instant Death" rule and a shitty saving throws on my part. That was the last time when A) I've placed my Assassin all on his own and B) out of a transport with firing points. Preferably a Land Raider. The Hive Crone swooped upon the bunker with my SWS Sniper squad and belched a stream of toxic, acidic spit that dissolved the support Guardsmen inside. Not a good day for the Hammer of the Emperor. A monstrous Trygon erupted right behind our main lines, its bestial sight set firmly on the Company Command Squad and its supporting elements. The rest of the beasts advanced, once again summoning foul powers of the Hive Mind to aid them, as well as spawning more Gaunts! They were almost at our doorstep...

The swarm advances...

"The Imperials were raining down death on the oncoming Xenos. Mortar rounds blew the chittering horrors apart, while snipers took careful aim at the rushing beasts and cut them down. "Berkut" barely registered the rest of  the battlefield. He concentrated solely on the monstrous Tyranid creature that was in front of him, the one which just blew apart half of the building, which housed the Company Command, with his enormous cannon. He let out a breath and squeezed the trigger on his experimental, electromagnetic long rifle, sending a titanium pellet at a supersonic speed towards the beast. The projectile struck true and the Tyrranofex'es flank burst open. The inquisitorial Operative's smile of satisfaction quickly faded, as he suddendly got aware of one of the nearby Carnifexes bellow of rage, directed right at him. Taking a glance towards the beast he saw a huge ball of bio-plasma hurtling towards his position. - Oh shi... - was all he managed to say, before the building housing him exploded in a shower of debris and alien fire."

Turn 3:

The Imperium

With a roar of engines and an imperial hymn, blasting from its vox speakers, the Vendetta entered the battlefield, alongside the Leman Russ Exterminator, Hellhounds, Deathstrike Missile Launcher and the rest of my Infantry Platoon. Finally the Fleet Officer's efforts paid off and now it was time for the tide to turn! My mortars kept annihilating his Gaunts, almost as fast as he was spawning them, while the infantry peppered the oncoming right flank Genestealers with laser and autocannon fire, killing few of the beasts. Deathstrike began the countdown, while Vendetta swooped upon the rightmost Flyrant, unleashing the fury of its lascannons upon the beast, striking 3 times and dealing as many wounds to one of the swarm's leader, leaving him with just one. Hell yeah! The Infantry Platoon peppered the Trygon with everything they had, including Bolters and Autocannons, but to no avail. Even the support fire from Leman Russ Exterminator did nothing. The beast's hide was simply too thick.

Meanwhile Vanguard Veterans, together with a Chaplain, avenged the poor Vindicare, falling upon the Venom Cannon Carnifex and tearing it to shreds with their Lightning Claws in a shower of chitin and ichor. The rightmost Assault Squad charged the unit of Termagants and engaged it in melee, flaming it just before the charge hit home, while the AS on the left charged the Trygon, failing to wound the great beast and losing a valiant Battle Brother in return. The Astartes Storm Talon also came from reserves this turn, and attacked the Hive Crone with gusto, placing a single wound on the beast. It was followed by a Land Speeder squadron, that immediately torched the leftmost Genestealer Brood, leaving only the Broodlord standing and two Bike Squads, one of which included the Captain! Finally the imperial forces started to retake lost ground.

Tyranids

Alas the Hive Mind was not done with us yet. The Hive Crone flew over my Leman Russ and nicked it with its claw, dealing a glancing hit. Tyrannofex fired its Rupture Cannon at the Leman Russ, but failed to hit. Two units of Gaunts assaulted the SM Bikers and got stuck in melee with them, losing many models. Meanwhile one of the Flyrants got on the Stormtalon's six and managed to put a glancing hit on it. Hive Guard tried to be useful but failed to hit anything, just as warriors did. Trygon continued to eat away at the Assault Squad, but lost combat and died under the chainblades of the Blood Ravens, as it attempted to flee. Tervigon once again pooped a bunch of Gaunts, who run towards our positions, ever hungry and voracious. Meanwhile a trio of Raveners burst behind the Hellhounds and managed to wreck one with a well placed salvo from their bio-weapons. Finally the rightmost flying Tyrant killed a bunch od Guardsmen with its ranged weapons. The Swarm was still in the fight and had more reservers to use against us...

The Imperium recieves some much needed reinforcements

"For the Emperor and the Unknown Primarch! - cried Chaplain Velion Taranis, as he swooped upon the monstrous Carnifex, Crozius Arcanum swinging. All around him the Veterans of squad Krastos plunged the blades of their Lightning Claws into the great beast's sides and back, tearing huge chunks of chitin and alien flesh. The Carnifex roared in agony, clumsily slashing at the Blood Ravens with its monstrous talons, but to no avail. Each Battle Brother was a veteran of a hundred battles, and was more than a match for this slow and clumsy brute. Taranis delivered the coup de grace, landing on the beast's back and hammering the heard of his Crozius into the back of its skull. The thrice-sacred weapon, a relic of his chapter, broke the Carnifex'es neck, which lolled to one side, as the monster fell to the ground, scattering the Vanguard Veterans in all directions. Victorious, the Blood Ravens Chaplain did not hesitate for even one second, as he saw the giant Tyrannofex aiming the monstrous cannon in their direction. - Scatter Brothers! Take cover!  - bellowed Taranis, as the monstrous creature fired..."

Turn 4:

The Imperium

The countdown on the Deathstrike continued as the launcher prepared to fire its deadly payload. Meanwhile the Vendetta dropped the unit of Scions right in front of some Tyranid Warriors, and the brave soldiers unleashed a volley of concentrated laser fire at the beasts, together with a couple of Krak Grenades, felling one of the monsters and severly wounding another. Hellhound squadron avenged the destruction of one of their vehicles, by by burning the Ravener brood to cinders, while Leman Russ Exterminator continuned to fire at the Tyranid lines, but to no avail. Clearly the machine spirit was not willing this day. Vendetta took aim at the Tervigon, but the huge monster wasmore agile than his great bulk suggested and nimbly avoided all, but one of the incoming laser blasts. Mortars continued their barage upon the incoming Gaunts, killing a bunch more of the twisted creatures, while Snipers on the right finally took care of the Genestealers and heavily wounded the Broodlord. The Company Commander and Officer of the Fleet tried to fell the Brood Leader but they've failed to even score a single hit.

Finally more Space Marine reserves arrived. Two Whirlwinds made their way onto the table and fired their missiles at the Zoanthrope Brood, scoring a couple of wounds, but failing to kill any of the psychic horrors. Blood Ravens Vanguard squad lost two models to the Tyrannofex'es overwatch fire and was now engaged with the beast, slashing at it with its Lightning Claws. Meanwhile the Assault Squad which slay the Trygon, jumped towards the second Carnifex that was slowly making its way towards the imperial lines but unfortunately got minced in return, prompting one of the Bike Squads to take their place. On the right flank, the last survivors of the second Assault Squad finally finished the remaining Gaunts and prepared to charge the lone Hive Guard. Stormtalon fared the worst of all. Not only was its lifespan measured in seconds, as it had a Flyrant on its tail, but the salvo of Hammerhand missiles failed to inflict any damage on the righmost Flyrant as well. Ouch!

Tyranids

The Hivemind brought more Warriors and Raveners on the board, as well as a sneaky Lictor. The Raveners and Lictor fired upon the Bike Squad with a Captain and managed to wound the Attack Bike. When the infiltrating beast tried to assault the bike-mounted Blood Ravens it was promptly cut to pieces. Tervigon, as you have probably already guessed, spawned even more Gaunts. One of the Flyrants got lucky and finally managed to down the Stormtalon which exploded in midair. The Carnifex that was fighting with the second Bike Squad recieved some support from the leftmost Broodlord and the two Tyranids actually started to incure some losses upon the Blood Ravens. The Flyrant at the right side of the table continued to assail the poor Guardsmen, killing more of them, while the Broolord tried to assault the Platoon, but got killed by the massed Lasgun, Bolter and Autocannon salvo, fired on Overwatch. Tyranids Warriors facing the Stormtroopers did good tough. Not only their fire killed one of the Scions, but the subsequent assault claimed the life of another one of the Emperor's elite troopers, locking them in combat with the vile beasts. A bunch of Gormagaunts came to the Tyrranofex'es aid and charged the Vanguard Vets. The Hive Crone with a single remaining wound, got into trouble, as my Vendetta was firmly on its tail, and there was no shaking it.

It's all chaos and mayhem, as the might of the Swarm squares off against the Emperor's armies

" - Target locked! - cried Kaleb "Stinky" Fussil, the gunner of "Lucky Gal XVI". The Vendetta's pilot, Marius Orso, steered his craft so that the three, twin-linked Lascannons were right behind the massive Hive Crone. They would only get one shot at this. If they miss, the beast will manage to change the course of its flight and Orso saw how fast and agile these flying bastards can be. - Ready that trigger finger "Stinky!" - he shouted over the Vox, as the Crone's massive shape grew even larger in his cockpit's front window..."

Turn 5:

The Imperium

The Deathstrike's countdown came to a stop. The missile was launched and now it would hit... a bunch of Gaunts and a Tervigon, as the majority of the Swarm disperesed over the battlefield. Oh well, the best 165 points ever spent, eh? Anyway I've rolled a miss (of course) and the missile hit not only the Gaunts and their "momma" but also my Stormtroopers, the last two Blood Ravens Assault Marines, a squad of Warriors omnomnomming the poor Scions and the lone Hive Guard. Every one of the models, except the Temperstor and a single Warrior evaporated in the apocalyptic explosion. Our laughter lasted for at least 5 minutes and lemme tell you, it was genuine and heartfelt. Anyway the lone Stormtrooper failed in his duel against the Warrior Prime and was savagely cut down by the beast. Fortunately the rest of my forces fared a lot better. The Vendetta managed to blow the Hive Crone out of the air with its 3 TL Lascannons, while flying beyond the table's edge and returning to active reserves. Meanwhile the second Ravener Brood was torched by the Hellhounds with ease. Mortars did not have any targets left tough, as the last of the Termagaunts were locked in close combat with the Space Marine Bikers. Leman Russ Exterminator continued to fire upon the Zoanthropes, but their Warp Fields protected them from harm, while Snipers failed to target anything at all.

Fortunately the Space Marines fared a bit better. The Captain Bike Squad killed all the Gaunts and a supporting Warrior, while the second one stripped even more wounds from the last Carnifex, recieving some in return. Vanguard Marines continued to chop the Tyrannofex to pieces but the beast would just not die! Whirlwinds fired their deadly payloads at the Zoanthropes, finally killing one of the Xenos psykers and the Landspeeders hunted the Tervigon, dealing it a wound from a Multi-melta. The Swarm was nearly broken, but it could still pack a punch.

Tyranids

Or not. Generally the last Nid turn was pretty uneventful. The lone Warrior on the right flank made its way towards my lines, evidently having suicidal thoughts. The monstrous Tervigon spat the last brood of Hormagaunts, as it finally "blocked" itself. Meanwhile the last Broodlord, together with Carnifex, managed to slay even more Blood Ravens Bikers, as the two monsters proved to be incredibly tough and killy. The Hive Minds flying Creatures did not had any targets left, so they've continued to just fly around, looking for something to eat. Tyrannofex killed another one of the Vanguard Veterans, but there were still a couple of the valiant warriors left at the battlefield. Finally the Tyranid player rolled for the end of the game, and the battle was finished. The Imperium's forces managed to defeat the Tyranids, but only just and with a great cost in human and posthuman lives.

The last Bugs standing

"Inquisitor Namir Ralok was pleased with himself. The combined forces of the Astartes and Imperial Guard managed to halt the Xenos advance and the alien swarm was in a disarray. Nearly 30,000 civilians have already been in the process of blood testing, and would soon be moved further south for even more tests, which will be performed in special, inquisitorial facilities. If Ralok was right, and he often was, the blood of Ebenhard's VII citizens could hold the key to defeating the Great Devourer once and for all. Of course he had to lie to both the Space Marine Captain and the Astra Militarum Commander, telling them about the need to "evacuate the civilians for their own good" and things like that. He decided that the truth would best be served if it remained hidden, at least for now. The last thing he needed right now was to face the oposition from the sanctimonious Astartes and some old Guard fool, who placed a value on civilian lives and other such nonsense. As for himself, he was needed elswhere. Some of his trusted Acolytes reported that the Tyranids were in the process of deploying some sort of new bio-weapon, a few clicks to the west of Urros. That was certainly worth checking out. Ralok summoned "Ariadna", who just came out from the medicae tent, inside which "Berkut" was recieving synth-skin treatment for the severe burns to his left arm and chest. - Gather squads "Alpha" and "Epsilon", together with Acolytes Ios and Vulgata, and my Psyker cadre - he told the woman, who just nodded her head and proceeded to obey the given orders. Namir Ralok was going on a hunt and it was going to be glorious..."

The battle for Ebenhard VII will continue with more battle reports. Stay tuned.

Until next time!

Xathrodox86