Right! This weekend, I had a naughty, naughty list I was itching to try... Why naughty? Well, at my 40k FLGS of choice, flyers and anti-flyer tactics still aren't that common. Having seen the brutality of my Blood Angels FTO list, I figured I'd pair them up with the Crimson Guard to fill in the gaps in the list, i.e.:
1) To have a reasonably costed scoring unit without seriously compromising the killing power and overall strategy of the Blood Angels.
2) To have another Flyer in the skies which was cheapish and could reliably hunt enemy flyers and
3) To have a massively powerful, indiscriminately destructive piece of artillery. Whirlwinds are for pansies - give me my MANTICORE!
The result was a list designed to level massive amounts of firepower in all forms; S10 pie plates, anti-vehicle lascannons and melta weapons, anti-infantry hurricane bolters, assault cannons and frag and flame templates, general purpose shooting with typhoons and the veterans in their chimera. And just in case the need arose, a good solid close-combat punch in the form of the Death Company. All I needed was someone to test it on. Edwin kindly obliged with his Nids...
The Blood Angels
Reclusiarch with infernus pistol and melta bombs
Furioso Dreadnought with frag cannon and heavy flamer
7 Death Company with 2 infernus pistols and 2 power axes
Death Company Dreadnought with Blood Talons
2 Stormravens with twin-linked multimelta, twin-linked assault cannon and hurricane bolters
Land Speeder Typhoon
Land Speeder Typhoon
The Crimson Guard
Veteran Squad with 3 Grenade Launchers in a Chimera
Warlord Trait: Princeps of Deceit (which I didn't really use)
This is a distillation of the most lethal elements of both my Blood Angels and my Guard. As usual, the Death Company elements will be in DCRaven and the Furioso will be in Furyraven. The mobility of the flyers coupled with the range of the Typhoons and Manticore mean I can focus an insane amount of punishment pretty much anywhere I want, regardless of deployment. I do believe this is the killiest list I've concocted yet. Now to put it to the test...
Hive Tyrant with Heavy Venom Cannon, Bonesabre & Lashwhip, Old Adversary, Regeneration and Armoured Shell
Tyranid Prime with 2 Bonesabres, Devourer and Regeneration
3 Tyrant Guard
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
Tervigon with Crushing Claws, Toxin Sacs, Regeneration and 2 psychic powers: Onslaught & Catalyst
17 Termagants with Devourers (hereinafter referred to as "Deathgaunts") in a Mycetic Spore with twin-linked deathspitter.
Tyrannofex with Rupture Cannon and Regeneration
Warlord Trait: Tenacity
Phew... 34 T6 wounds to get through... I had encountered this list (or a variant of it using the Doom of Malantai) before and the results were usually pretty dire. This is what usually happens:
1) The Tyrannofex will soak up an obscene amount of firepower. Its monstrously powerful gun demands my attention and I end up having to devote large volumes of firepower to killing it or it'll pick off key elements of my army.
2) The Hive Guard will lay down a punishing barrage of shooty death. 2 S8 shots each, ignoring cover, just really, really hurts.
3) The Tyrantstar will kill anything it touches. Nuff said.
4) The Deathgaunts will drop right in the middle of the opposing army and quite likely wipe out any infantry unit they fire at. Mostly a disrupting tactic to let the Tyrantstar close unhindered.
And against this backdrop, the Tyrant, the Tervigon and the Zoanthropes will be casting their nasty little psychic powers all over the place, buffing themselves and withering any poor sot that comes within range.
In this FLGS, this list has proven brutally effective, and every regular there has suffered at the claws of that wretched Tyrannofex. More often than not, my own encounters with this list resulted in a slow, brutal death as I try and fail to kill the big horrible beasties without getting overrun by wee little beasties....
Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Dawn of War. I won the roll off and deployed first. Night fighting was not active on the first turn.
The lack of night fighting was quite a lucky break for me, short as I was on searchlights. I knew what the Tyrantstar was capable of and I was pretty sure my Death Company wouldn't be enough to break it in one charge. So, the Grande Planne: First, alpha strike the Tyrannofex with every flyer that comes in. 2+ armour had thwarted my previous lists, but this time, I was toting multimeltas, assault cannons, lascannons and Bloodstrike missiles. That Tyrannofex was too powerful to be allowed to live. After the Tyrannofex, my next target would be his other guns - the Hive Guard. If possible, I'd send the DC Dreadnought on a mission to kill at least one squad of them. The Furioso would be sent to erase the Deathgaunts when they turned up. After that, it would simply be a matter of kiting around and overwhelming the Tyrantstar with superior flying firepower.
Sound solid? Well, here's how it played out.
BA: The Chimera moved up, making sure to expose only its armoured front to incoming enemy fire. The Typhoons zipped out, keeping out of the threat range of the dreaded Hive Guard.
The opening salvos of fire didn't do much, with the Manticore's AP4 proving quite useless against the Tyrant's 2+ save. The Typhoons fared a little better, taking a wound off each of the Hive Guard squads. Shooting from the Chimera against the Tyrannofex was completely ineffective.
Nids: The Tervigon poops out a swarm of 14 Termagants, but alas, Edwin rolls two 5's in the process! The nasty little critters skitter right for the relic, running in the shooting phase to engulf the hill with their chitinous bodies. The Hive Guard hang back, no doubt waiting for the inevitable wave of Blood Angel reinforcements. The Tyrantstar marches forward, glancingthe Chimera with the heavy venom cannon. The Tyrannofex moves up, blasting away at the Chimera and managing to take a hull point and the multilaser.
*Note that throughout the game, Edwin maintained a constant flurry of psychic activity. However, since I had no way to stop it, and there were no spells cast that directly affected any of my units, I didn't bother keeping track of them. Suffice it to say that between the spells and the Warlord trait, there was enough Feel No Pain going round to slow down the rate at which my shooty death chewed up his army.*
BA: Both Stormravens arrive from reserve, heading straight for the Tyrannofex, with the Furyraven on my left and DCRaven on my right. Chimera and the Typhoons move a little to get better firing angles.
Ah, shooty violence! Typhoon 2 fired on a squad of Hive Guard, taking another wound. Typhoon 1 and the Veterans turned their guns on the termagants on the hill, chewing them up quite badly and leaving only 3 survivors holding the relic. The Manticore managed to do sodall to the Tyrant, yet again. The Furyraven unleashed its multimelta, assault cannon and 2 Bloodstrike missiles on the Tyrannofex, managing to cause 4 wounds. The DCRaven finished the job with another 2 Bloodstrike missiles, using the Machine Spirit to direct the assault cannon on the last few termagants, wiping them out, too. First blood to the Imperium!
Nids: Deathgaunts arrive from reserve, landing right in front of DCRaven in their Mycetic Spore. The Deathgaunts spilled out all over the hill, ready to bury their target in devourer worms. The Tyrantstar, unfazed by the demise of the Tyrannofex, continued trudging onwards. Edwin also decided this was the time for the Hive Guard to do or die, and they broke cover, clearly aiming to tear out the heart of my army: The DCRaven.
Shooting went abyssmally bad for Edwin. ALL shots from the Hive Guard on the DCRaven missed. The Tyrant tried to hit the Chimera with its heavy venom cannon and missed. And to make matters worse, not one of the 51 shots of the Deathgaunts leveled at Typhoon 2 managed a glancing hit! Suffice it to say, the Mycetic Spore didn't leave an impression on DCRaven, either. The next turn would sting...
BA: Vendetta arrives. Both Stormravens went into hover mode. The Furyraven dropped off the Furioso, which lined up its frag cannon and heavy flamer to shred the Deathgaunts. The Chimera edged forward, looking to lend its firepower to the Furioso's efforts. Typhoons 1 and 2 zipped back, targeting the Mycetic Spore. The DCRaven moved to the right, unleashing the DC Dreadnought in the direction of the nearby Hive Guard.
The two Typhoons proved quite enough to kill the Mycetic Spore. One should have been enough, but I had gotten terribly unlucky with the krak missile rolls. The Crimson Guard veterans and the Furioso easily scoured the hill clean of the Deathgaunts. Meanwhile, the Manticore, Stormravens and Vendetta all poured their firepower into the Tyrantstar, managing (I think) 2 wounds on the Tyranid Prime and 1 dead Tyrant Guard.
In assault, the DC Dreadnought fulfilled its mission admirably, wiping out the squad of 3 Hive Guard despite losing 2 hull points to overwatch fire. I used its consolidation move to push it right into the Tyranid lines, forcing the remaining Hive Guard to turn their guns on it (thus keeping them from shooting my precious Stormravens).
Nids: The Tyranid comeback was largely as expected. The remaining squad of Hive Guard scuttled back a bit and blasted apart the DC Dreadnought. Meanwhile, the Tyranstar and the Tervigon charged into the Furioso, taking a couple of wounds from overwatch fire and exploding it.
BA: Sly Marbo arrives and pops up behind the Tyrantstar to put that demo charge to good use. Now that the 2 Dreadnoughts have accomplished their missions, it was now a game of guns. The Furyraven backed away, while the DCRaven zoomed off to a better position on the other side of the board. The Chimera maintained its position, ready to provide a little more supporting firepower. The Vendetta went into hover mode and stayed in the left-hand corner.
This time, I focused my firepower on killing off Edwin's last troops choice: the Tervigon. Since I already had First Blood and there was almost no likelihood of Edwin taking either of the other 2 secondary objectives, this would almost guarantee my victory. With only a 3+ armour save, the Tervigon suffered greatly from the predations of my Typhoons, and when the dust settled, it lay dead, leaving the somewhat diminished Tyrantstar to face the might of my army which, thus far, has only lost 2 Dreadnoughts and a multilaser from the Chimera. Edwin knew a lost cause when he saw one, and graciously conceded.
I am pleased with this list! Where before I had hurled various armies against the might of Edwin's Nids and floundered, the combined dakka of the Blood Angels and Imperial Guard triumphed spectacularly. In all fairness, though, Turn 2 was absolutely, game-breakingly disastrous for Edwin. The salvo from the Deathgaunts really should have managed to take down Typhoon 2, even with jink saves. As for the Hive Guards' shooting against the DCRaven, well, I calculate about a 8.9% chance of their 10 shots (1 had died) managing to nuke it, so I daresay my use of the Stormravens is very much a calculated and worthwhile risk.
Would I have done anything differently? Only one thing: I'd have turned the Manticore on the Hive Guard. It was only in the later turns that I realized that they had 4+ saves, making them far better targets for some Storm Eagle rocket rudeness.
Would I change anything about this list? Nope. Well, maybe switch out the Manticore for a Leman Russ of some sort, just for kicks, but I'd say this list is fine as it is.
Stay tuned and we'll see if I can get another game in against a different foe...