Friday, 5 July 2013

Tyranids on Necrons - Battle Report

Mommy Bugs! Sadly I left the "Child-bearing Hips" on the sprue ...
Looks like I'm getting my 40K on at the moment and the blogging muse is kicking in, so "make hay while the sun is shining" as the saying goes! Quick caveat before I get any further, while the writing muse is with me I keep forgetting to take photos while I play! So to break up the wall of text I've included some photos of my Tyranids as they look at the moment.

I took my 'nids down to Warhammer World yesterday to take on Duncs' Necrons and after seeing his build at Blog Wars 5, I was surprised with what I saw across the table from me:

Overlord w. Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter, Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs

Royal Court:

Despair Cryptek w. Veil of Darkness, Abyssal Staff
Lord w. Res Orb, Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter, Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs
4 Lords w. Sempiternal Weave, Phase Shifter, Warscythe, Mindshackle Scarabs

10 Immortals w. Tessla
10 Immortals w. Gauss
5 Immortals w. Tessla

6 Wraiths w. 2x Whip Coils
6 Wraiths w. 2x Whip Coils
9 Scarabs

I brought a slightly modified version of my Double Flyrant list originally poster here:

Hive Tyrant w, 2x TL Devourers, Wings, Hive Commander (Enfeeble, Warp Speed)
Hive Tyrant w, 2x TL Devourers, Wings, Old Adversary (Iron Arm, Hemorrhage)

2 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard

20 Termagants
15 Termagants w. Devourers in a Mycetic Spore w. Cluster Spines
Tervigon . Toxin Sacs, Cluster Spines, 3 Powers (Hemorrhage, Endurance, Warp Speed)
Tervigon . Toxin Sacs, Cluster Spines, 3 Powers (Iron Arm, Hemorrhage, Life Leech)

2 Carnifexes w. 2x TL Devourers each

I changed my list for a number of reasons, firstly I really hate using my Gargoyles, moving all those models on those flimsy bases is so fiddly, it just doesn’t make for an enjoyable movement phase. Secondly I see the Hive Tyrants as gunships and in the list I wrote previously they are alone in that function, the rest of the list is assault based, which means that once I make contact with my assault elements they don’t have much of a role. So I thought I’d rework the list into a more shooting focused one and in doing so I realised this probably would have worked significantly better at Blog Wars in terms of addressing the general feeling I had that there was a lack of range in the list. The Hive Tyrants and Spore Pod Devil-gants get into range very quickly and dish out a frightening amount of firepower while the Carnifexes lumber into range.

The mission was Purge the Alien with Hammer & Anvil Deployment. I got first Turn and started everything but the Spore Pod Termagants on the board. I was very worried about his HQ death-star so I planned to bubble-wrap my rear and flanks with the 20-man unit of Termagants and spawn units to cover the front as necessary. I grouped everything together in the centre of the board with the Carnifexes dead centre flanked on either side by a Tervigon and a unit of Hive Guard. The Tyrants were placed so that they would be able to get range on something first turn unless Duncs put everything pretty far back in his zone.

Fortunately this was not the case and Duncs set up to come right at me. He deployed his Scarabs on the 24” line with the two units of Wraiths directly behind them. Then he placed 20 Immortals on my far right flank and the unit of 5 in a ruin on my left. He set up his Court out of LOS right at the back of the board, well out of my reach. A failed roll to steal the initiative saw me kick of the first turn.


The plan was to eliminate as much as possible as early as possible and then spend the rest of the game trying to bog down his Court, with large units of Termagants. The “eliminate” part of the plan went well with the 5-man Immortal unit falling down in short order and the Scarabs being reduced to a single base thanks to a bunch of S6 shooting from the Tyrants. Sadly the visions I’d had of choking his Court with big chunky units of Termagants was quickly quashed when the Tervigons doubled out with rolls of 7 and 8. So 35 Gaunts in 3 units was all I’d have to act as chaff. Bummer.

My cautious movement in turn 1 had a purpose and that was put my guns in range while to ensuring that the Necrons had to make a long charge to get into assault on turn 1. In this respect I was successful and both units of Wraths and the remaining Scarab base failed their charge rolls. Also, the fact that the Court mishapped and were displaced when they veiled helped me out immensely as I popped them back where they started. A little shooting from the Immortals that were in range ended the turn for the Necrons.

Little Guns - My first Flying Hive Tyrant.

Now I was in range to do some proper damage, Enfeeble went straight on the left-most Wraith unit and weight of S6 firepower combined with a 4 hit Vector Strike from one of the Tyrants finished off that unit quickly. The remaining S6 and S8 firepower combined with the newly arrived Devil-gants, took the other unit down to a single wounded Wraith.

This turn the Council did not miss, and they landed behind my lines ready to give me a serious headache. The Tessla Immortals shot the unit of 8 spawned Termagants and caused a few wounds allowing the Scarab and Wraith to charge in and mop them up. The Abyssal staff killed off two Termagants and failed to Wound a Tervigon. The Gauss Immortals could only manage to kill off a couple of the Devil-gants thanks to some excellent cover saves.

Big Guns - The other big fellah!

I decided not to charge the council and instead encircled them with Termagants thinking I would only last a single round of combat which would give me another chance to shoot them before they could get stuck into anything else. The combined firepower from my Carnifexes, Hive Guard, Tervigons and Termagants knocked over a Lord and the Cryptek with only the Cryptek getting back up. This was going to be tough. With my Tyrants half way up the board they decided to focus on killing off the Immortals with the Devil-gants. This resulted in a dead Gauss Squad and a couple of wounds on the Tessla Squad, however they were making turns to come back and help out with the Court.

The Abyssal Staff flared again killing only 2 Termagants, the remaining Tessla Immortals fired but could only remove another 2 Devil-gants. And so the Court charged the ‘gant screen. Somewhat amazingly I passed two of the five Mindshackle tests and managed to kill only a single Termagant. Even more amazingly Duncs could only reduce the Squad to 6 models. This was actually pretty bad for me because he would undoubtedly finish off the unit in my turn leaving him free to charge again in his. Tricky ...

My new love, the Dakka-Fexes.

The Devil -gants continued to ship away at the Tessla Immortals reducing their number to 5. The Wraith was still standing so I had to sort that out, in the previous turn I had charged it with a unit of Hive Guard to limit the damage it could do but that had not been effective so I charged in the other unit and whiffed massively. The damn Wraith had now tied up 8 shots which I’d probably need next turn. In order to slow down the council I charged a Tervigon into the melee, angling my charge so that I would only get into base with a single model which was already engaged I thought I had a chance of avoiding a mindshackle test altogether. Sadly the dice had other ideas and the random roll picked the Tervigon who failed his test and knocked three wounds off himself. Fortunately the Lord he was in base with could only take two more wounds off so while the Termagants evaporated, the council would not be out of combat until the end of their next assault phase as planned.

The Tessla Immortals failed to cause any wounds on the Devil-gants, the Wraith finally failed an invulnerable save and crumbled to the two units of Hive Guard and the Council forced the Tervigon to finish himself off. A pretty straight-forward turn.

Old UN-reliable, the Hive Guard (Warrior Conversions)

The Devil-gants took the Tessla Immortals down to a single man who stuck in the fight to see how it would end. I brought everything to bear on the council, I enfeebled them and poured fire onto them. The Hive Guard whiffed just as they had all game and failed to score a wound but the strength 6 fire was much more effective wounding everyone but the Lord, and killing another Lord and the Cryptek who did not get back up. Never-the-less, the unit was still very dangerous!

I’d had to land one of my Tyrants to keep the Devil-gants in Synapse and the remaining Tessla Immortal bundled out of cover to have a go at him, sadly though, this bold effort came to naught. Thanks to some deft running and positioning I’d managed to place my last, 7-man Termagant squad between the Council and the rest of my army. The Council didn’t need much encouragement and charged the unfortunate cannon-fodder, the resulting combat didn’t last long with the Termagants handily vanquished.


My prayers went unanswered and the game ran into a sixth turn, the last Immortal was tested and found wanting by the Devil-gants and the remainder of my army repositioned to ensure the Carnifexes could not be charged in the Necrons’ next turn. Once again the Tyranids unleashed 48 twin-linked S6 shots and 8 S8 shots but my dice (which had been pretty amazing up to this point) deserted me and I didn’t cause a single casualty, just a couple of wounds. The Hive Mind Braced itself to lose another unit.

Duncs wasted no time in charging his unit unto a nearby Hive Guard Unit, after a quick fight amongst themselves the Warscythes cut them down and I began to pray to the dice gods that it ended there...

... which it did. PHEW!!!

Final Score was 8 (inc 1st Blood & Line Breaker) – 6 (inc Line Breaker)

I think we would both agree that while it felt one-sided for most of the game thanks to an audacious first couple of turns for the Tyranids, the fact that his Council mis-happed on  turn 1 was probably the deciding factor here. It allowed me an extra turn to all but finish off the Wraiths so that I could turn my full attention to the Council when they did arrive in Turn 2.

With that in mind however, the Council were looking pretty good to be able to take a kill point per turn and were not withering under the pretty heavy firepower that I was dishing out; 2+/3++ at T5 is not to be sniffed at!

On the whole I was pleased with the list, it was slightly flattered by getting Enfeeble on a Flying Tyrant allowing me to reposition fairly quickly to get Enfeeble where it was needed. But I think it would be pretty effective in most situations and the firepower it can dish out is pretty scary. The Hive Guard have been singularly unreliable so I’ll most likely drop them for another unit of 15 Devil-gants in a Spore Pod in the future. Lastly though I cannot get over how useless my Tervigons have been at spawning, without fear of exaggeration I can state that in every game this edition at least one of them has doubled out in the first turn. Sometimes the second will keep going for a few more turns but it’s not uncommon for them both to bung up after two turns. Is this normal or am I a statistical anomaly?

I should also note that I rolled my saves like a demon in this game, making a lot of 6+ Termagant saves and 5+ FNP rolls. Conversely Duncs could not buy a save (unless it was of the 2+ variety). His Immortals and Wraiths went down much too easily even considering the Enfeebles, this somewhat flattered the result as well.

I’d like to thank Duncs for the game and I look forward to a rematch with his usual Necron List, this one was put together for maximum transportability (it all fit in a Battleforce box) rather than maximum efficiency. If you feel like commenting please do so below, particularly if you have something to say on the reliability of Tervigons in your experience!


  1. Sounds like a real rollercoaster of a game!

    As for Tervigons, I usually found when I ran two, one would 'jam' on the first or second turn as well. I'm sure one of our readers (possibly even Gav - the original Mr Claws & Fists) could run the statistics for us.

    Was this your campaign game, by the way? Let me know which territory you were fighting over, and I'll update the leader board accordingly!



  2. A quick google turned this up (from

    The probability of stopping spawning on turns 1-5 are 44.44%, 24.69%, 13.72%, 7.62%, 4.23%, leaving 5.29% still spawning in turn 6.

    Not quite sure if it makes sense but that's what the Internet says!

  3. Having faced Duncs court of doom, I can attest to jaw difficult it is to take down.
    Sounds like a very tight game, and the Nids are looking lovely.

  4. There not that good, don't get me wrong if they hit on target they can turn in to a major headache but its only happened once for me and then you are relying on the rest of what you have got to survive a turn of shooting. And boy can the nids pump out the shots. 11 Wraiths gone in 2 rounds of shooting is good going for any army.

    1. It would have been a very different story if I'd not rolled Enfeeble!

  5. True but if it can go bad for me it normally does. Next time it will be a different story, just putting the final touches on the next cunning Necron list.


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