Allright, guys, it's game five time, this time with lots of pictures! To view my last game, click here. To view my next game click here. To view my batrep registry, click here.

This game took place in a very heavily ruined city with my standard list (except that my stormtroopers infiltrated rather than deepstruck), against the tyrannid guy who I fought against in game 4.

THE CHALLENGER: bugzilla! (1000 pts.)

1 shooty hive tyrant
1 cc carnifex
3 zoanthropes
3 warriors
2 mobs of hormagaunts

THE DEFENDER: imperial guard (1000 pts.)

1 anti-infantry platoon (heavy bolter + gren launcher in squads)
1 anti-infantry armored fist (2xHB + stubber on chimera)
2 lascannon sentinels
1 las/plas demolisher
1 basilisk
1 5 man squad of stormtroopers with meltaguns

I pulled a hat trick with the pre-game dice rolling, picking the side, making him deploy first, and then taking the first turn. Our deployment was pretty standard for what I usually do, and what I remember him doing last time. People at the gaming store are starting to recognize my standard deployment scheme. I should really think up something else, but this is seeming to work so well... My stormtroopers infiltrated a little closer to the bugs, rather than my normal deep striking. I have had no real experience against tyrannid, so I put them closer so that they could meltagun stuff. Next time, I'll just keep them back. After deployment, the field looked like this:

pregame analysis: I was looking forward to playing this guy (indeed, some other noobie guy who I would have enjoyed a victorious slaughter against wanted to play me and this guy sort of just cut in :) ). I wasn't too scared as I knew I'd be able to trash those hormagaunts with all of my heavy bolters, and I didn't really fear the big bugs. Let's just say that now I do... moreso...


So, we begin with me opening up on the tyrannid. My guys were all pretty well set up, so I didn't do a lot of movement. My left sentinel moved up (to be a distraction / general threat), as did my army HQ (distraction) and my stormtroopers. If I were to play this again, my stormtroopers would NOT move forward out of cover towards the enemy. I think this decision was made purely on ignorance. I didn't know that the monstrous creatures would be charging me anyways, and I didn't know how good the guns on the hive tyrant were. Oh well.

Anyways, I then proceed to start gunning down tyrannids. My 3 lascannons all took aim on the carnifex. All of them hit, and all of them wounded! then, after the dust clears, I see that he still had 2 wounds left. My thoughts on the threat level of a big bug slowly starts changing at this moment. On the right, my squad shoots at the zoanthrope, to no effect. My armored fist, on the other hand, shot with two heavy bolters, a heavy stubber, and then the guys inside took out their heavy bolter and shot that 8) . The guys inside managed triple 1's to hit, but the chimera cleaned through about a third of the mob on the side.

At this point, the field looked like this (note that at this point, the game room had another set of players whose table was right behind me. This will cause some of my pictures to be less than centered.):

Now it was his turn. His whole army summarily moves forward. His hive tyrant shows the stormtroopers a whole new world of pain. His zoanthrope rolls something like a 15 for armor penetration against my sentinel. Ouch.

After this point, the field looks like this (I forgot the red X for my stormtroopers. Just look forlornely at the hole on the left side and you can see where their beautiful footprints still grace the sand...):


Not a whole lot of movement for me. I scootch the sentinel over so that it can shoot at the carnifex again. I also continue my charge with the HQ squad. My squad on the left shoots down a couple of hormagaunts, while my squad on the right shoots at the zoanthrope to no effect. Next time, I think I'll shoot at the little bugs, but I was afraid of what that zoanthrope could do to my demolisher after what I'd heard about zoanthropes, and with what he did to my sentinel. My demolisher hits the zoanthrope with it's lascannon and it makes its 6+ invulnerable save. My armored fist, on the other hand is more successful. Even though the guys in the can failed to do anything (rolled two 1's to wound), the three machine guns on top proceed to absolutely murder the hormagaunts, killing over half of them, and leaving them with only 4 gaunts.

After this point, the field looks like this:

His turn is basically a repeat of last turn. Everything moved up. He got a 6 for difficult terrain and moved the guys behind the chimeny. Then, he proceeds to assault 12" into my command squad. At this point we have a rules check. If you were to draw a straight line between his guys and mine, you would have to pass over 2 areas of difficult terrain. He insisted that he could move around terrain, rather than attacking in a straight line. I gave it to him and all of his gaunts made it into combat, totally wiping out my army HQ. Then, he consolidated 6" towards my other guys, making it 1/2" away (whew! we had to do another rules check, but in the end, he was forced to move his closest guy out to an inch away). His zoanthrope manages to penetrate the demolisher, and knocks off it's demolisher cannon.

After this point, the field looked like this:


He did it! He fell for my trap. He took the command squad bait and now was time for my squad on the right to absolutely gun him down. Before I was to do this, I think I needed a good round of retrea- coordinated withdrawl. My squad on the right wouldn't be able to hurt anything, and my basilisk couldn't either. Indeed, the reason that I haven't mentioned the basilisk yet is that the whole game it scattered pretty badly, and when it did manage to hit, everything made their 2+ saves. I don't think it earned a single point back this whole game. My sentinel also repositions to keep it in line of sight of the carnifex.

Now the sweet, sweet shooting phase. My platoon HQ, lacking better targets, shoots at the zoanthrope and manages to get a wound on it. My sentinel pegs another wound off of the carnifex. My armored fist finishes gunning down the hormagaunts on the right. Now is the time for sweet, sweet victory. My squad shoots its grenade launcher against the packed in hormagaunts for 1 hit and 3 partials. It kills 1 hormagaunt. The heavy bolter misses three times. The 8 lasgunners open fire, raining 16 shots down onto the hormagaunts, and kill... 1...

After this point, the field looks like this:

At this point, I cringe as I will be summarily @&^* in the !^# by the hormagaunts. His carnifex moves behind the building (to hide from the lascannon) and the rest of his army continues its death march forwards. His hive tyrant hoses down my platoon command, leaving my officer as an independant character. His hormagaunts charge in. I have cover, but I didn't manage to kill anything. I think quietly to myself "the emperor protects, the emperor protects" as he rolls his hits and wounds. I now need to make 5 armor saves. I roll them:


I can only assume that this is my karma for not gunning him down at close range. Anyways, the close combat was a draw, so no one had to run.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture after this point, for some reason.


I can feel the momentum of this battle starting to crush in against me. My whole left side proceeds to withdraw. My left squad actually sort of withdraws forward a bit into cover, to buy me some time to retreat the commander and the basilisk. My armored fist drives forward and dumps out the guys. I'd need all the firepower I could muster if I was going to defeat the enemies on my right.

Shooting goes okay. My chimera shoots at the zoanthrope to no effect. My demolisher shoots over the battle with the hormagaunts (we did another rule check. Tanks can, in fact shoot over an infantry close combat), and kills the zoanthrope with it's lascannon. In close combat, I kill 1 hormagaunt to him killing 2 of my guys. Though the hormagaunts won the assault, I stay put.

After this point, the field looks like this:

He then proceeds to continue his relentless march against me. He's starting to feel my strategy of "victorious withdraw" as his guys on my left side continue to be able to do just about nothing. He does shoot at the sentinel with his tyrant, and blows it to kingdom come (for the difficult terrain, I used my small blast template). The zoanthrope, on the other hand, doesn't have the same luck against my demolisher (he failed his psychic test).

I kill another hormagaunt in close combat, and he kills another 2 guardsmen. My guard can no longer withstand the onslaught of the hormagaunts and are run away. They are completely cut down by the hormagaunts in their attempt to flee. The two remaining hormagaunts then consolodate towards my armored fist.

After this point, the field looks like this:


we couldn't remember what turn we were on (a little too focused on the battle) and I manage to figure it out by counting how many pictures I'd taken :) A big dice it put on the table to help remind us in the future.

My right side begins to withdraw. He has a zoanthrope and a pair of warriors (I honestly can't remember where the other warrior went, maybe I hit it with the basilisk) barrelling down on my right, and a zoanthrope, a carnifex and a hive tyrant barrelling down on my left. I decide to make an effort to win on the right side, meaning that my basilisk stayed put and my officer moved forward to get a good line of sight. Now it's time to shoot, and pray.

I begin by shooting my armored fist squad at the hormagaunts. It made me feel bad wasting all of that firepower, but I couldn't have another hormagaunt charge on my hands. They killed the hormagaunts with a single frag grenade. My demolisher opens up on the zoanthrope and inflicts the last necessary wound with the lascannon. My chimera opens up on the warriors. What I didn't know about tyrannid warriors (among the many, many things I didn't know about tyrannid) is that the warriors only have a 4+ armor save. My 3 machine guns on the chimera open fire and gun the two warriors down to a writhing pulp. My squad on the left foolishly shoots at the carnifex (again, a lot I didn't know about tyrannid), to no effect.

At this point, the field looks like this:

Now is the time for him to start closing the jaws of death, thankfully sans right side. He moves forward and assaults my officer. Cue Star Wars "Duel of Fates":

My officer switches on his power sword and it glows with a fierce blue light. With a prayer on his lips, his braces to take down the mighty tyrannid foe. His life itself depended on his ability to fight with great vigor and bravery against insurmountable odds.

The tyranid hive tyrant walked up to the imperial officer and stepped on him. All that was left was a broken power sword and a chunky red paste stuck to the bottom of its foot. Oh well.

The tyrant consilidates 1" towards my guard hiding in the building. The zoanthrope is out of range against the basilisk.

After this point, the field looked like this:


Here we go, now is the time to do or die. My armored fist mounts up and gets far clear of the battle (no use handing over more victory points than needed). My demolisher finally moves. My basilisk retreats towards its big brother.

I start by shooting the las/plas at the hive tyrant to no effect. I figure "well, if I can't kill it from the front, maybe I can kill it from the back". The machine guns on the chimera shoot at the hive tyrant and manage to take off a wound through sheer volume of fire. Now it's up to the remainder of my infantry on the left side to do something. Remembering the mistake of last turn, I shoot at the hive tyrant. The krak grenade doesn't do anything, but the machine gun nails 3 wounds, one of which he fails to save against. Now it's time for the mighty lasgun to do its work. 16 shots yield some 4 wounds. Out of that, he AGAIN manages to roll a 1 in the mass of armor saves. His victory points just went in the crapper.

After this point, the field looks like this:

Severely angered by the damage it took, the hive tyrant charges in a blingd rage against the basilisk. The close combat carnifex FINALLY gets into combat. The tyrant smashes the basilisk until it explodes (no, the explosion didn't take off its last wound) and the carnifex gets a freightening 9 strength 10 power weapon attacks. He cuts my guardsmen down to 3 guys, who make a break for it.

At the end of the game, the field looked like this:


he killed everything in my guard but the armored fist and the demolisher, giving him a total of 594 pts. I killed everything but a less than half health carnifex, a less than half health hive tyrant and a zoanthrope (which also counted as less than half health, as it was originally in a unit of 3) for a total of 707 pts. resulting in a +113 pt. "Solid Victory".

Whew! That was one hell of a game! After a vigorous handshake with my opponent, I wiped my forehead, which yielded sweat on my shirt sleeve. Indeed I had the shakes a little for the next couple of hours. This was a damn fine opponent, and I look forward to playing with him again (although maybe on his side, rather than against him ;) ).

There are several lessons that I gleaned from this game. The first is that monsters (that aren't carnifexes) are much like terminators: relatively low toughness, with a 2+ armor save. I was surprised by how effective heavy bolter fire was against these critters (specifically, that they were effective at all). I also have a better appreciation for the sheer survivability and ability to do damage of monstrous creatures. I can see now why they're so tough to fight!

As well, I gained a better appreciation for how far a hormagaunt can assault from. I also know now that they're only really good on the charge, and are just normally good once they've gotten into the thick of it.

I'm not entirely certain what I could have done to gain more than a slight victory. I suppose the first would be to target the little ones with my infantry FIRST, no matter how bad the threat to the bigger ones are. As well, I think I should have withdrew my left side more quickly. I was afraid of wasting firepower, but I never really got all that many shots off anyways (until the very end). It would have been better to deny him this kills. I wish I could have done more with my demolisher, but his monstrous creatures sort of had it in for all of my vehicles. I don't know how I could have killed them faster without diverting even more firepower away from the little ones. Maybe I just shouldn't have cared about my infantry, as his gaunts couldn't hurt my vehicles anyways. What do you think?

MVP: For sure this award goes to the chimera that held my dragoons (as I'm becoming wont to call them). The two heavy bolters and the heavy stubber took out, by themselves, 15 hormagaunts, 2 warriors and 1 wound off a hive tyrant, as well as keeping the troops inside safe. I don't know how much more than it's points it made up, but it was certainly an invaluable unit this round. I'm starting to really take a shine to this 4-machine-gun tank.

Hero of the game: My valiant platoon junior officer. Even though all of his storm bolter shooting did nothing, and even though that shiny powersword wound up being a waste of points, he did the one thing that officers do best: serve as a distraction. He may have been stomped by the hive tyrant, but because the hive tyrant went against him instead of the squad, the squad was able to wound it to the point of being worth only half it's normal points. Plus, it takes true heroism to move towards a hive tyrant alone.

So, that's it. Thanks for reading this very, very close/tense/good game.