Episode 34: A Tale of Dice and Bugs (Orks vs. Tyranids 1000 Points) [League Game]

I'm back with another, probably mini-Battle Report. One of my local stores is going a Slow Grow League for 40K and while I have my full army I thought it'd be fun to play, get some games in, and meet people. We did one week at 500 Point, then every two weeks we play at the next 500 Point interval. This being the second week we went to 1000 Points, last week I was supposed to play Harlequins but instead got in a game against Tyranids which ended with me having a Warboss on Bike and Nob left after tabling my opponent.

This week I actually got to play my opponent, who also had Tyranids! There's a lot of bugs in my local area which is good for me, bugs are very powerful in 8th Edition so I get lots of games in against them. Since I'm not at 2000 Points I just whipped up a list on the spot.

Zhadsnark Da Rippa
Warboss on Warbike w/ Big Choppa and Attack Squig
Weirdboy w/ Warpath
Weirdboy w/ Warpath

Mad Doc Grotsnik

29 Slugga Boyz w/ Big Choppa Nob
29 Slugga Boyz w/ Big Choppa Nob
29 Slugga Boyz w/ two Big Shootas & Big Choppa Nob

Hive Tyrant

2 Tyrant Guard w/ Adrenal Glands

3 Warriors w/ 2 Devourers and 1 Rending Claws, Adrenal Glands
20 Hormagaunts w/ Adrenal Glands
16 Genestealers

Carnifex w/ Adrenal Glands and Bio-Plasma

Scenario & Deployment
Retrieval Mission (ITC Variant) | Spearhead Assault

Each week a mission is set so there's no need to roll, in my opinion missions are nearly useless at anything under 2000 Points. Below that you just table each other before the game even gets close to ending, but it's part of the league so why not? Spearhead Assault is good for both of us  since we just want to run at each other and punch things.

My opponent, David, finished deploying first and won the roll to decide first turn. He gave me Turn 1 and off we go!

Orks Turn 1

It was apparent to me that David had me go first so that I would just run at him and he could charge me with his army and just smash me. However the problem with that strategy is I have ranged superiority, not by much but I have it. My two Warbosses can put out a decent amount of shooting and I have two Big Shootas, along with Pistols for Overwatch.

So in order to go against the grain I just stood still and shot my guns into the Hormagaunts, killing two of them. This forced David to either just stand there and get whittled down until we get to Turn 5 and make a dash for the Objectives, or to just accept his role and come to me.

2 Hormagaunts down

Tyranids Turn 1

Embracing the Hive Mind's role, David began moving his stuff up. Hormagaunts, Broodlord, and the Genestealers Advanced while everything else just walked. The Genestealer group went right with the Warriors and everything else went left.

David failed to cast all his Psychic Powers except The Horror on the Carnifex. I was pretty sure this power went on an enemy unit and looking it up later that is exactly what it does, David thought it just gave a -1 Leadership aura. The Hive Tyrant who cast it couldn't see my models anyways so not too much harm done, however The Horror is super powerful against Orks.

With his minimalist shooting being out of range we pass back over to me.

Orks Turn 2

With pretty much all the bugs in range I Advance with all my Boyz units, Red and Green to the left and Blue to the right. My Warbosses move up to keep their aura going and I Advance my other Characters but roll poorly.

I put Warpath on my Red Orks since they're going to get the most surface area on the Hormagaunts and I would really like to blow that unit up. Smite also goes into the Hormagaunts, doing three Wounds to my Weirdboy and killing 5 bugs. My hope was to kill all the Genestealers and Hormagaunts this turn and pretty much end the game.

I put some minimal shooting into the Hormagaunts and kill a few but then get on with the Charges. On the left I get both units into the Hormagaunts and my Green unit gets into the Tyrant Guard with the Hive Tyrant doing a Heroic Intervention. Unfortunately I fail on the right, needing 6", but couldn't get in with a 1 and a 2, then double 1's. That is going to cost me most of that unit since Genestealers are easy to remove but also delete whatever they get into.

Combat is predictably brutal as my Red Boyz remove all the Hormagaunts with attacks to spare, David interrupts with the Tyrant Guard and kills none. I then kill both Tyrant Guard and lose three models to the Hive Tyrant. My Red Boyz Consolidate into the Carnifex, who killed three Orks, and the Green Boyz get more guys into the Hive Tyrant.

Tyranids Turn 2

Looking to capitalize on my failed Charge, David moves the Warriors into position to reinforce the Carnifex and the Genestealers with Broodlord get as close as they can to my Blue Boyz. Catalyst fails to go on the Genestealers again with a Command Point used to avoid a Perils, The Horror also fails as does Smite. This is a continuation of David rolling really poorly so far.

Flesh Hooks kill two Red Boyz and do a Wound to my Warboss on Warbike with Devourers, then we get into Chargers. All the Genestealers and their leader get in, as do the Warriors. David wisely starts with the Genestealers, removing almost 20 of the Blue Boyz. I then interrupt with my Reds, still holding onto their bonus attacks from Warpath and their numbers. They manage to kill all the Warriors and take half the Wounds off the Carnifex in a very strong showing.

Combats continue with the Blue Boyz going under 10 models thanks to the Broodlord and me losing a few more guys to the Hive Tyrant and Carnifex. I put several Wounds on the Hive Tyrant, moving him down a profile, and cut down a few Genestealers but not enough. In Morale David passes with the Genestealers and I use two Command Points to keep my unit around.

Orks Turn 3

Since the left flank is going so well for me I resolved to take all my Characters and go after the Broodlord and his coven. Everyone but the Warbikes Advances and I heal the Weirdboy for 1 Wound, although I have to use a re-roll to avoid hurting him further.

Smites try to go into the Broodlord but one fails and one is dispelled. Pistols kill a Genestealer and put a Wound on each of the big bugs, which is a pretty good outcome. I then Charge all my Characters into the Broodlord with the Big Choppa Warboss also getting into the Genestealer unit. Starting with Zhadsnark I put 2 Wounds on the Broodlord, who interrupts and tries to put damage into Mad Doc and the Big Choppa Warboss. Unfortunately through some terrible rolls the Warboss only takes 1 Wound. I then paste the Broodlord without even using the Weirdboys and the Big Choppa Warboss cuts down a few Genestealers. Moving to non-Chargers I add to the pile by attacking with my Blue Boyz, leaving only 6 remaining bugs.

The Hive Tyrant and Carnifex both kill a few guys and then get dragged down in a tide of choppas, the Hive Tyrant doesn't explode. I lose a few more Blues with further poor rolling, and take a Wound on the Warboss. At this point David concedes the game since he's going to get tabled on my next turn and has no way to stop me from controlling the Objectives even if he Withdraws.

Major Victory for the Orks!

Post-Game Thoughts

I'll write these out this time since this game was pretty straight-forward. I think my list was fine, as was David's, I had a good mix of buffs and a lot of punching which is all I want on a 4'x4' table. The Tyranids went for a similar build but it's really hard to outpunch Orks right now, especially when they don't have to come to you.

Making me go first was a bit of a mistake, while neither of us have many guns I can reliably kill a few models a turn and David can't, so he has to come to me. In Combat vs Combat armies going second is an advantage but you have to have the firepower to force the approach, the way this went I just got to kill some guys for free. Even if the Tyranids didn't approach I would have just pulled away from the Genestealers and then kept shooting/Smiting at maximum range to force long Charges and get Overwatch.

Looking back on the game the Lictor never came down, it probably would have had a very minor impact since Lictors aren't particularly great in my opinion. Most likely it would have killed a Weirdboy, then I would have ignored it and just did what I ended up doing anyways with my other Characters. I even bubble-wrapped up on Turn 1 to prevent the Lictor having any fun.

In most situations the game would have ended on Turn 2 with my killing all the Hormagaunts, all the Genestealers, and some/all of the Tyrant Guard. As it was I failed a short Charge, which happens, and we got to have a more punchy and fun game. It's hard to Tyranids to deal with my numbers when they can't get a Charge off, they're now a more mixed arms army so low points games keep them away from all their synergies. It didn't help that David couldn't cast any of the awesome Tyranid Psychic Powers thanks to his dice.

Mistakes from both of us: I could have been a little more vigilant with my Warboss placement to get a Heroic Intervention on the Genestealers, really I just assumed I'd make that Charge and then didn't prepare as well as I should have. David moved his bigger bugs up too close to his Hormagaunts with allowed me to do combo-Charges or Consolidate into things which denied shooting and Charges of his own. When using any kind of screen unit the models behind them need to be over 4" away from the front of friendly base, otherwise you'll get Consolidated into. Not bringing the Lictor in to do something, probably wipe out my Blue unit, was also a gaff but I think the game was going a bit tilted at that point and the constant bad rolls seemed to be a source of frustration.

Orks continue to be a force to be reckoned with against anything that's not one of the frontrunner OP armies, I think if an organization like the ITC comes out with progressive scoring missions they'll be top tier. I hope to get more games in with my Tau as I think they have a lot of potential as well, although I am glad I didn't bring them to this game. 5-6 Commanders would have blown this army off the table, again low point Tyranids don't have their needed synergies, and that wouldn't have been fun for anyone. I may take them next time if I go against Marines or something though.

Thanks for reading!

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