Imperium, Eldar & Necrons (JIK, Stebloke & Gallear) Vs Tyranids.
Warhammer 40K 5th Edition.
Scenario: Winter Wave 1
For many, many, many years we have spoken about our want to take part in a special type of 40K battle where we all join forces and take on a never ending horde of Tyranids, just to see how long we can last. A couple of weeks ago, we finally decided to do it. Quite nice really, as it will give the old Nid Codex an interesting final game before the new one comes out in a few weeks.
Me and Scooby tried something like this a long while ago playing Epic Space Marine, where my Guard and his Squats sat there and shot the crap out of the Nidz as they ran the length of our 7 foot board to try and get at us. In a way it was too easy, as because nobody was controlling the Nidz we decided they would all automatically attack the closest target. The automatic Nid behaviour would also have to happen this time, but to make things much more interesting we decided we will not just be able to sit back and fire at the approaching hordes. Instead, we have given ourselves a little objective.
Destroyed in an earlier battle against the Hive Mind, the Shadowsword "Heart Of Stone" was to be found 4 or 5 feet into the 7 foot board. We will have to get a unit to it in an attempt to retrieve critical information or a sacred relic or something, then get that unit back off our table edge to win. We will have to fight our way passed a random number of Nidz that will be present on the board from the start. And each turn a random number of Nid units will come onto the board from the far table edge. Considering it was gonna take us at least 3 or 4 turns to actually get to the Shadowsword, there's gonna be a lot of Nidz around by the time we got there...
Ideas for the Stebloke and Gallear characters
Something that was quite cool about that old Epic wave attack was that me and Scooby had made Epic characters to represent us in-game. If I remember right, my little fella went out like a punk, but Scooby's fell in a heroic counter-charge against a Hive Tyrant, almost killing the thing to boot. When discussing ideas for this battle we agreed it was a cool idea to do this again, and started to come up with some ideas.
Scooby was the first to put his model together - a cool Jump Pack Marine with a Relic blade painted in the colours of his Dawn Of War chapter "The Bringers Of Death", and this inspired the rest of us to come up with some ideas.
With character ideas coming thick and fast, we needed some rules ideas for us. I thought it would be cool if we could all specialise in a certain area. Scooby would be close combat, Gallear survival, myself heavy weapons, and JIK would be a good all-rounder. We also each had a special rule that could enhance units if we joined them. We gave Scooby Fleet which he could confer onto other units. JIK had a range finder that increased a unit's accuracy if they remained stationary. Gallear could use a deflector shield to give units an invulnerable save. And I could try to issue an order like Imperial Guard officers that could also increase shooting potential.
We realised these rules could make us very effective on the battlefield, so we kept our stat lines themselves quite moderate, much like minor heroes. I wanted our characters to be more supportive and inspirational to other units than be awesome fighting forces that could turn battles on their own.
Also, there were concerns raised about rolling dice for the Nidz. After all, none of us wanted to roll dice that could harm our team mates. To this end I had two ideas: in close combat we could roll our own dice to "dodge" Nid attacks. For example if we would normally be hit on 3s we would roll dice to dodge on 5s etc...
For ranged attacks and choosing which Nid units would arrive each turn I developed a small Visual Basic program that we could just jab when we needed to. All we would have to do for the shooting part would be enter the attack stats and click go. For choosing Nid reinforcements we would just have to tick which of the units were ready to enter (or re-enter) battle and it would highlight which ones would arrive by turning them yellow. Sound in theory. Lets hope it works.
With all the special rules sorted, all we need to is pick 600pts each to join our characters in this massive task, paint what models we can, and get down to the table...
Feverishly painting special characters to take part in the game
The allies were hit with a bitter blow for the start of the battle: Commander Scooby could not take part, seemingly the victim of a Tyranid virus. Undaunted, the other heroes recruited units similar to what Scooby would have led to battle, and added them to their own force. It was hoped that Scoob's close combat prowess would not be missed, as the mission began...
A Carnifex, a Hive Tyrant, two broods of Genestealers, and a brood of Hormagaunts were the initial force that needed to be overcome. JIK stood back for a while with the Imperial Guard heavy weapon squad and helped them target the Hive Tyrant, as the rest of the force surged forwards.
The larger Genestealer brood took the brunt of the opening fire, with the Whirlwind and Necron Destroyers letting them have it. The Hive Tyrant was finished off by the Wraithlord's Brightlance and JIK's Dreadnought's autocannons.
A completely untouched Carnifex bore down on the flanking Guardsmen, halting their advance. Stebloke ordered the Terminators to fire at the lumbering beast. 10 Storm Bolter shots and 4 Assault Cannon shots, all classed as twin-linked, hammered into the beast and ripped it apart in a single volley of fire.
On the west flank, the advance of the Assault Marines was being threatened by the presence of the Hormagaunts and Genestealers. Necron Immortal and Warrior fire soon changed that, and the Assault Marines pistols and flamers finished off the last few Genestealers.
By the end of the third turn the initial Tyranid force was all destroyed for no loss. The Space Marine Assault Squad were bearing down on the objective, closely followed by Inquisitor Rayne who had managed to run 6" twice on the trot. But it wasn't all going in the favour of the allies. The first big wave of Nidz had emerged from the far edge, out of range of nearly all guns and closer to the tank than the allies were.
End of turn 3
On turn 5, Inquisitor Rayne jumped into the Shadowsword and began to hunt for the artefact. In support, the Imperial Guard Veterans jumped out of their Chimera near the rear of the super heavy tank to provide covering fire along with other units. The second main Tyranid wave was now threatening to envelop the tank, and the Eversor Assassin fell trying to fend off a brood of Termagants, but took them all with him as he exploded.
A large Genestealer squad charged into action from the flank of the allies. They cut their way straight through the Necron Destroyers and next charged into the Veterans and Stebloke. The allied units stood little chance and were all annihilated for no response. To make matters worse, the Broodlord and Lictor tore into the Chimera and wrecked it, leaving the Inquisitor with no transport option for when she returned.
Action on turn 6
Fearing the Nidz were taking control of the Shadowsword, the allies doubled their efforts. The Broodlord, Lictor and nearby Genestealers were all cut down in short order, and the Venerable Dreadnought charged headlong into the Carnifex to do what it could. The Tyranid brute immobilised the revered warrior, but eventually after several assault phases duking it out, the Carnifex found its head crushed by the Dreadnought's power fist.
The Assault Squad, weakened by a Zoanthrope's Warp Blast earlier in the battle, now decided it was time to act. They charged into the fray on the allied left flank, holding off the larger Warrior squad, 8 Hormagaunts and a Carnifex for several turns before finally being defeated. The victorious Carnifex and last Warrior crunched into the Vindicator and destroyed it spectacularly, and the explosion took out a couple of nearby Gaunts.
More and more Nid reinforcements started to appear all around. The large Guardsman platoon came under attack from a Lictor and managed to club it to death with their lasguns after losing several of their number, before having to destroy a brood of Gaunts that had appeared behind them. On the other flank a Carnifex charged through the rock formation there. JIK's Vindicator targeted it but missed and killed 3 Tactical Marines by accident. The Carnifex charged and killed the last 2 Marines before coming under fire from the Heavy Weapon squad. It finally fell victim to the ninja death toast fired by the Wraithlord's Shuriken Catapult.
Carnifexes seemed to be the most common Tyranid unit, and another one entered the fray. JIK's Terminators were once again on the ball, cutting it down in another blinding round of shooting, this time without Stebloke's handy instruction. They were getting a feel for the battle now, and later also mushed up the Ravener brood with their power fists.
Inquisitor Rayne finally returned from the Shadowsword clutching her prize on turn 8, and settled into the Necron Warrior squad to gain their protection. The Necron Immortals managed to distract the bounding Hormagaunts as the Necron Warriors ran for the allied deployment zone. The talons on the Hormagaunts could not damage the tough metal bodies of the Necrons and the Immortals swatted their opponents away like flies.
The Inquisitor and her bodyguard were at least 3 or 4 turns away from safety, but after a full day battling we were all getting quite tired and hungry. As a lot of the Nidz in play were half the board away and our other units were holding them up while making a fighting retreat, we decided at the end of turn 9 that we had done enough to complete the mission. The game was over...
A fun game overall, though we were only really under threat during the middle couple of turns when the Inquisitor was hunting for the artefact and the Nidz were all over the super heavy tank.
It was definitely a good idea part way through to say that the Nidz would start appearing from any table edge, as this also gave us some difficulties at times. If I could plan the game again I would probably not have the full 7 foot length on the board, and have the Nid reinforcements appearing from all around right from the start. There were just a few too many moments where Nidz were too far away to attack us of for us to shoot them.
Still, we got the sacred artefact, and all that's left to do now is wonder what the hell was it that was so important that humans, Eldar and Necrons would all find it worthwhile teaming up to protect?