So before I get into the battle summary (and it will be a summary, this battle was massive!) I thought I would post some pictures of the armies involved. I will talk about the armies that were brought down and not necessarily everything that was used.
After my brilliant game against the Deathwing army a couple of weeks ago, it was really awesome to see another, very different Dark Angels army being played. The Dark Angels played in this game looked absolutely phenomenal, the tall flying stands on the Land Speeders looked incredibly striking on the battlefield and gave the army a brilliant dramatic feel. The army was full of conversions, from extended front wheeled bikes to brilliantly hand sculpted Dark Angels symbols. Absolute hobby based eye candy, totally terrifying on the battlefield.
|Dark Angels Chaplain|
|Converted Ravenwing Bikers|
Next up on the Space Marine side was a contingency of Raptors Chapter army, and it was an armour heavy force. Not only did it contain 2 Land Raiders, 2 Storm Talons, 2 Predators, a Dreadnought and what looked to be a Thunderhawk Gunship, but a big group of super heavy Imperial Guard tanks, all of which were used and completely terrified me and my fellow allies. I have to say it was nice to see the Raptors get some publicity in a 40k and I for one thought they looked great. I got very little time to trade shots with these guys though, regrettably.
|A Space Marine flyer (Thunderhawk?)|
|Imperial Guard Super Heavies|
Setting up directly in front of my Necrons was the most impressive array of Blood Angels I have ever seen in my entire time in the hobby. They were all here, Mephiston, Dante, Tycho, Lemartes, Death Company, Devastators, Assault Marines, Librarians, everything! They were all exquisitely painted, I was really impressed with the level of details the guy went to and it's been amazing to see a player stick so loyally to a single army for so long.
|Blood Angels Librarian with Command Squad|
|Mephiston, Lemartes, Dante & Tycho|
|Terminator Assault Squad|
I didn't think to ask which chapter these guys were, whether and established chapter or a custom chapter. It was nice to see some older models make their way onto the table. These guys weren't as numerous as their allies, but that didn't make the force any less deadly to our Tyranid player, although I didn't have the honour to tangle with them myself, but with 2 Dreadnoughts, I'm kind of glad of that fact!
|Old school Land Speeders!|
Coming over to our side, we had some Catachans with Space Wolf allies to add some firepower. Unfortunately most of our side were low on points and the Catachans probably felt this sting more than anyone else, but Straken and Sly Marbo definitely would prove to be a boost for our side. There were a couple of Sentinels too but unfortuately I only got pictures of Marbo and the main Command Squad. In any case the guy is a great painter and I always have a lot of respect for anyone who puts time and effort into collecting any kind of Imperial Guard army.
When I saw this army get busted out of their case, I was awe struck at the sheer number of Eldar that emerged from it. The Eldar was by far the most numerous army on our side and our ace in the hole if it were, especially as it contained the only Apocalypse Super Heavy Tank on the Non-Space Marine alliance. The detailing on the models were beautiful too with lots of freehand symbols and simple, but clean and effective highlighting.
|Eldar Walkers and Vehicles|
|Eldar Super Heavy|
To be honest, I have been following this army for ages, since I restarted my Necrons in fact. You may remember these guys from my first battle report, although the army's come along really nicely since then. I always have maintained this is one of the nicest, well thought out and cleanest armies I have seen. The guy who plays this swarm of Tyranids is a good friend of mine and a brilliant tactician which I was sure could only work in our favour. Plus it was going to be see how well our armies worked together.
|Flying Hive Tyrant with Twin-Linked Devourer "Gargoyles"|
As there was so much going on I couldn't possibly report on the entire battle, there was just too much going on, so this will be a summary of what occurred with as much detail as I can managed. With the sheer scale both sides deployed simultaneously. A player on each side was elected to roll for first turn which the Space Marines won and our side failed to seize the initiative. Each player had set up in their own parts of the table, with the exception of the Flying Hive Tyrant who deployed on the other side of the table with the Catachans.
I had the pleasure of setting up directly opposite the massive Blood Angel army in the center of the board, with the Dark Angels merely a stone throw away from them, putting me in a horrendously tight spot, especially as the Raptors player kindly donated a super heavy transport tank to the Blood Angels to go with the already impressive array of Razorbacks, Land Raiders, Vindicators and Predators. My only saving grace in all this was my anti-vehicle weapons.
The Tyranids started opposite the Space Marine Chapter of unknown name, whose bikers got a scout move and started the first turn 6" forward from the deployment zone. Our side felt fairly confident that the Swarm Lord and Tervigon would seriously boost our effectiveness against them, especially as the Swarm Lord received Iron Arm and Endurance as psychic powers, making him a incredible combat monster potentially for the whole game!
|A Shadow Sword put the Catachans in a tricky situation|
After the Blood Angels tore 7 Warriors apart (post reanimation), two of the Vindicators were within charge range of the Wraiths and the C'Tan. The C'Tan exploded one in a single round of combat whilst the Wraiths, coupled with help from a nearby Harbinger of Destruction brought a second Vindicator down to 1 Hull Point. In addition, my Harbinger of Destruction set off it's Solar Pulse in turn 1, giving the Tyranids a massive boost against their shooting oriented foes.
|The Winged Tyrant overlooks the Ravenwing|
|The Eldar line up their shots|
In turn 2, the Blood Angels Land Raider and Predator tore through the nearest Warrior squad, leaving only my Overlord and Harbinger of Destruction standing. Similarly, my Wraiths were reduced to a single Wraith after roughly 5 squads worth of fire power from Blood Angel and Dark Angel alike. Both squads had attempted charges against them from Assault Terminators (see left) and Death Company, both of which failed much to my relief!
Meanwhile, the Dark Angels used their Deathwing Assault to take the already battle scarred Catachan Space Wolf allies by surprise by Deep Strike, whilst Ravenwing Land Speeders hovered around the center of the battlefield mowing down any squads/vehicles that came near, whilst one squad flew over to aid the already armour heavy Blood Angel army.
|War Walkers anticipate a Super Heavy Tank|
On the Non-Space Marine turn 2, my Monolith Deep Striked into the Dark Angels sector of the battlefield, followed by the Harbinger of Despair and his Immortals after they got a mishap with the Veil of Darkness in turn 1 and went into ongoing reserves. The Monolith elected to forgo using the Particle Whip and shot at the Land Speeders using the Gauss Flux Arc, but the Dark Angels got incredibly lucky jink cover save rolls and minimal damage was caused.
Sensing an oncoming onslaught from the Terminators, the Overlord and the Harbinger of Destruction elected to move backwards whilst the Eldar arrived like the cavalry, dropping off a unit of Fire Dragons and a unit of Wraith Guard. The Harbinger of Destruction unleashed an eldritch bolt that killed the nearest Blood Angel Terminator.
|The Eldar kill all but a single Terminator and wreck the Predator|
My Scarabs, who were able to overwhelm a Scout Biker squad and wipe them out were destroyed by the incoming Dark Angel Land Raider, leaving the Warriors and the Harbinger of the Storm open and leaving them untouched to retaliate. They returned fire at the tank, the Warriors took off a single hull point whilst the Cryptek's Voltaic Staff took off two thanks to it's haywire special rule! The Wraith meanwhile charged the rear of the remaining Vindicator and wrecked it on it's Hammer of Wrath strike!
|An overview of the battle|
|The Shadow Sword drives under the Winged Tyrant|
|The Harbinger of Despair lives to fight again!|
|Straken and his squad are charged by Deathwing|
|The Deathmarks finally arrive and killed a Lascannon guy|
|The Tyranids begin to turn things around|
|Striking Scorpions finish off the Blood Angel Sergeant|
|The Annihilation Barge and Spyder sadly lost this fight|
|They're all dead Dave...|
|The Tervigon. Fighting til the end!|
Thoughts on the Day
I had a blast at Table Top Nation. Unfortunately we had to end of that last turn, partly because it was late but mostly because my Necrons and the Catachans were tabled and the Tyranids seemed to be barely holding their limbs on. It was a brilliant day, and to end this post I will list a few things I forgot to mention during the battle and other thoughts on the day.
- The Overlord and Harbinger of Destruction did, unfortunately, bite the dust after being hit by several Strength 10 weapons and failing their reanimation rolls.
- The Land Raider did also finally lose it's last hull point after I convinced the Raptors player to fire a super ordnance blast (or, as I call it, the dinner plate) at the Spyder. Well I say convinced, I did use Mindshackle Scarabs...
- The Wraith eventually die to Death Company attacks. I think the Blood Angels player considered a happy dance when it finally died, but I can't vouch for this.
- My Harbinger of the Storm didn't let me down, as usual. Two hull points off a Land Raider and two dead Terminators, he more than made his points up.
- If you were wondering, the C'Tan died to Blood Angel Assault Squad fire, but took four of them down when it exploded.
- The Tervigon was still untouched.
- Sly Marbo is sly. He bombed a Dark Angels squad, but I didn't note down if he took any out or not.
- Finally, I want to live at Table Top Nation. If you ever find yourself in Hockley, go check it out, I was giddy with excitement at just how awesome the place was. Seriously, it's a haven for hobbyists!