Saturday, 23 January 2016

Mini SciFi Campaign - First Battle of the Tyranid Invasion

Having sorted out my army lists and selected the forces for each side - Tyranids vs. Planetary Defence Force (Imperial Guard) and Space Marines. I was ready for my first battle with the invasion phase of the solo campaign. The first game would see mainly Planetary Defence Forces (PDF) with some Space Marine support trying to hold back the hordes of Tyranids. I'm taking the PDF and Space Marine side in this solo game as Tyranid tactics are generally charge in and get up close, making them a good solo opponent.

Selection of the PDF army for this battle had had 8 PDF units and 5 Space Marine units to draw from. Three confirmed units were:

  • Commissioner (Warlord)
  • Mobile infantry with Chimera (counted as one unit)
  • Basilisk

The remaining units were selected based upon a card draw from the remaining cards (see the previous blog for rules on selection.) The Assault Marines with their Deep-Strike ability provided a nice counterattack capability to the force.
Planetary Defence supported by two Space Marine units
The Tyranid selection had two deep-striking units Gargoyles and Raveners, and Genestealers with a stealth ability allowing them to appear on any table edge.
Tyranid Force
The invasion scenario was then rolled for and scenario 3 "control the river" was selected from One Hour Wargames (Neil Thomas). Each phase has 3 scenarios for each of the four phases in this campaign, the scenario being randomly selected with dice. An approach I really like and taken from "Plan B" WW2 rules by Old Trousers.

The terrain was stretched out to fit a 6'x4' table rather than a 3'x3' table digram in OHW. I also randomly added some additional broken ground due to the increase in table size. The river became a lava flow and impossible to cross for ground units.

The winner needs to control both gaps in the lava flow or eliminate opposition forces.

Battle Report

The PDF forces laid out their forces first followed by Tyranid forces. A maximum of 6 could start the game on the table and the remainder were in reserves and could arrive at a rate of one unit per turn.

The opening moves saw both side split their forces fairly evenly to contest both gaps in the lava flow. The Tyranids moving up as quickly as possible to get to grips with the PDF, and their Genestealers appeared threateningly on the PDFs left flank.

Opening moves
Genestealers arrive on PDF left flank using their stealth ability
The Genestealers proved to be a nuisance to the PDF at best, mainly due to the hail of bolder fire from the Space Marine units which pinned the Genestealers continually for a number of turns.

Assault Marines get to grips with the Tyranid forces
The PDF left flank became pretty much a stalemate situation with exchanges of ranged attacks by each side. The right flank on the other hand had some fierce fighting as both sides closed quickly and casualties mounted. The PDF lost their Chimera in a series of concentrated ranged attacks from a Warrior Brood and Carnifex. The Remaining PDF forces supported by Basilisk ordinance attacks sought revenge for the loss of the Chimera by eliminating the Hormagaunt Brood. As the Tyranid's attack wavered Assault Marines attacked them in the rear, forcing them to respond with using the Raveners in defence.
The few remaining PDF units on the left flank are about to be eliminated
The momentum on the PDF's left flank swung to the attacking Tyranids briefly before support from the Basilisk shored up the defence and both sides were exhausted. Attacks on other flank also were few as PDF forces weakened and Tyranid units were eliminated.
Exhausted PDF forces clean up the remaining Tyranid forces
The Tyranid Hive Tyrant has seen the writing on the wall and departs the field of battle with plans for the next battle.


The combined Chimera and infantry unit allowed the PDF to essentially have 9 units to the Tyranid's eight. I need to review the Tyranid lists and my thinking at present is to have the Carnifex supported with its own Hormagaut Brood. Still it proved a close and exciting game, but the PDF always having the slight edge.

The commissioner was eliminated during the game so will lose one character point in future games. He does though continue to command the PDF forces with this victory. The Planetary Governor likes to stick with a winner and the Space Marines remain on the sidelines in a supporting role.

My unit of the game goes to the Basilisk which provided that extra punch to all PDF attacks.
Unit of the game goes to the Basilisk and a victory wave from its commander

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