Thursday, 28 January 2016

Mini SciFi Campaign - Second Battle of the Invasion

The Tyranid invasion force made a second attempt to establish a foothold on the planet Vyran, After their first attempt to cross the lava flow had been thrown back by Imperial forces, their scouts had found an unguarded crossing at a long forgotten road which had once been used to transport mining ore before the area had been mined out.

This is the second battle of the invasion phase of my mini campaign based on ideas from Old Trousers WW2 rules which incorporates scenarios from One Hour Wargame (OHW). A quick dice roll between the two remaining scenarios revealed scenario 5 "Bridgehead" to be the setting for the game battle.

The forces involve in the game used the selection process described in an earlier blog.

Imperial Defending Forces

  • Commissioner (3 character points)
  • 2 infantry squads
  • 1 infantry squad and Chimera
  • Basilisk
  • Space Marine Devastator squad
  • Space Marine Tactical squad
The Commissioner only had 3 character points in this game due to being eliminated in the last game. All characters losing 1 point each time they are eliminated in a game to encourage careful use of these valuable units.

Tyranid Invasion Forces

  • Hive Tyrant
  • Ravener's
  • Carnifex and Hormagaunt Brood
  • 2 Gaunt Broods
  • Gargoyles
  • Hormagaunt Brood

The lists from which I select the units (their play list so to speak) have a variety of units which are not all equal. For example, a mobile infantry guard squad comes with a Chimera which is a unit in its own right. To balance this to a certain extent I have Tyranid Carnifex supported by Hormagaunts.

The Beachhead scenario has units arriving from reserves during the first 5 turns. Because my unit numbers are different to those in the scenario, I have eight rather than six units, the additional two units for both sides come on during turns 1 and 3. For those without access to OHW the Imperial forces arrive in three groups at random points on the table and Tyranids arrive in a steady steam each turn down the road. Any units with deep-striking abilities can arrive anywhere on the table.

Start of turn 1 with imperial reserves arriving on the road. Imperial reserves could arrive on the road, hill or to the left of the woods. Tyranid reserves arrive on the road.
Imperial units arrive and rush down the road to block the advancing Tyranids. The Chimera was to prove it's worth by quickly dispatching the Carnifex with a roll of three 6's. This distraction had allowed the Hormagaunt Brood to move and hideout in the hills. (Hills as a terrain feature in the rules limit observation to within the square unless counterattacking an attack.)

Chimera meets Carnifex head on
The next available Imperial forces split off the Devastator squad to hunt down the Hormagaunts hiding in the hills. They quickly became isolated with the surprise appearance of the deep-striking Ravener Brood.

A Devastator squad becomes isolated in the hills
Meanwhile blocking the advance of Tyranids down the road had become a vicious fire-fight with support from a Space Marine squad and Basilisk ordinance fire. The Tyranids were channelling all arriving units into the attack.
Imperial units for a defence line across the road in the face of the advancing Tyranids
Finally additional reserves were available to the Imperial defenders in the form of two Planetary Defence Force squads. The random selection of where reinforcements arrive was unfortunately not in the Imperial's favour, and they arrived on the left flank well away from the action.

PDF reserves rush to join the defence - time is of the essence

The isolated Devastator squad gave a good account of itself, but was eventually overwhelmed wth the deep-striking Gargoyles adding the attacks.

A Devastator squad puts up a valiant but doomed defence
The loss of the Chimera, a focus of Tyranid attacks, was a blow to the Imperial defence of the road as they waited for the arrival of PDF support. Excellent dice rolling was also playing a part as the Tyranid attacks whittled away the remaining forces.

Tyranid units launch themselves into the attack along the road
The defence of the road collapsed before any meaningful reserves arrived to bolster their defence. The elimination of the Devastator Squad freed up additional Tyranid units who descended from the hills and into the flank of the gallant Imperial defenders. Commissioner Vardeck was severely wounded (eliminated) and was carried from the field of battle. A few Space Marines held firm, but to no avail.
Imperial forces just before they are swamped by Tyranid hordes
The Hive Tyrant and remaining units mop up of remaining Imperial units. A Tyranid victory allows them to push ahead with the invasion. The Planetary Governor said it was a "dark day for Vyran" and quickly replaced the Commissioner with Space Marine Bariel and charged him with immediately counterattacking the invading forces, stopping them from consolidating and expanding their bridgehead.

The Hive Tyrant looks on at the final stages of the battle

Unit of the game was the Gargoyle unit for general contributions. These include: eliminating the Devastator squad, combined attacks on Imperial forces defending the road, and putting the final nail in the Imperial coffin by finishing off the Basilisk with a double 6 roll. The leader of this brood is a conversion using a warrior body, gargoyle wings and tail, and spare bits to create a shark like fin on its carapace armour.

Gargoyles take rest after being named unit of the game

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