Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Malarkey On Lernin Kerv

Farseer Gelladrill had been observing the conflict on Lernin Kerv for several day night cycles and it was becoming clear that the Tyranids were in the ascendancy. That the humans on this benighted planet would soon be reduced to a biological slime if left unaided was of no consequence. What was of great import was the direction the Tyranids would take after wards. The runes foretold that if left to prevail, then the invaders would eventually happen upon an Aeldari colony which could ultimately lead to the deaths of many thousands of her people. A surgical strike on what appeared to be a large cluster of node beasts might provide respite for the remaining Mon-Keigh and buy enough time for the rapidly approaching Imperial fleet to turn the tide. What she hadn't planned on was the arrival of Asurmen on the eve of the attack. His calm confidence was distracting as was his "sage" advice. Asurmen had previously fought on the side of Ulthwe but this time there seemed to be a subtle desire to lead. As long as the battle plan was adhered to the Tyranids would be defeated.

Lots of nicely painted 'nids, ready to gobble up tasty, tasty Aeldari.

A Third Battle of Lernin Kerv

Back in the dawn of recorded 40K time I played a couple of games with Stuart using my Astra Militarum vs his Tyranids the First Battle Of Lernin Kerv and the Second Battle of Lernin Kerv. Hive Fleet Cthuga were spewing all manner of Tyranid organisms all over the place (as they do) and the defenders were having a bit of a time of it. Enter the Aeldari of Craftworld Ulthwe. The Seer council decided that allowing the Tyranids plunder Lernin Kerv did not suit their mysterious plans so a strike force was dispatched to attack a large cluster of Tyranid Synapse beasts to hinder the invaders and buy the Mon-Keigh time as a relief force was making it's was to the war torn planet. So that's the background for a rather fun game we played.

The Armies

Battalion Detachment +5CP  [53 PL, 839pts]
Hive Fleet: Kraken
 HQ;Hive Tyrant: Adrenal Glands, Monstrous Rending Claws, Monstrous Scything Talons, Power: Onslaught, Power: Paroxysm
Hive Tyrant: Monstrous Rending Claws, Monstrous Scything Talons, Power: Dominion, Power: The Horror, Wings
Tyranid Prime: Deathspitter, Scything Talons
5 x Tyranid Warriors: Deathspitter, Scything Talons, one has Venom cannon.
5 x Tyranid Warriors: Deathspitter, Scything Talons, one has Venom cannon.
5 x Tyranid Warriors: Deathspitter, Scything Talons, one has Venom cannon.

Spearhead Detachment +1CP 61 PL, 1,156pts]
Hive Fleet: Kraken
HQ;Hive Tyrant: Power: Catalyst, Power: Psychic Scream, 2x Two Devourers with Brainleech Worms, Wings
Old One Eye: Warlord, Warlord Trait: Adaptive Biology
 Heavy Support;
3 x Screamer-Killers;2x Monstrous Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Spore Cysts
Tyrannofex: Rupture Cannon, Stinger Salvo
Total: [114 PL, 1,995pts]

Brigade Detachment +12CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds)
Craftworld Attribute: Ulthwe: Foresight of the Damned
Farseer  Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade
Warlock: Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade
 9x Dire Avenger: 9x Avenger Shuriken Catapult
10x Guardian Defender. Guardian Heavy Weapons Platform: Aeldari Missile Launcher
10x Guardian Defender. Guardian Heavy Weapons Platform: Aeldari Missile Launcher
5x Ranger
5x Ranger
5x Ranger
8x Fire Dragon: 8x Fusion Gun. Fire Dragon Exarch: Firepike
 9x Howling Banshee: Power Sword. Howling Banshee Exarch: Shuriken Pistol & Executioner
5x Striking Scorpion: 5x Scorpion Chainsword
Fast Attack ;5x Swooping Hawk: 5x Lasblaster
3x Windrider - Twin Shuriken Catapults: 3x Twin Shuriken Catapult
3x Windrider - Twin Shuriken Catapults: 3x Twin Shuriken Catapult
Heavy Support;7x Dark Reaper: 7x Reaper Launcher. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
Support Weapon: D-cannon
Support Weapon: D-cannon
Dedicated Transport;Wave Serpent: Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones, Star Engines, Twin Shuriken Cannon, Vectored Engines

Total: [103 PL, 1,998pts]

The Game

The scenario we rolled for was Visions of Victory, from the Chapter approved 2018. It's a really fun scenario where you draw two TO cards for every one and your opponent chooses which of the two you keep. It represents the warlord being advised by his subordinates so what happens is really that your opponent chooses the most awkward/unachievable objective to keep your own score low. How this translates to Tyranids is a bit of a stretch. Probably the Hive Synapse is a bit broken I suppose. It works pretty well for most other armies in the beleivability front, as there will always be some crony of the warlord telling him for whatever reason that the objective on the other side of the battlefield should be captured for 'shits & giggles'. The usual rolls for table edge and what not were made with the exception of me setting up the terrain and Stuart (or whoever else is coming round) gets to pick his side, this is also with the assumption that if the table is a horrendous clusterfuck of a thing, then changes can be made. Other things to note were a Hive Tyrant started the game in the sky as did the Swooping Hawks, neither unit decided to engage each other up there as there are no rules for that sort of thing. Also I had a unit of Fire Dragons lurking in the webway waiting to pop out and melt stuff. Also the Dire Avengers and Asurmen were lounging in the Wave Serpent.

To the left of that more hungry gribblies
So most of Stuart's army bolted forward to cause mayhem with the exceptions of the Tyrranofex and Exocrine who are decidedly un-Tyranidlike. Of particular note was a hive Tyrant that flew pretty close to the main Aeldari centre and spewed off whatever it's main armaments were, killing off a few brave Eldar spirits. Some damage was done to the Wave Serpent but not enough to bracket it. As most of Stuart's big monster advanced there was little proper damage done to my forces. Some totally unsporting Tyranid psychic powers were cast, but no close combat which was nice.

The Aeldari Speish'khla'hai, or in High Gothic, left.

The Aeldari word Pnopflaharrharrharr has several meanings, one is ; fragrant meanderings of the weary hunter, but in this case it is right hand side. 
The Tyranids orders. Tyranids are all about recycling, they're using Imperial tactical objective cards I think. Secure objectives 5 & 6. when that's done hold objective 5 because it's well cool.

The 'Nids went first with much scuttling and clicking noises. The trio of Screamer Killers move forward screaming and killing (it would be rude if they didn't I suppose), so did two Hive Tyrants, the third spending some time catching some thermals. The Exocrine and Tyrranocyte stayed still shooting their various stomach cavity spawned excretions upon Aeldari.

One of the Tyrants flutters over to the Imperial Bastion and Old One Eye can be seen hanging round with the Screamer Killers.

The Aeldari orders for the turn. The Howling Banshees are also doing their warm ups for the coming dance off.
My turn consisted of the Banshees moving towards objective 3 on the off chance Stuart accidentally gave me 'capture objective 3'. I Doomed the over zealous Hive Tyrant and the resulting attacks from D Cannons and Dark Reapers made his presence on the battlefield short lived. I got First Strike VP for my fantastically shooty army.

Hive Tyrants are very predictable, they like to roost in tall buildings. If I had a bell tower made then there would be four or five hanging from it. Like bats.

Another view of the 'nids first turn. Yes there is rather a lot of hard as nails critters sashaying up to the Aeldari lines.

Despite being biological creatures that don't think much of technology they don't mind hiding behind an Imperial barricade, the hypocrites!
At the end of turn one it's even Stevens.

At the start of turn two my Guardians appear to be in a bit of bother. To the right of the picture my Banshees can be seen about to get all hot n' heavy with a Carnefex. 
Then another Hive Tyrant appears, also attracted to the Bastion. Unluckily for him my Farseer gave a mystical nod to the Dark Reapers who promptly shot the mucus out of him. Not enough to kill it but enough to give it a severe migraine.

The Guardians in the old grey building are now ex-Guardians. The hive Tyrant squats down in the big strategic looking flat roofed house for some reason.

The Warlock uses his mind magic to slightly befuddle the Carnefex, ensuring the continued existence of the Banshees. Some of them anyway.

Suddenly some previously hiding in plain sight Scorpions leap out and unwisely engage another screamer killer.
The Aeldari turn two had me deploy my Fire Dragons and Striking Scorpions.  The Scorpions also deployed within foolish range of the aforementioned gribblies and made a confident charge into one of them. Also on the far side of the table Asurmen and his Dire avengers leapt out to fill some Tyranid constructs with shiny plastic discs. The turn went fairly well. The Dragons managed nearly negligible damage to the Screamer Killers but at least they were trying. The Scorpions made their charge and caused damage with mandiblasters, and subsequently no damage with their swords. Asurmen & co got rid of the Tyranid Prime to stop all his nonsensical rerolling of 1's.

Meanwhile on the other side of the table Asurmen and his Dire Avenger flunkeys attempt to bring the pain to some bio constructs.

The Scorpions didn't last long but caused some damage to their killer.

This part of the table is pretty well stocked in Aeldari. The Farseer just points at stuff and some of it dies.

In this picture some Fire Dragons can be seen sauntering out of the webway. The now lonely Banshee Exarch keeps trying to avoid overly long and spikey bits of Tyranid. 

Turn 3 and Stuart has 8 to my 7. I have the harder to quantify benefit of some command points left. 
The whole game was highly amusing with the mechanic of your opponent choosing the objectives for you. Some objectives were just discounted due to the massive amount of effort required to achieve. Others just had units running round willy nilly.  Some events from the game that I remember were my Jetbikes getting shot off the table as soon as they were in Stuart's deployment zone. The Fire Dragons shot then assaulted the Exocrine killing it only to have if freak out and squash them killing the last two models. The Screamer Killer fighting the Banshee Exarch managed to taunt the accompanying Warlock into getting into combat and killing him, or her. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. In no way did I charge the Warlock in just after handing Stuart the assassinate tactical objective. By this stage two of the three Hive Tyrants were dead but there was still a lot of screamer killers to deal with.

The now rather tired Banshee Exarch has finally killed her much larger opponent. All she needs now is a quick cup of tea and a biscuit and she'll be ready to chop up more Carnefexes.

Asurmen and his entourage decide they want to grab an objective. Number 6 to be exact.

Doom is dumped on the Old One Eye. Despite the Swooping Hawks (and varying other Aeldari types) opening up with tiny little beams of light the inconsiderate Tyranid dinosaur monster doesn't die. Looks like it ground assault time,

At this point in the game my Aeldari have snuck past the Stu's Tyranids in the VPs front. 10 - 9.

A rather full on scrap involving Dire avengers and some Swooping Hawks that the big show off Tyranids with their big show off wings are obscuring goes well for the Aeldari. Except, of course for Asurmen who carks it again. SPOILER ALERT: as this is not the Rhana Dandra (or whatever it's called) and I'm not battling chaos, Asurmen will be right as rain the next time I'm playing with the pointy ears again. 
In the latter stage of the game Asurmen, the dire avengers and Swooping Hawks attack the Doomed Old One Eye. Unfortunately, lasblasters don't really cut the mustard against a toughness 7 critter so we had to fix plastic bayonets to finish the job. Sadly the assassination attempt didn't go so well as the last Hive tyrant and Screamer Killer decided to get involved. In the epic scrap Asurmen died as did the Tyranid warlord - Old One Eye. The next turn all surviving Aeldari got themselves out of combat so the Dark Reapers and D Cannons could attempt to finish the remains of the Tyranids off.

Kingslayer and Hold the Line are acheived.

Final score; 12 : 9 to team effete!

Stuart kindly shows me his successful strategic objectives.

Post Match Analysis

As scenarios go, Visions of Victory is a doozy. It makes you (cards willing) do the most irrational or suicidal stunts to achieve objectives rather than attempt to do the right thing. As previously stated the scenario doesn't make a whole lot of sense when it comes to Tyranids due to the Hive Synapse nonsense, but then from the point of view of fluff, Tyranids rarely do. whenever you play a game of 40K against them the "untold billions" of organisms make the game a heroic last stand, that is unless you use an army with access to the webway. In which case you have a 'get out of jail free' card. This is how I'm explaining the continued existence of my army they went in attacked the enemy but just before the fairly uncountable numbers arrive they all jump into the ether taking all casualties back before the Ripper swarms nom them all up. So anyway back to the game. As usual the Aeldari were shooty as hell and with a bit more nous on my part there would have been less spirit stones glued to the craftworld wall. Namely the warlock was wasted when I charged him into the Carnefex battling the Banshee Exarch. He charged in, Stuart interrupted and squashed him. The game was refreshing as most of the objectives were inconvenient to try to achieve and as usual Stuart was tricksey. So I suppose in the grand scheme of narrative the Aeldari, having killed Old One Eye and lots of synapse critters have bought time for the beleaguered Krablokistan 47th on Lernin Kerv. Who will come to their rescue? I haven't decided yet.

Farseer Gelladrill waited until all the casualties were safely transported back into the webway. Asurmen had fallen but as legend has it not for long. Another Aspect Warrior will take up the mantle. The Tyranids had been dealt a blow that had weakened them and strengthened the Mon-Keigh. It was understood that a large Imperial fleet was imminently going to arrive in the system and there would be plenty of Mon-Keigh reinforcements to further weaken the Tyranids. It matters not, she thought as her force would be long gone by the time the planet was actually won. There was little time to waste as the skeins of fate had to manipulated on other battlefronts, with that thought Gelladrill stepped through the portal into the webway and disappeared.

Thanks for reading.


Gribbles said...

I like this Stuart fellow and the cut of his jib. You should let him win more often and give him presents.

Jason F said...

I do generally try to let him win with regular tactical errors, sadly he doesn't always spot them and I accidentally win.