Space Wolves vs Tyranids, June 2013

Size: 2500 points per side
Date: June 2013
Players: Mikko (Space Wolves) vs Kimmo (Tyranids)
Scenario: The Crusade
Deployment: Dawn of War
Objectives: 3 (generating 3 points each)
Ruleset: Warhammer 40K 6th edition.
Result: Tyranids 9 - Space Wolves 3


Space Wolves get to pick their side of the table and place 2 out of 3 total objective counters firmly on their own deployment zone. The terrain doesn’t give either side an advantage this time and in the end both armies would prefer taking the clashing and rattling into their enemy’s side anyway so picking the side wasn’t really important this time around. Tyranids player puts his single objective in badlands firmly behind a big rock and plans putting one of his Tervigons sleeping on the objective relatively safe from all shooting but that of a Whirlwind – which isn’t really that effective against a T6 monster. Tyranid player throws his 2+2+3+3+4=14 psychic powers focusing on Biomancy and hoping to get the much coveted Iron Arm and Warp Speed powers for his Hive Tyrants and Swarmlord. Some bad luck interferes and only the Swarmlord and one Tervigon ends up with Iron Arm and none get Warp Speed. Looks like Tyranid MCs need to soak up Space Wolf shit with their natural T6.

A view of the gaming board. Space Wolves have a 12 inch deployment zone on the right edge and Tyranids on the left.
A view of the gaming board. Space Wolves have a 12 inch deployment zone on the right edge and Tyranids on the left.

Space Wolves deployment

Space Wolves player keeps his 1000-points death star unit (Logan, Ulrik, Njal, Arjac and two WGs) in a Drop Pod and deploys a unit of Grey Hunters on the back line, a unit of sniper Scouts on the  edge of his own deployment zone (not infiltrating them for some reason … a cunning Space Wolf tactic maybe?), a Predator tank on his own right flank, a Rhino packed with Blood Claws following the Predator, a unit of 3 Wolf Guard on his left edge (right behind Lone Wolf and left of a unit of Blood Claws) and a huge pack of Fenrisian Wolves led by Canis in the center area hoping to rush forward head first as far as possible. Whirlwind is located just behind the Fenrisian Wolves in a central position where it’s guns can reach anywhere. No reserves are placed since the Drop Pod will bring the big bad wolffies on board come the first turn.

Space Wolves have deployed and the red shirted SW general  is standing firm behind his decisions.
Space Wolves have deployed and the red shirted SW general is standing firm behind his decisions. Lone Wolf terminator and a squad of Wolf Guard in the front, followed by a squad of Blood Claws. Fenrisian Wolves led by Canis in the center, then Scouts and a Whirlwind and on the far up we see a Rhino full of Blood Claws, a unit of Grey Hunters and a Predator. Two objectives out of 3 are firmly on Space Wolves deployment area – one right beside a Scout unit and the other one right in front of the Rhino.

Tyranids deployment

Tyranid player chose a horde tactic by placing everything on board (no reserves; excepting a unit of Ymgarl Genestealers which were slated to pop up in the biggest area terrain edging enemy deployment zone) and in close proximity of each other. The plan is clearly to crush the Space Wolves‘ flank and center and leave the units on the other flank maneuvering uselessly for a turn or two. Swarmlord gets located in the extreme right flank of the deployment zone expecting the Drop Pod hitting nearby.

Tyranids opted to deploy all they got excepting a unit of Ymgarl Stealers that have special deployment rules.
Tyranids opted to deploy all they got excepting a unit of Ymgarl Stealers that have special deployment rules. The Tyranid player focused his forces heavily on the right side of his own deployment zone. Swarmlord with Tyrand Guard closest. Then a unit of Devilgaunts and a Tervigon sitting on top of an objective. Then another Tervigon and a Hive Tyrant with a Tyrand Guard (behind the rock). A unit of Hormagaunts fronted by a Trygon Prime, another Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guard, then another unit of Devilgaunts and lastly another Trygon Prime.
Another shot of the Tyranids deployment.
Another shot of the Tyranids deployment. Swarmlord was expecting the Drop Pod to land somewhere in the open area in front of it. Before game the players agreed that the whole corner area with bushes and rocks is actually considered as difficult terrain. It makes little difference to Tyranids – however – but gives all the critters a cover save at least should bullets come flying in.

Turn 1 – Space Wolves

A daring raid by the Space Wolves player! The Drop Pod with it’s load of goodies landed safely at the edge of Tyranids’ DZ just inches away from the table edge. A howling commenced and the Pod  unleashed it’s deadly cargo in close proximity of Swarmlord and just few inches away from a group of Devilgaunts and an objective-sitting Tervigon.  Logan, Ulrik, Arjac and 2 Wolf Guard models stayed as one unit and Njal formed his own one-man unit. All the other units just made their full moves forward. When the shooting commenced … Predator and a full unit of Scouts targeted a single Trygon Prime and failed miserably to cause even a singular wound leaving the biggie standing unharmed. Whirlwind smashed with a slightly missed hit a few Hormagaunts.  Njal tried to annihilate two Tervigons and two Devilgaunts with his witchery, but the Jaws of the World Wolf stopped right in it’s tracks when the closest unit (Devilgaunts) made it’s Deny the Witch roll botching the attempt altogether. All the other models released from the pod then targeted the closest Tervigon to their positions and were able to give it 2 wounds. That’s it, folks!

Bang! Drop Pod makes it’s landing and Njal steps right in front of the Swarmlord! But before his eventual demise he tries to make his points and conjures up a Jaws of the World Wolf psychic attack against two Tervigons and two Devilgaunts. When that gets botched, all the rest of the Drop Pod dudes target the closest Tervigon and eventually manage to inflict only two wounds to the monster.
Another shot of the landing.
Another shot of the landing. If nothing else, the battle started with a howling rock’n’roll attitude!
Fenrisian Wolves bark at the moon (the game begin with the Night Fighting rules applied for first game turn).
Fenrisian Wolves bark at the moon and leap forward (the game begin with the Night Fighting rules applied for first game turn). Lone Wolf, Wolf Guards and Blood Claws just jog forward as they don’t have the firepower to make war. The Whirlwind makes a 36″ barrage hit against Hormagaunts and take a few of them out.
Nothing much to see here ... Rhino moves slowly and the Grey Hunters just arrange themselves near the objective area.
Nothing much to see here … Rhino moves slowly and the Grey Hunters just arrange themselves near the objective area. The Predator on the other hand targeted enemy Trygon Prime, but even with a twin-linked Lascannon, failed to make a difference.

Turn 1 – Tyranids

Njal was facing the Swarmlord just inches away, but the Swarmlord’s assistant Tyrant Guard model was not able to clear away from difficult terrain and the subsequent assault thus gave Njal a chance to strike simultaneously with the big baddie at init 1. Njal was able to dispatch the Tyrant Guard cleanly with his force weapon and was – to both player’s surprise! – able to withstand Swarmlord’s initial volley of attacks. Hormagaunts maneuvered to face the Fenrisian Wolves, but their movement was badly hindered by a tempest initiated by Njal previously. Some forwarding movement by all the other big monsters ended up giving nice shooting lines against enemy Scouts, Blood Claws and Fenrisian Wolves – all of which took  casualties from 2 Hive Tyrants and 2 Trygon Primes shooting. In fact almost half of the Fenrisian Wolves died and a surprising number of Blood Claws collapsed as well. Home-base sitting Tervigon gave birth to 13 new Gaunts which in turn managed to shoot 1 wound off of Ulrik and Devilgaunts unleashed a murderous volley dispatching the nearby Arjac cleanly out of the equation! Some additional psychic trickery gave the Trygon Prime standing in front of the enemy Predator additional goodies: Feel No Pain and It Will Not Die! special rules for the upcoming turn.

Tyranids forces
Tyranids forces making their moves. Trygon Prime just move straight forward and shoots the Scouts that are now hiding in the difficult terrain ahead – killing one, but the rest of the hits were absorbed by a Wolf Guard terminator assigned to the Scout team.
Move! Shoot!
Move! Shoot! Two Hive Tyrants and a Trygon Prime started harvesting the enemy units targeting incoming Blood Claws and Fenrisian Wolves. And they did all right, too!

Summing up turn 1

Space Wolves player did not succeed in his Jaws of the World Wolf trick and in fact failed pretty much all other shooting attacks as well. Ending up hurting a Tervigon with 2 wound and killing a few Hormagaunts is nothing to write home about. Tyranids on the other hand already managed to cause massive casualties – Ulrik and Njal damaged, Arjac killed, several advancing Blood Claws killed, dead Scout and 7 dead Fenrisian Wolves. Njal was obviously not going to see  turn 3 and the undamaged Trygon Prime on the other side of the table is about to become a serious headache for the Space Wolves.

Turn 2 – Space Wolves

What in the name of … is happening here? Space Wolves rush forward with the remaining Fenrisian Wolves and cleanly charge the nearest target of Hormagaunts – who chop up half of the hounds before they can bark at the moon. A few of the Hormagaunts were minced to dog food, but all in all a very disappointing show from the Fenrisian Wolves. Lone Wolf makes his move and charge the Swarmlord – ending in a nice one wound draw! On the other side of the table, Predator continued to be useless and the Rhino made a mighty headlong rush all the way to the Tyranids deployment zone. Not exactly clear why the Logan’s team cost so much … they manage to kill a couple of Devilgaunts from the first row and then … well, nothing.

Not unexpectedly the Swarmlord has now chopped Njal to one-pound pieces. Next in line ... Lone Wolf.
When the Space Wolves’ turn 1 is over, not unexpectedly the Swarmlord chopped Njal to one-pound pieces. Next in line … Lone Wolf. However, the Tyrant Guard is no more since Njal managed to kill it with his runic staff. Picture from the beginning of the SW turn 2.
Come on, you flea bags! Beginning of SW turn before any moves are made.
Charge! Well, the Blood Claws aren’t fast enough, but the Fenrisian Wolves make head first towards the Hormagaunts.
Rhino makes a bold full move ...
Rhino makes a bold full move …
Lone Wolves ain't scared of no stinkin' monsters! And due to the Lone Wolf being immune to Instant Death he actually draws with the Swarmlord.
Lone Wolves ain’t scared of no stinkin’ monsters! And due to the Lone Wolf being immune to Instant Death he actually draws with the Swarmlord both inflicting a wound on each other.
Ha! Ulrik, Logan and a Wolf Guard rank'n'file dude fail to even make a charge move against the Devilgaunts nearby. However, they did shoot down two of them ... not exactly making their points back here.
Ha! Ulrik, Logan and a Wolf Guard rank’n’file dude fail to even make a charge move against the Devilgaunts nearby. However, they did shoot down two of them … not exactly making their points back here. The Drop Pod has a Heavy Bolter, but it does absolutely nothing the Tervigon which it targets.

Turn 2 – Tyranids

Ymgarl Genestealers pop up right next to the Grey Hunters chatting, smoking and just minding their own business in the Space Wolves deployment zone. A swift move out of the bushes and a successful charge was a reality. The Grey Hunters make pretty nice saving throws, but still lose about half of their numbers in the initial shock. Grey Hunters return the favor and take out a few stealers as well. Trygon Prime makes a can-opening move and assaults the Rhino that conveniently moved right in front of it. Now there’s a bunch of Blood Claws dicking around too … njam njam. Devilgaunts just moved forward a bit and had no chance to fire since there were no targets (they were unable to hurt the Rhino which was annihilated after shooting phase had taken place).

"Crack", said the Rhino.
“Crack”, said the Rhino. And out pops Lukas with his bad-ass posse. In the upper right corner we can observe that Canis and all of his Fenrisian Wolves are now history. They were simply hopelessly overwhelmed by two Hive Tyrants, and a unit of Hormagaunts. Oh and the Trygon Prime charged the jogging Blood Claws and killed them all …
Ymgarl Stealers
Ymgarl Stealers pop up right beside of the Grey Hunters (ambush!) and after the turn ends, half of the Grey Hunters are shredded to pieces. A couple of stealers meet their maker as well.

Summing up turn 2

The game is now effectively over. There just isn’t enough Space Wolves left anymore to even make a dent on the Tyranids. At this point the players were mostly speculating on the level of the massacre, even though Logan Grimnar and Lukas The Trikster with his Blood Claws group were still active.

Turn 3 – Space Wolves

Well … the unit of Scouts led by a Wolf Guard terminator take strides and leaps towards their engaged fellow comrades nearby and rush in head first to make the close combat mayhem even more chaotic. Ymgarl Stealers opt for an additional attack and make 24 attacks against the Grey Hunters. A shocking roll reveals a total of 15 misses (should hitting on a 3+ here …)  and by luck the Grey Hunters are not mashed up to bloody pulp yet. Instead Space Wolves Scouts made notes on the previous turn’s mayhem and unleash murder on the stealers leaving just one of them alive and kicking! But it manages a morale roll of 2 and so all 3 units are still locked in combat. The Lone Wolf is neatly dispatched and now we have 3 Wolf Guard dancing around Swarmlord as well. Logan Grimnar is all alone since his team is now wiped out. Better to meet destiny chin up so he moves and charges a Trygon Prime making a nice 3 wounds on the monster in close combat. Lukas and his rag-tag group of hill-billies charged the Trygon Prime that just wasted their transport and Lukas challenged the big bogie to a man-to-man fight. Obviously Lukas just wanted to die to be able to use his stasis bomb, but that failed and both participants were just issued a single wound.  [Note: Sadly this should not have happened at all since the current rules do not allow a unit to charge in it’s own turn if it was forced to make an emergency disembarkation in the previous enemy turn].

Logan! All his companions were shot down the previous Tyranid turn (by the Devilgaunts, Tervigon and it’s Termagaunt progeny). This picture is taken before his move and he charges the Trygon Prime on the back.
Scouts have no good targets so they instead opt to go assist their fellow warriors in the close combat.
Scouts have no good targets so they instead opt to go assist their fellow Grey Hunter warriors in the close combat.
And here’s the result… Ymgarl Genestealers get their asses handed to them by a bunch of measly scouts that poke them with sniper rifles and missile launchers! Some seriously faulty dice from the Tyranid player end up killing just a few Grey Hunters and leaving a single Ymgarl Stealer alive (making a snake eyes on it’s morale roll – that’s what I call determination!).
Bah humbug!
Bah humbug! Lukas and his rag tag posse of Blood Claws assault Trygon Prime and Lukas challenges the big baddie in duel with the sole purpose of dying himself so that he can use his stasis bomb. Well that failed and both just inflict one wound to each other. And in retrospect rules would have forbade the Blood Claws from charging any way.
Logan in combat with Trygon Prime.
Logan in combat with Trygon Prime. Logan hurts the Trygon Prime bad, but does get some punishment as well. Time for the Swarmlord to finish him off, yes?

Turn 3 – Tyranids

The last of the remaining Space Wolves on the right flank of Tyranids was none other than Logan Grimnar already taking it man-to-man with a Trygon Prime, but he was easily gutted and trophied in no time by the charging Swarmlord that had already murdered Njal, a Lone Wolf and three Wolf Guards in just three turns … The close combat with Lukas ended up with Trygon Prime killing his challenge and subsequently Lukas used his stasis bomb to take the Trygon with him … so at the end of the turn, both were removed as casualties. The Drop Pod was scrapped by the home-base sitting Tervigon for no better reason than boredom.

Stasis bomb takes out Trygon Prome ...
After Trygon Prime finally finishes off Lukas, his stasis bomb takes out Trygon Prime … what a trickster. Well now the one-trick pony of Lukas’ is used up and the Blood Claws are up next.
Some useless movement
Tervigon had nothing else to do so it ate up the Drop Pod. Burp!
Logan dead. Regroup and head towards objectives.
Logan dead by Swarmlord. Regroup and head towards objectives in SW deployment zone. There are no more Space Wolves to be seen anywhere near so the Tyranid forces just start marching… Actually it’s pretty much game over already, but since the players had time to spend, the game proceeded to turn 4.

Summing up turn 3

Ouch. Tyranids are mopping up the floor here … Tyranids won the First Blood point and now after Logan is dead, they made another point by killing the enemy commander. And it sure as hell looks like they’re gonna be making the Linebreaker point as well. Add that to an already secured home-base objective. Nothing much more really to say about the turn while Lukas the Trikster’s mad laughter still echo in our ears …

Turn 4 – Space Wolves

A really quick turn for the Space Wolves player. Whirlwind missed it’s target, but it no longer mattered any way – too many critters and a Tervigon were undeniably keeping the a objective in Tyranid deployment zone and there was no longer nothing that could change that.

For some unholy reason
Blood Claws get burned by overwatch fire while trying to close in and charge a coming Hive Tyrant.

Turn 4 – Tyranids

Tervigon gave birth to 13 termagants that then moved to an objective in the Space Wolves deployment zone. And while the Whirlwind would certainly be effective against them critters, the minimum firing distance of 12″ made the Termagants pretty much safe (not enough enemy shooters to do shit and firmly within Synapse range). A nasty Puppet Mastering attempt by a Tervigon succeeded and one of the Scouts was forced to raise his rifle against their own men (the remaining two Grey Hunters holding an objective), but missed. Remaining 3 Devilgaunts scuttling their way in front of the Predator took a volley against the Grey Hunters as well and managed to kill the other – now the sole remaining troop model of the Space Wolves was this single Wolf Guard terminator standing firmly on top of the objective. A Hive Tyrant with superior dakka pushed forward, shot 3 Blood Claws and tried to charge the remaining models of the unit, but somehow failed to meet the minimum needed distance of 7 inches.

Tervigon’s babies after they and their momma have both moved. Nicely positioned taking an enemy objective and sitting in front of a Whirlwind which has a 12″ minimum shooting distance. The left of this picture are a few remaining scouts of the Space Wolves and a Wolf Guard terminator stubbornly sitting on top of the other objective.
These bozos are tired
These bozos are obviously bored. Hormagaunts, Swarmlord and Trygon Prime made just 2″ run move each…

Summing up turn 4

While totally overwhelming the game board, Tyranids were still unable to annihilate all the small remnants of resistance.

Turn 5 – Space Wolves

All is not lost! A single Wolf Guard terminator stubbornly keeps the home base objective. It’s shooting combined with the shooting of the Predator kills the remaining Devilgaunt scuttlers trying to inch their way in front of the Predator. Heh … Predator using twin-linked Lascannon killing a 10-point Devilgaunt … talk about overkill!

Hive Tyrant mopping up ...
Time to go, boys!

Turn 5 – Tyranids

A short turn easily summed: Hive Tyrant chasing the remains of a Blood Claws unit managed to kill only one of them and again failed to charge them! A slippery bunch them Blood Claws! Trygon Prime dispatched the Whirlwind in close combat without breaking sweat and additional combined shooting from the Tervigon in the ruins and it’s progeny – the 13 Termagants – resulted in 1 living, but morally broken Scout running for his life towards the table edge. Hormagaunts, Hive Tyrant and Swarmlord were able to just move and run this turn.

End of the line, boys. Trygon Prime has nothing better to do, so it pops open the Whirlwind.
End of the line, boys. Trygon Prime has nothing better to do, so it pops open the Whirlwind.
"Why you little..."
“Why you little…” Hive Tyrant again fails to make charging distance, but at least it managed to shoot one down … not that it makes any difference anymore. Game over.

Summing up turn 5

The dying Devilgaunts robbed Tyranids player his last chance of dispatching the sole Terminator keeping stubbornly the objective deep in Space Wolves deployment zone. That and the fact that running throws failed utterly and miserably the previous turn so none of the 18″ guns of the monstrous creatures would even reach there any more. Space Wolves player only had 2 Blood Claws models, 1 Wolf Guard terminator keeping the objective, 1 Predator and 1 fleeing Scout model left in the game at this point. It was pretty clear that should the game go to turn 6, the game would end with Space Wolves getting a nice even 0 points. But the dice rolled a 1 thus giving Space Wolves 3 victory points ending the game in a decisive 9-3 victory for Tyranids.


The game was effectively over after two turns. Players still wanted to go through the motions and see if this would end up giving them one of the most over-the-top annihilating victory of the decade in our little group. Well … in the end it turned out Space Wolves were able to hold tightly their balls in their hands and while the victory for Tyranids was definitively decisive, at the end of turn 5 still some surviving moon-howlers were able to score 3 points to the Space Wolves. A brass and bold shock beginning of the Space Wolves player was to rely on the death star unit crammed up in the Drop Pod, pushed forward to enemy deployment zone edge taking massive risks in deep striking close to the table edge and then having Njal the Stormcaller whirl Jaws of the World Wolf against Devilgaunts and two Tervigons. A risky attempt worthy of some howls, but something that eventually failed and due to the high amount of points associated with the pod, it cost Space Wolves the entire game.

All in all not a very exciting game … quite boring truth be told … because the Space Wolves crumbled into dust so early in the game and then it was just seeing would the Space Wolves be able to cling on in one objective or would the Tyranids have time to wipe the game board clean of the flea-ridden furry-bunnies. An after game conversation between the players was likewise gloomy since neither player was able to devise a solid game plan with the Space Wolves list in question against the Tyranids list of the day. Players both agreed that in retrospect, the most important thing done by the Space Wolves player was to nominate his Wolf Guard models as detachment leaders for the Grey Hunters and Scouts – this decision kept both the units alive and kicking and eventually landed Space Wolves their only points in the game.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s