Bug Hunters. 

This is more of a Battle Summary than it is a Battle Report. The reason for this is that this is Warfrog's second game of 10th edition and we were trying to take a deep dive into the rules and try to make a study of some of the aspects that felt to us a bit like grey areas. Where I have played more games of 10th I was able to point out some of the differences from previous editions and he was able to show me some things I was unaware were changes that haven't come up in the games I've played thus far. it was a good learning experience and a fun challenge also. So we whipped up a pair of 1000 point lists and got together to see what mayhem we could cause. 

The Bugs of Doom. 

If you want to play big things that hit like a runaway truck and only have to keep up with a few rules, this is one way to do it. We have a Norn Emisary, a pair of Exocrines, a Biovore, a Maleceptor, a Haruspex and the leader of this gang of critters, the Parasite of Mortrex. 

The Deathwatch of Neverness. 

I brought the Inquistion's favorite, so-called, alien hunters: the Deathwatch. I, stubborn cuss that I am, steadfastly refuse to give up on the Deathwarch. My previous game with them was a humbling situation, but I blame that more on my horrendous dice rolling than I do the rules for this army. They're led by a Chaplain attached to a 5-man Veteran Squad, three DW Terminators squads and 6-mai unit of DW Bikers. And I thought I was being cheesey...

We played Dawn of War set up, with Scramblers and Purge the Unclean as our rules and mission. 

One of the rules I wanted to figure out was Rapid Ingress using the teleport homers to bring in the Deathwatch Terminators. I only brought in a single squad on Turn 1 to try to hurt the Norn Emissary. Luckily it had Advance during it's movement phase and didn't unleash psychic hell on them when they showed up after it moved. I was able to move and dump a lot of fire power on it, well I would have if the 3D3 roll had allowed me more than 3 shots. The ability to now declare Oath Of Moment is a stark contrast to the last time I played the Deathwatch and it really improved my ability to shoot. However having 11 Toughness really makes this thing a challenge to take down, as well as it's FNP saves. Over the two Fight Phases of being stuck in melee with this thing, the Terminators would be defeated with only a few wounds inflicted upon the Norn Emissary. 

Start of Deathwatch Turn 1. 

During Turn One I had the genius idea (add sarcasm) to charge the Haruspex. This was a result of my ignorance regarding the Haruspex as I honestly knew nothing about it. A lesson I failed to learn from the previous game using these bikes is that I really don't need to be charging with them. Sure, the Long Vigil Close Combat Weapons are decent, but these things are just better at zipping around shooting stuff than they are trying to slice and dice their foes. This first Fight phase the Haruspex killed two bikes. I knew it was tough, but bad dice rolls happen. On the 2nd Fight Phase during Warfrog's 2nd Turn, the Haruspex stompled, crush, slammed, bit, torn and devoured all the remaining bikers. it was both glorious and terrorfying at the same time. 

Also during Turn Two, the DW Vets were killed off leaving just the Chaplain who now found himself locked in combat with the Parasite of Mortrex. He took three Wounds during that fight, and came very close to taking out the Parasite. On Turn Three the Chaplain almost did it too but his prayers and litanies failed to produce the results he had hoped to leaving the beastie alive with a single Wound. On Turn 4 the loyal Maleceptor wou;d bound over to his leader's aid and finish of the Chaplain for him. It was a glorious last stand, and a grand achievement for the Tyranids who had Assassinate at a Secondary Objective. 

Going for the glory!

Remembering to bring the rest of the Terminators in on the 3rd Turn, I tried to go for the Behind Enemy Lines Objective. Mainly to stop the biovore from tossing around more Spore Mines. (The bastard was plopping Spore Mines on to objectives and as rules are currently written we could not find anything clarifying or stating that Sporemines can't full-fill secondaries (such as Cleanse in this instance) or hold objectives). Gotta love it! Anyway,  the Terminators arrived and dumped fire power into the Haruspex, seriously hurting it. It Charged into the closest Terminators on it's next turn, killed a few of them before getting killed itself. That squard charged the Biovore on the next turn, killing it. The other Terminator squad got to work on the Exocrines. 

Terminators vs Exocrines. 

Or was it the other way? After the Terminators fired on the Haruspex, on the following Turn the two Exocrines unleashed a hail of shots into the Terminators picking off a few of them. They moved onto the closest Exocrine, pumping shots into it before charging the Exocrine and taking a few Wound off of it. On the next Turn the engaged Exocrine fell back so the other one could fire and charge. That Exocrine got the Terminator down to just the last pair who put even more damage on this one. Finally, on Turn 5 this Exocrine fell back and the Norn Emissary charged up and finished them off. Yeah, they didn't kill anything, but they sure put some hurt on those monsters. Impressive though that may seem, hurt doesn't equate to winning. And the Terminator's bio-mass was now being consumed. 

The final move. 

Finally the last group of Terminator killed off the Spore Mine (why they don't explode when shot is a mystery to us) and took an objective. Our final score ended up being 70 to 30 with the a solid win for the Tyranids. Most of the Deathwatch's points where accrued in the final rounds of the game. So what could I have done better? I had to hold onto the main objective but maybe I should've taken better advantage of the terrain during the set-up phase of the game so the Veterans wouldn't be so easily targeted. And I was bit too bold with the bikers and the first squad of Terminators. With a force as small as this, I really need to be a lot more focused with my assets when it comes to targeting and objective acquisition. Also dice happen, but really, I can only control what I can control. 

Deathwatch are not an easy army to run despite their appearance as a take-on-all-comers list, they really can't in my current opinion. Not currently in this edition. Oath of Moment was a huge help, without it they likely would've been tabled. 

I'm still not ready to give these guys up yet for 10th, even though they are woefully in need of help in this edition; just some pruce reductions at the least  would help them. They lost a lot of fun options between 9th and 10th, and their weapon options where made woefully generic (simplified not simple!). A force this small and niche needs to have a "sticky objectives" option somewhere, that is one way to fix them. I spent the early morning hours seeking advice from a vampire, ("Games-Workshop does not support Deathwatch; I do!") so who knows, maybe I did learn more about them through this experience? It maybe a good while before I try them out again though. 

The Tyranids on the other hand, I think my biggest take away is that I need to bite the damn bullet and somehow obtain a copy of their codex. Playing them without all of the Stratagems available has definitely been a handicap. However, despite the wonderful gift of a few bugs from Warfrog (Thanks again man!) I will not be expanding my hivefleet beyond what I already have done last year. That's mostly a budget thing, at least for the immediate future. Staying on top of the FAQs is something I need to get better at also so that I can be aware of changes  (the ruling that Devastating Wounds no longer cause Mortal Wounds) that dramatically effect things like the Norn Emissary. 

Thanks again to Warfrog for hosting this game and for the extra goodies!