And now, for something completely different…
Paul had an opportunity to introduce his nephew and a couple friends to the grim darkness of the far future. It was a lot of fun! Read on for a battle report…
The Imperial Outpost on Navarro had reported a darkening of the Warp. A few experienced Astropaths knew what this portended, but the others did not, and foolishly reached out with their minds before going insane. And as surely as the inevitability of death, the Great Devourer descended.
This battle blooded a younger generation in the ways of Warhammer 40,000. On one side we had a strange mixture of Salamanders, Imperial Guard and stranded cadre of Tau Fire Warriors, adrift in the void. On the other side, we had the Tyranid swarm.
The three new bloods (Kahlil, 13, and Elliot and Langston, both 9) opted to play the side of good. It was explained to these three that this is 40k, and there really is no such thing as “good,” but they heeded not our advice.
The Tyranid side was commanded by the elder generation, Paul and Mary (ages withheld out of decency). The kids were allowed to choose 2 units each from Paul’s model collection — whatever they wished. (Elliot had brought his own painted Tau and Salamanders). In the end, this totaled 40 Power Level. Paul and Mary then took enough models to get to 40 PL as well.
The Imperials won initiative and moved their forces out from behind the western outposts. A sole Leman Russ advanced with support from the two Tau units. On the other side of their line, a Hammerhead tank and a Tau Broadside chose to stay behind cover, while a squad of Salamander Reivers advanced. As luck would have it, the Leman Russ lacked any line of sight after movement, so could not get off an initial volley. Not so the Hammerhead, which launched its smart missiles and railgun at a nest of Termagaunts out in the open. Half were blown up and the rest fled.
Morale went up on the side of the table with the kids. Mary and Paul were nonplussed.
Next it was the Tyranids’ turn. Mary and Paul advanced a Hive Tyrant and its guards into the center of the table, while sending Gaunts up both edges. A Carnifex advanced up the right side, while in the back a Tervigon spawned a new unit of Gaunts.
In the Nids’ shooting phase, the Hive Tyrant blasted apart a Tau drone that had foolishly decided to separate from its cover. On the other flank, a dozen Gaunts shredded a Salamander with an utter storm of devourer slugs.
As the game progressed, the Imperial and Tau units moved up again and shot, this time the combined firepower of the Broadside and Hammerhead to shatter the advancing Carnifex. But the Tyranids responded by charging and ripping apart a complete Tau Strike team.
It was at this point that Imperial and Tau forces began to squabble amongst themselves, with the Imperials calling for a melee charge, only to be denied by the Tau. A deliberate exchange of friendly fire was threatened. Meanwhile, the Tyranids advanced ever closer.
The game was called after 3 rounds. The Tervigon had spawned more Gaunts, but had also (in the interest of coolness) charged and engaged the Leman Russ in melee combat (putting it at a severe disadvantage). On the other side of the field, the Hive Tyrant shredded the Hammerhead from 13 wounds down to 1 but somehow it remained a-hover.
Bedtimes and parents were calling, so we ended the game then. The Imperials/Tau alliance was slightly ahead on kill points, but given the loss of the Fire Warriors and impending doom of the Leman Russ and Hammerhead, the tide was definitely turning had the game continued. The good guys would have been hard pressed to deny the Tyranid horde.
In the end however, all kids agreed that this was “the coolest game ever”. Elliot was given some painting lessons and sent home with an assignment to paint some terrain. We’ll see what the next generation brings to the table next time!
Thanks to Paul for the game writeup and photos! We’re going to need a closer look at those gorgeous new Tyranids you’ve got…