Scenario: Standard Recon (modified, the Infiltrating rules would not be used, and neither army would get Victory Points for moving units into their opponent's deployment zone. For this battle, both players allowed somewhat modified army lists, as the Dark Eldar used half normal Dark Eldar and half a Wych Cult. The Tyranids were allowed an extra Heavy Support choice).
Dark Eldar Forces: Archite
Tyranid Forces: Tyrant
|Mutable Hive Tyrant with Wings||195|
|Mutable Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guard (3)||243|
|Warrior Brood (Deathspitters) (3)||123|
|Warrior Brood (Mixed, 1 with Devourer, 1 with Venom Cannon, 1 with Rending Claws) (3)||115|
|Warrior Brood (Rending Claws) (3)||99|
|Genestealers (Center) (12)||192|
|Genestealers (Left) (10)||160|
|Genestealers (Right) (10)||160|
|Hormagaunt Brood with Hive Node (16)||170|
|Hormagaunt Brood with Hive Node (16)||170|
|Termagant Brood with Hive Node (16)||122|
|Termagant Brood with Hive Node (16)||122|
|Ripper Swarm (6)||60|
|The Purple Terror (1)||104|
|Gargoyle Brood (10)||100|
|Zoanthropes (Left, Center, and Right) (3)||177|
|Dark Eldar (Normal and Wych Cult combined)||Points|
|Dracon with Incubi Retinue (7)||236|
|Warriors (Silver Squadron) (10)||100|
|Warriors (Red Squadron) (10)||100|
|Warriors (Green Squadron) (10)||100|
|Warriors with Sybarite (Gold Squadron) (10)||121|
|Warriors with Sybarite (Stripe Squadron) (10)||126|
|Warriors with Sybarite (Blue Squadron) (20)||216|
|Scourges with Sybarite (9)||255|
|Lelith Hesperax (1)||90|
|Wyches with Succubus (Ruby) (10)||158|
|Wyches with Succubus (Amethyst) (15)||233|
|Wyches with Succubus (Steel) (9)||155|
|Wyches (Emerald) (8)||114|
|Warp Beasts with Beastmaster (6)||75|
|Warp Beasts with Beastmaster (5)||63|
|Warp Beasts with Beastmaster (5)||63|
|Reaver Jetbikes with Succubus (5)||186|
|Hellions with Succubus (5)||127|
|Warriors (Crazy Hair Squadron) (20)||226|
The Tyranid Swarm
The Dark Eldar Army
The Tyranid right flank advanced at top speed, leaping over each other in their haste to get to grips with their enemy. The center of the Tyranid line advanced as well, while the left flank advanced more slowly, shifting their positions. The Mixed Tyranid Warriors fired their Venom Cannon at Crazy Hair Squadron but missed. The Left Zoanthrope fired its Warp Blast on the Crazy Hairs, killing three of them. The Carnifexes fired both of their Barbed Stranglers on Green Squadron, but missed with both their shots. The Right Zoanthrope fired its Warp Blast on the Grotesques and Blue Squadron, killing two of the Warriors in Blue Squadron. The Biovores both fired their Poison Spore Mines at Green Squadron, and one hit and one scattered into Stripe Squadron. Three Stripe Squadron Warriors were killed, and five Green Squadron Warriors were killed, and the unit began to fall back.
With no one in assault range, the Dark Eldar began their turn. Most of the Dark Eldar army advanced, except for a few Warrior Squads who were in cover. Green Squadron fell back to the edge of the battlefield, but managed to regroup. The Reaver jetbikes advanced and fired their weapons at the Winged Hive Tyrant, wounding it once with a Blaster shot. The Silver Squadron, remaining in cover in the trees, opened fire on the advancing Termagants, killing 1 with a Dark Lance and 2 with their Splinter Rifles. The Haemonculus fired its Stinger at the Gargoyles, killing one.
Two packs of Warp Beasts charge the HormagauntsBlue Squadron fired their Splinter Cannon at a unit of Hormagaunts, killing two of them. Stripe Squadron fired their weapons at the Left Zoanthrope, wounding twice but both were saved. Crazy Hair Squadron fired on the Termagants with two Splinter Cannons, killing five of them. Red Squadron fired on the left Carnifex with their Dark Lances, hitting and wounding with both shots and wounding the Carnifex twice. The Hellions fired their Hellglaives at the Ripper Swarms, delivering one wound.
Lelith ran ahead of the rest of the Dark Eldar forces, assaulting the Gargoyles. Lelith delivered a single wound with her Agoniser, killing one of the Gargoyles. The Gargoyles unleashed their Bio-Plasma attacks, but Lelith's Shadow Field protected her. The Gargoyles attacked with their claws next, and one managed to penetrate her Shadow Field, delivering one wound and rendering the Shadow Field ineffective for the rest of the battle. The rest of the Gargoyles piled in and surrounded Lelith.
The Warp Beasts on the Dark Eldar left assaulted the Hormagaunts ahead of them. Their attack was merciless, and between the Warp Beasts and the Beastmaster, they killed seven Hormagaunts before the gaunts could even strike back, and they consolidated into the Tyranid Warriors and the Purple Terror, as the remaining Hormagaunts in the brood were screened by the Tyranid Warriors.
The two packs of Warp Beasts in the Dark Eldar center assaulted the Hormagaunts ahead of them. The Warp Beasts unleashed 36 attacks, killing five Hormagaunts. This time some Hormagaunts survived to retaliate, and killed two of the Warp Beasts. The units piled in together and continued the fight.
The Tyranid swarm continued its advance, and the right flank prepared to plow into the line of Dark Eldar. The Gargoyles surrounded Lelith, and the Warp Beasts on the Tyranid right flank plowed into the Rending Claw Warriors, the Purple Terror, and the rest of the Hormagaunt brood.
The Deathspitter Warriors on the Tyranid left flank opened fire with their Deathspitters on the Emerald Wyches and the Hellions, the acidic explosions killing one of each. In the Mixed Warrior Squad, the Warrior with the Venom Cannon fired and killed a single member of Stripe Squadron. The Raveners opened fire with their devourers, killing one member of Blue Squadron. The center Zoanthrope aimed its Warp Blast on Blue Squadron but missed, while the right Zoanthrope connected, killing two members of Blue Squadron and wounding the Haemonculus. The Winged Hive Tyrant unleashed Warp Blast on the Reaver jetbikes ahead of it but missed. The Hive Tyrant with the Venom Cannon fired it at the Reavers, sending one of the bikes crashing to the ground. The unwounded Carnifex fired its Barbed Strangler at the Grotesques but missed. The Biovores were more effective, with one spore mine missing, but the other landed right on top of Blue Squadron, killing four of the Dark Eldar Warriors.
Lelith surrounded by GargoylesThe Winged Hive Tyrant charged the Reaver Jetbikes, plowing through a spore mine on the way and detonating it, but was unharmed. The Reavers struck first, delivering one wound which bounced off the Hive Tyrant's Extended Carapace. The Hive Tyrant responded by skewering one Reaver on his Scything Talons, and ripping another apart with his Rending Claws.
On the extreme right flank, the Beastmaster killed one Hormagaunt, while the Warp Beasts killed three more. The Tyranid Warriors and the Hormagaunts each killed a pair of Warp Beasts, and the Purple Terror killed the Beastmaster.
Both units of Termagants assaulted the Grotesques, one from each side. The Termagants killed four of the Grotesques, receiving three casualties in return. The Grotesques turned to flee but the Termagants held them in combat and proceeded to pile in.
One of the Carnifexes and the center Genestealers charged the Warp Beasts in the center. The two Beastmasters killed a single Genestealer, but then the Genestealers tore into them, delivering 28 attacks, wounding 14 times, and completely wiping out both Warp Beast packs and their handlers. The Carnifex was forced to amuse itself by stomping on the dead bodies.
Lelith was completely indifferent to being surrounded by a mob of flapping Gargoyles, and she gleefully snatched one from the sky and sliced open its throat, but she took another wound from the remaining Gargoyles' Bio-Plasma attacks.
The opposing lines prepare to collideThe Dark Eldar Scourges arrived on the battlefield, and they landed behind the main Tyranid attack line, right in front of the Biovores. The Dracon and his retinue of Incubi moved towards the Winged Hive Tyrant. The Dark Eldar center and right flank advanced--the Hellions and Emerald Wyches moved to engage the left Genestealers.
Stripe Squadron unleashed all of its firepower on the wounded Carnifex, needing only to wound it twice to kill it. However, the massed fire of one blaster, one splinter cannon, one shredder, and three splinter rifle succeeded in delivering the two wounds, but the Carnifex's thick carapace protected it from harm. Gold Squadron unleashed all of its firepower on the unwounded Carnifex, but proved no more effective than Stripe Squadron, and failed to even wound the monstrous creature. Crazy Hair Squadron fired its weapons on the mixed unit of Tyranid Warriors, and the blast from the Shredder wounded the left Zoanthrope, but the combined fire did nothing to the Warrior Squad. The Talos fired its weapons on the Ripper Swarms ahead of it, but missed. Red Squadron also missed with its shots.
At this point the Scourges should have fired their weapons, but apparently they landed too hard upon deep striking, and they did not shoot!
The Dracon and Incubi charged the Winged Hive Tyrant. The Dracon's Agoniser and Incubi's Punishers made a mockery of the Hive Tyrant's Extended Carapace, and delivering two wounds to the Hive Tyrant, nearly killing it. The Reavers failed to finished the job, and the Hive Tyrant responded by killing one of the Incubi.
The Dracon, Incubi, and Reavers surround the Winged Hive TyrantThe Termagants swarmed the Grotesques, killing another one of them, but the Haemonculus joined the fight now as well. The Grotesques killed five Termagants, and the Haemonculus killed two more. The Steel Wyches charged the left unit of Termagants, providing some additional relief to the Grotesques. The Wyches delivered 14 attacks resulting in 10 wounds, wiping out all seven Termagants in range, and they piled into the sole surviving Termagant of that unit.
The Talos assaulted the Ripper Swarms, and began to rip apart the little bugs, killing two bases with its inhuman strength. The Ripper Swarms attacked with rabid fury, but the Talos was impervious to their attacks.
The Hellions charged the Deathspitter Warriors on the Tyranid left flank. Because they were in cover, the Warriors struck first, but failed to kill any of their opponents. The Hellions responded by killing one of the Warriors, and the fight continued.
The Emerald Wyches killed one of the left Genestealers on the charge, but the Genestealers killed three of the Wyches, causing the survivors to fall back. The Genestealers pursued, but the Wyches outran them.
One the Dark Eldar left flank, the Ruby Wyches assaulted the Gargoyles and Hormagaunts to bring some support to Lelith. Lelith struck first, killing three Gargoyles. The Gargoyles struck back with their Bio-Plasma attacks, killing three of the Wyches. The Wyches and their Succubus responded by killing one Hormagaunt and four Gargoyles, and finally the Hormagaunts responded by killing another Wych.
In the trees on the Dark Eldar right flank, the Hellions were tearing through the Tyranid Warriors, but then a of pair of Lictors burst out of the trees and attacked the Hellions. The rest of the Tyranids continued to close the distance. The mixed unit of Tyranid Warriors moved out of cover towards Crazy Hair Squadron. The wounded Carnifex lumbered towards Stripe Squadron, while the other one moved towards the Steel Wyches. The center Genestealers moved towards Stripe Squadron as well.
The Hive Tyrant with the Venom Cannon fired it at blue Green Squadron far away, killing two of them. The right Zoanthrope fired its Warp Blast at the Scourges, but missed. The last Ravener fired its devourer at the Scourges and hit, but failed to wound. The wounded Carnifex fired its barbed strangler at Stripe Squad and missed. The left Zoanthrope fired its Warp Blast on Crazy Hair Squadron, killing four of them. Then the biovores opened up. One spore mine aimed for Red Squadron missed and scattered far away, while the second landed among the Amethyst Wyches, killing two of them.
The Rending Claws Tyranid Warriors charged the Ruby Wyches and Lelith. Lelith failed to wound anyone, and neither did the Succubus, but the Wyches themselves killed a pair of Hormagaunts. The Warriors killed a pair of Wyches in return.
The Carnifex and the Genestealers charge Stripe SquadronThe right Genestealers and the Purple Terror charged the Incubi in an attempt to relieve the Winged Hive Tyrant. The Dracon cut down two Genestealers, and the Reaver Jetbike Succubus killed four of them. The remaining Jetbikes struck and killed one more. Then the Genestealers struck back, killing four Incubi and one Jetbike. The Hive Tyrant concentrated his attacked on Reaver Succubus, and killed her. The Purple Terror wounded the Dracon, and the Incubi failed to wound anyone.
The wounded Carnifex charged the Steel Wyches, who along with the Grotesques were already engaged with Termagants. The Wyches killed one Termagant, while the Haemonculus killed two more. The Carnifex wounded two Wyches, but they parried the blows. Finally the Grotesques attacked, killing three Termagants.
The Ravener and the Hormagaunts charged the Scourges behind the Tyranid lines. The Scourges killed a pair of Hormagaunts before they were swarmed under and completely wiped out.
The unwounded Carnifex and center Genestealers assaulted Stripe Squadron. The Genestealers ripped apart three of the Dark Eldar Warrirors while suffering one casualty. The Carnifex was apparently out of steam after the charge and missed with all of its attacks.
The mixed unit of Tyranid Warriors charged Crazy Hair Squadron, killing three of them. The Dark Eldar Warriors responded by wounding one of the Tyranid creatures, just enough to bring it down.
The Talos continued to rip through the Ripper Swarms, killing four bases and wiping them out.
The Genestealers and Purple Terror charge into the battle of the Incubi and Reavers vs. the Hive Tyrant
The Lictors burst out of the trees and assaulted the Hellions, while the left Genestealers charged the already fleeing Emerald Wyches and the Hellions simultaneously. One Genestealer was killed, while the Genestealers killed a pair of Wyches. The Tyranid Warrior killed a Hellion, and the Lictors killed a Hellion each. The Wyches turned to flee but were held in combat by the Genestealers. The last surviving Hellion was faster, however, and fled the fight.
The last Hellion continued to fall back, while the rest of the Dark Eldar moved to engage. Silver Squadron moved forward out of the woods. Gold Squadron shifted left, and Blue Squadron advanced. The Amethyst Wyches moved towards the wounded Carnifex.
Blue and Green Squadron opened fire at the Hive Tyrant on the hill, and his Tyrant Guard moved to intercept the shots. One of the Tyrant Guard was felled by a blaster shot and a volley of splinter cannon fire, while the other was wounded by a hit from a Dark Lance. Red Squadron opened fire on a Spore Mine in front of their position, detonating it harmlessly.
The Rending Claws Tyranid Warriors and Hormagaunts continued their fight against Lelith and the Ruby Wyches. Lelith and the Wych Succubus killed two of the Tyranid Warriors between them, while the last Warrior killed the Succubus and a Wych.
The Amethyst Wyches and Gold Squadron charged the center Genestealers and the wounded Carnifex, bringing aid to Stripe Squadron. The Wyches, Succubus, and Sybarite killed eight Genestealers between them, but not before the Genestealers killed eight Warriors. The Dark Eldar Warriors were less effective, not wounding anything. The Carnifex skewered a Wych with its Scything Talons.
Blue Squadron charged the Hive Tyrant with his one Tyrant Guard, but none of their attacks availed them. For their trouble the Tyrant and his Guard killed a pair of Warriors, and Blue Squadron fled. The Hive Tyrant and his Guard pursued but could not catch the Dark Eldar.
The Succubus of the Steel Wyches, fighting the Carnifex, killed the beast with her Agoniser.
Silver Squadron, screaming insults at the Tyranids, charged into the fray with the Dracon and Incubi who were fighting the Purple Terror, the Winged Hive Tyrant, and the right Genestealers. The Dracon hit but failed to wound. The Genestealers tore apart one member of Silver Squadron while the Incubi killed a Genestealer. The Hive Tyrant and the Purple Terror killed a total of six Dark Eldar Warriors.
The Grotesques fought against the last surviving Termagant. The Termagant missed, and the Haemonculus put it out of its misery by snipping its head off with his scissorhands.
The Talos charged into the fight of the mixed Tyranid Warriors and Crazy Hair Squadron. The Tyranid Warriors killed three of the Crazy Hairs, but the Crazy Hairs wounded one of them. The Talos then killed one of the Warriors, and the fight continued.
On the Dark Eldar right flank, the Genestealers suffered another casualty from the Emerald Wyches, but then killed the remaining two Wyches, wiping them out.
There were far more dead than living on the battlefield now. The Hormagaunts that had wiped out the Scourges, and the two Lictors headed towards the Talos. The Ravener moved towards the crest of the hill. The left Genestealers advanced toward Red Squadron, still in cover in the trees.
The Steel Wyches, after downing the Carnifex, found themselves surrounded by Tyranids with ranged weapons and therefore very vulnerable. The Hive Tyrant with a Venom Cannon covered three of them in acid venom, reducing them to sticky puddles. His Tyrant Guard killed two more with his spinefist. The rest of the Tyranid fire was less lucky. Two Zoanthropes missed them with their Warp Blasts, the Ravener failed to wound with its devourer, and the Tyranid Warrior missed with his deathspitter.
The two biovores both fired their poison spore mines on Red Squadron, hoping to thin out their numbers before they could fire on the Genestealers, who were not yet in charge range. The first spore mine missed, landing behind the fleeing Hellion. The second landed bang on target, hitting six members of Red Squadron, but only wounded one of them, who promptly made his save! The Genestealers would have to face the full force of the squad’s fire before being able to assault them.
The Hormagaunts charged the Talos and Crazy Hair Squadron, aiding the last surviving Tyranid Warrior. The Dark Eldar Warriors killed two Hormagaunts, while the Talos killed two more. The Tyranid Warrior wounded three of the Warriors, who all survived due to their armor, but the Hormagaunts made good on their attacks, killing three Dark Eldar Warriors.
The Carnifex continued to hold off Gold Squadron, Stripe Squadron, and the Amethyst Wyches. The Succubus wounded the Carnifex three times with her Agoniser, leaving the Carnifex near death with only one wound left. The Wyches and two Sybarites from Gold and Stripe Squadrons delivered three more wounds, but they all bounced off the Carnifex’s thick chitin armor. The Carnifex then squashed a single Wych.
The Hive Tyrant and his Tyrant Guard charged the Steel Wyches and the Grotesques. The Wyches wounded the Tyrant Guard but the attack was deflected by the Guard’s armored shield. The Hive Tyrant killed the Haemonculus, and the Grotesques fled.
Lelith was all alone again on the left flank, having outlived those who had moved to reinforce her. She failed to wound her opponents, and she was brought down under the claws of two Hormagaunts after she fended off the Tyranid Warrior’s attacks.
The Dracon and his Incubi fend off the Purple Terror, the Hive Tyrant, and the Genestealers before the Dark Eldar Warriors arriveThe Dracon killed two more Genestealers, who caused no casualties in return. The Incubi also missed. The Winged Hive Tyrant singled out the Dracon for destruction, latched one Rending Claw on each of his legs and yanked him apart, biting his head and shoulders off at the last second. The Dark Eldar Warriors of Silver Squadron managed to wound the Purple Terror, but the wound was saved by the Purple Terror’s carapace. The Purple Terror responded by killing two of the Dark Eldar Warriors.
Blue Squadron regrouped and reorganized facing the Winged Hive Tyrant, hoping to avenge the death of their Dracon. The Grotesques continued to fall back. The last Hellion fell back as well, and collided with an errant poison spore mine. The mine detonated, killing the Hellion.
Red Squadron opened fire with everything it had on the left Genestealers, hoping to kill them before they were assaulted. Their shots killed three Genestealers, but it was not enough to slow them down.
Blue Squadron charged the Winged Hive Tyrant and Purple Terror, which were engaged with Silver Squadron and an Incubus. The Dark Eldar Warriors, morale heightened by their numerical superiority, wounded the Purple Terror twice, but the Hive Tyrant killed three of them while the Purple Terror killed four more.
The Tyranid Warrior and Hormagaunts fighting the Talos and the Crazy Hairs killed no one, but the Talos and Crazy Hairs killed a pair of Hormagaunts.
The Carnifex continued its fight with Gold and Stripe Squadrons and the Amethyst Wyches, and killed another Wych, its carapace protecting it from all retaliations.
The Steel Wych Succubus killed the last Tyrant Guard with her Agoniser and wounded the Hive Tyrant who was so stunned that it failed to cause any casualties in return.
The Lictors continued to move towards the Talos while the left Genestealers continued towards Red Squadron. The Deathspitter Tyranid Warrior fired its weapon at Red Squadron, killing four of them, setting them up for the Genestealer assault. The Biovores opened fire, one of them missing, the second hitting Green Squadron, killing one of them and causing the two survivors to flee the battlefield.
The Genestealers charged into the trees to assault Red Squadron. The Dark Eldar Warriors used the advantage of cover to strike first, but failed to kill any Genestealers, who promptly killed all of them.
The Ravener charged the Steel Wyches to aid the Hive Tyrant, but failed to do anything to the Wyches. The Hive Tyrant killed a Wych, but was wounded again, this time by the Wyches themselves and not the Succubus.
In the battle of the Carnifex versus Stripe Squadron, Gold Squadron, and the Amethyst Wyches, the Succubus finished it by unleashing her Agoniser on the beast, sending it crashing to the ground. The jubilant Warriors jumped up and down on the corpse on the way to find new foes.
The Rending Claw Warrior and the two Hormagaunts charged into the fight against the Incubus and remnants of Silver and Blue Squadrons. The Sybarite struck with his Agoniser, killing the two Hormagaunts and wounding the Tyranid Warrior. The two Dark Eldar Warriors swung and missed, as did the Incubus. The Tyranid Warrior cut down the two Dark Eldar Warriors and the Sybarite, leaving the Incubus as the last survivor. The Hive Tyrant unloaded on him and tore him to pieces.
The Lictors charged the Talos and Crazy Hair Squadron, and promptly killed three Warriors and wounded the Talos. The Sybarite missed with his attacks, but the Talos hit, killing one Lictor and wounding the other. The Tyranid Warrior killed the Sybarite and wounded the Talos again.
The Grotesques continued to fall back. The Amethyst Wyches advanced on the Hive Tyrants, while Gold and Stripe Squadrons moved towards the left Genestealers. Both Squadrons fired their blasters at the Genestealers, killing one of them.
The Lictor attacked the Talos again, and its Rending Claws tore through the Talos’ defenses and destroyed it.
The Amethyst Wyches charged into the fray, connecting with Zoanthrope and the Rending Claw Tyranid Warrior, as well at the Hive Tyrant who was engaged with the Steel Wyches along with the Ravener. The Amethyst Wych Succubus wounded the Zoanthrope while the Steel Wych Succubus finished it off. The Wyches unleashed 29 attacks of which 22 hit, yet only 5 wounded, killing the Ravener. The Tyranid Warrior killed a single Wych. The Hive Tyrant killed three more Wyches, and critically, the Amethyst Wyches broke and ran.
The left flank Tyranids converged on Gold and Stripe Squadron. The right flank Tyranids surrounded the Steel Wyches. The Tyranid Warrior with the deathspitter fired it on the Gold and Stripe Squadrons, killing two of them. The Tyranid Warrior with the Devourer did the same, and killed one Warrior.
Then the Genestealers charged Gold and Stripe Squadrons, who could not stand up to the charge and were both wiped out.
The Tyranid monsters surround the last Dark Eldar still fightingThe Steel Wych Succubus killed the Rending Claw Tyranid Warrior, but in the end that would not be enough. The last Wych wounded the Purple Terror but the blow was deflected by the Terror’s carapace. The Hive Tyrant with the Venom Cannon killed the last Wych. The Winged Hive Tyrant charged into the fight and killed the Succubus.
The casualties were high, and all three surviving monstrous creatures: both Hive Tyrants and the Purple Terror, each had only one wound left. All the Dark Eldar remaining—those being the Grotesques and the Amethyst Wyches, continued to flee the battlefield. All that was left of the Tyranid Swarm were the two Hive Tyrants, the Purple Terror, two Tyranid Warriors, two Biovores, one Lictor, one Zoanthrope, and three Genestealers.
Tyrant: Okay, let's see where to begin. During setup, two things surprised me. Archite's Dark Eldar outnumbered me about 3 to 2, and he took none of his vaunted Ravagers/Raiders. They worried me, but I guess not more than my Biovores worried him. Unfortunately, the points freed were what allowed him to outnumber me. Of course, he also didn't have any Monstrous Creatures, whereas I had five..
Setup took quite a while, and I think I somewhat won the upper hand by 1) getting the first move, and 2) the decoy-deploy. I had planned on putting the entire army on the right side of my deployment zone, stretched to the center, then attempt a "swinging-door" strategy for the game. In doing so, I deployed one of my Genestealer units and several Warriors in the center, hoping to fool Archite into spreading out his line more. While this appeared to work at first, I realized quickly that Archite had too damn many units, and therefore could afford to and even had to spread out his line. As it was, the whole left half of the board went unused.
Turn one, surprise one. Archite advanced! I would quickly come to realize why he advanced. I6/I5 on his Wyches/Warriors would give him a definite edge for many of the fights in the battle. Also, in the beginning of the battle, I did not realize the Wyches 4+ invulnerable save was for close combat only, lest they would have had a lot more mines dropped on their heads.
Bioplasma attacks rock. Although they failed to do much the first turn, knowing they could have matched the fastest unit in his army was nice. Also, tying up Lelith was nice, although it was a tit-for-tat points match (almost).
Agonizers are a complete and total nightmare for the monstrous creatures, which is why it seemed like Archite had one for every opposable thumb in his army. Only my larger-number, smaller-sized units (and a bunch of luck) kept my big guys alive for so long.
Letting the Rippers be charged by the Talos was I thought a great idea, until I realized the S7 would insta-kill a base of them. Important lesson learned there about those little buggers and that big jerk.
Genestealers just plain rock. Only reason I lost so darn many was there were too many of the bad guy got to hit back! Can't wait to use them against slower, heavily armed units.
Lictors improved vastly in my eyes. This had a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time, and they provided two key victories for me (the leftmost skirmish and downing the Talos near the end). They're still a bit expensive, but I definitely will use them more now I have seen their true potential.
What was I thinking giving 3 Tyranid Warriors completely different weaponry, especially with the new assault rules? 1 36" range S7 2 shots, 1 12" range S3 6 shots, and rending claws? Both other units were more effecting in my opinion (3 Rending Claws/Scything Talons, 3 Deathspitters/Rending Claws). Next time, I'll specialize instead of trying to make a unit a snarling-sinew-muscle-and-chitin-covered-monster-unit of all trades.
Carnifices were really unlucky with their shooting (really lucky for Archite), and they just aren't much good in hand-to-hand vs. lots of fast little troops. However, they're great for drawing fire and tying up units in hand-to-hand. Plus, calling them the twins was funny.
Biovores were decent, although not the death dealing monstrosities I had hoped them to be. Next time I'll be sure to take Frag mines as well as Poison vs. Dark Eldar.
The new (not newest) assault rules worked okay for straightforward fights, but we had relatively few straightforward combats. Hopefully 4th edition will rectify some of these situations.
Make sure your monstrous creature that can easily swallow an enemy whole charges the correct model! (Archite's Dracon would have gone away a turn or two earlier if I had done so!) Remember to always, always go over every unit on the board at the end of your shooting phase to make sure you've got them all. That was one die roll that had a huge impact on the game (Darkwing's 50/50 to let the scourges shoot). Still, even if he did get to fire them it still would have been a very, very close game.
Overall I had a blast, and while the tactics I employed seemed to come apart right away (he's charging me?!?!), I still am happy with the way I played. Overall, it was a fantastic nailbiter that I'd gladly do again! Nice fight, Archite.
The two Tyrants would waste no time after the fighting was over, not being burdened by mourning nor healing. They called in the remaining Tyraninds on the battlefield, reinforced with new broods from the spawning pits. There was more life on this planet, and where there was life, there was food. There was no decision to be made, but simple instinct to be followed...the swarm advanced.
Dark Eldar Debriefing
Archite: Very close battle, it really could have gone either way until sometime turn 5 or so. It always surprises me how good the DE can be, I expected to get torn to bits, instead it was very well balanced.
The Half wych cult/half kabal setup was very effective: it was almost the right ratio of firepower to CC ability. Both firepower and CC attacks had a full range of strengths and numbers of attacks per model. e.g. 3 warpbeast packs + 4 wych packs + talos + groteques all on the table at once. Slightly light on the usual DE AP2 firepower, but made up for it with plenty of agonisers.
Tyranids vs. Dark Eldar on a unit to unit basis
Didn't bring vehicles - biovores can destroy them too easily and they may not make up their points. Mounting any units on the vehicles would just be plain dumb in this scenario. Unless I had my whole army mounted on vehicles. The good part: tons of extra models with points not spent on vehicles. The bad part: not a lot of mobile long range firepower (Becuase of this, no easy way to take out both biovores..)
Warpbeasts really deal out the damage to weaker squads. Worked well to stall some units while others advanced. They have earned back their points. I really like warp beasts, in fact, they are the very first Dark Eldar miniatures I painted.
Tyranids have lots of T5/6 large creatures with 2+/3+ armor saves. Tough to kill in CC for S3 Dark Eldar unless using agonizers or poison blades. Glad I brought plenty of both. as a side note, the incubi were not terribly useful in this battle as they are only S4.
When I first saw the Wych minis, I thought they looked a tad on the weak side. After painting them, they look cool, and have almost always been a really effective unit. That was still true against the Nids. Reroll results on Wych combat drugs very very good! +1 attack is also great!! Nevertheless, Wyches battling a Carnifex still takes a really long time. Otherwise Wyches are fantastic against the less tough tyranids.
Sending the Talos after the Ripper Swarms was very effective. The Talos earned its worth in points. That's pretty much exactly what I wanted to do with the Talos. I remember smiling when Darkwing and Tyrant were surprised when I assaulted the Ripper Swarms with it.
Wiping out hormagaunts early was key to preserving my weaker units and allowing them to fire. Warpbeasts were very helpful in this regard.
Ok to assault nids if your units' initiative is better. The key is to not let them assault and get their +1 assault bonus. Tie them up enough to assault them in the next round.
Using warriors to soak wounds an kill weaker units by assaulting into an existing CC is quite useful. Especially under the new assault rules.
Forgot to fire twice with 12 inches for rapid fire. Oops.
Scourges. Forgot to fire. 260pts down the drain. Next time I'll take two 5 man squads with 2SC to be able split fire. Realistically against the tyranids all the scourges will usually get to do is deepstrike, shoot and then get torn to ribbons. Better to tie up two enemy squads in the CC than one.
Genestealers cut through warriors like a hot knife through butter. Shoot them more next time. Shooting them before assaulting makes sense, especially so they don't get their 6+ save against the Dark Eldar AP5 splinter weapons.
I really wasn't even thinking about synapse creatures/all on their own tests. Got to remember that in terms of focusing firepower.
My force was a little light on the AP2 weapons due to no vehicles. Because of this, I did better against the weaker creatures, but didn't have the extra oomph to "shoot and actually manage to hurt the big ones".
I should have considered bringing the special infiltrating-hidden setup 4 armed 4 attack DE mandrake character known as "Decapitator", I got to custom build a model for him first.
Things I did not expect/learned
Poison spore mine is AP4. This is how Green Squadron got wasted. I thought the biovores would be far more deadly, but they still easily earned their points back. Weirdly enough, my under half-strength units falling back became useful as they can ran into poison spore mines and detonated them.
Genestealers are I6. Dark Eldar Warriors assault them, Dark Eldar warriors die. Heh. Next time if I have any Splinter Cannons in the squad I retreat and fire. However Wych units vs. Genestealers units pointwise is a really even battle.
Raveners have Assault 6 weapons! (if they have devourers. Ed.). Got to watch out for them. Luckily for me, they didn't seem to hit too often last battle...
Hormagaunts/Termagants are only I4. Send the I5 Warpbeasts after them! Termagants aren't much better than Imperial Guardsmen, but, like the IG, there are a lot of them and they are cheap.
I knew the Carnifex was toughness 6 but didn't know the hive tyrant and tyrant guard were as well. Incubi weren't as useful as I had thought because of this.
Overall a great battle that I'm sure we'll talk about for years to come... At least Tyrant and I will.