SN Battle Reports Guest Data Slate: Tyranids vs Custodes 2000pts

Avatar Tabletop Tactics April 21, 20196  9 6 Likes

Editor’s Note: Today we have something special, as our friends over at SN Battle Reports have prepared an exclusive report for us here at Tabletop Tactics. Featuring our very own Battle Mat and Objective Coins, two beautiful armies – the Adeptus Custodes and Tyranids, take to the field against each other in an epic clash. Immerse yourself in the narrative as the SN team expertly deliver this theatre of war for our delight! Don’t forget, if you enjoy written Battle Reports, be sure to check out snbattlereports.com for more!  – Spider

The wind howled through the shattered bones of Faustus IV’s main processional. The broken facades and fallen masonry giving only the barest hint of their former majesty, of marble clad and gold chased gothic finery rarely seen off the throne world. But like so much else in the Imperium of Man, Faustus lay broken and forgotten, a footnote in obscure histories shrouded in bygone myth and legend. Forgotten to most, but not all. The auramite clad demigods of the Adeptus Custodes stood tall and proud in their gilded armour and crimson cloaks with matching plumes, their resplendent aspect a harsh contrast to the faded grandeur of their surroundings. The Ten Thousand remembered much of what was thought lost, amongst that was the fate of Faustus IV. They knew that the Emperor himself had strode upon this world in the halcyon days of the Great Crusade. Faustus had been one of the first great victories of that monumental undertaking, its vile xenos inhabitants driven by fire and fury into extinction’s embrace. Here, the Emperor had lead the Legio Custodes, as it was then known, and fifty thousand Legio Astartes and more than six million Imperial soldiery in a campaign that had secured a most vital prize for the nascent Imperium. Faustus stood upon a nexus of stable warp routes, a vital choke point for any that wished to access the inner sectors of Segmentum Solar from the galactic south. Faustus had once been thought of as Terra’s first rampart, its outermost moat or trench, its garrison commensurate with its strategic importance. As the Imperial Truth withered in the face of the aggressively expanding Ecclesiarchy, Faustus was declared a shrine world as the God Emperor had once blessed it with his divine presence. Pilgrimage routes to Terra passed through Faustus and the planet and its attendant priesthood grew rich on penitent coin. Why Faustus IV had been abandoned and forgotten was not known to the warrior scholars of the Custodes though many conjectured even now on the eve of battle. Discourse raged as individual Custodians put forward their preferred theories. Many pointed to the War of The Beast which had ravaged vast swathes of segmentum solar in M32 though some postulated that the mass Hrud migrations of M36 were a better candidate. All were of one mind when it came to Faustus’ importance. Its loss would cut Terra off from most of the galactic south and drive a wedge into Sol’s outermost defences. The Custodes ceased their debate and as one looked to the west, their superior hearing already discerning the shrieks and roars of the rapidly approaching Tyranid swarm. Where but a moment before there had been a gathering akin to a scholarly debate now warriors strode with unhurried purpose towards the locations they deemed optimal for their assigned goal. Vertus Praetors swung their legs over their Dawneagle jet bikes, masterworks of technology unknown even to the high priests of Mars itself, and gunned their engines. The high pitched whine of gravitic impellors warred with the throaty roar of turbojet exhaust as the Vertus Praetors zoomed off in their mission to strike and goad the swarm, to break up the living wave of teeth and claws and draw fragments of it towards the Custodes prepared killing fields where the ruins and debris would make the xenos’ numbers count for naught. Tight spaces where the Emperor’s companions could use their sublime and terrifying combat abilities to the fullest. Many would fall though and the thought of what the Hive Fleet would do with the genetic data of a fallen Custodes, crafted using the Emperor’s own genome, made them all apprehensive. To combat this, the venerable War Galleas Achate hung in geo-synchronous orbit above the processional, its reality-rending payload of vortex missiles trained and ready to birth a new black hole should the unthinkable occur and the Custodes fail to slay the beast.

“If one cannot attain victory then one should endeavour to at least deny it to your foe.”

Attributed to the Emperor of Mankind.

 

Points:2000

Deployment:Dawn of War

Mission:Four Pillars

 

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Tyranids) ++

Hive Fleet: Kraken

+ HQ +

Broodlord: Power: Catalyst

Broodlord: Power: Catalyst

Malanthropes: Malanthrope

+ Troops +

Genestealers
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Genestealers
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Genestealers
. 15x Genestealer: 15x Rending Claws

Genestealers
. 19x Genestealer: 19x Rending Claws

+ Elites +

Hive Guard
. Hive Guard: Impaler Cannon
. Hive Guard: Impaler Cannon
. Hive Guard: Impaler Cannon
. Hive Guard: Impaler Cannon
. Hive Guard: Impaler Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Tyrannofex: Acid Spray, Stinger Salvo

Tyrannofex: Acid Spray, Stinger Salvo

++ Auxiliary Support Detachment -1CP (Tyranids) ++

+ HQ +

The Swarmlord: Power: Onslaught, Power: The Horror

 

++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) ++

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike: Eagle’s Eye, Hurricane Bolter

+ Fast Attack +

Pallas Grav-Attack (Beta): Twin Arachnus Blaze Cannon

Pallas Grav-Attack (Beta): Twin Arachnus Blaze Cannon

Vertus Praetors
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) ++

+ HQ +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris: Champion of the Imperium,Warlord

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike: Auric Aquilis, Hurricane Bolter

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Guardian Spear, Misericordia
. Custodian: Guardian Spear, Misericordia
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

Custodian Guard Squad
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Guardian Spear
. Custodian: Guardian Spear

Custodian Guard Squad
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Guardian Spear
. Custodian: Guardian Spear

+ Elites +

Vexillus Praetor: Misericordia, Storm Shield, Vexilla Magnifica

Good day all and welcome to a very exciting battle report. Today we will be seeing founders of SN Battle Reports duke it out, as Nick and his Custodian Guard list face off against Pardo and the studio Tyranid force. These two players have a long history of friendship, as well as being competitors, so this is bound to be a great battle! The SN Team once again expertly sets up the terrain on a ruined battle city game mat, specifically designed by Tabletop Tactics, which can be purchased directly on the Tabletop Tactics store. I cannot stress how incredible the quality of this play mat is. The rubber base of the mat ensures that it grips onto whichever surface you plant it on firmly, given you the reassurance that it won’t slide around and potentially ruin your game midway. Likewise, the quality of the printed surface of the battle mat is impeccable, showing the very precise attention to detail that went into it, whilst still offering a slight cushioning for your dice rolls, muting them substantially.

For this battle, we will be using the premier Tabletop Tactics objective markers. These too are of incredible quality, as each set of objective markers brings you 6 solid metal markers, each with substantial weight to them to ensure that they cannot be nudged around throughout the duration of the game. Both sides of the markers are embossed with designs, held within the targeting marks as seen here. One side offers the signature Tabletop Tactics logo, with the other side showing a slightly alternative design to them and including numbers, making them perfect for Maelstrom of War missions.

Today, the game mission will be one from the most recent Chapter Approved; The Four Pillars. In The Four Pillars mission, four objectives are placed 15″ from the centre of the battlefield towards each corner of the battlefield. In this mission, only Troops can hold an objective, scoring 1 Point at the end of each battle round if you control more objectives than your opponent. Additionally, at the end of each battle round, you score another Point if more enemy units have been destroyed than your own units.

“Where’s Waaaghly” Our little feature in our Battle Reports where we cleverly hide our Ork mascot Waaaghly, in one of the photos in every report! Will you be able to find him?

Both players roll off, which sees Nick winning and choosing the side of his choice, as he opts for the side littered with ruins. This means that Pardo deploys first, as he starts by setting up a wave of Genestealers, masking the giant Broodlord. Raring to sink into the Custodian Guard, the Genestealers halt at the synaptic command of the Broodlord, as they await for the opportune moment to launch themselves at the golden-clad warriors. The Tyranids have a pretty potent first turn if they manage to get a hold of their enemies in combat.

Shrieking and snarling echoes through the streets of the battle-torn city, accompanied by the light-footed steps of the Genestealers, as even more emerge from the ruins to answer the call of the The Swarmlord. In direct contradiction to the relatively small Genestealers, the monstrous beings that look to support the Tyranids enter the fray, with two Tyrannofex’s crashing into the battlefield, each step the foul being takes shaking the very earth beneath it. Pardo spreads out his powerful units throughout the swarm of Troops, with a Tyrannofex on each flank, and the Swarmlord in the middle of the battlefield, looking to direct the whole army throughout the battle.

In a shimmering blur of gold and silver, a beacon of hope emerges to defend this once proud Imperial city from the clutches of Tyranid infestation. The Custodian Guard ride into battle, fully prepared to take on the threat that rears its ugly head onto the Emperor’s grounds. Beginning Nick’s deployment, he sets up his Vertus Praetors centrally, as he looks to get his hardest hitting units going straight for Pardo’s key units. By having them deployed in the middle, he is given the option to veer off to either the left or right to target as many different units as possible, or stick to the middle and plow through the Genestealers to reach The Swarmlord.

Atop the ruins of a derelict building, Captain-General Trajann Valoris stands resolute. From this vantage point, the Warlord peers across the battlefield, where his gaze meets his foe; The Swarmlord. Trajann Valoris grits his teeth, as he commands his Custodes, directing them as they all set up in the battlefield and await for the attack from the Tyranids. Erring on the side of caution, the Custodes deploy in a cluster, looking to smash through individual units of the Tyranids in one blow rather than try and win in attrition.

Over on the other flank, the Custodes continue to enter the battlefield, as one of the two Pallas Grav-Attack Tanks hover into battle, convoying with a three-man unit of Custodian Guard and both Shield-Captain atop their Dawneagle Jetbikes. The Custodes are an incredibly hard hitting force, so despite being at a major numbers disadvantage, they more than make up for it with each individual Custode being outrageously potent.

Nick then spends 1 Command Point and uses the From Golden Light They Come Stratagem, putting this unit of Custodian Guard in reserve, allowing them to deep strike onto the battlefield at a later time, which might become a pivotal game plan for Nick, as it allows him to have a completely fresh unit that can enter the battle unscathed, which is quite a discouraging thing to see on the battlefield considering the sturdiness of the Custodes.

And with both sides finally deployed, we get an overhead view of the final setup for both forces. The menacing Tyranids stretch from one board end to the other, as they look to engulf the Custodes before claiming this world as their own. Standing in their way are the Emperor’s Finest, the Custodian Guard, the Imperium’s Golden beacon of light, their last hope against the parasitic Tyranids. Will Nick be able to steal the initiative and soften the incoming onslaught from Pardo, or will he fail and suffer a painful Turn 1 strike?

And with nothing to lose at this moment in the battle, but everything to gain, Nick picks up one of the Tabletop Tactics dice that he has nearby and attempts to steal the initiative. And by the grace of the dice Gods, he manages to do it wow!! Understanding what is about to happen, Pardo pre-emptively spends 2 Command Points for the Prepared Positions Stratagem, giving his units the benefits of cover even if they are not in cover, in an attempt to soften the blow that Nick will be looking to deal. Onto Custodes Turn 1!

Turn 1 (Custodian Guard)

In a lightning quick blur, the Custodes move out, as they begin to close the distance between themselves and the Tyranids. The grav platform hovers almost silently, before jetting off alongside the Dawneagle Jetbikes, a rumbling roar of engines revving is accompanied by a deep humming sound from the Pallas Grav-Attack, melding into a seamless cacophony of sound, which grows louder to the opposing forces with each second.

Turn 1 (Custodian Guard)

Opening up the Shooting Phase, Nick begins by targeting a unit of Genestealers with the Vertus Praetors. Located on their steering, the Praetors flip a small switch which triggers their Hurricane Bolters to fire, allowing the Jetbikes to fire whilst on the move. A torrent of light arms fire rains down upon the nearest Genestealer unit, the rounds tearing through carapace and flesh, as the dying sounds of the Tyranid spawn echo lightly under the sound of the bolt shells being emptied. After the immense first round of firing from the Custodes, they survey the damage they have caused, only to realise that just 9 Genestealers were slain from shooting. Some great saves from Pardo, which were a 4+ due to Prepared Positions saw him keeping the rest of the unit alive, as Nick was looking to wipe out a unit, netting him First Strike and crippling Pardo’s Troop choices early on.

Turn 1 (Custodian Guard)

The Pallas Grav-Attack flanked by both Shield-Captains make haste to the frontlines, as they too assist in the shooting phase. Targeting another unit of Genestealers, they unleash a volley of Hurricane Bolter fire from the Dawneagle Jetbikes and Twin Arachnus Blaze Cannon from the Grav-Attack. Nick opts for the Burst weapon profile on the Blaze Cannon, giving him a total of 6 shots to hit with. Due to this, a relatively small amount of shooting manages to slay a total of 7 Genestealers, almost comparable to that of the Vertus Praetors unit earlier on. With the Shooting Phase now over, Nick passes his turn over to Pardo, bracing himself for what is looking to be an incredibly painful first turn assault.

Turn 1 (Tyranids)

With a quick round of shooting taking the Tyranids by surprise and slaying a few members of the brood, the swarm quickly reform themselves under the tyrannical leadership of The Swarmlord. A terrifying battle roar from The Swarmlord sends the Tyranids into a maniacal frenzy, as they leap and bound over each other, raring to rip and tear into the Custodian Guard. Pardo spends 1 Command Point to use the Hive Fleet Kraken specific Stratagem, Opportunistic Advance. He targets the largest unit of Genestealers, allowing them to double the number rolled when determining how much you add to the movement for advancing, meaning they get dangerously close to the Custodes. The nightmare slowly becomes reality, as wave after wave of Tyranid pours over the horizon, each second that passes sees them getting closer and closer to their targets, with the joint sound of their advance growing louder with every moment that passes.

Turn 1 (Tyranids)

As the Tyranids get ever closer to their targets, their Psykers begin firing off synaptic signals to each others, the psychic chatter known only as the Shadow in the Warp. With this, the Tyranids are able to manifest their inert psychic powers, and channel them as they wish. The Swarmlord casts The Horror on the Vertus Praetors, giving them a -1 to hit and to their Leadership characteristic until the next psychic phase. A feeling of immense dread surrounds the Praetors, as even they begin to doubt their ability to deal with this threat. One of the Broodlords cast Catalyst on the biggest unit of Genestealers. Nick opts to spend 1 Command Point on the Spark of Divinity Stratagem, allowing him to attempt to deny the psychic power. This however, is fruitless, as he fails to deny it, with a successful Catalyst meaning that the large Genestealer unit now ignore wounds on a 5+, making them even more difficult to deal with. Finally, the second Broodlord casts Smite, targeting the Pallas Grav-Attack, managing to deal 2 Mortal Wounds to it, as a bolt of psychic energy lashes at the hull of the vehicle, knocking it off balance momentarily, before its stabilisers kick in and keep it leveled.

Turn 1 (Tyranids)

Through Synaptic relays from The Swarmlord, the Hive Guard unit that are bunkered at a safe distance aim through the ruins and across the battlefield, targeting the Vertus Praetors. Due to the Vexilla Magnifica held by the Vexillus Praetor, the Hive Guard are hitting at a -1, but that is not nearly enough to stop the impressively powerful shots from the unit. They all fire simultaneously, launching barbed spines. They latch onto the target, and begin burrowing through the thick armour of the Vertus Praetor with their razor-sharp tips. Once through the armour, they enter the body of their enemies, tearing their insides asunder as the spines shatter into minute shards. One of the Vertus Praetors is brought down by the unit, which is a successful result, as the Praetors are hard enough to shift, so removing just one makes the Genestealers’ job that much easier.

Turn 1 (Tyranids)

The Tyrannofex is next on the chopping block to shoot, firing its Stinger Salvo and Acid Spray at the Vertus Praetors. Due to the very short range, only one of them is in range to shoot at them with all of its weapons. Despite a good roll for the amount of shots, low AP, means that the sturdy Praetors are not shaken in the slightest, with Nick making all of his saves easily. Finally the Swarmlord uses Hive Commander on himself to get closer to the Custodes lines knowing that the Genestealers just need a 4″ charge Pardo opts for this instead.

Turn 1 (Tyranids)

The large unit of Genestealers begin their charge into the Vertus Praetors, the imminent threat growing closer each and every second. Nick spends 1 Command Point on the Tanglefoot Grenade Stratagem on the Genestealers, rolling a massive 4 on the d6, giving the Genestealers a -4 to their charge distance. Pardo checks his range and rolls, only to come up incredibly short on the roll, with not even a Command Point re-roll able to save him due to his abysmally low roll.But mistake from Pardo not using Hive Commander on that unit? Nick takes a moment to let out a sigh of relief, before Overwatching the Genestealers, managing to slay yet another 4 of them with the Praetors. On the other hand, the smaller, wounded unit of Genestealers, Swarmlord and both Broodlords charge into the damaged Pallas Grav-Attack Tank. Nick’s tactic worked as he had planned, using the Grav-Attack to jam the bigger based Monstrous Creatures, as they cannot pass through the ruin due to the Monstrous Creature rule.

Turn 1 (Tyranids)

Before any of the other Tyranid units can even lay a claw on the Pallas Grav, The Swarmlord bashes it down towards the ground with the hilt of its Bone Sabres, before laying the vehicle to waste as it slashes through the hull with tremendous ease, the brutish force of the Tyranid Tyrant on full display for the Custodes. The vehicle then explodes, dealing 1 Mortal Wound to every unit within 6″ of it.

At the end of the Turn, both players have managed to secure 2 objectives, meaning no points are picked up there. However, Pardo did manage to kill more units than Nick, meaning that he leads the game 2-0 with the assistance of the First Strike he picked up earlier too.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

As the second turn for the Custodian Guard begins, the Vertus Praetors emerge from the ruins, launching themselves high into the air, keeping them out of reach from The Swarmlord, before levelling themselves out again on the opposite side of The Swarmlord and right in front of the Malanthrope; the Tyranid Warlord. Surrounded by the vast waves of Genestealers, the hardy and determined Praetors look to direct the attention of the Tyranids away from the remainder of the force, potentially risking their lives in order to buy the rest of the Custodes some time to regroup and deal with the threats in front of them.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

A loud roar erupts from high above the planet’s atmosphere, as a bright golden beam of light crashes through and parts the clouds, the light meeting the ground and marking the location in preparation for the arrival of the Custodian Guard unit that were stowed away as reinforcements. With the use of the From Golden Light They Come Stratagem, a fresh unit of Custodian Guard, five strong, enter the battlefield, looking to assist their Battle Brothers where necessary.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

Understanding that less is more in this scenario, the Shield-Captain targets the small unit of Genestealers. With the same flick of a switch, Hurricane Bolters fire an awesome volley of shots at the 5 last Genestealers, tearing through them with ease due to the precise marksmanship of the Shield-Captain. After the first turn Nick has revaluated the situation at hand, deciding that hunting the smaller wounded units from turn 1 would yield him better results, that being that he will have more destroyed units each turn, thus allowing him to catch up on points. Custodes are very good at the attrition game, as they do not tend to buckle, even under the most extreme circumstances.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

The three-man unit of Custodian Guard fire their Sentinel Blade and Guardian Spear’s ranged weapons at the Genestealer unit in front of the statue. Almost as if imbued by the blessings of the Imperial Statue itself, the expert Custodes manage to slay 4 of the Genestealers despite the small volume of shots. The Custode armed with the Storm Shield leads the three strong unit, as he braces himself to potentially charge into the Genestealers along with his Battle Brothers.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

The unit of Vertus Praetors perform the necessary evasive manoeuvres in order to keep themselves out of harm’s wary as they turn tail to fire at the large unit of Genestealers up front from the rear. A terrifying amount of shooting is unleashed from just these five, with a total of 60 shots being fired as they are now in rapid fire range. However, Pardo shows just how good Catalyst is, as from the 60 shots that were fired at the Genestealer unit, only 6 of the Genestealers are slain yes 6!!!!. This is also partially due to some incredible rolling from Pardo, and some not so incredible rolling from Nick. However, this could have been far worse than it turned out for the Tyranids, that is for sure.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

In an act of bravery and trust in the God Emperor, Captain-General Trajann Valoris leaps from the upper floor of the ruined building, his hefty armour causing a large thud as he lands on both feet firmly. Gripping his Watcher’s Axe tightly, he begins to build up speed and momentum, his eyes set only on The Swarmlord and Broodlords. As he passes by, the Vexillus Praetor too decides to support the Custodes Warlord, as he begins to charge forwards in similar fashion, awaiting the command of his General. Trajaan Valoris reaches the combat immediately, as one of the Broodlords jumps in front of The Swarmlord to protect them. Valoris however makes light work of the Broodlord, barging violently into him with his shoulder, knocking the beast onto its back. It quickly regains its footing, before receiving a heavy knee to the skull, knocking it upwards into the air, before being met by a downward cleave from the great Watcher’s Axe, slicing the Broodlord cleanly open from groin to belly. As the now corpse falls to the ground, Trajaan Valoris looks to clear the path, swatting the body away from the vicinity with a vicious backhand, launching it into a nearby pile of debris that was caused from the earlier explosion of the Pallas Grav-Attack. Looking to be of use in combat, the Vexillus Praetor unsheathes their Misericordia, before plunging it into The Swarmlord’s abdomen, dealing 1 wound to it. However, The Swarmlord seems disinterested in the Vexillus, heading directly for Trajaan. Swinging its Bone Sabres wildly, the Custodes Warlord masterfully deflects all of the incoming attacks, as they both stare at each other, waiting to see what the next move will be.

At this point, Nick decides to use Trajaan’s Moment Shackle Ability, which once per game let him choose to fight again immediately among other things. In this instance, Nick opts to fight again, targeting The Swarmlord. In similar fashion to what occurred moments ago though, it is now Pardo’s turn to pass all of his Invulnerable Saves in combat.

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

Nick picks up on a slight placement error from Pardo, as he leaves a wide open path for his Warlord to get assaulted. Pardo did not anticipate Nick’s manoeuvre, assuming that he would instead assault the Genestealers and tie himself up in combat, giving the Malanthrope free reign on the battlefield. Wanting to tie up whatever possible in combat, Nick multi-charges both the Malanthrope and the Genestealers. The Vertus Praetors lock down on their target, as they primarily focus on the Malanthrope. Interceptor Lances poised at the ready, they take turns zooming past the Warlord, each pass allowing them to swipe at the Malanthrope, ripping off sizable chunks of flesh in the process. With the final passing, one of the Praetors pierces directly through the skull of the Malanthrope, the immense force behind the propulsion of the Jetbike directing the lance all the way through the torso of the comparatively feeble creature, as the Lance is them wrenched off of its lifeless body. Throughout this happening, 4 of the Genestealers are also slain, but this is not without retaliatory strikes, as the Genestealers climb aboard one of the Jetbikes, clawing voraciously away at the armour of the Praetors, before being ejected from atop of them. The Genestealers manage to deal 3 wounds to one of the Jetbikes, leaving it with just 1 wound. The Praetors also cleverly consolidate into the nearest Tyrannofex, pulling it into combat thus stopping it from shooting next turn. Slay the Warlord picked up for Nick and the Custodes!

Turn 2 (Custodian Guard)

One of the two Shield-Captains has also charged into the main fight, as he tucks himself into the Jetbike and tucks his right arm closer to his body, creating a jousting-like pose. The Shield-Captain looks to take the head off of the Broodlord cleanly, without an extended fight. Slightly audible underneath the screeching sound of the Jetbike engines is the cry of the Broodlord, which lasts only as long as it does for the Interceptor Lance to be driven right through the sternum of the creature, it’s body now hanging from the blade of the Interceptor Lance, twitching and convulsing in an awkward manner. In a momentary death rattle, the Broodlord grabs a hold of the lance shaft, dragging itself through the blade in order to reach the Shield-Captain. After driving the weapon through itself, it claws violently one last time at the Captain, raking his face multiple times. Pardo spends 2 Command Points on the Death Frenzy Stratagem, allowing a character to immediately attack when it dies. Unfortunately for Steven, he comes just short of killing the Shield-Captain, leaving him on 1 final wound.

Coming into Tyranids Turn 2 now, we get a quick overview of the board just after Pardo’s movement phase. The Tyrannofex moves itself out of combat, hoping that it will get its one turn of respite, before being able to shoot again in the following turn. Other than that, we see that not much more has moved, with the second unit of Custodes being up on his right flank, he needs to watch out for his Hive Guard, as they are a pivotal piece to what he has left in his force.

Turn 2 (Tyranids)

The Swarmlord looks around at the nearby surroundings, noticing the wounded Captain that was attacked by the Broodlord in one final attempt. A deathly shriek from the Tyrant topples the weakened pilot over, as be begins to amass Psychic energy. Pardo casts Smite successfully, targeting the Shield-Captain which after consolidating is in the same range as the other characters, removing that final wound from it, but more importantly, removing a powerful unit that can still deal damage despite being incredibly wounded. Pardo then tries to cast the Horror on Trajann, but fails to meet the Warp Charge required.

Turn 2 (Tyranids)

The Shooting Phase begins, with the closest Tyrannofex firing at the Custodes along the right flank of Pardo’s side. Due to the Tyrannofex not having moved in the Movement Phase, it gets to benefit from its Weapon Beast rule, allowing it to fire all of its weapons twice during the Shooting Phase. Despite the massive amounts of shots that are poured into just this single five-man unit of Custodes which we actually forgot to mention did fail their charge after coming in from reserves, only 2 of them are removed from the battlefield, with 1 wound being dealt to another Guard. To this day, it still baffles me to see how reliant and tough Custodes are, even just the standard Troop choices. They truly are an all elite army.

Turn 2 (Tyranids)

The Genestealers begin their attack once more as they clamber back atop of the Jetbikes, this time with a little more success. Multiple Genestealers drag down the wounded Praetor, throwing him off of his mount, before leaping back down to the ground and clawing away in whichever manner they can, tearing through the armour eventually, following by them hacking and slashing at the flesh beneath. The Custodes do not fret at the sight of a Battle Brother falling to alien forces, as they swipe the bladed edges of their Interceptor Lancers, slicing through 4 more Genestealers.

Turn 2 (Tyranids)

Trajann swirls his Watcher’s Axe deftly in his hands, before posturing himself in a combat stance. The Swarmlord takes no notice of this, as it charges head on into Trajann. The Captain-General swings his hefty weapon in an upwards motion, however the inert combat senses of The Swarmlord alert it to the oncoming attack, as it makes an ‘X’ shape with its bottom two Bone Sabres, stopping the attack dead in its tracks and pinning the Watcher’s Axe to the ground. Valoris attempts to push through the and break the guard of the Swarmlord, but it is to no avail, as the creature pushes down with its massive weight. The Swarmlord then uses its free limbs to begin hacking down into the Warlord once more, however the combat veteran reacts appropriately, freeing his weapon from the ground by twisting it to its side, allowing him to slip it out from under the weight of the creature, offsetting the balance of the Tyrant in the process, allowing Trajann to riposte the incoming blows with elegance. Regaining his breath from this brief exchange leaves him vulnerable from yet another strike, as the beast’s Prehensile Pincer Tail strikes Trajann in the throat, latching onto it. The Captain-General responds, placing his hand in the way of the attack, fending off the tail momentarily, ripping the pincers out from his flesh in any which way he can, before pacing backwards to re-evaluate the situation at hand.

In that massive exchange from both The Swarmlord and Trajann Valoris, minimal damage is dealt, as Pardo manages to save all of the damage dealt, with the only damage getting through Valoris being 2 wounds from the Prehensile Pincer Tail. What a great combat this is turning out to be! Meanwhile, the Vexillus Praetor also fails to wound The Swarmlord, leaving the combat undecided yet again. At the end of this battle round, the score is evened out at 2-2, with Nick getting a point for both having killed more units this turn, as well as Slay the Warlord.

Turn 3 (Custodian Guard)

Coming into Turn 3 for the Custodian Guard, Nick feels confident with the direction that the battle is taking. He begins by moving his second Pallas Grav-Attack Tank up the battlefield. Following closely behind are another unit of Custodian Guard, looking to help secure the objective, whilst dealing small, incremental damage to the enemy forces.

Turn 3 (Custodian Guard)

The wounded Custodian Guard disregard the Tyrannofex, as they launch a flank attack on the Hive Guard. Alerted by their presence, the Hive Guard turn and begin firing volleys of Impaler Cannon shots at the weakened unit. The Custodes assume a single-file formation as they close the gap, each standing behind the other, with the Storm Shield armed Custode leading the charge. Once they are close enough, they spread out, looking to cleave at the Hive Guard from multiple angles. However, as they fan out, one of the shards from the Impaler Cannon lodges itself into the neck of a Custode, dealing 1 wound to them. Upon tying up the Hive Guard in combat, it gives the second Shield-Captain the perfect opportunity to enter the battle. Dodging and diving through the incoming fire that it laid down in order to thwart its charging attempts. Risking it to outmaneuver the beasts, the Shield-Captain flies straight through the ruins, arriving at the Hive Guard and locking himself in combat. The inspiring aura of the Shield-Captain alone is enough to imbue the Golden clad warriors with the strength they need to hack through the Hive Guard, as they all work in tandem to eliminate the unit.

Turn 3 (Custodian Guard)

The Vertus Praetors continue their relentless onslaught on the Genestealer unit, as they continue to thin them down one at a time. In unison, they coordinate their attacks, swinging, slamming and slicing at what is left of the Genestealer unit, until finally, they are all removed. Yet another sigh of relief for Nick, as he has removed another unit from Pardo’s forces. However, the game is far from over yet, and is still incredibly close, especially considering that Pardo has yet to have his Turn 3.

Turn 3 (Tyranids)

The Tyrannofex surveys the battlefield, noticing that the entire unit of Genestealers that was locked in combat with the Vertus Praetors has been wiped out. Enraged by this, the giant creature lets out a bellowing cry, before unleashing a massive volley of bioweaponry at the Jetbike unit. Wave after wave of poisoned artillery, supported by micro shards fire at the Custodes, peppering their armour, whilst digging into the small gaps between them. This is enough of an opening for the Stinger Salvos and Acid Sprays as the living ammunition of the Tyrannofex creeps into the innards of the Praetors, the side effects of these obscene weapons being those of immense pain and suffering, before inevitable death. The Tyrannofex manages to kill 2 Praetors in this round of shooting, which is huge considering the toughness that these Jetbikes have shown throughout the battle.

Turn 3 (Tyranids)

With only mere moments having past since the last clash between these two behemoths, they once more charge at each other. Swinging its Bone Sabres manically, The Swarmlord begins to slash and stab at Trajann Valoris. Stepping back after each concurrent blow, Trajann finds himself backed up against a wall, as The Swarmlord goes in for one final strike. Trajann grabs a hold of his Watchers Axe tightly, waiting for the opportune moment to redirect the attacks. Patiently biding his time, with the Bone Sabres mere inches from a killing blow, he musters all of his force and redirects the blows into the wall, allowing him to get a quick strike into the chest of The Swarmlord, before circling around the side of the foul beast. The Prehensile Pincer Tail of The Swarmlord shoots out through the side of the Tyrant, once more aiming at the vital spots of Trajann. Not falling for the same primitive plan again, the Captain-General grabs hold of the incoming Pincer with his armoured gauntlet, coiling the tail of the creature around his forearm slightly and using it to pull The Swarmlord. A heavy groan leaves the lips of the Warlord as he manages to pull the giant creature using his inhuman strength, before running his Watcher’s Axe into the exposed lower back of The Swarmlord. Shrieking in agony, the tail lashes around violently, forcing Trajann to release it from his grasp, as it coils up around the lower back of the alien creature to protect it.

Once more another incredible round of combat, which sees Nick passing all of his 3+ Invulnerable Saves. However Pardo is not that lucky, as The Swarmlord takes a whopping 5 wounds this round. At the end of the battle round, Nick now leads the game 4-2, due to picking up 1 more point for killing more units, and another point for controlling more objectives.

Turn 4 (Custodian Guard)

In what has already been an awesome battle, we move onto the fourth turn, as Nick begins by moving his Custodian Guard further up the battlefield, along with the Pallas Grav-Attack Tank, both of them coming up to contact with the Tyrannofex. Following the movement, both the Custodian Guard and the Pallas fire into the bio-creature, with a mix of small-arms fire and heavy weaponry from the vehicle seeing 4 wounds being dealt to it in total.

Turn 4 (Custodian Guard)

Having finished off the Genestealers earlier, the remaining two Vertus Praetors return to their original location, as they look to give Trajann Valoris some much needed support in combat, as Nick needs to ensure that The Swarmlord is killed, if not, it could single-handedly go on a rampage through the Custodes forces.

Turn 4 (Custodian Guard)

Coming into the assault phase, the Pallas Grav-Attack Tank charges into the Tyrannofex first. The pilot initiates the forward thrusters, ramming directly into the creature at full force. During this, the Tyrannofex blindly fires at the vehicle, the dangerous Acid Spray attacks from it melting through the armoured plates of the vehicle. It does however manage to survive the ranged onslaught, ramming into the hind legs of the Tyrannofex. With it thrown off balance significantly, the Custodian Guard unit can make a charge towards it too with no fear of retaliatory fire. The rush into it, Sentinel Blade and Guardian Spears at the ready, as they begin to hack into the bioweaponry that the Tyrannofex is armed with. The Pallas survives the Overwatch on 1 final wound, allowing the Custodes to charge in without fear of Overwatch. This in turn enables the Custodes to deal significant damage in combat, as they deal 4 wounds to the giant beast, sustaining none in return.

Turn 4 (Custodian Guard)

The other Custodian Guard unit then charge into the second Tyrannofex. Running headfirst towards the towering colossal, it fires an Overwatch at the Custodes, with Pardo rolling the maximum amount of shots possible with his Acid Spray. Between that, the Stinger Salvo, and some of the most insane rolling ever witnessed, 2 of the Custodian Guard are laid to waste by the bio-beast, as the final one arrives into combat unscathed. This opens the path for the second Shield-Captain to charge into the Tyrannofex too, as he prepares his Interceptor Lance once more for combat. Slicing at the Acid sac located underneath the weapon, the contents of the filament container splash onto the ground, showcasing the deadly nature of the weapon, as it melts through the very ground itself. The Shield-Captain and Custodian Guard deal a total of 5 wounds to the Tyrannofex, with the creature managing to deal 3 wounds back to the Shield-Captain, leaving him relatively injured.

Turn 4 (Custodian Guard)

Both The Swarmlord and Trajann Valoris circle around, each one looking for an opening and understanding that a well-placed blow from the other could spell disaster. However, Trajann notices a recurring pattern, after a few steps, the Tyrant halts, most likely due to the immense pain it is in from the earlier blow to the lower back. Trajann uses this to his advantage, as he continues his movements, before launching himself forward at the exact moment The Swarmlord stops its movements. Picking up incredible speed for the short distance covered, he begins to strike with relentless, yet carefully placed blows, causing The Swarmlord to parry repeatedly, knowing that the creature will tire out soon enough from the repeated strain it is in. Soon after he finds an opening, as The Swarmlord slightly buckles under one of his blows. He capitalizes, striking at the joints of both right arms simultaneously, slicing cleanly through them. Without ceasing, Trajann pressing on further, circling to the Tyrant’s right side as to avoid blows from the left, before shoulder barging directly into the Tyranid Lord, and then returning to striking, this time targeting the joints of the left arms, cleaving those off in quick succession. To finish off the creature, Trajann strikes the left knee of The Swarmlord, causing it to crash down to the ground with no way to keep itself up. Finally, Trajann Valoris drives his hefty gauntlet through the side of the brute’s cranium, coming out cleanly through the other side of its thick skull. He places his boot on the temple of the now felled being, wresting his fist from the cavernous wound he inflicted.

What an awesome combat between these two! It really is a shame that one of them had to fall, but I see no better place for this to occur than after 3 grueling turns of slugging it out in close combat, a place where they both excel in. The Praetors did make it into combat, but they did not manage to deal any significant damage, which meant that the honour was wholly bestowed unto Trajann Valoris to rid the battlefield of the fiend. What an end!!

With there only being 3 Genestealers and two Tyrannofex’s on the board, both of which are unable to shoot next turn, Pardo decides to call the game there, as he realises there is no way to win this game now. Both players extend their hands and shake on it, giving Nick and the Custodian Guard a very hard fought, and well deserved win!

Nick: So first off, I had to make Trajann Valoris my Warlord, it didn’t feel right not to. Even though his Warlord Trait, Champion of the Imperium did not really come in to play as everyone was just charging each other regardless. Now, what a blood bath! Seizing the initiative was huge as it put a real dent into the front line assault of Pardo’s Genestealers. And then we came to the most epic fight in a very long time, Swarmlord vs Trajann. Enough said. Both making 3++ like bosses. But as is usual with Custodes, the battle of attrition saw them coming through in the end, picking up the win. As always, big thanks to Pardo for the awesome game, he never fails to prove to me time and time again that he’s a great opponent.

Steven: Well, that was a roller-coaster ride! What an epic game, there was no turn throughout all of the turns where I knew who was going to win this. Funnily enough, we had played a game with very similar lists a couple of weeks back and boy, was it a good one for me, I actually managed to table the Custodes in Turn Four during that game. Nick now knew what he was doing and his playing skills combined with his great game tactics proved he was the better General this time. I love playing Tyranids and especially when I play an army that doesn’t mind being in combat. The stealing of the initiative also helped Nick a lot, whittling down those big Genestealer units that get such a huge amount of attacks. Again thanks for tuning in and thanks to Nick for another great game.



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D.J Kiepura
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D.J Kiepura

Nice content. Feel silly, still looking for whaagly….

Dusty
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Dusty

I want someone to photoshop the “that’s a lot of butter” logo with genestealers.

Dom
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Dom

Looks like Tyranids turn 3 got gobbled up!comment image

Richard Caine
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Richard Caine

Excellent matchup complete with an Epic Duel. Love it, brings me back to classic White Dwarf style reports of yore. Once again demonstrating how Custodians are deceptively hard to kill, as they should be. Also love the inclusion of the Grav Attacks. I think the FW line (though still in beta) really gives Custodians interesting flexibility without as much need to soup. Looking forward to Stig potentially fielding some Ventanarii, Sagitarii and Contemptor variants. Because who doesn’t love a dreadnaught scale storm shield? Or Custodians with jump packs? 0-0

Xicola76
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Xicola76

Amazing work from SN and TTT!

Joseph Louis Yome
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Joseph Louis Yome

Great battle report 🙂 reminiscent of when I started with the hobby in 2nd Ed 23 years ago. Great to see the collaboration between TTT and SN 🙂 things can only get better for the hobby