Saturday, December 22, 2012
Battle At Riemnas
Riemnas had sent a distress beacon early in the invasion. It was answered only by Marshal Hadrian of the Black Templars Twin Swords Crusade. That the message was even received in itself was a miracle, as the Black Templars Battlecruiser Baptism was in close promixity having completed a purge of heretics at a nearby system.
The defenders of Riemnas had given a good account of themselves and had largely blunted the space borne tendril of the Tyranid fleet codenamed Leviathan. However, thousands of spores still managed to rain and disgorge thenselves onto the ice world. The battle would be decided on the surface of Riemnas.
Marshal Hadrian and the Emperor's Champion Esymond readied themselves to repel the xenos. Their goal is to slay the leader beasts of this invasion. The Hive Tyrants. The Crusade company's Sword Brethren were making their own preparations for planetfall. Three squads of Sword Brethren were called to duty. The leader beasts were formidable opponents and were surely to be surrounded by much protection.
Reclusiarch Gavel blessed the chosen swords in the name of the Emperor. They have always taken to the field with two of the twelve legendary relic swords in a tradition particular to their Crusade. The sword Dyrnwyn wielded by Hadrian and the blade Courtain, carried by Esymond.
Riemnas WILL be cleansed!!
As can be seen from the above fluff/drama, I had a really good battle with my Crusade's ancient foes, the dreaded Tyranids. Like Dragonslayers of Old, my Templars seek to slay the most powerful of the beasts. I was fortunate to play against Ray's Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. I myself own a small Tyranid army (Splinter Fleet Mandasar) as well, honored to be a splinter of the great Leviathan.
The battle started with much trepidation as I was facing no less than 6 monstrous creatures. A fitting challenge for the Black Templars!
Sweet footage and account of the battle can be found at Ray's blog at Anything But Ones.
Deployment & Movement
I deployed with 3 of my 5 man Initiate Squads near and on my Objective Marker. They were small squads and multiples helped the chances at least one would survive to hold the objective. My fourth Initiate Squad was placed behind the Shooty Termis. All Initiate Squads armed with 1 Lascannon and 1 Plasmagun.
I spread the Sword Brethren Terminators in a middle right-ish fashion to hold the centre. I placed the Land Raider Crusader on my right to distract my opponent to move towards it if possible.
I then shifted the Land Raider back to the centre-ish line and prepared to bottle neck the beasts. It was now down to fortune to see if my opponent would move towards me through the centre.
I moved the Assaulty Sword Brethren (2 Lightning Claws, 5 TH/SS) ready to converge as many units as possible into the middle next on my turn. He did, but not without me losing almost one squad of Shooty Sword Brethren. At close range his Tyranids were really shoot-ier and weight of fire always down's terminators. My shooty termis squads had 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers each.
With the centre in sight, I unloaded my Assault Terminators and smashed into the oncoming wave of claw and chitin in true BT fashion. Haha!
I basically hung back and shot what I could see, targeting monstrous creatures where possible. I mostly shot the closest units first to thin them down. As the monstrous creatures emerged further afield I laid into them with as much long range firepower as I could.
I was confident in the assault given that my assault termis were mostly intact. Plus I had lots of Thunderhammer attacks and Storm Shield saves still available. Though wounded, the Emperor's Champion Esymond's bravery and prowress were of special note as he brought down the Hive Tyrant in single combat. I rolled better than my opponent hehe!
My Assault Termis went into the front lines by themselves as the Shooty Termis (still pretty handy with multiple Powerfists) both hung back as they had to deal with a Flying Hive Tyrant that landed in my back lines and other oncoming monstrous creatures.
The Templars were fortunate that terrain was in their favour from the beginning, and the enemy moved through the centre as hoped. The leader beasts were slain. For now.
But I have a dread that feeling the Hive Mind has learnt of Black Templar tactics employed this battle. And that victory, if at all possible, will come at a higher price in the next encounter.