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Warhammer 40k – Adeptus Mechanicus vs Tyranids 2000 Points

Army Lists

Adeptus Mechanicus

James' Ad Mech - 8CP - 2000 pts

Mars Battalion


Tech-Priest Dominus - Logi Holy Order

Skitarii Marshall - Warlord, Firepoint Telemtry Cache, Relic Exemplars Externity

Tech Priest Maniplus - Artisans, Extra Relic, Sonic Repear


20 Skitarii Rangers - Omnispex and Data-Tether, Upgraded with a Warlord Trait - Multitasking Cortex

20 Skitarii Vanguard - Omnispex and Data-Tether

20 Skitarii Vanguard - Omnispex and Data-Tether


5 Sicarian Infiltrators - Taser Goads and Flechette Blasters

10 Sicarian Rustalkers - Transonic Razors and Clordclaws, Upgrades with a Warlord Trait and Relic - Temporcia and Archived Engagements

Fast Attack

3 Ironstrider Ballistarii - Twin Cognis Lascannon

5 Pteraxii Skystalkers

3 Sydonian Dragoons - Taser Lances

Heavy Support

Onager Dunecrawler - Eradication Ray

Onager Dunecrawler - Eradication Ray

Dedicated Transport

Skorpius Dunerider


Archaeopter Fusilave - Command Uplink


Liam's Nids - 9CP - 2000pts



The Swarmlord [WARLORD - Adaptive Physiology, Onslaught, Paroxysm]

Broodlord [Resonance Barb, Catalyst]


Hormagaunts x10

Hormagaunts x10

Hormagaunts x10

Ripper Swarms 1x4






Scythed Hierodule [Dermic Symbiosis]



Neurothrope [Symbiostorm]


Ripper Swarms 1x3


Hive Guard 1x6 [Impaler Cannons, Enhanced Resistance]

Zoanthropes 1x6 [Psychic Scream]




Pregame THoughts


First time for my codex review test list with the new 2021 Grand Tournament Pack - I’ve got a good feeling about the list and I’m getting used to how the army works now. I would check out my breakdown on our Adeptus Mechanicus Codex Review!

It’s the first outing for my Archaeopter so I’m hoping he does okay! It was a real pleasure to paint and I spent quite a lot of time on those wings! Liam’s back with a very slightly tweaked Tyranids list. I know the power points in the list and what to watch out for so I’m going into this more confident than the last time we did this match up!

I’ve picked Uncharted Sequencing, Grind Them Down and Retrieve Octarius Data. The new “deploy scramblers” - Retrieve Octarius Data seems like a solid pick for my Pteraxii to do and with the Multitasking Cortex from the Rangers I won’t be missing out on shooting if I decide for my troops to do it instead. Uncharted Sequencing should be fine here, and I should easily manage to get 12 points. Grind Them Down might be a struggle as Liam can definitely knock many units out at the same time but as mentioned in previous reports that third secondary against Liam’s Tyranids is always tough!


I’ve slightly tweaked my list in response to Chapter Approved 2021 - with Scramblers changing to Retrieve Octarius Data (or ROD as I’ll be calling it) having more squads is much more beneficial - so I’ve gone ahead and split the squad of 20 Hormagaunts into two units of 10. With the Dimachaeron going up in points and the Swarmlord going down, While We Stand, We Fight has been nerfed for me, so I’m not as incentivised to take it.

So the boogeymen Admech… I’ve been reading about these guys and their new codex seems to be very strong. A lot of synergies between characters and units make them seem very versatile and overall a very competitive army. Looking at the list James has taken, Bring It Down seems to be a solid pick for my third secondary - he’s taken a lot of vehicles that I can kill with my Hive Guard and Exocrine, so they’ll be my #1 target for this game. 

Seeing how much infantry James has brought however, I feel that the Dimachaeron really isn’t going to perform as well as I’d like him to. He covers so much board space that he’s going to struggle to reach the juicy targets that he wants to engage in combat, but we’ll see how he does. 

The Mission


GT Pack 2021 - 21 Surrond and Destroy

Secondary Choices


  • Uncharted Sequencing - 1) Bottom Left 2) Bottom Right 3) Middle Left 4) Middle Right 5) Top Left
  • Retrieve Octarius Data
  • Grind Them Down


  • Engage On All Fronts
  • Retrieve Octarius Data
  • Bring It Down
P1170214 (2)

Turn One


I win the roll off for turn 1! Seeing how much firepower James has, I am very happy with this result. I advance the Dimachaeron and use Opportunistic Advance to get as much movement as possible. Since James has no way to deny my psychic powers, I feel confident doing this as he needs as much movement as I can give him, and hope that I pass the casting roll for Onslaught to ensure he can charge this turn. The Scythed Hierodule moves up the middle of the board to get in range with his flamer, and on the other end of the board I advance up the Zoanthropes and move the Exocrine into view. I shuffle some Hormagaunts about and begin ROD in the left side of my deployment zone.

Psychic phase is solid for me: I successfully cast all of the useful powers that I need to - Onslaught on the Dimachaeron, Catalyst on the Scythed Hierodule and Symbiostorm on the Exocrine. However, I go to smite with the Zoanthropes, and having used a CP reroll to get Catalyst, I roll a double 2 on the casting roll! Absolute worst case scenario as the Neurothrope with them allows them to reroll 1s on psychic tests! 

Moving onto the shooting phase, I immediately start by firing all of my Hive Guard into the Archaopter. I’ve seen the stratagem that this guy can use to halve one of my unit’s movement, advance and charge rolls, and I really need this thing gone to ensure my army’s movement stays higher than James’. All their firepower manages to bring it down to having 1 measly wound remaining! I didn’t fancy splitting fire into it when I double tap them, so I opted to shoot the Hierodule’s flamer at it, which is enough to bring it down. The Exocrine shoots into the unit of Rangers and manages to kill 8 of them. End of the shooting phase arrives and I use Single Minded Annihilation on the Hive Guard, and manage to destroy one of the Ironstriders and injure another one.

P1170217 (2)

The charge phase arrives, and after moving the Dimachaeron again with the Swarmlord’s Hive Commander he’s ready to get stuck in! I declare a charge on both unit of Vanguard, James Overwatches with one of the units and deals 2 wounds to it. I pass the short charge, and kill a fair few Vanguard from one of the units. Unfortunately James rolls a 6 on the roll for the Thorax Spine Maw, so I opt to fight again for 3cp with Adrenaline Surge.

I kill some more Vanguard from the other unit, and James rolls a 4 on the Thorax Spine Maw! This is exactly what I wanted, to deal D6 mortal wounds to them and gain a 5+ shrug for the rest of the game! But then James remembers something… His Vanguard make my Dimachaeron -1 strength! This means his roll of 4 actually beats my now base strength of 6! Absolutely gutting.

Morale phase comes around and man… James gets some terrible luck on one of his Vanguard units! But overall, I’ve done a decent amount of work but the Dimachaeron isn’t in combat with anything, so James is free to shoot at whatever targets he wishes… but at least I score 2 points on Engage on All Fronts. Let's see how he does!


Okay so going second into this list is always rough - I’ve lost about ⅓ my Skitarii and my Archeaopter (new model syndrome right!) which I can’t say was unsurprising. Thankfully, due to some awful Morale rolling for my middle unit of vanguard (rolling 5 1’s!) none of my units have remained in combat with the Dimachearon. 

I put the Logi Initial buff (Ignore -1 and -2 AP) Onto the central Vanguard unit so if the Hierodule flames them they’ll at least be on a 4+ save rather than a 6+  and I put the Multi-Tasking Cortex onto the Pteraxii so they can shoot the Dimachearon and also do the action Retrieve Octarius Data. I also use the Data-Blessed Autosermon stratagem on the Ballistari and give them “Benediction of the Omnissiah” to ensure I can really dent that Hierodule.

I push out with my central unit of Vanguard to block the Hierodule, but the rest of my army cautiously takes a step or two forward. I don't want to push out too far to let him slingshot his Scythed Hierodule into my juicer targets. I keep both Onager Dunecrawlers out of line of sight too.

P1170221 (2)

I open up onto the Dimachaeron with the units that can only see him. After all those units have finished shooting he's down to a heart-breaking few wounds left. Fortunately, my second Onager steps up and finishes him off. I turned the Rangers unit on to the Zoanthropes with the Galvanic Rifles stratagem and managed to kill four of them. The Balistarii manage to get through 4 wounds onto the Hierodule but Liam rolls three 5++ to saves!!

Unfortunately, my Infiltrators fail their charge on the Broodlord and Gaunts after killing all but 1 Gaunt with their Flechette Blasters. This isn't that critical but it would have been a big swing had they made it. It's a strong start coming in at the bottom of the turn and I'm feeling confident going into Liam’s turn 2.

P1170223 (2)

Turn Two


Man… James wasn’t wrong when he said this new book was strong! Dimachaeron and 4 Zoanthropes lost to shooting is a huge blow to my army, and it’s gonna be a struggle to come back from it this early on. I move the Hierodule up to charge what remains of the Vanguard and the Swarmlord up ready to charge the Infiltrators. I move what remains of the Zoanthropes up onto the objective but keep the Neurothrope back next to the Exocrine. I also begin ROD on the right side of my deployment to try and rack up as many points as possible. 

P1170224 (2)

Psychic phase is pretty successful, with me managing to kill 2 of the Infiltrators with smites alone. Symbiostorm is cast on the Exocrine and Catalyst is cast on the Swarmlord. Straight into the shooting phase, the Exocrine manages to blow up the Dunerider in a single go, and the Hive Guard open fire on the Rustalkers that were inside, resulting in 8 of them being slain after using Single Minded Annihilation! The Scythed Hierodule’s Acid Spray kills another 4 vanguard ready to charge in. I also decide to double move the unit of Hormagaunts to create a meat shield against the Dragoons, otherwise they’d be able to counter charge my Swarmlord and probably knock him out instantly. 

Onto the charge and fight phase, my Hierodule charges into the remaining Vanguard and the Swarmlord charges into the Infiltrators. The Hierodule does as he should and manages to wipe the unit, but the Swarmlord… not so much. Despite being the pinnacle of the Tyranid bioforms, he only manages to kill a single Infiltrator thanks to some absolutely terrible rolling!

Overall a decent turn, totally neutering the Rustalkers was a huge swing in my favour, and the Hierodule manages to score me another 2 points on Engage on All Fronts. Onto James’ turn 2!

P1170238 (2)


Liam responds and puts the pressure on the right flank with his Swarmlord and Broodlord, I had written my Infiltrators off but thanks to some awful rolling from Liam, only his Swarmlord made it in and he only managed to kill one in combat! I did lose another 2 to Psychic however. He’s also pushed up with his Hormaguants to move block my Dragoons. The biggest loss and a massive error on my part - My Skorpius Dunerider and 9 of my Ruststalkers fell to his Exocrine effectively losing me that flank entirely. I should have kept this much more hidden behind the ruins and it was a big mistake on my part that Liam definitely capitalised on.

I activated the Incantation of the Iron Soul this turn, the 5+++ save against Mortal wounds will help me against his smites. And it did, every dice Liam rolls for his D3 mortal wounds is a 3! Fortunately I pass 1 5+++ on each squad that takes a smite. No Doctrina this turn, I feel like I need all my combat elements to be hitting normally and I can’t afford the reduction in BS with my shooting units either.

I push out with my Balistarii and Skitarii slightly. And my Dragoons hover in front of the Gaunts and my lone Ruststalker jumps into the building ready to finish the Zoanthropes off. Finally the Pteraxii drop down behind the Dragoons flamers poised and ready to clear out those Gaunts.

I start my shooting phase using the Enriched Rounds stratagem on the Vanguard and putting their Radium Carbines into the Scythed Hierodule. This stratagem is amazing! I manage to strip off over half its remaining wounds, leaving it with only a handful left. My Manipulus and Dominus both put their shots into it and chip a few wounds off and my left Onager fires its Eradication Ray and downs the monster. My Rangers don’t quite perform as well this turn and only manage to drop 1 Zoanthrope and my Pteraxii unfortunately kill all but 2 of the Gaunts which Liam leaves slap bang in the middle of where my Dragoons want to go. 

With this in mind I decide It's better for me to use my big guns to clear out his Gaunts and ensure I can get Grind Them Down rather than start wounding the Exocrine. The right side Onager fires its Eradication Ray into the remaining two Gaunts and easily dispatches them. (They are only Gaunts after all.)

Going into the charge phase - I go first with the Dragoons - it's a 10” to the Swarmlord and if I can make this it could be a big swing so this is the important one! Even with a Command Point Re-roll expended they don't make it in. My lone Ruststalker however, does make it to the remaining Zoanthrope. I decide to not use the Assassin Constructs stratagem here - the Zoanthrope's only on 2 wounds and the additional attack might be the difference I need but with only a handful of Command Points left I really need to keep them for the bigger tricks. It proves a good decision as I roll 2 6’s to wound and the Zoanthrope falls leaving me to hold the objective. Finally my Pteraxii use Booster Thrust and fly off ready to come back next turn.

I've had a solid turn 2 and I'm hoping I can keep pushing Liam back so I can stabilize the mid-board and the game. 

P1170235 (2)

Turn three


Enriched Rounds is nuts. 1cp for a standard troop unit to do 10 wounds to a Scythed Hierodule?! Absolute madness! And the Rustalkers prove to be deadly even when they only have one model remaining, as it manages to wipe the rest of my Zoanthropes and steal the objective from me. 

In the movement phase, I move up with the Swarmlord and Broodlord ready to charge into some Dragoons, but stay in range to smite the remaining Infiltrators. I move the last remaining Hormagaunt of his squad up onto the objective in my deployment zone but otherwise, I’m pretty stationary this turn. From my reserves I bring in my Lictor and some Rippers into James’ deployment zone to score some more points on Engage on All Fronts and ROD

Psychic goes really well yet again, with Catalyst on the Swarmlord and Symbiostorm on the Exocrine, I’m feeling great. Smites manage to bring down the Infiltrators to a single model, easy to dispatch with some Hive Guard!

Onto the shooting phase, and my Hive Guard are really pulling their weight this game, bringing down the last remaining Infiltrator - I was tempted to split fire here, but if the Infiltrator lived it would’ve been disastrous. The Exocrine manages to bring down another Ironstrider and injures the last remaining one.

Onto the charge phase, with the Broodlord double moving next to the Swarmlord, I pass both of their charges into the Dragoons. 

P1170238 (2)

However, ol’ Swarmy really just isn’t feeling it today, and the combined might of the Broodlord and the Swarmlord only manages to bring down a single Dragoon! James then retaliates and just straight up destroys my poor Broodlord. I still manage to score 3 on Engage this turn, and have secured 8 points so far on ROD. Over to James!

P1170239 (2)


So Chain-Taser Protocols on the Dragoons gave me a great turnaround on his Broodlord and Swarmlord - Killing his Broodlord outright! Liam got a bit unlucky here with the Swarmlord and Broodlord failing to kill more than 1 Dragoon. It really shows that -1 to hit in combat has been a great addition to the Dragoons. He’s dropped his Lictor and some Rippers on the left flank ready to Retrieve Octarius Data and get his max on Engage On All Fronts. Liam's also killed a 2nd Balistarii with his Exocrine. Unfortunately I didn't realise until after the game that Balistarii are actually core! This meant I could have put the Ignore AP -1 and -2 buff from the Logi Dominus to really help them against the Hive Guard.

I've got Benediction of the Omnissiah active this turn and I'm really looking to push Liam back into his deployment zone. The extra re-rolls this canticle gives will surely help with that.

I respond to his Lictor by Dropping my Pteraxii back down that side of the board. My Lone Balistarii moves up onto the middle objective. My Rangers move up to the other middle one to score my 3 points for my Uncharted Sequencing secondary.

P1170242 (2)

I start my shooting phase off with my Vanguard and - of course, the Enriched Rounds stratagem. They peel a few wounds off the Swarmlord but it's my Onager who comes out big here and does a massive 9 wounds to it. After his Feel No Pain saves he’s left with a meager 2 wounds.  My Ballistari turn their Twin-Cognis Lascannons to the single Gaunt left in Liam’s deployment zone and annihilate him. This proves critical because it means I now contest that objective with my Infiltrators meaning Liam will now score 5 less Primary points this turn.

My charge phase I get the great idea that my mighty Vanguard can take the Swarmlord! Really my plan is to tie him up so he can’t charge my Dragoon. It works - kind of. I'm only left with 4 Vanguard from that unit after all the dice have been rolled. But he is tied up. My Pteraxii charge into the Rippers after swiftly dispatching the Lictor and tearing them apart too with their talons.

All in all, another solid turn. Liam's got his Hive Guard and Exocrine left and I know how much damage they can do so it's not a finished game by any means yet!

Turn Four


So my Swarmlord is all tied up, which would normally be disastrous and put me totally out of the game… if I wasn’t Hive Fleet Kraken! This allows him to fall back and charge, which is exactly what I do ready to charge back into the Dragoons. Otherwise not much movement on my part; losing that single Hormagaunt was actually a pretty big blow to my plans. My plan was to double move the Hormagaunt with Metabolic Overdrive and perform my last ROD in James’ deployment zone, but sadly he was slain.

Onto the shooting phase and my Hive Guard continue to perform admirably, destroying the last of the Ironstriders. The Exocrine also manages to wipe out even more of the Rangers, but the unit still stands. Straight into the charge phase and the Swarmlord charges into the Dragoons, but yet again, performs way below expectations and barely kills one, and is killed in the attacks back. This game is rough!


So Liam hits back, downing my Balistari and almost clearing me of Skitarii. I have managed to finish off his Swarmlord with my return strikes (Liam again rolled very poorly on the Swarmlords attacks - he doesn't seem keen today!) I push my Dragoon onto the top right objective. My Manipulus runs and hides behind the statue holding my 4th set of 3 points for Unchartered Sequencing and my Dominus stands proud on his own on the other middle objective. He fears no alien! My Marshall however, runs scared back to the bottom left objective so my Onager can finally poke his gun out up the board.

It’s a pretty quick one for me this turn. My Onagers fire off a few shots and don't achieve too much. My right one and my Dominus down 2 Hive Guard. 

No charges and that closes out my turn 4.

P1170244 (2)

Turn Five


Alright, I really don’t have much left, but I have to do as much as possible to squeeze a few extra points out of this game. I cast Symbiostorm on the Exocrine again, and he rolls incredibly hot on his shots, managing to bring down an Onager all by himself! Unfortunately, that’s all the damage I can do for this turn, and it’s time for James to just clean up and stomp the Tyranids into the dirt. 


One final push, I lose an Onager in the Tyranids' final turn. My Pteraxii drop down in the top right corner and use Retrieve Ocarius Data netting me another 4 points. I'm too far away from the top left objective for Uncharted Sequencing so I’ll have to be happy with 12 points and it's unlikely I'll get Grind Them Down for this turn either so that should leave me on 9 Points.

The big benefit here has been my ability to push Liam off all but 1 Objective for the last few turns.

My Manipulus runs (glides?) forward and Sonic Reapers his Neuothrope leaving him an a staggering 1 wound! And my Dragoon fails his charge onto the Rippers despite having the 3D6 from the canticle to help him. These two failures ensure I’ll stay on 9 for Grind it Down.

We total it all up and with a final score of 84:61.

P1170249 (2)

Post Game Thoughts


A good run out for the Ad Mech today! My plan seemed to work, even going second into the Tyranids. Liam gave a good fight and I definitely felt like I was on the ropes after his strong turn 1. It does show the power of this book, the last time we fought, before the new book, his Tyranids smashed me! I definitely feel like I'm getting the hang of how this new book works though and its great to see my list doing what its supposed to.


Playing this game really started to make it apparent to me just how big the disparity is between 9th edition codexes and 8th edition codexes. But still managing to score over 60 points in a game such as this, I’m proud! My Hive Guard and Exocrine performed amazingly well, I just wish the Swarmlord got his act together and actually killed something for once! Overall a great game and a real eye-opener into how powerful the new Admech codex is. I look forward to the next game!

Final Scores

Ad mech vs nids (2)

Credit to ITC Battleapps