Tyranids - Battalion Detachment
Hive Fleet Leviathan
HQ 1: The Swarmlord [Paroxysm, The Horror] 
HQ 2: Neurothrope [Catalyst, Adaptive Neural Lobe, WARLORD: Swarm Leader, Strategic Adaptation] 
TROOPS 1: Hormagaunts x10 
TROOPS 2: Hormagaunts x10 
TROOPS 3: Rippers x4 
TROOPS 4: Warriors x4 [Lash-whips and Boneswords, Deathspitters, Bioweapon Bond] 
ELITES 1: Hive Guard x6 [Enhanced Resistance] 
ELITES 2: Lictor 
ELITES 3: Maleceptor [Onslaught, Focal Essence] 
ELITES 4: Zoanthropes x6 [Psychic Scream, Psychic Channelling] 
FAST ATTACK 1: Dimachaeron 
HEAVY SUPPORT 1: Biovores x3 
HEAVY SUPPORT 2: Exocrine 
Vow - Uphold the Honour of the Emperor
Gravis Captain with Master Crafter Heavy Bolt Rifle - Hero of the Chapter (Front Line Commander) Relic: Tanhausers Bones
Primaris Techmarine - Hero of the Chapter (Rites of War), Master of the Forge
Chaplain Grimaldus - Warlord (Epitome of Peity)
5x Incursors - Light of the Emperors Grace
Primaris Crusader Squad - 5x Initates, 4x Neophytes, Sword Brother. Power Sword, 2x Power Fists, Chainswords and Boltguns, The Holy Orb
Redemptor Dreadnought - Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Icarus Pod
Redemptor Dreadnought - Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Icarus Pod
Redemptor Dreadnought - Marco Plasma Incinerator, Icarus Pod
6x Bladeguard Veterans - Icon of Heinmann, Champion of the Feast, Skull of the Cachodominus
5x Hellblasters - Auto Plasma Incinerator
Impulsor - Multi-Melta
Impulsor - Multi-Melta
The Mission and the Board
Grand Tournament Pack 2021
12. Scorched Earth
Alright! I've been looking forward to this game because it's my first chance to try out the brand new Tyranid rules from Warzone Octarius - Rising Tide! Because it includes a supplement from Hive Fleet Leviathan, I have decided to bring them instead of my usual Kraken / Kronos list, to make as much use of the new rules as possible. I'm also trying out the Maleceptor for the first time, and with his new Synaptic Link, I'm really hoping that he does some work this game!
James is bringing his Black Templars, and I know that he knows these guys inside and out, and that I'm gonna be in for a tough game. If I get first turn then my Hive Guard and Dimachaeron can do some serious damage, but if he goes first, those Incursors of his are going to be a massive pain for me to deal with.
I've gone for the secondaries I'm most comfortable with, with the list designed to score points on Engage on All Fronts and Retrieve Octarius Data. For my last pick though, I went with Assassination. Normally I don't like picking these kind of secondaries, but when Grimaldus and his Servitors alone give up 12 points for it... I just can't ignore that!
Having played a very similar variation of this list without all the Octarius buffs I know (And my ITC Battle App stats confirms) if Liam goes first he's got a good chance of winning. I've deployed the Bladeguard on one flank and the Hellblasters on the other with the Dreadnoughts in the middle. I want to try spread out my threats here so his Dimachaeron doesn't tag most of the army if Liam goes first. His Hive Guard will and can shoot at the majority of the force and I had less drops, so I know Liam would save them for last. Putting the Bladeguard and Hellblasters on either side would mean he'd have to choose which one he wanted dead. Similarly, I wanted all 3 Dreadnoughts within Grimaldus' 6+++ aura.
I'm leaning on my anti-psyker relics and upgrades here too. Its something I've been taking more and more despite the chance that I might not come up against an army with one. The problem is Thousand Sons and Grey Knights can be so devastating to a Marine army in that phase that having the additional protection beyond just the 5+++ save has been working really well for me.
Finally, I've taken Oaths of Moment (a big winner from the Marine book,) Raise the Banners and a risky Strangehold. There weren't a lot of good options for the 3rd one and I figured if I can pen Liam in his deployment zone I should be able to get at least 9 on this with not a lot of effort from my part, getting 12 or 15 will be harder but its an easier option than say Abhor the Witch, No Prisoners or Grind Them Down.
I'm gonna throw my hands up here... I massively screwed up on this part. I really wanted to deploy my Hive Guard up in the ruins and out of line of sight, but because of James' Incursors being as close to my deployment zone as he could get them, I was so scared of James getting first turn and him just tagging them immediately. So I decided to deploy them far enough back that his Dreadnoughts would be out of range, and I'd hopefully be able to move them up into the ruin at a later point.
Everything else is pretty standard though. The Maleceptor is deployed so that he can provide his defensive buffs to most of my army, and my Swarmlord and DImachaeron are covering the other flank of the board. If James does decide to move his Incursors up towards me, he's going to be (hopefully) eaten rather quickly!
Also, apologies for the Maleceptor being quite difficult to see in these pictures! I haven't managed to get round to painting him yet and because he's primed black, he doesn't show up particularly well. He is deployed with the Zoanthropes and the Hive Guard, on the left side of the board on the objective.
This ones an interesting one, there's not a lot of places I can hide due to the Hive Guard. So I've tried to outrange him. All three of the Dreadnoughts are positioned that Liam would have to move closer with his Hive Guard, my Captain is out the front and with Tannhausers Bones - if his Dimachaeron comes close he may be able to tank him...
I've put an Implusor with the Bladeguard on the far left and the Hellblasters on the far right. This splits up the threats and if I loose one flank the other should hopefully be able to compensate.
Finally, the critical part of this plan - I've deployed both Incursor units on the deployment line. If Liam goes first they'll absorb some smites and draw some of the melee threats out (Its unlikely Liam will shoot either his Hive Guard or Exocrine at them) if I go first, they can run forward tag some stuff and hold Liam in his deployment zone for at least turn 1. The middle unit has the Light of the Emperors Grace upgrade giving them an aura of 12" -1 to cast for enemy Pskyers. Getting them up early might help stop some of Liam's powers. Similarly since they're so far up there's no way I wont be in range of Abhor the Witch stratagem.
So we got the first turn! Fantastic news for anything hiding behind a ruin. I go straight into the Command Phase and put Litany of Divine Protection on the Plasma Redemptor and Fires of Devotion on the front Gatling Dreadnought just in case that Dimachaeron comes this way and he survives. I also stick Wisdom of the Ancients on the “Sword Brethren” Redemptor for the re-roll 1’s to wound.
My movement phase I push forward with both units of Incursors. The left unit’s main job is to keep Liam in that corner while I can lumber up with my Dreadnoughts and Bladeguard, this unit also has The Light of the Emperors Grace and is going to give the majority of Liams psykers -1 to cast. whilst the right hand side unit is all about trying to keep the Dimachaeron in combat and stopping him from running havoc in my deployment zone. With a Transhuman I’ve estimated Liam should kill 2-3 of them even if he unloads all his stratagems on me. It's really going to come down to whether he manages to get them further whittled down with Mortal Wounds and then smites them off in his turn. My Hellblasters, Dreadnoughts and Captain all line up to whittle some wounds off the Dimachaeron. If they high roll and kill him, my Incursors are free to charge some gaunts, if they don’t at the very least I should bracket him. Finally I raise a banner on the back left objective but forget to do so with my Techmarine on the right hand side one…
My shooting phase comes and goes without much impact, knocking the Dimachaeron down to 6 wounds.
Straight into the charge phase and both the Incursor squads make it in. I barely scratch either of the big monsters they’ve charged but its not really what they’re there to do. Liam strikes back with them both and kills 1 with the Maleceptor and 2 with the Dimachaeron after I used Transhuman. Exactly what I’d hoped for. I then fail the strength check and Liam rolls 6 mortal wounds… I pass 1 with my 5++ Black Templars Trait but with only 1 left on a single wound Liam's is going to be able to get him out and up the board... damn, plan failed.
Yikes… this is actually a lot worse than it may seem. I got incredibly lucky with my saves and as a result, I didn’t lose a single model. However, thanks to those Incursors, the entire left side of the board has me locked into my deployment zone. I’m gonna need to shift those guys as soon as possible, and thanks to James’ 5+ shrug against mortal wounds, my smites alone won’t manage it… at least I thought they wouldn’t.
Command phase first, and this is totally new to me! I use Swarm Leader to give the Hive Guard full rerolls, as well as giving them Focal Essence from the Maleceptor. Bioweapon Bond is applied to the Dimachaeron so he’s back to hitting on 3s, and the Zoanthropes give themselves Psychic Channelling.
The Dimachaeron is still in combat, so I spend 2cp on Hyper Adaptation to give the Dimachaeron the Kraken Hive Fleet trait, which allows it to fall back and charge. He jumps over the Incursors that he was in combat with, and eyes up a tasty Impulsor to devour. The Swarmlord moves up slightly behind him, and the Hormagaunts on the top right of the board begin ROD. Unfortunately, nothing else in my army can move out of my deployment zone thanks to those Incursors, and this proved to be huge for James, as you’ll see in the next turn.
The Psychic phase arrives, and man is it crazy. Thanks to Psychic Channelling, the Zoanthropes immediately super smite and deal a whopping 8 mortal wounds to the Incursors! James fails all of his 5+ shrugs, and they’re already destroyed! Well worth the 10 points in my eyes. Catalyst is cast on the Zoanthropes, otherwise none of my other powers will have much effect.
Onto the Shooting phase, and I immediately start by firing my Exocrine at his only visible target: the leftmost Impulsor. An amazing set of hits are made, but thanks to only wounding on 4s I totally fluff those rolls, resulting in only 2 wounds being taken off. I then open fire with the Hive Guard, and immediately spend 1cp on Relentless Flurry so any 6s to hit, count as 2 hits. My Hive Guard now have exploding 6s, with wound rolls of 6 being AP-3, I can reroll any damage rolls, and they have full rerolls to hit… this is just filthy! But no amount of cheese can make up for my terrible decision making. I opt to split fire into the Primaris Crusaders and one of the Redemptor Dreadnoughts. I manage to kill a bunch of the Crusaders, but only manage to deal 4 damage to the Dreadnought, a lot less than I was expecting.
I move onto my Biovores, who I had “moved on the spot” earlier to try and create some spore mines to block some of James’ movement. I shoot at the Impulsor to try and block the Bladeguard, but unfortunately manage to roll 2 out of 3 hits… which is really not what I wanted; I wanted to miss! So only a single spore mine is created and it hardly blocks any of James’ movement.
With the Swarmlord’s Hive Commander ability, I move the Dimachaeron right up next to the Impulsor and on the objective. At the end of the phase I spend 2cp on Single Minded Annihilation to fire the Hive Guard again, and I put all of my shots into the Impulsor. However, after making some amazing 5++ saves against the shots, I bring down the Impulsor to a single wound! This was massive, as it meant James still had the Impulsor on the objective and that he could freely disembark his Bladeguard next turn without risk of losing any. Remind me to actually make good decisions next time in a game!
Onto the charge and fight phases, my Dimachaeron runs into the Impulsor and just totally demolishes it. He sits proud on the objective and scores me 2 points for Engage.
You can see the frustration those Hive Guard bring taking out half my Crusader Squad from behind the large ruin. This unit’s likely not going to do much now unfortunately. Still Liam's turn 1 was less impactful than I thought it was going to be. My Impulsor living on a single wound was pretty big and my Incursors did their job fantastically well even if I barely stopped any powers with the additional -1 to cast (the new roll 3D6 for a cast the Zoanthropes can do is brutal!) I put the Litany of Divine Protection back on the Plasma Dreadnought but fail Grimaldus' other Litany. I also pop Wisdom of the Ancients again.
I push up quickly with the Hellblasters which are JUST in range of Liam’s Hive Guard thanks to a pretty solid advance roll - I’ve gotta make sure my priority is right here, I want to open up with that Redemptor first but I'm likely to kill the one that the Hellblasters are in range of so it seems like I should only get 1 unit off into them. My Captain marches towards the middle of the board just behind the Hellblasters. I jump the Bladeguard out just outside the crater and away from that dastardly spore mine and move the Impulsor onto the objective to get my Stranglehold. The rest of the army moves towards the middle of the board.
The Hellblasters pop off very well and thanks to the re-rolls from both the Captain and Dreadnought they manage to kill 3 of the 6 Hive Guard. I got very lucky here and only missed twice. The Dreadnoughts, who now cant see the Hive Guard, go into the Zoanthropes and pick two of them up. The Plasma Redemptor turns and finishes off the Diamachaeron.
A pretty solid rebuttal from me and I'm very pleased in having neutered those damn Hive Guard. Stage 2 of the plan is to neuter those Biovores and with a 9" re-rollable charge from the Bladeguard into the gaunts (with some fight phase pile in and consolidate shenanigans) they should be able to wrap one of the Bioveres and stay relatively safe.
Luckily they make it and crash into the Gaunts only to... fail to kill a unit of 10. I wouldn't have thought the day where 5 Bladeguard Veterans and a Champion of the Feast Sergeant couldn't kill 10 Gaunts. But hey here we are! The critical thing is they have indeed managed to wrap the Biovores against the table-edge and will be safe from everything other than Psychic. With the Skull of the Cachodominus available to activate for its mighty -2 to cast within 12" (-1 within 18") and Grimaldus now far enough up the field to throw out his denies at +1 I'm effectively looking at a +3 to deny on two of Liam's key powers. My plan on this being massively useful against Grey Knights and Thousand Sons will have a little test run next turn.
I pick up Strangehold for 3 and a single Oath point for slaying the very imposing Diamachaeron.
And now I get what I deserve for making such bad decisions in the deployment phase. James has dealt a massive blow to me on this turn, killing 3 out of 6 of my Hive Guard thanks to his Hellblasters, and my Biovores are all tied up thanks to him making a lucky 9” charge. But it’s not over yet! I score 10 on the Primary, and begin my Synaptic Links. I put Bioweapon Bond onto the Maleceptor so he’s hitting on 3s, I put Focal Essence onto the Hive Guard again as well as Swarm Leader, and the Zoanthropes buff themselves yet again with Psychic Channelling.
Movement phase, and I really need to get rid of these Bladeguard in my face. The Zoanthropes and Maleceptor prepare to smite them, but because James has wrapped and trapped my Biovore in the corner, I can’t even fall back with them, so shooting them is not a luxury that I have. The Swarmlord moves towards the centre of the board, hoping to just act as a roadblock for his Redemptors whilst eating some Hellblasters along the way. The Hormagaunts on the top right of the board also perform ROD, scoring me some points.
The psychic phase arrives, and it’s nowhere near as successful as last turn’s. I do manage to cast The Horror on the Redemptor with the Plasma, and Paroxysm on the closest Redemptor, but the smites are denied by Grimaldus. The Zoanthropes and Maleceptor do manage to cast some smites, but after shrugs, only manage to kill a single Bladeguard.
Onto the shooting phase, and the Exocrine finally manages to finish off that Impulsor. The Hive Guard also open fire on the Crusaders, again using Relentless Flurry for exploding 6s, but thanks to only having half the unit left, only manage to kill 2 of them. Because of James’ armywide 5++, the extra AP on 6s provided by Focal Essence simply doesn’t do anything here. I do, however, use Hive Commander on the Swarmlord himself to move him up right next to those Hellblasters.
Straight into the charge and fight phases, and I chuck my Swarmlord into those Hellblasters. However, James’ 5++ really shines here, and 1 of them is left standing! I’m just hoping he can stand up to those Redemptors. As expected, I lose all of my Biovores to those Bladeguard Veterans, and next turn James is going to be able to do some serious damage with them.
With my Bladeguard and Dreadnoughts still intact - it’s time to put the pressure on here. The Bladeguard managed to stop some of Liam’s key powers off last turn with the Skull of the Cachodominus and are still alive and kicking.
I finally plant another two banners, one with the Primaris Techmaine and the Crusader Squad do another on the right. hopefully I can keep Liam back for the rest of the game to catch up on that Secondary. My Plasma Redemptor activates Wisdom of the Ancients again and the two of them move up to try and deal with the Swarmlord. I fall back with the lone Hellblasters and the Crusader squad moves into the ruin as the plant their banner. They’ve been getting shot at all game so might as well move them up the board! The Bladeguard finished off the Biovores in Liam’s turn so they are now free to charge some other juicy back line stuff.
The shooting phase is pretty limited this turn with most of Liam’s stuff out of range or hidden - but I do manage to chip half the Swarmlord's wounds off. If I can get a couple of Redemptor fist wounds through I should be able to take him out.
Unfortunately, the only Dreadnought that makes it is the one with Paroxsym. The Bladeguard also make their short charge into the Warriors and Zoanthropes.
My Gravis Captain strikes and manages 2 wounds with his Master Crafted Power Sword and Liam saves them both. On the flip side the Swarmlord doesn’t manage to slice the Dreadnought completely open this turn. I put 4 wounds in with the Redemptor in return but Liam saved all of them too! I dunno why he always complains he never makes his 3++ Invuln’s…. Elsewhere the Bladeguard cut apart the Warriors and tie up the Zoanthropes.
Keeping the Tyranids back has been the aim of the game this time and its really working well. Going into the bottom of Turn 4 there's not many bugs outside the deployment zone. I should get 2 points for Oaths of Moment again and I pick another Stranglehold up as I've taken Liam off his back right objective which gives me at least 3 and more than him.
I’m gonna really need to put myself in gear to crawl back into this game. After scoring only 5 points on the Primary, I start by putting Focal Essence onto the Hive Guard, and Psychic Channelling onto the Maleceptor. Swarm Leader is also applied to the Hive Guard yet again. On the bright side, good ol’ Swarmy is really doing what I wanted him to do this game! He’s damaging one of the Dreadnoughts and ready to kill it in combat this turn.
Movement phase, and there isn’t an awful lot for me to do. The Maleceptor prepares a charge onto the remaining Bladeguard, just hoping to finish them off with smites and some combat. The Zoanthropes do fall back from the Bladeguard though. I also bring in my Lictor to perform ROD on the bottom left corner of the board. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties, the bottom of the board is cut off in the image so you can’t quite see him, but rest assured, he is there doing his work for the Hive Mind!
Psychic phase however, I don’t manage to do much to the Bladeguard. Paroxysm is denied by Grimaldus, but The Horror is cast onto the Plasma Redemptor. The Shooting phase is next, and the Hive Guard put their shots into the Primaris Crusader squad, finally wiping out the unit. Having the ability to reroll their damage rolls makes them such efficient marine killers; if only I hid them better this game! The Exocrine also fires into the Bladeguard, reducing the squad to 2 men left.
Charge phase, and I charge the Maleceptor into the Bladeguard. However, thanks to their 4++, I only manage to kill 1 of them, which will mean James will get some primary points when he gives him Objective Secured next turn. However, the Swarmlord is successful in killing the Redemptor Dreadnought! I do score 2 points on Engage, but I’m really suffering from being locked into my deployment zone from those Incursors turn 1.
I put another 4 wounds into the Swarmlord from the Redemptor (the Captain fails to do anything!) and Liam saves all 4 of them! He’s 10/10 now and I’m getting nervous… especially as Liam strikes back and takes out the Redemptor. Looks like falling back and gunning this guy down might be the way.
We start my turn with both Litany of Divine Protection and Litany of Hate being canted, fall back with the Gravis Captain (or forward in this case) the Techmarine advances up on the right objective for another Banner in Turn 5 and the Hellblaster moves back to try get Stranglehold (If I can wrest Liam off the back right objective again.) In hindsight I should have used the new Strength of Conviction stratagem on the Bladeguard and fallen him back but I didn’t and this would cost me this turn.
I do manage to take the Swarmlord out with a lot of firepower from the remaining Dreadnoughts and somehow my Bladeguard Sergeant survives combat again! Truly a Champion of the Feast.
Unfortunately since I didn't use Strength of Conviction, I do drop Stranglehold this turn.
Time to scrape together as many points as possible! I score 10 on the primary, and thanks to going second, I understand that there is no need to stay on the objectives this turn. The Hormagaunts on the right side hide behind the ruin ready to run out on the last turn, and the Maleceptor falls back from the Bladeguard towards the left centre objective. I then spend 1cp on Metabolic Overdrive on the Maleceptor, to move him again and sit him comfortably on that objective.
Psychic and Shooting phase roll on through, and the Hive Guard open fire on the lone Techmarine sitting on the right centre objective, obliterating him! The Exocrine also fires off some shots and kills the last of the Hellblaster, so those two units have managed to shift James off of 2 out of 3 of the Objectives that he holds.
Into the fight phase, and James’ Bladeguard manages to kill 2 more Zoanthropes in combat. However, he’s still left alive, and so he’s still useful to my army!
Bit of a summary for me here. I learn my lesson from turn 4 and put Strength of Conviction on the Bladeguard scoring me my 5 Primary this turn. Grimaldus jumps onto the Maleceptor with his Servitors and takes that objective off of Liam.
Both Redemptors make their charges with opposite effects. The right one fails to punch the Zoanthrope but the left one… he one shots the Exocrine and waddles back onto the objective for my final Stranglehold of the game. I’ll drop 2 Oath points for not being in the middle but I will have gained 1 for killing a monster and 3 for Stranglehold so it's a net 2 points my way.
I should keep my back 2 Banners so that’ll be another 2 at the end of the game, let's see how Liam’s last turn goes - it's a tight game all things considered now.
This turn is actually pretty big for me. I spend 1cp on Hive Mind Imperative to give the Maleceptor Objective Secured, snatching the left middle objective away from James! Straight into the movement phase and the Maleceptor falls back more than 3” away from Grimaldus, and the Hormagaunts advance to take control of both the top right and the centre right objectives.
My damage output is negligible, but I do attempt to use the Maleceptor’s Psychic Overload ability to try and kill some of Grimaldus’ servitors. It’s a long shot, but if I roll a 6 on this ability and James fails all of his 5+ shrugs, it will award me 9 points for Assassination and swing the game into a Tyranid victory! I roll the dice and…
It’s a 1. So I don’t even do a single mortal wound. My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.
Post Game Thoughts
This list is always one I'm tentative to play against. Liam’s very good with and has fought down both Ad Mech and Drukhari list at tournaments with it, it’s brutally punishing if you don’t deal with those threats early.
The Incursor’s were absolutely the men of the match here, they really put a pause on Liam moving up the board which really let me capitalise on scoring some early points. I definitely made a few mistakes but it really shows the power of the Black Templars new supplement. I think had Liam gone first we’d have probably been looking at an inverse result but some games can be like that. Either way I always enjoy seeing the Tyranids on the table and Liams done such a great paint job on them!
Mainly it was good to see my list in action and have it work how I imagined it would. The Uphold the Honour of the Emperor Vow was critical here - helping my Redemptor survive against the Swarmlord and helping keep that Crusader Squad behind the ruin in the game a few more turns as they took barrage after barrage from those deadly hive guard. It was also interesting seeing how useful the new "give a unit ob-sec" stratagems are : Hive Mind Imperative and Strength of Conviction respectively.
I really wish I did a better job at deploying my Hive Guard this game, which is a massive shame because I’m normally on point with that. As me and James discussed, if I had deployed them 1” away from the walls and had the Warriors covering the flank, thanks to their Lash-whips I could have prevented his pile-ins and consolidates into the Hive Guard. Definitely something I need to keep in mind for the next game!
I’m surprised I managed to score as many points as I did after James’ turn 2, but the mobility that Tyranids have really helped me in the later turns at snatching objectives from the enemy. James did an amazing job at stopping what movement I did have in the early turns on half of the board, and it ultimately won him the game.
The new Leviathan and Synaptic Link rules from Warzone Octarius - Rising Tide seem to be so good though! Being able to give my Maleceptor Objective Secured at the end scored me a massive 5 points on primary (and remember, this stratagem is used in the command phase, BEFORE primary points are scored, so it can really swing a score into your favour!). The Hive Guard damage output was crazy with the full rerolls and buffs, and Zoanthropes having a fairly decent chance to super smite each turn is so useful. I’m not used to the army being slightly slower thanks to not using Kraken, so I need to improve on my positioning slightly to accommodate for that.
But as always, a great game against a great opponent. Thanks for the game James, and thank you all for reading!