So to set the stage, let's talk about forces first. The invasion began with 15 000 points worth of Tyranids assaulting the ruins of the agri-world Dremen IV. Alongside them was a strike force of Space Wolves on a mission to secure the hidden entrance to a Mechanicus Biologis facility containing Space Wolf gene seed in transit to the vaults of Mars. This was a secret objective I had written down on a piece of paper and handed to the Space Wolf player at the beginning of the game, and it would count as a Vital Objective were he to claim it making it count as two objectives.
On the other side, there was 15 000 points of a mix of forces containing Blood Angels with Imperial Guard support and a detachment of Grey Knights. I had brought along 4 000 points of Void Ravens and 1 000 points of roving Orks. Their mission: hold ground until support arrived. Two Objectives were placed on the front lines as strategic ground to hold, named Objective Primaris and Objective Secundus. A third objective was placed in the middle of the back field, the secret Space Wolf objective, named Objective Tertius. Let the deployment begin!
Someone was kind enough to bring a friendly titan along.
The invasion begins! A swarm of Tyranids pollutes the landscape.
The battle lines are drawn. The game is afoot!
Attackers Turn 1: The Harridan swoops in, raining acid down on the titan, it's shields weakened from Long Fang fire. Both weapons are destroyed!
A Hierophant and Hierodule pair sneak in from the sides, disabling the two Baneblades.
Defenders Turn 1: The Careful Planning of Commander Dante brings in the support of the Stormravens.
Mephiston leads the assault units to push back the Hormagaunt scramble. The first Void Raven Chapter Master interred in his venerable dreadnought chassis supports them. But the squadron of Hellhounds had their commander wrecked, and the hellstorm of acid will not be aiding their assault.
Dante leads the charge from the front, challenging the biggest beasts he can immediately find.
A bust of fire from the Redeemer and Predators set up a barrier of fire for the Tyranids to walk through. The Baneblade sits disabled, looking onward as the devourer approaches.
Attackers Turn 2: Genestealers lurk on from the defenders blindsides! The assault marines prepare to fight off this new foe.
Dante holds the middle against a swarm of monstrous creatures, yet still the devourer pushes past him and his Sanguinary Guard retinue.
Genestealers, everywhere are genestealers! The Blood Angels are undeterred and seek to slay all these foul xenos.
Corbulo and his Terminator retinue take shot after shot, shrugging off all but the most telling of blows.
The Harridan swoops in and hovers above the Titan and begins to savagely claw and bite at its armoured carapace. It disgorges a flock of Gargoyles into the Defenders ranks and threatens to disrupt their position.
As the Titan's crew is overwhelmed by the beast, the Princeps overloads the reactor! An apocalyptic reactor meltdown occurs and a massive explosion rocks the rear field! Tank after tank explodes, all the gargoyles are annihilated, a Void Raven Terminator Sergeant and Cyclone Launcher are brought low, and a Space Wolf dreadnought is felled.
The Harridan barely receives a scratch to match the pock marks suffered from Void Raven lascannons. The Shadowsword barely notices the massive explosion that occured right beside it. There was once a building full of battle brothers, but it seems to have been collapsed and pushed aside by the brunt of the blast.
Looking to not be outdone, a Hive Tyrant decides challenging Mephiston is a good idea.
The devourer encroaches. The Defenders struggle to hold the tide of xenos back. Defender Turn 2...
Seeing the massive explosion, a flood of local Orks come looking for a fight. They will not be disappointed.
Warboss Skargor sees there is no lack of things to crump and directs his Mob of Sluggas to the nearest foe.
Da Burna Wagon and Shoota Boyz take up the fight by shooting down a Harpy.
The Death Company arrive as the dust settles from the newly made crater.
Turning with its nearly destroyed engine, the Shadowsword takes aim for vengeance. However it manages barely a scratch.
Mephiston finds himself an opponent worthy of his attention. Assault marines and a predator move up to support him.
Attacker Turn 3. The horde of monstrous creatures swarm over the battle lines, chewing through tanks as if they were meat.
Thunderwolves leap over the defense lines, dreadnoughts and tanks are savagely torn apart and Dante's command group barely holds off the tide of xenos.
The genestealers decide these Blood Angels have lived too long.
Defenders Turn 3. The rest of Skargor's green tide appears, looking to get a piece of the action themselves.
Dante stands unwavering in the middle of a tide of Hormagaunts. The Space Wolves begin to make their rush to their objective!
Shoota Boyz see a red 'un surrounded by gribbly things and promptly charge into them under the direction of their Warboss!
With those pesky gribblies out of the way, they're free to tackle the big 'unz, what they came to fight in the first place.
Those Carnifexes get the jump on Warboss Skargor. The Warboss takes one down with him, but is subsequently slain in the process. The Boyz will have their revenge on the other one!
Mephiston accepts all challengers and slays them all! The Boyz dispatch the Carnifex that slayed their Boss. The other Boyz however are not so fortunate.
Defenders Turn 4. The Grey Knights arrive after their delay in the Warp. Reports become less frequent and transmissions suffer severe static. Not much else is recorded after their appearance.
(My camera ran out of battery power, where are those spares when I need them?)
As last of the transmissions are received, Void Raven Terminators bravely charge the Swarmlord to hold his cohort at bay. A lone Void Raven meltagunner, survivor of the Bastion Defense squads, manages to wreck a Space Wolf Land Raider as it barges its way through the Aegis barricades.
Unfortunately I was not able to take any more shots of the battle. But the Cole's Notes version is that in Turn 5, the left flank is overrun by a Hive Tyrant, Warriors and Zoathropes. The Thunder Wolves chew up some Death Company as they try to cut them down on the right flank. The Grey Knights move up the left and try to cut down the multitude of creatures holding Objective Secundus. They are almost successful, but one Zoanthrope survives their charge, and is enough to contest the objective. Objective Primaris is securely held by Space Wolf and Tyranid forces, and Objective Tertius was already destroyed and collapsed by the Titan explosion (not an actual rule, but it was a fun idea agreed to by us). The last ditch fight over Objective Secundus was a close match and made for an exciting conclusion to what was a painfully dredging, uphill battle from turn one.
Enjoy these pictures of 40 000 points of models fighting over a single massive table using Fifth Edition rules one last time. We've already got our Sixth Edition rulebooks out and have already started pouring through them. Hopefully you too are enjoying the changes, both the good and the bad, and maybe soon an equally large battle will be played out again. But until then, let us all acclimatize to the new rules! Have fun and keep the grim dark battles raging.