Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Defence of Elamdavar

I picked up the new Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse rules yesterday... and some Data Cards... and fancy dice... (But I didn't buy the new movement trays, because I made my own! I need to make a bunch more now, though!).

Originally we planned to have Just a family game on Sunday... Finnegan and I could play my Imperial Engines along with a detachment or two of footslogging Imperial Guard against the combined might of the Grrrlz Aeldari (Amanda's Drukhari, Keira's Asuryani and Harlequins). But then we thought we might invite others over to play as well and ended up inviting the kids' friend Ian over along with his massive horde of bug-things.


The exodite world of Elamdavar is in dire peril! An unforseen invasion of the Tyranids of Hivefleet Haemorrhoid has begun! The Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld, who have strong ties to these exodites, were among the first to respond.

A raiding party of Drukhari also seem to have showed up... Sometimes they find if valuable to stay in their cousins "good books"... and there were many horrendous monsters present they could capture and take back to the fighting pits of Commorough or drain of essence to manufacture their vicious poisons..

The forces first met in an extensive ruin overgrown with jungle...


Combined Forces of the Aeldari

Drukhari Battalion Detachment - Cult of Strife
Lelith Hespirax – 5PL

Wyches (10) – 4PL
Wyches (10) – 4PL
Wyches (10) – 4PL

Drukhari Outrider Detachment - Cult of the Crimson Wave
Succubus – 4PL

Fast Attack
Reaver Jet Bikes (12 +4 Balasters) – 20PL
Hellions (10) – 5 PL
Hellions (10) – 5 PL

Drukhari Total Power Level: 51

Asuryani Vanguard Detachment
Jain Zar – 8PL

Howling Banshees (5) – 5PL
Howling Banshees (5) – 5Pl
Howling Banshees (10) – 12PL

Asuryani Battalion Detachment - Elamdavar Guardian Defender Militia
Farseer – 4PL
Warlock (1) – 3PL

Guardians Defenders (10) - 3PL
Guardians Defenders (10) - 3PL
Guardians Defenders (10) - 3PL

Asuryani Battalion Detachment - Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld
Autarch – 5PL
Avatar of Khaine – 10PL

Dire Avengers (10) – 7PL
Rangers (5) – 5PL
Rangers (5) – 5PL

Wraithblades – 7PL

Fast Attack
Swooping Hawks – 7PL

Heavy Support
Wraithlord - 7PL

Assuryani Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment - Biel-Tim Fleet
Lord of War
Scorpion Heavy Grav Tank - 30PL

Assuryani Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld
Lord of War
Wraitknight – 21 PL

Asuryani Total Power Level: 148

Aeldari Total Power Level: 199

The Forces of Hivefleet Haemorrhoid

Supreme Command Detachment
Flyrant - Warmaster - 11PL
Tyranid Prime - 6PL
Broodlord - 6PL

Venemthorpe (3) - 4PL

Battalion Detachment
Termagant (10 - with Fleshborers) -4PL
Termagant (10- with Fleshborers) - 4PL
Ripper Swarm (3) - 2PL

Heavy Support
Tyranofex - 11PL

Spearhead Detachment
Hormagants (10) - 2PL
Genestealers (5) - 5PL
Tyranid Warriors (3) - 3PL

Fast Attack
Ravenors (3) - 5PL

Heavy Support
Mawloc - 7PL
Carnifex - 5PL?
Toxicream - 8PL

Airwing Detachment
Harpy - 9PL

Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment
Lord of War
Hierophant Bio-Titan - 95PL

Genestealer Battalion Detachment (Finnegan's contribution to the game) 
Broodlord – 6PL

Genestealers (10) – 9PL
Genestealers (10) – 9PL
Genestealers (10) – 9PL

Finnegan’s Genestealers Power Level: 33
Ian’s Total Power Level: 187 169
Tyranid Total: 220 202

Or, at least, that's what he'd said he was bringing... after getting all set up and ready to deploy troops, he realized he'd left FOUR UNITS at home!? We went ahead with the Tyranids being the attackers (and later, when I counted things up, they STILL had more points than the Eldar... So, it was all good. We didn't use Ruses or Instant Death rules.


I have to apologize in afvance for the quality of the photos... despite playing in mid afternoon, the lighting in the basement is atrocious. This is one of the things that will hopefully be rectified during the renovation that will be happening over the summer...

The scenario I ran was a little uninspiring - I used the basic Apocalyptic Assault scenario straight out of the rulebook. It seemed simple and straightforward and good enough for learning the game.


The Boyz all set up and ready to rumble.

Tyranids' Spearhead and Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment (Hierophant Bio-Titan) across from the Aeldari Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment (Tempest/Scorpion Heavy Grav Tank)

The Howling Banshees of the Aeldari Vanguard detachment led by Phoenix Lord Jain Zar! Behind them, part of the Battalion detachment of Aspect Warriors from the Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld.

A large Outrider Detachment of Reavers and Hellions from the Cult of the Crimson Wave and a Wraithknight from the Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld.

Heavy Hitters face off... the Tempest Heavy Grav Tank in one corner, and the Hierophant Bio-Titan in the other (backed up by a Tyranofex)


The Forces of the Aeldari got the initiative in the first turn and selected one of their Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachments to go first - the Tempest/Scorpion Heavy Grav Tank. They'd given in the Aimed Fire orders so it unleashed a torrent of fire from it's Twin Pulsar Cannon - scoring three blast markers (which turned into one large, and one small blast marker).

The Tyranids then activated THEIR Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment and the Hierophant Bio-Titan fired back with it's Dire-Biocannons - scoring three LARGE blast markers (Destroyer Weapons! Yikes!)

And then it was a game of "who's going to flinch first?" Most of the forces on the table were pretty focused on close assault - but none were within charge range (well... okay... IF Amanda had give her Outrider Detachment an Assault order, they could have all been in contact with enemy on their first move!) so all were waiting for someone else to move first, so they could charge in and attack them (unlike regular 40K both sides don't automatically fight in a separate close combat phase - you move, then you attack - if the target has already activated that round, it's not going to be fighting back!)

So Amanda hadn't given her Outrider Detachment an assault order. She instead gave them an advance order and decided to activate them next. They swooshed out into the middle of the table, surrounding one of the objective markers (I made a mistake and told her she couldn't actually contest it, as they were fliers - it's actually only AIRCRAFT that can't hold objectives... In the end it didn't matter).

The Reavers and Hellions blasted away with their Splinter Rifles and Splinter Pods (which were mostly ineffective against the heavier targets in the immediate vicinity, the blasters on the Reaver Jetbikes managed to tag the Toxiccream twice, leaving it with one large blast marker.

The Tyranids then activated their Spearhead Detachment and the Toxiccream and Carnifex charged into the Reavers!

They left a mark, for sure - each dealing one large blast marker. The Genestealers and Hormagants just moved about. Strangely the Hormagants that had set up in a building - an area of "defensible terrain" that had an objective marker in it - moved out of it...? I guess they were still within 6", and therefore contesting it... so...?

The Aeldari next activated the Battalion of Local Guardian Defender Militia - moving one unit marginally closer to an objective...

The Tyranids had to move SOMETHING next, so Finnegan charged out with his Genestealers and moved to take control of an Objective.

The Aeldari then activated the Vanguard Detachment of Howling Banshees led by Jain Zar - to try and shift those Genestealers off of the objective - as the Genestealers were Troops from a Battalion Detachment, they had the Objective Secured ability - meaning, unless there was an enemy unit with the same ability, they would control the objective regardless of how many enemy detachments were also within 6"!

So this single unit of Genestealers held the objective despite there being THREE units of Howling Banshees AND a Phoenix Lord also within 6" of it.

Battalion Detachments and Objective Secured, FTW!

The Tyranid Air Wing Detachment (a solitary Harpy) flew out into the middle of the battlefield and took a few pot shots at the WRaithknight. They missed - or at least failed to wound/leave blast markers.

Keira activates her Battalion Detachment of Aspect Warriors from the Thaestalyrdaes Craftworld. Starting with the Rangers who moved out of the building their occupied at the beginning of the game.

The Avatar of Khaine marched up and gave the Harpy a couple of good hacks - leaving it with two large blast markers, The Wraithlord blasted the Flyrant with a Bright Lance, others moved up a bit.

The Supreme Command Detachment activated next. The Flyrant charged in to attack the Banshees and the Broodlord ran into the woods to cower...

The Wraithkniht strode forward and cleaved the Harpy good - leaving THREE more large blast markers on it! It would not be surviving this round!

What a mess! An glorious, epic, roiling mess!

Ian moving up his Battalion Detachment of Termagants, Ripper Swarms and a Tyranofex. The Termagants took some pot shots at the Hellions, with little effect.

Finally the Wyches moved up and secured a couple objectives at their end of the table and attacked the Carnifex, leaving it with one small blast marker.

Then came the Damage Phase - wherein is determined what all those blast markers mean!?

The Harpy was knocked out of action... five large blast markers meant five saves with a d6 and needing an 8+ to succeed... bye-bye flying beastie. the Toxiccream took one wound as did one of the units of Hellions. The Reavers were hit pretty hard and took THREE wounds - critically damaging the unit (half attacks) they DID pass their morale test though!

Checking all the objective markers the Aeldari controlled three, and the Tyranids controlled three. Normally whoever controls the most gets a single victory point. If it's a tie, the victory point goes to the defender - so one victory point to the Aeldari!


Now, by the time we were done Round One, it was almost 5pm... I an had arrived at 1pm... We didn't actually get started rolling dice and pushing toys around until almost 2:30... Mind you, there was a LOT of rule explaining and re-explainging... and RE-re-explainging...

Ian's dad was coming to pick him up around 5:30, so I was ready to just call it, but everyone else was interested to see how much of a second round we could get in in the next 40 minutes, so...

GRRRAAAAAWR!? a Mawloc burst up from the ground and... failed to damage anyone... anything but a one on a d12 would have put one or more blast markers on an adjacent unit... he rolled a one...

The Swooping Hawks dropped out of the sky to harass the flank of the Genestealers.

Keira used a Command Asset Card called Eldritch Tempest and put blast markers on the Flyrant and a Genestealer Unit.

The Aeldari had the initiative again, and so they started with the Aspect Battalion. The Avatar of Khaine cut the Flyrant with The Wailing Doom - leaving another pair of blast markers on the enemies Warmaster! The Rangers and Wraithlord fired on Genestealer units, leaving another blast marker on each.

The Tyranids started with activating their Spearhead Detachment. The Hormagants, Genestealers, and Carnifex all attacked the Wyches on the Objective - but for all their attacks only left one large blast marker on them. The Toxiccream attacked the Reavers though and let them with a blast marker - if they didn't save THAT one, it would be bye-bye Reavers!

The Mawloc also shimmied over and jiggles its chitinous hide in the Reavers general direction, but they seemed to take no notice...?

Then Amanda pulled a little coup with her Wyches - one unit charged both units of Termagants while another slipped into the Building the Hormagants had vacated to seize the objective marker there! now in control of FOUR of the six objectives - when, as defenders, they really only needed to hold three to gain victory points each turn.

The Hierophant spat another pair of blast markers onto the Tempest Grav-Tank... and took few shots at Lilith Herspirax, but totally missed...

The Guardian Defender militia shuffled around a bit to solidify their hold on a couple objectives.

Turns out the Spearhead detachement - the only ones close enough to potentially attack the Wyches that seized an objective from them.... had an Aimed Shots order! So they just stood their and poured fire into the building... but I think only did one blast marker - as they're holding defensible terrain they only need a 6+ on a d12 to slough that off!

The Wraithknight then charged forth and slashed the Toxiccream with it's titanic Glostglaive, nearly cleaning it in twain (three large blast markers!)... unfortunately it spurted toxic cream all over and that left a blast marker on the Wraithknight.

Keira rolling that damage against the Toxiccream.

Finnegan's Genestealers went next and charged the Swooping Hawks and Wraithlord - leaving a large blast marker on each...

... and that was it - Ian's dad showed up and he had to leave. In that 40 minutes we got through over half the detachments. Still not super fast, but faster than the first round had gone.

I'm hoping to get in a few more games this week as I'm going to have to disassemble that big table  in the basement fairly soon for the renovations to go ahead.


I like it. I feel like this could easily become my go-to for 40K gaming.

I like the building/defensible terrain rules - simplified and streamlined and it feels a bit more like cover matters in this. I think I may have put a little TOO much out - as it was a little ward to maneuver around and it seems only Infantry, Swarms and Beasts can enter them...? Which meant none of the walkers (from wraith lords to titans!?) or most of the bigger Tyranid beasties... I'll have to look into that one... I feel like a Wraithknight or a Bio-Titan should be able to wade through woods...?

No more alpha smite. Who goes first matters less... well... for this - but the first turn dance of who is going to go first can mean some units get to charge in and make assaults and their opponents just have to stand there and take it... none of that seemed devastatingly bad, though...

I like the alternating activation. In theory it should keep people involved and not getting bored.

I'm sure there was other things that popped up where I thought, "Oh, that's neat!" in the moment... but now totally forget what they were...

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:


(and THEN some Necromunda!)

Actually, I'm feeling pretty pumped to get some more Lords of War painted - I have three Eldar titans (two revenant, one Phantom) to paint up and field as a Super Heavy Detachement... two more Tempest/Scorpion tanks to finish up another Super Heavy Detachment.... and a Wraithknight of my own... which will only be in an Auxiliary Super Heavy Detachment (until I get TWO MORE!?) - on the Imperial side I have two knights to finish assembling and painting... not quite enough to form a Super Heavy Detachment... I was thinking at some point - once I actually get to them and finish them up, I might get some lighter Armiger Knights to finish up ANOTHER Super Heavy Detachment... The dream would be to (at SOME point) get a couple more guard super heavy tanks - I was thinking a Baneblade and a pair of Stormlords - with Vulcan Mega Bolters and transport capacity for forty infantry each.... Sure heavy Detachment that can carry a complete company of infantry! I'm not sure how that works - transports from one Detachment carrying infantry from another...? I guess I should worry about getting the stuff I HAVE painted first, before I start thinking too much about getting anything else!


  1. Looks like a great big game! Sounds pretty balanced too,it's funny but I thought how well the ruined buildings work you did for Frostgrave? Ages ago with all the aliens around them!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks, Iain!

      I am enjoying the new apocalypse rules. played a second game, more or less to conclusion this afternoon - stay tuned for a report later this evening!

      I do like to make versatile terrain. Ruins can be used in all (well... most) ages and settings. Not-so-ruined buildings are trickier as they should be a little more contemporary with the current age of the setting. I mean certain rural (and a few urban) European buildings can be used for centuries - in historical European settings at least - because buildings lasted and styles changed slowly enough...