GengisCon is 2 weeks away and I’ve been painting like mad to get everything finished. I’ve finished a couple big units so I mostly have smaller units left to paint. And one big unit left to assemble and paint.

I also got my first test game in. I’ve played ~1 game with Orks in 8th edition so far so this was my 2nd and I learned a lot.

Hobby Progress

The thing I’m most proud to finish are the Gorkanaut & Morkanaut. They’re absolutely huge models. They’re as big as you can get without going into the super heavy category.

Imperial Fist Looks at Gorkanaut and Morkanaut
An Imperial Fist looks at his destruction.

I painted these two vehicles together and I love the Goff (black) color scheme for Ork walkers.

I was also able to finish a squad of 14 boys which I started last year but never finished. I have 2 special weapons in this group so I can only use 13 of them but it’s nice to have some Ork boys done.

Ork Slugga Boys

Test Game Against Tyranids

I also had a chance to test my list against my friend Richard. He played Tyranids which I haven’t played in years. I heard they were fast but my god… I had no idea. We played Big Guns Never Tire.

Tyranid Setup
The Tyranid player set up on the deployment line.

Here is most of Richards force. He has two big squads of genestealers, a swarmlord, a broodlord, and two neurothropes for psychic destruction.

You can also see how I setup. On the left I have a squad of boys on the left in the cover and holding an objective, the morkanaut screened by 10 gretchin. On the right I have the gorkanaut with nobs inside, a screen of gretchin infront, and a deff dread which is a proxy for a Meka Dread once I built it (OMG only two weeks left to build and paint it!).

Tyranids Turn 1

Richards runs everything up. Genestealers move 8 inches, and because of hive fleet Kraken they can advance and use 3 dice and pick the highest, and then because they’re genestealers they can still charge after all of this. So without any stratagems, abilities, or psychic powers they can threaten 26 inches!

Trygon and Termagaunts
Trygon burrows up from the ground and brings with it a squad of termagants

Richard uses a stratagem to make one of the units move it’s advance distance again. So you can see they’re only ~6″ away from my Morkanaut & gretchin screen.

On the righthand side the swarmlord & other squad of genestealers move up.

Swarmlord and Genestealers
Swarmlord and Genestealers move up

At this point the psychic phase begins. And Tyranids are very strong in the psychic phase. They have a number of fantastic powers:

  • Paroxysm – which forces you to fight last. You can’t even use a stratagem to interrupt.
  • The Horror – which subtracts 1 from your hit rolls (shooting & close combat) and reduces your leadership by 1
  • Catalyst – which gives a unit a 5+ feel no pain save
Weirdboy Blocking Psychic Power
Weirdboy blocks The Horror coming from the broodlord.

There isn’t much I can do to block these powers. I have one psyker (thank goodness) so I can at least attempt to block 1 power a turn. And I successfully block the broodlord casting The Horror on my morkanaut. Huzzah. Still many other powers go off including Paroxysm & Catalyst.

And then the shooting phase begins. And for a horde army with short range guns Tyranids are surprisingly good at shooting. The Tyrannofex in the backfield shoots it’s strength 10 gun at the Morkanaut and takes off 13 wounds leaving my with 5 remaining.

Then the termagants – aka devilgants with their weapons loadout of devourers – shoot close to 90 shots and obliterate my gretchin screen & the squad of orks holding the objective. Ouch!

Termagaunts Destroy Orks
Devilgants destroy both the squad of orks (in cover) and gretchin.

In the assault phase the genestealers swarm in killing the Weirdboy & knocking 4 out of 5 wounds off of the Morkanaut.

Orks Turn 1

With my entire right flank missing & 1 wound left on the Morkanaut I decide I need to kill some genestealers. I move the Meka-dread forward hoping to charge the green genestealers. And I move the Gorkanaut towards the unit engaged with the Morkanaut.

I move Buzzgob (the Big Mek) towards the Morkanaut and repair 3 wounds using his special ability. There’s a small change the Morkanaut can survive another turn with the Gorkanaut helping out and some extra wounds.

Gorkanaut Charges Genestealers

Before I charge in I take my shooting phase and try to whittle down some squads. I take the small arms fire from the gorkanaut into the termagants and kill a few. I take the rokkits into the trygon and miss.

And the meka-dread shoots his rattler kannon into the green squad of genestealers and kills a few.

In the assault phase I kill around 6 genestealers. Way less than I was hoping. But with slightly bad dice rolls and an invulnerable save they held on. They killed my Mek (proxied by that primed back gretchin) & gorkanaut.

Tyranids have a fantastic stratagem BTW called Feeder Tendrils which when a unit of genestealers kills a character in the fight phase they can spend 1 command point and gain D3 command points. They used it a total of 3 times against me and gained ~6 command points for a net gain of 3. Pfew.

I tried to charge in with my meka dread but couldnt make the 7″ charge. *sad trombone noise*

Having killed basically nothing it’s not looking good for the Orks.

Tyranids Turn 2

Everthing moves forwards to assault my remaining elements. The genestealers & swarmlord approach & later assault my gretchin & meka-dread.

Genestealers & Swarmlord
Genestealers & Swarmlord approach and assault my Meka-Dread

The Tyrannofex turns around and shoots the deff koptas which I deployed in his deployment zone on turn 1. He used Pathogenic Slime (2 command points) which increases the damage of all of his guns. He killed the entire unit which has toughness 5, 4 wounds (each), and a 4+ save. And they cost 300+ points. Horrible to see 300 points go away with one round of shooting.

Tyrannofex Shoots Deffkoptas

The genestealers go after my warlord and use Feeder Tendrils again to get more command points.

The broodlord charges against my Gorkanaut and I use the stratagem that let’s me interrupt so I at least kill the broodlord.

Broodlord and Gorkanaut
The broodlord charges my Gorkanaut and gets smashed.

The swarmlord & genestealers take care of my left flank and I basically only have the gorkanaut and a squad of nobs inside left.

I concede at this point. There’s no way I can claim the 4 objectives and there’s plenty of things the tyranids can do to blow me apart.

Just for fun I try charging the Trygon and manage to cripple but not kill it. On the tyranids next turn they can fall out of combat, shoot it, and then charge back into the gorkanaut killing it.


Holy crap are tyranids fast! The genestealers had a 1st turn charge against me and were even able to take out a screen infront of my morkanaut.

The devilgants are phenominal. I don’t care if they’re 8 points a model. They have 3 shot bolters that re-roll 1’s to wound. And there’s a stratagem that let’s them shoot again. They can take on just about any infantry unit in shooting and blow it apart.

And the fact that they can appear anywhere on the board with the help of the Trygon makes they amazing.

And their psychic powers are impressive.

Overall Tyranids terrify me – but how do I make my list better?

I think the least effective unit in my army are the Deffkoptas. They are 300+ points (almost 80 a model) and they rarely hit with their rokkits. They do have bombs they can drop but they’re situational. And they can be brought down pretty fast by heavy bolters and the like.

I’d love to remove them for Gengiscon but I can’t find a replacement 300 points (that fits into 1 battalion) in time. I think I’m going to use them for this tourney and then swap them out for another Meka-dread.

The Mek didn’t do anything. But for a ~20-30 point model that’s fine. In some games I’ll get the opportunity to repair multiple vehicles.

And squad of 10 gretchin are not that useful. After this tourney I want to built them up into a squad of 30 which should be a much better screen.

I’ll keep thinking about ways to improve this army while I paint for Gengiscon.