Playtesting Militarum Tempestus Scions

I went back home recently, and my Dark Angel Bro wanted to try something different.  He was interested in play-testing a force entirely comprised of Tempestus Scions.

Or as the House of Paincakes prefers, the Tempestening Scones.

Tempestening Scones of the Phi Kappic Strawberrian Crusade
Tempestening Scones of the Phi Kappic Strawberrian Crusade

Playtesting a new(ish) book is a bit of a departure from our usual continuation of a decade-long grudge match.  Our games are usually a pitched, ‘aim-for-the-junk-because-you’ll-only-get-one-shot-at-this’ kind of affair, often coming down to the final dice roll.

His list looked a little something like this (and it’s all from memory so bear with me).

  • HQ – 4x HS-Volleyguns, T-prime w/ TL Volley & TL Gatling
  • HQ – 4x Plasmaguns T-prime w/ TL Volley & TL Gatling
  • Squad 1 – No Special weapons, T-prime w/ TL Auto & Missiles
  • Squad 2 – No Special weapons
  • Squad 3 – 2x Volley
  • Squad 4 – 2x Volley
  • Squad 5 – 2x Plasma
  • Squad 6 – 2x Flamer (Deep Striking)
  • Squad 7…? – 2x Melta (only 5 dudes), Valkyrie w/ Missile Pods

So you’ll notice right off the hop that at 1,500 points there’s about 75+ boots on the ground, some pretty zippy transports and an insane amount of special weapons.  We might have goofed a little in hindsight with respect to the FOC and miscounted how many squads there were, but regardless, he was allowed to take 2x CAD’s with his layout so it didn’t make a lick of difference.

These were all proxied gloriously by Dark Angel Tactical marines.  (he’s got a LOT of tactical marines).

To make a long story short, the Tyranids wound up winning on objectives, but they didn’t have that much left on the table by the end of the game (this is becoming a theme….)

Here are my initial thoughts with how the game went down:

  1. Foot-slogging Scions are effectively hamburger.  Carnifex landed a stranglethorn cannon on an entire squad and blew it away.  I don’t fancy my own Tyranids a very shooting-heavy army, so this was a big deal for me.  Scions should be mounted or deep-striking making use of Augur arrays whenever is possible or convenient.
  2. Taurox Primes are boss.  There was a theme throughout the game where a Taurox Prime would shoot up the table, and lay into all the gribblies with the gatling cannon and volley guns (14 shots all twin-linked).  Then the dudes would hop out and do their damage against something that was really critical.  A good example of this might be when 9 Devilgaunts were raked down by the Taurox Prime, while a group with flamers went to work on the nearby warriors stacking up 6 wounds.  The Primes work with their troopies hand-in-glove.  If you’re trying to stay away from an enemy, you can also kite them along keeping them at the maximum 24″ range, something that no other Guard Vehicle can really do.  This would infuriate an army that would require to be inside of 12″ to do their damage.
  3. Similarly, longer ranged synergies could also work.  The Missile T-Prime can really go to town on lightly armoured vehicles or transports, while some closer ranged scions swarm the survivors with HS-Lasguns and AP 2 weaponry.
  4. HQ Volley sections are devastating.  16 shots at S4 AP3 that can be ordered up to be twin-linked or rending (if AP3 isn’t enough to cut it, or you’re shooting at a vehicle).  An interesting potential synergy would be to include the HQ as an elites slot in the AM Codex to be ordered around by a Company Command Squad.  16 shots at S4 AP3, Ignores Cover.  Monster Hunter.  Shoot & Run… There’s all kinds of things you can play around with there.
  5. HQ Plasma sections are also devastating.  Giving that unit Preferred Enemy is a huge boon, but Twin-linked can’t be ignored.  Rending S7 shots could potentially knock over a land raider.

I kind of think in order to really push the Scions over the edge, consideration really needs to be given to running some of the formations.  Being twin-linked and pinning as you hop out of the transport is a huge boon, and allows you an opportunity to order-up something different to buff another dice roll (preferred enemy for example is a good candidate…)

All in all it was good fun to get the delicious scones onto the tabletop, and see how they work.  There’s definitely a lot of potential there, and I might be looking to wrap some into my expanding Guard force…

5 Replies to “Playtesting Militarum Tempestus Scions”

  1. How on earth did he not table you? That list is scary! It’s got mobility, tons of models, and an expansive list of tools to deal with just about anything. Good call putting the melta squad in the flyer…. Can’t believe those crumby Nids won! I’ll have to see them in action one day. For now I say that’s funny dice.

    1. The dice kind of went both ways in parts of the game.

      Something Matt did that I probably wouldn’t is he left his command squads in the Tauroxes, which is really the sledge hammer of the army. I would have probably left them out (but in cover) blazing away and ordering up nearby footies or their own unit.

      The groups of 10 would therefore be riding in the ‘Roxes, making full use of the metal box protection to get where they need to be (note that double-tap is 9″ for Scions).

      The match-up is also a bit poor for the Scions, with only really having plasmaguns and missile launchers to knock out the T6 3+ (sometimes 5+++ FNP) monstrous creatures, without hunting 6’s on the lasguns or volleys. I have a total of 21 T6 3+ wounds to chew through, so that takes some time, and was made worse when i got Catalyst off on 2 of them.

      Having said this, he was rolling 6’s like a boss, so it kind of evened things out a bit.

      Critically, I failed 2 charges. Swarmlord and his crew needed a 3″ charge, and I rolled snake-eyes. Genestealers have Fleet, and needed a 7″ charge, but rolled 5″ both times. That cost them both. If they had made it in the game would have been much more lop-sided.

      I know i didn’t really talk about how the ‘Nids did, I focused mostly on the Scions above. So here’s a scouting report for when we do connect:

      Carnifex – wiped a squad at range (stranglethorn cannon) and one of the taurox primes with Hammer of Wrath (flipped the bitch) Fate: Plasma’d by the HQ that dismounted from said Taurox, despite being pinned.
      Swarmlord – Underwhelming performance due to failing that 3″ charge. He still drew an insane amount of fire. and still wiped a 10 man unit. Fate: Focussed down with HQ Volley Section
      Warriors – Wiped a whole squad and the HQ Volley Section, as well as their Taurox Prime. They did an admiral job patrolling my backfield. Fate: Valk’ed. Two were killed by deepstriking scions the turn they arrived, so most of the damage was done by a single determined warrior. It was pretty priceless.
      T-Gants & H-Gants – Did pretty much nothing except hop on objectives and draw over-watch away from the Warriors as they did their thing. Fate: Carved up by T-Primes and the Valk, none survived.
      Stealers – Wiped a unit with relative ease, but critically failed the next charge and was completely shot away by a Tempestus back-field unit double-tapping.
      Zoanies – Underwhelming, but managed to ZOT 5 with a spirit leach. Spent most of the game hunting the T-Primes until they buried them in missiles.
      Trygon Prime – Wiped a Unit, and looked super-scary. Fate: Untouched. The Melta veterans jumped out of the back of the Valk but wound up mis-happing onto a nearby unit and were destroyed. =|

  2. Dang thanks for the full fledged report! Killing 5 with spirit leach must have been the most satisfying moment of the game for you. Sounds like you were a lot closer to completely smashing him than I had guessed. Considering you’re making it work without 3 flyrants I’ve got to say ‘good on ya’.

    1. Just ask Mike G. about Spirit Leech… They wiped a whole unit of deff coptas with a single psychic attack. Course, doesn’t help he rolled a 16 on his Ld test and they’re only Ld 7.

      1. Spirit leech is no joke…especially verse orks, which have nearly no defense. Just gotta hope they miss when they roll to hit!

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