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Anti-Tyranid tactics for the guard


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#1 Gurkhal

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:33 AM

I was having a walk the other day and thought about what tactics the Guard could use against the Tyranids. Now the normal thing seems to be to have a massed frontline and blast away but I thought that I would suggest something different. I put it up here to get some respons before I use it in my own game. The idea would be this.

First established a series of strongpoints, heavily fortified, that can give fire support to each other. Then behind this series of mini-fortresses a proper frontline is made with artillery in support. The basic idea is that when the Tyranids attack the strongpoints will result in wave-breakers and from it artillery can be directed against the aliens. As I envision it the Tyranids can do one of two things.

1. Attack and crush each stronghold in turn while under constant crossfire from the other strongpoints nearby. The benefits of this is that the Tyranids will have to crush them each in turn and cannot make on breakthrought and then spread out in a killing spree into the trenches/lines and can only kill the men inside one stronghold at a time.

2. Rush straight through at which point the Tyranids will be subjected to a crossfire the like would stop them dead if anything can.

3. Do both things at once which could overwhelm the defenders but more like it might make the Tyranid attack more splintered and perhaps to weak to break either one of the two targets.

Is this a suicidal idea or could it have some merits?



#2 Captain Ventris

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:47 AM

The instant I saw this thread title, I thought "They could cover themselves in Habanero sauce."

That'll show e'm.



#3 coolzyg

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:23 AM

Not stupid at all. I think that only problem with this is that building such fortification (forts+trench line) would take a lot of time and resources for IG and when Tyranid fleet is dropping their soldiers it's too late. Also there would be problem with morale as no one would want to sit in giant bunker in the see of bio horrors from beyond the galaxy.

On the other hand such fortification is pretty good near the main city/fortress. We can have city with huge hard wall and gun emplacement and everything and around city in 500 m we can have smaller fortresses connected by the underground tunnels (of course with explosives if fortress would be taken by the enemy).



#4 Gurkhal

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:53 AM

Captain Ventris said:


The instant I saw this thread title, I thought "They could cover themselves in Habanero sauce."

 

That'll show e'm.

coolzyg said:


Not stupid at all. I think that only problem with this is that building such fortification (forts+trench line) would take a lot of time and resources for IG and when Tyranid fleet is dropping their soldiers it's too late. Also there would be problem with morale as no one would want to sit in giant bunker in the see of bio horrors from beyond the galaxy.

 

On the other hand such fortification is pretty good near the main city/fortress. We can have city with huge hard wall and gun emplacement and everything and around city in 500 m we can have smaller fortresses connected by the underground tunnels (of course with explosives if fortress would be taken by the enemy).

 

You are right that it will require alot of premptive work to preapere positions like these. And while manning the forts may be somewhat suicidal it could be given to penal unites or the troops uses the underground tunnels to withdraw and detonate explosives behind them to seal the tunnel and collapse the building as they make it out.

But in regards to the bunker I would probably rather sit inside a bunker than take on the Tyranids out in the open.



#5 bluntpencil2001

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 09:04 AM

"Shoot the big ones!"

" First rank, FIRE!

Second rank, FIRE!"

"Target artillery… on my position."

 

Anything else should be left to those with higher pay grades than Guardsmen. ;)



#6 herichimo

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 05:37 PM

Five words:

Sustained wide area artillery barrage.

 

Troops kill those who somehow survive and leak through.



#7 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 12:42 AM

Gurkhal said:

First established a series of strongpoints, heavily fortified, that can give fire support to each other. Then behind this series of mini-fortresses a proper frontline is made with artillery in support. The basic idea is that when the Tyranids attack the strongpoints will result in wave-breakers and from it artillery can be directed against the aliens. As I envision it the Tyranids can do one of two things.

Fundamentally, Hethguard (described in some detail in The Jericho Reach) is this strategy on a planetary scale - a fortress world in a literal sense, where the planet itself is the fortress.

The problem, of course, comes when the Tyranids start using flying or tunnelling beasts to circumvent the fortifications. The former requires heavy AA cover, the latter is trickier to counteract.

As for time spent establishing strongpoints - personally, I love the idea that there are standardised STC-derived fortifications which can be established in a matter of hours or days (depending on complexity) by personnel on the ground once the components have been brought down from orbit.


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#8 HappyDaze

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 01:54 AM

I thought that the main attack of the Tyranids was in spore bombardment - sometimes for several days - before the first 'bugs' ever walk the planet (and once they are there, it's already too late for the world). Against that, most Guard strategies are going to really struggle. Put your trust in the Navy instead.


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#9 Gurkhal

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:14 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Gurkhal said:

First established a series of strongpoints, heavily fortified, that can give fire support to each other. Then behind this series of mini-fortresses a proper frontline is made with artillery in support. The basic idea is that when the Tyranids attack the strongpoints will result in wave-breakers and from it artillery can be directed against the aliens. As I envision it the Tyranids can do one of two things.

 

Fundamentally, Hethguard (described in some detail in The Jericho Reach) is this strategy on a planetary scale - a fortress world in a literal sense, where the planet itself is the fortress.

The problem, of course, comes when the Tyranids start using flying or tunnelling beasts to circumvent the fortifications. The former requires heavy AA cover, the latter is trickier to counteract.

As for time spent establishing strongpoints - personally, I love the idea that there are standardised STC-derived fortifications which can be established in a matter of hours or days (depending on complexity) by personnel on the ground once the components have been brought down from orbit.

Good point about the tunneling creatures. I understood that in the Great War they were trying to tunnel under each other's positions and that the war below the ground and that might give some ideas. Now I don't know how fast Tyranid creatures can dig but directed explosives can perhaps be used to detonate when the creatures comes close?

HappyDaze said:


I thought that the main attack of the Tyranids was in spore bombardment - sometimes for several days - before the first 'bugs' ever walk the planet (and once they are there, it's already too late for the world). Against that, most Guard strategies are going to really struggle. Put your trust in the Navy instead.

 

While I trust the Navy I wouldn't want to put all my eggs in one basket.



#10 ranoncles

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:06 AM

If you are looking to real-world tactics, I thing there are 3 obvious examples:

1) The Ostheer defensive tactics during WWII. The Germans eventually copied the French post-Dunkirk tactic of mutually supporting hedgehogs to slow the enemy and channel them into killing fields. When supported by hard-hitting, mobile forces (panzer units acting as fire brigade), these tactics were usually sufficient to stop the Red Army. If the mobile forces were not available or too weak, the Russians would break through, albeit with heavy losses, and then the hedgehogs were deathtraps as their supplies ran out.

2) The Russians were great believers in field works to augment their weak infantry. By 1943, they were pretty good at it and at Kursk, they built staggeringly strong defences based around massive firepower in the front lines. These all-round defence works usually had numerous artillery guns, mortars and/or AT guns (e.g. pak fronts) and were staggered in great depth. And there were three of these defence lines. Augmented by mobile reserves, they managed to hold off the Germans and make them pay heavy losses for every yard gained.

3) NATO slavishly copied German WWII tactics (as told to them by German generals with selective memories) as they believed they were ideally suited to their own situation (high quality but lesser strength against poor quality tank masses). Mostly the default tactic was based on mobile defense, never allowing the Soviets to mass their strength against them.

Unfortunately, there are some obvious problems with these tactics. The morale problem seems obvious; who’d want to be in a hedgehog, surrounded by aliens who want to eat you while you have to rely on others to save you as you lack the intrinsic strength/firepower to really damage the horde? The Germans obviously did it albeit under slightly better circumstances and WH40K has commisars but people remain people so morale issues will remain.

Mobile counter-attack tactics work best against a foe with lesser mobility. Tyranids might very well have a similar or even superior mobility.

All of the above tactics are based on undermining momentum and forcing unacceptable attritional losses upon the enemy. I am not sure either would work against Tyranids. As long as they can recycle biomass, they can absorb losses.



#11 Coolduff

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:15 PM

Ranoncles makes a very fine point.  The Tyranid are not a force the Imperium can afford to get into a war of attrition with.  Not only can they replace their losses with biomass collected from your own casualties, they are constantly evolving and adapting.  In the end sacrificing the momentium like that will just lead to a slow and painful death.

 

Which is why in all successful wars against the Tyranids, the ground war has been a delaying action at best.  You don't win a war very often by holding your ground.  You beat the tyranids by surviving long enough and with enough resources to take out its one weak point… the HIVE MIND.  Until that is destoryed the horde keeps coming in more numbers and greater complexity, as it evolves, adapts, and follow sstratigies that no human can comprehend.  Until the hive mind is destroyed, no war with the tyranids is won; and you can't destroy the hive mind if you are on the defensive.



#12 trentmorten

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:52 PM

I've never been that convinced by the biomass recyling ability of the nid's, nor the seemingly limitless amounts of creatures they can employ. However, assuming that the horde numbers in the hundreds of billions from a significant hive fleet then the only viable solution for the guard is massed bombardment on the ground and decent aerial defenses. ironically, without taking the suicide missions to travel into the hive ship into account, taking on the nid's is far more a job for the guard then the SMs. massive prepared defense in depth with minefields, buried seismic charges to collapse tunnels and lots of flak is the way to go.



#13 Gurkhal

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:31 AM

trentmorten said:

I've never been that convinced by the biomass recyling ability of the nid's, nor the seemingly limitless amounts of creatures they can employ. However, assuming that the horde numbers in the hundreds of billions from a significant hive fleet then the only viable solution for the guard is massed bombardment on the ground and decent aerial defenses. ironically, without taking the suicide missions to travel into the hive ship into account, taking on the nid's is far more a job for the guard then the SMs. massive prepared defense in depth with minefields, buried seismic charges to collapse tunnels and lots of flak is the way to go.

I've got to agree with you. If I remeber correctly the Tyranids must gather the biomass from the start and take it either to a hive on the ground, which is vulnerable to artillery, aerial attacks etc. or get to the hive ships close to the planet to consume the biomass, and only then can new creatures be created. I don't think that instant reclaiming of biomass happens or that new creatures can be created instantly like that. A strong guard position can well act to hinder the Tyranids from easily reclaiming the biomass, even more so if flame weaponry like napalm is used to destroy the Tyranid biomass and make less of it available for rippers to bring to a hive.



#14 crisaron

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:59 AM

IMO

 

War of attrition works, just not on a planetary scale but more on a sector scale. The hive needs huge loads of resources and biomass to mount an assault, by putting pressure it can't grow or refill it's forces. Then when the nids win, because it was planed anyway by the Emperium, the hive ships need to descend in lower orbit to take the resource form the planet, where they are extremely vulnerable to exterminatus (alto there are talks that Exterminatus may not be enough to completely clean the stain, the remaining biomass/bioconstruct would not be enough to full/birth a new hive).  This as to be done times and times again to completely wipe a hive fleet, any faltering means a renewall of a part of the fleet.

Hence our guard doing a glorious rear guard with fall back echelons. Remember a world clean by exterminatus is still a viable fortress world for humans, it just lost any other function.

 

 The assault war would fail, since the Emperium can't produce enough to cope with the rapid reproduction bioforms. The hive mind is way faster to respond to the vast war fronts because of it's unique mind/conscience. It can divert/ grow/ engineer specific bio organism to cover any weak points humans may consider… They have very efficient burrowers, flyers, crawlers, void creatures, etc… 



#15 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

Re: Rapidly established fortifications, Planetstrike makes reference to the 'Drop Bastion' - which, whilst it'd lack connecting fieldworks, etc, would probably be even less than hours to prepare.






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