Warhammer 40k 2nd ed: Distress Call from Koltus V

Here follows the details from the second battle between Tyranids and the Pretorian Guard on Koltus V.

During the battle at Kolts’ Drift, the Tyranids absorbed enough officers to discover that there is a powerful Imperial psyker hiding on Koltus V. The Hive Mind have now demanded that he be absorbed next, to prevent him from sending a distress call to other Imperial units at the nearest stars.

The Tyranids set out intent on destruction. The Imperials would be subdued within the day.


We played 2000 points 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000. The lists were made from the army books with no additional rules. The scenario was home brew and followed the description below.

The Objective: The Imperials have a level 4 psyker, that is busy scanning nearby systems for any Imperial garrisons to send a distress signal to. Tyranids need to take out the psyker before he succeeds. From turn 3 onwards the psyker is getting close to establishing a connection and starts rolling for the distress call in each psychic phase. If successful, the game stops and the Tyranids have lost.

Distress call: turn 3=6+, turn 4=5+, turn 5=4+

Winning conditions: If the psyker manages to establish connection the Imperials win. After turn 5, the Empire has automatically won if the psyker is not dead. If the psyker is killed by any means the Tyranids win.

Army lists


It was a quick and brutal battle. The guard deployed far back and prepared to shoot at anything approaching. No less than 4 units were delayed due to Tyranid strategy cards (that table). The Hellhound also suffered from corrosion (but we forgot that immediately).

With a strategy rating of 1 the Tyranids deployed first, and the Imperials stole the first turn. They quickly reduced the Tyranid synapse by killing one of the Warriors broods.

An especially well-placed krak missile struck home from the Imperial tower of power…

Meanwhile the Psyker was busy hiding from the Alien Menace. The hive tyrants assailed the Psyker with a Tyranid psychic power, forcing him to roll 2d6 – under his toughness and he was unscathed, above toughness but below LD and he was out till next psychic phase… above LD and he was dead! But he rolled below LD and above toughness so was taken out for a round. The Tyrant also managed to put down “Catalyst” on the Genestealers, giving them a 5+ save on 2d6.

There was no other plan than advancing across the board. and so the bugs did.

Catalyst or no catalyst, all but 3 genestealers died to the flames of the Hellhound. The ripper swarm took a beating too.

The one carnifex ran fuelled by its adrenaline sacs straight into the Hellhound and bashed it hard… but it had forgotten that in 2nd edition, it would have to forego its multiple attacks for a single S10 attack to do any real damage, so nothing happened.

Turn 2 and things were starting to heat up. The Imperial late arrivals came on to the board. The Hormagaunts had made contact with a heavy weapons squad, who got all but completely eaten. One brave member of the squad held up the fight though and it would carry on.

The Hive Tyrant shot one of the sentinels with its venom cannon. The venom cannon fires using the thudd gun template, and took out a hormagaunt and a guardsman in addition to the sentinel. A nefarious ploy on behalf of the Psyker had taken the Tyranid psychic power “Psychic Scream” out of the game. Casting this spell the Pskyer was assaulted by demons of the warp, yet still survived.

Quickly it became turn 3. The Psyker was starting to heat up and could potentially end the game now. The Leman Russ decided that mowing straight through the Hormagaunts was the best option… killing two in the process, before firing a lascannon shot straight into the gut of the Carnifex, but not wounding.

Next, it trained its battlecannon on the Hive Tyrant and shot,… sending the shot wide in to a nearby building. As the Imperial psychic phase came about the Psyker rolled a 4 for the Distress Call, and so the Tyranids would get another go.

In the Tyranid turn 3, the Carnifexes remembered their “crushing attack” in which they can combine all their claws into one smashing blow at S10. This has the added advantage of affording them a d20 for armour penetration, so that it becomes one attack of 10+1d6+1d20 instead of 4 attacks of 7+1d6+d12… This made a short story of the Leman Russ and the hellhound. The other sentinel was ended by a venom cannon also, and there were no close combats left to fight. As the Psychic Phase started the Imperial Psyker tried again to establish connection and this he got an unbelievable 6. The Psyker established connection and sent out the distress call. The time had run out on the Tyranids. As with a flick of a switch the creatures went away. The smaller ones scuttled into hiding and back, while the bigger creatures turn on the spot and ignored their former prey. The Guardsmen that were left in the Fort guarding the Psyker let out a sigh of relief. Now someone would come to their aid to fight of the rest of this menace!


This was a quick 3 hour battle. There were sooo many Tyranid units that took nearly no part in the battle. Termagants, Hormagaunts, Genestealers, Rippers… almost none of them made contact. Still it felt like a close affair, that could easily have switched. Demonic attack and psychic scream could have on the battle for the Tyranids but alas, it did not.

Now the distress call has been sent and the Imperial will be reinforced. I am looking forward to playing the next battle!

Probably the Necromundan Spiders will come to the aid of the Koltus V troops. We have decided that this means the Imperial Guard will be on the prowl next time – playing as attacker.


  1. Very nice report! Also, about time the poor old IG had some luck – that 6+ at the first opportunity to make contact absolutely saved them from what looked like Turn 4 carnage (at least, judging by the massive swarm of ‘Nids about one charge away in the last pic!). 🙂



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