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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:18 am 
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Mighty Manufactorium of MiniWarGaming Posts
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Posts: 2518
Greetings fellow underlings of the Hive Mind!

Many sections of this forum have a thread dedicated to a unit-by-unit analysis of the codex. I think it's time 'nids got one :P

I will be writing this hoping that you, the reader, have at least a vague notion of Tyranids and probably have read the codex. This is a combination of theories and my own gaming experiences. I encourage you to critique and add to this with your own experiences.

Before I begin, let me explain the format I will use:

<Name of Unit>

<My opinion on usefulness>
This will simply be a little bar like so:
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII] (Awesome! Tournament ready!)
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII] (Meh, a bit situational, but take them for the fun of it)
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII] (Failure... situational at best)

<Pro's and Con's>

<Explanations, Builds and Tactics>

Got it? Good. Special thanks to 'Zeebs for establishing the basic format in his guide(s). For those following at home, open up your codex to page 86, and follow along as I move page by page, entry by entry.

Let us begin!

Note: Whatever you do, DO NOT QUOTE THE ENTIRE GUIDE! If you do, I will find you, and I will get a new kidney hat. Do feel free to quote small parts of it though :D.

_________________
Clearly, I'm a mere walking corpse, shambling through walls of text.

Inactive? Maybe...


Last edited by Rangrok1k on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: HQ
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:19 am 
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Posts: 2518
The Hive Tyrant: The Commander of the Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Monstrous Creature
  • Synapse
  • Amazing Psychic Powers
  • Lash Whips cripple almost all enemy units in assault
  • WS8
  • Meh BS is countered by Twin-Linked and Blasts
  • Can get Preferred Enemy while giving in a small aura around him
  • Can get Wings
  • Can force handfuls of saves with shooting
  • Acid Blood and Lash Whip Combo
  • Possible 2+ armor save


CON

  • Only 4 wounds
  • Tyrant Guards can't get Wings and join a flying Hive Tyrant
  • Expensive when fully upgraded
  • A bit of useless biomorphs
  • It is either a Winged Hive Tyrant, or a Footslogging one with a body guard
  • Always needs a screen/cover
  • Only a 3+ save base
  • The 2+ armor save upgrade cannot be taken with Wings
  • What invul save?
  • Metal Model
  • No official set of Wings available

There is a lot of stuff to talk about here. The Hive Tyrant hogs half a page for his upgrades alone, 3/4 if you include the Tyrant Guards, and the full page if you consider the Swarmlord a Hive Tyrant (which the FAQ does). Most of the upgrades must work in concert with others, so going through them one at a time is not necessarily the best option. However, there is little else I can do, so let us begin with the massive list...


Weapons and Biomorphs

Bonesword and Lash Whip (Default)
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Its a good combo. Not perfect, but nice. Unfortunately, there is no option to have dual Boneswords, but it does not hurt the Hive Tyrant that badly (if you want instant death, Swarmlord is there for you). The Lash Whip is the main and only reason to keep the combo, because Lash Whips will tear apart every other cc oriented unit (with a few exceptions). Lash Whips reduce all enemies in base contact with the Hive Tyrant to Initiative 1. This is huge, and makes many terrifying units into minor speed bumps.

Additional Set of Scything Talons
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Two sets of Scything Talons are decent if you want to keep the Hive Tyrant cheap. If you do not care for price, the Hive Tyrant can get himself Preferred Enemy which does practically the same, but grants it in a small aura around him (Note: Preferred Enemy does not affect vehicles, while 2x Scything Talons do). The other use for these is to swap them for more shooting weapons. The Hive Tyrant can swap both sets of scything talons for various shooting weapons, which is a must if you want to give him any sort of shooting capabilities.

Twin-Linked Deathspitters
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
While these are decent weapons, they are inferior to the Devourers with Brainleech Worms. They are only str5 and only ap5 and only assault 3. Devourers with Brainleech Worms have too many advantages over Deathspitters to be worth taking. (Note: This is the complete opposite on Tyranid Warriors. I know, I'm confusing!)

Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Awesomeness. The Hive Tyrant may have a crap BS, but these are Twin-Linked. They are str6, they are assault 6, and they are awesome :D. There is a major difference between Devourers and Devourers with Brainleech Worms. Check the codex armory for details. In addition, the leadership debuff is really nice, which also works well with some of the Hive Tyrant's Psychic Powers (Although, this can be debated. Check with your opponent, and the fine print before use.).

Stranglethorn Cannon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Big gun number 1. The Stranglethorn Cannon is impressive. It will brute force its way through most saves, and has a nice chance to pin when added to the Devourers with Brainleech Worms. Nice strength, nice aoe, so what are its faults? Well, the Hive Tyrant does far more damage in melee combat than in shooting. Also, Tyranids do not have a major problem with anti-infantry. The Stranglethorn Cannon solves a problem that never existed in the first place. I guess it would be nice against Heavy Weapons teams, but it slows down your Hive Tyrant a lot, and it is easier to get a Harpy or some Biovores to do the same role, but better.

Heavy Venom Cannon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This weapon is... lacking. It is said to fold tanks in half with the detonation alone, but it is has a debuff against vehicles. Str9 ap4 has few uses. Vehicles would be one, but being blast and getting a disadvantage against vehicles rules that option out (You may get some reliable Crew Shake/Stunned results, but I don't think it justifies slowing the Tyrant down). You can use it to force instant death, but Hive Guards would do the same much more reliably, and ignoring cover. In addition, ap4 wont penetrate most of the armor on things that can be instant death'd. You can use it on very VERY dense clusters of elites, but once again ap4 is denying a lot of your potential kills. Although I like the model :D

Hive Commander
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is a very powerful ability. If you have reserves in your army, Hive Commander is a must. In addition to +1 to your reserves rolls, you can make a single troops choice outflank. This allows you to throw melee Tyranid Warriors right into your enemy, without having to footslog them over. The other famous option is outflanking a troops choice Tervigon, for throwing a massive Monstrous Creature at your opponent really will throw them off. The final option with this upgrade involves Hormagaunts. Hive Commander can allow a full force of 30 upgraded Hormagaunts to hit the enemy's lines with few casualties (if not, no casualties whatsoever).

Indescribable Horror
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Horrible. Yeah it forces a leadership test to anyone who wants to assault a Hive Tyrant, but what would want to assault a Hive Tyrant that is not already Fearless or LD10? I cannot think of anything. This is a waste of points. Yeah, it could prevent an occasional wimpy unit from assaulting you, but this isn't exactly something beneficial. If you are assaulted by a wimpy unit, you can turn the tides and destroy them in a sweeping advance, allowing you to consolidate a little bit closer to something more worthy of your time :D.

Old Adversary
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Who likes re-rolls! This gives Preferred Enemy to the Hive Tyrant, and whomever may be close to him. More re-rolls to hit dramatically increase the damage of Gaunt shields that may be helping the Hive Tyrant, in addition to helping the Hive Tyrant's Tyrant Guards. There is nothing I could complain about! Oh wait, Preferred Enemy doesn't grant re-rolls against vehicles :(.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Meh, they are alright... Good if you are fighting a Talos, or an opposing t6+ enemy... Not necessary, nor detrimental.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Meh, they are alright... Good if you are fighting a Talos, or an opposing t6+ enemy (Dejavu! It's like I just copy and pasted that sentence!). Just be warned that Toxin Sacs really narrow the focus of your Hive Tyrant to those tough, powerful HQ's. They work well with Implant Attack, because the re-rolls to wound mean you have a higher chance of rolling a 6 :D.

Acid Blood
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Awesome Synergy right here. Acid Blood and Lash Whips coincide so beautifully. Lash Whips make initiative 1, and Acid Blood requires an Iniative test. It is like having a little guy riding on your Hive Tyrant, and whenever someone pokes him, he pokes back, with a poison 2+ power weapon (Always pass characteristic tests on a 1. Therefore, if your opponent rolls a 2+ on his Initiative test...). Also, this really shines when your opponent brings Dreadnoughts (*Cough*Cough*Blood Angels Blood Talons curse thee, this is my vengeance*Cough*Cough*), for you also gain additional glancing blows on a 4+.

Implant Attack
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Meh it is alright... Good if you want to go HQ hunting. It works well with the re-rolls from Toxin Sacs.

Toxic Miasma
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Horrible, waste of points, and is only worthwhile if you are being assaulted by other Tyranid Guants/Imperial Guardsmen/Guardians... and even then, bring the Parasite of Mortrex instead of a Hive Tyrant to get far better results.

Regeneration
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Another Meh... It works well if you have Armoured Shell and some Tyrant Guards, for they delay long enough for you to be able to regenerate wounds. Leech Essence, imo, is more reliable when you do not have Armoured Shell and Tyrant Guards. This can be a lifesaving upgrade, but for me, about 50% of the time, I forget I have it. If you DO remember it, it has a decent chance of completely saving your Tyrant, which makes it a must buy in some people's eyes.

Thorax Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is an interesting choice. It is practically a defensive weapon for Monstrous Creatures. It is a nice, powerful template. I suggest the Chem-Cannon copy (The "always wounds on 2+" one) for t4 armies. Then, the Str5 one for t3 armies. This is, statistically, the best options. The Rending one is significantly weaker. Note, there is some cheese to exploit here. Psychic Shooting attacks can only be fired in place of firing a shooting attack. The Thorax Swarm is a shooting attack, but you can still fire your two other weapons. If you sacrifice Thorax Swarm for your Psychic Shooting Attack, you can still pump out your other two shooting weapons. Your opponents may disagree, but that is what I see based on how the rules are worded.

Armoured Shell
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Sidenote: I'm from the U.S.A. and the British spelling makes my computer angry.
If you have Tyrant Guards, this is the best option. The 2+ armor save makes you immune to Missile Launchers that would normally rip off a wound easily. Long Fangs? HA! Taste 2+ save and Tyrant Guards! Not much else to say.

Wings
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The most expensive is greatest upgrade in my opinion. I LOVE this. The conversion is tricky. I used some Balrog Wings and cut, filed, and green-stuffed them into a decent shape. These wings make you AWESOMELY fast. There is no complaint I can think of other than price. It costs as much as a Tyrant Guard, but so what? In addition, you know true line of sight? Well, the rulebook intentionally writes the TLoS rules to NOT penalize models for having impressive wingspans (it even specifically mentions wings). This makes me happy :D.

The Horror
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The first of the Psychic Powers is a decent one. This is a nice one to have in concert with Devourers and can knock key units off of objectives. Leech Essence and Paroxysm are better overall, but The Horror can be fun.

Leech Essence
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
If you want to heal yourself quickly, this is what you must do. It is quick, simple, and effective. The low strength is a little (well, more than a little) detrimental. However it is still VERY useful, and has saved me several times. Even against MEQ's, you have a high chance of taking a few wounds back.

Paroxysm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Jack of all Trades, epic win, uber pwm, awesome power of awesomeness :D. Throw this at anything that may want to shoot at you, anything that you want to assault, anything that would want to assault you, anything that can assault you, anything you can assault, anything that looks at you funny, anything that you look at funny, anything that calls you fat, anything that calls Tyranid OP (Although this may promote said feelings), anything that is living... Well... Just throw Paroxysm at everything, and it will make you happy :D. Although you may feel torn between using Paroxysm and Leech essence. While Paroxysm is an INCREDIBLE power, it can go to waste quite easily if you don't target the correct unit. I tend to follow this simple flow chart whenever I am close to my target:

1. Can you Assault your Target?
Yes - go to question 2
No - Paroxysm

2. Is the target's Weapon Skill greater than or equal to 4 (5 if you are the Swarmlord)?
Yes - go to question 3
No - Leech Essence

3. Is the target something scary in cc?
Yes - Paroxysm
No - Leech Essence


Psychic Scream
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This will fall flat on its face, and fail. If you like this, bring the Doom of Malan'tai, for it is pitiful when compared to the other amazing options. If this worked like the Doom of Malan'tai's Spirit Leech, then it would be a must get, but it is significantly weaker and less reliable.


Tactics and Builds

Enough of the Wargear, Here are some Hive Tyrant builds that I find utilize the peaks of the Hive Tyrant's abilities, and their matching strategies. Forewarned: Hive Tyrants are not capable of being the best at everything...


The Flyrant
Bonesword and Lash Whip
Scything Talons or Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms
Old Adversary
Acid Blood
Wings
Paroxysm
Leech Essence
optional: Hive Commander
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This is my Hive Tyrant of choice. To run The Flyrant you will need some Gargoyles to screen you. 15 to 30 will do. Preferably give them Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands. Have The Flyrant and Gargoyles throw themselves at your opponent without any sort of safety and watch them kill... well, more like watch The Flyrant kill. The Gargoyles are meant to go splat against your opponents, forcing them to spend several turns scrapping them off their face. They wont do much, but the Gargoyles will prevent your opponent from seeing that Hive Tyrant going in for the kill. In general, hit their front lines hard and fast.


The Assassin
Bonesword and Lash Whip
Scything Talons
Hive Commander
Old Adversary
Acid Blood
Implant Attack
Wings
Paroxysm
Leech Essence
optional: Toxin Sacs
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


Deepstrike this Hive Tyrant in relative safety near your opponent's HQ. Then, throw him, max speed, at the HQ. Throw Paroxysm and everything else. Hive Commander makes sure he comes early enough to prevent the HQ from causing too much damage. The Scything Talons are overshadowed by Old Adversary, but there is no point in replacing them for some guns. The Assassin will probably die very early, due to HQs generally being painful... and located in the middle of armies. He is expensive for being a suicide unit, but he will also pull fire away from any Trygons and Tervigons that you may also have. Toxin Sacs do narrow his focus a bit, and it may be a bit too much for some situations.


The Gunner
Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms
Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms
Old Adversary
Wings
Paroxysm
Leech Essence or The Horror
optional if taking The Horror: Regeneration
optional: Hive Commander
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


Like The Flyrant, this Hive Tyrant will be charging at you fast. He needs a Gargoyle Screen too (see that section for info on how to set up and use your Gargoyles). Unlike The Flyrant, The Gunner benefits from an additional 18 inches of threat range. Anyone too close will take 12, twin-linked str6 hits, and/or face assault. This totals to a 30" threat range. In general though, The Gunner wants to get close, and blow them away with volume of saves. You can mix the horror in there too, forcing some squads to fall back. With The Gunner, you can be a little less suicidal. The Flyrant's top priority is getting into a close combat situation, while The Gunner's top priority is getting into the right close combat situation. You may be a bit doubtful about this build due to Gargoyle Screens giving cover both ways, however, Devourers are ap- to begin with. Your opponents are probably going to be getting their armor save anyways, which probably would be better than 4+ due to all the SPESH MAHREENZ now a days. If you are not against SPESH MAREENZ then you can just have your screen fly off to The Gunner's side (or even behind him).


The Tank
Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms
Stranglethorn Cannon
Acid Blood
Regeneration
Armoured Shell
Paroxysm
The Horror or Leech Essence
2x or 3x Tyrant Guards with Lash Whips
optional: Old Adversary
optional: Hive Commander
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This guy is slow, and is going to spend the entire game launching that Stranglethorn Cannon. He is better in group games as a support to a very large force. Have him slightly in front of other slow moving, heavy weapons. The best time I ran The Tank was when he spent the entire game holding off about 700 points of enemies trying to get to a group of 6 Broadsides (and earned him the name). However, he is not very powerful, damage wise. His strength grows as you get closer to him, but nothing really tells your opponent "THIS GUY WILL MASSACRE YOU!" He will be ignored with almost no penalty, and you do not want something this expensive (and durable) being ignored. If he isn't soaking up damage, he wont be making his points up.


The Fiend
Twin-Linked Devourers with Brain Leech Worms
Twin-Linked Devourers with Brain Leech Worms
Old Adversary
Acid Blood
Regeneration
Thorax Swarm or Armoured Shell
Paroxysm
The Horror or Leech Essence
2x or 3x Tyrant Guards with Lash Whips
optional instead of Acid Blood and Tyrant Guards with Lash Whips: 2x or 3x Tyrant Guards with Boneswords
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This is the fusion between The Gunner and The Tank. While the build does not differ much from The Tank, the strategy does. The Fiend will spend as long as possible running. Use Hormagaunts as a screen, because the Hormagaunts will give cover to the Tyrant Guards, and by extension, the Hive Tyrant. This is a very strong option for those who are up against other foot-slogging/short ranged armies, like Orks. This guy will be soaking up damage throughout the game, and will be posing a much bigger threat than The Tank. That extra d6" of running adds up to quite a lot throughout the game. The Devourers are there to add an additional 18" of threat to The Fiend. You are slow already, and if you find yourself short by about 7"-9", then unleash some firepower. Your allies will LOVE you if you bring this guy into a team game. Place Abaddon The Despoiler, or Prince Yriel of Iyanden, or Drazhar, Master of Blades, or any other big, terrifying character with The Fiend. As you aproach, hand pick the wounds you know The Fiend(and friends) can handle, while discarding the rest on the Tyrant Guards.

=====================================================

The Tyrant Guard: The Shield of Bone
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO
  • T6
  • Attacks like a Broodlord
  • 3+ Save
  • Accompanying Hive Tyrant cannot be singled out
  • It does its job
  • equivalent of +6 wounds to any Hive Tyrant when maxed - aka: 10 wounds total
  • Can get Lash Whips
  • Can get Boneswords
  • Rending


CON
  • Only 2 wounds
  • Cannot get a 2+ save like a Hive Tyrant
  • um... average Initiative
  • Cannot get wings to keep up with a Winged Hive Tyrant
  • Leadership 7 is kinda a bummer...
  • err.... 60 points I guess is sorta expensive for a shield... sorta?


The difficulty I have in trying to criticize the Tyrant Guard is a testament to its greatness. The Tyrant Guard is one of the best retinues in the game. Why? Well unlike say, the Dark Eldar Court of the Archon, each Tyrant Guard is disposable. If my Sslyths die, then my Court of the Archon looses that majority toughness 5. Tyrant Guards are just there to die. I don't need them alive, they aren't needed alive, and they aren't mourned over when they die. If your Tyrant Guards are dying, then they are doing their job, which is why it is hard to criticize them. 60 points is a bit much, but they are t6, and they are just AWESOME at what they do. Leadership 7 may seem bad, but really, they will die before the Hive Tyrant, and the Hive Tyrant is Leadership 10, Fearless, and a Synapse Creature.


Weapons and Biomorphs

There are only two upgrades you can give your Tyrant Guards

Lash Whips
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Lash Whips on Tyrant Guards allow your Hive Tyrant to replace his own Bonesword and Lash Whip for other weapons. Very nice if you want to max out those Devourers. Don't forget to share the love by getting Old Adversary and re-rolls on your Tyrant Guards' attacks.

Boneswords
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Boneswords are there if you want them to deal damage. Most people don't realize that Tyrant Guards are an armored version of a Broodlord. Yeah the Broodlord has an additional attack, but the Tyrant Guards can get those attacks to ignore armor. Almost the same price too. This will make your Tyrant Guards incredibly painful. They are not as good as Lash Whips because, in general, your Tyrant Guards are going to be dying from shooting, and are not going to be getting into cc often enough and/or at full strength.


Tactics and Builds

This section is redundant and pointless, but I feel the lazy route would be just ignoring it. I believe I am better than that!


The Shield of Bone
Tyrant Guards x3
Hive Tyrant without Wings
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


Tyrant Guards doing what they are meant to do. This should not need an explanation.


The Shield of Ensnarement
Tyrant Guards x3
Lash Whips
Hive Tyrant without Wings and Bonesword/Lashwhip combo
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This allows you Hive Tyrant more shooting weapons! Yayz! In addition, your Tyrant Guards will actually be able to attack before SPESH MAREENS!!


The Shield of Blades
Tyrant Guards x3
Boneswords
Hive Tyrant without Wings
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


Tyrant Guards doing damage... Well what did you expect? These guys will actually hurt, and if your opponent is not shooting focused, they wont realize until it's too late how painful they truly are.

=====================================================

The Swarmlord: The Pinnacle of Tyranid Existence
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Monstrous Creature
  • Every Hive Tyrant Psychic Power
  • HAS AN INVUL SAVE!
  • 2 Psychic Shooting attacks a turn
  • +1 to reserves, and increases the reliability of Outflanking
  • Bonesabres are, debatably, the best melee weapons of the game
  • Constantly gives out Special Rules to allies
  • 5 wounds
  • Did I mention, HAS AN INVUL SAVE!


CON

  • Slow
  • Big Target
  • Expensive
  • Requires Tyrant Guards which puts him near the 500pt mark
  • Only a 3+ save
  • The Invul save is CC only
  • He is only str6, meaning he has some trouble against other tough enemies
  • No official GW model yet. In addition The Hive Tyrant model is metal and hard to work with
  • Does not have access to many of the fancy Biomorphs

The Swarmlord is described practically as a God. His close combat capabilities are terrifying, and if you talk about his capabilities, your opponents will fear him. However, this fear is a double-edged sword. He is a massive target, and people will want him dead very soon. This may make some want to dedicate large amounts of their army to protecting the Swarmlord. This is not recommended, because the Swarmlord is well... the lord of the swarm. He works best supporting his army, not with an army supporting him. Yes he is terrifying, but people can manipulate his speed and can choose when to engage him, and who to engage him with.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Bonesabres
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I will go as far to say they are the BEST cc weapon in the game. They cause instant death, they dramatically weaken enemy invul saves, and they are on a str6 monstrous creature. There is absolutely nothing I could complain about here... Ok, maybe they would be better if they always wound on a 2+, but now I'm just being spoiled :D.

Abilities

Alien Cunning
This is similar to the Hive Commander ability for Hive Tyrants with a slight twist. Instead of letting another unit outflank, he allows you to re-roll the dice when deciding which side you outflank from. Because of this, the Swarmlord is perfect for a Genestealer focused army. This, in theory, sounds amazing, having 6 units of Genestealers outflanking where and when you want them. Unfortunately, it is less than spectacular. The Swarmlord is slow, and it will take him a large amount of the game to get into cc, unless your opponent is charging him. If you opponent is advancing toward you, you have no problem. If your opponent is fleeing, he may NEVER see combat. How does this relate to an all Genestealer list? If you go pure Genestealers, there will only be one model on the table. The Swarmlord (+retinue). An entire army can and will focus him down (unless it is Dawn of War). If you throw him into Reserves, yes he gets his reserve bonus, but he then must come from your table edge and walk from one side of the board, to the other. Therefore, it is good to only have about 2-4 squads of Genestealers, while the rest of the army is built like a regular Tyranid Army.

Blade Parry
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Blade Parry is the exact same rule as the Dark Eldar Wych dodge. 4+ invul save in cc. This is one of the few invul saves of the entire codex. It wont block much, but it statistically doubles his wounds in cc. Then add in 6 for three guards and theoretically you have 16 wounds. In practice, he will loose a few to stray shooting. However, while it is not an impressive Invul save, it is a decent invul save that will help you a lot when going toe to toe against other HQ's

Psychic Monstrosity
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Psychic Monstrosity gives credence to the idea of the Swarmlord supporting his army, not the army supporting him. His Synapse range gets a boost in range. 18" is actually quite a lot. For example, Gargoyles tend to outrun the army very quickly. The Swarmlord can provide enough Synapse to make them viable while having no forward Synapse creatures to prevent them from Lurking.

Swarm Leader
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
No psychic test required, just point at a unit, and boom, you got preferred enemy or furious charge (or Acute Senses, but really, why are you doing long ranged shooting in the first place? Maybe Hive Guards or Biovores I guess...). He can even give these abilities to himself if he is in a difficult situation. That should not be needed, but it will always be appreciated. This also means you can save 100 or so points on your Hormagaunts. Instead of giving them Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands, just get Toxin Sacs, and have the Swarmlord give them Furious Charge the turn they assault. If you are familiar with how a Farseer works in support of his army, the Swarmlord can do the same, albeit smaller scale (which seems ironic when you realize that the Swarmlord is about 3x taller than a Farseer :D).


Psychic Powers

The Swarmlord has 2x the psychic potential of a normal Hive Tyrant. He has all 4 psychic powers, and can use two a turn. Paroxysm is twice as evil when you are also leeching wounds :D. Note, remember which powers are Psychic Shooting attacks! You can't shoot at two different squads!


Tactics

There aren't any builds other than just giving him Tyrant Guards. The Tyrant Guard builds are in the Tyrant Guard Section if you were too lazy to read...

Remember, have him support his army, do not have the army support him. He is a terrifying model, but do you know what is more terrifying? Tyranid Warriors in melee with melee upgrades. I have killed more stuff with Tyranid Warriors than with the Swarmlord. Do my opponents care? No, they just see a Swarmlord and have the sudden urge to shoot it. Do they care that my Tyranid Warriors have killed 3 Wraithlords that charged me? Do they care that my Tyranid Warriors have killed Mephiston, Dante, Eldrad, Yriel, Skulltaker, and Necron Lords? Do they care that my Tyranid Warriors have killed Bloodcrushers, Terminators, Wraithguards, and Daemon Princes? The answer to all is no. They only see the Swarmlord and they only wish to kill him. The Swarmlord, while being terrifying, does not compare to other units that can be taken for the same price. I'll get into Tyranid Warriors later...

Have him in the front, with some Hormagaunts or Gargoyles before him. Use Swarm Leader to give said Hormagaunts or Gargoyles furious charge as they smash into the first thing they see. Throw Psychic Powers whenever you can, and grant preferred enemy to anyone in cc. Your army will get into cc before the Swarmlord, so have the Swarmlord support them as they kill. Scared of those Khorne Beserkers? Don't throw the Swarmlord at him, that is not the way the Swarmlord works. If he is stuck in cc he wont be able to use his psychic powers. No, just throw Paroxysm, Leech Essence or The Horror, and then throw some Genestealers at them. Just as effective, and maybe your Genestealers may get stuck in cc (I'll get into this later). Beyond that, there is nothing I can really say. Spam his bonuses, ensure your Genestealers come in early and where you want, and good luck.

Personally, he does not fully make his points up when I use him. However, indirectly you could debate he does so with his powers. I myself don't play Eldar, but I have fought alongside/against Eldar enough to know the benefits of a Farseer. The Swarmlord is the Tyranid's Farseer Equivalent (sort of).

=====================================================

The Tervigon: The Progenitor of the Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Monstrous Creature
  • Synapse
  • Can give feel-no-pain
  • 6 wounds
  • Spawns troop choices
  • Can be taken as a Troops choice for almost no penalty
  • Supports spawned troops
  • The BEST objective guard of the game
  • Weak offensively (wait what?)
  • Slow (wait what?)


CON

  • Only str 5
  • Has a 44.44...% chance of being unable to spawn next turn
  • Will only be spawning during turn 1, 2 and maybe 3
  • Initiative 1
  • You need a lot of Termagant models if you are playing in a tourney
  • You have to waste money on lots of Termagant models incase you get lucky
  • No official GW and it is a tricky conversion
  • Only a 3+ save base

My main complaints for the Tervigon come from my budget. The average Tervigon needs about 40 Termagants to be on the safe side, and I use 10 to make the Tervigon a troops choice. That being said, the Tervigon is, hands down, the BEST objective guard of the game. I don't care what anyone else says, the Tervigon wins. Every single trait, including disadvantages, help it guard objectives and claim new ones. It can be a troops choice, which are scoring units (obviously). It spawns an army of Termagants, averaging about 20-30 gaunts a game. Said gaunts can use the Tervigon's Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands, AND the Tervigon gives said gaunts counter-attack (and LD 10 to help with counter-attack). The Tervigon can give either itself or its gaunts Feel No Pain, and double their survivability. The Tervigon is a Monstrous Creature, meaning it can kill any vehicles that come its way (toward its objective) and the counter-attack, poisoned gaunts can deal with any infantry.

These are obvious advantages, but how do its disadvantages help it? It is weak offensively, meaning, there is almost no reason for someone to shoot the Tervigon, other than getting it off the objective. Everything in the army, other than the Tervigon, is going to be absolutely threatening, and deadly. This means, that it is either knock the Tervigon off an Objective, or kill the Hive Tyrant that just ate a Land Raider. It is also slow, meaning it is either shoot at the guy WAAY back there, or shoot at the Gargoyles that just obliterated that Heavy Weapons team. Because it has 6 wounds and potentially Feel No Pain, it takes a LOT of firepower to take down, and said firepower is a tad busy with that Trygon who just popped up, point-blank.

However, be warned! If the Tervigon dies, the swarm he spawns will start falling apart quickly. If they are on an objective while this happens, I would get every single Termagant Brood possible to go to ground in area terrain, while still controlling the objective. Not only is this a very fluffy maneuver, it also gives your Termagants a 3+ cover save that is pure annoyance when coupled with the sheer number of Termagants you have.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Scything Talons
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
You do NOT want your Tervigon in close combat with other infantry models. The only time these would be useful is if you were fighting a ws2 Walker. Spend these points elsewhere.

Crushing Claws
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Better than Scything Talons I guess, but he has 4 attacks on the charge. Because he is a Monstrous Creature, he will kill most vehicles with those attacks. He doesn't need more, and this upgrade is expensive.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The greatest advantage that these provide, is that nearby Termagants can use them. These are not exactly required, but are nice. They also can increase the Tervigon's strength to 6, so he has a tad easier time with vehicles, and can cause Insta death on t3 models.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Always, always, always, ALWAYS, put these on your Tervigons. ALWAYS! Your Termagants NEED them to fight properly, or else they will become about 90% weaker. I have fielded a Tervigon with Toxin Sacs, and it (plus the swarm he spawned) managed to kill both a Soul Grinder and a Daemon Prince of Nurgle on the same turn. The Tervigon killed the Soulgrinder (albeit with a few lucky rolls), and the Daemon Prince died to 20 gaunts on the charge (I think Dave Illustrated this very well in one of the 40k Rejects episodes :D). Always put these on your Tervigons, because then, by turn 2 or 3, you have a little ball of death that can kill just about anything.

Acid Blood
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This only works if you have Lash Whips. It can screw over Power Fist guys, but you should not be in assault with infantry. Your gaunts should be there to prevent any infantry model that would want to assault you, including power fists.

Implant Attack
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
No, just no. You are not here to kill, you are here to hold an objective (albeit, that involves killing, but shush, I can be hypocritical sometimes :evil: ).

Toxic Miasma
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
See Hive Tyrant entry for full explanation as to why this is horrible.

Regeneration
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is alright, due to the Tervigon having a large number of wounds, and a being quite durable. It is not a necessity, but it is a nice luxury. Once again, I tend to forget I have it most of the time. If you don't forget, I would say you have about a 60% chance of it saving/making up points for you somehow (Note: No math was involved in the calculation of this estimate, don't sue me :evil: ).

Catalyst
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Feel No Pain is awesome. It is a bit expensive, but not incredibly so. It is a VERY nice luxury. It is not a necessity. Once your Tervigon has enough gaunts, people will just stop bothering with them (unless you are in assault, but even then, you tend to have about 20 or so with you).

Onslaught
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is OK. Inferior to Catalyst yet respectable. I don't like it because I can only use 1 psychic power a turn.


Tactic and Builds

Unlike the other sections, for a Tervigon Build, there is really just one that I have found useful. This list is in the order of necessity -> luxury. Depending on your points limit, is how far down the list you should go.

  • Toxin Sacs
  • Catalyst
  • Adrenal Glands
  • Regeneration
  • Onslaught

As for tactics, there are a few more options. My favorite, is outflanking them. Get a Hive Tyrant with Hive Commander, a brood of Termagants to make the Tervigon a Troops Choice, and then Outflank the Tervigon. If you are outlfanking him, he needs to charge the nearest objective to the side of the board. If you have an excess of points, and have both a Hive Tyrant and the Swarmlord, then DEFINITELY outflank a Tervigon to hit an exposed objective. Remember, he cannot spawn the turn he comes from reserves, so try to have him do absolutely nothing when he comes in other than look innocent :wink:

Another tactic, is walking him forward. You do not need to run, just slowly walk (I would even advise against running, depending on how far away your target objective is). You want the rest of your army to outpace him, and smash into the front lines before your Tervigon can get there. Then, the Tervigon just steals whatever objectives your opponent has. Make sure the rest of your army is either running, or flying, while having minimal numbers of units coming from reserve.

The final tactic is for him to just sit on your objective. This is better for Capture and Control (aka, just 2 objectives, one for each person). The Tervigon will completely cover this objective with Gaunts, making it impossible for models to sweep in and do last minute contesting (TAKE THAT GUARDIAN JETBIKES!). Watch out for random Tank Shocking though (CURSE YOU WAVE SERPENTS!). This is a bit of a waste of points/potential for your Tervigon (especially because fast skimmers *Cough*Cough*CURSE YOU WAVE SERPENTS*Cough*Cough*) can so easily deny the objective you are holding), and I would only suggest it if the game is at around 1500-2000 points, minimum.

=====================================================

The Tyranid Prime: The Blade of the Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Independent Character
  • Synapse
  • Boneswords and Lash Whips
  • Toughness and Strength 5
  • 3+ armor save
  • Upgrades the Tyranid Warriors he joins
  • Cheap
  • Pure Tyranid Warrior lists :D


CON

  • Only 3 wounds
  • The melee upgrade he gives to Tyranid Warriors is rather pointless
  • The shooting upgrade he gives to Tyranid Warriors is required
  • Cannot take wings
  • Cannot ride in a Mycetic Spore with other Tyranid Warriors
  • His t5 is rarely used because he is always with Warriors who have t4
  • Rather slow

Every codex tends to have a poor man's HQ. This is the Tyranid's poor man HQ (That or the Parasite of Mortrex). Tyranid Primes are cheap and effective if used correctly. One of the most common mistakes I see people make with their Tyranid Primes is when they give him both an expensive melee upgrade and a shooting weapon. This is ill-advised. Many people overlook the benefits of having a set of scything talons and running. If you run every turn, instead of shooting, after 2 turns you are 19" away and probably will assault next turn (31" away from original deployment), while if you did shoot each turn, you only went 12" and require probably another turn or two to get the same distance (18" turn 3, 24" turn 4 and 30" w/ assault). If you want him to shoot, he needs a few other Tyranid Warriors to chill with, and upgrade their BS to a respectable BS 4.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Rending Claws
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
When getting the Rending Claws upgrade, make sure to look carefully. There is the option which is free, and the option that costs 5 points. Rending Claws is not worth 5 points. It is a cheap upgrade if you are in a very low point game and you need some help with Space Marines. That is the only time it should be taken.

A Pair of Boneswords
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
While being a tad expensive, a pair of Boneswords is the minimal requirement for a cc oriented Tyranid Prime. Power Weapon with a VERY high possibility of Instant Death is insane. Rending Claws are horribly inadequate in most instances.

Lash Whip and Bonesword
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This combo tears apart cc oriented enemies, and demolishes anyone who wishes to oppose your Tyranid Prime (Except maybe vehicles...). If you want to orient your Tyranid Prime for cc, and the game is 1000 points or more, then this is a must. However, if he is with Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords and Lashwhips, it is best to go with the Pair of Boneswords, which forces more instant death. The other Lash Whips around you should help against anyone who wishes to strike back.

Scything Talons
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
A free, and often ignored upgrade. The Scything Talons are one of the main reason as to why you should not take a shooting weapon. With Ws6, you hit most of your targets on a 3+. This means if you roll either a 1 or 2, you miss. However, Scything Talons re-roll those 1's, so you are only missing on 2's. There goes half of your misses. The Tyranid Prime has enough high strength attacks to make it past some armor saves, meaning dual Scything Talons are a decent option.

Devourer
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Our first shooting weapon of the Tyranid Prime. Guess what? It's lame. 1/8 of the price gets you a Termagant with a Devourer. 8 Termagants with Devourers are going to be doing more damage than the Tyranid Prime with a devourer.

Spinefists
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Pew pew pew... Pew? Um... If you are scared of some Imperial Guardsmen or Eldar Guardians, then you can try it but err.... Yeah... its crap.

Deathspitter
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Yeah, finally! A respectable shooting weapon. It is somewhat short ranged, so don't run this guy like you would run your Tactical Marines. Keep him in motion! One of Tyranid's great advantages is every weapon being an Assault Weapon. However, another great Tyranid Advantage is close combat. Do remember that Tyranids do far more damage in cc than in ranged shooting. However, the volume of str 5 is awesome. It is not as advised with a Tyranid Prime because his base str is 5, but on Tyranid Warriors with base str 4 it is more alluring.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is an interesting choice. If you think you are capable of getting the charge first, then this is far better than Toxin Sacs. You will be wounding on a 2+ against most targets, with very few instances where you will need the fix wounding value. Against something like an Autarch or Farseer, you will be causing Instant Death.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Hrm... Poison... Yayz... If you are against an unpredictable enemy with the ability to outmaneuver you, this is a safe option. Well... in general... Toxin Sacs are the safe option. If you are not getting the charge, or find yourself in prolonged combat, Toxin Sacs will be the better option.

Regeneration
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is a controversial upgrade. I don't take it often because I tend to forget I have it. However, it is useful. Tyranid Warriors normally are t4. This means that a basic Missile Launcher or Melta will take a full Warrior out of the picture, a Warrior that could normally eat up about 12 Bolter shots each. With wound allocation, throw that Missile Launcher hit on the Tyranid Prime with t5, and throw the bolter shots to the normal Warriors. As the Warriors take up infantry fire, you have a few turns to try to gain back those one or two wounds you lost to str 8/9 hits.


Tactics and Builds

There are four build for the Tyranid Prime. Melee or Shooting, in addition to the closest you get to a hybrid build. Whatever build, there is one tactic. Put him with Tyranid Warriors with a similar role.


The Saber
A Pair of Boneswords
Toxin Sacs or Adrenal Glands
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This is the basic melee Tyranid Prime. He isn't fast, so he needs to be contantly running. If your opponents do not catch him before he gets into cc, he has the ability to decimate just about all infantry models.


The Rapier
2x sets of Scything Talons
Toxin Sacs or Adrenal Glands
optional instead of a second set of Scything Talons: Rending Claws
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This is the poor man's cc choice. He is cheap, and he is decent. The lack of power weapons may hurt, but he has his high base Str and Toxin Sacs/Adrenal Glands to help him out.


The Archer
Scything Talons
Deathspitter
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This guy is meant to be placed in shooty Tyranid Warriors. He is actually really cheap, but the Warriors he must be escorting are not. An option that I have tried recently (and met with mild success) is to put him with Devilgants. He doesn't upgrade their BS, but he actually becomes far more durable with the HORDES of wounds he has around him. The downside is that this makes a high priority target into a even higher priority target. However, if you want a vanguard detachment from your main army, the Tyranid Prime provides the Synapse, and the Devilgants provide the punch. You can even have a few Hormagaunts to chill with you and fend off any cc enemies.


The Hybrid
Rending Claws
Deathspitter
Adrenal Glands
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


Here is the closest you get to a Sergeant in the Tyranid Warriors. He is really meh, but can be used to pop transports. I have used this hybrid to kill lightly armored vehicles via volume of str5. Place him with Warriors that have Adrenal Glands and Deathspitters, and you are getting a terrifying amount of str5. If you want, you can even give them Rending Claws to help them. This build will be best suited for av10 to av11. With a squad of 5 Warriors, you will be getting 18 str 5 shots, plus 20 Str5 rending cc attacks, and 5 Str6 rending attacks. Note, the rending is wasted if the target rear armor is 10.

=====================================================

The Parasite of Mortrex: The Leeching Monstrosity
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Strength 6
  • Synapse
  • Turns meat-shields against their wielder
  • Wings
  • Ripper Hordes
  • RIPPERS!!!
  • Impressive initiative 6, second to the Deathleaper's initiative 7, and tied with the Swarmlord's
  • Rending Claws + Implant Attack = :twisted:
  • Messes with outflanking


CON

  • 3 Wounds
  • Toughness 4
  • Weapon Skill is only BARELY above average
  • Strangely, no Scything Talons
  • Ripper Swarms aren't incredibly powerful
  • Toughness 4 reduces the number of possible Ripper Swarms
  • No Power Weapons

For the strangest reason, Tyranids counter Tyranids best. The Parasite of Mortrex is the first example of this. You have a Gaunt wall? Well now I have a Ripper Wall. You have outflanking Hormagaunts? Now I got Rippers waiting for them. You got a Trygon? Roll a 6 to wound and he is DEAD, no questions asked. The Parasite of Mortrex kills t3 armies (And t4 armies with low saves), and struggles with armies that have a high base save. Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tau, and Imperial Guard are your ideal targets.

Weapons and Biomorphs

Rending Claws and Implant Attack
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I'm putting these two together because of their amazing Synergy. Implant attack is triggered on a 6 to wound, you rend on a 6 to wound, put them together and you have PAIN.

Wings
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Bizarre mention, but it has its purpose. Wings mean that you need specially designated Fast Attack choices to go with it. There are three options. First option is Sky-Slasher Swarms. This is a fluffy choice, but not an ideal choice. Flamers will make you regret your choice. However, they are the cheapest way to get many wounds. If you are in games of like 750, then Sky-Slashers are cheap and get you A LOT of wounds for relatively cheap (Cheaper than Gargoyles). Speaking of which, the second option is Gargoyles. I prefer Gargoyles because they have LOTS of wounds. In games of about 1000 to 1500, Gargoyles are really effective. They soak up damage, and defend the Parasite. Lastly, for your really big games, Tyranid Shrikes step up and knock the competition out cold. They will DECIMATE. The Parasite will hit before the Tyranid Shrikes, get a few Ripper Swarms, and then the Shrikes will just mop up the rest. Then, while you sit awkwardly out in the open, you have a small brood of Ripper Swarms to help give cover.


Abilities

Host Organism
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
It does little, but the little it does is absolutely CRUCIAL. This prevents your newly formed army of rippers form tearing itself apart. 24" is also a HUGE range, meaning you can practically ignore Instinctive Behavior on Rippers for the rest of the game (unless you actually TRY to pull the two apart).

Implant Parasite
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The defining rule of the Parasite of Mortrex. This, on average, gives you about 6 Ripper Swarms against t3 enemies, and 3-4 Ripper Swarms on MEQ's. This cant total up to a lot, especially if you are really bringing in the kills. The best part? They can appear up to 6" away. Ripper Swarms also have the larger Terminator Base, meaning they can cover lots of area. Then, you simply create a ring of Rippers around you, so that once you oblitterate your opponent in cc, you have cover! If the Parasite's retinue dies, they can also be used as a last minute wound shield, but this is only suggested if you are in rapid-fire range (And there are not that many Flamers).

"The Sarge is acting strangely"
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This rule doesn't actually get used often. Just tell your opponent about it, and even if he is outflanking Space Marines, he will instead deploy them. The psychological aspect is far worse then the actual gameplay aspect.


Tactics

I've already mentioned most of them above. Put him with Sky-Slasher Swarms if you are low on points, Gargoyles in average games, and Tyranid Shrikes in high point games. The Parasite tends to best function in really small games, and he is my preferred "poor man's" HQ choice. If you are having trouble converting him, I just took a Ravener body, gave him the Forgeworld Tyranid Shrike Wings, and then used Greenstuff and armored bitz to give him a stinger. For added effect, you can file away at the Ravener's Rending Claws to give it a more... rending look.

The Parasite is fast, so you want to be somewhat stealthy with him. Hide him amongst your shields and walls. One of my favorite tactics is to put him in the Gargoyle Shield that my Hive Tyrant uses. This way, the Gargoyle Shield is just as scary as the Tyrant it guards, screwing over Target Priority. Don't forget that he is only t4, so NEVER put him alone.

Another option that I have used is Deep-Striking him with his retinue on an exposed army flank. Make sure you run to spread out and negate blasts. Then, pray the 30 Gargoyles you brought along will absorb any firepower directed at you.

_________________
Clearly, I'm a mere walking corpse, shambling through walls of text.

Inactive? Maybe...


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 Post subject: Elites
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:37 am 
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Posts: 2518
The Hive Guard: The Stalwart Sentinel
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Toughness 6
  • LOTS of Strength 8 shots
  • Ignores Cover
  • Really good at killing light transports
  • One of the most effective ways to kill Eldar Wave Serpents in the game (HA! TAKE THAT TANKSHOCKING WAVE SERPENTS!)
  • Ballistics Skill 4
  • Ignores line of sight
  • Multi-Wounds
  • Relatively cheap for what it can do
  • Really easy price to memorize and manage when quickly making a list
  • Put them in a box with no openings, and they will still keep shooting (Friend Be-Gone!)


CON

  • Only 2 wounds
  • Ap4 means that it can ONLY be effective on Vehicles
  • Instinctive Behaviour - Lurk with only Leadership 7 to counter it
  • They are an Elites choice, but your army needs a lot of them to counter the excessive vehicle spam of other armies
  • They are almost required in most Tournament lists
  • Annoying model to work with (I haven't tried the Finecast one yet though)
  • Only a 4+ save
  • Weak cc abilities, they have to rely on T6 to help them
  • Expensive $$$ wise

Hive Guards are INCREDIBLY useful. I don't make any lists without including AT LEAST one pair of these guys. They are tough, they are painful, and they are USEFUL! Their Str8 volleys completely decimate most light transports. Said transports are the bane of Tyranid existence, and it is vital that we are capable of killing them from afar.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Impaler Cannon:
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I hope this is a redundant entry. The sheer volume of Str8 that these guys can unleash is just devastating. Str8 also causes instant death to about 90% of all Independent Characters (Without Eternal Warrior obviously). This isn't suggested, because Ap4 means you will be brute forcing your way through 3+ saves and such. Just remember that your opponent doesn't get any cover saves, unless he has done the equivalent of popping smoke.


Tactics

There aren't any build for most of these Elites (if not all), hence, they are omitted temporarily. Hive Guards work best in pairs of trios. One Hive Guard has a ~30% chance to kill a vehicle with Av11 (A.K.A. Rhino). However, Two Hive Guards have ~40% chance to kill a vehicle with Av11, and three Hive Guards have a ~50% chance to kill a Rhino (Note: Just because you aren't killing the vehicle, doesn't mean you aren't taking it out of the picture. Sometimes an immobilized result is just as good as a wreck).

Azeebo mentioned a tactic similar to this with Dark Reapers. It involves purposefully placing your Hive Guards a fair distance away from any objectives. Let me make this clear: Hive Guards are NOT Objective Guards. They are Elites and cannot hold Objectives. By extension, don't keep them immobile as they shoot at anything that gets close to the objective. Instead, bring them forward with the rest of your army, preferable getting cover from Termagants or something similar. You want to use them to pop the closest light transports, which would probably be going after your objective. This forces a dilemma on your opponent. They can either try to scury past the Hive Guards, attempting (and most likely failing) to tank (*Badum-tish*) all the damage that you launch at them, or focus on the Hive Guards and fail to get the Objective by the end of the game.

Because they suffer from Instinctive Behaviour, it is best to keep them in the far back of any army. I tend to have them with whatever Tervigon I am using to claim their objectives. This gives the Hive Guards necessary synapse while still keeping them involved in the game. Forewarned: You will be using your Hive Guards to their maximum range. Get used to guessing that 24" mark.

=====================================================

The Lictor: The Assassin of the Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Strength 6
  • Chameleonic Skin
  • Stealth
  • Rending
  • Pheromone Trails speeds up reserves
  • Impressive Initiative and Weapon Skill
  • Can be a last minute tank popper


CON

  • Only 3 wounds with Toughness 4
  • Somewhat Expensive for what he does
  • Cannot assault after Chameleonic Skin
  • Cannot be deployed
  • Suffers from Instinctive Behaviour for a really Independent unit
  • Rather slow
  • I need Elites slots for more reliable anti-tank

This is the first unit I have NOT fielded that often. I am opened to others on this guy. Most of my experiences with a Lictor come from Deathleaper or from a few scattered games. Let us begin with some of his defining Weapons and Biomorphs.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Chameleonic Skin
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is a sort of so-so type biomorph. It would be great if he could assault out of it, like he could in 4th edition, but he cannot in this edition. However, the precision in which you can place him makes up for it somewhat. It is a shame that you cannot deploy lictors though, because Pheromone Trail would be awesome if you could.

Flesh Hooks
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
These are one of the few Assault Grenades in the entire codex. If you have played Dawn of War II, then you know what Flesh Hooks will pretty much do, except less reliably, shorter range, and not as awesome :lol:. However, the ability to Assault through cover, and stealth really helps him a lot in surviving those crucial moments when he first comes in.


Abilities

Pheromone Trail
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is not as good as you would think. There is a 50% chance that your lictor will come in early enough for Pheromone Trail to be useful. I really do not see that as reliable enough to base entire strategies around. They help speed up those late reserve folks, but that is about it. It is just too unreliable.


Tactics

This is where I base most of this off theoretical situations more than my own experiences. First, before I begin with the meat of the Lictor tactics, let me explain myself: Lictors take up a VALUABLE Elites Slot. Tyranid Players need our Elites to get almost all of our ranged anti-tank. It is not incredibly vital for our Elites slots to be filled with Anti-Infantry (There is one special exception: The Doom of Malan'tai).

You want to deploy Lictors within assault range, but not too close. I would say aim for about 12" away, in cover. It is more important to be in cover than at precisely 12" away. It is also better to be closer than out of assault range. If you can, aim for Heavy Weapons Teams. This will either force them to waste shots on guys with Stealth, or move, meaning the Heavy Weapon wont be firing (Or they can ignore the imminent death). It is best to go for Immobile targets, preferably those that can't flee from you.

Remember, Lictors have base Str6 with Rending. If you are really desperate, they can effectively destroy some vehicles with a combination of Flesh Hooks (Which will probably rend if you penetrate, so ap- isn't a problem) and cc attacks. This is a desperation move, because you can waste an assault phase kiling a 40 pt transport, only to have the occupants rapid-fire you into an oblivion.

**INSERTING OUTSIDE OPINIONS**

(Sidenote: I try to be rather critical in these, simply to show a larger variety of opinions, instead of a single biased one)
FotoGuy wrote:
I've said in other posts going back to 4th ed. These guys are scalpels, not machetes. You have to pick the fight they go into, and more often than not, they pick the fights they'll win. They take a coveted Elite slot, so some serious tourney folks will have troubles finding a spot for them.
Such is the case with almost every Elite in the Tyranid Codex...

To use Lictors is to be an opportunist. Like most Tyranid units, you can't feel bad if it gets squished. The important goal is: Did it accomplished what you wanted it to do? You have to think of them like a Str 6 Rending gun with unlimited range. There isn't a spot on the field you can't hit. Just pick your spots.
Bizarre analogy, but I'll roll with it. I don't use Lictors as often as you apparently have.

The biggest complaints I see around the interwebs are that Lictors can't take down an squad of marines, or 10 man Guardsmen etc. etc. etc. These are back field units, they should be going for the ripest piece of fruit. Find an artillery unit, heavy weapons team, weapons platforms, scouts, these are all great targets. Vehicles causing you troubles are a great target for lictors. Note, Land Raiders and the like are not on that list. AV 14 is a nasty nut to crack. If you're going to go for it, you have to bring three, even to have a chance.
The biggest shake up I see here is the inclusion of tanks. While I don't do it often (probably not often enough actually) is use them to take down tanks like Predators and Leman Russes. Now that I think about it, they could potentially kill said tanks easily (and with some luck though).

To me, Lictors are great assassination units. They can hunt IC's like no other. If you place them right (and in cover!) Chance are you'll either freak out an IC, or you'll kill the IC. When you assault, IC's have to move before the rest of their unit. Three lictors gunning for an IC will have a strong chance at bringing it down. 12 attacks on a charge, S6 and Rending make for some nice tenderizing. Who cares if the unit mows them down afterwards. You have neutralized a strong threat on the table. Again, this doesn't apply to all IC's. Watch out for things that will attack first. Going at the same time is fine, you want all your hits in. Going first is key for lictors. If you can't go first in iniative, then you shouldn't be locking horns with it. If you do, Hit & Run is great for getting out of trouble.
From my experience with Dark Eldar, Independant Characters know what to fear and know how to avoid it. Most of the time, to "freak out an IC" causes the IC's transport to abruptly shift into reverse. Even with Dark Eldar speed, I find it can sometimes be difficult to get to Independent Characters if the controlling player knows what they are doing.

Some simple Do's and Don'ts.

DO:
-Place them in cover. This is where their strength is. If you can cause someone to to aim fire at them, they're not shooting at something more important.
-...not worry about losing them. They have a goal, make sure they cause some chaos if the big guns start aiming for them. (This should be a DON'T then not a DO...not type deal...)
-be selective about your targets. The 10 Assault Marines won't be the best idea to attack. However, Sgt. Telion and his scouts in those bushes are a delicious target. You choose the fights most of the time! This is a luxury not many other armies have.
-Use Hit & Run. IF you don't like the odds, get out of the fight. Chances are you'll get out and make it to some type of cover. The problem I have with this part is that you tend to find out you don't like the odds, AFTER your opponent has started rolling those wounds and you start rolling those 4's and lower on your saves. By the end of the assault phase, you have either killed (nearly) everything that can strike back, or you get pummeled because you didn't kill (nearly) everything that could strike back.
DON'T:
-Take single Lictors. A single lictor isn't tough enough to survive on it's own. yes, the fluff states otherwise, but at least two to three. You're there for a large number of attacks, and a large number of wounds. For most IC's a S6 Rending hit will instakill it. Most IC's are SPESH MAHREENZ with t4... Just saying...
-Don't place them in the open. You leave them out to dry if you do so. 3+ cover saves are a great thing. The only exception to this rule is: Venomthropes. a 4+ cover save in the open is great, and if you find an IC that will hit before you, tandem in some Venomthropes for Lashwhips, and watch the Lictor buzz saws go to work. The problem is, Venomthropes are ANOTHER Elites slot! Oh noes!

You can't use Lictors to kill swat a fly. You use lictors to carve off the best cut of meat. Pick your targets, because you can! If you get into trouble, get out of it, because you can! They are one of the few units in the game, imo, where you have a good grasp of their control. Gaunts are going to swarm forward, Genestealers are going to out flank, Gargoyles will provide cover, Tyrants and Tervigons will be heavy hitters.


=====================================================

Deathleaper: The Terror Embodied
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Strength 6
  • Weapon Skill 9, most guys hitting back on a 5+
  • Initiative 7, highest of the codex
  • Stealth
  • Rending on a 5+ :D
  • Screws over one Psyker if used correctly
  • Screws over Ranged Weapons
  • Can be an effective tank popper
  • Love the names of his special rules
  • Redeployment, instead of walking across the board


CON

  • Only 3 wounds with Toughness 4
  • Somewhat Expensive
  • Cannot assault after Chameleonic Skin
  • Cannot be deployed
  • Suffers from Instinctive Behaviour for a really Independent model
  • I need Elites slots for more reliable anti-tank

If you are an observant person, you may have noticed that most of the Pros and Cons are very similar to the Lictor. If you are confused as to why this is the case, slap yourself across the face for me, please. Deathleaper is a Lictor and is everything a Lictor should be (minus suffering from Instinctive Behavior). He is precise, fast, and painful in close combat. On a sidenote, I love the names of his special rules :D.


Abilities

"It's after me!"
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
At first glance, this rule isn't all that great. Egad! Small leadership de-buff! Oh no (Yay for sarcasm being incompatible with the interwebz!)! However, in practice, this makes him a REALLY good Anti-Psyker. Use it on a Librarian or a Chaos Sorcerer and suddenly they are having difficulties with their Psychic Tests. Just forewarned, from my Experience, Farseers can shake off Deathleaper's effects easily, especially Eldrad. It is NOT worth getting Deathleaper to specifically counter a Farseer. Other races are a different story though, because they have less safeties in place when they make Psychic Tests.

"What was that?"
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is a rule I rarely use. However, it is effective if you are chasing an enemy. I can see me using this rule if a Heavy Weapons team is trying to flee from Deathleaper, or maybe a lone HQ. However, I don't tend to use this rule a lot strangely.

"Where is it?"
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is an AMAZING rule. This makes it so your opponent can only shoot at Deathleaper from a maximum of 18" away! But shush! Don't tell your opponent this! Let him try to fire that Missile Launcher from 20" away, and laugh as he realizes he just wasted shots on thin air :D Friend be gone!.

Where'd it go?"
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is good for a quick redeployment. I only really use it to transport him from one side of the board, to the other. Unfortunately, you probably wont be using this, because it takes 2 turns for him to be able to assault again. In addition, he wont be able to act until turn 3 due to Chameleon skin, so this rule will probably only be used when he pops in turn 2, assaults and kills on turn 3, goes away turn 4, comes back turn 5, kills on turn 6, and game ends.

Killing Strike
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I wish they had a more creative name for this rule like "OH MY GOD, MY ARM'S GONE!" Oh well, it's an amazing rule. Rending on a 5+ means those Flesh Hooks can forget about their ap- most of the time :D. In close combat, it really helps him deal with most enemies.


Tactics

Everything I said about Lictors applies to Deathleaper (Which subsequently kills the majority of this section). Deathleaper is more reliable at Anti-tank though due to his rending. However, do note, he can deal with small squads of Space Marines and such. Do not restrict him to just Independent Character hunting. I truthfully use him rarely, but he was very straightforward when I used him. Pick a target that looked at you funny, plop him near said target, next turn, kill said target. Simple right? Just keep him in cover and such.

=====================================================

The Venomthrope: The Toxic Plague
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Poison 2+
  • Lash Whips
  • Area terrain bubble
  • Only really need one to survive to keep the unit's purpose alive
  • Defensive Grenades


CON

  • Only 2 wounds with Toughness 4
  • Elites slot
  • Only a 5+ cover save
  • Small area terrain bubble
  • Poor close combat capabilities
  • High Priority Target with weak durability

The Venomthrope I see popping up a lot in people's lists. I personally, never want to use them. It is only a 5+ save and I really don't want to be wasting an Elites slot for a 5+ save. Ask any Daemon Player and they will tell you how effective a 5+ save is (Not very). It is useful for an advancing swarm, to have those 30 gaunts with a 5+ save. In addition, it can give cover to Monstrous Creatures easily, but ask any Chaos Space Marine Player, and ask them how useful that 5+ invul save is on their Daemon Princes. They will probably say it is nice to have but it isn't reliable. If you have not gathered, I am partially biased against Venomthropes.


Abilities

Spore Cloud
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is the golden aspect of Venomthropes. It is a big ball of 5+ cover. It even gives the ONLY defensive grenades of the entire codex. Do remember, this is about... *pulls out a calculator*... 110 square inches worth of area. It is not as small as you would think. This, however, makes Venomthropes a high priority to kill, and it only takes a stray Lascannon to take one out easily.

Toxic Touch
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Yay, poison 2+! Too bad Venomthropes lack the number of attacks and the Weapon skill to make it worthwhile. They do have Lash Whips though, but they must REALLY rely on the Lash Whips. It does allow them to guarantee a wound or two, but it wont really help much.


Tactics

Most people use Venomthropes to give easy cover. Give some Hormagaunts or Termagants cover. Give a Hive Tyrant or Trygon Cover. However, as I have stated before, I don't find a 5+ cover to be useful or worth paying for. So far, I have only found 2 situations where I really like Venomthropes.

Situation 1) Parasite of Mortrex. Have this guy trailing behind the Parasite as Ripper Swarms start spawning. As soon as a Ripper Swarm spawns, have them hop into the Venomthrope Spore Cloud for a 4+ cover save (Swarms have Stealth). As the game goes on, you get this massive wall of 4+ cover that is immune to almost all sorts of firepower, except for Flamers. Even blasts have trouble.

Situation 2) Annoying the crap out of assault troops. Remember, they have to take a Dangerous Terrain test if they assault a unit in the Spore Cloud. That means, they have Initiative 1 for the first round, and minus 1 attack for the Defensive Grenades. This quite easily destroys most who are trying to assault.

Those are the only instances where I would say Venomthropes are worth their points.

**INSERTING OUTSIDE OPINIONS**
(This guy seems familiar...)
FotoGuy wrote:
For the venomthropes, the biggest pro is synergy with other units. If you keep them near warriors, the lashwhips on the Thropes means Rending Claw or Dual Bonesword warriors can really go to town.
Just be cautious because some guys tend to bring Assault Grenades, and can be striking at a higher initiative than Tyranid Warrior.

Also, 5+ isn't that great, it's helpful, but still not enough. However, 5+ cover save with FnP from a tervigon saves a lot of gaunts/warriors what have you.
This statistically is the equivalent of a 3+ armor save, minus the weakness to Ap3.


A full brood of Venomthropes has the most flexibility of the Codex, and it can easily adapt to which ever style you play.

Eg. I run Pyrovores and Venomthropes next to each other, and then try and get them to assault. Because the Lashwhips on the Venoms make the Pyros Acid blood very keen =)
I need to try this combo myself :D


=====================================================

The Zoanthrope: The Synaptic Artillery
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Synapse
  • One of the few Invul saves of the codex
  • Amazing invul save
  • Ap 3 blast for anti-Space Marines
  • One of the best anti-tank weapons of the game, the Warp Lance
  • Multiple wounds, means they last awhile (especially with that save)
  • Surprisingly durable (for a suicide squad)


CON

  • Suicide Squad most of the time
  • Elites slot
  • Short ranged anti-tank weapon
  • Few powerful shots, means one or two unlucky rolls can screw you over
  • Poor to no cc abilities (beyond surviving for a while)
  • Mycetic Spores are needed to transport them, or else that Warp Lance isn't used enough

Here is a very iconic Tyranid. The Zoanthrope. Any good Wh40k player can point one out in a crowd (Or a table) of models, even if they barely know what Tyranids are. Zoanthropes are the second and final effective ranged anti-tank model (No, the Tyrannofex doesn't work) and it is a powerful one. The Warp Lance, if it penetrates, has a 50% chance to wreck the vehicle right there, and it will be penetrating every vehicle on a 3+ or better (Except the (in)famous Monolith). The problem is, a brood of 3 Zoanthropes are only going to be getting 3 Warp Lance shots, 1 is probably going to miss, another will either screw up his psychic test or fail to penetrate, and it ends up with about 1 MAYBE 2 rolls on the vehicle damage chart. This is why Hive Guards are superior against lightly armored vehicles, because they have more shots, they are more reliable than a few Zoanthropes.


Abilities and Psychic Powers

Warp Field
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
It's a Storm Shield... WOHOO! No really, Storm Shield invul saves are awesome!

Warp Blast
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This power is rarely used because Zoanthropes are mainly used for Anti-vehicle. However, it is an amazing anti-Space Marine weapon. 3 ap3 blasts are going to rip apart your opponent. In small games (~500pts - 750pts), it is worthwhile to take a lone Zoanthrope for this blast.

Warp Lance
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Awesome lance is awesome! This is one of the most powerful anti-tank weapons of the game. Some say it is the most powerful of the game. Personally, I think Railguns are better for various reasons, but this is a close second. Why do I put Railguns above the mighty Warp Lance? Railguns can pwn a Land Raider from the next table over. A Zoanthrope needs to be in throwing range before they can fire their Warp Lance. Warp Lances are SHORT RANGE! Zoanthropes are SLOW! You need to make careful plans when trying to put Zoanthropes in range for their Warp Lance.


Tactics

I've been interweaving most tactics I know in the previous sections. Anyways, these are the three main ways people can take Zoanthropes:

1) Mycetic Spore
This is by far the most common and effective. Zoanthropes make great suicide squads because of their above average durability. When they fall in and take out a Land Raider in a shooting phase, your opponent has the uncontrollable urge to turn their guns away from Hive Tyrants and Trygons, and onto the 3 floating brains. The best part? They have an INVUL SAVE! And an amazing one too, meaning it takes 3 str8+ weapons to take ONE Zoanthrope down. That could have been 2 wounds on your Hive Tyrant! And a brood of 3 Zoanthropes can withstand just as many str8+ weapons to the face as a Trygon! Do your opponents realize that before firing? Nope :D.

By the way, Zoanthropes in this strategy work best in broods of 2 to 3. Three is optimal, but two works (Two can withstand enough str8 shots to down a Hive Tyrant instead of a Trygon).

2) Foot Slogging
Once again, best done in groups of 3. They need to be placed as far forward as possible. It is best to hide them with Termagants to provide synapse and protecting for the Zoanthrope. They probably wont give cover, but Zoanthropes have an invul save that beats all cover saves (unless you have stealth... I wounder what a stealthy Zoanthrope would look like...). They will probably be first taking down any transports your opponents sends forward, before they take down Land Raiders and such.

If you do this, it is worthwhile to have as many individual broods as your FOC will allow. That way, when you are spending turn 1 shooting Rhinos, you can at least shoot 2 different Rhinos.

3) Solo Artillery
I mentioned this in the Warp Blast Section. in really small games, it is worthwhile to take a single Zoanthrope (or even two) to take down Space Marines from afar. That Warp Blast is powerful, and the Zoanthrope can swap to his Warp Lance whenever he feels like it.

=====================================================

The Doom of Malan'tai: The Parasitic Terror
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Can become practically immune to infantry fire
  • One of the few Invul saves of the codex
  • Amazing invul save
  • Ap1 Large Blast
  • Heals himself
  • Blatantly Broken
  • Spirit Leech
  • Easy Str10
  • Surprisingly decent cc abilities
  • Fearless


CON

  • Requires a Mycetic Spore
  • Spirit Leech is short ranged
  • A few missed shots really hurts the Doom of Malan'tai
  • T4, there goes 10 wounds
  • Instinctive Behaviour (Wtf?)
  • Fearless
  • Relies on a few random chances

If anyone says The Doom of Malan'tai is broken, just smile and nod. No use trying to debate it. The Doom of Malan'tai is AMAZING and CHEAP! He should be worth at least 150, but nope, he is far less than that. His only weakness is truly the ONLY way to effectively kill him, and that is str8+ weapons. There is no other way to kill the Doom of Malan'tai OTHER than str8+ weapons. Technically yes, spit enough small arms fire at him and he dies. However, if he has 10 wounds, you need 90 Bolter Shots to kill him, and he can regenerate another wound INCREDIBLY easily.


Abilities and Psychic Powers

Absorb Life
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Awesomeness. Just plain awesomeness. So many wounds, and don't forget that ap1 large blast also adds wounds! And, what even more people forget, he has 3 base attacks at ws4. That is respectable, especially with enough wounds...

Psychic Strength
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Not many people use this strangely. Why do I give it the max score, even though it is rarely used? Base 3 attacks. Absolutely NO ONE ever expects a Zoanthrope to melee a Monolith to death. The Doom of Malan'tai can quite easily melee a Monolith to death. This is the ultimate curve ball.

Spirit Leech
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is the true bread and butter of the Doom of Malan'tai. To make him balanced for his cost, he just needs this ability. It is DEVASTATING! The best part? It works on your OPPONENT'S shooting phase as well as YOUR OWN. This can destroy any sort of meat shield. It grinds it into little bite size pieces. This is absolutely DEVASTATING.

Warp Field
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
What? 10 wounds isn't enough for you, but now you want an invul save? What madness is this? 10 Wounds + Epic Invul Save = Broken.

Cataclysm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Sidenote: For some reason, people say their Tervigon has the 15pt upgrade that gives them Cataclysm... Yeah, no. Just make sure you put Catalyst, not Cataclysm. Anyways, this is an odd power. Once he has high strength it is devastating. However, try to focus on anti-infantry. It is unreliable to hit vehicles with it, and then you loose wounds if you do so. If you hit infantry, you take out large amounts of infantry with ap1, allowing you to regain whatever wounds you may have lost in the firing of the power.


Tactics

Step 1: Doom of Malan'tai + Mycetic Spore.
Step 2: Aim him on the biggest cluster of infantry (Doesn't even need to be low Leadership).
Step 3: ????
Step 4: Profit!

No really, it is as simple as that. He makes big groups of infantry into dead piles :twisted:. I honestly have nothing else to add.

So if anyone says that the Doom of Malan'tai is broken, just smile and nod. If anyone says that Tyranids are broken, angrily glare at him and point him to the Pyrovore.

**INSERTING OUTSIDE OPINIONS**
Hawkeye wrote:
I disagree with your perfect score for the Doom. The increase in fully mechanized lists, and the Tyranids poor ranged anti tank means it's entirely possible the Doom has no delicious souls to suck on when it arrives. I do agree it deserves a high score just not a perfect one.
Personally I never have this issue, but I rarely go into games of 2000+

Dawn of War missions make that a very likely scenario since their are so few models on the board, and night fighting in effect. In my wargaming experience the Doom becomes worse the higher the points get. At 2000 points or higher the number of transports, spammed meltas, and missile launchers ensure the Doom ends up as a stain before it does anything useful. Any units that are not in transports are in cover so they get cover saves against the Dooms soul sucking ability. The other drawback for the Doom is to get the best use out of it, it needs a pod so it's sitting in reserve. While you can increase the chance it will come in from reserves there is still the chance it will miss half the battle. In the end the Dooms abilities, arrival, and surviabilty are all to random to justify a perfect score.
I rarely play DoW games honestly, so I can't really input a fully educated guess here. And, as I said before, I don't play that many 2000pts+ games (I tend to play at 1000-1500 where the Doom REALLY shines). However, I don't really see the pod as a dramatic drawback, because the Doom is INCREDIBLY cheap for what he does and a spore just makes him closer to what he should have been originally.


=====================================================

The Pyrovore: The Immolating Chargers
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Heavy Flamer on Legs
  • Power Weapons (Why?)
  • Acid Blood
  • Can fire the Heavy Flamer while suffering from Instinctive Behaviour
  • Literally Suicide Bombers
  • Somewhat cheap
  • 4+ save
  • Anti-Tyranids strangely, debatably anti-Ork footslogging hordes and Necron Warrior Spam


CON

  • Requires a Mycetic Spore most of the time
  • Short range
  • Almost no defensive abilities
  • Crap in cc, EVEN WITH POWER WEAPONS (That's an achievement right there)
  • Dies too easily
  • Elites slot
  • Tyranids don't need help with Anti-Infantry
  • Few "ideal" targets

From the best of the best, to the worst of the worst. Pyrovores are terrible. It is a shame, because they had so much potential. Ap3 Flamers would make them worthwhile, but nope, they just got Heavy Flamers.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Acid Blood
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Great big MEH. They have no initiative debuff, so they rarely will get a wound (unless you are against hordes of Necrons I guess...).

Acid Maw
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Hey it is a power weapon! Pyrovores deserve an achievement for having power weapons, and yet still BEING HORRIBLE IN CC. Barely any attacks, initiative 1, below average WS, it is just... Sad.

Flamespurt
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
It is a Heavy Flamer... Yeah... Great? It just find it kinda meh because any target that I would like to hit with a Heavy Flamer, I would MUCH rather like hit with the Doom of Malan'tai...


Abilities

Volatile
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Meh... The main problem with this is that it relies on them getting killed by str8+, for a weak blast. The worst part? The blast will do crap to most of your enemies, but will probably kill half of your gaunts within d6" of you (-.-')


Tactics

There are few ways to run a brood of Pyrovores. There is the emerging Venomthrope strategy, and the Mycetic Spore stategy.

Some people have been trying out putting Pyrovores with a brood of Venomthropes. Then, if the Pyrovores are charged the Pyrovores, they take Acid Blood on initiative 1. Fine IN THEORY. However, this combo takes 2 elites slots and almost 300 points. I would MUCH rather have 6 Hive Guards than this combo.

The other option is you put them on a Mycetic Spore. However, there would only be one real target for them then. Sniper Squads. Ideally, Eldar Pathfinders. Eldar Pathfinders rely on a 2+ cover save, which is negated with the template. Str5 wounds them on a 2+ and ap4 kills their armor. That is practically the only case where Pyrovores will get their points back.

I really wish I could give the Flamespurt cannon onto Tyranid Warriors...

=====================================================

The Ymgarl Genestealer: The Unforeseen Terror
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Adaptable
  • CC powerhouses
  • Incredibly effective deployment.
  • Amazing terror unit
  • One of the most balanced units of the codex
  • Rending
  • 4+ save


CON

  • Vulnerable to shooting, but not as much as you would think
  • Only cc
  • If you make a mistake with them, the results are devastating
  • A little pricey for what they do.
  • Elites slot

There really isn't much to say. These guys are Genestealers 2.0. Most competitive Tyranid Lists have their elites like so:
3x Zoanthropes in a Mycetic Spore
3x Hive Guards
~7x Ymgarl Genestealers (Or sometimes just another 3x Hive Guards).

Weapons, Biomorphs, and Abilities

Rending Claws
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Yay! Ymgarl Genestealers have enough attacks to use these to their fullest (And can even get addition attacks). Because of Rending + Many attacks, Ymgarl Genestealers really can deal with almost all enemy infantry models, hordes or elites.

Alter Form
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is probably the most Tyranidy ability of the codex. It embodies Tyranids well. Constantly adapting and changing. Most of the time, it is obvious which options to choose at which moment. If you are assaulting Guardsmen or Fire Warriors, get the extra carapace, because then once you pwn them in the sweeping advance, you can laugh at their flashlights. If you are assaulting Orks or Space Marines, get the additional attacks for either more rending, or more wounds in general. If you are Assaulting Plague Marines or light Vehicle, get the extra strength.

Brood Telepathy
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I laugh at Instinctive Behaviour! Nuff said.

Dormant
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is absolutely awesome! They even get to assault out of it! It is like a delayed infiltrate. Just be careful. If your opponent knows where you are coming, he can completely screw you over. Either, he covers the terrain you are aiming for, and you loose models, or he deploys far away from the terrain, and you have to run across open space to get to him.


Tactics

Ymgarl Genestealers are best run in squads of 5 or 7. 5 if you want to go minimal squad size. This isn't as bad as it seems, because Ymgarl Genestealers will EASILY overkill. A LOT of overkill. Small squads are best to prevent you from overkilling your opponent. 7 if you want to be gutsy and go after some bigger targets, like Terminators and such.

Other than that, it is somewhat straightforward. There isn't a definite formula to follow when trying to pick a piece of Terrain for them to appear in. It is a simply choice most of the time though. ruins and forests, whatever you think your opponent will be hiding in, near or behind.

_________________
Clearly, I'm a mere walking corpse, shambling through walls of text.

Inactive? Maybe...


Last edited by Rangrok1k on Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:37 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject: Troops
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:37 am 
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The Tyranid Warrior: The Enforcer of the Hive Mind
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Wounds over Armor
  • Potential CC Powerhouses
  • Can get Lash Whips
  • Volleys of str5
  • Cheap forward Synapse
  • Troops
  • 4+ save
  • Mycetic Spore
  • Str8 Magnets (lolwut?)
  • Fun Tyranid Warrior only lists


CON

  • Str8 powerfists hurt them
  • Str8+ blasts make them disappear
  • A little slow for a CC role (Yet there are ways around this)
  • Somewhat Short Ranged
  • They tend to be the ONLY thing that prevents your Gaunts from falling back
  • Wounds over Armor is not always the best choice
  • There are no Boneswords and Lash Whips models made by GW
  • There is only one set of Monstrous Scything Talons and one set of Rending Claws per Warrior Box

Along with the Zoanthrope, The Tyranid Warrior is an iconic and famous Tyranid model. Tyranid Warriors are a very common and useful addition to many armies, being easily incorporated into most lists. They can, quite literally, be the backbone of your army, holding the majority of it together. This makes them rather large targets, but they can get cover easily. In addition, they require (Well... more like "Strongly Encourage") similar weapons that Monstrous Creatures require to be taken down. Because of this, Warriors are the cheapest and most effective way to pull random high str firepower away from your Monstrous Creatures.

One of the major faults in Tyranid Warriors is their t4. They can be instantly killed by Meltas and other str8+ weapons, which tends to happen when a Tactical Squad has a single melta in it. Yeah, the bolters get absorbed and eaten for breakfast, but the melta causes an entire Warrior to explode. That Warrior could of eaten 18 Bolter shots! However, if you are up against an army like Eldar who do not have str8 Powerfists and meltas in every squad, they get a bit more tricky to deal with (Albeit they just Bladestorm you into an oblivion). Although, PRAY that your opponent throws something like a group of Long Fangs at them to kill them quickly. The amount of str8 required to kill a group of 4 Warriors is the same amount required to kill a Hive Tyrant or Carnifex. They could potentially absorb even more because they can EASILY get cover with the hordes of gaunts we can easily acquire (and to whom the Warriors should be giving synapse too).

As for the actual models, Tyranid Warriors are lacking some important components. They are capable of getting the dreaded Bonesword and Lash Whip combination, yet GW has yet to make the model. For Boneswords, I use the Monstrous Scything Talons that come with the Tyranid Warrior box. WYSIWYG gamers may protest, saying "But they aren't boneSWORDS they are just big Scything Talons!" My response is getting the talon, and comparing it to the nearest Space Marine. For those who have not tried it, the Monstrous Scything Talon is about 1.25x longer than a Space Marine is tall. Therefore, if you get hit by a talon that is about 10 feet long, as wide as your torso, and wielded by a creature that is about 15 feet of genetically engineered killing power, your armor ain't going to be protecting you. Other people will take the Scything Talon arms, slice them off at the wrist, rotate them 180 degrees, glue them onto the opposite arm, and sharpen the edge. The end result looks a bit like this. For Lash Whips, I use clay/greenstuff on a wire, coming out of any Tyranid Warrior arm with the hand cut off. You can purchase the Sprue with an extra set of Monstrous Scything Talons and Rending Claws from the GW main website under Tyranid Bitz. If you are going Rending Claws Warriors, you can get a lot of extra Rending Claws off of Raveners if you do not give the Raveners Rending Claws.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Rending Claws
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NOTE: There is a way to get Rending Claws free, and a way to purchase them for 5 points. I highly suggest getting them free, for they are NOT worth buying in most cases. That being said, Warriors become a more durable Genestealer. Genestealers are effective in cc, and Warriors with Rending claws are a decent choice for some Hormagaunt Synapse in low pt games, but they really are lacking. They get rather expensive for what they do, unless your opponent tries to kill them with bolters. Genestealers will do more damage and be more maneuverable for less points. The only benefit Warriors have over Genestealers is Synapse and the ability to eat volley of Bolters in Rapid-Fire range. I suggest skipping these unless you need the Synapse on your Hormagaunts.

A Pair of Boneswords
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This AGAIN reinforces the idea of Tyranids countering Tyranids the best. What would you do if your opponent brings a huge squad of multi-wound enemies? Get a huge amount of attacks that easily cause instant death... Oh wait a second! In addition, huge amounts of poisoned power weapons that easily cause instant death could easily kill Monstrous Creatures like Wraithlords and... Oh wait a second! These Boneswords are best if your opponent brings multi-wound enemies or high armor saves. For example, Necron Lords will be sliced in twain before you can utter the phrase "Will Be Back!" (Res Orb screws this up a bit, but then you play Wack-a-Mole, Robot Zombie Edition!). Tyranid Warriors however have a rather average initiative. It tends to be best to get Adrenal Glands to make them strike before Space Marines on the charge, but then you could of invested those five points into upgrading that Pair of Boneswords into...

Bonesword and Lash Whip
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There are only a few non-vehicle models that can survive a brood of Warriors with Toxin Sacs, Lash Whips and Boneswords on the charge. Off the top of my head, Howling Banshees (Banshee Mask bonus is applied after Lash Whip debuff), and maybe TH/SS Terminators (Although the battle will actually end up surprisingly even. Warriors will knock out a good amount of them if they charge, but will die quickly as the battle continues on). This is truley a terrifying unit, yet they don't look like it on a glance. Your opponent can easily underestimate these guys, and watch as their powerful HQ cc badass gets torn asunder. As you play more and more games with them though, their impressiveness begins to wear away, and your opponent will soon be fleeing from them as quickly as possible. If your opponent knows what they do, they will draw fire like any of your Monstrous Creatures. As a slight Foreshadowing, what do you do if you want your Hive Tyrant to get into combat as quickly as possible? Apply that principle to CC Warriors and you will get better results.

Barbed Strangler
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If you are bringing shooty Warriors, this is probably the best long range option. Large Blasts will brute force through some of the tougher saves, and pinning is a nice bonus. This also works quite well if you have Devilgaunts (Termagants with Devourers). The Termagants will bring on the hurt, and probably force a few wounds. Throw the blast on them, and probably kill 1 more. At the end of the phase, fall back and pinning test on -1 leadership will most likely make you happy. However, it is not worth it to launch the blast at maximum range. This puts the rest of your squad out of range, and incapable of shooting. It is not worth ~150pts for just this weapon.

Venom Cannon
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There is almost NO reason to take this weapon other than looks/fluff/fun. It just lacks the ability to do anything spectacular. If it was ap3, that would be a totally different story. However, its AP isn't good enough to kill most elite infantry, Small Blast wont be hitting enough to brute force through saves, too low Str and too inaccurate to reliably shake vehicles, too low str to hit high t targets... It just isn't worth it.

Devourer
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The default weapon is really meh. Termagants get 3x the amount for the same price. They CAN work and have decent synergy with the Barbed Strangler, but they aren't spectacular. It is best to have someone else bring the Devourers instead of your Warriors.

Spinefists
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These aren't horrible, but they aren't good. They are really fun against t3 armies, but Deathspitters are far better. If you want pistols, these are your best bet, but there are benefits for Scything Talons that put Spinefists in the "Fun but pointless" bucket.

Deathspitter
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Manly weapon! If you want your Warriors to shoot, this is a must. It is INCREDIBLY cheap for what it does. It is rather short ranged, but do remember, every Tyranid Weapon is an Assault Weapon. Move 6" and shoot 18" gives you a 24" threat range which is pretty nice. If you get close, you can combine shooting and assault to get decent results. Tyranid Warriors without cc weapons are still capable in Assault, and if your opponent doesn't have a str8 powerfist, they can be surprisingly effective. One important part of Deathspitters is the fact that they will keep the Warriors with your Termagants. The Termagants (Unless they have Devourers or Spike Rifles) will be slightly in front of your Warriors providing basic cover. Do remember that cover goes both ways though, but the Ap5 Deathspitter wont be going through most saves anyways.

Scything Talons
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I have made this point before and I shall make it again, Scything Talons should not be replaced on cc oriented units. They are free, and they do about 5pts worth of stuff for being free :D. Remember, Warriors with their above average WS will be hitting on a 3+. You will miss on a 1 and 2, with Scything Talons re-rolling those 1's. This is ALMOST the equivalent of hitting on a 2+ which I think is worth it (especially because they are free). If you are in a really small game (Around the 400pt-700pt mark), dual Scything Talons are pretty good actually, especially with Toxin Sacs. 30-35ppm (points per model for future reference) for a guy that can eat 18 bolter shots and dish out a painful beating in cc. Rending Claws are a slightly better option on MEQs though, but against almost everyone else the 2x Talons will work just fine.

Adrenal Glands
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Adrenal Glands are one of the "global upgrades" for Tyranids. By "global upgrade" I mean that 80% of the codex can get it. Adrenal Glands are not bad on Tyranid Warriors. For cheap, you can give them Adrenal Glands and Rending Claws. Suddenly, these Warriors are easily capable of killing a Rhino. I don't really suggest this though, because Rhinos cost about the price of 1 Warrior. However, if the squad inside doesn't have a Melta (or str8 shooting weapon), they will Rapid-Fire, you will laugh, eat their shots for lunch, assault on your turn, and obtain a brand new set of Kidney Hats :D. On base t3 armies, Adrenal Glands can be better than Toxin Sacs. On the charge, Adrenal Glands > Toxin Sacs. After that, Toxin Sacs > Adrenal Glands. If you are in the rare situation where you can outmaneuver your opponent, and their base Toughness is 3, Adrenal Glands are superior. However, off the top of my head, the only armies I can think of that fall under this category are Tau, Sisters of Battle, Imperial Guard and Slaneesh/Tzeentch Chaos Daemon Armies (Maybe FootDar).

Toxin Sacs
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This is the other "global upgrade" and is the superior choice for most infantry models. This gives you the ability to kill any enemy with a toughness value, and helps you kill t3 and t4 enemies. Remember, if your Str is equal or greater than their Toughness, you get re-rolls to wound. With Rending Claws, this gives you more chances to rend. Note: Do not combine this with Adrenal Glands unless you are up against tons of Toughness 5 enemies (The only armies effectively capable of toughness 5 spam, off the top of my head, have the word "Nurgle" located in their title somewhere. This borderlines tailoring).


Tactics and Builds

Tyranid Warriors are quite flexible, and are capable of multiple builds. I will also note which of these builds can be accompanied by Tyranid Primes. However, there are some important things to remember with the Tyranid Prime. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm 90% sure that if you use Hive Commander to outflank some Tyranid Warriors, your Prime cannot follow. In addition, the Tyranid FAQ takes glee in kicking Tyranid Players in the face, saying that Tyranid Primes CANNOT accompany Tyranid Warriors in a Mycetic Spore. However, if you have good friends, you can houserule this to make Mycetic Spores identical in every way to Drop pods (Except toughness 4 MCs instead of AV10/10/10 open-topped).

The Vanguard
3x to 5x Tyranid Warriors
Scything Talons
Rending Claws or An Additional set of Scything Talons
Toxin Sacs and/or Adrenal Glands
optional: Melee Tyranid Prime
optional: Mycetic Spore
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This is the poor man's HQ setup. In games of about 750 points this is will work. It wont be a total slaughter on either side, yet it wont be a total flop. In low point games you will survive a lot. A good tactic is giving your Tyranid Prime regeneration. Then, as you run across the field, allocate those str8/9 shots to the Prime with T5, keeping an entire Warrior alive a turn longer. Then, as you get into Rapid-Fire range, keep trying to regenerate the wound(s) lost to str8+ weapons. It is best to have a decent sized unit of Hormagaunts to give these guys cover as they charge forward, negating even more str8+ shots.


Fear's Catalyst
5x to 9x Tyranid Warriors
Boneswords and Lash Whips or A Pair of Boneswords
Scything Talons
Toxin Sacs or Adrenal Glands
optional: Melee Tyranid Prime
optional: Mycetic Spore
optional: Hive Tyrant with Hive Commander
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


If you want to absolutely destroy everything you touch, if you want to cause your opponent's jaw to strike the floor in terror, if you want to really kill that one squad of Marines that insulted your mother, then this is... nearly the squad to do it with. These guys will still tear apart anything they touch, it just takes them awhile to be able to touch them. If you have played any sort of game outside that involves chasing someone, you know how difficult it can be to catch up to someone who moves as fast as you do (Oh wait, you're a wargammer and I'm expecting you to have gone outside willingly...). Because this brood lacks speed, you have to be creative as to how you get into close combat. The first is simply put cover in between you and your target and hope that you roll high when running. Once again, Hormagaunts will serve you well. The second is a Mycetic Spore. It is almost best to Deep-strike near a squad that has Rapid-Fire weapons. Do not land near a squad like Dire Avengers with an Exarch, Bladestorm, and a helping Farseer, for squads like that will obliterate you with a mind blowing amount of shots (They potentially can kill around 2 to 3, which is huge for the price per Warrior). Do not land near a squad like a mob of Ork Boyz, because these guys rely more on quality of attacks, not quantity. Do not land near a heavily armored vehicle. With some exceptions that common sense will help you identify, everything else is fair game. The last option is to use Hive Commander to outflank this squad. It works for Genestealers, so it will work for these guys. Just remember, you DON'T have fleet. I personally suggest a build similar to this, except on Tyranid Shrikes in the Fast Attack Section. I'll get into them later.


The Supervisors of the Horde
3x to 7x Tyranid Warriors
Deathspitters
Barbed Strangler
Scything Talons or Rending Claws (5pts)
optional: Shooty or Hybrid Tyranid Prime
optional: Toxin Sacs
optional: Mycetic Spore
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


If you want to bring Termagants that do something, or maybe even Hormagaunts that do something, then these guys are highly suggested. They come quite cheap for what they do, which is provide basic Synapse over your hordes of gaunts. I suggest no more than 2 squads of gaunts per squad of Supervisors. As for the name, in addition to running low of decent sounding adjectives, the name does not instill fear really. The Supervisors are really there to make sure your army doesn't fall apart, and will be big targets because of it. Termagants will probably start lurking without them, and a Rhino Tank-Shocking will cause the Hormagaunts to flee towards them. Because of this, they easily make up their points by ensuring the rest of the army MORE than makes up their points. They do have pretty good shooting capabilities, which are dramatically increased by a Tyranid Prime. Although, if they are playing a critical role, it isn't wise to be trying to make your opponent fear them. They also can Deep-Strike with a Mycetic Spore to help incredibly fast models that need Synapse to properly function (For example, Gargoyles and Raveners). However, I personally prefer a Trygon Prime for this role for quite obvious reasons. The final role they can fill is objective guarder for those who don't have a Tervigon model. They will do a decent job for their price, but will probably only be using that Barbed Strangler for most of the game. Important Note: Do NOT get them ONLY to kill stuff. They are not as effective as other models for the same price.

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The Genestealer: The Mischievous Terror
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PRO

  • WS and Initiative 6 (Broodlord is WS and Initiative 7)
  • CC Gods
  • Troops
  • Rending with buckets of attacks
  • No Instinctive Behaviour
  • Fleet
  • Infiltrate or Outflank
  • Broodlords are terrifying
  • NOT Fearless + Ld10 (Don't take "No-Retreat" Wounds)
  • All Genestealer lists


CON

  • Poor armor save
  • Can't shoot
  • Can't survive a lot of shooting
  • Need cover for armor, yet don't have Assault Grenades
  • Can get rather expensive
  • If opponent survives the first wave of attacks, even non-cc oriented models will be killing them

Another famous Tyranid, the Genestealer is one of the most terrifying model in cc of the entire game. A small brood of about 8 or so will terrorize your opponent's army. It is difficult to predict where they will come in, it is difficult to evade all their potential points of entry, they have an impressive threat range, and they can put on so much hurt if allowed into cc. One benefit huge amounts of attacks + rending have over something like a Hive Tyrant's cc attacks or a brood of Hormagaunts, is that it can be effective on all types of armor. If your opponent is an army like Orkz (or Tyranids...) and rely on bodies/wounds over armor, the amount of wounds a brood of Genestealers cause will tear them to pieces. If they rely on armor over bodies, a single rending hit takes huge portions of the squad out at once, especially when multiple rending hits are rolled. If they rely on invul saves, then Genestealers brute force their way through with sheer volume (Something Tyranid Warriors have difficulty with).

However, their abilities are a double edged sword. They cause FEAR, which causes your opponent to immediately turn all firepower to any Genestealers that are still existing and on the board. They cannot easily survive shooting, and a decent sized volley of firepower will kill them. Cover is the obvious choice to help, but they don't have Assault Grenades, so you need to be careful when using it.

If you bring an all Genestealer list, it is easily possible for your opponent to clump an entire army along the center of the board, and simply wait for you to emerge from outflanking. They will have one (maybe even two) turns of shooting before you can assault them. This is really the major fault of an all Genestealer list, and it is not one easily fixed. The best way to fix it is to NOT bring an all Genestealer list. I find it is best to send a powerful ball of death, like a Flyrant with a Gargoyle Screen, into the center of your opponent's army. In the end it doesn't really divide their army in half, as much as completely surrounding it. They will not have enough bullets to deal with everything, and they will be overwhelmed :twisted: .


Weapons, Biomorphs, and Abilities

Brood Telepathy
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I laugh at Instinctive Behaviour! Nuff said.

Rending Claws
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Yay! Genestealers have enough attacks to use these to their fullest. Because of Rending + Many attacks, Genestealers can deal with almost all enemy infantry models, hordes or elites... Why do those last sentences seem so familiar...

Infiltrate
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I'll talk more about this in the Tactics and Builds section, but it is incredibly useful. This is how Genestealers avoid getting shot to death. It is a vital ability and really helps promote that "terror" aspect of Genestealers.

Broodlord
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Now this guy is an interesting fellow, practically deserving an entry all his own. As Commander Slaughter once noted, the Broodlord was an HQ choice. I share Slaughter's confusion as to why he is now a Troops Choice upgrade but we'll roll with it. First thing to note is his price. He comes in at quite a steep price ($$ and pt wise). I personally don't think that he is fully worth it, but I wont deny his effectiveness and power. He is str5 and T5. The toughness is ignored due to majority toughness stuff and he is an upgrade not and Independent Character. However, his Str is impressive, allowing him to pummel most enemies into a fine red mist and doing serious damage to rear armor 10. His psychic powers are nice, with Aura of Despair to cause enemies to fall back (And by extension, die in a sweeping advance), and Hypnotic Gaze to paralyze powerful HQ's and Powerfists. The next series of entries will be about Broodlord specific things.

Broodlord: Scything Talons
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It is a nice, cheap upgrade. I personally take them if I want to go HQ's hunting, because more re-rolls mean more rending, which means more......

Broodlord: Implant Attack
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..... instant death caused by Implant Attack. Rending and Implant attack work beautifully together, and can be used with Hypnotic Gaze to disable and kill important models. It is rather expensive, but a nice luxury.

Broodlord: Acid Blood
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I really don't like this one. You don't have Lash Whips and you don't have enough wounds to brute force through an attacker's initiative. It is also expensive for doing almost nothing. In addition, the Broodlord is a model upgrade, NOT an Independent Character, and cannot be singled out in cc.

Broodlord: Aura of Despair
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I respond to this with a half-hearted "Eh..." It may sound weird, but you WANT to be locked in combat. Ideally, you want to assault your target, kill all but a few, endure the responding attacks (maybe loose one or two Genestealers), they pass their leadership test, and you are locked in combat during their shooting phase. Then, you kill them in THEIR assault phase and go off skipping into the sunset. If you cause them to fall back due to an initiative debuff, then the "off skipping into the sunset" is interrupted by a enemy squad in Rapid-Fire range.

Broodlord: Hypnotic Gaze
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Now this is a slightly better psychic power. It allows you to stunlock and dominate power and terrifying enemies. Most of the time I use this when I am assaulting a power HQ and his retinue. I try to paralyze the HQ, and then focus all attacks on his retinue. Once the retinue is done, I try stun him again and then overwhelm him in attacks. Note: I say TRY to stun him because Hypnotic Gaze is not totally reliable.

Back to the Genestealer Upgrades

Scything Talons
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This is a nice LUXURY. If you have the points, take them. They help a lot for reasons previously mentioned. Do not underestimate them, for they have won me games.

Adrenal Glands
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These work sometimes. I say sometimes because they only work if you can outmaneuver a base t3 army. Other than that, Toxin Sacs are superior. They are nice if you want to go against vehicles, but that is a really bad idea (unless you using an all Genestealer list, in which case you have no choice).

Toxin Sacs
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Let me be as unambiguously clear as possible: ALWAYS TAKE TOXIN SACS ON GENESTEALERS! They give more re-rolls (which means more rending), better than wounding on a 3+ against t4 and lower, and they allow you to kill everything from Guardsmen to Wraithlords in cc. ALWAYS take them. NOTE: If you bring a Broodlord, I'm pretty sure you have to buy the Toxin Sacs for the Broodlord as well as the normal Genestealers. This maybe why I don't like the Broodlord as much as I should.


Tactics and Builds

There isn't really a variety of builds for Genestealers. Like the Tervigon, there is pretty much a list of upgrades that you should take, and you go further down the list based on how many points you have. Here is said list for Genestealers:

- Toxin Sacs
- Increase unit size (I prefer 8 for no reason other than that is how many that come in a box)
- Scything Talons
- Broodlord
- Increase unit size (I prefer 12 for no reason other than 2 squads of 12 come in 3 boxes)
- Broodlord: Implant Attack

Once you get to the Broodlord point, the order doesn't matter as much. However, I strongly suggest you do NOT get broods of Genestealers larger than 12. 12 Already overkills most enemies (kills about 10 Space Marines on the Charge). Some true Wargamers will tell you the ideal unit sizes to optimize the casualties required before taking a leadership test, but Genestealers are Ld10, and I would rather make my life simple than make my broods the ideal size for those one in a million moments.

Now then, Genestealers really are not that complex IMO. There are two options when deploying: Outflank or Infiltrate.

You infiltrate if you get first turn. Place them behind cover as close to 12" away as possible. You have Move Through Cover and Fleet, so it isn't that hard to get an early assault in.

When you Outflank, the fate of your unit is in the hands of your dice. The only advice I can give at this point is to make sure your dice like you (maybe pray to them every now and then :D ). Once they come in, it tends to be rather obvious where the closest unit of infantry is, and it is a simple task to line yourself up with it.

Now if you want to get really advance, Fritz40k tends to employ some (IMO) overly complicated methods to keep his Genestealers alive. Basically, what he does is he has a small group of the brood out in front, with the rest purposefully trailing behind. When he assaults his target, only a small amount of the unit will actually be able to attack. This causes your opponent to not be overkilled, survive, not fall back, and you get locked in combat. Then, on their turn (After their shooting phase!), you should have piled in and now have the entire squad attacking. Now your opponent is overkilled and you can go off and find a new target.

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The Mycetic Spore: The Faithful Sack of Flesh
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PRO

  • Cheapest Monstrous Creature of the Tyranid Codex (Maybe even the entirety of 40k)
  • Incredibly cheap overall
  • Drop Pod... sorry, Transport Spore
  • No mishap allows you to be rather bold with them
  • Lash Whips
  • Cheap turret


CON

  • Only t4
  • Horrible WS and BS
  • Tyranid FAQ
  • I have no idea how to make one
  • Required in most competitive lists
  • Impossible to control once in play

The Mycetic Spore is generally underapreaciaed. I dub it "The Faithful Sack of Flesh" because that is what it is. It will reliably get you in front of your enemy, and it is a sack of flesh that can be killed easily (You would think that dropping from orbit onto solid ground would do more damage than 12 Bolter Shots...). Beyond that, the Mycetic Spore wont do much, but that is like saying "If you ignore the fact that Space Marines have 3+ armor saves, they are just as durable as Orks!"

It is t4, which is odd for a Monstrous Creature. However, being a Monstrous Creature, they can do some serious damage if Tank Shocked. More than once I have used a series of Mycetic Spores to create a minefield around enemy transports. Even Land Raiders risk loosing a gun when Tank Shocking a Mycetic Spore. This is always a risk that should be taken, because you may get a 40pt sack of flesh (that will probably do nothing) to rip a Lascannon off that Razorback.

I have yet to figure out how to make a Mycetic Spore actually. I tend to proxy random can-sized stuff for Spores, and my friends don't mind. I have seen a lot of people use baseballs covered with greenstuff and strings. BoW (in one of its rare occasions) used some Dino Hatcher thing as a good Spore. I have seen someone make a Spore out of a Paper Towel roll and a glue gun. There are tons of ways to make spores, but most of them involve a sphere and stringy flesh like stuff.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Lash Whip
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I have yet to find a reason to complain about these. Strange right? More than once I have had some small unit deep strike in a Spore, get assaulted by Assault Marines who multi-charge the Mycetic Spore for an easy kill (Strangely, the easier something is to kill, the more often people will try to kill it), and then the Assault Marines get screwed over because they are in base contact with Lash Whips. Not only is this hilarious, but effective in defending units against assault heavy armies. When you disembark from the spore, hide behind it. If anyone wants to charge you, they charge the spore, initiative debuff, enemy weakened, happiness :D.

Ripper Tentacles
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Yes you have a horrible BS, that is why you have 6 shots. I tend to use this most when I am fielding Zoanthropes in a spore. The Zoanthropes' Spore Deepstrikes near a Rhino that is guarding a Land Raider. The intelligent Zoanthropes see the Land Raider and obliterate it with a series of Warp Lances. The dumb Mycetic Spore sees that box called a Rhino and smashes it with some Ripper Tentacles. On average, you get about 2 str6 hits into hopefully rear armor 10. That tends to do a good amount of damage. Overall though, because you can't control them, they end up being a "Lol poke!" type deal. They aren't bad for being free and high strength though.

Cluster Spines
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This is a weapon I should of written about, yet haven't yet. You can get it on Tervigons (in addition to Stinger Salvo). In general, the platform in which both weapons are mounted on does not matter a lot, and can be applied to every MC that can take them. With that out of the way, Cluster Spines are my preferred pick. Tyranids always have below average BS, Mycetic Spore being the best example of this. Large Blasts tend to hit more often then a fixed amount of shots. Therefore, a big str5 blast tends to be better than a volley. Yes it is short ranged, but Mycetic Spores should already be coming in at point blank range, while other MC's are durable/fast enough to get within 18" of their targets. As with the Barbed Strangler and Stranglethorn Cannon, the large blast will brute force through saves and make your life happy.

Stinger Salvo
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The benefit Stinger Salvo has over Cluster Spines is an AP value. You know how most Vehicles tend to have the basic infantry weapon except Twin-linked, or the heavier version of said weapon on sponsons or random turrets (For example, Eldar Wave Serpents with TL Shuriken Catapults/Shurkien Cannons, Dark Eldar Venoms with TL Splinter Rifles + Splinter Cannon/2x Splinter Cannon, Rhino with TL Bolter), well Stinger Salvo is the Tyranid Equivalent. Good amount of shots, decent AP, high strength. The problem is that decent AP and below average BS. You will probably miss a lot of your shots, making the Cluster Spines more effective in hitting targets. In addition, there are few armies with a 4+ armor save base, and anything worse/better is overwhelmed by the Cluster Spines volume of hits.

Twin-Linked Deathspitters
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
These are just fun. I like these over the Stinger Salvo on Mycetic Spores. However, if you look closely, I said "These are just fun" not "These are just awesome." They are good for the lols, but not much else.

Barbed Strangler
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The Barbed Strangler is good on Tyranid Warrior Spores. While this isn't listed in the Tyranid Warrior section, you can potentially put this Barbed Strangler and a single Barbed Strangler on a group of cc Tyranid Warriors. When you land, you fire two pinning shots on the nearest enemy infantry squad. Note, the Tyranid player can NEVER pick the Mycetic Spore's target, so you have to be close to what you want to hit. The longer range is nice, but in this day and age, most people are hiding in vehicles. If they are, you will be lobbing str4 against maybe rear armor 10, doing little.

Venom Cannon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
No. It was bad on Tyranid Warriors, it is bad on the Mycetic Spore.


Tactics

The "Builds" section is omitted for the Mycetic Spore because all the builds are explained under the specific weapon.

One of my favorite tactics for Mycetic Spores is to drop them within 6" of an Objective. They will contest throughout the entire game, while generally not doing much to draw attention. Remember, always tell your opponent that the Spore has Ripper Tentacles! Knowing that 6 str6 shots will hit anyone near the objective tends to make people do rather illogical actions to avoid them. They don't do much damage though, so beyond psyching someone out, they aren't going to be doing much (unless it is against AV 10). As the game goes on, your opponent will probably be worrying about the contents of the Spore more than the actual Spore itself, and it can negate one of your opponent's precious objectives in the end.

If you are in MASSIVE games, Mycetic Assault Lists get very entertaining. You can easily make a MASSIVE minefield of Mycetic Spores, trapping most transports that aren't skimmers (And denying a lot of places for those skimmers to go). Due to not misshaping, you can be incredibly bold when placing them, weaving them inside your opponent's army. Most vehicles will start tank shocking Spores, in which case you kindly tell your opponent that Spores are Monstrous Creatures with base Str6. Most of the time, weapons like Meltas and Lascannons will be getting torn off, while some transports get Shaken/Stunned. Disabling is sometimes just as good as destroying.

The last tactic is a tactic I have yet to try. This is based off assumptions of human nature. The idea is to get a minimum squad of Termagants and a Mycetic Spore. Send this cheap unit and land it right in front of your opponent's favorite cc squads. Take a moment and think about what you would do in your opponent's situation. Right in front of your cc powerhouse is a mob of weak, easy to kill, Termagants and a Mycetic Spore. What do you do? Most people will get out of their transport of choice and assault it (Instead of shouting "IT'S A TRAP!"). Now, think for a second. If your Hive Tyrant has wings, and has been going as fast as he can, when turn 2 comes around, he will be almost within assault range of your opponent's army. If their infantry is out in the open, you can skip the "Bashing the can until the yummy infantry inside is exposed" step of most Tyranid games. This tactic is inspired/copied off a section of Marsdreamer's Chaos Daemon Tactica about Nurglings. The main difference between Nurglings and cheap Spore + Termagants is that Daemons have Soul-Grinders and Flamers who can quickly appear and drop powerful AOE shooting attacks, while Tyranids cannot (Unless you count Zoanthropes with Warp Blast, but their Warp Lance is in higher demand).

As a conclusion, Mycetic Spores are fun, entertaining, faithful sacks of flesh.

=====================================================

The Termagant: The Infuriating Horde
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Cheapest Model of the Codex
  • Easy Swarm
  • Troops
  • Cheapest way to make your army look bigger
  • Almost always expendable
  • Can get cheap Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands
  • Devilgaunts
  • Troops Choice Tervigons
  • Average Initiative means they tend to get some attacks in before loosing to CC oriented units
  • No one really cares about how detailed their paint job is, as long as it looks good at a glance :D


CON

  • Short range
  • Most shooting abilities are below average
  • Offensive capabilities are surpassed by many others
  • Base initiative is only average, and will strike at the same time as a lot of stuff they want to kill
  • What armor? What defense?
  • Instinctive Behaviour - Lurk
  • Horrible Leadership means they need Synapse
  • Fearless in CC hurts
  • No fleet
  • One base attack is bad when you want them to melee stuff
  • Even Tau can kill a Termagant in CC if they survive the first set of attacks

Probably one of the most common models in the entirety of tabletop Tyranids is the humble Termagant. He isn't amazing, I'll admit that. You wont see this bugger soloing HQs or eating entire squads of Terminators at a time (Well, he shouldn't be at least...). No, most Termagants aren't here to kill. They can kill, but I highly suggest you do NOT rely on that. They are best fielded as a speed bump. What makes Termagants so awesome is that, yes, they are a speed bump, but for incredibly cheap, you can make that speed bump explode dramatically as they are run over.

(Sidenote: Devilgaunts do not apply for these next few paragraphs)

Termagants will die. The only time they wont is if you completely massacre your opponent. Get used to taking Termagants off the board. In fact, I highly suggest you start ENJOYING taking Termagants off the board. Then you and your opponent will start having fun. I recall MWG Dave once saying, "I want to smile when I am killing you! And I want you to smile while I am killing you!" As weird as it sounds, yes, smile while you are being killed. If you don't, you will be very sad, and then you will stop using Termagants, and then your Termagants will be very sad.

Termagants are one of the few models in the Tyranid Codex that I tend to use defensively. Most of the time, they are holding Objectives, or guarding Tervigons (Tervigons being one of the other models that I tend to use defensively, but not as much as Termagants). Termagants have bodies over bullets, and will just keep eating shots as the game goes on. Tying back to the paragraph above this one, be thankful that/if your opponent is shooting at the Termagants (Albeit don't let them know this). Every Tyranid model has a toughness value, so a shot, even as insignificant as one from a Lasgun, directed at a Termagant is a shot that is wasted (Ignore Monstrous Creatures for a moment here, I'm trying to make a point). Termagants lack the punch that Hormagaunts or Tyranid Warriors or Genestealers can deliver. A shot aimed a Termagant is a shot that is aimed at something OTHER than a model that can kill.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Fleshborer
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is their basic infantry weapon. The only real benefit it has is that it fires a Bolter shot. However, it is short ranged and Termagants do not have a good BS. They will miss a lot, wound a decent amount, but then armor is really what hurts. Ap5 wont be going through much (at least not through anything that was important to begin with). The short range means that they will just get some Rapid-Fire to the face next turn. However, this is default and, most of the time, simply ignored.

Strangleweb
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Possibly the worst flame template in the entirety of Warhammer 40k. Wounds most enemies on a 5+ or 6+, and is the same price as 2x Termagants. Other races can get FAR better weapons for the same price. Even other Tyranids can get far better weapons for the same price on their basic infantry (For example, the Barbed Strangler).

Spinefists
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
In the previous codex, Termagants with Spinefists were not that bad. However now, they are really meh. These are the only real way to hit more often, but you aren't hitting with something that hurts. On a sidenote, these are known as Spinegaunts.

Spike Rifle
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Another poor choice. Yes, you get bonus range, you just loose your ap5 and one important point of Str. Str4 and Str3 are dramatically different and should not be disregarded so carelessly (Especially when you are paying for it).

Devourer
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
You remember everything I said about how Termagants are expendable, and you should not care about them because they are so cheap, and they cannot kill anything, and they should be used defensively? Yeah? Ignore every word of that if you give your Termagant a Devourer, for it is no longer a Termagant, but rather what is known on the Internets as a Devilgaunt. You are paying 2x price for 3x the fire power with Devilgaunts. They will HURT. Terminator armor or not, there WILL be casualties caused by them. Then, don't forget about that -1 leadership penalty. I will go into more Devilgaunt tactics later.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Adrenal Glands are effective, but not required. They dramatically help Termagants in cc because it will give them str4 on the charge. What truly makes them special is when you combine them with Toxin Sacs to get re-roll to wound on t4 for the turn you charge. Some people also like them because the Termagants can then glance rear AV10 vehicles when charging. Most of the time, however, it is best to get them on your Tervigon, so your Termagants can get them for free.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I'm not going to say always bring Toxin Sacs on your Termagants, but doing so works. This is how you make the speed bump explode dramatically (in addition to Devilgaunts). Suddenly, your basic, cheap, spammable swarmer is taking down Daemon Princes in cc (Albeit not solo, read the fine print of the first paragraph :P ). With this, your Termagants become a threat. They still wont kill a lot, but they become something that MUST be killed. It is still best to get them on your Tervigon (Which should always have them in the first place) so your Termagants get them for free.


Builds and Tactics

The Filler
10x to 30x Termagants
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This is quite literally a filler. However, what makes such a pointless unit effective? Well, there are two reasons for that. One, with a Filler you now can bring a Troops Choice Tervigon. The second reason is objectives. Most of the time they should be deployed in area terrain, holding an objective. Then, as soon as possible, have them Go To Ground. I find this rather fluffy actually. When Termagants are not being influenced by the Hive Mind, they hide. Beyond fluff reasons, if the area terrain is giving a 4+ cover save (like most terrain does), then you now have a 3+ cover save. With the sheer number of bodies Termagants are capable of, it gets rather entertaining to watch your opponent try to move them. The main weakness though is when something like... oh Idk... the Hive Tyrant Psychic Power: The Horror, hits them, then they are off running (WHY MUST TYRANIDS COUNTER TYRANIDS BEST).

The Writhing Shield
15x to 30x Termagants
Toxin Sacs
optional: Adrenal Glands
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


Tyranid Warrior, this is Cover. Cover, meet Tyranid Warrior. Cover, your duty, if you choose to accept it (Which I'm forcing you to accept so there goes the "choose" part), is to get in front of them big Tyranids and get in the way of anyone who wants to kill said big Tyranids. Bonus points if you die in the process. In all seriousness, this is the best way to get a Gaunt wall. They are cheap, yet with Toxin Sacs, and maybe Adrenal Glands, they pose a big enough threat to be worth shooting at. At the same time, anything behind them (Which probably is a bigger threat) will get an intervening cover save. Manipulation of Target Priority at its finest (or at least simplest).

The Devilgaunts
20x Termagants
Devourer
Mycetic Spore
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


These guys are famous. As mentioned above, they HURT. One big problem is that they draw fire, yet can't take much returning fire. They are 2x the cost after all, and that gets real expensive real fast. Mycetic Spores are best to get them where they need to be as soon as possible. I aim them about 10" to 14" away from my intended target, due to the 18" range on Devourers. Ideally, you want to be just beyond 12" because that will force your opponent to move to get into Rapid-Fire range (and would be unable to shoot any sort of Heavy Weapon), or fire outside of Rapid-Fire range and, most likely, keeping enough Devilgaunts alive that the Devilgaunts retaliate. One suggestion though: DO NOT USE AGAINST AV10. Ap- and only glancing, in addition to poor BS means you will do almost nothing. It is far better to simply be running for a new target/cover than to try to scratch the back of a Rhino. Speaking of cover, use it. You have the volume to overwhelm most saves, and ap- means that they probably are taking their own, better, save.

=====================================================

The Hormagaunt: The Bladed Horde
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Cheap CC model
  • Troops
  • Bounding Leap = incredibly fast
  • Scything Talons improve their CC abilities
  • Can get Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands
  • Above average Initiative
  • Base 2 attacks, with 3 on the charge means a decent sized brood pulls out a huge amounts of attacks on the charge
  • Fleet
  • Instinctive Behaviour - Feed means you can deploy them and then ignore them as they do whatever they want
  • Your opponent probably cannot ignore them while they are doing whatever they want (if your anti-transport is competent)
  • No one really cares about how detailed their paint job is, as long as it looks good at a glance :D


CON

  • Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands are expensive
  • More expensive than Termagants
  • Easy to kill: One good volley renders a brood useless
  • What armor? What defense?
  • Horrible Leadership means they need Synapse
  • Fearless in CC hurts
  • Have trouble with heavy armor
  • Their models (or at least my Hormagaunt models) are poorly balanced, and tend to face plant into the table a lot
  • Cannot be spawned or gain free Toxin Sacs and/or Adrenal Glands (Unless you count the Swarmlord giving them Furious Charge)
  • Even a Tau can kill Hormagaunts in cc, if they survive the first attacks
  • Prolonged combat, while possible, means they wont be doing much else afterwards
  • Need many models per enemy you want dead

I'm going to start off by saying this: I don't like Hormagaunts. They can be terrifying, but I find Termagants can be just as terrifying for cheaper (or even free). I don't like how a brood of 20 or so can simply turn into a fine red mist when hitting a Space Marine Assault squad (Albeit the Assault Squad was reduce to a Sarge that ran into a Spore Mine and died... Oh wait, this is suppose to be a general example not a personal experience). Unlike Termagants which you really want to be shot up, Hormagaunts do not want to be the target of enemy shooting. They are fast, so they can just run through the torrent of firepower (Whether you want them to or not sometimes). However, a few good volleys or a few good flamers can render the entire unit incapable of killing much. I hinted at this in the Termagant entry, but I'll simply be straight forward here. I do not expect my Gaunts to kill anything. I expect them to die instead of stuff that I want to kill things with. Because a good volley can kill them easily, they are unreliable in my eyes.

HOWEVER, I have seen them used by others to achieve spectacular results, and Mathhammer supports the power of a decent sized brood on the charge. Unlike Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords, Lash Whips, and Toxin Sacs, Hormagaunts actually look like something to fear. They do draw a lot of fire, which can keep more powerful models like Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords, Lash Whips, and Toxin Sacs alive long enough to get into cc. Yes, they do run ahead of models like Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords, Lash Whips, and Toxin Sacs, but that just means the Hormagaunts will be in Rapid-Fire range first and can stop your opponent from shooting at models like Tyranid Warriors with Boneswords, Lash Whips, and Toxin Sacs while they cover the last leg of their journey.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Scything Talons
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
A good free weapon, which helps a bit. Hormagaunts do only have WS3 and tend to be hitting on 4's most of the time, but with the loads of attacks Hormagaunts get, it is nice to re-roll a few of those misses.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
These are invaluable when partnered with Toxin Sacs. However, on their own they somewhat are pointless (Unless you are up against hordes of Grots. If you are, bring the Parasite of Mortrex and the Doom of Malan'tai). The massive problem with this upgrade is the price of TWO POINTS. It sounds so insignificant, yet when you are getting 30 of these guys, those 2 points per model adds up quickly, especially when partnered with Toxin Sacs for the same price. The main aspect that prevents lone Adrenal Glands from dropping into the red is the ability to glance vehicles. I personally don't like glancing (or trying to Glance) vehicles with Hormagaunts because the Hormagaunts tend to cost more than the vehicle they are trying to glance. However, a lot of people really like this ability, and I'll admit that it can work (and doing the math produces acceptable results). Also, with IB - Feed, you may hit a Rhino and wish to do something about it.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
If you are taking Hormagaunts, this is a must. You need the ability to wound everything on a 4+ if you are going to be mindlessly assaulting anything in front of you. With Adrenal Glands you will strike at str4, and get re-rolls to wound on t4 (which is HUGE). This does get really expensive really fast though, and it contributes to why I don't like Hormagaunts.


Tactics

Like Genestealers and Tervigons, the Hormagaunt build is only a list of upgrades, with the upgrades being listed in order of necessity. However, there are only two upgrades you can give Hormagaunts (plus Mycetic Spore). I already said which is the highest priority, so the "Builds" section is pointlessly repetitive.

The first and obvious tactic is to use them as a living shield. They get in the way of anyone who wants to shoot at your Tyranid Warriors or Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guards (Hormagaunts obscure the Tyrant Guards, the Hive Tyrant is part of the Tyrant Guard unit, therefore as long as one Tyrant Guard is alive, 50% of the Hive Tyrant's unit is in cover). Simple, screws with target priority a bit, don't expect them to survive long enough to punch your enemy in the face. You can also throw in a Venomthrope to increase their durability, but they might get a bit ahead of the Venomthrope (in which case, you make a 10" congo line of Hormagaunts trailing into the Venomthrope Spore cloud :D).

The second tactic is using Hive Commander to outflanking a massive squad. This is the best way to get a brood of Hormagaunts to actually kill something. With Bounding Leap, you can expect them to be moving about 10 to 12 inches per turn. That gives them a massive threat range, and they tend to be able to assault something on the first turn the arrive from outflanking.

The third and final tactic that I don't suggest is using a Mycetic Spore and deep-striking them. The problem is, Deep-Striking them puts them VERY densely packed. You MUST run in EVERY direction to spread out and negate blasts. If you don't, a few Flamers and a Large Blast will kill the ENTIRE brood. Also, don't forget how fast Hormagaunts are. you don't need to place them point blank, just relatively close.

I'll probably rely on others to catch what I miss. I generally don't like Hormagaunts because of reasons I have stated above, yet they can be a powerful addition to someone's army.

Sidenote: There is one small thing that has been annoying me for these past two entries. Spelling. There is Hormagaunt, and then Termagant. It took me a long time until I understood why they this. Termagant is an actual word, pretty much meaning a nagging woman (I guess that could be a response to someone asking a Wargammer to get a Girlfriend...). Gaunt means someone who is unhealthily thin (usually from hunger, so I guess that explains the Hormagaunt instinctive behavior). Idk where the "Horma" part of Hormagaunt is from though, my dictionary couldn't find any answers.

=====================================================

_________________
Clearly, I'm a mere walking corpse, shambling through walls of text.

Inactive? Maybe...


Last edited by Rangrok1k on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:18 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Fast Attack
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:38 am 
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The Tyranid Shrike: The Winged Talon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Wounds over Armor
  • Potential CC Powerhouses
  • Can get Lash Whips
  • Boneswords + Poison
  • Wings
  • Synapse
  • Will reliably kill most infantry
  • Slightly above average WS
  • Fun Tyranid Warrior only lists


CON

  • Str8 powerfists hurt them
  • Str8+ blasts make them disappear
  • Get pricy when fully upgraded
  • Practically require a lot of pricy upgrades
  • Wounds over Armor is not always the best choice
  • 5+ save is practically no save with all the ap5
  • There are no Boneswords and Lash Whips models made by GW
  • There is only one set of Monstrous Scything Talons and one set of Rending Claws per Warrior Box

I hinted a bit at my love for Shrikes in the Tyranid Warrior section.

Shrikes are freakin' incredible. Upgrade them with Boneswords, Lash Whips, and Toxin Sacs. Suddenly, Daemon Princes are running for their lives, Dreadknights are falling over in two rounds, Wraithlords are dying from only half the brood, Nobz are sliced in twain, and stuff is generally dead. There are only a very small handful of exceptions to this. Most people think invulnerable saves, but don't forget, 6 Shrikes have just as many attacks on the charge as a brood of 8 Genestealers. Do Genestealers have problems with invul saves? No, because they just brute force their way through. The limit is around the TH/SS Terminators, yet this is only because you will loose just as many Shrikes as they will loose Terminators (And the Terminators are a bit cheaper than Melee Shrikes).

However, Shrikes are still Tyranid Warriors and retain that weakness to str8. Powerfists hurt, but Shrikes have such a surprising volume of attacks that something like a 5-man Tactical Squad will be wiped out before the powerfist is used. Larger groups of powerfists, like Shooty Terminators, tend to involve one or two casualties, but generally the Shrikes will still come out victorious. Shrikes are also a lot more vulnerable to shooting. Ap5 is practically the equivalent of no armor, due to almost every basic infantryman having ap5 (The only exception is Imperial Guard, but they have more than enough shots to compensate). Shrikes need some sort of screen, with the best choice being Gargoyles.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Barbed Strangler
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I could write an incredibly long paragraph. But I'll write that on the last gun entry for Shrikes, so I don't need to keep saying "read the entry above." Thus I'll say this: DO NOT GIVE YOUR SHRIKES SHOOTING WEAPONS

Venom Cannon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
DO NOT GIVE YOUR SHRIKES SHOOTING WEAPONS

Rending Claws
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
NOTE: Because someone was stupid when writing the Shrike entry, there is NO way to get Rending Claws for free by trading in your Devourers. Because of this, it's not worthwhile to make "low-cost" Shrikes. It's better to go dual Scything Talons. As of now, it's 5 points for an upgrade that is barely worth any.

Devourer
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
DO NOT GIVE YOUR SHRIKES SHOOTING WEAPONS

Spinefists
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
DO NOT GIVE YOUR SHRIKES SHOOTING WEAPONS

Deathspitter
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
DO NOT GIVE YOUR SHRIKES- oh wait here is where I actually have to explain myself. Shooting does not compliment Shrikes. The theoretical "hit and run" just doesn't work with units on expensive Shrikes. They also have a meh BS, so they wont be hitting with enough of their shots to really make up their points in damage. It's far better to get their more resilient troops choice counterpart instead for shooting. 18" range + 6" move will get your guns to where they need to be. If they don't, you need some help with deployment (or just a Mycetic Spore).

A Pair of Boneswords
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The first of the good upgrades for Shrikes. Against slower enemies (Necrons, IG, Tau), dual Boneswords are worthwhile. They can reliably destroy multi-wound models with an almost guaranteed insta-death. Combine with Toxin Sacs and maybe Adrenal Glands for an initiative boost, and you're golden. The problem is when HQs come in with retinues that have higher than average initiative. Shrikes have almost no defenses beyond wounds, so they'll die incredibly quickly. To be honest, I don't suggest dual Boneswords. Shrikes are expensive, and wont see action until you hit at least 1500pt games. When you do field them, it's better to just go all out, instead of trying to save points by cutting their upgrades.

Bonesword and Lash Whip
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
There are only a few non-vehicle models that can survive a brood of Warriors with Toxin Sacs, Lash Whips and Boneswords. A few exceptions that I can remember are listed in the Tyranid Warrior section. In the very same section, I hinted at Shrikes in a rather unsubtle manner. Tyranid Warriors in general have a huge amount of attacks that ignore armor and are guaranteed (almost) to go first. Shrikes further enhance this by making them incredibly fast. A brood of well-deployed Shrikes will be in CC on turn 2. 12" deploy + 12" turn 1 move + d6 run + 12" turn 2 move + 6" assault = 43"-48" threat range in just 2 turns. Against a naive opponent, this will catch them horribly off guard. Even experienced players will have a hard time trying to defend against said speed (Except maybe Dark Eldar/Eldar).

Scything Talons
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Don't replace these. On Shrikes, they can only be replaced for Rending Claws (which aren't worth it). I think Cruddace was high when he wrote the Shrike entry to be honest. It just seems really off.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Adrenal Glands are alright-ish on Shrikes. They are better suited for anything other than the Bonesword + Lash Whip combo though. The only reason to takes these is if you have a massive excess of points, and you want your Shrikes to take down rear-armor 10 easily. They have the attacks to do so, it just isn't that reliable, and tends to leave the Shrikes rather exposed in the process.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Always put Toxin Sacs on your Shrikes. It's practically required for melee oriented infantry models. It DRAMATICALLY increases your damage output, and gives your Shrikes the ability to take down all non-vehicles. The only time I would suggest against Toxin Sacs is if you know you are up against a massive Grot only list... In which case, while you're tailoring, throw in the Doom of Malan'tai and the Parasite of Mortrex. Those two could take down a Grot army, practically by themselves... Hold on.... I may have to try this....


Tactics and Builds

While Tyranid Warriors had a variety of builds, Shrikes have one. I highly discourage trying to field Shrikes in any other way.

Death's Catalyst
5x to 9x Tyranid Shrikes
Boneswords and Lash Whips
Scything Talons
Toxin Sacs
Effectivity: [IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]


This will KILL. No other way of putting it. There are barely anything that can withstand these guys charging at them (beyond vehicles). Point them at something you want dead, put a screen of Gargoyles in front of them to block some shooting, wait two turns, and POW, desired target dead.

Shrikes are best fielded in games of over 1500 at least. I don't suggest trying to bring cheap Shrikes. Due to some... bizarre... upgrade limitations on Shrikes, their "cheap" versions don't work very well, in terms of points vs damage. In addition to requiring their upgrades, they also need a Gargoyle shield, else they will die to shooting. I am not exaggerating here. Shrikes, while they take a lot of shots, will die unless you are really good with cover. Gargoyles ensure a mobile cover shield, that also helps prevent counter-charges. They also will soak up a lot of the Bolter-like fire that normally would tear through Shrike 5+ armor.

=====================================================

The Ravener: The Barbarous Charger
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Wounds over Armor
  • 5 Attacks on the charge
  • Two Sets of Scything Talons
  • Potential Rending Claws
  • Beasts assault 12" and have fleet
  • Instinctive Behaviour - Feed
  • Kills average infantry
  • Slightly above average WS
  • Somewhat cheap


CON

  • Target average infantry
  • Str8 powerfists hurt them
  • Str8+ blasts make them disappear
  • Useless shooting weapons
  • Wounds over Armor is not always the best choice
  • 5+ save is practically no save with all the ap5
  • Can't get Toxin Sacs or Adrenal Glands/size]

Raveners are your shock troops. They can leap into assault by turn 2, consistently, if played right. They are deceptively fast with fleet and their 12" assault range. They are cheap for what they do, and they do it well. They just have one basic flaw that really holds them back: They target average infantry. Tyranids do not have problems dealing with average infantry. They target the same thing that Genestealers, Hormagaunts, Termagants, and Tervigons target. They do it well... but so do Genestealers, Hormagaunts, Termagants and Tervigons. The only advantage they have is their speed. Shrikes outrank Raveners because Shrikes can tear apart almost all infantry models: CC oriented HQs or average troops. Raveners loose their effectiveness against things tougher than the average CC-oriented foot soldier.

Raveners have a potential threat range of 24". At minimum, it's 19". This range is easily underestimated, and can throw your opponent way off guard. Multiple games with Raveners will lessen the surprise factor, but that can be said about the entire codex (and all of 40k as a whole).

Strangely, Raveners cannot get Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands, an upgrade that almost every other Tyranid can get. Why? I have no idea, probably the same reason why Rending Claws costs 5pts on Shrikes, but are free on regular Warriors.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Rending Claws
[size=70][IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is practically a must against anything with a 4+ save or better. You'll have the attacks to easily make up its points value. Yes, you loose your second set of talons. However, Raveners have an above-average WS, which means they will be hitting on a 3+ anyways and the ability to tear apart Space Marines makes it worthwhile. Of course, against other swarm armies/armies with low armor, this isn't the best choice.

Spinefists
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
If you want a lulz weapon, these are it. You may get a few shots off before you charge, and you have the attacks to maybe do some damage. However, you don't want your opponent to fall back before you can assault, you don't want them to take away the models within 12" (denying you the charge,) and you don't pay for a CC beast to shoot (no pun intended... maybe).

Devourer
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Definitely no. You don't pay for your CC models to shoot. Always better to run a bit, than to shoot a bit.

Deathspitter
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
See Devourer entry


Tactics

The only builds for Raveners are Rending Claws, or no Rending Claws.

I've had the most success with Raveners when they are deployed, and run as quickly as possible towards the enemy, using their 12" charge to get into CC early. It's faster to run them up the board than deep-strike them actually. You can easily get a turn 2 assault with Raveners, instead of coming in on maybe turn 2, assaulting on maybe turn 3.

Run them behind Hormagaunts for cover if you want. However, they are about 100 points for three quick models. You can afford to have them running alone. They will take maybe a volley, but they can easily assault on turn 2. In fact, let them soak up a bit of str8. They aren't worth firing an entire tank squadron worth of heavy artillery to wipe them out turn 1. If your opponent decides that it is an acceptable price, then let them do it. Just make sure to punish them when your Flyrant or Shrikes come in for the kill.

You can rely on Raveners to tear apart what they get their claws on, and will go down swinging even when out-classed. You can also rely on something else being able to kill what they are trying to kill. They are neither crucial, nor worthless. You could probably incorporate them into some competitive lists even, but I doubt it.

As a closing remark, I would like to say this: Don't use them for Anti-Vehicle. They are unreliable at best. If they had Adrenal Glands, then maybe. They don't however, so don't bother. Unless you are really desperate, just run into cover or something.

=====================================================

The Ripper Swarm: The Ocean of Flesh
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Most wounds per point in the entirety of 40k
  • Cheapest Unit of the codex
  • Troops choice
  • Base 4 attacks
  • 3 Wounds
  • Parasite of Mortrex
  • Stealth


CON

  • WS makes Tau seem okay in cc
  • Crap BS
  • Kill themselves
  • Crap Initiative
  • LD 5
  • Swarm
  • Horrible Leadership means they need Synapse
  • Fearless in CC hurts, especially for cheap wounds
  • Flamers hurt more
  • No fleet

Take into consideration that a base of Rippers comes with about 90% of all Tyranid Plastic models. I think that if they had a set of just Ripper Swarms they would sell almost none of them. The only time you should have rippers on the board is when you have the Parasite of Mortrex. Even if you are just trying to fill out a minimum Troops requirement, do not bring these guys.

That being said, they provide the most wounds for the least points. You can debate Ork Grots, but you need a Grot Herder. You can debate the Dark Eldar Razorwing Flocks, but you need a Beastmaster. Rippers rely on synapse, but technically don't need it.

Before I go into specifics, I want to yell at GW for bad logic. A Chainsword needs to saw through a Ripper Swarm about 4 to 5 times to kill the entire Ripper Swarm. Yet, a guy with a powerfist punches one and the entire swarm dies. It sorta makes sense, yet doesn't when you compare the same two weapons against Gaunts. Although, I wouldn't mind a game where I can do that sort of thing (There is always Time Crisis 4 which lets you kill Mosquitos with a Shotgun... Space Marine, get to it!).

I would like to point out that Ripper Swarms are taking the place of Sky-Slasher Swarms because I ran out of characters to put them in the Troops Choice section. All tactics that apply to Ripper Swarms also apply to Sky-Slasher Swarms, with some logical exceptions.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Mindless
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Kill yourself! This is why Rippers are one of the most effective point/wound model. Without Synapse babysitting, you kill yourself, which is bad.

Spinefists
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
This is probably the definition of a "fun" weapon. It isn't that expensive, but causes quite a bit of lolz (IMO). I honestly have not tried it, but when you get 5 Ripper Swarms shooting 20 twin-linked shots, something probably will happen (Not much though). Although, I cannot get the mental picture out of my head of a few Rippers with Uzi's charging at some Space Marines (Because that practically is what you do with them).

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Once again, good for the fun of it, but rather meh overall. It allows you to strike at the same time as below average CC models, which I guess is a plus. The str4 is nice though. If you really wanted to, you can bring these guys to glance vehicles in cc. 5 rippers would get 25 str4 attacks, and if the vehicle didn't move, about 4 glances against rear AV10.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
If you do want your Rippers to kill, I would just give them this and leave it at that. You will probably not hit that often, Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs together is almost another Ripper Base, and you will just end up pulling out lots of wounds. The only problem is that Termagants would probably do the same damage due to Ws3 and free when spawned (Unless you count the Parasite, but he can't give them biomorphs).

Tunnel Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I cannot see this ever working. Mindless causes you to kill yourself whenever you are outside of Synapse, and Deep-striking will do just that.


Tactics

I don't really see any builds other than giving them logical upgrades. I would only suggest either Toxin Sacs or Spinefists, but neither are all that great. Rippers are only good when they are free. The only time they are free is with the Parasite of Mortrex. So, let me be as unambiguously clear as possible: NEVER BUY RIPPER SWARMS

That being said, they are used to screw with your opponent. Tangle up some Tactical Marines, get in front of some Fire Warriors, or nibble at some Daemon Princes. They will almost never actually do anything other than be wounds. The most common tactic is to have them assault whatever they can, even vehicles, because then that screws with anyone wanting to disembark from the vehicle (Or give cover to anyone the vehicle is firing at).

The only other tactic I have used Rippers for was in, what I call, the 4+ Wall of Annoyance. All you need is some Venomthropes. Put the Ripper Swarms in the Venomthrope's Spore Cloud, and with USR Stealth (All swarms have this by default) you have a 4+ cover save on your Rippers. Then, put your Venomthrope behind said rippers so they get a 4+ cover save. Presto, easy 4+ cover save that is mobile and effective until someone brings a flame template.

=====================================================

The Gargoyle: The Soaring Swarm
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Cheap Wounds
  • Wings
  • Decent in CC if upgraded
  • Blinding Venom
  • Big Model (I'll explain this later)


CON

  • Stats of Gaunts
  • Not as good in CC as Hormagaunts
  • Fast Attack Slot
  • Horrible at shooting
  • Needs upgrades to excel in CC
  • Instinctive Behaviour - Lurk means they need Synapse

I've mentioned it a few times earlier, but I'll explain it here: Gargoyles can give cover to some Monstrous Creatures, like the Hive Tyrant and Carnifex, but not to the Trygon. This is not a special rule. Gargoyles are modeled so they are flying at MC chest-height, and have their wings spread wide to obscure anything behind them. If you cherry pick about three poses in each box of Gargoyles, you can effectively give a Hive Tyrant cover. Gargoyles also are good with Shrikes. In both cases, they a 4+ cover save to block most Str8 weapons from hitting your valuable models.

On their own however, Gargoyles aren't worthwhile. They'll probably outrun your Synapse, and then lurk. You want them to get into CC actually, because Fleshborers are terrible shooting weapons. Gargoyles hold their own in CC against non-cc oriented units, and even some basic CC skirmishers.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Blinding Venom
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
As a special rule, it's rather nice for a swarmer. You'll get plenty of attacks, and this ensures a few more wounds. Don't rely on it, but it is rather nice.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I don't suggest these over Toxin Sacs, but they will give you str4 and and i5. Both are welcomed against basic infantry. They work better when in concert with Toxin Sacs, because then they give re-rolls to wound on the charge. Also, you will be dying rather fast, so it isn't too important to get in your attacks before your opponent gets a chance to strike back.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I highly suggest bringing at least Toxin Sacs on every Gargoyle you bring. They are practically required. Combined with Adrenal Glands, and you will have a round with Re-rolls to wound. This also allows you, like previously mentioned, to attack and kill anything with a toughness value.


Tactics

The only build is Toxin Sacs, or Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands. I highly suggest the second.

I prefer to use Gargoyles as a shield for my Flyrant. They are just there to block shots until my Flyrant can get into CC. However, when the Gargoyles get into CC, I make sure my Flyrant is close enough to provide Old Adversary. Thus, on the turn the Gargoyles charge, they are getting re-rolls to hit and wound (against t4 and lower). You can rely on this to down some basic infantrymen, but don't expect them to take down Assault Marines. Expect them to go splat on your opponent's face/army, forcing them to spend several turns scraping the dead Gargoyles off.

As mentioned before, they work well with Shrikes, and can be used the same way they are used with a Flyrant. They also run nicely with the Parasite of Mortrex if you're bringing him.

Do not rely on Gargoyles to work without Synapse. Instincive Behaviour Lurk is terrible for them. Also, do not Deepstrike Gargoyles, because then a few skillfully placed templates will absolutely destroy them.

=====================================================

The Harpy: The Flying Artillery
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Winged Monstrous Creature
  • High Initiative, and is almost guaranteed to go first on the charge
  • Decent CC abilities
  • High Strength shooting while still mobile
  • AOE shooting
  • Multiple shooting weapons
  • High enough leadership to work without Synapse
  • Spiritual Boomfex Equivalent


CON

  • WS3
  • BS3
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Fast Attack
  • Only 4+ save
  • T5 (can be insta-killed)
  • Not very good at Anti-Vehicle
  • Instinctive Behaviour - Lurk
  • Model?

To be honest, I dislike the Harpy. I want it to work... but it just doesn't. There are two basic flaws that keep the Harpy from being... good.
1) Twin-Linked Blasts barely do anything
2) Stranglethorn Cannons and Venom Cannons are less than spectacular (The second being far from spectacular)
The Harpy would of wormed its way onto every single Tyranid list if it could bring weaponry like the Impaler Cannon (Hive Guards). Then it would be spectacular anti-tank. As of now, its an alright ranged anti-infantry monstrous creature. Tyranids already can deal with infantry though... actually Tyranids pray for exposed infantry to assault. They do not want everything dead when they are looking for something to kill.

You can try Harpies, and you may force them to work... but in general they are really lacking. They appear on competitive lists because they are one of the cheapest ways to get Venom Cannons... which apparently some people like using for Anti-Vehicle (Bad idea... Venom Cannons don't work well on vehicles)

Instinctive Behaviour Lurk is also another negative. Yes, Harpies have LD 10 so it isn't that bad, but it adds a touch of unreliability to an already meh entry.


Weapons and Biomorphs

Twin-Linked Stranglethorn Cannon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
The default weapon is an alright weapon. Its good strength, pinning, and long range. It's best to keep this weapon over exchanging it though. It'll do fine... but it kills things that Tyranids don't have problems killing. Tyranids can easily deal with infantry that the Stranglethorn Cannon excels at killing. Thus, it only adds repetition, instead of helping cover weaknesses.

Twin-Linked Heavy Venom Cannon
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I've gone over this before, so I'll go over it again: Heavy Venom Cannon is a worthless weapon. It's inaccurate, its AP is too low to be good on elite infantry, its strength overkills most 4+ armor save enemies, and the -1 to the Vehicle Chart will only really slow a transport instead of opening it so the squishy infantry can be assaulted. That being said, the reason why the Heavy Venom Cannon isn't given a complete thumbs down is because its Twin-Linked for less than other Heavy Venom Cannons. This makes it somewhat accurate against vehicles, and the Str9 gives it a good chance to do some damage. It will reliably slow vehicles at range, and it is one of the few things in the codex that can do so. In large games, Harpies can be used to aid in dealing with tanks once your elites are full. However, they are not the best anti-tank, and are used as a last resort instead of something reliable.

Stinger Salvo
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
An alright weapon. It pairs well with the Stranglethorn Cannon, but don't forget about BS3. You wont hit a lot, but Str5 hurts.

Cluster Spines
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
I actually like this shooting weapon. You'll hit a lot and brute force through most armor saves, you have high strength, and as a MC the Harpy can fire both Cluster Spines and a Stranglethorn Cannon on one turn. This is how the Harpy really excels. 18" range is a bit meh, but the Harpy already has 12" move.

Adrenal Glands
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
A Harpy is a decently priced MC with wings... Wings = speed. I like speed. Speed means turn 2 assaults. Harpies have an already good initiative, so the strength boost is just for killing vehicles and tougher infantry. Also, a Harpy with Adrenal Glands will strike before the Greater Daemons of Slaneesh, who are (in)famous for initiative 10.

Toxin Sacs
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
Like the Tervigon, Harpies are one of the few MCs that can use Toxin Sacs effectively. They got a decent number of attacks, and str5 will give you re-rolls against basic infantry / tougher elites. Don't combine them with Adrenal Glands though, for poison is pointless on str6 (against t4).

Regeneration/b]
[[b]IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

I wouldn't rely on this for the Harpy. If you want the Harpy to go into CC, I might suggest it for you'll loose a few wounds with your weak defenses. Beware of strength 10, however even against Tau I never really had this problem. Most of the time, they are focused on more dangerous MCs than the Harpy. Heavy Bolters (and their equivalents) will be far more dangerous (Oh look, Harpies have Heavy Bolter Equivalents (Stinger Salvo)... Tyranids countering Tyranids best...).

Sonic Screech
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
EGAD! ASSAULT GRENADES! This is one of the main reasons why the Harpy is actually a decent CC model. Sonic Screech will destroy the enemy's initiative and, with its own initiative 5, easily strike first. It doesn't work on Walkers though (Which kinda makes sense), but there aren't many Walkers with an initiative higher than 5, and even fewer that can catch up to a Harpy.

Spore Mine Cysts
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]
To be honest, I completely forget about this most of the time. It's something good if you really want to nuke a large mob of infantry that is at close range. Fly over, drop d3 large blasts, fire off a str5 large blast and a str6 pinning large blast, and then assault. However, this is a rare opportunity. Its nice for being free, but not something that you'll use often.


Tactics

The Harpy is something that I really wish worked better. If there was a bit more care and thought put into designing the Harpy, it could of been phenomenal...

The best way to run a Harpy is for anti-infantry. Keep them cheap with a Stranglethorn Cannon and Cluster Spines. Then, have them charge forward with either some Shrikes or a Hive Tyrant. They do suffer from Instinctive Behavior, but Ld10 is a nice safety net. You'll want to hit long range artillery-like squads. Don't worry about armor/cover saves, for Large Blasts tend to just brute force their way through the best of them. Remember: The Harpy can deal with vehicles and infantry, but many Tyranids can only deal with infantry. Prioritize, making sure that, if given the choice, the Harpy first targets what the rest of your army struggles against.

The most common way I see Harpies run is in Tournament Lists, where they are just given a Twin-Linked Heavy Venom Cannon. This is really meh. You'll reliably slow some vehicles down and stop others from shooting, but you'll only rarely kill them. They help make vehicle spam a bit more manageable when your elites are maxed out. This is not suggested if you have elites available though.

=====================================================

The Spore Mine: The Semi-Sentient Explosive
[IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII]

PRO

  • Overestimated
  • Cheap
  • Large Blast
  • Sent in BEFORE deployment


CON

  • Fast Attack slot
  • Wont do much damage
  • Easily ignored/dealt with
  • A mistake/bad roll destroys them instantly
  • Vehicles...

I'm skipping the usual sections for the Spore Mine because they are, on paper at least, incredible insubstantial.

Spore Mines are a rather bizarre model. They are one of the few examples of psychological warfare. They were probably thrown in as a random thought, and indeed most people don't give them much thought. However, they strike your opponent on a basic mental level with a simple idea: Here is a mine: Avoid it.

Remember, Spore Mines are dropped BEFORE your opponent deploys. Due to the randomness of Spore Mines, your opponent has to give them a rather large amount of space to avoid them. At the same time, Spore Mines explode when they are touched, so your opponent will probably just run a vehicle into them to have the entire cluster detonate quickly.

Now think on a broader scale. Your opponent will deploy their vehicles near the spore mines, but their infantry far from them.

This works best on smaller games with exposed infantry, and with Genestealers. Buy a few clusters of mines for less than 100pts, and then scatter them in the center of your opponent's deployment zone. Your opponent will then set up their vehicles to run over said Spore Mines in the center of the board, while placing their infantry closer to the edges... AKA, infantry within clawing distance of Genestealers and Vehicles far from them.

Spore Mines are, in essence, cheap ways of influencing your opponent's deployment. They aren't the most reliable because not all players think in the same way, but there is a definite trend that they cause.

However, Spore Mines don't do a lot of damage. Str4 ap4 is only dangerous against large hordes of infantry, but then again, so are many other Tyranids. You may kill one or two Space Marines with a few Spore Mine Volleys, but don't count on it. Also, if your opponent knows about this sort of psychological warfare, it will dramatically loose effectiveness. Use them once or twice in fun games, but you'll rarely ever use them again.

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Last edited by Rangrok1k on Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Heavy Support
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:38 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:43 am 
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Finally, Rangrok1k. Also, you spelled your name wrong in the Subject line.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:09 am 
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This looks awesome, thanks very much for the hard work. One note on Thorax swarm (I don't have my codex handy.) I believe the rule says that you can fire the Thorax no matter what, I believe they give the example of the Tyranofex popping off three shots with Thorax swarm.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:42 am 
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Amazing idea. I love the bar guide you use. I wish the others did the same as a quick reference guide. I'll be looking forward to more!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:00 am 
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hey Rangrok1k its great that you're doing this, and i must say its difficult finding things i dont agree with in your guide so far.

Great work and keep it up!

also, this thread should get stickied...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:07 am 
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Very well done. Looking forward to reading the rest when they're done. I agree this deserves a sticky.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:21 am 
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Smurfyk wrote:
Finally, Rangrok1k. Also, you spelled your name wrong in the Subject line.

:x
Owel, fixed now

and thank you for all the compliments everyone.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:12 am 
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Rangrok1k wrote:
Smurfyk wrote:
Finally, Rangrok1k. Also, you spelled your name wrong in the Subject line.

:x
Owel, fixed now

and thank you for all the compliments everyone.


Thank You for this awesome guide, although honestly i probably won't ever use it :P

but it will be great for newer players and the like :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Awesome guide is awesome.
Not sure what else there is to say...

:mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Chief wrote:
Awesome guide is awesome.
Not sure what else there is to say...

:mrgreen:


yes, the only thing i might suggest is somehow strinking your guide haha. the HQ section alone forces me to scroll for a while :wink: "end" works great though

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