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 Post subject: STARTING A NEW HIVEFLEET? Here is some info for NidNeophytes
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 12:39 pm 
Screamer Killer
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As per Hive's suggestion, here is a dedicated thread where seasoned Tyranid veterans can suggest the basics to gamers that are just starting a Tyranid army. Please post general advice here. This thread is meant to decrease the number of threads that essentially ask the same thing: "I'm new to Nids, what do I need?"

I would advise any new players to take a gander at The Hivemind's Glossary for explanations of the abreviations that seasoned Tyranid veterans use. Some of the terms are more general-40k ones, but there are a number that apply to Tyranids.

Hive Fleet Fenrir
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Mr_Pink's Tyranid Blog For Art and Sculpting and Stuff

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:52 pm 
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As busy as I am, I often try to respond to all the "rate my hive fleet" threads, but I often fall very short. And very often, what I have to say is more than just a few sentences, which leads the lazy person in me to not even start...
It's just that attitude that has Mr. Pink pointing me this way for this thread.

I'll start off by saying something that many people don't agree with:


Every single entry is great in it's own way, but you'll need to learn that "way" and play to your strengths. I don't care what anyone says. Maybe it's arrogance, maybe it's stupidity - but I stand by that statement.
And I'll do my best to help describe how things should come together, in a series of posts...

First off, Tyranids 101: "Wave Theory"

No matter what choices you make, all successful tyranid armies function along the "wave theory". That is to say, your army will inevitably arrive in "waves"

Whn creating your army, careful consideratrion needs to go into defining those waves, and deciding how effective (or ineffective) those waves should be.

Generally, armies hit in either 2 waves or 3. It depends on your "mix" of slow and fast stuff. This gets tricky, because things like leaping warriors (who fleet now) could go faster than a scythegaunt.
the question is "Do you want it to?

It's also important that waves be resistant enough to "hold the line" until the next wave hits. Blocking LOS and "stuffing" the enemy firing lines becomes extremely important for basic bug survival.

So, when you go out and plan the army, think about how fast your units are.
Think about where they will be on turn 2, on turn 3, etc...
Now factor in terrain. Factor in bad FOF rolls. Factor in good FOF rolls.

Now you are beginning to see "waves". And remember that you don't have to go "all speed ahead". A good monster bides it's time. Just because leaping warriors could clear 24" in a turn doesn't mean they even have to move.

Plan and stick to your waves.

I have ot run to a meeting now, but next up will be Basic concepts in army design, and wave functionality.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:37 pm 
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This could get to be quite an interesting (and lenghty) thread...

The Tyranid codex allows a large amount of freedom and flexibility in creating your own custom Hive Fleet.

You can stick to a basic rounded swarm with a balance of shooting and assaulting units, choose a swarm with a higher amount of shooting choices, or go for an all-out close combat swarm.

For me, I find that the strenght of a Tyranid swarm is in it's ability to move quickly and assault effectively. The units with ranged weaponry generally don't pack the same amount of punch as the units armed for close quarter fighting. I like using the hand to hand skills of the Tyranids to wear down my enemy with relentless seiges of Gaunts or powerfull blasts from TMC's.

Going along with what dielkathan mentioned in the "Wave Theory", The basic Tyranid Gaunt is arguably one of the most effective units in a Tyranids armoury. Theyare flexible in what you want their role to be in your swarm. But numbers are what count in a Tyranid army. The Tyranids largest strength lies in their numbers. A general rule to use when creating your own Hive Swarm is, "You can never have to many."

By demons be driven.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:19 pm 
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HIVE TYRANT - The most powerful unit. Best weapon combinations are VC/Talons or the more expensive Talons/Talons/WB/Wings. Its the only unit whose firepower hits on 3+ so make full use of it. As it is so deadly, opponents will be eager to kill it so its often hard to get its points back.

TYRANT GUARD - I have never used these. Someone else leave comments please.

WARRIORS - Due to the weapon options available they come in many varieties, all of which can bring success if used well. Shooting, the VC/Deathspitters are traditionally used. If you go HTH only, then it Talons/Rending is the best. Whether you compliment this with Leaping or Wings is up to you. No matter what they're armed with, they arent durable. Needs to be used in numbers.


LICTOR - The unit everyone loves but not everyone believes is worth fielding. Seems at its best against IG/Tau/Orks. Against power armour armies it struggles. Advice is hard to give here as much depends on the formation of terrain in your game & how much of it is immediately outside your opponent's deployment zone :)

WARRIORS - As above.


GENESTEALERS - Best HTH troops unit in the game? Absolutely awesome but very expensive & easy to kill. Genestealers are more dependant on terrain than any other Nid, which says a lot. Always Infiltrate them when allowed but do not be too eager to burst out of cover unsupported. If the mission involves objectives, put them there. Your opponent wont be too eager to rush it.

SPINEGUANTS - Used primarily to boost unit count for peanuts. A good unit. Mass out on these & you cant really go wrong.

TERMAGUANTS - The standard guant which has lost popularity as its no longer the cheapest. Firing S4 shots makes it pretty useful, especially against T3 armies.

HORMAGUANTS (& varients) - Being able to assault 24" makes this the most effective guant. The quicker Nids get into combat the better. What they achieve once in combat is very dependant on what upgrades are given to them. The Initiative upgrade has proven very effective, as does giving them S4. The cost of WS4 doesnt seem worth it & is dropped by many players. Be sure not to make them TOO expensive, or it will affect your unit count too much. Try not to dither with these, the longer they're not in combat the fewer will survive to makeit. Rush them forward.

Am tired of writing! To be continued...

Hive Fleet Yautja...
Prey Consumed: 21
Prey Matched: 7
Prey Escaped: 7

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:14 pm 
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Aside from rules, costs and effectivity I would ask myself one Golden question before anything else:

Does the idea of

-wave, after wave of 'nids which overwhelm the opposition by swamping them

appeal to you more than

-house sized monsters which rampage through the enemy ranks

or do you love

-infiltrating horrors which lurk in shadows

The central thing is to ask yourself what inspires you most. And this should be the starting point for a new army. If you care for the theme of your own army you are going to stick to it.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 3:17 pm 
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I think Moloch says it best when he says "have a vision". As I said before:
There are no BAD choices in the tyranid codex

That said, there are a few basic tenants that you should consider whn designing your army. That is to say, you need to plan your waves.

The first consideration here is how fast do you want the army to be. Leaping and winged stuff can get there on turn 1 (if the opponetn moves toward you) or turn 2 at latest. So, do you want fast or slow?
Both work just fine.
As does a mix

Faster armies have lower model counts but the need for true "resiliency" is lower. Slower armies have to weather an extra turn of shooting, but have more models. A mix, has squads of both, and takes a bit more planning to execute well, as things need to be more "synergistic"

When planning your waves, the general consideration goes like this:
Wave 1 is there to block LOS and act as a "tarpit" or "anvils". You should hope for it to do *some* damage, but not *too Much*.

This is why you'll always see my saying hormagaunts need to be in smaller squads, etc. You generally want this first wave to be ONLY guants. Nothing else. That way LOS will be blocked. You don't want to win combat. You want to kill a few models, but lose combat and still be in synapse.

Because you NEED to be in combat on your opponent's turn. even if it's only 5 gaunts on a full space marine squad. Because now that space marine sqaud can't shoot at waves 2 and 3 (and 4!). You've shut down the opponet's ability to offer a valid threat on his turn.
It also "plugs" holes of advancement for the opponent. Because a static enemy is a dead enemy. The slower he moves, and the less he moves, the more you dictate the game.

Essentially, now his turn after your charge is minimal. Often, opponents will counter charge your gaunts, or similar. Great, now 2 squads within consolidation distance.

Your next turn comes. Wave 1 should be 60% dead. Be smart about casualty removal. Leave space for wave 2 (and PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND CASUALTY REMOVAL. it's very important.

Please note that you are the fastest army aorund, so don't mae the mistake of putting wave 1 and wave 2 too clsoe together.

Wave 2 should include some more gaunts (the ones with bad FOF rolls) and some "hammers". Hammers will include tyrants, raveners, warriors, genestealers, and more gaunts.

The idea is to charge the "hammer" into the "anvil" (wave 1) or if the anvil is dead, then the enemy squad that is right there that was enageged (and is now missing a few models. It does no matter what you use to be the hammer - just learn how to use them (i'll go over each entry as I see them in another post)

The general plan is that your nenemy tried to supprt his "charged" unit with another. Ignore it, and focus all your attention at the thing wave 1 charged. Charge it with everthing you can muster. You need to wipe it out on this charge. and if you plan well, you will.
And you will conolidate into whatever "support" the enemy brought close.
This is the most fatal error most people make against tyranids. Suporting those who are "already dead"

Sometimes, though, you break through and there is nothing around. You'll have to weather some fire. That's fine, but realize that possibility and expose everything. And i mean EVERYTHING. the enemy only has so mnay shots. If he wants to fire the lascannon at the tyrant, then the volters can't rapid fire the gaunts. If he fires at the gaunts, he can't fire at the tyrant.

This is called FIRE SATURATIOIN.
It's your greatest friend, and learning how to force bad decisions form your opponent is key.

The next few turns, and the next few waves (if you have more) operate similarly. whatever you held back, charges in whatever hole you find. Getting a sense of how damaging you are on average and how an enemy will react is a matter of experience.

When playing with "waves", you should learn patience. The hammers should only expose themselves once the anvils are set. Your enemy will be gunning for your hammers, as they are what deal the effectiveness (or the death blow if you will), but it's the anvils that are central.

Another point that should be made about shooting. All h2h armies work, but have serious limitations from skimmers, etc...
It's worth having a small amount of shooting in the army. This again can take many forms, from carnifex to warriors to biovores, zoanthropes and even tyrants. I'll go over that when I discuss each entry and how best to "fit it in".
A quick word is to plan what the shooter will shoot, and stick with that.
This generally means you need something for "skimmers" and something for "big tanks".

In the end, you need to be disciplined, and keep your eye on the prize. Each of your pieces should move in a "uniform" single minded manner to do what you want them to do. Let your waves hit as you expect them to. Don't be overzealous and haphazardly charge just because you can. That's the best "bait" and enemy can do to you. Plan your waves, and do what you plan.

If it does not work, you should look at your army design, and the "recipe" you have in your waves. Figure out why the waves did not perform. Fill that hole. try again.

A well built tyranid army is the strongest army in the game. Hands down.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 11:39 am 
Little One
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dielkathan - i like your optimisim but being a tyranid player myself - i find it very hard to field the smount of squads that u mentioned. have u won games using the tactic u mentioned?

i sort of have the same theory as u do - but i usually have something like 5 monstrous creatures everytime - no joke! my army usually gets shot up by the time i reach them - and if they do survive enough they rarely make a dent what what space marines 3+ armour saves. then they cant make a dent cos of spacemarines toughness too...i usually jus rush them and hope that my monstrous creatures can finish them off...

Heros in movies have mastercrafted twinlinked weapons loaded with homing bullets and have BS10
Badguys in movies have weapons with the get hot! rule, the assult cannon jam rule and have BS1

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 9:57 pm 

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I came here looking for some new ideas on the new codex. I must say that 5 monstrous creatures seem a bit much. Try some more gaunts and use the MC (possibly less than 5) as the hammer talked about by dielkathan.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:30 pm 
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I've beign playing nids a while now, and I will add what advice I thinks can help;

Keep the big stuff cheap! You ca nget a hive tyrant with 2 talons for less than 100pts - and it will attract more firepower than a giant neon teletubby. A carnifex will attract firepower ,even if its blind and has no arms because psychologically these are intimidating, against an inexperienced foe they will likely make the mistake of shooting the 'big things'. I think that this is a good thing, it leaves more flexability for the nastier stuff to get in (try a brood lord + 5 genestealers a 'steal' at 150 points !!)

I concur with the statement that there are no bad choices, the nid list is extremely flexable but if possible take warriors. they are cheap and have 2 wounds (them being always within synapse range means they can abob lots of heavy weapons)

Personally I would choose a Broodlord & co over a hive tyrant, its faster (infiltrate - possibly an assault on turn one) and comes fully equipped with rending claws an talons.

Ravaners - these are great for tournament style 'cleanse' missions as they can deepstrike and have a minimum of 1 in a unit [convert them from warriors - the metal modes are too expensive!]

Spore mine clusters - cheap an occupying a fast attack slot these are more reliable than bovores as biovores are barrage weapons meanig that they have adjacent templates where as the clusters get {number of models under template * number of mines in hits}

Zonthrope - buy synapse it stops instant kills from missile launchers [may they always 'miss'] which was their bane in the last edition.

Finally dont go crazy with upgrades, sure a respawning spinegaunt brood is great but you only need it in missions where you have to capture something or else you're just giving the enemy free points each time they kill it.

Hope that helps someone.

Words of wisdom from the Great Devourer; >hiss<

Firewarrior; before you eat me, what does Tau flesh taste like ?
Broodlord; Chicken
Tau; What's a chicken? S*hit you can talk !
>)> CHOMP !<(<

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:46 pm 
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one more thing. (alot of nid players seem to agree on this) shooty nids under the new book should not be underestimated anymore. they slaughter the arrogant general, and are feared by the rest.then again all nids are 8-) . a shooty army is now a viable chioce

devourer fex: 2 t-l devourers and enhanced snses 114pts 8 S6 AP5 shot that re-roll hits and wounds makes this well worth the points and elite slot.

just one of the many lethal units avaidible to a shooty army

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 4:26 pm 

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This is a guide to starting tyranids, I will run threw the codex and give my points on biomorphs etc... for all broods.

This guide is based on my own experiences and other players may have different opinions, this guide was made mainly from playing games of
1500 and 2000 point games (some larger and smaller), my main oponants were tau, imperial guard, death guard, orks, eldar, space marines
and khorne...aswell as having played againt tyranids.

Hive tyrant:

The biggest mean tyranid there is, an almost must for a tyranid army, depending on what roll you choose for him depends
on how you want to arm him...

Walking tyrant: now he's slow and will not hit combat until turn 5 or 6 so a ranged bio-weapon is a very good idea, before choosing the
bio weapon take a quick look at his stats, 3 attacks base, so a venom cannon and twin linked devourers can get alot of shots off as
aposed to the barbed strangler and twin deathspitter, so a venom cannon and twin devourer are the main weapons of choose in my own opinion
so lets look at these first:

Venom cannon: can pop out 3 shots a turn with str 7 or 8, can be dealy when used right altho it's main roll would be to stop vehicles, despite
the fact it can only glance thats all you need to stop a tank from shooting until you reach combat and with it's 3 shots it can make short work
of this to pin vehicles down for a turn. Another way to use the venom cannon would be hitting units with a 4+ save or worse to ignore there
armour, again with 3 shots it can take out a fair few models a turn and is also capable of inflicting instant death on T3 or T4 models
when you buy the toxic sacs upgrade.

Twin devourer: with lots of shots and a resonable str it can dish out some pain, 2 of these on 1 tyrant can shoot 12 shots a turn with re-rolls
to hit and to wound, but like all advantages it has a disadvantage too which is it's very low range and no ap, so a walking tyrant may not
benifit from this as much as a winged tyrant.

Twin deathspitter: with only 1 shot it gets rid of an advantage of a hive tyrant and thats it potential for multiple shot bio-weapons due to it's
stats, but the deathspitter can still throw out 1 str 7 shot with blast and a good range with a re roll to hit, it would be better used for horde
armies and models packed together but would prefer to put these on a carnifex as a carnifexs stat line for attacks is 2 and does exactly the same as on
a hive tyrant.

Barbed strangler: again with only 1 shot it's ignoring the potential of a tyrants firing capabilities, the str of the shot will be str 5 max on
a hive tyrant, and on a carnifex it would be str 8 so again this may be best used on a carnifex.

Spinefists: personaly not worth it, range 12 it's to short to make an effect and with the same shots as a venom cannon and no where near as good
I would ignore this choice for a venom cannon instead.

Now with the walking tyrant and it's shooting it is also best to give it a close combat bio weapon for when it does hit combat, this way it makes
it a threat from range and up close, but try to avoid spending points on close combat bio morphs as they will not get much use and the points
maybe better spent else where. For a walking tyrant I usualy equip mine with: venom cannon, scythling talons, enhanced senses and toxic sacs, if
I dont give my hive tyrant tyrant guard i'll give him a warp field aswell to make him more survivable.

A winged tyrant would be best geared for close combat due to i'ts speed, a ranged bio-weapon would be wasted on a winged tyrant as within 2 turns
it can be in close combat and then it's shooting potential has dramaticaly decressed, instead add 2 sets of scythling talons and bio plamsa
for 7 attacks on the charge, here's how I equip my winged tyrant: 2 scythling talons, bio plasma, adrenal glands (ws+i) and toxic sacs. The other
good option for a winged tyrant is 2 sets of twin devourers to fly around and shoot the enemy and avoid combat, with the 12 shots it can dish
out alot of deaths against weak units, but I feel this is wasting what a hive tyrant is made for...CLOSE COMBAT.

Now i'll go threw the biomorphs the hive tyrant can have...

Acid maw: this should realy not be too much of an issue with his high strengh, but there are certain things it would be good against, anything
with T5 or more and this upgrade has become worth buying...for example a nurgle army or maybe even a wraithlord, armies with T4 or below I would
not recomend as he will would on 2+ with toxic sacs.

Adrenal glands: these are worth it if your geared for combat, a winged tyrant would benifit more as it will spend longer in combat than a walking
tyrant, with a better weapon skill and initiative your tyrant will most likly beat and character down before he gets to strike.

Bio plasma: the extra attack can help, and always hitting on 4+ can be a bonus (avatar for example), with +1 str too it can would easier against
tougher oponants such as c'tan and wraithlords.

Enhanced senses: for a shooting tyrant this is a must, hitting on a 3+ instead of 4+ can make all the difference.

Extended carapace: I would rather take a warp field instead of this for the invulnerable save, but a walking tyrant with tyrant guard could
benifit from this for a cheaper cost.

Flesh hooks: worth it if you have to assult alot of cover based armies, but this will get rid of the tyrants high initative value, so i'd recomend
assulting units out of cover and using units such as a carnifex for this upgrade so he can strike at I 10 instead of 1/2.

Implant attack: good for armies with alot of multi wound creatures such as alot of characters and thousand sons, even wraithlords and c'tan it
would be good against.

Symbiote rippers: it seems pointless to me due to already counting as 10 wounds in combat.

Toxic sacs: a must for any tyrant, easier to wound with shooting and combat, this upgrade can make alot of difference.

Toxic miasma: When faced with alot of high WS models this will be good combined with WS adrenal glands, such examples are eldar aspect warriors
which you now hit on either 3+ most of the time as aposed to 4+ in some cases.

Now i'll run thre the psychic powers:

Catalyst: this can be good when using lots of gaunts when assulting units in cover so they get to strike back even when they die, personaly I would field
a hive tyrant with wings with bone sword and lash whip and assult with the unit and use his power to make all broods within 6 benifit from this.

Psychic scream: on it's own its ok but when used with 3 zoanthropes and 2 tyrants for a -5ld check it can be devistating, watch a deamon squad fail it's
instability or a whole army run. This will only work on non fearless armies and the like.

The shadow in the warp: this is a good upgrade against psychic armies especialy eldar or tzeentch, and now the model does not suffer from perils of the
warp attacks, generaly a good choice for 1 model in the army, preferably a hive tyrant with guard so he's not vulnerable to attack.

Warp blast: good for anti-infantry and good for anti-tank, but not the best for hive tyrants, best left for zoanthropes in my opinion.

Warp field: for an extra 10 points the 6+ invulnerable save is worth it and this is a MUST for winged tyrants to ensure he survives alot easier.

Now close combat bio weapons...

Rending claws: This is not the best weapon to gve him as he already has 2d6 penetration and ignores armour saves, best saved for warriors and raveners.

Scythling talons: good for extra attacks with his high str and ignores saves, a must for close combat hive tyrants.

lash whip and bonesword: Always under catalyst, -1 attack for enemy in base contatc and can extend the catalyst power, its worth while if you
have already added a set of scythling talons to your close combat tyrant and used to suport your gaunts charge.

For synapse control a hive tyrant is a good hard choice and an almost must, a winged tyrant can support a fast tyrand army better than winged
warriors as a winged tyrant is alot more survivable. A walking tyrant can be used to support any broods that have to fall back can then re group and atack
again and has now got the support of another hive tyrant.

Tyrant guard:

A good solid choice for a walking hive tyrant, this way he can take alot more hits and survive alot longer, and if the guard make it into combat
they can alos deal alot od damage...

Lashwhips: with lash whips they reduce an oponants attacks, 3 with this and a hive tyrant can make -4 attacks when in base to base with an enemy character, ever
seen a khorne lord attack with 1 attack???

Scythling talons: I usualy take these over lash whips for an extra 3 attacks for more potential for reding hits, 4 attacks each on the charge and 3 of them with
str 5 and T6 is nothing to joke about.


Another good choice for a H.Q., with the ability to infiltrate he can be used as a good forward synapse creature and a support unit for your gaunts and
other creatures. With his rules to infiltrate he can be a good threat from turn 1, but some cinarios dont allow infiltrate so it may not be best to spend to many
points on this 1 brood, try to make the broodlord 100 points max and the stealers 200 points max, I usualy have my broodlord cost 93 and my stealers cost 160 but
this is usualy from games of 1500 points onwards.

Retinue: his retinue is very important, I would recomend taking a big retinue to ensure he survives and so they are more of a threat to the enemy, for this take
between 8-11 genstealers all with extended carapces, when deployed 12 away from the enemy it will give them something to think about, if they go for the broodlord
the rest of your swarm will most probably survive in tact.

What to arm him with:

Extended carapaces: an almost must to ensure he does not get cut down by heavy bolter fire and makes him harder to kill in combat.

Toxic sacs: with str5 he is already able to kill most things with ease in combat, but with toxic sacs he now wounds space marines on a 2+, another good choice.

Implant attack: if you have the intention of going character hunting with your broodlord then this is a must choice, with the ability to make 10 unsavedable wounds
a turn in combat he will be feared and rightly so.

Flesh hooks: you should not need this as the worst thing you can do is assult a unit in cover, this looses his big advantage of his high I value, try to avoid
assulting units on cover.

Feeder tendrills: for 3pts a good choice if your broodlord is suporting your gaunts, hormagaunts hitting on 3+ and wounding on 4+ with 32 of them, thats deadly.

Acid maw: if you dont take toxic sacs then take acid maw instead, his ability to wound marines on 3+ with re rolls is a good choice.

Adrenal glands: not worth it due to his I7 already, it's enough to strike before almost everything there is.


A good back up unit, but nothing special on his own, with a T4 and 2 wounds he quickly becomes a weak target when he shows up, so supporting your lictors is
very important, there are a few ways to use a lictor...

Support: use your lictor to support a frontal charge with your broodlord and gaunts, while in synapse he wont be instant killed by a hidden powerfist and can
spread his feeder tendrills onto his supported unit making them hit on 3+...this makes a very good combo for hormagaunts and can make a very deadly attack.

In groups: when hunting units with 2 or 3 lictors they can be quite devistating, 12 rending attacks and a high WS and S can make short work of any unit, but
pick your taget well, dont try to bite of more than you can chew and even 3 can somethimes need support so dont rush them off and expect them to kill everything
they touch.

Lone hunters: if the enemy has a weak unit for example an imperial guard fire support squad a lictor can excel here, he should make short work and nulify a
a heavy weapons team at the same time, the same goes for tanks, deepstrike him down near a basalisk for example, a weak yet deadly tank, the lictors rending and
high S should make short work of these deadly vehicles.

When you use your lictors try to keep them in synapse if you can so they are more durable and survive longer.

When under alpha missions this is a good unit to take, with potentialy turning up on turn 2, there may be few units to have to face so can harrass the enemy nice and
early, as well as this his ability to let you re roll a failed reserve roll a turn means you can get your slow moving carnifex's and hive tyrants on earlier.

Tyranid warriors:

1 of the most flexable units the tyranids have to offer, they can fulfil many battle roles and add vital synapse and support where needed:

Slow and shooty: this is where you add no extra movement bio-morphs such as leaping, add a ranged bio-weapon onto them to give vital fire support where it is needed,
and add a close combat bio-weapon so when they eventualy hit combat around turn 5 they can also support your units that are left and still be a threat in combat. As
with all units keep these cheap as expensive units tend to draw more fire for victory points...I usualy field my shooty warriors as follows...

Scythling talons, 1 venom cannon, 2 deathspitters, 3 devourers, enahnced senses, extended carapaces, toxic sacs.

With the mixture of ranged bio-weapons they can deal with most targets, the enhanced senses and toxic sacs are a must for shooty warriors, hitting on a 4+ instead of
5+ can make alot of difference and the extra str of the guns means they can wound high T models easier.

Support units: these will take the form of wings on your warriors, with them not able to have extended carapces they are weak and can be expensive so again dont spend
too many points on them' dont send them off on there own, use them to support your armies charge, this will be best done assisting your hormagaunts lictors raveners
and broodlord.

If you give them leaping they can take extended carapce witch is a must but are stuck with a 6 move, so again wont hit combat till around turn 4 with there 12 assult
move, so try to think where the rest of your swarm will be by then and plan to have them assult where it will be needed most, but remember to use cover well.

Here's my 2 warriors types I use for support:

Scythling talons, rending claws, leaping, adrenal glands (I), extended carapaces.

Scythling talons, rending claws, adrenal glands (I), wings.

Now ill run threw there bio-morphs.

Adrenal glands: for assult warriors these are a must, the I upgrade is great letting you strike before space marines with lots of rending attacks, the WS should realy
be used against high WS armies or if they are designed to take out acertain type of model.

Bio plasma: a bio-morph i would leave off warriors, there cost will get to high and when on there own will be shot to pieces by heavy bolters, leave this for your hive
tyrants and carnifexs for a higher str attack.

Enhanced senses: a must for shooty warriors, as I said before hitting on a 4+ can make alot of difference.

Extended carapaces: another must when they dont have wings, this will give them a save from most small arms fire aswell as passing half, this will reduce your casualties.

Flesh hooks: a good upgrade if you dont have the I adrenal gland and are playing aginst high I armies, striking simultaniously instead of last will ensure more attacks
and the potential to win the combat with greater ease.

Leaping: good for combat warriors that havn't taken wings, this allows them to have extended carpaces and survive longer despite hitting combat a few turns later.

Symbiote rippers: again no real reason to have them, big broods of warriors will have enough numbers to not be out numbered to easy.

Toxic sacs: a must for shooty warriors for the high str bio-weapons, good for close combat warriors but you want to try more rending hits as this is there realy str, so
go for I adrenal glands over toxic sacs.

Winged: has its advantages and disadvantages, worse save, faster synapse, can deepstrike, if your after fast synapse they are a good choice, jsut dont leave them unsoported
and in the open.

Now onto ranged bio-weapons:

Barbed strangler: a good weapon, but with low str on warriors, if you want this bio-weapon toxic sacs are a must for a str 4 ordanance shot, this should be mainly used for
lighly armoured troops such as guard, with pinning this works very well.

Deathspitter: now with a better range and str 6 shots with toxic sacs, it can damage most vehicles and tightly packed units, they are worth adding a few to your shooty brood.

Devourers: lots of shots at atr 4 with toxic sacs, they can deal damagae to lightly armoured units and even with massed shots can pull almost any unit down, but becareful choosing
your targets as they carnt hurt T8 models witch may result in a few redundant shots.

Fleashborer: low range but high str of 6 with 2 shots, good for a unit with wings perhaps but slower units would benifit more from deathspiters.

Spinefists: again a low range low str and low ap, better left for gaunts.

Venom cannon: a very good gun for warriors, 2 str 7 shots with ap 4, can glance most vehicles and can be used well with devourers for massed shots.

Scythling talons: when used with rending claws for 4 attacks each on the charge with rending they are deadly against armoured units and tanks.

Rending claws: this is better left for space marines and the like as auto wounding and no saves will only benifit against high armour saves like terminators and high T models.

Lash whip: can be used well if you want a unit to have reduced attacks, but this maybe more of a support unit that has these as they will either be left with themselves low attacks
with rending or avarage attacks with no rending so they will need support.

This unit is a good solid choice weither it be for support or synapse to fall back too, make sure you feild big broods so they dont die easy and your left with no synapse to fall back
too, 6 is my preferable number.


A good shock unit, can be used well without support, with high ld and not needing synapse they can be used to make surpirse flank attacks and with rending can deal with the toughest of
units. When using stealers extended carapes are a must to save against small arms fire, with fleet they can be quick but remember to use cover wisely as they soon become the centre of

The bio-morphs:

Acid maw: not an upgrade much needed due to stealers str being there rending claws with you get when you roll to hit, take scythling talons over this upgrade.

Extended carapce: a must for any stealer unit, now getting a save against bolters there casulty rate drops by half, but still make use of cover otherwise heavy bolters and the like will
cut you to pieces.

Feeder tendrils: the only time this should be bough is for supporting gaunt units, there WS of 6 will hit most targtes on 3+ so it is mostly pointless.

Flesh hooks: you should not need this upgrade, assulting models in cover is another way to deal with gensteales, there high I is being wasted and the enemy gets to kill more before there
deadly rending claws get to work.

Implant attack: good for character and wraithlord hunting, with rending claws and massed atacks they can make short work of there intended target, but be carful there cost will dramaticaly
increase and that means less models for your force.

Scythling talons: in higher points games I give my stealers this for extra rending madness, but again there points cost will be very expensive so this is best left for games of over 2k.

Scuttling: a good upgrade for fast stealers, the potential to move 24 by the end of turn 1, they may end up in combat straight away, agood choice but again they will attract alot of fire
when your oponant sees them racea cross the board so make good use of cover. When missions start with broods in reserve scuttling broods get to start on the battle field, another plus
when you start with alot more units than your oponant and this lets them get into combat quicker.

Toxic sacs: not a very worth while upgrade as a genstealers str is rending claws, best save the points for elsewhere.

A good assult unit and support unit and worth while taking a few broods.


The main swarm, the back bone of your army, so they are best kept cheap as they are there for numbers, they are best used for cannon fodder and to tie up units in assult until the rest of
the swarm arrives.

Keeping gaunts cheap is almost essential, I usualy just give them the basic gun and nothing more, this way you can have lots of gaunts that die just as easy as tooled up gaunts.

The bio-weapons:

Adrenal glands: these are best for assult gaunts, but when you can not have sythling talons it seems pointless, not only do hormagaunts do a better job in an assult but this will also
increase there points cost, now they are not cheap and offer alot move victory points and you have less points to spend on your swarm.

Extended carapace: 6+ save increased to 5+...not worth it, almost every weapon will still ignore there armour for wasted points.

Flesh hooks: again this is best left for hormagaunts for your fast assult unit, gaunts have ranged bio-weapons, they are best for shooting then assulting to tie up units, they are not
expected to win the assult, just tie them up till your big creatures arrive.

Scuttlers: for a few points they gain an extra move, for larger games this would be a good upgrade, getting close to the enemy to tie them up quicker means less shotts against your other
creatures, a good upgrade for high points games. When missions start with broods in reserve scuttling broods get to start on the battle field, another plus
when you start with alot more units than your oponant and this lets them get into combat quicker.

Toxic sacs: with the abilites most tyranid guns have they extra str is never realy that important and remember they are there for cannon fodder and to tie up units.

Devourer: with its low str and ap its a no no, the only way to make it effective is to give them toxic sacs, which now they cost 10 poits, not cheap for a gaunt, and easy victory points.

Fleshborer: better version of a spinfist, it lets your shots hit a little harder, a good gun for gaunts, I personly think it's the best out the 3.

Spine fists: cheap at only 5 points a gaunt they are good cannon fodder and good for tying up units, masses of them can be had for a cheap cost.


A good fast asult gaunt, it's speed can make them very deadly in numbers and they can strike where needed in the space of a few turns, an almost must for any tyranid army, with a 3 inch
assult radious they can make alot more attacks than your standard gaunt.

Adrenal glands: the I upgrade is not always neccecary, when playing marines or eldar the upgrade would be worth concidering as stirking before the enemy for hormagaunts is vital. The WS
upgrade is a waste of points, if you want to hit with a high number get a broodlord with feeder tendrills or a lictor to support them, they will hit alot higher for a cheaper cost.

Extended carapce: again this is pontless, they still get no save against the basic bolter, save the points for toxic sacs.

Flesh hooks: if you dont mind your gaunts getting high in cost then chooce this aswell, or alternativly cast catalyst on the unit, it will have the same outcome.

Toxic sacs: again good for an expensive gaunt, wounding marines on a 4+ instead of 5+ can make alot of difference, but the issue is the cost again, being so fast the enemy usualy target
hormagaunts first, i'd prefer to keep them basic and have a lictor support them, but for higher points games toxic sacs is worth looking into.


Lots of multiple wound creatures for a relativly cheap cost, good for tying up units, altho they are slow, lots of bases can keep units tied up for a while, but watch out for
flamers, powerfists, str 6+ weapons and ordanance.


Adrenal glands: with I2 max it is a waste of time, hardly anything will hit before them, catalyst would be alot better, for the WS I would not get that either, they are for tying up units
not game winners, with lots of wounds and attaks the WS should be fine as it is.

Enahnced senses: When combined with spinefists they can get alot of shots off but only at a short range, with leaping being almost compulsary the spine fists seem redundant and so does
enhanced senses, so this is not worth taking.

Extended carapces: again nearly all basic weapons would still ignore there save, not worth the points.

Flesh hooks: good when used with I1, assult a unit in cover to get strikes back at the same time as aposed to last.

Leaping: altho costly it is worth it to get into combat quicker.

Toxic sacs: Again wih lots of attacks the str is not too important, they are there to prevent units shooting other tyranids so tying up units is there main goal.

Winged: again costly (very) but worth it when used right, hug cover, with +1 to cover saves they can survive well and get into combat better, this is where extended carapaces should be
used so they survive in combat longer, but this unit should be saved for high points games as they are quite expensive.

Spinefists: not to worth it,despite the lots of shots at a very low BS they are mainly to tie up units, leave rippers for combat.


A good fast assult brood, altho weak on stats it makes up for this with it's close combat potential, with 3 attacks base and a potential of 24 inch charge it's a good brood and rightly
feared when hitting the enemy lines. To use them right I never deep strike them, they wont be able to charge till the turn after and will now be sitting infront of alot of guns outside of
synapse whitch is never a good thing, I always find the flank with the most cover and turn to turn run behind each terrain, they carnt be shot behind woods for example so this is a good thing to
look out for and make the most of it, on the turn you want to strike run threw the cover (3d6 pick the highest and an extra d6, they should be able to run threw any cover), and hit with them
hard, if you decide to deepstrike them try to find somehwere suported say with a broodlord and lictors and try to make sure they are in synapse so they carnt be instant killed, then next turn join the
combat with everything else.

The bio-morphs.

Scythling talons and rending claws: the weapons of choice, with such alot of attacks on the charge (5 rending attacks) they can sweep most hard units to the floor before they strike, I found this
out all to well, in the last 2 games against space marines they have killed 11 termintators on there own for only 1 loss, they even took out a bloodthirster before he struck back, this is the must
have option for raveners.

2 sets of scythling talons: when against guard or orks this is where an extra attack will come in handy against weak units, good for usuaing against units with a low save.

Deathspitter: I am personly against ranged bio-weapons on raveners, I would rather have them fleet to get into combat quicker, but if you want a ranged bio-weapon I would have to recomend the
deathspitter due to it's long range and blast, this with the fact they will be moving 6 a turn is a good combo.

Devourer: if you want to deep strike a brood of raveners I would have to recomend devourers, 6 shots each from 3 thats 18 shots with re rolls to wound!!! they can deal damage to almost anything
but remember dont leave your brood in open ground, if you do watch every gun point towards them, go where they are obscured but with a good view of an enemy unit then let rip.

Spinefists: shot range...bad, you have to be within 12 to shoot, so a normal brood would already have assulted so that's pointless, when deepstriking it's still pointless as you will have to be within
12 to get 9 shots off then get rapid fired back when most basic weapons ignore your save...save spinefists for gaunts.

Spore mines:

Good for deep striking onto hiden units, tanks and heavy weapons squads, can deal with units that could cause your swarm a problem such as devistator squads for a cheap cost, with the bonus of using
barrage rules they can be quite dedly when used correctly and can even take out whole squads.

Frag: good for weak units such as guard and eldar guardians, with a low armour save and low toughness they will fall to a heavy barrage, I dont recomend using this on high toughness models and models
with a 4+ onwards save.

Toxic: good for fire warriors and storm troopers, they ignore there save and always wound on a 4+ regardless of toughness, again a heavy barrage can provide very useful at neutrolizing squads at a
time, with it's special ability to always wound on 4+ even high toughness models can fall, for example an avatar, with his low save of 5+ invulnerable he could fall to a couple of barrages of toxic
spore mines, another target would be a c'tan, his very high toughness of 8 means this is no longer a problem, with wounding on 4+ this could prove to be useful in bringing him down.

Bio-acid: despite it's low str it has a high ap value, good enough to cut threw chaos and marines, good against marines as there are lots of 3+ save bodies, persistant barrages could be useful against
lascannon and heavy bolter devistator squads and big squads of marines.


FAst unit with a ranged bio-weapon and ld 10, without the need for synapse they can quickly fly off on a flank to try and tie units down and harras the enemy, also with bio plasma he can potential get:
1 str 4 range 12 ap 5 shot.
1 bio-plasma attack at I8 and str 4
2 attacks at str 3 I 4.
With this they can quickly deal with light squads and even hamper heavy squads with persistant attacks to wear them down, they can be useful in bringing squads down compared to there counter part of
gaunts, they are alot more reliable and are also another immediate threat to the enemy.

If you deep strike your brood make sure its supported as always, on there own they may not do so well at taking on a whole army, and without being able to assult the turn they deep strike they may quickly
be dealt with, try to make sure there is a combat near where they are to tie the enemy down, a few lictors or fast hormagaunts should be a good idea then have the gargolyes support them.


Good for hiding behind trees, this will prevent you from being seen and shot, then firing barrage spore mines at anything that will cause your swarm alot of hassle, such things may be imperial guard veteran
squads with 3 plasma guns and a lascannon, devistator squads with 4 heavy bolters or 4 lascannons, H.Q.'s with force weapons that will kill your beloved carnifex's and hive tyrants in 1 blow.
Altho not as good as before now they only have blast not ordanance and have to be put together as a brood, they are still good, the barrage rules mean a squad can still be covered in 1 turn of firing, something
your oponant would want to deal with 1 way or another.

How I would use the spore mines on the biovores is covered under the spore mine section.


A good solid unit, when in synapse they are alot tougher and more durable with having 2 wounds imune to instant death and a 2+/6+ save, good for backing up you force or a bigger role such as anti-tank and extra
synapse creatures to direct the swarm. Altho not too good in combat there best choice is to have synpase and warp blast, this way they are immune to instant death, you have more synapse and a good solid anti-tank
brood as well as being able to deal with marines very easy with there str 5 ap 3 blast it can also deal with elite squads from other armies.

Synapse: a very good choice, alot more synapse to control your swarm and no longer easy pickings for lascannons and rail guns, unless you have alot of other synapse a good choice to make.

Catalyst: unless you take several zoanthropes catalyst should not realy be taken, synapse would prove better of and leave the catalyst for your hive tyrant who is alot more survivable than a zoanthrope.

Psychic scream: on it's own its ok but when used with 3 zoanthropes and 2 tyrants for a -5ld check it can be devistating, watch a deamon squad fail it's instability or a whole army run. This will only work on
non fearless armies and the like, I would leave this choice altogether unless you already have alot of synapse.

The horror: a pointless upgrade, with a zoanthrope being so slow it would take ages to reach a stationary army, and with not wanting to get a zoathrope in combat it should be left at a good distance away from combat.

Warp blast: a must for every zoanthrope, a good anti-tank and anti-infantry power it's a must...especialy as it's the only ranged weapon they can have.


Syanpse is one of the most crutial things you realy do need in a tyranid army, when you concider what type of army you want you also have to concider synapse, not only does it stop your gaunts and hormagaunts running
away so easy but it also protects your mutiwound creatures from instant death.

If you choose 3 lictors to help your gaunts rush to battle with rampaging raveners you will want fast synapse to help them stop failing back and to stop the raveners and lictors being picked of by hiden powerfists...

For this there are 3 options...a winged tyrant, a broodlord and winged warriors.

A winged tyrant to run up with your gaunts will ensure they have synapse but make sure he gets protected otherwise he will be targeted heavily, but dont just depend on 1 model, he will drop if he isn't used right for
a start, hide them behind sutable cover until it's time to strike, this way you suffer less casualties and can deliver a more devistating blow to the enemy lines. Another must for him would be a warp field, a 2+ save
makes sure missile launchers dont drop him turn 1 and a 6+ invulnerable save to help against ap 1 and 2 weapons.

A broodlord is a good choice, with the ability to infiltrate he is already your forward synapse, this works very well with your winged tyrant, if the winged tyrant does die they should already be within the broodlords
synapse (even on turn 1 this is possible) but again you must protect your broodlord as much as possible. Make sure your broodlord has an extended carapace to not get chewed up by heavy bolters and the such and that
he has atleast 8 genstealers up to a max of 11 all with extended carapces to ensure they dont get shot to death by bolters...but with so many models it also causes a drawback.
With all those models it makes it harder to hide behind cover and makes it harder to make the unit of line of sight so they can deploy 12 away from the enemy, so I personly recomend 8 genstealers. Now make sure your
broodlord stays in cover to get better saves against any weapons that ignore the units save this will ensure they survive long enough to play a crutial role in the battle...then strike with the gaunts raveners and
lictors and a winged tyrant...no one wants that hitting there lines.

Winged warriors while being fast syanpse can never have a better save than 5+ and they are expensive to say the least, if you choose this option i would recomend keeping them cheap...

Tyranid warriors: wings, adrenal glands (i), scythling talons, rending claws.

At 41points a pop they still arn't exactly cheap and thats with the bare minimum, so they have to be protected, there are a few ways to do this...

Hide the unit: make the most of there 12 move to fly behind woods and the such, this prevents them being shot if they are behind the cover, but if needs be they can now fly into cover and not be killed and gain a
cover save.

Monsterous creatue: the other way seems a bit more drastic but possible, hide the unit behind the winged tyrant, the winged tyrant is a monsterous creature and so blocks line of sight to the unit, this prevents them
from being shot at.

Walking synapse, there are again 3 slow moving potential synapse creatures to keep carnifexs (until an FAQ comes out) and to prevent broods falling back from falling off the table, I would say its a must to keep 1 synapse creature walking help stop your broods falling back of the baord, as a worse case synario.

Hive tyrant without wings is a good solid unit, if you have already taken a broodlord and winged tyrant this will not be an option as your 2 H.Q.'s have been filled, he is tough and makes a good unit to fall back on, and if equiped with ranged bio-weapons can provide fire support agains units that may harm your swarm the most.

Warriors are a good solid unit to have, most people dismiss them due to only 2 wounds t4 and a max save of 4+...dont. Give each warriors a ranged bio-weapon like with the hive tyrant and a close combat bio-weapon, this way after they have helped advance and stopped units from falling back they can also help units in combat with more massed attacks.

Zoanthropes are a good solid unit, with 2 wounds t4 and a 2+/6+ save they can take punishment, and if given synapse they are now always immune to instant death, a warp blast is a good option to help with tank hunting with things the swarm cannot deal with.

With everything else been said I hope this still helps, I have not quite got to the carnifex yet.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:52 pm
Posts: 11
trigy wrote:
Twin devourer: with lots of shots and a resonable str it can dish out some pain, 2 of these on 1 tyrant can shoot 12 shots a turn with re-rolls.

you no the tyrants TL devourers only shoots 6 shots not 12

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:46 am
Posts: 3338
Location: Scotland
No...if he has two pairs, then he gets off 12 shots a turn, 6 from each pair...

Cant sleep...Gaunts'll eat me...Cant sleep...Gaunts'll eat me...

We don't need no stinking sniperfexes... Tyranid lover.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:22 pm 
Hive Tyrant

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 6:16 am
Posts: 641
Location: B.C., Canada
Don't think so man. The wording of the dex suggests differently. Double twin linked (which isn't allowed). I'm not sure what other consensuses have been reached and why but Elttaes and I spent a long while going over this one and we came up with Daco's answer.

"I hate them for what they are and for what they may one day become. I hate them not because they hate us but because they are incapable of good, honest, human hatred."

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:56 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Bunbury WA
RedArmySoK wrote:
Don't think so man. The wording of the dex suggests differently. Double twin linked (which isn't allowed). I'm not sure what other consensuses have been reached and why but Elttaes and I spent a long while going over this one and we came up with Daco's answer.

where does it say that this isnt allowed? i have used this combo on elite carnis to great effect.

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