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 Post subject: Tyranid Tactics: It's been a while
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:14 am 
Little One
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:45 am
Posts: 183
Location: Scotland. Glasgow
Hey all,

I've been thinking, I'd like to start up a thread where we discuss our gribblies in detail; saying what we like using, why we like using whatever it may be and of course the opposite, what we don't like using/feel under performs and why.

It would just be interesting to know what people's favourite units are, fluff wise, game wise, model wise, and if you happen to have any cool tactics for units that might not otherwise be apparent from first glance.

I'm mainly interested in doing this as there is a new young member at my local games group who wants to start Tyranids. Now, as a player of our gribblies for 10 years now, as well as being the main Tyranid player at the club, it's befallen to me to help this enthusiastic individual with his army, without of course swaying him into getting particular things. For this reason, I'm looking to my favourite gribbly community for some ideas; obviously I have my own way of playing and units that I like/don't like, but it'd be great to hear more from you lot.

And so I shall begin!

Favourite units:
Old One Eye: my absolute favourite character in 40k, Old One Eye is sheer awesomeness. Game-wise he's a tough sell and notoriously hard to use, but I find that providing your opponent with much jucier and more immediately threatening targets allows him to get in and do his job. I only play friendly games, so competitivity is not that important. Even so, he's very expensive and just as squishy as any other Carnifex. Regardless though, I use him because I love him.

Hormagaunts: ah, the humble hormagaunt, i love taking swarms of these guys with toxin sacs; they've been pretty prolific in my games by taking out Daemon Princes and drowning Terminators of various flavours in attacks (they've got to fail that 2+ at some point!). Cheap and cheerful, I love them and how fast they can scuttle across the board. Add a Venomthrope/Malanthrope for improved cover and Catalyst for FNP and you've got some pretty endurable beasties!

Zoanthropes: now with extra Doomy goodness! I like taking even single Zoanthropes just to provide cheap Synapse, extra warp charge dice and of course, the ability to wipe a tank of the table quite happily (like in my last game against Orks; the Warboss's Battlewagon got one-shotted by a well placed Lance). I've yet to try them in a maxed out unit, but I'm not sure how effective that would be. The Elite slot is often where I find I run out of space fast and is the reason I am tempted to start running unbound, just so I can take all the units I want, without making any cheesy lists as that's just not my thing.

Haruspex: I love the Haruspex; the model looks great, the fluff is fun and game-wise he can be pretty decent. I find using him as a big tar-pit works pretty nicely, especially when equipped with Regeneration. Things like Tau Battlesuits are the perfect target, and mean that Harry (that's my Haruspex) can sit there all day, tying up and otherwise dangerous unit, and slowly wittling them down to nothing. Sure, power weapons make him a sad gribbly, but I find that with any monster really. Not only a tar-pit, he's also a handy can-opener too!

Malanthropes: a unit I'm sure will be on most people's lists, Malanthropes play well, have great fluff and look fantastic to boot! Something I only figured out recently is that even though the Spore Cloud rule says 'models' in range get Shrouded, the rules for Shrouded say that any model with the rule confers it to the whole unit! I've been playing that wrong for a very long time now . . . So they've certainly gone way up for me. And their combat potential is amusing; I've horribly murdered more than a couple of low-ranking unit champions for that tasty Prefered Enemy (which I always like to make sure my Hormagaunts are in on, so they can benefit from it). I'd honestly take 3 of these chaps if they weren't so pricey money-wise.

The Red Terror: another fun unit; I'm not sure how 'good' he actually is, but it's certainly a fun character to play and can certainly make your opponent think twice about letting him charge a unit with a multi-wound slow character in it. Fluff-wise, I love the story that he's got with him slowly picking off the guardsmen and eating them one by one. Sure, Raveners are fragile, but as with the Hormagaunts, they can be nicely buffed and even better when you cover their advance with a flock of Gargoyles, rather than deepstriking them in. My only qualm with Raveners is the rather strange lack of the ability to upgrade them with Toxin Sacs/Adrenal Glands etc. Still, Rending Claws are particularly nice for dealing with most targets.

Hive Crone: depends who I'm playing, but my Hive Crone Rosie has been an absolute beast for taking out other flyers and is particularly fond of Ork Trukk mobs! Sure, she lost to a Heldrake, but she's certainly a fun unit to play and I've had a few times where she's Vector Struck an unfortunate Lone Wolf and dragged him screaming into the air, never to be seen again. I'd like to get a Harpy at some point to try that out, but the notion of keeping it low to the ground for that screaming attack, so as to be a buff in combats, is somewhat worrying. I'd like to hear your thoughts on Harpies!

Dimachaeron: all of my yes. Dimmy is an absolute beast and I love the model too! I also find it hilarious that it isn't immune to fear, so while at first I met that with some indignation, I can't help but be seriously amused at the thought of the massive monster cowering in fear. Reminds me of the Wobbly Model Syndrome comic with the Dimachaeron and the Riptide scared of each other. Only thing is that my opponents have cottened on to how dangerous she is and make good efforts to remove her as soon as possible. I guess it makes her a good distraction in a field full of dangerous monsters; sure, she may go down, but all those other beasties are very much in your face and it's too late to do something about it.

Carnifex: ah, the wonderful Carnifex, no longer king of the monsters. The Carnifex was my first proper GW purchase and was my road into being a Tyranid player for life. I remember it still, seeing that stunning beast, huge and terrifying, with all those amazing options, all the cool heads and weapons and mmmffff, so good. That and the White Dwarf that came out at the same time and had our good Moloch's amazing Tyranid kill team in it, which lead me down the path of forever converting my Tyranids. My personal favourite flavour of Carnifex is the Stone-Crusher. Non-threatening to look at compared to many of the monsters I field (looking at you Dimmy), but they pack one hell of a punch; woah betide any opponent who neglects to deal with them quickly, as they smash through anything without an Invulnerable save. Those Reinforced Chitin-Rams are jaw-droppingly good and take out tanks and monsters alike. Very expensive money-wise, but I find that even so, they are so worth it. Points-wise they are pretty decent too and I always take the Bio-Flail, for that extra Instant Death Sweeping goodness.

Toxicrene: Mr Tickle, as my Toxicrene is known, is a wonderful creature who has played amazingly for me so far. From murdering units in combat, to camping on objectives inside ruins, he's a tough cookie to crack without Ignores Cover weaponry. He's not SO threatening that my opponents feel the need to fire everything at him, but he provides enough threat to make my opponents wary of him advancing. The shooting attack is yet to achieve much, but in combat he has sold himself nicely. Add a nearby Malanthrope who has just gained Prefered Enemy or Paroxysm the target unit to give him that little boost and save him from those WS 3 blues. I love my Mr Tickle and magnetising his arms was the best plan ever, I can now transport him and place him in otherwise impossible places on the board by removing those mighty Lash-Whips.

Least favourite units:
Tervigon: I have just had no luck when it comes to the Tervigon; hell, maybe I'm using her completely wrong, but every game she poops out on turn 1 or 2 and stops providing me with extra Gaunts. What's her use? Is there some sort of tactic I'm really missing here? And is it worth slapping any upgrades on an already pricy creature?

Genestealers: sigh . . . I do actually love them and their mighty Broodlords, but I just can't get them to work in game any more. People still know how dangerous they are if they ever get into combat, but there's the thing; mine never ever do, because they get gunned to buggery before that can happen. I want to use them, I really really do, but they're so pricey for a unit that ultimately achieves diddley squat. The Space Hulk and Spawn of Cryptus models are 2 of my favourite models and I want them to be wonderful, but alas, 'tis not to be. Has anyone got any tactics they feel work with stealers? Do any of the formations help them at all?

Pyrovores: yuuuuuup . . . probably on everybody's list, I won't go into the details, there's no point. But if anyone has any possible tactics, I would highly appreciate it. They're such a cool unit and the model, while expensive as all hell, is awesome. I'm thinking of using them to camp on objectives, but they would be eating out of my Elites allowance and that just will not do!

Maleceptor: there isn't a way of using this, is there? I'm not even going to get into it. The Leviathan story made them absolutely terrifying and I want them, a lot, but damn, I can't even begin to comprehend how badly they look on paper. I've never used one, but I just don't think I can justify it, at all really. Anyone? Anything?

Finally, I'd like to ask a few more questions:
What formations does anyone use/have used and what ones did you like/not like?
Are there upgrades for units that you always take/are there ones you always avoid?
When it comes to Warlords, what unit do you go for? What traits table do you roll on?

And here's a list of Tyranids that I'm particularly interested in hearing your experiences/tactics on:
The Swarmlord; Tervigons; Warriors; Genestealers; Hive Guard; Lictors; Zoanthropes; Maleceptors; Pyrovores; Harpies

And with that, I'll open the floor to everyone to join in. I'm rather excited about this and I hope we can stir up some discussion here; I miss the liveliness of Warpshadow and hope to pass on my and your enthusiasm onto the new player at my local club.

Thank you very much, all of you, for all the years of fun, I hope we can continue. I'd love you to take your time over this and write nice long posts, I think we can get a lot out of it, or at any rate, I think I will.

Cheers to my favourite community of my favourite space monsters,

Iron Nid.

 Post subject: Re: Tyranid Tactics: It's been a while
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:32 am
Posts: 2048
Location: Los Angeles
Good to see a thread like this revitalized, Iron. Much appreciated!

Here are my contributions to the general discussion:

What I Like
Tyrannocyte: This incredibly versatile unit is always taken in pairs. It provides excellent offensive flexibility regardless what kind of force my opponent throws my way: gunline, alpha strike, misdirection, whatever. I consider three potential units to field in it with every list I build with the understanding that one will not be in it. Depending on mood, I may have two shooty and one assaulty unit earmarked for flexing, though more often than not I go with two assaulty and one shooty. My most recent favorite maneuver is to throw a full brood of Pyrovores in one when going against 4+ armor or worse lists to immediately torch the unit to slag. That they can also move and shoot at the nearest enemy units has led to many an aggravated grumble by my foes.

Pyrovore: Yes, I actually like to field it, especially when I can now throw in a Promethium Relay Pipe to boost its effectivity. Situated in a central board position or near a critical objective cluster (can you say right across from the Relic, anyone?), it serves as a great deterrent that provides excellent board control and makes my other units all the more effective. Should I see I'm going up against Tau or gunline AM, I throw them in a Tyrannocyte instead and light up a critical target, usually one with the enemy warlord in it. The best part is, like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects it!

Swarmlord: I find it difficult to not field him. Whether he marches up with a full brood of Tyrant Guard or DSs into play via Tyrannocyte, he proves to be a most worrisome unit for the opponent to cope with and tends to absorb his share of gunfire, allowing my other vanguard units to close in comparative safety. He has three things going for him - potent Psyker, 83.3% arrival rate for every reserve unit and ID in close combat. Pricey but effective.

Venomthrope: The ability to grant any unit a 5+ cover in the open is great. To grant it 3+ in standard cover is superb. To grant 2+ behind a Promethium Relay Pipe at the start of the game is HUGE. And at a very reasonable cost with just one model.

Tervigon: Whenever I play one I keep it as a backfield minder, providing Synapse support for my long range units. Unlike most, I only spawn when enemy units come close, using the newly spawned unit to either provide a screen between it and the approaching unit or to satisfy a drawn Tactic card's victory requirement should the opportunity arise (specific objective in the backfield, Hold the Line, etc.). That it's also a Psyker is a cool perk.

Lictors: Awesome agents of mayhem. I use them for vehicle hunting, totally disrupting the opponent's backfield and setting traps in the middle of the field.

What I Don't Like
Flyrants w/ TL-Devs: This is mostly a reaction to overuse. It's a strong unit, I just find it so predictable for the opponent that it puts them in a comfortable tactical position at the start of the game. I don't giving my opponent any sense of comfort with armies I put together.

Tyrannofex: I just never got into using one. The poor BS is a big part of it. It can serve a decent enough niche in an army. I just prefer more assault capability out of my MCs if I'm going to field one.

Trygon: Nothing overtly bad about it. I just find it more worthwhile spending more for a Trygon Prime. A redundant unit in the codex.

Harpy: This is primarily due to the fact I never bothered building one and haven't missed it on the battlefield.

Shrikes: Too expensive for a unit with one worse armor save and being so easily ID'd by the multitude of S8+ weaponry out there.

Favored Formations
Hypertoxic Node: I love fielding this with a flyrant armed with the Miasma Cannon, Electroshock Grubs and a LW/BS. I like to split the solo Venomthropes of the formation across the board with my other detachments to improve their survivability. The added ID capability to the Toxicrene is also a huge plus.

Deathleaper's Assassin Brood: A great way to muddy the field and add threat vectors your opponent has to deal with immediately while the rest of your army advances.

Broodlord's Hunting Pack: I like to field it with Toxin Sacs and surprise my opponents who decide to field empty fortifications. :twisted:

Sporefield: When all the opponents who face it and learn what it can do ardently complain about it, you know it's a strong choice.

 Post subject: Re: Tyranid Tactics: It's been a while
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:03 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:43 pm
Posts: 14
From all the games I've played I must say.....

Best Units for me:

Dakka Flyrant: WAY to Much survival/Movement/Firepower + lv 2 powers..... just way to good, I walways take 2-3!

Hive Crone: AA all day :) D3 S8 Vector at ap2 with HWM's and a S6 Flamer for Clear Objectives late game, I never take Less than 2!

Mucilods: 15pt S8 Large Blast, +3 to Cover Troop that can DS........ Um... I always have 6!

Lictors!: For 20 more pts than a Warrior, with DS/Reverse helping Hnads, S6, always attacks 1st (well almost) Infiltrate and Rending... OMG so good, I try to take 3-5

Malanthrope: HUGE Turn 1 Helper, I never leave home without 1. +2 to Cover with great stats for a Support Infantry (Lol its infantry)

Sad thing is that, Nids book has some REALLY good units, but.... Over 1/2 the book is under stat and over cost.

Units like Ravagers and Shrieks SHOULD be Armor 4 not 5.
Synapse SHOULD be a Plus, not a Negative.
Many Options are to costly, especially poison. With the nerf to poison Re-rolls, it needs to be 1/2 the price of it is now.
Units like Carnifex needs to be Much cheaper... around 75-80pts, Look at oterh MC almost same stat models are 50-75pts, Or other models that are 120-150pts are MUCH better, like Ap 2-3 shooting at Mid-Long range, Armor 2+ or 3+ with 4/5++ and/or FnP etc.... Trygon Prime NEEDS to be Gargantuan, Keep everything else about it the Same, Stats, points upgrades etc... the Free FnP, Poison wounds on 6, Stomps will be enough.

 Post subject: Re: Tyranid Tactics: It's been a while
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:47 am 
Little One
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:43 am
Posts: 130

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