Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stuck on Swarmy

Rather like something stuck in my teeth, I've continued worrying over variations to the Swarmlord list below. After some solid discussions w/YTTH crowd I came up with a "traditional" list; i.e. 2 tervs, 2 tfexes as the core. It's built to take fire and keep coming, with regen on the tfexes and a prime to keep Swarmy company and play wound allocation games:

Variant 1: Swarmlord Deathstar
Swarmy + 3 tyrant guard w/lash: 280+195
prime w/lash, sword, rending, AG: 105
tervigon w/ag, ts, catalyst, scything: 200
10x termagant: 50
tervigon w/ag, ts, catalyst, scything: 200
10x termagant: 50
2x hg: 100
2x hg: 100
16x gargoyles w/ts, ag: 128
tyrannofex, rupture, regen: 295
tyrannofex, rupture, regen: 295

1998 pts

Overall, this looks like a pretty tough list to deal with, but it will have trouble dealing with the opponent's maneuver. The concept also went away from the hammer/anvil idea of a Swarmlord/Parasite combo. Keeping that theme is pretty tough, but this is what I came up with:

Variant 2: Hammer and Sickle
Swarmy + 3 tyrant guard w/lash: 280+195
Tervigon w/ag, ts, catalyst, scything: 200
10x Termagant: 50
Tervigon w/ag, ts, catalyst, scything: 200
10x Termagant: 50
2x hg: 100
2x hg: 100
Parasite of Mo : 160
Doom in a spod w/barbed: 145
22x Gargoyles w/ts, ag: 176
Harpy w/tlhvc: 170
Harpy w/tlhvc: 170

1996 pts

Doom and harpies should keep people on their toes while the parasite/gargs go for the center/obj or whatever. Tervs/Swarmy just get to lumber forward and do what they do.

The third list trades the reserves and drop shenanigans for a 3-wave assault; parasite+gargs, trygons w/regen, and then swarmy+tervs. It trades the 2 big-gun toting MCs for 2 fast assaulting MCs.

Variant 3: Hold it still till I get there!
Swarmy + 3 tyrant guard w/lash: 280+195
Tervigon w/ag, ts, catalyst, scything: 200
10x Termagant: 50
Tervigon w/ag, ts, catalyst, scything: 200
10x Termagant: 50
3x hg: 150
2x hg: 100
Parasite of Mo : 160
18x Gargoyles w/ts, ag: 144
Tryon w/ag, regen: 235
Trygon w/ag, regen: 235


Now I just need to figure out how to work Vassal so I can playtest a bit.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Overloading Target Priority: Saving Swarmy

After this discussion, I started looking into generating a list intended to maximize Swarmy's boost and deathstar functions while overloading opponents' prioritization with must-target assault units, starting with the Parasite and a swarm of gargoyles. Insert horrid pun about the best defense being a swarm of offense..

So far I have what I think is a pretty solid core at 1500 pts to start with. Absent an opportunity to playtest, I'm having trouble ironing out a best option to get it to 2000. Here's the core:

HQ: 570
- Swarmlord
- + 2 Tyrant Guard w/lash
- Parasite of Mortrex

FA: 128
- 16x gargoyles w/AG, TS

Elite: 200
- 2x HG
- 2x HG

Troops: 597
- 10 Termagants
- + Tervigon w/AG, TS, Catalyst; Dominion, Salvo
- 8x stealers w/TS
- + Broodlord (w/TS)
- 9x stealers w/TS


Leaning towards a tyrannofex w/rupture, regen, and a Trygon, plus another gant or two with any extra as the roundout. Rather concerned at the fragility of the troops though. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tyranid Library part 4

More Tyranid art to be found here. One of the big draws to the Tyranid codex for me was what appeared to be a lot of flexibility while still retaining competitive potential. Even so, there is a prevailing mindset that a 2 tervigon + 2x 10 gant swarm in the troops FOC is an inescapable core for a tournament-competitive list. Finding The Back 40k has been an excellent couple of hours reading, with solid posts and thought-provoking commentary.

The first standout post that I read through a few times was Thinking outside of T6: Troops - a solid exploration of utilizing a 6-model unit of warriors to replace the 2nd tervigon. Most useful here is the description of the tactics and mindset needed to utilize a warrior swarm effectively - the when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em. Better yet is a decent tournament showing using this list technique, covered in very, very good detail here: Tyranids at the Tourney: Part 1.

Sometimes it isn't the posts that make a post interesting, but the comments and discussion that go with it. A list sent to Sandwyrm (by Stelek?) engenders some very interesting discussion in this post: List Question: Tyranids. Buried in there is a link to mathhammer's (aka shaten on 40kOnline) Tyranid MC strength vs armor percentages, and excellent soliloquy that eloquently sums up the current meta issues facing nid players:
In the Tyranid world and with all the fast food running around, the ability to project force has become even more of an issue. While the limit of only 6 troop slots and the need to control upwards of 4 objectives by the end of a game has caused the adoption of Tervigons. The return of even faster vehicles and more enemies that are better in close combat than Tyranids is forcing a greater reliance on ranged force projection to control the opponents ability to move.

This is especially true with the new DE list. Which of course led to a batrep post; Dark Eldar vs Tyranids. Predictable Ouch. So far the intarwebz hype seems to be that DE is pretty much paper to the Tyranid rock. After reading these batreps and getting a look at the DE dex, I'm wondering if reserves lists won't make a bit of a comeback in the meta. Smartly played reserves can play hell with glass cannons.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tyranid batrep video losses (1 win!)

Started poking about for video batreps with Tyranids to learn from... managed to find several Tyranid losses. While the idea was to find successful batreps, most of these are eloquent lessons of things not to do, and some rather weak list building. Surprised to see only a single hive guard unit in any of the lists.

BoLS Batrep 14 & 15: Tyranids vs IG: Jwolf and Mkerr faceoff in a desert battle of Tallarn Desert Raiders vs Tyranids
This was a pretty good pair of lists and decent fray - an outrageously impervious demolisher (shaken only 2x vs 28 S10 hits) and a Straken-led force = pain, but the nids gave it a decent go. Not sure if including 2 tfexes and 2 HTs w/HVCs counts as "shooty" though. Interesting to see the choices of termagants as outflankers - but it nearly paid off in late-game objectives.

BoLS Batrep 54: Tyranids vs BA SM (DoW mission) - Aventine's flaming orange Tyranid Hivelfleet Chupacabra faces Darkwynn's Soul Drinkers (Blood Angels)
Terminators are dead hard is all I can say - surviving and then winning against a combined assault by 'stealers, a Trygon, and a Tyrant. Pretty typical multi-trygon, 2 tervigon list. Interesting delayed mid-game use of ymgarls.

BoLS Batrep 51 - Chaos Daemons vs Tyranids: Aventine's Khornate Chaos Daemons versus Lux's Tyranids. Its all assault all the time!
This was just brutal; nids actually won this one. The demon player tried to use disruption placement rather than overloading or deploying far away to try and set up for charges, and paid for it as his units were piecemeal multi-assaulted or shot down pretty handily.

BoLS Batrep 30: Tyranids vs Footdar
This was a weird battle with a pretty scrub 'nid list. I kept asking "why there?" for quite a few movement/placement and assault decisions.

BoLS Batrep 6: Tyranids vs Tau (DoW mission) - Darkwynn's Tau faces off against Bigred's Tyranid horde:
Tau firepower hurts, especially with very poor use of movement and unit positioning for cover purposes. I think this could have gone a bit differently if it wasn't clearly a "fun" match. Funny to watch a stack of rippers try to take down a stack of burgerbots in cc for 3 rounds though.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tyranid Library part 3

Two more excellent resources from comments to the original Library post:

#**LINKS UPDATED 03/01/2012**#

Messanger of Death's great  Imaginary Life blog - love the fluff from old WDs! This is one of his best, taking Gmort's original ranged anti-tank options post and offering direct commentary.
'Nid Ranged Anti-Tank Options

MoD's well-researched and cross-referenced and -linked commentaries are fantastic; his article on the oft-maligned Tyrannofex is a great example: MAWR Tyrannofex

There are quite a few additional 'nid articles worth reading, but those two really stand out. The rest are here: Imaginary Life: Keyword: Tyranids

MoD was also kind enough to point out the Dark Future Games guys, who've done a pile of articles, including several on individual units. The best aspect of these articles is they are written with an eye toward the impact to the synergy of the list that unit will have - whether a core list element or support, and how to consider that unit in the list building process. Here's a short list of the ones I find to be most valuable as I continue learning:

Tyranids Vs New DE, Thoughts and Concerns based on Experience - this is one of the first "new DE" vs Tyranid articles I've seen, and it raises some good points, but it doesn't look like the DE list used is anywhere near the potential competitive lists I've seen.
Tyranid Tactica: The Doom of Malan'Tai - an excellent commentary on how to use (and not to use) Doom. It definitely made me rethink how I would use him.
Tyranid Tactics: Swarmlord - Best points here are the split between creation of an all-shooty list built around the one deathstar, or an all-assault list to overload target priority. I really like that second idea, and can see a couple variants beyond the inevitable 2x tervigon+2x termagant cores that would be very entertaining. Thinking a swarmlord deathstar + parasite/gargoyle core would be a very interesting start to this idea.

The rest are here: http://darkfuturegaming.blogspot.com/search/label/Tyranids including a couple about modeling and resin offerings for 'nids.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hulksmash and Competitive Nids - more for the Library

Hulksmash started up a blog back in October (it's here: http://hulksmash-homeplace.blogspot.com/. So what? He's a very, very good player and tournament regular. More importantly for me - he's digging into the topic of Tyranids being competitive at the national level. So when he starts building lists and talking tactics, it's worth the read.

Posts are here:


Best reading is here in his "Can Tyranids Compete" series:
Can Tyranids Compete-part-1
Can Tyranids Compete-part-2
Can Tyranids Compete-part-3
Can Tyranids Compete-part-4

He's also started a dedicated Tyranids tactics thread on Dakka here: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/319613.page

Very interesting approaches to deconstruction and planning; at first glance the lists he's come up with so far look pretty low on AT compared to most of the lists I've seen posted, with Trygons rather than Tyrannofexes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

MSU warrior-based 'nid lists

As seems usual the thread started here on YTTH, with what looked to be a pretty loopy list but a solid idea. MSU has been on my mind since a pre-Battle for Salvation post "MSU, Mission Design, etc.; Analysis and Observation" from Mike Brandt over at Whiskey & 40k.

Is it possible to build a competitive "MSU" non-MC list for nids? I like the lists PWillis and Chumbalaya posted to get the core idea down:

2 Primes
2x3 Zoanthropes
Deathleaper, HG or Lictors
4x4 Warriors, boneswords, glands, VC
2x20 Gaunts
3x4 Ravs w/ claws


Prime, dubs boneswords, deathspitter, regen
Prime, dubs boneswords, deathspitter, regen
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
3 Zoanthrope
20 Hormagaunts, toxin
20 Hormagaunts, toxin
4 Warriors, VC, deathspitters
4 Warriors, VC, deathspitters
3 Warriors, VC, deathspitters
3 Warriors, VC, deathspitters
5 Raveners, Rending Claws
4 Raveners, Rending Claws
4 Raveners, Rending Claws
1995 points

I can't help but think a brood of venomthropes might be worth an elite FOC, rather than Deathleaper/Lictors. Is it worth dumping one of the hogaunt broods for a brood of tox/ag gargoyles? It's pretty clear the walking warriors need some cover; are the hogaunts cover or infantry munchers? What about adding biovores, dumping a brood of raveners to help keep some of the hogaunt cover options open? Or dumping the raveners altogether for 'stealers? Lots to think about...