Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tyranid Library: The Dusty Books on the Back Shelf

This post is about some of the units, builds, and biomorphs typically discarded as not being efficient enough for the points, duplicative, or simply far outshined by other choices.  And precisely some of the reasons I think the Tyranid codex isn't entirely unlocked yet.

The first isn't too controversial: the Genestealer.  Many lists use 2 units of 5-10, with the sweet spot usually pinpointed at around 7, sometimes with a Broodlord, sometimes not, but nearly always with tox.  How does the 'stealer make this list then?  Stealers are considered easy to deal with by most competitive players.  The vast majority of MSU, MEQ, and mech'd up tournament units can pretty easily dish out 5-10 wounds to a 5+ save troop.  Plain old lack of durability.  But what happens when you throw 40 stealers on the board, with FNP, and cover?  To find out, go here.  Hyv3mynd has some of the absolute best batreps I've found to date.  If you're serious about playing 'nids at a top tournament table, take the time to read every single entry.  The hands down best is his DaBoyz GT BatRep #4.  More after the jump:

The second is a bit more on the edge: Shreddershard Beetles for your Thorax Swarm.  Mathhammer and some of the best net wisdom on 'nids points to dessicator larvae being the best overall, electroshock best against 5+, and shredders only being better against termies and sisters, but worst of the three.  However, with the increase of FNP units available to so many codexes and definitely making appearances in tournament lists, that rending template becomes much more attractive.  Consider too, that with the new FAQs, you can almost guarantee there will be at least a couple all-terminator lists in larger tournaments.  Thanks to Hyv3mynd again on this one.

Time for the dustiest book on the very bottom shelf: the biovore.  But "Ghostin," you say, "why bother with S4 AP4 when tyranids already excel at slaughtering 4+ infantry?  Those points need to go where Tyranids have trouble - MEQ and high AV."  Right? The simple answer is because we have to get there to do it.  In batrep after batrep, troops get de-mech'd, infiltrate, or in the case of looters/long fangs, simply hang out in the back.  How many parking lots get created, with 2-3 units milling about that we have to figure out how to passive assault, multicharge, or wait for them to come to us?  What about bubble wrap and castles?  There are literally dozens of common, every-game scenarios that beg for S4 AP4 dinner plates.  "What about MEQ," you say?  Well - what about it?  Frankly I think it's worth 5% of my points to be able to wipe out entire swathes of 4+ troops (IG, DE, Orks, Eldar, Tyranids...) that can still hurt MEQ on a 1 in 6.  Let's not forget that spore mines hang out if they miss.  There are wonderful mind games to be played as well. Can you drop them where your opponent might get de-mech'd and get secondaries?  No LOS needed, 48" range?  The list goes on...

The above may not change your opinions one bit - but hopefully it makes you look more closely at some of the options the 'net tells us to discard.  What dusty books are on your Tyranid shelf?


  1. Your thoughts on the Biovore intrigue me. Being able to strip bubblewrap without it stalling your advance and giving away another turn of getting shot at seems... important.

  2. Interesting. I think I will switch to Beetles for my Thorax Swarm.

    Biovore are one of the units I do not own. The extra range is nice, I usually just use stealers to charge those heavy weapon squads. I may have to proxy them up for a game...

  3. FNP? ive checked the codex over and over, and i cant see how the g'stealers have FNP....
    I must say, im assuming this is 'feel no pain' as i cant see what other abreviations it could be, and ive checked and re-checked several times now. i cant find a single thing that could be abreviated into FNP in the g'stealer listing at all...
    anyone able to clear this up as to what it is?

  4. To expand on Ghosin's answer (in case it is no clear). The Tervigon gives the Genesteaers Feel No Pain.

  5. Lately I've turned my mind to the T4 units, since Warriors and Raveners are my favorite models, so I want to try and make them work on the table top.
    I've been running a Brood of 4 Shooty Warriors (Deathspitters and VC or BS- I haven't figured out whether to stick with the VC or BS yet), joined by 2 Regen Primes.
    Both Primes have Deathspitters, Boneswords and Lashwhips, and one has Toxin Sacs, for wound allocation Shenanigans along with the heavy weapon warrior.
    Originally, I ran the warriors with 2x Boneswords, but that was expensive, and a tad overkill. Heh.
    The problem is, that no one wants to get near the Warriors (Boneswords/Whips scare people away and they won't CC- they'll missile you to death), and even though the 2 Regen Primes and proper cover really keep the brood alive, you want them to shoot, and not run- every Nid list can use more Dakka, right?
    Enter the Raveners.
    I run a Brood of 4 Rending Raveners along side the Warriors, and they jump out and tie up squads who stay at arm's length and shoot. The Ravener brood isn't large enough to wipe a tac squad, so next turn the Warriors can march up and help finish the fight, or the Primes can detach and just add the chop-chop, or whatever.
    It's been a good one-two punch.
    You know what ruins a Ravener's day, though? Powerfists. Blah...

  6. That's why I went with 2 warrior squads; 1 shooty and 1 countercharge, tgants to screen, and biovores to bomb the bejeebers out of rocketeers. Rolling 'hit' on the artillery dice can be rough though. Debating dropping 1 biovore and adding a stranglethorn to the sword squad and a vc to the shooty squad.

    Been watching Fritz's blog lately - wondering how twisted it would be to go with 3 big ymgarl broods, 2 big stealer broods, 3 big ravener broods, swarmy and a tervigon. Maybe some hormagaunts for screens... guns? Who needs guns? =)

  7. It depends on what you mean by 'big' but that would be a 2.5k list with 3x10 Ymgarl, 2x20 Stealers, 3x6 Raveners. It would be fun to play but I do not see it as competitive.

  8. Definitely a fun list not a competitive one..