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Made in us
Stone Bonkers Fabricator General






Home Base: Waconia, MN (Minneapolis)

I've recently decided based on a few discussion topics going on that I would try to add some content to this site. It has been stated quite a few times in those discussions that a lot of the better known and consistant players don't post often in the Tactics/Army list forums anymore due to static to noise ratio's and the feeling of futility sometimes found when talking to people in these Topics.

So I've decided I'm going to do a living tactica that I'll up keep with kernals of wisdom, army lists, strategies, unit reviews, and general playstyles that can help new and new edition Nid players not get lost in the Nids suck/Carnies got shafted chanting that is the internet currently. I'm all for people posting their views on anything I've covered, haven't covered, army lists, questions you'd like to see an answer to, and anything generally helpful even if it's a different slant on my views on units or you think I'm completely wrong. I'll be adding the good content which is backed by well founded and clear reasoning. Since it's all going to be experienced based I don't doubt we'll have different takes on quite a few things but I think it'll be worth it to give more than one view on everything. I'll also be crediting those who's information get's added so that they can see how their also contributing to the community cause everyone like a little recognition Remember though this Tactica will be more focussed on the competitive nature of the Tyrannid Codex and how it relates to tournaments and competitive gaming groups. Words like Spam/Cheese/Broken/OP/and Tier don't really have a place in this conversation.

Green will be for credited updates by other posters.

Review of the Book:

I really, really like the new book. The amout of threats you can put on the table right now is almost unbelievable. In an edition where the old Nidzilla would have lost 3-4/7 MC's on turn one we can now safely give those armies the finger if built right. So I'm gonna do a unit by unit cause right now I have the time and I have recently decided that once in a while I'm going to try and contribute some solid tactical thoughts. I am going to stick with units I have familiarity with and use. So:

HQ's:

Primes: Awesome. There are really 2 reasons/tactics to use these in a competitive way.

1) (Reason)-He's cheap as hell for an HQ choice in a book where all the other ones start at 2x his cost.
2) (Tactic)-2 of them can be taken and added to a Carnifex squad of 2. This will give the squad as a whole a cover save (Half+ aren't MC's and are in cover) if they are behind gaunts which will also create a larger unit to hide other MC's behind.

Hive Tyrant: Also Awesome but I've mainly used the winged Variety. Basically Paroxysm and Leech are required. Mine currently is outfitted with 1 set of TL-Devourers and LS/BS with Old Adversary (Preferred enemy w/in 6"). I might be changing this up but probably not as I'm almost always using psychic powers if I'm in range to shoot so 2 sets of Dev's would almost be wasted. This guy is generally a support unit/fire magnet because people fear him. He also generally runs near my Gargoyles. I've toyed with the idea of one on foot armed pretty much the same way with a single guard (go coversave's!) and Old Adversary to turn Crushing Claw Carnies and Tervies into beasts but that's a true old style Nidzilla that might not fair as well nowadays.

Tyrant Guard: These guys are a necessary evil. If at any point you are thinking about running a tyrant without wings or a swarmlord, go ahead and alocate another 60 points for one of these. Just one will unlock a cover save for you tyrant against all those ap 1, 2, and 3 weapons. Whether you use more than one or not, it's up to you. (Omega_Warlord)

Swarmlord:I wanted to put this guy in his own catagory. Alot of people see a hefty price tag of 280 and go "No way!" At lower point levels he starts to chew up a large part of your army.The swarmlord is primarily a force multiplier. He can do so many things such as give any one unit within 18" acute sense, (great for hive guard), perfered enemy (great for anybody), or furiour charge. This is not a psychic power, he can then use two more powers each turn and has all four that the tyrant has. He also bolsters any reserve army and outflanking army. His increased close combat abilities can make even TH/SS termies cry. Unlike them however, he can't get a super tough metal box to drive him places. His primary weakness is his speed, but he has to have some drawback. I really suggest using him in a reserve heavy/outflank heavy list, even though he is one that would walk on. (Omega_Warlord)

Tactic:

1) Use w/Tyrant Guard armed with a Lashwhip for those pesky Mephiston issues (Janthkin)


Tervigons: Never as HQ's at 1,500+. We'll cover them in troops where they belong.

Parasite of Montrax: I like him. Fast synapse that can create more units. Capable of instant killing multi-wound models when he rends. He's really more of a support and I generally join him to a unit of Gargoyles. Which makes them a priority that can help spare my downrange stuff from more firepower. I only recommend him in a list w/25+ Gargoyles and probably the Flyrant mentioned above if the point value isn't low.

Elites:

Hive Guard: This is pretty much my elites. Either 2 units of 3 or 3 units of 2. These guys are the most consistant anti-tank in the list. Also more T6 wounds that get cover saves isn't half bad either.

Zoans: Absolute gak. I get the concept. But since for 3 of them in a pod I can get 4 Hive guard I'll never be sold. Here's the thing a lot of people miss when it comes to Zoans. They start to miss the additional costs for making sure the Zoans arrive in a reasonable amount of time. Most people add Hive Commander which now made that unit cost as much as the landraider you wanted it to kill. Add in the complete unreliability for Psychic Test, To Hit, To Pen, and Damage roll and then tell me 3 is enough. Especially against a marine who is going to have a hood in a competitive environment. Ah and standard SM's with Nullzone make them cry. Don't get me started about eldar and runes of warding.....(Disclaimer: This is heavily based on MC heavy armies that don't make heavy use of outflank/deepstrike/infiltration where consistancy is more important and target priority is made more difficult for you opponent by including other units)

One of the only way I even envision them useful with on foot with a prime as a secondary target with the prime taking an instant death hit or two for them. Distracting the enemy from the rest of your force. It has also been brought to my attention further into the thread that Zoans may have a place in a more reserved based Nid army as Hive Guard won't have the extra T6 MC's to draw off firepower in such a list and deepstriking Zoans may actually be useful here.

Lictors: Love them but I don't touch them unless it's a heavily comped event or just for funs. I have 3 awesomely converted ones and it's great to pop out and yell BOO! but they just don't have a place in a standard tournament format.

Deathleaper: Personally to expensive for me and he eats a slot I need so I have 0 experience with him. I'd be absolutely stoked if someone could fill this in with how they run him, why, and their success so far along with against what style of army. Flavius did remind me since I forgot to write it that this model is used primarily for psychic defense.

Tactic:

1)(Arleucs): even though expensive, is efficient against any list with a single psyker (anything but Wolves most of the time).
It can come in support of ymgarls, can be put aside to make a side shot on a support vehicle, then vanish to reappear hidden.
It's clearly not a fighting character, and should be kept safe.


2)(Kirsanth): Deathleaper is actually impossible to kill, until the last round when he can be contesting--and then only if the Tyranid player goes first. "Where'd it go!" allows Deathleaper to be removed any movement phase that Deathleaper is more than 1", and does not specify that it cannot be the same round as Chemelonic Skin. Also, Deathleaper automatically reappears each later round. This makes him perfect for contesting an "unreachable" objective and guaranteeing the LD penalty to a psycher for the whole game. Also, Deathleaper does not Deepstrike, which makes it almost impossible to stop--mystics don't help, for example, and it can be placed in upper levels of ruins, etc. It should be noted that he still impacts a chosen enemies leadership even if he isn't on the table.

Ymgarls:(Gorgon)

I really like them, and think they're competitive in the right army. Yes, they're a little random. However, their threat radius is shockingly large when you consider you take the diameter of the area terrain piece and then add the move, fleet and assault distance to that. They aren't complete beatsticks, but they work nicely as a scalpel against choice infantry targets and can easily multicharge transports and give you some valuable shakes and stuns. Experienced players will know this and deploy accordingly, but now you're playing mindgames with your opponent and hopefully creating other opportunities for yourself. And if he deploys first and denies you any decent deployment options for your Ymgarls, you can always just shrug and deploy them normally.

Tactic:
1) Something I like to do to give me a smidge of extra distance is to deploy them with just the edge of their bases on the area terrain base. The Dormant rule only says they need to be "within" area terrain, and I believe the RAW interpretation means that hanging the bases this way meets that qualification.

2) (Winterman)-Ymgarls can also surprise a mech opponent who gets a bit greedy with his shooting and remains stationary. Four attacks per model (so typically 28) auto hitting S4 rending attacks can tear up a parking lot something fierce. They might not pop transports but the shakens and stuns are almost as good. Since the threat is not present on the table, I have found many players don't account for it.
It's also worth noting you can make them St5 for this as well. Less attacks but better for spreading between multiple vehicles to keep them from shooting.

General Uses (Lukus83)

Vehicle Hunting
Lets face it, the biggest problem all nid players have is mech IG. Av 12 on the front, and it feels like for every 1 you destroy there are another 2 to replace it. Ymgarls can come out and engage multiple vehicles (a great bonus that's often overlooked...hive guard and zoanthropes can only eliminate 1 vehicle a turn at best) without taking a casualty. Sure they take an elite slot, but I personally think that it's a spot well used. If combined with the Swarmlord give them furious charge. Throw in their unstable mutation +1 S and you are hitting on S6. Even if they don't wreck the vehicle chances are you can at least stun it and force that small unit full of plasma guns to disembark if they want to shoot.

Infantry Hunting
These guys are great for pulling small units off objectives too and scouring it clean, thus leaving your opponent to think about sending some units back from his primary wave. Another great thing about them is the fact that they *should* take no casualties on the way in. If you take the Swarmlord preferred enemy is a must. From a full unit with +1A you are looking at 40 attacks (should be hitting on 3's) with re-rolls. Not even storm shield bearing termies can stand up to that kind of assault. Another benefit that can often be overlooked is that you can choose where to engage the enemy. Avoid charging into cover, and usually there is a model or 2 out of area terrain where you can draw the rest of the enemy to you so you still strike at I6. Great for pulling large IG blobs sitting on an objective right out of position. Use their unit size to your advantage. I usually use them for what I call disruption. On the battlefield there are usually a few key units you wish to stop firing or manoeuvring. These guys can usually hold their own against the toughest of enemies and lock them down.



Troops:

Gaunts: Great. They are cheap. Can be modified to your taste. And most importantly open up Tervies for troops. Some styles of list have a place for Devourer armed Gaunts which for their points put out an ungodly number of shots. Other people like to keep it cheap and run a 10 man unit w/fleshborers. If you wanna run horde I don't recommend bumping these up insanely but some people like it. Just make sure the way you run them fits into the way your running your army. The choice on your gaunts should actually be the last choice after you've built the rest of your list.

Tervigons: F-ing Amazing. 6 T6 W's. Spawns more troops. Over 1,500 give Catalyst. Always upgrade for free to the large St5 Blast. Adrenal Glands and Toxic Sacs are a must. Generally this guy will run you 195. Totally acceptable for a MC that counts as scoring and makes more. These guys aren't lynch pins to your army but they are a very, very solid support unit that helps synergize your list. I'd avoid the crushing claws and talons unless your running something like that foot tyrant I talked about earlier. As the foot tyrant will give them re-rolls their attacks making the claws worth it.

Genestealers: I don't use these with any kind of regularity. But here is a style from Devian and Warboss Gutrip:7-strong plus Broodlord. Idea being a relatively cheap pressure unit with high enough numbers for survivability and low enough to help control the combat results.

Janth's take on Genestealers:
1) Very small (5-6) 'stealer units can't do much except try and outflank onto objectives (or kill Tau). Little value to poison.
2) Moderately-sized 'stealer units (8-12) can kill 1 unit; attrition will then drop them into category 1. Decent value to poison, as it helps against the harder targets (daemon princes, terminators).
3) Large 'stealer units (16-20) can kill 1 unit; attrition will then drop them into category 1. Larger size means you can infiltrate across the board, greatly increasing threat radius while still keeping a cover save. Little value to poison, as you probably have enough attacks for everything except full-sized ork squads.
4) Large 'stealer units with Catalyst support are insanely good; not only do you have the cover save/infiltrate advantages of large units, you've now also getting FNP against failed cover saves/cover denying weapons. My 18-man 'stealer unit w/FNP has repeatedly eaten a whole turn of Tau shooting, while still having 6-8 models survive.


Rippers: Don't use them. They can't score and they die instantly to way to many of the weapons out there. Only use I've found for them is making them with the Parasite which is nice because when Rippers start in the back field a decent unit of them (5+) can eat 90% of support infantry units.

Hormagaunts: I like them but unless your strapped for troops I heartily suggest doing Gargoyles instead. Hormagaunts just pay to many points for their upgrades which is unfortunate because if your running Tervies then regular gaunts are actually better in combat for a fraction of the cost. The loss of beasts really hurt this unit overall and it won't be a popular choice for a competitive army.

Tyrannid Warriors: At 1,500 they might have a place. In a nidzilla army they might also have a place as a distraction from your MC's. This is the only use I've found for them looking at it from every angle. Basically take 2 units of them as troops and make your opponent decide on killing them or your big bugs which are the actual threat. This can only be done if a) your opponent has impulse control issues and b) if you brought other scoring units because if you didn't then these guys aren't a distraction they're a target. Overall I'd say avoid them in non-comped events since the loss of the St6 Deathspitter hurt these guys something fierce.

Fast Attack:

Raveners:(Gorgon)

I like them because of something I've said here before -- they're surprisingly "plug and play." Because they have beasts movement instead of wings, they operate in a variety of army builds. They can advance cozily behind a screen in a slow slogging list, apply early pressure in a fast slogging list, and even deep strike for free in a drop list. Elite CC units are gonna beat them down. But they'll hold their own against the medium hitters. I've found medium to large broods to be better, as small broods tend to lose effectiveness quickly with a casualty or two. Larger broods can also help you set up multicharges of transports, which they can most definitely damage with rending claws. I've tried to find a use for their thorax weaponry, but they've always seemed too expensive for weapons that I rarely get to fire (because I'm running them). While I don't think Ravs are top-level competitive, IMO they're more solid than some people give them credit for and at the very least worth a look in mid-level competitive armies.


Harpy: Haven't used it but it has been talked up on a certain blue tactics blog. It requires a list built around it but it might have a use. Personally not my style and not something I have the spare points for in the rest of any of my lists.

Gargoyles: Amazing. Always add Poison and Adrenal glands. This makes them a whopping 8 points and on the charge they will: Strike first against MEQ, Auto-wound on a 6 to hit, Wound anything on a 4+, and Re-Roll to wound against MEQ's. This is also where that tyrant from earlier helps as then they re-roll to hit and normally you paroxysm the unit they attack so they hit on 3's. With the Parasite I've found them to be hell on wheels. Without him I stil think they are a steal and an excellent pressure unit for use against back field units. Large units of 20+ also generally allow you to string yourself so can choose to be in Synapse or not depending on where your going/attacking. Also an extremely resilient unit when you add FnP on them from a Tervigon.

(From Devian)Another way to outfit them is to only give them Adrenal glands as that enhances their speed and strength and can net you more bodies. In this case to me the extra bodies aren't worth it but some others find it a better way to go. This can be heavily dependent on your local meta as well.

Spore Mines: Don't use them but deployment denial is helpful. Basically if your list isn't squeeking for points these aren't a bad purchase. I can't say much on their uses but hopefully someone can add how/why/when they use them and how successful it's been for them against different armies.

Winged Warriors: Sigh...Great concept. Cool Conversion possiblities. But not really something I could get into...ever in a tournament environment. For fun, hells yeah. Basically all the same problems as warriors but they aren't scoring and they do move a bit faster. Oh, and they have a worse armor save.

Heavy Support:

Trygon: Amazing again. This guy eats entire MEQ squads and can put a hurtin on even large horde units like Ork Boyz though combat shouldn't happen unless they are down to around 14ish models if it can be helped. I've actually found that starting them on the table and moving them forward every turn really helps mitigate heavy weapon fire. Basically your saturating the environment with T6 W6 models. Does your opponent kill your Tervies, Trygons, Hive Tyrant, Hive Guard? Never underestimate the power of saturation. I don't upgrade anything on them except Adrenal Glands as this helps with LR's hunting. St7 help's quite a bit. The I5 will almost never matter as anyone who might be charged should be finding some cover to hide in....Lack of grenades is vexing.

Mawloc: Underwhelming. It's neat the first few times your opponent doesn't spread out properly and you can guarentee them coming on turn 2 by starting them on the board but they lack so badly in combat that I just don't find them worth the 30pt difference that it costs to take a Trygon. Again if someone has found an excellent use for them that doesn't revolve around the gimmick of your opponent deploying his forces stupidly I'd be excited to know and add it.

Carnifex: Ahhhh, the most hated of current Nid heavy support. This guy has his place and has a whopping 3ish reasons/tactics so far that I've found to run him despite his cost.

1) Run a pair of them naked. Join them up with 2 Primes. Then give them FnP every turn and laugh at your opponents with wound allocation and cover saves. This is also helpful as they instant kill things like Nobz. Can hit and kill LR's (god bless Talons and St9) and they make a fine fondu. Also consider Adrenal glands if you have a lot of TWC in your meta as instant death on them is genius. Only thing to truly worry about is Jaw's which while moderately popular you should be able to ensure it doens't hurt you to bad as long as you move well and start working on that problem with the rest of your army.

2) Run a pair with Crushing Claws and TL-Dev's. This should only be used with the walking tyrant as basically on the charge your Carnies are getting 10+2d3 attack that re-roll to hit at St9. Just gross. Also the TL-Dev's aren't to shabby for putting some hurt on units as they carnies move up.

3) Popular for a while was Carnie w/2 TL-Dev's in a pod. Drop him and hurt 2 tanks off the bat and then he's a disruption unit the rest of the game that has to be dealt with. Never used this tactic but it does have some merit. If someone wanted to add to it feel free to post. Again just make sure to include how/when/why and against what to help.

Tyrannofex: Great Unit. I think this unit is under-rated by most newer players to the army quite a bit. They see only the St10 gun and the price tag and die a little inside at the thought of the point investment. Well ask quite a few of the big kids their take on a Tyrano and generally you'll get a different story. This guy is a best and is the only 2+ save you've got. He can provide mobile cover. He's extremely resistant to the current missile spam out there. He's also meant to be used aggressively. He's got the stats to hurt up close and personal. Use them. Play him aggressively. The only time I've seen Onslaught used was to run these guys up the field while firing. It's just plain nasty.

That's pretty much my take on the current codex. If it's not mentioned it's not worth mentioning to me personally. But I'd be more than happy to expand this to include other takes and styles. Basically add in what you think, your successes, what type of list you run, why you run it, how it works togther, and we can grow a Nid Tactica that will help people see the Nids for the competitive codex that they are.

General Tactical Notes

1) Nid shooting comes in 2 varieties. Stunners and Killers. Hive Guard and Tyrano's are your killer varieties. High ST and Consistant hitters (yes, even if you only hit once on ST10 it still counts as consistant). There is another version of shooting used by Nidz and utilized by Hive Tyrants, Carnifexes, and Harpies. These are generally Heavy Venom Cannons or even to an extent TL-Devs. The single shot at St9 small blast isn't consistant enough to move it to a killer's spot but it will generally at least stun some of the enemy vehicles. Same can be said for TL-Devs and transports. (Inspired by Nurglitch

Playstyle:

Aggressive
Now I'm a very aggressive player with any army I pick up but it's more important with Nidz than any other army I play and here is why:

The only think holding back in early turns does is generally leave you out of position at the end of the game. This is especially true with Nidz as their speed means you need to be thinking about where your going to be turn 5 and how your going to get there. You need to start thinking this the moment deployment is finished. Nidz are a harder army for people to wrap their minds around because deployment and movement are so critical for them. The largest mistakes most newer (and not a few older) tournament players make is that they fail to plan for the objectives starting from round 1. This affects your offensive target priority and most importantly your movement phase. With Nidz in say an objective game you need to look at the objective locations and decide what is going to be where at the end of the game and then play it. Always pressuring the enemy but also always moving toward your goals. Basically be aggressive but not mindlessly and treat Nidz more like a game of chess or fantasy. This turn isn't enough for Nidz like it is for armies with transports. Turn after next is where you need to be.

Reserved Based Play
(Janthkin)
A more general observation on Reserves-based play.

One of the strengths of the Codex comes from the multiple axes of threat available. Consider: on turn 2, your opponent should be concerned about assaults from: infiltrating genestealers, outflanking genestealers, Trygons, spawned termagants, gargoyles, and/or Ymgarl. These units could be approaching his lines from almost every possible direction. There may also be spore pods full of nasty shooting (Zoanthropes) landing at the same time. And the rest of the Tyranid swarm is still closing in on his lines, probably arriving around turn 3, doing things like giving those 'stealers Feel No Pain.

Obviously, to get the most mileage out of multiple threats, you need them to arrive at the same time, in the right place. This is where the Swarmlord's special rules really shine. But even without a Reserves bonus, your plethora of options has already impacted your opponent's deployment and first turn or two of movement - he has to be wary of the short board edges during deployment & movement, if you have outflanking units; he has to be wary of ALL area terrain (out to an 18" bubble around the entire footprint of the terrain) if you have Ymgarl; he has to have a plan for 18 'stealers with cover saves and FNP, who infiltrated 18" from his units; he has to protect valuable mechanized targets from podding Zoanthropes.

The ability to force an opponent to REACT to your movements on the tabletop is a great advantage; the Tyranid Codex offers options that force an opponent to react before you've even committed to a course of action.


Sample Lists:

These follow my playstyle. I'll also include a 1,500pt list from Shep (another poster here) that is very solid.

2,000 Fast Assault List:

Parasite of Montrax
Hive Tyrant w/Wings, TL-Dev, BS/LW, Leech, Paroxysm, Old Adversary

3x2 Hive Guard or 2x3 Hive Guard depending on preference

10 Devourer Gaunts
11 Fleshborer Gaunts
2xTervigon w/Adrenal Glands, Poision, Catalyst (FnP), Large Blast

2x20 Gargoyles w/Poison, Adrenal Glands

2xTrygon w/Adrenal Glands

2,000 Hammer List:

2xPrime w/Poison, LW/BS, Deathspitter

3x2 Hive Guard

2x10 Fleshborer Gaunts
2xTervigon w/Adrenal Glands, Poision, Catalyst (FnP), Large Blast

30 Gargoyles w/Poison and Adrenal Glands

2xTrygons w/Adrenal Glands
2 Carnifex w/Dual Scything Talons and Frag Spines

Shep's 1,500pt List:

Tervigon w/Poison, Toxin Sacs

3x2 Hive Guard

2x10 Gaunts
2xTervigon w/Onslaught, Poison, Toxin Sacs

2xTyrannofexes w/Rupture Cannon

From Yermom:

Swarmlord 280
guard 60

5 ymgarls 115
2 zoans- spore pod 160
2 zoans- spore pod 160

15 Stealers 210
5 stealers 70
5 stealers 70
Tervigon- catalyst adrenals toxin sacs 195
10 gaunts

Trygon- adrenals 210
Trygon- adrenals 210
Trygon- adrenals 210

This message was edited 30 times. Last update was at 2010/10/01 08:46:29


Best Painted (2015 Adepticon 40k Champs)

They Shall Know Fear - Adepticon 40k TT Champion (2012 & 2013) & 40k TT Best Sport (2014), 40k TT Best Tactician (2015 & 2016)

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






I guess Ill comment...
First, on tervigons and crushing claws. In my opinion, the crushing claws are a mandatory upgrade if any other upgrade is taken. They increase the CC from 50%-66% depending on if you are charging or not, for only 13% more points in the most common config. Consider the total of the tervigons abilities, in no particular order:
1) create ~23 gaunts
2) share adrenal, toxin, counterattack, LD10 to gaunts in range, with the threat of damage when the tervigon dies.
3) cast 1 psychic power
4) synapse
5) 1 s5 large blast shooting attack
6) close combat

The tervigons #1 ability has a point value equiv of 115 points, meaning the base beast is ~45 points. #3 is only useful if you buy a good power, but its a low cost overall and still situational. Synapse is useful if you are taking gants, and as the tervigon mandates gant use, its total usefulness is somewhat distorted by a self propagating need. s5 shooting is not fantastic, but not useless either.

So, basicly, 45 points gets you 3-4 s5 armor penetrating attacks, while 65 points gives the creature and all beasts around it furious and toxin, and 80 gets the nifty power. So a better comparison for claws is 80 for 3-4 attacks and 25 for 2 extra attacks. So still claws are a 31% increase for 50-66% more attacks. The only time claws are not so hot is when you take no upgrades at all, as on the charge simply having more tervigons will be better than fewer tervigons with upgrades.

My end point is, if you are going to take any upgrade, the claws are worth it. If you are going to keep the beast naked, then forget the claws.

As an aside, genestealers got no real mention in this article, which I think is an issue. From my experience, stealers are my best performing units after hive guard. Taken as 7 with a broodlord (BL has scytal) runs 160 points. For that, you get a fantastic infiltrating unit that puts almost as much pressure on most guard armies as 3 hiveguard might. The reason is simple: guard cant gun them down fast enough.

Sure they can use the heavy flamers on the chimeras, but if deployed correctly and spread out, you should only lose 1 stealer and have a wound on the BL per heavy flamer used. Then you get to hit the chimera on 4's since it shot at you. Meanwhile, any tank other than a chimera or a single hydra means the stealers will easily make their points back.

As a final note, I disagree that toxin is hugely useful on gargoyles. Sure, when facing t4 the reroll to wound is nice, but in general the blinding poison will be doing the majority of your wounds.

8 gargs with adrenal, 2 FB t4 W, 2.6 BP W, 2.66 T4 W = 7.2
7 gargs with adrenal+toxin, 1.75 FB t4 W, 2.3 BP W, 3.5 T4 W = 7.55

So in one of the best case senarios (t4), gargs without toxin deal only .35 less wounds, at 56 points of gargs, but with more bodies are more resilant to small arms on the way in.
   
Made in au
Malicious Mandrake





I agree with DevianID with his point on genestealers. My personal experience is only running a mono-stealer army, and only at <1250pts. The way I like to run stealers is 7-strong + Blord, outflank in and charge units in CC. The perfect this about 7-strong squads is that they hit hard enough to win CC by a small margin, the Blord nullifies the powerfist/sword, and the enemy passes Ld check to stay in CC for a round, saving the stealers from shooting. This way, the stealers kill enough on the first round to still be a threat from shooting, and you allocate wounds to the Blord so that you win combat by a small margin. In your opponent's phase, you finish the squad, leaving you free to charge + kill something tasty in your phase.

The Blord essentially guarantees you win combat by a small margin, as you effectively decide how many wounds you take by allocating them to him. Also, his survivability is underrated. 3 T5 wounds doesn't sound like much, but it is really quite good when you have 3 or four such squads.

My advice to newbies running a stealer-centric army: (only at less than 1250pts)

-Bare prime as HQ, walks on from your edge.
-Replace prime with tervi if you have the pts.
-3 squads of 7 stealers + Blords w/ scytals (just the broodlord, not the stealers) as troops, outflank.
- 1 Squad of 7 toxinstealers, outflank and gang-bash a powerful unit that a Blord stealer squad might not beat.
- Hive Guard as elites. 3 or 4 should do.
-Ymgarls are a godsend. A unit of 7-8, or two units of five. Multi-assaulting shooty units is win.
-Spore Mines, for giggles.

Just my stealer-centric thoughts.

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Hulksmash wrote:
Deathleaper: Personally to expensive for me and he eats a slot I need so I have 0 experience with him. I'd be absolutely stoked if someone could fill this in with how they run him, why, and their success so far along with against what style of army.



Some people use Deathleaper as psychic defense or counter-defense. He lowers the leadership of an enemy psyker, reducing not only his ability to cast, but also the effectiveness of his psychic hood (if applicable). For armies that depend on catalyst, onslaught or other close-up powers, or against space wolves and their MC-killing living lightning powers, it can be worth the relatively reasonable cost.

What, no love for genestealers?

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Left out raveners too.

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Great idea for this Hulksmash.. in fact, I'd go so far as to say that these "expert" living tacticas should either be pinned at the top, OR get their own forum as well. My advice would be to change the first post, since these tend to get really long really fast.


   
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Southeastern PA, USA

GREAT thread! My $0.02 on some of the rending claw platforms:

Genestealers

I've been kinda "meh" on them myself, and really don't see them as core anymore. I've just lost far too many expensive stealers to cheap and plentiful flamers.

Having said that, I recognize that others seem to have had a lot more success with them fielded in very large broods and/or with BLs attached. I've been meaning to try these tactics, but frankly have been busy monkeying around with other stuff. Right now my thinking is that -- like a lot of other Tyranid choices -- you have to plan and build around them, and that plugging in a unit of 10 with toxin sacs into a given Tyranid army isn't putting them in the right position to succeed.

Ymgarls

I really like them, and think they're competitive in the right army. Yes, they're a little random. However, their threat radius is shockingly large when you consider you take the diameter of the area terrain piece and then add the move, fleet and assault distance to that.

Something I like to do to give me a smidge of extra distance is to deploy them with just the edge of their bases on the area terrain base. The Dormant rule only says they need to be "within" area terrain, and I believe the RAW interpretation means that hanging the bases this way meets that qualification.

They aren't complete beatsticks, but they work nicely as a scalpel against choice infantry targets and can easily multicharge transports and give you some valuable shakes and stuns. Experienced players will know this and deploy accordingly, but now you're playing mindgames with your opponent and hopefully creating other opportunities for yourself. And if he deploys first and denies you any decent deployment options for your Ymgarls, you can always just shrug and deploy them normally.

Raveners

I like them because of something I've said here before -- they're surprisingly "plug and play." Because they have beasts movement instead of wings, they operate in a variety of army builds. They can advance cozily behind a screen in a slow slogging list, apply early pressure in a fast slogging list, and even deep strike for free in a drop list.

The thing to keep in mind is that they aren't Shrikes. Elite CC units are gonna beat them down. But they'll hold their own against the medium hitters. I've found medium to large broods to be better, as small broods tend to lose effectiveness quickly with a casualty or two. Larger broods can also help you set up multicharges of transports, which they can most definitely damage with rending claws. I've tried to find a use for their thorax weaponry, but they've always seemed too expensive for weapons that I rarely get to fire (because I'm running them).

While I don't think Ravs are top-level competitive, IMO they're more solid than some people give them credit for and at the very least worth a look in mid-level competitive armies.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/09/28 15:59:53


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Kinda agree on Raveners; i find them quite efficient, mostly due to their 29-24" charge range, which is something that is lacking in this new version of the codex.
A brood of 6 is a minimumto be effective though, which makes them quite expensive.


Ymgarls are also a good surprise, they can be a pain in the a** for backyard units, or even come in handy in support of a melee.
Even small units can deny effectively an area of terrain, and they're quite versatile with their adaptive rule.


Deathleaper, even though expensive, is efficient against any list with a single psyker (anything but Wolves most of the time).
It can come in support of ymgarls, can be put aside to make a side shot on a support vehicle, then vanish to reappear hidden.
It's clearly not a fighting character, and should be kept safe.
140 pts can be really worth it when allowing to cast a successful FNP on a large ravener unit =)

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/09/28 16:19:23


 
   
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Halifax

It would be nice to see actual tactics described rather than rather vague statements made about units.

For example, I've noticed that large units of small bugs can survive fairly well outside of Synapse, and that depending on a Tervigon to provide bonuses to Termagants clumps them up for blast and template weapons, and serves your opponent a target for his anti-tank weapons.

Similarly, Lictors can serve a purpose for assassinating troublesome enemy models like Space Wolf Rune Priests, and do better at it than the Deathleaper by being half the price. Incidentally they have Assault Grenades, which are handy for locking up units until you can bring in a swarm or a monster to mop up.

Then there's the purpose of Tyranid shooting: using Venom Cannons to Stun, Shake, and Immobilize vehicles so you can bring the hammer down on them, and pinning down enemy infantry in cover so you can assault them without requiring indigenous Assault Grenades.
   
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@Flavius

Added the psychic defense on Deatleaper. It was late and I forgot to put but credited ya for it.

@Matt

Yeah, i'm gonna be updating the main post. It's easier this way.

@Devian

I'm going to have to disagree on the claws being mandatory. The last thing I want is the big guy in combat. Remember that if he's already pooped out (likely toward the time he'd wind up in combat) then your down to a finite number of troops. This being the case the big guy is the most resilient scoring unit left. And he's bad enough in combat that 1-3 extra attacks at WS3 aren't going to help much. Basically he has more important things to do that to be fighting in my opinion.

I did add your bit on Genestealers as you and Gutrip do seem to have a similar take and it makes sense. Expect the Genestealers to get updated more as time goes on.

On Gargoyles I'd have to disagree. Your generally doing 25% more damage for a 14% cost increase. You can also now wound any higher toughness units on a 4+ (Plague Marines, Bikers, DP's) which increases your effectiveness after round 1. As odds are you aren't going to break or kill and entire unit on the charge. With Gargoyles you need to plan for 2-4 rounds of combat (depending on supporting units and abilities). Gargoyles are a unit that excell in the syngergy of the Nid list or that make a decent cheap smash and grab. 20 on the charge will kill 5 marines with poison and 4 without. That's the difference in winning and losing combat.

@Nurglitch

It's a starting point. People need to understand the units before we branch into tactics. But your contributions will help. I'm going to be constantly updating the main post with new ideas, tactics, and uses for units. I'll probably have to reformat along the way but it'll be worth it for new and old Nid players. But I'd have to disagree with the the clumping statement about Gaunts and Tervigon bonuses. Only one gaunt needs to be within range meaning you don't have to clump at all. Also in regards to the Lictors this is primarily meant to be a Competitive tactica. If you've got experience that doesn't rely on your opponent screwing up with lictors that can enhance the army I'm totally down to add it. But the instances you describe don't work unless your opponent makes a mistake. Ymgarl's work better for backfield work in general and you can get quite a few for the same cost as 2 lictors.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/09/28 17:26:23


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Halifax

I suppose it's a starting point, but it would be better to describe units in specific terms, and leave evaluative terms for the descriptions of actual tactics.
   
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One thing I like about Deathleaper (unless I am totally missing something) is that he is actually impossible to kill, until the last round when he can be contesting--and then only if the Tyranid player goes first. "Where'd it go!" allows Deathleaper to be removed any movement phase that Deathleaper is more than 1", and does not specify that it cannot be the same round as Chemelonic Skin. Also, Deathleaper automatically reappears each later round. This makes him perfect for contesting an "unreachable" objective and guaranteeing the LD penalty to a psycher for the whole game. Also, Deathleaper does not Deepstrike, which makes it almost impossible to stop--mystics don't help, for example, and it can be placed in upper levels of ruins, etc.

Raveners I have found to be very nice (counter) charge unit to move with a Swarmlord/walking tyrant. They can lock up a unit that is otherwise too fast to catch reliably.

My own oddity has been to quasi-regularly field Biovores. I have found them to be suprisingly useful. I hate s4 ap4 now instead of s3 ap3, but large blast makes them at least plausibly useful. Depending on how your groups deal with multiple pinning weapons firing the pinning effect can be a nice bonus. I tend to use (2 or 3 of) them as back up fire for Hive Guard, once the transport is opened, the biovores can hit the infantry. They are also one of the Tyranids that can reliably fire on round 1 every game.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Regarding the parasite. . .
I like it too, but it needs to be used with caution--especially in multi-game tournements. This may be painfully obvious, but its ability to generate rippers is not optional.
In annihilation scenarios (and such) it is possible for your opponent to milk a couple of points by outflanking extra units. And you are potentially generating more points in each round of cc.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2010/09/28 19:08:56


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Halifax

I can't find anything in the Codex or the FAQ preventing the Deathleaper from popping on and off the board with Chameleonic Skin and Where'd It Go?, but doing so is going to prevent it from using its Pheromone Trail to help bring in other bugasaurs. Probably better to find a quiet corner of the battlefield to camp if you want to guarantee the Deathleaper is going to survive till the end of the game. I'd rather get my Lictors in early and hunting enemy Independent Characters, heavy weapon crews like Long Fangs, and other stuff that needs assassinating early in the game.

Something else worth mentioning is that the FAQ states that the Lictor's Pheromone Trail reserve bonus is cumulative with the Hive Tyrant's Hive Commander bonus and the Swarmlord's Alien Cunning bonus. With a Hive Tyrant and the Swarmlord your reserves are coming in on 2+ on Turn 2, and then automatically once a unit of Lictors arrives and survives.
   
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@Kirsanth

Added your tactic for contesting and using Deathleaper with a slight addendum at the end of it.

@Nurglitch

Using all of the additional abilities for modifying reserves sounds really good until you start looking at the price tag for all of those modfications. I'm not totally sold on the Reserve Nid army because I feel like any advantage you could wring from it wouldn't match up to the sure thing you can do with a more standard army.

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@ Nurglitch
The second part is why the first part is less relevant. If you need reserve bonuses there are other options.

At least for my own play, I do not use reserves very much, and even so I have found pheremone trail to be only mildly helpful. There are too many variables to make it something to count on. Swarmlord + Hive Tyrant + phermon trail is hard to justify in points even in high point games.

Being able to 100% know that Deathleaper will be around every game turn penalizing a character's LD, and probably contesting an objective is usually worth the Elite slot.

Editing to add:
Thanks, Hulksmash. For starting this more than adding my 2 cents.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/09/28 19:28:25


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@Nurglitch -- I find it very rare that Pheromone Trail reserve bonuses help out. The combination of starting in reserves but not helping from reserves means it's often irrelevant by the time it has a chance to operate. (Edit: Ninja'ed on that point.)

I've been wanting to experiment with using Lictors to guide in precision Mawloc strikes, but I'm not even hypothesizing that it's a top-level competitive tactic...just potentially entertaining.

I will say that one thing about Lictors that people overlook at first glance is their durability when deployed in cover.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/09/28 19:33:06


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Hulksmash wrote:@Flavius

Added the psychic defense on Deatleaper. It was late and I forgot to put but credited ya for it.



Aw, I don't deserve credit for that. It's a really widespread idea, and anyway I didn't think of it either. I read it somewhere else.

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It's more about who adds it to the conversation. No matter where they get it from Everyone who contributes in anyway useful should be acknowledged.

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Halifax

There's definitely a premium to having the absurd 2+ reserve rolls on Turn 2, but consider that you only need the Hive Commander or the Swarmlord for a solid 3+. Add in a unit of Lictors, and that's good odds of Turn 3+ reserves being automatic. You get +1 bonus per Lictor.

So:
Turn 2: 3+
Turn 3: 2+ (automatic with a Lictor)
Turn 4: Automatic.

I don't think you should reserve everything, but consider the impact on an army when you have stuff deep-striking, popping out with Chameleonic Skin, outflanking, infiltrating, and whatnot.
   
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Nurglitch wrote: You get +1 bonus per Lictor.
Err. . .why?
It does not seem to read that way.

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Halifax

The FAQ says: "Q: Is the reserve roll bonus for having the Hive Tyrant with the Hive Commander ability cumulative with the reserve roll bonuses granted by a Lictor's Pheromone Trail and/or the Swarmlord's Alien Cunning rules? A: Yes."

The Codex says, Forces of the Tyranids: Lictors, p.41: "Pheromone Trail: If a Lictor is on the board at the beginning of the Movement phase, the Tyranid player adds +1 to any of his reserve rolls."

So a Lictor adds +1 to reserve rolls, and it's cumulative since 'and/or' means that a Lictor's Pheromone Trail can grant reserve roll bonuses.
   
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I had read all of that as meaning that the +1 stacks with other rules, but not with itself.
Which is to say +1 for ANY Lictors, not +1 per Lictor.

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San Jose, CA

One set of focused comments, and then some musings.

On Genestealers:
1) Very small (5-6) 'stealer units can't do much except try and outflank onto objectives (or kill Tau). Little value to poison.
2) Moderately-sized 'stealer units (8-12) can kill 1 unit; attrition will then drop them into category 1. Decent value to poison, as it helps against the harder targets (daemon princes, terminators).
3) Large 'stealer units (16-20) can kill 1 unit; attrition will then drop them into category 1. Larger size means you can infiltrate across the board, greatly increasing threat radius while still keeping a cover save. Little value to poison, as you probably have enough attacks for everything except full-sized ork squads.
4) Large 'stealer units with Catalyst support are insanely good; not only do you have the cover save/infiltrate advantages of large units, you've now also getting FNP against failed cover saves/cover denying weapons. My 18-man 'stealer unit w/FNP has repeatedly eaten a whole turn of Tau shooting, while still having 6-8 models survive.

Outflanking is good for disrupting your enemy a bit. This disruption is significantly improved if you have an additional disruption element - Ymgarl are great for this (7-8 is plenty).

Zoanthropes are good in a pod. They're actually fine on foot, too - the targets you'll really want them for (Land Raiders, Battlewagons) are going to be driving towards you anyway.

I've never had 2 squads of Hive Guard. I've also never said "If I only I had more Hive Guard, instead of my Ymgarl!"

The Swarmlord is a lovely fellow, and I prefer him to a Tyrant of any sort. He does two things: 1) he's a force-multiplier, in that he can toss Preferred Enemy around where it's needed (say, that unit of Gargoyles), as well as improving the availability (and reliability) of outflanking reserves; and 2) he's about the best counter-assault unit available, making him perfect to escort your Tervigons to the middle of the board.

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Since I do the usual spod of a zoanthrope brood, I've started throwing down a spod with 15 dev terms as well. Multiple threats and a lot of dakka works well. Plus the spods can try to block los/vehicle driving to deter more shooting from the approaching horde.

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A more general observation on Reserves-based play.

One of the strengths of the Codex comes from the multiple axes of threat available. Consider: on turn 2, your opponent should be concerned about assaults from: infiltrating genestealers, outflanking genestealers, Trygons, spawned termagants, gargoyles, and/or Ymgarl. These units could be approaching his lines from almost every possible direction. There may also be spore pods full of nasty shooting (Zoanthropes) landing at the same time. And the rest of the Tyranid swarm is still closing in on his lines, probably arriving around turn 3, doing things like giving those 'stealers Feel No Pain.

Obviously, to get the most mileage out of multiple threats, you need them to arrive at the same time, in the right place. This is where the Swarmlord's special rules really shine. But even without a Reserves bonus, your plethora of options has already impacted your opponent's deployment and first turn or two of movement - he has to be wary of the short board edges during deployment & movement, if you have outflanking units; he has to be wary of ALL area terrain (out to an 18" bubble around the entire footprint of the terrain) if you have Ymgarl; he has to have a plan for 18 'stealers with cover saves and FNP, who infiltrated 18" from his units; he has to protect valuable mechanized targets from podding Zoanthropes.

The ability to force an opponent to REACT to your movements on the tabletop is a great advantage; the Tyranid Codex offers options that force an opponent to react before you've even committed to a course of action.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2010/09/28 20:52:18


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Eternal Plague

Hulksmash:

I like this format. Informative, concise, and highlights meta trends and anything else that may change the viability of units not listed as competitive models for a competitive army.

One question: What happens if the OP stops updating a thread like this?

Have you considered the viability of a Venomthrope within an army?

Given a situation wherein the field has little terrain in which your units may hide behind, for a measly 55 points, one Venomthrope gives all your critters within 6" of him a 5+ cover save. For units that do not have good saves (gaunts) or may be hit with AP ignoring shots, having one around gives you a viable +5 cover save under most circumstances and a decent defense versus assaults, especially for units that do not wish to be assaulted (e.g. shooty Carnifexes and Tervigons).

Downsides: 1 Venomthrope can be killed easily. Also, unless you can get it out of LOS hiding behind terrain or somewhere else, it can be torn to pieces. It has limited offensive capabilities, but does have very good defensive aspects.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/09/28 21:02:43


   
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Fayetteville

Interesting thread so far.

What are you doing to mitigate the general lack of assault grenades for the assault units like stealers and raveners? I like raveners, but with their 12" charge I find it hard to pull off getting them into assault without a difficult terrain test.

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Arschbombe wrote:Interesting thread so far.

What are you doing to mitigate the general lack of assault grenades for the assault units like stealers and raveners? I like raveners, but with their 12" charge I find it hard to pull off getting them into assault without a difficult terrain test.


Hmm...interestingly enough, I have not seen too many of those critters running around for straight on charging.

I have seen Stealers used as counter-charge units that join a melee after it has started. 2 minimal units with Broodlord upgrade have been effective in counter-charging units that have attacked an MC that has not gone down yet and will probably not survive the combat. Alternately, they can also be used to punish side armor when they Outflank and opponents are not smart enough to keep their vehicles away from table edges.

Raveners I have seen almost nothing from them.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2010/09/28 21:26:28


   
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@Warone

I can't say I'll always be updating this. But I think that if we can get it stickied that after the first week or 2 it won't need as much updating except for when new codexes come out. I'd prefer to get this stickied somehow for just that reason but I don't know if it'll happen.

As to the Venomthrope the Elite sections is just plain and simply to full. Between Hive Guard, Zoans, Deathleaper, and Ymgarls there just isn't enough space to generally fit them in. I did forget to put them and pyrovore's (or whatever) into the elite review but honestly I don't think they have a place. I should probably at least mention that so people don't think I forgot.

@Arschbombe

Generally I personally use FnP to mitigate not having grenades. Helps a ton to the point where if Stealers were charging a tack squad (or equivalent) in cover they would generally only lose 1ish model before striking.

@Janth

Added your take on Genestealers and the Reserved based play style to the Tactica. Thanks for contributing as you one of the few tourney players that I know that runs Nids almost exclusively and has a had some solid success with them.

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I find venomthropes to be useful in 'hammer' type armies, where you are running Mcs down the board. I consider a 1/3 reduction in the number of wounds your front line mcs are taking to be a valid use of an elite slot.
   
 
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