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Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User

So I've recently finished painting/basing my first proper 40k army in my space wolves and am looking at what to start as a second army. I know I would like an army with lots of heavy monsters as they'll be a bit different to a high tech marine force from both painting and gameplay perspective. The 2 obvious choices for a monster driven list are chaos daemons using greater daemons/princes or nids, i was just wondering what people's thoughts are on which is more viable/ what the differences are between them.

Thanks in advance

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Witch Hunter Undercover in a Cult

Tyranids have a lot more variety and flexibility in their monsters. Daemons tend to get more out of mono-god lists than mixed lists so you really only have two monsters (one sort of Greater Daemon plus the Daemon Prince), and they're both aggro melee killing machines with an occasional dash of psychic support, where Tyranids can field monsters in a much broader range of roles.

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Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps

You can field a lot more monsters as nids than daemons.

I know a guy who played a 2k nid tournament list, consisting of like 16 carnifexes. He actually went 3-2 IIRC too, which is pretty cool.
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka


For Tyranids you've got a whole army of monsters - everything from a gaunt to a vast tyrannofex is a monster. You've got winged monsters, artillery, close combat, giant floating brain monsters - the list goes on!

If you want a beasty monster heavy army for 40K that is heavy on organics then I'd say go for Tyranids without question.

Chaos, as noted above, tends to have fewer monsters as such. I think if you want a more monster type army you'd want to do a chaos force built around the newer mechanical monsters that GW has released - things like the helldrake; the new spider thing; soulgrinder etc.... Then ally in some greater demons and demonic monsters like fiends and beasts of nurgle etc... So one part would be organic the other part the melted fusion of mechanical and organic components.

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Dakka Veteran

Tyranids MCs are not competitive in the slightest, so you can rule them out for that purpose
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut


Whilst some of the comments about Nid vs Chaos variety are valid, if your community is more human than anal, don't forget that there's a hell of a lot of Fantasy critters you could sub in on the Chaos side for more unique-looking Princes, Spawn or ... well any option you like, really. Fluffy too, for an army that's meant to be all about the infinite variety of mortal conception, and always fun to convert. Plus, of course, a Daemon army retains its traditional role of pulling double-duty should you wish to dabble in Fantasy in whatever form, though to stick with GW Sigmar prefers the god-split more than 40k does.
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Esteemed Veteran Space Marine

San Jose, CA

You could do chaos marine daemon engines & lord Discordant, supported by normal daemons. The new Slannesh stuff looks amazing and you could easily incorporate them into an all monster list
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Regular Dakkanaut

KurtAngle2 wrote:
Tyranids MCs are not competitive in the slightest, so you can rule them out for that purpose

Last year a guy went undefeated with a list built around eight Carnifexes and a Hive Tyrant.

Flyrants w/ Devourers and the Swarmlord are still must-have in competitive Kraken lists (universally considered the most competitive Hive Fleet). Some MCs are sub-par (Tyrannofex, Trygon and variants) and some are just bad (Maleceptor, Haruspex) but the Hive Tyrant and Carnifex both remain solid choices.

OP: I'd suggest Tyranids just for the variety of playstyles they can be configured for. If you magnetize the models, you can go from a shooty army to a melee one in minutes, plus you can easily tweak army composition as you play with them. With Daemons you're locked into a much more limited style of play.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/09/08 00:21:48

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Dakka Veteran

Daemons is a little more one-trick than Tyranids but definitely a lot more competitive while used as allies at the highest levels of play. Nids are currently pretty low tier in competitive but in casual games and semi-competitive games they are much more flexible than daemons and they are still more than strong enough to win you lots of games at your local store.

The tyranid codex is actually a lot of fun and has a lot of great build possibilities for pick up games with your friends at the local store. But if your friends all play hardcore competitive flavor-of-the-month netlists then Tyranids will have a problem since the current competitive meta REALLY hates on monsters and nids don't have great options against knights.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/09/08 01:23:52

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Mekboy Hammerin' Somethin'

Douglasville, GA

If you want ALL monsters, Nidz is pretty much the only way you can pull that off. If you just want a monster focus, consider Genestealer Cults and soup it with Nidz (and maybe AM too). You could probably build something pretty competitive there, with lots of CP to spare.
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