Saturday, 14 January 2012

1,850pt Tyranid Drop-Spore List for Caledonian Uprising

Next weekend sees the hungry hordes of the Scottish ETC team descend upon our green and pleasant English lands (or more accurately, Mansfield). The Caledonian Uprising, as this year's tournament is called, promises six games at 1,850pts and with the novelty of special/unique characters and units being allowed. Apparently the reason for the diametric shift in allowing these models is that the European tournament scene is moving that way. I rather suspect that someone realised that their Draigowing Grey Knights army wouldn't be legal, so promptly changed the rules! Seriously though, the newer codexes do rely heavily on unique characters unlocking certain playstyles, something I'm totally  in support of. 

For the tournament I'll be taking my untried and untested Tyranids: 

HQ - Hive Tyrant (170), Wings (60), Powers: Paroxysm & Leech Essence, Hive Commander (25), Heavy Venom Cannon (replaces Scything talons) (25) = Total 280
EL - The Doom of Malan’tai (90), APC - Mycetic Spore (40)  = Total 130
EL - 2 x Zoanthrope (2 x 60), APC - Mycetic Spore (40) = Total 160
EL - 2 x Zoanthrope (2 x 60), APC - Mycetic Spore (40) = Total 160
TRP - 10 x Termagant (10 x 5) = Total 50
TRP - Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15), Adrenal Glands (10), Toxin Sacs (10), Scything Talons (5), Regeneration (30)  = Total 230
TRP - 11 x Termagant (11 x 5) = Total 55
TRP - Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15) , Adrenal Glands (10), Toxin Sacs (10), Scything Talons (5), Regeneration (30) = Total 230
TRP - 9 x Genestealer (9 x 14) = Total 126
HVY - Carnifex (160), Twin-linked Devourers w/Brain-Leech Worms (15), Heavy Venom Cannon (25), Frag Spines (5), APC - Mycetic Spore (40) = Total 245
FA - 4 x Ravener (4 x 30), Deathspitters (4 x 10), Rending Claws (4 x 5) = Total 180
GRAND TOTAL 1,846pts

I have actually played one practise game against club-mate Dave Poolley and his fantastically-painted Space Wolves, and the results were less than overwhelming!  My list is a stretched version of the reasonably successful 1,750pt Drop-Spore list which I enjoyed using at December's Blog Wars II tournament. The new list  includes one less Carnifex, and instead adds 9 Genestealers and 4 shooty Raveners. It turns out that adding these elite-ish infantry units has completely broken the synergy of the original list! They are just too easy to kill, and having to remain stationary when they deepstrike is a recipe for disaster for the Raveners. 

The reason for the untested list is simple - I work away a lot, and the few weeks before the list deadline saw me travelling to Cardiff and Glasgow. So, I approach the tournament with some trepidation! I am of course looking forward to seeing a lot of top guys again, but I'm less than confident that my list is anywhere near optimal. Let's see how it goes!  


  1. it sounds a good list.

    i find just running raveners across the table is normally the best tactic for them. like you said when they pop up they

  2. Can I just say that you'll miss having Hive Guard.

    I've been looking at Nids myself over the past few weeks and two things came to my mind: The Doom and Broodlords. The Doom I'm not sold on though because you want him coming down late game when the enemy has been demeched and you can cause havoc amongst his units for maximum benefit and he's still a bit squishy with his T4 despite having up to 10 wounds.

    Broodlords are a different beast though: if you pop one of those into a big Stealer horde you can buy vital psychic protection against GK units like Purifiers and Force Weapons with SitW. Plus, he's able to take extra damage on the way in keeping your other Stealers alive for a bit extra. The only thing is I don't know if he's worth it in a small unit of gribblies compared to a larger unit.

    Seeing as you can't change your list now though, I reckon you'll need to be hiding/outflanking those Stealers to keep them alive and you'll have to throw away those Zoans to demech stuff and buy time for your grunts to get into position Good luck with it.

  3. Hey guys! Thanks for the comments, they're always welcome. My limiting factors are really time and money - I work away a fair bit so when I'm home I try and spend time with CP (my missus) so that stops me building too many new models. And with a baby on the way in a few months time I'm told that apparently 'there's better things to spend money on'. Obviously as a longtime gamer I disagree but I think 'er indoors does have a point this time!

    The plan for the army is indeed to reserve everything in most missions - I only tend to start with Tervigons on the board (hidden as much as possible) in multiple objectives games. The Zoanthropes and shooty Carnifex are there to crack transports open, and are pretty reliable - I can usually pop open at least two Rhinos on turn two, which gives the spawned infantry something to tie up in later turns.

    So the plan is really quite simple - drop in behind transports and shoot their side/rear aspects with the expendable (but still hard to kill) Zoanthropes. The Tervigons and Termagants then move up to mop up the exposed infantry, ably assisted by the apparently-terrifying Doom (strange how people are scared of units which are actually pretty easy to eliminate).

    So of course the Raveners and Genestealers are... slightly surplus to requirements! Useful if you can keep 'em alive long enough to assault but to be honest are really in the list cos I had spare points and no other painted models! Long-term plans include the addition of two Trygons (or possibly one Trygon and one Mawloc). I think that would really strengthen the assault and fit in with the all-reserve plan which really helps to minimise the opponent's shooting.

  4. ah so deep striking the raveners fits with what you want to do. fair enough.

    i love playing mawlocs there is something quite satisfying when your opponent is more worried about what's coming up than what is running at them.

    do you find the drop pod list works well i have never tried it but it seems to much like piece mail...

  5. An all (or nearly all) reserve Tyranid army performs well because it neatly side-steps around the Tyranids' biggest failings - that is, their short shooting range and their poor 'armour'. Arriving in your opponent's face fairly reliably on turn two (using the Hive Commander special rule) means that all your guns are in range and his transports should be cracked open in relatively short order. Of course, this 'first wave' of ballistically offensive units have to be considered expendable as they will certainly be your opponent's number one target! This is fine, as the real task of the army is to bring in Troops choices in a second wave to claim objectives.

    Second big advantage of an all-reserve army is that you are denying your oppenent at least one shooting phase, if not two - it is a BIG advantage for Tyranids to go second, as you deny your opponent two shooting phases, and just as importantly give yourself the last movement phase of the game, thus ensuring you can contest or even hold objectives without the opponent being able to reply.

  6. Just to point out the reason the rules pack changed a few months back, was only a few weeks after it was released, was that the ETC rules changed to 1850pts and allowing special characters, and since this is used as the Scottish Teams qualifier for the ETC it was changed to reflect this.

  7. @54f691616f1a38252a3d11a1fb9b6cdc : Ye've got just the one qualifier though don't ye? We (Ireland) have amended our system to reflect the changes in this too and a few of the larger tourneys have moved to copy this too, although our team selection process is more drawn out and complicated. I'm not knocking it by any means though - it's just to show how the ETC is altering gaming in different countries.

  8. Yeah just the one, we don't have enough Scottish gamers that are actively interested in the ETC to warrant anymore


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