Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tyranid List Development

I learnt a lot about playing Tyranids at Open War this weekend, and even though 3 games isn’t enough to say anything definitive about how a list works, it’s given me a good idea of where I think my current list can be tweaked, and of the units I would like to try out.

Firstly the core of the army will be as follows:

Prime w. 2x Bone Sword & Deathspitter – 95
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Toxin Sacs & 3 powers – 225
Tervigon w. Crushing Claws, Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands & 3 powers – 225
Termagants – 50
Termagants – 50
Carnifex Brood w. 2x Twin Linked Devourers w. Brain Leech Worms – 380

Core price = 1025pts

The Prime was great but the scything talons were not that useful, I feel that by dropping Regeneration and replacing the talons with a Deathspitter he becomes more synergistic with the Carnifexes he accompanies and doesn’t really lose anything significant.

The Tervigons were “money” all weekend and I felt that the Zoanthropes were a little exposed; so by taking an additional power on the Tervigons I increase their chances of getting useful powers and they can potentially offset the buffing role of the Zoanthropes. Adding Crushing Claws to both of them as well gives them a significant boost in Close Combat making them a serious threat as well as being a scoring Mummy Bug/Unit Buffer – great value for points.

The Termegants are necessary to get the Tervigons as Troops. I think I will be more cautious with these guys in the future, probably reserving them most of the time as they proved to be very fragile.

Lastly the Carnifexes were brutal, their anti-infantry shooting is an impressive sight to behold and they’re handy in a scrap too, particularly with the Prime in tow to challenge any tricky special characters.

This give me a list at 25pts over 1000, so to make it fit into a 1000 point game I would probably just drop a set of Crushing Claws on one of the Tervigons.

In order to get up to 1500pts I think I would always add the following:

3x Hiveguard – 150
3x Hiveguard – 150
2x Zoanthrope – 120

I really noticed the lack of anti-vehicle fire-power; the Carnifexes are very good at light armour but anything over AV12 is beyond their power to damage unless they get really close. Two units of 3 Hive Guard should sort out these problems in short order, and I say this with an apology to the readers who told me before the tournament that they should be in the list. I thought I could get along without them and I really did miss them, so you were right and I will take better heed of you in the future.

My original concept was to use Zoanthropes as unit buffers and this worked reasonably well but they made for easy kill points and soft targets in general. Adding them in here is not something I’m completely set on as I could take Doom in a Pod with the points I have spare but I do believe that psychic buffs are critical to the success of Tyranids at the moment so I’m going to stick with this model for a little while at least to see if the concept works out.

With the remaining points to build towards a 1500pt list I’m probably just going to increase the number of Termagants in each unit to improve their durability. As mentioned above, units of 10 were very noticeable in just how easy they were to kill over the weekend.

From here to get to 1750 and 1850pt lists I go two different ways, in both instances I will drop some of the additional Termagants added in the last step to make the points work.

At 1750pts I would look to add a Hive Tyrant (flying or walking is yet to be decided) probably with Old Adversary. If on foot I’d want 2 Tyrant Guard and Lash Whip & Bonesword with Scything Talons and Reinforced Shell and if flying I’d go with 2x TL Devourers.

At 1850pts I would take the Parasite and one or two big units of Gargoyles (depending on the points available). Closing the distance to your opponent is so important for this army and Gargoyles supported by the Parasite have a good chance of getting there quickly and in a big enough unit they will hopefully have the bodies left to do some damage and tie up something useful once they get there.

That’s it for thoughts on the ‘nids right now, I’m off to build some Gargoyles!!


  1. Hi Andy,

    Did you find a lot of MSU Rhino armies (or the equivalent) at Open War this weekend? I know that multiple transports and tank-heavy armies were supposed to have disappeared in 6th - but is it true?

  2. The new vehicle rules certainly seem to have put people off using light transports. There may have been one semi-MSU army but that was it. No Space Wolves anywhere!!

  3. Aaaaggghhh, I've spent three years planning my armies around beating MSU (with only moderate success) and now the meta goes and changes it all up!

    Ho hum. I think my IG / Angels army for Blog Wars should at least hurt infantry and have enough guns to take out the odd tank or flyer. I'm still worried about MC's and tough deathstar units though.


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