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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Armies in 5th: Tyranids Part 3: Midfield core

We've looked so far at what makes the Tyranid army effective in Mech dominated 5th edition, the ability to minimise shooting coming from mech armies and the speed with which to not be out-dictated in play but how do they cope with the midfield aspect of the game? One word. Tervigons! The best of Tyranid midfield is exemplified through this one model (which you have to make yourself...). The ability to improve all Termgaunts significantly and any other units defensive or mobility options for ~200 pts? Okay! Oh btw it's T6/W6/3+ and scoring. Oh and makes new units. Oh and I predicted a mommy tyranid (Smurfy back me up please!).

Whilst a full reserve/spore army is generally not going to need Tervigons, most lists will be greatly bolstered by 2 (which means 2 units of Termaguants, too). Whilst this doesn't seem like a lot on paper, the birthing ability and exponential increase in Termaguant ability the Tervigons provide cannot be seen on paper. This is before you include the powers of Onslaught or Catalyst. However, like any good midfield unit, their killing power isn't what you would expect for their points. With poor WS/I/A for an MC they are certainly weaker in combat which is really where their bolstering abilities come into play. Counter-attack, Furious charge, poison, Ld10 Termaguants? Yes! These guys can quickly become a mass that overwhelms most opponents and have pretty fair stats. Only downside is once those Tervigons go down they take down a fair chunk of Termaguants, too.

That being said a midfield can be composed completely of 3 Tervigons and 3 Termaguant squads + whatever is pooped out (see Stelek's 2500 list). However, at 2k points I think 2 Tervigons are best as it becomes a trade-off between firepower/close combat ability and buffs. It's like markerlights, they are a great addition to an army but there becomes a point where they can be ignored because once the killy elements start falling the buff bonuses aren't that scary. So once this trade-off is taken into account, what else can we add to the Tervigons and Termaguants to bolster our midfield? My personal preference is Warriors. They provide more choices forced upon your opponent, can carry a heavy weapon and can be quite good in combat. They will get quite expensive though once equipped boneswords, toxin/adrenal and a heavy weapon.

So what else is there? Genestealers, Hormaguants and Rippers. Hormaguants are an excellent close-combat addition and I believe they are best utilised in a list which takes Raveners as it adds weight of numbers behind those beasts and have the speed to help them out whilst the rest of the army arrives. I think these are the Troops of choice alongside Warriors when Tervigons aren't taken for whatever reason (i.e. reserves list). Genesteals I think are too expensive for what they do and Raveners are able to do it better being beasts. They are an excellent delivery system for Broodlords now but at 17pts a piece (poison), expensive. I'd rather 1 Ravener for every 2 Genestealers. What about Rippers? They can be a pretty good tarpit choice for anything w/o S6 but they really put emphasis on synapse with their mindless rule. Other than that they don't really do anything better than Termaguants and Termaguants are plain better when you add in the Tervigons buffs.

Overall Tervigons/Termaguants are going to be your staple midfield but you're going to need something with a bit more oomph. Whilst you don't have to get this from your Troops (i.e. Swarmlord) Warriors and Hormaguants are excellent choices which can still benefit from Tervigon buffs (i.e. Catalyst) whilst providing more choices for your opponent to make. Remember though, buffs are great but don't focus so much on the buffs you don't have any presence in midfield.

It seems like I've covered most of the book with these 3 general topics, go me. I'll prob split up the articles into utility and leaders next but may put them together, we shall see.

3 pinkments:

Raptor1313 said...

I find myself favoring Catalyst so far for a support power. FNP gives your gribblies durability, and helps them to resist No Retreat! wounds. Then something nastier piles into it.

I think that generally, the Warriors benefit the most out of Feel No Pain, since it's pretty much ignoring small arms fire and standard melee past that.

In a pinch, Tervigons are still mosntrous creatures when it comes to taking out nearby tanks, but I'd keep them out of melee past that. No sense in handing off No Retreat! wounds, since I'm a wee bit doubtful of Termies in combat, even if they have some buffs.

Every time I think about a list without Tervies...well...for ~500ish points, it's just a bloody solid support core.

As usual, good roundup.

Kirby said...

FNP does provide some insane survival levels in regards to point cost. A teramguant squad in cover suddenly suffers a 25% death rate from bolters (this was what was able to save me in a game versus Smurfy's bikers for example). Otherwise it makes more durable units, more durable (i.e. MCs, Warriors, Raveners, etc.) and forces the opponent to use double strength and AP2/1 weapons if they want to take them down. It becomes a trade-off with Onslaught though if you take both. Being able to run T-Fexes in front of your army and still shoot can provide a lot of survivability for the rest of your army through cover saves, particularly against armies w/o much ranged AP2/1 guns.

Agree on the MC/tank sense and this harks back to what Tyranid shooting is all about. Stop movement = easy to hit in combat. Termaguants aren't your "assault force" but having 4+ squads of 5pt models which score, WS3, poison, furious charge, counter-attack, Ld10, etc. Ya I'll take that. As you said, for 500 points? Done.

Chumbalaya said...

Excellent write up.

Tervigons are awesome, easily my favorite new addition even when compared to Hive Guard and Trygons. They do so much that it's hard for me to think of anything that makes them worth replacing.

Catalyst is sweet, but I'm warming up to Onslaught too. Hive Guard only have that 24" range, with onslaught they can hit just about anything with a good run roll. It's even better with Zoanthropes.

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