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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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Email in: Tyranids vs. Mechzilla



My name is Joe and a friend on facebook named neil koontz said to email you for advice. I am new to the game and decided to start tyranids. I understand the rules for the most part and have some learning games with chaos under my belt. I am looking to build a tyranid list that can handle the current meta game in my area. Which is mech or go home. Black Templars, CSM, SM Bikes, SM, Space Wolves and blood angels are the most played with a little dash of Eldar and Tau. 2000 points is my goal and here is what I have so far, any help would be greatly appericated.

Hive Tyrant - Heavy Venom Cannon, TL Devourer, Old Adversary, Regenration. Total 255 pts.
Tyrant Guard (2 man) - 2x Lash Whip - Total 130 pts.
Tyranid Prime - LW/BS, Regeneration - Total 105 pts.
Termagant - 10 man - 50 pts.
Termagant - 10 man - 50 pts.
Tervigon - Toxin Sacs, Regeneration - 200 pts.
Tervigon - Adrenal Glands, Regenration - 200 pts.
Hive Guard - 2 man - 100 pts.
Deathleaper - 140 pts.
Doom of Malan'tai - spore pod - 130 pts.
Heavy Support:
Trygon - Prime - 240 pts.
Carnifex - TL Devourer, Frag spines, Regeneration - 205 pts.
Mawloc - Regeneration - 195 pts.


Alright, so what we have here is a pretty good start on a Tyranid list. However, our unfortunate friends seems to be struggling against mechanized armies, and looking at the list, that isn't exactly surprising. Let's go over a couple things for a the sake of learning:

-The Tyrant has mixed weapon types. Not a big fan of this. However, he has done the smart thing and slapped Whips onto the Guard so the unit is still dangerous in CC.

-Tervigons have Regen, but no powers. At 2K points, Regeneration is becoming marginal- your Tervigons WILL die to focused fire.

-Only one squad of Hive Guard? Well, that explains why you're suffering to mech armies.

-Deathleaper + Doom are also both marginal against mech armies, especially with the recent changes in the FAQ.

-The Heavy Support slots are... a mess. The lone Carnifex doesn't know what he's doing (mini-Deathstar?), the Mawloc is pretty gratuitous, and the Trygon... well, not actually that bad, but why is he a Prime? the list already has a fair amount of Synapse and none of your monsters are really reliant on it.

Looking at things a little deeper, the list isn't sure what it's doing, all in all. MC rush? Named character swarm? Deathstars? Who knows? Furthermore, it suffers from the classic Tyranid mistake, namely lacking enough AT- especially with a purported metagame that is "mech or go home." So let's see what we can do.

We'll leave the Tyrant as-is, except we drop the Devourers for just regular LW/BS. Saves us some points. We'd like to put Old Adversary on there, but we may not have enough for it; likewise, we'll keep the Guard, although if we're coming up short we may have to dump the Lash Whips.

The Tervigons/Gants are good, but let's keep them nice and simple with Catalyst and Cluster Spines, nothing else. (Onslaught on one of them could also be a good choice, but we'll see how things come out.) Two feels a little bit light at 2K points, but if we're careful, I think we can manage.

The Trygon is fine, but we'll drop the Prime upgrade and run him bare.

Two Hive Guard are a good start- let's go ahead and add four more (so 2x3 total) to provide us with a strong tank-killing element. If you're working on the cheap, Tyranid Warriors with Venom Cannons can be an easy conversion here- search around, a lot of people have tutorials on it.

So now we need to make decisions- this is a good skeleton of an army, but from here on out we can change the focus depending on what we want to happen. Adding more Hive Guard would strengthen our anti-tank, but doesn't add much in melee and I'm worried about those BA and BT armies. (They're also very nice against Bike Marines, incidentally.) I'm not sure how common Land Raiders are around your area, but I would feel much more comfortable with at least one Tyrannofex backing me up- you can only delay it for a finite amount of time, eventually you need to kill it off. Deathleaper might be nice to show those psykers who's boss, and we can fit him in by changing the Hive Guard to 3x2 (losing some flexibility in the process).

We could also take a different tack and run a second Tyrant (with double Guard and everything), another Trygon, and keeping the Carnifex and adding a twin (less the Spines and Regen). This forces us to cut back to one squad of Hive Guard, but with 2x HVC and and a huge pile of Devourers, this is mitigatable. At this point the army becomes a real melee monster, with eight big MCs to stomp on things in combat (and all rerolling misses thanks to Old Adversary). However, its shooting is mediocre and you rely on stunning/shaking enemy vehicles to keep them silent until you can reach their lines.

So here's three different versions of how we might do things:

1 Tyrant (LW/BS, HVC, Regen, Old Adversary)
2 Tyrant Guard (Lash Whips)
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
1 Deathleaper
10 Termagants
10 Termagants
1 Tervigon (Cluster, Catalyst, Toxin, Adrenal)
1 Tervigon (Cluster, Onslaught, Toxin, Adrenal)
1 Trygon (Adrenal)
1 Trygon (Adrenal)
1 Tyrannofex (Cluster, Rupture)

(I believe there's a few points left over as well. Stripping down the various upgrades from units could net a Prime with Toxin/Boneswords, and dumping Deathleaper as well could let you fit in a second Tyrant + 1 Guard, maybe even with HVC.)

Second list:
1 Tyrant (LW/BS, HVC, OA, Regen)
2 Guard (LW)
3 Hive Guard
3 Hive Guard
2 Hive Guard
10 Termagants
10 Termagants
1 Tervigon (Cluster, Catalyst)
1 Tervigon (Cluster, Onslaught)
1 Tyrannofex (Cluster, Rupture)
1 Tyrannofex (Cluster, Rupture)
1 Trygon Prime (Adrenal)

Third List:
1 Tyrant (LW/BS, HVC, OA)
1 Tyrant (LW/BS, HVC)
2 Tyrant Guard
2 Tyrant Guard
2 Hive Guard
10 Termagants
10 Termagants
1 Tervigon (Cluster, Toxin, Onslaught)
1 Tervigon (Cluster, Onslaught)
1 Trygon
1 Trygon
2 Carnifex (2x Devourer)

The first list is a bit of a grab bag- you've got some melee, some shooting, some tricks for endgame, and a little bit of everything good from the Tyranid codex. However, it's not as focused as some other options. The second one is very simple- it intends to shoot people out of their transports and assault them. It will have some trouble with jump pack Blood Angels, though, especially if they pack a lot of Power Fists. The third list is a plain ol' assault list with just a bit of shooting to keep it functional. Onslaught is used over Catalyst in order to keep the Tyrant units moving forward at maximum speed- that d6" every turn adds up very quickly.

Hope you found these lists useful, Joe, and don't hesitate to email again if you have any other questions.

8 pinkments:

fester said...

That last list is just mean.

Well done Kirby. Don't let me ever play you, please.

Kirby said...

But I didn't write it!?

Posted by AbusePuppy at 12:42 PM

It's even at the top of posts now peoples =P (after much complaining and hoo-ha).

I think the last list would be alot better @ 2500 where you can get more HG & upgrades on the Tervigons but otherwise like the first two lists. Again though I'd prefer adrenal/toxin on the Tervigons in list 2 but that's a playstyle preference (or at least one on each).

Anonymous said...

I agree on the 3rd list needing more HG, and I'd say all of the Tervigons need catalyst, much morse so than onslaught.

2nd list is nice, but I'd go with 2 x 3 HG and save 100 points.

Together with dropping Prime on the Trygon and Regen on the Tyrant will net you a cheap 2nd Tyrant. Finding the points for a HVC (on 2nd Rant) and boneswords on the guards would be nice, but I don't think it would be achievable.

Chumbalaya said...

I like that 2nd one, but I think Hive commander would be a handy add on.

AbusePuppy said...

Taking my credit again, are you?! *shakes fist*

The third list isn't optimal, definitely, but it's at least reasonably functional. The 'Fexes provide some of the same anti-transport shots as Hive Guard, but you know you're just going to shake things instead of maybe killing them. However, I really would feel a lot more comfortable with it having some more Hive Guard. Dropping one of the Trygons is a possibility, but it leaves it a little lighter on threats. (On the other hand, 6x HG is a lot better than 2x.)

Yeah, I fiddled with that one a bit and couldn't get in a second Tyrant+Guard without compromising too many other things.

Hive Commander is certainly a possibility- I was mostly filling out points at the end and was in a bit of a hurry. Being able to improve your reserve game is useful, although I'm not sure how well that army would do it (having only the 2x T-Fexes and Tyrant come in shooting is a major limitation.)

SteelersFanJoe said...

I know my initial list was a bit odd, im not very good at list making yet as you can tell. Thank you for all the wonderful advice Abuse, I may send you another list for eval in the future.

Kirby said...

That's okay Puppy. Yes spread the love to the other authors!

Meister_Kai said...

Darn Kirby with his Eldar smartness.
Darn Abusepuppy with his Nid/Orks smartness.
Darn everyone else with their everyone else smartness.

Where is Kai's smartness? I'm smart right? I call Dark Eldar, no takesies-backsies.

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