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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tyranid army: No Hive Guard

So following on from my post in relation to Tyranids and the 'great debate' over their viability and options in 5th edition I think I'll do some lists highlighting the examples provided. The two primary examples of this were running lists without Hive Guard or Tervigons respectively. I'll do my first post on a list without Hive Guard as they are the most expensive to get (bloody metal blisters!) and hardest to convert without forking out some cash (Tervigons are pretty easy with the plastic-Fex kit).

So the main army I highlighted without Hive Guard used Zoans and Dakkafexes. Let's look at this in more detail. My 'standard' T6'R'Us list useless a lot of T6 wounds and midfield dominance from Tervigons/Termagants to move steadily across the field, suppress most armor and eventually swarm the enemy with buffed gribblies and lots of MC statlines. What the Hive Guard in this list do is provide high strength and high rate of firepower on the move and once in midfield, particularly if there is any LoS blocking terrain there, can dominate a battlefield. As discussed before, there is really nothing else which does this so we have to change the army as the HG/T-Fex/Tervigon is going to be weak in this regard. What Zoanthropes bring is short-ranged actual anti-tank but is less effective against lists with psychic defense. Otherwise, Zoans are much better at taking down actual battle-tanks and due to AP1 are more likely to wreck tanks. Zoans are also more effective anti-infantry platforms than Hive Guard as they are able to fire 3" blasts as well. Dakkafexes on the other and bring a lot of S6 firepower to the table which is also-short ranged and on a quite survivable platform. What lots of S6 does is provide very effective anti-infantry firepower and suppress armor. These platforms are still MCs which are quite powerful in CC as well.

What the combination of these two units does is overcome the lack of Hive Guard. Now, taking two units to do the job of one unit sounds backwards, after all, why not just take the one unit? However, both of these units are better than Hive Guard at their respective roles. Whilst Hive Guard are indoubtably better at dropping light mech compared to either Zoans or Dakkafexes, Zoans are much better at taking down heavy tanks and Dakkafexes are much better at suppressing light armor. However, both of these units are short-ranged (18") which is its own problem. What options does the Tyranid list have to overcome this range issue? There are T-Fexes but running both Fexstars and T-Fexes can be problematic and they, like Hive Guard, are like a cross between Dakkafexes and Zoans in being able to damage high AV armor and suppress low AV armor but do neither as well. So for the moment we'll consider one of these but isn't going to answer our problem and points will become a new problem. Harpies and Tyrants can take Heavy Venom Cannons which are also long ranged and both capable of suppression fire and anti-infantry and some more combat ability. These might be options in the end but are also a drain on our points. Spores for the Zoans helps them getting in range and protects them against shooting for a couple of turns as well but can delay their actual arrival. Tervigons are also a possibility through their power Onslaught which allows units to both run and shoot. This option also gives a solid midfield presence to support our specialised firepower so for the moment we'll go with these guys.

So let's start building the list. Zoans have a one rather annoying issue with psychic defenses so against these armies we want as many as possible. This means taking three per squad. Against non-defensed up armies this can be overkill but we need to account for those armies which do have them. Three squads of three will set us back an impressive 540 points but gives us some quite survivable anti-tank and anti-infantry weaponry. To ensure we can surpress armor we're taking the Dakka fexes and runing then in pairs called Fexstars. Each of these guys is 190 points and 2x2 sets us back a further 760 points (1300 total). Both of these units are quite survivable with W2/T4/3++ and W4/T6/3+ respectively but we've chewed up a lot of points already so we either have the option of sinking more points into Tervigons to make a decent midfield and speed up these units or spend the points on support for these units. For the moment we'll go the Tervigon route.

Two min-sized squads of Termagants opens up Tervigons as Troops and with adrenal glands, toxin sacs and onslaught we're set back 490 points (1790 total). This only leaves us with 210 points and no HQ. We could run a Tervigon as an HQ but we lose the advantage of a scoring MC and are heavily relying on the Tervigons to produce good Termagant numbers so for the moment we'll keep them both as Troops. We'll then take a small HQ through a Prime as a Tyrant will most likely be too expensive. Lash Whip, Bonesword, Toxin and Regen provides a very capable CC monster which can help out the Termagants and Fexes whilst sucking up wounds and pushes our points total to 1905 points. We now have the issue of what to spend our points on from here. Raveners would be an ideal choice as they can distract the enemy quickly and early and draw firepower from our short-ranged firepower units but we don't have the points for these. We'll take the next best thing then with Hormagaunts who are cheap and we can get quite a few for 95 points (16 for 90 points). This helps support the Tervigons/Termagants and whilst not as fast as beasts, will be able to get to the enemy quicker and tie up bubble-wrap units or engaged forward defensive screens.

The list therefore ends up at:

Prime w/LW, BS, Toxin, Regen
3x3x Zoanthropes
2x10x Termagants
2x Tervigon w/Adrenal, Toxin, Onslaught
16x Hormagaunts
2x2x Carnifexes w/2x TL-Brainleech worms

Totals: 1995 points
6 MCs
46 infantry

Not as impressive in combat as the normal T6'R'Us list without the Tyrant but probably better at anti-tank as there is no weakness against AV14 with 9 S10 AP1 lance shots. This list also has options in replacing the Fexstars with T-Fexes and then running a Dakkarant or running the Dakkafexes as singles and pairing them up with Primes. This saves points which we can buy Raveners and put more pressure on the enemy but less S6 suppression fire.

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