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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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tyranids: Closing Thoughts

So here we are at the end of Tyranid week. I will go through and look at the other army comparisons for Tyranids later but the ones we've looked at so far are heralded as the 'worst' match-ups for Tyranids. Notice they are all 5th edition books which are held in rather high regard themselves and the strengths and issues the Tyranids face against all armies are often the same - they can shoot Tyranids off the board and overwhelm them with mech and infantry targets.

What does this then mean for Tyranid competitiveness? They certainly aren't right up there and will find it very difficult to win tournaments, they simply have armies which are loaded against them (Space Wolves, Imperial Guard and Grey Knights) in terms of match ups. They aren't exactly uncommon armies either. This doesn't mean to say they cannot win those games or even tournaments (look at Lorriness' success with his Tyranids) but rather it is very difficult for them to do so.

Do I think they are uncompetitive? Eh that's a tough one. I think Orks and Chaos are uncompetitive because they have really poor codex design and cannot deal with a lot of 5th edition armies - specifically mass mech. Tyranids are not this bad in dealing with all 5th edition armies but can find it difficult to deal with mass mech whilst balancing their anti-infantry at range. Even when they pack a lot of anti-tank such as nine Hive Guard plus T-Fexes, the raw numbers might suggest they can deal with a lot of mech but a lot of that firepower is tied up in three units. If the opponent can deal those three units quickly as GK, IG and SW can? Well you're on the back foot against mech armies quickly. Even then, each Hive Guard squad can only damage one tank a turn.

With this in mind, I feel they are a lot a like in respect to pure Blood Angel Jumper lists but a little worse off. They do very well but have some armies which cause them fits. I'd call this type of army semi-competitive. It's a good list and has the tools for the right jobs, it just sometimes runs up against things it will always have a disadvantage against. I feel Tyranids are like this to an extent with match-ups and having the tools for the job, they are just tied up in a few units. With a few changes to their book (number 1 being un-FAQ the FAQ), they could be right in the thick of it again. Such things as spreading out anti-tank options (Zoans to HSupport?), lower the cost of MCs and some of their options (make them roughly 20-40 points cheaper depending upon model - Tervigons only need a slight decrease for example whilst T-Fexes/Harpies need a lot more), some form of assault grenades, etc. would go a long way to helping Tyranids in these specific match-ups.

The problem of course is balancing these factors against the armies Tyranids already do well against. Make them too good and you'll see them have a couple of "good" match-ups whilst they steam roll everything else. The main things that Tyranid generals need to remember is your firepower is often about suppression yet you cannot suppress 10+ targets a turn without multiple assaults. Your army is all about combat and getting there ASAP and doing as much damage with as little in return as possible. These are what you need to focus on as a general and list builder whilst trying to minise their weaknesses in extreme ranged warfare and a certain predictability.

I don't expect Games Workshop to fix Tyranids anytime soon but I hope this round-up and the previous comparison posts have identified that all is not lost. You might not go 8-0 at NOVA type tournaments thanks to their poor match-ups, but you're not going to go 0-8 if you know what you're doing. Add in that every win over those poor match-ups is extra sweet and you can brag about it on the Internets (pics or it didn't happen).

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