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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

Monday, November 7, 2011

Email in: Tyranids on a Budget

"Hi Kirby

I'm looking for some advice on the list further below. And after reading yours and other contributors posts this is definitely the right place to come for it.

I've still to collect a large proportion of it yet, but have the following available as a starting point. I plan on magnetising most of the models for greater flexibility (Tyrant, Prime and Warriors). I'm in the process of converting my Tervigon ATM but my skills are a little rusty, as is my painting.

The following is bought and paid for and is used as the basis of the list:

1 Tyrant with all weapons available
4 Warriors - one will be my prime and I plan on having shooty (deathspitter/venon cannon) and CC (lash whip and bonesword) options.
34 Hormagants
22 Termagants
10 Devilgants
9 Genestealers
3 Raveners with rending claws
1 Zoanthrope
1 Tervigon

With a few additions I have come up with the following list below. This will be used at a couple of local groups and the tournaments they run there until i get the hang of things and can start honing it. This is why I want my models to be flexible in their loadout, so I can play around a little and see what works for me.

== HQ ==
Hive Tyrant Brood (310 pts.)
Hive Tyrant (1) - Lash Whip And Bonesword, Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Armoured Shell, Paroxysm, Leech Essence, Old Adversary = 250 pts.
Tyrant Guard (1) - Scything Talons = 60 pts.
Tyranid Prime (1) - Deathspitter, Lash Whip And Bonesword, Regeneration = 110 pts.

== Elites ==
Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.
Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.
Deathleaper (1) = 140 pts.

== Troops ==
Termagant Brood (10) - Fleshborer = 50 pts.
Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat = 195 pts.
Genestealer Brood (6) - Toxin Sacs = 102 pts.
Hormagaunt Brood (13) = 78 pts.
Tyranid Warrior Brood (115 pts.)
Tyranid Warrior (2) - Deathspitter, Scything Talons = 70 pts.
Tyranid Warrior (1) - Venom Cannon, Scything Talons = 45 pts.
Hormagaunt Brood (13) = 78 pts.

== Fast Attack ==
Ravener Brood (3) - Rending Claws = 105 pts.

== Heavy Support ==
Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Electroshock Grubs = 265 pts.

== Total ==
1748 pts.

It's not super competitive, but shouldn't be a pushover either. The whole lot advances as one apart from the Stealers who will infiltrate to pick off backfield squads. The Ravenors can DS if required but will be used mainly with the Hormagants as the first line of attack with the rest of the army supporting the initial push into midfield.The Prime can sit with the Warriors or the Tyrant Brood depending on what's happening. Deathleaper is there for late objective contesting/disruption/anti psych. Not sure if the Gaunts should be in 1 big brood or in 2 separate broods.

Or I could drop Deathleaper for 2 Zoanthrops and give the warriors lashwhips and boneswords. This increases my antitank and gives me a very nasty CC unit for dealing with problem units.

I'll need to source the Hive Guard, Tyrant Guard, Deathleaper (or Zoanthrope) and another carnifex to complete this. Maybe Santa will be good to me :P

Anyway, what do you think? Your advice will ensure I don't waste what little funds I have on stuff that won't work.


I like your paint scheme- the bright carapace color looks like it's come out very well there, so gratz on that.

Your list looks pretty good so far- as you say, not ultra-competitive, but it has most of the necessary pieces to work properly. I think a few tweaks can make things work a lot better, though.

Armored Shell on your Tyrant, while not bad, is generally something I'm not sold on. For only a few points more, you can add a second Tyrant Guard instead, while will get you a lot more mileage, as the Shell only really helps against Missiles. However, being that requires you to sink for another expensive model, I can understand that you might want to avoid it for the immediate future.

Deathleaper is a good unit, but I don't feel he's going to work well with your aggressive strategy- he doesn't bring a lot of killy for his points, so I think you're going to be disappointed with him a lot. Instead, I might recommend a brood of Ymgarl genestealers, which can pop out of a piece of terrain and murder something. They're especially effective against stationary tanks (like artillery, etc) and heavy weapons units (like Long Fangs), which are both banes of a Tyranid army. Since there is no official model for them, you could either just port your existing Genestealers over or add another box to your collection, depending on how willing you are to spend some monies there.

The Tyranid Warriors you have can easily be turned into a serious dual-purpose threat by adding Boneswords to them, which is also a very easy conversion to do (just snip off the Scything Talons at the wrist and flip them so they point up- instant swords!) If you're feeling especially sassy, you can add Toxin Sacs to them, but that isn't strictly necessary; a whole unit of Power Weapons is usually enough to scare people away.

You have the Hive Guard in your list, but not amongst the models you already have available; I'm assuming this means you haven't purchased them yet. If so, there are several good guides to converting Tyrant Warriors into Hive Guard that are floating around; I believe the Warpshadow and The Tyranid Hive forums both have one archived somewhere, so if you're looking to save money, that can be a very good option. You would need some Venom Cannons and Carnifex carapaces to do it, but both of those can be gotten on Ebay (or from other Tyranid players) quite cheaply.

I would try combining the Hormagaunt broods together, since I find a single large unit to be more effective than several small ones at screening your other forces, multi-assaulting, etc; it also lets you use a single Catalyst to protect the whole thing rather than only one half of them. Toxin Sacs are sometimes worth it on them to help make them more dangerous against Marines, Monstrous Creatures, etc, but running them naked is also just fine.

The Tyrannofex could be useful in your list to protect the Tervigon, but there are certainly other options available to you- Biovores, Harpies, and Trygons can all fill their role in various ways. The latter would be a good fit for your list, since it is a very aggressive unit, but the cost of the kit is also worth considering, so that might be something to steer you away from it. If you really want some heavy anti-tank, I think a unit of Zoanthropes in a Mycetic Spore is one of your better options in that regard, since they have higher BS than the Tyrannofex and the Lance and AP1 qualities.

I am a big fan of Devilgaunts, so if you're looking for a way to add some anti-infantry to your army fairly cheaply, they are a great choice, especially with a Mycetic Spore. Converting up a Spore can be about as easy or hard as you care to make it- anything from buying a cheap plastic toy to one of the $50 custom casts or builds available from around the internet. For the firepower they put out, though, it's hard to beat Devilgaunts, and they can also be used to "qualify" you for the troop-slot Tervigon, which is nice. You mention having ten, which I feel is a bit too few to be useful- fifteen is the minimum I run them in most of the time, up to about twenty, depending. However, it's fairly easy to change some Termagants over to them so you won't actually need to spend any money there unless you want to. (The 29 Termagants you would be left with at that point should be more than enough to cover spawning from your Tervigon.)

Hope you find this helpful, Paul, and good luck with the army, it looks like you're coming along great with it.

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