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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Armies in 5th: Tyranids Part 1: Anti-tank

Can't be bothered writing about the Orks atm so doing Tyranids whilst I procrastinate my studies.

Well a lot of the internets thinks Tyranids suck still. They suck because they don't have super anti-tank and frankly, they shouldn't. They have enough AT to deal with armor at a reasonable rate whilst still relying a bit on their MCs. This is fine. Tyranids pwn you once you are on foot. And I mean pwn. Few armies can handle being on foot and dealing with Tyranids (SW and SM bikes jump to mind and a hybrid new BA list would possibly also be able to). Every other army needs that mobility and protection to not die a quick and terrible death from torrenting and in CC. If Tyranids like Tau, IG or SM could negate half of your mech in one turn, they would be ridiculus. So let's look at how they do deal with armor.

So what is Tyranid anti-tank really all about. For the most part it is not about killing tanks, it's about stopping them from moving or shooting. You want to get your MCs into combat ASAP and minimise heavy weapons heading your way. Outside of Zoanthropes, weight of attacks is the Tyranid player's best bet to drop tanks but before such attacks can be brought to bear, the Mech player must have his advantage neutralised in some way and this is best done through the ranged weapons of Tyranid MCs. Let's first look at their major anti-tank options however.

Between Zoans and Hive Guard you've got your good anti-light tank and anti-heavy tank settled but since they are the same slot you're going to get one or the other. Taking both is going to limit you in application and make your army less flexible. This is bad. So you have to cover for the other type of anti-tank elsewhere and remember these are very important units which need to shoot but will attract a lot of attention.

So you've picked either HG or Zoans and I think this more than anything defines your army. Zoans on foot aren't going to be using their lance powers anytime soon even w/Onslaught. Add in the fact you want to kill heavy tanks like LRs ASAP and Zoans are such a huge target, putting them in Spores seems better. Whilst they certainly can be used on foot, Spores seem their best bet. HG on the other hand are quite happy to run up and start tapping away at transports. Their lack of LoS and extra range gives them that much more ability to strike from range.

So outside of Zoans and HG what do we need for anti-mech at range. I've already said MCs are our best bet in close combat (particularly with scything talons) and are able to hold the big guns and shoot. So let's look at each of the MCs. Tyrannofexes and Harpies are primarily fire support and both provide you with something you can't get elsewhere. Harpies are mobile and far more accurate with their guns (twin-linked, ooo!) but are a lot weaker than your average MC. Tyrannofexes are stronger than your average MC and have a S10 gun. Oooo. These let you negate higher AVs either through side shots or pure strength but don't add much in terms of CC ability. They also chew up points quite quickly so having 3 of each is going to be tough and leave you weak in CC. The more common MCs such as Tyrants and Carnifexes can take the Heavy VC or TL Devs w/Brainleech. These are designed to stop a tank from shooting/moving, not from destroying it. If these are taken in your army on foot the HVC is a perfect option whilst in a spore army the Devourers have enough shots to slow tanks down where their shorter range is less of a hinderance. These options are also capable of taking talons to augment their ability in combat and are fairly easy to intergrate into an army. The "best" close-combat MC is the Trygon but is unable to get much good shooting at range in relation to anti-tank. However, the ability to tunnel and 2 sets of talons can really put a scare into some mech armies which can't deal with 18 T6 wounds popping up in front of them (make sure you use Hive Commander). The other MCs, Mawloc and Tervigon, aren't too fantastic against mech. They can damage in combat but with lower WS they don't like to get too close to PFists and they lack the ranged gun options to really do significant damage to mech.

So surrounding our main anti-tank through Elites (remember two squads can work there as taking suppliments such as Deathleaper or Venomthropes can be vital but this will be covered later) with the appropriate MCs is important. A pod list w/zoans would obviously prefer Trygons or Carnifexes w/TL Devs compared to a foot list w/HG preferring Harpies and TFexes. Remember though outside of those two elite selections and close combat, Tyranids are not great at anti-mech but rather want to stop you from shooting & moving. This is firesuppression/support and is often a forgotten concept by a lot of people. Look at what landspeeders can do for an army. Many people will claim they are sub-par to MM Attack Bikes but because of their vehicle status, speed and gun layout, it can take turns to actually stop them which allows the rest of your army to do what you wish. Tyranids want to stop the opposing army from moving/shooting whilst it gets across the board and in some list styles are across the board by T2.

I will endeavour to do the rest of the Ork articles before I get back to work on the Tyrand articles, never fear.

1 pinkments:

MagicJuggler said...

Harpies and Tyrannofexes are horridly underrated. The other thing that makes the Harpy great is that it's Sonic Screech halves enemy initiative, rather than increasing that of the enemy. So if you wish to assault enemies with Carnifexes or other low-initiative bugs, or are fighting High-Initiative enemies, it makes a good support unit.

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