Monday, November 1, 2010

Can Tyranids Compete? Part 4

This article is going to be far more subjective and based on personal opinion/experience vs. the other threads harder focus with lists and core concepts. The previous parts of this article can be found here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

In this article I'm going to cover the following:
  1. Why I feel these lists work in the current meta
  2. Why I feel Nids are competitive
  3. Some Alternate ideas that can be competitive but that follow a different strategic track
So we'll start with why I feel these lists, and lists like these can compete in the current meta (this includes Dark Eldar). First thing we have to do is look at what these both of these lists have:
  • Multiple threats
  • Disruption Elements
  • Depth
What these allow us to do is overwhelm other opponents and create a no-win situation for them. No matter where they are focusing their firepower they are leaving a threat untouched. This can lead to your opponent making erratic target decisions or it can simply lead to a change in your tactics in game. The first turn will generally show you what you opponent sees as the most important threat and what he will eliminate first. This allows you to adjust your tactics to compensate for it and plan out a large part of the rest of the game. Both of these lists have the tools and redundancy to make them work. We'll cover why they can handle Mech in #2 J

Why are Nids competitive? How does an army whose primary anti-tank is in a single force org slot compete in the Mech Edition?

We'll start with an answer to the second question. There are 2 answers; Hive Guard, naturallyJ; and close combat and MC scything talons. But that second one just lets you get shot by the unit inside the transport on the next turn you say. There are a couple of differences between this army and most others when it comes to destroying vehicles in close combat. The first one is that they won't break from return fire. The second is that you can enhance a squad you know is going after a vehicle w/FnP from your Tervigons. The third is MC's. These units are 90% immune to the firepower from the newly on foot squad due to wounds and toughness. So we really have anti-tank in every, single, force org slot. Things that don't work for other armies do work for Tyranids.

How are Tyranids competitive? Well we've discussed how Nids can at least keep up with Mech. But what I feel truly makes Tyranids competitive is their adaptability if built properly. While not a fast army it is one that can adapt early in the game to an enemies strategy or it can immediately force them onto the back foot thru deployment options or fast moving strike forces. In an ideal situation you want an army designed to hit in two waves. A fast/disruptive element to hit turn 2 followed swiftly turn 3 with your heavy hitters all while providing a decent amount of supportive firepower. This doesn't give your opponent enough time to eliminate either wave completely and generally, against a lot of the smaller unit armies out there, gives you enough hitting power to roll them with whatever is left.

Let's look at it this way. Tyranids are not a point and click army. They are an army designed to work and flow together, bring disparate elements to form a greater whole. They will take some time to master for most people. Proper movement and placement are extremely important for ensuring bonuses while limiting things like template weapons. A certain amount of flexibility in your design and style are also necessary to make it work. Gone are the days of 4th edition where you could plop 6-8 MC's down and just run at the enemy (this didn't work back then but damn did a lot of people think it did). This edition needs to be looked at with a completely different mindset from what you had before because what we have now is ridiculously better and more flexible (in-game and army building play-style) than ever before.

Now let's cover a few things that I didn't focus on and a few extra ideas:


If you've read some of my lists lately you'll have noticed this unit cropping up a little more regularly. This is probably one of the greatest disruption units of all time in a unit of 18-20. Why? Because it must be dealt with. Deployed 18" from the enemy via infiltrate but with a single model w/in 12" of a Tervigon for FnP this is a second turn charge unit assuming the enemy doesn't move forward at all. This will take a lot of pressure off of your other elements as you advance. Deploy them almost in a straight line (cover permitting) so they can fall upon the enemy line where it's most important.


This unit doesn't fit my style personally but if used it needs to be used aggressively. Drive him forward, hopefully killing enemy vehicles, and use all of his abilities. 265 is far too expensive for a 2 shot S10 gun. But it's not too expensive for a 2+ MC w/3 weapons it can fire when it gets close enough that can also take out heavy tanks. Don't be afraid to charge with him either. He's still an MC.

Drop Nids:

Tyranids can make a pretty nice drop list if given the chance. They have the ability to modify reserves and you can eliminate a few of the enemies turns. It's a very effective army type done well against mech but does suffer against horde armies. I've already put up one army list based on this concept and I'm sure there will be more J

Well there you have it. I'd say a fair chunk of my thoughts on Tyranids. I'll write off and on articles (smaller ones I promise) over the next bit on some of the more offshoot ideas and thoughts I have on them. I'm going to be focusing on using them quite a bit in the upcoming tournament year. Mostly to put my money where my mouth is with them. My first tournament (really my second but first since these articles) is going to be next weekend at a shop I've never been to in Chino Hills, CA. I don't know what I'm going to bring just yet list wise but keep an eye out for some Bat Reps next week.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading these articles as much as I enjoyed writing them. Thanks.


akt said...

I use genestealers in most of my lists and as you mentioned they are great to mess with opponent's plan or missile troops. However i tend to get TS and that gets them too expensive for a unit of more than 7-8. Do you think that naked stealers perform better by trading TS for numbers?. Cheers.

Purgatus said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts Hulk and appreciate you taking the time to put them down. Perhaps after I start using my Nids and get some test experience I will post up some of my own.

Ben said...

TS is only 3 points, yes? You could get 15 TS stealers for roughly the cost of 18 plain, so it isn't the cost of toxin that is keeping your stealer numbers low, it is the rest of the army.

Purgatus said...

With the way that TS and rend interact I just don't think that they would be worthwhile without it. Now if only it applied to rolls to pen armor...

akt said...

Will try the larger unit of stealers with TS see how that fares. Btw, thank you for all the analysis Hulk, can't wait for some Battle reports.

Black Blow Fly said...

Its not worth it. Stealers are best run naked with Broodlords to soak wounds .


Ben said...

I wouldn't say it isn't worth it. For 3 points your odds of a rend go up by 50%, not to mention the torrent capabilities. It's a pretty drastic increase in the killing power of the unit, and it also smoothes out the statistics a little and reduces your odds of a total rubber claw outbreak.

I agree wholeheartedly on the broodlords. They more than pay for themselves.

Hulksmash said...

Well Akt Batreps might have to wait. I might be headed out of town for work, I'll find out more tomorrow and if I am it'll be all I can do to make it to some of the events I wanted to hit up this year.


Thank you for that assertion. Your so under appreciated for your tacticaly genius :)


In regards to TS on stealers. I like the idea but the units is already so expensive that 60 more points generally eats into it. I tend to vary rarely upgrade units unless it's super cheap (gargoyles) or absolutely required (tervigons/tyranos).

Black Blow Fly said...

That is it... you are wasting points adding upgrades that are not absolutely necessary.

I was playing stealer shock with mucho Trygon love so I have the 5ed Nid experience going on .


Hedzer said...

Great series, Hulksmash, thanks a lot.

hyv3mynd said...

I'll be running a version of your list from part#2 scaled back to 1850 for DaBoyz GT. If you're interested, I can do some batreps/feedback.

Hulksmash said...

I'd love that. If you want to you can send them to me and I'll post them up here too if you like. Let me know.


Thanks man :)

Shep said...

I would take any nid advice from someone who plays space wolves competitively and often.

Having the perspective of the best layered shooting/counter-assault army out there really helps...

No waves = no wins against space wolves.

You can probably skimp on the speed wave against full mech IG and full mech blood angels, but the good armies that have a mix of boots on the ground in addition to mech... like all space wolves, and some IG and blood angels, will run all over a slow, loppy nid list.

Good stuff Hulk!

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