Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2k List: The Invasion...

Shadows passed over the hive city, much larger and deeper shadows than those cast by the thick chemical pollutants belched forth from the inner forges.  This time, the immense quivvering hive ships of fleet Colossus blotted out the murky daylight.

Rain fell from the skies over the hive city, but the saturation took the form of a floating sea of living spores.  As they settled and began to float, the spores exploded, shredding the curious onlookers and spreading chaos through the masses.

Shelter from this storm was not to be found.  The dark and sheltered places of the hive city already housed other beings.  Crouching man-beasts with four clawed arms and bulbous heads emerged from the shadows, their soulless eyes glittering in the failing light.

Thunder rocked the streets, not from the storm but tremendous explosions sending spires and towers toppling.  Gargantuan things of nightmares, ambling batteries of living artillery, sent entire sections of the city back to the soil from where it was born.

A flood washed over the hive city.  A living wave of skittering beasts shoulder to shoulder swarmed through every street and alley.  There was no place to weather this storm.  There is no Ark to safely carry life from this flood.

Despite what some may think, there's more to this hobby that brings me joy than winning games.

Anyways, we all daydream fluff to go with our various lists and the little piece above goes with this list.  In my own little fantasy world, the miraculously awesome leafblower style army list that I finally arrive at with tyranids will also feel "right" with the fluff.

On to the list...

Tyranid Prime
Tervigon (HQ) + toxins, adrenals, catalyst, cluster spines
Hive Guard x2
Hive Guard x2
Hive Guard x2
Termagants x10
Tervigon + toxins, adrenals, catalyst, cluster spines
Genestealers x18
Genestealers x18 + toxins
Spore Mines x3
Spore Mines x3
Spore Mines x3
Tyrannofex + rupture cannon, cluster spines, shreddershard beetles
Tyrannofex + rupture cannon, cluster spines, shreddershard beetles

I know, you started laughing when you saw the spore mines, but follow me here.  This list uses a core from my previous one with several changes.  These changes were to address a few weaknesses.

#1.  A couple people pointed out that two synapse points might not be enough or easily taken out.  My kneejerk reaction was "no way!".  I can count the games on one hand in which I've faced someone who can kill two tervigons, and when they're gone, synapse is usually the least of my problems.  So I added a naked tyranid prime.  What does he do?  Join a unit of hive guard to keep them on target or a spawned unit of termagants for durable scoring.  At 80 points, I'm not using him for anything except taking synapse pressure off the tervigons and maybe lend some wounds to the hive guard.  Eric pointed out in our match "if I had only targetted the tervigons..."  Just think of how much pressure it will take off of them.

#2.  In the recent games I played, three hive guard per unit was often overkill.  I prefer them in two's, but I was pressed for elite slots in the past.  Three units mitigate the overkill and allow me to stun one more vehicle per turn if things go well.  I dropped the doom for this list opening that slot up.  It's not so much his effectiveness as my utter lack of luck with reserves in tournaments.  Things like my ymgarls and lictors not arriving until the last turn of a tournament match happen regularly for me, which is strange because my luck with cover saves and armor pen's is typically above the curve.  So I made a list where everything starts on the table.

#3.  Raveners are really fast and fun to play with, but power fist sarge's ruin it for me.  And powerklaw nobs.  I consider our codex and my playstyle weak against orks in general, and bringing assault units that get krumped by klaws is setting me up for a nightmare match up at a tournament.  Genestealers on the other hand kill more orks and lose less when those klaws start pinching.  I lose some threat range with genestealers over raveners, but they start in better position.  Very few armies can deal with 36 genestealers in their face, hopefully with cover and FnP.  They're pretty much always infiltrating in front of my main swarm.  This also allows me to deploy hive guard the maximum distance forward for best firing position, then infiltrate their cover/bubblewrap.

#4. The icing on the cake?  Spore mines haha!  I'm losing most of my anti-fang/loota ability, so I need some trick up my sleeve.  Each unit creates a 36" no-deploy bubble in DoW games.  If my opponent also has infiltrators, I use the mines to block out an area for my genestealers.  Since you can't infiltrate closer than 18" in LoS of an enemy, 3 units of spore mines pretty much removes my opponent's infiltrate abilities.  Even if the game isn't DoW or my opponent doesn't have infiltrators, they are still a tool to affect the game.  I can drop them to threaten or deny cover for lootas or encourage reactionary placement.  Everyone knows they blow up harmlessly on tanks. If I face a mech opponent, why not place them to encourage vehicle proximity or physically block good deployment positions.

So there's the latest draft.  As always, I'm open to feedback and dialogue.


  1. There are still Spore Mines in 5th edition? Forgive me, because I don't have the Codex, but I thought those were chucked out the window.

  2. As for me, raveners+stealers looks like a good combo. This list is slow. I like the idea of drooping 1 unit of stealers for 1 unit of raveners with a prime joined. Prime will save your raveners from S8, S9 shooting and you'll save a great ravener threat range.

  3. I like it - and I like the thinking behind it. Not sure if it's worth 90 points; can you do the same with 2 units and reinvest the 30 points elsewhere; say toys for the Prime, maybe scytals for the tervs? I'm toying with the other route - adding biovores outright; so I can at least bombard anything not mech-d up and help deal anything 4+ or worse without having to get something to assault it. And if I miss, I still get to muck with movement.

    @Erie - this list is definitely not slow. Ravs lose beast benefits (12" charge principally) while a Prime is joined with them; he also doesn't get fleet, so no run/charge.

  4. Actually you can play it so raveners lose nothing, you just have to separate the prime from the unit as the raveners head into assault range.

    Biovores are actually an interesting idea. I could drop the 9 mines and add a pair of biovores to harrass backfield units. Prime could even join them for backfield synapse. Now I need to consider if the deployment benefits would outweigh those long range barrages.

    I'll have to throw my vote in the "not slow" ballot. Genestealers will almost always infiltrate 12/18" from enemy lines. The units are big enough to threaten most of my opponent's front line as opportunities arrive. I play them forward, but actually use them quite defensively, keeping combat units away from my shooters. That way, I'm sure they're always in synapse and FnP range.

    This list has a totally different playstyle than the ravener version. It deploys with strength, marches to the center and rains down shots, and cleans up with genestealers.

    The ravener list is more of a "jack in the box". I had amazing success actually deploying it in a max range castle with genestealers as an assault net. The army creeps up and the raveners jump out of the castle once trasports start spilling occupants.

    I was also considering dropping some mines and adding a venomthrope or two. I was blessed by generous terrain at DaBoyz GT, but this year's plans could lead to some sparse tables at NOVA. At least with venomthropes would guarantee I had some cover and further deter assaults with dangerous terrain and defensive grenades.

    So, do I play the spore version, biovore version, or venomthrope version for my next batrep?

  5. /nod re: Prime is a leash for the ravs.

    Why shreddershard over dessicator for Tfex?

    I'm selfishly interested in how the biovores might do, but also interested to see if the spore mines do in terms of deployment disruption.

    The biovore interest is from here: the list I'm seriously thinking about; it's a slow list (/grin), but building it to take objectives and table quarters, and deal with MSU (that's the idea anyways).

    Tprime1 w/bs, lw, spitter
    Tprime2 w/bs, lw, spitter, tox (regen?)

    3 broods HGx2
    2x Tfex w/rupture, cluster, dessicator
    3x biovores

    2 broods Tgantx10
    2x Tgon w/ag, tox, cat, scytals

    4x warriors w/spitter, scytals (nude; accompanied by Prime1)
    4x warriors w/double BS, scytals, tox (accompanied by Prime2)

    Debating consolidating the HGs into two units of 3, dropping 1-2 biovores, and adding (a) venomthrope(s). I think it reduces the volume of fire too much and I'd need to find a way to add in a venom cannon in warrior squad 1 to help compensate. Might need to do that anyway =p

  6. I like the idea of spore mine clusters + biovores to shoot enemy infantry without cover from turn 1! Pinning pie plates without cover on turn 1 – sounds great.

  7. I'm not as pro as you are nor am I as experienced but I am learning. Been playing them primarily and I have to say they are probably my main army now over my IG ever since you helped me understand their strengths.'s just a suggestion as I look at that list. What about -1 squad of Spore Mines and 1 or 2 Stealers to get 10 Termagants to make that other Tervigon a Troop choice? I think you gain more than lose that way as far as objective games go at least.

    Question: Last night I outflanked my squad of 20 stealers (something I almost never ever do) but I tried it out and I happen to catch 3x Baal Preds that only moved less than 6" and I destroyed 2 and immobolized and killed all the weapons from the last one. The explosion however from the two I destroyed killed 13 of my Stealers...(They did not have FNP) That made my jaw drop lol as I've never tried to kill vehicles with my Stealers before. Most of the time my Trygons or HG do the job for me. Do you normally FNP them so that way this doesn't happen? I probably would have but they were out of range..

  8. @ Syypher ~ There are a few ways to tweak this list for personal playtyle. Just like Ghostin mentioned swapping in Biovores, internet lists can be adjusted to fir your style or local meta game.

    For me, genestealers, gants, and one tervigon feel like enough for scoring. Of course, I haven't played an objective game in a month heh. With spawned gants, there should be plenty to hold 1-2 objectives and contest the others. I like having the 50 extra points by making one tervigon an HQ and find the 10 gant squads a liability in KP games.

    Genestealers are decent at poppoing armor that isn't fast moving. Like you, I learned the hard way that they incur large casualties when they do this. I rarely ourflank them, but if I do, I try to run a tervigon on the side I need them most so they can get FnP the turn they arrive. Otherwise, you'll probably end up losing more genestealers than is worth from explosions and return fire next turn. That's one reason for the small ravener units in my previous list. They can shoot up and strike vehicles that didn't move fast or have been immobilized by hive guard and tfexes.

    @ Ghostin ~ I know the mathhammer behind shreddershard beetles doesn't add up to desiccator, but I like them. The potential to deny cover and armor saves is worth it to me. GW is filling the newer codexes with more USR's and special rules like FnP and stealth. Tyranids, blood angels, dark eldar, and the incoming grey knights all have lots of FnP so I'm discovering the more rending I pack into my lists, the more reliable my casualties are inflicted.

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  10. Let's try that again...

    Now if they'd just fix the Tyranid 'dex to allow Lictors to do what Dark Angels do and assault out of DS.

    Curious about your thoughts on the 2 warrior squads - is there enough shooty to compensate for the slow speed? Idea is to keep them behind FNP gant screens and swap FNP onto them when needed to hold where needed. Definitely a slow list, which I dislike. It has no fast/surprise value.

  11. I actually like shooty warriors a lot. The main reason I don't use them is I don't have the models right now. I'd like to try 4 units of 3 with barbed stranglers when I have the funds as I think they could put some pressure on long fangs/lootas. I haven't quite figured out how to balance the target saturation yet so no lists, but LMK if you playtest with them. I think there's some merit to our pie plates. Your list can lay out 6 large blasts per turn.

    I'd like to make a list that has pie plates in troops, fast, and heavy FO's, but ensuring enough anti-armor might be an issue. I'll have to think this over a while.

  12. With the growing amount of FNP I can see the point of looking at the Beetles again. It also gives you an extra shot that can hurt light armour.