Sunday, January 2, 2011

Email: 2k List

From Steve M~

First of all, love the blog and it's purpose.  I'm glad I stumbled upon it. 
Attached is my first attempt at tyranids since 2nd edition.  Nids were one of my first armies in 40k and have missed them thoroughly.  I loved the new codex and units when they came out but had already committed to Imperial Guard when they hit the stores.  The army is just about complete.  Just need to paint some extra termagaunts for the Tervigon. 
A little about the list.
1.  Swarmlord starts with the tyrant guard.
2.  Dakka Tyrant outflanks.
3.  Doom and 2 dakka fexes pod in.
4.  Tervigons give themselves Feel no pain.
So far, I have played 6 games. 
Beat Tau.  Lost to Blood Angels twice.  Beat Raven Guard twice.  Tied Space Wolves. 
Not bad.  The mech angels are a lot to deal with when he has 9 tanks moving 12" a turn and you need 6's to hit.  The player is one of the best I know and plays nids on a regular basis.  Our games have been close but 12 tanks, Mephiston, and 12 missile launchers is a lot for a nid army. 
What do you think of the list? 

2 Tyrant Guard
Hive Trant +hive commander, devourers
Doom of Malantai + Spore
Hive Guard x3
Hive Guard x3
Termagants x10
Termagants x10
Tervigon + toxin sacs, scything talons, catalyst
Tervigon + toxin sacs, scything talons, catalyst
Carnifex + devourers + spore
Carnifex + devourers + spore

Thanks for the kind words and interest, Steve.  I'm glad you're enjoying 5th ed nids and having some success with them.  I agree that fast vehicles are bad news for us if you're relying on close combat to pop them.  Let's go over the list.

First things first, you can't outflank a hive tyrant.  The hive commander ability applies to troop choices, but he's an HQ.  You could give him wings and deep strike him if you wanted, but outflanking is a no-go.

The list is fairly small end elite which can work, but generall needs a lot of discipline and practice.  The downside is that MSU (multiple small unit) lists like the mechanized blood angels you described are at a huge advantage over elite lists.  When you have most of your anti-armor in 4 units (hive guard, carnifexes), you lose a lot of you killpower with each casualty.  A MSU list with 9-12 vehicles can take many casualties without losing a lot of power.

If you want to keep the same list, here are some ideas.  Take one tyrant guard away from the swarmlord and give it to the other tyrant.  Give each a gant screen for cover and give them feel no pain as they will most likely draw firepower over tervigons.  When your reserves come in, hopefully on turn 2, use the pods and fexes to cover your foot troops in the center and give the fexes feel no pain.  I like drop dakkafexes a lot, but they tend to die the same turn they arrive.  I'm sure you've experienced the same thing.  Tyranids more than many other armies really need to stick together.  Dropping your pods in front of your main force helps with this, provides cover, keeps the fexes in synapse, and puts them in range of the swarmlord's buffs.  It also strengthens your central board control and forces your opponent to come towards your swarm if they want to assault, or away from the center if they're afraid.  A central drop will hopefully create more assault opportunities should they survive the drop turn.  Also remember that you only need 6's to hit vehicles in close combat that are mobile and moved more than 6" last turn, it doesn't effect shooting.  If your hive guard or dakkafexes have immobilized any vehicles with shooting, you auto-hit them when you assault even if they moved 12" last turn.

If you are open to switching up the list, here are some suggestions:
1.  625pts is a lot to invest in a few HQ models. 
2.  DoM is a fun model, but with all your dakka and lack of much else, I think his points are better spent elsewhere.

If you're facing Mephiston often, I would keep the swarmlord and give his two guards lash whips.  If you drop the other tyrant and doom, you free up 355pts.  Dakkafexes are capable of killing transports, but better used against infantry.  As such, I would add another unit of hive guard or split yours into 3x2.  You could also add a unit of ymgarl genestealers as a disruption unit to take out long fangs, devestators, or stationary tanks.  With the rest of your leftover points, I think genestealers are the way to go.  With them you can block scout moves and draw some fire away from the rest of your force.  If you get 2nd turn, you also have the option to outflank them and put good use to the swarmlord's power.

Hope some of that makes sense or even helps.  Thanks again for the email and interest.  I hope you have continued success with the nids.  The most important thing is to learn from your losses.  Us gamers usually chat about how the game went afterwords, and sometimes out opponents give us advice.  For me, writing the battle reports proves very insightful also as the hindsight and photographs reveal other opportunities or situations I may have missed out on.

Stay in touch and let me know how things go in future games!


  1. I completely missed the part about the hive commander ability only giving outflank to a troop choice. Maybe that is why the hive tyrant died every time he came in. Doom has play tested extremely well. He usually kills several infantry and then kills a vehicle with cataclysm or drops it on a unit killing more. Then of course he draws lots of fire. Without removing doom, what would you change to add crushing claws to the tervigons?

  2. I would highly suggest against large Mech to try out Tyrannofexes. I tend to run 2 units of Hive Guard x2 or x3, then 2 tyrannofexes w/ rupture cannons. Don't keep them in the backfield. move them up keep 1 near the swarmlord and you have 48" str 10 shots, and 18" assault 4 that has a 2+ armor save.

    If you run two of those with 2-3 units of hive guard.

    you have per turn

    4 str 10 48" shots per turn
    12 str 8 24" shots per turn

    that is a lot of firepower.

    I prefer Tyrannofexes to Carnifex > yes much more expensive, however they have greater survivability.

    moving them up they all but ignore standard attacks, and firepower.

    I advise to give it a shot.


  3. I agree on Tyrannofexes. I do enjoy using the one I have and am working on building a second.

    I would say that cluster spines are always a better choice than stinger salvo. If you are playing against a mech opponent, there will be times when their units dismount and are nice and clustered for templates.

    They do need to be a front line unit to maximize their firepower, but don't let them get tied up in CC.

  4. I use clusterspines on Tervigons, I save the points and just use stinger salvo on Tfex so you don't have the chance of just failing with bad ballistic skill.

    besides anyone that is competent in placing models will spread and you may only get 2-3 models under a large blast template. However assault guns you just hit the unit.

  5. And about the Tfexes... you don't have the terrible -1 to vehicle damage chart ... unless open topped of course

  6. True, sorta.

    At bs3, stinger salvo will probably hit twice, yeilding one infantry wound or a 32% chance to glance a rhino. It's slightly better against trukks and raiders, but useless against chimeras and wave serpents.

    Believe me, I've tried both and more often find myself wishing I had pie plates. We have hive guard and zoanthropes for more reliable transport popping. Tfexes are a swiss army knife of sorts for us. You've got str10 shots, a pie plate, and a flamer. Some ignores FnP, some ignores cover, some ignores armor if you choose rending beetles. They can also charge into many infantry units without fear of death or flip a tank in cc.

    It all comes down to personal preference and your local meta. The thing that sold the deal for me was when when two pie plates took out 8 dire avengers that had just disembarked from a wave serpent, which only has one door so they were packed.