Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Tyranid Unit Worth Taking?

     Continuing our ‘A Tyranid Unit Worth Taking’ series (Here’s Hyv3mynd’s original A Tyranid ListWorth Building post, and my follow-up), I wanted to hit upon the changing roles of Genestealers, as well as a few of the heavy support options I’ve been playing around with. This past weekend, I attended an 1850 tournament at a local Con where I was able to try out a few ideas that I’ve been tinkering with. My full list is below, but I specifically wanted to try using the Broodlord as a support model, and to include a Tyrannofex. I’ll go over my 3 games, and how some of my units performed.

Here’s the list I brought:
Prime w/ Bone Sword & Lash Whips, Toxin Sacs
3 Hive Guard
10 Ymgarls
20 Gaunts w/ Devourers
1 Tervigon w/ Crushing Claws, 3 Psy Powers, Adrenal Glands & Toxin Sacs
14 Hormugaunts
5 Genestealers w/ Broodlord upgrade
5 Shrikes w/ Bone Sword & Lash Whips, Toxin Sacs
3 Biovores

Game 1 – The first game of the day put me up against Paul and his Grey Knights. At the 2011 Da Boyz GT, Paul and I tied each other in the overall standings, but at a subsequent event we faced off and he came out the victor. With his dual Dreaknights, Grey Knight Terminators and more, I began to doubt if I could tie up our record.
     We played Big Guns w/ 5 objectives, and I got to place the extra objective. I think there were 3 key elements to this battle that worked in my favor. 1) Biovore Sniping – I was able to take out psycannons & incinerators from multiple units during the first few turns, plus the wounds caused on a low model count army is particularly devastating. 2) Tervigon Spawns – I’m sure we’ve all had those games where you spawn 5 guys and your Tervigons says it’s had enough. Well, I managed to spawn over 50 Gaunts from a single Tervigon (around 10/turn, over 5 turns). Paul fought admirably, killing around 40 of the gaunts, but they just tied him up, keeping his troops engaged and off of an objective. 3) Broodlord w/ Enfeeble & the Tyrannofex – Over the course of 5 turns, I was only able to get 1 casting of enfeeble off on a Dreadknight. With that, I wounded him with a Rupture cannon shot, and Paul rolled a 1 for an armor save, insta-killing the Dreadknight.
     I ended up with a 7 point win (2 Objectives and Linebreaker).  

Game 2 – My next game was against Bill from Beef-N-Wing (check out their Blog), and his Ultramarines w/ Blood Angel Allies. The mission was The Scouring, and Bill got boned from the start. I had both 3 point objectives and the 4 pointer in my deployment zone. The game came down in my favor due in large part 1) the objective placement and 2) the phycology of Ymgarl deployment.  There’s not much to be said about the luck of the objectives, but the Ymgarls did their job of disrupting Bill’s battlefield deployment. He kept an assault squad back to fill up a piece of area terrain behind his castle, thus keeping them out of the game (I deployed elsewhere). Big win for me, 4 objectives (4, 3, 3, & 1 and First Blood).   

Game 3 – The last game was up against C4 with a horde of Dark Angels. I’m pretty sure he outnumbered me. The mission was Killpoints with the triangle deployment. With so many bolters sitting across a no-man’s land, I knew that I would be shot up trying to get to him. I played for the small win, trying to kill a couple of units and deny him any of mine. I managed to get first blood with on an outflanking attack bike. From there, my Ymgarls deployed on a flank, and took out a unit of scouts, and a tac squad before being taken down by terminators and another tac squad. After a few trades, I ended up on top with 4KPs to 2KP.

     Wrapping up the event, 3 people were tied for 1st in battle (Chaos Craig from Beef N Wing, Boldo’s ringer army, and me). It fell to paint & sports, and I ended up on the top of the heap. Paul finished with the Geek Award (Sports, Fluffyness, & Paint), and Craig got best general.

Broodlord – I went into the event specifically wanting to change how I was playing with Genestealers, and the Broodlord. I’ve been running them up in the face of the enemy, and they’ve been getting themselves killed. Unsupported, they die easy. Instead, this time I tried to use them in a support role, let them hang back and sit on an objective, while buffing units around them.  It worked well this event, but I have to ask myself, is ~100 points worth a scoring sorcerer? Maybe. I think that they synergies the Buffs & Debuffs provide are something I want to add more of in future lists. Now I just need to paint up another Broodlord.

Tyrannofex – I still have mixed feelings about this guy. He’s a lot of points, but that S10 gun did do some damage. On one hand, he insta-killed that Dreadknight, but in my 3rd game, he only took 2 hull points off of C4’s Landraider. The synergy he provides with Maledictions is interesting, enough so that I plan on bringing him to the next few events I attend. He also didn’t take much of any damage in all 3 of my games.

Biovores – I’ve always thought these guys were good, but now with the barrage rules and the ability to snipe individual models, they’re fantastic. At 45pts/model, they’re well point costed for what they do. Their strength is in forcing tons of armor saves on your MEQ opponents, where they’ll eventually fail a few. With the inclusion of allies, you’re also seeing more and more xenos allies. Since most xenos have a 4+ save or worse, they make for excellent targets for your Biovores.

Against, what do you guys think?


  1. I'm a sucker for the biovores, even if they miss, they give your opponent one more thing to worry about with spore mines floating around. Most of the time they psych themselves out over nothing.

    Again combined with the synergy of the debuffs, they can be very powerful. With limited LoS on them they are hard to take out as well. My biggest complaint with them is the need to keep some synapse near by.

    1. I wish I could remember to put the mines down when they miss. I think I have about a 30% remember rate. Even then, I forget to move them when they're down.

    2. To be fair, you only put the mine down if it would land more than 6'' away from a model which isn't all that often.

  2. I like the tyrannofex(especially the new kit, they're huge and epic :))!!! They ARE a bit pricey but they HAVE to be used to full potential, unless its big guns never tire where he can capture an objective he should be supporting your advancing units, hes one of the few MC's that get 2+armour, along with 6 wounds at T6... he fires a flamer and big blast(if you take clusters, which you should), while they dont exactly mesh target priority well with 2 S10 shots... that doesnt mean they cant be used! Hes a jack of all trades tank! Dont get me wrong i still think trygons and even mawlocs(yes i use one) are more points efficient but i even run carnifexen broods still and they are rediculously priced in this editions codex

  3. Congrats with the result! I love to play with marines, actually. But in our meta we have a lot of Eldars - at the last tourney I played twice with Eldars! :)

  4. Much love for the biovores, especially with blobs so commonly seen. Debated building a 9hg, 9biovore list... It might be too vulnerable to dual LR/assault/DS lists, but it would do mean things to blobs and biker spam lists.

    1. That could be a pretty fun list to try out. As long as you have a couple solid counter assault units, it wouldn't be that bad. Throw in a Tervigon for the tanks, and you have a solid base.

  5. I have been experimenting with a Carnifex heavy carrying twin linked devourers and a strangle thorn cannon. This gives him a str 6 pie plate at 36" to start dishing damage right away. Within 18" he adds 6 Devourer shots to the mix. I like the damage output he brings, but I don't like the 195 price tag.

    1. Yeah, I love Carnifexes, but that price. I want to try 2-3 Fexes with a prime or 2.

  6. Nice job at the tourney.

    One thing that really irks me about 6th is the mechanics for odd numbers of objectives and the scoring for the Scouring. One player always starts with an upper hand and it makes for really unbalanced tournament games. So many of our local players are blindly preaching "RAW or go home" we end up with many auto-win/auto-lose situations.

    Tyrannofexes are a long time favorite of mine. You definitely have to tailor in enough bodies, but with hammer/anvil deployment you can easily get screwed without long range firepower.

    I definitely need to grab a couple more biovores so I can run a unit of 3, but the value is undeniable. I lost my warlord to barrage sniping in my last game and being able to pick out plasma gunners is huge. Combined with the t-fex and hive guard, you can also splatter an entire disembarked unit.

    Tho I like devilgaunts, I think the change to rapid fire hurt them. They really need to be in a pod IMO because they're easily countered by skirmishing rapid fire units dancing at max range. Pulling casualties from the front means they're easily outplayed.

    Tyranids in 6th are definitely good, but being successful with them starts in list building. Other armies (3+'ers) are more forgiving and you can actually bring "fun stuff" with less emphasis on optimization. Tyranids need synergy at every level and it needs to be considered during list creation. Your broodlord + tfex example is a good one. This is why they get such a bad rap and are so unforgiving to new players.

    You need to visualize how the army deploys and moves. You need to know which units will be prioritized, how to function without them, and what you'll have on turn 5 and 7 when the game ends.

    6th ed isn't so much about killing anymore, it's about outlasting your opponent, holding an objective or two, and getting more bonus points. You've really excelled at accounting for all these factors and place in the top 3 more often than not. At this point, you're more experienced and successful than me with the army. I'm sure our readers would appreciate taking some of these discussions to the next level from list design to execution including problem solving on the fly taking into account pairings, missions, and deployment.

    Good job so far, keep it up.

    1. The concepts of outlasting and holding objectives is especially true for NOVA, which does away with some of the autowin/lose objective aspects.

      At 1850 I threw this together:
      terv w/3 psy, crushing claws, ts, ag HQ
      3x tervs w/3 psy, crushing claws, ts, ag
      3x 10x terms
      2x3 HG
      1x2 HG
      2x3 biovore
      1x2 biovore

  7. I also got interested in Biovores. Long range Anti-Infantry power is hard to come by otherwise. (And so cheap and effective)

    I also used the Tyrannofex, but haven't used them in 6th. Mostly because the gun got worse at killing tanks IMO. (Low amount of hits combined with needing a 6 to explode anything)
    What do you think about a T'fex with Acid Spray?

    I also use Devourer-Gaunts but with a Hive Tyrant for Preferred Enemy.
    I'm a sucker for re-rolls.

    Over all thanks for sharing these mini-batreps and your thoughts.
    And a: Keep it up! from as well.
    It's hard to come by any good tactical articles on Tyranids these days, so your work is very much appreciated.

    1. I like the idea of the T-Fex with Acid Spray, but that S10 Gun is just too much for me to try anything else.

      I also like Old Adversary, but I've been trying to tone down my HQs. For a while, I've been thinking that I've been spending too much on my HQs.

      Thanks for the comments, If I can get my act together, I'll try to take pictures to do proper battle reps.