Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tyranid Tournament Wrap-up

     It's been a hell of a few weeks, including a small tournament that 4 of our authors made it out to, an all-nighter at work that obliterated my post for last week, and a smattering of modeling to expand the swarm.

This scene sums up my game against Calypso2ts. Well played sir, well played. 
     The tournament in Syracuse we went to had an interesting comp system.  I know a lot of people don't like comp, but I've never really had a problem with it. I figure that it's just another way to play the game. Because I travel to events a lot, I like to try and conform to what our hosts want to see. Going into this event, I was at -1 on the comp scale.

Comp Requirements:
-0.5: model over 10% total points
-0.5: unit over 25% total points'
-0.5: minimum troop selections (only 2 or minimum sized)
-0.5: overemphasis on one force org slot over another
-0.5: repeated units - three sets of the same two, or three of one
-0.5: repeated equipment (i.e all meltas on untis)-1.0: Overly abusive list

Here's the list I brought:
Prime w/ BS&LS, Toxin Sacs, Regen
6 Ymgarls
2 Hive Guard
14 Gaunts
1 Loaded Tervigon
6 Stealers w/Broodlord
4 Shrikes
2 DakkaFexes
3 Biovores

     The Dakkafex unit ate up a huge amount of points, but I've been wanting to take it for a spin for a while now. Aside from that, I didn't get any other comp dings. Let me hit the high points of my 3 games:

Game #1 vs. Eldar w/ Tau allies. My opponent had Eldrad, an Avatar, 2 units of pathfinders, 2 units of Dark Reapers, a unit of Warp Spiders, a Tau commander, Firewarriors and one of the Tau fliers.

     Going into the battle, I knew that most of my psychic offense was effectively shut down, so a few of my more effective synergies wouldn't be running. That said, my opponent only had around 2 dozen models, and I knew if I could make it to mid-game, I'd  stand a good chance of turning the tide.

     I got off to a bad start when my genestealers were obliterated by redeployed Warp Spiders. It didn't help that I ran them up in his face, forgetting that you can't assault 1st turn with infiltrators. Rookie mistake. For some reason, my opponent choose to ignore most of my monsters and concentrated on killing spawned gaunts. I tied up the Avatar with Gaunts, and took down Eldrad, the Tau commander, and a unit of reapers with a single volley from the Dakkafex's. From there, I mopped up the rest of his army, even using his own quad-gun to take down his flyer, for a big win.

Game #2 vs Calypso2t's Daemons. You can see what he brought and his thoughts on the event here. The mission was unique in that there was a CD sized objective in the middle of the board, and you got VPs by sacrificing single models to the Maw. You could only do 1 model/unit, but it did make for some interesting choices (ie, throw my unwounded Tervigon down the hole, or wait a couple of turns?). Check out Calypso2t's rundown for more details. The battle was tight, and came down to just a few sacrifices, but I have to say that I was outplayed and barely managed to get by with a minor loss.

Game #3 vs Trevor's Orcs. As usual, Trevor and I had a slapfight. Hammer and Anvil deployment, with Killpoint objectives, neither of us wanted to run across the empty no-man's land. Either I was going to be shot up by his lootas and shoota boyz, or he was going to be barraged by biovores and hive guard. From the start, I knew the best I could do was a draw.

     The first 4 turns went by in the span of 20 minutes. We barely moved as we traded units. His Dakkajet took out my Tervigon, which was taken down by my Dakkafexes. His Zagstruk lead Stormboyz annihilated my biovores with a heroic intervention, which were in turn wiped out by my Shrikes. Then the weirdness happened. I popped my Ymgarls near a truck that hadn't moved, expecting an easy kill. What happened? Total wiffs. Trevor responded with his Deff Dread, which unexpectedly penetrated by a random rend before it gets a chance to strike.

     By this time I decided to move up my Dakkafex unit with Prime. They're trying to be supported by an Endurance giving Broodlord, but out of the 7 endurance casts (once from the Tervigon and then every turn from the Broodlord) I only managed 1 success. At this point, we both figure we should make a game out of it, and he runs in 2 30-man Shoota boy units with his Warboss. I gotta tell you, T6 is a pain in the ass. After a few turns of combat, he eventually takes down the 2 Carnifexes, and I manage to whittle down a boyz squad to just 6 guys. In the last round of combat on the last turn, Trevor gets a few wounds on me, but I manage to keep my Prime alive with 1 wound. I do enough wounds to cause a panic check on the small boyz unit. The boys, joined by the Warboss, break. I manage to edge him out by a few killpoints for a minor win.

Overall, it was a great time. I had a few really close games. I liked how the Dakkafex unit worked, but I have to try it a few more times to really get the hang of it.

Let me know what you think.



  1. chris, I'm not real familiar with tyranids. How do they fair in close combat against say...nurgle bikers or nurgle spawn? And I'm just curious If youll answer this but What in your opinion is the best way to bring tyranids to their knees? ignore gaunts and small stuff and focus on biovores and dakkafexes?

    1. The problem with Tyranids against Nurgle units is that just about everything is poisoned on the Tyranids. That really negates the extra toughness Nurgle units rely on to survive.

      In my experience, the way to take down Tyranids is to blow away the little ones, along with their fast units. Most armies do not have enough firepower to knock out a Tervi or the dakkafex unit in one turn. Once the Monstrous Creatures are isolated they - for the most part - do not have a lot of attacks so you can tarpit them with a Zombie horde or other small units.

      Really if you can pin them in place for 2 or 3 turns, they are not fast enough to get to the objectives.

    2. How do Tyranids fair in close combat against Chaos? Well, I personally love whenever any MEQ wants to try and go toe to toe. Against any of the big bugs or my dedicated assault troops, I would love to be in combat against bikers or Spawn. Even with my small bugs, it's okay. Either my troops will have toxin sacs (posion), thus generating lots of wounds, or they ignore armor and have the potential to instant death.

      How to take Tyranids down with Chaos? I'll use my list above as an example. Let’s go over the target priority:
      1) Tervigon
      2) Dakkafex’s w/ Prime
      3) Shrikes
      Wildcards) Ymgarls

      Turns 1&2 you should try and take out the Tervigon, not because it itself is that powerful, but because he can spawn a bunch of bodies and shoot out spells. If I get a few good spawn rolls, an elite Chaos army is going to have a hard time to take down all those bodies. He’s also going to be shooting off buffing or de-buffing spells. You’re taking out the synergies by taking out the Tervigon. That said, it’s not going to be easy. He’s going to be behind cover or my advancing troops, and will probably have FnP on him.

      Starting turns 2 or 3, you're going to eat some Ymgarls. If it’s kill points, I want to get at least 2 from you to make sure I’m up on that trade. If it’s objectives, I want to get stuck in and disrupt your backfield. Simple solution, make sure you've bubble-wrapped what you want to protect. If you're using cultists to do this, good! The Ymgarls will eat a bunch of bodies, but the way you take out genestealers is with just a ton of bodies. They're great at assault, but they'll eat it against a crowd.

      Turns 2&3 is also when I'm starting to get close. It's a pain in the ass, but Carnifex/Prime unit has to be dealt with. In this list, they’re my Deathstar. They’re gonna pour out 24 twin-linked S6 shots from their Devourers. Adding to the pain, they'll usually have Endurance on them, giving them FnP and IWnD. Maybe tie them up with more cultists. If you can get a full unit stuck in, it’ll take at least a few game turns to whittle them down. They'll only kill maybe 7 bodies a round. A big unit of cultists could hold them up. You also take away their shooting potential when you engage them. You could try and put a lord into them, but if you challenge, I’m gonna accept with the Prime, who brings your Initiative down to 1 and can instant kill you before you get to strike. He could survive the combat, but it’s a bit risky.

      In terms of the other stuff, you don't care about the hive guard. Just keep out of their range. Biovores could clear some cultists up, and get some lucky shots, but you can mitigate both of those factors. Ignore the small unit of stealers. They're not gonna do much but sit on an objective. Bikers may be able to take them with some good shooting. Spawn would be great to take them down. Stay away from the Shrikes, they'll murder any of your elite stuff. I'd say throw cultists at them, but with their maneuverability it'd be hard to pin them down. Just shoot them.

      Now, all this depends on the mission. You can generally ignore my little guys, unless I have a ton of them. They're my cultists. They’ll tie you up until their bigger brother come in.

      Sound Good?


    3. Tyranids generally want to be in assault as an army. They have some shooting units but nothing will ever outshoot a specialist army. Comparing them to bikers or spawn is too close to a vacuum. Using bikes or spawn to tie up key units so that you can remove synapse or support units is more important.

      Beating bug isn't usually about throwing more force into their advancing waves, it's about managing the waves with tarpits, tank shocks, or sacrificial units while you remove a select few units they need for the mission. Tervigon heavy lists may be tough on objective games so you can aim to draw on objectives and edge it out with bonus points. Tyranids are typically terrible at "purge the alien" so that shouln't be a problem.

      I had a 1500pt game with my zombie list vs double flyrants, double tervigons, hive guard, zoans, and doom in a pod. Stay tuned for a report it will be a pretty textbook example on how to dismantle a tough tyranid build.

  2. looking forward to it hyv3mynd. Crispy... as always n informative article. I feel like I understand the nids a bit more.

    1. Well, I look forward to our next game. Soon I'll be able to get my butt handed to me in 2 game systems.

    2. Yay another convert! what army are you picking up?

    3. You are drunk Craig. You've played my O&G.