Friday, October 30, 2009

Tyranid Questions!

Email from JT:

Hey man, I appreciate the insight on my new "choir" list (I like
calling them screamers... sexier). Anyways, in a list I'm going for,
what do I do about the big bastards? I understand now that I shouldn't
mix CC with shooting, but I'm always afraid of greater daemons,
avatars and the like.

Also, what are the logistics on this sort of tactics against Marine
Equivalents? Power armor is a big concern of mine, since the only AP3
or better is on my Zoans, and I'm guessing they're not so accurate
against small squads.

Again, I appreciate the help, boss.



Glad my choir list helped out!

To answer your questions:

1. Mixing CC and Shooting. I think this is a misconception among many tyranid player. IMO there are things in the army that can mix and things that can't. The big 3 are warriors, carnifexes, and tyrants. Warriors need to either be equiped for CC or Shooting. Carnifexes IMO can mix (hence the BOOMFEX!!!!). IMO Tyrants should always be shooting because it is the one BS4 thing in the army.

2. To deal with the big guys simply torrent them with devourers. They will eventually fail those saves.

3. To take care of MEQ simply put tons of wounds on them they will eventually fail those 3+ saves.

Fairly simple stuff, but sometimes that is what works ;-)

Hope that helps!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Stelek Mission

So for today, I write on the mission that has been become known as the "Stelek Mission." The goal of ths mission is to eliminate any imbalances in the current mission system as well as many of the current tournament "off the wall" missions. Note that I have added in a few of my own tweaks to make the mission IMO even more balanced. So without more waiting here is how the mission works:

Battlefield Setup: The battlefield is to be setup in a non-cluttered balanced mirror setup. This means that each table quarter should have an equal number of terrain pieces of equal size. For example: If a table quarter has a x-sized forest terrain and a x-sized bunker (x is just a variable to represent the size of terrain piece; I.E. small, medium, large) in one table quarter then the opposite table quarter should be setup in a similar manner. Here is a visual example of a well balanced board setup:

The Green Patches are forests and the black Boxes are either bunkers or buildings. The box is a building or other difficult terrain area terrain that will provide a cover save. Note this is not to scale and can be setup differently and can have more or less terrain to your liking but the key is to have enough terrain for good cover but not too much that it make a tank take a dangerous terrain test anywhere it goes.

Deployment: Same as the standard 40K mission. Man that was easy ;)

Who goes FIRST?!?: To determine this use the standard mission rules in the 40K rule book.

Objectives: This mission uses both KPs and objectives. There are always 5 objectives and 5 KPs. Here is how both of these work:

Objectives: Place 5 objectives as follows. Place 1 in the dead center of the board. Next place an object 17" away from each corner of the board. In addition those 4 "corner" objectives cannot come with in 12" of any board edge. The normal rules for capturing objectives in the 40K rule book apply. Here is how the objective placement should look (the red dots are the objectives):

Kill Points: Basically before the game you choose 5 different enemy units to be a kill point unit. This means that they follow the rules for Kill point missions in the 40K rulebook with the follwing exceptions:
  • "Reinforcements"- upgrades like without numbers and send in the next wave will not award additional kill points if they are killed multiple times.
  • Splitting Squads (aka Combat squads ect...) - if an opponent chooses to split a squad and you choose that unit as a kill point unit then only 1 of the 2 "new" units becomes a kill point unit. This choice is of the one who chooses the KPs of the original unit.
  • Combing squads (aka Imperial Guard Infantry squads) - If a player chooses to combine 2 or more squads that are kill point squads then the new combined unit only counts as 1 KP. In addition the other player can choose x-number of new kill point units. X is the number of KP he would lose from that squad combination, I.E. if a player combines 2 KP units together then the other player could choose 1 more KP unit; if a player combines 3 KP units into one new unit then the other player can choose 2 more Kill Point units and so on...
Who WINS? - Each objective/KP is worth 1 point. The winner is simply the one with the most points at the end. No minor victor minor loss crap just WIN/LOSE/DRAW... the way it should be.

So that is the "Stelek Mission" with a few tweaks by me. I hope that Stelek will drop in and give his thoughts on my take on his mission!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Future...

So with the new codex coming in just over 3 months I thinking of things to do when it comes out. Obviously a codex review is in order but what else... I think a "Know Your Foe" series. What do you all think? Throw some ideas my way. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October

So it's October and as we all know the Tyranid's 5th Edition Codex is out in January. So what to do for the next 3 months... Well between school and college basketball I figure I'll try to get a new army started. That new army will be a mech guard army! So I'm putting my nids on hold and only playing non-Nid armies (unless some local puck challenges me) till the new codex comes out, but I hill still help you all out if you want it. ;)

So here are just a few things to show you all what I'm working on! Tell me what you think?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

500pt Bitch Slap Nid List

  1. Hive Tyrant w/ x2 TL Devourers, Enhanced Senses
  2. Hive Tyrant w/ x2 TL Devourers, Enhanced Senses
  1. Ripper Swarms x3
  2. Gaunts x8 w/ Spinefists
Heavy Support
  1. Carnifex w/ Scything Talons, Barbed Strangler
  2. Carnifex w/ Scything Talons, Barbed Strangler

If the game you are playing only requires 1 troop slot then replace the troop section with theis:
  • Gaunts x8 w/ Spinefist, without number
Ok so here is how it works, quite simple actually. Basically you just target their troops (avoid their super killy unit if they have one by good spacing) and make them play for a draw. If you place your objective then place it out of LOS (or in cover) and keep your gaunts in that cover (GtG for a 3+ cover save) and in the late game move one of your Tyrants back for synapse. And people say that Nids suffer at low point cost. I beg to differ!

Ok so here is another crazy 500pt list (note it requires the one troop rule)

  1. Hive Tyrant w/ x2 TL Devourers, Enhanced Senses
  2. Hive Tyrant w/ x2 TL Devourers, Enhanced Senses
  1. Gaunts x8 w/ Spinefists, Without Number
Heavy Support
  1. Carnifex w/ Rending Claws, Barbed Strangler
  2. Carnifex w/ Rending Claws, Barbed Strangler
  3. Zoanthrope w/ Synapse
Army works the same but you put the zoanthrope by your objective in cover (or out of LOS would be better) and provide synapse to the WoN gaunts! I only know of one list that could reliably beat this list but I not going to give it unless you all really want to know it...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nids Help/Build Request

Email from Zubin Lal -


>I have a question on Nids. Would it be smart to have an "elite warrior" army which would be "tricked" out Warriors with lots of Carapace armour upgrades and Syching Talons. Sorry if questions are newby but I'm new :).




Thanks for the email Z :)

OK well all warrior armies are not my fav and not really that competitive but I will see what I can do.

The first thing to realize is what you need in the list. There are 3 major things that are needed:
  1. Anti-infantry
  2. Anti-vehicle
  3. A CC threat
Now those 3 things are important to a good army build. The only problem is that Nids don't have a great anti-vehicle option (don't try to pretend that a carnifex or warp blast is one because well it is not). With that the best I can do is well make do with what they do have.

The next step is to pick the units that we can have in the army while sticking to the "theme" of the army being warriors:

  • Warriors
  • Warriors
  • "Elite" Carnifexes
  • Lictors would be here but they cost too much and we need the slots for warriors ;)
  • Gaunts
  • Genestealers if points allow
Fast Attack
  • Well there isn't much to do here. I mean flying warriors look cool but a 5+ armour save is not :(
  • We could use raveners but leaping warrior (spoiler alert are better IMO)
Heavy Support
  • Zoanthropes
  • Carnifexes
OK now that we know what we can take it is now time to lay out the structure of the list. Now this list is going to be a bit min maxish but most nid list are like that now...

OK so where to start....

Oh yeah warriors. So the army will only need two types of them; Shooty and Combat warriors.

First type up will be shooty. These will have the following loadout:
  • Toxin Sacs
  • Deathspitters
  • One different weapon-symbiote for each warrior (this is for wound allocation - go look it up on a 40k forum and you will find something about it and how it works)
Each warrior will run 27pts plus the cost of the second weapon. In addition on warrior will be armed with a barbed strangler instead of a death spitter.

Ok so onto the CC Warriors. There loadout will be as follows:
  • Leaping
  • Adrenal Glands (I and WS)
  • Extended Carapace
  • Flesh Hooks
  • Toxin Sacs
  • Rending Claws
  • Scything Talons
These run about 37pts each.

OK so now we have our warriors as we want to take them so lets put that in the back of our head and get to the rest of the stuff in the list.

Next up is the carnifex. Ok so these are not "warriors" but I like to think of them as big fat warriors ;)

OK so for this list I will use a build of carnifex called a boomfex. It is equipped like this:
  • Scything Talons
  • Barded Stanglers
So this runs 113pts and serves as a jack of all trades for the list.

Onto the zoanthropes. They are quite simple. They have warp blast and synapse. These guys serve as an anti-tank/MEQ unit (althou they are not the most reliable they are all the nids have for anti-tank that will destroy a vehicle at range).

OK so we now know everything in the list other than the troops section. So lets recap on what we have:

2 units of 6 shooty warriors (as HQ) - 392 pts

2 units of 5 close combat (as elites) - 444 pts

1 Boomfex (taken as an elite choice) - 113 pts

2 Boomfexes (taken as Heavy Support) - 226 pts

3 Zoanthropes w/ synapse and warp blast - 195 pts

This brings the point total to 1376 pts so far. That leaves 124 pts for troops. Not much so lets see what we can drop. Lets drop one boomfex that gives us 237 pts to work with... much better.

For troops we need some small units of WoN spine gaunts to provide mobile cover and to claim objectives after they die and come back on the board. Lets take 2 broods of 8 of them. That leaves us with 109pts. With those points lets buy an outflanking brood of genestealers. Give them feeder tendrils and scuttlers and you are done. Take and brood of 6 of them and that is it. That unit costs 120pts so we are 11 pts over. So where to shake a 11 pts? Lets just drop one synapse off 2 of the zoanthropes. We are now done.

So here is the final list:

1500 Pts - Tyranids Roster

HQ: Warriors (6#, 196 pts)
1 Warriors @ 196 pts (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Lash Whips x1; Deathspitter; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Scything Talons x1; Barbed Strangler; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Rending Claws x1; Deathspitter; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Scything Talons x1; Deathspitter; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Deathspitter; Spinefists; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Deathspitter; Fleshborer; Synapse Creature)

HQ: Warriors (6#, 196 pts)
1 Warriors @ 196 pts (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Lash Whips x1; Deathspitter; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Scything Talons x1; Barbed Strangler; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Rending Claws x1; Deathspitter; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Scything Talons x1; Deathspitter; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Deathspitter; Spinefists; Synapse Creature)
1 Warriors (Toxin Sacs +1 St; Deathspitter; Fleshborer; Synapse Creature)

Elite: Warriors (5#, 225 pts)
5 Warriors @ 225 pts (Adrenal Glands +1 In; Adrenal Glands +1 WS; Extended Carapace +1 Save; Flesh Hooks; Leaping; Toxin Sacs +1 St; Rending Claws x1; Scything Talons x1; Synapse Creature)

Elite: Warriors (5#, 225 pts)
5 Warriors @ 225 pts (Adrenal Glands +1 In; Adrenal Glands +1 WS; Extended Carapace +1 Save; Flesh Hooks; Leaping; Toxin Sacs +1 St; Rending Claws x1; Scything Talons x1; Synapse Creature)

Troops: Gaunt Brood (8#, 64 pts)
8 Gaunt Brood @ 64 pts (Spinefists; Without Number)

Troops: Gaunt Brood (8#, 64 pts)
8 Gaunt Brood @ 64 pts (Spinefists; Without Number)

Troops: Genestealers (6#, 120 pts)
6 Genestealers @ 120 pts (Feeder Tendrils; Scuttlers; Rending Claws)

Heavy Support: Carnifex (1#, 113 pts)
1 Carnifex @ 113 pts (Scything Talons x1; Barbed Strangler)

Heavy Support: Carnifex (1#, 113 pts)
1 Carnifex @ 113 pts (Scything Talons x1; Barbed Strangler)

Heavy Support: Zoanthrope (3#, 175 pts)
1 Zoanthrope @ 175 pts (Toxic Miasma; Synapse Creature; Warp Blast; Warp Field)
1 Zoanthrope (Toxic Miasma; Warp Blast; Warp Field)
1 Zoanthrope (Toxic Miasma; Warp Blast; Warp Field)

Total Roster Cost: 1491

If you want an expanded list to 1750 or 1850pts ect... then just ask :)

*note that this army is not the most competitive but it would be fun to play :)*

Friday, September 4, 2009

Things to remember about MECH

Here are 3 things to remember about mech.
1. If they are shooting army then they want to shoot from the fire points on the vehicles. If they are assualting then they have to wait a turn to assault (unless they has LR or open topped vehicles)
a. Note that a crew shaken or stunned result will not allow the unit inside the transport to shoot unless they get out which just makes them like any other foot unit or forces your opponent to waste a turn of shooting with that unit.
b. Note that an assaulting mech army outside of LR (not much we can do
but then again you won't see more than 2 of them or the enemy will be outnumbered even to Nidzilla lol) and Open-Topped (hey venomcannon penn those vehicles HELL YEAH) will have to get close in order to guarantee an assault the next turn. This allows two things to happen:
1. You can surround the tank not allowing them to disembark and therefore have to move again.
2. You can choose which unit they will have to charge (AKA gaunts lol)
2. A shooting army doesn't want to get out unless it has too or is doing some type of rhino rush. An assualty army will not get out until they can assault.
a. Note that a unit that has to get out to shoot is usually a unit with weak armour (IG, eldar, ect) or Space marines (wow bolters and a melta gun or flamer "real scary"). Also note these die to BS or TL Devourers quite easily.
b. see the above but note the same thing to them dying.
3. If they do get out they are just like any other foot army except they move a little fast for a couple of turns. This takes away their advantage.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Tyranid Tourney List, help needed

This is the message:


So I am reading through you 6 steps for better Nids. I generally like to field a flying tyrant and what is the best way to equip him? stick with the devourers or go combat? also in regards to a walking tyrant how should i run him?
I thought the BS and deathspitter combo would add some more infantry killing ability? or would the dakka tyrant be better? also my heavy fexes and the whole VC/BS combo is it worth it ? i find my self getting stuck with wanting to take out tanks but they just cant get them to pop... would it e better to add death spitters to the fex just to get more templates down?


For a Flyrant, I equip them like this:

Hive Tyrant - x2 TL Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Enhanced Senses, Warp Field

You can add some other upgrades if need be but I usually don't take them because this guy can get the job done without them! ;)

For a Walking Tyrant, run them this way:

Hive Tyrant - x2 TL Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Enhanced Senses, Shadow in the Warp (if you include a second one give it Psychic Scream), x 2-3 Tyrant Guards w/ lash whips

Once again, more upgrades can added but I get the job done with him how he is so yeah...

Hope this helps and give some feed back to me on how it works for you ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What do you think of this?

Email from blackjack on warseer:

>I don't want to spam variants of my list too often in the forums but I have been reading your blog.
>What do you think of this for 1845?
>Dakka Walk Rant w Psy Scream
>3 Guards w Lash, (with my extra 5pts I can do flesh hooks and IA on the guards for wound allocation abuse, I save that for cheesy opponents.)
>Dakka Walk Rant w Psy Scream
>3 Guards w Lash.
>3 Boom Fexs (thanks to you)
>3 Sniper Fexs (I find the 6 str10 VC shots really help to shake and bake tanks)
>2 squads of 10 scuttle and Feeder stealers for out flank.
>2 squads of 8 WON guants run as a screen to the rant guards.
>1845 pts, 14 kill points.

Pretty dang good list. :)

The only problem that I can see with it is that the WoN gaunts don't have a babysitter. That can be solved by simply either adding zoanthropes but then you lose a sniperfex. Here is a more complex tactic to solve the problem. Simple stretch the unit out from the object. This will effectively add about 19" onto the synapse range to the objective.

Other than that the only change that I would make is maybe change one Psychic Scream to Shadow in the Warp for a little psychic defense.

As an extra point here is a link to prove that the boomfex is so good:

Elite Fexes ---> Don't let the vote fool you ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hive Tyrant Tactics

This great tactica is brought to us by Wolf_Lord_Skoll of Heresy Online:

Here is a link to the original THREAD.

And here it is. It is quite a good read!

A while back I decided I was going to write a Tyranid Tactica. So I started woth the Hive Tyrant. I quickly realised that the Tactica would be huge, and that it would be far better in parts. So here is the first part of it, the Hive Tyrant. I have limited expierence with Hive Tyrant's, most of this is based off how the Tyranid army functions, as well as a theoretical scouring of the Hive Tyrant itself. As such, if you have any input or ideas, feel free to share, as I'm sure everyone will appriectate it

Updates in Green!


The general rule for Hive Tyrants is don’t mix roles. Flexibility is good and all, but total balance is better left to the army wide scale. Flexibility of a single choice means that it can do something if it needs to, but shouldn’t try and be good at it. A ranged Hive Tyrant won’t roll over and die if stuck in close combat and a character hunter can bust a tank if need be. However, that doesn’t mean give your ranged tyrant close combat enhancing bio-morphs, nor boost you character hunters tank killing power. So pick a role for your Hive Tyrant and stick to it. A good way to keep yourself on track is to pick the weapons first and then pick the bio-morphs that will benefit your chosen weapons.

Scything Talons- The basic close combat weapon. The best option for a melee Tyrant.

Lashwhip and Bonesword- It looks good on paper, but it’s a bit over-priced for what it does. The Lashwhip’s additional protective powers are nice and Catalyst is a bonus, however it’s not really worth the extra cost over a second set of Scything Talons. Most of your units will hit at the same time, if not before, opposing troops anyway. In most cases just stick to Scything Talons.

Rending Claws- These are quite useless. They only help against vehicles, and even then against AV13/14 to an extremely small degree. The only reason for choosing these would to save points, but why not just pay a few more to get Scything Talons instead?

Twin-linked Devourer- An awesome weapon. With enhanced senses and toxin sacs, alongside a pair of these will turn your Hive Tyrant into a killing machine. Twin-linked Devourers also make for a decent secondary weapon, thought with its short range it can be a bit limiting to the extra killing power. The range is really the only drawback, but when they used in pairs, it’s really not that much of a restriction. A great back-up weapon for a Tyrant with a Venom Cannon.

Twin-linked Deathspiter- This option is often over-looked. However, it makes for a decent secondary weapon. It isn’t the most outstanding weapon, but it is a solid choice none the less.

Spinefists- Cheap and for a good reason. They aren’t nearly as effective as any of the other weapons the Hive Tyrant has at its disposal. Its biggest drawback is the range. If you really want to save points, go ahead and use them but your much better off picking some up some deadly weaponry.

Venom Cannon- Not quite as effective as the Carnifex’s Venom Cannon at stunning heavy armour, but is much better for tackling the light vehicles. It also does well against models with high T but low armour, which are quite rare usually. A good weapon to combine this with is the Twin-linked Devourer, as it allows the Tyrant to turn to killing infantry if there are no tanks around, its a cheap second weapon and its high number of shots can help against light vehicles.

Barbed Stranglers- These aren’t nearly as great as on a Carnifex, more so than the Venom Cannon. The Hive Tyrants BS and extra attacks, which make up for the lack of strength on the Hive Tyrants Venom Cannon compared the Carnifex’s, the Barbed Strangler isn’t boosted by either of these bonuses. It is still a nice weapon, but without the high Instant Kill (to deal with Feel No Pain as well as multiple wounds) ability and that even with Toxin Sacs it still won’t wound T4 models on a 2+, the Barbed Strangler isn’t the greatest ranged weapon for a Hive Tyrant. A good secondary weapon for the Barbed Strangler is the Twin-linked Devourer, as both are made for scything down hordes or the Twin-linked Deathspiter, as it is a blast as well and can help out against tougher targets.

Psychic Powers
Catalyst- As previously mentioned, although Catalyst is a nice boost, it simply isn’t as good as some of the other powers. Again, most of your units will be striking at the same time or before most troops and if not, then they are likely to lose combat anyway. Although it is a decent option, look elsewhere first.

Psychic Scream- Although the -1 penalty to Ld seems great, it really isn’t all that much to boast about. The real power of Psychic Scream comes into play when you field a ‘Choir’ of multiple creatures with the Psychic Scream Power. Keep this in mind if you plan on using Psychic Scream, it’s got to be taken in multiples, preferably at least 3 but 4 and 5 are much better. Fielding one Psychic Scream isn’t that great unless you are facing Ld 7 opponents, which is rare, due to a unit being able to use the highest Ld in the unit.

The Shadow in the Warp- This is a good support power, especially against Chaos Space Marines, Eldar and to an extent, Space Marines. If your Hive Tyrant doesn’t have another power and you have the points, then The Shadow in the Warp is a good investment. However, Hive Tyrants often have need of other powers, so this isn’t an extremely common choice, but can be very useful.

Warp Blast- This isn’t as great a power as it seems. Check page 31, at the start of the Warp Blast section. A Hive Tyrant who uses Warp Blast cannot use another Bio-Weapon. This makes Warp Blast an expensive choice for a ranged Tyrant, who would mostly want to stick to firing two Bio-Weapons instead of the one Warp Blast. Also a ranged Hive Tyrant should have Enhanced Senses, which decreases the efficiency of Warp Blast majorly, as you lose the powerful focused bolt. It also isn’t the best choice on a combat Hive Tyrant, because as it wants to get into a melee as soon as it can, it would be preferable to run most turns. All in all, it’s an expensive choice for something that will be rarely used.

Warp Field- This really should only be taken by Winged Hive Tyrants and it is a good idea to give it to said Winged Hive Tyrants. A walking Hive Tyrant should just take Extended Carapace instead, as the 6+ Invulnerable Save isn’t quite worth the extra 10pts. A Winged Hive Tyrant can’t take Extended Carapace or Tyrant Guards and will also attract a lot of fire, so Warp Field is a good choice for them. Just don’t forget the 6+ Invulnerable save if you do take Warp Field!

Acid Maw- This is only really useful on a Hive Tyrant if you plan on using it to tackle other Monstrous Creatures or really tough infantry. Since the Hive Tyrant wounds most standard infantry units and a lot of characters on a 2+, you really don’t need the re-roll. Even against T5 models you still have a good chance of wounding. So only take this for Monstrous Creature hunting.

Bio-Plasma- One attack sounds nice, especially at I10 and a high Strength, but your opponent still gets an armour save. Even though it’s not hugely expensive, it is still not the best use of points. If your Hive Tyrant is made for killing hordes in close combat, or attacking light vehicles, go for Bio-Plasma, if not spend the points elsewhere. Remember you can only take this or Acid Maw, but as their roles are so different this really shouldn’t be a problem.

Adrenal Gland (I)- This is a good choice in some cases, and over-priced in others. It has a hefty price tag, but if you’re going up against high I enemies you will want it. Against most troops it won’t be all that useful, unless you’re playing elite combat heavy Eldar or Dark Eldar, or Tyranids. Most characters are at least I5, so you will want this if your Hive Tyrant is a character hunter.

Adrenal Gland (WS)- Like the Adrenal Gland (I), this biomorph has a greater impact when facing characters than when facing standard troops. However, unlike the Adrenal Gland (I), it is quite cheap and a good choice for any close combat Tyrant. This doesn’t mean it is a necessity for a combat monster, so if you‘re a few points over, a standard infantry hunting Hive Tyrant can lose his Adrenal Gland (WS).

Toxic Miasma- In practise, this has the exact same effect as Adrenal Gland (WS), except it has a slightly higher cost. Because of this, always pick up Adrenal Gland (WS) before Toxic Miasma. Unlike the Adrenal Gland (WS), this isn’t a biomorph you should just slap onto a close combat Hive tyrant, as if you have the Adrenal Gland (WS), you should have a high enough WS to kill Infantry. If you are planning on your Hive Tyrant killing characters, this should be a high priory option, else just leave it at home.

Enhanced Senses- If your Hive Tyrant has a ranged biomorph, he should have Enhanced Senses. If he doesn’t, he should not have this at all. A simple choice whether to take or not.

Extended Carapace- A nice way of protecting your Hive tyrant, but a bit on the pricey side. Although it helps against AP3 weapons, a lot of the weapons aimed at a Hive Tyrant will have an AP2 or AP1. Having at least one Tyrant Guard is better than having Extended Carapace, so if you have the points, buy your first Tyrant Guard over Extended Carapace. It is personal preference wether you go Extended Carapace or 2nd Tyrant Guard from there, but Extended Carapace before a 3rd Tyrant Guard is a good choice. Remember, try not to take some 2+ save Montrous Creatures and some 3+ save Montrous Creatures. It makes you enemy’s target selection easier.

Flesh Hooks- A good, cheap option for combat Hive Tyrants, and a good idea to chuck them on all your close combat Hive Tyrants. The only variety of combat Hive Tyrant that doesn’t need Flesh Hooks is a tank hunter, other than that the couple of points are worth it.

Implant Attack- Only pick this up if your Hive Tyrant is planning on attacking Monstrous Creatures, characters or tough multi-wound units in close combat. Note that the multiplication of wounds only affects the one model, it has no effect on single wound models.

Symbiote Rippers- No. Just No. They literally do nothing. Don’t waste the points.

Toxin Sacs- It doesn’t matter what your Tyrant is doing, this is a great choice almost every time. Its only downside is the cost, especially if you include the increased cost of the weapons. Simply put it, it is a great biomorph. If you can afford it, it is recommended.

Winged- This upgrade is expensive, but it gives your Hive Tyrant speed which makes it a very big threat. The most of all the biomorphs, this is a personal choice. A winged Hive Tyrant should have either combat or short range weaponry. Make the most of the flexibility. Be warned, Winged Hive Tyrants are one of the biggest fire magnets in the game.

Tyrant Guard
These guys can only be taken by non-Winged Hive Tyrants, but those who can take them should take at least one. Three is overkill in most games, but depending on what you face it may be necessary. Tyrant Guard can take those high AP shots for you Hive Tyrant and keep him safe from deadly close combat weapons. They have a few options, and what you chose depends on what role your Hive Tyrant fills.

Lashwhip- Lashwhips are an awesome choice for Tyrants. Ranged Tyrants should always take them, as they won’t miss the extra attack. Combat Tyrants may want to keep the Scything Talons to get a few extra kills, but Lashwhips help when facing killy stuff like Nobz and Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators.

Flesh Hooks- These should only be taken by a melee Hive Tyrant and being extremely cheap, there aren’t many reasons for not taking them.

Implant Attack- Much like the Hive Tyrant, Tyrant Guards should only take these if your Hive Tyrant plans on going toe-to-toe with either characters or monstrous creatures. They are expensive though, so even if that is your Tyrants role, you might not want to take them to save yourself some points.

Effective Builds
Hive Tyrants are very versatile, but they fulfil certain roles better than other. Hive Tyrants excel at granting short ranged fire support, tearing apart tanks with their scything talons and beating characters to a pulp. They can also be used for long range fire support, horde control and Monstrous Creature hunting, but not as well as the first three roles. Some tried and tested builds of Hive Tyrants are:

Dakka Tyrant: Give him two Twin-linked Devourers, Enhanced Senses and Toxin Sacs and prepare to watch him become a killing machine. Twelve shots with re-rolls on the hit and wound will make a mess of just about anything. Add a one or two Tyrant Guard for survivability and your all set. The only other upgrade that should be considered is extended Carapace, but really two Tyrant Guards should be enough.

Dakka Flyrant: Same as above, but with Wings instead of the Tyrant Guard. This makes it slightly cheaper, but easier to kill. However the added speed granted by the Wings make this Hive Tyrant able to cause havoc in the enemy lines. Warpfield is a viable option for this guy.

Light Tank Hunter: Just give your Hive Tyrant a pair of Scything Talons, Wings, Warp Field and Toxin Sacs and watch it tear light vehicles apart. The only other upgrade worth considering is Bio-Plasma, but it doesn’t get the Monstrous Creature bonus of 2D6 amour penetration, so it’s not recommended. He’s cheap and still able to hold his own if he gets caught, but don’t expect him to kill elite units or characters like a Hive Tyrant built to do that.

Character Hunter: A pair of Scything Talons, both Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and Toxic Miasma are the standard upgrades for this guy. Either with the Wings and Warp Field combination or a couple of Tyrant Guard with Lashwhips, this guy should be able to take down most characters he comes across. Implant Attack is another good option for this Hive Tyrant, but only if you are willing to spend the extra points.

Monstrous Creature Hunter: Same upgrades as the Hive Tyrant above, but with a few extras. Implant Attack is more useful here and this build is one of the only ones that will benefit from having Acid Maw. However, by this stage your Hive Tyrant will be getting expensive, so you might want to stick to some of the other builds. As for the Wings or Tyrant Guard decision, this guy will probably have more use for Tyrant Guard, and they would benefit from Implant Attack and/or Lashwhip. Keep in mind that this build will be very expensive and would only be really helpful against armies with a lot of tough units. Keep in mind that this build will be very expensive and would only be really helpful against armies with a lot of tough units.

Longed Ranged: Tyrants can make useful ranged support. The best weapon combination for this guy is Venom Cannon and Twin-Linked Devourers. Other, less effective, combinations include Venom Cannon & Twin-Linked Deathspiters, Barbed Strangler & Twin-Linked Deathspiters or Barbed Strangler & Twin-linked Devourers. The Tyrants weapon load determines his role, Tank-stunning is good with the Venom Cannon combinations, while Horde Killing is good with Barbed Strangler combinations. A Tyrant Guard or two can be handy, and Lashwhips help keep your Tyrant alive. As for bio-morphs, if you have only blast weapons, don’t bother with Enhanced Senses, but otherwise it’s a standard choice. Toxin Sacs are very useful, pumping up your Tyrants S helping him take down vehicles or high T units and helping him wound easier. Extended Carapace isn’t really needed if you have Tyrant Guard, but if you have two Guards and are looking at a third, take this first.

Tips and Tactics
Cover saves: Make sure you try and keep you Hive Tyrants in cover! Use Warriors, Zoanthropes, Lictors or other larger models to obscure half of your Tyrant. If you have a Hive Tyrant on foot with Tyrant Guard, the Tyrant Guards can get cover like infantry and as such, make it far easier to cover your Hive Tyrant.

Stun-spamming: If you have a Tyrant with a Venom Cannon, keep in mind his aim is to keep vehicles stunned, so don’t expect too many explosions. This means don’t waste shooting on a stunned tank in order to try and take it out if there is another tank nearby. It may seem like common sense, but that can be forgotten in the midsts of a battle. Just try your best to remember!

Wound Allocation: Use your Tyrant Guards wisely. If you get hit by an bunch of AP3 shots, use your wound allocation to negate as many as possible. Go through a few hypothetical situations, and learn how best to allocate to suit your needs.

Contesting: A winged Hive Tyrant is one of the fastest units in the Tyranids army, especially when moving without assaulting. If it’s your turn the bottom of the last turn and you need an objective, fly your Tyrant onto the objective, contest it and take the pressure off.

I would like to thank Wolf_Lord_Skoll for this great article!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

1500pt Tyranids List

This is my "Balanced" Nidzilla at 1500pts

  1. Hive Tyrants w/ 2 Twin-Linked Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Enhanced Senses, The Shadow in the Warp, x3 Tyrant Guards w/ Lashwhips
  2. Hive Tyrants w/ 2 Twin-Linked Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Enhanced Senses, Psychic Scream, x3 Tyrant Guards w/ Lashwhips
  1. Gaunt Brood x8 w/ Spinefists, Without Numbers
  2. Gaunt Brood x8 w/ Spinefists, Without Numbers
  3. Genestealer Brood x8 w/ Feeder Tendrils, Scuttlers
  4. Genestealer Brood x8 w/ Feeder Tendrils, Extended Carapace
  1. Carnifex w/ Scything Talons, Barbed Strangler
  2. Carnifex w/ Scything Talons, Barbed Strangler
Heavy Support
  1. Carnifex w/ Twin-Linked Deathspitter, Barbed Strangler
  2. Carnifex w/ Twin-Linked Deathspitter, Barbed Strangler
  3. Zonathrope w/ Synapse

Edit: Fixed list for points :)

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