Competitive 40k tactics and Battle Reports with the Tyranid Codex

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2000 point considerations

Given the 1850 list I played with at the most recent RTT this weekend, I have yet more thoughts on how to improve my army as a whole. Since 2000 is the main points level of my local meta, and of most large tournaments, here's my current theoretical 2000 point list...

Flyrant with Twin Devourers
Tyrant with shell, devourers and old Adversary, +1 guard with whips
2x3 Hive Guard
2x Venomthropes
2x20 Hormagaunts
2x10 gants
2xTervigons, with 3 powers, Toxin and (1xAdrenal)
2x Biovores

Ok, now let's look at the theoreticals, plus the results of my last RTT.

Both Tyrants performed very well overall. Hive Guard and Tervigons (plus termagants) are staple units, and are good enough that they're going no where. Now, let's look at Hormagaunts...

I love Hormagaunts. I played with them in 4th edition when I was learning the rules. My first 8 man brood was the first unit of 40k that I ever painted. Theyve since featured in every competetitive list I've written since then, and always in larger numbers. Compared to the humble termagant, they are vastly superior in CC especially when you add in Toxin and Adrenal. They are however, far more expensive, and now, after 4 and a half glorious years of wargaming, I must question their use. 40 of them, in 2 broods, costs a total of 400 points. With the total shift towards shooting, I think that Tyranids need to shift towards survivability through numbers. With all the upgrades they can get, any unit I have will wreck in close combat, the difference between Hormagaunts and termagants is no longer enough to warrant the cost increase. Let's look at what I could get, for 400 points:

One Tervigon, with Toxin and Adrenal, plus Adrenal on another Tervigon.

THIRTY termagants. I would redistribute them among my existing squads, adding ten to one of the ten man squads, and giving me one more 20 twenty man squad. This gives me 50 termagants in 20+20+10, as opposed to 20+20 Hormagaunts and 10+10 gants. Oh, and a Tervigon, plus 30 more points!

With 30 points, I'd probably drop whips on lone guard, and with the 35 points Id drop the two Venomthropes for two Zoanthropes. Obviously, Id have to swap out their powers. Currently, the Venoms help against massive shooting, and they make the hordes more survivable. As it is it's too easy to give MCs cover, theyre not needed for that anymore. If I'm facing a high volume of fire army, I'll swap out on Telekinesis in hopes of Telekine shield. If it doesnt work, I have FIVE more multiple-power Psychers who can each throw a roll in. Otherwise, I'll be rolling Biomancy. Endurance, Enfeeble, and Iron Arm will help out the army a lot, while Warp speed or haemorrhage I would swap out for Smite for some nice Ap. 2 shooting and Synapse. If against a vehicle heavy army, Im talking spam, I would go telepathy for the chances of Objuratio Mechanicum, and puppet Master. Both are great against vehicles!

What the Tervigon/gant replacement does to improve my army: I become far more survivable to shooting: Gants are as tough as termagants. My army loses 10 t3 6+ w1 models for one T6 W6 3+ model that has three psychic powers nad will be FAR better supporting the army. The gants also become weapons nearly as potent as Hormies, with guns, and with the potential for FAR more of them to pop up. With now three Tervigons on the table, I'd be far more comfortable spawning in the first and subsequent turns. First turn, I'll spawn with them one at a time, if I spawn out with one of the first two I'll probably hold off on the third. If it's a multiple objective mission I'll want to hold out a few of them for late game spawning, a favored tactic of mine. If it's relic, table quarters, two objectives etc. I may just flood the board completely, which is now an option.

What the Zoanthrope replacemant does to Improve my army: I now have far more tactical flexibility, by rolling on powers. Land Raiders? Hold them. My other options I covered above, but I now have more "adaptability" to the enemies army, as Tyranids should.

However, I have 25 points left. I think I'll throw Crushing Claws on one of the three, so that I have a little extra Ap. 2 Close Combat punch.

The final list:

DakkaTyrant with shell, OldAdversary and a guard
2x3 Hive Guard
2x Zoanthropes
10 gants
2x20 gants
3x Tervigons with Toxin/Adrenal
2x Biovores

There's only one problem...

This list looks amazing. It's also one of several you could find on the internet. This lists feels almost too spammy to me. Where as Tyranids, fluffwise, can justify spam, I still dont quite like it. Then again, looking at the top lists of GK henchmen, IG, and scythewing, I think this is something I can't have any qualms about. I'm building up for a 2000 point GT in October, and I'm aiming to score. In the Imperium mech spam meta that seems top, I want to show how good Tyranids can be. I think that I'm going to have to go for the dirtiest, cheesiest Tyranid list I can build. (With the Nids online reputation, not many people will ever, ever call them cheesy though) Still, I always enjoyed bringing units no one else brought, like my Hormas and Venoms. Overall, if I can do well in the tournament, I'll probably bring them out of "retirement", but for now my Venoms and Hormagaunts may be out of my competetive lists.

Please, comment! Think I should be more diverse in my army? Tell me! Think Hormagaunts trump termagants? Tell me! Any and all advice and critque is welcome! Feel free to tell me I'm stupid for being squeamish about considering spam in a tournament...


  1. I actually *love* that list. A little short on speed, but you can plug and play with it all day. Big fan of biovores too - the Tyranid Spanish Inquisition.

  2. I like the final list - its well rounded. I think just going with termagants is a lot better as they are more versatile than Hormies. You've got a lot of T6... I don't think you will miss the Venoms. Looking forward to playing against it soon. : )

  3. The dude from out west has been having lots of success packing lots of MCs. I think it's the way to go.

    1. I have 40 toughness 6 wounds! With 7 psychers (17 powers) I'll be throwing out enough Endurance and Iron Arm that I should be able to play attrition with almost any army in the game. Scythewing would be rough to target, but otherwise I really like the way this list looks. I also have enough High initiative SitW units (Tyrants and Zoeys) that I think I could protect the Tervis if I see Jaws spam again.