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Recently I Investigated using the Psychic Scream, Psychic Power en mass, as a result I developed this tactic. So far it has routed a Tau Army (link (3000pts Tau vs Tyranids)), but it is by no means thoroughly tested. Following will be a Tactic Outline, a description of the army components required and things to be aware of when list building. Following this is a basic outline of how to use the tactic and finally things to be aware of in game that I have discovered or been made aware of using this tactic.
This Tactic makes use of the Psychic Scream Power available to Hive Tyrants and Zoanthropes. Itís a good tactic to try out becausea)Itís creepy and cool and very Tyranidyb)It requires no modifications to models as the key component is a Psychic Power not represented on the models.The Tactic involves forcing your opponent to make Ld tests, through shooting casualties, or more preferably winning combat. You ďcreepĒ your Psychic Screamerís up the field blanketing your opponent with multiple -1 to LD until they need snake eyes to pass Ld Tests. Then Force them to make Ld Tests.
The most important component of your Creeping Scream is your Psychic Screamers. This will in most cases be Zoanthropes. They need to take the Psychic Scream Power and then you can choose another if you wish. If you have Synapse problems you can take Synapse, however tanks are a big weakness in an army designed to force Ld tests so I recommend Warp Blast (and people tend to see them as less of a threat without Synapse).
You can also take Psychic Scream on your Hive Tyrant, I highly recommend this. As he will be the toughest Psychic Screamer you can purchase, and it also helps to protect him from Close combat Monkeys as they have to take ld test to charge him at -1 or more depending on your ďScream BlanketĒ (A term Iíve coined for the locations of your Psychic Screamers and the general coverage and Intensity of your Psychic Scream). I donít recommend a second Hive Tyrant and the reasons why will become apparent soon.
So you have your Scream Blanket. And everything within 18Ē fears you; next component is your Scary Element. The things you will use to force people to take Ld tests. The vast Variety of things that can fill this category is immense. And Iíll give my opinions on most of them. First though your most valuable Biomorph is Adrenal Glands (I), at least for your Close Combat Scary Elements; Following that you are going to take alot of shooting casualties after sweeping a unit, so Extended Carapace is good.
Broodlord: This Badboy is mean, nasty and just plain cool, coupled with his retinue of Genestealers he is are bound to win a close combat or two. He has a High Initiative too so when you do make people run you tend to Sweep them up more often and that is going to be a win and the Biggest hope of any Scary Element. I advise giving him as many upgrades as you can afford. +1I and +1 Save are my Weapons of Choice because if he loses a combat you donít get to use the Scream Blanket, and if you do you really want to catch everything in a Sweeping Advance.
Tyrant: Only really effective as a Scary Element if he has Wings otherwise heís too slow. Can also double as a Psychic Screamer as well but I donít have one so I havenít used it, and Iím not sure of the merits.
Genestealers: They are on the same bent as the Broodlord and make excellent scary elements.
Dakkafex: I donít personally have a Dakkafex (I do want one) in my army but they certainly put the hurt down so are a good scary element.
Warriors: With Rending Claws and Leaping or Flying they are more effective than Genestealers only more expensive and more resilient.
Lictor: Finally a use for your favourite model (at least mine)
1. Pop out
2. Kill two guys
3. Force Ld test
5. Rinse and Repeat
Hormagaunts: No, I say no, I can see your head turning already. Reason they are too Fast. 6Ē movement, D6Ē Fleet and 12Ē charge. Now if they started in line with your Psychic Screamers they are out of range of the Blanket in the second turn when they charge. Additionally although they lay down the hurt they often lose too many numbers to win a close combat. But donít exclude them from your army they can work against Fearless troops, Space Marines and for Holding Objectives, Just not as a Scary Element.
Gaunts: All Flavours of gaunt are good army components just donít use them for the Scary Element.
Rippers: Excellent unit for the army, bad for Scary Element, Canít Capture objectives. But if you come across those nasty Fearless Troops keep Ďem busy with a half dozen or more bases in a Ripper Swarm.
Gargoyles: I havenít used them because of $ price. But med-Large units should be able to route some units because of Bio-Plasma and maybe even from Flesh borer Casualties.
Ravenors: These have the same problem as Hormagaunts none of the benefits, not a good unit for this list.
Zoanthropes: These guys should all be busy providing Scream Blanket, not enough room to be used for Scary Element. Donít forget they are also your anti-tank, they are valuable.
Barbed Carny: If you have a Barbed Strangler in any configuration you can also lay down the hurt and force Ld tests.
Other Carnys: Unless your opponent is slow and easily caught off guard close combat Carnies wont make good Scary Elements. Though other variants of Ranged Carnies should work well.
Your Creeping Scream, has some Scary Elements and some Psychic Screamers. The rest of your list can be as you desire although there are just a few points to bring up.
Synapse is one, if youíre using Warp blast with your Zoanthropes then you might be short on Synapse, if you followed my advice you should have Broodlord and Hive Tyrant for Synapse. But if you didnít, and I can see some reasons why you wouldnít, Warriors are your last option and in my opinion your best. If I have the points and the slots Iíll field two, four man strong teams usually equipped with Deathspitters and/or Devourers.
The Next Point is Objectives, this list doesnít really cater for Objective taking. And I have to be honest I donít have any tried and tested objectives strategies; Iím sure you can figure it out yourself but hereís my opinions anyway. A couple of squads of Termagaunts, running across the table or Hormagaunts doing the same. Without Numbered Spinegaunts, with a Warrior Brood babysitting for objectives close to your deployment. But I think the best way to win objectives based games is to completely wipe out your foe.
Using the Creeping Scream.
You Scream Blanket should be Deployed so that each Psychic Screamer is covered by another Psychic Screamer and overlap is the aim of the game. 12Ē between each Psychic Screamer across the Front of your deployment zone is good, Hive Tyrant opposite toughest targets.
You have to watch your Synapse too, although youíve probably got that down pat. My opinion is, putting Warriors next to those Zoanthropes is a good bet.
Up the front near Psychic Screamers goes the Scary Elements. And Broodlord and retinue go towards the bulk of the army, easiest to kill targets first (being infiltrators). Cover is your friend, survival till close combat is important.
Your Scream Blanket is a moving cover of everything that takes ld fails. So you want to concentrate it over as many units as possible. If you can, try to cover the targets your Scary element are going to shoot or assault in that turn. Your Scary element should never assault anything outside of your Scream blanket, keep them within 18Ē. Your Scary Element needs to win combats and win them fast. Getting bogged down for a turn just isnít an option. So move towards something you have under Scream Blanket.
You should aim to shoot at units you can force an Ld test. No point shooting a big 20 Ork unit with a venom cannon, you have to force Ld test. So only shoot at what you can force a check, if nothings open then think ahead. That 20 Ork Unit could be a 16 Man Unit. Just think, can I kill ľ of them, if not try another. And again deal with the easiest to force units first. Once they are running they arenít bothering you; Chipping away at a huge squad of Terminators doesnít help anybody if they donít run.
Same Principle as the Shooting but now you have the added bonus of Sweeping anybody who tries to run from you. A Lictor that joins the fight or the Broodlord can sweep those nasty units and they are gone, freeing you up to sweep more units. If they manage to get away you should be safe so long as they are under the Scream Blanket.
If your scary element is Assault based then you have another problem, opponents shooting. Since we cannot consolidate into other units we are left to scrambling for cover, running straight for the next target or bugging out. Itís all situational though and I canít describe every situation. So think about what youíre going to do after a unit you assault is dead and if in doubt multiple scary elements to cover for losses.
Fearless; a rule that stomps all over Creeping Scream. Any units that are fearless or like space marines donít run from combat, need to be handled slightly differently. I vote: avoid like the plague, but there are alot of marine armies out there. What can you do against them? Read other Tactica to be honest.
So thatís Creeping Scream, Get out there and put the Fear of the Hive into the Enemy, then tear them to shreds.
Any Wisdom, Gripes, Errors, Praise. Iíd love to hear it, tell me Iím an idiot; Iíd love to hear whatís wrong with the tactic. And as Iíve said this is a tactic that is untested. If youíve used something similar or if you try it out, Iíd love to hear how it went. Thatís how tactics evolve and become awesome and viable.
Three days, no Opinions? If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it, and I'd rather hear that my tactic is crap than nothing.
I'm pawning this to everyone Check out My 'Nids Tactica and give your Oppinion. I'm Desperate for Attention.
I love the idea of this tactic, and tried a similar one with my DE recently as raiders can have an upgrade that has a similar ability (which also combines nicely with their pinning horrorfexes!) The main problem I came across, as you mentioned, is the large amounts of fearless/immunity to leadership effects there are out there. I would really love to see this in action though.
http://www.armyroster.com Check out my ToP WIP in the projects section!