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Hi... I am parterning with a Tau player for a team tournament in a week... recommendations much appreciated as I'm a very new Tyranid player and really don't know what I'm doing : )
(have the basics though from playing WHFB for a couple years... but realize 40k is a very different game in a lot of ways)
Hive tyrant - scything talons, venom canon, winged, toxin sacs, enhanced sesnes, extended carapace
Broodlord with retinue of 8 genestealers - each with scything talons, toxin sacs and extended carapace, two have feeder tendrils
9 genestealers with extended carapace
13 gaunts with fleshborers
6 ripper swarms
4 warriors with scything talons, rending claws, toxin sacs
2 raveners with two sets of scything talons and deathspitter
Carnifex with venom canon and twin linked devourers, enhanced senses, scythe tail, extended carapace
Carnifex with scything talons and barbed strangler, tusked, bonded exoskeleton, mace tail, extended carapace, adrenal glands (WS) reinforced chitin
Welcome to the Tyranids! This is a really good resource for you to get some strategy, insight, and resrouces. Anyway, enough of the welcomes, let's delve straight into your army!
Before anything else, we need to focus on your goal. Are you supporting the Tau or are the Tau supporting you? Is this just a kill-em-all battle or will you need to go objective hunting? Are you expecting a lot of or specialized terrain (city fight, rolling hills, empty board, etc.)? Who are your opponents?
Human beings, while exceptional in the ability to learn from the mistakes of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to...
Well from near what I can figure (like I said, am pretty new to 40K) we're going to each take what we're good at - me the close combat assaults and the tau player is going to handle much of the long range shooting to aid me getting into assault... so I think the tau are supporting the nids on this one.... (as it should be right? )
the tournament organizer says that there will be a big variety of objectives games occurring (several of them of the home-made variety) so I'm not entirely sure what to expect fully... want to keep mobile and adaptable - mainly because I want to be able to adapt to whatever the situation will be.
From what I can gather, there are going to be several space-marine armies in attendance, a few eldar, couple tau, one necron for sure, and I believe one other tyranid player but I'm not sure if they are attending. As for others I'm not really sure.
here are the specific tournament rules:
2 players per team + + + 1500 points/player
NOTE: Each player must have their own separate force organization and
Neither partner may exceed the others choices in any given category by more than 1 selection
no exceptions!!! For example – if Bill has 2 troop choices then his partner Bob may not have any more than 3,
Also if Bob has 2 heavy support then Bill may have up to 3 but has to have at least 1.
Hmm this does help clear things up. I'll see if I can give you any input from my own personal thoughts/experiences.
Remember that if you are in CC with people your Tau can't shoot into that, so picking your fights is going to be crucial. If this is the case, you may want to have more of a "surgical strike" team to engage units you designate while you rely on your Tau partner to focus fire on squads that are posing the biggest threats (lascannons and such). Anyway here's some observations into units along with some strategy to back them up.
Hive Tyrant: Currently your build is really pulling it in several directions. Tyranids work really well if you make them to fill one role and support that with biomorphs. This is what makes units like Genestealers so scary, because they do one thing and they do it really, really well! Let the Marines be the "we can do anything and everything and be good at it all" types. So now let's refine your Tyrant. Assuming your Tau player is going to be gunning for the guys with the high-powered weapons (this includes a large amount of Power Fists) you will want a unit that can wipe out weenie squads, flip tanks, or tie up a medium-sized unit in CC so they can't shoot. So I'm going to present to you a CC Flyrant build.
Hive Tyrant - 160
*Adrenal Glands - WS, Bio-plasma, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs, Toxic Miasma, Winged, 2x Scything Talons, Warp Field
Now, this is a pretty intense model meant to do one thing and do it well: close combat. If you wanted to free up some points you can always drop Bio-plasma, Flesh Hooks, Toxic Miasma, and most arguably, Warp Field. That last one will really depend on your personal preferences. Just remember that it only has a 1/6 chance to save you from lascannons, melta weapons, etc. that would eat through your base 3+ save anyway.
Broodlord & Retinue: Your original build is pretty expensive but you are going in the right direction. Also note that with the Genestealers you have to give the same biomorphs to every model i.e. the two Feeder Tendrils. Don't worry, though, give it to your Broodlord to share with the others. Here is what I would suggest. This setup will make an excellent counter or followup threat to the Flyrant and can wreck both support and heavy armor.
Broodlord - 96
*Extended Carapace, Feeder Tendrils, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs
Retinue, 11x Genestealers - 231
*Extended Carapace, Flesh Hooks
This is a HUGE amount of board threat and with these points you are essentially buying a portion of board control as well. If you wanted to shave off some points I'd recommend dropping the Flesh Hooks only, but keep everthing else. Going from 4+ to 3+ is a much larger step than even 3 to 2 and the 4+ on your 'Stealers will prevent them from being instagibbed from bolter fire. Remember that your Broodlord will share his Tendrils with your gang. As for the other biomorphs...sad to say but these guys will get juiced pretty quickly so those points are almost wasted. If they aren't shot to pieces early, then don't worry about it anyway as you are getting the charge on everything and getting that third attack anyway. Your Genestealers can take out Marines well enough and since you'll hit rear armor on vehicles anyway, the extra S won't make that much of a difference as you'll really need to rend anyway to do something with them.
Troops: You have some good ideas here, but I think you are spread out a bit too thinly. I hate to say it but Rippers (in my opinion) aren't that good. Sure they'll take some hits but they can't hold objectives and all those wounds evaporate if a blast template so much as partially shades them. What you will probably use your troops for will be to screen each other and hold objectives while your Tau player fans out and snipes incoming enemies. They can also be good bait to lure your enemy closer into Fleet/Leaping range. Part of this will be patience and another knowing when to pull the trigger so you can deny your enemy the charge bonus. I might suggest setting up your squad like this:SSSSSSSSSS
Spinegaunt, Genestealer, HormagauntPut some cheapo Spinegaunts in front of a row of Genestealers to give them 4+ cover saves and put a brood of Hormagaunts behind those for the same purpose. Move the unit up the field in this cover ball. When the time is right, Run and Fleet past the Spinegaunts with your Genestealers into CC followed by the Hormies which can Leap and will be in there too with no problem. If you gave your otherwise vanilla Genestealers Feeder Tendrils then think of all the hits you'll get to reroll! This will also leave the Spinegaunts behind to either squat on an objective or try to screen another incoming unit. You may want to give your Hormagaunts Adrenal Glands - I and Toxin Sacs if you have the points.
You may also wish to give your Genestealers Scuttlers and try to have them come in and support your Broodlord on an Outflank (I wouldn't suggest putting them out in front with a pre-game move unless they're in cover). If this is the case you can probably forego the Feeder Tendrils as your Broodlord might still be up to share or you can combo this squad with a convenient Lictor who will share his own. I would suggest Extended Carapace, though, if for no other reason than to protect against bolter fire. While that's happening, you can march your Spine/Hormagaunt phalanx up into Leaping range as well.
Elite: With the above setup you can't go wrong with a Lictor, just realize that someone can throw the book at him technically because he has to Deep Strike into terrain. It's something that hasn't been errata'd yet, but most any player should realize the purpose of the model both in game and fluff-wise and might not give you any qualms. As for the Warriors, you are better off in my opinion not throwing them into a CC role. They are pretty efficient in a "Boom" setup (Enhanced Senses, Extended Carapace, Toxin Sacs, Scything Talons, Deathspitter...maybe one in the brood with a Barbed Strangler) but you should probably just drop them altogether as Zoanthropes are harder to kill and usually not as high on the threat list as the above Warriors. Again, it's up to you, but cutting the Warriors could leave some slots open for Elite Carnifexes. I'll post the three most popular kinds below:
Dakkafex - 114
*Enhanced Senses, 2x Twin-linked Devourer, Flesh Hooks
This is one of the best anti-infantry units we have. You'll pump out a ton of wounds with them and still be able to flip a tank if needed in CC. You can drop the Hooks if you need the points.
Boomfex - 114
*Scything Talons, Barbed Strangler, Flesh Hooks
This is a good model for laying down suppressing fire over a long range and even having the possibility of penning a tank. If nothing else the chance for pinning infantry you don't kill buys another round free from fire. It is also a bit more killy in CC than the Dakkafex. You can drop the Hooks if you need the points.
Ninjafex - 112
*Adrenal Glands - I, Adrenal Glands - WS, Flesh Hooks, 2x Scything Talons
Also called a "Baitfex" it's sole purpose is to be a big ball of threat to soak up high powered attacks while attempting to kill as many units of infantry or preferably armored pieces as possible. This build, even if bulked up some into a Heavy Support choice would help draw fire from your Tau player's tanks assuming he has them.
Fast Attack: While this is a decent choice, you may want two small squads operating independently and striking when the Lictor pops or some other fortuitous moment they can get in on Feeder Tendrils. I'm not so sure you should Deep Strike them so just place them on your board, drop the guns, and be strategically patient with them if you run them at all. Genestealers will do almost the same thing more inexpensively.
Heavy Support: Like with the Hive Tyrant, you are pulling your Carnifexes in two different directions here. This slot can act as overflow even for ones that qualify as "Elite", but if you really wanted some shooty support, the classic "Gunfex" fills the spot nicely. As I said above you can also make a "Godfex" or two to really terrorize your opponents. However, if you are dropping Warriors, I'd fill in one of your slots with at least two if not three Zoanthropes each with Synapse and Warp Blast. I think you will get some excellent synapse coverage from them and you might even pop a tank or a few Marines with them. Plus if worst comes to worst throw them into CC to really frustrate your enemy! Just make sure he doesn't have a Power Fist hehe.
Summary: Remember to focus your broods and subsequently your whole army on one goal. In this case as in most with our species, we tend to get to control the board and make the enemy react to us. So think of your broods as "threats" and what level their threat rating is at. You should be able to predict what will get shot at by who, which is actually a good feeling to have. Use your CC to corral your enemies into your Tau ally's firing lanes and try to keep the heat off him. Be aggressive, bring a ton of specialized troops to the table, and have fun!
I hope this breakdown and set of opinion was helpful for you!
Human beings, while exceptional in the ability to learn from the mistakes of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to...
Wow, thanks for all those recommendations - greatly appreciated!
the only problem with taking the zoanthropes is... well I don't own any : )
most of the models I listed in my original list are all the models I own with the exception of 5 more warriors, a dozen or so more gaunts on sprues (so could be any build still) and a biovore (which looked good on paper, but in the couple of games I played did really nothing of value)
So I am kind of limited in that respect... however I'm going back to the books here and taking your biomorph recommendations to try and build a better list!
Okay, I've reworked my list taking in as many recommendations as I could, (given the models that I own of course) so hopefully I'm getting closer to an effective list for the tourney....
Hive Tyrant: Scything talons x2, Bioplasma, Winged, toxin Sacs, Adrenal Glands (WS), flesh hooks, toxic miasma
Broodlord: Toxin sacs, extended carapace, feeder tendrils
Retinue: 9 genestealer with extended carapace
8 genestealers: scything talons, extended carapace, toxin sacs, scuttlers
15 hormagaunts: toxin sacs
12 gaunts with fleshborer
5 ripper swarms
4 warriors with scything talons, rending claws, extended carapace
Carnifex: toxin sacs, scything talons, crushing claws, tusked, bonded exoskeleton, mace tail, extended carapace, adrenal glands (WS), adrenal glands (I), Reinforced Chitin
Carnifex; enhanced senses, barbed strangler, twin linked devourers
Total – 1500 points
I am also not a fan of either ripper swarms or lictors. Rippers die very quickly as they are not immune to instant death and are vulnerable to templates. Lictors, while awesome in theory, are overcosted for the little they seem capable of actually doing.
You could drop both units for a few more warriors, or perphaps you could put some more biomorphs on the hormies. Flesh hooks or adrenals would be nice.
Bonded exo is of dubious value in most cases....take that off and give the other fex reinforced chitin. One more T6 wound is never bad...
Use the 5 points you saved towards toxic miasma.
Also, make sure that any CC fexes have either flesh hooks or spine banks. No point in wasting that extra I...
If you are going to have to take objectives, you may want to consider more troops if you have the models. If not, make sure that your partner is taking some mobile troops....
And thats all I can think of now...
Hive Flee Annoch
Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. -Italian Proverb