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While no one seems to do them at the moment, back in the day I used to really like the idea of an army themed around the first Tyranid organisms that invade a planet- the first bugs defending forces come to grips with, sometimes without warning. In the near future I was thinking of starting up 'Nids and was wondering if a list made entirely of Vanguard organisms could work. I like the theme, and I think it would be particularly cool at small battles of around 1000-1200 points.
So, what would you guys take? Keep in mind:
Tyranid Prime (use the rules to represent an uber-Broodlord, leading genestealers)
Genestealers (of course)
Lictors (of course)
Trygons/Mawlocs (burrowing into defended areas forward of the main swarm)
Carnifexes (mycetic spores maybe?)
Venomthropes (spreading disease before the swarm- also good cover for Carnifexes if I were to take them)
There are other units that could be justified in the context of such a list (Ravenors, Gargoyles and other flying things, etc), but I like the units that I've mentioned most of all, and want to focus on them. I understand that this is not what a lot of people would consider competitive. Given the restrictions though, what would work? The core of the force would have to be genestealers, but I have no practical experience gaming with Tyranids, so I don't know where to start with other choices.
Thanks in advance for help. Input from any of the veterans like jy2 or Macarbe would be particularly valuable.
Just to clarify they are different stages to the Invasion, and Organisms that are associated with them. First, Genestealers are present on a planet and once they can get the population to birth a Brood Lord they send for the Hive.
When the Hive arrives at the Planet it immediately sends spores raining down with More Genestealers, Lictors and Hormoguants. The Gargoyles and Harpies are also present to "Heard" the civilian population.
Carnifexes are used as a Storming Unit for well defended areas. The Trygon and Raveners also are for this task. Rippers are the very last organism that is unleashed for the consumption of all the biological matter on the planet.
Army's used: Space Wolves, Tomb Kings, High Elves, Tyranids, Tau and Eldar.
As a word of advice, certain units in that list are simply not worth using. At all, ever. Those would be rippers and carnifex's. Taking either of those is essentially giving yourself a handicap seeing as their either flat out terrible (rippers) or outclassed by just about everything else in the book (both.) Lictors are okay, but are typically outclassed by deathleaper so dont get seen much. If you want a lictor and dont mind using deathleaper, take him. If you have something against him, then 2 regular lictors are still okay, just not quite as good.
Whilst a list with stealers in is fine, building a list around them just doesnt work. "Stealer shock" has been dead and burried since the new book came out, and taking more than 1 brood rarely ends up working too well since they're so costly and fragile.
The last point you really need to consider is anti tank. This is the biggest weakness for a nid list, and dont make the mistake a lot of people seem to and assume MC's can do they job in CC. They just cant. You'll need some sort of ranged anti tank in there.
With that in mind, and trying to use as many of those models as possible, I surgest this.
Tyranid Prime - Dual boneswords, Adrenal glands, Rending claws - Good all round, and capable of killing walkers, which is a big help at times.
3 Hive guard - youll need these in order to have even a semi decent list. Alternatives are available but in 1k, theyre the kings of anti tank.
Deathleaper - very nasty in such small games
20 Toxin sac hormgaunts - The prime goes here, but if you find you need the extra fleeting distance or just like the ranged punch, you can exchange these for 20 termaguants armed with devourers. You should have the points spare.
10 Genestealers, Toxin sacs
Trygon Prime - A good synapse node and all round tough unit. Very handy.
This comes to 960 - so youve got a bit of room to play with. By dropping a guant or two you could squeeze in a venomthrope if you wanted.
Your friendly neighbourhood gargantuan creature
Thanks for the advice guys.
I suppose I've restricted myself quite a bit with the selected units, but I'd still like to keep with the theme. I'll probably end up including Hive Guard somewhere along the line, cause they're so good, but my original goal was to basically to do "Stealer Shock" with fluffy support- probably I'm thinking now from Lictors and Trygons. I'm not the *most* competitive player around, but even so the last 1000 point tournament I went to had an army that was very genestealer heavy, and did quite well. Also, while I'm aware of the benefits of the Deathleaper, I generally prefer to have more bodies on the table, in this case coughing up a little extra for two normal Lictors.
I don't want to seem like I'm disregarding your advice, Heirodule, you know what you're talking about. Your point about the Rippers is good- got to admit they are kinda cute though. I'm sure your list would work way better than what I had in mind. Even so, I have to say I'm strongly leaning towards something like:
Genestealers (as many as possible with the remaining points)
I'm well aware that this would not be optimal for a balanced tournament list, but given that these are the models I like, and what I'll most enjoy modelling/painting, what would be the optimal mix of this units? If you were given an army of these things, how would you use it on the table? Or would you simply not try? I don't mind sacrificing a bit of anti-tank capability for fluff, if I will struggle against mech spam, so be it.
Has anyone here tried anything remotely like this?
Thats a LOT of points you have locked up there in 3 models with the Trygons and the Prime. Ive rarly found im able to cram 2 MC's in at 1000 points but its doable.
So the list you currently have, youd be able to get 20 stealers, either with toxin sacs or a broodlord. Personally Id opt for the former but thats a preference call.
Things to consider though, where exactly are you going to put the prime? Footslogging genestealers never ever works because anybody with an ounce of sense opens fire on them in seconds and they die. So that leaves outflanking (which i find amazing) and infiltration (less so.) Either way the Prime cant join them. You cant attach IC's to single model units, so thats the trygons out and he cant join the lictors due to their unique deployment. It looks like youd have to run him on his own and thats never going to go well.
Secondly whilst Trygons are great, you wont be able to use them to their full extent if you cant bring down things like rhino's, chimeras and other transport and get to the gooey meaty bits inside. Whilst you can tone down the amount of anti tank you take for prefering fluff, you cant disregard it alltogether. Every Nid list needs anti tank specialists. Its a sad fact but without them, we cant win games. And im not talking in a tournament setting, im trying to say that all an opponent has to do is drive around and shoot and its going to be very very difficult for you to do anything about it. Admittedly 12 T6 wounds will make life hard, but ultimatly I think youll suffer more.
In this one instance however and provided your taking on lists with all of 2, possibly 3 vehicels you might get away with it. When you get some experince with the bugs youll see for yourself how crucial taking those anti tank units can be. Just be aware youll need to use those trygons to bust tanks open.
But okay lets have a re-think. The biggest problem currently is not having anywhere to put the prime. You also need to find a second troops choice, I cant advise using two broods of stealers. Maybe when you get to 2k, but anything less and its just overkill. The thing about stealer shock is it falls to peices against certian builds. Certain armies just knock SS for 6 without even trying. BA, DE, IG, GK will crush you and any varient of razorspam or rhino rush marines or Green tide orks will give you a horrific time. So hopefully 1 will be enough for you, in order you can still maintain ballance. I can aprechiate the desire for fluff, but unless your willing to get anhilated a lot of the time I would hold off on stealershock. On the other hand if your not in it for the gaming then some stealer shock armies look immense, especially if you can find some new space hulk stealers.
With that in mind you could look at something like this.
Prime - Dual Bonesword, Rending claws, Adrenal glands
3 venomthropes - these are in for the Hive guard and the prime should go with them. They'll make the trygons nearly impossible to stop and provide cover to the hormaguants
10 Toxin sac genestealers
19 toxin sac hormagaunts - you need these for numbers, and on the basis they deal with different targets from stealers. These are your horde killer, though they can take out 1 attack MEQ's pretty well too.
4 ripper bases - you had 40 points spare. Id NEVER recogmend these otherwise
I think thats about the best youll do combining fluff with semi decent gameplay. Make no mistake mech will be an uphill battle and its certainly nothing like tournament quality but if thats what you wanna do then be my guest, its your army after all. Just leave off more stealers till you get to slightly higher points and you should be okay. For moving up to 1500, 3 Hive guard, another brood of stealers like the one above would be smart choices, and still leaves you about 200 points to play with. A trygon would be a good pick, and whilst you could do better than a mawloc or a dakka fex they'd happily fit. Seeing as I base my fluff round my army not visa versa, im not really sure if youd want to repeat units ect
Your friendly neighbourhood gargantuan creature
Thanks for all your help Heirodule.
This Tyranid army was going to be a future project, but I've made a rather abrupt change to my plans! My main collection is kroot models, and I've decided that an interesting way to field all my kroot, along with Forge World models, would be to use the Tyranids codex. This has totally changed what units I'd like to take, as they have to represent Kroot. This means Genestealers are pretty much out, and Hive Guard, Termagants and Tervigons are in!
I'll probably have a read through the codex and start another thread for my Krootanid army soon.