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I actually play CSM, but my friend plays tyranids. We have played about 6 games so far and I have stomped him into the ground every game (seriously, losing very few units. The closest he came to beating me was wiping out two squads of CSM and 5 raptors. These are 1500 point games and I have obliterated every one of his units every time) and I believe it may be his army list that needs some work. So I whipped up this list in the hopes that he may stand a better chance against me and the almighty 3+ save . BTW I have no actual battle experience playing as tyranids. I made this list based on what he has used that caused me the most trouble.
Hive Tyrant (warp field, winged, bio-plasma, implant attack, scything talonsx2)
Broodlord (toxin sacs)
Genestealers x6 (feeder tendrils)
Gaunts x16 (devourer, w/o number)
Gaunts x16 (spinefists, toxin sacs)
Hormagaunts x20 (adrenal glands (+1 I)
Warriors x4 [winged] (ST, RC) (ST, venom cannon) (ST, deathspitter) (RC, deathspitter)
Carnifex (CC, RC, bio-plasma, reinforced chitin, spine banks, tusked, mace-tail)
Carnifex (twin-linked deathspitter, venom cannon, enhanced senses, reinforced chitin)
Carnifex (barbed strangler, twin-linked deathspitter, enhanced senses, reinforced chitin)
So whats it look like? Fearsome hive-fleet? Kinda-scary splinter fleet? Piffling genestealer cult? Or even a kinda cute termagant nest?
From what i can tell it seems the guants need to be bigger. They need to be maxed out (32 guants).
Carni's look good and the winged hive tyrant is ok.
I would drop the tyranid warriors to not be winged and get a couple of lictors.
All in all from what you have described the brutal slaughtering of these guys it looks like this guy doesn't know how to use these guys to their full potential.
For gaunts, just go with a gaunt with spinefist. 32 of these guys cost the same as your devour gaunt and have better shooting. Take the toxin sacs off the other gaunts and this will give you another 10 models. This has turned 32 gaunts into 58. Nearly doubled in number! I don't think w/o number is useful sinc you just restart on the other side of the table and get shot up as you move accross. I'd rather double the number of models currently on the table.
Carnifexes are too slow and costly to take up 1/3 of your army. You should only have one in a 1500 point game. I personally like to give him a big gun and scything talons, but the shooty fexes you made are good. The barbed strangler is good for taking out infantry and vehicles alike. Maby add extended carapace to get those extra saves.
You need more warriors, for synapse if nothing else. Against 3+ saves, rending claws are a must. Giving them guns destroys the point of wings and eats up a lot of points. Make them close combat oriented. Make a squad of 5 or 6 of these winged warriors and then add leaping warriors in place of a couple of carnifexes. Scything talons, rending claws, adrenaline glands (I), and tosin sacs would be good biomorphs on all of these units. Extended carapace should go on the leaping warriors.
I'm not sure how helpful an infiltrating broodlord is as I have never played with one, but I kinda wanna suggest you drop this unit and just add regular genestealers. Extended carapace on these guys is deffinately worth considering since it will help you survive bolter fire.