Newbie Faq On Tyranid Units - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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    This tactica was written September 2004 using the 3rd ed codex which was just before the 4th ed rules where released. Much of the content is still helpful. Be warned that details are out of date.

    With the new Battle of Macragge starter set due out soon I thought it would be a good time to write a comprehensive Newbie guide to Tyranid creatures. This is just an army guide with common newbie mistakes and strategies explained. Hopefully someone will write a tactics guide soon.

    Most of the information here is compiled from various forum posts. I would like to thank: ArchonAstaroth, CountJasper, kerpal_g, Marneus Calgar, Slicer, Unit04, Morpheus01, Tumtatty and especially Nightwalker AK and Uzi-99 for their valuable contributions. Any and all constructive comments and corrections are appreciated.

    Editted: 28 Sep 04 - removed stat references & fixed +ws stat

    Keep in mind that as the 4th Edition rules has just been released. Opinions and tactics will evolve…


    So you have watched the various Alien movies, Star Ship Troopers or loved playing the Zerg in Starcraft. Now the thought of unleashing hordes of vicous aliens in Warhammer 40K sounds like fun. Tyranids are the most alien of the WH 40K races. There is no technology. Everything leaps, flaps or scuttles its own way into combat to unleash its bio-organic weaponry.

    Tyranid weapons have very short range. Many enemies have rapid-fire weapons which match the maximum range of standard ‘nid weapons. Tyranid creatures have poor armour saves. Trying to win a shooting match is suicide. Tyranids are in best close combat. To win you must advance your army as fast as possible towards your enemy using cover. Your troops will hit in three waves: 1) fast Gaunts who tie up forward units and provide cover, 2) Genestealers and Warriors assault, 3) Hive Tyrants and Carnifexes clean up. How you do this depends developing your tactics.

    Instinctive Behaviour
    All units out of synapse range must make an “Instinctive Behaviour” roll at the start of every turn. It is possible (but unlikely) that your Raveners will charge a random unit and you Biovores wander off the board. For this reason everyone highly recommends that your gaunt units have a hive node. Don’t expect Guants to make many leadership rolls with 5 LD. Hive Tyrants, Carnifexes, Old One Eye, The Red Terror, Lictors and Rippers are fearless and automatically pass this roll. The only exception are Genestealers which make normal troop morale and pinning tests.

    If a unit in hand to hand, is forced to make an "Instinctive Behaviour" roll, and rolls either "Lurk" or "Fall back". The unit falls back from combat and the normal options for the winners apply.

    Tyranid Monstrous Creatures (TMC)
    TMCs are the Tyranid equivalent of tanks. These hulking creatures Venom Cannons destroy tanks at long rang and their talons reduce tanks to scrap and horribly mangle troops. 4th Edition rules have changed for TMC. They now block Line of Sight (LOS) so you can use them to cover weaker creatures. They are now target able over close combat of smaller creature and low terrain. They are still able to pick out models in base to base (BT contact but not a sergeant with a power weapon in the back row. He dies next turn.

    Ranged Weapons
    Fleshborer - The standard weapon of termagants and gargoyles. A str 4 shot from so many guys is good for taking down low AP troops. Use spinefists they are cheaper and have better AP 5.
    Spinefists - the weapon of choice for non-leaping Guants. It is the cheapest weapon and the 5 AP kills low AP troops.
    Devourers - - This generally not a popular choice. The negative strength modifier and cost just don’t make it viable. By the time you get within range you should be entering close combat. If you don’t get into combat you will be decimated by return rapid weapon fire.
    Deathspitters – Relatively cheap for a blast weapon with reasonable range and nice strength mod. However by the time you are in range you are only a turn away from CC.
    Barbed Strangler – NOTE this is just a blast weapon that uses the 5’ template and does NOT get ordanence effects like pinning & 2d6 armour penetration. With its big strength penalty the only viable creature to use it is a carnifex. The S8 assault weapon, auto wounding toughness 4 and 5’ blast template sounds like carnage. The truth is that the poor BS on your carnifex means that you only hit 50% of the time. The low AP means that you will be lucky to penetrate 3+ save armour. For an additional 10 points you can get a biovore launching Poison Mines, which are AP4 and Wound on a 4+.
    Venom Cannon – The VC is the weapon of choice for hive tyrants, carnifexes and shooty warrior broods. It has excellent range and strength and worth its expense. Very effective in anti tank roles. With 4th Ed rules monstrous creatures now able to fire two weapons. Six range 36’ strength 8 shots are going to have a lot of tank commanders worried. Venom cannons can only inflict glancing hit on vehicles but the new 4th Ed rules have changed so that additional stunned results inflict damage.

    CC Weapons and Biomorphs
    Scything Talons – cheap and gives you an addition attack in CC. This does NOT give extra ranged attacks.
    Rending Claws – on a hit roll of 6 you automatically wound. You need a 4+ to hit most things this means one third of your hits will automatically wound. Fighting your most common enemy marines you want all your CC Warriors and Raveners equipped with these. Unfortunately you only get one pair per monstrous creature sprue.
    Lash Whip - The whip reduces the number of CC attacks on creatures in B2B by 1. It doesn't reduce the number of attacks below 1. With the 4th Ed rules clarifications “Lash whips may be used whenever that creature may make its normal attacks”. This extends its effectiveness out to 2’ from the model (leaping doesn’t add to this). Which will severely hamper CC specialised troops. The downside is that you only get the lash whips on the Tyrant Guard model, which is expensive for just 1 biomorph.
    Implant Attack – Inflicts an additional wound. Rarely are there enough multiple wound models to justify taking this biomorph. It does turn the model into a very effective hero and demon killer. NOTE that extra wounds DON’T carry over to other models.
    Flesh Hooks - flesh hooks are the Tyranid equivalent of frag grenades and lets the model cross impassable terrain.
    Bio-plasma – gives the model an extra 2’ attack at double its initiative. This biomorph is expensive and only worth considering on TMCs. TMC victims of bio-plasma get their armour saves.

    Hive Mind Powers
    Synapse Creature –controls the instinctive behaviour of any brood within 12’.
    The Horror – before any units can assault the model they must make a leadership roll. Hive Tyrants are the only units with this power.
    Psychic Scream – all models within 12’have a –1 to their leadership. Enemy psykers make “perils of the warp” for all failed psykic tests, not just when they roll a 2 or 12.
    Warp Blast – This is the only Tyranid ranged attack with decent AP. Highly recommended on flying CC tyrants and Zoethropes
    Catalyst – give the targeted a brood a strike from the grave. Good against high initiative armies like Elder.
    Warp Field - model gains a 2+ save. Zoanthropes automatically get warp field. Hive Tyrants have extended carapace that gives it a 2+ save and is 10 pts cheaper than a warp field.

    Hive Tyrant
    This is one of the nastiest units in Warhammer. It can take a hell of a beating and rip both troops and tanks to shreds. A Tyrant should be you second purchase after a Battle Force box.

    +1 WS, +1 str, +1 init, 2+ save are all cheap compared to the over cost of your Tyrant.
    +1 BS - both your VC and warp blast will hit on 3+
    Wings –With 12’ move your Tyrant should be in CC by turn 2 or 3.
    Bio plasma – the extra attack can help but remember targets still get their armour save
    Implant attack – great if you know you will be fighting a greater demon or heroes.

    Hive Mind Powers
    Warp blast – The AP 3 blast kills marines and the str blast toasts tanks. A very good power for winged Tyrants. NOTE: errata states this costs 20 pts.
    Psychic Scream – ties in nicely with “The Horror” and with the numbers advantage you usually get on enemy morale rolls. If you know enemy psykers are around definitely worth considering.

    The two standard set ups for Tyrants are
    Winged CC –2 x ST, all stat biomorphs, wings and warp blast
    VC & Guard –VC, ST, flesh hooks, all stat biomorphs with 2 Tyrant Guards

    The winged Tyrant is the better option. The 12’ allows to move safely betwen cover and give you an attack radius of 18”. Downside is modelling the wings. These can be specially ordered from GW but will set you back US$20. The walking Tyrant makes an excellent tank buster. Tyrant Guards are essential for walkers. Use them as ablative armour. Losing a 45 point Guard is much cheaper than a 170+ point Tyrant. They are also very handy in CC. Especially with 4th Ed lash whip changes.

    Tyrant Guard
    These guys are as tough as nails and costs about the same as a fully tooled warrior. They are essential for the survival of any walking Tyrant. The first brood must be taken with a Tyrant. The second brood can be taken as a separate HQ choice. The Tyrant can leave its Guard at any time. Any one TMC can join a Guard brood and gain their protection.

    Flesh Hooks are cheap option to move over impassable terrain. It might be fun to have a third Guard as a weapon beast with a VC. You could put the spare lash whip on a Warrior. This restricts you to 6 species in your army list.

    There are mixed opinions on the effectivness of warriors. The 2 wounds is nice but the 4 toughness and 4+ saves means these guys don’t survive well. They are targetted with krak missles and sustained arms fire by enemies hoping to remove synapse creatures. They are a good backup for your gaunts and they can distract you enemies from other more valuable targets.

    Don’t mix your CC Warriors and shooty Warriors. CC warriors are useless unless in CC and shooty warriors loose effectiveness in CC. Most people use CC only broods.
    A heavy weapons brood is a cheap alternative to a Carnifex or Tyrant. The 6 str 7 shots at 36’ range glances up to AV 13.

    Leaping, scything talons and rending claws is the recommended choice. 4th rules now give leaping warriors fleet of claw. Great to keep up with speedy gaunts. Unfortunately you only get one pair of rending claws per monsterous creaute sprue. Venom canons are excellent. Deathspiters aren’t too bad especially against low ap troops however their range makes using them a bit dicey.

    All of the Warrior biomorphs are good but it can make them expensive. With the 4th Ed rules lash whips might be a fun option. I highly recommend getting extended carapace. The 4+ save beats the 5 ap on bolters and most cheap troops. Many people highly recommend winged CC Warriors. Starting many dicussions over winged Warriors vs Raveners. See Raveners below.

    Cheap Warrior - EC, ST and RC
    Basic Leaping Warrior - EC, ST, RC and leaping
    Leaping Warrior - add +Init addrenal glands and toxin sacs.
    Basic Ranged Warrior – EC, ST, +WS enhanced senses and VC
    Ranged Warrior – add toxin sacs.


    ArchonAstaroth Sep 18 2003, 06:42
    I use my warriors leaping, with scything talons and rending claws, extended carapace and eventually flesh hooks. The other statline upgrades depend on my opponent.
    I always use them in combination with gaunt hordes: A line of gaunts is in base contact with the enemy, the warriors stay behind and contribute their attacks from 2" away (thanx to the leaping ability). This way they're safe from power fists and other attacks - each hit on a warrior costs you more than a hit on a gaunt. This also works great with leaping ripper swarms with rending claw mutants.

    CountJasper Mar 8 2004, 10:11
    The best way to take out those awful tanks, is...

    Sure, they take up a HS (or HQ) choice, but these guys kick ass against tank heavy armies! And against IG, you'll find they're still more than capable in close combat.

    In a squad of three, you'll get 6 x S7 Ap4 shots at 36" range, which equates to 1 Glancing Hit per turn on an Armour 13 vehicle. In a squad of six, two glancing hits, plus the chance to make a S6 (+2 for VC) mutant (12 wounds, so mutant allowed).

    On the glancing hit table, there's roughly a 2/3 chance you'll get a result that'll stop the guns for at least a turn, if not get rid of the guns completely. This gives you the time to bring forth a squad of flying beasties/whatever and start your assaulting!

    Personally, I find these Warriors a must-have against everyone except Necrons, when I use Rending Claw Warriors. I have no idea why they're not that popular - they're awesome! It also psyches out the enemy a bit when the Tyranids start to out-gun them. Kinda similar to seeing a group of Firewarriors jump out of the bushes and slaughter a Hive Tyrant.

    Also, Lictors are good against immobile tank armies, for obvious reasons. But try the Warriors - they're a Godsend, I promise you.

    -=Count Jasper=-


    Nightwalker AK May 24 2003, 23:48
    Never count on a Lictor to do anything but scare the living daylights out of enemy units. I regualrly field three of them, and my opponents all make a point of staying 7" from any cover bigger than a palm tree. I've actually had them so scared by my lictors that he would rather face the massed guns of my nine-strong brood of warriors packing venom cannons.

    If your opponent delays himself searching for lictors, or stands in the open for fear of being charged, then you've got your points-worth from them.

    Lictors have a very bad habit of dying in a single round of combat, and they are not the dreaded character-hunters the codex makes them out to be. If you're intent is to actually get some honest battlefield use out of them, then they are best against vehicles. I've watched a lone lictor brutalise his way through half of a ravenwing army before somebody actually managed to gun it down, and I've come knocking on many an ass-end of Falcons and Serpents. Aren't Rending Claws fun?

    Nightwalker AK Feb 12 2004, 007
    Each of the three units is effective if played well, so the choice is yours. Personally, I'd go for the Lictor, but I like to psychologically toy with my opponents: I leave two Lictors sitting in plain view on the side of the table. Most players assume that's all I have on the board. I'll pop those two up, or they'll get spotted, and then he'll relax, thinking he got them all. Along comes Lictor #3... Muahaha.

    kerpal_g Feb 14 2004, 176
    Lictors aren't gods in CC, but for 80 points each you'd think they would be. The secret deplayment rule is the only reason i have them. I played against a Salamanders army last thursday, and i had a lictor SD behind some bushes on my left flank, 2" away from my opponents deployment zone. There was a lot of cover on the field, so my opponent was constanly thinking where to move, since a lictor could be behind THAT BUSH! or BEHIND THOSE RUINS! or BEHIND THAT TREE! or BEHIND THAT HILL! AHHH I'M FREAKIN OUT! half an hour into the game, he was sweating. For some reason, he parked his HQ squad all the way in a corner, 12" away from my hidden Lictor. I was hoping he'd drive up his HQ squad in the Razorback or something stupid. Then the Lictor can come out and charge their ass. But Lick done nothing, killed nobody. But the fear factor that caused my opponent to make stupid mistakes, earned its 80 points easily

    Gaunts are the bulk of the Tyranid army these are the guy s that put the fear of being over run into your opponent. Use your guants to swamp your enemy tieing up units and blocking LOS. Gaunts are fast. The fleet of claw (FoC) and leaping on your hormagaunts can potentially move 24” in a charge plus an extra 4” reach on attacks. Gaunts look weak but say you charge a marine unit with 24 hormaguants and roll 72 dice, 36 hit, 12 wound, 4 failed saves. Next move your warriors or genestealers charge into combat. With 4th Ed rules you get ALL your close combat attacks within 2’ of the enemy, 4’ with leaping.

    Don’t use fleshborers. Spinefists give you 5 AP and are the cheapest weapon. For the price of 5 termagaunts you get 7 spinegaunts. The only other weapon worth considering on gaunts are scything talons. I recommend leaving talons on the leaping gaunts. Leaping gives you 12” charge and gives you you full number of attacks within 4”. In combat move your cheap spinegaunts into base contact to take the casualties.

    Before considering any upgrades remember that your gaunts are cannon fodder. They are there to soak up hits and block line of sight until your nasty nids move up. If you do want a tooled up gaunt brood have a look at Genestealers.

    Termagaunt – basic guant with a fleshborer.
    Hormagaunt - comes with the +WS adrenal glands, leaping and scything talons. This isn’t a bad option as it raises the standard marine hit roll from 3+ to 4+ and gives you a 3+ hit on soft troops.
    Spinegaunt – the cheapest gaunt nothing but spinefists for 5 points
    Scythgaunt - basic guant with a scything talons. Most cost effective CC gaunt. Scything talons only come on the hormagaunt spue so you are robbing your leapers.
    Deathgaunt - Leaping and toxin sacs is a popular choice as it noticably improves your chance of wounding and can penetrate the AV 10 armour.
    Adrenagaunt – Leaping and +Init adrenal glands is another viable choice as beats standard marines initiative. Dead marines don’t hit back.

    Don’t bother with extended carapace. There are only three weapons in the Demon Hunters weapon list with less than 5 AP. Don’t consider flying as Gargoyles are cheaper and more effective than anything you can build. See below.

    Keep your guants cheap – more gaunts are better.

    Everyone who plays nids will tell you to put a hive node in each gaunt brood. Gaunts are fast and synapse creatures will fall behind or get killed. With a 5 leadership you don’t want to be making all on there own rolls.


    Uzi-99 Jan 23 2004, 121
    In regular games, they really aren't supposed to kill anything, not even their points worth. The point is to have a huge swarm of cheap Gaunts to follow Your Leaping CC Gaunts and ensure that the enemy stays in CC for long enough to allow Your nastier creatures to assault.

    Assault a Wraithlord with 20 Spinegaunts and You can leave it be, the Gaunts won't hurt it (unless there are some with RCs) but the WL will spend the rest of the game clobbering 5pt Gaunts instead of doing something really useful. Of course, the enemy may send something to help the WL, but then that's another unit which can't effectively deal with the rest of Your swarm.

    Genestealers are awesome in close combat. Stealers high initiative, good strength and rending claws will shred most units. It is always good to have a brood or two to deal with tough units. Their downside is that they die just as easily as Gaunts and cost three times as much. Any experienced player knows how deadly Genestealers are. A large brood is effective making them high priority targets. If you can, split them up into small broods of 6 t o9 so that the enemy will have to spread their attacks or destroy one unit. Careful positioning and timed co-ordinated assaults are essential. Infiltrate them if you can and stick to cover. Genestealers out in the open are as good as dead.

    Mutants and Bimorphs
    Basic Genestealers are already very expensive and any upgrades are generally not considered cost effective. Extended carapace may be viable against low AP armed troops like Imperial Guard. Implant attacks are worth considering, if you know some smug hero or monstrous creature needs taking down.

    NOTE: Genestealers outside synapse range make normal troop morale and pinning tests.


    Marneus Calgar Feb 21 2004, 16:42
    For your army, genestealers are the way to go. Make sure that they get into combat. Dont play foolhardy and charge them out when the enemy is not tied up. They shouldnt be your first troops that assault. Sending them out too early will spell disaster. Sending them out too late will have no effect. You have to lauch Genestealers at the right time. I love to infitrate my Genestealers, hide a Lictor in cover by the enemy. When its my turn, I move Genestealers up, shooting phase I show up the Lictor and stall the enemy that the stealers are going to charge next round. You will catch your opponenet compleatly by suprise. He thinks that next turn he is going to wipe the floor with your Genes, but instead they can only fight the Lictor.

    Rippers are passed over by most players. Newbie players take them to help fill out their army list. They are slow (init 2) with no ranged attack. They are more suited to to a defensive role which doesn’t fit well into the overall theme of a Tyranid army. 3 wounds, 3 attacks and a +1 cover save can make Rippers a nuisance.

    If you do take a Ripper brood throw in a few mutants with rending claws. Your oponent wont be very happy when some pesky ripper gnaws through his tank or dreadnought.

    NOTE that rippers have only 3 toughness. Any 6+ strength hit removes a whole base.
    NOTE “Always remove whole models as casualties"
    Three Ripper bases take three Bolter hits that succesfully wound. You remove 1 base, because there are enough Wounds inflicted to take it out. You do NOT have three Ripper Bases with 2 wounds left.


    Slicer Apr 24 2004, 15:17
    Making them leaping and using the weapon beast mutation [rending claws] would certainly make them very anoying buggers in cc, difficult to kill and any 6s are instant wounds... nasty... and if they are leaping there taking up a fast attack slot, which I have to say I rarely use with my tyranids and makes them quite quick, quicker if they have wings...

    Maybe next battle ill give them a go.... but giving them leaping and the rending claw mutation (also possibly giving them I upgrade (so they dont strike last against.... everything!)) would make them a bit expensive.

    Gargoyles are a special non mutable breed of guant. They come with flying, fleshborers and bioplasma. A similar biomorphed gaunt would cost 14 points and only have 5 LD. Their downside is that you only get two models per blister making it at bit pricey to buy a decent brood. Play them like you would your hormagaunt broods don’t expect to do anything great. Just tie up units and block LOS. You can try deep striking them into weaker Tau and IG units for some fun and mayhem. Remember you can fire but can’t assault the turn you deep strike.


    WARMACHINE Dec 3 2003, 11:21
    IMO the bio plasma attack at Initiative 8 makes them pretty damned kick ass. Think about it. Versus almost anyone you are going to get an attack in before they can strike. That can mean a huge advantage. Then on top of that, you get another round of attacks at Initiative 4. If you opponent is unlucky enough to be have a toughness of three and less than four initiative (Orks, Tau, etc...) then they are screwed.

    Draxalon Feb 20 2004, 038
    Personally I don't think Garg's are worth fielding, why?

    1. They have a WS of three, a STR of three, and an I of 4. Thus they need 4's to hit and 5's to wound vrs a reg marine, striking simultaneously (cept the bioplasma). And vrs dark eldar or eldar you're attacking last (cept the bioplasma), needing a 4 to hit and a 4 to wound.

    2. Gargs can only really move as far as Hormagaunts in a single turn (movement: 12+1-6+6 on gargs, 6+1-6+12 on horms) and do not get the benefit of being able to use their full attacks when not in base to base (ala hormagaunt leaping).

    I play primarily against marines and chaos space marines, so I need troops that can pull down marines decently. Garg's just can't take that role effectively due to their low WS and I. Thus, I field groups of 11 mutable gaunts w/ leaping, +1 WS (Adrenal), +1 I (Adrenal), and Sything Talons =11pts ea. I also mutate one to have a hide node so the little buggers won't run off and what not. With these guys I can get into combat with enemies on a tourny sized board in 1 to two turns (depending on the deployment area and setup), and they can do a fair amount of damage to marine squads while they tie them up (considering their cost).

    However, I must note that gargs can be really useful for snagging table corners and misc objectives as they can always move 13-18''s in a turn (not charging), while a hormagaunts only move 7-12 (when not charging).

    <shrug> The question of garg vrs horma inevitably boils down to depending on the theme of your personal hive fleet and your own personal playstyle. Best Luck

    Unit04 Feb 20 2004, 085
    I'm not sure I understand point 2. Gargoyles can move faster then Hormagaunts on every turn except the one they assult, when they can both move the same. This means that the gargoyles will get into assault range earlier an assault quicker. Follow them up with other fast Tyranids and you'll shut down the opponent in no time.

    As for getting full attacks in assault, gargoyles still get the bioplasm from 2" out. They may lose the +1A on the assault from that far, but that can be balanced out with a barrage from the fleshborers.

    In addition to last minute claiming of quarters, they are good for covering your flanks. One of the reasons I use them so much, is because in one of my first games, they flew all the way across the board to stop someone from attacking my biovores.



    qwerter4 Nov 17 2003, 10:12
    raveners, if taken in very small groups, 1-3 for 45 points each (rending claws and sycthing talons is the ONLY way to go) can pose a serious threat to any spacemarine units. they move so quickly, i like to rush them up with alot of gargoyles, when charging, 3 raveners will get 15 attacks, alot of those are going to be either 6s or are very likely to wound. once, squad of 6 raveners killed 14 space marines in a single charge! one charge! because of thier very high intiative, they didnt get touched. they may not make up thier gruesomly high points cost every game, but when used as a small part of a very varied and dangerous army such as mine, they can do their part well, which is to back up genestealers and get into combat quickly. i like the multi-threat tactic, i use bio-vores, zoanthropes, a carnifex, spinegaunts, stealers, warriors, a lictor, hive tyrants (one with guard), gargoyles and few raveners. i would never take below the 10 species max, give your opponet alot of diffrent things to worry about, he'll never know what to shoot or where to focus his defense, hesitation = loss,

    Nightwalker AK Feb 12 2004, 007
    Raveners are both a blessing and a curse. They are fast and scary, but extremely fragile. I field four of them and a Red Terror (just 'cause I can), and they generally hit hard, wipe out a single unit or nearly so on the charge, and then die on the next round.

    Properly placed and effectively used, they can be a devastating brood, but poorly played or poorly used they become a waste of points.

    If you do decide to go with them, don't bother with the Devourers they come with. Give them all Scything Talons and Rending Claws. Raveners shooting is Raveners asking to be shot, and they die just as easily as gaunts do to gunfire. They're actually safer in close combat, and the Rending Claws make them viable against vehicles and heavy infantry (Terminators, Crisis Suits, Necrons, any Blood Angel model...).

    Uzi-99 Jun 14 2004, 069
    Raveners are fun and the models are cool.

    Their only negative is the relative expensiveness combined with their fragility.

    That's why I also prefer the ScyTal + RenClw combo, since in CC they can't be shot at, while still being capable of inflicting casualties (even easier than by shooting).

    As far as tactics go, I use them as oversized, fast 'Stealers... They wait until the Gaunts get into CC, and then move closer to support any broods in need of a helping talon. They can also be used as fast objective/quarter/etc-takers.

    Usually best to field in as small broods as possible, since their fragility against Bolters and the like means that a brood of 2-3 will be almost as easily wiped out as a brood of 1, while fielding them in broods of 1 will force the opponent to shoot at them with different units if they want to get rid of them. And even a single Ravener can contest quarters, claim objectives and the like... Of course, this only if You don't have any other FA choices.

    Raveners vs. Winged Warriors
    A fully biomorphed Winged CC Warrior costs exactly the same as a Ravener with RC. The only difference is you trade 5 Str and synapse for 4 str, one more attack and the ability to safely enter terrain. The choice comes down to how much terrain is on the board. If cover is sparse the Warriors are best otherwise take Raveners.

    Red Terror
    The Red Terror is just monstrous Ravener. Being a TMC it has the potenial to mow through most troops and tanks. Unfortunately it has 3 init and 5 toughness. At 104 points this makes an extremely good target for lasconnon and krak missiles.


    Marneus Calgar Feb 21 2004, 16:42
    I would only use the Red Terror against Orks and Necrons. Orks have a really hard time hitting things and they are slow in combat. Necrons are just slow in combat. Like Slicer said, they hit on a 3+, wound on a 3+ with no armor save or WWB roll. Very nice. Swallowing whole is not that great. Only use of it is when your fighting a Chaplain or against an anyoing Vet Sarge with a Powerfist in a squad of 10.

    The best tank destroyer in the Tyranid army. Few things can match its 10 strength. A slow moving creature it may be late in the game before it reaches CC. Its best to equip with a VC so it has a chance of doing something while lumbering into range. It is also a scary oppenent that will draw a lot of fire. Start it in cover so it won’t die on the first turn. The ‘fex is more of a psyclogical threat than effective. If it is drawing fire, good. It takes an average of 72 bolter shots to inflict one wound. Thats about 24 gaunts saved.

    Mutants and Bimorphs
    The standard ‘Fex with extended carapace and VC is adequate. The 4th Ed rules allow TMC two weapons, good if you definitely want something dead. If you want a pure CC ‘Fex take Old One Eye, the regen is well worth it.


    Morpheus01 Dec 18 2003, 08:43
    The fact that the Barbed Strangler comes with no Armor piercing means that it is garbage vs Marines or really anyone with a 4+ Armor save or better. When you think that you get 1 shot with a 50% hit rate, and then Everyone you hit gets a 50% or better not die rate its depressing. Also, not very good vs vehicles compared to the S10 36" range VC.

    Biovores are Tyranid artillery. Biovores launch spore mines. These are NOT guess weapons simply select a location any where within range and roll the scatter dice. Spore mines are a mindless creature that semi randomly floats around untill it detonates. In your movement phase roll and move it 1-6’ in the direction of the scatter dice.


    Nightwalker AK Feb 12 2004, 007
    if you don't have three of them yet, spend the money on Biovores. These things are worth their weight in gold. They're not only one of the best multirole guns in the game, but they can drop mines into bottlenecks and other places the enemy is likely to go, forcing him to waste shooting to take it down or avoid that part of the map. It's a wondeful way to control where your opponents go.

    Tumtatty Dec 8 2003, 10:42
    I always take 3 biovores. That way i get an average of 1 direct hit per round. The other mines may hit as well or they float around within the enemy ranks.

    Poision mines can devestate eldar/orks. The automatic hit on open-topped vehicles is priceless!

    Acid mines are great against marines. With 2D6 + 3 penetration you can pop rhinos and speeders and the rear armor of predators relatively easily.

    I regularly play against space wolves, blood angels, orks and eldar and all of them HATE my biovores!

    Zoanthropes are great too, but a BS of 3 sucks. They spend half the time missing shots and need to be near to and exposed to enemy fire to work. Any crack missle or lascannon will autokill them as well.

    There's nothing like dropping three ordinance templates of posion on an army of Ork Speed Freaks!!!!!

    Spore Mines

    Uzi-99 Mar 15 2004, 17:17
    Spore Mines- well, biovores are awesome. Having 3 biovores in a nid army is similar to having a griffon or basilisk in an ork army. Spore mines can lay down good amounts of cover for your advancing swarm as well as irritate your opponent if he has to burn a movement phase avoiding several undetonated spores. I usually adapt my spore mine choice to which army I’m fighting. For example bio-acid against chaos and SM, frag against DE, orcs, or imperial, and poison against eldar, and maybe orks (open topped vehicles automatically take glancing hits).

    Poison against everything non-SM/CSM/Necron. Useful against high-T Chaos and Necron models, though. Also, against open-topped vehicles.

    Bio-Acid against vehicles. Can damage SM/CSM/Necron troops as well, but random and rather weak.

    Frag... Against troop-heavy IG, Guardian-heavy Eldar.

    If I had to choose spore mines for a tourney, I'd choose Poison and Bio-Acid.


    The warp blast is the is by far the most efective way to deal with marines and tanks. The ‘thropes downside is 3 BS and Warp blast range 24”. Well within the range of instant kill krak missles and lasconnon. The 4th Ed rules allow TMC to block LOS so follow them or keep in cover.

    Nightwalker AK Feb 12 2004, 007

    Zoanthropes... What is there to say about these guys? They rock, pure and simple. They're your best tank hunter, and they've got a tendency to survive quite a bit thanks to their psychic field. They also attract a lot of fire, so beware of that and keep them in cover.

    Zoethrope vs. Biovores

    Uzi-99 Aug 30 2004, 15:10
    I prefer 'Vores... Longest range of all Tyranid ranged weapons, even if it misses the spore stays around hampering the enemy, and it can murder non-SM troops by the dozen (or at least half dozens)! Even against SM-types it is ok, since it forces them to roll a huge number of saves. Tyrants and Carnifex are for direct-fire anti-vehicle...

    Though 'Thropes are ok, and can do well against SM-type armies. Problem is that they aren't very accurate, the range of the blast isn't too good, and if ever Your opponent's Lascannons don't have anything to else to shoot at, the 'Thropes get slaughtered.

    Both have their good points, along with their bad. Generally I'd suggest 'Thropes against SM-type opponents, and 'Vores against the rest. Of course, if You can have both...


    Go forth now the hive hungers

    Last edited by Zerling; March 20th, 2006 at 22:41.

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    Senior Member Necrontyr's Avatar
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    nice post, but you better get rid of the stat lines. you&#39;re not allowed to post such things here.
    i will comment more when i&#39;ve read it through.
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    Doesnt that post Reek off copy right breeches??
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    Wow. honeslty dood, im impressed. i think u should submit this is phobos for our tyranid tactica. just get rid of the gun stas, as it violates copyright rules.
    <insert witty remark here>

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    Nice work

    This has been a much needed post in here. But like said lose the gun stats

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    :thumbs_up: Kudos to you. It was a good read.

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    It doesn&#39;t violate copyright laws unless you word it exactly or use any of their trademark logos. Description of guys in a tabletop boardgame won&#39;t get you guys in trouble. Very nice descriptions by the way. Didn&#39;t know about Scythgaunts, Adrenagaunts, or the Deathgaunts. Do you have any input on seeding swarm strategies.

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    Very nice post.

    But TMC&#39;s don&#39;t block LOS (unless in HtH). The new rule about targeting units further back doens&#39;t apply to Nid&#39;s. Attackers automatically pass this test, so they can still shoot whatever they want.
    Gyauayuayuayua! Ja! Ve vill crush da little girly men in deir little girl men awrmor! Ve vill see owur enemies driven befowur us, und hear da lahmentaytions of deir wemen. Und from owur home planet, de stayte uf Califowurnia, ve vill lawunch owur mighty offensive. Even if you kill us, ve'll be bach!! Gyauayauyauyauyau!

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    Great&#33; :lol: I like it, but did you mean to miss ooe? He&#39;s one of my favorites&#33; <_<
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    First things first: Remove the statlines and overtly accurate descriptions from the bioweapons, biomorphs and Hive Mind Powers... Even newbies need the Codex.

    Rather give Codex page references to point out where the proper information can be found.

    Also, never forget to supply the link to the Chapter Approved FAQs.

    But commendations on the work You&#39;ve gone through, sifting through old posts for useful tidbits and pointers on tactics&#33;

    Originally posted by Zerling+Sep 9 2004, 09:32--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Zerling &#064; Sep 9 2004, 09:32)</div><div class='quotemain'>Basic Ranged Warrior – EC, ST, +WS addrenal glands and VC[/b]

    --- EnhSen, not AdrG WS, I presume?

    ArchonAstaroth Sep 18 2003, 06:42
    I use my warriors leaping, with scything talons and rending claws, extended carapace and eventually flesh hooks. I always use them in combination with gaunt hordes: A line of gaunts is in base contact with the enemy, the warriors stay behind and contribute their attacks from 2" away (thanx to the leaping ability). This way they&#39;re safe from power fists and other attacks - each hit on a warrior costs you more than a hit on a gaunt. This also works great with leaping ripper swarms with rending claw mutants.
    --- Thing to bear in mind with this old quote is that creatures with Leaping must charge in order to fight in CC... And for that to happen, at least one model in the brood needs to reach BtB with it&#39;s assault move. Also, other models of the assaulting brood must be moved into BtB contact where possible, making this tactic not that easy to execute.

    Furthermore, keep in mind that supporting attacks are "within 2" of a friendly model of the same unit in BtB contact with an enemy model." 4thEd rulebook, page 38, "Fighting a Close Combat", right column, "Who Can Fight?", second point. This applies to any and all Tyranids... Except possibly Leaping.

    Although not specifically stated for the Tyranid Leaping ability (indeed, the FAQ suggests any friendly model as viable, as does the original Codex ruling), I would count this particular limitation to come in play whenever supporting attacks are concerned, requiring models to be of the same unit to provide any attacks when not in BtB but at "supporting" range.

    To clarify, in 4thEdition I term engaged models not in BtB as supporting, even though 4thEd does not really know supporting attacks... However, there are clear differences between models in BtB and those within 2"/Leaping 4" from them.

    Feel free to disagree... After all, the letter of the rules seems straightforward enough. However, I&#39;m a silly old fool who thinks of such things as the "spirit of the rules" and other unquantifiable things&#33; ^_^

    Red Terror

    Marneus Calgar Feb 21 2004, 16:42
    Swallowing whole is not that great. Only use of it is when your fighting a Chaplain or against an anyoing Vet Sarge with a Powerfist in a squad of 10.
    --- Bear in mind that Str-modifiers granted by weapons can render a model unswallowable&#33; So no swallowing PFist-armed models... Unless their basic S is 2&#33; :lol:

    @Sep 9 2004, 22:55
    But TMC&#39;s don&#39;t block LOS (unless in HtH). The new rule about targeting units further back doens&#39;t apply to Nid&#39;s. Attackers automatically pass this test, so they can still shoot whatever they want.[/quote]
    --- The FAQ changes the wording in regards to StBO, so that LOS is no longer mentioned. Thus if something blocks LOS, it also applies to Tyranids.

    The FAQ furthermore tells us that in addition to being TMCs, they count as MCs under the 4thEd rules.

    The 4thEd rules state that MCs are considered to be size 3, and are considered to block LOS to units behind them.

    Ergo, since StBO has been reworded, TMCs count as MCs, and MCs block LOS, Tyranid MCs now also block LOS.

    All they do is automatically pass target priority. Thus, although a Carnifex were slightly closer than a Tyrant, the opponent may freely shoot at the Tyrant (since the priority check is automatically passed, as per the new wording for StBO). However, if the Tyrant is behind the Carnifex, it can&#39;t be shot at all, since the Carnifex now blocks LOS.
    "The meat things seek to destroy ourselves. They hunt us as we hunt them but they are weak and uncertain. The inferior flesh will be entirely destroyed, all biomatter consumed. Ourselves will fight to the last, all weak flesh must be devoured."

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