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    Starting Tyranids

    I recently decided to start a tyranid force. After reading through some of the stickies and other posts, I am thinking of the following. This gets me to 1500 points.

    Hive Tyrant - scything Talons (x2); toxic miasma; toxin sacs; old adversary; leech essense & psychic scream (220pts)

    Tyrant Guard Brood - 2 Guard (120 pts)

    10 Ymgarl Genestealers (230 pts)

    Hive Guard Brood - 2 Hive Guard (100 pts)

    Tyranid Warrior Brood - 3 Warriors with rending claws and adrenal glands (105 pts)

    20 Hormagaunt - basic (120 pts)

    20 Hormaguant - basic (120 pts)

    15 Termagant - basic (75 pts)

    Tervigon - adrenal glands, toxin sacs, regeneration ;catalyst (225) - troop

    Carnifex - heavy venom cannon (185 pts)

    I have not yet assembled any of these, so things can be switched around. I am debating whether, I should field a Tervigon or a Tyrannofex.

    Also, using this as a base, to get the list up to 1850, what else would you add/purchase?
    Thanks!


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    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    Hive Tyrant - scything Talons (x2); toxic miasma; toxin sacs; old adversary; leech essense & psychic scream (220pts)
    Your scything talons help with your rerolls to hit so old adversary is already gimped. Old adversary will help your other units as well but then your scything talons are either there for nothing or because you don't want to spend points on a different weapon. Instead, I recommend Hive Commander. Granting the outflank ability to a troop choice that doesn't normally outflank (tervigon? phat squad of hormagaunts?) can be a valuable utility, not to mention the other benefits from it. If you do plan to replace those useless scything talons, I recommend some guns because your walkrant won't see too much action until late game otherwise.

    Lose the toxin sacs. A monster as strong as the hive tyrant doesn't need it. Toxin sacs work best the weaker the unit using it is (str 3 gaunts).

    The difference between toxic miasma and acid blood: toxic miasma causes a wound every turn but allows saves vs acid blood causes a wound when you get wounded and does not allow saves. What you use depends on what you do with your hive tyrant. If you are going to hunt down resilient multi-wound characters then acid blood is best and compliments leech essence. As far as psychic powers go, my preference lies on paroxism for its valuable debuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    10 Ymgarl Genestealers (230 pts)
    Ymgarls are excellent if you can predict where the enemy will be by turn 2 or 3 and if you know what upgrade to use for a given situation. The rule of thumb I go by: If the enemy is a large squad get T (to withstand the inevitable counter attack), if they are a small squad get A (to wipe them out before they counter), if they are Tougher than you get S (to close the gap between your S and their T).

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    Hive Guard Brood - 2 Hive Guard (100 pts)
    Cheap and good at killing vehicles for their cost so I hear.

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    Tyranid Warrior Brood - 3 Warriors with rending claws and adrenal glands (105 pts)
    Hard to mess up warriors. Toxin sacs are iffy since they will probably get a 4+ to wound most of the time anyway but you didn't add them. You just need to use your best judgement and tool your warriors to best fit your army. I'm assuming these guys are purely for synapse.

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    20 Hormagaunt - basic (120 pts)

    20 Hormaguant - basic (120 pts)

    15 Termagant - basic (75 pts)
    I almost always give my hormagaunts toxin sacs because of their weak S. And they more than pay for themselves if you wound high T units with an automatic 4+ roll to wound.

    If you opt to do this, give them cover save with a weaker squad whose points are purely spent for the cover save such as your other squad of horms w/o toxin sacs or better yet 10 cheap termagants. Then there is always the hive tyrants hive commander option.

    As cheap as termagants are, don't underestimate them near a tervigon.

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    Tervigon - adrenal glands, toxin sacs, regeneration ;catalyst (225) - troop
    One of my favorite units! I was so excited when I walked into my local games workshop yesterday for the first time in like 6 months only to discover that they came out a week ago! Got me back into warhammer. ^^

    Anyway, your Tervigon looks great. +1 to I and S for termagants when charging, counter attack for them if they don't, 4+ to wound and even feel no pain if you opt to give it to termagants. They will tie up a stonger unit all game. My only complaint is regeneration but that's my personal preference. Regeneration might be a good idea though if you outflank with Hive Commander.

    Regarding its spawn rate: The tervigon has a 4/9 chance to despawn. This means roughly half the time you won't get to spawn anymore termagants. This is just a fact to keep in mind when building your list. You might compensate by increasing your odds and adding two tervigons or by fielding permanent units of termagants to benefit from its buffs and considering whatever the tervigon spawns as a bonus.

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    Carnifex - heavy venom cannon (185 pts)
    I don't use carnifexes too much anymore but if you're going to spend the points for a HVC for anti tank, I would instead invest in a spore and assault the enemy vehicles. This strategy would require frontline synapse though. This and the fact that they are slow are reasons why I don't use them. Instead your front line synapse should BE your antitank (zoanthropes).


    Overall, your list is pretty balanced but slow. A tyranid army is most effective the faster they can close the gap between them and the enemy and right now only your ymgarl's fill this roll. Like I said before, your HVC and hive gaurds also help but are adequate solutions. They are good but not to compensate for your slow moving army. A brood of zoanthropes in a spore or outflanking genestealers or burrowing mawloc or deepstriking trygon or outflanking Hive Commander unit or flying 'nids should solve this problem. The way I see it, the more 'nids off the table in the beginning the better the army (within reason of course).

    Something I might've hinted at before: Your army lacks early antitank. Your best antitank units will get to the enemy at the end of the game. This is a problem also solved by zoanthropes in a spore. A trygon or mawloc can also be useful for this. If synapse is an issue upgrade to trygon prime or, once again, use zoanthropes in a spore. Trygon will better serve your early antitank need than a mawloc but lacks its utility.

    Regarding mawloc utility: A mawloc's terror from the deep ability can devastate units with its ap 2 dmg (anti-terminator?) and best of all can do this a minimum of 2 times a game. 3 times if the game lasts 6 turns. This is guaranteed through his burrow ability. Instead of keeping him in deep strike, simply place him at the edge of the table and burrow him turn 1 for a free deep strike turn 2. Also, this is a bit cheesy but if you can corner a tank with this ability (because they have to move if they don't get destroyed) you can cause it to be destroyed almost for free.

    I hope this helps! I'm glad to help a new 'nid player in need
    Last edited by johnthedruid; March 13th, 2012 at 03:32.

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    Thanks for the detailed feedback, JohntheDruid. My knowledge of the army is primarily based on what I have read on forums and reading through the book. Never played Tyranids or played against them, so advise from someone with experience is appreciated.

    With regard to the hive tyrant, I had initially considered combining ranged and melee, but was worried I would be creating a "Jack of all trades, master of none" and thought it better to focus. Sounds like that is not advisable and it is better to mix ranged and melee so he is doing something throughout the game?

    With regard to not giving the gaunt units upgrades was to keep them cheap and using them as tarpits while the Tyrant and warriors came into to actually kill things. Is this viable or is my Tyrant and other hard hitters too slow to do that effectively?

    As I don't like the zoanthrope or Trygon models (don't like the "snake" look), adding more genestealers or gargoyles for fast troops? Or increase the size of my hive guard? Add a Tyrranofex? That looks like a cool model aesthetically as well.

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    Shire can't handle me Warlord Vrrmik's Avatar
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    Solid advice John!

    @drsid I'd highly recommend you read this, just for general playing and future list building: http://www.librarium-online.com/foru...-tyranids.html

    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    With regard to the hive tyrant, I had initially considered combining ranged and melee, but was worried I would be creating a "Jack of all trades, master of none" and thought it better to focus. Sounds like that is not advisable and it is better to mix ranged and melee so he is doing something throughout the game?

    ... Or increase the size of my hive guard? Add a Tyrranofex?
    You are absolutely wrong, it is very advisable. Generally, most people go for a walking Tyrant with either 2x Twin Linked Devs and Tyrant Guard or they swap one of the Devs for a Stranglethorn Cannon. Adding wings instead of a Tyrant Guard gives you extra mobility, but in that case a long range gun is not advisable. The great thing about Hive Tyrant is that he can still shoot great guns and then still do really well in assault. His assault weapons aren't that great, especially if you have Old Adversary already. The best psychic powers to use are by far Paroxysm (just all round awesome) and leech essence (the best sort of regeneration Tyranids get). Also, TS and Toxic Miasma are generally not worth it on the Hive Tyrant. Points can simply be better spent elsewhere.

    Also, the point John said about regeneration. Just don't bother. By the time you pay for Regeneration (which is what, 20-30 points?) you could by another 4-6 Termagants. That's another 4-6 BUFFED Termagants. Another 4-6 shots, another 8-12 attacks on the charge, which is really around 1-2 extra marines dead. Regeneration requires you to roll sixes (trust me, it really doesn't happen when you need it to) and even then you may only recover one wound. Those points are better spent elsewhere.

    You don't have enough Hive Guard. It's as simple as that. Ymgarls are also generally not worth it (sorry to rain on your parade). If you simply get rid of the Ymgarls alone, you should buy yourself another two Hive Guard. That's two groups of two, which is really necessary in any sort of game against mechanised armies (i.e. most you see today).

    Not a major change, but I would generally take TS on the Warriors instead of AG (they just generally do better). If you're against a lot of Eldar (dark or normal) then go right ahead.

    Just get rid of the Carnifex. Unfortunately, it's way too slow to actually do anything, and the bigger guys in our army have made his job redundant. Sad, but true.

    Now we have enough points up our sleeve (and a little more) to get ourselves a Tyrannofex. Use it with a Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines and Electroshock Grubs.

    Here's one pointer I'd like to add. In competitive (or even semi-competitive games)... Hormagaunts and Termagants just don't mix in an army. That's why I believe you would generally be better off by either:
    a) Getting rid of the Hormagaunts (the better option. This spares points for a second Tervigon and Termagant unit combination, which is really the build that Tyranid players need to use to win their games. Also gives you secure Synapse coverage.).
    b) Getting rid of the Tervigons and the Termagants (means that you'll have swarms of Hormagaunts (with Toxin Sacs of course) to start off with. They're generally harder to play, and you rarely see them win games against the more modern armies).

    By no means do I intend this to be a 'You must choose Hormagaunts OR Termagants right now!' sort of thing. It is only a suggestion. But it is a suggestion that I ask you to consider, as it will make your games generally better.

    So, following that up, I'd say your list would look like (if you followed the advice presented before you):

    == HQ ==
    Hive Tyrant Brood (325 pts.)
    --> Hive Tyrant (1) - Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Stranglethorn Cannon, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 205 pts.
    --> Tyrant Guard (2) - Scything Talons = 120 pts.

    == Elites ==
    Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.
    Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.

    == Troops ==
    Tyranid Warrior Brood (3) - Devourer, Rending Claws, Toxin Sacs = 120 pts.
    Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat, Taken As Troops = 195 pts.
    Termagant Brood (20) - Fleshborer = 100 pts.
    Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat, Taken As Troops = 195 pts.
    Termagant Brood (20) - Fleshborer = 100 pts.

    == Heavy Support ==
    Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Electroshock Grubs = 265 pts.

    == Total ==
    1500 pts.

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    Thanks for the link to the other thread and for the detailed breakdown. I also appreciate the army list and the suggestions. I am not disappointed about the genestealers as I don't particularly like the models and put them in there to use the beginner box; sad about the carnifex ... such a nice looking model, too.

    Time to order more Hive Guard and a Tyrannofex! My wife thanks you.
    Last edited by drsid; March 13th, 2012 at 10:19.

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    Shire can't handle me Warlord Vrrmik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drsid View Post
    I am not disappointed about the genestealers as I don't particularly like the models and put them in there to use the beginner box; sad about the carnifex ... such a nice looking model, too.
    You know, I'd actually give Genestealers preference to Warriors. But you don't have enough points for that. Give yourself another 500 points or so and you can build yourself a list that features both of these:

    == HQ ==
    Hive Tyrant Brood (325 pts.)
    --> Hive Tyrant (1) - Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Stranglethorn Cannon, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 205 pts.
    --> Tyrant Guard (2) - Scything Talons = 120 pts.

    == Elites ==
    Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.
    Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.

    == Troops ==
    Tyranid Warrior Brood (5) - Deathspitter, Rending Claws, Toxin Sacs = 225 pts.
    Genestealer Brood (8.) - Toxin Sacs = 136 pts.
    Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat, Taken As Troops = 195 pts.
    Termagant Brood (23) - Fleshborer = 115 pts.
    Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat, Taken As Troops = 195 pts.
    Termagant Brood (23) - Fleshborer = 115 pts.

    == Heavy Support ==
    Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Electroshock Grubs = 265 pts.
    Carnifex Brood (230 pts.)
    --> Carnifex (1) - Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms = 190 pts.
    --> Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.

    == Total ==
    2001 pts.

  9. #7
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    == HQ ==
    Hive Tyrant Brood (325 pts.)
    --> Hive Tyrant (1) - Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Stranglethorn Cannon, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 205 pts.
    --> Tyrant Guard (2) - Scything Talons = 120 pts.

    I have used these guys and they are MEAN! Seriously you could not have a better choice!

    == Elites ==
    Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.
    Hive Guard Brood (2) = 100 pts.

    Best anti-tank for the points. Downside is short range so you need to move close with them to shoot. 24" means you should start them just behind your troops and keep them hidden. Their armor save won't let them take a big barrage of shots.

    == Troops ==
    Tyranid Warrior Brood (5) - Deathspitter, Rending Claws, Toxin Sacs = 225 pts.
    Genestealer Brood (8.) - Toxin Sacs = 136 pts.

    Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat, Taken As Troops = 195 pts.

    I acutally played my first game and really used him incorrectly. He is more of a buffer and great at throwing out nids. My first roll I got a 4-5-6 so I put out 15 termagaunts. They unit held demons for a long time but really did not win. If your termagaunts get in to combat do not bring him in. If they lose him and the termagaunts take fearless saves which really hurts him.

    Termagant Brood (23) - Fleshborer = 115 pts.

    These guys are really pathetic. BUT they are cheap, and descent at what they do. If you can always shoot before you assault their shooting is just as good as their attacks. Use them to hold objectives and beat down high toughness low armor save units. I used them against demons and simply he could not throw enough to take them down. Great for holding big units in check for pretty much ever. If your lucky they will win with their 1 attack and 4+ wound.

    Tervigon (1) - Cluster Spines, AG, Toxin Sacs, Cat, Taken As Troops = 195 pts.
    Termagant Brood (23) - Fleshborer = 115 pts.

    == Heavy Support ==
    Tyrannofex (1) - Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm - Electroshock Grubs = 265 pts.

    Oh I love this guy! I want to field 2-3 at the 1500 point level! He is tough, great armor save, amazing shots! Don't forget to use his 18" range shot and his template of guys get close. The cannon is great but only an average of 1 shot hits a turn. Use him on tanks and if there are none use him on big guys you can instan kill only with str 10. He is also tough in combat due to his toughness and armor save. Watch out for power fists though!

    Carnifex Brood (230 pts.)
    --> Carnifex (1) - Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms = 190 pts.
    --> Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.

    I want to try him! Let mek now how this runs!

    == Total ==
    2001 pts.

  10. #8
    Shire can't handle me Warlord Vrrmik's Avatar
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    @drsid regarding the question you edited out (never edit questions out of your post!) on whether a Hive Tyrant can still charge into melee when equipped with two guns, the answer is yes he can. All Tyranids have teeth and claws (their 'ordinary' CC attack), it's simply that the Hive Tyrant is not equipped with any special CC weapons that give him bonuses. Every unit in Warhammer 40,000 is entitled to charge into and have a close combat attack, exc. non-walker vehicles. Devastators kick, tactical marines have combat knives, Shoota Boyz punch, why can't nids bite?

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    Thanks for the clarification on my edited question. I edited it out because I realized I had simply missed the obvious. Anyway, for others, the questions was how a hive tyrant could fight in melee without being equipped with any melee weapons.

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    Even better-they're Monstrous Creatures and so can shoot with two ranged weapons then assault with S+2D6 and ignore armour saves. I thoroughly enjoy using nine Monsters in one of my Tyranid lists.
    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

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