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Well, this is my first tactica, and it has been inspired by fellow members and threads, including my one on rippers and the Carnifex article on Dakkadakka. I've come up with some basic thought trains and setups that fit the Godzilla list, and I thought it would be best to have them all put down. So, without further ado, here goes nothing.
The Tyranid Monstrous Creature list, fondly known as the Godzilla list by some Tyranid players, plays on the Tyranids' ability to field lots of massive creatures. Hive Tyrants and Carnifexs are the models of choice, and are rightly feared on the battlefield. However, these lists can be crippled by poor unit/biomorph selection. Over the course of this article I will be covering the following topics:
Hive Tyrants, weapons, upgrades, and tactics
Elite Carnifexs, weapons upgrades, and tactics
Rippers, weapons, upgrades, and tactics
Heavy Support Carnifexs, weapons, upgrades, and tactics.
Optional Units/what NOT to take.
Each of these sections are vital to the Godzilla strategy. Remember that in every Tyranid list, it is not the one model that will win the day, but the combined might of the swarm.
There are many tasty options for the Godzilla list, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is movement. Tyranid Monstrous Creatures will move 6" a turn. Carnifexs cannot be upgraded for speed, which is a good reason not to upgrade a Tyrant to this capability. You will want all of your list moving as one, as massive, fear-inspiring swarm, instead of fragmented waves. When you throw your whole list at your enemy, you're making your opponent eat the entire cake at once, instead of piece by piece. This brings me to one unit available to the Tyranid list, The Red Terror. The Red Terror was a close combat monster back in 3rd edition, and while it was not overly popular, it still had exceptional movement while counting as a monstrous creature. However, due to the speed of the rest of your list, you will not be taking this model. Increasing your monstrous creature count to nine is appealing, but ultimately it is better to spend the points elsewhere.
The second item to remember for all Godzilla lists is Combat Style. Due to item number one, our units will have a hard time walking into close combat. If you play with escalation, well, just forget about it. While a close combat tooled carnifex looks beautiful on paper, on the board, it will wind up... doing absolutely nothing. This is why your entire list should be based on shooting attacks. Due to the natural high strength and toughness of Tyranid monstrous creatures, shooting attacks are extremely deadly to all opponents. In the case that your opponent does hit your lines in close combat, your models still count as monstrous creatures with a high strength value, meaning instakills with no armour save allowed. The extra 1-2 attacks in close combat will not be worth their points when compared to the damage that shooting can deal. Remember that Tyranid shooting attacks are modified by the creature's strength, meaning that even the most basic gun will deal incredible damage.
Item number three: durability. Tyranid monstrous creatures are nigh impossible for basic infantry to destroy in or out of close combat. These models also feature many durability upgrades, including extended carapace, reinforced chitin, and regenerate. Since your list will not be moving very much, placing your creatures in terrain can be quite valuable to their surviveability, especially against anti-monstrous creature weapons such as lascannons and railguns.
Hive Tyrants are valuable assets to your army, despite being sub-par in stats compared to the Carnifex. Don't let this stop you from fielding them, though, as they can be valuable assets.
The first thing I MUST insist upon is that you do NOT give your Hive Tyrant wings. While having a close combat tooled, flying monster of doom is quite appealing, it does not fit into your list, and will cost you a great deal of points. Wings will put your pricey Tyrant out of cover and ahead of the rest of your army, thus making him an easy target as well as a first/second turn casualty.
That being said, if you happen to have the extra points, or just can't resist the overwhelming desire to field on, then there are certain ways to equip it. First, to look at close combat weapon choices: Rending Claws, Scything Talons, and BoneSword/LashWhip combo. We can immediately scratch Rending Claws from this list, as our creature is already Monstrous and high strength. Scything Talons, with its lower points cost, is a great choice, however, do not overlook the last option.
The bonesword/lashwhip combo provides your Tyrant with two distinct advantages, one being greater than the other. The greater advantage is the lashwhip. Although this weapon will not always be valuable, reducing the number of attacks by 1/model can be of tremendous value, especially against close combat oriented models such as Khorne Berserkers and Terminator Assault squads. The Bonesword provides a lesser role, though still a valuable one.
The Bonesword gives your Tyrant constant catalyst. In the case that, say, your Hive Tyrant is unfortunate enough to be charged by a daemon prince, you will still be able to strike back and hopefully take the enemy with you. However, this ability serves you the most when assaulting squads in cover. When assaulting a squad in cover, you will always strike last, unless you gave your Tyrant flesh hooks, which means you will be able to eliminate a very dangerous squad, though you sacrificed your Tyrant. This move can be a bit of a gamble, but it can also pay off.
As for biomorphs, most close combat supplementing upgrades are acceptable. Warp Field is considered mandatory on your flying Tyrant, as a 2+/6+ will greatly increase its chance of survival. An interesting option to take is the Warp Blast, giving your Tyrant some ranged combat capabilities, however, this can be a bit pricey and will be wasted as soon as you enter close combat.
If you follow the flow of the Godzilla army and give your Tyrant ranged weapons, there are generally two configurations considered to be acceptable: the Dakka Tyrant and the VC Tyrant.
The Dakka Tyrant wields twin-linked devourers, giving it a massive amount of high strength shots, and hitting 75% of the time! This configuration can be quite handy against masses of troops, and is great for leading your army on a charge. Also, it is easy to keep this Tyrant nice and cheap.
The VC Tyrant wields a Venom Cannon and one other weapon. The two best options for this second slot would be the Scything Talons and the Devourer. Each weapon is up to the players' preference, and also depends on what you expect to face. The Scything Talons can help fill that empty hole that you're feeling in your close combat arena, while a Devourer is always deadly, and will supplement your firepower when you do get into range.
Please note that taking a Barbed Strangler on a Tyrant, while being a nice idea, is not nearly as effective as taking one on a Carnifex.
Biomorphs. Now that we have equipped our Tyrant, there are some biomorphs that we must take, as well as secondary ones. The mandatory upgrade for the Tyrant is Enhanced Senses. We have just paid quite a bit for our nasty tyrant, we need to have him be able to hit his target! Toxin Sacs are also a strongly-enouraged upgrade, and an Extended Carapace will increase surviveability, especially against Krak missles and the like. As for secondary choices, most close combat upgrades are considered to be a waste in points, although they can prove useful should you get stuck in.
Abilities. The Hive Tyrant has two innate abilities which can give your list quite the boost, the most noticeable of which is Synapse.
Synapse will help prevent your models from lurking, and will keep your smaller creatures from falling back!(Yes, I know this is the Godzilla list, but keep in mind that you ALWAYS need two troops choices, I will get to this later).
The second ability is The Horror. While in almost all other Tyranid lists this ability is considered useless, this ability can prove to be amazingly useful. The Horror is an ability that greatly discourages enemy models from assaulting the Hive Tyrant. Now, in most armies, we want our Hive Tyrant to be in close combat, I mean, who wants to get shot by lascannons, right? However, there is one key difference in the playstyles of the Godzilla list and a regular Tyranid assault list:
We are playing Defensively.
That's right folks, Tyranids, playing defense. This concept will jar the minds of most every player out there, as Tyranids are stereotyped as the army that gets close and cuts you to pieces with rending claws and scything talons. However, this is the truth of the Godzilla list, it is defensive.
Now, the great thing about the Hive Tyrant is that we can put it in front of our six Carnifexs, leading the charge, and prevent the enemy from assaulting us and blocking fire lanes. This is where an additional psychic power comes into play...
Psychic Scream. This ability reduces the leadership of nearby enemy models by one. When leading your Tyranid list, put your two Hive Tyrants at the front, surrounded by their Tyrant Guard, and equip each with psychic scream. This will give all nearby enemy models -2 on their leadership, including Psykers! This will effectively create an invisible wall, preventing the enemy from assaulting, and allowing you even more shooting attacks.
Tyrant Guard. When your opponent realizes that you are making a wall against his assaults with your Tyrants, he or she will catch on quick and try to destroy them as fast as possible. This is why Tyrant Guard are great. Incredibly durable, they also serve to help the Tyrant repel a close combat attack. This big question, however, is whether to get rending claws or lashwhips.
Rending Claws will help to decimate the enemy quickly, allowing you to resume shooting as soon as possible. Also, if you are playing in cover (as you ought to be), you will be striking first, making Rending claws a prime choice.
Lashwhips are not quite as appealing as rending claws. They do not affect all units, and with the lack of rending claws, you could be stuck in close combat for quite a while. The upside to lashwhips is that they increase the squad's surviveability against the enemy's prime assault squads, allowing you to relocate the rest of your army while the Tyrant squad holds the enemy.
A Tyranid Godzilla army plays on the ability to field massive amounts of high toughness, high wound creatures. But how do troops fit into all of this? As we all know, we are required to field troops, and yet, none of the options available count as MCs. Thus, I'm going to do a review of each of the troops choices to point out strengths and weaknesses in relation to our list.
Genestealers are the deadliest, and most expensive, troop choice available to Tyranids. They possess the ability to tear through any unit, be it Terminators, guardsmen, or a Land Raider, faster than a MC. This aspect makes them quite appealing for the Godzilla list, as they reflect the sheer power fielded by the list. Genestealers also can take advantage of the infiltrate ability. However, every unit with Pros has Cons as well. Genestealers become expensive quite fast, but they still play with a "mediocre" toughness and a poor save. In our Godzilla list, we have an enormous amount of high toughness creatures, rendering small arms fire useless. When we field a squad of Genestealers, all of that previously redundant small arms fire has a place to go, and will quickly chew through our expensive unit. Genestealers excel in close combat, which is excellent for a fast assault list, however, as mentioned previously, we are fighting defensively. Genestealers excel where the rest of our list doesn't, and the two can potentially cripple each other. Genestealers will tie up squads and block LOS for our MCs, and our MCs can destroy a unit before the Genestealers get into close combat, leaving them stranded in the open. Overall, Genestealers are not the way to go.
Hormagaunts share many of the qualities used by the Genestealers, making them a poor choice as well.
Gaunts can be quite nice, as they can be fielded en masse for quite cheap, and move very fast. However, their ranged weapons are very short ranged, and they have the toughness and wounds value that makes them vulnerable to small arms fire, meaning that they will quickly bite the figurative dust. Guants are quite often used to swamp enemy squads, which is also incongruent with the theme of the army.
However, gaunts are not entirely useless in this army. A squad of gaunts with Devourers can wield a great deal of anti-infantry firepower, which will compliment our high-strength MCs quite well, however, they are still vulnerable to small arms fire, meaning you need to place them into cover for them to survive.
This brings me to the often overlooked selection in the Tyranids Troop section:
Rippers have several qualities that make them fit in quite well with the rest of the Godzilla list:
Wounds- Rippers have several wounds, making them surviveable against all kinds of fire.
Movement- Rippers, like their bigger brethren, are limited to a standard move, meaning they will never outdistance the rest of your force.
Vulnerable to Blasts/Small Targets- This is the rule that makes the rippers shine in the Godzilla list. Rippers get a bonus to their cover save, making them even more durable. The only weapons that are effective against rippers are:
A) Blast weapons
S6 or above
All of the weapons that fall into those categories are heavy weapons, that will be aimed at your MCs. This means that your rippers have increased durability, since only "ineffective" weapons can be used against them.
The only real purpose of your rippers will be to prevent your MCs from getting locked in close combat. A squad of Pariahs or DE Wyches can be quite painful to a 4 wound carnifex, but 30 Ripper wounds will greatly slow them down, allowing your Carnifex time to escape. A full squad of Rippers can hold a squad in close combat for several turns, even the entire game. Thus, treat your rippers like Tyrant guard, and allocate a single squad per carnifex. Your Hive Tyrants have Tyrant Guard, so they do not need the rippers. However, you have six troops choices, and you will be fielding up to six Carnifexs(3 Elites, 3 Heavy Support)allowing you to have one squad per carnifex.
Well, folks, that took me a long time to write. Soon, I will be editing this article to include the other stuff I talked about, but until then, I hope this has been useful.
P.S. I'm writing all of this from what I remember, look at my sig. If there is anything I have stated incorrectly or left out, please send me a private message and I will be sure to correct it. Thanks for reading!
Last edited by lLonginus; January 29th, 2006 at 05:31.
My gaming group's new motto: That army you're using is overpowered because it hurts my guys, codex is broken and needs a rewrite.