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  1. #1
    Son of LO LordLink's Avatar
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    Can Tyranids be a Swarm?

    Ok well I started tyranids thinking I could get a nice swarm army. Now I'm beginning to regret not getting guard or orks instead. The basic troop costs more than a khorne berserker!

    To be blunt: Is there any possible way to field Tyranids without using genestealers and without massing monsters? can gaunts ACTUALLY be the core of an army?

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    Junior Member Grifthin's Avatar
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    Yes you can, its called playing for fun. How many gaunts are you using ?

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    Senior Member Abraham Lincoln's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordLink View Post
    Ok well I started tyranids thinking I could get a nice swarm army. Now I'm beginning to regret not getting guard or orks instead. The basic troop costs more than a khorne berserker!

    To be blunt: Is there any possible way to field Tyranids without using genestealers and without massing monsters? can gaunts ACTUALLY be the core of an army?
    LordLink! I didn't recognize you without your "Knight in shining armor" avatar! So you collect Nids as well, eh? Let me see if I can help you out...

    Collecting a pure-swarm army with nids is hard. First of all, it's true that our basic troops do tend to cost more than new players want - it is for example impossible to outnumber your opponent that way that Nids do in the fluff, or even the pictures in the codex. It isn't all that bad though. Here's an outline of common gaunt types and their prices:

    1) Spinegaunts: cost even less than a guardsman. Dirt cheap.
    2) Termagants: cost the same as a guardsman. Still very cheap, but considered more competitive.
    3) Scuttling Spinegaunts: This is my favorite type. Cheap and very fast.
    4) Devgaunts: no one actually uses these.
    5) Hormagaunts: Yes, they are pretty expensive. I use them sparingly, as an elite type of gaunt. I think they work best when there are lots of cheaper gaunts (i.e. scuttling spinegaunts) around to support them.

    Plus, since you abolutely HAVE to field synapse creatures too, that means that for every 10 gribblies or so you're going to be fielding a Big Bug for at least 30 points (40 if he's competitive). (I was thinkning Warriors, since they're the cheapest synapse. Obviously Tyrants or Zoans will be more).

    So yeah, I actually agree with you that mathematically, Imperial Guard can field the most models and still be effective. BUT, they also tend to be incredibly static, and lack the gracefulness, mobility, and excitement that Tyranids have!

    As for having to field genestealers, well you do have to field something better than gaunts. I think it's practically mandatory to field a good amount of stuff with rending, and genestealers happen to be the most efficient, point-for-point providers of rending.... too bad you can't give rippers "rending jaws" anymore, right??

    There are also Leaping Warriors, and Raveners, both of which also provide rending but not as well as genestealers (warriors sacrifice combat-ability for the ability to provide synapse, and Raveners sacrifice survivability for the 'beasts' ability).

    It's kind of like the poster above me said: if you want to field a competitive army, you'll have to make sacrifices. I have found that the Nid army that works the bast is the truly Balanced List: a good, healthy portion of gaunts to distract and tie up enemies, enough rending creatures to get the job done, a few durable synapse sources, and I actually also believe that you need a Carnifex or two to deal with skimmers or other vehicles from afar.
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  5. #4
    WarmaHorde Pathofskulls's Avatar
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    Winning with a swarm list from my expierence thus far is quite possible, I only have 8 genestealers and they tend to be the first thing shot to pieces which leaves me with my assault warriors and lictor. But the massive wall of gaunts does well, overwhelming numbers, mixed with speed and pure attacks does quite well for me.
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    No army, not even space marines, can rely solely upon ONE unit type to win the game. It's all about combined arms.

    You do realize that we, the tyranids, can field 192 models for less than 1000 points in our troops alone? Think about it. Even if you lose half of those (yeah right) to shooting, you'll still be able to roll over thirty space marines.

    Hormagaunts are too expensive. They, well, suck. It's better to have slightly inferior but numerically superior gaunts (even for CC) than to have hormagaunts. Termagaunts are good versus MEQs and light vehicles. Spinegaunts are dirty cheap and quite effective against GEQs and SoB.

    Fighting space marines? Turn your five point spinegaunts into six point spineygaunts with the AG-I upgrade. Suddenly spinegaunts go before SMurfs. That's still ouch, even if they do fight like regular humans.

    Generally, you'll want one MC per 500 points in your army. That's just a rule of thumb for a balanced approach.

    Rending claws are only effective against MEQs, really. Against GEQs, it's better to have a mountain of attacks. MEQs, however, save against EVERYTHING we have except two types of CC attacks (rending and MC attacks) and a grand total of TWO ranged attacks (warp blasts and a S3 small blast spore mine, whuptee). We don't have lascannons, we don't have deepstriking obliterators with plasma fire o' death, we don't have basilisks, we don't have powerfists, and we don't even have power weapons (well, except for broodlord...). We HAVE to rely on our advantages, more so than MEQs. Heck, the number of weapons we have that can actually penetrate 12 AV vehicles you can count on a butcher's hand (missing a few fingers!).

    But yes, go mass gaunts, get three MCs, grab some raveners, zoanthropes, and some CC warriors. Use gaunts to pin the troops, raveners and CC warriors to eat them, warriors to maintain the synapse web, zoanthropes for hard synapse and MCs to kill vehicles.
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  7. #6
    Member Furbifex's Avatar
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    My one and only army is nids. When I started, all I cared about were hormagaunts. I just had them, spinegaunts, obviously rippers, and Warriors. I always tried to achieve maximum numbers.

    What I started to realize was that while a massively outnumbering force like that is fun, it just isn't very effective against most lists. I stopped at 64 hormagaunts and 64 spinegaunts. I still use more hormagaunts at most times because I love them, but I always field less of them than I would like to.

    Also, I'd like to say that warriors pretty much suck. They are almost equivalent to a genestealer at twice the cost. The only way I would use warriors anymore is with a deathspitter, venom cannon, or barbed strangler. As CC, they just aren't worth the points. I am considering trying out winged versions though.

    If you really want a swarm list, I wouldn't take warriors as my main synapse. Zoanthropes are definitely worth more. Use synapse and warp blast on all 3 zoanthropes and you have yourself 3 synapse targets for the enemy that also double as anti-tank. I would also take an HQ choice of a broodlord with a genestealer retinue. This doubles as fast synapse to keep up with your gaunts and also as anti-tank. Having all that, then max out on gaunts should work pretty well, but obviously would fall easily to an army like tau, who can pretty much eliminate your synapse in 2 or 3 turns. Just hope you still have enough synapse so you don't fail a test before getting into close combat.

    I used to try and base my lists primarily on gaunts, but lately that hasn't been the case. Now, I almost always include a winged tyrant, broodlord with retinue, lictors, a sniperfex or 2, 3 zoanthropes, ranged warriors, and then I just throw in some gaunts. Obviously, with battles less than 2000 points I take some of those away and sometimes throw in more gaunts. I have found that in lower point battles, having an even higher ratio of gaunts:non-gaunts seems to work out really well.

    You really just have to use your judgement to decide whether or not to max out on the gaunts. Personally, I wish they worked better as swarms because it pisses me off to see nidzilla lists. All I think when I see those lists is how much bologna it is that it is easier to use a list farther from the storyline than one closer to it...BS!
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  8. #7
    Son of LO darkreever's Avatar
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    What about gargoyles? Those things are, or at least were, gaunts to some degree but don't have to worry so much about synapse and you can put in quite a few of them to increase your swarm numbers. (They did wonders in the odd nid list I played the other day, but then again that list only had one synapse creature and absolutely wiped the floor with my farsight enclave tau.)

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    Member Furbifex's Avatar
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    Money-wise, gargoyles suck. What they need is a box of plastic gargoyles...that would be AWESOME...a dream come true lol.
    --When I die, I would like to go peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather did. Not screaming and yelling like the passenger in his car.
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  10. #9
    Son of LO LordLink's Avatar
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    Ok well I used a swarm against world eaters and got torn to pieces. I made a few mistakes though (like the deployment of my tyrant).

    Gargoyles appear to be far better than hormagaunts. For 2 more points you get to be faster, deep-strike, less synapse dependant and get a gun. They do cost a lot of $$$ though. :cry:

    Basically what got me into nids is the look and idea of a giant swarm of insects just eating the whole board. Genestealers don't look like insects. They're more like chaos wannabe's and appear so out of place on the tabletop (I know some people disagree with me ).

    Well at least some people out there play with swarm armies. I've been chatting to a few people and reading this tyranid forum and Everything says the more genestealers the better.
    Check out my Codex: Farmyard Animals here!

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  11. #10
    Son of LO darkreever's Avatar
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    Don't forget LL, those extra two points also get you bio-plasma which can definately do that helpful damage when hitting at the same time as most dark eldar HQ's...

    Swarm armies mostly depend on what you want to run in them, which then influences which synapse creatures your going to be trying to take. Though again, if you have the money gargoyles will never hurt increasing your numbers for a decent price.

    Take my love, take my land, take me to where I cannot stand; I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.

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