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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, after skipping around looking pretty with my Eldar for about 3 years now, I've made a rash and, to be honest, completely unthought-out decision to start a Nid army.
After amassing roughly 5000 points worth of the pointy-eared ones, I'm getting...well, a tad bored by them (much like the WHFB Goblins before them, and the Nurgle marines before them...), and I've always fancied Nids to be honest.
What I'm asking for is some input on what to get!
I've just purchased the army book on Ebay (literally, about 3 minutes ago), and I've been lurking around your Nid forums for a few days now taking bits here and there. What I want is a very competitive army from the start, as I started Eldar with newbish glee and bought the pretty things with no thought and found myself having to then buy things in the following weeks/months/years to make up for shortcomings.

So, to get to the point, I've heard a lot about shooty Tyrants, SniperFex's (eh?) and buckets of 'stealers being the way to go, but I thought Nid armies were CC all the way?
So before I go out and buy 70 hormagaunts and a bunch of 'Fex's with scything talons (see, did my homework on that one!), can I please have some input on what actually works for a winning Nid army!

Cheers, AJ

(ps; Im not trying to powergame, I'm just not that fond of wasting money on models that fail, and my regular opponents are competitive too....)
 

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OK, after skipping around looking pretty with my Eldar for about 3 years now, I've made a rash and, to be honest, completely unthought-out decision to start a Nid army.
After amassing roughly 5000 points worth of the pointy-eared ones, I'm getting...well, a tad bored by them (much like the WHFB Goblins before them, and the Nurgle marines before them...), and I've always fancied Nids to be honest.
What I'm asking for is some input on what to get!
I've just purchased the army book on Ebay (literally, about 3 minutes ago), and I've been lurking around your Nid forums for a few days now taking bits here and there. What I want is a very competitive army from the start, as I started Eldar with newbish glee and bought the pretty things with no thought and found myself having to then buy things in the following weeks/months/years to make up for shortcomings.

So, to get to the point, I've heard a lot about shooty Tyrants, SniperFex's (eh?) and buckets of 'stealers being the way to go, but I thought Nid armies were CC all the way?
So before I go out and buy 70 hormagaunts and a bunch of 'Fex's with scything talons (see, did my homework on that one!), can I please have some input on what actually works for a winning Nid army!

Cheers, AJ

(ps; Im not trying to powergame, I'm just not that fond of wasting money on models that fail, and my regular opponents are competitive too....)
The following are never bad choices:

  • A Flying Hive Tyrant (can only have one per game) with either 2 pairs of Scything Talons or 2 Twin-Linked Devourers (4 monstrous creature sized devourers)
  • Broodlord with half a dozen genestealers
  • 3-9 Warriors with Twin-Linked devourers or Scything Talons/Rending Claws
  • Gaunts gaunts and more gaunts either with spinefists or fleshborers
  • 1-3 (or maybe even more) raveners with rending claws
  • 2-3 Carnifexes. A sniperfex has a Venom Cannon and Barbed Strangler, and a dakka/devil-fex has 2 Twin-Linked Devouerers. Dakka means less than 115 pts and counts as an elite in 1500 point or less games and devil means it is a heavy support choice.

Any of those units would not be wasted. The battleforce or even the megaforce is a good start as you will probably use almost everything in it. I personally love Hive Tyrants and think at least one should be an early purchase. Then you can work from there.

.
 
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I recommend, that for any nid army, you will need the following. Remember, these are minimums and just suggestion, so take it with a grain of salt and shape it to your playstyle!

1 Hive Tyant: the type kitted out with 2 twin linked devourers, enhanced senses and toxin sacs, as well as wings is pretty good. (can add warp field if needed)

1 Sniperfex: Carnifex with enhanced senses, barbed strangler, and venom cannon (add defensive upgrades such as reinforced chitin, bonded exoskeleton, and extended carapace to taste)

Gaunts: probably need 1 box to start, depending on how big you want the army.: Based on how you want them to act, equip them as follows. If you want fodder, spinegaunts (gaunts with spinefists) are the way to go. If you want fodder that may actually do something to MEQs, make termagaunts (gaunts with fleshborer). If you want a lightning fast group, make hormagaunts.

Genestealers can also be troops, but it is good to have a solid base of gaunts too.

After that, you can expand into raveners with scything talons and rending claws or warriors (which are good with devourers).

You can also add another Hive Tyrant, Sniperfex, or some zoanthropes too.

Hope that helps.
 

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Battleforces!
seriously these are the best way to get the plastic models in the tyranid army range - always stick to battleforces - you can always find uses for all the units - you get a free carnifex - and as your army grows it will let you try out new things - such as taking more warriors.

After battleforces - winged hivtyrant is a wonderful must to any army - either armed with scything talons or devourers (or armed with magnets for both ;).
Zoanthrops are the second more important metal mini - zoanthropes will nearly always fit into any army and having as many as you can is best (3)
after that its your own choices really - raveners armed with scything talons and reding claws (you have to use the ones from the genestealer box, as the ravener models don't come with them) are a strong support assault choice. Lictors and biovores are less popular, but can be used to good effect (lictors need practice and can be a large point sink in an army).

The only tyranid unit that most people don't use is hte gargoyle - for the simple reason of cost - the model is too much in money for what you get in a model and for what it represents on the battlefield - most people convert hormagaunts into winged gargoyles
 
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Blood Boy
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You could also consider using some combination of various critters. Tyranids work well in groups typically. You could try to have a Hive tyrant on foot as well as the winged one. Give it a scything talons, venom cannon, toxin sacs, adrenal glands, enhanched senses and extended carapace. A Hive tyrant like this is a good all round commander for the swarm. You can also give it psychic scream and have three Zoanthropes follow it about also giving them psychic scream.

The combined effect of psychic scream will make assaulting the Hive tyrant almost impossible for most enemies because of the horror psychic power Tyrants always have. You can also provide all the benefits of synapse creature to the Zoanthropes and give them warpblast to back up the Hive tyrant.
 

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Hmm a really good way to start off a tyranid army is to buy some (1-2) battleforces, seeing as you will use all the units. From their, I'd look into getting a solid HQ, like a Broodlord, and better synapse creatures (1-3 Zoanthropes)
 

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Well i looked at ur post, and i dont think you were really paying attention to what us niders said. Maybe not everyone, but im pretty sure most of us said not to use CC fexes, why? they're slow. Its probably good to have one, but my advice, make no more. Thats way too many hormagaunts as well, sorry, but i think you had a bad start again.:| But dont worry, i started off with some of my friends models he bought just to paint for fun, and then i bought a lictor i never used, built a cc fex, and built a bunch of warriors with the wrong upgrades. I looked at the pictures in the codex and thought the ups that they gave them were just suppose to be really good. Now i want a bunch of TL warriors. I agree with them though, buy battleforces then a Tyrant. Then your choice of fast attack, probably raveners since there so much cheaper (lifewise). Then stock up on warriors.
 

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Well i looked at ur post, and i dont think you were really paying attention to what us niders said. Maybe not everyone, but im pretty sure most of us said not to use CC fexes, why? they're slow. Its probably good to have one, but my advice, make no more. Thats way too many hormagaunts as well, sorry, but i think you had a bad start again.
Psst, he was being sarcastic :)

Bassicly, my choices for starting nids would either be the battle force or a box of gaunts and a box of warriors if you don't have the money for the battle force. The box of gaunts and warriors immediately gives you a legal relatively balanced list with units that can be used in almost any type of army, so that's a plus, but it is a slow way to start. The battle force is really great for nids. It gives you a fex (make it sniper), stealers, a decent number of gaunts, a couple ripper swarms and warriors. Generally, you are then going to want to buy a tyrant, some more troops (depending on how you want the list to go) and then another fex once you hit around 1500 points or so.

A competative balanced list of around 2000 points usually contains these core units:

1 winged tyrant
2 stealer units
2-4 gaunt units (what type they are is going to change with personal taste)
2 fexes
a couple warriors for spynapse

That's just a skeleton that can be pretty easily adapted to you're personal style and can take more units in to it rather well without changing the overall workings of the list.

Or you could always go some route like nidzilla (maxing on carnis and tyrants), maybe a fast assault list based around fast gaunts and ravs plus winged tyrants, or maybe even make a genestealer list.

Basicly, nids are not only cc. Infact, we have some very competative ranged units, but then we do have the advantaged of having some wicked cc units such as ravs and stealers that can really lay down some hurt. How you play it though is your choice.

Umm, I guess people covered most everything, so, I guess I'm done :p

Good luck ;Y
 

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Battle force box hands down.

Its like getting a free Fex. I bought two already and think that buying a third is not a bad idea.
 
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Yep, I'd have to agree with the battleforce box. Can't go wrong, it has a little of everything you need.

One nice thing about nids is that you can go shooty, CC or a mix of both. And you can still do well. You can also go nidzilla or swarm and do just fine.

IMHO, give some thought to what you want to do. If you like the thought of all CC, go that way. Like shotting, go that way. Just, at all costs, avoid a CC fex.
 

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ZenGamer IMO gave the best simple run-down.

If you like the concept of Shooty Tyranids, you generally will have a list with a pair of tyrants wielding 2 twin-linked devourers each, a trio of either dakka-fexes in elite if your list is 1500+, or a trio of 3+-man dakka warrior squads (both dakka-fexes and dakka-warriors max out twin-linked devourer usage). You'll have as many cheap small spinegaunt or termagant squads as possible, filling out your force chart and providing annoying targetting decisions for your opponent. You'll field 3 small squads of raveners - however many per squad you have points for - with rending claws /scything talons, and will keep them safe as your close combat bail-out. You'll finally field a pair or trio of sniperfexes, alternating zoanthropes or biovores into the mix for whatever reason you personally have.

If you're going CC, you're more likely to have a broodlord with a tiny retinue, a winged double scything talon tyrant, a mix of hormagaunts/genestealers in troops, raveners or gargoyles in fast attack, and probabyl still sniperfexes / zoanthropes in heavy for anti-tank purposes.

Mixed-weapon units like a Tyrant with scything talons and a weapon are typically horrible ideas. Mixed-purpose armies don't typically do as well as focused .... i.e. an army with a few shooty units and a few close combat units is likely to be unable to stand up in a gunfest, and unlikely to do enough damage on the charge.

There are a lot of ways to run it. If you've read my posts, I'm fairly ego-ridden and up on my own way, which is dakka-heavy backed up by 17 force deployments and a trio of sniperfexes.

My best overall advice is to max out your force organization slots, never have less than 17 in a 1500+ game. Don't expend points on upgrades unless they are absolutely critical or cheap to start with ... which means no AG(WS) on Tyrants, no acid maw / toxin sacs / scything talons / excarapace / etc. on things like genestealers, no defensive upgrades on sniperfexes, the list goes on and on.

Most importantly, proxy your way into functionality. Get with your friends, and use your Eldar as Nids, and get a feel for the army lists you like best. Hiijack the shooty builds of someone like me or I think zen and some others run shooty Nids ... hiijack the cc builds of w/e cc experts abound ... see which ones suit you and your typical opponents best.

My personal advice is that with NO CLOSE COMBAT UPGRADES, Tyranids can handle most armies in cc, by numbers, relatively high strengths, and numberous ways of bypassing armor saves (rending, monstrous creature attacks, etc.) in melee. If you expend all your points on shooting upgrades, you'll generally be able to outshoot any army out there, and coupled w/ shooting will be able to handle any CC-expert army out there. Conversely, if you go for CC you'll do well against *some* armies, but be totally boned by quick / agile shooty armies, examples being multi-monolith/circus Necron, skimmer Tau, skimmer Eldar, etc.

In short, all the flying CC tyrants, genestealers, raveners and such in the world can't do jack to armies that are adept at getting out of (Necron) or simply avoiding combat (mech Tau/Eldar), or whose units are nearly impossible to hit in combat (read: skimmer armies). Against more grounded opponents, shooty Nids and cc Nids built right will be very competitive, but against more "cheesed out" type opponents like mech Tau or Eldar, cc Nids are at a far greater disadvantage than shooty Nids are.


Examples:

CC Nids charge res orb backed / dual monolith Necron. Do lots o' damage, etc. Necron rolls WBB's, ports out of combat with monolith to re-roll WBBs, ports out of combat with Veil of Darkness, etc. Necron rapid fires you and mass gaus fluxes you at point blank range.

Shooty Nids close on Necron, deal as much damage in return as they're dealt with shooting, and can still charge and beat them down if needed or if the opportunity presents itself.


CC Nids face mech Tau or Eldar. Can't get around adequately placed skimmer walls. Can't hit skimmers in close combat. Can't effectively shoot back at units hiding behind skimmers due to lack of firepower. Can't keep up even with Fleet/etc.

Shooty Nids face mech Tau or Eldar. Whenever they get out of their skimmers, you gun them down very, very, very easily, skimmers be damned. If they stay in their skimmers, sniperfexes and dakkafexes work them over and they can't dish out enough pain to really ding your army, b/c since shooty upgrades are generally cheaper than cc specialists for Nids, you have enough models/wounds to shrug skimmer-only fire off. They eventually have to drop guys at close range to rapid fire (tau) or bladestorm (eldar) you (or whatever), and you still take the hit ok, and dish back far worse (devourerspam), plus you can still mess up their skimmers while you're at it (sniperfex trifecta).


Scenarios abound as such for most opponents. Unless you're playing on a massively terrain heavy board against a pure CC-built cc specialist army, you probably will always be just fine in CC with a shooty built nid list, BUT you'll also be exceptional at shooting to boot - an advantage the CC Nid list loses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Psst, he was being sarcastic :)
Thanks for realising that, i literally facepalmed when i read what GH3 said....

Battle force box hands down.

Its like getting a free Fex. I bought two already and think that buying a third is not a bad idea.
I think battleforce box is the way to start, trying to find a cheap-ish one on ebay at the mo for when i get paid next week. Thanks!

ZenGamer IMO gave the best simple run-down.

If you like the concept of Shooty Tyranids, you generally will have a list with a pair of tyrants wielding 2 twin-linked devourers each, a trio of either dakka-fexes in elite if your list is 1500+, or a trio of 3+-man dakka warrior squads (both dakka-fexes and dakka-warriors max out twin-linked devourer usage). You'll have as many cheap small spinegaunt or termagant squads as possible, filling out your force chart and providing annoying targetting decisions for your opponent. You'll field 3 small squads of raveners - however many per squad you have points for - with rending claws /scything talons, and will keep them safe as your close combat bail-out. You'll finally field a pair or trio of sniperfexes, alternating zoanthropes or biovores into the mix for whatever reason you personally have.

If you're going CC, you're more likely to have a broodlord with a tiny retinue, a winged double scything talon tyrant, a mix of hormagaunts/genestealers in troops, raveners or gargoyles in fast attack, and probabyl still sniperfexes / zoanthropes in heavy for anti-tank purposes.

Mixed-weapon units like a Tyrant with scything talons and a weapon are typically horrible ideas. Mixed-purpose armies don't typically do as well as focused .... i.e. an army with a few shooty units and a few close combat units is likely to be unable to stand up in a gunfest, and unlikely to do enough damage on the charge.

There are a lot of ways to run it. If you've read my posts, I'm fairly ego-ridden and up on my own way, which is dakka-heavy backed up by 17 force deployments and a trio of sniperfexes.

My best overall advice is to max out your force organization slots, never have less than 17 in a 1500+ game. Don't expend points on upgrades unless they are absolutely critical or cheap to start with ... which means no AG(WS) on Tyrants, no acid maw / toxin sacs / scything talons / excarapace / etc. on things like genestealers, no defensive upgrades on sniperfexes, the list goes on and on.

Most importantly, proxy your way into functionality. Get with your friends, and use your Eldar as Nids, and get a feel for the army lists you like best. Hiijack the shooty builds of someone like me or I think zen and some others run shooty Nids ... hiijack the cc builds of w/e cc experts abound ... see which ones suit you and your typical opponents best.

My personal advice is that with NO CLOSE COMBAT UPGRADES, Tyranids can handle most armies in cc, by numbers, relatively high strengths, and numberous ways of bypassing armor saves (rending, monstrous creature attacks, etc.) in melee. If you expend all your points on shooting upgrades, you'll generally be able to outshoot any army out there, and coupled w/ shooting will be able to handle any CC-expert army out there. Conversely, if you go for CC you'll do well against *some* armies, but be totally boned by quick / agile shooty armies, examples being multi-monolith/circus Necron, skimmer Tau, skimmer Eldar, etc.

In short, all the flying CC tyrants, genestealers, raveners and such in the world can't do jack to armies that are adept at getting out of (Necron) or simply avoiding combat (mech Tau/Eldar), or whose units are nearly impossible to hit in combat (read: skimmer armies). Against more grounded opponents, shooty Nids and cc Nids built right will be very competitive, but against more "cheesed out" type opponents like mech Tau or Eldar, cc Nids are at a far greater disadvantage than shooty Nids are.


Examples:

CC Nids charge res orb backed / dual monolith Necron. Do lots o' damage, etc. Necron rolls WBB's, ports out of combat with monolith to re-roll WBBs, ports out of combat with Veil of Darkness, etc. Necron rapid fires you and mass gaus fluxes you at point blank range.

Shooty Nids close on Necron, deal as much damage in return as they're dealt with shooting, and can still charge and beat them down if needed or if the opportunity presents itself.


CC Nids face mech Tau or Eldar. Can't get around adequately placed skimmer walls. Can't hit skimmers in close combat. Can't effectively shoot back at units hiding behind skimmers due to lack of firepower. Can't keep up even with Fleet/etc.

Shooty Nids face mech Tau or Eldar. Whenever they get out of their skimmers, you gun them down very, very, very easily, skimmers be damned. If they stay in their skimmers, sniperfexes and dakkafexes work them over and they can't dish out enough pain to really ding your army, b/c since shooty upgrades are generally cheaper than cc specialists for Nids, you have enough models/wounds to shrug skimmer-only fire off. They eventually have to drop guys at close range to rapid fire (tau) or bladestorm (eldar) you (or whatever), and you still take the hit ok, and dish back far worse (devourerspam), plus you can still mess up their skimmers while you're at it (sniperfex trifecta).


Scenarios abound as such for most opponents. Unless you're playing on a massively terrain heavy board against a pure CC-built cc specialist army, you probably will always be just fine in CC with a shooty built nid list, BUT you'll also be exceptional at shooting to boot - an advantage the CC Nid list loses.
That is so helpful, thank you! Never thought about proxying my eldar as nids with friends before, codex should be here soon so il do that!
And those examples made me realise what im gonna be fearing most; facing my eldar army! Iv never played against eldar before, and a falcon sure looks scarier when its firing at you.....

Thanks guys, rep all round!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One other thing actually, I know I could post this somewhere else but this thread has my utmost attention...

In the battleforce box, can the 16 gaunts be made into any type of gaunts? Just because the box shows 6 hormaguants and 6 termagaunts, so is that what you get the parts for? And on that note, does the gaunts box come with enough parts to make 16 of any type of gaunt?

Cheers again in advance!
 

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There are 8 "gaunt" bodies and 8 "hormagaunt" bodies. You can outfit the hormagaunts with weapon biomorphs, but IIRC they only provide enough spinefists for 8 spinegaunts. I ordered a crapton of spinefist sprues from bwbits. Mainly b/c termagants and hormagaunts don't fit with any scheme I could ever conceive of building.
 

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One other thing actually, I know I could post this somewhere else but this thread has my utmost attention...

In the battleforce box, can the 16 gaunts be made into any type of gaunts? Just because the box shows 6 hormaguants and 6 termagaunts, so is that what you get the parts for? And on that note, does the gaunts box come with enough parts to make 16 of any type of gaunt?

Cheers again in advance!

In the battleforce you get parts for 8 hormagaunts and 8 gaunts (Hormagaunts and Gaunts are two different models). The Gaunts can be spinegaunts, termagants or a combination of both. There will not be parts to convert the hormagaunts to regular gaunts of the same type as the other 8, but I suppose if you wanted you would have enough arms to make 8 spinegants and 8 termagants, one group of which would use the hormagaunt body.

As for a good place to buy it from, you can get a Tyranid Battleforce for $75 USD at SciFiGenre.com. That's where I always buy my models and supplies from and for the mods... no I'm not affiliated with them in any way.

.
 

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When starting out, you might want to find teh Older Tyranid Battleforce Box. Instead of giving you three warriors, a box o' gaunts, a box o' 'Stealers and a box of warriors, you get Warriors, 12 of the older genestealers, and two boxes worth of gaunts, that makes 16 Hormogaunts and 16 whichevergaunts.
Gaunts never do so hot in units of 8. Having more when you start out is quite nice, gives you options for minimal troops.

I hunted one down on Ebay, and I was so glad I did. Buying a swarm of Hormagaunts 8 at a time was kind of frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When starting out, you might want to find teh Older Tyranid Battleforce Box. Instead of giving you three warriors, a box o' gaunts, a box o' 'Stealers and a box of warriors, you get Warriors, 12 of the older genestealers, and two boxes worth of gaunts, that makes 16 Hormogaunts and 16 whichevergaunts.
Gaunts never do so hot in units of 8. Having more when you start out is quite nice, gives you options for minimal troops.

I hunted one down on Ebay, and I was so glad I did. Buying a swarm of Hormagaunts 8 at a time was kind of frustrating.
OK, but theres no 'Fex in the older box set is there?
Im thinking of having at least 2 'Fex's in my starting lot, thats why two of the new box sets seem much better (giving me something like 6 warriors, 16 gaunts and 16 hormagaunts, 12 stealers (?) and 2 'Fex's)
Might have a look for that old box set now that u mention it though, more gaunts can never be a bad thing....
 

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Gaunts do fine in u nits of 8, unless your army is built around expecting the gaunts do do something other than tie up / die. Mine's built around what every other unit does, so spending more than the points for min squads would be a waste.

Yeah. Get the box w/ teh fex.
 

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Exarch/Hive Commander ajay29

I haven't had the time to read through everyone's post, although the general consensus seems to be good. Assuming you have the rulebook, here’s what I’d buy in sequential order:

a) Two Battleboxes
For those starting out, it’s the most cost effective set. With 2 sets, you’d get 6 warriors, 16 gaunts, 16 hormagaunts, 2 Carnifexes, 16 genestealers, and 6 ripper swarms. The caveats for this selection are as follows

i) I’d suggest building a Devilfex and Sniperfex for your Carnifex. That is a Carnifex with 2 Twin-linked Devourers and Enhanced Senses (Devilfex); and one with a Venom Cannon and Barbed Strangler with Enhanced Senses (Sniperfex). You can model other biomorhps, but these are the minimum biomorphs I’d field.
ii) The 16 genestealers can be built with rending claws and extended carapiece. You can field the scything talons of course, but from a points perspective, its an expensive model.
iii) You can field the 16 gaunts as termgagunts or spinegaunts, or any permutation. The only thing I suggest is that you create all 16 gaunts the same way; don’t make 8 termagaunts and 8 spinegaunts.
iv)The warriors are a bit difficult, as I found them difficult to play with. Next to the Carnifex, they are, however really fun to build. I personally prefer fielding CC oriented warriors with rending claws, scything talons, leaping, toxin sacs, adrenal glands (+1 I), and extended carapiece. The problem with this configuration is that in 2 battleboxes, you only get 2 rending claws. So you’ll have to purchase rending claws from the Lictor or Brood lord, purchase/trade bits online, or get creative with green stuff
v) The ripper swarms look cool, but I don’t play with them much anymore.

b) 1-2 Hive Tyrants
Although the Brood Lord is the most cost effective choice, most users will suggest fielding at least 1 Hive Tyrant. I consider it the best HQ unit, due to its overall stats. 3 configurations I suggest

i) Shooting Tyrant with 2 or 3 Tyrant Guard – 2 TL Devourers and 1 Venom Cannon, Enhanced Senses. The Tyrant Guard also make this investment more expensive, but a worthwhile purchase, should you go with a configuration like this
ii) Winged Close Combat Tyrant – 2 sets of scything talons, Adrenal glands (both upgrades), toxin sacs.
iii)Dakka Tyrant – 2-TL devourers), Enhanced senses. MvBrandt fields this unit and I agree that it can be devastating. I already have this model 40% built.

c) Brood Lord
If you want to get a cheaper HQ choice, go with the brood lord instead of a Hive Tyrant. Although I think the Hive Tyrant is better, no one can deny its power with its high initiative, rending claws, and inhuman strength.

d) 2-3 Zoanthropes
They’re a solid Heavy Support choice and will compliment your army well. The most difficult part is they’re probably the hardest to build and maintain. They’re metal miniatures and very top-heavy.

------------------------------
After this core list, you can go in a number of different directions:

Want a fast attack?
The cheapest route is to go with 1-3 Raveners. A more intersting choice is gargoyles. I suggest getting at least 12 gargoyles. I consider them the 2nd hardest unit to build next to the Zoanthrope. So for you Rookie Hive Commanders, stick with the raveners.

Want a Horde-Oriented army?
Get gaunt/genestealer boxes or another battlebox. I like the latter option, because you get more models, including another Carnifex.

Want a Godzilla-Oriented army?
Get Carnifex sets or battleboxes. I think you’ll find yourself wanting to experiment with other biomorphs. But know that the Devilfex and Sniperfex are among the most cost-effective Carnifexes. Close combat oriented fexes look extremely cool, but are tough to get into combat before they’re killed by your opponent. To contrast, a Godzilla army with 3 Devilfexes and 3 Sniperfexes is pretty scary.

Want a “shooty” army?
Yes, I know Tyranids don't usually do well in shooting. But quite the contrary, in the hands of monstorous creatures their shooting isn't half bad. A Hive Tyrant with either a Venom Cannon and TL Devourer OR 2 TL Devourers is pretty tough. With 2 TL Devourers, the Hive Tyrant gets 12 shots that re-roll hits and wounds.

In the hands of a Devilfex with 2 TL Devourers, you only get 8 shots, but they're higher strength than when put on the Hive Tyrant. Plus in 1500 point games, you could field the Devilfex as an elites choice. The Snipefex, is pretty capable of stunning/shaking those tanks with its high strength weaponry. Put those with Zoanthropes, and you have a good chance in taking out mechanized units.

In a 1500 point game you could field a unit of
2 Hive Tyrants with 2-TL Devourers (24 shots that re-roll hits and wounds)
3 Devilfexes (24 shots that re-roll hits and wounds)
2 Sniperfexes (High strength shots with very long range)
3 Zoanthropes

Want a “balanced” army?
This army is hard to play with, but offers the most flexibility if you don’t know your opponent or mission. I’d suggest getting some raveners and/or gargoyles first. Next would be another Battlebox. If you didn’t get Tyrant guard, make sure you have at least 2 or 3.
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What about Lictors, biovores, ripper swarms, and special characters?
First I want to make it clear that there are NO bad models in the Tyranid army. They all can be effective. Remember this post is based on fielding a competitive army with a budget constrain in the quickest amount of time. But here’s my current reasons why I don’t field these other units for competitive games

a) Lictors – I like their high base strength (higher than a Hive Tyrant) and the fact they can assault when they arrive. They also provide a psychological advantange because most opponents won't just ignore that unit, choosing to assault or shoot at the Lictor. Their crappy save, makes it difficult to justify fielding them. You have to roll particularly well to both kill and make enough saves to be effective. Lastly, Lictors can't claim table quarters or objectives, which is a big deal. So most people will say its better to field 2 or 3 lictors. A standard Lictor costs the same as 2 Raveners, so many will opt to field these units instead of 1 single Lictor.

b) Biovores – A very flexible unit. They can do pretty well against those with low toughness. The unknown that comes with scattering, is the only reason I don’t field them. I’d rather have Carnifexes or Zoanthropes.

c) Ripper Swarms - Although the though of a multi-wound/attack creature is very interesting, and they do get the cover save bonus, there are still a lot of drawbacks. First, they're not applicable to any of the bonuses for Synpase. Second they're vulnerable to blast templates, getting 2 hits instead of 1. Third they have a low toughness. So you really can't use them to hold up a Daemon Prince or other unit that has any blast weapons or weapons double their toughness. Finally, they can't hold table quarters, which all of the other troops choices can. So because of this, I don't usually field ripper swarms.

d) Special characters – The death leaper and Red Terror and forge world units are fun to look at, but I wouldn’t suggest getting them until you’re ready to switch things up by playing with fun lists, rather than competitive ones.

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FINAL THOUGHTS
My suggestions here are 100% subjective. Many Tyranid veterans will disagree with several aspects of this thread. I don’t consider myself as the primary hive mind here. This being said, I think my choices, and the reasons behind them, are sound and should have some merit. Your playing style and why you like Tyrnaids will affect the list choices you make. Don’t be afraid to proxy models and use your own experiences to make your own decisions.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RudyPicardo, a huge thank you, very detailed Nid account which i will be considering in depth in the coming weeks! Didnt know you got rippers in the battleforce though!

Had a proxy battle today, using Eldar models as Nids, 500 points;

3 warriors with devourers
14 termagaunts
14 spinegaunts
Sniperfex
Lictor

Facing my mates Tau;

Commander w. Missle pods + 1 bodyguard w. missle pods
3 x 1 battlesuit (t/l burst cannon , t/l flamer + burst cannon, t/l burst cannon and flamer)
2 x 8 warriors w. p.rifles

Won! Only had 1 and a half warriors and the Fex left at the end, but i killed all his by turn 4, and really enjoyed it. Weirdly enough, it was the lictor that killed the most of his stuff (2 battlesuits and 9 warriors) even though iv heard bad things about lictors from the majority, but i like the feel of them (hiding in the trees eh? not for long....)
Hopefully this is the start of a long and prosperous future for the Hive Mind ;Y

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this thread so far, you've all been a big help!
 
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