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No Life King
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ALright, I'm new to Tyranids and all, so I've been looking around on LO and nobody talks about spore mines and biovores. Are they a banned topic or just so worthless that nobody says anything regarding them? I looked for something to act as fire support and biovores seemed worthwhile since they have a nice 4' range and their bio-acid mines allow for them to take out vehicles or infantry as needed. Also the barrage pinning seemed nice as I'm trying to field an assault army and forcing some enemies to sit around and wait for my gaunt swarms seemed nice. Any advice on this idea?
 

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Biovores are not a taboo chioce - just not the most popular. They work best in units of 3 (a loan one is not worth the points not that you can deepstrike spormines). They are best armed with bio-acid mines for good anti tank/armour shooting.
They are certainly a good choice for fire support (I need another 2 before I can really start to use them)
 

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It's a Trap!
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Okay, here is the deal. Spore mines are actually a very decent FA choice. They can cause a very large amount of destruction for a small number of points comparatively. For instance, landing them on the backs on tanks is very harmful to said tank and if you get a decent scatter, with 3 of them, you should hit something and possibly kill it.

Biovores are a different story. They aren't bad. On the contrary I believe that they out perform mortar teams by a good deal, but they got nerfed in 4th edition. The fact that they all have to shoot at one target, the fact that they have brood leadership and a patheticly low LD hold them back. Especially when compared to thorpes and fexes which are both very good Heavy Support choices. The fex is bassicly a good fix for any army while the psychic powers make the thrope a good tank buster once you get in range (although many people don't think that it is worth it for this role) and a good support unit, since it can take synapse, scream, or catalyst pluss already having miasma and warp field.

So basiclly, I like spore mines, but there isn't much strategy behind them or much to discuss. They also get overlooked when people have points for ravenors or gargoyles, which both amount to more than a one shot attack. Biovores simply aren't as good as the other options we have, so for the most part, no one takes them. They just aren't great units.
 

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I really loved biovores in 3rd edition, but with 4th ed, they got nerfed into non existence for me.
And mainly, because now all the biovores have to shoot at the same target, makes them a less fine choise. I used them for spraying spore mines all over the place, but this is practically impossible now :(
Biovores, I miss you 0:
 

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Senior Member
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In the games I've tried biovores, I've yet to have them do anything worthwhile. Scatter, small template, etc... I'd rather invest my points in something that isn't completly based on chance.
 

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I use a single biovore and it has gotten a surprising number of kills against things like Basilisks and Dreadnoughts. However, if I didn't take the Biovore I would usually have a free Heavy Support slot as I rarely field 3 Carnifexes and I don't like Zoanthropes so I'm not giving anything up by taking it except the points cost.

However, as has been said, it is a unit that requires a bit of luck - it cannnot be relied upon. It is simply fun and can be either very effective or completely useless from game to game.

.
 

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Charitably Tables People
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1,500 Posts
Fluffy Artillery Tyranid (FAT).

It's not what you'd choose as a relaible, statistically sound aspect of a competitive list. You might take it in a competitive list as your fun entry, and feel either fine if it did nothing, or vindicated if it got lucky.

Generally, it's not something you see often in comp. lists b/c it's not competitive. BUT that doesn't mean it's not fun to use. *shrug*

Taking spore mines in fast attack steals a slot for a ravener. NOT OK! :)
 

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I'm kind of hoping all these experienced players are wrong despite it all, cause both spore mines and a biovore are gonna play an important role in the army i've just started painting.

I'm gonna take on the role of the stupid bookworm for a little while and try to defend my choice in front of all these people who've allready seen that what I'm about to say doesen't work. Here goes..


I'm piling on with units who cause pinning in my army list. Almost every unit who has the option has been granted the ability to provoke pinning tests. It's not a one trick pony army, but I have composed it with the ideology that alot of pinning tests each round will tend to cause pinning regularly. Spore mines will add to this denial strategy. Additionaly bio-acid bring ranged AP, which all Tyranid armies lack, and they bring a fair chance of harming vehicles. It's not a great chance, but Tyranid doesen't have cost/effective ranged vehicle killers, and spore mines are inexpensive regardless of the deployment option chosen (in stark opposition to our other vehicle harming options). I'll also add that almost every choice has been stripped down to sark nesessity to get a lot of inexpensive firepower, and a lot of units that cause pinning. It's in this enviorment that I propose the bio-acid spores has its niche. No other fast attack options fullfill an important enough function in this army to justify their cost, so the FA slots can be filled with inexpensive single spore broods. In this enviorment the single biovore can be deployed cheaply and add considerably to the denial strategy (or so goes my thesis).

Biovores,
It is cheap! Ok, so there is a big chance of scattering. However, it's no worse than any BS 2 model got of missing in the first place, and it's cheep! On average you'll have 2 straight hits over 6 rounds, where as that carnifex you paid twice or thrice the points for will hit 3 times over 6 rounds with its barbed strangler (it also has other weapons which makes the picture different, but the barbed strangler gives the only comparable multipurpose effect..the one that I'm after). Lets say you aim to give the biovore line of sight to the targets, and you pick targets that cover as large an area possible. Most vehicles will allow for a scatter of 3" or more and it will still hit (with full penetrating power). If you take into acount the option of picking large troop formations, I expect to see even scatters of 4-6" hit about half the time or more (depending on the direction of the scatter, and on wether its a line or a "box" formation, that sometimes appears with larger troop formations). So, if you place your biovore in the right place and shoot at the right targets within line of sight, the hit frequency should be as good as or better than a BS4 shooter. Lastly you have the bonus option of choosing targets out of sight, but this thesis assumes you will resist this temptation most of the time in order to improve hit frequency. And the interesting point is that even when you miss, its a spore close to the enemy that will force leadership tests for target priority until the enemy wastes a units shots to kill it (which is almost as good as a sucessfull pin!) ..AND lastly it's CHEAP!!! :p

Spore Mines,
They are cheap! Most of my points for the biovore applies here as well. The difference is that they allways scatter worse, but as a tradeback you can place it on the tender backportion of a tank and have a fairly big chance of hitting and even glancing/penetrating. 1/3 chance of a surgical hit, and even if it's a miss there is a better than 1/4 chance again of it hitting anyway. In other words, a bio acid spore mine has almost as good a chance of killing a leman russ as a multimelta within 12" in the hands of a space marine, and you kan target the leman anywhere once the spore drops! Did I mention the fantastic boon when it misses? (not to mention if it accidentally hits later) ..AND it's CHEAP!!! :p

So, as my thesis goes, you're all dead wrong, and spore mines are an fantastic asset in terms of cost/effectiveness. No luck. No just for fun. Just a bit of near cheesy kill-a-tenth-of-your-points with a hundred-and-twentyeth-of-mine, and-you-can-do-nothing-to-stop-it-except-hoping-I-get-unlucky power!.. ..Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna take cover in an imperial bunker for a while you all gather your lash whips..
 
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