Sunday, 13 February 2011

Tyranid Deployment: The Bio-Blob?

This all relates to yesterdays post on some new Tyranid ideas I have been rolling aroung the old brain… see here for list and concept.

Well, I had a practice game with the Nids on Friday and was really pleased with how they came along.

The deployment was, IMHO, just right. It went something like this…
(So, I couldn’t find Tyrannofexes on Vassal?...the shooty Carnifexes represent them)

Here we have what I think is a very solid deployment for this army. It’s compact and can be used whatever the deployment, except of course Dawn of War, in which case I guess getting a pair of Tervigons and a Prime on the table in cover is pretty good…

Let’s look at a few elements and the decisions behind them.
1 – The Primes. These guys add serious CC punch to the army. The Gants can swarm stuff, but these guys can slaughter Marines and elite units, especially when both hit together. They make the Gants fearless with their synapse, are protected by the little bullet catchers and dissuade assaults – lash whips and boneswords can do that.

2- The Gants. These guys are in place to act as poor man’s bubblewrap. They are in place to sweep forward turn one and do the usual – stop melta get in range (not as important, but keeping them out of 12” is challenging), prevent assaults on the high value targets etc.
If they die…ho hum. But getting them into cover with FNP can be useful.
The other option with these guys turn 1 is to keep them in place until the Tervigons have spawned, then move… so logically, lets look at the Mummybug’s

3 – Tervigons. Looking at their placement, they are close enough to spawn within 6” a good number of gants, which can then move out and run to create a deep and thick bubblewrap with the existing, bought Gants.

Next point, cover. The hunched over Tervigons are small enough to gain cover behind the Hive Guard, which are actually pretty big models… If this is in doubt, they are next to both the T-Fexes and Trygon…that’ll do it.

Psychic powers – 12” catalyst range, check. Well placed all around…

4 – Hive Guard. Gain cover from the little bugs due to unit type: infantry. Close to the front line to move out and get shots, they only have 30” effective range.

THis is good as we can see (right), but is not without its limitations... 

They are also big enough to give cover to the bigger bugs. In addition, the Primes can drop back into the unit to dissuade assaults.

5 – Tyrannofexes, not too far back. There could be a temptation I guess to have them sit back and fire away, but being able to assault into units that have hit Gants or weaker CC units, they can add some weight, or stay close enough to use their thorax swarms. Keeping close to the Tervigon means they will provide cover to them versus missile spam armies (cough* Loganwing * cough) and the Terv can provide FNP… which I am sure you know is a bitch versus T6, 6W and 2+/4+ X 2… lol.
They are behind the HG in this case to gain cover from them.

6 – The Trygon. Central. Distraction (bloody expensive one!). Fleet. Boom. Yeah, that’s him either dead or hitting your midfield. These boys are cool, I used to run three when the dex hit combined with reserves manipulation (before FAQ) but I still have love for them.
7 attacks at S7 with rerolls on the lot are great, very useful vs vehicles, even fast moving ones, and very useful versus marine squads.

This unit is the one thing that is up for debate. Well, obviously the whole lot are…but this guy I am not sold on on its own…yes, I have plenty of other T6 nastiness to dilute firepower, but with concentration its very easy to remove these guys… and I can’t give cover to everyone.

The other option, deployment wise, is to leave him in reserve for a deep strike, but against serious armies, I wouldn’t really want to…dropping into the midst of IG Melta Vets is not my idea of a solid strategy…

Swapping up? With 210 points, I could add 6* 30 Ravenors? 18 wounds, beasts…so greater threat range, but arguably less hitting power? I’ve not run them before though so I’d appreciate thoughts from anyone who has faced them or run them???

Any other suggestions on deploying these guys this way? I've not played nids for quite a few months so I maybe out of touch...but I think its strong...what would you do? 


  1. Have you considered Venomthropes?

    Cover saves when there are none around or for the harder to hide Big Nid's and the dangerous terrain tests can turn a combat before it begins!

  2. No I hadn't tbh MC.
    It could certainly be a good option, my worry would be losing one of my reliable vehicle suppression units to gain a 'thrope...

    How have you fared with them?

  3. Tyrannofexes are in Vassal, but you have to be using the Hive Fleet Behomoth scheme. Weird, but whatever.

    Your deployment looks okay, but you might try keeping the layering as Termagants -> Hive Guard -> Tyrannofexes -> Tervigons. That makes your Tervis a little better protected against high-standing models (things in buildings, skimmers, etc.) Also, beware of packing yourself so tightly against enemies packing blasts and templates.

    I still feel the Trygon is largely wasted. You could try taking Venomthropes and, but that means giving up Hive Guard. A Harpy would add some more long-range shooting, and Biovores help against infantry models.

    2x3 Raveners with RC would give you some "outreach" potential, remaining relatively innocuous until they dash ~20" and hit a vulnerable target. I'm not a huge fan of them, but Kirby likes them a lot.

    Dropping the Trygon and one Prime would allow you to field two Harpies, which gives you a pretty devastating amount of shooting. Weakens your melee somewhat, but Harpy is still an MC and insures you strike first the turn he charges.

    A third Tervigon would also be a possibility, which can leave your opponent drowning in models he has to kill. This helps a lot against Terminators (especially TH/SS), who don't like facing huge numbers of wimpy models.

  4. Appreciate the point on layering...and where the TFex is hiding!

    I have been toying with lists over the weekend, one such change was the 2 Harpy idea, the idea of a third Tervigon - whilst tempting, also means I have to paint countless little bastards... but yeah, the Terv Farm is definately a possibility.

    Quite defensive in play style and somewhat boring? Have you tried that sort of list yourself Puppy? How has it fared for you?

    Great article btw on Venomthropes...

  5. Im inclined to disagree with the harpy approach but instead certainly consider a hive tyrant as mentioned before. With such a compact style of play the tyrant can assist in buffing those units further and really helping you dilute your opponents firepower.

    Tyrants cant really be ignored (well, not much in this army can) and with some epic powers and a bodyguard of tyrant guards, he because a big neasance, more so when the game enters mid field stages (turn 3 onwards). I feel your shooting is adequate with the hive guard nd r fex's. Perhaps you could consider a fexstar? 2 fex's with 2 attatched primes. works a treat and becausthey become a unit, sitting them in cover gives them a cover save which is rather nice. Just an option.

    I like tervigons but worry a lot if they were to roll a double turn 1. For this reason alone is y i wud takd the tyrant to make sure the gants are further buffed.

  6. Personally at 2k all my anti tank was just 3 tyrannofexs which was enough - for me.

    The sheer mass of guants from 5 tervigons got most of the attention as people tend to panic at so many models on the board along with 7 T6, 6W regen' nid gribbles tend to get the venomthropes over looked so they can go around doing thier thing.

  7. @Killswitch - I've ran a mini-fexstar before to good effect with just one fex, 2 I'd love to run but may need some tweaks to the list to fit them in... even base at 160 thats 320...and I can easily strip a Trygon out for 210, still 90 to go though! Easy suggestion would be either one prime to leave a fexstar of 2xFex +1Prime, but that would not give the cover love benefit.. or drop a set of Hive Guard and just run 2x2 of them...but thats losing 4 S8 shots...

    @ MC - that's going to be alot of gaunts!

    Anyone got opinions on Swarmlord?

  8. Nah too many points sunk into something which...well is just overpriced. Its a beast but hogs a lot of points. Once you add the Tyrant guard (which are 100% needed) Its a huge point sink and tends to attract every big gun available (not in a good way as thats like 500pts going down). Biggest problem is its speed, its just too slow to be as effective as it is on paper. Its like a wannabe Mephiston, except Meph has flight & fleet, making him the god he is ;)

  9. *cough* Plasma *cough* lol

    I agree I think...The TG are mandatory for Swarmie and that just pushes his points cost up massively...cause really, you'd run 2 TG.

  10. When deploying my Tyranids I put Termagants at the front, then Hive Guard then Tervigons & Carnifexes - my Hive Tyrant has a Tyrant Guard so can stay behind the Termagants.

    Doing this gives more life out of the units especially since Hive Guard get targetted first when playing against mech armies. I usually spawn more Termagants as when my bullet shield fails and start peeling Hive Guard off into terrain where LOS cannot be drawn to them and the Termagnts and Tervigon split off onto objectives as the HQ Tervigon, Tyrant and Carnifexes move haead.

  11. Cheers for the comment Mercer.

    When I've playtested this I've just kept the HG in plain sight... need to maybe write down "No LOS req'd" next to them on paper or some shit just to remind myself! Having to bubblewrap them and the MC's is tough sometimes and can impede movement... siphoning them off behind LOS-blocking cover is where they should be...