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Tyranid Swarm Army

 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:12 pm 
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Right, in order to confirm that I do, indeed, have the attention span of a Hummingbird, I have decided to start a 'real' 40K army. I have got a copy of the rules and I have settled on the Tyranids. I love the bugs in 40K. (Technically, my Imperial Marine army was simply to use up the Marines that I already have lying around at home, and not a serious army-building project.)

First thing, I need to know what the effect of the new close combat rules are. Firstly, can someone outline the new rules. and secondly, can someone tell me how it affects the Tyranids. Does it cripple them, or make them more powerful?

Also, I am interested in finding out about roughly how many miniatures are involved. I would love to do a swarm army, and this seems the ultimate. But, I dont know how many trrops a normal army has. Can someone help me out, and give me a rough estimate for 1000 points of Marines and Orks?

OK, so the details of my force... well it all started when I got a single Ravener, as I love the models. Then I dug out the Gaunt boxed set and the Tyranid Codex that I bought last year and before I knew it I had a completely new force, new breeds of bugs and a 2000 point list which is split into 250 point chunks already!

I use the Codex breeds of (and only these, if it is not mentioned then I dont take them):
Lictors
Tyranid Warriors
Genestealers
Raveners
Zoanthropes

In addition, I have desinged my own breeds:

Three new Tyranid types (yes, three):
Draconids - Wings, venom cannons and rending claws. My own nasty beasts!
Kryonids - Anti infantry, with barbed stranglers and scything talons.
Tsynids - Brood support, with leaping, scything talons and spinefists (really this is for the modelling opportunities, aside from two shots at S5 and 3 cc attacks). I already have about three conversions planned for these guys.

Three new Gaunt types:
Tryptogaunts - Shooty, with fleshborers and tooled up.
Ferrogaunts - Close combat, hormagaunts with extras.
Neurogaunts - just basic with spinefists (yes, I know that they are normally called Spinegaunts, just not here)

I also have my Vyrofex - with a Deathspitter and a few extras, for anti-tank power.


OK, that being done, here is the rough breakdown of my force (number of models):

500 Points:
Gaunts: 23
Tyranids: 3
Total: 30

1000 Points:
Gaunts: 35
Tyranids: 9
Total: 49

1500 Points:
Gaunts: 49
Tyranids: 12
Total: 74

2000 Points:
Gaunts: 60
Tyranids: 18
Total: 93

I actually just designed 250 point chunks until I had everything that I wanted in the army (much more interesting to put together and paint if I build it that way). It turned out that at 2000 points I had pretty much everything that I wanted (although I can always add more). This is great, as I doubt that I will ever play more than 2000 points, so it is good to know that the army is at a stage that I am happy with it there.

There only other thing to mention is that although I dont have the Hive Tyrant, I like the model. So, I have a Tyranid Warrior with the mutation exceptional size. I will convert the Hive Tyrant model for this guy.

So, what do you think. Will the force outnumber pretty much everyone? Does it look like that it will perform well on the battlefield? Any other comments? Thanks.

}:)

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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 10:44 am 
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Tyranids are great.  Lovely models, and a unique style.

Okay problems you will face when using 'nids.

The opponent can choose to shoot any unit in your army!   So you can have your expensive, close combat unit of warriors behind another unit of warriors, a unit of gaunts and the rest of your army, but the opponent can still shoot them.

The only thing blocking LOS is close combat and vehicles (aswell as terrain).  This usually means all your synapse creatures will get hit hard first.

They way around it that I use is to have a fast element.  I use a large unit of Hormagaunts to rush the enemy asap.  Once in combat (and therefore blocking LOS) I advance my important stuff up behind them.  Providing them much needed cover.  This is of coarse if cover isn't available.

For your Gaunts I would be tempted not to upgrade them too much.  They will die, so keep them cheap. I personally use the standard termagaunt and Hormagaunt.  I also use a mutable gaunt with spine fists, toxin sacs, and leaping.  I think they come in at 11pts, but they are very useful.  S4 shots and S4 in combat.

Remember, upgrading warriors can change which slot you choose them from.  Winged are HQ or fast, heavy weapons are HQ or heavy, winged and heavy are heavy only. (heavy means two heavy weapons IIRC)

Zoanthropes are good, but I recommend a couple of them.  Same with Raveners.  I had just the one armed with scything talons and rending claws, which if it gets into combat is awesome, but as a unit of one is picked on and dies easily.  I either use a minimum of two, or sometimes have one next to a Red Terror (or Blue Terror in my swarms case  :;):  )  the opponent will always choose the red terror over the ravener.

I like Lictors, but they are very expensive.  Quite often they wont pay for themselves.  They aren't that tough, and in combat have a crappy save.  At S6 and 3 attacks though, they wound most things, and then have rending claws too.  Dont bother with more than one.  Try and deploy him deep in the opponents area.

The Hive Tyrant is an awesome model.  I've gave mine two sets of scything talons, its silly not to.  He then has 5 attacks at S6 ignoring armour.  He's also WS6 so hits most things on 3's.  If you want him to still shoot, the warp blast does the job.  Implant attack double all wounds he causes (that baby has killed bloodthirsters for me) and warp field gives him some protection. (I actually modelled some extra aarmour to make him look tougher).  Wings, although expensive can make him a scary thing.  I dont have them.

My 'fex is pretty standard.  Extra armour, talons and venom cannon.  Although the cannon cant penetrate armour, at S10 it will glance most things pretty easily.  And as far as Nids are concerned, as long as the tank cant shoot your work is done.  You have plenty of things that can take it out once in HTH.  And sometimes you get that 6 on a glance anyway.  I walk my 'fex straight at the tanks, stunning them usually until he's in combat and then he rips 'em apart.

Genestealers are expensive and fragile.  They will get shot to pieces.  Use them wisely, as if you do get them into HTH they are awesome.

Barbed stranglers , for me, dont work.  I face too many armies with high armour saves (necrons, marines etc) and the barbed strangler, whilst have a nice large template, only ends up killing maybe one model because of its crappy AP.

Have I missed anything?  Want to know anything else?  Just ask.


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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:54 pm 
Swarm Tyrant
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OK, thanks. The whole problem of getting the big guys hit first was one that I was aware of, that is why I have so many Warriors in the army (18 in 2000 points is a lot, right?). That was my personal solution.

My Neurogaunts are there to basically get shot to bits. At 5 points each, they are not going to be missed, and should distract the enemy, even with a single S3 shot each at 12". If they can get into combat then that would be great.

I have five broods of gaunts. The expensive shooters have a single brood of 12. The close combat gaunts have two broods and the cheap gaunts have two, larger broods (one with a Hive Node to push them forwards).

I managed to squeeze in two Lictors, two Zoanthropes and a brood of three Raveners. I agree that the Lictor is not the strongest model, but it really will scare the enemy from the start. And I want to go to town on tht mini too.

My Vyrofex went through a load of changes. Extra armour is a must, as is Scything Talons. I went for the Deathspitter as it gives him a S10 blast template. He is the tank killer of the army, as I wanted something that could potantially worry a Land Raider if I needed one. He was the only guy in the que.

I dont have a Hive Tyrant at all, I dont think that they look worth the points, as I would rather get a couple of extra Warriors. I have tried to get my Warriors into as many categories as I can. I have one in Heavy, one in Heavy/HQ and two in HQ/Elite.  :oo

I also have one, small brood of Stealers (7). Not enough to cause trouble, but if they do actually get to the enemy then it could be fun.

Thanks, any comments on the new assault rules?

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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:11 pm 
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I'll warn you in advance, Warriors die easier than you'd think. Even with extended carapace.  Every heavy bolter, assault cannon and like weapons take them out first.  With 18 you might be okay though.

Dont bother with the deathspitter on the 'fex.  It only has an 18" range, which is quite short, and its only one shot.  That means half the time you'll miss, and its always going to be the times you need to hit.  The Venom cannon gives you two shots at 36" range (very nice)  Spine fists 2 at 12" or even devourer with 4 at 12" (but only S9)

My Hive tyrant is alway accompanied by two tyrant guard (very nice models too) so survivability isn't too much of a problem.  Thats a total of 4 wounds at T6 and 2+ armour save, and 4 wounds at T6 and 3+ armour save.  You'll need to be hit and wounded by 4 lascannons before any hits go onto your tyrant.

I dont actually use the new assault rules (none of our club does, or the GW store by me).  They have been unanimously decided they are crap.  I think they are a bit of a disability to your monstrous creatures, as you can no longer take out the powerfists first.

Remember though, the rules are experimental, and can only be used if BOTH players agree to use them.  I have heard they are not going to stick either (quite reliably).

As far as I'm concerned, you can-not change a whole phase of a game without modifiying the rest of the rules system and points values of troops.  Its wrong.  If a phase needs to alter, the whole game needs to be readressed as points are calculated from the overall effect of the abilities of said troops throughout each phase.  

Also, I play too many other systems to have time to read every little trial rule or upgrade.  I have not got the time to read, remember and try out different rules.  I stick to the standard, approved rules.  I often dont get to play a system more than once in a row.  One day I may play BFG, the next fantasy, the next 40K.

The new trial rules suck, admittedly I didn't give them enough chance to give an accurate opinion, but why should I?  I'm playing by the already released rules.  If they want to change anything, they can write a new rule book, instead of little clippits in WD, that some players may never even see.


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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:41 pm 
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For the Vyrofex, I looked at all of the guns.
Venom Cannon - cant really hurt vehicles enough for my taste
Barbed Stragler - my original choice, but it would be at S7
Deathspitter - not too bad
The other guns just dont have the range or firepower. Sure, I only get one shot with the Spitter, but he would only get two with Spinefists. The Devourer is tempting, but only S8 (no toxin sacs), but I can put that on other creatures. Also, I have Venom Cannons on my Draconids, for 2xS7 shots each!

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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:26 pm 
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Then let me just say dont stick the weapon to the model until you have tried it a few times first.  So you can switch it if you want to later  :;):

I have missed with two shots before, and rarley hit both times, so I can gaurantee you missing often.  (just like the stupid fire prism).

I know the venom cannon doesnt kill things outright, but there are no vehicles that cant be hurt easily by it.  And remember, all you need to do is stop the vehicles firing.  Which is easy even with glancing hits.  You have lots of troops that can finish vehicles off in HTH.  If they cant fire, you can cross the battle field in relative safety.

I must admit though, that your 'fex will be original for opponents.


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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 1:33 pm 
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Trouble is, the rate at which I paint and actually play anything that isnt Gothic of Epic is really slow, making this entire list a bit of a thought experiment. I do only have one of the Vyrofex's in my 2000 point list, so I will probably stick with it and see how it does. If I really dont like it, I will simply change it later. Still, I have grown to like the little guy, and if he is a bit unusual then that is even better. What is the 'standard' Fex, and why?

For the record, mine is home grown and consists of adrenal glands, enhanced senses, extended carapace, flesh hooks (I really like these), scything talons and a deathspitter. He weighs in at 128 points.

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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2003 4:53 pm 
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I dont blame you on the unusual front.  I like choosing army lists etc for its looks rather than how well units perform.  So If I want an army of shining spears, jet bikes and warp spiders cause it'll look cool on the battle field, I will.  (and with those I often lose  :{  )

The only other problem you may face is that the death spitter is really designed for the tyranid warriors, so It might look really small and odd on the carnifex.  I'm not 100% sure though, as I haven't tried it.

Good things to use are, bio plasma attack.  This attacks at double I (so regular fex's attack at I4) can always be used within 2" (not so important on a 1 model unit) but always hits on a 4+.  Useful against skimmers, as it hits at creature S + 1.

Flesh Hooks can help, I dont usually bother, but sometimes I wish I had.  Scything talons are a must.  2 Attacks just simply aren't enough against large units.  Some people go for two sets of scything talons (I have an old Carnifex, which I use for this setup)  and turn him into a close combat monster.  It makes him very cheap aswell.

Definantly need the extended carapace.

Your fex looks good.  Go for it, and tell me how it does.  The only draw back is its one shot, but if you have all those other weapons in your army, you dont need to rely on him to take care of vehicles.  Its also nice and cheap.  Mine comes in at around 153pts IIRC.  Though I only use creatures from the standard list (apart from one unit of gaunts) so I'm limited in choices.

How are you thinking of modelling enhanced senses?  It was a problem that I came across.  I have really found an answer yet.


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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2003 7:01 pm 
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Thanks for your post. For the actual weapon, there are a few that I think will look a bit strange - the Deathspitter on the Fex is one, the Devourer on the Tyranid Warriors is another. For both of these units, I will probably create my own weapon that looks more in place. This also has the advantage of letting me change it for a Venom Cannon on the Fex at a later date with no modelling issues. I am sure that I can come up with something, I even have some of the old, original plastic Deathspitters that might work!

Incidently, I have been aginisin over the Warriors. I have a unit of six:

Scything Talons, Deathspitter, Exceptional Size
Scything Talons, Deathspitter
Scything Talons, Deathspitter
Scything Talons, Venom Cannon
Rending Claws, Devourer

And then there is the last guy. The choice is Scything Talons with either another Deathspitter, or a second Devourer. I just dont know what would be best. I have looked at the stats, and it appears that the Devourer is better unless the Deathspitter can hit at least three with its blast, so right now I have gone with the Devourer. Also, with two of these, they will devastate any enemy squad dumb enough to get close. Do you think that this is the best choice?

I must admit that I have never bothered with BioPlasma. I dont think that it is worth the extra points, as it is only effective against characters or skimmers. I would rather get Flesh Hooks and Extended Carapace (I think that is the same points value).

The Vyrofex does only get a single shot, but he would normally only get two anyway, and with only one model it is not such a problem. My Raveners have two Devourers and one set of Rending Claws, which I think will throw out a lot of firepower (6 shots!), and be nasty in cc.

For the enhanced senses, I am not entirely sure, especially since I have a lot of creatures with this! I may add a line of extra eyes, or snake-like heat-pit sensors, or larger eyes. I wll look at insect pictures for inspiration. What do you have on your Fex?

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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 10:23 am 
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My carnifex is just standard from the army list.  Extended carapace, venom cannon and scything talons.  If I know I'll be facing skimmers I take bioplasma.

For my warriors, (I have two units, one shooty, one combat) I have taken two deathspitters (so statistcally one will hit) a venom cannon and a devourer.  The devourer is always first to go when one of them dies.  This is usualyl because it still hasn't got range.  I play on large tables usually, so short range weapons are far less useful.  Incidentally my other unit is all scything talons and rending claws with one venom cannon and scything talons.

I think I looked at exceptional size once, but it was a lot of points to do anything useful.  Warriors are S5 anyway, which is usually enough.  Plus with rending claws woundng automatically on a 6, they dont always need strength.


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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 2:02 pm 
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Quote (Shadow Hunter @ 03 2003 Feb.,09:23)
I think I looked at exceptional size once, but it was a lot of points to do anything useful. ?Warriors are S5 anyway, which is usually enough. ?Plus with rending claws woundng automatically on a 6, they dont always need strength.

True, but I dont have a Tyrant, and the model is cool!  :cool:

I like to have a list which I dont change, even with things like enhancements. My force has been built for short ranged firepower. Putting it together was a little strange, as the one thing that I didnt try to make sure that I had lots of, was close combat. This was partly as I dont like to rely on cc, and partly because all of the units are automatically good at it (even the basic gaunts with no upgrades!).

I was going to have Exceptional Size for a Genestealer as well, and use a Patriarch model, but in the end I didnt have the points for it.

I think that my Hive Force Charon is now fully planned, so all I need to do now is buy the things and paint them up!

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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 3:41 pm 
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One last comment before you buy and equip anything.  Rending claws look a bit odd when used with weapons.  I saw some Raveners equiped with devourers and rending claws (the claws in the top sockets) and it looked odd.  I choose my forces and lists primarly by what looks good, so this fitment doesn't sit well for me (despite the fact it would be a very effective choice  ???   )


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 Post subject: Tyranid Swarm Army
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 3:46 pm 
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This is true, but I think that I will create something similar to Genestealer claws to also represent Rending Claws on models. It seems a shame to only and always have Scything Talons.

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