6 Feb 2014

Tactica Tyranids - Troops Summary

Hey guys, my name is Learn2Eel, and today I'm going to be bringing you another article in the Tyranid Tactica series! Due to the positive response I have received, I have decided to make these Summary articles a regular fixture for the Tyranid Tactica series. I have collated the "Best Uses" section of each Troop review so far into this one article to give a general sense of how to use each unit. Additionally, I have included links to each individual article under each of these "Best Uses" sections so that you can easily expand the available information on the unit you are interested in. I hope you enjoy this article!

Tyranid Troops Summary

Tyranid Warriors

"Warriors don't really work as a melee unit as they are fragile against heavy weaponry of which any army can bring lots of, even rival Tyranids, and the removal of Mycetic Spores means Warriors have no real way to make combat reliably. They can be Outflanked with Hive Commander to provide a probable turn three charge, as well as forward Synapse for fast Gargoyle and Hormagaunt broods. They are vulnerable to many Interceptor weapons though, with even an Icarus Lascannon reliably killing one outright, and being off the game board for one or two turns isn't too likely to save them if your opponent really wants to focus them down. If you can reliably neuter heavy fire with Strength 8 weapons, such as flying Hive Tyrants charging Devastator equivalents, Mawlocs popping up in the middle of units and killing heavy weapon bearers, or Crones killing off key Pathfinders, then this isn't a bad use of them at all. This is still reliant on a lot of luck, and the price of a decently kitted out and medium to large size unit is excessive once Flesh Hooks - for the near-mandatory assault grenades - and extra melee weapons are accounted for. Small broods may be cheap even with some melee upgrades, but they are woefully fragile and can be dealt with easily at range. Medium sized broods are a threat to most units in combat aside from medium to heavy vehicles and high Initiative monstrous creatures with lots of attacks, though they are very expensive and each model lost is a big blow. Large broods are too unwieldy, expensive and vulnerable to Strength 8 shooting to really be worthwhile, and even massed autocannon or missile pod fire will slaughter them. As a unit, they just have too many hard counters to recommend in a melee-centric role at any unit size. Even with Hive Commander, you have to hope you can neutralize your opponents heavy ranged firepower, and that the Warriors won't simply be fed cheap fodder units or even get near enough to valuable enemy units.

For these reasons, I advocate ranged Warriors above all else. Of course Warriors can only shoot one weapon, so keeping that free pair of Scything Talons is ideal - again though, one pair of Rending Claws for every three Warriors in a unit is a good idea for vehicle hunting. Always take a bio-cannon, they are appropriately costed and the long range allows Warriors to deal some damage and maybe Pin a unit in place before they get into range with most of their guns. Otherwise, keeping the Devourers is I feel the best bet as they are free, they have an 18" range which allows them to get in range of other shooters with much greater ease and their Strength 4 is nice and solid. Spinefists are too short ranged for a unit lacking Mycetic Spores and will just get laughed at by bolter-armed Space Marines, while Deathspitters add even more points - if not too many, thankfully - to a unit that is already more expensive than it should be. My ideal use of Warriors is a small unit of three armed with either a barbed strangler or a venom cannon and nothing else, sitting on a home-field objective and hiding out of sight. This is the cheapest self-reliant scoring unit Tyranids have access to, and that each model puts out four Strength 4 attacks - after six Strength 4 shots and one small blast - each on the charge means they can scare off minor disruption and weak tarpit units. They can move out a bit to pop off a 36" small blast with the hopes of Pinning or doing a few wounds here or there, and they can even try to get into the rear armour of a transport and destroy it with some luck. They don't really need support if they stay in the backfield, especially as they are Synapse creatures, and can even provide Synapse for nearby Biovores and Tyrannofexes armed with Rupture Cannons. You can use them behind intervening Hormagaunt or Termagant swarms as cheap support Synapse units to a primary beast such as a Tervigon, and opponents will likely ignore them in favour of the larger beast. Overall, players need to identify the use of Warriors as cheap Synapse and ranged support nodes, not as the expensive Terminator equivalents all their options might trick you into."

You can read more about Tyranid Warriors here.


"Due to the high cost of Genestealers, especially once their low survivability and above average melee damage output are taken into account, I prefer to use them as small, stock standard units of five Genestealers with an added Broodlord. The Broodlord may as well be worth the other five Genestealers with that it brings to the unit, giving the brood some tough wounds and a pretty darn nasty character in combat. The Horror is what you really want though, especially since it is guaranteed for the Broodlord who can Infiltrate to within 18" or 12" of the enemy battle-line. Pinning down a unit of Fire Warriors or - the holy grail - a Riptide could very well save not only the Genestealers, but several other models in your advancing Tyranid army. Using one or two such units of Genestealers increases the chances of this occurring, and even Pinning a single unit in place could prove pivotal. A Bike squad with an attached Chapter Master, for example, can still be Pinned, albeit with a lower chance due to base Leadership 10. If you manage that, you deserve a pat on the back. Once the Broodlords' stats are factored in, I think this gives you the best, most flexible Genestealer unit possible, and one that isn't too heavy on the points. If it pins something like a Riptide or an R'Varna in place on the first turn, it will be points well spent. If it doesn't, it is a nasty little melee unit that can try the same trick again next turn, making them a decent distraction unit. For Tyranids, anything that can reduce the firepower at your main monsters and swarm units is priceless, and this is something that multiple small Genestealer broods can do well. I never recommend large squads of Genestealers, as the Broodlord is arguably more valuable than the five Genestealers required to take one. Genestealers are just too expensive and fragile to be justified as a melee horde; if you want such a unit, look instead to your significantly cheaper and more effective per-point Hormagaunts."

You can read more about Genestealers here.


"I see the best uses of Termagants firstly as a thirty-strong brood to unlock one Tervigon as a Troops choice for games between 1000 to 1850 points. Larger games favour the use of more Tervigons in the Troops slots due to the extra firepower, and thus the need for more scoring units, though regular game sizes favour only one due to the high cost of a Tervigon. The thirty-strong Termagant brood(s) you use can either be left bare to keep points spent on your Troop slot low, or they can be given a mix of Devourers - preferably ten to fifteen in a thirty strong unit - to give them some really nasty extra shooting. I recommend spinefists for the twin-linked shooting for the most part, but fleshborers may be the better "utility" choice with the ability to glance AV10 vehicle armour; either choice is fine, realistically. From there, I like using medium sized broods of Termagants, around fifteen to twenty models, as cheap but sizable scoring units. These units take up less than a hundred points each and are well worth the extra investment, though the need for more than one or two is low once a Tervigon is factored in. If you aren't a fan of the Tervigon, then I recommend taking three to four of these medium sized broods. This is so that each unit doesn't suffer so much from Instinctive Behaviour or a lack of Synapse once in combat as they would in larger sizes. From there, twenty models strong is still high and will give you lots of scoring bodies and ablative wounds for objective camping. You will want Termagants in all the roles detailed above; surrounding your own monstrous creatures to prevent mobile assault units or ranged reserve units from having free reign to target them; using them to encircle loaded transports so that wrecked results lead to "free" casualties, and; charging dangerous units so that they have to slog through your cheap Fearless horde units before they can actually do any real damage to your army."

You can read more about Termagants here.


"I'm a fan of twenty plus sized Hormagaunt broods, not too dissimilar from my preferred unit sizes for Termagants, but with a twist. Hormagaunts can't really be taken in small broods like Termagants can because Hormagaunts both lack ranged weapons and have more punishing Instinctive Behaviour, meaning they really should be charging enemies and really need a Synapse creature. Hormagaunts are more expensive than Termagants because of Bounding Leap and Fleet, making them one of the fastest Infantry units in the game. I feel that not making use of this by having Hormagaunts rush forward to try and tie up enemy units as early as possible is a waste of their potential, and using them for home-sitting on objectives is just points better spent on cheaper Termagants. The only advantage Hormagaunts have for such a use is that they are completely immobile with their worst Instinctive Behaviour result, unlike Termagants that are forced to make a Fall Back move. Using Hormagaunts as cheap speed-bumps works for units of fifteen, but opponents will be more cautious of them than of Termagants because they will be aware of both the boosted melee capabilities of Hormagaunts and how quickly and reliably they can make it to combat. This is why I recommend larger units of Hormagaunts than I usually would for Termagants, and I am also a believer in keeping them stock as well. They are more likely to lose models as they come in because broods of Hormagaunts can tear apart almost anything on the charge that is Toughness 7 or lower. If you do have the points on a twenty-strong brood, for example, to take Toxin Sacs on each model, then all I can say is "enjoy the feast". I use Hormagaunts less as speed bumps but more as the forward scoring units that provide intervening cover for other advancing monsters like Carnifex broods, Tyrannofexes and Exocrines. They can still be used to hold up a Wraithknight or other deadly low model count unit for a turn or a few, just like Termagants, though they are a bit more expensive for that purpose."

You can read more about Hormagaunts here.

Ripper Swarms

"The only viable use for Rippers that I can see is to hide behind terrain or the low-hanging Tervigon model to act as a cheap, bare three-model tarpit unit that is cheaper than any other such unit you can get and more durable against small arms fire. Have them move out of cover once a close assault unit moves within range of your more valuable unit, such as the Tervigon or a Zoanthrope brood, for example. Try to get in the way to block any charges to the valuable unit, or charge the enemy unit so that they cannot shoot. The other use is to take a medium sized brood of four or five bases with Deep Strike and drop them near vulnerable small scoring or heavy weapon units. These units will typically struggle to fight off Rippers in combat quickly, being tied down for a number of turns. As long as the Rippers are fired at or in some way draw attention from your more important advancing elements, from Flying Hive Tyrants to Tyrannofexes, then the Rippers will have done their job. I don't really see them as being effective in either role, but if you want them to actually make something of themselves, these would be the ways to do it."

You can read more about Ripper Swarms here.

Thank you for reading this article! Please, share your thoughts on the article and the changes I am experimenting with for this series. I am open to any and all feedback! And remember, for any and all discussion on Tyranids and Games Workshop stuff, head on over to +Bell of Lost Souls. Thanks again! Eel out.

No comments:

Post a Comment