Is it one of the 40k quirks that Tyranids are the only army which can’t evolve? In the fluff you always hear about how the Hive Mind adapts its tactic and even its troops to overcome the resistance it’s facing. So it is a little ironic that in the tabletop game the Tyranids are one of the least flexible armies. They can’t easily adapt to a shift in the meta. With most other armies when a new codex is released it can shift the make up of all other armies due to the ally rules. There’s been two 6th edition codex released now and each time the meta shifted. The Chaos codex saw the arrival of the Helldrake and moved the meta even more into flyers because everyone knows “Helldrake does as Helldrake wants”. People are already talking about teaming Helldrakes and Doom Scythes together to really rule the skys. The Dark Angels are still relatively new but they have obvious benefits to other codex, spreading their +1 cover saves from their new Landspeeders sits well with lots of other armies. Meanwhile the poor Tyranids are stuck with the same circa 15 choices they always had.
Don’t get me wrong, 6th edition gave Tyranids a HUGE boost. Removal of the fearless wounds, the book based psychic powers and the weakening of vehicles all played well into the Hivemind’s grubby little claws, but since then they’ve remain static and I think it’s beginning to show. It’s the same units all the time which can struggle, we’ve only one reliable anti air and that’s our flying tyrants, and they’re fairly easy to take out if people really want to. Giant guard or cultists blobs only really have the Biovores to worry about from a template weapon point of view. Also with the release of the Dark Angel codex I fear a slow return to more mech based armies. Cover saves are certainly going to become a bigger thing.
All of this rambling is leading somewhere (I hope). In three weeks I’ve got what should be one of the most competitive tournaments in the UK, the final of the UK GT. I’ve not been to a tournament since Dark Angels were released so I don’t know how prevalent they are going to be but from podcasts I’ve listened to they do seem popular. Also the GT will represent the last tournament where the old Daemon codex is still allowed prior to its update this weekend, so the Screamer / Flamer spam will still be in effect. I’m obviously taking the Tyranids so I need to think how I can overcome some of the current tricks of armies ;- cover saves, invulnerable saves, flyers & higher toughness (bikes, nurgle). The rambling at the start of this post was pretty much there to explain that the core of any Tyranid army is probably going to be the same until they get a new codex. For the GT my current thinking is ;-
HQ1 – Swarmlord (280) [280pts]
HQ2 – Hive Tyrant (155), Wings (60), 2x Twin Linked Devourers (30), Old Adversary (25) [280pts]
Troop1- Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10) [210pts]
Troop2 - Tervigon (160), Catalyst (15), Onslaught (15), Toxin Sacs (10), Adrenal Glands (10) [210pts]
Troop3 – 15 Gaunts (75) [75pts]
Troop4 – 15 Gaunts (75) [75pts]
Troop5 – 15 Gaunts (75), Devourers(75), Transport1 [150pts]
Elite1 – 2 Hive Guard (100) [100pts]
Elite2 – 2 Hive Guard (100) [100pts]
Elite3 – Doom of (90),Transport2 [90pts
Fast1 – 15 Gargoyles (90), Toxin Sacs (15) [105pts]
Heavy1 – Biovore (45) [45pts]
Heavy2 – Biovore (45) [45pts]
Transport1 – Mycetic Spore (40) [40pts]
Transport2 – Mycetic Spore (40) [40pts]
The Swarmlord rips up Wraiths. Drop an enfeeble on them first, or get a good result on Iron Arm and he’s double tapping them out. Combine this with the fact he forces them to reroll their successful saves and he should be able to tear up 3 – 4 of them a turn. The enhanced toughness or their reduced strength should also mean he take less damage from their attacks. He’ll also cause issues for Fateweaver and other daemons. I am worried that losing a flying Tyrant will reduce me speed and ability to project force onto enemy objectives in their deployment zone. In at least one game at Yorkshire open it did, when I didn’t manage to get to Patrick’s objective in a hammer and anvil deployment.
I also think that Dark Angels will see a good showing, with either the bikes and Landspeeders or Terminators. The enhanced cover saves which the Darkshroud can generate will mean nothing against Hive Guard, so I want to run two units of them, this did mean dropping the Zoanthropes, but hopefully putting the Tervigons back to 3 powers each and the Swarmlord’s four powers means I shouldn’t need these support characters as the mainline psykers will pick up the powers I require.
The Biovores are potentially getting their final outing, if they don’t make a good showing of themselves in this tournament they may get dropped. I’ve split them down into two individual units to maximise their output.
So what worries me? Flyers are a concern, I’ve lost one of my two anti-flyer Tyrants, but if the Hive Guard rolls a 6 on their hit the flyer can’t jink to defend itself. Dark Eldar poison spam will ruin my hobby as will any high strength shooting army.
There also a number of things I need to remember. I keep forgetting these in games and it could make all the difference.
- A unit taking a wound from a devourer has a -1 to any leadership test that turn
- Precision shots from my flying Tyrant
- The Swarmlord gives a unit preferred enemy at the start of the firing phase, meaning I can grant it to the Hive Guard before they fire and they’ll benefit from rerolling 1s