26 December, 2010

Thoughts on Nids

I'm not a huge fan of the swarm army concept. It may be because I think of having to paint all those models. So my Sisters will be the most "swarm-like" army I'll field. One is good for me. However, like any 5th Edition codex, the Tyranids have quite a few options. Of course, you'll hear of the Nidzilla lists (which I'm pretty sure means you max out on Monstrous Creatures like Sillyfexes), but I was thinking about a Warrior list. Something along the lines of 3-4 broods of Warriors (number and size of the broods based on point level), a brood or two of Shrikes (Pretty Wings), and maybe some Raveners for kicks. Stick Boneswords on the Shrikes and they feel almost like Vanguard Vets with Power Swords.

This won't do against vehicles, so you do need a little help. Zoanthropes look amazing in this respect. Throw in a couple (but really, I mean 4) of them and, because I've seen how amazing the Mawloc model is, 2 Trygons. Make them Primes. Seriously. I'm not arguing with an 18", S5, AP5, Assault 12 attack. I think the 6" and 6 dice (and Synapse) are worth 40 points. Sure, BS is only 3, but it's 12 dice! You get 3+ to wound Marines and swarmy armies tend to get no armor save. And then they destroy stuff in assault. Extremely efficiently. For the HQ I'd probably go Tyranid Prime or two and stick him (or them) with Warriors.

The result is almost everything is Synapse, Ld10, and Shadow in the Warp, so they're a tough army to break. Anti-tank would do well against them with mostly T4 and 4+ saves, but that's what the Trygons and Zoanthropes would go for first. Zoanthropes, if you didn't know, have two main abilities (other than their 3+ invulnerable): Lance of Tank Popping and Blast of Marine Killing. Their main weakness is Grey Knight Psycannons or Incinerators. Anything AP5 or better that ignores invulnerables really.

Sample list I was playing around with in Army Builder comes in right at 2k:

2x Tyranid Prime (Boneswords, Deathspitter, Adrenal Glands)

2x 2-bug brood Zoanthropes

2x 5-bug brood Warriors (extra set Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands)
2x 5-bug brood Warriors (Deathspitter, Adrenal Glands)

Fast Attack
1x 5-bug brood Shrikes (Boneswords, Adrenal Glands)

Heavy Support
2x Trygon Prime (Adrenal Glands, Regeneration)

So basically I love super-resilient armies. When it comes down to it, running the Warrior list is probably a lot like running a Terminator Space Marines list. My two loves are Resilience and Mobility. I'll take an army you can pound on for 7 turns and not see it crack. But I'll also sacrifice all of that for one that can just zip around.


  1. I agree with the similarities with a Terminator list except the lack of invulnerable saves, the Shrikes only get a 5+ armor saved and the Warriors only a 4+

    It is cool that the Tyranid Primes can give their WS and BS to Warriors they join so that's a cool thing to think about.

    Zoanthropes are good stuff but they really lack a good range for popping tanks.

    I'm looking through my codex and it does not appear that Shrikes can deep strike so that sucks.

    The Trygon Primes are a lot of points and don't give you the Str 6 AP2 auto hits that Terror from the Deep gives you.

    I'm really off-put by you having everything be a Synapse giving creature. Yeah they don't have to worry about things becoming wild animals and lurking or feeding, but I think that's one of the Tyranids best features is having those low cost units that at times you could lose Synapse, but if you are able to manage your units well you can maximize usage of those crazy little bugs with only 1 3 bug squad of Warriors.

    In summary, lots of points for not so many units. I'm not opposed to that, however I think there is a way to maximize your bang for your buck and this list, IMHO, is not it.

  2. Survivability of Warriors and their airborne kin: They make up for their worse saves with 3 wounds. Sure, Power Fists, Lascannons, etc. will instagib them, but those have a good chance of doing the same to a Terminator that costs more.

    Zoanthropes: 18" isn't the best, but it's still better than Melta. It's Assault, so you can get an extra 6" by moving up before firing giving that advantage over a Multimelta that has to stay still and won't get any extra punch until within 12". A Meltagun gets you the Assault profile but a bit shorter range. Compared to a Lascannon. . . well, not everything can be a Lascannon. :)

    Shrikes can Deep Strike. This is automatically conferred by virtue of being Jump Infantry per the main rulebook.

    The trade-off for Mawlocs is they have no ranged attacks, are mediocre (compared to Trygons, at least) in assault, and Terror from the Deep still has to scatter normally. Trygons, while not having that quite awesome Devour Sisters special rule, are a bit more versatile. They can shoot not so shabbily and still tear up a lot of stuff in assault. 6 base attacks plus reroll misses. Not bad with WS5 and S6.

    Everything Synapse is more side-effect than intent. There are very few units that aren't intended to swarm that aren't Synapse. Raveners, Monstrous Creatures (which aren't the main focus of my thought experiment here), most Elites actually but I explained my reasons for going Zoanthrope.

    I generally don't go for maximizing Bang-for-Buck. I like coming up with themes to design armies and characters. Rarely do I end up with something optimal.

    Because as we all know, "In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war!".


  4. "...Rarely do I end up with something optimal." Hah! That cracks me up.

    I find the list interesting. It would certainly give people some trouble on the table. I like the shrikes but I would likely use them more sparingly. I see them more like an honor guard or command squad in a way. They are brutal though. I've seen that brutality first hand watching a couple of games at the CLGS back in Pensacola.

    Remember, Nids might be swarmy, but they are also easy to paint! Unlike your sisters...

  5. How about before another army you play Shawn? =P

  6. Stupidest idea I ever heard.