Sunday, March 21, 2010

My thoughts on Tyranids: part II – Warriors, Genestealers and Hormagaunts

I’m starting off with the troops choices because I think the Troops should be the foundation of all lists. Always remember the most important role for troops is objective capturing, and anything else is secondary. The tyranids overall have good objective holders, but make sure the small bugs have synapse.

Tyranid Warriors
It seems to me warriors are designed to be a jack-of-all trades unit for the tyranids. They are relatively resilient, with capabilities in shooting and assault. However, they are very slow and they have no way to get into the assault quickly. Their shooting alone does not justify the points spent on them, so overall I just don’t see a use for these guys. It’s unfortunate, because I like the idea of an all-warrior army.

Genestealers are an excellent example of a “glass hammer” unit. They do a great deal of damage in the assault, but they are very easy to kill. At 14 points base for what is essentially an Ork, they are very vulnerable. For deployment, they have the options to infiltrate, outflank or deep strike via mycetic spore. I personally would never simply infiltrate, because they will be shot off the board on turn 1.
The brood lord can be very effective, especially when spammed. I have a list which I will post at the end of the review that includes 6 broodlords in mycetic spores with the Doom of Malan’Tai. Of course, the functionality of this list depends greatly upon the GW FAQ ruling. So in my opinion there are two main uses for genestealers:
a) Podding Broodlord spam
b) cheap, scoring outflanker

Both of these roles minimize the weakness of genestealers (resiliency). Option B also forces your opponent to either line up a bubble wrap on the table edge, or deploy in the centre of their deployment zone if they don’t want to sacrifice a unit.

Well, if you want a swarm of assault gribblies charging across the board, take lots of hormies. Adrenal Glands are a no-brainer; always give it to them. Keep in mind you will need strong synapse support to keep these guys under control, and these guys can’t kill vehicles. However, if you surround a transport and then glance it to death, the vehicle will not explode, and models inside won’t be able to disembark, meaning they are killed. This is a very evil trick that I have been using with kroot and scarab swarms for a long time. I don’t suggest using it in friendly games.


  1. Some things to remember about genestealers. First they are T4. If they GTG and have intervening cover it's going to require focused fire to shoot them off of an objective. I do this a lot with my Bloodletters and you be surprised how much firepower they can soak. Second they are LD10 and if you have a Broodlord they are fearless. This is one of the main reasons why I run stealers over gaunts. Gaunts can be awesome but they are also situational.


  2. I'm a big fan of Warriors, especially if you have Tervigons and lots of midfield presence. Spitters and Claws give you a relatively cheap scoring anvil that can put out lots of medium S shooting as well as adding some punch in assault. Primes make everything better. They can get closer with Pods or by outflanking from a Tyrant/Swarmlord. S8+ is obviously a big weakness, so use cover. With 3 wounds and FNP they can last forever against smaller arms.

    Genstealers I'm iffy on. Broodlords are great, but the little guys are very meh. Lack of grenades hurts big time.

    Hormies rule, toxin sacs ftw.

  3. agreed, for hormies, sacs are flat out better than glands...although they're better with both. Personally, I run em naked, their points just creep too high if you start the upgrading frenzy