Monday, March 22, 2010
My Thoughts on the Tyranids: part IV – Anti-tank Shooting
Hive Guard and Zoanthropes
There are 3 units in the Tyranid codex capable of reliably killing vehicles at range: Zoanthropes, Hive Guard and Tyrannofexes. Zoanthropes and Hive Guard are far more efficient than the T-fex. The problem is that they are both in the Elite slot. A mycetic spore is pretty much manditory for Zoanthropes. As far as I'm concerned, you must have either Zoanthropes or Hive Guard to have a competitive Tyranid list. Which one to choose is usually pretty simple. In a drop/ninja Nids army, take Zoies. In a foot army, take Hive Guard. There are of course exceptions to this and I will go into them in a later post but for the most part this is a good rule of thumb.
One big advantage of Hive Guard over Zoies is that they are able to be in range of enemy vehicles on turn one. They are also more resilient with their T6, and they are better at killing lightly armored vehicles like rhinos. Zoanthropes are more versatile because they can kill infantry with Warp Blast. They can also kill AV-13/14 with ease, unlike Hive guard. It will be interesting to see which choice triumphs in the long run. As of right now though I think the better choice depends on the rest of the 'Nid list.
Tyrannofexes are a totally different beast. The only real reason to take them is for the Rupture Cannon, so we'll ignore the other options for now. First of all, I believe the Tyrannofex is way overcosted. You are paying 265+ points for one STR10 hit per turn. That said, we must consider the T-fex in the context of it's codex, and it's the only non-Elite anti-tank shooting in the whole book. If you want to run a shooting-themed list, the Tyrannofex is a decent support choice, but I would recommend it only if you have maxed out on Hive Guard already.
I think the best loadout for the T-fex is Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines and Electroshock Grubs. On the tabletop the Tyrannofex should advance along with the rest of your army, but keep a squad of gants in front of it so that it can't be charged. Most people don't bother to shoot at the T-fex because of its 2+ armor, so you can place it in front of your other MCs (especially tervigons) and give them cover. This should be relatively easy because most peoples' Tyrannofex models are huge. The secondary weapons can be useful for the T-fex if you have killed the enemy transports or if they never had any to begin with.