BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

The Dark Tendril Finally Descends

4 Minute Read
Oct 15 2011

I haven’t posted much lately with BeakyCon planning taking up a lot of my free time. Recently however, I have picked up a Tyranid army and revamped it to fit my play style.

Often I make fun of the Nid codex and say spiteful things about Robin Cruddance. He could have done a much better job in my opinion and the FAQ was crap. I guess he feels he really needs the job he has. Nidz were top tier in 4th edition. I played around with the new army when it was released for 5th edition. There was a lot of talk at the time about how awesome they would be but for the most part it never came to pass for whatever reason. So why I am talking about the hive ? Well enough time has passed that I feel I can say what I said came to be for the most part. That might sound a bit haughty and hopefully I will make my case. I was never a big fan of Tervigons as awesome as they might sound and as awesome as they are… Sure they can enhance other units and spawn lots of gants… But I never had any fascination for them. I feel that way about a lot of the units in the codex and a lot of that has to do with their overall design… It just seems really half arsed and lacking. For example why can’t Ravengers take adrenal glands? Hive Tyrants have a big bullseye painted on them, only have four wounds and are not eternal warriors – why even bother ? As a competitive gamer you are paying lots of points for a unit that does not get the job done on an overall basis and the Hive Tryant is supposed to be the lynchpin… At least it should be in my mind. Basically Tyranids still have the same problem they always did even as far back as fourth edition and that is the ability to effectively bust armor.

So yeah there are lots of things that could have easily been a lot better but that said there are some good things so I’ll focus on that in this article.

You have access to lots of troop choices that are at least pretty good… The ones I like the best are Genestealers, Warriors, Termagants and Hormagants. All of these units have access to either Mycetic spores or can outflank. Using reserves is a big part of 40k now and it’s nice to have access to these units that can fill five to six slots in your force organization chart (FoC). Tyranids in my opinion have the most access to the widest array of good troop choices so why not take advantage of this aspect? In fact I think every good Tyranid player does so. You can put a lot of bodies on the ground for relatively cheap and Tyranids are very strong in objective based games for this very reason. Genestealers are god-like in melee. Termagants are good at shooting if you’re willing to invest the points. Hormagants are fast and also good in melee. Warriors extend your synapse bubble.

Here you have the most of the best choices and this is one of the biggest problems with the codex. Look at the new Blood Angels or Grey Knights codices as counter examples – both of these two armies you can take all the elite choices you need without having to forgo the option for other units including other elite choices. To me Yrmyl genestealers and Hive Guard are the two main Go To units. The Doom of Malanti is another great choice as well. These are the three units I take. The DoM is very good at what it does, especially versus small elite armies – if well played the DoM can cripple hardcore enemy units quickly forcing the opponent to concentrate on removing it from play.

Hive Yyrants and Tervigons are the favorites but I eschew the use of both as said above. Another slap in the face to Tyranid players was the FAQ ruling that the Alpha Warrior cannot attach to a unit in a Mycetic spore – it just didn’t make any sense at all. Still he is a beast and my work around is to join him to a unit of Hormagants. I hold them in reserve and if they come in late then they can pop out of a hole left behind by a Trygon… Otherwise they come in on their table edge using fleet to quickly reach the places they need to be. Tyranids need lots of synapse to win – it’s always been that way. I prefer to take the Alpha Warrior since he is an independent character and cannot be targeted in the enemy shooting phase like Tyrants and Tervigons. Give him a pair of bone swords and he will shred dedicated enemy melee units.

Fast Attack
The Trygon Prime has synapse and acts much like an HQ. Kit the beast with toxin sacs and he is rerolling both to hit and wound plus it can parcel out a lot of shots. They are also very fast as well.

So there you have it. This is my vision of how to successfully play the army taking a mix of units that have the most synergy. There is no long ranged AT shooting so you’ll have to rely upon your fast melee units to pop and surpress armor. You’ve got lots of little bugs plus some big ones to wreck havoc. The army must be well played and it’s quite doable. I’ve consistently beaten Space Wolves and Grey Knights with my army. I’m looking to get in a game versus IG to see how I fare against them as well.

Happy Hunting fellow Norn-Queens!


  • THQ: Dark Millennium 40k MMO Rumors