Mr. Fluffy goes to Tourney Town Pt. 4 – Tyranids

Hello there fellow warmongers!  I’m back with another of ‘Fluffy List for Competitive People’, and this time I’m going to try and build a Tyranids List!

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Not sure what the Hive Mind would make of this. Is it even edible?

Now ‘nids are having a fairly tough time of it at tournaments, in FLGSs and well, just about anywhere at the moment.  It seems that unless you are willing to run flying Hive Tyrant Spam (yawwwwwn) you don’t got a hope in hell of winning games.  Well, I think that is grade A baloney (one for our American listeners.  For the fellow brits amongst us, its the same as polony.  I think)

polony

Polony.  Baloney.  Even the hive mind would think twice about the trans fats

The rules for creating the list are as usual – No Allies abuse / No Deathstars / No LoW or Flyer formations / No D weapons / No Spamming great units / No Formation abuse

List 3: Tyranids – Vanguard Infestation

Now I’m not claiming this list is going to catapult you to the top of the ITC standing, because it really ‘aint.  There are just too many better units in other factions that have been way ahead in the codex queue than ‘nids.  In fact, I am now convinced that GW is stalling on the new Tyranids codex because they are struggling to come up with a way to translate the things that make ‘nids unique as a faction (synapse, psychic power level, weight in numbers, biological adaptability) into strengths rather than weaknesses.  It is a tough call, and even tougher to get right for a company that doesn’t have the best record in creating balanced units.

However, until then the best way to triumph on the battlefield may be with the moral victory rather than any kind of real one  – after all, what does the Hive Mind care for abstract concepts such as objective markers and First Blood?  Sweet, juicy biomass is all that matters!  But with a bit of luck, you may even catch your opponent by surprise by not bringing flyrant spam, and sneak the victory on account of his grav-tastic super-friends (or what ever the hell the flavour of the month list is) not being able to deal with the deadly Genestealer hordes.  And yes, I did say Genestealers.

Hive Fleet Adephagia
1848pts Vanguard Infestation

Combined Arms Detachment

HQ
Deathleaper

Elites
Lictor Brood (2)
Lictor Brood (2)
Lictor Brood (2)

Troops
Ripper swarm (3)
Ripper swarm (3)
Mucolid Spore (1)
Mucolid Spore (1)
Mucolid Spore (1)
Mucolid Spore (1)

Fast Attack
Gargoyles (10)
Gargoyles (10)
Gargoyles (10)

Heavy Support:
Sporocyst (1)
Sporocyst (1)
Sporocyst (1)

Manufactorum Genestealers Formation
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands

Manufactorum Genestealers Formation
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands
– Genestealers (5), Adrenal Glands

game over
*sigh* if only Imperial Space Marines broke so easily

Thinking 

The basic premise of this list is a fairly common one with Tyranids  – to overwhelm your opponent as quickly as possible, choking his guns with the bodies of your troops and burying his assault teams in a pile of entrails and claws.  Threat overload is the key to taking down smaller, more elite armies than yours and how you achieve that is going to come down to how you deploy this force.

Related Reading  Weekly Battle Report: Fate's Angels vs Blood Angels

Above all else, this is not a battering ram of a list.  It is more a scalpel – delicate and brittle, but if wielded with surgical skill it can be deadly.  Deployment is going to be key, and how you do it is going to largely depend on the opponent you are facing.  Luckily, this list is super adaptable when it comes to deployment options.

633673088039538329-nukethemfromorbit
Not a surgical strike. Unless you are in the guard

But first things first – one thing you will be deploying straight up are the rippers.  Which is fine, as they are only in the list to do one thing – be deployed on any back field objectives you have and hold them.  If they are in your DZ, all the better for helping you get ‘hold the line’ style VPs too.  After them though, everything else is up for grabs – you have the option to infiltrate, deep strike and outflank on most units and will have to think how best to hurt your opponent with those abilities.

Massed infiltration can be very strong.  It allows you to do a semi-null deployment if you end up going first, giving you the chance to react to your opponents setup and any strategy they may have given away in doing so. With the Manufactorum Genestealers setting up within 6″ if in buildings or ruins, you even have the chance to pen the enemy in from turn one (just watch out for flamers in the enemy ranks!).  However blanket infiltration can also be dangerous if your opponent has infiltrators too – the first placement is crucial, and if they win the roll off the first 12/18″ bubble they create can really wreck your day before it has even got going, so use your noggin.

kroot

The power of infiltration.  Lest we forget…

The Sporocysts are also great objective grabbers and can be a real pain in the butt for your opponent to deal with.  Just try to set them up in cover or out or LOS – if your opponent has left a nice spot in their DZ open then chuck one in – grabbing line breaker early doors is worth the cost, especially if you are then spewing out spores for 5 turns that don’t have far to go to find the enemy.

So now the Genestealers and Sporocysts are in place, it is time to look at the lynchpin of the list – the Lictors.  It is these guys that will tie all the parts of the ‘threat overload’ together. The Mucolids and Gargoyles are going to be your distraction pieces – they are there to soak up enemy fire and die, hopefully leaving your Genestealers and Lictors intact for the second turn assault.  How you do this is once more going to depend on the circumstances of the game.  Is it Hammer and Anvil, with your opponent sat way back (filthy Tau!) waiting for you to come to him?  Then go deep strike heavy.  Infiltrate your Lictors out of LOS  and then guide the Gargoyles and Mucolids in T2 with their pheromone trail.  Is your opponent right up on the line with his bikes (urgh, another white scars list)?  Then start the Gargoyles and Mucolids on the board and rush out to meet him, while the Lictor deep strikes into the back line and goes looking for softer targets.  Are all his big guns hogging the corners (damned OP guard and their basilisks)?  Then outflank your Lictors and a few Genestealers and tuck in to those metal lunch boxes!

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The lack of synapse also gives this list a bit more flexibility.  Yes we have synapse creatures, but nowhere crucial.  Rippers aren’t likely to eat themselves in the course of a game, while Lictors are LD10 so will be very unlucky to start lurking.  And the gargoyles we don’t really care about as they are just cannon fodder – one turn of shooting from these guys will be a bonus.

Hit and run is also a nice trick with the Genestealer formations – if you can break out in their assault phase, it will allow you to charge back in during your pase and get the +1S from furious charge again (although at the cost of eating more over watch so again think whether it is worth it or not.  A quick checklist might be this: Flamers? Dark Angels? Tau? Then stay in combat, you have done well to get there).

motivator3930075

And a big wet toxic kiss as well.

Fluffiness

The only way this could be any fluffier would be to include a Broodlord or Genestealer cultists.  However the latter are overpriced and the former can no longer be taken as an upgrade with the Maunfactorum Genestealer formatiom (thanks GW FAQ!  like, it was too overpowered or what?)

Cheesiness

OK so it is a bit spammy, and infiltration shenanigans might make your opponent feel a bit aggrieved (especially if there are a lot of ruins out there).  But you know, so what?  You already deserve a medal for bringing this list to a tournamnet, and any victory you pull of beyond the moral one should leave you feeling like you beat the world and their dog, because you will have done it with brains and cunning rather than broken combos and netlists!

Oh wait.  This is now technically a netlist.

Damn you internet!

191ndo
I bet Hillary would.

Save

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  • It’s really a shame that you can’t run Broodlords with the Manufactorum Genestealers. Like you said, it wasn’t like they were overpowered.

    The problem I have with mass infiltration like this is that I run out of ruins and buildings to infiltrate into. Just the Geneatealers are ten units after all. I like the list though. Vanguard ftw!

    • iapedus

      Yeah it used to work quite nicely, as you would lose most of the genestealers to overwatch but at least get the Broodlord in to wreck a bit of face and make it worthwhile. Now you are looking to double team the genestealers, but they don’t have quite the same punch on their own.

      As for the mass infiltration, I think you really have to play the board on the day. Outflanking is another nice option for the stealers if theire is a lack of ruins or buildings, but you have to be pretty confindent of not getting tabled in turn one to try it!

      • Outflanking is something I always tend to forget.

        • iapedus

          Yeah, it can be really brutal against the right opponent.

  • It’s super spammy. Like:

    https://regmedia.co.uk/2015/05/01/spam_wall.jpg?x=648&y=348&crop=1

    spammy. Still, being what it is and all, I wouldn’t complain about facing it.

    • iapedus

      Ha Ha, well yeah it is a bit spammy but only really because of the block of genestealers at its core. As far as unit diversity goes there are actually seven different types of unit in the list, so the spamming is more a result of ‘low unit cost’ than ‘cherry picking for advantage’. Some people mange far less unit diversity in their lists *cough cough recent chaos batreps cough chough*

      Anyway, the way I see it if any army can legitimately claim spamming is in line with their fluff, it’s the Tyranids :D

      • Meh. Most armies can claim spam. Space Marines are going to field a ton more Tactical Marines than any other unit. Guard are going to be throwing down a ton of anything. Daemons, well that one is obvious. It’s pretty much fluffy for any army. It comes down to what you’re spamming through that pushed it into cheesy, and I don’t see Genestealers as cheesy.

        That coughing can’t be over any of my CSM batreps?

  • jack shrapnel

    I just don’t see how this list could properly function in a tournament setting at all. If your opponent deploys their army in the ruins that are available your genestealers are running up the board or outflanking. Which means one bolter volley will eradicate the squad. Even if they hit combat they’re five genestealers. I wish stealers were good, I honestly do, (I have a ton of them!) however bringing half your list in them doesn’t make them better.Given how slow everything else is and if your opponent covers even one of the available ruins for your genestealers the lictors are the only real target. One of the sporocysts’ main ability (synapse boosting) is useless for this list as there are no synapse creatures. Their creating spore mines ability is better done by biovores.

    The gargoyles if deep striking get one turn to act, then will likely fail their Leadership 6 and become instinctive fire just like the sporocysts (having to shoot the closest enemy – meaning one tank out front and your army’s shooting is completely negated). I do believe you can make a tournament able list without including flyrants (although it’s an uphill battle without them) however I’m not sure completely abandoning synapse is the way to go, or making your lynchpin unit also the one who will need to cover maelstrom points in ITC making them even more of an easy target.

    I also realize your looking for a fluffy list that doesn’t spam the best choices, however the list is very spammy.

    If you’d consider reworking the list, I think you can achieve very similar results but really make a threat overload list using similar units with a few key additions – I’d humbly suggest:

    CAD

    Tervigon (fluffy choice that makes you obsec troops)

    Mucolid
    Mucolid
    Mucolid (you don’t need the rippers because the tervion is making your objective holders)

    3 lictors
    3 lictors
    3 lictors (bulks out your key units)

    Mawloc
    Mawloc
    Mawloc (makes a viable threat that can be guided in by the lictors.

    Broodlord hunting pack (3 x 5 genestealers and a broodlord) you can still set up 6″ away in a ruin however now you have a broodlord with them!

    Deathleaper’s assassin brood (deathleaper plus five independent lictors) – keeps deathleaper as you wanted and adds more lictor coverage – keeps your opponent guessing where stuff is dropping in and gives you options.

    Sporefield – 3x mucolids, 3x 3 spore mines – gives you all the mines you could have produced with the sporocysts but gives them to you right away – so more threat overload.

    I’m not saying that this list will win all the tournaments either – just trying to keep with what you were recommending as a playstyle and keeping the core of your list the same, while keeping the list fluffy and not spamming flyrants.

    I agree that viable lists that are fluffy outside of flyrant spam would be fantastic with tyranids. I think you’re definitely on to a very good idea and opens up a great discussion point. Us nid players have been stuck with a subpar codex for some time and are used to only taking what works (flyrants). It’s easy to fall back on using them because they’re so good.

    • iapedus

      Hey Jack, thanks for the detailed input and effort you put into it – this was actually written before I saw your article and makes an interesting counter point to that. I’ll try to do your analysis justice with a more detailed response of my own :)

      Nids, probably more than any other faction, rely on a decent amount of terrain being set up on the board. They always have (and they probably always will) barring any kind of major power shift in the next codex (Invulnerable saves across the board? We can dream!). As I said in the article, playing this list will demand that you play both the terrain and the opponent in front of you as they come, meaning you are going to have to adapt how you plan to close the distance accordingly. Charging across the table into the waiting lines of bolters is not a viable tactic (and never really has been).

      Why are so many Nid players down on stealers? Sure, they are no thunderwolves but they can still hold their own when they get into combat. I know the +5 save and lack of assault grenades is an inherit problem, but then if they didn’t have those limitations they would be auto-takes and pretty straight forward to use. As it is, Adrenal glands for S5 on the charge, rending claws for the lucky 6’s and then Hit and Run from the formation make a pretty decent assault unit for 80 pts. Just don’t go charging anything hiding in terrain unless they are fire warriors or worse (if they are hiding in terrain, all the better as you are probably denying them the board. Send a mucolid or Lictor in to keep them company too :)

      Also, bringing half the list as stealers is exactly what does make them better. Threat overload is king, and having ten units infiltrate up to 12/18″ away on a normal board or 6″ in suitable terrain is going to pose a lot of problems for your opponent if he hopes to sit back and shoot. The same goes for mass outflanking, if the situation on the day dictates it.

      You are right in that one of the sporocysts better abilities does go unused in this list (synaptic boosting) but that is not why they are in the list. Neither is creating spore mines (which, as you pointed out, biovores do better). They are here solely to be T5 W6 infiltrating objective holders that generate their own 5+ cover saves (a much better use of spores in my opinion than trying to kill anything with them). With everything else going on the sporocyst are going to be way down your opponents target priority list while they hopefully rack up a couple of maelstrom points along the way.

      The Gargoyles are only there to do exactly what you say they will do – get one round of shooting off the turn they deepstrike, and then either be shot to pieces and turn feral (in which case yay! As the enemy hasn’t been shooting your other stuff) or they will be ignored and provide a screen for you onrushing genestealer hordes and give them a handy 5+ cover save.

      As for Lictors, between them and the rippers / sporocyst you have enough to keep most objectives covered, as well as guiding in the deepstrikers if need be. The rest just comes down to the rub of the game.

      Thanks also for the suggested list – it is a good list, but the fundamental problem for me is that it doesn’t really retain the theme of the Vanguard / INfstation Force that I was going for (The presence of Mawlocs and Tervigons in particular).

      I see what you are doing with the Mawlocs and Lictors, but that combo has also been done before (and better) and I’m not really trying to replicate proven tournament lists here unless it also happens to fit the fluff. It also suffers from the same problems of other lists that rely on Mawlocs to do the heavy lifting, namely that the minute they fail to go back into ongoing reserves it falls apart. Relying on the Tervigon to create your ObSec troops also seems extremely risky – I’ve seen too many Tervigons double out first turn to put too many eggs in that basket.

      The broodlord hunting pack is also not as good as the manufactorum genestealers i.m.o – yes you can get the awesome broodlord in there, but you lose hit and run on the stealers, which is an infinitely superior thing to have. You also trade the ability to infiltrate within 6″ for the ability to arriving from reserves within 6″, which again seems a more risky option for little or no gain.

      Also, your list seems to be illegal in that it uses 4 detachments/formations? I was under the impression that the limit for ITC was 3? And yes, I realize my list is a bit spammy, but replacing it with a list that is at least equally spammy doesn’t really seem to rectify the issue :)

      Cheers for the feedback!

      • jack shrapnel

        Thank you for the detailed response! I’m always on the lookout for good tyranid ideas, and value these kinds of discussions, as for the most part I am getting a little tired of “just add flyrants” (yes even though that’s the advice I gave in my article, but that’s aimed more for the new tyranid player who could certainly benefit from having the flyrant in any list). Mainly because I have a huge nid collection that largely gathers dust. I’ve tried lists with as many as 45 genestealers at once to try the stealer shock style list but have sadly had little success with it, but my experience is only one of course, and likely shaped by the meta in my area (lots of marines, who have no trouble dealing with infiltrating stealers, lots of tau who laugh at cover saves, lots of eldar who pretty much erase the mid-bugs from the table). We don’t play with detachment limits in my area as well, which is why I suggested a multiple detachment style list.
        I find it’s difficult to make any themed tyranid list without getting a little spammy as there’s only so many decent choices and combinations that you can have, so yeah I’m in the same boat.
        Have used the tyrannoctye a bit in an objective scorer mainly due to the ability to move it AND transport another unit into the fray safely. This is especially true with swarmlord, who I’ve tried to walk up the table without much luck even with hive guard.
        So thanks for the detailed response, and I’ll certainly try out your ideas on the table to see if I can make it work!

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