Monday, January 3, 2011

We're Back! And we have a 1500 point 'Nid list for your consideration!

Well here I am on the last day of my holiday, finally returned to the city, ready to build up the Hive Fleet and play in a league!

Hive Fleet Turbo-Ants Cheerleading Squad 2011

I appreciate those who visited during Men With Toy Soldiers' hiatus, and now it's time to get back on attack.

So when we left off, I had asked for input regarding a 1500 point list using primarily what I had available in order to participate in an upcoming league with a 'Golden Standard' of 1500 points.  I got lots of good input, and was told quite firmly that I could not bring Swarmy in a 1500 point list (especially with two Trygons!), and now I think we're on the home stretch for what I'll start off with.

Be warned:  this list may shock your Net List sensibilities!  We have foot slogging Zoanthropes, Genestealers, and a Gargoyle blob!  There are no T-Fexes, no Harpies, and only one Tervigon!

Tyranid Prime w/ Bonesword, Lashwhip, Deathspitter - 100 pts

2 Hive Guard - 100 pts
2 Hive Guard - 100 pts
2 Zoanthropes - 120 pts


Tervigon w/ Cluster Spines, Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Catalyst - 195 pts
10 Termagants - 50 pts
10 Genestealers w/ toxin Sacs, 1 Broodlord - 235 pts (11 models, to be clear)

Fast Attack:

20 Gargoyles w/ Toxin Sacs - 140 pts

Heavy Support:

Trygon Prime w/ Adrenal Glands - 250 pts
Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands - 210 pts

1500 pts on the nose.

So, in theory, here's how it works:

1) The Main Force

The Tervigon, Gants, Zoanthropes and Hive Guard march up the middle of the board.  The Prime can go with the Zoanthropes to provide some ablative wounds and give them a chance, should they be assaulted.  I realized that I've never seen someone drop a Prime in with the Zoeys, I figure it's worth a shot!

If I can be ablative wounds for warriors, I can be ablative wounds for Zoanthropes!

2) The Flank

Gargoyles, Trygon and Trygon Prime can all sprint up one of the flanks.  The Prime gives synapse (and Shadow In The Warp!), so they should do more or less what I want until the Prime is (inevitably) taken down.  What I'm hoping for here is that opponents have to split their fire between the flanking force and the main force, since I think I've given them a number of poor decisions to make regarding target priority.

The Gargoyles can quite happily deal with ranged support units, and if need be they can tarpit a unit of my choice.  The Trygons can go ahead and do what Trygons do.

First model pulled off the table in every game?

3) The Genestealers

10 Stealers with toxins and a Broodlord is a nasty little CC unit, and an underrated one.  At the 1500 point level, I think I'd put them up against just about anything in the game in CC.  They can also be pressed into service in destroying light mech if I need them to do that, too.

They also have flexibility when it comes to their deployment.  They can either walk up the board with the main force under Catalyst, Fleet their way up the flank under cover from the Gargoyles and Trygons, infiltrate and take advantage of poor deployment on the other end, or outflank.  If they outflank, the opponent can't put anything valuable within 15-16 inches of a board edge unless they want to potentially give me a juicy target for a full-strength Genestealer unit.  In other words, they make the board that much smaller and basically put my bugs a full turn of movement closer to assault.

Attack of the pink dreadlock beard!


I've mentioned this a number of times before, but I believe the key to success with Tyranids is making sure that everything in your list is a threat, and then making target priority very difficult for your opponent.

Again, speaking from a purely theoretical standpoint, this list should be able to advance up the board while leaving spawned 'Gants behind to take objectives, should be able to deal with Mech reasonably well, and should be able to wipe up anything on foot between the gargoyles, Trygons, Prime + Zoan unit and Stealers.

The 'Stealers also make a great wildcard unit that allows this list to alter its tactics to suit the opponent, which is always good.

Playing against this list, it's difficult to pick your targets properly.  You really don't want those Trygons hitting your side of the table, but you also really don't want those two Zoanthropes to start opening fire.  You really don't want that Tervigon to be left alone and helping to score objectives/dish out FNP, but you also can't let those Hive Guard keeping firing 8 cover-ignoring shots per turn and popping all of your transports.  It's very tempting to use a turn of shooting to wipe those Gargoyles and Genestealers off the board, but what are you letting hit your lines instead of them?

Oh, and of course, there's 26 T6 wounds that need to be dealt with.

And perhaps most importantly, I have everything I need to play this list, I just need to get cracking on the assembling and painting!

Alright people, let me have it!


  1. I always wonder how people field their lists. Whenever I make a Tyranid list, I always assume I need more synapse than what you have present--but perhaps I'm over-cautious. The way you're displaying them, you have three basic nodes for synapse: the Trygon Prime, the Tervigon, and the Zoas/Alpha.

    From my perspective, it would seem easy to pick off at least one of those points, which forces you to adapt your forces (or succumb to the whims of instinctive behavior--which don't seem bad, but they wreak havoc on lurking hive guard).

    I like the fact that it's not a standard list. Have you played with it yet? How does it do?

  2. I had thought about the synapse too, and the Prime may end up with the Hive Guard because of that. Really the only things on the list that I don't want out of synapse are the HG. So we've got Terv/Zoan/Prime providing the synapse bubble there.

    In the end, though, if someone wants to neutralize the Hive Guard, isn't it easier to just... shoot the Hive Guard? Rather than peel through the Terv, the Prime and the Zoans, any of whom can be under FNP? All while ignoring the Trygons?

    From my extremely inexperienced perspective, that seems like a LOT of firepower from a 1500 point army, and if they've got that much firepower I feel good about my chances of mopping them up when the assaults land.

    Haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I'm pretty happy with it both as a fun list and as something with a tangible 'plan'.

    Thanks for the input!

  3. It's on the edge for firepower, relying on the trygons (or maybe the stealers) in melee to knock down vehicles; and only 1 serious threat for objective taking/holding is a concern if objectives are victory conditions (vice KP or what-have-you). About the only shift I might consider would be to swap the prime on the trygon and the 'stealers out for a 6-strong unit of warriors. With only two units of bubble wrap it might be worth splitting your 20-strong unit of gargoyles into 2 units of 10 to maximize cover potential. The key to remember when dorking with someone's target priority is whatever they shoot at is probably gonna die. Count on it, and plan on being able to win with whatever is left, no matter where he decides to go (i.e. threats everywhere, which I think you've got nailed down as the theory). Kennedy's batreps here: are good examples.

  4. @ Ghostin:

    I'm not sure I agree about lack of firepower... the HG and Zoeys provide some good shootin'. And if the tanks aren't sitting nicely where that part of the force can hurt them, it's walking towards Zoanthropes and leaving them intact to cause shenanigans.

    Where I do agree with you is where you say "only 1 serious threat for objective taking/holding". Yep. That single Tervigon is a vital part of the army, and the fact that there's just one violates one of my sacrosanct rules of army construction:

    Take two of EVERYTHING.

    But after much consideration, I have to arrive at the following two conclusions:

    1) I grossly overestimate just how much killing power my opponent can bring in a 1500 point game.

    2) If my opponent wants to focus fire on taking out my Termagants and Tervigon so I can't score objectives (ignoring the stealers), I'm going to make a serious attempt to table him with the other 1250 points of killy-awesomeness.

    You might be right about the Gargles (hehe, Modern Family) though, I'll have to try as 1x20 and 2x10.

    Thanks for the input and link, I've been meaning to check his stuff out!

  5. Wow, I'm literally doing something very similar to you i last played warhammer 40k in 2000 when i was about 15 now 11 years later and i'm getting back into it, with my favourite army i never collected tyranids! you've inspired me to go ahead with your simple wash painting i'm considering a purple flesh and yellowy and brown armour as an ode to Zerg!

  6. This list is a bit scattered for my taste. I understand that part of the point is working with what you have, and thus, you are somewhat constricted in what you do.

    Here are what I think are the primary problems with the list:
    1. Synapse- with just 4 sources (the Prime, the Trygon Prime, the Zoeys and the Tervigon), you'll find lists that can and will drop 2 of those per turn and then watch your army fail instinctive behavior tests all game long.
    2. Shooting- you have 2 shooting threats at 24"+ (The Hive Guard), and if you go up against Eldar or Dark Eldar (or, hell, even Blood Angels), they will kite you and then move in for the kill after everything that can hurt them is gone.

    Let me show you an example of a 1500 list I ran last weekend.

    2x Prime w/ Lash Whip, Bone Sword, Scything Talons and Adrenal Glands

    2x Tervigon w/ Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs, Scything Talons and Catalyst

    2x 11 Termagants

    2x 3 Hive Guard

    Trygon w/ Adrenal Glands

    Tyrannofex w/ Rupture Cannon

    The key with Tyranids is midfield domination, and this list does that. If you opponent wants midfield, he has to eat attacks from the Trygon, a mess of gants and the Tervigons, not to mention the Primes.

    The Hive Guard and Tyrannofex are barely sufficient at 1500, and if you run up against pure mech spam, it's gonna be a tough one.

    2 Primes in units and 2 Tervigons = enough synapse that you can breathe easy for the most part.

    As Ghostin says, you have to be able to lose at least one aspect of your force and win with what's left. Most 1500 lists I've played against with my 'nids can knock out the Trygons and then deal with the Hive Guard (or vice versa). Tervigons and gants can do wonders, but you can't rely on it. Also, no matter how much you or I love genestealers, they just aren't very good. I don't know of a player who I'd consider competent who doesn't know how to deal with them.

  7. @bymis:

    Thanks man! I never thought I could inspire anyone. If you're looking for good examples of how to do a rich bony/brown colour, check out Ghoulio's stuff at Legio Minimus.


    It's a bit scattered for my taste, too. I just have a gut feeling it might work, but I also might be proven horribly wrong.

    I like your list, but aside from the fact that I can't drum that up in the next week, I do have a couple small tactical issues with it:

    1) I've had several conversations where people have led me to believe that Hive Guard are best fielded in units of 2, and you have 2x3 listed up there. Did you mean 3x2? You're not using that elite slot for anything and it seems like a better gamble having the ability to spread fire/wounds/threats.

    2)I'm under the impression that one trygon is a dead trygon... if you're settling back into the more defensive multi-terv/lots of HG/t-fex structure, why not just drop the trygon altogether, drop one hive guard and a termagant, and have two t-fexes?

    Anyhow, how did that list work out for you? Part of what's making me want to get this right and not be able to experiment at all is that this league is straight WYSIWYG, so I can't proxy in t-fexes to see if they're worth the points (sad panda), so I'm trying to go with what's available and hoping I can drum up a winning list with it.

    Thanks so much for your input, though, it's really got me thinking on ways to convert/integrate some extra stuff :)

  8. Atreyu, I'm not sure I can add much to this there are those that know far more [you included] abotu choice. My only suggestion is re: the Broodlord +2 pts for scything talons [why not] and if you upgrade the brood to Toxin Sacs and upgrade one to Broodlord, he get the Toxin Sacs [I assume] of course this works much better for me with adrenal glands S6 I8 on the charge!

    Personally I see a prime with a Warrior brood. If you're only taking one that's where he should be to take advantage of his BS and WS bonus. Of course you're 1 short for a complete warrior brood and you've got the ablative wounds plan. So I hope he works for you in that respect. Looking forward to how you do, I should relaly post up one of our army lists, NOW that'll really freak people out!

  9. @atreyu: I'll try to address a few of your concerns.

    1. I ran two groups of 3 Hive Guard. I won't be doing it again. I wanted to see how it worked (my HG usually get nuked). I'd rather have three squads of 2.

    2. The single Trygon.

    Yeah, it goes against my instincts too, but he's always worked out. My list goes midfield and then smashes all the way to the backfield. I don't have enough long range to play a defensive game. So, this list is way more aggressive than anybody thinks. I almost always wind up with stuff in my opponent's backfield by the end of the game.

    The key with Tyranids, I feel, is this. Early game, you take midfield. Late game, you're in your opponent's lines. You're always gonna end up in CC. 90% of opponents want to prevent that, so by pushing forward the whole game, you steal their momentum.

    The single Trygon is key to this. He is a big target early, and he lets your other stuff get into position. If he lives, he'll hit and crush one thing max. If he dies... Well, you've planned for that ;)

    Well... good luck with your league. I think it's totally possible that you can get a winning combination by refining what you have. You just need someone to force you to justify your choices and point out alternatives.

  10. Still think if you're going to take 10 Termagants to get the Tervigon as a troop it's rude not to make them Devgaunts. I know you'd rather have 20 in a drop pod but you get the extra 6 inches in range and 3 times the firepower for only a few more points. I'd lose a few Genestealers [and perhaps a Gargoyle or two] to pay for it.

    I've got a little battle report coming up and my son managed to take out a 5 man assault squad and 3 bikers with just the 10 Termagants. His rolling was awesome but the first time you crank out those 30 dice your opponent is going to suddenly think yet again about what his priorities are [the scariest thing about 'nids]

  11. @ Dwez:

    PLEASE! Post one of your lists! The more different it is, the more I'll enjoy reading it.

    As for the Broodlord: I don't think he can take Adren when the rest of the brood takes Toxin, you're buying one or the other or both for every stealer and then upgrading one of them to a Broodlord. And I'm more excited about toxins for Stealers than Adren, for the same points :)

    As for Warriors, I feel like they have their place, but I need to tailor the whole list to them, and I'm not going to do that here. Plus I'd take Shrikes.

    As for Devilgaunts.... I'm going to have to try them some time. It's not just a few extra points, it's double the cost... but the extra firepower could be hilarious in the right situation. I dunno, I'll have to playtest them :)


    Yeah I thought the squads of 3 for HG didn't make sense. Even if you're trying to stop them from getting nuked, I would think splitting them up would do a better job of that too.

    I totally agree with your strategic focus, I just feel like I can accomplish something similar by overloading one flank, but I could be dead wrong.

    I'm going to try 2x Trygons first to see if they survive and cause some carnage. If they don't, I'll drop it down to one and plan on him just being a target.

    Thanks again!