New to the Swarm? A Brief Introduction...

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Tyrant Chrysaor

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So, you've just started the mass of the Tyranids. We welcome any fellow brood member! Welcome to the Swarm!

You're first question probably is: What should I get to start out with?

Well, I'll tell you, plain and simple. You need 1 HQ choice, and 2 Troop choices. Now, don't go buy just anything yet. Sit down and think. You're about to make the most important decision for your army yet(No pressure!): What kind of army type to play. To help you on your decision, I'll list some of the types, and provide examples.

The Horde
"Quantity is a quality all it's own."
A Horde army is just what is sounds like. A teeming mass of creatures capable of wearing your opponent down by sheer numbers. To have so many units, your opponent doesn't have enough time to kill them all! The core of such an army is the most numerous critter you can get: Gaunts.

So, you're next decision is what type of gaunts do you want? Simply put, it boils down to three main types:

Spinegaunts - The most numerous critter you can find, and the cheapest point wise. Just perfect for those wishing to play Horde armies.

Termagant - The Termagant is the most recognizable Tyranid creature, and though it isn't quite as numerous as it's cousin, the Spinegaunt, it packs more of a punch with it's gun, so it naturally come at a bit higher price.

Devilgaunts -  Devilgaunts are exactly what they sound like: devilish. These suckers are more limited than either of the other two, and have weaker guns strengthwise, but they are capable of pouring out twice the fire, and at a bit longer range than there 6 limbed counterparts. This, in and out of itself, is very handy.

Hormagaunts - Hormagaunts are beastly(no really!). With such speed, no army is complete without them. With their abilities, they are amazing, striking fear into the hearts of all opponents, and devouring their carefully selected band of heroes. All Horde armies should include at least one brood of these, for their unholy speed and number of attacks in close combat can make the difference between winning or losing.

Now, how can you decide between such fine subjects? A few numbers will help:
150 points of Spinegaunts is 30 gaunts.
150 points of Termagants is 25 gaunts.
150 points of Devilgaunts is 21 gaunts.

Okay, to hit!

30 shots. Spinegaunts hit 75% of the time. That's 22.5 hits.
25 shots. Termagants hit 50% of the time. That's 12.5 hits.
42 shots. Devilgaunts hit 50% of the time. That's 21 hits.

To wound!

On Guard EQ Models:
Spinegaunts: 50% wound, so 11.25 wounds that are unsavable to the Guardsmen. 11.25 dead.
Termagants: 88% wound, so 11.08 wounds against Guardsmen that are unsavable. 11.08 dead.
Devilgaunts:  66% wound, so 11.9 wounds against Guardsmen that do get a save. 7.85 dead.

On Marine EQ Models:
Spinegaunts: 33% wound. So 7.5 wounds. 2.47 dead Marines.
Termagants: 75% wound. So 9.38 wounds. 3.09 dead Marines.
Devilgaunts: 30% wound. So 6.41 wounds. So 2.12 dead Marines.

Now let's look at it if we add Toxin Sacs to said gaunts...

18 Spinegaunts in 150 points.
16 Termagants in 150 points.
15 Devilgaunts in 150 points.

To hit!

Spinegaunts: 18 shots. 13.5 hit.
Termagants: 16 shots. 8 hit.
Devilgaunts: 30 shots. 15 hit.

To wound!

On Guard EQ Models:
Spinegaunts: Wound 66% of the time. 8.9 wounds. 8.9 dead.
Termagants: Wound 92% of the time.  7.39 wounds. 7.39 dead.
Devilgaunts: Wound 75% of the time. 11.25 wounds. 7.43 dead after saves.

On Marine EQ Models:
Spinegaunts: Wound 50% of the time. 6.75 wounds. 2.23 dead.
Termagants: Wound 88% of the time. 7.07 wounds. 2.33 dead.
Devilgaunts: Wound 55% of the time. 8.27 wounds. 2.73 dead.

So, basic Termagants kill Marines the best for their points. Basic Spinegaunts kill Guardsmen  equivalent the best.

Choose the enemy you will probably fight the most and use the most effective creature against him. If you fight multiples regularly, then expand and include two, if not three of the different broods.

Now, after you've chosen what kind of core you want to base you're army off of, now you need to choose what kind of HQ you want to lead it!

So, you have three choices:

Hive Tyrant - This beast is one of the most powerful creatures that can stalk the battlefield. Adept for combat with anything, it can come out victorious.

Broodlord - The more insidious of the bunch, a lightning fast creature capable of taking on creatures and vehicles many times it's own size, or multiple enemies successfully. It's ability to sneak onto the battlefield is invaluable in many situations.

Warriors - The middle of the road kinda of guys, they aren't horrifically powerful or obscenely numerous, but they are just in enough of each to be great battlefield commanders.

Now, after you've chosen the entire base of you're army, you're next question probably is: What do I get next?

Firstly, the core of you're army has one ginormous weakness that many of your opponents will try to exploit: Synapse.

The answer: Get alot of it. Warriors everywhere. Make it to where they can't shoot out the Synapse Web at all during a game. If you're Elite choices are all filled up, get some Zoanthropes with Synapse capabilities. The possibilities are almost endless for the way Tyranids can answer a problem.

The answer is simple(not really, but that phrase sounded good). Get whatever you want next. If you're army lacks anti-tank power, nab a Carnifex at your local store or internet retailer. If all your Gaunts die and you don't have enough, go get more! If you're Synapse falls apart each game, then go buy Warriors or Zoanthropes!

[size=14pt]Godzilla Lists
"Would you like to supersize that order of death?"

Godzilla lists are fairly straightforward. The objective: get as many Monstrous Creatures as you can in the allotted point value. Generally, this means taking the absolute minimum on Troops choices, and the easiest way to do this is to take Ripper Swarms. They don't require Synapse, and with three wounds a piece, they generally stick around for a bit.

The point is to cram as many MC's as you can in the points value, this can range up to 9!(If you are allowed to use the Red Terror)

Now, let's take a look at a sample list and glance at what is more effective configurations for them.

A sample 1000 point list:

In lower point games, you want to focus on the number of MC you have rather than the upgrades and biomorphs they have.


Hive Tyrant: 180points
Wings, Warp Field, 2x Scything Talons, Flesh Hooks, Acid Maw

Hive Tyrant: 105 points
Enhanced Senses, Toxin Sacs, 2x Twinlinked Devourers


2 Lictors: 160 points

3 Ripper Swarms: 30 points

3 Ripper Swarms: 30 points

Fast Attack:

Ravener: 40 points
Scything Talons and Rending Claws

Ravener: 40 points
Scything Talons and Rending Claws

Ravener: 40 points
Scything Talons and Rending Claws

Heavy Support:

Sniperfex: 149 points
Enhanced Senses, Flesh Hooks, Venom Cannon, Barbed Strangler

DevilFex: 114 points
Enhanced Senses, Flesh Hooks, 2x Twin-Linked Devourer

DevilFex: 114 points
Enhanced Senses, Flesh Hooks, 2x Twin-Linked Devourer

Total: 1002 points.

Now, this list totals 5 MC in 1000 points. Most, if not all armies can not kill all of these in the amount of turns, and are simply overpowered and overwhelmed.

Also, it's important to note that Raveners were included in this list. They are very quick, and can Deep Strike, targeting your opponents heavy weapons that may bring down your larger creatures. With all this working in unison, Godzilla lists are nigh unstoppable.

Hive Tyrants and Carnifexes play the main role in these lists, and it's important to keep a good number of them around. A balanced opponents force could not hope to bring one of these lists down, let alone defeat it. Only lists heavy in antitank weapons, or very fast, hard hitting CC lists(such as an all Genestealer List) have an easy time against the might of Godzilla.

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