Another NOVA Nids List?

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So I’m still sorting out what army to bring to NOVA, Tyranid army I should say.

For those I have been emailing with and bouncing around NOVA ideas with I’ve been planning to go with my 8 MC and gaunt spam list, which I know is hit or miss, but even knowing this, is that a good idea?

The way my list plays is very critical mass- can I survive long enough with my MC’s to deliver the gaunt payload and swarm my opponent? It’s a numbers game that is somewhat influenced by my gaunt spawning rolls. Case in point from a recent game at the comic shop where I was facing a critical mass Space Marine list- UltraBobs’ list:

3 Rifle Dreads

3 AV/Las Preds

3 X 3 ML speeders

3 Las/Plas Razorbacks

+ML Tactical

The list has enough shots alone to take down my list, and having piss terrain on the table to block LOS let alone cover means even my venoms aren’t going to hack it with the 5+ bubbles. My Spawns on turn one and two were “OK”, nothing great, but by turn three I was blown off the table, and even falling back to defensively hold my objectives, I was done. Mission over, game lost.



Actually a powerful time to reflect back on my list- do I want to, neh, can I AFFORD to gamble like this? That simple fact that against critical mass armies that CAN over power me in shots means there is no way to leverage good tactics- it is all rock vs. paper vs. scissors the moment you are matched up. I’ve talked about the two angles of building a tournament list- all comers say like my Necron or Marine lists, vs. gimmick lists like my Harlequins or MC spam Tyranids.

What ARE the armies I am going to be facing as a whole at NOVA? WAAC spammy lists- the worst of what 40K has become? I expect no less at such a world class tournament, and it SHOULD be this way even I personally wouldn’t play such an army.

So what about building an all comes ‘nids list from the ground up? I had one in development, still time to drag it out, get it painted up, and play tested If I get my ass moving. I’ll share my thought process with you guys…

First thing you have to realize is that one is playing Tyranids- the units aren’t BAD but they aren’t GOOD either – there are no autowin units like purifier spam or inherent wargear and bonus for a ridiculously cheap cost like thunder wolves or grey hunters. Your terrifying space bugs from the cold galactic void are just…average…

What makes up for this is pure numbers- Tyranids need a high number of bugs that they can grind through against all the better armies out there- sad but true- Tyranids will be the new Necrons one the new Necron ‘Dex comes out. Curse you GW for such a rushed and shoddy book! That aside we need numbers.

My tervigon spawning lists get around the numbers issue by spawning them, but in a fixed list where you have only X number of bugs with no way to manufacture more means one has to be extra conservative as when to push or pull back to make sure you have enough of the little critters left to win.

First thing that came to mind when I saw the NOVA format for objective based mission and primary/secondary win’s is that their placement is fixed and PERFECT for a Tyranid Null Deployment model- outflankers will have something to hit on those objectives, and since they are often in terrain thanks to the fixed setup, even if my opponent isn’t on the objective stealers and other Null Deployment elements would love to just go in there and go to ground.



On the other hand the games are at 2K points (!) and vs. Marines and especially Grey Knights Tyranids are way over priced, so I have to expect to be outnumbered in EVERY game, even with a balance of bugs on the table. So if I can’t be everywhere at once, let’s shut down parts of the table so I don’t have to be.

Here is the base deployment of my units illustrated in some MS paint magjik…

One the right and left of my deployment we create some no fly zones with 30 gaunts on one side, and 30 on the other. Both groups have furious charge and poison. Normally I’d get that buff from the tervigons but there are none in this list and the gaunts need to be a threat in numbers to both vehicles and infantry, bikes, MC’s etc. Thirty in each allows me to take losses to mid game, tarpit units, and hurt stuff outright based on sheer numbers alone- certainly not kill things, but throw up a barrier at the least.

In the center are 3 groups of 3 hive guard- thank the gods I bought them in metal pre-fincast price hike. Still a bitch to build, but anyway…



Deployed in the center means these guys can start to push out and threaten the entire table- I’m building a wall to try and keep my opponent on their side of the table.

Behind the wall is a nice big fat group of warriors 6 + a prime as the HQ. They also will want to sit in cover and are both the synapse anchor and the rear scoring unit/trailing unit.

We then have two groups of 20 stealers primed and ready who will either outflank or perhaps infiltrate deploy to a weak flank depending on the scenario, the opponent’s army, and how they deploy. These huge broods have the numbers to take losses and still chew into a few units. I expect them to die, but their job is to deploy and move in front of the “wall” to cause as much mischief as possible- and to specifically TARGET troop choices before they die. Throwing ‘stealers against vehicles is a waste, so the hive guard will want to target said vehicle ASAP so the arriving ‘stealers have something to snack on.

Now reserves are a gamble since they can come in on turn two/three which is OK or turn 4/5 which sucks because then your opponent can blast the rest of the army and then move fid field, camp and shoot said stealers when they arrive. We need a sneaky unit.

Something that isn’t a lot of points, but is still a bit scary, basically a fire magnet. Filling this a commando unit of four stealers and a brood lord. These guys will always infiltrate and being small, terrain dependant might even be able to completely hide out of sight, if not then in terrain and either way they will always go to ground. They are there to encourage shooting for that first turn till the stealers arrive (in theory). If they live beyond that awesome, but highly doubtful.

With the few points left we need to top off the list with something to annoy the opponent and have them also focus fire on…and don’t laugh….biovore’s fill the role perfectly with the slot and the points. Two bio’s- one on each side of the table.

They just lob spores on long fangs, maybe on a speeder, or an de-meched transport. I didn’t take them to kill stuff, Maybe they will kill 2-3 marines a game, but for the points, much like a whirlwind, the smoke they blow is where you earn it back. Nobody likes to have templates placed over their models, and the bio’s have the bonus of generating a spore mine to float around and be annoying with if they miss. So here is what we have at 2K…


== HQ ==

Tyranid Prime (1) - Deathspitter, Lash Whip And Bonesword, Regeneration = 110 pts.

== Elites ==

Hive Guard Brood (3) = 150 pts.

Hive Guard Brood (3) = 150 pts.

Hive Guard Brood (3) = 150 pts.

== Troops ==

Tyranid Warrior Brood (250 pts.)

Tyranid Warrior (5) - Deathspitter, Rending Claws = 200 pts.

Tyranid Warrior (1) - Venom Cannon, Rending Claws = 50 pts.

Termagant Brood (30) - Fleshborer, AG, Toxin Sacs = 210 pts.

Termagant Brood (30) - Fleshborer, AG, Toxin Sacs = 210 pts.

Genestealer Brood (20) = 280 pts.

Genestealer Brood (20) = 280 pts.

Broodlord Brood (116 pts.)

Broodlord (1) = 60 pts.

Genestealer (4) = 56 pts.

== Heavy Support ==

Biovore (1) = 45 pts.

Biovore (1) = 45 pts.

== Total ==

1996 pts.



Not a bad list, but not good. Hardly any uber units like thunder wolves or mepheston who will chew through everything and anything in your list, but like I said, ‘nids are ‘nids man.

So what do we have to look out for?

The huge gaunt groups are very vulnerable to getting tied up by a dread, and stuff like that so targeting them with the hive guard might take priority over other vehicles if needed. IF you can’t stop the dread then shift the gaunts back to an objective so when they are assaulted you are at least camping on it- killing 2-3 a turn plus losing 2-3 more from fearless still won’t break the brood, and hopefully you will be on an objective to claim it.

Warriors are the synapse anchor and back door objective grabbers- they need to stay back in cover shooting the things that break through the gaunt wall and maybe assaulting. They can be cut down by anti-tank fire bypassing their multiple wounds, so I’ll have to be conservative with them since if they fold the entire synapse net folds- may have to break off an attach the prime to one of the gaunt squads to keep and hold them.

Lictors Vs. Hive Guard.

Initially I was looking at nine lictors to pop up in front of the gaunt wall to take pot shots at vehicles backed by the ‘stealers but then I’d have no plug in the center of the wall which are the hive guard, and they hive guard have more shots and a bit more survivability even if they have only the 24” range. Can’t plug the hole with warriors since I need them in the back.

I’ll play around a bit more with the list…

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