More and more Tyranids are actually a really fun army to play, especially with the release of the new Necron Codex.
They are currently the only army which does not have any vehicle options. Sure you can choose to play a foot/infantry based list with other armies, but that is a choice over a necessity.
On the other hand, accepting this with Tyranids can lead to some fun and interesting lists out of the box.
Let’s combine some Null Deployment Tyranids with some horde tactics- actually a list I have been experimenting and having some real fun with.
First things first, horde lists unfortunately rely on two things to work- terrain and a lack of templates in the other persons army. At least where I game this currently isn’t a problem, but could potentially change in a few adapting to the meta.
Template weapons are a big problem, especially if they are mounted on mobile vehicles which can close the distance, control it, and wash you. I don’t see a lot of them at all, actually none, but that could chance with all the Necron scarab spam just around the corner.
Terrain is also huge- you need it, and more than anything this is what will make or break the army. Forget about hiding your models- impossible, terrain is there to grant cover saves on your way in, and then to protect remnant units with cover saves on objectives on the way out since you don’t have any transports.
At the club and tournament scene so far, terrain is plentiful, could be a bit better, but good enough for the task at hand. What are the tables and tournament terrain like in your area? Something you can count on, or a gamble?
Ok, the list…
First option is the HQ choice- a prime or two, or Tyrant with bodyguard. The HQ choice depends on your points available and the type of armies you face or intent to face. The choice only has one goal- to provide a solid unbreakable synapse anchor.
If you are playing at a smaller point level and face maximum firepower you go with a prime or two- since a Tyrant even with guard can be picked out and blown off the table- and will. Larger points and certain armies you go with the Tyrant with a preferred enemy build. That said most of the time I go with the primes.
Next up is the Null Deployment component- three groups of Y-Stealers 8-10 strong. Yes, that is like putting down three land raiders in points…
Ten if I can, if the points are an issue, then eight- three units (max elites) are also key.
And the finally the horde components- H-Gaunts with furious charge and poison in big units of twenty 3-6 strong.
So in an average game this gives me 80-100 stabby gaunts, 30 sneaky stealers, and a prime…an impressive horde even by ork standards!
Deployment is easy, the horde component goes as far forward as they can with the prime. Normally we want to try and hide our approach with terrain, etc. if possible, but in this case for the list to work, we want to set up an approach that encourages our opponent to just sit there and shoot, shoot, and shoot, like most 5th edition lists do now. Do the usual intermix of squads, etc. to get cover for your approach, etc.
Stage two has the y-stealers going dormant in center terrain if possible, or over away a bit from your opponent’s deployment. With three groups of ten each, don’t risk hiding in point blank terrain.
With deployment done, the strategy is easy…
Run the h-gaunts right towards your opponent turn one- they will actually move surprisingly fast since there is no shooting so you move and run, and on a side note the list plays fast for a horde since there is nothing to do in the shooting phase.
On turn 2-3 when your y-stealers arrive, they bust out and move to attack vehicles- using the extra attack to throw out those dice. Their job is to open up vehicles, spill guys on foot. Weird using expensive shock troops to destroy 35 point tanks, but that is their function in the list.
The y-stealers work well in center terrain since the opponent wants to hang back and shoot, and being center terrain they can come in and assault.
Next turn(s) the stabby gaunts continue to advance, and once they arrive start stabbing guys- scything talons (semi-preferred enemy), furious charge and poison really do make quick work of anything that even things of getting out of that plastic box or is on the table. Turn two or three you will be on your opponent depending on deployment.
Of course there are obvious shortcomings in the list, but also many strengths leading to some fun and interesting gameplay. One land raider you just ignore, so what, Blood Angels 5 LR lists and well, you have lost, but nobody plays land raiders anymore right?
With Tyranids, combinations of simple units can lead to an interesting synergy of sorts...