Tyrainds Sleeper Unit: Venomthrope Tactics



With all the focus on trying to be “competitive” with Tyranids it’s easy to understand why the venomthrope is so easily overlooked for spammed hive guard. Tyranids need to pop vehicles and hive guard do that very well- the best in the book. So why then have I never seen anybody else play venomthropes in a face to face game? Not that there are many Tyranid players on the ground at the club and local tournaments.

But you should still have a unit of venoms ready to go…

If you are running a big bug list, which is the opposite of a Null Deployment list, then venoms are the real sleeper unit- they don’t seem to do much, many players will just ignore them out of misunderstanding, and having to focus on the bigger bugs, but over the course of the game they really make a difference.

So you have to run across the table eating 15+ krak missiles turn?

Can’t really count on terrain saving you given the depth and numbers of the big bugs…



But if we go for a layered defense suddenly the numbers look much better. Three tervigons run behind three trygons and cast up feel no pain on them…

First those missiles have to hit- which they probably will.

Then they have to wound- which they will, but one or two “1’s” always come up.

Then you get the venomptrope 5+ save which is a 33% chance to shrug it off- good odds vs. 15 right there.

Finally you have the 4+ FNP roll negating 50% of the wounds.

Makes a big diffence…

Cue Deathwing missile spam vs. Tyranids…


That is the obvious use of the venoms, but the real fun comes from their stink cloud- putting them in key places, which is easy since they advance with the core, so when your other bugs get assaulted it is dangerous terrain tests all around- a 1 in 6 chance to lose models is good odds. I’ve had special characters take wounds on the way in, wolf banners fall, and hidden power fists go down even before the fight.

Against horde armies assaulting your big bugs trying to drag them down, this is like a mini-Grey Knight cleansing flame.

Finally I use them to tag team an assault, usually with the trygons who have to kill a pesky IC, or deathstar squad- get the venoms in base to base so the lash whips tie them up, thus making sure the trygon swings first- which again is good odds with dual scything talons and S6/7.


Tactically in a 2000 point army I run 2 X 2 hive guard and 1 X 3 venoms…

So here is the challenge for the remaining Tyranid players out there in real space- try out a unit of venoms in at least two of your next games. Proxy the models with some warriors or something, whatever you have and try them out as I’ve outlined…