Tyranids Close Combat Army- Viable In 40K 6th Edition?


 
This week’s blog post continues with some alternative Tyranid analysis for 40K 6th edition, while turning our focus to an all close combat themed list for the space bugs…
Can the ‘nids still pull of an assault themed?
Yes, but there is a disclaimer to the list…
I won’t argue that it is fun to play close combat lists, to see your army get up close with the other models, and engage them in hand to hand combat cutting them down or running them over with a sweeping advance, along with rolling fistfuls of dice.
Good in theory, but what about practice?
Are Tyranids a close combat army- yes, perhaps more so than shooting, but they do have some interesting and rather frightening shooting aspects also, but alas 40K 6th edition doesn’t really favor the assault, and a good opponent will make assaulting very difficult for you.
So what makes assault based armies hard to run and easy to counter?
Simple, the ability to pre-measure.
This one thing has killed many assault army dreams…
 
As your opponent, not only can I measure just how far you are staying out of charge range, but I can also measure my movement (depending on the unit) so not only am I in range to shoot, but also I’m out of the charge range on your turn.
Second is the dreaded overwatch which when combined with a lack of armor saves vs. most weapon in the game means not only are you taking losses on the way in from shooting, but by the time you make it to assault range, and might pull it off, even an overwatch loss of a model or two hurts, might take you out of charge range, AND perhaps takes away the model numbers you needed to win the assault.
And finally, the bugs you need to pull off an assault theme, are VERY costly, along with the fact that you can’t take cheap allied troop choices to get the assault bugs, AND the required cheap scoring units.
Ok, so if that hasn’t taken the wind out of your sails, let’s look on how to do it- not THE way, but the way I’m currently doing it, with some good results.
 
 
NOTE: There is a huge learning curve with the list, and I’ve made some adjustments along the way- I paid my dues with it, getting rocked hard in some early tournaments. Yes you can swap in some shooting, but then the list not only loses focus, but also gets away from the up and close feel of close combat.
Here are the numbers…
Fritz’s 2K Up Close Space Bugs List
== HQ ==
Swarmlord Brood (460 pts.)
   Swarmlord (1) = 280 pts.
   Tyrant Guard (3) - Scything Talons = 180 pts.
Hive Tyrant (1) - Scything Talons, Scything Talons, Implant Attack, Wings, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 245 pts.
== Elites ==
Ymgarl Genestealer Brood (10) = 230 pts.
Lictor (1) = 65 pts.
Lictor (1) = 65 pts.
== Troops ==
Tervigon (1) - Stinger Salvo, Cat = 175 pts.
Termagant Brood (10) - Fleshborer = 50 pts.
Termagant Brood (10) - Fleshborer = 50 pts.
== Heavy Support ==
Carnifex Brood (220 pts.)
   Carnifex (1) - Scything Talons, Scything Talons, Bio-Plasma = 180 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.
Carnifex Brood (220 pts.)
   Carnifex (1) - Scything Talons, Scything Talons, Bio-Plasma = 180 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.
Carnifex Brood (220 pts.)
   Carnifex (1) - Scything Talons, Scything Talons, Bio-Plasma = 180 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.
 
Kind of Null Deployment, but without the outflank since outflank is now garbage for Tyranids. Genestealers are also trash now sadly, but they find new life as Y-stealers which are still viable…
Swarmlord rolls for iron arm, regeneration,  and gate and runs forward right at the enemy with the tervigon pooping out gaunts and casting up feel no pain on swarmy if needed. When the tervigon hits mid field it holds and poops out gaunts and used the stock troop gaunts to hold objectives, while casting FNP on itself to keep it alive and as a synape point for as long as it can.
Hive tyrant flies out attacking the flanks as you hold your breath for a turn of shooting.
Turn two, you are going to have some mass of bugs come in- hopefully all or most of them- ‘fexes in pods, lictors, and y-stealers all crashing down, with swarmy also hitting on turn two, and the flying tyrant landing if it is still alive.
 
So how does this list attempt to address the issues of the assault?
We get around the pre-measuring and staying out of range, by popping in on the table at point blank range (pods, y-stealers) or moving fast enough (swarmy gate) to bypass the range. Yes we are going to take shots that first turn, and eat over watch, but the majority of the models are higher toughness, actual armor saves, and multi-wounds.
The key is knowing what to hit with each unit when it arrives and what is available on the table- don’t throw a carnifex as a group of thunder hammer/ storm shield marines and act surprised when he goes poof. Use Swarmy to hit that, and save the ‘fexes for the rank and file tactical marines. Get surgical with the y-stealers and use them to hit heavy weapon teams on the turn they assault to keep your big bugs alive.
You win or lose based on the unit to unit matchup.
A few other notes…
The lictors are in the list for pinpoint precision landings since you can place them on the table- good for getting behind tanks or behind gunlines, etc. Sure they shoot, maybe kill a model, but then your opponent has to deal with them next turn- so you go to ground and get the + cover save, taking shots and pressure off your bigger bugs.
The fexes are about the assault based on the theme, tooling them up for shooting also works and can be deadly, and well arguable better than the assault version if you don’t mind breaking from the theme. I’m still a big fan of bio-plasma as it gives them another attack, and in the CC version something to do when they get out of the pod- YES you will vomit on yourself every other game, it’s good for a laugh.
The flyrant also works better with the dual shooty, but in building a themed assault list the dual talons with wings, combined with WS 8 and I 5 makes him decent in the assault.
In this list I used to run DOM + Pod, but the y-stealers do work much better, but feel free to try him out, or perhaps drop the lictors for DOM so you can have the best of both.
If I'm not restiricted to the close combat theme, this is the list I run, as it combines the better of both...
== HQ ==
Swarmlord Brood (460 pts.)
   Swarmlord (1) = 280 pts.
   Tyrant Guard (3) - Scything Talons = 180 pts.
Hive Tyrant (1) - Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Twin-Linked Devourer - Brainleech Worms, Wings, Paroxysm, Leech Essence = 260 pts.
== Elites ==
The Doom Of Malan'tai Brood (130 pts.)
   The Doom Of Malan'tai (1) = 90 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.
Ymgarl Genestealer Brood (8) = 184 pts.
== Troops ==
Tervigon (1) - Stinger Salvo, Cat = 175 pts.
Termagant Brood (10) - Fleshborer = 50 pts.
Termagant Brood (10) - Fleshborer = 50 pts.
== Heavy Support ==
Carnifex Brood (230 pts.)
   Carnifex (1) - Twin-Linked Deathspitter, Twin-Linked Deathspitter = 190 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.
Carnifex Brood (230 pts.)
   Carnifex (1) - Twin-Linked Deathspitter, Twin-Linked Deathspitter = 190 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.
Carnifex Brood (230 pts.)
   Carnifex (1) - Twin-Linked Deathspitter, Twin-Linked Deathspitter = 190 pts.
   Mycetic Spore (1) = 40 pts.