My names Connor Chidley (Ratwolf) and I have been welcomed onto this fine blog as of late, to bring another perspective of wargaming to the internet. I am an avid player of Warhammer 40,000 (I play atleast once a week), I own 2 “full” armies, them being Space Wolves and Tyranids. I have played in quite a few tournaments, albeit only local tournaments, so I understand what is required of a winning player and a winning list. I started playing at the beginning of 5th Edition and had mixed results throughout it. But now with the release of 6th Edition, I have decided to kick it up to 11 and start hitting bigger tournaments, playing bigger opponents and learning to understand and play the game to the level that is expected of tournament toppers. (And obviously topping tournaments).
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I'm going to be talking about how Tyranids play out in 6th edition. With the change to fleet, assault and Monstrous Creature rules, how do Tyranids fare in the current "meta".
Now bear in mind that the "meta" depends entirely on where you play/plan on playing. So this post will be in regard to Tyranids vs "optimal" builds, lists that have been built to take any other kind of list and still have a solid chance of competing with them.
I'll start with Troops:
Genestealers aren't the shock troopers they used to be. In 5th, these bad boys (things?) could infiltrate and if your opponent was going first and moved far enough then they could assault turn 1! If not then they could atleast take some of the heat off your slowly advancing army or break into enemy lines early in the game and start buggering up your opponents battle plan. Now this they can still do, the infiltrate rules have only really changed to prevent you from assaulting turn 1, which is fair on its own. However, combined with the fact that you can now no longer assault on the turn you arrive from reserves, Genestealers have undoubtedly lost their title of "scariest troop". Simply their being in your list could scare a less prepared opponent. Not to say they don't fulfill a role anymore, it is just the sad fact that the role they do fulfill isn't a role required to make a list function. The only thing they are REALLY good for now, is to spam Broodlords for their psychic capabilities. But even then, they are unpredictable, therefore don't really have a place in competitive tournament play.
Warriors haven't changed too much. Give them swords and go hunting MEQs. Or give them guns and have them run around providing Synapse. They are only really "required" in a list that needs alot of synapse, but with the change to the rage rules, the only reason you should really care about providing synapse is to your shooty Tyranids that need to be advancing up-field and not "lurking" in terrain.
Now onto Zerglings- er, I mean Hormagaunts.
Rage buffed these guy like crazy. When they fail Synapse, the only thing that hinders them if the fact that they may not shoot. This hurts Dakkafexes but to be honest, if your Dakkafex isn't in Synapse range, then you are either a muppet, or have just lost a vital Synapse creature. So let’s see:
Fearless - no more fearless wounds, makes our hordes survive longer. You will love this rule. You will abuse this rule.
Toxin Sacs - to abuse the new poison rules.
Adrenal Glands - Yes, I get it, Furious Charge doesn't give you +1 Initiative anymore, boohoo. These guys are Initiative 5 base. So man up. Scream "FOR THE SWARM" and just throw random amounts of dice at the table. (Or you could actually count how many attacks you are causing per turn and throw THAT amount of dice at the table.)
2 - 3 Units of 30 of these "Hypergaunts" might add up points-wise and they might get mowed down by mass bolter fire( 5+ Armour, T3 ), but that's why I'm recommending you bring around 90 of them. 90 of anything is hard to kill quickly in this game, let alone when they kill you first.
Now for the pride and joy of the Troops section. Termagants.
These little fellas are the backbone of most *tournament* lists. Being cheap at 5pts base and by buying a minimum squad of 10 you can unlock a Tervigon as a Troop, there is a reason most players favour Termagants and have since 5th Edition.
The real power of the Termagant isn't the fact that they are throw away, cheap and scoring, its the fact that they allow you to bring a Tervigon as a Troop, which in turn, scores and can poop out 3D6 Termagants per turn, who are also scoring, until she rolls a double on the spawning dice.
The Tervigon can be used in a multitude of ways, but one of the most common ways is to buy their psychic power upgrade Catalyst, which allows them to give one friendly unit Feel no Pain, then she can cast it on herself or she can cast it on a horde of Poopgants and have them sit on objectives.
Now as far as Universal Special Rules go, not a lot of other units in the codex have been massively, negatively affected.
A few units that you should look into are:
Trygons - When out of synapse, they gain Rage, which confers to them +1 Atk on the charge, stacking up with their already massive 6 attacks and the +1 they gain from the charge normally, they have 8 Str 6 Ap2 attacks when not in synapse range.
Mawloc - When they Deep Strike they drop a Str6 Ap2 Large Blast that displaces whatever it doesn't kill, and it hits Vehicles on their side armour. NICE. But not massively reliable. Bring three, hope for the best. In the best of situations you can displace your opponents castled up force and bring them a little bit further up the board. In the worst of situations, they all fall off the board and you get laughed at by EVERYONE for being too cocky.
The Doom of Malan'tai - Drop him in a pod, jump him out the pod up to 6" away, and just let him passively erode your opponents foot soldiers away. Mycetic Spores are already pretty accurate when it comes to Deep Striking, but the fact that you can deploy their contents 6" away just makes them all the safer to enter play in. Also, Doomy can replace his base power with a rulebook power. I personally go for Psychic Shriek and make sure that whatever Troop he was sent to destroy, is totally obliterated. Another tactic is to roll his single power on the Biomancy table, if he rolls iron Arm, he gets Eternal Warrior and a minimum of +1S/T, if he rolls Warp Speed, awesome, the subsequent turns after podding in and sapping up wounds, he can start charging people with a minimum of I5 and 4 Attacks. (Remember his instinctive behaviour is Feed~).
Hive Guard - FAQ'd to Ignore most types of cover, and never require LoS. Same as 5th, just a bit better.
Swarmlord - Can exchange his 4 powers for 4 Biomancy powers. If you thought the Swarmlord was hard standard. try him high on Biomancy powers. +d3 Strength/Toughness/Initiative/Attacks anyone?
Flying Hive Tyrants - If you ask me, these guys are the best thing in the codex. They can close the distance between deployment zones in a turn. They can drop two powers on Biomancy to make them even more survivable. Remember to keep 'em cheap. Wings alone are gonna add on a lot of points, so don't go overboard on their weapon upgrades. Scything Talons and a set of TL Brainleech Devourers are a common build that works efficiently. Throw in Regeneration if you have the points.
Ymgarl Genestealers - These guys are pricey Genestealers that CAN assault out of reserve. So long as the reserve they assault out of is their unique ability that allows them to simply be placed in a terrain piece. This is so good for Objective Denial, it’s good for breaking an opponent’s line, or even HQ hunting. They can also "alter" their stats for more Strength/Toughness/Attacks.
Biovore - With the rise of the "Buy-A-Wall", these guys are much more viable, with them firing Ap4 Barrage Large Blasts. Blobs of Guardsmen, 'Gaunts and Cultists cry at the sight of a 3-Man Unit of these puppies. Careful with Synapse on them.
I have no doubt that there is other builds and other units to look out for, but these guys really take the limelight.
Some other bits and bats to remember is that Tyranids CANNOT use Gun Emplacements, so we have to look into other means of Anti-Air other than the Aegis Quad Gun. (P.S., try a Carnifex with two sets of Twin Linked Brainleech Devourers, their low Ballistic Skills counts for naught when firing at a Flyer).
Monstrous Creatures don't roll 2D6 for Armour Penetration anymore, but Smash really does make up for it. Smash only makes you half your Attack Characteristic, not your total Attacks, therefore a Hive Tyrant on the charge will have 2 Str10 Atks Base, then any he would get off Warp Speed, should he cast it, and the charge bonus itself.
So on average, most Tyranid MCs should have 3 Str 10 Attacks on the charge, which VS a Non-Walker, you are Auto-Penning 90% of all Vehicles, and stripping 3 Hull Points is enough to take most Vehicles out of the game. And don't forget the subtle Carnifex when considering anti-tank. Being Str 9 Base, give him Adrenal Glands for +1Str on the charge, and he is Smashing naturally, only without halving his Attacks. (But with him not ACTUALLY Smashing, you do not get to re-roll your Armour Penetration).
I feel pretty confident that Tyranids, if built correctly, will be a force to be reckoned with in 6th edition.