40K Tyranids: A List I’ve Been Having Success With.

Purple is the new black!

I know quite a few of you have been interested in reading more about the bugs, so here’s a list I’ve been enjoying!

The bugs got a BIG boost in 6th ed. So far, we’ve been finding them to be more than a match for any other list out there besides certain Dark Eldar and Grey Knight builds.

Why have Nids gotten such a boost? The changes to fearless and the movement to primarily objective based games heavily benefit the bugs. The changes to assault hurt, but most Nid assault units have fleet which really mitigates that.

Here is the list I’ve been enjoying:

Tyranids 1750 Pts
Unit Description Size Cost
Swarmlord 1 280
Hive Guard Lash Whip 1 65
Tervigon A.Glands, Poison, Catalyst 1 195
Termagants Devourers 10 100
Tervigon A.Glands, Poison, Catalyst 1 195
Termagants 10 50
Hormagants Poison 28 224
Hive Guard 3 150
Vehomthrope 1 55
Ymgarls 8 184
Fast Attack
Heavy Support
Tyrgon Poison, Prime 1 250
Totals 65 1748

What makes this list fun and effective?

For one, you have a number of very useful tools. Swarmlord first and foremost is 100% Boss Mode. He is now what he should have always been. With the new Bimancy powers and a little luck, he can become an engine of destruction. If you roll up Iron Arm (and you have a 4/6 chance as he has 4 powers) he and his Guard can become tough 9! Yikes! Most things in the game can’t even hurt you at that point. Couple that with FnP and It Will Not Die from Endurance, and the bonus initiative and attacks from Warp Speed, you can get crazy powerful.

With his attacks forcing the opponent to reroll successful invul saves, causing instant death, and ignoring armor he can walk through many death-star units on his own. He is also a force multiplier, giving chosen units preferred enemy, furious charge, etc. He is a fantastic addition to your army. Just be wary of the fact that he is a tad slow, and not cheap.

The Tervigons went uber in 6th. The fact that they are scoring monstrous creatures that can also give chosen units FnP is pretty incredible. Pooping out fearless scoring units all over the place though, is where they really shine. As only 1/6 missions is KP now, these aren’t nearly the liability they could be in previous editions. The Gants have a massive reach and are fantastic for pinning down scary units as well as taking objectives. A nice trick is to assault a powerful unit with 2 units of Gants. 1 engages as many models from the enemy unit as possible, and the second unit engages as few enemy models as possible, preferably 1. That way, if the first unit is destroyed, the second unit is sure to hold the enemy in place for at least a turn. With poison and Furious Charge, these guys can actually do a lot of damage to living targets. Couple this with preferred enemy from Swarmy and they can actually pack a wallop. If needs be, you can take Biomancy powers to buff them further, too.

A secondary benefit for the Gants and Tervigons is board control. The sheer number of bodies you can put on the board is a weapon in and of itself. Units such as Flyers can really be mitigated this way. By covering up the board, flyers will have nowhere to land and as such must either overshoot them or be destroyed. Using Objuration Mechanicum also helps a ton to take flyers down, although more frequently you will be using the stock Tyranid powers as FnP is extremely useful.

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell the blood of a Grey Knight!

The Trygon Prime was useful before, but now with the changes in the last FAQ, he got ever better! He is now a Character, which means he can issue and receive challenges. This can be awesome when used correctly. He can go into a scary unit and survive for a turn by challenging the sarge. There are few models he has to fear one on one, and as such, he should survive for the turn. Often though, the Trygon will go through an Infantry unit like a lawn mower. He is also great for taking vehicles apart, and with Deep Strike and Hive Commander from Swarmy, he is pretty dang mobile. His Synapse is great for keeping the little gribblies under control and for mitigating enemy Psykers. Fleet is what really earns his place in my list as he will reliably make his charges.

The Hive Guard do what they do. They’re an amazing shooting unit and need little introduction. I’d take another unit if there wasn’t so much dang competition in the elites slot! Suffice it to say, you can’t have too many of these guys.

The Ymgarl are game winners. Now that they are one of the only units to still be able to assault out of reserves, they are comparatively even better than they were. I can’t recomend them enough. I never play without Ymgarls. Seldom is the game where they do not have a major impact for me. With a 4+ save, the ability to alter their stats, and hard hitting power, they make great backfield hunters. Long Fangs, Lootas, Havocs, etc. all fear Ymgarls. They’re great for taking down vehicles, too! Definitely a top notch unit.

The Venomthrope is there to provide support to the Big Boys. The benefits of the spore cloud are really useful, particularly when considering the increase in Flyers and Barrage weapons we’ll be seeing. While I hate giving up an Elites slot for him, he adds enough to the list to be worth it, IMO.

Hive Guard, Zoenthrope, Warrior

Lastly the Hormagants. I am still deciding if I like the Hormagants or if I’d rather have another Tervigon. So far I am liking the Hormagants for a number of reasons. For one, they are guaranteed to be a 28 strong unit. I don’t need to worry about the Tervigon crapping out turn 1. The Hormagants are also quite good in combat against living units. With Fleet, Poison, rerolls of 1’s and 2 attacks base, they hit quite hard. Given Furious Charge from Swarmy, they can tear through an enemy infantry unit and most likely get rerolls to wound (against tough 4 enemy units). Plus, they’re another scoring unit, and an aggressive one. They’re greta for heading up field and engaging the enemy, trying to take their objectives from them.

The cool thing is that that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a ton of other units and combos in the book that are viable. What are some of the successes you all have had with Nids?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

25 Responses to “40K Tyranids: A List I’ve Been Having Success With.”

  1. silver account September 17, 2012 2:30 am #

    They universally confer fearless(because they are fearless) and furious charge. Beyond those two, the abilities that they add to the unit are not as good as the ones you have posted, and in some cases not even remotely similar.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 9:01 am #

      Who confers this? Sorry, not sure what you’re talking about.

  2. Michael Tangney September 17, 2012 3:45 am #

    Heh Reece, I have been having lots of fun with Bio bomb nids – I started a new blog myself on Nids in 6th ed (you can see it here http://nidomnom.blogspot.ie/2012/09/bio-bomb-nids.html).

    I would highly suggest you try some double powered zoanthropes in your list. That extra enfeeble/ Endurance is outstanding and act as huge force multipliers. Enfeeble I think in particular is one of the best powers in the game right now.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 9:03 am #

      Yeah,I have talked to quite a few people who have said the same thing. MVBrandt has been using sorts for the same purpose and having great results. I love nids, always been one of my favorite units. I will check out the blog for sure, thanks for sharing it!

    • Kralizak September 17, 2012 2:41 pm #

      Seems pretty interesting to me, I’m gonna try it with proxies next time I play

  3. 6thstreetAlan September 17, 2012 6:54 am #

    Just started a Tyranid army and I have to say I am very excited to get these guys on the table top.

    The list I am running with is nothing like the one presented above but I think I should have a few battle reports online soon.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 9:04 am #

      sweet! Let me know when you do, we’ll repost them. I’m sure they’ll be super helpful for a lot of folks.

  4. Paul Cornelius September 17, 2012 7:48 am #

    The highlighting on the bones are very nice.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 9:05 am #

      Thanks! It really helps to make the models pop.

  5. ScouseMatt September 17, 2012 8:11 am #

    I’ve only managed one game so far with my nids in 6th, and it was a bit inconclusive. Struggled to really gauge how good they are in 6th because i got obscenely lucky with the Doom. Rolled iron arm, drop podded him in the middle of 4 squads who all rolled appallingly for his spirit leech test. He basically killed everything single handed lol.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 9:06 am #

      Haha, true! When doom gets iron arm it’s bananas! Nids, IMO, got very good. They still struggle with venom DE, and grey knights can be rough, but they’re very good.

  6. frank September 17, 2012 9:19 am #

    your list is wrong

    • frank September 17, 2012 9:35 am #

      sorry my mistake the list is right i’m wrong

      • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:15 pm #

        No worries, we all make mistakes form time to time, me included.

        • saint.brandon September 19, 2012 11:35 am #

          I hadn’t used my nids in 6th yet as I have been busy with my tau and orks but nids are next. My main opponent runs dark eldar with venoms lots of grotesque, swarms and incubi. Any advice on how nids would best deal with them? My options aren’t limited. Thanks

          • Reecius September 19, 2012 1:07 pm

            Venom spam is the worst match-up for Nids, no question. Best bet is to use units that can deepstrike and shoot. If you advance up the board with anything other than a massive horde, you won’t make it.

  7. Fred September 17, 2012 1:13 pm #

    Any thoughts on the previously lowly carnifex? I’m thinking he might be making a comeback. Two twin linked devourers with brainleech for dealing with aircraft, and he still has the option of assaulting ground vehicles, auto hitting at St 9 with Hammer of Wrath before taking his normal swings. I’m converting one up but haven’t tried it in a game yet.

    I’m only 3 games into 6th edition so far, but my nids are 2 wins and a tie, which is almost as many wins as I had through out all of 5th ed. I’m liking the smash attack rules, no more fearless death, and rolling for assault range (thanks Fleet!). Overwatch has proven to be mostly inneffective in stopping short any assaults… usually they only plink off one or two gaunts or a wound off a big bug, giving my opponent a false sense of confidence before he’s slaughtered.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 3:31 pm #

      The Carnifex was awesome in a squad (Fexstar) led by a Prime as he could kick wounds around the squad to make them really tough. Now though, they are diminished a bit. However, as you noted, with 2 devourers, they are still quite good for AA duty.

      The Trygon is still a million times better for fighting, but as a mobile shooty unit, the Dakkafex is still respectable.

  8. Kralizak September 17, 2012 2:34 pm #

    This looks epic!! I want to try it!!
    The best part is that I’m only 1 Hive Guard, 1 Tyrant Guard, 1 Venomthrope, and 2 Tervigons away from having the whole thing! 😀

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 3:27 pm #


      And what kind of progress are you making on my Hive Tyrant, buddy? I am looking forward to playing that bad boy!

      • Kralizak September 17, 2012 4:16 pm #

        I’ve been pretty busy with homework from my 3 AP classes and 2 hard (but not AP) classes, and I got my first job (only part-time) last week, but I’ll make that my free-time priority, no more video games for now, haha! 🙂

        • Reecius September 17, 2012 4:48 pm #

          Thanks for that! Yeah, I would like to get it back soonish so I can use it! And congratz on the job, I expect you to spend all that money at Frontline! Muahahaha!

          • Axientar September 17, 2012 10:02 pm

            Hahaha, after gas, pretty much. 😀

  9. Chris September 17, 2012 5:05 pm #

    Wow nice list, v similar to a list I use, but with Doom. The 1/6 chance of Iron arm is too hard to pass. It virtually wins you a game. I dont use Hive Guard.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 5:57 pm #

      Nice! I like the reliability of the Hive Guard, personally, but yeah, the Doom is bad ass.

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