A Guest Editorial by 6th Street Alan, winner of WargamesCon, TSHFT, and the ETC Singles. -ed
With the emergence of 6th edition like many of us I decided on switching my army type once again. With each new edition I try to mix things up and play something against the meta and against the bandwagon approach.
I felt that Tyranids were an underrated codex when 6th was published and I wanted to show that they were a serious army even in the competitive arena. I think the fact that they cannot ally with anyone is a serious disadvantage but I think you can overcome it with a sound strategic approach. Looking over the codex with 6th edition in mind a few things sprang to notice. Scoring units and objective missions became a huge part of the game and Tyranids could definitely capitalize on that.
I came up with three ideas for Tyranid competitive play. The first list that I considered was a Tervigon spam list with 5 Tervigons, Hive Guard, and Trygons. This list was pure horde and through play testing I found out it didn’t pack enough of a punch for my liking.
Then I thought Swarmlord could be a good fit in 6th. He is a beast and does not go down easily. Building a list to take the center of the board with Swarmlord, Hive Guard, Tervigons, a Trygon, and Doom would work well but through play testing I found out it also doesn’t have that punch I was looking for, either. Nor did it have a good chance against a flyer spam list.
Finally I came up with the list I ran at TSHFT:
2 Flyrants (TL Devours) (Hive Commander)
2 Zones (Pod)
Tervigon (3 Powers, Sacs, and Glands)
Tervigon (3 Powers, Sacs, and Glands)
18 Gargoyles (Sacs)
With this new list I have a lot of the big things covered and I pack a serious punch. The list has tons of Shadows to slow down Psykers, the anti-Air with the Flyrants work better than expected, and the troops are reliable.
For psychic powers I roll on Biomancy for the tyrants and Tervigons looking for Iron Arm, Enfeeble, or Endurance mainly. The Zonetropes roll on telepathy looking for a number of different powers depending on the opponent. Shriek is the usual power they go with but Puppet Master and Fear both work well depending on the opponent.
The list is a turn 2 punch since my reserves come out on 2+. I usually only deploy the Mawlocs, Tyrants, Tervigons, and Gargoyles. I leave the Gants in reserve. I try to keep the army away from any serious threats even if I go first since there is no need to risk danger on the seize.
My Turn 1 I go after something weak with both Flyrants in order to seal first blood. I also try to keep in mind positioning since I know where my Ygmarls are coming in. I try to get the gargoyles as close to that position as possible so they can charge with the Ygmarls absorbing overwatch. Mawlocs burrow turn 1 so that they auto come in turn 2: no need to risk the 2+ if I don’t have to.
Turn 2 I bring in the reserves. Doom’s placement is key since he needs to be 6” from the enemy but also needs to be hidden from strength 8 shooting if possible. Ymgarls pop out and move into position to assault whatever I deem a threat. Zones come in usually at the center of the board or in my opponent’s deployment zone. If I can contest objectives with the sPods I do in order to ensure my opponent has to deal with them at some point. Mawlocs usually stick to the outskirts and try to take out some units with their initial strength 6 ap 2 blast but I rarely ever put them in the middle of my opponent’s army since they will die easily. Tyrands get into the meat of the battle but stay flying and shooting. 1 Tervigon moves up the board spawning and the other sits back and bubbles in the two units of Guants coming in from reserve.
At this point in time if my plan worked out well I have Ygmarls and Gargoyles in combat, doom in the middle of my opponent’s lines, 2 Mawlocs ready to charge something turn 3, and if the Flyrants are still alive it means some serious threats are bombarding my opponent all at the same time. This overwhelming punch has broken most armies so far and many players are caught off guard as well. It’s also a lot of fun to see a plan spring to action and that’s what this army list offers the person playing it.
Now don’t get me wrong, the lists had some serious counters. One of witch is Coteaz in a unit with plasma weapons or lots of firepower. Grey Knight strike squads casting Quake Rift is bad news bears, as well. Eldar psychic defense also posses some serious issues to the list since it relies on psychic powers to keep the big guys alive. However, when going to a tournament we all run the risk of playing against a list that has our number and that’s something even more apparent in 6th edition with the entrance of allies into the game. I really enjoy this Tyranid list and I don’t think TSHFT will be the last event I win with Tyranids.
What doy ou all think of Alan’s list and tactics? – e