Tyranids Rejoice!

Ahhhhhhh, yeah! Tyranids are getting something besides the shaft for a change!

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk about some of the new Tyranid Formations and why they are such a boon to the poor Nids. For those wondering, yes, we will be allowing at least most of the formations into our events (Las Vegas Open, Bay Area Open, etc.) going forward as they were voted in by a large margin by our attendees. We allow lists to have 2 sources in them, Formations will count as one of those sources. So, you could take a primary detachment and a Formation but no ally, or primary and ally but no Formation, etc.

Also, for more tactics articles, reviews, and video bat reps, check out the Tactics Corner over at FLG!

As most of you know, I and many others have been pretty down on the Nid codex. While there are some really good units and abilities in there, on the whole the book is a massive disappointment from the perspective of what it could have been.

GW started pumping out formations and most of them were OK to poor. And then we get some gems in the second wave. Nice!

The first, and best of them (IMO) is the Skyblight Formation. This is an AMAZING formation for the poor bugs. What it gives you is: a Flyrant, 2 Harpies, a Crone, and 3 units of Gargoyles that come back if destroyed on a 4+, are scoring, and…wait for it…can’t be contested when scoring an objective. BOOM! That is the straight cat’s meow right there, simply an amazing ability. Eat it Eldar Jetbikes! I know there is some ambiguity in the wording of the rule but the intent is clear to me, so let’s not debate that at this juncture.

Where all of the other formations force you to take some craptastic unit like Warriors which makes them become points inefficient quickly (and yes, Warriors are garbage), this formation is pure win, top to bottom.

What it gives you is speed, hitting power, synapse, and fantastic scoring units that can’t be stopped from scoring through normal means and that can come back into the game and are fast enough to actually get back into the fight from reserves if destroyed.

So, you could take a list like this at 1,750pts:

Flyrant: Devourers

Flyrant: Devourers

Flyrant: Devourers

Termagants x 30


Gargoyles x 10

Gargoyles x 10

Gargoyles x 10





That’s a lot of Flying Monsters! The only thing missing is Spaghetti….

That is 8 TMCs, 7 of which are Flying, 5 Scoring units with the ability to make more, synapse all over the place, speed, firepower, AA, AT and AI. Wow, that is solid!

Now, some lists can give you trouble, especially going second against a SAFH. However, you can bring a Skyshield or Venomthropes to help mitigate that, or reserve, but in general, that is a list that covers a lot of your bases and it will go toe-to-toe with psychic Deathstars with great odds due to Shadows. I am not saying it is an easy fight by any means, simply that Nids are one of the best books to combat psychic Deathstars directly.

In fact, that is a list that many folks would struggle to deal with in a big way, and it would be fun to play, too. The other nice thing is that while that many FMCs can be tough to deal with, these FMCs are actually killable unlike stupid Fateweaver with the Grim up, or something along those lines. That means the other player may feel immense pressure with all thoe bugs up in their grill turn 1, they will be killing them, which is fun.

In general, I think this is a great thing for Nids as it really gives them a boost. Downside? A LOT of Nid lists will look very similar to the one above.

The other formation that jumps out at me is the Living Artillery formation. While not as awesome as the Skyblight formation, it still helps out a ton. It gives you a unit of Biovores, an Exocrine, and a unit of Warriors that must take a Biocannon. While within 12″ of the Warriors, the Exocrine and the Biovores get pinning and can reroll the scatter dice when shooting blasts. Nice!

While Warriors are pretty much a massive waste of points (if only they had EW or T5, sigh) they do provide synapse and their buff is pretty dang awesome. This allows you to take essentially 5 heavy support choices which is great! Nid heavy support choices are solid. Exocrines and Biovores are fantastic and with this formation you could take 4 Exocrines, or 12 Biovores, or mix it up with some Carnifexes, T-Fexes which are also fantastic, or some Mawlocs. Personally, I would run with a list like this at 1750:

Flyrant: Devouerers

Flyrant: Devouerers


Termagants x 30

Warriors x 3: Barbed Strangler


Carnifex x 2: Devouerers




Biovores x 3

That is some serious firepower! Again, a boatload of TMCs (7) which dramatically increases their survivability, great shooting, AA, AI, decent AT, and decent mobility. You are light on troops, but you can make more and the troops you do have are fairly beefy. Also, with the high priority targets you present to your opponent, they will be hard pressed to deal with them. Lastly, you can always reserve the troops, too.

The Incubator Node is another fairly solid choice that jumps out at me. Not great, but not bad. I like to take a unit of Gants and a Tervigon to fulfill my troops requirements. This Formation fills the same rolls but doesn’t fulfill your troops requirements so you have to invest more points into the Nids’ least impactful units.

That said, this Formation is OK if you plan to run tons of Gants. You get more troops slots if you like to play horde. Legions of Dakka Gants are actually pretty solid, and a Tervigon that spawns with rerolls of 1’s means you average more little bugs per spawn but that you will poop out sooner, too.

Not bad, not great.

The other two formations are fairly meh, to me. The Warrior Formation is junk, IMO, as I really do not care for Warriors. The Endless Swarm is pretty cool for the horde style play as you can recycle units on a 4+ in the Formation but again, it forces you to take Warriors and you still have to fill your primary FOC troops obligations which makes this expensive. In some deployments such as Hammer and Anvil too, recycling Gants isn’t so impressive as they will most likely not get back into the fight by the end of the game.

So there you have it! In general, these are great additions to the poor Nids and allow them to ally with themselves in limited ways. 1 of them is amazing, 1 really good, 1 solid, 1 OK, 1 crappy. In all, not bad. I foresee lots of the Skyblight and Living Artillery which will hopefully entice more players to give Nids a go for tournament play as they really do have the tools to take on many of the worst Deathstars in the game when played right!


About Reecius

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

119 Responses to “Tyranids Rejoice!”

  1. bigpig March 5, 2014 12:27 am #

    Good write up.

    I’m leaning more towards Deathleaper for my second primary detachment HQ choice. I like to include him but normally cant because of the need for 2 heavy hitters in HQ. Also, people tend to overestimate the value of units coming back. For 3 Garg squads thats only average of 1.5 units coming back. Good thing to go with the Tervigon for back up and at least one more troop unit.

    I question the ability some folks are touting for returning Gargoyles to Deep Strike. The DS rules that in order to deep strike you must start the game in reserve and tell your opponent you will be DSing. If the gargs start on the board Turn 1, do you think they can DS when they come back or must they come in from board edge? I’m not sure strict RAW supports that.

    I also like the artillery formation. Supports the way I’ve been playing…. as long as we don’t see Imperial Knights in numbers, in which case I will only be able to play Skyblight 😉

  2. Bassface7 March 5, 2014 12:38 am #

    Why Deathleaper, Bigpig? He remains my favourite Tyranid “Character” but i just can’t justify bringing him to myself. Great writeup as always, Reece, us ‘nid players are finally starting to see the light.

    • bigpig March 5, 2014 10:49 am #

      Because hes cool 🙂

      Actually, I’ve wanted to use him but could never free up the HQ slot. Now that we can FINALLY ally with ourselves (sort of) I can get the extra HQ. I feel a third tyrant is way expensive and can better spend the 100 or so points saved on more scoring units/support. DLs Ld gimping rule is a big benefit vs Tau that use Ethereals and all psykers. Finally he adds synergy by allowing DSing gargoyles to potentially come in on target and further enhances the impact of shadows on enemy psyker by lowering Ld.

      • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:43 am #

        Yeah, I can totally see the use for Deathleaper to debuff enemy LD, especially on a key psyker.

        And I don’t know yet if the ground and pound bugs can’t handle Knights, honestly. I think if you dogpile a knight you can destroy it with foot TMCs. Have to give it a shot.

        • winterman March 5, 2014 5:14 pm #

          It seems like equal points in TMC will not be able to handle them in CC without some softening up ahead of time (knights will swing before more often then not then follow up with a stomp) and in either case if it blows up the odds are good you will lose the remaining TMCs that were in combat to the apoc D blast. Pyrrhic victory if I ever saw one.

          • Reecius March 5, 2014 9:01 pm

            Massed Crones will own it, though.

        • bigpig March 5, 2014 6:51 pm #

          If they hadn’t been Initiative 4 and had stuck with low I like the other melee D weapons, I would have said so. A lot harder now that they can hit first. I do think that the right combo of MCs can take one out easily enough. A couple Cfex and a harpy (for the Initiative drop) will all hit before it. Multiples will be hard though

          • winterman March 6, 2014 11:05 am

            Good point with the harpy.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:43 am #

      Thanks, and yeah, finally we are seeing some positive news!

  3. Leif Kenneth March 5, 2014 3:29 am #

    I like your 1750 NFMC list. For 1850 what would you add? Im really unsure myself.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:53 am #

      Venomthropes or add in some Dakkagants.

  4. skari March 5, 2014 4:15 am #

    Correct me if im wrong but having the endless swarm rule would allow you to use a trygon tunnel with the reserves as they came in later in the game, would it not? Giving the tunnel an actual purpose? Especially in Hammer and Anvil.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:44 am #

      I suppose so, yes, that is a great combo if you don’t mind paying the points for a Trygon as they got much worse =(

      But with loads of Dakka Gants that could be pretty sweet.

      • Adam March 5, 2014 12:30 pm #

        Yeah, the problem is that once you get that endless swarm, you still need to buy 2 more troops! Slap on a tyrant and a couple trygon primes (which is probably the best option for that list) and you’re out of points for all the fun stuff… 🙁

        • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:02 pm #

          I’ve toyed with some lists using min 10 man gaunt squads for the troop requirement and putting my big ones as the units that have a chance to recycle. Thats only 80pts for troops.


          As you say though, the dang Trygons are just so expensive for what they bring and you really want two to make use of the tunnels.

          • Adam March 5, 2014 1:29 pm

            Yeah, it’s a really interesting dataslate, but it’s definitely more going for objectives and contesting than killing the enemy.

        • axt113 March 10, 2014 10:32 am #

          Tervigons for your troops, duh

          Have the 3 Endless Swarm gaunts be 30 each and you can field three tervigons as troops choices

          remember the detachments still count as part of your army so they fulfill the requirement to make tervs troop choices

  5. Brakhal March 5, 2014 4:18 am #

    I’m still depressed with ‘nids… It’s just another dataslate making bad units still bad. The only new thing is the buff on the flying circus. Don’t get me wrong, is nice to finally have a flying circus with scoring Gargoyles, we were asking for it for years, but the cost is too much: every non-nidzilla non-flying circus build is still garbage, and the loss of the spore pod is one of the most sad things I ever saw in 40k.

    I think the skyblight swarm will be the only way to go for competitive. Living artillery gives more options to foot MCs builds, but foot MCs builds are too predictable and quick to measure. I mean, now that measuring is allowed, the ranges of the heavy hitters on the second list you posted can be measured in less than a minute to avoid their shoots on the first turns. Also we have to notice that foot nidzilla list will have lots of problems dealing with knights, and if they became allowed in tournaments we will see lots of them hitting the tables.

    Commenting the flying circus list you posted, I’m not sure the Tervigon is a good idea on it. Notice that it will be you’re only foot MC, so it will be the easier to take down with non AA weaponry, including hight S blast weapons. Don’t expect it to survive too long. Maybe if you add a Venomthrope or flanking it, but I think 2 gaunt broods is the way to go in a flying circus total build.

    Also, I want to share a silly tactic: deploy your skyblight Gargoyles in the top of a 3 or 4 floor building and whait for the battle to advance. When reaching the last turns, jump down the hight level choosing to don’t use the jumpack rule in the movement phase, to force some impact tests. If they die, they will return via deepstrike on a 4+ to claim objectives. Just a silly tactic.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:52 am #

      I don’t think it is all as bad as you think. I agree that the Nid dex is really disappointing, but these are really good additions to the Nid arsenal.

      With the Tervigon I doubt anyone will bother shooting it as they will have 7 FMCs in their face. Plus, youc an just reserve it if you need to.

  6. cavalier March 5, 2014 4:50 am #

    Man that Skyblight formation sounds absolutely brutal. I think Tau would be the only army that wouldn’t have to adapt much and even then it’d be touch and go. I know that if that list became popular I’d really have to change my current Eldar list to deal with it. Scramble the nightwings!

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:54 am #

      Yeah, with that many FMCs coming in hot, most armies would really struggle to deal with them.

      • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:15 pm #

        One important thing you pointed out is that they CAN deal with them. Crone/Harpies are made of paper and they fold pretty easily. This makes it a fun game at least as you are able to damage your opponent. I just hate facing demon princes with big invul saves, FNP/Biomancy, etc that just don’t seem to die. At least you can easily kill a Harpy or two each turn. Especially with the simple return to a quad gun.

        • McDoogle March 5, 2014 7:47 pm #

          Dakkafexes deal with big DP’s really quick. A brood of 2 will pump a zillion shots into him and make him roll those saves. That’s all that matters.

          While Harpy/Crone models do die, they will also be on the enemy turn 2. Vector Striking and template-bombing away at backfield guns, enemies won’t have a chance to shoot much down after the 2nd turn.

          I hadn’t lost a game using my FMC Tyranid list BEFORE this dataslate came out. And that includes games against Tau, Eldar, Taudar, Deldar, Grey Knights, Necrons, and CSM. Now it can simply apply too much pressure.

  7. TrueKnight March 5, 2014 5:12 am #

    Great write up Reece. I agree about slyblight being strong. I also think the trygon tunnel/endless swarm tunnel will be something to be contended with. With these formations, I think that Nids should put all of their objectives at midfield or opponent deployment. This will help relieve some synapse issues as you dont have to worry ab the backfield.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 9:21 pm #

      That is a very good call.

  8. Baal Viper March 5, 2014 5:54 am #

    This stuff should have been in the Codex. GW is going micro transaction on use… There is absolutely no reason these should not have been included in the book for the $ they are asking for it.

    The FMC formation seems a bit much to me, the fact that they come back is huge. Are you not basically getting free units by taking this dataslate? Isn’t that the point of starting the game with equal points? so that each player has the same ammount of resources? Does the formation itself cost more points on top of the models, or are you literally getting free units on a 4+?

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:55 am #

      Only the Gargoyles come back and only on a 4+. It isn’t a sure thing by any means. But yes, free units on a 4+.

      If you kill off the unit in the later parts of the game they won’t be doing much, and you can always try and leave a Gargoyle or two alive so they can’t respawn.

      • Baal Viper March 5, 2014 12:43 pm #

        Ok that is not nearly as bad though. It sounded like you were getting your Flyrant, Harpies, and Crones back also…

        Still very powerful to get respawning units but atleast not respawning FMC’s

  9. Oadius March 5, 2014 6:43 am #

    hmm, cool. 4+ recycle. Instantaneous re-purposing of biomatter.

    • Baal Viper March 5, 2014 7:24 am #

      aka “I can just throw my units at you with wreckless abandon becasue I can get them back,” Not real tactical there…

      Your getting a new unit half the time, so do you actually have to pay time and half for the units or are you just getting half a formations worth of models for free?

      • bigpig March 5, 2014 10:36 am #

        You are basically getting 1.5 units of Gargoyles by being forced to take Harpies instead of Crones. The idea behind most of the dataslates is that you get a bonus by taking the less popular/powerful units as part of the formation

  10. MrCK March 5, 2014 7:12 am #

    The list you’ve written is pretty much the same list I wrote once I’d downloaded the dataslate.

    Skyblight is definitely the way to go.

    Also in the artillery formation, the biovores are separate are they not? Not a brood of 3, or perhaps you can decide? I remember in the last nid dataslate it stated if a brood had to be a certain size.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:56 am #

      I believe it is a brood of 3.

      • Adam March 5, 2014 1:32 pm #

        It’s actually listed as 3 Biovores, not 1 Biovore Brood. When other formations require a unit to be a specific size, it’s listed under the Formation Restrictions.

        • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:55 pm #

          More quality control from GW 🙂

          • Adam March 5, 2014 5:56 pm

            Upon reading it some more, it’s totally unclear… in the last book, when you need to take 5 individual lictors for Deathleaper’s brood, it’s listed as “5 Lictor Broods” but in the restrictions says each one must be a brood of a single model. So “3 Biovores” could be “3 Biovore Broods”, “1 Biovore Brood consisting of 3 models” or “3 Biovore Broods consisting of 1 model.” I think tis’ safest to go with 3×1 since it’s not listed as “biovore broods” though.

        • Believer March 6, 2014 8:51 am #

          Given the lack of specificity, I’m inclined to think that RAW supports any combination of broods, as long as you have no more than 3 Biovores. So, a single brood of 3 Biovores, 3 one man broods of Biovores, or a brood of 2 Biovores and a brood of one Biovore would all be fine with me.

          Unless someone attempts to bring 9 biovores (3×3 broods), I can’t imagine someone really complaining.

          • Reecius March 6, 2014 11:53 am

            Mrck said the digital product was updated to say it is a brood of 3.

      • Mrck March 6, 2014 11:07 am #

        An update from gw digital says it’s a brood of 3 🙂

  11. Believer March 5, 2014 7:33 am #

    I absolutely love the new data slates. I agree with your overall assessment of them, Reece. The Skyblight formation looks like an absolute blast. I cannot wait to run 3 flyrants. I also like getting two extra heavy support slots from Living Artillery, since I always find myself wanting to fit more in there than I can actually bring.

    More than anything, I’m grateful to have options that significantly change the way I’ll build or play my Tyranids. The option for a new scoring troop is fantastic!

    And, for casual play, I can easily see myself playing games with all of these formations at some point. GW has certainly ensured that I will be buying a ton of new ‘Nids 🙂

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:56 am #

      I agree these help a ton.

  12. TrueKnight March 5, 2014 7:38 am #

    The real question is, when do we start to get some battle reports!!???

    • Believer March 5, 2014 7:46 am #

      I second this! 🙂

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:58 am #

      Hopefully tonight!

  13. Hotsauceman1 March 5, 2014 8:08 am #

    If you are going to allow formations, then can I bring the Tau one? It is only fair

    • bigpig March 5, 2014 10:44 am #

      I think the discussion has been to allow formations, though they count as one of ally slot.

      There is still the concern about whether a formation is overpowered or not, which was the initial turn off to the Tau one because you received a cool buff for no real cost or requirement to use units you wouldn’t use otherwise. As more formation show up I think we will see different power levels in them for sure.

      This one I don’t really view as completely OP, though it is strong. Why? I think you look at what you are getting vs what you are paying (outside of the adding to the FoC, which arguably isn’t really a buff for nids, just a playing field leveler since they can’t take allies). Skyblight gives super scoring gargs for the cost of taking 2 Harpies. You effectively are getting them for a 25% discount since half of them will recycle. The basic feel of the recent dataslates is you get something unique by being required to use the less than optimal units. Most nid players will tell you that Harpies are not the FMC to take. They aren’t pyrovore terrible, but are certainly aren’t one of the gems of the codex. I’ll need some testing to see the impact of the super scoring rule. Gargs are so weak that they can be shot/assaulted down easily and intelligent play by opponents will greatly reduce the impact of the Objective Secured rule. If a T4 2+ or 3+ unit had that rule it would be much more obnoxious. Playtesting in order.

      • Hotsauceman1 March 5, 2014 11:03 am #

        I think the get back up rule is just horrible, Especially if the unit is wiped out

        • Reecius March 5, 2014 11:59 am #

          The Tau formation is miles better than any other formation.

          But, we will talk about it. We decided they will count as your second army source, so if you took this, you couldn’t take allies.

          • Adam March 5, 2014 1:48 pm

            So basically an army would look like: [Primary Army] + [Allies/Dataslate/Inq] + [Lord of War] + [Fortification]

            Is that correct?

          • winterman March 5, 2014 5:21 pm

            Tau formation is only really silly if taken en masse. Yes the USRs it gives are good, extra heavies are good, but at 1750 and the restrictions you guys are considering I don’t think it will be that big a deal. Could be wrong though!

          • Reecius March 5, 2014 9:23 pm


            No, only two sources.

            Primary + Allies


            Primary + Inquisition


            Primary + Formation (limited formations)


            We’re looking at LoW but not sure, yet.

        • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:20 pm #

          Even with it just applying to the Gargoyles (or Gaunts/Horms for the endless swarm)? And just for clarification, (I think you’re using the “get back up” in general terms but just in case) if the unit returns it goes to ongoing reserves, not returning in the place it went down like Necrons do. It just feels very Tryanid to me and fits the idea of what the army should be.

          Im making an Endless Swarm list to test and see how it works out balance wise.

  14. Mikko March 5, 2014 8:16 am #

    Skyblight + Nid Player = Happy Dance!

  15. DCannon4Life March 5, 2014 9:02 am #

    *Cough* Going to pick up Dark Eldar allies. Incoming twin linked, rerolling failed psychic check, poison spam….

  16. Adam March 5, 2014 9:04 am #

    I’m not sure what you’re smoking, but all the peeps on BOLS are telling me how awesome Tyranid Warriors are. Maybe you just need to learn to Tyranid?

    • Gordy March 5, 2014 11:14 am #

      I post in the BoLS lounge, and I’ll tell you, don’t take advice from them. There are some cool people there, but very few are what you would call tactically savvy, at least at a higher competitive level.

      • Adam March 5, 2014 11:35 am #

        Yeah, I apologize if the sarcasm didn’t leak through, haha.

        • McDoogle March 5, 2014 7:53 pm #

          If you really want to know the ins and outs of Warriors, play them a bunch (with different supporting units, and at varying points levels), or go to places like The Tyranid Hive, or Warpshadow.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 12:00 pm #

      Yeah, I guess I am just way off base on that one, lol!

  17. BeeCee March 5, 2014 9:29 am #

    One thing to keep in mind is it doesn’t say anything about the skyblight gargoyles still holding objectives vs denial units. so while they can still hold vs a jetbike grab i think you are still out of luck when the seer star voltron’s out and the farseers are contesting?

    am i on base here?

    • Dr.insanotron March 5, 2014 9:52 am #

      No because jet bikes are both scoring and denial units

    • bigpig March 5, 2014 10:20 am #

      I think this is the ambiguity in the wording item he was referring to. Though jetbikes are scoring so no ambiguity at all there. Just on denial units.

      • BeeCee March 5, 2014 11:44 am #

        Thanks Vince, that is exactly what i was referring to. it would have been nice to say something to the nature of “as long as the gargoyles are not falling back, they are always in control of an objective” or something like that.

        That would remove some of the confusion. maybe?

        either way i like the skyblight if for no other reason than it represents a nice way to modify the FOC for Nids. But i only have 2 crones and 2 flyrants so the wallet takes a punch in the sack.

        • Reecius March 5, 2014 12:01 pm #

          Yeah, it’s definitely pricey.

        • Hugz4Genestealers March 5, 2014 4:02 pm #

          Yeah, I really like the formation, but I’d run bigger than min-sized ‘goyle squads, which means to run it I’d need another flyrant, a pair of harpies, and at least 20 more gargoyles, all on top of the hundreds of dollars I already spent on the new bug kits.

          • Reecius March 5, 2014 9:24 pm

            I have 30 built and painted, I don’t want to make any more! lol

  18. Tiber55 March 5, 2014 9:39 am #

    If your going to allow a dataslate that fundementally changes how tyranids and scoring troops work basically giving you the best options from the new codex as spam and a troop choice that is fast, comes back to life after being killed on a 4+ and is “uncontestable” I don’t see how you can say that any of the other dataslates wont be allowed.

    Going to have to wait till one of our two tyranids players picks this up, but the wording on that rule is going to be super important, does it allow the gargoyles to supersceed any other scoring unit therefore capturing an objective no matter what, because if so, that sounds like one of the most abusive rules you could invent especially in a tournament scene that leans on using more objectives to try to balance the game.

    • bigpig March 5, 2014 10:32 am #

      I certainly wouldn’t call a requirement to field 2 harpies one of the best options from the new codex. 🙂 Now if it was Crones, that would be another matter. Like many of the Dataslates, having to take the less optimal unit is the cost to receive the benefit, in this case scoring gargoyles with their objective secured rule (a rule I suspect we will be seeing on other armies in future dataslates and codices). Before getting too concerned about them being abusive, remember they are T3 with a 6+ armor save. A 3+ or 2+ armor unit that could maybe even get rerolls with this rule would be much more to complain about. They die in bucket loads pretty easily and with only half of them coming back, its not like they are truly endless.

      In regards to spamming, what you have to remember is that Tyranids lack the ability to ally with anyone. They are limited to one FoC, period, where all other armies already get the ability to add additional HQ and other good units without paying that Harpy tax. This is especially the case with armies that can ally with themselves due to supplements like Eldar, Tau, CSM, or codex rules like Space Marines, or via FW army lists like IG and Necrons.

      Skyblight is a solid bump to ‘nids but not at all game breaking.

      • Tiber55 March 5, 2014 12:49 pm #

        Harpies are far better than most people give them credit.

        And the thing most people miss is that you wont have to worry about your own objectives being contested. I don’t have to cross the board with gargoyles, I just have to get them into a postion where they are next to more objectives than the opponent has uncontested. WIth 6-9 FMCs the game becomes an exercise in contest opponents objectives and score the one on my side of the board with the gargoyles.

        In most games your given a place where you can put an objective on your side of the board and keep a scoring unit alive next to it, the fact that, that objective now can’t be contested because the scoring unit is gargoyles has the potential to swing alot of the missions in favor of tyranids.

        Even in the BAO packet things like primary crusade and or emperors will become super easy because all i have to do is have gargoyles next to one objective and contest 1-2 others.

        • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:24 pm #

          Again, only 1 or maybe 2 units will be coming back. Should be able to plan for that and kill it. T3 6+

          I understand the concern. I was taken aback by the rule at first because it inherently changes the way the game is normally played. BUT, as I’ve said I think we will see this rule several more times across other armies before the year is out. I bet it’s GWs new thing. Otherwise why would they say that you can contest with other units with the same rule?

        • Reecius March 5, 2014 9:25 pm #

          The Formation is extremely powerful, I agree. We need to try it before we pass judgement.

          • MrCK March 8, 2014 9:03 am

            Played using both the artillery and the skyblight yesterday.

            Skyblight was cool, the gargoyles came back 3 times and failed once. But they die so easy it makes little difference, as people say T3 6+

            Personally I think termagants, hormagaunts and gargoyles should have the endless swarm rules all the time 🙂

    • Slaede March 5, 2014 11:59 am #

      This is to my point about picking and choosing what is over the line and what isn’t. Once you set yourself up as the judge of what is abusive within a category, you’re going to have to deal with the gripes.

      If you say the Tyranids can have all their dataslates because you think their army sucks and the dataslates are fair, but the Tau formation one isn’t, you’re being rather arbitrary.

      Same with banning the Toolbox Commander from joining two Riptides, but not banning Tigurius from joining two Chapter Masters and some Centurion Devs even though it’s pretty much the same thing.

      It would be wisest to treat everybody the same.

      • Reecius March 5, 2014 12:04 pm #

        We get gripes no matter what we do, lol!

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 12:06 pm #

      You can always tank shock them, kill them, assault them and pull them off of an objective, space out your models to keep them more than 3″ away from an objective, etc.

      There are plenty of ways to combat Gargoyles.

  19. ChaosReigns March 5, 2014 9:45 am #

    Endless swarm with a Trygon for a tunnel could be amusing.

  20. iNcontroL March 5, 2014 10:19 am #

    hope springs eternal! or some shit

    • Dr.insanotron March 5, 2014 10:24 am #

      I’m going to have to steal that sky blight list and try it out 🙂

      • Adam March 5, 2014 11:10 am #

        Unless my math is wrong, that list is 15 points over… assuming the Flyrants each have dual devourers.

        • Dr.insanotron March 5, 2014 11:43 am #

          I get 5 over

          • Reecius March 5, 2014 12:04 pm

            It wasn’t meant to be laser accurate, I was just spit-balling list ideas.

          • Adam March 5, 2014 12:26 pm

            Hmmm… 690 for 3 flyrants, 120 for termagants, 195 for the tervigon, 310 for the crones, 270 for the harpies, 180 for the gargoyles, that’s pretty square at 1750…

            I think you could do the list, but one of the flyrants might have to be naked, just sent into combat. That gives you 15 points to play with, so maybe upgrade the Barbed Stranglers on the harpies to TLVC so that they’re not completely useless, or give that one flyrant only a single set of devourers… not sure which option is worse. :-/

          • Adam March 5, 2014 12:26 pm

            Bah, i meant sitting at 1765… damn lack of an edit button.

  21. Jy2 March 5, 2014 11:22 am #

    Crap. Gotta buy me a ton of FMC’s.

    Thinking of a 5 flyrant skyblight list for the Golden Throne.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 12:05 pm #


    • Adam March 5, 2014 12:29 pm #

      I’d love to see this.

    • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:26 pm #

      2 formations I guess? Ouch

      I wonder about the ability to move that many of those stupid oversized flying bases around the board as you now have (at minimum) 6 of them in addition to your flyrant. Will be a challenge

      • Adam March 5, 2014 1:49 pm #

        I think it’s double FOC + 1 formation. Golden Throne is 2k and double FOC.

        • Adam March 5, 2014 1:53 pm #

          Though he could also do 4 Flyrants, 4×10 gaunts, 3 crones, 2 harpies and 3×10 gargoyles for 1995.

          Finally with 2 slates you can do 3 Flyrants, 2×10 gaunts, 2 Crones, 4 Harpies and 6×10 gargoyles for 1980!

          Gross… That last one only works though if multiple dataslates are allowed.

  22. Slaede March 5, 2014 11:26 am #

    One important point about the skyblight swarm. You cannot deep strike a squad of Gargoyles from ongoing reserve unless it began the game in DS reserve. It’s the very first sentence of the DS special rule. If you start your Gargs on the table, they will come back on from the board edge once wiped out.

    • Adam March 5, 2014 11:33 am #

      By that logic, you cannot deepstrike on a mawloc that starts on the board and burrows…

      • Slaede March 5, 2014 11:42 am #

        Indeed, RAW it would seem that the Mawloc is not allowed to deep strike if it starts on the table. The first sentence of the DS special rule rads that in order for a unit to be able to deep strike, all models in the unit must have the deep strike special rule and the unit must start the game in reserve.

        • Bigpig March 5, 2014 12:16 pm #

          Shush…. don’t let anyone know 😉

        • Adam March 5, 2014 12:28 pm #

          Thank goodness we are humans capable of critical thinking. If I saw someone try to pull that, I’d show them a terror from the deep, if you get my drift. 🙂

          • bigpig March 5, 2014 2:02 pm

            And Adam, burrowing mawlocs can DS per RAW if they originally started the game in reserve and deep struck when they came in. The only way they couldn’t by RAW is if they started on the board turn 1. Page 36, first sentence of first paragraph.

            Hmmm, now that I look with a fresh eye I think you could maybe make an argument that as long as you said, “It will be coming back by DS” when you placed the model into ongoing reserves, you could do it (second sentence). You still can’t get past the “In order for a unit to DS it must start the game in reserve” line though.

      • Bigpig March 5, 2014 12:19 pm #

        By raw he’s correct. The 5th edition malice rules specifically allowed it. The new book just says ongoing reserves which must follow the regular reserve rules

        • Adam March 5, 2014 12:28 pm #

          By RAW the game doesn’t work, fortunately we can use our brains.

          • Slaede March 5, 2014 12:48 pm

            I see. Can the Burning Chariot move and shoot now? Can boltguns no longer wound models beyond 24″ if there is also a lascannon firing in the same unit?

            The rule is as clear as day. Mawlocs must start in reserve in order to be used as intended. It’s not even a stretch to assume that is exactly how they meant it to be.

          • bigpig March 5, 2014 1:27 pm

            I agree that the RAI is pretty obvious on this one. Thats why nobody has bothered to complain 🙂

          • Adam March 5, 2014 1:27 pm

            The burning chariot is ambiguous, if they wanted it to move and shoot they could have made the weapon not-heavy. It’s the only model in the army that gets it, so making it heavy is a bit of intention that it cannot mvoe and shoot.

            If you think that burrowing mawlocs can’t return to the board through deepstrike, you’re just being daft or contrary.

          • Slaede March 5, 2014 1:45 pm

            Nonsense. Every single FMC in the game has Deep Strike by virtue of being jump models. Are they allowed to deep strike every time they fly off the board? No, unless they too began the game in DS reserve.

            What makes the Mawloc the exception to the rule? Nothing whatsoever.

            I don’t even concede the high ground on RAI. I think they may have wrote it that way in order to force you to start the Mawloc in reserve so you aren’t guaranteed to have it in your opponent’s face on turn 2.

            I did not bring this up to rag on the Mawloc. I’m pointing out that recycling Gargoyles cannot deep strike unless they start the game in reserve. If somebody tries to do that on me, I will call them on it, and I will be right.

          • Slaede March 5, 2014 1:53 pm

            Or to use Adam’s example, if they wanted the Mawloc to be able to start on the table and deep strike, they would have made some sort of rule that allows it to do so.

          • Adam March 5, 2014 2:07 pm

            That’s a bit different, they didn’t invent ongoing reserves for the Mawloc.

    • Chosen of Khorne March 6, 2014 10:05 am #

      Regarding FMC, the rules imply that they can only leave the table and go into ongoing reserves while in swoop mode. While in ongoing reserves, they cannot change their flight mode, and must remain swooping per the rules. Since they are not able to act as gliding, the aren’t able to deep strike as jump pack when they return. Now, if you interpret the rule to allow them to leave the table while gliding as well, then I would say they can return as deep strike.

      We know they can deep strike due to the FAQ.
      Q: Does a Flying Monstrous Creature that arrives via Deep Strike count as arriving in Swoop mode? (p49)
      A: Yes.

      I think swooping hawks have always been allowed to deep strike again after entering ongoing reserves, so their is precedent.

  23. Clover362 March 5, 2014 7:57 pm #

    That nid formation is ridiculous a 50% chance to regain a 30 model best scoring unit in the game? That is way more broken than the tau formation you always rip on Reece.

    • Reecius March 5, 2014 9:26 pm #

      It is very good, but not better. And the Gargolyes are not likely to be 30 strong, most like 3 x 10. I’m more worried about the horde of FMCs, personally.

      • Clover362 March 6, 2014 6:56 am #

        I don’t know I think I would run a scoring unit that good (fearless in synapse and easy access to feel no pain with catalyst) really large. you can’t even contest an objective they are holding pretty hard to win most objective games where you pretty much have to assume your opponent can and will hold 3.

        • Reecius March 6, 2014 11:55 am #

          Gargs are easy as hell to kill and they only regen on a 4+. And you can get them off of objectives by other means as well. It isn’t a certainty by any means.

          Honestly it is the potentially 8 FMCs that really scares me, more.

  24. McDoogle March 5, 2014 8:01 pm #

    The dataslate formations comes with a tax. They aren’t OP or game-breaking. For Tyranids, it’s basically their only way to do what 100% of the other armies already get to: breach the Force Organization chart with Allies and Supplements.

    • bigpig March 5, 2014 11:13 pm #

      ^ +1

    • Clover362 March 6, 2014 7:05 am #

      I would hope that it is becoming more and more acceptance that breaking the force org. chart is bad. If something is bad it’s better to stop it rather than say let’s let everyone do it in ridiculous ways. Hence I think most tournaments should go to the 2 source rule.

      At the end of the day it is really clear to me that GW just wants to get rid of the difference between Apocalypse and normal 40k. Which makes sense from a business perspective as it encourages the acquisition of many different armies and a lot of points, but it’s just awful from a game perspective. Of course GW is a model company not a game company which i have always known but this is the first time in the 20 years I have been playing the game that the push to sell models is making situations where the game is becoming not fun to play, which is sad, disappointing, and sucks.

      I won’t quite this game because I am addicted to the plastic crack but I just worry about the long term future and health of the game the way GW is going.

      • Reecius March 6, 2014 11:54 am #

        You said it. They are now really showing their colors.

        We have to make the rules we want to play with.

      • Adam March 6, 2014 1:59 pm #

        Eh, i don’t agree with what you said about Apocalypse. Really that game is just an entirely different beast, takes days, if not weeks to organize, and significantly longer to play.

        I think what GW is actually doing is giving us the ability to use everything we’ve ever wanted, which is fantastic. I can tell you, the more things you allow people to buy, the more they will buy… Why do you think those online social games have $100 worth of in-game cash as an option?

        With that said, yes, we now have to take more agency to decide what we do want to play with. Personally, I want to play with it all, and I very much enjoy doing so, but obviously not everyone agrees.

  25. Slaede March 6, 2014 2:05 pm #

    The more I think about this the more I think the Skyblight at least should be banned. I haven’t read it, but from what I understand, I can make the three Garg units as big as I want and buy all the upgrades.

    What is my incentive to not buy 3 full squads with toxin sacs and adrenal glands and just throw them all at you? Even if you kill a unit, i get it all back, so I’m just increasing my army by that many more points.

    Plus they score and can’t be contested?

    Why yes, I will spend 900 points of my army on three units that automatically come back at full strength and can hurt almost anything besides walkers.

    You can’t seriously argue that Tau with Tank Hunters is stronger than that.

    • Zlove March 9, 2014 6:29 am #

      I agree, this breaks more game rules than free tank hunter for Tau. It doesn’t let you reroll a dice, it breaks a fundamental rule of the game – being able to contest an objective. A bunch of FMC’s is scary sure but please understand that you WILL have 60 gargoyles in tournaments if this DS is allowed and that is not easy to kill or tank shock. Just because you all were disappointed with how crappy the codex was don’t act like this isn’t yet another broken and OP subset of rules by GW. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be allowed just stating what you will see on the tabletop if allowed. Scoring, uncontestable units that move 12″, have up to 30 models and recycle is MUCH better than tank hunter on broadsides.

      It is again why after playing this game for 20 years I just feel so depressed. Much like 2+ reroll able saves this is something you can’t really plan for in a tournament. There is no counter to this rule set. If your opponent rolls a 4+ and the giant 30 man squad returns you are boned, especially given the fact you blew your load trying to kill all the FMC threats that came after you in the beginning of the game.

      • Reecius March 9, 2014 1:23 pm #

        I understand getting bummed out, but I honestly think with a little help this could be the best edition of the game, yet.

  26. Alessandro April 2, 2014 11:09 am #

    hi! i would like to ask a question to everyone, in which codex do you can take gargoyle troop?

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