Guest Editorial on Nids by Edwin

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Edwin here. I know the Tryanids have gotten a rather bad rap since the codex dropped, but personally, I really love this book. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!

Each and every slot has a good unit, but the best part of this is that each of these “best in slot” units are not spammable. They are good as a single or maybe running two, but that is as far as they go. You can take a rainbow of units and be successful. Units don’t handle each and every situation in the Tyranids codex, so you have to spread the points out to be able to handle each threat. There are some bad units and some terribly written rules (which the Pyrovore conveniently fits for both), but overall, units are all good in their own way and usable. Some are good in a few situations *cough* Genestealers *couch*, but they still have their uses. I really want to talk about who I feel are the winners of this codex in each slot and why. Also, I want to talk about the hidden gems of each slot (they are pretty nifty)

The Hive Tyrant
    This is the easiest choice in the entire book. They Hive Tyrant works in any role you care to have him fill. He can be a melee beast if you need one, but you are probably going to want to build him ranged as he will fill most roles needed with a simple shooting build. Need to kill infantry? 2 Twin Linked Devoures work wonders if you are close enough or you can even throw out a Barbed Strangler to kill people at range. Need some AT, a Heavy Venom Cannon will seriously put the hurt on vehicles. Throw on wings or 2 Tyrant Guard for protection, and you will have a durable synapse unit that can eat people depending on how you build him.  You have to think of how you want your synapse set up and where. If you want to be able to keep up synapse on your faster units. the Flyrant is definitely for you. If you need a strong synapse creature in the middle of your army, the two Tyrant Guard will keep a Tyrant safe enough
The hidden gem! Death Leaper
     Death Leaper is the hidden gem of the HQ section. Death Leaper is pretty good. He has all the good things lictors have and he has a few extras. He has a rule that makes everyone snap fire at him so he can infiltrate forward and not get shot to death and he is immune to blasts and flamers as they cant snap fire. He isn’t fearless so he can go to ground if out of synapse and his warlord trait can win games in low objective games like relic. He has hit and run, so he can slingshot himself pretty far if given the chance. He is cheap which is most of the reason you want to take him.
The venomthrope!

     The Venomthropes win this slot if only because they provide synergy with the rest of the army. Hide them behind a big creature and they have a 3+ cover save. Any unit within 6 inches will have a model that gets shrouded. Because shrouded says you only have to have one model with shrouded for the whole unit to have that +2 to cover, it is pretty good.  The best part is that he is also cheap. 45 points is pretty good for what he gives you. Surprisingly, he is no slouch in melee. Lash whips give him I6 with 2 attacks with poison 2+. It can help kill some tough creatures who are hard to kill because of high toughness . He is WS 3, but a lot of the Tyranid book is surprisingly.  These guys will die. The fire needed to kill these guys is going to be  significant. It is fire that isn’t directed at the rest of the elite slot which is primarily AT units. Even in a meta that has alot of things that strip cover or ignore cover, you find that Venomthropes force people to make decisions on what they strip cover from. Watch for Precision Shots. They can kill the models with shroud and your unit will lose shroud.

The hidden gem! Pyrovores…..

The hidden gem is the Pyrovores…..hear me out. Volatile says “If the Pyrovore is slain by a wound that inflicted instant death, every unit suffers a S3 hit for each model within d6 of the slain Pyrovore” so plop 30 Gaunts within 6 inches of a Pyrovore and if it gets hit with ID, every unit on the board takes 30 S3 hits…….It is dumb, but pretty hilarious. People will probably commit horrible acts of violence if you honestly tried to play it that way, but it is good for a laugh when you read it. That laugh is all it is good for.

The Tervigon wins for troops
   Tervigon wins the troop slot. Even with the increase in points and loss of biomancy,  this troop choice is still good. You need at least one. Spawning troops, a pretty good S5 large blast template shooting attack, Psyker level 1, Synapse, and that T6 W6 stat line, they are pretty good. The remind me a lot of playing orks. They work well at doing what the enemy does poorly. Someone good in melee? shoot them. Someone pretty shooty? Go give them a hug.  230 points with regeneration and Cluster spines  (which is nice unless they focus him down, but then they aren’t shooting at the other units), this scoring behemoth is good at being adaptable to what you need. This is certainly not a spam unit, but one is definitely needed.  It also gives counter attack to Termagaunts within 12 inches. Nothing to write home about, but I have won and lost games with less.
GenestealerTest1The hidden gem! Genstealers

Genestealers can be pretty lackluster at times. I find that I always want to run a single unit with broodlord to really try and pick people off or infiltrate onto an objective. They can do a lot. Outflank is nice. The Horror from the Broodlord is pretty nice when you want to try and lock down a unit and get ready to pounce on them the next turn. They can kill people pretty easily in melee. WS 6, I6, and 2 attacks is nasty. Ld 10 helps them stay stuck in combat if things don’t go well so they can tie up ranged units and the Broodlord is perfect for challenges against anyone that isn’t dedicated to melee combat. Fleet, Move Through Cover, and Infiltrate mean these guys are going where you want them  Lack of Instinctive Behavior means they will not have to be baby sat by anything with synapse, so you can apply early game pressure. Unsupported , they die. Let them go after isolated units, and they will really start to shine. They offer a lot of options in how you play them.

Fast attack
The Harpy

The Harpy wins this slot pretty easily. The ability to swap between a Twin Linked Stranglethorn Cannon for killing infantry and taking a Twin Linked Heavy Venom Cannon for tank hunting is pretty good. It is pretty good at range. Combine this with special rules that really want you to get close and you find a support flyer that is just scary. you can Vektor Strike, but with the Spore Cysts, you may not want to. You can chose to drop a S4 AP4 Large blast that is also barrage onto anyone you fly over with reduced scatter. Useful for trying to snipe out heavy weapons or Leaders, it complements the Sonic Screech rule really well. Sonic Screech drops all enemy’s initiative by 5 that are involved in the combat the Harpy charges into. Get close doing  damage and drop down and charge into melee to see all enemies strike last. All for the cheap cost of  140 points, and you have a great cheap unit that can do work. Combine him with the hidden gem and they really shine.

The hidden gem! Gargoyles

Often used as flying cover, Gargoyles have probably the nastiest melee ability in the entire Codex: Tyrandis. Ever wonder why we have never seen large unit style units with access to blind? This is why. 10 Gargoyles are 60 points. 10 melee attacks that for each hit require an Initiative test or you suddenly become WS/BS 1 for a turn.. Every single hit this unit does in melee with their blinding venom causes a blind check is nasty, but when you add this to the minus 5 Initiative that the Harpy uses when charging into combat, and you are going to see even elite melee units fail and be stuck in combat for a turn. Charge in with some slower units in the following turns or bring a Genestealer squad in to help and you can see a really expensive melee unit disappear very quickly. It may seem like a lot to throw at something, but 10 Gargoyles and a Harpy come in right around 200 points. They are really nasty.


73616_md-Mawloc, Tyranids, Tyrgon, Tyson Koch, Warhammer 40,000

    The Mawloc is awesome for the cost. 140 point T6 W6 Monstrous creature that provides some crucial Low AP hits outside of melee combat. His Terror from the Deep destroys entire units. The AP2 Template now hits twice if the Mawloc can’t deploy. It was a close race between the Biovore and the Mawloc, but one thing really sealed the deal for me in this race. The Mawloc can use his Terror of the Deep large blast template on units in melee. Woe to a foe who is locked in melee with a Lictor, because that Terror of the Deep will murder most units that are gathered around the Lictor. Even if you mishap, o well. You have half a chance to go back into reserves and Terror from the Deep next turn. I have heard him refereed  to as the ninja. Entire units just disappear  and often times, because  someone lives, it is as if he was never their.He is good. at something the Tyranid army has a problem with.
An Honorable Second! Biovores
     For 40 points, you have a S4 Large Blast Barrage who is tiny and can sit at a good range and snipe people of importance. If he misses, he produces spore mines. Spore mines are pretty awesome as it is and this guy makes more.. He is great because he does a lot, but it is his cheap price tag and ability to be taken in trios that really makes him shine. For the low, low price of 120 points, this unit decimates people who need to hide behind aegis defense lines. Dark Angels brought the Banner of Devastation?  One barrage shot later and that banner is no more. They fill points and they fill them well.
The List
     So with all this in mind, absolutely zero of these options are really spammable. You can spam, but you will find yourself coming up lacking in a lot of areas. I have found myself gravitating towards a rainbow list. The only duplicate unit I have is two single zoanthrope units instead of two zoanthropes together. There is more of a chance to get critical Pysker powers and more flexibility in my synapse. You will notice that I often don’t have some of the best in slot units in my army. They are good, but you don’t need them to win with this book in my opinion. Here is the list I plan to use at 1750. Hope you like it and Good night
Hive tyrant-2 twin linked devours, 2 tyrant guard
3 hive guard
10 genestealers-broodlord
30 gaunts-spine rifles
tervigon-cluster spines, regeneration
3 warriors-death spitters
fast attack
5 raveners-rending claws
heavy support
tyranofex-rupture cannon


About Reecius

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

15 Responses to “Guest Editorial on Nids by Edwin”

  1. Avatar
    Desert Hack March 7, 2014 5:54 am #

    So… no venomthropes, harpies or gargoyles in your list?

  2. Avatar
    Baal Viper March 7, 2014 6:31 am #

    I really think the strength of the Nids is how cheap their MC’s are per wound. they are paying about 25 points a wound for T6 with 3+ armour and MC rules in most cases. Alot of people say nids are not good, but come on, that is super cheap per wound. You may lose alot of bugs but they cannot kill everything.

    Perfect example: Mawloc, he is only 140 points for a 6 wound MC, not even counting his burrow ability which is why people take him. If you have 3 of these guys show up in your backfield not only did you just get templated, but you have to kill 18 T6 3+ save wounds before they assault you… all for 460 points. Nids are good. Not becasue they have flashy stuff (which I think is what people were wanting) but because they are so cheap per MC wound.

    To put things in perspective, for that 140 points a SM army can field a naked Tactical Squad. 6 Sternguard, a Bike Squad of 5 with Grav., or like 3 and a half termiators. None of these options are anywhere close to being able to take on a Mawloc 1-on-1 with the exception of the Grav bikes, assumig the mawloc does not kill alot of them from DS. Not really buying the whole “Nids are bad, thing” They just are not flashy and obviously OP like Tau and Eldar. People were expecting another OP codex and what they got was a good, balanced codex. We all should be really happy. I personnally thing that their MC’s are actually a little to cheap per wound…

    • Avatar
      Brakhal March 7, 2014 9:54 am #

      I did the maths and my solution was that the average cost per T6 3+ wound rounds about 40 points counting all options whithout any upgrades. It gets around 35 if you don’t add OOE and the SL. Mawloc is obviously the cheapest MC at cost per wound, being at 23, but the rest usually pays about 30 per wound if it is not sinaptic, or beetwin 35-40 in sinaptic MCs. I did all the maths about a month ago and I didn’t used upgrades in them.

  3. Avatar
    Brakhal March 7, 2014 10:31 am #

    Well, I have to say that I really hate the new ‘dex with all my blood, and the more I played with it or against, the more I hate it.

    People are still thinking this new ‘nids are good in CC, and I can’t agree with it. Maybe it is because I tend to play some of my games against some players with necrons, SM, CSM and demons with lists that don’t forget to add some CC speciallists.

    In my experience, Genestealers are not as threatening in CC to be feared. They can perform well if they manage to assault little shooting specialist units (like IG veterans or fire castes), low I MCs and medium non walker vehicles. Against MEQ or guard platoon equivalents it depends on who declares the assault, flamers in defensive shots and if the assaulted unit have cover or not. Being as expensive as they are and that fragile, you usually can’t afford to field them in large units of more than 12 or so. The question is that, even having a decent damage output, they have no good options to tank the damage received, and they’re too fragile. The same happens with Raveners and Shrikes, and, in the case of Hormagaunts, they lack a lot in damage output (but it’s true that horms are cheap).

    I was not expecting an OP codex, in fact I was expecting an UP codex: this edition is about movility and shooting power, with deathstars breaking this mold, and none of that 3 things fits with ‘nids concepts. What I was hoping for was some fun and decent ambush options, a powerfull short range / CC potential. Tabletop control, and decissions to make when building and playing the list. The codex does not accomplish with any of those things. That’s the main reason of all my hate and negativity with it.

    It’s not impossible to win with ‘nids, but you have to play them in ways that lots of ‘nid players just don’t like: avoiding enemy contact and focusing in objective denyal while controlling just 1 or 2 of them, also as having the hope for the enemy to take some bad choices, because the impact of the decissions about things you can do are pretty limited.

    I’m sorry for the ranting and negativity when everyone is trying to look for the bright side, but I think it’s important to be honest as a costumer: the codex is a lazy work in wich the design studio had not invested the appropiate time to make a product with fun potential. It’s not a professional work.

  4. Avatar
    Baal Viper March 7, 2014 12:14 pm #

    Actually I think they intended to put out a bare bones codex so that Dataslates would be needed to spruce things up… Thye should have included the date slate like stuff in the codex instead of micro transactioning out the cool stuff.

    • Avatar
      RyanL March 7, 2014 12:23 pm #

      Could it be possible that GW have learned that they can’t predict the community’s reaction and/or abuse/creativity with a new codex?

      It could be a clever move to make a bare bones Codex and then prop up the units that need it with Formations. To be honest, I think that would be a decent enough way bring balance, if it weren’t for the prohibitive cost.

      I’m probably giving GW too much credit though! 🙂

      • Avatar
        bigpig March 7, 2014 4:29 pm #

        Too much credit :). If they had half a clue when playtesting, knew what was going on in the gaming community (ie: what lists folks are liking to play with), and tried to identify the lack of synergy and balance issues they would have made a lot of changes. There are obvious, easy fixes that they failed to take advantage of.

  5. Avatar
    Mooseboy March 7, 2014 3:50 pm #

    Wow, rarely have I disagreed with an article more!

    Walking Tyrants, MEH.

    Deathleaper, cheapish yes, but not much of a threat to anything.

    Pyrovores a hidden gem? Even using their obviously wrongly worded rule. The army most likely to suffer is the nid one!

    Harpies over Crones?

    Nothing really stands out in the troop section. Especially compared to NINJA gargoyles from the skyblight formation.

    A list with a Rupture Cannon T.fex?

  6. Avatar
    Mooseboy March 7, 2014 4:00 pm #

    Also, the every gargoyle blind attack causing a initiative test is not how I, or most people I have discussed this with play it. I have a feeling it is 1 test per separate unit using blind, in a similar way to pinning weapons. I guess that needs an FAQ though.

    • Avatar
      bigpig March 7, 2014 4:35 pm #

      I have to agree with you on the list. Lots of meh choices and the article, while well meaning, just misses the mark for me.

      Regarding the blind rule vs pinning. Pinning says “suffers one or more unsaved wounds” while blind says “hit by a model or weapon with this rule”. Pinning clearly says one test for all the wounds. Blind does not and implies it is one per by the use of the word “a” vs saying “hit by models” or “hit by one or more.”

      I do think that the intent was for it to be one test per unit but RAW seems to pretty strongly be saying one test per hit. But… the jury remains out and it will wait till 6.5/7th for a clarification. A simple FAQ would fix this one way or the other, but like many other things they won’t do one

      • Avatar
        Mooseboy March 7, 2014 5:08 pm #

        I don’t mind the optimism of the article. Nid’s aren’t the best, but with the dataslates they are far from the worst!

        It’s just when it brings up points like Deathleaper gaining you extra VPs in low objective games. Not many IC’s need to fear Deathleaper, and those that do can easily hide from him.

        hmmm, I would surely love extra Blind checks. I would just feel a tad exploitative playing it that way.

  7. Avatar
    winterman March 7, 2014 4:22 pm #

    I have been enjoying all the comments here and on BoLS ranting about the pyrovore’s inclusion but missing the joke. Nicely done.

  8. Avatar
    Mooseboy March 7, 2014 4:31 pm #

    I did miss that last line ^^” but still. The fact that GW couldn’t see how terrible the pyrovore was from the last dex, and then utterly failing at checking their rules before publishing, is more concerning than funny.

  9. Avatar
    Jonas March 8, 2014 1:39 pm #

    My feelings about the Nid-dex are somewhat conflicted. I am having a lot of fun with the new book, much more than with the previous one in fact. There are viable builds and several somewhat strong and interesting units and potential for synergy, and with good options for board control and objective grabbing non kill point-games are quite winnable even against stronger lists from other books. You get a LOT of wounds for your points. Even though BRB-powers are no longer available, at least the book power list is really nice. And I looove mixing weapons within units.

    In short, the book is not nearly as bad as it’s early reputation.

    But there are still a lot of things with the book that are stupid, lazy and misguided:

    The fluff was mostly lazily rehashed.

    The non-changes to Warriors and Genestealers was really disappointing.

    The new synapse-rules are unnecessarily punishing, complicated, removed a tactical part from the army and what seems to be aimed to be “fun” random results are never actually fun for either player.

    The Hive Guard-nerf was really weird and pointless.

    That they removed units, especially the drop pods, is annoying and lazy.

    I can see that they wanted to reduce Tervigon spam and thus nerfing that unit, but why so hard, and if that was the case, what’s with the Flyrant-buff? There is no consistency of thought there at all.

    And it is a bit sad that this army is not really viable as a close combat army, unless you do some weird decidedly non-swarmy data slate-stuff. Not that I personally mind, I like shooting organic bullets burrowing into flesh, but I could see a lot of Nid-fans being deeply disappointed with this.

    But still, with all these faults and a job poorly done, there is just something with this book that really works for me. I win games, and I have fun doing it. Maybe it’s just that strange magic that sometime appears in the amateurishly created.

  10. Avatar
    N.I.B. March 10, 2014 1:58 am #

    So much wat in this article.

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