Tyranids: Crazy skew to test

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, I am going to talk about some out of the box, hard to build Tyranid lists that in the quarantine age of digital Warhammer could actually do some work. Of course, if you want plenty of reading to spend the hours, head on over to Frontline’s Tactics Corner!

So with a lot of game stores closed, people are flocking to the various methods of playing 40K digitally. Whether it be a home brew solution among you and the friends or some of the programs out there, this is actually very fertile testing grounds for wacky builds, especially builds that require an insane amount of models that might be too out there in terms of availability or price. Let’s check a few out:

The Bug Wall

Build-A-Bug Battalion – Bio-Metallic Cysts/Pack Hunters

Malanthrope. Broodlord

4×30 Hormagaunts

Build-A-Bug Battalion – Adaptive Exoskeleton/Pack Hunters

2x Malanthropes.

5×30 Termagants

Mixed Supreme Command –

2x Broodlord – Hydra

Neurothrope – Gorgon

So the idea of the list is relatively simple: you have 270 bodies for an opponent to kill over the course of 6 turns, 270 Objective Secured bodies. You have Malanthropes to spread out the -1 to hit aura on both the Hormies and Termies, which again, with this many bodies, it adds up. The Termagants, all 150 of them, have a 6++ save as well, and the 4 Hormie squads are going to be AP-2 in most fights and can easily get to AP-3. This gives you a bit of kill. To help increase overall threat, you still have 3 Broodlords and a Neurothrope for Smite, but the Mixed Supreme gives you a bit more tek.

The 2 Hydra Broodlords move up with the Hormies to have Death Shriek ready, making sure that any opponent killing them in melee or even in close range shooting is going to stay taking damage. The Gorgon Neurothrope hangs back, maybe pops a Catalyst on a unit that is going to take fire, but it can also cast Poisonous Influence to get the Termagants near it to AP-2 easily. Since both of these powers are for friendly models, not HIVE FLEET, it makes sense to splash them into a mixed Supreme for the surprise.

This list will likely not get a kill on the first turn, but who cares? It is about winning the long game and grinding your opponent down. You may not have 270 infantry models, but maybe in the digital world, you don’t need to.

Carnifex Carnival

Kronos Battalion:

2x Neurothropes

3×3 Rippers


Build-A-Bug Spearhead: (Preysight/Metamorphic Regrowth)


1×2 Stonecrusher Carnifexes with Double Claws

2×1 Thornbacks with Enhanced Senses and Stranglethorn/Double Devourer

Build-A-Bug Spearhead: (Preysight/Metamorphic Regrowth)


1×3 Carnifexes with Enhanced Senses and 2x Double-Devourers

2×3 Carnifexes with Tusks and 2x Scything Talons

So this list is very much about shoving all the Carnifexes down your opponent’s throat. The Kronos battalion is really there for CPs to feed the Maleceptor’s aura to make the first 2 turns a little less brutal as T7 becomes a lot more of a problem with your strength drops by 1. The Rippers are there to both score some objectives or deep strike in on Turn 2 to catch a pesky psyker in the Kronos Gotcha aura that is The Deepest Shadow.

In terms of kill, you have 6 double-scything talon Carnifexes that are WS 2+ on the charge, rerolling 1s with 5 attacks each. You also have the 2 Stonecrushers for some really accurate anti-tank. For shooting, you have 3 Dakkafexes that pump out a healthy amount of firepower, and two Thornbacks for a little more anti-infantry work.

The list does suffer from stairs and magic boxes, but it’d be interesting to see how many armies can actually hurt that many Carnifexes, especially with a Maleceptor and 2 Malanthropes to skew the math a bit. The list has a fair amount of shooting, so units hiding upstairs might not be as safe as they think.

Can’t See Me!

Kronos Battalion:

2x Neurothropes

2×3 Rippers

1×25 Termagants

3×6 Hive Guard with Impaler Cannons

3×3 Biovores

Build-A-Bug Battalion: (Adaptive Exoskeleton/Pack Hunters)

Neurothrope. Tyranid Prime with 2x Double Scything Talons

3×30 Termagants

Ok, so this list really has just one idea behind it as well: as much out of LoS shooting as possible. With 18 Hive Guard and 9 Biovores, you don’t need to see a thing to rain down the fire. 18 Hive Guard is just…that’s a lot of S8 shooting from the safety of your own lines and often hiding in a Ruin, and when you throw in the Biovores, that is a lot of move blocking shenanigans as well as guaranteed damage thanks to mortal wounds.

You also have just a scant splash of 115 Termagants to just sort of get in the way. Their job is to live as long as possible, keeping the enemy away as long as their little bodies can last. This list lacks a lot of low quality, high volume firepower, but again, never underestimate how damn annoying spore mines can be and how helpful they are. If you are good with move blocking, you can absolutely delay and delay until it does not matter that they get to you on Turn 6. This is very much a feels-bad sort of list, and getting 18 Hive Guard isn’t always easy, but hey, maybe it works.

So while for many of us, game stores are closed, if you are using digital means to play, then you might as well test out lists that you simply can’t get or don’t want, just to see how it goes. I hope everyone is keeping their head up, and as always, thanks for reading.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.

8 Responses to “Tyranids: Crazy skew to test”

  1. Akaiyou April 12, 2020 7:27 am #

    I really enjoyed this article. Thanks man

  2. Reilly April 12, 2020 9:06 am #

    Death shriek from hydra is only for give fleet models, it would not work in the first list

  3. Arson Fire April 12, 2020 1:03 pm #

    In the first list, I feel it should be mentioned that this list is not actually legal in Matched Play.
    The Battle Brothers matched play rule prevents you from making a detachment containing units which are only linked together by the Tyranid keyword.
    Since tyranids only have the Tyranid and faction keywords, they are not actually allowed to make mixed detachments.

    • abusepuppy April 12, 2020 8:54 pm #

      That is not correct. Battle Brothers stops you from making detachments using only the Forces of the Hive Mind keyword.

      • Arson Fire April 12, 2020 9:16 pm #

        I’m looking at the rule in CA 2019 and it says Tyranids.
        Forces of the Hive Mind isn’t an official keyword.

        Are you referring to a change to the rule made in ITC format possibly? I’m not aware of such a change, but perhaps you could point me to it.

        • Arson Fire April 13, 2020 1:45 am #

          I’ve spent a while searching now, and genuinely can’t find this ruling.
          I’m happy to be wrong here, but you’ve left me a bit puzzled.

        • abusepuppy April 13, 2020 1:47 am #

          Hmm. They seem to have changed the wording on that, so yeah, I guess no mixed battalions for Tyranids. One more strike against them I guess.

  4. vybert April 13, 2020 12:59 pm #

    I’ve played this sort of list (similar, with more gargoyles for mobility). It does OK but has some hard counters

    As mentioned you cannot mix battalions because of the “no tyranid shared keyword” rule

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