Tyranids: Top 20 at LSO!

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, I want to take a look at a Tyranid list that did quite well for itself at the recent Lone Star Open. I always try to keep my eyes on the big events for my favorite faction, so I was quite happy to see that the Big Bugs snagged an impressive 18th place out of 150+ players. Of course, to see what heat is out there and how to adapt to it, all the cool Swarmlords go to Frontline’s Tactics Corner.

So the Lone Star Open just passed, and while if you predicted some Admech awesomeness, well, it mostly came to pass, but despite what some say, at least one Tyranid player acquitted themselves quite well. A big shout out to Shawn Prosser for going 4-2 and snagging 18th out of 165 players, not too shabby at all, especially at a big event with a lot of big names and highly competitive lists. 

Let’s break down the list:

Kraken Battalion:

Hive Tyrant – Rending Claws/Double Devourer. Resonance Barb. Onslaught/Psychic Scream

Swarmlord – Catalyst/Paroxysm

3×3 Rippers


2x Dimachaeron. Dermic Symbiosis.


Kronos Patrol:

Neurothrope – Symbiostorm

13 Termagants

6 Hive Guard – Impaler Cannons

2x Exocrines

So this list is built off the basic Double Dima template that is so popular.  It leverages the awesome speed of the Dimachaeron for that sheer first turn brutality while also supplementing it with some strong shooting and some smaller units for the secondaries.  It very much poses the problem of target priority: do you gun down the Dimas as fast as possible before they are in your face? If yes, then the Exocrines and Hive Guard are getting a few turns of fire on you unharassed.  Exocrines or Hive Guard with Symbiostorm can spike for huge burst damage, especially on the Exocrines who are getting double hits on a 5+ and can become Damage 3 with Pathogenic Slime. Some nice flexibility in the Exocrine is that it technically shoots twice, so you can obliterate one unit then shoot at another if you get more kill than you may have thought. If you choose to take down the backfield targets, then you have to be able to absorb the Dimas doing what they do, and since they are Kraken, they can fall back and charge, making them very slippery and able to get into your own back field to cause problems.   

Plus, even if handle the Dimas, you still have Swarmlord to content with, and even the Walking Tyrant can put out a little heat in melee and combat, and at T7 with a 4++, they are not simple to handle efficiently.  Of course, you also have 3 ripper squads, a Mawloc, and a Lictor for secondaries, which means that even if the killing isn’t going well, this list can build a strong lead in the early game and then get some modest gains in the mid to late and still eek out a victory.

There is a reason that you see a variant of this list in most major events because well, it is just about as efficient and multi-threat as Tyranids get at the moment. It plays off our strongest assets, namely our speed in the movement phase between Swarmlord, Opportunistic Advance, and Metabolic Overdrive.  You have our best melee beasts with the Dima and Swarmlord again.  You have our best shooting with the Hive Guard and our most efficient shooting beast, the Exocrines.  Really, it is a list that plays in every phase of the game, and that means that in savvy hands, you can punch up in bad matchups. 

So how did Shawn do? He definitely did not have an easy road, getting a win against Sisters in Round 1, but falling to them again in Round 2.  Round 3 was against a hard skew list of just bodies on bodies on bodies of Astra Militarum, and that’s where the Dimas struggle.  They don’t do enough attacks to chew through that many bodies.  The shooting elements here are also not going to chew through 200+ bodies in 5 rounds, and the one weakness of Shawn’s list is a lack of big bricks of Obsec bodies, so while the shooting and the melee is going to kill things, he likely struggled against so much Obsec sitting on objectives and keeping Shawn’s primary low.

In round 4, Necrons go down, and again, in Round 5, Shawn takes on the dreaded Admech and comes out on top.  The last round and win is against Knights with Double Magaera and a Castellan, which isn’t a great matchup as that is a list that puts out enough shooting to really threaten everything in the army with some shocking melee.  It definitely speaks to Shawn’s abilities as a general to be able to go into two very hard matchups and come out with the W.

Overall, Shawn went up against quality armies that are often seen as hard counters, and he came away with a very impressive 4-2. This is proof positive to me that a savvy general is going to take Tyranids to a strong score, and it again shows that the Double-Dima archetype is good for a reason. The Hive Mind is pleased.

Thanks as always for reading, and be sure to play games and be nice to each other.

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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.
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10 months ago

The Nids need a proper LoW beast so that they are not reliant on FW to pull something out of the hat. Honestly, just not a fan of most Nid FW sculpts (or prices), the exception being the Heirophant because awesome!

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