Bug Help From Hive Mind Synaps3

Hello again boys and girls, children and Unicorns of all ages, I have a special treat for you today!  Being a completely ego-free Empty Blue Digital Headache myself, I'm quite prepared to beg ask for help when I deem it necessary, so I shot an email to a successful Tyranid tournament player and blogger, hyv3mynd.  What follows is the response he wrote on his site synaps3.  

Brent from Strictly Average and Bell of Lost Souls honored me with an email today:

Hiya man, this is Brent from Strictly Average.  
I got turned on to your blog after your Carnifex attacked me at Da Boyz last year... and it's possible it implanted me (in the butt, dirty bug...) because I haven't been able to stop thinking about Tyranids!
I'm joining the Bio-Train!  I decided to shoot you an email since you're probably the most obvious Bug player in my blog roll.  Plus, you're a tournament player, so what works for regular games doesn't always jive with competitive play.
I'd like to ask if you'll review the army list I came up with.  Already some great players have chimed in, but I'd really appreciate your take on it.
Feel free to answer in a blog post... 'cause that's what I'd do!


Thanks in advance - Brent

Wow, I'm excited about this!  Not only is a big time blogger looking for Nid advice, but our army is getting a talented new general and hobbyist to represent Nids on the competitive circuit.  I had the pleasure of meeting Brent at Daboyz GT and almost had a chance to play him on the top tables on day 2.  One of my tervigons actually tried to hitch a ride home with Brent, grabbing onto his belt as he was circling tables.
(He said 'big time blogger!'  Okay, I'll shut up now.)

Anyways, onto the list.  For those who didn't click over, this is Brent's list (2500pts):

Tyranid Prime + lw/bs, ag
Hive Guard x3
Hive Guard x3
Tervigon + claws, acid blood, catalyst
Termagants x20
Hormagaunts x20
Hormagaunts x20
Harpy + hvc, ag
Harpy + hvc, ag
Carnifex's x3 + ag
Tfex + cannon
Tfex + cannon

Ok, I see where you're going.  I agree that GK will make big bugs sad in CC, just like your daemons.  I'm going to start taking this apart, but take it with a grain of salt.  I don't have any GT trophies and I've only been playing a year.  I think my reasoning is sound, but I don't have the resume to back it up yet.

So my grasp of your concept is a solid shooting core with a CC deathstar and a bunch of little dudes thrown in for numbers, tarpitting, scoring, etc.  The first thing that strikes me as problematic is you're trying to put down 67 infantry and 8 MC's all in your deployment zone without any infiltration, outflanking, or deep striking (aside from DL).  I've tried lists with hormies and they just don't work with my play style.  They're a fast moving assault unit without grenades or any fleet synapse to join the unit and keep them on task.  They're not killy without toxins, so 20 naked are a tarpit unit and nothing more, and they'll be clogging up your travel paths and slowing down your already slow carnifex unit.

The other aspect that's a little conflicted is the target priority options.  Most people will ignore Tfexes unless they have a ridiculous amount of ap1-2.  The carnifex unit is so big and slow that most people will also ignore that and cut out your support units first.  The harpies are squishy and the tervigon is all alone.  What this will probably mean is in objective game, the tervigon will be eating all heavy weapon fire and won't last.  The same can be said for the harpies in KP games as they're super susceptible to any and all ap4 like autocannons, assault cannons, and heavy bolters.  Weapons that are becoming more and more popular with players since BA and GK releases.

There are a few upgrades that are unappealing to me also.  Crushing claws on tervigons are decent, but usually with preferred enemy from the tyrant.  Acid blood makes me think you want to get it stuck in combat, but not as it's one of your only two synapse.  It'll strike at init 1 and ws 3, so at 215pts it won't do much as a CC unit.  Carnifex's with adrenals but not frag spines are lacking unless you're using the upgrade purely to ID thunderwolves, but you'll never get an assault on a unit with vastly superior speed.  They already have enough str to flip any tank and ID nobs.  You have 20 termagants, but no toxins or adrenals on the tervigon to share buffs which means this unit won't do a single thing except hold an objective until they get tank shocked.

The list does have elements I like and will keep in my list revision to maintain some of the original flavor.  I do think melee fex's need a bit of list tailoring to maximize their investment, so I'll try to synergize the list around them.  Your tervigon, hive guard, and tfex selection is similar to my base so I'll just tweak is slightly.

Here's my version @ 2500pts.  Carnifex fast n slow.
Tyranid Prime + lash whip/bonesword
Tervigon + ts, catalyst, cluster spines
Hive Guard x3
Hive Guard x3
Venomthropes x2
Termagants x10 + devourers, mycetic spore
Termagants x10 + devourers, mycetic spore
Tervigon + adrenals, toxins, catalyst, cluster spines
Gargoyles x20 + toxins, adrenals
Gargoyles x20 + toxins, adrenals
Carnifex's x3
Tyrannofex + rupture cannon, cluster spines, desiccator larvae
Tyrannofex + rupture cannon, cluster spines, desiccator larvae

So I kept the prime, tervigon, hive guard, carnifex's, and tfex's with some minor adjustments to jive the points.  I'm going to focus the rest of the list on making things work around the big fex unit.  It's got a lot of wounds and hits very hard in CC, but it's slow.  This means you'll probably want fast units to grab enemy units and hold them down until the fex's arrive.  So there's where the gargoyles come in.  If you need them for cover, you can deploy them in front and jump them up turn 1.  They're fast enough that they won't tie up your own monsters like hormagaunts could with bad terrain or run rolls.  At 8pts each, they can wound anything on 4+ (don't forget auto-wounds on 6's to hit) which makes them killier than naked hormagaunts.  with 20 bodies, you can cast a wide net with them to catch and tarpit units on several fronts.  Don't forget with cover and FnP from the tervigon they are very resilient.  They can also swamp transports and glance rear armor 10.  They also have some light shooting to use in a pinch.  This is why I almost always use them instead of hormagaunts.

Next, I gave your tervigon a mate.  This takes some of the synapse and targeting priority pressure off the one in your original list.  It gives you more resilience via another catalyst, more synapse and synergy.  It gives you more spawnable scoring units in objective games and actually creates more difficult targeting issues by making one HQ and one troops.  In an objective game, use the troop terv to hold the backfield objectives and the HQ one to rush up contest and spawn.  Your opponent will want to shoot the troop terv, but the HQ one will be the bigger threat to their own objectives.

I didn't touch your hive guard and tfex's because those are my preferred anti-tank foundation.  I took out deathleaper and harpies as I've played around with them and I'm not totally sold yet.  If you want to keep either, I'd take the harpy over deathleaper, but they also compete with gargoyles for fast attack slots.  In the end, one chance to penetrate armor with a HVC, one chance to bypass cover, and then -1 on the damage chart just isn't worth the 170pt platform that's just begging for ap4 attention.  Yeah, it has some anti-infantry duality and CC support abilities, but doesn't the whole tyranid codex?

So next I added the venomthropes which do several things for you.  They compete for heavy weapons fire with your tervigons adding targeting priority issues.  They provide mobile cover for your tfex's and carnifex's if you don't want to layer units and slow them down.  Don't forget they're 5+ cover, defensive grenades, dangerous terrain.  They also have lash whips so if you keep them near the fex's, you can send them into CC  to make some of the target models init 1.  2+ poison and toxic miasma aren't terrible either for a couple extra wounds.  If you can keep one model from each gargoyle unit within 6" of your venomthrope unit, you'll be a Nid master, making your fast screens a huge threat.

Finally, we come to the devilgaunts in drop pods.  You don't have any reserve modifications, but you don't really need it for these guys to fulfill their role.  In objective games, drop them to score or contest.  30 shots from each unit with 18" range actually makes them useful also.  In KP games, drop them in to mop up the easy killpoints.  30 str4 shots into rear armor can also suppress well.  I use foam easter eggs for my spores, flattened on the bottom so they stand about as tall as a drop pod, carved out to create an opening, and hot glue strands to create a biological gooey look.  As such, you can drop them in front of your monsters if they arrive early to provide cover.  They work like marine pods so they won't mishap if the initial placement isn't within 1" of an enemy.  The gants inside also benefit from the tervigon brood progenitor ability if you drop them in range as well as spore cloud.

So, with these changes, we've reduced your deployment pack by reserving 20 infantry which can also make considerable late game contribution.  We've added survivability via more targeting priority issues, more FnP, portable cover, and defensive grenades.  Gargoyles step up as swarmy combat units and are more effective than naked hormagaunts.  You lost some ranged anti-tank, but your infantry can now glance av10.  A while back, I neutered a stationary leman russ battle tank with gargoyle glancing hits so don't discount their abilities.  Overall, I think the list synergizes well from deployment to movement, shooting and assault.

I hope some of that helps, even if it's just one piece of wisdom that sticks with you.  I hope you enjoy the army, it's very fun to play with.  Keep me in the loop with your progress and maybe we'll cross paths again at ATC, NOVA, or Daboyz this year!

Thanks man - I'm looking forward to it!

For those interested souls out there, my plans this year include Adepticon (in a few weeks), Wargames Con, and the Nova.  I'd love to get back out for this year's Da Boyz, as well, but we'll see.  I'm taking Daemons to Adepticon and the Nova, but I'm hoping my Tyranids will be ready for Wargames Con!

Included here are also the comments made on hyv3mynd's original article:


Christopher said...
Nice interesting list here on the modification. and it also gives you a couple of options you can do with the prime. -Could help with Synape with the Fex aswell as provide them with a LW so it can during assault drop another models init down to the speed of the carnifex which can be useful. -or place with the venomthrope if by chance people want to try and focus down the defensive capabilities they bring. Also could maybe have an option (maybe close on points but could drop 1 fex and the prime (possibly even 1 venomthrope to get all the points) And put in a Flyrant w/ Wings + Old Adversary. Gives all your gargoyles rerolls to hit (which allows for more 6's to auto wound), Str 4 on the assault to allow for reroll of wounds (more killy goodness). Gargoyles can provide cover for the tyrant if used correctly. Gives you a forward synapse also more target saturation to take the focus off of the tervigons and some may not hit the gargoyles instead. Being base he has 2x scything talons so he rerolls all failed hits on vehicles (old adversary doesn't work on Vehicles w/o a weapon skill). so that gives a few options to play with... However the revised look is definitely more stable. Also remember Harpy's are not eternal warriors and T5 so they can still be 1 shot by a few things... however mainly as he said ap 4 burns them fast also to note they are large (supposed to be trygon sized flyers) so they have a hard time getting cover. Also as he noted HVC is not as reliable for AT. Glad to see we have more people taking the nids to Tournaments. Best of luck.
hyv3mynd said...
My problem with a flyrant is even with gargoyle cover, it still only effectively has 8 wounds needing 9-10 missile hits or 15 fired. I've already seen SW lists @ 2,000 with 18 missile per turn, and DE lists with 24 lances. A flyrant is a front line unit and a large threat so he will receive the heavy weapons fire during the first few turns. IMO, he won't live to strike home in CC.
Christopher said...
My mention of him is a threat of a carnifex however more mobility, frontline synergy. Deploy for what you can out of LOS with him and just fly over terrain. if it is just area terrain then give him cover. Yes... him being focues down in the first few turns takes all the fire off of the 40 gargoyles in the front line which are the main threat. and missle launcher spam will deny them FnP Line the gargoyles up a cross the board with the second unit behind them then the tyrant behind.. You have first unit getting Fnp and possible cover due to terrain and placement, Second getting cover saves from the first, then the tyrant with 3+ , 4+cover, and Fnp. He can and will draw a lot of fire but missle spam even as being a threat if you give him fnp or not... you are providing the fact that the firepower is going to allow more gargs to make their assault which they are the real danger when that assault hits. if anything he takes fire off of the Tervigon, gargoyles, hiveguard, venomthrope, tfex. The carnifex running acrossed the board can be ignored for a few turns so everything else takes prority and the carnifex may never really see but 1-2 turns of CC. If the Tyrant doesn't save your army from a massive amount of shooting that could be going elsewhere and makes it to CC with the gargolyes it is dangerous.
SinSynn said...
Excellent list analysis and advice. Brent is playing 'Nids- this is awesome news! The empty, digital headache meets the Hive Mind (and Hiv3mynd, in this case)...can this be anything but entertaining? Doubt it. Lol. Gonna be interesting, for sure. Hyv3mynd, I would ask you for a favor- is it possible you could offer me some assistance helping Purgatus over at Best Overall with his 'Nid list? I wrote him part 1 of an e-mail and he posted it up. It's actually linked here on your page. Your opinion would be much appreciated. Thanks if you can..... Either way, love the blog, brother. Congrats again on your marriage, and keep up the good work!
TheGraveMind said...
I really like the list that you suggested him. My one thought would be to drop the third fex, and get a second Prime. The tervigon goes to troops, grab a cheap second prime, and have some point left over for a third venomthrope. Two primes allows for 2fex+2prime combo or for the primes to join where needed for wounds/toughness. And I'd drop one or both gargoyles squads down a few (down to 15) and grab a few more tox sacs and adrenal on things. Second tervigon and primes maybe. or put the adrenal glands back on the fex if desired. Just some ideas. Man, between purg, brent, hyv3mynd, and SinSynn all working on tyranids, I might have to pull mine back out.
hyv3mynd said...
Ultimately, everyone will tweak a list to their own playstyle and preferences. I highly doubt Brent would take my list and order the exact models to complete it. He's played assault xenos for longer than I have and his meta game is probably very different than mine. SinSynn ~ I don't want to jump into someone else's blog and tell them why I think my lists could work better. If you have a request or want a review, email it to me and I'll post it up here. TheGraveMind ~ LOL please don't. 5 people in 5 different states is hardly bandwagon or saturation. I don't think Stelek ever considers shelving his wolves just because Reecius, Hulksmash, and Purgatus also play them. Play what appeals to you most.
Chaosheade said...
GK can make big bugs sad and their purifier squads can make little bugs even more sad. That is some excellent advice and a very scary looking list, Hyv3mynd. I have doubts that a single harpy, even with cover and such won't even last through the first turn against most lists at 2500 points if they focus fire on it. I dunno, maybe it's just because I'm just not a fan of harpies (or any other STDs *rimshot*). I also like the idea of the 2 fex/2 prime combo that TheGraveMind suggested.

1 comment:

TheGraveMind said...

I don't mean because it's a bandwagon. I meant that I am thinking about playing my tyranids more so I have better opinions to share between. I still pull out a win every once and a while with them. :D

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

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