Tyranid Project - Part 10 - Unit Analysis

So I've had a few games. A few units have performed well...others...well not so much.

Time for a brief overview of how each unit has done. These assessments will be how they and their abilities compliment my army so I'll be ignoring certain abilities which are of no benefit to me currently (like the Swarmlords 'Alien Cunning' rule for example).

Starting at the top,

The Swarmlord.
A bit of a points sink weighing in at 280 points. He does however do his job very well. Being able to give a friendly unit within 18" either Furious Charge or Preferred Enemy* is brilliant but he will for the most part be giving it to his own unit, It's also worth remembering that these abilities only last to the end of your turn so you don't get the benefit of preferred enemy in your opponents assault phase.
Though he has all 4 of the Hive Tyrant's abilities the 2 you'll get most use out of are Leech Essence and Paroxysm to the point that should I ever replace him with a standard Hive Tyrant those will be the 2 powers I pick.
Pretty much anything you end up in assault with (with the possible exception of TH/SS Terminators) will be dead in at worse 3 or 4 rounds of combat (and that includes attached characters) .
As with all such things there is a downside and this is his...without Tyrant Guard to absorb wounds and grant the unit cover saves he will NEVER reach assault. In the world of Mech that we currently live in, any even semi-optimised army will have enough ranged anti-tank to carve 6 wounds off a MC with no inv. save against shooting with ease. This seems like as good a time as any to move onto...

* Well he can also dish out Acute Senses as well, but as that's only of any real use in turn 1 of Dawn of war so I haven't used it yet.

Tyrant Guard.
Essential to anyone who wants their Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord to actually have a chance to rip something in half. As they are infantry they can get cover saves if 50% of the unit is in cover, this means that as long as the Tyrant Guard get a cover save or are in cover the Tyrant will get one as well if he is joined to the unit. They're pretty good in a fight themselves being WS 5, S 5 and having 3 attacks basic and if you happen to get a rending roll as well then all the better. Mine have Lash Whips which are useful as my Swarmlord doesn't get the option for them himself.

Hive Guard.
The no-brainer Elite choice. 2 S8 shots each at BS4 do a great job of carving through light Mech, Transports and denying Blood Angels their Feel no Pain save. I take 3 units of 2 and am yet to regret the decision.
There are people who champion the Zoanthrope as an Elites choice but imo they're wrong, my reasoning behind this is here. If you must use an Elite slot for something else (Deathleaper, maybe) then combine the 3 lots of 2 into 2 lots of 3. In most scenarios you'll need to advance at least 2 units of them forward due to their 24" range, luckily Termagants make a nice cheap piece of moving cover.

A 6W , T6, Monstrous Creature that can hold an objective and make more Termagants...Fucking ace I'll have 2...
In objective missions one sits back and holds my home objective while the other moves forward giving the Termagants the benefit of both her Adrenal Glands (Furious Charge) and Toxin Sacs (4+ poison).
Though there have been rare occasions when Onslaught (gives the ability to run and shoot to a single unit) would have been useful, Catalyst (Gives Feel no Pain to a unit) has been priceless. If I had the spare points I'd have both but being as I had to choose I picked Catalyst which has been consistently useful. For the most part I've used it to increase Termagant survivability, but it has also been used to help out both The Swarmlord and Hive Guard units when necessary.
'Spawn Termagants' though useful, is so random that it can't be relied upon. Best to consider each unit produced as a bonus rather than rely on them to win you games. Also resist the temptation to get trigger happy and start producing Termagants from turn 1, much better to wait till you know where they'll be needed.
The default ability 'Dominion' which extends synapse range to 18" is always worth remembering if you happen to have a unit out on it's own that you really need to go where you want it to. Not used often but you get it for free so it's worth remembering you have it.**
Though it's possible to upgrade the Stinger Salvo to Cluster Spines I don't on the Tervigon for the simple reason that I'll probably be pretty damn close behind the Termagants that I'm enhancing and I don't wan't to risk dropping a Large Blast Marker on them...

** I have a terrible habit of forgetting abilities that I haven't had to pay extra points for...

Obviously I need 2 units of 10 to make my Tervigons troops so that's what I've got.
A unit of un-enhanced Termagants is basically useless against pretty much anything due to the string of 3's on their Statline (Initiative is 4), 1 base attack and their 6+ armour save.
However, once you start piling on the potential upgrades they become a lot more useful. It's fairly easy to end up with Furious Charging, Poisoned guys with Feel no Pain. Furious Charge makes them Initiative 5 so they're hitting before those annoying Marines that seem to be everywhere these days and their Strength obviously goes to 4 for that turn. This is doubly useful, Firstly because your now wounding Marines on 4's and Secondly that means that if your also getting poisoned attacks your rerolling that 4 to Wound (just for that turn mind you, but anything that ups the number of saving throws your opponent has to make is a bonus when you need as much dead before it can hit you back as possible) due to the Poison rule. Mine have Stranglewebs which I am yet to have the opportunity to use, they therefore may be going in exchange for another 2 Termagants per unit when I next tweak my list.
Their default ranged weapon is for all intents and purposes a Bolt Pistol. The points cost of ranged weapon upgrades is not worth it in my opinion, best to keep them cheap as they're going to die anyway.

The much maligned by so-called (and for the most part) self titled experts, Tyrannofex. I happen to think they're awesome.
T6, 6W, 2+ Save makes anti-tank weapons the only reliable way of killing them.
The Rupture Cannon is the obvious weapon upgrade : S10, Assault 2 (making up for the BS3) and a 48" Range. With a secondary ranged weapon and a built in Flamer they're pretty good up close as well.
In my first game I made the mistake of using the Tyrannofex like a 'Rifleman' Dreadnought which it isn't, Unlike most long range gun platforms there is no need to tuck it away in a corner somewhere. First couple of turns use the Rupture Cannon to pop Transports, then when you get a bit closer you can start dropping Large Blast templates on the former occupants then finally you can unload that lot and your Flamer on something before Charging it and finishing off what's left.
Unlike with the Tervigons, I upgrade the Stinger Salvo to Cluster Spines as I'd rather have a S5, AP-, Large Blast at BS3 than 4 S5, AP4 shots at BS3. A hit with the Cluster will generate a lot more wounds than the 2 hits I'll get on average with the Salvo.
The Thorax Swarm (which can be fired in addition to any other weapons the model has) is upgraded to 'Larvae' as my experience with Sternguard (both with and against) has led me to believe that anything wounds on 2's is pretty fucking useful to have.

So that's it then, my experiences after a grand total of 4 games using my Tyranids.

The floor is now open for opposing viewpoints...
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