Wednesday, February 8

The Joy of Small Games: 1000 Points of Tyranids and small war tactics

As I mentioned in my debut post here at Duke's Inferno, The Joy of Small Games, I had the majority of my minis stolen a few years back and am currently limited to playing rather small games. (Read the comments section of my previous post if you want to hear my sob story) As was promised, I am now going to share with you what my Tyranid collection currently consists of, and the 1,000 point army I have made from it. So here's what I have:

anyone having pinning nightmares now?

  • One 3rd edition Carnifex
  • 20 Genestealers
  • 26 Hormagaunts
  • 8 Termagaunts
  • 6 Tyranid Warriors
  • 1 2nd edition Zoanthrope (just found him in the bitz box!)
The list I have been playing recently:

HQ - Hive Tyrant (played by the 'fex) - 235
2x Scything Talons, Wings, Hive Commander, Leech Essence, Paroxysm

Elites - 10 Ymgarl Genestealers - 230
Elites - 9 Ymgarl Genestealers - 207

Troops - 5 Tyranid Warriors - 175
Troops - 25 Hormagaunts - 150

It comes to a grand total of 997 points. In most games I reserve everything, take the second turn, and try to place the y-stealers so that they will be fairly centrally located. I try to place the stealers so that their hiding places are 12-18 inches away from each other. This way they can support each other if needed but are still capable of reacting to most threats on the table. The tyrant is deployed via deep strike, the hormagaunts are usually used as an outflanking instinctive behavior missile and the warriors come on my table to edge to grab backfield objectives and add some fire support. People still don't expect 15 S5 shots to come out of a small group of 'nids.

In most games the warriors do a little, the hormies might be responsible for eating a squad before getting shot off the table, the tyrant lends a hand with hard targets, and the y-stealers eat 80% of the enemy army. By doing some quick mathammer before I select which buff I'm going to use I can usually keep them in combat for more than one round and prevent them from getting shot to pieces. That's really my whole theory of playing Tyranids; reducing the amount of opportunities your opponent has to shoot you is the most important task.

The rest of the army is there to effectively support and deliver the stealers. The hormagaunts are a distraction and occasionally hunker down with the tyrant to claim an objective. The warriors deal with soft targets and claim objectives. Sadly, while the tyrant does get to rip a few faces off or pop the occasional tank, his primary purpose is providing +1 to reserves.

Thus far I'm 6-0-1 with this list. What do you guys think? Would you do something differently? How would you expand to 1500 its?



  1. 1000 points does seem to be the sweet spot for Tyranids. I was recently rolled by 3 tervigons in a speed tournament.

    The only suggestion I would provide would be to drop a set of ScyTals on the Tyrant to get Lash Whip/Bonesword, but if you want the rerolls then keep em'. I just like the whip to get some swings in guaranteed (mostly).

  2. Serious, your making me want to play a day of 1000 point games.

    The Y-stealers are hard to defend against at that point level. Not sure what I would do there.

    Taking second and trying to let them come out first might be the best thing. Can you say Tau Posi-Relay. :)

  3. The list looks pretty good for a 1k game. Are you playing on 4x6 or 4x4? If it is the samller table the Ymgarl's are nasty on the smaller tables. Only thing I can say is a downside is perhaps a scoring based game with lots of objectives may be a weak point.

  4. I'm playing on 6x4. For games with more than two objectives I usually just try to hold one with the warriors and just clean off the board with the rest of the army. It usually works, but a five objective game was where my one loss with this list came from.