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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Battleforce List Alert! Battleforce List Alert!

What's up Doc's Projects? As someone currently dabbling with Tyranids, I've been scouring the internet for some articles about list building and tactics with the new codex*. As you might suspect, I've come across a lot of awful shit in this quest. With so many cool units in the codex and what amounts to a vastly different approach to the army than the 4th edition codex, I think everyone out there is confused as hell about how they're supposed to be using their bugs. The result is a mashing together of all of someone's favorite units that don't fit together at all and no explanation of tactics. Honestly, from what I've seen out there, most people don't even get the new tactics necessary to make Tyranids work.

The link above shows just one such force. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll get a nice little quote from the author, saying that this isn't his normal style "soft" list. I'd hate to see what his other lists look like. Here are some initial thoughts about his Tyranids-

  • Zoanthropes and Hive Guard in the same list. One or the other please, you're just reducing your effectiveness by mixing and matching these units.

  • Trygons and Mawlocs together. If you're going to use Mawlocs you'll need a bunch, since they miss 1/3 of the time. Diluting them like this just means that your deepstrikes won't be likely to work out. Conversely, only 1 Trygon gives your opponent an obvious target.

  • What the fuck is going on in troops land? Genestealers, Warriors, and Hormagaunts all in one list? How is that supposed to synergize? I am super confused about what exactly that was supposed to accomplish.

So, without any tactical discussion of how this list is supposed to do anything, I just don't see where it's headed. For the record 'I beat my buddy's SM list' is not a tactical discussion. Super unhelpful and open to large amounts of interpretation. Was your buddy spamming Devastators? Was it all jump infantry? Giving your list real street cred requires a deeper analysis of what it has accomplished.

Over all, I think that the Doc should stick to his painting posts. He's got some pretty sweet shit up on that front, although I'm not enamored of his Hydra conversion.

Here is a link to the current incarnation of a Tyranids list that I'm tweaking. General Tactics are to use the on field elements to advance slowly, with HVC fire to suppress/stall transports while the beta strike shows up on turn 2 to start doing some actual damage in preparation for turn 3 when all of my units meet up in the middle. Though not great, I've found the Mawlocs to be very helpful in killing vehicles on turns 2 and 3 and then reburrowing to come back and eat troops on turn 5. As a bonus, most people don't fear the Mawloc, so they are not a priority target.

In spite of some early criticism I've been fairly happy with the list so far, but am still looking to up the efficiency. I pulled an almost draw against Mechdar (which I had predicted to be one of my least favorable matchups) and pulled out a few wins against some Landraider based Space marine lists. Possibly considering dropping one of the tyrants in favor of a pair of Harpies, to increase my first turn suppressing fire. This would be at the expense of the (nearly) automatic turn 2 arrival of my deepstrikers, though.


*consequently, should anyone have links to some good information, pass it my way for the love of all that is holy.


Chumbalaya said...

I don't think it's terrible, but it's not a hard list. You've got snakity snakes and stealers flanking/DSing with the core of gaunts/warriors advancing.

With a few tweaks (HG over Zoeys, Tervigons, T-fexes) it could be a lot better.

I'm gonna second Stelek re: your list. It's very reliant on the shock and awe of 2 zoey broods and 2 mawlocs. They're not bad, but they're very much a one trick pony.

If you're looking for good bug stuff, Spite for the Dice Gods, 3++ is the New Black, and of course YTTH are all good for it.

Raptor1313 said...

Having tested out the spore mines some, they're a bit hit-'n'-miss. Literally. If the enemy really, really is concerned about them and has vehicles he'll just end near them if it's convenient. If they have fire points in the vehicles, well, you'll lose them then.

I think if you see psychic defense, you're potentially losing your best anti-tank.

Overall, I'm not sure that double tyrants is the way to go at that points level. You're going to be leaning on them to do heavy lifting against nastier targets. You can really only rely on them getting one shot; anything past that is a bonus.

The matchup that I think would be an abject pain in the but for you would be something like Black Templar drop pods. You're either going to take the HIve Commander bonus and pretty much guarantee that you get in before they do, or you're going to turn it into a reserves game. (and if they get LC furious charge guys in via drop pod, well, that's potentially a pain, since they CAN run through a LOT of stuff. Best hope is bury them in termagants).

All that said, I have to go with Chumbalaya (and think him for the promo. Thanks, Chumby!). It's a shock-and-awe list, but if the other guy keeps his head on straight and focuses fire, your main threat is assaulting with the tyrants and then trying to tag him with Tervigon-backed termagants.

Here's a thought if you want to play the pop-up game:
1) Drop Zoanthropes. Frees up 340 points.
-Use this to grab 3x2 Hive Guard. Not as graphic on the firepower dimension, but they can fan out and provide a fairly nasty coverage against light transports, and if you can stop those that's half the battle.
(40 points remaining)

2) I like Mawlocs on paper, but part of the problem is target saturation. They pop up, and the enemy really has to decide 'Do I try to kill it THIS VERY TURN or ignore it' as they should get 1-2 chances to kill it. On other turns, they can simply devote their firepower to other MCs, like your pivotal Tervigons. I think that Trygons are much more reliable, honestly.

Downside is that you'd want to roll with both of those as Trygons; but you only have 40 points free and that buys you one Trygon and has the other MAwloc 20 points shy.

3) At this half-baked point, I think I'd drop one of the Tyrants (300 points free); that would allow you to upgrade the second Mawloc to a Trygon, and then you'd have the choice of trying to fit in a pair of Harpies for additional long-ranged firepower OR another Trygon, just so you can still probably get two in on turn 2.

Just food for thought, at this point. I'm trying to keep from just being like 'RUN ONE OF MY LISTS, IT IS TEH WIN!' like you see on a lot of forums where they just dispense their version of 'common sense'.

Any way you do it, I'd recommend incremental changes. I think that dropping one of the Tyrants for a pair of Harpies would be a start; more targets and more initial firepower. Also, as fun as venom cannons ARE on mycetic spores, I think you could probably save some points by going with Cluster Spines, or some such.

The_King_Elessar said...

See Chumby's post. lol

I can tell what's good in the Dex, but have no experience playing Nids and won't pretend to know how to gel it all together.