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Thursday, 15 September 2011

GUEST POST: Tyranids: Both sides of the table

"Hmm.. Facing the 'Nids. Those dirty little buggers. The models look so tangled too. What should I shoot.. Or assault? Can I assault? What can they actually do.."

"Damn those tankparks.. How should I deploy to counter those blasts and get cover, too.. Should I infiltrate or outflank the 'stealers.."

Tyranids, with their 5th edition codex, are not an army that is to be taken lightly when playing against. Or with. The Codex isn't nearly as good as the Imperium books, but really has it's tricks when facing the tankparks of 40k nowadays. The codex does "rock" in some way, but definately does not autoplay the games. That's part of the magic, I quess. Good listbuilds are not so variable as they could, too. In my opinion, the "Best" list atm contains some 55 genestealers, 9 hive guards, tervigons and few gaunts. Prime is a good addition, too. Let's look at the topic first from the Nid-cam. A list example:

Tyranid Prime: Pair of boneswords 95
Tervigon: Catalyst, Sacs, Glands, Spines 195

Genestealer Brood (20) 280
Genestealer Brood (20) 280
Genestealer Brood (15) 210
10 Termagants 50
Tervigon: Catalyst, Sacs, Glands, Spines 195

3 Hive Guards 150
3 Hive Guards 150
3 Hive Guards 150

= 1750

So, at first how to deploy, and whether to go first or second? These questions are always important, but how to deal with them?

Who goes first: In general, a good tip is that in objectives, you shouldn't go first as you get the last turn. But how about your genestealers? Do you want them to be shot at 1 extra turn? And pushed back too? Probably you do not. So, a good advice with this list is to go first when you can, ofc depending on your opponents firepower. If you think you can take the extra turn of shooting against you, go for the last turn, and you get better chances to clean up those rhinos and chimaeras having tank shocked into objectives.

How to deploy then: When going first, deploy your Hive guards front, and because of the seize in cover, if the worst case scenario happens. You definately want to harvest that rhino-parking lot or venom-thicket in the enemy deployment zone, and to do that being in range helps. A centrally based formation is well fit, and leaves you with more options. In objective games one would really like to secure the objects to own end of the table to be able to swarm the midfield efficently. 20+20 genestealers probably want to inflitrate to cover in a string, bases 2" apart if your opponent has template weapons. Remember to leave a tail on the units so the tervigons are able to throw FNP to genestealers every turn. The small unit usually should outflank, ofc depending on the opponent. When going second, be wary you are going to be shot before throwing FNP or moving to cover, so make sure genestealers get the 4+ coversave or they are screwed. There are times you just have to hug cover and hope you don't lose that bad, and it's ok. Daemons deserve a special note on deployment. String your units in a string 12" from table edge (pitched and DOW). Then string the stealers in evenly spaced strings through the field. This SHOULD give the Daemon player some headache with deepstrikes. Worked somehow against me when I played Daemons against nids, atleast. This tactic ofc should be varied on Spearhead.

Gameplay: Move aggressively and time your assaults well. The field works in waves of infantry models working in synergy. Gaunts shouldn't be spawned first turn, but later on because they are easily shot down first turns. The gaunts linger midfield or in your own table-edge, and tervigons go where needed. Hive guard should be in cover, or behind a LOS-block using their wonder-aim, especially against Dark Eldar and Grey Knights which can blast the bugs to next week. Prime offers either psydefence or reinforced combat abilites, or just synapse. He's the everyman of the list. Genestealers are rocking against almost anything, but are pretty fragile in the end. Be careful not taking on too much same time. The outflanking unit hopefully assists the weakened flank of genestealers. It's common to deploy using refused flank tactic against nid who have deployed in the middle, and the outflankers balance this out 2 times out of 3. Ahh, sound so Daemonic... ANYWAY, keep focused on distances all the time, remember your Move Through Cover, Fleet rolls and Synapse tricks, and don't get stupefyed by the firepower thrown at you. It'll weaken when you get to harvest the parking-lots.

Objective games require contesting and clearing out the field with genestealers while taking the objectives with tervigons and spawned gaunts. Beware of the tank shocks, which shift your infantry pretty badly off the targets. Just charge the tanks with wrong facings so they can only shock forwards which should help. Also keep on blasting them with hive guard. In kill points you should be careful on those spawn-gaunts, as they offer up pretty easy points. Just be more careful and try not to give anything voluntarily. Playing 10-10 right from the start and then aiming higher if the opportunity rises is a good tip.

This is just the basic overview. Everything varies depending on what you face, but as a smart player one should be able to figure out what to do every game ;) Be strict and focused on the movement and target saturation, and things should turn out well. And yeah, beware land riders. There is very little you can do exept maybe stun or shake, with luck immobilize these hulks. Tervigons can bust through them, but good luck with that. Those nasties really give Nids hard time. Again, sounds like Daemons... Really, what's wrong with me always playing these move and get shot + Land Rider allergic -armies... : P How about the Opponent-cam then?

Going First or Second: Going first is good as your get more shooting phases before assault units reach you. But, usually with tanks in your army, you probably want to get the objectives too. So don't be afraid to get the second turn and slow those stealers down with sacrificial units, leaving stealers in the open against your full wrath, and later on tank shocking to contest the objectives. Whatever you do, plan it ahead.

Deployment: Against 'stealers you should really try to push them back. Scout moving units are great for this, but starting the game also works. Also a sacrificial rhino or chimaera or whatever is good. Put those units on the edge of deployment zone, to push the 18" inflitrate range further away. Then zoom back to your table edge and watch them crawl under your firepower. It's great to position yourself in the corner or in the middle, depending on the terrain and your army. Ah, everything depends on everything, doesn't it.. Beware the outflankers.

Gameplay: Hard to cover out everything but in general preserve your units and try to keep your firebase(s) up as long as you can. Going to melee against Genestealers requires dedicated assault troops, and maybe additional support of another units. Thinning the tide with shooting and assaulting weaker genestealer units also works. After you have dealt with stealers, move midfield to push the Nids off the table and start cleaning up the trash. Missiles and lascannons, lances etc are best to be pointed at those tervigons and hive guard. Target saturation is really important here, and so is planning your movement. If the stealers die but you are stuck in the corner you are not in a good shape.. Try to remove their antitank as soon as you can.

Winning?: Play your own game, and ofc, avoid mistakes. Make those shots count, and try to set up certain counter-attacks and charges. I can't underline the target saturation enough. Keep the game in your hands and don't be the passive reacter, and you have the game in your oyster. If the dice are against you, look Aleksi's post on law of large numbers to find the solution ;) If that doesn't help, don't mind. It's a game, after all! Tyranids want to win sometimes too, youknow! x)

Whew. This turned into a wall of text. Hope you find something useful out of it. I probably have forgotten to mention so many things, but anyway... Try to fill the holes with your own knowledge. Remember that things mentioned here are sometimes one of the options, and the game-situation demands to do it differently. If you see the opportunity, just jump for it! Sometimes something off-the-box is the essential key to win.

Toni Salenius, aka Joo-o

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