Monday, 29 October 2018

Hive Fleet Echidna makes first contact

Welcome all, let me open a datafile for you on the latest threat to the stability of the Imperium since the opening of the Great Rift. May I introduce to you, Hive Fleet Echidna.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Nid list thoughts, input appreciated!

Hi all!

So last time out I set out how I'd made a decision (with your help) to go with Tyranids for my next army choice, so this post of course is all about my thoughts on building a list with them. Now I'll qualify all this with a simple statement to start with. I don't have the codex yet. So all of my knowledge comes from a combination of battlescribe, and 1D4chan.

I've talked before about how I go about putting an army list together, and I'm following those same broad steps with this army. I should also just say however that thanks to the ease of putting lists together with battlescribe, I've already written several lists etc so some of these thoughts will be going over ground I've already crossed, whilst others are fresh. They are all up for discussion however, and for those of you with experience fighting with/against Tyranids I'm really hoping you'll be able to give me some insight into what I've said/thought.

Without further ado then, let's look at how I wrote my list (ps, this is the second version of this post, and it's a lot shorter than the first, so if you want me to go into detail about any particular choice, please just ask!

1. What's the army theme?

Simply put? Fast. I wanted to swarm across the board and overwhelm my opponents before they have time to really think about target priority.

2. Which hive fleet?

Two options really stood out, Kraken and Behemoth. Whilst Behemoth certainly appeals and has the potential to engage really quickly, the latest FAQ on arriving from reserve has really put a dampener on its day, particularly if you'd been looking to leverage reserves and re-rolling charges like I had been...

Kraken on the other hand lets me both charge after falling back (keep leveraging those charge bonuses!) and also roll 3D6 and pick the highest for my advance rolls.

Next up, cover the basics.

3. Board Control, target specific threats.

Tyranid Troops units don't appear to be that resilient from what I can see, so here I went for a combination of quality and lack of threat to push the target priority down. I pushed the boat out to get two battalions in the list, meaning I needed 6 troops units but would get extra command points to counter that cost. Equally however, many Tyranid Troops units benefit from being taken in larger unit sizes (I like this decision from the games developers, it really encourages you to go for the classic swarm style). In the end I plumped for two units of 16 Genestealers (with adrenal glands for +1 to their charge and advance rolls) - big enough to get the bonuses and survive a little bit of early shooting - and a unit of 24 Hormagaunts. Both of these units are incredibly quick and so they allow me to threaten the enemy army on turn 1. The Genestealers can advance and charge meaning they have an average threat range of  20", whilst the Hormagaunts are to my mind even better. Still an 8" move, though they're not allowed to charge after advancing, but with adrenal glands they get +1 to advance and charge moves, and there are a couple of sneaky tricks up the Nid's sleeves (do they have sleeves?) that means these guys can charge after advancing, or simply move a second time and charge anyway. With the combination of scything talons and numbers, the Hormagaunts also get to re-roll 1's to hit and to wound in the fight phase. Incidentally, whilst the advice I read suggested avoiding the adrenal glands, when you run the numbers they make interesting analysis. The average threat range of the Hormagaunts is 15" moving once and charging when taken bare bones. If you allow them to move twice then that goes up to 23". Still less than the likely minimum starting separation of 24". If you cast onslaught on them so they can advance and charge, then they will average 20". Add adrenal glands and the basic threat goes up to 16", moving twice gets them to the magical 24". Moving once with onslaught gets them up to 22". When you factor in those threat ranges, and the fact that you only need to get within 1" to get into close combat, simply having them in your list with that kind of threat range puts your opponent on the back foot, and could cause them to compromise their deployment. Equally, the threat of moving a second time and charging puts the Genestealers up from the 'dangerous' threat index into 'lethal'. Their threat range goes up to 33" when you factor in that ability.

For the second detachment, a basic 3 unit ripper swarm could pop up onto objectives in my own deployment zone and would pose such a low level threat the chances are it would be ignored. Add to that a pair of warrior units with paired boneswords and deathspitters to give me a couple of nice jack of all trades units to plug any holes there might be. The Warriors are also synapse creatures, which will help me to avoid any nasty morale checks I might have to take. 6 troops units would give me lots of lovely 'objective secured' whilst these units would be a sufficient threat to the enemy they can't be ignored (except for the rippers) which will take the pressure off the bigger units in the list.

Once I'd got the basic units into the detachments I needed to start thinking about the other required units - the HQ's. I've already hinted a few times at it, but the Swarmlord just couldn't be left out. Aside from being a truly epic blademaster with a potential 27 damage dished out in a single turn, his Hive Commander ability is the real reason he's straight into the list, allowing a unit within 6" to move (and advance) a second time in the shooting phase instead of shooting. Next up was the other no-brainer. With two units of Genestealers in my list, the Broodlord was a given, it's both a combat monster in its own right and boosts the abilities of the 'stealers to unholy levels (seriously, a 16 strong unit in range of this guy gets 64 attacks hitting on 2's and re-rolling 1's if you take the free scything talons). I also stuck the Ymgarl Factor relic on the Broodlord, giving me +1 strength, attacks or toughness each fight phase. This unit is perfectly capable of ripping even the most elite enemy units to pieces on its own. In similar fashion, the Tyranid Prime lets the Warrior units hit more efficiently (in both shooting and fight phases) and although he's not comparable to the Broodlord on his own, 5 attacks as S5 hitting on 2's and -2AP is nothing to sniff at when backed up by the warrior units. Finally, I figured that despite the Swarmlord and Broodlord both being competent psykers in their own right, a Neurothrope wouldn't go amiss. With a natural 3+ invun and few enough wounds that it can't be targeted unless it's the closest model, the Neurothrope is a decent shout for the Warlord of the army, which also fits with it being the 'Brain Bug' unit (you didn't think I'd get through this whole article without referencing Starship Troopers at least once did you?).

A downright must-have in any list in 8th edition, vehicles can be taken down through sheer volume attacks, but it's not usually very easy. Thankfully, the Nid codex can tackle vehicles in many ways. Although not quite as ideally suited as many of the weapons available to other, shootier armies, The Swarmlord, Carnifexes, Trygon Primes, Hive Guard are all capable of doing nasty things to vehicles in their own way, and even the Broodlord can take on lighter vehicles and come away with bits of wreckage impaled on its claws. I'm not sure I could field a Tyranid army without at least 1 Carnifex, so that had to be in there, and with monstrous crushing claws (effectively a power fist) it could easily wreck a vehicle in one turn on the charge. I also wanted a Trygon Prime. Remember how I mentioned earlier that the Hormagaunts had a nasty charge range with adrenal glands? It gets even nastier when you pop out of a Trygon tunnel only 9" away. The Trygon also comes with a pretty nasty shooting attack that can thin a horde nicely before a charge. The stars of the show however are I think the Hive Guard. Generally you see them with the Impaler Cannons, which are incredible I must say, but given the very specific role I had in mind for them, the Shockcannon seemed to be the way to go. Mortal Wounds on a 4+ to wound against vehicles and D3 on 6's? Yes please! My only regret is I couldn't fit another 3 in the list.

Yes, I've got quite a bit of volume power in the list, but there was one more unit I wanted to include, mainly for the rule of cool, but also because they're just so damn fast and fit perfectly what I wanted to achieve from the army. Raveners. These guys move 12"! 12"! With a second pair of scything talons and spinefists these guys could plough through units of chaff as if they weren't there. As with the other special units, there's a way of buffing them too, the Red Terror gives them +1 to hit in the fight phase, and when taken with scything talons, they have 5 attacks each hitting on 2's and re-rolling 1's, plus a further 4 attacks in the shooting phase!

So, in total the list looks like this:

Battalion 1

Broodlord (Ymgarl Factor, The Horror)
The Swarmlord (Catalyst, Onslaught)

16 Genestealers with scything talons
16 Genestealers with scything talons
24 Hormagaunts with adrenal glands

3 Hive Guard with shockcannons and adrenal glands (for extra range)
The Red Terror

4 Raveners with 2 pairs of scything talons and spinefists
Carnifex with adrenal glands, tusks, spore cysts, bone mace, toxin sacs, monstrous crushing claws and monstrous scything talons
Trygon Prime with adrenal glands, biostatic rattle and toxin sacs

Battalion 2

Neurothrope (probably the Warlord)
Tyranid Prime with adrenal glands, deathspitter and boneswords

3 Ripper Swarms
3 Tyranid Warriors with adrenal glands, boneswords and deathspitters
3 Tyranid Warriors with adrenal glands, boneswords and deathspitters

So there you have it, I open the floor to you all to comment, advise, refine and generally help me make this a better list!

Till next time, TBE

Saturday, 6 October 2018

It's time...

Hi people!

First of all can I just say a really big thank you to anyone who took part in my recent poll to help me decide which army to collect next, I'm really grateful for your input!

As is traditional for these sort of things, let's run down the results in reverse order shall we?