Tyranid army poses problems

A review of past Alien Tactics by commanders during the First and Second Phase Expansion.
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Tyranid army poses problems

Post#1 » Nov 19 2006 01:23

This will be my first post, and as I have used the search function and not found the answers I seek, I'll pose this "problem" here.

One of my neighbors runs an extremely effective tyranid army. In a 1500 point game, he runs:

Standard: winged hive tyrant with a 3+ save and double sything talons.

If only one tyrant, it's a winged machine gun tyrant. If two, he takes:

"machine gun tyrant": 2 twin linked devourers, 2+ save, bs 4, str 6.
Note that this tyrant, on average, wipes out an imperial guard squad every shooting phase. Absolutely disgusting firepower. :-(

Standard: 3 shooty fexes with a venom cannon and barbed strangler each.
All have 2+ saves, bs 3. May or may not have 5 wounds.

After that, the remaining points are spent on 5 point "spinegants" to increase his numbers.

Depending on how he feels, he may bring psychic scream on his tyrant(s) and throw in 3 zoanthropes with scream as well (for a -5 ld penalty!)

If not, the points are spent on things like cheap, assaulty warriors, raveners, tyrant guard, or even more spinegants!

Here comes my problem: Generally, our games are very close either way, because I can beat him at mission objectives. However, I cannot figure out how to deal with his monstrous creatures because I become stuck between having the firepower to destroy them and being too slow to avoid the ocean of spinegants.

If I bring broadsides to take out his carnifexes, I may not even kill one before his winged hive tyrant, using terrain, simply avoids them and assaults. In addition, the gants or anything else that gets through can assault them and eat 200 vp's, and the carnifexes instantly kill them if they fail saves.

If I bring hammerheads, they simply cannot hide from the carnifexes, (range of 36" and can move and fire) which usually inflict at least one glancing hit per turn, enough to prevent return fire and often stop them altogether or disable the main gun.

If I bring piranhas, I get within 12" and they just assault or shoot me. Pointless.

If I bring crisis, plasma only wounds on a 4+, so it would take me 16 plasma shots to kill one carnifex, or 20 if he brought the extra wound (which is dirt cheap anyway). The carnifexes move behind a sea of spinegants, so getting within 12" with crisis is almost completely out of the question until the gants are eliminated completely.

Finally, If I try to simply overwhelm one monstrous creature with fire, the toughness 6 combined with the 2+ save usually means that enormous amounts of punishment are required simply to bring down one of the beasts, leaving the fast assaulty stuff to get through unopposed.

Finally, if I ignore the carnifexes, as I tend to do now, I find myself in endgame unable to destroy them, and unable to shoot anything that doesn't have JSJ for fear of uncompromising return fire. 6 turns of three shooty fexes firing tends to do tremendous damage, if not the fast stuff that eats anything without an armor value.

So my question is: what is the best approach to tackling an army like this one in a cleanse mission? (which is what we usually play)

Thanks for reading my incredibly long post, and for any help, beforehand! :)

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Post#2 » Nov 19 2006 03:30

Completely ignore the Carnifexes. your primary targets of Opp are Tyrants, Warriors, and ZThropes in the interest of keeping those gants static or fleeing. Run Ion over Rails with three Hammerheads. Two mounted fire Warriors will suffice for troops followed by a solid helping of missile pod crisis (FireKnife, I'm looking at you. Deathrain OK too). Aim Ion at Tyrants, Missiles at Warriors, and Plasma at Thropes. Your priority one game plan should be wiping his synapse any way possible.

Then, once the Gants are nice and tied up with Ld 5 and Instinctive Behavior, go ahead and snipe away with those fire warriors and DFish while concentrating every other piece of ordinance at those Fexes. Cleaning out those Fexes is priority two.

Mop up on the gants once the heavy hitters are gone at priority three.

He should have 12-15 wounds of Carnifex (which might be 3+ and thus, ion-able), 6-10 wounds of Warrior, and only 4-8 wounds of Tyrant. At the low numbers you should be able to clean off Tyrants and Warriors first/second turn, Fexes and Thropes turn three/four, with three turns of laying into gants from 18-24 inch range with what's left.

This was all theoretical, of course.

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Post#3 » Nov 19 2006 09:38

Khald'un wrote:Standard: 3 shooty fexes with a venom cannon and barbed strangler each.
All have 2+ saves, bs 3. May or may not have 5 wounds.

And flyrants often have 2+ save, I gathered, so Ion isn't an option for them. But I agree, priority #1 is killing the synapses. With 3 RailHead, he can stop one from shooting a turn, but you still have 2 shots to silence the flyrant. And once that's done, they are still effective against Carnifexes, and after that on gaunt, furthermore they don't fear gaunts.
3 Helios-4 suits can wipe out a Carnifex in two turns of firing. If you don't want to clog the elite slot, one Centurion plus 2 helios-4 will do the trick, 6.3 wounds on this kind of fex on average (one turn at 18 inches, and one at 12).

Soji, as always at your service

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Post#4 » Nov 20 2006 08:48

missed that pesky 2+ save.

Railheads might be better, but you'd lose out if he surprises you by dropping tyrants altogether and just running Warriors at HQ (I've been known to do it)

so I'd reallocate plasma to Tyrants. Lots of Fireknives. Maybe some fusion armed Piranha.

The Humungous
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Post#5 » Nov 20 2006 01:58

I've played 1000 pt games vs. a nidzilla list, and the keys I found were that I HAD to use range/mobility to string him out. This does a couple things:

-Keeps out of devourer range (as a nid player as well, I know how much these rock :P)
-Forces him to either slow down his gaunts, or risk out-running most of his synapse (making it easier to fry whatever synapse is keeping them in control).

If he can hide his flyrant, why can't you hide your railheads? I would use submunition shots to pound gaunts while staying out of sight of the gunfexes.

Are your broadsides BASSes? I found it quite helpful to keep my BASS moving.

I had a lot of success using my piranha to clog up lanes.

Do you have kroot? Charging spinegaunts does a couple things for you:
-You'll be safe during his turn from dev-toting MCs, as you won't wipe him, and he'll auto-pass his LD check.
-You'll beat the crap outta him if you have anything close to even points :)
-You'll clog his lanes without blocking LOS to MCs.

But the main thing I found was that I had to use my mobility to string him out. If I just tried to gun him down, I lost pretty badly. A flyrant with even 1 wound hitting your lines is devastating.

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Post#6 » Nov 21 2006 01:32

So in order of killing:


The carnifexes are absolutely brutal, so staying out of los as much as possible will be a good idea...

with the flyrant down, and synapse (he always brings too much) hopefully destroyed, the spinegants can be dealt with with skimmers, and the fexes with suits or, if possible, just avoided altogether.

I'll try and post a batrep of our next game, see what happens, and go from there. Thanks for the input! :D

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Fal'Shia Mont'Ka Vendrak
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Post#7 » Nov 21 2006 08:59

And flyrants often have 2+ save, I gathered, so Ion isn't an option for them.

Please note, that the Extended Carapace may never be combined with Winged. So whenever you see someone claiming his Flyrant has a 2+ save, say NAY to that ;) So you can use the Ionhead against him...
Others than that I can just agree with the former posters...stay outside the Carnifexes sight, and shoot the synapse creatures first, then the big stuff and then the little buggers, maybe using Kroot as speedbumps for them...
Happy Nidzilla toasting :)
Edit: The above statement of mine isn't completely correct...I forgot that he still has the option of taking the Warp Field psychic power to increase his save to a 2+. But then at least he is losing the Psychic Scream ;) So, sorry for the mistake of mine :smile:
Ah, yes, mere infantry - poor beggars... - Plautus

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