Today I’d like to go through a list of what I’ve seen come out of tournament Tyranid lists over the last few months, and weigh in on what I think is working. The Tyranid book is often overlooked when people talk about winning Codexes, but more and more we’re seeing the weight of favor towards the bugs.
I believe the biggest reason for this is due to the mechanization of Fifth Edition. With more and more armies being a Space Marine variant, everyone has access to Rhinos. With the fact that vehicles are so strong they might as well be made out of diamonds, most people load up on anti-tank weaponry, and rightfully so. Hell, even my main tournament list is a Melta-spam Vulkan Drop Pod list.
So, what are the big names in Tyranid list making using today. I wanted to find out, so I’ve been scouring minds both local and foreign to find out what makes a good Tyranid list tick.
He’s a delightful balance of points per ability, making him a great buy and a ton of fun. The model is great and dynamic, and he does something I never thought the Tyranids could. He makes putting things in reserve not suicide. This alone puts him on my list, but he is great in any role you choose him to fill.
Popping tanks at a distance is awesome, and that’s before you even notice the Toughness six. You’re basically required to take at least one full squad.
Termagant spam is awesome, and one of two dominant modes of Tyranids in my opinion. Overloading with large numbers of Troops provides an effective and fluffy Tyranid army. Too bad every game takes six hours moving all those Termagants.
Trygons or Mawlocs
I’m not entirely sure there’s other things in the Heavy Support slot. Argue amongst yourselves which to take, but I say one of each is a good place to start. They’re massive, scary bullet magnets. Even if they never make it into combat, the tactical scare can win games.
They may have been extremely nerfed in the new edition, and they’re still one of the best. That goes to show how broken they were. They still are one of the best close-combat Troops in the game. It’s easy to max out four or five slots, and with some Tyrant or Lictor backing you can Infiltrate them like a boss. I know I usually run forty in a list. They are the definitive Tyranid unit. Take em with Glands for maximum fun!
This stuff can definitely make it into a tournament-level list, but isn’t a “Must take”. There’s no shame here, and imagine most people’s beef with my rankings will be on these units.
The cover save is nice, and a great complement to Tervigons. The price of entry is a little steep for such a frail body, though. The model’s neat though!
They look so good on paper, and to be honest they’re not terrible. I can see the use of running a squad in a tournament list without batting an eye. The problem arises from the psychic check to shoot, and the inability to consistently handle armor 14. You end up with a few decent attacks, and sure you might get lucky and wreck a Land Raider, but the lack of consistency for a relatively expensive unit makes them a tough call.
They’re Genestealers with a few more rules and buffs, but the problem is that they’re really expensive. Maybe a competent general in a larger tournament would field them, but they are not push-button win like some of the other items on this list. If you bought Space Hulk on accident like the rest of us, then I would definitely use the models, but you can skip them if you’re not a fan or not confident in your skills.
I had to include a few things in the “duh” category. I doubt anyone would take these guys, but if you want to defend your favorite underdog unit, let me hear about it in the comments.
I really thought these were the unit to beat when the codex came out. All the fun weapons, the cool name, and what could be an incredible model make this guy drool worthy. However, competing with the Mawloc and Trygon is a tough call, and the model never materialized. He also needs to shave 10 to 30 points to make him truly competitive.
I really put this in just to express my dismay at the current ‘Fexes. I have three close-combat-oriented ones I bought during Fourth Edition. The model oozes Tyranid style. Sadly, they don’t even come close to the point cost assigned to them; they’re completely neutered. Mine sit awaiting retrofitting into Tervigons, but I just can’t bring myself to break them down.
150ish points for three two-wound guys who suck in close combat, foot slog, and only have a 4+? And they compete with, oh, seven of the best Elite choices in the game? Where do I sign up! I also think the model is a static, boring mess.
So, that’s what I see as the state of the Tyranids. How’d I do? Is there any glaring omissions, or any undeserved chiding? I still can’t decide where Doom fits in, and it seems like the internet is just as divided. Let me know how you feel in the comments!