Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thinking outside of T6; Heavy Support

By TheGraveMind

And we thought Godfexes were expensive in 4th edition
Tyranid heavy support, the home of the T6. You have trygons and mawlocs, carnifex, tyranofex, and the little biovore. Trygons and Tyrannofexes are the most common of the culprits taken for this FOC slot. But lets take a look at the other possibilities.

First, lets have a moment of silence for the "Godfex". Never again shall such an amazing monstrosity of upgraded biomass walk across the battle field. Compare a venom cannon, crushing claw and regenerating Godfex with the bells and whistles. The 5th edition Fex clocks in at 270 points, while the 4th edition was sitting around 250. Granted the newer one has two more attacks, but what did we lose? Oh nothing important, just T7 W5 2+ for less points. A base 85 point carnifex (and 75 point Hive tyrant) would make people run screaming in this day and age. Oh how the young forget. But we cannot change the past, lets look toward the future....

Carnifex, oh carnifex, How Nid players miss thee. With the price jump and removal of options, few nid players even considered using a carnifex when the new book came out. Some of that has carried on, but there are many that are out there trying out the FEXstar. You take one or two Fexes, and an equal number of Tyranid primes and attach them together and run them up. An alpha warrior with regen and lashwhips and sword is a great addition to a carnifex. Seeing as half of the squad is not a monstrous creature, they are able to get cover, just as tyrant guard do. Lash whips and bone swords help out in combat and help make sure fexes get to attack first/same time, and don't get bogged down. They synapse keeps them under control and the extra wounds with regen are great for soaking up shots. But don't forget they count as average T6, but also average Ws6 when being attacked.

I myself have not tried out this combination because I was never the nid player that had 5-8 carnifexes laying around. The three I had were converted into Tyrannofex/tervigons. But this seems a very nice combination and a great way to get some S10 close combat attacks into the fray. If I ever made the models for this, I would make my Alpha warrior look like his whip was a leash for the carnifex.

The real Tremors feel
Mawloc; the crazy uncle of the trygon.
"The one trick pony, he'll get to hit maybe once, and then will be taken down". Not always true. While he is some what of a gimmick, what the Mawloc does provide is some amazing disruptions. It's a shame we don't see more of these being played. The ability to hit any target on the table, push units around, and even possible remove whole models/squads from the game is pure mental warfare at its greatest. You can achieve amazing board control with just the ability of having him pop up. I've tried it when the book came out, and simply had some bad luck with the scatters.
The thing it comes down to is it requires the right list to run it. The sad part is that the FAQ did somewhat hurt the ability to build a proper list that functions well with it. That is not to say there isn't' still great possibility for it, but it requires a good amount of work to get it there.

Now that's a Barrage!
I've heard people list these suckers as some of the useless units in the codex! WHAT!!!! Let me present to you an example; You deck yourself out in all of the newest anti tank units the Tyranid codex has to offer, and you are destroying chimeras left and right. What do you have now? A wall of wreckage that can slow you as you cross over/around and that you can't see the infantry huddling behind on the objective? Here comes the biovore, just lob those mines right over, and watch whole squads die in the barrage. S4 AP4 large blasts make short work of anything not MEQ. And with multi-barrage it can be very devastating. You don't require line of sight, and the attack counts as originating at the center of the blast. Multiple blasts means you can easily get more hits than there are squad members.

Even if you don't kill a whole squad of guardsmen (which is easy with 15+ hits, wounding on 3s and ignoring most armor and cover) they still could be pinned or start fleeing from break tests. What if you face Footdar or greentide? Again you are almost destroying whole squads. But 50% or more of my opponents are going to be MEQ! Well, even then 15+ hits, wounding on a 4+ should kill a few marines a turn.
Sure Nids are known for being able to handle infantry just fine, but the ability to reach out and harm a squad that far away is great. I have yet to be that disappointed in Biovore performance. The times they slack against marines is overcome by their actions against everything else.

Trygons and Tyrannofexes. I'm not saying they are bad, but I think people are a little too complacent with them. Trygons need to be in combat, or they get shot to pieces, and getting them there can be trouble unless you are running more than one, and that is a good amount of points to get a trygon into combat. Tyrannofexes are great and I know people have still held out because of their point values and I don't blame them. 265 points for a two shot Bs3 gun isn't the best, but it is far more than that. S10 shots early on popping vehicles, and once you get close, S5 large blast and 2+ poison flamer really hurt infantry. If you are close enough to assault you should do so sparingly to mop up, and keep from getting shot with meltas.  6 wounds really make both of these beasts nice large targets that can soak up a lot of fire. One wants to get into combat as soon as possible and avoid getting shot, the other wants to stay out of combat as long as possible so it can keep shooting.

So I'm curious what you all have tried? The FEXstar? Triple Trygon rush? T-fex shuffle?


  1. My heavies tend to go to a Trygon and a pair of Biovores.

    The Trygon is the replacement CC Fex... more wounds, better WS, higher Init, more attacks, and re-rolling all failed hits? Did I miss anything? Right, he's Fleet. And can still shoot, if you're feeling antsy.

    With as many attacks as they have, the Trygon is still a threat to AV14 (while the 'fex is a little better, it's worse against everything else) and can take on single T4 characters... the fex is better against a literal horde of multi-wound T4 things (or T5 on the charge, if you bothered to upgrade him), but those occurrences are rare enough to make me pick the overall (ie; 95% of the time) better choice.

    What lets the fex shine, IMHO, is its ability to load up with big fancy guns. That's how I always ran mine back in 4th - S8 large blast and either a pair of devourers or deathspitters (for more blast action). I'd even throw on spinebanks from time to time just to have a 3rd gun... and it was still S6, afterall.

    You can still do this, but it's clocking in at about 200 points. The upside is that you don't lose any CC potential by taking guns (unlike the previous incarnations where you'd be giving up attacks from Talons), and you still have Battering Ram (though what good that'll do you is questionable).

    But you're still paying 200 points for roughly the firepower (arguably less) of a 100-130 point Imperial tank. You can't be stunned or one-shotted (barring a few specific instances) but still... it's a little bit of a stretch. If you need the long-ranged support in your army, then I think the Fex can be a good fit. Beyond that, they need to go in extremely expensive (what, 600 points for a 2-fex/2-prime 'star'?) combo's.

    I'm glad the kit is so good at looking like a Tervigon. Food for thought - would anyone consider it overpowered if it were 30 points cheaper base?

    This would give you a Screamer Killer for 130 (150 if you took the newfangled Bio-plasma). I'd be interested in non-nid opinions, but that would make me look at it as an assault platform (or even as a gun platform) over the Trygon.

    To end the rant and keep this on track, I agree about Biovores as well. They're not gonna be shooting down any tanks, but the barrage is often overlooked and a great add-on!

  2. Here's my latest list - it adds on biovores inside the "normal" 6HG/2 tervigon/2tyrannofex build precisely for the reasons you cite above. Plus I like the idea of dropping dinner plates on Longfangs.

    Tprime1 w/bs, lw, spitter
    Tprime2 w/bs, lw, spitter, tox (regen?)

    3 broods HGx2
    2x Tfex w/rupture, cluster, dessicator
    3x biovores

    2 broods Tgantx10
    2x Tgon w/ag, tox, cat, scytals

    4x warriors w/spitter, scytals (accompanied by Prime1)
    4x warriors w/double BS, scytals, tox (accompanied by Prime2)

    Debating consolidating the HGs into two units of 3, dropping 1-2 biovores, and adding (a) venomthrope(s). Concerned it reduces the volume of fire too much and I'd need to find a way to add in a venom cannon in warrior squad 1 to help compensate.

  3. My 1500 list I tried out was

    Prime with lashwhips bonesword talons, toxin sacs, adrenal glands and regen

    Hive guard x2
    Hive guard x2

    Tervigon adrenal glands, toxin sacs, catalyst
    Termagants x10
    Tervigon adrenal glands, toxin sacs, catalyst
    Termagants x10

    Biovores x3

    Or I could drop all the biomorphs off of the prime and add in a 5th hive guard. Normally I attach the prime to a hive guard squad to soak up fire. This list devastates mech lists at this point value. Deamons gave me trouble and I found it didn't have enough umph to handle a dedicated assault unit ie Trygon.

    So I've been looking to versify my list. replace tyrannofex with carnifex, replace tervigon with warriors. change out prime for tryant and guard. add in zoanthropes. I'm going to try out my new list here this week.


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