Tyranid Tactical Analysis

[got this from a client]

After putting some serious thought into a nicely balanced and formidable Tyranid Army I took on Mark. Now Mark and I have had some titanic battles ... and I'm pleased to see that some of my tactical tricks with the Guardsmen have rubbed off on him...

I took the following list:
  • HQ: Parasite of Mortrex
  • HQ: Prime with BoneSword/Lash Whip and Devourer, Regen and Tox.
  • Elite: Doom of Malantai
  • Troops: 10 Termagaunts
  • Troops: Tervigon with Regen, tox, Catalyst and Cluster Spines
  • Troops: 5 Genestealers
  • Troops: 5 Genestealers
  • Troops: 24 Hormagaunts
  • Troops: 4 Warriors with Rending Claws, Tox and Deathspitters
  • Fast Attack: 3 Spore Mines
  • Fast Attack: 21 Gargoyles with Tox
  • Heavy Support: Trygon Prime, Regenerate
  • Heavy Support: Mawloc, Regenerate
Mark took some cunning tactical choice of going all out on the armour:
  • HQ: Primaris Psyker
  • Troops #1: Vets with plasma/melta
  • Troops #2: Vets with plasma/melta in Chimera
  • Troops #3: Vets with plasma/melta in Chimera
  • Fast Attack: Vendetta
  • Fast Attack: Vendetta
  • Fast Attack: Hellhound Squadron with heavy flamers
  • Heavy Support:Leman Russ Demolisher with Heavy Flamer
  • Leman Russ Battle Tank Squadron with heavy bolter each
  • Leman Russ Punisher with Pask and 3 Heavy Bolters
As a bench test for this army, Mark couldn't have chosen a tougher nut to crack. To compound the problem, I decided to reserve/deep strike with lots of my options. Mark played very well, and I'm unsure what I could have done better given his placement and position. I've played two 'reserve' games not and I don't think I'm suited particularly well. It gives you flexibility, but the impact of losing firepower and having to steal the initiative from your opponent is too much.

Turn 1: Mark stole the initiative ... so my 'ambushing' genestealers got flamered to death! The Tervigon survived ... just. The MAwloc ran away (tunneled)

Turn 2: Mark killed the Tervigon, my genestealers started running and the Doom, Mawloc, Trygon and Termagaunts (standard) arrived. Doom kills 3 guardsmen and kills a Vendetta. My Mawloc scatters (nearly off the board) and my Trygon fails to get an angle on rear armour.

Turn 3: Mark kills my Trygon, nearly kills my Mawloc and runs away from Doom. 24 Hormagaunts arrive via the DS hole and run about aimlessly (without adrenal glands they cannot hurt anything!) The doom is only S5 blast and without targets (being all tanks with minimum armour AV12 facing) Mawloc assaults the Punisher and manages to stun and immobilise it ... rubbish. Parasite deepstrikes onto board with his horde.

Turn 4: Mawloc dies in lascannon hole. Hellhounds and blast demolish the Gargoyles and a missile launcher does for the parasite. Prime and retinue arrive and shoot russes, managing a penetrate and two glancing ... but only manage to stop them shooting! Genestealers catch and charge the Vendetta and only manage to stop it shooting - despite two penetrations!

Turn 4: Genestealers get toasted. Vendetta deploy vets and they shoot up the termagaunts. Doom of Malantai is killed by 3 twin-linked lascannon (NB: MArk hadn't bothered focusing on this unit up til now as he assumed it would get eternal warrior... Warriors and Prime weather a mountain of fire (mainly thanks to intervening hormagaunts) and they smack down on Demolisher - wrecking it! Hormagaunts run around doing little.

Turn 5: Mark does house keeping, reducing gaunts, toasting all the hormagaunts and destroying the last Warrior bodyguards. The Prime goes down to plasma fire and I'm left with 1 squad of gaunts on the board, who pass their leadership and shoot the vets ... killing four but failing to rout them. My 5 termagaunts face a short future.

Final score: 13 to 2 killpoints.


Not to lament the dice ... but the combination of piecemeal tactics and some horrendous vehicle damage rolls meant that I was really on the back foot all game. Mark could sit inside his AV10 bunkers and shoot the priority targets as leisure. The genestealers 'could' have given me an edge, but stealing turn 1 from me. I lost the genestealers and had to suffer two turns of shooting on the Tervigon before help arrived. My penetration and damage rolls on the tanks were simply appaling and compounded an big problem ... I was trying to make love to a tin of beans... no dice!

Pask (with his reroll to wound) firing 29 dice (even at S5) at BS4 was absolutely devastating. The punisher really showed it's credentials in this game.

The Mawloc is really the Trygon's little brother. While I can see the merit of a S6 AP2 blast ... I'd rather have a close combat monster. He missed and then had no shooting to complement his deep strike. The Trygon's needed better backup... and the synapse upgrade just isn't worth it!

Deepstriking isn't really necessary for the Parasite, as his whole unit would be much better not getting 'clustered up' and using the cover more effectively.

Overall, very very disappointing ... but an instructive and interesting game (albeit an important lesson) nonetheless. Mark continues to be one of the most playable gamers in the club. He takes a 'complete cakewalk' with the same good cheer as he's taken a drubbing from me in the past.

We've agreed a rematch in two weeks ... similar nid army versus mark's standard guard (with more troops).

Good fun all round!



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