Nids – New Models, New Army Lists … by Mark Perry

3 Mar


Well the first pictures are out of the new Tyranid monstrous creatures and, yes, they look very nice but and it’s an important but … they are very large!

For those who have missed the first new releases in about 2 years the Tervigon, Tyrannofex, Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord finally have new models. The good news is they are plastic rather than finecast, the bad news is that the 3 tervigon, 2 tryannofex army you had planned is still going to cost some serious coinage!

The Big T’s

The Tervigon and Tyrannofex both come from the same frame and are very handsome indeed. As expected both are mounted on the large oval base. However, the raised haunches appear to push them up towards trygon height and experienced Nid players already know how difficult it is to get a trygon a cover save from anything bar a venomthrope. Previously hive guard have been able to give carnifexes and the like a cover save and many tervigons, like my own, modelled on carnifexes were able to get a cover save from hive guard. Then, as hive guard are not MCs, you could still a unit of termagants in front of the hive guard which would give them a cover save too …

Now for the TFex it can cope with missile spam due it’s 2+ armour save, the tervigon is far more vulnerable now without the ease of cover save as it’s 3+ armour save means 2+ to wound with a krak missile – so 2 units of long fangs can bring down a tervigon a turn. Problem. The best unit in the Nid Codex just got more vulnerable, better looking too, but that only really counts if it’s still on the table after turn two.

The Hive Tyrant also has a new model and a number of arm combinations such that it can be given 4 boneswords to run as a swarmlord as well as twin-linked devourers, lashwhip tyrant etc. No real change in size, just the ability to field those boneswords. There is also a proper winged version and seeing the initial picture this looks more than capable of being fielded as a harpy rather than going through extensive conversion work.

SMS (or Shiny Model Syndrome)

Undoubtedly, this is going to result in a change to Nid lists going forwards as people are going to want to field the new units – whether just because they are new and nice or because they always wanted to but were put off by the lack of official model.

Certainly the tervigon has been often described as the best unit in the Codex, if not the best troop in the game! Expect to finally see people running multiple tervigon lists – maybe 3 or more at a time. I did have a 5 tervigon list planned once and maybe, just maybe, I might dig this out and give it a run! Mix these with 9 hive guard and you have a tough mass of monster heading towards your line – mass tervigons will also allow them to give each other cover saves and so 1 or 2 should survive until late game.

TFexes I have been unimpressed with and while I’ve messed about with a proxy they are 265 points with the rupture cannon and only BS3. The rupture cannon is an assault 2 weapon but BS3 and no twin-linking doesn’t cut it for me at the points level. Expect to see people trying them though and T6/2+ armour save should mean you will need to concentrate a lot of fire to bring them down.

The Swarmlord is undoubtedly one of the top 2-3 close-combat machines in the game. The problem has always been getting enough boneswords for the model and then getting him intact into CC. Expect to see more of him now – maybe even with a Prime attached to the Tyrant Guard for the full death star treatment. With a prime and 2 tyrant guard it also then becomes far easier to get a cover save for the Swarmlord as the attached units are not MCs.

The final trend I see is winged lists. Having official Nid wings now will potentially see people trying out Harpies and Flyrants advancing behind massed gargoyle screens. A very viable list that has often been curtailed by lack of models and the lack of options for winged troops. If only shrikes could merely be a winged version of warriors from the troop choices …


The main conclusion is that Tervigon spam will be open for business. However, there are going to be some issues over cover for pre-release proxied models and I hope that tournaments are understanding over the time/effort people took over making their own tervigons. Due to the massive mismatch in size, running old and new together is going to look a real dogs-dinner and so unlikely to be fielded that way.

With the sheer size of tervigons, tfexes and trygons now, the Nid player’s main issue will be getting cover saves for his 200pt monsters. Expect to therefore see a movement towards venomthropes as well. It means giving up that 3rd elite slot that was previously taken up by hive guard and players may ultimately go back to that option, but I expect to see some experimentation here.

A real sea change with the new MCs together with thunderwolfs for Space Wolves shaking the local meta a little and I can only see such a change as a good thing. Just leave your Dark Eldar at home … please.


2 Responses to “Nids – New Models, New Army Lists … by Mark Perry”

  1. N.I.B. March 14, 2012 at 10:37 #

    Yup, the sudden loss of cover saves makes me sincerely hope GW has something up it’s sleeve for MC cover saves in the coming 6th ed. Because Tyranids didn’t need to be nerfed.

  2. N.I.B. March 14, 2012 at 10:39 #

    Also, you can forget about cover saves from Gargoyles for the new towering Flyrant. Venomthropes aren’t an option either, leaving the Flyrant a no-go option in 5th ed. Good job, GW.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: