Codex Tyranids: the hunt for useful units!
So it's time to put my old lists to bed and forget what worked with the old Tyranid codex. It's easy to grumble about old units that have been nerfed, but that's not going to win any games. So... now those old, reliable options have to be thrown out and the hunt for new useful units is on. Here are some of my first picks of units that look useful in the new dex.
Since keeping units in synapse is a much bigger deal with this codex, I think making a resilient foot tyrant might be a good idea. Tyrant guards now have automatic look out sir, which means the combination of a tyrant with regeneration and a couple of guards should mean you can dump your first three shooting wounds on the tyrant and start to regenerate them back... with zero risk of the tyrant failing a look out sir check and eating the last wound.
With a screening unit in front and some venomthropes close by, this unit could give me a resilient synapse boat anchor to grab table center. With adrenal glands, this whole unit has fleet and furious charge to help it get into combat.
Hive tyrant, regeneration, two sets of devourers, adrenal glands, hive commander
2 tyrant guards with adrenal glands
370 pts total
As tervigons now spawn at the end of the movement phase, they can outflank and spawn immediately. The idea of running them in from a flank is extra appealing, as with a 12" death spasm you probably don't want a tervigon guarding your home objectives - it'll be safer to leave that job to cheaper troops.
Mixed gaunt squads
To get access to the outflanking tervigon you need to take a big unit of gaunts... fortunately the ability to mix weapons in gaunt units is a hidden gem in the new book. You can now take those incredible but expensive devourer gaunts... and pack the unit out with cheaper termagants to soak up incoming fire. 15 devourers nets you 45 S4 shots at 18"... and 15 ablative wounds gives you a chance to keep those guns firing.
30 gaunts... 15 devourers: 180pts.
Warrior scoring synapse
129 points nets you a useful little unit of warriors - you can take toxin sacks, one barbed strangler and one lash whip & bonesword... and mix it all together. That leaves you a unit that can sit or hide in the backfield and pew-pew-pew away at long range targets. If anything gets too close, just one poisoned bonesword gives the unit four toxic power weapon attacks at I7... and they can even ID monsters.
3 warriors, 1 lash whip and bonesword w/scytals, 1 barbed strangler, 3 sets of toxin sacks: 129pts
To the laboratory!
The interesting thing about the units above is that none of them were particularly obvious from rumours or even a first glance at the book, they started to come out when I looked at customising units for particular battlefield roles. Hopefully there is a lot of hidden potential in this new codex.
There are quite a few more units that look viable in the book - Mawlocs, Lictors, Venomthropes, Flyrants, Crones and Gargoyles all look like I need to experiment with them. I'll be putting a few lists together and playing some games over the next couple of days, so time to start finding out what works!
I tried all of these out last night and they worked fairly nicely. The tyrant was alive at the end of the game, the warriors held backfield and killed a more expensive plague marine unit that came to mess with them and the outflanking tervigon came in on the wrong flank, but still spawned a unit of gaunts that were holding an objective at the end of the game. My game was against Adam playing a plague marine army, and with some hot dice (two sets of catalyst...) I managed to kill most of his army by the end of the game. I may write up a longer batrep if anyone is interested.