Nick's Tyranids and the LVO: 6 Things I Learned


Well the LVO has come and gone, and what a great event it was. I went 3-3, which is below my goal of 4-2, but actually above average for Tyranids (see #2 below).   I got 6 great games in.  Game 1 pitted me against Frontline's own Rawdogger (Jason, Northern CA) and his AM (W).  In round 2 I got paired up with Nick Rose (TX) and his Scout Army- the funny thing is we got paired up in round 2 of last years LVO as well (different year, same result.  This one was a L).  I ran into Adam S (AZ) and his Newcrons in round 3, and I found out just how durable these new Necrons are (L). I played against Chris W (Northern CA) from Powered Play Games and his Imperial Knights round 4 (W). Geoff Robinson (aka iNcontroL, Northern CA) and his Tyranids round 5 saw two of Tyrants die to Perils of the Warp during turn 3 (L). Finally I played Vince (Northern CA) and his Flyer heavy AM (W). So in summary (just in case you want to skip the above paragraph); 6 Games, 3-3 record. I played against 4 people from Northern CA, 1 from AZ, and 1 from TX. The armies they played were 2 Astra Militarium, 1 Tyranid, 1 Space Marines, 1 Necron and 1 Imperial Knights. Not a bad spread.

Nick's Tyranids

My army list was:

4 Flyrants with Devourers, Wings and Egrubs

2x3 Rippers

3x1 Mucolids

Barbed Hierodule
Void Shield Generator
Tyranid LVO

Here are a few things I learned about Tyranids at the Las Vegas Open:

1. Tyranids were the 3rd most popular army, behind only Space Marines and Eldar.  They were all the rage for the event, but they definitely have some weaknesses (especially the 4+ Hive Tyrant variants).  I think their popularity will continue to increase as this ITC season goes on.

2. Despite their popularity, Tyranid primary armies only won 47% of their games (See Torrent of Fire ... and YES! I'm above average). Now, this can be attributed to newer Tyranid players (like myself), bringing out this army to an event with some pretty experienced players.  But also, the Flyrant heavy armies have a difficult time with Maelstrom missions.  They can kill stuff just fine, but on the missions that require scoring units to be on an objective, or in a deployment zone, Tyranids struggle.

3. Flyrant armies are an elite army.  While durable, if you make a mistake, things can really start falling apart quickly.  If a Flyrant finds himself (itself?) out of position, he can easily lose a wound to rapid fire weaponry (and potentially another wound from grounding).

4. Competitive Tyranid armies need more ground threats in order to compete in Maelstrom missions.  Having the Flyrants as a tough "rock" unit is nice, but they really need to be supported by something substantial on the ground (or supported by ground MSU).  I'm not sure if a Barbed Hierodule is enough, simply because he can only be in one place at a time (and Maelstrom missions sometimes require multiple units to be in certain areas).

5. While Flyrants are very mobile, you need to be VERY aware of the turn number.  You could easily get stuck hunting down some units, and find that you are nowhere near an objective.  With only a few units that can control objectives, it's critical to be mindful of your board position and not get baited into fighting away from objectives.

6. How awesome is it that a THEMED Tyranid army won the whole darn thing? Yes, 3 Flyrants were the rock unit in the list, but they were supported by Lictors and Mawlocs.  If you notice, the Internet isn't talking about the Flyrants, they're talking about the Lictors and Mawlocs.  I think we will see an increase in #Lictorshame lists, but we will also see an increase in themed lists in general (not just for Tyranids).  This is a GREAT thing for the hobby.  Congrats to Sean for winning it with a themed list.

Stay tuned, my follow up article is going to cover the changes (improvements??) I plan on making to my Tyranid list for some upcoming tournaments.

What did you learn about your army from the LVO?