Pete's Tyranids at the LVO


Hi I'm Pete, aka Bugsculptor - infrequent yet long time contributor to The Dice Abide. My Tyranids have been a perennial nemesis of all Adam B's armies over the last 4 years or so and for some reason I've won far more than my fair share of games - Adam's theory is luck... or that I have so many cheap logo dice that I always roll sixes. I've been playing a little less 40k this year, as real life poked its head up and demanded it's attention. Still, over the last couple of months I managed to put together and finish painting up a new Tyranid list based around a barbed hierodule, dimachaeron and a couple of flyrants. I had pretty good success with it locally, but wanted to take it to the Las Vegas open to see how it would perform and to get some real intensive practice with 7th edition under my belt.

My list


  • 1 Flyrant as warlord - devourers, grubs and fighter ace
  • 1 Flyrant - devourers & grubs
  • 1 Malanthrope
  • 1 Malanthrope
  • 3 rippers, deep strike
  • 3 rippers
  • 1 Dimachaeron
  • 1 Carnifex w/ devourers and adrenal glands
  • 1 Carnifex w/ devourers
  • 1 Barbed Hierodule

Game 1 - vs Necrons

I played against Cody's Necrons game one - new codex necrons with a lot of warriors, one unit of wraiths, some immortals, 3 units of destroyers and a whole lot of gauss. I really should have cleaned and was solidly ahead by winning the emperor's will primary in this battle, but I made a couple of boneheaded mistakes that lost it for me - firstly, in my turn two I resolved an ongoing assault between my dimachaeron (2 wounds remaining) and two carnifexes against 3 wraiths, who'd gone in for a first turn charge on the dima. Receiving the charge, the dima had killed 3 wraiths before they struck, so I was overly optimistic it would kill the remainders in turn 2 before they hurt it... especially as two charging carnifexes where contributing 2d3 HoW attacks. Unfortunately the wraiths passed enough invo saves to scratch the dimachaeron to death. I could have resolved a combat between the hierodule and 3 destroyers first, which would have given me first blood, instead I gave it up. In the last turn, solidly winning with 6-5 VP, I flew my wounded warlord flyrant on to my right flank trying to kill a unit of destroyers holding linebreaker... unfortunately this gave a unit of immortals a chance to snapshot at him, and I gave up linebreaker. Time ran out with 6-6 VP, and I'd managed to scrape a tie from certain victory. Oops.

Game 2 - vs Tau & Space Wolf Flyrant counter list

This was always going to be a rough game and match up - my opponent figured he'd be seeing a lot of flyrants and drew up a list with 3 skyrays, 2 tetras, a buffmander crisis suit squad with ignores cover, 2 sicaran tanks, some podding wolves and a fire raptor. In a kill points game, being able to shut down and easily kill my flyrants was huge... normally those guys can head across the table and pick up KP for free, instead if they broke cover and took to the air they'd die in a hail of smart missiles and autocannon fire. To my credit, I castled up and played this game very well, using the long range of my hierodule to get first blood on one of the sicaran's and resisting leeroy jenkins tactics with my flyrants, instead keeping them out of range and managing to trade each of them for several kill points each. I killed both sicarans, shook and destroyed the tetras for little damage, saw smart missiles explode harmlessly off my cover saves and killed any wolves stupid enough to pod within charge ranges and melta me. I was winning at the end of turn 5... and despite the toll inflicted by the fire raptor and buffmander in late turns, still ahead on kill points and secondary missions on turn 6. Unfortunately, I ran out of bugs. In the final turn I had a carnifex and two ripper bases left, and little chance for anything save a hail mary 11" charge with the fex against a hovering fire raptor. The final possible shots of the game from the raptor killed the fex and the rippers, leading to a tabling. Without the crappy game ending dice rolls, 5/6 times I'd have won that game, instead I lost 10-1.

Game 3 - vs Podding Flesh Tearers

For the relic game, I was up against pod marines - flesh tearers and marine allies, lots of combat squads with two units of 3 grav centurions. Very little anti air, so my flyrants could roam freely. Fortunately, despite a couple of librarians, there was no perfect timing in this list. I was able to castle up in the corner getting shrouded saves until all the  centurions were on the table, then send flyrants out to soften them up. I picked up first blood on the first turn by dropping one flyrant in the middle of 5 podded combat squads and casting psychic scream... one of them was unlucky enough to get hit with double sixes and disappeared off the table before I even got to shoot. The rest of the game was fairly slow, with me leaving the corner and slowly breaking through walls of abandoned pods and sending my hierodule around the table center away from the remaining centurion squad. By turn 5 I managed to catch and kill everything around the relic, securing it for a solid victory.

Game 4 - vs Draigo-star w/ Red Scorpions

My first game on Saturday, refreshed by a few hours of sleep. This game was real treat! To start off with, my opponent Brian handed me a shot of makers mark and an army list sealed with a wax seal by the inquisition. He had Red Scorpions with a Draigo Centurion deathstar containing another GK librarian and the Red Scorpions chief librarian Sevrin Loth, who can always choose his psychic powers. Fortunately, he didn't manage to roll up perfect timing, so his death star couldn't alpha strike my hierodule. The game started with me picking up first blood cleaning up two dreadknights who shunted right into my face. My Dimachaeron had no trouble eating the first of them, and a tyrant and carnifex took on the second, peppering it with devourer fire and knocking it to one wound before charging in.... at which point it survived 4 hammer of wrath attacks and made 4 invulnerable saves against the Tyrant, adding insult to injury by inflicting four wounds to the flyrant and surviving two more AP2 wounds from the carnifex. The emperor protects! My hierodule was able to pick off a sicaran lurking in the backfield, which gave me free reign in the air with my warlord for the rest of the game. Things were already heading south for Brian when my warlord managed to down a storm raven full of scoring troops with a lucky warp blast. With nothing left to lose, Draigo and friends gated in to take on my dimachaeron, hierodule and malanthropes in a last ditch attempt to save the game. Sevrin Loth and Draigo managed to tank a huge number of wounds from the Dimachaeron, but when the dust cleared on that epic combat, a malanthrope was finally able to challenge and poison Draigo before the hierodule could step on him and I won with a tabling - 10-0.


Game 5 - vs Tyranid Flyrant spam

My next game faced one of the most prevalent lists of the tournament... flyrant Spam, ran by Max. He brought a maximum 5 flyrants, one tervigon, three five man squads of genestealers, a tervigon, 30 gaunts and a couple of malanthropes. Unfortunately for this game, the terrain on table wasn't very balanced and Max won the table side with a large ruin on it, whereas my table side contained only LOS blocking terrain and walls that his flyrants would be able to buzz over and around easily. I nearly got an advantage back by rolling well for fighter ace to get my warlord the "dive off the table edge" power, but he rolled the same thing, so I wouldn't easily be able to score warlord and deny it to him. I did roll up the infiltrate warlord power, so hatched a plan to dump the dimachaeron, a malanthrope, my warlord and the hierodule into the ruin on his table side... unfortunately he seized on me and killed the dimachaeron for first blood. I gave as good as I could and killed two flyrants on turn one by vector striking and spreading my shooting around, but couldn't pin the other three down. In turn 5 I failed to multi charge a malanthrope into a flyrant along with a carnifex, and unluckily lost the combat to the flyrant (it did all 4 wounds to the fex... the flyrant only had one remaining and the carnifex whiffed... curses). My hierodule was doing a good job of cleaning up and was pretty much invulnerable to the flyrant... however while we had two big guns objectives each I'd lost two carnifexes... I had just lost on the primary and had the secondary when the clock ran out for a 3-6 loss.

Game 6 - vs Mantis Warriors

Drop pod marines with a fire raptor and pre-cog centurions. And this time... Oh No! The librarian rolled up perfect timing. At the end of the weekend I was too sleep deprived to reserve on my hierodule (and his warlord trait was -1 to reserves) so I gambled everything on blocking one psychic power on turn one. I needed those sixes... and they didn't come off - a pod full of centurions loaded for elephant came down turn 1 and picked up first blood by killing my hierodule. From there, I really didn't have much up my sleeve apart from an unkillable fighter ace flyrant, who popped on and off my table edge trying to kill any marines he could reach. I gave it my best shot to steal half the objectives, but had some weak rolls in combats and lost some units to the fire raptor gunship, which left me with a final loss for the tournament - 0-10.

Bonus... Beerhammer Games!

I played two beerhammer games on Friday evening where I abandoned all subtlety and charged all my models towards the enemy. Amusingly, with a couple of coronas in the mix my nids rolled over everything in their path and netted me two tablings. The beerhammer MVP was a malanthrope, who scored victory points by losing a challenge... by killing a c'tan single handed and having the backlash explosion kill himself. Toxic miasma for the win! Maybe I should stick to beerhammer!



My final W-L-D result was 2-3-1, placing me 149 out of 258 - I guess there were over a hundred people worse than me, so I'm not far from middle of the pack. The big conclusion to draw is that I should have got more practice games. I really knew that going in and was more concerned with finishing up my army and making it look good than with finding some tough opponents to throw down against.  My second big mistake was not getting enough sleep, though united flights and beerhammer were the culprits there. With these two root causes, I managed to lose three of my games through silly mistakes. In two of the three games I lost I had a strong chance of winning but made small, critical mistakes that gave them away. This was also the case in my tie. Still, I gave a good tough game to all opponents throughout the tournament and didn't fold easily even when things went wrong, so I think my list was stronger than my generalship on this occasion.

Also, shrouding is not good enough to protect against ignores cover grav centurions... reserve your LoW or lose it until you know where those perfect timing centurions are going to end up! A hierodule / trapdoor spider list rely relies on a good counterstrike and making the most of that LoW to take the win, so losing it on turn 1 is tragic. This is where the winning #lictorshame list has a big edge over mine, all the units are low value and you can deal with losing one or two of them - there's no clear point to aim at that will cripple the army.

Thanks to Frontline Gaming for running the biggest and best 40k tournament yet! Encore!