I’m a Heretic! (I Love Playing ‘Nids)

I might be getting a bit away from myself here, but I gotta admit, I love playing as the bugs.  Something about ‘dem little critters that make them so fun to play, and I can’t quite put my talon on it…. errr… claw…. errr… dammit.

It appears I might have fallen victim to a Genestealer Cult and I was none the wiser.  Now it’s too late, I can’t even *BLAM!* myself due to lack of operable digits in order to pull the trigger  *sigh*.  Might as well make the best of it…


I’ve played a few games at 1,500 points with the ‘Nid models that I have, some of which are painted…  First was against Necrons, which is how I realized that Boneswords are AWESOME.  Next was against a challenging Tau list.

The list I used for both battles includes every single Tyranid model I presently own:

CAD Detachment:

  • The Swarmlord
  • 3x Tyrant Guard, Crushing Claws, 2x LW BS, Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs
  • 12x H-gaunts w/ Toxin Sacs
  • 12x T-gants w/ Adrenal Glands and Devourers
  • Trygon Prime
    • 8 Stealers w/ Spawn of Cryptus
    • Beast of Phodia
    • whatever those special snowflake warriors are called

Obviously the above list isn’t even remotely competitive but frankly I wanted to get it into some games just to see what kind of damage I can do.

As time was not necessarily my ally for both of those battles, I didn’t take detailed notes or photos, but I gotta tell you, they were hilariously fun to play.

Carnifex gonna Carnifex.
Carnifex gonna Carnifex.

A brief summary of the battle versus the Necrons:

  • My ‘Nids were seized on (BOO!!!!)
  • Wraiths charged the Carnifex, who proved ill-equipped to deal with them…. So in bounced the Warriors who totally wrecked house and mopped up the Wraith unit in a single turn.  That Carnifex was later slain in a prolonged duel with the Necron Lord.
  • The Genestealers, featuring 4+ cover in open terrain, were ripped to shreds by some Tomb-blade shenanigans.  They’ll melt to anything with Ignores Cover, apparently.
  • The Swarmlord and the Tyrant Guard performed well, totally wiping out a unit of 20 warriors (as I would expect a 500 point unit to…)  In the following turn, they survived extensive counter-fire from a nearby Ghost Ark.  Swarmie attempted to manifest warp-blast, perils’ed, and gets sucked into the warp, rolling an 11 for his leadership test.  The shot blew away the jinking Ghost Ark, leaving 10 warriors pinned in the shattered wreckage.  These warriors were torn to pieces by the remaining Tyrant Guard, who proceeded to run amok throughout the Necron Lines…
  • Bitey the Trygon popped up and wrecked the Tomb-Blade’s day with help from the surviving ‘Nid Warriors.  He showed up on bottom of 3 with great fanfare, and was in assault on 4.  The Necron Lord, fresh from his invigorating duel with the Carnifex, was hacked to pieces.
  • The game ended on T5, however both players agreed the bugs thoroughly owned the superiority on-the-table, but were unable to actually *TABLE* Table the ‘crons because he had a pair of Doomscythes whipping around overhead.  The ‘Crons were also desperately further ahead than the Tyranids on regular VP, making the possibility of a tabling all-the-more crucial.

Fantastic game.  I don’t even care the bugs lost.

Down goes swarmy.
Down goes swarmy.


And then Yesterday, vs. the Tau:

  • Swarmy drew Catalyst on the psychic roll, and the Tau knew they were going to be in for a long day.
  • On turn 2, an epic battle between the Beast of Phodia and the Riptide was joined, with both sides actually killing each other at the end of Turn 4.
  • The H-gaunts and T-gants were actually held back in strategic (objective capturing) reserve in order to keep a back-field presence.  Similarly, the genestealers picked a VERY nice piece of cover and kept some firewarriors pinned back in their devilfish, unable to deploy their firepower against the 2+ cover save provided by the Stealers.
  • Despite some oppressive firepower coming in from a full team of missilesides, a skyray, and the bomber circling over-head, only the Tyrant Guard were stripped off by the time the Swarmlord charged in, totally wiping out the broadside team.  The Trygon also tanked a ridiculous amount of fire the turn he arrived, which mercifully spared Swarmy some shelling.  Bitey helped his cause by tearing the skyray to pieces.
    • The turn following the great-armour-save-throwing and FNP rolling of the century, both Bitey and the Swarmlord fell to reactionary fire from the bomber overhead and the Tau Commander’s twin plasma rifle.
  • Synapse collapsing, the ‘Nids were more or less routed after that, tabled at the end of 5.  Some insane casualties were inflicted on the Tau however, and a valuable lesson learned for both sides.
Clash of Titans...
Clash of Titans…

Why I love the Bugs:

  1. Pace of Play.  Close combat armies function very linearly in that if you’re not in close combat yet, you should be doing everything in your power to do so.  Playing as the Imperial Guard, you tend to spend a LONG time in the shooting phase trying to figure out the most efficient way to make things dead.  There is no such debate when playing the Tyranids.  I can complete a full turn inside of 10 minutes sometimes.
  2. Durability.  T6 Monstrous Creatures and no real reliance on vehicles and transports are really what’s doing it for me here.  Their board control is insane.  It’s like the long-con.  Once the wave hits you, you’re toast.
  3. Catharsis.  Guard shooting, as insanely good as it is, still has problems against other shooting armies like the Necrons and Tau, because they tend not to enjoy as many special rules as they do (Gauss, Tesla, Markerlights, TL-SMS, etc come to mind…).  This is where Orders come in, but they’re still limited…

    Nids care not.  They will eat you.  and they’re extremely good at it.  It was nice to be removing entire Necron Units and Broadsides from the table en-masse, something that the Guard really struggled to do based on my recent experience.

Next Steps:

  1. I need to add synapse.  Zoanies (x2) and a Venomthrope just jumped up on the purchasing line-up.
  2. I need to add more backfield for Maelstrom.  Rippers, or regular CHEAP-Gants come to mind.  Using a 170 point unit of ‘Stealers, Hormagaunts and Devil-gants are not the most efficient way to do this.
  3. I need to paint more.  But this goes without saying.

That’s it for me!  You might see a few hobby posts this week as I work towards getting my back-log cleared so I can justify some zoanies.  😀

Cheers guys (and gals).

4 Replies to “I’m a Heretic! (I Love Playing ‘Nids)”

    1. It’s a fair cop. I hope they have an opening late friday so I can skip off work early and start my weekend fresh (charred flesh/chitin notwithstanding)

      I’m concerned about spending points on flying bugs because they’re mostly shooty. I prefer bugs that eat things, or shoot MIND BULLETS. I might have to abandon this approach but in the mean time I’m having a lot of fun with it. 😀

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