Wednesday, January 15, 2014

List Building: Tyranids Mawloc Mash

After reading Nick Nanavati's post on Torrent of Fire this morning, I've been thinking about some of the points he raised and how I might use his list as a blueprint for a list that fits what I think would work for me. Namely, using hive commander in combination with a Comms Relay and Mawlocs to overcome the general lack of speed in the current Tyranids Codex.


Nick's list is pretty straightforward, with 6 troops units (3 Termagants, 3 Hormagaunts) led by two flyrants and three Mawlocs. The wrinkle comes from Hive Commander on both flyrants allowing two termagant broods to outflank with devourers and a Comms Relay on a bastion to help reserves come on when you want them to.

I like Nick's list because it takes a couple of the things I've been considering staples in my lists (2 Flyrants, 2 Zoanthropes, cheap but big troops, and a Bastion) and does something a little different. I am no Nick Nanavati, so I will concede experience to him in building lists, but there are some things I would want to change to try out and add some different aspects to the list. And so, I modified my list to the following:

Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2xTL Devourers, Electroshock Grubs, Hive Commander
Hive Tyrant: Wings, 2xTL Devourers, Electroshock Grubs, Hive Commander
Zoanthrope
Zoanthrope
20 Hormagaunts
20 Hormagaunts
25 Termagants: 15 Devourers, 10 Spike Rifles
20 Termagants: 10 Devourers
15 Termagants: Spinefists
15 Termagants
Harpy
3 Biovore
Mawloc
Mawloc

I tweaked the numbers on the troops a little and lost a few bodies, as well as a Mawloc. In trade, I added 3 Biovores and a Harpy. These give me the added bonus of more pinning, anti-infantry weaponry. They also give me two more units to start on the board, allowing me to reserve seven units (2 Mawlocs and all but 1 of my troops if I so choose).

The plan with this list is to go for a pretty devastating turn 2 strike. To do this, the Flyrants and Harpy need to survive turn 1. Deployment would see the Bastion out in front of my deployment zone with the FMCs 12-24" away from it in some sort of cover if possible. Turn 1 they fly up and use the bastion to hide from the hardest hitters in my opponent's list. This will be the staging ground for the turn 2 onslaught where the flyrants push up the board and bring on the Mawlocs and Devilgant broods. Hormagaunts kept back can hopefully make it mostly undisturbed for a third turn tie up of valuable units while any surviving Mawlocs either mash on nearby vehicles that didn't flee, or reload if there are no good targets in the area.

I like the idea of having Biovores to back up this assault and particularly to hamper any light troops keeping out of the way of the main force. That said, sacrificing them and 5 termagants would get me a third Mawloc, which would help reduce the odds of my second turn onslaught coming up empty.

Overall, I think my main concern with this list is how well it will fare after turn 2. I'm also not sure how devastating a turn 2 I can create for my opponent. Both of these concerns can only really be addressed by playtesting the list to see how it goes. As someone who doesn't get to actually throw dice all that often, that's a pretty big undertaking.

That said, I've gained a new momentum for my Tyranids with trying to "unlock" this new book. I will admit last weekend I was feeling a drag from playing my fifth edition list, and even thought about shelving the bugs for a while. Now, I'm considering running the new bugs in the NOVA Open instead of just for the Trios.