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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Running a Tyranid Prime Accompanied with Hormagaunts

Hi all !!

In keeping with my series of Tyranid tactical articles I would like to discuss one of my key units... This is the combination of the Alpha Warrior attached to a small brood of 10 Hormagaunts. Here is how I run them:

— Tyranid Prime: bone sword+lash whip, scything talons, adrenal glands, regeneration

— 10x Hormagaunt: adrenal glands & toxin sacs

Often this combined unit is challenged by other Tyranid players so I thought this would be as good time as any to discuss its merits. Typically the challenge statement is as follows:

You are losing many of the advantages inherent to the Hormagaunts - that is they cannot fleet nor utilize Bounding Leap.

So let's keep that in mind as I cover why this unit has worked well for me:

— Combined the two units are completely synergistic—both alone are less than equal to their sum. The gants provide 10 ablative wounds for their leader and the Alpha Warrior is a synaptic creature... Therefore the Hormagaunts don't have to test for instinctive behavior and are fearless.

— The two main purposes of this unit is to hold an objective in my deployment zone (since they will typically come on from reserve along my long table edge) and to provide synaspe for other broken Tyranid units that are falling back and can't regroup because they are below half their starting size.

— This is also actually a decent melee unit for a relatively cheap scoring unit taking into consideration the cost of both the Alpha Warrior and the brood. On the charge they are all I6 and the brood wounds on 4+ due to the toxin sacs and reroll to wound versus T4 or less due to the adrenal glands. The Tyranid Prime drops an enemy model to I1 in base contact (lash whip), rerolls 1s to hit (scything talons) and is S6 on the charge ignoring armor saves (bone sword). Also any enemy model that suffers an unsaved wound from the Alpha Warrior must pass a leadership test or suffer Instant Death. In a recent game versus Space Wolves this unit came in from reserve behind a squad of Wolf Scouts (operating behind enemy lines) with an attached Wolfguard leader and wiped them all out on on the charge before they could even swing back. They have also decimated remnant enemy units such as Thunderwolves that were foolish enough to venture into my back line.

– The combined unit is often free to move about uncontested because my opponent is too busy dealing with my other units up in front of them. Sometimes they can form a conga line and hold multiple objectives. If there are multiple objectives such as both Capture & Control plus Seize Ground I make sure to place the C&C objective marker and one SG objective marker close together in my deployment zone so they can hold both.

— It's a fallacy to say that the brood is entirely denied the use of fleet and Bounding Leap. If necessary I can split off the gants from the Alpha Warrior so they can go contest an objective or engage an enemy unit in melee. Rarely do I need to though due to careful placement of the objective markers but it's always there as an option if need be.

So this both addresses the common challenge to the combined unit and describes their strategic use in detail. They often end up being a key unit for the win. If I were to change anything I might consider dropping the gants and attaching the Prime to my Warriors thereby eliminating the need for another mycetic spore (eliminating another easy killpoint) and they would operate together just the same. This would free up the points for another brood of genestealers and I would end up with the same number of scoring units overall.

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