Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Some of my Tyranid tactics & strategies versus Grey Knights
I have played lots of games versus GK with my Tyranids and I believe I have won more than half those games. The wins were all very close and tough to pull off but it can be done. Maybe I wasn't always playing versus a hardcore tournament veteran but then again GK have many many advantages over Tyranids so in my mind a win against any GK army is big.
Fortunately Tyranids have a few tricks up their sleeve as well and you must take advantage of these to have a chance to win. I run my army with a good portion of reserved units:
—Outflanking genestealer Broods with Broodlords (see my note below)
—Yrmgarl genestealer Brood
—Devilgants in mycetic spore
—Winged Hive Tyrant with Hive Commander option
—Outflanking Warrior Brood
The Broodlord has two psychic powers it can cast in the assault phase - one lowers the enemy unit's leadership by -1 (Aura of Despair) while the other can prevent an enemy model in base contact from fighting (Hypnotic Gaze). Note that the Broodlord can only cast one of these during an assault phase - not both.
I take a Brood of 6-8 Yrmgarl genestealers and their primary purpose is to hunt psyflemen. They have a good chance to penetrate dreadnaught armor with +1S and their rending attacks... If nothing else they can tarpit a psyfleman for several turns and also act as a major distraction as well. Psyflemen are very tame versus other GK units in assault so generally there should be no hesitation to charge them when possible.
Devilgants can lay down a heavy salvo with their devourers... I run my Brood in a spore so I can take an uncontested shot at exposed units. I also try to keep them outside of the GK assault range... If they are shot and break then I try to position a synapse creature close by to bring them to halt so they can regroup the next turn. A large Brood of gants backed up by synapse can actually win an assault versus a small GK squad such as Strike Knights since they are I4.
I typically start with my Hive Tyrant in reserve to lessen the number of turns my opponent can shoot it. My Tyrant has the Hive Commander option so all my reserves come in with +1. He is there to speed up reserves and later cast Paroxsym on enemy GK units to weaken their shooting and melee abilities.
I outflank my Warriors so they can grab objectives and extend my synapse bubble. Mine are armed with poisoned bone swords and lash whips, so they are also quite good in melee when push comes to shove.
Lash whips are a big equalizer versus GK, even when armed with halberds since Tyrants and Warriors are strking at a higher initiative (when not charging into cover).
Shadows in the Warp (SitW) is also another effective deterrent versus GK - but you do have to get close for it to work against them, so always be very careful.
You have to be very cautious when assaulting GK, especially when they have psykotropic and/or rad grenades, or their Librarian has successfully cast Sanctuary. Often it's futile in many cases. So you have to first weaken strong GK melee units such as Paladins, Purifiers and Grey Knight terminators. You can beat them by wearing them down a bit with some shooting first then assault them with multiple units if the opportunity presents itself. I try to avoid big Paladin deathstars as they are currently the kings of melee... If properly equipped they can chew through most any unit quickly. Many Tyranid units are faster though so typically it's easy to avoid them in melee.
The GK Stormraven can be a major problem for Tyranids as one salvo of mindstrike missile can wipe a Tyrant off the table in one shooting phase. I use Hive Guard and a Tyrannofex to shoot down these fliers... And if their fliers are moving flatout for the cover save then they aren't shooting much and you still have a chance to drop them at range.
The main thing is to wisely use your movement phase. As I said above Tyranids tend to be faster in general - movement is the one phase you can really dominate if you play it wisely.