Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pondering Tyranids: Using Hormagaunts

This one's prompted by King Elessar. Personally, I have like 40-50 of the bloody things myself, and I'd like to figure out a good way to use them. Here's my first draft and the logic that goes with them.

The Hormagaunt
Now, the big pro of the Hormagaunt is that it's cheap and potentially nasty, as well as being swift. It has Move Through Cover and drops 3d6 and takes the highest for the run, and then it has Fleet so it tries to get into your face.

Now, the cons? It's WS3 and S3, and also has the average 'nid T3 and 6+ save. Basically, it's a horde choice. You'll need a lot. That's not so bad. Plus, when upgraded, Furious Charge (at I6 if you're not going into cover...) and Poison can really, really pile on the wounds.

However, when you add the glands, you go from a 6pt unit to a 10pt unit. Why double the price? Honestly, I'm a fan of the glands. Why?

1) Poison: Ability to Wound Stuff
Ok, sure, you have a lot of attacks (2 attacks per, 3 on the charge) and you get to re-roll the 1's on your attacks for your Scything Talons. Downside, you're only S3. So, you wound wimpy T3 infantry (that, honestly, you'll be maiming up anyway with volume of attacks) on a 4+, and then you need a 5+ to tag the average T4 melee fellows you'll see. Poison lets you tag ANYTHING on a 4+ (like, oh, those nasty T4 infantry) and it lets you mob the ever-lovin' crap out of monstrous creatures, which would normally get surrounded and just much on your target.

2) Furious Charge: Versatility
So, you're S3. Now, if you have poison, you start wounding T3 targets on a 4+ with a re-roll; so you'll wound targets 75% of the time. Furious Charge lets you do the same to the T4 infantry, which is nice against a heap of the T4 targets.

Second point? S3 can't tag vehicles. S4 can. It's a minor bit of versatility, but you can at least torrent vehicles. I think if I was going to leave a gland out, it would be the Furious Charge.

Numbers on Hormies
So, let's take 60 points. You get 10 regular hormagaunts, or 6 upgraded hormies. Numbers look like so, assuming a charge and no cover:

T3 Targets
Normal: 30 attacks > 17.5 hits > 8.75 wounds
Upgraded: 18 attacks > 10.5 hits > 7.87 wounds
Conclusion: Ok, the cheaper ones win out here due to volume of attacks, but the re-rolls to wound help out.

T4 Targets
Normal: 30 attacks > 17.5 hits > 5.8 wounds
Upgraded: 18 attacks > 10.5 hits > 7.87 wounds
Conclusion: Upgraded is starting to show...

T5+ Targets
Normal: 30 attacks > 17.5 hits > 3.5 wounds
Upgraded: 18 attacks > 10.5 hits > 5.25 wounds
Conclusion: Upgraded wins, hands-down.

VS AV10-rear vehicles
Upgraded: 3 glances against an immobile vehicle, 1.5 against combat speed, precious little against flat out.

Again, bear in mind that this is just 60 points of Hormagaunts; I picked 60 because it's easy enough to work with. Realistically, you WILL be taking larger units ( that some of them get through.)

So, Why Updgrade?
Poison is going to do good things for your ability to harm things. You can tag monstrous creatures, and you can seriously threaten anything else. You trade off some numbers, but your lethality goes through the roof. Honestly, Furious Charge is a big buff since it gives you the re-roll on T4 as well, and frankly T4 is worth tagging hard.

The Army List
Tyranid Prime w/ Whip, Sword [95]
Tyranid Prime w/ Whip, Sword [95]
3 Hive Guard [150]
3 Hive Guard [150]
3 Hive Guard [150]
14 Hormagaunts, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [140]
14 Hormagaunts, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [140]
14 Hormagaunts, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [140]
10 Termagants [50]
10 Termagants [50]
Fast Attack
19 Gargoyles, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [152]
19 Gargoyles, Toxin Sacks/Adrenal Glands [152]
Heavy Support
Tyrannofex; Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, & Desiccator Larvae [265]
Tyrannofex; Rupture Cannon, Cluster Spines, & Desiccator Larvae [265]

Total: 1994/2000

The Logic
Simple: throw a HORDE of nasty troops at the enemy. Gargoyles give you an element of speed and additional targets, though admittedly I'm somewhat worried about their ability to outstrip Synapse range. Mostly, I chucked them in there because I like the models and have 40 of them. They could probably go.

The Hormagaunts are there because we're trying to build with them. Glands give them lethality, and we take multiple units to bring multiple threats.

It DOES look a little light on synapse, doesn't it? Well, here's the logic. I'm a little light on monstrous creatures. The cost of monstrous creatures is pretty hefty any way you cut it; if I wanted a tyrant I'd be dropping both of my primes AND a good chunk of gribblies to fit him in, and then he'd be the prime target. As it stands, there are more than enough units to hide a Prime in.

I feel like I can get away with just a couple of Tyrannofexes, largely because of thee 2+ save. You've got a LOT of army to go through to assault them or melta them, and unless you have a crap-ton of lascannons you're probably just NOT going to engage the things. They provide long-range heavy anti-tank work.

The Hive Guard are there to crack any and all light armor they can draw LOS on. Accurate S8 gunfire is just nasty, and can also reliably wound anything you shoot it at AND insta-gibs all those annoying T4 multi-wound models.

The Termagants are objective-sitters.

Thoughts on the List; Possible Changes
Well, I'd hate to see Land Raiders, since all I've got are the Tyrannofexes for killing them. With the pure horde setup, I'm not really willing to go with Zoanthropes, since that means looking into hive tyrants, and that's a pretty sweeping change.

If I WERE going to get a third Tyrannofex, I'd probably drop a Hive Guard from each unit (150 free), contemplate dropping a Termagant unit (200) and then go looking for more points from somewhere, trimming gargoyles.

Your other priority target is any Walker; you CANNOT kill Dreadnoughts in melee (but should be able to shoot them to death reasonably well) but you should be able to take them out with shooting. Should be.

Thoughts, feedback, comments, etc? It's a rough draft hatched at 1AM, so take that into consideration.

Coming soon: thoughts on running Carnifexes.


Neil Kerr aka Skcuzzlebumm said...

I totally have to agree with the comments here. A little practice, and experience facing toxic Hormaguants, has proven how important those upgrades are.

In a tournaments a few weeks ago for example I lost my Great Unclean One to 12 of these buggers. I was not a happy bunny.

Chumbalaya said...

Thanks for running that math, I'm sold on super gaunts now.

Cool list, it's like the Tervi set up but ditches survivability for numbers and all out offense.

I think Raveners would be a great complement to Hormagaunts, speedy movement and masses of rending attacks ftw. A couple units of Warriors scuttling behind in cover would mitigate any Synapse problems too and help with that vehicle suppression dealy.

The_King_Elessar said...

Sounds pretty damn nice - I'd have great fun using this army, thanks!

*Goes to look for Orks to proxy...*

suneokun said...

Taking the parasite is a good upgrade to the gargoyles. S6 and rending. Drop one hiveguard and a prime and you are there. 6pt horms are great against tau and guard. Uber-horms are great against smurfs. It's amazing how much heat horms garner, then the pumped gargs and terms hit.

Faolain said...

Good to see the number crunching. I'll give the supergaunts a try.

I'm with suneokun- I think the Parasite would be a nice addition to this list.

Kirby said...

Nice to see the logic behind a list again ^^. The one problem I have with Hormaguant based armies is Tervigon armies start to be more and more out of place as more Hormaguants start to pile in unless you start taking them as HQs.

Raptor1313 said...

I think that a Parasite could fit in, largely because it's flying hidden synapse. PLus, I want a reason to FIELD one, since I'd love to convert one.

I hadn't considered the perk of a Parasite as just flying, hidden synapse, but it is what it is. Any rippers are a bonus if it's not a KP mission.

I think, honestly, that you're looking at one of three cores for a 'nid army in terms of troops:
1) Tervigons + Termagants
2) Hormagaunts (perhaps w/ Termagants as cheap campers)
3) Warriors (perhaps synapsing stuff, for an elite army)

I think if you're running Hormies, then Tervis are more or less out. I think I'll draft up a post on the core options for a bug army soon.

Hooray for user-inspired content! makes my job easier.

suneokun said...

I my experience fielding the Parasite ... he's a handy addition. The S6 attacks are useful against tanks and he's essential for creating lots of last minute ripper swarms which CAN overwhelm.

With 3 wounds and 4 attacks the swarm is a greater unit against Tau or Guard... against MEQs its a nice distraction units for holding up the enemy or simply hiding the Parasite when his Gargoyles are toasted.

Kirby said...

Good to know I can inspire =D

duo337 said...

I feel like your Hormagaunt squads are too small. While you have massive amounts of swarm and hate coming at the opponent (five squads larger then 10) I feel like 14 is just not enough to crack most infantry that you will be dealing with.

You will undoubtedly take casualties on the way in and reduce the total number down. MEQ can almost laugh off only 20ish attacks at str 4 on the charge without denying armor saves. (Half hit, half wound, 1.6ish? MEQ dead after a 3up save.)

I mean no doubt you bring alot of noise in the list, but you don't have much other then two Primes to back up the Gaunts. You need something with more... power in CC behind it. Something to the effect of a Carifex with talons to re-roll to hit with str 9 attacks.

Case in point, you need to spread the field of heavy hard hitting CC attacks and creatures otherwise your CC assault will be drowned out in there CC or massive amount of shooting. Either way, once dispatched, nothing stands between your Tyrannofex's/Hive Guard and the enemy assault.