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Reexploring the Hive Mind: Part 1

The Hive Mind

The Awakening

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Hive Mind. I am Erik Lathouras from The Art of War, Tyranids expert and warhammer 40k coach. In this weekly blog I will be documenting my adventures with Tyranids and Genestealer Cults, sharing with you my success and failures, deep diving some of the “left of field” ideas I’ve been known for and really breaking down some of the more obscure tech choices that are often brushed over when constructing a Tyranids list. 

Some people have asked, “Why now? Why bring Tyranids out of retirement now?”.Not only are they easily my favorite faction, I believe in the current state of the meta, Tyranids actually have quite a range of unique tools that combat the current game state quite well. I’m not by any means saying this will be an easy road, because as most Tyranid players would know, it’s never easy.  But, having access to things like double move, fight again, fight on death, a number of sources of fight last and a vast range of cheap expendable units means that they can really be quite irritating to deal with on the tabletop. 


Heating up

In today’s article we’re going to have a look at my Tranids and Genestealer Cult list that I will be taking to VTC (Victorian Team Championships). Dive into the thought process behind some of the decisions I have made, how I think it handles the current meta and some of the interesting tech choices I have included to offer an awkward situation for some of the more common army builds floating around at the moment. 

Credit to Games Workshop

First things first, the list. 

GSC Patrol: Cult of the four armed emperor
HQ:
Patriarch + familiar (150) – Warlord
– Inscrutable Cunning
– Mass Hypnosis,  Undermine,
– The Crouchling: Might from beyond 

Troops:
10x acolyte Hybrids (110)
–  10x hand flamers 

Elites:
10x Hybrid Metamorphs (140)
– 10x metamorph whips
– 10x rending claw
– 10x hand flamer
– Cult icon 

10x Hybrid Metamorphs (140)
– 10x metamorph whips
– 10x rending claw
– 10x hand flamer
– Cult icon 

Fast Attack:
Cult scout sentinel (37)
– sentinel chainsaw 

Cult scout sentinel (35) 

Tyranids Battalion: Kraken 

HQ:
Brood Lord (125)
– Paroxysm
– resonance barb

The Swarmlord (270)
– catalyst, onslaught 


Troops:
16x Genestealers (240)
– 4x acid maws 

13x Genestealers (195)
– 3x acid maws 

8x Genestealers (120)
– 2x acid maw 

8x Genestealers (120)
– 2x acid maw 

8x Genestealer (120)
– 2x acid maw 

5x Tyranid Warriors (105)
– 5x lash whip + bonesword
– 5x scything talons
– adrenal glands 

Elites:
Lictor (37)
1x Pyrovore (28)
1x Pyrovore (28) 

pyrovore tyranids
Credit to Games Workshop

Now let’s break it down. First off it may seem odd the warlord is in the patrol rather than the battalion, thats simply because with inscrutable cunning at the bare minimum you will refund yourself the 1cp difference between paying for a patrol vs battalion and best case scenario you start with 2cp more than you would have by having a Tyranids warlord. 

Before we get into the units I have included and why, I want to touch on some of the lists/archetypes I know will be floating around at this event and some of the “boogeyman” lists getting around such as dark eldar. A few of these lists include;
– Hyper MSU (multiple small units) Sisters
– Mech dark eldar in raiders
– Harlequins
– Death guard
– Dark Angels 

A few of these builds share similar play styles and even unit types, which for the most part will generally mean they share similar weaknesses, some factions deal with those weaknesses better than others, but nonetheless they are there. 

Currently, the game revolves around a rapid exchange of resources through the middle few turns usually with one of the lists coming out the other side with more units to play with in the later stages of the game and is why we often see a points blow out towards turn 4 and 5. With this in the back of every strong players’ mind a lot of lists are now made up of a mass of small combat units that hit relatively hard but not necessarily are able to take much of a hit back, things like, repentia, wyches, harlequin troupes, units of battle sisters, incubi, you get the idea. After identifying those threats, Tyranids and GSC have a unique piece of tech that really turns that style of play on its head, and that is the lash whip/ metamorph whip. As you can see in the list I submitted it is absolutely riddled with them along with a large number of hand flamers. This idea really puts the emphasis on the trading ability of my units, being able to drop in, flame something, possibly charge, or receive a charge making use of overwatch and their natural fight on death ability thanks to the whips. 

New 40k Genestealer Cult Rules Rumors LATEST - Spikey Bits
Credit to Games Workshop

Something that hasn’t seen the table in quite sometime is the kraken stealer build. In a meta full of 3 wound space marines these little guys simply just fell out of favour, but now in a game state full of small harder hitting, less durable units they are right back to being apex predators of the MSU world. There is a serious strength in the ability to launch yourself across the table thanks to opportunistic advance and the Swarmlord, hitting and killing 1 or more small units of chaff such as 5 man battle sister squads, using over run to get yourself to safety. So unlike the meta morphs or warriors that force a taxing exchange, the stealers can often “trade up” by killing more than most units like them have any right in doing and that is purely built on the back of the “over run” stratagem allowing you to move to relative safety after doing damage. 

Units like the cult sentinels and pyrovores are surely not a “must take” unit in a list like this, though at that low points cost it’s hard to look past a unit that for its points is relatively sturdy and annoying to shift mostly because having to commit a unit of shooting into one pyrovore is certainly a “feels bad” moment. The sentinels also just provide you with a couple of extra blip tokens if you need them without having to start any of the meta morphs or acolytes on the table. 

Pin on Warhammer 40k - Miniatures
Credit to Games Workshop

All this super useful tech before we even get into the most important part, and yes, that is the blips. These have certainly been long forgotten in a meta game that has left armies like GSC and Tyranids behind, but having something that you don’t have to even pay for that provides you with the best alpha strike protection available certainly has its place in the game right now, especially against things like raven guard. 

I hope you all enjoyed the read and are as excited for Tyranids as I am. It has been a long time since I’ve put my favourite little bugs on the table. For those interested VTC is on the 22nd/23rd of may in victoria, the lists of all teams attending can be found here.

The next write up will be taking a look into the power an army like this has over the pairing process and the problems it may offer to opposing captains. Stay tuned

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  1. Thank for doing this! Almost no attention is given to competitive GSC right now, but I feel they can still come to play. Along with the toolbox you mentioned for Nids, GSC are currently the only faction in the game with a ‘real’ Vect left, and afaik the only faction that can insta-kill through any amount of armor/FNP/invuln (rock cutters). Both of these can be put to great use in the meta as almost no one plans for it. Anyways, really looking forward to this weekly series.

  2. Is this purely a Team Tournament list?
    If so do you think you can adjust it to play in a singles event?
    Looks super cool!

  3. First of all, great article and interesting concept with more bodies instead of big dudes. I honestly find Genestealers are way overcosted for what they do. They put tons of attacks, but only AP-1 and only 1 Damage. Yes, Acid maws are great, but still I find the unit suboptimal. Yesterday we could see that in John’s game, they were great, but not THAT great for the price you pay. It is nice to see that Tyranids have some cool tricks and tools to do a good game, but for me is clear that they need some improvements (new codex, please !!).

    If I may ask, I have some questions regarding your list. How do you think it would do against transport based list? How will you deal with vehicles list such as Adeptus Mechanicus , Drukhari or for example Dreadnought list with Redemptors ?

    Kind regards and great article !

    P.S: I think the shooting part of the army (Hive guard+Exocrine+Symbiostorm+double shot) is probably what makes Tyranids still viable, but this just my opinion 🙂