Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hive Fleet Hydra

Since it looks like I'm getting back to 40k for the time being, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce you to the last army that I had been using with 4th edition rules a couple of years ago. Please say hello to Hive Fleet Hydra, a 2000 point Tyranids army. Since these are the guys any future armies will most likely be tested against, I thought it might be useful for me to post their army list.

Hive Tyrant (176) Acid Maw, Adrenal Glands (I, WS), Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs, Winged, 2 sets of Scything Talons

Hive Tyrant (139) Adrenal glands (WS), Bio-plasma, Enhanced Senses, Toxin Sacs, Toxic Miasma, 2 Twin-linked Devourers

3 Tyranid Warriors (99) Enhanced Senses, Toxin Sacs, 3 Devourers, 3 Rending Claws

Lictor (80)

6 Genestealers (96)

6 Genestealers (96)

12 Termagants (108) Fleshborers, Without Number!

12 Termagants (108) Fleshborers, Without Number!

16 Hormagaunts (192) Toxin Sacs

16 Hormagaunts (192) Toxin Sacs

3 Tyranid Warriors (141) Enhanced Senses, Toxin Sacs, Winged, 3 Devourers, 3 Rending Claws

2 Raveners (80) Scything Talons & Rending Claws

2 Raveners (76) 2 sets of Scything Talons

2 Zoanthropes (110) Warp Blast

Carnifex (162) Adrenal Glands (WS), Enhanced Senses, Regenerate, Spine Banks, Tail Weapon - Scythe, 2 Twin-linked Devourers

Carnifex (145) Adrenal Glands (WS), Enhanced Senses, Tail Weapon - Mace, Scything Talons, Venom Cannon

The army totals to exactly 2000 points, although if conditions allow I also like to give the genestealers the Scuttlers upgrade (18 points per unit) and Flesh Hooks (4 points) to the Hive Tyrant with the Devourers. Of course one of the really nice things about using the Nids is the amount of customization possible so when extra points are available there's always numerous useful options. With an opponent who is fairly open minded to the WYSIWYG rule, I find it a lot of fun to try out different bio-morph combinations as often as I can. Having said that, if I just need a 2000 point list to take on all comers, then the one above is what I'd use.

As I have noted before with playing games of 40k in general, I feel as if I really didn't get that many chances to field this army in a competitive environment using the previous set of rules. I am thankful though that the current version of Codex: Tyranids is compatible with the updated core rules as I am now really curious as to how well Hive Fleet Hydra will fare in 5th Edition. I've got a sense that the game's new reliance on true line-of-sight shooting could significantly change the way the army performs, though I have no idea whether it will be a net benefit or loss for this particular army list. For a Tyranid army it has a decent amount of shooting but almost all of it short to medium ranged, and with only a single Venom Cannon able to reach targets more than 18 inches away. Therefore I suspect it should be possible to use the new LOS rules to more effectively hide my units behind cover without having to lose too much of my own firepower in the return. Only in battle, however, will this become clear.


  1. In case anyone is curious, this is what I plan on adding to make it a 2250 point army (if I keep having fun with them, I would eventually like to have a 3000 point army available). Standard Nid caveats apply in that this should still be viewed as being a fairly flexible army list when it comes to points spent on upgrades and bio-morphs.

    HQ: Devourer Hive Tyrant gets Flesh Hooks (+4)

    Elites: add one more Lictor to the brood (+80), as well as adding a Carnifex with Adrenal Glands (WS), Tail Weapon - Mace, and two sets of Scything Talons (+110)

    Troops: Genestealer broods get Scuttlers (+36)

    Fast Attack: nothing at the present time, althouh adding more Raveners has some appeal to me. I've also considered using one of the slots occupied by a brood of Raveners as a place for a decently sized Gargoyle Brood. Gargoyles stand out to me as being one of the more iconic Tyranid creatures so it would be nice to find a home for them in my Hive Fleet. I think this is one of those questions that will really need more playtesting before I can decide in which direction I should go.

    Heavy Support: the Zoanthropes each receive the Synapse Creature upgrade from the Hive Mind Powers list.

  2. Oh yeah, I forgot to include that the Zoanthropes would go up by 20 points. If I were to incorporate all of the additions mentioned above, Hive Fleet Hydra would come in at precisely 2250 points.