I really like Tyranids. They were my first ever army and its been a fair while since I have enjoyed playing 40k so they have seen very little table time over the last few years. Yesterday I got thinking that since they are a mainly close combat army, and unit composition doesn’t matter too much in kings of war then they might port over reasonably well.
The main challenge will be limited melee infantry options. Since Tyranids basically have termagaunts (with a couple of gun options), genestealers, and hormagaunts as their only infantry options. Of these only two are melee troops. I was thinking that basing a combined unit of hormagaunts with a single venomthrope might work quite well as a spear unit (the lash wips and spore cloud of the venomthrope being represented by spears......this could also work well as a melee unit with ensnare).
The hormagaunts are an interesting challenge stat wise. In 40k they are really rather weak, but this is in relation to terminator armoured super-humans who can head-but a laser guided anti-tank missile and come out on top.......when placed next to a fantasy model a hormogaunt looks like a moderately armoured nightmare killing machine! As such they could probably represent anything from a basic shieldwall trooper to an orc depending on how we want to interpret the chitin armour, and how we want to translate the feel of the swarm or the feel of the individual models.
The Tyranids have large infantry covered well with Tyranid warriors, hive guard, and tyrant guard. A sweet looking ogre army could be made of of these alone!......but I have always prefered a good swarm.
Melee and missile cavalry can probably be taken care of with raveners.
Monsters......more than all of kings of war combined lol
So onto some of the ideas I have come up with on list composition/proxies. Any feedback or additional ideas on this would be excellent:
Idea 1 - The Herd (The Swarm?):
Hormagaunts – Tribal warriors, beserkers, longhorns – basically pick one unit type for the army based on how I feel a hormagaunt should feel and stick with it.
Hormagaunts + venomthrope – Tribal spearmen
Termagaunts – Tribal hunters – flesh borers for thrown weapons, devourers for bows.
Gargoyles – Harpies
Tyranid warriors – guardian brutes
Tyrant guard – lycans
Raveners – Centaurs of assorted types, devourers for bows, claws and talons for melee
Tyranid warriors with wings – giant eagles
Carnifex brood – Stampede
Carnifex – brutox
Crone – chimera
Mucosite spore – great battle totem
Hive tyrant – Shaman on sacred beast
Trygon alpha (or other large monster to taste) – the avatar
Overall the herd seems to fit a Tyranid list well on a unit by unit basis. My concern is that with the basic warriors costing 150 points per regiment it wont end up as much of a swarm. On the flip side, not much is too expensive so a 10-12 unit army would still be realistic.
Idea 2 – Ratkin
Hormagaunts – warriors, blight impaler’s. Add a venomthrope for spears.
Genesealers – shock troops, blight
Termagaunts – scurriers
Hive guard – clawshots
Tyranid warriors – brutes, brute boomers depending on weaponry
Pyrovore/biovore – weapons team, cannon, artillery
Carnifex – rat-fiend, doomwheel, cannon depending on weaponry.
Hive tyrant – walock on death engine (tyrant with dual ranged weapons)
Large monster – daemonspawn
Another pretty good fit on a unit by unit basis. The concern I have hear is that I only have two melee infantry unit types to play with (one heavily outnumbering the other) and Im not sure basic warriors are capable enough to form the main fighting force. If I go with a mix of blight and shock troops for my hormagaunts and genestealers then they list faces the expensive basic infantry problem like the herd.
Idea 3 – Abyssal's
Hormagaunts – lower abyssals, add a venomthrope to make them succubi?
Genestealers – armoured abyssals or succubi
Termagaunts – flame bearers
Gargoyles – gargoyles
Tyranid warriors – molochs
Warriors with wings – tortured souls
Raverners – abyssal horsemen
Carnifex with twin devourers – chroneas
Hive tyrant – abyssal fiend
Tyranocyte – well of souls
That seems to work pretty well over all.......only problem is that I already have a daemon army!
Idea 4 – Forces of nature
Hormagaunts – niads
genestealers – salamanders with CS2
Termagaunts – niad harpooners
Warriors – sea serpent riders
Warriors with wings – air elementals
Raveners – centaurs
Carnifex – beast of nature without wings, hydra
Crone – beast of nature with wings
Broodlord – salamander veteran
Hive tyrant – tree herder
Seems pretty good unit for unit. Im not sure I like niads as gaunts, the regen captures the endless tide feel, but they only have a basic number of attacks. It faces the same problem as the herd and potentially the rats with expensive base troop cost. However the 'elite units' in nature tend to be fairly cheap so they balance out somewhat.
I wanted to keep away from any elementals due to how slow they are (bar air elementals, nimble and a 20” charge allows them in). This is a bit of a shame since it writes off a reasonable chunk of the list. I guess tyrant guard could make for reasonable earth elementals.
Those are the best options I could come up with excluding allies. I think the following are out of bounds regardless: elves (too elite, too expensive), dwarfs (too slow, too armoured), goblins (too cowardly).
Once we start including allies then races without large infantry become a real option with allied ogres. At this point kingdoms or men, and Basilaians (conceptually weird, but the unit stats work quite well!) become possible proxies as well.
So what do you all think to the idea of Tyranids in a fantasy setting? Is it a step too far, is a cool idea with a strong visual theme, would you enjoy playing against it?
Thanks for your thoughts.