If you’re familiar with this blog you’ll know that we like some “unconventional” things when it comes to playing Tyranids. This article is no different. Hive Guard and Exocrines are some of the best units available to us. They boast some of the strongest firepower in Codex: Tyranids and they pose a strong threat to almost every other army. So why is it that when I stopped using them, I started winning more games? The short reason, it’s because they didn’t fit the strategy I was using. If your overall strategy is to obliterate your opponent with ranged firepower, you will need these units. But if, like me, you use a more objective focused strategy, you may find your points better spent elsewhere. Hear me out.
Strategy: Dominate the Primary Objectives
My main strategy is simply this: Score more on primary objectives and keep up on secondaries. This should be relatively easy to do consistently since I have so many fast units and large numbers of troops. My hordes of gaunts are great at taking objectives and are also pretty good at helping me score secondaries such as Engage on All Fronts and Deploy Scramblers. The other units in my army serve a specific purpose. Either they tie up enemy units before they can get to the objectives outside of their own deployment zone, or they focus on helping me achieve a specific secondary like Psychic Ritual. Some units like my Flyrants are good in more than one role.
When I was playing with Hive Guard and Exocrines, I found that they did not fit any of my necessary roles very well. Worse than that, they took up a lot of points that could have been spent on units that did fulfill those roles. Yes, I still needed firepower but I found trading my Hive Guard for the Scythed Hierodule allowed me to have a tough, fast unit that could quickly engage an enemy unit and still had plenty of firepower to take out heavy infantry if I spent the command points on the Pathogenic Slime stratagem to increase the weapon’s damage output. On top of that, the Scythed Hierodule could keep up with my quick units and be a constant threat on the front lines that my opponent had to deal with. This keeps them from targeting my units on objectives. The Hive Guard would have been shooting from somewhere out of line of sight, forcing my opponents to target my other units, units that were probably fulfilling some role crucial to my strategy. The Scythed Hierodule made a big difference for me by getting in my opponent’s way, being an excellent distraction carnifex, and keeping up with the rest of my army.
There’s nothing wrong with using an Exocrine and Hive Guard in your list. But if you’re using them and still losing, you may want to re-evaluate your army list and make sure the units you include have a purpose and can help you execute your strategy. Don’t take them just because they are great units and don’t feel obligated to spend the points on them when the points may be better spent on something else that is better equipped to help you meet your goals. Remember, you can lose your entire army and still win the game.
And if you’re curious about my particular strategy, you can see it in action in the November 2020 issue of the Hostile Galaxy magazine! See how it fares against the #1 ranked Chaos Space Marine player by subscribing to our website HERE
or by scrolling to the bottom of this page and purchasing the single issue below.
If you aren’t ready to buy it yet, feel free to browse the issue at the bottom of this page and see the army lists and first turn along with the other previews and free content! Enjoy!