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Making a Gargoyle List
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Old 29 Jan 2009, 22:09   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Making a Gargoyle List

* I知 not building an Apophis list. I値l wait and see if those plastic Gargoyles are on the horizon. If GW makes them I値l be playing a list like this soon. As some already know, I have a friend who is a veteran Tyranid player and every once in a while he pulls out his 腺irds of Prey list. I致e always been impressed by the amount of havoc he causes with his squads of Gargoyles so I admittedly picked his brain extensively to wrote up this tactica. He supplied me with the list he uses against me at 1250 points and briefed me on the tactics and his general thoughts on Gargoyles. I've played my DE, WH and Ork Biker army against his lists and have familiarized myself with its nuances. I致e also posted this list online to see what other veteran Nid players feel about the list. This tactica is fruition of those endeavours. I hope you enjoy it.

PART ONE
What is an Apophis list and How Why Gargoyles

Introduction to Hive Fleet Apophis

To differentiate the Tyranid Flying Circus with other armies' versions (Necrons and Eldar) we will now refer to the Flying Circus as the Apophis list. Maybe I can start a trend.

Apophis; from Egyptian mythology
The nature of Apophis has always been dark and threatening. Apophis was a dragon-like creature that consumed the souls of the unworthy dead and the fierce, dark and threatening opponent of the life preserving Re, the Sun God.


The Apophis focuses on fielding as many wings as possible. In a Apophis you need bait and expendable units. You rely on maneuverability and you must be able to take out dangerous targets quickly. You have to have elements that can deal with skimmers and tanks as well. You achieve this through misdirection. You want your opponent wasting resources on the lesser threats leaving your Flyrant and Warriors to deal out the most damage. Redundancy is helpful here.

You can make an Elite Apophis army with three squads of Flying Warriors, one or two Flyrant and Genestealers as troops. This is not the build I am going to discuss though. Pete Kelly assured us that the new codex he designed for Tyranids would allow us to play a Apophis army and it would include Gargoyles. So the codex has been around now for awhile, 4th edition is history and we now have to design an army for 5th edition.

This list is all about Gargoyles. Gargoyles are often overlooked in favour in other units. In a Apophis they are an essential element in your tactics. Your Warriors and Hive Tyrant can do the killing. Gaunts can claim objectives. Gargoyles can contest objectives and add some punch to your list.

We know all about Warriors and Hive Tyrants. Now add forty Gargoyles with a full squad of Flying Warriors with Deathspitters and rending claws. Let you Flyrant take care of business fitted out either as a Dakka FlyRant or a CC Flyrant. Use some scuttling Stealers. Take a couple small gaunt squads to claim objectives. Voila the Apophis!

You want as many flying troops as possible in the list. You need two squads of Gargoyles so that leaves just one Fast attack slot for your Flying Warriors. You can take a squad of leaping Warriors in elite spot to compensate. A pure flying army will not work. A few non-flyers are essential to be competitive and to fill your compulsory FOC slots. Take those scuttling Stealers and a gaunt squad to make a list that can claim objectives and not just contest them.

Gargoyles

A lot of Tyranid players have an inherent prejudice against Gargoyles. The models are terrible and the cost of blisters are very high. It makes it easy to dismiss them as a fragile unit that will be shot down before they do any damage. Even worse, they can only contest objectives and are not a scoring unit which makes them a difficult choice to justify in 5th edition. I have not played my Tyranids for quite awhile but my first Nid armies always included at least a squad of Gargoyles and they have performed well for me. You need to learn their strengths and weaknesses to get the most out of them. Many players use them once, have a bad experience with them and summarily dismiss them often writing on forums about how useless they are. Keep an open mind here. So let痴 look at Gargoyles as they will outnumber any other units in the army:

- A CC attack at I8
- Up to four attacks on the charge (Base (1) + Charge (1) + Bio-Plasma (1) + Shooting(1)
- An Ld 10
- Best mobility in the our codex. Gargoyles get an extra D6 move if they don't shoot.
- Bio-Plasma attacks will give them a fighting chance when the time comes to assault. - With one I8 attack S4, there is a good chance that you will wound before your opponent gets to strike back.
- Gargoyles come with the standard Fleshborers.
- Wing give the Gargoyles a huge amount of mobility. Treat as Jump Packs.
- Gargoyles can use the Deep Strike Rules.
- Gargoyles can screen almost anything.

In 4th edition Gargoyles were very good at capturing objectives as their speed, mobility, and deep strike allowed them to claim objectives at the last moment With 5th Edition that purpose is nullified as they can now only contest those objectives. What is their new defining role in Apophis? Not a whole lot has changed. The Apophis is still workable.

They're a very good rapid response unit. No, they cannot claim objectives but contesting is still fairly easy to set up. Gargoyles really do not rely on synapse with their high LD and you should have a flying Hive Tyrant nearby most times. The speed and the bio-plasma help them pack a decent killing potential with a shooting phase followed by a charge, and last-minute contesting is an annoyance to any opponent.

Your opponent will shoot at Gargoyles because they will hit the lines first. I mentioned Synapse already but you can get around Instinct Behaviour. With an LD 10, they often hold in combats they have lost unless you roll bad.

Gargoyles make a good distraction unit because you must react to them. If you field forty Gargoyles the rest of your army is safe two turns from shooting, as these become the major target. They can be well across the midline of the board on the first turn.

Gargoyles can benefit from the same 4+ cover save that other gaunts take advantage of. They also have a much better LD then termagaunts. There is a lot of cover in 5th edition.

The Gargoyles speed is it's biggest advantage. The extra 6 inches move will bring your fleshborers into shooting ranger quicker then a Termagaunt. The extra 6 inches can also get you into assault a lot faster. Jump Infantry with fleet movement is a major plus. After sustaining a lot of fleshborer shots your opponent will almost always take Bio-Plasma hits before any other attack in close combat. Bio-Plasma attacks are nice against fast moving skimmers who require 6's to hit after they've moved. Gargoyles catch them fairly easy, but they will always hit on 4+ and offer you Str 4 which can be effective against a vehicle痴 rear armour.
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Old 29 Jan 2009, 22:13   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List


PART TWO

FOC Choices

The Forgeworld Harridan
Harridans resemble a very large Gargoyle with great wings. They are the Gargoyles' 'brood-mothers' and carry their 'young' into battle. They have a biocannon for a weapon and they operate as a heavy flyer and a transport, making them able to drop off troops and raid enemy positions with air attacks. They are also a synapse creature and form the link between their Gargoyle broods and the Hive Mind. Obviously this large dragon like creature is the perfect fit for the Apophis list, however, we will leave Forgeworld models for a different discussion. Not that I wouldn稚 like a Flyer with Scything Talons, Twinlinked Bio Cannon, and a transport capacity of 8-20 Gargoyles. If you your opponent has no objections and the game is large enough and you have the cash take one.

HQ

Hive Tyrant
You coiuld take Enhanced Senses +1 BS; Toxin Sacs +1 St; Winged; Twin-linked Devourer (x2); Warp Field. He will murder infantry and can take out tanks.
The Dakka Flyrant is a versatile beast. If you want an all cc Flyrant take Adrenal Glands +1 In; Adrenal Glands +1 WS; Implant Attack; Toxic Miasma; Toxin Sacs +1 St; Winged; Scything Talons (x2); Warp Field. He is pricier than the Dakka Tyrant but he can go up against characters, still hurt infantry and can take out tanks. In fact he is probably the best anti-tank in the Nid arsenal and this list needs anti-tank.

Elite

Leaping Warriors
These can augment your AT needs as a Flyrant and scuttling stealers are just not enough. Fit out four with deathspitters and one with a venom cannon and add +1 Str, +1 BS, and Extended Carapace. We want these guys to get into a position to use their weapons and survive. They can if need be attack in H2H as they are fitted out with scything talons but they are specialized for heavy support. Still in cc with the biomorphs they have they get four attacks on the charge at WS4, I4, and S5. They are great covering fire for your advancing units against Meq lists. Now a purist will stay away from any Warriors in the list that do not fly..

Lictor
You could always take a couple of Lictors so they can use their pheromone trail rule to help any deep striking or scuttling units. They are also a good anti-tank solution but again they are wingless. In a smaller list I would use these regardless and probably fit them in a larger list as well. I think Lictors are almost necessary for AT and they also help when you assault if those Feeder Tendrils are in range.

Troops

Genestealers
Scuttling is not a requirement in this list as these Stealers will have plenty of cover to get into cc with so many other units charging ahead of them. However, I like the scuttlers and would take them along with scything talons for the extra assault and feeder tendrils to boost their hits and help surrounding units.

Gaunts

I prefer using one or two squads of Spinegaunts coming out of reserve to snatch an objective over Termagaunts or Hormagaunts charging forward. Your Gaunts cannot keep up with the rest of your force regardless and the Gargoyles will carry the fight to the enemy in their place.

Fast Attack

Flying Warriors
Start by taking five or six with 2x scything talons, bioplasma, flesh hooks and winged. They are expensive but are fierce and a threat. I use dual talons because I want as many attacks as possible from a unit that is fragile with only a 5+ save. These boys cannot get extended carapace so use Gargoyles to shield them until they attack. These are the premier choice for a group of flying warriors, non-the-less, that can keep up with your Hive Tyrant and attack in concert with him. These fellows will dish out some damage with a lot of attacks but beware. They can attack into cover and get a nice six attacks on the charge. If you take six just do the math. Your option is to use a squad of five in smaller list with TL devourers, toxin sacs, enhanced Senses. These make a very nice deep striking unit and your Lictor can help ensure they arrive when needed. As your army expands you can use five or six Warriors with deathspitters, scything talons, bioplasma, toxin sacs and one venom cannon or barbed strangler. I generally favour using any unit for a single purpose but in a list short on dakka I want Warriors that are at least decent in CC even if their primary role is fire support.

Gargoyles
Well we already discussed these as they are the heart and soul of the list. I think a good Apophis force should incorporate two squads with at least twenty-five Gargoyles in each squad. You want to fill the board with these guys and really strike fear into your opponent knowing that they are almost upon him turn one. He will have a hard time reacting to the rest of your force with these bearing down on him.

Heavy Support

The Apophis list uses no heavy support slots


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Old 29 Jan 2009, 22:16   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

PART THREE

What Does a List Look - How Do I Play It

Sample List as Base

Hive Fleet Apophis 1250

HQ

The Dragon Tyrant of Apophis
2x Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs, Bioplasma, + 1 I, +1 WS, Flesh Hooks,
Winged, Warp Field

Elite

2x Lictor

Troop

9 Spinegaunts
9 Spinegaunts

8 Genestealers
Flesh Hooks, Scuttlers

Fast Attack

5 Warriors
TL Devourers, Toxin Sacs, Enhanced Senses, Winged

16 Gargoyles
16 Gargoyles

Hive Fleet Apophis 1500

Modify and add the following to the 1250 list

Add;
8 Genestealers
Another squad up a bit for maximum impact

Add;
2 Gargoyles
Points allow it

Modify;
6 Warriors
Scything Talons(5), Deasthspitters(5), Venom Cannon(1), +1 I, +1Str, Enhanced Senses, Winged
Admittedly a strange combination of weapons and biomorphs for a winged Warrior unit. However, at 1500 points we need the extra punch of deathspitters and venom cannon with at least the possibility of surviving an assault.


Tactics and Summation

There are inherent weaknesses in an Apophis list. If I'm not using any heavy slots and virtually no MCs, I need to swarm my opponent and Gargoyles admittedly can be fragile. Warriors with wings are also a bit fragile. I also need some AT in the list. With two Lictors I could DS one squad of Warriors and coordinate attacks with the advancing Tyrant and his retinue of Gargoyles. Hopefully they are going to busy dealing with the Gargoyles and Tyrant on the board so if my Stealers and Warriors arrive safely on time they should create some serious problems.

An alternative approach would be to start with nothing on the table. I would keep everything either in reserve or deepstriking or outflanking. This is a riskier approach but comes with greater rewards if successful.

The Lictors, I have found, work well as AT in groups of two and can even aid in assaults with their feeder tendrils. I really need them for their ability to reroll reserves though. I want some of my reserves arriving early and some arriving late. Forunately I can reroll both successful and failed rolls.

The spinegaunts can from reserve to take late objectives. I do ot weant them arriving too soon as there are only two small squads and I need to grab an objective with at least one of them. They will get a great save in cover with both 鼠urk and 組o to ground so hopefully they will be sufficient in most games.

Basically I'm arriving in two waves. By turn two or three everything should be in my opponent's face and I'll target any dangerous tanks or heavies quickly.

The list works best at 1500 to 2000 points but as you can see it begins to be playable at the 1250 mark. Below this point level, the list is very difficult to justify. This is an easy list to use a a base. You could make a list with ninety-six Gargoyles, two small Gaunt squads and two However, at 1500 just add more Genestealers and Gaunts to shore the list up. You could also reconfigure the Warriors a bit and the Hive Tyrant to your taste. As it stands your are a little short on scoring troops but despite 5th edition痴 prejudice towards adding in as many troop slots as possible I致e found that you can often get by with less if you deploy wisely and use what you have intelligently.

[hr]
Managed to fix that annoying bit of code for you. I'm going to give you another +1 on top of Garrison's, because I think you deserve it after this amount of work. Somehow, +1 feels a bit cheap to me.... - Phage
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Old 30 Jan 2009, 03:24   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

Excellent write up. +1
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Old 30 Jan 2009, 03:30   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

i played against a NidWing army a couple times - winged tyrants, winged warriors, and gargoyles - what a crazy battle it makes! i was playing a gunline IG army, and once they got in the backfield it was pure mayhem!! it was one reason i started my Tau suit-heavy list with 9 crisis and 6 stealth suits - just couldn't sit and take it any more
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Old 30 Jan 2009, 23:21   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

Phage - Thanks for fixing that - I'm a terrible editor at times. I have said this before - I write because I love to - no need to 'cookie' although I admit to a sweet tooth and it is nice to be appreciated. I've been playing a lot of Nids lately and the Ork boys will be seeing less of me (not that I'm giving up my greenskins entirely - just having a break). I hope this forum will put up with all my various posts as I test a number of alternate and I think interesting lists. Feel free to PM me and stop me once you have had enough of me, lol. I will not take offense.
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Old 31 Jan 2009, 02:47   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

Awesome write up, that's certainly an in depth tactica if I've ever seen one. It was nice and readable too, broken up well and kept short and to the point. Cookies well deserved.

I'd always have wanted to try one of these lists out, perhaps on VASSAL... modelwise it's be a pain to assemble. I think it has a lot of fun potential, but competitively... I dunno, I'd get too pessimistic the second I saw a Land Raider or something :P . Definitely warrants a try though.
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Old 31 Jan 2009, 03:03   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

Quote:
I'd get too pessimistic the second I saw a Land Raider or something
You do have a bit of AT considering the list is optimal at 1250 - 1500 points. You have a Hive Tyrant and 2 Lictors at 1250 and at 1500 you can beef the warrior squad to include a VC. Certainly, it is not ideal as an anti tank list but I have found that there are less and less tanks being played in 5th - cannot move full distance and fire away anymore, outflanking squads hitting rear armor, etc.

Quote:
I think it has a lot of fun potential, but competitively
Lol. I would probably not take it to a high level tournament. It does, however, have a large element of surprise about it though and occasionally walks away with unexpected wins. I have fely the fury of this list when I've been unprepared for it - I do not tailor lists but I have different armies and some cannot compete with Apophis.

Quote:
I'd always have wanted to try one of these lists out, perhaps on VASSAL
On Vassal I think I would start with no troops on the board. Might as well go all or nothing and really see how much fun it can be. Just deep strike, outflank and keep the gaunts in reserve as long as possible. Daemons have nothing on this list.
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Old 31 Jan 2009, 03:11   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

I'll give it a shot and let you know how it goes... woe unto my next VASSAL opponent! this jumped to the top of my "to try" list, even above my CSM list that can potentially turn 18 enemies into Chaos Spawn per turn... :P Should be fun, I like the mobility.
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Old 03 Feb 2009, 04:21   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making a Gargoyle List

I suggest using standard gaunts with fleshborers and glue on harpy wings to use as gargoyles.
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