Wednesday 10 October 2018

Tyranids: Hive Fleet Numereji TO-DONE!

Australian Rainbow Serpent by Susanne Iles

Hi folks,

YAAAAAS!!! A few days ago I added the final touches to my 2000 pt Tyranid Army. This army has been boiling away since 3rd edition, in various different guises, but this is the first time I can honestly say that it is finished*. The list uses the Jormungadr rules, to represent a burrowing, ambush-orientated, force of snake-like creatures. I have managed to choose or convert 36 Nids with snake bodies to help reinforce the theme.

The army is inspired by Australian aboriginal legends of the Rainbow Serpent:

"Dreamtime stories tell of the great spirits and totems during creation, in animal and human form they molded the barren and featureless earth. The Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains and gorges as it pushed upward. The Rainbow Serpent is known as Ngalyod by the Gunwinggu and Borlung by the Miali. He is a serpent of immense proportions which inhabits deep permanent waterholes. Descended from that larger being visible as a dark streak in the Milky Way, it reveals itself to people in this world as a rainbow as it moves through water and rain, shaping landscapes, naming and singing of places, swallowing and sometimes drowning people; strengthening the knowledgeable with rainmaking and healing powers; blighting others with sores, weakness, illness, and death."

Aboriginal Dreamtime: The Rainbow Serpent by Jack Eidt (2012)

I have also tried to inject some of my love of the movie Aliens in there as well, if you look closely enough...

The paint scheme takes some ideas from a snake we have here in Australia called a Fierce Snake, otherwise called an Inland Taipan. We don't get Fierce Snakes around where I live (we get everything else!), but I have seen them at Taronga Zoo and love how they have a black head to absorb more energy during the winter months. The scheme also takes some cues from the Dog Alien in Aliens 3.

Warlord's Retinue

My Warlord, a slither-slogging Hive Tyrant armed with a heavy venom cannon and Reaper of Obliterax, is attended by a Malanthrope and 3 Tyrant Guard armed with rending claws. The Tyrant Guard were converted from the old metal 3rd Ed. Ravenor figures.


The Formless Maw

I know Lictors are not the most competitive of choices, but I love them and they are a cheap way of filling the Elites slot of this Brigade detachment. This snakey-squidface also happens to be the Combat Specialist in my Lictor Kill Team. Named "The Formless Maw", he is an absolute bullet magnet. He was pieced together using an old Ravenor body and scything talons, as well as arms and head from a Venomthrope

The Brains Trust

I have always loved Zoanthropes and they are as killy as hell. This unit and supporting Neurothrope have caused a lot of casualties in the games I have played. At the very least, they can be relied on to hold up a flank OR attract a lot of fire (thus protecting something else). The models include a 3rd Ed. metal Zoanthrope as the Neurothrope and three other generations of figures; though it may look like there are only two types, one is metal, two are finecast and three are brand spanking new plastic.

 The Swarm

My troops choices include a brood of 20 Termagants with devourers, which I have used to delete quite a few enemy infantry units in their time (usually after emerging from a Mawloc hole). It also includes 12 Ripper bases for grabbing objectives and 8 Genestealers for, well... whatever. I don't think I have ever written a list with so few Genestealers, but there you have it.

Two are behind you...


The main focus of my Fast Attack slot is the nine Aliens-themed Ravenors that I finished last hobby season. Using the Jormungandr deployment strategy, I can use these guys to tunnel some nasty infantry into forward positions. Zoanthropes are a fun choice, adding some target saturation woes to the frontline, if I can find room for all of those bodies. I also have two Spore Mine clusters. Originally for area denial, these guys are also a nice cheap unit to fill out the Brigade.

The Big Bugs

As I mentioned before, I have a Mawloc for tunneling units or distraction. They have always been something of a hot mess, but I love the idea of them and they fit the theme really well. On the rare occasion this guy has been ignored, he has done quite a bit of damage in close combat. I also use a Trygon for tunneling and adding a bit of extra might up-front. I have experimented with using a Trygon Prime and reducing the number of Genestealers in the list to 6, but, like the Mawloc, he doesn't tend to last long either way. My final Heavy Support unit is an Exocrine; I use a Scythed Heirodule as a "counts-as" model. The Heirodule is both too expensive to use points-wise and too expensive money-wise ($260 AUD) to have sitting on a shelf gathering dust.

That's it! I feel a really deep sense of accomplishment having finally finished* this army and look forward to playing some friendly games with it. From the few experiences I have had with it, I know that playing the objective is key and that I'm going to have a lot of casualties early in the game. Once they get into range though, and the deep striking tunnelers deliver their brood buddies, it brings the pain. Strike it off the to-do list and pass me the stamp, this 2018/19 project is TO-DONE!

See you across the table,


*LOL... as if!?


  1. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't own a 3rd Edition Zoanthrope? Those Ravenors are superb btw.

    1. Cheers mate, and yes, you may be the only person :-) I would LOVE to get my hands on a 2nd Edition Zoanthrope, they were fantastic.