So here is sort of a timeline of the progression of my Tyranid army, from when it was purchased to it's current state. I apologize ahead of time for delays in posts and time between stages of work as I am an EXTREMELY LAZY hobbiest. Also, there are some Tyranid armies on HO that are just scary good, so I'm not sure my army will impress. I guess this is more for me.
The date I started Tyranids. Thanks to Auxellion from The Tyranid Hive for the inspiration and dedication! I purchased three battleforces (which included a Carnifex at the time), a box of "Gaunts and Hormagaunts" (it came with 8 of each), and two Lictors. I was so excited that I built a Carnifex and a Lictor at the store the night I bought them.
I finished building the bulk of the army, and was magnetizing the Carnifex, Warriors, Genestealers, and yes even my Termagaunts. The whole point was that while it was time consuming, it would save me from having to double or even triple the amounts of certain units I had because I would be able to swap arms/weapons on the fly. Why buy 20 Termagaunts with Fleshborers and 20 Termagaunts with Devourers when I could just magnetize them and swap the weapons/wargear? It totally worked for my Carnifex and Warriors, but for my Genestealers and Termagaunts I gave up after HOURS and HOURS of work, and started gluing the arms in anyways. I realized no one would really care which weapon the Gaunts had as long as it was written down on my list. Besides, to this day a LOT of 40k players are still unable to tell the difference between Tyranid weapons!
After getting in a bunch of games with the plastic-colored Tyranids, I came up with a really basic color scheme. I decided to go with a Kraken-themed exo-skeleton and black armor plating, similar to Auxellion's Hive Fleet Orion theme, and began painting.
I started by priming the minis with the Army Painter "Skeleton Bone" color, and then washing them with Gryphone Sepia. The armor itself was painted chaos black. I hadn't officially decided on the highlight color yet but I was thinking about how a blue/light-blue edging (similar to the purple edging that Hive Fleet Leviathan has) would look, and began mocking the minis up in Dawn of War 2.
Also, I decided that model-wise I would run three Dakka Fexes, three Sniper Fexes, and two Dakka Tyrants (though one would be a Flyrant). I had the arms off initially because I wanted to magnetize them, but I never got around to doing it and I was tired of people joking about how they couldn't hurt anything because they were armless. So, I started tacking the arms in with tiny
amounts of glue.
It was also around this time that I came up with the Hive Fleet name, "Hydrus". It is the male version of Hydra and it is a multi-headed dragon from Greek mythology. Basically the reason I settled on Hydrus was because I believe the new Tyranid codex works best with a multi-faceted attack, like several heads of a Hydra attacking at once. The codex relies a lot on synergy and multiple "one-two" punches as opposed to singularly strong units like TH/SS Termies, Plague Marines, Veterans, or Longfangs.
I continued painting the armor black little by little, and continued running Nidzilla lists to great success. Aside from losses due to bad dice rolls and dumb mission/deployment combos like Capture & Control Seize Ground, I had only really lost one game and that was to old Dark Eldar (go-go combat drugs!).
It was also around this time (I think) that the rumors of Tyranids getting redone in January started to solidify, so I began playing a LOT more games because I had a feeling Nidzilla as we knew it would change, but I had no idea how much...
With the new Tyranid codex finally out, I had placed an order for roughly $700 worth of junk, and started putting it together. I purchased:
4 boxes of Raveners (to have 12)
4 boxes of Gargoyles (to have 50, I had 10 old metal ones already)
4 Hive Guard
2 boxes of Hormagaunts (to have 64)
2 Carnifexes (to make Tervigons)
I was so stoked with all the new creatures, options, and sweet models that I kind of over-spent to make sure I had enough of everything. And then, it was time to build. I had only gotten a Trygon done since the release by the end of January (and fully magnetized it), but I began play-testing the army and started learning of the horrible things Robin Cruddace had done, like making my Carnifexes TWICE as expensive without upgrades, and removing Assault Grenades from the codex almost altogether (witht the exception of a few inappropriate units). Still, the games were fun!
Around this time I purchased a Realm of Battle Board as well. You know, that $275 USD 6'x4' plastic gaming board of awesomeness?
So after messing around with that quite a bit, I got back to working on the Tyranids. This time, I had decided on the official color scheme of Hive Fleet Hydrus.
I apologize if the flash was too bright, the Battle Board was quite shiny without paint on it lol.
Anyways, I started with Regal Blue (which is all that's done in the picture above), then move towards a highlight of Enchanted Blue. I thought about a possible highlight of Ice Blue or Enchanted Blue mixed 1:1 with Skull White, but again I was undecided and didn't really get to testing it out (yes, I know, lazy me).
I continued trying different units in the book and to do so I had built a Tervigon, three Hive Guard, another Trygon, and all 40 Gargoyles. Also, in case you're wondering, the little shell-thing is something I was using for a Mycetic Spore (since there's no model for it). In this picture, I was using the Warriors as a Shrike Brood, and the carnifex as a Tervigon (it's actually modeled as one, it's just hard to tell from this arial shot).
Games were going great at first, and even though I had a roughly 80% win ratio, I was becoming disappointed with the many issues in the Codex, and started to go back to running my Blood Angels, especially with that army about to also get a new Codex and models in two months. I spent most of the following year switching between Tyranids and Blood Angels, without making much more progress on the bugs.
Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures for this, but after months and months of only using my Tyranids every so often, I kind of wanted to try them out again, and this time there was a good reason to. Tacticon, the smaller of two Cons out here in Colorado, was coming up in a few weeks. I started slapping paint on a bunch more models, including the Trygon, and ended up going 1-1-1 at the event, unfortunately placing only 32nd out of 44 (though I scored max points in the first round and was on table one in round two, which is the round I scored the draw). I had a ton of fun, and I was determined from then on to participate in EVERY local wargaming in the future.
After Tacticon, I put the Tyranids down again and continued playing with my Blood Angels over the holidays. However, the larger of the two Cons out here (Genghis-Con) was coming up and I wanted to run my bugs again, especially since they wouldn't need as much work as my largely unpainted Blood Angels. With the help of my wife, I applied the bone/black/blue color to a ton of minis and started with some of the detail work. I also converted a Tyrant into a full-time Swarmlord, especially after he had done so well for me at Tacticon and over 20-ish games at my FLGS.
Again I have to apologize for not having more pictures, but here's a quick shot of the Army during the appearance-judging portion of the event, of which I scored a 33/44!
So, the first thing you'll notice is that I hadn't fully painted the army, let alone put the blue highlights on all
of the black armor plates. I know, working at the last minute can burn you out real quick, and that's exactly what happened. Still though, we got a lot done and They're not looking too shabby, if I do say so myself.
I played in all five rounds of the event (it was an 1850-point tournament, as was Tacticon's tournament), and went 2-1-2 placing 37th out of 70 players. Now, getting just about half-way isn't all that great, but with six main Wrecking Crew members present and a TON of killer competition, I am quite pleased with that result! It was a blast, but after playing against hardcore Mech IG in round 3 and Dark Eldar in round 4 in a competitive environment, I learned quickly which armies were simply not fun AT ALL to play against as bugs (and by that I mean I learned the two armies that I would from then on refuse games against). Fuck 'em.
Okay, so this part is unrelated to getting the army worked on, but around this time I made a scenario packet that would allow 4-6 people to simulate the stages of a Tyrnaid invasion in a fun and crazy set of missions designed to mimick each stage.
Here's a link
to it just in case you guys are interested!
Just last week I purchased two more Hive Guard from my FLGS as I was freaking out about the rumor of the Metal Miniatures going away. I have eight now, and I know someone who's going to trade me a 9th so that I can field three units of three each! Yay me!
Anyways, as President of my local 40k club, I started up a 40k Escalation League that requires participants to bring fully-painted minis. We are starting at 500 points on June 3rd, and adding another 500 points every month until we hit 2,000. A month after that, we are going to hold a 2,000 point tournament where only fully-painted armies (that participated in the League) can be used.
After a whole week of mulling over which army to use (and believe me, I REALLY REALLY wanted to get my Blood Angels painted), I have finally decided to run my Tyranids! For the 500 points level, we are running a modified version of 4th Edition's Combat Patrol (I believe Adepticon still runs a Combat Patrol tournament), but we're starting with 500 points instead of 400.
Here's my list:
2x Hive Guard
2x Hive Guard
12x Gargoyles (Adrenal Glands)
I originally had 15 Hormagaunts with no upgrades in place of the Gargoyles, but after doing a bit of math-hammer, I decided that the Gargoyles with Adrenal Glands were better (yes, I know there are less of them). They also would look a LOT more menacing on the table, and might draw fire away from my Hive Guard and Genestealers.
So, by now I'm sure you guys are wondering where the pictures (and paint) are, and I promise they're on the way. I'm going to pull out my 500 point force today and try to take some decently-lighted pictures of them, along with maybe a better picture of my Trygon Prime (which obviously is not in my 500 point Combat Patrol haha).
I hope you guys have enjoyed this extensive history of my Nids, and I WILL be updating this with pictures regularly (and hopefully this will help me get my rear in gear and get painting).
Thanks for reading so far!