This Saturday saw an impromptu apocalypse game happen at the local GW. I had my Void Legion marines and my son brought his Tau. As is the usual these days we found ourselves as opponents.
On the side of Order we had; Steel Legion (rocking no less than 20 tanks), four space marine armies, and Sisters of Battle with IG allies.
On the side of Chaos we had; Chaos Marines, Tau, Eldar, two traitor IG, and four (yes, four!) Tyranid armies.
I am not going to go into a blow-by-blow account but I did want to share a few observations...
Deep Striking Mawlocs and Trygons will not survive if they are unsupported. Neither of the two that popped up survived past their first round of combat. Granted, I fired everything I had in my army at the Trygon in my sector, but the results were still the same; one dead Trygon. All it managed to do against the back armor of a Dreadnought is stun it (then the Trygon died).
Psyker powers on the Tyranids seem pretty tough. However, I did not see the results of any of the powers because the Sisters of Battle HQ chicky stopped their powers, all of their powers, cold. Not one Tyranid power manifested the entire game. Go Sisters!
Termagants are still really easy to kill. Full tactical squads with bolters in rapid fire range will decimate a brood. For an added bonus kill the Tervigon synapse creature before you shoot them up and they will pretty much run away without the "fearless" special rule to support them.
Combat tactics are going to play a larger part in my strategy against the bugs. In close combat, I am going to take casualties, period. But the ability to break away and get another shooting phase before getting tangled up again is going to be priceless.
Use terrain. There are so many models in an infantry brood that if you can funnel them, when they hit your line most of the brood will be out of close combat range (ie, more than 2" away). This will reduce the attacks against you and possibly allow your entire (smaller) unit get all of your attacks against them.
The game ended on the fourth turn when all of the Tyranid players pulled their armies off of the table, stated that they felt outnumbered, and in general acted a bit upset that we had broken their new toys. So it goes...
The new Tyranids are a tough army to fight. Once the players get some wicked unit and tactics combinations under their belt they are going to be even more deadly. I predict a second coming for the long-range pieplate firepower of the Whirlwind and Thunderfire Cannon.