Sporriors – Mycetic Spore Pod-deployed Tyranid Warriors. Did I just coin a term? I googled 'Tyranid Sporriors' and it came back with 0 results so it's mine now. I suppose it’s not surprising given that very few people talk about putting warriors in a spore pod. I have posted about this combo on one or two occasions on The Hive (name is kaiserstole20) but I haven’t noticed anyone else advocating it much less coming up with a silly concatenation of the names of the component units.
Why do I think this is a great idea? I’ll be annoying and answer a question with other questions. What if you could basically guarantee that an objective will be yours no matter where it is on the board? What is that worth to you?
The tactic I use with Sporriors as old as tabletop wargaming itself – suddenly deliver an overwhelming force to a particular spot and watch your opponent cry as you take that objective or eliminate an entire unit in a single round of nerdy pretend violence.
The reason Sporriors are a perfect combo for this tactic is that the two units have great synergy. First, Warriors are great all-around infantry. Good at CC, tough as nails, and with Deathspitters quite shooty. Attach a Prime and you've got a heck of a generalist unit - cheaper, more shooty, and more durable than tactical terminators. Depending on how you configure them, they can slaughter just about any type of infantry in the game. On top of that they provide Synapse, Shadow in the Warp, and are a Troop choice in the Force Org chart. Tyranid Warriors may be the most badass and useful Troop choice in the game.
Second, Mycetic Spore Pods are an excellent delivery mechanism for Tyranids because they save them from the long run across the board. Just like drop pods it’s hard to screw up too badly because if you scatter on top of a unit or impassable terrain they will simply move to the closest ‘safe’ spot. Unlike drop pods they don't come in automatically on turn 1 - but that's a good thing. The later in the game your spore pod arrives the better for you because your opponent will have less time to react.
Unit Composition Details
What does the Warrior squad look like? Most importantly it is as close 10 models (9 warriors and a prime) as you can get it. The point is to hit a spot with overwhelming force and then have enough wounds to keep the objective for several turns if needed. 9 Warriors with a Prime is 30 wounds, 27 S5 shots, and 1 pinning large blast template (from a Barbed Strangler) appearing suddenly right next to an objective. Good luck fending them off or getting rid of them.
The Prime is a must-have. A squad of Warriors with an attached Tyranid Prime is just vicious. WS6 and BS4 with a T5 model to take the krak missile wounds... need I say more?
So with that in mind this is what I play with:
6-9 Warriors with Scything Talons and Deathspitters
0-1 Warrior with Scything Talons and Barbed Strangler
1 Tyranid Prime with 2x Boneswords and a Deathspitter
For Warriors I prefer Deathspitters and Scything Talons vs. all other configurations for a couple of reasons. First, Deathspitters are jack-of-all-trade guns. S5 lets you lay into rear armor with surprising effectiveness. Against a squadron of vehicles you will get 3 penetrating and 3 glancing hits on average. That’s enough to do serious damage if not wipe out the squadron. It also lets you wound T4 better than ½ the time which is important vs. power armor since they will get a save. Scything Talons are just cheap. Free in fact. Against lightly armored or non-cc dedicated troops scything talons are enough. The only thing I might take here is rending claws for a few points more. For me though with 9 warriors to outfit I skip the rending claws.
For the Prime I like 2 Boneswords and a Deathspitter. The Deathspitter gives him something to do when he lands and the 2x Boneswords are multi-wound model killers. Others advocate the Bonesword/Lashwhip combo. Between the two it's a matter of personal preference.
You have probably already started thinking about what a point-sink that unit must be. It's about the same as a full squad of Sternguard and Pedro.
How to Deploy
You’ll do well against just about any troop choice in the game if you drop right next to them, shoot at them, then either take the charge or charge yourself the next turn. However if you’d like to talk strategery there’s some other options you have.
Here’s one example v.s. Sternguard. Since you cannot assault straight from the spore pod, drop your warriors between 13" and 18" away. At this distance 1) they can't charge you; 2) they get 1 shot; 3) you get 3 shots! Trust me, even against Sternguard with their fancy ammunition and 2 heavy weapons you want a firefight.
If the Marine player is smart his Sternguard/Devastators are sitting in cover. Since you don't have frag grenades he's feeling pretty confident. But the math doesn't lie - you win the firefight. Heck, you'll take out 4-5 of them before they can fire back. That could be an entire squad.
Even Sternguard bolters and special ammunition just can't get much done against Tyranid Warriors with T4, 4+ save, and 3 wounds. Remember that the Prime can take the lascannons to the face and uh oh... You will wipe out his squad in about 2 rounds while having plenty of wounds to camp on that objective.
As stated earlier though - the most straightforward deployment style will work great against most opponents.