Monday 10 July 2023

The Vardenghast Swarm - Tyranid Combat Patrol


The first batch of the Leviathan box I got on the painting table was this lot, the Vardenghast Swarm, aka the Tyranid Combat Patrol army. 

I usually paint my Nids in fairly big batches so I thought this would be a reasonable ask, though in hindsight it was a bit of a slog doing all this carapace at once! As you can probably see I go for the 'paint lots of little semi random lines' approach to my bug backs, and this lot have got quite a bit more armour plates than most of the previous Nid models. In fact all round the new stuff here represents a slight departure from the smoother Tyranid aesthetic that was laid down with the 3rd edition revamp, and takes a lot of design cues from the older 2nd edition models, in my opinion at least. Personally I'm ok with this, but it does mean there's a lot more sticky-outy bits to paint! 

Anyway, first up, the new Termagants. I'm hopeful that even with the slightly larger bases they will still look decent alongside their many, many older siblings!

The Barbgaunts are the first of the newer breed here, and there's certainly a lot going on here. Being hybrid organisms I debated painting the guns in a different scheme, but in the end opted to keep them on brand, with a bit of a green glow from the symbiotic brains as a spot colour.

Von Ryan's Leapers - a very cool trio of models, but man that is a lot of plates to highlight! You can see here that I incorporated some rubble into my usual swamp bases for this set, a lot of them are standing on tactical ruins!

The boss of this lot, the winged Prime. Another cool kit but another one that's a fair bit more knobbly than his predecessors. Also pretty hard to get a good angle for him to show off wings, skin, carapace, and face!

Finally from this swarm, the Psychophage. This is the model that most drastically departs from previous Tyranid design conventions (bulging abdomen like a spider, reversed back legs, no hooves), but also I think my favourite model in the whole set. Just awfully glibly and horrible looking, a true alien terror. Also had the most fun of this batch painting this one.

And here they are together - sort of fitting into the light box! And I managed to just about paint them all in time for a game!

This was my third game of 10th ed and my first of the new Combat Patrol, against Orks fighting over their town!

It was a lot of fun, both sides having a nice mix of units and the scenario having a nice mix of skill and luck required to win - making for a close game until the end.

Both sides lost their 'chaff' units quickly, with this one Nob being the last 'regular' Boyz that whittled down the Leapers to a single model on one wound.

The bigger units were a tougher nut to crack however as the Warboss and Deff Dread took several attempts to down the Psychophage, losing the Boss in the process.

This mission had disappearing objectives and it came down to holding the remaining No-man's land one to win. Sadly for me the remaining one was in the Ork half of the board so I could only pile a few Termagants onto it against the surviving Deff Dread and two Deffkoptas. A narrow loss for the Tyranids, but a really fun game all the same. It took us about two hours to play, with a lot of rule checking, so I could easily see getting through a game in 90 mins, and playing something like a 5 game event in a day. I certainly enjoyed myself, and I hope you did too! Thanks for reading and stay safe out there!

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