I play a swarm army. And by that, I mean that I play the Tyranids. However, the name is probably the closest I come to actually playing a swarm army. The only really swarmy units I take are 30 Termagants to free up the Tervigon as a troop choice and a full brood of Raveners (9, yea, really swarmy). I run Flying Hive Tyrants, the Swarmlord (with his Tyrant Guard), Carnifexes, Crones, and on and on with Monstrous Creatures. So, if I am being honest with myself, I do not actually run a swarm army. I was pondering on why, and there are three real reasons that I am not running swarmy.
1. Movement Phase – I hate moving so many models. I have played games where I had over one hundred models out on the board. The set up and the movement phase in turn one can take forever. Not only do I not enjoy taking that much time (I am old and it is tiring) but I also feel bad for my opponent, who is usually playing space marines with drop pods, so their setup takes 10 minutes, tops! I have even sent people out for smoke breaks while I set up and move. Now, I will admit that later turns do tend to go faster, but that’s only because most of my army is back into storage. And that actually adds to it, the clean up time takes forever unless I pack up as my models die.
2. Painted Units – I love the look of a fully painted army on the table. It does look amazing. And currently I have just over 30 Termagants that are fully painted, those 9 Raveners, 9 Warriors, and a lot of those Monstrous Creatures I just mentioned. If pressed, I could field a 2500-point army fully painted, it just will not be swarmy.
I am working on fixing that. I decided to work on some Rippers and Hormagants because I want to go back to swarmy. But painting the swarm is so tedious. You paint one MC, and you have a complete unit. You paint one Termagant, and you have 29 more to go if you want the full unit.
It’s a little daunting. And again, I am old.
3. Competitiveness – Ok, I will admit to a little streak of competitiveness in my blood. I am not saying that my list is unbeatable, but running a lot of MCs is really competitive. I can tone it down, and will run unpainted units to do so, but when I want to be even slightly competitive, I will drop a lot of monstrous and flying monstrous creatures into my list.
And when you combine all three reasons, I end up running a non-swarmy list. To fix this, I am working on small models to make my lists swarmier. I am working on Rippers, Hormagaunts, Termagants, and even Gargoyles. I will ask my opponent if he minds me having long movement phases (and if he doesn’t want to face MCs, he will have to agree).
As for the competitiveness, I will find a way to make swarms work with how I like to play. But mostly, I will have fun even in my losses, which I should be used to by now. I will run two units of Termagaunts, a unit of Hormagants, and a full unit of Gargoyles, all fully painted. Those three combined is 120 models, which should qualify as swarmy.