This Saturday I decided to run my first Tyranid formation. I ran a soft list, very swarmy, and added the Skytyrant Swam formation. This formation is a Hive Tyrant, which has to take the wings biomorph, and two units of Gargoyles. This means you can run it with 20 to 60 Gargoyles.
There are a few good things that come with this formation. First, the Hive Tyrant adds 6 inches to its synapse range. Not that I would ever do this, but if you give it the Norm Crown, and manage to get dominion off, this would give you a Hive Tyrant with a 30 inch synapse range. Second, the Hive Tyrant can also take Look Out, Sir rolls, and pass them on a 2+. This means that you now have 20 or more extra wounds on the Tyrant. Third, the only way this formation gives up kill points is if the entire formation is completely destroyed. Finally, the formation just looks cool. A swarm of Gargoyles surrounding a massive Hive Tyrant with wings just looks amazing.
Now, having said all of that, I am not sold on this formation. Sure, I ran it with 30 Gargoyles, giving the Tyrant 30 extra wounds, but these wounds are T3 with armour saves of 6. So bolters, while would wound the Tyrant on 6’s, causes wounds on this unit on 3s. And those wounds do not get armour saves. Also, due to the way the special rules read, the Hive Tyrant cannot fly. This obviously makes sense when Hive Tyrant is with the Gargoyles, but it also true when all of the Gargoyles are destroyed. The rule reads “The Hive Tyrant cannot leave the unit during the battle and can only use the Gliding Flight mode.”
Will I run this formation again? Of course, it is fun, and like I said, it looks really cool when they are all painted up. I may even get another 10 gargoyles for another 10 wounds. But this formation is not a game changer.