As much as the Internet wants to hate on the Tyranid codex there are still plenty of ways to play and compete with the army. Sadly, Tau and Eldar seem to overshadow everything, but don't despair, because get in line with every other army for a pint of haterade.

If you look past what other people think you can build a Tyranid army on the fairly cheap-- when it comes to GW.

The pricing tables are designed to produce bare bones 1500 point lists. As you undoubtedly realize with upgrades you can easily exceed 1500 points. The prices are set at full retail, giving you a baseline for buying an army.

Balanced Assortment

  • Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord x2 (2) = $107.50
  • Tyranid Swarm x 1 (95) = $170
  • Venomthrope x1 (1) = $24.75
  • Gargoyle Brood x2 (20) = $58.00
  • Trygon/Mawloc x1 (1) = $57.75
  • Carnifex Brood x1 (2) = $90.00


When starting an army you want to get a good assortment of models. Luckily for the Tyranids their battle box is pretty amazing. The Tyranid Swarm gives you 10 Gargoyles, 40 Hormagaunts, 40 Termagants, 1 Carnifex, and 4 Ripper Swarms-- bought separately it would be $259, a $89 savings. Building on the swarm take advantage of the Carnifex Brood, a $17.50 savings over buying Carnifexs individually. You cannot let the Gargoyles go home without more flying friends, so building on the Tyranid Swarm set again, two more boxes of Gargoyles.

The next thing you want with any kit is duality of purpose, in other words, multiple magnetizable unit types. The Hive Tyrant kit is fantastic and produces different looks ready to magnetize. You won't regret having two of these models because no matter the edition Tyrants are always the go to HQ for Nids. The Mawloc/Trygon kit also does the same thing, it produces three different units from one kit, this flexibly is great for list building.

Typically, you want to stay away from Finecast because of the inflexibility and other issues, but often Finecast models have some of the best looking sculpts. The Venomthrope is one cool looking model and one of the better units in the codex, this is a minor investment and a good center piece model for the price.

Using these general concepts, here is a few more price tables depending on your proclivities.

Big and Little


  • Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord x1 (1) = $53.75
  • Tyranid Swarm x 2 (190) = $340.00
  • Tyrannofex/Tervigon x2 (2) = $115.50



Flying Fun

  • Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord x1 (1) = $53.75
  • Tyranid Swarm x 1 (95) = $170.00
  • Tyrannofex/Tervigon x1 (1) = $57.75
  • Trygon/Mawloc x1 (1) = $57.75
  • Harpy/Hive Crone x2 (2) = $160.00


As always, with so many discount retailers you probably won't be paying full price. At the standard 20% off discount you are looking at easily getting another Monstrous Creature. If you are a competitive player you want to use those extra savings to max certain units within the Force Org. If you are painter or casual player you will go for what you think is cool. An extra hobby tip, if you're confident using green stuff and kit bashing. The Ravener kit combined with the Tyranid Warrior kit is $100 bucks, that can easily produce two Tyranid Primes and three Venomthropes with a little work.

The hardest units to spend the money on when starting a Tyranid army are the Zoanthrope, Biovores, and Hive Guard. All those units are good, but are ether; dated, Finecast, overpriced, or all three. Those three units are also hard to substitute, but if you are creative or can hold off, you shouldn't feel unprepared on the battlefield if you just stick to the excellent multi-part plastic kits out currently.


40k Buying Guide is rated empty your pockets. These articles are meant to help you continue complaining about GW pricing schemes at the same time you are buying used models on Ebay