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 Tyranids...First Glance

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PostSubject: Tyranids...First Glance   Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:28 pm

by Abuse Puppy


Okay, well, that's out of my system now, so we can get on with the rest of the program here. It's the usual first-look stuff- go over some big changes to units, point out things folks may have missed, talk about the book's synergies and dis-synergies, etc. Comments and thoughts are extremely welcome, as there is absolutely no way I have noticed all of the relevant stuff.

Tyranids don't really get any special rules or themes the way Tau, Eldar, or Space Marines did. That's kinda a big one right there. Well, unless you count Instinctive Behavior, which is kinda less a special rule and more of a penalty.

Shadow in the Warp is just -3Ld now. Mathematically, Ld10 psykers are 58% to pass rather than 50%, Ld9 ones are 41% rather than 37%, and Ld8 ones are 27% rather than 26%. Worse in pretty much every case, but by fairly small percentages for the most part (Ld10 being the big one) and since everyone else's psychic defenses got nerfed hard, I think we can count our stars that it came out as well as it did. The biggest change is actually that Perils don't happen any more often anymore, which was a huge deterrent for most folks. However, there is a rather important upside here: SitW now just straight-up lowers the leadership value of psykers in range- it's not just for psychic tests. This is actually, all in all, probably a buff to the ability.

Synapse is identical. Not really much to say here, except that your options for good Synapse creatures in the new book seem to have shrunk quite a bit.

The Warlord table is fucking awful. Let's recount, shall we: an ability that only triggers when you are within 12″ of a forest and uses the shitty Mysterious Terrain rules, so is unlikely to actually do anything. An ability that doesn't matter much at all, because Tyranids have no long-range shooting- the best it can ever do is deny the enemy from getting +1 to cover saves for a single turn. A vague sort of bonus that prevents your army's negative rule from kicking in. A bonus that, like Champion of Humanity and its many brethren, will never kick in because the other guy just isn't gonna accept your challenges with his ICs. An actually pretty good ability, since breaking cover is never a bad thing. And an ability that only works the turn AFTER the enemy starts shooting at you- so once you're dead for a turn, you gain FNP. Woo. This is, almost without a doubt, the worst Warlord table yet.

Instinctive behavior has three types now- Hunt was added to Feed and Lurk. Also, rather than just having a dictated action to take when you fail, you have a table to roll on, because why wouldn't you make things needlessly complicated? All three tables have the same distribution- on a 1-3 you do something bad (unless circumstances prevent you from doing so), on a 4-5 you have a small penalty, and on a 6 you have the small penalty and a small bonus. Lurk is pretty awful- the bad one is that you fail a morale check, causing you to fall back immediately- and unless this takes you into Synapse, the enemy is probably going to shoot you on their turn, causing you to fail that morale check automatically (because you're already fleeing), so you're gonna be running 4d6″ in most cases. The small penalty is pretty fine- you ignore Difficult Terrain and can only shoot if you get into cover, no assaults. The small bonus is that you gain Stealth.

Hunt, the new one, is probably the least punishing- the bad one is that you Go to Ground, which is pretty fine. (If you're Fearless, you don't even do that.) The small penalty is that you have to shoot the nearest unit and can't charge. The small bonus is gaining Preferred Enemy. Feed, on the other hand, is quite awkward- the bad one is that every model in the unit punches itself with its own strength and AP- and can do absolutely nothing else that turn. Holy shit. Fortunately, single-model units don't eat their own face off, they default to the small penalty instead- no shooting or running and you must make an assault against the closest unit if you can. The small bonus mirrors the old book, giving you Rage that turn.

Hive Tyrants are fairly similar overall, getting a price break on their base cost and on Wings- I don't think there's much of any reason not to run them as Flyrants now. Not being able to take BRB powers is really, really shitty- we can only pray for an FAQ on the subject, even though it's pretty clear that it's exactly what GW intended. No more 2+ armor except in melee combat. The thorax swarms are quite cheap now and can be taken with other stuff- I think you're gonna be hard-pressed not to go for Electroshock grubs, which have Haywire now. “Only” S5, but that's still really handy. Hive Commander is identical and slightly cheaper; Old Adversary only works on the Tyrant itself and just rerolls 1s to hit (but it is cheaper); Indescribable Horror is extremely cheap, but Fear is still worthless so why would you even bother?

The Swarmlord got hit with some major nerfs- the token cost increase barely even matters, but his swords no longer force rerolls of invulns, he can't access BRB powers, and his is stuck with a shit warlord trait rather than getting something potentially powerful off of the Personal or Strategic table. he can give out Monster Hunter now I guess? Why? Not being able to get Iron Arm or Invisibility basically kills him, since there's no way he'll ever make it to combat. He has five attacks now I guess, as does the basic Tyrant.

Tyrant Guard got significantly cheaper, which is nice, and went up to A3. Crushing Claws are awfully expensive, and since you're gonna have a MC in the same unit, they seem rather redundant. Whip/Sword is cute, but costs too much. They can get Adrenal/Toxin now- and like every MC, if you buy them, they will always, always, always take Adrenal because Fleet is critical for a melee unit.

Old One Eye is fairly identical, although now there's nothing special about his Regeneration. He gets a free attack from his tail now. Still too expensive for what he does (220pts for T6 W4? No thanks.)

Tervigons got hit with the nerf-bat HARD. Now, that's not to say that they didn't need it, but I think it's a tough sell to even say that they are even middling now. Statline is pretty similar, but I2 now. Spawning termagants happens after you move, and you just place them fully within 6″ and they can't make any further movements/assaults. No more sharing of Adrenal/Toxin, but as compensation the radius of the death-backlash was doubled and now you can't take cover saves against it. Also you can't increase your powers or psyker level in any way now- you get one random power and that's it. There is the option to grab Thorax biomorphs, though, so that's… that is something. Cluster Spines have a 5pt tax.

Tyranid Primes are BALLS now. Their abilities and statline stayed exactly the same, but they got a 45 fucking point cost increase. What? What??! I don't even understand- why? You barely even saw them in armies before, though they weren't bad- why would you add 50% to the price of a middling unit that saw little play? A Tyranid Prime now comes in at TWICE the price of a Chaos Lord, can't buy an invulnerable, pays more for his shitty Power Weapon, and has fewer gear/upgrade options. Jesus Christ, Crudacce.

Deathleaper is fairly okay except that he's not a Synapse creature. Having an army with no Synapse is stupid. Give HQ models the Synapse rule, GW. He gets a shitty warlord trait and there is no way in hell he can ever win a fight against anything but the least-competent Independent Character around. Five attacks is a lot, but no rerolls and no power weapon? Yeah, sorry, he's gonna get his ass torn down. Infiltrate is nice, though, and only being able to fire Snap Shots at him is actually really huge- no pie plates, no flamers, none of that shit can even try and shoot at him. (He can be caught as an incidental target when firing at someone else, though.) His Leadership penalty is a nice combo with Shadow in the Warp- making some jerkface Librarian Ld4 would be really amusing.

Tyranid Warriors are pretty unusable. Adding flesh hooks does not solve their problems with being incredibly fragile and overpriced on the melee upgrades.

Genestealers look pretty bad, but there might maybe possibly maybe be some saving graces to them. For one, Broodlords have The Horror now, which is actually a very legit power- making some Tau take pinning tests at a penalty T1 is not kind. Also note that they can Go to Ground if they want, which is immediately broken if you move them within Synapse range. However, with the prevalence of Ignores Cover weapons, I imagine that mostly what will happen to them is they will get wiped off the table turn 1 by a Riptide and you will have flushed 150pts down the drain. *sigh*

Termagants are cheaper, their guns are cheaper, and you can mix weapons now. Lack of Spores definitely hurts things, but 20 Fleshborers in front of 10 Devourers is pretty okay. Spinefists are free now, so if you didn't break all your Spinegaunts apart during 5E, you can start using them again. Adrenal and Toxin went up in price for some stupid reason?

Hormagaunts got slightly cheaper and now run d6+3″, but are still otherwise pretty much the same. Adrenal is unpleasantly expensive, but may be needed just for the ability to glance vehicle down (which, admittedly, they would do pretty easily at that point.) Do NOT let them out of Synapse range, because the 50% chance that they will eat their own faces off is absolutely terrible. You will literally lose half the squad most times that happens.

Ripper Swarms got a cost increase. Welp, done.

Hive Guard got slightly more expensive and went down to BS3, which is definitely unpleasant, but they just flat-out Ignore Cover now. They also get IB: Hunt, which is the nice one. (For some reason they are still WS4, though, because GW loves giving tyranids extraneous high stats.) Shock Cannons are not actually terrible in the abstract, since Haywire is pretty good, but they can't shoot airplanes and are even shorter-ranged than the normal gun AND you have to pay to get them, so not really an attractive option. They can get toxin/adrenal because whatever.

Lictors are actually almost legit now- they came down in price, gained Infiltrate (and Fear I guess) and have +1A in exchange for losing rerolls of 1s. Lurk is a really bad IB to have, but Ld10 mitigates it some. Keep an eye on these guys- guiding in Mawlocs on turn 2 is no laughing matter now.

Zoanthropes are cheaper, but now function as a brotherhood. The real problem is that their powers got so drastically cut down, as did their deployment options- no more falling out of a Spore to kill a tank, sorry. You get Warp Blast and one other tyranid power, but since Blast is WC2, you mostly won't get to cast the other unless they just sit there useless.

Venomthropes got a cost decrease and a HUGE buff, because now they hand out Shrouded. Note, however, that it only applies to MODELS within 6″ of the venomthrope, so no trailing out squads to give it to 30 Hormagaunts or whatever. They have melee stats and wargear and stuff, but fuck it, you're just going to use them as walking cover saves for huge MCs and try and block off LoS to them so their being super-fragile doesn't matter.

The Haruspex tries so hard and came so far, but in the end, I don't really think it matters. It's reasonably cheap, has a pile of wounds, has two good CC abilities (extra attacks from the inevitable damage it will take, chances to heal wounds) as well as an okay shooting attack and the ability to get Fleet. It's only problem is that it moves at the speed of slow, and I don't really think that it's enough better than a Carnifex (which is cheaper and hits basically as hard) to justify itself. Still, it's not completely out of the running, so maybe keep an eye on them.

Pyrovores got 5pts cheaper. That's enough now that they lost their special deployment option, right? Walking flamers across the field always works, right? Point of RAW hilarity: when a Pyrovore explodes, it causes hits equal to the number of models within d6″ of it to EVERYTHING. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. So put 10-20 termagants in range, set that puppy off, and watch it wipe out squads of Space marines all across the board.

Shrikes are no longer getting charged a premium for the fact that they have a worse armor save. It's too bad that the Warrior chassis just isn't any good these days.

Raveners lose out on rerolls, but their options improve a bit. Bizarrely, they are one of the few critters that doesn't get access to Adrenal/Toxin- heck, even Hive Guard do. The Red Terror is hilariously overpriced for a niche ability. But hey, at least he doesn't explode to a single Missile.

Skyslashers aren't as efficiently-priced as Rippers.

Gargoyles lose out on the “autowound” function of Blinding Poison, but now they can trade attacks in for a Blind attack- and since Blind triggers of each hit, you can easily force 5-15 Blind checks on a unit. That's pretty scary.

The Harpy gains a wound and drops in price, but now has to pay to take a secondary weapon; it's okay, though, you'd probably never get a chance to use it anyways. If Krak Grenades weren't AP4 or if they were immune to grounding they might have a niche, but in their current form they are too fragile.

The Hive Crone is just as fragile and bad in CC as the Harpy, but has an awkward weapon setup. It's got a S8 vector Strike, which counts as using a weapon, and then it's got a S6 AP4 flamer, and then also four “missiles” on the wings. Good luck actually getting to use all four of those before you are inevitably dead- remember, the enemy flyer always gets the first shot, since you don't have Interceptor. Tentaclids are actually pretty good against flyers, but getting to use them is the problem.

Spore Mine Clusters halved in price and function differently now- rather than exploding when they die/mishap, they move/Run/assault like normal units (though significantly slower) and explode in a single blast whose strength goes up the more mines there are in the Cluster. At 30pts for a full unit, inflicting a S9 AP4 No Cover blast, you could do worse.

Carnifexes got a huge price drop and the ability to pick up Fleet as well as a bump to I2. True, they lost rerolls to hit, but that is livable. Twin-linked Devourers are still a really strong option; a tail weapon also seems like it could be okay, although we shall see how well it works out in the end. Carnifexes destroy tanks extra-hard now thanks to getting d3 Hammer of Wrath hits and Smashing more easily (3 base attacks = 2+1 smashes from extra weapon vs. 4 base attacks = 2 smashes before.)

Biovores went down in price and Spore mines can be dumped on the enemy more easily. They also picked up an extra wound. Woo, go Biovores!

Trygons lost rerolls, can take a tail weapon, and are otherwise fairly unchanged aside from being slightly cheaper. The tunnel is still friggin' worthless. Trygon Primes are pretty much exactly the same in relation.

Mawlocs are a lot cheaper now and can take a tail weapon, but the big change is to their Terror from the Deep rule. Now, it hits vehicles on side armor (boo) and will repeat the attack a second time if it fails to kill enough models to make space for it- but if it still can't fit in, it will Mishap. You can no longer Burrow on the first turn to auto-arrive T2. Remember that it has Hit and Run and I4, meaning it can duck out of most combats if you want to.

The Exocrine is a fairly solid contender overall; it's pretty tough for its points (W5) and comes with a six-shot Plasma weapon that can also be fired as a large blast. It's only BS3 when moving, but BS4 standing still, so if you can get it into range, it's a pretty strong solution to Riptides and other tough targets.

The Tyrannofex gets a massive points drop, bringing it down into the realm of affordability; it maintains its impressive resilience, however, carrying the only 2+ save and a full complement of six wounds. The Rupture Cannon is pretty overpriced considering it's BS3 and taking off HP is a better way to kill than rolling on the damage table, but the Acid Spray is quite affordable. For some reason it can't swap out its Stinger Salvo for Cluster Spines the way everything else can; it can however, buy a Thorax Weapon, and should.

Heavy Venom Cannons are still pretty bad. Single AP4 shots are not very impressive, sorry. Devourers are still amazing. Stranglethorn Cannons are okay. Boneswords dropped to AP3, giving you basically no reason to want Warriors at all. Lash Whips are +3 Init now, so they can't serve in place of Assault Grenades. Toxin is the same, Adrenal gives Fleet now- it's an auto-take for any of the combat-oriented MCs. Regen is a 50% chance of getting a wound back, which isn't too bad; Acid Blood is stupid and worthless.

The Artefacts are mostly all really mediocre. The Maw-Claws are perhaps the best, since they are cheap and give Preferred Enemy once you've killed someone. Miasma Cannon is a 36″ small blast or a template, but of which are 2+ Poison; it's expensive enough that isn't very impressive, though. The Norn Crow is hilariously overpriced.The Ymgarl Factor likewise gives bonuses that easily might not matter while costing quite a lot of change for the privilege. The Reaper of Obliterax is a super-expensive Bonesword/Lashwhip that adds +1Str and Shred. Meh.

The Tyranid psychic table is mostly pretty good, but the fact that it's the ONLY table they get is really punishing, and the fact that it has such a lackluster Primaris is also rather sad. Boosting Synapse by 6″ is useful, but not something you're going to want on everyone. Catalyst got grossly better, giving your psyker and one other unit FNP for a turn. The Horror is okay, pinning someone with a -2 penalty; with so many Tau around, it could potentially see a lot of use. Onslaught lets you run and shoot, now with an increased range. Paroxysm is -d3 WS and BS; it doesn't take your shooting attack anymore, is double the range, and potentially stacks to deny someone any shots or attacks at all.Still mostly useful for making it so Carnifexes hit on 3s, though. Psychic Scream is a Nova for 2d6+2 vs their leadership, doing that many wounds automatically; while shorter range than Shriek, it doesn't roll to hit and can hit multiple enemies, both of which are reasonable tradeouts. Warp Blast mimics the old Zoey powers, but now it's WC2 and only AP2 on the Lance version.

All in all, the Tyranid book does at least make some very nice strides in costing in a lot of the MCs and other critters, but falls well short in terms of giving us good options to play with. Wave Serpent Eldar will be a huge problem for the army, but if you can avoid facing them, you may do alright.

Martial Law-Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Tyranids...First Glance   Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:19 pm

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Crawling Chaos


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PostSubject: Re: Tyranids...First Glance   Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:50 am

I don't know. You got a different monsterous creature in every FOC branch. Seems good to me. Nidzilla is back. Unless the points don't work. We'll see.
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Tyranids...First Glance
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