Friday, January 3, 2014

Tyranid Codex Pre-Release Rant

     As ever it's been a busy month with far fewer posts than intended - but real life > hobbies.  Most of the time.  At any rate - I've been watching the spin-up of the rumor threads and leaks for the new Tyranid codex and models and as more info becomes available, also watching my hopes dwindle into a termagant toenail-sized sliver.
     With the information available to date, GW appears to pull off a rather petty dick move - removing the mycetic spore as a model altogether.  With at least 4 different alternate model variants for sale from other companies, they just decided to remove that model altogether.  Interesting choice to just willfully concede an opportunity for profit - tyranid players have come up with hundreds if not thousands of scratch-built variants of spore pods, and instead of capitalizing on it (literally) GW decides to give the other companies and the players the finger.  How many scratch-built and alternate mycetic spore models will simply become 'tyranid terrain'?  Stay classy, GW, stay classy.  At least that removes a source of easy KPs in a codex that already has KP issues - but that only matters if you care about winning a game based on KPs.

     In another dick move, Cruddace retcons Tyranid DNA in the WD interview.  Seriously?  How the hell do you remove DNA from the iconic genestealer?  Looks like Genestealer cult armies are out unless they come up with some other fluff to cover that eventuality - but I'm not holding my breath.  The Praedis Zeta rules gave me some hope initially, but how is it possible the authority on tyranids doesn't "get" tyranids?  It's not like there aren't in-print Black Library references to check.  This probably more than anything tells me the new codex and dataslates etc...  have a high shyte potential.
   Which brings me to my next topic.  Cost.  Let's see..  $50 for the Codex in hardback, and/or e-Codex.  Or $100 for the collector's edition, plus another $45 (if they follow the Iyanden model) for each/any Hive Fleet specific supplemental codexes, plus maybe $15 for the Vanguard dataslate, $6 for the Psychic Cards, $70 per harpy/crone (most will probably want 2, so $140), then another $73 for the exocrine/haruspex (again - 2 needed for $146) - by comparison the $50 warriors look cheap, but at least we'll have a Prime model.  Another $70 for Hive Guard - and we'll probably need 2 of those too for another $140.  So let's add this up to see what the starting cost will be for people who already have a good-sized tyranid force:  between $550 and $650 depending on which codex you get.  The Swarm boxed set is actually a good deal for new Tyranid players - too bad it doesn't come with any of the new models whatsoever.  Just models most tyranid players already have truckloads of.  Sure you want to play a swarm army?
     So what's next on the rant list..  ah yes "every model useful".  Haven't heard much about the ol' pyrovore yet have we?  45 points for the venomthrope?  Bet it still has BS4.  I got into tyranids for the ravener, trygon, and venomthrope models - and I've never been able to find points/cause to field a venomthrope.  I don't own a pyrovore and apparently won't need to.  Tyrannofex still costs over 200 points for two BS3 shots at AP4. Oh sure they're S10 but that's a lot of meh for 10 shots in a 5-turn game, with an average of 5 hits.  I can do better with one exocrine in one round, maybe 2.  Ridiculous.  Most of the other point changes are decent, oh except the nerf of MC devs with brainleech worms coming down to S5.  So much for being a threat to vehicles or flyers.  I'm still shuddering at the idea of 'mandated psychic powers' for some models - nothing like limited options.  Which reminds me - what's the point of the Haruspex?  Another low Init MC that can blow through crappy infantry - just like every other tyranid model?  It certainly won't bring players to tyranids for the way it looks - it's just a mutalith/slaughterbrute with a different paint job.  A quick experiment:
   Google for "love the trygon" - 1300+ results
   Google for "love the slaughterbute" or "love the mutalith" - 0 and 2 results respectively
   Well - that's a lot of rant - I can go on I'm sure - but since this is all speculation until we get our grubby 'beaters on the new codex, it's really just getting the negativity and nerd rage off my chest in the hopes the codex will be fun, despite the grim outlook.  A new codex should = a better codex, and in some ways I'm sure it will be.  But the idea that it will meet any long-time Tyranid player's hopes or expectations given either the fluff as we know it, or our tabletop experience are pretty much shot.


  1. Oh gosh, don't get me started, I'm still sad about the fluff in the 5th ed book. Its so horrible, and yeah, can't even win battles in their own codex.

    I'm going to be so mad if the stuff is cruddface written again.

    Though there seems to be a new trend, to make models fit the fluff, by having the fluff fit the models. If you read the tau unit entries, it sounds like a description strait from a game.

    1. It's good to see the attempt to make the gameplay and fluff match - but changing the fluff to do so is a bit like changing the name of your favorite football team: the history of the team is linked inextricably to the name.

    2. Maybe they steal genes because they don't have any, like a kind of macro-virus? After all, if all you have is RNA, you need something to read with it.

      Mind you, I left the Tyranid fluff behind years ago. That's why it's fluff and not canon.