Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learn to play first - then worry about whose codex is better

Hopefully by now if you're a Tyranid player you've been reading blog after blog, forum after forum, hoping beyond hope that someone, somewhere has unlocked the magic secret of Hivemind domination.  I hope you haven't been holding your breath.  As someone whose rule knowledge at the last NOVA was a source of considerable shame, I urge you not to repeat my mistake as you move forward in the brave new world of sixth edition for Tyranids.  You know, that new edition where we all still have hope, because we can't point to a long string of tournaments that don't have a Tyranid list in the top 4 while blissfully ignoring the dozens of results with 'nids in the top 10, and especially ignoring the smaller tournaments where a Tyranid player did actually win.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How sexy is 6e for the hive mind?

 Finally got ahold of the new book yesterday, and have been surfing a lot to cull out different impressions for consolidation.  So far, the consensus in most parts is at least favorable.  Looking through the FAQ:

  • I really dislike the "roll for it" ruling for set value modifiers on both sides of a combat; Lash Whips go last as they are a set value modifier, unless the target also has a set value modifier, then roll to see which is applied first.  Seriously?  /retch
  • No more defensive grenade effects for the Venomthrope's 6" aura - the 'no extra attacks' only applies if charging the Venomthrope Brood itself.  
  • Instinctive Behavior, Feed gaining the Rage ability is a boost.  
  • No Instinctive Behavior tests required for units inside buildings is interesting.
  • ICs still can't join units in a mycetic spore.  Suck.
  • Similarly, Primes still can't get wings.
  • Reserved/outlfanking units still can't use a subterranean assault tunnel.  Why even bother with this ability?  Yeesh.  

Overall the FAQ is more notable for the things it didn't fix, with a couple little nerfs thrown in for good measure.  

On to the bigger and better.  So what kind of lists are we seeing so far?  Nidzilla and flying circus lists seem to be the vogue, and with the new focus on shooting plus the scary new psychic powers, I expect to see  drop lists, even with the only-half reserves rule.  Double-FOC lists are a potential gamebreaker; we can finally take all the elite units we want - but of course, so can everyone else.


  • Tyrants: were good but overpriced; now they're pretty much worth the cost, with a radically increased level of threat from both OA and mobility.  Flyrants are almost a must-include - but if you thought they attracted enemy fire before, in a 6e shooting-is-more-effective environment, they're gonna die fast.
  • Swarmlord: He'll still be slow, but definitely got much nastier; still expensive, but more more worth it.
  • Primes: still the cost-effective workhorse HQ.
  • Tervigons: not just a baby factory/buffer anymore with the new psychic powers.  Add in crushing claws and almost any of the new psychic powers and they can outperform a Trygon pretty easily.
  • Parasite: just the thing for challenges.  Probably won't be seen very often as everything else is so much better.
  • Tyrant Guard:  Babylon 5 for your tyrant/Swarmlord's survival.  Bonesword boost makes these much more attractive here, especially given the high level of ... interest 'rants are going to attract.
  • Lictors: no real changes
  • Ymgarl: as one of the only units in the game that can assault out of infiltrate/deep strike, and the vehicle assault boosts, their stock went up considerably.  The only downer is there may not be area terrain to jump out of.
  • Pyrovore: not even overwatch can save these, especially with the multi-assault nerf.
  • Hive Guard:  still the darlings of the elite FOC, and even better with PE now affecting shooting.
  • Zoanthropes: improved their stock a bit as now they can shoot or buff..  more experimentation needed here.  Initial reads point to keeping Warp Lance and trade Warp Blast for one new power. What I get for reading forums not the book lol - the new powers are all or none.  Zoans will at least get 2 powers to work with though.  Thanks Josh.
  • Venomthrope: the 6" cover 'zone' is definitely more valuable with the new per-model cover rules.  
  • Termagants: no more fearless wounds mean big units are better; default S4 shooting is good too, even with the 12" range.  Devilgaunts were pretty mean before; with overwatch they are much more useful. 
  • Hormagaunts: it will take big units to even make it into combat; with the infiltrate nerf, I expect to see these a bit more often over genestealers simply due to cost-efficacy.
  • Genestealers: overwatch literally kills glass cannon assault units like 'stealers.  The only benefit here is the Broodlord's psychic abilities make small, naked units with a BL a very viable approach.
  • Tyranid Warriors:  still vulnerable to ID, but lots of potential here, especially out of a spore.
  • Tervigons: see above
  • Rippers: no real changes I can see yet No more Stealth USR, but no difficult terrain rolls either - and no fearless wounds make these a much more viable tar pit
  • Gargoyles: cost-effective, vehicle hit changes + Hammer of Wrath makes these almost a must-include.
  • Shrikes: pricey, but Bonesword changes are definite improvement.  
  • Sky-slasher:  still meh.
  • Spore mines: basically used to prevent infiltrate shenanigans; but no more charge from infiltrate so...
  • Raveners: no movement issues for difficult terrain as beasts is great; but still no grenades.  A plus, but not a huge one.
  • Harpy: massive improvement, d3+1 S5 attacks for a Vector Strike isn't bad; not sure if these can be traded for a Smash attack (d3+1/2 @ S10)?  Can't wait to field test a couple of these.
  • Tyrannofex: much better with PE.
  • Trygon/Trygon Prime: still mean; buffs can make him really mean.
  • Mawloc: still drastically overpriced for what you get.  Buffs can help, but not much.
  • Carnifex: the fexstar got a major boost with 6e; these will be pretty common, and with good reason.
  • Biovore: no major changes here

I hate the idea of including (Imperial) buildings in lists, it seems like a ridiculously un-Tyranid thing to do.  Wonder how long before we start seeing army-specific buildings?

So - my first-glance look through:  it's pretty damn sexy at the moment.