As the resident Hive Node here at 6 Inch Move it has fallen to me to tell of the fate that awaits the weaker flesh of the galaxy . . . I mean what the new codex/army is like. I have had my copy of the codex for 2 days now and despite being interrupted by having to go to work, I have managed to digest the bulk of its bio-matter. The codex is a fantastic book and reminds a lot of the 2nd edition Tyranid codex for those that remember it (I still possess a copy of that most venerated tome). I haven’t managed to get through all of the background story, comprehensive as it is, but I have managed to read all of the unit descriptions, weapons/upgrades and army list. So I’ve decided to write up my opinions of both the new units and of the changes made to the old units, so here we go . . .
Who’s The Daddy?
The old leader of a swarm has had a bit of a revamp. With WS 8 he is now nastier than ever in close combat, he also comes equipped with 2 psychic powers automatically, just pick them. One of the biggest changes in this edition is that the Tyrant now has a more commanding role. Not only is he a powerful monster, but he also has a number of upgrades that really boost the army. He also has the largest list of biomorph upgrades available in the army list. As part of his retinue you may choose 1-3 Tyrant guard, and these are just the same as they were in the last edition; hard as chitin!
By Your Command
The Tyranid Warriors have changed quite a bit since the previous edition. With 3 wounds now and a 4+ save they are pretty hard core. I’ve always been a fan of the warriors, for not only are they Synapse Creatures, but they’re also amazing fighters at both range and combat. I particularly liked having a brood all armed with deathspitter, but even though it is no longer a blast weapon (oh!) I still plan on using it a lot. I think their biggest change is the move from Elites to Troops; not only does this mean that they can capture objectives, but it also completely changes the dynamics of my army; I can have 6 units of them!!!!! They also come with a wide range of options and a Tyranid Prime as a HQ choice who makes them even more hard core (think daddy warrior).
Its Behind You!
I stopped using Lictors in the previous edition, mainly because they were crap (especially for 80 pts), but they’re back up to 3 wounds and cost 65 pts, so I think i’m going to give them a go. They still give you bonuses to your reserve rolls and flesh hooks are a ranged attack again.
Rules wise the Genestealers haven’t changed, just dropped 2 pts. The Broodlord on the other claw . . . He’s no longer a synapse creature, but has 2 psychic powers (including the return of Hypnotic Gaze – yay!) He’s still nasty in combat, but doesn’t remove the fleet from your unit, and as a unit upgrade you can have as many as you have Genestealer units.
The Little Guys
The Hormagaunts no longer count as beasts, just fleet infantry; they’re bounding leap now allows them to roll 3D6 for run roles and pick the highest. This I think is a good thing, because I use to use their huge movement rate (up to 24 inches in a turn) to attack the enemy early – and why wouldn’t you? Well this is why, they often lose combat because they’re S3; they’d score a bucket full of hits, only wound with 3 and then your Space Marine opponent makes all his saves. You loose combat, they run because they’re out of synapse range and are destroyed. Which for a 10 pt model was a bit crap. Now they’re 6 pts and have I5, much more like a swarm unit. The Termagants, as they are now called again haven’t changed much. They’re no longer fleet but the Spike Rifle and Strangleweb have returned!!! And they’re still dirt cheap – 5pts. And then there’s the Gargoyles. Bit of a change to these. First of all theres no more bio-plasma for them, just blinding venom which means that any to hit rolls of 6 wound the target automatically, and secondly they’re 6 pts – half of what they were in the last edition – and therefore viable as a swarm unit. The models are also fantastic, though I recommend that you glue the fleshborers on before you attach the wings as they are so fiddely to do the other way round.
Did The Earth Move For You?
The Raveners are pretty cool still, and the new models are ace (if a bit pricey). Being beasts means that they can potentially move 19-24 inches in a turn, and they now have 3 wounds, just like the warriors. They can still deep strike, have the usual options and an impressive 4 attacks in combat (thats 45 attacks on a charge from a full sized unit of 9 – ouch!)
The Zoanthrope is now an Elites choice and is automatically a synpase creature, comes with a Warp Blast (Space Marine players beware!) and a Warp Lance (more powerful that a Tau Railgun, just 18 inch range). Also its warp field is now a 3+ invulnerable, not bad for 60 pts.
Boom, Boom, Boom
The Biovores are exactly what they were before, a walking gun, though this time they are an Assault 1, so more and fire boys! One of the changes that I’m soooo glad about is that spore mines are large blasts again. They were just useless as small blasts, and the whole detonate when something moves within 2 inches was pointless as their radius was 1 1/2! But now they’s only 1 variety, and its a large BOOM!
Did You Just Call Me FAT?!
Well the Carnifex has changed more than any other unit. Gone are the face and tail weapons, along with the most of the other up grades. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a beast worth having, and I want to use lots of them. Oh wait I can now they come in units of up to 3. The only downside to that is that they all must be equipped the same, and out of my 8 Canrifexs I only have 2 identical ones. Plus you can no longer use twin-linked ‘heavy’ weapons, so I need to do some remodelling. The living battering ram rule allows give you +2I when you charge, so thats a big bonus, especially if you give it adrenal glands. Crushing claws are worth taking now and the bio-plasma is back as a S7 AP2 ranged weapon! Nice. The only downside to these behemoths is that they can only get a 3+ save. Oh and they’re no longer the biggest thing in your army.
So what do I think of the changes? On the whole I like them. I feel that the army is more in keeping with the rules structure of 5th edition. They are no longer immune to instant death. Most of the units are fantastic. The only two things I’m disappointed in is the deathspitter no longer being a blast weapon, and the Carnifex having considerably fewer options.
But my Lictors tell me that you’re thinking “what about the new units?” Well this blog has already gone on for over 1200 words, but don’t despair, I shall return soon with more news from the maturation chambers and nutrient vats with my thoughts on the new unit options – all 12 of them.