As Servitob said in his last post, he and I had a little get together Friday night and fought our first battle of the newest edition of 40k, and I thought I’d share a few of my impressions of the game. I case you are really new to this blog site or have not been paying attention over the past couple of years I am an avid Tyranid fan. It was the first wargaming army I ever collected and after almost two decades of gaming (is it really that long?!) I have amassed a collection in excess of 10,000 points, and as you’ve probably guessed I wanted to give a Tyranid approach to the new rules.
The game we played was a small one, just 1000 points a side. There were several new elements to the game that we forgot about (like Warlord powers) and others that we chose not to use; such as Mysterious Terrain & Objectives. We just wanted to see how the core set worked out. Movement hasn’t really changed, though Fleet is good for re-rolling your move-through-cover & charges (as my Harpy found out), but as I wasn’t using my Raveners I couldn’t give you a perspective on those.
Flying Monstrous Creatures are awesome!!!!!! The option of glide or swoop is fantastic. I’d thought about including a Harpy as a regular in my nid list for a while, but now a wing beastie will be a standard. The Vectored Assault they can perform whilst Swooping (basically you cause D3+1 AP3 hits over a unit you fly over) is great against Marines and with a 360 degree fire arc you don’t have to worry about shooting targets. Only being able to hit it on a 6 is great as well, you can get the monster to where you want it to be without worrying too much about it getting shot down. Once your in place (and have Vectored a unit en route) you can glide in the next turn and assault a vehicle if you want. One of the things I was a little uncertain about was monsters not being able to roll 2D6 for armour penetration anymore. All I can say is don’t worry about it. Most monsters are Strength 6 anyway, so you’ll hurt most vehicles on a 4+ and as for Land Raiders, the Smash Attack works just fine (as Servitob’s found out). It just means you’re less likely get any automatic armour penetrations anymore when your big monster squishes the tank. But trust me, they are still more than capable of doing it. Don’t expect too much from the Fear special rule as anything that is Fearless or has And They Shall Know No Fear is immune to it anyway (so that’s pretty much 2/3 of the 40k armies).
Servitob made mention of wounds allocation being a significant change. After playing a game I would agree. Rolling all of the armour saves before removing casualties is a major change, especially for Terminators as the ‘throw dice’ at them tactic works better. Removing the closest models as casualties is a pain in close combat as you have to reach in there and remove the models, but in shooting works just fine and makes sense. It does mean that you have to think about where you place those special/heavy weapons armed troops as although your characters get a “Look Out Sir!” roll, they don’t and you could end up losing your tank buster just because you put him in the wrong place. This is a new area in which Jump & Flyer units can excel. If you move to the correct side of a squad and rack up a few wounds on them, then they will have no choice but to remove that special weapon guy as he is the closest.
Unfortunately this is the point where I have to say “Oops, I think I might have broken your rules in the first two weeks.” This is regarding wound allocation and multiple wound models that form into units (such as Tyranid Warriors, Raveners and pretty much half the nid army). To explain myself here’s a diagram.
In the above example the Tyranid Warriors are shot at by the Dark Reapers. After rolls to wound etc. the Warrior unit suffers 2 wounds. These must be allocated to the nearest model until he has 0 wounds left. This would be Warrior A. The Scorpions fire on the Warriors and again 2 Wounds are inflicted. These must be allocated to the nearest model – Warrior B. The Warrior unit has therefore taken 4 Wounds, but no one is dead yet…see the problem. It then gets even better.
In my next movement phase I choose to re-position the unit so that now Warriors A & B are no longer the closest to the Eldar units. These units then open fire and again causes 2 Wounds each. Again these wounds are allocated to the nearest models which take two each. All of a sudden the Warrior unit has taken 8 Wounds, and yet they’re all still alive…I’ve checked the rule book and gone through the FAQs and found nothing against this. Although there are other armies with units of multiple wound models, this applies more to the Tyranids than any other army. And there is nothing stopping me from re-positioning the models in a unit every movement phase…like I said “Oops”.
On a different note, with Fearless not causing excess Wounds when you lose combat, the Termagant Tarpit is back! As an unfortunate Space Marine Captain found out. And Overwatch may seem like a minor change as you can only hit your target on 6s but trust me, when you assault a unit that has a LOT of firepower (such as Deathspitter armed Warriors, each with 3 shots) you roll enough 6s for even a Terminator unit to wince.
And those are my first impressions regarding the effect on Tyranids in the new 40k edition.