So here comes part 2 of my don’t moan about the new Tyranid Codex rant. I haven’t been this active on the blog for a long time. I’ll try not to be to harsh on the complainers and to justify my comments. So lets go for the next complaint.
“We don’t have Biomancy anymore and the Powers of the Hive Mind are crap” OK I’ll give people that one. The Biomancy list worked really well for the Tyranids and its loss will be felt by many. I will however say that if your army or battleplan is based upon the randomness of psychic powers then you might want to reconsider how you play, even more so as the Biomancy has gone. Psychic powers are very useful, but fickle (not as much as magic in Fantasy) but the only armies that can really build a power base around it are Eldar, Grey Knights and Tzeentch. The Tyranids can have a lot of psychic punch with Hive Tyrants and Zoanthropes being Mastery 2 and the Tervigons and Broodlords being Mastery Level 1. Let’s have a closer look at the Hive Mind Powers and how they can best be used. Bear in mind that all of your Psykers are LD 10 and shouldn’t have too many problems passing tests.
Dominion (Primaris Power): My last post was a rather long rant about Instinctive Behaviour as so many people seem to think that it has ruined their army. So guess what the first Tyranid Power does…increases your Synapse range by 6″. So for those of you still thinking that your army wont work consider this. Take one Hive Tyrant, give it wings and the Norn Crown; your synapse range is now 18″ standard. Choose Dominion as one of your powers that increases it to 24″ for the sake of a Psychic Test. Now if you’re lucky you might get Synaptic Lynchpin as your Warlord Trait. This gives you a 60″ diameter synapse bubble with your Tyrant in the middle. Still worried about Instinctive Behaviour? With that kind of range you shouldn’t have any problems and the fact that he’s flying will make him hard to take down.
Catalyst: I know it’s different to Biomancy’s Endurance, but you can’t seriously complain about your Hive Tyrant and his Tyrant Guard buddies getting Feel No Pain can you? Especially when you consider that you’ll have put him behind a screen of Termagants and a Venomthrope will be near by for that 3+ cover save. In addition to him getting it, so does another Tyranid unit within 12″…a little short ranged…well maybe, but remember your Tyrant is going to in the middle of it, so it probably wont matter. Another thought would be that you can use it give a Winged Tyrant and a nearby Crone Feel No Pain.
The Horror: Causes an enemy unit to take a pinning test at -2 LD. Not very useful at first glance, but here’s a tactic to consider. Broodlords get it automatically…and they have Infiltrate. Move him close (well 24″ close) and get him to suppress an enemy shootie unit. Most will be taking the test on LD6 at best, reducing the enemy’s firepower significantly and also giving the Genestealers a ranged threat. As it is not a psychic shooting attack you can still charge a different unit. Two in one.
Onslaught: Perhaps the least useful of the powers. Though it will allow an assault unit (say a Trygon, Carnifex or Raveners) to ‘do the Eldar thing’ and Run & Shoot. My inclination would be to choose this one as the switch for Dominion.
Paroxysm: Better than in the previous codex as its range has been increased to 24″. Instead of dropping the WS and BS to 1 it decreases by D3. This means that if you roll high a unit with average WS & BS (say Imperial Guard) will see it dropped to 1, poor shooting. Even if you do roll not so well having WS 2 Terminators just as you’re about to assault them can only be a good thing.
Psychic Scream: Range is now a permanent 6″ instead of the random 2D6″ from the last edition. Not such a biggie, you could have rolled you could have rolled 2 so a set range is good. It will hit all enemy units in range (same as before) but here’s the difference. Instead of taking a LD test you roll 2D6+2 and subtract their LD. No armour or cover saves allowed. This is basically the banshee howl from fantasy, only better. Think of the possibilities…a winged Tyrant right in the middle of the enemy…oh and combine this with the -3 LD from Shadow in the Warp and you can pretty much kiss any Psykers in range goodbye. So long Seer Council, nice knowing you Grey Knights. Yes I do realise you get a Deny the Witch roll, but it’s still good.
Warp Blast: Same as before really. Warp charge 2 though, so your Tyrant & Zoanthropes are the only ones that can use it, and they wont be doing any other powers. Nice AP 3 blast to kill Marines or a Str 10 lance for tank hunting. Zoanthropes still fulfill their old role. As for the Tyrant nice to have another shot…and here’s another option; Winged Tyrant plus Str 10 Warp Lance equals one hell of an air hunter.
Conclusions: Consider combinations of these powers. Take two Broodlords, that’s two suppressed units, plus a potential Paroxysm for a third. Three enemy units that wont be hitting much in their next shooting phase. Enjoy that Tau gunline. So next point.
“The Warlord Traits are useless” I can understand this comment. The Tyranid Traits are up against some stiff competition, especially from the Personal Traits, most of which would work really well with a Tyrant & Guard.
Nature’s Bane: A bit of a mixed blessing I think. First of all it will depend upon how much forest terrain is on the table. Usually there is at least one or two. Turning it into a Carnivorous Jungle will force your opponent to have to vacate an area (and thus any objectives they were holding) or start taking hits. OK so Marines won’t worry to much, but for armies that rely on terrain it could be a pain…unfortunately this also includes you as the Tyranid player…use carefully.
Heightened Senses: So Night Vision for your Warlord and all friendly units in 12″. Not much good for most of the game, but think about the first turn. Deploy your shooting units next your Warlord and have at it in first turn whilst your enemy can’t retaliate. Unless you’re fighting Tau or Dark Eldar think of this as a turn you can shoot at him and he can’t shoot back as well. Night is your friend as a Tyranid player.
Synaptic Lynchpin: I think I’ve already covered this and its potential combination with Dominion and the Norn Crown.
Mind Eater: So you gain 2 extra VP for every Independent Character you kill in a challenge. Nice way to gain VP, but how can you pick your targets? My first thoughts would be a Winged Tyrant flying around picking off characters at will. Kitted out right it should take on most comers.
Digestive Denial: Knocking down a terrain’s cover save by 1, mildly inconvenient, but not exactly a big deal. So many armies come with 3+ saves. Other stuff will suffer, especially considering how many blasts the Tyranid army can throw out, but it’s only one piece.
Adaptive Biology: So when your Warlord suffers his first wound you gain Feel No Pain…on a Tyrant. Thing I mentioned the advantage of that earlier, but it only kicks in after your first wound.
Conclusions: On the whole I think the detractors are right. The Tyranid Traits are a little weak, especially when the Personal traits give you so much more. The Heightened Senses, Synaptic Lynchpin and Mind Eater are probably the best, with the others being not that much use (remember that you still have to suffer a wound for Adaptive Biology to work).
Well that’s my take on the Psychic Powers and Warlord Traits.