Category Archives: Warhammer 40000

You Knew It Was Coming….


Ability_gougeLong time readers will no doubt be sitting on tenterhooks as they await the public and visceral berating of Gouge Workshop for daring to release a new version of the rules, slightly more expensive than the last!

Fanbois everywhere will scream from the rooftops “wait for the small book in the box set” or “they’ll release just a plain rulebook like they did for 6th.” Or other such declarations of support.

60040199041_40kStandardEdition01

I will admit that the new 40k book looks very shiny and nice. Of course I’m not convinced of it being £50 of nice. For the same price I can get a starter set for pretty much every other game under the sun a long with the rules. I still know that people are going to buy it, it’s your money and you are entitled to spend it how you will. For me though, this is the first edition of 40k I’ll never buy. I’ve been in this hobby for the entirety of my adult life and most of my formative years as well. I still remember every time we went to the Merry Hill Centre when I was younger that my dad would take me into GW. So, dear wife, if you are reading this, it’s your father-in-laws fault that the disposable income dries up!

Yes, this book isn’t that much more expensive than the old one, but this constant creep has to stop, there has to be a point where it is unsustainable and for me, personally, it’s been reached. As I mentioned in another post this is sad for me. I’ve spent so much time around the GW IP that I don’t like leaving it, but sadly, this is the only way that I can register my displeasure at a company that no longer provides something I am happy to pay for. Again, I am only one man and a very small drop in the ocean of customers that GW still maintain.

In finishing my discourse on GW I will say that all the “hatred” I’ve been accused of isn’t that way. Imagine watching something that you love, something you’ve invested a lot of your life into, slowly crash and burn and there’s not a thing you can do about it other than walk away. It’s that sadness and pity that I feel. GW has lost what made it great in the pursuit of a larger bottom line. While I understand that it’s a business and it needs to make money, there is a point where becoming a faceless corporation turns the customer away.

It might not be too late for someone to turn the business around. However, with the competition having gotten better and needing far less of my hard-earned pennies to get into, I can’t see a way back for me personally.

For those that also play Fantasy, I’m not sure how folks feel being asked to spend £100 just for the rules for both games. Unless a Qatari magnate and went for the Munitions set…… that’s just insane and yet I know there are people who will have pre-ordered it.

Floating Citadel Turns a Corner


It might seem tricky that a castle in the sky would be able to turn anything, yet, this bank holiday weekend saw the furious rattling of dice and page-flicking of rulebooks as once more we got to throw down with some toy soldiers.

While getting some games in is an event worthy enough of note for our little group it’s probably not something to make a blog post over. However, as happens whenever gamers get together, we spent some time discussing the hobby as a whole, what we are doing as individuals and what our desires are for the continuation and evolution of our hobby time. Even in the run up to yesterdays festivities I’d been talking to Gribblin over email about my feelings towards the gaming landscape and the orgy of models I have littered around the house.

Bearing in mind that we’d just been to Salute barely a month ago and seen everything on offer in today’s gaming market we really are treated to a cornucopia of miniatures goodness.

After looking at the way our gaming is developing and the larger factors at work I’d already decided to ditch Warhammer Fantasy. I have two armies for that games, over 3000pts each of Ogres and Dark Elves. However, with the Sherriff’s well publicised and much criticised issues on pricing I cannot justify these forces any more. I only play against one person and we’ve not played a game in at least 18 months and I don’t see that changing. Better to get rid, get money and reinvest in something I’m actually going to want to play and get use out of.

We’ve recently played more Dropzone Commander, which is a game I genuinely enjoy. It makes you think, not only about how to build your army but each and every turn about what battlegroup to activate when and trying to second guess what your opponent might be up to. Then there is also Dreadball and Deadzone that have graced the tables too. Both games are excellent and don’t take much time to set up and play. The fact you can run them in a limited space is also a big boost in their favour.

I gave Gribblin the option of playing some 40k this weekend as we’d done Dropzone the last time we got together, but as his reply was less than enthusiastic we went with DZC again. This, to me, as well as seeing a preview of White Dwarf with what the future of 40k holds, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be ditching that too.

This is actually a very hard decision to reach. When I first started gaming over 20 years ago at the tender age of 12 GW was the only real entry into the hobby. Over the years that has kind of generated this perverse brand loyalty. I see it manifest in other gamers as well that go out of their way to seemingly justify that they’re not getting hosed by GW. To each their own and if folks enjoy things and are willing to pay then that’s their prerogative. I’m not going to tell them how to spend their money, it’s almost like WoW players who end up addicted to the game and can’t break free. However, finally, I think I’ve had my fill. I have fond memories of all the games I’ve played, but I’ve moved on. Other companies produce better games that are far better supported, not to mention costing less. Even the age-old argument of “GW’s models are better” is something that is so open to personal aestheticism as to be a moot point.

The consequence of this decision is not only that I’m going to have a ton of floor space again, but also I’ve actually got more chance of getting stuff painted. Rather than knowing I’ve got 20-30 dudes in a squad to paint I might have that number total for the whole army. That is one hell of a smaller hurdle to climb and having less around the house will mean a happier wife and a happier mental picture of just how much work I’ve got to do to field armies that actually look like they belong.

So, whatever you’re playing out there, I wish you all the best, may you roll plenty of 6’s, 1’s or 20’s, or whatever.

To the Sherriff, it’s been nice playing your games but I’ve finally had enough of what you are doing. Thanks for the memories but I’ve got a whole load of new ones to make that I look forward to.

Tyranid Army, 2000 points


Sorry It’s taken me this long to post this one up folks, had a chaotic week.  As ZombiePirate has already written his list up, I shall add mine.  I went for a horde list with the idea of including as many of the new models as possible, it is however a little light on upgrades.  So here we go.

  • Hive Tyrant: Wings, Bonesword & Lash Whip, twin-linked Devourers, Electroshock Grubs.
  • 3 Tyranid Warriors: 2 Deathspitters, 1 Venomcannon.
  • 3 Tyranid Warriors: 2 Devourers, 1 Barbed Strangler.
  • 25 Termagants (x3 units): Fleshborers.
  • 1 Broodlord & 5 Genestealers: Rending Claws.
  • 2 Lictors: Scything Talons, Rending Claws, Flesh Hooks.
  • 2 Venomthropes: Lash Whips, Toxic Miasma.
  • Haruspex: Grasping Tongue, Crushing Claws, Acid Blood, Adrenal Glands.
  • Red Terror & 4 Raveners: Scything Talons, Rending Claws (Raveners only), Prehensile Pincer (Red Terror only).
  • Hive Crone: Drool Cannon, Four Tentaclids, Scything Talons.
  • Carnifex: Scything Talons, H. Venom Cannon.
  • 2 Biovores: Spore Mine Launcher.
  • Mawloc: Prehensile Pincer.

As I said it was a little light on upgrades.  Other than the Tyrant all I added was a set of adrenal glands for the Haruspex, ‘heavy’ weapons for the Warriors & Carnifex, rending claws for the Raveners and a prehensile pincer for the Mawloc.  Despite my earlier posts talking about the upgrades, I wanted to go for cheap & cheerful.  One of the problems I have when playing Tyranids is that I tend to go into autopilot mode of advancing as fast as I can without any real thought into what I am doing.  So here’s the plan;

Tyrant & Crone fly around causing all sorts of problems, the Crone waiting for the Chaos Helldrake, whilst the Tyrant attacks targets of opportunity.  The Warriors & Termagants advance under the protection of the Venomthropes (3+ cover saves for the Warriors) with the Carnifex & Biovores providing fire support.  The Raverners & Haruspex advance in support of each other to reach the enemy battle line quickly.  The Broodlord & his retinue will use the Horror power to suppress the enemy shooting and assault when ready.  The Lictors are a bit of a gamble.  I’ve always loved the image of the Lictor, but they proved useless in the last edition so I’m hoping that not having to Deep Strike them will help, and my plan is to use them to drop the Mawloc onto something, say a quad-cannon.

Chaos Space Marines 2000pts


Gribblin made the suggestion that prior to our game this Saturday that we write-up a few thoughts about the army lists that we are taking. This was to be done before the game so that the results of it would not affect our judgements if we were to do this exercise afterwards. My lists are pretty much designed around the models that I own (as I imagine it is with most people) but, in the interest of full disclosure and the fact that someone, somewhere, may benefit, I’m going to write-up my list and why I’ve included the things that I have.

First then, the list itself;

Chaos Lord – Burning Brand of Skalanthrax, Lightning Claw, Mark of Slaanesh, Chaos Bike, Melta Bombs, Sigil of Corruption

5 Chaos Terminators – Mark of Tzeentch, Combi-plasma, Veterans of the Long War

10 Chaos Cultists – Champion and Flamer

10 Chaos Cultists – Champion and Flamer

5 Chaos Space Marines – Plasma Gun

5 Chaos Space Marines – Plasma Gun

5 Noise Marines – Blastmaster and 3 Sonic Blasters

5 Noise Marines – Blastmaster and 3 Sonic Blasters

7 Chaos Bikers – Champion with Melta Bombs, 2 Meltaguns, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess

Heldrake – Baleflamer

Forgefiend – Hades Autocannons

2 Obliterators – Mark of Nurgle

2 Obliterators – Mark of Nurgle

Aegis Defence Line – Quad gun

It all comes to 1997pts and typing it out makes me realise just how much stuff you can actually cram into 2000pts, even if it’s only 59 models plus the emplacement. I know that I am going to be horribly outnumbered.

Being outnumbered by Tyranids is pretty much a given but overall this list is not something that I’d define as “anti-nid.” Yes the MSU elements of the troops choices may be that way because I am expecting some big templates to come my way, but big units of CSM aren’t generally that fantastic anyway.

Splitting my units up means that I am not likely to lose large chunks of my army to 1 or 2 decent shots. It also means that I have lots of units capable of claiming objectives. Yes the Cultists are likely to die (and I fully intend to use them as a cheap meat wall for the rest of my army) but that’s what cultists are for really. They screen the Marines who will be doing the shooting. The Noise Marines will frustrate anything that thinks a Venomthrope makes them safe due to their Ignore Cover weaponry while the other Marines contemplate making plays for objectives. This configuration is also making use of the troops that I have. I need a decent firebase to counter the oncoming Nids and time will tell if this works. The Aegis Defence line will be manned by the CSM, in this way I can use one of the Noise Marine champions to use it against any Harpies or Crones that turn up.

With the troops out-of-the-way let’s take a look at everything else from the top down. The Chaos Lord is a bad ass. Putting him on a bike makes him tougher to Instant Death and makes him far more mobile. Chaos Bikes are one of the stand out units in the book and having him in there gives them a decent punch. The only thing that really scares him is the Hive Tyrant, other than that he should be able to carve through anything he comes across and has a decent shooting attack with the Brand.

The Chaos Terminators are kind of an experiment. I’ve not used them but think they can be dangerous with the Combi-plasma. They can deep strike in to the Tyranid backfield and hopefully cause some damage to anything that’s left behind from the main advance. The Mark of Tzeentch makes them a little more survivable with a 4++ for those times when their normal 2+ doesn’t quite cut it. They also have a variety of power weapons to give them tools to open various units up in combat if it comes to it. Hopefully they can prove a distraction and alpha strike something.

Chaos Bikers are more than an entourage for the Lord, they put out a load of shots, can get where I want them to, T5 with a 3+, 5++ and Feel No Pain makes them very hard to remove as well. The melta guns are in there for tank hunting which I won’t have a problem with in this game but that’s why they are there. I’ve taken 5 of them in the past and felt like I needed more, so I got some more. The unit of 7 feels like a really good size and when they’re backed by the Chaos Lord this should be a very dangerous unit that attracts a lot of attention.

What can I say about the Heldrake that hasn’t been said already?  If I can establish air superiority this thing is a beast. Torrent AP3 flamer just deletes units of stuff and I am not handing air superiority to the Nids. Yes a Flyrant or the Crone can be a threat but hopefully between it and the Quad gun I won’t have much of a problem dealing with the flying bugs. Plus, Gribblin knows how nasty this thing is and will go after it, I may be able to exploit that fact.

Forgefiend – this guy is a new addition and I don’t mind admitting that. I wanted one from the moment the new Chaos book landed but opted to build a Maulerfiend first. Taking a Mauler against Nids would be a bad idea I feel. Its WS3 and AV12 would be horribly vulnerable to any number of horrible alien monstrosities, especially as it has to get up close to do any damage. Ideally with the Nids I want to stay at range, remove synapse and thin out the herds of little gribblies as much as possible. This is an army where I’m going to need a plan and stick to it. Going “rabbit in the headlights” is going to see me dead so I need to be focussed.

Then we come to Obliterators, these guys are pure gold. Having two units means I can keep the same heavy weapons going turn after turn with no let up. Normally an Obliterator cannot choose to manifest the same weapon from turn to turn, however, having two units gets around that restriction nicely. Between the Hades autocannons and “choose your death ray” Obliterator weapons there shouldn’t be much that I can’t kill. Giving them the Mark of Nurgle makes them less susceptible to Instant Death too.

So there you have it, my list and why I’ve chosen the various units. No matter what army I face there is something to deal with it. Whether it’s the most efficient at it, or even workable I don’t know and I’m not all that bothered. I’m no tourney gamer and as long as we enjoy the battle and it’s not decided by gimped dice then it’ll be a good game.

All that’s left now is to build two more terminator and the last Bike I need so I can actually use this list tomorrow!

The Future of Games Days & Games Workshop


It’s a fact that the internet is full of cats. Just occasionally though you stumble upon something which is not at all feline related, but is simply brilliant (in a non-cat way; cats as we all know are naturally brilliant), please dear googlespiders go check out the following series of articles. Note that this series was started back in August 2013.

http://masterminis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-future-of-games-days-games-workshop.html

Now that you’ve gone away and read the many, many delightful walls of text that this series has to offer I would hope that you would agree with me when I say all other blogs in comparison in this niche hobby, including ours, make the Ewoks look like Shaft.

    So can Games Workshop really turn this juggernaut around and actually avoid the possibility of crashing and burning?

Does anyone really care anymore? Is this a tragedy that everyone but GW management could see coming a mile off?

So GW need business. Once, I was a fanboy and my regular bucket of cash I threw at this hobby ended up in their coffers. Not any more. But, hey, if anyone from GW bothered to ask me, the humble fan, what would make me spend cash with them again here’s what I would say:

1) Quit it with the Ridiculous Prices! Now, bear with me, I don’t mean in the regular internet whinging type of way. Anyone who has ever eaten at a fast food restaurant will understand that quality doesn’t come cheap. GW makes the best toy soldiers in the world so feel free to charge high prices for the best goods. BUT even if you are richer than Scrooge McDuck you aren’t going to buy something if it represents poor value for money which leads me nicely into…

2) Make Some Games I Want To Play! Seriously, I’m done with Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy Battle in their current incarnations!

I quit WHFB many years ago because I was so hacked off with the stupidly obvious imbalances and evident lack of rulestesting! Poor ZombiePirate has seen me rage on the subject of gamebreaking magical items many times, but that for me was just a fly on a massive turd.

I quit Warhammer 40k after the introduction of 6th Edition. To me it just seemed like change for changes sake and a cynical ploy to adjust army balances just enough to make me buy a whole host of new models to stay in the game as well as a massively overpriced rulebook. Then comes the regular new codices which again upset the army balance a bit further forcing you to buy another overpriced book and new models in order to keep your army competitive. Now again, it’s not the direct cost I’m talking about here. If WH40k was the best thing ever I’d stump up the cash. But the imbalances remain, codex creep happens and I simply haven’t got the time to paint an extra 40 models because some bozo changed a subtle rule making a bunch of my units hopeless.

What I would buy into is if GW took WHFB and WH40k, and the years of experience they have with these systems and just made one really awesome set of rules and codices which were set in stone and did not change every few years. These rules would have been rigorously playtested to allow some degree of balance meaning games would actually be fun and down to luck and skill rather than the whims of whose army is flavor of the month or who had done the most math hammer. Let’s face it, that’s not going to happen, so…

***WARNING OLD FART GAMER ALERT***

How about releasing some of those boxed games you used to do so well? Space Hulk is still a floating citadel favorite. Blood Bowl was great and I have fond memories of Space Fleet, ManOWar and Dark Future. What GW maybe doesn’t realise is that a lot of older fans, yes the ones with jobs who don’t have to pester their parents to buy overpriced tat don’t actually have the time to commit to core games. Most of us have families and none of us has the time to paint 2000 points of Skaven to play a 4 hour grindfest. So instead we play RPGs and board games. Games like those that GW used to do so well. If GW don’t want to quit their current model line-up then we’d even play something like a Mordheim or Necromunda revamp. Youngsters might need to look a few of those games up!

***REMINISCENCE IS NOW OVER YOU CAN STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES***

3) Use Your IP Effectively! Stop it with the cease and desist crap it makes you look stoopid! How many times have I wanted a Space Marine hoodie or an awesome poster, an Imperial Guard forage hat or even a ‘Tea for the Tea God’ mug and been disappointed? Rhetorical question, it’s every time! Wow, if I was in charge this would be one of the first things I would be churning out. How a company with quite possibly the super coolest IP on the planet has failed in merchandising anything except for lots of little plastic doods and a handful of computer games is beyond me.

4) Make Me Want To Come to Games Day! I am not paying a fistful of cash to go to a painting competition and sales event. Either make it a proper day of games and demos like every other Games Day not run by GW or make it the must attend event for all gamers. I paid serious cash to go to EVE Online Fanfest but for that I took part in the biggest celebration of online spaceships the world has ever known. Tournaments, games, freebies, powerpoint presentations, dinner with the developers, live demos, feedback sessions a massive party and even a show by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. If Games Workshop did something like that people would be selling their firstborn to attend.

5) Oh, and stop making White Dwarf a massive advert for your new stuff. It wasn’t that great back in the day but at least it did things other than sell to you.

But is any of this going to happen? As I said earlier does any body care any more? I am sure the world will keep spinning if GW goes to the wall. I expect someone would snap up all that juicy IP and hopefully do something useful with it. There is even a chance that the situation in miniatures gaming improves with the extra room. Or, and this is my worry and I feel already beginning to happen, a million and one different manufacturers develop a million and one ‘new’ and ‘revolutionary’ games systems to fill the void and we end up as a community investing in too many games and so end up playing nothing.

– servitob

Tyranid Tactica Part 3 – Underpowered?


TyranidWell I’m coming to the end of my rant, though I may end up breaking this part into 2.  “No more please! I can’t take anymore Tyranids!”  Well tough, the moaning on forums got me on my soap box and I’ve got to get it all out of my system.

“The Tyranids are under powered and will suffer in tournaments”  Their performance in tournaments is something that will be seen in due coarse, and will be dependent upon more factors than just the army list; what units you have taken, how you deploy and play and ultimately how you roll your dice.  Lets face it, you can pick the perfect army and use your best tactics but if you keep rolling 1s you’re screwed.  That’s all I’m going to say about their future tournament performance.

As for the under powered that’ll take a lot longer to look in to, so prepare yourself for another yarn of biblical proportions.

Let me start with this.  If you want an army in which you can choose a handful of high-powered units, wait until the time is right and then lay down a hammer blow in an almighty alpha strike…then the Tyranids ARE NOT FOR YOU.  If this is how you want to play then I suggest you go for a Marine, Eldar or Tau army.  I can understand why this style of game play has come to dominate not just the tournament scene but ‘friendly’ games too.  There are plenty of lists on the net so you don’t have to put a lot of thought into it, somebody else has already done that part for you.  You could argue that this is just being a little lazy, but from another perspective if that list works then it works, why change it?  Another factor will be cost and effort.  GW’s stuff is expensive so if you can get a winning army for less then you’ve saved some cash, and a smaller army is quicker to paint and thus easier to get ready.  The problem is that the Tyranids don’t fall into this style of play, and I think this might be why some people see them as under powered.  They are at heart a horde army, not an elite alpha-strike army, they lack the instant death, hard-hitting units that’ll kill everything in a turn.

“What about the Nidzilla list?!”   I hear you cry.  Well I don’t see this as much more than a novelty list.  It has serious limitations.  First of all there wont be many units in the army, and thus not many models, and more importantly not many wounds.  Monsters are tough but not indestructible, there are plenty of krak missiles and dark lances out there and some enemy units will nigh drop a monster in a single round of shooting.  Plus there’s the factor of target numbers (I’ll speak more of that later).  In melee they wont do as well as you’d think.  Each monster only has 3-6 attacks, so how are you going to cut through an Ork horde? And then more dangerously are the Assault Terminators that your enemy will have taken.  With 3+ Invulnerable saves, you’ll be lucky if your monster kills 2 Terminators, then they have 3 left to retaliate back, more than enough to kill your creature.  My final advice against Nidzilla is that many games (again I’m sticking to the basic scenarios in the rulebook) will be won by controlling objectives…well in most cases they can’t do that.

So you can’t really do a good elite strike force.  What other weaknesses does the Tyranid Codex bring?  Well Instinctive Behaviour isn’t that big an issue (see part 1) and the psychic powers aren’t weak like people are saying (see part 2).  For real weaknesses they do have a limited amount of long ranged weapons.  You only have 2 weapons with a range beyond 36″.  Your ‘heavy’ weapons tend to have a range of 36″ with most of your Infantry weapons being 12-18″.  I have found this to only really be an issue with Dark Eldar and their rather annoying Nightshields…reducing weapon ranges by 6″ is a pain.  They don’t have a lot of AP2/3 weapons.  This has been improved in this codex with 2 new AP 2 weapons, one of which is a Str 7 Large Blast.  That’s a dead unit of Marines.  They don’t have 3+ saves beyond the Monsters & characters, but they’re not Marines so why should they?

I can understand that the Tyranids not having Fortifications or Allies can be seen as a restriction, especially if you rely on the extra HQ, Elite etc slots in your army to make an alpha strike.  But they didn’t have that before the new codex, so it’s not a new restriction and fits perfectly with the Tyranid background.  You must adapt your play style to what you’ve have got.  If players are bring in allies so they can have a 4th elite, fast attack & heavy support, then they are not spending the points on Troops, which means you can control more objectives.  Remember that in most cases you will only need to control one more than them to win.

Strengths of the Tyranids

Hopefully the past 2 posts and the above have helped to show that the new Tyranid codex isn’t as weak as people are making out.  Most of what is being said seems to be by people who have either not read the codex properly or want to play Tyranids as if they were Space Marines.  They are not Marines, accept it!  So what are their strengths?

Bodies over bullets.  This is a common theme for Tyranids and now that most of the units have had a points drop this principle is even more important.  Don’t just think about how many models you can have in an army, but more importantly how many units you can field.  The more units you can field, the more targets your enemy has to deal with.  Target saturation is the key.  They can’t shoot everything so your opponent will have to think really hard about target priority.  You can make this even harder for them by having multiple redundancies built in.  So even if they kill one of that unit, you still have another.  The extreme example would be that you can get 6 units of 30 Termagants for 720pts.  That’s 180 models, and in a 2000 point army you still have 1280pts for other stuff.  Even if you don’t have that many Termagants it is so easy to get 6 Troops units, and a Tervigon will only enhance this.  Think about long term goals, that’s 6 objectives you can control, plus more with a Tervigon, and you still have plenty of points to spare.

A side note to this is cover saves.  This is how you get over the lack of 2+ saves or Invulnerables.  Gaunts provide a 5+ save to Warriors, Warriors do so for Monsters etc.  Throw in a Venomthrope and you’ve got a 3+ cover save.  As for the gaunts at the front…they’re 4 points each and you have 100+ of them, who cares if they die?  Also with a synapse creature around they’ll all be Fearless…who else has 4pts Fearless units with a Str 4 gun?

My advice then would be to try your best to max out your unit slots.

Shooting.  Tyranids might have short ranged shooting but it’s devastating.  They’ve gained 3 haywire weapons, one of with is a flamer template and can be used by a Tyrant (winged perhaps).  Their firepower is generally short-medium ranged, but there are a lot of shots.  Don’t believe me?  Look at the guns they have.  If it’s in the hands of anything larger than a Termagant then it’s either multiple shots, blast, large blast or template.  There has been an increase in the number of AP2 weapons.  You might not always want to assault with Tyranids, their medium-short ranged firepower is nasty.  One gun even has 20 shots.  Your close combat Trygon Prime comes with 12 Str 5 shots.  None of this has gone down since the previous codex, and if anyone hasn’t noticed the venom cannons no longer suffer a negative penalty against vehicles…the first time ever.  Still think their weak?  The only real weakness to this firepower is the Dark Eldar Nightshields as this can reduce many of your weapons to 12-18″.  Oh and did I mention they’re all Assault weapons, even the artillery, so no worries about moving & shooting.

No Vehicles.  How is that a benefit?  It’ll take 4 Railgun shots to down a Carnifex, yet a Land Raider can be taken out with just one.  This is counterbalanced by their susceptibility to small arms fire, but most of that will only wound your monsters on  a 6 and you’ll get your 3+ save, and besides you’ll have a mass of Gaunts between your monster and those Bolters.  A more important bonus of monster over machine is that they all count as denial units, every single one of them.  This includes those that are flying.  There is nothing I’ve found in the rules or FAQs to address this, meaning your Winged Tyrant in swoop mode will still be able to count as a denial unit (feel free to correct me if you’ve found it).  This will probably be addressed in time, but if so you can still drop it into glide mode.  Remember in most games you’ll only have to control 1 more objective than your opponent to win.

Multi-wound Creatures.  When 6th Edition first came out I did an article on how units of multi-wound creatures can ‘play the system’ of wounds allocation.  As wounds from shooting have to be allocated to the nearest model to the shooter, when your models have taken wounds you can reposition them in your next movement phase as you move your unit, placing them deeper in the unit leaving the unwounded ones in the front.  It’s not like Fantasy where you have to apply all wounds to a single model until it is dead.  If it is not the nearest model, then it wont take wounds until the nearest model is dead.  This way you can take wounds across the whole unit without loosing a single model.  When it comes to melee with units that can instant death them, make sure your models with 1 wound left are near the front.  They’ll have to take the wounds first (as they’re the nearest), but the Instant Death wont mean much as they’ll only have 1 wound left anyway.

Well the past 3 articles are my thoughts on the why I think the Tyranids are not as underpowered as people have been saying.  It all depends upon how you play them and what style of play you favour.  Remember they are a horde army, so the tactics you and your gaming buddies like to use when playing Marines or Tau wont work with them, so be creative and do something new.  Enjoy playing with the new Tyranids.

Tyranid Tactica Part 2


downloadSo 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.