Category Archives: Tyranids

The Tervigon

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now.  The new Tyranid stuff has been out for a while now (yes I know I seem to have very little else in my synapses) with a range of new units.  Now the more observant amongst you will have noticed that GW has done their old trick of not producing the models for many of these, leaving us gamers to come up with our own ideas.  The Tervigon is the first of the new units-without-models that I’ve made up (I’ve also done the Tyrannofex, Harpy, Doom of Malan’tai and Parasite of Mortrax).  I haven’t finished painting it yet, but it is base coated.

And here it is.  To make it I used parts from a Carnifex, my bits box, some paper and a hell of a lot of green stuff.  I used the main thorax for the Carnifex, but widened it slightly by putting a back piece on its chest and filling the gaps with green stuff.  The arms are obviously Carnifex claws.  I made the head by slicing off the top of a Carnifex’s head and replacing it with a Trygon prime head piece, and then fixed the Trygon prime mandibles onto the sides of the cheeks.

The egg sack/abdomen is made by shoving two scrunched up pieces of A4 paper up the rear end of the  model and then covering it in green stuff.  If I was to make this model again I think I’d make a more solid frame work instead.  The paper worked well and has produced a fantastic uneven effect on the model, but when drying the sack started to sag and I had to prop it up with a spare flight stand until it was dry.  But these are the things you learn when you’re experimenting.

I glued the head to the top of the thorax.  This gave a large opening at the front of the model that I was then able to use as the exit for the termagants that would be emerging (yes I know I used a hormagaunt as the model clawing its way out, but I prefered the image of the claws trying to rip their way out rather than a fleshborer – artistic licence)

The spikes of the egg sack are spare hormagaunt claws stuck into the green stuff and the tail is from the Trygon kit, whilst the front scything talons (emerging from behind the head) are from the Tyranid Warrior kit – though I did think about using the crushing claws.  And that is it.  Hope this provides some people with some ideas.

Tyranid Tactica 1.01

After my rather uncomfortable game last Saturday, I have thought long and hard about how the new Tyranids work in battle.  I have also managed to get another game in in the week (2000 pts), and I’m starting to get a picture of how they work.  So with this I have decided to talk about some of the new tactics that can be used with the Tyranids.  I’ve heard that there is some fuss over the Swarmlord and the Doom of Malan’tai, and for now I will not be adding my voice to these debates.  As my gaming friends can tell you I have a slight aversion to using special characters.  I can see the negative comments coming in right now, but I find that most of the time they are over priced for what they do, and almost never make their points up.  This might be because I tend to play games no larger than 2000 pts; in which case a 250pt character is a bit too much, or that they have been used badly by my opponents.  Also throughout most of the Tyranid’s history there have never been special characters to use.  But this is off topic; back to Tyranid Tactica.

I know I have only managed 2 games with the new codex, but I have spent the past 16yrs using this particularly nasty alien race and feel like I’m in a good position to comment on their latest evolution.  From the two games I’ve played with the new edition I’ve walked away with 1 draw and 1 win (just) and I can tell you now that they fight in a very different way.

The first is the Synapse Creatures.  This has always been one of the defining features about the Tyranid army, that the will of the Hive Mind overcomes that of the lesser creatures.  There are now more synapse creatures than ever before (Hive Tyrants, Tervigons, Tyranid Primes, Zoanthropes, Tyranid Warriors, Tyranid Shrikes and Trygon Primes), giving you at least one synapse unit for each of your unit options.  The new Tyranids however are less dependent upon the synapse creatures than before.  In previous editions any creatures beyond synapse range would have to take a leadership test (LD 5 for most); if they passed then all was well, if they failed then they fell back automatically.  This ment that synapse was both a strength and weakness to the Tyranids, as the loss of synapse creatures caused your army to run away.  In the new edition this is less of a problem.  If the lesser creatures fail their leadership test then they will either lurk (sit there and shoot at the nearest enemy target) or feed (move and assault the nearest enemy).  I’ve found this works really well, as the stuff you want to get into combat will still run forwards and hit stuff.  You do however have less control over your swarm, and your units are no longer fearless.  Loss of synapse is still a pain in the butt, but it no longer means the end of your army.

Secondly is the way Tyranids fight in combat now.  Most of your units are not equipped with assault grenades (in fact only 3 have them – Lictors, Harpies and Carnifexs).  This means that assaulting into cover is often a very blood affair.  I’ve found that you can no longer just throw units in there (that and the Know No Fear rule for Space Marines is a pain) and expect to win.  You have to think more about your options.  There are ways to overcome this; 1. send in a LARGE unit of something expendable (Termagants cost 5 pts each, use them!) to soak up the attacks, and then follow up with a smaller unit of better fighters (Warriors or Genestealers).  The downside to this is that it leaves one of your more elite units open to enemy fire. 2. send in one of the units that does have assault grenades. 3. send in something that has a high toughness and armour save that’ll survive getting hit first.  In combat just make sure that you don’t do what I have done the past 2 games; forget that scything talons give you a re-roll (yes I did forget it again).

Thirdly (and perhaps most controversially) there is the very real option of a shooting orientated Tyranid army.  The Hive Tyrant, Zoanthrope and Carnifex have been the main source of high powered ranged weaponry for the past 2 editions.  Add to that the new Hive Guard, Pyrovore, Harpy and Tyrannofex.  Plus Warriors are BS 4 if you add a Tyranid Prime.  The Hive are fantastic models, with 2 Str 8 shots they pose a threat to infantry and tanks; their T6 means that they don’t get instant deathed and they don’t need to see their targets to hit them.  The only down side I’ve found is that with a 24″ range you wont be able to hit the vehicles you really want to kill (i.e. barrage artillery).  But this is where the Tyrannofex comes in (I’ve yet to try this model) with its 48″ S10 Assault 2 cannon.  The only problem with this tactic is that you are lacking in AP3 weapons, so you’ll still have to get up close and rend those marines.  The other problem is that some of your more powerful ranged weapons (Warp Blast & Lance, Paroxysm, Leece Essence) are psychic powers and are thus vulnerable to psychic hoods etc.

One of the things that is lacking in the Tyranid army is Invulnerable Saves.  Only the Zoanthropes, Swarmlord and Doom of Malan’tai have one.  This can be a bit of a problem as lascannons wound your monsters and Warriors get instant deathed by krak missiles.  But this is where tactics take over.  In second edition one of the ways to overcome this was the way you deployed your army.  Use your units to provide a 4+ cover save to each other.  Make sure that the units at the front are large and expendable (30 Termagants is only 150pts), place the medium sized creatures behind those (4+ cover save against krak missiles!) and the monstrous creatures behind them – remember that real line of sight applies for the cover saves for monstrous creatures.  Add to this a unit of Venomthropes (I would recommend a full sized unit of these) and a Tervigon with Catalyst to give Feel No Pain to either the unit at the front or to a monstrous creature thats out on its own, and there you have it, your entire army has a 4+ invulnerable save.

For my closing comments, a thought on monstrous creatures.  I’ve heard some people moan about the increased points cost for these beasts.  I will admit I was taken back with it myself.  In previous editions I would never have had a Hive Tyrant that was over 200 pts, now I have little choice.  I personally feel that the Hive Tyrant is worth the points; it’s a powerful commanding model and is capable of taking on tanks and infantry; especially if you have Hive Guard with it.  Paroxysm is a fantastic psychic power for use against Ork mobs and Assault Terminators.  The Carnifex is a lot of points for what it does, and for the first time I’m coming up with army lists that don’t include one.  I used to always use them as there was little else that could take out a tank, but now there are so many other choices.  I wont stop using them totally, and I’m looking forward to using a brood of them, but I’m just going to try other options too.  I’ve found that the Mawloc is great for initial impact as the best part of a unit is swallowed up into the whole it’s just dug, but with only 3 attacks it can get quickly overwhelmed if not supported; especially if the enemy is armed with a powerfist.  After using it in both battles I’d recommend sending it off to take out small squads by themselves, tanks or artillery – especially if these vehicles have been left un-supported.

Well those are some of my thoughts for the first of my Tyranid Tactica articles.  I’ll write more as I come up with ideas and try out new combinations.

Instant Death – To my literacy skills

As has been pointed out to me, instant death cancels out the effects of feel no pain.  I did know this when I wrote my last account of the Tyranid vs Marine/Wolf battle; but I was focusing on the AP1 and AP2 part of the rule.  And like the scything talons allowing you to re-roll fail ‘to hits’ I completely forgot about the feel no pain-yes you do when hit be a krak missile-for the Tyranid Warriors.  Oh well, we all make mistakes, and I think I’ve had a week of them.

Behold the Great Devourer, with a stomach ache

Well this weekend saw me use the new Tyranid stuff for the first time, and it was an interesting match.  To be honest though it was not one of my favourite games.  As ZombiePiratexxx and Seritob can testify to I had a horrendous headache that left me feeling sick for saturday evening and most of sunday too.  So although it should have been a fun game, I didn’t enjoy it too much.  Add to this a series of bad dice rolling (how can 9 Tyranid Warroirs keep loosing a close combat with a Tactical squad that they outnumber?!) and a complete loss of tactical thought on my part and I was lucky to get away with a draw.  But thats the way life goes sometimes.  Oh and did I mention ZombiePiratexxx doing it again to me?  A completely new army (in this case Space Wolves) where there should have been Orks!

So trying to put aside the headache, bad dice and tactical ineptitude how did the new Tyranids perform, and what do I think of them?  Well first I’d like to share you my army list.  I had to use 2 of the standard force charts (seriously try to do a 3000pts Tyanid army with one, it’s not easy).  And then I’ll give you my thoughts on the new army.

HQ: 1 Hive Tyrant – bonesword & lash whip, heavy venom cannon, hive commander, leech essence and paroxysm (220pts).  1 Tervigon – cluster spines, toxin sacs, catalyst and dominion (185pts).  Tyranid Prime – 2 boneswords and rending claws (90ps)

Elites: 2 Hive Guard – impaller cannons (100pts).  2 Venomthropes – lash whips and toxic miasma (110pts).  1 Lictor – scything talons, rending claws and flesh hooks (65pts).  1 Zoanthrope – warp blast and warp lance (60pts).

Troops: 9 Tyranid Warroirs – scything talons, 8 devourers and 1 venom cannon (285pts).  5 Tyranid Warroirs – scything talons, 4 deathspitters and 1 barbed strangler (180pts).  10 Genestealers – including a Broodlord – rending claws, aura of despair and hypnotic gaze (186pts).  2 units of 20 Termagants – spinefists (120pts per unit).  20 Termagants – fleshborers (100pts).  2 units of 15 Hormagaunts – scything talons (90 pts per unit).

Fast Attack: 2 units of 3 Raveners – scything talons and rending claws (105pts per unit).  20 Gargoyles – blinding venom and fleshborers (120pts).  3 Spore Mines (30pts).

Heavy Support: 1 Carnifex – scything talons and a stranglethorn cannon (180pts).  2 Biovores – spore mine launcher (90pts).  1 Trygon – bio-electric pulse and 2 sets of scything talons (200pts).  1 Mawloc (170pts).

Total: 3001pts

I went for an all round army, as I was expecting to face a combined Space Marine/Ork force.  I added serveral of the new units so that I could see what they were capable of, as well as many of my old favourites.  So how did they perform?  Well for those who don’t know the typical Tyranid battle goes like this; I advance towards the enemy taking many casualties from their firepower in the first 2 turns, then hit their line and start making a horrible mess in close combat in turns 3 and 4, with whoever has the most left by turn 5 is likely to be the winner.  And this game followed this pattern, except that I couldn’t kill stuff in close combat.  As I said earlier my unit of 9 warroirs couldn’t finish off a tactical squad that was smaller than it; but I also lost 2 raveners to 4 tactical marines in another combat; a single lone wolf went through a unit of hormagaunts who were out of synpase range after the loss of 5 warroirs; a tyranid prime and the zoanthrope to shooting; and the genestealers couldn’t kill a single unit of grey hunters.  My mawloc scattered about as far as it could go and instead of tunnelling under a unit of grey hunters, landed right infront of the wolf guard terminator unit with rune priest, not killing anything as it imerged.  The rune priest used his force weapon on it and instant deathed the poor creature, but he himself was crushed to death as the mawloc’s massive bulk came crashing to the ground.  Dispite having the hive commnader (+1 to reserve rolls) I still managed to roll a whole series of 1’s for my reserves in the second turn.  The Trygon appeared infront of the assault terminators, who made quick work of him.  In fact the only combat that did go my way was when these same assault terminators were hit by the hive tyrant, tervigon, venomthrope, 3 termagants and 2 raveners.  They’re not so good when paroxysm makes them WS1.

And that’s basically how it went.  So what do I think of the new Tyranids?  The mawloc was just unlucky.  Had it burrowed more or less on target then things would have been much different.  The wolf guard would have stayed on the other side of the building, and it would most likely have killed most of the grey hunters it tunnelled through.  I plan on using this model again.  The trygon, again bad luck with its positioning, right infront of the unit best able to kill it.  The hive tyrant is much better now.  It has a more commanding roll, as well as being better at both ranged and close combat.  Its leech essence power is great, killing marines and restoring wounds at the same time.  The tervigon I was most impressed with; despite me forgetting to spawn termagants in the first turn, and rolling a double in the second (though I did score an impressive 14 models before its tubes got clogged) thats still another unit of termagants.  Its synpase creature roll really helped, as did its catalyst (feel no pain).  With this though I think I need to pick my targets a little better.  Most of the time I gave it to the front termagant units, but thinking about it now, it would have been better placed on the tyranid warriors.  True it wouldn’t have saved them from the lascannons of the long fangs, but it would have given them a 4+ save against the krak missiles.  As for the carnifex, you really do feel the loss of its 2+ save, as the long fangs killed it outright in a single shooting phase.  I used to always take one of these creatures, but now I’m not so sure if they will be in my army all the time.  I might have just had a bad experience with it in this game, but we’ll see.

The middle sized units I also had mixed results.  The hive guard are effect with their str 8 weapon that doesn’t need line of sight to hit its target.  This being said I still could hurt the whirlwind.  Though I plan on taking these again; the firepower is useful, and at T6 they wont get instant deathed.  The zoanthrope is a nice classic that I still will be using as its 3+ invulnerable  will help protect it from all those shots that proved so fatal to my warriors.  The warriors were my favourite unit in the last edition.  I still plan on using them, but I need to find new ways of working with them, especial as the whole unit can be taken out by a devastator squad in a single shooting phase.  You also notice the drop in Initiative from 5 to 4 when they’re in combat with marines.  The lictor still had problems, though I think they’re better value at 65 pts than the were at 80.  I think they are best used in packs as 1 isn’t very effective; it just gets torn apart by troops in a combat.  The biovores are good again (though not against marines with their 3+ save).  The unit I was most impressed with was the venomthrope.  That cover save as well as the defensive grenades and toxic miasma/spore cloud effects are really be useful.  I think I need to deploy this unit closer to my warriors, so they can provide mutual support.  The raveners performed pretty much the same as they were before, killing stuff in combat with plenty of rending attacks.

And finally the little guys.  Well they did what they are designed to do; die to shooting in mass numbers.  It was just a shame that I couldn’t get any of the bigger stuff into combat.  ZombiePirate and Servitob were very effective at thinning the numbers of these little ones.  The hormagaunts are much better at 6 pts, as are the gargoyles.  I do like the gargoyles blinding venom, I just need to deploy them better i.e not behind the rest of my army where they can’t take advantage of their 12 inch move (told you I made some stupid tactical errors).  The genestealers disappointed me again, by not being able to kill stuff in close combat.  They did however manage to keep a unit of grey hunters and blood claws busy for 3 turns (not bad for 10 of them) by passing every morale check they had to take.  The little guys unit I really liked, and would recommend using (especial for hidden deployment games) was the spore mine cluster.  This unit was a waste of a unit slot in the last edition.  But now they deep strike before both armies deploy, so drop them into your opponents deployment zone.  This denies them areas of their own deployment zone, forcing them to break up their army.  Against space marines they have little effect, but horde armies (like guardsmen and orks) will have real trouble as several large blast move into their units in the first turn.  Basically they are useful as a control unit – you have a little control over where your opponent can and can’t deploy, useful for 30 pts.

Conclusions.  The Tyranid army has had several changes, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with them for the first time in years.  Though I feel that this battle hasn’t shown them at their best, it has given me so valuable insights, and taught me many lessons about how the army now works.

What is it?

As promised this is my thoughts on the new beasties that have been spawned from the reproductive tubes of the Norn Queens.  I was very surprised by the sheer number of new units available to the Tyranids – 12 in all, excluding a series of legendary creatures (which I will feature another time).  So here are the choices.

Now That’s Just Gross

The first unit I will look at is the Tervigon.  This is a huge, 6 wound monstrous creature, thats also a synapse creature.  It uses up a HQ slot (or a Troops if you include a unit of Termagants) and cost 140 pts.  Its stats line isn’t all that impressive, but its real power is that this beast gives birth to 3D6 Termagants each turn, which I think is both amazing and yet disturbing.  It also possess a series of psychic powers that can really boost units.  I can’t wait to try one out.

Daddy Nid

I mentioned the Tyranid Prime in my last blog.  It’s a nice character model for your Tyranid Warriors and is also your cheap HQ choice if you’re playing a smaller game.  It has an impressive profile and a wide range of weapons/upgrades, but I think its best feature is that it loans its WS and BS to any unit of Tyranid Warriors it joins.  Thats WS6 and BS4 in case you were wondering.

Target Locked

The first of the 3 new Elite units is the Hive Guard.  This unit looks impressive; the models are nice and so is its stat line.  It’s toughness 6, has 2 wounds and a 4+ save; it is also armed with the impaler cannon, and new S8, Assault 2 weapon that doesn’t require a line of sight to shoot at its target.  This being said they are pricey at 50 pts a model.  I do like them though, and can’t wait to try them out.  A heavy ranged infantry unit; something very new to a Tyranid player.

What’s That Smell?

The next unit is the Venomthrope.  This is again a nice model, though I do recommend pinning those lash whip arms (oh and watch out, it is very hard to drill into the arms to make a hole for the pin – take extra care).  The model is still nice though.  This is a support organism whose spore cloud gives all friendly units within 6 inches a 5+ cover save, but also makes them count as having defensive grenades.  Though these things look wimpy, they do have 2A each, lash whips (which makes enemy models I1) and a poisoned attack that wounds on a 2+.

Burn Baby, Burn

The Pyrovore is the last new Elites choice.  Personally I really like this model (even if it does cost £20).  It’s a fire-breathing, acid dripping beastie thats explodes in a ball of flame if you kill it with instant death.  Its flamespurt is an impressive S5 template weapon, whilst its acid maw ignores armour saves.  Suicide runs on Terminators anyone?

Orbital Bombardment

This edition sees the official entry for the Mycetic Spore.  This has been part of Tyranid Lore for years, and is basically a biological drop pod.  Sadly there is no model for it yet (typical), but I do have a few ideas . . .

Fly My Pretties, Fly!!

I suppose these two units don’t really count as new ones, but it is the first time they have their own proper unit slot in the army list; the Shrikes and the Sky-Slashers.  These are winged Warriors (Shrikes) and winged Rippers (Sky-Slashers) with all the expected options.  The other knew fast attack option is in the form of the Harpy.  This is essentailly a monstrous Gargoyle, the half way point between the Gargoyle and the Harridan.  Though it isn’t as tough as the other monstrous creatures it is faster, and with the right options (and a bit of luck) can drop 5 large blast templates on the enemy in a turn!  This is done by firing its main weapons and dropping D3 spores mines once per game.  I really like the sound of this unit, and i’m disappointed that it doesn’t have a model yet, but again I have an idea!

Did The Earth Move For You? Part 2

This has been long awaited.  About a year ago I bought a resin Trygon from Forge World.  It’s a fantastic model, but because it could only be used in an Apocalypse match (and ZombiePirateXXX and Servitob not having armies of sufficient size) I have yet to use it.  But now the Trygon is in the main army list, and has a fantastic plastic kit to go with it.  This monster is impressive, with WS5, W6 and A6 it’s pretty hardcore.  It can deep strike, and when it does, doesn’t suffer from mishaps for landing on enemy models, just move the marker.  Makes sence to me, afterall this thing is huge!  Friendly infantry units that are in reserve can come up through the hole that the Trygon has made too, meaning you can drop your army right on top of the enemy.  You can also upgrade this monster into a Trygon Prime.  Basically a Trygon that is a synapse creature, very useful  if you like using a fast moving assault swarm, that may out run the slower synapse units.

Mawloc or Morlock?

This is probably my favourite of the new units.  Ignoring the coincidental name similarity to the Morlock (a creature in H.G. Wells’ Time Machine that burrowed under the ground, emerged to grab people, then burrowing again), this monster sounds ace.  It doesn’t have the WS or A of the Trygon, but when it deep strikes you place the large blast template down on the spot where it will emerge.  Any enemy models under the template take a S6 AP2 hit!  Any surviving models are moved out of the way of the emerging Mawloc.  What’s better is that this creature can do this more than once, as it can burrow again at any point in its movement phase and reappear in the next turn.  I might have to have more than one of these . . .

And Just When You Thought The Carnifex Was Fat

I think this has to be the fattest monstrous creature in the game, with T6, W6 and a 2+ save the Tyrannofex is a real monster.  It’s designed more for a shooting role than close combat, though it’s hardly a push over.  It has a choice of 3 main weapons – Acid Spray (a template weapon that fires in a similar way to the Hellhound), the Rupture Cannon (a long ranged S10, Assault 2 weapon!) or the Fleshborer Hive (an Assault 20 – yes really – Fleshborer).  It also has two other weapons it can fire – a Stinger Salvo and a Thorax Swarm.  This amounts to a LOT of firepower, but I should hope so for 250 pts.  I like the idea of this unit, but I’m not sure how I feel about the cost.  I prefer to keep units and individual models to less than this, as I feel its ‘too many points in one basket’, but we shall see.  And again there is no model yet for it.

Well those are the new creatures for the Tyranids.  On the whole I really like them, so much so that I already have most of them.  I’m disappointed in GW for not producing models for all of the options, but then they can be good at that.  I’m looking forward to using some of them too, but there’s sooo much choice, which ones do I choose?  Well I’m sure they’ll be a blog about our match on the 30th when we’ll see how they work in game.  Until then, beware the shadows, and prey to the Emperor, for the Great Devourer cometh!

Behold the Great Devourer!

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.

Levi Thieves

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.

Space Hulk Mission III – Rescue

*Fiction Based On A Night of Playing Mission III*

It had been a wild party. Sergeant Thumpy was entering his 51st year of service in the Blood Angels, and frankly everyone needed an excuse to have some fun. They had been stuck on this derelict space hulk for the best part of three months and things were getting boring. When Thumpy thought about it, he quite liked his job. But the hours could drag on a bit, and the seconds themselves could be quite dull, but on the whole he was content to be a Space Marine Sergeant of the first company. Mind you, he wasn’t so sure joining the Blood Angels had been such a good move. They were forever posted to these damned space hulks. It’s all they ever seemed to do nowadays. Not like those Imperial Fists who generally spent their days polishing their uniforms and relaxing in some ridiculously luxurious palaces under some weak cover story they were guarding the place. Thumpy had a pen friend in the Ultramarines who often sent him post cards from sunny seaside towns and glorious beach worlds. But not the Blood Angels. More space hulks, more multilimbed corpse nibblers to bash.

The party had reached a frenzy over the course of about three days, and one thing was now certain, the place was a mess. Not a normal alien infested type of mess, but a real booze and curry type of mess only achievable in the absence of females. Not that anyone really cared, except Sergeant Colin. However, tidying up was yet another way to relieve the boredom and satisfy his OCD, so Sergeant Colin had left his quarters with a squad two days ago in search of cleaning supplies.

The radio crackled into life.
“Thumpy, come in, this is Colin.”
“Report, Sergeant.” “Brother Steve has found a janitors closet on deck 3 west, he reports he has found an operational vacuum cleaner.” “Good work Colin, I will tell the men and bring a squad to assist. Thumpy out.”
Thumpy immediately got dressed and assembled a squad from the space marines who were no longer passed out. He picked up his massive thunderhammer and storm shield. This truly was an awesome weapon. He had used it for several years, and it’s mighty power had trashed many hotel rooms and wrecked many hire cars whilst on deployments around the galaxy. Why on terra did the quartermaster issue it to him for hulk duty he had no idea. Within the tight confines of a corridor you barely had room to scratch your armored butt, let alone swing a six foot hammer.

“Sergeant Colin, report.”
“I hear you, Sergeant. Brother Billy Bob is showing us his latest dance moves.” “What type?” “Latin jazz, will keep you posted.” “Keep up the good work, but keep an eye out for xenos.” “Will do.”

Between Sergeant Thumpy and the vacuum cleaner stood a horde of unco-operative genestealers. He would have to bash his way through. Luckily, Brother Keith had remembered to bring an assault cannon. Soon the walls were pasted with purple blood.

“This is Sergeant Colin, we are now at critical dancing mass, and we have you in visual. Brother Phil has found an old set of disco lights and a Girl’s Aloud disc relic and we are really getting down.” “I see you Sergeant Colin, you are quite a mover. We will look for refreshments on our way.”

Thumpy opened a door off the corridor. He could hear the bass bumping and see flashing lights ahead. Behind the door lurked a stinking horror. The stench was appalling. He retched in pain as his nostrils filled with toxic gas. He could smell fried chicken, combined with peri-peri. It was obviously coming from an ancient blocked drain which had had thousands of years to fester. Immediately the music down the corridor stopped as marines stopped dancing and clawed for fresh air. The party was over for now. It was at times like this that Thumpy really wished Sergeants could wear helmets. With only a vacuum cleaner to clean up this mess it was going to be a long night.