Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Swarm Evolves

 This is a relatively long post, so grab a coffee and get comfortable. (Tea would be acceptable as well if)

Last week I compiled a list of my current Tyranid models and their values under the old Codex. With the release of the latest Tyranid codex at the weekend it's time to update those values and consider how my army has changed.

Disclaimer: I don't claim to be any sort of master tactician. While I've played 40k on and off since 2nd edition, I've only played a handful of games with 6th edition, and I've never played in any real tournaments for 40k (in fact I've only even played in one and that was for Warhammer). I tend to play for fun and much prefer the narrative side of the game.

Bare in mind as well that I've not played any games with the new book, so what follows will largely be first impressions, also any sort of analysis will be very much focused on my own specific army rather than the book as a whole. So don't expect a complete review of the book.

First up will be the basic numbers of the overall army before I talk about any specifics. Remember these numbers don't include any biomorphs, just weapons.

Old Codex
New Codex

Unit QTY
Unit QTY
Points difference
Fast Attack
Heavy Support
So first up you can see that overall my army decreased points wise by almost 300 points or 8% which is pretty good. I could add a Harpy and Hive Crone for those points or just one of those in a 2000pt game or so.

There were a lot of points decreases across the board, however there were a few noticeable exceptions. The Ripper Swarms collectively went up 39 points and the Genestealers' scything talons also went up adding 32 points to their total. Both of these increases make me less inclined to want to take them/paint them, especially when other troops choice have gone down, and it's not like I'm short of other troops choices and I already talked in the last post about how I have too many Genestealers anyway.
To break up the article I'm adding a few unpublished pics from some old games.
The Tervigon also went up by 25 points. Technically it went up by more, but mines got crushing claws which went down in price giving a lesser net increase. I've never used the Tervigon in a game before so it's difficult for me to comment on how it's rules have changed, but the internet is largely crying that this unit has been nerfed heavily. I'm looking forward to trying it out from a blank perspective, so I can judge what it's like now without any real reference to what it use to be like.

Talking about crushing claws, their rules have changed quite a bit going from adding D3 attacks to adding 1 strength and giving the armour bane special rule. I quite like the change. Looking at the model for them, I never understood how they were supposed to grant the model extra attacks. Now they have rules that allows them to crush stuff, like you would think crushing claws should.

Having said that I armed my Tervigon with crushing claws precisely for the extra attacks to take advantage of the smash rule in 6
th editition, which halves your attacks rounding up and doubles your strength. Modifiers such as those given by the crushing claw would be applied after. So with 3 attacks, with crushing claws you'd always choose to smash because you'd get S10 with 3-5 attacks anyway. With the new rules for crushing claws, they're not quite so perfect for the Tervigon. At least now it's not always going to be a no brainer to choose to smash or not.

The first couple are from my game with Paul on 3/7/12. I don't think this Farseer lasted much longer

Now lets talk about some units that have got cheaper.

Starting with the Troops Hormagaunts have got cheaper, although if you kit them out with adrenal glands and toxin sacs, like I use to, they stay the same. I equipped them with both for the nice combo of being able to re-roll to wound against T4 models on the charge, which with the quantity of attacks normally would do a decent amount of damage. With the change to scything talons however, I'm consider taking the Hormagaunts without any upgrades and taking advantage of their base reduction in points.

I was always in two minds about whether I should take all the upgrades or take twice the number anyway. Even with the upgrades they still die as easy and a unit rarely gets into combat fully intact anyhow, so perhaps more is better, especially now they can run faster as well.
Termagants have seen some nice changes too in my mind. Not only are they also cheaper but they can take devourers for less as well, making that unpainted unit of 20 with devourers that I have much much cheaper. It took me a while to notice, but you can also mix and match weapons in units now, so the idea of taking say units of 30, 10 with devourers becomes quit appealing. The cheaper fleshborer models making an effective meat shield for the more expensive devourer wielding ones.

The ability to mix and match weapons affects most units now opening up some interesting possibilities. Tyranid warriors for example. While on the surface they didn't really change, the ability to take just one or two lash whip and boneswords, rather than kitting out the whole unit with such an expensive upgrade again creates more options and possibilities to consider.

I know Tyranid warriors have their flaws, but I like them, I remember when a Tyranid army was basically Tyranid Warriors, Genestealers and Carnifex and to me not including them in a Tyranid army is like not including Tactical marines in a Space Marine army or Ork Boyz in an Ork army. So anything giving them more options is fine by me.

For me though the big one where being able to mix and match weapons really matters is with the Carnifexes. I built my Carnifexes before the last codex, before they could form units. I didn't want them to all be the same (in fact I didn't want any 2 units to be the same) so I armed them differently. So imagine my disappointment when you could combine them into units
only on the condition that they were all armed the same! Units were also incredibly expensive, a unit of 3 with no upgrades would set you back 480 points.

These last two are from my game against Ben's Necrons at the Poole GW store 17/7/12
Now finally I can include all 3 of my Carnifexes in the one unit. Not only that but they are collectively 145 points cheaper. I'm definitely going to see about getting these guys on to the board. Even under the old codex I wanted to try out a unit of Carnifex, but that involved buying new ones. Now I have no excuse.
My Zoanthropes and Tyrant guard got a decent price cut as well. Many of the elite choices did, like Lictors and Hive Guard...but I don't own those models yet. I havn't worked out any lists yet but I'm thinking the Tyrant guard may make it in now. A Hive Tyrant with a full set of Tyrant guard is a pretty solid unit. It's quite a pricey unit but now it's cheaper it's probably worth another look.

The options for the Hive Tyrant have changed quite a bit too. I use to take him with an Armoured shell, giving him a 2+ armour save. This is no longer an option so I'm going to have to think about what upgrades to give him and to be honest this is one unit I've not fully explored yet.
I got well and truly owned. Strangely I don't have any pictures of that stage of the game.

There's one more thing that stuck out to me, and it's an upgrade not a unit; adrenal glands. These now provide fleet as well as the furious charge special rule they had in the last book. This is an upgrade that a majority of units can take. Now I know the rules for fleet may not be as good as they were in 5th edition, (or it's debatable at least) but for an army that needs to get across the table, I can see myself taking these for every unit that doesn't already have fleet, in particular I'm thinking about the Carnifexes and Hive Tyrant.

Right that's probably all I want to talk about for now. There's definitely more I could talk about but I've gone on just about long enough and these are just the things that jumped out at me. My next task is to draw up some army lists for some small 1000pt games using what I've got painted so far and to see what they're like in practice.

1 comment:

  1. Great approach to the new codex. I like the method you use of comparing the codices, old and new. I suppose the upside from your perspective is that you get more "bug" for your buck. The real value in your approach lies in the fact that edition to edition the standard points values don't really change, 1500, 1750, 2000. Therefore I think there is value in knowing how much more or less you get to field. A beastie would have to be pretty drastically nerfed for the difference to be meaningless.

    My question to you is, do you think the 8% shift encourages a bigger horde of cheap bugs without upgrades, or do you think that the 8% will simply be absorbed with upgrades?