Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Codex: Tyranids Initial Thoughts

I am sure we have all noticed that the Interweb seems to have erupted like a volcano of hatred spewing the lava of discontent over Games Workshops latest update for the Tyranids (memo to self; must improve metaphors).

The Volcano of Hatred 

I disagree with them and now let me present a "structured and well thought out" Blog Post that has the underlying message; "SHUT UP YOU HATERS!"

First of all some background, I am not a tournament player. I play because I enjoy it. I do not intend to write filth I tend to work around a theme. My 3rd Place at Blog Wars last year was simply because apparently my army concept (Farsight Enclave- Lots of Crisis, Broadsides and Riptides) worked as a relatively competitive force. So I will not be looking at this Codex from a competitive stand point.

The new Tyranid Codex suits them. It is everything that I would personally expect of the Tyranid Race. You will need your Synapse Creatures, if you don't have them your army will be a gibbering wreck comparable to me in the mornings before my first pint of coffee (is this a better metaphor than the first one?).

Also Instinctive Behaviour has been switched up. There are now 3 variations a chart for each varying from "UH-OH this is bad" to "basically the same as before" to "basically the same as before but lets add a small bonus"

So allow me to cover a few key points;

1) Tervigon Spam doesn't seem as viable any more. requiring 30 Termagants to make a Tervigon a troops choice was a good decision. Stops people just buying minimum units to get the big stuff in to troops choice. helps focus on the hordes of critters style that I feel Tyranids should be. Also increasing the cost of the Tervigon by about 20% was definitely needed. They were overpowered for their cost. Multi-Level Psyker Monstrous Creature Unit Spawning Objective Holding Troops Choice for 165 or so points was insane even with the minimum "tax" for a gaunt unit to make them troops. Games Workshop are right here, the Haters are wrong.

2) The Doom is gone. People complained for ages about this being overpowered so what did you expect them to do? There was no need for it anyway as with the right roll you get a version of this from a Zoanthroape anyway. Ever since the release of 6th I've always felt that the Doom was Doomed.

3) Gaunts got cheaper. Termagants are now 20% cheaper than before. Meaning I can have my units 20% larger for no additional cost. This is HUGE!!! Troops are such an integral part of the meta now and who is going to complain here. I will cover synapse in soon but for 4 points for get a normally FEARLESS troops choice (if it isn't you are playing wrong!).

4) We lost the Rule Book psychic powers! GOOD! Tyranids are not normal Psykers! They have The Shadow in The Warp rule that diminishes access to the warp for psykers!!! Tyranid's have a single will, The Hive Mind, so having a single set of Powers makes perfect sense!!! Tyranids are not like the psykers of other races, they are not individuals per se but an extension of a greater power.,.

Games Workshop have got this right. They have put the character of the Tyranids in to the book and that is all I, as a hobbyist, ask for. I don't care whether it is overly effective on the battlefield. As long as it looks awesome and I enjoy the game it doesn't matter. And when all is said and I done, so what if I lose? The inevitable has only been postponed, I have now nibbled your shin, I will be back for the rest of you once I have respawned the army......

May The Dice Gods Be Ever In Your Favour


  1. 1) Tervigon spam is not viable but even having 2 [which is my bag and I wouldn't consider spam] becomes problematic. Indeed buying min units was a cheeky back door way of getting troops but I used to have 10 Devgaunts each in 2 spore pods. I could have had 20 in one but by taking min units I could secure two objectives and target 2 different units and overall they were more versatile that way. Now I have to go for 30 if I want a troop and having played my first game last night with a brood of 30 models, trust me, anyone fielding 2 Troop Tervigons is going to struggle to finish a game in 2.5hours, you may as well bring a book! I've spent so long with min units and spawning out on 10 or 11 gaunts I really don't want a massive blob.

    Multi-level psyker isn't strictly correct, multi-powered - he could take up to 3 but you paid the price [a further 30pts] but he could only ever cast 1 power as they were lvl1. Those powers may have been Iron Arm but there are plenty of games where my Iron Armed or Endured Tervigon has been killed.

    2) Fair enough, I expected him to go too and granted Psychic Scream is very similar but without a mechanism to get your Zoanthrope within 6" of your opponent it's a long walk for 3+ invulnerable save when you've only got 2 wounds.

    3) Can't argue with this, it's not how I'm comfortable playing but I was horrified to realise that if they failed Instinctive Behaviour they have a 50% chance of falling back. With such big broods often you are not very far away from your board edge. I know this comes back to Synapse but at least if you failed in the past you would do nothing, run for cover, shoot the nearest fleshy thing, not run off the board! Synapse feels very much like a handicap at the moment, you may be right about Fearless but for the moment, until I get used to it but the trade off doesn't seem comparable. I think I'm going to be scared more of my own troops fleeing or turning on themselves than what my opponents brought, I'm not sure that's the feeling one should have when they choose an army.

    4) But they devour and absorb the abilities of the creatures they consume so why not have the BRB powers? someone thought they were appropriate when 6th came out. The sad thing is that the Tyranid Powers are so one dimensional, whereas the BRB have +s to S&T AND Eternal Warrior we mostly get 1 benefit minuses to WS&BS if the powers had been a little more then perhaps we wouldn't miss the BRB ones so much. Sure BRB powers made Tervigon's psychic beasts with potentially 3 so you could get the best but the simple change to Psyker Lvl 1 that they made ensures that even with BRB powers, sometime the 1 power they would generate wouldn't be D3 S&T, or Endurance but Haemorrhage - lol! That

    I don't mind losing either but I want to be comfortable with the force I've got and this doesn't do it for me. It may be the shock of the new but given how little has actually changed and all it's really done is deny access to things that were brought in in 6th it feels like a step back to when the Codex was revised in 2010. The majority of players concluded it was bad then, the changes have not adressed most of those concerns and often have made things worse. The way I see it if you're going to take something away it should be replaced with something else, at least of equal worth, and I'm not sure we got that.

    1. I can understand where you are coming from Dave, and I know rules wise it is a kick I just feel that actually from a fluff stand point this Codex better encapsulates what the Tyranid Army is all about. It is an absolute pleasure to get a well structured and thought out comment and has given me more food for thought. I also realise there are several key things I missed out in the first publishing of this that I wanted to address. One of which I quite like; Mix & Match Gaunt units. Not being stuck with just one weapon for the unit so I am currently looking at it trying to find the correct balance of Fleshborers to Devourers. I think we will see only 1 Troop Tervigon per army now although I would be tempted to relegate mine to HQ as I am not overly impressed with the HQ choices (The Prime is overpriced in this book for sure).

      I am now looking at putting an army together using this codex for the next Blog Wars, I don't doubt it will not be anywhere near as effective as my Tau army was at BW6 but I still think this codex could be a lot of fun.

      I think we have Chapterhouse to thank for lack of Spore Pod. With all the legal issues GW will have decided not to further exacerbate the situation by releasing one now. It also makes one of Chapterhouses products obsolete. They tried to undercut GW on it and will now find themselves burnt because one of their products is essentially useless. Part of this could be spite from GW....

    2. Indeed being able to mix weapons make things a little bit more affordable but last nights game illustrates it can be a bit of a faff when it comes to the shooting phase. I wouldn't recommend switching anything beyond Devs and Fleshborers, in most instances it doesn't matter about their AP value but mixed strength is more confusing.

      I was certainly struck with Synapse in 'where you need to be'. Previosuly my Tervigon spawned and then moved off, now you have to think ahead to where you are going to be and where your spawned gaunts will end up. Which was awkward when I needed someone to man my Quad Gun and still keep my 30 gaunt Brood in synapse so the spawned gaunts were it but how to be in a position where they could spawn 6" into contact with the gun but still retain synapse - lots of minute movement nudges which equates to slowing the game down, but it was intereting tactically.

      One last point, when you're on the verge of moving out of Synapse you better hope gaunts get fired upon so you can go to ground - it stops the Instinctive Behaviour and you can reconnect Synapse hopefully next turn which instantly recovers the gaunts. But when you're 7" from your board edge you've got to do anything to ensure they don't all run back to the Hive!