Tuesday, May 4, 2010
It's been a while since I've updated!
I've not been playing much, work and personal life have kept me quite busy and quite happy, but I've played a few games, done a lot of reading and thinking, and am planning some summer projects.
First, I want to discuss some thoughts I've had on the new Tyranid book. Tyranids are easily my favorite army in 40k. They're giant dinosaur insect aliens that are like locusts on the universe and they have some really excellent miniatures and their playstyle is very distinct.
The new book is interesting. I'm still on the fence about it. Oddly enough, it really caters to the style of army I played before (A unit or two of gaunts, a unit of Genestealers, lots of Warriors, some support elements, and a Monstrous Creature or three). I never played Nidzilla and never had much interest in doing so, but I still made the old Codex work for a much more balanced (balanced in terms of having a mix of small, medium, and big bugs) army.
This new book really strengthens those armies while putting a hurt on Nidzilla. While I'm not sad to see it go (While it wasn't as bad as Mechdar it still was obnoxious) I think they might have gone a little too far in making Carnifexes almost never worth their points.
Here is a summary of the units and my thoughts on them:
The Swarmlord - He's a beast. Giving him a 5th wound might have been a mistake. WS9, able to use two Psychic powers a turn (with Paroxysm being one of the best powers in the game), forcing rerolls on successful Invulnerable saves, always causing Instant Death, and the ability to take Tyrant Guard just make him ridiculous. I realize he's a lot of points but I dare you to find 400 points that can win against him and two Tyrant Guard.
Hive Tyrant - While The Swarmlord is great I think there is still a place for the Hive Tyrant. He's cheaper, can be given a better Armor Save, is able to give Preferred Enemy to all friendly models within 6", and is a beast in close combat. I could see a Hive Tyrant being good competition against the Swarmlord as he's a lot cheaper and does some things the Swarmlord doesn't do. I don't think we'll see both too often because of the awesomeness of the Tyranid Prime.
Tyranid Prime - I think Warriors are a must have and he makes them better. He's great, cheap, and adds a lot of utility to the army. Him + 9 Warriors might be the cornerstone of every Tyranid army I make from now on.
Hive Guard - These guys are good. I don't like doubling up on units outside of Troops but I can see why people want to do that with these guys. I'll always take one unit and would take a second if they were in Heavy Support. As it is I think taking multiples really cuts down on some of the utility the army needs to succeed as this is an army that needs its Elite slots.
Deathleaper - When I first saw this guy I thought he cost too many points. He's a lot. He also gives the army a few things it needs in a 5 game tournament. Namely, he makes Psychic Hoods less able to affect your army and he also hurts enemy Psychic attacks. Combine this with his general utility of being an unstoppable killing machine and I think he has a place. He's not an auto include for me but he's very good.
The Doom of Malan'tai - He's good. I don't agree that he affects embarked units (I generally think the game tells you what you CAN do and whenever it breaks a rule it should do so explicitly and not implicitly) but regardless of the interpretation he's either great or awesomely great. He's undercosted either way and is a fun model.
Tyranid Warriors - As I mentioned up above I love these guys. I always have. I've been giving them Rending Claws and Deathspitters. They provide for a solid anchor that scores and are also one of the most aggressive and dangerous assault units in the game. They provide synapse, shooting, scoring, and excellent assaults. I doubt I'll make a list without 9 and a Tyranid Prime.
Gargoyles - This is going to be an overlooked unit. They're fast and pack an amazing punch. I've been giving them Adrenal Glands so that they can strike first against I4 on the charge. They have a huge threat range, some decent shooting, and are very good in assault. They're also undercosted by a point or two. Whereas I feel termagants and hormagaunts are overcosted by a point these are undercosted.
Spore Mine Cluster - This is another unit that'll be over looked. They provide a ton of utility and can seriously affect the course of a game. They can also be ignored and tank shocked until they're dead. Against some armies, though, they'll be a great asset.
Tervigon - While I don't think anyone will ever take these as HQs they do make for a good Troop. They provide a lot of utility and are tough to take down. I'm not as in love with them as everyone else seems to be, but they're good and have a place.
Zoanthrope - I think that these guys, while not great, are essential to every Tyranid list I'll ever take. Just the threat of being able to destroy a Land Raider affects how the game is played. They're also Synapse and have a great save so don't need to hide in cover.
Genestealers - They're Genestealers! They're good, cheaper, and Brood Lords are an upgrade character now. I like them and will likely take a unit in every army. They're too iconic, and worthwhile, to not take. Nothing too exciting but they're as good as ever.
Raveners - I know these guys have never been popular but they're good at dashing out and destroying transports or getting into an enemy line. My major problem with them is that they get out of Synapse really easily and don't have grenades so they aren't always the most dependable unit to get stuck into an enemy with.
Trygons - They're slightly more expensive than a similarly equipped Carnifex and they're just better in every way. I like them and I like being able to use my FW model in regular games. They're good and worth taking.
Venomthrope - I love the model. I really do. I also like his rules and he does some really interesting things that are massively helpful for the army. He has two large problems, though. He's fragile and almost requires taking multiples in a unit. All of a sudden giving a 5+ cover, defensive grenades, and forcing enemies to roll difficult terrain can cost a ton of points. The other major problem is that he's an Elite. I think the Venomthropes are worth while and add something the army really could use, especially certain builds, but he's competing against Hive Guard, Deathleaper, Zoanthropes, Doom of Malan'tai, and Ymgarl Genestealers. I want to take him but there's just too much else out there that really should be chosen first.
Ymgarl Genestealers - I tried these guys once and loved them. I don't know if I had a freakishly good game with them, I'll try them out more, but they were amazing. They're pricey but they can work amazingly well. They are also in the Elites spot and two of the three choices are always going to be filled (Hive Guard and Zoanthropes) before I get to anything else so I doubt they'll make the cut for any serious tournament I go to.
Termagants - I want to like these guys. I mean, you have to take them. I have dreams of them being awesome as they shoot up a unit before Furiously Charging and Poisoning them to death after a volley of shots soften them up. It never happens, though. They're good at screening units, capturing objectives, and just being there. Don't expect them to kill anything ever and if they do it'll be great. I kept expecting them to do something and I grew annoyed at moving these guys around and rolling dice for no real reason. You need to take them but it doesn't mean you need to like it.
Hormagaunts - A lot of the same problems as Termagants. They don't open up the Tervigon so I doubt I'll use them often. I understand they'd be too good if they were beasts still but lowering their WS just hurt.
Tyranid Shrikes - I have 6 of these guys painted up. They do okay. They're fast Synapse which has its uses. They're not bad but I think Raveners are better. Shame, really, as the FW wings look great on them. I won't laugh if someone uses them as they can deliver quite a punch.
Old One Eye - Yes, he's expensive but in half of the games I've used him in he's just been amazing. If you screen him so he gets a cover save, not impossible with a Tyrant and other models, he lasts a long time. I wish they had given him a 5th wound instead of the Swarmlord, though. Some games he dies to one turn of shooting and other games he single handily takes on half of the enemy army. I like him but don't trust him to deliver any wins.
Carnifex - Well, these guys are bad now. I'm not sure they're worthless (I think 3 Screamer Killers might be very good) but for now I doubt we'll ever see them.
The units I've not described are units I've not played with and I don't want to judge something without playing it.
This summer I have a few projects. First I'm going to finish painting my Tyranids. I have lots on sprue and lots that needs to be painted. I have around 4000 points painted right now and hope to add another ~3000 points this summer. It's boring, but I'll feel liberated once I slog my way through.
Then I'm going to work on Space Marines. I hope to have my Salamanders done in time for the NOVA Open. I've wanted to do a Space Marines army for a while and I doubly want to do one because I've been saying for a while that I don't think anyone plays them the right way. I can't make such a big claim and not prove them wrong.
I've managed to get my lovely lady into the game and she's eager to start working on her Slaanesh Daemons army. We'll hopefully have it together and painted by September so she can go to the Mechanicon with me and some other tournaments!
Below is some pictures I took when Richard and I played a game a few weeks ago. We played a Battle Missions game and it was a lot of fun. We played at the Fair Oaks Games Workshop and it was decent.
I'm not a fan of the Realm of Battle board. I don't think it looks that much better than their mat and some nice terrain and it's not as playable and I don't like the sectioned elements.
It was a fun game, though! I hope you like the pictures.
Be seeing you!