Where did they come from? Where did they go? (Cult Codex Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote a quick summary of the basics of the Cult Codex, today I want to go a little more into some of the special rules. These rules make the codex pretty fluffy, and a lot of fun. However, they are not amazing. Good, but not amazing.

Every unit in the army, excluding vehicles, comes with the Cult Ambush and the Return to the Shadows special rules. These rules, if rolled well, can be bloody mean.

With Cult Ambush, instead of deploying normally, your roll on a table. Yeah, I know, GW loves to make things random, but these are pretty cool. On a 1, you deploy the unit 6 inches from your table edge. On a 2, they are deployed via outflank. On a three, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table that is more then 9 inches away from an enemy unit, but if no enemy unit can draw line of sight you can set them up 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a 4, you can set up the unit more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a roll of a 5, and here is where is starts getting interesting, you can set them up anywhere on the table that is more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit, and immediately make a bonus shooting attach (so you get to shoot twice). On a roll of a 6, and I love this one, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table providing that it is more than 3 inches away from an enemy unit, and then you can charge the turn they arrive. I used this rule and some genestealers to take out an assault squad in the first turn. This is amazing, providing you go first.

Now, the second special rule makes the first one even more entertaining. Return to the Shadows allows units to leave the board and be placed in ongoing reserves providing that there are no enemy units within 6 inches of the unit. So, the unit can leave and in the next turn, they can roll on the table and come back in an annoying fashion. While this will add even more randomness to the game, and could end up costing you the game if you are not careful, it is a blast.

There is one warlord trait that helps with this. On a six, your warlord gains Ambush Leader, which allows you to choose which result you want to take rather than rolling for it (only with the warlord and his unit). The rest of the traits, while good, are not as great. On a 1, you gain Stealth. On a two, units within 12 inches of the warlord gain counter-attack. On a 3, your warlord gains move through cover, and never suffers an initiative penalty when charging through terrain. On a 4, the warlord gains “It Will Not Die.” And on a 5, the detachment uses his leadership, which is also pretty good, but not as good as choosing to charge on turn one.

The Psychic powers of this codex are good. They are nothing extravagant, but good. The Primus power reduces a target enemy unit’s WS, BS, I, and Attacks by 1. They have a power that gives a unit fleet and relentless, and allows them to charge even if they ran in the same turn. There is a witchfire power that gives them a 24-inch range; blast template shot that is S5 AP3. Another power is a blessing that gives a unit plus 1 strength and rage. The 4th power (not counting the primus) is a roll off. If there is a draw, the enemy unit suffers a -3 penalty to their initiative, if the cult wins, they also suffer wounds with no cover or armour saves allowed. There is also a power that allows the cult player to take control of an enemy unit and shoot is as if it were their own. Finally, there is a summoning power. This varies depending on what warp charge level you decide it is, but you can summon almost any cult troop who then arrives using the cult ambush special rule.

The final item I will cover in my review is a quick summary of the formations. It hurts me to say that the cult has better formations than the Nids, but this should be all that surprising to me, or to anyone else. The codex is newer. It has a Decurion Style detachment.

This detachment, called the Cult Insurrection Detachment, consists of 1 to 6 core formations, 1 or more Auxiliary formations, and 0 to 3 command formations. The detachment gains the ability to reroll the warlord trait IF the patriarch is the warlord (oh, and you cannot have any more than one Patriarch, one Magus, and one Primus in this detachment). All non-vehicle units that gain infiltrate, and if they already have infiltrate, they gain shrouded. The Cult player can add 1 to their reserve rolls (which I usually need) and their opponent subtracts 1 from their reserve rolls. Finally, each time a unit enters ongoing reserves D6 models can be returned to that unit that we already slain in combat. I MUST RUN THIS.

Finally, I am going to give a quick run through of all the formations.

Subterranean Uprising – This formation consists of 0-1 Primus, 1-3 Metamorphs, 2-4 Acolytes, and 0-3 Aberrants. The formation has the infiltrate special rule, must be set up using Cult Ambush but you get to roll two dice and choose, and any unit joined by the Primus gets to roll three dice when rolling on the chart. I like this formation.

Deliverance Broodsurge – 2 to 6 units of Neophytes. All units must take Goliaths as dedicated transports. They must begin the game in the transports but can disembark even if the truck used cruising speed, but they have to take dangerous terrain tests. Also, the trucks ignore crew shaken or crew stunned results, but do lose the hull point. Eh, this one is OK.

Demolition Claw – 2 to 3 units of Acolytes and 2 to 3 units of Rockgrinders. At least one model in each of the hybrids must be equipped with a demolition charge, and the Rockgrinders are also equipped, but for free. The formation gains tank hunter, and the hybrids can reroll the scatter dice when throw a demolition charge. Finally, after the unit throws the charge, if it is within 6 inches of a Rockcrusher, on a 4+ roll, they can replenish the charge.

Brood Cycle – 1 Iconward, 3 Acolytes, 2 Neophytes, 1 Metamorph unit, 1 purestrain genestealer unit, 0 -1 Aberrants, and 0 – 1 Rockcrusher unit. The unit can add +1 to its leadership and weapon skill if it is within 6 inches of another non-vehicle unit. They also have furious charge if they are within 24 inches of the Iconward.

The First Curse – 20 Purestrain genestealers and a Patriarch. With this formation, you roll a D6 and gain the following bonuses. 1 – Flesh Hooks. 2 – 4+ armour save. 3 – Toxic Glands. 4 – Adrenal Sacs. 5 – Preferred Enemy. 6 – Choose one of the options.

Neophyte Cavalcade – 2 Neophyte units, 1 Leman russ Squadron, 1 to 2 units of either Scout Sentinels or Armoured Sentinels. All neophyte units must take a Chimera as a dedicated transport and must start the game embarked in the transport. Vehicles gain outflank except for Scout Sentinels who gain Cult Ambush. All vehicles ignore shaken or stunned results on a 4+, though still lose the hull point.

The Doting Throng – 0-1 Magus, 3 – 6 Neophytes and/or Acolytes (in any combination). Units have Zealot when within 12 inches of the Magus and when Magus is part of a unit, that unit can reroll all failed to hit rolls in every round of close combat. Also, when casting a blessing, the Magus can reroll the test if it failed.

Broodcoven – This formation consists of a Patriarch, a Magus, and a Primus. The three models must be deployed as a single unit. They can join friendly units, but only as a unit, and must leave as a unit. This formation, and a unit they join gain the following rules (providing that the specific model is still alive: Patriarch – Fleet. Magus – Counter Attack. Primus – Preferred Enemy.

That’s all for now.

 

 

 

The Four Armed-Emperor (Genestealer Codex Review part one)

It’s been a long time since I wrote for the blog, and a lot has happened. The biggest thing to happen to me, in terms of Warhammer is the release of the Genestealer Cult codex. I am more excited about this release than any recent release I can think of, including the last Tyranid update. I can’t even explain why I am this excited. I started playing 40K after the Genestealer Cult was discontinued. To me, the Cult was just a myth, something whispered about or reminisced about. But, GW got me excited about a release, so much so that I can now run a 2K army (using the genestealers from my Tyranid army).

My first impression about this army is that it is a glass cannon. Fluff wise, it is fantastic. And if you have some good luck with the dice, you can crush your opponent. However, a few bad rolls and you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Today I am just going to cover the units. In a later post, I will cover the special rules, psychic powers, and formations.

HQs –

The Patriarch – A slightly upgraded broodlord. He is a level 1 psyker who can be upgraded to level 2. He can take powers from Biomancy, Telepathy, and Broodmind. His Rending claws have shred and he gives units within the Genestealer Cult Faction fearless if they are within 12 inches of his model. He is strength 6, toughness 5, and has three wounds. He does NOT have an invulnerable save, but he auto passes lookout sir rolls, including in challenges (this will become important later).

Magus – Another level 1 psyker (upgradeable to level 2), and he has access to the same powers that the Patriarch. Units within 12 inches of the Magus gain Adamantium will (which I have to remember when playing). Strength 3, Toughness 3, and 2 wounds, he is not a model you want to get into close combat. He also auto passes look out sir rolls (actually, all HQ options do this, another fact I have to remember).

Primus – The strategist of the cult. Models with 12 inches of the Primus gain hatred. He comes armed with a bonesword, rending claws, toxin injectors (gives close combat weapons poison), and a needle pistol (Poison 2+). He is armed to the teeth. He is a strength 4, toughness 3 unit with 3 wounds. While not being too tough, he is a model, with the proper support, you would not mind getting into close combat.

Acolyte Iconward – The new addition (based off the deathwatch box set release). This little guy carries the Sacred Cult Banner, and is a great model to add to an army. Models within 12 inches gain feel no pain (6+) or if they already have feel no pain, they add 1 to their rolls (so a 4+). The banner also bestows Furious Charge to units within 12 inches. The Iconward won’t hit all that hard himself, but he can make other units a little more survivable, and a little more painful on the charge.

Troops –

There are only two troop options in the Cult codex. Acolyte Hybrids and Neophyte Hybrids. The Acolytes are first and second-generation cultists and are a little better at close combat. They have a higher Strength (4) but a toughness of 3. They also can be equipped with some fun close combat weapons like a rock saw or a rock cutter (both will be covered later).

The neophytes are the 3rd and 4th generation hybrids. These are the ones that can pass as human, or nearly so. These are equipped with autoguns or lasguns. You can choose a few heavy weapon options, and even take a heavy weapons team. These are, all things considered, guard.

Elite –

The elite choices are fun, and very good.

Hybrid Metamorphs – As the hive mind get closer, these random metamorphs begin to appear. They can be equipped with a lot of the same things that regular Tyranids could be equipped with. Scything Talons, claws, whips, and even bone swords. They are obviously meant for close combat. I have yet to try these out (I built Acolytes instead of these guys, but they are on the list). I don’t think they are the best elite choice, but I think they could be fun.

Purestrain Genestealers – Ah, the Genestealers. These pretty boys come in at the same price as the Tyranid Genestealers, but are just a tad better. Not counting their special rules (covered later… this is long enough now), they have some interesting upgrades that make them pretty damn good. They now come with stealth and a 5+ invulnerable save. With their three attacks, and not being more survivable, these guys can put up a fight. Add in the Patriarch, and you give him some models to take wounds.

Abberrants – The mutants of the Cult world. These guys, who are only available through the Deathwatch box set as of this writing) are interesting. Strength of 5, and a toughness of 4, they also come with feel no pain and stubborn. At 30 points a model, they are a bit pricy, but if you can get them into close combat, they will hit hard. Add all the benefits of the HQs, and they could hit like a truck and have a 4+ feel no pain. Not too shabby.

Fast Attack –

Most of the fast attach options come from the Guard codex. You can take Chimeras (sometimes as dedicated transports), Armoued Sentinels, Scout Sentinels, and Goliath Trucks. These bad boys are the Cult Unique transport, and look pretty damn cool. They are not that tough (F11, S10, R10, 3HP), but can get your troops to where they need to be. And being open topped, your troops can assault out of them. They can carry 10 models (no genestealers or Patriarch) and come with a heavy stubber and a twin-linked autocannon.

Heavy Support –

There are only two options, a Leman Russ (not even all of the options) or the Goliath Rockgrinder, which is my personal favorite. The Rockgrinder vehicle has a stat line of BS3, F12, S10, R10, 3HP and comes with a heavy stubber and a heavy mining laser. It can also carry six models. It may be upgraded with a clearance incinerator for 5 points or a Heavy Seismic Cannon for 10 points.

The Heavy Mining Laser stat line is 0-12 inches S8, AP3, Heavy 3, Resonance and from 12-24 inches S5 AP4, Heavy 6, Resonance. Resonance means that to wound rolls and armour pen rolls of 6 are AP1.

The Incenerator is basically a heavy flamer with Torrent. Actually… it is a heavy flamer with Torrent.

The Heavy Mining Laser has a range of 36 inches, and is Strength 9 AP2.

Finally, the Drilldozer Blade. This allows the Rockcrusher to automatically pass Dangerous Terrain Tests. It also adds another D6 to the strength of a ram, and on penetrating hits, adds one to the result of the vehicle damage table.

In a tank shock, the enemy unit takes an initiative test before taking a morale check. If it fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 S10 AP2 hits. If the unit fails to Death or Glory the Rockcrusher it takes an additional D3 S10 AP2 hits. Not too shabby. Not great, but not bad.

That’s all for now. I will continue with the formations and special rules in a lter post. Hopefully not too much later.

 

 

Kaptain Klaw’s Review of the Great-Waaaagh Band

Ork_Freebooterz_WarbossOy!  Listen up ya bunch of lazy gitz!  Da Kaptain iz back to tellz ya about da new shinzy, da Great-Waaaagh Band detachment!  Da hummies over at GW wentz and updated da Waaaagh! Ghazghkull supplement.  Da Kaptain got his klaw on da book and iz here ta give ya hiz thoughts on it.

Da big thing dey did waz organize all da Waaagh Ghazghkull formations into one of demz decurion style thingz da space robotz have. Dey call it day Great-Waaagh Band detchment.  It haz all da same special rulz from da previous Ghazzy detachment.  Dat includez dat da warboss haz to challenge and dat you add 2 to da mob rulez rollz.  Even da 3+d3 hitz iz still dere.

Da benefitz for da detachment iz dat if your warlord iz a warboss, den you getz a free waaaagh every turnz.  Da other benefitz iz dat if ya have a mob of boyz with 10 or more modelz, dey get da hammerz of wrath on da charge.  Da free waaaghz iz da best benefit!  Dis letz da boyz really get to da krumping fast.

Now, fur da most partz, da auxillary detachment are all da same from the older version of da Ghazzy book.  Da big stand outz are da Blitz Brigade, Ghazzy’s Bullyboyz, and da Dakka Jet Skwadron.  Der are a few other auxillaries dey added, mostly optionz for takin da fast attack or heavy supportz choices as a detachment.  No cool special rulz.  Dat makes a sad Kaptain.

Da other big compenent iz da core formations dat dey added.  Dey are da Waaagh-Band and da Goff Killmob.  Da special rulz dat are added from dez formations are not dat good.  Da Waagh-Band is completely replaced by da Great-Waagh Band detachment rulz.  Da Goff Killmob getz to re-rollz dere charge rollz.  So da choice for which one iz bestz for yer WAAAAAGH iz based on da contentz.  Da Kaptain likez da Waagh-Band.  Loads of boyz, a few nobz, and a Warboss (Da Kaptain gotz to go somewherez) make for a good start.

Now dere iz a bitz of a problem with da Great-Waagh Band detachment.  If da warboss diez, den da whole free waaaghz thing fallz apart.  So ya gotz ta make sure dat boss iz dead ‘ard.  Ya evenz needz ta uze your orky kunnin.  Wit da all in me headz, Da Kaptain haz made diz list az an example of whatz da detachment can do.

Great Waagh-Band Detachment 1850 pts

  • Command Choice
    • Big Mek, Mega Force Field, ‘Eavy Armor
  • Core Choice
    • Waaagh-Band
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Boyz – 12 in a trukk with a Nob (power klaw and bosspole)
      • Gretchin – 10 with Runtherd
      • Meganobz – 3 with killsaws and Battlewagon
      • Mek
      • Warboss – Cyborg Body, Da Lucky Stikk, Mega Armor
  • Auxillary Choice
    • Dakkajet Skwardon
      • Dakka Jet with 3x supa shoota and flyboss
      • Dakka Jet with 3x supa shoota and flyboss
      • Dakka Jet with 3x supa shoota and flyboss

Dat iz what da Kaptain haz come up with so far.  Da dakka jet getz Tank Hunter against other flyerz.  Da also get da extra shotz from all da free waaghz.  Da boyz in da trukks will be able to get stukk in fast with da waaagh.  Finally, da meganobz, da warboss, da mek, and da big mek getz in da battlewagon and go off to find da biggest and da best fight.

So, what do ya gitz think?  Doez da new detachment get ya orky juices flowing?  Or are ya a puny hummie?  Until next time, diz iz da Kaptain sayin’….WAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Tau Update First Impressions

Tau IconHowdy everyone, Severus here!  Yes I still live, although my time for writing and hobbying is slim as of late.  I actually had some time this weekend, so I have been working on painting up some tau.  Why?  Because the greater good got an update!  My campaign book, Kauyon, got delivered with some new bases this week, so it’s time for a first impression!

First off, lets talk about the oddity of this release.  It is not a new codex.  It is an update.  So I only picked up the campaign book.  In it, it clearly spells out what rules in it you should use to replace existing rules in the 2012 codex.  I am really happy about this.  Instead of having to buy a campaign book and a new codex, GW saved me 50 bucks for once and was upfront about what I needed to buy.  Yeah GW!

So, like all new releases lately, GW gave the Tau its own composite detachment (similar to the necron decurion detachment or the space marines gladius strike force).  It is named the hunter contingent.  It has the basic setup with 0-1 command formations, 1+ core formations, and 1-10 auxiliary formations.  The formations for the most part are all put together well.  I won’t go through all the little rules with those, just hit a few highlights.

First and foremost, the core formations gives two important benefits.  First off, everything in the core formation gets 12″ supporting fire.  That is helpful.  Sometimes it can be hard to spread out to avoid template fire or bubble wrap a unit but still keep that good supporting fire base.  Secondly, units in this formation may run then shoot if they are within 12 inches of the cadre fireblade or the commander in the formation.  This is great to allow tau to be more mobile, a big problem for most of our foot troops.

The other formation that I really love is the optimized stealth cadre.  It is composed of 2 units of stealth suits and a unit of ghostkeels.  It’s benefits come in the form of one rule.  It allows the ghostkeel and all stealth suit units within 6″ to gain +1BS and Ignores Cover.  When they shoot at a vehicle, they hit the rear armor regardless of facing.  I have always loved the idea of steal suits, but never found them that effective.  This formation changes that!  Plus it is a great excuse for me to pick up a ghostkeel.

The main detachment, the Hunter Contingent, has a very contentious rule.  It is called Coordinated Firepower.  It basically allows the tau player to join multiple units together when shooting at a target “as if they were a single unit”.  If you have 3 or more units doing this, they get a +1BS.  The rule goes further to specifically mention that bonuses from markerlights apply to all units making this shooting attack.  I have affectionately named this attack “the spirit bomb”.

Goku-Spirit-BombThis rule has met with a lot of debate over the internet.  You can look up some articles if you want.  Essentially, the issue becomes that you can stack some crazy bonuses on all models in you army and then target lock off and use those bonuses on other targets.  Personally, I think that is pretty cheesy and against RAI.  RAW though, it looks like that might be the correct interpretation.  I think it is fair to get all those crazy bonuses if you can only target one unit.  It is the tau anti-death star attack.  Target lock allowing you to take those bonuses and shoot other target is what breaks it.

The formation rules out of the way, they added in a few new units and changed a few rules around for some of our standard units.  First off, the commander gain the option to take a suit that makes him a flying monstrous creature (minus a few rules).  I love the idea, but the weapons he is forced to take are not the best.  He also loses access to all the signature system (tau relics).  It looks fun, but I doubt you will see it that much.  The buffcommander build is just as viable as ever.

The ethereal gained access to armor finally (a 5+).  He also has access to a little hover platform that allows for him to ignore models and terrain while moving.  Looks cool, but kind of meh.

They added a new troop choice known as breachers.  They have short range guns that have a scaling strength and ap.  The best they get is strength 6 ap 3 within 5 inches and two shots.  This is about as close as tau will ever get to an assault unit.  Not my favorite choice, because I could take firewarriors with pulse carbines and do about as well from 18 inches away.

The big addition though is that they have access to a little missile turret they can put down.  It looks really cool, and can be a smart missile or a missile pod. Smart missiles are my choice.  It matches the normal strength and range of most infantry weapons, so it matches their usually targets.  Regular firewarriors (now named strike teams) also have access to this turret.

Crisis suit and bodyguard had two important changes.  First off the maximum squad size went up to 9!.  That is crazy!  A good reason to invest in some of those new suits.  They also gave both units access to the previous experimental weaponry (Airbursting Fragmentation Projector and Cyclic Ion Projector).  Nothing earthshaking, but it is a cool bit of story telling.  Like the Tau empire finally finished testing these new weapons and decided to deploy them to the whole army.

Now onto the big new release.  First off, the ghostkeel.  It is a stealth suit on steroids.  I really like the model.  Weaponry wise I am a bit torn.  It gets a giant fusion gun or a giant cyclic ion projector.  I think if you are running them as a unit (up to 3), then I would go with fusion.  If you want to be flexible and run them in the stealth cadre, I will chose the ion gun.  It has some drones that give it shrouded in addition to the stealth rule it already has.  It doubles that bonus when the shooting unit is more than 12 inches away.  So in short, with good tactics, this guy should always have a 2+cover save in the open.  Finally, it has an option once per game to just disappear.  After it has been targeted, it can force the shooters to only fire snap shots.  That is huge.

And finally, the big daddy itself.  The stormsurge, the first tau gargantuan creature.  It looks awesome!  The rules are an interesting bit.  It is really not that tough, only toughness 6 with 8 wounds and 3+ save and no invuln save natively.  So, krak missile spam, plasma spam, grav spam, ect will bring him to his knees.  On the other hand, this guys is packed to the gill with awesome guns!  It cluster rocket system, smart missiles, and support system (flamer, burst cannon, airburst) are great for clearing out light infantry.  Its 4 Destroyer missiles are one use, Strength 8 ap 1.  If you buff them with a markerlight, they become strength D.  That is epic!

Finally, the big main gun.  They have two options.  My favorite is the pulse driver cannon.  Range 72, strength 10, ap 2, ordnance 1.  Nice and simple, yet effective.  The other option is the pulse blastcannon.  It again has that scaling damage.  Range 10 or under it is strength D ap 1 heavy 2.  10-20 is strength 10 ap 3, and range 20-30 is stength 9 ap 5.  It is basically meant for killing other gargantuan creatures, super heavies, or high armor tanks.  The issue I have with it is you already have access to D weapons via the destroyer missiles.  How much D do you need?

There are plenty of rules and formations I didn’t get into.  I am sure I will get back to covering them at some point.  But for now I am really pleased with this update.  It definitely opened up a lot of options for my Tau.  I always wanted a mobile tau force, and now I think it is viable.  The spirit bomb gives me some options against death stars in competitive play.  Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy.

Not the Blog I wanted

Ok, my intention while I was on my vacation was to read and wrote a blog about the “new” Dark Eldar codex during my travel days. In this, I epically failed. I only got as far as reading half of it during my flights to San Diego. Sadly though, meeting new people, meeting new sharks, and a small bout of seasickness distracted me.

Having finally finished the codex, I wanted to add a quick review about the new Voidraven Bomber. I preface this with the fact that I am not a Dark Eldar player (yet), but I have faced them frequently.I also want to add that I really did enjoy the codex. I liked the fluff. It almost makes me want to break out my friends models and give them ago. Heck, it almost makes me want to but my own DE army. I did notice that the Harlequins are no longer an option for the Dark Eldar and they do not have a Lord of War choice in the codex, unlike the Orks. So while I do believe the codex is good, I also know it has its faults.

Now, finally onto the Voidraven Bomber. When I first saw the model, I was impressed. Games Workshop really does know how to design their models. But at a cost of $80, I thought they really needed to make it worth the money. After I read the first battle report in White Dwarf, I had high hopes, but now that I have read the codex and put some actual thought into it, I am not sure that the model is worth the purchase.

The bomber comes in at a cost of 160 points. With this you get a BS4 flyer with armour of 10 and 3 hull points. It is armed with 2 void lances and the void mine. The Void Lance is S9 and AP2 with… well, lance and a 36-inch range. The Void Mine is also a S9 AP2 weapon with lance, but it is also a large blast. This bomb will wreck a unit of terminators, providing it doesn’t scatter too far. Again, I am impressed, but there are some serious issues. While the mine is very powerful, it is also one use only. And with this being a flyer, once it jinks, the player will not be able to use the mine that turn.

The Bomber can also take 4 Shatterfield missiles, 4 implosion missiles, or 2 of each option. The Shatterfields are S7, AP-, Large blast missiles with shred and a range of 48 inches. The Implosion Missiles are S6, AP2 blast missiles also with a 48 inch range. Of course, all are one use only, and again, if the opponent can get this vehicle to jink it cannot use the missiles. The Void Lances can be exchanged for Dark Scythes, which are S8 AP2 blast weapons and a 24-inch range at zero additional cost. The Voidraven can also be upgraded with Night Shields to give it Stealth for an additional 15 points. So it’s jink save could be really impressive.

So, if you take this bomber, you do get a somewhat cheap and powerful bomber, but with armour values of 10, you may never get to use it to its full advantage. For example, if Tau pathfinders markerlight it, and takes away its cover saves, this vehicles is coming down in a fiery ball of destruction. It won’t take much to cause a penetrating hit. Now, the light armour does fit with the Dark Eldar fluff, but at 160 points and $80 dollars for a model that doesn’t even have any options, I think I will pass.

For now at least.

Codex Review: Tyranids Heavy Support

Here we go, the Heavy Support sections of the Tyranid Codex. There are monstrous creatures throughout the Tyranid codex, but the Heavy Support is laden with them. In fact, with the Tervigon as an option for a troop choice, every category has a Monstrous Creature option, but the heavy support is meant for them.

The classic option in a heavy support option is the Carnifex. These are the Nid tank killers. I took two of these against two Land Raiders, and while I did suffer a few wounds, the LRs didn’t have a chance. WS3, BS3, S9, T6, W4, I2, A3, Ld7, and a 3+ armour save. You can take three of these in a brood, and they are no longer limited to every Carnifex in the brood taking the same upgrades. If you take the adrenal glands, you get fleet, and +1S on the charge. The Carnifexes get D3 hammer of wrath attack, so you have the potential 3 S9 attacks, and 5 S10 attacks on the charge. Land Raiders may be able to stand up to that, but it is a lot of attacks for a Land Raider to survive. They can also be upgraded with crushing claws, monstrous biocannons, biomorphs, spine banks, bio-plasma, bone mace, and a/or Thresher scythe. And at 120 points base, they are a pretty good value. The Space Marine base Dreadnaught is 100 points, and I think the Carnifexes are easily better, and they only cost 20 points more.

The Biovore Brood comes in at 40 points per model and launches Spore Mine Clusters. There is nothing special here. It’s not even a Monstrous Creature. Sure it can shoot a S4 AP4 large blast that may create a spore mine cluster, but it’s not really all that special.

Next up is the Trygon and the Trygon Prime, two of the big MC’s in this codex. The stat lines for each are WS5, BS3, S6, T6, W6, I4, A5, SV of 3+, and while the Trygon has a leadership of 8, the Prime has a leadership of 10 and is a synapse range. Both have fleet, fearless, deep strike, and subterranean assault. Subterranean assault allows Trygons and Trygon Primes to not scatter on top of another model or impassible terrain. Also, after the Trygon arrived, you mark that area with a marker. In any subsequent turn, any friendly infantry unit can use the Trygon’s tunnel, but one must remember that only one unit can arrive through the tunnel per turn. If a model of the arriving unit cannot be placed within 6 inches of the tunnel, those models are removed as casualties. These MCs are hard to kill, ok in close combat, but a little expensive.

Now the Mawloc, the Trygon’s weird cousin, this is a unit that I have used a couple of times, and I even had a little success with them. Its stat line is WS3, BS0, S6, T6, W6, I4, A3, Ld8 and a save of 3+. The Mawloc’s specials rules are Burrow, Deep Strike, Fearless, Hit and Run, and Terror from the Deep. Burrow and Terror from the deep are what really make the Mawloc. Burrow allows an unengaged Mawloc to move into ongoing reserves. It can’t deep strike and burrow in the same turn. Terror from the Deep allows a Mowloc to attack enemy units from deep strike. When a Mawloc arrives, you mark its placement with the large blast template, and roll on the scatter die. All units except flyers and flying MCs suffer from S6 AP2 hits with the ignores cover special rule. If after removing casualties the model can be placed, the player can do so. If it cannot be placed due to models being in the way, there is another round of hits. If after the second round the Mawloc still cannot be placed, the player rolls on the Deep Strike Mishap Table. The two times this happened to me, my Mawlocs were removed from the game.

The Exocrine is the new Heavy Support option. It comes equipped with a Bio-plasmic cannon and Scything talons. The cannon has two settings, Assault 1, large blast or Assault 6. Both options are S7 AP2 with a range of 24 inches, and this cannon is one of the few Tyranid weapons that are AP2. The Exrocrine also has a unique ability. Its standard BS is 3, but if it does not move in the movement phase, its BS gains +1, but then it cannot charge in the assault phase when it uses this special rule.

The final Heavy Support choice is the Tyrannofex. This MC has the same stat line as the Tervigon (HQ Choice) except that it’s leadership is 8 and its strength is 6. The Tyrannofex has two attacks, Acid Spray, which is a S6 AP4 Torrent template weapon, and a Stinger Salvo, which is S5 AP4 Assault 4. I honestly do not know how I would even use this. It’s not all that great in close combat (other than having AP2 attacks) but you need to get it close to the enemy to really use it. I honestly feel that I the Exocrine is a much better and more useful unit.

I should have dropped the Warlord Traits in the HQ review, but since I didn’t, here seems to just as good. The first one is Nature’s Bane. This allows the player to select a jungle within 12 inches of the warlord and made it a Carnivorous Jungle. Heightened Senses give the Warlord and Tyranids within 12 inches Night Vision. Synaptic Lynchpin, the Swarmlord’s trait, makes the Warlord Synapse range 18 inches. Two victory points are awarded for each Independent Character slain by the warlord in a challenge when the warlord trait is Mind Eater. With Digestive Denial one piece of terrain in the opponents deployment zone has it’s cover save reduced by one (terrain that the opponent purchased cannot be chosen). The last Warlord trait is Adaptive Biology. If the warlord suffers a wound it gains feel no pain (5+) at the beginning of its next movement phase.

The last item I am going to review is the psychic powers available to the Tyranids. Thanks to the rules of the 7th edition, and the fact that Tyranids can only choose from the powers of the Hive Mind, every Tyranid psyker gains the Primaris Power, Dominion. Dominion adds +6 inches to the synapse range of the psyker, including those who do not have a synapse range (thanks FAQ). Catalyst, the power I want the most, gives the psykers unit and one other unit within 12 inches Feel No Pain. The Horror is a malediction that forces one enemy unit to take a pinning test at -2 to their leadership. Onslaught allows a single friendly unit within 24 inches of the psyker to run and shoot in the shooting phase. Paroxysm reduces on enemy unit’s BS and WS by D3. Psychic Scream is a Nova Attack with a range of 6 inches. The player rolls 2D6 and adds 2 for each unit affected and subtracts their leadership. The enemy unit takes the number of wounds equal to the result with no Armour or Cover saves. The final psychic power is Warp Blast. This is a Witchfire attack with two profiles. One is a S5 AP3 blast template with a range of 24 inches. The second is S10 AP 2 lance attack with a range of 18 inches.

And that is it. I’m done with this codex review. I know, I didn’t go into the individual weapons or special biomorphs. But I figure the less I review, the less likely I am to make a mistake.

Codex Review: Tyranids Fast Attack (and some odd behaviors)

It’s that time again; time for another review of the Tyranid codex, and today is the fast attack section.

I am going going to breeze through two of the units, the Tyranid Shrike Brood and the Sky-Slasher Swarm Brood. The Shrikes are basically Warriors with wings, and even cost the same amount of points. You lose objective secured, but gain Jump Infantry. The Slashers are Ripper Swarms with wings, but now they cost 18 points per base. Again, you gain the Jump Infantry unit type. Other than those changes, they are basically the same as the troop options.

Since I covered the units that are like their troop cousins, the next unit I will cover are the Gargoyles. Gargoyles are basically Termagants with wings. The come with the fleshborer, but the only upgrades you can take are Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs. They do come with Blinding Venom. Blinding Venom is a poisoned close combat attack that hits on 6+ and causes blind. Plus, since they are jump infantry they do get hammer of wrath. A weak one, but they could get one. This is a good unit to get somewhere quick and tie up a unit for a good portion of the game.

A unit I just recently ordered, and have yet to receive (at least as of the moment of this writing) is the Ravener Brood. Raveners have a WS5, BS3, S4, T4, W3, I5, Ld6, and a save of 5+ stat line. They cost 30 points per model, making them the Beast version of Warriors (with no synapse range). They come with two close combat weapons (+1 attack) and come with deep strike. They can also be equipped with Rending Claws for 5 points, Spinefists, Devourers, and Deathspitters. This allows you to have some shooting attacks without reducing their close combat attacks.

One Ravener Brood can also include The Red Terror. The Red Terror is just an upgraded Ravener. It comes with everything a Ravener does, plus a Prehensile Pincer and Swallow Whole. The Pincer gives you a S6 AP5 close combat attack. If the Terror hits with at least 4 of its attacks, it can nominate one enemy Infantry, Jump Infantry, or Jet Pack Infantry and attempt to swallow it whole. The nominated model must pass a single invulnerable save if it has one or is removed from play. Bulky models (or larger) cannot me nominated. The Red Terrors stat line is also improved upon the Ravener’s stat line.

One flying MC that has made a return from the old codex, but now has a model is the Harpy. I never used this unit in the old codex, and to be truthful, I don’t really like it all that much in this codex. It comes with a twin-linked stranglethorn cannon, scything talons, and spore mine cysts. It can be upgraded to have a twin-linked heavy venom cannon for 5 points, but since both are blast templates, and the armour of this big guy is 4+, you will not get as much use from the cannons as you would like since you will find yourself jinking a lot. You can also upgrade the Harpy with a Stinger Salvo, Cluster Spines, and other items from the biomorphs list. The Harpy does have one special rule that I find interesting, it has a rule called Sonic Screech. Sonic Screech causes all enemy models to suffer -5 to their initiative (to a minimum of 1) in the assault phase that the harpy charges into combat. But one has to ask, when would you really want this model to charge into combat?

Of course, the Harpy is also armed with spore mine cysts, which create Spore Mine Clusters, another fast unit. When the Harpy creates spore mines, it does so during the movement phase, and must be swooping. The players places the large blast marker over a unit the Harpy swooped over and scatters it D6. Units take a hit for each model that is even partially under the marker. If the blast marker does not hit any units, D3 Spore Mines are placed anywhere under the marker and act as a Spore Mine cluster for the rest of the game. Spore Mines can only move 3 inches, and run or charge half the distance rolled. At initiative 10, they explode. Then every other unit (friend or foe) under the large blast template suffers S4 AP4 hits. And the Strength increases by 1 for each spore mine in the unit. The spore mines are also non-scoring and non-denial units that do not give up any victory points and do not count when resolving assault results.

And now I finally come to the Fast Attack unit I almost always use, the Hive Crone. This unit is the other option in the Harpy box and is the Tyranids best Anti-Air unit. Its stat line is WS3, BS3, S5, T5, W5, I5, A3, Ld10, and a 4+ save (just like the Harpy) but the crone comes with a Drool Cannon, Four Tentaclids, and a set of Scything Talons. The Drool cannon is a S6 T4 Template weapon, and while not great against those tasty space marines, it is devastating against the Orks. The Tentaclids have a range 36 inches, S5, AP5 with Haywire and seeking rules. Seeking allows the played to reroll To Hit rolls against Zooming Flyers and Swooping Flying MCs. The Hive Crone’s vector strike is resolved at S8, making this unit really good going up against air vehicles.

Since this is such a review, I am going to add the Instinctive Behaviors (which I know I never listed on my reviews) to this review. Of course we all know that if a model without synapse moves out of synapse range, they have to take a leadership test or they fall into their Instinctive behavior (except for Genestealers who do not have an IB). The new codex adds a lot of variety to the possibilities.  First, there is Lurk. On a 1-3, the unit is treated as having failed a morale check and must fall back. On a 4 or 5, the seek cover in the movement phase. The unit can run in the shooting phase, but can only shoot if it is in terrain, and the unit cannot assault. On a roll of a 6 the unit seeks cover, but also gains stealth.

If the unit has the IB of Hunt and fails the leadership test, on a D6 of 1-3, the unit Burrows and Hides. This means the unit immediately goes to ground unless one model in the unit has fearless, then the result is treated as Prowl. With Prowl (a roll of a 4 or 5), the unit must shoot in the shooting phase at the nearest enemy unit within range and line of sight. If there is no viable target, the unit can do nothing, and it cannot charge in the assault phase. On a roll of 6, the unit also gains preferred enemy.

If the Tyranid unit has an IB of Feed, the roll of 1 to 3 causes Cannibalistic Hunger. The unit immediately suffers the number of hits equal to the number of models in that unit resolving at the units majority strength and AP-. The owning player allocates wounds and armour saves may be taken, but not cover saves. Units of a single model treat the result as Devour, which is the result on a 4 or 5 roll. With devour, in the shooting phase the unit cannot run or shoot, and in the assault the unit must declare a charge against the nearest viable unit. If there is no such unit to charge, the Tyranid unit does nothing in the assault phase. If the controlling player rolls of a 6, the unit gains the result of Devour, but also gains Rage.

As a Tyranid player, I have to say I like the new Instinctive Behaviors, it adds a lot of randomness to the game. It also has the potential to help the tyranid player as well as hurt them.

Well, that’s it for this review. Next up are the heavy units.

Codex Review: Tyranids Elites

I need to start this review by expressing my hatred, my loathing, and my disappointment in the Haruspex. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s get on with the review. The Nids have some interesting units in the elite section, some which can be used to bring some unique tweaks to the army.  Today I am going to go through this list by going in an order of how often I used them, starting with the least often.

The cheapest unit, and the one I have never used, is the Pyrovore brood. They cost 40 points; have a WS3, BS3, S4, T4, W3, I2, A2, Ld6, and a save of 4+. They are armed with a S5 AP4 template weapon, and they also have Acid Maw, which allows them to make one S5 AP2 close combat attack. But when they die they go nuclear (I actually made a humor post about this earlier).  When they die every unit within D6 inches suffers a wound equal to the amount of models within D6 of the slain Pyrovore. I really cannot come up with a reason to even buy these models, let alone field them.

The Lictor brood is an interesting unit; it’s the basic version of the Deathleaper. You can only field three of these in a brood, like all of the elites, and while I actually have two of these, I have not given them a real chance. At 50 points, they do bring some interesting capabilities, just ones that I would not use. They are equipped with Rending Claws, Scything Talons, and Flesh Hooks. The also have a large number of Special Rules. Stealth, Move Through Cover, Infiltrate, Hit & Run, Fleet, Fear, and Deep Strike are the regular special rules. These units do not scatter when they arrive from deep strike, and if the Lictor is already on the battlefield, another unit will not scatter if it arrived within 6 inches of the Lictor Brood. I can see where this will be helpful, but not really in how I play my Tyranids.

And now we get to the Haruspex, oh how I hate the Haruspex. Don’t get me wrong, the new model looks amazing, in fact, that’s why I bought it and built it first. But in reality, it’s not that great of a unit. It is a S6 T6 5 wound MC that comes in at a cost of 160 points. Standard armament is a grasping tongue, crushing claws, and acid blood. In one of the games that I used the Haruspex, it killed one ork. One. That’s it. 160 points and it could only kill an ork. The Haruspex has an initiative of 3, meaning it usually goes second. It’s weapon skill is 3, so it will most likely hit on 4’s, so of the 4 attacks (if it got the charge off), odds are 2 will hit. These two will most likely cause 2 wounds. And every initial unsaved wound allows the Haruspex to cause an additional wound, but no more than the initial wound. The Hammer of Wrath, Acid Blood, or tail biomorph wounds also do not cause additional wounds. If the Haruspex causes a wound in close combat, it can regain a wound lost earlier, but only at the end of the phase.

The Haruspex’s only shooting attack is it’s grasping tongue. This is a S6 AP2 attack with a 12-inch range with precision shot. So, if it hits, it will probably kill, providing it is not a multi wound model. In fact, the only saving grace with the Haruspex is its Acid Blood. For each unsaved wound it suffers, the enemy unit that inflicted the wound must take an Initiative test at the end of the phase. For each one that is failed, the enemy unit takes a S5 AP2 hit with ignores cover. This helps the Haruspex, but I will play this unit when I just want to see it on the table. I really hate the Haruspex.

And now I start to move on to the units that I actually use. The Hive Guard Brood is a decent (although not great) shooty Nid. They hit on threes, and both of their weapons deserve some recognition. Its basic weapon is the Impaler cannon. It is a S8 AP4 weapon with a range of 24 inches that ignores cover and does not need line of sight. You want to keep these guys hidden, possibly in a building with very few windows. Just don’t forget that he is on the table, I have actually done that in the past. For 5 more points, a model can be equipped with a Shockcannon. This weapon only has a range of 18 inches, but it is a S5 AP5 blast weapon with Haywire. This makes the unit really good against vehicles. If all three shots actually hit, odds are you will glance a Rhino out of the game.

Next up are the flying brains, the Zoanthropes. I haven’t used these in a while, but I do still like them. These brains bring with them the only invulnerable save that the Nids can get (excluding the Swarmlord in Close Combat). Their armour saves are only 5+, but thanks to their warp field, they have a 3+ invulnerable save. Their special rules include Brotherhood of Psykers, Shadow in the Warp, Synapse Creature, and Very bulky. They are level 2 psykers who come with Warp Blast, can generate one more power from Powers of the Hive Mind, and of course they can get Dominion for free. The Zoanthropes are not the toughest psykers, or the strongest, but they are very survivable, and for a cost of 50 points per model, they are not that expensive either. A unit of three could be useful in a lot of ways, supporting the synapse range, warp blast can take out marines or even vehicles, just don’t get them into close combat.

In almost every list I create, I add at least one Venomthrope. These are very cheap, but with their special abilities, they add a lot of support help. They come in at 45 points and come equipped with Lash Whips and Toxic Miasma. They have 2+ poisoned attacks, shrouded, and the most important special rule, Spore Cloud. Spore Cloud conveys Shrouded on all friendly models within 6 inches. So, imagine a swooping Flying Hive Tyrant within 6 inches of a Venomthrope who jinks, it would have a 2+ cover save! As good as it sounds like it would be in close combat, it is so much better to keep it away from close combat. I use them in two ways, if I get to go first, or expect to go first, I will place the Venomthrope in the middle of my Flying MCs and Swamlord, this way they all have at least a 5+ cover save incase my opponent steals the initiative. It adds some protection. The other way I use them is to move him into position next to my Tervigon (who is usually already in some sort of cover) so that the Tervigon will have a better cover save on top of its armour save. Yes, at T4 with no invulnerable save he may give up first blood pretty quickly, but at 45 points, he adds a lot of cover and protection.

One of the units I miss from the old codex is the Doom of Malan’Tai. This was a fantastic model to drop into the midst of your opponents. The Doom does still get mentioned in the Codex, even if it is only a small paragraph. I hope it comes back at a later date, but I do not expect it.

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading, and I welcome any comments.

 

 

 

Codex Review: Tyranids Troops

Shorereaper here, bringing you part two of my Tyranid Codex Review. And today I move on to the troop choices.

I am going to start with the Warrior Brood. Warriors are the only troop choice that has a Synapse Range and Shadow in the Warp. Well, that’s not exactly true, but I will come to that later. The unit is 90 points for three, and up to six more at 30 points a model. The basic upgrades for warriors are Toxin Sacs, Flesh Hooks, and adrenal glands. The can also be upgraded with Basic Bio-Weapons and Melee Bio-weapons. This unit is not a bad option if you feel like you need more synapse to sure up you battle lines. I will cover the actual upgrade in more depth at a later date. The down side to the three wound Warriors, is that they have a lower save, and a certain weapons can easily kill them in one shot. I haven’t used them in 7th, but I do have a plan to use them soon.

The second unit listed in the Codex is the Genestealer brood. This brood is expensive coming in at a cost of 14 points per model, but they can be used effectively. They have rending claws, fleet, infiltrate, move through over, and outflank. Honestly, I would never use the outflank rule. It’s bad enough that they have to take a turn getting shot at, but to risk them not coming in, or coming in in a position where they cannot help, I would rather infiltrate them if I am going first. And if not, just deploy them.

You can field them in units of 20. They start with 2 attacks base, but for 4 more points, you can equip them with talons, giving them another attack. Again, like most of the Tyranid army, Adrenal glands and toxin sacs can be added, though I do not know if those upgrades would be worth it in this case. They have a high initiative (6) meaning that they will kill a lot before they die, and with a WS of 6, most units will be hitting on 4s or 5s.

The final upgrade for the Genestealers would be the Broodlord. For 60 points, you get a S5, T5, W3, I7, A4 super Genestealer with a WS of 7. He also is a level 1 psyker with Horror (forces opponents to take pinning test on -2 Ld). He also knows Dominion, at least according to some debates, but it is one I agree with. I usually field Genestealers in small groups and infiltrate them forward, and I never take the broodlord. This is not a unit that can be ignored by my opponent, and while the enemy is concentrating on these guys, I can get the rest of my army in place to wreck havoc.

The next unit to come up in the codex is the Termagant brood. This is the staple of the Tyranid army, and at a cost of 4 points a model, they are very cheap. However, with how weak they are, their standard weapon (the Fleshborer), and their BS, it is a good thing that they can come in large units of 30. The have a very low save of 6+ so you want to keep them in cover. However, if you can get a unit of 30 on top of an objective, and keep them in synapse range, It will take a lot to move them off of that objective (and objective secured comes into play here).

The other great thing about 30 Termagants is that you can now have a Tervigon as a troop choice. Having a T6 monster with 6 wounds and objective secured parked on top of an objective almost guarantees you that one objective. Plus, while it is holding the objective, it is spawning more units with objective secured. There is down side, which I did not cover in the HQ review, and that is that if the Tervigon does actually die, he can take a lot of termagants with him. When slain, each friendly unit of Termagants within 12 inches of the Tervigon takes 3D6 S3 AP- wounds with no cover saves allowed. Still, this is a troop unit that I very much recommend. And while it has gotten more expensive to field a Tervigon as a troop unit, it is still very much worth it. The old codex did not have a minimum Termagant troop requirement, as long as you had a unit. Now you have to have a full unit of 30.

Of course, if I talk about Termagants, I have to talk about Hormaguants. These are the close combat versions of the Termagants. They cost an extra point, and I am not really sure if they are worth it, but for some reason I like them. I just don’t use them as much as I want to. Again, you can field them in a unit of 30, but they are very weak and have almost no armour save. WS of 3, BS of 3 (what can they shoot?), S3, T3, W1, I5, A2, and a leadership of 6. If you can get this unit into close combat, and keep them in synapse range, they can tie up a unit for a whole game, and may even kill a few in the process. On the charge, that would be 90 attacks (if everyone can get into combat).

The Hormagaunts also have a special rule called Bounding Leap. Hormaguants are allowed to run an extra 3 inches. So, their base run will be most other unit’s average run on 1D6. They also have fleet, almost guaranteeing that they will run much more than 4 inches. Other upgrade possibilities include adrenal glands, but since they already have fleet, they only gain Furious Charge. They can also take toxin sacs, giving them poisoned attacks. But at 2 points per model on the Adrenal Glands and 3 points per model on the Toxin Sacs, I am having a really hard time justifying the cost. Not only can I not justify the cost of the upgrades, but also of the unit itself. Sure, it has objective secured, but you need to use them in close combat, or they are completely useless. What is the point of picking this unit just to have them sit on an objective? You have to rush them towards the enemy.

The final troop option in the Tyranid codex is the Ripper Swarm. This is a unit that I have taken in the past, but I have yet to take it in 7th edition. Every time I have taken the Rippers, I just had fun. They are weak, easy to kill, they can’t hit anything, but there sure are a lot of them. As per usual, the maximum number of models that can be taken is nine, but with that nine you get 36 attacks, possibly 45 if you can get the charge off. Their save is as good as the Termagants (in other words, nothing), but with the swarm rules, one failed save may kill the whole model. On top of the Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs, you can buy the Deep Strike rule and Spinefists. And seeing 9 of these marching across the field and then tying up units that are so much more expensive always brings a laugh. For the first round at least, after that your opponent may start to get frustrated that little bugs are holding up a key part of his army.

In conclusion, the Tyranids bring with them a decent choice of troops. Sure, their armour saves are not the greatest, but there can be a lot of them. And as long as they are within synapse range, the opponent may need to kill 30 of them just to get them off of an objective.

Codex Review: Tyranids HQ Units

Hello all, Shorereaper here. After a few months of playing the new Tyranid codex, I wanted to do a more in-depth review. I have managed to play quite a few games, and even managed to win a few. And frankly, Severus’s fantastic reviews of the Ork Codex were making my Tyranids a little jealous.

First, I feel that it should be said that the Parasite of Mortrex was removed completely from the codex. In fact, that was one of many models removed from the codex, even though it does still get a small mention. This was not an HQ I used in the older codex, so I don’t really morn it’s loss. The HQ section did gain Old One Eye and the Deathleaper, which makes the HQ section a little heavy. Odds are though, I wouldn’t take those two new options often, but I do want to give Old One Eye a fair shot.

I am going to start my coverage of the HQ units with the Tyranid Prime, which we have a nice new small model to represent it. For small games, this guy would be the way to go if you want a cheap unit on the table. The Prime has slightly better stats than the Tyranid Warrior, but I am not sure that it is worth the extra points. At 125 points, the prime is more expensive then 4 warriors (with no upgrades). However, if the Prime joins a unit of warriors, they can use his ballistic skill and weapons skill. That is not something to be ignored if you are fielding some of those warriors. A group of nine warriors with a BS of 4 and a weapon skill of 6 can do a lot of damage.

The Tervigon, big berther, the spawner. This monster beast has gone up in points, but brings with it six wounds, toughness six, and the ability to spawn up to 18 termagants in one turn (and then stop). It is still true that if you roll any doubles on 3D6, you can no longer spawn, but it usually doesn’t max out in the first turn. And spawning objective secured units can be helpful during the game. The fact that it is a level 1 psyker is not much of help, except that with the primus power, you can make the synapse rage 18 inches. The beast is best used sitting in the back spawning away. However, it is even better used as a troop option, parked on an objective, spawning even more objective holders.

Old One Eye, the former Heavy unit which is now located in the HQ section. You pay 220 points for a Carnifex on steroids. He comes with crushing claws, regeneration, and a tail to beat your opponents with. Any friendly model within twelve inches can use his for any morale and leadership tests. However, he only has leadership 8, so it will not be that much of an improvement. Successful to hit rolls in close combat (the only place you can make to hit rolls with One Eye) make one additional attack and do not generate further attacks. His warlord trait also confers feel no pain after he takes one or more wounds, although it only takes effect at the beginning of his next movement phase, so you cannot feel no pain the wounds suffered in the first round. So, Old One Eye has a 3+ Armor Save, 4+ regeneration (regains 1 wound at the end of each friendly turn on a 4+), and 5+ feel no pain. Even if an army targets him alone, he is going to be very hard to take out.

Another unit moved into the HQ section is the Deathleaper. Another cheap HQ unit that does not bring with it a synapse range. It is armed with Rending Claws, Scything Talons, and Flesh Hooks. Nothing really that spectacular. Some things of note are that it does not scatter when entering from deep strike, it has stealth, fear, fleet, move through cover, pheromone trail (units who deep strike within 6 inches of the model do not scatter, model must be on the board at the start of the turn). Another ability of the Deathleaper is that the player nominates an enemy character and rolls a D3. The character’s leadership is reduced by the result while the Deathleaper is alive. Also, enemy units targeting the Deathleaper can only fire snap shots at it.

Now we come to the unit that most Tyranid players take, the Hive Tyrant. I do not think I need to say that equipping the Tyrant with wings and Devourers (with brainleach worms) is the way to go. Ballistic skill of 4 means you will hit with your 12 shots slightly more than average. But wait! They are twin linked! So you are going to hit with most of your S6 shots. Plus, unless your opponent has anti-air, he is going to be hard to bring down.

Other upgrades include Hive Commander (Gives a troop selection outflank, I never take this), Indescribable Horror (Units taking a fear test must do so on 3D6, again I never take this), and Old Aversary (re-rolls all failed to hit and to wound rolls in close combat, again, I try to keep my tyrant out of close combat). I prefer to use my tryant as a flying shooty psyker (level 2). Plus, with his synapse range, you can give support to any unit that may need it. He functions very well as a rapid support HQ unit.

And now we move on to the staple of my army lists, The Swarmlord. He has gone up by a whopping five points. But with him you get a level 3 psyker who is amazing in close combat. He has a 3+ armor save and a 4+ invulnerable save (in close combat). His bone sabers cause instant death. Weapon skill of 9, Ballistic skill of 4 (like he ever shoots except with psychic powers), Initiative of 6, and 5 wounds make him a major concern. His warlord trait makes his synapse range 18 inches, covering a good portion of the board.

His Alien Cunning rule still gives you +1 to your reserve rolls (if he is so smart, why is it you must add?). He also gives you the ability to bestow Furious Charge, Monster Hunter, or Preferred Enemy onto his unit or a friendly unit with in 18 inches. However, they only gain that ability till the end of the turn (I have been playing that wrong, prepare for comments).  He also has a decent chance of getting Catalyst (Feel No Pain) and with Dominion; a player can increase the synapse rage up to 24 inches.

Of course, when we talk about the Hive Tyrant or the Swarm Lord, we have to discuss the Tyrant Guard Brood. The only job of these guys is to give your HT or Swarmlord more wounds. At 50 points a model, you gain two more T6, 3+ Armour saves to the unit they join, and since they automatically pass Look Out Sir rolls, they will be taking the wounds (most of the time). They can be upgraded with crushing claws or a lashwhip and bonesword at a cost of 20 points. You can also give them toxin sacs (gains poison) and Adrenal glands (Fleet and furious charge) but I never upgrade these guys. I spend 150 points to give my Swarmlord 6 more wounds, making him that much harder to kill. I also keep the brood an equal distance away from the swarmlord so that I can choose who takes the wound. And hopefully I can give them Feel No Pain with catalyst… if I can get it, and if it goes off.

As a closing remark, with the release of the Ork codex, I would not be surprised if somewhere down the line they moved the Swarmlord from an HQ slot to a Lord of War. That just seems to be the direction the GW wants to head towards. Would this be a good thing? I’m not sure. I do like the idea of a Swarmlord and two flying Hive Tyrants in one list, but that would be a lot of points tied up in three units. Since GW released Grazzy as a lord of war, I can see Chapter Masters moving into the slot, maybe some daemon princes, and Swarmy. It seems to be the way that GW wants us to go.