Unit Review: Maleceptor

A waste of 205 points. That is the best way I can sum up my experience with the Maleceptor in my recent game against Augustus’s Minotaurs. I knew that I probably would not use this unit all that often, but I wanted to get a few games in just to get a true feeling for the usefulness of this unit. But after the one game, I truly believe that this pretty model will spend most of the time sitting on my shelf.

The stat line of the Maleceptor is WS3, BS3, S6, T6, W5, I3, A3, Ld10, and it has an armour save of 4+. That is actually in line most of the new MC units of the Tyranids. The Hive Crone, The Toxicrene, and the Harpy all have 4+ instead of the 3+ that the Carnifex, Swarmlord, and some of the others have.

Don’t get me wrong, I will admit that there are some good points to this unit. It does give the Tyranids another invulnerable save. It may only be a 5+, but this only the third invulnerable save that the Tyranid army really has. And it is a T6 MC, so even wounding the unit is going to be tough. The Maleceptor is also a synapse creature, meaning it is fearless and also allows better control over the instinctive behavior units.

However, the psychic power it comes with is just not worth the points. It doesn’t even sound good on paper. I do believe that it fills a small gap in the army as it does give the Nid player a sniper, but I am not sure that sniping is truly necessary.

The power is a warp charge 2 focussed witchfire with a range of 24 inches. The target model takes a leadership on 3D6 (vehicles count as having a leadership of 10) and if they fail the test, the target takes D3 wounds with no armour or cover saves allowed. A vehicle takes a single glancing hit with no cover saves allowed. The Maleceptor can attempt to manifest the power up to three times in each psychic phase. However, each attempt is resolved separately and an enemy unit can only be targeted once per phase.

So, since it is a warp charge 2 power the Tyranid player would have to throw four dice at it to reliably get the power off each time. So to actually get it off three times it would cost 12 dice, based on averages. The opponent now has the chance to deny the witch, admittedly this is a slim chance, but the Maleceptor also runs a decent chance of periling. Now, say the power go off, the Malecaptor actually has to hit its target, which there is only a 50% chance with a BS of 3. After that, the opponent takes his leadership test, which is possible to pass, although harder than a normal leadership test. After all of that, if all goes well, the target takes d3 wounds, meaning that if it is a multi-wound model, there is at least a 1/3 chance that it will still survive.

All of this is a lot of work just to get this power off. In the game I recently played, I did get the power off once and managed to kill one tactical marine with it. I also rolled Warp Blast as its second psychic power, which did much more damage than the Psychic Overload. Heck, I even charged the Maleceptor into close combat and managed to kill a tactical unit, equaling the kills from the overload.

It’s a shame that such a good-looking model will spend most of its time sitting on a shelf.

Oh and Six

As I said in my post on the 26th, I wrote a few new Tyranid lists based solely around close combat. For example, when I take 9 warriors, I take additional talons for the extra close combat attact. I actually wrote three of these lists. A 1500-point list and two 2000-point lists where the entire list is centered on close combat. In the 2K lists, the only shooty unit that I have included is one Hive Crone to deal with flyers if my opponent takes them. My 1500-point list doesn’t even have that.

Now, while I wrote these lists knowing that they wouldn’t be competitive, I didn’t think that they would be as uncompetitive as they turned out to be. Let me sum up the six games I played these lists.

1. 1500 Vs. Daemons. Tabled in turn 5.

2. 1500 Vs. Minotaurs. I conceded in turn 4. I would have been tabled in Turn 5.

3. 1500 Vs. Eldar. I conceded in turn 5. I would have been tabled in Turn 6.

4. 2000 Vs Orks. It was a blood bath. I can’t even remember how this ended, except it ended in a loss.

5. 2000 vs. Ultramarines. I conceded in Turn 4.

6. 1500 vs. Space Marines. Played to the end. Lost a kill points game by one point.

So that is six games played, and six losses to go with them. I knew these lists were bad, I just didn’t realize they were that bad. I have had a lot of fun playing them. That was actually the intent of the close combat lists. But I had hoped that they would be a little more competitive.

There are some good things about the lists. First, I have no choice about what to do in my shooting phase. Everything runs. And since most units have fleet, I can usually get a good run off. Second, I like playing this list against newer players. It gives them a chance since I am not monster heavy or a lot of flying MCs. Third, it really is entertaining. I can play the list like I would love to play the Tyranids. I am going to get in my opponents face. Well, I am going to try.

I will say this. In all six games I ended up with the psychic power of Onslaught. So I can allow one of my units to run and shoot in the shooting phase. I get this six times with an army that does not have a single shooting unit.

These lists may be fun, but I think I need to go back to my older, more winnable lists.

More Nids!

As every Tyranid player should know by now, GW has decided to bless us with another 2 new MCs. While I think the Tyranid Codex is lacking in certain areas, I am not sure that these new units fill any gaps. Just think about the MCs that are available to the Nid Players, the Swarmlord, Hive Tyrant, Carnifex, Hive Crone, Trygon, Trygon Prime, Mawloc, Tervigon. Did Tyranid players really need another two? And I didn’t even list them all! I am not going to jump on the “My codex sucks” bandwagon just because it may not be as good as the Eldar codex. I actually enjoy the Nid codex. But where old armies are in desperate need of new rules and new models, GW decided to release more Nids. But, since I know I will be getting these new models, I guess I should to a quick review of them. FYI – any information I got, I got off of facebook pictures, so I may still be wrong.

First, the Toxicrine is the venomthrope’s bigger and meaner cousin. The size of this monster’s tentacles really stands out in the pictures I have seen. The stat line reads as WS3, BS3, S5, T6, W5, I3, A6, Ld8, and Sv 4+. All of that for 160 points. With the WS of three, it will probably only hit half of the time on most models, but that seems pretty common in the Tyranid army. And being poisoned with a S5, most failed wounds will be rerolled. The Weapons and Special rules are Acid Blood, Choking Cloud, Lash whips (hey, now I can attack at initiative 6), Toxic Miasma, Fearless, IB of Feed, Poisoned (2+), and shrouded. The Toxicrene is also “Hypertoxic,” meaning that on a To Wound roll of six, the hit gains the Instant Death rule.

The chocking cloud has a range of 12”, S3, AP-, Assault 1, Ignores Cover, Large Blast, Poisoned (2+), and Predatory Sentience. Predatory Sentience gives the attacks by the Toxicrene against open topped vehicles or vehicles that have lost at least 1 hull point Armourbane. And, the cloud counts as being Hypertoxic too!

I already know I am going to order this model. I think it does look amazing. However, I am not sure that this unit would fit my current lists. I like it, I will field it, and I may even have fun with it. But I don’t think it was necessary. And the same goes for the Maleceptor.

Where the Toxicrene was the Venomthrope’s cousin, the Maleceptor is the Zoanthrope’s not so distant relative. The stat line is WS3, BS3, S6, T6, W5, I3, A3, Ld10, and a Sv of 4+ for 205 points. This new MC comes with talons and is a level 2 psyker. It is also a synapse creature and has shadow in the warp special rule. The Maleceptor is also the second Nid model with an invulnerable save (5+), not counting the Swarmlord who only has it in close combat. Ok, it’s the third.

The Maleceptor comes with a new psychic power called Psychic Overload. This is a Warp Charge 2 focused witchfire power that the Malecaptor can attempt to manifest three times in each of its psychic phases. It has a range of 24” and forces the target to take a leadership test on 3D6 (vehicles count as being Ld10). If the test is failed, non-vehicle models suffer D3 wounds (No Armour or cover saves) and vehicles suffer a single glancing hit (no cover saves). While the Maleceptor can attempt to manifest this power three times, it cannot target the same unit more than once each phase.

I do like the looks of these new models, and I will be getting as soon as I can. I just don’t think they were necessary. I would have liked to have seen a Hormagant spawner, or a drop pod, or maybe even a new Broodlord model.

But I will take what I can.

Unit Review: Tyranid Dimachaeron

Shorereaper here, and I thought I would get an early review of my newest Tyranid unit, the Dimachaeron. I know, a couple of reviews are already out there, but I wanted to give my own opinion. And obviously, my model is a work in progress.

Dimachaeron 2

First, the model looks awesome. It really looks so much better in person than it does in pictures. It is about the size of a Mawloc, and towers over the Swarmlord. I had some issues with assembly, but in the end it still looks amazing.

This past weekend, I got two games in with the Dimachaeron, and I had mixed results with it. The first game was against Severus and his Tau. The Dimachaeron died before it did anything productive. Granted, it took almost the entire Tau Army to bring him down, but he was brought down in the end. The second game was against Augustus and his Minotaurs. That game went much better for the Nids and me… and the Dimachaeron. In the game the Dimachaeron took out 5 Sternguard, most of Mawloc’s guards, and he didn’t even die. Like most Tyranids, this thing is a beast in close combat.

The Dimachaeron is a fast attack choice for the Tyranid Army, and it has a Stat line of WS8, BS3, S6, T6, W6, I6, A5, Ld10, and a 3+ save. The unit type is Monstrous Creature (Leaper). As a leaper, he still moves six inches in the movement phase, but if he chooses to leap in the movement phase, he can leap over terrain, but then he cannot leap in the assault phase. Like jump infantry, if he begins or ends his move (while leaping) in difficult terrain, he must take a dangerous terrain test. If the Dimachaeron leaps in the assault phase, he gets +1S to his hammer of wrath attacks, and the strikedown special rule.

The special rules that the Dimachaeron has are the Instinctive Behavior of Feed and Rampage. Its weapons are Sickle Claws, Grasping Talons, Thorax Spine-maw, and Adrenal glands. So, it has furious charge and fleet, as well as all the rules a Monstrous Creature come with, like move through cover.

Dimachaeron 1Next, I am going to try and give a summary of its weapons, without going into too much detail. The Talons are melee weapons that are +1S, AP2, and have the special rule of Spine-maw Strike. What Spine-maw brings to the table is one extra initiative 1 attack if the controlling player rolls any To Hit rolls of 6. This attack can be made against any infantry units that do not have the extremely bulky special rule and is resolved at +4S, AP1, and caused instant death and Digestion Spine. Digestion Spine gives the Dimachaeron a number of plasm tokens equal to the number of wounds the model removed had, base wounds, not wounds at the time of removal. Are you confused yet? For example, a Captain would give up three plasm tokens. At the of each of it’s following turns, the controlling player removes one of these plasm tokens. As long as it has one of these tokens, the Dimachaeron has Feel No Pain (4+) special rule.

The Sickle Claws are much less confusing. Attacks with the Sickle Claws are resolved at the users strength and on a To Wound roll of 4+, they cause instant death.

So, to recap, the Dimachaeron has 5 attacks base, plus one for the second close combat weapon, plus D3 attacks for Rampage, Hammer of Wrath attacks, potentially another attack at initiative one, plus one more for the charge, and finally with feed, the Dimachaeron can get another one on the charge. This Monster has the potential of 13 attacks on a charge. I am not saying that he is unbeatable, that is very possible, but he is a beast. In fact, in my opinion, he may even be underpriced.