Weekend in Review – Shorereaper

It was another great weekend for gaming, and I got to try out a lot of Tyranid units I don’t normally use. I figure this post would be good to give my honest opinion on a few of those units now that I have another game under my belt with them.

The first game I played was a scenario out of the Leviathan book against the Adepta Sororitas. There were three large blast sized objectives. These objectives would move towards the Sisters table edge if the closet model to them was a Sisters unit, and if the closest unit were a Tyranid, it would move directly away from the Tyranid unit. Sister player scores the objective if they can get the objectives off of their table edge, and I would score them if I could harvest them (mmm… tasty). By the end of the game, I harvested all three markers (or would have had my opponent not conceded). My deployment zone limited my options, so a lot of my units were held in reserve. This was the game where I tried out the units I don’t normally use.

The second game was a quick 1500-point game against the Blood Angels, and again, the Tyranids were successful. The only surprise unit I took was Old One Eye, and this now makes him have a 2–0 record! Like I said, the game was quick. I had some incredible rolls, and even the rolls that didn’t go well probably ended up helping me in the long run (not running out of terrain). My opponent couldn’t make any of his invulnerable saves when he had them, and didn’t do all that well when it came to his armour saves. Old One Eye had three squads (2 Five-man assault and 1 Five-man Tactical) against him at one time, and they still only caused him one wound. He really held up better than I thought he would.

Now, on to some of those unit reviews I promised.

Old One Eye – This buffed up Carnifex is a lot of fun to use. And once he takes his first wound, he gains feel no pain at the start of his next movement phase (if he is your warlord). I do believe that Old One Eye could be a great unit in fluffy games, but I wouldn’t use him in games that I wanted to be highly competitive. There are better HQ choices. I do see me fielding him on occasion though.

Maleceptor – DO NOT TAKE THIS UNIT! Yes, he looks cool, and in this weekend’s game, he was actually a little more productive than in the previous fame, but only in close combat. The one time I got his psychic power off, he missed his shot. He did kill a unit of sisters and a tank, but in close combat. This is not what he is intended for. He also provided a synapse range, which in this list was uncommon, but there are so many better options. So my Maleceptor will be sitting on the shelf looking pretty.

Haruspex – DO NOT TAKE THIS UNIT! This may actually be worse than the Maleceptor, at least the Maleceptor has an invulnerable save. I can think of only two redeeming values of the Haruspex. 1. It looks really cool. 2. Most opponents, not knowing what it can (or cannot) do, will concentrate on killing it, freeing up the rest of your army. In three games I have used it in so far, its kill tally is one Ork Boy. That’s it. To get it anywhere, you need to give it adrenal glands so you can get fleet; raising it’s cost even more. It has one “shooting” attack that will hit 50% of the time. I’d rather have a Carnifex.

Tyrannofex – Honestly, I cannot say anything about this model. Due to the limitations of my deployment zone (3 inches on each long table edge), I had to put this unit into reserves. And due to some poor rolling on my part, he didn’t make his way to the table edge till turn 4. Once he came out, he got one shot off, killed one sister, and that was game. I still do not know how to use it, or if I even should. Maybe I will give a better report later.

Mawloc – I hate Moloc. I have used the Mawloc in three games thus far, and I have had no success with him. I always try for his special attack, and in all three games I have managed to mishap and roll a 1. I cannot blame the unit for my bad luck, but after three times, I am pretty sure that I am never meant to play this unit. I think it does have potential, and I will give it another shot, but right now I am just a bit disheartened.

Harpy – Ah, the other flyer. I cannot say, “Do not take this unit” as I think it does have it’s uses. I just would rather take the Hive Crone. The crone, with its template attack, it’s missiles, and its S8 vector strike is just more useful. The Harpy, with its blast weapon and its bombing capability is just more limited. And once your opponent makes you jink, it’s pretty much out of the picture. Again, it has its uses, but there are better options for about the same price.

So, that’s it for my report this week.

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.

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.