Sunday, 1 July 2012

6th and Looking out for Number One: Tyranids

And here we go.

Yes, 6th edition 40k is out, and right about now, a whole bunch of hobbyists are trying to figure out what it'll mean for them. Me among the, surprise, surprise.

First things first. This is not a strategy post. This is not an attempt to find the 'core' of 6th. Others will do that.

This (and the other posts like it) is an attempt to pinpoint some of the things that will affect me. Hence the title. Rules that have changed for the better or for the worse. New things. New missions.

In the immortal words of Horrible (Ph. D.): "Because the status is not quo".

So, Tyranids first.

Apparently, this is 'the great devourer'...
 You might have heard that Tyranids are getting their non-existent 'nads kicked by 6th.

So far, this seems more or less accurate...

Monstrous Creatures
For obvious reasons, my 'Nids care greatly about what has happened to Monstrous Creatures. For those who didn't know, my 'Nids were originally an attempt at the dreaded Nidzilla, which, with the last edition change and an updated Codex, turned into what I like to call 'The Skies Are Falling!'. It has 'Fexes in Spores. It has a tunnelling Trygon Prime. It has a Support Piece of a Hive Tyrant.

Monstrous Creatures are sad in the new rules.

Let's look at what they lose, shall we?

Monstrous Creatures no longer ignore armour in combat (with exceptions; I'll get there). So, in a setting with AP on weapons, a 'Fex chewing on your head will be stopped by your helmet. It is the equivalent of someone trying to stab you with a sharp rock, essentially. Okay, so this bit is wrong. A model with the Smash rule makes AP2 attacks, even when not making its Smash attacks. 'Fexes everywhere, rejoice!

They also do not roll 2D6 for armour penetration any more. So, yeah... My 'Nids just lost one of their few semi-reliable ways to deal with heavy armour.

So, what do we gain?

Well, there's this thing called Smash. Which is great if you're S5, not so much with S9. You double your strength (to a maximum of 10) and halve your attacks. Now you're AP2, and reroll Armour Penetration. Trygons are moderately amused, Carnifexes go cry in the corner. See comment above...

You also get one extra attack, that hits automatically, if you get the charge in, and have your threat increased by the random charge distances.

There is a sliver lining, though, in the shape of general rules that have changed. First, you now hit vehicles more easily in combat (unless they fly, in which case, you know, you don't). Second, Monsters now only need to be 25% covered to get a save.

My spontaneous reaction, though? Monstrous Creatures are sad...
Deep Strike and Stuff
You know how I said I drop much of my 'Nid army (hence the whole 'The Sky is Falling' bit)? That bit actually got better. More reliable Reserves and a more forgiving Deep Strike Mishap table both help, though the latter was rarely an issue with Mycetic Spores anyway...

The Genestealers I've been not painting for a while, though, will likely not get painted, what with the changes that make outflankers unable to charge the same turn they come on. 'Cause, yeah, the 'Stealers are gonna survive that...

The Little Stuff
Any Tyranid player will be able to tell you there are three types of bugs: big bugs, in-between bugs, and little bugs. The little bugs are the Gaunts, 'Gants, 'Stealers and Gargoyles (I might have missed something). Apart from the 'Stealers, they're soft and squishy, but by golly there's a lot of them.

What? He's little.

One category of little bug is very much depressed over recent developments: the Hormagant. See, these days, it's rules are sort of discordant. And also, they got squishier. Let's take them one at a time, shall we?

Hormagants run 3D6 pick the highest. This used to be one of their redeeming features, when combined with the Fleet-induced ability to then charge. Now, with Fleet doing something else entirely, Hormagants don't want to run. Sure, it's nice to get those extra inches when closing with the enemy, but Hormagants used to be able to out-distance other close combat troops by at least a few inches, which they cannot do any longer.

As for their squish factor, there are two things causing trouble. These are cover, and Overwatch. Cover saves are 5+ now. Which means that the Hormies went down a third in survivability (if they didn't have cover, where were your cheap Gaunts?). Also, people now get to shoot the poor blighters as they charge in. sure, they'll be hitting on 6s, so what? Every Felled Hormagant is three attacks less in the ensuing combat.

The little ones have been given one huge boon (which actually benefits the entire Codex, more or less) in the removal of No Retreat. You now have to kill either all the Synapse Creatures, or wipe every single little bug off the table. For an army with virtually no saves aaginst No Retreat, this is kinda huge.

It's not a coincidence there aren't any 'Nids in the picture... (okay, yeah, it might be)

Guess which is the only army in the game that cannot make full use of fortification AA guns? Yup, that's right. 'Nids. Though the FAQ is a bit ambiguously worded (it might be that only 'Nids in building are unable to Manual Fire emplaced guns, or all 'Nids might be) some, if not all, Emplaced weapons (which are the only Skyfire weapons available to 'Nids) will be firing on a massive BS of 3.

Yes, we can have Flying Monstrous Creatures. Harpies and Hive Tyrants. I don't, and I don't know if I'd want to.

All that said, though, I feel I might be okay agains all but the heaviest flyers. Why? Twin-linked Monstrous Creature Devourers, is why. So, yes, a 'Fex armed with two sets of these hits flyers on 6s. So? It throws out twelve, twin-linked, shots at S6. It still needs to be put to the test, but for mid-strength, high output firepower, I'm set.

I've tried not to whine. Which has actually made me less pessimistic than I was when I started writing this.

I'll try to get a game or two in as soon as possible, and then whine some more.

A lot of things in the new rules hurt 'Nids. Anyone telling you different is lying. But there are a few things that might turn out to be in our favour. To what degree remains to be seen (as do a lot of things, really).

I might manage to write a post about Orks, and one for Necrons, at some point. My poor Space Marines will probably remain forgotten...

For now, though, toodles.

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