Sunday, January 31, 2010
This was the first week that the Imperium actually took a planet back from the Xeno filth that have been rampaging across the Locara sector almost unchecked. We went to HERA and spanked The Red One Eye off it. Of course while we did that there were some big changes in how Planet Strikes are going to be done (they will happen the same turn as you arrive in a subsector vs waiting a week) also movement in the system got way more expensive, so we will have to think about moves before we execute them. I've also won a 3rd LIVE to Win challenge (which are great fun to try and grab and the bonuses rock!) and have been retired from the contest to allow more players the chance to win. The Xeno's have set up the potential for a Planet Strike on HERSADED but I'm not sure that they are going to be going through with it given that the Imperial Fleet was extremely close and moving back into the sector that they would be trying to attack. I'm very interested in seeing this week's map and to start planning our next major offensive.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Howdy Legio Minimus readers! Ghoulio here with a preliminary Codex review of everyone’s favorite gun wielding bugs…the Tyranids! First off let me say that I have been playing the mighty bugs for almost 15 years and this is my 4th codex with them. Like the army itself the codex’s keep evolving over time, adding new options and creatures while simultaneously making you redo your entire army. Luckily for all fans of the Tyranid race, this trend is 100% alive in the new book!
Let me start off by saying that after playing a game or two I do like the new book. I really like the feel of the army and the change in the play style. I also really like how many deployment options it gives you through Deep Striking, Outflanking, Infiltrating and other methods of deploying. They have also improved a lot of the units that were somewhat sub-par in 4th ed (like Zoanthropes, Raveners and Gargoyles). Another thing that I think was a good choice was removing Eternal Warrior from Synapse as I think it was somewhat overpowered, and kind of a quick fix to a problem that plagues the army.
Most of the new entries in the ‘Nid codex are also quite good and some are very much needed, specifically the Hive Guard. They are one of the best anti troop transport choices in any book, period. The Trygon is also incredible both from a rules stand point and the model. I am almost finished mine and I have to say it is both a joy to build and paint.
Even though many things were improved with the new ‘dex I would have to say just as many things are now broken (and trust me…there are MANY). After reading this book it feels like an incredible first draft, one that has lots of great ideas and is definitely moving forward in the right direction and all it needs is a strong edit/refinement pass to help work out the kinks/points values.
Here is a list of things that just don’t make sense and I am still trying to figure out how they got into the codex:
- The Trygon tunnel. At first glance this looks like an awesome idea, one that will add even more variety in your game plan. Then you actually read how it works and figure that it is a joke…until you realize you are reading the final dex. The way it works is as follows: Your Trygon deep strikes onto the board like a Space Marine Drop Pod (i.e. safe DS) and when he does so he leaves a “hole” behind him that other Tyranids can use. The thing is though they can’t use said hole until it has been on the board for a full turn. Once a unit comes through the hole they are placed within 2” of said hole and can’t move/shoot the turn they come in. Oh, and one other thing, you can’t select a unit to go through the hole, so if a unit becomes available either at the same time as the Trygon or before it, that unit has to walk on from your table edge. So the single best possible scenario is your Trygon comes up turn 2, the unit you want to come out through the tunnel fails its reserve roll and then comes in on turn 3, then on turn FOUR you can act normally. Why couldn’t a unit come out the same turn as the Trygon? Why can’t you nominate a unit to come out of the tunnel and that is the only way it can deploy? If you have to wait a full turn to come out why can’t you act normally when you do?
- Lictors. Ugh…I really had high hopes for these guys, but with this new book they are officially benched. Like the Trygon their special rules MAKE NO SENSE. They have +1 to reserve rolls and act as a teleport homer. Both awesome rules as any elder player who uses an Autarch will attest. The problem lies with the fact that this unit HAS to be deployed via reserves (so earliest it can show up is turn 2) and none of their abilities can be used until they have been on the board for a full turn. So both of those abilities are totally useless. Another thing that is awesome is they can’t assault the turn they arrive and they have a 6” str6, Ap -, Assault 2 gun with a BS of 3. In my mind the only positive improvement on these guys is the fact that they get fleet. If you are going to give them +1 reserve and teleport homers why couldn’t they deploy via infiltrate with night fighting rules when shooting at them? OR why not allow the +1 to reserve rolls be used even if they aren’t on the board? Sigh…
- Carnifex’s and zany point values for some MC’s. Carnifex’s where the unit that was hit hardest by the nerf bat. A basic fex with no guns costs 160pts and he has a WS of 3, T6, 4W and a 3+ save…that CAN’T be upgraded. To give him the single cheapest gun will bring him to 175pts. I will be one of the first to admit that in 4th ed they were WAY under costed, but the pendulum has swung the complete opposite direction. A “Dakka Fex” in the old book cost 113pts (it has 2 twin linked MC devourers). With Virtually the exact same stats and weapons (only difference is he has 4 base attacks instead of just 2) he costs 190pts. So a cost increase of 77pts…crazy. Another amazing thing is this guy only has a WS of 3 (and it can’t be improved). Why? It makes no sense to me that a “living engine of destruction” would have such a low WS. What makes them so bad is when you compare them to say…a Trygon. Trygon’s have +2 WS, -3 Str, +2W, +3 Init, +2A and +1LD and they come with an Assault 6, Str 5 gun, Safe Deep Strike and FLEET for only 40pts more. What? Seriously? Another screwy thing is the Hive Tyrant. They are more than double their old base cost and have no option for an invuln save. They are one of only 2 MC’s in the entire codex to be able to get a 2+ save and that option alone costs them 40pts. So to have a Hive Tyrant with just hand to hand combat weapons it costs you 210pts. In fact, this is the only codex in production where no HQ have an invuln save.
- Synapse. Everything that is out of Synapse range has to make an instinctive behavior check (which is a LD check). This list includes: Carnifexs, Trygons, Mawlochs, Tyrannofexs, Biovores, Gargoyles, Harpies, Raveners, Lictors, Hive Guard, Venomthropes, Gaunts, Rippers (who eat themselves when they fail) and Pyrovores. Everything there has a LD of 6-8 except the Lictors and Harpies. Sooo…if you have a Ranged Carnfiex and he fails his LD 7 check (which is almost 50% of the time) instead of shooting he will run full bore at the enemy. Basically everything has to be baby sat. Also, in the old book if you failed a break test outside of synapse your units would run to the closest Synapse…now they run to the board edge. One little thing that kind of bugs me is they didn’t add any special rules with synapse…just fearless. I would of liked to have seen it do something interesting for the army other than being a weakness.
- The Ranged Weapon list. There are something like 26 ranged weapons and virtually all have a range from 6’-24”, a Str from 4-6 and an Ap of 5-6. There are so many redundant entries it blows the mind. The 4th ed book that has 7 entries has just as much variation as this book with 26+ entries. Another thing is random point costs for weapons. On a Tyrant or a Fex for 15pts you can get either A) twin linked Str 5, Ap 5, Assault 3 gun or B) twin linked Str 6, Ap -, Assault 6 and units that take break tests do so at -1 LD (both have the same range). This makes NO sense.
- Hormagaunts. Probably the unit from the old Codex that I was hoping would get fixed the most, and they are still pure trash. The old book they were over costed by about 4 pts for what they did (not upgraded they were 10pts), so when I heard that they were going down to 6pts in the new book I was excited and I started building more for my army. Then I read that they lost leaping (12” charge and everyone within 3” gets to attack), are now WS 3 instead of 4 and they also lost any ability of getting frag grenades. While those don’t look like huge losses trust me they are. I found out in my last game that with a unit of 20 I will typically get less than half of that unit in combat on the turn they charge. One nice thing they did get is super fleet (i.e. roll 3d6 and pick the best). Like many entries in this book there are ones that are cheaper and do a WAY better job. Gargoyles for instance. For 8pts I can get a Hormagaunt with toxin sacs (i.e. poison attacks). For the same points I can get a Gargoyle that flies 12”, has a bolt pistol, has a special poison attack (auto wound when you roll a 6 to hit), toxin sacs and furious charge. There just is no comparison.
- Lack of Frag Grenades. There are 2 entries (maybe 3) that can get them. Lictors and Carnifexs (and he is Init 1...so who cares lol)…that’s it. So all of the books dedicated, high initiative hand to hand combat troops can’t get them…which makes no sense.
There are a lot of other inconstancies in the book, but I think you get the idea. As I said at the start of this review I think the book will still be fun, but I also think that it is nowhere near close to the other 5th ed books, especially Guard, Space Wolves and Orks. Maybe some of my thoughts on certain “issues” will change after I do a tourney or two, who knows.
If you are just starting Tyranids then this will be a great book. If, like me, you already have a Tyranid army, then you will find yourself spending many a night ripping arms off of your dudes and putting new ones on as all the weapons have changed, which is frustrating (imagine the outrage if this happened to the Marine Codex ).
My official review would be a 5/10
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The first game. This was a very infantry heavy army with armored support taking on a relatively small Space Wolf army. 1500 pts and I was more or less taking what I have back here in California, except with some commisars and power weapons added in to give the units more bite. Also, 2 platoons, with the 2 squads combined to give them some staying power....
Not really sure what the SW took. A huge dude, a Land Raider with a Mech Priest, and 2 regular squads in rhinos. Perhaps that would explain why what happened next happened...
Other side of the battlefield. The guard deploy out of sight with only the lascannons poking out trying to nuke rhinos who bear down on them with speeder support.
Things started going wrong when his drop pod dropped in next to my armored flank. The other flank was intended as a holding flank until I realized that basically all I could do was sit and try to shoot his vehicles before he assaulted me.
This might also help to explain why things went the way they did. I did indeed penetrate several times throughout the game, but my damage rolls looked like this.... every time... Even with lots of guns, you can only really do so much I suppose. And we were using "Bring it Down" to maximize the lascannon fire too!
The end of the first battle. Technically my platoon leader is making a break for the other table edge to get the objective, but they'll get charged eventually and run down, so we called it for now, and decided to try a totally different build. Willie built this one for me since he knows WAY more about IG than I do and so would have a better idea of what can work against SW.
This force was all armored. That's right. Only vets in chims, and tank and AA support. Great looking models too. This has prompted me to start painting the rest of my chims. At the very least to give them a bit more staying power.
Once again the drop pod comes in, but doesn't do a lot. All guns either train on the rhinos or the dreadnaught since I'm finally realized shooting at a land raider is basically a waste of shots.
The SW breach the wall, have jumped out to assault, destroyed one squad, but got shot to pieces by an awful lot of guns pointed directly at them. The vets also had carapace armor so that they could survive bolter rounds which I think may be key against SM. Of course they still have to survive close combat, but hey!
The end of the battle. We considered a draw/minor victory for the SW since my objective was a senior officer in a chim and it didn't seem sporting that he could just drive away. The walls were breached anyway, but we still did have quite a lot of guns (even go that pesky landraider) so could have gone either way, but I suspect that my shooting skills would have let me down again! In any case, great to have 2 games in over XMas, and lots of food for thought regarding how my army should look for the next tourney on the Hornet.