So, I finally managed to get some games in with the new Tyranid Codex (I even managed to get in a tournament). I have to say some of my views on the book have changed, but mostly a lot of my views on the book have just been re-enforced. Let me explain.
- Hormagaunts are so much better then I thought they would be. I figured loosing leaping would be a huge blow to these little guys. After using their new fleet rule (3d6 and take the highest) I am finding it doesnt really matter and they are in fact faster then they were last edition. Also, the damage output on these guys with just the Toxin Sac upgrade (ie poisoned attacks) is immense. For example, on a 10 man guard squad my 20 man unit of Hormagaunts got 43 wounds. Not attacks...WOUNDS! (I had prefered enemy because of my Tyrant so I had 60 attacks, re-rolling on hits and then re-rolling all wounds since their str was equal to the guards toughness). These guys are just a buzzsaw.
- Hive Guard are amazing, although I knew they would be.
- Zoanthropes are beyond amazing. Their new lance attack just makes mince meat of any armor your opponent brings and their regular warp blast attack is amazing as well for ridding the world of pesky marine untis.
- Trygons are also very mental. My last game against guard he killed a chimera, the vet squad inside and a fully kitted out Leman Russ Demolisher.
- Tyranid Warriors. These guys suuuuuuuuuck now. I mean SUCK. Last edition for the same points cost they were Str 5, init 5 base. Being only str 4, init 4 base is so painful. I have been beaten out in hand to hand by squads of regular marines, 2 guard squads (one had Strakken, so its a bit deceiving). I think the single biggest nerf in the entire codex has to go to Death Spitters. Going from 24" str 6, ap 5 blast templates to 18" str 5, ap 5 assault 3 (BS 3) guns is beyond brutal. In 8 games I have had them do nothing. NOTHING. The 5 points for the Death Spitters upgrade is a massive waste of points which would be better spent giving them adrenal glands. Basically you have to put some sort of bonesword set up on them (like boneswords, lashwhips and devourers w/ toxin sacs is what I would) then they might be okay. I am definitely going to be moving these guys out of my army once i can get a Tervigon built.
- The changes to the guns. Something that ties in with the Death Spitters is the overall change to the ranged weapons in this book. Venom Cannons, Stranglethorn Cannons and Death Spitters all got way worse. Stranglethorn Cannons I am finding are virtually useless since they are only Str 6. They are very so-so when killing troops because of ap5, and they dont instant kill anything (like nob bikers, things with Feel No Pain, etc...). They are also useless against armor. One thing I am trying to understand is why o' why the penalty for armor is still on the Venom Cannon. Since this edition I have not harmed a single vehicle with it. It normally either scatters off target (having only a 33% chance to hit before the scatter) or if it does hit you end up just stunning the tank. The only reason you take these weapons though is because you literally have no other option.
- Genestealers. At first I was really pleased with these guys because of their points drop and infiltrate for free, but after using them in games I am finding they are just so fragile now I am starting to question how useful they actually are. Not having that 4+ armor save is huge...like super huge. I still have to run some more games with a Broodlord to see if he is worth it, but after my first couple of games I have been noticing that he doesnt really do a whole lot since he lost power weapons. Right now he is 10pts cheaper then the old broodlord and the old broodlord had synapse, power weapons and he gave the whole squad preferred enemy. This one just has rending and two so-so psychic powers and fleet. I am leaning towards him not being worth it, but I will try him out some more first.
- No Frag Grenades. I finally got to see this used in full force at my last tournament. I was playing Tyranids vs. Tyranids with mine being a mixed shooty/assaulty list and him being an assaulty based army. All I did to get rid of every smaller bug squad he had was wait in cover and let him assault me. My hormies did 20 wounds to his Hormagaunt squad the turn he charged and even my regular termagants killed half the other hormagaunt squad before it got to attack. Kind of silly being able to whoop an army just because you are hiding in some trees.
All in all I am finding that I am really not enjoying this codex at all. There are just so many entires that dont make sense and you would never want to use. Another thing that is beyond maddening is that all our reasonable anti armor is in one Force Organization slot, which really makes for boring builds. The elites have so many things that COULD be cool (Deathleapers, Venomthropes, Doom of Malantai, Ymgarl Stealers...even maybe Lictors) that you can't afford to take since you HAVE to have Hive Guard and Zoanthropes. The Heavy Support is kind of like this as well. Trygons are just SO MUCH BETTER then everything else in that slot there is no reason to take anything else (maybe Mawlocs too). In fact it is to the point where after the next couple of tournaments I am going to shelve it and start something new, maybe orks. Sorry for the rant, just after painting my nid army for a year minus a month (literally hundreds of hours of work) I just had to get it off my chest lol.