Monday, 13 January 2014

Tyranids - Fighting back against Codex Hatred

Morning folks,

Saturday morning I woke up like a giddy schoolboy, it was new Codex day! All through the week I had been hearing the doom and gloom over the changes people had found. Despite all of this though, it's still the book I've anticipated getting my hands on the most in the last couple of years - purely because of this hate.

I'm the sort of person that if someone says something is bad, it makes me want to use that unit / character / vehicle all the more.

Whenever a new book comes out, there always seems to be some kind of "ripples in a pond" effect of hatred. One or two "notable" voices / blogs / sites have their opinion and everyone seems to snowball off of whatever that opinion says, even before they've read the full codex and can see the entire picture.

So, over the weekend I had a bit of a skim read and to be honest, I really like it. It goes back to the Monster Mash style lists of 4th edition, but importantly, there's now a load more monsters rather than just various different Carnifexes.

Yes. Yes I do, and here's why.

"They've removed Spore Pods, how are we supposed to get anything anywhere now?"
Aside from the Chapter House rubbish side of it, it means that the Nids don't just get to copy Space Marine tactics. Warriors, Gaunts and Fexes were never supposed to be the ones getting dropped onto the opposite side of the table - there's now various flyers for the speed along with Rippers, Raveners and the Mawloc that can deep strike by tunnelling in. Tunelling always made much more sense to me.

Ultimately, Drop Podding is a Space Marine thing to do - other armies don't get equivalents, why should Tyranids? The more fitting thing for them is Spawning (a unique mechanic for Nids) and Tunelling. This coming from the guy who bought 20 Dragon Eggs off eBay last year for a 5th edition Nid army.

"Synapse is rubbish now! My Gaunts can hurt themselves / flee off the board / etc."
Good. That's the way Synapse is supposed to be. With the 5th edition codex bleeding over into 6th edition rule changes, what you ended up with was actively wanting your Hormagaunts to be outside of Synapse range so that they got Rage and extra attacks.

The only thing I will concede on this is that I think a 1-3 for the lowest level of Synapse (i.e. the bad one) is a bit harsh, but again, this promotes you needing to keep stuff in Synapse range / extend your Synapse range / take more Synapse creatures.

"But they made the Tervigon rubbish!"
I've not read the Tervigon entry properly yet, all I've seen is that you now can't spawn then move your Gaunts, to which I say "GOOD!". See the Tervigon now more as a Transport vehicle, as opposed to launching yourself out of it however far it used to.

As for the fact you now need to take 30 Termagants to take a troop choice Tervigon? Again, that's good. I was fed up of seeing "The Scuttling Swarm" represented by 10 - 30 Gaunts and 1 - 3 Tervigons. Yeah it became swarm-like as the game went on, but 30 models is a good sign GW want to see hordes of Gribblies on the table as well.

"They got rid of the Doom of Malan'tai! How could they do this to me?!!"
Simple, they got rid of a character who was broken. Ever see a Tyranid army in a tournament without one? Point proven. For not much more than a basic Zoanthrope you got something that could do Psychic shriek to ALL units in a radius, in BOTH player turns, without ever having a downside to using it AND got stronger for doing so. I don't like seeing units get deleted from a Codex, but he was a crutch, plain and simple.

"They got rid of the Parasite of Mortrex too! How could they do this to me?!"
Said no one. Ever.

I can only remember seeing him 1 or 2 times mostly in a themed list with Warriors, Shrikes and Rippers. I heard someone complain about losing a Winged Synapse creature. Seems they forgot about the Hive Tyrant - but again, this falls into the "I always use the winged Tyrant in this way!" rather than "I need Synapse support for this stuff, maybe I can use the Tyrant?".

"But all the Bio-Artifacts suck!"
Not really, I just feel that they're costed properly. There's no auto-include artifact in this Codex, like there are in the previous 6th edition Codexes - Puretide Engram in Tau, Mantle of the Laughing God in Eldar, Black Mace in Chaos Marines, Grimoire in Daemons. I felt the same way about the Dark Angels artifacts, they're all middle of the road "handy if you need them and cool in some situations" kinda thing.

Considering how Synapse is, I'd expect people to start looking at the Norn crown, especially on a Winged Tyrant to help him support areas of the battlefield.

"Pyrovores are still rubbish! The internet told me they would be good!"
People were expecting AP3 / AP2 Pyrovores that could drop down in Spores and batter marines. They've gotten better in having AP2 melee attacks, but I see these more now as backfield "sweepers" and support. Keep them close to your home objective holders to clear up things like infiltrating Kroot, Orks, Scouts, etc.

"The Warlord table is rubbish too! Rolling a 1 is useless to me!"
Add more trees to your scenery collection then! Any time you don't include ruins, buildings, rivers / ponds, forests then you're limiting your game types. Understandably in Tournaments you don't get a say (unless you're Wood Elves in Fantasy, with your pet Forest). We're guilty for it at club (not including trees), mostly because we've not got many or that they're not in with the 40K scenery.

I think the rest of the traits are all pretty good. I've got a box of trees that I need to get on bases and I'll be adding them in regular rotation.

Other than that, I think the other Warlord traits are alright. As with most Warlord tables I've seen in Codexes, there's some that are "Meh" and some that are decent. That's why we roll a dice to see what you get!

"Tyranids can't take Rulebook Psychic Powers anymore? GIVE ME BACK BIOMANCY!"
Now, this is a touchy subject to a lot of people and one that will likely get FAQ'd back in.

Personally? I see the BRB powers as Warp based, to which the Tyranids should have no access to. Mechanically their Psykers function as everyone else does, to keep the rules simple, but I like the fact they've their own Psychic discipline. What I would have liked to have seen would be a few disciplines, rather than the one, which is why I think it will get FAQ'd.

The one I will conceed on is that Biomancy suits the Tyranids down to the ground and I expect them to get access back to it. If it doesn't happen, then I'm not going to lose any sleep, I'll just keep plodding on with the Codex powers.

Biomancy was a crutch for players to make their MCs nigh invulnerable, now you actually have to think about where your Psyker and MCs wade into / what units they get close to. Ultimately it's less about getting Iron Arm, Endurance, Warp Speed etc. and more about using the actual stats for the model you're using.

The reason why I think Nids will get Biomancy back, is that Chaos Daemons have access to it, and if you can have a Great Unclean One making himself Toughness Infinite, then Tyranid MCs should be able to as well.

"Scything talons are pointless now!"
When you consider pretty much every unit had Scything Talons and they're the "standard" Tyranid weapon, I can see the logic for toning them down. I wouldn't expect a Space Marine chainsword, the basic combat weapon, to have some kind of special rule or bonus involved with them that gives them rending or shred, for example (however fitting that maybe). It's just a loss you have to accept really in the grand scheme of it, however handy it was for the bugs.


There's probably a ton more online hate that could be piled in here, but I've gone for the biggest and most vocal ones I've seen. I've not had a good enough read of the codex to go into too many specifics, so I could be wrong on some bits.

I'll probably also get a lot of flak for posting this off people who don't like the Codex, but personally I'm looking forward to finally painting my Nids (after starting them last January) and getting them on the table to play some games.

It's shook things up at least so we're not seeing the same 5th edition / early 6th edition lists over and over again with Swarmlord, Doom, min Gaunts, max Tervigon as troops, 3 Trygons, etc.

That's my two bob worth, anyone else fed up with the bile and hatred towards new codex and rules before they're even released properly?

So many people take rules snippets and debatable points out of context with the whole book or the grand scheme of the rules, it's getting really boring to hear.

If you like the models and the army, then use them and enjoy them. So what if something's more expensive than it was, so what if they've removed something from the codex, so what if something is different.

Get over it and enjoy playing toy soldiers.



  1. found this to be an interesting read, though most will find it TLDR ;)

  2. Tyranids have always had advantage with no armour values - even more telling in 6th with hull points - shut up complaining you whingers.
    Good post & whole heartrdly agree - been too long badger.

  3. Got to say - I like some of the points you made, but they ultimately came across to me as the new rules aren't really that bad because they are forcing change - which should always be good (and I agree with that).

    I think the issue is, that they are forcing change but not really offering anything good (or even on par) to change least that I can see at this time.

  4. Good points made, getting my yougest the Codex for Birthday, but he also wants one of the new figures.
    Can you tell me what the Exocrine is like? Would like to know so can get it for him at same time as codex.Thanks.
    I always carry a spare shaped carpet tile with a few trees as my eldest likes to hide his Kroots in it.