Sunday, July 8, 2012

6th edition Hive Tyrant - Now with more kickass?

With the new edition, i've somewhat been rethinking the Hive Tyrant. Is he still extremely overpriced? Yes. However he provides some utilities and options that can really open up a Tyranid army for more potency.

FACT: Old Adversary is a must now

So what makes the hive tyrant so good now? Part of the reason is that while on foot he can have a 2+ save and is one of the only monstrous creatures that can take a "retinue" which also have a 2+ save. While 2+ saves are still devastated by most shooting attacks (especially now with the rise of plasma) it makes him brutal in CC. A second reason, which can be seen as a slight buff for all MCs, is that MCs attacks in CC are ap2 which is incredibly hard to get now without having an effect on your initiative. Finally, physic powers. The Hive Tyrant has 2 and while he can only cast 1 a turn can result in some fairly terrifying results.

Flying Hive tyrant: 285pts
               Wings (60), 2 Twin-linked Devourers with Brainleech worms (30), Old Adversary (25)

Must move 12''- 24'' a turn. Can fire 2 weapons. Can make a sweep attack over a model he flew over in exchange of firing 1 less weapon. Requires a 6 to hit while swooping. Can fire in a 360 degree arch. Twin-linked weapon with 12 shots and on 6s to hit gets to pick who is wounded. Rerolls 1's to wound. And can charge in and still wreck some faces. It's expensive but what he does for the army is critical. He makes whoever is around him absolute monsters and his physic powers (while random) can make him or a unit absolutely disgusting.

Walking Tyrant: 460pts
              Armored shell (40), Old Adversary (25), 2 Twin-linked Devourers with Brainleech worms (30),  3   Tyrant Guard (180) with lash whips (15)

Provides a bubble to all those around him much more efficiently than the flying Tyrant. Will destroy just about anyone in close combat especially with being able to utilize lookout sir and with those lashwhips dropping everyone to a lower initiative. 

I can't really see a reason to take anything other than the Devourers. Lashwhips are okay but he has a 5 initiative. Boneswords are kind of a waste since he's already cutting through 2+ saves and the only perk is the few times he goes up against a character but more times than not he'll probably blow them up anyway unless they have storm shields...fething storm shields..

There are 2 downsides for the Tyrant. The price is the biggest issue. Is he more survivable now? Yes and no. In close combat; definitely. Against gunfire; about the same which isn't much. His survivability is determined solely on the physic powers he generates which unfortunately are random. His other downside is Eldar. A reoccuring theme with Tyranids that their mortal enemy is now Eldar and still very much Dark Eldar and Grey Knights.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

40k 6th Edition and me

The consensus on 6th edition is in and overall it seems many like the changes that GW have made. I like a many of the changes. I like how more streamlined it is, the removal of wound allocation shinangans(Mostly anyway), Wound allocation (for the most part), and the new focused fire rule. There is a lot of new features that i'm missing but overall the game feels different and I like that. However, not a lot of people have discussed what they don't like about the game and I think many believe that 40k is now basically perfect. Not me.

I looked at this book from the perspective of Tyranids as that's my preferred army. Some of what I say, may really only effect them but I think others may be in this boat as well.

The "What I don't likes":

Shooting armies are still king:
There is one prevalent feature of this edition that doesn't bode well for me. In 5th edition, shooting armies were king and in 6th, that's even more so. Reserve armies are now non-existant due to the rule that you can't keep more than 50% of your army in reserves. Outflankers took a serious hit with not being able to charge out of reserve; A silly rule that was implemented because gun lines were mad that they couldn't do anything to prevent a charge (as if CC units had anything to prevent gunlines from blowing them up as they marched across the table or for the inevitable mishap of place a unit on the edge and welcoming that outflank charge...). Overwatch allows for already decent CC units to decimate their opponent even more before the CC brawl begins. The lack of AP2 CC weapons really means you need a strong gun line to deal with terminators and the few Monstrous Creatures with a 2+. The only chance CC armies is banking on the new Night Fight rule which may help but is a gamble at best.

The assaulting out of reserve rule:
I rule really pisses me off. I think it's silly and GW should feel bad for even implementing it.

Monstrous Creatures:
What a disappointment this was. For the creatures that cost multiple times that of a tank and GW really let them down. Many are arguing that Smash is much better than the old 2d6 armor pen and I disagree. Smash is just marginally better vs AV14:

Halve your attacks but double your strength. Reroll failed armor rolls and you get ap 2 which is +1 on the Penetrating chart. You'll still need 4s to glance with a reroll. Your chance of destroying that landraider is slim but basically the same as with the old rules seeing as most MCs were Str6 you'd need double 4's to glance. The +1 if you pen is a slight buff. The problem arises in that this hurt destroying light and medium tanks considerably. It was almost guaranteed before with 4 attacks now you're halving your attacks for the smash or risking going at it with your full attacks and unmodified strength and still needing 4s to glance. That's rubbish.

Impact hits are nice but should have seen a buff on Monstrous Creatures. A single attack from a rampaging monster? It doesn't even ignore an armor save? What is this?

Flying Monstrous Creatures:
The rules for flying MCs are bad to put it lightly. Grounding is done based on hits and not wounds. A poor oversight on their part that completely invalidates this unit. Guardsmen or Orkz that unload 40 shots on a Flying Hive Tyrant are sure to roll a couple 6s in which on a 1 or 2 the Hive Tyrant goes down, taking a str9 hit with no saves and can easily be picked off since it's no longer flying. That's utter trash and no where near as good as normal flyers. Oh, did I mention i'm paying twice the price of most normal flyers for my Flying MC?

Vector strike is a joke. It's one of the few things tyranids get that can combat a flyer and it uses str6 on the side armor..thanks GW. It also counts as firing a weapon despite being used in the movement phase. This restriction doesn't apply to Chariots who make a sweep attack which also hits vehicle rear armor..

Blatant "character" abuse:
Characters are able to qualify for the "Look out sir!" rule. This makes sense and I think it's a good feature. What I don't like is just how many people have the character subtype. Just about everything in the Grey Knights book has the character subtype which will lead to some pretty rampant abuse much akin to wound allocation now. Ork Nobz also have this subtype and it makes Nob Bikers that much nastier though i'm not as upset about that because Orkz need everything they can get.

Expanded Force Organization Chart at 2000pt games and higher:
I hate this rule. Another blatant cash grab by GW that only serves to make strong armies stronger and hurt what GW tried to establish with allies; A more balanced game.  

Rapid fire weapons:
On the whole I like what they did with rapid fire. I just don't like what they didn't do with rapid fire which is give it something to benefit it while you're not moving. I can't wrap my head around why a soldier would get no benefit for sitting still..

Warlord Traits:
Great..another gimicky thing that's random, doesn't really do much, and I'll have to keep track of for the entire game..

I think this is a great ability in fantasy but it's so poorly executed in 40k just due to how many people are immune to it. The one advantage that Demons and MCs get and it is invalidated by so many units; it feels like a waste.

The "mehs":

In these trying times a lot of people are trying to figure allies and i'll do all the hard work for you. I do like the thought of being to add more of my models in more of my games. Imperial guard or Eldar. Period. Why you would take anything else is beyond me and I foresee Eldar soon being removed from this list.

Imperial guard should be taken simply because that 1 troop choice can be a platoon which encompasses an assload of heavy weaponry that fits the meta for this new edition very well.

Eldar should be taken for the physic defense alone. Mount him on a jetbike and make your troop requirement be a squad of Eldar Jetbikes and you got yourself a quite formidable unit in 6th that is both deadly and survivable. With Tyranids where they are at, they are relying on the physic powers more than ever and with the rampart whoring out of Eldar, it really hurts the Tyranids even more.

Let's face it, flyers are incredibly strong right now. The Necron Night Scythe/Doom Scythe is incredibly broken with their ability to fly 24'', drop off troops, fire up to 4 weapons and still lose none of it's survivablilty. However this looks like a typical cash grab by GW to buy Flyers as "Flakk missiles" have been included in most of the new FAQs which will eradicate the current state of survivable flyers when the new codices come out that include them (which is rumored to be in 1 month for the first 6th edition codex).

I think this is interesting on vehicles but on troops it doesn't make much sense to me and feels like a way for GW to introduce more "random" moments into the game. The idea of a guy moving with a missile launcher and hitting on a 6 isn't reliable and seems that GW just wanted those random "OH SHIT" moments when a heavy weapon actually does hit a tank and does something. Overall, this really only benefits Imperial armies as who else really has heavy weapons?

Buff to ap1 & 2 weapons but who cares?
GW buffed a lot of the long range heavy weapons like Lascannons, Meltaguns, Multimeltas, and Plasma cannons by making them do more to a vehicle. However no one really cares because getting 1 shot off that penetrates will never compare to several shots that glance. Medium strength/high volume of shots is really the only way to go now. They are significantly cheaper to equip on troops and you stand a much better chance of actually doing something (aka glancing a vehicle to death).

Jink Saves:
This is one of those things that seems good but is just abused due to how GW worded it. All skimmers get a 5+ jink save if they move.The problem with this? A god damn monolithe is a skimmer. EVERY Necron vehicle is a skimmer despite any of them being very quick. So now any skimmer, as long as it moves 1'' gets a 5+ cover. I find that silly (but will certainly take advantage of it...). I also don't like how Dark Eldar, who have access to Flicker Fields and in some cases, have it built into the cost (*cough*venom*cough*) really get nothing else out of this rule besides getting the flicker field in CC.

I'm still on the fence with fleet. With premeasuring, you know how far you are and with fleet allowing you to reroll any number of dice on your charge rule, the mechanic hasn't really changed. But I liked how before, if you had a poor fleet roll you could stop and evaluate if you wanted to proceed in the direction for a charge or just move them into some cover.

What I like:

Wound Allocation:

This is something that I like yet I think will take a long time to get truly good at. It's fair and you have only yourself to blame if your melta gunner bites it.

I absolutely love the changes to snipers and it really breathes new life into a previously stale unit and gives them the ability to really be a game changer.

Physic Powers:
I like how strong and unique the new physic powers are and how much they can effect a game now. Physic powers previously always felt like a waste as it was more beneficial to shoot. Not anymore! I wish they had a different mechanic for how to cast Physic powers. In Fantasy, the Magic cast/dispel is very climatic and fun but in 40k, Physic powers are not very "cinematic"

Jet Bikes:
Jet Bikes are amazing now and I like how they not only increased their survivabilty but also their impact on the battlefield.

I really like that now units can't regroup if they are under 25% as opposed to 50%. That rule has always felt unfair for Xenos. I also like that now you can regroup if an enemy is within 6'' which prevents units from escorting other units off the table.

Simmering down of the Deep Strike Mishap table:
I always felt like Deep Strike was a waste of time due to the chance you'd fall head first into the Earth and get screwed by the table. Not anymore!

The increase in USR:
There are so many special rules now that I can only imagine what some of the new codices may include. I don't like that some of them got nerfed but I guess with the new game it's hard to say what kind of impact some of these will actually have.

Hull Points:
Gone are the days of invincible tanks! Horray!

Full strength hits from template weapons:
I'm glad they made this change as it really makes ordinance weapons scary.  No more relying on a hit to do anything to vehicles.

Change to disembarking and reimbarking:
A lot less room for abuse with the new system, so I can appreciate that.

Flatout moves in the shooting phase:
This adds a whole new dimension to the game. With the ability to shoot with a squad of heavy weapons than flatout a vehicle in to prevent anyone from shooting that squad in their turn is huge. Not to mention the ability to bring a lot of vehicles to bare and if things arn't going well you can scoot some vehicles to safety by moving flatout outside of LOS. A lot of interesting tactics here.

A lot of the changes needed to be done but in the process it hurt my beloved Tyranids. Cover saves needed to be changed but hurts Tyranids immensely. The Outflank nerf made Genestealers unplayable coupled with the cover and FnP nerf. The prevalent physic defense (for the time being) really hampers Tyranids. MCs and Flying MCs are still very gimicky and overall, very disappointing. Overwatch doesn't really benefit tyranids in either the charge or the charge reaction and I wish there was someway to negate Overwatch such as launching a charge from closer or something...meh. I'll probably post a matrix of armies that are better, the same, and worse in the new edition.