friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tyranids and 6th Edition...Fast Attack

Tyranids and 6th part 4.. enjoy

Hey guys, Learn2Eel here from ImperatorGuides, and I’m back to take a detailed 2nd look at the Tyranids.

Hey all, I'm back to give you some fresh insights into the terrifying Tyranids, an army that has under-went some major changes in the new edition of Warhammer 40K. So, let's jump right in with my thoughts on each unit in the Swarm. Consume! 

Fast Attack

Our Fast Attack choices benefit a lot from upgrades and additional weaponry, particularly in the case of Shrikes, Raveners and Gargoyles. Harpies and the like don't necessarily need upgrades to be effective, though they do have a few options available to them that change their role. Generally speaking, your Fast Attack units are designed either for mobile anti-infantry shooting or fast anti-infantry melee, with little real deviation. Gargoyles are the most cost-effective, though Shrikes and Raveners demand some attention as well. Think about fast moving units in other slots when looking at the Fast Attack section first and foremost.

Tyranid Shrikes - Flying Warriors! With wi...oh never mind. Anyway, Shrikes are essentially Warriors with a weaker armour save, a slightly higher base cost and, as you might have guessed, wings. Shrikes, despite not being a Troops choice, essentially fill the same role as Warriors - providing Synapse and Shadow in the Warp, though they are mobile and thus fit well with other fast-moving elements, such as Gargoyles. Again like Warriors, they can be kitted out for some fast-moving ranged firepower, or hard-hitting melee. The latter one is where Shrikes really shine; with their speed, the inclusion of Hammer of Wrath, and the general lack of AP2 weapons at Initiative, Shrikes equipped with Boneswords are amongst the most devastating close-combat units in the game - at least when used against elite infantry such as Terminators and medium infantry like Space Marines. They even put out enough attacks to wade through hordes with relative ease. They are expensive though, and if you give them other upgrades which dramatically increase their combat effectiveness - such as the effervescent Toxin Sacs and useful Adrenal Glands - each model will cost in excess of 50 coyotes.

Though they will mulch through many similarly-costed units in combat, their durability to points ratio doesn't favour them well - like Warriors, they are Battle Cannon or Missile Launcher bait, and owing to their faster nature, they are far more obvious targets too. Shrikes also fall victim to having a +5 armour save, making them quite vulnerable to massed Bolter fire. As such, they require a great deal of finesse to get into the thick of it; jumping from cover to cover, spreading the wounds with smart wound-allocation, and so on. Be careful when charging into cover though, as both the charge is not guaranteed and Shrikes lack assault grenades, meaning they can be harmed quite badly before they strike. As long as you don't go overboard on upgrades, you won't be too frustrated if they die quickly - target saturation is always a big factor for competitive Tyranid armies, and Shrikes are a great way to add to that if your opponent has even the faintest idea of what they are capable of. Very few jump-infantry units in the game compare in melee, though obviously those units usually are nowhere near as costly. Overall, Shrikes are a very good unit to use, but you really need to be careful with them - make them too obvious a target, or upgrade them too much, and you may find they rarely prove their worth.

Raveners - These are comfortably the fastest non-flying monstrous creature units in the Tyranid codex, being Beasts - they have a 12" movement that is not slowed or harmed by terrain, and have Fleet to boot. They share an almost identical profile to Shrikes - with the key differences being their higher Initiative and Attacks, but the loss of Synapse and Shadow in the Warp. As Beasts, they are more reliable in the movement and assault phase than Shrikes, but lose out on Hammer of Wrath. As well, their inclusion means you may need to find mobile synapse elsewhere; however, Raveners are, strangely, a unit that functions very well outside of Synapse range - with Rage, they don't derp out and instead gain an incredible 6 attacks per model on the charge! Did I mention Raveners come with two sets of Scything Talons, WS5 and I5? As you can likely determine, Raveners are obviously a fast assault unit designed to harass enemy units and give enemy artillery/long-range units, such as Havocs and Devastators, a very serious problem - with the Raveners likely to charge in two turns, those units are forced into either shooting at the Raveners and maybe killing them before they attack or ignoring them to focus on the big beasties, guaranteeing their deaths. Raveners are amazing in this role and should always have their speed exploited as much as possible.

Raveners, however, have some of the same issues as Shrikes; namely, a weak armour save, the lack of assault grenades, and lots of useful upgrades that you need to keep in moderation. Costing the same as a Warrior, Raveners are expensive and their upgrades make them considerably more-so. In general, you should take Rending Claws on Raveners - they increase their cost somewhat, but make them a serious threat to light vehicles, monstrous creatures and well armoured opponents, such as Terminators. They are more efficient against almost every unit type, except for hordes, but Raveners shouldn't charge into hordes anyway. You can take guns on Raveners, but it does change their role a bit - don't take Rending Claws and guns, they simply become too much of a points-sink. If you want to take ranged weapons, give them Devourers or Spinefists, the latter of which while less useful on units such as Termagants are far better on Raveners owing to their high number of attacks. A common tactic is giving them Spinefists and Deep Striking out of the ground, surprising your opponent and killing a chunk of infantry. Usually though, I would avoid giving them guns and keep them with Rending Claws - they are at home in combat, and they are safest there as well. Raveners are a good, if expensive (but what isn't in the Tyranid army?) unit that are great diversionary attackers.

Sky-Slasher Swarms - Rippers that have adapted into jump infantry, Sky-Slashers sadly suffer from the same basic issues as Rippers - they are over-costed, they are ineffective, their upgrades are too expensive and provide mediocre boosts, and, laughably, they still die when outside of Synapse. When you consider that Sky-Slashers have wings for the purpose of tarpitting units much quicker, and thus require mobile synapse, you should only ever use them if you have Shrikes or Flying Hive Tyrants handy. Clocking in at one and a half times the cost of a normal Ripper Swarm, Sky-Slashers are decent in the sense that they will get to their quarry much quicker, though, again, you are still paying too much for a very ineffective tar-pit - Hormagaunts are almost as quick, much cheaper, and far better in combat. Much like Rippers, I would usually avoid Sky-Slasher Swarms - however, they do make a decent and fluffy bodyguard for the Parasite of Mortrex.

Gargoyles - Very cost-effective flying Termagants - notice a theme going here? - that do combat far better than their scuttling ilk, due to their melee attacks causing an auto-wound on every to hit roll of a six. Being only a measly potato more than a standard Termagant, Gargoyles gain the very huge benefits of being Jump Infantry - they are twice as quick as Termagants and are thus far better at closing with the enemy quickly to provide decent anti-infantry firepower, or even charge certain units. Sadly, they do lose Move Through Cover, meaning they are susceptible to Dangerous Terrain tests. Still, they make up for it in yet another way - their upgrades, including Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs, are as cheap as they are for Termagants, or half as expensive as Hormagaunts get them for. Given their mobility and pseudo-Fantasy poison rule, Gargoyles make for great melee units - unlike Termagants, they neither benefit from nor need the support abilities of a Tervigon to do their job well. Twenty Gargoyles with both Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs will cost significantly less than twenty Hormagaunts upgraded similarly - though Gargoyles aren't Troops, they still fulfill the same basic role almost as well, if not better, for the points.

There are few negatives to taking Gargoyles - mostly, they are yet another cheap horde unit, but the one that is by far the most cost-effective. About the only consideration is what units to run them with - like anything in the Tyranid army, they are not designed to operate alone, as you want to keep them near Synapse creatures as normal. This is where Flying Hive Tyrants, Harpies, the Parasite of Mortrex and Shrikes come into play - three of the four units benefit the Gargoyles immensely, though the Gargoyles themselves prove to be excellent foils for those units too. The Parasite, for example, gets to join up with a very nasty unit that can soak up a lot of wounds. The flying monstrous creatures get bubble-wrap and mobile cover, with Shrikes enjoying the particular benefits of the latter. Overall, there is very little one can say against Gargoyles - they are a great unit that is almost imperative in an army list with other winged monsters. Take two broods of twenty, upgraded decently, and they will commonly be at the top of your MVP list.

Harpy - The only other flying monstrous creature Tyranids have access to, the Harpy suffers the unfortunate restriction of not being able to target flyers with any weaponry of real note - a S5 Vector Strike and four S5 shots simply do not cut it against most fliers in the game. If you are worried about anti-air, always go for a Flying Hive Tyrant with two twin-linked brain-leech devourers. Always. Now, onto what the Harpy does well - it is death incarnate to most infantry in the game, usually firing a S6 Pinning Large Blast, a S5 Large Blast, and dropping a once-per-game bomb resolved as D3 S4 AP4 large blasts. Put simply, it will obliterate hordes and blob-guard whilst putting on enough wounds to give even Space Marines a serious headache. It also has a S5 AP3 vector strike that ignores cover, which is best used against certain enemies - particularly those poor, poor Space Marines. Being a flying monstrous creature, it is hard as hell to shoot down, and it is exceedingly quick, compensating for the mediocre range of its weaponry. Due to being a monster, it can also in a pinch charge an enemy vehicle or even an isolated unit, such as a Long Fang squad, and tear them to shreds - obviously though, gliding at the wrong moment can leave a Harpy dangerously exposed to a counter-attack. As good as its anti-infantry firepower is, it is sadly very fragile as far as Tyranid monstrous creatures go - a Toughness of 5, four wounds and only a +4 armour save make it mince meat for Autocannons, particularly Hydras, that are in abundance in the current meta. Given their high cost, Harpies are a risky unit to use - they will lose any aerial duel, and be high priority targets for foot-slogging army lists.

The Harpy does have access to upgrades - Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and Regeneration, though a Harpy typically requires none of these as its combat abilities don't need improvement - it is supposed to shoot anyway - and Regeneration, whilst cheaper for a Harpy, is still too random to justify its expense. It can swap out its two ranged weapons for alternates that make it more useful against ground vehicles, though I believe you should give these a miss as the Harpy does not do anti-tank particularly well at all, especially for the cost. At least when used solely as an anti-infantry platform, the Harpy shines - it can put out a lot of hurt very quickly, and in this way, it combines very well with Gargoyles and Flying Hive Tyrants for cover and target saturation. Whilst I find they are decent units, they are definitely over-costed, and as I have made clear before, Tyranids have anti-infantry firepower in abundance by taking any kind of basic army. They are best used only if you plan on using other flying units, as they are too fragile to justify their cost if used alone. A note I will make is their Sonic Screech ability - it halves the Initiative of enemy units in an assault for the first round. This works well with other units, though with readily available cover and the high Initiative of most Tyranids anyway, it isn't all that much of a boon. As far as the actual model goes, I would recommend purchasing a Trygon kit and getting your hands on a set of Flying Hive Tyrant wings - if that proves too costly, try getting a set of organic-looking wings elsewhere, either from Forge World or Games Workshop. It would require a lot of conversion work, but I would say it will be worth it if you do it correctly - just keep in mind that an actual Harpy model may very well be released in the coming year.

Spore Mine Cluster - Living bombs that explode the second any enemy unit gets within 2" of them, Spore Mine Clusters are a bit of an odd duck out - they deep-strike on to the board before any units are deployed, and if any of them scatter into impassable terrain or off the board, the entire unit dies. Once they've landed, each Spore Mine in the cluster is treated as an individual Spore Mine during the game. You can't even control them once the game starts - they drift D6" in a random direction at the start of each turn, and are removed if they move into impassable terrain or off the board. They aren't cheap either - at least, not per model, as their squad sizes are very small as far as Tyranids go. Once something does touch them or get too close, they do quite a bit of damage - you centre a S4 AP4 large blast over the Spore Mine, hitting anything nearby. Not bad at all. You might be thinking that against armies with light infantry, such as Tau or Eldar, these can be a great scare tactic - unfortunately, because they deploy before every other unit does, a smart opponent can simply ignore them, or, even better, tank shock them with vehicles and watch them combust harmlessly. As such, their best use is to attempt to deep-strike them onto an objective that is out of the way - they will literally die the second they are shot by anything, with one Toughness 1 wound and no saves each. I don't rate them personally, and the points are far better off invested elsewhere, but for laughs, why not?

Example Builds - Here are some good or decent ways to run our much loved Fast Attack choices;

Shrikes (6) w/ lash whip and bonesword - 300

Raveners (6) w/ rending claws - 210

Gargoyles (20) w/ adrenal glands, toxin sacs - 160

Raveners (6) w/ spinefists - 210
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