friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tyranids and 6th Edition...Heavy Support

Here is the final force slot review. I have found these articles very interesting and pretty much agree with most of it. 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! 

Heavy Support

The source of most of our monstrous creatures - all designed for varying kinds of destruction - the heavy support slot holds the distinction of five out of the six units offered being a big nasty bug. Typically, you should avoid Carnifexes and Old One Eye - the former only works when built a certain way, and the latter is far too inefficient. Trygons and Biovores tend to be the best available choices and are quite suited to 6th Edition play, whilst Mawlocs and Tyrannofexes tend to strike a middle ground in terms of cost-effectiveness. Upgrades aren't necessary or even possible on most of the units here, and frankly you usually want a higher quantity of these monsters for target saturation purposes. If you want a line-breaker, look no further than the Trygon.

Carnifex - One of the most well known Tyranid organisms, the Carnifex is a living tank used for the sole purpose of battering enemy fortifications and tanks, whilst scything through infantry with ease - at least, that's how it works in the background. The sad and painful truth is that a Carnifex is an over-costed monstrous creature that needs to be turned into a gun platform to be anywhere near viable. Despite being close-combat oriented, it has a mediocre WS and an Initiative of 1 - that last one means that, for the most part, it will be striking at the same time as power fists and meltabombs; meaning it will get chomped very quickly by most units. Even krak-grenade toting Space Marines will give it a lot to think about. Though its battering ram rule does make it Initiative 3 on the charge, the prevalence of cover, and the fact that most enemies are Initiative 4 or higher anyway, doesn't help all that much - even with frag spines (assault grenades), a Carnifex still can't single out power fists in a unit and will surely be walloped. The biggest problem the Carnifex faces is the competition within the codex - for only a small investment, you can get yourself a Trygon that is literally twice as effective in combat, and much faster to boot. You might think, well, a Carnifex can take a Mycetic Spore and a Trygon can't, but Trygons can deep-strike with the same scatter-reduction rules that a Mycetic Spore comes with. Essentially, a Carnifex pays for abilities that are greatly inferior to that of the Trygon.

So what else can a Carnifex do aside from being a mediocre combat monster? Well, the good news is that against walkers, tanks and skimmers (but not fliers), a Carnifex can quite capably destroy them with little difficulty - S9 base, including Hammer of Wrath, plus its re-rolls to hit due to Scything Talons make it a fantastic wrecking ball against heavily armoured vehicles. Don't waste them on transports and the like - you have Hive Guard for that. Even then, a Carnifex isn't quick enough to really justify being used in that way. Don't give it the melee-oriented upgrades - Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs are virtually useless on a model with S9, and Crushing Claws are too expensive on a model that both struggles to hit and doesn't usually need to Smash anyway. Regeneration and Bio Plasma are too expensive for what they give you - Bio Plasma is essentially a Plasma Cannon with a third of the range, meaning it can scatter onto friendly forces quite easily, and Regeneration is too random and expensive to use. Seriously though, why does Regeneration cost as much on a 4 wound monstrous creature as it does on a 6 wound monstrous creature with the same Toughness and armour save!? The Carnifex, like the Pyrovore, will simply leave you scratching your head, especially when put next to a Trygon - there is simply no reason for it to be over-costed the way it is given its mediocre profile.

If you want to use the awesome looking Carnifex, you should be happy to find that there is a way to run them that is very much worthwhile - replace both their scything talons with the lauded pair of twin-linked brain-leech devourers. This build is commonly labelled the 'Dakkafex' - putting out 12 S6 twin-linked shots a turn, a Dakkafex is a serious threat to transports, infantry, and even fliers, all at a decent price. Though I would still say it is over-costed, it at least will help out your army quite a bit, especially if you are using Zoanthropes or Ymgarls instead of Hive Guard. Even then, a mech-heavy meta can lead to a mixture of Hive Guard and Dakkafexes - durable anti-tank platforms that will regularly pull their weight. I wouldn't bother with any of the other ranged weapons, as they are all out-performed by the brain-leech devourers. One thing to consider when using a Dakkafex is whether you want to shell out and grab it a Mycetic Spore, or run it in a pair. A very common unit for a Tyranid Prime to join is a 'Fexstar' consisting of two or three Dakkafexes, providing both an insanely durable gun platform and a unit few enemies would want to get close to. Everyone loves wound allocation shenanigans! However, the lone Dakkafex in a Spore combines really well with other deep-striking units, such as the Doom of Malan'tai or Zoanthropes. Either way you go is costly, but they are both effective in 6th Edition and well worth your consideration. If you aren't using Carnifexes in either of those builds though, you will likely be disappointed.

Old One Eye - A long ode to a forgotten era wherein the combat Carnifex was viable, Old One Eye is one of the most painfully over-costed units in the entire codex - and much like the rest of the Tyranid range, he sports an awesome model too! Why do the mediocre or bad units have to have the best models? Anyway, Old One Eye is a grossly expensive unit that is essentially a Carnifex upgraded with Crushing Claws, a better version of Regeneration, and a cool ability that gives it some potential bonus attacks, all at S10. Strangely, Old One Eye also lets every Tyranid within 12" can use Old One Eye's Leadership of 8 for any Morale or Leadership tests they are required to make - generally speaking, this is situational at best as most Tyranids that would benefit from it should be in Synapse range and thus be Fearless anyway. Aside from that, well, that really is all there is that makes Old One Eye unique - it is essentially a much costlier version of a unit for few gains based upon a unit that was already too expensive for what it does. If that doesn't give you the best indication of how I feel about Old One Eye, consider this; for a mere twenty paddles more, you can grab the Swarmlord.

How does Old One Eye compare to the Swarmlord? Here; the Swarmlord has more wounds, provides Synapse in a larger than normal bubble, provides Shadow in the Warp, has an invulnerable save in close combat, has a ridiculously higher Weapon Skill, has a far higher Initiative, has a higher Leadership, is a Mastery Level 2 psyker, it can make itself even more powerful or buff friendly units, hands out Preferred Enemy or Furious Charge like candy, forces opponents to re-roll successful invulnerable saves, always inflicts instant death, and can be hidden by bodyguards. What does Old One Eye get? A higher Strength and the chance of a few bonus attacks and Regenerating wounds. Here's a tip; the Swarmlord wins by a country mile. Don't bother with Old One Eye, unless you really like the model or don't care about competitive play. I've yet to meet someone that doesn't like Old One Eye, but he is nothing but a sad joke, and it really pains me to say it. If it weren't for Pyrovores or perhaps Lictors, Old One Eye would be the worst unit in the codex, period, to be brutally honest.

Biovores - Artillery! FIRE! Ahem, Biovores are one of two long-range shooty units in the codex, providing some nasty anti-infantry firepower - they launch Spore Mines, as discussed earlier. A S4 AP4 large blast using the Barrage rules is nothing to sneeze at - particularly because of the AP4 and Barrage rules. So on top of wiping out Tau, Eldar and the like, the Barrage rules make cover a pain for those units to come by, and also allow for 'sniping' - with wounds allocated from the centre of the hole, some decent scatter rolls can lead to units being neutered. Your oncoming Trygons worried about the plasma gun and missile launcher at the back of that Tacitcal Squad? Hit them with a Biovore, and as long as you get it where you want, you should kill both of them with no difficulty. All of a sudden, that Trygon which was likely going to lose several wounds to that Tactical Squad from shooting can move up and charge with not a care in the world. What about that nasty Necron Lord with Mindshackle Scarabs daring your Hive Tyrant to get in to the unit. Give him some Spore Mine love - with a bit of luck, the Lord will be done and dusted, literally. It is in this way that Biovores are so useful in almost every single game you will play in 6th Edition - even Space Marines will suffer when Biovores are around, due to the large amount of wounds they can dish out. They aren't really costly either, costing - I don't know whether this is sad or humorous - as much as a Pyrovore for oh so much more.

So what do you need to worry about with Biovores? Well, they have essentially the same exact stat-line as a Pyrovore, and are thus easily instant-killed by weapons such as missile launchers, or brought down with massed fire. Unlike Pyrovores, Biovores neither need to be close or, provided they don't fail an Instinctive Behaviour test, need Line of Sight to shoot their quarry - hide them in your backfield with some kind of Synapse creature plonked on a nearby objective, and they will do just fine. Also, if their shot scatters off and hits nothing, you get a free Spore Mine! Hooray! Yet another reason you shouldn't bother with Spore Mine Clusters. Keeping on the Biovores, as long as you protect them adequately and keep them away from concentrated shooting and melee units, they will work out very well - a great unit overall.

Trygon - Ask yourself a question; do you want a melee powerhouse of a monstrous creature that acts as both the perfect line-breaker and will scare the pants off of any opponent, all for a very efficient price? If you answered yes, say hello to the Trygon! (If you answered no....seriously?) A Trygon is a dedicated combat unit that has very reliable ways of getting there - namely, it is very tough, quick due to Fleet, and can even deep-strike without fear of mishaps, except for scattering off the board. With a Toughness of six, six wounds and a +3 armour save, the Trygon is a tough as nails monster, one that usually suffers from being too big a target for your opponent and too hard to obscure - fortunately, the 6th Edition cover rules means that a Trygon can simply be touching a part of area terrain and gain a meaty cover save, all the while still maintaining a very high speed! It has a shooting attack to help it out on the way, which is nothing shabby - S5 AP5 Assault 6 at 12", decent for light vehicles and weaker infantry. Generally though, what you really want to know are its combat abilities - it has an incredible six Weapon Skill 5 attacks at S6 I4 base, re-rolling all failed to hit rolls! You guessed it - this will run rampant through Infantry of nearly any kind, especially standard Terminators. And against vehicles, it puts out three or more Smash attacks that are unlikely to miss, meaning that almost any unit in the game is literally screwed if this thing gets close. Of course, any opponent - even those who don't know what a Trygon does - will prioritize its immediate death due to how big and scary it is, not to mention how quickly it moves.

These things are absolutely fantastic as linebreakers, notably because they can both soak up the damage and deal it out in amazing quantitites. Their speed and reliable deep-striking means they have multiple viable ways of getting to the enemy, though generally speaking I would advise running them up the field - whilst they may get shot down this way, they provide an incredible threat for your opponent and will boost your target saturation immensely. Your Tervigons and Hive Tyrants should be able to move up untouched if the Trygon does its job and you use cover smartly. If it does make it, prepare to wreak some joyous carnage. Ultimately, how you deploy them should be situational - in certain cases, deep-striking them in conjunction with other reserved units can provide a very nasty selection of threats that emerge all at once, forcing your opponent to literally turn and fire at the nearest units in a haze of confusion. Trygons also benefit your Reserves - any reserved Infantry can emerge the turn after a Trygon has deep-struck from where it emerged - placing them within 6", and letting them shoot as normal. This is definitely useful, but not all that great. As far as Instinctive Behaviour goes, Trygons also benefit immensely from being naturally Fearless and having Rage - no-one wants a Trygon charging them, let alone one with eight attacks! As such, you generally don't need to worry if a Trygon gets out of Synapse range, which is likely to happen anyway due to their speed.

As far as upgrades go, Trygons can take Adrenal Glands, Toxin Sacs and Regeneration - the first and third generally aren't all that great on a Trygon, as the Smash rule compensates for the Strength bonus applied by Furious Charge, and Regeneration is still too unreliable to justify the cost. However, Toxin Sacs are absolutely brutal on a Trygon - essentially guaranteeing it will kill whatever it hits, and making it far deadlier against other monstrous creatures. Talos' and Wraithlords won't be smiling if you hit them on 3s with re-rolls, then wound them on 4s, ignoring their armour. Want to know what happens with a Raging Trygon with Toxin Sacs? Here's a hint - that is almost an entire Tactical Squad gone in one round. If you want to spend any more points on a Trygon - remembering that they are expensive - take Toxin Sacs. The other upgrade that you should consider is turning the Trygon into a Trygon Prime - it's shooting attack gains double the amount of shots, it becomes a Synapse and Shadow in the Warp-generating creature, and it becomes a character. Whilst the upgrade is expensive, it is worthwhile most of the time - usually though, taking a Prime upgrade should be based on the rest of your army. If you are low on mobile Synapse, a Prime becomes invaluable - similarly, the extra shots make it a deadly alpha-strike unit against vehicles, deep-striking behind a tank and promptly destroying it. Being a character both works for and against you; it can single out power fists and the like and kill them before they can hurt it, but in turn, it can be tarpitted for an extra turn, meaning it will likely emerge at the end of your assault phase and thus be shot by your opponent immediately. It also isn't nice to be locked in a challenge with someone like Draigo and be unable to kill some Paladins before the Trygon Prime bites it, though Shadow in the Warp works wonders in mitigating Force Weapons. Either way, whichever kind of Trygon you choose, you really can't go wrong - they are a great unit that, whilst costly, I feel has a justified points cost and will regularly shine. This is what a close-combat Carnifex wishes it could be like.

Mawloc - The kit-broodling to a Trygon, the Mawloc is very much a unit based around disruption and terror-tactics rather than straight out aggression like a Trygon - though obviously a Trygon can be used in this role as well. Generally speaking, a Mawloc does disruption better than a Trygon, and a Trygon is a better line-breaker than a Mawloc. Essentially, when a Mawloc emerges from Reserves, it scatters but isn't moved away if it hits friendly or enemy units. Instead, you get to place a large blast marker over the centre point of where the Mawloc is emerging - all models touched suffer a S6 AP2 hit that strikes vehicles on their rear armour. Any surviving models are moved out of the way so the Mawloc can be placed, staying 1" away from it as normal, with vehicles keeping their previous facing - any models that can't get out of the way are destroyed! Obviously, this attack does some great things; namely, it will kill almost the entirety of most squads it hits and it has a decent chance of severely damaging most vehicles, as well as moving enemy units into better positions for your other units to attack them. This also serves as a great way of breaking up 'castle' formations, which Tyranids typically struggle to deal with. A Mawloc that, with some good scatter dice, emerges in a congested position, can do some amazing damage. We haven't even touched the best part of this attack - the Mawloc can Burrow on its next turn and do it again the turn after, meaning it can perform this attack a maximum of three times in each game. Due to the randomness of the attack, especially given that it doesn't ignore cover saves, this may not be all that great, as it really is the Mawloc's defining feature, but when it hits, it will usually do enough damage that you won't mind its usual inaccuracy. Some other cool stuff to note is that it has Hit and Run and gets Rage like a Trygon when it fails an Instinctive Behaviour test, giving it some extra punch and the welcome ability to get out of unwanted combats.

Like a Trygon, a Mawloc has six Toughness six wounds and a +3 armour save, though the price of its special attack is that it lacks any ranged weapons and is much weaker in combat. Even though it is still a monstrous creature, it only has three WS3 attacks at Initiative 4, making it much less of a threat in combat - however, it is still perfectly capable of tieing up ranged units, such as Tactical Marines, and slowly chomping through them, or destroying vehicles somewhat reliably. Mawlocs don't really benefit from the upgrades either. It is also quite a bit cheaper than a Trygon, but generally speaking, Trygons work better in most Tyranid armies - given that all-reserve army lists are no longer possible with the Swarm, Trygons are very important as line-breaker units that give an army a lot of target saturation. Mawlocs simply can't fulfill the same role, their only real saving grace being that they too are big, scary and durable - though you will usually want them burrowed for their special attack anyway. Typically, the best way to deploy a Mawloc is not by deep-striking them - deploy them normally, as they can Burrow on the first turn and thus be guaranteed to emerge on the second turn, rather than having to roll for reserves. This also can help your army out, as an opponent may focus on them to hopefully stop them from doing their attack. Just don't leave them out in the open and they can feasibly soak up some wounds that you don't want going on your other units. Mawlocs, obviously, work better in reserve-heavy armies. For the most part, I can't say much against Mawlocs, though they are generally outperformed by Trygons, so whilst I would usually give them a miss, they are a very decent option.

Tyrannofex - A Tyranid Tyrannosaurus Rex? Sadly, no. It is a fat, ugly mass bristling with guns, and also holds the distinction of being the most insanely durable monstrous creature in a standard Warhammer 40000 codex; a Tyrannofex has Toughness 6, 6 wounds and a +2 armour save. Problem Missile Launchers? These things are nearly impossible to kill, and are one of the few units where Regeneration may not be such a bad idea, mostly because of how laughably hard it is to kill them conventionally. Lets look at some of their other stats; like a Tervigon, they are kind of weak in combat, though they do have a higher Strength value - unfortunately, unlike a Tervigon, they can't take Crushing Claws to take full advantage of the Smash rules. They also are Initiative 1, making them prey to Initiative tests that can kill them, such as Jaws of the World Wolf. They also aren't a synapse creature, and suffer from Lurk - which can be bad considering their weapons are medium to short range. So what makes a Tyrannofex tick? For starters, they come with Cluster Spines or a Stinger Salvo, a Thorax Swarm, and an Acid Spray. That equates to either a S5 AP- large blast or a S5 AP4 Assault 4 gun, a flamer template with different firing modes selected before the game - the best of which always wounds non-vehicle units on a +2 - and a second flamer template that essentially has the Torrent rule, resolved at S6 AP4. This makes them unparalleled infantry hunters, at least as far as Tyranid monstrous creatures go. However, they can also switch the Acid Spray out for one of two weapon options - the Rupture Cannon, or the Fleshborer Hive. The latter is terrible and should be avoided - except for conversion opportunities, notably to give a Flying Hive Tyrant a pair of twin-linked brain-leech devourers. The former is an interesting if unappealing option that is the only long-range anti-tank weapon in the entire Tyranid army - it is considered by many for that reason alone, and not because of its effectiveness. Two S10 AP4 shots at 48" hitting on 4s sounds neat, but really isn't all that great in practice - half will hit on average, and with no damage modifiers, you are unlikely to destroy a vehicle, with no guarantee of even penetrating it. It is too unreliable, especially given that it is actually a paid upgrade.

For the most part, I would always keep a Tyrannofex kitted out this way, as its anti-tank form is too unreliable for the cost - Cluster Spines, Thorax Swarm with Dessicator Larvae, and the Acid Spray. That gives you some ridiculous anti-infantry firepower that, with some luck and good placement, can wipe out entire Tactical Squads in one go quite feasibly. If you do want its anti-tank firepower, give it the Stinger Salvo, Thorax Swarm with Electroshock Grubs, and the Rupture Cannon. Regardless of how you equip it though, be mindful of the sobering fact that a Tyrannofex is ludicrously expensive - weighing in at the same cost as most Land Raiders. I don't feel it is worth it, giving the recent turn towards massed plasma weaponry that essentially make light work of a Tyrannofex. However, it is still a decent option to consider, as it can undoubtedly soak up ridiculous amounts of firepower - it will make Long Fangs cry, for sure. Even Grey Knights will struggle with it, especially if a Shadow in the Warp creature is nearby. I would reserve these for bigger games, where they aren't so much of a points-sink. As far as a line-breaker goes, they are good, but outperformed again by Trygons.

Example Builds - Though our heavy support options tend to have only a few viable builds each, here are some for your consideration;

Carnifex w/ two twin-linked brain-leech devourers, mycetic spore - 230

Biovores (2) - 90

Trygon w/ toxin sacs - 210

Tyrannofex w/ cluster spines, thorax swarm with dessicator larvae, acid spray - 250

Carnifexes (2) w/ two twin-linked brain-leech devourers - 380

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