Monday, September 30, 2013

Scything Talons - Preferred Enemy On A Stick

Thought it was time for discussion and analysis on another Tyranid biomorph…Scything Talons…
These things are ubiquitous enough and many units that don’t have them as standard kit can “buy up” to get them.  A single pair of them is the melee equivalent of Preferred Enemy; two pairs allow re-roll of all  misses.

So who has them and are they worth the points?  Most MCs have them, less the Tervigon, Tyrannofex and Mawloc.  Fexes and Trygons get two sets standard.  Tyrant Guard, Warriors (or Warrior types), Lictors and Hormagaunts get them as standard kit.  It is a bit of puzzlement that Hormagaunts get them but Stealers (standard and Ymgarl) don’t?!  With Talons, Stealers cost twice as much as an HGaunt…a bit more survivable to be certain, but if I give the HGaunts Toxin Sacs, they both wound on 4s.  If I take 20 HGaunts in a Spore they cost about the same as 10 Stealers.  Those little dudes have a better chance of survival (due to numbers) and about the same chance of hitting and wounding.  Help me understand why I should take the Stealers, especially with Overwatch.  Note: I am aware that I can take a Broodlord to improve the survivability of my Stealer…for an extra 50 points or so.  That’s another 6 HGaunts.  Hmmm…

For another non-MC, Raveners come with two sets standard.  The survivability issue is also one they need to contend with, but if they can be screened by gribblies, their 3 wounds can certainly get them close in.  Bring them in Deep Striking?  Even if they don’t scatter, they make a tempting target for S8 templates, or which there are more now than ever.  On on-target pie plate and there goes 300 points in a flash.  Ouch!  Better to have them run behind some other fast, cheap units and use their Beast move and charge rules to get locked in.  Once in base, they will each get 5 attacks on the charge and be essentially be hitting on non-1s…re-rolling ALL misses is pretty awesome.  They also have the choice of buying up to Rending Claws as well.

As for MCs, I don’t get into close combat much with mine.  My Dakkafexes usually get shot to death before they engage.  My Tyrant/Swarmlord once in a while.  Tervigons rarely.  When I do get into close combat with an MC, it is almost always with my Trygon/Trygon Prime.  Talons are standard, and it gets two sets.  Very nice.  Can you say SEVEN attacks on the charge?!  From a math-hammer perspective, they are basically hitting non-vehicle models on non-1s. Throw in their ability to Smash, and you have lots of dead stuff. If you are trying to decide on spending the extra points to take a Trygon instead of a Mawloc, it is a pretty easy choice.  Even with the Terror/Burrow rule of the Mawloc (which rarely works to your benefit), the reliability and significantly increased combat ability of the Trygon (the Mawloc has NO Scything Talons) is well worth the points.  If you have the points to take another MC, sure, take the Mawloc if you like the pop in/pop out mechanic.  For me, the Twin Scything Talons on the Trygon make it a truly scary beastie.

Are Scything Talons worth the points?  Absolutely.  They give HGaunts the chance to truly rip your opponent a new one if they get into base, and the Trygon can essentially kill even a unit of Terminators in a couple of turns.  It is one of my wish list items to have Stealers come with these at no extra cost, as is fitting for a creature that, at least in all the fluff, is one of of the most dreaded close combat opponents in 40K.
Create, Grow, Consume, Adapt

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