Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Tyranid Codex - First Impressions


 
Let’s start this post by stating that I am pleased with the new codex.  Remember, I am approaching this as someone who is moving on from the past.  We can either lay on the floor, kicking and screaming, or face reality and understand that these are our rules.  However, I am not going Pollyanna here, and there are some things I am disappointed did not happen.  But this disappointment is not based on changes from the last dex…it is based on missed opportunities.




Overall, the book is quality.  The artwork, even the carryover, is gorgeous.  If I am going to spend $50 on a hardcover book, it had better be a beauty…this one is.  I really like the layout of the codex and the fold-out reference pages at the end.  The sections for army rules, bio-artifacts, biomorphs, weapons…all well organized and easy to read.  So as a book, it meets the high standards I expect from GW.

Let’s talk next about content, not rules.  I was disappointed that there was so much carryover from the last dex in terms of backstory.  The story of Old One Eye was copied verbatim from the previous book, as is true of much of the narrative.  With the stable of exceptional writers that GW has, there should have been lots more new content.  There was a bit scattered about, mostly with the new units.  That I would have expected anyway.  But with the existing units, there should have been much more new backstory for each.  It just feels like laziness and trying to push this thing out the door.  As   previously discussed, the artwork is exceptional.  I am particularly fond of the map on page 31 that is a wonderful representation of all of the major Hive Fleets and where they have attacked.  It provides a great sense of scale in terms of the 40K venue.  Here again, however, there are many pieces of artwork carried over from the last dex; this is particularly true when it comes to carryover units.  C’mon, GW, you have so many resources.  Almost all of the artwork for this book should have been new.  So in terms of new content, I was disappointed.

Now a brief comment on the rules.  I say brief because I will be going into much more detail as we get more experience with this codex. 

I like this rule set.

Just kidding…not that brief!! Seriously, I do like the rules I have to use now.  I like the changes to synapse. Are they more harsh for violators?  Absolutely!  Many will disagree, but this is a good thing. Our army is based on the fact that the Hive Mind has a connection to each and every creature.  When they do not, it is not a good thing.  If you cannot keep your beasties in synapse with the new rule set, you may want to reconsider playing Nids. Don’t mean to be harsh, but this is probably the most basic concept when playing Bugs.  The best part is that we now have the tools to significantly increase our synapse range.  I have admittedly lost synapse in latter parts of a game or two, and have paid for that lapse.  Now it should be much easier to avoid the potentially devastating effects.

I also like the new psychic powers.  We are now aligned with the BRB in terms of our powers being more random; I am ok with this.  The new powers are also useful in several ways.  I will detail some thoughts on the use of the new powers in future posts.

Next, I know that many will feel there is a lack of transport capacity in this codex.  I would agree.  It means that we will have to be more cognizant of ways to compensate for this.  We still have the option of outflanking a few of our units.  We still have some units that can burrow and jump out of holes.  A few of our bug buddies can deep strike.  Moreover, one of our troops, Hormagaunts, now have the potential to move-run a total of 15” with good run die (which we can reroll because they are fleet).  For those units that do not have any of the above options, I would suggest that we find creative ways to protect them as they move to engage their gun-heavy opponents. 

Last comment for this installment; I am very disappointed that there was not some inclusion of compensation for a lack of allies for Tyranids.  Extra FOC slots, Genestealer Cults…something!!  Nids are already a challenging army to be successful with.  When I actually win, or even tie a game with the experienced players I throw down with, I always feel I have accomplished something.  Not giving Tyranids the chance to even the playing field in terms of 6th edition allies seems a significant oversight.  Something in the future?  Maybe.  But even my optimistic outlook on things doesn’t see it coming.

OK.  First salvo fired.  Lots more detailed analysis and commentary in the coming days and weeks.  Have my first game with the new rule set this week, so we’ll see how it goes.  Maybe even a battle report in the near future.
Create, grow, feed, adapt

16 comments:

  1. happily any unit can "deepstrike" you just need a trygon! Looking forward to the trygon appearing in the enemies back field and a brood of 3 Dakka Fex's crawling out of the hole as they come out of reserve. That would be a surprise!

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    1. Fair to say...that would be a surprise! Unfortunately, the rule does not allow anything but infantry to appear via tunnels. Also, the tunnel rule is a bit unreliable since the units coming out after the Trygon have to arrive on subsequent turns. Overall, though, the Trygon will continue to be a "go-to" unit for me.

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    2. balls in my excitement I missed that one word out of the sentence :( still I am quite positive about this dex!

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  2. Two thumbs up for a positive mindset! Very much appreciated and what a relief after all the dumb vitriol out there. I am very much looking forward to my first game with the new codex!

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    1. Thanks George. I can be disappointed about a few things, and still love the game and enjoy my Nids! Game on my friend!

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  3. Interesting.
    But, as a sporting player I'd let you take "allied Tyranids" and stuff the rules. Not being allowed to ally with yourself seems a stupid rule to me anyway. For any army.

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    1. That would be a welcome relief...I would have been satisfied if they had just given us an extra FOC slot or two. That would have topped it off.

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    2. I haven't played 40K in a year and only a couple of 6th edition games then... so can you no longer take multiple detachements? Could you not just have 4 troops and 2 HQ then pretty much cherry pick what you want?

      Sorry it might be a really dumb question!

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    3. As long as you're playing 2000 pts or more, you can a second primary...which means up to double all the normal org chart entries. For example, playing 2250, you could 4 HQs, 6 elites, 12 troops, etc. You would still need to take a minimum of 2 HQs and 4 troops.

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  4. If there really is no new fluff to speak of, I have no need to buy this book at all! Thanks, this is the first review I've seen that explicitly addresses that point.

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    1. The book is probably still necessary unless you have access to specific army and psychic rules, point costs for all the upgrades (weps and biomorphs), etc. If you do then you should be set. Thanks for the comment.

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  5. A few thoughts, buy a wall set, 3 hive guard, 2 venomthroupes, 3 biovores, can form a nice little block in the middle of the field, the walls give us 4 up, with the venomthroupes upping that to a 2 up cover save. If we can use the gun platform as well, makes a nice a very nice, fort, that would be tough to crack.

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  6. Here is a thought, paint a set of nids in a different color and call them allied?

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    1. Never mind, found the answer myself drats!

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  7. I guess my army is going to stay in storage. The rules look terrible. I cann`t believe they got rid of Doom and Spore pods.The Tyranid psychic look terrible and cann`t use the generic psychic rules. It looks like they want you to buy new pieces. Did they play test the army???

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  8. I truly would not give up on these guys, Anonymous. Give them a spin or five first. My first two games this past week gave me lots of ideas of new ways to play Nids. There are lots of great synergies. You just have to focus on playing with the rules as they are and forget the cheese we miss... Spores, Doom, Scything Talons of Old, e.g. The pain WILL go away.

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