Been so busy working on conversions and scenery this week, almost forgot to get to posting! But here we are, and today we talk about HQ choices in the new dex...
Overall, I am just OK with our choices. A bit disappointed in changes to Swarmlord, also that they did not make Old One Eye a Carnifex upgrade like they did with Red Terror. Deathleaper an HQ? Not so much. Now some detailed analysis…
Hive Tyrant – Considering the marginal performance of Flyrants that has been reported so far, why do people keep going to them? Are they worth the 250pts? From a synapse perspective, they are unreliable as they spend the game running all over the board. Unless it takes Dominion as a Power, zooming 24” will put it out of synapse range. The fact that it retains the ability to carry so much S6 shooting is commendable. But if it has to dive to get a Jink save, then it can’t shoot normally the next turn anyway. Having 2 psychic powers is helpful, and depending on what they are, it can be downright annoying to the opposition. With BS4 now, a Warp Blast or two would put a damper on most opponents. Or throwing some Paroxysm at an enemy unit about to be charged. Overall, I am tempted to spend the points on a Prime or even a Swarmlord who are both much more survivable.
Swarmlord – Disappointing that his Bone Sabers are basically just Bone Swords now (albeit AP2); at least they still give Blade Parry. Also, he does not allow Outflank rerolls. Other than those minor issues, I am still a fan. Still has the ability to roll for three psychic powers. If one of them is Dominion, he creates a 48” Synapse bubble! He also gives Furious Charge or Preferred Enemy to a unit within 18”. He also gives that valuable buff to Reserve rolls. Yes, I know he is expensive, especially when also taking the almost mandatory Tyrant Guard. But he provides several valuable buffs to an army, and with correct placement, can make your army much more effective. And talk about survivability. With at least four ablative wounds from Guard, he has 9, yes 9, wounds! Put him in an Aegis with a Venomthrope or two, and he will be practically unkillable!
Old One Eye – One of my favorite new HQ choices. I have already discussed the fact that he should have been a Carnifex upgrade, but so be it. I do think, however, that he is a very situational choice, as is Deathleaper. If I am playing a themed army that is all about MCs and assault, then he would be a great choice. With Regen and Feel No Pain (sort of) build in, he will be a challenge to bring down. Put him behind 3 Fexes and next to Venomthropes, and he has 3+ cover. Or behind some warriors or gargoyles, and he gets the same. It might well be difficult to get him into charge range, but when he does, look out! He will get 6 attacks on the charge, and he gets an extra attack for each hit! At S10! He doesn’t need to use Smash attacks as he is already at max strength! Considering that like all Fexes now, he is hitting at I2, he will also go before Power Fist Terminators. I see visions of lots of dead Termies! Woohoo! Again, very situational, but definitely worth considering. I am working on a conversion for him that I hope to showcase in the coming week.
Tervigon – With the cost of this model, combined with the lack of Psychic Power options (only one roll on the table), I think the Tervigon is much more of a support choice than an HQ now. Frankly though, when was a Tervigon ever a real HQ choice? Most Nid players always take them as a Troop Choice anyway. Better to have just moved these ladies into that slot and be honest about it. I have no problem having to take 30 Termagaunts to make them a Troop choice; I would have taken at least one brood of 30 anyway with the new point cost. They just make no sense as an HQ choice anymore. Depending on the thematic setting of the game I am playing, I will most likely still take one of these…for the Synapse and spawning capacity if nothing else.
Tyranid Prime – Primes are now, even with their point cost, more of an HQ option for me. Especially with the issues I have with Flyrants, these models are much more survivable and much cheaper. They don’t provide psychic support, but do provide reliable Synapse. If armed correctly and attached to the right unit, they can also be “slingshot” into an assault by an experienced player. That T5 is, as always, a great little buff for taking an instant kill wound or two off of a brood of Warriors. They also have flesh hooks, giving them that great bypass if charging into terrain. For about 150 points kitted out, not a bad option for almost any army. Most importantly, he is now the only Independent Character in this army.
Deathleaper – He is another situational HQ, but a strong one nonetheless. I am disappointed, as with Old One Eye, that they did not make him an upgrade character to a Lictor Brood. We have no characters, with the exception of the Prime, that can join another unit. Very disappointing. The rule that only allows only Snap Shots is quite nice, as is the retention of the rule that allows the reduction of an enemy character’s leadership by D3. Combined with Shadow, this would mean, on average, that a psyker could be rolling for their powers at a -5! Combined with say, a couple of Ravener broods, one with Red Terror, they could be a fairly potent assault force. No scatter for starters. Deathleaper, as are all Lictors, is a living Homing Beacon. Again, he is situational, especially useful in the Vanguard Dataslate missions.
I am going to give all of these choices a try. When and how they will be used, of course, depends on the type of game being played, how crazy I’m feeling, or if I am just feeling super competitive that day. I will probably bring them ALL to D-Company’s Big Game in late February!!
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