Indiana 40K Championship

Indiana 40K Championship


Friday, January 25, 2013

Tyranids: HQ choice reviews.

Hey everybody, Frankie here. Last week I went over some of the basic rules in the Tyranid codex. And I left you promising that this week I would go over the Hive Tyrant. But in truth we will be talking about a few of their HQ choices. There’s not an HQ, or any unit for that matter, which I haven’t had on the table at least ten times, in either competitive play or just looking for a fun game.  And as a result I have come to know what units work where. That is why I like the Hive Tyrant, Monstrous Creature WS-8, BS-3, S & T-6, W-4, I-5, A-4, Ld- 10, Sv-3+.  He can take most of the upgrades available to the army. I'm not going to go thourgh them all. He can be given wings that make him a Fly Monstrous Creature, and already being an awesome beat stick, wings add speed to power, and snap shots are a beautiful thing. He can be upgraded to a 2+ armor save. He comes base with a bonesword & lashwhip(no armor saves with instant death on a failed leadership test and enemy models strike at Initiative 1)  and a set of scything talons(reroll 1s to hit). I like to give him the stranglethorn cannon over the talons, it’s a large blast S-6 AP-5 range 36” pinning gun. The gun is nice for infantry, but his real value is in combat. 
With 6th edition giving us challenges he becomes the character killer, the truth of it is there are only a handful of characters in the game that stand a chance. Because this HQ doesn’t care how fast they are, due to his lashwhip, what kind of armor save they have, what toughness they have, due to smash attacks that all Monstrous Creature have, or how many wounds because any toughness 4 or 5 enemies you use Smash Attacks and instant death them with S-10. And if that’s not enough he has a psyker power to make an enemy unit WS & BS 1. He can upgrade his close combat attacks have poison to reroll any failed wounds he inflicts, but I don’t usually take that. Another good thing about him is he has some upgrade abilities excusive to him, the best of these is Hive Commander. This allows you to add a +1 to your reserve rolls (making them a 2+) and can have any one troop unit outflank. This is great for Tyranid Warriors with a Tyranid Prime with deathspitters. And how much does this monster cost? His base cost is 170 points, but running him with the upgrades that have worked for me (wings, stranglethorn cannon and Hive commander) 275 points. Some may think that’s too much for one model, but for supporting the army the way he does in my list, he’s amazing!
Hive Tyrants can also be given a unit that can only be taken to add to him. Tyrant Guard. You can take 1-3 of them at 60 points for each. They can be upgraded to have a bonesword or lashwhip. They’re not bad in close combat with WS-5 S-5 T-6 W-2 I-4 A-3 Sv-3+. They have Scything Talons and Rending Claws base. If the Hive Tyrant dies while this unit is still on the table they gain Furious Charge and Rage for the rest of the game. They are best for keeping your Hive Tyrant alive till he gets to combat, but for the points, giving him wings and making him a Flying Monstrous Creature is a much better choice.

I have just recently started running my 5th Edition HQ as well, the Tyranid Prime. This guy is a great choice.  He is an Independent Character, but he is made for Tyranid Warriors. Because when he joins a unit of Warriors they use his WS and BS in place of their own. This takes the unit from WS-5 & BS-3 to a WS-6 & BS-4. Going from hitting on a 4+ to a 3+ when shooting their S-5 AP-5 18” range deathspitters. This is all the deadlier when they outflank on a 2+ due to the Hive Commander ability from the Hive Tyrant. He is Strength and Toughness 5, making it harder to instant kill the rest of the Warrior unit. Like the Warriors he can be upgraded with a bonesword & lashwhip, double boneswords or rending claws. I have mine kitted so I can run him with either bonesword & lashwhip or double boneswords. Magnets are awesome. Double boneswords cause instant death on a failed leadership test of 3D6, and being at Initiative 5 this is great for challenges. This HQ is yours for less than 100 points with these upgrades. And for leading a scoring unit, I feel is a good deal.
There is a 3rd HQ choice I like to run, the Tervigon. I know what you’re thinking, you can only have two HQ's in a list under 2000 points. This is not true in the case of the Tervigon. If you take a unit of Termagants you have the choice of making this Monstrous Creature a troop choice. This is awesome for holding objectives and for the relic mission, with toughness 6 and 6 wounds on a 3+ armor save, this becomes a huge pain in opponent’s imperial back side (Sorry Slick). And this isn’t even the best part of the Tervigon. This HQ/Troop can spawn more Termagants, and thats awesome! Before the Tervigon moves in the movement phase, the spawns 3D6 Termagants anywhere within 6” of this big mamma, even if she is locked in an assault. The new unit can move, shoot and assault in the same turn they are spawned, also any Termagant unit within 6” or spawned by the Tervigon can use her leadership for tests and gain the Counter-Attack special rule and if you upgrade your Tervigon with Poison close combat weapons and/or Furious Charge these Termagants will benefit from those as well. One of the main reasons I love this model is because it is at least one additional troop to help claim objectives. The reason it’s at least one is because on any rolls of doubles on the 3D6 spawning roll you lose the ability to spawn further units in later turns. And there is one other down side to her. If she is killed, all termagants within 6” and/or spawned by her take 3D6 strength 3 AP- hits. And for being toughness 3 armor 6+ Termagants, this can hurt. But in my experience with her she almost always proves her worth. I have had games where I have spawned 40+ Termagants! That’s 200+ points of free troops! Now to be honest that’s not all the time, my average is about two units about 8-12 in size. And she has a base cost of 160 points, a great addition to the army.
Moving on, the Codex has two unique character HQ’s. I will go over the less known of the two first. The Parasite of Mortrex. This guy sounds way more intimidating then he actually is. This Jump Infantry HQ has some fun tricks, and all are focused around Ripper Swarms. You may be starting to see why you don’t hear much about this dude. He has a 24” Synapse for Ripper Swarms. As for the cool tricks I was talking about, any model that he kills in close combat must take a toughness test. Each failed test spawns D6 Ripper Swarms within 6” of the Parasite. And any enemy unit that outflanks takes a single toughness test when they arrive, if failed one model in the unit dies and you get D6 Rippers within 6” of the slain model. The Parasite has Rending and Instant Death on rolls of 6 to wound. And at WS-5, Strength 6 , Initiative 6, and 4 Attacks, that’s not bad. But what is bad is he’s only toughness 4, even with 3 wounds and a 3+ armor save he dies way to easy. Anyone that knows what this dude does just shoots him to death before he can do it. And true you can put him with another unit, but at 160 points, I'll take the Tervigon for the same price, He’s not worth it. He can be fun in some casual games, but that’s about all this guy is worth. P.S. sorry my model of the Parasite isn’t painted, I enjoyed making the conversion, but having him painted is on my back burner, way back.

Now on to the more well known of the two. The Swarmlord. This is a true monster indeed. As a Monstrous Creature HQ, this unique Hive Tyrant does many of the things a normal Hive Tyrant can, with a few differences. His stat line is almost the same as a Hive Tyrant, but with WS-9, W-5, I-6 instead. He has the Instant Death rule on his Bone Sabers that also force any opponent to reroll any successful invulnerable saves. Just about anything this dude touches is in for a major beat down. He has a 4+ invulnerable in close combat. An 18” Synapse range and is psyker mastery level 2 that knows all four of the Hive Tyrants psyker powers. He adds a +1 to your reserve rolls, making them a 2+ and grants his own kind of Acute Senses. But unlike the normal Hive Tyrant upgrade this does not allow you to outflank a troop. One really cool thing this guy is he can give Preferred Enemy, Furious Charge or Acute senses to a friendly unit with 18” that lasts for your turn, this can help one of your units that needs to pull ahead in an assault. This HQ can be your own Chuck Norris for 280 points. But when putting that many points on the table you want him to live to round house kick some people, so you’re going to want to take him with some Tyrant Guard. Making him cost even more. For the points I recommend putting wings on a Hive Tyrant. This HQ is not useless, but I feel there are better choices. But good none the less.

So this concludes the HQ section of the Tyranid codex. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to comment and add your thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Next week I will be going over the elites. This is where some really cool units like to hang out.

Until next time!  


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