Indiana 40K Championship

Indiana 40K Championship


Friday, February 1, 2013

Tyranids: Elite choice reveiws.

Hey fellow war-gamers, Frankie here to discuss the Elite section of Tyranid codex. In this section there are some of my favorite units and some of the most annoying. Most of them have unit sizes of 1-3. Let’s start things on a good note. The Hive Guard. This is one of the more popular units in the codex. And why not, their awesome! They weigh in at Toughness 6 with 2 Wounds at 4+ Armor Save. Not much in combat other than his Strength 5 at Weapon Skill 4 with 2 Attacks at Initiative 2 with nothing but claws and teeth (normal close combat weapon). So what makes this guy so popular in an assault heavy army? This dude is one of, if not the best shooter in the army. At Ballistic Skill 4, which is high for Tyranids, and a killer gun that rocks. The Impaler Cannon is what makes this Elite worth it, with a 24” range at S-8 AP-4 Assault-2. True, marine players get their Armor Saves, but the real kicker of this gun is that you don’t require line of sight to an enemy unit, and it ignores cover saves. Sorry bikers, no Jink save for you! Hide this guy behind a solid wall and open fire, and having Toughness 6 this guy tends to be very useful. And at 50 points, this guy is great at shooting up most tanks and infantry.
Some say you can’t have the good without the bad, so here it is. I give you what I would consider the worst unit in the codex. The Lictor. Now I love the way this model looks, truth be told it’s this reason I started this army. “This thing looks awesome! I’ll find a place to put him.” I said, and man was I wrong. Being new to the game at the time I didn’t know much about this dude. At first glance you see his WS-6 S-6 W-3 I-6 A-3, and think this guy can do some damage, and with scything talons and rending, you would think so. But with Toughness 4 and Armor 5+, a good overwatch will kill this guy. But maybe he has some cool rules? Not this guy, Leroy Jenkins here has stealth and his own version of a teleport homer while adding a +1 to your reserve rolls, but he has to be on the table for a turn to use them. And he MUST start the game in reserve and deep strike in. Even though he doesn’t scatter, and if he comes in on turn two, you still can’t use his abilities till turn three, at that point the game is half over. And this guy is not a character, so no challenges. At least in 5th edition you could put him on an Independent Character, but not anymore. And at an over coasted 65 points, not even worth it. I hope they fix him in an update or something; I would like a Tyranid assassin.
And if that isn’t enough, they give you a unique Lictor at over double the points that dies just as easy. The Deathleaper. Once again we have an intimidating name on a very unintimidating model. The Deathleaper has some cool abilities but none that are much more than a speed bump for your opponent. I’m not going through them all, the fact that he still MUST come in deep strike hurts him. His offensive stats are better than a normal Lictor, but his defensive stats stay the same, he just gets shot to death. He gains Shroud, but that’s not enough to keep 140 points alive.
Moving on to a more fun unit, I have seen these guys used in some really cool ways and have made for some interesting games. I give you, the Venomthrope. This guy is fun more than anything; his stat line is a little more than your average trooper. But this guy is meant for support. Every Tyranid model/unit within 6” of this guy gets a 5+ cover save. Now this is not the Shroud rule, so it doesn’t help if you’re already in cover. This was way cooler in 5th edition then in 6th; it was cool with Ripper Swarms back then. The Venomthrope wounds with poison weapons in combat on a 2+, also any model in base contact with this model must a toughness test or take a wound, armor saves may be taken. But he dies too easy for my liking, the best way to really use this guy I have found is to put him with Tremagant or some other low armor unit to help them get a crossed the table. But at 55 points, not really worth it for shrouded that can get killed. But fun if you use your imagination.
This next unit is a one trick pony, but one that does it better than anyone. The Zoanthrope.  And what is his trick? Pulling a Houdini on any tank in the game! This dude has almost nothing to offer in his stat line outside having 2 wounds. But has some great rules. This Psyker has two powers in his arsenal, Warp Blast and Warp Lance. Both are Psychic shooting attacks. Warp Blast is a small blast with a 24” range S-5 AP-3, not bad if there isn’t a tank to pop with Warp Lance. Now this is where his real value lays, 18” range S-10 AP-1 lance. For those unfamiliar with the lance rule, it treats vehicles with armor higher than 12 as 12, this means it pins Land Raiders on a 3+ with a +2 to the damage chart. People with tanks tend to fear these flouting brains, and being toughness 4 they can be instantly killed. Good thing they have a 3+ inval save. This is a unit you should take at 2-3, because one dies to easy, the others help get at least one a crossed the board to shoot up some tanks. And at 60 points, this guy is a great choice. I personally prefer a Tyrannofex to the Zoanthropes. Zoans must pass their Psyker test, roll to hit, roll to pin, than roll on the damage chart, and at 18”, that’s gives the opponent a lot of time to shoot at this dude. T-fex is better choice (I’ll go over him in the Heavy Support section). And if they have no tanks the Zoans don’t do much. But they aren’t bad.
Now this next guy is awesome, my MVP for so many games. The unique Zoanthrope, The Doom of Malan’tai. And we finally have an intimidating name on a scary model. The lore for this guy is that he single handedly destroyed the entire Eldar craft world of Malan’tai. And his abilities match this lore very well. His stat line almost all 4’s, his strength is X, and I’ll explain that as I go. First is his Absorb Life ability, for every unsaved wound he inflicts he gains +1 wound (meaning it takes 5 wounds to kill him instead of 4 and so on) to a max of 10 wounds, and with a 3+ inval save, this Dorian Grey is a hard guy to kill. Now back to his strength, this stat always matches his wound stat. So as he gains wounds and becomes harder to kill, he also becomes stronger. Now for his greatest ability, Spirit Leech. At the start of EVERY shooting phase, every enemy unit within 6” of this model takes a leadership test on 3D6, and for every point they fail by the unit takes a wound with no armor saves allowed. And remember that every wound he inflicts he gains 1 wound. You see why I love this guy! Now you may be thinking with toughness 4 the opponent will just shoot him to death first. Wrong, he can take a Mycetic Spore (this will be covered in the Troop section) this is basically a Tyranid Drop Pod. It comes in Deep Strike and auto corrects scatter the same way as a Drop Pod. This allows you to drop him in a much crowed area and the Doom will suck up some wounds and cripple some enemy units all at the same time! Epic! Now he doesn’t have the Warp Psychic powers that a normal Zoan has. His is called Cataclysm, this range 24” S-X (and yes, X is the same as his wounds and strength) AP-1 large blast. Now this psychic shooting attack has a down side, after he shoots it but before he gains wounds he takes D3 wounds with no saves allowed. To avoid this, I switch out this power with the psychic discipline Telepathy primaris power Psychic Shriek. This is basically the same thing as his Spirit Leech ability turned into a 12” range psychic shooting attack. Now let’s go over point cost, this guy may be the most under cost dude in the codex. At 90 points with a 40 point Mycetic Spore, this guy is a must have at a total of 130 points. I don’t see why GW hasn’t made a model of this nightmare, but I hope you like mine.

Now moving on to our next Elite, like all the other Elites (other than the two unique guys) this unit can have 1-3 models in a unit. This guy is another annoying unit, but not entirely useless. I give you the Pyrovore. As the name suggests, this dude is armed with a flamer, range template S-5 AP-4. His stat line is worse than most basic troops. (WS-3 BS-3 S-4 T-4 W-2 I-1 A-1 Ld-6 Sv-4+)  Now this guy can explode in the same way a vehicle can. If he dies by instant death you roll a D6, on a 4+ he blows up D6” at strength 3 AP-. Kinda cool. His close combat attacks ignore armor, but he usually doesn’t live that long. There is a fun thing about this guy, he comes with Acid Blood. (a Tyranid upgrade for most others in the codex) What this does is for every unsaved wound the model takes in combat the enemy models in base contact take an Initiative test, if failed they take a wound with no armor or cover saves allowed. This is fun for running into a unit of Terminators and pull a kamikaze, yes he will die, but he takes some dudes with him. That might work once. Anyone playing this guy a second time will shoot the crap out of him first. And at 45 points, I’ll spend 5 more points and take a Hive Guard.
Last but certainly not least. One of my favorite units in the codex. The Genestealer Ymgarls.  This unit is sized between 5-10. They have the same stat line as a normal Genestealer but with 4+ armor instead of a  5+. (WS-6 BS-0 S-4 T-4 W-1 I-6 A-2 Ld-10 Sv-4+) Like their normal cousins they have Rending Claws, Move Through Cover, and Fleet. With two additional abilities. The first is called Dormant, this is a deployment option unique to the Yamgarls. It happens after both armies are deployed, including infiltrators and Scout moves. You pick a piece of area terrain and write it down on a piece of paper and put it off to the side without your opponent seeing. (I just number the terrain, easier.) When they come out on their normal reserve roll the unit is placed within the selected terrain. They can move and assault in the turn they come out. That is so awesome, because almost no one can assault when they come in from reserve, but these guys can. The other ability unique to them is called Alter Form. At the start of each assault phase you can choose to give the whole unit +1 strength, toughness, or attack, but cannot choose the same one back to back. And because this is at the beginning of the assault phase, it happens before overwatch shots are taken, giving you the option to be toughness 5 for overwatch if you want.  This is a very deadly unit. Epically when paired with the Doom and the Hive Tyrand ability to make your reserve rolls a 2+. They do cost more than a normal genestealer. Weighing in at 23 points a model. Some think that’s a lot, for what they kill they pay for themselves every time. Keep them going from one assault to another and you can’t go wrong.

That’s it for the Elite section of the Tyranids codex. Sorry not all my models aren't painted, but those guys don't get out much. Join me next week as I go over the Troop section. Please let us know what you think, units that work for you, units you play against, and/or how you would use them. We would love to hear from you, the players.

Until next time! 


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