Tyrannic Pack Mules

A lot of players have been complaining about the new Tyranid codex before it even comes out.  Whether their doom-saying is a result of pure speculation or they’ve actually caught a glimpse of the “leaked” Germanic version of the code is anyone’s guess, but I prefer to wait until I have facts to analyze.

Lucky for me, I was able to look at the codex and, let me tell you, it’s nowhere near as bleak as they say.  Looking at the 4th edition book, what the bugs need (in my opinion) is:

  • Cheaper swarm units
  • A method to deal with tanks (especially since mech is so prevalent at the moment)
  • Viable fast moving units to get into hand to hand
  • Tweaks to Lictors & Warriors to make them viable

Other than that, I’m perfectly happy with the existing codex.  From what I can tell, 2-3 of the above have been resolved—though some would say that all of them have.  Time will tell on the ability to crack tanks…

The complaint I’ve heard most is that the points values for everything have gone up dramatically: as much as +100%!  From what I can tell though, though prices have gone down on some things and up on others–though nothing as dramatic as they say.

Below are a few examples of points changes:

  • Hive Tyrant +126%
  • Zoanthropes +71%
  • Warriors +114%
  • Carnifex +88%

OK, at first glance, those numbers look atrocious, and yes, some are in excess of 100%; however, when you start adding up the biomorphs that used to be optional/required upgrades that are now required within the base cost of the model, you come up with a list that looks more like:

  • Hive Tyrant +31%
  • Zoanthropes:  -8%
  • Warriors:  +0%
  • Carnifex: +46%

On top of that, every unit in that list received additional upgrades that weren’t easy to compute to points.  Sure, the biggest of the bugs got more pricey, and a certain portion of that cost isn’t soaked up by new benefits—it’s just an outright nerfing of certain units; however, with the reduced costs in many of the smaller units (read: gaunts & gargoyles) a balanced army will likely not see any reduction in model count because of these slight point variations.

So, even if the increased points costs are justifiable, the inevitable argument will be: but these costs that were once optional are now mandatory.  There’s really not much retort to that statement.  Sure, some of the new statlines are ideal, but most contain bio-enhancements I never once purchased in 4th edition.  This really just seems like a simplification of the rules (and thereby, the available options).  Yes, it means that some models have turned into Tyrannic pack mules: covered with every biomorph imaginable, but heck… they’re bugs. 

They’ve evolved…

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10 comments on “Tyrannic Pack Mules

  1. The thing I like most about this change is the focus away from Nidzilla. In my mind, bugs have always been about swarms, not elephants. I think this Codex really makes swarms viable. (Sadly though, I hate seeing swarms/hordes in tournament play… most players always take too long to move them all.)

    The “Chicken Little” people are why I tend to avoid discussions of new codexes right around release. People always cry doom and gloom for a couple months before and after like it’s going to have some effect on the already published book. Nob Bikerz, Valkyrie spam, Thunder Wolves and many others were all supposed to “break” the game too. Nids will be nasty when they first come out, people will hone them to be even worse… and then the smart players will adapt their lists. It might mean a few more Heavy Bolters in place of Missile Launchers or a couple Flamers rather than all Meltas. And lo, life will go on…

    Heh. Sure you don’t want to move to warmer climes? :-p

  2. The thing I like most about this change is the focus away from Nidzilla. In my mind, bugs have always been about swarms, not elephants. I think this Codex really makes swarms viable. (Sadly though, I hate seeing swarms/hordes in tournament play… most players always take too long to move them all.)

    The “Chicken Little” people are why I tend to avoid discussions of new codexes right around release. People always cry doom and gloom for a couple months before and after like it’s going to have some effect on the already published book. Nob Bikerz, Valkyrie spam, Thunder Wolves and many others were all supposed to “break” the game too. Nids will be nasty when they first come out, people will hone them to be even worse… and then the smart players will adapt their lists. It might mean a few more Heavy Bolters in place of Missile Launchers or a couple Flamers rather than all Meltas. And lo, life will go on…

    Heh. Sure you don’t want to move to warmer climes? :-p

  3. I ❤ heavy bolters. I loved them when they were 5pts, and love them even more now that they're free for tactical marines. For some reason, people have gotten all caught up in this mechanized meta-game and can't see the value of anything else. This is partly why I'm pleased with people's impressions of Tervigons. Can you believe people are hyping a unit who's real benefit is simply to create more disposable swarms (that can't do anything to mechanized forces)?

    Though I suspect what will really put the nail into the mech coffin will be the upcoming mission book. When missions become more than "tank-shock me off this objective to win the game," I suspect people will start bringing more balance into their armies. Only time will tell though…

    As for relocating: Sure, I'd love to move to a warmer climate. Let's agree to move to Hawaii one day and start up a gaming group.

  4. I ❤ heavy bolters. I loved them when they were 5pts, and love them even more now that they're free for tactical marines. For some reason, people have gotten all caught up in this mechanized meta-game and can't see the value of anything else. This is partly why I'm pleased with people's impressions of Tervigons. Can you believe people are hyping a unit who's real benefit is simply to create more disposable swarms (that can't do anything to mechanized forces)?

    Though I suspect what will really put the nail into the mech coffin will be the upcoming mission book. When missions become more than "tank-shock me off this objective to win the game," I suspect people will start bringing more balance into their armies. Only time will tell though…

    As for relocating: Sure, I'd love to move to a warmer climate. Let's agree to move to Hawaii one day and start up a gaming group.

  5. The German Codex doesnt scare me at all, in fact i think it appears quite balanced.

    The Big bugs seem scarier as they seemingly all have 6 wounds and Toughness 6, and now some of them are packin real fire power and/or deepstriking into my face in a drop pod with multiple wounds. Really its the wounds that gets me, its not often you see a codex like this where “1” is the rare number in the codexs summary of units wound column.

    I suspect it will changed the meta as any new codex would, but for me its need to wound high toughness things more then once that will be the new melta. Sure i can insta kill a pie plate of gaunts or warriors with a russ, but its only gonna take a single wound from that big nasty.

    • It’s a pretty well put together list–though the only fret I have is that none of those multiwound models have Eternal Warrior.

      I’m looking forward to testing out the new units against y’all soon.

  6. The German Codex doesnt scare me at all, in fact i think it appears quite balanced.

    The Big bugs seem scarier as they seemingly all have 6 wounds and Toughness 6, and now some of them are packin real fire power and/or deepstriking into my face in a drop pod with multiple wounds. Really its the wounds that gets me, its not often you see a codex like this where “1” is the rare number in the codexs summary of units wound column.

    I suspect it will changed the meta as any new codex would, but for me its need to wound high toughness things more then once that will be the new melta. Sure i can insta kill a pie plate of gaunts or warriors with a russ, but its only gonna take a single wound from that big nasty.

    • It’s a pretty well put together list–though the only fret I have is that none of those multiwound models have Eternal Warrior.

      I’m looking forward to testing out the new units against y’all soon.

  7. @Dweomer
    If you think Nidzilla is gone, you’re in for a very unkind surprise. Tyranids went from two MCs to seven (more if you count the Uniques), and most of them are reasonably cost-efficient. You won’t see 114 pt MCs anymore, but they’re individually a lot more deadly and better-supported.

    It’s unfortunate that the Termagant is such a poor buy for its cost- mainly because of the short-range gun, mediocre stats, need to be babysat, and inability to embed anything like a special weapon in it. Guard platoons and Marine/Wolf squads are good because you can make them scoring units for reasonable prices that also can threaten targets other than infantry; Termagants, lacking this, are basically 50pt ways to take a Tervigon in a troop slot.

  8. @Dweomer
    If you think Nidzilla is gone, you’re in for a very unkind surprise. Tyranids went from two MCs to seven (more if you count the Uniques), and most of them are reasonably cost-efficient. You won’t see 114 pt MCs anymore, but they’re individually a lot more deadly and better-supported.

    It’s unfortunate that the Termagant is such a poor buy for its cost- mainly because of the short-range gun, mediocre stats, need to be babysat, and inability to embed anything like a special weapon in it. Guard platoons and Marine/Wolf squads are good because you can make them scoring units for reasonable prices that also can threaten targets other than infantry; Termagants, lacking this, are basically 50pt ways to take a Tervigon in a troop slot.

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