No More Cheap Bugs?

In my last post, I made the claim that a balanced Tyranid army shouldn’t see any big difference in model counts with the new codex.  In an attempt to defend that claim, I figured I’d do a little digging…

When you factor in the bonuses gained by mandatory / typically chosen upgrades from the previous codex, only four units in the codex went up in price:

  • Hive Tyrants
  • Tyrant guard
  • Carnifexes
  • Biovores

Some of those were bound to happen in an attempt to “balance” the list out, but the Biovore in particular only increased in cost slightly, but got a huge benefit in both survivability and damage output.

In contrast, eight units got “cheaper” (again, when you include the additional of now mandatory upgrades) in the new codex:

  • Lictors
  • Zoanthrope
  • Warriors / Winged Warriors
  • Genestealers
  • Hormagaunts
  • Raveners
  • Flying Rippers
  • Gargoyles

The rest of the units stayed about the same price.  So, there’s a total of 4 units increasing in cost, 4 with no respective change, and 8 that have increased in points per stat-line value.  Of the total 16 units, only 25% raised in cost, while 50% of them got cheaper.  And none of that factors in additional new benefits given to many units in the codex.

Perhaps the concern is that many of the 16 new unit types are significantly more expensive.  (Yes, you read that right.  The number of mutable genuses increased by almost 100%!).  So yeah, there are at least three available species that will cost you at least as much as a land raider now, but they’re all optional.  From the looks of the codex, I don’t see why any new species will be required in order to win games, as the older units are still solid choices.  Sure, the Tervigon is the talk of the town for now, and it will likely prove to be a great addition to most armies, but I can’t see it being required to be competitive.

So what happens when we put this to the real test: Comparing a list between the two editions and seeing how the points fair:

  • 1x Hive Tyrant  – bone sword, lash whip, venom cannon
  • 2x tyrant guard
  • 9x Genestealers + Broodlord
  • 1x Lictor
  • 3x Zoanthropes – Warp blast & Synapse
  • 5x Warriors – Deathspitters, Talons, 1 w/ Barbed
  • 16x Termagaunts w/ Fleshborers
  • 16x Termagaunts w/ Spinefists
  • 20x Hormagaunts
  • 20x Hormagaunts
  • 6x Rippers
  • 15x Gargoyles
  • 5x Raveners – Talons, Claws, Spinefists
  • 1x Carnifex – Venom Cannon, Talons
  • 1x Carnifex – Barbed, Talons

Now, because of the changes to the edition, I couldn’t choose things like Sniperfexes, but I did my best to choose a little of everything (seemingly the underpinning of a balanced list).  From my calculations, in 4th edition, this army list would come out to a total of 2154 pts.  In contrast, the same list in 5th edition seems to pencil out to 1982 pts–a savings of 8%–despite having three big bugs in there.

Now, many players didn’t use units like hormagaunts or gargoyles in the past, but that’s just one more advantage of the new codex–it opens up much more variety in list-building.  Not only are their sixteen new units to play with, but several old units that were previously deemed “too expensive” are now balanced to a more normal rate.

So, even with the new higher cost units and  many of the “big bugs” increasing in cost, the offset created by the cheaper smaller hordes should be more than enough to make up the difference.  Of course, it likely means the death of Nidzilla, but that can hardly be considered a balanced list.  I, for one, am happy to see these changes.

No sir, the sky is not falling… that’s just the wave of mycetic spores you see, blocking out the sun–and carrying with them the new deep-striking Tyranid swarm.

In the upcoming weeks, I’m going to go through each of the available “classic” options of the 4th edition codex and consider how the changes will affect play in 5th edition.  I won’t be providing stat-lines and points costs online to ensure that I stay within GW’s good graces; however, there are many sites that are willing to openly post such things, and you can check out more specific details on some of the links below:

 

Logo used from http://www.nomorecheapbugs.org  Though I have no idea what this site is, and it actually declares the opposite of what I believe to be true, I couldn’t resist using it…

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8 comments on “No More Cheap Bugs?

  1. Nice write-up and an interesting read.
    I like the list you put together here. Have you any ideas how you would handle the raveners and gargoyles considering their bad leadership? Maybe the winged warriors are worth it now…

    • As a list, I simply tried to take a little of everything to make the comparisons as fair as possible. It could prove to be viable in fun games, but it certainly wouldn’t dominate any tournies. The validity of the list really hinges upon the synapse. I’m uncertain as to whether zoanthropes can be split up into 3 seperate units during deployment like they used to be. If they’re forced to be clumped, the list only has three points of synapse, which I suspect wouldn’t be enough to keep the swarms in check–especially since the lack of eternal warrior leaves the door opened to being victimized by lascannons/melta.

      In 4th edition, I always relied on zoanthropes to keep the army in synapse. If they can’t be split now, I would suspect the goal would be to just keep things in check long enough to see combat. I’m not sure how much of a requirement synapse really would be for raveners, since their new Instinctive Behavoir forces them to charge into combat. If you didn’t buy guns on them, they can pretty much be relied upon outside of synapse range. Gargoyles, on the other hand, aren’t as dependable… I guess this is one of those “we’ll have to wait and see” when the codex comes out.

      Thanks for the question!

  2. Nice write-up and an interesting read.
    I like the list you put together here. Have you any ideas how you would handle the raveners and gargoyles considering their bad leadership? Maybe the winged warriors are worth it now…

    • As a list, I simply tried to take a little of everything to make the comparisons as fair as possible. It could prove to be viable in fun games, but it certainly wouldn’t dominate any tournies. The validity of the list really hinges upon the synapse. I’m uncertain as to whether zoanthropes can be split up into 3 seperate units during deployment like they used to be. If they’re forced to be clumped, the list only has three points of synapse, which I suspect wouldn’t be enough to keep the swarms in check–especially since the lack of eternal warrior leaves the door opened to being victimized by lascannons/melta.

      In 4th edition, I always relied on zoanthropes to keep the army in synapse. If they can’t be split now, I would suspect the goal would be to just keep things in check long enough to see combat. I’m not sure how much of a requirement synapse really would be for raveners, since their new Instinctive Behavoir forces them to charge into combat. If you didn’t buy guns on them, they can pretty much be relied upon outside of synapse range. Gargoyles, on the other hand, aren’t as dependable… I guess this is one of those “we’ll have to wait and see” when the codex comes out.

      Thanks for the question!

  3. pretty interesting

    The Tervigon ill be honest kinda annoys me, only because every person “in the know” i talk to about nids, and every website “in the know” is talking about taking 2-4 Tervigons and how awsome they are blah blah. Nothing annoys me more then when everyone plays the same list…. but then again the internet is the home of winners, the funners and fluffers have less presence here and most of my freinds are in the winners category.

    Except George (the ultramarine guy u met rob) who’s so far in fluffers he talks about punching people in the face for useing special character rules for their made up models/chapters nearly every day.

    • Tervigons don’t bother me–it’s those people that broadcast it as the best thing in the codex and and intend on spamming 5 of them in a way to min/max their army.

      Granted, they’re good, but really I suspect it’s just because GW wants you to buy a Trygon and a Carnifex ($100) for a single model–of which you’ll want to also purchase another 30ish gaunts to keep on standby for later production ($50+). Considering $ per point cost, Tervs will likely be the most expensive thing available (sans Forgeworld stuff).

      I expect I’ll use tervs pretty consistently–since they do look great on paper, but never en masse.

  4. pretty interesting

    The Tervigon ill be honest kinda annoys me, only because every person “in the know” i talk to about nids, and every website “in the know” is talking about taking 2-4 Tervigons and how awsome they are blah blah. Nothing annoys me more then when everyone plays the same list…. but then again the internet is the home of winners, the funners and fluffers have less presence here and most of my freinds are in the winners category.

    Except George (the ultramarine guy u met rob) who’s so far in fluffers he talks about punching people in the face for useing special character rules for their made up models/chapters nearly every day.

    • Tervigons don’t bother me–it’s those people that broadcast it as the best thing in the codex and and intend on spamming 5 of them in a way to min/max their army.

      Granted, they’re good, but really I suspect it’s just because GW wants you to buy a Trygon and a Carnifex ($100) for a single model–of which you’ll want to also purchase another 30ish gaunts to keep on standby for later production ($50+). Considering $ per point cost, Tervs will likely be the most expensive thing available (sans Forgeworld stuff).

      I expect I’ll use tervs pretty consistently–since they do look great on paper, but never en masse.

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