Since 4th edition, they’ve bulked up a bit, more than doubling their base points cost. These guys are the epitome of the pack mule mentality of the new codex. These changes, however, do make them a more tactically flexible unit choice.
The biggest benefit these guys received in the new codex was the shifting of their placement in the organization chart from elites to troops. In most missions, troops are ultimately the units that matter, and having some hardy, synapse-fueled options in that slot will make bugs all the more viable. This change alone is huge–allowing us to free up slots in other FoC slots that would’ve had to hold synapse–in order to get some of the new toys available to us.
Built into their stat line, they now come complete with improved ballistic skill, weapon skill, wounds, attacks, and armor. Additionally, with the changes to scything talons, they now get to reroll 1’s in hand to hand combat natively, making warriors the “tactical squad”equivalent of the ‘nid army. Got something that needs to be harrassed at range? Check. How about something that needs to be swatted in assault? Also check.
Wow, I’m starting to like warriors here!
Another good thing is they’ve retained the option to fly (at a slightly reduced point cost, no less), just in case you need some quick synapse at the front of the line (although you’ll have to do it without armor). They also have a new variation in the HQ section that improves the statline of accompanied warriors. Like most bugs in the new codex, both the flying and the walking varieties of warriors also get access to furious charge and poisoned weapons, along with a host of new weapons options (force weapons that kill on 3d6, thank you very much…)
Well, they’re twice as expensive as they once were. OK, this is a misnomer. By default they come with a gun and some weapons now (options you were compelled to purchase in the previous codex). So, assuming you took a reasonable weapon choice, you were going to wind up paying at least 22 points per model in 4th edition—and that would’ve given you a meek h2h version. To get a unit with both h2h and shooty flexibility, you’d be looking at 23 points for scything talons & a devourer (which, coincidentally, is their default loadout in 5th edition). Still, you’re looking at about a 25% increase in cost (but this is made up in the other stats mentioned above).
Also, prior to launch, they were rumored to have an option in every FoC slot—but after thumbing through the codex, it would appear they got left out of heavy support. This really isn’t bad, because there are so many powerful options available there… I doubt they’ll be missed.
And the big downside? They, like basically all multi-wound bugs, lost their invulnerability to instant death! The days of bugs fighting on long after you spray them in the face with Space-RAID or plasma are gone. Now they’ll curl up in a ball and twitch their legs like the insects of Earth.
I won’t lie and say the changes to Synapse/Eternal Warrior don’t hurt. They do—a lot… but it’s not the end of the world. Though the prevalence of mechanized armies also gave rise to the melta weapons, they’re just not there in the kind of numbers necessary to vaporize large groups of warriors. Especially considering melta’s notoriously short range, and every shot at a warrior is one shot that isn’t getting through to all of the nasty big-bugs.
Of course,str8+ ordnance will ruin your day—but why shouldn’t they? I already cower in fear at the sight of battle cannons with any other of my armies… why should the bugs be any different?
I’m really not seeing any ugly combos yet for warriors: they just seem to be a solid core choice. They:
- Provide reasonable shooty at medium range
- Have the ability to move and shoot with medium/heavy weapons
- Provide stabilization (in the form of synapse) to all nearby units
- Provide reasonable counter-assault options for anything that hits your line
- Act as scoring units in every game!
Sure, most of the above were true of them in 4th edition (except for scoring units), but to do all of that, they’d have been more expensive.
With the apparent changes to zoanthropes that force them to stay in squads, the synapse provided by warriors will make them a staple in my lists. Hopefully though, my German is just a bit rusty and I’ve overlooked the fact that Zoanthropes can be split out… oh please… oh please…
“Warriors” picture borrowed from http://bamvoyage.blogspot.com/2008/08/warriors.html, who has a write-up of the Cheesy 1978 movie of the same name. Warriors! Come out and pla-ee-ay!