Just what is the plural of Carnifex, anyway? Carnifexes? Carnifi? Well, according to Faolain over at AwakeningYnnead, the proper plural should be “Carnifices” (not to be confused with Carnifeces–something even the most battle hardened warriors of the Imperium are dreadfully afraid of). Faolain’s post is a really great breakdown of names for most of the classic Tyranid units and where they came from. After reading that, it’s clear that whoever designed the ‘Nids was a misogynist (or a country-western singer, but the absense of a unit namd “CanineFledMyTraileris” points towards the former).
As Faolain points out in his thread, the name in Latin actually means “Executioner” (from the root “Flesh-maker”)–hence the picture. It’s also the name for a marsupial lion, an Italian lizard, a tiny crab, and a cheesy death-metal band from San Diego (that’s a test to see if I offend any metal-heads out there). Wow, who knew there was an education to be had in this game?
Ok, enough learnin’ for the day: bring on the Carnifex!
Ok, um… kinda hard to find an upside to the new carnies (doh… I should’ve had a picture of carnival folk instead of an executioner!). Ok, that aside, there are a few bright spots on this unit.
First of all, it’s still a beast. It’s statline is relatively unchanged, except it comes defacto with +1 BS and +2 attacks (as if it had scything talons–which it does, except now they dont’ give extra attacks, they give you rerolls). Those re-rolls will be handy too, since he has a relatively low WS (unchanged), and you’re paying alot for those str9 monstrous creature attacks. He also got an ability that gives them additional initiative on the charge, so you can smash those pesky powerfists before they get a chance to attack back…
They also can be purchased in squads of 1-3 models. This means that the maximum number of carnies you can have per army went up from 6-9 (and doing so now, no longer sucks up your elite spots). They can also purchase options for crushing claws (additional attacks at lower I), and/or frag grenades.
5th edition also heralds the return of bioplasma for these behemoths. I liken it to a (really) short-ranged heavy plasma gun (because that’s what it is). I’m glad they brought this back as now we can all run around and make hacking noises like a cat choking up a furball in an attempt to mimic this creature. Furballs really were one of the better parts of the 2nd edition codex too…
Lastly they can get landing spores (read: drop pods) to be in your enemy’s face much faster than before.
Sadly, this section is doomed to be longer than it’s predecessor. The big downfall is that the base cost of the model went up by almost 50%, without a significant boost to it’s performance.
To add insult to injury, their leadership was lowered, and their available options suffered nearly complete obliteration. Gone are all of the fancy head and carapace options from the plastic kits. Now you’re left with the fairly standard: furious charge, poisoned weapon (which is even worse on these guys than they are on Hive Tyrants), and regen. I’m almost sad to admit it, but they can get frag grenades. Granted, I mentioned this in the “good” section above, but the fact that the item was so readily available to the entire list before, and is almost nowhere to be found anymore makes me sad face. 😦
Likewise, the days of dakka-fexes, or sniper-fexes, or whatever people called them (fexes with two long ranged heavy weapons) are no more.
Lastly, they can no longer be purchased as elites. Well, this shouldn’t be astounding, since they’re well over the minimum charge they had in the past edtion to be converted to elites–and not like I’d rather throw another overpriced ‘fex in instead of some more uber zoanthropes, right?
I suspect the additional points cost per model are to discourage people from playing “Nidzilla” lists anymore, and encourage more balanced lists. As I’ve proposed before, I don’t think the higher priced big bugs will be a detriment to anyone playing a balanced list, since they’ll be offset with the new cheaper little bugs. Though I hate to see a unit nerfed, I’m all for balance, so this is really a good change (especially since you can have so many carnies now adays).
The fact that they can run in units of 1-3 is a bone–and a bad one at that. I can’t see any real reason to do this, unless you’re just blowing points. Carnies in broods of 1 are far superior, since they can split their fire and attacks. It’s a rare combat that requires more than one ‘fex to clear (Even with a powerfist–they’re going to take a few turns to take down at least). The fact that models purchased as a squad will have to retain cohernency and act… well, like a squad, is poo. Just ask the Iguard players: how many of them are using Leman Russ tank squadrons?
I suspect the default layout for these guys will be as slim and trim as possible. Landing spores will be common, but not because they keep the model alive much longer–mostly because it gets them into combat that much faster. Venom cannon and scything talons, I can possibly see purchasing furious charge against multi-wound str5 models (eg. space wolf calvary) for the ability to inflict ID, but the rest of the options just aren’t worth their cost.
Well, that is except for the bioplasma. There’s just no point value I wouldn’t pay to be able to mock cats.
Image originally posted at trutv.com , in a rather creepy post.