I’d like to start today’s blog out with some simple travel tips:
- If you travel to Mexico, don’t drink the water or you’ll get giardia.
- Before you travel to Africa, be sure to get your shots for fear of malaria.
- When you go to England make sure they cook your beef thoroughly, or you might contract hoof-n-mouth.
- And, if you know what’s good for you–stay the hell away from Mortrex. Those bug’s’ll frickin’ kill you.
He’s a fast moving synapse creature with some really unique special rules. His forte is really creating and controlling ripper swarms around the board, getting special rules that hurt outflankers (and make rippers), kill the enemy while ignoring armor saves/toughness (and make rippers), all the while he’s acting as a 24″ synapse for all rippers in the army. I think I’m begining to see a pattern here.
His above average strength and weapon skill, coupled with his ability to inflict instant death on a 6 to hit, and armor on a 6 to wound, make him a reasonable choice for killing any infantry. To a lesser extent, he could go toe-to-toe with any character (without Eternal Warrior) and stand a reasonable chance at winning.
The bads aren’t really that bad. First, comes a theory that economics students will be familiar with: opportunity cost. Is 160 points excessive for a flying ripper-maker? Well, if you consider that you can effectively purchase a Hive Tyrant or a Tervigon for the cost–is he worth that? The only real advantage he has on a Tervigon is that he moves faster, but is all around an inferior choice: lower toughness & wounds, no FNP option, no MC bonus, incapable of getting upgrades, and has to hurt other units (who then have to fail a save) before pooping out friends (which aren’t scoring).
His special rules are cleary the reason to take this choice–the problem is that mechanized armies are so prevalant, and he’s almost completely ineffective against tanks. His “Sarge is acting strangely” has no effect on armored targets, and his lack of MC status makes cracking open them difficult. Due to the current metagame of 40k, a colorful choice who is arguably worth the points cost will likely be relegated to the back shelf–at least until the metagame changes.
I see the parasite as a more of a “theme” unit than a hardcore choice. While it’s true that he could be good–you’re really depending on him rolling 6’s and then the opponent failing toughness tests. Even then, you’re only throwing in a few extra ripper swarms (which I love, mind you, but most people scoff at).
Curiously enough, parasites depend upon other organisms to live, and in no other selection of the Tyranid HQ choices is this more true than this guy. Most of them stand strong on their own, such as in the case of the three monstrous creatures: Tyrants, Tervigons, & Swarmlords (oh my!), and the Alpha Warrior has a higher toughness and a power weapon.
Because of this, this pied-piper of parasites will require a delivery method to insert him into the enemy effectively. Clearly, the most preferred method will be gargoyles, because of their newfound cheapness, coupled with their ability to fly. Alternately, he could accompany flying rippers or flying warriors (and no, I won’t call them sky-slashers or shrikes). Flying warriors seem too expensive to be an effective delivery method–though they would provide a tough assault force bodguard, but the rippers could be a good alternative.
I’m not aware of any rules that prevent IC’s from joining units of swarms, so I don’t see why you couldn’t do this. Flying rippers would provide slightly cheaper wounds per point, and significantly more attacks per point. Though it’s feasible, I think gargoyles will be the easy choice.
That said, he’ll be best against armies with low toughness and bad armor saves (read: IG, Eldar, & Orks), and will also do well against outflanking units (though the army that seems to have the most outflankers in our gaming group is, ironically, Tyranids). You’l want to steer clear of vehicles and/or elite armored units, in favor of weaker units. The more swarms he can make, the more effective he’ll be in your army.
He’s also one of the few IC’s in the army, so in an Apoc game, he’s about the most dependable method of delivering a vortex grenade as well (it’s either him or a prime). Not that I play many apoc games–but it was a piece of wargear I was looking into last time… 🙂
Ultimately, I think the parasite is going to be a great, fun option–especially for those of us with an affinity for ripper swarms. Hardcore players will shy away from their use, but using him coupled with some tervigons, you’ll be making so many units that the enemy won’t know what to do about it. I look forward to fielding one of these guys in the near future–I just need a model to use. Hrmmm…
Image taken from a random blog online. I couldn’t find an owner for the image, so no credit here; however, I would like to take a moment to recommend that nobody do a google image search for “parasite” as you’ll come up with some nasty images.