5th Edition Tyranids: Pyrovores

Before the codex was released, GW put out a few models as teasers on their blog, which showed some great models (like the Trygon & Hive Guard) and some that weren’t so great (*cough* Venomthrope).  One of the cooler looking models was certainly the Pyrovore, as he looked like a beefier version of the Biovore, and was rumored to have flamer and to be a bit of a beast in hand to hand.  Then the codex came…

The Good

I toyed with the idea of not even including a “Good” section with my evaluation of this unit.  In internet speak, Pyrovores are morst certainlly “full of fail,” but there must be some positives to the unit (besides a relatively good looking model).

For starters, it does have one of the only flamer templates in the entire army, aside from Hive Tyrant thorax mounted weapons and termagant stranglewebs (neither of which is very good).  True to the rumors, it also has a power weapon (in the form of Acid Maw), and a better armor save than most Tyranids.

The unit was really designed to die, and that’s one thing that it does fairly well.  In dying, it’s also supposed to hurt the enemy, with both it’s Acid Blood and the rules for Volatile.  Unfortunately, Volatile only triggers on attacks that cause ID (so Str8+), and unless it’s surrounded by fellow tyranids, I don’t forsee it being shot at with such high priority weapons.

It can also take a mycetic spore, which is actually the best thing it has going for it.  This way you can ensure it’s in close to the enemy… and that’s the best place for it to be when it dies.

The Bad

I really don’t know where to begin.  Conceptually, I love the idea of a living bomb that runs into the enemy and explodes; however, in execution, this just misses the mark completely.  He has neither the survivability to get across the field, the damage output to be threatening to your opponent, nor the reliability (or potentency) if he does die in combat against your foes. 

Their statline is comparable to a space marine with inferior WS, BS, and leadership, no special rules, less attacks… oh, and they get a power weapon.  All for three times the price.  Hrm… not an easy sell here…

If you field these, the only way people will go out of their way to shoot them is if they’re near your other units–for a chance to blow a huge hole in your army. 

The Ugly

I almost thought I was on to something there: you could potentially use them in the thick of your army and *MAYBE* someone will take pot shots at it with str8+ weaponry.  This would mean that’s one less heavy weapon firing at your monstrous creatures though, right?

A reasonable enough theory, except these guys simply cost too much to use as bait, and will take a good chunk of your gaunts with them as they die (well, half the time, at least).   Even if you could ignore the (potential) collatoral damage caused in the explosion, just the raw points invested in the pyrovore himself are completely inefficient.  There are just a few units in the codex who pay more points per str8 hit than this guy, all of which are vastly superior to him.

I s’pose the intent here is to use it against hordes, where the flamer template and up to 6″ explosion upon death can maximize damage.  Sadly, there are just too many other units that are better at killing hordes than this (including biovores).  For serious battles, the only purpose I can see to use these critters is for Apocalypse games, when you can get flank march and run right into the heart of the enemy.  They won’t really do much damage, but they could cause some chaos in the ranks as they start the charge.  Perhaps their ability to explode will cause irrational fear in your opponents when they crash in behind the lines?

Whether or not you’re playing Apocalypse, the Pyrovore is clearly the red-headed step-child of this codex.  Some people will insist on playing with them for spite, but anyone with a lick of sense will use them for what they’re good for.  Taking a spot on the shelf for three more years until 6th edition, when GW doubles their pricetag (in $) and makes them the best unit in the new codex.

Until then, take a tip from Frankenstein: FIRE   BAD!

Frankenstein T-shirt design  by http://www.littlechocolatedonuts.com

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9 comments on “5th Edition Tyranids: Pyrovores

  1. “Taking a spot on the shelf for three more years until 6th edition, when GW doubles their pricetag (in $) and makes them the best unit in the new codex.”My thoughts on them exactly – they're going to be awesome next codex… it's a shame they're not seeing much play now as they have such a great concept to them.

  2. Perhaps one of the splinter fleets consumed an Imperial planet on which the Cyclops was manufactured, and the hive mind thought 'hey! we NEED some of these!' I've not read the new Tyranid codex so I'm not familiar with these beyond the sculpt., but the run forward & explode sounds a lot like a cyclops (which consequently works GREAT vs. the tidal wave of advancing gaunts). Given your review of this though, I doubt I'll have to worry about coming into contact with these on the table.

  3. I think you have missed the good part of this unit.Acid Blood.Lets say a blob squad of 30 guard attacks one of these in hand to hand and kills it. It now means the squad makes 60 toughness test (30 failures) wiping out the squad. While it isn't great good, acid blood will make squad wish they had never touched this thing in hand to hand.

  4. The rule actually says “*For every unsaved wound a model with acid bloodsuffers in close combat, the enemy unit that struck the blow must pass aninitiative test or suffer a wound.”*Sadly, it doesn't splash and hit everyone in base to base (like it did in2nd edition), it only affects a single model. In fact, it's even worse thanI'd originally thought, as the wording says that the wound is applied to”the unit” rather than “the striking model,” so an hidden powerfist cancause the wound, but he doesn't have to take the wound caused by a failediniative test, any model in the unit can do that. :(So in your example, when 60 guardsman attack in hand to hand, they need tomake two iniative tests and take a single unsaved wound for they fail.Since they're I3, that means he'll have a 25% to kill two models, 50% tokill a single guy, and a 25% to do *nothing* in his glorious finale. He'ssuper-poo.You get two points for trying though. Do let me know if you want to sellany of your pyrovore models cheaply! 🙂

  5. Err… of course, he does have a chance to explode then, and potentiallyhurt a lot of guardsmen, but that's not due to acid blood. I s'pose youcould use him as a character killer though. If he charged into an IC thatwas all alone, the character would be forced to attack the pyrovore, and foreach unsaved wound he did, he would take one himself… though you're paying60+ points to hopefully do 2-3 wounds to a character, and most IC's willhave an invulnerable save.It's not completely horrible… and probably the best viable use I've heardof for a pyrovote…

  6. And to be fair that going to have to be an FAQ point. Since the unit takes the initiative test there is an argument that it is every model in the unit. Since an initiative test is taken by a model. There is no such thing as a majority initiative. And the unit takes an initiative test for every wound they do to the pyrovore.While I cannot foresee me fielding my 3 pyrovores I plan on enjoy painting them and displaying them on my shelf. The 9 hive guard on the other hand….(This is also more a general acid blood problem, as tervigons and hive tyrants can get acid blood making them very killie in CC. (depending on the GW faq))

  7. Except the pyrovore only has two wounds. So beyond that, there's noPyrovore left to force initiative tests.While I can see where you're coming from, I suspect any FAQ on the matterwill rule that it only does a single wound… but I really hope you'reright. It would at least give the creature something worth using.Thanks for the discussion. 🙂

  8. I i8magine your right, and it will be down to 1 wounds max per wound received. Since that would be good for spaace marines and bad for tyranids.When I first read “Acid Blood” I thought it applied to all wounds done to the model. So say you overkill the model by 10 wounds, well that is a lot of splatter.

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