My 8th Edition Tyranid Index Review continues with HQ’s that I’ve already played. Keep in mind that at the time I’m writing these, I haven’t played many games of 8th. Granted, with my release schedule for posts, by the time this goes live, I hope to have quite a few games under my belt. So, take these posts with a grain of salt.
My goal here, as with all of these review posts is to try to compare/contrast each unit between the latest edition and it’s predecessor. I’m moving on to the Tervigon here, as this is the only other HQ I’ve played with to this point.
Like our friend, the Hive Tyrant, and all other 10+ wound critters, the Tervigon gets reduced in effectiveness over time. So it’s hard to do a direct comparison of her between editions, but we’ll do what we can.
The easiest stats to start with are Save and attacks, as these both remain unchanged since the previous edition. Technically that’s true, but armor is a little better in this edition, so even keeping her 3+ is a bit of a buff for the old broad.
The other stats that don’t change as she gets wounded are her leadership, and her Strength / Toughness / Wounds. For her leadership, she lost a point, but I don’t see this being a big deal. Firstly, she’s a synapse creature, and she can’t form a unit, so she can’t take morale tests. The other purpose for leadership in the previous edition involved psychic powers, which is no longer the case in 8th. Practically speaking, though she lost a point of leadership, I can’t see how that is at all relevant.
The bigger items are, of course, Strength and Toughness. She, like all creatures on the big base, seems to have picked up a point of strength. A bump from 6 to 7 means that she now wounds T3 models on a 2+ and T6 on a 3+. She lacks the attacks to really deal with the hordes that are likely behind those t3 wounds, so that’s not a big bonus–but T6 is fairly prevalent on light vehicles and monstrous creatures, so that’s a nice little perk.
Toughness 8 though is definitely the sweet spot. T9 is obviously better when dealing with things like powerfists and melta guns, but only getting wounded on 4+ from these items (and still getting a save, no less) is HUGE! When coupled with an upgrade to 14 wounds, she’s a mega tank. Granted, she can’t put out huge amounts of damage, but she should be able to anchor the center of your army for synapse.
The three stats that adjust over time are her Move, WS, and BS. Her move starts out faster than she was in the last edition, so she should be able to keep up with your army to provide that synapse, but as she gets wounded, she slows to a crawl. Realistically, that’s about on par with the rest of the big bugs I’ve seen so far. WS and BS start off where she was in the past edition and then slowly fall over time. Without many attacks or a great gun, this shouldn’t be too terrible though.
For her stats, she’s a little faster, a little stronger, and A LOT tougher than she ever was before. I’m putting this solidly in the buff column.
She’s a synapse creature, yadda, yadda, yadda. More on that in the basic overview of the Index Review here. She still is able to spawn termagants, but this has changed since the previous edition in a few ways:
- She doesn’t roll to spawn. When she opts to use this rule, she automatically spawns 10 guys.
- If you want to spawn a new unit, you need to reserve points / power at the beginning of your game to enable you to do so (I’m assuming people are playing “Matched play” by default. See rulebook214 for more info.
- Replacing dead models in an existing unit does not require additional points being spent.
- She never spawns out (at least when replacing units). She can keep going the entire battle–so, unless an enemy can kill at least 11 termagants in a turn, she can keep a unit effectively at full strength for the entire game. Too bad they can’t tarpit…
She also has the Brood Progenitor and Synaptic Backlash abilities as well. These abilities now only affect a 6″ bubble (half the range from 7th edition) and similarly buff and debuff ‘gants within that range. Brood Progenitor no longer gives them counter-attack, but instead gives them the ability to re-roll 1’s to hit with ranged weapons. Backlash still kills gaunts, but instead of attacking each with 3d6 hits, it now merely kills off d6 of them, making the downside far less nasty.
For weapons, she comes with the Stinger Salvo by default–which is unchanged except that it’s now AP -1. She can no longer upgrade to the Cluster Spines though. With the omission of templates in the new edition, paying extra points for what would almost certainly be d6 shots at the same strength and no AP modifier would not be a worthwhile “upgrade.”
In assault, she has massive scything talons, which attack at her base strength (7), -3 armor, and cause D6 wounds. Despite not having a large number of attacks, she can pump out as many as 18 wounds per turn in assault, so your enemy is going to have to respect that. She doesn’t have a great weapon skill, but at least she gets +1 to hit with these claws.
She can also upgrade to Massive Crushing Claws. These simply double her strength in trade off for -1 to hit. If you do the math, you’ll find that the stock talons are better than the claws against T6 and below. Against T7, the claws nudge ahead barely by 3%, and then hold about a 6% advantage up until toughness 13 (does that even exist?!). In short, claws are better if you’re only hunting massively large things–which, based upon her shortage of attacks, is probably something she’d be good at doing; however, it seems inevitable that you’ll be surrounded by smaller critters throughout the game. The good news is that the “upgrade” only takes three additional points, so it might be viable in some circumstances.
She comes in at a hefty 250 points (or 253 if you upgrade to the claws), plus you need to reserve extra points for the ‘gants you intend to summon (unless, you’re simply reinforcing them).
In 7th, she came stock at 195 points and could buy cluster spines (+5) and/or claws (+15). Typically both were good choices, so I ran her that way, totaling 215. Increaing her to 250 points gives her a tax of about 16%. I haven’t done enough analysis on the other units, but this seems about normal.
She lost her ability to count as “troops” when purchased with a squad of termagants. Like with our friend, the Broodlord, I don’t see this as a downside. Multiple HQ’s are required to fill out a Battalion Detachment–which is the quickest way to earn additional Command Points. Additionally, with new detachments like “Supreme Commands,” you have ways of fielding a large amount of HQ’s quite easily.
She’s a psyker, and has lost some options in her abilities, but that’s par for the index.
Toxin Sacs and Adrenal glands are still available, though I don’t know that I’d bother buying either with the new rules as they provide minor situational benefits–but perhaps if you had 4 or 5 points to burn? The biomorphs for Regeneration and Acid Blood are no longer available for this unit (and may be completely unavailable in the index–I haven’t gotten that far).
You’re paying a little more points for her overall, but getting a tough beastie told hold synapse in the center of your army. She can reinforce a reasonable number of ‘gants every turn throughout the entire game without fear of spawning out. She just doesn’t have the damage output (in either shooting or assault) to make her a star.
Still, she’s a rock-solid choice and provides an option if you just have to keep your synapse alive. I like the option, and think she’s certainly worth the additional cost in 8th edition.