Tyrannocyte Tentacles

I recently picked up some Tyranids in a trade including three of their drop pods.  I know that they’re actually called Tyrannocytes, but I’m having a hard time referring to them as such (except for when they force alliteration, like in the title of this blog post).

If you recall from that post, the big issue with them is that they were missing some pieces.  Some of the missing pieces were the spikes on the top of two of the pods, and a set of armored chitin on the third.  Those I managed to pick up off of Hoard-of-Bits on ebay for a reasonable price, but the bigger issue is that they were missing their tentacles.

  • Carapace pieces?  $5
  • Smoke stacks? $2
  • Weapons? $2
  • Tentacles? $30!!!!!!

I don’t mind buying most of that stuff, but I can’t justify $30 for a bunch of tentacles.  On the plus side, it gave me a chance to play with my tentacle maker again (which hasn’t seen the light of day since I started my Tyranid Bastion project more than a year ago–for those that are curious, it’s now spray painted blue, but no further progress has appeared).

I also drastically overestimated how much green stuff I was going to need, and promptly ordered a ton of that online.  The good news is that it seems to keep for a long time, based upon the fact that I still have some that’s pushing two years old.  So, I’ll be good on green stuff for a while.

I won’t go into the tentacle making process too much, other than to say that it seemed to work best if I rolled them into “snakes” and then let them cure for about 45 minutes before scoring and shaping them.  While they were curing, it worked best if I went back and periodically gave them a quick roll (so they didn’t flatten or stick to the plastic tray).

The biggest limiting factor on them was how many other odds and ends I had laying around to form them over.  Tentacles look better when they wriggle around in all sorts of directions, but to get them to cure that way, you have to find a way to position them in odd ways.  Enter: my sculpting tools.  Basically any tool that was laying around got wrapped with a tentacle of some type (and, like before, it was best if I came back every fifteen minutes or so to adjust them).

For the last lot, I rolled them a little longer and wrapped them around the carapace itself.  This looks far more dynamic, and might have been something I should’ve done with more of them.  Then again, you want at least some of them to dangle down, right?

For the one missing the lower tentacles, I rolled out some long ones and tipped them with little claws from a spare Harauspex mouth.  They don’t look quite like the “proper” tentacles, but I think they’ll do in a pinch.  The real problem I have is that they’re so evocative of the Aliens from “Chicken Little.”

I can’t get it out of my head…

The good news is that I’m into this for about $130.  They’re $63 each (MSRP), so I’m at about 30% off retail.  That’s not super exciting, considering how much work I put in them, but if we’re using that math, I also got two harpies and six venomthropes thrown in for free.  Yup, at that price, I can definitely overlook my feelings on cartoon aliens…

Trading for Tyranids

I’m constantly on the lookout for a good deal.  It used to be that any deal that seemed reasonably good might be good enough, but anymore, unless I really want them, I tend to pass on anything that isn’t an absurdly good deal.

Just before our Apoc game, I had a friend from Seattle call me about some old models he had laying around.  He told me that he’d sell them to me for $100, and I bit.  In hindsight, I didn’t do a proper valuation on them, and though they were certainly worth it, it would’ve normally been the type of deal I’d pass on.  I mean, it wasn’t a bad deal at all, probably being valued in the $300 range if it were all brand new, but it was for an army I didn’t play (Khorne marines), nor did I immediately know of anyone looking to pick them up.

But he was a friend and I had a momentary lapse of reason (plus he secretly threw in delivery, which included a surprise appearance at said Apoc game as well, which was worth the $100 right there).

Well, flash forward to last month.  There was a guy selling some Tyranids on a local facebook group.  The models themselves looked pretty banged up and his prices were a little high for my likes–and lord knows I don’t need any more Tyranids.  Still, he had some models that I don’t currently own, so I pinged him and asked him if he was interested in anything in trade.  I have a ton of models languishing in my garage, so trading is a far easier pill to swallow.  When he said he wanted Chaos, I flashed him some pics of the chaos marines, and he was hooked.

We then worked out a trade that involved the marines for:

  • 2x Tyrannocytes (partially assembled)
  • 1x Tyrannocyte (mostly complete)
  • 6x Venomthropes
  • 2x Harpies (or maybe they’re Hive Crones…?)

I brokered the deal over facebook chat and wound up leaving the stuff on my doorstep to have him trade it out when I wasn’t around.  Some of the stuff was sight unseen, and it was in halfway rough shape.  For instance, the Tyrannocytes were missing quite a few pieces, and some of the bits on the Venomthropes were broken, but the price was right, and the guy seemed accommodating, so I didn’t buck the system.

Sadly, I don’t think I got any better shots than this of when they were dropped off.   He threw in a big bag of bits, which covered most of the parts required for the two Tyrannocytes, and the third one that he listed as “mostly complete” was actually only missing the tentacles.  With a little green stuff, that shouldn’t be an issue.

I find myself happy with the trade, but sad that I now have to go paint more Tyranids.  But before that, I have to go strip some figures…


Batrep: Space Wolves vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (80 power)

It’s been a month since I’ve played a game of 40k–heck, over that.  It’s not that I don’t have a regular forum to play in, as I have a regular weekly game night, it’s just that there are so many other factors.  Sometimes it’s a matter of not having the right people, or people not bringing armies.  In both of those cases, I don’t want to leave someone out and play 40k without them.  After all, we want to encourage people to come to game nights, so leaving them out is counter-productive.  Other times, there are just other games that are more compelling: new board games, good weather, or ongoing campaigns.

This past week, I had my heart set on 40k, but we wound up playing a game of Small World and a few rounds of Giant Uno (which is far more fun that it sounds, believe me).  But I still wanted to get in my 40k fix, so Sean and I agreed to meet in secret on a Saturday to get a game in…

Space Wolf Battalion

  • HQ:
    • Arjac Rockfist
    • Wolf Lord w/ Master-crafted boltgun & powerfist
  • Elites:
    • 5x Wolfguard Terminators w/ Wolf Claws
    • 5x Wulfen w/ 4x Thunderhammer & Stormshield, & Pack leader w/ Frost Claws
  • Troops:
    • 10x Blood Claws w/ Flamer, & Powersword
  • Heavy Support:
    • 6x Long Fangs w/ 5x Plasma Cannons, Plasma Gun, & Frost Sword
  • Super Heavy:
    • Knight Paladin w/ 2x Heavy Stubber, Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon & Reaper Chainsword

Technically speaking, this was not a battalion and should’ve only earned him +3CP to start the game; however, it’s only his second game of 8th and he was confused.  It didn’t even cross my mind until he sent me a text the next day to tell me that he had “cheated.”

I don’t view misunderstanding the rules as cheating.  He’s not that sort of guy, so no harm.  The list was rather small, and it seemed that the lynchpin was going to be the Knight.  Unlike when I’d faced them in 7th edition, I wasn’t at all scared by him.  Bolstered by the notion that so many Tyranid MC’s can do as much as 6 wounds per hit, I figured I could take out a Knight without too much worry.

He did warn me about the Wulfen, but he also told me that they had been removed from the table during his first game (Against Tyranids) without really doing anything, so I wasn’t real worried.  He gave me an overview of what they could do, and I figured I’d try to avoid them (if possible) but that they’d die under concentrated firepower…

Continue reading

Batrep: Nurgle Daemons vs. Genestealer Cult (51 power)

Not to be confused with my recent 50 point battles against Mitch’s Chaos models, I played yet another smallish game against the forces of Darkness.  In this instance, I wound up playing against Albert, who fielded a bunch of Nurgle units instead of Khorne, so I got to see how other things functioned.  It was his first game of 8th, so we went through things as slow and methodically as possible.  Technically, it was also a 50 point game, but he didn’t have the right models with him to field exactly that many, so I let him squirt over the top a little.

I also wound up mixing things up a little bit and fielded a cult army…

Forces of Nurgle:

  • HQ:
    • Great Unclean One (Virulent Blessing & Fleshy Abundance)
  • Troops:
    • 10x Plaguebearers w/ Icon & Instrument
    • 10x Plaguebearers w/ Icon & Instrument
    • 10x Plaguebearers w/ Icon & Instrument
    • 6x Nurglings
  • Fast Attack:
    • 2x Beasts of Nurgle (?)
    • 6x Plague Drons w/ Icon & Instrument

No surprise, Albert threw down a bunch of Nurgle demons on the table–pretty much one of every available option (short of Scabeithrax–thank god).

The question marks by the Beasts isn’t because I’m unsure of whether he had them or not, but rather because I’m not quite certain if they’re elites or fast attack.  Probably the latter, but I’m throwing them into the fast attack slot for this battle report.

Genestealer Cult:

  • HQ:
    • Patriarch (Might From Beyond)
  • Elites:
    • 10x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 10x Purestrain Genestealers
  • Troops:
    • 10x Acolyte Hybrids w/ Hand Flamers & Rending Claws
  • Fast Attack:
    • 1x Sentinel w/ Lascannon
    • 1x Sentinel w/ Lascannon
    • 1x Sentinel w/ Lascannon
  • Heavy Support:
    • Leman Russ w/ Battlecannon, Plasma Sponsons, & Hull Mounted H.Flamer

My genestealer cult still suffer from the same list building restrictions as they did in 7th edition: namely that I haven’t painted up any characters still, so I’m forced to lean on my Tyranid units for that.  I also haven’t painted up any heavy weapons, or vehicles (though the latter works because I have a bunch of pre-painted tanks laying around.

I’m pretty convinced that MSU (multiple small units) is still the way to go in this edition.  Sure, it means that I basically never get first turn (which isn’t really something you particularly want with an assault based army), but there are numerous advantages with smaller units.  To test the theory, I figured I’d run my squads bigger this game.

I threw in the lascannons as last minute adds because I didn’t want to run more acolytes and metamorphs (which are practically identical when I read through them).  Plus, it gave me some shooting units that I so sorely lacked when I had faced Mitch earlier. Continue reading

8th Edition Tyranid Index Review: Old One Eye

My 8th Edition Tyranid Index Review continues with HQ’s that I’ve already played.   I’ve skipped over the Swarmlord and Prime, because they haven’t seen the table, but I have fielded Old One Eye in a couple of battles (including this one), so we’ll cover him now.


Like all of the other 10+ wound critters, Old One Eye gets reduced in effectiveness over time.  So it’s hard to do a direct comparison of him between the editions, but we’ll give it the old (one-eyed) college try.

His statline also changed radically.  In fact, none of his stats are the same as they were in the previous edition–well, except his armor save.  Everything else has changed (with most of them going up–so that’s a plus).

His move went up by 1, making him slightly faster, but that’s not anything to write home about.

His Toughness went up by one, which basically means that Plasma wounds him on a 4+ and various Strength 6 weapons only hurt on a 5+.  Coupled with the fact that he will get an armor save against most every weapon (even if it’s just a 6+), that should lead to a little increased durability.

His stats that fluctuate over time are weapon skill, strength, and attacks.  Weapon skill went from a 3 to a 3+ in most cases, so that’s a definite improvement.  Strength went from 10 to varying between 5-7 so that’s certainly down.  Attacks went from 4 (essentially 5, considering the extra hand weapon) to somewhere between D3 and 5.

With his old strength, he could wound anything up to T8 on a 2+, whereas now he only wounds things up to T3 that way (and that’s assuming he’s at full strength).  Coupled with an overall reduction of attacks, his ability to wade through combatants is decreased.  What he has going for him is that he does a straight 3 wounds per attack, meaning he’ll actually fair better against large models and characters.

Overall, his durability has increased, but his damage output seems to have decreased.  This may be a wash as far as stats go, but seems a little worse to me.  Of course, he’s hitting far more often than he did previously, so in all actuality, this is probably a better statline than the previous edition.


Alpha Leader has changed in that it no longer gives him poor man’s synapse (which was a terrible ability).  Frankly, any change to that was likely to be a bonus.  Now, he adds +1 to hit in assaults for nearby Carnifexen (including himself).  He’s going to count as a force multiplier for nearby carnies, so expect to see him with some friends.

“Living battery ram” used to give him additional hammer of wrath attacks, but as that’s gone, it’s now morphed into an “Immortal Battering ram” that gives him a 4+ to inflict D3 hammer of wrath attacks in the form of mortal wounds (done to a unit, not a model, so this should be able to kill off multiple figures).

He also has a new rule called “berserk” rampage wherein he can get additional attacks for each successful hit.  Frankly, I was forgetting to roll these in my game….

Regen still exists, except now he just automatically regains a single wound per turn.

In every instance, I think that his abilities are much improved from 7th edition.



He comes armed with Monstrous Crushing Claws, Scything Talons, and a Thresher Scythe.  Unlike most unit entries in the codex, he’s not required to pay the “tail tax” on his attacks.  In fact, you can pick and choose to make as many (or as few) attacks you want with the tail (too bad you can’t use these in conjunction with Berserk rampage).

His claws and talons have the same damage and AP modifier, but at least you have the option.  Generally for a normal carnifex, I think I’d choose to roll two sets of scything talons as the extra attack seems better than the extra strength.   But since he has the option, you’ll generally want to use the claws when it comes down to units that are T6 or less.  The damage output winds up being quite similar in most cases for the base attacks, but Berserk rampage helps swing the favor towards the talons.  Otherwise, I think the claws are a better solution against T7 critters.

Considering the last edition just gave him a straight AP2 one damage attack, these are a tad better.  Combined with the tail option and Berserker Rampage, he can do more damage to little guys and big guys alike.  This is a solid win for this unit.

Points Cost:

Unlike most of the other units in the game, his points are a fixed 140 points and all wargear is included.  Whereas he previous rocked the scales at 220 points, and many models in this edition actually got more expensive, coming in at a mere 140 points is a steal for this guy.  Another solid win.

Other Changes:

There really aren’t a lot of other changes that impact him.  We’ve already discussed that his pseudo synapse is gone, so his role (if you can call it that) of acting as a synapse node is gone.  Instead, he’s a force multiplier for other units of Carnifexes in your force, so I think you’ll see him in lists like that.

Hammer of Wrath as a rule, was pretty unimpressive for all units in the last codex, except for carnifexes, so I think it’s worth noting that it’s absence will be felt overall.  Lucky for this guy, he gets his new rule that makes up for it (sort of), but normal carnies will not be so lucky.


This guy strikes me as a steal.  I’ve used in in two games, and he really did do a number on a land raider for me, despite me forgetting that I got additional attacks for every hit I rolled, and he comes in at a sizable discount to what he used to be.  If he had synapse, I would think that he’d be a shoe-in as an auto-include for this codex.

As it stands, I think he’s a great choice to include if you’re running units of carnies already.  I can see him hitting the table far more in this edition….

P.S. Man, I don’t seem to have any good pictures of my carnifexes available… I know I don’t have a dedicated model for this guy, but you’d think I could at least throw up some pics, given that I have nine of these painted.  Man, I need to get to work on those pictures…