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 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.
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.
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…