So I'm going to come out and say it, not that the rest of the internet hasn't already. I think Codex Tyranids was actually better in its 5th edition form.
Far, far, far, far better.
Let me say also, I really truly hope, that someone pulls some epic list ou this book, and proves to me that this book is great, and i'm wrong.
So let me give the recipe for the 6th edition codex
Take all the good things about the codex in 5th, then either remove them, make them substantially more expensive, or change the rules to make them awful for your army.
Now imagine all the bad units in 5th edition codex, now leave them as they are or make them worse.
Introduce new units and abilities, which could be labeled as average at best.
Add a dash of random rolling tables for things which are in a lot of ways, not meaningful or bad (being out of synapse can mean running off the board now!)
and that's kinda what the new 6th codex looks like.
I write this, as a seriously annoyed 40k player.
I notice there was a short thank you notice to some playtesters on page 1,
sooo Nick, John, Stefano, Paul, Matt, Trevor and Jim, you guys failed at your jobs, are letting down pretty much the entire 40k community as a whole, and I am dubious to the "playtesting" you did.
The rules in it are just punishingly bad.
How insultingly bad are the changes? Allow me to illustrate
Swarmlord got nerfed, and costs more.
Can't use book psychic powers.
Ymaryls are gone.
Doom is gone.
Hive tyrant powers are mediocre
Can't get easy access
Tail biomorphs are pretty badf and over-costed
Gaunts are effectively more expensive and less effective simultaneously, why? Because in their 4pt iteration, they arn't really all that great, but are decent. But in order to make them really killy, you need to take poison, or addrenal glands, or both.
Previously you could buy the upgrade on a Tervigon and spread it to the little ones, including newly produced ones. So it was a more expensive MC, that buffed others, so it evened out. This, no longer.
Genestealers are still bad.. =/
Zoanthropes got worse, podding/deep strike is gone!
Venomthropes are a great idea for this army, to bad they are super easy to snipe out and destroy. These little guys should have been IC's you could attach to a larger squad.
Tyranid book powers are decent. All of them are a decent buff or debuff.
The haurespex or whatever would be fantastic, except its slow as dirt. Why isn't this thing moving 12 inches, fleet, and +d3 for run? It's basically a giant waste of points otherwise.
The shooty one, whose name escapes me with the plasma gun, to me seems to be a huge waste of points also. I'll have to try it more before i firm that up, but I'd rather take three of these and run forward shooting + assaulting than one hauraspex or however its spelled.
Harpy's are decent now actually, this is one of the ones that are fine with me. My only beef is the actual model itself. EVERY OTHER FMC IS ON A SMALL BASE AND SITS ON THE GROUND. This and the freaking hive crone hang out in the air like a flier, and are super easy to target / nail / destroy. WHY! Also its huge. I built one last night, seriously this thing is helldrake sized.
Hive crone likewise about being decent/appropriate, though the flamer really should be torrent.
Very very little access to decent synapse creatures. You end up with two HQ's for synapse, zoanthropes, and that's kinda it. You can take Tervigons as troops for synapse of course, but that's stupidly expensive.
Leading me to my my biggest complaint, which makes me the saltiest of all is the Tervigon.
Tervigons blowing up when they die now affects gaunts within 12 inches instead of 6, and does 3d6 ignore cover (didn't ignore cover previously). Also, upgrades on the tervigon no longer affect surrounding gaunts, instead gaunts have counter-attack.. whoopty doo, that'll help vs. all those broadside assault armies we see out there... Also, no way to increase past psyker level 1 is .. bad!
This monster is prohibitively expensive, and add's almost no battlefield support. It's a huge synapse creature which is easy to kill, and if it dies will most likely trash most of your existing gaunt squads if its placed forward offensively. If its in the rear guarding your backfield / providing synapse, its now not contributing anything meaningful to the game except maybe the two-three gaunt squads you can reasonably expect to poop out. No offensive punch though, for almost 200 points, is super bad.
I think that's GW's way of telling us to not take Tervigons anymore.
So i've played a few games with this book now, trying out the new models and a variety of lists.
Playing this what i'd consider more top tier lists, eldar wave serpent spam, tau broadside/ riptides, and vanilla marine bikers.
I found that, while I could get a ton of bodies on the board, they basically lacked in real punch. My opponents difficulty was not in staying alive, but simply killing through the horde deployed against them.
I took lists with harpies w/ twin-linked heavy venom cannons / tyranofax's w/ their S10 gun + hive guard ect. All that firepower just kinda.. missed, or plinked off of eldar, or failed to penetrate.
Lots of people are making positive noise about the tyranofex being good now, with its point cost lowered. Let me put that one to rest, it's still pretty bad. Two shots, so your likely to only hit with one, if you hit at all, for 200ish points, isn't really that good. Compare it to a riptide or wraithknight, which for being in the similar range, are substantially more damaging at shooting (both) and CC(wraithknight) and movement (both), and survivability (both, one has an invuln, the other has T8).
Hive guard in particular have a problem now, with so many S6 / S7 guns in the meta, being T6 just isn't what it used to be (frankly this is true of all of the tyranid monsters, they all should have been T7ish.) Then having a 4+ is not particularly good save. They need a longer range than 24 to be effective in their current toughness / save. With only 24 inches, you have to place them up front, where LoS blocking coverage is usually scarce. you're likely to lose them immediately as they are probably the biggest threat going to AV armies.
Being BS 3 with them now kinda stinks.
Not having all the cool little twin-linking and/or armor bane / monster hunters that the eldar / tau / marines have access to is painful, and made it feel like a struggle.
Its made all the more by the fact that the the flying MC to pop tanks ect, to really be effective have to be in the 0 to 36 inch range, which means they are painfully easy to nock down, then dakka to death.
Worse is synapse issues, if i wanted to run a gaunt / gargoyle horde. Having synapse is a massive problem. With flyrants being relatively easy to ground / destroy, you need a backup plan.
This leaves you with Tervigons -- which, no longer buff your army, if they die, they're likely to kill a bunch of gaunts within 12 inches, (which is .. surprise! synapse range).
Warriors - which still suck, are easily doubled out, especially with a 4+. These guys should have been able to be split off to join individual broods as sergeant upgrades, like wolf guard...
Prime - which is great, but now your losing flyrants if you wanted to go that route.
Zoanthropes - die super easily
not much else.
I rather suspect, any good player when matched with tyranids, is just going to shoot the piss out of the synapse creatures, and then watch most of the tyranid army run off the board. The parts that don't run off, won't be combat effective so are easy to then break apart and destroy.
There simply isn't enough synapse, unless you take units that are bad and/or overcosted. If you take those units, you won't have the firepower you need to crack open tanks, and then deal with the juicy innards, or you'll be stuck running a horde which is severely underpowered (no furious charge or poison), that will struggle to do damage after the first charge.
And that, friends, is the underlying problem with this book.