Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Having now played with the new Tyranids a lot, and theory crafted them like crazy, here are four simple changes I think would elevate the book from - awful - to, CSM/Dark Angel level of power.
1) Reduce the point cost of the Tyranid prime by about 50-60pts. He's an IC that gives synapse, which is what tyranids need to keep their army operating. A cost effective way to hide that synapse in a huge blob of gaunts or gargoyles or carnifex's where it can't be insta-gibbed. With his current points cost, there becomes very little reason not to just make the leap to a Tyrant, which outperforms him in every way for close to the same points value. If he was reduced in cost he suddenly becomes a much more interesting HQ. Possibly changing ideal HQ's to the tyranid prime & a flyrant, or him and deathleaper. It at least makes it viable.
2) Give venomthropes the IC or Character special rules, or a special rule which allows their squad to "merge" with another unit of tyranids (any unit would be fine), effectively becoming part of that squad, but able to use those other bodies as a meatshield. The stealth / whatever aura's would not need rules updates as they'd simply radiate from the Venomthrope models as they do now. They need the character special rule, to allow them some small chance of "look out sir!" on hits, as it could be presumed a good hive mind thinking tactically would wish to at least attempt to preserve its cover.
3) Upgrade their anti-tank guns to confer "Tank Hunters". It wouldn't take much, but given how few anti-tank guns tyranids have, and how few shots those guns have, allowing a re-roll to penetrate armor would make a huge difference. Their ballistic skill is bad enough as it is, the odds of their big-anti tank guns doing anything is minimal currently. You figure, after rolling to hit, penetrate, then the opponent takes a cover save, that two shot S10 gun, suddenly doesn't seem all that great. Nor do hive guard frankly (though obviously minus the cover save).
4) Give Deathleaper synapse. This is super important. For a unit that has to run around by itself, and is super vulnerable to being annihilated easily (esp by tau), its important to at least have something positive going for him worth losing a flyrant or tyranid prime for. It's hard enough to get synapse in the army as it is.
Not to mention, it's really silly to have this super elite infiltrator, pop out, totally has his shit together for a single turn, then loses it and lurks like a wimp out of synapse.
Now I could go on as I have in previous posts about all the other things that suck about Tyranids, and the numerous changes needed to make the book functional. But I've done that already, and rather than suggest a million changes that can't happen, I'm suggesting four that could happen, if I'm lucky, and some GW FAQ writer stumbles across this blog post (unlikely), a few errata tweaks could easily turn the book around.
Naturally I still think tervigons got the shaft, and other things really cripple this book. However, its unreasonable to expect such a core changes on a printed book.
I would point to the lack of being able to take book powers, or being able to ally with themselves as additional features that hurt tyranids.
The synapse table is brutal.
Serious lack of punch by the little ones (due to tervigon nerf) is disheartening.
The tyranid artifacts are decent, they are just super over-costed. An across the board lowering by 10-15 pts on each item would make them more more palatable.
That kinda stuff.
But we can work around those problems, if the four changes listed above were made.
I know full well I can't ever expect them to happen, so I'm just kinda wishlisting it.
I've heard bandied around the internet that GW is designing books to be fun, not to be competitive. My answer to that is, its not fun to get curb-stomped and lose. This is a strategy game as much as it is a model painting game, we should be encouraging the creation of models which can participate in both sides of that equation. It's not fun to paint a super awesome model, then watch it sit on your shelf because its so horrendous to use. It's also not fun to play armies which lose consistently. I don't care how beer and pretzels of a player you are, if you always lose and games are super difficult, its disheartening and far from fun.
Monday, January 27, 2014
It seems that the Adepticon staff have taken the difficult decision to do the following in a very brief summary:
no dataslates, no formations, no escalation, limited use of stronghold (following the rules for the models but w/ caveats and restrictions), no core game changes such as those proposed by FoB or the LVO.
I applaud them for these decisions. With the internet in turmoil over escalation and stronhold, it looks like they have decided to play it safe, not let in game busting elements as much as possible. No doubt they will be savaged by people for their decisions, but I think its the right call.
Well done Adepticon, I strongly look forward to attending in a few short months.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
NEXT RTT will be at 1850 pts. THIS SUNDAY January 19th
I will be allowing,
Stronghold assault models which are not AV15, have D-weapons, or are networked systems.
as always - registration starts at 10am, first game at 1045. Entry is 15 and covers lunch. The rest is rolled directly into prize support. As usual we do not require any painting or fancing basing.
For those interested in proxying models, as long as you don't have any other models of that type in your army, and they have a passing resembelance to the models being proxied, proxies are O.K.
Monday, January 13, 2014
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.
Monday, January 6, 2014
I want to caveat one thing before you get started on this rant wall. I am talking about competitive, tournament style playing. I am not talking about casual beer and pretzels play. I encourage everyone, to be as thematic, epic, awesome, and bring in as many crazy models / units / rules as possible in non-tourney play. I love both tourney play, and casual; so I am not looking to poo on anyone's private games.
I myself have already used escalation to run around (and be run over by) my khorne lord of skulls. It's a thing.
Also, before anyone gets on their high horse and accuses me of not wanting to change things because I'm one of those eldar/tau/ whatever players who are looking to lose a lot, I'm not.
I play assault armies, almost exclusively, you know, that part of the game that everyone claims is dead.
Orks, CSM Spawn-tide, I only use one helldrake ever, never more than one.. That's pretty much it. All of these Tau/Eldar/ New stuff are seriously difficult for my armies to play against.
On top of that, list design and execution can play a huge part of the game. It is often true, that a games outcome can be more or less guessed accurately based on the armies / players in the game. Stereotypes exist for a reason.
So moving back on point:
If you've followed some of the internet arguments. You'll note that a lot of them boil down to: that because GW allows allies, and allies are "optional", then by that logic, the supplements’, dataslates ect, are also "optional", therefore, all GW "optional" are good to go.
A simple solution to that Tau Formation for example? Make them all have to fire at the same target. If the target dies / is out of line of sight, the others in the formation simply don't get to shoot. It'd explain the tank hunters in a fluffy way (focus firing the shit out of stuff with missiles is going to soften it up a hella a lot).
Also lets be honest, some of that new GW terrain is frankly amazing looking.
Now obviously, I'm sure someone is angrily posting a response right now to the void shield question with their "answer", the solution is to roll void shield pen's one at a time, until it collapses, then roll the rest as normal. That's probably the RAI, but is it RAW? no. Someone please point out if they found a RAW somewhere I over-looked (and quote it word for word with a page number)
I really want to allow void shields, then hide my 6 broadsides, riptide, and jetseer council behind them
Oh wait, what about..... No I won't brutalize you with even more broken combinations that all of these promoters of the expansions have yet to think of.
Total side note, I've seen people referencing some BR's posted by Naftka/others as proving that escalation is not OP. Those BR's for the most part are rubbish, taking a TAU list specifically designed to kill Titans, and then waving it around as proving titan's arn't op'd is nonsense.
Why not take some "fluffy" lists, or an ork army, or IG, or ravenwin, or ... hell, anything but tau farsight bomb, and see if you can replicate that result. I guarantee it'll be much harder.
A lot of people are also saying, oh, with a lord of war, you can't afford to have much else in your army so just kill everything but the LoW and it'll be fine. That's great if your opponents a bad player. When you play someone good, they'll reserve what's delicate, deploy appropriately, and push your shit in with a unstoppable lord of war. Especially since they'll probably be doing some reserve manipulation to keep their delicates off until your stuff is to dead to do anything about it anyways.
People fall for that every time.
Or if that's not good, lets try
All Lords of War.
Modifications to game
You know what else is super easy?
Limit formations 0-1
Done, no game controversies.
Here's the bottom line, (quite literally!) People can QQ / Rant / Bitch all they want, about the right way to play 40k. We all see comments all the time, trashing people for proposing, or denying their style of what they consider 40k acceptable.
However, at the end of the day, people PAY money to attend these events, these tournaments, ect, and there is an obligation, as a TO, when taking someone elses money, to ensure they get the best time you can give them, and making sure they are playing in a realm of reasonable expectations.
It's one thing to have a social contract with a club or a group of friends to come over and play beer and pretzels with you. It's quite another when you take someones money. They are buying a service from you, whether or not you keep the money or plow it right back into prize support / food / venue ect. There is an expectation that service is a well run - fair as possible - game system they can compete in, and be competed with.
It is our responsibility, to live up to that expectation.