Competitive 40k tactics and Battle Reports with the Tyranid Codex

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A reaction to BOLS

Well, I finally got to read a rulebook last night! And then this morning, BOLS put out an article on the pros and cons of Nids and 6th edition. The below is a direct copy and paste.

Tyranids Still Suck Eggs1. No change through charging through cover, still I1
2. Removing casualties from the front pushes squads back, increasing needed assault distance
3. Overwatch means you get shot on your turn as well as your opponents.
4. Overwatch removing casualties from the front pushes squads back, increasing needed assault distance
5. No assault from outflank
6. No assault after run/fleet (previous average 15 inches, new average 13)
7. Thanks to Krak Grenades all Marines Str 6 vs. MC 8. While Fearless, cannot go to ground
9. No way to effectively deal with flyers, as vector strike is base strength+d6, the best you will get will be glance on a 4+. Forget about hurting a Stormraven.
10. It is actually easier to put a wound on a Flying Hive Tyrant when he is flying than on the ground, thanks to grounding checks. (about 1% easier)
11. Focused Fire will shred hordes even partially out of cover, meaning you will have to be hiding all the time.
12. Overall reduced cover saves.

Tyranids are Awesome
1. Vector strike makes the flying Nids a real threat
2. Smash means all your big bugs can kill whatever they reach
3. Tyranids will be fielding HUGE numbers of psykers
4. Fear on big bugs
5. Hammer of Wrath on big bugs
6. Dual Force Orgs at 2k make the bugs brutal at larger point sizes

Looking at the above, it seems like there are far more cons than pros to the switch. However, I think that the author missed out on quite a few important changes.

7. No retreat is gone! Long live the horde! Our hordes are now lasting twice as long against things like dreads and terminators that we cant hope to kill. A good spawn from a Tervigon can hold up a Dread or a hero for several turns now. Mephiston for example, is now going to have to kill every gaunt the old fashoined way, and if you put 15 or so into him, that ll take a solid 3 or 4 assault phases easily.

8. Vehicles are paper. Every unit we have can now charge and hurt a vehicle with ease with the new hull point rules. Gargoyles with furious charge can take down a rhino without even blinking. If that rhino didnt move, 9 Gargoyles can wrap it and kill it on the charge, and instant kill the squad inside. And with a 24" threat range, thats not going to be as hard as it sounds!

9. Wrapping vehicles. This plays with the above, but now that hordes are a viable way to kill vehicles, the amount of gaunts needed will probably also be enough to wrap around a transport. Units that disembark must be placed in contact with the exit point before they can move, which with 3" consolidations before we strike, will be very easy to close down the hatches.

10. Hive Guard are still beastly. With new cover rules, vehicles are now very easy to give cover to, against every army in the game, except... for... us. Yep, that rhino with guys in front can now ignore lascannons with a good roll, but Hive Guard can trash it with ease. With glances being a factor, Hive Guard are also now better against Av. 13 and 14. Also, Hive Guard ignore Night fighting for all intents and purposes now, which is awesome as Night fight is now a whole lot more common. A 5 turn game now has a 75% chance of Night fight in at least one turn, which gets more likely with a turn 6 or 7. This makes our stuff more survivable without affecting our main anti armor shooting at all. Zoanthropes are usually close enough by the time they shoot that they ignore the effects.

11. Fleet allows re rolls of runs. Everyone complians that fleet is now shorter assault ranges, but its also longer runs, which means that by the time we are in range, we ll be closer, and wont need as much of a charge range!

12. Ymgarls +1 toughness works against Overwatch. A 10 man tac squad with flamer (and it looks like plasma will be standard now) kills about two 'stealers on the charge. Ymgarls however, can weather that with ease, as a bolter will only hit on 6s, wound on 5s, and they get saves. That same Tac squad with missile flamer gets less than one wound in before they probably get slaughtered. Also, just as a side note, cover saves apply! See below...

13. Venomthropes! I was the only Bug player I knew who used venomthropes in 5th, but now they look AWESOME. One of the larger changes is "focusing fire" to models not in cover. Now that cover is on a per model not for the whole squad, Venomthrops really come into their own. Having one trailing gaunt in range suddenly takes 33% off of your casualty rate as your opponent can no longer just kill the ones not in area terrain. And yes, having one stealer nearby before you charge gives cover to overwatch fire. Boom!

14. The bonesword. Boneswords now "ignore all armor saves" which is technically the same, but everything else power weapon got nerfed. Warriors and shrikes now eat Terminators as they strike well before them, and can slice them apart. With consolidation for both units, Lash Whips now let you get more models into base contact for Initiative one goodness. A prime with LW/BS and poison now rerolls on (usually 3s) to wound, ignores all armor saves, and in a challenge will hit before his opponent every single time. Powerfist in a tac squad versus warriors used to be doom, now, he is just about guarenteed to get killed. Most hq characters will also get smoked by a prime, short of Lysander and Draigo.

15. Preferred Enemy: I think that we ll have to be more shooty to compete now, and Tyrants certainly can help with old adversary. Imagine devilgaunts in range of that! Pure, pure evil.

16. Armored shell means a walking Tyrant will dominate CC. Paladins got you down? Boom, ap. 3!

I think the Bugs are definitely getting better. Not broken, but viable to be sure.

Also, Im under the impression that a "Vector Striking" FMC can smash.  Is there something I missed to disallow that?


  1. Yep. Vector Strikes are not close combat attacks. No rules that affect CC attacks help, including Smash.

  2. RAW I'd say you may be correct, but I could see it being FAQd the other way.
    Also, as a precedent, the Necron CCB gets similar sweep attacks, that do get the benefit of the Overlord's Close combat weapons and rules, so it's not too far fetched that they can "Strike and Smash".