I'll start with the 'Other News.' Posts have slowed down to an extent, and there are two reasons for that:
1) Work was consuming my soul gradually
2) I started playing Warmachine/Hordes
That being said (and despite some bottled-up annoyances/disillusionment with GW) I don't intend to out-and-out quit 40k. I mean, I own Eldar, Tyranid, Tau, and Black Templar armies and the nucleous of a basic loyalist space marine army. That's a hell of a lot of money to just walk away from, and I'm not too into selling it off when I'm just drawing down the game a bit.
That being said, since this blog gets a lot of 40k traffic and I tend to blog based on my experiences (Hey, writing it down is educational for me AND sometimes helpful to the community) I'm likely to start up a Warmachine-based Spite Blog. (Shameless Plug: Check out Spite for the Unblighted. )
I still intend to post 2-4 reasonably in-depth articles for Warhammer 40k a month, but I'd like to chronicle my experiences with Warmachine/Hordes as well.
Ok, we've got the 'other' part out of the way.
Down to the Bugs
So, what's changed for what I'll take in an army with Tyranids? Annoyed though I am, here's the list of stuff that I'm less likely to take because it's a pain in the tail to get +2 to reserves rolls:
1) Drop Pod Zoanthropes
These guys got kicked in the balls by the ruling. Look, when you've got an 18" gun of DEATH for vehicles, well, you might be a target priority. Just saying. And you're the main way this army stops Land Raiders? Ouch.
Not to get ranty, but either you hope the other guy lets you shoot his Land Raiders/expensive tanks with your Zoanthropes, or you um, y'know, get hosed/hope your MCs can assault them.
2) Anything Else in a Drop Pod
Ok, honestly, what makes me nervous about facing Drop Pod marines/outflanking IG skimmers and the like is the part where it craps out template and/or melta weapons in their preferred range. We can crap out Warriors or a heap of Hormagaunts, which are considerably less scary. The stuff with guns gets to shoot them when they arrive. Our guys have to wait a turn to move into position, and if Synapse isn't close, you have to hope you make that Instinctive Behavior check. If you're not in cover, then, well, ouch. So long. Nice knowing you, little guys.
Ok, sure, technically you can keep them in on the table, but if you want to get to the enemy (Hey, T6, 6 wounds and a 3+ with a model THAT freakin' tall, you aren't getting cover at all, ever. Sorry. Wait, are there MISSILE LAUNCHERS on the other side of the table? Oh, s- BOOM!).
Best-case scenario: arrive turn two, weather a turn of gunfire. Turn three, assault something. Hope to stay in assault. (It worked once: hit a big squad of IG, and his COMMISSAR decided to be an epic hero and held in assault against 5 genestealers and a Trygon during my assault phase. Then he died so very, very horribly in his...). Turn four, repeat.
Downside? You don't start being that productive until the turn after you arrive. 6-12 shots off your personal static electricty at a mighty BS3 do NOT actually make you that scary in shooting; it's like giving a helicopter pilot a sidearm: it gives them something productive to do when they're shot down and waiting to get killed off for raining hellfire missiles on folks.
Best-case scenario? Arrive turn two, deep-strike onto something. Hilarity ensues. Turn three, thank the enemy for NOT killing it, fall back into reserves. Turn four, emerge again for more hilarity. If you still exist in turn five, think long and hard about going back underground or staying topside, since you give away your points if you're in reserves on turn five and turn six doesn't roll around.
Outside of popping up and screwing up stuff, you have a mighty WS3 and three base S6 monstrous creature attacks. Hope no one wants to assault you, and if no one does, consider assaulting them.
5) Any of Your Other Elites
Seriously, unless it's a Venomthrope, has anyone else even taken other Elites choices? I mean, a walking flamethrower is cool and all, and so are Ymgarl stealers (at least in theoryhammer) but that means giving away all your shooting, which just doesn't do much. (Except for my last game against 'nids as Tau; watching the other guy seize the initiative and his one Tyrannofex popping your Hammerheads on turns one and two while they kill a mighty total of FOUR hormagaunts is, um...I needed some Jack straight; not Gentleman Jack because I was just going to THROW IT DOWN THE HATCH and that'd be rude to the good stuff...)
So, What Now?
Well, frankly, most of the time a solid core for a list for me starts with 20 Termagants, 2 Tervigons, and 6 Hive Guard. This is still 490 points of troops and another 300 points and 2-3 of your Elites choices.
As it stands, then, there are a couple of lists I'm down to considering.
1) Shooty Bugs
Take 3 Tyrannofexes and a Prime. You're at 1680. At this point I consider either more shooting (you might be able to fit in a couple of Harpies with Heavy Venom Cannons) or some mid-range shooty/assault support in the form of a warrior squad, or even filling out my Fast Attack with Spore Mines for the laughs.
2) Horde Bugs
Take a couple of Primes as HQs, take six Hive Guard, three Venomthropes and three Tyrannofexes. This costs you a minimum of 1420 (ok, maybe drop a tyrannofex) and then fill the rest of that with things that scuttle and bite.
Hope you don't meet Land Raiders or mech spam.
3) Try Reserves Anyway
Now, thing is, there's STILL a way to get +2 to reserves off the bat; you take the Swarmlord AND a Hive Tyrant, because Alien Cunning and Hive Commander still stack. Here's what I can think of as a prototype for that list:
Still Looking For That +2 Reserves, Thank You Very Much...
-3 Tyrant Guard w/ Lash Whips 
Hive Tyrant 
-Heavy Venom Cannon
-Lash Whip/Bone Sword
-Leech Essence, Paroxysm
Tyrant Guard w/ Lash Whip 
2 Hive Guard 
2 Hive Guard 
2 Hive Guard 
11 Termagants 
11 Termagants 
7 Genestealers w/ Toxin Sacks 
I feel light on shooting, but that's because I don't have Tyrannofexes. On the flip side, I can ram the Swarmlord down someone's throat with Feel No Pain, and potentially threaten them with the other Hive Tyrant.
The Mawlocs and Genestealers are supposed to make folks worry; with the Swarmlord I can reliably place them on the side I want, and then the Mawlocs SHOULD be there on turn two. Hopefully I've put the enemy into disarray, and then the brick of tyranids starts advancing.
Cons? My significant shooting doesn't reach past 24", as the Heavy Venom Cannon will at best annoy the other guy by making his heavy armor not shoot for a turn, or if I'm lucky take a gun off. (which is cool against people with just one main gun, mind you...).
What would I change? I'd frankly LOVE to get another big critter in there. As it is, I could maybe drop a Hive Guard off the Swarmlord and lose the Genestealers, then go up to a third Mawloc and find a place to put that other ~25 points.
Anyway, thoughts/curses/well-wishes/rotten produce? I'm looking at you, TKE.