This is a slight rant, but more an expression of some disappointment in the Tyranid FAQ. Honestly, this blog tends not to get a lot of my ranting posted on it, and I think there are folks that tend to do it in a more entertaining fashion. As such, I turn to the internet for pictures of cats with captions to express my feelings.
I want to start by saying that the 'nid FAQ is not all bad.
Honestly, GW deserves serious props for answering contentious questions clearly and concisely.
"Doom hits stuff in vehicles, y/n?" Nope. It's clear, concise, and resolves a contentious issue.
"Is the Mawloc really supposed to be able to deep strike into stuff?" Yes.
"Can I single out a Tyrant with a retinue of Guard?" Nope.
These are clarifications that are handy. It would have been nice to have it in the codex to begin with, and the near half-year of waiting for it is a wee bit annoying. But, it's clear now, and it's stuff we wanted/needed clarified.
There's really one major disappointment, as far as I'm concerned:
Hive Commander Does Not Stack.
Big deal, you say? Well, it honestly doesn't come as a surprise. The IG Advisor that buffs reserves doesn't stack, either. So, why is this getting to me?
Tyranids have a fair assortment of deep-strike-capable units, including:
1) Pretty much every foot-mobile troops choice via mycetic spores (and Raveners...)
2) Spore-podding Zoanthropes
3) Various jump troops (Gargoyles, Shrikes, winged Tyrants)
Note that marines that rely on reserves have buffs for them; a full drop-pod army can guarantee half of it arrives early (well, unless you're Dark Angels or Black Templar). Blood Angels, whose schtick is falling from the sky screaming with jump packs, get a buff on that reserve roll, too. Sheesh, even Daemons can guarantee half of a deep-striking army arrives (albeit, the rest of their special rules and unit selection works to offset that...).
Now, on the bright side, spores and trygons cannot deviate into units (and the Mawloc WANTS to, so yeah). On the down side, the best you can get for a reserves buff is +1 to the roll. So, if you want to see your units arrive anything other than piecemal, you want to bring multiples. Common sense, right? Here's the problem:
The more deep strikers you bring to make sure you get enough of them early, the less you have on the table.
This is called 'handing yourself over piecemal.' Too little on the table, and you might not have much of it left when the backup arrives. It's bloody challenging to try to make heavy deep-striking work. Most deep-striking units are going to be around 200 points. Trygons are 200 base; Mawlocs are around 160-170; pods are 30 points and a Warrior squad is easily 200 points. Hormagaunts are a toss-up because Feed - Synapse = potential hilarity ensuing if the enemy can bait you somewhere. (Or just drop a couple flamers on you, then it's a BBQ...I wonder if they scream like lobsters when broiled?).
So, I want two of my deep-striking units to arrive and threaten the enemy on turn two so I can hit him on turn three. I take three deep-striking units (IE: three Trygons). 600 points of the army, easy. I add in a hive tyrant + guard, 250-300 points (admittedly, it's also a nasty unit in its own right and a melee rock for smashing over someone's skull, AND a quality psychic unit). Then, I hope that the enemy army can't nuke 'em both, and I try to threaten him. I also hope that I can roll well, because most armies CAN handle a single Trygon in a turn. You buy some time, lose a Trygon, and then they show up turn three and you hope that they have time to do enough damage (Because they won't hit assault 'til turn 4, now...).
Ok, I'm probably mis-using the term, but if deep-striking isn't so reliable, it follows that I want to make sure other items in my army ARE reliable. Let's go to that contest Elites slot, which is usually a Hive Guard vs Zoanthrope debate. Now, Zoanthropes are short-ranged, and there are two ways to try to shore that up: Onslaught (hope you roll well on that run...) and Mycetic Spores, which can deliver you into Warp Lance range.
Well, assuming you get the reserves roll right. So, you've put 2-3 Elites slot into Zoanthropes in pods, and you might have a Venom Cannon on the tyrant(s). Zoeys are already more or less single-use (Ok, you might get more, but do you really want to gamble on that?), and frankly, I'd like my anti-tank on the table fast to keep the enemy from doing damage to me. They're a little less reliable, now.
What's this mean, overall? Less options for effective builds. That's my major complaint about the Hive Commander 'clarification.' Double hive commander can no longer get me results similar to a drop pod assault. Drop pod marines? Reliable and nasty. Reserving 'nids? Asking to come in piecemal.
Honestly, it feels like unless I'm wearing power armor or flak armor, I should get accustomed to fewer options.
Honestly, it's a hit. Pure and simple. It doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense, from a standpoint of promoting versatile builds. It's not encouraging me to go out and buy 9 Zoanthropes (...ok, the cost was kind of keeping me from that anyway). It makes me a little annoyed I have three Trygons, and it makes me wish there was a freaking official model for the Tyrannofex (since it's pretty much the only heavy support choice I run for a serious build).
Anyone else feel like this? I'm kind of annoyed when I get all psyched up, have a couple builds ready, and then my models get FAQ'ed.