Saturday, June 24, 2017

Back to it in 8th - First Impressions of 'nids, Templar and Guard

So I'm a minute behind folks, but I had to open up some time and dig the old guard out. Well, except for the celebratory Tyrannofex and Tervigon models.  My old buddy and I got together and threw down.  Lists were below -

Tyranids - Battalion Detachment
Tyranid Prime (whip/sword, devourer)
3 Hive Guard (impaler cannons)
3 Venomthropes
20 Termagants (10 devourer, 10 fleshborer)
20 Termagants (10 devourer, 9 fleshborder)
7 Genestealers
Tyrannofex (fleshborer hive)
2x Carnifexes (each w/ 2x Deathspitters, mace tail)

Imperial Forces - Battalion, Superheavy Detachments
Chaplain Grimaldus
IG Commander
2 Commissars
Infantry Squad (Grenade launcher, heavy bolter)
50 Conscripts
Crusader Squad (10 Initiates, 10 neophytes, flamer, powerfist, power sword)
Leman Russ (battle cannon, lascannon, 2 heavy bolters)
Baneblade (additional 4x lascannon, 4x twin heavy bolter)

Scenario - Retrieval

Short Version -
I should've brought more big guns, maybe skipped an HQ choice - turns out that Baneblades HURT.  The Venomthropes bought me a couple turns of defense versus shooting, but I didn't bring enough long-range shooting to cripple it.  By the end of turn 3, I was sitting on one objective, and he handily had two, between the Baneblade and the tattered remains of the Crusader squad.

Impressions on 8th
Overall, I'm a fan.  The rules got streamlined, but thanks to the myriad org charts in the main book (and the faction keywords) you still have some solid freedom in how you build your forces.  Command Points are pretty useful - we both burned through the bulk of ours in three turns, but part of that is getting used to them.

Scenarios with the alternating deployment are going to take some getting used to - horde armies will generally NOT have first turn unelss they can seize.

Tyranid Impressions
Tervigon - it pretty much needs to go along with a couple blobs of termagants.  Replenishing a heap of 'em is nice, and re-rolls to 1's on shooting mean that you end up with about a 60% hit rate, which is great alongside devourers.  That, and The Horror is HILARIOUS, especially alongisde venomthropes.

Tyranid Prime - cheapest synapse HQ choice.  It's the buff HQ for warriors, which I didn't take.

Broodlord - he's disgusting in combat, he gives 'stealers a +1 in melee (effectively bumping them to WS 2+) and is a psyker.

Hive Guard - bring impaler cannons.  S8, AP-2, and 1D3 damage without needing LOS?  Give 'em synapse support, sit back, and start knocking wounds off vehicles.

Venomthropes - MVPs.  -1 to hit at range is huge.  Expect them to draw fire, but a minimum-sized brood WILL absorb some fire.  I think these are going to be in most 'nid lists.  I suppose they'd be ok in melee, assuming they lived long enough to get there.

Termagants - They're cheap, and need to be brought in bulk.  Devourers are a solid upgrade if you're gonna bring a large group; otherwise they're basically chumps with pistols.  I'd go for either a large group with some guns hidden in it.  I'd think about taking them as a tiny MSU for a troops tax, but rippers are cheaper.

Genestealers - they're still nasty, and they're cheap.  However, I didn't bring enough of them to make a difference this time out.

Tyrannofex - fleshborer hives are hilarious, and would be even more hilarious if I ever had a good chance to stand still and fire it twice.

Carnifexes - These guys aren't super-durable - but they have some options.  I think you're either going pure melee (and deciding whether crushing claws are worth the penalty to hit), volume of fire (grab devourers or deathspitters; the big difference is AP and a point of strength), or big gun + little guns.

Black Templar Impressions
Grimaldus - this guy (and chaplains in general) are pretty nasty with re-rolls to hit; Grim gives Black Templars extra attacks on 6s.  Also, gives 'em LD9, which is pretty useful for guys that are running across the field.

Crusader Blobs - These guys can crank out some attacks, what with chainswords/combat blades and pistols.  They can take a heavy weapon or power weapon, but with 1 base attack (and the fact they're probably moving) I'm not sure if I'd use this option.  Not sure what special I'd choose, they're all nasty.  They do need some good leadership, though - and Grimaldus provides that.  You can always go for the smaller squads and take a heavy and special, too.

Imperial Guard Impressions
IG Commander - command squads got a re-work; now if you want orders (and a cheap HQ) it's just one dude running around yelling at guardsmen and telling them to be a little more useful.  See also: sniper bait.

Commissars - their big trick is making sure that your guys don't run - mostly by shooting one of them in the morale phase.  You get one per elite slot.

Infantry Squads - so, now you're stuck with 10 guys with a special and heavy.  It simplifies things from the army-building side, but you're less durable.  They're cheap, and probably exist to sit on an objective with heavy weapons.

Conscripts - oh, they're gonna die by the fistful.  And a commissar is going to shoot one of 'em a turn.  Then again, these guys exist to fire off great heaps of lasgun shots.  The larger squads are also unlikely to ever grab cover.  Also, seriously? GET A COMMISSAR.  Because otherwise you're gonna remove fistfuls of these guys every turn if they're between the enemy and an objective.

Leman Russ - big guns, hard to kill - harder if it stays at long range.  Battle cannons are one of the many former blast weapons that now fire a random number of shots that hurt.  It makes them nasty against larger targets...

Baneblade - OUCH.  So, the main gun is a 3-damage gun that fires 2d3 shots a turn.  What used to be a pie plate of doom is now a humongous anti-tank weapon.  The demolisher cannon is its little brother - and you can still buy sponsons.  The tank puts out a TON of shits, especially since what used to be twin-linked is now just more shots.  That being said, note that the tank does NOT have a rule that lets it move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty.  BUT, if you get it into melee, it can disengage with penalty, shoot at things in melee, or just hit them with tank treads at like S9 or so.

As a former super-heavy, note that it has a heap of wounds, but after you've done a little more than a dozen wounds to it, it drops from BS4+ to BS5+, at which point it's kinda sad.

Next Steps for 'nids
1) Get more venomthropes
2) test Trygons - choosing when to arrive from reserves is awesome
3) test warriors - synapse is extra important for shooters, since instinctive behavior cuts down your options for shooting/charging
4) Exocrines are gonna be fun


Zzzzzz said...

Kool. Thanks for sharing your impressions. The more I hear, the more I think it might be worth a punt again...

Raptor1313 said...

The core rules are available online - if you've got those and a buddy with an index or two, you can give it a go.

The big book includes scenarios and expanded terrain rules.