by Anonymous Foodie
Now let me say this first - I love Tyranids. They were my first (of only two) army. I got my first box of 40k (the 3rd edition Starter) for Christmas when I was 13, with the hatchings of a very buggy future in my mind. Though I've been more focused on the Dark Eldar lately, I tend to play in stretches rather than switching back and forth in a given month.
That said, lately when I look at the bugs on my desk (I am still working on getting a full 2k list painted up after all this time... and 3 color schemes >.<) a few things about the book (here's looking at you, Cruddace) keep jumping out at me.
For example, one of the Tyranids' greatest fears...
I've lived and breathed through 3 codexes (codices, if you prefer), and watched as the army has shifted from the "I'ma eat yo' face, boy!!!" feel of a heavy close combat army, to the current setting of a fairly good mix of powerful mid-ranged shooting and potent assault elements. The Nids are, in the end, about getting up close and personal. It's just that they've become more reliant (and far better) at softening up the enemy before they arrive.
As such, you'd think they'd love to see a board full of cover, particularly with the upgrade to 4+ being the standard (oh the days of 5+ being half the board...). Being particularly eager to get to grips with you, everything that's actually assault oriented has the Move Through Cover USR.
Awesome, right? Let's run forth tally ho and let them have what such old boy!
Oh, wait... that's right. We're the assault army with no assault grenades. Good job, kids. Guess that answers the age-old question of how to stop a Tyranid invasion - stand behind a leaf.
Next in line, we have a continued proliferation of Mechanized forces against an army that is traditionally weaker against breaking armor.
I rather should say that Tyranids have to find the Tyranid-way to do things, rather than the standard imperial creed of "shoot melta at it. For example...
A Carnifex enjoys a nice lunch of Land Raider. Pretty iconic, as it even made it onto the Codex cover. But let's take a closer look at that 'fex...
I get that GW is a company that *needs* to sell models and make money if this game is to continue, but I would have bought that Trygon kit regardless of the new state of the Carnifex. It's just so pretty... but I digress.
I'm not about to say that we should go back to 114 point Screamer Killers that can be taken as Elites (or the Dakkafex of ages past), but I honestly feel that the Carnifex is over-costed by 30 points base. Upgrades and weapons? They're fine. Though I wouldn't say no to the ability to take a 2+ save, or get that 5th wound again (for an appropriate cost).
And, of course, there is the debauchery that is the Tyranid FAQ. Luckily, this is not official material (truth, check the website if you don't believe me - FAQ's are only GW's House Rules, unlike Errata and the like).
So in order to be productive (a word hear used to mean 'stop complaining like a ninny'), I have a few suggestions to the 40k world at large.
1. Stop letting Cruddace touch the Xenos.
2. Shadow has no reason to be stopped by Mech. No other Psychic Defense is.
3. Primes should be able to join units in Spores, just like any other IC can join any other unit in a transport pre-game.
4. Stop making Carnifexes overly-expensive to the point of uselessness.
5. Give the Venom Cannon back it's anti-armor capabilities. Pretty easy to do here, just make it a 2-3 shot gun instead of a Blast weapon.
6. A note on grenades - see below.
1 keeps me up at night with goosebumps. 2 and 3 are needless slaps to the face that seem to stem from not playing an Imperial army. 4 and 5 combined would make Carnifexes (155 for a VC toting fex) hit the board again. Think of the firepower that most armies get for 150 points (in terms of tanks). All I'm asking is a few BS3 S9 shots. It's still -1 to the damage table, so don't go calling it a lascannon.
And finally, a note on #6. Within the Tyranid community one of the ideas that rears its head fairly often is to say units with Move Through Cover don't have a penalty in assault when assaulting through difficult terrain. While this would be a quick fix for the Nids, I think the repercussions of changing a game-wide USR should be looked at thoroughly first. I don't know how many units have the rule in other armies, and I know even less which of those do and don't have Grenades already. But this would change how any future unit is designed, and as such I don't think it should be taken lightly.
So my suggestion? Something along the lines of a Tyranid Special Rule. Something to the effect of 'When a Tyranid unit with the Move Through Cover USR moves through difficult terrain in the assault phase, it takes an Initiative test. If the test is passed, it does not suffer a penalty to it's Initiative in the following combat. Monstrous Creatures may subtract 1 from their roll, to a minimum of 1.'
This does a number of things. Without actually passing out Grenades, you're also not actually passing out S4 attacks against rear AV10. Things like Hormagaunts will still need to take upgrades in order to be a threat to armor (as much as a threat as that would be). So it focuses on the problem of assaulting into cover, and *only* the problem of assaulting into cover.
It's a die roll, which means while you generally only fail on a 6, you can still fail. And when you do, it'll hurt. But that's life. Grenades are a sure thing. This is a risk, minimal as it is.
It gives new life to the Living Battering Ram rule for the Fex. The rule gives the Fex an Initiative boost the turn it charges. Not enough to strike with marines on its own, but enough to beat a power fist. Now, it'd have a decent chance of not needing grenades. That said, the Carnifex, of all things, is the *single* unit that can actually purchase a grenade-effect, so you can opt to take the cheap upgrade if you don't want to worry about the test, or you can just let the dice fall as they may (you still would have good odds).
And now, I am going to breathe a bit, and consider a second cup of tea.
In the end, I do love my bugs. And it's not like I get slaughtered every time I put them on the table. But everybody gets frustrated sometimes. Well, at least if you play Xenos or Sisters ;).
All that said, I'd be interested in hearing thoughts (mainly from non-Tyranid enthusiasts, but those are welcome too) on my proposed changes.
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