by Anonymous Foodie
Regardless of authenticity, it's fun to look over the possibilities and think about the tweaks and changes we'd make to both our builds and playstyles.
There's a lot to take in with any new edition, and I'm far from saying that I've read the thing word for word, cover to cover. But I have given it a solid look over, and double checked a few key rules. So here's a bit of what I've found...
First and foremost, a new edition nullifies the 5th ed FAQ. Shadow in the Warp is not a laughable excuse for psychic defense. Mycetic Assault armies are more viable as you can attach a Prime to a unit and throw them down together. Most of what was necessary (ie, idiots trying to abuse Doom) is covered in the core rules.
Army speed, as a whole, is pretty mean. The lowly hormagaunt, our base assault troop, leisurely jaunts around the table 16" a turn. Assaults are conducted at 18".
Tricksy moves like Deep Strikes also factor into this. Lictors still appear anywhere without scatter or mishap. Infiltrating Genestealers now pop up on turn two nearly anywhere on the board.
Blast weapons becoming more accurate makes Heavy Venom Cannons much better at vehicle suppression. They hit far more often, and if the middle hole is off the vehicle you still have a S9 hit that shakes the tank if it hits, instead of a S4 hit that may glance.
Carnifexes can Ram, like vehicles. This combined with the above HVC change starts to make a 185 point monster look more appealing. A beast that can very reliably shake guntanks on the way in, and plow through infantry and tanks alike when it gets there? I see a glimmer of promise.
Assaults no longer require you to move straight toward the nearest model. That is to say, if you're hiding behind a small patch of difficult terrain as opposed to being entrenched in it, it's entirely possible for a brood of hormagaunts moving 18" to bypass that thin defense. Even a 12-16" charge action has a lot of leeway to get around smaller obstacles. Having near-army wide Move Through Cover allows for full movement through terrain. While not quite as effective as grenades in terms of avoiding the Alpha Strike, it would certainly do away with a good amount of it.
Easier to take down tanks through successive glancing/penetrating hits. While I'm unclear if successive damage has to come from a completely new source, or if, for example, a Hive Guard unit scoring 2 stuns and a weapon destroyed will actually knock off two guns, it's still easier to plink away at all the armor we see on the table. Further, assaulting vehicles is overall more viable, as you can (fairly easily with the large broods we wield) block exits and then insta-charge the unit that was hiding inside.
The codex update largely brings things in line with new rules, but in a few cases it bumps up a handful of abilities to be something a bit more promising. A lictor's Pheremone Trail now (as it did last codex) works if the Lictor is in reserve. ie, the ability is worth the ink it's printed with. A Pyrovore can, in a sense, use its flamespurt in combat (at least for a d6 hits), and this combines with Acid Maw's ability to ignore armor in combat. Toxic Miasma incurs a -1 penalty during its toughness test, making it more effective.
Of course, not everything is made of sparkles and sunshine. There are downsides.
MC's of all types suffer a -1 Evasion, making them easier to hit. Marines hitting on a 2+ is pretty sick. Longfangs hitting on a 2+ is straight up projectile vomit.
Intervening units only give a 5+ cover save (ish) that kills a model in said unit if passed (old grot rule). Combined with the above, the big beasties are really taking a hit (no pun intended) in terms of staying away from missiles and other nasty shots.
Swapping the shooting and assault phases is rather a kick to the taint for an army that relatively operates on the idea of support fire as you move in for the kill. Tyranids have lately become the non-assault assault army... support from shooty units, or at least units that can shoot pretty well on the way in (such as warriors, particularly those led by a prime) is necessary. Combined with overall longer moves, this means far less time shooting (1 round instead of 2-3 before first combat). The Nids' comparative 'weak' CC ability may not be enough to overcome the loss of this support.
Having every single weapon available to the army being of the assault variety literally MEANS NOTHING. At least not to the bugs. In theory, the extra attack gained on the charge for having one of these handy dandy easy squeeze trigger guns would maybe turn the tide in the world where half our shooting just went out the window (if not more)... but in order to get that you have to be carrying a dedicated one-handed CCW...
... which Tyranids do not have access to. At all. There is no such thing as a CCW in the nid list. We just have upgrades to our existing profile attacks, according to the codex update.
Possibly. Possibly not.
I'm definitely eager to try out a small game with these rules, if only for something different. Of course, I need to make a trip for materials for about 30 mycetic spores if I'm going to do it right... but I was planning to do that anyway.