Okay so this is the first of what will be a series of Tyranid articles based on my experience so far in 6th edition. The topics I will cover initially will be Rulebook changes, Psykers , Missions, Challenges, Units, Matchup thoughts and finally list(s) that I have been using.
So here’s the first installment 6th Rulebook big changes and the Tyranid.
The new edition while not a completely different game than the previous (many game mechanics are unchanged) it’s different enough that lots of what worked in 5th simply won’t cut it in 6th. Many of those changes aren’t as obvious as others. Many of the changes that really impact the way some armies play are hidden in the many pages of USR. Here are some that impacted the Hive Mind.
Fearless wounds, the fact that fearless units can lose combat without the double whammy of fearless wounds cannot be overstated. Not only does this make large units of expendable/cheap Tyranids likeTemagants are the ultimate tarpit to tie things that shoot really well (let’s face it most things shoot better than Tyranids). It also means that we don’t have to worry about putting an expensive Monstrous Creature into the same combat as those Termagants. A few things to remember while you use this change to its limits. You are allowed to charge a unit you cannot hurt, say charging a Soulgrinder with Termagants, but you cannot use the Our Weapons are Useless rule to auto fail and fallback while you are fearless (so if you want to do this get your synapse away from the combat). Additionally the Psykic power Terrify removes fearless, so if you opponent has that power be aware of it. Lastly fearless units cannot go to ground. Funny that MCs don’t have that restriction anymore so if you have a non fearless MC out of synapse you have that option.
Awesome new rule, our MCs lost 2d6 armor pen, big whoop, Smash is better. First of all this is the rule that makes all units with this USR AP2 in CC unless it would be AP1(no idea what is AP1 in CC) it also allows you to half you attacks (rounding up) to attack at double strength (max 10) and if you do this verses a vehicle or building you can reroll your armor penetration rolls. Really in the end that makes this way more reliable to destroy heavy armor with MCs and gives us a way to double out high toughness models. If you manage to catch a unit not in cover you are just about the only thing that gets AP2 in CC at normal initiative.
Hammer of Wrath
If you were considering using Gargoyles before well they just got better. Getting a bonus attack at I10 step is a free bonus jump infantry didn’t get before. There are many discussions going (read needs some FAQing) as to this attack. Is it resolved at I10 if the unit assaults into terrain? Seems like most agree yes. Does a unit benefit from wargear, like in Tyranid case say shrikes with boneswords? Seems like most agree No since it clearly says AP-. Does a unit benefit from Toxin Sacs? No clue how the community is addressing this one if at all, I say yes since its still STR unmodified Str and AP- it just gets the poison rule. Of course this interpretation opens the door for other armies arguments.
This is another bonus ability that really doesn’t affect Tyranids negatively. While it gives Tyranid characters an ability to snipe specific models (get rid of that special weapon or attempt to get rid of an IC) it doesn’t hurt Tyranids since most of our Characters are single models anyway. There are a number of situations/units that you have to be aware of if your opponent using this rule against you. If you use Tyranid Primes or The Parasite of Mortrex in you lists be aware they can be sniped with precision shots, now as ICs they get Look out Sirs so use it. The other unit to be worried about being precision shot at is Hive Tyrants with Tyrant guard and Broodlords, other than those we rarely have an special equipment models in Tyranid units.
Deny the Witch
While this gave some units an ability to shut down Tyranid offensive abilities, it still helped out Tyranids a lot. Nothing like watching a Tervigon disappear to JOTWW. Now at least in addition to the 33% chance of passing your Initiative test you also get a 5up Deny the witch. JOTWW still sucks for low initiative Tyranids but at least we have an additional chance to shut it down.
This one is dicey, yes cover went from a 4 to a 5 in many cases. That hurt but the ability to easily get cover for Monstrous Creatures more than made up for it. Given the number of ruins I commonly see in my area and on Batreps I think overall cover got better for Tyranids with one exception. If you ran genesteeler spam then you are probably going to have to rethink your list with the changes to cover and a few other rules in 6th.
The poison mechanic is fixed so that high Strength poison verses low toughness target is no longer covered in Nerf.
Lots of chatter since 6th came out lamenting this one. In the end of the day on average you get the same if not better charges off (fleet units too even if they cannot run and charge) after all when was the last time you charged an opponent and they weren’t in cover anyway. So it was variable in the last edition in most cases anyway. Something to keep in mind, it is really really easy for termagants to charge out of buffing or even synapse range of a Tervigon.
So while tyanids still cannot use these Shenanigans neither can most of our opponents. Of course the new flavor of shenanigan in 6th is Look out Sir.
Feel No Pain
So it went from a 4 to a 5, okay yep that’s not great. However being able to take it no matter what shot/assaulted you is a good tradeoff and since it is specifically states that it is not a saving throw then nothing that causes wounds and has a “no saves” special rule can stop a Tyranid from using Feel no Pain. On the flip side if you use Boneswords be aware that Feel no Pain works against them. Instant Death also still doesn't allow Feel No Pain.
While this is a phase and not a rule I think Tyranids benefitted somewhat from the changes. No more walking on turn 1. No more full reserve opponents (some exceptions). Lets face it our full reserve lists were kind of lacking anyway. There is another part of deployment that is really more important than your units in my opinion. If you are playing in a tournament with fixed terrain you cannot do this but if not……..deploy terrain in such a way no matter which method you use you get as much benefit from it as possible. Terrain you place should help you to achieve your goals (say cover for MCs) and hinder you opponents ability to achieve his (say he brings a bastion, he may not like it but if the terrain density allows it put a nice piece of LOS blocking terrain 3 inches in front of it).
The next few are things that really didn’t help tyranids but are best to be aware of.
No initiative bonus, so no Termagants boosted by a tervigon swinging first at marines out of cover. For the most part if you were taking Adrenal glands on MCs before now with Smash use those points for Toxin Sacs.
Not being able to assault from outflank really really hurts outflanking genesteelers. Now I didn’t really expect this unit to win me the game or anything but it really affected my opponent's deployment. Have to come on the board edge and having to stand there and say “come at me bro” stinks for a unit with no shooting ability whatsoever.
Well sadly this mechanic and its effect on our T4 multi wound units did not change. Sad Face.
Look Out Sir
Wound allocation through wargear move over, we have a new shenanigan. The mechanic is really not complicated to read it be familiar with how it works (and doesn’t work) because it’s very annoying especially in large groups of characters, looking at you Nobs and Paladins.