Thursday, July 6, 2017

Index Tyranids Overview: HQ

Really, it was overly optimistic of me to expect to be able to get a post up the day after the 4th. The city's fireworks display is very close to my apartment, and runs quite late into the night, so I never get much in the way of sleep that night. Anyhow, here we are, back with a look at the leaders of the ravenous swarms:

Hive Tyrant
The Hive Tyrant’s options have opened up quite a bit from the Dakka Flyrant-only of the last couple of editions. The Flyrant is probably still the best option for a shooty Tyrant, even tho it no longer gains any protection from flying, or nearly as much of a speed advantage, simply because the Fly Keyword will let it Fall Back and still shoot if someone tries to tie it up in Assault. Quad DeathSpitters is probably the way to go, but the StrangleThorn Cannon’s profile actually matches them quite well, trading shots for range, and possibly even making up the difference against large Units with its bonus to hit.

Pure Combat Tyrants get two pairs of ScyTals. There’s no other combination of CC Bio-Weapons that’s worth spending both slots on. Wings are probably still the way to go here, so people can’t hide from you on upper floors, and Adrenal Glands are a must.

Because the other CC Bio-Weapons don’t gain any benefits in pairs, Hybrid Tyrants are now an option again. The default CCW here is Monstrous Rending Claws, which I find a little disappointing on an aesthetic level, but they come out slightly better than the other two options, even before taking the substantial (so much so that I think it might be an error) price difference into account. All the gun options seem viable for the other pair of arms, tho Twin Devourers are of course the weakest option now, since they spent three editions as the default, and everyone’s converted them…Anyhow. Twin DeathSpitters are the strongest option, but the HVC and STC seem viable if you want more range. This is probably the way to go for the Walking Tyrant with Guard if you want to take that route. Gives the Tyrant something to do other than Advancing, so the Guard can keep up with it, and it’ll provide a pretty solid Synapse core along with some firepower and a later-game CC threat.

At first glance, the SwarmLord is just an expensive walking CC Tyrant. It is much better in CC than a regular Tyrant, and its base move is enough faster that it is viable to hoof it across the table, but the real kicker that makes me want to try it is the Hive Commander ability. Each Turn, in your Shooting Phase, it can make one nearby Unit Move exactly as tho it were the Movement Phase instead of Shooting. Given how many already fast Units the Nids have, that seems like it should be incredibly useful even just from the starting line, let alone using it on things like Trygons or Raveners when they tunnel in so they can get a guaranteed Charge. Just be careful not to have them outrun your Synapse support, since almost all of those Units are also kind of fragile and have poor Ld.

Old One Eye
Similarly to the SwarmLord, Old One Eye is basically a 50% price increase over a similar regular Fex, for an improved profile and a couple of special abilities. It’s traded some hitting power for durability, which was needed, but I think it might still be too much of a fire magnet to make it across the table, especially since it can’t benefit from Tyrant Guard like Swarmy can. Time and trial will see, tho, and if it does make it across the table with some other Fexen nearby, they will wreck stuff. OOE’s buff aura gives nearby Fexen a bonus to hit in CC, making Crushing Claws much more viable, and dual ScyTals really scary to mid-level targets. The bonuses also apply to itself, since it has the Carnifex Keyword, so it’s hitting on a re-rollable 2+ with its ScyTals, and 3+ with its Crushing Claws.

The BroodLord, on the other hand, is a very different beast. It’s one of the HQ’s that are Characters with fewer than 10 Wounds, so they can’t usually be picked out as a target for Shooting Attacks. It’s also scary fast, with an 8” Move and the ability to Advance and Charge in the same Turn, and tho it’s less durable, it punches in the same weight class as a Combat Tyrant. Add in Synapse, a Psychic Power, and a buff aura for nearby Stealers, and there is definitely a lot of potential here. The only real downside I see is that there are no options whatsoever, not even Adrenal Glands or Toxin Sacs.

Tyranid Prime
The other HQ that can hide amongst Units, the Tyranid Prime does for Warriors and Shrikes more or less what the BroodLord does for Genestealers. Unfortunately, as with its previous incarnation, it’s pretty badly overpriced. When you include the effects of its buff on nearby Warrior Units, it’s basically 2 Warriors bolted together, but it costs almost as much as 4 of them. Pretty much anything I can think of that I’d want one for, now that I run the math, either a BroodLord or some regular Warriors would do more efficiently. The only real point I can see is that the Prime is the cheapest possible HQ for a Nid Army, so maybe useful at very low Points levels, but other than that, it’s just not worth it. I find this disappointing, because I like my Primes that I’ve converted, but they’re frankly just too expensive for what they do.

As with the other options, time on the tabletop will see for sure, but it certainly looks to me like the pendulum has swung back in favour of the Tervigon. While the other HQs got tweaks to their profiles, she received a massive buff with her T increasing to 8, previously unheard of except for Gargantuan Creatures! On top of that, she still fills her previous roles, being a Psyker and a Synapse Unit, and buffing nearby Termagants and spawning more. The spawning ability has changed up substantially. It’s now a fixed 10 Models, and if you use it to create a new Unit, you have to have set aside Reinforcement Points for them when writing your list. But they can also be used to replace casualties in preexisting Termagant Broods with no Reinforcement Points needed. She can only replace Models that were armed with Fleshborers, but the FAQ did confirm that they will come with Adrenal Glands and/or Toxin Sacs if the Brood they’re reinforcing had them! A Tervigon plus a full Brood of Termagants with 15 or so Devourers should be a pretty durable and dangerous blob of anti-infantry firepower.

I don't have pics for the others, unfortunately. Hopefully by the time I get done with the Troops Overview, I'll have a bit of time to do a photoshoot for at least most of the options there. That one will probably not be until sometime next week, since Castlevania drops on Netflix this weekend, and that's going to soak up a lot of my available time. Until then, y'all have a good one, y'hear!


  1. Sounds like the brood Lord is the hq that advances with the fastest units, followed by the tyrant or other hq which is not quite as fast.

    1. To keep up with things like Gargoyles, Raveners, or Harpies, you're going to want a Flyrant, but the BroodLord is perfect for Hormies or (naturally) Stealers. Reece said over at FLG that the BroodLord was his favourite HQ in the new list, and I can see why.

    2. And how can you spend time watching Castlevania when The Mighty Ducks was just posted to Netflix!

      Sadness fell on my family though. 1966 Batman movie was removed.

    3. Was The Mighty Ducks written by Warren Ellis? I rest my case ;)

      My Netflix trauma was back in April, when they took down Buffy and Scooby Doo: Mystry Inc.

  2. I have converted twin linked devourers on *all* my Hive Tyrants. God forgive me. I love the pictures of your army units included with the description. Keep it up!

    1. Mine are magnetized, but I cut up all the DeathSpitter Arms to make Devourers with :P

      Thanks! One of the reasons I'm so happy that Nids are fun to play again is that some of my favourite Conversions and paint jobs are in my Nid Army. I really do need to go back and do some more photoshoots now that I have an actual lightbox.