Friday, May 28, 2010

40K Rant: What Happened to the Tyranid Codex?

What happened to the menace of the 40K universe? Why has GW filed down the teeth and claws of the new Tyranids? How could an author who brought us such power as in the Imperial Guard Codex, bring such failure to arguably one of the coolest armies in all of 40K? Can anyone tell me how a Carnifex is worth 160 points base? Anyone? Why wings on a Hive Tyrant can be justified at 60 points? Why there isn't a single HQ choice in the whole codex with an invulnerable save in the shooting phase? And what in the hell is the use of a Pyrovore?

So I have tried, I really have, to make the argument that Tyranids are as competitive as the other 5th edition codices out there, but I can't do it any more. I can't honestly say that they can stand toe-to-toe with TH&SS Marine Lists, or Thunderwolf Calvary lists, or Leafblowers, or Fast Predator/Vindicator lists, because they can't. Now, I am not whining here, I can hold my own versus these lists and have beat, each and every one. However I have done so in-spite of the codex, not because of it. I have had to learn how to screen units better, and the use unit synergies, and new tactics that one must employ if they ever dream of keeping up with these lists. But why is it so different for the Tyranid codex then the others? Why do I have to keep up?

I plan to attend Adepticon 2011 and I was hoping to take the 'Nids with me when I started painting my army for 'Ard Boyz this year. However, the more I play my beloved 'Nids the more I realize that as far as updated 5th edition codices are concerned, my bugs got the shaft. Take a look at the other 5th Edition codices that have been released so far, Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Space Wolves, and Blood Angels. All of these armies can arguable be placed at the top of the 40K power creep meter right now. All of them top-notch, chiseled armies and ready to smash face on the tournament circuit, with Guard sitting on top in my opinion.

So what happened to the Tyranids? As I will go over in my overview of the codex in coming articles, the monstrous creatures are extremely over pointed, have no invulnerable saves and hence have little to no staying power, and can't hold their own versus similarly pointed units. For the rest of the codex, anything worth fielding is either too over priced to field, too small a unit to be worth it, or T4 that can be killed outright by a S8 or better weapon. Where are our Thunderhammer and Stormshield Terminators? Warriors with bone swords are about the same price and no one in their right mind would compare the two units as in the same league. Where is our cheep transports and leaf blower units? 160 Point Carnifexs that can't shoot a lick, are down to one gun, and you wouldn't dare put into hand-to-hand as anything worth sending it after can beat its brains in. Where are our Thunderwolf Calvary? Yes, the Trygon is an awesome model, that can easily be wiped off of the board in a single round of combat or rapid fire bolter fire.

Where is the umph to this army? Where is the punch?

Why did Genestealers get nurffed? Taking an attack away from one of the only units that people were still afraid of, oh, and removing the ability to better their armor save, thereby making them bolter bait.

Why can't I buy Warp Field for my Hive Tyrants or Tyranid Primes?

Tyranids are now a pretty much a short ranged shooting army who wants to be in hand-to-hand. However, once they get to hand-to-hand, they do not have the staying power to do much of any good. The whole army is a glass cannon.

The only way I have been able to run the army and compete is to run half hoard, half 'Nidzilla, and adopt a philosophy to the army:

'Big things hit small things, small things hit big things'

With this, the MCs hit smaller units that have little to no hope of really hurting them all the while I send mass hoards of toxin sac armed gaunts and gargoyles and hormaguants to bring down the higher toughness units. Lots a tanks? Still an issue for this army, but Hive Guard help. Too band I can only field three per unit. Zoanthropes are OK, but if you pod them in, the very next turn every gun in the army will blast them off of the board and if you walk them their painfully short range makes then less then a threat on the board. The Tyranofex is just too over pointed for a unit that hits half the time and can be brought down so easily.

I am not giving up on my 'Nids. I love playing them, I love painting them, and some day, two years into 6th edition maybe, a new codex will come out. It will possibly address these issues. And help make this more competitive army.

But until then I think I am hanging up the competitive claws of my 'Nids... and moving on to Eldar! I know, they are older, and have thier issues too. But I like the fluff and I am going to make a go of it. 1850 Points, built, painted, play-tested and ready for that Mecca of table-top wargamming, Adepticon!


  1. shut the fridge upn your just sad cos you cant instantly win anymore because you actualy have to put some "BRAINS" in to your strategys.
    dont take your frustration out un us for gw doing the right thing and destroying that noob tubing codex!

  2. It isn't a matter of using "brains" and "tactics." The new Tyranid codex seems to have over corrected and rolled the entire army onto its side, if the writer had either created these new rules or raised the prices of many of the units, it would have created a genuine balance by either allowing for the Tyranid to exist as a true horde army fielding lots of cheap, but relatively unskilled, units that make use of the current codex rules and stat-lines; or could have raised the prices to their current costs and kept the last generation's rules, and forced Tyranid players to field specialized and expensive forces. Unfortunately, the writer chose to do both and, honestly, when compared to the codices with sloughs of S8+ weapons, like the human forces, and poisonous weapons, like those of the Dark Elves, the Tyranid are put at a real disadvantage. The Tyranid army was overpowered with the last iteration, but I think it has now been made far too weak and, honestly, does make it a lot more appealing. It is to the point that I'm genuinely leery of jumping back into the world of Warhammer 40K, and that means there is one less person spending several hundred dollars on models and equipment from Games Workshop.