Category Archives: 40K

The Tyrannids in Warhammer 40K 8th Edition: First Impressions

Just dusted off my Nids for the first time in 8th edition, so here are my thoughts. The battle was a 100 Power Level game, fought against Josh Gregory’s Raven Guard.

Various gribblies: Ripper Swarms, Termagaunts, Hormagaunts

As with previous editions, it was a bloody affair with the Nids, with stuff being taken off by the handful. The outcome? Well, in terms of Objectives it was a 7-6 victory to the Emperor, but to be fair I called the game early as I was in danger of getting tabled! So in some regards got my ass handed to me. In my defence:
· It’s a pretty old army, which grew out of the Battle of Macragge boxed set (4th Edition!), and contains none of the more recent models;
· Josh just played better than me!

So don’t be too disheartened if you’re seeking to use Tyranids in 8th edition.

“Get away from her you Bitch!” – Hive Tyrant and Guard

The Army List
Playing using PLs rather than points meant that the army was genuinely WYSIWYG-ed. None of this tooling-up malarkey from either army. My list was very much based on a “Gribbly” approach, i.e. lots and lots of low value stuff. The list comprises:
· 2 HQs…a Hive Tyrant (non-flying variety but armed with a very nice Heavy Venom Cannon); and a Broodlord;
· A unit of 6 Warriors, with Scything Talons and 4 different types of ballistic weapon;
· Two units of Genestealers, 15 and 20-strong respectively;
· Two units of Termagaunts, both 20 strong, one armed with Fleshborers and the other with Devourers;
· One unit of Hormagaunts, 30 strong, with Poison Sacs (modelled on, honest);
· One unit of Ripper Swarms, 8 bases;
· Two Carnifexes, one tooled up for close combat, the other for shooting;
· A small unit of 3 Zoanthropes;
· A single Biovore.

That’s 113 bases of Gribblies! So pretty old school.

The Way the Game Played
Six objective markers were placed under the conditions of the “Cloak & Dagger” scenario, slightly favouring me.
I deployed with the Gaunts out in front, Genestealers immediately behind them, and the bigger creatures (including Synapse creatures) immediately behind or to the flank of the horde. Only the Ripper Swarms were kept in reserve. Josh deployed 5 small units of Scouts with sniper rifles at some distance, plus two big aircraft, but the rest of his stuff off table.

Smashey & Nicey, my two Carnifexes

I got first move. My initial approach was simple…the horde plus their supporting models went screaming across the table towards the Scouts in the old [Nid] style. First turn wasn’t conspicuous by its success. Firstly, under a special Raven Guard rule, a couple of mean looking Tactical Squads appeared (literally) out of nowhere. Then my shooting did next to nothing (a familiar Nid refrain). Then my Hormagaunts failed to charge (despite casting a Psychic spell on them allowing them to Advance AND charge, and using a CP to roll another dice…). Still, the horde was looking good and relatively untouched…
The it was Raven Guard turn one. Things started to go south very rapidly from that point:
· Stuff dropped from the skies all around the Tyranid horde, Assault Marines and Shrike himself, making it difficult to focus on single target;
· An Callidus Assassin appeared, not doing a lot of damage but tying up the shooty Carnifex and the Zoanthropes for most of the game;
· The Hormagaunts managed to charge in against a tactical Squad but were relatively ineffectual against the Marines’ armour save;
· The two units of Termagaunts, realising their shooting was ineffectual, also charged in, but made little headway against Shrike and another Tactical Squad respectively;
· The Warriors’ firing was completely ineffectual against the aircraft and Shrike;
· And my two most impressive units, the Hive Tyrant and the melee Carnifex, meandered around in the centre of the table, looking for targets that never emerged. Eventually these were picked off by a combination of aircraft and snipers.

The Raven Guard didn’t have it all their own way. The Genestealers wiped out two Imperial units in melee; the Ripper Swarms managed a handy charge the turn they came on, against a Scout unit which went well; and eventually got rid of the pesky Assassin. But when the Hive Tyrant went down I knew it was time to call it a day…

Lessons Learned
To be honest, given the vintage of my army I’m not really in a position to offer advice on how to play a modern Nid army. I collected mine before the days of Trygons, Tyrannocytes, Tervigons, Venomthropes etc. However, for those who still seek to win with a Gribbly army a few pointers:

Genestealers : These bad boys are BACK, baby! Remember how awesome they were in 4th Edition? Not only beating up Terminators but being able to flip a Land Raider? Well, they had their wings clipped a bit in 5th-7th Edition, so using them dropped out of favour, but in 8th just look at some of their attributes:
· Movement: Fast! Not only is their base move 8”, but they have a special rule whereby they can Advance and Charge in the same turn. Assuming average variable rolls, they can cover 18.5” into combat in a turn;
· Attacks. Three per model, but 4 per model if the unit is 10+ strong!;
· To Hit. 3+, but 2+ if the Broodlord is within 6”;
· To wound. Wounding a Space Marine on a 4 (resolved at -1 AP), but any rolls of 6 on the To Wound roll is resolved on a -4 AP;
· To save: This was always the ‘Stealers Achillies Heel, but at least the 5+ is now Invulnerable.

The Genestealers are back!

Psykers: The Nids have some cool Psychic abilities, all resolved on a 6+. And it doesn’t need to depend on your Hive Tyrant, your Zoanthropes can dish out the damage too (and only 6 PL for 3 models):
· The Horror: Enemy unit suffers -1 To Hot and -1 Ld until the start of your next Psychic phase;
· Catalyst: Assume Necron-like abilities! A friendly unit can ignore a wound on a 5 or 6 after all else has failed;
· Onslaught: A friendly unit can move, advance, shoot and charge in the same turn with Zero penalties.

Other advice:
· You want your Gaunt units as big as possible and as cheap as possible (don’t waste points on Devourers, Toxin Sacs etc…unless you’re up against Imperial Guard);
· Use sacrificial Gaunt units to screen Genestealers and Carnixes, plus a foot-bound Hive Tyrant. They can achieve little else;
· Ripper Swarms. Use in smaller units and only to grab objectives while the rest of the army is involved in serious business;
· Tyrannid Warriors. Maybe I didn’t use them right. They seem to have little use other than as another Synapse unit. So either ditch them or reduce to 3 strong and hide behind the hordes of Gaunts;
· Don’t bother with Biovores unless you have a couple of points looking for a home.

Other than that, check out some better advice than I can offer via YouTube!

The Necron Army in 8th Edition Warhammer 40K : One Overlord’s View

So 8th edition 40K is well and truly upon us, and early indications are that it’s given the game a real breath of fresh air!

What prompted this blog was the fact that after a month I’d finally finished painting up my Ghost Ark…huzzah!

It took a while, but the Ghost Ark is complete!

This got me thinking about how effective this fascinating army is in the new edition. This is written purely from the point of view of looking through the new Index (including the Imperial Armour Index) and assessing it from that point of view. I may change my view after I’ve played…

Necron Overlord plus Warriors

The Pluses
Reanimation Protocols. Very different from 7th Edition, where RP were just treated like a second armour save. As long as a unit doesn’t disappear completely, you can roll a 5+ RP roll for every eligible figure lost every turn for the duration of the game. And that’s 4+ for every eligible unit within 3” of a Cryptek;
Living Metal. Eligible vehicles and characters automatically recover a Wound every turn;
Necron Warriors. Great value for only 12 points a figure (or 6 Power for a unit of 10);
Monoliths. For the first time since 5th Edition, it might be worth having one of these bad boys. The Portal of Exile (D6 mortal wounds any any attacking unit); the fact it can move and shoot heavy weapons; and the effectiveness of its Gauss Flux Arc and Particle Whip are all real plusses;
Imperial Armour. Some of the Forge World models are REALLY good, and add real depth and ability to a Necron army.

The mighty Monolith

The Negatives
Points Cost. A lot of the key Necron models are now prohibitively expensive in terms of their points cost. Destroyers and the aforementioned Monolith are really expensive. Tomb Blades are now 39 points (assuming you give them Shieldvanes), a lot for a model with only 2 Wounds and a 3+ Sv. But the biggest lead is a Canoptek Spyder, now 81 points with a Gloom Prism (which you’ll need if the Necrons are to do any Deny The Witch rolls);
Gauss. Now enemy vehicles need not fear a Necron army. True, Gauss Flayers get a -1 armour save, and Gauss Blasters a -2, but no automatic wounds on a 6 I’m afraid.

The Canoptek Spyder…expensive luxury?

I’d like to think the Pluses outweigh the Minuses but we shall see…

My Own Necron Army
I started collecting Necrons circa 2005, albeit slowly. I lost interest for a while, but in 7th Edition the army became awesome again, especially with the addition of the Decurion detachment. So I added a bunch more stuff: Tomb Blades, Immortals, a Ghost Ark and (from Forge World) a Tomb Stalker.

The Tomb Stalker, from Forge World

I went for a slightly unusual colour scheme. In the original Codex (way back in 2002) whilst most of the Necrons illustrated were in the standard Bolton Metal, I saw some interesting alternative paint schemes. One group of four examples were in “Ceramics”. This idea really appealed to me. Given their ancient armies, the Eldar, used a lot of heat weapons, Ceramics is a better material in dealing with heat than metal is, so that’s the rationale I gave myself. Plus, living and working in and around Stoke-on-Trent, the UK’s ceramic city, I wouldn’t resist painting them Wedgwood Blue!

The excerpt from the original Codex

What will I add to them next? Given the importance of Detachments, looks like I’ll need a couple more HQ types, and I’m definitely drawn to a Cryptek…

Warhammer 8th Edition…and Why You Should Play It

Like many current or former 40K players you may have become disenchanted over the past few years with the seemingly constant updates of the rules and codices. And given that Games Workshop’s stuff is not exactly cheap, have probably fallen off the 40K bandwagon along the way. You may have rolled your eyebrows at the thought of yet another edition (8th, which came out last month). However, here are a few reasons why you should pick up 8th edition 40K and roll with it:

Pricing Strategy
It’s all very well GW charging a premium price for a premium product. However, they clearly found that their prices were such that they were no longer the entry-level game of choice. Especially when you can pick up something like the X-Wing starter set and off you go. Having to pay £35 or more for rules, £25 for a Codex, and then the £100-200 for the starter army was definitely not entry-level. In competition with War Machine, Malifaux and the aforementioned X-Wing and there’s no comparison.

All that’s changed. You can now download the basic rules as a pdf for free. Yep, that’s right free. OK, you can still get the hardback rulebook for £35, if you like the background “fluff”, plus expanded stuff on scenarios, campaigns and other special rules.

ALL armies have now been converted into 8th edition and contained within five soft back volumes, called Indices, each £15 and containing 3-8 armies each. Bargain. Yes, they will be releasing all new codices throughout 2017 for completists, but the Indices are really all you need.

@ Games Workshop

The Return of Great Boxed Sets
My playing of 40K goes way back to 2004, and the halcyon days of 4th Edition. What really got me successfully into the game was the Battle for Macragge boxed set. A real bargain including Space Marine & Tyrannic armies, terrain, the rules, fast play sheet, dice, templates etc. There have been other good boxed sets but these have often cost circa £75…and at that price you’re generally committed to Dark Angels, Chaos Marines or whatever.

The great news is that the bargain box sets are back. In fact there are three. The Big Kahuna is Dark Imperium at £95. But you can also go low with Know No Fear at £50 and First Strike at £25 (which I think was the price of Macragge in 2005).

@ Games Workshop

The Rules
The core rules have really been stripped back. True, you can build into something as complicated as 7th edition, BUT you can start small and simple. The rules are condensed into about 12 pages of A4. This follows the path set by Warhammer : Age of Sigmar. So whilst at first glance they appear simpler, they actually contain many subtleties.

Highlights of the Rules:
Movement: Summarised into one page of A4. But different models now have different movement rates. The slower moving but relentless Necrons move at 5” for example, whereas most human types move at 6”;
Psychic Phase. Stripped down and simpler. Note that only Psykers can Deny The Witch, so armies like Necrons will suffer;
Shooting: Just 5 weapon types: Assault, Rapid Fire, Heavy, Pistol and Grenade. Interestingly certain types of weapon can erode an opponent’s armour save and do more than one point of damage. For example, a lascannon erodes an opponent’s armour save by -3, and does D6 points of damage…suddenly it’s worth having them!
Charge and Fight Phase. Ostensibly the simplest, but actually the subtlest, of the rules. Choosing which units you charge actually becomes crucial. And the new Heroic Intervention rule gives characters a bit more teeth.
Morale: Simplest of the lot, described in just two brief paragraphs.

@ Games Workshop

As I said, definitely worth checking out 8th edition…it’s really the best of both worlds, keeping the best of earlier editions, making the system more accessible but without chucking the baby out with the bathwater, which is arguably what happened with Age of Sigmar.