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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, May 13, 2010

AbusePuppy's Tyranid Review Part 3: Elites (the one you care about)


Oh god, here it comes. First of all, the Elites slot is where pretty much all your anti-tank firepower is located, which means using them on anything else is risky at best. We have a variety of excellent selections here, so many- even most- Tyranid armies will find their Elites filling up well before anything else.

I think this section really defines the rest of your army. As Puppy states, your best pure anti-tank lies in this slot (Zoans/Hive Guard) and taking one or the other can often dictate the army style you are going for. At the same time, there are some often overlooked units such as the Deathleaper (improved anti-psy tyvm!) or Venomthropes. Will try and put my comments about this entry and the HQ entry tonight! Keep it coming Puppy :).

Hive Guard
I guess we're starting with the best first, then. Hive Guard are one of our new units and boy are they a doozy. Not quite as tough as Tyrant Guard, but pretty darn close when it comes to most things, and with a firepower output that makes most transports cry. Note also the magic S8 on their attacks, which means that Nobz and characters can't just suck up the wounds and call it a day. To top it all off, they don't need LOS to shoot and can ignore many kinds of cover. Their raw stats also make them pretty reasonable if they get stuck in melee, so you aren't risking a lot to put them on the front lines.

Really, there isn't a lot to say about Hive Guard; they're really good and pretty simple. Most foot armies are going to want to fill two slots with them, probably 2x2 at 1500 or 2x3 at higher point values.They do compete for space with Zoanthropes, but their longer range, lower price, and better reliability (more shots, ignore terrain, no psychic test or associated countermeasures) make them the better generic choice. It's still good to have some S10 guns in your force to deal with Land Raiders, however- Hive Guard don't fare well against AV13/14 opponents. There's also the issue of the model's cost- $20 is not cheap, especially for something you're buying in multiples. However, it's a unit you'll use time and time again in your lists, so I would strongly recommend picking some up.

Oh, the much-maligned Lictor; will GW ever restore you to your original place of glory? Once one of the most feared units in the codex, Lictors are now relegated to skulking around the edges of battles or popping out to annoy a unit before dying. Though their stats received a significant bump, their rules got rather wonky, so they are still a somewhat middling choice. Worse, they are competing for space with some of the best units in the codex and thus suffer badly in comparison. Still, they can be dangerous and have roles they can fulfill, so they're not a complete waste.

Deploying by Marbo-style Deep Strike, Lictors main advantage is always arriving exactly where they need to be. No rolling dice, no trying to stick to the borders of terrain- you put them somewhere and that's where they are. They have a pair of extremely short-range S6 shots that can be useful in glancing tanks, but AP - means you are unlikely to actually destroy anything with them. And, unfortunately, that's all they do on the turn they arrive. Pheremone Trail doesn't kick in its homing beacon or reserves bonus until after the Lictors have been around for a turn, which is rather pathetic. You can't assault or move that turn, either, so it's never going to be much of a surprise for your opponent. Hmph. The laziest Predator, I guess.

Once they have kicked in, though, you're looking at a reasonable combat machine. High S, WS, and I along with Rending means that you can do some real damage to enemy units on the charge, although keep in mind that it's not terrifyingly strong, even with a full brood of three. Many people complain about Lictors being in broods now, but honestly if they weren't they'd be even worse- you already give up KPs like candy, making the situation worse isn't a good idea. However, for what they excel at- pouncing on units in the sidelines- they do a good enough job, being one of the few units with Frag Grenades in our whole codex. Stealth also helps them bear the worst of any shooting attacks, although with T4 and three wounds they are fairly vulnerable to small arms fire, as they tend to be within Rapid Fire range of all sorts of things. They aren't terrible, though- standing in normal cover means they take more than a squad of Marines to kill one with a turn of shooting. Their 5+ armor save, on the other hand, is a real killer in close combat and means that a round of poor rolls on the charge that fails to kill anything can leave you very vulnerable to your opponent's return attacks. Hit and Run means that they can depart fights whenever is convenient, and high I makes the test pretty reliable; this can be a good way to get somewhere you need to be, as 2d6 is a lot of distance.

Let's also take a moment to talk about their Pheremone Trail in more detail. To be honest, it's not terribly useful, all things considered. Unlike many other armies' beacons, Lictors can't start on the table and don't have any kind of "auto-arrive first turn" rule, so you can't rely on it being there. Its usefulness for guiding in Mawlocs to hit targets is also rather overstated- any kind of reasonably smart opponent will simply walk 6" away and be out of range of your beacon. Yes, you could probably catch him with the bare edge of it if he doesn't go much further, but that is a very marginal use; you're probably better off just dropping him in the center. The reserves bonus part of the ability is also of limited usage, as Lictors themselves must start in reserves, so you are rather likely to have the better part of your army on the table before they even make their appearance. Still, a bonus is a bonus, and sometimes your Hive Tyrants die, so there are worse things you could be doing.

So what are Lictors good for? Well, they can make good pinpoint firepower- they show up, shake something, and hopefully charge in next turn and kill it. They also can be good at harassment, especially against a melee-weak army like Guard or Tau, disrupting their lines and shutting down heavy weapons to make the rest of your force's advance easier. What are they bad at? Killing things. You're paying an awful lot of points for a couple attacks on a not-terribly-durable chassis. If you find yourself lacking in firepower, Lictors are not for you. They are by-and-large weapons of finesse, not brute firepower like much of the Tyranid army. Whether you find this helpful or not is up to you, but as a whole they are a fairly mediocre unit that I can't give a strong recommendation to, unlike most of the Elites.

Well good lord that's a pile of special rules. This is probably what Lictors should have looked like, but at least the option's there, I suppose. Alright, so the Big D is basically the craziest Lictor you've ever seen, with improved stats in almost every category. He has all the Lictor's normal rules and then some (which we'll get to in a second) and can harry your opponent in a number of different ways. However, for his points he isn't all that dangerous straight up, so it's clear that he is not going to pull his weight just by killing dudes- even more so than with Lictors, the key to using him is to use him when and where you need him.

Okay, so in terms of upgrades on the Lictor he's significantly harder to kill due to always getting Night Fighting (with halved distances) in order to shoot him. That means that even guys in Rapid Fire range are far from guaranteed to get a shot off at him, and anyone further than 18" may as well just give up. (Caveat: barrage weapons ruin his day.) On top of that he slows movement through difficult terrain while nearby and always has the option of vanishing to reappear on a later turn. Oh, and he's Fearless, and to cap it all off he rends on 5s as well (not on penetration rolls, though it doesn't make much difference.) He is also WS9, which is super-relevant because it means that almost everyone in the game hits him on 5+ in combat, partly making up for his shoddy armor save.

However, the crowning jewel is "He's After Me," which lets you cripple the leadership of a single character from the start of the game on out. While this can be nice for making enemy leaders a little more vulnerable to certain effects and morale, its real benefit is against psykers, whom we otherwise struggle against. As noted in the HQ listings, we have a lot of good support powers- powers that are easily shut down by a Rune Priest or Librarian. While he doesn't help us against all of them (such as the Rune Priest or Farseer's abilities), he does make it rather hard for them to get off their own powers and makes Psychic Hood tests all but impossible. He also bumps up the danger from Doom of Malan'tai and Psychic Scream as well as the various of morale and pinning tests we can inflict.

So why's this all worth his hefty price tag, you may ask? He is, to put it succinctly, your Swiss Army Knife. If you have a problem, Deathleaper is there on the job, solving it for you. He gets started even before the game does, shutting down psykers and morale-boosters as noted above. Once things get rolling, he can appear anywhere on the field to pick off inconvenient units, especially small squads and tanks that don't have AV14. What makes him better than the regular Lictors at this (and he needs to be, given his cost) is his combination of survivability and reusability- his protection from long-range shooting means that he can't simply be eliminated by pointing a Lascannon across the field and rolling some dice. With careful choices in where to place him, you can often ensure that enemy squads must move closer to reliably shoot at him. Combine that with his ability to arrive anywhere on the field with a one turn delay, even after the early turns and you have a very tough model to catch and kill- he can't even be locked in CC thanks to Hit and Run. More importantly, his mobility and pinpoint precision mean he can easily swing games in the later turns by arriving to contest an objective or kill a squad contesting one of yours. In short, Deathleaper is a nightmare to deal with when used by an experienced player, as he offers almost limitless options for screwing with your opponent's game plan.

Unusual for the Elites slot, the Venomthrope is a support beast, being not particularly capable on its own. It can't shoot and is pretty average in melee (for Tyranids, that is). Instead, everything within 6" of him gets a whole host of benefits (or detriments, in the case of enemy units.) His main bonus is a 5+ cover save to anyone in range. With the nigh-universal 4+ this may seem mediocre, but giving it to your front rank of units (usually unprotected) and Monstrous Creatures (likewise) is quite relevant. He also gives them Defensive Grenades, although this is much less useful, as we will be charging more often than being charged. Lastly, they make everything in their area Dangerous Terrain for enemy models. So, overall, some moderately useful abilities, but in the end it all boils down to that 5+ save. Any kind of on-the-board list has a strong incentive to run a couple of these, as they can make your force a lot more resilient. In close combat they also have a small arsenal of tricks, not the least of which being the 2+ poison (which will reroll against anything with T4 or less, remember). However, all of them are also available to other models and so are not really terribly impressive features of the Venomthrope. Take them as bonus features rather than factors for consideration.

They are very vulnerable, however, since they're only T4 and two wounds- likely your enemy will start by shooting them first, if they are smart. For this reason I strongly recommend either "hiding" them in the middle of a phalanx of larger units so as to limit what can draw LOS to them or have a Tyranid Prime tag along with the unit, soaking up S8/9 wounds for the group as described in his entry. Also keep in mind the relatively limited radius of the effect- clustering your units around a Venomthrope brood leaves you very vulnerable to people laying blasts onto your force, so you are probably best served putting them somewhere at the center-front of your wave of critters, helping to shield the units that would otherwise lack saves, despite the susceptibility to fire. Remember, the Venomthrope's role is only to keep critters alive to crawl across the table- once you've reached the enemy's lines, their job is basically done. They can contribute minorly to combats- and more notably to a huge fight with two dozen or more combatants, thanks to Toxic Miasma- but if they die before then, salute their sacrifice and move on. Tyranid units are expendable.

So what's not to like? Well, for starters they are taking away from your anti-tank firepower. Especially in large games, you need to take whatever you can get, and losing squads of Hive Guard or Zoanthropes can be really painful. It is possible to make up the loss with Tyrannofexes, Harpies, or other units, but they aren't as cheap and are rarely as efficient. On the other hand, lacking protection, it doesn't matter how much anti-tank you have because it's going to be dead, so you have to make some choices. Finding the right balance of firepower, protection, and cost is something your army is going to have to deal with. That's something else: cost. Venomthropes, while not the most expensive choice in the codex by a long shot, are not exactly cheap, either. In the lower-point games where their occupying an Elites slot is less of an issue, the investment in two Venomthropes can seriously cut into your army's budget- not to mention your budget, as the model costs a fair chunk as well.

All in all, Venomthropes are a specialized, but helpful, unit. If your army syncs well with them, they're awfully handy. If not, they're worthless. Oh, right, there's an option for Mycetic Spore- don't take it. It's bad. Deep Strike armies are already hurting a bit for firepower, further crippling yourself in that regard is a baaaad idea.

The Big Bad Tank-Killer that has all the Marine players kvetching about how overpowered our army is. Well, to a degree, they're right- the Zoanthrope boasts what is quite possibly the strongest AT gun in the game. (Numerically, it is marginally worse than a Multimelta due to the psychic test, but it gains some points for working better against Monoliths.) And it comes on a frame with a 3++ save and an option for a Mycetic Spore, so it's not hard to see why they're considered nasty. On top of that, you get a built-in Marine-blastin' gun (and, it should be noted, the only AP3 weapon we have) and Synapse/SitW. It's combat stats are pretty sub-par, but with the invulnerable save it can often stave defeat off for a turn so that something else can come to its rescue.

On the downside, they are unreliable- you have to pass a psychic test, a shooting attack, an armor penetration roll, and then get a meaningful result on the damage table. Bad rolls on any of these steps shut the attack down, and countermeasures against any or all of them work equally well. Smoke Launchers, KFFs, Psychic Hoods, Rune Priests- all of these are very common inclusions (or even standard equipment!) in many armies and can easy render a Zoanthrope helpless, whereas the Hive Guard's multiple shots give it a degree of insurance against such techniques. And let's be honest: Hive Guard is what Zoanthropes have to measure up against. Guard are the new kid in town, kicking over trash cans and calling the Zoeys out to fight for the title of Premiere Tyranid Tankbuster. As for who wins that fight... well it's really more a matter of apples and oranges. Zoanthropes have a shorter range, meaning they often have to Spore in; Hiveguard are tougher, but are reliant on opponents getting within their (admittedly not shabby) reach. Zoanthropes are usually going to show up, wreck a vehicle, and then get shot to pieces by the occupants. They also favor different targets, as the Lance ability only really helps when killing Land Raiders, which Hive Guard can't hurt. So a combination of both is not a bad idea, allowing them to cover each other's weaknesses. And Zoanthropes do have weaknesses indeed; aside from close combat, which I already mentioned, Bolter fire can spam enough wounds to overwhelm their 3++, as they almost always end up in Rapid Fire range of whatever their target was carrying.

I have mainly discussed Zoanthropes with the assumption that they will be taking a Mycetic Spore, because I feel this is largely required. Their range is rather short and, combined with their inability to shrug off much fire before succumbing, I don't think it's generally prudent to start them on the board. You simply can't rely on the enemy placing his heavy armor within 24" of their starting position; a Spore allows them to threaten anything on the board once they arrive. The downside, of course, is that you more or less give the enemy a free turn or two before they kick in, and in many cases that can be enough to swing things heavily against you. One solution to this is to run them in an army with Onslaught Tervigons; the extra d6" of effective range can be critical in the early turns of the game. However, for many, this sort of "trundle across the table shooting" list is not necessarily what they are looking for, so a Mycetic Spore is the only real option. If the delay in shooting is unacceptable and you need something to deal with heavier targets than Hive Guard can handle, Tyrannofexes and Harpies are probably your best bet.

The Doom of Malan'tai
Uh-oh. I'll preface this by saying I am writing this under the assumption that Spirit Leech does not work on units in transports and does not allow cover saves. I'm not interested in arguing about whether this is correct or not; until an official FAQ is released, those assumptions are as good as any and strike me as being the most "fair" combination. (No, I don't want to argue about that, either. Go away.) If and when a FAQ or errata is issued, it may drastically change his usefulness (up or down) depending on how they rule on each of the two issues. Until then, understand that his strength will vary drastically from group to group, depending on how you interpret him.

So with an intro like that, you know you're in for some crazy stuff. The Doom is, in many ways, a pretty ridiculous weapon against any kind of infantry-based army. He has a tendency to eviscerate practically anything in his area and even punish units up to 24" away with his psychic powers. There is a pretty reasonable claim that he is too strong for his points (if hardly the unbeatable, utterly broken POS that a lot portray him as), but if you're looking at running a competitive Tyranid army, he is going to be a strong contender. Beyond just draining infantry dry, he is also quite resilient against most kinds of firepower (though a single bad save can spell his end) and even poses a non-ignorable threat to many vehicles if he is allowed to "power up" even once or twice. Unlike Zoanthropes, assaulting him is no protection against his abilities. Somewhat more like them, his purchase of a Mycetic Spore is mandatory- without it, he is hardly even a threat to the weakest of armies.

The math has been crunched by others, but for reference, he will average ~2 unsavable wounds each player turn to a unit of Space Marines (assuming they have a Sarge). However, the deviation is pretty high- a single bad roll can wipe out most of the squad in one go, so Marine players are justified in considering him an unholy terror. His psychic blast is similarly devastating, although as a shooting attack it is subject to more mitigating factors (LOS, scatter, cover saves). The potential to double up on a unit can be overwhelming, and with (potentially) high S and AP1 there are very few units that can afford to ignore it. Finally, his 3++ and regenerating wounds make him largely impossible to kill without a S8+ weapon. He is not without weaknesses, however. First off, simply scattering more than 6" away from all enemy units means that he may be unable to gain enough wounds to pose a major threat. Secondly, he can be drowned in attacks. A mob of ork boyz charging in can probably put enough wounds on him that he'll go down. This is exacerbated by the third factor: Instinctive Behavior - Feed. Although he has Ld 10, you will sometimes fail the test and lose control of him, and he will generally be arriving far enough from the rest of your army that Synapse for him won't be an option. And finally (and related to #1), he is very random- again, missing out on that initial drain can mean him being completely vulnerable to being blasted apart.

So the dude is a real monster, able to kill potentially large numbers of enemies and soak up enough firepower to make a difference. Is he the best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not. While he can do some damage to vehicles, he's not exactly ideal against them, so including the Doom is a hit to your potential availability of AT firepower in the form of Hive Guard and Zoanthropes. As mentioned several times, he is also somewhat unreliable. And finally, like Zoanthropes, his need to be Spored in means that many games he won't arrive until the battle is well under way, and some armies may not want to dedicate a non-insignificant part of their points to something that isn't helping from turn 1. So, while the Doom is incredibly versatile (functioning well against most armies) and undeniably powerful, he does not rank as a mandatory inclusion to all armies. Still, you could do a lot worse for 130 pts.

Like this guy, for example. Jesus, where do we start. Okay, so Pyrovores are basically Heavy Flamers with legs. They're reasonably tough- one wound less than a Warrior- and ignore armor saves in CC. They also have a couple cute "retribution" mechanics that punish people for killing them (acid blood, exploding when ID'd). Doesn't sound so bad? Oh, I must've forgot to mention their abysmal stats (WS3 I1 A1, worse than a Necron!) and ridiculous price tag. Hey GW, did you know that a Terminator with a Heavy Flamer also ignores armor saves, except he can ID people, kill vehicles, and shrug off most attacks? And he costs less than the Pyrovore and has better support from the rest of his army? Hell, compare him to a Scout Marine and he comes out looking bad. To put it simply, Pyrovores are s***. Even as one of the few template weapons available in the codex they completely without usefulness, especially when you compare them to the other options you have in the same slot. Troops in cover? Lictors, Death Leaper, DoM, and Ymgarl Genestealers will all do a better job at rooting them out, unless it's some sort of bizarre "one million Shoota Boyz in a bunker" occurrence.

He does have the option for a Mycetic Spore, which makes them marginally more worthwhile. You could potentially drop a pair of them into the middle of an enemy and unlease some burny doom, forcing them to redirect fire away from your main force to deal with them. The first problem with this strategy is the aforementioned cost: you're paying a lot of points for this "distraction." The second is your other options: Doom of Malan'tai makes a much better formation-breaker and will probably do more damage to boot. If you are dead-set on using the Pyrovore, this is probably your best bet, but I still can't say it's anything close to good. Also: the model is *******' enormous for a T4 creature, significantly bulkier than a Biovore, and you're going to pay an arm and a leg for it. Remember how I said that Venomthropes and Hive Guard were far from cheap? Yeah, Pyrovores roll those dudes and smoke them to finish off a meal of caviar and Don Perignon. And while rather a lot of Tyranids look rather, erm, suggestive, the Pyrovore in particular looks like his main gun was genetically designed to imply "standing at attention," so to speak. His gun is even called "Flamespurt." Ewww. Really, GW, what were you thinking with this guy?

Ymgarl Genestealers
Last, but thanks to the Pyrovore, not least. I will admit, I like these guys, so take my opinions here with a grain of salt. Ymgarl Genestealers are, as the name suggests, basically just upgraded Genestealers. They have all the features standard to their cousins as well as a couple bonuses, not the least of which is their 4+ save. This small difference is actually a pretty huge jump in survivability, as both species have to expect to be operating separate from the rest of the swarm quite often (thanks to special deployment rules) and thus can't rely on the cover save from having screening units. Their brood sizes are slightly different- although I can't see this being relevant very often- and they have several unique rules.

Rather than infiltrating, they have the option to stay Dormant, which involves secretly picking a piece of terrain that they will arrive from- ready to assault, no less- when they come out of reserve. The downside to this is that if there are enemies occupying the terrain such that they cannot legally be placed (more than 1" away), the excess 'Stealers, and potentially the whole unit, are lost. They also get to pick a stat bonus each Assault phase, either +1 S, T, or A, all of which are pretty relevant boons. You can't pick the same bonus twice in a row, but that isn't terribly crippling, since there are two good offense-oriented options. The S bonus is very nice when going after vehicles- which, given their surprise arrival, they can often catch stationary. (Comparing them to the rather lethargic Lictors, which take a full turn to get out of the La-Z-Boy they were perched in is rather pathetic. Have some enthusiasm for devouring all life, man!) The A bonus is ideal... well, almost anytime, really, as more attacks means more wounds and fewer return strikes. The T bonus is helpful when assaulting into cover- which they can do reasonably well, between it and their save- as well as trying to insure that you don't massacre the opponent on the first round of combat and end up exposed to shooting on their turn. Keep in mind that the bonuses only last for the duration of the assault phase, though- a Toughness bonus won't protect you from shooting in any way.

Their disadvantages are far from crippling, but hardly ignorable, either. First off, they are much more expensive than Genestealers, coming in at around half again the price. They also have no unit options- which wouldn't be so bad, except it means they don't have Toxin Sacs, so no rerolling wounds. So, for the same price a unit of Genestealers will inflict 50% more wounds on most enemies, even assuming that the Ymgarls are benefitting from the +1A bonus. If your army is lacking in bodies, Ymgarl Genestealers are probably not for you. They also have the same problem as a lot of our other units in that they're crammed into the Elites slot with all of the AT, and while a flurry of S5 attacks is nice, it's no guarantee and it isn't going to come in the early turns of the game when you want to be ripping people out of their tanks. Still, a squad of around six or eight of them is dangerous to pretty much everything on the battlefield and cheap enough to not completely break the budget. And, unless you play with micro-scale scenery, it is very hard for most opponents to fill a piece of terrain enough to cut them completely off from deploying, as you will usually have several good options for where to situate them. There will be times when you are blocked off due to sheer bad luck or good guessing, but these are the exception, not the rule.

6 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Doom is totally OP, until a missile launcher or two show up. 1 failed save and he's gone.

Pyrovores are made of suck.

HG rawk.

Raptor1313 said...

I'm pretty much with you.

Hive Guard can't tackle the heaviest of armor, but are significantly more reliable. Being able to hide out of LOS is HUGE; and being able to kill without regard for LOS is also good.

Hive Guard just fit more readily into most armies, and really ought to. I think you want a half-dozen once you get into the larger games; two units of three if you're getting a support elite or three by two if not.

Zoeys coming in by reserve really want a reserves boost, and while it's a 3++, there's ALSO the part where most armies CAN try to KO 4-6 marines in a turn, which is all Zoeys really are in terms of durability (better if you can get S8, though). You can only gamble on getting one good round of shooting, and hope the enemy doesn't have nasty psychic defense.

I think if you're going pure horde (or MC heavy, other than Tyrannofexes) then the Venomthrope has a role.

On the other hand, it's only a 5+ save, so it only matters for MCs if there's a lot of AP3+ fire. Additionally, most of the time you can get SOME cover for infantry. If you get lucky and kill anything assaulting you with terrain checks, laugh a littlen ad move on.


Doom? Neat psychological weapon, but more of a gimmick, and most armies DO have some S8 they can hit it with.

Take Deathleaper, or go theme and bring lots of Lictors if you want lictors. Note that there ARE some armies where reducing the ld of one guy isn't that uber; unless there's a psyker or ONE GUY whose leadership is important (IE: Rites of Battle marine guy, IG commander, that kind of thing) it's not so hot.

all told, though, it's a solid roundup of elites.

Auretious Taak said...

On the Flamespurt comment of what were GW thinking - probably that they would take the original name from the 2nd ed codex for the weapon that gargoyles carried: a Flamespurt, which used the handflamer template, I've fond memories of a unit of 11 of these buggers killing a full 10 man devastator unit of marines in 2nd ed, lol, was accused of cheating that game as I took no casualties due to insane luck and stupid fire poured into MC's that then regenerated it all, lol. :p

But yes, the Flamespurt like many of the 'newer' guns are older guns just givena new body or re-assigned to units once more like they used to be.

Auretious Taak.

MagicJuggler said...

Hit and Run is 3d6 by the way. :3

I do need to get more playtests in with the Lictors but so far they haven't been terrible. Then again I always was a sucker for glass cannon units; it's a matter of making sure AT bases are covered elsewhere though.

Son of Russ said...

for me, my vote is still solid for one unit of Ymgarls. In my games with the bugs this time around, they've done their jobs almost entirely without fail(and their 1 failure was due to wonky tournament rules rather than them not killing everything they touched). On the charge into cover, i always choose toughness, then on the opponent's turn i choose the extra attack, so that for two turns they're throwing out a hellstorm of rending hits... though target priority is a must for them, so i generally send them after Long Fang/Devastator squads, lone Grey Knight Strike Squads, stunned/immobilized Land Raiders/other vehicles

Victor said...

disagrre about your opininon about Venonthropes and Deathleaper. Both compete with Hive Guard and Zoans for an elite slot and are not too useful for their price:

Venonthropes are slow, and easy to be torrented away. the opponent can also afford to ignore them and focus his firepower either in MC or the hordes of small griblies. A 20 points decrease/model and swaping them to Troops would make Venonthropes usable IMO

Despite having to apply the night fighting rules against deathleaper, a smart opponent can easily bypass the nightfighting by castling, as daethleaper has to deploy close to take full advantage of his skills. If he was able to charge the same turn he arrives....

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