Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Flicking through my new Tyranid codex and trying to build a good list I decided that the best addition to my army would be a non-Tyranid fortification.  What an utterly depressing conclusion to reach.  The Imperial fortification designated 'Wall of Martyrs - Firestorm Redoubt' provides an AV14 bunker, an 11" long piece of terrain to hide behind (which is LoS blocking for gribblies), a very decent anti-air option and, most importantly, can boost my Synapse radius by roughly 2-5". This might not seem a lot, but if you stick a Zoanthrope in it with Dominion primaris, he covers an area of the board 35" wide and 29" deep.  Thats a helluva lot of Synapse coverage.  Over a quarter of the standard gaming table, in fact.

The rules governing this little exploit are dubious to say the least.  The basic rulebook (p78) talks about measuring ranges from the hull of an embarked unit in a vehicle, rather than the model itself which is not on the table.  Further, page 93 states that you embark onto a building in exactly the same way as a vehicle.  This is all very tenuous, but if GW wanted to sell more fortifications (which I'm sure they do) then they could FAQ it to the Nid's advantage (they already did it for Big Mek Kustom Force Fields).  Of course, they could always go the other way which might incense me to nerd rage.  The current Tyranid FAQ is ominously missing from their site, which probably means it is being updated.

Regardless, this is an excellent hobby opportunity.  The thought of using an actual Firestorm Redoubt fills me with loathing and scorn.  But it got me thinking, 'what if I build a Tyranid Firestorm Redoubt from scratch? A Hivestorm Redoubt no less!'.  Its a fairly ambitious project, granted.  So I've been sitting on my hands and not really doing much for a couple of weeks (I also went on holiday).  However, maybe if I blog about it, then I will actually be motivated to produce something.

This is all I've managed to come up with so far.  Not a very auspicious beginning.

I also need to get my new models painted up.  I've only really been impressed with the Venomthrope so far but painted models always perform better on the battlefield, as everyone knows.  (Except on their maiden voyage when they invariably do a 'Titanic')

I'm going to paint these too.  I'm just not saying when.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Magnetising your Haruspex/Exocrine

Many people, myself included, tend to think of the new Haruspex as a pile of shite.  Thats not to say they don't like the model.  They would love to build and paint the kit as a Haruspex but prefer the rules for the Exocrine.  Fortunately, GW built the model so that it is very easy to swap the heads and arms and get the best of both worlds.  You can now enjoy painting your Haruspex and scaring the cat with it, but use it as an Exocrine when you fancy a game of 40k.  I was able to magnetise both variants using 9 magnets in total.

You only need one pair of magnets for the head (as above).  Both head options dovetail perfectly into the body, almost supporting their own weight (you can't fault the quality of GW plastic models. Just the rules.  Oh, and finecast.  My new venomthrope was worse than the straw man in Wizard of Oz and needed some serious (green) stuffing)

I use ModiFX 4.75mm Rare Earth Magnets because, well, the shop doesn't sell anything else.  You get a drill bit in the starter set which is the same diameter as the magnets.  This is invaluable.  I just manually drill holes in styrene because its soft.

The corresponding magnets on the head options are shown here.  The Haruspex is easy and a magnet nicely fits into the notch on the back of his head.  To get a magnet in exactly the same place on the Exocrine head however is a bit trickier and I had to glue a piece of sprue inside to hold it.

A) I covered the magnet on the body with some blu-tac and put a blob of paint on it.  B) I fit the head onto the body and the paint marked exactly where the magnet should go.  C) I had misjudged the position, so I had to glue a bit of extra sprue on to fit the entire magnet.  Hmm, maybe I'm not actually qualified to show other people how to magnetise things.  D) Note that the magnet isn't flush with the gun.  I had to make it stick out a bit to get contact with the other magnet.  You can tell you've done it properly when you can hear the magnets clicking together.

Fitting magnets on the arms is easy.  Note that the Crushing Claws are hollow so you'll probably have to drill right through, leaving a void.  This is fine if you've used the drill bit that came with the set and the magnet will fit snugly.  If you bugger it up don't worry.  Squeeze some green/grey stuff into the hole, press the magnet into place and do a few test fittings as it slowly dries to get the pose you want.

You can now field an Exocrine in your games but still play with your Haruspex to your heart's content.  Don't do it too much though, or you'll go blind.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Misfiring Synapses

I was prepared to be butt hurt on receiving my new Nid codex. The pre-release leaks caused a furore on the forums.  There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth but I secretly thought that it couldn't be that bad could it?  Could it?

The thrust of the new army seems to be, "hang in there".  With a plethora of cheaper MCs in every FOC slot and cut price gribblies, it does make Nids more of an attrition army and relatively harder to budge.  But there's no stand out model or rule which impresses me and no 'Surprise! You're dead!' units.  Drop pods are gone and Trygon tunnels are still useless so you'll be doing a lot more footslogging.  Games will consist of your opponent kicking the shit out of you for 5-7 turns with superior, long ranged firepower.  If he can't remove all your troops/synapse by this time then you could steal a win on objectives.  Makes for a tense game which is probably more fun for your opponent.

On the positive side, I was pleased with the points reduction across the board and now think Tyrannofexes are viable, Biovores are even better and Mawlocs are pretty cool (Heavy Support will become a bit crowded).  I like the new Exocrine, Harpy and the Crone (not so much the Haruspex).  Nids now have more and better flyers as well as access to a lot of Haywire weaponry.

Ok, I built another Exocrine.  Or did I?

Tyrants and Carnifexes are much cheaper but I don't own Carnifexes.  The Tyrant, as with all psykers in the book, has been nerfed by not having access to the BRB psychic powers.  I don't actually have a problem with limiting what Nids can take.  Rolling for and keeping track of 14+ powers in a game was just annoying for me and not fun at all.  But the Tyranid psychic powers are not as good as Biomancy+Telekinesis+Telepathy (although, you'll consistently roll one which is fairly useful or just take the Dominion primaris)

The Haruspex is interchangeable with the Exocrine
and easily magnetised
Which is a good job because the Haruspex is 'Meh', ruleswise

Frankly the problems with Warriors, Raveners, Lictors, Genestealers, Pyrovores and Rippers were not fixed, or even addressed really. (They went as far as removing Ymgarls from the game. WTF?!). Ok, Pyrovores got a bit better.  They needed to get a lot better.  I'd say that I just won't use any of the above but that leads me to another problem:  Instinctive Behaviour.  The rules have changed drastically.  Being out of synapse in the old book could make things difficult but still manageable and in some cases it was actually beneficial.  Under the new rules, being out of synapse is potentially disastrous.  Creatures with 'Hunt' may be forced to go to ground, 'Lurk' units might run off the board and 'Feed' units can end up eating each other.  Its not quite as bad for lone models (e.g. the Mawloc is Ld8, can't eat itself and can still move freely in the movement phase to mitigate the downside of having to attack the closest unit).  However, large units of troops are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of Instinctive Behaviour.

So its pretty important to keep the gribblies in synapse range at all times or 'interesting' things will happen. Fair enough, this is what narrative gaming is all about.  But how do I do this? Tervigons (and Hive Guard to a lesser extent) were nerfed.  Whilst not unexpected, Tervigons were so badly mauled that you do not want any termagants (our main troop choice) anywhere within 12" of them.  Which is odd because they are a termagant spawning unit.  So Tervigon spam is out.  Which leaves Tyrants, Primes, Warriors, Zoanthropes, Shrikes and the Trygon Prime.  Tyrants are an ok option with guard but this is pricey. Flyrants are too mobile and fragile to provide reliable synapse.  Trygons are shock troops and won't be babysitting deckchair units on backfield objectives.  Zoanthropes are ok but fragile, you'll tend to want to use them moving forward offensively and the elite slots are still at a premium.  Primes received a 56% point increase for no real reason as far as I can see.

Which leaves Warriors.  The warrior statline didn't change at all; they are still very vulnerable to ST8 weaponry and will die in droves to Ion Accelerators (but hey, so does everything else!).  However, we don't have access to any other cheap, spammable synapse/scoring units.  So I might be forced to take them.  Which makes me sad.  I dunno, I haven't actually played any games yet so I cannot say that the new codex is terrible. I don't think its overpowered so far.

I want my Tentaclids where I can see 'em, dammit!

Monday, 6 January 2014

More MCs needed

When I posted the picture of Tubbs the Tervigon next to my Exocrine conversion I felt a sudden rush of guilt.  Having already converted two Tervigons, she was the ugly sister as far as I was concerned.  I much preferred Gertie who was lovingly and painstakingly converted and farts termagants out of her arse rather than giving birth by caesarean section (which seems a bit extreme, somehow) .  So I never even finished painting Tubbs, who remained a 3rd string quarterback in my Tervigon spam list.  Looking at the picture of her I decided that the old girl deserved better.  So now she sports a shiny new Hive Fleet Nidrot colour scheme and is fully based.

Its just a jump to the left...
Repainting your entire army is a slow process and has taken me about 18 months so far.  I still have a Trygon Prime, Flyrant, Tilly the Tervigon and most of my gaunts and genestealers to go.  The new codex release has revitalised me a bit but I'll probably be too busy drooling over my new purchases to finish them any time soon.

And then a step to the riiiiight!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Exocrine fin

I made my pre-orders for the Harpy/Crone and Haruspex/Exocrine today.  I also bought the codex which means that my family will be eating beans on toast for the next 3 months.  At least I got my fix eh?  I'm almost tempted to start buying Chinese forgeworld. However, I know that I can build the Haruspex without that nagging feeling that the alternative build might be better.  I already have a 'counts as' Exocrine and I reckon it will do:

Look at the size of his...  oh, never mind

I also bought White Dwarf and spent an hour making my eyes bleed, trying to read the thumbnail pictures of the psyker cards.  All I managed to work out was:

Powers of the Hive Mind

The Tyranid uses its prodigious psychic strength to channel and amplify the will of the Hive Mind
Dominion is a blessing that targets the psyker. Whilst this power is in effect, the psyker adds 6" to it's synapse range

Psychic Scream is a nova power with a range of 6". For each target unit, roll 2D6 + ????? and subtract their Leadership.
This unit suffers a number of wounds equal to the result. Armour and cover saves cannot be taken against wounds caused by Psychic Scream.

Warp Blast is a witchfire power. Warp Blast can be used as either a Burst (Blast?) or a Lance. Each time this power is
(activated?), the controlling player must choose which profile is being used before the target is chosen.

Burst (Blast?) : Range 24" S(5????) AP 3 Assault 1, Blast
Lance : Range 18" S10 AP 2 Assault 1, Lance

Ah well, all will be revealed next week

I've only had a few ales, orificer,  honeshtly