Millennium Games hosted an open play/discussion day to celebrate the release of the new rules yesterday. My buddy Kevin did the same thing afterwards at his house, but with beer and food too. I ground my way through 2 partial games just to try the rules out with the help of observers looking up rules as we played.
My first game was against IG with GK allies (libby + 5 terminators). We played mission #6 The Relic (kill the carrier). Deployment was Dawn of War (the new pitched battle).
I rolled up psy powers (missed the part where it was all or nothing swap so my tyrant kept paroxysm). Everything went biomancy. Tyrant and tervigon (tervigon kept catalyst also illegal) both got Life Leech (str6 ap2 ass2, regens wounds). Broodlord got Iron Arm (d3 str/t + EW) and Endurance (FnP, regen, relentless). Luckily I got to go first and get my powers off.
Important to note here (which we didn't for the game) units with skyfire (hydras) that do not have interceptor (don't think hydras do) fire at bs1 against non flyer/skimmers. Great balancing for hydras.
Perils offer no saves of any kind now so no invulns. Commander abilities are cool. I got one for my Tyrant that allows friendly units within 12" to roll an extra run dice and choose the highest. Fleet also allows you to reroll runs.
Shooting phases hurt us more now with most cover being 5+ and FnP being 5+. The good news is night fight gives stealth from 12-24", even to MC's. It also grants shrouding from 24-36" which stacks with stealth so MC's further than 24" that are covered by 25% have 2+ cover during night fight.
Preferred enemy (old adversary) now affects shooting. It allows rerolls of 1's in shooting and cc, HITS AND WOUNDS! So tl devourers hit on 4+ with reroll (for tl), then wound MEQ on 2+ with rerolls (1's) thanks to PE. Don't forget unsaved wounds go from the front. Add enfeeble psychic power and you're ID'ing nobz, paladins, etc.
My trygon failed its assault range even with fleet rerolls. On the right, my broodlord's unit also failed to get a 9 on 2d6 with rerolls. Reserves are always 3+ on t2/3 and auto t4. That means hive commander is always 2+ (I didn't have it these games).
Important to note that only SiTW, Runes, and Runic weapons are the only way to block blessings (FnP, iron arm, endurance). SiTW also stopped force activation this turn.
Flyers will be really annoying, especially if they bring 2-3. I couldn't pen it with the 1 hit I got from hive guard (hit on 6's, reroll 1's for PE).
My tfex did wreck one hydra through hull point removal which was cool. That would have still been alive in 5th ed. My broodlord survived shooting for 3 turns (his genestealers did not), buffed himself to s7/t7 and wrecked the manticore via hull points also. In that back corner, the s3 lasguns also couldn't even hurt him and he survived plasma and autocannon shots with ease.
We didn't finish the game but I was losing badly. I could have gotten a draw if the tyrant + tfex could have killed the termies (halberds and swords are ap3 now, both MC's had 2+ and are ap2) but we stopped at the top of 4.
I also played a game against a (now broken) DE WWP list. The mission was #3 The Big Guns Never Tire (d3+2 objectives, hvy support can score even vehicles). Joe didn't bring any hvy support at 1500pts heh.
Deployment was Vanguard Stike (diagonal line from corner to corner, 12" from the line) which is really annoying to lay out. This time I did psy powers correctly. Broodlord got Endurance and Life Leech. Interesting thing here is he is bs0 so cannot use shooting powers. Nothing indicates being able to replace this power so he was screwed. I kept him in back to buff the army. Tervigon got Warp Speed (d3init/attacks, fleet) and Life Leech. Tyrant got Enfeeble (-1str/t, everything is difficult) and Life Leech.
You can now only reserve half of your units (rounded up) so Joe's WWP plan has to change. Luckily for him, he seized. Beasts now fully ignore terrain, but the wording for assaulting is "if any model had to move into terrain, the unit is init1" so as far as I see, they still strike last.
Units can only disembark if their transport moves 6", but they get a 6" regular move from the hull after. Also, fast skimmers can still move up to 18" in the shooting phase and earn a 4+ jink (5+ if they don't flat out in shooting). He drops a WWP.
12" move + 18" flat out is far...
But my tervigon gives itself fleet and + 2 attacks with Warp Speed.
My tfex (with preferred enemy) explodes the flanking skimmer and the hive guard (with preferred enemy) explode the central skimmer. Did you know explosions are always str4 on embarked units now despite open topped?
So the fleet tervigon with 5 base attacks, furious charge, and poison assaults (muahahah). There are 2 flesh gauntles in there but I pass my saves.
Grotesques arrive via the WWP but are not allowed to assault. Joe built these with daemon prince models and bits from necrons and fansasy models. His full unit has a retail value of nearly $800 lol. Beasts moved to within 4" of my tyrant, but his assault roll was 3" and he got a reroll (from fleet) of 3" and failed his assault. By the wording, I still would have gotten my 12 tl shots on overwatch, but I forgot hah.
I assault the tfex and ymgarls into the grotesques. Funny thing is huskblades are now ap3 so the tfex was mostly safe. Plus, Joe's dice are always awesome. Here's his Archon attacks against the ws3 tfex.
I had to get home to the wife and kid so we called it but things were going well for Nids this game. On the drive home, I also realized that I forgot Fear on the MC's as well as impact hits in both games.
Here's what I took away from my first two practice matches:
MC's are better, tyranid infantry got worse (from cover, FnP, rapid fire at 24", and overwatch)
Biomancy is great and could be the key to new competitive Nids (until everyone brings a farseer ally)
Preferred enemy is auto-include for me. Reroll 1's in shooting and assault to hit and to wound.
Poisoned MC's can wound on 2+ and reroll 2+ (s6 vs t4).
TL Decourers (MC version) are even better vs mech.
Aegis defense lines may be the key to keeping genestealers viable. You can place them anywhere in your half for 4+ cover.
Fearless is very good now. No more resolution wounds.
Multi-assaults are very bad now. You lose the assault bonus and furious charge (and can't stack wounds to cause no retreats on tougher targets).
Some things I'm considering testing next:
235pt+ tervigons. 3 biomancy powers, crushing claws, toxins and adrenals. If you get warp speed, you can go up to 10 attacks (3 base, +d3 claws, +d3 warp speed). If you get Iron Arm, you can go up to str9(10 on assault)/t9, eternal warrior.
Commando Broodlords (BL + 4 stealers). 2 biomancy powers for 116pts. Backfield scoring/buffing unit.
Dakkafexes possibly in spores. Come in on 2+ with Hive Commander, nuff said.
Zoanthropes with biomancy? Random generated power can screw you, but imagine 3x endurance. Blessings are cast in the movement phase and each zoan could bless a different unit. Life Leech isn't terrible at str6 ap2. Psy powers are cumulative so 3x enfeeble would be funny. Str1/t1 terminators/paladins/nobz?
Tarpit hordes instead of CC hordes. 30 gaunts now stick around forever in assault since no retreat wounds are gone. Hormagaunts and Gargoyles are tons better.
Deathleaper. FAQ'd for shrouding which stacks with stealth (+3 total). 2+ cover in any terrain, -d3 leadership for all the psykers about to come out to play.
Raveners. 12" move 2d6" assault with rerolls, ignoring all terrain. ws5 i5 scything, and rending. Nuff said.
Anyways, that's it for now. Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings on 6th ed (nids). My DE are getting shelved until I can figure out how to unbreak them and I know the GK will be fine.