Working a full time job and coming home to a 6 month old doesn't leave much time to get out for games so this is what I do when I'm not inspired to paint. I need inspiration to paint and right now the shift in rules has derailed all my previous army builds so here I go to the proverbial drawing board.
Bear with me as the pictures are in no particular order and my thoughts are still a bit scattered, but I'll bring everything together in the end with a final list to take to Saturday's event.
I playtested half a dozen games with all of the new missions and deployment types. All games were against my Mordrak Shock list for consistency. Here's one with a flyrant/trygon/ravener/warrior build experimenting with aegis lines.
I like the aegis a lot for shooty foot units. Hammer/anvil deployment makes for interesting opportunities like starting your flyrant on the table even if you're going second due to the extreme range and pre-measuring.
Mobile assault units (NDK) have certain advantages setting up assaults from beneficial angles. The 3" pile in can really hamstring units if you hit them from the right direction. Top left: Tervigons are quickly becoming my favorite assault unit now. Take 3 powers and swap them for biomancy. With crushing claws, poison, FNP, and iron arm, you can charge recklessly into grey knight squads and cause some mayhem.
At this point, I'm liking the flyrant a bit more than on foot with guards. The speed is a bit addicting for a mostly slow foot army, as is the portable SiTW. I tend to keep him on the flanks to avoid getting knocked down with pea shooters. Also a note from this pic: I'm not a fan of mysterious objectives. It's really been common for one army to get really beneficial ones while the other only gets the lame ones.
Player set terrain is interesting but I think it will get real boring real fast. If I figure out a terrain configuration that synergizes with my units, I guess I'll set up the table the same way each time with slight adjustments based on enemy units. I think it will end up making a lot of games look and feel the same. Pic above: Hammer/anvil GK on the bottom, Nids on top. Nids place aegis and 2 flanking areas for ymgarls. GK place 3 areas they can totally filly to block ymgarl deployment while also forcing all incoming units to assault into cover. If this is the optimal way to block ymgarls and tyranid assaults in general, the GK player has no reason to deploy his terrain differently ever. Not great for a few friends who play each other often with the same armies and a limited terrain supply (if you want to do it by the book). I know this weekend's event is allowing player set terrain, but I hope they also do some events with TO set terrain for more cinematic tables.
Oooh so cinematic... Won't take long to get sick of hearing that word. I do like the new rules tho. Something about it gives depth to the game and makes it feel like an unfolding story rather than a game of chess. Does that make any sense?
Turns out a lot of the USR's now pass from one model to the whole unit instead of the whole unit losing it because of one model. As such, a hive tyrant now passes move through cover on to his guard (2d6 5th ed, 3d6 6th ed). That's a pretty big deal if you run the tyrant deathstar a lot.
Ymgarls and drop pods arrive. At this point, I'm liking drop pods more actually. Tervigons getting reckless again. Hell, even my tfex wants to headbutt the NDK. Nids win both combats but volleys from an arriving stormraven cripple the army. Flyers are going to be a real pain for nids. No skyfire, not allowed to manually fire gun emplacements, and no allies. GW really does love to hate tyranids. I truly believe that at this point. That won't discourage me yet, but fliers could get real old if every mech army starts bringing 3 and nothing is given to nids via white dwarf.
Pre-measuring is your friend. You can line up perfect movement and shooting every time. Now your termagants can ALWAYS be more than 6" away when your tervigon blows. Maintaining the old adversary bubble can be perfect every movement phase. I even went so far as to measure out area terrain during placement for raveners to leapfrog since they always get 12" and are never slowed.
I've been using them a lot more loosely now that they won't suffer no retreat wounds. Still can't take a NDK with 6, but against most other armies they will excel.
Here I'm settling in on a version I'm happiest with so far. Also, hammer/anvil with the relic mission can be very amusing and annoying. I think of all the missions, the relic will be my least favorite. At least the old DoW deployment is gone and I hope it never comes back.
Here's some takeaways from my sessions:
#1. Bring plenty of mobility. Every book mission rewards a unit in the opposite DZ so you better have units that can get there and survive or arrive late. Also, can you get the relic on turn 1 (~11" movement from a scoring unit, infiltrators, scouts)?
#2. Durable HQ's are in. Just like KP denial was popular in 5th ed, ensuring your commander survives is key to 6th ed denial.
#3. Assault has shifted. I'm only liking MC's and cheap hordes for assault now. Hordes to tarpit stuff until the big MC's arrive to clean up. 5+ cover, 5+ FnP, and overwatch have pretty much ruined genestealers for me.
#4. Tyranid dakka is no joke. With PE adding rerolls of 1's in shooting and wounding, devourers are even better than before. MC devourers are one of our best tools against flyers, even if it's just hoping for 3 glances. Saturation is key and mobility from the flyrant is brilliant.
#5. Directional sniping is great. Deep striking units with respectable shooting can snipe out weapons or characters hiding in the back ranks.
#6. Scoring units are even more important now than before. Here is where some armies will really benefit by allies diversifying their scoring units. You're going to want backfield scoring, offensive scoring, and units worthy of carrying the football (relic). Remember heavies and fast units occasionally count as scoring with the new missions.
#7. Which unit are you giving up to first blood? Think about it. If you're playing tyranids and setting up across from guard, which unit is giving up the first victory point? What's your plan to beat your opponent to first blood? It's not a full-reserve alpha strike anymore unless you play every unit in a drop pod and hide your HQ.
Those are just some more entry-level thoughts into the new edition. Here's the list I made for the 1500pt event based on my notes.
Tyrant + wings, devourers x2, old adversary (biomancy)
Tyranid Prime + boneswords, toxins, regen (warlord)
Hive Guard x3
Termagants x10 + devourers, mycetic spore
Termagants x10 + devourers, mycetic spore
Tervigon + claws, toxins, 3 powers (biomancy)
Tervigon + claws, toxins, 3 powers (biomancy)
Carnifex + devourers x2 , regen
So every unit deployed is t6. The prime is warlord because the tyrant will always be target priority #1. The prime joins the fex and stands in front to dish out "lookout sir!". Both models have regen (beginning of each turn) and possibly "it will not die" (end of each turn) to make for a really tough unit to kill.
The army draws 8 biomancy powers which I pretty much only use for blessings and maledictions. If the tyrant gets iron arm or warp speed, he's gonna get in close. If he gets endurance or enfeeble, he's a midfield harrasser/buffer. For the tervigons, I usually liked iron arm on one and warp speed on the other (with 3 rolls it happens). Enfeeble and endurance are used as they cross the field. I'm hoping multiple enfeebles stack (did I read that somewhere? anyone have a reference?) because when you get MEQ's down to t2, funny stuff happens.
The spores drop in for some directional sniping with devilgaunts. If I play really smart, they land in front of my army right about where my tyrant wants to swoop and give the whole lot preferred enemy. If the tyrant starts in the back, maybe even the fexes have reached the right spot and the whole army unloads. Spores are actually decent at wrecking light vehicles now with glances.
Anyways, that's it in a nutshell. It's got a resilient warlord, five units capable of reaching the opposite DZ, no easy first blood, and a ton of dakka to focus down one unit for first blood. Four scoring units with at least two more spawned and scoring carnifexes in one mission. I'm pretty happy and comfortable with the list and don't anticipate changing it anymore before Saturday. I will, however also pack up the GK's since it's a multiple list event it will be good to have a backup plan just in case.
Batreps to come after the event if everything goes well. Allies, fortifications, and player set terrain is all on the menu.