Tyranid Codex Review – HQ: Old One Eye

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio here, and as promised, here we go with more bugs! We have reached the end of the HQ selection, but this bug isn’t truly the last or the least. The meanest bug that ever crawled out of the ice is back with a vengeance.  With Old One Eye, you get an anti-tank melee threat and as bonus, you also get a force multiplier for your Carnifexes.

***This article updated for Chapter Approved 2018***

Equipment and Biomorphs:

  • Monstrous Crushing Claws: Melee weapon. Sx2 AP-3 Dmg 3.  -1 to hit.  Some of the hardest hitting melee the bugs have.
  • Monstrous Scything Talons: Melee weapon. S: user. AP-3 Dmg 3. Reroll 1s to hit. An exceptionally accurate weapon that can struggle against big targets.
  • Thresher Scythe: Melee weapon. S:4 AP-1 D1. Basically, D3 bonus attacks for clearing chaff.

No upgrades since OOE is a special character after all.

Special Rules:

  • Instinctive Behavior: Unless within 24 inches of a HIVE FLEET synapse creature, -1 to hit for shooting attacks against any target that is not the closest, and -2 to charge a unit unless it is the closest.
  • Immortal Battering Ram: On a 4+, D3 mortal wounds to a unit it charges. When it charges, it also gains +1 to hit.
  • Alpha Leader: +1 to hit in the Fight Phase for friendly HIVE FLEET Carnifexes.
  • Berserk Rampage: Each hit roll of 6+ for OOE (except for Thresher Scythe) generates another attack, but these don’t regenerate further attacks.
  • Regeneration: heal one wound at the start of your turn.

Those are some sweet, sweet special rules.  The biggest and best is Alpha Leader, a generic +1 to hit aura for OOE itself and Carnifexes. It is easy to build an army around this and if nothing else, it makes for an easy Spearhead detachment to slot into a lot of lists.  Immortal Battering Ram means that when OOE gets to charge, it can turn up to 11 with the chance for a few sneaky wounds, but more importantly, a +1 to hit.  This means that OOE’s scything talons trigger Berserk Rampage on the roll of a 4+ (assuming no negative modifiers).  Berserk Rampage is fun but swingy, so unless you are using the talons along with Immortal Battering Ram, you shouldn’t rely on getting anything from it, so if it does happen, be excited! Regeneration is really not super wonderful as chances are that OOE will die to any focused attention, but it does help in late game when your opponent may be relying on plinking to try and pick units off as opposed to full throated power.

OOE is still a mean, mean bug. Hitting on a rerollable 2+ with its Talons or a 3+ with its Crushing Claws , (or 2+ on the charge!), OOE is going to land some big hits at either S7 or S14 with the claws. OOE could theoretically generate 10 attacks in a single round without any additional tricks. That’s some heat from a single model, especially at S7 with AP -3 or S14.  The +1 to hit aura also makes standard scream-killer Carnifexes far more reliable with a 3+ to hit and rerolling 1s. This is also really the only way to make Crushing Claw Carnifexes viable as it allows them to hit on 4+ rather than 5+ (or a 3+ if they charged).   He really turns up the heat for Stone-Crusher Carnifexes as they can suddenly have a 3+ rerollable to hit and wound against Knights, and well, Tyranids do not like Knights, but OOE and Stone-Crushers can help solve that. If you want to run Carnifexes, then OOE is your go-to bug, but even on its own, it is still a good, self-sufficient killer.

The biggest change to OOE from the Index is that it loses a wound for 50 points, but really, that’s a good trade.  As it is a character, OOE can now hide behind a wall of Carnifexes or Gants, making it an ideal counter-puncher.  It is too slow to really get the first strike any anything, but as a second wave, it can come barreling in, and your opponent can’t snipe it out first.  OOE is one of our most accurate melee fighters with S10+ on the consistent, so having OOE go right into an enemy hard target is satisfying, especially since you can reroll wounds for 1 CP with our Stratagem. Since OOE can get a 2+ to hit with the Claws if it charges, you can really, really knock the stuffing out of a hard target. If it dies in the swing back, you can spend further CPs to let it fight one more time, and since OOE no longer degrades, you get this at full power.  On average dice, OOE is doing about 12.2 wounds to a Knight with his claws if he charges and pops the reroll wound stratagem. He’ll die to the swingback, but then you can mostly finish off the knight with the return hit. 3 CPs and 200 points for a 350+ Knight? That seems like a good deal most days. This makes OOE a threat to just about anything big on the table.  It may not one-round a Knight, but OOE will get damn close, and let’s be real, one round of Hive Guard shooting or a smite or two into the Knight beforehand really tips the odds in OOE’s favor.  Chapter Approved really didn’t do anything directly to OOE, but with the Swarmlord going down 50 points, now it is far more feasible to include both in a list and still have lots of goodies. The Swarmlord + OOE combo is a great Knight killer as you can slingshot OOE forward, have him hit a Knight, and likely kill it (but die in the process) but that is trading 200 points for 400, and Swarmy is still around to cause trouble.

Hive Fleet does matter with OOE. Kraken is a good choice as it helps OOE mitigate one of its biggest weaknesses: Speed.  While costly, OOE with Onslaught and a good advance roll can mean a lot of trouble for your opponent. Behemoth comes to mind for many reasons, but a reroll charge is nice for a model that really wants to punch first, and the Behemoth strategy is a nice bonus mortal wound if you really need it.  Jormungandr is not a bad choice as 2+ armor is a good defense against any tricky Sniping tactics from your opponent and since the Jormungandr Carnifex gunline isn’t a bad list, having OOE to be a melee counter as well as make the Carnifexes a bit more useful in combat is a good call.  Leviathan offers just a touch more survivability if you keep him near Synapse, and Gorgon is actually quite nice for the reroll 1s to wound, which for a model with S14 attacks can matter against say Magnus or Mortarion.  Hydra is wasted, but then OOE adding some heavy punch to a more swarm-style volume of fire melee list could work, but then you could just take OOE in a Spearhead detachment with some Carnifexes and have them be Behemoth/Kraken/Gorgon.

OOE isn’t the perfect killer though. The bug just costs a lot. 200 points is a big investment, and OOE is not all that survivable. T7 and 9 wounds on a 3+ save model isn’t ideal at all, especially with no invulnerable save.  That really is the kicker: with no invulnerable save, any dedicated melee unit is going to pulp it, and any decent shooting is going to do the same.  Yes, you can screen OOE now, but it doesn’t take all that much to bring it down.  OOE is also slow, so you have to position it carefully and think several turns ahead.  Unless you get the Swarmlord + Onslaught off on OOE, it is likely not going to be part of your alpha strike, and honestly, there are better targets for that combination on turn 1.  Don’t forget that OOE doesn’t have Synapse although that does hardly come up thanks to the more forgiving Synapse rules. Lastly, OOE is a Monster that doesn’t have Fly, so no jumping up to snack on models on the second floor.

85/100. So overall, OOE is a strong choice, and right now with most Imperium armies packing a Castellan or other big stompy robot, it is not at all bad inclusion, but it isn’t a plug and play choice.  OOE needs to be used with care and good foresight to get the most out of this pissed off bug, but if Knights are bothering you, OOE is there. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all around as we start looking at the Troops section.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.

8 Responses to “Tyranid Codex Review – HQ: Old One Eye”

  1. Avatar
    Yarium October 7, 2018 4:57 am #

    Reached the end? I only see this and the Neurothrope. Got a link to the other 5 choices?

    • Avatar
      rvd1ofakind October 7, 2018 5:19 am #

      Click “View all posts by Danny Ruiz →” at the end of the post. There are quite a few pages of his reviews.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 7, 2018 7:21 am #

      Or go to the Tactics Corner portion of the site. Tons of tactics and reviews.

      • Danny Ruiz
        Danny Ruiz October 8, 2018 5:36 am #

        Yah, there are reviews for all the other HQ choices from a bit ago. They do need updating for the FAQS (which is on the agenda!), but I had to take a writing break for a bit sadly, but the series will complete as all the articles are written now, so all will be revealed in due time.

  2. Avatar
    WestRider October 7, 2018 5:27 pm #

    I love OOE, but it really amuses me that he actually got way better by losing a Wound. Such a weird quirk of the 8th Ed system.

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz October 8, 2018 5:38 am #

      Yah, it is funny how much a model changes when it goes from 10 wounds to 9, at least a character. It is such a big improvement for its survivability, and it really is what makes OOE such a great stand-alone choice as it really doesn’t need anything else but chaff to keep it safe for the most part, at least until it gets a chance to swing in and do some damage.

  3. Avatar
    Arson Fire October 8, 2018 9:35 pm #

    Yeah, I kind of think the character targeting rules should have been based off another keyword, rather than linked to the wound count.
    Gives the unit rule designers a bit more creative control, while avoiding this weirdness where units get better by having a lower stat.

  4. Avatar
    N.I.B. October 9, 2018 4:40 am #

    I’ve completely missed that you can play Death Frenzy on a model that already fought in the same turn, I thought it had the same mechanic as a Lashwhip, so kudos!

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