Psychic Awakening III: Tyranids review, Psychic Powers

Hey everybody, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, let’s talk about harnessing the raw power of the greatest intelligence in any galaxy, The Hive Mind. While yes, our powers aren’t always considered good, but Psychic Awakening III: Blood of Baal has given us a new power for each codex Hive Fleet, and there is some fire here. Of course, we must also adapt to our prey, so be sure to keep up with all of the articles available at Frontline’s Tactics Corner.

Each codex Hive Fleet (so no Build-A-Bug) now gets one new power that is unique to them, and really, I must say that the rules writers really did capture the narrative and lore behind each Hive Fleet, so these powers are all fluffy, but they also all have plays, but some more than others. Let’s get into it!


Unstoppable HungerWC 7: Pick a friendly Behemoth unit within 9″ of the caster.. Add +1 to all wound rolls in melee for the duration of the turn.

This is just money on money for several reasons.  First, Tyranids have very little ways to boost our ability to hurt things, so getting something that lets us tip the odds in our favor is big, particularly since we are designed around massed attacks more than quality attacks.  This really does breathe new life into Behemoth for the fact that this power is so unique, and really, it is viable for both Beasties and Infantry. 

The big winners are Genestealers who typically struggle with anything T8 and above, and even T5 can be difficult as wounding on 5s is no good. Seeing as Genestealers can pump out a ton of attacks, that 16% increase in wounds is insane. That’s a lot of value, and a UH’d Genestealer unit can absolutely wreck most things, especially since now 33% of your attacks are also AP-4, that’s good. Still won’t kill a knight or anything (about 14.8 wounds all told), but especially T5 units are a lot more frightened.  Of course, Hormagaunts also benefit as S3 sucks, but getting up to wounding on 4s against most targets definitely helps here.  There’s also the reality that Behemoth has one of the better horde stratagems, Brute Force, which inflicts a Mortal Wound off on a unit on a 6+ for every model that makes it within 1″ of an enemy model, so between Unstoppable Hunger and that, you can actually take a relatively low threat unit and make it punch way above its weight.  It also makes taking Toxin Sacs worth it for Hormagaunts or even Warriors as you can trigger the extra damage far easier.

Of course, monsters don’t mind this either as getting Swarmlord or Trygons or Haruspexes to wound on 3s or 2s is awesome, especially with Murderous Size buffing them even more.  You can also go for the super combo of a Hive Tyrant with The Reaper of Obliterax, Murderous Size, Toxin Sacs and Unstoppable Hunger where every 5+ to wound is a shocking 9 damage (following the Tyranid FAQ from the previous Obliterax question) This is one of the best psychic powers, and it should make you consider Behemoth.  The only downside is that is WC 7, so it is not as easy to get off as our other powers. A Resonance Barb helps with this as does a Neurothrope for the reroll 1s.  


Synaptic Lure WC 5: Select an enemy unit (any enemy unit). Until the end of the turn, any Kraken units may reroll charge rolls against the selected unit.

Kraken is all about speed, and this only increases your average speed as well as help limit some of the variance to it.  Being able to select any unit and then getting reroll charges on it makes longer charges far more viable, and it extends your threat range by roughly an inch and change, but the real key to it is that it limits the lower range of the variance band, so you are far less likely to get those sweet 3 inch charges when you just needed 6.  If you are going tried and true Genestealer Rocket, then this is a great power since it really does ensure that your Genestealers are getting there, and maybe even getting a long charge to help set up tri-points or get into position for consolidating into other targets.   It also helps ensure that you can get 2 units into the front lines on Turn 1, not just 1.  If you Swarmlord one unit of Genestealers (or Hormies with Onslaught) and you Opportunistic Advance another unit (so typically moving 16-18 inches), with Synaptic Lure, the unit that didn’t get the double move still has a good chance of hitting that 6-8″ charge if your opponent deployed anything on the line.  While this doesn’t reinvent the Kraken Rocket, it certainly makes it more reliable, and being able to consistently get 2 units of Stealers into combat on Turn 1 is pretty darn money.  

This can also work if you need to be savvy and take a less direct path to ensure that you have cover or are charging out of LoS, Synaptic Lure definitely helps you make up for maybe a more oblique angle since you can fish for the longer charge in safety.  

Again, Kraken is all about speed, so Synaptic Lure only increases this, so it is worth taking any time you are running Kraken. 


Hive Nexus- WC 6. Until the next Psychic Phase, all Leviathan Synapse is 18″ rather than 12″.  

It is easy to overlook this since most times, we have enough Synapse creatures running around, but an increase of 6″ is actually a much larger aura that you may think when you factor in the total area that you are covering.  One synapse creatures suddenly is holding down an entire section of the board.  Every Synapse creatures becomes like a Swarmlord, at least for the aura.  

With the rise of Eliminators and other sniper units, our typical cheap Synapse creatures are vulnerable, so being able to play back more or hide when necessary but still keep the front lines in Synapse is crucial.  One of the Tyranids’ really unique abilities is that we can mostly ignore morale, but if you are running a horde, which Leviathan is very good at doing, you need that morale control as Termagants and Hormagaunts will disappear quickly.  

Again, this is not as overpowering as say Behemoth or even Kraken, but it is good, reliable tek that is not bad as a secondary power.  As it effects all Leviathan psykers, you don’t need to worry about range or anything like that, and suddenly you have several Neurothropes covering most of an entire board side in Synapse, and that is pretty darn clutch.  Of course, this doesn’t increase the Leviathan Hive Trait aura, so you still do need to keep things close to Synapse to get that 6+++ Feel No Pain.   This is a bit of that counter-synergy that Bugs love as Leviathan wants lots of Synapse creatures for the Feel No Pain, not really Synapse, so this power would have been much more useful if it also extended the range of Leviathan’s Feel No Pain aura.


Poisonous Influence- WC 6. Until the next Psychic Phase, improve the AP of melee weapons by friendly models within 9 of this psyker by 1. 

This one is again easy to pass over, but until FAQ’d, has some interesting work it can do.  A 9″ aura isn’t huge but isn’t small either, and getting some extra AP is big for the bugs as again, we often rely more on high volume fire with no AP, so suddenly have Hormagaunts, Warriors, Raveners with -1 AP or Genestealers with -2 AP is pretty good, especially with Gorgon’s Hive Trait which is reroll 1s to wound in melee.  This is a lot of extra mileage in melee for essentially free.   Even getting some of our bigger bugs up to AP-4 is pretty clutch as there are a lot of 2+ save units out there that need to die, or if you like Toxicrenes, getting them to AP-3 on their main weapons helps them be even more efficient melee threats.  

Right now, the way the rule is worded, it does not specify Gorgon models, so this could work for everybody, regardless of Hive Fleet.  If so, a patrol of rippers and few Neuros to throw themselves in the front line to trigger this power could help any infantry build, especially the super Hormie build where without spending CP, you can get Hormies up to AP-3.  That’s pretty hilarious. I don’t know if that is intended, so I wouldn’t build around it just yet. 

This is a bit limited though as it is models, not units, so the caster needs to be right in the front lines.  This makes sense for a Broodlord who is fast and typically going to get into the scrum, but a Neurothrope can certainly do it too.  You do need to make sure that you leave gaps for the Neurothrope or whoever to get there. 


Lurking Maws – WC 6Select an enemy unit visible to the caster. Until the end of the turn, you reroll hit rolls against the targeted unit by Friendly Jormungandr units if they were set up on on the battlefield this turn.  You cannot use this power in the first battle round.

This is an interesting one for several reasons.  First, it is one of the only sources of full, true rerolls that Tyranids get, so by that alone, it is worth thinking about. Second, it is any hit roll, so both shooting and melee, meaning that you can value out of this in multiple phases, and it has a wide range of utility.  Jormungandr is already a good choice for Hive Fleet if doing a gunline type army, and really, this is another way to get lesser units into the field and be effective.  Raveners are cheap, can take Deathspitters, and can come in from reserve without any additional resources spent, so suddenly pumping out 27 S5 AP-1 shots that reroll to hit isn’t bad at all, especially backed up by 3 attacks at WS 3+ rerolling 1s.  You can combo this with shooty elements like Devil-Gants (oh my, up to 180 S4 shots rerolling? That’s likely one dead target) or even an Exocrine out of a Tyrannocyte, pop its stratagem, and suddenly you have 12 S7 AP-3 D2 (or even D3) shots that reroll to hit on BS 3+.   In a vehicle heavy meta, Shock Hive Guard also get a lot of mileage out of this as they can hitch a ride with Raveners and pop up and obliterate any vehicle. While Flyrants aren’t common in Jormungandr because they do not get the bonus, if they drop down and are suddenly rerolling all those shots, that’s not so bad.

You can further combo this with things like Trygon Primes with the Archanacyte Gland for some charges out of reserve, and getting the Trygon Prime (maybe with Murderous Size) into a hard target like a Knight, and suddenly you are rerolling all hits, and with Voracious Appetite, rerolling wounds.  That’s gonna be a damn hurt Knight (on average, 21 wounds).  If you want to do that crazy tek with Tyrant Guard as armor killers, getting them to reroll hits is awesome, especially with Crushing Claws to make sure those S10 punches land. 

This is definitely built around a Turn 2 and 3 punch, and it is only one enemy unit, but it certainly ensures that you can select a unit and make sure that it dies.  Whether this is from shooting elements or assault, it is very effective, so if you run Jormungandr, this is all extra mileage in a variety of ways.  Again, even a cheap Batallion of say Devil-Gants riding with a Trygon as a Turn 2 chaff clearer or Shockguard in Tyrannocyte as an Anti-armor drop can slot into a lot of other builds.


Death Shriek- WC5:  Until the start of your next Psychic Phase, when a Friendly Hydra Model within 6″ of the psyker and within 6″ of an enemy unit dies, roll a dice and on a 6, the closest enemy unit to the Hydra model suffers 1 mortal wound. 

This is a power that can go absolutely bonkers, but it requires a lot of careful positioning to pull off. It pretty much requires that you have your Neurothrope or Broodlord in the middle of a squad for it work well as it is on a model by model basis, not a unit.  This is tricky, and again, it very much requires that you position your unit to allow space for the psyker and that you get the psyker where it needs to be.  You need to run the horseshoe shape for the most part.

Positioning aside, this is like Caustic Blood the psychic power, and it can be devastating.  If a hard as nails unit charges into your Gant-wall, with this power up and Caustic Blood, every dead model could be 2 mortal wounds on the unit, and having played a lot of Gant-Wall style lists, Caustic Blood often gets me far more damage than my opponent expects.  This power also works at range, granted only 6”, but if a fast moving model moves up into range to try to clear the screen, you can end up killing them in the process.  This can catch people off guard, and again, if going with the Gant-Wall list, this is a way to up your damage potential as Gants are not great at killing things, but being able to pump out mortal wounds just for dying is pretty awesome. 

Seeing as Hydra is one of the few sources of rerolls to Nids, this gives Hydra some extra mileage as you want to be combat, and being able to do damage with both Caustic Blood and Death Shriek helps you out there.  This isn’t as insanely strong as Behemoth, but it does have plays if you build around it, but you have to position carefully to maximize it. Since it also only targets one squad, your opponent can counter-play it a bit. A Broodlord is probably an ideal caster with their larger base, and you can even scuttle sideways to maximize the reach of the aura.


Symbiostorm- WC 6.  Target a friendly Kronos unit within 12”. Until the end of the turn, when resolving an attack made with a ranged weapon, a hit roll of 6+ scores 1 additional hit.

This is another power that is just clearly strong, and it adds so much value for really so little.  Getting 16% more hits for free is just great, especially considering that Kronos is our best (efficiency wise) shooting Hive Fleet, so between the reroll 1s to hit if you didn’t move and now another hit on a 6+, this is just bio-mass in the digestion pool.  Really, you have 3 prime targets for this.  The first and obvious is my vote for best single unit in the codex, Hive Guard with Impaler Cannons.  With up to 24 shots per turn, you are getting on average an extra 4 hits, which is just sweet, especially on S8 AP-2 Dd3 hits that ignore cover and are just about perfect Primaris killers.  Especially since Hive Guard can hunker down in cover and out of Line of Sight, you are just upping their damage output all for one power that isn’t too hard to get off. 

Exocrines are also good choices since their main gun is of course a Primaris killer, but more importantly, they get a +1 to hit if they stand still, which means they trigger Symbiostorm on a 5+.  While this is not as much value as Hive Guard as 12 shots on a 5+ is not as strong as 24 shots on a 6+, it still is strong, and it allows you to trigger the power against anything with a negative penalty. Yes, keep in mind that this is a modified 6, so negatives do matter, and as I can tell you, Hive Guard with Symbiostorm do not get any value against flyers.  An Exocrine makes a good choice as it at least gets to pop off on a 6.   In a similar vein, Warriors with a Prime can do this as well as the Prime gives them a +1 to hit, so now they are triggering on a 5+, which helps you get more fun out of Deathspitters or even the Bio-cannons.  Warriors can actually put out the most volume of fire of these 3 with 54 shots (if all Deathspitters/Devourers and Single-Minded Annihilation), and if you throw in the extra reroll, assuming you are standing still, you are getting an absolutely insane amount of hits from the Warriors.  A Deathspitter squad almost kills an entire Primaris squad of 10 with their volleys, which is pretty good for Nid Shooting.   This is another way to get Warriors to be useable on the tabletop, and it does give some variety of threat.  Hive Guard are generally the best bet for all around kill, but if facing a large mass of bodies, Warriors become money with the extra volume of fire, and Exocrines are good against vehicles with an inherent negative modifier like fliers. 

If you play Kronos, this is amazing, and honestly, a Kronos Battalion of a Neuro, a Prime, 2×3 Rippers, a full squad of Warriors with Deathspitters, an Exocrine, and full Hive Guard is about 850 points, but it adds a huge volume of shooting threat where Symbiostorm is total value, and it still leaves you 1150 points to build the rest of your army like some big bug melee threat or genestealer rocket, or whatever moves you.   You can also do a more self-contained version of a Kronos Patrol with a Flyrant, 20 Devil-Gants, and a Tyrannocyte for a quick drop that is going to put out a lot of S4 shooting. I think I like Warriors a bit better for the extra kill and some melee threat, but Devil-Gants are rarely a bad choice.

Welp, there are your new bespoke powers.  While the new Build-A-Bug format is awesome and opens up a lot of possibilities, these distinct powers are absolutely amazing at adding to what the Codex Hive Fleets can do.   Behemoth and Kronos seem like the overall winners as their powers have the most overt kill factor, but even if you are beholden to Hydra or Jormungandr, these are definite boosts to your army that help each Hive Fleet do what you want to do.

As for me, my initial games with Kronos Hive Guard were money, but I am going to try with Warriors as well.  I am thinking a Kronos Batt and a Behemoth Batt will be pretty freaking mean.  Thanks as always for reading my fellow bio-mass, and next time, I am going to do my usual deep dive on all the new stratagems that Blood of Baal has given us.  Happy hunting, and remember, chew thoroughly to avoid indigestion.

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



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.

35 Responses to “Psychic Awakening III: Tyranids review, Psychic Powers”

  1. vybert December 19, 2019 1:18 am #

    Good review. These powers are so good they are pretty much keeping me away from the build a bear hive fleets. Between losing access to strats and NOW bonus powers, it just doesn’t feel right to wander. I wish GW would have given us a mechanic like the successor chapter rules.

    • Reecius December 19, 2019 6:56 am #

      Yeah, I am looking at taking a Behemoth detachment JUST for their psychic power. It’s a game changer.

    • Yarium December 19, 2019 7:19 am #

      Agreed. It’s a real shame, because these powers are totally keeping me from making my own personal Hive Fleets – they are just that good.

      • Reecius December 19, 2019 9:25 am #

        I think there’s room to do both. Just specialize the heck out of each detachment.

        • vybert December 19, 2019 7:29 pm #

          Yeah, toying with Behemoth deep strikers backed by genestealer slingshot. Honestly giving me consideration of extended carapace on a unit of behemoth GS and not use swarmy. With the adaptation they can be 2+ in cover. Jump up in cover and just take an extra turn to get there before they charge and support the DSers. Can shrug a lot of indirect fire with that.

          Other consideration is straight Jormunander gunline. Lots of HVC at -1 to hit. I wish the Maleceptor strat was -1 wound instead of -1 str. Would be more universally usable and for 2CP it should be.

          • Reecius December 22, 2019 9:33 am

            Yeah, I think there’s a lot to like there as well. I am also messing around with a little bug horde with the 6++ and additional AP.

  2. Foul December 19, 2019 4:08 am #

    From were comes the notion that Tyranids are insects (bugs)? It’s offensive. Tyranids are monsters. You know, like in Alien or The Thing.

    • abusepuppy December 19, 2019 7:19 am #

      They share a lot of visual qualities with insects and are often described using insectile terms (chitin, skittering, etc.) They also have a lot of dinosaur-like qualities, which is their other major inspiration.

      Note that xenomorphs, which heavily influenced early Tyranid design, are explicitly based off of wasps and beetles to a large degree.

    • Zweischneid December 19, 2019 8:17 am #

      A lot of the design cues such as six limbs, chitin exoskeletons, as mentioned.

      The conceptual idea of a “Hive Mind” and individual organisms operating as non-independent, functional pieces in a larger Eusociality is also clearly borrowed from Ants, Bees, etc..

    • Reecius December 19, 2019 9:25 am #

      It’s “offensive” to call them bugs….

      What, lol? Who is offended, the Tyranids?

      • Foul December 20, 2019 5:54 am #

        I am offended! I hate insects. Except spiders. But I love monsters.

        • Reecius December 20, 2019 9:31 am #

          Lol, well….ok. Haha, odd thing to take offense over but too each their own =)

        • Venkarel December 22, 2019 1:59 pm #

          Spiders are not insects in anyway, they are arachnids. Have you seen a praying mantis or any of the mantis insects (interesting bit of trivia, Mantis are some of the only insects that can turn their heads independent of their bodies), they look alot like Nids.

  3. Ohlmann December 19, 2019 7:48 am #

    And even before that : the root inspirations are the bugs from Starship Troopers. Which *are* insect-like up to their monikers.

    Also, monster and insect aren’t exclusive qualifiers.

  4. Victor December 19, 2019 8:58 am #

    Well, facing non Kraken Genestealers is also game changer for the one playing against Tyranids, if no Swarmlord, also no turn 1 Genestealers charge, so 1 more turn to shoot the Genestealers out of the board

    • Reecius December 19, 2019 9:26 am #

      Well, you still take Swarmy (especially now that he’s 50pts cheaper!). Now you have Stealrers that are a bit slower but with the Behemoth power hit WAY harder plus you get re-rolls on charges, etc. I think it’s totally worth the trade.

      • N.I.B. December 20, 2019 6:36 am #

        Swarmy has been 250pts since the last CA Reece… He’s unchanged.

        Symbiostorm is simply great, no question.

        I don’t get the swooning over the Behemoth power. Stealers are pretty much locked into Kraken, there’s really nothing in the new stuff that makes it a good idea to jump ship.
        The Behemoth power is like a 50% chance to cast, a bit more with the new relic, but Genestealers go through most targets without problem anyway, with a few noted exceptions. And only 9″ range, wut.

        And if you’ve played nids the last months you’ll know that many games mean 1-2 Thunderfire Cannons will slow your Stealers down to a halt. That was a real game changer and the reason why they sit on the shelves again.

        What about the stinky powers – anyone excited for longer synapse range in Leviathan, the Hive Fleet that already had the best synapse range. And it doesn’t increase the range of the Leviathan Hive Fleet adaptation because apparently the rules writer forgot about it. And it doesn’t even add synapse range, it just says your new range is 18″ which does nothing for Tyrants and Swarmlord. It’s useless.

        I don’t even want to think about the Hydra power. Hydra needs a complete overhaul as a Hive Fleet.

        Nids really got some good new stuff, lets compare:
        Iron Hands 6+++: Army wide, no conditions.
        Tyranids 6+++: But only for Monsters. And not in combat. And only if you didn’t move. And you can’t be in a decent Hive Fleet like Kraken, Kronos or Jormungandr.
        Yeah, sounds great.

        I doubt the new Blood of Baal stuff will really lift nids out of their hole in the ground. But just some week ago they were the absolute worst faction at an abysmal 30% ITC win rate – now they sport a whopping 41%, which is kind of weird, have there been hundreds of new nid winning games reported?

        • Zweischneid December 20, 2019 6:41 am #

          Behemoth psychic is faaaantastic.

          Finally Nids get a less reliable VotlW if you take a tax character, though it might not go off, might get denied, might get vected on the cheap by Iron Hands instead of needing a proper vect and cannot be used in shooting!

          Hurray. They’re definitely gonna rock the June 2017, pre Chaos-Codex-1.0 Meta with that!!

          • Reecius December 20, 2019 9:44 am

            Lol, you are so negative.

            But whatever, your opinion is your own. I am enthused about it and plan on bringing my bugs back out to play, you are free to do as you please.

          • abusepuppy December 27, 2019 11:45 pm

            I mean, Reece, whether you like them or not is not an issue. It’s cool this stuff has you excited and I think there’s definitely things to like in here.

            But it’s real hard to pretend that any of this is gonna make them viable in the Marine meta- especially because, as has already been pointed out, Thunderfire Cannons are absolutely _crippling_ to ground-based assault armies, especially hordes.

        • Reecius December 20, 2019 9:40 am #

          Well, lol, in my face as the saying goes. I thought he went down in points this go around but oh well.

          I have not played my Nids competitively in a while but plan to. My friend that plays them very competitively has been spamming Zoeys and still takes Genestealers, although down from two units to one. I think Behemoth is certainly worth it but we’ll see.

          You’d have to ask Peter about the stats, that’s his wheelhouse.

  5. NinetyNineNo December 19, 2019 11:06 am #

    It’s pretty damn stupid that custom hive fleets can’t get any of the core ones’ powers/relics/etc, especially when fleet tendrils are an established thing in lore. It’s like the folks at GW were like “ugh, fine, you can have this cool thing we made for Marines, but still worse so you don’t forget who’s in charge here”.

    I guess it means you can mix and match detachments from different fleets with no penalty, but then again for Marines doing so’s not so much a penalty as one less bonus on top of the half dozen they have already.

  6. Brandon December 19, 2019 4:16 pm #

    Frankly Nids just need a core adjustment to HVC and deathspitters
    HVC can be heavy 3 with 3 flat dmg
    Deathspitters can be d3 dmg
    That inproves trading efficiency without the constant need to drop points. :/

  7. thomas December 20, 2019 6:41 am #

    I wish that the build-your-own hive fleet rules would have been build a splinter fleet – like pick a hive fleet, don’t use their adaptation but build your own adapation, you still get access to all Warlord traits, stratagems and spells that the hive fleet have access to. That would have given you more options without breaking anything.

    Still a great book and the new rules are very exciting.

  8. Alex Macdougall December 20, 2019 2:13 pm #

    Unfortunately a huge amount of this new book is horrible. And most negatively it’s not just bad, it’s bad for an already poor faction. The hive fleets are abysmal. Behemoth spell is a gimmick with its range and with a fleet that struggles to get there. Most of the relics are trash minus resonance barb. Most of the physiology are only good in very specific match ups and most of the strats are so conditional as to be broken. I play nids at the peak of competitive play and they needed an absolute landslide more than this. After CA and PA and seeing how much more point reductions other, better performing factions got I’ve actually taken my goals at LVO and lowered them.

    • vybert December 21, 2019 2:08 am #

      Welcome to the world of those of us playing them for the last 20+….. I dunno that I would call it the “peak” of competitive. … remembering the original nidzilla… good time ;)……..

      It is a continuing ramp. Having seen nids up and down, i’d say this is a buff overall… so enjoy it. ermugosh… we aren’t tier one easy button. Just more options to sharpen the saw and be the best with what we have, buff it with allies,.. or go play somethin else for edition or so…

    • Reecius December 21, 2019 10:24 am #

      Well, ok, lol. I don’t see how you can possibly twist this into a negative but you have. Points drops and new stuff is only good. You may not think it’s enough, which is fine, but objectively it’s a boost for bugs.

      And again, my buddy went 5-1 at LGT with pure Nids against some stiff competition before the buffs, and he’s stoked for this book. I plan on playing my bugs, too, it all seems like a nice boost to me. YMMV of course, but I think you’re being a bit overly negative about it honestly.

      • Ohlmann December 21, 2019 12:44 pm #

        Honestly ? The book is good if your only goal is to fight non-space marines armies.

        The thing is, since the marines books are so obviously stupid, all other books are mostly reminder that one should just play marines instead.

        • Reecius December 22, 2019 9:35 am #

          Eh, I find it fun to try and swim upstream. Winning with something people don’t think you should be winning with is very satisfying. And I find there’s always good stuff in any army if you’re willing to work at finding it.

          • K December 27, 2019 12:41 pm

            I think the frustration from people is that these wouldn’t be “bad” if it weren’t clear that they were designed to all be less than what Space Marines are given when compared side by side. For example, SM get a 6+ FNP. Cool. We expect that to be a staple, but probably within 6″ or 12″ of synapse creatures (because that’s ‘nid flavored (yes, I know this is a hive fleet trait in the codex… it’s just an example for the build-a-bugs)). But instead it’s a 6+ FNP only monsters… if they don’t move… and they’re not within 1″ of an enemy. Or just 6+FNP gaunts, not all infantry? So to get a 6+ FNP for both gaunts and monsters you have to use both hive fleet traits, and it still doesn’t protect broodlords, warriors, zooies, neuros, raveners, or monsters that move or are in close combat. Why? Because… well… no reason really other than to apparently make the option less flavorful and less powerful than SM. It just seems arbitrarily weaker for no real reason. If SM were infantry squads not in close combat, that would be on par with the nid one. Or if it were granted to only three basic infantry squad types. That’s where the frustration comes from, not that the traits are objectively bad. It is just that they appear to be designed to be worse relative to the GW’s favorite army for no reason other than to provide an intentional advantage to one army over the others.

            I’ve been a ‘nid player since 2nd edition. They’re my one of my two favorite armies (GSC being the other). I don’t want them overpowered, but I would appreciate them being in parity with the other armies. Swimming upstream is fine and fun for a time. It’s less fun with a rock tied to your ankles. Eventually you need to get somewhere, not just working hard to maintain you position against the current while someone else is handed a speedboat to go whizzing by you.

          • Reecius December 27, 2019 1:40 pm

            I mean, I see how you can draw those conclusions but the Nids weren’t designed to be worse than Marines, believe it or not. GW wants every army to be good and they really do want army parity, it’s just a lot harder to do with a game this big than one may think it is. And, due to the nature of how they design stuff one at a time, it’s easy to have things not always be totally equal. If you designed everything rules wise at the same time, it would be a lot easier to keep it balanced (IMO) but with a project as gargantuan as 40k I don’t know if that would be possible to do without taking a long period of time and a lot of people, thereby leaving a long gap in releases which is bad for business. It’s a complicated issue.

          • abusepuppy December 28, 2019 4:10 am

            >GW wants every army to be good

            “…But they want some armies to be gooder than others.”

  9. Ohlmann December 28, 2019 1:08 am #

    Reecius : they were, objectively, designed to be worse than marines. At some point you cannot hide reality from lofty theoritical objectives.

    Litteraly the whole PA book is made of rules who are made to be worse than marine. Tyrannid is for when you want to have to play much more tightly for a lesser result than marines.

    • K December 28, 2019 1:08 pm #

      Reecius: I respect many of your positions, but here I think we have to disagree. Looking at it objectively, I think there’s clear favoritism for SM 2.0 designed to make the most popular army better than others at this point in the game. All you have to do it put similar abilities side by side like I did above. You don’t dispute that the nid 6+ FNP trait is objectively worse, even when paired with the gaunt 6++ trait, and thus twice the cost for less effectiveness overall. You could run similar comparisons on other traits. That leaves out things like combat doctrines (which I think is fair to leave out because nids have synapse and SitW). As I said above, I don’t want copies of the SM traits, but I would appreciate parity overall. And yes, 40k is massive and it will never be 100% balanced. That’s fine. But I don’t think someone can honestly say GW didn’t notice the differential between a straight 6+ FNP and the severely pared back nid version.

      There are other examples, such as the commonly noted FAQ that two pairs of boneswords only gives +1A, but two chainswords (with the same rules wording) gives +2A. Why not +2A for two pairs?Preferential treatment seems to be the only logical conclusion, because GW is aware of the differences in rulings and has not changed either to bring them in line with each other. Shouldn’t the same rule be interpreted the same across the board?

      Players complained about turn 1 deep strike. GW implemented no turn 1 deep striking across the board (wrongly in my opinion, but it was across the board, so equally applied). Now, what is the only army that can deep strike turn 1? SM drop pods. And the deployment 9″ away from an enemy? SM. Who else has that capability?

      I don’t think nids were designed to be worse. They were designed to be on par with the other codexes *when the nid book was released.* And they were. I actually think GW did a good job with the original codexes overall in terms of balance. I think SM 2.0 was designed to be *better* than the other codexes. I haven’t seen anything since SM 2.0 to suggest that GW is trying to rebalance the armies after that release.

      The timelines make it very unlikely that GW designs things “one at a time” for them to release three PA books within two months of each other. Either they weren’t playtested or those had to proceed in parallel at some level. Moreover, even if they design things one at a time, they aren’t designing in a vacuum and have to know what came before. Here, they had to know the SM 2.0 build-a-chapter traits that preceded PA1, PA2, and PA3.

      I’m willing to listen to counter arguments, and I know playtesting confidentiality keeps you from being able to respond with certain information available to you, but merely saying “it’s complicated” doesn’t counter anything. Apologies for the long post, but I have been thinking about this a lot as PA comes out and will keep watching it as the additional rules come out. I’m not going to rage quit 40k because it is a fun game. But I want armies to be good across the board, and right now it appears one is deliberately being placed above the others.

      • Dakkath December 29, 2019 12:12 am #

        I’m starting to wonder if we need to divide to game into “With Marines” and “Without Marines” metas.

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