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 Post subject: YATF: The Broken
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:51 pm 
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Harpy
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
In this case, I'm talking about several entirely different problems:
- No role that isn't covered better by another unit
- Bad combination of rules that makes the unit useless
- Overcosted or (rarely) undercosted
- crunch doesn't match fluff

The common factor for all of these units is that I'm going to be doing substantial re-work in the Fandex.

These rules re-writes are drafts; I've brainstormed how to make them work but I have not yet applied math-hammer or rolled any dice, so I am glad to hear people point out obvious flaws.

I'm also avoiding costing except in cases where that is the key problem. If a unit is a valid part of its FOC category and the army as a whole, the costing is just a tweak to make it balanced; if it's not usable, it'll be a waste of an FOC slot no matter what it costs.

I'll start off with one that I use in most lists and is both useful and well-costed...but a complete mismatch with the fluff as written, and therefore something I'm going to change:

-= VENOMTHROPE =-

Role: forward area-denial, distraction, anti-MC/IC assault

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1; up to 2 more for +xx pts per model
* FOC: Elite
* Statline: WS4 BS- S4 T4 W2 I4 A3 Ld8 Sv5+
* Type: Infantry
* Hive Mind: brood telepathy
* Special Rules: infiltrate, scout.
** Contamination: if in or touching terrain, that entire terrain piece (out to 12" from the unit, for really large pieces) becomes Dangerous terrain that wounds on a 1-3 rather than a 1. Does not affect fortifications, buildings, or friendly models.
* Biomorphs: toxic miasma, hypertoxic
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth, lashwhips (total of +1A)

Justification:
In the current codex they are a weird fit...supposed to be vanguard creatures in the story, but with rules that put them dead-center in the swarm (to hand out cover save bonuses to the maximum number of other models). Since I prefer to stick to the fluff (and because I'm handling the "shroud" buff through toxic miasma), I'm changing the rules to match the intended role of a forward area-denial beast, out ahead of the swarm spreading toxin and planting spores. They can remain highly expendable in close combat (T4 W2 Sv5+), but pretty resilient against shooting (shroud from toxic miasma and the ability to go to ground with brood telepathy). Unlike lictors (who are character assassins) they are area-denial agents, offensive defense, making areas of the board unpleasant to move into and bottling up the enemy's mobility to allow the rest of the swarm a better opportunity to advance unopposed.

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: YATF: The Broken
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:55 pm 
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Harpy
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:17 pm
Posts: 2257
Location: San Diego, California, USA
-= LICTOR =-

Role: anti-character and specialist assault, distraction, reserve support

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1; up to 2 more for +xx pts per model
* FOC: Elite
* Statline: WS7 BS- S5 T5 W3 I7 A3 Ld10 Sv5+
* Type: Infantry (Character)
* Hive Mind: brood telepathy
* Special Rules: infiltrate, hit and run, fear, move through cover
** Loner: each model must deploy and act as a unit of a single model. Lictors may not join units nor my other models join them.
* Biomorphs: feeder tendrils, flesh hooks, leaper, toxin sacs, adrenal glands
** Pheremone Trail: controlling player may make one reserve roll at 2+ instead of 3+ for each Lictor on the board.
** Chameleonic Scales: as stealth. In addition, this model may use cover saves against wounds from melee weapons (use whatever cover save would be conferred by the terrain that the model is standing in at the initiative step that they are wounded) although this save does not benefit from stealth (hard to hide when you're attacking). If this model Goes to Ground, all shooting attacks against it are at BS1 (NOT "Snap Firing"; you can still shoot template weapons and blasts at BS1) in addition to the normal benefits and penalties for going to ground.
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth, rending claws, scything talons (total of +2A)
* Character: up to one model per army may be upgraded to The Deathleaper for +xx points. This model is still a Lictor, but has WS9 A4 I8 and Sv6+, replacing the relevant values above. Ld tests against this model's Fear rule are at -2.

Justification:
I want to get them a closer to the character assassin role (able to assault, kill a leader or a couple of nearby models, then retreat to safety). What I have above has significant improvements in survivability (WS7, T5, W3, cover in close combat, GtG bonus) and a number of built-in biomorphs (adrenals and toxin) to represent their classic 2E configuration. The lower S5 and lack of shooting weapons takes them further away from their light vehicle killer role, as I intend.

All told, they should be a fair bit more expensive than current, but are correspondingly harder to kill (unless you exploit their weaknesses to blast/template/ignores cover weapons and luring them out of cover in an assault). The Goes To Ground rule in particular seems to make sense; "Snap Fire" is exactly backwards for a creature that is nearly invisible, as you would be best served trying to flush it out with flamers and explosives (which are prevented by snap fire).

I don't see their pheremones as a teleport beacon (a little too precise?), and that was just a crutch for the mawloc burrowing attack anyway (how do you smell pheremones from underground?); in either case, I don't see that as their primary role so I made that effect less significant. I also gave them Brood Telepathy so they actually can retreat, go to ground, and hypothetically be beaten in close combat and run away (which is appropriate for an assassin unit, even a Tyranid). Their main role is to be infiltrated at the beginning of the game and present an assault threat, with the ability to charge long distances, kill 1-2 specific models in a unit (precision strikes on 5+), mark the unit with feeder tendrils (rest of army gets preferred enemy against that unit for the rest of the game), and then hit and run away. Wash, rinse, and repeat until someone decides to devote enough energy to taking it out.

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: YATF: The Broken
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:01 pm 
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Harpy
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
-= PYROVORE =-

Role: backfield multi-role shooting against targets in cover, anti-tarpit assault

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1; up to 2 more for +xx pts per model
* FOC: Elite
* Statline: WS2 BS3 S4 T5 W3 I2 A2 Ld6 Sv5+
* Type: Infantry
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (Lurk)
* Special Rules: Objective Secured (!)
** Purge: in place of all this model's melee attacks, they may instead place a large blast marker (centered on this model's base) and declare which type of disgusting fluid they are purging (as per pyrospurt damage options, below). Each unit engaged in the same close combat as this model takes a number of melee hits equal to the number of their models under or touching this large blast marker with a profile that matches the type of attack. If a pyrovore model is removed as a casualty while engaged in melee and they have not already made a purge attack in this assault phase, conduct a purge attack immediately before removing this model. Casualties inflicted by a purge count for combat resolution. Other pyrovores are not wounded by this effect, although other tyranid models will be if they are close enough to be hit.
* Biomorphs: acid blood
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- acid maw: S+0 AP3 melee, armorbane (total +1A)
- pyrospurt: Template S* AP* assault 1 torrent. Choose one of the following modes each time it is fired:
-- Enzymatic Sludge: S1 AP4, lifebane
-- Mineral solvent: S5 AP4, Digestive Denial: when this weapon's template overlaps a terrain piece, the cover save it confers is reduced by 1 for the remainder of the game. This effect is not cumulative. Multi-level terrain pieces only suffer this effect on the level occupied by the models hit by the template.
-- Bio-acid: S3 AP3, armorbane

Justification:
The existing pyrovore isn't that good due to poor survivability, a short-ranged average damage weapon, slow movement, no clear role, and an annoying tendency to explode when shot with krak missiles. The fluff describes pyrovores as digestion swarm big-bodies, consuming biomass on the battlefield and belching flame from the volatile chemicals released.

I'm tweaking that slightly, taking the term "pyro(acid)" in Tyranid fluff to change the pyrovore to a completely acid-themed creature. Instead of generating flames as a side-effect, it lays down sprays of acid, phage cells, and digestive fluids to break down remaining battlefield debris into sludge that can be easily scooped up by rippers and transported to the digestion pools. To do this, it generates a cocktail of different specialized agents, and can therefore choose the right match for any target (organic or mechanical, living or dead).

It is not totally survivable, but better at least with T5 and W3 (and therefore not susceptible to instant death from krak missiles or melta shots), and it will inflict a nasty hit against a unit that tries to shut down its shooting by assaulting it. Mainly, though, it's there to lob torrent flamer hits against units dug in to cover that are hard to dislodge by normal shooting or assault. Secondary use is holding backfield objectives (although it requires some synapse support to stick around under opposition; that's what the malanthrope is for). The hard counter to a pyrovore is high-volume mid-strength shooting, or a small unit (or IC/MC) with a 2+ armor save and a decent close combat attack.

Even all of this would be easily replaced with other units except for the capstones: "Digestive Denial", which makes the unit a shooting support unit in combination with other shooting against units in cover (especially those that need the cover save for protection) and the inclusion of "Objective Secured" in a non-Troops unit. This is a bit of a cheap shot to make them useful, but makes sense in my mind (their whole purpose is to be the swiss army knife of digestion, so they are the ones that will sit on / eat interesting bits of the battlefield and liquify them for transport to the the hive ships).

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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 Post subject: Re: YATF: The Broken
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:39 pm 
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Harpy
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:17 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
-= TYRANID WARRIOR =-

Role: leadership, mid-field multi-role shooting and assault

Profile:
* Brood: 45 pts for 3; up to 6 more for +15 pts per model
* FOC: Troops
* Statline: WS5 BS3 S4 T4 W2 I4 A2 Ld10 Sv5+
* Type: Infantry
* Hive Mind: Synapse Creature
* Special Rules: Synapse, Shadow in the Warp, Move Through Cover
* Biomorphs: can take toxin sacs, adrenal glands, acid blood, regen. May take either leaper OR extended carapace (Sv4+)
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- Scything Talons: can replace with spinefist, devourer, deathspitter. For every three full models in the brood, one may instead take a venom cannon or barbed strangler.
- Scything Talons: can replace with rending claws, pair of boneswords, bonesword and lashwhip.
- instead of the above options, may replace both sets of scything talons with two pairs of boneswords

* Options: may take a Spore Pod as a dedicated transport for +x points.

* NOTE: although it will be in the army list separately, Shrikes will have identically the same cost, statline, and options (with the exception of leaper/extended carapace), but be Jump Infantry and live in the Fast Attack slot.

Justification: the main problem I had with warriors (for the last couple of codexes) was that the unit had ok shooting capability (although not as good as either Tyrants or devgaunts) and the potential for awesome close combat abilities, but was expensive enough and vulnerable enough to S8 or massed AP4 (widely available) that there was no way to protect that 50 point / model investment long enough to get them into combat, nor could their mobility be improved at all. Deepstriking in a spore pod is now an option, but more fitting for shooting broods that don't have to wait a turn between when they hit the board and when they can start killing things. Also, dropping them close enough to the enemy to be useful also puts them in the middle of a crossfire and wastes their brood leadership / synapse abilities.

The two options I've seen for making warriors more of a "lead from the front" shock trooper to accompany the instinctive gaunts and monsters was to either beef up the toughness (T5 W2 was the most common idea I saw), giving them Sv3+ (I don't want to do that, it's a MEq crutch), or making them cheaper. I chose the last option, making them less resilient (W2 instead of W3, so they're now consistent with the rest of the non-"vore" mid-bugs like FooGuard and FooThrope) and much cheaper, so it's easier to stomach buying multiple or large broods that are dangerous but also expendable. The costing is in the same order as a space marine, with better WS, W, A, Ld, and Synapse, but worse BS and *much* worse Sv. This is intentionally a little lower than what they are strictly worth, I think, but the cost of the upgrades will be a little higher so that the tendency is to take larger broods with a few upgrades that match their intended role.

As a note, regen is likely to be mid-cost for warriors; the actual regeneration portion of the biomorph won't come into play very often (every other wound lost kills a model and restarts wound loss from scratch), but the 4+ FNP on each model's last wound will happen quite frequently.

_________________
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Masque of the Red Death


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