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 Post subject: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:34 pm 
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Harpy
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I jiggled around all of the monstrous creature except the Hive Tyrant. I think the current arrangement has a lot of overlapping roles, which leads to optimization through taking the best answer for each mission and ignoring the rest of the list. My goal in this section of the army list is to differentiate the various monstrous creatures so that it's clear which one to take for each gap the army designer is trying to fill in his army.

What's missing:
- Tervigon: name changed to Malefactor (below) to use a perfectly good historical Tyranid of the same role.
- Mawloc: removed. Merged into Trygon. Bad name, silly mono-role (even if it was effective).
- Hive Crone: removed. Merged with the Harpy.
- Toxicrene: removed. Incorporated as an upgrade for the Haruspex.
- Maleceptor. removed. Incorporated as an upgrade for the Haruspex.
- Tyrannofex. removed. Merged with the Exocrine.

Roles of monstrous creatures:
- Hive Tyrant [HQ]: multi-role shooting or assault + leadership + psychic support. The most flexible monstrous creature.
- Carnifex [HS]: heavy vehicle and fortification destroyer. Low WS, high S. More effectiveness against AV than T. No compensation for invul saves.
- Exocrine [HS]: multi-role gun platform against heavy targets (either T, AV, or Sv) at medium-long range. Tough and heavily armored.
- Haruspex [EL]: killing massed rank-and-file infantry up close. Higher WS, lower S, more attacks and point-blank anti-infantry weapons.
- Malefactor [transport]: transport/escort for infantry broods, to protect them from bombardment and anti-infantry weapons mid-field. High T and W, decent Sv, relatively cheap (designed to die).
- Trygon [HS]: forward assault, behind enemy lines, tunnel for deepstrike attack and to allow alternate deployment for reserves. Mainly anti-infantry and anti-transport.
- Harpy [FA]: flying multi-role (configurable for anti-infantry, anti-tank, or anti-air)

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:35 pm 
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Harpy
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-= CARNIFEX =-

Role: heavy anti-vehicle and anti-fortification assault, multi-role fire support

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1; up to 2 more for +xx pts per model
* FOC: Heavy Support
* Statline: WS3 BS3 S9 T6 W4 I2 A4 Ld8 Sv3+
* Type: Infantry Monstrous Creatures
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (Feed)
* Special Rules:
** Living Battering Ram: this model makes d3 hammer of wrath attacks instead of 1
* Biomorphs: can take bioplasma, adrenal glands, acid blood, toxic miasma, regen, tail weapons.
** Can take +1 Wound for XX points
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- Scything Talons: can replace with venom cannon, wyrmcannon, barbed strangler, doomspitter
- Scything Talons: can replace with crushing claws
- Can take spine banks
- Can take thorax swarm (any)

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

* Character: one carnifex per army can be upgraded to Old One Eye for +xx points. If a carnifex is upgraded to OOE, no additional carnifexes can be added to the brood (must be a brood of one model). Old One Eye is a carnifex, but with the following changes to his profile: WS5 S10 T7 W5 A5 Ld9, Monstrous Creature (Character). He has the Outflank and Deepstrike special rules (always appears unexpectedly, sometimes popping back from the dead!). He has the regen biomorph (in his case, he regains wounds on 3+ instead of 4+, and has 3+ feel no pain on his last wound instead of 4+), and has claws and teeth, crushing claws, and scything talons. He may not take any other biomorphs or bioweapons. He may not take a Spore Pod.

Justification: although I love the dual dev carnifex, it's depressing that this is the only useful role. Since I've altered the brainleech dev into the (more specialized) wyrmcannon, I want to make the carnifex a useful gatecrasher unit, specifically for killing things that are otherwise difficult, like all-around AV14 vehicles, fortifications/buildings, and AV12+ walkers. Like warriors, I only included one arm gun option (although they can take their second shooting attack with either spine banks or a thorax swarm, both of which force them to get up close). I remember the dual VC and VC/BS fexes from previous editions and never really thought they fit; since the exocrine is available as the heavy shooting monster, I migrated the "all guns" capability away from the carnifex. All carnifexes, in my humble opinion, should be primarily assault creatures, with guns as support weapons to give them something to do as they move towards the enemy tanks.

The +1 Wound upgrade is unique to the fex in this codex, and it's mainly intended to permit fielding of both old pewter "Old One Eye" fexes and the newer plastic kits in the same force, without trying to claim that they are the same. I'm considering making it available to Tyrants as well, to differentiate between the current kits (including the 4e pewter, which is about the same size) and the old 2e (tiny) tyrants.

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:35 pm 
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Harpy
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-= HARUSPEX =-

Role: assault and short-range anti-tarpit

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for one model
* FOC: Elite
* Statline: WS4 BS3 S6 T6 W5 I3 A4 Ld8 Sv3+
* Type: Monstrous Creature
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (Feed)
* Special Rules:
* Biomorphs: all have Fleet. Can take adrenal glands, acid blood, regeneration, tail weapon
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth, scything talons

* Options: the entire brood must take the "haruspex", "maleceptor", or "toxicrene" option:

"Haruspex" (default): gains A5 and gaping maw. In addition:
* may replace scything talons with crushing claws, acid spray (Template S6 AP4 assault 1 torrent) or fleshborer hive (12" S4 AP5 assault 20)
* may take spine banks

"Maleceptor" (+xx): gains Ld10, Psyker (mastery level 2), Synapse, Shadow in the Warp, and a 5+ invulnerable save.

"Toxicrene" (+yy): gains hypertoxic, toxic miasma, feeder tendrils, and replaces scything talons with lashwhips.
* gains Choking Cloud (Template S3 AP- assault 1, hypertoxic, predatory sentience: armorbane against vehicles that have lost at least one HP)

Justification: the current fluff for the haruspex makes it a backfield digestion/assimilation creature, which fits it's complete lack of mobility and poor capabilities. I'm going back to the original concept of the harspex, which was a point-blank range assault creature. Since the heavy vehicle killer role is taken by the carnifex, there IS room for an anti-infantry CC monster flavored more towards tarpit hordes (leaving room for the anti-infantry Trygon who is better against elite infantry). This guy also absorbed the two short-range anti-infantry weapon options from the Tyrannofex (didn't match her role as a long-range heavy shooter, and they both match the configuration of the old 2E haruspex datafax) and keeps the crushing claw option (primarily for capability against AV12+ walkers, if that's what you're afraid of). The cascading attacks is replaced with just more base attacks, and the eat = regenerate is replaced by access to the regeneration biomorph.

Oh, and all the variants have fleet as a native ability, due to using four of their limbs for movement (which is also why they only have one "arm slot" for weapons).

The default "haruspex" option keeps the original grabby tongue concept, reflected as gaping maw (same intent, to be able to single out nasty models and kill them directly). The additional base attacks make it possible to get the required 4 hits, but not entirely easy. This is intended to be the answer to annoyances like ICs hidden inside units of expensive, tough, single-wound enemies (e.g. bikers)

The "maleceptor" upgrade is a replacement for the synapse/psyker option on the tervigon (who is losing it on the transition to malefactor), as well as giving an HS psyker option (in case you want to go for a maximum psyker list). This upgrade is going to be pretty expensive. Instead of giving them a niche power that is, in my opinion, kinda crappy, I'm just having them be a standard psyker with access to all three tyranid lists; this lets them be a buffer, nerfer, or blaster as desired.

The "toxicrene" upgrade shifts the creature's role to the anti-monster / anti-IC role, since it bumps up their Initiative and their ability to kill high-T, multi-W targets, but reduces their anti-horde abilities (fewer attacks, less/shorter shooting options). He is designed to be specifically bane against big nasties like wraitknights, riptides, and other tyranids.

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:56 am 
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The danger I see here is to be too specialisation-oriented.

let's take the carnifex as an example. You want to make it good for taking out AV14 vehicles and fortifications. That sounds... pretty good actually. But if the enemy has a landraider (or 3), the first thing he'll do is single out the carnifex before it comes anywhere near the land raider.
In response, to make the carnifex viable, you'll need to take multiples. This way they can't be singled out if your enemy plans on hiding in landraiders or fortifications before your busters arrive.
However, taking multiple carnifex just in the case your opponent brings a fortification or a land raider means a huge point investment waste if your enemy turns up without any of these. This, I think, is the main reason I haven't seen a single anti-air marine vehicle anywhere - just taking one vs flyers means it can be sniped out beforehand, and even taking one is a huge point investment you won't get back if the enemy doesn't have flyers/skimmers/fmc

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:24 am 
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Harpy
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vonny wrote:
The danger I see here is to be too specialisation-oriented.

let's take the carnifex as an example. You want to make it good for taking out AV14 vehicles and fortifications. That sounds... pretty good actually. But if the enemy has a landraider (or 3), the first thing he'll do is single out the carnifex before it comes anywhere near the land raider.
In response, to make the carnifex viable, you'll need to take multiples. This way they can't be singled out if your enemy plans on hiding in landraiders or fortifications before your busters arrive.
However, taking multiple carnifex just in the case your opponent brings a fortification or a land raider means a huge point investment waste if your enemy turns up without any of these. This, I think, is the main reason I haven't seen a single anti-air marine vehicle anywhere - just taking one vs flyers means it can be sniped out beforehand, and even taking one is a huge point investment you won't get back if the enemy doesn't have flyers/skimmers/fmc

This is a very good point that I had not fully considered (I was mainly focused on avoiding the opposite problem, having too much role-overlap leading to certain creatures never being taken because they're easily replaced with other, better creatures). I suppose one answer is (sort of like what's already there, but not explicitly) in the inherent capabilities of monstrous creatures in close combat and the ability to take support guns on the carnifex and similar.

The other problem I'm not sure how to solve (the enemy taking out capabilities because they're only held in one type of creature). I've seen this a couple times in real games where I took crushing claw carnifexes and the enemy had a fortification. Once the carnifex was gone, nothing else could do more than one S10 attack at a time (smash attack), making the fortification pretty much safe the rest of the game.

The solution to this, I think, is to make all of the monstrous creatures cheaper, and give more flexible sources of S10 (for example), so that you can take the S10 assault solution, the S10 shooting solution (rupture cannon), several MCs that can smash attack, other broods of bugs with haywire shooting guns (my venom cannons)...that way, there are several completely different ways to solve the same problem, all of which can be used on different targets as well, each of which can be suppressed or ignored by different means (tarpit, cover, manipulate LOS, range, etc).

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:26 am 
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Harpy
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-= EXOCRINE =-

Role: long-range heavy shooting

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1
* FOC: Heavy Support
* Statline: WS3 BS3 S6 T6 W6 I1 A3 Ld7 Sv2+
* Type: Monstrous Creature
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (Lurk)
* Special Rules: Brace (+1BS in turn without move; prevents assault)
* Biomorphs: acid blood, toxic miasma, regen
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- bio-plasmic cannon (24" S7 AP2 assault 6 OR assault 1 large blast); can replace with one of the following:
-- rupture cannon (48" S10 AP4 assault 3)
-- dactylis mortar: a big biovore spore mine launcher that shoot mucolid spores; since they have AA capabilities, it's also a big flakk cannon (since the list doesn't really have one otherwise)
---(48" S8 AP3 assault 1 large blast, barrage, spore: if the large blast does not touch any models after scatter, place a mucolid spore in the center
---(36" S8 AP3 assault 1 skyfire, spore: in this case, if the direct shot misses scatter the mucolid spore from the center of the target model; must scatter (use the little arrow if you get a HIT), and measure scatter distance (2d6", no modifier for BS) from the hull of the target model; must end scatter >1" from all enemy models, friendly models, impassible terrain, etc or mucolid model is not placed.)

Justification: I'm not sure why there should be two dedicated shooting monsters, each with unique weapons. Also, it's unclear why the smaller one has the historical name (exocrine) and the larger one has the invented, goofball name (tyrannofex). So I am just combining them into a single monster, keeping the exocrine name, the T-fex statline, the exocrine "brace" rule (to get the BS4), and putting the two unique weapons as options depending on whether you want to shoot Sv2+ or heavy vehicles. The introduction of the mucolid spore gave a perfect additional option that tied in nicely with the historical "dactylis" (the other heavy shooting monster from Epic), allowing a 'heavy biovore' option as well as giving some potential anti-flier capability (although you have to miss and then assault with the mucolid spore, so it's certainly not as quick or simple as an icarus lascannon or flakk missile).

As mentioned previously, the acid spray and fleshborer hive moved to the haruspex, as they are completely wrong for the role of the exocrine/tyrannofex.

EDIT: just realized I took away all options for secondary shooting weapons. Back to work!

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:29 am 
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Harpy
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-= MALEFACTOR =-

Role: protection of fragile troop broods while they move up the field

Profile:
* Brood: 1, taken as a dedicated transport for various broods in the list
* FOC: as brood that takes it
* Statline: WS3 BS3 S5 T6 W6 I1 A3 Ld8 Sv3+
* Type: Monstrous Creature
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (Feed)
* Special Rules:
** expendable (can deny, but can't score. doesn't award KP when killed/removed)
** covering fire (on the turn the embarked unit disembarks, it is treated as having the "frag" benefits of the malefactor's spine back)
** cascade (every unsaved wound on the malefactor inflicts a S4 AP- automatic hit on the embarked brood)
* Biomorphs: adrenal glands, spine back. Can take toxic miasma, tail weapon
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- scything talons: can replace with crushing claws

[NEW ENTRY FOR THE BIOMORPHS:

* Transport Pod: specificially for the Spore Pod and the Malefactor. The model may transport 20 infantry models, modified as normal for bulkiness. The unit that purchases the transport model must deploy embarked inside of it (and therefore must be small enough to fit completely inside). This model does not have any "firing points", nor may the unit inside draw LOS to any other unit, use psychic powers, confer special rules, radiate synapse, etc; they are in dormant hibernation. During the game, the embarked unit may disembark as if the transport pod unit was an open-topped vehicle, after which this unit may not embark any units for the rest of the game. If this model is killed by Instant Death or being removed from the game, the embarked unit is destroyed as well; if this unit is killed by any other means, the transported unit must disembark (per the normal rules for emergency disembarkation) immediately before this model is removed as a casualty.

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:30 am 
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Harpy
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-= TRYGON =-

Role: distraction, spoiler, line-breaker, anti-elite infantry and light vehicle assault

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1
* FOC: Heavy Support
* Statline: WS5 BS3 S6 T6 W6 A5 I4 Ld9 Sv3+
* Type: Monstrous Creature
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (Feed)
* Special Rules: Fleet
** Bio-electricity: a deepstriking Trygon has a 5+ invulnerable save until the beginning of the next Tyranid turn. It may shoot (12" S5 AP5 assault 6 haywire), giving up this save.
** Subterranean Assault: deepstrikes like a drop pod.
** Tunnel: after deepstrike, leave a tunnel marker (40mm base). This is treated as a friendly board edge for subsequent reserves designated as "subterranean".
* Biomorphs: tail weapon. May take bioplasma, adrenal glands, toxin sacs, acid blood, toxic miasma, regen, gaping maw
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- Spade Claws (CCW, confers deepstrike)
- scything talons: may be replaced by spade claws
- may take spine banks
- may take a thorax swarm (any)

NOTE: two sets of spade claws loses the model one attack in CC as compared to spade/scytal, but allows the model the following special rules:
** Burrow: while making reserve rolls, if this model is not locked in close combat it may be placed into ongoing reserves.
** Death from Below: when this model arrives from deepstrike, place a large blast marker such that it touches the center of this model's base. This large blast marker hits all units under/touching (except for this model) at S6 AP2 ignores cover, hitting vehicles on the rear armor. Every vehicle hit with this attack that does not result in either a glancing or penetrating hit inflicts one automatic wound on this model (which may be saved normally).

Justification: I never really liked the "trygon prime" idea; trygon's are for getting inside the enemy's defensive lines and wreaking havoc, not for leadership. Also, I absorbed the mawloc functionality into the trygon so I could get rid of (what I consider to be) a completely one-trick-pony creature. This way, the trygon is always worthwhile in close combat, but you can either optimize for fighting (spade/scytal) or get the dual spade claws to get the burrowing and death from below, while still retaining most of the CC capability, the bio-electricity, and the emergence tunnel. The ability to burrow off the board is pretty powerful (essential free redeployment three times a game), but does pretty much shut down this model's CC abilities if you're using it every turn it's available, so on the whole it shouldn't have to be too expensive.

The modified death from below doesn't rely on killing everything under the template or hitting twice and mishapping, which should make it a lot simpler. It will cause a lot less damage, though, because it relies on DSing close enough to the enemy to overlap them with the large blast marker. The "bonk on the head" rule is just for a little flavor, and to give a less binary version of rolling a '1' on the DS mishap.


NOTE: new army-wide rule for that section:

* Subterranean Assault *
Tied to the Trygon, who is the only model that can create an emergence tunnel. Any brood (other than MCs, FMCs, and Jump Infantry) can be designated as "subterranean reserves". These broods make reserve rolls as normal, but will not arrive unless there is an emergence tunnel on the board (although they may arrive through a tunnel that was placed by the arrival of a Trygon in the same turn's reserve deployments; this motivates deepstriking the Trygon first, since it allows the other subterranean broods to arrive at the same time).

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:31 am 
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Harpy
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-= HARPY =-

Role: multi-role shooting flier

Profile:
* Brood: xx pts for 1
* FOC: Fast Attack
* Statline: WS3 BS3 S5 T5 W5 I4 A3 Ld10 Sv4+
* Type: Flying Monstrous Creature
* Hive Mind: Instinctive (hunt)
* Special Rules:
* Biomorphs: may take toxin sacs, adrenal glands, acid blood, regen
* Bioweapons: claws and teeth
- Scything talons: may replace with twinlinked barbed strangler, twinlinked venom cannon
- May take raking tail-scythe (gives S8 vector strike attacks as current hive crone)
- May take one of the following:
-- spine banks
-- spore mine cluster (gives the model a S4 AP4 pinning bomb attack with the Spore special rule)
-- tentaclid cluster (24" S5 AP5 assault 4, one use only, haywire, seeker: reroll to hit vs. zooming flyer / swooping FM; divebomb: may only use this weapon on a turn the model deepstrikes)
- May take one of the following:
-- bioplasma
-- sonic screech: unit assaulted or hit with vector strike suffers from -5 Initiative during this player turn.
-- acid spray: see haruspex

Justification: seemed silly to have two virtually identical creatures separated only by weapons. Instead, a few more options each and you can mix-and-match to get the creature you want. Since the venom cannon is direct-fire instead of blast, it's applicable to the anti-air mode as well. At max, this baby could get really pricey, which is fine but dangerous considering it can be downed without much difficulty by heavy bolter and autocannon shots.

As a side note, I changed the tentaclids from missiles to a one-use, four-shot gun. It seems utterly silly that a little burst of compressed air could allow the thing to chase down a jet fighter, but having it descend from above and guide itself it is actually plausible (most surface to air missiles are out of fuel when they do long-range intercepts). The down side is, of course, that they can't be split into multiple salvos against different targets.

I can foresee some basic harmonious configurations:
- toxin, adrenal, scytals, spine banks, sonic screech or bioplasma (assault version; probably never going to swoop or deepstrike, just stay behind cover/jink until it's in charge range, then get stuck in)
- TL venom cannon, raking tail, tentaclid cluster (anti-air flier, capable of doing up to 7 haywire attacks on the turn it deepstrikes, 4 of which are twinlinked; afterwards, 3 shots + vector strikes)
- TL barbed strangler, spore mine cluster, acid spray (anti-infantry nightmare; two pinning large blasts and a flamer template every turn)
However, adding the tentaclid cluster for a spoiler attack against fliers would be a cheap way to upgun other specialties if you didn't want the spine banks or spore cluster.

NOTE: I twiddled bioplasma; now it *adds* a S7 AP2 hammer of wrath attack to the model's normal HoW attacks; this makes it cheaper, much better for the non-Fexes (that would only get 1 HoW normally), and much worse (but probably balanced) for the Fex (d3 S10 AP2 HoW attacks at I10 was a bit much).

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:28 pm 
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Eidre wrote:
This is a very good point that I had not fully considered (I was mainly focused on avoiding the opposite problem, having too much role-overlap leading to certain creatures never being taken because they're easily replaced with other, better creatures). I suppose one answer is (sort of like what's already there, but not explicitly) in the inherent capabilities of monstrous creatures in close combat and the ability to take support guns on the carnifex and similar.

The other problem I'm not sure how to solve (the enemy taking out capabilities because they're only held in one type of creature). I've seen this a couple times in real games where I took crushing claw carnifexes and the enemy had a fortification. Once the carnifex was gone, nothing else could do more than one S10 attack at a time (smash attack), making the fortification pretty much safe the rest of the game.

The solution to this, I think, is to make all of the monstrous creatures cheaper, and give more flexible sources of S10 (for example), so that you can take the S10 assault solution, the S10 shooting solution (rupture cannon), several MCs that can smash attack, other broods of bugs with haywire shooting guns (my venom cannons)...that way, there are several completely different ways to solve the same problem, all of which can be used on different targets as well, each of which can be suppressed or ignored by different means (tarpit, cover, manipulate LOS, range, etc).


These all sound like viable solutions. I am glad you have more ideas on this than I. Just trying to help and make you aware of oversights, though I do feel a bit like a negative nancy with having critiques and not coming with many viable alternatives.

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 Post subject: Re: YATF: Monstrous Creatures
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:31 pm 
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I'd caution against giving the Trygon such a powerful anti-vehicle shooting attack - being able to kill a Knight with one good round of dice seems really powerful, and even average shooting would result in 2.5ish hull points on vehicles. Perhaps taking it back to the rolling wave of bioelectritically-charged vomit [for lack of a better descriptor] would work better - just give it a flamer attack with haywire, or have the flamer template move d6" forward and hit everything it passes over.

Alternately, you could go for a 'static blast' power that works like a Nova psychic power and hits everything within a close range - maybe one hit per model that's within d6"?

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