Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bug's, T-Fex Vs Carni

So the question i am wondering is....TyranoFex or CarniFex for Tyranid Heavy Support/Heavy Tank busting?  I would bring 1 Trygon already, but would rather not spam them even though i think they're pretty awesome for the points.  Mawlocs don't impress me much, Old one eye is poop, and Biovore's are good but probably not something i want for lots of little reasons.  So two HS slots are open......

First we'll start with the Carni:

  1. Modest starting point cost, for a Monstrous Creature anyway.
  2. Strength 9 makes him the best unit in the codex for Melee Tank busting
  3. Living Ram makes it possible for the Carni to attack against Powerfists ect. first if it gets the charge.
  4. The ranged options for the Carni are numerous and mostly good, some are considered better then others like the "DakkaFex" which includes 2 sets of Twinlinked Devourers.
  5. When taking a good ranged weapon, you have a Versatile unit capable of melee and ranged support.
  1. 4 Wounds honestly feels low to me, the Carni is supposed to be the original living tank i think 1 more or at least the option to purchase 1 more should be present.  That or perhaps a Toughness of 7, the point is the Carni is easy for many armies to put down in a single turn if it's caught out of cover, i should know....i'v done it many times =)
  2. 4 Attacks also feels low when combined with a low weapon skill.  The Crushing Claw upgrade needs to be a guaranteed number of attacks or a larger amount for it to be worth it's hefty point cost and detriment to your Initiative(i mean it essentially removes the Carni's one Unique special rule).  The Carni really needs to keep Scything Talons to be effective in melee at it's point cost, without them its basically a Chainfist Terminator.
  3. No Inv Save, sure its basically a con of 90% of the nids....but at this point cost it's a big Con.
  4. Ranged Weapon options while good, weaken Melee ability, and force the Carni to walk slowly each turn without a Tervigon's assistance.  It's the common case of utility vs excellence, you can make him good at it all but it removes his ability to be amazing at either.
  5. Initiative 1 means Space Wolf players will be trying to get you to fall down a crack, all rune priests are priority 1 for death.
Some builds i would consider:

2x Twin-Linked Devourers with brainleech worms
Adrenal Glands

Clocking in at a straight 200 points, this Carni is a mid range support unit thats decent in melee but pretty fantastic on lightly armored infantry or light vehicles.  The adrenal glands let it strike with Space Marines on the charge, and give it str 10 against vehicles and units of Toughness 5 models that i would rather instant death.  The problem here is melee support, your getting 4-5 attacks on WS 3, that means you should miss 2, leaving you with 2 hits.  While individuals and the aforementioned Toughness 5's will be scared of him, units of models need not fear as he just doesn't have the attacks to win combat against most foes.  

"Screamer Killer"
2x Scything Talons
Adrenal Glands
Frag Spines

At 195 points he's a tad cheaper, and is clearly better at melee.  The Scything Talons give you a much better chance to put out the attacks in the to hit roll and his str 9/10 makes sure they hurt once they hit.  Frag Spines lets you assault anyone you want, and adrenal glands again puts you on par with marines and into instant death range for toughness 5.  Bio-plasma is the oddity here, in one corner it adds versatility to the Carni allowing him a useful shooting attack with a low AP, something most nid weapons lack.  However, its also short range and is mounted on something that really wants to close distance first and assault asap to earn its keep.  If the plasma had something special that made it scatter less or made it ordnance so it was more reliable then i would be happy, but atm i'm not sure its worth its points for short ranged plasma cannon that lets me keep my CC weapons.  Removing Bio-Plasma however makes him the cheapest option.

Scything Talons
Heavy Venom Cannon
Adrenal Glands

at 195 points this Carni is tooled to be the Versatile slow moving unit, it's HVC allows it to provide much needed long range Str 9 blasts to the front, opening up vehicles for others to attack whatever s within, and it keeps a single set of Scything talons so that it's a bit more dependable in Melee.  It's problem then stems from being not all that good at either ranged or melee, and having a gun to shoot means its gonna be walking each turn so it wont be assaulting anything quickly unless its foolish enough to come to the Carni.

So on to the TyranoFex option:

  1. Best Ranged Anti-Tank in the Codex, hell its great anti-tank by anyone's terms.
  2. 6 Wounds, i guess it's in the "bigger MC" category, with 50% more wounds then a Carni it's survivable and will likely never die in a single turn.
  3. it's save of 2+ is Amazing, especially when combined with the 6 really will survive unless focus fired, and again even then your hard pressed to bring it down in one turn.
  4. No official model means it's up to you, we know its big based on the stat line so use that to make a large LOS blocking cover granting beasty for your others to hide behind, with the above mentioned survivable traits he works well here.
  5. Guns guns and more guns, sure the Rupture cannon is the highlight here, but packing the ability to fire it, a str 5 large blast, and a poison 2+ template all in one turn and this guy can bring serious serious pain to anyone that gets close.
  6. Regeneration while the most expensive on this unit might actually be worth the points here.....
  1. Expensive as can be in the codex, this unit isn't something your likely to see spammed...then again Land Raiders are spammed so who knows.
  2. Like the Tervigon and Mawloc, it's not great by Tyranid MC standards in melee. WS 3 and only 3 attacks mean its not gonna clear units out on it own.  It's not terrible overall but devoted assault units may be something you try to avoid or at least don't send it into assault un supported.
  3. BS 3 means you will average a single hit with the rupture cannon each time you fire, i actually don't have a big problem with this as you have a 75% chance to get a single hit, a 12.5% chance to miss entirely, and a 12.5% chance to hit twice.  I call that dependable, with burst/fail potential, unfortunaly your bringing this unit to shoot and those odds while fine are not fine when the point cost is considered.
  4. The weapons carried are not a good combination when you take the Rupture cannon, the cannon is super ranged while the other weapons are all short range...chances are you wont be firing the short ranged weapons until late game, which means their point cost is most likely a waste overall.  If it could maybe choose two targets to shoot at this would fix the issue, making the short ranged weapons at least capable of defending the T-Fex from pesky fast attack units ect.
  5. Imitative 1 like before, but worse here because this is more points going down a crack.....
  6. Again no Inv save, not as much of an issue for the T-fex as its got basically everything else going for it survival wise but still a con none the less.

The only build i really consider here is below, Regeneration would be nice on this unit but it pains me to sink those points into the unit with it's already huge price tag of 265....i am guessing my opponent s will ignore it mostly and its armor save and stat line will see it through most battles.  No need to explain the build, as its explanation is rooted in the pro/con above.

Rupture Cannon
Desccator larvae
Cluster Spines

Thoughts on the two units, experiences with them, builds i haven't considered and why?


  1. I use the same set up as you suggested with the exception that I use Larvae as my Thorax swarm. My experiences playing both with and against Sternguard has taught me the value of anything that wounds on 2's.
    When I first used it I made the mistake of using it like a Autocannon Dreadnought or similar and deploying it at long range. Now I use it quite offensively. I bank on about 2 turns of S10 shooting and then I switch target priority to infantry I've de-meched.

    My brief assessment of the units I use in my Tyranid army can be found here,

    If your interested.

  2. Thanks Gmort, Desccator is the 2+ to wound thorax swarm, my mistake calling them beetles instead of larvae. Corrected it.

    good read on your post, i also intend on using the SwarmLord so im glad to hear you dont consider him a total waste despite his price tag.

  3. @ 08ak1 - Glad you enjoyed the post. I think you hit the pro's and con's of the Tyrannofex pretty much spot on.
    Mine has probably killed more points of infantry than he has of vehicles but that may have more to do with how I use him than what he's meant to be used for.

  4. Suprised Rob hasn't posted here yet... But, Carnifices are crap (sorry Cole) especially singular Carnifices, I voted for the T-Fex 'cause 2 shots at S 10 is pretty good and 48" range is okay.

  5. Jeff told me that I was required to post, so here goes. Carnies aren't crap (despite popular opinion), but they are overcosted and underloved. They start to get good in high-points games where you can field multiple units with multiple carnies in each. Depending upon what else is in your list, they can be decent, but fielding just one means that they'll likely get focus-fired down, or ignored (since they're "slow moving").

    The Tyrannofex is seen as a solid choice by many, since it does have s10 and is impossibly hard to kill. I just can't accept it's lack of accuracy though (and make no mistake, hitting 1 shot, three rounds out of four for 265 points is wildly inaccurate. 75% on it's own looks good, but when you factor in what you could've had to replace it...). It is truly hard to bring down though, but against a good player, it doesn't seem to be a big deal.

    Case in point, when I play Blaine, he loves to use the Tyranno (and he buys regeneration). I never shoot at it unless I literally have nothing else to shoot at. It's big and slow and can (at most) take out one thing per turn (and at AP4, it's pretty much a tank, since even basic marines get armor saves against him). My firepower is better focused on something that I have a chance at killing.

    So, with that in mind, what's the goal here. To actually take out a tank, or to soak up some fire so the other gribblies can do their job?

  6. well the goal of the Carni/Tyrano depends on the list at large.

    Most people believe Nids are terrible at shooting overall, and overall they would be right. So wherever i can i want to change this in my list, i dont want a 100% assault army because any army that has strong shooting will mop it up with a little luck, so while im comfortable not being the shooty army on the board having shooting to support my advance is what i believe is needed.

    so to answer your question, the idea is not to soak up fire by default, but to provide suppressing fire with an emphasis on higher strength.

    The other idea at work is i would like to get a large number of MC's in my list, im not looking for Spore's as i already have a drop pod army...i'm not looking for a fire base as i already have that in my guard. I want big nasty things people are scared of, whether the list is a winner or not at this point is some what second in priority. Despite my Space wolf list being what i would call 3rd generation in design it still has it's roots in what i set out to make with the original two versions of the list. So what im after right now is step 1, formulate a basic plan upon which i build my nid model collection. After i have more experience with the army in game i can begin to fine tune it.

    hell i already have an idea for a tournament style list of nids, but i'm not sure it's what i want to begin my collection of models with.

  7. Sounds like the t-fex suits you better then.

  8. I've heard a great plan for Carnifexes that's more of an army build, but is decidedly deady.

    Since Carnifex can be taken as a brood, they can layer up on wounds and T6. Add a Warrior Prime with a Lash Whip, and suddenly on shooting he gains the protection of T6 and in melee on the charge allows the Carnifexes to strike before opposing models. Back this up with a Tervigon giving the entire unit FNP, or Venomthropes giving it a cover save, and you've got a rock hard CC unit that will make your opponent focus fire.

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