Bugs! (Tyranids): First Thoughts Part Two

(A nifty Tervigon Conversion.)
Okay, so I had a chance to play the Bugs as opposed to just read about them online and Theory Hammer out a strategy.  Here's my updated initial thoughts...

...and I'm glad I'm getting to a point where I can at least speak intelligently about the book.  Frankly, I think you have to play an army to know an army, but that's a story for another time.

Bug Prime:  I'll take two please.  Thanks!

In this game the Death Company was threatening to run through my entire army.  My Carni-Bugs with attached Bug-Prime charged and walked through them in one round.  There is a downside, of course: the Storm Raven spent the rest of the game softening up this unit - and a 3+ save and no Invulnerable only does so much!  These bad bugs will be a target.

Of course, that's the idea.

Tervi-Bug (read Tervigon):  Perhaps the best force multiplier in the game, outside of perhaps the Sanguinary Priest or a Farseer.  Since any Termites (read: Termagants) within range take advantage of Adrenal Glands and Toxic Sacs, it's silly not to upgrade.  You're taking enough Termites to make the Tervi-Bug worthwhile, right?  I'm thinking that's a 2:1 ratio minimum - and no, you don't count any additional Termites.

Anyway, this bug's base cost might as well read 195 (or 200?  I can't decide if Scything Talons are a must) since you'll need the above mentioned upgrades and Catalyst is a no-brainer.  That's an expensive unit, so its role is to sit behind the lines and manage its critters.

Carni-Bug (read Carnifex):  I'll eventually try out the Gun-Bug variation everyone is suggesting, but currently I'm very happy with my basic Brood with Scything Talons.  The idea is my Bug Prime(s) will hang out and the unit will be running each turn.  The unit is hard enough to hurt with T6, but the opportunity to allocate wounds to Bug Prime(s) should keep these bad boys running hard.

Yea, the unit is supposed to die.  Take your well-earned Kill Point with my thanks and get on with your bad self!

So I'm running cheap at the base cost - the only option I'm considering is Toxic Sacs, since the ability to reroll hits AND wounds means I've got a decent chance of rolling in with 8+ S9 wounds, not including the Primes.

EDIT:  Turns out, that's not so good.  Thanks to an anonymous reader, I went and actually looked up poison weapons.  Turns out, they always wound on a fixed number, regardless of whether your Strength would give you a better chance result.  In the case of the Carni-Bug, 2+ is better than a 4+ with a reroll.

Horma-Bugs (read Hormagaunts):  A poor man's Genestealer, and exactly the reason I like them!  They're in the running because that many attacks buffed by Catalyst will worry any unit... but if they die they die; so what?  They're cheap.

Tyranno-Bug Rex (read Tyrannofex):  I'm in love.

And I forgot all about the Thorax Swarm when I tested these guys on Saturday!

Evil Homer (who was playing my Daemons army) was a bit behind in this game so made a couple of very aggressive drops.  He split my forces using the Plague Bearers then dropped a unit of Fiends behind the lines.  The Tyranno-Bug Rexes (proxied by the grey Carnifexes) and the Tervi-Bug (proxied by the Screamer Killer) turned, fired, then charged.

I simply didn't do enough damage to support my charge - and note the pure error, where I set the Tyranno-Bug Rex too far way after casualties to get in the fight.  A few not-so-good-rolls later, and these Fiends are dragging down my Monstrous Creatures one by one.

Any guess which one he concentrated on?  Losing a Tervi-Bug makes all the Termites go all Orkin Man.  Not good.  Game over.

That shouldn't have happened... nor would it had I remembered the Thorax Weapons in each of these big-bugs' throats!  One each wounding on 2+ (because I prefer the Dessicator option) would have done enough additional wounds to probably wipe out the unit entirely, before even getting to the charge.

Even on a bad roll.  This is why you play test your army, ladies and gentlemen, Unicorns and kiddos.

More 'First Thoughts' later.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're progressing with Nids.

Just a quick pointer to help you out with your decision about Toxin Sacs. On str4 or less, always take them, on str 6 and higher never take them. Fex's will be wounding on 2+ on anything, which is much better than 4+ with a re-roll. Str 5 bugs can go either way with toxin, depending on what they're role is. My prime that is attached to my fex's has it, due to the fact they always end up fighting Daemon Princes or tough baddies.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the wrong 'their,' no coffee makes me retarded apparently.

Brent said...

lol - no worries about the 'their' vs 'there' - it happens to us all. Honestly, I don't expect anyone to worry too much when it comes to comments.

The only time I've made an issue about it was when I was being trolled!

Your comment made me check the rulebook again...

...and you're absolutely right!

"They do not rely on a comparison of Strength and Toughness to wound - they always wound on a fixed number..."

That hampers the Carni-Bugs in a big way. For some reason, I assumed they would default to poison only if the Strength was lower. Nothing at all says that.

Thanks for the catch: Toxin Sacs are out for the Carni-Bugs. I think it's still worthwhile for the Tervi-Bugs though, primarily because it passes the ability along to the Termites.

Anonymous said...

Actually, about the Carnifex Toxin Sacs, I asked Robin Cruddace about this at the Games Day UK last year, and he said that you roll on the Str if it would be better, and get a re-roll. It is NOT a fixed number for Poisoned attacks when you use Toxin Sacs and have a high Str. He said the BRB should be FAQ'd, but of course that hasn't been done yet.

Just to be sure, I also asked him directly "Are there any scenarios where taking Toxin Sacs make things worse than not taking them?" and he said most emphatically "No."

So everyone write to GW and push for the FAQ, because the sensible answer is what was intended.

I don't expect anyone to believe me, but ask him yourself at the next Games Day.

Rancor709 said...

Excellent first time thoughts on the bugs as your playing them. Primes are awesome. haven't tried the double carnfex with a prime yet but the more I look it the more I like it. Hormagaunts are awesome never leave home without a ton of them. And Tervigons make the army.

suneokun said...

Don't forget that toxin sacs are a serious contender on rending creatures. Reroll to wound, with a 6 to rend ... why thank you!

Have you checked out Fritz' genestealer 1st turn sacrifice. It's a good way of ensuring you get another turn to charge. Although expensive.

Remember that uber-horms would get a reroll to wound on the charge against MEQs thanks to S4.

Brent said...

Thanks for the input folks!

Anon2: I don't disbelieve you at all - I think it's very unreasonable to offer poison weapons for a high strength creature and not give them a better option to wound... but it's what can be 'proved' on the tabletop.

I have to be mindful of how it will be ruled at (for example) Wargames Con, where I'm planning on rolling the Bugs! out this year.

Suneokun: I've checked out most of the main Tyranid blogs. I always dig me some Fritz, but currently I'm going in a different way and trying to avoid Genestealers entirely.

I believe there are some decisions that influence others when one is building a list... and bringing 'Stealers is certainly one of these! They are soooo expensive they dictate the rest of the army.

Not that I'm not going to try it, of course!

Regarding the Toxin Sacs on Horma-Bugs... I've had that thought! I'm almost certainly going to try it, but I do worry because 2 extra points a model is steep!

AdamHarry said...

hey Brent, Last year at Wargamescon it was still Poison on a +4, with a re-roll if your str was equal or more.

Keep on truckin with the bugs!

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