Wednesday, 22 January 2014

6th Edition Codices: Why the hate?

As it says on the tin, why the hate?

I was perusing some of my favourite hobby blogs in my spare time today, notably Faeit 212 when I stumbled upon a genuinely interesting post regarding the new Tyranids capability in tournaments. Now do not mistake my meaning, the post was a good one and I was genuinely intrigued in how Tyranids play now they've been updated and I love the blog a lot, my accusation doesn't lay with Natfka, but rather some of the comments that appeared below the post.

If you ask any hobbyists that know me personally they will all say that I understand that the hobby, whilst social is also a very personal one. You dedicate your time and effort into creating an army and making it look how you imagine, and that might amount to the reason why people are raging about particular changes to the army.

Call me weird, call me naive even but I have never understood this phenomenon of immediately writing an army off as rubbish before they have a chance to shine. As a long, long time collector of both Ultramarines and Necrons (having several armies of each since 2nd edition) I have seen many incarnations of both and have had to adjust accordingly, but it's never bothered me. Well, I say it's never bothered me, the changes made in the 3rd edition codex was a bit of a groin shot but that was only because my miniatures became utterly unplayable - Assault Marines not being able to take power weapons anymore made sure of that.

But that's the thing. Tyranids are just as, if not more playable now than they were back in 5th. Instead of removing modelling options as unit upgrades they've actually added some. People might see this as a money grab effort, but those Carnifex upgrades that you couldn't use before you can now!

The thing is, to me the problem began as people saying the codex is pants and doesn't work. Then when Faeit pointed out that in fact the codex is competitive people begun moaning that there is only one build that works. Yes, Mawlocks and Flyrants appear a lot, yes Tervigons aren't as powerful, yes everyone will still take them. The thing is that now you need to take 30 model strong units to make Tervigons troop choices. Gasp, shock and horror, you have to play the army as a swarm like the fluff intended instead of a Monstrous Creature Mash Up! Before I go any further I must say this...

Stop moaning about Tervigons being nerfed - they churn out free, that's right FREE scoring units!

Mini rant over, I shall continue. Tyranids had a problem in previous editions where they were too hard. There were builds in there that were just impossible to defeat - one I was made aware of recently was taking 3 10 man swarms of Termagaunts just so you can take 3 Tervigons who just pumped out more scoring units, as well as a Trygon and a few Flyrants. That's just silliness for silliness sake, but also a build everyone took.

A build that everyone took. I will let that linger in peoples minds a moment whilst they contemplate the reason they're moaning about the new codex.

The bottom line is this. Warhammer 40k and it's Fantasy counterpart are tactical wargames. You have to outwit your opponent, carefully pick your armies and use them strategically. In all honesty that's why I absolutely adore the new codexes, they give you new toys to play with and change how the old toys work, encouraging you to look at your army in a different light. Hell, does anyone think I wanted my Reanimation Protocols to go down to 5+? No. Did I complain at it though? No. Why? Because a 3+ save followed by a 4+ resurrection roll is silly hard. On the plus side Necrons don't phase out. It balances out.

In conclusion, my recommendation is to stop focusing on the negative and start focusing on what you CAN do with your army now. Tervigons aren't as hard, but you have Exocrines now, how is that a bad thing? If you can't hammer your opponent like a blunt instrument then starting thinking about how else you can beat them. For me that's the most enjoyable part of actually playing the game. I'm still reading my Space Marine codex through and the more I read the more I find little changes that could potentially turn a game in my favour, I'm always finding new stuff I want to try.

Give the new Tyranid codex some time, get a feel for the changes. They might surprise you yet.

P.S. I've played Ultramarines for 18 years now, so don't even think of replying saying I don't understand what it's like to be nerfed horribly in the new codex - may I remind people of chapter traits in 4th edition and how Ultramarines were the only chapter that couldn't take any? Yep.


  1. Well, in defense of the people who are complaining, most of the changes in the book are straightforward, and most things play pretty much the same, so the changes are easier to evaluate than the relatively big shift that was Tau and moderately big shift that was Eldar, the complete upturn that was Daemons, etc.

    Now, I haven't played with or against the Nid book, and probably won't any time soon because I'm doing a campaign at the FLGS that's BT vs CSM over the next few months, so will have to go out of my way to get non-CSMvsSM games. This means I'm not going to speak to the competitiveness of the book. But, on that note, looking at local 4 round tournaments is not an evaluation of book competitiveness. This story was not actually a look at how Tyranids can perform, because unlike a GT where there are hundreds of players, a lot of variety of opponents, a high concentration of good players, and generally 8 games, a 3-4 game local tournament generally has a few good players, often they have experience playing each other, and frankly most of the rest of the people who show up aren't good. I'm not besmirching those players at all, of course, I am one of them after all, I go to tournaments to get 3 games in a day, not because I have a shot at winning. But fundamentally the results of that event don't tell us anything about the Tyranid book. That information will come in time as the GT's of the year get rolling.

    Just my 2cents on reading into local results :)

    1. Interesting reasoning. True Nids didn't change much but they changed enough to change the dynamic, same is true of Marines though. I suppose it's my own personal opinion but that kinda thing excites me as it means I think of using units in ways I never thought of before. It's all fun to me :)

  2. .... take a forge world stuff.... problem solved mate won 4 out of 5 with tyranids at throne of skulls last week