Saturday, January 23, 2010

Come Hungry, Leave Happy!

I love the Tyranids. As far as armies go they are one of my favorites. No overwhelming empire, no ancient black doom brought upon themselves, no stupid resurrecting robots, just pure simple hunger and a willingness to eat everything put in front of them.

Just like me at IHOP during all you can eat pancakes.

The upside to the Tyranids is the sheer number of minis you end up with on the table during a proper swarm attack. Ideally you should be outnumbering your opponent by at least 3 or 4 to one and seeing a swarm not so much being set up pregame as just trying to find space to fit it all in can be a huge morale killer right from the start. Your opponent ends up spoiled for choice on what to shoot at and as the 'nids cross the table no decision is the right one when it comes to what needs to die next. Everything you get into him is going to hurt him most of the time.

The big problem is that having a swarm army means having lots and lots and lots of guys to paint. With my 'nids though I go pretty simple.

Basically, when you see my swarm together all I want you to see is Chitin and Claws.

I did this scheme for a couple of reasons. First, when they're all mobbed up and charging and all you really see is the mass of claws coming your way it's very scary. Second, it's the easiest way I found to paint them.

Basically all my 'nids have two base colors on a black primer. One is a darker green for the fleshy bits, as I kind of had the notion that this swarm was involved in the major hive fleet that attacked the ork worlds, with a lighter green drybrushed over to provide some highlights. The second is actually a single coat of a light yellow over the black primer that almost comes out looking like a thin ivory or bone, which is perfect for the bony/claws bits. Over that I put a lighter dry brush of bright red, especially along the ridges which contrasts on the yellow to make the claws and armor stand out more. After that it's down to the detail work like painting in the eyes and pinning the frakkin' Hive Tyrants arms back on because pewter is a lousy thing to work with!

So as I work my way through the new codex I'm seeing what looks like a move away from the swarms coming in across the table and towards an army that is much more mobile around the table. Mycetic spores providing deep strikes for basically any unit, including monstrous creatures, more units with the options to deep strike from a wider variety of places (Death Leaper, Parasite, etc) and the changing of the synapse rules to more easily allow units outside range to still be effective are all very cool!

My only complaint so far, and it's relatively minor, is the reduction of unique characteristics for everything. Granted, it makes book-keeping on all the units much more simplified and it's not like you can't still rework most units to an extent but I loved being able to hand craft each brood so that they were each like an evil little jack in the box just waiting to pop surprises all over the target army. This is still very do-able with the variety of units provided but I guess it's like complaining about getting a glazed donut when you wanted one with sprinkles. It's really all the same, just a differant flavor.

I'm going to get a game together with Curtis later this week. The Hive Mind is calling, and it's Hungry!

Tau do look amazingly like blueberry pancakes.

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