Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Flying Hive tyrants

The flying hive tyrant was another lost creature in 5th ed. I have played a few games with 1 in 6th ed as part of the Bio bomb nid list. They provide some high mobility, scary assault capability and good shooting.

The one I have been running so far is set up as follows
Hive Tyrant, Wings, Toxic Miasma, Old Adversory, Brainleech Devourer, Bonesword and Lash Whip
Starting powers are Life Leech and Paroxysm.

Weapon Load out
The hardest call is double Devourer or Lash Whip bone sword Devourer. The extra shooting is awesome but one of the great things about the mobility of a Winged tyrant is that they can dive out of the air and jump into a combat to keep them out of sight of opposing heavy shooting opponents. The downside of the new rules is that your hugely killy monster will often get challenged by some punk. You win combat but not by much - having your opponent stick around is not necessarily a bad thing though. So in combats like that the bonesword is an advantage as with rerolls from the supporting crowd invulns can be a pain accordingly the chance of instant death from the sword is beneficial. The lash whip also means that you at least get to attack simultaneously when diving into cover. If running Tyrants in pairs I would be inclined to give one of them the double devourer and one the whip bone sword. I will be playing around with this somewhat as with smash you can do something similar.

Toxic Miasma
In biobomb lists Toxic Miasma can be very nasty. When the Tyrant charges a unit and gets challenged by a wound soak character he won't get to kill much but at the end of combat he will likely be surrounded by many models. Toxic Miasma forces a toughness test with no cover or armour saves. With Enfeeble on the table you have the ability to make units lower Toughness -which is a very nasty combo. This forces the opponent to either challenge and take wounds per model in base afterwards or get hit by a smashy beast across the squad and lose combat and take fewer wounds afterwards.

Old Adversary - This is not cheap and was an option that I never would have taken in 5th aspreferred enemy really wasn't beneficial enough. Now with the transfer to shooting and wounds it can be devastating. Take for example a 10 man Devil Gaunt squad benefitting  from the preferred enemy aura in shooting. Their efficiency is boosted a significant 33% in terms of wound output (10 wounds instead of 7.5 v MEQ). This gets even better if Enfeeble is in the equation as you get to reroll a higher % of your misses which in turn are more likely to hit. The fact that this can benefit things like shooting Zoanthropes and Hiveguard should not be overlooked either.

As far as the Tyrant himself is concerned being able to reroll 1's in combat gives  a massive 55% boost to wound output hitting on 3's killing on 2's  (1.5 additional wounds a round of combat) and his shooting is twinlinked and wounding on 2's so again gets a boost of about 17% from the rerolls

Psychic powers.
The two existing powers are solid, he only gets to use one a turn but paroxysm can turn gaunts into killers and Nid life leech is ok at getting wounds back (Biomancy life leech is much better at S6). But that said I think though in the context of the Biobomb it is likely you will chance your arm for one of the 2 big powers - Iron Arm - which turns a flyrant into an absolute demon or Endurance which makes survivability out on his own much easier. Worst case you get a 4 shot shooting attack with AP 2 which can be used in conjunction with your brainleech devourer to shoot at a target and makes the Flyrant a little better at killing 2+ save models.

Flyrant - Survivability in the Biobomb world
A basic assumption here is that you will nearly always have endurance on your flyrant as if they stay alive they have the potential to savage your opponents army (In my last game one killed 4 tanks by himself).
So at a minimum you are only hit on 6's while swooping, have  a 5+ Jink and a 5+ FNP - not bad. This is followed up by a further 5+ to get a wound back in your own turn if you keep endurance up. Unlike a flyer you can't be 1 shotted.
Unfortunately you can crash into the ground with a bang and your survivability goes way down so if you are unlucky you can see a vast increase in shooting. Unless you have Iron arm. a Toughness 8 or 9 monstrous creature with FNP and maybe cover is going to take alot of firepower. If nothing else that lets the rest of your gribblies close the gap.and once tyranids start tying up your  units with fearless gaunts and killing vehicles then the game starts to spin their way. In terms of positioning whenever possible you should try to have your tyrant fly over terrain so when he crashes he still gets his 4+ or 5+ from cover saves.

Overall this is a very solid multi functional unit. It is not cheap though so having powers and capabilities that buff survivability and buff some units around you are a huge benefit.
I can see one or two of these guys being in most of my new nid lists.

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