In honor the release of the New Nid codex. It is time for some first impressions of the new army before the jadedness sets in.  

First up, what does Jwolf from Bell of Lost Souls and regular at Battleforge Games in Austin TX think of the new Nids?

I see the new Tyranid book as changing the overall landscape in 5
significant ways:

#1 No more “Backfield”.  In the previous Tyranid codex, the Tyranids
basically lined up and marched across the field.  Sure, there were the
occasional Lictors jumping out, and some Outflanking Genestealers to
deal with, but nothing says “I love you” like Monstrous Creatures
falling from the sky or bursting out of the ground to eat your face
(not to mention the little bugs with them).  So the board, which was
already somewhat nonlinear for many games, just got more wide open.
This is the biggest change and the best one, in my book.

#2 Tervigon Madness.  Everyone here is going crazy about the Monstrous
Mama-san Tervigon as a Troops choice that makes more Troops choices.
It’s not just the brooding that she does, but she gives Feel No Pain
and does bad things on top of all that.

#3 Swarmlords Cheat.  Ever notice how Terminators never really cared
about fighting your Hive Tyrant?  Well, now the basic Hive Tyrant is a
true monster in assault, but the Swarmlord is King.  Anyone without
Eternal Warrior who meets this guy is dead; especially if he drops
your Weapon Skill to 1 before munching on your face.

#4 The Doom of Malan’Tai.  The #1 guy for consideration of banning in
the Codex.  This guy can drop in, suck up the lives of a bucket of
infantry, and then next turn he’s in close combat with 10 wounds and a
3++ save.  Sure, all you have to do is get one S8 hit in under his
save, but if you for some reason didn’t buy a Powerfist on that
Sergeant, say goodbye to your squad (and anyone else nearby).  This
guy is definitely the Doom of Imperial Guard, Eldar, and Tau gunlines
(not that you should still be playing any of those, but if you are,
this guy will make your army disappear).

#5 Mawlocs and Trygons.  My hat is of to GW for this kit; one of the
most awesome plastic kits ever.  And in the game, either one is a
terror.  The Mawloc pretends it’s the mouth in the sand from Return of
the Jedi, and the Trygon is Godzilla coming out of the ground to throw
your tanks around the field.  Either way, they’ll be strong on the
field, and fashionable on the table – a win all the way around!

I’m impressed that no option in the Codex seems like a waste of space
(unlike Gargoyles in previous editions), but rather the options lend
themselves to a variety of interesting builds.  I’ve already started
preparing the changes to my armies to deal with Tyranids – more use of
the Full Reserve option, to deal with the Tyranid Drop/Burrow
Deployment (TDBD for short), and more Missile Launchers to shoot the
wall of Toughness 6 baddies that I expect to have in my face for every
moment of every game.  Looks like fun to me.

What does Nathan Fluger blog commentator and Bitchin Ork player that someone should give money to so he can play in Conquest NW in Jan. Who can be found at the Fire and Sword Gaming Center in Seattle WA.

All I can say is that I think Robin Cruddace is one of the better codex writers GW has ever had.  I love what he did with the IG dex; it has numerous builds that are quite powerful and lots of flavor units and TONS of variety. Having gone over some of the more reliable pdf versions of the codex and talking to my FLGS owner who had the book in hand before having to send it back; I must say that this ‘dex looks amazing. 

The first thing that strikes me is how much effort went into making gaunts useful and deadly without going stat-crazy.  Termagaunts with devourers are now the premier shooting unit out there for taking out opposing infantry; and I feel a shudder of sadness for space marine players everywhere as yet another Xenos weapon proves superior to the Bolter. For me, Nids have always been about the Starship Troopers style, “Bugs Mr Rico!  Millions of ’em!”  The recent shift to Nidzilla always struck me as sad.  I’m a sucker for cinema, and the swarm of chittering death was always something I thought looked awesome.  With this new dex, I expect to see a lot of big swarm armies as people realize that Hormagaunts (despite moving more slowly) are so freaking amazing in combat that you’re going to crap your self. Beyond the little guys, the mid-sized bugs either got a boost or else a new unit. 

 I LOVE the changes to pretty much each one of the mid-sized bugs; but I especially love the new Zoanthrope anti-tank blast.  S10 lance at 18″ range is money.  No longer will Nid players have any excuse for taking out tanks; it’s right there.  The 18″ range means you have a turn or two to shoot at it before it most likely takes down your vehicle; so I like the cat and mouse game that creates.  Another thing I like is that all the Mid sized bugs are T4 and not eternal warrior.  Rokkits away! 

Finally, the big bugs, and there are MORE of them!  Personally, I think they all work fine and dandy and are priced right because they can all be taken down by massed lasgun fire (no T7 anymore) and their armor save is never better than 3+.  The only one that I think has the chance of being broken is the Harpy.  3 Harpies combined with two flying Tyrants is a pretty scary prospect (although very pricey!).  Suffice to say that Nidzilla hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s still here and viable. The main thing I love about this book though is you can make an assortment of army lists with different themes and strategies with the models here.  You aren’t shoe-horned into one competitive build.  Time will tell and we’ll probably see what units become the best-buys; but at first blush (or rather, many hours of list building and reading), the Nid codex is strong and diverse; perfect. 

 Now for Miggidy Mack, host of the great weekly Podcast Dice Like Thunder , who takes a different approach to the history of the new Nid codex.

Naked Wet Babies With Bone Knives.

You totally read that correctly. I just want you to understand that you aren’t going crazy. I’m not going to rant, rave or in any way deal with anything in the Nid codex. There are dozens of people talking about the strats and what’s in the book. The guys from BOLS are doing a great job with it and I’m going to cover it on our show soon enough.

So what did I mean by that first sentence? Painting tips!

You want to start Nidz? GREAT. That’s going to be a bunch of models to paint isn’t it? How on Holy Terra will you pain them all? Here is my patented “Naked Wet Babies with Bone Knives” technique that will get all your nidz painted at the rate of one 30 man unit per DAY.

Step One: Assemble and Clean. Because you’re going to barely be using a brush it is important to assemble the models carefully and make sure the mold lines are scrubbed off. They really show when you use a wash… and that’s how these babies get done!

Step Two: Spray. You have two easy ways to do this. First you can prime them white with GW paint and then use a spray gun to paint them elf flesh. You could also brush on the elf flesh if you want. Use a lighter color than you eventually want. You can also go with an inhuman color… but the “flesh” look comes out creepier in the end.

Step Three: Drybrush. This is the part that takes the longest. Dry brush all the bone (including plates on the back) with Bleach Bone or Rotting Flesh. Get a good layer but try to leave the flesh tones in the cracks of the bone. Get the scything talons ect.

Step Four: Wash. Wash the whole model with Ogryn Flesh. If you are using a color I would still recommend brown! It pulls the color down on the scale and makes it look like “skin”. So if you want green skin go with Scorpion Green and Ogryn Flesh.

Step Five: Purity Seal. Shake the can really well before spraying. Purity seal is important to make the bones dull and protect the model.

Step Six: Gloss. Now take gloss and put it on all the skin.

You’re done! You now have Naked wet babies with bone knives! It can look really off-putting actually. That’s really all there is to it! You won’t be winning any golden daemons, but the army will look good on the table top!

 Questions for Comment:

  1. What effect do you see Nids playing in your local area?
  2. Would you go dakka or assualty with the new Nids?
  3. What is your method for painting horde armies?