Thursday, 23 January 2014

Chitin Chatter

Well, it looks like I have done something stupid and, after a vague interest initially, have talked myself into playing Tyranids.  Thanks a lot, Brain.  Didn’t need that right now.  Hopefully it will only be small project.  Wait a minute…

Just setting up the cognitive dissonance…

…And we’re good.

Right.  Yeah should only be a small project as I don’t really have a character or story hook to grab hold of with the Tyranids.  It’s the stories and characters that really get me invested in an army.  The aesthetics can be a good part of it, but I rarely become as invested in an army as one where I can create a distinct character HQ and get some storylines going.  Every list from my first Eldar collection 8 years ago (or thereabouts) had a key character and story behind them.  Even if it was just window dressing for the fact that “Wraithlords have swords now!  That’s soo cool!” (Actual quote).

The ‘Nids don’t have that.  I like a number of the models and the monster designs are very cool, but without a core personality to hook it on, this is more of an exercise in tactical curiosity.  The codex hit and, as is my way, I bought a copy and had a read.  It seemed good.  An improvement on the last one.  However, many existing ‘Nid players on the Internet seemed to think differently.  A number of existing units had been removed, which is something of an unusual move and something to be annoyed about, certainly.  I felt though that a number of the reactions to the codex were knee-jerk, unjustified and, frankly, embarrassing in a number of cases.  I’m just fortunate that the smart part of my brai9n asserted its dominance just enough to stop me looking at Dakka or Warseer.  I just restricted myself to the Overlords Facebook Group (Join today for a free gift of bupkis and bonus pocket lint!).  There was a fair bit of negativity there, some anti-hate backlash and so on.  But there was also discussion and rationality from pretty much everyone I approached, which was good because I don’t like pointless shouting matches, nor do I hold with bellowing aimlessly into the void.  I tried to counter some of the complaints with observations I’d gleaned from the new rules and units.  In my opinion, it’s a really solid ‘dex.  But it’s not OMG OP!, to take on the gaming parlance.

A number of the generic complaints that I’ve heard about seem similar to the problem people had when 6th ed came round in the first place.  The loss of outflank assault really got underneath some people’s skin.  Personally, I was glad of it.  The all-too-common argument of ‘Why are they outflanking and just standing around before attacking?’ was easy to counter with ‘What were the guys with guns doing before you outflanked? Why were you invisible until that moment?’  Anyway, I don’t want to make this a sour post so let’s move on.

Unfortunately, given my natural mildly tactless nature and various communicative difficulties, I am aware I can often come across as being arrogant and dismissive, which is rarely my intent.  I feel that happened a number of times in my defence of the new codex and although I can bring up a number of things from my reading, that kind of paper knowledge and mathhammer can only get you so far.  It’s best when combined with practical experience.  I also found myself genuinely intrigued by some of the options I was seeing and became more and more curious as to whether I could get a few of the tactics to work on the tabletop.  I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, really.  I just want more of an insight into a different type of army that a lot of people keep saying isn’t good.  I happen not to agree, and I felt that this time, I needed to put my money where my mouth was.

And besides, a forum thread encouraging people to send their crushed Gaunts to GWHQ in protest?  That’s just fethin’ pathetic.


Adam Fasoldt said...

Tyranids with character, eh? Sounds like a challenge to me! Imagine a tendril of Tyranids who begin to take on the personalities of the biomass they've consumed. How horrible would that be to be the mind of a person trapped in the voracious and vicious body of a Hormagant? Or a six-year-old child trapped in the body of a Carnifex?

Am I making you want to buy more models yet?

Meatshield said...

Already have a list, man!

As far as the character goes, I've decided to not think about it too hard and just relish in having a relatively nameless and relentless evil to plague my other armies with! The nearest I've got to a character per se is my HQ, a Tyranid Prime who has been named by the Kroot he encountered world on which he landed. The name itself is shameless ripped from one of my own bookwriting attempts about half a decade back.

And so began Stands-Red-Against-The-Darkness, or Stands-Red for short!

Also helps me out with a colour scheme...

Adam Fasoldt said...

That's cool. The Prime is kind of like the shark from Jaws. It's got character, but only the character imagined for it by its victims.