Thursday, April 8, 2010

DEVOURING HUMANITY: Tactica Tyrannofex

Hello again! This is Russell back again to talk about what I think is an under appreciated model in the new Tyranid codex: the Tyrannofex. Please note, however, that I don't claim that it is a "good" model, just one that I run frequently, and that I think more people should run. Now that I've lost all credibility by admitting to running a model that isn't good, let's talk about the choices for unique weapons that the Tyrannofex can carry.

His name is Jake. Say "Hi Jake!"

Fleshborer Hive:
I think a lot of people are taken in by this very sub-par weapon. Assault 20 does sound rather intimidating, I'll admit. But let's look at it this way: what else has Assault 20? Twenty Gaunts. And those gaunts are less than half the cost, can hold objectives, could take a Mycetic Spore, and are debateably harder to kill due to their ability to get cover saves and the fact that they have 20 wounds (kind of). Honestly, I think 20 Gaunts is probably a better choice than the Fleshborer Hive Tyrannofex, and I don't think 20 Gaunts is a particularly good choice.

Acid Spray:
I don't have a lot of experience with this particular weapon choice, though it seems reasonable. It makes your Tyrannofex very good at pushing stubborn units off of an in-cover objective. Eldar Rangers or Imperial Guardsmen with Camo Cloaks can be frustrating for Tyranids to get off objectives, and Acid Spray, along with the Thorax Swarm the Tyrannofex comes with, can be very effective at killing them. But this does make your Tyrannofex into a very short range, very slow beast who will spend the first several turns just moving up the board doing nothing. I think that Acid Spray is worth considering, if you are having trouble with your opponents going to ground in cover on objectives, but I am not sure that it justifies the very high cost of the Tyrannofex.

Rupture Cannon:
This is the thing that really sells the Tyrannofex for me. Two shots at BS 3 is nothing impressive, and I do warn you that this weapon will miss at frustrating times. But a long range, high-strength weapon is something that the Tyranids are completely lacking outside of the Tyrannofex. When you really need a tank across the board to die, and can't get the Hiveguard or Zoanthropes there in time, the Tyrannofex is a great backup plan. I have had great success breaking open transport tanks with the Tyrannofex so that my Genestealers can assault the embarked troops. The Rupture Cannon is also a good answer to some high speed, long range weaponry, such as the Imperial Guard Valkyrie/Vendetta, which can outrun and outrange your other tankbreaking options fairly easily. All in all, I think that the Rupture Cannon is the best option for the Tyrannofex.

The Tyrannofex is a very expensive model, and I would not recommend trying to squeeze it into any list below 1500 points, and even then it is questionable. But it can be very effective as a long range gunner. I also usually move it slowly up the board, using its Cluster Spines and Thorax Swarm in the late turns once the tanks are all down. I have also found that the Tyrannofex rarely dies, because the amount of firepower that the opponent has to pump into it to bring it down is usually not worth the amount of damage that it does.

All in all, the Tyrannofex is not actually a good model. It is very expensive and does not do very much damage. But I feel justified in taking it on a regular basis simply because it fills a hole that the Tyranids are not able to fill with any other model. Tyranids are sorely lacking in long range, high-strength shooters, and the Tyrannofex is an overpriced option, but it does the job, and honestly that is good enough to justify its points in a lot of games.


theHman said...

Well I for one love my gaunts!
But yeah, arming your Tfex with the hiveborer gun is pointless. The range is still 12"!

You're much better off taking 20 gaunts for 100pts.

I've found that the TFex is definitely useful as a long range tank killer/shaker.

Not so great in CC by itself. But good as a supporting unit in CC (depending on enemy unit in Combat of course).

No2Wookie said...

Listen, I've been hearing a lot of things about finding the TFex useful as a tank shaker/killer, but it isn't.

Let's use a 6 turn game as an example, assuming the Tfex fires every turn. It has shot 12 times and will hit 6 times. At armor 10-11 you will actually cause more overall damage by moving and running a devourer carnifex the first turn, shooting him for the next four turns and having him die on the sixth than using a rupture cannon, which costs 75 points more.

For armor twelve he is acceptable, assuming what he's firing at is not in cover and costs over 130 points. This means the only way he can come close to making his points back is if he fires at storm ravens or vendettas the whole time, and that's assuming you didn't spore a dakkafex behind a vendetta and drop it immediately.

For armor 13 and 14 it does so little damage it just isn't likely to kill more than one vehicle, and isn't likely to kill anything in cover.

No, the real draw is using its acid spray to synergize with its other two AI weapons, which is the only way you can safely eject pathfinders, scouts, lootas and, yes, even marines from ruins. It also gives you a measure of effectiveness vs a bunker.

The sad truth is you're more likely to kill a vehicle faster by running every turn with a tyrannofex and assaulting at the earliest opportunity than you are by firing at it with a rupture cannon.