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Tales of the Singular Gamer – Part 2

Hey there 40K fans, it’s that time of the month again when I update you all with progress of my fledgling hive fleet.

As you may recall from the last edition of Tales of the Singular Gamer I was embarking on a new army to be collected and reported on a monthly basis, last time I left off with the bold claim that I would have read the Tyranids codex from cover to cover as many times as possible and also to build up my buttery Nids form the start collecting box.

Well I am happy to report it’s been a successful month, I have managed to read the codex and build up all the models with only a few minor injuries and setbacks.

So what do we think of the Tyranids codex dear reader? Well quality wise it’s as high a standard as you would expect from Games Workshop, lots of pictures, big epic stories, small snippet stories, incredible artwork, all the information about the Nids you can eat, rules that will change within a few weeks when the FAQ drops and that unmistakable new codex smell. Mmmmmm breathe it in slowly.

So let’s start at the beginning, the contents page tells you where everything you need to know is in the codex. Next up the fluff – I really enjoyed the fluff of the Nids, I like the whole kill or be killed vibe you get from reading it. You have to exterminate them all or risk being the exterminated in return. Stories of singular Nid organisms running about causing death and havoc seem like a great premise for a film or something (just wish somebody would pick it up). Unlike most of the other races in the 40K universe you can’t reason with the Nids, you can’t bribe them, scare them, appease them, invite them round for tea and cake because you would become that tea and that cake. I like that about them, I like that they are utterly alien in those regards. They are driven by a single goal, the great hunger. They aren’t interested in territories or past glories, they feel no pride, no fear, no regrets. They feel nothing…so they are a bit like an army of Lego Batmen. All the Hive Mind wants is a slap up meal all the time, I admire their purity in this. This is not to say the gribblies are numpties, far from it, they like to engage the sneaky sneaky approach when it suits them before a good dose of the old ultra-violence breaks out…but mostly I like the stuff where it’s all about the prey being swarmed by a living wave of Nid organism goodness. I really like the parts describing the lesser Nids hurtling themselves with no consideration of their own being, the Hive Mind controls all and is always adapting.

It would be very easy to have the Tyranids as a one dimensional type army but the writers have taken the Hive Mind adaptability so that separate Hive Fleets get a bit of characterisation and a degree of individuality. This works well from a story telling point of view but also a gaming point of view, with most of the main Hive Fleets getting their own style and traits implemented through the game mechanics means that no matter what style of play suits you or you want to try – the Nids should have you covered. If you love the gun line style then Kronos is the Hive Fleet for you. Surprise cock face* more your thing then jormud…jormundg….jorm….the yellow carapace ones fit the bill nicely. Even hyper aggressive willy waving in your opponents face is in there with Behemoth (please note that is Nid willies being waved not your own willy, I don’t want a repeat of the Battle Fest 40K VI incident again).

But it’s not all about the Nids some space marines get mentioned but fuck them. There is a character  that pops up in the codex that I think could warrant a trip to the Black Library innards to become a more fleshed out character Inquisitor Kryptman. (of course this may already have happened and for all I know Kryptman has starred in books I have yet to read, he probably has his own series of books ‘The Kryptman Kronicles’ book 35 out next month and a Netflix show that have passed me by) I mean he’s the guy that names the Tyranids, manages to warn the Imperium of them, blows up a moon, blows up a series of planets, gets declared a traitor and has to hand in his Inquisitor Platinum Club Card…this guy is like a cross between an obsessive zoologist and a James Bond villain.

But it’s not all good news one slight down sides of the codex are the hint towards why the Nids are encroaching into the galaxy in the first place, I know it’s just a tease but I don’t really want to know why the Nids are here it just matters to me that they are here. The codex hints that they have eaten everything in their own galaxy (which sounds cool) or they are running away from something even bigger and scarier than them (which sounds a bit shite). The Nids are classic horror bad guys for the 40K universe we don’t need to know their backstory, we just need to know that they are here and they are hungry. That’s it. I hope they don’t try and dig into this part, as for me it would ruin their mystery and the threat that they carry. We don’t need to know why Michael Myers decided to stabbity stab stab his sister, we don’t need to know why zombies have suddenly decidedly to get out their graves and go for a quick munch down the local town we just need to know it’s happening.

But that’s enough about that side for now let’s focus on the other major part of the book, for some people possibly the only part of the book the data slates. I don’t want to review all the units as this article is long enough already so I am going to focus on the ones I have and this will lead me on nicely to the other part of this month’s claim, the building of the start collecting set.

In the set you get a Broodlord, eight Genestealers and the kit that lets you build either a Mawloc, Trygon or Trygon Prime all for fifty pounds (which is a good deal as if you were to buy them all individually it would set you back seventy nine pounds so that’s a good saving). It also gives you a HQ choice, troop choice and a heavy support choice so it does get you a patrol detachment right away. Now I haven’t played any open or narrative games yet under 8th so this next bit is going to focus more on matched play (which I have played to varying degrees of success)

Pre the big FAQ the Broodlord probably wouldn’t have gotten a look in for most competitive tournament lists as Flying Hive Tyrant spam was just too good, but post FAQ which limits the spam, spam, baked beans and spam with a side order of spam…spamity spaaaammmmmmm…sorry slipped into Monty Python mode there…I think the Broodlord is an alright choice, looks to be a combat beast with a bit of psychic back up as always, though with close combat specialists the trick will be getting him there. The downside is really that you can still have three Flying Hive Tyrants and the Neurothrope is a cheap HQ choice now for unlocking detachments. Model wise the Broodlord is excellent, a looming menace with outstretched claws encircling it’s prey, with its wee plotting hands giving it a subtle hint of plotting cunning (if it had a moustache those wee plotting hands would be twirling it) you get the feeling he would fuck you up pretty bad, which is nice. Putting the model together was pretty straightforward the only bit that needed some extra attention was getting the bugger to stick to the scenic base he comes with.

The Genestealers are classic monsters from the 40K universe, I first remember coming across them in the boxed game Space Crusade, but I was young and full of hormones at the time, they just look cool and dangerous rushing forward with their many arms for slashing and rending whilst doing their best Gene Simmons impressions…bless em. They look pretty solid stat wise, murder machines if they can get into combat. They have a new trick called infestation nodes, instead of setting up the unit of stealers you set up a node instead with the stealers lurking inside it. Sounds interesting, certainly adds to their survivability but would need to test it out in an actual game to get the full measure of it. Model wise the stealers haven’t really changed, it’s still the same kit from 2004 so annoyingly you can’t load them all up with scything talons straight from the box plus the scale of infestation nodes compared to the stealers themselves is a little off. If my eight stealers can fit inside that node then they should be on Terra’s Got Talent deserving of a shot at the Emperor’s Variety Show. They have made use of certain different heads though which is good so the one with the testicles dangling from its chin now has access to acid maw and the one with pointy spikes coming out the mouth has got flesh hooks, both look good upgrades for them.

I built the Trygon Prime, the reason for this was because I was favouring Hive Fleet Kronos and I liked the idea of all the psychic tomfoolery they can get up to, so the idea was the Prime would be the warlord pop next to enemy psychers and fuck their shit up good and proper. The whole kit is excellent, very easy to put together and is a good centrepiece for the small army, it’s a big brute with lots of pointy bits and teeth, if it does as much harm to my opponents army as it did to my fingers when putting it together I shall be a happy man. Rules wise it’s a big bruiser, with lots of high strength attacks, some alright shooting but I think the Prime will really come into its own when the army has expanded a bit more and can take advantage of it tunnelling rule, which lets another unit appear with it.

I think this starting set will be tricky to use, especially with matched play, as it’s all centred round combat but I love them all and will be naming them as well.

So that’s this month taken care off, what can we expect for next month? Well this is where it’s going to get really difficult as I want to paint them all for next time – to help with this I have already spray painted. Now this means selecting a Hive Fleet for a colour scheme or just coming up with something on my own, the idea of using a Hive Fleet from the codex was tempting as you could follow a painting guide, would look themed and opponents would see everything was the same thing. Downside to that was what if I wanted to use different Hive Fleets for different detachments, sure could just paint them as the different ones but that would mean re-painting or getting new models every time I decided to try something new out with them. Making up my own Hive Fleet could mean it could be any Hive Fleet and for different detachments maybe just a different colour for the base rim…But what would be a cool name for my own Hive Fleet? What would strike fear into the hearts of my foes? What would sound cool?

…cue my five year old son…

Hive Fleet Kylo Ren has been born!!!

Until next time keep it gribbly.


*Sean Morris Tactics 101


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