The new Hive Fleets have been with us for a month. For better or worse, the new codex will be with us for quite a while, and all over the world people are adapting to their new Nid neighbors. Lets talk about what we have discovered on the hard reality of the tabletop.
All the fevered panic responses have died down and only the cold insatiable mind of Great Devourer remains to hone its armylists to perfection. Here is what my splinter fleet has learned the hard way:
Hive Tyrants are still pretty awesome and worth the points. Their Hive Commander, Indescribable Horror, and Old Adversary options make them incredibly flexible and able to assist their armies almost like a monstrous combination of an Autarch and a Farseer all rolled into a nasty package. Tyrand guard are a very pricy upgrade, but are incredibly demoralizing to opponents and give you a much more cavilier approach to maneuvering your HQ to their maximum effectiveness.
Hive Guard, the new fangled Zoats of 5th edition are as nasty as they are hard to get your hands on. They are hardy and difficult to being down with their ability to kill from behind the safety of terrain. At once, they are utterly superior to biovores and most of the other ranged options for the hivefleets. Move over Tau SMSs, that BS:4 Impaler Cannon is a killer, and the doom of light and medium vehicles everywhere.
Tervigon’s aren’t all that, but they still have a potent place. All the early experiments of Termagant hordes scuttling forward into the enemy lines backed up by troops-Tervigons yielded uneven and expensive results. What the trusty Tervigon excels at however is hunkering on a rear objective, and pooping out scoring units to go to ground at the slightest disturbance, and lash out at anyone foolish enough to come close. It is an extremely difficult to shift defensive unit.
The Swarmlord, Doom of Malan’tai (hated by Hitler), and Deathleaper, all add potent abilities you can base an army around. Old One Eye and the Parasite of Mortrtex don’t.
The jury is still out on Mawlocs vs Trygons, but in my opinion that is a side effect of good balanced design. They are both very effective early game distractions and are more a matter of personal taste. Also, they are drop-dead beautiful.
Myectic Spores add some amazing abilities to the army, but its sooooooo easy to overdo it and build an army as unreliable and brittle as a Marine all drop-pod force. I find myself settling on 1-2 of these with medium costed occupants (zoanthropes, mixed warriors) to help fill in the weakspots of my mid-game battleline rather than risking the all or nothing “rain of spores” approach.
Finally, there are a good number of units in the codex across the pointcost spectrum that will never get taken, and some sadly have great models.
~So that’s where I am at the moment, 1 month in. What are you using with success on the tabletop? Your fellow Norn-queens thrist for your battlefield reports of both success and abject failure and dissapointment. Only then can we evolve into the perfect killing machine…