Did someone say bugs?

Hey everybody,
It only seems like five minutes since I was happily writing up my plans at the end of August for what I would like to get finished, painting-wise, and patting myself on the back for how well I was doing for burning through the backlog. September is always a great hobby month for me, and I think I was looking forward to getting loads more done again, and then I just seemed to stall! At the very start of the month, I finished painting (and re-painting) the Dark Eldar Wyches that had found their way to the front of the queue, so I now have 20 Wyches and a Succubus finished for that aspect of the army, which is definitely exciting! It’s been far too long that I’ve had these miniatures floundering.

But then, I started to paint Tyranid Carnifexes! Why? I don’t know – I mean, they’re a project that has been going on almost as long as I’ve been in the hobby, it seems, but I had started to paint one of them around the time my eldest was born (she’s 3 next month), so I suppose it’s nice to have finished painting the two of them now.

I do love the Tyranids army, there’s something about seeing all my big bugs that just fills me with a weird kind of joy! The carnifex model, while I hate the fact that it goes together so poorly (it is quite old, after all), is one of the best 40k models out there, too. I just love the fact it’s this huge beastie that somehow manages to sit nicely in the palm of my hand while being full of deadly claws and teeth! I have been doing a bit of investigation into the carnifex unit, as well, and I am quite impressed, I have to say!

The first guy I have has got a pair of scything talons and a pair of crushing claws, in addition to which he has a bone mace, chitin thorns, acid maw and toxin sacs. He’s pretty tooled-up, then! As a base, carnifexes are S6, T7, W9 and A4. They move 8” and have WS3+. So they’re not the brightest buttons, bless them, but that does link in to the lore of them being mindless beasts that get flung into combat. Anyway. The way I’m thinking about splitting the four attacks is as follows:
– 1 attack for the bone mace (which grants 1 additional attack) – S7 AP-2 D2. Respectable.
– 2 attacks for the claws – S10 AP-3 Dd3+3
– 1 attack for the talons (which grants 1 additional attack) – S6 AP-3 D3.

So already, we’ve got a potential maximum 11 damage just from the basic attacks he’s making. Let’s make things really interesting, though:
– toxin sacs allow for unmodified 6s to hit auto-wounding (and Gorgon have a strat for 1CP to make that a 5+).
– the chitin thorns means I get to improve the AP of my attacks by 1.
– acid maw allows me to roll 3D6 before the fight begins, and for each 3+ I get to dish out 1 mortal wound.
– for 1CP, Voracious Appetite allows me to re-roll the wound roll.

This means that I could potentially add a maximum of 3 additional mortal wounds, so the maximum damage output is now 14 for these bad boys, if all goes well. But let’s not stop there, hey?

I’m playing as Hive Fleet Gorgon, which means that 4+ to wound is always successful (except against vehicles or titanic models). In addition, I’ve chosen exoskeletal reinforcement as my secondary hive fleet ability, which means AP-1 attacks are treated as AP0 attacks by my models. So that’s a nice bit of defensive capability there. The Gorgon-specific psychic power means that units affected by it deal one mortal wound on an unmodified 6 to wound, in addition to the usual damage – so it kinda goes against the toxin sacs ability a little bit, as I won’t be rolling those wound rolls for any 6s to hit, but the way I roll dice, it could still come into play. Finally, the warlord trait that I have chosen is Direct Guidance, which grants units +1 to hit (which works nicely, as any 2s will become 3s, so it will help to make them more accurate from the off).

Of course, I have another carnifex in the party as well. This one is a little more basic, just with four scything talons, but he also has tusks and adrenal glands. He’s modelled with a bone mace, but I’m not paying for that option (in retrospect, I wish I’d put a thresher scythe on his tail, but never mind!)

The scything talons mean he’s making a straight up 8 attacks at S6 AP-3 D3 each. He also has tusks, which means that I have access to a 1CP strat to roll a D6 at the end of the charge phase, on a 2-4 the target suffers 3 mortal wounds, but on a 5+ they suffer D3+3 mortal wounds. Very nice! His adrenal glands mean those talons are actually S7, and he’s moving 9” instead of 8”, and there is a stratagem that can boost the attacks by D3 on the charge for 1CP. So that is potentially 11 attacks at S7 AP-3 D3 each, with potentially 6 mortal wounds being dished out before we even start to trade punches!

Now, they are clocking in at around 130 points each, and there is a fair investment of command points for each of them, but I could see these guys being let loose in a squad of marines and just tearing them to literal pieces. It’s very exciting, I have to say!

I have yet to fully digest the Tyranids codex, mainly because it hasn’t really been a priority for me with having other army projects going on and whatnot – and the Tyranids army isn’t really close to completion as far as painting goes (though I do think I have all of the models that I would ever need for it, all the same…) I think I will need to overcome my natural reticence to get into melee, something that I have started to see with my Necrons in the last couple of games, with Lychguard and Wraiths doing so well, but even so – I think we’ll soon be looking at more bugs on the menu!