Sunday 5 January 2014

Oooh, that's quite shiny: Tyranids

Fair warning: I don't play much 40k. I have the odd game every now and then but in the I just buy models to paint them. So it's less interesting to me what a model does in game than how it looks. Which is also pretty much how I approach Fantasy models, as well, but just to make sure we're all aware this is about how pretty stuff is, not how it might enhance my/your army on the tabletop.

The look of Tyranids has always appealed to me: they have a very unified aesthetic that looks great en masse. I hate tanks, as well, by the way, can't paint them to save my life so you can imagine that only makes 'Nids more attractive as an army. Surprisingly, I've never had a 'Nid army, mainly because there aren't the character-creation opportunities more human armies present. But enough waffling from me, let's move onto waffling on about the models:

Tyranid Warriors/Tyranid Prime
So let's start small and work our way up. New Warriors, which is a good sign in a lot of ways. The old Warriors might not have had all the weapon options but they were good enough sculpts even twelve years after release. Now we've got a new sculpt with every option and an HQ choice slipped into the frame in the form of the Tyranid Prime. It's good to see that even with all the cool new monsters coming out in plastic there was room for GW to work on a kit that does little more than plug a few gaps, most of which were dealt with by Finecast conversion kits.

Hive Guard/Tyrant Guard
It's all about the Tyrant Guard for me. Tyranids with guns don't interest me as much as Tyranids with big claws shredding things. The huge carapace around the shoulders looks nice or like the Hive Mind has absorbed the 1980s concept of power-dressing, I'm not sure.

Harpy/Hive Crone
There's a flyer, of course there's a flyer because that's how this goes. I've been mainly underwhelmed by the fliers so far. I liked the Ork Bomba but the various Space Marine ones didn't interest me much. This one interests me more (probably because it's a big monster and I'm mainly a Fantasy player). I like the idea of the Hive Crone a lot: a creature that takes out enemy fliers by jumping on them, grabbing on, holing it with spikes on its tail and chest and vomiting acid on it. It satisfies the need to take out fliers whilst also allowing an option based on tooth and claw rather than ranged weapons.

Depending on your point of view the Exocrine is either a small Tyrannofex or a huge Biovore. I like that the head of the creature is massively out of proportion to the size of the gun or the legs stabilising it. It's not meant to be very smart, it's just a gun carriage and the gun itself is actually smarter than it is.

But for my money the best model in the release is the Haruspex, which is disgusting. It's a creature that fights by eating, and digesting its enemies. It looks vile. Yes, there's more than a hint of the Mutalith Hentai Tentacle Monster from the Warrios Of Chaos army but I rather like it.

(Images from the Games Workshop website).  

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