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Another quite different tyranid approach

 Post subject: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:50 am 
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Hi all,

After having some bad experiences on how do tyranids perform on the table against how was I envisioning them, I started to think on another method in which their particular behavior could be ruled. My main concerns/aims where as follows:

1) Synapse creatures looked quite restricted to their formations, while I was envisioning them as lighthouses in the wave, directing any minions around to kill and die.

2) Swarms where attacking, losing combats due to heavy loses on gaunts, reinforcing and coming back (or escaping as they'd lose again and they're better at resisting than they are at killing), instead of staying there until the enemy died or they did.

3) Swarms weren't felt as threats, due to their low firefight value (so they hit only on their turn, and only if they can and not in every colleague’s turn: close combat occurs once, while firefight occurs continuously).

I’d like to ideally have a tsunami of critics and analysis on this from way more experienced players.

Quote:
Strategy: 1

Initiative: 1+. Swarm clusters don’t activate.

Cluster: A pack of units that can be purchased with points in this army list. There are 3 types: synapse, swarm and independent.

Swarm cluster: A formation from the “swarm cluster” section of the army list (with no synapse creature). Swarm clusters can’t activate by themselves.

Synapse cluster: A formation from the “synapse cluster” section of the army list (composed only of synapse creatures). Synapse clusters activate swarm clusters when activating.

Independent cluster: A formation from the “independent cluster” section of the army list (with no synapse creature). They’re formations of their own, never affected by the rules of “synapse”.

Synapse (X): “X” is the “synapse range” of the unit in cm, measured from its own base.

A unit with the synapse rule counts all units within synapse range and all units from their own formation as if they’d be a single formation when assigning hits received (even hits from BMs when broken or in crossfire). Any BM additional to the casualties will be taken by the cluster the hit or casualty was inflicted to.

Synapse creatures can also transfer any additional BM they receive to any formation within synapse range, at the moment of receiving it (and not after). This refers to BMs not generated by casualties, like the additional BMs from barrages, crossfires, failures to activate or supports to a lost assault.

Synapse formations automatically succeed in regroup checks. Swarm clusters within synapse range of a synapse unit automatically succeed in regroup checks. Swarm clusters out of a synapse unit synapse range automatically fail regroup checks.

Swarm clusters with no unit within a synapse unit synapse range can contest objectives, but can’t claim them.

When a synapse unit activates, it can force to activate each unbroken and not previously activated swarm cluster within synapse range. Make one roll for the full group, as if it would be a single formation (so a -1 to the roll applies if any activating cluster has BMs). All clusters activated will perform the same action and against the same target, as if they would be one same formation (they need to keep formation with their clusters and keep at least one unit within synapse range of an activating synapse unit).

When declaring an assault against a synapse creature, the opponent assaults indeed every cluster within the synapse range of the synapse formation. Assaulting a single swarm cluster separately is, however, perfectly valid, and any clusters around would just support, if possible.

Any assault where a synapse unit is still directly involved (not supporting) and the synapse unit side loses, is considered to have rolled a draw result in the die roll (the losing side suffers casualties without a save equal to the difference by which it lost combat and another round will be fought after countercharges).

Swarming (X): Tyranids use micetic spores, regeneration and home breeding for keeping their numbers. To represent this, any tyranid unit removed as a casualty is put aside the game table in a “swarming bank”, instead of getting out of the game. Each swarm cluster with a swarming value rolls a die after regrouping. Add to the cluster as many same type units from the swarming bank as the die roll divided by the formation’s swarming value (rounded down). If the swarm is a war engine, recover on the formation as many lost DC as units would be added by the roll (owners choice where do these DC go). Killed war engines never come back to the table and annihilated formations don't reapear back (roll only for still existing units).

Gaunt: Units with the “gaunt” rule never gain a BM for receiving a casualty (not even from crossfire). Gaunt casualties never count on combat resolution.

Mobility: Tyranid WE, AV and LV all count as INF for moving through terrain. They don’t receive the INF cover save bonus though. This rule doesn’t apply to units with the skimmer or jump-packs rules.


Quote:
Additional overall changes on general tyranid armies:
- Fearless units aren’t fearless anymore: synapse reflects this rule better.
- Synapse swarms have only a finite number of synapse unit choices per swarm, probably quite expensive.
- For each synapse swarm, a number of swarm clusters are mandatory (probably three).
- Commander has no use anymore and is removed in favor of synapse.
- No leaders around: covered by the “always regroup” thing.
- Maybe some inspiring synapse creatures would be nice now that is a kill or die assault thing (or loses could be overwhelming). I was tempted to write “synapse creatures are inspiring”, but that’s too much to say without a lot of beta-testing first.
- A limit of ¼ or 1/3 of independent swarms for including genestealers, lictors, micetic spores (high swarming on the spores as I see it happen) or such units.
- Probably swarming possibility in most of the clusters, even if it has to happen with values of 5 or 6 in a die.
- Probably all independent swarms would have the "gaunt" rule, as they were sent to the planet to die, and they don't care if their mate dies: I like it better than fearless, so they don't retreat usually, and it will compensate for the horrible regrouping they'd have compared to the rest, and for the usual thought of "fearless" genestealer, spores and lictors.


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:58 am 
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Sigh, not again..... :-\ I think there's no real clear idea how nids work and just about every man and his dog has an opinion. It's the reason no Nid list has ever been completed.


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:26 am 
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too complicated. too much potential for confusion or abuse during the game. i like the idea, but i just plain dont think its workable.

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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:54 am 
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Dobbsy wrote:
Sigh, not again..... :-\ I think there's no real clear idea how nids work and just about every man and his dog has an opinion. It's the reason no Nid list has ever been completed.

I thought it was because the elected ac goes awol

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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:09 am 
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That too.


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:52 am 
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etriustremere wrote:

2) Swarms where attacking, losing combats due to heavy loses on gaunts, reinforcing and coming back (or escaping as they'd lose again and they're better at resisting than they are at killing), instead of staying there until the enemy died or they did.


well, in my opinion nyds attack in waves, they attack, defender pushes them back, they refroup and attack again, defender pushes them back... until due to attrition the defender is beated... i dont think they stay there until someone die, but attack once and again until they beat their opponent testing in each attack a new way to kill their enemies...


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:58 am 
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That's going to require measurement for almost anything that ever happens, from being shot at to assigning orders, to shooting themselves, and so on, plus the bookeeping of which clusters have activated or not. Considering there should be 20 clusters or so on the table, that's a lot of marking since there are no fixed fms.

As for tyranids, I used arkturas' list quite a lot and was competitive against a range of opponents (3rd place in Bristol for what it's worth). It was the combination of good saves and planetfall that did it for me, in this case the coordination of the swarms on the ground with the falling swarms so they'd all attack at once to compensate for the atrocious SR.

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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:07 am 
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Too complicated. It'd be a nightmare both to play and to play against. KISS is the rule to go by when designing wargames rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:17 am 
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Interesting ideas. (Note that I agree with Dobbsy before reading anything else)

This could be used in a style of NETEpic, but for the faster simplified game of EA I do think that it is too complicated. I would also be concerned as to the final costing of units as there are several cost multipliers in the special rules.

Again I say an interesting take, but can we please support Dobbsy and give full battle reports so that we can see your issues more clearly. Once the EpicUK GT is out of the way I'm hoping to get some tests in on this list.


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:44 am 
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Tim, Dave is the AC for nids....sure Dobbys would appreciate any Marine tests you can do thought..just sayin :)


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:52 am 
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D'oh. Must try and get more sleep. I can see the GT going badly if I'm like this the day before :-[


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:15 pm 
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Quote:
Sigh, not again..... I think there's no real clear idea how nids work and just about every man and his dog has an opinion. It's the reason no Nid list has ever been completed.


Unluckily I wasn't yet in the community by the time all the discussion was held, so I couldn't participate in the originals. That's why I come with some ideas now, after testing what came out of those discussions.

Quote:
well, in my opinion nyds attack in waves, they attack, defender pushes them back, they refroup and attack again, defender pushes them back... until due to attrition the defender is beated... i dont think they stay there until someone die, but attack once and again until they beat their opponent testing in each attack a new way to kill their enemies...


Speaking from my experience in WH40K, playing tyranids since 2nd edition (playing the game since 1st, even if I've left it a bit aside in favor of less random games), tyranids have never retreated and come back; they've always been the real fearless: the ones that stay in combat whatever it happens, psuhing the enemy, even suffering additional wounds, until they could break the line or die. Once casualties were too bad, then the full nid retreated (leaving just death units behind, and not "refreshing" them).

There was a time when orks retreated when in small numbers, joining higher number units. It's been a usual eldar tactic also, and it's a very space marine like tactic nowadays ("they shall feel no fear"), but never happened to tyranids.

I don't recall it from the WH40K literature either, if we don't expand a WH40K battle to a week span, and it doesn't look like that, provided the difference of scale against WH40K. Maybe half a day or a day, against an hour, but not a week.

Quote:
That's going to require measurement for almost anything that ever happens, from being shot at to assigning orders, to shooting themselves, and so on, plus the bookeeping of which clusters have activated or not. Considering there should be 20 clusters or so on the table, that's a lot of marking since there are no fixed fms.


As I see it happen: If you match synapse range with the BP templates, no measuring is almost needed. Either the big one for good synapse (maybe just the dominatrix, who has a 60cm range of synapse in WH40K) units or the small one for bad synapse units which migt go in numbers.

Then, if you've played bloodbowl, you know the trick: turn the mini to your side or turn the mini to the opponent (the furthest one), so you know what have you activated and what haven't. Most of the time you can do it as you haven't much firing arc; when you have, having all the cluster looking to one side and one mini to another should be pretty clear...

Note also that synapse units activate clusters at the beginning of their activation, so you should keep them close to the swarms both before and after movement, and during retreats. Doesn't look like they'll be crossing the table: I was thinking on 5 to 15cm synapse radiuses, so it should be quite controllable, wouldn't it?

And BPs would be great weapons against tyranids, as they've ever been.

Quote:
Too complicated. It'd be a nightmare both to play and to play against. KISS is the rule to go by when designing wargames rules.


Have you tried to play against necrons and their "special deployment" and marshalling? I'm sure it looked really odd in first instance for the opponent. Now it's just assumed to happen and we try to strategize around. It's a matter of getting used in three games.

I don't think eldar come and goes and mobile portals will be so different and confussing for the enemy, but I have yet to check it.

The way to control any possible abuse is through list building I think, and from rule (X) tuning.

I agree this list is a bit odder in rules than the existing one, but I think that it's the so different ruling more than the real execution what makes it feel complicated.

I need to add this was my "most complicated but more appealing" option for a change in tyranids. It came after a partial game yesterday against orks and seeing how does the ork line advance: quite a good unbreakable front and horrible in hand to hand, not unlike I see the tyranids happening. Usually the only difference between orks and Tyranids is that the seconds tend to use quality instead of that much number (but with higher morale and unbreakability).

This gave me an easier idea (that I like less in favor of the variety and flavour, but could still work fine):
Quote:
Just adding lots of inspiring (maybe each synapse unit), and changing the gaunt deaths to the type of deaths the gretchins have (I still don't understand why should there be two different rules: I'd rather see the termagaunts not come back to table than see them die and demoralize a hive tyrant... fearless, but running out to take back some more friends).


The problem is it sound so ork except due to the better quality of troops against the huge number of the orks (as it should be). The reason is that the way the orks perform in assault fronts looks in the table like the way the tyranids should indeed.

Quote:
As for tyranids, I used arkturas' list quite a lot and was competitive against a range of opponents (3rd place in Bristol for what it's worth). It was the combination of good saves and planetfall that did it for me, in this case the coordination of the swarms on the ground with the falling swarms so they'd all attack at once to compensate for the atrocious SR.


I agree this seemed working in the previous list, but it doesn't look very nid to me (this is a micetic invasion, which is not reflected in the current lists). WHen representing a nid you're supposed to have already a very sturdy line (not individuals; the line itself), always advancing and eating whatever they pass, and which is never retreating: kill or die, that's always been tyranid.


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:37 pm 
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We've just hashed out a new set of special rules, and we're not looking to rewrite them at the moment. Sorry if they don't meet your expectations, but this is the direction we're going in for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Just a quick remark on your Synapse activation system: Although the fluidity of your proposal seems very Tyranid, I think a versatile formation composition system is the easier way to go, since it streamlines Tyranids into an existing core rules system, instead of breaking it totally. A formation is a formation, and in my opinion it should remain so for every army.

On gaunts: Grotz are limited in numbers, whereas gaunts are not. The Grotz rule is certainly annoying to play against, but there is a limit to its effect. The same rule applied to tyranids would be extremely abusable. With a 40cm engagement range for hormagaunts, you could set up engagements where you risked no casualties at all.

Before the current iterations of the army lists, there was a 1/2-gaunt rule, letting you ignore half the casualties for the purpose of assault resolution. This was seen by many (including the current AC) as abusable, and in my opinion it was during Tyranid engagements.

With that being said, it is good to see fresh ideas and perspectives.

/Fredmans


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 Post subject: Re: Another quite different tyranid approach
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:47 pm 
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This proposal looks a lot like some earlier version of the Tyranid list.

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