PDA

View Full Version : Followup to Tyranid Codex Survey



Paedan
10-02-2011, 19:11
Ok, it seems that I have enough responses for data analysis purposes. Out of the 40 'questions' posted, there were only a few cases where the distribution of the responses were unexpectedly large (also taking into account some oddball results, which I won't go into here).

I really want to thank everyone who participated in this exercise.

In brief (ok not so brief, but anyways)...

(1.) Background
Around 3. Many responses were along the lines that there was just as much 'good' as there was 'bad' stuff in the Codex, resulting in an average score, as opposed to everything being 'just average'.

(2.) Individual Descriptions
Around 4. The majority of responses were happy with the Codex in this regard.

(3.) Universal Special Rules
Around 3. This was one where the distribution curve's base was quite wide. The most commonly cited reason was dissatisfaction with the Shadow in the Warp's FAQ ruling where it cannot affect units inside of transports. "Fluffwise" this doesn't make any sense.... if the presence of a Hive Fleet 'silences' a whole world blocking astropathic communication for example, there's no way being inside a metal container would 'clear up' the channels again. This is a good example of a poor FAQ ruling, the Codex could have easily scored a 4 if Shadow in the Warp affected units inside transports.

(4.) Weapons, Upgrades and Armour
A little over 2. The distribution curve for this one is skewed to the left (a significant number of 'bad' results). Many respondents felt that the 4th edition Codex was better in this area. Although most felt that the new system of upgrades is balanced and easy to use, the majority felt the weapons were slightly sub-par compared to the 4th Edition Tyranids Codex, as well as the other 5th Edition Army Codexes.

(5.) Hive Tyrant
Around 4. Again this one has a distribution curve with a wide base. On the one hand, many respondents that gave it a low ranking considered it to be "too vulnerable for a monstrous creature" and "too costy in terms of points", but at the same time, almost just as many thought the points cost was "about right". The majority thought that the Tyrant could be a slight bit stronger/better for it's points cost.

(6.) Tyrant Guard
This one had a very narrow based distribution curve, between 3 and 4. The mean is slightly below 3.5. The majority of respondents felt that the Tyrant Guard was effective at what it does, although IMHO it only has one major duty, everything else is just a 'bonus'. Quite a number of respondents had the opinion that for it's cost it should have 3 wounds instead of 2, Feel no Pain, or perhaps a better armour save. The next survey/study coming soon will go into this.

(7.) Swarmlord
Around 4. The distribution curve for this one is skewed to the right (mostly 'good' results). Many respondents commented on it's 'Character Killing Ability' and nice abilities. However there were a few 'bad' comments such as 'lack of customization options' (which I feel is normal for Special Characters) and how long it takes for the Swarmlord to actually reach your target (again which I feel isn't it's fault, that's just the way monstrous creatures are). Also has similar 'vulnerable' comments as Hive Tyrant, but the survey did say to ignore synergistic relationships between units (such as the Tyrant Guards that would help mitigate their vulnerability quite significantly).

(8.) Tervigon
Just past 4.5, with a distribution curve severely skewed to the right. This is one of the most popular units in the 5th Edition Codex. Many respondents felt that it is 'good value for points' for a monstrous creature, has nice psychic abilities and best of all provides free troops. A Hormagaunt version of this HQ/Troops choice is a no-brainer... I'll call him the Horvigon.

(9.) Tyranid Prime
Around 4. This one had a wide distribution curve skewed to the right. Most respondents felt he was well-costed with a great ability (to improve the WS and more importantly BS of a Tyranid Warrior Unit it joins). However, a significant number of respondents complained about the ruling where the Prime wasn't allowed to join a unit of Warriors it had joined in a Mycetic Spore. Then let us ask, if a Space Marine Independant Character joins a unit of Tactical Space Marines, can they all go into a Drop Pod bought for said Space Marine unit? The sub-par level of Tyranid Shooting Weapons probably also contributed to a lower than possibly achieved score.

(10.) Parasite of Mortrex
Around 2. The distribution curve is skewed to the left. Many respondents considered it to be a liability in terms of kill-points, and might not be that good against Space Marine Equivalents. Although free, the unpopular Ripper Swarms considerably lowered the score for this Special Character. Maybe if it produced something else like Gargoyles (Genestealers, Termagaunts and Hormagaunts don't really make sense) then it could have had a higher score.

(11.) Hive Guard
Perhaps THE most popular unit out of the Codex, this is the distribution curve I'd like to see for everything in the book (after improvements/amendments). Needless to say around 5. IMHO, no matter where you put it, Elite or Heavy Support, it's still going to have competition for slots. These guys deserve to sell like hotcakes.

(12.) Lictor
Around 1, distribution curve severely skewed to the left. Most common 'dislikes' include the inability to assault when arriving from reserve (just popping up and shooting a few flesh hooks, in effect shouting "BOO!".... then getting shot to pieces and/or assaulted by something it probably can't beat because they couldn't dictate what to assault/fight.... not good at all in a design point of view), relative 'uselessness/tardiness' of the Pheromone Trail ability and vulnerability to Instant Death. Also, taking up an Elite slot is like one more nail in the coffin.

(13.) Deathleaper
Also around 1, for reasons similar to the Lictors.

(14.) Venomthroape
Around 3, this guy should actually win the "Best Supporting Actor in a Tyranid Movie" award, IMHO. As I stated in the conditions of my survey, even though we are trying to ignore it's interactions with other units (which could have bumped it's average score to a 4), most respondents still gave it a 3. The poison related abilities are quite well received. The only common 'dislike' is taking up an Elite slot (not it's fault, just too much competition in the Elites slot). There are many other responses elaborating it's other disadvantages, but weren't statistically significant with this sample size (IMHO the other disadvantages of the Venomthroape are reasonable, you can't make it too good, and please note it's role is that of a Supporter/Defender, not Assaulty Killer Murdering Psychomonster)

(15.) Zoanthroape
Around 4. Distribution curve is quite narrow, respondents generally agree that it ranks below the Hive Guard. Still, one of the more popular choices. The main reasons given are it's lower range (especially the Warp Lance), vulnerability to 'shut-down' but psychic hoods and vulnerability/squishyness even with a 3+ invulnerable save (as it can be taken out by instant death, massed infantry fire, tied up in assault, etc.) With slight improvements it can potentially be up there with the Hive Guard.

(16.) Doom of MalaníTai
Also around 4. However, the distribution curve has 2 peaks. Many respondents consider it to be over-powered. However, as it carries many of the same 'weaknesses' as ordinary Zoanthroapes, hence the shape of the curve. As the Zoanthroape, room for slight improvement.

(17.) Pyrovore
A definite 1. This poor guy received the most WTFs, profanity and insults. Needs a major overhaul. Or else the Pyrovore boxes will just sit there collecting dust at our local stores. I have a few ideas already, actually not that hard to improve (because there is so much room for improvement!).

(18.) Ymgarl Genestealers
Around 3, with a distribution slightly skewed to the right. Many respondents gave it a high rating due to it's special deployment rules, better armour save and their alter form ability, all in all well worth the points. However, the limit to the size of the unit, as well as some other factors, probably resulted in a lower score.

(19.) Tyranid Warriors
Around 3, but the distribution curve is skewed to the left, close to 2.5. Many respondents felt that they were too fragile for their points cost, being vulnerable to instant death. Also, respondents felt that their shooting was sub-par, but that is more the fault of the weapons choice category and not in itself a fault of the Tyranid Warriors. Those who gave it a high score noted that they can be very good up close in assault, but the points needed to gear them up as close combat specialists make it too much of an investment due to instant death vulnerability. Again, slight room for improvement.

(20.) Genestealers
Around 3.5, distribution curve skewed slightly to the right. The one major complaint was the fact that they lost the equivalent of assault grenades compared to previous editions. While IMHO assault grenades aren't in the flavour for the cheaper horde assault units (such as Genestealers and Hormagaunts) I already have a 'fair' idea to fix this.

(21.) Mycetic Spore
Around 2, the distribution curve is heavily skewed to the left. For it's cost it's just too weak compared to the Space Marine's Drop Pod, and it also has the disadvantage of the Limited Sentience quality. Something that can survive orbital entry shouldn't be so weak (can be instant killed too). The toughness of this unit should have been a 6 if you ask me.

(22.) Termagaunts
Around 3. The distribution curve is slightly skewed to the right. Because this survey ignored it's interaction with other units (Tervigon, duh!), the score was probably lower than it could be. Very slight room for improvement.

(23.) Hormagaunts
Around 3.5, deserves mention that the Hormagaunt statistically scored better than the Termagaunt (it's like the distribution curve for the Termagaunt entirely shifted to the right). If the lack of assault grenade option is solved, and a Tervigon equivalent for them added to the army list (I call it the Horvigon), we might have another winner in our hands.

(24.) and (25.) Ripper Swarms
Definite 1. Besides the Parasite of Mortrex, we might not even need this unit. A waste of space is an understatement. Sure, you could keep it in the Codex for completeness' sake, to give the player the option to field them, but who in their right mind would want to? I already have a great idea as to how to use the Ripper models included in most Plastic Kits in my ongoing improvements/amendments R&D.

(26.) Tyranid Shrikes
Around 3. Very interesting distribution curve. Two peaks, one at 2 and one at 4, the peak at score of 2 is higher than the one at score of 4. Some respondents like it's speed, and can be geared up quite well as close combat specialists, but most respondents dislike their squishyness (an armour save worse than regular warriors makes no sense, do you see Space Marines with Jump Packs with a worse armour save?) and vulnerability to instant death (the Shrikes share many of the cons as the Warriors). Room for improvement, more so than the Warriors.

(27.) Raveners
Around 3, but the distribution curve is very wide. There are many supporters who like it for it's board-crossing ability, as well as their close combat capability, but their vulnerability to instant death makes them less attractive. In terms of design, IMHO I think this is one of the most poorly executed units. Fluffwise this is something you want to burrow towards your enemy and pop out to attack your target, but due to the rules it is actually better to run them across the board. Also, acute senses? I would actually change them back to infantry but give them a Deep Strike related ability, to avoid Mishaps like the Trygon, and at the same time allow them to assault/affect an enemy unit it happens to Deep Strike on top (or under) of, kind of like the Mawloc. Already have a few possible proposals on this in the works.

(28.) Sky-slasher Swarm
Same deal as Ripper Swarms. Another glaring 1. Yes it is faster but so what?

(29.) Gargoyles
Around 5. This is another gem that rightfully competes with the Hive Guard for most popular Tyranid Unit. Many respondents give it props for cost-effectiveness, speed and usefulness in both the shooting and assault phases. The Termagaunts and Hormagaunts, at a similar points cost range, should be at this level of quality, which would make MANY Tyranid fans/players happy.

(30.) Harpy
Around 2.5, distribution curve skewed to the left. Also worth mentioning that this unit had the most 'missing values' or 'blanks'. Respondents that did comment on the Harpy felt it was too vulnerable as a monstrous creature, and due to it's Toughness is still vulnerable to instant death. Room for improvement.

(31.) Spore Mines
Around 2. Distribution curve skewed to the left. More on this in the Biovore's entry.

(32.) Carnifex
Sadly around 1. An overwhelming number of respondents consider the Carnifex to now be overpriced and incapable of properly doing it's job as an assault specialist. A few respondents still support it for it's options to take multiple shooting weapons, but if the Carnifex is to be improved/amended/fixed, it's going to take some work. No wonder there are so many Carnifexes on sale online nowadays, I think it's really sad.

(33.) Old One Eye
Also around 1. WAY too expensive, and needs the same improvements as the Carnifex.

(34.) Biovore
Around 3, with a distribution curve skewed to the right. I'm actually quite surprised by this result, as I'm not a fan of the Biovore and the Spore Mines. Personally for it's cost, I believe it should have a better statline, and/or the Spore Mine Launcher could be a slight bit better (for example if you don't improve the statline, you could give the Launcher and the Spore Mine explosion Rending, but that would probably be too good).

(35.) and (36.) Trygon and Trygon Prime
Around 5. The difference in the results between these two wasn't statistically significant. Basically the Trygon won "Best Tyranid Unit" in this survey, with many replacing Carnifex Sales references. The only thing responders didn't like about the Trygon that came up significantly was the way their Tunnel worked. If it worked like the Dark Eldar's Webway Portal that would be great, but that isn't very fair to Mr. Cruddace since the Trygon Tunnel was 'built' first.

(37.) Mawloc
Around 3.5, distribution curve skewed to the right. Of course, many respondents compared this to the Trygon, which may or may not be fair depending on how you look at it. When this guy works, it eats Marines for Breakfast, literally. If the Terror from the Deep ability was somehow improved, and it was given at least one pair of Scything Talons (why only Claws and Teeth) as well as WS4, then we'd have another winner on our hands.

(38.) Tyrannofex
Around 3 with distribution curve skewed to the left. I personally felt that this unit's design was too rushed. They should have given it rules more like a vehicle, like how a stationary vehicle can fire all it's weapons? Like many of the respondents, I feel that this guy is too expensive in terms of points, and should come with the Rupture Cannon at the start. In my improvements/amendments R&D I already have plans to change what weapons and upgrades it starts with before upgrade options. In my mind it should have at least both the Rupture Cannon and the Fleshborer Hive, and due to the Hive Mind should be able to fire all weapons it has at separate targets (which would make this expensive unit another winner IMHO).

(39.) FAQ
Around 2, this FAQ was not received well at all. I'll leave it at that, as this Tyranid FAQ has been criticized countless times. Let Shadow in the Warp seep through vehicles, and let the Tyranid Prime join his Warriors in a Mycetic Spore. Why not? It boggles the mind.

(40.) Overall
Around 3. Many respondents felt this was an "ok" Codex, or a "good Codex to beginners to start off with". To me, this isn't acceptable. All the Codexes should be on par with quality Codexes like the Dark Eldar's new Codex (again, subject to opinion). Many respondents felt it was a rushed work, lack of internal balance, and poor meta-game choices.

************************************************** *******
So, what was the point of all this you ask, if you're still with me?

Well, the data hopefully will reach the eyes of the designers at GW, who would be the only people allowed to make any improvement/amendment R&D efforts made OFFICIAL. I myself as well as several others I know have been working on such R&D to 'fix' issues in Codexes (no offense to Mr. Cruddace) such as internal balance and meta-game issues. We can all see the unit's distribution of 1s to 5s, and it doesn't look good.

My personal goal is to put forth an improvement/amendment R&D article that is considered balanced, well thought out and workable without changing too much of what is already printed in the 5th Ed. Tyranid Codex itself.
I'm not doing this for monetary or personal gain, I make my money fixing people's teeth. This is for a hobby I love that I hope my son can share with me in the future (he's only 3 right now though).
I'm thinking of a web article or pdf download placed on GW's websites, something that can be made free to fans who have already bought the book, followed by an article or two in White Dwarf to discuss the thought processes behind this R&D effort.
Once again, thanks to all the respondents of the Tyranid Codex Survey 2011, will probably post a survey seeking opinions for the possible amendments/improvements R&D proposal.

Cheers!

Stealin' Genes
10-02-2011, 19:30
Very interesting project :)

One point I'd disagree on, though. It's completely kosher and okay to make fun of Cruddace for screwing up the Trygon tunnel. The FW rules for this critter had a functional, logical tunneling rule that could have been easily copypasted into the new Tyranid book. Instead, we got something very silly.

And, yes, SM characters can join squads before deployment and then drop with them in pods. That's why the Tyranid player base reacted with such burning hate to the Prime ruling.

althathir
10-02-2011, 20:13
It is interesting I would be curious to see a similiar Survey for all the fractions before we try and draw conclusions from it though. Also Im not sure that a 5 for each unit should be the desired goal mainly getting ridding of all the ones and twos.

Also synergy should be include in the poll in some fashion because termagants do become much better with a tervigon and providing them a boost without considering those benefits can lead towards internal balance issues.

That said nice work

LususNaturae
10-02-2011, 20:22
Thanks for taking the time to do this! It's very interesting to see this data. I don't want to get my hopes up about amendments, but the recent space marine changes have lit this tiny candle...

Thanks for doing this service to the Tyranid community.

Ps - Hive Commander should stack :-P

Angelwing
10-02-2011, 20:25
I'll be keeping an eye out for the continuation of this work. Some interesting answers already.

Xarian
10-02-2011, 20:26
It's worth noting that the ridiculous point costs of the Carnifex and Old One Eye (and the less severe increase to the Tyrant) are a direct overreaction to their popularity in the last codex - the same reason that the old Marine "Las/Plas" squads got changed.

Notice how most of the new units are rated pretty highly - the Tyrannofex needs a little polishing, and the Pyrovore is definitely a WTF - but otherwise the "new" stuff turned out okay. The problem seems to be that Cruddace hamstrung himself by relying too much on the last codex and what was already around in 4e - rather than going for "internal balance" (by looking only at the 5e codex and 5e rules), he was going based on "external balance" - tournament results from 4e and by looking intensely at the 4e codex and already-existing stuff out there. For example, the Carnifex may have justified a points cost hike in the previous edition, where there were a (relatively) low number of weapons that could wound it effectively. In the current edition, however, it's not nearly as Tough as it was before, and seems like a frivolous waste of points.

I think the result of your polling just indicates what a lot of Tyranid players already knew... that GW has done a pretty good job alienating them lately, both with the codex and the FAQ. It would probably be in their best interests to completely re-evaluate the FAQ, and to prioritize the release of a new codex (possibly even just an electronic errata) that addresses (primarily) points costs and (secondarily) gives reasonable rules to units like the Tyrannofex, Trygon (tunnel), Mycetic Spores, and the lonely-because-nobody-loves-him Pyrovore.

The DE codex got an extremely positive response both in terms of balance (how the army performs in battle) and flavor (how closely the army adheres to the ideal that people hold for the army), and it'd be nice if Tyranid players could feel good about themselves, too.

Granted, though, because GW's codex development schedule is lethargic at best, it's not likely to happen. Though they should probably keep in mind that fixing the rules would lead to a drastic increase in sales for all the Pyrovores, Lictors, and Death Leapers that they've got collecting dust in their warehouses.

TheMav80
10-02-2011, 20:33
I would be interested to see something similar for all the recent 5th edition armies.

Souleater
10-02-2011, 21:53
I'd love to say I'm surprised by any of the poll results but really I'm not.

GW could probably re-write the Tyranid Codex and convert it to PDF in an afternoon with what this poll shows (and sadly what Nid players have known for the last year or so).

Thanks, though, to the OP for taking the time to post it and collate the results. I hope your hardwork bears fruit.

Paedan
11-02-2011, 01:07
Thank you all for your kind words. This survey is part 1 of my project, I will be looking forward to feedback and help with R&D in part 2.
Who knows, if this project succeeds I might do the same for another one of the "iffy" 5th edition Codexes.

A few responses to the above: I also agree that one of the more important goals of my amendment/improvement R&D project is to raise the units to 1s and 2s to at least a 4. I think some internal balance changes and some changes to keep the Codex and it's units on par with the other 5th Edition Codexes for other armies will do most of that. I have one or two Universal Special Rules I think would be useful, but still in the design stages.

I also think the Trygon Subterranean Tunnel as written in Imperial Armour Apocalypse is easier/cleaner/works better than the one found in the 5th Edition Codex, but probably could use another rewrite/tweak. As I said before, it should work something like the Dark Eldar's Webway Portal, but limited to Tyranid models on foot. Probably Termagaunts, Hormagaunts and Raveners.

The purpose of trying to isolate each unit and examining them on their own was to try and see how good each unit was written/modified on it's own merit. Because I don't think one should have to take a poorly written, weak unit because it comes with a uber-strong, 5 star monster. Am I making sense?

I understand the results aren't anything ground-breaking, but I think this shows the problem as well. The fans (us) who pay for a Codex for a collection of models can obviously see that it is still lacking in some areas. If you look at other collectible hobbies that are playable games as well (look at Trading Card Games for example), you'll see that their designers/companies will have amendments/errata/changes made if something goes wrong or isn't as well received as they had expected.

To use an example (don't know if this is allowed in this forum, let me know if it isn't?), the spell Lightning Bolt in Magic the Gathering was considered "Overpowered for it's cost" over many years. When I first started playing in High School, my red burn deck had 4 copies of the card. It was replaced by a weaker Shock card. But due to changes in the metagame, it has returned in recent years. I honestly thought Lightning Bolt would NEVER EVER return to that card game. Now if Ancestral Recall returned... but that would not be so good for the metagame hahaha.... anyways....

The point I'm trying to make is 2 things: don't let older editions or what has come before affect you too much, instead look at the metagame as it is now, and also as a game as well as a collectible, the rules (Codexes) should not be as static as they are now, but rather free to be amended/improved. Sure the Codexes are printed out, but if the designs are good, then minimal amendments/improvements would be needed in the first place. I think fans would be happy to buy the Codex and then download any amendment/improvement documents on the GW website, rather than having to just 'sit back and accept' what they feel needs more work.

Paedan
11-02-2011, 05:47
Well, thanks to the survey and everyone's input, I've had quite a few many breakthroughs/ideas today. It's like my muse has arrived.

Anyways, I will be posting the first draft of the Proposed Tyranid Codex Improvements/Amendments in the forums tonight, then after everyone has had a look at it (to evaluate the effectiveness and under/over-poweredness of said changes), I will make further fine-tuning adjustments.

Please keep an open mind, as I will introduce a few new Universal Special Rules, thank you all so much, and keep an eye out for the first draft tonight. Cheers.

zantis
11-02-2011, 05:54
I really hope GW actually listens to this. Maybe my nids will get to shake off the dust and see the table again before 6th edition, where GW will continue to follow their pattern of nerfing and buffing, and make infantry armies good again.

Malphax
11-02-2011, 06:29
I think you'll have more success with the survey results than you will with the revamped codex suggestions. Not because the suggestions are bad (most of them are great) but because GW really needs to understand why Nid players are upset, and how to avoid it in the future.

Paedan
11-02-2011, 16:56
Oh in case anyone here is still following my project, the Proposed Tyranid Codex Amendments/Improvements thread has been moved to the GW Rules Development Forum.

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292843

Cheers.

PostinDirty
15-02-2011, 06:32
i really wish i had known that this was to attempt to petition GW for change, because then i wouldn't have participated.

i'm sorry, but the whole thing smacks of bad statistics and sloppy experimental design. kudos to you for not revealing the purpose to the end in an attempt to mitigate that variable, but i don't think your sampling group is any good, nor is your own personal bias going into conducting this.

Dreachon
15-02-2011, 09:41
Well that certainly was a nice indepth survery of the nid codex, I have to agree with it on almost each point.
I would be glad to help with your R&D to improve the cdoex which really shouldn't require all that much work, a few simple alterations and it should be fine.

Depulsor
15-02-2011, 15:01
Niche survery indeed.


(40.) Overall
Around 3. Many respondents felt this was an "ok" Codex, or a "good Codex to beginners to start off with". To me, this isn't acceptable. All the Codexes should be on par with quality Codexes like the Dark Eldar's new Codex (again, subject to opinion).

Tbh that is a bit greedy. ;) The DE-Codex was exeptionally good, and I dont think we can see that as "standard".

theJ
15-02-2011, 16:23
I must say, I'm not sure how much help you had from my input, but it sure felt good writing it :)

Cheers, and good luck!
/J

LonelyPath
15-02-2011, 16:53
It's not just Shadow in the Warp that should seep through vehicle armour, but Spirit Leech as well. Like the rest though, that topic's been done to death.

Torpedo Vegas
15-02-2011, 17:06
It's not just Shadow in the Warp that should seep through vehicle armour, but Spirit Leech as well. Like the rest though, that topic's been done to death.

If they made Spirit Leech affect embarke dunits, I don't care how fluffy it is, I would book a flight to the UK and strangle whoever did the FAQ. The Doom is already tough enough as is, though I agree that shadow in the warp should affect embarked units, its doesn't have the potential to be as game breakingly OP as Spirit Leech.

Great job, and thanks for taking the time to do this. Your results really show what, IMHO, is wrong with the nids codex. It has an abundance of cool units, but only a few are actually "effective" compared to the rest. The same thing happens in the Guard codex, they don't have any really bad units, its just that there are some truly exceptional one that make everything else look bad.

Notanoob
16-02-2011, 04:23
I love that you did this, I just throw in my thoughts.


(1.) Background
Around 3. Many responses were along the lines that there was just as much 'good' as there was 'bad' stuff in the Codex, resulting in an average score, as opposed to everything being 'just average'.I think average is a bit generous, non of the new fluff was reasonable at any level or good at portraying what our army is about accurately, and we hardly ever win. The way that the old dex was written out as a nice big story following Kryptman and the suspense and fear of the unknown was far superior to the new stuff. Also, unfluffy additions really push the score down. I personally believe that those who think the fluff is fine aren't that in to it.


(2.) Individual Descriptions
Around 4. The majority of responses were happy with the Codex in this regard.I found them to be poor, at least with regards to the new unit's entries, very few of them had a reason to exist. They had little reason to exist, fluff wise.


(3.) Universal Special Rules
Around 3. This was one where the distribution curve's base was quite wide. The most commonly cited reason was dissatisfaction with the Shadow in the Warp's FAQ ruling where it cannot affect units inside of transports. "Fluffwise" this doesn't make any sense.... if the presence of a Hive Fleet 'silences' a whole world blocking astropathic communication for example, there's no way being inside a metal container would 'clear up' the channels again. This is a good example of a poor FAQ ruling, the Codex could have easily scored a 4 if Shadow in the Warp affected units inside transports.There were quite a few stinkers really, Living Battering Ram vs. Crushing Claws, Trygon Tunnels, Lictors in general, and of course Shadow. But more concerning is the lack of EW.


(4.) Weapons, Upgrades and Armour
A little over 2. The distribution curve for this one is skewed to the left (a significant number of 'bad' results). Many respondents felt that the 4th edition Codex was better in this area. Although most felt that the new system of upgrades is balanced and easy to use, the majority felt the weapons were slightly sub-par compared to the 4th Edition Tyranids Codex, as well as the other 5th Edition Army Codexes.If the gun isn't called an Impaler cannon or Devourer, it might as well stay home. I feel most guns are just used out of desperation and a lack of alternatives. 90% of the upgrades in a unit entry will never see the light of day (consider when you will ever buy a Termagants something other than basic or with Devourers). And finally, the lack of an ability to upgrades saves, T, and the general cutting of our biomorphs is quite jarring from last edition. I feel 1 or 2 is very justified.


(5.) Hive Tyrant
Around 4. Again this one has a distribution curve with a wide base. On the one hand, many respondents that gave it a low ranking considered it to be "too vulnerable for a monstrous creature" and "too costy in terms of points", but at the same time, almost just as many thought the points cost was "about right". The majority thought that the Tyrant could be a slight bit stronger/better for it's points cost.The Tyrant is good...but very different from last edition and only worth it in big games. Most of the upgrades suck or are overpriced, and the fact that it can't get Catalyst, Dominion or Hypnotic Gaze is strange. 3.5-4 I think, just too situational to be anything more.


(6.) Tyrant Guard
This one had a very narrow based distribution curve, between 3 and 4. The mean is slightly below 3.5. The majority of respondents felt that the Tyrant Guard was effective at what it does, although IMHO it only has one major duty, everything else is just a 'bonus'. Quite a number of respondents had the opinion that for it's cost it should have 3 wounds instead of 2, Feel no Pain, or perhaps a better armour save. The next survey/study coming soon will go into this.Compare it to last codex, and you'll realize that it's overpriced, and wouldn't be taken if we had proper durability upgrades. More of a desperation option, and single boneswords are overpriced. Why do we pay the same for a single bonesword when warriors pay less for two? 3.


(7.) Swarmlord
Around 4. The distribution curve for this one is skewed to the right (mostly 'good' results). Many respondents commented on it's 'Character Killing Ability' and nice abilities. However there were a few 'bad' comments such as 'lack of customization options' (which I feel is normal for Special Characters) and how long it takes for the Swarmlord to actually reach your target (again which I feel isn't it's fault, that's just the way monstrous creatures are). Also has similar 'vulnerable' comments as Hive Tyrant, but the survey did say to ignore synergistic relationships between units (such as the Tyrant Guards that would help mitigate their vulnerability quite significantly). A good unit, but somewhat redundant, and of course slow. I won't deny that he's good, but you misunderstand the customization issue. Nids don't have special characters. The Old One Eye, Red Terror and Deathleaper are just unique one-off mutations that are latter incorporated as upgrades into regular units, like Regeneration and the Mawloc. However, the Swarmlord is genofixed and constantly reappearing. He should have just shown up at Macrage, then have his current special rules as Hive Tyrant upgrades, so you could have a swarmlord, just add one wound to him, buy Psychic Abomination, duel Boneswords and Hive Commander. But no, the super valuable support and strategist is a slow CC based unit with no ranged weapons to support the swarm. Does this make much sense at all?


(8.) Tervigon
Just past 4.5, with a distribution curve severely skewed to the right. This is one of the most popular units in the 5th Edition Codex. Many respondents felt that it is 'good value for points' for a monstrous creature, has nice psychic abilities and best of all provides free troops. A Hormagaunt version of this HQ/Troops choice is a no-brainer... I'll call him the Horvigon. Rediculously good, but some dumb upgrades exists, and more importantly, it makes no sense. How is it that by standing near by, a Termagant, and only a Termagant can suddenly be dripping with toxins, but if he steps too far away, they suddenly disappear? How can one create and give birth to 106 Termagants in the space of a few minutes (consider what a game of 40K would look like in real time), while another can only make 3? If anything, the Terv should have worked like a transport.


(9.) Tyranid Prime
Around 4. This one had a wide distribution curve skewed to the right. Most respondents felt he was well-costed with a great ability (to improve the WS and more importantly BS of a Tyranid Warrior Unit it joins). However, a significant number of respondents complained about the ruling where the Prime wasn't allowed to join a unit of Warriors it had joined in a Mycetic Spore. Then let us ask, if a Space Marine Independant Character joins a unit of Tactical Space Marines, can they all go into a Drop Pod bought for said Space Marine unit? The sub-par level of Tyranid Shooting Weapons probably also contributed to a lower than possibly achieved score.I find that his Warrior buffing ability is irrelevant, as the extra WS almost never matters since they're already WS5, and since they're shooting sucks the extra BS matters little as well. The Prime's real attractions are that he's cheap and he's a S8 wound condom. He's always with Venomthropes or Zoanthropes to soak up the missiles or meltas that come their way, or hanging out with Hive Guard to make sure they shoot straight. He's pretty good at 4, but the lack of a Shrike/Ravener version and the FAQ hurt him a lot.


(10.) Parasite of Mortrex
Around 2. The distribution curve is skewed to the left. Many respondents considered it to be a liability in terms of kill-points, and might not be that good against Space Marine Equivalents. Although free, the unpopular Ripper Swarms considerably lowered the score for this Special Character. Maybe if it produced something else like Gargoyles (Genestealers, Termagaunts and Hormagaunts don't really make sense) then it could have had a higher score.Yeah, the random number of really **** poor Rippers is what kills this guy, that and being T4. I think that he's more of a 2.5 though.


(11.) Hive Guard
Perhaps THE most popular unit out of the Codex, this is the distribution curve I'd like to see for everything in the book (after improvements/amendments). Needless to say around 5. IMHO, no matter where you put it, Elite or Heavy Support, it's still going to have competition for slots. These guys deserve to sell like hotcakes.Practically too good, I would never take them if it weren't for the fact that we have no other means of anti tank that are anything more than sub par. The fluff and stats of these guys make no sense whatsoever. 5 for individual rules, 1 for fluff. Also, genofixed units make me sad.


(12.) Lictor
Around 1, distribution curve severely skewed to the left. Most common 'dislikes' include the inability to assault when arriving from reserve (just popping up and shooting a few flesh hooks, in effect shouting "BOO!".... then getting shot to pieces and/or assaulted by something it probably can't beat because they couldn't dictate what to assault/fight.... not good at all in a design point of view), relative 'uselessness/tardiness' of the Pheromone Trail ability and vulnerability to Instant Death. Also, taking up an Elite slot is like one more nail in the coffin.Absolute, irredeemable ****. His special deployment just ruins every other ability he possesses.


(13.) Deathleaper
Also around 1, for reasons similar to the Lictors.More like a 2 really, he at least has useful rules like the Ld reducer and high enough WS to make Marines hit him on 5s.


(14.) Venomthroape
Around 3, this guy should actually win the "Best Supporting Actor in a Tyranid Movie" award, IMHO. As I stated in the conditions of my survey, even though we are trying to ignore it's interactions with other units (which could have bumped it's average score to a 4), most respondents still gave it a 3. The poison related abilities are quite well received. The only common 'dislike' is taking up an Elite slot (not it's fault, just too much competition in the Elites slot). There are many other responses elaborating it's other disadvantages, but weren't statistically significant with this sample size (IMHO the other disadvantages of the Venomthroape are reasonable, you can't make it too good, and please note it's role is that of a Supporter/Defender, not Assaulty Killer Murdering Psychomonster)If he was T5 W2 (maybe even Sv4+), he'd be perfect, but unfortunetly, every Venomthrope means less Hive Guard. 3.5 IMO.


(15.) Zoanthroape
Around 4. Distribution curve is quite narrow, respondents generally agree that it ranks below the Hive Guard. Still, one of the more popular choices. The main reasons given are it's lower range (especially the Warp Lance), vulnerability to 'shut-down' but psychic hoods and vulnerability/squishyness even with a 3+ invulnerable save (as it can be taken out by instant death, massed infantry fire, tied up in assault, etc.) With slight improvements it can potentially be up there with the Hive Guard.Good, but they're Hive Guard -1 and monotasked to stop LRs with a range so short it doesn't matter. If we could still pull a Psychic Choir with them, or give them Catalyst they'd be a bit better, but psychic hoods screw them over pretty hard. 3.5-4.


(16.) Doom of MalaníTai
Also around 4. However, the distribution curve has 2 peaks. Many respondents consider it to be over-powered. However, as it carries many of the same 'weaknesses' as ordinary Zoanthroapes, hence the shape of the curve. As the Zoanthroape, room for slight improvement. Overpowered and unfluffy (cover saves? And getting into the craftworld, despite the fact that they'd never let an enemy near a Craftworld, even a few spores, and getting through all the security to the most important part of the Craftworld, and draining it unopposed? Sure). Plain and simple.


(17.) Pyrovore
A definite 1. This poor guy received the most WTFs, profanity and insults. Needs a major overhaul. Or else the Pyrovore boxes will just sit there collecting dust at our local stores. I have a few ideas already, actually not that hard to improve (because there is so much room for improvement!).Yep, 100% useless. No doubt about it.


(18.) Ymgarl Genestealers
Around 3, with a distribution slightly skewed to the right. Many respondents gave it a high rating due to it's special deployment rules, better armour save and their alter form ability, all in all well worth the points. However, the limit to the size of the unit, as well as some other factors, probably resulted in a lower score.Sort of expensive, and taking away a slot for Hive Guard are what hurts them most. This is what I wish I had with regular stealers, but I mostly want my 4th ed ones with frags and a basic 4+ save, A3 and S5 back. And Preferred Enemy bubble. Those guys owned.

Notanoob
16-02-2011, 04:24
(19.) Tyranid Warriors
Around 3, but the distribution curve is skewed to the left, close to 2.5. Many respondents felt that they were too fragile for their points cost, being vulnerable to instant death. Also, respondents felt that their shooting was sub-par, but that is more the fault of the weapons choice category and not in itself a fault of the Tyranid Warriors. Those who gave it a high score noted that they can be very good up close in assault, but the points needed to gear them up as close combat specialists make it too much of an investment due to instant death vulnerability. Again, slight room for improvement.ID just killed all the CC upgrades these guys got. Without EW or T5, any powerfist, melta gun, battle cannon and missile will flatten these guys far to fast for their cost. Also, their shooting got worse. 2.5 is deserved.


(20.) Genestealers
Around 3.5, distribution curve skewed slightly to the right. The one major complaint was the fact that they lost the equivalent of assault grenades compared to previous editions. While IMHO assault grenades aren't in the flavour for the cheaper horde assault units (such as Genestealers and Hormagaunts) I already have a 'fair' idea to fix this.As I said earlier, no frags, PE bubble and 4+ save hurt them a lot. They still can stomp face, but stealers have been getting progressively weaker. 3.5 is fair.


(21.) Mycetic Spore
Around 2, the distribution curve is heavily skewed to the left. For it's cost it's just too weak compared to the Space Marine's Drop Pod, and it also has the disadvantage of the Limited Sentience quality. Something that can survive orbital entry shouldn't be so weak (can be instant killed too). The toughness of this unit should have been a 6 if you ask me.Definitely weak, also suffers from the ID problem and FAQ nerf. Two big problems with this guy to be more than a 3.


(22.) Termagaunts
Around 3. The distribution curve is slightly skewed to the right. Because this survey ignored it's interaction with other units (Tervigon, duh!), the score was probably lower than it could be. Very slight room for improvement.If it wasn't for the Terv they'd suck. Compare to last edition, they lost reroll to wounds for shooting and lost fleet, for one point, but then compare them to Ork boys and Guardsmen and you see that they're just sad. Also, all of their upgrades are overpriced, spinefist are the worst example, but Stranglewebs are extremely bad, and Spike Rifles are just weak.


(23.) Hormagaunts
Around 3.5, deserves mention that the Hormagaunt statistically scored better than the Termagaunt (it's like the distribution curve for the Termagaunt entirely shifted to the right). If the lack of assault grenade option is solved, and a Tervigon equivalent for them added to the army list (I call it the Horvigon), we might have another winner in our hands.I would have to say their upgrades are overpriced and they have little place in the swarm compared to Termagants (cheaper, same deal but shooting and Tervs) and Gargs (faster but cheaper). If they kept their 12" charge they'd have a place in the army, but now they're just redundant. Also, they lost WS4, possibly 5, and all those nice upgrades to their base stats, not just charge bonuses. If find them to be 3. or 2.5 just because their is no real point to them anymore.


(24.) and (25.) Ripper Swarms
Definite 1. Besides the Parasite of Mortrex, we might not even need this unit. A waste of space is an understatement. Sure, you could keep it in the Codex for completeness' sake, to give the player the option to field them, but who in their right mind would want to? I already have a great idea as to how to use the Ripper models included in most Plastic Kits in my ongoing improvements/amendments R&D.Totally with you. If they didn't eat themselves, get ID'd by illogical things and their upgrades weren't so overpriced (except Tunnel Swarms, that's fine), they might have a place, but they aren't even scoring.


(26.) Tyranid Shrikes
Around 3. Very interesting distribution curve. Two peaks, one at 2 and one at 4, the peak at score of 2 is higher than the one at score of 4. Some respondents like it's speed, and can be geared up quite well as close combat specialists, but most respondents dislike their squishyness (an armour save worse than regular warriors makes no sense, do you see Space Marines with Jump Packs with a worse armour save?) and vulnerability to instant death (the Shrikes share many of the cons as the Warriors). Room for improvement, more so than the Warriors.Same issues as Warriors, but the decreased save is just a pointless nerf that hurts their usual durability to small arms. Now No Retreat is an even bigger issue!


(27.) Raveners
Around 3, but the distribution curve is very wide. There are many supporters who like it for it's board-crossing ability, as well as their close combat capability, but their vulnerability to instant death makes them less attractive. In terms of design, IMHO I think this is one of the most poorly executed units. Fluffwise this is something you want to burrow towards your enemy and pop out to attack your target, but due to the rules it is actually better to run them across the board. Also, acute senses? I would actually change them back to infantry but give them a Deep Strike related ability, to avoid Mishaps like the Trygon, and at the same time allow them to assault/affect an enemy unit it happens to Deep Strike on top (or under) of, kind of like the Mawloc. Already have a few possible proposals on this in the works.Basically Shrikes without Boneswords and Synapse, enough said. I do like them, and they have a few marginal advantages, but it's not really enough.


(28.) Sky-slasher Swarm
Same deal as Ripper Swarms. Another glaring 1. Yes it is faster but so what? Yep, see rippers.


(29.) Gargoyles
Around 5. This is another gem that rightfully competes with the Hive Guard for most popular Tyranid Unit. Many respondents give it props for cost-effectiveness, speed and usefulness in both the shooting and assault phases. The Termagaunts and Hormagaunts, at a similar points cost range, should be at this level of quality, which would make MANY Tyranid fans/players happy.If they could take Devouerers or Scything Talons, I'd be singing their praise, but until then I'm just humming. Excellent unit.


(30.) Harpy
Around 2.5, distribution curve skewed to the left. Also worth mentioning that this unit had the most 'missing values' or 'blanks'. Respondents that did comment on the Harpy felt it was too vulnerable as a monstrous creature, and due to it's Toughness is still vulnerable to instant death. Room for improvement.Indeed, the reduced toughness was completely uncalled for. Really, it should be a winged fex and that's it, but whatever. It's unique rules give it a bit of a role, and the HVC can be used out of desperation for anti tank, being pretty good at stun locking enemies.


(31.) Spore Mines
Around 2. Distribution curve skewed to the left. More on this in the Biovore's entry.Yep.


(32.) Carnifex
Sadly around 1. An overwhelming number of respondents consider the Carnifex to now be overpriced and incapable of properly doing it's job as an assault specialist. A few respondents still support it for it's options to take multiple shooting weapons, but if the Carnifex is to be improved/amended/fixed, it's going to take some work. No wonder there are so many Carnifexes on sale online nowadays, I think it's really sad. 1 is a bit harsh, but yeah, it's just not really worth it outside of a fex star, and even then...It's a Trygon-1.


(33.) Old One Eye
Also around 1. WAY too expensive, and needs the same improvements as the Carnifex.Deffinetly, also, why Living Battering Ram v. Crushing Claws? It's just dumb.


(34.) Biovore
Around 3, with a distribution curve skewed to the right. I'm actually quite surprised by this result, as I'm not a fan of the Biovore and the Spore Mines. Personally for it's cost, I believe it should have a better statline, and/or the Spore Mine Launcher could be a slight bit better (for example if you don't improve the statline, you could give the Launcher and the Spore Mine explosion Rending, but that would probably be too good).If it weren't for mech dominance, they'd be great. But since only Space Marines can have variable ammo, we're stuck. If we could have frag, toxin and bio acid mines similar to but a bit more powerful than last editions, they'd be stars of this codex.


(35.) and (36.) Trygon and Trygon Prime
Around 5. The difference in the results between these two wasn't statistically significant. Basically the Trygon won "Best Tyranid Unit" in this survey, with many replacing Carnifex Sales references. The only thing responders didn't like about the Trygon that came up significantly was the way their Tunnel worked. If it worked like the Dark Eldar's Webway Portal that would be great, but that isn't very fair to Mr. Cruddace since the Trygon Tunnel was 'built' first.Indeed, the Tunnels issue, and three other things bug me here. One, bio-electricity is a gun, two it has a lower S than Carnifexes and three it's only got a handful of upgrades, including Toxic Sacs, which just suck. Still awesome, but I dislike how it took the fexes spot like it did.


(37.) Mawloc
Around 3.5, distribution curve skewed to the right. Of course, many respondents compared this to the Trygon, which may or may not be fair depending on how you look at it. When this guy works, it eats Marines for Breakfast, literally. If the Terror from the Deep ability was somehow improved, and it was given at least one pair of Scything Talons (why only Claws and Teeth) as well as WS4, then we'd have another winner on our hands. Really, we should just have a Ravener Alpha/Red Terror instead of this. And I feel 3.5 is generous, considering the low number of blasts you'll get, the risk of DS and it's pointlessly bad stats.


(38.) Tyrannofex
Around 3 with distribution curve skewed to the left. I personally felt that this unit's design was too rushed. They should have given it rules more like a vehicle, like how a stationary vehicle can fire all it's weapons? Like many of the respondents, I feel that this guy is too expensive in terms of points, and should come with the Rupture Cannon at the start. In my improvements/amendments R&D I already have plans to change what weapons and upgrades it starts with before upgrade options. In my mind it should have at least both the Rupture Cannon and the Fleshborer Hive, and due to the Hive Mind should be able to fire all weapons it has at separate targets (which would make this expensive unit another winner IMHO).Really, he should be 50 points less with the Rupture Cannon being a bit more expensive, and BS4 being an option. Also, Fleshborer Hive should be free.


(39.) FAQ
Around 2, this FAQ was not received well at all. I'll leave it at that, as this Tyranid FAQ has been criticized countless times. Let Shadow in the Warp seep through vehicles, and let the Tyranid Prime join his Warriors in a Mycetic Spore. Why not? It boggles the mind.Almost nothing in the FAQ made sense, and almost nothing was in the Tyranid's favor. Clear marine bias and fail written all over it.


(40.) Overall
Around 3. Many respondents felt this was an "ok" Codex, or a "good Codex to beginners to start off with". To me, this isn't acceptable. All the Codexes should be on par with quality Codexes like the Dark Eldar's new Codex (again, subject to opinion). Many respondents felt it was a rushed work, lack of internal balance, and poor meta-game choices.I agree, I'd just put it at a 1 so GW knows that this kind of rushed poorly written **** isn't acceptable.

Chapters Unwritten
16-02-2011, 04:44
The biggest fault I have always seen with the Tyranid codex, as an amateur game developer myself, is that players often pay for non-option perks that they may or may not want. The best example of this is probably the Carnifex. By his default loadout, he can re-roll all his rolls to hit, which is a pretty good bonus. Probably part of why his cost is so high to begin with. But...once you swap out those weapons, it isn't as if you get any points back. You just end up paying extra for the new ones, while still paying the cost of the old ones. It is almost as if the current generation of codex writers do not remember the way some of the older dexes gave you a "naked" model that you had to kit out via the "MUST take one of..." options.

This sort of approach and maybe making the Tervigon (or some other fat bug) a transport would have been a much better approach. MC transports could have really been a great and unique thing for the tyranids. Could've even made it so that the unit inside could lose models when it got hit with a high AP weapon, just for some balance's sake.

There was so much potential for this to be the unique breakout force of the game, and for the sales to be huge. Makes me sad. I don't know what happened, but my knowledge of the editing process tells me this was rushed severely. Whatever it was, it ruined a great opportunity and a potential cash cow.

Paedan
16-02-2011, 05:30
Sorry for the lack of participation on my part on this thread, I've been updating this thread which tries to follow up the results here, as some of you might already know:
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292843

Besides playtesting, the next thing I'll probably do is a smaller survey with more specific questions with "A or B" answers, such as "If you were to give the medium sized Tyranids (generally the ones with Toughness 4 with multiple wounds) one improvement, would you make them Toughness 5 or Eternal Warrior (or a similar ability, see the above post for 'EW-Lite')?"

Also, thanks to Notanoob for taking the time to bounce ideas back from this thread, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this.

@Chapters Unwritten, I TOTALLY agree that this was a totally squandered oppurtunity on GW's part. I mean come on, if you make the Pyrovore like THAT, no way are they going to sell, all you're getting are WTFs-ad-infinatum...... if GW does an overhaul document like the one in my thread above, for FREE (God forbid, eh GW? LOL j/k) until they reprint the Codex to incorporate the changes, I'd bet you anything they'd make a ton of money.... oh I dunno, because they'd be able to finally sell off stockpiles of models that are just wasting storage space? The fans would have a better Codex to play with, and GW makes money (that they should have made in the first place if they got the Codex right the first time, no offense Mr. Cruddace... oh well...)

To be fair, I don't suppose anyone has heard anything from Mr. Cruddace himself? Maybe he had a bunch of good ideas that were supposed to go in the Codex, but got rejected/shot down resulting in this current iteration of the Tyranid Codex? Or is this ALL him? I wonder.

Notanoob
16-02-2011, 18:37
I don't think that any one has heard about from Cruddace, although I suspect that when he leaves in a few years he'll apologize for it and simultaneously blame someone else while getting it wrong why we disliked it.

Auxellion
17-02-2011, 19:31
Thanks for this Paedan

This whole thread is a great read

fantasypisces
17-02-2011, 20:15
For someone that was thinking about doing tyranids (but have since put them to the side as I heard the calling from fantasy), this thread has been an excellent read. Thanks for putting all that effort into the little poll/quiz.

Chapters Unwritten
17-02-2011, 20:47
To be honest, I have had a lot of my own fixes in mind for the army. Sadly it could be made competitive with just a simple FAQ.

ScreamPaste
17-02-2011, 21:44
Can't wait to see what you make of this.

Paedan
17-02-2011, 23:30
Thanks everyone. So as you all know I produced a First Draft of some proposed amendments/improvements:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292843

But there still is a long way to go. I would appreciate it if everyone here could help read through the First Draft, then follow to the next part for some further data collection here:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293642

With enough data, a Second Draft (hopefully a simpler and more streamlined Draft) will be possible soon. Cheers.

Wade Wilson
18-02-2011, 12:45
Dont feed the troll m'lad. Very interesting read, i disagree on a few points and agree with others but as you said this is the result of a lot of work so kudos to you.

Paedan
18-02-2011, 14:32
@ Wade Wilson
Thank you for your kind words. Have you had a chance to see the 2 threads after this one? I would appreciate your feedback, especially on this one.

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293642

Looking forward to your input. Cheers.

Paedan
19-02-2011, 15:33
OK.... 2nd Draft is up! Please take a look and give your feedback and comments, very much appreciated:

http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293915

Cheers.