Wednesday 17 October 2012

'nids part 61 - Much ado about quad guns

Ever since Fortifications became an entity in 6th and the first FAQ came out there's been a big question over Tyranids and their ability to use emplaced weapons. Of course the initial belief back in June was that they couldn't as the FAQ quite clearly stated:

Tyranid FAQ:
Q: Are tyranid units inside buildings subjected to instinctive behavior and can they manual fire emplaced weapons.  
A: No to both questions
However as hyv3mynd pointed out on his blog synaps3 the Aegis Defence Line isn't in a building, it's in 'battlefield debris'. These 'gun emplacements' do not have the same rules as 'emplaced weapons', in fact they don't autofire and can only be fired manually. The main reason everyone is keen to field such items is to combat flyers. With so few items that can hit them reliably a quad gun is a G.O.D.-send. But the FAQ, and lets think for a second just who was 'frequently asking' this question in June, before 6th came out? kind of dumps on 'nids, no other army seemed to get singled out in such a fashion. Then again we've been in this situation before.

The question is if they are not able to use them why not? Is it that access to long range high AP weapons, like the Quad Gun and Icarus Defence Laser changing the fundamental dynamic of the army? If so, haven't they seen that allies does that [unless you're nids of course]. Now you can potentially match whatever army you have with another force that can fill the gaps in your primary forces abilities. So no longer are you choosing a force for one specific type of play.

Hopefully, this is just another oversight on GW's description. I obviously went on to finish my quad gun off and aimed to pose the question to the FAQ folk in advance of Throne of Skulls and hopefully it wouldl swing in my favour so there'll be no arguments. Of course if it didn't I'd have wasted time, effort and a decent Tyrannofex weapon I could have offloaded on ebay! I certainly didn't want to be arguing semantics on the day as some are less than convinced of the above 'they can' argument, although plenty of forums seem to support it more than argue against.

Now we come to today and the recent FAQ updates cleared up the mess [although not in the hoped for way:

Tyranid FAQ:

Q: Are Tyranid units inside buildings (i.e. the Bastion) subject to instinctive behaviour tests?Furthermore, are they able to manual fire emplaced weapons or weapon emplacements?
A: No to both questions.

So this managed to plug the loophole for all us 'pro-activists'. However, whilst all this was going on my friends had contacted Warhammer World and ask the question [amongst others] and their response was that nids could still benefit from the autofire rule which confused me again because it brought us back to the part of the issue that stated quad guns didn't get auto-fire on an Aegis Defence Line, only in a building. So I wanted to resolve the matter once and for all, and contacted Warhammer World through their Facebook page so I could then move past the issue and just concentrate on a list worth using. I'm really pleased at the response, it may not be the answer I was hoping for but it was one that certainly implies they understand the difficulties we now find ourselves in.

Hey Dave - I have spoken to Simon and Jervis from Games Development (note - this isn't something we normally do, but given the pressing time limit, I went and did it!) and the answer is this - "Only emplaced weapons (such as those found on a Bastion or Fortress of Redemption) have the option to be fired either manually or automatically. Weapons attached to an Aegis defence line are gun emplacements, which cannot be fired automatically. The Tyranids FAQ document states that Tyranids cannot fire weapons manually, therefore as much as they are free to use Aegis defence lines, they will not benefit from any attached gun emplacements. We are, however, aware that this is a problem and will be reviewing the situation when we begin writing the next batch of FAQs in a few weeks." I hope that answers your question :) Nick

Ultimately though it begs the question what is the point in Tyranids? I'm not bemoaning my choice in using them but I'm really getting the feeling they've fallen out of favour. After Chaos, although some would claim ahead of Chaos, the Great Devourer is the biggest threat to the Imperium but the battlefield reality is they're just cannon-fodder. I've had great games with them and some of those have been balanced but I'm currently struggling to see them as masters of any type of fighting. They certainly don't scare any of my regular competitors and I'd imagine they'll be looked down upon the same at Throne of Skulls. Hopefully that will be the advantage I need - underestimation.

We can only hope that some of the rumours regarding new forces and changes to the Pyrovore rules will mean a rekindled love for the gribbly. The Codex is a long, long way from being looked at again, there's plenty more Codices due for update before nids get a look in but I think something has to give to try and make them stand equal in the eyes of gamers.

Lastly, if you ever need to ask a FAQ, here's the email to send it to:


  1. I feel your pain. I have an army of Tyranids that are wondering why they are left out of the ally party, unable to fire guns that every other army can fire, and have all kinds of grenade envy. I don't think that GW is trying to 'squat' them, I think they are really trying to stay true to the fluff. Those things make sense for a race of hive mind bugs, but then we should get something that makes up for those huge shortcomings.

  2. I'm with Eldaraddict. Tyranids are a huge seller for them (especially since the release of Tervigons, now that everyone has to own 100+ termagants). There's no way they'd let that army phase out, but they're definitely getting an odd treatment.

    I think the problem is two-fold. Firstly, the codex just wasn't up to par on power-level (for the WAAC sorts, at least) as the other codexes before and since. And GW put weird rules in their codex/FAQ that just fly in the face of all other armies (ie. Primes joining squads in spores, etc.)

    Secondly, from a general rule stance, GW seems to be taking a very fluffy line with them: thus the rules that they can't have any allies, and seemingly don't have opposable thumbs to fire gun emplacements with.

    I would've liked to have seen an exception that allows character models, or models with "brood telepathy" to fire emplacements, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. I'd have also loved to have seen rules to allow allies in some fashion (a la Genestealer Cult). Still, there's always a chance they come out in a white dwarf, right?

  3. Personally if a friend came up with a model as cool as yours I would definitely let them use. Friend that won't let you use it. They are not worth playing with.

    I can agree that Nyds couldn't use technological guns. But on the other hand no other race could run up and grab a death spitter and start shooting with it.

    As for GW F*CK em'. You bought the rules. They can't take the book from you. Homerule as you like. But that's just my opinion.

  4. Thanks for the input folks, although I'm not sure staying true to the fluff is a good enough reason. If someone cares that much they'd want parity for them and with various options for Tyranid/hybrid models there's always room for allies - like the Genestealer Cult army or the Genestealer/Ork or Tau hybrids I've seen.

    As for the technological failings of nids, I'm not so sure of that either when they've got Objuration Mechanicum as a psychic power that allows them to psychicly muck up technology. Nids have a capacity to learn and adapt, fluff wise I don't think that prevents them from using tech. Adding something to help would be nice, but equally just stop taking things away that may compensate instead!

  5. Devil's advocate here:

    One could argue that Objuration Mechanicum is only learned by "brain bugs" that have evolved to the point where they could think (aka psykers), whereas allowing 'Nidz to use gun emplacements would mean that even a ripper swarm would be allowed to fire it.

    1. Rippers firing a quad gun, that would be funny ;)

  6. I think nids should be able to use emplaced guns especially if you go to the trouble of converting one. I always felt that the last codex hamstringed tyranids they seem less adaptable than they should be , they are after all the masters of evolution. Why not allow Tervigons to spawn other troop types , I think GW missed a golden opportunity to sell more models.