There is simply no other way to put it, this nid sucks. I'm not saying this after playing some weak metagame theory test I'm saying this after at least a dozen games that ranged from small 500 point battles to Apocalypse sized battles. Normally I'd field just 1 or 2 in a 1750 battle to deal with vehicles but the most I've ever fielded was 3 in a 6,000 point Apoc battle. Not once in all of these battles could I finish the game and say he was worth his point investment.
In all that time the Tyrannofex reaped a total of 4 vehicles kills and he went down 6 times. All of those death occurred early on when he was still a new unit. After my local metagame got used to him he tended to be ignored as "not a threat".
While even his biggest cheerleading fans have to admit that he is point expensive they will counter back that in theory he should at least be a creature with potential. It has the longest range gun in the codex and with a strength of 10 one of the most potent. With a second shot it's also likely to hit at least once per round and occasionally (25%) twice. Toughness 6, 6 wounds and a 2+ armor save should also leave it relatively safe from enemies. With it's various gun options it also has some flexibility to take on multiple roles on the battlefield; anti-mech, anti-infantry and anti-horde. I'll also hear that he's meant not to destroy vehicles but to shake and stun them.
So where does the Tryrannofex become the Tyrannofail?
- Points- Even at it's cheapest it's still more expensive than an upgraded Trygon Prime which excels at it's role. It's also more expensive than an upgraded Tervigon and small Brood of Termagants.
- Ballistic Skill 3- Missing sucks. At ballistic skill 3 it's missing half it's shots. Even with 2 shots a round and range enough to hit 95% of the targets you want to hit you're only going to score an average of 6 hits a game with the Rupture Cannon. If he goes into reserve, the game ends early and the opponent puts his vehicles in cover it may only score 1 or 2 hits a game. This situation happens more than you think and it happened to me in a tournament.
- It's too easy to kill- Toughness 6, 6 wounds and a 2+ save is still wounded on a 2+ with no save vrs Powerfists, Thunderhammers, Lascannons, Meltaguns, Dark Eldar and Eldar Lances........
- Mech units are relatively safe from shooting- If you're only getting an average of 6 hits a game and your opponent is able to claim a cover save then you're down to an average of 3 hits a game. Even if all 3 hits penetrate (and they won't) statistically only 1 will destroy a vehicle. Congratulations, you just spend 265 points to destroy A 35 point Rhino.
- Shaking and Stunning a vehicle isn't enough- These days mech is so cheap that shaking and stunning isn't an option anymore. Cheap means redundant so shaking and stunning one means there are more out there that aren't shaken or stunned. Nor does it mean that the vehicle isn't doing anything; extra armor, power of the machine spirit, squadron rules and psyker powers all keep that vehicle effective on the battlefield. No, these days dealing with mech means turning them into a smoking wreck on the battlefield.
If you had 265 points to spend on something to deal with mech how would you spend it best? I'll blog on that later.