Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rant - Tyranid Models

I was listening to The Independent Characters podcast (the best podcast you can listen to, hands down) and something they said touched a nerve. I've heard it many times: the lack of Tyranid models is alright! You can make all kinds of cool stuff! Maybe they didn't go that far, or I mis-heard, but it touched off a rant I've had brewing for a while.

We've seen dozens of different Dark Eldar models come out recently, lots of new Finecast™ too. No new Tyranid models since the launch of the new codex over a year and a half ago, and all we got then were high priced pewter and monstrous creatures (lovely models, no doubt).

Anyway, my rant:

Finally finished listening to this one. Really great episode, awesome as always. You guys really do provide the best gaming podcast (hell, best podcast) out there. Anytime I listen to another podcast and think of the stuff I dislike about it - you don't do any of that stuff. Thanks for providing an on-topic, concise, no dick and fart joke, easy to listen to, well-recorded (sound and production) podcast.

Some of it was a little too Pollyanna for me - I have to disagree with two things. Well, one disagreement and one spot of advice. I too have been focusing on being as positive as possible lately when it comes to GW; I raged out hardcore when they made the stupid decisions recently and I've had to come down a bit. Realizing that GW doesn't care one iota for what I think really just put me in a different mindset.

So my disagreement: the models that haven't been produced for over one and a half years, specifically Tyranid models. I do like creating my own models, don't misunderstand. I love creating tyranid stuff. I've been given countless complements about the stuff I've done.

But the Tyranid line is woeful. Just woeful. What does a new player walk into when they start a tyranid army for HQ choices? A Finecast™ (lovely model) Tyrant that costs $58. There are no other HQ models available. There are tyranid warriors that can be made into primes, but that costs $42 and you're left with two models that can't make a unit. Also, there are no bone swords or lash whips in that box, which are pretty much necessary for a prime. There are no models for the swarmlord. Boneswords and lash whips are sold by bits companies, but that is an added expense and work that most new players aren't gonna do.

The tervigon, the most 'competitive' model in the codex, does not have a model. It is an HQ as well as a troop. Most people use a carnifex model to make it. $50. Is a new player going to have the skills or the know-how or the confidence to make that? Not likely. Is a player going to want to make the 3-4 of them custom that are needed for a 'competitive' list? Not likely. Chapterhouse Studios made conversion kits, but that is another ?$20? and they're being sued into oblivion. I've played Tyranids since about a year before the new codex and probably own 15,000 points of them. I've only made one tervigon and I bought three used with the Chapterhouse kits. (lots of greenstuff required to make them look good. ugh).

The tyrannofex and harpy were not well-thought out rules wise, so making a custom model for them is a gamble (lots of time invested for something that just doesn't play well, and is potentially un-fun to use). I've built both. I dunno.

The rest of the Tyranid line is pretty lovely. I really do like all the plastic and wish I had never bought any zoanthropes, hive guard, or venomthropes in pewter. They chip and break like they're made of doozer sticks. Finecast is lovely for them too and I won't go into the price issues with those particular units.

I really didn't intend to make this post this long. Just wanted to clear something up that I see everywhere and disagree with.

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