Okay, got my pre-ordered tyranid bundle today, and have spent a good portion of the day reading. Having been spoiled by false promises of the rumour department, I can admit to a few initial disappointments, but overall I am satisfied with what GW has produced for us.
First up, things that are gone.
Some special Characters. Namely the Parasite of Mortrex and that pain in the ass Doom of Malan'tai. Will I miss them? Frankly, no. Both of these creatures had amazing potential, but every time I fielded them I found one of two things. Either they would dominate the game, or flop in a single turn. Fun? Sure. Reliable? No. We don't need them.
Other units. The Ymgarl genestealers have disappeared from the army list, being reduced once more to a fluff box on the genestealer page entry. Some might be sad to see these go, I have mixed feelings. They were a fun fluffy unit to play and could quite often turn the tide but on the whole I don't think they are a too big loss. More people might cry about the disappearance of the mycetic spore. Especially those like me who went to pains to convert models for them.
But again, they're not really essential nor were they particularly useful but for the Doom of Malan'tai...
What's back? Depends on what you mean by back. Granted the haruspex and exocrine aren't new creatures, but this is their first appearance in a codex as playable units for 40k as far as I am aware. Other long time veterans may also recognize the name of The Red Terror, who has returned as an upgrade available to ravener broods.
What's new? Lots of things...
How about we start with the long awaited answer to the question how the fuck are we supposed to deal with flyers???
Well the answer swoops down in the form of the Hive Crone, a cousin to the harpy adapted for smashing enemy flyers from the air. Literally. The thing has spikes along its belly and totes a S8 vector strike. It also has the ability to drool on its ground enemies, again literally, via its aptly named "Drool Cannon."
The harpy itself remains unchanged from what it could do previously, with both its main weapons still being blast weapons it still can't hit air targets for squat. I doubt we;ll be seeing much of her in the skies now that her more appealing sister has put in an appearance.
The exocrine I can definitely see being popular. Why? When was the last time tyranids had a large blast weapon with AP2? Yea... Hey Imperial players, remember all those laughs you had when you were dropping demolisher templates on our swarms? Well it's about to be Fuck you time...
The haruspex I am less impressed with, for all its fancy tricks it is still a slow monster that has to plod across the battlefield to really come into its own. Like the harpy, I think it's destined to be outshone by its better in general sibling.
Warlord traits are a nice addition, and all of them are refreshingly useful in most average games. Like the ability to turn any forest you get close to into a death patch, or deconstruct enemy cover saves before the battle starts.
Instinctive behaviour took a small adjustment and... well, don't leave homagaunt or carnifex broods unattended too long, lest they eat each other...
This fun little tweak makes synapse that bit more pivotal without being a complete hindrance, as there is only a small chance that something that drastic will actually occur. Still...
The wargear section was nicely fleshed out and brought up to 6e standard, with every bioweapon being granted its own ap and special rules and whatnot. And on a minor note, spore mine movement is no longer random. You read that correct.
We also now have a selection of Hive artefacts, pieces of bio engineered wargear better than the average biomorph selections, such as a nifty set of pincers granting preferred enemy to the first type of creature they kill, or the Ymargl Factor, which allows one of your characters to mutate its body each turn similar to how the afore named genestealers could in the old book. 2+ Save Tyrant one turn, 6A Tyrant the next? Yes please...
Psychic powers are now restricted, no longer can we select Biomancy, Telepathy or Telekinesis. I'm okay with this, as the Hive Mind Powers are not exactly as useless as they used to be. Plus the fact that your winged Hive Tyrant could potentially be toting a Warp Blast Warp Lance combo as a result, this gives you a second (and awesome) anti air option if Luck is on your side.
There is a lot I still haven't covered, but I'm sure plenty of others can see what I've missed or overlooked. I'm expecting my first game tomorrow so I will be able to give some more insight then.
Anyone else care to ask or share their own thoughts here?