So with this release, most of us on the blog were really looking forward to it. However, as more things leaked, we became and more concerned with what we were seeing. I did my best to reserve judgement until I actually saw the codex in its entirety. That said, I knew the couple things I was looking for, so here's my first impressions.
So there seemed to be more and more nerfs as I read through. Very little in the book got better. The biggest exception, in my mind, was the heavy support section, where the Biovores, Carnifex, and Tyrannofex all got a big decrease in points and some mild buffs.
Running through the book, the first things that stand out are that, while the lower result for Feed Instinctive behavior is pretty debilitating, a lot of the others aren't terribly bad, allowing the unit to act normally with some minor restrictions.
Next up, the psychic powers. I was pretty unpopular in postulating rumor threads when I predicted we'd lose Biomancy, so I can't say I was surprised. That said, I did think they would boost the Tyranid powers a little bit. As for the psykers themselves, I'm thinking that with the Tervigons you'll be rolling for Catalyst and trading anything else for Dominion to boost the synapse range. Zoanthropes are still viable I think since they get to roll for one bonus power for them to use while the Warp Blast is out of Range. Meanwhile everything besides Psychic Scream is ok at least. None are great, with the exception of Catalyst, which is pretty nice.
I was interested to note that Lictors got Infiltrate, and so can decide to deploy on the board. Couple that with cheap Spore Mines in Fast Attack (which can deep strike) and the new stats, if I read that right, the strength of the blast for a cluster is 4, plus one for each additional spore mine beyond the first, up to S10. For 30 points, I'll take a S10 orbital blast that ignores cover. That said, I probably read that wrong and they can't deep strike on something like a Mawloc.
Heavy Support got crowded in my mind because Tyrannofexes and Carnifexes got such huge point drops. For the same price as a 5th Ed Carnifex, I can boost mine to S10, get it crushing claws (+1S), assault grenades, and bioplasma. Meanwhile, the Tyrannofex is a 2+, T6, 6W MC, who will drop a bunch of templates on nearby troops.
Meanwhile, the bad has been complained with left and right. The Tervigon got hit pretty hard, in part just in price, but also in her psychic potential. I don't know why on earth you would ever buy the Crushing Claws now, so I have to paint up more pointless scything talons.
Honestly, the nerf to Scything Talons might be what makes me maddest, in part because it seems so over the top and unneeded.
First Look Ratings:
Hive Tyrant - Same or a little better
Swarmlord - meh
Tervigon - nerfed but still mandatory
Warrior Prime - Nerfed to oblivion
Old One Eye - probably too expensive
Deathleaper - intriguing
Termagants - nice with Devs or Spine Fists
Hormagants - ok naked, not worth upgrades
Warriors - Still Bad
Stealers - Still Bad
Rippers - Probably not worth it
Hive Guard - nerfed and more expensive
Zoans - nerfed a little, but cheaper so still good
Haruspex - meh
Lictors - might be interesting
Pyrovore - almost forgot about him - still bad
Venomthrope - intriguing
Hive Crone - Could be good
Harpy - Could be good
Gargoyles - got worse but still could be worth it
Raveners - Got kinda nerfed, still not worthwhile
Shrikes - Got cheaper, but still...
Sky Slashers - meh
Spore Mines - kinda cool
Carnifex - cheaper, and still hits hard, if not harder
Tyrannofex - Got cheaper and 2+ is pretty nice
Biovores - Got cheaper and more wounds, were already good
Trygon - small points drop doesn't make up for nerf to scytals
Trygon Prime - same as above
Exocrine - Probably too expensive and too short range for me
Mawloc - Cheap enough to maybe be viable