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I know, i know... using a callidus assassin vs a load of gaunts is a ridicuous use of a highly specialized character, but it came up in a game altering moment so i have to ask (especially if anybody plays tyranids out there).
The neural shredder uses it's strength vs the leadership of it's targets... do gaunts use their base leadership for determining wounds if they are in synapse? My opponent insists and rambles something to the effect of "Catalyst overrides everything, catalyst is the final word, various mumbling, tyranids are invincible to everything, more mumbling about rendingbeing nerfed, my gaunts are indestructable."
Well, at least it sounds that way when HE says it. Anybody able to resolve this?
Being that I have both codex's and have played both armies for 2 plus years, I feel I can amply give a decent objective point of view on this...
You roll against the TARGETS leadership as said in the codex: Daemonhunters. That said, the targets leadership would not be a modified leadership. I am 100% certain of this. There was a faq somewhere which explains this. And I think that Bells of Lost Souls also have a link to that FAQ or explain why that it targets specific leaderships. The reason the neural shredder is so cool is because if there is a sgt (ld9) and a normal guy (ld then you roll for the ld9 seperate from the ld8, thus making it a cool way to single out seargents and the like without actually doing so!
Furthermore, inside of the codex: Tyranids, It does not say ANYWHERE under the Synapse description that the leadership of the hive mind characters is transfered to any other nids. Also, it simply only states that they automatically pass any leadership tests that they are required to make. Further proving the point that they are affected by the neural shredder... Why?! Because the neural shredder does NOT require a psychic test.
Your friend is either not very smart, or he was cheating you by bending the rules in his favour sadly.
Also, speaking of Catalyst psychic power of nids... It is used in the assault phase, and has NOTHING whatsoever to do with leadership tests, besides the fact that you need to make one (a psychic one) to use it.
And rending was not nerfed. Rending was over powered to begin with. In fact, I got out of nids, cause it was ridiculous. I had a hard time believing that a few stealers could rip apart a tank more effectively then a carnifex. Lol.... Rending was balanced. Your friend is just upset because he doesnt have something that is so over powered anymore, and has an even chance against the rest of us. Oh and by the way, ap2 fist weapons is still freaking awesome. It was barely 'nerfed' at that.
Nids are amazing, and every nid opponent I have faced, it is usually an even battle or i loose.
Using a neural shredder for gaunts is kind of a waste, lol, however if it is there, why not use it! Just remember, if you shred some gaunts, you cannot charge a fex or tyrant in the same turn, since you have to assault at what you shoot at. But if you use the callidus to take out fexes and stuff, then you bought him for the right thing. I would still put my money on a tyrant or broodlord. But I think against a fex you have a decent chance since they have such low initiative.
Next time your friend mumbles about stuff, read his codex. lol Don't just take his word for it. It is not that you are trying to catch him cheating or whatnot. Just sometimes it helps to have someone else read your rulebook. The rules are pretty clear in 99% of the cases, so it just takes some calm decisions to be made.
I hope this helps, and if your friend disagrees with me, there is only one thing that I would relent to (and NO it is NOT fluff, even though fluff would dictate that your friend is right, fluff is not in the RAW. lol) and that is if he said that he can use his tyrants leadership since he is withing 6 or 12 inches or w/e as per rules (not sure if those rules are still active, havent fully read 5th ed codex). But even with this, codex:daemonhunters clearly states 'TARGETS leadership', so even then, I dont think he has land to stand on.
Again, hope this helps. Have a good day!
NICE explanation. I will pop that on him next time he uses "without number" and 6 gaunts to permanently contest or take a home objective... but that's a whole 'nother thread.
Hmm, the only thing that Catalyst does, is when things under it's effects die IN CC before they had a chance to attack, they are still allowed to make their attack, before being removed.
It does not state anything about preventing casulties! I think your opponent was probably on the losing side, and tried to cheat himself into a better position
As for the "to wound roll", this has already been explained.
Tyranids Win / Draw /Lost 
Daemon Hunters Win / Draw / Lost