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I've had this character sitting on my desktop for a while, thought I'd toss out the rules for it and see what you guys thought - Suggestions for a better name, as well as critiques on the stats/special rules/fluff are all welcome. Modeling ideas are good too =D
Imperial Designation: Hierospex
Common Name: Broodpit, Spawner
Species Name: Tyranicus Mortis
The creature known as the Hierospex was first sighted during the siege of Quintar in 998.M41. It is the smallest example of a reproductive Tyranid organism yet sighted, although it is still the size of a baneblade super-heavy tank. It is adapted for a battlefield role as well, as many a shattered city will attest. It appears to be a specialist mutation of the Carnifex genus.
Pts/Model WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
Hierospex 500 5 - 10 7 5 3 3+1D6 10 2+
Brood: 1 Hierospex
Weapon Symbiotes/Biomorphs: Two pairs of Crushing Claws and Reproductive Cysts.
Monstrous Creature. The Hierospex is a lumbering bio-construct of chitin and sinew, towering above the masses of Rippers and Gaunts that swarm around its ankles. The Hierospex itself counts as a Monstrous Creature, as detailed on page 55 of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook.
Fearless. The Hierospex knows no fear, having had such weak impulses stripped from its instincts. The Hierospex has the Fearless rule, as detailed on page 74 of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook.
Reproductive Cysts. One of the first examples of an offensive reproductive Tyranid organism, the Hierospex is capable of emitting Spore Mines from deep within its reproductive cysts, as well as spawning teeming clusters of Rippers. At the start of a battle, the Tyranid player must decide whether the Hierospex will spawn Spore Mines or Rippers for the duration of the battle. If the player chooses Spore Mines, they follow the normal rules for Spore Cysts on page 33 of the Tyranid Codex, and Spore Mines on pages 28 & 29 of the Tyranid Codex. If Rippers are chosen, the Hierospex may spawn one ripper base at the beginning of every turn. The Rippers are considered to be their own unit.
Synapse Creature. The Hierospex, as a conduit of the Hive Mind, is able to act as a Synapse Creature for the restless swarms it commands. The Hierospex is a Synapse Creature, as detailed on page 28 of the Tyranid Codex.
Regeneration. Much like Carnifexes such as Old One-Eye, the Hierospex is amazingly resilient, capable of renewing damaged tissue in a matter of minutes. At the start of every turn, the Hierospex may roll a D6 for every Wound it has lost. On a roll of 6+, it may regenerate 1 Wound, up to a maximum of 5. If the Hierospex has been slain, it may roll 5 D6. Each one that results in a 6+ represents a regenerated Wound, and the Hierospex gets back to its feet with that many Wounds. If none of the dice result in a 6+, the Hierospex is removed as a casualty.
Anklebiters. Due to its ability to spawn its lesser brethren, the Hierospex always has a few Rippers nearby to aid it in taking down its latest target. The Hierospex always has an extra D6 attacks. These extra D6 attacks are not Monstrous Creature attacks, and have the following profile; WS 3, S 3, I 2.
Leader-Beast. The Hierospex, being the incredibly powerful conduit of the hive mind that it is, is usually at the head of any Tyranid force that encompasses it, and so is the primary target of enemy generals. On the Force Organization Chart, the Hierospex takes up one HQ slot if the mission only allows for 1 HQ choice, and two if it allows for more.
Birthing Frenzy. When in dire peril, the Hierospex has been witnessed going into a frenzy of reproduction, giving birth to whole broods of warrior beasts to protect itself. Once per game, the Hierospex may enter a Birthing Frenzy. Instead of producing a Ripper Swarm that turn, it may produce a brood of 8 Gaunts or Hormagaunts at the start of the turn. The brood may have one upgrade, but no more. The brood counts as its own unit, and may move/assault the turn it is spawned. Due to the intensity of such an action, the Hierospex may not move or assault that turn.
Last edited by Duurkonii; October 3rd, 2007 at 00:27.
I think that for 300 points this thing is a bit on the cheap side. It's power to control enemy troops is very nasty, instantly taking control of the Devastators with lascannons not only renders it immune to thier firepower for a turn but will also spell the doom of a tank. There are also complications with the fluff of how it works. For example if these men are controlled by the Hive mind they will be viewed by Tyranids also under the control of the Hive mind as Tyranids.
Basically all Tyranids are cells in the body of the great Devourer, the great Devourer won't eat itself while others need eating! Therefore they will never attack other Tyranids or be attacked by them. You may think why would I make them assault my own models. If something with huge guns but not close combat ability assaults it is likely to die. This makes assaulting with it good for tactics but bad for fluff.
I suggest that you replace this with a psychic power. An enemy unit within 36 inches must take a LD test or be pinned or fall back (your choice), models that are fearless etc are immune to thsi rule. The Tyrant guard are too small to protect a toughness 8 five wound critter. the enemy may be confused by Tyrant guard with a Hive tyrant or be unable to target the Hive tyrant. But a giant thing such as this will be clearly visible.
You will also need more weapons. A Tyranid that size will carry at least two weapons, you are only using crushing claws. About prognetor, you will need to elaborate if the creature can suffer wounds when it produces rippers the same way it can take wounds if it produces spore mines. I would suggest that you simply give it D6 extra attacks in assault, WS=3 S=3 I=2. These would not be monstrous creature attacks and would show it breeds Rippers which hang about with it.
I think that the regenerate is too good, you should do it the normal way. Honestly special characters work best when they aren't destroyers of all but more quirky. I think that the twin tail idea is fun, it would make the model more original.
Points upped to 400, due in part to the Feel No Pain rule. Overpowered? I suspect it may be.
I don't quite understand your point about The Will of the Hive Mind - He only controls them long enough for them to commit suicide/wipe out another squad or two. I think I have to be more specific about the time limits, though. *Goes to edit*
Hmmm... Fluffwise, you may be right. Give me some time, I'm sure I can reason it out... (Just bought a pair of the suckers, and I'd like for Duurkonii to use them >.<)
2 pairs of Crushing Claws instead of 1, perhaps? I already have a pair pre-painted, and the OOE set coming in the mail.
The regenerate is akin to the OOE rules, although with the addition of Feel No Pain, I can see this thing being near-impossible to take down. Five Hundred points, maybe?
With a power to control peoples brains and have a couple of squads go mad this basically makes this thing potentially as powerful as any two squads you may meet. i don't think it's easy to apply a points value to that ability.
You could price it at 700 points and find it's too expensive, I think 700 is still too cheap. Then it takes control of something such as a Warhound titan you cream your enemy or make the Titan walk off a cliff. If you really want to control people's brains there should be a major downside.
Using the power means it may take no actions in it's turn or it's following turn, it won't even fight if it is assaulted and is hit as a stationary object. It could suffer an automatic D6 wounds, possibly killing it. The problem with this ability is simple, there is no way to price it properly. Bringing doom on two or so squads can be two squads of cheap Imperial Guardsmen or two squads of ten-man Terminator Marines, no way is 500 points going to cover that kind of power.
Personally if I were you I would make it into a huge homicidal close assault beasty. Invent rules that don't make it a god. It is always tempting to try to turn our favourite conversions into god-beings. However the originality wears off quickly. I really think that something which has more of a role would be better. An Uber-Zoanthrope with huge psychic powers or a homicidal assault beasty.
A name, Deathbeast, Hive horror, Xenomortis, Doom claw.
Last edited by Leech; September 22nd, 2007 at 23:34.
700 points sounds reasonable, considering that I just playtested it against 500+ points of nids just now (24 +1WS Hormagaunts, 10 Devgaunts, 1 Lictor & 1 Broodlord), and it came out at the end of the game with 5 wounds.
Primogenitor Primus is a name that just occured to me, but meh... I'm not sure I like it.
EDIT: Just playtested it against a 700-ish point Chaos army - the Lord couldn't so much as dent it, but Plasma, Melta, and Heavy Bolters worked quite nicely. It is indeed a mortal critter.
Last edited by Duurkonii; September 23rd, 2007 at 02:02.
First of all, you need to ask yourself this question: Why are you making this monster od a special character?
Is it because,
A: You've got this kick-arse, creative idea for an awesome gribbly; something new and nasty the Hive Mind just cooked up in the genetic vats of some distant deathworld...
B: Because you want an unstoppable killing machine of immense destructon that your opponents have no utter chance against...
If the answer is "B", then unfortunatly you won't be using this character against many players, and the few that do agree will probably be reluctant to play with you again. Unfortunatly, from the curent rules, it looks like your anwser would be teetering towards "B".
However, I do see much potential for your anwser to be a kick-arse "A", making new, gruesome gribblies are what the Tyranids are all about! Serious players probably would be open to playing a few one-off games against a fair and balanced special character, which translates into a new, fun, and unique experince of the game to be had by both players. I hope I can persuade you to tip over into the "A" side!
First and foremost, your special character seems to have a BUNCH of new and powerful rules. Theres almost too much for this creature to do! Weighing in at close to 700 points, he might as well be your army! The Tyranid Army is all about synergy: small parts working together fluidly as a whole. You need to carve this bad-boy a niche, a specialty on the battlefield, and put him in it. It doesn't do your army any real good if he's not working with them, and if he's doing everything himself he's not really part of the whole.
Sofar, it looks like you're slotting this guy to be your army's HQ. Naturally he's going to have Synapse, to lead his portion of the swarm, and probably Monsterous Creature, mimicing the Hive Tyrant, (plus its cool to have a stompy monster running around). Beyond these given rules, you have to give him a role to play in the army: Is he bred to charge up close with his gaunt broods, mauling everything within claws reach? Or is he bred to stand behind a wall of living sheilds, raining death on the foe from afar? Is he bred to be devious and cunning, using his mind, sometimes quite literally, to crush his enemies? Maybe something else not thought up yet? Who knows, but pick one of these and stick with it.
You also have to ask yourself: What are his strengths, and sometimes more importantly, what are his weaknesses? If the model has too many strengths, and not enough weaknesses to balance out, he wont be fun to play against, or to play for that matter. Don't rely on points cost to offset the strengths of the model, players might feel differently than you about how much something might be worth.
Fluff-wise, though the Hive Mind is powerful, it has never been shown to dominate the will of non-Tyranid species. Even the Genestealer Hybrid cults, which are half-tyranids, are just merely influenced by its whisper. However, the Hive Mind can, and many times does, strike fear and terror into the hearts and souls of the weakminded, often physically, but sometimes psychically as well. I would suggest playing off this bit of fluff to rework this power.
Might I to play to the current rule-sets of the game, possibly using the psychic power to force a pinning test onto the targeted unit, possibly taking points away from thier leadership for being in close proximity to this unusually terrifying beast. This will ensure that the targeted units will do nothing but cower in fear, praying to whatever gods they serve that the boogey-creature wont get them. This effectivly does what the old power does, except plays inside the current rule-sets and fluff, and does not seem overpowered. I would either make the power limited use, set a limited range (36" seems about right), or make him vulnerable to pychic overload. One or two of these in combination will more than balance out the advantages of the power.
This is just a suggestion, and if you think up a better one, something more original, more power to you, just make sure its balanced. Something you wouldn't mind having someone else use on you.
I like the idea of the Progenetor/Anklebiter idea, kinda makes him some sort of sick, twisted mother/father figure of your swarm. A quick idea for a similar power is that if your gaunts take "Without Number", or if you elect to keep a brood in reserve, once per game a gaunt unit may be placed on the board in base to base contact with him, instead of at the Tyranid players board edge. Just a neat thought.
However, these powers clash with the Will of the Hive Mind power...he's got too much on his plate. Personally, I'd reccommend you to choose between him being the all-scary boogey monster, and the walking birthing chamber. Heck, maybe do two different monsters!! The Hive Mind might have been busier than we all thought!
On the regeneration: I'd personally go with the standard regen found in the Codex. This will preclude any shouts of unfairness and you have a ready-made points cost to point to if there is such an accusation.
On the Fearless/Feel No Pain combo: This, of course is a devistating combo, espeically when combined with Regen. This will do one of two things: either it stomps everything in its path, or it becomes a gigantic fire magnet for every heavy weapon on the board. Either way will make you no freinds. If you really feel you MUST have these on the creature, you might want to balance these rules with other rules, maybe like "Vulnerable to Templates" or "Slow and Purposeful" or such like.
Anyways, sorry if that sounded like a rant, but I hope that you take my advice seriously, because you have some really good ideas that I can see going in the right direction, you just have to take that extra step to balance it.
Hope some of that helped! And good luck on your conversion!
Thanks for all the input, guys ^^
I've toned down the points cost, but that's because I changed a few things.
It can no longer take a retinue, as I gave it the Fleet rule back (Always good to have some synapse with your rushing gaunts!).
It can now spawn a ripper base every three turns, in combat or no.
Will of the Hive Mind has been toned way down, thanks to numerous suggestions for it
Regeneration has been fixed to the standard 6+.
Starting to look balanced yet? Let me know.
What is this creature's purpose in your army? Is he a close-combat expert? A loner specialist? The ultimate leader? A living battering ram? Psychic master? Troop control/spawner? Ultimate walking death machine? Your current creature does all of this and more. Thats too much! Even rules wise, its not smart to have a Tyrant who is both shooty and assaulty; he'll end up waisting half of his huge points cost when he's doing one or the other. Same should go for your beast. Specialize. Pick one or two, blend them together, and fit him into your army so that he augments them, not replaces them.
I urge you to anwser that question in your next post.
To that end, I would also urge you to choose between the Will of the Hive Mind and Progenitor/Anklebiter rules. Drop one of these sets. Yes, both of these are cool, I know, but your creature does too much. There are so many rules on this thing that even you might forget many of them!
That said, on to the individual rule sets:
The phrase, "This power may only be used once per turn", seems a bit redundant as psychic powers may only be used once per player turn anyways. As such, this really isn't a limiter for the power. And on the topic, does this rule follow the same rules for other psychic powers? Ex: Can models nullify this power, as per the Psychic Hood rule? Does this take up his shooting phase? Be specific and try and cover as many rules that might effect your model as possible.
Are there other limiters and parameters, such as: Is it an "Assault" or "Heavy" power, ie: can it move and use the power at the same time? Does it have mulitple "shots"? Can it target more that one unit? Are there any other modifiers that it imposes on the targeted unit: negative points to Ld/WS/BS? These can make the power just that much more challenging/interesting to use/play against without making it overpowered.
Synapse Creature/Leader-Beast: These are just fine and go together. Most Tyranid HQ's have Synapse, so its an obvious choice. Leader-Beast is a good and rather unique limiter imposed on this beasty. Good Job! On a side note: Your special character doesn't nessicarily need to be an HQ choice, BTW. Old One Eye and the Red Terror were both non-HQ units, being a carnifex and a ravager respectivly (I'm not sure if the old rules for them required them to take a HQ slot or not...but thats beside the point ^_^)
Feel No Pain/Fearless: This beasty just simply ignores everything thrown its way. I would caution you to count how many Tyranids make use of the Feel No Pain rules (I dont recall if any actually have it), and Fearless (a few of them, IIRC), then make adjustments accordingly. I would also caution against Feel No Pain/Regen combos; these will get the most "cheap" and "unfair" accustaions from other players.
Personally, I would get rid of Feel No Pain, as this rule is usually reserved for Deamonic/Chaotic units. Fearless is just fine, since its a leader and at least some, if not many of the tyranids make use of this ruleset (Tyrants have it, IIRC). If this beasty MUST have Feel No Pain, you also MUST impose other rules and limiters to this unit: such as "Slow and Purposeful", "Vulnerable to Templates" and such like.
All in all, you've made improvements! You need to take that extra step away from "Ultimate, Godly Destruction Machine" towards "Characterful, Fluffy, and Balanced Unit"
Hope I didn't come off as harsh or over critical; and if I did, I apologise. I see much potiential in these rules and bits of fluff, and I want you to see true success with this awesome gribbly beasty! Good Luck!
An idea about what it is and fluff to go with it will help you alot. Also in the conversion forum your thread on how to make it will go better if you have a better idea about it other than 'it's big'. I can give you more advice then, as can others.
I have to say that your improvements to the rules and toning it down have gone a long way to making an interesting special beasty. 8Y
SotF: I think that the living battering ram/CC Expert/Troop Spawner/Army Leader are what this thing's purpose(s) are. Namely, to eviscerate anything it manages to get close to, while pumping out more and more Tyranids for the swarm that it commands. As such, I -suppose- I can bear to part with Will of the Hive Mind. Maybe I'll save that for another character
As to Ripper spawning - I think I'll make it one base per turn, and give it a special power where it can spawn a unit of 8 gaunts once per game. Surprise Hormagaunt appearence in the middle of enemy lines - always fun. And I don't want Rippers to wound as they're spawned, in part because they don't tend to explode as a spore mine would =P
I didn't edit the regen bit? Huh. Thought I did. *Goes to fix*
Fleet I suppose can go, but then I'm tempted to reinstate the Tyrant Guard rule. Hmm.
Feel No Pain does seem a bit overpowered, but I think I'll keep it for the moment and see how it continues to playtest (I've actually forgotten to use it in the last few games xD).
No offense taken! This is all valuable input, and this thing is getting more and more balanced as time goes by.
Leech: Well, it's definately still going to be synaptic, so I may stick with the ES head - But the loss of "Will of the Hive Mind" Almost makes that permissible.