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As my search on the forums for Imperial Armour IV: The Anphelion Project drew up nothing substantial of the book, I decided I'd write up an overview. Originally planned to do it almost a year back when I bought the book but alas, other things conspired to keep me away.
The book details the deployment of Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Lok, together with detachments from Elysian Drop Troops D-99, Cadian Guardsmen 266th and SM of the Red Scorpions chapter, to investigate the moon Beta Anphelion IV and the loss of communications from the scientific base located there. Unbeknownst to them, the science base has been researching Tyranids and something has gone horribly wrong... The story occupies pages 7-59 of the tome.
Pages 60-74 give big, nice, detailed pictures of Imperial vehicles and Tyranid creatures. Unfortunately the emphasis is on Imperials, with 11 pages for Imperials and 4 for Tyranids. Yeah, I really care a lot about four different Rhinos the Red Scorpions fielded. =P
Tyranid background is given on pages 76-103 with most space being devoted to the ones Forge World makes models for (1 spread per model/creature), and a short overview on the rest (2 overviews per page).
Rules for the Forge World Tyranids (except those detailed in the Codex like the Tyrant, Warriors and Rippers) are on pages 104-108. The Stone-Crusher 'Fex variant didn't make it , so if that one is the one you're interested in you need IA Update 2006.
109-120 contains background and rules for Imperial FW models: Hellhound, Arvus Lighter shuttlecraft, Containment Fence, Sabre Defense Platform, Long-Range Ground Scanner Unit. 121-129 details the Red Scorpion SM chapter (including Traits and Drawbacks), 130-137 is Elysian D-99 (with Doctrines, new gear and Imperial aircraft upgrades) with 266th Cadian having to make do with a simple Table of Organisation on pages 138-139. Finally, page 140 introduces us to mr. Head Honcho, Solomon Lok and his retinue. Edit: the Elysian section also has rules for the Valkyrie Transport and Vulture Gunship and partial rules for the Cyclops Demolition Vehicle and Sentry Guns.
141-148 has scenarios based on the events of Beta Anphelion. I suppose those liking fixed scenarios will find them okay, but personally I think the pre-set lists are a bit odd at places (like Warriors with ranged bio-weaponry but without EnhSen). At least it affects Imperials as well which makes sense as they couldn't know what they were going to be up against and thus wouldn't be able to choose their weaponry and gear.
149-158 details the Anphelion base itself, and presents rules for fighting in the cramped corridors of the base and for the FW model Base Defence Turret.
Appendixes (159-173) deal with Super-Heavy Vehicles, Fliers, Gargantuan Creatures (these three being the basic rules needed to play with them, and the Gargantuan rules updated to the most recent version which the online downloadable version isn't), Anphelion base blueprints if you want to play without the base models and lastly a size comparison between some of the vehicles and creatures featured in the book.
As for the FW Tyranids, here's the lowdown:
The rules for the Hierodules, Harridan and Spore Chimney remain the same as in IA Update 2004, with some slight alterations which remove effects related to the 3rdEd Codex, while the Capillary Towers have a new ability depending on the amount fielded. As I didn't save the experimental rules for Brood Nests, Hierophants, Malanthropes and Trygons, I unfortunately can't say how much they've changed.
Brood Nests can be bought as an upgrade to BLord + retinue and all Troop broods, and function as player-placeable Infiltration points even if the mission wouldn't normally allow it. The bad thing is that the opponent might be able to destroy it before the brood can make its appearance. Cost depends a lot on the brood it is bought for. Looks fun.
Capillary Towers are terrain, and could be used for objectives in some missions. They have a specific ability which comes to play if there's enough of them on the board, mimicking a certain Tyranid Hive Mind Power. Cost? Nothing, they're terrain!
Harridan is a Gargantuan Flyer, expensive and pretty hard to kill with high T, lots of W and multiple Mass Points. Its statline is also otherwise pretty impressive, barring a rather low amount of A. It is equipped with Scything Talons and special Twin-Linked Biocannons which resemble a crossbreed of Venom Cannon and Barbed Strangler, with some tweaked genetics to enhance AP and range, sure to ruin any opponent's day! It may also transport a brood of Gargoyles. The major drawback I think the Harridan has is the fact that as a Flyer it is forced into Reserves, and I heavily dislike expensive units which come randomly on-table. Guess those Lictors and their Pheromone Trail might come in handy! These must be taken as a separate Detachment as per the rules for Super-Heavies.
Hierodules come in the Scythed variant with dual ScyTal and a Bio-Acid Spray (Template weapon similar to BA Spores in effect) and the Barbed variant with ScyTal and TL Biocannons (see Harridan). Big, nasty and quite expensive, they're tougher than the Harridan, equal W and better Sv. However, they have less MP and are walkers. Being a walker doesn't matter to Barbed, but like CC-'Fexes the Scythed one takes some time to reach combat. Once there, it does have an impressive statline except for mediocre I which admittedly isn't that big an issue for a creature of this caliber. The Barbed one is less effective in CC with lower WS and A, but considering it is intended for ranged support it's still pretty good. At range it is about as accurate as the 'Fex when kitted with ranged biomorphs. I can see the fun in playing with these, but considering I could take 3-4 Carnifexes for the price of one 'Dule, they certainly are marked for bigger games where their resiliency (and physical size) can shine. These baddies are also simply Heavy Support, so you don't need to take multiple Detachments just to field them.
Hierophant is the quintessential Bio-Titan, and the most expensive creature in the book. It equals the Hierodules in T, W and Sv, has equal MP compared to the Harridan, has an Inv save and can Regenerate to boot! It can't Regen MP, though, just W. Armed with dual ScyTal and dual, non-TL Biocannons, it is certain to worry the enemy appropriately to its physical size. As if that wasn't enough, it can Fleet (assuming you don't want to utilize its excellent ranged capability) and is protected in CC by Poisonous Spore Clouds (similar to Toxin Spore Mines in effect). Its statline is also excellent with only I lacking, though as with the Scythed 'Dule, this hardly matters much. Main drawback is the horrendous cost in points, and that your opponents might not want to play against it all the time. It is also treated as a Super-Heavy so needs to be fielded as a separate Detachment. The model is very impressive though, even if I wish they had retained the split-jaw look of the Harridan and Hierodules. =)
Malanthrope resembles a giant crossbreed of a Zoanthrope and a Ripper with Feeder Tendrils. Not too expensive (about the same as a Sniperfex), three fixed Hive Mind Powers (two useful, one less so), statline mostly akin to a Tyrant, Fleet and with a rather lethal special rule called Anaphylactic Shock, the Malanthrope is badly let down by the fact that it has a random amount of attacks and it isn't a Monstrous Creature which greatly lessens the impact of AnaShk. Oh, and despite not being a MC, it is a Large Target. This one would eat an HQ slot, and thus I can't really recommend this one except for players who might want to field it for fluff reasons in a Ripper-heavy army.
Meiotic Spores are the giant equivalent of a Spore Mine and used in a manner similar to SM Clusters down to the FOC slot. They are somewhat tougher and better armoured, utilize a more potent form of Bio-Acid and in addition to the regular blast will also scatter normal BA Spores around when detonated. They can float at two altitudes: ground, where they can affect normal units, and high, where they can affect Flyers. Being relatively cheap (a single Meiotic costs about the same as a SMC of three BioA Spores) and more effective, these are a pretty cost-effective choice for those so inclined. They're also pretty easy to convert, thus eliminating the need to order the FW model, and as such I really can't think of a drawback.
Spore Chimney is a terrain piece which spews forth Spore Mines at random, costs nothing and can function as a mission objective like the Capillary Towers.
Trygon resembles nothing more than a gigantic, monstrous Ravener. It has very impressive CC stats, high T, a good save and MP. As it has the least MP of the Gargantuan creatures, it is the cheapest of them and thus the one most easily fielded. It is a Beast, can Deep Strike via Tunneling (allowing certain other Broods to follow it), isn't destroyed even if DS takes it too close to a normal unit, and additionally has a Bio-Electric Field which can be used either offensively at short ranges or defensively as a barrier. The model also looks very good in my opinion. All in all, the Trygon is my personal favourite of the FW Tyranids, and wins the Monster of the Book award hands down.
I heartily recommend the book for anyone with a deep interest for all things Tyranid, and if you're looking to buy FW Tyranids it is essential for the rules alone.
SM and IG players get less out of it, even though the Red Scorpions and Elysian rules are interesting, as the rules for the Imp vehicles have been published in IA Update 2006 which is considerably cheaper.
For the beginner, I'd recommend investing the money in regular Codex Tyranids for now, unless you have the nagging feeling that you want the book and fear it will be unavailable by the time you finally decide to get it.
And there you have it! Feel free to ask questions, I'll answer as far as board policy allows.
Last edited by Uzi-99; August 30th, 2007 at 21:01. Reason: Added some missing mentions of FW Imperial vehicles.
"The meat things seek to destroy ourselves. They hunt us as we hunt them but they are weak and uncertain. The inferior flesh will be entirely destroyed, all biomatter consumed. Ourselves will fight to the last, all weak flesh must be devoured."
Great review of the book. I was undecided on if I should purchase it or not but your review has won me over. Sounds like a good read in addition to rules for the FW models.
Great info! I'm a bit disapointed to hear that the Hierodule is almost as powerful as the big Hierophant... I was hoping for a near-invincible giant, and the dule model doesn't look look much bigger than a carnifex.. but still cool. We'll need some of these big boys for armageddon. Good feeding ahead!
oh yeah apocalypse is gonna be so fun with big boys lots ripping tearing seen in the near future. i should probaly get the book for the rules seeing as i pan to get those nasties
good review by the way
Never broken, Never fallen, Courage out of fear.
"Those who give up often do not realize just how close they are to success when they give up."
Great review Uzi. I think this will be especially useful now that Apocalypse is coming up and people are starting to look at those super heavies a little more. [really wish I had the money for forgeworld stuff ] I would ask Karmoon or Caluin or some nid mod to put it in the sticky articles.
Last edited by Warrior47; August 30th, 2007 at 13:15.
Originally Posted by The Paint Monkey
Great book, nice idea Uzi,
Observations on D-99 for us elysians - makes elysian a far more elite force, with vetrans as troops, also reduces the number of models thereby required, although does limit the heavy weapons and other options of the already limited army
am about to go, this weekend, along with such stalwarts as Karmoon, Rork, Macewind, and famous players like Moloch, to the Second Tyranic War campaign weekend at warhammer world, forgeworld gargants are allowed, I know players that are taking between them EVERY SINGLE GARGANTUAN CREATURE, withthe exception of the Hadrian, and would not be surprised to see one there, by far the most common choice appears to be the trygon, closely followed by the heirodule, the heirophant will be there too and kicking but although the one I am aware of has only had one test game and it got despoiled by Abbadon
Last edited by Cheredanine; August 31st, 2007 at 08:30.
Everything you have been told is a lie!