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Firstly... I was looking for cheap but effective 'fex builds. I have doubts that the standard 163pt sniperfex (Barbed strangler, venom cannon, +1W, +1BS) would be able to make its points back in a game, so I was thinking of a standard dakkafex, or at least something similar, to conserve points while maintaining effectiveness.
One build I was considering was a twin-linked Barbed Strangler / +1BS 'fex, coming in at 133 points. Do you think this could be economical? Would taking a set of devourers or deathspitters be better than twin-linking the Barbed Strangler? Also, in your experiences, how effective have sniper and dakka fexes been in killing their point's worth in a game?
Also, I've been looking around, and I've discovered that I could buy hormagaunt bodies + fleshborers from battlewagonbits and convert my own gargoyles for less than $2 a model... so I was also thinking: If you had enough of both models, would you choose gargoyles over hormagaunts?
The sniper fex will earn its points back. They are highly effective against pretty much everything and are simply good. The dakka fexes are also good. 2xtwinlinked devourers+BS is the typical loadout because you can fit it in an elite slot if need be. I don't have much experience with dakkas though because I don't have enough carnis
I personally use the double bs for most of my games, simply because I made a conversion for it in 3rd edition that I think looks awesome and I have sentimental attachments to it. I think it works fine and I like it, but the sniper is probably more versitile.
One way to convert gargs is to use plasticard to make insect like wings. Another is to make the wings out of the hormagaunt scything talons, that way you don't need the wing pieces and you can get the guns from the normal gaunt sprue.
I would probably choose hormies because they are a little more reliable. I think that gargs are better, but more expensive, so you need to be more strategic with them. They fill a little different roles also. The gargs are for striking fast and hard, killing things fast while the hormagaunts are for tieing things up for several turns while stealers and things can get to them. There is a relatively new trend though for people to use scuttling gaunts instead of hormagaunts though, so that also opens up the possibility that you don't even need the hormies.
If you can get gargs though, use them, they are good, but I would have hormies or hormy substitutes first.
Originally Posted by The Paint Monkey
Twin linking any weapon on a fex that doesnt come twin linked as standard is a major waste! They can fire two weapons for a reason! If your looking for somthing cheaper than the venom cannon, try a barbed strangler and twinlinked deathspitters.
The reason people match the VC with the BS is that they both have the same range and can always fire together and will kill anything on the board. Terminators were my biggest fear in a game but this baby eats them alive! As for not making their points back, in one turn your can take down a chaos land raider that costs about 100points more than your fex. So it depends on what your firing at!
As for gargars, Id take them over hormies any day of the weak. Basically because hormies cost alot and dont do very much for that cost. You were saying that the 163 point fex wouldnt make back its points? Well thats only 16 hormies, and they will kill 2, maybe 3 marines if your lucky. Gargoyles however have a shooting attack, then a charge and come with bio plasma. For the extra 2 points they will cost you, your going to take out more of your enemy! Plus they have the ability of taking out tanks and skimmers!
I share your feelings about the high price for the sniperfex. I take 2 in my 1500pt take-all-comers list (VC, BS, +BS, +Sv, 173pts each), and they don't generally make their points back. BUT, when you inevitably end up against a tank-or-skimmer-heavy army, you are really going to need these guys there to help. At the very least, they can stun a vehicle or two every turn, which really gives your fast critters an advantage while they're closing the distance. Plus, against skimmers, sniperfexes are really your only hope. (except Zoanthropes, but they aren't really offensive units. I'd say 1 out of 5 games I play, a Zoanthrope surprises me and blows something up)
When I'm playing an army that isn't tank-heavy, and I can confidently predict that the sniperfexes won't make their points back by making SM's take a couple armor saves every turn, I am fond of charging them across the field, shrieking and roaring like giant rabid chickens. Even though they aren't all that impressive in cc for their points, this tactic sometimes tricks the opponent into wasting more shots on them, which also helps my little bugers while they're advancing. I always keep them out of charge range though.
I have been thinking about sniperfexes a lot lately, but I really can't think of a substitute for them. They are Tank/Skimmer Hunters, and there isn't ay other Tyranid unit who can fill that role. And VC's and BS's are the only guns they can take with the Strength needed for the job.
As for your other question about gaunts and gargoyles, I am a convert to the Scuttlegaunt Cult. I still run hormies too, but that's just cause I don't have enough spinegaunt models to totally replace them yet. Think about the qualities your dream gaunts would have: alarming speed, high numbers, and low points cost. Scuttlers are just as fast as hormies, except they get the 12" move earlier in the game, so your opponent is more worried about them. Plus they are fast enough to even screen your flyers. They are a LOT cheaper than hormies, so they have higher numbers, too. Which means they can tie up enemy units longer.
I never use gargoyles, but I don't think I ever will. The only thing I can see gargs being good at would be to assault the rear armor of skimmers with fleshborers and bio-plasma. But they are so expensive, I can't imagine they would ever be worth it.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
The Carnifex is one of our only options against Heavy Vehicles (AV14). While often not very good at destroying said vehicles it often disables them or stops them from firing allowing us to get genestealers, Zoans, or Hivetyrants close enough to finish it off. It also prevents Ordinance being fired from said tanks which decimates our troops. While it may never kill its points worth its strategic elements both defensive and offensive make it one of the most valuable units in the game to us.
As Always it depends who you play and the Target you seek.
Against IG and Orks any target is great and it will excel at
Against Marines focus on the vehicles its great at disabling though pesky dreadnoughts
Against Tau again focus on vehicles or suits remember you get instant kill and they only have a 3+ save (against broadsides use Zoans)
Basically to cut it short if you opponent has a 4+ save or better focus on the vehicles to disable them. Otherwise assess the threat based on weapons and direct you fire at the leman russ or IG heavy weapons squad of 3 LC's.
I had a 168 point BS & VC + 1T fex kill nothing all game. But it made its points back because it didn't die till turn 4 against Tau with all the plasma and railgun shots directed at it and not my Hive Tyrant. (admittedly my opponent rolled bad but so did I ).
Admittedly My Sniper Fex (standard for me is 148pts) doesn't usually kill 148 points of stuff. However it will draw more than its fair share of fire, and disable tanks so they can't shoot etc etc. Allowing for my genestealers, gaunts and Zoans and Hivetyrants to get close enough without becoming ribbons.
The amount of times My IG opponent complains that his tank can't fire because his crew is a bunch of little girls. and therefore can't get that last wound of the Hive tyrant or Ordinance the hormagaunts about to mince his lines. They are not only worth there points they are only thing keeping the rest of your army earning theirs.
Remember if you take a dakkafex (which are solid points earners BTW) a leman russ will have free reign on your lines and a leman russ with free reign will earn its points back, 4x over in a 6 turn game. (don't even mention the monolith )
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I've had great succes with a sniperfex, I've found the +1T upgrade to be the best of the lifeprolonging ones though.
The trouble with this kind of "point for point" thinking is, that its far too easy to say "it didnt kill 168pts of enemy troops, this thing sucks" but how many points is it worth that the enemy tank shot at the fex 4 turns instead of firing at your warriors? how many points is it worth that prevented the enemy tank from firing for 3 turns? how much is it worth that it keeps enemy tanks away from optimal firing positions by dominating firing lanes?
If you want to evaluate how well a unit is performing, you have to do it in the context of your army, for an all CC army with hormies, stealers and flying CC warriors, having some ranged antitank capability is worth a lot, in a tyranid army with lots of venom cannon armed warriors, it will probably be less useful/necessary.
An additional thing you might consider is "Am I using the fex right" if you're charging headlong at the enemy, guns blazing and keep losing your fex to plasmagun fire, its probably not the fex that doesnt work... (ok, its a very simplified example, but you get the picture).