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Biovores

Submitted By: Date: June 13, 2006, 02:45:32 PM Views: 2630


Biovores are the unit that most Tyranid players feel took the biggest pasting in the reworking of the Tyranid Codex. Not so much because of anything that happened to the Biovores themselves- indeed, in many ways Biovores have actually received a boost from the facelift- but because of the alterations made to the Spore Mines they fire. Whereas once they exploded, now it’s rather more the case that they “burst”, using a much smaller template for all their detonations, without a change in points cost. However, this doesn’t mean in any way that Biovores shouldn’t be used, simply that you have to alter your tactics with them slightly.

Despite their apparent weakening, Biovores still do what they always did; fill a big hole in the Tyranid list, with “Artillery” written on it. They have the longest range of any Tyranid ranged weapon, they are the only unit with barrage fire, and they are the only unit that can fire spore mines (although the pesky little critters can be taken as a Fast Attack unit, an option that I feel to be totally underrated but that doesn’t really warrant an article written about it in this particular vein). Plus, Biovores are darned cheap, and if they miss they haven’t automatically failed to do anything the way, say, everything else in the Tyranid list does.



The Mines



Frag (Frag Spore Mines)


The basic spore mine, the cheapest, the most utilitarian and the least flashy, this option works fine in a tournament list, or list designed to take on all comers. Frag Mines are pretty meaty in terms of strength, although they don’t have quite the same effect that Toxin mines do on infantry. The difference of course, is that frag mines can, glance vehicles even if they aren’t open-topped, provided of course that they have an AV of 10 somewhere on them that you can hit with your mine. All in all, good for most situations.



Poison (Toxin Spore Mines)


These are the standard anti-infantry spore mine, and they are rather effective. Of course, the fact that they now use blast templates rather than ordnance blast templates means that they are most effective against large units that might be clustered together more closely. This is particularly the case since large, clumped units tend to be weaker and more fragile, which means that the Toxin mines’ AP of 4 stands a decent chance of denying them any armour saves. This is a wonder against Eldar like Dire Avengers, the meatier varieties of Imperial Guard (I’m thinking Grenadiers or carapace armoured guard here) and other armies with reasonable numbers of average quality troopers. Their ability to auto glance open-topped vehicles make them especially pleasurable to drop on Eldar and Dark Eldar armies, especially on the Raider, a vehicle which in normal circumstances disintegrates if looked at hard, but against Tyranids is usually very hard to drop. Not any more…



Acid (Bio-Acid Spore Mines)


These are mines designed essentially to get dropped on MEQs, preferably ones with lots of tanks, or Imperial Guard. They’re expensive and weak, and against infantry, not all that impressive. Until you see the AP value. This makes a colossal difference to their effectiveness, causing marines to drop dead very unpleasantly if you get pretty lucky with your roll to wound. Of course, it’s vehicles you really want to drop them on, and they’re pretty good in that situation, although their cost is quite prohibitive. The handy thing about these is that because Biovores fire indirectly, you might be able to slap tanks in the rear armour, although at strength 1. This means that you should still be able to penetrate them (most vehicles rear armour is either 10 or 11, and 1+12



 Wounds per point of biovore  vs T3  vs T4  vs T5  vs T6  

 Toxin       0.009615           0.009615            0.009615           0.009615  

 Frag         0.01333            0.01                   0.00667             0.00333  

 Bio Acid    0.00909            0.00606              0.00303             0.00303
 


Note: This doesn't take into account armour saves, merely wounds. If armour saves are calculated, then against most T3 troops all mines perform equally effectively. Against MEQs however, Bio Acid is the most efficient mine.
Note also that this assumes one model being hit with each mine, as they all use the same template. These stats offer a comparison of each mine based on their different abilities.
Despite their apparent weakening, Biovores still do what they always did; fill a big hole in the Tyranid list, with “Artillery” written on it. They have the longest range of any Tyranid ranged weapon, they are the only unit with barrage fire, and they are the only unit that can fire spore mines (although the pesky little critters can be taken as a Fast Attack unit, an option that I feel to be totally underrated but that doesn’t really warrant an article written about it in this particular vein). Plus, Biovores are darned cheap, and if they miss they haven’t automatically failed to do anything the way, say, everything else in the Tyranid list does.



The Mines



Frag (Frag Spore Mines)


The basic spore mine, the cheapest, the most utilitarian and the least flashy, this option works fine in a tournament list, or list designed to take on all comers. Frag Mines are pretty meaty in terms of strength, although they don’t have quite the same effect that Toxin mines do on infantry. The difference of course, is that frag mines can, glance vehicles even if they aren’t open-topped, provided of course that they have an AV of 10 somewhere on them that you can hit with your mine. All in all, good for most situations.



Poison (Toxin Spore Mines)


These are the standard anti-infantry spore mine, and they are rather effective. Of course, the fact that they now use blast templates rather than ordnance blast templates means that they are most effective against large units that might be clustered together more closely. This is particularly the case since large, clumped units tend to be weaker and more fragile, which means that the Toxin mines’ AP of 4 stands a decent chance of denying them any armour saves. This is a wonder against Eldar like Dire Avengers, the meatier varieties of Imperial Guard (I’m thinking Grenadiers or carapace armoured guard here) and other armies with reasonable numbers of average quality troopers. Their ability to auto glance open-topped vehicles make them especially pleasurable to drop on Eldar and Dark Eldar armies, especially on the Raider, a vehicle which in normal circumstances disintegrates if looked at hard, but against Tyranids is usually very hard to drop. Not any more…



Acid (Bio-Acid Spore Mines)


These are mines designed essentially to get dropped on MEQs, preferably ones with lots of tanks, or Imperial Guard. They’re expensive and weak, and against infantry, not all that impressive. Until you see the AP value. This makes a colossal difference to their effectiveness, causing marines to drop dead very unpleasantly if you get pretty lucky with your roll to wound. Of course, it’s vehicles you really want to drop them on, and they’re pretty good in that situation, although their cost is quite prohibitive. The handy thing about these is that because Biovores fire indirectly, you might be able to slap tanks in the rear armour, although at strength 1. This means that you should still be able to penetrate them (most vehicles rear armour is either 10 or 11, and 1+12

Wounds per point of biovorevs T3vs T4vs T5vs T6
Toxin     0.009615         0.009615          0.009615         0.009615
Frag       0.01333          0.01                 0.00667           0.00333
Bio Acid  0.00909          0.00606            0.00303           0.00303



Note: This doesn't take into account armour saves, merely wounds. If armour saves are calculated, then against most T3 troops all mines perform equally effectively. Against MEQs however, Bio Acid is the most efficient mine.
Note also that this assumes one model being hit with each mine, as they all use the same template. These stats offer a comparison of each mine based on their different abilities.

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