Me and the missus played an extremely fun 1500 point game the other night pitting bugs against new chaos. Incidentally, I think it will be fun to call it new chaos forever. The mission was cleanse. C2’s list included a bike lasher, 10 terminators, 10 berzerkers with a rhino, 10 thousand sons with a rhino, and 10 havocs with a lascannon, missile launcher, and 2 heavy bolters. I played bugs and used a psychic scream dakkarant, three squads of 12 genestealers, 3 squads of 12 gaunts with fleshborers, a sniperfex with a venom cannon and barbed strangler, and 3 zoanthropes with 2 psychic screamers and 1 synapse creature. I think the lists meshed well to create an interesting game but they probably both need a little tweaking (I’ll get to that).
The dakkarant is awesome, like a mobile heavy bolter squad re-rolling hits and wounds. At least three times I inflicted 10 armor saves on various chaos units with the big guy. The fex was hit or miss (hur hur) but when he landed those barbed strangler shots into massed troops it always did some pretty good damage. The infernal thousand sons can and did decimate genestealers at short range; I’ll have to remember to watch out for that. Probably the most interesting elements of the game were the bike lasher and the psychic scream choir. The sorcerer kept a large genestealer squad at bay for the entire game just by himself and it really weakened my whole approach on that particular side. On the last turn, after confirming that lash can indeed move monstrous creatures, she almost kept me out of one of the adjacent quarters by pushing the hive tyrant 8 inches back (a squad of genestealers was barely able to sneak in right at the end and keep it). The multiple approaching psychic screamers made powers and other important leadership tests (target priority, pinning) increasingly difficult, and that coupled with the fact that C2 was rolling pretty poorly for the entire game ensured the Tyranid win. I was able to wipe out the havocs and thousand sons entirely, plus half of the berzerkers, losing two gaunt and two genestealer squads in the process. If I remember correctly, I believe controlling the two adjacent quarters gave me a crushing victory rather than a solid or a draw.
While I was impressed with how new chaos held up to the bug advance, I don’t know how good of an all-comer list it really is. I might drop some squad sizes down a tad (havocs, berzerkers) and change the havocs gun loadout to try and fit in an obliterator or two just for more high strength, low AP weaponry. I’m changing up the tyranid list also, mainly to excise the pointless gaunts, but also take the 3 genestealer squads down to 10 (or maybe 5 squads of 6?), add a broodlord and retinue, and a second carnifex with talons, tusks, and carapace. Without the gaunts I really don’t see a reason to have a second synapse creature in the zoanthropes, since everyone’s Ld 10 and all but the genestealers will likely stay in range of his bubble, as he’ll be hiding behind carnifexes until he gets into shooting range anyway. Just one more scream to add to the choir!