Friday, January 9, 2009

The Changeling and the Glamour of Tzeentch

An unusual thing happened over the holiday period: in one of my games, I successfully used the Changeling's glamour ability on a large squad of tyranid gaunts. They shot up a trio of tyranid warriors, softening them up before a daemon prince came along to finish them off.

What the Changeling does.
The Changeling is a pink horror special character upgrade, in much the same way a Karanak is for flesh hounds. His special ability is to force an opponent to shoot at their own troops if they fail a Ld test. The opponent may choose not to shoot after being targeted by the Changeling.

How can it work against tyranids in synapse range?
A valid objection to the scenario that was stated at the start of this posting is that any tyranid brood within synapse range of a synapse creature automatically passes any leadership test required of it. However, reading the tyranid rules this is true apart from two instances: (1) psychic tests, and (2) target selection. Instance (2) is why the Changeling can affect tyranid gaunt broods - the Changeling is trying to get them to select other targets, presumably by daemonically impersonating a hive tyrant. This will in all likelihood be re-written in any new tyranid codex, as it is a relic of 4th edition.

The Double Hit.
There is an added bonus for if and when the Changeling successfully uses its ability - particularly against targets like gaunts who want to get in to close combat as quickly as possible. Since they've shot at their own targets, they cannot charge the target that they originally wanted and intended to shoot at. So not only has the Changeling inflicted damage on the enemy from fire that would have been heading toward the daemons lines, it has also averted a charge and a melee.

Changeling Issues.
(1) It is very hard to remember to use the Changeling.
(2) It is very hard to remember to use the Changeling.
(3) Point (1) was so good, it merited repetition.

Why is it so hard to remember? Simply because it is your opponents shooting phase and all you're usually used to doing is rolling saving throws.

Why take the Changeling?
(1) Fun
(2) You can use ANY miniature from your collection to represent it - not even the Changeling can recall its own proper morphology any longer!
(3) Cheap (points wise)

Just don't expect it to work - there aren't too many low Ld troops out there. You'll have to play a good number of games for it to happen in all likelihood.


Adam Hunter said...

When I took my Deathwing army to the GT I faced THE CHANGELING and I failed the LD check every bloody turn!

It ruined the game for me. :(

jabberjabber said...

Hi Mate - WOW. That must have been an exceptional set of die rolls against the Death Wing! Your opponent should have purchased a lotto ticket on that day.
I'm still working on trying to remember to use the Changeling.

RonSaikowski said...

I played against someone with it once and it definitely has that aggrivating factor when he's on the table.

If nothing else, it makes the game interesting.

eek said...

Ugh... I hope my Sallies don't encounter that any time soon. Can you imagine that combined with Vulkan He'stan? Nasty.

jabberjabber said...

Combined with Vulkan He'stan? There'd be no need for bloodletters afterward!

I'am actually surprised by how many of you have come across the Changeling in games. I didn't think it would be highly popular. I guess it is a cheap upgrade though, even if it doesn't work most of the time.

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