The Erosion of the Fast FOC Slot

While looking through the new Tyranid Codex this past weekend something finally clicked. Over the last several codices that have been released the Fast FOC Slot has become very eroded.

The new Tyranids have some amazing Elite choices - almost too many. You have your Zoanthropes, the Doom, Lictors, Death Leaper, Venomthrope (not awesome on his own but if you really read his rules he is quite a boost), and Hive Guard. These choices are all really nice and you would like to field them. Now look at the Tyranid Fast slot - Winged Warriors with a 4+ save, Ravenors, Harpies, and Gargoyles. You just really aren't spoiled for choices in this slot. In all the lists that I have been making for Tyranids it has been a struggle to try and fit in all the Elites I want because I don't have enough slots but my Fast choices sit empty.+

This trend holds true for the majority of armies that have been released even since fourth edition. Take a look at the first true 5th edition army - Chaos Daemons. They have some of the nastiest units in the whole game in their elites slot - Blood Crushers and Fiends of Slaanesh. The Flamers in that slot are also some of the most potent offensive units in the game. Now look at the fast slot - Flesh Hounds, Screamers and Furies are all really lackluster choices. The Seekers of Slaanesh are pretty solid but there aren't even any models available for them now. The disparity between the two are just shocking.

Again and again across different armies the Elite choices so outshine the Fast Attack options that you are starting to see less and less Fast Attack units being fielded. The Orks have some really fast and potent choices in their elites - The Nob Bikers. They also have Lootas, Flamers, and Meganobz. Over on the fast attack you have a whole team of lackluster entries that rarely see any competitive play - Deffkopta models are horridly abundant due to AOBR but you hardly ever see them on the table because they just don't perform.

Even Space Wovles Fast Attack choices have been left out in the cold. With Thunderwolves being so potent you are better off spending your points on them instead of buying some bikes or jump packs. And not letting the Wolf Guard join the jump pack units hurts that choice even more.

The only army to buck this trend does it in style - the Imperial Guard. The Guard have some amazing choices in every slot. In elites they have the Psyker Battle Squad that can take a Chimera transport. Then over in Fast they have some of the best units in the whole game - the Valkyrie and Vendetta Gunship along with the Hellhound and all of it's variants. I don't know of anyone who would argue that the fast attack choices of the Guard are lacking. My question is - why don't ALL armies have such nice choices in all of their slots?

It might not seem fair to compare Elites and Fast as they fill different options. But if you look at the majority of builds out there - especially competitive builds - I think you will see that the chocies from the Fast slot are lacking compared to all the other choices that the majority of the current armies have. Will Blood Angels buck this trend? Only time will tell.