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The Strengths of the NEW Tyranids - Foundation for Competitive Tyranids (Eldar Tactica p.318 & 319)  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





San Jose, CA

So far, the early consensus for the new Tyranids is that they've gotten worse. They've lost a lot of their good "stuff" from the previous codex and a lot of their units have actually gotten worse. Some examples of the "nerfs" done to the new Tyranids include:

  • No more access to the rulebook psychic powers. That means no more Biomancy or Telepathy.

  • They lost key units like Ymgarl genestealers, mycetic spores and in particular, the Doom of Ma'lantai.

  • The Instinctive Behaviour table is now more punishing. Whereas before, if you fail the test, you either did nothing or you charged with Rage, now if you fail your IB test, you can actually Fall Back, be Pinned or even take damage!

  • Key units have gotten worse or more expensive. Examples include tervigons, who are now more expensive, do not have access to Biomancy, cannot buff termagants with Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs anymore, whose explosion will kill gants within 12" instead of the previously 6" and newly spawned gants now cannot move or assault. Gargoyles with Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs are now more expensive than before by 25% and mawlocs can actually Mishap if they don't kill the models that they hit when they come up. Trygons have lost the ability to re-roll hits, Zoanthropes now have the Brotherhood of Psyker special rule and Swarmy is no longer the hard-hitting monster that he used to be. This list goes on.

  • Scything talons no longer give you re-rolls to hit and boneswords no longer ignore all armour saves.

  • Tyranids have lost much of their mobiltiy that used to make them so dangerous. Gone are the Mycetic Spores. Gone are the Ymgarls. Now you practically have to footslog the new bugs. By losing their mobility, Tyranids have also lost a lot of flexibility.


  • But enough with the negativity. This article isn't about the forecasted doom and gloom about the new Tyranids. As a competitive player, my natural tendency is look to the strengths of the army and I am actually liking what I see. I think that tyranids do have the building blocks for a good army. How good that army will be remains to be seen, but I feel that new tyranids may surprise some people. So how have the new Tyranids gotten better?


    Note - A lot of changes have occurred since the current Tyranid codex came out, including the addition by GW of many new units as well as an entire edition change. The Tyranid community that this thread has blossomed into will be doing a more comprehensive update to this tactica thread to include the strengths and review of ALL Tyranid units, not just the ones that can be considered tactically for a competitive Tyranid army. I'd like to thank in advance all the members of the community who have and/or will be contributing to this arduous task. -Jim



    The Strengths of the Tyranids


    OVERVIEW


    Psychic Powers:
    Most will see the loss of Biomancy and other rulebook powers as a large detriment. However, the Tyranid psychic powers really aren't that bad. Catalyst is a gem and perhaps the best Tyranid psychic power. The Horror is actually great against non-Fearless units with lower Leaderships (think Riptides and such). Onslaught gives them some extra range. Paroxysm is useful against shooty armies and Psychic Scream can turn any unit into a mini-Doom of Ma'lantai. Finally, Warp Blast is now available not only to Zoanthropes, but to Tyrants and the Swarmlord as well. Tyranid psychic powers are actually quite good and that helps to lessen the sting of losing Biomancy.


    Regeneration:
    Regeneration on a Tyranid monstrous creature is amazing now. Before, you only regenerate on a roll of a 6. Now, you regenerate 1 Wound each turn on a 4+! Now I don't recommend Regeneration on every TMC (Tyranid Monstrous Creature) in the army, but definitely for key units like a Tervigon or maybe even your flyrants.


    Tyranid Melee Weapons:
    While tyranids have lost the ability to re-roll hits (or re-roll 1's to hit) with the scything talons, now almost any pair of melee weapons can combine to give them +1 Attack. So that meanst the dual boneswords by the Swarmlord gives him 5 Attacks now compared to 4 before. 2 scything talons, scything talons + rending claws, scything talons + crushing claws or even scything talons + boneswords (or bonesword + lashwhips) will give +1 Attack. Base units that benefit from this (assuming they don't trade in their melee weapons for shooting attacks) include the Swarmlord, hive tyrants, lictors and the Deathleaper. Moreover, most TMC's can take a tail biomorph for an extra attack.


    Reduced Costs:
    With a few exceptions, the majority of the Tyranid units have gone down in cost. Some of them have even gone down substantially. For example, the Tyrannofex with Rupture Cannon is 60-pts cheaper than before. Flyrants with twin-linked devourers and mawlocs are down 30-pts and the base carnifex is down 40-pts! More importantly, Tyranid gribblies such as termagants and hormagants have gone down in points for their base costs. Now, both hoard Tyranids and Nidzilla builds have become more viable.



    HQ's


    Deathleaper: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    Personally, the Deathleaper is somewhat of a letdown to me compared to the previous edition. He really doesn't have anything special to offer to the army. But before I go into why he is such a disappointment in this edition, let us examine how he can contribute to a Tyranid army first.

    1. The ability to pop up anyone on the table without scatter is highly useful. You can place him on an objective if you need. You can put him behind a vehicle for some rear shots. You can use him to lure enemy resources away from your main force as your opponent has to dedicate some of his resources to deal with your HQ. Basically, with Chameleonic Skin, you can dictate where you want your opponent to go to a degree.

    2. Homing beacon. With the advent of Tyranid spore pods (tyrannocytes), he has become more useful than ever. Infiltrate him in a strategic location and the following turn, when you mawlocs or pods come in, they can do so accurately, assuming as long as Deathleaper survives.

    3. He is actually an offensive threat to transports and smaller, MSU-type units. As a result, he really cannot be ignored and the opponent will have to deal with him and in doing so, you can direct where you want your opponent to go. It also helps to make your army slightly more durable as your opponent has to allocate some of his firepower/offense to deal with your HQ.

    4. Bullet catcher. He is very durable to shooting thanks to his "Where Is It?" special rule. He can actually absorb a lot of firepower due to enemy units only being able to snap-shoot against it. So if your opponent decides to shoot at him, he would actually have to put a lot of resources/firepower into doing so. That means less guns against the rest of the Tyranid army.

    5. "It's After Me!" This special rule of Deathleaper can be useful at times. It helps against MC characters against powers like the Horror and Psychic Scream. It also helps when an enemy character has to take a Perils in the Warp LD test.


    Despite his general utility, the Deathleaper has actually gotten worse than in the previous edition. So why is he not as good?

    1. Limited mobility. Before, he had an ability where he could go back into Reserves and redeploy anywhere he wanted. Now, that ability is gone and with it, basically his awesome mobility. Now he comes in from Reserves and he becomes a sitting duck, especially if he is your Warlord.

    2. "It's After Me!" has been nerfed due to the changes in how Psychic Powers work. Before, the greatest asset of this special rule was that it would make it harder for psykers to get off their psychic powers (due to psychic tests testing on LD rather than on warp dice). Now, the special rule is reduced to more esoteric applications with more criteria that needs to be fulfilled before it can become useful.

    3. He is vulnerable in Assault. T4 with 5+ means that he can very easily be killed in assault to anything other than a min-sized MSU unit. And with his lack of mobility, he just can't get away from some of the faster assault units.

    4. No Synapse. For an HQ unit, he provides no Synapse relief, nor does he provide much in terms of offense or force-multiplication powers.

    5. As an HQ unit, he has to compete with the almighty flyrant (Hive Tyrant with wings). I really can't see any reason to take him over a 2nd flyrant.

    6. He is expensive. For the price of the Deathleaper, you can get 2 lictors and change, which in my opinion would be more useful to the army.

    The only time that I can see him in gameplay is if one wants to run the Deathleaper's Assassin Brood formation. Otherwise, I can't recommend him in any Tyranid army, especially at the expense of another flyrant. Actually, I take that back. I would recommend him in a game, but only if you really want to take it easy on the opponent.

    Grades: D



    Old One Eye: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    Old One Eye is mainly a hammer HQ unit. He does help out his army somewhat with his Alpha Leader special rule, but mainly, he is just a blunt-force tool used to ram down the enemy's throat. Although I have not used him yet, I am finding it hard to fit him into my lists. First of all, how does he fit into a Tyranid army?

    1. Hammer time! This guy is a pure close combat beast, with 5 S10 attacks base and 6 on the charge, plus an additional attack with his tail. Moreover, for every hit he makes (not including his tail), he gets an additional hit. He can potentially case 12 S10 hits on the charge!

    2. Tank crusher. This guy will smash any tanks in his way. With a natural S10, D3 S10 Hammer of Wrath hits on the charge and crushing claws, he will turn any tank he encounters into scrap metal. If only his Initiative was higher, he'd be perfect against Imperial Knights. But as it is, it is better for him to receive the charge in cover from an Imperial Knight than for him to charge one instead. At least he will still get his D3 S10 Hammer of Wrath hits against a knight. So moral of the story? Do not charge a knight unless it only has 1-2 HP's remaining or out of sheer desperation.

    3. Alpha Leader. This is the only force-multiplication power that Old One Eye provides for the army. It can help the Tyranid gribblies and lesser creatures, but it is no substitute for Synapse.

    4. Tyrannocytes. One of his biggest weaknesses is his lack of mobility. You can now address this weakness by putting Old "Pod" Eye in a Tyrannocyte spore.

    5. Cost. He's come down in price by 30-pts since the previous edition. Now, it doesn't hurt quite as much as it used to to give him a try in your army.


    So with his devastating close combat prowess, is he worth taking in a Tyranid army? Before you do, you need to realize that he's got some serious drawbacks.

    1. Very limited mobility. He is slow as gak. He doesn't even have the option to take Adrenal Glands. Now taking a Tyrannocyte spore can help to address this weakness. It would also take him to almost 300-pts, which then makes him exorbitant cost-wise!

    2. No Synapse. While Alpha Leader is decent, it is still no substitute for Synapse. Testing on LD8 for Instinctive Behavior just cannot compare to not even having to test for Instinctive Behavior. Worst of all, OOE himself is vulnerable to this. There's nothing worse than if you have to clear an enemy unit on an objective, fail your Instinctive Behavior test and end up charging the wrong target just because it is closer. That is a game-loser there.

    3. For a cc-brute, WS3 and no re-rolls to hit just cannot compare to some of the other, more specialized assault units in the game. Throw in low Initiative and OOE will be lucky if he can even survive an assault by an Imperial Knight out of cover. Any assault unit that can fight back before OOE gets to attack, or units buffed up with good defenses (i.e. 3++ storm shields, Invisibility, Fortune, Destroyer weaponry attacking first, etc.) will beat down OOE. Finally, lack of grenades or any type of Invulnerable save means that this unit who is supposed to be a close combat specialist just cannot compete with many of the other assault specialists in the game.

    4. Resiliency. For someone who costs almost as much as 2 stock carnifexes, he is just slightly more resilient than 1 carnifex. Although he has Regeneration and can get FNP after taking the 1st Wound (that is, if you make him your Warlord), 4 Wounds on this beast just does not cut it. If forced to footslog against the enemy, there is just no way he will ever make it into combat if the enemy does not allow him to. Putting him in a tyrannocyte spore improves his chances of seeing action. Still, if the opponent opted to focus on him, he should be gone in 1 turn of concentrated firepower. If the opposition focuses on him, his regeneration wouldn't even come into play as he should be dead before the turn is over.

    5. As an HQ unit, he has to compete with the almighty flyrant (Hive Tyrant with wings). It is really hard to justify taking him over a flyrant, unless one plays in a meta where you see lots of land raiders and other heavy armor. Still, his lack of resiliency makes it hard to take him even in such a case.

    6. Cost. While he is cheaper now than he was before, as a pure CC beast, he still cannot compete against the likes of the dimachaeron. He isn't even as good as a unit of 2 stock carnifexes (though while a little more expensive, they are almost twice as survivable as OOE).

    Old One Eye has some promise. GW made him an attractive assault option for the Tyranid army as well as a super tankbuster. However, design-wise, his limitations as an assault unit is just too great for me to ever recommend him for any Tyranid army. Actually, I take that back. I would recommend him in a game, but only if you really want to take it easy on the opponent.

    Grades: D (on foot), C (in Tyrannocyte)



    The Swarmlord: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    The Swarmlord is arguably the single most deadly close-combat unit in the Tyranid codex. However, not only is he a close-combat stud, but he is a force-multiplier unit (FMU) as well. He serves to make the Tyranid army better with his buffs. So what makes the Swarmlord stand out?

    1. He buffs the Tyranid army with an 18" Synapse that could extend to 24" with the Dominion psychic power. That is more than any other unit in the codex.

    2. He is the best psyker in the army currently. He makes for a good psychic battery and has a better chance to get certain psychic powers than any other unit in the codex.

    3. His Alien Cunning allows the army to modify Reserve rolls. Swarmlord is worth considering if you are planning to run a null-deployment or reserve-heavy Tyranid army.

    4. His Swarm Leader ability allows him to buff another Tyranid unit with either Furious Charge, Monster Hunter or Preferred Enemy.

    5. He is very dangerous in Assault, with attacks that cause Instant Death. He is also more resilient in CC than any other Tyranid unit due mainly to 2 factors. First is that he is the only Tyranid unit with a 4++ Invulnerable save in CC. Second is his high Weapon Skill (WS9). That means WS4 MEQ's with power fists/thunderhammers/etc. are hitting him on 5's instead of 4's. It would be better for most non-elite Assault units to steer clear of the Swarmlord.


    As good as the Swarmlord is in Assault, however, he does have certain limitations that prevent him from being an All-star in the army like the flyrant is. So what are Swarmlord's weaknesses?

    1. He is slow. It is almost necessary to get him a delivery system like the Tyrannocyte drop pod if you really want to get him into assault.

    2. Lack of any non-psychic shooting whatsoever means that he can only rely on Assault for offense. In this age of flyers and deathstars, you cannot always rely on Assault alone. Against certain armies, he is basically a cheerleader instead of the main event.

    3. Resiliency. While Swarmlord is more resilient than a standard Tyrant, a Toughness 6 unit with 5 Wounds and only a 3+ save is actually not very resilient at all. He won't survive the shooting of the more shooty armies, especially if he has to huff it across the table to reach them. Giving him Tyrant Guard bodyguards or a Tyrannocyte can greatly increase his resiliency. However, they also significantly increase his cost as well.

    4. No more Biomancy powers. Swarmlord used to be much feared back when he could take Biomancy psychic powers. Those powers could potentially offset his lack of resiliency or increase his combat potential. As good as the Tyranid powers are, however, they are used more to help the army rather than to help the psyker himself. What Swarmlord really needs are psychic powers that can be used to help himself.

    5. Lack of grenades for an Assault unit. The lack of assault grenades means that he is vulnerable to certain assault units standing in terrain. His one advantage is his high Initiative, but if he is striking at the same time as Powerfists and Thunderhammers, then he really doesn't have that advantage. Worse yet, he might even die before he can even strike against certain units, especially units with Force weapons.


    The Swarmlord is still a very dangerous unit and an excellent force-multiplier for the army. In that regards, he can still add value to the Tyranid army depending on the build. However, his weaknesses are harsh, especially in an edition that is more about shooting and mobility, both of which the Swarmlord lacks. It is especially because of those weaknesses why you won't see him in the most competitive Tyranid armies.

    Grades: B (on foot), B+ (in Tyrannocyte spore)



    Hive Tyrant: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    The Hive Tyrant is the heart of the competitive Tyranid army, especially when you give him wings and some guns. He works best with Wings, 2x twin-linked Brainleech Devourers and Electroshock Grubs. He is a major force-multiplier that helps the Tyranid army in so many categories, including:

    1. Reliable anti-tank with Devourers and Electroshock Grubs.

    2. Excellent mobility as a flying monstrous creature. Can threaten enemy targets almost anywhere on the table.

    3. Mobile Synapse.

    4. Psychic support for the army.

    5. He is a major offensive threat in the army and the best shooter in the army.

    6. The best anti-air offense in the army.

    7. Bullet magnet that can soak up a lot of enemy firepower and still survive. This helps to make the rest of the army more survivable.

    The major weakness of the shooty flyrant is that he will have problems against 2+ save units due to the lack of AP2 shooting. He is also mediocre in Assault. He can beat non-dedicated assault units, but you really don't want him getting into combat with any dedicated assault units due to a lack of an Invulnerable save on it.

    There are also 2 other Hive Tyrants. The close-combat Tyrant and the walking Tyrant (or walkrant). The cc-tyrant isn't really an optimal load-out because, once again, the lack of a Invulnerable save in close combat is a weakness when going up against enemy dedicated assault units. Also, if the cc-tyrant kills the enemy on the wrong turn (i.e. kills it on the Tyrant's turn), then he is open to getting shot at while on the ground by then enemy. In a competitive Tyranid army, there is no question that the shooty tyrant outclasses the cc-tyrant. The shooty tyrant can contribute to the Tyranid offense without putting itself at unnecessary risk, whereas the cc-tyrant cannot contribute to the Tyranid offense unless it puts itself at risk.

    The walkrant can be used as an anchor to a primarily ground-based Tyranid force. He can be quite survivable if you attach some Tyrant Guards to it. However, this type of tyrant lacks the mobility of the flyrant and, as a result, lacks flexibility as well. It takes him longer to contribute (whereas the flyrant can contribute right away) and also allows the enemy more time to shoot at it and its army while it slowly marches up towards the enemy. You could put the walkrant in a Tyrannocyte spore to give him some mobility, but if you do so, then you will be better off putting the Swarmlord or a dakkafex in there instead. From a competitive standpoint, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to take a walkrant over a flyrant.

    Grades: A+ (dakka flyrant), B (shooty walkrant), C (cc-flyrant), D (cc-walkrant)



    Tervigon: (by Frozocrone)
    Spoiler:
    Background
    The Tervigon first arrived in 5th edition and was one of the best units in the Codex at that time. By simply paying for a minimum size unit of Termagants, you could take a Tervigon as a Troops choice, meaning it was the only Objective Secured Monster. In addition to this, it could also grant Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands to nearby Termagants simply by purchasing it for themselves. Better still, it could create Termagants by itself! They could also trade their Psychic Powers for Biomancy ones, making them even more durable. The only downside was if it died it usually took out nearby Termagants with it's Synaptic Backlash. For these reasons, it was common to see competitive lists spam Tervigons. When the new Codex arrived, everybody expected the Tervigon to be nerfed, but nobody expected it to be nerfed as hard as it was. It increased in points, but was nerfed harder still; it can no longer grant Adrenal Glands/Toxin Sacs to nearby Termagants, lost the ability to take Biomancy powers, doubled the range of it's Synaptic Backlash, increasing the number of Termagants it will likely take down.The biggest thing though, it now requires a maximum unit size of Termagants to be taken as a Troops choice, which is a considerable points investment, despite Termagants themselves getting cheaper. With 7th edition, it was nerfed still, since it was the only Monstrous Creature that could score in 6th. In 7th, it lost that niche. To make matters worse for the Tervigon, tournaments are ruling that any Termagants spawned by it do not have Objective Secured.

    Competitive usage
    As explained in the background, it has several glaring drawbacks to taking a Tervigon. It must either pay a large points tax to be taken as a Troops choice, or compete with the Flyrant in the HQ slot. So where might a Tervigon fit in?

    The Tervigon is not an offensive machine in combat, nor is it a gunline sharpshooter. It is strictly a support unit and should only be taken once in a competitive list. Here are some strengths of taking a Tervigon.

    1) It can still generate Termagants, which can act as a roadblock or tarpit for dangerous units, allowing the rest of a Tyranid army to deal with other units and take control of the battlefield.

    2) The Tervigon also has access to some unique Biomorphs not available to all Tyranid Monstrous Creatures. The most notable of these are Electroshock Grubs and Crushing Claws. This allows a Tervigon to act as a vehicle killer and deters Imperial Knights from charging for fear of D3 Haywire hits from Wall of Death. The Tervigon also has access to Bio-artifacts, see the Bio-artifacts section for recommended purchases.

    3) The Tervigon is one of the most durable Tyranid Monstrous Creatures in the Codex and is the most durable Synapse unit that Tyranids have. This allows it to act as a Synapse beacon for your Ground forces and allows a Tyranid player to use their Flyrants and other fast options more aggressively.

    4) The Tervigon is a Level 1 Psyker, which means it generates a WC for your other Psykers to use. It can also make use of some powers, such as Catalyst, to keep a Tyranid army and itself alive, allowing the army to continue function.

    5) It can be given Objective Secured, meaning it can claim an objective right from under an opponents nose. This can be very useful in Maelstrom missions when you need to get an objective that is being held by a non-Objective Secured troop.

    6) In smaller point games, it can create a larger percentage of points-worth of troops. This can give an advantage to a Tyranid player as they will, essentially, be using more points than the opponent.

    The Tervigon is by no-means a unit not worthy of consideration in a competitive list, as it does something that no other unit in the army can. However, it is not the auto-include that it was in 5th edition and competitive lists can take other options over the Tervigon.

    Overall rating: C



    Tyranid Prime: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    The Tyranid Prime is the cheap mans HQ. It is not a Tyrant. It will not wade into a horde of soldiers and kill anything with impunity. It will not easily kill any major special characters and most generics that have been kitted out. The Tyranid Prime is not there to lead the horde from the front, but to support it.

    1. It is the only Independent Character left in the codex.

    2. It is one of the few to have the option to buy assault grenades.

    3. It is moderately versatile.

    4. Its cheap.

    Lets be frank.You took this because its cheap. You didn't take it for durability because it has very little in that regard. A single lucky S10 hit is going to take him out. So, keep that in mind as you kit it because your looking at the only Tyranid HQ with a permanent kick me sign on it's much-more-expensive-this-edition back. If you are taking this, you had better be going for overkill in your other slots because you will need to pick up the slack.

    To go into the basic options, you are looking at a Tyranid Warrior with boosted stat line but with some catches. The Tyranid Prime can only bring its stat line to real benefit inside a unit of Warriors who also benefit from several boosted stats. So, to put it bluntly, your paying the price of a Flyrant and then some for 12 wounds at majority toughness 4 with Look out Sir to keep your HQ alive. This will only make it a much larger target and fair easier to kill. So, why bother? Simple, Bio-artefacts. The Tyranid Prime can pick up the Miasma Cannon which with its stateline, is a fairly good option to get some shots in, and it can function in tandem with a small unit of warriors armed with a barbed strangler to ensure some good output. Beyond that, if you are feeling bold, the Norn Crown is an expensive but useful option to put on this thing. Just make sure to not go overboard on options, because this thing will have quite a bit gunning for it. For close combat, a light approach of Maw Claws of Thyrax, Flesh Hooks, and a Lashwhip and Bonesword will carry it through most conflicts fairly comfortably at 160 points with some good benefits if it goes hunting characters.

    For transportation purposes, it can use a Trygon tunnel or a pod at a cost. The best option is to take a pod with a small retinue of 3-4 warriors and use them like a tactical squad of terminators. Upon landing, use the boosted ballistic skill to fire into whatever your target it, and prepare for assault in the next turn. The pod can also make up for the lack of bodies because it also has multiple devourers to help weaken the enemy unit. If you upgraded your retinue's melee weapons to rending claws, you can get a bit more mileage out of them and hopefully wipe out a unit in the following turn. Another option in the pod is a group of 17 toxigaunts, which is supposed to be with their Prime babysitter. A LW/BS and Scything Talon combination will cause large amounts of concern to high toughness multi-wound models. The Prime is given plenty of ablative wounds and the toxigaunts are ensured to make it into assault without risking a fall back or mauling each other, which helps ensure that whatever this unit is dedicated to taking down is tarpitted and killed.

    Grades: A (Miasma Prime), B+ (Pod Prime), C (Vanilla)



    Tyrant Guard: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    Tyrant Guard serve one single purpose; to protect the Hive Tyrant.

    1. They are now 10 points cheaper.

    2. More streamlined for defense.

    The Tyrant Guard brood is a sturdy and good investment for any ground based Hive Tyrant or Swarmlord. With the changes to the Shieldwall rule, a guard is a 50 point pair of ablative wounds for it. One point to note is that once combined, the Hive Tyrant is unable to leave, which means that any pairing must have good synergy. This immediately cancels out buying Tyrant Guard for any flyrants in your army. So, to understand fully what this means, you can't fly, and drop pods are out of the question since it it would require 2 pods to carry the unit. It will be forced to cover any distance on foot. Now, to make a point of this, if you are not running a Swarmlord, adrenal glands are nearly mandatory for a close combat oriented tyrant guard brood in order to ensure that you waste as little time as possible in the open. This helps to add extra durability by keeping them sweeping from assault to assault with fleet, spending as little time as possible in the open to be shot by your opponents high strength high AP weaponry.

    Now, when you get down to it, the Tyrant Guard serve only in 2 specific functions. You bring them along to ensure that your Hive Tyrant survives from point A to point B, or as a combat multiplier. A brood of 3 stock guard are a good insurance policy for a Swarmlord or tooled out Hive Tyrant with Reaper, etc. These are serious point investments and an extra 6 wounds will ensure that they absorb plenty of punishment. Another option is if you have a walkrant and you plan for it to go after vehicles. Armed with a venom cannon, it would not be out of the question to take a single or pair of guard with a single or even both with crushing claws to add extra damage for vehicles. The trick at this point is to try and conserve points between the two to ensure you don't wind up with a too expensive unit that may take longer than expected to make back its points. A tyrant going after characters or multi-wound MCs would never leave home without several guard armed with the LW/BS combo to give the unit multiple attacks coming in at I7 with a good chance to ID.

    Now, one last thing to mention is that you can purposefully make a suicide tyrant unit. Just keep the tyrant stock and keep it to the front of a brood of LW/BS guards. Allow it to tank rounds and avoid using the auto-passing LOS rule until it gets to a single wound. At which point, by the time you enter melee, you will have a very vulnerable tyrant that might just die in overwatch. At which point, you have 3 very angry Tyrant Guard in assault. That will be 15 S6 attacks at I7 with Rending/ID on 6s. Not much will live since you can hit most units on 3s.

    Grades: B- (CrushGuard), B- (LW/BS Guard), C (Vanilla)

    Grading - An Alternate Perspective: (by tag8833)

    Reason(s): I've run Tyrant Guards quite a lot, and feel like this writeup misses or diminishes a few of the things they do.

    1) They make a Walkrant or a Swarmlord really, really survivable. To that end, you can make do with 1 less synapse creature in your army.
    2) The allow you to multi-assault with an MC. Since close combat is the safest place for a TMC to be, this is huge.
    3) Its the only way to get crushing claws into a Tyrant's unit. I always include one Tyrant guard with Crushing claws in a bodyguard contingent unless I'm running a backfield blast tyrant (and why would I?). 7th is the age of vehicles, and having one model that can get you out of combat with a walker is critical. I take my tyrant / Swarmlord all the way down to 1 wound before killing this guard if there are walkers/vehicles on the table.
    4) I'm not sure where you are coming from with BS + LW. Every character you might join to them can take that, and do so on a more durable platform that can challenge people out.
    5) You can do Wound allocation shenanigan with the auto-LOS. Often my Tyrant, and all 3 Tyrant Guard go down to 1 wound before the first model is removed.

    Common Builds:
    Swarmlord Deathstar - 3 Tyrant Guard ( 1 w/ Crushing Claws) + Swarmlord - Drop it to 2 in 1500 or smaller games. Grade B. In Maelstrom (A-)
    Tyrant Deathstar - 3 Tyrant Guard ( 1 w/ Crushing Claws, all have AG) + Tyrant (BS + LW, RC, TS, AG) - Drop it to 2 in 1500 or smaller games. Grade B In Maelstrom (A-)
    Tyranid Prime Deathstar - 3 Tyrant Guard ( 2 w/ Crushing Claws, all have AG) + Tyranid Prime (BS + LW, Maw Claws, TS, AG, FH) - Fit in a Tyrannocyte. Grade C+
    Land Raider Hunters - 3 Tyrant Guard ( 2 w/ Crushing Claws, all have AG) possibly in a Tyrannocyte. Grade C




    TROOPS


    Termagants: (by tag8833)
    Spoiler:
    About: Termagants are the most basic troops available to Tyranids. They are Iconic, but not a top tier choice.

    Advantages/Disadvantages:
    Instinctive Behavior(Lurk) - With leadership 6, if they get out of synapse normally they are running.
    Cheap - Only 4 points per model
    Mobility - They Move 6, and they don't have fleet without expensive upgrades.
    Deployment Aid - Enough gants can bubble wrap you for drop pods. Gargoyes and hormagants are better at this.
    Required Troop - Unfortunately the other options are better.
    Dakka - The devourer version can put out quite a bit. Not recommended without upgrades.
    Tervigon unlocker - Requires 30.
    Outflankable - If a Hive Tyrant takes Hive commander you can outflank one troop.
    Tervigon-a-phobic - If a nearby Tervigon dies, bad things happen.

    Wargear:
    Fleshborers - The basic weapon.
    Spinefists - A free upgrade. They are better against Toughness 3 and 6, and in overwatch. Worse against Toughness 5 and 7, and AV10.
    Spike Rifle - A free upgrade. More range, but not as good as other options.
    Devourers - Doubles the cost but tripples the firepower and increase the range. It makes them pricy, and so a mixed squad with ablative wounds is recommended.
    Stranglewebs - With only strenght 2, this is generally not worth 5 points.

    Biomorphs:
    Adrenal Glands - Give's you fleet and furious charge, but increases the cost by 1/3.
    Toxin Sacs - Allows them to threaten MC's in assault, but termagants are not an assaulty unit.

    Common Builds:
    Min Troop - 10 Termagants (Fleshborers or Spinefists) - Fills a basic troop requirement.
    Dakka Gants - 20 Termagants (10 Spinefists, 10 Devourers) - A basic unit that can exert board control and threaten Infantry and even some MC's.
    Backdoor Gants - 20 Termagants (10 Fleshborers, 10 Devourers) - A surprisingly good anti-vehicle choice. Either outflank them via hive commander or deep strike them via a Tyrannocyte (No blasts or you will take friendly fire)
    Devil Gants - 20 Termagants (Devourers) - Produces many, many shots, but is expensive, and the firepower decreases quickly once they start taking fire.
    Tyranid Blob - 30 Termagants (Spinefists) - A 30 wound OS unit that can tapit things.
    Tervigon Key - 30 Termagants (Fleshborers). Tervigon
    Flexible Backdoor Action - 30 Termagants (15 Fleshborers, 15 devouers), Tervigon (E.Grubs, Crushing Claws, possibly other upgrades) Tyrant (Hive Commander). You get to pick if you want to send the Tervigon or the Gants to the backfield.

    Grades: Min Troop: C+, Dakka Gants: B+, Backdoor Gants: B+, Devil Gants: C+, Tyranid Blob: C, Tervigon Key: C, Flexible Backdoor Action: B-



    Hormagants: (by Spoletta)
    Spoiler:
    Hormagaunts are usually seen as an alternative to the deep striking rippers as mandatory troops. Depending on your list composition of heavy hitters you may want those guys in.
    Alternatively you can go out all out on Hgaunts and TGants and play an horde style list.
    Following here is a list of things you want to consider when talking about Hgaunts:

    1. Hormagaunts may look like a cheap troop, but they actually are not. Remember that nids have Tgants, rippers and Mucolids for a cheaper troop choice. Take these guys only if you have a real reason, if not then there are better mandatory troops.

    2. Hormagaunts are fast. Not as fast as beasts or jump infantry, but for their cost they are indeed fast between fleet and leap. They will get into assault range by turn 2 many times.

    3. Do not expect vanilla hormagaunts to provide damage, that is not their role. They will make a mess out of certain units, but that will not happen commonly.

    With that said why would you take Hgaunts, what is their intended role? Well at this point it is necessary to distinguish between vanilla hormagaunts and upgraded hormagaunts.

    Vanillla hormagaunts are the most commonly used and are great for screening, tarpitting, objective grabbing and assault linking.

    1) Screening: Since the rule clarification that you don't need to be 25% covered by a model to get the cover save but a toe in a ripper will suffice, these guys became an interesting alternative to the more commonly used screeners. While they cost 25% more than Tgants, they will never risk to slow down your dakkafex/exocrine/whatever. At the same time they cost 16% less than gargoyles (and are obj sec). Remember to bring a shroud source with you when doing this, or the hormagaunts will be an even better target than a dakkafex for the bolters on a point per average wound basis.
    2) Tarpitting: When tarpitting with nids it is either gargoiles or hormagaunts. Luckily both of them are really good at this. Gargoiles are better due to the jump infantry type and the blinding venom even if they cost more. If you want pure tarpitting go for them. Take hormagaunts if you also need them for their other roles.
    3) Objective grabbing: Here the best are the deepstriking rippers. Cheaper, easier to hide and deepstriking. Hormagaunts are close second though, with the highest speed between our obj sec troops and an high model count for conga lining.
    4) Assault linking: This is where Hgaunts are the best. Assault a model with a slaughter unit (Dimacherion, Carnifex, Toxicrene etc..) and at the same time multi assault that model and another unit with a unit of hormagaunts. You will get 2 benefits: first your hormagaunts will eat up the overwatch and secondly when that inital assaulted model gets slaughtered you force an harsh leadership check on the second unit while in meele with an high initiative unit. Remember that glancing and penetrating hits count for resolution and tanks are indeed the best initial targets for this maneuver. Hgaunts have fleet and high initiative for a low cost, which makes them better at this than Tgants and Gargoiles.

    As you see they are not the best at anything but they are a good second choice for all of those roles, with the point 4 being an exception but it is an uncommon occurance (but can win games, keep an eye out for it). So if you need just mandatory troops or strongly need one role in particular skip Hgaunts. If you need an all round troop choice than can be spent in any of those roles then consider Hgaunts.

    Upgraded Hormagaunts are almost never seen and there is a reson. They cost! For a 1W T3 6+ model they can get to ridiculous costs. That said:
    a) If you need anti rear AV 10 and can't honestly get anything better then AG Hgaunts can be an option. They are fairly good at it, but will bleed points like mad when targeted.
    b) If you expect to face high T targets like WKnights or Nurgle babies then consider Venom Hgaunts. If you can get them on their favorite target then they can get to tear jerking efficiency, if not they will again be point bleeders at the smallest sign of enemy fire.
    c) Do not consider AG + Venom Gaunts. Never.

    Grades: C (Vanilla Hormagaunts), D (Single upgrade Hgaunts) E (Double Upgrade Hormagaunts)



    Hormagants: (by tag8833)
    Spoiler:
    A View from the Maelstrom of war:

    Tyranid's lack quality troops available to other armies. However, one often overlooked gem is the min squad of vanilla hormagants also known as a Maelstrom Winner.

    1) The best scorers in the codex. Their mobility enhancements allows them to move 13.5" on average. They can get to an objective anywhere on the board in 2 turns and do so reliably, and score it when they get there thanks to Objective secured. They aren't Eldar Jetbike good, but they are close.

    2) Board Control. This may mean congalining across multiple objectives to contest them, or getting in the way of an imperial knight, or other deathstar. They are a unit that can move past midfield on turn one, and push the opponent to the outside and edges of the board.

    3) Objective Denial. Even a min squad can stretch across multiple objectives to deny them.

    4) MC Protection. Hormagaunts are a good screening unit because they move faster than anything they can screen. They are also an assault denial unit. By placing themselves between an MC and a unit that would like to assault it they can prevent assaults and frustrate opponents allowing MC's to continue putting out damage.

    5) The Anvil. While Hormagaunts are the best scorers available to Tyranids, they also have the ability to neutralize enemy shooting. Even a min squad can hold up most shooty units for a turn until something killy can get there to deal with it. Thanks to their smaller base and profile, hormagants are even better at this than gargoyles because they usually won't deny a charge to the heavies coming behind them. Against many things, a malanthrope can offer enough hammer to deal with the shooty unit.

    6) Deployment Aid. Why do Tyranids fear drop pods? Because they don't have enough hormagants and gargoyles. By spacing them out around your MC's you can deny drop pods the position that they would like to alpha strike.

    7) Cover Saves. When there is no terrain to hide in, Hormagants can become mobile terrain. Thanks to their low cost, and low threat profile, they aren't likely to take fire.

    8) Assault linking. If you have a model capable of chalking up wounds, you can send that model into some kroot, and the hormagants can multi-assault a riptide and the kroot allowing you to quickly eliminate potential threats.

    9) MSU. Unlike Termagants, Hormagants can quickly spread out across the board giving your opponents a rough time tracking them down.

    10) Drawing Fire. In many situations Hormagants can be used to successfully draw fire away from MC's. If they contest an important objective, or just get in the way, suddenly shots must be wasted on them. With a Malanthrope sidekick, they are always more durable than expected, and thanks to the decent squad sizes they can congaline into terrain or out of Line of Sight.

    Other ways to run hormagants.
    1) Wraith Knight's nightmare: 20 hormagants with Toxin sacs strike fear into the hearts of many MC's and elite infantry.
    2) Transport Killer: 15 hormagaunts with Adrenal Glands can deal with most transports in the game, and also are better equipped to kill MEQ than Poison gants. On average it will take 9 AG Gants to kill a 3 hullpoint vehicle with back armor 10.
    3) The Tarpit: 20+ Hormagants with no upgrades can tarpit walkers easily. A good Solution to kill Elite infantry.
    4) Tyranid Prime's Bodyguard. 17 hormagants w/ a Tyranid prime in a Tyrannocyte. They can give the prime fleet, ablative wounds, and extra attacks to deal with 2+ armor.

    Grades: A (Maelstrom Winner). B (Wraith Knight's Nightmare). B- (Transport Killer). B (The Tarpit), C (Tyranid Prime's Bodyguard)



    Mucolid: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    The mucolid is very important to the Tyranid army, especially if you want to run a Maximum Threat Overload (MTO) type of Tyranid list. That is because they really allow you to maximize on the number of "threats" in the army. So what makes the mucolid a worthwhile investment for a Tyranid army?

    1. This guy is the cheapest troop choice in the whole army (and maybe in the whole game as well!). Each one is only 15-pts and satisfy your troop choice, so only 30-pts to fulfill your minimum amount of troops in a standard Combined-Arms Detachment. You can't get any better/cheaper than that.

    2. It is a purely sacrificial unit and does not hurt your army in any way when it dies (unless you actually have models near it....just make sure to keep your models at a slight distance). It does not give up any victory points if slain.

    3. It makes for a good denial unit. Deepstrike it onto an objective and dare your opponent's troops to come take it. It has the potential to easily kill far greater in points than its cost.

    4. It can actually hit enemy flyers. While that may not entirely be necessary, still, the ability may come into use for a flyer that stops near an objective to drop off some troops.

    5. It will actually draw some enemy firepower. That means less firepower against the rest of the army. And with 3 Wounds plus Shrouded, it may actually survive!


    Now what are its drawbacks?

    1. Cannot score nor contest. Basically, the enemy can actually choose to ignore it as long as they don't care about the objective that it is on.

    2. It is slow. It won't be able to catch up to anything that attempts to get away from it.


    So despite the major drawback of not being able to claim or contest objectives, it is cheap enough that most people just won't care. It is especially worth considering/taking if you are running the Shield of Baal Hive Fleet Leviathan detachment or if you want to build a MTO list with scoring only as an afterthought.

    Grading: B



    Ripper Swarms: (by jifel)
    Spoiler:
    Rippers have the unique privilege of pulling off a complete "worst to first" comeback in the Tyranid troops department. Historically, they have paid as much per wound as a Termagant while filling a troop slot, without even being able to score. Now, however, 7th edition has made them the best scoring unit for Tyranids in our codex, by allowing them to score and also giving them the Objective Secured rule.

    Rippers are most commonly run as a unit of three models, with the Deepstrike special rule purchased. This gives us 9 t3 wounds that score and can reach all over the battlefield thanks to the Deep Strike rule, at 5 points per wound. However, what makes Rippers much better than Gants is that they naturally come with the fearless rule, and move through difficult terrain at full speed thanks to the swarm rule. While Rippers take instinctive behavior tests just like gants, the failure result is much less severe, as the unit takes 3 strength 3 hits in the worst scenario, instead of falling back. Fun fact, it is actually impossible for Rippers to completely kill themselves, as some people fear, because, once the unit is down to a single model they no longer inflict wounds. By removing the need for Synapse units to babysit his troops, a Tyranid player can spend more points on heavy hitters than support units, and allows them to move their units more freely.

    Rippers also have the innate advantage of their model, which is one of the shortest in the game. For a unit whose job is purely to take objectives, they want to stay out of sight, and actually can't be seen behind an Aegis Defense line or under most windows on Ruins. This makes the rippers easy to move around the battlefield thanks to their Deepstrike, and easy to hide thanks to low threat and low profile.

    Rippers have several options that they can purchase, but I think that all of them are wasted points that distract from the true purpose of the unit.

    Spinefists: For 4 points, 4 twinlinked shots at strength 3 aren't bad, but at BS 2 won't generate many hits and are too low strength to deal much damage. Plus, you never want these guys to be in line of sight of an enemy unit that is almost certain to out-shoot them.

    Toxin Sacs: Again, 4 points per model gives poison attacks, but again I feel these are wasted. They are only truly helpful against high toughness units, but MCs will almost always cause Instant Death to the Rippers, and at initiative 2 they will rarely even swing before dying.

    Adrenal Glands: 6 points per model gives fleet and furious charge, but these really shouldn't be charging anyone. Again, they will lose most combats they find, and although they could glance out vehicles, the points required are too steep.

    Alternative roles: Although I would prefer to keep them out of sight and out of combat, your enemy will almost always mess with your plans and try to remove your troops. Rippers can hold their own in assault against weak units like combat squads, thanks to 4 attacks base and 3 wounds each. On the charge they can handle some light threats, but again this should be a last attempt of desperation, not a plan, as they are low Initiative and WS, and only have a 6+ save, making them fragile at best.

    Worth mentioning again is that Swarms have Move Through cover and always move 6" in terrain, meaning they should always be in terrain, all the time, to give them a better save. Keep them cheap and small, and they can grab Objectives for you late and hide on them while your main force ties up the enemy.

    Grades: A- (Deep Strike), B (vanilla), C+ (Spinefists)



    Tyranid Warrior: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    The Tyranid Warrior is the heart of the swarm and is used in many of the formations.

    1. Super versatility allows it to take on a wide variety of jobs with little problem.

    2. Has access to assault grenades

    3. Synapse support for the army.

    The Tyranid Warrior has lived a long and checkered past, having often been switched to worthwhile to worthless as meta constantly shifts around it. The Tyranid Warrior acts in much the same way as a cheaper, more easily disposable terminator. The crux of the problem comes from the toughness value of the warrior. At T4, a warrior is the equal of most marines, but costs just under 3 times the cost. Against S8 and greater, a warrior has very little in the way of defense. However, by keeping to small units it is much easier to mitigate losses to large strength weapons while also maximizing firepower. The standard option clocks in at 90 points and serves little purpose just moving up, unless working within other formations which allow Tyranid Warriors to augment and boost those around them. The recommended option is a small group of 3 with a bio cannon at 100 points. Depending on your strategy, a group of 3 entrenched in cover with a barbed strangler will have good chances of survival and can keep enemy flamers and heavy weapons pinned down as the rest of the swarm rapidly moves into their respective gun ranges. The other option that works well for hunting vehicles or multi-wound xenos or human characters is the Venom cannon. It is fully capable of working on AV12, though anything stronger will give you problems.

    Mobilty can be a bit of a problem for warriors, though there are ways to get around that. Each squad can have quite the presence on the board which is reinforced by their large size. Always make sure to keep them in cover or melee to avoid casualties. The maximum size is 9, but rarely should a person field more than 4-5 in a single squad, in order to ensure that the footprint remains small and they do not attract too much attention, as anyone who stares at them too long is going to start feeling itchy with their big guns. Once you get in close, you want to avoid standing around for multiple turns in the open shooting. Use your devourers and jump right into the mix, and even stock Tyranid Warriors should be able to hold their own for several turns. If you are going after a more melee concentrated brood, then consider keeping them rather small, and in transport. The only real transport options for the Tyranid Warrior are Trygon tunnels or a pod. Taking the pod will be your best bet in almost every circumstance. Give one warrior a LW/BS combination and consider him a sergeant. From there, you can go in several directions. You can give the remaining 2-5 rending claws and go full melee, or keep devourers on them to allow them to soften up before the assault, which in most circumstances will be your best bet. You do not need to give every warrior in a CC oriented brood every shiny option when it comes down to it. If you have the points for a Prime, see if you can't keep them all together.

    In a pod, you can keep 5 warriors and a Prime. That is a bit point heavy however, so try and shave it where you can elsewhere. Your Prime should be doing most of the work, but take advantage of stat line boosts where applicable. Upgrade 2 more with rending claws and scything talons and keep the rest stock, and you have a much more durable attack platform. Use some wound shenanigans to keep them all rotating out to take damage, and you can also use the Tyranid Prime to tank S8-9 shots. Ideally, you want the brunt of all your melee damage to be taken on your stock warriors to free up the rending claw warriors to survive longer to roll those 6s.

    Grades: B (Gunboat Warriors), B (Pod Warriors), D (CC Walk Warriors), D (Vanilla)




    ELITES


    Haruspex: (by Strat_N8)
    Spoiler:
    The Haruspex at its most basic is effectively a Carnifex that exchanges firepower and raw strength for improved durability (+1 wound, +1 initative, Feeder Beast) and placement in a marginally less competitive slot, to the point that a Carnifex with similar biomorphs costs the same amount of points.

    Unique Special Rules:

    - Rapacious Hunger: On the turn in which the Haruspex charges, it gains an extra attack for each unsaved wound caused by its regular attacks (no extra attacks from wounds caused by Hammer of Wrath, Tail Biomorphs, Acid Blood, or the bonus attacks themselves - ID wounds count as 1 wound). This is more or less a nice bonus, but not really a make-or-break ability since it only works on the charge and the creature‘s low quantity of attacks prevents it from getting too frenzied.

    - Feeder Beast: If the Haruspex causes one or more unsaved wounds in the Assault phase, it automatically regains 1 wound lost earlier at the end of the phase. This rule renders the Haruspex quite resilient to the odd hidden power fists that would give other monsters trouble and gives it an attritional edge when fighting against other monstrous creatures (provided they lack ID weapons of course). Unlike Rapacious Hunger, Feeder Beast is not restricted in what must cause a wound in order to activate it, allowing Acid Blood, Hammer of Wrath, and even the Grasping Tongue (via Overwatch) to trigger it.

    Biomorphs:

    - Crushing Claws (stock): In 6th edition these had relatively little benefit since most Tyranid monstrous creatures (including the Haruspex) could get at least 3 S10 attacks on the turn they charged with rerolls for armor penetration. With the nerfs to smash in 7th, these make the Haruspex one of the few monsters left that can reliably wreck vehicles in assault (with the Haruspex’s S7 and Armorbane from the claws leading to average armor penetration roll of 14). The provided strength boost also comes into play when fighting other monstrous creatures, as in most cases it will wound on 3's and can harm Wraith-construct monsters on 5's compared to 6's for everything else.

    - Acid Blood (stock): While not something one would normally pay for due to the unreliable nature of the Biomorph, Acid Blood does pair nicely with the Feeder Beast rule as wounds from Acid Blood can both trigger the special rule and Acid Blood benefits from the extra wounds granted. For maximum effect, can be combined with Feel No Pain from Catalyst for "free" activations and the Harpy's Sonic Screech for added reliability.

    - Grasping Tongue (stock): The Grasping Tongue is a 12’’ range S6 AP2 weapon with the precision shots special rule (formerly known as “Gulp!”), allowing it to occasionally snipe special weapons and the like from units. The weapon can basically be thought of in the same vein as Bioplasma from the Carnifex, though slightly more useful since it has zero risk of hurting the Haruspex itself and can be used defensively in Overwatch. Due to its AP2, the Grasping Tongue is also hilariously one of the precious few weapons in the Tyranid armory that can explode a vehicle at range, though its middling strength limits what it can score a penetrating hit against.

    - Toxin Sacs: Since the Haruspex is S7 due to its Crushing Claws, it can actually benefit from poison’s reroll when fighting against most other monstrous creatures in addition to the reroll granted against infantry models. Not bad if you have the points to spare, but not necessary.

    - Adrenal Glands: An excellent upgrade and more or less an auto-take for the Haruspex if the points can be spared. Besides the obvious benefits of Fleet to a melee-centric creature, the strength bonus from Furious Charge allows the Haruspex to double out multi-wound T4 models on the turn it charges and helps with the primary role of cracking higher AV vehicles.

    - Regeneration: Gets a bit of a nod on the Haruspex since it already has an in-built form of regeneration that stacks with the biomorph, allowing it to potentially regain two wounds a turn. Still, the upgrade is expensive (brings the total cost to that of a stock Trygon) and the points can generally be put to better use elsewhere.

    - Thresher Scythe: Doesn’t benefit the Haruspex’s Rapacious Hunger and is a fairly weak extra attack, not really worth the cost to upgrade sadly.

    --------------

    Due to its unique ability to hurt more heavily armored vehicles, the most obvious function for the Haruspex in a competitive army is that of an extra Carnifex specifically tooled for cracking open heavy armor, freeing up the actual Carnifexes to lay down firepower from their devourers every turn against softer targets. Outside of this function, the Haruspex performs best when pitted against targets that rely on higher-than-average toughness (5-6 being ideal) and/or good armor saves over invul saves and numbers for defense while having relatively little ability to pile on wounds to allow Feeder Beast maximum efficiency. Most T6 monstrous creatures fall into this category as do most elite infantry (Wraith Guard, Bikers, Centurions, etc) making for no shortage of targets should large vehicles be unavailable. Due to the Feeder Beast rule, the Haruspex also has a slight advantage over other monstrous creatures when dealing with hidden power weapons in infantry squads, as it can simply weather the blows and chew its way through the protective chaff.

    In terms of drawbacks, the Haruspex shares most of the weaknesses of other ground-based Tyranid monsters and can be treated accordingly. Specifically, it is highly vulnerable to dedicated counter-assault units (especially those that carry ID weaponry) and focused high-strength firepower. Despite its fluff, it is also not especially good at escaping from masses of cheap troops once otherwise engaged, though such fights can be used as an opportunity to regrow wounds in relative safety.

    Grades: C



    Hive Guard: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    The Hive Guard are the Tyranid anti-tank specialists. They are ideal against light to medium armor (AV10-12). Against heavier armor (AV13-14), you can give them the option to take Haywire weaponry. They used to be our most reliable AT option in the previous edition, but currently, they are respectable but not great. So why should you take Hive Guards in your army?

    1. 2 S8 shots per hive guard with up to 6 shots per unit of 3. That is respectable firepower.

    2. Hive guard do not need LOS to the target to shoot. If there is LOS-blocking terrain and in good field position, then you can fire them relatively safely with little fear for retaliation. This helps to increase their efficiency. The more they can fire, the more they are likely to make back their points in kills.

    3. They are the only non-template weapon in the Tyranid arsenal that can ignore cover. This makes them ideal against annoying, jinking skimmers like wave serpents and the like. It also lets them kill off annoying units in cover as well.

    4. They are durable. T6 with 2W makes for a decent platform that minimizes the damage against most small-arms fire. Keep them in ruins with a malan/venomthrope nearby and now they have a very resilient 2+ cover save. Better yet, hide them behind LOS-blocking terrain and now, they don't have to worry about most enemy firepower.

    5. An improvement to the hive guard is that now, they can more reliably deal with heavy armor. Before, hive guards could not reliably deal with AV13-14 tanks. Now, they have the option to upgrade their guns to fire haywire shots. So as long as they can get close enough, then they can be a threat to these types of tanks.


    They are more reliable than most Tyranid units for AT. However, what keeps them from being an all-star Tyranid unit like they once were in last edition?

    1. A drop from BS4 previously to BS3 currently. In addition, their cost has gone up. Currently, you are paying more for a unit that shoots worse than before. That there is the very definition of a nerf.

    2. A problem that they had before and still have today is their rather limited range. 24" just isn't good enough as most tanks can just stay out of their range and keep firing. So in order to target these tanks, the hive guard has to expose itself to enemy fire by moving towards the enemy.

    3. The Shockcannon is not without its disadvantages. While it lets you deal with heavy armor, its notoriously short range (only 18") means that you have to expose your hive guards to the danger of assault (not to mention enemy shooting). It also does not ignore cover so enemy units have a chance to ignore its damage if there is cover nearby. It performs worse against light armor and lastly, it can do nothing against flyers.

    4. Improved AT elsewhere. Electroshock grubs, exocrines, tyrannofexes, Tyranid Lord of Wars, dakkafexes, cheaper crushing claws, Warp Blast being available to any psychic Tyranid unit and an increase in the number of flyrants one can take in an army means that there are plenty of AT army-wide for Tyranids. Now there is much more competition for the Hive Guard in the AT department. More importantly, many of those AT options are less specialist units and better all-around TAC units than the hive guard. In other words, Tyranid AT has improved overall and now they are less reliant on a specialist unit like the hive guard than they used to be.

    Grades: B (vanilla), B- (with Shockcannon)



    Venomthrope: (by jifel)
    Spoiler:
    When the Tyranid codex first came out back in January, the Venomthrope jumped back into competitive lists thanks to the massive boosts it provides to the army. When the book came out, the Venomthrope stood out as perhaps the best choice in the codex, second only to the always-popular Flyrant. Venomthropes are rather cheap, costing as much as a Rhino and a Meltagun. The Venomthrope's value comes from the 6" bubble of shrouded it supplies to all Tyranid units with a model in range. Tyranids as an army have historically struggled with being shot off the board before they had a chance to advance, but the Venomthrope guarantees that any model in terrain will have at least a 3++ cover save and very often a 2++. Also, any FMC that happens to jink near a Venomthrope will benefit from a 2++ cover save. Compared to the alpha-strikes that we used to suffer from, Tyranids are now much more durable than they were before, and with Venomthrope support, Tyranids can comfortably elect to second without being afraid of losing half of their army turn 1.

    Of course, the Venomthrope does have it's weaknesses. Most noticeably, the fact that it's not very tough. At Toughness 4 with 2 wounds and only a 5+ save, a Venomthrope is very easy to focus down if your opponent has ignores cover or decent firepower. After all, even in ideal cover a Venomthrope is only as hard to kill as two Terminators. Fortunately for Tyranid players, there are several ways to help this. The first is to deploy him out of Line of sight, like the inside of a ruin, or to buy a Fortification. Due to the rules of "Area of Effect" powers, the 6" shrouded bubble of a Venomthrope is measured from the hull of a Bastion that it is embarked in. This not only increases the area of effect tremendously, it also helps the Venomthrope become much more durable. Few opponents are able to kill a Bastion at long range turn 1, especially when there are several MCs running towards them. As a bonus, all models on top of or behind a Bastion will get at least a 4++ cover save, which then increases to a 2++, making the Bastion a great firing position for the likes of Biovores. The one downside to this approach is that the Venomthrope is completely immobile, and so you will have to disembark eventually to continue to provide cover.

    Secondary roles: Although the Venomthrope is best used as a support beast to help the rest of your swarm survive, it is also handy in assault when times are desperate. Venomthropes have 2 attacks each base and strike at Initiative 7, with a 2++ poison and so can threaten many targets. But, they are very fragile in CC so I would personally never send them into combat alone, and never with anything tougher than a Tactical squad.

    Grades: B+ (on foot), A- (in a Bastion)



    Lictor: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    The Lictor is a curious fellow. His role in the army isn't quite so defined. Is he an offensive threat? Is he a force-multiplier? Is he a defensive beast? Is he a faciliator? An objective-sitter? A bullet-catcher? What is he? I like to think of him more as a little bit of each. More importantly, he can be used by Tyranid players to help control the Movement phase. So let's analyze how he can contribute to the Hive Mind.

    1. The ability to pop up anyone on the table without scatter is highly useful. You can place him on an objective if you need. You can put him behind a vehicle for some rear shots. You can use him to lure enemy resources away from your main force as your opponent has to dedicate some of his resources to deal with the lictor. Basically, with Chameleonic Skin, you can dictate where you want your opponent to go to a degree.

    2. Homing beacon. With the advent of Tyranid spore pods (tyrannocytes), he has become more useful than ever. Infiltrate him in a strategic location and the following turn, when you mawlocs or pods come in, they can do so accurately, assuming the lictor survives.

    3. He is actually an offensive threat to transports and smaller, MSU-type units. As a result, he really cannot be ignored and the opponent will have to deal with him and in doing so, you can direct where you want your opponent to go. It also helps to make your army slightly more durable as he has to allocate some of his firepower/offense to deal with the lictor.

    4. Even if there isn't anything for him to do, you can always drop him off on an objective. He is cheap enough that your army won't miss much if he's not involved in the offense and actually somewhat durable if you put him on an objective in some ruins. He is also great for Linebreaker purposes.

    5. Cheap. He acts somewhat as a bullet-catcher as he will force your opponent to deal with him, and he is cheap enough that if you lose him, then it won't really affect your offense all that much.

    The lictor is not without its drawbacks, however. He can give up VP's easily in missions where VP's (Purge the Alien or certain Maelstrom objectives) are concerned. He is big so is harder to hide for objective-grabbing purposes. He will fold to almost any unit bigger than a min-sized MSU unit. He does a little bit of everything but he does nothing really well (except to pop up wherever you need him to....and then die). Usually, he is an easy First Blood for the enemy and he does not function well without support. However, with some support or in a Tyranid MTO (Maximum Threat Overload) type of list, this guy can pleasantly surprise you, especially if he is ignored by the opponent.

    Grades: B



    Malanthrope: (by jifel)
    Spoiler:
    The first thing to understand about the Malanthrope is that he is a Forge World unit, and therefore it is polite to gain permission before bringing him in a game. The second thing to understand is that he is an absolute monster of a unit, better than a Venomthrope in every way and arguably the best unit available to us. Malanthropes, like Venomthropes, provide a 6" bubble of shrouded that will help protect your units. But, for a nickel less than 2 Venomthropes, a Malanthrope has 4 wounds, Toughness 5, and a 3+ armor save, and best of all is a Synapse creature. On the one hand, he is the ultimate backfield support unit because he is a single cheap package to provide both Synapse and shrouded, and is cheaper and tougher than a Venomthrope and Zoanthrope combined. Thanks to this increased toughness, a Malanthrope can fill the roles a Venomthrope can't, by advancing upfield alone and still being tough, thanks to his improved stats and Regeneration. It's also a common tactic to buy two single Malanthropes and run them upfield to share the love of special rules they provide.

    Malanthropes are durable enough that a Bastion isn't required, but it still is not a bad idea to spread out his Shrouded and Synapse Area of Effects. However, I would plan on getting outside the box late game and moving upfield to help support the army. And excellent option here is to buy an escape hatch for the Bastion so that the Malanthrope can shoot 18" upfield when he chooses to get out. Like his little brother the Venomthrope, a Malanthrope is quite handy in Close Combat,. Thanks to fleet, he is a little easier to get there, and his improved stats means he will hold up better in combat, while he has three 2+ poison attacks at initiative 5. The Malanthrope also has a host of special rules, he may issue challenges, but is not a character and so may not be challenged. In a challenge though, on a roll of 4+ he limits his enemy to half of his attacks, and initiative one thanks to his grasping tail. Better yet, if the Malanthrope is part of a combat that destroys an enemy unit, the Mal may not sweeping advance but instead gives Preferred enemy to any Tyranid in his synapse range. While a Malanthrope alone is not a great close combat unit, he certainly has nothing to fear and is wonderful in a multi-assault with other units to help him out. I think it's important not to lose sight of his role, as a support bug, but the Malanthrope is still useful in a ton of situations, making him the best unit for his points in the whole Tyranid arsenal.

    Grades: A+ (on foot), A+ (in a Bastion)



    Maleceptor: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    While I like the concept of the maleceptor, the execution of its design is rather flawed. Basically, the maleceptor is a psychic Tyranid unit who provides psychic firepower as well as Synapse support. Now before I get into why he is flawed, I'd like to discuss why you may want to consider him in your army and how you could use him.

    1. He is a support unit that provides Synapse and Shadows coverage for the army. He contributes to the warp dice pool.

    2. His main offense, the Psychic Overload psychic power, is one of the very few weapons in the Tyranid arsenal that ignores cover. It is also a focussed witchfire, meaning he has the chance to snipe out particular models in a unit.

    3. Psychic Overload actually makes for a nice combo with Shadows in the Warp against enemy psykers, especially solitary units like monstrous creatures or the very annoying Eldar farseer with the Mantle.

    4. He is still a monstrous creature, which makes him a threat to enemy infantry and tanks.

    5. Psychic Overload isn't his only power. He also gets Dominion and another randomly generated power.

    6. He has an Invulnerable save, which makes him just slightly more survivable in close combat, but only to units with power weapons and such.

    7. Since his shooting is all done in the psychic phase, he can target a different unit than he wants to assault, and he can run even after "shooting". - tag8833


    Despite his force-multiplier capabilities, what makes him so flawed?

    1. Be design, he sucks up more warp dice than he generates. He's like a psychic vacuum, only he kills your own warp pool instead of your opponents. He can cast Psychic Overload up to 3 times against different opponents. Problem is, Psychic Overload is a WC2 power. To even cast it semi-reliably, you're going to have to use 4 dice. If you want to cast it 3 times, you're going to expend about 12 dice. Well, the maleceptor only contributes 2 dice to the warp pool so in essence, you will be taking valuable dice away from the other psychic units in the army to cast his powers. The maleceptor is a rare unit indeed. Instead of being a force-multiplier, or a unit that helps the army overall, he is actually a force-divider.

    2. Psychic powers just aren't reliable enough. Using 4 dice gives him a 75% chance at success only and then the opponent gets a chance to deny. Now normal targets will have a hard time, but against a psychic target, they are denying on a 5+. And against a psychic unit with a Lvl 3 psyker in it, he is going to be very easily able to deny on a 4+. And then they would have to fail a LD test, even if it is on 3D6. A LD10 target will fail his test only about half of the times.

    3. Poor Ballistic Skill. On top of the unreliability that are psychic powers, he still has to hit on 4's due to being BS3 only. Now if psychic shooting was his secondary offense, it wouldn't be so bad. But because his psychic shooting IS his offense, you need something more reliable, which is what he isn't.

    4. 4+ save? Are you kidding me? What the heck were the designers thinking? All of the land-based Tyranid MC's have 3+ saves and the toxicrene has Shroud for a potential 2+/3+ cover, but 4+ on a ground MC makes him quite a glass cannon MC. You HAVE to keep him within range of a malan/venomthrope, at least if you want to keep him alive from enemy shooting. In Assault, this guy can be killed by any marine with a krak grenade. There isn't another TMC that is quite as fragile as the maleceptor.

    5. He is expensive. For a unit as fragile as he is and whose offense is as unreliable as his, he just isn't worth the points. Even if the maleceptor were to come down by 50-pts, I'd have to think about whether I would use him or not, but at his current cost, he is a no-brainer. Actually, let me shorten that for you. He is a NO. For any of his roles, almost every other unit in the codex can do it more efficiently.

    6. Psychic Overload can only kill one model at the most. It targets a model not a unit, and that model (if it fails leadership) takes D3 wounds, but extras do not carry over to the unit. - tag8833

    The concept of a brain-bug is cool, but GW really dropped the ball on the unit design. Fortunately for them, you can build the kit as the toxicrene instead, so it's not a total loss. But in terms of the maleceptor, that guy is pure fail with a capital F.

    Grades: F



    Pyrovore: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    The Pyrovore has long been infamous as quite possibly the worst unit in the codex and the game at large. Happily, that is no longer the case, and it serves as a fairly loose middle road.

    1. It has reliable firepower for clearing objectives and hordes.

    2. It benefits from the Promethium relay, which can support it in either a defensive or offensive capacity.

    The major weakness of the Pyrovore lies in its mobility. Unfortunately, the Pyrovore just happens to be an incredibly slow moving platform with very little in the way for options to get around faster. However, once kitted out with some transportation, they can actually become far more effective. Each of them is armed with a heavy flamer, so going after hordes is generally the most commonly accepted method of use, however they can also get a good bit of mileage out of going after dedicated assault units. Setting a nice juicy unit of Terminators on fire is going to make back a fair portion of its points back, and then the terminators are going to have to consider the following. Do I assault 3 flamers and take 3d3 automatic overwatch hits, or ignore them and get flamed every turn?

    The only reliable transport options for Pyrovores are to take Trygon tunnels or hitching a ride inside a pod. Now, taking a pod is cheaper than the Trygon and waiting subsequent turns and gives it more time on the field to earn back points. It also seems to be the much better tactic in that you can hug it and force your opponent into a multi-assault. Eating a nest of devourers plus a group of 3 flamers in overwatch is going to be a bit much for most standard units that these things will be pitted against and it should allow you to either kill or tarpit the unit for several turns. Promethium Relays will give your Pyrovores some range, but these fortifications are stationary and as long as your opponent avoids it, there is very little your Pyrovores can do to help make back points. This would only be recommended in a defensive scenario. When dealing with enemies in entrenched cover, Pyrovores are one of the most cost effective ways to force them out. Things get even better when dealing with a rush of light vehicles that are open topped, capable of damaging the vehicles and dealing d6 wounds to the unit inside. But the best part of all is that the Pyrovore itself is an Elite choice rather than Heavy Support. As it currently stands, the HQ, FA, and HS organizational chart areas are currently among the top areas of interest to Tyranid Players, which means that you won't have to think too hard about devoting a slot to this pyrotechnics display.

    Grades: A (Podvores), B+ (Promvores), C (Vanilla)

    Grading - An Alternate Perspective: B (Podvores), C+ (Promvores), D (Vanilla) (by jy2)

    Reason(s): To me, an 'A' unit is a unit that can and will consistently contribute to the Tyranid cause. While pyrovores in pods (podvores) can be very good for its role of anti-infantry, oftentimes it just won't contribute much. Why?

    1. Mech armies. It won't do very much against a mainly meched up opponent (other than possibly open-topped AV10 transports).

    2. Smart players will reserve their troops/squishy units. As a competitive player, I do that all the time. They just won't have viable targets against certain armies and smarter generals.

    3. Elite armies. 3 templates just won't do much to the more elitist armies, like 2+ save units, MC's, deathstar armies, etc.

    4. Besides reserving, smart players can mitigate the damage somewhat by spreading out

    Against the armies I mentioned, oftentimes, the pyrovores will just have to drop out of sight onto an objective and just sit there. That is not their role. Either that or get in close, don't do much damage and then give up First Blood. These guys are situational contributors. Like the dimachaeron, against the right army, they have the potential to shine. However, against the wrong army, they are just as likely to fall flat on the face.



    Zoanthrope: (by Sinful Hero)
    Spoiler:
    The Zoanthrope is a Psychic Tyranid creature, coming in with Mastery Level 2 and a stock 3++ invulnerable save. With a single model brood (can be taken up to six models), this is the cheapest form of Synapse available to Tyranids, and the cheapest Psyker to boot. The Zoanthrope works best as a backfield unit, providing synapse , Warp charge, and potentially buffing Psychic powers to it's fellow Tyranids.

    1. The Zope is fairly cheap for what it is. Fairly durable, with psychic support to assist other units.

    2. At Mastery level 2, the Zope adds psychic dice to your pool at a fair price.

    3. The Zope comes stock with Dominion and Warp Blast, meaning it has both a buffing power(longer synapse range), and an offensive power for when things get too close.

    4. Unfortunately the Zope is slow - it has neither Fleet nor a fast movement speed. On the other hand, it relies totally on Psychic powers meaning it can always to choose to run during the shooting phase, hopefully allowing it to keep up with a more aggressive unit.

    The Zope has the potential to roll for a variety of powers, which can sometimes drastically change it's effective role in a list besides baby-sitting. Rolling Catalyst or Onslaught reinforces the Zope's role as a buff/backfield support unit. Paroxysm or The Horror can give the Zope a debuff role*. Psychic Scream let's the Zope take on a more offensive role*. The latter two are not considered ideal uses of the unit, because of the inherent fickle nature of Psychic powers. Manifest, roll to hit, roll to wound(if applicable), take saves(if applicable), and getting through Deny the Witch are usually too many checks to successfully make use of the offensive psychic powers.

    *Note: Usually the Zope can perform these roles best when it has access to a Tyrannocyte. If it's not in range of an enemy unit, the powers are basically useless! The Zope becomes little less than a synapse source, and a Warp charge battery. Although that is probably its best role anyway.

    NOTE - Depending on terrain, the Zoanthrope, especially when taken in units of 1 to maximize warp charge contribution, is a First Blood liability if there is not enough Blocking-LOS terrain. Due to being a fairly tall model, it is actually hard to hide him in normal terrain. Thus, if First Blood is a concern, then consider getting a bastion or bunker to house him into (or to provide a BLOS piece of terrain for him). -jy2

    Grade: B



    Neurothrope: (by Sinful Hero)
    Spoiler:
    The Leviathan expansion book added a few new rules to Zoanthrope broods - units can go up to six models and they can upgrade to a new character if they contain three or more models known as the Neurothrope. The Neurothrope gives the brood access to a fourth power: Spirit Leech. Spirit Leech is a pure offensive power that can only be used by the Nope. If successful, it gives you more Warp charge points to use for your other Zopes to manifest Warp Blast. If you take a Neurothrope, know that you fully intend to use the brood as an offensive unit, preferably in a Tyrannocyte as the unit is generally too slow to get close enough to maximize it's psychic might.

    Grade: C




    FAST ATTACKS


    Dimachaeron: (by luke1705)
    Spoiler:
    This model has more special rules than you can shake a stick at, but it essentially boils down to a giant close combat beatstick. He is the monster that the Swarmlord used to be, and then some. He is an amazing area denial unit. Most units in the game won't think about getting anywhere near him. With fleet and move through cover, he is looking at an average of a 15.5" threat range - meaning he will, on average, move and charge that far. I've found that most units have no desire to risk being within 18 at all, regardless of the odds. The sheer number of AP 2 attacks he has at a high weapon skill and initiative would scare most units, but adding instant death on a 4+, gaining d3 attacks when outnumbered, and an extra strength 10 ap 1 instant death autohit at I1 to give you FNP on a 4+ is just icing on the cake of death. His only issue is that he only moves 6". Big downer. Can't get to close combat until turn 3 at best realistically, unless you happen to also roll Master of Ambush.

    Thankfully, this last issue has been solved with the advent of the Tyrannocyte, allowing the Dimachaeron to drop down and cause havoc after being exposed to only a single turn of fire. It costs more, but the Tyrannocyte itself has uses so it's not a bad deal at all. You plop down a unit that your opponent either has to deal with immediately, magically vacate his entire threat range, or sacrifice a unit a turn to. Unless your opponent is rocking storm shields/phase shifters, the Dimachaeron will not be tarpitted. And unless a close combat eternal warrior monster can whale on him for free (shield eternal chapter master in a squad, etc), he doesn't fear much of anything. Do the math - he is the only monster in our army who actually has to worry about killing too much and being shot up on your opponent's turn - if he doesn't get his I1 instant death hit, he can't gain FNP. That's a big deal, so try to finagle with smash if you need to in order to gain the correct exit turn/FNP/both. Most of the time, gaining the FNP is actually more important as you lack an invulnerable save, and a 3+ and 4+ FNP is nothing to sniff at.

    He has some unique movement tricks with his leap ability, allowing him to leap over screening units (either in movement or, more likely, in the assault phase) and is one of the few models in our army that creates true target priority issues. Many armies will not have anything that can stand up to him in close combat. He has no guns, and in an age where getting into combat unscathed is increasingly difficult, this cannot be looked upon fondly. He is also not going to work in all armies. Dropping him in unsupported is a great way to lose a chunk of your army. But if you have multiple threats that penalize your opponent no matter what they focus on, he can certainly shine. It's also worth pointing out that he, like most of the rest of our army, has no access to grenades. So be careful when you move to avoid terrain if possible. Thankfully, he can jump in the assault phase, so if you would have clipped a piece of terrain on your way in, you can still swing at initiative. However, like jump infantry, if you start or end in terrain, then you still go at I1. So it's not super helpful, but it's something.

    Grading: Footslogging: B-, In a Tyrannocyte: A-



    Gargoyles: (by Iechine)
    Spoiler:
    Gargoyles are a highly mobile version of Termagants, occupying a fast attack slot. While they are often compared to their groundpounding brothers, they have many abilities that set them apart and make them a worthwhile choice in a Tyranid force.

    1. Highly mobile. As jump infantry, Gargoyles flow over the battlefield 12" at a time, ignoring terrain all together. In addition, your broods are able to deep strike.

    2. Cheap tarpit unit to the extreme. With the ability to exchange attacks for a poisoned (6+) attack that forces a Blind check if it hits, Gargoyles have the ability to get in and stay in with any opponent. For a little more than the cost of a Dakkafex you can have 30 fast moving wounds on the field.

    3. IB: Hunt. Whereas Termagants tuck tail and run and Hormagants inflict wounds on each other, Gargoyles hit the deck and wait it out. Though not fearless, you're less likely to be pulling your hair out when IB checks don't go your way.

    Gargoyles appear in most competitive lists, and with good reason. Although they are 50% more expensive than Termagants, their highly mobile in an edition where mobility is paramount. They can easily keep pace with the Flyrant, and its their ability to synergize with the most popular HQ choice that makes them a mainstay. Together with a Venomthrope's shrouding buff, Gargoyles serve as prime meatshields for Tyrants when going 2nd. They protect your Hive Tyrants and then surge forward, covering up to 18" on turn one and becoming an almost immediate threat to anything on the ground. While its generally considered wiser to take bodies over upgrades, Gargoyles can be given either Adrenal Glands (Better) or Toxin Sacs (Worse). With broods up to 30, an upgraded Swarm is a death sentence for AV10.

    Gargoyles where pushed further into the competitive field when the Skyblight formation gave them Objective Secured and the ability to regenerate. As Skyblight was (and possibly remains) the most competitive Tyranid detachment, Gargoyles have become all the more a constant in Tyranid bug lists where wings reign supreme. Their fragile 6+ save is most often buffed with shrouding from a Venom or Malanthrope, which makes these broods surprisingly durable. They add considerably to the threat overload principle that Tyranids rely on. Shots at your Gargoyle broods protect your Tyrants, but if left ignored a Gargoyle brood can mount a highly effective turn 2 assault.

    Grades: Gargoyles A, AG Gargoyles B, Poisoned Gargoyles C (Diminishing returns)



    Tyranid Shrikes: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    The Tyranid Shrike is the faster brother to the Tyranid Warrior. While not as well armored, it more than makes up for this by being far more dangerous.

    1. Highly mobile.

    2. Has access to assault grenades

    3. Psychic support for the army.

    The Tyranid Shrike is the Fast Attack sibling to its more ground oriented brethren. The shrike has the exact same options as the Tyranid Warrior, but trades armor for incredible mobility. Boasting almost the same statline as warriors, Tyranid Shrikes are anything but. Their status as jump infantry allows them to quickly close the cap with most enemies. As it stands with their movement speed, you want to avoid putting bio-cannons on them. Bio-cannons allow for more relaxed and static gun play which completely negates the advantages of the unit. So there are really only 2 options for them as either shooters or close combat units. Shrikes can easily be a very cheap and effective shooting unit as they don't need much to keep them going. Much like warriors, you want to keep them in small units of between 3-5 to minimize damage. However, from there you can choose to allow them to deploy on the board in cover or go for a daring deepstrike in the following turns due to their winged nature. If your playing against a MSU opponent, nothing is going to make him drop that faster than the idea of his small, vulnerable squads being picked off by deepstriking multiwound infantry. After an opening salvo, you should have relatively little trouble in mopping up stragglers in assaults.

    The other option available to the Tyranid Shrike is close combat, which is where they can truly come into their own. To take the idea to hand, outfit one of them with a LW/BS, 2 more with the standard rending claws, and keep the remaining 2 stock to conserve points. At this point, your going to have an opponent who is not going to be very happy about dealing with a unit that costs under 200 points but can handle most standard infantry. Even if you don't want to run those size broods, running 3 shrikes while one has rending claws and scything talons can lead to an impressive number of attacks on the charge against an unsuspecting unit. At worst though, is that with a bit of luck and modification of reserve rolls, a brood of shrikes can quickly become a linchpin in an assault from an unexpected quarter. A single brood of shrikes coupled with several full sized broods of gargoyles is going to be a threat few can ignore. Merely keep your shrikes in the center and fashion your gargoyle broods around them. With the number of wings around, you may just make it impossible for them to see them at best, or give them an ample cover save to ensure they stick around to direct the broods of Gargoyles.

    Grades: B (DS Shrikes), C (Vanilla)



    Harpy: (by Strat_N8)
    Spoiler:
    The Harpy is a curious creature. While at first glance appearing to be a gunship with a panoply of guns and the Hunt Instinctive Behavior, as a shooting platform the Harpy will generally come up short compared to a duel devourer-equipped Tyrant due to its blast based weaponry. However, if one looks deeper one will find the following.

    - Sonic Screech: On the turn in which the Harpy charges, all enemy units in the combat have their suffer a -5 penalty to their initiative (to a minimum of 1) until the end of that assault phase.

    This is the key ability of the Harpy and is the primary reason to consider bringing one outside of formations that require their inclusion. Sonic Screech serves as a major force multiplier for Tyranid melee capabilities. The ability to force enemies to swing after your own units (or at worst simultaneously) has a huge impact on both the survivability and damage potential of said units and can be the difference between successfully crippling (if not destroying) the enemy and being wiped out.

    Outside of its sonic screech ability, the Harpy is a fairly unremarkable monstrous creature with a below-average (for a monstrous creature) S5, T5, and 4+ armor save, along with the standard WS/BS 3 and an unusually high initiative of 5. While its firepower isn't as potent as that of a Hive Tyrant, the Harpy does offer board-wide coverage thanks to the range of the bio-cannons and can play more cautiously as needed thanks to this. In terms of vulnerabilities, the Harpy shares most of the same weaknesses as other Tyranid monstrous creatures, with the added concern of Ap4 weapons (particularly Autocannons and Krak Grenades) and S10 weaponry that can double it out. In addition, the Harpy is virtually defenseless against enemy aircraft due to its weaponry being mostly blasts (and the few attacks that it can use against aircraft are both S5), unlike the other two Tyranid flying monsters.


    Biomorphs:

    - Scything Talons (stock): Currently does nothing for the Harpy, since it has no other melee weapons to pair them with and the AP6 from the talons is overruled by the Smash rule. Moving on…

    - Spore Cysts (stock): This unusual weapon allows the Harpy to do what amounts to a bombing run during the movement phase with more or less the same weapon as a Biovore. Due to the wording of the rules for firing, the shot has no restrictions on using the Harpy’s Ballistic Skill to reduce its D6’’ scatter, giving the Spore Cysts near perfect accuracy against anything short of a heavily depleted squad (being a barrage weapon, this makes it is quite good for picking out special weapons and the like).

    - Twin-linked Stranglethorn Cannon (stock): The default weapon carried by the Harpy, good for thinning out hoard-type units and general anti-infantry firepower. As a pinning weapon, it can also be used to try to pin squads in preparation for assault, with the usual caveats over the reliability of pinning. A good weapon if the only thing needed from the Harpy is it be present (due to a formation) or if it is intended to act purely as a melee support (meaning it will be jinking most of the time for survivability, making its guns irrelevant).

    - Twin-linked Heavy Venom Cannon: The Heavy Venom Cannon exchanges blast size for the ability to pierce 4+ armor and the strength needed for vehicle hunting. While not a particularly good anti-tank weapon due to the low rate of fire and poor AP, the HVC does offer the ability to pop Quantum Shielding at range for devourer-equipped units to finish off and it does have decent accuracy and range. Better in a meta with a higher quantity of xenos armies, less effective against Imperial ones.

    - Stinger Salvo: Upgrades the Harpy with a non-blast weapon, allowing it to shoot at other fliers and fire overwatch. Bit expensive though for what it does and the low strength limits the amount of damage that can be done.

    - Cluster Spines: Upgrades the Harpy with another large blast weapon, allowing it to throw out two a turn without having to use its Spore Cysts. Again though, bit expensive for what it does (makes the Harpy only 5 points cheaper than a Hive Crone) and irrelevant if the Harpy is being used in a support role.

    - Acid Blood: Synergizes quite well with the Sonic Screech rule, but is generally not worth it since it is horribly unreliable in any rounds of combat beyond the first and does nothing if the Harpy is being used as a gunship.

    - Regeneration: While flying monsters are in a good position to take advantage of Regeneration, it is extremely expensive and undercuts the main advantage of the Harpy being cheap.

    - Toxin Sacs: Generally better put on whatever the Harpy will be supporting with its sonic screech rather than the Harpy itself, since its low quantity of attacks coupled with low strength limit the benefit of poisoned attacks.

    - Adrenal Glands: Again, generally better put on the real combat units that the Harpy is supporting rather than the Harpy itself. Being able to move as a jump monstrous creature, the Harpy can save its jump move to act as pseudo-Fleet if necessary.

    Grades: B (as a force multiplier) | C (as a gunship)



    Hive Crone: (by Strat_N8)
    Spoiler:
    Unlike its cousin, the Hive Crone is strictly designed as an offense unit. While the Hive Crone sports an impressive arsenal that covers most unit types as viable targets, it is primarily an anti-air and anti-infantry specialist thanks the nerfs to the Vector Strike rule against ground targets in 7th edition.

    In competitive play, the Hive Crone’s main function is that of a toolbox unit. Due to its diverse selection of weaponry combined with mobility, the Hive Crone can be used to fill gaps that emerge in a player’s offensive arsenal turn by turn - ranging from rooting entrenched troops out of cover with its templates strike to anti-heavy armor with Tentaclids and Vector Strike. It also serves excellently as an interceptor, being able to enter ongoing reserves in order to ambush enemy fliers arriving from reserves without sacrificing synapse coverage.

    The Crone shares most of the weaknesses of the Harpy, but with the added concern of its Instinctive Behavior disabling its guns if it should fail (Ld 10 makes this fairly unlikely, but still something to keep in mind). With the onset of 7th, the Crone lost much of its ability against light ground vehicles, since it lacks the quantity of attacks needed to wipe out such a target on its own in one pass. Likewise, it also lost much of its capability against heavy infantry (and to a lesser extent ground-based monstrous creatures).

    Unique Special Rules:

    - Raking Strike: Upgrades the Hive Crone’s Vector Strike to S8 rather than the base S5 of the creature, making it far more dangerous against other monstrous creatures, able to hurt vehicles up to AV13, and adding the ability to double out T4 models. Simple, but effective.


    Biomorphs:

    - Scything Talons (stock): Like the Harpy, the Hive Crone has no other melee weapons to pair them with and the AP6 from the talons is overruled by the Smash rule.

    - Drool Cannon (stock): Effectively a short-barreled version of the Tyrannofex’s Acid Spray, virtually identical apart from the lack of the Torrent rule. With the Crone being prone to vector striking things, the lack of Torrent isn't too big of an issue as it will generally be in range of something anyway.

    - Tentaclids (4x stock): One-shot S5 Ap5 Haywire missiles that can reroll failed to hit rolls against aircraft. Due to the Crone’s mediocre ballistic skill, these are generally best reserved for finishing off enemy aircraft between vector strike attack runs. If no aircraft are available, they can be used to help soften up AV13+ vehicles, though again their accuracy is greatly reduced.

    - Stinger Salvo: A bit more palatable on the Hive Crone, worth considering as a back-up gun for once it has used all of its Tentaclids. Not a must have, but an okay place to spend the last couple points in a list.

    - Cluster Spines: Similar to the above, but limited to strictly anti-infantry due to its nature as a blast. Since the Crone already has its excellent template weapon, the Salvo is probably a bit more ideal for it (not to mention it is cheaper).

    - Acid Blood: Seeing as the Crone has no reason to ever leave Swooping-mode…

    -Regeneration: While flying monsters are in a good position to take advantage of Regeneration, it is extremely expensive for what it does and once the Crone has expended its Tentaclids it looses most of its perceived threat value.

    - Toxin Sacs: See Acid Blood. If the Crone is in combat, either something went terribly wrong or you are winning anyway.

    - Adrenal Glands: Same as above.

    Grade: B



    Ravener: (by Spoletta)
    Spoiler:
    The raveners are a fast assault unit capable of deepstriking and quite killy once they get in contact with stuff. For the same cost as a warrior you get an upgrade to beast type and a bonus to initiative, while losing on Synapse and 1 point of armor. This makes the raveners quite a glass cannon. Here is a little summary of the main aspects of raveners:

    1) Fast: 12" movement, fleet and ignore terrain. Do i need to say more? This is the fastest non flying model in the tyranid codex.

    2) Killy: High I, High WS, S4 with loads of attacks and upgradeable to rending claws for an honest price. These guys will pop transports, kill MSU and any non assault dedicated units with ease. With 7th and the new smash rules they can be a threat to many monstrous creatures.

    3)Frail: With the same cost per wound of a warrior sporting only a 5+ and T4 will make you a juicy target for small weapons, while at the same time being a 3W T4 will also make you a good target of big weapons. In fact no matter what shoots at you, you will be it's favorite target 9 times out of 10.

    4) Good but costly customization: Raveners can be upgraded to get rending claws, and if you field them you should always get those claws. Raveners can also get a small thorax weapon, which means that they get to be shooty without sacrificing the double melee set. Problem is that said thorax weapons cost really a lot, taking your raveners into a whole new level of glass cannons. Don't do that possibly, you will paint a big (bigger) target over their heads.

    Raveners main role is quite straightforward: turn 1 advance behind LOS blocking terrain. Turn 2 get in there and break stuff.
    Alternatively you can deep strike them and assault the following turn, which can be a necessary choice depending on the terrain pieces on the table. Don't multi assault, raveners are not models who can afford to get returning hits in melee, that Initiative and offensive stats are there for a reason. Use them as discardable one assault units, a min unit of raveners can easily make back it's points in a single assault. For the same reason avoid at all costs assaulting units in cover, you can't afford to give up the first strike.

    By the previous description one would think that these guys could have a place into some list, so why are they so rarely seen? The answer is Shrikes. In the same FOC slot and for the same cost the Shrikes trade a bit of speed and one point of Initiative for synapse and better upgrades, including flesh hooks. They don't get thorax weapons, but they also don't get such high costs.

    99% of the times shrikes are a better choice over raveners.
    Like Shrikes having raveners on the field when there are Tau Smart Missiles around is a BAD idea.

    Grades: D. They would be C without Shrikes, so if for any reason you don't want/can't field shrikes then these guys are C quality.



    Red Terror: (by Spoletta)
    Spoiler:
    A big bad ravener with T5, S5 and the worst model in the Tyranid miniature range (sorry biovores). This guy is the only possible reason why you would consider raveners over shrikes. He comes at quite the cost, with each one of his wounds costing almost as much as a full ravener. He also has quite the tail, hitting at S6 and one of the most trollish rules in the game. If RT hits the same unit with 4 attacks in a turn excluding the tail (and he has 6 attacks at high WS on the charge) he can choose one model in base contact and remove him short of an invul save. While it doesn't work on models bigger than a terminator the way this is worded means that you are eluding a good chunk of defensive rules, with highlights on Look Out Sir! and Eternal Warrior. This guy is the last thing Marneus wants to fight. He also has the great role of being the meat shield for the other raveners in the unit. T5 is much harder to ID and if S10 is on the way then you can always Look Out Sir. He also has an important 4+. Remember though to Look Out anything that isn't S8, S9 or AP 5. Too bad he can't take rending claws.

    Having RT in your unit changes the role of the raveners from one shot unit to imposing unit. You can't simply throw him away at the first assault, if he is in you are pointing (and paying) at something more, like a reliable tank hunting unit (with that S6 tail and S5 attacks he pops tanks easily, and the unit has the mobility for it). Shroud granters are mandatory to protect this investment.

    2 thing to remember:
    1) Raveners have no grenades and RT is not exception.
    2) He is not a synaptic model.

    Grades: C



    Sky-slasher Swarm: (by ductvader)
    Spoiler:
    Purpose:
    The Sky Slasher Swarm has three main purposes; screening, light infantry hunting, and Monster hunting. While the Sky Slasher Swarm is highly comparable to the more commonly seen gargoyle there are a few discrepancies that give the Sky Slasher Swarm a slight edge, specifically in upgrade costs and damage output.

    Biomorphs:
    -Spinefists: The Sky Slasher Swarm is the absolute best creature in the codex to take this biomorph do to it's natural speed and attack characteristic. The spinefist is easily the best upgrade for this creature as it's meager profile becomes much stronger with an effective 24" range and 56% hit rate. (The natural Twin-Linking of the weapon greatly offsets the natural ballistic skill of the Swarm. This biomorph makes the Sky Slasher Swarm perfect for fighting T3 enemies, which unfortunately for this unit the Tyranid codex has no innate need for this niche.

    -Toxin Sacs: This biomorph allows Sky Slasher Swarms to handle Monstrous Creatures. With the speed of sky slashers it becomes much easier to catch and tarpit enemy MCs while stripping wounds off them due to the amount of poison attacks put out by this unit. Once more, fighting monstrous creatures is a role unneeded by most Tyranid lists.

    -Adrenal Glands: While this biomorph increases the speed of the Swarm to the level of Raveners, the natural ability of the Sky Slasher Swarm to win fights through attrition is not aided by this biomorph. While Adrenal Glandsndo allow this creature to wreck light vehicles through glances, it does not even allow the unit to do so efficiently. For its current cost, this upgrade should be avoided.

    --------------

    While the Sky Slasher Swarm excels in targetting light infantry and tarpitting MCs, this creature does not generally see play due to the natural ability of the Tyranid codex to handle such threats. Where the Sky Slasher does shine is in its ability to screen for other units. The height and shape of modelling three flying rippers to a base allows the model to recieve and grant cover much more easier than any other screening unit you can purchase in the book. The unit's ability to ignore terrain and its natural speed also lend to this purpose.

    Grades: B- (stock), C+ (Spinefists) C (Toxin Sacs)



    Spore Mine Clusters: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    Spore mines are one of the most strategic assets available in the Tyranid codex, though in the most bizarre ways.

    1. The spore mine received a massive points decrease.

    2. They lost random control dice.

    3. They lost Orbital Deployment but gained Floating Death.

    Before we go in, we need to look at the drastic changes in the playstyle of these little used orbs of exploding death. While in the previous book, these actually were fairly expensive for a full cluster, they are now half the cost, with more than twice the use. In the old codex, Tyranid players used to consider these to be highly unreliable due to the fact that much of the control was completely random, and most players based their potential on one ability; Orbital Deployment. You were able to deploy these things as soon as deployment zones were chosen, but before even units were placed, which allowed you to blockade enemy fortifications or favorable areas. Unfortunetely, upon a single detonation of a group placed in unit coherency, you could set off the entire change and almost assuredly give up a first blood if the opponent deployed in vehicles. However, others realized that there is no rule forcing a player to deploy in coherency allowed the more clever players to deploy them farther out to avoid daisy-chained explosions and deny more area while minimizing losses to the unit. Remember, units only take wounds, even outside of unit coherency, based on how many of them can be reached by weapons. This meant that 3 full units, set even 4-6 inches apart with alternating models from the units could leave your opponent frustrated when he is forced to waste multiple units fire when he can only take out 1-2 a volley per unit with them widely scattered. Now, I want you to keep this in mind to a degree going into these new tactics, because they will play a fairly important part of the new Spore Mine Cluster.

    So, lets cover movement. Spore mines have a set 3" movement. This is great for dealing with unit coherency, because it allows you to pull several tricks if you choose not to deep strike them, and use them in a defensive area. If you spread out your units outside of 2 inch coherency, say 3-5 inches, you have a guaranteed safety line to get them to snap into coherency for an assault. If you're conga-lining them and an opponent deep strikes nearby, he may decide to avoid firing into the mines, thinking that in such a disfunctional deployment, they serve no threat. However, a quick 3 inch movement snap can bring them all back into function and allow you, a good assault roll pending, to suddenly drop a massive pie plate since according to the Floating Death rule, they do not assault in close combat, but the entire cluster detonates, and you simply choose that closest spore mine. This gives them a far greater presence in your backfield since, if you deep strike, you are forced to cluster them in base to base contact and a toughness value of 1 will not save them.

    Now, lets move onto the main reason you will bring these models. A spore mine is guaranteed a S4 AP4 Ignores Cover large blast, but can go up to a S9 AP 4 blast with a full cluster behind it. This means that a full brood is a threat to any multi-wound T4 characters without EW. A lucky hit could end them before they begin, and that isn't a bad thing when you consider that you paid only 30 points for them. They also can be fairly threatening to tanking, given that they have a good chance to damage any ground vehicles. Their use increases when they charge into combat. In assault, the wounds taken by spore mines do not count towards resolution, even if they detonate, which gives you extra chances to potentially catch your opponent several wounds short in assault and force them to fall back.

    The last benefit to the spore mine is that they can be produced by so many other Tyranids as free additions to the army. Biovores, Harpies, and Sporecysts can all produce Spore Mine clusters in spades, and with each first blast, you create d3 spore mines which can give you potentially S4-6 large blasts that can assault on the turn of creation since they do not count as having been deploying, etc.

    Grades: B- (Vanilla)




    HEAVY SUPPORTS


    Carnifex: (by Frozocone)
    Spoiler:
    Background
    When one thinks of a Tyranid army, one of the first models to come to mind is the Carnifex. One of the most iconic Tyranid models to be in existance, especially in 4th edition where Carnifexes could also be taken in Elites. As fifth edition came out, they became redundant with the arrival of the new Trygon and lack of option to be taken as an Elite and slowly started to gather dust. Following the arrival of 6th edition, Carnifexes were hailed as one of the shining stars of the Codex, getting a notable points decrease as well as being able to take multiples in a brood, opening up Heavy Support options. As 7th edition rolled out they came to be the only Monstrous Creature in the Tyranid Codex that wasn't nerfed by the changes to Smash, making use of it's standard base 9 Strength to deal with anything that comes across its path.

    Competitive Setting
    A Carnifex Brood uses one of the Heavy Support slots in a Tyranid army. It follows a standard TMC statline, with WS3, BS3, T6 with a 3+ Armour Save. As it does not have the Synapse Creature special rule, it will revert to Instinctive Behaviour outside of Synapse, of which the Carnifex rolls on the Feed table. Where the Carnifex starts to differ is that it only has 4 Wounds, making it not as durable as other TMC's and is Initiative 2, meaning that it strikes at the same speed as the lowly Ork and is out sped by anything that isn't a Power Fist or equivalent. However, where it lacks in speed, it makes up for in sheer brutality, sporting 3 attacks at base S9. Combined with it's Living Battering Ram special rule that grants it D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks instead of one, this makes it one of the premier options that Tyranids have for opening AV13/14.

    Melee Weapons
    Scything Talons - Carnifexes come equipped with two pairs of Scything Talons. Although being nerfed, they do allow for customization of a Carnifex by exchanging a pair for Wargear upgrades.
    For those that want to keep Carnifexes cheap, this is a good option.
    Crushing Claws - Crushing Claws grants a Carnifex S10 in Close Combat (note, not for Hammer of Wrath), allowing it to Instant Kill T5 as well as giving it the Armourbane USR, making it more likely to Penetrate AV13-14.
    For Carnifexes designed for vehicle hunting, this is a good option.

    Monstrous Bio-Cannons
    Twin-Linked Deathspitter - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a TL Deathspitter, granting it three 18" TL shots at S5 AP5. This is not very good, especially when taken in context, it is outclassed by another Monstrous Biocannon.
    This is a bad option.
    Twin-Linked Devourer with Brainleech worms - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a TL Devourer with Brainleech Worms, granting it six 18" TL shots at S6 AP-. This allows a Carnifex to be multi-purpose, wounding Infantry through number of shots, as well as Light Armour and in emergencies, ground based AA.
    This is a good option.
    Stranglethorn Cannon - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a Stranglethorn Cannon, granting it one 36" shot at S6 AP5 Large Blast, Pinning Shot. The Stranglethorn Cannon may only be taken once per model and may not be taken with the Heavy Venom Cannon. This allows a Carnifex to act as a Infantry killer and support smaller Tyranids by potentially making it harder to shoot at them. However, with a Carnifexes bad Ballistic Skill, it might scatter off the target and is in general, outclassed by Biovores, who give three Large Blast Templates at a large ranger for the price of a standard Carnifex.
    This is a bad option.
    Heavy Venom Cannon - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a Heavy Venom Cannon, granting it one 36" shot at S9 AP4 Blast. Only one Heavy Venom Cannon may be taken per model and may not be taken with the Stranglethorn Cannon. This allows a Carnifex to fire a single S9 shot before it charges a vehicle, making it easier to wreck vehicles, as well as Instant Killing T4. For Carnifexes designed for Vehicles-hunting, this could be the last glancing hit you need to wreck that vehicle.
    This is a decent option.

    Biomorphs
    Toxin Sacs A Carnifex with Toxin Sacs has the Poisoned USR. This, combined with the natural S9 of the Carnifex, will normally allow it to re-roll failed to Wound rolls. However, the Carnifex only has 3 attacks base and WS3, meaning you might not get to make use of the re-roll to wounds.
    This is a decent option.
    Acid Blood A Carnifex with Acid Blood the ability to inflict a S5 AP2 hit per unsaved wound in Close Combat. This looks quite good, until you realise the Carnifex only has four Wounds, as well as the opponent having to take an Initiative before the hit can apply.
    This is a bad option.
    Adrenal Glands. A Carnifex with Adrenal Glands has the Fleet and Furious Charge USR. This allows a Carnifex to have S10 on the charge (note, not for Hammer of Wrath), as well as re-roll Run and Charge distances. This makes getting into combat much easier and combined with the Onslaught Psychic Power, allows Carnifexes to get into position quickly to start firing any Ranged Weapons they have.
    This is a good option.
    Regeneration. A Carnifex with Regeneration has the ability to regain lost wounds at the end of the game turn on a 4+. This looks promising, until one realizes it is the least durable Monstrous Creature that Tyranids have, on virtue of it having the fewest amount of Wounds (aside the Hive Tyrant, which can mitigate this with the Catalyst Psychic Power and Wings for a FMC profile) and only has a 3+ armour save coupled with it's Toughness characteristic of 6, meaning it can be focused fired down before it can make use of Regeneration.
    This is a bad option.

    Tail Biomorphs
    Thresher Scythe - A Carnifex with a Thresher Scythe may make an additional S4 AP4 attack with the Rending special rule in close combat. Considering that the Carnifex that is in combat is usually geared for vehicle killing, this is not likely to help.
    This is a bad option.
    Bone Mace - A Carnifex with a Bone Mace may make an additional S8 AP - attack in close combat. They cost the same as Crushing Claws which will more reliably open vehicles, but if you feel that you are not destroying vehicles enough, it grants additional attack that may cause that final glancing hit.
    This is a decent option.

    Options
    Additional Carnifexes - a Carnifex Brood may take up to two more Carnifexes. This allows a Tyranid player to shift Carnifexes around for Wound allocation purposes making the brood more durable, as well as have more Carnifexes without using up the Heavy Support slots. Any Carnifex brood consisting of two or three Carnifexes can not make use of the Tyrannocyte, making this option a speed vs durability argument.It is important to note however, that any Carnifex Brood with two or three models, are vulnerable to the harshest Instinctive Behaviour: Feed table.
    For lists that do not use Tyrannocytes, or do not want Carnifexes using a Tyrannocyte, this is a good option.
    For lists that do make use of Tyrannocytes, this is decent option.
    Spine Banks - A Carnifex with Spine Banks may fire one 8" shot at S3 AP- Blast and is treated as having Assault Grenades. This is generally not worth it as the damage output is so low and Carnifexes have a low Initiative to begin with.
    This is a bad option.
    Bio-Plasma - A Carnifex with Bio=Plasma may fire one 12" shot at S7 AP2 Blast. This is better than Spine Banks as you can wound a lot more stuff. It is still a bit pricey however and for thirty points more, one can purchase an Exocrine, which has a larger blast or six shots at double the range and when stationary, a better BS.
    This is a decent option.

    Transport
    Tyrannocyte As soon as the Tyrannocyte was announced, there was much rejoicing amongst Tyranid players. Tyrannocytes give much needed speed to Tyranids, which allows Carnifexes to move up even faster than before. Note that only one MC model can embark the Tyrannocyte upon deployment. Tyrannocytes work best when a model can immedietly do something upon deployment, such as shoot or provide Synapse so is not the best option for all Carnifexes.
    For single Carnifexes with Ranged Weapons, this is a good option.
    For single Carnifexes with Melee only weapons, this is a decent option.
    For Carnifexes with long range weapons (HVC or SC) or broods of two or more models, this is a bad option.

    Standard Competitive Builds
    Carnifex w/ 2x TL Devourers with Brainleech Worms - can be taken alone to fit in a Tyrannocyte or in multiples for more firepower, this type of Carnifex, known as the 'Dakkafex' spits out a large number of shots which shave wounds off units. Adrenal Glands are an optional extra to allow it to more reliable deal with vehicles or move into position.
    Carnifex w/ Scything Talons, Crushing Claws - This type of Carnifex commonly has two more standard Carnifexes for ablative wounds, as they move up the battlefield looking for the highest AV vehicles and destroying them with ease. Adrenal Glands are not a necessity as the Crushing Claws variant can reliably deal with high AV vehicles and you normally have ablative wounds for your Crushing Claws Carnifex.
    Carnifex w/ 2x Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands - The 'Screamer-Killer' is a basic Carnifex. It can either be taken in multiples for more Wounds to chew through, or as a single unit

    Stone Crusher Carnifexes
    From Forge World, Stone Crusher Carnifexes are even stronger than regular Carnifexes, boasting S10 on their base statline. This becomes even better when you consider the fact they also have Living Battery Ram, as well as their own special rules, Wrecker, Sunder and Carapace Chitin-rams. This gives all Hammer of Wrath attacks Armourbane and Monster Hunter, meaning they can put wounds on MC and vehicles alike. Wrecker and Sunder is what really sets them apart from Carnifexes, they are allowed to re-roll all failed Armour Penetration rolls, as well as add one to the result if against immobile structures and fortifications (on top of the +2 granted by the Wrecker Claws AP1 value) when using their Wrecker Claws. Although the Stone Wrecker Carnifex has less attacks than the Carnifex (two compared to three) any attack that goes through is more than likely going to cause an Explodes! result. As a trade off for their close combat power, they have no access to Monstrous Biocannons.

    While having an identical profile to the Carnifex (Trading an attack for Strength 10 aside), they are more durable then Carnifexes, due to their Reinforced Caraspace special rule, which makes any shooting attacks resolved against a Stone Crusher Carnifex reduce their Strength by one. Essentially, this means the Stone Crusher Carnifex is T7 against shooting attacks (note this does not apply to close combat attacks).

    Stone Crusher Carnifexes upgrades
    Additional Stone Crusher Carnifexes - like regular Carnifexes, additional Carnifexes may be taken for Wound allocation purposes. Considering that they are Toughness 7 against shooting attacks, this will prolong the life of Stone Crusher Carnifexes considerably. As mentioned in the Tyrannocyte entry for Carnifexes, models that can do something upon Deep Strike arrival are good. Stone Crusher Carnifexes have the durability to run up the field and bear the brunt of most weapons, especially with Shrouded support. Note that broads of two or more Stone Crusher Carnifexes are vulnerable to the worst result on the Instinctive Behaviour: Feed table.
    For lists that do make use of Tyrannocytes, this is decent option.
    For lists that do not use Tyrannocytes, or do not want Stone Wrecker Carnifexes using a Tyrannocyte, this is a good option.
    Spine Banks - Like regular Carnifexes, this does not help them destroy vehicles.
    This is a bad option.
    Bio-Plasma -Generally not worth it since a Stone Wrecker Carnifex does not want to be targetting Infantry.
    This is a bad option.
    Thresher Scythe - Like regular Carnifexes, this does not help them destroy vehicles.
    This is a bad option.
    Bone Mace - Unlike regular Carnifexes, Stone Wrecker Carnifexes do not require help destroying vehicles.
    This is a bad option.
    Wrecker Claw and Bio-Flail - A Stone Wrecker Carnifex with a Wrecker Claw and Bio-Flail replaces their ability to re-roll amour penetration on their regular attacks with the ability to cause Instant Death and gain a new rule, Sweep Attack. Sweep Attack allows a model to replace all their attacks with a number of attacks equal to the number of enemy models in base contact with them. This allows a Stone Crusher Carnifex with a Wrecker Claw and Bio-Flail to generate more attacks and stops it being tarpitted as easily, while the trade off is that they may find it harder to destroy vehicles.
    For Stone Crusher Carnifex broods consisting of two or three models, this is a good option.
    For Stone Crusher Carnifex broods consisting of one model, this is a decent option.


    Transport
    Much like a regular Carnifex, a single Stone Crusher Carnifex can embark on a Tyrannocyte. However, a Stone Wrecker Carnifex has more durability than a regular Carnifex and can forgo a Transport in favour of running up. Note however, that a Stone Wrecker Carnifex can not usse Adrenal Glands at all, so it is still quite slow in that regard, meaning the Tyrannocyte can provide the speed that a Stone Wrecker Carnifex needs in order to do damage.
    For single Stone Wrecker Carnifexes, this is a good option.
    For Stone Wrecker Carnifex broods of two or more models, this is a bad option.

    Standard Competitive Builds
    Stone Wrecker Carnifex w/ Wrecker Claws - A standard Stone Wrecker Carnifex does a fine job of destroying vehicles without any upgrades.
    Stone Wrecker Carnifex w/ Wrecker Claw and Bio-flail - A Stone Wrecker Carnifex with Wrecker Claw and Bio-flail should only be taken in groups of two or more, as it prevents a heavily points invested unit being tarpitted easily.

    Conclusion and Overall Rating

    Carnifex Overall rating = A-
    The Carnifex can provide a lot for a Tyranid army that is not covered well within the rest of the army, such as high volumes of fire or dealing with AV13-14 and as such, are recommended in most builds of Tyranids. The Carnifex can be kitted out for different roles, making it a multi-purpose unit, which is useful in the case that you may not always be playing against vehicles. The Carnifex just falls short of being an all-star by a reliance on Synapse to function well, as well as requiring support from other Tyranids to provide it with a cover save, or to simply draw fire away from it as it is fragile in comparison to other TMCs.

    Stone Crusher Carnifex Overall Rating = B
    While the Stone Crusher Carnifex is the best answer Tyranids have to heavy vehicle duties, it's role is very linear and does not allow much adaptability. It also suffers from requiring Synapse to be effective and even with pseudo Toughness 7, is still quite vulnerable to volume of fire with only four wounds.



    Biovore: (by Amoras)
    Spoiler:
    These are the cheapest option from our heavy support slot, able to take 3 for the same cost as the next cheapest choice. They fit the role of long range artillery.

    The Biovore comes with a 48" large blast at S4 AP4 With the Barrage and spore burst rules, they can threaten a huge area which sets it apart from the majority of the shorter ranged weapons more common in the army.

    Ideal targets are large low-Toughness, low-Save units such as AM guardsmen, Tau fire warriors or Tyranid gaunts. When faced with the more elite units they drop in efficency, although they can still be valuable by putting on wounds and forcing pinning tests (Note - pinning only for the Living Artillery Node formation). With Str 4, they can glance AV10 vehicles as well (although unreliable, it can be usefull from time to time).

    When a biovore misses, the shots are not lost but will instead spawn D3 spore mines. These act as a spore mine cluster for the rest of the game, useful for blocking movement, taking fire away from your army or simply running into an enemy unit and blowing up. These gain 1 Str for every mine in the unit, making them more reliable in hurting vehicles and higher Toughness models.

    Biovores come in broods of 1-3. Getting the extra bodies is usually a good choice, getting more firepower without taking away slots for other heavy support options.

    Biovores tend to be deployed inside cover as to protect them from enemy fire. Deploying them away from your main force can force your opponent to have to ignore them or commit units to dealing with them, keeping the enemy units out of combat for a few turns.

    What is important to remember is the fact that without synapse coverage, they are subjective to Instictive Behavior Hunt. If choosing to commit a synapse unit to them, a good choice can be a warrior brood with a bio-cannon. These will also be strong in counter-charging whatever comes after the biovores.

    Another way is to deploy them closer to your main force in which case the synapse coverage will be easier to handle. They will also benefit well from Shrouded if you decide to also include malanthropes or venomthropes.

    Ideally, these guys won't see close combat. However, they aren't terrible at it. They can be expected to hold their own against assault by MSU or weakened enemy units.

    Biovores are also featured in the Living Artillery Node formation, which requires you to also take an exocrine and tyranid warriors. This will provide your biovores with the ability to reroll the scatter dice when within 12" of the warriors (as well as to cause Pinning), making them all the more reliable.

    Grade A-



    Biovore: (by Unyielding Hunger)
    Spoiler:
    Biovores are the premium artillery of the Tyranid Codex.

    1. They are cheap and can easily be fielded in large numbers.

    2. They produce spore mines when they miss.

    Biovores are one of the few Tyranid units that has very little compulsion to move, having plenty of range to sit back and shell the enemy. With a 48" gun, it has little to fear from enemy units, but precautions must be taken regardless. Unfortunately, the Biovore suffers from IB: Hunt, which can force it to go to ground though more times than not, it will force it to go after the closest enemy unit. This is risky for artillery with a low S blast, since the closest enemy unit may just be a heavy vehicle and not the blob halfway down the field so a babysitter should be found. Tyranid Warriors are the best option with their own 36" gun, however, this is just shy of the cost of a second full brood of Biovores. An option might be several broods along with a group of warriors to protect them, but if going this route, a better option can be found in a specific formation that can be found in later areas of the review. The synaptic babysitter also doubles as the standard protection detail to discourage harassment units. Always make sure that you keep them in cover to take advantage of the durability boost.

    When most artillery misses, the shot is wasted. When Biovores miss however, they now deploy d3 Spore Mines that do not suffer any penalties. That means they can assault on the turn of creation, and lead to their own S4-6 explosion which can harm moderate toughness units and medium heavy vehicles. One thing to keep in mind however is that Biovores are not tank hunters. Your primary targets will be the weaker troop options such as guardsmen, eldar, and orks, so don't put too much faith on missing multiple units and trying to fish for S6 blasts.

    Grades: B (Vanilla)



    Mawloc: (by Frozocrone)
    Spoiler:
    Background
    The Mawloc first arrived on the scene in 5th edition, along with it's serpent brother, the Trygon. Mawlocs were initially overlooked in favour of the beast that the Trygon was, with many people wishing they had taken a Trygon over a Mawloc. Come 6th edition, that argument was flipped the other way around, with the Trygon being nerfed near to the point of unusable and the Mawloc now being taken as a single disruption unit or even in multiples, depending on the rest of the army. Come 7th edition, the Mawloc suffered a slight nerf in the form of Smash being nerfed, but otherwise remained the same, doing the same job that it did before.

    Competitive use
    The Mawloc is a peculiar unit that Tyranids have available to them, it can do damage before even showing up on the board! Let's have a look at some of the benefits of including a Mawloc in a Tyranid army.

    1. Terror from the Deep. This gives the Mawloc a S6 AP2 Large Blast with Ignores Cover when it arrives from Deep Strike. This makes the Mawloc a good answer to 2+ armour save units. Better yet, if it can't be placed, Terror from the Deep repeats the same thing again! If it still can't be placed, then there is a 50% chance it goes back into Ongoing reserves, allowing it to do the same thing next turn, without suffering any damage.

    2. Deployment. The Mawloc directly influences your opponents deployment by forcing units out of position. No longer can they be bunched together in cover, since a Mawloc could claim them all. Instead, an opponent has to account for the Mawloc and deploy in a manner they might not normally want to.

    3. Gunline nightmare. Due to the unlimited range of the Mawloc's Terror from the Deep, it, alongside the long range Biovores, are one of the best units to use against a gunline army. In addition, it is an immediate threat once it comes up as it can charge the next turn. This means the Mawloc can act as a huge bullet magnet and allow the rest of a Tyranid army to move up the field relatively unharmed.

    4. Interceptor. As Terror from the Deep is resolved in the Movement Phase, this allows you to potentially remove units that could cause harm to your other units.

    5. Invisibility. This is perhaps the Mawlocs greatest asset. Since the Mawloc does not fire it's Large Blast, it can target Invisible units. Provided it doesn't scatter, it can severely reduce the damage output of a Invisible Deathstar.

    6. Hit and Run. This means the Mawloc can remove itself from combat if it finds him self there. With I4, it has a 2/3 of removing itself on the opponents turn and simply Burrow on the Tyranid turn, allowing it to use Terror from the Deep. Hit and Run also allows it to act as a tarpit and hold a unit in place and when the time is right, remove itself from combat to allow the rest of the army to shoot at that unit.

    7. Cheap. The Mawloc, by comparison to other Monstrous Creatures in the Codex, is the cheapest model when talking about points per wound (140 points for 6 wounds or 23.3 per wound) while also sporting a 3+ armour save.

    8. Instinctive Behaviour. The Mawloc operates without Synapse just as well as within Synapse, being naturally Fearless and only a single model, it suffers no consequences when testing for Instinctive Behaviour: Feed. The only time that Instinctive Behaviour may affect a Mawloc is when it gives it Rage. If, for some reason, it would be forced to charge a unit in the Assault phase, it can simply Burrow for that turn.

    The Mawloc has a place in all Tyranid armies and is a solid option overall. The only downsides to taking a Mawloc is that it can scatter off it's intended target and does not fare that well in combat, which is where it is likely to be after it comes up.

    Overall rating: B



    Tyrannocyte: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    The Tyrannocyte is currently the only transport option for Tyranids (not including Tyranid Gargantuan Creatures, or TGC's). While by itself, it isn't all that great. However, tactically, it gives Tyranids a large amount of tactical flexibility that a Tyranid army just wouldn't have otherwise. Just like Space Marine drop pods, it allows a Tyranid army to get specific units exactly where they need to go and fast. It makes the unit much more survivable by reducing the number of turns the opponent has to shoot at the unit. It also allows the Tyranid army to play a certain style - Maximum Threat Overload, or MTO - that just may be one of their most successful strategies.

    So why should Tyrannocytes be included in a Tyranid army?

    1. The Tyrannocyte is a very good delivery system to get the units that you want to where you want it and quickly. Now why is this good? Because it minimizes the amount of return fire that the unit needs to take before engaging the enemy. Against shooty armies like Tau, Eldar and Astra Militarum, it gives Tyranids are better chance to hit their lines without dying.

    2. The Tyrannocyte helps to make a playstyle - MTO Tyranids - even better. When you hit your opponent with 2 or 3 units, that he can still handle. But when you hit your opponent with 6 or 7 units all at once - for example, 2 flyrants, 2 dimachaerons in tyrannocytes, 1 dakkafex in a tyrannocyte and 2 mawlocs all on Turn 2 - that is something that many armies just cannot handle. Basically, it helps to overload your opponent with more threats than he can handle.

    3. The Tyrannocyte gives the Tyranid army much greater flexibility in terms of how one wants to play the army. Against a shooty army, put your units in tyrannocyte spores and overload the enemy. Against my aggressive armies, deploy your units on the ground and drop the tyrannocytes onto distant objectives instead.

    4. Resiliency. As a Tyranid monstrous creature (TMC) with T5 and 6 Wounds, it is actually quite durable against anything that is not Strength 10 in nature. Drop it onto an objective (and preferably in ruins) and most non-ObSec (Objective Secured), non-elite infantry units will have problems taking it down. It is also resilient because it is a very low threat priority target. Most armies will ignore it due to the much greater threat of other Tyranid units (including the unit that just disembarked from it). Thus, in most cases, it can "avoid" enemy firepower and just stay on an objective, at least until the other Tyranid "threats" have been neutralized.

    5. It can move! Yes, that is an improvement over the previous generation of Tyranid drop pods, which were immobile. Now, the tyrannocyte can actually go to claim/contest an objective or to act as a screening unit.

    6. It cannot mishap if it lands on top of another unit. That is another improvement over its previous incarnation. Now, you can deepstrike very aggressively with it.

    7. Firepower. With 15 S5 shots or 5 blasts/large blasts, it's actually got some respectable firepower.


    While the Tyrannocyte opens up a lot of tactical flexibility for the army, the model itself has a lot of drawbacks.

    1. It cannot assault.

    2. While it is a low-priority threat, Toughness 5 means that it can easily be insta-killed by any army with S10 offense.

    3. Instinctive fire means that you cannot control who you shoot at. This can cause some potential problems as you may be firing at a unit you cannot hurt (i.e. deathspitters into a dreadnought) or you could potentially hurt your own units (i.e. barbed stranglers scattering onto your own gribblies).

    4. For what is mainly a delivery mechanism, the Tyrannocyte is actually quite expensive. While its previous incarnation, the mycetic spore, did not have as many features as the tyrannocyte, the mycetic spore was also only half its cost. Thus, the mycetic spore allowed you to drop even more units in a Tyranid MTO list. With the current cost of the tyrannocyte, it is not feasible to run more than 2 or 3 of these units. Thus, with the increased cost, you can't fit as many spore pods into your army as you once could (and still maintain a balanced Tyranid army).

    5. While you can take an unlimited number of tyrannocyte spore pods, the fact that it is a Heavy Support selection means that it is a liability in Big Guns Never Tire missions (where the opponent gets bonuses for killing Heavy Support options). It is also a First Blood liability, especially against armies with S10 offense or force weaponry.


    Individually, the tyrannocyte is not a very impressive unit in and of itself. However, in terms of overall army strategy and synergy, the tyrannocyte opens up a world of possibilities in terms of army flexibility and tactics. It allows the Tyranid army to do what it normally can't do in a more traditional Tyranid ground list. It also makes a lot of the Tyranid units better. Finally, it addresses one of the biggest weaknesses in a Tyranid ground army and that is its lack of mobility. In comparison, its individual drawbacks are a very small price to pay indeed for the tactical flexibility that it provides to the entire army. It is a unit that is definitely highly recommended for many Tyranid armies.

    Grades: D (by itself), A (as a transport option)



    Tyrannofex (by jifel)
    Spoiler:
    The Tyrannofex is traditionally one of the less appreciated Heavy Support choices, and yet has received a huge boost from the new inclusion of the Tyrannocyte. His role is that of a tank, as he will be the toughest bug on the table that doesn't fill a LOW slot. T6 and 6 wounds are all fun, but the true value of the TFex is in his 2+ armor save, the only one available in the Tyranid codex. For a dollar and three quarters, he comes base with a strength 6 ap 4 Torrent flamer and 4 strength 5, ap 4 shots at 18". Although he has decent firepower, great for clearing out infantry, he doesn't pack a massive punch for his points. However, he does have several good upgrades that I consider great values.

    Electroshock Grubs: First off, he can buy Electroshock Grubs for the same price as a Meltagun, a fantastic deal that gives him respectable anti vehicle firepower (thanks to Haywire) without detracting at all from his Anti Infantry firepower, as it is still a Flame Template at Strength and AP 5, and therefore will threaten plenty of troops.

    Shreddershard Beetles: Again, flame templates are good as they add to his role, and rending helps vs low saves, but it has less versatility than EG as it can't really do much to vehicles.

    Dessicator Larvae: Wounding on a 2+ is great, but again this takes away from his versatility. The TFex doesn't really need more anti infantry power, but threatening vehicles is nice, so I hate to buy anything else.

    Adrenal Glands: For 15 points I would also consider adding Adrenal Glands to him, as he will often be running early to get in range of his guns, and also it gives him much better anti vehicle power in assault. The TFex is not particularly impressive as an assault beast, but the basic TMC statline plus a tough armor save means he can tie up and eventually chew through most basic units in the game. Still, I would keep him away from some of the beefier units in the game, especially those with AP 2. But, the strength 7 on the charge, with 4 attacks, is enough to cripple or kill most Rear AV 10 vehicles, averaging about 2 Hull points, with AP 2 giving explosion potential. Combined with his Haywire template, he can easily threaten anything with an Armor Value.

    Toxin Sacks: Poison for a Melta in points isn't bad at all, but is hardly needed. He doesn't have enough attacks to threaten a High toughness beast with this, and rerolling ones isn't woth the points against small things. Thanks to the 7th edition poison nerf I would say this upgrade is very unnecessary.

    Regeneration:
    The final upgrade I would consider for him is Regeneration. Although it is pricey, the TFex is our toughest MC and is the least likely to be killed in a single turn, making him the most likely bug to use Regen and therefore the best to put it on. I wouldn't say it is required at all, but if you want your TFex to draw fire it is a good way to ensure he sticks around for a while.

    Acid Blood: As is the usual, this upgrade is overpriced and rarely useful. Most of his lost wounds will come from shooting as he will rarely see combat, and even then a single hit will rarely help against something beefy enough to take down a Tyrannofex. Pass!

    Rupture Cannon: For slightly less than a Rhino, you can replace his Flamer template with a 2 shot Strength 10, ap 4 gun at 48" range. As you can imagine, this changes his role drastically from anti infantry boss to long ranged anti vehicle. It's a nice idea, but at BS 3 I would honestly pass on this. Most of the Tyranid "good" units these days rely on closing with the enemy and overwhelming them with threats, and so I would try to use the TFex in a role to support that instead of as a gunline unit. He can remove hullpoints but the poor AP means he can't kill tough units or blow up vehicles, and there are much more efficient ways to strip Hull Points for Nids, thanks to their abundance of Haywire weaponry.

    Fleshborer Hive: For a measly nickel, you can replace the Acid Spray with 20 fleshborer shots. Although "20 shots" sounds nice, it really isn't. An average of 10 hits at 12" range, strength 4 ap 5, or a torrent flamer with better strength, ap and ignores cover? I know what I want to take. The fleshborer hive is just laughably outclassed as it relies on the poor BS of a TFex to function. It kills 1.67 marines on average, while the Acid Spray gets the same results if it hits 6 marines (manageable with Torrent) and is better against 4+ saves, ignores cover, and is longer range. Avoid this one.

    Finally, a Tyannofex may be put in a Tyrannocyte, our new Drop Pod. Personally I think this is an excellent choice as it allows him to get upfield fast, and he may be positioned where his weapons will work best and their short range isn't a problem. With 2 flamer templates with EG, he can murder light squads or can do some damage to vehicles (especially those damn wave Serpents...). Then, he becomes an in-your-face threat that is very tough to remove and has some decent assault ability, which makes him a great distraction unit.

    Grades: A- (in a Pod, with EG) B- (on foot) D (on foot with Rupture Cannon)



    Exocrine: (by Frozocrone)
    Spoiler:
    Background
    For the more observant Tyranid player, the 2nd edition Exocrine sported the same weapon that the Bio-Titans have, a S10 AP3 Large Blast. The Exocrine had a bunch of special rules that made it fun to play in games, with different damage charts for different body parts on it! Fast forward to 2014 and the Exocrine became one of three new models to come out when the 6th edition Codex first hit shelves, getting a redesign in the works. Of the two models in the box set, the Exocrine looked to be the more promising of them, giving Tyranids access to reliable AP2 shooting. As the year progressed, it was given further buffs when it could be taken in a formation that gave its Blast weapon the ability to Twin-Link, making it even more accurate. It also gained access to Pinning which while not game-breaking, is a nice buff to have that can have an affect on the game.

    Competitive Usage
    The Exocrine frequently makes it into several competitive lists and for a good reason - it's the only ranged AP2 that Tyranids gain access to. This provides it with a crucial role that is hard to replicate within the Tyranid army. However, the Mawloc also occupies the same slot the Exocrine resides in and at a glance, you may wonder why you might take an Exocrine when a Mawloc does the same thing but for less points and having an additional wound. Here are some of the reasons you should take an Exocrine in your army.

    1. The Exocrine has two modes of firing, 6 S7 AP2 shots or one Large Blast AP2 shot. This means it can reliably deal with elite infantry, monstrous creatures and hordes to some extent.

    2. The Exocrine can remain stationary and gain +1 BS. This means it's shots are more accurate and the blast will not scatter as much. The Mawlocs scatter is at the mercy of the scatter dice.

    3. Linking in with the last point, it has a range of 24", meaning it can likely get into the middle of the board by turn 2 or 3 and stay there for the rest of the game while still presenting a threat.

    4. The Exocrine can start on the board turn 1. This means that it can do damage turn one. The Mawloc might not even arrive until turn four.

    5. Having a standard profile for TMCs, it pays 34pts per 3+ wound, making it relatively cheap compared to other TMC's in the Codex.

    6. It can be taken in a formation that is extremely cheap compared to other formations. This allows you to take other Heavy Support options.

    7. It's size means you can hide some of the large Infantry models, such as a Venomthrope and block line of sight to them, allow you to keep your smaller models alive longer.

    The Exocrine is worthy of consideration in any competitive list, with particular mention to the Living Artillery formation, where most Exocrines will come from.

    Rating: B



    Trygon/Trygon Prime: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:
    My, how the mighty assault beast has fallen. The trygon went from first-class killer in the previous edition to a respectable but somewhat over-priced assault unit in this edition. Two main factors contribute to his downgrade. First is that he lost his ability to re-roll hits in close combat. The second is not really his fault but rather, changes to 7th Edition. The core rule changes have made him not as effective in dealing with vehicles as he used to be (back in the previous edition). Combine these nerfs with the typical Tyranid weaknesses in assault - lack of grenades and the lack of an Invulnerable save - and you have an assault unit that can only handle small to mid-size, non-Invulnerable units with any modicum of reliability. But pit him against slightly better assault units and you will see why he isn't as effective in combat as many of his peers.

    Another item of note is the perception of him being over-costed. Now he has gone down by 10-pts from the previous edition and yet he is still considered over-costed. Why is that? That is because his cost has not come down nearly enough in comparison to some of the other TMC's (Tyranid monstrous creatures) in the book. Many of the other TMC's have gone down much more considerably in price. Moreover, those same units have gone up in quality. Units like the flyrant, carnifexes, mawlocs and even the tyrannofex have come down in cost considerably, and yet the units have only gotten better. So now you are paying substantially less for units that have gotten much more efficient in this edition. And then you have the trygon, who has come down in price only marginally but who has actually gotten worse in performance compared to how he was previously. No wonder why people are calling him over-priced.

    Despite his shortcomings, the trygon can still contribute to a Tyranid army:

    1. No matter how much he has gone down in efficiency, this guy is still an Assault threat to many units in the game. As such, he will command the attention (or resources) of the enemy to deal with.

    2. Mobility. While not the fastest unit in the codex, his ability to deepstrike offers some flexibility to the army as well as the mobility to get him to where you want/need him. The fact that he is Fleet also makes him slightly faster than many other units in the codex and helps to increase his threat range (and therefore, his area-of-denial range). Also, his ability to deepstrike saves you the cost of having to get him a tyrannocyte spore pod, thus actually making him slightly cheaper than some of the other assault units in the codex.

    3. Bullet magnet. He is still a bullet magnet that can and will draw a lot of enemy fire. He is also resilient enough to be able to absorb much of this firepower.

    4. The trygon hole (Subterranean Assault). Subterranean Assault offers more tactical flexibility to the army, giving a ground-based Tyranid army more options for deployment than it would normally have. Now whether or not it is used all that much nowadays is another matter entirely.

    The trygon prime is even less effective than its cheaper cousin. Offensively, he is no different from his lesser cousin. What you do get for the 40 extra points is a Synapse creature with Shadows in the Warp as well as double the number of shots on the trygon's gun (which nets down to an extra 3 hits for the trygon prime). Really, it isn't worth it. Rarely will his Synapse be effective as most of the time, he will die from enemy shooting/offense on the opponent's turn. Unless you really need his synapse on the field - maybe because you aren't taking enough/any flyrants - more often than not, you'd be better off going for the cheaper trygon over the trygon prime.

    Grades: C- (Trygon), D (Trygon Prime)




    BIOMORPHS/TYRANID WARGEAR


    Bio-Artefacts of the Tyranids (by Sinful Hero)
    Spoiler:
    Available to Hive Tyrants, Tervigons, Tyranid Primes, and Trygon Primes.

    The Maw-Claws of Thyrax
    A cheap melee choice, when used to kill an enemy model they grant the user Preferred Enemy. Coming stock with Rending, it shouldn't be too hard to get this bonus.

    • Hive Tyrant -
    Usually you'll be taking Dual Devourers and wings, so there's usually no room for a melee weapon. On top of this, the Tyrant can take Old Adversary(reroll hits and wounds of 1 in CC) for 5 more points, and not have the stipulation of needing to kill a model with it. It should be focused on CC anyway(2 melee weapons), so the bonus to shooting is useless.

    Grade: F

    • Tervigon -
    With such a low initiative, and only one set of melee weapons, Maw-Claws are generally useless on a Tervigon.

    Grade: F

    • Tyranid Prime -
    A Tyranid Prime can make use of the cheap Maw-Claws. Only five more points than Rending Claws, they're a decent choice for a melee oriented Prime.
    Loadout - Maw-Claws, Lash Whip and Bonesword, Flesh Hooks, Adrenal Glands.

    Grade: B

    • Trygon Prime -
    Generally assumed to be a Melee Monster anyway, Maw-Claws are a good choice for a Trygon Prime. It doesn't lose it's shooting attack or dual weapon bonus by taking Maw-Claws so it can make full use of Preferred Enemy after killing an enemy model.
    Loadout - Maw-Claws. No other biomorphs necessary.

    Grade: A

    The Miasma Cannon
    Sporting two profiles, this Poisoned(2+) weapon is versatile when it comes to killing infantry. It can reach out and touch someone with a 36" blast, or get up close and personal with a template. Unfortunately, a lot of the time Tyranids don't need additional infantry killing weapons so this weapon is often left by the wayside.

    • Hive Tyrant -
    Again, the preferred loadout of 2x Dual Devourers means that you won't often see a tyrant with this bio-weapon, if at all. It could see some use as a dedicated infantry hunter spurting out two templates at a time.
    Loadout - Wings, Miasma Cannon, Electroshock Grubs, Stranglethorn Cannon

    Grade: D

    • Tervigon -
    Tervigons can find some use out of a Miasma Cannon, either sitting back and taking pot shots, or getting in close with dual templates.
    Loadout: - Electroshock Grubs, Miasma Cannon

    Grade: C

    • Tyranid Prime -
    The only way to get a second bio-cannon in a group of warriors, the Miasma Cannon can give some extra "oomph" to a dedicated shooting unit either podding in, or camping a backfield objective.
    Loadout - Miasma Cannon, and that's all a gunboat would need.

    Grade: B

    • Trygon Prime -
    Trygon Primes are usually more assault oriented, but being an MC they can fire two weapons. The Miasma Cannon is the only way to get that second weapon, but at the cost of a dual melee weapon bonus. Adding more points to make an already expensive melee unit more shooty is generally not recommended.
    Loadout - Miasma Cannon, and perhaps Toxin Sacs to carry on a Poison theme if wanted.

    Grade: D

    Norn Crown
    This "Artefact" will add 6" to the synapse range of the bearer. This will stack with other bonuses to synapse, such as warlord traits, formation bonuses, and Dominion. If you're worried about synapse coverage, you may consider this option but it comes at a very steep cost. There are not any recommended loadouts specifically, because it doesn't directly benefit melee or shooting. It's more of a passive bonus.
    Grade: D

    Ymgarl Factor
    The only way for Tyranids to upgrade to a 2+ save, and it only applies to melee, and not in consecutive turns. As a pure melee biomorph with marginal benefits, very expensive, and being somewhat random I can't recommend taking this Artefact.

    Grade: F

    The Reaper of Obliterax
    A Lash Whip and Bonesword on steroids with a price tag to match, this can be a decent alternative to the stock LS/BS if you can spare the points. Granting +1 Strength and Shred plus the stock LS/BS benefits this can be recommended for melee-based Tyranids.

    • Hive Tyrant -
    Melee Tyrants are usually outshined by their Dakka brethren, but if you're dead set on taking one I would recommend this option if you have the points to spare. He will greatly increase the damage capabilities of the Tyrant.
    Loadout - Reaper, Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands, Wings, Electroshock Grub

    Grade: B

    • Tervigon -
    This is far too expensive to put on a creature with such poor CC stats. I don't recommend using this on a Tervigon.
    Grade:F

    • Tyranid Prime -
    A melee Prime could make use of this option, bumping him up to a base strength of 6 and shred. Although, this is an expensive option and will make his cost skyrocket in comparison to other Tyranids- bumping him up over the base cost of a Hive Tyrant.
    Loadout - Reaper, Scything Talons, Flesh Hooks, Adrenal Glands

    Grade: C

    • Trygon Prime -
    Putting an expensive upgrade on an already expensive(some would say overcosted) model is usually not a good idea. The Trygon Prime can really benefit from the Reaper, but before any other upgrades he's close to 300 points, and he just doesn't have the survivability to really justify that.
    Loadout - Reaper. That's really all there is to it.

    Grade: D




    LORDS OF WAR


    Barbed Hierodule: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:


    After playing against the barbed hierodule (BH) a few times, I'm finding he's actually better than I thought, especially when you accompany a malanthrope/venomthrope with him. At first glance, for its points, the Barbed Hierodule isn't very survivable. It is just as easy to kill as a wraithknight, but costs more than 2x the wraithknight's price. However, he has turned out to be much more resilient than expected in my games because he can very easily get 2+ cover with the malan/venomthrope if there are any ruins at all nearby. Unless you can ignore cover with a lot of high-strength or rending shots, he may surprise many with how hard he is to shoot down.

    Another issue with the barbed hierodule is that he can be taken down in assault quite easily by a more dedicated assault unit. While barbie is a dangerous threat in Assault, he is not an actual dedicated Tyranid assault unit and can be overwhelmed by certain matchups in Assault. Strength D attacks, multiple thunderhammers, Insta-death attacks like force weapons and units like dimachaerons, Swarmlord and balesword Nurgle monstrous characters, rending attacks, assault deathstars.....all are units that the should stay away from. Oftentimes, it is worth consider a "bodyguard" of sorts when running the BH. Large units of gribblies (termagants, hormagants or gargoyles), the dimachaeron or even the Swarmlord can actually complement the BH well.

    Finally, as good as its shooting is, it lacks skyfire, thus making the BH not optimal to shoot at air targets. Also, its shooting is only at AP3, thus making him not optimal at shooting at 2+ save units as well. It also makes him unable to one-shot/explode any vehicle that is not open-topped.

    Now how can the barbed hierodule contribute to the army?

    1. The best feature of the BH is its shooting. 12 S10 shots makes it a reliable ranged anti-tank unit. He is also great against very tough units like Necron Overlords on barges, wraithknights, multi-wound Tyranid/Daemon units and Tau suits as well as Imperial Knights (or units that Tyranids usually have problems dealing with). He is especially good against Imperial Knights as he can force them to position their ion shields in a certain direction, thus allowing the flyrants to flank them and to fire at them in their unprotected arcs. As a gargantuan creature, he can also split-fire, thus giving him the potential to take down 2 vehicles a turn (as well as to be able to assault 2 units as well). In a meta where MSU-mech has come back strong, the ability to split-fire then becomes a very important attribute.

    2. He is deadly in assault. While not a dedicated Assault unit per se, his stomps makes him deadly in close combat. It is his stomps that makes him fearsome in combat, especially against deathstar or elite Assault units.

    3. Mobility. The BH is actually quite fast, due to its 12" move and Move Through Cover. It's also got the Agile rule, meaning that it can run double-time or it can run and still fire 1 gun.

    4. Board control/area denial. Because of his mobility and lethality in combat, very few enemy units, with the exception of dedicated enemy Assault units, will want to go near him. This makes him a great tool for the Tyranid player to use to direct the enemy to where he wants. In most cases, Barby is great as a board control unit and to deny the opposing army lots of real estate on the battlefield. Against opponents with the lack of assault units, you want to place objectives as close to each other as possible. Then centralize the BH among these objectives and dare the enemy to come close. If they don't, then Barby still has the range to hurt the enemy. If they do, then it is shooting and assault for the BH.

    5. Bullet magnet. Although he can be taken down with enough shooting, the BH can also absorb a lot of firepower, thus making it easier for the rest of the army. If you keep a venom/malanthrope by his side (and if there are ruins nearby), it is not too hard to give him 2+ cover. Combined with his high Toughness and his natural FNP, he becomes highly resistant to most shooting. As long as you play him aggressively (and not just leave him sitting behind cover in your deployment zone), he WILL draw a lot of fire if the opponent has the guns to do so. When he does, that is a very good thing for the rest of the army.

    It is important to note that, as the games get larger, he becomes more easier to kill. His value is directly proportional to the size of the game. The smaller the game, the better he becomes. Fortunately for Tyranid players, in a standard tournament game of around 1750-2000 points, he is very good.

    Grade: A (normal 40K games), B (Apoc-sized games)



    Scythed Hierodule: (by jy2)
    Spoiler:


    The cousin of the barbed hierodule, the scythed hierodule (SH) is not quite as versatile as his brethren, due mainly to his lack of shooting. However, he is a more dangerous monster in Assault and is better at clearing out infantry than his cousin. So why should one consider the scythed hierodule as his Lord of War?

    1. Shooting. Now you may think, huh? What shooting? Simply put, the scythed hierodule has arguably the best weapon for clearing out standard infantry in the Tyranid arsenal. The S6 AP3 "gun" of the scythed hierodule uses the massive, Apocalypse Hellstorm template. What's more, it will deny FNP from any of the T3 units that it hits, and it will hit any unit within an open-topped vehicle that is caught in its crosshairs.

    2. He is deadly in assault. The SH will kill all but the toughest units in close combat. It will also kill most non-super-heavy tanks in just 1 round of combat. Against deathstar or the more elite Assault units, it has its fearsome stomp attacks as well.

    3. Mobility. The BH is quite fast, due to its 12" move and Move Through Cover. It's also got the Agile rule, meaning that it can run double-time or it can run and still fire 1 gun. In essence, you will always be running with the SH unless you are planning to assault.

    4. Board control/area denial. Because of his mobility and lethality in combat, very few enemy units, with the exception of dedicated enemy Assault units, will want to go near him. This makes him a great tool for the Tyranid player to use to direct the enemy to where he wants. In most cases, the SH is great as a board control unit and to deny the opposing army lots of real estate on the battlefield.

    5. Bullet magnet. Although he can be taken down with enough shooting, the SH can also absorb a lot of firepower, thus making it easier for the rest of the army. If you keep a venom/malanthrope by his side (and if there are ruins nearby), it is not too hard to give him 2+ cover. Combined with his high Toughness and his natural FNP, he becomes highly resistant to most shooting. As long as you play him aggressively, and if you can move him from ruins to ruins for some cover, he WILL draw and absorb a lot of fire if the opponent has the guns to do so. When he does, that is a very good thing for the rest of the army.

    Now he isn't without his limitations. He has some weaknesses that you need to take into consideration when fielding him on the table:

    1. He is actually no harder to shoot down than an Eldar wraithknight. He is only slightly more resilient due to his natural FNP and with the presence of a malan/venomthrope. However, with him being so fast, he has a tendency to outpace any malan/venomthropes that are protecting him.

    2. Assault. While he is very good in assault, you do have to be careful of what you are assaulting with him. Lack of an Invulnerable save, low Initiative, lack of grenades, lack of any re-rolls to hit and a low number of wounds means that he is at a disadvantage against some of the better assault units out there. The faster Imperial Knights with their D-weapons, massed S8 AP2 attacks (i.e. thunderhammers, power klaws), targets with good Invulnerable saves, Grey Knight force weapons, massed rending and deathstar builds can usually kill it in assault. Other units like wraithknights can also kill it if it had already taken wounds.

    3. Lack of shooting. Though his bio-acid spray is great against normal infantry, it isn't quite as effective against tanks (other than open-topped AV10 transports) and elite units (monstrous creatures or units with 2+ saves). It can do nothing to flying units.

    4. He is expensive for what he does. He cannot insta-kill other wraithknights, riptides, dreadknights and other MC's unlike the dimachaeron. He's got low Weapon Skill and low Initiative for a primarily close combat unit. In order words, he is just not as efficient in killing as some of the other assault units. For his price, you could almost get 2 dimachaerons in tyrannocytes and they would kill things much more efficiently in assault. The only advantage he has in assault is his stomp attacks and that he can more reliably kill enemy tanks. Also, he lacks the resiliency to go toe-to-toe against some of the better enemy assault units. Even 2 wraithknights, who still cost less than him combined but has almost double his resiliency, can beat him in combat if all 3 were in combat together.

    Grade: B (normal 40K games), C (larger, Apoc-sized games)



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    While Biovores have almost always been my MVPs, I think you are overstating them. The spore mine rule only states to place mines for the first marker, not the subsequent, and when they blow up, it will only be half a blast marker over the enemy.
       
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    Hmmm....this may be a subject for YMDC. From a purely RAW standpoint, yeah, you may be right. However, what is confusing is that in the Floating Death rule, they mention that the detonating cluster can go up to a maximum of Strength 10. Now how can it possibly go up to S10 if the most spore mines it can create is 3, thus making it Strength 6?

    This may be something that needs a FAQ.


    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/11 21:51:55



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     jy2 wrote:
    Hmmm....this may be a subject for YMDC. From a purely RAW standpoint, yeah, you may be right. However, what is confusing is that in the Floating Death rule, they mention that the detonating cluster can go up to a maximum of Strength 10. Now how can it possibly go up to S10 if the most spore mines it can create is 3, thus making it Strength 6?


    I guess in the same way the Pyrovore can put 20 S3 AP- wounds on an IC fielded in a game store on the other side of this planet because of his Volatile rule .

    The new Tyranid Codex is a gold mine of grammar/writing/editing fallacies.

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     jy2 wrote:
    Hmmm....this may be a subject for YMDC. From a purely RAW standpoint, yeah, you may be right. However, what is confusing is that in the Floating Death rule, they mention that the detonating cluster can go up to a maximum of Strength 10. Now how can it possibly go up to S10 if the most spore mines it can create is 3, thus making it Strength 6?

    This may be something that needs a FAQ.



    Partially because you can buy them separate from the Biovores, but yes that rule is horribly written.
       
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    Can you shoot the Hive Crone's Tentaclids at non-flyers? I usually play against a Space Wolf army that doesn't have flyers.

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    Cool, I am looking forward to more. From my brief glance at the new codex I was impressed by the flyrant and carnifex discounts.

    I am very interested to learn how the biovore debate turns out.

    I got the sense that tyranids might just end up the new king of S6 shooting. Though I only got a quick look so I will be interested to see.

    Now if there was just a nice batrep in Jy2's usual style to show of the new nidzilla and biovore armies...
       
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     AtoMaki wrote:
     jy2 wrote:
    Hmmm....this may be a subject for YMDC. From a purely RAW standpoint, yeah, you may be right. However, what is confusing is that in the Floating Death rule, they mention that the detonating cluster can go up to a maximum of Strength 10. Now how can it possibly go up to S10 if the most spore mines it can create is 3, thus making it Strength 6?


    I guess in the same way the Pyrovore can put 20 S3 AP- wounds on an IC fielded in a game store on the other side of this planet because of his Volatile rule .

    The new Tyranid Codex is a gold mine of grammar/writing/editing fallacies.

    Most likely as a result of its premature and forced publication...

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    Bear in mind tervigons spawn at the end of movement not beginning. So the fact that spawned units cant move is not as big a deal, and the no charge part is not really a big surprise.
       
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    Thank you jy2 for doing this review/tactica. I would like to point out that for those worrying about units being out of synapse, going to ground or being locked in combat can save you from having to take the Instinctive Behaviour test.

    I see the synapse crown artifact, depending on point cost, being a decent buy on flyrants. This will, in addition to their speed and the primaris power, give them a large bubble of synapse and speed to get to units that are fleeing off table.

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    I think you may find that you're perhaps slightly off with your evaluation of the Biovore, jy2. The rule actually states that only the first shot that scatters off target can place D3 mines, the second and third shots don't qualify for the same bonus, seemingly.

    However, there appears to be a neat little hidden gem in that you 'place' the mines, meaning there's actually no restriction on charging with them on the turn you've placed them because they didn't arrive via Deep Strike. Might get FAQ'd but currently pretty nifty.
       
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    San Jose, CA

    Noctem wrote:
    Can you shoot the Hive Crone's Tentaclids at non-flyers? I usually play against a Space Wolf army that doesn't have flyers.

    Yes you can, though they are not twin-linked against ground units. But against other flyers, they are really good because they become twin-linked.

    Also, keep in mind that a MC can only fire 2 guns at a time.


     ansacs wrote:
    Cool, I am looking forward to more. From my brief glance at the new codex I was impressed by the flyrant and carnifex discounts.

    I am very interested to learn how the biovore debate turns out.

    I got the sense that tyranids might just end up the new king of S6 shooting. Though I only got a quick look so I will be interested to see.

    Now if there was just a nice batrep in Jy2's usual style to show of the new nidzilla and biovore armies...

    I don't think tyranids will be the king of S6 shooting but they can be respectable shooters.

    Oh yeah, you bet! I'm going to start off with a battle report against Spam Adam's very powerful and competitive Triptide-Tau army....and I guarantee you that he's going to be in for a surprise.


     neiltj1 wrote:
    Bear in mind tervigons spawn at the end of movement not beginning. So the fact that spawned units cant move is not as big a deal, and the no charge part is not really a big surprise.

    Yeah, it's been GW's trend to nerf anything that can assault on the turn they come in. They did it with Vanguard Veterans, outflanking units and even the Lucious Drop Pods. I thought that they were going to do it with the Ymgarls as well...but then they surprised me by not even including Ymgarls!!! WTF?!? That kind of ticked me off....but I'm not really here to talk about the bad stuff about the codex.

    In any case, while it really wasn't a surprise, it's still a nerf against the tervigon. On why oh why did they nerf him so much....


    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/11 23:32:46



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    Hmm so even against a list with no flyers, the Hive Crone looks to be the better buy over the Harpy?

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     l0k1 wrote:
    Thank you jy2 for doing this review/tactica. I would like to point out that for those worrying about units being out of synapse, going to ground or being locked in combat can save you from having to take the Instinctive Behaviour test.

    I see the synapse crown artifact, depending on point cost, being a decent buy on flyrants. This will, in addition to their speed and the primaris power, give them a large bubble of synapse and speed to get to units that are fleeing off table.

    Yeah, that's a nice trick with IB - to go to ground. The only thing is, I don't think you can GTG if the opponent doesn't shoot at your unit.

    Most of the Bio-artefacts kinda suck, but the Synapse Crown is viable, if a little expensive. In any case, I wouldn't recommend getting it for your flyrants. They will be target priority numero #1 so keep them cheap. But the crown on other units....like a tervigon or perhaps even a Tyranid Prime in a 30-gant mob is a viable option.


    Enceladus wrote:
    I think you may find that you're perhaps slightly off with your evaluation of the Biovore, jy2. The rule actually states that only the first shot that scatters off target can place D3 mines, the second and third shots don't qualify for the same bonus, seemingly.

    However, there appears to be a neat little hidden gem in that you 'place' the mines, meaning there's actually no restriction on charging with them on the turn you've placed them because they didn't arrive via Deep Strike. Might get FAQ'd but currently pretty nifty.

    Yeah, from a purely RAW standpoint, you may be right, though the poor writing leaves a little room for intepretation. I recommend you discuss with your opponent beforehand to decide how it should be played.

    As for assaulting with the mines after landing....wow. That definitely is a loophole. I won't recommend that move as I don't think it is the RAI (rules-as-intended), but it's definitely a way to game the system. Good find!




    Automatically Appended Next Post:
    Noctem wrote:
    Hmm so even against a list with no flyers, the Hive Crone looks to be the better buy over the Harpy?

    Yes they do.

    What it really boils down to is do you have want to go for quality of FMC's (Hive Crones) or quantity (spamming FMC's). Personally, there is no comparison for me. I'd take the Hive Crone over the Harpy anyday.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/11 23:32:12



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    Now I just need to figure out what to build my Exocrine/Haruspex box as heh, I'm leaning towards trying a cc army, but the Exocrine seems to have more potential!

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    Posted this in another thread, so I'll C+P it here. Just my thoughts:

    I've seen a fair few people saying some good things about the new fliers - in particular the Crone - but I really don't think they're very good at all. If your opponent has a BS5+ model on a Quad Gun, chances are that they're dead as soon as they come in. Yes, the Crone will maul enemy fliers, but it won't be allowed to live long enough to do so.

    The "star" units of the Codex, in my opinion, are the following:

    Flyrants - Although these have lost biomancy (you only had a ~1/3 chance of getting Iron Arm anyway), I think they've really improved overall. +1BS, a significant points decrease, and access to what I believe is a decent form of Regeneration, albeit a bit expensive. The good ol' TL Brainleech Devs build will be useful, but, for 5 pts more, you can get two templates that both wound on 2+ which is a pretty cool build, and is nice and different too.

    Deathleaper + Mawlocs - Chances are that Deathleaper's just going to die before he gets to do anything meaningful, but the fact that your enemy always have to fire Snap Shots at him means that he'll soak up a TON of fire. If not, you may get close to allow your Mawloc(s) to land some pinpoint blasts, which is really nice. Spore Mines may benefit also

    Devilgaunts - These guys do exactly the same thing that they did awesomly before, only for 2 points cheaper. A unit of 15-20 outflanking thanks to the Hive Tyrant's Hive Commander is really nasty still. The best thing is that not all of the gants in the brood have to take Deathspitters. You can have 15 with and 15 without, saving yourself 60 points and having a good shield of ablative wounds before your Devourers get into range

    Zoanthropes - These guys are sad they lost best buddy Doom and the ability to take a Pod, but they've been reduced by 10 points and effectively all get to fire off their Warp Blasts/Lances off one Psychic Test. I guess this is a double edged sword (it's all or nothing), but the ability to drop three S5 AP3 blasts or shoot around 3 S10 AP2 Lances is pretty good. Using nearest model shenanigans, your opponent is going to have to get through 3 T4 3++ before that damage output is reduced.

    Venomthropes - Easily the stars of the codex. 45 Points for a Shrouded bubble. Win.

    Biovores - These guys went down 5 points and gained an extra Wound and point of Attack and Initiative (though the latter two are fairly irrelevant). Their shooting is still as effective as before and, more importantly, any Spore Mines created from missed shots are more useful, and less random.

    Mawlocs - A reduction in points, for an increase in effectiveness, sort of. Could be a double edged sword, but I really think these guys are very useful in a Tyranid list, able to cause huge damage to builds of lists that Tyranids hate. They'll quite easily take out a unit of Suits/Devastators or the like and, although they may mishap, they've already done their job.

    Honourable mentions:

    Carnifexes - You can run these alone with simply Adrenal Glands and they won't care about IB and will cause a fair amount of damage, for a fairly cheap cost. A shootier variety with Bioplasma and/or TL Devs is pretty good, but these require Synapse and you miss out on an extra attack which, with only WS3, is really useful. I'm not entirely sold on their effectiveness what is a very crowded HS slot.

    Exocrines - The last sentence of the Carnifex paragraph above applies to this also, but I think that any ranged AP2 in a Tyranid army is nice, especially if it's S7 and a Large Blast. The range is somewhat disappointing though, and you wonder whether or not Mawlocs can do the whole ranged AP2 Large Blast thing better and cheaper.

    Just my views, feel free to discuss

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    I like how you didn't even mention Tyranid Primes, Tyranid Warriors or Genestealers :(.

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    I think a lot of them are pretty easy to resolve. As anyone who has edited a paper many times I know that many of the arguments did not even occur to me on the first read through, it seemed pretty obvious what the intent was.

    No mention of warriors? I think they can perform a reasonable role in the new book, not as a mainstay but they have a place. Also the relative abundance of assault grenades in the book I think is a huge boost.

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    MM I'm a little tired so correct me if I am wrong, one of the Harpy weapons is used during the movement phase (Spore mine cysts), as is VS (Ok so only STR 5 VS). Assuming it is swooping it can then 'run' off the board if positioned correctly and enter ongoing reserves.

    I thought there was a restriction on entering and exiting per turn to stop a 'rinse and repeat' but I can't find it, it is possible it is under the normal flyer rules and has been missed from a FMC point. Of course, this is all dependant on enemy units being in a 'useful' position (Generally in your deployment zone), and ending your movement very close to the table edge, angled ready to run off. At worst, you can only leave every 2nd turn.

    Assuming all the rules are correct however, It will probably be FAQd out - As you now have a near invincible unit.

    This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2014/01/12 00:24:57


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    Good to see a positive take on the new codex. Every other thread and article had me worried. I don't play them but love playing against the bugs, so a stronger codex makes it more likely I'll see them across the table from me.
       
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    I'm not a nid player but a friend of mine is going to let me run his in our next mini tournament. Been looking over the dex all day and I actually quite like them. The death leaper looks like a good distraction unit, planning on infiltrating one into cover to soak up early shooting. Maybe throw in a trygon prime with regen,maw claws and ymgarl factor to deep strike behind him for the holy s##t effect. Biovores to help pin units down and venomthrobes to shroud units as they move up.

    Yes they've had a lot of nerfs but there's afew combos I'm seriously looking forward to trying out.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/12 00:18:20


     
       
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    San Jose, CA

    Noctem wrote:
    Now I just need to figure out what to build my Exocrine/Haruspex box as heh, I'm leaning towards trying a cc army, but the Exocrine seems to have more potential!

    Magnetize so that you can try out both.


     The Shadow wrote:
    Posted this in another thread, so I'll C+P it here. Just my thoughts:
    Spoiler:

    I've seen a fair few people saying some good things about the new fliers - in particular the Crone - but I really don't think they're very good at all. If your opponent has a BS5+ model on a Quad Gun, chances are that they're dead as soon as they come in. Yes, the Crone will maul enemy fliers, but it won't be allowed to live long enough to do so.

    The "star" units of the Codex, in my opinion, are the following:

    Flyrants - Although these have lost biomancy (you only had a ~1/3 chance of getting Iron Arm anyway), I think they've really improved overall. +1BS, a significant points decrease, and access to what I believe is a decent form of Regeneration, albeit a bit expensive. The good ol' TL Brainleech Devs build will be useful, but, for 5 pts more, you can get two templates that both wound on 2+ which is a pretty cool build, and is nice and different too.

    Deathleaper + Mawlocs - Chances are that Deathleaper's just going to die before he gets to do anything meaningful, but the fact that your enemy always have to fire Snap Shots at him means that he'll soak up a TON of fire. If not, you may get close to allow your Mawloc(s) to land some pinpoint blasts, which is really nice. Spore Mines may benefit also

    Devilgaunts - These guys do exactly the same thing that they did awesomly before, only for 2 points cheaper. A unit of 15-20 outflanking thanks to the Hive Tyrant's Hive Commander is really nasty still. The best thing is that not all of the gants in the brood have to take Deathspitters. You can have 15 with and 15 without, saving yourself 60 points and having a good shield of ablative wounds before your Devourers get into range

    Zoanthropes - These guys are sad they lost best buddy Doom and the ability to take a Pod, but they've been reduced by 10 points and effectively all get to fire off their Warp Blasts/Lances off one Psychic Test. I guess this is a double edged sword (it's all or nothing), but the ability to drop three S5 AP3 blasts or shoot around 3 S10 AP2 Lances is pretty good. Using nearest model shenanigans, your opponent is going to have to get through 3 T4 3++ before that damage output is reduced.

    Venomthropes - Easily the stars of the codex. 45 Points for a Shrouded bubble. Win.

    Biovores - These guys went down 5 points and gained an extra Wound and point of Attack and Initiative (though the latter two are fairly irrelevant). Their shooting is still as effective as before and, more importantly, any Spore Mines created from missed shots are more useful, and less random.

    Mawlocs - A reduction in points, for an increase in effectiveness, sort of. Could be a double edged sword, but I really think these guys are very useful in a Tyranid list, able to cause huge damage to builds of lists that Tyranids hate. They'll quite easily take out a unit of Suits/Devastators or the like and, although they may mishap, they've already done their job.

    Honourable mentions:

    Carnifexes - You can run these alone with simply Adrenal Glands and they won't care about IB and will cause a fair amount of damage, for a fairly cheap cost. A shootier variety with Bioplasma and/or TL Devs is pretty good, but these require Synapse and you miss out on an extra attack which, with only WS3, is really useful. I'm not entirely sold on their effectiveness what is a very crowded HS slot.

    Exocrines - The last sentence of the Carnifex paragraph above applies to this also, but I think that any ranged AP2 in a Tyranid army is nice, especially if it's S7 and a Large Blast. The range is somewhat disappointing though, and you wonder whether or not Mawlocs can do the whole ranged AP2 Large Blast thing better and cheaper.

    Just my views, feel free to discuss


    Good to see that other tyranid players share the same sentiment.

    As for tyranids flyers against the quad-guns, there are several ways to mitigate the damage. First off, you don't have to start them in reserves. You can start them on the table just like any other FMC's. Secondly, if you can get Catalyst, then you can buff up your flyers. Between flyrants, zoanthropes and perhaps 1 or 2 tervigons, you do have a decent chance to get Catalyst. Third of all, start them in area terrain and have them within range of a venomthrope. Then Presto....3+ cover! Finally, with a flyrant around, don't worry. Your opponent is going to try to take him out before he goes after any of your other flyers.


     mortetvie wrote:
    I like how you didn't even mention Tyranid Primes, Tyranid Warriors or Genestealers :(.

    I REALLY miss wrecking face with 18 warriors in the 3rd/4th edition books.

    That's because this article isn't a review of all the units. Rather, this article focuses on improvements in the new dex or at the very least, units that I recommend in a competitive Tyranid list. Primes, warriors and genestealers are viable units but they have never truly been competitive tyranid units. In this edition, they've either stayed the same or got worse. Either ways, I don't recommend them as a competitive tyranid unit.

    The Prime has gotten a huge jump in price for no performance increase at all. Now part of this is because he was somewhat under-costed in the previous edition. Then again, I really never ran him in the previous edition and I don't see much reason to run him now....other than in a blob of 30-gants for some resilient backfield synapse.

    Genestealers are as lackluster in this edition as they were in last edition.

    Warriors have basically remained the same, though they did get a slight discount with their biomorphs. However, the main build that many used to run - with boneswords and lashwhips - have actually become more expensive. More importantly, their boneswords are now only AP3 instead of ignoring all armour saves like they used to be.

    Sorry, but these units continue to disappoint me. Why the hell didn't GW incentivize them to make them more attractive this edition? It would have done wonders to help them sell some more models.



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    A good write up as per usual Jim. I eagerly await your first 6th codex Battle Report.

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     Leth wrote:
    I think a lot of them are pretty easy to resolve. As anyone who has edited a paper many times I know that many of the arguments did not even occur to me on the first read through, it seemed pretty obvious what the intent was.

    No mention of warriors? I think they can perform a reasonable role in the new book, not as a mainstay but they have a place. Also the relative abundance of assault grenades in the book I think is a huge boost.

    Yeah, this is just a first read and even I won't catch every little detail or combo in the book. But I think it is helpful for the community on the whole as everyone is able to contribute their viewpoints and perspectives, as well as corrections that I may have missed. But yeah, I don't think there are really any large mistakes in the book that can't be resolved with a little common sense (as well as examples from the past to perhaps divine intent).

    Warriors still have a place in the army. I just don't think that they are improved enough nor competitive enough to be worth pointing out. Honestly, I didn't use them last edition (well, I actually did, but then decided that they just couldn't compete with tervigons + gants in the troop slots) and I don't see a reason in this new edition to continue using them. Then again, the lists I usually run are strong lists that are more optimized than fluffy.


     Nem wrote:
    MM I'm a little tired so correct me if I am wrong, one of the Harpy weapons is used during the movement phase (Spore mine cysts), as is VS (Ok so only STR 5 VS). Assuming it is swooping it can then 'run' off the board if positioned correctly and enter ongoing reserves.

    I thought there was a restriction on entering and exiting per turn to stop a 'rinse and repeat' but I can't find it, it is possible it is under the normal flyer rules and has been missed from a FMC point. Of course, this is all dependant on enemy units being in a 'useful' position (Generally in your deployment zone), and ending your movement very close to the table edge, angled ready to run off. At worst, you can only leave every 2nd turn.

    Assuming all the rules are correct however, It will probably be FAQd out - As you now have a near invincible unit.

    Correct, it can drop its spore mine cysts, vector-strike and then fly off the board all at the same time. It just can't fly off the table if it just came in from Reserves (the BRB FAQ'd it so that you can't come in and leave the table on the very same turn), so no, it is not invincible.


    stewy37 wrote:
    Good to see a positive take on the new codex. Every other thread and article had me worried. I don't play them but love playing against the bugs, so a stronger codex makes it more likely I'll see them across the table from me.

    You will see some players shelf their bugs, but the die-hard bug players and the newbies will continue to play them. I shall continue to play them and show people how to play them in my battle reports.


    crayz_d wrote:
    I'm not a nid player but a friend of mine is going to let me run his in our next mini tournament. Been looking over the dex all day and I actually quite like them. The death leaper looks like a good distraction unit, planning on infiltrating one into cover to soak up early shooting. Maybe throw in a trygon prime with regen,maw claws and ymgarl factor to deep strike behind him for the holy s##t effect. Biovores to help pin units down and venomthrobes to shroud units as they move up.

    Yes they've had a lot of nerfs but there's afew combos I'm seriously looking forward to trying out.

    Excellent! Good luck, and would love to hear about some of your experiences with them in the future.


    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/12 01:07:55



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    IMO, the new nids are outclassed in many ways by other codices. It still has some rather strong builds, however.

    I should think that a fairly strong framework for a roughly 1750 list would be:

    Flyrant
    Flyrant

    Venomthrope


    Termagants(10)
    Termagants(10)
    Termagants(10)
    Termagants(10)

    Crone
    Crone
    Crone

    Biovores(3)
    Mawloc
    Exocrine

    I think that the carnifex, blatantly outclassed by the dreadknight, is not a viable option,

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    Jy2 don't forget that Shrikes can take flesh hooks now. Even though they're not the best unit they can flush out units in cover. Also I would see lash whips as a bonus now as before it only lowered the I of models in base to base, so you would still get hit by models further away. Now you just go before all the models in the unit. Oh and one of the biggest Pro's for all the monstrous creatures is the addition of fleet from adrenal glands! It's HUGE! (IMHO)

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/12 01:19:26


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     ImotekhTheStormlord wrote:
    IMO, the new nids are outclassed in many ways by other codices. It still has some rather strong builds, however.

    I should think that a fairly strong framework for a roughly 1750 list would be:

    Flyrant
    Flyrant

    Venomthrope


    Termagants(10)
    Termagants(10)
    Termagants(10)
    Termagants(10)

    Crone
    Crone
    Crone

    Biovores(3)
    Mawloc
    Exocrine

    I think that the carnifex, blatantly outclassed by the dreadknight, is not a viable option,

    I really hope this isn't the only viable build. I love variety and I hate seeing the same list over and over again. For nid players I want to believe that the codex is better than people are saying...but I doubt it. :(



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    When those Flyrants die you have 0 synapse.
    Your ability to claim objectives is hilariously bad.


    I frankly dont get how you plan to win with that, nor do I get the love for the crone.
       
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    Not to mention those crones have feed. If they get out of synapse they end up on the ground... either eating themselves or trying to get into combat.

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