Hive Guard

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Having no eyes doesn't mean your BS will equal 1.

The Hive Guard are presumably related to the Tyrant Guard, as they look somewhat similar and have similar names. The Hive Guard are shooty, and quite powerfully so; they are equipped with what essentially are biological railguns that function as an S8 AP4 Storm Bolter that ignores cover and line of sight. As such, they're quite good at popping enemy transports, and can be used against most vehicles, if you can get them into the rear armor arc. With T6, 4+ saves, and 2 wounds they're also reasonably durable, having a toughness value too high to be instagibbed by high strength weapons, an okay armor save (though one that's ignored depressingly frequently, especially in a meta that loves it's mid-strength shooting), and a good toughness value.

They are the fucking bane of Rhinos of Fury.

A unit of HIve Guard with Shock Cannons.

On the Tabletop[edit]

Seventh Edition[edit]

Hive Guard in seventh edition are quite the useful creatures. While their BS was dropped to 3, the Impaler Cannon (which they start with) now ignores line of sight AND cover. This means that vehicles that rely on jinking need to be extra careful and the amount of dakka a brood of these suckers can put out from a completely safe location, such as behind a BLOS wall, creates a zone that your opponent's lighter vehicles need to be wary of. Another "advantage" they have is the overall nerfing of Zoanthropes, making the brains much less of an auto-include and freeing up not only elites slots but requiring more reliable anti-tank. They do come with downsides, however. Their gun only shoots as far as a bolter, they have an average leadership, and their shock-cannon "upgrade" is complete trash. They are far more durable than they seem and can even win the odd assault if they aren't fighting dedicated assault units, but every turn they aren't glancing things is a turn they are being useless. If static defense is untenable for the mission, they need to keep advancing under the cover of a synapse creature. Luckily their complete lack of caring about LoS means that with creative movement your enemy should pretty much never be able to shoot them.

Upgrades[edit]

  • Shock Cannon: The only weapon upgrade hive guard have, the shockcannon pumps out a small blast with the haywire special rule. It's strong enough to do okay against infantry but it's hampered by its extremely depressingly short range of 18". The real icing on the cake? It loses the awesome ignores cover ignores LoS rules the Impaler has. And it costs 5 more points. MAYBE if you throw them in a Tyrannocyte and you know your opponent loves spamming land raiders. Avoid.
  • Adrenal Glands/Toxin Sacks: Why? Your hive guard shouldn't be in assault. Perhaps adrenals if you REALLY want that fleet to get closer faster. If you ARE crazy enough to take adrenals on them, don't forget to paint them red.

Eighth Edition[edit]

Hive Guard are considered one of the best, if not THE best, unit of the eighth edition Tyranids. With 2 shots at BS 3+, Strength 8, AP-2, and d3 damage, their shooting is highly effective against elite infantry, transports, and tanks, the last of which is something only the Tyrannofex's Rupture Cannon can boast among the nid arsenal. Aside from being versatile in what they like to murder, including things that can be tricky for tyranids to murder otherwise, they are highly cost efficient. On top of that, their impaler cannons still ignore line of sight and have 36" range, so with smart deployment your opponent will garner the attention of Khorne as he tries and fails to dispose of your little tank-busting friends. The shock cannon is now cheaper than the impaler cannon, with a lower strength, less AP, and less range. It also does not ignore line of sight. However, it is an assault weapon rather than heavy, and against vehicles any wound roll of 4+ deals an extra mortal wound, which becomes d3 mortal wounds on a 6+. Overall less versatile than the impaler cannon, but it does melt vehicles like butter.

Now, the real kicker? Single-Minded Annihilation. For 2 command points, a unit of Hive Guard can get a whole additional round of shooting each turn. And the max unit size is 6. Praise the Hive Mind!

Tyrannic Bio-Organisms
Leader Organisms: Broodlord - Hive Tyrant - Swarmlord - Tyranid Warrior
Small Creatures: Gargoyle - Genestealer - Hormagaunt - Ripper - Termagaunt
Medium Size
Creatures:
Biovore - Hive Guard - Lictor - Neurothrope - Pyrovore
Ravener - Tyrant Guard - Venomthrope - Zoanthrope
Monstrous Creatures: Carnifex - Dimachaeron - Exocrine - Haruspex - Malanthrope
Maleceptor - Mawloc - Tervigon - Toxicrene - Trygon - Tyrannofex
Gargantuan Creatures: Cerebore - Dactylis - Hierodule - Malefactor - Nautiloid - Viragon
Flying Creatures: Harpy - Harridan - Hive Crone
Bio-Titans: Dominatrix - Hierophant - Hydraphant - Viciator
Other Organisms: Bio-Weapons - Cortex Leech - Mieotic Spore - Mucolid Spore
Mycetic Spore - Spore Mine - Sporocyst - Tyrannocyte - Zoats
Auxiliaries: Genestealer Cult