In the relentless cheerfulness of the far future, the weapons used by the Tyranids are, just like their armies, home-grown. Instead of using metal, the Tyranids use the growth of symbiotic organs, inseparable from their hosts and are counted together as a single bio-organism. Some of them fire a "dumb" projectile like a spike, whereas other use seeds or even acids and living creatures, because just plain bullets are for pussies. The downside to this is that these Tyranid bio-weapons are incapable of the explosive firepower that Imperial, Eldar and Tau guns have. They all trade this disadvantage in for being Assault weapons, meaning they can be fired on the move. Also, the explosive firepower is instead exchanged for more... interesting and strategic effects. Another note is that due to their appearance, Tyranid weapons are some of the most badass and phallic looking in the entirety of 40k.
Many of these weapons can be used by creatures of different sizes, but for the sake of simplicity the weapons have been ordered by the smallest creature that can use them. Small creatures are the equivalent of Gaunts, Medium are those comparable to Tyranid Warriors and Biovores, and Large are those akin to Tyrants and Carnifexes. Then there are two other categories: the Inbuilt weapons, often part of the upper bodies of the largest organisms, and the Melee weapons for the more choppy inclined creatures.
- 1 Small
- 2 Medium
- 3 Large
- 4 Titanic
- 5 Inbuilt
- 6 Melee
Small weapons are used by Termagants, the working class of any Tyranid army, and Gargoyles.
The Devourer is simply a lump of flesh that launches a shower of tiny, short-lived and very hungry lifeforms (sometimes described as worms, others as small beetles) onto a target that immediately start to burrow into the target with their maw/mandibles and devour it alive from the inside out. Like all Tyranid weapons, the Devourer uses a bio-electric jolt (GeeDubs way of simply saying it fires via the nervous system) to promptly tell the lazy fuckers sleeping inside to get to work.
A much larger version called the Brainleech Devourer is mounted only on larger Tyranid organisms and uses specialize Brainleech worms that are far more aggressive and voracious, and go for the target's brain matter to make sure of the 'kill'.
This weapon has a nice range and acceptable firepower for a weapon of its size, albeit it doubles your Termagaunts in cost (while tripling their number of ranged attacks per round, a very economical way to increase dakka as long as you protect your Gaunts somehow. As of 6th edition, you can have mixed weapon options now so throw up a wall of spinegaunts or something). If you take this weapon in large broods, you will be aiming at your enemy's biggest units to just drown the suckers in dozens of shots.
The Fleshborer is one of the most iconic Tyranid weapons, a simple design that fires a borer beetle that eats its way through anything it comes across during its flight. Like the Devourer and most Nid firearms, the Fleshborer can only be fired by its respective host, unless some mad scientist from the Imperium decides its a good idea to attach some electrodes to the weapon like Frankenstein. Because the borer beetle is a particularly lazy fucker, more electro-shocks are required to jolt their asses into action.
For some....reason. Some Mago Xenobiologi speculate that the Fleshborer itself (The gun that is) is related to the borer beetle or is an evolutionary niche for the borer beetle. They state that the gun IS the mother that lays the eggs which means that each mature beetle somehow metamorphose into a gun. We usually know the GW is pretty bad at simple biology, but this is beyond ridiculous and ludicrous. Why the Hive Mind thought it was a good idea to make a creature mature into an immobile and helpless adult unless picked up specifically by a Tyranid is a Fail of epic proportions. It could be that mature female beetles simply merge themselves with regular tyranid organisms, similar to male anglerfish, just the opposite sex.
Being the basic weapon for Termagaunts, it has the same stats as an ordinary Bolt Pistol. It will still prove to be more than enough to kill anything with toughness of 7 or less and AV10, as long as you have a lot of them. Tyranids being what they are, you will almost always have a lot of them. Range 12, strength 4, AP-, and it is an assault 1 weapon.
The Spike Rifle is a weapon exclusive to Termagaunts. It is, simply put, a harpoon launcher. That's about it.
More specifically its mechanics are like....exactly the same as a regular harpoon launcher just that the string and trigger are alive and swell. It is essentially a bony tube lined with cord muscles that is compressed like a coil. Once the Nid relaxes the muscles, the stored energy pushes the row of harpoon-like spikes into the adjacent target. The barbs are fucking sharp though; able to tear at a victim's arteries and cause them to bleed to death. To make it even more killy the barbs and the gun itself is laced with acidic veins and toxin sacs to make any scratch almost always fatal. Whilst it can puncture Jimmy's Flak Armor, don't think it would do quite swell with Power Armor.
Statwise it's less imposing than it's description: range 18", S3, AP-, Assault 1. Only use these if you do not want to pump a huge amount of points into Devourers but you do not want half your brood to not be able to fire when the Devilgaunts do. Otherwise avoid them...because they suck.
A lighter weapon, the Spinefists are used in pairs. They are the more Dakka version of the Bio-Weapons and are used more akin to a Uzi with shittier penetration and more poison.
They shower the target with a hail of poisoned spikes, the sheer amount of darts fired ensure that the target is hit. A tube runs from the air sac powering the weapon, through the user's arm to its lungs. This means that larger creatures get more mileage out of what is essentially the same weapon, proving that even something as simple as a blowgun can be horribly perverted by the grim darkness of the far future.
As of 8E, they act like pistols, which means Raveners (and Rippers, which get the similar Spinemaw) can shoot, get stuck in, and still fire off a few shots without having to disengage first.
The effects of the Strangleweb can be described best as a non-cutting variation of the Death Spinner used by the Warp Spiders: instead of slicing through their opponents, it constricts them, and maybe crushes them to death.
That's a pretty big maybe: wounding even basic Guardsmen at 5+ and rolling against Strength instead of Toughness to wound means that this weapon would be best if used against the likes of the Death Guard... if shooting them wasn't a stupid idea for a Tyranid player in the first place AND if you could take more than 1 of them per 10 Gaunts.
Imagine baby Drool Cannons, that's basically the Blinding Venom.
Unique to Gargoyles, they can spit acid in the eyes of their enemies to blind them and allow for an easy devouring of the target. The poison is quite weak (6+ what the hell?)
and it's best to just go with the regular poison attacks granted by Toxin Sacks. but it has the blind special rule so it means for every attack the unit being attacked has to pass an initiative test now a unit of gargoyles has a minimum size of 10 models so...
As of 8th edition, if the Gargoyles put an unsaved wound onto an enemy unit, the blinding venom makes them suffer -1 to hit for the rest of the turn.
As of 9th edition, GW pretends the gun, still very visible in the Gargoyles' mouths, doesn't exist as the weapon is no longer in the codex.
Remember that 70's cult classic Zardoz? Sean Connery dressed in red gimp getup and killing dudes like he's Khârn, at the behest of a giant floating head that claims that "The gun is good, the penis is evil." because the penis shoots seeds that create life? Well, the Barbed Strangler chooses to be both. The gun is very basic, a muscled tube that stores its seeds in a sack at the base, and shoots them with a powerful spasm along with a fair helping of a corrosive oil.
The seed upon impact has its nigh-unbreakable shell melted by the oil and sends tendrils to rip and tear through anything that gets in its way. Using the large blast template, you can cause a lot of damage to a blob in a single shot. It also pins but that comes into play very little given that most armies are either largely fearless, ignore pinning anyway, or have LD values good enough to reliably ignore it anyway. With 8e, it traded off the blast template and Pinning for Assault D6 and a bonus to hit when targeting large units, which is a fair trade given the lackluster BS of the average Tyranid.
The traditional weapon of the Warrior, the Deathspitter works by stripping a large maggot off of it's shell and hurling it at the enemy. Its huge guts are highly corrosive and can splatter several enemies at once. The adaptive evolution of the Hive Fleet Hydra's slimer maggots make their Deathspitters even more lethal; the maggots could burrow through the target's flesh and then repeatedly fragment and regenerate themselves. The victims literally burst out with the ever increasing mass of wriggling grubs.
Serving as a decent weapon against MEQs, the weapon relies on its rate of fire to deal damage.
See main article here: Tyranid Flamespurt Cannon
The Impaler Cannon is your answer to anything up to AV 12.
This beautiful gun fires a bony spine, steered by a shard-beast at the base of the spine, whose innards are ripped from its body when the spike is fired. The spines are launched with enough force to rip through man and machine alike.
Though its range is limited you do not have to actually see your target to be able to shoot it, without a significant downside. Oh, and it has a higher rate of fire than the Imperium-equivalent, the Missile Launcher. What's not to like? This is your go-to weapon for dealing with METAL BAWKSES.
Sometimes shortened to Shockcannon.
Used by Hive Guard, the Shock Cannon shoots out a claw over a considerable distance which latches on to its target and delivers a powerful bio-electric shock, disabling or even destroying a vehicle. Ostensibly, a big fucking meat taser.
On tabletop the Shock Cannon is the Hive Guard's primary anti-vehicle weapon. It's decent enough at S7 AP-1 d3 Damage, but if it rolls 4+ on Wound against a vehicle, it issues a Mortal Wound that coincidentally makes its low AP completely irrelevant. Roll a 6+, and that becomes d3 Mortal Wounds. Thanks to the change from small templates to D3 shots, this is now actually plenty scary against vehicles of any size.
Spore Mine Launcher
The more explosive (and useful) Dakka to the Flamespurt's fiery Dakka.
Created as a result of fights against the Imperial Guard, the Biovore displays this by being the Tyranids' closest thing to an artillery piece and having a massive scrotum befitting a Guardsman's huge brazen balls. Armed with the Spore Mine Launcher, it can lob Spore Mines a considerable range; living bombs that blanket victims in acid, poisonous gas, and shrapnel-sized chitin spines.
Though not as deadly as most other artillery weapons, the Spore Mines are unique in the way that if they don't land too close to the enemy, you can deploy them onto the battlefield as living mines, serving as an obstacle for your enemy that must be either moved around or shot. Generally more useful in larger point games or Apocalypse.
Seen as the primary anti-tank weapon, the Venom Cannon launches a hail of corrosive crystals by way of a biological railgun. Though not as effective as you'd wish, the Venom Cannon can cause quite some hurt on Aspect Warriors and the like.
It is ineffective against heavy tanks but okay against transports and open-topped vehicles, though its primary targets should always be medium infantry. Because you know, a single shot S6 AP4 small blast weapon with only 36 inches of range that you can only have one of per (heinously expensive and surprisingly fragile) warrior brood is clearly the bestest anti-vehicle gun ever. See Dawn of War II for how they should work and cry bitterly. You're best off giving this gun a pass.
Slightly buffed in 8th along with the blast weapon changes. It is now Assault d3 with S8, AP-2 and D3 damage. Bit better at least.
These are extremely large bio-weapons that could level a playing field with enough Dakka.
Yo dawg, I heard you like Hellhounds so I put a discharge of digestive fluids that works just like a Hellhound's weapon on your Tyranid MC and upped its cost by 100+ points. That's pretty much the gist of the Acid Spray. The problem is that you have a lot of weapons with stats like that, so using an expensive MC (though well armored) that attracts fire like there's no tomorrow is a bad idea.
In terms of fluff, the Acid Spray is a Tyranid Biomorph found on larger creatures such as the Tyrannofex. This bioweapon stores huge amounts of highly acidic digestive fluids, then sprays it over a wide area. The acid melts through body armor with shocking ease and reduces its victims to shapeless goo.
See main article here: Bio-Plasmic Cannon
Get a regular Devourer and then force feed it growth horomones. You get the Brainleech variety.
The biggest of Tyranids have devourers loaded with Brainleech Worms instead, a species larger and even more aggressive and hungry than the regular devourer worms. These are used for when the Hive Mind really got sick of all these blobs and want to shower them in hungry insects.
Range: 18", S6, AP-, Assault 6. If you're not using two sets of Twin-Linked Brainleech Devourers on your Flying Hive Tyrant and any Carnifexes you're fielding, you're doing it wrong.
In 8th edition. It is a bigger devourer with +2 Strength and double the shots for the MONSTERS in the Tyranid force. Comes as a pair so it puts out 12 shots. Two sets of these gives 24 shots, pretty good overall, made even better with the Pathogenic Slime strategem.
The weapon with the funny name.
The Drool Cannon is a type of Tyranid Biomorph found on the Hive Crone. Protruding from the Crone's mouth, the Drool Cannon vomits a wave of digestive juices upon its foes. The acidic bile originates from sacs carried on the Crone's underbelly. Because of the way the Drool Cannon interferes with the Hive Crone's mouth, it is unknown why the Hive Mind thought it is still viable to waste resource on its sharp teeth (maybe it's retractable?).
So yeah, the Nids have literal super spit, like the Space Marines, but they actually use it repeatedly rather than for plot reasons. Although knowing how fast some factions fly their planes, it must be one heck of a spit for it to hit anything at all.
Think the Leman Russ Punisher, but replace the Punisher gun with a Fleshborer Hive. That's about it. Because sometimes you have just run out of Troops choices (how one runs out of termagants is another question), and you just need 20 Termagants worth of Fleshborer fire on a tough platform.
Consisting of a large colony of the same breed of borer beetles found in the simple fleshborer, the fanged creatures stored in the bloated sacs of the hive lay thousands of eggs that hatch and mature at a fast rate within the chambers of the brood nest.
Needless to say, this is shit. Also,the fluff states that it must periodically discharge beetles or it makes the Tyrannofex explode. The Hive Mind proves its genius yet again. In 8th, the stats are still sucky, but it can fire twice if the Tyrannofex doesn't move. 40 shots a turn for a respectable amount of biological dakka.
In 8th edition it has recieved a much needed buff. It's a Heavy 20 Fleshborer at S5. Because of the short range it's not as impressive as the Rupture Cannon, but the ability to bring a portable Fire Warrior squad's worth of firepower with you is nothing to scoff at, especially if it gets to shoot twice while standing still. The Scorch Bugs Stratagem makes it absolutely terrifying.
Also if you have trypophobia (fear of holes), this may not be the best weapon to use on tabletop. Chances of projectile vomiting. Too high.
Tl;dr, its a weapon (that shoots bugs) that you can fire from you fucking forearm. Bioshock indeed.
Heavy Venom Cannon
The Heavy Venom Cannon is just that: a bigger version of the Venom Cannon able to deal with bigger vehicles, and it would be a lot more reliable if it wasn't using a Blast template. Can be used against tanks up to Land Raiders, but lack the firepower to deal reliably with them and lacks the armor penetration to deal with MEQs on a consistent basis.
It is slightly better on Carnifexes than it's littler brother is on Warriors primarily because you can actually field the things in bulk...sort of. It's still not particularly good; but it's passable on a bio-blast brood if you don't want more dakkafexes for some insane reason. In 8th, it is largely the same as the regular Venom Cannon with one more strength (S9) and 3 damage per shot making it excellent elite infantry killers and decent anti tank
Think of it as a Tyranid Vanquisher Cannon.
If you want to stop a tank dead in its tracks, the Rupture Cannon (a fluff-wise bigger barbed strangler) is your friend. Firing two projectiles in a short succession, a tick that covers the enemy in a gooey substance, and a seed that upon impact with the goo dissolves at such speed which triggers a chemical implosion powerful enough to turn a Baneblade inside out.
That's what the fluff says, anyway - while it boasts a commanding s10, it strikes at AP 4, so MEQs don't even notice it.
In 8th however, it got horrifyingly good. It's now a 3 SHOT LASCANNON with an extra point of S, and the Tyrannofex can fire twice when it stays still. MEQs will definitely notice it now, but it's much better against vehicles; up to 6 S10 AP-3 D6 damage shots per shooting phase will ensure that even Knights and Land Raiders will feel the hurt.
An upscaled version of the Barbed Strangler (thus it fires much larger, stronger, and more aggressive seed-pods), the Stranglethorn Cannon has enough power to deal with even the toughest of foes, and serves as a borderline artillery weapon. The growing pod's mass of barbed tentacles can grasp onto the armor plating of vehicles and rip them to pieces.
It has the same AP as it's smaller brother, and the same blast size and pinning rule, but now it has S6 which means it can now pile on hurt better and harass light vehicles.
In 8th edition it is a bigger Barbed Strangler with +2 Strength for the MONSTERs in the Tyranid force. Keeps the above +1 to hit rule and also inflicts 1 more damage. Kills light Infantry more efficiently than the HVC. Combine with Enhanced Senses and laugh at the look on your opponent's face as a Carnifex hits on a 2+ (Only if units of 10 or more). Unfortunately still only hits on a 3+ on a carnifex with enhanced senses.
Flying under the wings of Hive Crones, the Tentaclids are living seeker missiles who can chase after flying targets such as enemy aircraft and disable them with a powerful bio-electric pulse.
In terms of crunch they are the Crone's big surprise. These Babies only have S5 to their name and a re-roll to hit flying units, but if they wound a vehicle on a 4+ it deals a Mortal Wound with a 6+ dealing d3 Mortal Wounds.
Unlike before, these can actually be used again and again which kind of contradicts the fluff since Hive Crones only carry four of these things...unless of course a Tentaclid is spawned from the Hive Fleet itself and homes and attaches to the nearest Hive Crone. Or after disabling an enemy flier it just returns to its carrier crone.
Here the most powerful and biggest weapons the Tyranids have are described, used by the biggest and baddest of nasties.
The biggest motherfucking gun alive on land (Both figuratively and literally). The Bio-Cannon is a Tyranid Biomorph. Equipped on titan-sized creatures such as the Hierophant and Harridan, the Bio-Cannon works like a giant Deathspitter; that is that it spews forth a hail of highly venomous and corrosive maggot organisms.
But these maggots are ECKS BAWKS HUEG to make it a threat to superheavies. These organisms like their smaller cousins, explode on impact, splattering a rain of bio-acid and poison that can melt through nearly any material in a matter of seconds. Of course how this affects esoteric shit like Void Shields is unknown (Maybe it eats through Void Shields?).
On crunch, the Bio-Cannons comes in two since the Hierophant naturally twin-links these; they are S10 (which can double for the price of taking D3 mortal wounds, like tau units overcharging), AP-2, 2D6 damage (doubled against buildings and other TITANIC units). Its a shame it is the only Titan-grade Tyranid weapon though.
Otherwise known as the Tyranid Torpedo. These things are living, breathing Torpedoes used by Bio-Ships to break open the hulls and shatter the shields of enemy vessels. Unlike most races torpedoes which has limited tracking and maneuvrability, Bio-Torpedoes could do twist and turns that no ordinary torpedoes could replicate. They are packed full of bio-plasma to fuck shit up.
It should be noted that Bio-Torpedoes look very similar to the Ether-Swimming Brood.
On Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II, these living weapons are just regular torpedoes, despite the fluff. Launch several of them at close range for a truly lethal torpedo-giant claw combo and watch the ensuing spectacle.
If the Bio-Torpedoes are the Nids answer to regular torpedoes than the Seed Spore is the Nids answer to Melta Torpedoes.
Seed Spores function the same as Bio-Torpedoes, however, the catch is that rather being filled to the brim with fuel that creates bio-plasma, the Seed Spore is packed with pyro-acid spores that blankets a large area in a toxic cloud.
On Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II, these living weapons are your area-denial weapon. The clouds being spawned from a Seed Spore covers a good range and any ship within the cloud takes hull damage rather than shield damage.
See main article here: Bio-Plasma Battery
The giant phallic weapons found only on Bio-Ships.
Essentially the Tyranids version of a Macro-Weapon mixed in with a Flamer/Chem-thrower. Pyro-acid Batteries are a kind of Weapons Battery used on Tyranid Bio-ships. Launching toxins and pyro-acids, these gigantic Biomorphs can cause considerable damage on impact to enemy ships. Moreover, after impact, they unleash hordes of smaller Tyranid creatures into the ship, and these often prove more deadly than the weapon itself.
On Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II, these things can be found on either the mouth or portside of a Bio-Ship. Most often than not, these things are the most Dakka weapons of a Hive Fleet, able to dish out an enormous amount of acidic fire and criticals while also ignoring shields, in contrast to slower firing weapons like the Drool Cannon for example. Orks shit themselves a new one when face against these things, Necrons however...not so much.
The weapon comes in two forms like the Bio-Plasma Battery. There is the much larger Discharge Artillery which is mounted on the front hull of the ship. That gives it longer range at the expanse of fire rate. Then these are the batteries which are mounted on the starboard and port of the vessel. They have greater firepower at the expanse of range.
Certain weapons used by the Tyranids are part of the creatures themselves, instead of being addition to the arms/back.
Built into the Trygon, a electrical charge is build up by the creature as it moves, allowing a powerful and large discharge. The Trygon Prime increases the range of this blast, and doubles its rate of fire.
It is also great for tunneling which is a plus for the Trygon. They use their bio-static charge to assist with tunneling, as their tunnels have been found coated with a fused, glass-like silicate layer on the inside. This effect stabilizes the tunnel walls and prevents them from collapsing behind a burrowing Trygon. Which is stupid when given the weight and size of the Trygon. Unless it is smooth like a lubed bannana, then there is no way such glass would withstand such violent digging. Furthermore, large vehicles and some animals could burrow efficiently without needing to turn their surroundings to glass. So this ability is quite redundant unless the Nids want to transport smaller grubs along its merry adventure.
If you don't know, the Bio-Electric Pulse IS the Trygon's carapace armor.
See main article here: Bio-Plasma
Just imagine a porcupine that shoot out its spines or a Lizardmen's Razordon.
The largest Tyranids have banks of spines build into their carapaces that they can fire when under stress. Consisting of rows of quills embedded into the carapaces of the equipped creature like a giant Porcupine. These spines are dense and hollow like a Frag Grenade and explode upon impact like one, dealing significant damage to anything in the area of impact over considerable distances. Of course, it is unknown whether these are single shot or multi-use.
Fired into densely packed groups of enemies, these spines can saturate large areas with needle-sized slivers, making them a potent anti-infantry weapon. Although given on where the Tyranid would like to grow its spines, it can also end up hitting nothing but air.
Its more anti-armor version is the Stinger Salvo.
Flesh Hooks are sharp barbs attached to long, sinewy tentacles, which are kept coiled close to the Lictor's rib cage, until they are fired by a powerful muscle spasm. They are the Tyranid's answer to Scorpion's sting from Mortal Kombat. So don't be too surprise if Nid players shout "Get Over Here!" every once in a while.
Until 5th Edition edition came out, nearly any species of Gaunt, Warrior and more could use these. They are long bony spines with barbed hooks on the end that serve as both harpoons and possible grapnel for climbing. The Lictor can use these hooks either to scale sheer obstacles, or to snag luckless prey and drag it into the Lictor's waiting claws. Now they're Lictor and Warrior/Shrike only (Carnifexes have access to Spine Banks, which are similar), count as Frag Grenades, and can be fired for a surprisingly deadly shot.
The ultimate OM NOM NOM NOM NOM.
The Grasping Tongue is less of a tongue and more of a mound of tentacle claws attached to a giant mouth. This is a weapon you can see in every tentacle hentai ever and not be surprised at all.
Though technically part of an Haruspex's body, it can use its long tongue to snag an enemy, pluck it out of its unit and devour it whole.
For 8th edition crunch, everyone's favorite tentacle rape got a pretty good buff; it's rather fierce at S6 AP-3 and d3 damage, it gains further use since it can be used within close range and regains a wound if it kills something, so it can add to survivability.
No. They are in no way related to the small, petite living stomachs called the Rippers.
However, they do bare resemblance to other tentacle-themed enemies in science fiction (cue hentai tentacle rape jokes). Possibly why this and the Mycetic Spore was canned cause they ain't copyrightable enough for GW.
Used by Mycetic Spores, the tentacles themselves consist of thick ropes of muscles and tendon. Drawn to movement, any moving foe within reach of the Tentacles will be thoroughly smashed like dough on a kitchen board.
On tabletop, these are long-ranged tentacles able to do significant damage to medium-sized blobs thanks to their high rate of fire (strange choice of words when the weapon in question is akin to beating someone over the head with a tentacle).
Of course with the fact that the Mycetic Spore has all but been
squatted replaced by the far more modern and up-to-date Sporocyst the canon was almost all but up in the air with these Tentacles. Thankfully, the Venomthrope and Toxicrene kind of bought them back into reality.
Spore Mine Cysts
Build into the underside of a Harpy, you can have it drop a Spore Mine onto something it flew over once per game as if it was making a bombing run. The same rules for the Spore Mines as stated above count here as well. Some players have gone their way to make the Harpies carry the Spore Mines. Of course, most modern equivalent of the Spore Cyst are the two stubby looking anuses behind a Harpy. So yes, the Tyranids can actually shit explosive submunitions on their enemies.
Unfortunately it is a pretty outdated weapon, dating back to 4th edition.
In 4th Edition, Spore Cysts are found on larger Tyranids and are excretion pits for the creation of Spore Mines. The symbiotic relationship between creature and spore cyst is such that they cannot be separated once formed.
Think of it as a giant Spinefist.
Works comparable to the Cluster Spines, except this is more of a barrage of large solid spikes akin to the spinefists rather than a densely hollow spines. Powerful muscular contractions spray the spikes out to skewer enemy infantry and pierce the toughest of armor.
Think of this as the anti-armor variant of the Cluster Spine's anti-infantry. Although they can both harm either infantry or armored divisions when peppered sufficiently with spines/spikes. Just like the Cluster Spine, the Stinger Salvo is a weapon who practicality is only viable given on where the Tyranid would like to put it, turning into a living, breathing spike bomb into a fairly useless weapon that rains spikes cause the dumb idiot placed its Stinger Salvo a tad bit too high.
Certain Tyranids can issue forth swarms of bugs living in their thoraxes to devour anything in short range. These creatures erupt from openings in their host's chest to drown the enemy in a deadly cloud that chews out eyes and crawls down throats. These swarms come in three flavors:
- Electroshock Grubs: These grubs are insects who electrocute anything they grab onto for a damaging attack, anything caught in between this energy is reduced to a charred ruin.
- Desiccator Larvae: These are grubs who drain the target's body of all of its moisture within seconds, leaving only a dry husk. This means that once fully bloated, they would be one huge grub seeing how the Human body is like what, 75% water.
- Shreddershard Beetles: Instinctively crawl into any nook and crevice on their victims such as those between armor joints. They are bugs who Rend their way through their targets, exploding in shards of needles.
Thorax Swarm from a Dimachaeron.
Every Tyranid organism has at least rows of sharp teeth and deadly claws, but some go an extra mile.
Claws and Teeth
Your most vanilla of close combat Tyranid weapons.
The Claws and Teeth are basic Tyranid Biomorphs equipped to even the most simplest of organisms, such as Rippers. These razor-sharp claws and maws of fangs allow them to rip apart enemies. There's nothing spectacular about them, and thus there is nothing interesting about them.
On tabletop, Claws and Teeth are the stock CCW for your Rippers and Termies. (And Zoanthropes as well, but really those guys don’t belong in combat in most cases). They do moderate damage against GEQs and fair pretty bad when it comes to MEQs and above, requiring sheer weight of numbers to be even remotely effective.
All in all, Claws and Teeth is only used when someone really wants to use up all their attacks or that they are THAT desperate.
To aid them in the digestion of a world's biomass, Pyrovores drool a highly corrosive acid that can dissolve pretty much anything. The downside is that they need to focus all their energy on making a successful bite attack, diminishing their potential damage output.
Some creatures also have a powerful tongue dripping with corrosive acids that can be used to snare prey and bring them in for consumption and digestion while leaving other limbs free for other tasks.
In 8th edition, the Acid Maw is now the primary CCW of the former biggest joke of 40k, the Pyrovore, now with S5 and AP-3 on all (i.e. both) its attacks. Can also be taken by Genestealers. DO THIS, they're basically free power swords for every 4 models in a unit.
There's even an upgrade called the Monstrous Acid Maw. Which is an option for the Carnifex, with S6 AP-5 and d3 damage. Because you really want to make sure somebody won't get its armor save. Doesn't replace any other melee weapons either, so you can always use the talons if you want more reliable damage. Mutually exclusive with Enhanced Senses, Bio-Plasma, and Tusks.
Tyranids have also learned to Whip it Good!
A classic and the source of many a rule 34, they allow its user to strike much faster than they normally could, getting a blow in before the enemy can. More seriously though, a Lash Whip is a Tyranid Bio-weapon in the form of a living whip with three tentacles of muscle and sinew that writhe of their own accord and strike at their prey, independently of their wielder's actions.
A Lash Whip has a small body contained within a bony tube which forms the handle of the whip, and has three tentacles which form the rest of its body. The creature survives by slicing flesh from its victims and consuming them.
The weapon suffers from not being effective against armored enemies, though. Provided you're not a venomthrope this is paired with a bone-sword with AP 3 which makes this combo death-incarnate for MEQ
Basically the Brain Bug from Starship Troopers and the first part of the Cthulhu fan club's uniform.
Feeder Tendrils are a special organs of some Tyranid's organisms (Lictors, for example) that able them to drain the dead victim's brain matter, absorbing all of its memories and knowledge. This provide the Tyranids with the information about enemy's strong and weak spots and other reconnaissance data.
On 8th Edition tabletop, Feeder Tendrils are no longer considered weapons but as a form of Strategem for some reason. Feeder Tendrils lets you gamble on a 2/3 chance to make a CP profit. Or more specifically, when a Genestealer, Lictor, Venomthrope, or Toxicrene kills a Character in the Fight Phase, it gain D3 CP.
At the very least, this is effectively free since gaining 1 CP will still be enough to negate the cost of using the Stratagem in the first place. More often, it'll let you turn opposing characters into an opportunity for bonus CP.
The iconic claws of Genestealers and the origin of the Rending rule, these claws are both incredibly sharp and hard; tipped in extremely dense diamond-hard chitin. Powered by the overdeveloped musculature and steel-like tendons of a Tyranid, rending claws become capable of ripping open Ceramite and thick armor with ease as well as fatally shredding flesh and bone; allowing you to pick apart even a Terminator with ease.
Crunchwise, Rending Claws are a cheap AP-1 weapon, with Rending being replaced with a 6+ on a wound roll giving the attack AP-4. There is also an upgrade called Monstrous Rending Claws, which deal AP-3 D3 Damage, on a 6+ on a wound roll makes the attack AP-6 and a flat 3 damage. Also confers re-rolls to wound, which allow for more 'rending' 6s and is important as the Tyrant generally needs higher numbers to hurt things now than in previous editions. Considering that they are also FREE, the claws should be your go-to melee weapon of choice for the Hive Tyrant.
The long, bladed weapons you see on Tyranids of all sizes. These weapons are long, razor-edged claws resembling fused talons made of Chitin and serrated bone-like substances. Each talon is powered by whipcord muscles to stab, slash, and eviscerate victims with lightning-fast swipes. They can pierce very light armor as found on Orks and the like, but tougher armor will likely stop the blows. Overall, the basic Tyranid melee weapon.
In 5th Edition they were a lot better because they gave rerolls to failed To Hit rolls (only the ones with one pair, but all of them if you have two pairs), at the slight loss of not being able to penetrate even the lightest of armors.
In 8th Edition, Scything Talons now allow a model to re-roll to hit rolls of 1 when attacking with this weapon (something they used to do back in 5th). In addition, if the model has more than one pair, they can make 1 additional attack with this weapon. It is confirmed via FAQ that multiple sets of talons grant only +1 attack total, not +1 per set; this applies for all sizes of Scything Talons.
There is also the Monstrous Scything Talons (For the big bois), which are found on Tyrants and the Carnifex. Same rules as above but AP-3, 3 Damage. If that's not enough for you, than we have the even bigger Massive Scything Talons which is only found on Tervigons, Maleceptor, Trygon and Trygon Primes and are AP-3, D6 Damage.
Psychic swords that feed off the life force of their target, they can inflict Instant Death and tear through Space Marines with ease.
A Bonesword is living organism, which has a small brain situated deep within its hilt and has a rudimentary sentience that allows it to gradually grow in length and repair any battle damage to itself and maintain a deadly monomolecular edge. However, it is completely slaved to the will of its wielder and is incapable of any independent thought.
The weapon is made of chitin and constantly crackles with powerful psychic energy that flows along embedded nerve tendrils to create a psychic field around the blade, effectively creating a biological version of a force weapon. This energy amplifies in potency when in close proximity to another Bonesword, such as when used in pairs. It is serrated on both edges and was originally a creature's massively elongated horn.
Badass Boneswords used by the Swarmlord, it can use these weapons in a barrage of blades to ward off incoming melee attacks.
They differ from commonly seen Tyranid Boneswords in that each Sabre has a crystalline growth, not indigenous to the galaxy, at its core that partially protrudes through the blade's serrated surface. The Swarmlord can parry with these sabres at such speed that its foes find it all but impossible to inflict a hit on the creature.
Crunchwise, they are 4++ in CC only. Also INSTANT DEATH ON ANY SUCCESSFUL CUT. Not just on sixes. Swarmy may have a place still.
Sickle Claws are found exclusively only on the Dimachaeron, an elusive Tyranid creature that is competing with the Ripper, Mawloc and Haruspex on who is the biggest OMNOMNOM of them all. These giant rape machines could tear open vehicles as easily as Rending Claws could make Terminators bend over.
Crunchwise, on 8th Edition, these are the Dimachaeron's pride and joy, sporting S10 AP-2 and D3 Damage, but to hit roll of 6 pump it up to AP-4 and D6. Honestly, you would think that these things would be better suited for the Genestealer Patriarch and the Broodlord right?
The Scything Talons' bigger brother.
Grasping Talons are overly enlarged talons found on either the Lictor or the Dimachaeron that looks more like a preying mantis claw than anything else. The enlarged talon and muscle mass allows them to puncture through thick flesh (Or multiples) much easier than regular Scything Talons. In the case of the Dimachaeron, it has two of these bad boys per hand, cause fuck you that's why.
In 8th Edition, the Grasping Talons are the Lictor's other weapon, these deal 2 Damage and AP-1. Don't go through armour as well, but against multi-wound low-armour models like Grotesque and Nobz, they're fantastic. On the Dimachaeron however, since these guys basically have two of them per hand, are S+1 AP2 Talons that, when it rolls one or more 6 to-hit, gives an attack on an unwieldy S+4 AP1 ID claw that can kill anything smaller than Extremely Bulky.
A Scything Talon found on a tail.
Sometimes known as the Tail Scythe or Thresher Scythe. Scything Tails occurs on larger Tyranids, it is effectively the tail of the creature given a scythe edge, often used to sweep through large numbers of lightly armored enemies. They can also tear through armor like it's nothing, be able to morph into maces capable of punching holes in tanks or be equipped with stingers containing highly lethal toxins.
In 8th Edition, the Tail Scythe is now known as the Thresher Scythe and it is a S4, AP-1 D1 weapon. Its special ability is that it can make D3 hit rolls for each attack made with this weapon instead of a 1. This makes it complementary to the Wrecker Claws and Bio-Flail combo.
Crushing Claws AKA CRAB PEOPLE! CRAB PEOPLE! are a Tyranid Bio-weapon of huge crab-like claws found on the largest Tyranid organisms, the only creatures capable of hefting the enormous bulk of the claws, such as Carnifexes. The claws are obscenely strong and powerful enough to destroy multiple opponents in one swoop or easy cut through the toughest vehicle armor.
Used only by Carnifexes, Tervigons and Tyrant Guard, this massive pair of crab-like claws grants S+1, AP2, Armourbane and Unwieldy. Not very interesting for the Tervigon because its role is really nothing more than sitting on an objective, shitting out as many Gaunts as it can. Carnifexes on the other hand have pretty much lost their utility as linebreakers, you're better off running them as a dakkafex and letting Trygons do the heavy lifting. They are not very interesting on Tyrant Guard either, given their prohibitive cost and they make them swing very slow: it is best to use the Rending Claws and have them do the job.
Crushing Claws on steroids.
Wrecker Claws are immense claws covered in diamond-hard chitin and ultra-dense bone to enable it crush the armor of vehicles with relative ease. These things are nothing more than living power shears and its nature of violently ripping apart even the most heavily armored of foes would strike fear in the hearts of feeble men.
In 7th Edition, Stone Crusher Carnifex comes automatic with two Wrecker Claws. 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!
You can swap out one of the Wrecker Claws with a Bio-Flail for maximum FUCK YOU!
Otherwise known as the Wrecking Ball or Stone Crusher. The Stone-Crusher is a Tyranid close combat Biomorph most commonly encountered on the Stone-Crusher Carnifex and is nothing more than a large mass of bone, chitin and flesh. Designed for urban battles, the Stone-Crusher is rammed through a wall using the Carnifex's immense strength then pulled backwards to wrench the entire structure down.
In 7th Edition, Stone Crushers turn a Carnifex into a living battering ram. 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.
Basically a giant version of the Feeder Tendril.
Feeder Tentacles are enormous tentacles used by some Tyranid Bio-Ships to feed on planetary atmospheres. They can also be used as weapons against enemy vessels. The tentacles are strong enough to punch through a ship's hull and inject smaller Tyranid organisms into it to run amok, causing enormous damage to the ship's critical systems.
In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II. These are your boarding crafts. However, unlike the other faction's boarding craft, the Feeder Tentacles is arguably the most powerful as once attached, it is very hard to let go. This allows a continuous stream of Nids to swarm an enemy ship, which would absolutely devastate opposing crew members; often leaving an empty hulk once it is done. This is offset by its shit range, however.
Tl;dr, the ultimate OM NOM NOM machine.
Sometimes known as Massive Claws.
Great Claws is the Claws and Teeth of a regular Tyranid organism grown to voidship-sized proportions. The other ultimate OM NOM NOM machine. All bio-ships with a Great Claw upgrade is a designated battering ram and function similarly to the armoured prow of an Imperial Navy and Ork warship. Despite the similarities, the Tyranid Great Claws are definitely the best CQC space weapon in the entire game.
This is helped by the fact that it is an actual appendage, meaning that once it latches on to something, it would continue to mulch and crush anything within its massive maw. In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II, this translates to a continuous damage dealer in contrast to the one-off damage done by an armoured prow. Whilst it has less even less range, does not permanently latch on to its target and dump an unholy amount of bodies like the Feeder Tentacles, Great Claws do not have a cooldown and it is always 'on'. Moreover, Great Claws deals a metric shit ton of damage to a target's health, completely ignoring any shields present and just chews on it until it goes boom, whereas a ship-turned-drifting hulk done-in by a Feeder Tentacle could always be reoccupied by the enemy if not careful.
|Bio-Weapons of the Tyranids|
|Ballistics:||Spike Rifle - Spinefists|
|Parasitics:||Devourer - Fleshborer|
|Other:||Atomic Disassembler - Strangleweb|
|Incendiary:||Tyranid Flamespurt Cannon|
|Chemical:||Deathspitter - Spore Mine Launcher - Venom Cannon|
|Other:||Barbed Strangler - Shock Cannon|
|Directed-Energy:||Bio-Plasmic Cannon - Tentaclids|
|Parasitics:||Brainleech Devourer - Fleshborer Hive|
|Chemical:||Acid Spray - Drool Cannon - Heavy Venom Cannon|
|Directed-Energy:||Bio-Plasma Battery - Bio-Torpedo|
|Chemical:||Bio-Cannon - Seed Spore - Pyro-Acid Battery|
|Inbuilt Bio-Weapons:||Bio-Electric Pulse - Bio-Plasma - Cluster Spines - Flesh Hooks |
Grasping Tongue - Ripper Tentacles - Spore Mine Cysts
Stinger Salvo - Thorax Swarm
|Melee Weapons:||Tyranid Close Combat Weapons - Eradicator Glove|
|Leader Organisms:||Broodlord - Hive Tyrant - Norn Queen |
Swarmlord - Tyranid Warrior
|Small Creatures:||Gargoyle - Genestealer - Hormagaunt - Ripper - Termagant|
|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 - Mucolid Spore|
|Spaceborne Creatures:||Tyrannocyte - Mycetic Spore - Ether-Swimming Brood|
|Bio-Titans:||Dominatrix - Hierophant - Hydraphant - Viciator|
|Floral Structures:||Capillary Tower - Reclamation Pool|
|Other Organisms:||Bio-Weapons - Cortex Leech - Meiotic Spore |
Spore Mine - Sporocyst - Zoats
|Unique Creatures:||Deathleaper - Laius Horror - Old One-Eye - The Red Terror|