Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Tyranids (9E)

From 1d4chan

This is the current 9th Edition's Tyranid tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Tyranids[edit]

Because you are fucking hungry!

Or because you like the idea of an alien intelligence hell bent on devouring the galaxy under command of a will humans can't possibly comprehend... or you just like gribly monsters.

The Tyranids are a very varied faction, capable of fielding hordes like the Imperial Guard and fucking up tanks with their own, living tanks. Despite having some of the biggest monsters regularly fielded they're much faster than you'd expect and their melee output is some of the best in the game. There's an insane amount of customization, both in gear and in the monsters available to you that can fill very different roles, and this is further expanded upon thanks to their Hive Fleet and Custom Adaptations.

That's not to say it's all sunshine and roses, gunlines are viable, but you'll probably have to get close, making you more vulnerable to Rapid Fire. They have poor AP and poor armor on average, which is a considerable issue when you're fighting armies with good armor saves (e.g. Space Marines). Most armies need lots of bodies to function effectively, which can make the army one of the more expensive to assemble, paint, and transport and there's very few good all-rounders, not to mention the Forge-World Monsters, which are even more expensive per point. While being flexible on what kind of army to build, you aren't that flexible on the battlefield.

Talking about painting, Tyranids may be tied with Space Marines and Necrons as the easiest army to paint, being overall organic and alien means they are comparatively forgivable for beginners, look good with rather mute base bone or chitin-like colors and you can get great results making extensive use of shades and highbrushing, allowing you to mitigate the heavy task of assembling tens of models.

Anyhow, if you like the idea of fielding swarms of small critters backed by giants, then this is the army for you.

Pros[edit]

  • You can partially change your chapter tactics equivalent before the game starts to better counter your opponent. You have to choose at the list building phase on matched play but it still gives a lot more flexibility then other armies.
  • Amazing psychic powers at your disposal and many different ways, mostly involving neurothrope, to buff your casts.
  • Tyranids power-crept hard with their new codex. 9th edition is full of killy options, with tons of AP and multi-damage options, so the codexes that are performing the best are those that give you hard caps on avoiding damage, either through invulns, or (x) rolls of 1-3 always fail.
  • Your Monsters have been buffed to be tougher with more wounds, and their signature abilities have been made actually useful. Formerly useless units, like Tervigons and Maleceptors, can now find a place in your army.
  • Tyranids now actually play like an army that's under the control of a single, dominant hive-mind, with Synergy between units being key in the new codex. Synapse has been overhauled and Instinctive Behaviour removed. Synapse range can be extended through other Synapse creatures, and Synaptic Imperatives encourage you to take a variety of SYNAPSE units to gain access to their respective abilities.

Cons[edit]

  • You can't change your adaptive trait after you see your opponent's army, you have to do it beforehand.
  • You can only make use of Synaptic Imperatives if you're warlord is alive and on the battlefield at the start of the battle round. A big blow to Hive Tyrants, who has to be the warlord if taken.
  • You are CP Hungry and unlike other factions, your "regain CP" mechanic is locked behind Kraken, or with a specific Secondary Objective.
  • Your genestealers are objectively worse than the GSC equivalents while also more expensive.
  • Despite being an army that heavily relies on the psychic phase, you only have one discipline to draw from. Unless you are using the Crusher Stampede army of renown, which is no longer legal.
  • The Crusher Stampede and Hive Fleet Leviathan supplements are not legal to play with the release of our new codex. This is a boon for game balance overall, as the Tyranids codex is pretty strong as is, but still a nerf.
  • Your entire army is dependent on once-per-turn buffs on a single unit. No constantly-on auras, this limits you to constantly needing to focus on what units need your boosts the most, to say nothing about the synaptic imperatives.

Faction Keywords[edit]

Other than the obvious TYRANIDS keyword the other one is <HIVE FLEET>. Every Tyranid unit needs to be assigned a Hive Fleet, either from the established fleets (Behemoth, Kraken, and Leviathan to name a few) or one of your own devising. The abilities in a Tyranid force only affect units from the same <HIVE FLEET>. We assume, in the below Tactics write up, that you will be playing with units all with the same <HIVE FLEET> keyword. Compared to other armies, the Tyranid named characters are unusual in that you can choose their <HIVE FLEET> adaptation they can take rather than just not benefiting from those adaptations a la Shadowsun or Ghazghkull.

Synapse is another keyword to keep an eye out for, as these units are your only ways to marshal the gaunts and other gribblies to your command and ensure that they won't scatter the moment things go sour for them. Of course, the Synaptic Imperative rule will also require you to daisy chain multiple Synapse units together to ensure maximum coverage.

Hive Tendril is a new keyword that's been showing up on the codex. It primarily exists to prevent you from mixing Genestealer Cult units into a Tyranid detachment.

Special Rules[edit]

No matter what edition of the game, Tyranids have traditionally been defined by three special rules: Synapse, Shadow in the Warp and Instinctive Behaviour (doesn't exist in this codex). Thankfully the transition to 9th didn't fuck with these rules this time.

  • All troops in a HIVE TENDRIL detachment gain Objective Secured.
  • Rare Organisms: Replaced in the Q2 2022 Balance Dataslate, you can take more than one Hive Tyrant, but Tyrants are now automatically your warlords, which hamstrings quite a bit without spending CP for more WTs.
  • Spore Seeding: <HIVE FLEET> Living Artillery units (meaning Spore Mines) do not count for Hive Fleet Adaptations and Hyper-Adaptations, but don't benefit from them either.
  • Death From Below: Your deep-strike rule, given to your raveners, trygons, and other snaky organisms.
  • Death Throes: A new rule given to all your monsters and heroes, making for a more useful death trick instead of the old "death causes psychic backlash that fucks you over". When they die, they can deal d3 mortal wounds to the nearest enemy unit within 6" on a 6.
  • Synapse: Has been overhauled to feel more like you're controlling a unified hivemind rather than an army of bugs with a few brain-bugs mixed in. Let's break it down to its parts:
    • <HIVE FLEET> units automatically pass Morale tests if they are within 6" of any friendly <HIVE FLEET> units with this ability. This is a big deal, especially now when losing a single morale test could kill 1/6th to 1/3rd of the unit. Much of the new meta is about killing the enemy army via morale attrition, and the Tyranids raise a middle appendage to such mechanics. Gaunts and other units that work best with a lot of models have more to lose from a bad morale roll and will benefit the most from Morale immunity, especially with the buff to stuff like Blast weapons.
    • Synaptic Link range is now 12" from a Synapse model. If you have a SYNAPSE model within 12", you can extend their Synaptic Link 12" through that model and continue this process to infinite. This means that any buffs, psychic powers, or whatever that uses Synaptic Link can also be daisy-chained to drastically expand its range. If another SYNAPSE unit enters the synapse range of a unit of a synapse link, their synapse aura will now also be able to share the synaptic link. This can turn your entire army into a giant network to share certain buffs or extend the range of Psychic Powers.
    • Synaptic Imperatives have also been changed from their pre-Codex versions. Each SYNAPSE units now have their own unique SYNAPTIC IMPERATIVES. These are active for only one round. You pick a Synaptic Imperative based on a SYNAPSE model you have on the board, and from them on til the end of the round, all SYNAPSE models gain that aura. You cannot use a Synaptic Imperative that has already been chosen, and you can only use a Synaptic Imperative based on a model still on the board (but there is a stratagem to let you use an Imperative from a destroyed model.)
      • New rules dictate that you can only make use of Synaptic Imperatives if your warlord is alive and on the battlefield at the start of the battle round. Big sads for Hive Tyrants, (they have to be the warlord if you take one).
  • Shadow in the Warp: Your anti psyker ability. Enemy PSYKERS must subtract 1 from any Psychic test they make if they are within 18" of any units with this ability. Furthermore, if any enemy PSYKERS, suffers perils of the warp whilst within 18", they suffer D3+1 mortal wounds instead of the normal D3 mortal wounds. TYRANID PSYKERS, friend and foe, are not affected by either of these abilities. With the increased potency and ease of manifesting powers, putting them at a -1 disadvantage makes this an ability worth having, as it helps you deny the witch easier, and thus, punishes armies that rely on spells. The only downside is it doesn't affect enemy Genestealer Cults and other Hive fleet players which both love their psychic phase. The perils buff is nice to have but won't come up that often; when it does, however, don't forget about it, as it can kill the enemy psyker.
    • The minus one to tests does not effect the chances of perils.

Hive Fleet Adaptations[edit]

Your Chapter Tactics-equivalents, representing the main 3 Hive Fleets in the fluff (Behemoth, Kraken, and Leviathan) as well as 4 splinters that range from the obscure to the entirely new. Each Hive Fleets has two traits: a primary trait and an adaptive trait. The primary trait is mandatory, as in if you want play Behemoth you'll always gain +1 strength on the first round of combat. The adaptive trait, however, can be swapped out before the game starts but after you see your opponent's army(!) for a trait in the hunt, lurk, or feed traits; which of these trait each Hive Fleet can choose from will be specify under "Hyper-Adaptation".

Behemoth[edit]

BehemothIcon.jpg
The Hive Mind's will seeks to crush the opposition with overwhelming strength.

The first wave of Tyranids to be recognized in the galaxy, and the same force that nearly wiped out the Ultramarines.

Hive Fleet Behemoth specializes in pure aggression, overwhelming your enemy with numbers and pure physical power. They focus the most on getting into the fight with an additional edge.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation - Hyper-Aggression: +1 S if charged, was charged, or performed a heroic intervention.
  • Adaptive: Re-roll charges
  • Hyper-Adaptation: Hunt or Lurk
  • Warlord Trait - Monstrous Hunger: Any to wound roll of 6 in melee causes one MW in addition to regular damage.
  • Stratagem - Brute Force (1/2 CP): Slain Behemoth infantry models can make their attacks after the attacker has resolved all of their attacks; similar caveats with other fight-after-dying abilities (can only pick a unit that hasn't attacked yet, precludes any other fight-after-dying ability) Costs less for ENDLESS MULTITUDE units.
  • Bio-Artefact (Relic) - Monstrous Musculature: Pretty simple +1 Damage to all your melee weapons.
  • Psychic Power: Unstoppable Onslaught (WC7): Pick a friendly unit within 9”. Until the end of the turn, add 1 to the wound rolls for that unit’s melee attacks.
    • Unchanged from last edition. +1 to wound is still a great power to have, and synergizes well with your inherent +1 S and your relic.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in a Behemoth Adaptation than any other.
    • Super-Flyrant Stacking Behemoth's Power, Warlord Trait, and Relic with Monstrous Size on a winged Hive Tyrant makes for an excellent fire magnet that melts heavy armor in close combat. For 205 points (or 225 with HVC) you get a deep-striking, charge-rerolling melee freight train with 5 S8 AP-4 attacks that explode on 6s to hit, wounds T8 on 3+, and deals 6 damage on wound rolls of 5+. Spicy.

Kraken[edit]

KrakenIcon.jpg
The Hive Mind's will seeks to claim the first kill.

Speedy, and sneaky bugs. Hive Fleet Kraken was the second major Hive Fleet, and consists of many small but fast moving splinter fleets, which caused the Imperium no end of trouble when they went fast and deep behind the main battle lines during the second Tyrannic War.

On the tabletop this translates to closing the distance as soon as possible, and its advantages are mostly focused on closing the distance as soon as possible. In theory this is similar to Behemoth, but in practice it's a little more directed, since competitive lists focus more on few Deathstars rather than a nice army-wide buff.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation: Hyper-Aggression: If they made a charge this turn, add 1 to the AP of their weapons.
    • In the age of Armour of Contempt, this trait makes Kraken an excellent counter to marines.
  • Adaptive: Advance rolls are D3+3 instead of a D6. Specifically excludes mixing this with Stratagems.
  • Hyper-Adaptation: Hunt or Feed
  • Warlord Trait: One Step Ahead: On a 5+, get a CP everytime your opponent uses a strat.
  • Stratagem: Opportunistic Advance (1 CP): Advance 8" rather than rolling, do not suffer penalty for advancing and firing assault weapons
  • Bio-Artefact (Relic): Chameleonic Mutation: -1 to Hit Rolls against the bearer, hit rolls cannot be re-rolled
  • Psychic Power: Synaptic Lure (WC5): Reroll charges against one unit within 18"
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in a Kraken Adaptation than any other.

Leviathan[edit]

LeviathanIcon.jpg
The Hive Mind's will seeks to unify all through its synapse vessels.

The poster children, and the largest Hive Fleet ever recorded, Leviathan is built around Synapse and unit synergy. In practice this means you'll either receive buffs by being near Synapse creatures, or you'll be using their stratagem to overwhelm the enemy in numbers.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation: Synaptic Control: SYNAPSE units gain Transhuman, with all wound rolls of 1-3 failing; if a Leviathan unit is within Synaptic Link range, they cannot be wounded on 1s and 2s.
    • Note that because the lowest toughness that synapse and non-synapse unit have are T5 & T3 respectively, this trait only kicks in on S6 or higher weapons, +1 to wound mechanics and poison abilities.
  • Adaptive: Leviathan Units can reroll one hit roll every time they make an attack.
    • Great for character and monsters, terrible for swarms. If you're bringing a lot of guants or the like, I strongly recommend swapping this out.
  • Hyper Adaptation: They may switch out their Adaptive trait for one in the HUNT or LURK biomorphologies.
    • Hunt: Good for your aggression. Ambush Predators gives you all the bodies for heroic intervention. Synaptic Goading and Augmented Ferocity are great for getting your forces into the fray immediately.
    • Feed:
  • Warlord Traits: Perfectly Adapted: Once per battle round, you can re-roll a single to hit, to wound, damage roll, advance roll, charge roll, psychic test, or saving throw roll. Save on that CP because you've got a ton of other uses for it.
  • Stratagems: Combined Assault(1 CP): Use during the Fight phase. Select an enemy unit within engagement range of at least 2 LEVIATHAN units from your army; all attacks targetting said unit improve their AP by 1.
    • Simplified from last edition, which required that it be a Fly unit and someone else.
  • Bio-Artefacts: Preceptic Node: Shoot at reinforcements (18") with a Core or Character unit within 6" of the character with this relic. Pick one unit to shoot once per phase, but you can shoot as many reinforcements that arrive so long as you have the units for it.
  • Psychic Power: Hive Nexus (WC6): Select a unit within Synaptic Link range of this Psyker, and a unit with a Synaptic imperative also within range of your Psyker. Until your next psychic phase, that unit acts as if it was under the effect of that Synaptic Imperative on top of the one that's already active for your army.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in a Leviathan Adaptation than any other.

Gorgon[edit]

GorgonIcon.jpg
The Hive Mind's will seeks to adapt to the foe's tactics and capabilities.

This is the Splinter Fleet, which, for some reason, GW likes to call a Hive Fleet, (probably to make the Tau Empire seem more like a credible threat) that fell upon the Tau, and failed to wipe them out (though opinions on how good/bad that would be vary wildly).

Gorgon is the Hive Fleet known for the quickest adaptation, but in practice they specialize in poison instead; Gorgon is chock-full of mechanics that depend on wound rolls, and their adaptive trait gives them a free reroll per unit. That being said, you now can't re-roll wounds against Salamanders, Valorous Heart and Space Dwarves.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation: Adaptive Toxins: Wound rolls of 4+ against non-VEHICLE/TITANIC are always successful. Works for both melee and shooting.
  • Adaptive: Free re-roll of one wound roll per unit.
    • Great for character and monsters, terrible for swarms. If you're bringing a lot of guants or the like, I strongly recommend swapping this out.
  • Hyper-Adaptation: Feed or Lurk
  • Warlord Trait: Lethal Miasma: On a successful charge, roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 3". On a 2-5, they suffer a MW. On a 6, they take D3 MW.
  • Stratagem: Hyper-Toxicity (1 CP): Pick a GORGON unit with TOXIN SACS. All unmodified HIT ROLLs of 5+ auto-wound.
  • Bio-Artefact (Relic): 'Hypermorphic Biology: +1 Toughness, count as double-wounds for wound brackets.
  • Psychic Power: Poisonous Influence (WC7): Unmodified wound rolls of 6 deal a MW on top of normal damage.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in a Gorgon Adaptation than any other.

Hydra[edit]

HydraIcon.jpg

The Hive Mind's will seeks to overwhelm the opposition with a tide of chitin and teeth.

The endless swarm, Hydra is odd in that its targets are other Hive Fleets, seeking to cannibalise them to absorb their genetic memory.

This doesn't have any real advantage in game, as Hydra plays by flooding the board with bodies, and gaining great bonuses while you outnumber the enemy.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation: Swarming Instincts: Each time a model with this adaptation makes a melee attack on a unit that contains less models than its own, add 1 to the hit roll. Vehicles and Monsters count as 5 models.
  • Adaptive: Add 1 to the move characteristic, and HYDRA models can consolidate 3" more (to a max of 9").
    • Never swap this out for the + 3" consolidate trait from Hunt as it's literally the same thing but worse.
  • Hyper-Adaptation: Feed or Hunt
  • Warlord Trait: Endless Regeneration: Regenerate d3 lost wounds on the start of the Command Phase. It can only regenerate itself once per turn, to limit any stratagem shenanigans.
  • Stratagem: Critical Mass (1 CP): One unit can reroll the wound roll in the fight phase so long as their unit contains more models than the target unit.
    • Says nothing about how many models a MONSTER counts as.
  • Bio-Artefact (Relic): Barbworm Infestation: The bearer may reroll their wound rolls for their ranged weapons.
  • Psychic Power: Psychic Shriek (WC6): Group REEEEEEE- Pick an enemy unit either within Synaptic Link range (remember, this can be extended to infinity) or within 18" . Roll one D6 for each friendly HYDRA INFANTRY or HYDRA BEAST model within 3" of that unit, and 3D6 for each HYDRA MONSTER. For each 5+, the unit suffers a mortal wound, to a max of 6.
  • Tactics:

Jormungandr[edit]

JormungandrIcon.JPG
The Hive Mind's will seeks to devour the world from under the enemy's feet.

Digger bugs, best known for hiding beneath the surface of a planet until it's safe to resurface. Jormungandr is infamous for often resurging only after the forces that wiped out the first wave leave, bringing a fresh round of misery to the Imperials who thought they got all the damn bugs.

In practice this means that they have the greatest resistance against shooting and the most varied Deep Strike potential.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation: Tunnel Networks: Dense Cover for Jormungandr units 12" away, 18" for Monsters.
  • Adaptive: Units count as half the number of models when targeted by Blast.
  • Hyper Adaptation: Hunt or Lurk
  • Warlord Trait: Insidious Threat: Select one unit within Synaptic Link range of the Warlord. Until the start of your next Command phase, enemy units do not receive the benefits of any sort of cover.
  • Stratagem: Buried In Wait (1 CP): When a single Jormungandr Infantry unit is set up, you can put it underground instead of deploying it normally. Deep Strike by another name, without the ability to synergize with Subterranean Assault. Can be used 1-3 times, depending on the size.
  • Bio-Artefact (Relic): Infrasonic Roar: End of your movement phase, select one enemy unit within 12" of the bearer and roll 3D6. If the result is equal or higher than their Leadership, until the start of your next movement phase, that unit cannot perform an action, and if they are performing an action, it fails.
  • Psychic Power: Lurking Maws (WC7): Select an enemy unit within Synaptic Link range, or within 18". Until the start of your next Psychic Phase, each time a model makes a melee attack against that enemy unit, improve the AP by 1.
    • Extra AP is always good, with caveats. All power-armored factions worsen AP by 1, so on weapons with no AP at all, this is useless. But when you bear down on them with AP-1 or AP-2 Monsters, you can at least ignore the Armor of Contempt rule.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in a Jormungandr Adaptation than any other. The Lurk adaptation of Naturalised Camouflage is a powerful defensive bonus, since you benfit from Dense Cover if your far enough away from your enemies Naturalised Camoflage turn's a -1 to hit to a -1 to hit +1 armor save.

Kronos[edit]

KronosIcon.jpg
The Hive Mind's will seeks to deliver death from afar, no matter the case.

The anti-psyker bugs, Hive Fleet Kronos seems to be the Hive Mind's first attempt at fighting back against Chaos. It travels across the galaxy targeting those areas where the veil between real-space and the warp is at its thinnest, and devours any chaos cults that might be trying to split the veil entirely.

Thousand Sons, but Bugs. They punish Psykers within Synaptic Range, while also having better shooting than other Tyranids.

  • Hive Fleet Adaptation: Bio-Barrage: Add 4" to your ranged weapons
    • 4" really helps out your termigant shooting as it means they can more relaiable get into fire fights with the common 24 inch rapid fire weapons common to many armies.
  • Adaptive: Each time a model makes a ranged attack within half-range, improve the AP by 1. Yes, this does stack with the plus 4" from the primary trait.
    • Like Kraken's primary trait, this helps you deal with marines' Armour of Contempt, unlike Kraken, if you find yourself against an army that doesn't rely or even have armor saves, like Harlequins, you can change this out while still reaping the benefits of playing this Hive Fleet.
  • Hyper-Adaptation: Feed and Lurk.
  • Warlord Trait: Soul Hunger: Enemy Psykers within 18" suffer Perils on any double, not just double 1s and 6s.
  • Stratagem: The Deepest Shadow (1 CP): When an enemy psyker within 18" of a KRONOS Psyker suffers Perils, they suffer D3 Moral wounds, and until the end of the phase, the KRONOS Psyker gains the following aura:
    • Deepest Shadow: While an enemy PSYKER unit is within 18" of this unit, each time a Psychic Test is failed, they suffer D3 mortal wounds.
  • Bio-Artefact (Relic): Null Node: In your Command phase, select an enemy unit within Synaptic Link range. Until your next Command Phase, models in that unit cannot re-roll hit, wound, or psychic tests.
  • Psychic Power: Symbiostorm (WC7): Select a KRONOS unit within Synaptic Link Range of this Psyker. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, add 1 to the Str of that unit's ranged attacks.
  • Tactics: Here are some tactics that are better off being used in a Kronos Adaptation than any other.
    • The Deepest Shadow: A KRONOS Warlord with Soul Hunger and the Null Node can make for an oppressive NO PSYKER aura. If they roll any doubles within Synaptic Link range, they suffer Perils (And if they're within 18", Shadow of the Warp kicks in to add +1 MW) and can't re-roll to avoid it. Then spend a CP to add another D3 mortal wounds and gain an 18" Aura that dishes out D3 MW for every failed Psychic Test thereafter. This is on top of their -1 to Psychic Tests inherent from Shadow in the Warp.
      • Remember, you can use a SYNAPSE creature within SYNAPSE LINK of the Warlord to extend the Aura another 12".

Hyper Adaptations and Custom Fleets[edit]

TiamatIcon.jpg
The Hive Mind's will seeks adaptability in its countless multitudes.

There's a great many Tyranid Hive Fleets that are distinctly separated from the main Hive Fleets, and also include oddities like Tiamet (pictured left), a Hive Fleet that landed on a planet and chose to start building there for some reason, as well as Ouroboris (pictured right), a Hive Fleet that specializes in aerial assaults so thick with bodies they blot out a planet's sun(s).

While the previous edition's codex had updates to provide custom hive fleets, the new codex pretty much threw this all out to make a whole new way to run them. Even better, these are adaptations that your main fleets can steal for their own with Hyper-Adaptation.

OuroborisIcon.JPG
  • Splinter Fleet: As with any other army, you can be boring and just ape off an existing hive fleet, giving you the WT and Adaptation as well as Strat and Power the fleet gives. Just as unimpressive as anything else.

If you want to go actually custom for your fleet, you can pick a trait from two different adaptation lists. However, you will need to keep an eye on your third list, as you can use Hyper-Adaptations to swap off one of your preselected traits for a trait from the third list.

  • Adrenalised Onslaught: Units can consolidate an additional 3", which lets your gaunts and rippers in particular get stuck in without worrying about the charge. The gaunts in particular love it with their insane consolidate ranges.
  • Ambush Predators: All your units can perform Heroic Interventions despite not being characters. This is especially handy for your walls of gaunts needing to protect mommy Tervigon or daddy Tyrant.
  • Augmented Ferocity: +1 to charge rolls.
  • Heightened Reflexes: Units can shoot after falling back but must take a -1 to hit when doing so. Gaunts and warriors will be the most likely benefactors from this, considering how much they'll be shooting.
  • Synaptic Goading: Endless Swarms units with this adaptation can move 6" before the first turn. Your gaunts tend to be the front liners anyways. It's a very easy pick if you bring a ton, especially if you exploit their insane charge ranges.
  • Stabilising Membranes: Any nat 6s to hit while shooting improves the AP of the hit by 1.
  • Exoskeletal Stabilisation: The shooting-favoring stratagem. Assault weapons no longer take penalties for shooting after advancing, infantry with heavy weapons can shoot after moving with no penalty and monsters can fire heavy weapons at enemies they're engaged with without any penalties.
  • Relentless Hunger: Even if a unit fails a charge, they can still move up to 3", letting them slide back to a convenient piece of cover.
  • Unrelenting Swarm: Your units ignore modifiers to their movement.
  • Wreathed in the Shadow: Enemies can't overwatch or set to defend against your charges. Ohhhh, this is a very fun for your mobs and lictors.
  • Exoskeletal Reinforcement: These units treat any AP-1 attacks they take as AP0. It's not quite Armour of Contempt, but it offers a decent share of protection against small arms fire.
  • Natural Camouflage: Your units gain a +1 to their armor save when they're under the benefits of cover from a terrain feature..
    • Unlike other "benefits of cover" rules, this one specifically says you need to gain cover from a terrain feature. That means you can't use the Broodlord's Synaptic Imperative to give you light cover in the open, and then get another +1 to your save. It also won't synergize with Jormungadr at all.
    • This adaptation lets you stack armor saves. If you're getting Light, Heavy, or Dense from a terrain feature (or even just +1 LD), your armor save gets improved by 1 against ranged attacks.
  • Synaptic Ganglia: Your psykers can re-roll their deny checks and any models they cast gain +3" to their ranges. Definitely the one to take against psyker-dependent armies like the Eldar and Thousand Sons.
  • Territorial Instincts: Your monsters now gain ObSec, letting models with 10+ wounds count as 5 models in terms of capping. You want to Nidzilla? This is how you Nidzilla. combine this with a Spearhead Detachment and, while you may take a CP hit, you can have all the Carnfex's you want. The issue is Carnfex's have 9 wounds, so each one only count's as one model, guess you'll just have to kill all there troops then.
  • Unfeeling Resilience: Your monsters now count as having double wounds in regards of damage tracks, making them far more effective over a longer time.

Warlord Traits[edit]

These are the warlord traits all Tyranids of any <Hive Fleet> can take - see individual fleets and armies of renown for warlord traits specific to those.

  1. Alien Cunning: Your warlord gains objective secured & counts as 5 models on objectives. In addition, your warlord can do an action even if it advanced or fell back. Deathleaper uses it, allowing it to mess with backfield objectives with ease. Just keep an eye on your adaptations. If you take the adaption to give monsters objective secured, and a monster HQ, you already have this.
  2. Heightened Senses: Warlord can reroll hits for ranged & melee attacks and always fights first. The most direct one, giving the most for a frontline combatant or backfield artillery bug but little else. Obviously wasted on a neurothrope.
  3. Synaptic Lynchpin: +3" to auras, synaptic imperatives, and command phase abilities. Well now Tervigon can projectile birth Termagants 9 inches away. Probably skip unless you take this on a Malanthrope; a free 9" -1 to hit bubble isn't half bad. The Swarmlord takes this.
  4. Direct Guidance: One <Hive Fleet> Core unit within synaptic link range gains +1 to hit. Gives you another booster to apply, in part.
  5. Synaptic Tendrils: Your warlord can use their command phase ability a second time. It's not all ability, check the warlord trait to figure out what one's exactly count. Direct guidance is usually better reroll 1's to hit/wound from the Hive Tyrant/Tyranid Prime. Amazing for the Neurothrope to improve your psychic phase.
  6. Adaptive Biology: 5+++ feel no pain. Simple but effective. Old One Eye takes this, as he damn well should.

Adaptive Physiology[edit]

No longer mutually exclusive to a warlord trait. A points upgrade for your non-character, non-titanic, monsters; so no giving your Hive Tyrant double wounds for the purpose of the damage table.

  • Dermic Symbiosis: 25 points. The monster gets a 4++. Strongly consider this for Exocrines and the like.
  • Enraged Reserves: 25 points. The monster with this upgrade counts as double wounds for determining its damage table. And you can use 1 epic deeds strat on this monster for free once per battle.
  • Hardened Biology: 15 points. +1 save against damage 1 weapon. "All is dust" for your monsters. Best used on a carnifex due to their built-in -1 damage to turn damage 2 to damage 1, which you would then get a +1 save against.
  • Precognitive Sensoria: 20 points. Fights first.
  • Predatory Instincts: 15 points. Can heroic intervene and so up to 6".
  • Synaptic Enhancement: 10 points. This model gains Shadow in the Warp and Synapse and gains the SYNAPSE keyword.
    • Instinctive Behaviour isn't a thing in this edition, so you'll be taking this if you want to give a backline Tyrannofex/Exocrine a Synapse aura, or to extend your Synapse Link range.
    • Great on Leviathan, since their Synapse creatures can only be wounded on 4s. It's like an invuln that only kicks in on higher strength/poison weapons. You have lot of good options for Exocrine Physiologies already, but if you have the points and have already given someone Dermic Symbiosis, you can give them this to shrug off lascannons and demolishers.
  • Voracious Ammunition: 15 points. After this monster finishes shooting, pick one unit that this monster has hit, on a 2+, that unit takes D3 mortal wounds. Excellent for a dakkafex, exocrine, tyrannofex, or flyrant.
  • Whipcoil Reflexes: 15 points. Enemy unit that fall back for this monster suffers 1D3 mortal wounds on a 2+. Picking this means your spending points on something that you can't plan around, as your opponent can, more often than not, choose not to be in combat with this unit.

Psychic Powers[edit]

The Hive Mind discipline is usually the only psychic table your Psykers will be rolling on or choosing from.

  1. Catalyst: Blessing. WC6. A TYRANID unit within synaptic link range of the caster gets a 5+++ (or 6+++ if titanic) until the Tyranid player's next psychic phase.
  2. The Horror: Malediction. WC6. A unit within 24" or synaptic link range that is visible to the caster subtracts 1 from their combat attrition tests and -2 Leadership characteristic.
  3. Neuroparasite: WC7. Witchfire. Target one enemy unit with an 18" or within synaptic link range. Roll a d6 for each model in the target unit. For each roll that is above the target's toughness the unit suffers one mortal wound to a maximum of 6.
  4. Onslaught: Blessing. WC6. A power that allows a TYRANID unit within synaptic link range to advance and shoot in the same turn without suffering any penalties to the BS for moving/advancing with Heavy or Assault weapons. Oh, and they can charge after advancing, too!
    • One of the best on here, most effective with Kraken (which has better advance rolls and more reason to advance when possible) and Behemoth (which will appreciate the further boost to its re-rollable charges). Just remember that the test for this power comes after you choose to advance, so if you want to play it safe, don't rely on it.
    • Consider casting this with a Neurothrope, as its +1 to Psychic Tests makes this a lot more reliable or +2 if you give it a resonance barb.
  5. Paroxysm: Malediction. WC7. Select an enemy unit within 18" of the psyker or in synaptic link range, that unit cannot for overwatch or set to defend, and each time the unit makes a melee attack, subtract 1 to their wound rolls until your next Psychic phase.
  6. Psychic Scream: Witchfire. WC5. The nearest enemy target within 18" suffers D3 mortal wounds. If the target is a psyker, roll 2d6; if the result is higher than their Ld, a randomly chosen psychic power they know is disabled for the rest of the battle. Doesn't have quite the same potential to inflict damage as Smite, but the ability to disable a unit's potential to buff allies or throw around mindbullets of their own more than makes up for it.
    • It's not gonna be easy to use on characters though, so your best targets are probably Thousand Sons, Tzeentch daemons, and Grey Knights (because they deserve even more pain). This can also force your opponent to take the same power on more than one Psyker to try and counteract the disabling effect. Since repeated attempts to manifest a non-smite power more than once per psychic phase aren't allowed, you can weaken your opponent in the psychic phase even if you don't actually manifest this power - either you cripple the other guy's psykers, or you force then to waste a valuable power slot. Either way, you benefit.
Power Manifest Stats
WC Base +1 to Cast Re-roll 1s Re-roll 1s and +1 +1 Unkept Die +1 Unkept Die and +1 +1 Unkept Die and Re-roll 1s
5 83.33% 91.67% 93.98% 98.84% 94.91% 98.15% 97.38%
6 72.22% 83.33% 85.34% 93.98% 89.35% 94.91% 92.46%
7 58.33% 72.22% 72.92% 85.34% 80.56% 89.35% 84.07%

Weapons and Equipment[edit]

These are the weapons and equipment Your Dudes use to dismember and consume the enemy. Each one has its benefits and drawbacks.

Melee weapons[edit]

These claws and teeth are what make melee such a wonderful experience for the Tyranid super race, less so for your victims.

  • Barbed Ovopositor: S+1 AP-1 D1, the signature weapon of the Parasite, this lets you infect a unit with rippers but remember you only get one attack with it every time you fight and you need to wound the enemy.
  • Bio-flail: S+1 AP-1 D2, found on the Stone-crusher Carnifex, you make two hit rolls for every attack with this weapon so it can be a pretty nice way to deal with groups of enemies.
  • Bludgeoning Fists: S+1 AP-3 D1
  • Bone Mace: S+1 AP-2 D2, a tail option for the Carnifex, you only get one attack with this each time so it may not be worth it if not against an almost-dead vehicle or monster.
  • Bonesword: S+2 AP-2 D2, taking a pair gives you +1 Attack, taking just one gives you the lash whip ability and keyword.
    • Bonecleaver: S user AP-1 D2, taking this also gives you a lash whip.
    • Bone Sabres: S+1 AP-4 D3
    • Monstrous Bonesword: S+3 AP-4 D3, no option for a pair, so this is stuck with the lash whip.
  • Chitin-barbed Fists: S+1 AP-1 D1, the weapon of the Biovores, if they get to use this, then something went wrong.
  • Clawed Limbs: S user AP-2 D1, the other weapon of the Parasite.
  • Crushing Claw: S+3 AP-3 D2
    • Carnifex Crushing Claw: S+4 AP-3 Dd3+3
    • Massive Crushing Claw: Sx2 AP-5 Dd3+3
    • Monstrous Crushing Claw: S+4 AP-3 Dd3+2
  • Flensing Whips: S user AP-2 D2, found on our two fleshy pods, remember these hit on a 5+.
  • Genestealer Claws and Talons: S user AP-3 D1
    • Broodlord Claws and Talons: S user AP-3 D2, re-roll wound rolls with this weapon, and wound rolls of 6 are AP-5.
  • Grasping Tail: S+1 AP-1 D2, the Malanthrope's weapon, not that powerful but can be used to pick off a model to obtain the aura ability.
  • Lashwhip Pods: S5 AP-1 D1, found on the Hierophant, these give you 10 additional attacks with this weapon, so good for some mob cleaning.
  • Lictor Claws and Talons: S user AP-3 D2
  • Powerful Limbs: S user AP-1 D2
  • Ravener Claws: S user AP-2 D1
  • Ravenous Maw: S user AP-1 D2, each time you make an attack with this make 3 hit rolls instead of 1.
  • Rending Claws: S+1 AP-4 D1. With the introduction of Armour of Contempt this might be the best weapon against marines.
  • Scything Tail: S user AP-3 D2 you get one additional attack with this one.
  • Scything Talons: S user AP-1 D1 +2 attacks, one for each talon. So if you take two pairs that model will gain +4 attacks.
    • Carnifex Scything Talons: S user AP-3 D3, +2 attack, one for each talon.
    • Gargantuan Scything Talons: S+2 AP-3 D6, since these are from the two FW titans, they are still using the old rules so no additional attacks but you get to re-roll hit rolls of 1.
    • Hierodule Scything Talons: S+2 AP-3 Dd3+3, same with the above, no additional attacks but you get to re-roll hit rolls of 1.
    • Hormagaunt Talons: S user AP-1 D1, no extra attacks (they're already built-in).
    • Mawloc Scything Talons: S user AP-1 D1, no extra attacks (they're already built-in).
    • Massive Scything Sickle-Talons: S+1 AP-3 Dd3+3, same with the other FW talons, no additional attacks but you get to re-roll all hit rolls this time.
    • Massive Scything Talons: this weapon has two profiles (neither the Maleceptor nor the Tervigon want to be in combat so use these as a last resort only):
      • Strike: S+3 AP-4 D2d3
      • Sweep: S user AP-3 D2, each time you make an attack with this profile make 2 hit rolls instead of 1.
    • Monstrous Scything Talons: S user AP-3 D2, +2 attacks, one for each talon.
    • Screamer-killer Talons: S user AP-3 D3, no extra attacks (they're already built-in).
    • Trygon Scything Talons: S user AP-3 D2, no extra attacks (they're already built-in).
  • Scything Wings: S user AP-2 D2
  • Shovelling Claws: Sx2 AP-3 Dd3+3
  • Thorax Spur: S+3 AP-4 D3, you get 1 additional attack with this weapon.
  • Thresher Scythe: S4 AP-1 D1, one of the two tail options for the Carnifex, you get 3 additional attacks with this weapon, good on an anti-infantry oriented model.
  • Toxic Lashs: S user AP-1 D1, always wounds on a 2+, except against Vehicles and Titanics.
    • Massive Toxic Lashs: S user AP-2 D1, always wounds on a 2+, except against Vehicles and Titanics.
  • Toxinspike: S user AP-3 D2, each time you fight, you can make one additional attack using this weapon; each time you fight you can only make one attack with this weapon.
  • Tyrant Talons: S user AP-3 D1, make 2 additional attacks with this weapon.
  • Wreaker Claws: Sx2 AP-3 D3, the pride and joy of the Stone-crusher Carnifex, if you have two you can re-roll all hit rolls and against Vehicles and Monsters the Damage becomes 5.

Ranged weapons[edit]

These are the guns that fire the beetles, worms, maggots, and (when the Tyranids are feeling particularly conventional) plasma at your foes from a distance.

  • Acid Spray: 18" Heavy D6+6 S6 AP-3 D2 auto-hits.
    • Bio-acid Spray: 18" Heavy 3D6 S6 AP-2 D1 auto-hits, found on the Scythed Hierodule.
  • Barbed Strangler: 36" Assault d6 S6 AP-1 D1 Blast.
    • Stranglethorn Cannon: 36" Heavy d3+3 S8 AP-2 D2 Blast.
  • Bio-cannon: 48" Heavy 6 S8 AP-2 D2 the Barbed Hierodule has two of these bad boys, useful for hunting vehicles from afar
    • Dire Bio-cannon: 48" Heavy 8 S10 AP-3 D3 the bigger version found on the bio-titans, they get two of these as well so consider to split fire to kill two light vehicles a turn or focus fire on something big to bring it down (don't forget frenzied metabolism if you need it).
  • Bio-electric Pulse: 12" Assault 8 S5 AP0 D1.
    • Bio-electric Pulse with Containment Spines: 12" Assault 8 S5 AP-2 D1.
  • Bio-plasma: 12" Assault D3 S6 AP-3 D1 Blast, head upgrade of the Carnifex, could be useful but pretty mediocre, better stick to the other options.
    • Bio-plasma: 12" Assault 2D6 S7 AP-3 D1 auto-hits, found on the mighty hierophant, a nice anti-mob option for when you need to clear an objective or drown a lesser character in hits.
    • Bio-plasmic Scream: 18" Assault D6 S8 AP-4 D1 Blast, the signature weapon of the screamer-killer.
  • Bio-plasmic Cannon: 36" Heavy D3+6 S8 AP-4 D3 Blast, found on the Exocrine. This will wreck someone's day.
  • Deathspitter: 24" Assault 3 S5 AP-2 D1
    • Deathspitter with Slimer Maggots: 24" Assault 3 S7 AP-3 D1
  • Devourer: 18" Assault 5 S4 AP0 D1
    • Termagant Devourer: 18" Assault 2 S3 AP0 D1. Absolutely terrible. Don't even consider take this unless you go with Gorgon as your Hive Fleet as the primary trait affects ranged weapons as well as melee.
    • Devourer with Brainleech Worms: 18" Assault 6 S6 AP0 D1
  • Drool Cannon: 18" Assault 2D6 S6 AP-2 D1 auto-hits, unfortunately this weapon isn't very good at what the Hive Crone is supposed to hunt after.
  • Flamespurt: This weapon has two profiles:
    • Burning Spray: 12" Assault D6 S6 AP-2 D2 auto-hits
    • Pyrogout: 18" Assault 2D6 S4 AP-1 D1 auto-hits
  • Fleshborer: 18" Assault 1 S5 AP-1 D1
    • Fleshborer Hive: 24" Assault 30 S5 AP-1 D1. Dakka dakka, motherfucker.
  • Gasping Tongue: 12" Assault 1 S6 AP-3 D3, ignore look out sir when you use this weapon. Apparently the Haruspex is our version of a sniper.
  • Impaler Cannon: 24" Assault 3 S6 AP-2 D2, unfortunately, due to the ridiculous cost of Hive Guards that use this (60 points per model, wtf) it's simply not worth it; for basically the same cost you get an exocrine that the only real problem it has is not being able to shoot without line of sight which honestly isn't very needed in the first place.
  • Massive Toxic Lashes: 8" Assault 2D6 S user AP-2 D1, always wounds on a 2+ except against Vehicles and Titanics.
  • Rupture Cannon: 48" Heavy 3 S14 AP-4 Dd6+4. Have you ever wanted to take a Knight from completely alive and healthy to utterly death in, not only in one shooting phase, but with a single gun? Well, look no further.
  • Shockcannon: 36" Assault 2 S7 AP-2 D3, inflicts a mortal wound against Vehicles on a wound roll of 4+. We have better anti-tank and the hive guards are already pretty overpriced for what they do.
  • Spine Banks: 6" Assault 5 S5 AP0 D1, one of the back options for the carnifex, never take this, the spore cysts are better but if you don't have 15 points for them, then use the 5 points this weapon costs for something else.
  • Spinefists: 12" Pistol 2 S5 AP-1 D1. Anything that can take this should just take a Deathspitter instead as it has better range, AP, and dakka.
    • Termagant Spinefists: 12" Pistol 2 S3 AP0 D1, hard pass, take the fleshborer instead.
    • Thoracic Spinefists: 12" Pistol 2 S5 AP-1 D1, same critique as the normal ones.
  • Spinemaws: 6" Pistol 4 S2 AP0 D1
  • Spore Mine Launcher: 48" Heavy D3 each hit inflicts one mortal wound, it can target things that aren't visible to the shooter if they are seen by a friendly Synapse but remember Biovores don't have the same rule as Hive Guards so they will get a penalty of 1 to their hit rolls and they already hit on a 4+. Remember also that now they don't generate a mine when they miss.
  • Stinger Salvoes: 24" Assault 8 S5 AP-1 D1
  • Tentaclids: 36" Assault 4 S7 AP-3 D2, they always wound Vehicles on a 4+ and against Aircrafts they have a damage of 4.
  • Venom Cannon: 36" Assault d3 S8 AP-3 D2 Blast.
    • Heavy Venom Cannon: 36" Heavy 3 S9 AP-3 D4

Universal Biomorphs[edit]

These upgrades grant the following ability and some gain the keyword of the same name as the upgrade.

  • Acid Maw: Gives the keyword that lets you access a 1CP stratagem to spit acid on your enemy to inflict mortal wounds. On the Carnifex it's one of the options for the head but you're probably better off with Tusks or Enhanced Senses.
  • Adrenal Glands: Adds 1" to the move characteristic and +1 to strength characteristic of the unit. This is amazing. Combine with Kraken and movement boosting Stratagems, and that seemingly small bonus can make a big difference.
  • Biostatic Rattle: One of the tail options of the Trygon/Mawloc, you select an enemy unit in engagement range and if you roll higher than their leadership on 3D6 you shut off re-rolls for their hit and wound for that turn. Remember that the average roll of 3D6 is 10.5
  • Chitin Thorns: Improves the Ap of Melee attacks by 1, useful against Armor of Contempt.
  • Enhanced Senses: The bearer's BS becomes 3+, one of the options for the carnifex head and the one you want if you're aiming for a dakkafex or thornback.
  • Extended Carapace: Gives M7" and a 4+ armor save to genestealers, now that they are infiltrators this could work for making them survive longer.
  • Flesh Hooks: Gives the keyword and lets you ignore the vertical distance when you move, advance, or fall back.
  • Infestation Node: An upgrade for a Genestealer unit that makes you put a marker down with them that regenerates D3 destroyed models a turn. The marker is removed if there are enemy models within 3" at the end of any phase and there aren't any friendly units with them.
  • Lash Whip: Gives the keyword and lets you re-roll 1's to hit in the fight phase for models with this biomorph. Found on those who take a single bonesword.
  • Prehensile Pincer Tail: Lets you re-roll one hit roll or one wound roll each Fight phase, useful for a Flyrant with the Reaper.
  • Spore Cysts: The bearer counts as in light cover against shooting attacks, one of the two back options for the carnifex, you should always take this if you can.
  • Toxin Sacs: Hit rolls of 6+ by the model/unit in the Fight phase automatically wound. Best used on models with low Strength.
  • Tusks: Gives the Horned Chitin keyword, useful on a Carnifex that aims for the big guys on the board.

Bio-Artefacts (Relics)[edit]

  • Gestation Sac: Once per battle, the bearer can perform an action that lasts your shooting phase and spawns a unit of D3+1 rippers within 3" of the bearer (and not within Engagement Range of enemy models) that do not cost reinforcement points. Good if you want to play with 30-60 points more that you can use to hold an objective or shield from enemy deepstrike.
  • Maw Claws of Thyrax: No longer replaces your Claws/Talons and is just a flat upgrade to Characters. +1 Attack, re-roll all wound rolls in the fight phase, and each time you destroy an entire unit, you get +1 A (to a max of +3 in this manner). That's +4A if you can get there.
    • A Relic that gets better the more you use it, it makes anyone who can take it much more reliable in melee.
  • Pathogenesis: Add 8" to the range of the user's ranged weapons, and it can re-roll a single hit and wound when shooting or firing Overwatch. Could be usefull if need the extra range but other than that the two re-rolls you get aren't really worth it.
  • Reaper of Obliterax: Replaces a bonesword or the monstrous version. Same stats as the normal one, but every successful wound causes a MW, and the enemy unit cannot use any rules to ignore the damage caused by this weapon.
    • This is probably the best example of how later codexes are built over the earlier ones, since its special rule lets it ignore the prolific FNPs and even the "maximum of wounds per phase" rules that GW sprinkled all throughout the game.
  • Resonance Barb: Psyker only. They can add +1 to their Psychic Tests, and know an additional power.
    • Not as useful as the pre-codex version, because you had a lot more powers then. In an army with lots of Psykers, it's not the worst, but you have other options.
  • Scythes of Tyran: Replaces 2 monstrous scything talons, for S+2 AP-4 D3, and you get 2 additional Attacks with this weapon.
  • Searhive: Replaces a model’s toxin sacs. All successful melee hits on non-Vehicle/Monster units automatically wound. Use this on a Trygon Prime with Heightened Senses and enjoy your 12 wounds D2 that bypass all transhuman bullshit.
  • Shardgullet: Replaces a Heavy Venom Cannon. 36" Assault 3 S12 AP-5 D5. For when you want to pop a Leman Russ in one go. D5 helps it get over those obnoxious -1 Damage abilities (such as the one you used to have)
  • The Balethorn Cannon: Upgrades a stranglethorn cannon. 36" Heavy 3+D3 S10 AP-3 D3, Blast. Best used against heavy infantry and bikers, you'll wound on twos, have enough AP to get them to their invul, and do enough damage to kill non-minus 1 damage models. If want to go vehicle hunting take Shardgullet.
  • The Dirgeheart of Kharis: After you make all your attacks in the fight phase, select one unit that you hit that round: they lose ObSec, and reduce their Ld by -1.
    • I mean, preferably you don't want anything to survive after you make all your attacks. Still, jumping on a unit camping an objective and using this in combo with Alien Cunning to steal it for yourself is a valid tactic, especially on some fast moving character that can hold its own.
  • The Passenger: Only for Adrenal Glands Models, but does not replace it. Gives +2 to Charges and Advances, great for charging out of deepstrike with a trygon prime or a winged tyrant.
  • Ymgarl Factor: At the beginning of each fight phase, pick between +1T, +1A, or +2S. The stat returns to normal after the fight phase. Nice if you want some versability in combat.

Stratagems[edit]

  • Adrenal Surge (1/2 CP): Select an Adrenal Glands unit during the Fight phase. This provides an extra attack to most units and d3 attacks for Monsters if they charged, giving you a sizeable hefty boost for your troops. This is why you buy them, as this is exceptionally handy for your gaunts.
    • Costs 2 CP for units of 20+ models, allowing this to be particularly handy for smaller crowds.
  • Indomitable Monstrosity (1 CP): When a monster is attacked, a 1-3 to wound will always fail, making your beasts some of the tankiest fuckers ever, especially your fexes with their damage reduction.
  • Observer Organism (1 CP): Whenever an exocrine shoots, they ignore all cover and a nat 6 to hit scores an additional hit. This is the one to pop when you move an exocrine out of its entrenched position and needs to pop the cover.
  • Reinforced Hive Node (1/2 CP): Select One pack of warriors or a Tyranid Prime that has been targeted by an enemy; reduce the damage of any incoming attack by 1 for the phase.
    • This is really good, even if it's only limited to one phase and only on Warriors. Use it when the enemy is taking lots of D2 and 3D weapons. Best used in the fight phase, when the opponent has no choice but to target them, and where you have a chance to fight back
  • Scorch Bugs (1/2 CP): One unit with fleshborers and fleshborer hives can add +6" range and +1 Strength to their guns for this turn, which amounts to quite a lot of damage when stacked with the new fleshborers that outdo even bolters. Costs 2 CP for a unit with 16+ models or has the Monster keyword.
  • Voracious Appetite (1 CP): Use in the fight phase when a monster from your army is chosen to attack. You can re-roll all failed wound rolls for that model until the end of the phase. Wanna put the hurt on that land raider? Drop this on ol' Swarmy and watch the tears flow.
  • Enfolding Strike: When the Parasite of Mortrex flies over an enemy unit, roll a d6; on a 2+ the enemy takes d3 mortal wounds and gets infecction and maxes out at 3 MWs on a 6. Considering that these infections are the primary purpose of the parasite, it's helpful to have a way to deal some out-of-turn damage and spawn a few more rippers on a turn.
  • Death Frenzy (2 CP): Use when a Character dies, that unit can immediately fight as if it was the Fight phase, or shoot as if it was the Shooting phase instead of relying on Death Throes. A last fuck-you attack sounds nice but do mind of its cost and that anything with a damage chart has to use the bottom. This is for your low health Broodlords: throw them at characters, monsters, and vehicles you need killed before they die, 12 attacks at S5 AP-3 Dd3 hitting on 2's with re-rolls to wound will end things, especially if they have no invuln. Also if you are going to use Old One Eye for some reason, always save enough to use this on him because he has no damage chart.
  • Pheromone Trail (1 CP): Drastically reworked from a past edition. Mark an enemy within 6" of a friendly lictor. All units gain +2 to charge this enemy, which is a hefty boost for your melee forces. This is especially worthwhile if you have Adrenal Glands, with all the fun that entails.
  • Power of the Hive Mind (1 CP): A Tyranid Psyker that manifested a power can attempt to manifest one additional psychic power this turn. Helpful.
  • Synaptic Channeling (1 CP): Pick a <Hive Fleet> Psyker unit in your army. Until the end of the phase, it knows all the powers known by friendly <Hive Fleet> Psyker units that are on the battlefield. Use in case you really need to use a certain power but that psyker is sadly out of range for it.
  • Synaptic Legacy (1 CP): When using a Synaptic Imperative and have a Hive Tendril Warlord on the field, they can dig up the synaptic imperative of a dead unit if they weren't already used.
  • Trampling Charge (1 CP): When a monster charges, mark an engaged enemy and roll a d6; on a 2+ the enemy takes d3 mortal wounds, on a 5+ that maxes out at 3. If this model has the Horned Chitin keyword (Meaning Tyrants, OOE, Maleceptor, Haruspex, Carnifexes with tusks), these results are upped to 3MWs on a 2+ and 3+d3 MWs on a 5+.
    • This all independent from any other buffs you may have, but this is a hefty bundle of attacks before beginning to rip into the enemy.
  • Hive Predator (1 CP): Mandatory bonus WT stratagem.
  • Rarefied Enhancements (1 CP): Mandatory bonus relic stratagem.
  • Bounding Advance (1/2 CP): When a swarm of Hormagaunts advances, they automatically add 6 to their distance and can charge after advancing, making turn 1 charges a certainty. Costs 2 CP for a unit of 15+ models.
  • Encircle the Prey (1 CP): One Burrowers (meaning Raveners, Trygon, Rippers, etc.) or Fly unit can immediately return to reserves, letting you redeploy them where you need them. The only question would be whether the Trygon's vore trick can work in such an occasion.
  • Endless Swarm (1 CP): One Endless Multitude unit (Your gaunts) can restore 3+d3 models to their fold. This is an absolute step up from the Tervigon since this can even replace hormagaunts and gargoyles. After all, their greatest strength is their numbers so you'll need to keep them as high as possible.
  • Instinctive Rampage (1 CP): When your Hive Tyrant dies, any Tyrant Guards they accompanied will immediately flip their shit, adding +4 to any charge rolls against the killer and adding +1 to hit and wound them. Just as well, as you want the enemy to regret killing your big boss.
  • Invisible Hunter (1 CP): At the end of the turn, yank a Lictor out of the field. You can then re-deploy them on the next Movement phase, allowing you to throw them right at whatever targets you need the lictor to kill.
  • Overrun (1 CP): Use after your unit killed an enemy in the Fight phase. As long as they are not within 3" of an enemy model, they can move again but cannot go within 1" of an enemy model. The term 'Fast Food' has never been so literal.
  • Rapid Regeneration (2 CP): A targeted model regains d3 lost wounds. Gives the Swarmlord and other big things the boost they need to move them up a bracket on the damage table. With natural CP regen and Feeder Tendrils you could potentially use this every turn.
  • Shard Lure (1 CP): When one <Hive Fleet> Synapse unit shoots an enemy, another unit can then charge them, re-rolling one of their dice when determining distance. You'll probably be using this quite a bit for a dakka-rant or warrior, as they'll prefer to hide behind their walls of troops.
  • Spore Clouds (1 CP): When a Sporecaster unit (Toxicrenes and Venomthropes) sit still, their auras expand by 6", providing some extra cover for some squads in the middle of getting to the next bit of cover.
  • Subterranean Assault (1 CP): When you set up a Trygon or Trygon Prime through deep striking, you can also pop in a Troops unit that was hiding in strategic reserves. This is a rule the Trygon's always had, now stuck behind CPs on top of whatever you spent to put those gaunts in reserves.
  • Toxic Entanglement (1 CP): When a Toxicrene shoots an enemy non-Aircraft unit, roll a d6. On a 2+, the enemy halves their movement and the enemy is forced to charge the Toxicrene with their halved movement, though they add +2 to their charge roll.
  • Acidic Torrent (1 CP): One Acid Maw unit (Pyrovores and Genestealers or Carnifexes who buy it) in melee can roll d6 per model or 3d6 for a monster; each 3+ deals a mortal wound to a maximum of 6, providing you an opening barrage before entering melee proper.
  • Blinding Venom (1 CP): The reason Gargoyles are thrown into melee. The enemy engaged with these gargs take -1 to hit and cannot re-roll this hit, making for an annoyance for the first turn.
  • Corrosive Viscera (2 CP): When an Acid Blood unit (Pyrovores, Haruspex, Maleceptor) takes a wound in melee, the enemy takes a MW on a 4+ to a maximum of 6 MWs.
  • Impaling Hooks (1 CP): One Flesh Hooks unit add +1 to hit an enemy non-Vehicle non-Monster unit in melee.
  • Pathogenic Slime (1/2 CP): When one unit shoots, any natural 6s to hit automatically wound. Costs 1 CP for a Toxin Sacs unit, otherwise it cost 2 CP.
    • It's a lot less impressive than last edition's writeup, and a lot less useful as it no longer improves the effectiveness of any of the guns. The benefit merely comes from the chance to overwhelm high-toughness units.
  • Psychotropic Venom (1 CP): During the Morale phase, pick one enemy engaged with a Lash Whip (Tyrants, Warriors or Tyrant Guard with the sword+lash) or Toxic Lashes (Toxicrene or Venomthropes) unit. The enemy takes -2 to morale and -1 to combat attrition checks, making lashes a good way to break an enemy.

Secondaries[edit]

  • Assassination: Really depends on the army you're facing. That goes for a lot of these obviously, but assassinate is a trap in a lot of cases. For example, if you're facing Death Guard and they bring 8 characters, it is awfully tempting to take assassinate, but those characters are tough to kill and usually hiding behind even tougher vehicles and infantry. Take this against daemons and characters that are meant to be thrown in your face.
  • Bring it Down: If they bring tons of vehicles or monsters, yeah sure. Nids do well at bringing these units down for the most part.
  • Titan Hunter: Kind of the same thing. If facing knights, yeah take this. If not, well then don't.
  • Cranial Feasting (Codex): Whenever you kill an enemy character or unit champion/sergeant in melee, roll 1d6, adding +2 if you used a Hive Tendril Feeder Tendrils unit (Meaning Lictors, Genestealers, Toxicrenes and Venomthropes). On a 6+, you gain 1 CP as well as 3 VP at the end of the game just for scoring it (as well as 1 VP per model killed that qualifies). You additionally gain 3 VP for killing the enemy Warlord, which seems best suited for assassins like the Broodlord or Deathleaper.
  • Mental Interrogation: We have tons of psykers and a lot of them want to be in people's faces so this could be good. Really depends on if the enemy can block it with Deny the Witch. Psychic ritual could be better if they can.
  • Warp Ritual: Really good for nids. We take the middle of the board really well and throw enough units at the other side that the middle is usually left untouched for us to cast this for 3 turns.
  • Abhor the Witch: Not recommended. We have some of the best psykers and psychic powers in the game and you really want to use them.
  • Thin their Ranks: Sure, that could be good. We kill hordes just as well as other armies, so if your enemy brought a horde, this could be good.
  • Attrition: This is tougher for nids. We give a lot of kills which makes it tougher to kill more of the enemy and get the points.
  • While We Stand, We Fight: This one can be built towards pretty easily. If you take hordes and hordes and then a few expensive units, this could be an easy 15 points. Broodlords are expensive in points and easy to hide. If taking a bunch of big, easy to kill monsters then don't take this. Keep in mind that Barbed Hierodules are also near impossible to kill.
  • First Strike: Just like Slay the Warlord, take this if there are no other good options.
  • Synaptic Analysis (Codex): Keep a tally each turn of non-DT models killed by friendly Synapse models (1 for a model with 3-5 wounds, 2 for 6-9 wounds, 3 for 10+ wounds). Each turn you score 4+ points on that tally, you score 3 VP.
    • This is a unit that likely will depend on what you're facing. If you're dealing with a tank-heavy army or a unit with plenty of 3W forces like Terminators, you'll easily be able to justify this, but it's otherwise not worth it.
  • Engage on All Fronts: Nids are built for this with the amount of cheap deepstriking units we have and of course the speed of our movement. Rippers and single model lictors
  • Linebreaker: Kind of the same as engage on all fronts. Just choose which one is easier for you.
  • Domination: Depends more on the mission. Choose if there are less objectives and the enemy can't hold as well as you like against Custodes. Aside from that, it's probably easier to do the others.
  • Raise the Banners High: This is a no-brainer for nids. MSU infantry units like Lictors and 10 model Termagant units can pick this up easily. Better when there are a lot of objectives on the board.
  • Investigate Signal: If going for Psychic ritual, you probably have something else with your psyker that can complete this one alongside it. It's a good idea.
  • Repair Teleportation Homer: This is a really good one for nids because of Lictors, but they have to survive for a turn.
  • Retrieve Octarius Data (GT 2021): This is free with just a unit of termagants and 2 units of lictors. Free points has never been easier.
  • Spore Nodes (Codex): Your troops gain a special action they can use after the first turn, only available if they're within 6" of the enemy DZ and more than 6" away from another Spore Node. This takes up the unit's actions to lay down a special Spore Node Marker that scores you 4 VP.
    • While contradictory on your aggressive Hormagaunts, you might have a better chance to try this if you have a Trygon to use the Subterranean Assault strat and bump in Gargoyles or Warriors who aren't likely to be stuck in.

Keep in mind that these are only the ones available in the CRB and Codex, as books like the Chapter Approved: Grand Tournament books do provide additional secondaries.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Finally, time to get to the gribly beasties.

HQ Units[edit]

  • Broodlord.jpeg
    Broodlord An old but well-remembered unit makes its reappearance. The Broodlord is T5 W7 A6, with a 4+/++. While he can no longer advance and charge, he can infiltrate onto the field like smaller genestealers. Unlike them, He still retains the absolute armor shredding of 8e Genestealers, having 6 S5 AP3 D2 attacks, rerolling wounds and AP-5 UMW6s.
  • Obvious utility, but he's best used with Genestealers, who can infiltrate with it. It now has a 1/turn ability to make a unit within synapse range gain a -1 to AP when they roll a 6 to hit in melee that can apply to any unit, not just genestealers.
    • Synaptic Imperative - Predatory Guile: This allows a unit in Synapse range to count as if they're in light cover (or heavy cover if they're already in cover), already giving your units plenty of protection against anything they're up against.


  • HiveTyrant.jpg
    Hive Tyrant: The Hive Tyrant is the original Tyranid HQ unit and has been a mainstay through every incarnation of the codex. Though you no longer get the ability to grab multiples, they do remain an auto-take HQ unit that can serve any roles you need. An exceptional anchor for your army, thanks to great movement, melee and ranged tools, not to mention his 1/turn ability to give a unit re-rolling 1s to hit and access to psychic powers. However, any opponent with an ounce of experience knows to target the Tyrant first, so it will draw fire. Always buy Adrenal Glands, no matter what.
    • Synaptic Imperative - Relentless Ferocity: A unit within Synapse range can charge after falling back, letting you keep up the pressure as these are your most powerful units.
  • Footed Tyrant: The ever-reliable walking tank, finally getting its much-deserved 2+ save after having it stripped away editions ago plus a T8 frame to boot. Scything Talons (which you get two of, but can't grab four by replacing your sword+lash) give you 2 extra attacks with a decent strength and AP-3, but your bonesword remains the unquestioned king, giving a devastating S10 AP-4 D3 that can re-roll 1s to hit thanks to the lash. Your guns, however, are where the suffering comes in. Your only options are the heavy venom cannon and stranglethorn cannon, removing the devourers from your roster in both iterations.
  • Winged Tyrant: The popular flyrant got shoved to its own datasheet, where it maintains last edition's 3+ defense and T7. This has led to some considerable setbacks, as it now can only pick up one gun, and it's similarly limited to either heavy venom cannon or stranglethorn. While his options for sword+lash and talons remain, the flying tyrant comes with some exclusive weapons of its own. Its feet are now considered legitimate weapons, giving two additional attacks like the scything talons but dealing less damage in comparison. On top of this, its tail allows you to re-roll one hit or wound roll each turn for a bit of assurance.


  • Malannthrope.jpeg
    Malanthrope: A synapse creature, that has the Venomthrope's ability to debuff the to-hit chance of enemies, which works on all units that are not Titanic. Being a character with 9 wounds means it's harder to hit than ever before, and while it can only use a grasping tail to attack its ability to cause mortal wounds on a 4+ means most foes won't try to engage it in melee in the first place. And when a model is slain with the Malanthrope 3" away, at the end of the phase it gains a 6" aura of all units with the same <HIVE FLEET> keyword re-roll 1s to wound. There are two ways to use them: backfield support and frontline assault:
    • Backfield Support: Malanthropes are great babysitters for backfield artillery units like Exocrines, Biovores, and Tyrannofexes with Rupture Cannons. Their slow speed isn't a factor and the protection they offer is much appreciated. On the other hand, even an assault army can benefit from it quite a bit, the -1 to be hit in the first turn allows you to worry a bit less about how you set a unit of hormagaunts or genestealers as long as you babysit them with a Malanthrope, just remember you can no longer combo the -1 to hit penalties, so don't go with Malanthropes if you're going Venomthropes.
    • Frontline Assault: The kind of support Malanthropes offer is invaluable for your big squads of Stealers and Gaunts where -1 to hit will likely reduce their incoming damage by 25 or 33% depending upon your opponent's BS, and getting up close and personal makes it that much more likely that you'll get to actually capitalize on the Malanthrope's other abilities. The issue of course is keeping up with them; consider using the Metabolic Overdrive stratagem to effectively double their speed.


  • Nuerothrope.jpeg
    Neurothrope: Basically a psychic battery, the Neurothrope offers a great support role with Zoanthropes, both healing them and also making it more likely they'll be able to use their psychic powers. This can cast twice, knowing 2 powers+smite for extra coverage in powers.
    • This guy can pass out a psychic buff in the command phase that lets one psyker in 12" or synapse link range roll 3d6 and drop one when attempting psychic powers. use this on a zoanthrope unit that really needs a super-smite to go off or on a malaceptor to all but guarantee the bonus damage.
    • Consider making this thing your Warlord over units like a Tyranid Prime, (if you didn't bring a Hive Tyrant); they have a nice invulnerable save and few enough wounds that they can reliably hide behind a screen of other nids. Synaptic Tendrils is the obvious choice as it'll help make your psychic phase more reliable and therefore more powerful.
    • Psychic Imperative - Psychic Augmentation: One psyker in Synaptic Link range gains +1 to casting and deny rolls, while any unit gains a 5+++ against mortal wounds. That second half will always see more value, though the former might be handy if you can position a tyrant or similar psyker.


  • Tervigon.jpeg
    Tervigon: Significantly improved compared to its 8th edition version, but still not as powerful as used to be during the days of the 5th edition. It costs as more than a Hive Tyrant with wings, its gun is weak for the cost since it's only 8 anti-infantry shots at 24 inches. Its melee profile has received a serious bump, but Tervigons are not designed nor should they be melee. If you have the chance to get in melee with a tank or a damaged dread, it has a good chance to finish it off and can push back small elite infantry units. It can't hide behind the Termagants it's supposed to be babysitting unless you get that mob of 15+ models within an inch of them, which isn't all that practical since Termagants die to a stiff breeze though it impose an extra step for the enemy to blow off the screen before shooting the Tervigon with all the lascannons available. It retains it's psychic powers and provides BS bonus to Termagants. It can pop once per game a squad of 10 Termagants with fleshborer for basically free which can be practicle for some area denial and as action monkey. It can also regenerate 2d6 of those critters per turn instead (not limited to once per game). At toughness 8 and 17 wounds on a 2+ save and ways to increase it via stratagem and warlord traits, it's very tough. While its kit is certainly interesting, it's price makes it a risky bet. Instead, consider a Neurothrope with Onslaught or Catalyst, if you want Termagant support.
    • Synaptic Imperative - Surging Vitality: A unit within 6" can move or advance an additional 2", which has uses. For Termagants, it's designated charges for all matters, this will merely amount to letting them get a little closer to the enemy for shooting or shuffling genestealers towards cover. Sadly, this won't affect charges, meaning that your hormagaunts and other clawed nasties will get nothing out of this. This is hilarious when comboed with hydra and adrenals, while not as much of a boost as kraken, it doesn't require you to advance when using it.


  • Trygon Prime: A slightly meaner Trygon, given better bio-electric pulse , Synapse, and now shuffled to the HQ slot. This guy's 1/turn boost adds +1 to advance and charge rolls, which works well with any aggressive tactics like Behemoth. Its Biostatic Rattle got shifted from default to replacing the now-default toxin spike attack (A single SU AP-3 D2 strike i.e. the same profile as your talons so an extra attack), the rattle itself no longer being a weapon and instead potentially robbing the enemy of re-rolls if you beat their Leadership on a 3d6. If you want something more direct, you can buy the pincer tail to re-roll one hit or wound roll.
    • Synaptic Imperative - Thrashing Demise: A unit within 6" can either add +3 to its Death Throes roll (for those models that have it) or the ability to deal a MW on an enemy in melee on a 6+. While death throes is a lot better for this army, don't bank on it proccing. At least the other roll applies equally across the entire army.
    • A trygon prime has 12A, same as a regular Trygon, but you can give this Warlord Traits and Relics. Maw Claws give you +1 A, reroll wounds, and then gives you more attacks as you delete entire units. Combine with Heightened Senses for fight first (situational, but cancels out fight last debuffs) and rerolling any of your 13 attacks. Behemoth can also consider +1 Damage instead, because otherwise they're still only S:User(7/8 with Adrenal/9 with Behemoth!)-3 D2 attacks.


  • Tyranid Prime.jpeg
    Tyranid Prime: The other INFANTRY Tyranid HQ. Your other characters went way up in price while the Tyranid Prime barely moved, making him the cheaper choice of Synapse in the army, and it's still got the Warrior's share of weapons. He can offer a unit a re-roll of 1s to-wound, which can have uses for guaranteeing some damage and thankfully be applied in shooting or melee.
    • Not counting Adrenal Glands and the like, it's worth 3 Warriors and its weapon options are free, but with only 1 more attack and 6W. If you need bodies and dice, take more Warriors. The reason you take a Prime is for the buffs and its Synaptic Imperative to make shooting a lot more efficient.
    • Synaptic Imperative - Guidemind: One unit within 6" that rolls a nat 6 to hit while shooting an enemy within 24" scores an additional hit. Nice and simple. Remember that Synaptic imperative is army-wide, all Synapse units gain this aura, and all your Warriors, whether or not they're being baby-sat by the Prime itself, are Synapse. Your big bioweapons have a respectable number of shots, but you don't have as many guns per model than other armies, so this helps you squeeze more efficiency before you get into melee.


Special Characters[edit]

  • Old One Eye.jpeg
    Old One Eye: Plenty good as a beat stick, but not as good as in 8th. He gets +2 attacks compared to a normal carnifex and hits on 2+ instead of 3+. It also recovers D3 lost wounds in your command phase and gets D3+1 additional attacks when charging, being charged, or performing a heroic intervention. That being said, only GW knows why its crushing claws do D3+2 damage instead of D3+3 like the normal ones so its damage out is somewhat diminished. Since he's got 9 wounds he's able to hide behind other units, but unfortunately, he's not nearly as good now since it can only buff one carnifex at a time, which sucks (alternatively you can use it on itself to by-pass some pesky -1 to hit and still hit on 2+), also you can get two Carnifexes for the cost of this guy. If he's your Warlord, he has to have Adaptive Biology as it has good synergy with his regeneration, making him incredibly hard to kill.


  • The Swarmlord.jpeg
    The Swarmlord: The Biggest Beast with a Beastly Pricetag. He's still the boss for combat, and capable of decking an Imperial Knight in a single round of combat (though statistically unlikely), taking into account damage from the Swarmlord’s 2 psychic abilities. A nifty new trick it gains is the ability to negate the damage dealt by the first attack that gets past his saves, which can be handy against heroes with big weapons, but can easily be baited in the case of a squad where the sergeant has a power fist. He can grant a nearby unit both a re-roll to all hit rolls and ObSec (with the units with it counting as having an extra model).
    • He has two weaknesses to be aware of. Annoyingly enough, he doesn't have any kind of re-roll buff, not even anything like the scything talon hit or rending claw wound re-rolls that normal tyrants can get. This makes his damage output somewhat unreliable despite being probably the best single-model melee unit in the codex. As such care should be taken when engaging units with Hit debuffs or high toughness, particularly if said units are also strong in melee (knights, primarchs, etc.). Secondly like the other Hive Tyrants he has 13 wounds, so the enemy can always choose to shoot him unless you grabbed Tyrant Guard, and being stuck footslogging that is not good news if the enemy is aiming all their guns at him (not when we're strangers to that special, but guaranteed scenario). Though you really should have either hidden swarmy or have extremely high threat saturation (you are playing Tyranids after all) to combat this.

Troops[edit]

  • Tyranid Gargoyle.jpeg
    Gargoyle Brood: While Rippers may no longer be troops, these little gaunts did get shifted to troops. Sadly, they cannot deep-strike into the field, meaning that they're merely flying gaunts that can hop over cover to harass you. They don't even get the option for adrenal glands or toxin sacs, meaning that you'll need to make do with what you have. Fortunately, Swarming Masses means that they can easily get stuck in when they get in range.


  • Hormagaunt Brood.jpeg
    Hormagaunt Brood: These little murder machines are fast and cheap and all-around fantastic. Their movement stat is a staggering 10" and their Bounding Leap allows them to pile in and consolidate up to 6", making them very fast. Additionally, they hit with 3 attacks for each bug at AP-1. Yikes. Play units of 30 and shove them across the board at speeds that inspire envy in even the Eldar. Be careful about those Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs though, as they will increase their cost rather astronomically. Two 30 gaunt squads with both upgrades would have 180 points in upgrades, enough for 22 more hormgaunts, and 22 more hormgaunts will probably give you more value even in terms of offense, and compared to genestealers they lack the same melee impact. What Hormagaunts are good at is existing - i.e. being a cheap pile of bodies the enemy has to chop through. That means they're durable against hard-hitting weapons. Against infantry-clearing weapons, Warriors are more durable.
    • Their main job is tarpitting the enemy with lots of bodies, so consider leviathan to keep them alive.
    • While it should not be applied mindless you can make an argument for toxic sacs, even when put on a 20 gaunt squad it's only 20 points which you might struggle to find another place to spend them, and with 20 gaunts you can land about 10 autowounds if your fighting something really beefy that might come in hand, so not the worst way to spend 20 points if you can't find a home, but again DO not use them mindlessly.
  • Termagant Brood.jpeg
    Termagant Brood: Your little dakka bugs, who used to be the cheap body bags to bubble wrap synapse creatures or as a cheap platform for a lot of shots. Their weapon profiles have vastly changed from previous editions. They start with the spinefists which are 2 shot las pistols. They can be exchanged at no price for the fleshborer, which used to be next to useless, is now significantly better than a standard bolter and the devourer, which used to be great, has lost one shot and one point of strength, making it basically an assault lasgun and yet still cost one extra point over the fleshborer. Someone at GW probably didn't received the memo that the termagant version of devourers was different than what it was before since paying 8 points for a devourer armed termagant is more costly and less effective than the fleshborer one's. . .sorta.
    • If you break the math down they all perform roughly equally to each other with the higher wound and lower save of the Fleshborer compensating for the lack of an extra shot. In general the Devourer is probably better since against lower AP, toughness 3 target's it extra shot do more work and the spinefist longer range makes it harder to get all you guys into range. That said there all not fantastic when compared to other options. Due to their 7 points cost, they are probably the worst troop choice available. For an extra point, you get a faster and flying termagant called "gargoyle" or one with rabies and claws for hands called "hormagaunts". You can probably make them work with a Tervigon, but it's probably only a real option in Kronos, Gorgon due to the poison rules and while trying to play gunline Tyranids.
    • If you modeled them with spike rifles or stranglewebs in the past, they still have rules using Warhammer Legends, and they cost 0 points. You still won't do this though, because they suck.


  • Tyranid Warriors.jpeg
    Tyranid Warriors: Probably one of the best troop choice in the entire game. S5, T5 3W 3A, 4+ save come stock with a 5 shot Str 4 guns and an improved power sword for melee all of which for less than 30 points and a host of options. Oh and its also your only Synapse Troops. Warriors extend Synapse coverage throughout your army. Warriors are excellent all-rounders, and can be surprisingly tanky with the right buffs. Deathspitters and Dual Boneswords is the best option, it's just better all around, with higher range, S, and AP, and costs nothing. If you don't have huge threats that the opponent is going to want to gun down, like fully geared out Tyrants, then keep them cheap and use the points for more monsters.
    • Adrenal Glands are a must, and Toxin Sacs are ok if you're sure the Warriors will be getting into combat/GORGON. Flesh hooks makes them T5 4+ Reavers. Look at us, Guilliman, we are the Primaris now
    • Obviously, Warriors make excellent babysitters for Gaunts, as they're Synapse and carry melee and ranged weapons, allowing them to supplement the weak melee of Termies and absent dakka of Hormies.
    • As Synapse, Leviathan Warriors always have Transhuman on. KRONOS Warriors have the best shooting and spread out the Shadow in the Warp KRONOS relies on.
    • Jormungandr gets -1 to hit from 12", and if you mix that with Natural Camouflage hyper-adaptation, you can get +2 to saving throws when on Terrain, making them tankier than Heavy Intercessors.
    • Goaded to Slaughter (Synaptic Imperative): When selected for your army, a friendly Hive Tendril within 6" of Synapse gets an additional hit on 6s.
      • Tyranid Prime's Imperative should be triggered when everyone's within optimal shooting range. This is for the next round, when you're charging or in melee.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

Tyrancocyte.jpeg
  • Tyrannocyte: Fleshy Drop Pods that let you stick either one Monster of your choice (but only if it has 16 max wounds or less - no shoving a Hierodule in there) or one unit of up to 20 Infantry models into (models that have more than 1 wound count as 3 models). The main problem with the Tyrannocyte is its BS of 5+, which means you pay out of your nose for its guns, knowing full well that two-thirds of its shots won't do a thing. The Barbed Stranglers are 25 points more than the Deathspitters, but the blast rule also increases the volume of fire when firing upon larger units. With the crappy base BS, this makes a huge difference. Just make sure you are actually able to fire at a large unit, either by dropping the Tyrannocyte right next to one or by providing synapse support... possibly from inside the Tyrannocyte itself.
    • Being so versatile means lots of odd combos exist beyond just podding the Swarmlord. Any infantry/critter can be housed. Venomthropes, Zoanthropes, Shrikes, Tervigons, and many others can be re-positioned. You can also have a small variety of toolbox units and choose which one goes in pods during deployment. Another element could be to pod in a Swarmlord and a Harpy or flying hive tyrant to give vast agility in re-positioning your army.

Elites[edit]

  • Genestealer Brood.jpeg
    Genestealer Brood: Moved to the Elites slot, they're still 8" T4 A4 with a 5++/4++ in melee, but now play more like Lictors than super-fast scalpels since they can no longer innately advance and charge, but can infiltrate and recover models.
    • In the deployment phase, you can deploy them anywhere on the field thats 9" away from enemies. If you purchased an infestation node, they can deploy that next to them.
    • What's an infestation node? For 20 pts, it basically acts like a reinforcment point for the Genestealers. In the Command Phase, you can either deploy one via action (it ends at the end of the movement phase,) or use an existing one/the one you deployed with to recover d3 destroyed models.
    • The genestealers weapons were also rolled into a single statline, being 4A at S4 AP3 D1. the extended Carapace isnt such a bad deal now, either, since the 4+ costs only 1" less movement, and you can't advance and charge innately anymore anyway.
    • For those interested in taking both Tyranids and Genestealer Cults: Purestrains from the GSC codex are pretty much always better than Hive Tendrils Genestealers. From WS2+, to 4++ against both melee and range, and even retaining advance and charge (I guess when 'Stears know that they'll be alive for more than a few hours, they spend their free time practicing hitting, dodging and running), these guys provide a better performance over the default genestealers. Also, as of writing this, purestrains are actually cheaper than normal genestealers (How did this happen? Who decided this?). Even the pre-game move that Hive Fleet genestealers have to set them apart from other options in the Tyranid Codex can be done by (albeit, only one) purestrain unit via the Proficient Planning: They came from below. TL;DR if you're taking both Tyranids and Genestealer Cult, you should never take the codex Tyranid version of genestealers; take purestrains instead.


HaruspexGW.jpeg
  • Haruspex: The Haruspex's primary function is infantry chewing and almost everything in its arsenal is meant to help with that. It can even chew transports very easily to get to the juicy little people inside if need be and those bothering close combat walker should give it a thought before trying to intervene. It's a tough monster with 15 wounds 2+ saves and T8. It even regenerates wounds as it kills enemy models to a max of three per turn all the while reducing the moral of enemies around it. With its combination of horned chitine and acid blood keywords, it gains access to great stratagems to inflict a couple of mortal wounds on its prey. This all sound pretty great, but here comes the bad news. It doesn't have a native invulnerable save meaning all those lascannon and meltagun will have field day against it unless you drop I more points into it for an adaptive physiology to get one, doesn't have a "real gun", no a single anti-infantry attack at 12 doesn't count. It's rather slow at movement 8 and finally, while it starts with very respectable 3+ on its WS and BS, it degrades as does its already meh speed. In a casual game, the Haruspex can be fun and perfectly usable, though in any hardball games you would be better in almost all circumstances to buy a Carnifex or better, a Screamer-Killer instead since they basically hold the same niche, but the Screamer-Killer does it a bit faster and significantly cheaper.


  • Lictor.jpeg
    Lictor: A single Lictor isn't particularly scary. It has a scary profile, but a full unit of anything won't be too impressed. Though it can totally play assassin against cheap backline holding units and mid-tier characters and with its enhanced abilities, clever hiding inside terrains will make it invulnerable to units outside of 12". Their key advantages come from their cheap cost, popping in midfield to potentially score some secondary objective, and being able to give a +2" charge for your units with the Pheromone Trail Stratagem. Make sure to watch out for Heroic Interventions, they aren't that hard to kill and enemy melee characters can make mincemeat of them.
    • 9th Edition's secondary objectives finally give Lictors a use: as non-CHARACTER INFANTRY units, Lictors can perform the full range of Shadow Ops actions with +2 to saves when in cover and deep strike to boot! Typically you'll want to combo Linebreaker/Engage on all Fronts with either Deploy Scramblers or Repair Teleport Homer to get the most bang for your lil' buckaroo.
    • Seriously, it cannot be overstated just how useful these guys are. So long as your army doesn't bleed secondaries and you have some staying power on objectives, Lictors are game-winners. Take two and call your opponent in the morning.


  • Malecepter.jpeg
    Maleceptor: A giant Zoanthrope stuffed in an oversized Carnifex that doesn't quite fit either role. They were kinda garbage in 8e, but have now been fleshed out to be a bit more useful as a support unit; their synaptic imperative gives all your units within SYNAPSE range more flexibility with their actions, including the Maleceptor's own Psychic Action. They no longer have an inherent +1 to Psychic Tests, but you can get that from the Neurothrope Synaptic Imperative; instead, whenever they successfully perform a psychic action or manifest a power on a 7+, the closest enemy unit within 12" takes 3-1 MW (degrading statline).
    • They are now M 8-6" S7 T8 W15 3+/4++, and have a degrading 3+ WS/BS; they only have 3A, but have two profiles: Sweep (S:U AP-3 D2, 2 Hit Rolls per Attack), or Strike (S10 AP-4 D 2D3).
    • Each Maleceptor can now know 2 Spells + Smite, but on top of that, whenever they successfully cast a Psychic Power or perform a Psychic Action on a roll of 7+, the closest enemy model within 12" receives 3-1 MW, the MW output being based on their degrading statline, rather than a D3 roll. This can add a few more MWs on a smite and make super-smites a lot less swingy.
    • Their Diffusion ability is now a Psychic Action; when successfully performed, friendly HIVE FLEET units within 6" reduce the STR of incoming ranged attacks by 1. Pretty good now that a majority of your units are now tougher, and that you don't have to pay CP to do so. And you can still cast after performing this action if you use the Maleceptor's own Synaptic Imperative.
    • Synaptic Imperative: Psychic Oversight: While this Synaptic Imperative is active, friendly hive tendril units within synapse range gain:
      • If that unit is performing an action, it can make ranged attacks without that action failing.
      • That unit can start to perform an action, even if it Advanced or Fell Back this turn.
      • If that unit has the PSYKER keyword, performing a psychic action does not prevent it from manifesting psychic powers.
        • Synaptic Imperatives are active for all SYNAPSE creatures the round they are active, so this ability can be really helpful once you're within range of objectives, or when your army is castled up around Maleceptors so that you can apply Encephalic Diffusion while still being able to smite.


  • PyrovoreGW.jpeg
    Pyrovore: The formerly worst unit in the whole game, Pryovores have had a nice glow-up. Their flamer now has two modes, an 18" 2D6 heavy flamer or a 12" D6 flamer that does D2. They may be slow but since the Tyrannocyte can hold multiple units, you can hold a maximum of 6 inside one, and that's a lot of damage. You may also deepstrike them with the Jormungandr stratagem if you don't want to spend the 100 points for the pod. As long as you don't make these footslog, they'll surprise you. Do be cautious that they have an explosion rule that can damage everyone around you, unlike the typical Death Throes abilities.


  • Tyrant Guard.jpeg
    Tyrant Guard: Dedicated bodyguards for your Hive Tyrant. These guys can shield your Hive Tyrant even if it has more than 9 wounds and even if only one of them remains, which is great as it keeps your big boss safe that much longer and as long as they have a Tyrant within 3", they gain 1 extra attack. With crushing claws they become scary, hitting on 3+ with 3 S8 AP-3 D2 attacks each, giving them tank-wrecking power and making them a veritable threat against elites that don't have good invulnerable saves. This loadout is costly however before even considering adrenal glands/toxin sacs. Now they are tankier than before, with 4 wounds at T6 and 2+Sv but without an invulnerable save they will still die against dedicated fire. Good if you need to protect a backline Tyrant but otherwise don't bother.


  • VenomthropeGW.jpeg
    Venomthrope: These are mainly used to keep the rest of your swarm safe. Enemy units take a -1 To Hit penalty when shooting at units that hug Venomthropes, so keep them in the middle of your swarm, preferably behind some Monsters, since the Venomthropes aren't characters and so if the opponent can draw line of sight to these rather tall models, he can hit them. Just remember that to hit penalties cap at -1 now, so don't build lists combo'ing them. They can also be useful in monster mashes.
    • Malanthropes also offer a debuff to the enemy, and the choice between Venomthropes and Malanthropes depends on your taste. Malanthropes can survive longer, give re-rolls when they wipe out a unit, and are Synapse but don't have access to the Spore Clouds stratagem, Venomthropes can be easily shot at, but have higher damage output and are Core.


  • ZoanthropesGW.png
    Zoanthrope: A great workhorse of the Swarm in 9th Edition. Got bumped up to 50ppm, so a bit less than an auto-take but if you run a list of mostly monsters, you'll want them for their Imperative. They now get a bonus +1 to cast Smite and Witchfire powers for each model in the unit (without cap) and a +1 to the mortal wounds of Smite also for each model (although this capped at +3), so they'll melt the enemies they have in front of them with such psychic might. Unfortunately, they now can only cast one power regardless of unit size so they are best for using offensive powers rather than for buffing. They also lost their 3++ and got a 4++ which is not a big deal but it makes them slightly less resistant so keep that in mind.
    • Warp Shielding (Synaptic Imperative): Monsters within 6" gain a 4++, everyone else gets a 5++, when near SYNAPSE models.
      • This aura projects from all your Synapse models when active, giving you army-wide invulns in clutch situations, and with a strat, you can use it even if they're dead


Special Characters[edit]

  • Deathleaper.jpeg
    Deathleaper: For 25 points more than a Lictor you get +2W, +1A, a 4++ instead of 5++, and two nice abilities, one of which makes a unit unable to start an action if they are within 6" of him, and the other makes the units in Engamìgement range with him unable to be affected by enemy stratagems. The second one is very powerful as it can nullify any trick the enemy has in its sleeve and also disables command re-rolls which can be great if the enemy has some bad luck. Not exactly an auto-take, but if used correctly it can really return the investment.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Dimachaeron.jpeg
    DimachaeronForge World: The Dimachaeron is interesting to say the least. He's sporting 6 attacks that now have the -3 AP they deserve, allowing it to wreck all types of armour, and at S7+1, D3+3 Damage they can tear up vehicles if you really have to wreck some Russes. The update has also made him a lot more durable, since on top of granting psuedo-fly (read: Better Fly), Leaper killer now grants it a 5++, just in case the ability to move 12" horizontally and vertically through models and terrain features when making normal, advance, fall back, or charge moves wasn't enough; so dive right in and pick out the weakest target to take advantage of its Spine-maw. There's no shame in keeping him on the outskirts to pick off somebody before bringing him into the real fighting at the front, it's honestly what you should be doing. You can also use it for higher Wound creatures/characters if you need to, since even models that decrease wounds like Calgar or Abaddon can still fail the test and will be taking extra wounds. Also keep in mind the Spine-Maw ability can be triggered twice by any ability that lets a unit fight twice, such as the Adrenaline Surge stratagem, and if you're using it to hunt characters (or if you fail to kill anything with it the first time) you should definitely consider doing that. One down side however is at 18 wounds he no longer benefits from Obscuring Cover and at T7 he wont be seeing the end of the game so use him as a missile or as a 'Distraction Carnifex'.
    • Ideally you want to dive into groups of infantry, use 'Voracious Appetite' for re-roll to wounds on top of your re-rolls to hit, wipe one unit out (hopefully using the Torax Spine-maw rule), and then use 'Overrun' to run away to safety. You'll then have a 5+ Feel no Pain and a 5+ Invulnerable save for the rest of the game.
    • If there's a way to keep him out of LoS, use it, his threat range is colossal, but he doesn't benefit from obscuring. Favor keeping him safe over keeping him close t1.


  • Mawloc.jpeg
    Mawloc: The Terror of the Deep has changed quite a bit this edition; now you decide when the model arrives the turn before and put a marker on the field, then, the following turn, every enemy unit within 6" of it suffer D3 mortal wounds on a 3-6 and D3+3 on a 7+ (+1 if the unit has between 6 and 10 models, +2 if it has 11+). After that you place the model anywhere within 12" of the marker (do note that it's within and not completely within so that gives you some wiggle room) and if it's placed within 9" of any enemy unit it doesn't get to charge that turn. Make sure you have a plan for it because it can work as a neat distraction, but won't survive much if set up in the middle of your opponent's army. The maws are now a special rule that deals mortal wounds (which, if it kills, forces the unit to act as if it's below half strength), then 16 anti-infantry attacks from its talons, then 1 anti-infantry attack from the tail if you stick with the toxin spike. If the role you want to give it is more of a tarpitter, stick it with a bio-static rattle and harass some poor light infantry unit.
    • With 9th being more about controlling primaries in the centre of the board, the Mawloc shines at harassing heavy weapons or chaff units in your opponent's deployment that are either holding objectives or trying to screen out your secondary objective point machine lictors/rippers. This will force your opponent to keep units back to deal with it they would rather be marching to the middle.
    • One highly overlooked ability of the Mawloc is to block off corridors. The model is on a 120x90mm base. If you deep-strike it into a street or other corridor, the opening would need to be almost ten inches wide for Space Marines to scoot past it (120mm base + 25.4mm to either side because enemies cannot move within an inch of it + 32mm for the base of the space marine). While it will likely get shot off the board the turn after you set it down, it can easily slow down your opponent getting onto an objective by a turn, and in a game that usually only goes for 5 turns, that can swing the game your way quite a bit.


  • Meiotic Spores.jpg
    Meiotic Spores: Nobody knows why but even with a new FAQ, GW hasn't changed their function to the same as the other two types of mines. Total skip, you're better off using Mucolid spores instead (they both cost 20 points each) and even using the meiotic spores as a proxy for them.


  • Mucolid.jpeg
    Mucolid Spore: Beefed up Spore mines. 2 points a pop nets you a T4 W4 6+ Sv spore mine that deals D6 mortal wounds on a 2-4 and D3+3 on a 5+.
    • At only 20 points a pop, they are our cheapest option for filling out our Fast Attack slots, leaving room for bigger or meaner things.


  • The Parasite of Mortrex: HE'S BACK! AS A GENERIC MODEL!! Now sporting an actual model for 9E, the Parasite's form remains as some hybrid between a Shrike and Zoanthrope like in the old codex art, which means it also counts as a Synapse creature. Its stats are on par with a Tyranid Prime with S/T 5 and A/W 6 with wings for a zippy 14" movement and is well protected with a -1 to hit that forbids enemies from re-rolling. While we don't know what sort of damage its claws do, it does have an S+1 AP-1 ovipositor it can make one attack within melee, dealing D1 and a mortal wound as well as infecting a non-Vehicle unit.
    • So what does infection do? Well, it denies ObSec to a unit, making it very useful against the backline, and it forces the target to suffer d3 MWs each turn, with a new base of Rippers spawning whenever they suffer 2+ MWs for more spam. The only way for the enemy to be rid of this infection is to roll a 1-3 when suffering their infection. Even if you manage to spawn only one base of Rippers, that base can be a very persistent threat that the enemy will consider attacking instead of whatever their original goal was.
    • Synaptic Imperative - Swift Onslaught: Hive Tendril units within 6" of this Synapse creature gain +3" to their pile-in moves, which is a pretty important boost in getting your mobs stuck in without worrying about a bad charge.


  • Ravener Model.jpeg
    Raveners: Raveners are still cheap, they can still deep strike and attempt to charge that turn, but the real beans of these guys is the sheer number of attacks they put out. With spinefists and scything talons they're putting out NINE S5 -1 D1 attacks a turn. NINE. All hitting on 3+. The rending claws let you sacrifice two of those attacks for a very powerful AP-4 and +1 to Strength, but you can just keep it cheap by using the AP-2 Ravener Claws that are always equipped. In addition, if you don't have ranged weapons, you get to re-roll hit rolls of 1 in melee. Pair with a -1 to be hit in melee, these guys can be pretty terrifying against squads of light infantry, but keep in mind that any dedicated cc unit will shred them.


  • Ripper Swarm.jpeg
    Ripper Swarms: Hit on 5+ so don't expect much. They now get an additional +1 to armor saves when in cover, bringing them to a 4+, but with T3 don't count on them surviving massed fire unless they are also Leviathan and under buffs. They also have automatic deepstrike for your positioning needs. Always remember that these are SWARMS, and hence not INFANTRY. This means they can't pull off some sneaky Secondary Objectives like Deploy Scramblers or Repair Teleport Homer like a Lictor can but they can do / help carry out Linebreaker (with said Lictor), it has upsides as well - many enemy abilities are INFANTRY specific. Sadly, they're no longer Troops and cannot be compulsory, severely limiting their uses.
    • Even with all this, you'll likely be needing these if you purchase the Parasite of Mortrex. After all, its infection ability sees you potentially spitting out swarms with each turn.


  • Sky Slasher Swarm.jpeg
    Sky Slasher SwarmsForge World: Skyslashers still aren't good but they're as amusing as hell so that has to count for something. They're Swarms and with the Fly rule they ignore terrain, but they cost the same as two gargoyles and won't do nearly as well, so just skip them. With Gargoyles now being troops and the flightless Rippers being thrown into Fast Attack with a built-in deep strike option, you're only paying that FW premium for your wings.


  • Spore Mines.jpeg
    Spore Mines: Literal suicide bombs. They now, like all other Living Artillery (except the FW spore because GW stupid), don't act as area denial, don't count towards mission objective or agendas, don't provide Look Out, Sir, and can't charge, now instead exploding when an enemy unit ends a move within 3" of one or just moves within 3" of one during a move. They make 1 MW on a 2-4 and D3 on a 5+. A good unit of 6 should be enough to deter the opponent, especially if strategically placed behind a wall and out of view (be sure to remember them though).


  • TrygonGW.jpeg
    Trygon: With TWELVE attacks at D2 and a -1 to be hit, the Trygon is once again a proper murder machine. Now sadly can't transport units like it used to and can only do so trough a stratagem and only with Troops. One maxed-out with adrenal glands and toxin sacs can be really dangerous, especially with a bio-static rattle, although at that point you might want to spend the additional 30 points for a Prime, especially if in a Leviathan detachment.

Flyer[edit]

Tyranid Harpy.jpeg
  • Harpy: Casually upgraded in 9th edition to be one of the best flyers in the game. The Harpy is now able to choose between supersonic and hover mode like all flyers, but is more maneuverable since it can make two 90 degree turns whilst moving. In addition to being "hard to hit" now, the Harpy was also given an improved ballistic skill of 3+, and its guns were souped up to 36", Heavy 3, Strength 9, AP-3, D4 (Heavy Venom Cannon) or 36", Heavy D3+3, Strength 8, AP-2, Damage 2 (Stranglethorn Cannon). It's Stinger Salvo was straight-up improved to Assault 8 (though still strength 5, AP-1) and it still has scything wings, making it one of the few flyers that can do something in combat with 4 strength 6 attacks (AP-2, Damage 2) hitting on a 3+. It lost its ability to force a unit to fight last, but it retained its ability to poop spore mines either on a spot on the battlefield (which can be useful to block enemy movement) or on an enemy unit for up to 10 mortal wounds.


Hive Crone.jpeg
  • Hive Crone: Crones got a bit of a boost in this edition, but not by much. The Tentaclids are now Assault 4, S7 -3 D2 that becomes D4 against Flyers and that also always wound Vehicles on a 4+, altough sadly they lost the ability to deal mortal wounds with them. Unfortunately, compared to her sister the Harpy, the Crone is more a maybe rather than a must. Make sure there's another threat on the board your opponent can't ignore, such as a souped-up Haruspex. if you want to keep it alive.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Biovore8E.jpeg
    Biovore: Your living mortars that now need to be supported by a synapse to shoot outside line of sight (and that unlike hive guards, don't even ignore modifiers when doing so. They don't need to roll to wound, they just skip to rolling Mortal Wounds, 1 per hit. Unlike last edition, you intentionally place a Spore Mine that now can be walked through (Though that does however trigger the mine to go off inflicting at least 1 mortal wound on a 2+); this unfortunately forces you into either shooting or deploying, which kinda ruins part of the appeal of this unit. However this is not to say it's a bad unit. Against tough models like lore of war Biovores can drop a respectable amount of mortal wounds against them. However generally it's better to spawn mines then it is to directly shell targets since the mine has less chance to wiff/miss (only failing to blow up on 1 rather then the biovore's 1,2 or 3) and about 20% of the time inflict d3 mortal wounds rather then just 1, just daring your opponent to either ignore it and take the wounds or spend a shooting phase to try and get rid of it.


  • Carnifex: The old mainstay with its ups and downs. Currently, it is extremely cheap to field model (as in: you-can-field-a-Carnifex-for-fewer-points-than-a-unit-of-Warriors) with a lot of versatility. Stat-wise it's pretty much a Dreadnought that is far more customizable than the rotting tuna cans. The options given back to the 'Fex can suit them into any role you want. There are multiple ways to take one, but always take the Spore Cysts, so your Carnifex will survive long enough to do some work. As a result, never take Spine Banks. More details follow below, but you should also be avoiding the bio-plasma Here are a few common ways to build a 'Fex:
    • The new codex has been fairly charitable for the humble fex, granting a 3+WS W9 and 2+ save, putting it properly on tier with a battletank. Making things more enticing is that Armoured Exoskeleton is providing damage reduction, which is going to be very necessary on such a big target. Blistering Assault also supplements its melee by giving it an attack whenever it charges or heroically intervenes. The codex also did one more very important thing for Carnifex's: it split them into 3. Technically there are three Carnifex datasheets, the Carnifex, Thornback, and the Screamer Killler, which means your not limited by the rule of three since there different units.
Carnifex.jpg
  • Dakkafex: There's no loadout here that's good at murdering heavies, but deathspitters and stranglethorns are a waste of time. Do this:
    • First gun: 2 Devourers with Brainleech Worms.
    • Second gun: 2 Devourers with Brainleech Worms for doubling down on murdering GEQ (and MEQ, but while this is better for MEQ, it's still not very efficient) or a Heavy Venom Cannon for murdering anything heavier than MEQ.
    • Enhanced Senses are better than Bio-Plasma against everything.
    • Spore Cysts, since the range on Spine Banks is so bad.
    • Adaptive Physiologies: You can only take one instance of each AP, so if you have the extra points and no other unit to put it on, it won't hurt to take one. Just remember, as a unique upgrade, it makes them more of a target: Dermic Symbiosis for a 4++, or Voracious Ammunition for the potential to do D3 MW after hitting. Both of these should help you get points back before the Carnifex dies
Carnifex.jpg
  • Meleefex: This is pointless unless you take steps to make it more useful than a Stone-Crusher, which is just better in melee. That means you need the best melee you can get, with an emphasis on ensuring you get into melee in the first place, which is where you can outshine a stone-crusher. This is the optimal loadout:
    • Monstrous Scything Talons x2, for +2 S:User attacks at -3 3D; generally, if given the option for more attacks, you should do so. However, the Crushing Claws aren't invalidated entirely, though, because at S+4 AP-3 and 3+D3 Damage, any attack that makes it through will hurt.
    • Adrenal Glands; the Adrenal Glands are part of how you outshine a Stone-Crusher, to get you to melee quicker, and get the +1 S to tie with the Crusher. Toxin Sacs are optional, but autowounding on UM hits of 6 is always nice
    • Do take Chitin Thorns - Chitin Thorns give you an additional point of AP, even if you didn't charge. Considering how 9e placed a lot of wargear options as stratagems only, this is just a flat upgrade, and a good way to get through AoC.
    • Tusks - radically better than a Maw; just remember, you're paying points to get access to a stratagem, so if you're expecting it to die, keep it cheap. Just focus on making the charge.
    • Bone Mace tail: Tails are basically an additional attack(s); if you want to keep it as a cheap distraction, don't. If you want to beat the Stone-Crusher, do.
    • Spore Cysts for light cover (+1 save against ranged), the counterpart to your Adrenal Glands, helping you live long enough to charge.
    • Adaptive Physiologies: You can only take one instance of each AP, so if you have the extra points and no other unit to put it on, it won't hurt to take one. Just remember, as a unique upgrade, it makes them more of a target: Predator instincts lets your Meleefex heroically intervene 6" as if it were a character, which is always helpful on the off chance your opponent is faster than you are, proccing your +1 A.
Carnifex.jpg
  • Hybrid: While it may be tempting to take pure dakka or melee carnifexes, the more optimal loadouts revolve around a mix of the two as they can be far more points efficient in smaller numbers (2-3 ish) by being able to shoot as they stomp towards the nearest tin can, whereas with pure melee, you are risking the carnifex being blown away before it makes back a single point. These are the main builds worth considering.
    • First Arm Weapon: Heavy Venom Cannon for cracking open heavies from far away.
    • Second Arm Weapon: Monstrous Scything Talons + Toxin Sacs is better than Claws against everything, with or without Toxin Sacs.
    • Head: Enhanced Senses; you'll generally get more benefit from buffing the Venom Cannon than from buffing your melee with tusks.
    • Body: Spore Cysts are basically mandatory.
    • Tail: Your melee will be strictly better with a Bone Mace - the question is whether or not you'll make it into melee. Leave the tail off to keep the Fex cheaper, add it on for better melee once you get there.
    • Take Chitin Thorns to get that extra point of AP in melee.
    • Adaptive Physiologies: You can only take one instance of each AP, so if you have the extra points and no other unit to put it on, it won't hurt to take one. Just remember, as a unique upgrade, it makes them more of a target: Dermic Symbiosis for a 4++, or Voracious Ammunition for the potential to do D3 MW after hitting. Both of these should help you get points back before the Carnifex dies.
Screamer Killer.jpeg

The classic Carnifex, now with its own datasheet. Two pairs of Scything Talons and a Bio-Plasmic Scream that's 18" Assault d6 S8 AP-4 D1 Blast that gives it something to mess up infantry as it moves into charging distance, which is boosted by its morale debuff of to enemy Leadership whenever it kills in melee (-1 for each model killed to a maximum of 4). They can take spore cysts (now give them light cover against ranged attacks) toxin sacs (6s to hit auto-wound) and adrenal glands (+1 strength and movement). Screamer Killers now have a frankly insane number of attacks (10...or 11 if you've charged) that will swing at a basic strength 6 (which can be taken all the way to strength 8 with the right wargear and hive fleet) with -3 AP and damage 3. They also get the CORE keyword so can benefit from all kinds of buffs from synapse units and your warlord. A fully upgraded unit of 3 will set you back a fair bit but will kill almost anything stone dead if they make it to melee.

  • Do consider that Screamer Killers are more expensive than regular Carnifexen for the Bio-Plasmic Scream and the special Ld rule, and cannot take a tail nor tusks. Make sure to use that Bio-Plasmic scream on something if you take it since that's its main draw.
Thornback.jpeg

A more specialized anti-infantry version of the Dakkafex, the Thornback makes up for its comparative weakness in melee combat with several tricks that will deter assaults on it. Thorned Chitin improves the AP of its melee attacks, letting its talons rip past most things. More importantly, its shooting ignores light cover and any nat 6s to hit improve the AP of its guns. It starts with monstrous scything talons, which it can and should swap for a Stranglethorn Cannon (unless you have a specific plan to use Thorned Battering Ram a lot, such as against Tau) to make use of Blast and two Devourers with Brainleech Worms, which should be swapped for two Deathspitters with Slimer Maggots, as well as buying Enhanced Senses. The lack of Spore Cysts hurts, but it's still decent costwise for typically landing 4 S7 AP-1 D1 and 2.33 S7 AP-1 D2 shots that bypass cover saves on infantry, making it better than a Dakkafex at wiping out TEQs/two-wound models in cover and taking potshots at light vehicles.

Stone Crusher Carnifex.jpeg

The tried and true vehicle and Monster Murder-fex. These babies cost a fair shake more than a stock 'fex or Thornback. Like a Thornback, their mortal wounds from charging increase to 1d6 against their chosen target, which for them is vehicles or Monsters. They're also the only breed of 'fex that can't take toxin sacs or adrenal glands, but they come stock with strength 7 instead of 6. It starts with two bio-flails, and you can swap them for wrecker claws. The flails are the cheaper option and turn the stone crusher into something of a whirling dervish of gristle and bone. Eight strength 8 attacks, hitting on 3+ on the charge, at AP -1 and 2 damage are good, but will bounce off antyhing with a decent armour save. The wrecker claws, on the other hand, are legitimately better than crushing claws in every possible respect. The mammoth can openers have the same weapon profile as the claws, but with full re-rolls instead of a -1 to hit, and the damage increases to 5 against vehicles or Monsters.

  • For Hive Fleets, Jormungandr are a great choice considering now that they get Land Raider armor against shooting. Kraken are good if you want to use a lot of Melee-fex as a second-wave charging unit. The others benefit them not as much as these two.
  • As of the May 2022 FAQ for imperial armour, Stonecrushers still don't benefit from the improved 2+ save, 3+ weapon skill and -1 damage reduction that 9th edition codex carnifexes do. This makes them truly the weakest choice among fexes.


Exocrine.jpg
  • Exocrine: Tyranids main 'Marine Killer'. Its gun is 36" Heavy 6+D3 S8 AP-4 D3 Blast, and if it doesn't move beyond half its speed, it can ignore cover. Show those Terminators what scary dakka means when you hose them down with plasma from 36" away, throwing past even their fancy new Dataslate rule. Best used parked in cover at the rear, beside a Malanthrope, meaning he's safely in synapse range with a synaptic 9 wound character who is unlikely to get sniped while shooting directed at him are -1 to hit, and he has a 2+ save for his 15 T8 wounds. Like the Tyrannofex, Kronos will make sure its shots count.
    • Despite this all, try to avoid long-range shootouts with other Plasma Spam armies. Seriously, don't do it, unless you want Heavy 1d3 or worse for the return fire. Like other long-range artillery, they need meat shields for their survival. A good tactic is to keep an Excorine in reserve to prevent it being nuked turn one, and if you do so, try the tactic below:
    • SURPRISE EXOCRINE: Exocrines have been given a single stratagem that rolls up Symbiostorm and the Blood of Baal Stratagem in one: for 1 CP, you get to ignore cover (so the bonus you get if you didn't move), and UM hits of 6 cause an additional hit. Combine this with Pathogenic Slime (2 CP since you lack Toxin Sacs), which causes UM Hits of 6 to auto-wound as well. If you're within 24" of a target and within 6" of Synapse, trigger the Tyranid Prime's Synaptic Imperative for 2 additional hits on UM6s.
    • These guys can also benefit massively from Adaptive Physiology. Run with either 'Dermic Symbiosis' for 4++ invulnerable save, or Enraged Reserves for better brackets. Another choice is 'Voracious Ammunition' which will see any unit that's lost models to your shots take additional D3 mortal wounds if the unit somehow survived. Bye-bye Terminator squad!


  • Hive Guard: If not for the cost, Hive Guards remain a fantastic ranged unit. Any squad of them should be accompanying a Synapse creature so they can ignore any BS penalties, which is their lifeline. Best taken as a full unit of 6 with Impaler Cannons as part of a separate Kronos Patrol alongside a Neurothrope HQ. The bonus 4" to their weapons' range works best for their impaler cannon, you can then also use the 'Symbiostorm' Kronos Power to take their shots at S7 so you can pick out some lighter vehicles if you want. They can also be good backline objective campers thanks to their ability to count as 3 models each for the purpose of controlling that objective; unfortunately, without core or objective secured, a single guardsman can easily steal it back.
TyranidHiveGuard2.jpg
The Impaler Cannon is great at killing MEQ and hiding in bunkers while doing so, because it doesn't need line of sight...well not from these guys, but from a neighboring Synapse creature. Do note that a squad of just three of these is 180 points for 9 shots at S6 -2 D2; unless something else is blocking you, just pick an exocrine or an acid spray Tyrannofex instead.
HiveGuard.jpg
Alternately, the Shockcannon is an Assault weapon so you can move and fire without penalty at a long-range. Mortal wounds vs vehicles on a 4+ in addition to the stock 3 damage makes this a pretty effective anti-tank weapon, though they will suffer issues from cover (unless what you're shooting at is in line of sight of a friendly synapse). Mathematically, a full squad of 6 armed with Shockcannons will average 5.33 extra mortal wounds against any vehicle, which is already enough to out damage a full unit of Impaler Hive Guard. The only real problem is their short-range, but you can fix that by deepstriking them with the Jormungandr strat/Tyrannocyte.


  • Toxicrene.jpg
    Toxicrene: The Toxicrene has been significantly changed in the new 9th edition codex and now fits more in a niche of support monster. It's not going to be the most common monster used due to saturation but it certainly brings interesting tools. What makes it interesting are its special rules and utilities. First, it grants a small bubble of -1 to hit around it which. It also has a 4+ chance of inflicting a few mortal wounds and forcing enemies to fight last if they are in close combat with it. Finally it has the ability to prevent retreats. It also can make great use of the spore cloud stratagem to increase the size of his -1 bubble and the unique toxic entanglement to kite a unit into close combat against it. Speaking of which, the Toxicrene abilities in close combat are designed to mop up infantry, even high toughness infantry and rival monsters since it auto-wounds on a 2+ with its twelve attacks on which it can add 2d6 extra identical attacks via shooting though the shooting proper is limited to 8" of range. In other words, a lot of slap attacks great to kill 1 wound units with armor saves in the 3+/4+ department or lower. Since there is half a million of other options to do that and the Toxicrene has the same problems than the Haruspex and isn't quite as tough that can be an issue. If you want to field one, you really have to count on its ability to boost some other units and maybe to protect yourself in a sacrificial way from an enemy deathstar, but that's precisely why the corrosive viscera stratagem exists.
    • A fun combo, although a bit situational, is to get a Toxicrene with the Whipcoil Reflexes adaptation into a mob of models. Since the adaptation is activated when a unit is selected to disengage, you first roll a D6 and inflict D3 mortal wounds on a 2+, and then, when the unit is disengaging, you activate the Toxicrene's Massive grasping tendrils ability and block that unit from disengaging on a 3+ (2+ if Infantry). Rinse and repeat to just shred a unit by just them trying to escape (of course, be sure to do this with a unit that can't really hurt you back and that needs to be somewhere else so that the enemy wants to get away)


  • Tyranno.jpg
    Tyrannofex: Versatile fire support that might actually be seen with other loadouts than Acid Spray this edition, now that it can move and fire heavy weapons with no penalty. It also carries a compulsory Stinger Salvo, which combines nicely with the Spray or Hive for clearing out infantry. With the relatively short range of most of its weapons options, the Powerful Limbs melee weapon looks decent enough on paper for finishing off light vehicles or units with few models left, but you're better off with infantry support for that unless you're certain it's going to die next turn anyways; it has an Explodes! analogue that reaches out to 3", so mind its placing if on its last legs. Unfortunately, it got hit hard by the price hikes, but it can still justify the points put into it, and you can equip it to deal with a variety of enemies:

The Acid Spray provides you with a heavy flamer-like template, very much equipped to melt even MEQs with S6 AP-3 D2. The drawback is that its range is the shortest of the lot, forcing it into close quarters with anything that would fell it.

The stock Fleshborer Hive is better against big hordes that don't rely on saves (like Guardsmen or Genestealer Cults) and can be buffed with the Scorch Bugs strat to wound MEQs and GEQs on 2s, but it's not useful in remotely as many contexts as the Acid Spray.

The Rupture Cannon costs a lot (it actually went down a lot of points in 9th), driving the dude's cost up, but it will fuck up very heavy targets with an extreme S14 AP-4 D4+d6. Taking it with Kronos' adaptation all but guarantees that tanks will die.


  • Barbed Hierodule.jpeg
    Barbed HieroduleForge World: After spending most of 8th edition trying and failing to compete against Imperial knights as a Lord of War, the Heirodules have been shuffled over to the Heavy Support and given a bit of a makeover. Both versions got slightly weaker, dropping from 22 to 18 wounds while retaining their T8, the Barbed Hierodule however got +1 to their save. In addition, their Damage chart has been reworked. They start at a respectful 12" move (8" for Barbed Hierodule), 3+ WS and BS, and drop from there. The improved BS is especially welcome on the Barbed Heirodule's Bio Cannons, which were normalized to deal a flat 2 damage. In addition to being a strong ranged threat, it can hold its own in CC as its talons, strength 10, ap -3, have been changed to deal a flat d3+3 damage and its number of attacks no longer degrade. The real pain, however, comes in the loss of the titanic abilities, including the ability to walk out of combat and still shoot or charge. However, they can now benefit from a MALECEPTOR's -1 to hit aura, Jormungandr, and don't give Titanic kills for the purpose of secondaries, so it's a mixed bag. Overall, if you use it as immobile artillery you have a model that is 105 points more expensive than an Exocrine that fills a similar role. The additional points give you extra wounds & mobility, an additional point of strength at the cost of 1 ap, and nothing else. If you play it as a mobile Exocrine that is unkillable and so can bully people in the center of the board, you will find its true value. Because of its need is to be mobile, and its desire is to be durable, Jormungandr is very fun for the -1 to be hit at more than 18".


  • Scythed Hierodule.jpeg
    Scythed HieroduleForge World: The melee cousin of the Barbed Hierodule. Trades the bio cannons for an extra set of talons, a bio-acid spray, and a 3+ save. Stripped down to 18 wounds, but benefits much more from the changes to its Damage Chart. The bio-acid spray got a massive ranged buff and damage nerf, becoming 18" Heavy 3d6 S6 AP-2 D1. However, it lost its previous mobility rules, making it less reliable on the charge and slower overall.

Fortifications[edit]

Sporocyst.jpeg
  • Sporocyst: Amusing in objective missions, given that it "deploys" anywhere outside 12" of enemy deployment or units - pop the thing on a vacant objective your opponent is likely to try to claim and shit out Mucolids and Spore Mines when anyone tries. With 10 T7 wounds it's unlikely to evaporate to small arms, and with the hail of ill-aimed gunfire to back that up, your opponent won't be claiming that objective with a couple of otherwise useless incidental dollies, although like all your big bugs, it will go down in a screaming heap if isolated and eating heavy weapons fire. Left alone, they can fill the board with spores because the action sacrifices its (nonexistent) movement. Hope you have enough models! and if they don't leave it alone: hay there not shooting at your other bugs.

Lords of War[edit]

  • HarridanGW.jpeg
    Harridan: The Harridan is basically a flying Hierophant but with a 3+ save and no invuln. It is armed with the same weapons of the hierophant minus the torrent and lashwips and also has the frenzied metabolism rule to get a +1 to wound on the cannons at the cost of D3 mortal wounds. It can also carry 20 gargoyles into battle. Finally, since it's a flyer of some sort, it has the usual rules you'd expect like a -1 to be hit, not being able to charge or be charged and being able to pivot up to 90° before moving; you can still hovering, something that can allow for first turn charges since its move characteristic is 20" when doing so, but it rids you of your -1 to be hit and so makes you a little more fragile (at W34 T8, it should be a big problem but remember you don't have an invuln and the malanthrope's and venomthrope's abilities don't work on you). Overall, a nice unit that probably won't see the battlefield much due to the cost but that can be competitive if used right (and yes, it has been on a tournament winning list).


  • Tyranid Hierophant.jpeg
    Hierophant: A titanic biomorph with 34 wounds at T8 with 2+/5++ and a degrading 10" movement, it's nothing to scoff at. In melee, it has 6 S10 -4 D6 attacks that initially hit on 3s so anything you fight against that doesn't have an invuln save will get shredded, but do keep in mind that, despite being able to go over models (as long as they are not Vehicles or Monsters) like other lords of war, its sheer size means you'll probably be shielded by basic infantry anyway; you also get 10 additional attacks at S5 -1 D1 so charging a not-so-big mob of infantry could be nice, if not for shielding it from retaliating fire. On a ranged note, you get a 2D6 shots heavy flamer with S7 and the main guns with 16 shots at S10 -3 D3 (these too hit on a 3+), perfect for any type of target that doesn't have an invuln save (you see the pattern?); and with the frienzied metabolism special rule, you can suffer D3 mortal wounds but get a +1 to wound on attacks made by the cannons, not that you should since you'll be wounding almost everything in the game on a 3+ and most lesser units on a 2+. Speaking of special rules, you also inflict 1 mortal wound on every model you are in engagement range with on a roll of 5+. Finally, the Hierophant can hold up to 20 INFANTRY models, but multi-wound models count as two. Want to move a Prime and 9 Warriors up the table instead of only 6? How about a Neurothrope, 6 Zoanthropes, and 3 Pyrovores? Probably not the best idea, but you can! Unfortunately, the degrading stats now affects WS and BS, so you need to be on the aggressive side of things to make sure you use this model at its peak before it inevitably gets downgraded. Like other "apocalypse-ish" units, you probably won't see this thing in casual play, but it can shine at higher points game. Preferably take it with the jormungandr fleet so it gets a -1 to be shot at more than 18" (neither the malanthrope's nor venomthrope's ability work on it) and/or the unfeeling resistance adaptive trait so that you can get a bit more out of it before it dies (remember that catalyst not gives only a 6+++ on titanic units instead of a 5+++).

Tactics[edit]

General Tactics[edit]

  • Shooty Shooty, Smitey Smitey: With 9th edition being about controlling objectives rather than wiping out your opponent, armies have become more elite with more invulnerable saves, higher toughness, and more wounds. This along with a smaller board has massively helped Tyranids.
    • Shooty Shooty - Run a Kronos Patrol led by a Neurothrope with Symbiostorm along with 6 Hive Guard with Impaler Cannons and 2 Exocrines. Kronos will give you re-rolling 1s to hit and Symbiostorm will give you 6s to hit counting as an extra hit, which amounts to +1 to hit. The Hive Guards, hiding behind cover, will put out 12 S8 AP-2 with D3 damage which will hurt most things. You can also add the 'Single Minded Annihilation' strat to shoot again which will wipe most things out. Exocrines are Tyranids' main marine killers. With 12 S7 AP-3 D2 each if they don't move and hitting on 3s they have some very consistent damage. They also have the 'Symbiotic Devastation' strat from Blood of Baal so they can count as not moving if you need to reposition. Don't be afraid to use your big guns to clear weak chaff units to either get them off scoring points or to free up your Thropes to smite the juicier targets hidden behind. Remember 9th is about outscoring, not out-surviving.
    • Smitey Smitey - Run 2x Broods of 5 Zoanthropes (the extra body is there to get shot) led by a Neurothrope from Hive Fleet Leviathan. Use these as Smiting batteries to move up the field doing mortal wounds to anything in their path ignoring all those Invulnerable Saves and high toughnesses. Use their own 3++ Invulnerable save, Leviathan Feel no pains, and the Neurothrope's healing to make them incredibly annoying to kill and use them to screen your guns and soak up all the Melta, Lascannon, and plasma fire your opponent puts out while moving up the field. Support them with some smaller 10x Gaunt troops units to take and hold primary points then use Lictors and Rippers to grab you Secondaries.
  • 100pts for 30 Scoring Points: Take a Lictor (or 2) and some Rippers and take Deploy Scramblers / Teleport Homer and Line Breaker Secondaries. It should be easy to use a small 10 gaunt brood to deploy scramblers in your Deployment zone and the centre of the board, then deep strike lictors into your opponent's deployment zone in cover and deploy the final Scrambler for 15 points or start the teleport homer as Lictors count as non-character infantry. With -1 to hit, 3+/4++ and 4 wounds (and a 6+++ Leviathan Feel no pain) it means your opponent will have to concentrate a lot of resources into removing them and not anything else in your army. Deep strike some cheap Rippers or another Lictor in to get 'Line Breaker' and you should be netting 25-30 points with less than 100pts of models.
  • Synapse and you: When choosing synapse units for your army, it's worth considering where they are going to be placed and what role they will fill. If you want an Exocrine providing fire support while your Broodlord and a unit of Genestealers advance, then having a cheap synapse unit (such as a Malanthrope or a bare bones unit of warriors) to babysit him will help keep him on target. Conversely, if you want a fast moving core of Hormagaunts to advance on the enemy, relying on a slow moving unit of Zoanthropes for synapse is asking for trouble. Walking Hive Tyrants, the Swarmlord, Broodlords, Maleceptors, and Trygon Primes can all keep pace with your basic assault units like Hormagaunts and Genestealers. If you intend to run fast units (12" move or higher), such as Raveners, Harpies, Crones, Gargoyles, or Sky-slashers, then adding Shrikes or a winged Hive Tyrant will help you keep up. If you intend to invest in Biovores, Exocrines, Hive Guards, or a Tyrannofex, consider taking a Tervigon (with associated termagant screen), a Malanthrope, or a unit of Zoanthropes. Warriors and Tyranid Primes are your flexible option. Equip them as required, but don't go overboard.
    • Don't forget the penalties for being outside of synapse aren't terrifying anymore. Your guys will still run faster than a Slaaneshi daemon high on crack, so you can get around the targeting restrictions with careful unit placement - and some units, like Biovores or, if you're feeling silly, Lictors or Pyrovores, don't have a practical reason to care about Synapse.
  • Mortal Wound Spam: Tyranids have a ridiculous number of units that can cause mortal wounds either directly or indirectly. Zoanthropes with Smite, Biovores with spore mines (and the spore mines themselves), Mawlocs, Maleceptors, Venomthropes and Toxicrenes with their miasma, Pyrovores when they die, Harpies dropping spore mines, Hive Guard with shock cannons, Hive Crones with tentaclids, and a Carnifex on the charge, and the death spasms of almost all your monstrous creatures can all pile on mortal wounds. Keep these in mind when facing high durability units.
  • Brood Brothers: With the ability to add a detachment of Guards if you ally with GSC a whole new age of sweet, stinky cheese has come upon the bugs. Get an auxiliary detachment or a supreme command detachment if you want your CPs, fill it with two Magos and an Iconbearer then use a spearhead detachment for the Guard (for the Leman Russes with Objective Secured) and another 'specialist' detachment for the Tyranids. Use the Guards for ranged and mobile anti-armor or character assassination, It's a shame they can't take a Doctrine if taken this way, but hey- you can still legally take a Baneblade with your 'Nids.
  • Anti-Psyker: It cannot be underestimated how hard Nids shut down Psyker-heavy armies. Shadow in the Warp makes their powers harder to cast and Psychic Scream can force opponents to double-up on a power on different units just to make sure you don't completely make a power unusable and can make one power Psykers literally useless. Kronos turns this up a notch with its Warlord Trait and Stratagem. The Stratagem makes any WC7 power impossible to cast without a +2 bonus at minimum (poor, poor Farseers), and the Warlord Trait means that any casters get the equivalent of Perils upon any failed psychic test. It's a niche protection to be sure, but an important one considering the smite-spam meta. Just remember that Shadow in the warp doesn't work on the opponnent's deny ability, it's a different test to take.
  • Threat Saturation: Tyranids' main playing style involves LOTS AND LOTS OF SHIT, you should be throwing so much shit that your opponent has no way to deal with them all at once (or at least think they can't). Do they shoot those Carnifexes advancing and threatening to charge? Or the Trygon Prime that just popped out with a brood of Genestealers about to slice his face off? Or maybe the Gaunts that just sprinted from halfway across the board that can tie up their artillery in the next turn? Or... "shit", they say as a Mawloc appears inside their deathstar or the wall of Spore Mines that they ignored is getting a bit too close. Remember the quote how if they militarised every Imperial citizen and if every shot that they make are kill shots then they still wouldn't have enough to kill the Tyranids? Apply that to your battle-plan and harvest those biomass!
  • Change is a way of life (Crusade): In crusade's tyranid are a monster to face against because your opponent has no idea what on earth you could be bringing each game. If you fight Imperial Fists you Know what you will face because the chapter tactic and special rules they bring are fixed to every game. Sure the marines might go heavier on armor one game, or a more hoard of marines the next but they will always be Imperial Fists. Tyranids on the other Scything Talon can change wildly from one mission to another. Normally the ability to change out your hive fleet's second bonus for one of the custom one's is a nice way to customize your army and try out new army builds, but in a Crusade You'll have much more of an idea who your opponent is before you even build you list and can then not just optimize against them, but also wildly change up your build. Go with a nidzilla one game then bring 150 gaunt's the next, each with a different adaptive bonus to play to the strength of each army style.

Specific Strategies[edit]

  • I Have No Friends!
    • In a 500 point battle bring a Trygon Prime and 2 mawloc which all 3 come together for 425 points. Sneak a 10 model Termagant squad for a troop choice and you have a perfect legal 500 point patrol, with three 14 wound toughness 7 gaint snakes. Have fun.
  • Hive tyrant mortal wound bomb
    • Take your hive tyrant, give em reaper and adrenals, get him into charge range. Pop trampling charge and adrenal surge. Your tyrant is now doing at minimum 3+6-8 mw to the target (provided you hit your attacks) with the potential to do 14mw if all goes perfect. Enjoy eating half a knight before they even roll saves.
  • Harlequins
    • The Deepest Shadow 9th Editions starting 12 command points has seen the laughing gods servants becoming the big bad with their insane strats and Psychic Powers making them fast, invincible and constantly running in and out of combat but Tyranids are probably their worse match up.
      • Running a Patrol of Kronos or your Swarm as Kronos gives you access to the Kronos Strat 'The Deepest Shadow'. This means any psyker within 24" of a Kronos UNIT can only roll psychic tests on ONE D6. Placing a Kronos Rippers at the front of your deployment and using this Strat will help prevent the Shadowseer getting off Twilight pathway (wc6) which means they can move again leading to the massive First Turn Alpha strike Harlequins do. If they try it and fail, it can leave their bikes in the open. It also helps stop Fog of dreams (wc6) -1 to shooting on a unit and flat out prevents Veil of Tears (wc7) -1 shoot against a unit, Shard of Light (wc7) D3 mortals and Webway Dance (wc7) 6+ Feel No Pain. This strat along with Shadow of the Warp when they get close will seriously mess up their day. If you opponent gets desperate you can also use 'Psychic Fissure' from Blood of Baal so that if a Psyker fails a Psychic Test they take D3 mortal wounds.
    • Along with a Zoanthrope / Neurothrope heavy army which ignores their 3+/4+ Invulnerable with their smites. Try to have some Gaunts as meat shields to protect your thropes turn one with Leviathans Feel no Pains and maybe Catalyst. Add some high volumes of fire from double shooting Hive Guards who don't need line of sight (all without the -minuses to hit) and a Mawloc or 2 for 'Unexpected Incursion' on their troops holding points and the army quicks disappears.