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Incoming… Tyranid Codex is here! – New for Warhammer 40k 8th Edition.

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Trygon

Games Workshop are certainly pumping out the Codex releases this year, and the next one is the Tyranid Codex!

As regular readers of his site the Tyranids are one of my favourite armies and there has been no secrete about my excitement at seeing the ‘Nids coming back in from the cold as far as rule updates are concerned. I have to say that the last few Codex let the Tyranids down.

The Warhammer Community site had been releasing sneak previews of the Tyranid Codex best bits, and now it’s been released, and it is fantastic!

Tyranids have been slumbering on the GW shelves for many years because of the weak codex releases. The last really good Tyranid Codex  was for the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40000. In that release you could virtually make your own Tyranid strains by mixing and matching bio upgrades.

The format of the Tyranid Codex follows the format of the WH40k 8th edition Codexes released so far. Kinks from the Index: rule books have been straightened out, new mission objectives have been created, plus other nice bits like command abilities and special upgrades.

What I really like is the addition of special rules for four different Hive Fleet types. Each of these Hive Fleets have unique special rules. This means that you can play Nid’s with different ‘flavours’. It just makes gaming more interesting. As all the models appear in all the different branches you can pick and chose with set of special rules you want to use before the game begins.

I highly recommend this release of the Tyranid Codex weather you are a new Tyranid player or a veteran.

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Chaos Daemon Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Ed

Warhammer Chaos Lord with Wings

point The Chaos Daemon army is not quite like other armies in the Warhammer 40k universe. This is because the Chaos Daemon army was designed for the Warhammer Fantasy game ( now replaced by Age of Sigmar  ) and ported across to 40k.

The Chaos Daemon army plays quite differently to other 40k armies. This is mainly due to the numerous special rules. The addition of these rules also make the army difficult to play. I would suggest that the Daemon army is not a good one for beginners, but a great one for advanced payers that fancy a challenge!

This page has been written for the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rules and Index: Chaos army list.

General Chaos Daemon Tactics

The symbol of ChaosOften the best was to use the Chaos Daemon army is to use it as an attachment to a Warhammer Chaos Marine army. What the Chaos Daemon units bring to the Chaos Marine is psychic powers, monstrous creatures and close combat units. The number of deep striking units are useful for snatching objectives or take out key enemy units.

Chaos Daemons come in four flavours one for each of the chaos gods; Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slannesh. So what do you get if you use them all together? Utter Chaos!

If you are keeping with a pure Daemon army, but include faction from all the Chaos Gods then you will not be short of Characters or close combat units. Where you will need to apply some thought is to the heavy support and fast attack sections.

You need Fast Attack units to spearhead assaults and grab objectives. Look to the Tzeentch units that can fly, and the Slannesh units that are quick on their feet.

Chaos Daemon Special Rules

The Chaos Daemon army come with a number of special rules. These rules are quite different from other Warhammer 40k armies.

Daemonic Ritual

As I mentioned above, one of the joys of running a Daemon army alongside a Chaos Space Marine one is that your characters can summon daemons on to the battle field. Now be warned, this is not without it’s difficulties and risks. Also if you are playing a points matched game the points cost for the summoned daemons comes out of your reserve points. However it is great fun to do and highly recommended.

You can only summon units that have the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability. The Chaos Space Marine has four units listed, in the Index: Chaos you can find many more units (most of them).

All Chaos Characters can perform rhw Daemonic. Ritual. This includes both Chaos Space Marine characters and Chaos Daemon characters.

Daemonic

All units with this ability (most of them) get a 5+ invulnerable save. This is very useful because their regular save is usually awful!

The Four Gods of Chaos

The symbol of ChaosIf you are familiar with the Chaos Space Marines you will have come across the four chaos gods; Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, and Tzeentch. With the Chaos Marine army the use the chaos god’s traits is optional. There are enough unaligned choices available to create a undivided army. With the Chaos Daemon army you will need to be totally conversant with the chaos gods traits.

Each of these four gods have their own characteristics. These characteristic are passed on to the gods followers.

Chaos Undivided

If you are a Chaos Space Marine player you will be use to units that are aligned to no single Chaos God. This does not happen in the Chaos Daemon army. That is except for the Daemon Prince Be’lakor, the first Daemon. Word has it that some time after Be’lakor was created he used his un-aligned nature to play one chaos god against another. Learning from their mistake, all future Daemons where aligned to a single Chaos God.

Daemon Prince Be’lakor Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsBe’lakor is a HQ character.

Games Workshop do not do a model for Be’lakor but as he is a Daemon Prince with a daemon blade and Malefic Talons. This means that you can take a generic Daemon Prince and state that you are using it as Be’lakor.

Daemons of Tzeentch Tactics

Herald of Tzeench for the Chaos Daemon Age of Sigmar GameThe daemons of Tzeentch give up brute force for magic and trickery. In Warhammer 40k magic is represented by psychic powers. Tzeentch units use these psychic powers as ranged weapons. Unlike the daemons that follow other chaos gods, many of the Tzeentch troop units can use magic to manifest psychic powers too. The downside though is that Tzeentch units are generally poor at close combat.

Tzeentch units work well with Khorne units that can act as body guards to the more vulnerable Tzeentch units.

Ephemeral Form

Tzeentch daemons are even less grounded in the real world than other daemons. To show this is the game they get +1 to their invulnerable saves. As most daemons get +5 save this means that you only need +4 to shrug off most hits. This is a save though so it does not work against mortal wounds.

Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch

Games Workshop Age of Sigmar Chaos Exalted flamer of TzeentchThe Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch is a cheap elite choice for a daemon army. This means that can fill you required elite slots and you do get points to spend on the rest of the army. This specially important in low point games.

Exalted Flamers have 3 options during the shooting phase.

Games Workshop do not do an Exalted Flamer model on it’s own. You can find an Exalted Flamer in the ‘Herald of Tzeentch on Flaming Chariot’ box that if you do not place on the flaming chariot, can be placed on a regular base.

Daemons of Nurgle Tactics

Nurgle units are the second most popular chaos units. Nurgle specialises in diseases and poisons. The Nurgle units tend to be tough but a bit slower than  other units.

Nurgle units work well with Slaanesh units that have the speed that the Nurgle units don’t have.

Disgustingly Resilient

The creatures of Nurgle are disgustingly resilient. Their slimy hides cause many blows and shots to slip off where the would have bitten less viscus targets. To show this in the game Nurgle units with this rule get to roll a D6 for each wound not saved and on a roll of a 5 or 6 that 1 wound is ignored. As this is not a save it works for mortal wounds too.

Nurgle Psychic Powers

Nurgle psychic powers are all about disease. The ‘stream of corruption’ has a short 7″ range but can dish out D6 mortal wounds to larger (10+ models).

Daemons of Slaanesh Tactics

Slaanesh units are focused of speed and the excess of pleasure. This means that they are fast but fragile. Slaanesh units also have access to a number of psychoactive drugs and narcotics.

Slaanesh units work well with Nurgle units that have the toughness that the Slaanesh units don’t have.

Quicksilver Swiftness

Slaanesh daemons hunger for speed and excitement. Units with this ability always fight first in the fight phase. If there are other units in this fight phase with the same special rule, or have charged that turn, then you take turns fighting with those units before fighting with all the others.

This ability tends to mean that you get to get your strikes in first. If you out number your opponent it is reasonable to expect to wipe out the enemy unit before they can react. So with this in mind you want to hit first and hit hard. Focus your assaults and choose targets that cannot call on support.

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Incoming! New Imperial Guard Codex arrives this weekend

Warhammer 40000 Imperial Guard Company Commander and Cammand Squad

Warhammer 40000 Imperial Guard Company Commander and Cammand SquadYes! A new Imperial Guard Codex is imminent, and it’s looking like it will be a cracker.

The Codex releases are coming out thick and fast for Warhammer 40k 8th edition from Games Workshop. In this Codex we are expecting new rules for the Imperial Guard regiments. It is expected that the different regiments of renown are getting special rules. This will add colour and diversity to the Guard army. Notes about the Catachan and Mordian armies have been added to the Community website’s already. Other regiments will have notes posted during the week.

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Genestealer Cult Tactics Added for WH40k 8th Ed

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus Psyker

From the passages beneath come the Genestealer Cults. Chaos and confusion will reign as Cultist Guard show their true colours and the population take up arms against the Imperium.

The Genestealer Cult army is a very sneaky one. Lacking in heavy firepower they need to use guile to strike at their foe when they least expect.

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Chaos Space Marine Tactics for Warhammer 40k 8th Ed

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

In the age of the Great Heresy a full half measure of the Space Marine armies where corrupted by Chaos these corrupted Space Marines becomes the Heretic Astartes, or Chaos Space Marines!

On this page we will have a look at the Chaos Space Marines and their tactics.

Index: Chaos or Codex Chaos Space Marines

There are two rule books available with the rules for Chaos Space Marines. These are the ‘Index: Chaos’ rule book and the ‘Codex Chaos Space Marines’ rule book, so which do you get? Well the Index: Chaos was released right after the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rule book was released as a stop gap. This rule book allowed players to get going while the full Codex was being lined up for release. The Codex Chaps Space Marines has all the unit rules but also adds rules for special equipment, stratagems, and mission objectives. If you have the choice I highly recommend going for the Codex!

So what are the Data Cards and do you need them?

If you look at the Chaos Space Marine Essentials on the Games Workshop or re-sellers web sites you may see Chaos Space Marine Data Cards for sale. Data cards are packs of playing card sized cards with the most used rules from the Codex: Chaos Space Marine on them. For example the psychic powers, command point stratagems, Chaos Space Marine themed mission objectives. You do not get the rules for Chaos Space Marine units. For those you need the Index: Chaos or Codex Chaos Space Marines.

General Chaos Space Marine Tactics

The Chaos Space Marines are not just your vanilla Marines in spiky suits. There are a number of differences that make a huge difference to how they play.

Many players that are new to the Chaos Space Marines see the army as a close combat specific army. The reason for this is that there are a lot of close combat units available, specially for the popular Khorne themed army ( see Marks of Chaos below ).

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsRemember that the Chaos Space Marines are only half of the Chaos army. Much like the Imperium Space Marines have the Imperial Guard to back they up, the Chaos Space Marines have the Chaos Daemons as easy allies too. The link between these two forces in so strong that you can see some of the Daemon units slip in to the Chaos Space Marine too. If you are building a CSM army I highly recommend giving the Daemon army list a look over too.

Marks of Chaos

There are four Gods of Chaos. Khorne who loves violence for its own sake. Tzeentch who loves to trick, lie and confound. Nurgle loves decay, rot, and purification. Slaanesh loves sensory excess, pleasures of the flesh, exquisite pain, drugs and rock and roll!

Some Marines do not follow a single Chaos God, but Chaos in its raw form,. These Marines are said to follow Chaos Undivided.

Each Chaos Space Marine Legion follows one of the four Chaos Gods or Chaos Undivided. If you want to mix and match units with different marks of Chaos then you will need to have multiple factions.

Chaos Space Marine Abilities

On page 116 the Chaos Space Marine Codex introduces a couple of abilities that are shared between many of the Chaos Space Marine units. Also on page 155 additional Legion specific abilities are added.

Death The False Emperor

Most units in the Chaos Space Marine army get an additional ability called ‘Death To The False Emperor ‘. This reflects the Chaos Marine belief that the Imperial Emperor is not the saviour of human kind and needs to be removed through revolution.

How this ability works is that in the fight phase, and when targeting Imperial units (Space Marines, Guard, and friends), units with this ability get to have a bonus attack for each hit roll of 6 (before any modification). Note that bonus attacks cannot generate more bonus attacks. Also note also that these bonus attacks need to hit, wound, and etc. Also note that these attacks can be target a different unit from the initial attacks.

Note that this ability only works in the fight phase, but both fight phases. So you need to get into the fight!

Daemonic Ritual

Age of Sigmar chaos Blue Horrors of Tzeentch.. or how to get some reserves on the table fast!

How this ability works is that on a turn where any characters has not moved or arrived on the table in the movement phase, those characters can each summon a unit of daemons with the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability.

When you look at the army lists you will find that there are only four units that can be summoned ( but the rule has been left open for possible expansion ). The units are Khorne Bloodletters, Tzeentch Horrors (mixed units of Pink, Blue and Brimstone Horrors), Nurgle Plaugebearers, and Slaanesh Daemonettes.

There are limitations on what can be summoned, and as usual with the Chaos armies, if the summoning goes wrong there are consequences! First off you can only summon units that match the Character Chaos alignment. This means that Nurgle characters can only summon Nurgle Plaugebearers. Note that unaligned characters can summon any of the four daemonic units. This may be a factor when you choose the alliance for your character.

Units summoned using this ability does count as reserved and can only be brought in if you have enough reserve points. If you are not playing a point matched game, feel free to summon as many units as you like!

How you summon daemon units work like this. At the end of the movement phase pick your first character. Roll 3D6. Select a unit of Daemons who’s power level is equal or less that the dice total. As the average of 3D6 is 10.5 this should not be a problem. Place the unit of Daemons within 12″ of the character and beyond 9″ of and enemy units. You can repeat this process for any other Character that has not moved that turn.

Now here is what can go wrong. If you roll a double on your 3D6 roll then the character suffers a mortal wound. This should happen 1 in 12 times. However if you roll a triple then the character suffers D3 wounds. This should happen once in 216 times. I am expecting that the triple roll damage replaces the double roll damage and is not accumulative because in a triple you will always find 2 doubles!

Chaos Space Marine Stratagems

8th edition Warhammer 40000 introduced Stratagems and published 3 basic ones in the rule book. You can sometimes get extra stratagems at part of some missions, but in the Chaos Space Marine codex you get another 24 tailor made Stratagems! I feel like a kiddie in a sweet shop!

Chaos Space Marine Data Cards

Warhammer 40k 8th ed Chaos Space Marine Data CardsOne issue I have with the number of Stratagems / Special Chaos Space Marine Mission Objectives and Psychic powers is that I loose track of them, special during an intense game. I find this happens more often when using the e-book versions on the codex, but does happen when using the paper Codex too. Yes this is a memory issue and not a fault with the game. My advice in the past has been to focus on using one or two Stratagems or powers until you get use to them and expand from there. However these days there is another option, the Data Cards.

The Data Cards are a pack of playing card sized cards that have the special Mission Objectives, Stratagems and Psychic powers for that army, printed one per card. For an army like the Chaos Space Marines that adds up to a big pack of cards! 73 cards in total. Now these cards do come at an extra cost and are not essential to playing Chaos Space Marines like the codex is, but if you are playing Chaos Marines on a regular basis, or a member of a club that shares rulebooks & etc, then they are very useful!

The best way to use the cards is to split them in to 3 piles. Place the Stratagems you will use in one pile, the mission objectives in a second pile, and the psychic cards that you will use ( if any ) in a 3rd pile. These cards will act as a reminder to use these option and as a quick reference to their  rules.

It is a pity that the Chaos Space Marine units don’t have a similar card deck, say in A5 size. This would would make it easy to have just the information for the units that you are fielding to hand without having to flick from page to page to page to page in the Codex or on a tablet. The bes5t option I have found so far is to screen grab the pages from the eBooks for the units I am using and print them off. You could just photocopy pages from a paper Codex (for your use only!). The quality may not be great, but it does speed up the game!

Chaos Space Marine HQ Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine LordEvery army needs a leader and this is where you will find the Chaos Marine leaders. Chaos HQ tend to be better at close combat fighting. They also have abilities that empower the troops around them.

The HQ section is also where you find the Chaos Psykers. Psykers use the power of the warp to Smite your foe directly and/or use their power to empower your troops too. You will note that there are no Khorne psykers. This is because the god of Khorne places brute force above all else.

Chaos Space Marine Psychic Powers

Soul Steal SpellAll the Chaos Psykers know the Smite Psychic power from the core rules. Most of them know two other power too. These Chaos Marine powers can be found on page 161 of the Chaos Codex.

There are nine Psychic power to choose from. Six in the main ‘Dark Heretics Discipline’ list and then one each for the 3 Chaos alliances that can have psykers. You can either just select which additional power your Psyker will have or roll for a random one. Obviously you would usually just select the power that best suits your play style and will help the most against whichever opposing army you are playing against that game. Usually you will be able to choose your power after you know which army you will be facing, and hopefully after you have seem the models on the table. There may be time when you agree to roll for your psykers power. You only want to do this if the opposition has more psykers that you, or because you have negotiated some other bonus for yourself!

Abaddon The Despoiler Tactics

Traditionally the biggest, badest, Heretic Space Marine. Armed with a nasty power fist with built in storm bolter, and a Daemon blade and wearing master crafted Terminator Armour.

Hopefully Games Workshop will release a new Abaddon model soon. The current one is out of scale with the new Chaos Terminators!

Cypher Tactics

Cypher by name, an enigma by nature! Even though Cypher appears in the Chaos Space Marine Codex, Cypher  and the Fallen are not a Chaos units. They are Imperium that fight with the Chaos Armies!

Cypher is a master pistolelio! Master Crafted bolt pistol in one hand and plasma pistol in the other he can blaze away with both weapons even if he has advanced or fallen back! A slippery character indeed!

Cypher is quite keen in close combat, but not fantastic. If you get in to close combat you will need to back him up with some close combat troops too.

Cyphers Ability: No-One’s Puppet

The Errata for the Codex Chaos Space Marines added an ability for Cypher that stops him from performing a Daemonic Ritual even though he has the ‘Chaos’ and ‘Character’ keywords.

Chaos Lord Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine LordThe Chaos Lord is the standard Chaos Space Marine HQ choice. He can come on foot, on a bike, in terminator armour or with exotic transport like a Juggernaut of Khorne or Disc of Tzeentch.

The Chaos Lord is designed to be in the thick of the action, backed up with some good men. Load the Lord and his men in to a Rhino or Land Raider and charge in to the enemy front line!

Chaos Lord Abilities

Death to the False Emperor

Chaos Dark Apostle Tactics

The Dark Apostles are the Chaos Space Marine version of a Chaplin. He fulfils a similar role too. In the Fight Phase nearby friendly units of the same Legion can re-roll missed hits. This means that his main strength in in close assault surrounded by his mates! A popular tactic is to have a Dark Apostle in with the Chaos Lord and his posse.

Chaos Daemon Prince Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsIf the Chaos Gods are pleased enough with a Chaos Lord they can get promoted to being a Daemon Prince.

Daemon Princes are more Daemons than mortal, and as such take on many of the features of the Chaos Daemon army. The Daemonic 5+ save is an example of this.

Daemon Princes must take on an allegiance of one of the 4 Chaos Gods. You are not allowed to have an unaligned Prince. It is most usual to take on the allegiance that matches the rest of your Chaos Marine army.

Chaos Daemon Prince Psychic Powers

If your Daemon Prince is aligned with Tzeentch, Nurgle, or Slaanesh, then he is a psyker too. As a psyker he will have the Smite psychic power plus one from the Chaos Space Marine psychic power list.

Might Over Magic Ability

If your Daemon Prince is aligned with Khorne then you will not have any psychic powers, but don’t worry! you will get the ‘Might over Magic’ ability instead. This ability gives you one extra attack in close combat.

Chaos Daemon Prince and Wings

The Daemon Prince has the option to have wings. If you have.already built your Daemon Prince, this option may be moot. However if you are about to build your Daemon Prince, or if you have magnetised your Daemon Prince so that add or remove the wings at will, you will want to know if wings are worth the points!

If you are playing open games or games using Power Points, then there’s no additional points for adding wings, so do it! If you are playing points matched games then the wings adds 24 points to the model. For these additional points the movement speed goes up to 12″ a turn and you get the Fly keyword.

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine SorcererSorcerers are the Psychics of the Chaos Space Marine army. This does not mean that they are no use in a fight!

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerers are closely linked to the power of Chaos that is the source of all psychic powers in the Warhammer 40k universe. Because of this they can cast two psychic powers in each of your psychic phases. Each Sorcerer can pick two powers from the Dark Heretics Discipline list.

Get Familiar With You Familiar!

In Warhammer 40k Chaos Familiars are not places on the board as models like Age of Sigmar, however they can be found in the Chaos Space Marine Stratagems (page 159). For 1CP Chaos Space Marine Psyker can swap on of his psychic powers for a different one. You can pick any of the powers from the Dark Hereticus discipline list. This is really useful if you started out with one psychic power for a specific job and halfway through the battle you find that it is no longer useful. In this case you can just call on your familiar and swap that power for one that will be useful here on in. Note that when you swap your power you keep the new one for the rest of the battle. Well unless you use this stratagem again later in the battle!

Where are the Khorne Sorcerers?

The Chaos God Khorne despises magic / psychic trickery. For this reason there are no Khorne Psykers. If you need one you will need to co-opt one that has a different Chaos alliance.

Warpsmith

Space Marine Techmarines are not beyond the corrupting influence of Chaos. These corrupted Techmarines are called Warpsmiths.

The main use of the Warpsmith is to repair vehicles that have received damage during the game. The Warpsmith needs to be within 1″ of the vehicle at the end of the vehicle to repair it.

If you have two Warpsmiths there’s no point keeping them close together. A vehicle can only have one Warpsmith attend to repairs per turn, so if you spread them out you can repair two vehicles a turn.

Not got a vehicle to repair? Then how about jinxing an enemy vehicle? If the Warpsmith is within 18″ of an enemy vehicle, on a roll of 2+ on 1D6 he can inflict a mortal wound on the vehicle.

Warpsmith’s are available from the Games Workshop as a web store exclusive. There may be some available on eBay & similar.

Chaos Space Marine Troop Tactics

Chaos Space Marines have two troop choices, Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultists! This is not a great selection, but they are very flexible. With a bit of imagination the two unit choices will fulfil most needs.

Chaos Space Marine Tactics

Chaos Space Marines are the backbone of the Chaos Marine army. They can be configured for close combat fighting or more general / tactical role. The tactical role is where the Space Marine units excel. They can lay down withering fire clearing objectives or defending objectives, or fight at close quarter fighting.

Chaos Cultist Tactics

Chaos Cultists are the gun fodder of the Chaos army. Their stats are similar  to the Imperial Guard trooper, but costing only 3 power points for a unit of 10, you don’t expect much!

So if Cultists are so cheap, why take them? Well even cheap troops with a lot of shots can cause damage, even to Imperial Knights and Meknoughts! Otherwise you arm them with close combat weapons. This gives you an expendable close combat unit. Use this unit to defend tactical objectives, or as a moving shield for Characters or elite units.

For every 5 models in a unit you can take a Heavy Stubber or flamer. If you are planning to use your as a defensive force, load them up with Heavy Stubbers. Place them high and they will be able to give covering fire for advancing units. Assaulting units are best tooled up with flames. You can take a pot shot with these in the shooting phase before piling in for the fight. Assaulting units also find flamers useful if they are about to receive a counter assault.

Khorne Bloodletters Tactics

Tzeentch Horrors Tactics

Age of Sigmar chaos Blue Horrors of TzeentchAaagh! You kill one and two smaller ones pop-up, and they can throw Smite bolts around too!

Tzeentch horrors are tricky things. First off they come in 3 sizes and in the Chaos Space Marine Codex, you can have all 3 types in one unit. Also they are psykers. for simplicity the whole unit is treated as on psyker. Don’t expect a 30 model unit of Horrors chucking out 30 Smite bolts! Even so, having psykers as a troop choice will sent your foe in to utter panic. This is specially true now that psychic powers have been beefed up in 8th edition 40k. If that was not enough, Pink Horrors have 18″ A2 shooting attacks too.

Nurgle Plaugebearers Tactics

Slaanesh Daemonettes Tactics

Chaos Space Marine Elite Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine army has nine different elite choices. This could tempt you spend most of your points on Elite units. Avoid this temptation! You need a good volume of troop units and just a small number of Elite units.

Chaos Terminator Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine TerminatorsChaos Terminators are veteran Space Marines in super though Terminator Armour. This armour gives the Terminators a 2+ basic save and a 5+ invulnerable save.

Terminators are classically used to weed out opposition from fortified positions. Their Teleport Strike allows them to get close to the enemy, and with a change of charging in on the turn they arrive. Their tough armour means that they can take on numerically superior units for several rounds, and their weapons will rip through tanks and monstrous creatures alike!

Khorne Bezerkers

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space MarineKhorne Bezerkers are Elite Chaos Space Marines that have dedicated themselves to the Chaos God Khorne. The Chaos God Khorne is the god of war, and wanton destruction for it’s own end. They go in to a frenzy in battle, specially if you call them ‘bunny ears’!

Khorne Bezerkers are close combat specialists. To aid this role they have +1 strength and +1 attack over the basic Chaos Space Marine. However there is more! If the Bezerker had a chain axe they get an additional attack ( that’s 3, and 4 for the Champion). On top of this they have an ability ‘Blood for the Blood  God’ which effectively doubles the number of attacks Bezerker gets.

Khorne Bezerkers cannot take heavy weapons. You can arm your Bezerker Champion with a Bolter or Combi-Weapon from the Champions equipment list, but this is a waste. This means that your Bezerkers will be armed with short ranges pistols and close combat weapons. This means that Khorne Bezerker tactics is easy, get them in to the fight and keep them fighting for as many rounds as possible!

Khorne Bezerker Ability – Death to the False Emperor

Khorne Bezerkers get the ‘Death to the False Emperor’ special rule. This rule allows the Bezerkers to get a bonus attacks each time they hit, if they target and hit Imperial units and hit on a roll of a 6.

 

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Tyranid Tactics for Warhammer 40K 8th Ed

If you have ever wanted to side with the alien in the ‘Alien’ film series, or you just like the thought of playing giant monsters rampaging across the gaming table, eating everything in sight, then the Tyranid army is for you!

Now that the Tyranids has a full Codex for 8th edition they are a real force to be reckoned with!

General Tyranid Tactics

A Tyranid Genestealer. Genetically designed to be the perfect killing machine!

Tyranids are, on the whole, a close combat army. The sooner you get your Tyranids in to assault the better. There are exceptions to this rule. Some larger creatures have shooting weapons as well as close combat weapons, and some are dedicated artillery, but on the whole these are support creatures to your main assault.

While you are rampaging across the table you will be on the receiving end of a lot of gun fire. Do your best to start the game as close to the enemy as possible. Also do your best to hug and cover. This will help to get as many of your Tyranids in to the fight as possible.

The exception of the assault-assault-assault stratagem is the Hive Fleet Kronos Adaptation that get an advantage from standing and shooting.

Tyranid Abilities

There are a couple of general rules that cover all, or just about all of the Tyranid units. One is Instinctive Behaviour’ and the other is the ‘Hive Mind’. As it happens these two abilities are linked.

Instinctive Behaviour

Tyranids work better when they are psychically linked to the hive mind. If they are not linked then they revert to basic animalistic instinctive behaviour. Basically this means that creatures that are affected by instinctive behaviour (most of them) can only shoot at the nearest viable  enemy unit, and when they charge they can only charge the nearest visible enemy unit too. It does mean that you can move normally.

Synapse Creatures

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope BroodSynapse Creatures are Tyranid are the leader creatures connect the lesser Tyranids ( those with instinctive behaviour) with the greater Hive Mind. The range of this connection is limited though, limited to 12″ from the Synapse Creature to be exact! Note that some Tyranids, like the Hive Tyrant, have a special rule that extends this to 18″

Tyranid Stratagems

The Tranid Codex lists a number of Stratagems for Tyranid armmies. These Statagems, used at the right time can be very useful. Several of these Statagems allow units a second move, round of shooting phase and extra attacks in the fight phase.

To make the most of all the stratagems you need command points that come from fielding battleforged armies. The good news is that  with the Tyranid army it is easy to have several formations, and therfeore loads of points!

There are so many possible stratagems that you will want a list of them to hand. A book mark in the Tyranid Codex would work, but the Datacards make this much easier.

Tyranid Tactical Objectives

If your army has a Tyranid Warlord then you can use the alturnative Tactical Objectives found on page 128 of the Tyranid Codex.

The Tyranid Tactical Objectives replace the first 6 tactical objectives in the rulebook. As these objectives are tweeked for the Tyranids style of play, I highly recommend using them whenever you can.

Flipping between diffent rulebooks keeping track of your objectives can be a chore. If you play Tranids frequently I highly reccomend getting the Tyranid Data cards. These are packs of playing sized cards with frequently used infomation like the Tyranid specific objectives.

Hive Fleet Adaptations

Not all Hive Fleets are the same. As the Great Devourer adapts, different Hive Fleets are exhibiting adaptations. In game terms the adaptations place the Tyranids on an even footing with the other main armies that have different regiments, chapters, war bands, or craft worlds. The six named Hive Fleets are Behemoth; Kraken; Leviathan; Gorgon; Jormungandr; Hydra; and Kronos.

Each of the Hive Fleet adaptations have a unique special rule. You can find these special rules on page 117. These special rules cost no points so there’s no reason not to opt for one of them.

House Rules: You can make up your own Hive Fleet Adaptation, with it’s own special rule. You will need to get your permission to use this Hive Fleet / Special rule, but if it is fair and you back it up with an interesting back story, most reasonable players will go along with it.

Tyranids vs Tanks

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderAfter playing a few games one issue that crops up is how to handle Tanks. The issue is that they have a good armour save and plenty of wounds. This combination is tough for the Tyranid shooting weapon arsenal. Also unlike most monstrous creatures, they can hang around the rear of the table away from your advancing troops. Shooting long range heavy Weapons they can takeout your Monstrous Creatures in one round.

To solve this issue you will need to drop units behind the enemy lines, get up close and personal, and your claws on those pesky vehicles!

The Tyranid army has a few options when it comes deep striking units. Raveners, Trygons, and Ripper Swarms can burrow up through the ground. Other options are to drop a unit in a Tyrannocyte, or have a unit pop up out of a Trygon hole. As tank hunting is the name of the game, you will want to get a Monstrous Crature in on the act. If you upgrade your creature will adrenal glands, there is a 30% chance that you can get into assault on the turn they arrive. Dropping several units in at the same time will greatly increase your chances of success! But watch the points cost. Dropping several Monstrous Creatures in will eat up points. Don’t leave your front line too thin.

Tyranid Psychic Powers

Many of the Tyranid Synapse Creatures are also Psykers. Because Tyranids use psychic powers (after a fashion) to maintain their Hive Mind links some of these Synapse Creatures are powerful psykers. These psykers can use the standard Smite psychic power and usually one or more of the special Tyranid powers listed in the Codex Tyranids.

Dominion

This psychic power allows you to extend the Hive Mind to a single unit 36″ away from the Psyker / Hive Mind. 36″ is a fair range and can be used to surprise your opponent who thinks that that a unit will be subject to instinctive behaviour, but then is not!

Catalyst

Expecting a lot of incoming heavy weapons fire? if you are ten this gives your units a 1 in 3 chance to shrug off each wound. Most useful on monstrous HQ creatures. This is because your bigger HQ units can not hide behind other units like your none-monstrous enemy HQ units can.

The Horror

The Horror is on of the 3 Psychic that damage the enemy rather that pimping up your troops. If this power goes off you can force an enemy unit in 24″ to have a -1 modifier to their hit and leadership rolls. The normal targets for this power are heavy weapons squads of tanks with lots of guns.

Onslaught

Onslaught is a psychic power with a power level of 6 and allows a near by unit to Advance (run), and move and still fire at full ballistic skill and still assault in the assault phase. Used correctly this will get a unit that is usually slow right in to your enemies face. Carnifex and Hive Tyrants with both shooting and combat weapon are choice units.

Paroxysm

Paroxysm effectively slows target enemy units down in the fight phase. This is a great power to have if you are fighting an enemy that is even faster than you are. Some Eldar and Slannesh units come to mind. Very fast units often rely on their speed, so robbing them of their strike first rule is usually devastating!

Psychic Scream

This is partly a Psyker neutraliser. However it works well as a Smite clone. As a clone it means that you can Smite twice in a psychic phase for those units that can cast two powers in a psychic phase.

Tyranid HQ Unit Tactics

With most armies HQ units add nice to have combat and command skills, but the army will function without them. With the Tyranid army the HQ units are where you will find most of the Synapse Creatures that keep the army together.

Tyranid Old One Eye

Warhammer 40k Tyranid CarnifexOld One Eye is a classic Tyranid Character. The first Tyranid Carnifex with regeneration that seems to have spawned an untold numbers of Carnifex that also have regeneration!

Old one Eye is a HQ choice, however he is not a Synapse Creature. This means that I would not recommend using him (her?) as your main HQ choice, keep him in mind as a secondary HQ choice though!

Old One Eye is a plod along Tyranid with a 7″ move. You will need to give Old One Eye cover as he approaches the enemy,or better still, place him near an objective where the enemy comes to you.

Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genesteales

Classic Tryanid Genestealer Broodlord and ‘Stealer Brood

Instead of having a monstrous leader for your army, there is an option to take a Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord as your HQ. This is better option for smaller games or if you fancy playing a swarm army that consists purely of smaller Tyranids.

Tyranid Prime Tactics

The Tyranid Prime is an oversized Tyranid Warrior. This is another possible choice if you want to keeps the points cost down.

Games Workshop doesn’t do a Tyranid Prime model so if you want one you will have to model one yourself. You could take a Tyranid Warrior and beef it up, or paint it so the Prime stands out from other warriors. What I did was to take an unused Mk1 Tyranid Hive Tyrant that is a touch larger that the Warriors and used that as a Prime.

Tyranid Tervigon Tactics

Tyranid Tervigons are the Mother of all Tyranids, or at least Tyranid Termagants! This is a monstrous creature and not bad in a fight, however its (her?) main strength is that it can create 4 new Termagants each turn. This means that as long as the Tervigon is alive your army keeps growing!

The best way to use the Tervigon is to keep it behind the front line as long as possible and spawn off as many Termagants as possible. If your back line gets pressed then it can jump in to the fight.

Tyranid Troop Unit Tactics

An army with HQ Units only will be over run by more flexible armies with a good mix of HQ, Troop, Fast, and Heavy Support units. The backbone of any decent army is their Troop Units.

Tyranid Warrior Tactics

Classinc Tyranid Warrior with Spine Fist, Bone Sword, and Rendering Claws

Classinc Tyranid Warrior with Spine Fist, Bone Sword, and Rendering Claws

Tyranid Warriors are another very adaptable unit in the Tyranid Army. They are Synapses creatures (but not psychic), one in 3 models can have heavy weapons and close combat weapons, other models can have assault weapons and close combat weapons or 2 close combat weapons!

Tyranid Warrior Devourers

With an 18″ range and A3 at S4, the devourer is a decent assault weapon. This is specially true if you are using the Warrior in the usual support role supporting the smaller Tyranids as they approach the enemy.

Tyranid Genestealer Tactics

A Tyranid Genestealer. Genetically designed to be the perfect killing machine!

Genestealers are pure close combat creatures. They have no shooting weapons so get them into assault as soon as possible!

If you are playing a point matched game you will want to see which upgrades inflict the greatest damage to your enemy. This will be much easier to calculate if you know who your enemy is! Before the game and preferably before you write up your army list find out which army you will be facing. If you cannot do this write out an army list for each likely enemy and pull out the optimised list as you set-up.

Tyranid Termagant Tactics

Termagants are the rank and file troops of the Tyranid army. They have a number of weapon options, but most of these are short ranged. You will need to get close to the enemy or set up an ambush for the Termagants to be effective.

Termagants are notoriously susceptible to instinctive behaviour. It is highly recommended that you keep a synaptic creature close to hand!

  • Devourer: 18“, A3, S4. This is the basic Space Marine killer. Works well on Orks and other hords too. The multiple shots and half decent range make this the new go to  weapon for Termagants.
  • Fleshborer: 12“, A1, S4. This use to be the basic Termagant weapon but with less shots and a shorter range than the Devourer, you would only choose this weapon if you had to or you needed to cut the points cost.
  • Spike Rifle: 18“,A1, S3. This use to have some armour penetration, but now it’s just another 18″ single shot weapon.
  • Spinefists: 12″, Pistol, A3. The go to weapon if you want the cheapest Termagant weapon. Because Spinefists are pistol weapons you can shoot with them in the shooting phase even if you are in the middle of an assault.
  • Strangleweb: 8“, A D3, S2: Strength 2?, why bother?

Termagant Abilities: ‘Hail of Living Ammunition’

If you have a unit of 20+ models you can re-roll 1’s when shooting. This means that you don’t get a bonus when in assault.

Tyranid Hormagaunt Tactics

Hormagaunts are the faster close combat specialist troop units. With a 8″ move and a 6″ pile in and consolidation move.

As Hormagaunts are close combat specialists you will want to get them in to assault as soon as possible. There aren’t many weapon options with a Hormagaunt. The Scything talons are your lot! Scything talons do give you 2 attacks per model and a re-roll when you roll 1 to hit. However with S3 you will be advised to target infantry units.

Tyranid Ripper Swarm Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid ripper swalm The often overlooked troop choice of the Tyranid army has many uses and are still very cheap in terms of points, and may be even in cash if you can find them second hand!

Deep Strike / Burrowing

Ripper Swarms can deep strike on to the gaming table as the Rippers are so cheap you can drop them in / pop them up, where ever they will cause the most disruption.

As Ripper swarms pop up 9″ or more away from enemy units at the end of the movement phase. This is too far away for the Rippers Spine Maw to hit anything useful, but you may be in assault range.

The Fly-paper Manoeuvre

How do you stop units assaulting your key units? One way is to place a disposable unit between the enemy and your expensive units!

Capture Objectives

Ripper Swarms have the swarm keyword (no surprise!) however swarms can capture objectives again so let’s do it! Using the Ripper Swarm’s deep strike ability you can pop up and snatch objects. This is even better if you are playing ‘Maelstrom of War’ missions where you get points mid-game for holding tactical objects.

Tyranid Elite Unit Tactics

Elite units are the specialist units of an army. The Tyranid army is no different. Be careful though, Elite units can cost a lot of points. If you have too many elite units then you will find yourself out numbered on the battlefield.

Tyranid Tyrant Guard Tactics

The Tyrant Guard are designed to be body guards for foot slogging Tyranid Hive Tyrants.

Shield Wall

This ability is the core of the units purpose. If one of the Tyrant Guard are within 3 of a Hive Tyrant when the Tyrant looses a wound then on a roll of a 2+ on a D6 the Tyrant Guard take the wound instead. As each Tyrant Guard have 3 wounds, a unit of 3 will give the Hive Tyrant an extra 9 wounds!

Blind Rampage

You may think that loosing your ward would be a problem, but not with the Tyrant Guard. Apart from the fact that they are subject to Instinctive Behaviour they do not suffer any ill effects. Instead the Tyrant Guard go on a rampage and get an extra close combat attack for each model.

Tyrant Guard Weapons

Tyrant Guard come with Scything Talons and Rendering Claws. This is the standard configuration of the current Tyrant Guard. The plastic Guard do offer some modelling options where you can swap the scything talons with other weapons. If you are getting your Tyrant Guard in to combat regularly then you may find upgrading to the Crushing Claws worth while.

Tyranid Hive Guard Tactics

Based on the Tyranid Tyrant Guard, and sometimes confused with the Tyranid Tyrant Guard is the Tyranid Hive Guard.

Hive Guard are heavy support artillery placed in the Elite section because there are loads of Heavy Support units in the Tyranid Army already! They are armed with either a 36″ Impaler Cannon or a 24″ Shockcannon. Of the two weapons the Impaler Cannon is the one associated with the Hive Guard.

Tyranid Hive Guard Impaler Cannon

It’s not just Tau that can fire missiles around corners! The Impaler Cannon can target any unit in 36″. Line of sight is not needed.. Also the distance is measured as a direct line, not the path the Impaler would travel to reach the target!

  • Note : Need to check if units in bunkers or vehicles can be targeted.

The Impaler Cannon is a heavy weapon. This means that your BS will be knocked down one point if you move and fire in the same turn. Where possible place your Hive Guard in a safe place with a few target options to get the best out of them.

Tyranid Hive Guard Shockcannon

The Hive Guard Shockcannon is an Assault anti-tank weapon. If having D3 S7 shots where not enough, this weapon causes a mortal wound if you roll a 4+ to wound against vehicles, that’s a 50/50 chance with each shot! If that’s not enough, if you roll a 6  then you inflict D3 mortal wounds!

Tyranid Lictor Tactics

Tyranid Lictors are the sneaky infiltrators of the Tyranid army. They are engineered to work ahead of the main Tyranid army.

Hidden Hunters

Tyranid Lictors have a number of special rules that facilitates the hit and run nature. They can deep strike in to the game table mid game, the usual 9″ away from the enemy, but they do get a re-roll on the charge range when they come on to the table. This gives them an average charge range of 10.5″ and means that they are good assassins.

Choose your target carefully. make sure that it’s one you can take out in one turn. Try to target HQ units that have become separated from their body guards.

If you do survive the initial assault there is a fair chance that your Lictor will be a distance from friendly support so it’s time to run! To help you out the Lictor has a couple of special rules that make it easier to survive retaliation.

Tyranid Zoanthrope Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope BroodZoanthropes have been bio-engineered to be super psykers. They normally go around in groups for protection.

Warp Field

To aid the Zoanthropes survive-ability they get a 3+ invulnerable save. As this is better than their 5+ regular save, even if they are hiding, you will probably be using this save most of the time.

Strength In Numbers

The Zoanthrope brood can have two psychic powers. Smite is one of them, and the other comes from the Tyranid Psychic Powers list. When Zoanthropes manifest psychic powers they manifest one power for the hole brood if there are 1 to 3 of them, and two powers a turn if there are 4 or more in the brood. Zoanthropes come in boxes of three, so units of six will be popular!

Another benefit of larger broods is that Warp Blasts cause an additional D3 Mortal wounds. It does not say is this means that you get D6 wounds, or 2xD3 wounds. Given a choice 2xD3 wounds is better as you will always get 2+

Synapse Creature

Zoanthropes are not great in a fight, however in the WH40k universe their 18″ or 24″ psychic power range is not great. This means that you will want to keep them supported by a body guard of lesser creatures. This is not so hard as Zoanthropes are Synapse creatures too!

Fly

Yes, Zoanthropes have the Fly keyword. They are still quite slow, as far as Tyranids go at 5″ a turn!

Tyranid Maleceptor Tactics

If you want a monstrous sized psyker then the Maleceptor is the creature for you! However this psyker needs to in the thick of the action! Apart from it’s psychic powers the Maleceptor only causes damage at close range.

Psyker & Synapse Creature

The main reason for taking a Maleceptor in the army is for it’s psychic powers. It can manifest one power a turn, but it has a +1 to the psychic roll. This means that casting Smite is quite easy and hardly ever fails!

The Maleceptor is a synapse creature that can keep the lesser creature in line within the usual 8″ bubble.

Tyranid Pyrovore Tactics

Pyrovores are short ranged (10″ range) flamer creature. It’s main strength is clearing strongholds of infantry.

Pyrovores have moderate close combat abilities. With 2 attacks the Pyrovore will have hard work if faced with massed troops, The Pyrovores attacks are S5 and AP-3. This means that it will hurt power armoured troops. Aim for Space Marines and Chaos Marines. Even Terminators are viable targets!

Another less obvious skill is to resist an assault. With D6 automatic hitting even in overwatch, the Pyrovore will blunt assaulting units as they charge in. Remember that you only ge5t to overwatch once a turn and then only if you are not in close combat already. So the idea here is to thin out assaulting units before they get to you. You can scare units off, use terrain to funnel units, or just blast away from a distance until there is much in the way of opposition left!

Ok, so this may not be super easy, but if you use your Pyrovore to defend strategic locations then wait for the enemy to come to you!

Pyrovore Abilities

Pyrovores have a bit of a sting in the tail if they are wounded or killed in close combat.there is a chance that the Pyrovore will cause mortal wounds on the assaulting enemy units.

Pyrovores are one of the lesser seen Tyranids. You can still buy Pyrovores from Games Workshop. One advantage of this rarity is that your opponent may not know the Pyrovores abilities giving you an advantage!

Tyranid Haruspex Tactics

The Tyranid Haruspex is a close combat creature through and through. It’s main ‘weapon’ is it’s Ravenousness Maw.

The Haruspex is a close combat creature through and through. However with it’s regeneration ability you want to aim for multiple softer targets. This is because the Haruspex regains a wound for each model eaten, and not each unit. Line up a unit of Imperial Guard and you could recover 3 or 4 wounds an Fight Phase. Remember that this includes the enemies Fight Phase as well as your own!

Tyranid Fast Attack Tactics

Tyranids are generally a close combat army. This means that you usually have to dodge a hail of fire before you can get your claws on the enemy. One way to get around this is to get some fast troops to tie up enemy units while your heavier, slower units catch up!

Tyranid Shrike Tactics

Tyranid Shrikes are Tyranid Warriors with wings. They share the Synapses ability with the Warriors. This means that they can bring order to all the Instinctive Behaviour creatures.

The other main ability that the Shrikes share with the Tyranid Warriors is the access to a wide of weapons. This means that the Shrikes are able to fulfil many roles. Heavy weapons, close fire weapons, and close assault weapons are all available. What’s more like Warriors, Shrikes can carry two weapons. This means that they can be configured to be tactical, ie. able to take on changing roles as needs and opportunities change.

Tyranid Ravener Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Raveners appear from the Abbey ruinsTyranid Raveners are fast and light. They can pop up anywhere on the table (9″ away from the enemy). Raveners are subject to instinctive behaviour, however this is not a major restriction, so they are great at harassing the enemy flanks.

Tyranid Raveners usually come with two set of scything talons, and these are very useful in close combat. You can upgrade one set of scything talons to a deathspitter, devourer, or spinefists. Depending on your style of play you may wish to swap some close combat ability for some shooting ability. Raveners work well either way.

Tyranid Sky-Slasher Swarm Tactics

Tyranid Sky-Slasher Swarms are Ripper Swarms with wings. This gives them the fly keyword. This gives them faster movement at 12“ a turn.

Sky-Slasher Swarms are cheap. This means that you can use them to slow down or distract the enemy from your main assaults.

Tyranid Gargoyle Tactics

Tyranid Gargoyles are in many ways Termagants with wings. This means that they are fairly cheap, carry fleshborers and fight like Imperial Guard (useless).

Gargoyles fly. This means that they can move 12″ in the movement phase and jump over obstacles.

Ability: ‘Hail of Living Ammunition’

Another feature that Gargoyles with Termagants is that they get the ‘Hail of Living Ammunition’ ability. This does give the Gargoyles a boost when shooting.

Tyranid Harpy Tactics

The Tyranid Harpy is a monstrouse flying ground attack creature. Flying up to 30″ a turn at full strength with a minimum move of 10″ a turn, the Harpy can move around the board quickly.

Tyranid Hive Crone Tactics

Where as the Tyranid Harpy is a flying gun platform, the Hive Cron is an aerial close combat beast.

The Crone does have some decent shooting weapons. The Tentacilds have a special rule where it causes mortal wounds against vehicles half the time it hits. This is a help against lighter vehicles, but tougher tanks absorb a lot of mortal wounds. The targets of choice for this weapon are flyers. So shoot, move in close and pull flyers apart with it’s scything wings.

Tyranid Spore Mine and Mucolid Spore Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Sporemines

Tyranid Spore Mines occupy a building.

Spore Mines and Mucolid Spores can be taken as units, but they are usually set up as missed Biovore and Sporocyst shots.

Spore Mine Abilities

As Spore Mines and Mucolid Spores are mostly mindless mines there are a few special rules that dictate how they move and fight. I will deal with these Abilities in reverse order of play. This is because you will need to know what damage they do first in order to know how to deploy them!

Floating Down

Spore Mines bought as units in your army list (ie. not shot out of a Biovore or Sporocyst) can come in to play later in the game. At the end of the movement the unit of mines can be set up  anywhere that is  more than 12″ away from enemy models. This distance means that there is no chance of charging the same turn you arrive. This in turn means that your opponent will have a round of shooting to get rid of the mines before they can do any damage. This really reduces their effectiveness.

Floating Death

When Spore Mines and Mucolid Spores blow up they do a random amount of Mortal Wounds. That’s right, hardly anything can save against a Spore Mine blast. This means that you will want to target those units with high saves, specially those with high invulnerable saves. Also as Mortal Wounds carry across models in a unit, you want to look out for multi-model units. My favourite targets are Space Marine Terminators. Other Terminator armour wearing targets are good pickings too, as are characters with invulnerable saves.  Remember if you are shooting your Spore Mines from Biovores or Sporocysts, you can only target a character if they are the closest target.

When they do blow up, Spore Mines have a 1 in 6 chance of causing no damage, 4 in 6 ( 1 in 3 ) chance of causing 1 Mortal Wound and 1 in 6 chance of causing D3 mortal wounds per Mine. This means that they have an average of 1 in 1 chance to cause 1 Mortal Wounds each, or 3 Mortal Wounds for a unit of 3.

The Mucolid Spore has a 1 in 6 chance of doing no damage, 4 in 6 chance of doing D3 Mortal Wounds and 1 in 6 chance of doing D6 Mortal Wounds. This gives an average of 1.92 mortal wounds per Mucolid Spore.

Living Bombs

Spore Mines and Mucolid Mines are bombs that happen to be floating around the table. To reflect this Spore Mines and Mucolid mines have been given this special rule that means that they can not capture objectives, but also do not create victory points for your opponent if they are destroyed!

Tyranid Heavy Support Tactics

Tyranids have a good range of Heavy Support units to choose from, and do they need them! Tyranids are often seen as close combat specialists. However even close combat troops need some long range supporting fire as your close combat troops get to grips with the enemy!

Be careful not to hope to come out top in a long ranged fire fight. Just about all the enemy forces have better long ranges weapons than the Tyranids do. So again think of Tyranid heavy support as support units rather than game winners in their own right!

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Warhammer 40000 8th Edition Tactics

Warhammer 40000 8th edition Dark Imperium Rookbook

The new release of WH40k is apon us! These tactics are written for the new Warhammer 40000 8th edition of the WH40k rules!

What is Warhammer 40k?

Warhammer 40000 is a table top wargame played with models, dice and rulers. It is set in a dark gothic version of the far future. In this future the human race has expanded to fill the galaxy, meeting several different races, most of whom want to kill them! However after this glorious expansion the human civilisation collapsed. In this game you join either the human race or one of the various alien races as humans try to rebuild society, mainly by beating everyone one else up!

What is Warhammer 40000 8th edition?

Game of Warhammer 40000 in playThe first release of Warhammer 40000 in 1987 was called ‘Rouge Trader’ and this was a role playing game with a bit of skirmish table top fighting thrown in. In 1993 Games Workshop took the game and re-wrote it to be a fully fledged tabletop battle game called Warhammer 40000 2nd edition (WH40k 2nd edition), and when I started playing WH40k. This became an instant hit. On the back of this game Games Workshop sold masses of models and rule books. Over the next years these rules where expanded and improved through the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th editions. Now in 2017, twenty four years later, Games Workshop have seen that the game needs a full overhaul. Much like the leap from Rouge Trader to 2nd edition, all the rule books have been thrown out and rewritten from scratch. This is the new Warhammer 40000 8th edition.

General Warhammer 40k Tactics

In  Warhammer 40k there are some tactics that are very useful no matter which army you use. In this section I will cover some of these generic tactics.  I will be presuming that you are playing Matched Play games and using the Advanced Rules. If you are playing power level matched games some of these tactics may not apply.

  • Learn The Rules. This must be the number one must do. You need to know the core rules, your armies rules,the advanced rules, the mission rules, and if possible the opponents rules too. That can be a daunting list if you are starting out. Don’t worry! You can split the task in to small, easy to do steps. Start by learning the basic rules first. Get some models on a table, roll some dice and see what happens. The model’s datasheet will give you most of what you need. When you are familiar with the core rules get gaming! There is nothing like playing a game with an opponent to have everything drop in to place quickly. As you come more proficient you will be able to mix in more advanced rules.
  • Use all Your Points! In Matched Play games you will agree on a maximum points limit for your army. There are no benefits from not using your full allocation of points. There have been many a game that has been won because an extra bit of wargear has swung the battle.
  • Get the Free Warlord Traits. When you look through the rule book and army codexes you may notice some free upgrades and abilities. The first is Warlord Traits on page 186 of the rule book. Extra Warlord traits are added in the army codexes too. You can only get Warlord Traits if you have a Character in your army, however this is recommended anyway.
  • Max out on Command Points. On Page 242 we are introduced to Command Points. Each army gets one command point just for showing up however if you organise your army in to a battle forged army formation then you can pick up loads more command points. The easiest option here is to go for Battalion Detachments. You can pick up 3 extra command points by having 5 units (two HQ and three troop units). For larger games you can have several Battalion Detachments.
  • Arcane Artefacts. These are yet more freebies hidden in the armies codexes. These are items that add even more abilities to your general. You usually only get one per army. However they are a free upgrade, so why not?
  • Any other freebies? With the army codex’e being released we can see that by opting for a faction or allegiance you can have access to aditional Stratagems, Warlord Traits and faction abilities. Generally there are no points cost to nominating a faction, so do it and get the freebies!

Armies of Warhammer 40k 8th Edition

As you may expect, after 30 years of development since the release of the original Rouge Trader version of Warhammer 40k the universe of WH40k is very developed with a number of races each with their own backgrounds and play styles. If you are new to the game you may want to browse through the different army types and discover which one is more suited to your play style and temperament.

One of the great advantages of the 8th edition reset is that no one army will have a dominance over any other. This means that you should have an equal chance of winning regardless of the army you select, and winning or losing will be dependent on your skills and not on the armies rules.

What are WH40k Imperial, Chaos, and Xenos armies?

Warhammer 40k armies fall in to 3 broad categories, Imperial – which is the human forces that follow the Imperial Emperor ( who is currently mostly dead and has been on a high tech life support machine for the last thousand years), the Chaos – human and daemons corrupted by another dimension called the realm of Chaos ( these are the basic bad guys), and Xenos – all the other races that just want to live peacefully and gorge themselves on human flesh!

Space Marines

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel in pre-heresy colours

Space Marines are genetically enhanced humans developed to fight the enemies of the human race and bring order to the universe.

In game terms Space Marines are big, tough and well armed! The downside of the Space Marines are that they are few in number. When you are playing Marines you are saying that quality is better than quantity!

Space Marines are an excellent starter army for beginners. This is because you need fewer Space Marines models to play a game and they are good all round troops. Space Marines always included in the Warhammer 40000 starter box sets that Games Workshop release.

Space Marines come in different factions called Chapters. Each Chapter has it’s own colours and markings. Most of the Space Marines use the same rules, but there are a few exception to these rules.

You can find the rules for the Space Marines in the Index: Imperium 1 rule book.

Imperial Guard ( Astra Militarum ) and friends

Warhammer 40000 Astra Millarum Imperial Guard SquadWaging a galactic war need more troops than just a handful of super solders. This is where the massed ranks of the Astra Militarum, or Imperial Guard.

The Imperial Guard depend on large number and big guns over the skill of individual infantry men. This stand back and shoot does lead to difficulties if the enemy gets close, or if you have to go over the top of the barricades to claim objectives. To fill this gap the Imperial Guard have a number of friends to call on. These vary from Assassins, Nuns with guns, and Giant walking robots!

You can find the rules for the Astra Militarum, in the Astra Militarum Codex

Chaos Space Marines

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

A Chaos Marine Khorne Berzerker.

In the Warhammer 40000 universe psychic powers are drawn from another dimension where evil spirits and the pure energy of chaos reside. The use of psychic powers and warp space travel has created rips in reality where this force of chaos can spill in to our reality, twisting, warping and corrupting all that it touches.

Chaos Space Marines are Space Marines that have been touched by, and succumbed to the seductive chaotic powers. These powers then warped their body and minds in to being crazed psychopaths with super human bodies and big guns!

Chaos Space Marines are basically 75% close combat specialists and 25% heavy support and support units. This means that you should be formulating plans where you can get in to combat quickly. Fast transport and loads of cover are your friends here.

You can find the rules for Chaos Space Marines in the Codex Chaos Space Marines rule book.

Chaos Daemons

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsWhere the Chaos Space Marines are humans that have been corrupted, Chaos Daemons are the raw stuff of chaos in corporeal form.

In game terms, the forces of Chaos Daemons are a very diverse army. All this corruption and mutation means that there is a massive variation in skills and abilities between units. The up side of this is that you are never short of interesting and wickedly devious models to play with. The downside is that you have to form this chaotic maelstrom in to a game winning army!

Summoning Chaos Daemons

Because the Chaos Daemons are made up of this ethereal energy many of them can be summoned by Chaos Characters (Daemons or Chaos Space Marines) in the middle of the battle. This makes them great re-enforcement units. Used correctly they can pop up unexpectedly catching the enemy completely off guard!

The Daemonic Ritual

To summon Daemons the Chaos Character needs to perform a ‘Daemonic Ritual’. To do this the Character needs to be on the table at the beginning of the movement phase (so not coming in via deep striking or reserves, or summoned this turn). If the Character does not move they can roll 3d6 at the end of the movement phase and bring in a Daemon Unit with a power level less than or equal to the 3d6 result. The Daemonic unit must be placed near the Character and more than 9″ away from enemy units.  This means that they may be able to assault in the assault phase!

Don’t expect summoning Daemons to be easy! first off, a Character can can only summon Daemons with the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability (most of them do) and the daemon needs to have the same Chaos Alliance as the character. This means that Khorne Characters can only summon Khorne Daemons and etc. The last issue is that the ritual may kill your character! When you roll the 3d6, if you roll a double then the Character suffers a mortal wound, and if you roll a triple then they suffer d3 mortal wounds! A double will happen 1 in 6 times, and a triple once in 36 times! So don’t worry about it.

You can find the rules for Chaos Daemons in the Index: Chaos rule book.

Eldar Craft Worlds

Warhammer 40k Eldar Guardians Defender SquadHere come the Space Elves!! Yes, your favourite pointy eared, hi-tech, aliens are here in Warhammer 40k too.

Eldar are mostly human friendly, but there is a good degree of mistrust and battles between humans and Eldar are as frequent as battles where they fight side by side.

In game terms Eldar are fast, nimble but fragile. With this army you will need to get various specialists working together hitting the right place at the right time, and at the same time avoiding the big guns of your enemy.

You can find the rules for the Craft World Eldar in the Codex Craftworlds rule book.

Necrons

Metal Skeletons from the far past, or is that the far future? Either way they have the unnerving ability to re-animate. Will these dead things just lie down and die!

On the table Necrons are considered slower than most armies, however there are Necron units that move really, really fast. This can catch your opposition off guard. With Necrons it is essential that you know your army and all the special rules they have.

The rules for the Necrons can be found in the Index: Xenos 1 rule book.

Orks

Orks are savage green Orcs of fantasy. Armed with guns and war machines that seem to be built from scrap. These machines seem to work purely because the Orks have an absolute conviction that they should!

On the gaming table Orks are masters of close up hand to hand combat. Some are on foot, but there are post-apocalyptic trucks, and easy rider motorbikes. They are also backed up with some awesome, crazy war machines.

Orks have really benefited from 8th edition rules. In this version massed small arms fire really hurt. Big Shooters that have loads of shots, and Burners that don’t miss are great! Ork Dreadnoughts and Killa Kans have toughened up too!

The rules for the Orks can be found in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.

T’au Empire

The Tau are an Anime themed army. Their high-tech weapons give them speed and unprecedented fire power. And missiles that fire around corners!

The Tau where one of the top performing armies in the 7th edition. They may be toned down for the 8th edition but they will still be a force to be reckoned with. Speed and firepower is their stock in trade, but they do have a weakness in close combat.

You can find the rules for the Tau empire in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.

Tyranids

Forge World Tyranid HiraduleIs that a monster lurking in the darkness? Oh yes! Tyranids are aliens from another galaxy, totally unlike anything seen before ( unless you have seen any of the Alien’ films ), they have come to gorge on all living material, plant and animal, who’s genetic material is used to create new Tyranids and repeat the process. Tyranids are sometimes called the Great Devourer. Tyranid monsters come in all sizes from those the size of large dogs to some the size of four story buildings!

Tyranids have a very specific play style. They are mainly close assault creatures however they are brood creatures and controlled ‘node’ Tyranid creatures. Without these node creatures the lesser creatures start reverting to instinctive behaviour – and not doing what you want then to! So you need to protect your node creatures and get the the other creatures  in to close combat with the enemy without loosing too many to gun fire!

You can find the rules for Tyranids in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.

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AoS Skirmish Tactics

Age of Sigmar Skirmish Rulebook Cover

In these catacombs is the Star of Asher. With it’s power we will be able to bring many great victories to our cause! But beware! these catacombs are defended. What is more the tunnels will be too tight for us to keep in formation. It will be every man for himself! So now let adventure forward and create such acts of heroism that our story will be told for a thousand years!

Skirmish is an add-on rulebook released by Games Workshop. It is designed with Age of Sigmar at the small end. Instead of moving units of warriors around the table, each model is it’s own character. With each game in a campaign you can earn renown points. These points can be used to add models to your company, or used to improve your existing characters.

In a way the Skirmish rules fill in the gap from paying full role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons where each player plays a single character ( and you need a Dungeon Master to tell the story) and a full blown table top battle like Age of Sigmar where each player has a full army.

Age of Sigmar Skirmish Game on D&D room cards

Aelf & Chaos skirmish for relics in the catacombs

With Age of Sigmar Skirmish each player only has a few models, The minimum is three. There is no maximum number of models but you will rarely have more than 20 to start the game with.

One of the main differences between the Skirmish rules and a full game of Age of Sigmar is that each model is a separate unit. Each model can go his or her own way and does not have to be in coherency distance from another model. This affects the way that Battleshock Tests work and Spell like Summoning work. The core rules for Skirmish cover these points.

Where Skirmish really picks up is if you have a campaign of battles or adventures, specially if there is a storyline behind the campaign. One such campaign is included in the Skirmish rulebook.

Choosing a Warband

Selecting the right mix of models to form your initial Warband is a core skill in Age of Sigmar Skirmish. You will only be fielding a few models compared to other full Age of Sigmar games. Some rules on what you can take are written in the rules. First off you heed a minimum of 3 models and at least one of those must be a Character. Another limitation is that all the models must come from the same grade alliance. Beyond these basic necessities each model has a points cost listed in the Skirmish rulebook.

Once you are familiar with the rules on making a Warband you need to think about the structure of the group. For example you could take 3 heroes, however you will probably find yourself out numbered in most games. Another option is to have one hero and a number of basic troops. Over all I would recommend taking one or two heroes and troops that have a good range of skills. Ones that can both shoot and join in combat and especially useful!

How to extend the Skirmish Rules

Another benefit of the Skirmish rules is that it is very easy to create your own missions and even whole campaigns. Even solo play missions are easy to create. All you need to do is add instructions for the none player models (denisons). For example a mission where there is a Monstrous Creature and the player needs to take it down!

As the Skirmish rules fit between classic role playing and table top wargaming, a good source of storylines and missions are the public domain role playing scenarios. Many of these only need a little adaptation to become excellent Skirmish missions.

As usual with table top wargames the play becomes more interesting if you have plenty of scenery on the table. The Skirmish rules also come with a purposely designed mysterious terrain table to use in Skirmish games, but you are free to create your own table instead.

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Free Age of Sigmar Army builder online

Do you want to build an army list for Age of Sigmar games quickly, easily, and freely? Well you can! Over on the Warhammer Community site.

The army builder allows you to build a Matched Play army or a wound count balanced army list. One item of note is that you are able to select the General’s hand book or the General Handbook 2. Now I do  not know of a second General’s Handbook, so there may be another publication on the way!

How to use the Warhammer Community Army Builder

The army builder is easy to use.

  1. Select the version of General’s Handbook you are using
  2. Select the Grand Alliance you are wanting to build
  3. Select a faction and Alliance that you want to start with. You ca re-visit this section later if you want to have units in your army from several factions!
  4. Notice that the headings on the next line suggest the maximum number of units you can have for each section (after the slash) and the number of units you have added to your list (before the slash)
  5. For each of the sections click on the ‘Add Units’ button. There will be a number on the add units button showing how many unit types are available in the section for that faction. This means if there are zero choices available, don’t br too surprised that no unit choices are displayed!
  6. Notice that each unit added showed the number of wounds(marked by a hart), and the number of points(marked by a star). Also note that there is a dustbin icon that allows you to remove the unit from your list, and a copy icon that lets you duplicate a unit easily.
  7. Notice that if a unit has options that these can be set with drop-down boxes in the unit boxes. For example there is a ‘Genera’ on/off button where you can select a unit as your General.
  8. At the end of the units box there is a grey vertical bar. You can click and drag this bar to re-organize your units within a section.
  9. Right at the bottom is are a set of Save, Load, and Clear buttons. For excitement I will let you discover what these are for, but they are good, so give them a go (hint: use the save button first!)
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Great 4 Handed game highlights armies strengths and weaknesess

On Saturday we had a great game of Warhammer with 2 Chaos forces ( Chaos Space Marine and Daemons of Tzeentch) face 2 forces of Order (Using AoS) armies of Space Marines and Tau.

Richard and I had a quick pre-game match to get use to our new armies. Ghks was the first time I have played Chaos Daemons in 40k so I was flipping back and forth through the Codex getting use to the Daemon Special Rules. Richard also got to grips with the raft of new weapons availible to the Tau since the last Codex.

In the afternoon Lee and Mark arrived for the main battle royal. Lee brought Space Marines with him and Mark had Chaos Space Marines. This is what Richard had suggested would be the case so no big surprises there.

As Richard and Lee where long time 40k comrades and because it made a better match to the background fluff Richard and Lee teamed up as the forces of order against Mark and I who where the new comers championing  the forces of Chaos.

My first surprise was when I saw the army that Mark brought. As we where playing 1000 points per player I was surprised my how HQ heavy and troop unit light his force was. It did not bode well as my force was fast and light but a bit short of solid troop and heavy support units. This brought up the first learning point, where possible, in a two handed game, check with your team mates what they are bringing to the battle or you could end up with a mismatched force.

 

It was great fun testing out my Chaos Tzeentch Daemons in a WH40k game, even though it was not a winning outcome! Many thanks to Richard, Lee and Mark for the battle.

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