Category Archives: WH40k 8th Edition

Tactics for the 8th Edition of Warhammer 400000 from Games Workshop

Missions and Mission Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Ed

Warhammer 40000 8th edition Dark Imperium Rookbook

In this section we will be looking at the different missions you can find for Warhammer 40000 and mission tactics that will help you win more games.

The core of Warhammer 40000 is the game mission. This is what gives you the details of what you need to do to win a specific specific game. You can create missions yourself, and Games Workshop will publish missions in future army Codex and rule extensions, however the missions that you are likely to be playing most often are the ones published in the rule book. If you get familiar with the rule book missions then you will win more games!

In the 8th Edition rule book there are 5 different sections of missions starting at page 186. One thing you can not complain about is the lack of missions in this release! Each section of missions do get more complicated as you progress through the rules. If you are new to Warhammer 40k I recommend that you start with the ‘Only War’ missions on page 187 or the ‘War Without End’ missions on page 191.

Only War Mission Tactics

On page 187 you can find the Only War missions. At first look this page looks like there is just one mission, but on closer inspection there is a table where you roll to select one of three missions.

Each of the missions on this page use objective markers. You can use anything as an objective markers. Dice are popular, or coins work well. If you play WH40k regularly then creating terrain pieces numbered one to six looks better on the table.

The missions use objective markers, but do not mention how many to set up. I suggest that for small games up to 1000 points 4 markers work well, standard games of 1000 to 3000 points, 6 markets are recommended, and larger games need 8 markers, and the table space to place them!

 

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Psychic Tactics for WH40k 8th Ed

Soul Steal Spell

In Warhammer 40k there is no magic like you find in the Age of Sigma game. What you have instead psychic powers.

Psychic powers can only be manifested by special individuals called psykers (duh!). All psykers can manifest a psychic power called smite.

These note are written with the expectation that you have the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rule book, or you have regular access to one.

Chance of Manifesting Psychic Powers

To cast a psychic power you need to roll 2D6 and get a result equal or higher than the power level of the power. You need to pick the power before you roll, so you need to ballance the chance of success with the result you need. If two powers will give you the result you want, for example the death of a character, then use the power that will be easiest to invoke.

Smite

FireballAll psykers get the Smite psychic power, so you need to get familiar with it. Even if you have no psykers you are likely to be on the receiving end of it.

Smite has a psychic level of 5. This means that it is easy to cast. However the psyker needs to be within 18″ of the target, which is well within counter assault range. This short range means that your psykers will need some body guards.

With Smite you can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. If you are in 1″ of the enemy then this should be easy. If you are touching 2 or more units you can choose which of these units you want to smite.  If you are further away you may want to use the movement phase to get in position to Smite your preferred target.

If you get the Smite power off then it causes D3 mortal wounds to the target enemy unit and if you rolled 10+ then you get D6 mortal wounds. Mortal wounds carry over, so this can, and often does, remove several models from the target unit. The best target units are those with only a few wounds ( or only a few left) that have high save and invulnerable saves. Terminator Squads or Characters are my favourite targets.

Deny The Witch

The main use of psykers is to cause damage to your enemy or strengthen your army. However there is another very important role for your psykers, and that is to block successful psychic attacks from enemy psykers. This blocking action is called ‘deny the witch’.

Deny the witch rolls can be made 24″ away from the enemy psyker. Notice that this is further than the 18″ range of Smite. This means that you can keep your psyker a bit further back. Note though that other army specific psychic powers may have a longer range!

Army Specific Psychic Powers

Each army has, or will have their own Codex which include special psychic powers that are available for that army only. I will be covering these powers in the general tactics section for each army.

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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 Bio-Artifacts

Bio-Artifacts are more freebies you can have if you have a Tranid general and the Tryanid codex. As these have no points cost it is highly recommended that you take one.

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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Loads More WH40k Pre-release Updates

Games Workshop Community Pages have not been holding back with Pre-release drip feed updates on the new Warhammer 40k version. In the last few weeks we have had updates about all the different turn phases, and so far, I like what I see!

Since my last article on the new Warhammer 40k release we have had articles on the shooting phase; assault phase, vehicles and monsters, moral and break tests, amongst others.  Now we are getting updates about how GW see the new rules affecting the different existing armies starting with the armies that are seen to benefit most from the new rules.

Shooting Phase

After the Movement and Psychic phase article was released the next article covered shooting. On the expectation that these articles are released in some semblance of order, I expect that there will be a separate psychic phase after themovement phase and it will not be handled in a command phase like Age of Sigma (boo!).

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Chimera troop transpoter

Vehicles with several different weapons will be able to pick multiple targets too!

The shooting phase has changed a bit moving closer to what we see in Age of Sigma. The main feature is that the members of a unit can choose different targets.  This means that heavy weapons will be more useful in a tactical squad, but also squad members with basic weapons can take on different targets too. If you take out all the members of one unit and some squad members have not shot yet then the remaining squad members can take a different target.

Unit profile will have a ‘to hit’ ballistic skill. This will give you a score that you will have to beat to hit your target. This score looks like it will be modified by terrain, night fighting, or smoke.

Cover saves look like they are charging too. At the moment it is often not worth placing your Space Marines in buildings as their 3+ armour save is better than the 4+ building cover save. It looks like in future cover saves will be a modifier that improves your save roll in the opposite way to weapon rend scores reduce the save roll target.

Assault / Fight Phase

The talk of unit activation makes me think that the fight phase will be more like the AoS combat phase. The note that charging units will go first is ambiguous though. In AoS units only charge in the controlling players turn, so only one unit is guaranteed to hit first in the combat phase. I suspect more details about this will be released eventually!

I will be keeping an eye on the release news and report back here with any insights gleaned from the community pages!

 

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Wh40k Update News – Phychic Powers!

Soul Steal Spell

Games Workshop have released details of the new Warhammer 40k psychic phase, and as expected they are looking a lot like Age of Sigmar psychic rules :

https://www.warhammer-community.com/2017/04/28/new-warhammer-40000-psychic-phase/

The similarities to Age of Sigmar magic are:

  • A set number of psychic castings per model
  • 2D6 to cast
  • Everyone knows one or two basic psychic powers, probably plus a signature psychic power.

What we don’t know is if there will be a psychic phase, or if the psychic phase will be rolled in to  a command phase like Age of Sigmar. Personally I think that the Age of Sigmar combined command and psychic phase is working very well and I hope that this has been brought over to the new WH40k!

Smite is Right!

Smite is the power that all the psykers will know, and it does look like Arcane Bolt with 18″ range and an extra kick if you roll 10+. It is probable that 18″ will be the standard distance for psychic powers and dispels / deny the witch. If 18″ is the standard distance then it will be awfully close. Standard weapons range is 24″ and I don’t see that changing. Also 18″ is on the edge of assault range. I suspect a 24″ range on psychic powers would work better.

There is mention of perils of the warp, but no mention of how you peril. I am thinking of a double 1 roll, but we will have to wait and see!

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WH40k Update Official News Released

Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance Box set

We all know that it is time for Warhammer 40000 to be updated. It has been 3 years since the 7th edition came out and that was a fix release from the 6th edition that came out a year earlier!

Don’t get me wrong, the 7th edition of 40k has been very popular. The addition of objectives forced gun-line armies out from their barricades and give assault based armies an even chance. The move away from Standard formation armies to factions and themed armies has added co;our to the game too.

However to keep the game fresh the rules need to change and grow from time to time, and basically the time is right!

Here is the latest post on the changes due in the next version:

Warhammer 40,000 News from AdeptiCon

From the post I suspect / expect that Games Workshop will be taking some of the best bits of Age of Sigmar and bringing them back in to Warhammer 40,000.

The first on the list was the recognition that the Generals Handbook and the ‘3 ways to play’ have been a great success in Age of Sigmar. I do have to echo this recognition too. The simple free play version of Age of Sigmar makes it very easy for new players or occasional players who have a handful of nice looking models to get in to gaming with little effort and no extra cash expenditure. This has had the effect of drawing new players in to the game. Some of these new gamers will stick with the game and become more competition later. Warhammer 40000 has had less difficulty drawing new players, however a lower entry point will be a bonus to adding new blood to the game.

Another success from Age of Sigmar that seems to be coming to 40k is the war scroll idea, where all the points and rules for a unit can be found on one page (weapon special abilities, movement rates, etc). This is not massively new to 40k, the newest codexes have been redesigned so that upgrade points costs are on the fact sheets instead of having to search two section at the same time while building your army lists (upgrade options in one section, points costs for the upgrades elsewhere). From the GW post it looks like any unit special rules will be joining them on the unit fact sheet. This should slim down or remove the Special Rules section of the rule book, and thereby halving the rulebook size!

Moral check changes where mentioned in the Games Workshop post too. These proposed rules look exactly like the Age of Sigmar Moral tests. I didn’t think that there was anything up with the current Moral tests, but one system that covers both games will make it easier if you are swapping from one genre to the other!

All told, I suspect that the new rules are being heavily play tested in GW towers, and any rumoured changes still have time to change again, however this is one player who is waiting for the new release with expectation!

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