Tyranid Carnifex Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Carnifex

How to use the Tyranid Carnifex to maximum efficiency in a Warhammer 40000 game!

The Tyranid Carnifex is one of the Iconic models in the Tyranid army. Now you can have three per brood, but the point cost has risen.

The Tyranid Carnifex and the Hive Mind

The Tyranid Carnifex Leadership is not particularly high. This means that it is risky to have the Tyranid Carnifex out side of Hive Mind zone. One tactic here is to place the Tyranid Carnifex in front of your Tyranid Hive Tyrant. This gives the Tyranid Hive Tyrant some solid cover, and it allows you have a solid core for your Tyranid army that you can surround with your smaller Tyranid creatures.

Tyranid Carnifex Special Rules

The Tyranid Carnifex comes with a few special rules.

Fearless

The Tyranid Carnifex get the ‘Fearless’ special rule. This gives you some advantages if the Tyranid Carnifex strays outside of the Hive Mind controlled area.

Living Battering Ram

One of the weaknesses of the Tyranid Carnifex is that they have a low initiative score. This special rule gets the Tyranid Carnifex an even fight with a Imperial Guard trooper! Be aware that this will be negated if you have to assault over cover (So the Guardsman will still probably still strike first!)

Tyranid Carnifex Strength and Weapons

The Carnifex has a number of weapon choices that you can choose from. What weapon choices you take will depend on the opponent that you are facing. The detail for these weapons can be found on page 81 to 83 of the Tyranid
Codex.

Scything Talons

The default weapons on the Carnifex is two sets of Scything Talons. These are close combat weapons, so if you stay with the basic options you will need to make sure that your Carnifex will get in to close combat range on a regular basis, and early enough in the game to be worth the points.

Crushing Claws

The Crushing Claws upgrade gives you a small random number of additional close assault attacks. As this is a close combat upgrade, it’s value is determined by the number of times that you get in to close combat.

Deathspitter

The Deathspitter is similar to the Deathspitter that the smaller Tyranid creatures get, however the Carnifex gets twin-linked Deathspitters. This is just as well as the Carnifex’s BS3 score means that you will only hit 50% of the time. The re-roll will mean that instead of expecting 1.5 hits per turn you can expect 2.25 hits ( ie about 2 per turn and 3 hits about every 4 turns you shoot).

If you take two sets of Deathspiters then this rate of hits will double, but you loose your close combat weapons.

The strength and AP of a Deathspitter is not over awesome either. Basically they are 18″ heavy bolters. The usual opinion is – don’t bother!

Devourers

Stranglethorn Cannon

Heavy Venom Cannon

Carnifex Toughness Armour and Bio-morphs

Warhammer 40k Tyranid CarnifexThe Tyranid Carnifex has quite a few upgrade options. Be careful with the upgrade options. The Tyranid Carnifex are expensive in points, so upgrades need to be thought out before use.

Adrenal Glands

Frag Spines

Frag Spines count as assault grenades. This option mat be worth it is you assault over cover on a regular basis,
however I tend not to bother and accept that I will be striking last. The Carnifex’s toughness and wounds are usually high enough to take punishment before you strike back.

Toxin Sacs

Bio-Plasma

The Bio-Plasma upgrade is a Biomorph rather than a weapons upgrade. Just like the spine banks. This means that you can take it in addition to the main weapons. This is good because as a Monstrous Creature the Carnifex can fire two weapons a turn.

So, is the Bio-Plasma weapon worth taking? Well for 20 points you get a short range blast weapon. This means that you can not use it for over watch, but you have to be in Assault range to use it (and it may scatter back on to you). However it is a S7 blast weapon so it is good for thinning out the opposition before you Assault. However this seems to be too smaller a return for the points cost. 

Regeneration

Tyranid Old One Eye Tactics

Old One Eye is a unique creature, so you can only have one in your army. Also as it is a special character, there are no options with Old One Eye. You get fixed list of Biomorphs and special rules. This means that other players that know the Tyranid rules will know exactly what this creature has, and may have some counter measure in store for you.

Old One Eye Strengths and Weapons

Old One Eye is armed with close combat weapons. This means that the best place for Old One Eye is in a fight. Actually the best fight for Old One Eye is in an assault with a tank. Even Space Marine Land Raiders will crack apart easily enough. The trick will be to get Old One Eye in to position. As Old One Eye does not have any shooing weapons, you may as well run in each shooting phase.

Old One Eye Toughness and Biomorphs

Old One Eye is a Tyranid Carnifex, so by default it has the Tyranid Carnifex toughness too. As usual this means that lasguns and bolters will wound on 6’s but S10 weapons kill not instant kill.

Berserk Rampage

Old One Eye gets a special rule called Berserk Rampage. This allows extra attacks each round. If you add this to the extra attacks that Old One Eye may get for having Crushing Claws, this means that you will have between 6 and 16 attacks on the charge, with an average of 9.25 attacks on the charge and 8 attacks after that. Also remember that Old One Eye has Scything Talons, so some of the misses may be able to be re-rolled too. Also as usual Old One Eye gets armour that is as tough as a Space Marine. This means that all the weapons that slice through Power Armour will slice through the Tyranid Bonded Exoskeleton too. There are no Invulnerable save options either. This means that you need to use what ever cover is available, even if this is only the smaller Tyranid creatures in front.

Rapid Regeneration

Old One Eye gets a special rule called Rapid Regeneration. This is like the Regeneration biomorph upgrade that you can get for a Tyranid Carnifex, but it works on 5’s and 6’s. This means that each wound will recover 1 in 3 (or 33%) of the time. Or put another way, if Old One Eye has lost 3 wounds, you could expect to see one wound re-heal.

To counter this your opponents will (or should) blast Old One Eye with every heavy weapon available to take off all the wounds off Old One Eye in one turn. This will mean that you will not get a chance to regenerate. You mission will be to see if you can duck for cover after taking a wound or two so that you can regenerate & come back fighting.

Other Old One Eye Special Rules

If all of that was not enough, Old One Eye has some other tricks up it’s sleeve / claw too.

Alpha Leader Special Rule

Old One Eye gets an interesting special rule called Alpha Leader. This is like the leadership that you find with other armies, sometime called inspiring leadership. Basically it means that Old One Eye can keep the Army together a bit better if there is no Synapse available. This in turn means that having Old One Eye on a flank instead of in the core of the Tyranid force will help you expand your area of control over a larger section of the gaming table.

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Tyranid Heavy Support Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Tyrannofex

In this section we will look at Tyranid Heavy Support choices and their tactics. Heavy support for a Tyranid army generally means bigger scarier monsters that can rip tanks and larger enemy creatures apart with ease.

General Tyranid Heavy Support Tactics

The Tyranid Heavy Support is there to crack those tougher nuts! Tanks and other monstrous creatures should be prime targets for your Tyranid Heavy Support. Keep in mind that other Monstrous Creatures may be even tougher than you are, so you may want to gang up with other units to be sure to take down your target.

Tyranid Heavy Support choices are generally slower than the other Tyranid units. That said, they can still run during the shooting phase, and their shooting weapons are assault weapons. This means they are still fairly quick.

Tyranid Heavy Support creatures do not get invulnerable saves. This means that you will want to use whatever cover you can find to protect your expensive strategic troops from Melta weapons and sniper rifles.

Tyranid Biovore Brood Tactics

WH40k Tyranid Biovore

Mk1 Tyranid Biovore

The Tyranid Biovore is a living cannon who’s main purpose is to launch spore mines, but they are not too bad in a fight either! It is the one Tyranid Heavy Support that is not a Monstrous Creature. This does mean that is is a cheaper option if you are playing a low points game ( under 2000 points ).

Spore Mine Launcher

The Spore Mine Launcher is now a 48″ assault weapon. This means that your Biovores can now be running around the table chucking out Spore Mines as they go! What’s more, if you miss your target the shots are not lost, but become spore mine units. The number of spore mines in  the new unit depends on the number of Biovores that where in the barrage unit, from one to three.

From the Tyranid rule book we are told that the Spore Mines become a unit at the end of the shooting phase. This means that they exist before the assault phase, so they should be able to assault if there is a viable target that turn.

Not Bad In A Fight

Close combat is not the main role that the Biovore is supposed to fulfil, but if it does get caught by a surprise attack you can expect the Tyranid Biovore to take a few of the enemy down too.

Tyranid Trygon Tactics

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid TrygonThe Tyranid Trygon is a new addition to the Tyranid army. And what a monster it is too! The model for this creature is 8 inches high! and its stats are truly frightening too.

The Tyranid Trygon is not a Synapse creature, so it will fall back on the instinctive behaviour if it is our side synapse range. It has a height leadership value so you may take the risk. However if you have a hive mind in range, this will bolster your change of success.

The Tyranid Trygon is fulfils two roles. in it is a Monstrous close assault creature, and other broods that are still in reserve can use the Tyranid Trygon’s tunnel to enter the battle field. More about this in the next section.

Special Rule: Subterranean Assault

If being big and scary it not enough, the Tyranid Trygon has a ‘ Subterranean Assault’ special rule. What is good about this is that the Tyranid Trygon can allow other units to enter play from its tunnels, even if they do not normally get the deep-strike special rule.

Once the Tyranid Trygon has entered the battle field the tunnel stays open, but you will need to keep the entry point marked. One way to do this is to place a large blast marker template sized creator where the Trygon enters play. Games Workshop do packs of creators that work well, or you can create your own using papier-mâché.

Tyranid Trygon Prime Tactics

The Trygon Prime is a Tyranid Trygon with Hive Mind abilities. This allows you to have Hive Mind control over the broods that are entering the battle field through the Trygon tunnel. However you can only have one Tyranid Trygon prime per army.

Tyranid Mawloc Tactics

The Tyranid Trygon’s ‘little’ brother is the Tyranid Mawloc. The Tyranid Mawloc model is as scary as the Tyranid Trygon, but is looses some weapon skill and number of assaults

Special Rules Terror from the Deep and Burrow

What the Tyranid Mawloc looses in close combat skills in makes up for with these two special rules. I will deal with them together as they are best used together.

Tyranid Toxicrene Tactics

The Tyranid Toxicrene is a new Tyranid Heavy Support option recently released with the rules published in Vol 40 of the White Dwalf weekly. You can find this publication on the Games Workshop Black Library for £2.45 site here!

The Tyranid Toxicrene is a monstrous sized Tyranid Venomthrope. However the rules are quite different, for example the Toxicrene is more of a close combat creature, and does not provide the spore cloud cover fr nearby Tyranids like the Venomthrope does.

 

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Tyranid Troop Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In the current Tyranid Codex the troop section contains all the common Tyranid creatures. For this reason we now see the Tyranid Warrior as a troop choice where they had been HQ or Elite choices.

General Tyranid Troop Tactics

Tyranids work best as a ‘swarm’ army. This means that you will want lost of cheap troops to absorb enemy fire as you get your bigger creatures in to combat.

With the release of the 6th Edition of the Warhammer 40k rules, the shooty troops are getting a slight advantage over the close assault troops. Fortunately, even though Tyranids are usually seen as a close assault army, they do have a moderate number of shooty options too. In the troop choices this means that for the time being you may want to favour fielding Termagants and Tyranid Warriors over the Hormagaunts, Genestealers, and Rippers.

Tyranid Warrior Brood

Warhammer 40k Tyranids and OrksTyranid Warriors are classically the back-bone of the Tyranid army. They are formidable fighters with a good range of close combat and ranged weapons.

Hive Mind

The Tyranid warrior has the ‘Hive Mind’ special rule. This is great because it allows you to have a troop choice taking the have mind role, releasing the HQ Hive Tyranids to do their monstrous creature stuff (like ripping tanks apart).

Tyranid Warrior Strength and Weapons

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Warrior

Mk2 Tyranid Warrior with Spine Fist, Bone Sword, and Rendering Claws

The Tyranid Warrior has a wide range of weapons available. These are close combat and assault weapons. With the update of the Warhammer 40k 6th edition rules, the game is now squad towards shooting troops over close assault troops. Fortunately the Tyranid Warrior has a selection of both. On play testing Warriors with shooting weapons are holding up ok, but close assault only Warriors are not doing well.

One additional point to mention is that the Tyranid Warriors Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill go up one point each if you have a Tyranid Prime in the brood too.

Close Combat Weapons

The Tyranid warriors get the Scything Talons as a basic option, however you can upgrade to have either Rendering Claws or Bone Swords. As usual it will depend on the enemy that you are facing as to which option will be the best for you. One thing is sure though, upgrading to have both Rendering Claws and Bone Swords together does not make any sense. Choose one or the other, or neither.

Shooting Weapons

To see which is the best we will calculate how many standard Space Marines each will kill ( if in range) per point of Tyranid Warrior model.

For blast weapons I estimated that with BS3 the blast template will clip 3 Space Marine Models half the time (3:6) and with BS4 that the template will clip 3 models 4 in 6 times (4:6).

Tyranid Warrior With Rendering Claws and Devourer ( 18″ Range ) 3 Shots, 3/6 hit, 4/6 wound
2/6 failed saves, 35 points
3x(3/6*4/6*2/6)/35 0.009524
Tyranid Warrior With Rendering Claws and Deathspitter (18″ Range) Blast, 3/6 hit, 3/6 wound,
2/6 failed saves, 30 points
3x(3/6*3/6*2/6)/30 0.00833

However when a brood has a Tyranid Prime attached, the Warriors use the Weapon Skill of the Prime, ( increasing each by one). This greatly improves the effectiveness of the Warriors.

Tyranid Warrior With Rendering Claws
and Devourer ( 18″ Range )
3 Shots, 3/6 hit, 3/6 wound
2/6 failed saves, 35 points
3x(4/6*4/6*2/6)/35 0.012698
Tyranid Warrior With Rendering Claws
and Deathspitter ( 18″ Range )
Blast, 3/6 hit, 3/6 wound,
2/6 failed saves, 30 points
3x(4/6*3/6*2/6)/30 0.01111
Tyranid Warrior With Rendering Claws
and Venom Cannon ( 32″ Range )
Blast, 4/6 hit, 5/6 wound,
2/6 failed saves, 45 points
3x(4/6*5/6*2/6)/45 0.012345

From these numbers you can see that with the Prime, the Warrior are about 30% more effective.

Genestealer Brood

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer

Mk1 Tyranid Genestealer

Genestealers are the ultimate hand-to-hand combat troops. Blood Angles and Dark Elder think that they are good close combat armies, but compared to these they are just amateurs. The down side is that they are vulnerable in the open and to anti-personnel fire. This makes it imperative that you use every sneaky trick in the book to get them close. I tend to think of the Genestealers as elite troops rather than a troop choice, i.e. one or two squads in an army is about the right balance.

Genestealer General Tactics

Their lack of ranged weapons means that Genestealer have one task, get in to hand to hand combat as soon as possible.

Their 5+ save means that they will be shot to ribbons from Space Marine Bolters. Use whatever cover is available to get the Genestealers to your enemy. Use the ‘Run’ and ‘Fleet of Claw’ rules to get then there quickly. Think about using the infiltrate rules to start closer to the enemy.

Rendering Claws

Once the Genestealers are in close combat they are devastating against even the toughest troops and can devastate tanks. Direct you Genestealers towards the toughest opponents, especially those Terminators.

Use All Cover

Genestealers are very vulnerable in the open. Being few in numbers, and having on firearms, your opponents will stand back and whittle down your best troops as they approach. Placing your Genestealers in buildings will cause real head aches to your opponent, especially if that is the objective. I have found that placing them behind bunkers works better that placing them inside because inside they are too easily stunned by concentrated fire power.

Remember that the smaller Tyranid Termagants can provide cover on the move.

Engage their troops

As Genestealers have no ballistic skill, get them in to action as soon as possible. If your opponent is using fast troops, like a Raven Wing army, use your winged and leaping creatures to close them down and bring the Genestealers in as a second wave. Note: Marine players are learning that it is better to ‘elect to fail’ the close combat round rather than hang around for the Genestealers to get there. If your opponent has the habit of doing this then set up cross fire traps for him.

Cause Terror

Genestealers do not have the ‘Cause Terror’ special rule, but they do have a psychological effect on the opposing player in the same way that Hive Tyrants, Lictors and creatures created using the Monstrous Creature rules do.

Genestealer Broodlord

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer Brood

A Tyranid Genestealer Patriarch ( Brood Lord ) and Genestealers

The Genestealer Broodlord was a HQ choice, so you can imagine that they are tough!

Genestealer Broodlords are better fighters, stronger, tougher, have more wounds, are faster, and have more attacks. On top of all that they are L1 Psykers that know the Horror psychic power. The downside is that they cost 60 points!

Genestealer Special Rules

Genestealers have a number of special rules that you will want to know.

Fleet of Claw

Fleet of Claw allows you to move another D6 (average of 3.5″) move during the shooting phase like the Run! special rule but you can assault in the same turn too.

Brood Telepathy

Brood Telepathy frees the Genestealers from the Instinctive behaviour rules. This added to their Ld10 value means that  you can have your Genestealers roaming around free from the Hive Mind leash. You have the option to use Genestealers to set up ambushes, protect the flanks of your main brood from flanking attacks, hold strategic buildings and terrain features (out of line of sight of the enemy), hit and disrupt tasks, etc. Another option is to threaten to do any of these and you will tie up some of your opponents force as he tries to counter your threatening manoeuvre. The really great generals will threaten, tie up troops and then attack an unexpected quarter, doubling the use, and value of the Genestealers.

Genestealer Options

In order to simplify the Tyranid codex many of the upgrades have disappeared, leaving only three upgrade options.

Scything Talons

Genestealers can be upgraded to having Scything talons. This allows the Genestealers to re-roll 1’s to hit. So against Space Marines the chances of hitting increase from 2 in 3 (0.66666:1) to 7 in 9 (0.77777:1). This is only a small increase but not only increases the number of dice that you will roll to wound your opponent, but those dice may come up 6’s and render them too. If you regularly get your Genestealers in to combat the upgrade may be worth the points.

Adrenal Glands

Adrenal Glands give the Genestealers ‘Furious Charge’. If you are frequently charging in to combat (and not being assaulted instead), then this may be a worth while upgrade.

Toxin Sacs

Toxin Sacs give your Genestealers 4+ poison in close combat. This is very useful against tougher creatures.

Tyranid Termagant Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Termagaunt

Mk2 Tyranid Termagant with Devourer

Tyranid Termagants make up the bulk of the Tyranid army. They come in many variations running, leaping and flying across the battle field normally as the first wave of the Tyranid onslaught.

General Termagant Tactics

With the release of the 6th Edition of Warhammer 40k the balance of the game has shifted so that shooty troops are more effective. This means that your Termagants need to shift from being the gun fodder of the Tyranid army and start being the backbone of the troop choices.

Termagant Strength and Weapons

The Tyranid Termagant is only S3, so even a puny Guardsman is a bit of a fight for a single Termagant. The trick is not to assault on small numbers. A better option is to use the Termagants as close range fire fight creatures. However this does mean that you have to get in to close range ( 12″ to 18″ ) for your shooty weapons to reach.

Termagants have 4 basic weapon options, the Fleshborer, the Devourer, the Spinefist, and the Spike Rifle.

Weapon

Chance of Killing Marines

Formula

Points of Marines killed per point of Termagant

Flashborers (12″ Range ) 3/6 to hit, 3/6 wound, 2/6 failed sv, (4 points per model) *14 points per marine (18/216) /4 *14

0.291666

Devourer ( 18″ Range ) 3 shots, 3/6 hit, 3/6 wound, 2/6 failed sv (8 points) *14 (108/216)/8 *14

0.875

Spinefist ( 12″ Range ) 9/12 to hit, 4/12 to wound, 4/12 failed sv (4 points ) *14 (144/1728)/4 *14

0.291666

Spike Rifle (18″ Range) 3/6 to hit, 2/6 wound, 2/6 failed sv (4 points) *14 (12/216)/4 *14

0.19444

This shows that the Devourer is the best weapon on the Termagant at the moment vs. Space Marines, specially as the Devourer has that 18″ range.

As a contrast, here is how a Codex Space Marine works out vs. a Termagant:

Weapon

 Chance of Killing Termagants

 Formula

Points of Termagants killed per point of Marine

Bolt Gun ( 12″ – 24″) 3/6 hit, 2/6 wound, 6/6 failed sv ( 14 points) * 4 point per Termagant (96/216)/14*4

0.12698

Bolt Gun ( 0″ – 12″ ) 2 shots, 3/6 hit, 2/6 wound, 6/6 failed sv ( 14 points) *4 point per Termagant (192/216)/14*4

0.88888

This shows that the Termagant is not going to be a games winner on their own! However if you manage to keep in that magic distance of 12″ to 18″ away from the Space Marines, the Devourer Termagants should go toe to toe with the Marines.

Special Rules

Tyranid Termagants get “Move through cover”. This mean that you can cover difficult terrain a bit faster. The usual move through cover distance is 4″, where as the Termagants have an average roll of 5″. Not a great difference but it may help.

The Scuttling Swarm special rule allows you to take 1 Tyranid Tervigon as a troops choice for every Termagant brood you take. Tervigons are really eating up the battle fields and are highly recommended.

Tyranid Hormagaunt Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Hormagaunt

A Tyranid Hormagaunt with flying base stick reattaching the Hormagaunt to the base

The Tyranid Hormagaunt is a faster variant of the Termagant. Is purely a close combat creature and excellent at tying up the forward troops while the larger Tyranid creatures have chance to arrive.

The Tyranid Hormagaunt does not have any shooting weapons so you can expect to Run in your shooting round. As most of your army will be using the Run rule, you should find this easy to remember.

The Tyranid Hormagaunt also comes with two close combat weapons. This will mean that each model that gets two attacks, and an additional attack if they charge in. Due to the speed of the Hormagaunt, this
will be most first rounds of combat.

The downside of the Hormagaunts is their lowish strength and toughness. They are great against Imperial Guard, and ok against Space Marines, but against anything tougher and you will be struggling. This means that you will want to know what opponent you will be facing as soon as possible and adjust your army list (if possible) to match.

Ripper Swarm Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Ripper Swarm

Mk1 Warhammer 40k Tyranid Ripper Swarm

Ripper Swarms are the smallest of all the Tyranids. Do not under rate them. They are very effective at what they do and cheap.

Ripper General Tactics

The Tyranid Rippers have a surprising number of tactics because of the size and relatively low points cost.

Guard Areas

As Rippers are mindless you can detach them from the Hive Mind leash and use them to protect strategic points. If your opponent does decide to take on the Rippers then their three wounds a base should tie them up until reinforcements arrive.

Use to Flank and Penn In

One tactic for static Shooty armies adopt when being assaulted is to move un engaged troops 4″ away from the combat. This is so that after you win the combat, they can have another shooting round at you as you do a sweeping advance, or catch you in the open if you try to do a 3″ consolidation. An effective counter measure to this is to use your rippers to flank your opponent and confine him to the assault area. This enables your close combat specialists to devour their way from squad to squad without being shot at.

The ‘Fly Paper’ manoeuvre

Rippers have a great advantage with multiple wounds and mindlessness in that they are very stubborn in close combat. If you move a squad of Rippers in to combat with your enemies elite of HQ. units then those units will have to kill every wound of the Rippers before they can move on. This even works well with Dreadnoughts that the Rippers have no chance of killing. Done right the enemy will loose the use of an expensive squad for the whole game at the cost of 10 points a base to you.

Counter Assault Fire Wall

Warhammer 40k Tyranids and OrksSome times you will come across opponents that will try to assault you. Generally this is a good thing for you as you get in to combat sooner where you excel and protected from gun fire. However if you are assaulted then your opponent will get to choose who will be in base to base with whom and will receive the +1 attack bonus. There are several counter measures for this, the Horror mind power, assault troops with 12″ assault moves. Use cheap troops like Rippers to take the brunt of the assault and allow your bigger creatures to counter charge and get the benefits.

To create a fire wall place a line of rippers between you enemies assault troops and their likely target. Likely targets are usually your larger more expensive creatures like Carnifexes, Hive Tyrants, Warriors, etc. This works better if the Rippers move at the same speed as the target and not be left behind. Add & tunnelling and wings as applicable.

Special Rules

Rippers a few special rules too.

Fearless

Rippers are fearless. This means that there is no benefit from keeping them near the Hive Mind. This releases them to be used for flanking the enemy, causing diversions, or sneaking of with the mission as your opponent grapples with the main brood.

Mindless

Mindless is a Tyranid specific rule. Basically, if your Ripper Swarms are outside Hive Mind range at the start of the turn they take a leadership test and loose a wound for point that they loose the leadership test by. As Rippers only have a LD5 score this causes casualties fairly quickly. The trick here then is to keep your Hive Mind close to hand. No change there then!

Blast and Template Weapons

Be wary of template weapons like flamers. A particular flamer to avoid is the Sisters of Battle Immolator. With the Chapter approved rules this tank causes double hits and added to the double wounds that Rippers suffer, they will burn like tinder. Fortunately flamers are short ranged and often in hand to hand combat by the time the Ripper get there.

Wings

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Sky Slasher Swarms

Necromunda Ripper Jacks filling in for Sky Slasher Winged Ripper Swarms

Winged Rippers are called ‘Sky Slasher Swarms’ and can be very effective. Their independence from the Hive Mind, Speed and survivability mean that you can send them on sub-missions tying up Heavy Weapon Squads etc. Highly recommended.

If you take wings for your Ripper Swarms they become a Tyranid Fast Attack options.

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Tyranid Elite Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope Brood

Elite troops are very important to the structure of a Tyranid army. In most armies the Elite choices are chosen to add colour or an extra edge. In the Tyranid army the Elite choices offer some of the more specialist Tyranid creatures.

Having as much fore knowledge as possible about any upcoming battle will help when it comes to choosing what, if any, elite units you add to your army list. If you are expecting a sparse amount of cover then the Venomthrope will give your broods some mobile extra cover saves. If you are expecting to face a number of Psykers,, then the Zoanthrope offers psychic powers, added hive mind cover, and the potent Warp Blast. And for games with heavy cover, the Hive Guard can stay out of sight and still offer close support anti-tank fire-power.

Tyranid Hive GuardTyranid Hive Guard Tactics

The Hive Guard are very  similar to the Tyranid Guard that you find in the HQ section. They have a few tweaks to the stats line that you need to be aware of, specially the 4+ save. The Hive Guard also come with impaler cannons.

The Tyranid Hive Guard Impaler Cannon

The Tyranid Hive Guard get the Impaler Cannon. There are no options to change this, so generally you choose to field a Tyranid Guard squad if you want this weapon.

The Impaler Cannon is a medium ranged S8 weapon. This does have enough punch to take out most tanks and instant kill most S4 multi wound characters. Its main strength though is that you can be fired at targets that are out of sight. This is great if you are going to fight on a table that has dense cover. City Fight and Jungle Fight rules are prime examples.

Note that even though the Hive Guard does not need line of site to fire this weapon, you still need to roll to hit. I guess it is the ‘Shard-beast’s’ ballistic skill you are checking and not the Tyranid Hive Guards!

Tyranid Lictor Tactics

A Tyranid Lictor sneaks up on Sisters of Battle

A Tyranid Lictor sneaks up on Sisters of Battle

Lictors are the sneaky assassins of the Tyranid army.  Their chameleon scales and ability to function away from the Hive Mind make them great scouting choices.

Lictors add an element of surprise to your army. They Can be set up in a hidden location, even if the scenario does not allow infiltrates.

Lictor Tactics

Lictors use a different type of tactics to the main Tyranid army. Although there are now several Tyranid creatures that can deep strike, the Lictor is the only one that must deep strike.

Assassin

Lictors are good assassins. In a one to one fight, Lictors will wound or kill most of your opponent’s characters. Avatars and Greater Demons are edible with a bit of support. Beware of the character’s bodyguard retinue. If you are out numbered your chances of survival are slim.

If no valuable characters are available Lictors can tie up squads in combat. This allows your other troops top close in. Remember that your enemy can not shoot through close combat. Choose a squad that is small enough so you are not killed in one turn. Choose one in a position that blocks as many shots at your troops as possible.

Confuse and Distract

Even when your Lictor is not on the table it can distract your opponent. Decide at the beginning of the battle if you want your opponent to know that you have a Lictor. If he does not know about it you can surprise him when it appears. If he does know about it then he will be guessing where it is placed until it’s on the board. Sometimes you do not get the chance to keep your army list secret. In this case use the second tactic.

Causes Terror

Lictors do not have ‘The Horror’ Hive-Mind power, but they do look awesome and your opponent on his toes.

Pheromone Trail

With a greater number of deep strike troop available, the Lictor’s ability to get your other deep-strike troops in sooner is a great advantage. If you have a larger quantity of deep strike troops it may be worth leaving your Lictor out of harms way just to do this.

Remember that the Lictor needs to be on the table at the start of the turn to use his Pheromone skills. As the Lictor always is deployed as reserves. This means that they turn up on turn two at the earliest and will not be able to help other Tyranids turn up until turn three at the earliest.

Lictor Special Rules

The Lictor have an array of special rules. It’s highly recommended that you get familiar with them.

Chameleon Skin

How can anything this big be so sneaky? With Secret Deployment, the Lictor has the best chance to worm its way behind enemy lines to cause havoc. Be warned though, on its own Lictors are very vulnerable targets and its toughness 4 is no that great. Beware of those scanners and flamers when you are setting up.

Stealth

Tyranid Lictors get the ‘Stealth’ special rule. This good if you are in cover, but no benefit out in the open. So the best idea is to keep in (or near) cover!

Hit and Run

This allows your Lictor to leave an assault on your turn and hide / assault again / assault elsewhere. This is a good tactic to avoid the Lictor being bogged down by large cheap units ( Imperial Guard Conscripts? ).

Fleet & Move through cover

I will deal with these two special rules together. The Lictor is quite nippy around the table. This will effect you tactics, specially if the gaming table has a lot of cover (jungle fight anyone?)

Tyranid Deathleaper Tactics

The Death Leaper is another ‘Unique’ Tyranid creature. Games Workshop has not released a model for the Deathleaper, so it’s another good opportunity to do some modelling. The Deathleaper is essentially a Tyranid Lictor. There has been two different Lictor models (Mk1 and Mk2). The easiest option is to use a Tyranid Lictor of a different type to your other Lictors. Of example I have two mark 1 Lictors, so I could get a Mk2 Lictor and announce that it’s a Death Leaper at the start of the game.

Tyranid Venomthrope Tactics

Tyranid Zoanthrope Shouded reachVenomthropes are impressive close combat creatures, but the greatest benefit of the Venomthropes is that it gives a shrouded cover save bonus ( +2 sv ) to all broods with a model within 6″. Please note that this is just the models in 6″. If you have as large brood where some models are within 6″ and some models of the save brood are beyond 6″, then only those in 6″ get the shrouded cover save bonuses. I have seen battle report videos where they have applied the bonus to the whole brood if just one model was in range. Sorry guys, you have this wrong. Double check the Codex if you doubt me.

Also note that being in range of two Venomthropes does not give you twice the cover bonus. +2 to save is the best you get. However the +2 bonus does work in conjunction with ant cover save you get from the terrain. This means that you can get a 2+ save in ruined buildings. That is  a 4+ save from the building and a +2 bonus from the Venomthropes shroud.

However any additional cover saves is a massive bonus to the Tyranid army. This is because you will often face a hail of incoming fire as you see to get in to close combat with your foe.

Tyranid Zoanthrope Tactics

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid ZoanthropeZoanthropes are exclusively psychic creatures, they even move using their psychic powers (at normal speed). Zoanthropes can be used to support the smaller Tyranid creatures as a Synapse creature and with the Catalyst psychic powers, or support the army using The Horror or Warp Blast powers.

Close Assault skills

With a strength and toughness of four the Zoanthropes are as tough as a Space Marine and with a 3+ invulnerable save and 2 wounds, they can be quite tough! On the whole Zoanthropes are general better out of combat in a support role.

The Zoanthrope as a shooting creature

The Zoanthrope has two psychic powers as shooting weapons. You can only use one per turn.

The problem is that Zoanthropes have to take a psychic test and a ballistic test so the stats make it look like they hit as often as a Space Marine, but the truth is that they hit slightly less often!

Another problem with shooting is that each turn that the Zoanthrope shoots, it can not run in the shooting phase. This means that it is it danger of not keeping up with the rest of the army. Plan to use your Zoanthrope at the back of the any, catching any stray creatures that have escaped the Hive Mind.

The Zoanthrope Warp Blast

The Warp Blast psychic power is an impressive mid range weapon. The Warp Blast is a S5 24″ blast weapon that will make holes in closely packed troops.

The Zoanthrope Warp Lance

The Warp Lance is a S10 weapon that will damage the toughest tanks (even Bainblades!). The problem though is that you need to pass a psychic test, the deny the witch roll and then roll to hit. This can make the chance of hitting painfully less than you would expect. If you are looking for some big guns then the Tyranid Heavy Support section is a good place to look!

Tyranid Neurothrope

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope brood with Neuronthrope Tyranid Zoanthrope brood with Neurothrope.

With the release of the plastic Zenothrope / Venomthrope boxes at the end of 2014, Games Workshop have re-introduced an old favourite from the 2010 Tyranid Codex. Then it was called the Doom of Malan’tai. Now we have the daughters of the Doom, called the Tyranid Neurothrope.

You can find the rules for the Tyranid Neurothrope in the weekly White Dwarf no. 42. If you do not have it you can purchase a downloadable version from the Black Library site here for £2.49.

Tyranid Pyrovore Brood Tactics

The Tyranid Pyrovore is a Tyranid Hive Guard variant that fires a heavy flamer type weapon. This means that the Tyranid Pyrovore is a useful creature to have around in game that have dense cover. Jungle and City Fight games.

As the Tyranid Pyrovore has a short ranged template weapon it will be expected that the Pyrovore will get in to assault on a regular basis. Fortunately the Tyranid Pyrovore is not too shabby in an assault either. For smaller foe it has 2 S4 AP- attacks, and for larger foe it can use it’s single S5 AP2 attack instead. Be warned though, the Pyrovore has low initiative and leadership score. This means that the Pyrovore will be better at assisting in an existing attack than spearheading a new assault.

Ymgarl Genestealer Brood

Even though they are making their first appearance in a codex, the Ymgarl Genestealers are not new, but very old, appearing first in the ‘Rogue Trader’ version of 40k.

There are no official Ymgarl Genestealer models any more so you will need to find some vary rare Rouge Trader figures, or more likley adapt and model Ymgarl Genestealers from the regular Genestealer plastic kits.

The Ymgrl Genestealer has been deleted from the 2013 Tyranid Codex. Hopefully we will see them re-appear  in one of the black library data-slates.

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Tyranid Tervigon Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Is it a monstrous creature? Is it a Synapse creature? Is it a troop carrying tank? Well the Tyranid Tervigon is all three of these things and other things too.

Games workshop have now released a plastic Tyranid Tervigon model, and what a monster it looks too! If you are in to scaring your opponents, then this may be the HQ choice for you.

Tervigons are a popular choice in Tyranid armies at the moment, and for good reason. At 195 points the Tyranid Tervigon is about the same points cost of a Land Raider. So in this respect it can be seen to be quite good value for points, and cheap enough in points to play in a 2k point game.

How Tervigons Create Termagants

One of the main features of the Tyranid Tervigon is that is creates broods of Termagants for free. This happens at the end of the movement phase. This means that you move the Tervigon to where you want to new Terqgnts to arrive first and you get a chance to move any previously spawned Termagants out of the way before you try to spawn more of the critters.

When you come to generating Termagants you roll 3D6 and that many Termagants arrive on the battle field neat the Tervigon. This means that the Tervigon could spawn between 3 and 18 Termagants per turn. The average for a 3D6 roll is 7.5, so you can expect between 5 to 12 Termagants per turn. Termagant production does stop if any 2 dice show the same number. On average this will happen after 2.5 turns ( between 2 and 3 turns), though I have played games where the Tervigon continued to spawned Termagants up to turn 7. This will happen more often if you field 2 or more Tervigons at a time.

The high production of Termagants means that you will need to have a good stock of them so that you can hold in reserve and bring out as the game progresses. The maximum number of Gaunts created over 7 turns is 6×15+18= 108 Termagants! This is because in turns 1 to 6 the best roll you can have is 4,5,6 = 15, or the production will stop. As you can expect lower rolls than the maximum and you can expect some Termagants to die through the course of the game, a stock of 50 Termagants per Tervigon should be enough ( plus the ones that you start the game with ).

How to use your Tervigon

The Tervigon is a monstrous creature. That means that it gets all the usual Monstrous Creature special rule; Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Move Through Cover, Relentless, Smash. Also the Tervigon can be in an assault and still spawn more Termagants, and these Termagants can be spawned up to 6″ away, move, shoot, and assault all in the same turn, much like disembarking from an open topped vehicle.

All these bonuses do mean that the Tervigon can be useful in an assault. However the Tyranid army has a number of troop options that are better assault choices. The Tervigon is better deployed in the back field defending objectives that sit in your own deployment area or near by. If you get swamped by the number of Termagants that you spawn, you can always run them up the table to help on the front line. Otherwise they are great at taking on any outflanking shock troops that may turn up.

Toughness and Armour

The Tyranid Tervigon has a toughness that will require Lasguns and Bolters to need to roll 6’s to wound. Other more powerful weapons will need less. This does mean that the Tyranid Tervigon is not all powerful, and you are recommended to use as much cover as possible as you approach the enemy. Also the Tyranid Tervigon’s armour is as tough as a Space Marines, but there is no invulnerable armour save available. This means that you can be sure that any Lascannons will be coming this way. In the Tyranid Tervigon’s defence is that it has a sizeable number of wounds, and it’s toughness is just enough to make sure that it will not be instant killed from S10 weapons. With a toughness of 6 the new Space Marine grav weapons will hurt too!

Strength and Weapons

The Tyranid Tervigon has a Carapace weapon called the Stinger Salvo. This is a medium ranged weapon that will be effective against tougher troops and weaker transport. It is Assault 4 so you will be able to move and shoot, and be confident at having a few hits each round. The Stinger Salvo is AP4, so like most Tyranid weapons Power Armour will get the usual 3+ save, but carapace armour will be no defense.

Like Most of the larger Tyranids, the Tyranid Tervigon is useful in a close combat fight too. However in comparison to some of the other Tyranid HQ choices, the Tyranid Tervigon is not a prize fighter.

What Tervigon Biomorphs Should I Take?

The Tervigon comes with Scything Talons. You can upgrade to Crushing Claws. If you are likely to be attacking tanks the the Crushing Claws may be worth the 15 points. However if your Tervigon will be sitting on the back line then keep with the Scything Talons and keep the points cost down.

Also you may have other creatures, like Carnifexes on tank eating duty, so there will less of a reason to upgrade the Tervigon with Crushing Claws.

Note that if you are just building your Tervigon try building it with those mini magnets to allow you to swap weapons later. Crushing claws may become better again in the next Tyranid Codex ( whenever that will be).

When it comes to Stinger Salvo vs. Cluster Spines, both options are the same points cost, and the same strength. What is different is that one is Assault 4 AP4 and the other is large blast AP- ( check the Codex p81 & p82 to find out which is which). As the Tervigon is WS3 the Assault 4 weapon will miss 50% of the time and the blast weapon will scatter a moderate distance. For myself I tend to go with the blast weapon. The size of the large blast template means that you will usually hit something! And I usually play vs. Space Marines that have a 3+ save anyway!

Regenerate may be worth the points if you find that your Tervigon does get shot up. However if you keep your Tervigon in your deployment zone you may find that very few shots goes its way as your enemy gets to grips with the assaulting broods you send there way!

The other biomorphs are close combat bonuses. Again if your Tervigon hugs the back line, these may not be used. The point are usually better spent on beefing up your front line troops.

Special Rules

The Tyranid Tervigon has a number of special rules that you will want to get use to. Knowing the special rules will make sure that you get full value from this centre piece model.

Tyranid Synapse Creature

The Tyranid Tervigon is a synapse creature. This means that you can use it to control the rest of the smaller creatures in that area. And as the Tyranid Tervigon as a large base, this will cover a sizable section of gaming table.

Tyranid Psychic Powers

The Tyranid Tervigon gets Shadow of the Warp. This power is ‘always on freeby ‘ so you do not have to take psychic tests to use it, and it does not count towards the This is a great power if you are facing other psychic centric army like the Eldar, Dark Eldar, and Chaos armies. If you are facing one of these forces you will want to read up on the Shadow of the Warp rules.

Tervigons are Level 1 Psykers. This power will come from the Tyranid Psychic Power list, so you will want to get very familiar with these psychic powers, specially the primeris powers.

Conclusion

Tervigons are well worth the points and I highly recommend adding one or maybe two Tervigons to army lists of 1000 points plus. Keep to the basic option if you are keeping your Tervigon on the back line, but be sure to have two or three boxes of Termagants available per Termagant to bring on to the table during the game. And oh yes, be prepared to watch your opponent weep a you bring more and more critters in to the fight.

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Tyranid Hive Tyrant for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrant
Warhammer 4000 Tyranid Hive Tyrant

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is the classic Tyranid HQ choice. It is a monstrous creature that can be configured as an assault creature, as a ranged weapon creature, or as a bit of each. This means that the Tyranid Hive Tyrant is a very adaptable option. This is great in smaller games as you get fewer models in a smaller game and so picking multipurpose options is strategically advisable.

Strength and Weapons

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is quite formidable in a fight. It is a monstrous creature for a start, with all the benefits that offers. On top of this the Tyranid Hive Tyrants strength is enough to rip most tanks apart in close combat, and is a match for any Space Marine Dreadnought.

Bone Sword

The Tyranid Bone Sword carried by the Tyranid Hive Tyrant as a default weapon is a formidable weapon. It is AP3 so it will cut through most amour, and can cause instant death on a 6 to wound. This means that it is a great weapon to take on enemy characters.

Lash Whip

The Tyranid Lash Whip is another awesome weapon, It ups the Hive Tyrants Initiative score to 8. There are very few characters in the game with an Initiative score this time. This means that ou will have first strike most of the time and occasionally be striking at the same time. If you can strike first the you may kill the enemy character outright in one round. If you can do this then avoid any return attacks.

Scything Talons

The other weapon that the Tyranid Hive Tyrant carries by default is a set of Tyranid Scything Talons. Scything Talons have been downgraded since the previous Tyranid Codexes. Instead of adding an extra attack, they are now allowing you to re-roll some misses. This means that you may want to consider upgrading the Scything Talons for some other weapon. Upgrading to the Tyranid Venom Cannon is a popular choice as this will give the Tyranid Hive Tyrant some longer range shooting ability as you approach the enemy.

Toughness Armour and Biomorphs

The Tyranid Hive Tyranid is quite tough. It is tough enough for Bolters and Lasguns to need 6’s to wound, however weapons with a higher strength than these weapons will wound the Tyranid Hive Tyrant more easily. Heavy bolters and Autocannons are quite effective against Tyranid Hive Tyrants. One way to counter this is to upgrade your Tyranid Hive Tyrant with either Winds, so that you can get in to close combat faster, or the Armoured Shell Biomorph, which will make the Tyranid Hive Tyrants amour as tough as a Space Marie Terminator, without the invulnerable saves.

Hive Mind & Psychic Powers

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is a psychic creature. There are two lists of psychic powers available to the Hive Tyrant. The first list is a list of powers that you get included in the points cost. The second list is a list of four psychic power that you can select two included in the points cost. The Tyranid Hive Tyrant comes with two psychic power all the time. These are ‘Synapse Creature’, and ‘Shadow of the Warp’.

You are able to select two psychic powers from a list of four. These are included in the Tyranid Hive Tyrant’s points.

Wings

Winged Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrant

A Mk3 Warhammer 40k Tyranid Hive Tyrant with dragon wings to make a Flying Monstrous Creature!

I highly recommend adding wings to the Tyranid Hive Tyrant. The model pictures here is a metal Hive

Tyrant with plastic dragon wings attached. Some modelling and green stuff was required, but not much. You can add wings by mail-ordering Dragon wings from Games Workshop mail order or from Forge World. Since I created this model Games Workshop released the Tyranid Hive Tyrant / Swarmlord model. this makes adding a Winged Hive Tyrant to your army a breeze!

Adding Wings on a Tyranid Hive Tyrant gives the Hive Tyrant the Jump-Pack and Monstrous Flying Creature

The Hive Tyrant as a Jump-Pack creature benefits are that the Hive Tyrant a 12″ move in the movement phase, and you still get the option to run in the shooting phase if you do not shoot. this means that the Winged Tyranid Hive Tyrant a move of up to 18″ per turn. Otherwise you can move shoot ( as all the Tyranid weapons are Assault weapons), and then assault. This is great for jumping over cover that you enemy is hiding behind and shooting them from a direction that they do not get a cover save from. This is specially effective against Imperial Guard and Tau hiding behind Aegis Defence Lines.

The Hive Tyrant as a Flying Monstrous Creature is an option that has been added in the 6th Edition of the Warhammer 40000 rules. This is a role that the Hive Tyrant is excelling at. Most Tyranid games now have one or two Winged Hive Tyrants ( aka, Fyrants ) screaming over the battle filed dishing out fly by ‘ Vector Strike’ attacks in the movement phase and then dishing out 6 twin-linked Devourer / Brain Leach S6 shots at the unfortunate troops below.

Retinue – Tyrant Guard

Mk2 Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrant

A Mk2 Warhammer 40k Tyranid Hive Tyrant with two Tyranid Hive Guard.

Tyranid Guard are highly recommended if you are not using wings on your Tyranid Hive Tyrant. They increase the survivability of the Tyranid Hive Tyrant, and give extra attacks if they get in to close combat.

If you have a Tyranid Hive Tyrant armed with a shooting weapon, then taking two or three Tyranid Guard is generally a good idea.

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Tyranid HQ Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrant

The Tyranid HQ Choices have been expanded in the 2010 Tyranid Codex. The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is still the standard HQ choice. The Tyranid Warrior, and Genestealer Brood Lord have been move to troop choices, and some truly gigantic new monsters have been added.

The Tyranid HQ choices are the main supply of Hive Mind creatures. These are important in a Tyranid army to keep order over smaller Tyranid creatures, and over half of the choices are ‘Monstrous Creatures’. This means that the Tyranid HQ choices usually double up as heavy support too, carrying the biggest guns in the army, and possibly the biggest assault weapons (36″, AP4, S9, A1 blast) in the game!

General Tyranid HQ Tactics – Warlord Traits

Mk2 Tyranid Hive Tyrant acting as a Tyranid Prime

Winged Mk3 metal Hive Tyrant with Dragon Wings.

A new addition to the 6th edition of the Warhammer 40k rules is the addition of Warlord traits. You can find the Warlord Traits on page 111 of the rules book. Your Tyranid Warlord can take warlord traits in the same way that any other Warhammer 40k army can, or you can choose to roll on the Tyranid Warlord Traits found in the Codex on Page 38. However due to the individual nature of the Tyranid army you may find that some traits are more useful than others.

Tyranid Codex Warlord Trait

The Tyranid Warlord traits have the advantage of being tailor made for the Tyranid army. Traits like the ‘Synaptic Linchpin’ that give the Warlord 18″ Synaptic range is a very useful skill to have. Some of the other skills that are a bit hit and miss with their usefulness, like the ‘Nature’s Bain’ trait is of no use if there are no jungle or woodland terrain pieces on the table. This hit and miss element with the Warlord traits do seem to be a trait of all the Traits.

Tyranids using the Rule Book Warlord Traits

Out of the 3 possible Rule Book Warlord traits the Command Traits are the weakest option for the Tyranid forces as the Tyranids have such good leadership skills already, as long as the Tyranids are within Synapse range. If you do have to select the Command traits for some reason ( for example a scenarios special rules ), there are traits that Tyranids can find useful. It’s just as the selection of the trait is random, there is a higher change of rolling for a ‘dud’ trait.

If you have a sizeable proportion of scout and infiltrating troops, for example a Genestealer heavy army, then the Strategic Traits may be your best option. The Strategic Traits have a number of options that help reserve troops, or allow you to have more control over when wand where reserve troops arrive.

If you do not have any reserve troops then the Personal Traits would be recommended. This is specially true as many of the traits are close combat related, and close combat is an area that Tyranids excel in. It is worth noting that a number of the Personal Traits are objective based. This means that you will want to have a couple of game plans mapped out depending on if you roll for a trait that aids the Warlord on a defensive or aggressive role.

Tyranid Hive Tyrant

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is the classic HQ choice for the Tyranid army. As there is a lot to say about the Hive Tyrant, I have created it’s own section.

Tyranid Swarmlord Tactics

The Tyranid Swarm Lord is a Tyranid special character very much in the mode of Space Marine named characters. Because of this there are no options, you have to play the creature as you see it, and you can only have one on the table per game.

Special Rules

The Tyranid Swarmlord has A number of special rules.

Bone Sabers

Psychic Monstrosity

18″ synapse and 2 psychic powers per turn.

Swarm Leader

One friendly unit in 18″ can have one of:

  • Monster Hunters
  • Preferred Enemy
  • Furious Charge

Alien Cunning

The Alien Cunning special rule is specially valuable if you have a number of reserve forces in your army. The +1 to the reserve roll means that your reserves will appear 4 in 6 ( 66.66%, 2 in 3 or 2/3rds ) times on each turn instead of the usual 3 in 6 ( 50% or 1 in 2 ) times.

Tyranid Tervigon

The Tyranid Tervigon was a new addition to the 2005 Tyranid Codex. However the Warhammer model was not released until a few years later. Since then the Tervigon has proved it’s selfie as a worthy addition to the Tyranid army. As there is a lot to say about the Tyranid Tervigon I created a separate page for it.

Tyranid Prime Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Prime and Tyranid Warriors

Mk1 Tyranid Hive Tyrants make great Tyranid Primes. Here is one with a brood of Mk2 Warriors

A Tyranid Prime is a bigger stronger, tougher, faster Tyranid Warrior. As they are interdependent characters can act alone, or they can be attached to other squads. They are also he cheapest Tyranid HQ choice.

The main advantage of the Tyranid Prime is that they are cheaper in points that the hive Tyrant. This means that they are a better choice for smaller games ( 500 to 1000 points).

Modelling the Tyranid Prime

Games Workshop has not released a model for the Tyranid Prime. One option is to use an older Tyranid Hive Tyrant model for this role. You may still be able to pick these up 2nd hand on eBay or at car boot sales and jumble sales.

Tyranid Prime Special Rules

The Tyranid Prime has a number of special rules that you will need to be familiar with. In addition to these rules the Tyranid Primes also get the Tyranid Warrior special rules.

Alpha Warrior

This special rule means that all the Tyranid Warriors in the unit of Warriors that the Tyranid Prime joins gets a boost to their Weapon Skill and Ballistic skill. This means two things. First, the best place for your Tyranid Prime is with a Tyranid Warrior Brood. Second, the bigger the Brood of Tyranid Warriors that the Tyranid Prime joins, the more leverage this special rules gives you. So by extension, if you where deciding between two broods of 3 Tyranid Warriors, or one Brood of 6 Tyranid Warriors during the army list building phase, then the obvious choice is to go with the brood of 6 if you are adding a Tyranid Prime to the Army too.

Independent Character

One advantage that the Tyranid Prime has over all the other Tyranid HQ choices is that it is an independent character. This means that the Prime can join other units. For example the Tyranid Prime can join a unit of the 3 Carnifex to provide a super heavy weight unit that will absorb a lot of wounds, or a squad of 30 Gaunts. This lets you take any incoming wounds against the Gaunts ( using the ‘Look-out Sir’ special rule ). 33 wound HQ anyone?

Old One Eye

Old One eye is a Tyranid Carnifex character. It ( he? she? ) has been a feature of the Tyranid Codex for a couple of releases, but t is usually a heavy support choice like the other Carnifex. However in the 2014 Tyranid Codex Old One Eye has been promoted to the HQ section.

I am not sure of the value of a HQ choice that does not have Hive Mind powers, specially if this is your only HQ choice (otherwise Old One Eye would not be the Warlord, based on Ld scores). If Old One Eye is a 2nd HQ choice then there may be several better options available.

Deathleaper Tactics

The Deathleaper is a bigger Tyranid Lictor. It does not have Hive Mind Powers, but with LD10 at least it should not be running away as often as Old One Eye.

 

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Tyranid Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrans and Tyrant Guard

“Look at that big one in the middle! It’s ugly enough to be your sister!” Garock jeered to his lascannon loader. Drak just quiped back “Yer, but it proberbly smell better than yours does” connecting a new battery pack up Drak shotted “All sparked up, let em have it! ” This was the first time they had been up against Tyranids, the first time they had been up against anything since thier 3 week basic training. “Just shoot the big ones!” Thier veteran sargent instuctors words rang in thier ears. He has survived a full month of active service so he should know. “The 4005’th are struggling with those leaping gaunts, if they break through will need to pull back again.”

The Tyranid army is not for the faint hearted. Be bold! Be decisive! And make the most of your options.

These pages are written with the expectation that you own a copy of rules book, a copy of the 2014 Tyranid Codex, and have read them. Having played a few games will help too.

The Tyranid Codex gives the Tyranid army huge amounts of flexibility. You can design your force to suit the style of play that you enjoy most. The cost of this flexibility is the need to spend time and adapt your models to reflect the special abilities that model has.

As usual, these pages are written with the expectation that you have a copy of the main Warhammer 40k Rule Book and the Tyranid Codex. If you do not have these you will need to get them or have access to them if you have someone you can share with.

2014 Tyranid Codex and the 7th Edition of Warhammer 40k

The 6th edition of the Warhammer 40000 rules was not kind to the Tyranid army. The main cause is that the rules are swinging back to favour the shooty army, and Tyranids favour close combat. However the tactical objectives added to 7th edition missions mean that armies have to come out of their bunkers if they are going to get victory points.  This has helped to swing to balance between shootie armies and assault armies back to neutral.

The changes in the 2014 Tyranid Codex have been subtle but when you take an overview it can be seen that this codex placed more priority to troop units, particularly the Termagants and less to the monstrous creatures and special characters like the Doom, which does not appear in this codex at all. These gaps may be filled in with Dataslate publications from the Black Library over time.

General Tyranid Tactics

Ok, now we will have a look at some broader tactics for Tyranids. For more detailed tactics please visit the sub-pages. I have detailed the tactics on a unit by unit basis on those pages. However in this section I will be looking at how the whole Tyranid army functions as one.

The Tyranid army list has been developed and extended over a number of Codex releases. These days you have a wide variety of unit choices in each of the HQ, Troop, Elite and Heavy Support sections. What you will not find is any tanks or fortifications. The Tyranid army is all about creature power, from the smallest ripper to the largest super monstrous bio-constructs.

The Tyranid Hive Mind

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope brood with Neuronthrope

Tyranid Zoanthrope brood with Neuronthrope

One of the core Tyranid features / characteristics, is the ‘Hive Mind’. If there is one feature that you need to get a good with when you are running a Tyranid army, then the Hive Mind is this one!

Basically the Tyranid Leader creatures are needed to keep order in the ranks. They do this my creating a always on psychic bond (no psychic test need) to the lesser creatures. This bond usually reaches 12″ of the Have Mind creatures. If the lesser creatures start the movement phase beyond the 12″ Hive mind bubbles then they need to take a leadership test and if they fail the smaller creatures start following their own instinctive actions. There are ways to extend this 12″ bubble. Watch out for these options, they are very useful.

The problem with instinctive behaviour is that it is not predictable. Half the time the Tyranid will do something bad like run away, go to ground, or start eating each other.

The usual formation when playing Tyranids is to have a Hive Mind creature as a central point and then the smaller creatures with one model in side the Hive Mind range, generally forward of the Hive Mind creature. This keeps the smaller creatures in control without bunching then all together. Because the Hive Mind control is so important to the Tyranid army. You can expect that the opposition will be gunning for your Hive Mind creatures. This means that you will want to give the plenty of cover and you will want to have more than one Hive Mind in your army.

I said earlier that the Hive Mind control usually extends 12″ in all directions ( 24″ diameter + the size of the creatures base ), however there are a couple of ways to extend this range. The first is that there is a Tyranid ‘Bio Artefact’ upgrade available to some of the HQ creature (one per army) called ‘The Norm Crown’. This gives on of your HQ creatures an additional 6″ range. The other option is that Tyranid Psykers can take the Tyranid Primeris power ‘Domination’. To use this you need to take a psychic test, but if you pass it gives that creature a 6″ to the Hive Mind range too. And yes you can have both together to get a 24″ range (48″ diameter), which will cover most of the table. A new addition to the Tyranid army at the end of 2014 is the Tyranid Sporocyst. This is a immobile Monstrous Creature come fortification that also extends  the Hive Mind reach of Hive Mind creatures nearby by a further 6″, and yes this is accumulative with other upgrades too.

Tyranids as a Swam / Assault Army

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer Brood

A Mk1 Genestealer Patriarch ( Brood Lord) leading a brood of Mk1 Genestealers.

The Tyranid army is probably the most assault specialised army in the game. Assault armies are devastating close up, but generally to not have much in the way of ranged weapons. This means that you will have to run the enemy’s guns until you get in to close combat.

There are several ways to do this. One is that you have so many troops that your opponent just cannot shoot them all, another is that you use sneaky tactics like infiltration and deep strike, to start closer.

Always try to use the cover available to minimize your casualties.

There are 2 popular choices when it comes to swarm units. There are the Termagants and Hormagaunts. The Termagants come in at 4points each basic. This means that you can get a lot of ‘Gaunts for 1500 to 2000 points. The thing is that each Termagant or Hormagaunt do not pack much punch on their own. This means that you will need to field them in large broods. Broods of 20 to 30 work best. This allows the broods to soak up quite a bit of damage and still be affective.

The main problems that you will have with large swarms like this is that they will be vulnerable to barrage weapons. Flamers can make a mess of then too. The other issue is that is difficult to move large units between cover without leaving some of the unit out in the open.

Tyranids as a Deep strike Army

Tyranid Shrike winged Warrior brood

Converted Tyranid Warriors used as Tyranid Shrike Brood

The Tyranids have more deep strike capabilities than most armies. This comes in several forms, but the effect is the same. Deep Strike comes in the form of Deep striking from winged creatures, or tunnelling from tunnelling creatures!

If you are playing a deep strike army you will want a Tyranid Hive Tyrant on the table as fast as possible. This is because the Tyranid Hive Tyrant has an upgrade that has a special rule that meant that you should get 66% of your reserves on during the second turn instead of the usual 50%.

Tyranids as a Shooty Army

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Tyrannofex

A Tyranid Tyrannofex with Acid Spray.

Tyranids are known for being a close assault army. The game tactics are usually to get the army in to close combat as soon as possible with the fewest casualties as possible, and them just feast on the opposition. The 6th Edition Warhammer 40k rules favoured the armies with ranged weapons. The 7th edition rules came with missions that favoured more rounded armies. Can the Tyranids adapt? Let’s have a look!

Tyranid Shooty Weapons

The Tyranids have 3 broad types of shooty weapons available:

  • Heavy weapons on the monstrous creatures
  • Basic weapons on the smaller brood creatures
  • Ranged psychic powers on the Hive Tyrants, Zoanthropes, and some other Psykers.

Most of the weapons are medium 12″ to 18″ range, so you will need to get fairly close to get your shots in. If you are playing this game then the trick is to get close enough to get your shots in, but far enough out so that you do not loose the charge initiative. One way to do this is to pick off the smaller squads on the outskirts of the enemies forces, and unpick his formations.

Even if you are looking to field a shooty Tyranid army the speed and cover will still be your best friends.

Tyranids as a Monstrous Creature Army

Forge World Tyranid Hiradule

Forge World Tyranid Hiradule

This is a classic formation for Tyranid players that like to see large numbers of hulking beasts marching across the table smashing up everything before them. This style of army is often called a ‘Nidzilla’ army.

The trick with the Nidzilla monstrous creature army is to get monstrous creatures in to your troop choices, or minimize the troop unit points to allow you to spend more points on your HQ and Heavy Support options.

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Tyranid Fast Attack Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

WH40k Tyranid Raverners Fast Attack units

In this section we will look at the Tyranid Fast Attack choices and the Fast Attack tactics.

The Tyranid Fast Attack units tend to be winged versions of the smaller Tyranid Troop choices. The usually are able to get in to the fight fast enough, specially as wings gives the Tyranid Fast Attack broods jump pack rules, including the ability to Deep Strike right in to the hart of the battle.

The Tyranid army is largely a close combat army. This means that you want to get to grips with the enemy troops as fast as possible!

Getting to the enemy fast can be achieved in different ways. You can start close up by infiltration, or deep striking, or you can move fast either by wings, or as beasts. The best option is to do both!

Fast Attack can rarely hold objectives. This means that they are much more useful harassing the enemy that trying to hold some strategic location. You have better options to hold strategic locations and these are usually your ‘ Lurk ‘ Tyranids ( Termagants, Gargoyles, & etc).

Tyranid Shrike Brood Tactics

Tyranid Shrike winged Warrior brood

Tyranid Shrike winged Warrior brood

The Tyranid Shrike is basically a Tyranid Warrior brood with wings. Many of the tactics that you will find in that section are relevant to the Tyranid Shrike too.

Shrike Broods seem to be very good value for points in comparison to the Tyranid Warriors and the Tyranid Raveners. For the Same points cost of a Warrior you loose 1 point of armour save and gain wings. For the same points cost of a Ravener you loose nothing and gain Hive Mind and Ld10. The Shrikes have more access to weaponry and biomorph upgrades too.

One of the main strengths of the Tyranid Shrikes are that as they are Hive Mind creatures and with 12″ movement, the Tyranid Shrikes can provide Hive Mind support the faster creatures like the Gargoyles, Sky-Slasher Swarms, and Raveners.

How to add wings to Warriors to make Shrike Broods

Make your own 40k Tyranid Shrike wings

Make your own 40k Tyranid Shrike wings

Forge World have Tyranid Shrike models these days, however with a little work you can create your own wings by adding two paper clip rods too a scything talon arm and then add a thin layer of green stuff over them to create the wing.

Once the Green stuff becomes a bit more firm you can sculpt the wing to a better shape and add in etchings to add more detail.

Ravener Brood Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Raveners appear from the Abbey ruinsTyranid Raveners are one of the Tyranid fast attack options that are doing well using the 7th edition Warhammer 40000 Rules. The main reasons for this are that they can Deep Strike on the game table ( Tunnelling ) and they are beasts so they can move 12″ in the movement phase, plus some other advantages.

Raveners come in a variety of weapon configurations, but mainly fall in to 2 groups, those with shooting weapons and those with just close assault weapons. If the Raveners are armed with shooting weapons then they are much more able to offer close support for other assaulting units. Raveners with just close combat weaponry are best off just getting stuck in to close assault as soon as possible as often as possible.

Raveners and the Hive Mind

Raveners are not Hive Mind creatures so they do appreciate having a Hive Mind creature around to keep them under control. However as their instinctive behavior is Feed, this is not vital. If you do want to give them Hive Mind support, the tunneling Trygon Prime is an excellent option.

It is worth noting that the Ravener has a LD6 score. This means that it will fail it’s leadership test over half the time ( 15 in 36 or 41.667% chances to pass).

If a Ravener does fail its instinctive behaviour test then they are subject to the Feed special rule. This means that half the time that they fail the Instinctive Behaviour tests they will turn on each other causing wounds to themselves. The other 50% of the time they will not run, but must assault if they can. This is not too bad if they are in assault range, otherwise you only have the movement phase to do something useful.

What is the best way to Deep Strike Raveners?

As I mentioned above, Raveners can Deep Strike (Tunnel) in to the battlefield. This is a great way of getting them in to the action quickly, and another way to overwhelm the enemy with choices as your other troops get up the battle field.

What Raveners are specially good at are ripping open tanks that are Armour 10 on the rear armour. They are S4, so you do need 6’s to do glancing hits. However with two sets of Scything Talons by default and 4 basic attacks each ( 5 attacks on the charge ) you should to do 3+ glancing hits per turn. This means that when you are selecting a Deep Strike landing point, it’s wise to choose somewhere safe, but within striking distance of the enemy armour.

3 Raveners Assaulting a Stationary Tank on the charge ( Back Armour T10 )

15 Hits Automatically. 1 in 6 ( 2.5 ) should be glancing hits.

If there are no armoured targets, or the armoured targets are too fast to catch, like Eldar and Dark Eldar, then head for the enemy troops. The Raveners are more than a match for most ground troops.

Sky-Slasher Swarm Brood Tactics

WH40k Tyranid Fast Attack Sky Slasher Swarm

Necromunda Ripper Jacks filling in for Sky Slasher Winged Ripper Swarms

Winged Tyranid Rippers are called Tyranid Sky Slasher Swarms and can be very effective. Their independence from the Hive Mind, Speed and survivability mean that you can send them on sub-missions tying up Heavy Weapon Squads etc. Highly recommended.

Games Workshop have not released a Tyranid Sky Slasher model. However you can find some at Forge World, or use an alternative. In this image you can see that I have used the Necromunda Rippper Jack models.

Tyranid Gargoyle Brood Tactic

The Tyranid Gargoyles are Tyranid Termagants with wings. This means they are fairly cheap shock troops. Armed with a Fleshborer they also get a ‘Blinding Venom’ biomorph upgrade. This gives the Gargoyle a single poisoned (6+) Blinding attack instead of the Gargoyle’s regular attacks.  For an upgrade cost of 2 points over the Termagant, the Gargoyles are good value for the points.The

The Tyranid Gargoyles can be upgraded further by adding Adrenal Glands and Toxin Sacs. However these are close combat upgrades, and for the most part Tyranid Gargoyles are better at close support fire and hit and run roles. For this reason I would not recommend these additional Biomorph upgrades.

Gargoyles and the Hive Mind

Gargoyles are Ld6. This means that if they are left on their own they will fail their Instinctive Behaviour test over half of the time ( 15 in 36 chances to pass or 41.667% ) This means that is very risky to run Gargoyles without Hive Mind Support. Winged Hive Tyrants, Winged Warriors ( Shrike ), the tunnelling Trygon Prime are good options to provide mobile or forward Hive Mind support for the fast Gargoyles.

If Gargoyles do fail their Instinctive Behavior tests then they are subject to the Hunt Instinctive Behavior. If this happens then half the time they will drop to the floor where they are and go to ground. This is not good as the Gargoyles work best is fairly open ground and this behaviour will make then sitting ducks for any incoming fire. The other 50% of the time the Gargoyles can move as normal but can only shoot ( and not run or assault). At least with this option you can move the Gargoyles some where safe or useful.

Tyranid Harpy Tactics

The Tyranid Harpy is a ground attack close support & bomber role flying monstrous creature.

Tyranid Harpies and the Hive Mind

Tyranid Harpies do not have the Hive Mind special rule so they are subject to Instinctive Behaviour. However they are Ld10 so there is only 3 in 36 (1 in 12 ) chance of failing the Instinctive Behaviour test if the Harpy is outside of the Hive Mind bubble.

If the Tyranid Harpy does fail an Instinctive Behaviour test then it will go on the hunt with the Fearless option. On the whole this is not a problem. Itjust means that the Harpie will do it’s own thing for a turn. Just get ready to take the reins again next turn.

Tyranid Harpie Strengths and Weapons

The Tyranid Harpie comes with the Stranglethorne Cannon, Spore Mine Cysts and Scything Talons. This means that the Harpie can work as an air to ground attack platform or as a close assault Monstrous Creature. One the whole the Harpie work best airborne taking pot shots at massed hords of enemy ( Imperial Guard, Orks, Other Tyranids etc.).

Hive Crone Tactics

The Hive Crone is a new addition to the 2014 Tyranid codex. It is billed as an anti-aircraft flying monstrous creature with 4 air to air missiles fitted as standard. However air combat is not it’s only role as the Hive Crone has a couple of air to ground attack weapons too. And if this is not enough as a Monstrous Creature the Hive Crone can dish out some hurt in close combat too.

One aspect of the Crone to be aware of is that like the Harpy the Hive Crone is T5. This means that it can be instantly killed by S10 weapons. The main defence to this will be to keep in the air where blast weapons can not reach you and most other weapons need to hit on 6’s.

Tyranid Spore Mine Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Spore Mines

Tyranid Spore Mines occupy a building.

Tyranid Spore Mines can be deployed in a few different methods.  The first is by dropping them in using the Deep Strike reserve rules, the 2nd option is the Biovore Barrage cannon, then there is the Harpy that can drop Spore Mines as bombs and now there is the Sporocyst that deep strikes and then poops out Spore Mines each turn.

If you fire Spore Mines from a Barrage weapon then you need to pick a valid target and if you hit then the Spore Mine blasts are worked out just like any other S4 Barrage. You do not get any Strength bonus for having 2+ Spore Mines.

In the 2013 Tyranid Codex you have more control over the Spore Mines. However the Spore Mines only move slowly. This means that you will want to move the Spore Mines in to strategic locations where the enemy want to go before they get there. Sitting on top of Strategic markers in ruins or woodland springs to mind.

The more Spore Mines you have in a cluster the stronger the blast will be when the detonate. This starts at S4 for a single Spore Mine and increases +1S for each additional mine. It also follows that if you opponent picks off a couple of Spore Mines before you get in to assault, then they will reduce the damage that you will cause later.

Exploding Spore Mines harm both friend and foe. This means that it is unwise to have your Spore Mines pile in to an existing Assault, unless you feel that the possible loss of you troops is worth the sacrifice.

placed correctly the Spore Mines can act as a good counter Assault shield. What you do is to form the Spore Mines in to a Congo line 2″ apart along the flanks of your advancing broods. This protects the flanks from any flanking or deep striking units.

Tyranid Mucolid Spore Mine Cluster Tactics

The Weekly White Dwarf issue 41 introduced the Tyranid Mucolid Spore Mine Clusters. These are Monstrous sized Spore Mines that can Deep Strike or be pooped out of Sporocysts.

The extra size of the Tyranid Mucolid translates in to a bigger bang when the Mucolid contacts the enemy. Specifically the Mucolid explodes with a S8 large blast marker if there is a single Mucolid that increases +1S for each additional Mucolid. You can have up to 3 Mucolid Spore to a cluster if you are deep-striking, so this can become a S10 blast!

Another bonus is that Mucolid Spores can hit zooming flyers and swooping Monstrous Creatures. This means that you can deploy them as Barrage Balloons

The downside of the Mucolid is that it only move 3″ basic move per turn with run and charge distance of D3″. This means that the Mucolid may become a sitting duck, but what do you expect for 15 points? One option is to make use of the Mucolid’s Shrouded special rule and head for cover until a suitable target come it’s way.

Where Can I Get Mucolid Spore Mine Clusters

The Mucolid Spore Mine can be found on the sprue of the Tyranid Sporocyst model.. You may find these sprue parts on eBay or have a go making your own!

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