Wargame Tactics

Because better tactics
Win More Games!


Search This Site
Powered by Google

Tyranid Elite Tactics

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.

Hive Guard

The Hive Guard are a new addition to the 2010 Tyranid codex. Basically they are Tyranid Hive Tyrant Guard armed with quite a rippy new gun.

Tyranid Lictor Tactics

Lictors are the sneaky assassins of the Tyranid army.  Their chameleon scales ant 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.

What's New in the 2010 Tyranid Codex?

Lictors are one of the few Tyranid creatures that has come down in points. This is offset by the loss of the 5+ cover-save. This has been replaced with the generic 'Stealth' rule, and the loss of the 'Fearless' special rule.

The Tyranid Lictor's Flesh hooks has gained a 6" shooting ability, and despite the short range, they can be quite useful.

Lictor, like the Tyranid Warriors, has gained an extra wound. This gives them more survivability.

Lictor Tactics

Tyranid Lictor Sneaks up on the Sisters of Battle

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.


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.


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?)

> Also see: 40k Sneaky Tactics

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 Venomthropes are new to the 2010 Tyranid codex.

Venomthropes are impressive close combat creatures, but the greatest benefit of the Venomthropes is that it gives a 5+ cover save to all broods with a model within 6".

Tyranid Zoanthrope Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope

Zoanthropes 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 Doom of Malan'Tai

Pyrovore Brood

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.