Tyranid Tervigon Tactics

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.


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.