40K Breaking: Tyranids – Headhunting With HQ Options

Games Workshop just unloaded a TON of new info about the Tyranid’s Characters & Options – you’ve GOT to see this!

Prepare to drink from the Firehose because the Tyranids info is flowing today! Games Workshop gives us a peek behind the curtain at what we can expect from the Tyranid Characters and a look at some of the new options heading our way.

via Warhammer-Community

Special Characters are back in a big way for the Tyranids:

The special characters of most armies are tied to specific Regiments, Chapters, or Legions. Tyranids characters, however, do not represent storied or singular heroes from history but particularly distinct bio-organisms employed in every hive fleet. As such, if you’re looking to add the Swarmlord, Red Terror, Deathleaper or Old One Eye to your army, you won’t be restricted by which hive fleet you choose!

Not only are we getting confirmation of the return of some classics, we’re also getting confirmation that these characters aren’t tied to a specific Hive Fleet! You can have a Swarmlord from Behemoth, Kraken, or Kronos!

A new addition to the HQ slot – the Tyranid Neurothrope is no longer a unit upgrade but rather a new HQ choice!

Like its incarnation in the Index, the Neurothrope can heal your Zoanthropes by draining the lives of enemies with Smite, but it can now also cast an additional power from the Hive Mind discipline.

The Neurothrope is no Doom of Malan’tai but you could get close. Apparently, it will retain some of it’s Zoanthrope “healing” ability from the index and you can load it up with some really mean abilities:

New Warlord Trait – Kronos: Soul Hunger

That’s pretty mean! You do NOT want to get caught in this Neurothropes Warp Shadow… I wonder if Tyranids are going to have a bonus to deny or a way to disrupt psychic powers even further.

Psychic Power: Psychic Scream

Here’s our first official look at one of their Psychic Powers as well. Only a warp charge 5 it’s similar to Smite. However, if it’s a Psyker, there is an added bonus of being able to fry one of their Psychic Powers randomly! OUCH!

You didn’t think Hive Tyrants weren’t getting another look did you? Well look out because the Tyrant is back to claim its crown! It’s got an improved Invulnerable save now – a 4+ (up from a 5+ in the Index) and from the looks of things – the Tyrant has also gained a few wounds!

For comparison sake, here’s the Hive Tyrant’s Old stat line from the Index:

Now, the Tyrant does appear to have gained a point of Toughness, 2 Wounds and lost an attack. You know what? I’m perfectly okay with those changes! One of those attacks was the pesky pincer tail attack which was annoying to remember anyways. I hope they re-worded that bit of wargear…

Anyways, Games Workshop also teased a couple more things for the Tyrant:

 New Bio-artefact (Relic): Hyper Adaptive Biology

It’s restricted to Hive Fleet Gorgon, but it makes your Multi-wound Warlords (like the Hive Tyrant) pretty tough cookies to kill! Going from T6 to T7 isn’t THAT big of a jump. However, going from T7 to T8 means just about all small arms fire is only wounding you on a 6. I’m SO down to try that out!

New Warlord Trait: Adaptive Biology

One of the Big-Bug weaknesses has always been anti-tank weapons (which most armies are already taking lots of) are just as effective on Big-Bugs. Well, now you can at least reduce the damage from those devastating multi-wound attacks a bit.

Games Workshop didn’t end the teasers there; They showed off 3 more Bio-Artefacts that are going to greatly aid the Tyranid players out there:

Kronos Specific Bio-Artefact: Balethorn Cannon

Kronos is apparently the anti-daemon fighting wing of the Hive Fleets and WOW do they have the right too for the job. It’s an upgraded Stranglethorn cannon and it’s down-right MEAN! The real kicker here is that Invulnerable saves don’t work on this weapon.

Hydra Specific Bio-Artefact: Slimer Maggot Infestation

Another weapon unique to a Hive Fleet, the Slimer Maggot Infestation takes your Deathspitters to the next level. Note: It replaces TWO deathspitters with slimer maggots with this profile – that means it’s a single weapon profile. Still, it’s the same firepower and the new Deathspitter range of 24″, Assault 6, Strength 7 AP -1 AND you can re-roll failed wound rolls for this one. That’s going to be pretty great for units like Flyrants out there to take.

Generic Tyranid Weapon Upgrade: The Miasma Cannon

The Miasma Cannon is an upgraded Heavy Venom Cannon. It also does 3 damage per shot! On top of that, it’s auto hits when it’s within 8″ and wounds on a 2+ against non-Vehicles. That’s pretty impressive. It’s like a weapon that goes from long range to a template attack – I like it!

Honestly, I’m pretty torn now! I was probably just going to make Swarmlord my primary go-to HQ choice, but based on this…Well, Tyrants are looking pretty cool! And how about the new Neurothrope? I guess I’m just going to have to play a ton of games and figure out what works for me. Darn.


Well Tyranid fans – How are you liking today’s teaser!? That’s a lot to digest but let us know what you think in the comments below!

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I bet the hive mind is kicking itself for not using as many Balethorn Cannons as it could make during the battle for Baal. Would have come in handy against those Daemons

    • Jabberwokk

      Or maybe that’s what caused such an evolution.

      • Me

        They should have named it the Baalthorn Cannon…

        • Jabberwokk

          *yoink* stealing that.


  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured


  • Arykaas

    Apparently tomorrow’s preview will include a Stratagem “that lets you slurp Command Points directly from the brains of your hapless foes!”
    This will be mean.
    I. LIKE.

    • Jabberwokk

      Zombies don’t know what they got with their brain fetish. We’ll show em how it’s done.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Yeah I like the idea of that!

  • Richard Mitchell

    A good time to be a Nid player for sure.

  • EnTyme

    I’m not gonna start a new army. I’m not gonna start a new army. I’m not gonna start a new army. I’m not gonna start a new army . . .

    • Jabberwokk

      We can send you the starter pack. A single genestealer.

    • euansmith

      Are you going to start a new army? I think you may be.

  • Jabberwokk

    Everything. Is. Awesome.

    Slimmer maggot infestation is old school living ammunition rule.

    4th ed is back kiddos.

    • mgdavey

      I prefer the old, fatter maggots.

      • Jabberwokk

        Like when everything had living ammo?

        Or something else?

  • NovaeVox

    Malefic lords have been put *ON NOTICE!*

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Cool neat stuff. I really like the concept that every Hive Fleet ends up evolving some unique Tyranid “Character”, due to the places/opponent’s/way they fight. Same goes for the Bio-Artifacts, and they way they are being treated a unique bio-upgrades.

    • Jabberwokk

      Yeah kinda like the stress response alluded to with the swarm-lord.

      It kind of gives an alien immortality to creatures that proven themselves paragons of their genus. Like the alien version of Valhalla. Mere mechanical genetic response or a form of religious belief too alien and too primal to be understood as such?

  • Jabberwokk

    It’s going to take me months to plumb the depths of all this awesome…..

  • Dave Weston

    The Miasma Cannon – “It’s like a weapon that goes from long range to a template attack” you mean like it was in 7th? Both template and ranged attack.

  • Randy Randalman

    This is incredible for the Tyranids. I love that they now have 3-4 viable HQ choices instead of just one (as in the previous 4 editions).

  • Bootneck

    I read some leak that TL deathspitters were going back to 12 shots. Which seems unlikely now given that slimer maggot infestation only has 6 shots. Probably the worst of the 3 guns.

    Really like the Balethorn and the Miasma Cannon’s both powerful in there own ways.

    Lots of trolling Eldar Wraith Knights with the Miasma.

    • Jabberwokk

      X4 death spitters 12 shots str 7 ap1 24″

      X4 devourer 24 shots str 6 ap- 18″

      Range and power vs saturation.

      *Note these are the Canon versions not the infantry versions of the weapons.

      • Bootneck

        24 shots every time, that extra point of strength is meaningless for the majority as most things will be 3’s to wound and your still 2’s on puny IG and Eldar.

        -1 save will help the Deathspitter but odds are weight of numbers will come out on top overall.

        On a Flyrant the range is mostly irrelevant too.

        • Laszlo

          Hunting tanks and walkers though with str 7 -1ap Still has its value. Combine that with psy scream and Smite and those pesky dreads Will fall.

          So it all depends om What your local communety plays.

          • Bootneck

            Good points. However me personally T8 is the magic number and with the exception of Predators I don’t like taking any vehicles with less than T8 for that very reason. 5’s and 6’s to Wound makes all the difference.

            I know a lot of SM players who don’t use dreads now unless its a Leviathan lol.

        • Jabberwokk

          Hard to argue.

          I do appreciate that extra ‘umpf’ when shooting vehicles.

  • Rob brown

    Are we saying the slimer infestation replaces two death spitters with two slimer infestations… doubling the number of shots?

    • Rush Darling

      Wondering that myself. Not that I ever run that many guns.

      • Rob brown

        Because if it doesn’t then I’m not sure why you’d waste a relic on a weapon that just grants rerolls to wounds.

  • Jesse Sinclair

    Putting both Hyper-Adaptive Biology and Adaptive Biology on the same Warlord is going to be pretty dang mean.

    One is a Warlord Trait and the other a Bio-artefact so I’m thinking it’s going to work.