40K: The Hive Mind Adapts – Tyranid Unit Preview

Games Workshop highlights 5 units from the Tyranid Codex that got some special attention for the next Codex!

The Tyranid Codex is coming (pre-order should be this weekend Nov 4th, 2017) and to celebrate, Games Workshop has been showing off teasers and confirmations all week long. We got a look at their army wide abilities, Hive Fleet Adaptations, their Characters, and their Stratagems. Today, we get a better look at specific units in the codex.

via Warhammer Community

The new codex sees several Tyranids units gain powerful new abilities and biomorphs or, in the case of the Carnifex, new subspecies. There are myriad tweaks, adjustments and changes designed to diversify the Tyranids and put every unit on an even keel, and we thought five units were worth a special spotlight:


Zoanthropes positioned near a Neurothrope can re-roll 1s on their Psychic tests, so getting off a key Smite – or a more costly psychic power – is much easier. Larger broods of Zoanthropes also inflict additional mortal wounds when they use Smite; a unit of 6, for instance, deals an additional 3!

Well that’s interesting! Re-rolling 1s for Psychic Powers is going to be pretty helpful (just keep a Neurothrope around). And it sounds like having a larger brood is going to make those Smites even deadlier! Remember – those Mortal Wounds are applied one at a time and can “overkill” within a unit. Nailing 6 out of 10 models in a unit is pretty solid – so is dealing 6 Mortal Wounds to a tough armored target!


As before, they force an enemy’s attacking units within their shrouding spores to suffer -1 to hit, but unlike in the Index, larger broods of Venomthropes can shroud Monsters and other <Hive Fleet> units too! As if that wasn’t useful enough, Venomthropes also deal D3 damage with their shooting and melee attacks, meaning any unit trying to clear out your cover in close combat is in for a very nasty surprise.

Oh wow…Sounds like I’m going to need to pick-up another 1/2 dozen Venomthropes. They can now shroud Monsters with a “larger brood” which makes your Monsters harder to hit! Yes please! And now they can also sneak in some extra damage which is nice since these models will probably want to advance up with your forces to provide cover. Could be a fun 1-2 punch!


In the new codex, Genestealers can be equipped with new biomorphs to further improve them; acid maw, for instance, allows you to give one Genestealer a powerful close combat weapon, while extended carapaces forces Genestealers to give up Swift and Deadly, but improves their save to a 4+.

Okay – I’m very curious about this Acid Maw attack/weapon. They already have rending claws which will tear-up armor. What is going to make this new weapon a better/different option? Also we see they have the ability to get a 4+ save now…at the cost of Swift and Deadly (which allows them to advance and charge in the same turn). I’m not sure how I feel about that one, but at least we have the option.


Lictors (and Deathleaper!) no longer suffer from Instinctive Behaviour

Well that’s a nice tweak. I never really had too much of an issue with them because they had a high leadership, but it’s nice to know that those penatiles won’t apply any more. Then again, the new versions really would not have punished them too much either. But I’ll take it!

Carnifexes – All Three Of Them!

The Thornback is the master of shock-assault. In addition to causing mortal wounds to nearby models when it charges, this beast hits on a 3+ (going up to a 2+ if Old One Eye is around). Both the Thornback and the standard Carnifex can take enhanced senses, a new biomorph that gives them a BS of 3+. What’s more, this increase in Ballistic Skill is accompanied by an improvement to devourers with brainleech worms, which have their shots doubled to Assault 6. In short, the famous “Dakkafex” is back – and particularly powerful in a Hive Fleet Kronos army.

Whoa – lets break this down:

  • Thornback can hit on 3+ and causes Mortal Wounds to nearby models when it charges.
  • Enhanced Sensse – a new biomorph – gives them BS 3+
  • Devourers with brainleech worms are Assault 6
  • Dakkafexes are back with a vengeance

I’m giddy with excitement right now. I’ve been a huge fan of Carnifexes for a LONG time and the idea of running a Carnifex with 24 str 6 shots that hit on 3s is giving me a smile I just can’t fight back. And it gets better…

Screamer-Killers, on the other hand, have a more insidious purpose. In addition to deadly scything talons, these guys have a lethal bio-plasmic scream that’ll tear enemies apart at range, while their mere presence forces your foes to add 1 to their Morale tests.

Screamer-Killers (which I am ALSO a huge fan of) have the bio-plasmic scream that (we think from the WD leak) is even deadlier than before. On top of that they’ll cause more damage on the Morale tests which is a nice bonus.

All Carnifexes benefit from a new biomorph called spore cysts, an upgrade that forces enemies to subtract 1 from their hit roll, simulating the effects of a nearby Venomthrope. Of course, if you’d rather give your Carnifexes even more shooting power, the spine banks add 4 more shots at Strength 5.

We also saw Spore Cysts before but it also causes enemies to subtract 1 from their hit roll. It doesn’t appear to stack with the Venomthrope’s ability but either way, it’s still a -1 to be shot and that can add up.

Tyranid Players, it’s time to come back from the shadows and represent for the Hive Mind. I’ve got some really good feelings about this Codex and I can’t wait for it to drop. I’ve already pulled out my entire collection of Tyranids and I’ve started touching up models, finishing long over due projects, and just making sure everything is ship-shape. It’s time to go to WORK!


What are you most excited about for the Tyranid Codex? Are you preparing your own fleet or are you dreading the return of the great devourer? Let us know in the comments below!

  • MelonNeko

    Acid Maw is a power sword

    • Bootneck

      Kind of pointless really as its only one model too who is str4.

      Rending claws are more than enough imo.

      • MelonNeko

        it depends on how much it is. If it’s only 2-3 points I might still take it, as I have managed to roll no 6’s to wound on many occassions

        • Bootneck

          I think your rolling the wrong amount of dice then.

          20 stealers on the charge is death for pretty much anything. 80 attacks gets plenty of rending hits which are essentially remove from play unless you have an invlu.

          • Angus MacKenzie

            Tell that to my 20-strong genestealer squad WITH a broodlord buff and support that not only failed to kill 7 plaguemarines but was wiped out by them in my game last night.
            Perfect conditions, no losses to overwatch or shooting, long charge so all the models could fight, and……..WWWWHHHHIIIIIIIFFFF!!
            And then WHIFF!! for another 3 rounds of combat, failed essentially all my invulnerable saves, broodlord dies in the first round to a pair of powerfist hits, and its all over bar the shouting. :'(

          • Michael Cameron

            Why did your Genestealers not have the 5+ Feel No Pain from the Broodlords pysker abilities? Sounds like you got super unlucky. I have never had any issue wiping out whole units with 15 Genestealers on the charge. I have taken down a Leman Russ army with Nids on the charge. I love a Genestealer horde army. Super keen for the Codex to see how I can make the army even deadlier.

          • Angus MacKenzie

            Yeah…it was a reeeaaalllyy unlucky game. :'( It was one of those games where everything went wrong. Cherry on top…my Hive Tyrant gave himself an aneurysm and lost his last wound trying to cast Catalyst on himself. It was brutal! 😀

            To be fair that’s the ONLY time I’ve ever seen my genestealers not kill what they touch. ‘Kittens in a woodchipper’ every other time!

          • Bootneck

            Total wiff fail 🙁 Just an unlucky game.

            Recently I went through Kharn some KB and a 10 man strong unit of plague marines no sweat with 20 stealers and a patriarch.

        • rtheom

          Unfortunately, I can attest to this. I roll plenty of 6s on the To Hit, but when it comes to the Wound…

  • EnTyme

    Which hive fleet is the Warrior in the “Units” banner from? It almost has the same color scheme as the Ghosar Quintus brood.

    • Jabberwokk

      Hive fleet Hydra. Specializes in Generative abilities.

      Info on the Warhammer 40,000 facebook page.

  • Heinz Fiction

    So Zoanthropes are still garbage but if you take enough garbage you can use a pitifull stratagem with them. Great. At least we can use these models als Neurothropes which are (in their new iteration) possibly the strongest non-forge-world addition to the swarm since years.

    • Jabberwokk

      I don’t know sounds like they can be a fairly reliable source of M wounds. I’ve got three old metal one’s so I might proxy some venoms and see how they do. I’d love to make a psychic nid army with Zoans, Brood-lords, and Maleceptors. I might be able to just squeak something by now.

      • Ninety

        If you want MWs, Biovores give you more of them for cheaper , more reliably and at longer range.

  • generalchaos34

    I know this i off topic, but anyone think a Dead Space themed Tyranid army would be like the coolest thing ever?

    • Jabberwokk

      Did you read the latest Regimental Standard?

      An exerpt:
      “Additionally, if you hear any noises coming from any ducts, investigate immediately, even before voxing for reinforcements – Genestealers and Lictors are notoriously skittish, and you will want to try to kill them before they can escape.”

      Dead space was the very first thing I thought of.

      • generalchaos34

        Thats where I got the idea actually! plus Lictors look like slashers

        • Jabberwokk

          Of course we both assume that Necromorphs and Tyranids are diffrent entities. Whose to say the Marker is just a a prototype for genestealer cults and Brother moons are just Larval forms of bio ships. I see a lot of overlap personally.

    • Michael Cameron

      My Nid army has 0 GW models. Its all Prodos Xenomorphs. Warriors and Infant Warriors as Genestealers, Royal Guard as a Broodlord, Queen as a Hive Tyrant, Crushers as a Crusher Carnifex, and Facehuggers as Ripperswarms.

  • Bootneck

    Going to have to see the codex but Venom’s still seem kind of poor.

    1 Malenthrope can do the same for cheaper and is synapse, and it does MC at half the cost the cost of 6 venoms.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Teases for 2018 in. Plus next three codex: Blood Angles, Dark Angles and then Demons are first for 2018


    • LankTank

      *sigh* Now I have Necromunda, New terrain, New Chaos Daemons Codex and a fleshmower Bloat Drone that I HAVE to get. On top of the billion others things I really want.
      Right when I’m about to have a 3rd son… Oh well. Better be off to win that lotto!

      • GrenAcid

        Sell the son, you already have a spare one.

        • Frank Krifka

          lmao. well played

        • LankTank

          What sort of mad person would pay for something that only causes stress and is never rewarding?
          Wait… Sisters of Battle players!

      • I_am_Alpharius

        …….Sell one of the other kids?