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40K: Those Tyranids We Used To Know

4 Minute Read
Oct 15 2017


With the Tyranid Codex around the corner, let’s take a look at some of the bugs you don’t really see anymore.

We’ve all seen the codex release dates–looks like it won’t be long now before the Tyranids get their codex. In anticipation of this, I asked around the office about the nids you used to see, the ones who need a little attention to start seeing a little more play around the tabletop. Here’s what we came up with:


Gaunts can be an important part of any army. Numberless, and armed with guns that make each one punch well above their weight, they are a crucial part of a Tyranid army. They can take objectives or die in droves, and it still feels like you’re getting your money’s worth.

Winged Gaunts, then, should almost be a no brainer. Except you don’t really see them anymore. Part of this is that they have all the fragility of Gaunts without the accompanying force multipliers. They lack the firepower to get the job done. Sure, they’re fast, but, without any of the synergies that are the backbone of Tyranid armies to help them out, they mostly just end up being a target. Plus if you take too many of them, your opponent will reveal themselves to have been Xanatos all along.



A big, shooty bug with a big, shooty gun. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to be. The problem is, for all that it is this big crazy tank, its weapons are a bit lackluster against vehicles. Sure, the crazy 18″ flamer can hit hard, or you can give it the Fleshborer Hive if you want to pretend you took a squad of Fire Warriors. But those are all infantry killing weapons, and there are better, more efficient ways to do that in the army. And its iconic gun? The Rupture cannon? It only has 2 shots and it needs both of them to hit in order to be worth anything. Otherwise it’s one strength 10 hit that deals a whole 2 damage, which is not great. Granted, you’ll have a 4+ — until the enemy pings you for 6 wounds and drops you to a 5.

The Tyrannofex highlights one of the big difficulties for Tyranids right now. It’s hard for them to deal with vehicles. Rending claws are one of the best bets, but, against a tank company, say, you want a little more than that. Especially since those Leman Russes are gonna be double firing their battle or demolisher cannons at you until your big bugs melt.


These all get lumped together under weird corner case useful units. Maleceptors can do their psychic overload, which sounds cool until you realize that instead of tossing one mortal wound to every unit within 6″ you could just smite and do as much or more damage to the thing that you really want to die, and also not be within 6″ of enemy units. Haruspex are these cool, potentially self-sustaining units that work on paper, but in the game nobody has quite figured out how to use them. And Toxicrene are a great concept until you realize that Exocrenes exist, and they do everything better.


A fast attack unit, so they kinda suffer as do most fast attack units in 8th–but Raveners are so close to being a choice. Adam Harry describes them as kinda like the Stealth Suits of the Tyranids, which I can see. Not because they are stealthy or infiltrate (they do infiltrate, but that’s besides the point), but because they’re slightly overpriced and slightly too fragile for what they do. Their toughness being only 4, or their armor save being only 5 means that they’re just not tough enough to get more than one thing done. We have high hopes that they get a little better in the codex, just a tweak here or there and you’d see these all the time.


Sadly, these are probably gonna get phased out. They don’t have models, and likely won’t be in the codex. RIP.


Anyway, here’s hoping these bugs get a little loving come codex day, it’d be nice to see a bit more variety for the bugs. They’re beefy, but big bugs break when battered by billions,  and Horde armies are the kings and queens right now. So they need a little something.

Now to figure out where all of those sky slasher swarms slithered off to…in the meantime, how would you tweak the Tyranids? Think we missed a unit that needs fixing? Let us know below.

Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • 40K: Big On The Tyranid Big Bugs