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40K: The Hive Mind Adapts – Tyranid Unit Preview

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Nov 3 2017
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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!

Author: Adam Harrison
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