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40K: Looking Towards 9th Edition Tyranids

6 Minute Read
Jun 2 2020

9th Edition is coming! Here is what we know and how it will impact the Hive Mind.

There were not a lot of hard details given, but we can all imagine that these details will be coming soon in a series of articles from GW, but we did learn some general ideas of what awaits us in the coming weeks. Let’s dive right in!

Polished to Perfection

Whether this is just your usual PR hype or not, what we can tell is that this means more of a refining of the current 8th edition system than any major overhauls. This means that a lot of the muscle memory established from 8th will serve you well in 9th, but for me, a big key here is that all the goodies that we got in Blood of Baal are going to stay. Exocrines moving and shooting to full effect, the Super-Scythe Hormagaunt, the aura of Rekt from the Maleceptor, these are all good things to still have.

There are going to be changes, but it seems they are going to be more subtle things, which are critical, but at least what we know now will port over, for a bit.

Join the Crusade

This is cool for all of the Narrative players out there. I am excited to see how the system works, particularly with Tyranids. Perhaps your Hive Fleet levels up and adds new biomorphs and adaptations based on your previous battles, and maybe a freshly spawned Tyranid Prime learns and retains some of its experiences in battle ala Swarmlord. This could be a great way to add some more variety and personalized character to the Tyranid faction, which really doesn’t work the same way as others, so this could be a cool opportunity for some really rewarding Narrative Campaigns.

More Command Points

Tyranids are a ravenous faction, and this applies to CP too as especially after Blood of Baal, we have a fair number of powerful stratagems that can really increase our effectiveness. A key line that a lot of people are tagging onto here is: Less soup. Tyranids do have allies, so you can absolutely go full hog with GSC, AM, and Nids, but for me as a dedicated mono-Tyranid player, this is great news that there may be more bonuses and more CP for sticking to just the Hive Fleets. For those who like to welcome our more compliant food, I mean allies, I do hope that combining factions still nets some powerful lists that are fun to play, and I can hold out hope that this new system allows for both pure and mixed faction builds to be equally viable.

Tanks are Back on Track


There has already been some scuttlebutt on the internet about this, and for Tyranids, is certainly doesn’t look good. Locking down vehicles (and plenty of other units) with cheap chaff is a tried and true path to victory for Nids, so losing this does hurt a bit. What I do hope is that some of our shootier big bugs like Exocrines and Tyrannofexes also benefit from this. We shall see, and I think it is far too early to get dirt in your hair over it all, but I understand that it does sting to have one of our tactics changed. Swarmlord knows I’ve won games by tagging tanks, so hopefully there is silver-lining to this Spore Tower that we haven’t seen just yet.


This has me excited in general as the terrain rules in 8th are not quite what we all wanted, and while GW taketh with 4, 5 here could be a big boon. If the terrain is reworked to block more Line of Sight and help us facilitate combat, that is great, and Hive Guard getting bonuses for defending a building (and maybe still shooting out of it?) seems good to me. This could very much help make things like the Super-Scythe-Hormie from Blood of Baal more viable on the table top, and of course, it helps out any of our melee focused infantry like Genestealers or Raveners.

Battles of Every Size

This is certainly cool as well, most games I play are at the 2K points for standard ITC missions, but having more flexibility and more attention paid to the scale of a game could open up a lot of fun casual and competitive avenues. Especially now with two little minions, time is a valuable commodity, so being able to play a meaningful game in under a few hours is quite welcome.

Strategic Reserves

This is again something that has me more excited than not. Tyranids have a lot of fun ways to play with reserves, so any change to the system, especially one that rewards savvy play, is a big boost to Nids. Between Trygons, Tyrannocytes, and just Jormungandr in general, this could be a very rich development for the Bugs. It will great to hear more about it, and since at least for a bit, it seems like our codex will stay what it is, we have a lot of fun models to use for this.


Have a Blast

This is another one that has some parts of the Hive Mind worried as weapons that get their maximum number of shots against hordes is bad for our little bugs. The neutral part of me says this is good for the game as hordes can be very dominating and not so much fun to play against, but as a horde player, this also hurts my poor little grubblies.

That said, I can think of a few weapons that Tyranids have that might also match this description, so perhaps weapons like Acid Spray and Stranglethorn Cannons will see new life with this. Yes, this is a bit of a power curve down for running a horde list, but thankfully, the Hive Fleet blessed us with a variety of builds, so maybe this is a chance for Nidzilla to return in a real way to the tabletop.

It is totally fair to take it personally that the imagery for this is a Knight killing a bunch of innocent Hormagaunts.

Freedom of the Skies

This is one that is great for the game in general, but does make me wonder about Nids. The return of leaving Combat Airspace and returning ala 6th edition is not bad, and hopefully it also means that Flyers can be ignored by ground units as well, which is certainly good for us. That said, I am curious to see how the Flyrant, Harpy, and Hive Crone will be adapted to this new system. Being able to do true strafing runs with the Harpy would be great, but then we haven’t had quite the same rules as the so-called “proper aircraft” for a bit, so we shall see. I try to remain optimistic, but this can either go very well for our flyers or not so great. Only time will tell.

Overall, I’ve seen a lot of edition changes over my Hive Fleet career, and each time, I look forward to it. Even if some of the changes hurt one play style, there is always room for adaptation, and of course, the more we find out, the more I will pour over it and try to see how to best make sure that the snack attack across the galaxy continues.

Thanks for reading as always, stay healthy out there, and let’s get ready for some fun games in a new system. Be sure to support your local (or digital) gaming businesses too if you can. Also, no lie, the new Necron stuff looks awesome, even if they are inedible, dumb ancient robots.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!


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