Warhammer 40K: Tyranids And The New Synaptic Link
Games Workshop added in some new mechanics for the Tyranids in War Zone Octarius: Book 1 – Rising Tide. Let’s take a closer look at them.
You may have seen the preview for the Tyranids new rules for the Synaptic Link already. It’s a neat mechanic that provides some overlapping benefits once you understand how it all works. Here’s a look at the base rule before we go further:
Honestly, it works a lot like a WiFi mesh network but that’s not really an example everyone would understand. Fortunately, GW does a pretty good job of showing how it works in the new book.
They also do a good job of showing an example of the link being out of range:
Basically, if you “daisy chain” your Synapse creatures correctly, you can issue these new “Synaptic Link Abilities” from one end of the chain to the other. As long as the unit is in range of at least one Synapse creature within the chain, they can get the boost. You are limited on the number of Synaptic Link Abilities in the army however:
You will also have to pay a points/power level cost to include these upgrades into your creatures. Typically it’s 15 points for the unit – but the Zoanthropes are only 10. Based on the creature, you’re also stuck with a particular link ability as well:
Now that you have a basic idea of how this works, let’s check out some of the abilities you can use with this new mechanic.
Synaptic Link Abilities
The Broodlord can provide a unit with the benefits of Cover and can even bump that up to dense cover if the attack is more than 12″ away. This could prove useful for getting your units across the battlefield.
The Hive Tyrant extends the range of pile-in moves from 3″ to 6″ which is …fine? Honestly was hoping for something a lot cooler from the Tyrants but whatever.
Unchecked Ferocity from the Tyranid Prime could also be useful especially on a unit with buckets of attacks. Getting to bypass the to-wound roll makes them a threat to anything on the battlefield. It would be hilarious to drag down a Knight with a bunch of Hormagaunts thanks to this ability.
Tyranid Warriors also have a VERY useful and universal ability. Who wouldn’t want to toss out a +1 to hit for attack rolls. Note that it’s not limited to melee…
These are just a few of the options in the book. It’s a pretty big update for Tyranids in general as well. Will it be enough to make them competitive? We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. But I’m not going to get my hopes up. While I’m not quite as down on this update for the Tyranids as Abe is down on the updates for the Guard, I’m still not blown away by the changes. At least the Synaptic Link abilities are tied to a particular Hive Fleet like the Cadian changes. Frankly, both armies just need a new book and if this is a stop gap to hold them over until they get one…well…okay then.
Goatboy has even more thoughts on the new book!
The new Synaptic Link Abilities are neat in theory. We’ll see how they turn out when the plastic hits the tabletop.