Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Tyranid Codex - Weapons and Biomorphs

Before getting into the FOC reviews I thought it was worth going through the main wargear options to make our analysis of the units easier. I'll only cover the weapons that appears as options as I'll look at the unit specific weaponry with the relevant unit.

Melee Bio-Weapons
The first thing to note is that Tyranids can now get a bonus attack from having two pairs of close combat weapons. In the old book this was "already included in their profile" which means a lot of units have now got an extra attack.
  • Boneswords - reduced to AP3 (still AP2 on MCs) but automatic Instant Death on a 6. Probably better for a single sword but no point taking a pair now. More expensive too.
  • Crushing claws - +1S, AP2 and Armourbane. AP2 is a bit useless on MCs but useful for Tyrant Guard. Still Unwieldy and MCs would probably be better with the old +D3 attacks
  • Lash whips - now boosts the model's Initiative rather than reducing enemy's. Probably better in most cases
  • Lash whip and bonesword - simply a combination of the two as you'd expect but now 5pts more than before in most cases
  • Rending claws - no change
  • Scything talons - HUGE change, simply gives AP6 (who cares?) and no longer allows re-rolls to hit. That's a massive blow to Tyranids. Everything from Hormagaunts to Tyrants will suffer because of it
Basic Bio-cannons
  • Barbed strangler - no change
  • Venom cannon - no longer penalised against vehicles and cheaper
Monstrous Bio-cannons (Tyrant/Carnifex)
  • Twin-linked deathspitter - cheaper but otherwise unchanged
  • Twin-linked devourer with brainleech worms - no leadership penalty but same profile
  • Stranglethorn cannon - cheaper but no rules change
  • Heavy venom cannon - no longer penalised against vehicles and cheaper
  • Toxin sacs - no rules change, cheaper for warriors and hive guard but more expensive for gaunts
  • Acid blood - must roll to wound now with S5, same cost and more widely available though.
  • Adrenal glands - now gives fleet but more expensive
  • Regeneration - now gets a wound back on 4+ but only one roll regardless of the number lost that turn. Now costs the same for every unit which feels unfair as some units see a big increase in its cost
Thorax Biomorphs (Tyrant, Tervigon, Tyrannofex)
Massive 15pt price reduction for hive tyrants so worth considering. Also available to Tervigons now.
  • Dessicator larvae - no change just tidied up with Fleshbane
  • Electroshock grubs - gains haywire and at S5 has potential as anti-tank
  • Shreddershard beetles - gain shred
Bio-Artefacts (Tyrant, Tervigon, Prime, Trygon Prime)
  • Maw-claws - nice way of getting Preferred Enemy and not too pricey
  • Miasma Cannon - situational and expensive, great for fire warriors though!
  • Norn Crown - expensive but potential for 30" synapse
  • Ymgarl Factor - could be useful to give tyrant 2+ save in combat, pricey though
  • Reaper of Obliterax - offers Shred and +1S but otherwise just expensive lash whip and bonesword
The big news here is scything talons. Not such a big deal for units like the tyrant who usually swapped them out anyway but hormagaunts have suffered because of the change. Seems a shame as I don't think they were particularly overpowered in these days where combat units struggle anyway.

Boneswords probably aren't as good as they used to be. Basically the capacity for instant death is now in your hands rather than your opponent's but there really isn't any point taking a pair of them unless I'm missing something.

In some ways I can understand why regeneration is now a standard costs across the board but it's a shame that there's a huge increase in cost for some models. The mechanic is probably better though as you've got a good chance of getting a wound back. Those situations where you were flukey and got three wounds back won't happen anymore but probably a fair trade.

Unless I've just not spotted them it seems Implant Attack and Toxic Miasma have vanished as upgrades. Neither of these are a huge loss and venomthrope have retained their toxic miasma which I'll cover in their review.

Otherwise things are pretty similar. There's a few nice little bonuses here and there be they price decreases or extra rules. Right, now onto the units themselves. 


  1. Toxic Miasma still exists [pg67] but it's weird - once per game in the assault phase a unit unleashes it at I1 step. All models in base conatct get hit at S3 AP- and with poisoned and ignores cover. Not entirely sure of why you get ignores cover, if you're in assault you ignore cover anyway, there must be some reason - maybe some creatures get cover saves built in - other Venomthropes perhaps, they seem to be gearing Tyranids to fight against other Tyranids, why else would we have Bulky models if not to stop the Red Terror from swallowing Warriors whole!? Bulky has not other effect, we don't have any transport...

    Unless of course they forgot models in assault don't get cover saves...

    1. I was saying it's gone as an upgrade option. Venomthropes still have it but no other unit has access that I can see.

    2. Bulky models are there for occupying buildings as they use the transport rules.

      The Maisma 'ignores cover' is to stop annoying players from claiming a cover save in area terrain against what can be seen as as ranged attack. Remember, models up to 2" away are also in the combat but not in base contact.

  2. IF (and that is a big IF!) tyranids were to get their own unique fortifications in the future Bulky and Very Bulky could have an impact then....

    1. It still matters if you want to use a Bastion or if there are buildings in your games.

  3. Ymgarl factor only gives bonus in assault phase, so no 2+ save against shooting for tyrants.

    Plus don't know if you have realised that unwieldy has no effect on MC's so crushing claws still strike at initiative on big guys.

    1. Changed the wording. Meant that you could protect him from power weapons etc in combat. I was saying crushing claws are still unwieldy, not that they'd affect MCs

  4. Not a significant change, but worth noting that rending claws have improved, as they have AP5 as default. Sadly the unit that most benefits from this is still going to struggle to see decent use on the table.


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