Nid players, get pumped!


Imperial Armor 4, Second Edition has brought some incredible new toys to the Nids! Check out the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!

Despite my and many other’s Nerd Rage about so many of the negatives with the Nid dex (which are well documented, no need to go back into it), I still love playing my bugs and have stuck at it, writing some lists I have been both enjoying and having some good success with, too. However, some of the issues Nids have been facing with 7th due to core rules changes have been dealing with heavy armor, midfield synapse, squishy support units, and (ironically) the inability to fight some of the other, nastier assault monsters they find themselves lined up with.

Now, let me qualify that before anyone reading this scratches their head wondering what I am talking about.

In the tournament meta, which can vary quite a bit from local metas, mobile shooting armies and hyper durable deathstars tend to be top dogs (although deathstars have thankfully been toned down quite a bit in 7th). In the face of crazy firepower, many of the traditional Nid assault monsters don’t make it across the table very easily. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the rules always force you to “set-up” a charge by moving into position, such as dropping down out of swooping mode, no charges after infiltrate/scouts/outflank/etc.

Therefore, many bug lists have gone shooty as they can pack in some really respectable firepower on durable, affordable TMCs. And, since they are now scoring models, Nids don’t need to worry too much about investing heavily into troops. That said, Nid troops aren’t bad (although my poor Genestealers still languish!) they really don’t do too much heavy lifting.

As shooty TMCs are still MCs, they pack a punch and will beat up on most other units in combat. But, with the nerf to Smash, often middling WS and Attacks of 3, shooty TMCs are not exceptional at busting heavy armor or fighting other nasty monsters or walkers like they used to be.

Venomthropes are a great way to keep your big guys more durable and get upfield, but they are really easy to kill, especially by anything that ignores cover (damn you SMS!! lol). As a result, you often have to hide them which can limit your mobility and movement options.


Flyrants–the go to HQ choice–are exceptional but they tend to outpace the rest of the army, leaving gaps in the Synapse web, and they often die early in the game as they are such high priority targets. Zoenthropes provide midfield Synapse and are affordable, but they don’t add too much outside of the occasional useful psychic power or Warp Blast and, again, die pretty easily. A 3++ is cool, but the Zoey dies to small arms just like 2 Marines. Tervigons can be good in this roll but are pricey, don’t hit that hard without investing even more points and they either take the place of a Flyrant in the valuable HQ slots or you have to pay 120pts for 30 Gants to take them as a troop. Not bad at all, but it is a big points investment for a pair of units that may often not do too much, and while they do take objectives, everything in the Nid book does that now so comparatively, that advantage is not what it was last edition.

What this all adds up to is situations where you can find yourself with support units hanging back to stay hidden and safe, but mobile Flryants too far forward or dead and your midfield bugs languishing a bit in the middle, struggling to deal with heavy tanks or other assault beasties, outside of the Synapse and support web.

These are not insurmountable issues at all, but, they do make it harder to play Nids than most armies. All that is about to change! Forgeworld has come along with a series of Nid units that are just fantastic, top to bottom. For almost every issue I just listed, there is now a solution.


First and foremost, the Malanthrope jumps out at me as an absolute all-star unit. He fills so many gaps, I imagine we will be seeing him in a great number of lists. So to give a rundown of why he is such a stud, he moved to the Elites slot (no longer competes with other HQs) comes in broods of 1-3, and has become a Synpase creature! The fact that he is T5 with 4 Wounds and a 3+ alone makes him incredibly appealing. Add on to that that he has Regen, and, wait for it, provides a 6″ shrouded bubble like a Venomthrope? Good night! What a bad ass.

And that isn’t even the end of it, he also has poison 2+ attacks, Toxic Miasma, fleet, move through cover, prey adaptation and he has the potential to nerf enemy units in assault by lowering their attacks and initiative. The icing on the cake is that they are cheap! 5 points less than 2 Venomthropes whom they really overshadow (although a single, cheap Venomthrope is still good for protecting backfield units). The Malanthrope is an all around incredible support unit that isn’t terrible in assault. He can advance with the army, keep them buffed and in synapse and fight with them when he arrives on the other side of the table.  He contributes something at every stage of the game and his only downside is that with so much awesome coming from a single model, he will be a high target priority. Good problem to have!


The next big bug on the block is, of course, the Dimachaeron. Besides looking cool, he is a true beast in assault and has decent odds of getting there, too. He has a host of special abilities, rules, attacks, and cool goodies. He’s like a Lichtor TMC on roids. His stat line is impressive, boasting WS8, 6 wounds, initiative, strength and toughness, LD10 a 3+ and 5 attacks. That’s solid on its own, but he also has two sets of combat weapons which for Nids equates to an extra attack, and he has Rampage. This beast can get 10 attacks on the charge, and HoW….and his special attack….for 12 possible attacks…which is crazy…but wait folks, that’s not all!

The Dimachaeron also has a host of extra melee weapons with specialized purpose. His Grasping Talons give him +1 strength which means on the charge with his Adrenal Glands, he is strength 8! That is brutal and helps a lot to deal with any target, even heavy armor where volume of attacks will strip hull points off of AV14. However, that is not his ideal target.

He has a Spine Maw attack, too, which has a special rule where if he rolls a 6 to hit, he gets an additional strength +4 hit at I1 on his target at +4 strength, AP1! If this results in destroying an enemy model, the Dimachaeron gets a plasma token for each wound the model had. These give him FnP 4+ for a game turn per token! Nice. The only downside is that this attack cannot target Extremely Bulky or larger models. Still, it’s a cool bonus that helps him to stay alive after he makes it into combat.

Alternatively, you can have him use his Sickle Claws which do not give a strength bonus, but they do cause instant death on a 4+ to wound! Wowzers. Talk about a murder-machine!

The Dimachaeron also moves in an interesting way. It is a Leaping TMC, which is new. It moves 6″ (with Fleet from Adrenal) but it can ignore intervening terrain like a jump trooper. If he doesn’t use his leap to move, it gives him HoW attack +1S and Strikedown.

And, he is really reasonably priced! 2 Thunderfires is what he weighs in at which, for what you get, is incredible. The poor Trygon is weeping bitter tears of jealousy! Best of all: he’s a Fast Attack choice. Wow. So, so, so good.

Downsides: He isn’t Fearles, lolz, and he doesn’t have grenades, will have a massive target on his head. Eh, you can’t have it all, I suppose.

In all though, this is the assault beast Nids needed. He is tough, hits like a mack truck, can fight a variety of targets, is fairly durable and looks cool. He will also murdalate most other MCs with ease. Two big, big thumbs up on this bad boy. We will be seeing a lot of him, I do no doubt it.


The third amigo is the Stonecrusher Carnifex in Heavy Support. He is a stud, and I have always loved this model. He was pretty overpriced but now he is just right. He weighs in at the cost of a Dakkafex, and compared to a normal Carnifex he has about the same stats but +1 Strength and -1 attack. However, don’t fret, he is a big boss.

You can now take Stonecrushers in broods of up to 3, which is nice. Instead of his old 2+, he now gets a cool rule where any ranged attacks are effectively -1 strength against him which helps to reduce the amount of wounds he takes. His armor also gives him the very cool Chitin Rams, which make his HoW attacks AP2! And Carnifexes get D3 of them, which is sweet. Plus, against vehicles and buildings he gains Armorbane! Boom! Against non-swooping MCs, he gains Monster Hunter! Very nice. I also love the imagery of this guy just smashing through tanks, very cool. This is also very good against things like Knights as it hits at I10!

He has two options for HtH. He can take his standard Wrecker Claws which are AP1, and reroll failed armor pen (at strength 10!) and gives him +1 on the damage table vs. Fortifications. That is savage! If you can get the little muscle man into assault with a tank, that tank is likely gone.


His other weapon option is the Wrecker Claw and Flail. This gives Sweep Attack which allows the Stonecrusher to exchange his normal attack stat for a number of attacks equal to the number of models in B2B. Brutal, but, they are also instant death attacks! Haha, wow, at strength 10, no less. That is–obviously–really solid.

The only downside to the little badass is that he is slow, and 4 wounds goes fast. However, if you get him there, he will do work against the right targets.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

29 Responses to “Nid players, get pumped!”

  1. fluger July 24, 2014 11:09 am

    This is great news for my bug-playing friends. I particularly like the Malanthrope.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 24, 2014 11:39 am

      The Malanthrope is a game changer, seriously. He will be in many, many lists.

      • fluger July 24, 2014 12:29 pm

        Considering I think that 3 solo venomthropes is a good way to use up the elite slots, getting 3 of something markedly better for only slightly more points is phenomenal.

        Unfortunately for me, it looks like I now have a model that will allow me to field a Nid list that I like, which means I have to buy more models.

        Too bad I’m poor. 🙁

        • fluger July 24, 2014 1:04 pm

          AGH! I made a list and I love it!

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 24, 2014 3:38 pm

            Yeah, that list looks crazy! Hormagant rush!

        • fleetofclaw July 25, 2014 7:17 am

          And considering I use to take a Venomthrope AND Zoanthrope to do the job of what a Malanthrope does in 1 model is amazing and makes the other Elite slots more flexible (or… just spam them out with Maly haha). Only downside is I lose the 2 warp dice. Anyway, awesome stuff!

          • Tarnag July 25, 2014 3:31 pm

            I wish the Malanthrope was a psyker, because then I’d definitely dump all my Elite Slots for 3 Malanthropes, but as is I think I’ll go with one and two separate Zoeys for the warp charges. Definitely glad that we’ll be seeing more of this thing though, he’s an awesome model!

  2. Megad00mer July 24, 2014 11:14 am

    Any changes to the Scythed or Barbed Heirodules?

    • Simon July 24, 2014 11:43 am

      No changes, not even in the book!

  3. Grarg July 24, 2014 11:55 am

    Any changes to the RS dudes, such as Loth?

    • Grarg July 24, 2014 11:55 am

      Nevermind, Loth isn’t even in the books lol….

  4. iNcontroL July 24, 2014 12:36 pm

    Yeah super excited.. may very well use all 3 in future lists. Dima/stone crusher are my two favorite models too.

    • Wilson July 24, 2014 2:22 pm

      I can understand the stone crusher, that little tank looks like a boss but the Dima….I dunno… It’s too gangly and dangly! I shall make my own!

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 24, 2014 3:39 pm

      Yeah, Dat Stonrcrusher!

  5. cko July 24, 2014 2:22 pm

    To bad they need to get into cc to be good! No, I am just joking the dimachaeron is the monstrous creature I have been waiting on, I was using 2 tyrant guard for up to 8 ws 5 str 7 atks but those things were striking at I 1 all the time, this guy is like a savior to me! I will gladly pay the extra 50 points for 2 extra wounds, higher ws and i, more atks, and instant kill rules all over the place, who pissed off the Hive Mind?

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 24, 2014 3:39 pm

      I agree, the Dimachaeron is a beat stick.

  6. Smellofwetdog July 24, 2014 2:58 pm

    I wasn’t really one for FW stuff before. With such a blase codex and such knockout FW rules to go with what was always great models (but so expensive)…hard to resist the malanthrope now… Cue I Think You’re Just What I Needed (just what I needed).

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 24, 2014 3:41 pm

      Yeah, the old resistance to FW is going to fade away largely in 7th ed. The models are too beautiful, the rules are fun, the game is so open now that there is no reason to avoid using FW.

      • Smellofwetdog July 24, 2014 10:38 pm

        I think this is the direction and intent of 7th ed. There are a lot of clubs around that just sort of always play ‘pure’ 40k or discount other modules. Pretty clear the intention now is to open the gates, and for the reticent folks they’ll make a rules push to extra content.

        LIke it or not the hat’s off to GW on doing a pretty good job of making 40k+ (ready forty kay plus) necessary now.

  7. Maximum Skosh July 24, 2014 5:11 pm

    Any word on the D99? I love their background but 4th ed vet squads with I4 for a points premium isn’t anything to write home about. I’d love to see them buffed to be a viable alternative to scions and vets.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 24, 2014 5:26 pm

      Not yet! I am dying to see it!

  8. bigpig July 24, 2014 11:38 pm

    Got my rules for the Malanthrope. See you with him in hand this weekend 🙂

  9. bigpig July 24, 2014 11:45 pm

    I’m not necessarily sold on the MileyFex. Getting 4W models into combat can be tough. Will have to see it play out to know for sure

  10. AbusePuppy July 25, 2014 2:30 am

    Malanthrope is really huge because he can’t be ID’d by most weapons and has a 3+ against the Ignores Cover stuff that normally pounds Venomthropes. The larger model does make it harder to hide him, but with how much tougher he is that’s almost trivial. And hey, they even come in squads! Malanthropes alone might be enough to re-enable some Tyranid builds.

    Stonecrushers are surprisingly good at nuking tanks and forts, but I don’t think they’re really needed. Chitin Rams are pretty amazing because that helps make up for your shitty WS value, and -1Str on enemy shooting is also pretty big (can’t be hurt by Lasguns, Autocannons needs 4s, etc), but I’m not sure if it’s enough. Can he take Adrenal Glands? FC is obviously wasted, but Fleet is kinda a big deal for melee units.

    The Dimachaeron has all the statline I’ve always wanted an MC to have, but being no faster than any other critter and 200pts is pretty harsh. Trygons can at least Deep Strike and minimize the time the enemy gets to shoot at them, this guy gets no such luck. And Leaping is fairly useless- if he was Jet Pack or something that would be a different matter. His bewildering array of weapons, rules, and special attacks that all chain into each other is… an interesting choice on FW’s part.

    I hear that the GCs didn’t change any, so they are still total garbage, and Meiotic Spores are still middling. Still, though, given how most Tyranid stuff from FW turns out this is a welcome surprise.

  11. Chuckles July 25, 2014 6:18 am

    I’m sure people will mock me for this but I am genuinely angry that the Forge World stuff is so good. The Dimachaeron looks amazing, but it’s £85. I’d frankly prefer they’d produced more crappy stuff so I wouldn’t feel conflicted about dumping 40K as a hobby.

    What a mess things are now. I live for the day GW realise they’re terrible games designers and hand the whole thing over to Fantasy Flight Games.

  12. Leth July 25, 2014 6:56 am

    Any word on Soloman Loks changes?

  13. Hotsauceman1 July 25, 2014 7:12 am

    What about the other half of the book?

  14. fleetofclaw July 25, 2014 7:31 am

    Look, I’m not gonna b*tch too much about shiny new toys, and especially a monster like the Dima that is a heinous face stabber, but here is my beef. Did we really lack for slow, close combat murder sticks? The reason why we don’t see them on the table is because they’re slow and get shot up before they can deal out slashing, gnashing, bloody death. I would trade in all / most of the Dima’s special rules *or* pay a substantial fee to get flesh hooks and make him Beast or Jump Infantry. Leaper is gimmicky and only slightly speeds him up (making him Fast Attack is amusing). What Nid player was thinking to themselves…. “gee I wish I had another slow, walking combat MC with super high Initiative but no grenades!”

    Now the advantage of the Dima over our other slow combat monsters…. well he just turns the murder up to 11. So at least he’s balanced in the sense that if you get him in the mix, he will blood mist most things he touches. So if you miss your Trygon (sadface) you now have a model that does his job so much better.

    All that to say… I’m buying one, using it, and – if he’s meh – proxying him for a Scythed Heirodule 😀

    • fleetofclaw July 25, 2014 7:35 am

      Also… Malanthropes for the win!