Tyranids: Looking ahead (part 1)

Hello everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here to do something different, something new. I am going to be totally positive about Tyranids! While I always try to temper enthusiasm with realism, from the initial confirmations from GW about Newhammer 40K, I see a lot of good things on the horizon for us bug-lovers.


So, to start, I am basing all of the opinions presented here off of what has been confirmed directly by the GW Community Page and their Q&A.


Vehicles and Monstrous Creatures have changed!

Yes, this does in fact help the Tyranids.  While we have no vehicles, we can use the Dreadnought and Roboute as a good baseline for what some of our smaller Monstrous Creatures like Carnifexes would look like.   As Roboute’s Strength and Toughness have not changed, we can assume then that our MC profiles will mostly stay the same in that regard.  We can expect an increase in wounds, and that is just super.  While I doubt we’ll see the Carnifex go up to 9 wounds, I would not be surprised by anything in the 6-8 range. As Carnifexes are meant to be taken in packs at this point, they will likely be more akin to Dreadnoughts than any kind of really massive beastie, but that’s fine, assuming we can still take them in groups.  Either way, why would we complain about gaining 2 or 3 wounds for our most iconic monstrous creature?



Super-heavies are gone, and now models are just scaled past 10s on their profile, and as they mention the Morkanought as a model that gets its power boosted to be able to fight in its weight class, we can expect our larger kits to do the same like Tyrannofexes, Trygons, and hopefully, Hierodules. Our Superheavies were pretty weak compared to the competition, so this change will likely give us a big boost to them as they were limited by the fact that wounds didn’t go over 10, but now that they can, I am hoping to see the mid-to-high-teens for our Hierodules and somewhere around 10-14 for our big plastic kits like Trygons.

So overall, as Monstrous Creatures are getting their wounds boosted, we stand to be profit quite a bit.


You swing first when charging into combat!

This is massive for us.  With initiative gone, bugs are no longer hamstrung by our generally poor stat.  Again, the mighty Carnifex is looking pretty shiny as if you can get the charge, you get to actually punch, and a Carnifex can still punch pretty hard.  This again places the emphasis on melee, which is good for us as even with our shooting, this tends to be short ranged, so we are likely going to want to get into fisticuffs anyway. Our biggest hitters can bring the thunder, but they often died before getting to swing because of our crappy initiative, but this is going to be true no longer!

Now more than ever, being able to use our little bugs to lock enemies in place or set up charges is going to be key.  This is not a bad thing at all as it really opens up the Tyranid playbook to be able to do much more with our models rather than rely on one (looking at you, Flyrant).


Movement for all!

This does help us as Hormagaunts are specifically name-checked as moving faster than Eldar.  If the standard speed is still 6 inches like for Space Marines, we can assume maybe Eldar go 7 and thus Hormagaunts go up to 8.  That would be wonderful as going back to the previous point, it means that using swarms of little bugs to control the center of the board and set up the big punches from our MCs is going to be viable.  Termagants might be slower, but with their shooting, they could still be useful as screens for our likely slower MCs like Carnifexes.

While not confirmed, it is highly likely that our larger MCs will get a higher movement speed to represent their size, which would be a huge win as we are all mostly stuck at 6 inches except for our Gargantuans.  Dimachareon or Haruspex  moving more than 6? Delicious.   If you go back through my articles, I often complain about our non-flying MCs and their lack of speed, but this looks to be changing. Even if it doesn’t, hormagaunts going so fast helps us lock battle lines down for our slower baddies.


Everything can be wounded by anything!

Wait, how does that help us and our big, meaty monsters that typically rely on a high toughness to save them? Well, it helps us a lot.  First, our toughness (outside of our FW Gargantuans) is fixed at 6 at the highest, and well, T6 really didn’t save us from anything. If T6 stays the same, well, we don’t really lose anything.  More importantly, our little bugs become far more threatening. A swarm of 30 termagants opening up with devourers can threaten a Knight? I’m all in.   A swarm of 30 hormagaunts (who are fast now) being able to hurt a Wraithknight? Hell yah, my rippers, hell yah.  Even if they are only wounding on 6s, that is still a 16% chance, and if you throw 60 dice at it, suddenly you are putting through 10 wounds to save.  As big monsters degrade, it doesn’t mean that the Hormagaunts are going to kill it, but they can weaken it for our big hitters to easily finish it off.

I love my big bugs, but we also have access to cheap troops that can swarm the board, and so far, the rule changes are really favoring a combined arms army, and that is beautiful because Nids are actually good at fielding this army, but the rules for 7th didn’t favor it the same way as Newhammer looks to do.  While I will certainly play around with Nidzilla, I have a good feeling that having 60-80 little bugs on the table is going to be the key to a competitive bug army.  80 Gants isn’t that expensive, so there are still plenty of points for our big nasties.  If you love the fluff, this is just feels right as really, a Hive Fleet brings all the noise, not just some toys.

tyranids 016

AP is gone and long live modifiers!

So as I write this, the weapon profile examples just dropped, and a lot of this is good news for bugs.   Namely, a lot of our weapons are likely to get better.  We never really had good AP values on our weapons with only one standard gun that rocked AP2.  Now, with actual modifiers, we can hopefully start to see some of our heavier weapons like Venom Cannons get a -1 or -2 to armor saves, making them far more effective at killing units that we often struggled to kill at range, especially if they stay at S9.

With flamers suddenly becoming amazingly good, the lowly Pyrovore is now a superstar.  They have an essentially heavy flamer, so we can safely assume S5 Assault D6 autohitting?  Man, I need to go buy more Pyrovores I guess (and did I ever see myself saying this? No. No, I did not). If we still get our Thorax weapons, maybe we can take something other than Electroshock grubs for a change.


Also, as noted, no more D!  This is awesome as we never had ANY, in ANY source.  Oh good Devourer, we are finally delivered.  No more roll a 6 and pick up anything BS.  This radically increases the survivability of our biggest bugs, and while the mighty Lascannon can now do D6 wounds, they only apply those to wounds to a model, not a unit, so again, make sure to have some little bugs that care not.

Ok all, so that’s it for this one. Oh, I’ll be back once we know more.  As the hits keep dropping, I’ll keep scheming ways to bring the bite back to the Hive Fleets.  As always, thank you very much for reading, and please don’t be a stranger over at TFG Radio.  In the immortal words of the Great Devourer: Get hyped.

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



About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.

4 Responses to “Tyranids: Looking ahead (part 1)”

  1. Avatar
    Kitane April 27, 2017 4:23 am #

    Losing 6-7HP Carnifexes to 1-2 lascannon hits is not something I’d be looking forward to, but on the other hand they would be even more durable against lighter weapons. I am hoping for at least 8 wounds on our smaller MCs.

    Bolters having zero armor modifier make me very very happy.

    I wish that we get a generous movement speed for our bugs, especially the melee variants, but until we get the sheets in our hands, I am trying to temper my expectations.

  2. DustyK
    DustyK April 27, 2017 7:05 am #

    I’m glad you mentioned the “everything hurts everything,” the way you did. People seem to be going NUTS over the idea of guardsmen taking down a land raider. I’ve been playing FAR more AoS lately than 40k and as a person who has taken a unit of 20 bloodletters against a Spirit of Durthu, let me tell you that it’s not as easy as they make it sound.

    The big guys are hard to hurt and normally hit hard back. My 20 bloodletters died in the first round of combat before they even got to attack because Durthu just smiled and piled on wounds to the point where they lost 18 models before attacking XD.

    However like you said, the little ones aren’t meant to kill the big guys, just ware them down (oh maybe like in the lore perhaps!). I love that idea so much because it leaves us with so many more tactical options.

    I would always use my terms to hold an IK in place for 2-3 turns if I’m lucky, and now they can actually do something besides just die in those 2-3 turns!

  3. Avatar
    Jesse Sinclair April 28, 2017 10:48 am #

    I am also cautiously optimistic about 8th for Tyranids! On the one hand, as you’ve outlined, all the changes seem good for Tyranids. On the other hand, I’ve been burned waaay too many times with Nids too be able to be that hopeful.

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz May 2, 2017 8:39 am #

      There are some give and takes here, but so far, I think we are coming out ahead more than anything else.

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