Tyranids 40k 8th ed Codex Review: Tyranids Part 4: Elites

The Great Devourer is upon us, and in part 4 of this review we dive into the Tyranid Elite units to explore what they have to offer! Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this review if you missed it.

As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles, reviews and lists.

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The Elites section for bugs has often only had a few units really worth mentioning but that is now not the case. Units that have traditionally been under-performers are solid now and some that were comically bad are very good. Let’s dive in!

Tyrant Guard are quite the appealing unit now, IMO. I have always thought these were a very cool concept but never really found a place for them, previously. Now though, they certainly have a place. At only 35pts base, with a 7″ move, Strength and Toughness 5, 3 wounds, 3 attacks and a 3+ they’ve got a solid stat line. They come standard with Rending Claws and Scything Talons, or you can opt to give them a Lash Whip and Bonesword, or Crushing Claws which is a Power Fist for all intents and purposes (similarly costing 12 pts each), being strength x 2, AP-3, D3 damage with a -1 to hit. This is not a bad option as a unit of 3 has 9 strength 10 attacks as a group, or 18 with the Adrenaline Surge stratagem which means you can pack a wallop with just 3 of these guys. They also–obviously–guard a Hive Tyrant. If a friendly <Hive Fleet> Hive Tyrant takes a wound while within 3″ of Hive Guard, on a 2+ they can take a Mortal Wound for him. Obviously, if you give them something like Catalyst or make them Leviathan, they get a save vs. those wounds which helps a ton to keep them going. If you want them to strictly be meat shields keep them cheap and have them advance up the field with say, Swarmy. Or, gear them up for combat with Crushing Claws as at only 47pts that is not bad for what you get. If with Swarmy and you find yourself facing an army that isn’t going to gun him down, send them off to smash with his Hive Commander ability and he can come in after! If playing Jormungandr you can also bring them on to the table using their Stratagem along with a Trygon, Mawloc or Raveners, which makes them fairly appealing on their own. Compared to a Tyranid Warrior, they have an extra point of toughness, strength and speed (humorously), for an extra 15pts per model. Whether that is worth it or not is up to you, but it is an option. For me, I prefer running them with Swarmlord as an alternative to the Tyrannocyte you often see him with as they cost roughly the same, and where that shoots pretty well, these gents punch pretty well. If you crank up their defense, they can really add longevity to a model like Swarmy, or a walking Hive Tyrant kitting out for shooting and melee.

Hive Guard are the cousin to Tyrant Guard but vary a bit in stats, moving only 5″, and having BS3+ and WS4+ in reverse to the Tyrant Guard, and only 2 attacks and a 4+ save. However, they retain that toughness of 5 and 3 wounds, making them fairly hardy. However, it is their impressive weapons and awesome special rules that you take them for. Their basic weapon, the Impaler Cannon, is 36″ range, heavy 2, strength 8, AP-2, D3 damage. Best of all though, the weapon ignores cover and does not require LoS! That is seriously incredibly good. A unit of 3 packs some serious heat and so long as you have decent terrain, will often be able to fire on your enemy without being shot back. If you want to really crank them up, take a full unit of 6 and use the Single-minded Annihilation stratagem on them, allowing them to shoot twice for a staggering 24 shots! That is devastating firepower and very few units in the game can withstand that. Alternatively, equip them with the Shockcannon for a 24″, strength 7, AP-1, D3 damage, Assault D3 weapons that does an additional Mortal Wound to Vehicles on a wound roll of a 4+, and D3 on a 6+. As Tyranids still can struggle dealing with Vehicles, this unit gives you a tool for taking them on. At 48 for the Impaler Cannon version and 39 for the Shockcannon they aren’t cheap but certainly not expensive, either. You get a lot for those points. Kronos obviously benefits this unit a lot, particularly with Impaler Cannons, but you can get good results with them in any Hive Fleet that doesn’t benefit assault as these gents do not want to be in punching range.

The Lictor has changed quite a bit over time and in the Codex is a solo elite slot unit that has its usual host of special rules. He runs 45pts which is a low price tag and a great way to fill elites slots to open up a Brigade. They’re also quite good at grabbing objectives and harassing the backfield with their ability to deep-strike. On the turn they do so, they also gain a re-roll to their charge roll which helps, but unfortunately they do not have access to Adrenal Glands to get that all important 1″ bonus. For stats, the Lictor rocks a 9″ move, WS 2+ and BS 4+ for its Flesh Hooks. It’s also strength 6 with 3 attacks, so it packs a decent punch in combat with either its Rending Claws or Grasping Talons which are AP-1 and 2 damage. Its defense is not bad. At only toughness 4 with 4 wounds and a 5+ it doesn’t seem too impressive, but it also has a latent -1 to be hit (which works in shooting and melee) and gains +2 to its save in cover. This can be further enhanced by a Malanthrope or Venomthrope for a -2 to be hit in the shooting phase, although this rarely comes in to play as the Lictor tends to be off on its own. There are also a host of stratagems that benefit the Lictor, including the Feeder Tendrils strat which gives you extra D3 CP if you kill an enemy character in melee, the Pheremone Trail strat which allows a unit coming in from reserves to instead come in near a Lictor rather than how it was going to enter play (which works great with Genestealers using their Infestation ability) and lastly, the Invisible Hunter strat which allows a Lictor to leave combat and still shoot and charge.

The Lictor is a unit that may be tough to use. He’s a bit squishy, but can hit fairly hard if sent in against a soft target. He’s very cheap which is good for unlocking detachments as stated, and is best used earning mission points and attacking units that do the same for your opponent such as Scout Squads, Rangers, etc. which a unit like Ripper Swarms may not be able to take on. Now, if you are going to opt for something with a bit more punch, you may as well take Deathleaper. He’s a named version of the Lictor and has the same stats but with 6 wounds and a -2 to be hit which is nasty as it also applies to melee. Further, Deathleaper also re-rolls hit and wound rolls vs. a single Character you choose as his target at the beginning of the game. As he is also a Lictor, all of the same benefits that apply there do so here. Deathleaper is a solid unit as at 90pts he does not break the bank but can and will cause disruption in the backfield requiring little to no support. If you find yourself facing a lot of say, Mortar Teams, they will be hitting Deathleaper on 6’s and he will have a 3+ so long as he is in cover. Baring crazy dice, he should cut right through them with ease. Plus, he looks awesome!

Zoanthropes are in an interesting place in the current Tyranid dex. The issue with them is not that they struggle (they offer a lot) but that the Neurothrope is just better due to being cheaper, having 2 powers, and being a Character. Now, that out of the way, you can get very good results with Zoanthropes as they can pump out Mortal Wounds in addition to giving you Synapse and Shadows. At toughness 4 with 3 wounds each and a 3++, they’re not easy to destroy. They also add 6″ to their Smite range and add D3 Mortal Wounds to the damage of their Smite for a unit of 4-5 and +3 Mortal Wounds for units of 6! That’s savage damage output, and if you have a Neurothrope within 6″, you also re-roll rolls of 1 on their psychic tests when attempting to manifest powers. Additionally, if you have a unit of 4+, you can attempt a second psychic power per turn which will usually be Psychic Scream for even more Mortal Wound output. Or, simply use the Power of the Hive Mind strat to trigger a second power out of them if you like. Lastly, special mention must go to the Psychic Barrage stratagem which is the Tyranid version of the Vindicator Line Breaker stratagem for Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines. This allows you to do massive amounts of Mortal Wounds to your opponent so long as you have 3 units of 3+ Zoanthropes within 6″ of one another. However, in order to pull this off you have to get them there which means either floating up the table, coming in with Tyrannocytes, or playing Jormungandr and coming up with a Trygon, Mawloc, etc. That is honestly the most efficient way to deliver them although it costs you 3CP to put them in reserves and another 1CP to trigger the attack. However, if you do go for this play and go first and/or your opponent is clumped up, you can wreak havoc on them. Outside of this, I feel Leviathan benefits them the most for the 6+ FnP style save to mitigate damage even further on them.

The Maleceptor may honestly have been the worst unit in 40k I had ever seen when it came out, lol. However, it is now much improved and may find its way in to your list! At only 172 pts, he’s not that pricey and comes with a 7″ move, toughness 7, 12 wounds and a 3+/4++ which is solid defense. He also has 2 psychic powers and 2 deny attempts too, which is great especially with Synapse and Shadows in the Warp. He punches decently with 3, WS 4+, strength 7 attacks at AP-3, D6 damage a pop, re-roll 1’s to hit. Not bad. That all alone is seriously solid. He can trundle up the table hitting the enemy with mortal wound powers or buffing/debuffing, and being a tough nut to crack in addition to being able to mix it up in combat a bit, too. Once he gets close though, he can trigger his special ability–Psychic Overload–which hits as many as 6 enemy units within 6″ with a Mortal Wound on a 2+, and 3 Mortal Wounds on a 6. This is done instead of casting psychic powers which is a stiff price, but the power can’t be stopped and if you get stuck in with multiple units is going to start melting  them away, including Characters that think they’re safe behind screening units. The Maleceptor benefits quite a bit from really any of the Hive Fleets as he’s such a multi-functional bug.

Much like Zoanthropes, the issue with Venomthropes is not that they aren’t good (they’re an amazing unit!) but that the Malanthrope is just better, doing essentially the same thing but also being a Character and thus allowing it to hide. That said, what the Venomthropes do offer is an awesome defensive buff, granting a -1 to hit for ranged weapons for friendly <Hive Fleet> units within 6″ (9″ if there are 6 in the unit), and only impacting Monsters if the unit contains 3 or more models. This is an amazing buff and in any other army would be a celebrated unit. However, as they’re a bit squishy at T4 with 3 wounds and a 5+ save, and can’t hide the way a Character can, they can be taken out fairly quickly by an army with decent shooting. They pack a mild punch, with 2 strength 4 attacks that have no AP but do D3 damage and re-roll failed wound rolls. The Venomthrope also swings first in combat and deals a Mortal Wound to units within 1″ on a 5+. Lastly, they have an assault 2, 6″, strength 4, D3 damage shooting attack that can be fired into and out of combat and re-rolls failed wound rolls. Venomthropes are also cheap, weighing in at only 30pts per model, coming in units of 3-6. Ultimately though, you are always going to take a Malanthrope unless you don’t have the model or really want the much bigger footprint of -1 to hit that the Venomthropes provide, which I have to say is a significant advantage in regards to board coverage. 1 unit of Venomthropes can easily cover as much space as 2 or even 3 Malanthropes, but are more vulnerable as a trade off.

The Pyrovore is another unit that was notoriously bad previously but is quite good, now. It has a 5″ move, toughness 4 and 4 wounds with a 4+ save. It packs 2 attacks in melee with an Acid Maw which is strength 5, AP-3. But it’s real strength is its Flamespurt, which is a 10″, strength 5, AP-1 Assault D6 flame weapon. That is really cool as that range allows it to be fired from out of reserves. If you are playing say, Jormungandr, you can have them come in with a Mawloc, Trygon, etc. and then hit your opponent with up to 3 Heavy Flamer shots (or 6 with the double shoot stratagem), then do it again on the next turn and move into melee if needs be or park on an objective and defend it. If running them in another Hive Fleet you can deliver them in a Tyrannocyte or simply run around on foot as their weapon is assault, allowing you to advance and still shoot it. If they do get engaged in melee, they shed Mortal Wounds on to your opponent as they take damage and die. In all, it’s a great little unit and as you can take them in units of 1 at the low price of 38 pts, they fill up Elites slots in your Brigade detachment very well. In all, a solid and affordable unit. I personally love flame weapons and have had a lot of success running Pyrovores.

Lastly the Haruspex, which is a unit that is pretty much universally seen as being super cool but has always been very expensive points wise and whose special rules haven’t always functioned in way that really matched the lore. However, now at 198 pts base with kit, he’s quite affordable and rocks toughness 8, 13 wounds and a 3+ for defense. On offense, he’s got a 7″ move, strength 7, 4 attacks at WS 4+, and some cool special rules to spice that up. His Ravenous Maw gives him D3 attacks per attack and for each enemy model slain by it, he gets a bonus Shoveling Claw attack! The Maw itself is strength 7, AP-1, D3 damage so it is fairly punchy, and his Claws are strength 14, AP-3, D6 damage. This makes him fairly versatile, either plowing into hordes and doing decent damage, or sticking to the big hits for vehicles and such. He also sheds Mortal Wounds in melee on a 6+ for each wound he takes and lastly has his signature Grasping Tongue attack which is Assault 1, 12″, strength 6, AP-3, D3 damage. It can also be fired into and out of combat and if you slay an enemy model with it, the Haruspex heals a wound. This beast is a solid Big Bug and I have had a lot of fun with mine, slaying both Bobby G and a Knight in one game! Now, I rolled pretty well and I wouldn’t say expect that to happen on a regular basis, lol, but the moral of the story is that he can really pack a punch and is tough, too. Much like the other bugs we’ve looked at today, he can work well in any Hive Fleet, but really benefits from those that favor defense and melee such as Jormungandr, Leviathan, Behemoth, Kraken, etc. I’ve run mine in an all big bug list and had a blast with it, bringing only a unit of 30 Termagants to act as a screen. Having all of the big guys running around is a great way to play Nids and I ighly recommend it if only a few times to relive your favorite Godzilla moments!

Elites, done! Tomorrow we will examine Fast Attack which you can read, here.


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About Reecius

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

50 Responses to “Tyranids 40k 8th ed Codex Review: Tyranids Part 4: Elites”

  1. Avatar
    00MrBushido November 9, 2017 8:58 pm #

    Sooooo excited for the new book.

    • Avatar
      Chuck November 10, 2017 12:22 am #

      Yep, I am pumped.

      Thanks for keeping the articles flowing Reecius!

  2. Avatar
    Dakkath November 9, 2017 10:46 pm #

    You hit the nail on the head re: zoans and venoms, but it bears repeating. They offer some great stuff but are only as tough as marines and can’t hide like their hq character counterparts can.

    I kinda wish hive guard had some way of negating penalties to-hit when firing outside of LOS. It’s not like they can see you anyway! :p Still making them my go-to elite filler.

    • Avatar
      Chuck November 10, 2017 12:23 am #

      What penalty to hit are you referring too?

      • Avatar
        Dakkath November 10, 2017 12:58 am #

        Flyers’ hard to hit, Altaoic, Raven Guard, Alpha Legion, etc.

        • Avatar
          Chuck November 10, 2017 2:05 am #

          Oh gotcha! But that is why you got Biovores.

          • Reecius
            Reecius November 10, 2017 9:37 am

            Yeah, Hive Guard would be busted if they ignored LoS, Cover AND penalties to hit, haha

  3. Avatar
    Xenos Player November 9, 2017 11:36 pm #

    Good article. I’m just starting a Tyranid army so this is really useful stuff. I was really excited about neuro and zoanthropes combining but looking at your article it looks like it’s better bringing more neuros and I might have to get the malanthrope too!

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 10, 2017 9:40 am #

      A Malanthrope is pretty much auto-include, IMO.

      Neurothropes are fricking awesome. However, if you want to run a unit of Zoans, you won’t be unhappy about it. 6 of them absolutely obliterates things with their super smites, but, for pure points efficiency the Neurothrope is better.

  4. Avatar
    Shrubs November 10, 2017 12:24 am #

    Wow, this slot is looking really good! Great to see so many viable choices.

    Thanks for the write up, Reece, really appreciate it!!

  5. Avatar
    Brakhal November 10, 2017 4:43 am #

    The Elite slots looks ugly for me. One clear winner, a couple decent, lots of meh and a couple terrible.

    Of course, Hive Guards are the winners. They are good at their specialities, being cracking vehicles or attacking over LOS. They have a niche in the ‘nid army.

    Pyrovores are close to good, but still decent. Thay offer a good weapon and duality. The only problem with them is the maximum 3 for a unit. If they could be taking up to 6 models per unit they would be good for dropping in spores or tunneling, and for stratagem use. Anyway, better slot fillers than Lictors.

    Death Leaper is decent, but only because how annoying he can be. The -2 to hit messes with WS/BS 3+, just don’t expect him to kill anything. Don’t even think to try against non-AM characters, he’s name and fluff suggest he’s an assassin, but he’s not.

    As you said in your review, is silly to take Zoanthropes instead of more Neurothropes. I think zoans need a secondary role to be considered. For exapmple, if they had more W and/or T they could make for a decent screening or containtment unit, like canoptyc wraiths do with necrons.Or if they had some bonus to dispel powers depending on the ir number, perhaps giving a deny aura.

    The same goes for Venomthropes, but even worst. Venomthropes need some extra damage mitigation so they can survive longer. The aura is good, but they are not exactly cheap at 30 points, and for sure totally useless beyond the aura. Better armour save, W and/or T again, or an extra -1 to attack them (may seem a little powerful, but still a lot worse than Malanthropes being characters). Venomthropes have a good support abilitie they never give to any other unit, because they are the first to die.

    Why would I ever take a Maleceptor? I can take a Tyrant with double scything talons for 9 points less. Defensively, they are the same, both cast 2 powers each turn, but ofensively the HT hits on 2s, has more attacks and moves 1″ further. He’s also a HQ. Again, bad internal balance. The Maleceptor needs something more unique to have a niche.

    If you divide the cost of a Tyrant Guard by his number of W, and then you do the same with a minimum equipped Hive Tyrant, you will find that the protected Ws are cheaper than the protector W. Unless playing the Swarmlord, it just doesn’t make any sense. If you’re looking for CC power better go Warriors or Genestealers. They have 2 roles, but they’re bad at both.

    The Haruspex is still too expensive and lacking. As with the rest of the CC big monsters, he needs to bring something unique to make sense. I have too many Carnifexes in the codex, and I’m only playing Carnifex Carnifexes, because cost/eficiency. Give us some REAL variety!!!!!

    Finally, the “slot fillers” Lictors. Always loved them, now I hate them. In fact, I hate the whole “slot filler” concept, at least for anything that’s not HQ or T. They had a lot of cool rules that were basic for them, now turned into stratagems, so pay that CP they farmed to try do something with them. They are terrible assassins (they struggle even to kill AM characters). They were fun, now they are “slot fillers”.

    • Avatar
      Luke November 10, 2017 6:59 am #

      Lictors bringing in units from reserves like Genestealers is way more than just being a “slot filler”. And if you have Jormungdr, they can bring any unit in from reserves. Sure, those units could go with tunneling Raveners, etc, but it allows you tactical flexibility. Your opponent doesn’t know where you come in

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 10, 2017 9:43 am #

        Yeah, that is really what they’re for: bringing in Genestealers all over the board. If you want them to kill stuff, take Deathleaper.

        • Avatar
          Brakhal November 10, 2017 2:52 pm #

          If that’s their role, why they don’t do better? It costs 1 CP and demmands the unit to already have a way to get into reserve. You paid 45 points and 1 CP for a beacon when you already have a special deploying mechanism. Doesn’t look like a fair trade.

      • Avatar
        Chuck November 10, 2017 12:49 pm #

        Jormungadr can only put infantry into the hole. The Haruspex (AKA the former true son of Jormungadr) was nerfed to be a monster, otherwise he would of seen a lot of play via the tunnels.

        I want to like the Maleceptor (a Kraken version,) but I don’t I think I will. If he was an HQ (and a little cheaper,) I might use him to unlock a Detachment. But since he is coming out of my optional points, I just feel that 2 Mawloc’s will get the job done better.

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 10, 2017 1:50 pm #

          He wasn’t “nerfed” but corrected to Monster as he should be, haha. However, yes, you are right, he cannot pop up with the other guys.

          • Avatar
            N.I.B. November 10, 2017 4:12 pm

            Haruspex was stealth nerfed by the degradation chart. Now he degrades already at 7 wounds left, index had it at 6 wounds.

            He’s a weird dude who needs to be in combat with infantry and vehicles simultaneously, to do what he’s supposed to do.
            He’s a dedicated close combat unit at ~200pts that hit on 4’s. He averages what, 3 wounds to a transport vehicle?

            Adrenal Glands option removed (had it in the previous codex).

            Even with that huge point drop, it’s not looking good. Not all units has to be cutthroat competitive, but I really wanted to field this guy and looking at his rules I don’t want to anymore. Well, maybe casual play. I’ll give him a chance at least.

    • Avatar
      Shas’O November 10, 2017 8:08 am #

      I appreciate the honest analysis. You make a lot of good points!

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 10, 2017 9:57 am #

      I agree with some of your points but have some counters for you. Zoanthropes are strictly inferior to Neurothropes on a comparison, however, Zoans can be awesome. For example, in a Jormungandr army, having a unit of 6 pop up can do 9 mortal wounds.

      Lictors do struggle, I agree. As stated below, they are best for bringing in other units like Stealers.

      As for the Haruspex, I don’t agree with your assessment. Having played him a lot, mine hits like a truck. The high strength attacks are great, and the T8, 13 wounds makes a big difference and significantly differentiates him form say, a melee Tyrant. YMMV of course, but, I really enjoy using him.

      • Avatar
        Jural November 10, 2017 12:52 pm #

        My problem with Haruspex and Malceptor, as well as hive Crone and Harpy, when compared to the Hive Tyrant is the degradation.

        The Hive Tyrant is arguably just as good, and his degradation still leaves him effective. Degradation for the other big bugs leaves them almost useless at half wounds.

        It’s another good argument for MORE CARNIFEXES!

        THe Heavy bugs don’t have this problem, full stop. They are either pretty darn awesome, or they are the Toxicrene.

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 10, 2017 1:52 pm #

          Yeah, that was an issue we wrestled with, too. It’s tough to make them good, but not too good. I think now they are absolutely playable–where previously the weren’t–but if you are looking for pure points efficiency you may pass them up. It really depends on what motivates you to put a model in your army. Not everyone makes choices based on efficiency or what they think is best from a competitive perspective.

          Carnifexes though are so god dang good, lol. I love using them.

          • Avatar
            Brakhal November 10, 2017 3:37 pm

            My main problem with Malceptors, Haruspexes and Toxicrenes is that they’re too close in role to Carnifexes and Tyrants. And what we get with the new ‘dex? Two more slightly tunned Carnifexes!

            Don’t get me wrong, I like Carnifexes (and Tyrants even more), but I want more variety. If I have 6-7 slightly different options I just take the more cost-eficient. They’re all going to do the almost the same, so it’s obvious.

            A basilisk is a lot different of a wyvern, an hydra or a hellhound, while having almost the same chasis. Why so many ‘nid monsters have to be so close in stats, attacks and melee weapons between them?

          • Avatar
            AbusePuppy November 10, 2017 3:55 pm

            I feel like the Maleceptor and Haruspex at least do some different jobs. The ‘Ceptor is a big psychic bug and comes with +1 to cast as well as several good powers and a good invuln- it’s a Hive Tyrant that is more focused on psyking than leading, which is fine.

            The Haruspex, meanwhile, is a Carnifex that is tougher, regenerates wounds, and piles out waaaaay more attacks- which again, I think is a solid niche. Being able to chew through hordes of medium-to-heavy infantry is a job you want to be able to do, and T8 is a not-inconsiderable benefit.

            The Toxicrene, though, I’m not really sure what it’s for. I guess it can fight other monsters a little better? Doesn’t really seem like a great role.

          • Avatar
            Dakkath November 11, 2017 6:23 am

            The toxicrene always felt like it was supposed to be what the malanthrope is: a monstrous version of a venothrope. The fact that it has always failed horribly at doing so is a different matter.

        • Avatar
          N.I.B. November 10, 2017 4:19 pm #

          The codex stealth nerfed the Haruspex through the “degradation chart”. Now he degrades already at 7 wounds left, index had it at 6 wounds left. So he doesn’t even need to drop below half wounds to falter.

      • Avatar
        Chuck November 10, 2017 12:54 pm #

        Reecius, when you say that the 6 Zoanthropes can do 9 mortal ones in 1 turn, are you saying, 1d3 for the unit + 1d3 for breaking the “4-5” model barrier, then a finally additional +3 for having the 6th model?

        Wouldn’t +3 replace the 1d3 for the 4-5 bracket?

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 10, 2017 1:53 pm #

          They can do 6 with Smite and 3 from Psychic Scream. They can cast twice if they have 4+ models.

      • Avatar
        Brakhal November 10, 2017 2:16 pm #

        That gimmick can work from time to time, if you’re patient and manage to smite the right target. If you try that on turn 1 you will probably be just killing 9 brimstones or concripts (or whatever the oponent deploys as a front line), but you can whait until turn 3 to hit an interesting thing… Meanwhile you need to control the board with 240 + X points less, or the Zoans will arrive to a lost battle. The problem is, it’s not a good plan A, and the other plan (fielding normally the Zoanthropes) is really lacking. That’s the reason I think they need a secondary utility to be a consistent choice.

        I tryed the Haruspex with the index. The feeling I get from it is that he has a lot of T and W just to protect almost nothing. S14 attacks, but only 4 and at 4+. 4d3 attacks is a gamble, and even when it goes well he still needs to hit with that 4+, and they’re only ap-1. On average, he kills around 3 chaff models, 1/2 MEQ or does 1/2d6 W to a vehicle. He needs to run trhough the whole table to start doing that, while an Exocrine is a sure bet from turn 1 to where it dies, and a couple (and a half) Carnifexes do the triple when they get into combat.

        Perhaps you’ve been lucky, or I was unlucky. Perhaps I didn’t played him at his maximum potential, but he’s still far from consistent for a (now) 200 points model.

    • Avatar
      N.I.B. November 10, 2017 4:36 pm #

      About Pyrovores, with the size of their bases and the space they crave, it’s hard to get more than 3 models to shoot after a drop. Heck, I often struggle to get more than 2 models to shoot – you only have 1″ to play with. Jormungandr makes it a bit easier though.

  6. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo November 10, 2017 7:10 am #

    I’m a bit sad about the Zoanthropes and Maleceptor, because I reeeeeeally like the concept of brainbugs that are adapted to fight not with claws or acid but with MIND BULLETS, but they really did get the short end of the stick here. The psychic rules in 8th means that the only real avenue for meaningful psychic offense is to run as many cheap psykers as you can (with full Smite, like Spiritseers and Primaris Psykers and the infamous Malefic Lords), and the Zoanthropes, a unit that’s based around the concept of spamming psychic offense, just can’t measure up due to being constrained to minimum squaf size of 3. You’re paying 120 points minimum for one Smite, or 160 for two, which is pretty terrible value. If you could take them solo, or if they got a price drop, or if each model could cast individually, they’d have a niche, but as it stands they’re just a massive point sink for questionable reward.

    Eh, maybe the Chapter Apprived Smite nerf will give more comparative value to single stronger Smites. Hello Magnus.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 10, 2017 10:00 am #

      Zoanthropes compared to solo smite tossers struggle, yes. But, examined on their own merits, they pump out a LOT of damage.

      • Avatar
        Jural November 10, 2017 12:58 pm #

        Against elite armies, Zoanthropes are very frustrating with 3 wounds and 3++. Throw in a nearby Malanthrope and possibly make them Leviathan to frustrate an opponent who goes half ass at trying to remove them.

        Also, they basically can disengage from melee for free.

        I often field two units of 3 (because I have the models) and am amazed at how well they screen, frustrate, and do slow damage to opponents.

        Oh- and if you are ever charged by a unit with a character, disengage and then re-arrange so the character is the closest model for some sniping.

        Not saying they are top table. but I enjoy using them (admittedly, pre Neurothrope HQ)

        Ever since 7th Edition unbound, I have imagined running a whole army of just Zoanthropes. I’m considering putting together one now (albeit with a few Neurothropes, Malanthropes, and maybe a Trygon Prime or Tyrannocyte for delivery…

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 10, 2017 2:16 pm #

          Yeah, agree with your assessment. They can be quite good when used properly but may not be strictly the most points efficient option. The point to take away is that they are not bad at all and if you want to use them you can and can have fun with them and good results, too.

        • Avatar
          Brakhal November 10, 2017 3:11 pm #

          To be fair, they’re not terrible. It’s just that they don’t fit well at 40 points each. Each one of them costs as a full “human” psyker, but they don’t get really better the more you have. It’s logic because if they had a rule like: “+1 mortal wound per model” or “+1 to cast per model” they would scalate in a excesively powerfull way, but still not good as they are.

          The T4 is not enough for screening good, even with the 3++. The move 5″ also doesn’t help on that.

          • Avatar
            N.I.B. November 10, 2017 4:29 pm

            I would like to see Neurothropes get to revive dead Zoanthrope models with Spirit Leech, not just healing the wounded. Would improve the look of Zoans and enhance their durability character.

  7. Avatar
    Cephalobeard November 10, 2017 7:22 am #

    Maleceptors are such cool models. Really wish they were just a little better, to justify the price dollar wise and point wise.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 10, 2017 10:03 am #

      I dig him, and find him to be useful and fun to play.

    • Avatar
      Jural November 10, 2017 12:59 pm #

      I like the Toxicrene even more… but really haven’t found a use

  8. Avatar
    Chris November 10, 2017 9:23 am #

    As a long-time Nidzilla or StealerBomb player I’ve long neglected my ELite section as being un-necessary or just plain crap. Now I’m looking seriously at Deathleaper and even the Pyrovore (for the lols really). Or maybe even a horde of lictors, deathleaper and stealers ALL EATING BRAINS for CP harvesting…….now there’s a (harvested) thought……..

  9. Avatar
    Nick Wenker November 10, 2017 9:50 am #

    For some reason the “leave a reply” comment box at the bottom seems to be automatically filling in people’s names and email addresses at random. I am not Nick Wenker, for example, his name was already in the “name” box already when I scrolled to the bottom of the page. I’ve also had “vybert” whose email is vincew@cityofclovis.com show up, as well as “V1234” whose email I don’t remember. Not sure what’s going on, but it might be worth looking into.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 10, 2017 10:03 am #

      Yeah I am still trying to figure out why it is doing that.

      • Avatar
        Cephalobeard November 10, 2017 12:44 pm #

        I can’t even post from this username on my phone. Posts just dont go through. If I use another username, it works.

        It’s super weird and made me think I was shadow banned or something for a few days. Lol

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 10, 2017 1:49 pm #

          No, I think it is a cache issue and I have been working on it for a while but so far neither I nor anyone I have had look into it can figure out what is causing it.

    • Avatar
      Jural November 10, 2017 1:00 pm #

      maybe don’t give out people’s e-mails in a comment?

      -Your Friendly Neighborhood Deathleaper

  10. Avatar
    Remigio November 11, 2017 6:42 am #

    Why tyrant guard are not called lictors are beyond my understanding

  11. Avatar
    Akaiyou December 6, 2017 1:50 pm #

    After being in an uproar due to that Tyranid FAQ i suddenly remembered this article and my first thought was “WTF REECE!? I TRUSTED YOU!” The idea of using Lictors to drop in genestealers via the Infestation Node came from this very article, from the players I trust due to their official play-tester status for GW, I assume that you guys have a leg up on viable tactics that are legal AND in the spirit of the rules as intended by GW.

    So please either reach out to the design studio OR give us a new Lictor tactica that is ACCURATE to what we can actually do with our much beloved Tyranid assassins. I have put all my chips into Frontline Gaming as my #1 source for everything 8th edition related, I visit this page daily so I hope that the content and adviced share here is legit because more than once i’ve been in the situation where I reference FLG as my source during games for official rules clarifications.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 6, 2017 3:58 pm #

      Woah, haha, hey, I understand your frustration but you have to understand that that ruling came as a surprise to me, too. I wrote the tactica before the FAQ and forgot to change it after. Sorry for that.

      Yes, we are play testers, and yes we do know what is coming ahead of time (most of the time) but that does not assure 100% accuracy. Even if I were to sit down with every dev and go over every single rule and ask them what it says and means, I still wouldn’t get everything right. It’s just not possible. I am sorry if you got confused or felt let down, but this was simply an accident, and GW went in a different direction with it.

      I very much appreciate the kind words and we appreciate the support but please do not expect us to be perfectly accurate all the time as it is just not possible. We are usually spot on, but not always.

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