Tyranids 40k 8th ed Codex Review: Tyranids Part 6: Heavy Support

The Great Devourer is upon us, and in part 6 of this review we dive into the Tyranid Heavy Support units to explore what they have to offer! Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 & Part 5 of this review if you missed it.

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Heavy Support

The Tyranid codex has so much depth to it and so many good units in so many force org slots but Heavy Support stand apart. Even in a stacked dex like the Nid book, they have some absolutely stellar choices in Heavy Support. Let’s talk about why!

The Exocrine is the first offering and one of my favorites. It’s a heavy gun-bug, and it packs a wallop. It boasts toughness 8, 12 wounds and a 3+ save, similar to a Leman Russ. Also like a Leman Russ, it can fire twice! To do this, it must hold still but unlike a Russ, it can shoot at two different targets which is extremely powerful. And speaking of its weaponry, the Bio-plasmic Cannon is no joke at 36″, Heavy 6, strength 7, AP-3, 2 damage. With potentially 12 shots, this beasty can just melt it’s targets. As if that were not enough, it also gains +1 to hit if it holds still, but cannot charge if it does this (but if you are charging with your Exocrine, things have gone off the rails a bit!). In melee he isn’t bad though, with 3 strength 7, AP-1, 2 damage attacks at WS 4+, but that is obviously not where he wants to be. This bad ass also loves the Pathogenic Slime stratagem to boost up to 3 damage shots! Tactically, it’s quite easy to use this guy: you park him in a good spot and unleash hell on your enemy until he is destroyed. And, he will get targeted as his damage output is so high so give some thought to how to keep him breathing and shooting. A Malanthrope is obviously a good choice (and if I haven’t hammered this point enough, a Malanthrope belongs in pretty much every Nid army) for that sweet -1 to hit, and Jormungandr is a good hive fleet for +1 to his save vs. shooting, or Leviathan for a 6+ FnP, and Kronos for re-rolls of 1 to hit in shooting when holding still (which he wants to do, already). This unit is very straightforward and does what it says on the can: it blows stuff up! His firepower is potent and will give you a great tool for taking out vehicles, heavy infantry and monsters. I love using mine and at his 216pt price tag have never regretted putting him on the table. His only downside is that he will draw enemy fire like a magnet and despite his beefiness will go down to focused, heavy firepower. I’ve had best results with him in a back-field fire-base while my assault force gets in my opponent’s face and draws their attention. Just be mentally prepared to lose him on turn 1 if you go second as that can and will happen. However, if he draws enough enemy fire in the process of dying he still served a purpose.

The Tyrannofex is one of my absolute favorite big bugs, and I have loved the model since it was introduced into the game. Until now, he’s always been an OK choice, if a bit too pricey for what you get. Now though, wow, he’s stellar and only 189 base with his standard Stinger Salvo. I use mine in every game and just love him. Like most big bugs he’s beefy, with toughness 8 and a 3+ save, but also having 14 wounds! He also has the Weapon Beast rule like the Exocrine, meaning if he doesn’t move he can shoot twice which is clearly very powerful. He’s a bit slow like the Exocrine as well, only moving 6″. Unlike the longer ranged Exocrine this can get in the way for him as two of his main weapon options are only 18″ range so he often will be moving into position on the first turn or even two, where he can then get set up to dish out some serious damage. And speaking of his main weapons, they’re all solid choices. The option that jumps out at most folks is the Rupture Cannon and for very good reason. It has a beastly profile and the highest price at 49pts. Heavy 3, 48″, Strength 10, AP-3, D6 damage. Not bad! When firing twice, you pump out 6 super Las Cannon shots. Even with BS 4+, this represents a deadly ranged weapon on a tough platform. Alternatively, you can go for the Flesh Borer Hive which many of you probably don’t even know what it is, haha, as I have literally never seen a Tyrannofex equipped with one in my gaming career. These weapons are most commonly used to convert Flyrants to look like Praying Mantises. But, the weapon is now actually pretty dang cool. For one, it’s only 15pts, and gives you 20 strength 5 shots at 18″ range. While it may have no AP, once you get into a good spot, you pump out 40 strength 5 shots, same as a Leman Russ Punisher cannon. However, on top of this the Scorch Bugs stratagem can be used to give you a +1 to your wound rolls, meaning you wound anything in the game on no worse than a 5+ and for most infantry on a 2+. This pairs well with the Tyrannofex’s other weapon, the Stinger Salvo which is strength 5, AP-1, assault 4, 24″ which also can fire twice if it holds still, meaning you would pump out 48 shots in total. Not bad!

Lastly, you can take the Acid Spray which is my favorite way to equip him and a reasonable 25pts. I love this weapon for the same reason I love all flamer style weapons: they eliminate variables. You don’t roll to hit and that means more efficiency plus great assault defense, you ignore penalties to hit and your degrading profile for BS is meaningless (although the weapon’s strength does go down as he is hurt but this is not nearly as impactful in most instances). On top of this, the weapon is 18″ range, strength user (so 7 at full strength), AP-1, and D3 damage. That profile means it is a threat to any target, not just infantry. That last bit is important as when you get in to range to start double shooting, you get 4d6 auto-hitting attacks that do D3 damage a piece! You can wreck things with this weapon and the look on someone’s face when you melt their big monster to goo with it in a single shot is priceless! Even if your opponent is -3 to be hit, you could care less. For true devastation, pop the Pathogenic Slime stratagem and now you’re doing D3+1 damage….it’s savage. No matter how you equip this guy, like the Exocrine he wants defensive buffs such as with the Malanthrope or Venomthropes. Kronos is a great choice for the Rupture Cannon load out, but Jormungadr or Leviathan work great with the closer range weapons that require you to move a bit to get into range (unless you’re facing an assault army coming at you, of course). Regardless, you want to screen these guys with something to keep them shooting. For me Termagants are my go to, but Nids are lucky to have loads of options in this regard. The Tyrannofex has game changing firepower though, and many a losing battle has swung for me when I roll hot with this guy as he just blasts things to bits. That said, as with the Exocrine, as he’s so big if you find yourself going second, mentally prepare yourself to lose him if he gets focused on he’s a high-profile target and difficult to hide.

Biovores are easily one of the best units in the game. What you get for the points is just tremendous. They’re an artillery bug but due to the way their special rules work, can do some really crazy stuff with their Spore Mine ammunition. For basic stats, he’s only 36pts all in, has a toughness of 4, 4 wounds, and a 4+ save. His weapon, the Spore Mine Launcher, is incredibly good. It’s got a 48″ range, heavy 1 shot that fires spore mines on the enemy. If these hit, they do nothing on a 1, 1 Mortal Wound on a 2-5, and D3 Mortal Wounds on a 6. This by itself is stupid good for the points and durability of the unit. 3 of them runs you only 108 points to put no LoS required Mortal Wounds down field. Awesome stuff. And as you can take them in units of 1, they are great for filling FoC slots to open up a Brigade, too. However, it gets truly crazy when you miss! That’s right, they are arguably better when you miss. The reason being that when they do miss, you place a Spore Mine within 6″ of your target and more than 3″ away from enemy units (if they cannot be placed under these conditions, they are destroyed). They then become units in your army and can move towards enemy units, charge them and blow up under the same rules as hitting them with your shot, dealing Mortal Wounds. This forces your opponent to deal with them, shooting them in their turn to avoid getting attacked which takes firepower off of your main forces. But, what gets truly bonkers is that as models in your army, they can block movement, lol. It will drive your opponent nuts when you line up Spore Mines in front of a key unit that cannot then move forwards as a result. Against the right opponent, this is game winning good. You will often find yourself moving your Biovores to get a -1 to hit on purpose to increase the odds of missing to create roadblocks for your opponent. Kronos seems like the obvious choice at first glance but as stated, you actually don’t mind or even prefer to miss, so you may find yourself gravitating to Leviathan or Jormungadr for increased defense. However, as they can fire from hiding, they work fine in any Hive Fleet. Biovores are tremendously powerful, and if you want a “press go” Tyranid army, take 12+ of these gents and you will find yourself winning games on their power alone. They’re that good. Just bury them behind Termagants next to a Malanthrope or preferably behind cover and profit.

The Toxicrene was pretty dang bad when it came out, but now is significantly improved. It’s got an interesting profile, with an 8″ move, WS 3+, BS 4+, strength 7, toughness 7, 12 wounds, a 3+ save, and 6 attacks. So, he’s pretty tough but still will get smoked if focused on with heavy firepower. Luckily though, he’s only 157pts so not a ton more than a Carnifex but significantly punchier in melee in most cases. The reason being that his melee attacks may only be AP-2 and D3 damage at strength 7, but because he can re-roll failed wound rolls in melee and hits on a 3+ all the time. Further, he always sings first in melee, too! When stuck in, he deals a Mortal Wound to enemy units for each model within 1″ on a 6 (and yes, that is models not units), and for each wound he takes he deals a Mortal Wound to the enemy that dealt it on a 6. In shooting, he has both Choking Spores which are 12″ range, Assault D6, strength 3, AP 0, D3 damage which re-roll failed wound rolls and ignore cover and his Lashes which are 8″ range, Assault D6, strength 7, AP-2, D3 damage, re-roll failed wounds and can be fired into and out of combat. What this means is that the Toxicrene actually has a ton of damage output, particularly in a grinding melee where you find yourself in multiple rounds of combat as he will get his 6 attacks, shoot in his shooting phase and shed Mortal Wounds as he is hurt and at the end of each fight phase to models around him. This makes him a solid choice for wading into big units and chewing through them over time. The Rapid Regeneration stratagem to heal D3 wounds is a solid touch for him, too, to keep him going in a big combat as is the Adrenaline Surge strat due to the number of attacks he gets.

Carnifexes have gotten such an exciting and massive boost in both efficacy and utility! This is hands down my favorite change to the Nid dex. For starters, you get not 1 but 3 different Carnifex units to choose from. The standard Fex with the most options, the Screamer-Killer which is very restricted in its options, and the Thornback which has less options but makes a good multi-roll choice as it has benefits to both melee and shooting. They’re all good and my biggest issue is that I want to use multiples of all of them, lol. But, let’s break them down a bit. First, they all rock a “Dreadnought” style profile. Toughness 7, 8 wounds and a 3+ save. They also have 4 attacks at strength 6, a 7″ move and WS and BS 4+. So, their basic stats aren’t crazy, but they are cheap. The Carnifex is 67pts base, the Screamer-Killer is 90 (which includes his Bio-Plasmic Scream weapon and morale de-buff) and the Thornback is only 70pts. They all do Mortal Wounds on the charge on a 4+, with the Carnifex and Screamer-Killer dealing 1, the Thornback dealing D3. They also all gain +1 to hit in the fight phase after making a charge. Lastly, you can take up to 3 as a single Heavy slot choice and deploy them all at the same time to increase your odds of getting first turn. From there, it’s all about the options, baby!

We’ll dig in to the Screamer-Killer first as he’s got the least options. He’s a throwback to the original Carnifex from ye old days which is cool unto itself, but is quite good in his own right. He comes with his signature Bio-Plasmic Scream which is 18″, Assault D6, strength 7, AP-4, 1 damage. Not bad at all. He also packs in 2 pair of Monstrous Scything Talons which are strength 6, AP-3, 3 damage each, giving him re-rolls of 1’s to hit and an additional attack bringing him up to 5. Lastly, he has an 8″ -1 leadership debuff, too. At a net cost of 118pts he’s solid on his own, but the option to take Spore Cysts is fantastic, giving him a -1 to be hit for ranged attacks (which doesn’t stack with a Venomthrope or Malanthrope) and Toxin Sacs or the awesome Adrenal Glands which as always, I consider to be essentially mandatory when available. So, with that kit, he’s 120 for a self-buffing unit that can go off on it’s own to take objectives, engage enemy units and damage pretty much anything in the game. I really enjoy using these gents and find them to be a lot of fun in a Nid army as they are so self-sufficient and at a very reasonable cost.

There are millions of options with the Thornback and Carnifex especially but I don’t have time to explore them all (but we will in future articles!) so I will focus on some of the key differences between the Thornback and Carnifex. Both the Carnifex and Thornback can take Enhanced Senses for +1 BS and if you take any guns on him, I recommend opting for this upgrade. And, while I encourage folks to build their models how they want, Carnifexes really are a solid shooting platform as there are other choices that aren’t too far off in cost that do pure melee better like the Toxicrene and Trygon. The Thornback offers a bit more melee punch with the increased Mortal Wounds on the charge. I use Thornbacks a lot for this exact reason as if I have Magnus or Bobby G bearing down on me, these guys give me a tool to actually take them down. I’ve killed Magnus with three of these guys with their massed strength 6 shooting, dealing Mortal Wounds on the charge (although remember, they only do D3 to Infantry models), then managing to finish him off with a few 3 Damage attacks that slip through his defense. It’s there triple threat ability to deal damage to a wide variety of targets that makes me like the Thornback the most. I don’t mind that they don’t have Spore Cysts as I keep them near a Malanthrope until it is time to charge. I also opt for the Thresher Scythe (and extra D3, strength 4, AP-1, 1 damage attacks in melee) and Spine Banks (assault 4, strength 5, 6″, AP 0, 1 damage shots that can be fired into or out of melee) as this gives them even more damage output for a low cost if I need them to plow into hordes of infantry on top of his Chitin Thorns which deal a Mortal Wound to units within 1″ on a 6. Also, Thornbacks ignore cover too, further enhancing their multi-threat nature. Thornbacks represent the most versatile option which is how I tend to play as I really enjoy reactive, flexible armies.

The standard Carnifex represents the ability to specialize a bit more. The most popular version of the Fex over the years has been the maxed Devouerer version and now it is better than ever. As you take 4 Devouerers now, each with 6 shots, you get 24 strength 6 shots on a basic Fex for only 28pts over the base cost! This is so good, lol. With 18″ range, you will typically need to move to get into range but as the weapons are Assault, you can advance and still fire if needs be. You can also opt for maxed Deathspitters as while you get half the shots of the Devourers, the jump to strength 7 and AP-1 means you are far better against most vehicles. For a basic Fex with 4 of the above guns and Enhanced Senses you’re looking at a measly 105pt investment. That is crazy efficient, lol. Carnifxes can also opt for any of the Monstrous Bio-Cannons which are not bad choices, and can also take Spore Cysts which makes them, like the Screamer-Killer, pretty self sufficient in an army that otherwise often wants things bunched up together. That is quite a benefit. You could opt for the Monstrous Acid Maw in addition to a gun load-out so that you get some melee mixed in with the shooting at strength 6, AP-5, D3 damage, but it comes at the expense of BS 3+. Not sure I’d make that trade but it does really make them well rounded if you don’t mind a loss of accuracy. Alternatively, you can go max melee and take Crushing Claws which massively increase their power but at -1 to hit on a WS 4+ model, is only really worth while if you are also running Old One Eye for the +1 to hit bonus he provides Carnifxes. If so, consider the Tusks which grant you a bonus attack on the charge which means if you opted for two pair of talons, you’d have 6 on the charge! Toss in the Bone Mace for only 2 more pts and you’ve got a 7th nasty attack. Toss in Adrenal Glands and you get all that at only 97pts. Again, wow, that is a lot for not many points.

Regardless of how you use them, there are a few things to keep in mind with these gents. For one, strength 6 in melee means they can struggle with most vehicles. The Voracious Appetite stratagem is awesome for this reason, giving one of them re-rolls to wound for the fight phase which when potentially coupled with the Adrenaline Surge stratagem means a Carnifex can go from pretty mild to a vehicle smashing bad ass! Also, they’re relatively frail buggers. If your opponent wants one dead, that is usually easily doable. They also want to get the charge off, and not be charged due to all of the bonuses they get when they do. For those reasons, you usually want to keep them screened until you get closer. Termagants, again, are your friend here. As you can give many of the Fexes their own -1 to hit, that helps a lot as you can put them in positions you may not be able to with other units or set them free to go after objectives once the game has developed a bit (just be mindful of Instinctive Behavior). I also find they serve well as counter charge units. You advance, firing your weapons (if you have any) until you get into a position to charge and then let them go bananas as they pack quite a punch in melee for the points, assuming you didn’t kit them out strictly for shooting. If you do take a few of them and do want them to mix it up in melee, strongly consider taking Old One Eye as not only is he good on his own merits, he significantly buffs them in combat. There is a lot more to say about Carnifexes obviously, but for now I hope this gives you an idea of the many ways to play them. They perform well in every Hive Fleet, Kronos being great if you kit them up with the heavy weapons to sit and shoot, Jormungandr and Leviathan being very good for the move and shoot Carnifexes, and all of the melee oriented buffs like Behemoth or Gorgon for those that go into melee. Only the Hydra buff is lost on them, as it is on any single model units.

The Mawloc is next up and has always been pretty useful. Perhaps not always great, but always good. He retains the same feel as in the past with his signature ability to pop up and deal damage through the Terror from the Deep rule, and it now deals Mortal Wounds to every enemy unit within 2″ of him when he deep strikes onto the table (and he is able to come in anywhere so long as he is more than 1″ from enemy models). These units take no Mortal Wounds on the roll of a 1, a single Mortal Wound on a 2-3, D3 on a 5-6, and 3 on a 6. After coming on to the table in this way, the Mawloc cannot charge. It can then go back off of the table in the next turn by Burrowing so long as it is not in melee, to come back on a later turn to use aforementioned attack again. As the Mawloc also has a pretty beefy profile at toughness 6 with 12 wounds and a 3+ save, he can take quite a bit of punishment and keep popping in and out of the game. If he sticks around to engage in melee, he has 7 base attacks which looks great until you realize they’re pretty wimpy, haha. At WS 4+, strength 6, AP 0, they’re not too fearsome for such a big guy, but you do get a bonus attack with them and re-rolls of 1 to hit. He does get his single tail attack which is decent (and your choice of three options) and his single Distensible Jaws which is actually solid at strength 6, AP-3, D6 damage. However, a melee beast he is not. What he is though, is very cheap at only 104pts base.

What I have found works best with him is to either use him to deliver powerful units cheaply onto the table with Jormungandr, or to play him coy, waiting for the right opportunity to attack. Often if you attack right away on turn 1, a good player will have given you no good options to snipe out weakened units or characters (which is what he’s good at). However, if you wait for the game to develop a bit and your opponent’s deep strike defenses have melted away a bit, you find gaps in the backfield for him to exploit where he can pop up and and attack units like Devastator Squads (one of his favorites, Yum!), Basilisks, etc. He can come on the table, gobble up a few models with his Mortal Wounds, then charge them and tie them up in melee. As he’s pretty beefy, he can often survive the counter attack but if he does die, he will probably soak a lot of firepower in the process. If he can start tagging multiple artillery units in melee and stop them from shooting, that is solid gold. Also, obviously, he’s amazing for taking objectives and winning missions by popping up on them towards late game. He works great in any Hive Fleet, but I think Jormungandr is extra awesome for him (and thematic) due to the fact that it also allows him to bring units on to the table, and because it gives him a 2+ save vs shooting. Likewise, Leviathan is solid to increase his defense on that turn he pops up.

My personal Trygon. Been with me through many a scrape!

The final choice of the many excellent options for Tyranids in the heavy slot is the Trygon and Trygon Prime. Both of these are simply fantastic options and I love them. I rarely play without one or the other, if not both. The reason why they are so excellent is not only because they are solid melee units at a very reasonable price point but also because they are essentially a Drop Pod, too! I say this because they have the incredible Subterranean Assault rule, allowing them to be deployed at the same time as a Troops unit, who can then deep strike with the Trygon on to the table. This is stupid good and most of you that are Tyranid players are likely already using it, or if you play against Tyranids are very familiar with facing it. Commonly you see a Trygon pop up with 30 Hormagaunts or 20 Genestealers. Hormagaunts were more common as they have access to Adrenal Glands for that vital +1″ to charge and Stealers don’t (who would be probably a bit too good with them, lol) as they stand good odds of making that charge with either a CP re-roll or the Behemoth Hive Fleet. Frequently this combo is very commonly seen with Swarmlord who can make one of them move again for a guaranteed charge. Now though with Jormungadr it is even better as a single Trygon can bring in multiple units with The Enemy Below stratagem. I often bring in a full unit of 9 Tyranid Warriors with a Tyranid Prime. The Prime provides Synapse and buffs the Warriors who pump out a ton of strength 5, AP-1 shots with their Deathspitters, potentially shooting twice with the Single-minded Annihilation strat, and then the entire attack group is a big threat in melee, too. You can even squeeze in some bubble wrap with throwaway Termagants in there as well if needs be! It’s a truly versatile combination as you can decide who goes in to reserves on the fly based on what you are facing. I often use it to simply keep vulnerable units off of the table to defend against an Alpha Strike if I don’t go first.

All of this deep strike business aside, the Trygon itself is a solid unit. He has the same stats as the Mawloc, but with only 6 base attacks. He does have WS 3+ though which more than makes up for it. Also unlike the Mawloc, his attacks are nasty! At strength 7, AP-3, D6 damage a pop and 7 attacks with the bonus for 3 sets of Talons and re-rolling 1’s to hit, he is mean. He also gets a bonus attack from his tail, which comes in three varieties and aren’t bad at all. The only real limitation for him is the fact that like the Carnifex, you can find him struggling to deal with vehicles as they have an average toughness of 7. And in the same way, pop the Voracious Appetite strat on him to re-roll wound rolls and all of a sudden he tears them to bits. Both the Prime and the normal Trygon also have a decent shooting attack at 12″ range, strength 5, AP 0, 1 damage. The difference being the Trygon’s is Assault 6, the Prime’s is Assault 12. Both units are very reasonably priced as well, at 168 for the Trygon and 198 for the Prime (and as always, take the Adrenal Glands at 5pts for a Monster) who additionally provides both Synapse and Shadows. Their only real downside is that they are so threatening, they tend to get blasted quickly as even at 12 wounds with a 3+ save, toughness 6 and no invul means they get wrecked pretty quick if focused on. This is why bringing them in with multiple other threatening units is a solid bet to confuse your opponent’s target priority. Or, take lots of them, lol! They’re cheap enough to bring en masse without a doubt. I’ve run as many as 3 and found them to be extremely effective with tremendous potential damage output, particularly with the Adrenaline Surge strat.

And Heavy Support is done! What a great selection of awesome units the Bugs have. Which is your favorite?

 

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About Reecius

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

42 Responses to “Tyranids 40k 8th ed Codex Review: Tyranids Part 6: Heavy Support”

  1. crispy86 November 12, 2017 6:39 pm #

    With the Carnifex units, would they cost one CP to put in reserve using the Jormungandr ability or would you need to pay 3 CP?

    Anyways loving the new dex! plenty of awesome options, so thanks for the efforts in play testing etc.

    • crispy86 November 12, 2017 7:08 pm #

      nvm, just saw its only infantry. Damn I had ideas for old one eye and 3 screamer fexes popping up.

  2. Chad November 12, 2017 7:14 pm #

    Carnifexes aren’t infantry, so you can’t use that ability on them. Just our little guys.

    I would like to point out that Kraken is amazing for Fexes. I ran a fun 8 Carnifex list today with old one eye , a Malanthrope and two Neurothropes. With Kraken they are averaging about 13 inches of movement before the turn they charge. That speed it was quite fun.

    They had castled and my guys hit them very hard. If you run two sets of talons, bone mace, tusks, spine banks, and adrenal glands they clock in at 99 points each. That is 6 talon attacks on the charge plus the mace. If they charge they hit on 2’s with OOE or 3’s base rerolling 1’s. Even toughness 7+ falls pretty fast.

    It worked very well in this case and was pretty fun. Use Onslaught and the 1cp Opportunistic Advance and a Fex can easily end up moving 20 inches before getting to charge.

    I hope this helps some people. The new Codex is amazing and thank you Reece for all the previews.

    • crispy86 November 12, 2017 7:50 pm #

      Cheers Chad. I’ll test out that build and see how it goes!

  3. The General November 12, 2017 8:07 pm #

    The screamer killer is actually cheaper. There’s an entry for two pairs of monstrous scything talons for carifexs that is oddly only 15 points (even though a single pair is 14). That makes the base screamer killer only 105 or 120 with your adrenal glands and spore cysts add ons. 🙂

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 13, 2017 9:14 am #

      Gah, son of a #$@!, lol, I triple checked everything to make sure I didn’t make a mistake this time and still missed that, lol. Oh well, thanks for pointing it out, will fix.

    • WestRider November 13, 2017 4:45 pm #

      Not that odd, since the second pair doesn’t add nearly as much as the first does. You see the same thing in other Dexes with Lightning Claws and such, tho not to this degree.

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 13, 2017 5:32 pm #

        Yeah, it is quite the discount.

  4. Shrubs November 12, 2017 10:52 pm #

    Thanks again reece, solid review!

    I love this codex! I was angry when the 6th edition one came out but this one is so balanced, versatile and fluffy!

    I agree with chad, carnies are begging for kraken, which to me seems to be the most versatile adaptation anyway.

    • N.I.B. November 13, 2017 12:44 am #

      Kraken are for Melee Carnifexes, Jormungandr is the natural Hive Fleet for Dakkafexes.

      I ran 6 Jormungandr Dakkafexes this weekend with good results. Double Devs with Brainleech, Enhanced Senses, Spore Cysts and a 2+ armour save really keeps them ticking. Throw in some screening units, long range anti-tank, burrowing Rippers for objectives and you’re good to go.

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 13, 2017 10:09 am #

        Yeah, I love Jormungadr, personally but agree, kraken is amazing as well. Tough to choose!

  5. Chuck November 13, 2017 12:45 am #

    Thanks Reecius for finishing up the series. It has been a great read!

    • Chuck November 13, 2017 12:48 am #

      Oops, there is still the Flyers and Fortifications. Hehe, looking forward to more then!

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 13, 2017 10:09 am #

        Yeah, almost done but thank you, I am glad you’ve been enjoying them!

  6. Shas’O November 13, 2017 3:26 am #

    I think 9 warriors might be a better choice than 20 genestealers to come out of a Trygon tunnel. Yes, stealers have more punch, but not by much if the warriors have deathspitters and boneswords. The points are also about the same at 252 vs 240. The big advantage I see for warriors is adrenal glands, as an 8” charge is much easier to pull off than a 9” one.

    What are your thoughts here?

    • AbusePuppy November 13, 2017 3:58 am #

      The Warriors are a bit more resilient to anti-infantry fire (27 wounds vs 20, 4+ armor vs 5+) but are significantly easier to kill with anti-tank or other multi-damage weapons, which can be a problem.

      The Warriors might have a place, tho, since they provide Synapse and shooting.

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 13, 2017 10:10 am #

        I love Warriors, finishing out mine to a unit of 9 as we speak. In my games they’ve been great apart from one where I got a bit too close and Frankie aced 8 of 9 in a single combat phase with the Slaanesh Daemon lord…ouch!

        • Brakhal November 13, 2017 5:02 pm #

          That’s the reason I love the lash whip and bonesword as a CC weapon for Warriors. I played that a lot of them with the index. It gives a lot of utility: the enemy charge them, kills some but they don’t leave the board, so you pick the ones who are at less than 1″ as the casualties. The enemy will not consolidate too further. Then you pile in to get 1″ from an engaged one avoiding the enemies 1″, swing with all of them and retire the casualties. The surviving Warriors won’t be engaged at the start of your turn.

          Also, if the enemy has a way to swing twice (like ‘zerkers or ynnari) they won’t leave the combat with the already death Warriors, as they are still on the board.

          Either way, you will still attack with your Warrior’s boneswords, which can be a lot of pain for some units (like zerkers), or at least a few wounds for a daemon prince. Is 1 attack less in the exchange of always trading in cc.

        • Pragmatix November 14, 2017 1:16 pm #

          Are you guys gonna post a batrep for that? Been dying to see one of the daemon lords from FW used

  7. Wuffell November 13, 2017 3:37 am #

    Thanks for the review. Very keen to hear what you think of the improved sporocyst!

    Thornbacks deal d3 Mortal Vs infantry only, 1 to other targets 🙂

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 13, 2017 10:10 am #

      Yes, that is true, thanks!

  8. Tomguycot November 13, 2017 6:01 am #

    The Toxicrene sings first in melee?! Well I’m sold, not aware of anything else with that ability. What’s his favorite song?

    I have this awesome mental image of a daemon prince impatiently tapping his foot while the Toxicrene finishes singing or some drunk guardsmen singing along with him…

    • NinetyNineNo November 13, 2017 8:14 am #

      Several things get that. Banshees with Jain Zar and anything Slaanesh, for one.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 13, 2017 10:12 am #

      The Toxicrene got lots of little boosts, he’s actually quite good for the points.

    • Tomguycot November 13, 2017 12:32 pm #

      Way to ruin my joke about singing Tyranids fellas.

    • N.I.B. November 13, 2017 2:59 pm #

      Not if charged. If your opponent isn’t sleeping, he will just active the unit that charged the Toxicrene first, and strike first. The only way in 8th ed to be truly ‘striking first’ is to have an ability that make the opposing units strike last. Like the Harpy’s Sonic Screech.

    • WestRider November 13, 2017 4:54 pm #

      You know what they say: It ain’t over ’til the Toxicrene sings 😉

  9. Brakhal November 13, 2017 8:40 am #

    There’s a lot of goodies in the heavy support for ‘nids.

    The Exocrine is quite a solid investment and, as you appointed, the enemy tend to forget him after the first movement phase. He obliterates MEQs and multiwound models (3 or less, thanks to the slime strat) pretty fast. Shoot the ones who are shooting the big ones.

    T-fex got a ton of improvement. Is hard to pick between the spray and the rupture. The spray looks like a really safe bet, autohitting and being dangerous even when the wounds go down (a shame he can’t use the “deathrattle” strat), but the rupture got so solid it is now a good way to deal big damage to big stuff you will struggle lately to kill in cc. I think the fleshborer hive needed a range increase (6 or 12″) to be something intermediate to compete. Perhaps next time.

    First time I saw the Biovores I thought: “36 looks overcosted for a 50% chance of a mortal wound”. A few time later, I thought about them twice and went to my last tournament with 12 of them. Now they’re my favourite 8th ed HS. They’re a hidden gem. They remain the same but with an adaptation and better behavior for free.

    First time I knew the changes on Toxicrene I thought “meh”. Thinking now on him maybe he’s more than a 1’5 ‘fex that degrades. Still not convinced, but perhaps with some combate phase order manipulation he can be a decent “Lictor-old-style” character hunter in Kraken. Deserves the try.

    Three different ‘fexes. I don’t see the Thornback or the Screamer upgrades to be bad, but not enought good to take them instead of more personally-tweaked ‘fexes. Anyway, the adjustments in their weapons costs and profiles makes me doubt on which ones to choose between the total dakka, the hybrid or the total bashy. They really got a lot of interesting options. I will not pick a lot of them as I prefer to play my bugs as cheap as posible for their roles, but I can’t say more stuff than I want is bad.

    I see the Mawloc as a decent tunneler with Jormungandr with a usefull redeploy rule. Don’t trust the terror from the deeps and you still have the cheapest wound/cost ratio for T5+ you will find in the ‘dex. As you said, is better to be patient for the terror. Use him to deliver a shooty unit on turn 1, redeploy with terror later.

    The Trygons are tunnels for everyone besides jormun, and more tunnels for jormun. Add in their hitting power and adrenal glands and they become pretty good options. The Prime can even take a few different relics (chamaleonic, factor or hyper-adaptative look decent) or even a warlord trait (which I’m not so sure is worth it, as Trygons tend to attract a lot of firepower and at short range).

    Just Flyers to go! Thank you Reece!

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 13, 2017 10:30 am #

      Totally agree with you, the Biovore is insanely good. Maybe too good, lol. And yeah, for me the Acid Spray has been the best weapon, Frankie thinks it is OP, haha, but that is because I nuke his stuff with it =)

      Yeah, almost done! Thanks for reading.

  10. hugz November 13, 2017 2:24 pm #

    A unit of biovores seems like a mandatory inclusion in any Kronos detachment, assuming spore mines have the keyword. The ability to put down psychic denial via that crazy stratagem nearly anywhere on the board is icing on that already delicious biovore cake.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 13, 2017 2:31 pm #

      Yeah, that is a funny side effect.

    • Threllen November 13, 2017 3:21 pm #

      Only problem with Kronos biovores is that they get re-rolls of 1 to hit.

      So it makes it harder to purposely miss and get a spore pod to use the stratagem xD

      • Brakhal November 13, 2017 3:38 pm #

        Not if you move! It only makes it better if you really want to hit.

      • Jural November 13, 2017 3:51 pm #

        Just move

      • The Traitor November 13, 2017 11:00 pm #

        Appart from moving, as suggested, now staying out of synapse also helps as far as you don’t shoot the closest enemy! Still, I wouldn’t take kronos on the biovores if possible.

  11. The Traitor November 13, 2017 11:02 pm #

    Great review, I think the nids have very good shooty units which, combined with their awesome screens, could make really fearsome gunlines. They can make basically any kind of list with this codex!

  12. Krukmakarn November 14, 2017 12:52 am #

    At first I thought alot about going for Tyranid / GSC / astral militarum, for astra militarum warlord trait/ relic combo for almost infinite commandpoints. But man, there is so much juicy stuff in pure nids im actually not sure its worth it!! Feckin leviathan is actually starting to grow on me bigtime, that feel no pain can be soooo good. Tyranid warriors taking dmg3 firepower, if they manage to roll a single 6 they just doubled their toughness. At first I thought, catalyst doesnt stack, meh, but man everything in here is super highthreat, catalyst can be avoided. Buffing both the exocrine, and the charging genestealers and warriors and all that, means alot. your playing 2000 points but 2400 points worth of bodies(math is correct), not much out there negates fnp, only overkill multidmg vs 1wound models, but at that point your still not crying too much:)

    I guess I could just go for patroldetachment genestealer cults and patrol astra militarum for trait / relic and build a brigade leviathan, seems good..!

    • Jural November 14, 2017 4:29 pm #

      The last FAQ clearly called out that AM taken by GSC will benefit from Cult special rules (hint- there are none) and not Regimental traits 🙁

  13. Horton November 16, 2017 4:00 am #

    Great article! Thanks for writing! I am very excited to see Tyranids in action. But Kharn is EVEN MORE excited to see so many monsters on the table! I dream of leveling him up to S16, A16…

  14. Wuffell November 16, 2017 3:42 pm #

    Still looking forward to part 7 to finish things up 🙂

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