Tyranid Codex Review- HQ: The Swarmlord

Hello everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and you know what, today is a good day.  It is a good day because we get to talk about the objectively, unequivocally, absolutely, in my opinion, coolest character in the Grim-Dark, the Swarmlord!  Of course, if you want to challenge such a grandiose assertion, you should go arm yourself with knowledge over at Frontline’s Tactics Corner.

**This article has been updated for Chapter Approved 2018**

The Swarmlord is the supreme commander of the Hive Mind, an ancient, immortal killing machine, and on the tabletop, you have a model that is both a superb support piece and a melee whirlwind.

Equipment and Upgrades:

  • Bone Sabres: AP -3 Dmg 3 melee weapon that also cause a mortal wound on a wound roll of a 6.
  • Prehensile Tail: AP 0 Dmg D3 bonus attack.

So yah, this is a big change from the Index where Swarmy did not have a chance for mortal wounds and did D6 damage on its melee attacks.  The math works out to about 6.62 wounds (including the mortal) against a Knight in this new version to 7.26 in the old version, which is a small loss in output, but the variance is nil, meaning a Swarmlord is going to do consistent damage now versus the inconsistent damage in the past.   I actually like the change as I prefer consistent damage, and the extra mortal wounds is a nice icing on the cake that also means Swarmy is just slightly more effective against units.

As Swarmy is a character, there is no customization here, but hey, Bone Sabres are still pretty awesome, and a healthy Swarmy is a legitimate threat to all but the heaviest of armor/threats.

Special Rules:

  • Shadow in the Warp: -1 to psychic tests within 18″. Does not affect TYRANID units.
  • Synapse: Fearless bubble of 12 inches.
  • The Will of the Hive Mind: Synapse bubble for Fearless is 18 inches.
  • Death Throes: When Swarmy dies, roll a D6, and on a 6, all units within 3″ suffer D3 mortal wounds.
  • Psychic Barrier: A 4+ invulnerable save.
  • Blade Parry: Swarmy has a 3++ in melee.  Super-money.
  • Hive Commander: In the shooting phase, you can select one HIVE FLEET unit to move again instead of shooting.
  • Psyker: You get 2 powers plus smite, can cast 2 powers and deny 2.
  • Warlord Trait: Alien Cunning – You can redeploy Swarmy at the start of the first game round but before the first turn begins.

That is a lot of special rules, and Swarmy is more than sum of its parts, but those parts are pretty awesome.  SitW and Synpase are great, especially for Swarmy with its 18 inch Synapse range.  A big improvement over the Index is that Swarmy now has a 4++ and 3++ in melee, and this increases its survivability by quite a margin.   Hive Commander is the signature ability, and it opens up a host of tactics.  Swarmy also increases its offense as a good source of Smite and Psychic Scream, opening up some nice ranged options.   The Warlord Trait is fixed, which is a bit meh as I would love to have Swarmy have the Kronos warlord trait, but Alien Cunning can still be great.  Being able to react to your opponent’s deployment and bait them into committing to killing Swarmy and then going elsewhere can really mess with your opponent’s plan, and you force them into a bit of a conundrum: Deploy knowing that Swarmlord can move and either force the Tyranid player to redeploy Swarmy (which means some of your forces may be out of optimum position) or accept that Swarmy is where it wants to be, especially if that is in an ideal position.   Either way, the opponent has to make a hard choice that has drawbacks, which is the best decisions to make your opponent make. Unfortunately, unless FAQ’d, by the wording, you can’t put Swarmy into a Tyrannocyte with this redeploy as these happen during deployment and Alien Cunning triggers during the game itself.  It is not entirely clear if you can set up Swarmy in a pod during deployment and then audible out, but my feeling is no.

Ok, so what do you? Well, you either build Swarmy as part of your overall strategy or you use it a self-contained missile of destruction.   If you are building an army around Swarmlord, then you are looking at using Hive Commander as a force multiplier to rocket forces forward.  The prime candidate for this are Genestealers as they are the our best melee infantry that can legitimately threaten just about any target and will burn through just about any screen.  Whether you are doing a Genestealer spam army where with Hive Commander, you are getting about 22 inches of movement before a charge, and coupled with Kraken and other stratagems like Overrun, you can get a ton of movement out of a single unit. Another good tactic is to use the newly improved Gargoyles to move forward and then give them another move, getting them in position to charge out and jump chaff lines to tie up whatever needs tying up behind that chaff line.

Of course, with Kraken’s Opportunistic Advance, you can actually rocket forward two different units, using Hive Commander to move one unit and using OA to move another.  You could get 40 genestealers in your opponent’s face on turn 1 by spending 1 CP, and while one unit is relying on dice to make it, having 40 Genestealers charging on the top of turn 1 is…impressive.  You could also marry the two ideas and use Gargoyles to jump the chaff line and use Genestealers to move into range of the chaff line, and since the guns or assault elements behind the chaff are now engaged, the Genestealers are free to move up the field next turn and get truly stuck in.

If you like Monster Mash, being able to rocket a Haruspex or Dimacheron out of reserve is also hilarity. Both of these monsters need to be in melee and are typically worth it, but they need to bridge first, and well, Swarmy is right there for them.  You can also use this on a long range bomb on a Hive Crone by allowing one to move another 30 inches, and this can be great for getting to an isolated spot on the board to flush out pesky mortar teams or artillery batteries.  Heck, if you are really invested in using a Maleceptor, being able to get it to move twice can get it deep enough in enemy lines to start blasting characters with its aura, but I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you are feeling quite lucky.  In short, just about every model that wants to fight in the Tyranid Codex benefits from Hive Commander.

Don’t forget that Swarmlord is a high value target, so it will eat a lot of shots, but this can be to your benefit.  With Tyrant Guard, you have one resilient character that will likely survive most barrages. With a 4++ and the ability to shunt off wounds to the Tyrant Guard, your opponent can waste most, if not all, of their firepower without doing much at all, and even if Swarmy gets hurt, you can heal it with the Rapid Regeneration Stratagem, and really, Hive Commander goes off regardless as long as Swarmy is alive. Especially if you get the chance to put Catalyst up, you can have a Swarmlord with a 4++ and 5+ Feel No Pain that can shunt off wounds to Tyrant Guard. A funny way to do this is to run Leviathan, so that the Tyrant Guard also receive a 6+ Feel No pain, so you essentially have a 4++, then a 5+ Feel No Pain on the wounds, then a 6+ Feel No Pain for the Tyrant Guard.  That’s an insane amount of damage mitigation.

If you like this ground-pounding route, you really can’t go wrong with a Hive Fleet either.  Using Genestealer spam is great in Kraken for the super advance rolls as well as the ability to fall back and charge, allowing faster units to make way for the newest fighters.  Jormungandr is great for all the reserve ability, and a 2+ armor save Swarmy? Very nice.  Leviathan can also be great for an additional 6+ Feel No Pain on Swarmy and its friends, and if you are dedicated to more of a Termgant/Hormagaunt horde, Hyrda is great too.  I don’t like Swarmlord as Kronos simply for the fact that the best part of Kronos is the Warlord Trait which Swarmy cannot have.

But what if you just want Swarmlord without worrying about moving a bunch of models? Well, for the low price of about 350ish, you can have a Swarmlord immune to alpha-strikes.  Throw a Swarmy in a Tyrannocyte, and boom, safe and sound until you want it.  Swarmy is also just a huge threat on its own even without building around Hive Commander. Don’t forget that Swarmy can cast twice per turn, so that can be a Smite and Psychic Scream for some nice offensive punch before the charge. Throw in the 1 CP Voracious Appetite and Swarmy is now re-rolling wounds too!

So why not take Swarmy every game? Well, it has limitations.  First, cost.  Swarmy is 250 points, our most expensive entry in the codex still, but you know what, Chapter Approved really made it even better with a 50 point price reduction.  Swarmy is still not cheap, but that kind of discount really helps make it even more awesome.  The biggest problem for Swarmy is that losing Swarmy represents a crushing blow to your force if you built around Hive Commander.  Especially if you start taking Genestealers and Trygons and giant blobs of Gargoyles and maybe a Haruspex, you are starting to quickly run out of points.  Swarmy wants to play with everyone, but it costs a fair bit and hogs a lot of bio-mass to be able to bring all of its friends. You really have to dedicate one way or the other, meaning you either dedicate to infantry swarm, monster-rocket, or self-contained swarmy missile, but it is really hard to do 2 of 3 and just about impossible to do all 3 well, namely because it creates holes in overall army design that leads to less than stellar lists.

The other factor is that Swarmy just does not compete with the super-toys like Roboute, Magnus, or Mortarion.  Granted, they are all more expensive, but Swarmy is going to struggle with any of these models.  Swinging first, Swarmy does all of 5.8 wounds to Morty, including the Mortal, while Morty turns around and whomps Swarmy for 6.2 wounds, but with the potential  to spike to an instant kill, and well, 6.2 wounds of 12 is very different than 5.8 wounds of 18.  The Nids in general don’t have a super great answer to the really big threats, so even our best bug still struggles to deal with these threats one on one.  Even with rerolling wounds, Swarmy is not likely to one round any super threat on its own.  Of course, why fight one on one?

That said, the Swarmlord is still one of the best choices in our codex.  The Swarmlord is amazing and as I’ve said before, if you are not taking Swarmlord, you need to ask why.  Sure, plenty of good, strong armies don’t need Swarmlord, so it is not an auto-include, but there are many armies that would likely benefit from it.  If you are running any melee based army, a Swarmlord should be in consideration somewhere.

And due to popular demand, overall, I’d score Swarmy a resounding 99 out of 100.  Swarmlord is close to an auto-include, and the sheer force multiplier that it gives an army cannot be overstated, and while not able to go talon-to-talon with other big bads, Swarmy is still one of the best characters out there who can still do a ton of damage.

Thanks as always for reading; you are my favorite bio-mass.Come check out TFG Radio, and be sure to come say hi at the LVO.  Those tickets are going quick, so you should look into that.  Just saying.

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.

49 Responses to “Tyranid Codex Review- HQ: The Swarmlord”

  1. Avatar
    CWDub November 22, 2017 6:27 am #

    Great article, Danny. But two things I disagree with:

    The Leviathan hive fleet trait does not stack with catalyst, unfortunately.

    The Alien Cunning WL trait, IMO, does allow reserve shenanigans. The key is “remove your warlord from the battlefield and set them up again.” I don’t know how this would work specifically with a Tyrannocyte (as they’re “setup” together) but I definitely believe this gives permission to say, remove a hive tyrant with wings from the table and “set him up again” in reserves.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy November 22, 2017 10:11 am #

      Well, there’s an important distinction here- you are correct that a Flyrant could be placed back into reserve if it had that trait, but a Tyrannocyte works differently. You could not move a unit into a Tyrannocyte by redeploying it because the Tyrannocyte specifies that it (and the unit) must be placed into reserves at the same time during deployment- and Hive Commander happens well after deployment, and is thus too late.

      • Avatar
        vybert November 22, 2017 4:50 pm #

        I agree with you on the tyrannocite. Unfortunately, the wording prohibits placing him into reserves later. Maybe an FAQ? …but probably not

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz November 22, 2017 11:27 am #

      The Leviathan Hive Fleet trait does not stack with Catalyst, yes, but it does confer to the Tyrant Guard, who are entitled to take it against the Mortal Wound they suffer when they tank a wound from a Tyrant. This is how you get the 4++/5+/6+.

      I would agree that a Flyrant could go back into Reserves, but for Swarmy, not so much as Tyrannocyte’s language is clear that they are set up together in one go, and since Swarmy is not on the table at the start of the game, it cannot be redeployed. That’s my reading of it at least, but we’ll see what GW says about it.

  2. Avatar
    iNcontroL November 22, 2017 9:56 am #

    I think a lot of your analysis ignores the strategems that transform him. Against Morti/Magnus he can swing twice rerolling wounds … he damn near kills Mortarian and if Magnus doesn’t have his 3++ it will do the same to him with less damage coming back.

    Swarmlord with catalyst on himself is a very defensible creature. 12 wounds, T7 with at least a 4++ and then a 5+ FnP is really tough and I’ve found he can be a bullet sponge that stands the storm. He also can regen D3 wounds for 1CP so he continues to be a problem as long as he doesn’t get nuked which would be a helluva offense since he should be getting a -1 to hit as well (from a malanthrope or venomthropes).

    His locked WL trait is a bummer but I have him in all my lists and I can’t say I regret it.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy November 22, 2017 10:17 am #

      You’re not wrong about pairing Voracious Appetite with Adrenaline Surge, though the second round of swings happens at the end of the phase, so Morty/Magnus has the opportunity to swing back at Swarmy at least once, and as the article notes they have a non-trivial chance of killing him in a single go. (He’d still get his second set of swings in that instance, as you can pop Death Frenzy instead of Adrenaline Surge, but losing him still hurts.)

      Also, the regen stratagem is 2CP- not unusable, but expensive enough that you’re not gonna pop it just because you can.

      I think Swarmy is a very good character for sure, but protecting him in the face of heavy firepower can sometimes be difficult; there’s a lot of things out there that shoot (or punch) pretty hard, and twelve wounds may seem like a lot, but it can mean you’re two Lascannons away from death. That obviously hasn’t stopped anyone from taking other big units (Rowboat, Grandmaster Dreadknights, etc) but it’s certainly something that should be kept in mind.

      • Avatar
        iNcontroL November 22, 2017 3:00 pm #

        The difference between your post and mine is I actually play with him each game and you are speculating as I am going to guess you’ve played against him post codex release 1-2 times tops? You aren’t wrong but I love when people start explaining to me his survivability or what he can / cannot do vs mortarion when they never played it haha

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy November 22, 2017 9:01 pm #

          Yeah, since I haven’t played against _this_ specific T7/4++/W12 model, I probably just don’t know how numbers work and will have to relearn the entire game from the beginning. Shit, I don’t even know what a three is anymore, I’m so confused.

          • Avatar
            iNcontroL November 22, 2017 10:39 pm

            You going to pretend playing doesn’t matter? A models stats and how it functions in an army of models that also have stats, stratagems and playstyles.. etc etc all factor in. You so ego driven that you are actually going to break my comment down to “I must not understand basic numbers” and not “playing with the model matters” lol? You do you baby girl 🙂 the way you post vs how you are in person contrasts so wonderfully.

        • Avatar
          NinetyNineNo November 23, 2017 6:00 am #

          Wow, rude.

        • Avatar
          Brakhal November 24, 2017 8:18 am #

          Well, if you only played games with him your judgement on the Swarmlord can’t be taken as objective: you don’t have experience on how your army will perform with their points invested in other stuff in the exchange of alien cunning.

          Not saying the Swarmlord is terrible. Alien cunning is a great abilitiy but, in my experience, the point tax is excesive and the Swarmlord tends to receive a lot of atention while not being able to soak a decent quantity firepower for his cost. I’m remarking: that’s just my point of view.

          I must admit my experience with the Swarmlord is limited to the index. At the beginning I played him a lot, but in the end I realised it was a 1/4 of my list that were great in a lot of pairings (like ad mech or space marines), but almost useless in the most tough (and usual) ones: brimstone and conscript spams, or any list with cheap bubblewraps. Perhaps the t7 4++ can make a real difference now, but still, 300 points + the mandatory Tyrannocyte/Tyrant Guard is a lot of points.

          He certainly have his chances against a pure DG mortarion list, as they will not have access to death hex, but I’ve seen a lot of mortys in chaos soup lists, where that 3++ is only worth if you can avoid the hex.

          Perhaps the problem is not in the Swarmlord himself, but in his mandatory bodyguard or delivery mechanism. I would see a better potential in the pack, if Tyrant Guards were more than not-as-expensive-but-not-cheap extra wounds for the Swarmlord.

    • Avatar
      KundaliniHero November 22, 2017 12:17 pm #

      You could certainly invest a heap of CP into making Swarmy face off against (insert primaris here) but I think its a waste in the long run, in most instances he is just plain outclassed and unless he gets some hot dice or support from say 20 genestealers he will ultimately struggle.

      I feel like a squad of x6 Hive Guard with the Single-Minded Annihilation stratagem would be far more effective against a primaris: 24 strength 8 shots -2AP D3 damage, that’s some mean dakka and it comes in about 12 points cheaper 🙂

    • Avatar
      Jural November 22, 2017 12:32 pm #

      I like using him in a Kraken list starting on the table with Tyrant guard. Even going second he ends up surviving most of the time, and everyone gets so close to the enemy line.

      I always run another model as my warlord because the pairing is crap. But ironically, it’s super fluffy for the Swarmlord, just useless.

    • Avatar
      Jural November 23, 2017 12:32 pm #

      How do you use him InControL?

      1. Foot slog with Tyrant Guard
      2. In a Tyrannocyte?
      3. Keep both options in each list?

      I think you mostly use Kronos, have you tried him with other fleets?

      I have ran him in the Index with a cyte, but have only used him on foot with Tyrant Giard post codex

  3. Avatar
    Jesper77 November 22, 2017 11:22 am #

    I haven’t super studied the codex but at first glance it looks OK, But it still lacks something to be competitive and I can’t realy understand what it is? Don’t know what GW does wrong but they realy have a hard time making Nidz great, they have been super careful not to give em anything who stand out to much. Everything is super balanced and they realy kept the foot on the break when writing the codex. “Don’t let anything good stack! oh is that a good unit? Let’s be careful not to make it to cheap!”

    Not like when they wrote Eldar! “Hey, let’s all the minus to hit in the book stack even
    Let their super hard vehicles get minus to hit also let’s give em some nice easy rerols! What are you saying….are Dark reapers one of the best units in the game and their cheap to? Well let’s drop em in points anyway so they can spam em for a sure victory.

    Although, the codex hasn’t been out to long and their may be more to it but my first impressions is that it’s been written by an elderly man who loves nidz and hate competitive play, Eldar have been written by a competitive player who loves to win 😉 hope I’m wrong!

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz November 22, 2017 11:31 am #

      I think Nidz are gonna surprise people, and I do think there are a lot of good paths here, but not all of them will truly pan out. When we get to troops, which is where Tyranids are really powerful, I think you’ll see me get a bit excited.

      For me, the hardest part of building a list is deciding how I want it to run because the bugs can go in so many directions, and I haven’t had enough tournament time yet to really test all of these directions. Soon. Soon.

      • Avatar
        Jesper77 November 24, 2017 7:11 am #

        Danny I think youre right about that. Theres so much cool stuff you wanna have it all in a list, genstealers/broodlord, Swarmlord, hive tyrants, crones, Biovores, Mines, devilgaunts, OOE/carnifexes, mawlocs, Swarms, devilgaunts, lictors and the list goes one.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 22, 2017 11:40 am #

      The Nid dex lacks NOTHING to be competitive, lol. They are extremely potent. Just wait, it will become evident.

      And the same people wrote all the books, lol, so your perception, while funny, isn’t necessarily accurate. Reapers are a bit too cheap though, I agree.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy November 22, 2017 12:31 pm #

        Yeah, for sure. It remains to be seen yet whether or not they _will_ make it to the top tables consistently- I think that depends a lot on the meta and how Chapter Approved changes things in terms of actual play- but they most assuredly have the tools to play a strong game and give other codices a run for their money.

        Tyranids were decent before, and now they are certainly strong. They will, at the very least, play a solid second-tier/spoiler army, and I think they have the tools to go well beyond that.

        • Avatar
          Jural November 22, 2017 12:40 pm #

          They may get a big boost from Chapter Approved too… The AM detachment with GSC abilities MAY be super interesting.

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 22, 2017 4:56 pm #

          Yeah, fair point. It’s always a challenge for Frankie and I as we have so much more experience with things than everyone else does when it comes out. We don’t have the cold reactions to it, we’ve worked through a lot of the ins and outs.

          But yeah, time will tell.

        • Avatar
          Brakhal November 22, 2017 5:49 pm #

          I agreed. Sure they’re not the 8th ed top dog, but they’re not lacking tools to play against anything and have some chances.

          But I don’t think they will be a top dog in a long time. As they don’t have really powerfull things, I don’t think they will call the attention of the bigger top players. To succeed at the higher level you need to play the best while doing your best (or at least that’s my guess).

          Anyway, I’m fine with it. I just want to play ‘nids and don’t feel stupid while doing it. This ‘dex is great at the “not making me feel stupid” department (comparing with the 6th ed one). At least while I’m not playing Lictors, Zoanthropes or Venomthropes.

          Sorry, I had to add a critique to the internal balance to stay honest.

          • Reecius
            Reecius November 22, 2017 6:03 pm

            Yeah, and it is too early to make a call, anyway. I know both Frankie and I think they are at the top of the heap, but we’ll see who starts playing them and how well they end up doing. I feel like I would rarely lose playing them, personally. In fact, I rarely have lost with them in all of our games, maybe once or twice? I can’t recall exactly but it has been a rare game I have lost with Codex Nids and I have played them a LOT.

            But, the real litmus test is to see how they do in the wild.

      • Avatar
        Carnac November 22, 2017 12:38 pm #

        Well, sorry if I’m sceptical, but you don’t really have a good record on predicting these things. How many orks army have won tournaments with their awesome units recently?

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 22, 2017 1:29 pm #

          What are you referring to? Did I predict Orks were going to win tournaments? I don’t recall that. I said they are good, and they are. Bill Souza went undefeated at ATC with them, Ben Mohlie wen’t top 16 at NOVA with them, I think losing only 1 game.

          The issue is less that the book suffers and more that folks think they have better odds with something else. People tell me Space Marines are bad–particularly without Bobby G–and I am many others do quite well competitively with them.

          But, eh, I don’t care really. Believe me or don’t, your choice. I honestly feel that Nids are one of the most powerful books in the game right now, YMMV.

          • Avatar
            Carnac November 22, 2017 2:06 pm

            Wow, someone is feeling a little stung. Face it, every army is going to have a case or two of a player winning with it. That doesn’t make it a good army. And your previsions on the general competitivity of an army (if we exclude “I know a guy that won with them”) are wrong most often than not. Didn’t you said necrons were very good at the start of 8th edition? And what about Imperial Guards and conscripts being just a little good and not going to swept tournaments?

          • Reecius
            Reecius November 22, 2017 4:59 pm

            Feeling stung? lol, no. I deal with people coming at me like this every day, I don’t care. At all.

            If you think my opinions on what is or is not good are wrong, that is fine, do as you please. I hope whatever you choose to play with works great for you.

      • Avatar
        Jural November 22, 2017 12:39 pm #

        They have a lot of models that will really struggle to

        1. survive focused fire
        2. Get their points back by shooting alone

        So it really comes down to making sure you can remove the chaff, target the right units in assault, and not get torn apart when units fall back.

        • Reecius
          Reecius November 22, 2017 1:30 pm #

          Well, perhaps your experiences are different than ours. Nids shoot like crazy now, seriously powerful, and have all the tools they need to win games.

          • Avatar
            Jural November 23, 2017 12:39 pm

            Let me clarify- Nid shooting is good, especially if you factor in smite… but they really shine in the mid game. If you can’t remove the screen units to get high value charges and into 18” devourer range, you suffer.

            The only units that really run counter are Exocrines (focus fire magnet and Tyrannofex with Rupture Cannon. And both models can really struggle to get their points back before dying if they sit 36” away and blast, especially in a -1 meta.

            But I think that’s a GOOD part of the Dex- it isn’t a gun line, I hate gun lines

          • Avatar
            Jural November 23, 2017 1:26 pm

            Mid range, not middle turns- pre Turkey coma lol!

        • Avatar
          KundaliniHero November 22, 2017 2:39 pm #

          Unreleased codex’s aside, I concur I think Nids will be a top tier army as it currently stands. Its early days but the dex is loaded to the brim with synergy and tactical flexibility, there is alot of depth there that will take some time to unpack but we already see some pretty brutal combos coming to the fore. There is really not a bad unit in the dex, they compliment each other well, which makes list building almost overwhelming.

          Its gonna be really interesting to see how things pan out over the next few months, especially with the Daemon and the Ork codices on the horizon. Chaos soup is taking a bit of a hit with the Malefic Lords nerf. Interesting indeed.

    • Avatar
      N.I.B. November 22, 2017 2:30 pm #

      Jesper you’re starting to sound like a broken record. Get your nose up from the codex studies and get out there and play a few actual games, it might do you good.

      • Avatar
        Jesper77 November 24, 2017 7:22 am #

        Yea, you may be right.

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL November 22, 2017 3:02 pm #

      Not competitive? ^_______________________________^;; oh sweet sweet summer child.

      • Avatar
        vybert November 23, 2017 3:09 am #


      • Avatar
        vybert November 23, 2017 3:10 am #

        Nids have a blind spot or two, depending on how you build out, but a very solid right now. The strongest I’ve seen since nidzilla with tons of fexes.

      • Avatar
        Jesper77 November 24, 2017 7:39 am #

        Haha that was the reply I was hoping for 😉

  4. Avatar
    WestRider November 22, 2017 6:26 pm #

    “Gorgon is actually a good Hive Fleet for this as it gives Swarmy a reroll to its 2+ to hit, giving it just a bit more offensive mileage”

    Gorgon lets you re-roll 1s to Wound, not to Hit. Still helps, especially against chaff, but it’s not re-rolls to Hit.

    • Avatar
      N.I.B. November 23, 2017 6:33 am #

      Reroll 1’s to wound helps, for sure, A LOT more than reroll 1’s to hit when you already hit on 2’s. Also consider the extra mortal wound on 6s.

  5. Avatar
    Xenos Player November 23, 2017 12:38 am #

    Swarmie with kraken, use their double advance roll strategem, hive commander and onslaught potential 36″ and charge!

    • Avatar
      vybert November 23, 2017 3:08 am #

      It is great when it goes off, but I’m always hesitant to rely on that Onslaught getting off. Between denies and bad rolls there is always the chance you double advance a unit of hormies and then they are left standing in the face of the enemy because of a crap roll. I guess that is what makes for an exciting game 😉

    • Avatar
      N.I.B. November 23, 2017 6:34 am #

      Swarmlord can’t advance and assault the same turn, unless you gamble and pull off Onslaught.

      • Avatar
        Xenos Player November 23, 2017 6:53 am #

        I know, I did state that in my original post 🙂

        • Avatar
          N.I.B. November 24, 2017 2:21 pm #


  6. Avatar
    Troy Graber November 23, 2017 7:41 pm #

    We’ve got lots of local Tyranid Players, and they all seem to love Swarmlord. My experience playing against them is I’ve never seen him come close to making his points. He usually ends up either getting tied up with a screen or shot off the table before he moves. In my dozen or so games facing swarmlord, I’ve never seen him live past turn 2. The codex upgrades are going to help a bit, but not nearly enough.

    Now I’m a little more experienced playing at a relatively high level, and I see how you could definitely make him work for you in a competitive list. But I also expect him to run extremely hot and cold. Like competitive swarmlord lists go 4-2 with the swarmlord dying like a punk in those 2 losses, and not really accomplishing anything.

    He is such an enormous points sink with such obvious flaws. Notably he’s got either too many or too few wounds. 9 wounds and he is awesome. 18 Wounds, and he is really good.

    The other main problem with him is he just doesn’t hit hard enough. As discussed above he is outmatched by the biggies like Magnus and Rowboat. He can’t knock an imperial knight down a tier by himself, and he can easily fail to kill a rhino. Compare how easy it is for Rowboat to kill a rhino in CC. If they were going to make him so much less durable than Rowboat, they ought to have at least let him hit as hard.

    I wish the Hive commander ability were transferred to the Tyranid Prime which would give us a reason to use the Tyranid prime. Swarmlord could do something more like a captain / Chapter Master granting rerolls instead.

    • Avatar
      Jural November 23, 2017 10:57 pm #

      The swarmlord, if he starts on the table, has only gotten back his points for me once in terms of what he kills. But the whole rest of my army gets where they need to go a lot easier, mainly because of the focus the SL gets.

      If you start Swarmy in a pod, no excuse to have him hit low value targets or to get caught in the screen units

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      vybert November 24, 2017 4:43 pm #

      Sounds like your locals need to up their game a bit. Swarmlord is not a beatstick. He is a force multiplier that allows your other units to do their job and get where they need to be. He can be a bully against a lot of units, but is not designed to go toe to toe against he heavy hitters. Any comparisons to Mortarion, Magnus, or BobbyG are off base to begin with.

  7. Faitherun
    Faitherun November 25, 2017 7:38 am #

    I have to say I love my SwarmLord. I will either use him to rocket a unit of stealers while he hides back, or to rocket himself. Onslaught + Hive Commander means he can Move, see if he gets Onslaught off, then move himself again with advance and charge something. I like to run this with a Flyrant for the re-roll charges, who hits another unit on the other side. That One-Two punch often devastates my opponents – and the Flyrant likes to run.

    With back-up from stealers and other smaller bugs, I really enjoy playing with him.

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