Tyranid Codex Review – Fast Attack: Mucolid Spores

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here again, and today we are talking about those little bombs that were ever so popular back in 7th edition.  Of course, if you are not sure why, maybe head over to the Tactics Corner to learn so many things.  Yes, today is all about those big little bombs that maybe get in the way, and maybe get you a cheap kill, the Mucolid!

Equipment and Biomorphs:

  • None – Yep, these little bombs have no equipment.

Special Rules:

  • Instinctive Behavior: Unless within 24 inches of a HIVE FLEET synapse creature, -1 to hit for shooting attacks against any target that is not the closest, and -2 to charge a unit unless it is the closest.
  • Float Down: May deploy into reserves and land more than 12 inches away from an enemy.
  • Floating Death: Mucolids explode if within 3 inches of any enemy at the end of any charge phase. If it explodes, the nearest enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds on a 2-5, and D6 mortal wounds on a 6. The Mucolid then takes a lap and hits the digestion pools.
  • Living Bombs: Mucolids are never counted for victory conditions and are free if generated during the game.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.  No longer than go-to troop tax, Mucolid spores see a lot less play, but that said, they are still a shocking source of mortal wounds. The Mucolid spore is unchanged in terms of stat line, but with no more instant death, it is a bit harder to kill them although T3 with 3 wounds isn’t exactly hard to kill anyway.  They do exactly what you expect them to do, and that’s enough.  Getting a hot hand can make even a single Mucolid a dangerous thing that could snipe out a character or a high value target.  The 3 inch bubble of “don’t come here” can be helpful as our own form of chaff.   You can deploy them without using reserves on your first turn and create a little mine field around more static units like Exocrines or Tyrannofexes, and again, anyone coming too close is going to start taking heat.  Even if your main shooting unit is Hive Guard, having them bubble-wrapped by Mucolids can make tricksy deepstrikers wary about trying to get there. They also Fly, so they can assault and explode against Flyers with Supersonic. The one nice thing is that their rules are super clear here: They don’t count as Kill Points, Destroy a Unit (never counted for the purposes of any victory conditions), but they can’t control an objective and if you only have them left on the table, you lose.  On the bright side, they are always free when they are generated through our Sporocyst.

Really, Mucolids are great for adding a bit of deception to an army.  You can hold them in reserve and drop them down when you see where your opponent has positioned fast elements and where they are likely to strike.  You can also use them as your mandatory drops if doing a heavy reserve army just like Rippers swarms, and while they don’t score you any points, they still help quarantine a section of the board.  Of course, they are also cheap brigade fillers if trying to rack up that CP.   While they do not count for victory conditions, they do count as intervening models, so you can hide 9 wound and below characters behind them.  You can use Mucolids as a bit of mission denial as they do not give up any points, so if you deploy them, your opponent has to decide if wasting shots on them is meaningful, and maybe that leads them into a misplay.  While not necessarily a tournament winning list, having a unit of Hive Guard out of LoS, the new and improved Broodlords running around, and a bunch of Mucolids floating around is hilarious and frustrating for your opponent as they are going to be left without any good targets, especially if your main punch is waiting in reserves.

Hive Fleet here does matter here with the clear winner being Kraken. At only movement 3, these spores are slow, so increasing their advance helps them get into that sweet, sweet explosion range.  While not as ideal of a target for Swarmlord, a full unit of Kraken Mucolids getting a double move  can really help them get out there and cause havoc.  To math it out, 3 Mucolids do on average 4.41 mortal wounds, which for 60 points isn’t terrible. That kills a minor character and is easily within reach to kill a tougher character or cripple a vehicle. Of course, you can roll 3 1s and get nothing, but you can also roll a few 6s and get a lot, so again, not something to totally build around, but it can be a fun trick none the less. Kronos can work just for using Mucolids to come in from reserve to provide range for The Deepest Shadow, but as they have to come in more than 12, this does limit the range and effectiveness of that. Leviathan could theoretically help but I doubt you want too much synapse  baby-sitting Mucolids, and their best defense is to hide out of LoS.

The downside here is that they are 5 points more expensive than before which hurts as they really are points that you are going to lose, always. When they arrive from reserve, they must be placed more than 12 inches away.  This makes it quite hard to surprise anyone with them. That is really what hurts them overall is that it becomes far too difficult to effectively utilize them out of reserve. Especially with the change to deepstriking from Chapter Approved 2018/FAQ 2018, you cannot really use them as a surprise Turn 1 chaff wall, which was a fun tactic. You also are limited to 3 in a unit, which again takes away from their threat as the more you have, the more they are going to do.  I understand that GW did not want 3d3 mortal wounds suddenly appearing out of nowhere with a good charge, but then it definitely means that Mucolids won’t do much unless your opponent misplays.  This is really their biggest weakness: to be effective, they require your opponent to make mistakes, and that’s not the best strategy to build around. Our tactics to get them where they want to be are just better served on other targets like Genestealers.


55/100. Not so good here. They are an interesting way to block off charge lanes, but it is too difficult to take advantage of their ability to enter from reserves, and they are larger models so hiding them out of LoS isn’t easy.  Thanks as always for reading, and we are T-minus 3 weeks from LVO, so I hope to see you there.


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.

7 Responses to “Tyranid Codex Review – Fast Attack: Mucolid Spores”

  1. HM January 20, 2019 7:06 am #

    once again, opportunistic advance cannot be used on flying units
    please read the rules before suggesting any tactics meaningful

    • Danny Ruiz January 20, 2019 9:15 am #

      Appreciate the spot-check on the article. Thanks!

      • HM January 20, 2019 4:12 pm #

        Also, death frenzy can only be used on tyranid characters (would be really good of that could be used on monsters too)

        so sadly no death frenzy on haruspex you suggested in another article

        • Kitani January 20, 2019 10:25 pm #

          It’s either monster or character, actually

          • Brakhal January 21, 2019 6:01 am

            Death Frenzy is only for characters, as HM said. Voracious Apetite is the one that works on both monsters and characters.

  2. dyre_zarbo January 20, 2019 7:43 am #

    Chapter approved did not make any changes to deep strike or any of the other rules that were in beta with FAQ2.

  3. Brakhal January 21, 2019 6:50 am #

    Fast attack slot filler. To fill a Kronos outrider, or a brigade. They’re not interesting besides producing cps, but at least they have a niche.

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