Blood of Baal Faction Focus: Tyranids

Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal brings the action to the Red Scar where the Blood Angels are fighting the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Leviathan. It features a whole swathe of new rules for Tyranid players that embody the Hive Mind’s latest adaptations.

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.

Hive Fleet Adaptations

Codex: Tyranids introduced the idea of Hive Fleet Adaptations. For example, Tyranids from Hive Fleet Gorgon get Adaptive Toxins to help kill their prey in close combat.

Now, Blood of Baal lets you create your own Hive Fleet and you get to choose its Hive Fleet Adaptations!

The new book includes a list of cool rules and you get to select two of these abilities – if you’ve ever dreamed of being a Norn-Queen, your day has come. Try Hypermetabolic Acceleration and Senses of the Outer Dark for a Hive Fleet that’s all about munching in melee – they’ll help you get where you’re going faster and potentially mitigate the effects of Overwatch when you get there.

Those Space Marines thought that they were special with their ability to use Successor Chapter Tactics but the Hive Mind was watching, copying and adapting. It was also working out its brain muscle…

Hive Fleet Psychic Powers

As the different Hive Fleets adapt in various ways, they also develop distinctive psychic powers. Now, psyker-beasts from Behemoth, Kraken, Leviathan, Gorgon, Jormungandr, Hydra and Kronos can select a power specific to their Hive Fleet.

As they battle through the Red Scar, Hive Fleet Leviathan have been using Hive Nexus to keep their creatures from reverting to Instinctive Behaviour.

And, of course, they still have the Shadow in the Warp to affect all of those new psykers that are popping up everywhere during the Psychic Awakening. Plus, they have some new tactics up their tentacled sleeves. 


As part of its endless adaptation, the Hive Mind has also developed a range of new Stratagems with which to overwhelm any prey that tries to offer opposition. From the smallest Hormagaunt to the largest Trygon, every close combat creature can benefit from Aggressive Adaptation.

Whatever type of swarm you use, you’ll find Stratagems to support your style of play. There are also some new upgrades for you to choose from.


The Tyranids splicer-beasts have been busy and have come up with a range of new Bio-artefacts that can be taken by your Characters instead of those in Codex: Tyranids. Give your Hive Tyrant with heavy venom cannon the Pathogenesis Bio-artefact and watch them blast your enemies into bite-size chunks from even further away.

Whichever Bio-artefact you choose, you’ll be able to sow the death of countless worlds, and there’s still more generosity from the Hive Mind in Blood of Baal.

Adaptive Physiology

A Tyranid Warlord can usually select a Warlord Trait, but with Blood of Baal, your leader-beasts will have another option. Rather than determining a Trait, you can select an Infantry unit or a Monster in your army and give it an Adaptive Physiology instead. These represent a range of gene-spliced abilities that the Tyranids use in order to secure victory.

Stick an Infantry unit with Dynamic Camouflage on an Objective in cover and laugh your skittering Tyranid laugh as your enemy has to try to shift them the hard way.

That’s just a taste of what’s in the new book for the Tyranids, we’re sure that you’ll discover some amazing combinations that will have you harvesting entire planets in no time! The Great Devourer is just getting ready for the main course.

Blood of Baal, the next chapter in the Psychic Awakening saga, is available to pre-order from Saturday. Get your Tyranids ready to consume all of the biomass in the Baal System by picking up the Start Collecting! Tyranids box now.

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


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9 Responses to “Blood of Baal Faction Focus: Tyranids”

  1. Brakhal November 27, 2019 11:00 am #

    Honestly, all of it looks awfull. I’d rather keep playing kraken + cult, with a cult warlord, that taking any of this options.

    I’m particularly disappointed at the adaptative phisionomy. Synapse never felt like a real racial, more of a compensation for instinctive behavior, low leadership values, and the need to uso gants in big numbers. When they announced the new mechanic, I expected something on the line of wycth combat drugs, but being minor abilities, instead of stats changes.

    I hope this is just the tip of the iceberg, and those rules are the rockbottom of it. It’s just my personal take, but they don’t feel like adding anything, just worst options than we already had. And we were in a struggle before.

  2. Kitani November 27, 2019 11:14 am #

    To be honest, while I’m excited about these new rules for my dear bugs, these particular ones seem even more lackluster than in the codex, and that’s saying something. +8 Range for shooting? +6 to Synapse? Come on.
    Seems like new Fleet traits will work like DE and CE ones, so they’ll be locked out of fleet-specific staff. And the traits they chose to preview let you aren’t that great, though definitely better than most stock ones, which aren’t that great except for Kraken, which is probably why these new ones are underpowered as not to completely outshine those in the dex.
    At least the ability to swap Warlord trait for a unit upgrade is pretty awesome, since most of them aren’t very good, though I would still have liked a set of actually good warlord traits, this is a very interesting and unique option that might actually see some use.
    The strategem is fine in theory, though pretty often upgraded units will get wiped before they can use it. Although it might be good to use it before fighting a second time.

  3. Zweischneid November 27, 2019 11:27 am #

    Marines = -1 AP on basically everything, army-wide, for free.

    Tyranids = Pay 1 CP for -1 AP on one unit in cc only IF you manage to kill a unit without that improvement first.

    Sounds about right …. 😂🤣😂🤣😂

    That said, it’s not Ynnari-levels of getting trolled by GW with previews of things mask-less, Ynnari-specific Banshee-Exarchs and not even getting any rules or strats to go with the miniature in the actual rules (aside from the footnote you cannot use any of the new stuff non-Ynnari Eldar got). So look at the bright side, Nid-players!!!

  4. Ohlmann November 27, 2019 12:21 pm #

    > want to showcase an exciting new spell

    > show a spell whose only effect is to extend the aura that make your army functional and who is by design on enough model to not be a big problem to have on your army

    Outside of the fact the new rules seem lackluster and the fact they give EVEN MORE models to the uninteresting army that monopolise 90% of the releases and nothing for the Tyrannide, there’s also the fact they sometime seem to try to find the less exciting things to showcase.

    Sometime, I wonder if they don’t just want to retire all non imperium armies.

  5. Ghosar November 27, 2019 9:19 pm #

    I also really think they want non imperium players to feel the pain. I want to tell. GW: “hey we do, please stop now. Pain will not make me buy stuff from you anymore”
    I have like 30000 points into 6 different armies. I thought GW had changed but 2019 is such a let down…

  6. Pyrothem November 27, 2019 9:57 pm #

    There clearly is an A rules Team and a B rules team. They have to do this with the rapid releases we have had but something is wrong.

    It feels like the B team is given 0 info on what team A is doing with the Codex they are working on or other Marine supplement. I know I know you can not compare new Codex to this narrative book but I can and will against the other PA book Faith and Fury. The blatant favoritism like this will bury interest in the game.

    Trying to get people into this game is hard enough with the steep cost and when you have to temper people’s interest in X army with a well they don’t have the support or rules to play the way you want unless you play Super Humans it kills a lot of potential players.

    • Vipoid November 28, 2019 3:50 am #

      I think the B-team is just a bunch of literal chimpanzees in a room full of typewriters.

      They’re tasked with writing rules for every non-Marine faction.

      • Kitane November 28, 2019 4:57 am #

        Stop bashing Robin’s team, these boys and girls are some of the best chimpanzee rule writers in the world.

  7. NinetyNineNo November 28, 2019 5:24 am #

    So… why hype up a new “game-changing” mechanic for Tyranids when all it does is let you give up a WT in exchange for a marginal bonus on a non-Character? This is kind of a letdown, I was hoping it would actually give you meaningful army-wide customization options. It’s not like Blood Angels aren’t getting a bucket of global special rules for free.

    That, and is the article written kinda sloppily or is it just me? Like the writer had to fill a minimum of space in between pics, in contrast to the BA one. The actual abilities are decent, just underwhelming. Hope it’s like CSM where the best stuff wasn’t previewed.

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