Tyranids: Looking to 9th edition

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio here, and I’ve been a bit on break for the past few weeks due to a new Termagant being added to the Hive Fleet here, but well, I had to make time to write about the big, big news that just dropped: a new edition is coming, so here I am, reacting to what we know thus far and how it will impact the Hive Mind!

There were not a lot of hard details given, but we can all imagine that these details will be coming soon in a series of articles from GW, but we did learn some general ideas of what awaits us in the coming weeks. Let’s dive right in!

1: Polished to Perfection

Whether this is just your usual PR hype or not, what we can tell is that this means more of a refining of the current 8th edition system than any major overhauls. This means that a lot of the muscle memory established from 8th will serve you well in 9th, but for me, a big key here is that all the goodies that we got in Blood of Baal are going to stay. Exocrines moving and shooting to full effect, the Super-Scythe Hormagaunt, the aura of Rekt from the Maleceptor, these are all good things to still have.

There are going to be changes, but it seems they are going to be more subtle things, which are critical, but at least what we know now will port over, for a bit.

2: Join the Crusade

This is cool for all of the Narrative players out there. I am excited to see how the system works, particularly with Tyranids. Perhaps your Hive Fleet levels up and adds new biomorphs and adaptations based on your previous battles, and maybe a freshly spawned Tyranid Prime learns and retains some of its experiences in battle ala Swarmlord. This could be a great way to add some more variety and personalized character to the Tyranid faction, which really doesn’t work the same way as others, so this could be a cool opportunity for some really rewarding Narrative Campaigns.

3: More Command Points

Tyranids are a ravenous faction, and this applies to CP too as especially after Blood of Baal, we have a fair number of powerful stratagems that can really increase our effectiveness. A key line that a lot of people are tagging onto here is: Less soup. Tyranids do have allies, so you can absolutely go full hog with GSC, AM, and Nids, but for me as a dedicated mono-Tyranid player, this is great news that there may be more bonuses and more CP for sticking to just the Hive Fleets. For those who like to welcome our more compliant food, I mean allies, I do hope that combining factions still nets some powerful lists that are fun to play, and I can hold out hope that this new system allows for both pure and mixed faction builds to be equally viable.

4: Tanks are back on Track

There has already been some scuttlebutt on the internet about this, and for Tyranids, is certainly doesn’t look good. Locking down vehicles (and plenty of other units) with cheap chaff is a tried and true path to victory for Nids, so losing this does hurt a bit. What I do hope is that some of our shootier big bugs like Exocrines and Tyrannofexes also benefit from this. We shall see, and I think it is far too early to get dirt in your hair over it all, but I understand that it does sting to have one of our tactics changed. Swarmlord knows I’ve won games by tagging tanks, so hopefully there is silver-lining to this Spore Tower that we haven’t seen just yet.

5: Terrain

This has me excited in general as the terrain rules in 8th are not quite what we all wanted, and while GW taketh with 4, 5 here could be a big boon. If the terrain is reworked to block more Line of Sight and help us facilitate combat, that is great, and Hive Guard getting bonuses for defending a building (and maybe still shooting out of it?) seems good to me. This could very much help make things like the Super-Scythe-Hormie from Blood of Baal more viable on the table top, and of course, it helps out any of our melee focused infantry like Genestealers or Raveners.

6: Battles of Every Size

This is certainly cool as well, most games I play are at the 2K points for standard ITC missions, but having more flexibility and more attention paid to the scale of a game could open up a lot of fun casual and competitive avenues. Especially now with two little minions, time is a valuable commodity, so being able to play a meaningful game in under a few hours is quite welcome.

7: Strategic Reserves

This is again something that has me more excited than not. Tyranids have a lot of fun ways to play with reserves, so any change to the system, especially one that rewards savvy play, is a big boost to Nids. Between Trygons, Tyrannocytes, and just Jormungandr in general, this could be a very rich development for the Bugs. It will great to hear more about it, and since at least for a bit, it seems like our codex will stay what it is, we have a lot of fun models to use for this.

8: Have a Blast

This is another one that has some parts of the Hive Mind worried as weapons that get their maximum number of shots against hordes is bad for our little bugs. The neutral part of me says this is good for the game as hordes can be very dominating and not so much fun to play against, but as a horde player, this also hurts my poor little grubblies.

That said, I can think of a few weapons that Tyranids have that might also match this description, so perhaps weapons like Acid Spray and Stranglethorn Cannons will see new life with this. Yes, this is a bit of a power curve down for running a horde list, but thankfully, the Hive Fleet blessed us with a variety of builds, so maybe this is a chance for Nidzilla to return in a real way to the tabletop.

It is totally fair to take it personally that the imagery for this is a Knight killing a bunch of innocent Hormagaunts.

9: Freedom of the Skies

This is one that is great for the game in general, but does make me wonder about Nids. The return of leaving Combat Airspace and returning ala 6th edition is not bad, and hopefully it also means that Flyers can be ignored by ground units as well, which is certainly good for us. That said, I am curious to see how the Flyrant, Harpy, and Hive Crone will be adapted to this new system. Being able to do true strafing runs with the Harpy would be great, but then we haven’t had quite the same rules as the so-called “proper aircraft” for a bit, so we shall see. I try to remain optimistic, but this can either go very well for our flyers or not so great. Only time will tell.

Overall, I’ve seen a lot of edition changes over my Hive Fleet career, and each time, I look forward to it. Even if some of the changes hurt one play style, there is always room for adaptation, and of course, the more we find out, the more I will pour over it and try to see how to best make sure that the snack attack across the galaxy continues.

Thanks for reading as always, stay healthy out there, and let’s get ready for some fun games in a new system. Be sure to support your local (or digital) gaming businesses too if you can. Also, no lie, the new Necron stuff looks awesome, even if they are inedible, dumb ancient robots.

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

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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.

8 Responses to “Tyranids: Looking to 9th edition”

  1. Avatar
    Brakhal May 24, 2020 2:50 am #

    Still soon to judge, but the specific parts of this preview sound bad for us.

    On the other hand, they make sense. Tanks being able to shoot on combat shortens the breach within flying and non flying vehicles. Blast weapons and aircraft will behave in a way more acording to the narrative.

    These 3 changes are a bitter pill to swallow, but they’re just a tiny piece of information, probably highlights picked to hype the vast majority of casual players (Tyranids are not a casual-friendly faction, and the same can be said of the horde playstile).

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 24, 2020 8:01 am #

      Yeah, hordes do get some “debuffs” from the edition change for sure, but so many little things change it adds up to a different game, really. It will be interesting to see what rises up in popularity and what loses some of its luster.

  2. Avatar
    Ohlmann May 24, 2020 4:23 am #

    The announce have so few actual information that we can just hope that the new edition will be better balanced and more fun than the current one.

    The thing is, for most editors that’s pretty much a given, but for GW it’s harder to say. They never quite seem to learn from their error and never feel like they really want to improve. But everything is possible.

    The thing that worry me is how they say nothing about the bloat of rules. I can see why making all the books redundant immediatly is also demonic, but we really, really need to have less books to consults when making an army. Tyrannides aren’t the worse for that, but you still need the codex, one PA book, various FAQ/point cost list, and possibly the FW index and/or Vigilus.

    And if you want to know all your opponent can do without, that can become hard pretty fast.

  3. Avatar
    Yarium May 24, 2020 8:03 am #

    The worst case scenario of these changes are absolutely devastating for Nids. I’m very worried that no one at GW really loves Nids like they love some of the other factions. Here’s the stuff I want to see:

    – Return a unit at full strength to the battlefield, no reinforcement point cost. Make it a unit of Gaunts or something. I find it crazy that Orks and Chaos and Dark Eldar can do this, and of them only the Orks are known as a horde force. This is THE horde mechanic!

    – Stratagem that lets you self-destruct a unit. If that does mortal wounds to other nearby things as well, all the better, but this should be a thing for Nids.

    – More abilities that allow Nids to “evolve” during the battle.

    – More abilities that modify terrain to help Nids and hamper enemies.

    • Avatar
      Ohlmann May 24, 2020 8:21 am #

      The flipside is that given where current ‘nids are, they cannot really get substantially nerfed.

      • Avatar
        Yarium May 24, 2020 9:13 am #

        When people say there’s no where to go but up, that’s often when the floor gives out beneath you.

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 24, 2020 9:32 am #

          Nids really aren’t that bad now. I play them currently and never feel like a battle is unwinable. They are certainly more challenging to play with and some units are just flat out bad, but you can certainly do quite well with them.

          But don’t worry about them getting left in the dust in 9th. When an edition rolls over it’s a bit chaotic and it will be interesting to see what works and what doesn’t but there are always tools to use and especially once you get your Dex it’s game on. And yes, people do love Nids at GW, haha.

    • Avatar
      AngryPanda May 25, 2020 8:26 am #

      See the bright side. Even if the changes sounded good they would turn out terrible for Tyranids. That’s just how they do things.

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