Tyranids: Reactions to the 9th Ed Q&A

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here again, and as more information on the newest edition of 40K comes out, I am right there to see how this all might shape up for everyone’s favorite faction of unfeeling, unstoppable organisms of wanton hunger: The Tyranids.

This past (as of writing) Tuesday, the Games Workshop Studio Team did a live Q&A session on the new edition of Warhammer coming soon, and Tyranids were name-dropped a few times, but there were finally some relatively concrete rules discussed that matter to the Hive Mind. Let’s check them out:


It seems pretty confirmed that yes, Tanks can shoot into combat when they are engaged, but they also said so can Monsters. They also made a reference that Monsters can also fight better than Tanks, and I am all for this. While being able to tag and lock down Tanks with Hormagaunts was an essential strategy for Tyranids, and losing it hurt bad, at least in the new edition, our monsters may be far more viable. I am thinking Carnifexes with guns and Acid Maws for some quality shooting with some decent melee prowess, making them a threat in multiple phases of the game. Tyrannofexes also get a big boost as while they don’t necessarily fight that well, being able to double Acid Spray anything that gets into them is pretty sweet.

A big line was about Carnifexes not being able to attack things hiding on the second story of ruins, and the team has said “this is fixed”. If the terrain rules are reworked so that Monstrous Creatures can finally climb stairs (or jump), this is a big boost for us Nidzilla players. I love playing with the Big Bugs, but in a competitive environment, without the FLY keyword, they were really easy to counter-play. I’ll go more into Terrain in a moment, but this definitely made me happy when I heard it as my Carnifex Carnival list is fun as hell to play, but it was equally frustrating when my opponent would just sit on a ruin all game.


Terrain is an essential part of the tabletop experience, and hearing the team say that the rules have been reworked is absolutely great news. Terrain is also essential to many Tyranid builds doing well. It seems that the ITC ruling of ruins blocking LoS on the bottom floor has been adapted into the newest edition as now terrain pieces have specific keywords with specific properties, and the Obscuring one means that you can’t draw LoS through it. This is again big as the more fire lines are restricted, the more viable our assault elements are, whether it be infantry or big beefy monsters. It also means that our tried and true MVPs, the Hive Guard, are still going to get work done.

I am so curious to see what other terrain keywords there are and what they do. Dynamic and interesting terrain rules really make the game better overall, but seeing as how Tyranids are an army designed to play in every phase of the game, being able to ensure that our melee threats get to do what they do gives me hope. It would also be quite fluffy and narrative driven if Tyranids had a way to interact with terrain in different ways.


Something that was mentioned in the stream was that morale is being reworked to be more important. This can be both good and bad depending on the precise implementation. One of the defining features of playing Tyranids is that so long as you are in Synapse, you ignore Morale, and I’d like to see that stick. It is a feature that our codex is built around, so hopefully, our immunity while the leader bugs are alive stays there. It certainly adds to the tactical tension of the game.

On the good side, Tyranids do have morale debuffs, so it would be nice to actually use them. Especially in Blood of Baal, I commented that there were several leadership penalty abilities but that morale wasn’t exactly an important part of most competitive games, but here we see that in the long run, maybe these abilities are much stronger than I could have known. Horror from Beyond might suddenly be a Hive Trait worth considering as well as Abhorrent Pheromones. If morale is suddenly much more meaningful for most armies, then this can lead to a new and interesting build: the Tyranid Terror-Bomb.


A comment that plenty of people have already latched on to is that modifiers are now capped at +1 or -1. It is unclear to me what specific modifiers that they were referring to as the context of the conversation was about Flyers and specifically Eldar flyer spam. Perhaps it is only on modifiers to hit. Perhaps it is on any dice roll. I am not quite sure what to make of this yet as without actually seeing the wording, it is not worth getting too worked up either way.

Assuming that this is referring to hit rolls, this is a net positive for Tyranids. We lose the super annoying Tervigon of Doom that could have a -2 to hit in shooting, but our own shooting becomes much more effective as we have very few rerolls and to-hit bonuses, so the less penalties that are out there, the better off we are. I would very much welcome this knowing that my Devil-Gants are hitting on 5s at the worst.

Command Points

This one is a give and take. According to the Q&A, CPs are no longer tied to detachments but game size. This ensure that you don’t see the game flooded with CP batteries. The problem of course is that Tyranids are really good at generating CPs. We have several cheap HQ choices and dirt cheap (but still useful) Troop choices, and unless I was doing a true skew list, I rarely went into a game with less than 10 CP and more often than not had 14. As I’ve said before, Tyranids are CP hungry as we have a lot of stratagems that get us so much more efficiency out of our army, so we are going to use a lot of CP, and we have precious few ways to regenerate it. If starting CP in a standard game is lower than what we could easily do, then I’ve actually lost CP for no gain. This is especially true for my horde lists where rocking 3 Battalions was easy.

That said, this is thinking in an 8th edition mindset, and in 9th, it seems that it doesn’t matter if I brought 3 battalions or just a dozen Carnifexes, I am still getting the same CP, and again, as someone who played the hell out of Nidzilla in 4th, I love my big bugs, and having CPs to fuel them? That’s good. This is the give and take of the new system. Our standard, often infantry based builds may not get the advantage of the CP generation, but other lists, particularly Monster based lists, get a big boost with more CPs. Even more balanced lists that try to take a bit of this and a bit of that could more or less break even.

Well, those are the highlights for me, but I am sure there are others that tickled you, so sound off in the comments. While hordes may not be the way forward, I am quite thankful that it appears my investments into 3 Tyrannofexes might just pay dividends. Thanks as always for reading everyone, and stay healthy, stay safe, and stay hungry.

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.
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2 years ago

Well, I like my swarms to be swarmish… By now, 9th does not sound good to me.

Tyranid monsters are slow, short ranged and predictable (except the flying ones, but it feels like if I’ve been playing flyrants for a lifetime). The nidzilla playstile is boring, at least for me.

So, everyone who knows something about 9th is saying hordes are not advisable, and I don’t like to spam autoplaying monsters… I hope there’s something for intermediate bugs, not as fun as playing a swarm, but at least you have the chance to make some choices during the game with them.

Or that we get a codex soon, giving the little ones the extra they seem they will need, or making monsters fun. After all, it’s been years since the last tyranid model came out, so I guess a new wave can’t be too far.

2 years ago
Reply to  Brakhal

Reserve judgement until you play it a few times =)

2 years ago
Reply to  Reecius

Right, I won ‘t have my final verdict without a few tries.

It is still too soon, but I really enjoyed the infantry focus of 8th edition, and the first highlights are pointing on the opposite direction. My expectations are low (but hey, I was in the same page before blood of baal came, and it turned out to be good in the end).

Just don’t make me play flyrant spam again, or predictable nidzilla.

2 years ago
Reply to  Brakhal

I honestly can’t say how it’s going to play out with Nids. Time will tell. It will just take some adjustment, some repetitions and an open mind. Trying to approach the new edition from the context of how your army works mow is a poor comparison as the game is so different that fundamentally your units are going to all perform differently. You’re going to be starting from scratch no matter what in most instances. However, it’s tough to not look at it from any other context than the current edition as that is the only real frame of reference you have, lol. So I get it but really, you just have try to come to it with an open mind, forgetting a lot of what 8th was.

D Rogers
2 years ago

I would like to think the distraction of fighting would give a monster -1 to shooting though it not like you can ignore the little guy stabbing you like a tank can, the trade of for being better in combat is fair

2 years ago
Reply to  D Rogers

I don’t quite see how a tank can ignore a bunch of guy messing with him any better than a carnifex TBH.

2 years ago

“Monsters can also fight better than Tanks” – why the need to point this out specifically? Traditionally tanks couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paperbag.

I’ve had moderate success with Nidzilla the last couple of years, more CP would be nice but I find Tyranid monsters don’t really have a heap of good stratagems to spend them on.

Really looking forward to 9th ed!

Justin M
Justin M
2 years ago

Monsters were already better in assault than tanks, so not much really changing there? It didn’t matter in 8th because your monsters will rarely make into assault due to how insanely powerful shooting is in this edition.

Terrain rules sound great. However, we all know what happens at tournaments. There’s not enough terrain to go around and most tables will not be covered the way they should be. Having a properly covered table just not something you can ever depend on as a Tyranid player.

I wish GW would just kill off the armies they don’t want to support, instead of giving Xenos players half-assed rules.

Compare the number of rule books that are available for Imperium and Choas forces vs Xenos. It’s so badly balanced I don’t even understand why people even bother to play this game competitively.

None of that will change in 9th as we get to keep all the codex bloat from 8th.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x