Tyranids: Reactions to more 9th ed news

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here again, and well, I am here to talk about all the new information that GW is letting out about the newest edition of 40K.  While some of the news may be jarring, for me so far, I see this all as a solid win for the Hive Mind.

GW has been quite engaging with giving consistent updates to the new edition, and we are learning more and more with tangible rules at times as well.  This is great.

Four Sizes fits all

There is a lot to unpack here, and some of it is not so good, some of it is great, and some of it is just so different that it is easy to feel a spectrum of emotions.  First, with 4 distinct game sizes with specific missions and table sizes, this is actually quite exciting overall.  Trying to get one mission set to fit a 500 point learning game and one to fit a standard 2000 game and one to fit a large game, all while being totally balanced, is a bit of a reach.  With 3 missions for the smallest and largest and 6 missions for the two middle-grounds, this will hopefully mean more engaging missions built around an expected number of models and abilities. Knowing that the missions you are playing are built to a certain size helps you tailor your list to maximize this, and as I’ve said before, Tyranids really excel at the mission more than just killing the opponent.

One thing came from here was the new table size, 44” x 60” or 3.67’ x 5’ if you prefer.  That is a big change, and there’s already been a large reaction online to it. I am long in the tusk enough to remember when games were played on a 4 x 8 table, so change comes for us all eventually.  From the Tyranid perspective, this is actually good news.  With a smaller board, our lack of long range firepower is much less noticeable as a Hive Guard’s 36” radius of death is a lot more of the board on a 44×60 than a  48×72.  Biovores will be able to reach just about anywhere, and well, the Kraken Rocket of Genestealers and Swarmlord will be able to get just about anywhere as well.  Even our shorter ranged weapons like Devourers and the Acid Spray are a bit more potent when there is just less room for units to hide.   What’s more, bringing a ton of bodies fills up a smaller space even more, so while it could get cramped for deployment, you can literally carpet the board a lot easier.  It will take some getting used to for sure, but I think both our melee and our shooting gets a boost out of this.

Taking Command of your Points

This is also a big change, and most of my lists will need to be rewritten, but there is also opportunity some cool new tek. 12 Command Points at 2000 is less than I normally run, at least in an infantry-based list, but it is a lot more than I usually get when running a Nidzilla list.  The big change here is that detachments actually cost points rather than generate points, and well, in my competitive lists, I typically took several detachments to be able to mix Hive Fleets. I generally always had a Kronos Battalion for my Hive Guard/Exocrine and then another Battalion for either horde or general melee threat.  That is going to cost me now, but in some cases, it might still be worth it.   Everyone does get 1 free CP per turn, so that does help take the sting out of things, especially since Tyranids aren’t really great at getting more CP as the game progresses.  

The new stratagem Cut Them Down seems custom made for Hormagaunts as they can easily get a lot of models close into the enemy, and they are fast enough to get there and force shooty units to Fall Back.  It is will be interesting to see what other universal stratagems there are. 

Overall, Tyranids will need to move away from Triple Battalion, but there are also a lot more avenues for new army design. 

Matched Play, Points, and an App

There is a lot of information here, some more subtle than not.  This also pairs a bit with what we learned in the Four Sizes Fits All article, namely that 9th editon 40K is going to play a lot like the ITC does now.  The primary mission is very close to the current ITC primary mission, and the ability to select secondary missions is again quite familiar to ITC veterans.  This is a big win for Tyranids as our army is highly adaptable with a lot of builds, so you can design your list to excel at specific secondaries, giving you a better chance to pull out wins against armies that may be a harder fight head-on.  If you have played ITC, and if you’re here, chances are that’s a yes, this means that the new missions out of the book are right in the familiar. 

New points, with a focus on increases, is a bit of a double-edged sword.  It makes for smaller, faster games, which is real-life a win, but it does mean that we will not be able to bring all the toys to the game.  Tyranids are an army built on synergy and overlapping buffs with cost efficiency, so having the cost element changed means that some of our standard tool kits may not work. A Maleceptor and Venomthrope/Malanthrope combo may just be too expensive to run as while it provides a lot of defense, too many points could be sunk into support pieces that are not going to actively win the game. This is doubly true of the Termagant wall style list as the main advantage there was maximizing small boosts in durability for a big return when you are talking about 100+ models.   Of course, this also means less points for your opponent, so you will be facing down less threats. I won’t say one way or another if this is a win or not as I think we have to see real games being played over a good time period to really tell, and without actually seeing points, there’s no way to tell. That said, this does make me worry a bit, but hey, that’s how it goes.

Of course, the news of the App launching during Pre-Order is amazing. A clean, well-functioning list builder and collection curation tool is very welcomed news, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.  After all, building lists is a great part of the hobby. 

We’ll see what more we learn as 9th approaches, but overall, I feel pretty good at about where Bugs will be going into the new edition. There are some changes, and some negatives, but we should be able to adapt and overcome.   Thanks as always for reading, and as we all learn more, we will discuss more.

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.

4 Responses to “Tyranids: Reactions to more 9th ed news”

  1. Avatar
    Brakhal June 7, 2020 4:46 am #

    Thanks for these fast-pacing last-news tyranid articles. Every day there’s a lot of room for speculation about 9th edition. It is still too soon to figure how ‘nids will fit in 9th, but it’s good food for thought.

    I like the board size change for the game, this way the engagements will come earlier between/against conservative players. I’m not sure it’s an improvement for us, tho. Most times we are better playing avoid tactics with most of our units, while sending the minimal sacrificial lambs to the other side of the board, ensuring to disrupt the enemy movements, while keeping a safe distance with the rest. We lack the muscle for straight engages. Our heavy hitters don’t hit heavy, and often they don’t hit at all. At least during this 8th edtion, I’ve got better results playing board control in waves, and focusing on one enemy unit at a time.

    On the other hand, Hive Guard gets a big buff. There’s no way to zone them in a smaller board, and they will be able to pick the perfect target every turn. It is also an improvement for the short ranged choices, like Pyrovores or Tyrant Guard, CC monsters (meh, they will still lack the ofensive stats to make an impact, but at least they will have chances to make it into combat). Mixed arms units will probably get better too, being able to shoot and charge in the same turn more often, in theory.

    So, sounds like conservative board control will get worst, but a lot of never-used choices will be improved. And there will be no safe place to avoid the Hive Guard.

    On the CP department, we will have a bit less cp if we keep one detachment, Depending on the cost of patrols/vanguards/spearheads, we will have to bury the kraken+kronos list. I don’t think we can play effectively with less than 10 cp, double battalion is out of the menu.

    I think the new stratagem is plain terrible. Brute force and caustic blood are similar stratagems (a bit better, even), and they don’t work well. Mortal wounds on 6s are bad for the game. While you can potentially dish a lot of damage (and having that sort of luck will create a “feelbad” moments), most times you won’t make a real impact on the game with that. If you have enought models at range to get a decent quantity of MW (on average), you have enought to tri-point half a dozen of enemy models. Tri-pointing don’t cost cps (at least if it is still a thing, in 9th, if not, well, with so many models required for the stratageme to be effective, you can still cover a lot of space to avoid the enemy to disengage).

    I can’t say if our starting point will be good for 9th. ‘Nidzilla playstile bores me to death, and I had enought flyrant focus for a live. Mechanized lists look good, and they always meant trouble for us. We lack the tools to protect and move our units as effectively as embarking in transports. On the other hand, smaller boards is a boost for monsters and mid-range models, gaunts will do things beyond board control through mission actions, and we still don’t know a lot of core mechanics to make a verdict.

    Anyway, sorry for my long messages. I’m sure they’re thought to read and full of mistakes.

  2. Avatar
    N.I.B. June 8, 2020 10:17 pm #

    Yeah, the new fall back strat is absolutely lukewarm, it might be useful when 20+ Hormagaunts surround a wounded character with Fly, but other than that situation, nah.

    As noted, Tyranid monsters doesn’t exactly shine in cc, so smaller sized tables and expensive Gant units isn’t a good thing for us. Genestealers now prone to be shot in cc and torn apart by max hits blast weapons, not a positive.

    Vehicles back in force are bad news for nids, as always. Tyranid monsters have mainly assault weapons so they won’t get the new and shiny benefit of shooting into combat – it will be easier than ever to shut down those Dakkafexes with a bad-touch of cc, unless Fall Back is rewritten. Only Exocrines and Tyrannofexes will get to shoot into cc. Acid Spray T-fex can become a solid centerpiece on smaller boards, if the game becomes less lethal or it gets some kind of invo save. It usually dies turn 1 or 2 from shooting in my games.

    Of course, we only have tidbits, and are looking through the lens of 8th ed. But we know that our monsters/midsized units like Warriors and Raveners are supposed to carry the torch dropped by our horde units, and looking at them doesn’t fill me with confidence.

    • Avatar
      Yarum June 9, 2020 4:21 am #

      My friends and I have been trying to think of how this “shooting with vehicles/monsters in combat” thing will work, but we don’t know how it’ll work yet. I think you’ve got a LOT of assumptions on it. Something that just crossed our minds yesterday was that vehicles might be able to shoot OUT of combat, but you still won’t be able to shoot at a unit that’s within 1″ of enemy models. If that’s the case, while you can’t bad-touch such units to prevent them from shooting, taking prisoners will still be an effective means of protecting a unit from shooting.

      That’s still worse for us Nids, but it’d be better than “yeah, they just shoot you always”.

      • Reecius
        Reecius June 9, 2020 8:18 am #

        The rule has been posted now. They can shoot non-blast weapons at the unit they are engaged with. Heavy weapons are -1 to hit when doing so.

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