Tyranids: Even more 9th edition info

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio, and today, let’s go through all the drip drop drip of information about what the newest edition of 40K will look like. We are getting closer and closer to a whole new day, so let’s see what GW has for us. Sorry being being a little late, but Father’s Day here is always a bit hectic.

There was a real big change announced, and I think most Tyranid players were overjoyed to here it:

Never again…


Oh great googlymoogly, this is a big bonus for the Bugs. Having Overwatch no longer being a core ability but rather a stratagem means that the stock for our assault elements, particularly our squishy infantry, goes way up.  Couple this with a smaller board, and Genestealers are very much looking sweet here, meta dependent.  They do struggle against Primaris bodies, particularly Iron Hands Primaris bodies, but still, with Blast weapons out and about, this is a much needed boost to make sure that melee infantry still have a place. 

Besides Genestealers, I think Hormagaunts get the most out of this.  We know points are going up, so you will be able to get more Hormagaunts than Genestealers, and Hormagaunts are still pretty darn fast, plus with all the Psychic Awakening bonuses like the Super Hormagaunt of Doom with a -3 AP attack or even Behemoth Hormies with +1 to wound and AP-1, I think Hormagaunts will be the massed infantry of choice in 9th edition.  Plus, they have that super sweet 6” pile in/consolidate, which has such a high skill ceiling that you can pull off some serious moves.  Spore Mines and my favorite, Meiotic Spores, get a big boost here as they die so easily in Overwatch, but now you can use them to bait out an Overwatch and make your opponent decide if it is worth wasting the CP and stratagem to kill the little mines.

It isn’t all sunshine here though as some of our other models lose out. Poor Pyrovores, so unloved, and one of their best attributes was that they were a dirt cheap wall of Overwatch. I loved using mine to camp backfield objectives and dare small squads to try and rush them.  The Tyrannofex with Acid Spray loses out here too as it could also be a great charging deterrent, but it did get boosted to fire that bad boy into combat (assuming it isn’t Blast), so that’s a wash most likely.  RIP Senses of the Outer Dark, which becomes a very rarely taken Hive Fleet trait since Overwatch is going to be much less common.

All in all, this is definitely something that horde players needed to see. We’ll see what other rules maybe impact horde style lists, but between Terrain and no more constant Overwatch, footslogging hordes of doom may have life left in them!

Miscellaneous info

There have been plenty of interesting rules spoilers this week, but it is has been spread out between the different Faction Focuses. That said, we did learn a good bit.

You can reserve anything (it seems) with the new Strategic Reserves, so this means we don’t need to spend points on Tyrannocytes for big monsters, and well, you can keep big, hard hitting units like Tyrannofexes, Haruspexes, and the like safe and sound until it is time to shine. If you want to save the CP, you can still spend the points, so this gives us a lot of flexibility. I think this also gives a lot of room to play for Termagants, or more especially, Devil-Gants, as they can stay safe from these damn blast weapons, pop out of a side of the table, lay down some firepower, and then you still have 30 Obsec models to help win the objective game. 

Another really big, really big change that is oh so subtle is that multi-charges are only successful if you make it to all of the targets, not just one.  This is huge, and it does a couple of things.  First, it makes out of reserve charge-bombs much less lethal as you can screen out the threats, and the deepstrikers can’t declare EVERYBODY within 12”, charge, then pull Fight Again shenanigans to get to the units/characters you were protecting.  This is good for Bugs that play a lot of support characters hidden by Gants like Psychic heavy lists. Second, this makes Kraken Rocket (or any Swarmlord Infantry based Rocket) less effective. 

The whole throw a big unit of 20 Genestealers or 30 Hormagaunts 40” across the board to tag as many enemies as possible trick is still there, but now, you have to be much more focused.  You can’t just declare every possible target but rather focus on 1 and 2, which means if you use the Fight Again stratagem, you won’t be able to necessarily swing on what you end up in combat with.  You can still use this tactic to try and lock down some shooting threats, but there are more limitations, and you are much more susceptible to bad dice.  Before, you could declare whatever you wanted, and as long as you hit one target, you were good, but now, if you stretch yourself to try and hit the targets 3″ and 8” away, you could end up rolling a 5 and failing both.    

Genestealers are hit a little harder than this in terms of overall offense as a standard Kraken Rocket first turn blitz was to get as close as possible to the frontline, charge everything within 12 (assuming nothing too scary for Overwatch), and then murder the front chaff, consolidate closer. Fight Again. Murder everything. Overrun to get to safety or further clog up your opponent’s movement.  This is a lot harder to pull off and really, you can’t charge the juicy targets hiding behind chaff because you won’t be able to actually reach them on the charge.  Hormagaunts still have some moves as you can use them to just get in the way, and while they can’t swing on the targets that their 6” consolidate gets them, they are still forcing Fall Backs and just gumming up your opponent’s forward momentum.

The new character targeting rules are also a big change, one that I think is a net benefit for Tyranids. We do tend to run a lot of support characters, so this can be a bit rough as Neurothropes and Broodlords can be squishy, especially to high volume fire.  That said, we tend to either run a lot of Monsters or Infantry, so it isn’t hard to keep your leader bugs within 3” of larger units for protection.  Especially for say a Malanthrope that needs to be within 3” to be useful, this change really doesn’t impact us the same way as other factions. Still, we have to be careful as we can’t be as free as before in terms of trusting in screening to keep our synapse safe.  Deathleaper also loses a little bit of punch here though as that bug was one of my go-to secondary scorers by hiding in a corner and getting me points while being a pain in the ass to kill thanks to the Character keyword.  You can still do it, but with much less efficiency.

The benefit here is that armies that took a lot of support or melee characters now can’t rely on just hiding behind a single squad of Scouts hidden in a building.  Tyranids do not have snipers or targeted smites, so it can be pain to get to those sweet, sweet supporting biomasses, but it is a lot easier now. A unit of Hive Guard can blast away a squad shielding a character, and then boom, you can open up with whatever guns you have.  This doesn’t mean that we will suddenly eat all the characters, but it is now a lot easier to do so, which helps us out with one of our weaker aspects of the game.

Overall, it seems like the game is going to change quite a bit in the next few months, but luckily, Tyranids have a variety of tools, so if one door closes, the Hive Mind can open another. Be flexible, and yes, some of our builds may not work quite the way they used to, or at all, but we have a deep codex with a lot of different builds, so be sure to experiment! Thanks as always for reading, and keep getting those Hive Fleets ready for the table.

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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