Tyranids: 9th Ed Forgeworld review – Meiotic Spores

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, we are going to look at one of my favorite, sleeper units from 8th edition that maybe need to ride the pine for 9th, the Meiotic Spore. They do have a nasty trick, but you also need to watch out for all the other biomass over at Frontline’s ever-growing Tactics Corner!

Equipment:

None.

Special Rules:

  • Instinctive Behaviour: If this unit is not within 24″ of a friendly HIVE FLEET Synapse unit, then it suffers -1 to hit on shooting attack rolls against enemy units that are not the closest to it, and it suffers -2 to charge rolls against enemy units that are not the closest to it.
  • Float Down: You can set this unit up in reserve and have it arrive anywhere on the battlefield more than 9″ away from enemy models.
  • Floating Death: At the end of the charge phase, if this model is within 3″ of any enemy units, it explodes. Roll a d6: 1 – nothing, 2-3 – the closest enemy unit takes d3 Mortal Wounds, 4-6 – the closest enemy unit takes 3 Mortal Wounds, and this model is destroyed.
  • Living Bombs: These models automatically pass morale tests and never award Victory Points for any reason. They do not count towards models controlling an objective.

Meiotic Spores are an area of denial unit that can also be used as a sneaky blitz in Kraken. 

The Meiotic is what you expect from a spore that is halfway between a Spore Mine and a Mucolid. It moves 3”, which is standard for living bombs, T2 and 2W with a 7+ save, meaning that it only gets an armor save if in cover.  None of this is impressive, and it isn’t meant to be.  Seeing as how Meiotics don’t count for any victory conditions and such, they aren’t there to be imposing line backers or resilient frontline chaff; they are there to die.  The 2 wounds is important though as it allows you utilize Metabolic Overdrive for an extra move, which is critical to get them to do some damage, and it lessens the chance that you start losing models to the stratagem as you can afford to take 1 wound.

Offensively, each Meoitic does 2 mortal wounds on average dice thanks to always doing 3 on a 4+.  This gives you pretty consistent math, so you know that if you get a full unit of 6 (RIP to full squads of 9), you are going to do about 12 MW on average.  Since they have been toned down to be more consistent in damage but with less spikes and with less in the unit, you can’t expect a full unit to just obliterate a target, but still, 12 mortal wounds can be clutch in the right situations, taking out a well defended vehicle, doing big damage to a Terminator squad, or even sniping out a lot of characters. If your opponent has units that have quickly taken the center, a squad of Meiotics can get in there and help clear away the problem, assuming the target has under 12 wounds total. With only a 3” move, this means you really need to build to utilize this tactic.

If taken in Kraken, this gives you both Opportunistic Advance and roll 3d6, take the highest for advance rolls, making a unit of Meoitic go from 6.5” average movement to about 12”, a very healthy increase. Throw in using Metabolic Overdrive for the extra move, and all of sudden, your little bombs are going as far as 30” in a single turn.  Not too shabby at all.  Seeing as how the Meoitic doesn’t need to charge to explode, just needs to get within 3”, that is generally more than enough to line up the damage on the target you want, and since they Fly, you can generally navigate terrain and screening models.   You can also try to pair this with Swarmlord and give them another move and advance, so theoretically, in Kraken, you can send one squad forward with Opportunistic Advance and Metabolic Overdrive and then send another squad forward with Hive Commander, but the second squad isn’t going to cover anywhere near as much ground on average, but still, getting 2 big blasts on Turn 1 can really shift the game.

Even if they do not get to explode, having Meoitics can be used as area denial for screening out deep strikers.  Fast, flanking units that want to drop into the back and cause problems are usually not large, so taking 6 mortal wounds can really tone them down.  Since they do not count for any victory purposes, your opponent has to waste firepower on essentially nothing, and you don’t want to charge them since they explode in the charge phase, so you really don’t want to end up near them.  You can use a squad to block out movement and protect more vulnerable units behind as even if an enemy rolls high enough (or has Fly) to get around the Meoitics, if they end within 3”, the bombs still pop. 

In terms of Hive Fleet, the only one that really gives the Meoitics legs, so to speak, is Kraken.  You really, really need to roll well on your advance, so while the custom Fleet that lets you reroll advance is cool, nothing beats Kraken.  The Meoitic doesn’t really benefit any other way as it has such paltry defense that you really can’t boost 0, and it’s only offensive ability is to get it within 3” of an enemy, so yah, Kraken it is.

The downside to the Meiotic is that it is very much a one-trick kind of organism.  It sounds awesome on paper to launch a blitz of mortal wounds, but you start paying good points to do so, and well, then those points are gone. Yes, it is worth it to trade 120 points of spores for maybe 120 points of a lynchpin character or even 300+ points of a super elite unit, but the spores can be easily counter-played by a savvy opponent.  The trick will work on an unsuspecting opponent, and the pressure can force them to deploy more cautiously even if they are aware, so one squad can do it, but if you start taking 2 or even 3, you are spending a lot of points that can easily be countered or simply run into a bad matchup.  Even as a screen unit, Meiotics can’t hold objectives, so they are just bodies waiting to die, but even Rippers or a Lictor can at least try to contest something while they soak fire or get in the way. 

Really, the problem here is that Meiotics get a bit pricey for a full unit, and they are a risk. If you can leverage them into an ideal matchup, big profit, but if you don’t, big waste.  20 points per model is just a lot on such a fragile thing, and to really leverage them, you need to spend other resources like CP, specific stratagems, and even Hive Commander, all resources that could be invested with often more reward elsewhere.  In 8th, their ability to advance deploy made them worth it for controlling the center of the board from the start, but without that, there isn’t much room for these spores at the table. Their newest rules did not do them a lot of favors.

Overall: 50/100.  The Meiotic Blitz is a cute trick, but it is just a trick, not a reliable strategy. Thanks as always for reading. Play games and be safe all.

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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.

2 Responses to “Tyranids: 9th Ed Forgeworld review – Meiotic Spores”

  1. Ghosar December 20, 2020 1:28 pm #

    Doesn’t opportunistic advance only work on non fly models ?

    Otherwise I agree they are absolutely terrible at 20 ppm. I would consider them at 15 ppm though. Anyway Swarmlord now has three dimachaerons to sling around, so no way anyone should give that up for slinging over costed spores

    • Gojky December 20, 2020 5:47 pm #

      You are right mate and the article needs to be updated by the author to reflect this mistake:

      OPPORTUNISTIC ADVANCE

      Kraken Stratagem

      Use this Stratagem in your Movement phase when you roll the dice for an Advancing KRAKEN unit (other than a unit that can FLY). You can double the number you roll and add that total to their Move characteristic for that Movement phase, rather than following the normal rules for Advancing.

Leave a Reply to Ghosar